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Title: Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science - Volume 15, No. 86, February, 1875
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 15, No. 86, February, 1875" ***

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LITERATURE AND SCIENCE, VOL. 15, NO. 86, FEBRUARY, 1875***


Note: The Table of Contents and the list of illustrations were added
      by the transcriber.

LIPPINCOTT'S MAGAZINE OF POPULAR LITERATURE AND SCIENCE

February, 1875

Vol. XV, No. 86



TABLE OF CONTENTS.


   FOLLOWING THE TIBER.
     CONCLUDING PAPER.

   SIX MONTHS AMONG CANNIBALS.

   AN AMERICAN GIRL AND HER LOVERS. by Mary E. Blair.

   A JAPANESE MARRIAGE IN HIGH LIFE. by W.E. Griffis.

   THE LOST BABY. by Clara G. Dolliver.

   THREE FEATHERS. by William Black.
     CHAPTER XXIII.  SOME OLD SONGS.
     CHAPTER XXIV.   THE CUT DIRECT.
     CHAPTER XXV.    NOT THE LAST WORD.

   FEVER. by H.C. Wood, Jr., M.D.

   SONNET. by Charlotte F. Bates.

   SOME RECOLLECTIONS OF HIRAM POWERS. by T. Adolphus Trollope.

   CORN. by Sidney Lanier.

   GENTLEMAN DICK. by W. Mackay Laffan.

   A SINGULAR FAMILY. by Clelia Lega Weeks.

   THE MATCHLESS ONE:
     A TALE OF AMERICAN SOCIETY, IN FOUR CHAPTERS.
                                          by Ita Aniol Prokop.
     PROLOGUE.
     CHAPTER I.
     CHAPTER II.

   THE STRANGER WITHIN THE GATES OF PARIS. by Lucy H. Hooper.

   OUR MONTHLY GOSSIP.
     GYPSY MUSIC IN HUNGARY. by E.C.R.
     THE "GIORNO DEI MORTI." by T.A.T.
     MR. MILL'S MOTHER.

   NOTES.

   LITERATURE OF THE DAY.

   Books Received.

   FOOTNOTES



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.

   TEMPLE OF THE CLITUMNUS.
   THE FALLS OF TERNI.
   ORVIETO.
   CIVITÀ BAGNOREA.
   THE TIBER, FROM ORTE.
   BORGHETTO.
   ST. PETER'S AND THE VATICAN, FROM THE FALLS OF THE TIBER.
   THE CASTLE OF ST. ANGELO.
   ISLAND OF THE TIBER.
   CUPOLA OF ST. PETER'S.
   THE PINCIO, FROM THE VILLA BORGHESE.
   SORACTE.
   VEII, FROM THE CAMPAGNA.
   TIVOLI.
   CASTLE AT OSTIA.
   HEAD OF THE TRAJAN CANAL, NEAR OSTIA.



FOLLOWING THE TIBER.

CONCLUDING PAPER.

[Illustration: TEMPLE OF THE CLITUMNUS.]


One branch of the little river which encompasses Assisi is the
Clitumnus, the delight of philosophers and poets in the Augustan age.
Near its source stands a beautiful little temple to the divinity of the
stream. Although the ancients resorted hither for the loveliness of the
spot, they did not bathe in the springs, a gentle superstition holding
it sacrilege for the human body to lave itself in a stream near its
source.

[Illustration: THE FALLS OF TERNI.]

They came by the Via Flaminia, the old high-road from Rome to Florence,
which crosses the modern railroad hard by. Following its course, which
takes a more direct line than the devious Tiber, past Spoleto on its
woody castellated height, the traveler reaches Terni on the tumultuous
Nar, the wildest and most rebellious of all the tributaries. It was to
save the surrounding country from its outbreaks that the channel was
made by the Romans B.C. 271, the first of several experiments which
resulted in these cascades, which have been more sung and oftener
painted than any other in the world. The beauty of Terni is so hackneyed
that enthusiasm over it becomes cockney, yet the beauty of hackneyed
things is as eternal as the verity of truisms, and no more loses its
charm than the other its point. But one must not talk about it. The
foaming torrent rages along between its rocky walls until spanned by the
bridge of Augustus at Narni, a magnificent viaduct sixty feet high,
thrown from ridge to ridge across the ravine for the passage of the
Flaminian Way--a wreck now, for two of the arches have fallen, but
through the last there is a glimpse of the rugged hillsides with their
thick forests and the turbulent waters rushing through the chasm. Higher
still is Narni, looking over her embattled walls. It is one of the most
striking positions on the way from Florence to Rome, and the next half
hour, through savage gorges and black tunnels, ever beside the tormented
waters of the Nar until they meet the Tiber, swollen by the tributes of
the Paglia and Chiana, is singularly fine.

[Illustration: ORVIETO.]

Where the Paglia and Chiana flow together, at the issue of the charming
Val di Chiana, stands Orvieto on its steep and sudden rock, crowned with
one of the triumphs of Italian Gothic, the glorious cathedral. After
toiling up the ladder-like paths which lead from the plain to the summit
of the bluff, and passing through the grand mediæval gateway along the
slanting streets, where even the peasants dismount and walk beside their
donkeys, seeing nothing within the whole small compass of the walls save
what speaks of the narrowest and humblest life in the most remote of
hill-fastnesses, a few deserted and dilapidated palaces alone telling of
a period of importance long past, nothing can describe the effect of
coming out of this indigence and insignificance upon the silent,
solitary piazza where the incomparable cathedral rears its front,
covered from base to pinnacle with the richest sculpture and most
brilliant mosaic. The volcanic mass on which the town is built is over
seven hundred feet high, and nearly half as much in circumference: it
would be a fitting pedestal for this gorgeous duomo if it stood there
alone. But it is almost wedged in among the crooked streets, a few paces
of grass-grown stones allowing less than space enough to embrace the
whole result of proportion and color: one cannot go far enough off to
escape details. An account of those details would require a volume, and
one has already been written which leaves no more to be said;[1] yet
fain would we take the reader with us into that noble nave, where the
"glorious company of the apostles" stands colossal in marble beside the
pillars whose sculptured capitals are like leafy branches blown by the
wind; where the light comes rich and mellow through stained glass and
semilucent alabaster, like Indian-summer sunshine in autumn woods; where
Fra Angelico's and Benozzo Gozzoli's angelic host smile upon us with
ineffable mildness from above the struggle and strife of Luca
Signorelli's "Last Judgment," the great forerunner of Michael Angelo's.
It added greatly to the impressiveness that there was never a single
human being in the cathedral: except one afternoon at vespers we had it
all to ourselves. There is little else to see in the place, although it
is highly picturesque and the inhabitants wear a more complete costume
than any other I saw in Italy--the women, bright bodices, striped skirts
and red stockings; the men, jaunty jackets and breeches, peaked hats and
splendid sashes.

The discomfort of Perugia was luxury to what we found at Orvieto, and it
was no longer May but December, when it is nearly as cold north of Rome
as with us; and Rome was drawing us with her mighty magnet. So, one
wintry morning, soon after daybreak, we set out in a close carriage with
four horses, wrapped as if we were going in a sleigh, with a
_scaldino_ (or little brazier) under our feet, for the nearest
railway station on our route, a nine hours' drive. Our way lay through
the snow-covered hills and their leafless forest, and long after we had
left Orvieto behind again and again a rise in the road would bring it
full in sight on its base of tufa, girt by its walls, the Gothic lines
of the cathedral sharp against the clear, brightening sky. At our last
look the sun was not up, but broad shafts of light, such as painters
throw before the chariot of Phoebus, refracted against the pure æther,
spread like a halo round the threefold pinnacles: a moment more and
Orvieto was hidden behind a higher hill, not to be seen again. All day
we drove among the snow-bound hills and woods, past the Lake of Bolsena
in its forbidding beauty; past small valleys full of naked fruit trees
and shivering olives, which must be nooks of loveliness in spring; past
defiant little towns aloft on their islands of tufa, like Bagnorea with
its single slender bell-tower; past Montefiascone with its good old
story about Cardinal Fugger and the native wine.

[Illustration: CIVITÀ BAGNOREA.]

We stopped to lunch at Viterbo, a town more closely connected with the
history of the Papacy than any except Rome itself, and full of legends
and romantic associations: it is dirty and dilapidated, and has great
need of all its memories. Being but eight miles from Montefiascone, we
called for a bottle of the fatal Est, which we had tasted once at
Augsburg, where the host of the Three Moors has it in his cellar, in
honor perhaps of the departed Fugger family, whose palace has become his
hotel: there we had found it delicious--a wine as sweet as cordial, with
a soul of fire and a penetrating but delicate flavor of its own--how
different from the thin, sour stuff they brought us in the long-necked,
straw-covered flask, nothing to attest its relationship to the generous
juice at the Three Moors except the singular, unique flavor! After this
little disappointment we left Viterbo, and drove on through the same
sort of scenery, which seemed to grow more and more beautiful in the
rosy light of the sinking sun. But it is hard to tell, for nothing makes
a journey so beautiful as to know that Rome is the goal. As the last
rays were flushing the hill-tops we came in sight of Orte, with its
irregular lines of building clinging to the sides of its precipitous
cliff in such eyrie-wise that it is difficult to say what is house and
what is rock, and whether the arched passages with which it is pierced
are masonry or natural grottoes; and there was the Tiber--already the
yellow Tiber--winding through the valley as far as eye could follow.
Here we waited for the train, which was ten minutes late, and tried to
make up for lost time by leaving our luggage, all duly marked and ready,
standing on the track. We soon began to greet familiar sites as we
flitted by: the last we made out plainly was Borghetto, a handful of
houses, with a ruined castle keeping watch on a hill hard by: then
twilight gathered, and we strained our eyes in vain for the earliest
glimpse of Mount Soracte, and night came down before we could descry the
first landmarks of the Agro Romano, the outposts of our excursions, the
farm-towers we knew by name, the farthest fragments of the aqueducts.
But it was not so obscure that we could not discern the Tiber between
his low banks showing us the way, the lights quivering in the Anio as
the train rushed over the bridge; and when at length we saw against the
clear night-sky a great dark barrier stretching right and left, we knew
that the walls of Rome were once more before us: in a moment we had
glided through with slackening speed, and her embrace enfolded us again.

[Illustration: THE TIBER, FROM ORTE.]

[Illustration: BORGHETTO.]

[Illustration: ST. PETER'S AND THE VATICAN, FROM THE FALLS OF
THE TIBER.]

The Tiber, winding as it does like a great artery through the heart of
Rome, is seldom long either out of sight or mind. One constantly comes
upon it in the most unexpected manner, for there is no river front to
the city. There is a wide open space on the Ripetta--a street which runs
from the Piazza del Popolo, at the head of the foreign quarter, to
remoter parts--where a broad flight of marble steps descends to the
level of the flood, and a ferry crosses to the opposite bank: looking
over at the trees and fields, it is like the open country, yet beyond
are St. Peter's and the Vatican, and the whole of what is known as the
Leonine City. But one cannot follow the Tiber through the streets of
Rome as one may the Seine in Paris: in the thickly-built quarters the
houses back upon the stream and its yellow waves wash their foundations,
working wrath and woe from time to time, as those who were there in the
winter of 1870 will recollect. Sometimes it is lost to sight for half a
mile together, unless one catches a glimpse of it through the
carriage-way of a palace. From the wharf of the Ripetta it disappears
until you come upon it again at the bridge of St. Angelo, the Ælian
bridge of ancient Rome, which is the most direct passage from the
fashionable and foreign quarter to the Trastevere. It must be confessed
that the idle sense of mere pleasure generally supersedes recollection
and association after one's first astonishment to find one's self among
the historic places subsides; yet how often, as our horses' hoofs rang
on the slippery stones, my thoughts went suddenly back to the scene when
Saint Gregory passed over, chanting litanies, at the head of the whole
populace, who formed one vast penitential procession, and saw the
avenging angel alight on the mausoleum of Adrian and sheath his sword in
sign that the plague was stayed; or to that terrible day when the
ferocious mercenaries of the Constable de Bourbon and the wretched
inhabitants given over to sack and slaughter swarmed across together,
butchering and butchered, while the troops in the castle hurled down
what was left of its classic statues upon the heads of friend and foe,
and the Tiber was turned to blood!

[Illustration: THE CASTLE OF ST. ANGELO.]

[Illustration: ISLAND OF THE TIBER.]

From the bridge of St. Angelo the river is lost again for a long
distance, although one can make one's way to it at various points--where
at low water the submerged piers of the Pons Triumphalis are to be seen,
where the Ponte Sisto leads to the foot of the Janiculum Hill, and on
the opposite bank the orange-groves of the Farnesina palace hang their
golden fruit and dusky foliage over the long garden-wall upon the
river--until we come to the Ponte Quatro Capi (Bridge of the Four Heads)
and the island of the Tiber. This is said to have been formed in the
kingly period by the accumulation of a harvest cast into the stream a
little way above, which the current could not sweep away: it made a
nucleus for alluvial deposit, and the island gradually arose. Several
hundred years afterward it was built into the form of a ship, as bridges
and wharves are built, with a temple in the midst, and a tall obelisk
set up in guise of its mast. In mediæval days a church replaced the
heathen fane, and now it stands between its two bridges, a huddle of
houses, terraces and gardens, whence one looks down on the fine mass of
the Ponte Rotto (Broken Bridge), whose shattered arches pause in
mid-stream, and across to the low arch of the Cloaca Maxima and the
exquisite little circular temple of Vesta. From here down, the river is
in full view from either side until it passes beyond the walls near the
Monte Testaccio--on one side the Ripa Grande (Great Bank or Wharf), a
long series of quays, on the other the Marmorata or marble landing,
where the ships from the quarries unload. Here, on each side, all sorts
of small craft lie moored, not betokening a very extensive commerce from
their size and shape, but quaint and oddly rigged, making a very good
fore-or back-ground, according as one looks at the picture. The
Marmorata is at the foot of the Aventine, the most lonely and unvisited
of the Seven Hills. From among the vegetable-gardens and cypress-groves
which clothe its long flank rise large, formless piles, whose
foundations are as old as the Eternal City, and whose superstructures
are the wreck of temples of the kingly and republican periods, and
palaces and villas of imperial times, and haughty feudal abodes, only to
be distinguished from one another by the antiquary amid their
indiscriminate ruin and the tangle of wild-briers and fern, ivy and
trailers with which they are overgrown. On the summit no trace of
ancient Rome is to be seen. There are no dwellings of men on this
deserted ground: a few small and very early Christian churches have
replaced the temples which once stood here, to be in their turn
neglected and forsaken: they stand forlornly apart, separated by
vineyards and high blank walls. On the brow of the hill is the esplanade
of a modern fort, and within its quiet precincts are the church and
priory of the Knights of Malta--nothing but a chapel and small villa as
abandoned as the rest. After toiling up a steep and narrow lane between
two walls, our carriage stopped at a solid wooden gateway, and the
coachman told us to get out and look through the keyhole. We were
aghast, but he insisted, laughing and nodding; so we pocketed our pride
and peeped. Through an overarching vista of dark foliage was seen, white
and golden in a blaze of sunshine, the cupola of St. Peter's, which is
at the farthest end of the city, two miles at the least as the crow
flies. When the gate was opened we entered a sweet little garden full of
violets, traversed by an alley of old ilex trees, through which appeared
the noble dome, and which led from the gate to a terrace overhanging the
Tiber--I will not venture to guess how far below--more like two than one
hundred feet; perhaps still farther. On the edge of the terrace was an
arbor, and here we sank down enchanted, to drink in the view of the
city, which spread out under our eyes as we had never seen it from any
other point. But the custodino's wife urged us to come into the Priorato
and see the view from the upper story. We followed her, reluctant to
leave the sunshine and soft air, up a stiff winding staircase, through
large, dark, chilly, long-closed apartments, until we reached the top,
where there was a great square room occupying the whole floor. She flung
open the windows, and never did such a panorama meet my eyes. There were
windows on every side: to the north, one looked across the city to St.
Peter's, the Vatican, the Castle of St. Angelo, the Tiber with its great
bends and many bridges, and to lonely, far-away Soracte; westward, on
the other side of the river, rose the Janiculum with its close-wedged
houses, grade on grade, and on its summit the church of San Pietro in
Montorio and the flashing cataract of the Acqua Paola fountain, the
stone-pines of the Villa Dolia cresting the ridge above; eastward, the
Palatine, a world of ruins in a world of gardens, lay between us and the
Coliseum, and over them and the wall, the aqueducts, the plain, the eye
ranged to the snow-capped Sabine Hills, on whose many-colored
declivities tiny white towns were dotted like browsing sheep; southward,
we gazed down upon the Pyramid of Cestius, upon the beautiful Protestant
cemetery with its white monuments and dark cypresses where lie Shelley
and Keats, upon the stately Porta San Paolo, a great mediæval gateway
flanked with towers, and beyond, the Campagna, purple, violet,
ultramarine, oceanic, rolling out toward the Alban Hills, which
glittered with snow, rising sharply like island-peaks and sloping down
like promontories into the plain; and over all the sun and sky and
shadows of Italy.

[Illustration: CUPOLA OF ST. PETER'S.]

[Illustration: THE PINCIO, FROM THE VILLA BORGHESE.]

The prospect from the Priorato surpasses anything in Rome--even the
wonderful view from the Janiculum, even the enchanting outlook from the
Pincian Hill. But the last was at our very doors: we could go thither in
the morning to watch the white mist curl up from the valleys and hang
about the mountain-brows, and at noon, when even in January the cool
avenues and splashing fountains were grateful, and at sunset, when the
city lay before us steeped in splendor. That was the view of our daily
walks--the beloved view of which one thinks most often and fondly in
remembering Rome.

[Illustration: SORACTE.]

But it is in riding that one grows to feel most familiar with the Tiber
and all his Roman children, whether it be strolling somewhat sulkily in
a line with his banks by the Via Flaminia or the Via Cassia, impatient
to get away from their stones and dust to the soft, springing turf; or
hailing him from afar as a guide after losing one's self in the endless
undulations of the open country; or cantering over daffodil-sheeted
meadows beside the Anio at the foot of the grassy heights on which
Antemnæ stood; or threading one's way doubtfully among the ravines which
intersect the course of the little Cremera as one goes to Veii. The last
is a most beautiful and interesting expedition, for, what with the
distance--more than twelve miles--and the difficulty of finding the way,
it is quite an enterprise. As one turns his horse's head away from the
river, off the high-road, to the high grassy flats, the whole Campagna
seems to lie before one like a vast table-land, with nothing between
one's self and Soracte as he lifts his heavy shoulder from the
plain--not half hidden by intervening mountains, as from some points of
view, but majestic and isolated, thirty miles away to the north. But
here, as in every other part of the Campagna, one cannot go far without
finding hillocks and hollows, long steep slopes and sudden little dells,
and, stranger still, unsuspected tracts of woodland, for the general
effect of the Roman landscape is quite treeless. So there is a few
miles' gallop across the trackless turf, sometimes asking the way of a
solitary shepherd, who looms up against the sky like a tower, sometimes
following it by faint landmarks, few and far between, of which we have
been told, and hard to find in that waste, until we pass a curious
little patriarchal abode shaped like a wigwam, where, in the midst of
these wide pastures dwells a herdsman surrounded by his family, his
cattle, his dogs, his goats and his fowls--the beautiful animals of the
Campagna, long-haired, soft-eyed, rich-colored, like the human children
of the soil. Then we strike the Cremera, and exploring begins among its
rocky gullies, up and down which the spirited, sure-footed horses
scramble like chamois. Thick woods of cork-oak clothe their sides, and
copses of a deciduous tree which I never saw in its summer dress of
green, but which keeps its dead leaves all through the winter, a full
suit of soft, pale brown contrasting with the dark evergreens. Among
these woods grow all the wild-flowers of the long Roman spring from
January to May--flowers that I never saw in bloom at the same time
anywhere else. On banks overcanopied by faded boughs nodded myriads of
snowdrops; farther on we held our horses' heads well up as they slipped,
almost sitting, down the damp rocky clefts of a gorge whose sides were
purple with violets, mingling their delicious odor, the sweetest and
most sentimental of perfumes, with the fresh, geranium-like scent of the
cyclamen, which here and there flung back its delicate pinkish petals
like one amazed: then came acres of anemones--not our pale wind-shaken
flower, but brave asters of half a dozen superb kinds. Up and down these
passes we forced our way through interlacing branches, which drooped too
low, until we had crossed the ridges on either side the Cremera, and
gained the valley at the head of which is Isola Farnese, the
rock-fortress supposed to occupy the site of the citadel of Etruscan
Veii. It is not really an island, in spite of its name; only a bold
peninsula, round whose base two rivulets flow and nearly meet. It is
called a village, and so it is, with quite a population, but the great
courtyard of the fifteenth-century castle contains them all, and the
huts, pig-pens, kennels and coops which they seem to inhabit
indiscriminately. Except where the bluff overlooks the valley,
everything is closed and shut in by rocks and gorges, through one of
which a lovely waterfall drips from a covert of boughs and shrubbery and
wreathing ferns and creepers into a little stream, which with musical
clamor rushes at a picturesque old mill: through another the road from
the castle passes through a narrow issue to the outer world. And this
stranded and shipwrecked fortress in the midst of so wild a scene is all
that exists to mark where Veii stood, the powerful city which kept Rome
at bay for ten years, and fell at length by stratagem! Its site was
forgotten for nearly two thousand years, but in this century the
discovery of some tombs revealed the secret.

[Illustration: VEII, FROM THE CAMPAGNA.]

[Illustration: TIVOLI.]

The scenery differs entirely on different sides of Rome. Here there is
not a ruin, not a vestige, except a few low heaps of stone-or brickwork
hidden by weeds: on the other, toward Tivoli, much of the beauty is due
to the work of man--the stately remnants of ancient aqueduct, temple and
tomb; the tall square towers of feudal barons, round which cluster low
farm-buildings scarcely less old and solid; the vast, gloomy grottoes of
Cerbara, which look like the underground palace of a bygone race, but
which are the tufa-quarries of classic times; the ruined baths of
Zenobia, where the rushing milky waters of the Aquæ Albulæ fill the air
with sulphurous fumes; and, as a climax, the Villa of Hadrian, less a
country-place than a whole region, a town-in-country, with palace,
temples, circus, theatres, baths amidst a tract of garden and
pleasure-ground ten miles in circumference. Even when one is familiar
with the enormous height and bulk of the Coliseum or the Baths of
Caracalla, the extent of the ruins of Hadrian's Villa is overwhelming.
Numerous fragments are still standing, graceful and elegant, but a vast
many more are buried deep under turf and violets and fern: large
cypresses and ilexes have struck root among their stones, and they form
artificial hills and vales and great wide plateaus covered with herbage
and shrubbery, hardly to be distinguished from the natural accidents of
the land. The solitude is as immense as the space. After leaving our
carriage we wandered about for hours, sometimes lying in the sunshine at
the edge of a great grassy terrace which commands the Campagna and the
Agro Romano--beyond whose limits we had come--to where, like a little
bell, St. Peter's dome hung faint and blue upon the horizon; sometimes
exploring the innumerable porticoes and galleries, and replacing in
fancy the Venus de Medici, the Dancing Faun, and all the other shapes of
beauty which once occupied these ravished pedestals and niches;
sometimes rambling about the flowery fields, and up and down among the
hillocks and dells, meeting no one, until at length, when completely
bewildered and lost, we fell in with a rustic belonging to the estate,
who guided us back. We left the place with the sense of having been in a
separate realm, another country, belonging to another age. The whole of
that visit to Tivoli was like a dream. The sun was sinking when we left
the precincts of the villa, and twilight stole upon us, wrapping all the
landscape on which we looked back in softer folds of shade, and
resolving its features into large, calm masses, as the horses labored up
the narrow, stony road into a mysterious wood of gigantic olives,
gnarled, twisted and rent as no other tree could be and live. The scene
was wild and weird in the dying light, and it grew almost savage as we
wound upward among the robber-haunted hills. Night had fallen before we
reached the mountain-town. Our coachman dashed through the dark slits of
streets, where it seemed as if our wheels must strike the houses on each
side, cracking his whip and jingling the bells of the harness. Under
black archways sat groups of peasants, their swart visages lit up from
below by the glow of a brazier, while a flaring torch stuck through a
ring overhead threw fierce lights and shadows across the scene. Sharp
cries and shouts like maledictions rose as we passed, and as we turned
into the little square on which the inn stands we wondered in what sort
of den we should have to lodge. We followed our host of the little
Albergo della Regnia up the steep stone staircase with many misgivings:
he flung open a door, and we beheld a carpeted room, all furnished and
hung with pink chintz covered with cupids and garlands. There were
sofas, low arm-chairs, a writing-table with appurtenances, a tea-table
with snowy linen and a hissing brass tea-kettle. Opening from this were
two little white nests of bed-rooms, with tin bath-tubs and an abundance
of towels. We could not believe our eyes: here were English comfort and
French taste. Were we in May Fair or the Rue de Rivoli? Or was it a
fairy-tale?

[Illustration: CASTLE AT OSTIA.]

The fairy-tale went on next day, when, after wending our way through the
dirty, crooked little streets, we crossed a courtyard and descended a
long subterranean stairway to emerge on a magnificent terrace with a
heavy marble balustrade, whence flights of steps led down to lower
grades, amid statues, urns, vases, fountains, reservoirs, camellias in
bloom mingled with laurel and myrtle and laurustinums covered with
creamy flowers, cypresses tall as cathedral spires, ilex avenues, and
broad straight walks between huge walls of box: the whole space was
filled with the song of nightingales, the tinkle of falling water, with
whiffs of aromatic shrubs and the breath of hidden roses and violets;--a
princely garden, a royal pleasaunce, but in exquisite disorder and
neglect; the shrubbery too thick and straggling, the flowers straying
beyond their rightful boundaries, the statues stained and moss-grown,
the balusters entangled in clinging luxuriance, the fountains dripping
through fern and maiden-hair--Nature supreme, as one always sees her in
this land of Art. It was the Villa d'Este, famous these three hundred
years for its fountains and cypresses. Nor did the wonder cease when we
forsook this enchanting spot for the mountain-road which overhangs the
great ravine. Opposite, backed by mountains, rose the crags topped by
the clustering town and all its towers, arches, niches, battlements,
bridges, long lines of classic ruins, and on the edge of the abyss the
perfect little temple of the Sibyl; rushing down from everywhere the
waterfalls, one great column plunging at the head of the gorge, and
countless frolic streams, the _cascatelle_, leaping and dancing
from rock to rock through mist and rainbow and extravagance of emerald
moss and herbage, down among sea-green, silvery olives, finally sliding
away, between softer foliage and verdure, through the valley into the
plain--the immense azure plain, with its grand symphonic harmonies of
form and color. O land of dreams fulfilled, of satisfied longing! when
across these thousands of miles I recall your entrancing charm, your
unimaginable beauty, I sometimes wonder if you were _not_ a dream,
if you have any place in this real existence, this lower earth: are you
still delighting other eyes with the rapture of your loveliness, or were
you only an illusion, a vision, which vanishes like the glow of sunset
or "golden exhalations of the dawn "?

The Campagna has one more aspect, different from all the rest, where the
Tiber, weary with his long wanderings, rolls lazily to the sea. It is a
dreary waste of swamp and sandhill and scrub growth, but with a forlorn
beauty of its own, and the beauty of color, never absent in Italy. The
tall, coarse grass and reeds pass through a series of vivid tones,
culminating in tawny gold and deep orange, against which the
silver-fretted violet blue-green of the Mediterranean assumes a magical
splendor. Small, shaggy buffaloes with ferocious eyes, and sometimes a
peasant as wild-looking as they, are the only inhabitants of this
wilderness. The machicolated towers of Castel Fusano among its grand
stone-pines stand up from the marshes, and farther seaward another
castle with a single pine; but they only enhance the surrounding
loneliness. Ostia, the ancient port, which sea and river have both
deserted, is now a city of the dead, a Pompeii above ground, whose
avenues of tombs lead to streets of human dwellings more desolate still.
It is no longer by Ostia, nor even by the Tiber, that one can reach the
sea: the way was choked by sand and silt seventeen centuries ago, and
Trajan caused the canal to be made which bears his name; and this is
still the outlet from Rome to the Mediterranean, while the river expires
among the pestilential marshes.

[Illustration: HEAD OF THE TRAJAN CANAL, NEAR OSTIA.]



SIX MONTHS AMONG CANNIBALS.


[Illustration: A HALT IN THE BRUSH.]

Perhaps as good an illustration of the purely absurd (according to
civilized notions) as can be imagined is a congregation of cannibals in
a missionary church weeping bitterly over the story of Calvary. Fresh
from their revolting feasts upon the flesh of their conquered enemies,
these gentle savages weep over the sufferings of One separated from them
by race, by distance, by almost every conceivable lack of the conditions
for natural sympathy, and by over eighteen hundred years of time! Surely
there must be hope for people who manifest such sensibility, and we may
fairly question whether cannibalism be necessarily the sign of the
lowest human degradation. A good deal of light is thrown upon the
subject by the writings of the young engineer, Jules Garnier, who was
lately charged by the French minister of the interior with a mission of
exploration in New Caledonia, the Pacific island discovered by Captain
Cook just one hundred years ago, and ceded to the French in 1853.

It is about three hundred and sixty miles from Sydney to New Caledonia,
a long, narrow island lying just north of the Tropic of Capricorn, and
completely surrounded by belts of coral reef crenellated here and there,
and forming channels or passes where ships may enter. Navigation through
these channels is, however, exceedingly hazardous in any but calm
weather; and it was formerly thought that the island was on this account
practically valueless for colonization. Once inside them, however,
vessels may anchor safely anywhere, for there is in effect a continuous
roadstead all around the island. The passage through the narrow pass of
Dumbea, just outside of Noumea, affords a striking spectacle. On each
side of the ship is a wall of foam, and the reverberating thunder of the
waves dashing and breaking upon the jagged reefs keeps the mind in
breathless suspense.

The site of Noumea seems to be the most unfortunate that could be
chosen. It is a barren, rocky spot, divested of all luxuriance of
vegetation, and the nearest water, a brook called Pont des Français, is
ten miles away. The appearance of the town, which fronts the harbor in
the form of an amphitheatre, the houses and gardens rising higher and
higher as they recede from the sea, tended somewhat to reassure the
explorer, who had been wondering that human stupidity should have been
equal to selecting in a tropical country, and in one of the best-watered
islands of the world, such a situation for its capital. Wells are of
little account, for the water thus obtained is at the level of the sea,
and always salt. The population has to depend upon the rain that falls
on roofs, and as the cleanliness of these is of prime importance,
domesticating pigeons is strictly forbidden. This might not be much of a
deprivation in most places, but in New Caledonia, of all the world,
there is a kind of giant pigeon as large as a common hen! This is the
_noton_, (sic) the _Carpophage Goliath_ of the naturalist.

The hotel at Noumea was a kind of barracks, with partitions so slight
that every guest was forced to hear every sound in his neighbors' rooms.
M. Garnier, to escape this inconvenience, purchased a garden-plot, had a
cottage built in a few days, and so became a proprietor in Oceanica.
Before setting out on his exploring expedition into the interior he
tried to interest the government in a plan for cisterns to supply the
city with water--a project easy of execution from the natural
conformation of the locality. But his scheme received no encouragement
from the old-fogyish authorities. They were at that moment entertaining
one which for simplicity reminded Garnier of the egg problem of
Columbus. This was to distill the sea-water. He made a calculation of
the cost of thus supplying each of the sixteen hundred inhabitants with
five quarts of water a day, which showed that the proposition was
impracticable under the circumstances.

From the showing of official accounts, this French colony of New
Caledonia must be one of the most absurd that exists. The military and
naval force far exceeds in number the whole civil population; and this,
too, when the natives are quiet and submissive, few in number, and fast
dying out through the inordinate use of the worst kind of tobacco,
pulmonary consumption and other concomitants of civilization not
necessary to enumerate. Contrast this with the rich and populous
province of Victoria, which has only three hundred and fifty soldiers;
with Brisbane, which has only sixteen to a population of one hundred
thousand; and finally Tasmania, which has only seven soldiers for two
hundred thousand colonists!

It was believed formerly that New Caledonia was rich in gold-mines, and
the principal object of the expedition of M. Garnier was to discover
these. After one or two short excursions in the neighborhood of Noumea
he set out on an eight months' journey through the entire eastern
portion of the island. The plan which he adopted was to double the
southern extremity of the island, sail up the eastern coast between the
reefs and the mainland, as is the custom, stopping at the principal
stations and making long excursions into the interior, accompanied by a
guard of seven men. This plan he carried out, though some parts of the
country to be explored were inhabited by tribes that had seldom or never
seen a European. His testimony as to the almost unexceptionable kindness
of the natives, cannibals though they are, must be gratifying to those
who accept the doctrine of the brotherhood of man. Of the natives near
Balarde he says: "The moment you land all offer to guide your steps, and
in every way they can to satisfy your needs. Do you wish to hunt? A
native is ever ready to show you the marsh where ducks most abound. Are
you hungry or thirsty? They fly to the cocoanut plantation with the
agility of monkeys. If a swamp or a brook stops your course, the
shoulders of the first comer are ever ready to carry you across. If it
rains, they run to bring banana-leaves or make you a shelter of bark.
When night comes they light your way with resinous torches, and finally,
when you leave them, you read in their faces signs of sincere regret."

Captain Cook, in his eulogies of these gentle savages, probably never
dreamed that they were anthropophagi, and if he had known the fact, his
kindly nature would have found some extenuation for them. Cannibals, as
a rule--certainly those of New Caledonia--do not eat each other
indiscriminately. For example, they dispose of their dead with tender
care, though they despatch with their clubs even their best friends when
dying; but this is with them a religious duty. They only eat their
enemies when they have killed them in battle. This also, in their code
of morals, appears to be a duty. Toussenel, in his _Zoölogie
Passionelle_, has a kind word even for these savages: "Let us pity
the cannibal, and not blame him too severely. We who boast of our
refined Christian civilization murder men by tens of thousands from
motives less excusable than hunger. The crime lies not in roasting our
dead enemy, but in killing him when he wishes to live."

During M. Garnier's expedition he met the chief Onime, once the head of
a powerful tribe, now old and dispossessed of his power through the
revolt of his tribe some years previous. At that time a price had been
put upon his head, and he took refuge in the mountains. There was no
sign of discouragement or cruelty in his manners, but his face expressed
a bitter and profound sorrow. There was not a pig or a chicken on his
place--for he would have nothing imported by the _papalés_, or
Europeans--but he gave his guests a large quantity of yams, for which he
would accept no return except a little tobacco. When, however, Garnier
tied a pretty crimson handkerchief about the head of Onime's child, who
danced for joy at the possession of such a treasure, the old chief was
visibly moved, and gave his hand to the stranger. Two years later this
old man, being suspected of complicity in the assassination of a
colonist, was arrested, bound in chains and thrown into a dungeon. Three
times he broke his chains and escaped, and each time was recaptured. He
was then transported to Noumea. M. Garnier happened to be on the same
ship. The condition of the old man was pitiful. Deep wounds, exposing
the bones, were worn into his wrists and ankles in his attempts to free
himself from his chains. Three days later he died, and on a subsequent
examination of facts M. Garnier became convinced that Onime was innocent
of the crime charged against him. On the ship he recognized Garnier, and
accepted from him a little tobacco. Tobacco is more coveted by these
people than anything else in the world, and the stronger it is the
better. The child almost as soon as he can walk will smoke in an old
pipe the poisonous tobacco furnished specially for the natives, which is
so strong that it makes the most inveterate European smoker ill. "Gin
and brandy have been introduced successfully," but the natives as a rule
make horrible grimaces in drinking them, and invariably drink two or
three cups of water immediately _to put out the fire_, as they say.

These natives speak a kind of "pigeon English." It would be pigeon
French, doubtless, had their first relations been with the French
instead of the English. The government has now stopped the sale of
spirituous liquors to the natives, and recommended the chiefs to forbid
their subjects smoking until a certain age, but no precautions yet taken
have had much influence upon their physical condition. They are rapidly
dying out. The most prevalent disease is pulmonary consumption, which
they declare has been given them by the Europeans. Fewer and fewer
children are born every year, and in the tribes about Poöbo and some
others these are almost all males. Here is a curious fact for
scientists. Is not the cause to be found in the deteriorated physical
condition of the women? Mary Trist, in her careful and extensive
experimentation with butterfly grubs, has shown that by generous feeding
these all develop into females, while by starving males only appear.

M. Garnier believes that the principal cause of the deterioration and
decay of the natives in New Caledonia is the terrible tobacco that is
furnished to them. "Everybody pays for any service from the natives in
this poison." A missionary once asked a native convert why he had not
attended mass. "Because you don't give me any tobacco," replied this
hopeful Christian. To him, as to many others, says M. Garnier, going to
church means working for the missionary, just as much as digging in his
garden, and he therefore expects remuneration. The young girls in
regions where there are missions established all wear chaplets, for they
are good Catholics after a fashion, and generally refuse to marry
pagans. This operates to bring the young men under the religious yoke.
Self-interest is their strong motive generally. The missionary makes
them understand the value of his counsel in their tribes. It means their
raising cocoanuts for their oil, flocks of chickens and droves of hogs,
for all of which they can obtain pipes, quantities of tobacco, a gun,
and gaudy-colored cottons. When the chiefs find that their power is
gradually passing from them into the hands of the missionaries, they
only smoke more poisonous tobacco, expose themselves all the more to the
weather through the cheap fragmentary dress they have adopted, and so
the ravages of consumption are accelerated. Pious Christian women, who
have always given freely of their store to missionary causes, begin to
see that the results are not commensurate with their sacrifices--that
their charity, even their personal work among heathens, teaching them to
read and write and study the catechism, to cover their bodies with dress
and to love the arts of civilization, can avail little against the rum,
tobacco and nameless maladies legally or illegally introduced with
Christianity.

During one of M. Garnier's excursions into the interior he came across
one of the sacred groves where the natives bury their dead, if hanging
them up in trees can be so designated. His guides all refused to
accompany him, fearing to excite the anger of the manes of their
ancestors. He therefore entered the high grove alone. Numerous corpses,
enveloped in carefully-woven mats and then bound in a kind of basket,
were suspended from the branches of the trees. Some of these were
falling in pieces, and the ground was strewn with whitened bones. It
seems strange that this form of burial should be chosen in a country
where at least once a year there occurs a terrible cyclone that destroys
crops, unroofs houses, uproots trees, and often sends these
basket-caskets flying with the cocoanuts through the air.

In New Caledonia there are no ferocious beasts, and the largest animal
is a very rare bird which the natives call the kagon. When, therefore,
they saw the English eating the meat from beef bones they inferred that
these were the bones of giants, and naïvely inquired how they were
captured and what weapons of war they used. The confidence and
admiration of these children of Nature are easily gained, and under such
circumstances they talk freely and delight in imparting all the
information they possess. Among one of the tribes near Balarde, M.
Garnier noticed a young woman of superior beauty, and made inquiries
about her. This was Iarat, daughter of the chief Oundo. The hornlike
protuberances on her head were two "scarlet flowers, which were very
becoming in her dark hair."

[Illustration: IARAT, DAUGHTER OF THE CHIEF OUNDO.]

This poor little woman had a history. It is told in a few words: her
father sold her to the captain of a trading-vessel for a cask of brandy.
The "extenuating circumstances" in this case are that Oundo had been
invited on board the captain's ship, plied with brandy, and when nearly
drunk assented to the shameless bargain. When Oundo became sober he
repented of his act, and the more bitterly because the young girl was
betrothed to the young chief of a neighboring tribe. But he had given
his word, and was as great a moral coward as many of his betters are,
who think that honor may be preserved by dishonor. Nearly every coaster
has a native woman on board--some poor girl of low extraction, or some
orphan left to the mercy of her chief and sold for a hatchet or a few
yards of tawdry calico; but the daughters of chiefs are not thus
delivered over to the lusts of Europeans. The case of Iarat was an
exception. These coasters' wives, if such they may be called, are said
to be very devoted mothers and faithful servants. All day long they may
be seen managing the rudder or cooking in the narrow kitchen on deck.

The vessel in the service of M. Garnier left him at Balarde, near the
north-eastern extremity of the island, but, having determined to explore
farther north, he applied to Oundo, who furnished him with a native boat
or canoe and two men for the expedition. In this boat were stowed the
camping and exploring apparatus and cooking utensils, and three of his
men, who were too fatigued by late excursions to follow Garnier on foot.
The canoe was not very large, and this freight sunk it very low in the
water; yet as the sea was perfectly calm, no danger was apprehended
until, a slight breeze springing up, a sail was hoisted. The shore-party
continued their course, exploring, digging, breaking minerals, etc.,
generally in sight of the canoe, which M. Garnier watched with some
anxiety. Suddenly, Poulone, his faithful native guide, exclaimed,
"Captain, the pirogue sinks!" There was no time to be lost, for one of
the men could not swim at all, and the other two but indifferently.
Fortunately, the trunk of a tree was found near the water, some paddles
were improvised, and this primitive kind of boat was quickly afloat,
with the captain and Poulone on board. The canoe was some rods from the
shore, but the three men were picked up, having been supported meanwhile
by their dark companions. The latter did not swim ashore, but the moment
they were relieved from their charges, and without a word, set about
getting the canoe afloat. As to the cargo, it was all in plain sight,
but more than twenty feet under the limpid water. This was a great
misfortune. Some of the instruments were valuable, and could not be
replaced. If not recovered, the expedition to the north of the island
must be abandoned. In this strait Garnier despatched a messenger back to
Oundo, asking the old chief to come to the rescue with all his tribe. "I
did not count in vain," says he, "upon the generosity of this man, for
very soon I saw him approach, followed by the young people of his
tribe." He listened to the recital of the misfortune with every sign of
sympathy.

"Oundo," said M. Garnier, "I expect that you will once more show your
well-tried friendship for the French people by rendering me a great
service. Do you think you can recover these things for me?"

"Oundo will try," replied the chief simply. He then addressed his people
and gave his commands. In a moment, and with a loud cry of approbation
and good-will, they dashed into the water and swam out to the scene of
disaster.

It is a fine sight to see these natives of Oceanica, the best swimmers
in the world, darting under the water like bronze tritons. They
generally swim beneath the surface, coming up from time to time to
breathe, and shaking the water from their thick curly hair. M. Garnier
followed the natives on the log that had served as a lifeboat, and to
encourage them by example undressed and threw himself into the water.
The work commenced. Twenty or thirty feet is not much of a dive for a
South Sea Islander. Every minute the divers brought up some object with
a shout of triumph. They were in their element, and so spiritedly did
they undertake the task that women, and even the children, dived to the
bottom and constantly brought up some small object. The three guns of
the men, their trappings, the heavy box of zoological specimens, all the
instruments, were brought up in succession. Even the sole cooking-pot of
the expedition and the tin plates were recovered. The work occupied some
six hours. M. Garnier thanked the chief and his brave people, who when
the work was finished returned to their huts as quietly as they came.
And this chief was the man who had sold his daughter for a keg of
brandy!

Another chief, named Bourarte, the head of a great tribe near Hienguène,
deserves a few words. He was a chief of very superior experience and
intelligence. He had studied civilization diligently, enjoyed the
society of Europeans and knew that his people were barbarians. His story
is a most touching one. He said: "I always loved the English. They
treated me as a chief, and paid me honestly for all they received. One
day I consented to go with them to their great city of Sydney. It was
there that I learned the weakness of my people. I was well received
everywhere, but I longed to return. It was with pleasure that I saw
again our mountains and heard the joyful cries of welcome from my tribe.
About that time your people came. I paid little attention to them at
first, but because one of my men killed a Kanacka who was a protégé of
the missionaries there came a great ship (the Styx) into my port. The
captain sent for me. I went on board without fear, but my confidence was
betrayed. I was made a prisoner and transported to Tahiti. It was six
years before I saw my tribe again: they had already mourned me as dead.
I will tell you what happened in my absence. My people prepared for
vengeance: the French were apprised of the fact. They came again. And as
my people, filled with curiosity, flocked to the shore, the French fired
their cannon into the crowd. My people were frightened and fled into the
woods. Your soldiers landed, and for three days they burned our huts,
destroyed our plantations and cut down our cocoa trees. And all this
time," added the old chief with a heavy sigh, "I was a prisoner at
Tahiti, braiding baskets to gain a little food, and the grief that I
suffered whitened my head before the time."

[Illustration: A KANACKA FAMILY TRAVELING.]

After a long pause, during which the old Bourarte seemed lost in
thought, he said, "It is true that my people revenged themselves. They
killed a good many, and among them one of your chiefs. What is most
strange about this war is, that three English colonists, who lived
peacefully among us by their commerce and fishing, were taken by the
French and shot. Another Englishman, Captain Paddon, to whom I had sold
many a cargo of sandal-wood, on learning the fate of his compatriots,
fled on board a little boat with one Kanacka and a few provisions, got
out to sea, and, as I have been told, actually gained the port of
Sydney." This, it seems, is a historical fact. It was a boat without a
deck, and the distance is three hundred and sixty marine miles!

The result of the exploring mission of M. Garnier was not a discovery of
gold-mines, as so many had hoped. He is of the opinion that gold
deposits are scarce in the island. His report of the natives is on the
whole favorable, and confirms the testimony of missionaries and others,
that they are superior savages, easily civilized and Christianized, but
from some cause or combination of causes fast dying out before the
advance of civilization. In some respects they are less rude than other
South Sea Islanders, but they treat their women in much the same way. M.
Garnier gives us a photograph of a New Caledonia family on the road, the
head of the family, a big, stolid brute apparently, burdened only with
his club, while his wife staggers along under the combined load of
sugar-canes, yams, dried fishes and other provisions.

A more revolting, but also, happily, a far rarer sight, was that of a
cannibal banquet, of which M. Garnier was a concealed witness. The scene
was a thicket in the wildest portion of the country, and only the chiefs
of the tribe, which had just gained a victory over its enemies, took
part in the feast. A blazing fire threw its bright glare on a dozen
figures seated around huge banana-leaves, on which were spread the
smoking viands of the diabolical repast. A disgusting odor was wafted
toward the spot where our Frenchman and his companions lay perdu,
enchained by a horrible fascination which produced the sensation of
nightmare. Directly in front of them was an old chief with long white
beard and wrinkled skin, who gnawed a head still covered with the singed
hair. Thrusting a pointed stick into the eye-sockets, he contrived to
extract a portion of the brain, afterward placing the skull in the
hottest part of the fire, and thus separating the bones to obtain a
wider aperture. The click of a trigger close to his ear recalled M.
Garnier to his senses, and arresting the arm of his sergeant, who,
excited to indignation, had brought his musket to his shoulder, he
hurried from a scene calculated, beyond all others, to thrill the nerves
and curdle the blood of a civilized spectator.



AN AMERICAN GIRL AND HER LOVERS.


In the spring of 1869 I was induced, for the sake of rest and
recreation, to take charge of a young American girl during a tour in
Europe. This young girl was Miss Helen St. Clair of Detroit, Michigan.
We two were by no means strangers. She had been my pupil since the time
when she was the prettiest little creature that ever wore a scarlet
hood. I have a little picture, scarlet hood and all, that I would not
exchange for the most beautiful one that Greuze ever painted. Not that
her face bore any resemblance to the pictures of Greuze. It had neither
the sweet simplicity of the girl in "The Broken Pitcher," nor the
sentimental graces which he bestows on his court beauties. It was an
exceedingly piquant, animated face, never at rest, always kindling,
flashing, gleaming, whether with sunlight or lightning. Her movements
were quick and darting, like those of a humming-bird. Her enunciation,
though perfectly distinct, was marvelously rapid. The same quickness
characterized her mental operations. Her conclusions, right or wrong,
were always instantaneous. Her prompt decisiveness, her talent for
mimicry and her witchery of grace and beauty won her a devoted following
of school-girls, to whom her tastes and opinions were as authoritative
as ever were those of Eugénie to the ladies of her court. School-girls,
like college-boys, are very apt in nicknames, and Helen's was the
"Little Princess," which her pretty, imperious ways made peculiarly
appropriate.

I do not know how her parents dared trust her to me for a year beyond
the sea, but they did. We set off in high enthusiasm, and Helen was full
of mirth and laughter till we were fairly on board the steamer in New
York harbor, when she threw herself on her father's breast with a
gesture of utter abandonment that would have made the fortune of a
débutante on any stage in the world. It was so unlooked-for that we all
broke down, and Mr. St. Clair was strongly inclined to take her home
with him. But so sudden was she in all her moods that his foot had
scarcely touched the shore before she was again radiant with
anticipation.

I will not linger on the pleasant summer travel, the Rhine majesty, the
Alpine glory. September saw us established in the city of cities--Paris.
Everywhere we had met throngs of Americans. Neighbors from over the way
in our own city greeted us warmly in most unexpected places. But we had
not crossed the ocean merely to see our own countrymen. In Paris we were
determined to eschew hotels and pensions and to become the inmates of a
French home. Everybody told us this would be impossible, but I find
nothing so stimulating as the assertion that a thing can't be done. Two
weeks of eager inquiry, and we were received into a family which could
not have been more to our wish if it had been created expressly for us.
It was that of Monsieur Le Fort, a professor in the Medical College, a
handsome elderly man with the bit of red ribbon coveted by Frenchmen in
his buttonhole. Madame Le Fort, a charming, graceful woman midway
between thirty and forty, and a pretty daughter of seventeen, completed
the family. With great satisfaction we took possession of the pretty
rooms, all white and gold, that overlooked the Rond Point des Champs
Élysées.

My little princess had found a prince in her own country, and,
considering the laws of attraction, his sudden appearance in Paris ought
not to have been a surprise to her. But, to his discomfiture, and even
anger, Helen refused to see him. She had bidden him good-bye at home,
she said; they would not be married for three years, if they ever were:
she was going to devote herself to her music; and she did not wish to
see him here. When he had completed his studies and their engagement was
announced (it was only a mutual understanding now) there would be time
enough to see each other at home. Excellent reasoning! but a fortnight
later a tiny hand slipped between my eyes and the _Figaro_ a little
note on which I read:

"DEAR FRED: I think I should like to say good-bye again.

"Yours, HELEN."

The dark eyes looked half shyly, half coaxingly into mine.

"Well," said I, "Katrine will mail it for you."

The next day I saw for the first time Mr. Frederic Denham. He was tall
and slender; with a sallow complexion, rather dull gray eyes and black
hair, by no means handsome, but sufficiently well-looking to please a
friendly eye. In his manners there was a coldness and reserve which
passed for haughtiness. He was said to possess great talents and
ambition, and Helen had the fullest belief in his genius and success.
Not Goethe himself was a greater man in her eyes.

I had frequent opportunities of seeing them together, for, according to
French ideas, nothing is more improper than to leave a young man and
woman a moment by themselves. Was it my fancy that he seemed too much
absorbed in himself, too little sensible of the rare good-fortune which
made him the favored lover of the beautiful Miss St. Clair? It might be
so, but others shared it.

"What ails the American?" asked Madame Le Fort. "Is it possible that he
is not in love with that fascinating young creature? Or are all your
countrymen so cold and inanimate? Elle est ravissante, adorable! I
cannot comprehend it."

"Probably," I replied, "he has too much reserve and delicacy to make a
display of his feelings in the presence strangers."

But I was not satisfied. The more I watched them, the more I perceived a
lack of deference to her opinions and respect for her judgment--an
irritating assumption of superior wisdom, as if he had worn the visible
inscription, "I will accept homage, but not suggestions. Offer incense
and be content." Would the little princess be content? I saw symptoms of
rebellion.

"Do _you_ think I am a little fool, Madame Fleming?" she asked with
heightened color and impetuous tone, turning suddenly to me while they
were conversing apart one evening.

November came, and we were launched on the full tide of Parisian
society. Mr. Denham had gone to Germany to complete certain scientific
studies, and he left his fair betrothed with a parting injunction not to
dance with any foreigner. As well shut her up in a cell! Nowhere is
there such a furore for dancing as in Paris. Every family has its weekly
reception, and every card of invitation bears in the corner, "On
dansera." These receptions are the freest and gayest imaginable. Any
person who has the entrée of the house comes when he feels inclined.
Introductions are not indispensable as with us: any gentleman may ask a
lady to dance with him, whether he has been formally presented or not,
and it would be an affront to decline except for a previous engagement.
The company assemble about ten, and often dance till three or four in
the morning. In any one house we see nearly the same people once a week
for the whole winter, and such frequent companionship gives a feeling of
intimacy. It is surprising how many French men and French women have
some special artistic talent, dramatic or musical, and with what ready
good-humor each contributes to the entertainment of the rest. In every
assembly, with all its sparkle of youth and gayety, there is a
background of mature age; but though a card-room is generally open, it
never seems to draw many from the salons de danse.

In these salons the little princess entered, at once upon her royalty.
Her dancing was the poetry of motion. She sang, and the most brilliant
men hung over her enraptured. "She was like Adelina Patti," they said,
"but of a more perfect and delicate type of beauty. What wonderful eyes,
with the long thick lashes veiling Oriental depths of liquid light! How
the music trickled from her fingers, and poured from her small throat
like the delicious warble of a nightingale! What a loss to art that her
position precluded her from singing in the opera! Not Malibran or Grisi
ever had triumphs that would equal hers." Eminent painters wished to
make a study of her face. Authors who had received the prizes of the
Academy for grave historical works sent her adulatory verses. "May
I--flirtation--wid you--loavely meess?" asked one of "the immortal
forty," displaying his English.

It grew rather annoying. I was importuned with questions, such as "Will
you receive proposals of marriage for Miss St. Clair?" "What is her
dowry?" "Are you entrusted to find a husband for her abroad?" I was
tired of answering, "Miss St. Clair will probably marry in her own
country." "Her parents would be very reluctant to consent to any foreign
marriage." "I cannot tell what Mr. St. Clair will give his daughter. It
is not the custom to give dowries with us, as with you."

One evening we saw at Madame Le Fort's reception a young man so
distinguished in appearance that he was known as "le beau Vergniaud." He
was six feet in height and well made, with abundant chestnut hair, dark
hazel eyes, clearly-cut, regular features, and a complexion needlessly
fine for a man. From that time he was invariably present, not only at
Madame Le Fort's, but wherever we went.

One day Helen said to me, "I made a silly speech last evening. I was
dancing with M. Vergniaud, and we were talking of that charming Madame
de Launay. I said, 'I should think she might be happy, having an elegant
house in Paris, a château in the country, and such a handsome husband so
devoted to her.' And he rejoined instantly, very low, 'My dear Miss St.
Clair, can I not give you all this?' It was not fair to take advantage
of me in that way."

"What did you say?"

"Oh, I laughed it off. I did not think he was in earnest, but he spoke
to me again before he went away."

That afternoon Madame Le Fort came into my room with the look of one who
has something important to communicate. "I have been wishing to see
you," she said. "M. Vergniaud has taken me into his confidence. He has
formed a serious attachment to Miss St. Clair, and wishes to make her
his wife. It is a splendid alliance," she continued, warming with her
theme: "if he had asked for my daughter I would give her to him
blindfold. He belongs to one of our old families. You should see his
house on the Avenue de Montaigne. Have you never seen him driving with
his superb horses in the Bois de Boulogne? He has an estate with a fine
old château in Touraine, a family inheritance. His character and habits
are unexceptionable too," she added by way of parenthesis. "It is not
often that you find all that in a man of twenty-six. So handsome
besides!"

"True," said I, "but you forget Mr. Denham."

"On the contrary, I remember him too well to conceive the possibility of
his being a rival to René Vergniaud."

"But did you mention him to M. Vergniaud?"

"Yes, and he was greatly disturbed at first, but when I told him that he
had no expectation of marrying for two or three years to come, he
laughed and said it was of no importance. M. Vergniaud would like to be
married in a few weeks, as is the custom with us, but I suppose it will
take longer to adjust the preliminaries on account of her parents being
across the Atlantic. What dowry has my little jewel?" (The inevitable
question, always put with as much simplicity and directness as if one
were asking the time of day.)

"I do not know," I replied. "It is so contrary to all our notions. I do
not think there is a man in America who in asking a father for the hand
of his daughter would inquire how much money he was to have with her. It
would be considered an insult."

"Perhaps Mr. St. Clair would prefer to settle an annuity on his
daughter. Is that the way the thing is managed in your country?"

"It is not managed at all. A man gives his daughter what he likes, or he
gives her nothing but her bridal outfit. It is never a condition of the
marriage."

"How strange all that is! One can hardly believe it in France. We set by
a sum of money for Clarice's dowry almost as soon as she was born, and
it would be a hard necessity that could compel us to diminish it by a
single sou. If you would like it, in a couple of days I can give you an
exact inventory of all M. Vergniaud's property and possessions. I could
guarantee that it will not vary twenty napoleons from the fact. We do
everything so systematically here."

"Thanks! I think it will hardly be necessary. I do not know that Helen
likes him particularly."

"Nobody admires that little paragon more than I--I should be frantically
in love with her if I were a man--but she had better think twice before
rejecting such a _parti_ as René Vergniaud, especially if she has
no dowry. You will surely not permit her to do so without communicating
with her father? He will understand her interests better."

"In this case I shall let her do just as she pleases, as her father
would if he were here."

Madame Le Fort's look of amazed incredulity was truly comical. What
ought I to do? I queried. On the whole, I decided to do the easiest
thing--wait.

The next day I was honored with a call from M. Vergniaud. He believed
that Madame Le Fort had spoken to me of his profound attachment to the
lovely Miss St. Clair--the most passionate, the most devoted. Might he
hope for my influence with her father and mother? The matter of dowry
was indifferent to him: his income was sufficiently large, and, alas! he
had no parents to consult. Would I favor him with Mr. St. Clair's
address and a few words of introduction to him? He should be under
everlasting obligations to me, and if there was anything he could do to
show his gratitude, his appreciation--

I interrupted these protestations: "I doubt if Mr. St. Clair would
consent to any marriage which would separate him from his daughter,
however advantageous it might be in other respects."

"My dear madame, who asks it? I have no business or profession: we could
easily spend a part of every year in America if it were desirable."

"That would certainly make it easier, but it will be better to defer
writing till we have some intimation of Miss St. Clair's sentiments. Her
father will be guided chiefly by her inclination."

"It is a nice country for young girls, America," said he with a smile.
"I shall do all that is possible to win Miss St. Clair's favor, for life
would be worthless without her." And he bowed himself gracefully out.

Is it possible that Helen will be indifferent to this young Antinous?
thought I. Poor Mr. Denham would have small chance with me if I were in
her place.

An hour later the concierge sent up to me an exquisite bouquet of
violets and white camellias, with the card of René Vergniaud and a
folded note: "If Madame Fleming does not think it improper, will she be
so kind as to give these flowers to my beautiful queen?"

M. Vergniaud had asked Madame Le Fort's permission to call on Miss St.
Clair. "Certainly not," she replied. "I am astounded at such
presumption! But you may call to see _me_. To-morrow evening we go
to the opera, and Wednesday to Madame Perier's, and Thursday is my
reception, and Friday we have tickets to _Phèdre_ at the Français.
Saturday, then: it is the first evening we have free."

We were all assembled in the salon as usual after dinner when M.
Vergniaud was announced. The little princess was radiant. She had never
been merrier in a school-girl frolic or more ready with gibe and jest
and laughter. She sang her best songs, putting her whole soul into
them--"Si tu savais comme je l'aime." René Vergniaud was so dazed that
he came near bidding farewell to his senses for ever. He evidently
thought that all this brilliancy was for him, and was in such a rapture
of delight that he never noticed Madame Le Fort's repeated glances at
the clock, and was only roused by the polite invitation to come
_again_. He was not too disconcerted to make a charming apology,
like a true Parisian, and tore himself away.

Late as it was, as soon as we were in our own little parlor I could not
forbear saying, "I was surprised at you to-night, Helen. How
_could_ you run on so? Madame Le Turc there, too! and you know the
young French girls never open their lips to say more than 'Oui,
monsieur'--'Non, monsieur,' to a gentleman. What will M. Vergniaud
think?"

"I don't care what he thinks," flinging herself down on an ottoman with
her head in my lap; "but I _do_ care what you think, Madame
Fleming. Did I behave so very badly? I didn't mean to, but I was
resolved he should not get a chance to talk any nonsense to-night; and
he _did_, after all. I hate being made love to before a whole room
full. I _had_ to laugh or else cry." And the little fairy dissolved
in a shower of tears, like another Undine.

Another week went by. On Saturday afternoon Helen asked, "Will you be so
kind as to take me to the little Protestant church beyond the Arc
d'Étoile this evening, Madame Fleming? I should like so much to hear
that good M. Bercier."

"So should I. But you have not forgotten that M. Vergniaud will be
here."

"I am under no obligation to entertain Madame Le Fort's callers."

"But you know, Helen, that he comes for your sake. It is well for you to
consider that the future Madame Vergniaud will have in some respects a
more brilliant position than perhaps any man in our country could offer
you."

"I know all that, and I don't pretend to say that I should not like it.
I am ashamed of being so worldly, but to have a superb establishment and
all this charming Parisian society, and give a grand ball whenever I
liked, would be just paradise. And to have it all in my grasp, and not
be able to take it, is too aggravating. It is so vexatious that the
right man never has the right things."

We went to church. M. Vergniaud called, but recollected an engagement
which took him away early. Monday evening he dropped in again just after
dinner: "Do not let me derange you in the least, je vous en prie,
madame. I come early because I am engaged to three balls to-night."

Miss St. Clair could hardly have been more mute and statue-like if she
had been born and bred in France, where in the presence of gentlemen
young girls silently adhere to their brilliant mothers, whose wit and
grace and social tact make the charm of the Parisian salons. Apparently,
the French consider that the combined attractions of youthful faces and
sprightly conversation would be too much for any man, and mercifully
divide the two. And this leaves them helpless before a little American
girl, laughing, talking, jesting, teasing, till, bewildered by such a
phenomenon, they are swept down so easily that one is reminded of
Attila's taunt to the Romans, "The thicker the grass, the quicker it is
mowed."

This social etiquette was very irksome to my little firefly, who seemed
always opening and shutting her wings. In the course of the evening M.
Vergniaud slipped into her hand, unperceived by any of us, a closed
envelope with the whisper, "Put it in your pocket. Do not let any one
see you."

She opened it deliberately: "M. Vergniaud is so kind as to give me his
photograph, Madame Fleming. Do you think it a good likeness?"

The mystery which French people are fond of attaching to harmless
trifles is inconceivable. One evening, in the earlier part of our stay
in Paris, a cousin of Miss St. Clair's, who was in the same hotel with
Mr. Denham, called on us, and when he was taking leave she held out an
unsealed note: "Will you give this to Fred? Don't forget it."

Madame Le Fort was thunderstruck: "Is it possible? Send a note to a
young gentleman right before Madame Fleming and all of us!"

"Why," said I, "do young people never write notes to each other in
France?"  "Not openly like that--little three-cornered notes to slip
into the hand while dancing."

"This is the way to fold them," said Clarice, taking up a small sheet of
paper. "You see that will just fit into the hollow of the hand, and
nobody could ever see it."

"I like our way much better. What is done openly is not half so
mischievous."

"Nor half so interesting," rejoined Clarice.

The nimble hours danced on, as they had a trick of doing in Madame Le
Fort's salon. "I am afraid you forget the three balls, M. Vergniaud."

"How can you be so cruel, mademoiselle? I shall only make my compliments
to the hostess and dance one set at each. I never do more except when I
come here."

A few days later I asked Helen, "Have you made up your mind what answer
to give M. Vergniaud? He intends to write to your father. He was
speaking to me about it again to-day."

"I won't have him writing to my father," she replied with her wonted
impetuosity. "I will not have my father worried about nothing. It would
be a month before I could set it right."

"He seems to be very much in love with you. He says he shall be in
despair, wretched for ever, if you reject him."

"So they all say. I don't believe a word of it, and I can't help it if
they are. I can't marry more than one of them, and I don't believe I
shall ever marry anybody. I won't be persecuted to death."

The little princess was irritated. Something had evidently gone wrong.
It soon came out: "I had a letter from Fred this morning--a very
disagreeable letter."

"Indeed! You have not yet answered it, I suppose."

"No: he will have to write differently from that before he gets any
answer from me. I am not going to be lessoned and scolded as if I were a
little girl. Father never does it, and I will not submit to it from
_him_" After a pause: "He is not so much to blame. It is that
odious Mr. Wilkins, who keeps writing to him how much attention I
receive, and all that. As if I could help it! Poor old Fred! We have
known each other ever since we were children."

That explains it, I thought. "Helen, if you have decided to say no to M.
Vergniaud, the sooner you say it the better."

"I have said it, and he doesn't mind it in the least. I wish you would
tell him: you always speak so that people know you are in earnest and
can't help believing you."

"Very well, Helen. I will ask Madame Le Fort to tell him that his suit
is hopeless, and that he must not annoy you by persisting in it."

Early in February the Belgian ambassador, M. le comte de Beyens, and
Madame la comtesse, kindly took charge of Miss St. Clair to the imperial
ball at the Tuileries. She had never looked more charming than in the
exquisite costume of pale rose-colored faille, with a floating mist of
white tulle, caught here and there by rosebuds that might have grown in
Chrimhild's garden. The airy figure, so graceful in every motion, the
well-poised head with its flutter of shining curls, the wonderful dark
eyes, the perfect eyebrows, the delicious little mouth where love seemed
to nestle--when she had vanished "it seemed like the ceasing of
exquisite music." Madame la comtesse congratulated me on her appearance,
and afterward on her success. The emperor had distinguished her in a
very flattering manner, and Eugénie, looking earnestly at her, said to
the comtesse, "Nothing is so beautiful as youth," perhaps beginning to
regret her own. No one had made so decided a sensation.

At Madame Le Fort's next reception there was a sudden influx of new
guests--a young Belgian baron of old historic name, slim and stiff as a
poker; a brisk French viscount, who told me that he had been connected
with the embassy at Washington, and had quite fallen in love with our
institutions; an Italian chevalier, a Russian prince.

Ugliness has its compensations, thought I. Nobody makes such a fuss over
a pretty girl at home (they are not so uncommon), and I will never bring
one to Paris again. Thank Heaven! we are going to Italy soon.

       *       *       *       *       *

The piercing Tramontane came down upon us in the Bay of Naples with so
fierce a blast that we doubted if we were not in Iceland, and were glad
to make our escape to Rome, where we found an asylum in the Hôtel de
Minerve, not far from the Pantheon. Many of the old palaces and convents
of Italy have been transformed into hotels. This was the ancient palace
of the princes of Conti. I was so captivated by the superb dining-room
that the quality of the dinners made but a faint impression. What! eat
in the presence of all those marble goddesses, looking down upon us,
serene and cold, as if from their thrones on the starry Olympus! Or if I
turned my eyes resolutely away from Juno, Ceres and Minerva, they were
sure to be snared by the dancing-girls of Pompeii stepping out from the
frescoed walls, or inextricably entangled in the lovely garlands of
fruit and flowers that wound their mazy way along the borders.

One evening, while we were waiting for one of the endless courses of a
table-d'hôte dinner, my wandering eyes were caught by the most perfect
human head I had ever seen. It seemed that of the youthful Lord Byron,
so well known in busts and engravings--the same small head with high
forehead and clustering dark-brown curls, the perfectly-moulded chin,
the full, ripe beauty of the lips. The eyes were a deep blue, but I
thought them black at first, they were so darkly shaded by the thick
black lashes. I am convinced that Byron must have had just such eyes,
for some of his biographers describe them as black and others as blue.
When he rose from the table I saw a slight, well-knit figure of
exquisite proportions, like the Greek god of love. (Not Cupid with his
vulgar arrows, but the true heavenly Eros. I saw him once in the Museum
at Naples, and again in the Vatican. Is it Love, or Death, or
Immortality? I queried, and then I knew it was the three in one.) I soon
learned that the youth whose ideal beauty had impressed me so strongly
was the Count Francisco de Alvala of Toledo in Spain. I fancy that his
eyes were as easily attracted to beauty as mine, for the next day he was
my _vis-à-vis_ at table; not for the sake of looking at me, I was
well aware, but on account of my beautiful neighbor. However, he sought
my acquaintance with the grave courtesy becoming a grandee of Spain, and
naturally gained that of Miss St. Clair also.

It is the most natural thing in the world to make acquaintances in Rome.
People talk together of the things they have seen or wish to see: they
go to the same places by day, and in the evening they meet in the
ladies' parlor to compare their impressions. The young count never
failed to join us in the evening. He had always something to show
us--prints of his home in Spain, articles of _virtù_ that he had
bought, sketches that he had made, for he was a good amateur artist.

A group of young people of different nations generally collected on
these occasions, and the conversation often turned on the usages
peculiar to their respective countries.

"In Spain I could not greet a lady with a simple good-evening," said the
count. "I should say, 'Permit the humblest of your servants to lay
himself at your feet,' or something like that."

"Why do you not say it to us?" asked a bright-eyed Canadian girl.

"Well, it might be a little awkward if you should happen to take it
literally. In Spain it is the merest commonplace."

"If such exaggerated phrases are frittered into commonplaces, and the
most impassioned words grow meaningless, what can a Spanish gentleman
find to say when his heart is really touched?" I inquired.

"I fancy we should find some very simple words to say it in," said the
boy, flushing like a girl. "But I do not know--I have never learned."

"Talk some more," commanded the little princess.

"If a pretty young lady is walking in our streets a mantle is often
flung suddenly in her way, and proud and happy is its owner if she
deigns to set her dainty foot upon it."

"What do they do that for? Because the streets are so muddy?" inquired
an obtuse young woman. But nobody volunteered to enlighten her.

"Cannot we go to Spain?" asked Miss St. Clair. "I should like to see a
modern Sir Walter Raleigh."

"If the señorita should appear in our streets they would be strewn with
mantles," said the young count gallantly.

"Would you throw down yours for me to step upon?"

"Surely, señorita."

"I'll come, then. It must be of velvet, mind."

"Yes, studded with jewels."

I loved the beautiful youth. His presence was like a poem in my life,
and if it ever occurred to me that the familiar intercourse of the young
people might not be altogether prudent, I dismissed it with the thought,
He is only a boy.

There was to be an illumination of the Coliseum. We were going of
course, and Count Alvala begged that I would honor him by making use of
his carriage on this occasion. "Thank you, but I have already spoken to
Piero to come for us."

"Oh, but we can send him away. You will find my carriage more
comfortable, and it will be in every way pleasanter," he urged
beseechingly; but my negative was peremptory.

Eight o'clock came. Miss St. Clair and I descended to the court of the
hotel, but where was Piero? "It is singular. He was never late before,
but I am confident that he will be here presently. We have only to wait
a little."

The minutes went by, and they were long minutes. It was awkward waiting
in so public a place. The count had joined us with his friend, an
Italian marquis some thirty years of age, with whom we had a slight
acquaintance. The count's handsome equipage was drawn up near us. There
was no Piero.

"I really think you had better accept my young friend's carriage. It
would be a pity to miss so grand a spectacle," said the marquis.

We entered the carriage. The count wrapped us in a magnificent feather
robe, such as the Montezumas wore, for the April nights in Rome are
chill, however hot the sunshine. It was strange to see the Forum,
ordinarily solitary and desolate, now thronged with an eager multitude
on foot and with numerous open carriages, in which were seated ladies in
full dress as at the opera with us. Arriving at the Coliseum, we left
the carriage and passed through the huge portal. The gloomy arches were
obscurely seen in the dusky Roman twilight, when suddenly, as if by
magic, every arch and crevice of the gigantic ruin glowed, incarnadined,
as if dyed with the blood of the martyrs that had drenched its soil.
There were salvos of artillery, bursts of military music and a few vivas
from the multitude. A brilliant spectacle, but the tender beauty of
moonlight harmonizes better with the solemnity of ruins.

Rapt in the memories that the scene awakened, I paid little attention to
the monologue of my Italian friend, when I was suddenly roused by the
question, "Did you ever see a prettier couple?"

"Who?" I asked absently.

"There," he rejoined, pointing to the count and Miss St. Clair, who
preceded us.

"He is too young," I replied, but the question was asked so
significantly that it disturbed me a little, and I resolved to be more
cautious than heretofore.

The next morning Piero appeared with his carriage to take us to the
Baths of Caracalla. He hoped madame did not lose the illumination. He
was wretched to disappoint madame: he begged a thousand pardons. His
little boy was taken violently ill: he was forced to go for the doctor;
madame was so good.

The truth flashed upon me: "Piero, how much did the count give you to
stay away last night?"

A gleam of humor twinkled in his black eyes, but it was speedily
quenched: "I do not understand what madame wishes to say."

It happened that a friend and country-woman at our hotel was taken ill
with typhoid fever, and amid the anxieties of her sick room the
incipient love-affair was almost forgotten. I no longer spent the
evenings in the parlor. One day Miss St. Clair showed me a tiny satin
bag beautifully embroidered, with a soft silken chain to pass around the
neck. "What can it be for?" she asked.

"Why, Helen, it is an amulet. Where did you get it?"

"The count gave it to me. He had the loveliest set of Byzantine mosaics
and pearls which he wished to give me; and when I would not accept them
he seemed so hurt that I did not like to refuse this trifle. What do you
suppose is in it."

"A relic of some saint, without doubt. He thinks it will protect you
from fever perhaps."

Like most Americans, we were desirous of seeing the pope, and Count
Alvala obtained for us the necessary permission. We were to be received
on a Saturday at eleven. We went in the prescribed costume, black silk,
with the picturesque Roman veil thrown over the head. From the foot of
the Scala Regia, (Royal Staircase) one of the papal guard, in a motley
suit which seemed one glare of black and yellow, escorted us to the door
of a long corridor, known as the Loggia of Raphael, where we were
received by a higher official in rich array of crimson velvet. About
seventy persons were seated in rows, facing each other, along this
gallery, nearly all laden with rosaries to be blessed by the Holy
Father. We waited till my neck ached with looking up at the exquisite
frescoes, fresh and tender in coloring as if new from the hand of the
master, when the pope appeared, attended by a cardinal on each hand. We
fell on our knees instantly, but not till I had seen an old man's face
so sweet and venerable as to make this act of etiquette a spontaneous
homage. He passed slowly down the line, saying a word or two to each,
and extending his hand, white and soft like a woman's, to be kissed.

Pausing by the young count, who was kneeling beside me, he said
impressively, "Courage and faith have always been attributes of the
house of Alvala. Your fathers were good children of the Church, and you,
my son, will not be wanting in any of the qualities of your race."

When he had passed us we rose from our knees, and I could observe him
more closely. He wore a close-fitting white cap on his finely-shaped
head; a long robe of white woolen cloth buttoned up in front, with a
small cape of the same material; a white sash, gold-embroidered at the
end; a long gold chain around his neck, to which was attached a large
golden cross; a seal ring on the third finger of his right hand; and red
slippers. Soft snowy locks fell from under the white skull-cap over a
noble forehead, which years and trials had left unwrinkled. Black
eyebrows and the soft dark eyes made a pleasant contrast to the
whiteness of hair and brow, and his smile was so sweet and winning that
I scarcely wondered to see two Catholic ladies prostrate themselves and
kiss his feet and the hem of his white garment with a rapture of
devotion from which his attendants with difficulty rescued him. He
lingered longest by a pretty boy four or five years old, and there was a
pathos in the caressing, clinging touch of his hand as it rested on the
child's head that called to mind an old love-story of the handsome Count
Mastai Ferretti when he wore the uniform of an officer of the guards,
and had not yet thought of priestly robe or papal crown. I wonder if he
remembers the fair English girl now?

Having completed the round, he made a brief address, the purport of
which was that he was about to give us his blessing, and he wished that
it might be diffused to all our families and friends, and be not for the
present moment only, but extend through our whole lives and abide with
us in the hour of death; "But remember," said he with a kind of paternal
benignity, "that the gates of paradise open rarely to any who are
without the communion of the Holy Catholic Church. Sometimes
perhaps--sometimes--but with great difficulty." He extended his hands.
We dropped on our knees and received the blessing of this benign old
man, whom the larger part of Christendom revere as the earthly head of
the Church.  As we were making our way through the stately columns of
the colonnade which forms the approach to the Vatican I saw the count
glance at the amulet which Helen wore. "What is in it?" I asked.

"A relic of the blessed Saint Francis, my patron," he replied.

"It will lose its efficacy on the neck of a little heretic like Miss St.
Clair," said I with a purpose.

"It will do her no harm," said he coldly.

Monday I was at the table d'hôte the first time for a week. I found the
count seated next to Miss St. Clair. It was very simple, she explained
to me afterward. A lady occupied his seat one day, and he came round to
the only vacant one, which happened to be next hers. I am a very
guileless person, but I think Vincenzo had an excellent reason for
letting it happen. Helen was on my left hand as usual, and the Italian
marquis on my right.

"I am sorry for that boy," said he to me: "he is very unhappy."

"The young count? What is the matter?"

"Don't you see? He is madly in love with your bewitching little
American. It is his first impression, and he takes it hard. Well, he
will have to learn like the rest of us."

"I hope you are mistaken;" and I glanced uneasily at my young neighbors,
who were too much absorbed in their own conversation to heed that
between the marquis and myself.

"That is impossible. He raves to me about her. It is very pretty too--a
perfect idyl, all poetry and romance--eternal, unchangeable, and all
that boyish nonsense. We older men know better. But monsignore will be
here soon, and he will look after him."

"Who is monsignore?"

"The archbishop of Toledo, his guardian. He has been here, but some
diocesan matter called him home. He will be back anon, and then the
count will dine at home. As to that, he does now, and delicious dinners
they are, too. He only makes a pretence of eating here, just to have a
chance to see his little divinity."

"He was here when we came."

"True, but only for a day or two while his house was put in order. The
house is well worth seeing--one of the finest on the Corso. It is not
open to strangers, but if you would like to see it--"

"Certainly not," I interrupted, a little irritably, the more so from the
consciousness of having been a somewhat careless chaperone. I was coming
sharply up to the line of duty now, at all events.

"Helen," said I when we rose from the dinner-table, "do not go into the
parlor now. Come into my room a little while, please.--Well, Helen," I
resumed when we were seated by the pleasant window, "I have seen so
little of you for a week past that you must have a great deal to tell
me."

"I do not know," she replied. "I have been out every day with the
Glenns, just as you arranged for me, and I have been in the parlor in
the evenings, and sometimes I sang, and one night there was a French
gentleman--"

"How about the young count? The Italian says he is very much in love
with you. Do you know it?"

"He has told me so often enough, if that is knowing it," with a quick,
impatient toss of the small, graceful head.

"Oh, Helen!" I cried in real distress, "and what did you say to him?"

"Why, what _could_ I say in that great parlor, with everybody
looking on? I just hushed him up as well as I could. There is the tall
English girl and that sharp-eyed Miss Donaldson, who are watching us the
whole time. It is real mean in them," excitedly. "And the count doesn't
mind letting everybody know how much he admires me. In fact, he is proud
of it, like one of the old knights, who used to wear their ladies'
favors as openly and proudly as they bore their knightly banners."

"This will never do, Helen. Don't you see that this boy is not like the
gay Frenchman that you danced with last winter? René Vergniaud was a man
of the world: he could take care of himself. But this beautiful boy,
with his intensity of feeling, his ideal passionate love--You must not
play with him," I exclaimed vehemently.

"I am not playing with him: I never do anything to make him like me. He
comes and talks to me, and I just make myself as agreeable to him as I
can, that is all."

That is all, is it, you little mischief? thought I. As if that were not
the very refinement of coquetry! But I prudently refrained from saying
it, for a tempest of hot tears began to fall, and she sobbed, "Oh,
Madame Fleming, I did not think I was going to forfeit your good
opinion. What can I do? I can't help his liking me. I like him too, and
that makes me feel so badly."

"Do you like him better than Mr. Denham?"

"Better than Fred?" in a tone of surprise. "Why no, of course not: I
have known Fred always."

"The best thing will be to tell him of Mr. Denham."

"Oh no, I never can."

"_I_ will, then."

"Don't, I beseech you. We shall go away soon, and that will be the end
of it. Promise me you will not. I would rather tell him myself if I ever
have a chance."

I looked in to see my invalid friend, and then descended to the parlor,
where I found the young count almost alone. He looked up eagerly as I
entered: "I thought Miss St. Clair was with you. I have been waiting for
her all the evening."

"Indeed!"

"I told her at table that I wished to see her particularly this
evening."

"Perhaps she did not understand you."

"Oh yes, she did. You would not let her come?" with a sudden lighting up
of the expressive face.

"I did not forbid her coming: I did not know that you were waiting for
her."

Then with sudden boyish candor and a happy smile on his animated
countenance "I thought you might have observed that I come here so often
because I like to talk with Miss St. Clair. But you never can know how
dearly I love her."

"I am sorry."

"Why?" with a naïve surprise.

"She is older than you."

"How old is she?"

"She will be twenty in May."

"And I am nineteen this very week. What is one poor little year?--not a
year," gleefully.

"But the difference in religion?"

"An obstacle, I grant, but not an insuperable one. My uncle married an
English lady, a Protestant, and they have been very happy together."

"But I think there is another man," I stammered, surprised at finding my
outposts carried so easily.

"You do not mean to say that she is compromised with any man?" almost
fiercely.

"I do not know what meaning you attach to that word," for the count's
imperfect French was not always intelligible. "There is a young man, the
son of a neighbor, who has admired her a long time."

"Oh, he admires her?" with a curl of the exquisite lips, as if to say,
"Who does not?"

"But I think she may like him a little."

"Why do you torture me so? Tell me at once that they are betrothed,"
cried he, pale with concentrated anger.

He thought she had trifled with him, I knew instantly, but quietly said,
"I cannot tell you exactly in what relation they stand to each other,
but I think Miss St. Clair would if she found an opportunity to speak
with you."

"You do not know how I have tried to make opportunities. I go
everywhere, hoping to see you, and I have never met you--not once. Won't
you ask her to come down to-night?" coaxingly, like a child.

"Not to-night: it is too late."

"I _must_ see Miss St. Clair to-night."

"Impossible."

"I _must_ see Miss St. Clair. Find out for me when I can see her. I
will go with you," in a white heat of passion. (We had been alone for
some little time.)

I took the arm which he held out, not a little agitated by the excess of
emotion which thrilled and quivered through his youthful frame, as he
hurried me up the broad stone staircase and along the wide corridors
that led to our rooms. What business had I to meddle? How should an old
fogy like me know anything of the love-affairs of this generation? The
girl would have managed more wisely than I, I reflected, by no means
jubilant over the result.

"Wait here;" and I walked on to Miss St. Clair's door, opened it, and
there sat Helen in her pretty white wrapper, bathed in the moonlight,
serene as a star, as if there were no passionate young heart breaking in
waves of anguish at her feet. "Helen, the count is in the corridor, and
he will not go till I have told him when you will see him."

"How can I? You must think for me."

A hasty consultation. The count was standing where I had left him: "We
shall be at the Sistine Chapel to-morrow at two o'clock."

He bowed and was gone.

I did not sleep well that night. A pretty person I am to take charge of
a young girl! I wonder what Mr. St. Clair would think if he knew I had
made an appointment for his daughter to meet a young Spaniard? On the
way, however, I admonished Helen, as if no misgiving of my own wisdom
had ever crossed my mind: "You must be firm with him. Tell him so
decidedly that he cannot doubt you really mean it."

"Yes," said she, "but I do dread it so. I can't bear his thinking that I
encouraged him."

"Then you _did_?"

"I didn't mean to, but I do like him; and I didn't think of his taking
it so to heart. Men are so strange! You think you have a charming
friend, and then they _will_ go on just so, boys and all, and you
have to take them or lose them; and you can't take them. It is too bad!"

We were at the door. The keeper opened it, and there stood the count
waiting for us. It was not the first time we had been in the wonderful
chapel. Fortunately, there were very few persons there on this
afternoon--none that we knew. I sat down to look at the grand frescoes:
Helen and the count walked on to the farthest corner. I looked at the
Cumæan Sibyl, the impersonation of age and wisdom, and wished, as I
glanced at the youthful figures talking so earnestly in the distance,
but not a murmur of whose voices reached my ear, that she would impart
to me her far-reaching vision of futurity. I gazed on the image of the
Eternal Father sweeping in majestic flight through the air, bearing the
angels on His floating garment as He divides the light from the
darkness. I saw Adam, glad with new life, rising from the earth, because
the outstretched finger of his Creator gave him a conscious strength. I
looked at "The Last Judgment," grown dim with years, till every figure
started out in intensity of life, and it seemed as if the faces would
haunt me for ever.

And yonder still progressed the old, ever-new drama of love and anguish,
with its two actors, who seemed scarcely to have changed their position
or taken their eyes from each other. At length they walked slowly toward
me with more serenity of aspect than I had dared to hope.

"Shall we go into the picture-gallery?" asked the count.

"I think we may have time to walk through it," I answered. "It is
half-past three."

"Is it possible that we have kept you waiting so long?" they asked
simultaneously.

"An hour and a half is a short time in a place like the Sistine Chapel,"
I remarked sententiously.

As soon as we were alone I drew Helen to the confessional: "Did you tell
him about Mr. Denham?"

"Yes, everything, and he was so noble. I am so sorry. The tears stood in
his eyes, and he said, 'I suffer, but I am a man. I can bear it.' Then
he thanked me for dealing so openly with him. He never once hinted a
reproach. And I deserved it," she said with unwonted humility. "I never
felt before how wicked it is to flirt just a little. He is not selfish,
like some people that I know;" and my thought followed hers. "I don't
know but I am a little goose to let him go so. If he were only
twenty-three years old, and I were free--"

The next day we saw nothing of the count, but early Thursday morning
Vincenzo knocked at my door with a note, in which Count Alvala informed
me that he was my son, and begged earnestly to see the beautiful Miss
St. Clair once more: he would never trouble me again. It was the only
day on which we could see the Palace of the Cæsars, and would I be so
good as to permit him to meet us there? I hastily penciled a few words:
"I am waiting for Dr. Valery. I shall probably stay with my sick friend
to-day, and Miss St. Clair will not go out without me," and sent the
line by Vincenzo, happy to be rid of the importunate boy for this time.

Two hours later, when the doctor had pronounced my friend better, and I
had promised Helen a walk amid the ruins of the Palatine, which I did
not like to leave Rome without seeing, I went down to the roll, coffee
and eggs which constitute an Italian breakfast, and there sat the count
as vigilant as a sentinel. "You will go?" said he with a smile.

"I think we may," curtly.

"I shall perhaps meet you there."

When we reached the Farnese gate he was waiting there, which made the
"perhaps" superfluous. We had a long ramble over the lonely hill,
stretching out like a green New England pasture, but where from time to
time we came unexpectedly upon flights of steps which led to massive
substructures of stone, foundations of ancient palaces, and to excavated
halls paved with mosaics and lined with frescoes more beautiful than
those of Pompeii. There were many statues, more or less mutilated, and
stately brick arches laden with a wealth of flowering shrubs, and here
and there thickets of tall dark cypress trees, harmonious with ruins. My
young companions were rather silent, but I fancy their thoughts were not
engrossed with old historic lore. I made a conscientious effort to force
mine into the ruts of association which I had supposed to be inevitable
in such a spot, but the bright sunshine, the delicate blue of the
distant Campagna, the living gladness of earth and air were too strong
for me, and I inwardly applauded a lively American girl who interrupted
her droning guide with the incisive "I don't care a snap for Cæsar."

On reaching the gate after our three hours' ramble I consigned Miss St.
Clair to some friends who were waiting for her, and stepped into the
count's carriage. He seemed to feel bound in honor not to speak of love
to Miss St. Clair since the revelation of the Sistine Chapel, but he
must have a little solace in talking to me about it. "It would be easy,"
said he, "if she were not _fiancée_, but that makes it difficult--very
difficult indeed. I am glad it is not going to be for three years: that
is a long time, a very long time." Then, with a sudden illumination of
face and a delicious intonation of the musical voice, "Perhaps they will
never marry: perhaps it will be another man--I." (Blessed infatuation of
youth, with its wonderful _perhapses_, which never come to maturer
years!)

"One of these years I shall hope to hear that you are married to a
beautiful lady of your own country and your own religion."

"You never will."

"Oh yes, you will be astonished to find how easy it is to forget."

"I come of a constant race," said he proudly. "My father loved my
mother, and they sent him all over the world to forget her, but he came
home in five years and married her."

"Even if it were otherwise possible (which it is not), the difference in
religion ought to prevent it. How could so good a Catholic as you
distress your family by marrying a heretic?"

"Perhaps she would be a Catholic." (I noticed that he did not say,
"Perhaps I shall become a Protestant.") "Don't you think her father
would let her marry a Catholic?"

"No," I replied stoically.

He was silent and dejected.

"You must forget her," said I kindly. "It is only a little while since
you first saw her."

"A little while! It is my whole life!" "Only a few weeks," I continued.
"We shall soon be across the ocean, and you will see other ladies."

"There is only one Miss St. Clair."

"I beg your pardon--there are three of them." But the boy was too
miserable to notice this poor little sally.

We were approaching the hotel. "I shall not see you again at present,"
said he. "Monsignore will arrive this evening, and I must be at home to
receive him. But I shall be in Paris by the middle of May, and I shall
see you there: farewell till then."

The next morning Miss St. Clair and I were on our way to Florence. A
week later, on our return from the convent of San Marco, where we had
seen the cell of Savonarola and many lovely but faded frescoes of Fra
Angelico and Fra Bartolommeo, whom should we find waiting for us in our
temporary home on the Via Pandolfini but Count Alvala? I felt annoyed,
and my face must have revealed it, for he said deprecatingly, "You ought
to be glad to see your boy, Madame Fleming, for I have come this long
journey only for a day, expressly to see you."

"Well," said I, "you took me so by surprise that I had not my welcome
ready. I did not expect the pleasure of seeing you till after our
arrival in Paris."

"That is why I am here. I shall not be able to go to Paris. I am
bitterly disappointed, but monsignore has made other plans for me. I am
to go to Vienna to visit my aunt, whose husband is our ambassador there.
The tour to Paris is postponed till the autumn."

Evidently monsignore had heard of the little heretic maiden, and he was
going to remove his ward from temptation. I was infinitely obliged to
him.

A desultory conversation followed, carried on principally by the young
people, and then the count said, "Miss St. Clair tells me that you have
visited the Uffizi and Pitti galleries. May I not go with you somewhere
to-morrow?--to La Certose or San Miniato, for instance?"

"Thank you," I replied: "we are so exhausted with sight-seeing, Miss St.
Clair and I, that we shall stay in all day to-morrow, and we shall be
happy to see you _once_ in the afternoon or evening, as may be most
convenient for you."

I did not like to be hard and cross to the dear boy whom my heart
yearned over, but I felt as much bound to "make an effort" as if I had
been a veritable Dombey.

The call lasted afternoon _and_ evening: it was only the change of
a particle. I could not reproduce the innocent talk, half gay, half sad,
of this long interview, but before he went away the count drew me aside:
"Will you give this to Miss St. Clair when I am gone?"

I unfolded the package: it contained a photograph of himself and a small
painting which he had executed of the Coliseum on the night of the
illumination. "Yes."

"And will you send me her photograph from Paris? I will have it copied
by the best miniature-painter in Rome and put in a locket set with
diamonds," said the boy enthusiastically.

"I cannot promise."

"Do you think I could be of any use to her father? Not to win his favor,
you understand, but I should be so happy to do anything to serve her or
her friends. Can't you tell me now?"

"No. Mr. St. Clair does not need assistance in any way that I know."

In spite of the boy's earnestness, the idea of his offering patronage to
the mature and independent American struck me as irresistibly ludicrous.

"But you will tell him all about me."

"Yes."

"I shall learn to speak English--I have begun already--and in a year I
shall be in America. Will you write your address for me on this card?"

I did so.

"If you ever come to Spain, remember that my house and all that is in it
are yours."

"I shall never go to Spain."

"Perhaps you will one day to see Miss St. Clair," looking up in my face
with a bright smile of inextinguishable hope. "Good-bye for a year."

A few more days in Florence, a week in Venice, a day or two in Milan,
and we bade adieu to Italy. Land of beauty and mystery! when I recall
thy many forms of loveliness, the glorious shapes of gods and heroes,
serene and passionless in their white majesty of marble, the blessed
sweetness of saints and Madonnas shining down into my soul, I seem to
have been once in heaven and afterward shut out.

       *       *       *       *       *

We were once more at home. Almost the first news that came to us from
abroad was of the terrible war between France and Germany. During the
protracted siege of Paris we were full of anxieties, but at its close we
received long letters from Madame Le Fort, giving many details of the
sufferings and privations of the siege, sorrowful enough for the most
part, but enlivened here and there with touches of the gay French humor
that nothing can subdue. There was a lively sketch of a Christmas dinner
ingeniously got up of several courses of donkey-meat. At New Year's the
choicest gift that a gentleman could make a lady was a piece of wheaten
bread. Afterward there was nothing in the house but rice and chocolate
bonbons, which they chewed sparingly, a little at a time. But they kept
up their courage--they were even gay. Hardships were nothing, but that
Paris should be surrendered at last--that was a humiliation which
nothing could compensate. Many of the gay dancers whom we had known had
fallen in battle, among them, René Vergniaud. He was shot in the heart
in an engagement with the Prussians in the environs of Paris.

I spent my next summer vacation with Miss St. Clair in Detroit.

"When is Mr. Denham coming home?" I asked one evening when we were alone
together.

"I do not know: he does not speak of coming home. I am a little puzzled
about Fred. He has written me a great deal lately about a certain
Fräulein Teresa, the daughter of one of his professors, who takes such
excellent care of her younger brothers and sisters, and who is such a
wonderfully economical, housewifely little body--just a new edition of
Werther's Charlotte. I do not think that he really likes her," she
continued after musing a little: "he just holds her up as a model for me
to copy. I shouldn't wonder if she was only imaginary, to make me feel
how far I come short of his ideal. Fred says that he worships the very
ground I tread on--slightly hyperbolical and very original, you
perceive," with a satirical curve of her pretty lips--"but he never
seems half satisfied with me. He ought to know by this time that I must
be just my own little self, and not a second-hand imitation of somebody
else."

The next day came a letter with a German postmark, which was so eloquent
on the subject of Fräulein Teresa that it elicited the following reply:

    "DETROIT, August 5, 1871.

    "DEAR FRED: I despair of emulating Fräulein Teresa's many
    excellencies. You know what a useless little thing I am. Happily, it
    is not too late to make another choice. Thinking it may please you,
    I hereby release you from all your promises to me. We may never be
    anything more to each other perhaps, but I hope that we shall always
    be dear friends. I shall never forget that we grew up together, and
    I wish you all possible happiness.

    "Your little friend, HELEN."

In due time this answer came:

     "HEIDELBERG, August 27, 1871.

     "MISS ST. CLAIR: Your somewhat singular letter of August 5th was
     duly received. If I believed that you had written it, or ever could
     or would do anything, with proper deliberation, I should accept
     your decision at once. But as I have good reason to know your habit
     of acting from sudden impulses which you afterward regret, I give
     you three months to reconsider this hasty step.

     "I have the honor to be your obedient servant,

     "F. A. DENHAM."

Helen held to me the open sheet, with kindling eyes and glowing cheeks:
"Three months! I don't need three minutes: I wouldn't change in three
centuries. I am so glad to be free!" she cried, sobbing and laughing at
the same moment. "He has worried me so--a poor little thing like me!"

The next morning I started on my return to Boston.

Early in October a servant handed me a card bearing the name Francisco
Alvala. I had ceased to think of the boy, not having heard a word from
him; but here he was, looking very manly, browned with the sun and sea,
and beautiful as Endymion when Diana stooped to kiss him and all the
green leaves in the white moonshine were tremulous with sympathy.

After the first greeting he asked, "How is Miss St. Clair? and when did
you see her last?"

I told him of my recent visit.

"She is not married, then?"

"On the contrary, she is free. The engagement with Mr. Denham has been
broken."

"What did I tell you? Did I not say it would be _I_?" in a burst of
triumph.

As a good Boston woman I am chagrined to record that Bunker Hill and all
the local lions, which I was at some pains to impress on his memory, did
not prove so attractive as the earliest Western train.

Why make a long story of what every one foresees? In the course of the
autumn and winter the count made flying visits to Washington,
Philadelphia, New Orleans, and even San Francisco, but it was noticeable
that the way to all these places lay through Detroit. He spoke English
marvelously well now, and so won upon the hearts of Mr. and Mrs. St.
Clair that on the 23d of April, being his twenty-first birthday, the
marriage of the conde de Alvala and Helen St. Clair was duly celebrated.
I could not leave my school to be present at the wedding, but the young
couple came to Boston to take leave of me before sailing for Europe.
They were radiant with happiness, and I could hardly tell which I loved
best, my boy or my girl; but if the Italian had been there to ask if I
ever saw a more beautiful couple, I should have answered no with great
emphasis.

I will copy Helen's first letter in order to prove that a château en
Espagne is not always a castle in the air:

     "ALVALA, near Toledo, June 20, 1872.

     "DEAR MADAME FLEMING: You have heard from mother of our voyage and
     safe arrival. We are now at home, Francisco and I, if I can ever
     learn to feel at home in such a grand place, where I can hardly
     find my way round. It is like one of the old palaces at Rome, the
     Borghese or Colonna, that we used to admire so much, with vast
     halls opening into one another, hangings of tapestry and Cordovan
     leather, marble statues and old paintings--family portraits by
     Titian and Velasquez, one or two Murillos, and--but I cannot write
     a catalogue. You must come to see us and the pictures. I am not
     sure which you will like the best. Francisco is very good to me,
     and so are all his friends. His sister and her husband were here to
     welcome us.

     "One of the first things we did was to go down the rose-tree walk,
     along the banks of the Tagus, for more than a mile--white and
     delicate pink and deep-red roses blossoming above our heads and
     dropping their petals at our feet all the way. Francisco said he
     would make my life like that walk among the roses, all sweetness
     and beauty, but that he cannot tell.

     "There is the old cathedral, with a wonderful head of Saint Francis
     and a whole forest of columns; and when you come we will bribe the
     sacristan not to lock you in, as they did at St. Roch. I shall
     never be a Roman Catholic, but I go to mass sometimes, for there is
     no Protestant service here, and one cannot be quite a heathen where
     everybody is so devout. What I dislike most is to have a chaplain
     in the house, walking about in his black petticoat, but of course I
     never say a word to Francisco.

     "By and by we are going to our house in Madrid. _Our house in
     Madrid_! does not that sound very strange? It all seems so unreal
     that I am afraid of waking up and finding it a dream.

     "Do, dear Madame Fleming, give up slaving in that old school and
     come and live with Francisco and me. He says he wishes you would,
     and it would make everything seem more real if I had you here.
     Think of it, now. You will, won't you? As ever, your dear child,

     "HELEN ALVALA."

This true story suggests a little sermon in two heads: 1st. To all
possible and probable lovers: It was not the count's rank or wealth, but
the fervor and constancy of ideal love and his whole-souled, exclusive
devotion, that won the heart of the American girl. 2d. To all sensible
American parents: Do not permit your pretty young daughters to make a
tour in Europe unless you are willing to leave them there.

       MARY E. BLAIR.



A JAPANESE MARRIAGE IN HIGH LIFE.


In describing a Japanese marriage in high life we do not intend to soar
_too_ high. It is not for our alien pen to portray the splendors of such
a marriage as that of the princess of Satsuma to Iyesada, the thirteenth
Shô-gun of the Tokugawa dynasty, when all Yedo was festal and
illuminated for a week. Neither shall we describe that of the imperial
princess Kazu, the younger sister of the Mikado, who came up from Kioto
to wed the young Shô-gun Iyemochi, and thus to unite the sacred blood of
twenty-five centuries of imperial succession with that of the Tokugawas,
the proud family that ruled Japan, and dictated even to her emperors,
for two hundred and fifty years. We leave the description of those royal
nuptials to other pens. Ours aspires only to describe a marriage such as
has happened in old Yedo for the thousandth time in the samurai
class--the gentry of Japan.

Were you with us in Tokio (the new name of the capital of Japan) we
should take you, were you inclined to go, to the place where once stood
the mansion of Yamashiro Kan, a high retainer of the prince of Echizen,
and a lineal descendant of the great Iyeyasu, the founder of the dynasty
of the Shô-guns. Were you to seek for Yamashiro's mansion now, you would
not find it, but instead several very vulgar evidences of the Western
civilization which is now changing the Land of the Gods into a paradise
of beef, bread, butter, milk and machinery. We walked past the old
mansion-grounds a few days ago, and lo! we saw a milk-shop and dairy, a
butcher's stall, a sewing-machine store, a printing-office, a school in
which Japanese boys were learning A, B, C's, a photographer's "studio,"
a barber-shop with an English sign, and a score or more Japanese shops
of all kinds. This is of to-day. Five years ago a long wall of
diamond-shaped tiles laid in white cement extended round the spacious
grounds of the homestead of the Yamashiro family. Inside were
fish-ponds, mimic hills, miniature mountain-scenery, dense
flower-bushes, dwarfed arboreal wonders, solemn shade trees and a garden
laid out according to the very best Japanese style. The fine old
_yashiki_ of Yamashiro, with its porter's lodge, stone path,
entrance-porch, vestibule and the family homestead, was within. No
wonder, then, that the aged man, who firmly believes that Japan is going
to the dogs, the devil or the foreigners--he does not know which--shakes
his head as he now passes by the milk-and butcher-shops, around which
the lazy dogs sleep or wait for bones, and sighs as he remembers the
grand old mansion.

About two miles farther north, in the great _rus urba_ of Yedo, was
another house of humbler pretensions, and yet one with a gate and garden
of dimensions betokening the residence of a man of rank. It was the home
of Nakayama, one of the eighty thousand _hatamoto_ (vassals) of the
Shô-gun, a studious gentleman whose greatest pride was in his two sons
and his only daughter. The former were not only manly and expert in the
use of the sword and spear, but had the best education that the classics
of Confucius and the Chinese college and literati in Yedo could give
them. Next to them in his love was his only daughter Kiku, seventeen
years old, and as fair as the fairest of Yedo's many fair daughters. No
vain doll was Kiku, but, inheriting her mother's beauty, she added to it
the inner grace of a meek and dutiful spirit. Besides being deft at
household duties, her memory was well stored with the knowledge of
Japanese history and the Chinese classics. She had committed to memory
the entire books of the _Woman's Great Learning_, and had read
carefully five other works on etiquette and morals which her father had
presented to her on successive birthdays. Kiku was a remarkably
well-educated maiden, and would have been a prize for the richest daimio
in the empire.

Faithfully following Japanese etiquette, Kiku had been carefully kept
from the company of any of the male sex since her eighth year. She never
talked with any young man except her brothers. Occasionally at family
parties she was addressed by her uncles or cousins. Sometimes, when
gentlemen called to see her father, Kiku would bring tea to the guest,
and was thus made the subject of compliments; but as to "receiving" male
company, she never did it. Kiku never went out unless accompanied by her
mother or the maid, who was like her shadow.

The gods of Japan meet together at the great temples in Ise during the
eleventh month and tie all the nuptial knots for the following year.
Kiku's marriage-knot had been tied by the gods six months before she
even suspected the strings had been crossed. How happened it?

In Japan only the people in the lower classes are acquainted with and
see each other frequently before marriage. The business of selection,
betrothal and marriage is attended to by the parents or friends of the
pair, who carry on negotiations by means of a third factor, a middleman
or go-between. Children are often betrothed at birth or when on their
nurses' backs (there are no cradles in Japan). Of course the natural
results, mutual dislike and severance of the engagement at mature age,
or love and happy marriage, or marriage, mutual dislike and subsequent
divorce, happen, as the case may be. In general, when the parents make
the betrothal of grown-up children, it is not probable that the feelings
of son or daughter are outraged, or that marriages are forced against
the consent of either, though this does sometimes take place. In Asiatic
countries, where obedience to parents is the first and last duty, and in
which no higher religion than filial obedience exists, the betrothal and
marriage of children is not looked upon as anything strange. The
prevalence of concubinage as a recognized institution in Japan makes it
of no serious importance whether the husband loves his wife or not.

To tell an ordinary Japanese that in America people often marry against
their parents' consent is to puzzle him, and make him believe Carlyle's
saying about Americans without having heard it. If a man who marries
against his parents' wish is not a triple-dyed ingrate, he must be a
downright fool. Beyond this idea the normal Japanese cannot go; and you
might as well try to make a blind man understand that "celestial rosy
red" was "Love's proper hue" as to convince him that a good man ever
marries against his parents' wishes. Such ideas and practices are
convincing evidences to him of the vast moral inferiority of Western
nations when compared with that of the people descended from the gods.

Resuming our narrative, we must mention that Kiku's father had once had
an offer from one Matsui, a wealthy retainer of the Wakasa clan, through
that young nobleman's middleman or agent, which he refused, to the
disgust of both middleman and suitor. The latter had seen Kiku walking
with her mother while going to the temple at Shiba, and, being struck
with her beauty, inquired who she was. Having come of age and wishing a
wife, he had sued for Kiku to her father, who, for reasons of his own,
refused the request, on the ground that Kiku was too young, being then
but fifteen years old. The truth was, that the Wakasa samurai was a wild
young fellow, and bore a reputation for riotous living that did not
promise to make him a proper life-companion for Nakayama's refined and
cultured daughter. Between Nakayama, Kiku's father, and Yamashiro, the
retainer of the Echizen clan, whose home we spoke of in the opening of
our sketch, had long existed a warm friendship and a mutual high regard.
Yamashiro, though more fond of society and good living than Nakayama,
was nevertheless, like him, a high-spirited and well-read man. He had
four children, two sons and two daughters. The oldest son, named Taro,
was now twenty years old, of manly figure, diligent in study, and had
lately acted as a high page, attending daily upon the person of
Hitotsu-bashi, the then reigning Shô-gun, and the last of his line that
held or will hold regal power in Japan. Taro, being the oldest son of
his father, was the heir to his house, office, rank and revenue. Taro
wanted a wife. He wished to taste the sweets of love and wedded joy. He
had long thought of Kiku. Of course he asked his father, and his father
"was willing." He told Taro to go to Nakayama's house. Taro went. He
talked to Nakayama, and hinted faint compliments of his daughter. It was
enough. Nakayama was keen of scent, and he also "was willing." Clapping
his hands, the maid-servant appeared and falling down and bowing her
head to the floor, listened: "Make some tea, and tell Miss Kiku to serve
it."

Had you been in the back rooms of that house, you would have seen Kiku
blush as the maid told her who was in the front room and what her father
had said. Her heart beat furiously, and the carnation of health upon her
cheeks was lost in the hot blushes that mantled her face and beautiful
neck when her mother, reproving her, said, "Why, dear child, don't be
excited: perhaps he has come only on some every-day business, after all.
Be composed, and get ready to take in the tea."

Nevertheless, Kiku took out her metal mirror while the maid made the
tea, smoothed a pretended stray hair, powdered her neck slightly, drew
her robe more tightly around her waist, adjusted her girdle, which did
not need any adjusting, and then, taking up the tray, containing a tiny
tea-pot, a half dozen upturned cups, and as many brass sockets for them,
hastened into the front room, bowed with her face on her hands to the
floor, and then handed cups of tea to her parent and his guest. This
done, she returned to her mother. Whether Taro looked at Kiku's cheeks
or into her glittering black eyes we leave even a foreign reader to
judge.

Let it not be thought, however, that a single word relating to marriage
in the concrete passed between the two men: no such breach of etiquette
was committed. The visit over, the two friends parted as friends, and
nothing more, either in fact or in visible prospect.

But, to be brief, not long afterward, Taro, having selected a trusty
friend, sent him as a go-between to ask of Nakayama the hand of his
daughter in marriage. The proposal was accepted, and when the go-between
came the second time to Kiku's home it was in company with two servants
bearing bundles. These, being opened, were found to contain a splendidly
embroidered girdle, such as Japanese ladies wear, about twelve feet long
and a foot wide when doubled; a robe of the finest white silk from the
famous looms of Kanazawa; five or six pieces of silk not made up;
several kegs of _saké_ or rice-beer; dried fish, soy, etc. These
were for the bride-elect. For her father was a sword with a richly
mounted hilt and lacquered scabbard, hung with silken cords. The blade
alone of the sword was worth (it isn't polite to speak of the cost of
presents, but we will let you into the secret, good reader) one hundred
dollars, and had been made in Sagami from the finest native steel.
Kiku's mother was presented with a rich robe, which she recognized at
once as being woven of the famous Derva silk. The ceremonious reception
of these presents by the parents signified that the betrothal was
solemnly ratified, and that the engagement could not be broken.
Nakayama, the intended father-in-law, afterward sent to Taro a present
of a jar of the finest tea from his own plantation in Shimosa, a pair of
swords, and a piece of satin, such as that of which the _hakama_ or
trousers which indicate the rank of the samurai are made.

The betrothal was now published in both families, and in both houses
there were festivities, rejoicing and congratulation. The marriage-day,
a fortunate or good-omened one, was fixed upon as the twenty-seventh
from the day of betrothal.

Was Kiku happy? Nay, you should ask, Can that word express her feelings?
She had obeyed her parents: she could do nothing higher or more fraught
with happiness. She was to be a wife--woman's highest honor and a
Japanese woman's only aim. She was to marry a noble by name, nature and
achievement, with health, family, wealth and honor. Kiku lived in a new
world of anticipation and of vision, the gate of which the Japanese call
_iro_, and we _love_. At times, as she tried on for the twentieth time
her white silk robe and costly girdle, she fell into a reverie, half sad
and half joyful. She thought of leaving her mother alone with no
daughter, and then Kiku's bright eyes dimmed and her bosom heaved. Then
she thought of living in a new home, in a new house, with new faces.
What if her mother-in-law should be severe or jealous? Kiku's cheek
paled. What if Taro should achieve some great exploit, and she share his
joy as did the honorable women of old? What if his former position of
beloved page to the Shô-gun should give her occasional access to the
highest ladies in the land, the female courtiers of the castle? Her eyes
flashed.

The wedding-night came, seeming to descend out of the starry heavens
from the gods. Marriages rarely take place in the daytime in Japan. The
solemn and joyful hour of evening, usually about nine o'clock, is the
time for marriage--as it often is for burial--in Japan. In the starlight
of a June evening the bride set forth on her journey to her intended
husband's home, as is the invariable custom. Her toilet finished, she
stepped out of her childhood's home to take her place in the _norimono_
or palanquin which, borne on the shoulders of four men, was to convey
her to her future home.

Just as Kiku stands in the vestibule of her father's house let us
photograph her for you. A slender maiden of seventeen, with cheeks of
carnation; eyes that shine under lids not so broadly open as the
Caucasian maiden's, but black and sparkling; very small hands with
tapering fingers, and very small feet encased in white mitten-socks; her
black hair glossy as polished jet, dressed in the style betokening
virginity, and decked with a garland of blossoms. Her robe of pure white
silk folds over her bosom from right to left, and is bound at the waist
by the gold-embroidered girdle, which is supported by a lesser band of
scarlet silken crape, and is tied into huge loops behind. The skirt of
the dress sweeps in a trail. Her under-dress is of the finest and
softest white silk. In her hands she carries a half-moon-shaped cap or
veil of floss silk. Its use we shall see hereafter. She salutes her
cousin, who, clad in ceremonial dress with his ever-present two swords,
is waiting to accompany her in addition to her family servants and
bearers, and steps into the norimono.

The four bearers, the servants and the samurai pass down along the
beautiful Kanda River, whose waters mirror the stars, and whose depths
of shade re-echo to the gurgling of sculls, the rolling of ripples and
the songs of revelers. The cortége enters one of the gate-towers of the
old city-walls, passes beneath the shade of its ponderous copper-clad
portals, and soon arrives at the main entrance of the Yamashiro
_yashiki_. Here they find the street in front and the stone walk
covered with matting, and a friend of Taro's, in full dress, waiting to
receive the cortége. Of course the gazers of the neighborhood are
waiting respectfully in crowds to catch a glimpse of the coming bride.

The go-between and a few friends of the bridegroom come out to receive
the bride and deliver her to her own servant and two of her own young
maiden friends, who had gone before to the Yamashiro mansion. The room
in which the families of the bride and groom and their immediate friends
are waiting, though guiltless of "furniture," as all Japanese rooms are,
is yet resplendent with gilt-paper screens, bronzes, tiny lacquered
tables and the Japanese nuptial emblems. On the wall hang three pictured
scrolls of the gods of Long Life, of Wealth and of Happiness. On a
little low table stands a dwarf pine tree, bifurcated, and beneath it
are an old man and an old woman. Long life, a green old age, changeless
constancy of love and the union of two hearts are symbolized by this
evergreen. In the _tokonoma_ (or large raised recess) of the room are
the preparations for the feast, the wine-service consisting of kettles,
decanters and cups. On two other tables are a pair of white storks and a
fringed tortoise. All through the rooms gorgeously painted wax candles
burn. The air of the apartment is heavy with perfume from the censer, a
representation in bronze of an ancient hero riding upon a bullock. All
the guests are seated _à la Japonaise_--upon the floor. Two or three
young ladies, the bridesmaids, go out to meet the bride and lead her to
her dressing-room. Here she finds her own property, which has been
brought to her future home during the day. Toilet-stands and cabinets
and the ceremonial towel-rack are prominently displayed. On a tall
clothes-horse of gilt lacquer are hung her silk robes and the other
articles of her wardrobe, which are bridal gifts. Over the doorway, in a
gilt rack, glitters the long spear or halberd to the dexterous use of
which all Japanese ladies of good family are trained. In a box of finest
wood, shining with lacquer and adorned with her family crest, are the
silk sleeping-dresses and coverlets, which are to be spread, as all
Japanese beds are, on the floor. The articles above mentioned constitute
the trousseau of a Japanese bride.

Here Kiku rearranges her dress, retouches her lower lip with golden
paint and puts on her hood of floss silk. This is of a half-moon shape,
completely covering her face. She does not lift it until she has drunk
the sacramental marriage-cup. Many a Japanese maiden has seen her lord
for the first time as she lifted her silken hood. Kiku is all ready, and
she and the groom are led into the room where the ceremony is to be
performed, and assigned their positions.

With a Japanese marriage neither religion nor the Church has anything to
do. At the wedding no robed priest appears officially among the guests.
The marriage is simply a civil and social contract. In place of our bans
is the acceptance of the suitor's presents by the family of the sought,
the announced betrothal and intimation of the marriage to the police of
the ward. In place of our answer, "Yes," is the sacramental drinking of
wine. We may say "wine," because we are talking of high life, and must
use high words. _Saké_, the universal spirituous beverage of Japan,
is made from fermented rice, and hence is properly rice-beer. It looks
like pale sherry, and has a taste which is peculiarly its own. Sweet
saké is very delicious, and it may be bought in all the degrees of
strength and of all flavors and prices. As the Japanese always drink
their wine hot, a copper kettle for heating saké is a necessity in every
household. On ceremonial occasions, such as marriages, the saké-kettles
are of the costliest and handsomest kind, being beautifully lacquered.
Bride and groom being ready, the wine-kettles, cups and two bottles are
handed down. Two pretty servant-maids now bring in a hot kettle of wine
and fill the bottles. To one bottle is fastened by a silken cord a male
butterfly, and to the other a female. The two girls also are called
"male" and "female" butterflies. The girl having the female butterfly
pours out some saké in the kettle, into which the girl with the male
butterfly also pours the contents of her bottle, so that the wine from
both bottles thus flows together. Then the saké is poured again into
another gilt-and-lacquered bottle of different shape.

Now the real ceremony begins. On a little stand three cups, each
slightly concave and having an under-rest or foot about half an inch
high, are set one upon another, like a pagoda. The stand with this
three-storied arrangement is handed to the bride. Holding it in both
hands while the saké is poured into it by the male butterfly, the bride
lifts the cup, sips from it three times, and the tower of cups is then
passed to the bridegroom and refilled. He likewise drinks three times,
and puts the empty cup under the third. The bride again sips thrice from
the upper cup. The groom does the same, and places the empty cup beneath
the second. Again the bride sips three times, and the bridegroom does
the same, and they are man and wife: they are married. This ceremony is
called san-san-ku-do, or "three times three are nine."

Like a wedding at once auspicious and _distingué_, the nuptials of Kiku
and Taro passed off without one misstep or incident of ill omen. In the
dressing-room and in the hall of ceremony Kiku's self-possessed demeanor
was admired by all. After drinking the sacramental wine she lifted her
silken hood, not too swiftly or nervously, and smiled blushingly on her
lord. The marriage ceremony over, both bride and groom retired to their
respective dressing-rooms. Kiku exchanged her white dress for one of
more elaborate design and of a lavender color. The groom, removing his
stiffly-starched ceremonial robes, appeared in ordinary dress. Meanwhile
refreshments had been served to all the bridesmaids and, maid-servants.
Husband and wife now took their seats again, and the whole company
joined in the supper, during which apparently innumerable courses were
served. Neither ices, oranges nor black-cake appeared on the table at
Kiku's wedding. The bill of fare contained many decidedly recherché
items which it requires a Japanese palate thoroughly to appreciate. Let
us enumerate a few. There were salmon from Hakodate, tea from Uji, young
rice from Higo, pheasants' eggs, fried cuttle-fish, _tai, koi, maguro_
and many another sort of toothsome fish from the market at Nihon Bashi.
There were sea-weed of various sorts and from many coasts, bean-curd,
many kinds of fish-soups, condiments of various flavors, eggs in every
style and shellfish of every shape. A huge maguro-fish, thinly sliced,
but perfectly raw, was the _pièce de résistance_ of the feast.
Sweetmeats, candies of the sort known to the Japanese confectioners and
castera (sponge-cake) crowned the courses.

Now, having briefly described Kiku's wedding, perhaps we should stop
here. Although fairly married, however, Kiku was not through the
ceremonies of the night. Before her own parents left the house she was
taken by the attendant ladies before her parents-in-law, and with them
drank cups of wine and exchanged gifts. All the bridal presents were
displayed during the evening in her dressing-room, and the whole of her
trousseau was open to the inspection of all the ladies present. Feasting
and dancing were the order of the hours until midnight, and then Kiku's
parents bade her farewell, and she was left a bride in a new home.

"Where did the young couple go?" "What was the route of their
bridal-tour?" "Perhaps they made a late wedding-journey?" "Of course
Japan has many fine watering-places to which married couples resort?"
These are American questions. The fashion of making bridal-tours is not
Japanese. Many a lovely spot might serve for such a purpose in
everywhere beautiful Japan. The lake and mountains of Hakone; the
peerless scenery, trees, waterfalls and tombs of Nikko, where sleeps the
mighty Iyeyasu, the founder of the Tokugawa line; the spas of
Atami,--all these are spots which if in America would be thronged with
bridal-parties. Caucasians in Japan even make Fusiyama's summit the goal
of their wedded steps, but our Kiku and Taro went nowhere.

"At home" for three days is the general rule in Japan. All their friends
came to see them, and presents were showered on the happy pair. The
great Shô-gun, remembering his former page, sent Taro a present of a
flawless ball of pure rock-crystal five inches in diameter. Prince
Echizen, his feudal lord, presented him with a splendid saddle with gilt
flaps and a pair of steel stirrups inlaid with gold and silver and
bronze, with the crest of the Echizen clan glittering in silver upon it.
From his own father he received a jet-black horse brought from the
province of Nambu, and an equine descendant of the Arab sire presented
by the viceroy of India to the Japanese embassy to the pope in 1589. On
the delightful wonders of the gifts to Kiku our masculine pen shrinks
from expatiating. On the third day after her marriage Kiku visited her
parents, and after that spent many days in returning the visits of all
who had called on her.

Now, like the "goosie gander" of nursery memory, we must wander again
into the lady's chamber. Were you to wander to such a place after a
Japanese maiden became a wife, you would see, as we have often seen, how
the outward form of a Japanese maiden assumes that of a Japanese matron.
First, then, the maiden wears a high coiffure that always serves as a
sacred symbol of her virginity. It is not easy to describe its form, but
even foreigners think it very beautiful, and will regret the day when
the Japanese _musume_ wears her hair like her sisters across the ocean.
Indeed, it would be no strange thing were Queen Fashion to ordain that
American maidens should adopt the style of dressing the hair now in
universal vogue in Japan. The _shimada_ or virginal coiffure, however,
is changed after marriage, and Kiku, like the rest of her wedded
friends, now wore the _maru-mage_, or half-moon-shaped chignon, which is
wound round an ivory, tortoise-shell or coral-tipped bar, and is the
distinguishing mark of a Japanese wife. So far, however, the transition
from loveliness to ugliness has not been very startling: Kiku still
looked pretty. The second process, however, robbed her of her eyebrows,
and left her without those dark arches that had helped to make the
radiant sun of her once maidenly beauty. With tweezers and razor the
fell work, after many a wince, was done. With denuded brows and changed
coiffure surely the Japanese Hymen demands no more sacrifices at his
shrine? Surely Kiku can still keep the treasures of a set of teeth that
seem like a casket of pearls with borders of coral? Not so. The fashion
of all good society from remotest antiquity demands that the teeth of a
wife must be dyed black. Kiku joyfully applied the galls and iron, and
by patience and dint of polishing soon had a set of teeth as black as
jet and as polished as the best Whitby. Not strange to tell to a
Japanese, either, the smile of her husband Taro was a rich reward for
her trouble and the surrender of her maiden charms. Japanese husbands
never kiss their wives: kissing is an art unknown in Japan. It is even
doubtful whether the language has a word signifying a kiss. No wonder
Young Japan wishes to change his language for the English! Henceforth in
public or private, alone or in company, Kiku's personal and social
safety was as secure as if clothed in armor of proof and attended by an
army. The black teeth, _maru-mage_ and shaven eyebrows constitute a
talisman of safety in a land which foreigners so like to believe
licentious and corrupt beyond the bounds of conception.

Now that we have Kiku married, we must leave her to glide into the cool,
sequestered paths of a Japanese married lady's life. Only one thing we
regret, and that is that her marriage could not have happened in the
year of our Lord 1874 and of "Enlightened Peace the seventh, and of the
era of Jimmu, the first Mikado, the two thousand five hundred and
thirty-fourth." Had she been married during the present year, her
coiffure would need no alteration, her eyebrows would still knit with
care or arch with mirth, and her teeth would still keep their virgin
whiteness, unsoiled by astringent galls or abhorred vitriol.

The leader of feminine fashion in Japan, the young empress Haruko, has
set her subjects the example by for ever banishing the galls and iron,
appearing even in public with her teeth as Nature made them. Kiku and
Taro, though once proud to own allegiance to the Shô-gun, are now among
the staunch supporters of the lord of the Shô-gun, the Mikado, the only
true sovereign of the Sunrise Kingdom.

     W.E. GRIFFIS.



THE LOST BABY.


She wandered off one dismal day;
No one was by to bid her stay:
The earth was white, the sky was gray,
When the poor little baby wandered away.

The sun went down with crimson crown
Behind the clouds and the tree-tops brown:
The cold road stared with a colder frown
When the poor little feet went wandering down.

Her mother lived up in the shining sky,
Thought poor little baby, wondering why,
As hours and days and weeks went by,
She never came down at her baby's cry.

If the crimson wave in the west led true,
The skyward road she surely knew:
She heeded not that the sharp winds blew,
Or her cold little feet sore tired grew.

She hummed some broken baby song,
And talked to herself as she trudged along:
She feared no failure, recked no wrong,
But she thought that the way was lone and long.

Tired and cold, she lingered to rest
Under a snow-drift's treacherous crest:
She cuddled herself in a tiny nest,
White and cold as her mother's breast.

They found her there on the snowy ground,
Her silky hair with snowflakes crowned.
She made no sign, she breathed no sound,
But the skyward road she had surely found.

     CLARA G. DOLLIVER.



THREE FEATHERS.

BY WILLIAM BLACK, AUTHOR OF "A PRINCESS OF THULE."



CHAPTER XXIII.

SOME OLD SONGS.


"Are you dreaming again, child?" said Mrs. Rosewarne to her daughter.
"You are not a fit companion for a sick woman, who is herself dull
enough. Why do you always look so sad when you look at the sea, Wenna?"

The wan-faced, beautiful-eyed woman lay on a sofa, a book beside her.
She had been chatting in a bright, rapid, desultory fashion about the
book and a dozen other things--amusing herself really by a continual
stream of playful talk--until she perceived that the girl's fancies were
far away. Then she stopped suddenly, with this expression of petulant
but good-natured disappointment.

"Oh, I beg your pardon, mother," said Wenna, who was seated at an open
window fronting the bay. "What did you say? Why does the sea make one
sad? I don't know. One feels less at home here than out on the rocks at
Eglosilyan: perhaps that is it. Or the place is so beautiful that it
almost makes you cry. I don't know."

And indeed Penzance Bay on this still, clear morning was beautiful
enough to attract wistful eyes and call up vague and distant fancies.
The cloudless sky was intensely dark in its blue: one had a notion that
the unseen sun was overhead and shining vertically down. The still plain
of water--so clear that the shingle could be seen through it a long way
out--had no decisive color, but the fishing smacks lying out there were
jet-black points in the bewildering glare. The sunlight did not seem to
be in the sky, in the air or on the sea; but when you turned to the
southern arm of the bay, where the low line of green hills ran out into
the water, there you could see the strong clear light shining--shining
on the green fields and on the sharp black lines of hedges, on that bit
of gray old town with its cottage-gardens and its sea-wall, and on the
line of dark rock that formed the point of the promontory. On the other
side of the bay the eye followed the curve of the level shores until it
caught sight of St. Michael's Mount rising palely from the water, its
sunlit grays and purple shadows softened by the cool distance. Then
beyond that again, on the verge of the far horizon, lay the long and
narrow line of the Lizard, half lost in a silver haze. For the rest, a
cool wind went this way and that through Mrs. Rosewarne's room, stirring
the curtains. There was an odor of the sea in the air. It was a day for
dreaming perhaps, but not for the gloom begotten of languor and an
indolent pulse.

"Oh, mother! oh, mother!" Wenna cried suddenly, with a quick flush of
color to her cheeks, "do you know who is coming along? Can you see? It
is Mr. Trelyon, and he is looking at all the houses: I know he is
looking for us."

"Child! child!" said the mother. "How should Mr. Trelyon know we are
here?"

"Because I told him," Wenna said simply and hurriedly. "Mother, may I
wave a handkerchief to him? Won't you come and see him? he seems so much
more manly in this strange place; and how brave and handsome he looks!"

"Wenna!" her mother said severely.

The girl did not wave a handkerchief, it is true, but she knelt down at
the open bay-window, so that he must needs see her; and sure enough he
did. Off went his hat in a minute, a bright look of recognition leapt to
his eyes, and he crossed the street.

Then Wenna turned, all in a flutter of delight, and quite unconscious of
the color in her face: "Are you vexed, mother? Mayn't I be glad to see
him? Why, when I know that he will brighten up your spirits better than
a dozen doctors? One feels quite happy and hopeful whenever he comes
into the room. Mother, you won't have to complain of dullness if Mr.
Trelyon comes to see you. And why doesn't the girl send him up at once?"

Wenna was standing at the open door to receive him when he came up
stairs: she had wholly forgotten the embarrassment of their last
parting.

"I thought I should find you out," he said when he came into the room,
and it was clear that there was little embarrassment about him; "and I
know how your mother likes to be teased and worried. You've got a nice
place here, Mrs. Rosewarne; and what splendid weather you've brought
with you!"

"Yes," said Wenna, her whole face lit up with a shy gladness, "haven't
we? And did you ever see the bay looking more beautiful? It is enough to
make you laugh and clap your hands out of mere delight to see everything
so lovely and fresh."

"A few minutes ago I thought you were nearly crying over it," said the
mother with a smile, but Miss Wenna took no heed of the reproof. She
would have Mr. Trelyon help himself to a tumbler of claret and water.
She fetched out from some mysterious lodging-house recess an ornamented
tin can of biscuits. She accused herself of being the dullest companion
in the world, and indirectly hinted that he might have pity on her mamma
and stay to luncheon with them.

"Well, it's very odd," he said, telling a lie with great simplicity of
purpose, "but I had arranged to drive to the Land's End for luncheon--to
the inn there, you know. I suppose it wouldn't--Do you think, Mrs.
Rosewarne--would it be convenient for you to come for a drive so far?"

"Oh, it would be the very best thing in the world for her--nothing could
be better," said Wenna; and then she added meekly, "if it is not giving
you too much trouble, Mr. Trelyon."

He laughed: "Trouble! I'm glad to be of use to anybody; and in this case
I shall have all the pleasure on my side. Well, I'm off now to see about
the horses. If I come for you in half an hour, will that do?"

As soon as he had left Mrs. Rosewarne turned to her daughter and said to
her, gravely enough, "Wenna, one has seldom to talk to you about the
proprieties, but really this seems just a little doubtful. Mr. Trelyon
may make a friend of you--that is all very well, for you are going to
marry a friend of his--but you ought not to expect him to associate with
me."

"Mother," said Wenna with hot cheeks, "I wonder how you can suspect him
of thinking of such foolish and wicked things. Why, he is the very last
man in all the world to do anything that is mean and unkind, or to think
about it."

"My dear child, I suspect him of nothing," Mrs. Rosewarne said; "but
look at the simple facts of the case. Mr. Trelyon is a very rich
gentleman; his family is an old one, greatly honored about here; and if
he is so recklessly kind as to offer his acquaintanceship to persons who
are altogether in a different sphere of life, we should take care not to
abuse his kindness or to let people have occasion to wonder at him.
Looking at your marriage and future station, it is perhaps more
permissible with you; but as regards myself, I don't very much care,
Wenna, to have Mr. Trelyon coming about the house."

"Why, mother, I--I am surprised at you!" Wenna said warmly. "You judge
of him by the contemptible things that other people might say of him. Do
you think he would care for that? Mr. Trelyon is a man, and like a man
he has the courage to choose such friends as he likes; and it is no more
to him what money they have or what their position is than the--than the
shape of their pocket-handkerchiefs is. Perhaps that is his folly,
recklessness--the recklessness of a young man. Perhaps it is. I am not
old enough to know how people alter, but I hope I shall never see Mr.
Trelyon alter in this respect--never, if he were to live for a hundred
years. And--and I am surprised to hear you, of all people, mother,
suggest such things of him. What has he done that you should think so
meanly of him?"

Wenna was very indignant and hurt. She would have continued further, but
that a tremulous movement of her under lip caused her to turn away her
head.

"Well, Wenna, you needn't cry about it," her mother said gently. "It is
of no great consequence. Of course every one must please himself in
choosing his friends; and I quite admit that Mr. Trelyon is not likely
to be hindered by anything that any person may say. Don't take it so
much to heart, child: go and get on your things, and get back some of
the cheerfulness you had while he was here. I will say this for the
young man, that he has an extraordinary power of raising your spirits."

"You are a good mother, after all," said Wenna penitently; "and if you
come and let me dress you prettily, I shall promise not to scold you
again--not till the next time you deserve it."

By the time they drove away from Penzance the forenoon had softened into
more beautiful colors. There was a paler blue in the sky and on the sea,
and millions of yellow stars twinkled on the ripples. A faint haze had
fallen over the bright green hills lying on the south of the bay.

"Life looks worth having on such a day as this," Trelyon said: "doesn't
it, Miss Wenna?"

She certainly seemed pleased enough. She drank in the sweet fresh air;
she called attention to the pure rare colors of the sea and the green
uplands, the coolness of the woods through which they drove, the profuse
abundance of wild flowers along the banks; all things around her seemed
to have conspired to yield her delight, and a great happiness shone in
her eyes. Mr. Trelyon talked mostly to Mrs. Rosewarne, but his eyes
rarely wandered away for long from Wenna's pleased and radiant face; and
again and again he said to himself, "And if a simple drive on a spring
morning can give this child so great a delight, it is not the last that
she and I shall have together."

"Mrs. Rosewarne," said he, "I think your daughter has as much need of a
holiday as anybody. I don't believe there's a woman or girl in the
county works as hard as she does."

"I don't know whether she needs it," said Miss Wenna of herself, "but I
know that she enjoys it."

"I know what you'd enjoy a good deal better than merely getting out of
sight of your own door for a week or two," said he. "Wouldn't you like
to get clear away from England for six months, and go wandering about in
all sorts of fine places? Why, I could take such a trip in that time! I
should like to see what you'd say to some of the old Dutch towns and
their churches, and all that; then Cologne, you know, and a sail up the
Rhine to Mainz; then you'd go on to Bâle and Geneva, and we'd get you a
fine big carriage, with the horses decorated with foxes' and pheasants'
tails, to drive you to Chamounix. Then, when you had gone tremulously
over the Mer de Glace, and kept your wits about you going down the
Mauvais Pas, I don't think you could do better than go on to the Italian
lakes--you never saw anything like them, I'll be bound--and Naples and
Florence. Would you come back by the Tyrol, and have a turn at Zurich
and Lucerne, with a long ramble through the Black Forest in a trap
resembling a ramshackle landau?"

"Thank you," said Wenna very cheerfully. "The sketch is delightful, but
I am pretty comfortable where I am."

"But this can't last," said he.

"And neither can my holidays," she answered.

"Oh, but they ought to," he retorted vehemently. "You have not half
enough amusement in your life: that's my opinion. You slave too much for
all those folks about Eglosilyan and their dozens of children. Why, you
don't get anything out of life as you ought to. What have you to look
forward to? Only the same ceaseless round of working for other people.
Don't you think you might let some one else have a turn at that useful
but monotonous occupation?"

"But Wenna has something else to look forward to now," her mother
reminded him gently; and after that he did not speak for some while.

Fair and blue was the sea that shone all around the land when they got
out on the rough moorland near the coast. They drove to the solitary
little inn perched over the steep cliffs, and here the horses were put
up and luncheon ordered. Would Mrs. Rosewarne venture down to the great
rocks at the promontory? No, she would rather stay indoors till the
young people returned; and so these two went along the grassy path
themselves.

They clambered down the slopes, and went out among the huge blocks of
weather-worn granite, many of which were brilliant with gray, green and
orange lichens. There was a low and thunderous noise in the air: far
below them, calm and fine as the day was, the summer sea dashed and
roared into gigantic caverns, while the white foam floated out again on
the troubled waves. Could anything have been more magical than the
colors of the sea--its luminous greens, its rich purples, its brilliant
blues, lying in long swaths on the apparently motionless surface? It was
only the seething white beneath their feet and the hoarse thunder along
the coast that told of the force of this summer-like sea; and for the
rest the picture was light and calm and beautiful; but there the black
rocks basked in the sunlight, the big skarts standing here and there on
their ledges, not moving a feather. A small steamer was slowly making
for the island farther out, where a lighthouse stood. And far away
beyond these, on the remote horizon, the Scilly Isles lay like a low
bank of yellow fog under the pale-blue skies.

They were very much by themselves out here at the end of the world, and
yet they did not seem inclined to talk much. Wenna sat down on the warm
grass; her companion perched himself on one of the blocks of granite;
they watched the great undulations of the blue water come rolling on to
the black rocks and then fall backward seething in foam.

"And what are you thinking about?" said Trelyon to her gently, so that
she should not be startled.

"Of nothing at all: I am quite happy," Wenna said frankly. Then she
added, "I suppose the worst of a day like this is that a long time after
you look back upon it, and it seems so beautiful and far away that it
makes you miserable. You think how happy you were once. That is the
unfortunate side of being happy."

"Well," said he, "I must say you don't look forward to the future with
any great hope if you think the recollection of one bright day will make
you wretched."

He came down from his perch and stood beside her. "Why, Wenna," said he,
"do you know what you really need? Some one to take you in hand
thoroughly, and give you such an abundance of cheerful and pleasant days
that you would never think of singling out any one of them. Why
shouldn't you have weeks and months of happy idling in bright weather,
such as lots of people have who don't deserve them a bit? There's
something wrong in your position. You want some one to become your
master and compel you to make yourself happy. You won't of yourself
study your own comfort: some one else ought to make you."

"And who do you think would care to take so much trouble about me?" she
said with a smile, for she attached no serious meaning to this random
talk.

Her companion's face flushed somewhat--not with embarrassment, but with
the courage of what he was going to say. "I would," he said boldly. "You
will say it is none of my business, but I tell you I would give twenty
thousand pounds to-morrow if I were allowed to--to get you a whole
summer of pleasant holidays."

There was something about the plain-spoken honesty of this avowal that
touched her keenly. Wild and impossible as the suggestion was, it told
her at least what one person in the world thought of her. She said to
him, with her eyes cast down, "I like to hear you speak like that--not
for my own sake, but I know there is nothing generous and kindly that
you wouldn't do at a mere moment's impulse. But I hope you don't think I
have been grumbling over my lot on such a day as this? Oh no: I see too
much of other people's way of living to complain of my own. I have every
reason to be contented and happy."

"Yes, you're a deal too contented and happy," said he with an impatient
shrug. "You want somebody to alter all that, and see that you get more
to be contented and happy about."

She rose: he gave her his hand to help her up. But he did not surrender
her hand then, for the path up the slope was a deep and difficult one,
and she could fairly rely on his strength and sureness of foot.

"But you are not content, Mr. Trelyon," she said. "I always notice that
whenever you get to a dangerous place you are never satisfied unless you
are putting your life in peril. Wouldn't you like to ride your black
horse down the face of this precipice? or wouldn't you like to clamber
down blindfold? Why does a man generally seem to be anxious to get rid
of his life?"

"Perhaps it ain't of much use to him," he said coolly.

"You ought not to say that," she answered in a low voice.

"Well," he said, "I don't mean to break my neck yet a while; but if I
did, who would miss me? I suppose my mother would play half a dozen a
day more operas or oratorios, or stuff of that sort, and there would be
twenty parsons in the house for one there is at present. And some of the
brats about the place would miss an occasional sixpence; which would be
better for their health. And Dick--I suppose they'd sell him to some
fool of a Londoner, who would pound his knees out in the Park--he would
miss me too."

"And these are all," she said, "who would miss you? You are kind to your
friends."

"Why, would you?" he said with a stare of surprise; and then, seeing she
would not speak, he continued with a laugh, "I like the notion of my
making an object of general compassion of myself. Did the poor dear
tumble off a rock into the sea? And where was its mother's apron-string?
I'm not going to break my neck yet a while, Miss Wenna; so don't you
think I'm going to let you off your promise to pay me back for those
sewing-machines."

"I have told you, Mr. Trelyon," she said with some dignity, "that we
shall pay you back every farthing of the price of them."

He began to whistle in an impertinent manner. He clearly placed no great
faith in the financial prospects of that sewing club.

They had some light luncheon in the remote little inn, and Mrs.
Rosewarne was pleased to see her ordinarily demure and preoccupied
daughter in such high and careless spirits. It was not a splendid
banquet. The chamber was not a gorgeous one, for the absence of ornament
and the enormous thickness of the walls told of the house being shut up
in the winter months and abandoned to the fury of the western gales,
when the wild sea came hurling up the face of these steep cliffs and
blowing over the land. But they paid little attention to any lack of
luxury. There was a beautiful blue sea shining in the distance. The
sunlight was falling hotly on the green sward of the rocks outside, but
all the same a fresh, cool breeze came blowing in at the open window.
They let the time pass easily, with pleasant talk and laughter.

Then they drove leisurely back in the afternoon. They passed along the
moorland ways, through rude little villages built of stone and by the
outskirts of level and cheerless farms, until they got into the
beautiful woods and avenues lying around Penzance. When they came in
sight of the broad bay they found that the world had changed its colors
since the morning. The sea was of a cold purplish gray, but all around
it, on the eastern horizon, there was a band of pale pink in the sky. On
the west again, behind Penzance, the warm hues of the sunset were
shining behind the black stems of the trees. The broad thoroughfare was
mostly in shadow, and the sea was so still that one could hear the
footsteps and the voices of the people walking up and down the Parade.

"I suppose I must go now," said the young gentleman when he had seen
them safely seated in the small parlor overlooking the bay. But he did
not seem anxious to go.

"But why?" Wenna said, rather timidly. "You have no engagement, Mr.
Trelyon. Would you care to stay and have dinner with us--such a dinner
as we can give you?"

"Well, to tell you the truth, I should like it very much," he said.

Mrs. Rosewarne, a little surprised, and yet glad to see Wenna enjoying
herself, regarded the whole affair with a gentle resignation. Wenna had
the gas lit and the blinds let down: then, as the evening was rather
cool, she had soon a bright fire burning in the grate. She helped to lay
the table. She produced such wines as they had. She made sundry visits
to the kitchen, and at length the banquet was ready.

What ailed the young man? He seemed beside himself with careless and
audacious mirth, and he made Mrs. Rosewarne laugh as she had not laughed
for years. It was in vain that Wenna assumed airs to rebuke his
rudeness. Nothing was sacred from his impertinence--not even the
offended majesty of her face. And at last she gave in too, and could
only revenge herself by saying things of him which, the more severe they
were, the more he seemed to enjoy. But after dinner she went to the
small piano, while her mother took a big easy-chair near the fire, and
he sat by the table, looking over some books. There was no more reckless
laughter then.

In ancient times--that is to say, in the half-forgotten days of our
youth--a species of song existed which exists no more. It was not as the
mournful ballads of these days, which seem to record the gloomy
utterances of a strange young woman who has wandered into the magic
scene in _Der Freischütz_, and who mixes up the moanings of her passion
with descriptions of the sights, and sounds she there finds around her.
It was of quite another stamp. It dealt with a phraseology of sentiment
peculiar to itself--a "patter," as it were, which came to be universally
recognized in drawing-rooms. It spoke of maidens plighting their troth,
of Phyllis enchanting her lover with her varied moods, of marble halls
in which true love still remained the same. It apostrophized the shells
of ocean; it tenderly described the three great crises of a particular
heroine's life by mentioning her head-dress; it told of how the lover of
Pretty Jane would have her meet him in the evening. Well, all the world
was content to accept this conventional phraseology, and behind the
paraphernalia of "enchanted moon-beams" and "fondest glances" and
"adoring sighs" perceived and loved the sentiment that could find no
simpler utterance. Some of us, hearing the half-forgotten songs again,
suddenly forget the odd language, and the old pathos springs up again,
as fresh as in the days when our first love had just come home from her
boarding-school; while others, who have no old-standing acquaintance
with these memorable songs, have somehow got attracted to them by the
mere quaintness of their speech and the simplicity of their airs. Master
Harry Trelyon was no great critic of music. When Wenna Rosewarne sang
that night "She wore a wreath of roses," he fancied he had never
listened to anything so pathetic. When she sang "Meet me by moonlight
alone," he was delighted with the spirit and half-humorous, half-tender
grace of the composition. As she sang "When other lips and other
hearts," it seemed to him that there were no songs like the
old-fashioned songs, and that the people who wrote those ballads were
more frank and simple and touching in their speech than writers
now-a-days. Somehow, he began to think of the drawing-rooms of a former
generation, and of the pictures of herself his grandmother had drawn for
him many a time. Had she a high waist to that white silk dress in which
she ran away to Gretna? and did she have ostrich feathers on her head?
Anyhow, he entirely believed what she had told him of the men of that
generation. They were capable of doing daring things for the sake of a
sweetheart. Of course his grandfather had done boldly and well in
whirling the girl off to the Scottish borders, for who could tell what
might have befallen her among ill-natured relatives and persecuted
suitors?

Wenna Rosewarne was singing "We met, 'twas in a crowd, and I thought he
would shun me." It is the song of a girl (must one explain so much in
these later days?) who is in love with one man, and is induced to marry
another: she meets the former, and her heart is filled with shame and
anguish and remorse. As Wenna sang the song it seemed to this young man
that there was an unusual pathos in her voice; and he was so carried
away by the earnestness of her singing that his heart swelled and rose
up within him, and he felt himself ready to declare that such should not
be her fate. This man who was coming back to marry her--was there no one
ready to meet him and challenge his atrocious claim? Then the song
ended, and with a sudden disappointment Trelyon recollected that he at
least had no business to interfere. What right had he to think of saving
her?

He had been idly turning over some volumes on the table. At last he came
to a Prayer-book of considerable size and elegance of binding.
Carelessly looking at the fly-leaf, he saw that it was a present to
Wenna Rosewarne, "with the very dearest love of her sister Mabyn." He
passed his hand over the leaves, not noticing what he was doing.
Suddenly he saw something which did effectually startle him into
attention.

It was a sheet of paper with two slits cut into it at top and bottom. In
these a carefully-pressed piece of None-so-pretty had been placed, and
just underneath the flower was written in pencil, "From H.T. to W.R.,
May 2, 18--." He shut the book quickly, as if his fingers had been
burned, and then he sat quite silent, with his heart beating fast.

So she had kept the flower he had put in the basket of primroses! It had
carried its message, and she still remained his friend!



CHAPTER XXIV.

THE CUT DIRECT.


"Well, mother," Miss Wenna said deliberately after he had gone, "I never
did see you so thoroughly enjoy a whole day."

"I was thinking the same about you, Wenna," the mother answered with an
amused look.

"That is true enough, mother," the girl confessed in her simple way. "He
is so good-natured, so full of spirits and careless, that one gets quite
as careless and happy as himself. It is a great comfort, mother, to be
with anybody who doesn't watch the meaning of every expression you use:
don't you think so? And I hope I wasn't rude: do you think I was rude?"

"Why, child, I don't think you could be rude to a fox that was eating
your chickens. You would ask him to take a chair and not hurry himself."

"Well, I must write to Mabyn now," Wenna said with a business-like air,
"and thank her for posting me this Prayer-book. I suppose she didn't
know I had my small one with me."

She took up the book, for she was sitting on the chair that Harry
Trelyon had just vacated. She had no sooner done so than she caught
sight of the sheet of paper with the dried flower and the inscription in
Mabyn's handwriting. She stared, with something of a look of fear on her
face. "Mother," she said in quite an altered voice, "did you notice if
Mr. Trelyon was looking at this Prayer-book?"

"I don't know, I'm sure," Mrs. Rosewarne said. "I should think he went
over every book on the table."

The girl said nothing, but she took the book in her hand and carried it
up to her own room. She stood for a moment irresolute: then she took the
sheet of paper with the flowers on it, and tore it in a hundred pieces
and threw them into the empty grate. Then she cried a little, as a girl
must; and finally went down again and wrote a letter to Mabyn which
rather astonished that young lady.

     "MY DEAR MABYN" (so the letter ran): I am exceedingly angry with
     you. I did not think you were capable of such folly: I might call
     it by a worse name if I thought you really meant what you seem to
     mean. I have just torn up the worthless scrap of flower you so
     carefully preserved for me into a thousand pieces; but you will be
     glad to know that in all probability Mr. Trelyon saw it on the
     paper, and the initials too which you put there. I cannot tell you
     how pained and angry I am. If he did place that flower
     intentionally among the primroses, it was most impertinent of him;
     but he is often impertinent in joking. What must he think of me
     that I should seem to have taken this seriously, and treasured up
     that miserable and horrid piece of weed, and put his initials below
     it, and the important date? You put thoughts into my head that
     cover me with shame. I should not be fit to live if I were what you
     take me to be. If I thought there was another human being in the
     world who could imagine or suspect what you apparently desire, I
     would resolve this moment never to see Mr. Trelyon again; and much
     harm that would do either him or me! But I am too proud to think
     that any one could imagine such a thing. Nor did I expect that to
     come from my own sister, who ought to know what my true relations
     are with regard to Mr. Trelyon. I like him very much, as I told him
     to his face two days before we left Eglosilyan; _and that will
     show you what our relations are_. I think he is a very frank,
     generous and good young man, and a clever and cheerful companion;
     and my mother has to-day to thank him for about the pleasantest
     little trip she has ever enjoyed. But as for your wishing me to
     preserve a flower that he sent, or that you think he sent to me,
     why, I feel my face burning at the thought of what you suggest. And
     what can I say to him now, supposing he has seen it? Can I tell him
     that my own sister thought such things of me? Perhaps, after all,
     the simplest way to set matters right will be for me to break off
     the acquaintance altogether; and that will show him whether I was
     likely to have treasured up a scrap of London pride in my
     Prayer-book.

     "I am your loving sister,

     "WENNA ROSEWARNE."

Meanwhile, Harry Trelyon was walking up and down the almost empty
thoroughfare by the side of the sea, the stars overhead shining clearly
in the dark night, the dimly-seen waves falling monotonously on the
shelving beach. "To keep a flower, that is nothing," he was saying to
himself. "All girls do that, no matter who gives it to them. I suppose
she has lots more, all with the proper initials and date attached."

It was not an agreeable reflection; he turned to other matters: "If she
were to care for me a little bit, would it be mean of me to try to carry
her off from that man? Is it possible that he has the same feeling for
her that I have? In that case it would be mean. Now, when I think of
her, the whole world seems filled with her presence somehow, and
everything is changed. When I hear the sea in the morning I think of
her, and wonder where she is; when I see a fine day I hope she is
enjoying it somewhere; the whole of Penzance has become magical. It is
no longer the same town. I used to come to it and never see it in the
old days, when one was busy about stables and the pilchard fishing and
the reports of the quarries. Now the whole of Penzance has got a sort of
charm in it since Wenna Rosewarne has come to it. I look at the houses,
and wonder if the people inside know anybody fit to compare with her;
and one becomes grateful to the good weather for shining round about her
and making her happy. I suppose the weather knows what she deserves."

Then he began to argue the question as to whether it would be fair and
honorable to seek to take away from another man the woman who had
pledged herself to marry him; and of course an easy and definite
decision is sure to be arrived at when counsel on both sides and jury
and judges sitting _in banco_ are all one person, who conducts and
closes the case as it suits himself. He began by assuming such facts as
suited his arguments, and ended by selecting and confirming such
arguments as suited himself. Wenna Rosewarne cared nothing for Mr.
Roscorla. She would be miserable if she married him: her own sister was
continually hinting as much. Mr. Roscorla cared nothing for her except
in so far as she might prove a pretty housewife for him. The selfishness
that would sacrifice for its own purposes a girl's happiness was of a
peculiarly despicable sort which ought to be combated, and deserved no
mercy. Therefore, and because of all these things, Harry Trelyon was
justified in trying to win Wenna Rosewarne's love.

One by one the people who had been strolling up and down the dark
thoroughfare left it: he was almost alone now. He walked along to the
house in which the Rosewarnes were. There was no light in any of the
windows. But might she not be sitting up there by herself, looking out
on the starlit heavens and listening to the waves? He wished to be able
to say good-night to her once more.

How soon might she be up and out on the morrow? Early in the morning,
when the young day was rising over the gray sea, and the sea-winds
coming freshly in as if they were returning from the cold night? If he
could but see her at daybreak, with all the world asleep around them,
and with only themselves to watch the growing wonders of the dawn, might
not he say something to her then that she would not be vexed to hear,
and persuade her that a new sort of life lay before her if she would
only enter it along with him? That was the notion that he continually
dwelt on for self-justification when he happened to take the trouble to
justify himself. The crisis of this girl's life was approaching. Other
errors might be retrieved--that one, once committed, never. If he could
only see her now, this is what he would say: "We can only live but once,
Wenna; and this for us two would be life--our only chance of it.
Whatever else may happen, that is no matter: let us make sure of this
one chance, and face the future together--you full of sweetness and
trust, I having plenty of courage for both. We will treat objectors and
objections as they may arise--afterward: perhaps they will be prudent
and keep out of our way." And indeed he convinced himself that this,
and this only, was Wenna Rosewarne's chance of securing happiness for
her life, assuming, in a way, that he had love as well as courage
sufficient for both.

He was early up next morning and down on the promenade, but the day was
not likely to tempt Wenna to come out just then. A gray fog hung over
land and sea, the sea itself being a dull, leaden plain. Trelyon walked
about, however, talking to everybody, as was his custom; and everybody
said the fog would clear and a fine day follow. This, in fact, happened,
and still Wenna did not make her appearance. The fog over the sea seemed
to separate itself into clouds: there was a dim, yellow light in the
breaks. These breaks widened: there was a glimmer of blue. Then on the
leaden plain a glare of white light fell, twinkling in innumerable stars
on the water. Everything promised a clear, bright day.

As a last resource he thought he would go and get Juliott Penaluna, and
persuade that young lady to come and be introduced to the Rosewarnes. At
first Miss Penaluna refused point-blank. She asked him how he could
expect her to do such a thing. But then her cousin Harry happened to be
civil, and indeed kind, in his manner to her, and when he was in one of
those moods there was nothing she could refuse him. She went and got
ready with an air of resignation on her comely face.

"Mind, Harry, I am not responsible," she said when she came back. "I am
afraid I shall get into awful trouble about it."

"And who will interfere?" said the young man, just as if he were looking
about for some one anxious to be thrown from the top of the tower on St.
Michael's Mount.

"I shall be accused of conniving with you, you know; and I think I am
very good-natured to do so much for you, Harry."

"I think you are, Jue: you are a thoroughly good sort of girl when you
like to be--that's a fact. And now you will see whether what I have said
about Miss Rosewarne is all gammon or not."

"My poor boy, I wouldn't say a word against her for the world. Do I want
my head wrenched off? But if any one says anything to me about what I
may do to-day, I shall have to tell the truth; and do you know what that
is, Harry? I do really believe you are in love with that girl, past all
argument; and there never was one of your family who would listen to
reason. I know quite well what you will do. If she cares ever so little
for you, you will marry her in spite of everybody, and probably against
her own wish: if she doesn't care for you, you will revenge yourself on
the happy man of her choice, and probably murder him. Well, it isn't my
fault. I know what your mother will say."

"Ah, you don't know, Jue, what my mother thinks of her," he said
confidently.

"Oh yes, mothers think very well of a girl until they discover that she
is going to marry their son."

"Oh, stuff! why the inconsistency--"

"It is the privilege of women to be inconsistent, Harry. Your mother
will detest that girl if you try to marry her."

"I don't care."

"Of course not. No man of your family cares for anything that interferes
with his own wishes. I suppose there's no use in my trying to show you
what a fearful amount of annoyance and trouble you are preparing for
yourself?"

"None. I'll take it as it comes: I'm not afraid."

They got down to the promenade; the forenoon was now bright and
cheerful; a good many folks had come out to enjoy the sunlight and the
cool sea-breeze. Miss Juliott was not at all disinclined to walk there
with her handsome cousin, though he had forgotten his gloves and was
clearly not paying her very special attention.

"Jue," he said suddenly, "I can see Miss Rosewarne right at the end of
this road: can't you?"

"I haven't got the eyes of a hawk, you stupid boy!" his cousin said.

"Oh, but I can recognize her dress a dozen times as far away. These are
her pet colors at present--a soft cream-color and black, with bits of
dark red. Can you see now?"

"I never saw you pay the least attention before to a lady's dress."

"Because you don't know how _she_ dresses," he said proudly.

She was coming along the Parade all alone.

"Well, it _is_ a pretty dress," Miss Juliott said, "and I like the look
of her face, Harry. You can't expect one girl to say any more than that
of another girl, can you?"

"This is a very nice way of being able to introduce you," he said. "I
suppose you will be able to chaperon each other afterward, when her
mother isn't able to go out?"

Wenna was coming quietly along, apparently rather preoccupied. Sometimes
she looked out, with her dark, earnest and yet wistful eyes, at the
great plain of water quivering in the sunshine: she paid little heed to
the people who went by. When at length she did see Harry Trelyon, she
was quite near him, and she had just time to glance for a moment at his
companion. The next moment--he could not tell how it all happened--she
passed him with a slight bow of recognition, courteous enough, but
nothing more. There was no especial look of friendliness in her eyes.

He stood there rather bewildered.

"That is about as good as the cut direct, Harry," his cousin said. "Come
along--don't stand there."

"Oh, but there's some mistake, Jue," he said.

"A girl never does a thing of that sort by mistake. Either she is vexed
with you for walking with me--and that is improbable, for I doubt
whether she saw me--or she thinks the ardor of your acquaintance should
be moderated; and there I should agree with her. You don't seem so vexed
as one might have expected, Harry."

"Vexed!" he said. "Why, can't you tell by that girl's face that she
could do nothing capricious or unkind? Of course she has a reason; and I
will find it out."



CHAPTER XXV.

NOT THE LAST WORD.


As soon as he could decently leave his cousin at home, he did; and then
he walked hastily down to the house in which Mrs. Rosewarne had taken
rooms. Miss Rosewarne was not at home, the small maid-servant said. Was
Mrs. Rosewarne? Yes; so he would see her.

He went up stairs, never thinking how his deep trouble about so
insignificant an incident would strike a third person.

"Mrs. Rosewarne," he said right out, "I want you to tell me if Wenna
wishes our acquaintance to end. Has she been speaking to you? Just now
she passed me in the street as if she did not wish to see me again."

"Probably," said Mrs. Rosewarne, amused as well as surprised by the
young man's impetuosity, "she did not see you then. Wenna often passes
people so. Most likely she was thinking about other things, for she had
another letter from Jamaica just before she went out."

"Oh, she has had another letter from Jamaica this morning?" Trelyon
said, with an angry light appearing in his eyes. "That is it, is it?"

"I don't understand you," Mrs. Rosewarne was saying, when both of them
heard Wenna enter below.

"Mrs. Rosewarne," he said with a sudden entreaty in his voice, "would
you mind letting me see Wenna alone for a couple of minutes? I want to
ask her if she is offended with me: you won't mind, will you?"

"Not in the least," she said, good-naturedly; and then she added, at the
door, "Mind, Mr. Trelyon, Wenna is easily hurt. You must speak gently to
her."

About a minute afterward Wenna, having laid her hat and shawl aside,
came into the room. When she found Trelyon there alone, she almost
shrank back, and her face paled somewhat: then she forced herself to go
forward and shake hands with him, though her face still wore a
frightened and constrained look.

"Wenna," he said, "don't go away: I want to speak to you for a minute.
You are offended with me about something, and I want you to tell me why.
If you wish our friendship to cease, say so, and I will obey you; but
you must tell me why first."

"I am not offended with you, Mr. Trelyon," she said in a low and nervous
voice. "Do not think that. But--but I think it will be better if you
will let our friendship cease, as you say."

"Oh no," he said, "I will not in this fashion. You've got to tell me
what is the matter first. Now remember this. Not very long ago you chose
to quarrel with me about nothing--absolutely about nothing. You know
quite well that I meant no harm to you by lending Mr. Roscorla that
money, yet you must needs flare up and give it me as hot as you could,
all for nothing. What could I do? Why, only wait until you saw what a
mistake you had made."

"It was very wrong of me," she said: "I ask your forgiveness. But now it
is quite different: I am not angry with you at all. I should like to
remain your friend, and yet I think it better not. I--I cannot explain
to you, Mr. Trelyon, and I am sure you won't ask me when I say so."

He looked at her for a moment, and then he said, gently and yet firmly,
"Look here, Wenna. You think I am only a boy--that may or may not
be--but I am going to talk reasonably to you for once. Come over to this
chair by the window and sit down."

She followed him in passive obedience. She took the one chair, he the
other.

"Perhaps I am only a boy," he said, "but I have knocked about a good
deal, and I have kept my eyes as wide open as most folks. I suppose
ill-natured people might say that as I had nothing to do at Eglosilyan,
I wanted to have a flirtation with the only girl who was handy. I know
better. Year after year I saw more and more of you, bit by bit, and that
after I had been abroad or living in other places in England from time
to time. I got to believe that I had never seen anywhere any girl or
woman who was so honest as you are, and good in a dozen secret ways that
needed a deal of discovering. I found out far more about you than you
imagined. I heard of you in cottages that you never knew I was in; and
everything I heard made me respect you more and more. Mind this, too. I
had no sort of personal liking for the sort of thing you were doing. I
don't admire beastly little rooms and poverty and sick people as
appealing to a fine sentiment. There never was anything of the parson or
the benevolent old lady about me. I would rather give half a crown to an
impertinent little boy who had just whopped another boy bigger than
himself than give a halfpenny tract to a sickly child in its mother's
arms: that's original sin in me, I suppose. But all that squalid sort of
work you were in only made the jewel shine the more. I used to think I
should like to marry a very grand woman, who could be presented at court
without a tremor, who would come into a drawing-room as if she was
conferring a favor on the world at large; and I certainly never thought
I should find the best and finest woman I had ever seen in back kitchens
sewing pinafores for children. And then when I found her there, wasn't
it natural I should put some store by her friendship? I suppose you
didn't know what I thought of you, Wenna, because I kept chaffing you
and Mabyn? I have told you something of it now; and now I want you to
say whether you have a right to shunt me off like this, without a word
of explanation."

She sat still, silent and nervous. The rude and impetuous eloquence of
his speech, broken by many a hesitating stammer, had touched her. There
was more thoughtfulness and tenderness in this wild lad than she had
supposed.

"How can I explain?" she burst out suddenly. "I should cover myself with
shame!"

"And what have you to be ashamed of?" he said with a stare. The distress
she was obviously suffering was so great that he had almost a mind to
take her at her word and leave the house without further ado.

Just at this moment, when he was considering what would be the most
generous thing to do, she seemed to nerve herself to speak to him, and
in a low and measured voice she said, "Yes, I will tell you. I have had
a letter this morning from Mr. Roscorla. He asks me if it is true that
you are paying me such attention that people notice it; and he asks me
if that is how I keep my promise to him."

Something like a quiver of rage passed through the young man at this
moment, but his teeth were kept firmly together. She did not look up to
his face.

"That is not all. I must tell you that I was deeply shocked and grieved
by this letter; but on looking back over the past six weeks I think a
suspicious person might have been justified in complaining to Mr.
Roscorla. And--and--and, Mr. Trelyon, did you see that dried flower in
my Prayer-book last night?"

Her resolution was fast ebbing away: he could see that her hands were
clasped piteously together.

"Yes, I did," he said boldly.

"And oh what could you have thought of me?" she cried in her distress.
"Indeed, Mr. Trelyon, it was all a mistake. I did not keep the flower--I
did not, indeed. And when I thought you had seen it I could have died
for shame."

"And why?" he said in a way that made her lift up her startled eyes to
his face. There was a strange look there, as of a man who had suddenly
resolved to dare his fate, and yet was imploringly anxious as to the
result. "For you have been frank with me, and so will I be with you. Why
should you not have kept that flower? Yes, I sent it to you, and with
all the purpose that such a thing could carry. Yes, you may be as angry
as you please; only listen, Wenna. You don't love that man whom you are
engaged to marry; you know in your heart that you do not believe in his
love for you; and are you surprised that people should wish to have you
break off an engagement that will only bring you misery?"

"Mr. Trelyon!"

"Wenna, one minute: you must hear me. Do with my offer what you
like--only here it is: give me the power to break off this engagement,
and I will. Give me the right to do that. Don't mind me in the matter.
It is true I love you--there, I will say it again: there is nothing I
think of from morning till night but my love for you--and if you would
say that some time I might ask you to be my wife, you would give me more
happiness than you could dream of. But I don't wish that now. I will
remain your friend if you like, Wenna; only let me do this thing for
you, and when you are free you can then say yes or no."

She rose, not proud and indignant, but weeping bitterly. "I have
deserved this," she said, apparently overwhelmed with mortification and
self-reproach. "I have earned this shame, and I must bear it. I do not
blame you, Mr. Trelyon: it is I who have done this. How many weeks is it
since the man left England to whom I promised to be faithful? and
already--But this I can do, Mr. Trelyon: I will bid you good-bye now,
and I will never see you again."

Her face was quite pale. She held out her hand.

"No," he said firmly. "We don't part like that, Wenna. First, let me say
that you have nothing to accuse yourself of. You have done nothing and
said nothing of which any man, however mean and suspicious, could
complain. Perhaps I was too hasty in speaking of my love for you. In
that case I've got to pay for my folly."

"And it is folly, Mr. Trelyon," she said passionately, and yet with
nothing but tenderness in her face. "How could you have thought of
marrying me? Why, the future that ought to lie before you is far more
than you can imagine yet; and you would go and hamper it by marrying an
innkeeper's daughter! It is folly indeed, and you will see that very
soon. But--but I am very sorry all this has occurred: it is another
grief to me that I have troubled you. I think I was born to bring grief
to all my friends."

He was anxiously debating what he should do; and he needed all his wits
at that moment, for his own feelings were strong within him, and
clamoring for expression. Should he insist? Should he bear down all
opposition? Happily, quieter counsels prevailed, for there was no
mistake as to the absolute truthfulness of what the girl had said.

"Well, Wenna," he said, "I will do anything you like, only to remain
your friend. Is that possible? Will you forgive all that I have said if
I make you a promise not to repeat it, and never again to mention your
engagement to Mr. Roscorla?"

"No, we must part now altogether," she said slowly. Then by haphazard
she glanced up at his face for a moment, and there was a great sadness
in her eyes. "It is a hard thing to part. Perhaps it will not be
necessary that you should never come to see me. But we must not be
friends as we have been, for I have my duty to do toward him."

"Then I may come to see you sometimes?"

She hesitated: "You may come to see my mother sometimes. And I will
always think of you as a dear friend, whether I see you or not."

He went outside, and drew a long breath. "I had to keep a tight grip on
the reins that time," he was thinking to himself--"a precious tight
grip; but I did it."

He thought of the look there was in her eyes when she finally bid him
goodbye. His face grew the happier as he thought of it. He was clearly
not at all down-hearted about his rejection: on the contrary, he went
and told his cousin Juliott that the little affair of the morning had
been quite satisfactorily arranged, that Miss Wenna and he were very
good friends again, and that it was quite a mistake to imagine that she
was already married to Mr. Roscorla.

"Harry," said his cousin, "I strictly forbid you to mention that
gentleman's name."

"Why, Jue?" he said.

"Because I will not listen to the bad language you invariably use
whenever you speak of him; and you ought to remember that you are in a
clergyman's house. I wonder Miss Rosewarne is not ashamed to have your
acquaintance, but I dare say you amend your ways when you are in her
presence. She'll have plenty to reform if ever she takes you for a
husband."

"That's true enough, Jue," the young man said penitently. "I believe I'm
a bad lot, but then look at the brilliant contrast which the future will
present. You know that my old grandmother is always saying to me,
'Harry, you were born with as many manners as most folks, and you've
used none; so you'll have a rare stock to come and go on when you
begin.'"

[TO BE CONTINUED.]



FEVER.


At present all branches of Science possess an intrinsic interest for
every intelligent man, but such elementary knowledge as enables its
possessor to understand the explanations of the medical attendant has a
double value. Over and over again I have heard the remark when some bold
successful treatment was being discussed, "But you would not have dared
to do that in private practice." The days of medical mystification are
not yet entirely passed, but year by year the profession is assuredly
losing that peculiar virtue of office which it formerly possessed in so
eminent a degree. The doctor is no longer a dignified personage with
gold-headed cane and powdered wig, mounting the mansion steps with
stately tread, but a busy man in various garb, hurrying from house to
house, studying the multitudinous problems of disease, and applying the
fruits of such study to the relief of individual cases. No longer able
to awe his patients into obedience, he must rely upon his moral and
intellectual powers in controlling them. To enable any one to understand
the explanations of physicians, and to protect himself, by discovery,
against the impudent assumptions of quacks, some knowledge of medical
truths and of the drift of modern medical thought is necessary. Every
successful physician, no matter how independent he may be by nature, is
necessarily more or less cramped by the prejudices of patients--prejudices
which often a little primary instruction would have done away with.

Of all the diseased processes fever is one of the most frequent and one
of the most serious in their results. A discussion, therefore, of its
nature, the method of its production and of its relief, will, it may be
hoped, engage the attention of the general reader.

If the hand be laid upon the skin of a person in a high fever the
attention is at once attracted by the great heat, and if the bulb of a
thermometer be placed under the tongue or in the armpit of the patient
the mercury may indicate a temperature of 107°, 108°, 109°, or even 110°
Fahrenheit, instead of 98° to 99° Fahrenheit, the normal temperature of
the human body. It is a common belief that the skin in fever is always
dry as well as hot, but this is a mistake, as intense fever may coexist
with a reeking perspiration. During the fever the pulse is greatly
increased in frequency, the head aches and throbs, and if the attack be
very severe restlessness, sudden startings, irregular muscular
twitchings, or even violent epileptiform convulsions and stupor,
delirium or coma, indicate the disturbance of the nervous system.

These various symptoms are simply results of the excess of caloric,
which excites universal irritation, and, if prolonged, destroys the
tissues. This fact I have verified by three series of experiments, by
the first of which it was shown that the general application of external
heat so as to raise the bodily temperature produces all the phenomena of
fever; by the second, that the local application of heat to the brain
and to the heart causes the nervous and circulatory disturbances so
universally seen in fever; and by the third that the abstraction of heat
in fever is followed by immediate subsidence of the other symptoms.

If a small animal, such as a dog, cat or rabbit, be placed in a chamber
heated by means of the sun's rays falling upon a slanting glass roof or
by some artificial method to a temperature of considerably over one
hundred degrees, a very constant series of phenomena is developed. The
breathing becomes hurried and the pulse greatly quickened, whilst the
restless movements of the body indicate nervous distress. After a time,
if the exposure be continued, the symptoms are intensified, and
restlessness passes into the weakness of partial paralysis; then
suddenly or gradually, with or without convulsions, stupor sets in,
deepening into coma, and death from arrested respiration is the final
result. If the temperature of the animal be tested from time to time
during the exposure, it will be found to rise steadily, and the severity
of the symptoms will be directly, and in any one species constantly,
proportional to the intensity of the bodily heat.

The nervous system of man apparently resists the action of heat, but in
reality it does not do so. Man, it is true, is the only animal that can
thrive almost equally amidst arctic snows and in tropical jungles. This
is not, however, because his nervous system lacks sensitiveness, but
because he has the power of heating or cooling his body in such a manner
that its temperature is comparatively unaffected by that of the
surrounding air. Man might be well defined as the naked sweating animal.
In the north he strips the bear and the fox of their coat to keep him
warm; in the south his own skin acts as a refrigerator. The dog has a
few sweat-glands about the mouth--man has two millions densely covering
his body. In the horse exposed to heat the hair soon becomes wet and
matted, interfering very greatly with evaporation; in man the bare skin
offers an excellent surface, from which the perspiration passes off
almost as fast as formed. Evaporation, conversion of a liquid into a
vapor, means a steady conversion of sensible heat into what was
formerly called latent heat, but what we now know to be repulsive force:
the heat-energy of the body is lost in driving the particles of sweat
asunder in the form of vapor.

It is possible, however, to have a temperature which even a Hindoo
cannot resist. When a man is exposed to such a heat his bodily
temperature rises, and as it rises the symptoms of fever develop
precisely as they do in the lower animals--sometimes slowly, sometimes
suddenly--with disturbances of the respiration, circulation and
innervation precisely similar to those already noticed as occurring in
the dog, the cat and the rabbit. Sunstroke, or thermic fever, is
generally believed to be instantaneous in its onset, but the wide
experience of the English in India has shown that whilst in some cases
it is thus sudden in its development, in others it is a slow process,
and probably in almost all cases close observation would have revealed
the existence of premonitions.

External heat, by producing an internal rise of temperature, may thus
cause all the phenomena of fever. Of these phenomena the most prominent
is disturbance of the nervous system and of the circulation. In order to
determine whether the heat itself directly causes the nervous
disturbance, or whether it produces it indirectly by causing changes in
the blood, I applied caloric directly to the brains of animals. This was
done by fitting a hog's bladder like a bonnet over the head and allowing
hot water to run through it. It was found that stupor, coma,
convulsions, and finally death from arrest of the respiration, were
produced, sometimes gradually, sometimes suddenly, precisely as in the
case of exposure of the animal in a hot chamber. Moreover, on opening
the skull and plunging a thermometer into the cerebrum immediately after
death or the supervention of unconsciousness, it was found that these
phenomena were developed at the same brain-temperature when the heat was
locally applied as when the animal was exposed in the hot box. Thus, if
any given species in the hot box became unconscious when the temperature
reached 110° Fahrenheit, this species also became unconscious when the
locally-heated brain attained a temperature of 110°; or if death
occurred by arrest of the respiration in the hot box at 114°, so did it
when the locally-heated brain reached that point.

Dr. Lauder Brunton of England has performed a series of experiments upon
the circulation parallel to those just narrated. Anæsthetizing animals
and exposing the heart, he has found that the action of that organ is
accelerated and weakened by the local application of heat, precisely as
occurs in fever.

In order to test the effect of the withdrawal of heat, I have taken a
rabbit out of the hot chamber, in which it lay upon its side totally
unconscious, and plunged it into a bucket of cold water. The temperature
of the water rose rapidly, whilst that of the rabbit fell even more
rapidly. As soon as the bodily heat approached its normal intensity
consciousness returned, and in a few moments the animal, which had just
before been at the point of death, was running about the grass.

Some months since I had an opportunity of repeating this experiment upon
a human being.

In acute inflammatory rheumatism it sometimes happens that the swelling
and pain of the joints suddenly disappear, and the patient becomes
comatose or wildly delirious. It has been customary to explain these
symptoms as the result of the rheumatism leaving the joints and
attacking the brain. Evidently, this being the case, the proper thing to
do was to irritate the joints so as to draw the rheumatism back to them.
This method was formerly practiced, and the almost invariable result was
death in a few hours.

In most if not all of these frightful cases of sudden accession of
severe nervous symptoms in rheumatism the temperature will be found, on
testing it, to be exceedingly high--108°, 109° or even 110° Fahrenheit.
If the views advocated in this paper be correct, it is not the
rheumatism, but the intense bodily heat, which causes the severe
symptoms, and finally death. The joints lose their sensitiveness, not
because the disease has left them, but because the heat so overpowers
the brain that it has lost its power of perception: the patient's leg
might be cut off without his feeling it. In such a case the proper
treatment is to take away the heat by plunging the patient into a cold
bath. But can there be anything more shocking to the universal belief
and prejudices than to put a patient dying of acute rheumatism into an
almost ice-cold bath?

Last spring there was in my ward in the Philadelphia Hospital a stout
young Irishman who had passed through an acute attack of inflammatory
rheumatism, and was suffering from a sharp relapse. Entering the ward
one day, I saw at once that the man was unconscious, and turning to the
resident physician asked, "What is the matter with James?" "Nothing,"
was the reply: "I saw him an hour and a half ago, and he was doing very
well, except that the fever was very high." "He is dying now, at any
rate," was my rejoinder. On going to the bedside the patient was found
perfectly unconscious, the skin dry and intensely hot, the affected
joints pale and devoid of sensibility, the breathing irregular and
jerking, the pulse 170 and scarcely perceptible, every muscle relaxed as
in death, every power of perception abolished. A thermometer placed in
the armpit registered 108-4/5° Fahrenheit.

Believing that the symptoms were due simply to this excessive
temperature, I ordered the man to be at once stripped and put in a full
bath drawn from the cold-water spigot. The temperature of this bath was
found to be 60° Fahrenheit. In one minute and a half after the patient
had been placed in the tub he recovered consciousness sufficiently to
put out his tongue when told to do so in a loud, commanding tone. In
three minutes he began to struggle to get out and to complain of the
cold. In six minutes and a half he had become quite rational. He was now
taken out, only partially wiped, laid upon an India-rubber blanket and
covered with a single sheet, the temperature of the room being between
65° and 70°. Three minutes after this the temperature in the armpit was
94°, in the mouth 105-3/5°; five minutes later the mouth-thermometer
marked 103°, and the pain and tenderness had reappeared in the affected
joints. It would be out of place here to give further details as to his
treatment. It is enough to state that, although owing to a
misunderstanding of my orders, the man was left in a cool room for
twelve hours upon the gum blanket, wet and covered only with a sheet--or
possibly because he was so left--he recovered without a relapse or any
bad symptoms.

The first case in which the cold-water treatment was practiced in the
Philadelphia Hospital was that of a woman suffering from a desperate
relapse of typhoid fever. She was semi-comatose, with a pulse of 150 and
a temperature of 107° Fahrenheit: death was seemingly inevitable and
imminent. As the bath-tubs were not convenient, the order was given that
the woman be laid upon an India-rubber cloth, and be wrapped simply in a
sheet constantly wet with water at a temperature as near 32° as
practicable. The nurses, aghast, refused at first to carry out the
order, but the physician's power being despotic, obedience was enforced.
About three pints of whisky were given in the twenty-four hours, besides
drugs, the whole treatment being successful.

It has been shown that excessive bodily heat is capable of producing the
various symptoms of fever, and that its withdrawal is followed by the
immediate relief of these symptoms; and since excessive heat is always
present in fever, it is a logical deduction that it is the cause of
fever symptoms; or, in other words, that it is the essential part of
fever.

It must be borne in mind, however, that the term fever is here used in
an abstract sense, to express a general diseased process, a bodily
condition. _A_ fever is a very different thing from fever. We may have
_a_ fever, such as typhoid, without the existence of fever. In a fever,
the fever--_i.e._, the elevation of temperature--is only part of the
disease, and great judgment and experience are often required to decide
how much of the general symptoms is caused by the fever, and how much by
the disease which is the cause of the fever.

The importance of high temperature having been recognized, it becomes a
matter of the gravest scientific and practical interest to determine the
method in which it is produced.

There are only two systems which bind the body together--namely, the
circulation and the nervous system. As fever is usually a universal
phenomenon, occurring simultaneously in every part of the body, it must
be produced either through the nervous system or by a poison in the
blood acting simultaneously on every tissue. Every physician knows,
however, that there are cases of fever in which there has been no
introduction of a poison into the blood: hence it follows that at least
sometimes fever must be produced by the nervous system.

This being so, the study of the influence of the nervous system upon
animal heat is naturally the next step in our investigation. Before
making this step it may be well to call to mind the fact that chemical
processes are usually accompanied either by the giving out or the
withdrawal of heat. Thus, the chemical actions which result when ice and
salt are mixed cause a withdrawal of heat, and a "freezing mixture" is
formed. When a candle is burnt, the oxidation of its constituents, a
chemical process, evolves heat. Oxidation is the great source of
artificial heat, and animal heat is chiefly generated by the same
process; in other words, animal heat is always the product of the
chemical movements of the body, and these movements are almost
exclusively of the character of oxidation. In the animal tissues a
lessened oxidation is equivalent to a lessened heat-production, and
_vise versâ_.

If a large nerve be exposed in one of the lower animals, and a galvanic
current be sent through it for half a minute or more, the temperature of
the animal falls very decidedly; and if the irritation be repeated
several times at intervals, the diminution of the animal heat may amount
to several degrees. Galvanization of a nerve affects very powerfully the
circulation, and it has been believed that this derangement was the
cause of the lessened chemical movements. But the alteration of the
circulation is immediate, and ceases almost at once when the current is
broken, whereas the fall of temperature comes on only after several
minutes, then progressively increases, and persists for many minutes--it
may be hours. The two phenomena being thus differently developed, it is
impossible that they should have the relation of cause and effect, and
the fall of temperature must be traced to a direct influence of the
nervous system upon the chemical processes of the body.

This lowering of temperature under the influence of a powerful
irritation of a nerve-trunk or of its minute branches, which everywhere
pervade the tissues and spread out in the skin, is common to all species
of mammals. If a rabbit be merely tied down tightly upon a table, the
fall is perceptible, and if it be severely wounded, the temperature
diminishes very greatly. It has long been known that severe burns are
followed by a very great depression of the animal heat. Redard, a French
physician, made during the late siege of Paris a most interesting series
of observations upon the influence of severe gunshot wounds. He found
that, entirely independent of any hæmorrhage which might have occurred,
the temperature fell enormously, and in direct proportion to the gravity
of the wound; so that by the aid of the thermometer he was able to
predict whether a fatal issue would or would not occur in the course of
a few hours.

We have found that both in man and the lower animals the nervous system
is able to check the chemical movements of the body, but before we can
decide how it does so facts not yet noticed must be looked at.

If the spinal cord of an animal be cut just below the origin of the
nerves of respiration, an immediate fall of temperature occurs, and, if
the animal be left in a cool room, persists until death ensues. If,
however, the victim be put in a warm place, after a time the temperature
begins to rise, and finally a most intense fever is developed. Parallel
phenomena follow division of the spinal cord in man. Indeed, Sir
Benjamin Brodie was first led to experiment upon animals by observing in
1837 an excessive fever follow in a patient a wound of the spinal cord.

I have already explained, in a former number of this Magazine,[2] the
nature of the so-called vaso-motor nerves, which preside over the little
circular muscles that run round and round in the coats of the
blood-vessels. When they are excited, these muscles contract and the
size of the arteries is diminished: when they are paralyzed, the
arterial inner muscles relax and the vessels dilate. The vaso-motor
nerves have their governing centre in that upper portion of the spinal
cord which is within the skull, the so-called medulla oblongata. When
the spinal cord is divided, the vessels are cut off from the influence
of this vaso-motor centre, and at once dilate, profoundly affecting the
blood-current by doing so.

The first fall of temperature which follows division of the cord is
believed by most physiologists to be due to this dilatation of the
vessels. Very probably the blood-stream, flowing sluggishly, does not
give the normal amount of stimulus to the tissues, so that at first
their chemical actions are lessened, and consequently less caloric than
usual is generated in the body. Further, the blood moving slowly through
the dilated vessels of the lungs and of the surface of the body, is
cooled more completely than it should be; hence, unless the body is
protected by being surrounded with warm air, no excessive accumulation
of heat in it can occur, and therefore no fever can appear.

Assuming that this explanation of the primary lowering of the
temperature after division of the cord be correct--and no better one has
as yet been offered--what is the cause of the fever which afterward
develops itself? As it occurs only when the animal is exposed to a
somewhat elevated temperature, it has been thought by some to be due to
the absorption of this external heat. This, however, is certainly not
true, as is shown, to omit less decisive proofs, by the experiments of
Naunyn and Quincke, who exposed animals for two days to a temperature of
90°, and at the end of that time, their bodily temperature not having
risen, cut their spinal cords, after which intense fever was developed
in a few hours without any change of atmosphere.

Section of the cord must therefore give rise to an increased chemical
movement and heat-production in the body. As already stated, this
section affects very greatly the circulation, but the fever is
independent of such action. The upper end of the medulla oblongata is
continuous with a nervous mass which joins the two brain hemispheres
together, and hence is known as the _pons_ or bridge. If, instead of
cutting the spinal cord, we separate the medulla oblongata from the
pons, an _immediate_ rise of temperature occurs, and continues until
death, whether the operation be performed in a cold or heated room.[3]

Cutting the medulla at its junction with the pons causes, then, an
immediate and direct elevation of temperature, without disturbance of
the circulation. What can this mean? Evidently, only one thing--namely,
that by the division of the medulla there has been separated from the
general tissues of the body a repressive force--a something which
normally controls their chemical activity and the production in them of
animal heat.

The existence of nerves whose function is to repress action is no new
discovery in physiology. Readers of _Lippincott's Magazine_ may remember
my description of the pneumogastrics or brake-nerves of the heart, whose
duty it is to control the action of that viscus. Nerves which repress or
inhibit action are spoken of in modern physiology as inhibitory. The
experiments which have been adduced prove that there are nerves whose
function it is to control the general vital chemical actions, and that
the governing centre of these nerves is situated above the medulla
oblongata. To this centre, whose exact location is unknown, the name of
the _inhibitory heat-centre_ has been given.

The way in which galvanization of a nerve, violent injuries and
excessive pain depress the temperature, independently of any action upon
the circulation, is now evident. An impulse simply passes up the
irritated or wounded nerve, and excites this inhibitory heat-centre to
increased action, and the temperature falls because the chemical
movements of the body are repressed.

The method in which fever is produced also becomes very evident when
once the existence of an inhibitory heat-centre has been established.
Any poison having the power to depress, and finally paralyze, this
centre must, if it find entrance to the blood, produce fever. If the
poison, from its inherent properties, or from its being in very small
quantity, only diminishes the activity of the inhibitory heat-centre,
the controlling influence is not entirely removed from the chemical
movements of the body, and only slight fever results; but if the poison
actually paralyzes the inhibitory nerves, a very great rise of
temperature must rapidly follow the complete removal of the brake-power.

As an illustration we may consider the intense rheumatic fever, or the
so-called "cerebral rheumatism," such as affected the young Irishman
whose case has been narrated in the present article. Without any
apparent reason the poison of rheumatism habitually attacks one joint on
one day, and another joint on another day, and with as little apparent
reason it occasionally falls of a sudden upon the inhibitory
heat-centre, and actually paralyzes it. In a few minutes intense fever
is developed, and the bodily temperature rapidly approaches nearer and
nearer that line on the other side of which is death.

In many cases of fever, however, there is no poison in the blood; thus,
the local irritation of a boil or other inflammation may cause what is
well termed "irritative fever." The way in which this is produced is by
an indirect, and not a direct, action upon the inhibitory heat-centre.

The casualties of the late war proved but too abundantly that a man may
be wounded in one part of the body and suffer from paralysis of
voluntary motion in another part. Thus, a soldier struck in the neck
fell unconscious, and on awaking was astonished to find his right arm
powerless at his side. This is the so-called "reflex paralysis." Very
commonly the irritation of a nerve will give rise to an impulse which
will travel up the nerve to a motor-centre, and so excite it that it
shall send in turn an impulse down a second nerve to a distant muscle,
and a spasm result. Sometimes, however, the impulse which travels to the
nerve-centre is of such a character that, instead of exciting it to
action, it deprives it of the power of action. In the former instance
reflex motion, in the latter reflex paralysis, results.

We have seen that galvanization of a nerve may excite the inhibitory
centre to activity, and the peculiar persistent irritation of a local
inflammation may deprive the same centre of its power of action: in the
one instance a reflex inhibitory heat-centre spasm--_i.e._, lowering of
temperature--is produced, and in the other a reflex inhibitory
heat-centre paralysis--_i.e._, fever--results.

It would be going too far at present to assert that all fever is
produced in the way spoken of. There are certain drugs which lower the
temperature in the fever that follows division of the cord and
consequent paralysis of the heat-centre, and which must therefore act
either upon the blood, or universally upon the tissues so as to diminish
their-chemical movements. It is most probable, although not yet
absolutely proved, that there are other substances which act directly
upon the blood and tissues in such a way as to increase their chemical
activities, and thereby cause fever.

The practical considerations in regard to the treatment of disease which
naturally flow from the recent investigations of fever are very
important and very obvious. This is especially true since it has been
shown in Germany that under the influence of a continuous high bodily
temperature, not intense enough at any time to compromise life, all the
muscular tissues of the body undergo a peculiar granular degeneration.
Many a typhoid-fever patient has undoubtedly died from the heart-muscle
having undergone this change, when, if by artificial cooling the
temperature of the body had been kept down, the alteration of the
heart-structure would have been prevented, and death averted. It is
obvious, also, that the old plan of thwarting the intentions of Nature,
and depriving the fever-patient of the free use of cooling drinks, was
practically a baneful cruelty. As the body is burning up in fever, it is
also evident that to deprive it of sustenance is to aid in the
production of fatal exhaustion. The burning will go on, whether food is
given or not, so long as the tissues can serve as fuel. Of course no
more food should be taken than the patient can digest, but every grain
of digested food is so much added to the resources of the system, which
is engaged, it may be, in a close and doubtful conflict with disease.

If it were possible, of course the best treatment for fever would be
that which lessened the production of heat. Fortunately, we have some
drugs--notably, quinine and alcohol--which do exert a decided influence
upon the vital chemical movements, but, unfortunately, their power is
limited. As we are therefore often unable to control heat-production,
the best we can do is to abstract the caloric from the body whenever it
becomes so excessive as to threaten serious results. To do this, all
that is necessary is to put the patient in a cold bath, or wrap him in a
sheet wet with ice-cold water, or lay him upon an ice-mattress, or
surround him with coils of tubing through which cold water runs, or use
some similar efficacious device. I do not wish to be misunderstood.
External cold is not to be lightly employed: it is a powerful two-edged
weapon, capable of cutting both ways--a weapon as injurious and
destructive in the hands of the ignorant and inexperienced as it is
efficient in the hands of those to whom study and experience have taught
its skillful use.

To illustrate what cold water may effect when employed by intelligent
and skillful physicians, I may be permitted to cite a few hospital
statistics from Germany and Switzerland, the only countries where the
so-called antipyretic treatment of continued fever has been efficiently
carried out on a large scale. From 1850 to 1861 there were treated
without cold water, at the hospital at Kiel, 330 cases of typhoid fever,
with 51 deaths--a mortality of about 15-1/2 per cent.; from 1863 to
1866, 160 cases were treated with cold baths, with 5 deaths--a mortality
of only 3-1/10 per cent. In the hospital of Bâle, from 1843 to 1864,
there were 1718 cases without antipyretic treatment, with 469 deaths--a
mortality of about 27-1/2 per cent; from September, 1866, to 1873, 1121
cases were treated antipyretically, with 92 deaths--a mortality of a
little over 8 per cent. Assuredly, we may claim that this
water-treatment in typhoid fever is one of the greatest gains of modern
medicine since the discovery of anæsthesia.

Some of my readers may here say to themselves, "Why, this is
hydropathy!" Not so. It is the legitimate, not the illegitimate, use of
cold water. It is the use of it as a single weapon, not as the only
weapon of the armory. It is the employment of it in a single affection,
not as a cure for all diseases.

Perhaps, in concluding this essay, I may be pardoned one word of counsel
to my lay audience. Any physician who proclaims himself a follower of
any special doctrine, be he a hydropath, an electropath, an allopath, a
homoeopath, or any other _path_, should be viewed with suspicion. Water,
cold, heat, electricity, drugs, are all agents capable of being used
advantageously in the treatment of disease. Above all men, the physician
ought to have that teachable spirit which is the offspring of true
humility. Knowing the grave responsibilities which he assumes, living
almost beneath the shadow of that past whose life-imperiling mistakes
are so plainly visible in the light of the present, he, of all men,
should be ever seeking for new knowledge, gathering with equal zest the
seeds of healing in the waste as well as in the cultivated places,
amongst the lowest and most ignorant of the populace, as well as in
far-famed schools of medicine.

     H.C. WOOD, JR., M.D.



SONNET.


Young bride, that findest not a single star
  Shining to-night with longed for prophecy,
Though snowy drifts are swelling near and far,
  They need not chill thy happy hope and thee.
If blue had overarched the earth all day,
  And heaven were brilliant with its stars to-night,
"A happy omen!" many a guest would say,
  And think that Fortune blessed the sacred rite.
Be superstition far from thee, sweet soul:
  This snowy robe, in unison with thine,
Nature will doff to-morrow, and the whole
  Of this white waste in spring-like freshness shine.
If love be strong, then all adversity
Will melt like snow, and life the greener be.

     CHARLOTTE F. BATES.



SOME RECOLLECTIONS OF HIRAM POWERS.


There are--or were--many at Florence whose recollections of Hiram Powers
stretch over the best part of a quarter of a century; and there are few
men of whom it could with equal truth and accuracy be said that such
recollections are wholly pleasant in their character to the survivors
and honorable to the subject of them. He was in truth universally
respected by people of all classes, and by Americans and English, as
well as Italians, in the city of his adoption, and personally liked and
esteemed by all who had the good fortune to be among his friends.
Recollections such as these are, I say, the property of very many at
Florence. But there is no one in that city--there _was_ during his
life no one in that city, not even she who during a long life was a
companion, friend, partner and helpmeet in every sense admirable for
him--whose recollections went back to so early a period as mine did.

When I came to Florence with my mother in 1841, intending to make a home
there for a few years, we found, with some surprise and much pleasure,
Hiram Powers, with a wife and children, settled there as a sculptor. It
was long since, in the course of the changes and chances of life, we had
lost sight of him, but the meeting was none the less pleasurable to, I
think I may say, both parties. It was at Cincinnati in 1829 that my
mother and myself first knew him. My mother, who had long been an
acquaintance of General La Fayette, became thus the intimate friend of
his ward, Frances Wright. Fascinated by the talent, the brilliancy and
the singular eloquence of that remarkable and highly-gifted woman, and
at the same time anxious to find a career for one of her sons (not the
well-known author of the present day, but another brother, long since
dead), whose wishes and proclivities adapted him for a life of more
activity and adventure than that of one of our home-abiding professions,
my mother was persuaded by her to join her in a scheme which at that
time was engaging all her singularly large powers of energy and
enthusiasm, the object of which was to found at New Harmony--I think,
though I am not sure whether Frances Wright's colony was not another,
separate from that of New Harmony--an establishment which was in some
way or other to contribute to the emancipation of the slaves, mainly, I
imagine, by showing that under proper management they were not unfitted
for freedom. The fate of that philanthropic scheme is too well known to
make it necessary for me to rehearse the story of it here, imperfectly
known to me as it is. The upshot was, that my mother and brother were
induced to go to Cincinnati and attempt other plans, the final result of
which was also a failure. I had had no share in these Transatlantic
projects, being at the time a scholar at Winchester in the college of
William of Wykeham. But between quitting Winchester, at the age of
eighteen, and going to Oxford, I had a period of liberty of nearly a
twelvemonth, the greater part of which I devoted to accompanying my
father on a visit to Cincinnati. And there I became acquainted with
Powers, a very few years only my senior, whom I found already the valued
friend of my mother and brother.

He was at that time--I well remember the look of him--a tall, lanky, but
remarkably handsome lad, somewhat awkward in person, but with a calm but
at the same time intellectually expressive beauty of feature which
marked him as one of Nature's noblemen. His eyes were the most
noticeable point about him. They were magnificent--large, clear,
well-opened, and expressive of calm thought and the working of the
intellect rather than of shrewdness or passion. His manner, I remember,
was marked by an exceeding simpleness, and a sort of innocent and
dignified straightforwardness which much impressed me. Altogether, my
acquaintance with him was a contribution of a new sort to the education
of my mind. I had passed eight years in the acquisition of those things
which an English "gentleman's education" is supposed to offer. These
things (in the year 1829) consisted in a very fair knowledge of Latin
and Greek. Unquestionably, the eight years which I had spent in learning
those languages had brought with them other advantages and other
teachings of an altogether priceless sort. But what they professedly had
taught me, what I then considered as the net result of my eight years at
school, was a competent knowledge of Latin and Greek, and nothing else.
Now, here was a young man of my own age, or little more, about whose
idiosyncrasy there was something especially _simpatico_ to me, as
the Italians say--who knew nothing whatever of the only things which I
knew, but knew a whole world of things of which I was profoundly
ignorant. I was (of course) full of prejudices also--ecclesiastical
prejudices, class prejudices, political prejudices, caste
prejudices--all of which were as unintelligible to my new friend as they
would have been to a red Indian. He was singularly free from prejudice
of any kind--a sort of original, blank-paper mind, on which nothing had
been written save what he had consciously written there himself as the
result of his own observations of life. I knew other young Americans,
and perceived and could have pointed out characteristics which
distinguished them. But Powers was not like them. He seemed to me a sort
of Adam, a fresh, new and original _man_, unclassable and
unjudgable by any of the formulas or prejudices which served me as means
of appreciating men. Despite all this--perhaps because of all this--we
soon became great friends. I very shortly discovered that he was wholly
and entirely truthful. His "yes" was _yes,_ his "no" was _no_;
and not only that, but what is much rarer still, his "five" or "six" was
not five and a quarter or six and a half, but _five_ or _six_.
I remember in him then what I recognized after many, many years in later
life, and what is often so amusing a characteristic in simple, upright
and truthful minds--the notion that on occasion he could be deep enough
to outwit the cunning of the unscrupulous, whereas his loyal
unsuspiciousness of evil was such that he might have been cheated by the
first shallow rogue who chose to exercise his vulpine craft against him.

When I reached Cincinnati I found him intimate with my brother, and a
favorite with my mother, who had formed a high opinion both of his
character and of his talents. The latter had already very markedly
manifested themselves in that direction which finally decided his career
in life. Yet there was little of that dreamy and enthusiastic worship
for the abstract beautiful which is generally supposed to be the marking
characteristic of the artistic temperament. But he had a wonderful
faculty of executing with his hands whatever his mind had conceived, and
a mind singularly active in invention and in devising means for the
execution of a mechanical end. Had circumstances not made him a
sculptor, he might have been--probably would have been--a successful
inventor, mechanician or engineer. Throughout life he was an eminently
and specially _practical_ man--a man whose tendency was not to
dream, but to _do_. That artistic temperament, as it is generally
called, which so often manifests itself in exactly the opposite
direction--in a tendency to dream rather than to do, and to allow the
pleasures of the ideal to incapacitate those who indulge in them for
real work--was so little his that I have never known a more industrious
and conscientious worker with his hands. And there was nothing to which
he could not turn them, and that with a degree of skill that would often
put to shame the attempts of members of the craft which he might be
essaying for the first time.

At that time Hiram Powers was, as the saying is, living upon his wits;
and they, being such as I have described them, were not likely to fail
in producing the wherewithal to do so. There was at that period a little
Frenchman named Dorfeuille at Cincinnati--not a bad sort of little man,
I believe, and with some amount of literary and other talent. But he
also being engaged in the operation of living on his wits, or mainly so,
and not finding them so abundantly sufficient for the purpose as those
of my young friend, thought that he too might in part live on the wits
of the latter; and during the time of my stay at Cincinnati he did so to
the satisfaction of both parties. This Dorfeuille was the proprietor of
a museum, the main and most attractive portion of which was a number of
wax figures. But the Cincinnati public was not large enough in those
days to supply a constant stream of fresh spectators, and, though there
was little in the way of public amusement to compete with M.
Dorfeuille's museum, the Cincinnati people soon got tired of looking at
the same show; and but for the happy chance which brought him into
contact with Hiram Powers, M. Dorfeuille must have packed up his museum
and sought "fresh woods and pastures new." But with the advent of young
Powers, and the contents of the museum given over to his creating brain
and clever fingers, a period of halcyon days and new prosperity
commenced for the little Frenchman and his show. With the materials at
his disposition all things were possible to the young artist, to whom
such a chance gave the first clear consciousness of his own powers. New
combinations, new names, new costuming, alterations of figures, etc.
etc. were adopted to produce fine effects and amuse the public with
constant novelties. For the invention of these Powers often used to
consult my mother, whose suggestions he never failed to carry into
effect, to the great amusement of both parties. On one occasion an idea
struck her, which, when she communicated it to him, fired the
imagination of Powers and turned out a great success. This was nothing
less than to give a representation of some of the more striking scenes
of Dante's _Divina Commedia_. The idea was a sufficiently audacious
one. But "audaces Fortuna juvat." Powers scouted the notion of
difficulty. My mother was to draw up the programme, and he undertook,
with the materials furnished him by the museum, and with the help of
some of his own handiwork, to give scenic reality to her suggestions.
The result, as I have said, was a brilliant success. I have a copy of
the "bill" that was issued to the public inviting them to the exhibition
in question, which is a curiosity in its way, and which I must give the
reader. It is drawn up in high sensational style, with lines of
different lengths and boldness, and printed in all the different sorts
of capitals which the printer's case afforded. I cannot occupy space
with any imitation of these typographical magnificences, but will simply
copy the language of the bill. It must have been my mother's
composition, and Powers had to work up to it, which he did to the
letter:

     "The World to come, as described by Dante, and comprising, Hell,
     Purgatory, and Paradise, will be exhibited in a room adjoining the
     Western Museum on the 4th of July, and days following. Admittance,
     twenty-five cents. In the centre is seen a grand colossal figure of
     Minos, the Judge of Hell. He is seated at the entrance of the
     INFERNAL REGIONS [enormous capitals]. His right hand is raised as
     in the act to pronounce sentence, his left holding a two-pronged
     sceptre. Above his head is a scroll on which are written the
     concluding words of Dante's celebrated inscription, 'Abandon hope,
     all ye who enter here!' To the right of this figure the foreground
     presents a frozen lake, on the surface of which are seen the heads
     of those who have been doomed to this species of punishment. Among
     these is the head of Ugolino, whom Dante describes as eternally
     gnawing the head of his enemy, who, after placing him and his three
     sons in the upper chamber of a strong tower near Florence, threw
     the key of it into the moat and left them to perish with hunger.
     Grinning in mockery of these ice-bound sufferers, A BLACK IMP
     [biggest extra black capitals] is seated on a rock, dandling a
     young monster. On the edge of the opposite side of the frozen lake
     stands a spirit, who is just about to endure the frozen torment;
     and his attitude and countenance express the agony of extreme cold.
     Behind him opens the fiery gulf, the reflection of whose lurid
     glare is seen on his half-frozen body. At his feet a female head,
     fixed in the ice, looks up to the flames, as longing for their
     warmth; while a little way within the lake of fire another head is
     seen gazing with longing eyes upon the ice. A brilliant fountain of
     flame is in the midst of the lake, and around it crowds of
     condemned spirits in all varieties of suffering. In one corner a
     fiend is proclaiming their infamy by the aid of a trumpet through
     all the depths of Hell. Birds and animals of hideous form and evil
     omen are fluttering over the heads and tormenting the sufferers.
     Large icicles hang from the rocks that form the Gate of Hell, and
     reflect on their bright surface the red glare of the fires within.
     On the left of Minos is seen a Skeleton ascending a column of
     Icicles and holding a standard bearing these lines:

        "'To this grim form our cherished limbs have come,
        And thus lie mouldering in their earthly home.
        In turf-bound hillock or in sculptured shrine
        The worms alike their cold caresses twine.
        So far we all are equal; but once left
        Our mortal weeds, of vital spark bereft,
        Asunder farther than the poles we're driven--
        Some sunk to deepest Hell, some raised to highest Heaven.'

     "Still farther on the left of Minos, and melting into distance
     behind him, is seen the shadowy region of Purgatory. Four bright
     stars--the Cardinal Virtues--give a delicate and cheering light
     amid the gloom. A group of figures loaded with the burthen of their
     sins are about to plunge into the lake of purgatorial waters, in
     the hope of depositing them there. A boat wafted by the wings of an
     Angel is bearing departed, souls toward Heaven; and near it is a
     column of pale light to direct its course. In the distance is the
     mountain that divides Purgatory from Heaven; and Beatrice, the
     departed mistress of Dante, is standing on its summit, encouraging
     him to proceed with her to Heaven, where his former guide, Virgil,
     cannot be admitted (being a Pagan). Groups of Pilgrims who have
     passed through Purgatory are ascending the mountain. Still farther
     to the left, and opening in unbroken splendor above the head of
     Beatrice, is seen the Heaven of Heavens. The golden light pours
     down on the heads of the Pilgrims, and angels are seen floating in
     the air and encouraging their efforts. The foreground of this part
     of the scene presents various objects to cheer the spirit of the
     Pilgrims in their passage through Purgatory. The entrance indeed is
     rocky, but shrubs and flowers adorn it, and the Dove, the bird of
     Hope, is bearing the olive-branch before them."

If all that was packed into "a room adjoining the Western Museum," the
sight of it must, I think, be admitted to have been a cheap twenty-five
cents' worth. The Cincinnati world of hard upon half a century ago
judged it to be so, and flocked to the exhibition in crowds. But very
soon the versatile and indefatigable artist devised new means of still
further stimulating the curiosity and excitement of his public. A bar
ran across the exhibition-room, dividing the space allotted to the
spectators from that occupied by the scenery and objects provided for
their amusement. But since the available space was, as may easily be
imagined, somewhat limited, it came to pass that the foremost
spectators, being often of that class of persons who see with the ends
of their fingers, would stretch out their arms and audaciously touch
"the Black Imp," or "the Skeleton," or Minos himself, or any other of
the _dramatis personæ_ they could reach, to the damage of those
somewhat perishable properties. A notice was therefore placarded in the
room, written in flame-colored letters and couched in the choicest
bugaboo phraseology, warning all such indiscreet persons that the
denizens of the Infernal Regions could not be touched by mortal hands
with impunity, and that _immediate_ punishment would visit
transgressors. Of course it was foreseen that such threats would not
avail to restrain, but would rather stimulate the curiosity of the
disciples of Saint Thomas. But, sure enough, the threatened punishment,
by no means "_pede claudo_" followed in every case--very accurately
with the speed of lightning--on the transgression; for Powers had
cunningly contrived, preparing it all with his own hand, that a sharp
electric shock should be communicated to each audacious hand that braved
the prohibition. The astonishment, the terror, and subsequently the fun,
produced by this ingenious device may easily be imagined. The sufferers,
like the fox who had lost his tail, brought their friends, and enjoyed
the fun of leading them into the same scrape. The "room adjoining the
Western Museum" was more thronged than ever, and little Dorfeuille
reaped a golden harvest. How large a share of it found its way into the
pockets of the ingenious artist I know not--probably a much smaller one
than fair play would have assigned him.

In the long after years at Florence, Powers and I had many a laugh
together over his reminiscences of the scenes that occurred in that
exhibition-room, all of which he remembered as well as if the incidents
had happened but a year before, and would chuckle over with as much
enjoyment as he did at the time of their occurrence. My copy of the
hand-bill which I have given above--doubtless the only one now in
existence--was matter of much amusement to us, and served to recall
every portion and every figure of the early work of his hands.

From the time I left America to go to Oxford, in the spring of 1829,
till our meeting at Florence in 1841, I saw no more of Powers. But, as
may be easily imagined, we lost no time in renewing our old friendship.
He was then, and for many years afterward, living in the Via Romana, not
far from the city gate of that name. The house stood back from the
street, and was approached only by a passage through another tenement,
from which it was divided by a little garden; a situation which, though
not in all respects convenient, had at least the advantage of securing
quietude. The young sculptor, with his already numerous and rapidly
increasing family, occupied the first and second floors, while the
ground floor was exclusively devoted to workshops and show-rooms. The
premises were large and the accommodations ample. Already few Americans
came to Florence without paying a visit to the "Studio Powers," but they
were in those days but few in comparison to the number which, partly as
residents and partly as merely passing tourists, throng every winter the
fair "City of Flowers." Up to the revolution of 1848 the English at
Florence were very far more numerous than the citizens of the other
English-speaking nation. That unsuccessful movement drove many English,
very unnecessarily, from their moorings. The English colony was very
much reduced even after those who returned on the return of the grand
duke had resumed their old places. And from that time forward I think
that America has been more numerously represented on the banks of the
Arno than England. Powers had at that time produced various successful
busts, but had not as yet made himself known as an imaginative sculptor.
Nevertheless, the former works had sufficed to give him an amount of
reputation in the United States that ensured constant visits of his
countrymen to the studio in the Via Romana.

Some twelve years had elapsed when I first saw Powers in Florence since
the old days in Cincinnati. In such a space of time, especially at that
period of life which turns a lad into a man, most men change much. But
the change in Powers's face was but small: I should have known him if I
had met him in the street anywhere. But in person he was much changed:
he had become stout and what is called personable, not fat--he never was
that to the end of his life--but neither was he lanky, as he had been as
a youth. He had filled out, as the phrase is, and might be considered in
all respects a decidedly handsome man. There was something specially,
and more than commonly, upright in the carriage of his person and of his
head, which seemed the expression of the uprightness of the man's moral
and intellectual nature and character. He always looked straight at you
with those large, placid and generally grave eyes of his under their
large and bushy brows. They seemed to continue grave, or at least
thoughtful, those eyes, even when there was a pleasant genial smile on
the mouth. And there was this specialty about his smile--a specialty
which may be often observed in subjective natures habituated to original
thought and to live in the inner life: it seemed generally to be
produced more by the movement of his own inward feelings and thoughts
than by what was said by others. Like most dark-haired men, he began to
become gray early in life, and for some few years before his death his
appearance was venerable in no ordinary degree. He then wore his hair,
which had become perfectly white, very long, and a shallow, very
broad-brimmed white hat on the top of it. The latter, indeed, was, I
think, at all times his universal wear. I do not think that I ever saw
him in Florence in that detestable article of apparel called "a
chimney-pot hat." But this is anticipating.

Very shortly after our arrival in Florence and the renewal of our
friendship with Powers--I think not more than a year--there arrived in
Florence, bringing a letter of introduction to my mother, an English
gentleman of fortune, Mr. Grant. He was a noted lover and patron of art,
and my mother proposed to him a visit to the Studio Powers. The sculptor
had then just completed his first imaginative work, the "Greek Slave,"
which numerous _replicas_ have since made so well known on both
sides of the Atlantic. This work had greatly excited my mother's
admiration, and it was that he might have an opportunity of seeing the
"Greek Slave" that my mother was desirous of taking Mr. Grant to the
sculptor's studio. But it was not altogether easy to induce Mr. Grant to
accept the proposal. "If there is anything very good, that is the very
reason why I must not go there. Lead me not into temptation! I have been
spending all my money, and more than I meant to spend, on sculpture in
Rome. Don't show me any more statues, for I cannot buy any more." But
this confession of fearing temptation was calculated to produce a
stronger determination to expose him to it. Mr. Grant was persuaded to
visit the studio in the Via Romana: he was as much charmed with the
beauty of the conception of the statue as with the conscientious
perfection of its execution, and he became the purchaser of it. And it
speedily acquired a reputation which led to the execution of as many, I
think, as four or five replicas at the request of other lovers of art;
and the sculptor's reputation was made.

The practice of the greatest sculptors as regards the degree in which it
has seemed desirable to them to take part in that mechanical portion of
the business of producing a statue which consists in the manipulation of
the marble, has always been very different. Some have subjected the
marble to the touching of their own hands more, some less. The work of
reproducing a copy of the clay model in marble is a purely mechanical
one, and may or may not be in the artist's judgment best brought to
perfection by the labor of his own hands. It will readily be believed,
however, from what has been already said of the tendencies of Powers's
talent and idiosyncrasy, that he was among those who have contributed
most of their personal labor to the perfecting of their works. Powers
was one of those men whose hands have faculty in them. He was a master
in the use of them, and accordingly he loved to use them. It was his
practice to go over with his own hand the surface of the marble of every
work which left his studio. But he was not contented to do this in the
manner and with the tools which had been used by so many generations of
sculptors before him. That decided bent of his genius to mechanical
invention which has been mentioned at the beginning of this paper led
him to perceive that an improvement might be made in this respect. For
giving the last finish to the marble, for removing from the surface a
quantity so small that no chisel could be trusted to do the work, it is
obvious enough to suggest the use of a file. And no doubt files are used
for the purpose, but they are liable to a special and very troublesome
source of inefficiency. They become clogged with the excessively fine
dust of the marble in a very few minutes to such an extent as to be
rendered useless, especially as the file must be of an exceedingly fine
description. Powers therefore set his mind to the problem of inventing
some means or some instrument by which this source of trouble could be
avoided; and after considerable vexation, not so much in perfecting his
own conception of the thing needed as in getting careless and not very
competent workmen to execute his orders, he perfected a file of the
necessary fineness upon the principle of a nutmeg-grater. His studio was
at all times full of little ingenious contrivances of all
sorts--contrivances for readily and conveniently modifying the light in
the exact degree desirable; contrivances for the due collocation and
distribution of artificial light; contrivances for the more ready moving
of marbles, etc. etc.

It is the fashion in Florence and in Rome for artists to open their
studios to all visitors. It is a custom which adds much to the amusement
of visitors who are really lovers of art; but it must bring with it, one
would think, consequences which must sometimes be not a little trying to
the painter's or sculptor's temper and patience. Criticism from those
who have some little pretension to the right to criticise is not always
pleasant when volunteered, but criticism from such Philistines of the
Philistines as often haunt the studios must be hard indeed to bear with
common courtesy. Powers invariably received such with the most perfect
suavity and good-temper, but I have sometimes seen him, to my great
amusement, inflict a punishment on the talkers of nonsense which made
them wish they had held their tongues. This consisted simply of
defending his own practice by entering on a lecture upon the principles
which ought to regulate the matter in question. He was, I fancy, rather
fond of lecturing, and would rather have liked the work of a professor
of the fine arts. I have seen people writhe under his patient and
lengthy expositions, which they were as capable of understanding as so
many bullocks, and which they had brought down on themselves by some
absolutely absurd remark on the work before them. I have seen such
delinquents use every sort of effort to put a stop to or escape from the
punishment they had brought upon themselves. In vain: the lecture would
continue with a placid _uninterruptibility_ which it was amusing to
witness.

It was in 1854, I think, or thereabouts (for I have not at hand the
means of verifying the date with accuracy, and it is of no consequence),
that Mr. Hume, the since well-known medium, came to Florence. He came to
my house on the pressing invitation of my mother, my then wife and
myself. We had seen accounts of extraordinary things said to have taken
place some months previously at the house of a Mr. Rymer, a solicitor
living at Ealing near London, and our curiosity and interest had been so
much excited that the hope of being able to witness some of these
marvels was not the least among the motives of a journey that summer to
England. We obtained an introduction to Mr. Rymer, were present at
sundry _séances_ at his house at Ealing, made acquaintance with Mr.
Hume, and invited him to stay for a while in my house in Florence. He
came accompanied by his friend, a son of Mr. Rymer; and both the young
men were resident under my roof for about a month, leaving it to accept
an invitation from Mr. Powers to make his house their home for a while.
The manifestations of phenomena produced, or supposed to be produced, by
what has become known to the world as "Spiritualism," were then only
beginning to attract in Europe the very general attention which they
have since that time attracted. The thing was then new to most people.
During the month that Mr. Hume and his friend were in my house we had
séances almost every evening, with the "assistance," as the French say,
of a rather numerous and very varied circle. For, as may easily be
supposed, all our friends were anxious to witness the new marvels, and
we, desirous only of as many eyes and as many minds as might be for the
better watching and discussion of the phenomena, welcomed all comers to
the extent of the capacity of our room and table. I have no intention of
troubling my present readers with any detailed rehearsal of the
phenomena which presented themselves. The testimony which my
observations during this period enabled me to offer has already more
than once been given to the world in print, and the catalogue of similar
and yet more extraordinary experiences has become too long, and the
witnesses to them too numerous and too well known to the public, for
such details to have any further interest at the present day. I feel
bound, however, to state that no amount of suspicious watching which I
was able to exercise in my house, and which Powers was able to exercise
in his, enabled us to discover any smallest degree of imposture, or fair
grounds for suspecting imposture, as regards the physical or material
phenomena which were witnessed. Such is my testimony, and such was that
of Powers, who, by his aptitude for inventing and understanding
mechanical contrivances of all kinds, was a man specially well fitted
for the task of watching the performance of such wonders. I have spoken
here, it will be observed, altogether of the _material_ and
_physical_ phenomena witnessed. As to what are called the spiritual
manifestations, Powers was perhaps not an entirely unbiased estimator of
these. He was an eminently sincere, earnest and zealous Swedenborgian,
and several of the leading tenets and dogmas of the Swedenborgian faith
are calculated to make such communications with the world of spirits as
Spiritualists claim to experience much less startling, less strange to
the mind and more acceptable, than they usually appear to other people.
To a Swedenborgian who is perfectly convinced that the spirits of the
departed are ever around him and interested in his welfare, it does not
seem a very strange or extraordinary thing that these visitors should
under certain circumstances be able to express the interest which they
always feel. Powers regarded all the professed manifestations of
spiritual communications from that stand-point, and was enabled to
accept them therefore somewhat more easily than another person might
have done. Yet, despite such predisposing proclivities, and though he
was disposed to think a great variety of professed communications from
the world of spirits to have been genuinely what they purported to be,
the habitual uprightness and truthfulness of Powers's mind led him, as I
believe I am justified in saying, to the conclusion that in the case
which I am about to mention, at least, there was ground for very strong
suspicion of the honesty of the medium. The circumstances of the case
were as follows:

I had many years previously lost a brother--the same whom I have already
had occasion to mention in the earlier part of this letter. Now, at an
early stage of the series of sittings that took place at my house it was
intimated that the spirit of this brother was present and wishful or
willing to communicate with me. He did, as was proposed, communicate
very freely upon subjects of all sorts by means of raps under the table
and the letters of the alphabet spread upon it--on all subjects save
one. To the often-repeated question, where we had last met in life, I
could get no reply. It was constantly promised to me that I should be
answered this question at the next sitting. Now, it so happened that my
wife had conceived, reasonably or unreasonably, doubts as to the
medium's honesty in the matter, and she determined to try him in the
matter of this unanswered question. Talking one day with him in
tête-à-tête, she turned the subject of maladies of the chest, of which
they had been speaking, to the special case of her late brother-in-law,
discussing the powerful influence of climate, and remarking that she
feared Ostend had been a very bad place for him. And there she left the
matter without any further remark, and without eliciting any answer from
him. This occurred very shortly before the time when Mr. Hume left my
house to accept the hospitality of Mr. Powers. The sittings continued
with great frequency in the house of the latter, and my mother and
myself were very frequently present at them. As before, the
_soi-disant_ spirit of my brother Henry announced his presence,
and, as before, I repeated my often-asked question as to the place on
earth where he and I had last met. On this occasion the answer rapped
out consisted of the word "Ostend." I smilingly replied, "Spirit, you
know nothing about what you are talking of: you are wrong." Mr. Hume
became immediately very angry, and reproached me vehemently for
"interrupting the spirit"--for not waiting for what he was probably
going to say. It was likely enough, he added, that the spirit was about
to say that Ostend was _not_ the place. I said "Pshaw! In that way
he might go through the whole Gazetteer." Thereupon Mr. Hume declared
that I was evidently not in a fit frame of mind to be a sitter at such
meetings; that my presence would be likely to mar any results to be
expected from them; and, in short, if only for the sake of those who
wished to continue their experiences, it was necessary that I should
withdraw from them. That was the last occasion on which I took part in a
séance under Mr. Hume's mediumship. My mother continued her sittings at
the house of Mr. Powers, and it is fair to record that she there
witnessed material phenomena--some of them closely allied to phenomena
only explainable on Spiritualistic theories--of even a more
extraordinary nature than any which had occurred at my house; in which
neither she, nor Mr. Powers or any of his family, nor any of the others
of the party, were able to detect any imposture. And I believe I may add
that Mr. Powers fully believed in the genuineness of the phenomena
witnessed. It is also perhaps fair to state that had the answer to my
question been "On board the steamboat going from London to Ostend," the
reply would have been correct. How far it is possible to suppose that
the word "Ostend" may have been the _first_ word of an answer about
to be completed in that sense if it had not been interrupted, I leave to
the judgment of the reader.

For some time after this Powers used to recount to me the marvels which
were witnessed at his house. He was not pleased with the medium as an
inmate in other respects: he did not form a favorable opinion of his
moral character. I am speaking of matters now many years old, and I
might not have considered it necessary to record these impressions of a
very specially upright and honest man with regard to one who is still
before the public were it not that they go to increase the value of Mr.
Powers's testimony to the genuineness of the phenomena which he
witnessed, by showing that his judgment upon the subject was at least in
no degree warped by any prejudice in favor of the miracle-worker.

Meantime, the sculptor, still in the modest tenement which he occupied
for so many years in the Via Romana, was growing in fame and reputation
from day to day. A visit to the Studio Powers--or Pousse, as the
ciceroni and valets-de-place called it--was an obligatory part of the
tourist's regular work in "doing" Florence. A large family was, during
those prosperous and laborious years, growing up around him--sons and
daughters, most of whom he lived to see settled in life and to be justly
proud of. Death did not altogether pass his threshold by, but he knocked
there but once or twice in all that length of years. At last the time
came when the successful artist felt that his position enabled and
justified him in moving from his old quarters to more commodious and
luxurious ones. He had been but a tenant in the Via Romana: he was now
to inhabit a house of his own.

It was the time when Florence was for a few short years enjoying the
fallacious and fatal honor of being the capital of Italy. There were
some who from the first were fully convinced that that honor would be a
transitory one. The greater number thought that the will of France and
of her emperor, and the difficulties attending the simultaneous
residence of the king of Italy and the pope within the walls of the same
city, would avail to make Florence the capital of the new kingdom for at
least as many years as human prudence could look forward to. The
earthquake-like events which shook down the bases of all such
calculations, and enabled Italy to realize her longing desire to see
Rome the capital of the nation, are too well known to need even
referring to. Florence suddenly ceased to be the metropolis of Italy,
and the amount of financial ruin in the case of those who had invested
money in building to supply the wants of the capital was very widespread
indeed. And there can be no doubt that the houses built by Powers are at
the present day worth much less than they were at the time he built
them, and still less than they would have been worth had Florence
remained the capital. Nevertheless, I do not think that he would have
abstained from building from any considerations of this kind. He built
solely with a view to residence, and in that respect he could hardly
have done better than he did.

He did not move very far. His old lodging and studio were, as has been
said, a little way within the Porta Romana, and the villa residence
which he built is but two or three minutes' walk on the outside of it.
Immediately outside this Porta Romana, sloping off a little to the left
from the road to Rome, is a magnificent avenue of ilex and cypress
conducting to a grand-ducal villa called the "Poggio Imperiale." To the
left again of this avenue, which is perhaps a mile or somewhat more in
length, and between it and the city wall, which in that part of its
course encloses the Boboli Gardens attached to the Palazzo Pitti, is a
large extent of hillside, rapidly rising to the heights crowned by the
ancient and storied church of San Miniato, and by the suburban villages
of Arcetri and Pian Guillari. This space was, and had been for time out
of mind, occupied by fields and market-gardens. But when the new
fortunes of the City of Flowers fallaciously seemed to be in the
ascendant, it was at once seen that of all the spaces immediately around
Florence which were available for that increase of the city which was
expected to be urgently required, none was more desirable or more
favorably circumstanced than this hillside. A really magnificent
carriage-road, ornamented with gardens on either side of it, was led in
well-arranged curves up to San Miniato, and down on the other side of
the hill till it reaches the Arno at the village of Ricorboli. The
entire course of this road commands a series of varied views of the city
and the Vale of Arno than which nothing can be conceived more charming.
It is in truth the finest city promenade and drive that I know in
Europe. Rome has nothing comparable to it. The Bois de Boulogne and Hyde
Park are, as far as natural beauty goes, tame and flat in comparison to
it. The planning and the execution of it have been alike excellent. The
whole of the space up which the road serpentines has been turned into
ornamental gardens, and on either side of it, and among its lawns and
shrubberies, a large number of villa-sites were reserved to be disposed
of to purchasers. Of this singular opportunity Powers was one of the
first to avail himself. He selected with admirable judgment three sites
in the immediate neighborhood of each other--one for a residence for
himself, one for that of his eldest son, a married man, established and
doing well as a photographer, and one for that of his eldest daughter
and her husband, Mr. and Mrs. Ibbetson. The friends of the sculptor thus
patriarchally establishing himself said laughingly that the region ought
to be called Powerstown. The three houses, each in its own grounds, were
built, and excellently good and comfortable residences they are. Powers
was almost as much in his own element in superintending them as in his
studio with mallet and chisel in hand, as might be surmised. The new
studio formed no part of the dwelling-house, but occupied a separate
erection in the grounds. Nor did the artist's love for his art fail to
show itself in the amplitude and excellent adaptation of the building to
all the needs of a studio, properly so called--of work-rooms and
exhibition-rooms for the reception of visitors. A more complete
sculptor's residence and establishment it would be difficult to imagine.
Alas for the shortness of the few years that were allowed to him for the
enjoyment of it! Long after the house and the studio were completed, and
the marbles all moved thither, Powers was still indulging in the delight
of improving his garden; and his plans for such improvement gave
striking evidence of that genius and passion for mechanical cleverness
and achievements of which I have frequently spoken. He had planned and
begun--I think only begun--to execute an artesian well by means of
certain newly-invented systems of boring, the details of which, in the
absence of all workmen who possessed any knowledge whatever on the
subject, had to be wholly superintended, arranged and adapted by
himself. He had satisfied himself by observations of his own that water
was to be found at a given depth, and had, I believe, prosecuted the
work sufficiently to be assured that his judgment in this respect was
well founded. In connection with this scheme of the artesian well was a
fountain in the garden, which was, I believe, also ultimately brought to
perfection.

In conformity with the convenient continental fashion of ladies naming
one day in the week for the reception of visitors--a plan which enables
them to escape from the interruption to their domestic pursuits on all
other days, and which is very generally adopted by those who have large
circles of acquaintance--Mrs. Powers used to open the drawing-rooms of
her new house on every Saturday, and a considerable crowd was sure to be
found there from two to six. But such recent arrivals on the banks of
the Arno as paid their respects to Mrs. Powers in the hope and
expectation of seeing the famous sculptor were almost, if not quite,
invariably disappointed. None of the Florentine colony expected to find
Powers in the drawing-room on such occasions. They knew better where to
look for him--in his workshop. There he might be found by those who had
brought letters of introduction to him, in his usual workman's garb.
Powers never made the slightest concession to the necessities of
receiving "company" on such occasions. There he was, with his working
cap on head, probably in a long light gray coat, not innocent of marble
dust, but often in blouse and apron.

In the latter days, when, though we little thought it, the end was
approaching, when the night of that long day of continuous activity and
labor was at hand, he might as frequently have been found sauntering
under the magnificent trees of the Poggio Imperiale avenue in the
immediate vicinity of his own house. Upright in figure and in carriage
as ever, and with his eye as bright as ever, it was difficult to suppose
that the venerable and stalwart figure of the old sculptor was not
destined still for years of life and activity. His malady was connected
with the respiratory organs; and a specially painful circumstance of it
for his friends was, that the loss of voice, which made the effort of
talking injurious to him, rendered it a selfish and inconsiderate thing
to visit him; for the activity of his mind was still such that in the
contact with another mind he could not abstain from the old familiar
intercourse which he had loved so well. Like the old camel of the
Arabian tale, that, having been all its life accustomed to lead the
caravan, died in the effort to keep his old place to the last, Powers,
who had been always wont to have rather the lion's share of
conversation, could not resign himself to hear another talk, in silence.
He _would_ talk, and suffered for it afterward. The result was that
his friends felt that they were showing the best consideration for him
by staying away.

To look at him, I say, as he would stand in the sunshine at his own
gate, it was difficult to imagine that aught of a very serious nature
ailed him. But in the case of a man so habitually active his sauntering
there was a bad sign. He was emphatically one of those men with whom
life and work are the same thing--one whose sun was at the setting when
he could work no more, and who would probably have cared little to
survive his capacity for working.

     T. ADOLPHUS TROLLOPE.



CORN.


  To-day the woods are trembling through and through
    With shimmering forms, that flash into my view,
  Then melt in green as dawn-stars melt in blue.
    The leaves that wave against my cheek caress
    Like women's hands; the embracing boughs express
          A subtlety of mighty tenderness;
  The copse-depths into little noises start,
  That sound anon like beatings of a heart,
  Anon like talk 'twixt lips not far apart.
    The beech dreams balm, as a dreamer hums a song,
    Through whose vague sweet float expirations strong
    From lithe young hickories, breathing deep and long
  With stress and urgence bold of inward spring,
        And ecstasy of burgeoning.
    Now, since the dew-plashed road of morn is dry,
    Come daintier smells, linked in soft company,
    Like velvet-slippered ladies pacing by.
              Long muscadines,
  Like Jove's locks curled round foreheads of great pines,
  Breathe out ambrosial passion from their vines.
    I pray with mosses, ferns and flowers shy
    That hide like gentle nuns from human eye,
    To lift adoring odors to the sky.
  I hear faint bridal-sighs of blissful green,
  Dying to kindred silences serene,
  As dim lights melt into a pleasant sheen.
    I start at fragmentary whispers, blown
    From undertalks of leafy loves unknown,
    Vague purports sweet, of inarticulate tone.

  Dreaming of gods, men, nuns and brides, between
  Old companies of oaks that inward lean
  To join their radiant amplitudes of green,
    I slowly move, with ranging looks that pass
    Up from the matted miracles of grass
  Into yon veined complex of space,
  Where sky and leafage interlace
    So close the heaven of blue is seen
    Inwoven with a heaven of green.

  I wander to the zigzag-cornered fence
  Where sassafras, intrenched in brambles dense,
  Contests with stolid vehemence
    The march of culture, setting limb and thorn,
    Like pikes, against the army of the corn.

  There, while I pause, before mine eyes,
  Out of the silent corn-ranks, rise
        Inward dignities
  And large benignities and insights wise,
        Graces and modest majesties.
    Thus, without tilth, I house a wondrous yield;
    Thus, without theft, I reap another's field,
    And store quintuple harvests in my heart concealed.

  See, out of line a single corn-stem stands
  Advanced beyond the foremost of his bands,
    And waves his blades upon the very edge
    And hottest thicket of the battling hedge.
  Thou lustrous stalk, that canst nor walk nor talk,
    Still dost thou type the poet-soul sublime
    That leads the vanward of his timid time,
    And sings up cowards with commanding rhyme--
  Soul calm, like thee, yet fain, like thee, to grow
  By double increment, above, below;
    Soul homely, as thou art, yet rich in grace like thee,
    Teaching the yeomen selfless chivalry,
    That moves in gentle curves of courtesy;
  Soul filled like thy long veins with sweetness tense,
        By every godlike sense
  Transmuted from the four wild elements.
          Toward the empyrean
    Thou reachest higher up than mortal man,
  Yet ever piercest downward in the mould,
        And keepest hold
    Upon the reverend and steadfast earth
        That gave thee birth.
  Yea, standest smiling in thy very grave,
        Serene and brave,
    With unremitting breath
    Inhaling life from death,
  Thine epitaph writ fair in fruitage eloquent,
        Thy living self thy monument.

          As poets should,
  Thou hast built up thy hardihood
  With wondrous-varying food,
    Drawn in select proportion fair
    From solid mould and vagrant air;
  From terrors of the dreadful night,
        And joyful light;
    From antique ashes, whose departed flame
    In thee has finer life and longer fame;
  From wounds and balms,
  From storms and calms,
    From potsherds and dry bones,
        And ruin-stones.
  So to thy vigorous substance thou hast wrought
  Whate'er the hand of Circumstance hath brought;
    Yea, into cool solacing green hast spun
    White radiance hot from out the sun.
  So thou dost mutually leaven
  Strength of earth with grace of heaven;
    So thou dost marry new and old
    Into a one of higher mould;
    So thou dost reconcile the hot and cold,
            The dark and bright,
  And many a heart-perplexing opposite:
              And so,
    Akin by blood to high and low,
  Fitly thou playest out thy poet's part,
  Richly expending thy much-bruised heart
    In equal care to nourish lord in hall
          Or beast in stall:
    Thou took'st from all that thou might'st give to all.

  O steadfast dweller on the selfsame spot
  Where thou wast born, that still repinest not--
  Type of the home-fond heart, the happy lot!--
    Deeply thy mild content rebukes the land
    Whose flimsy homes, built on the shifting sand
  Of trade, for ever rise and fall
  With alternation whimsical,
    Enduring scarce a day,
    Then swept away
  By swift engulfments of incalculable tides
  Whereon capricious Commerce rides.

  Look, thou substantial spirit of content!
  Across this little vale, thy continent,
    To where, beyond the mouldering mill,
    Yon old deserted Georgian hill
  Bares to the sun his piteous aged crest
        And seamy breast,
    By restless-hearted children left to lie
    Untended there beneath the heedless sky,
    As barbarous folk expose their old to die.
  Upon that generous swelling side,
        Now scarified
    By keen neglect, and all unfurrowed save
    By gullies red as lash-marks on a slave,
  Dwelt one I knew of old, who played at toil,
  And dreamed himself a tiller of the soil.
    Scorning the slow reward of patient grain,
    He sowed his soul with hopes of swifter gain,
    Then sat him down and waited for the rain.
  He sailed in borrowed ships of usury--
  foolish Jason on a treacherous sea,
  Seeking the Fleece and finding misery.
    Lulled by smooth-rippling loans, in idle trance
    He lay, content that unthrift Circumstance
    Should plough for him the stony field of Chance.
  Yea, gathering crops whose worth no man might tell,
  He staked his life on a game of Buy-and-Sell,
  And turned each field into a gambler's hell.
    Aye, as each year began,
    My farmer to the neighboring city ran,
  Passed with a mournful anxious face
  Into the banker's inner place;
  Parleyed, excused, pleaded for longer grace,
    Railed at the drought, the worm, the rust, the grass,
    Protested ne'er again 'twould come to pass
    Such troops of ills his labors should harass;
  Politely swallowed searching questions rude,
  And kissed the dust to melt his Dives's mood.
  At last, small loans by pledges great renewed,
    He issues smiling from the fatal door,
    And buys with lavish hand his yearly store
    Till his small borrowings will yield no more.
  Aye, as each year declined,
  With bitter heart and ever-brooding mind
  He mourned his fate unkind.
    In dust, in rain, with might and main,
    He nursed his cotton, cursed his grain,
    Fretted for news that made him fret again,
  Snatched at each telegram of Future Sale,
  And thrilled with Bulls' or Bears' alternate wail--
  In hope or fear alike for ever pale.
    And thus from year to year, through hope and fear,
    With many a curse and many a secret tear,
    Striving in vain his cloud of debt to clear,
                  At last
  He woke to find his foolish dreaming past,
    Beheld his best-of-life the easy prey
    Of quacks and scamps, and all the vile array
          That line the way,
  From thieving statesman down to petty knave;
  Yea, saw himself, for all his bragging brave,
  A gamester's catspaw and a banker's slave.
    Then, worn and gray, and sick with deep unrest,
    He fled away into the oblivious West,
          Unmourned, unblest.

  Old hill! old hill! thou gashed and hairy Lear
  Whom the divine Cordelia of the year,
  E'en pitying Spring, will vainly strive to cheer--
    King, but too poor for any man to own,
    Discrowned, undaughtered and alone,
  Yet shall the great God turn thy fate,
  And bring thee back into thy monarch's state
        And majesty immaculate;
    So, through hot waverings of the August morn,
    A vision of great treasuries of corn
    Thou bearest in thy vasty sides forlorn,
  For largesse to some future bolder heart
  That manfully shall take thy part,
          And tend thee,
          And defend thee,
  With antique sinew and with modern art.

     SIDNEY LANIER.



GENTLEMAN DICK.


They had, all of them, nicknames themselves, for in a Colorado
mining-community it was not difficult to acquire a title, and they
called him Gentleman Dick. It was rather an odd name, to be sure, but it
was very expressive, and conveyed much of the prevailing opinion and
estimate of its owner. They laughed when he expressed a desire to join
the party in Denver, and Old Platte looked at his long, delicate hands,
so like a woman's, with a smile of rough, good-humored pity, mingled,
perhaps, with a shade of contempt for the habits and occupation that had
engendered such apparent effeminacy. But he pleaded so earnestly and
talked with such quiet energy and confidence of what he could and would
do, and moreover had about him so much of that spirit of subdued
_bonhomie_ that always captivates the roughest of the rough, that
they relented, took his money and put it in the "pot," and informed him
that he was one of them. Their decision was not altogether unconnected
with the fact that he had given evidence of considerable surgical skill
in his treatment of Mr. Woods, more familiarly known as "Short-card
William," who had been shot a week or so previously over a game of poker
by an independent bull-whacker whom he had attempted to defraud. The
sense of the community had sustained the act; and while the exhibition
of his skill in dealing was universally condemned as having been
indiscreet under the circumstances, still he was accounted a live man
among them, and the discovery of a surgeon to dress his wound was hailed
with a somewhat general feeling of relief. Had it not been for the fact
that the sobriquet of Gentleman Dick was already conferred and accepted
universally as his name, he certainly would not have escaped that of
"Doctor," and as it was, Mr. Woods, who was profuse as well as profane
in his gratitude, insisted upon so calling him. A doctor, or anything
bearing even a resemblance to a member of that sadly-represented
profession, was regarded with a certain degree of reverence among a
community whose peculiar habits often gave rise to pressing and
immediate need of surgical attendance. Consequently, Gentleman Dick
rapidly attained an elevated position in their regard, and became a
great favorite with Old Platte's party, although they still looked
doubtfully at his slender figure and felt "kind o' bothered" by the air
of gentility and good-breeding which hung around him in spite of the
rough miner's garments that he had chosen to assume. By the time they
left Denver for the Blue he was deemed as indispensable to the company
as Old Platte himself.

       *       *       *       *       *

The forest of dark pines and firs that covered both sides of the valley
of the Blue grew down to the bars of the river, which along its banks
was thickly grown with wild gooseberry and raspberry bushes, and piled
up here and there with great tangled heaps of driftwood which the spring
floods brought down and left in masses of inextricable confusion along
its sides. Back a little distance from one of these sandy flats, and
nestled right in the shadow of the forest's edge, they built a long
rough cabin early in June. In summer-time the spot was a wild and
picturesque one. Green and luxuriant vegetation made a soft and
brilliant carpet at the feet of the stately old pines; huge boulder-like
rocks, their edges softened and rounded in the grasp of one of Agassiz'
pre-Adamite glaciers that had ground its icy way down from the melting
snow-caps above--rocks covered with bright lichens and tufts of moss---
lay piled on one another at the foot of the steep mountain-side; while
gnarled cedars twisted around about them, their rough red roots twining
here and there in search of sustenance. Below the cabin a little way lay
the bar--Chihuahua Bar they had christened it, out of deference to
"Jones of Chihuahua," whose prospecting-pan had developed the fact that
gold in promising quantities lay beneath it--and a little farther on the
Blue sang merrily in its gravelly bed. Down the river, about two miles,
was Blue Bar, where about two hundred miners had formed a settlement,
and where a red-headed Scotchman, who combined the duties of a
self-constituted postmaster with the dispensation of a villainous
article of whisky, kept a lively grocery and provision store.

During the early part of the season they had prospected up along the
river, finding gold all the way, but not in quantities sufficiently
large to warrant working. At the place, however, which they subsequently
named Chihuahua (pronounced in the vernacular Chee-waw-waw) the
perspicacious Jones had given it as his opinion, formed after mature
deliberation and a sapient examination of some two or three shovelsful
of dirt, that there was a satisfactory "color in that ar bank." Some
hard work of about a week demonstrated that there were excellent
diggings there, and then work was commenced upon it in good earnest. The
cabin was built, Gentleman Dick's choice of location being unanimously
approved; two or three trips were made across the "Range" to the nearest
settlement for materials and provisions; and then the real labor began.
As they cut through the heavy bank of mould and gravel, gradually eating
a long trench to the bed-rock, prospects grew better and better. At
last, one day a narrow ledge of brittle, shaly rock came in view,
covered with a coating of thick, heavy yellow mud, of which Old Platte
gathered a panful and betook himself down to the river-side. A war-whoop
from the direction in which he had disappeared came ringing through the
gooseberry bushes to their ears, and with a responsive yell and a
simultaneous dropping of shovels and picks they all dashed off to his
side. He was discovered in a condition of great excitement, dancing
wildly round the pan, in the bottom of which about half a teaspoonful
of coarse yellow nuggets were shining among the black sand. It was a
grand prospect, and with the exception of Gentleman Dick, whose
exultation was of a very mild and reserved order, the proprietors of the
Chihuahua Claim behaved in a very undignified and unseemly way; Thompson
and Jones organizing an impromptu sparring-match, and Old Platte
standing indecorously on his head in a neighboring clump of bushes.
Sundry war-whoops and divers indications of activity showed that work of
a very lively and energetic character was being prosecuted that
afternoon on the bar; and when the sun sunk to rest behind the purple
mountains, and the blue mists of evening rose in the valley, they had
their sluice-boxes and "riffles" in order, and were ready to commence
washing at sunrise.

It did not take very long to clean the ledge, and early in the afternoon
the water was shut off. When it was found that the "riffles" yielded
thirteen ounces of gold that would coin eighteen dollars and a half to
the ounce, a firm conviction seemed to settle upon the camp that this
was an occasion which it would be improper to pass over without a
thorough and practical acknowledgment of its importance in the shape of
a regular celebration. The gold was weighed and divided, all sitting in
a circle in the middle of the cabin floor, while Old Platte officiated
at the scales with all the gravity and dignity which the responsible
position called for.

Mr. McNab's grocery and post-office at Blue Bar was the scene of much
excitement and noisy revelry that evening and all the next day while the
gold lasted. Miners who had heard of the Chihuahua "streak" flocked up
to Blue Bar to get the particulars, and naturally joined in the general
feeling of exultation and hilarity that seemed to pervade that
community. Old Platte got terribly drunk, and Thompson and Jones
developed the strangest eccentricities of gait, manner and speech, and
finally subsided into a deep slumber in the dust and sand of the main
thoroughfare of the Bar. Gentleman Dick's absence from the festivities
was not noticed that evening, but the next day Thompson, who seemed to
feel aggrieved on the subject, announced his intention of going up to
Chihuahua to fetch him down. He left Mr. McNab's on his charitable
mission armed with a bottle of rum, and proceeded up the creek in a
condition of moderate intoxication. That he was somewhat sobered on his
arrival at the cabin was perhaps due to the fact that the cork was fixed
very firmly in the neck of his bottle: at any rate, he did not ask his
friend to drink when he found him.

Gentleman Dick had just directed and sealed a letter, and was about to
start for the settlement of Gold Dirt, when Thompson loomed up
unsteadily in the doorway, surveyed him inquiringly for a moment and
asked undecidedly and apologetically, "Wass' up? W'ere you goin'?"

Gentleman Dick, apparently overlooking his somewhat dubious condition,
told him he had been writing a letter to some one who lived in the
States: he was going to Gold Dirt to mail it, and a ring of Blue Creek
gold was to accompany it to its destination. Thompson said no more, but
stood there in the doorway with McNab's rum under his arm. He did not
stir, nor did he seem to notice the "good-bye" that came down the
winding trail through the pines, but remained there stolid and
immovable, gazing vacantly at the writing-paper on the rough table.
Suddenly he straightened himself up to his full height, and taking the
bottle from under his arm, held it out at arm's length and apostrophized
it in terms which Mr. McNab would have regarded as a personal insult,
and which the community on the Blue might possibly have resented with a
challenge to mortal combat. His next step, had they witnessed it, would
certainly have led to the conclusion that he was a dangerous lunatic,
and one, at that, whose peculiar madness was of a kind specially
objectionable to the residents of Blue Bar. He placed the object toward
which his feelings had undergone so sudden a revulsion carefully on the
ground, and seizing in his hands a huge boulder, he proceeded to let it
drop accurately upon it. He oscillated critically over the fragments, as
if to assure himself that the result had been satisfactorily attained,
and then strode rapidly and unsteadily into the forest. How such unsound
principles of economy came to be adopted by him never very clearly
appeared; and the problem of his absence from camp for two whole days,
and his subsequent reform upon the subject of whisky, were matters very
freely discussed at McNab's hut, without any definite or reliable result
being arrived at.

       *       *       *       *       *

Summer had melted imperceptibly into autumn; and the bright tints that
glittered on the mountain-slopes and through the sturdy undergrowth of
the forest told that it in its turn was soon to give way to winter.
Chihuahua Bar was piled with great heaps of boulders and gravel,
furrowed here and there with deep ditches and trenches, and otherwise
gave ample evidence of the hard work that had been done. But, as Old
Platte, remarked, "The luck was down on them," and the partners had very
little to show for their long months of toil. Gentleman Dick had worked
as hard and earnestly as the others, and had never been known to utter a
word of complaint through the many hardships and mishaps they endured.
But a great change had come over him. No one who saw him when he joined
the party in Denver would have ventured to call him strong or robust,
but, delicate as he was then, he was now a mere shadow by comparison.
The change had been more marked and rapid during the last few weeks. He
had seemed to fade gradually away, growing daily weaker and weaker,
until at last a knowledge of his increasing debility forced itself upon
the not very observant faculties of his companions--coming rather as a
sense of indefinable uneasiness on his behalf than any actual
apprehension of his real condition. His great expressive eyes shone out
with an unnatural brilliancy from his pale, sunken cheeks, and a deeper
shade of melancholy seemed settling on his naturally thoughtful face.
Thompson probably noticed it more than anybody else, but said nothing,
while Old Platte and Jones exchanged ideas on the subject with a sort of
puzzled anxiety, mingled, it might be, with some genuine alarm. They
noticed that the work began to fatigue him more and more, and that he
often had to pause in the middle of it weary and exhausted.

At last, one day, about the first of November, he remained in his bunk
in the cabin, unable to come down to the claim. In their rough, uncouth
way they pitied him, and would have given anything they could command to
be able to relieve him. But they seemed instinctively to feel that his
case was something out of their reach, and with the exception of a weak
suggestion from Jones, that he should try some of "them ar antibilious
pills as he had in his box," no course of medical treatment was
contemplated. Besides, was he not himself a doctor? and if he could do
nothing, what should they be able to effect? The argument was
sufficiently conclusive; at least, Jones accepted it as such, and
retired in some confusion, comforting himself by the perusal of the
label on his box of pills, which really seemed to justify the suggestion
he had made. Twice after this, on days when the warm sunshine tempted
him out of doors, he came down to the claim and sat by the wheel and
watched them working; but he never did any more work. He did not tell
them he could not do it, or complain that he was too weak: it was
tacitly understood that his share of the season's labor was over.

About the middle of November the winter stepped in in its sudden way and
commenced to take possession of the valley of the Blue, and by the first
of December the ice was so thick that the partners reluctantly stopped
work. "Jones of Chihuahua" had expressed his determination of going
south to Santa Fé, to stay until spring among the "Greasers," but Old
Platte and Thompson would stay on the Blue for the winter, and to that
end had laid in such provisions as were deemed necessary. The settlement
below on the Bar had been abandoned early in November; and it was
doubtful if a white man besides themselves could be found by its waters
any nearer than the end of the Great Cañon of the Rio Colorado. But they
cared very little for that, and looked forward to their voluntary
hibernation without any feeling of apprehension on the score of
loneliness. Both were hardy mountaineers. Thompson had been the first
man that ever performed the feat of crossing the range at Grey's Peak in
the middle of winter, with the aid of a pair of snow-shoes; and he and
Old Platte knew that if their provisions gave out they could readily
reach some of the Clear Creek diggings in the same way. So Jones
strapped his belt of gold-dust around his waist and prepared to depart.
He shook hands with the partners, and when Gentleman Dick, with a forced
cheeriness of manner and with wishes for a pleasant winter in New
Mexico, remarked, "Next spring the boys will give you a third of my
share, Jones," he stoutly and earnestly repudiated the implied idea, but
with a confusion and uncertainty of manner that indicated a serious
doubt in the soundness of his own assertions.

Gentleman Dick released the big hand as he lay in his blankets, and said
for the last time, "Good-bye, Jones."

"Good-bye, old man."

Jones strode away abruptly on his journey, and if the moisture about his
eyes was in excess of what was required in their normal condition, it
was probably due to the bracing and biting frostiness of the morning
air.

And so they resigned themselves to their winter's prison on the
Blue--Old Platte stolidly and contentedly, Thompson uneasily and
restlessly, and Gentleman Dick peacefully and calmly, knowing full well
that spring would never bloom again for him. Thus the December days flew
by, growing colder and colder, and the snow-line crept gradually down
the slopes of the range until it reached the edge of the timber, where
it seemed to pause for a few days in its advance. It had already snowed
several times in the valley, and the afternoon sun had always melted it
away; but they knew by experience that it would soon come down in good
earnest and cover everything up for the winter in a mantle of snow some
six or seven feet deep. And as the days sped on Gentleman Dick grew
paler and paler, and his bright eyes shone with a brighter lustre, while
he seemed to be gradually slipping away, losing little by little his
hold upon life. He was a mystery to his companions, for he had no
disease that could be detected, and why he should sink thus without any
apparent cause was more than they could understand.

       *       *       *       *       *

The wind came roaring down the cañon in wild, fierce gusts; the dead,
frost-hardened, brittle branches of the sturdy old pines rattled and
cracked and broke as it swept by laden with glittering crystals, stolen
from the range above, where it circled madly around the snowy peaks, and
whirled away great winding-sheets of snow--fine, sleety snow, that
filled the atmosphere with sharp prickly needles, that made their way
inside Old Platte's rough woolen shirt as he chopped away at the
woodpile, and made him shiver as they melted down his back. Everything
was frozen hard and fast; the Blue was silent in its bed; stones and
sticks adhered to the ground as if part and parcel of it, and each piece
of wood in the pile that Old Platte was working at stood stiffly and
firmly in its place. The wind, just before a snow-storm, always comes
down the cañons in fierce premonitory gusts, and as it was desirable to
get in a good stock of wood before the snow-drifts gathered around the
cabin, Old Platte had been hacking manfully for some hours. The sun sunk
low in the hollow of the hills to the westward while he was still
working, and lit up with a cold yellow glare the snowy wastes and icy
peaks of the mighty mountains that stood guard over the Blue. The
whistling of the wind among the pines died gradually away, and the
silence that seemed to fall with the deepening shadows was only broken
by the ringing strokes of the axe and the crack of the splitting wood.
When he ceased the valley had faded into darkness, and the range with
its sharp outlines was only faintly discernible against the sombre gray
pall that had overspread the sky.

He made a broad stack of logs by the fireplace and a larger one outside
the door, and then stood by the threshold to take a look at the weather.
A great soft feather of snow came sailing slowly down and nestled in his
shaggy beard, and another fluttered on to the back of his hand. He
looked up through the darkness and saw that it was already beginning to
fall thickly, and then, with a self-satisfied glance of approval at his
provident woodpile, went into the cabin and fastened the door.

Thompson had shot a fine argal or Rocky Mountain sheep that morning, and
the broiled steaks were giving forth a most acceptable odor. He had
tried to get Gentleman Dick to taste of a choice piece, but he shook his
head wearily, as he had every time for some two weeks or more when
proffered food. He could eat nothing, and lay there propped up on rough
pillows, seeming scarcely conscious of their presence; his dreamy eyes,
with lids half drooping, looking fixedly into the blazing fire. Even the
coffee, civilized as it was by the addition of some patent condensed
milk, and upon the manufacture of which Thompson had prided himself not
a little, stood untouched by his bedside. Old Platte lit his pipe and
dragged his three-legged stool into a corner of the wide chimney, and
Thompson, after moving the things away to a corner, sat down opposite,
mending his snow-shoes with a bundle of buckskin thongs. They did not
talk much in that family of evenings: men of this class are not
conversational in their habits, and a stranger who should look in would
be apt to think them an unsocial set. Old Platte puffed steadily at his
pipe, blinking and winking at the fire, which he poked occasionally with
a stick or fed with a log of wood from the pile by his side. Thompson
worked quietly with knife and awl at his dilapidated shoes, and the
pale, patient face beyond still gazed dreamily into the fire. There were
old scenes, doubtless, in among those burning logs--old familiar faces,
dear memories of the past and weird fantastic visions pictured in the
glowing coals. At last the eyes left the fire for a moment, resting on
the two that sat by it, and he said, "Boys, it's Christmas Eve."

Thompson started, for he had not heard him speak with so much energy for
weeks.

"Christmas Eve!" he repeated absently. "Christmas Eve, and to-morrow
will be Christmas Day. Last Christmas was not like this: all was bright
and fair, and she--"

The rest of the sentence was lost as he muttered it uneasily to himself
and resumed his watching of the fire. Christmas Eve! So it was, but they
had not thought of it. Christmas Eve! The name seemed out of place among
those rocky fastnesses. What could the pines and the solitude, the snow
and the ice, have in common with Christmas? Christmas Eve down in that
desolate valley, in the quiet depths of the forest, away, miles away,
from human habitation of any kind? Christmas Eve! It seemed absurd, but
Christmas Eve it was nevertheless, there as everywhere else.

Old Platte took his blackened old pipe from between his lips and
mechanically repeated the words. "Christmas Eve!" he half growled, as if
some perplexing ideas had been called into existence by the suggestion,
and his pipe went out as he listlessly shoved some stray coals back into
the fire with his foot. But his meditations, to judge from his
countenance, were neither interesting nor profitable. Probably his
Christmases had never been passed in a way that was calculated to make
them pleasingly conspicuous in the background of his life. Most of his
early recollections were associated with a villainous roadside groggery
in Pike county, Missouri, of which his father was the proprietor. Any
questions relating to this parent and home he had been known to
invariably evade, and whenever conversation tended in that direction he
strenuously discouraged it. Why he did so never very clearly appeared.
Some people who pretended to know used to say that the old gentleman had
been doing a lively trade in horseflesh without going through the
customary formalities of finance, and that some people with whom his
dealings had been unsatisfactory, in consequence of this unbusinesslike
habit of his, had called at his house one evening and invited him to
walk out with them. The invitation was one he would have liked to
decline, but extra inducements in the shape of the cold muzzle of a
revolver pressed against his forehead and a low but determined "Dry up
and come along!" caused him to put on his hat and step out. He was found
next morning hanging from a branch of a neighboring tree with a brief
but expressive obituary written in pencil on a scrap of paper and pinned
on his coat: "Horse-thief! Jerry Moon and Scotty, take notice." Inasmuch
as one of the latter individuals was the chief authority for the story,
and had expedited his departure from Pike county in consequence of the
intimation contained in the lines on the same bit of paper, it may be
safely inferred that there was some foundation for the numerous stories
of a similar nature that were in circulation. So Christmas spent as his
had been had no particular interest for Old Platte, and was pretty much
the same as any other kind of day upon which there would be an equally
good excuse for stopping work and getting venomously drunk. At any rate,
the memories that clung around that Pike county whisky-shop were none of
the pleasantest or most gratifying; and with a grunt of general
dissatisfaction he rekindled his pipe, put a couple of sticks on the
fire and allowed his mind to slide off into a more congenial train of
reflection.

To Thompson, Gentleman Dick's words had come as a sort of revelation. He
knew well enough that Christmas came in December, and also upon what day
of that month it fell, but of late the days had gone by so monotonously,
and  had so little to distinguish them one from another, that he had
kept no account of them, and had no idea that it was so near. Some
indefinable influence that he could not account for had of late sent his
mind groping into old and better channels, and consequently when he was
reminded of the presence of Christmas he felt disposed to accord it a
measure of consideration rather different from that with which several
of its predecessors had met. Like Old Platte, he had regarded it as a
good day to go on a "bust" and initiate a "drunk" of more or less
duration, but just now he seemed as if inclined to take a different view
of it. His eyes could take a clearer and healthier view of the past than
he had for a long time had, and its old memories and scenes flocked up
before him now, bright through the dim mist that time had cast over
them, and fresher and sweeter than ever by contrast with the gloomy
present. The snow-shoes slid from his lap and one by one the thongs of
buckskins dropped upon the floor, as he leaned back in the corner of the
broad chimney, his face resting upon his sinewy hand and his eyes
looking through the fire into the world of the past.

Old Platte lay curled up in his bearskins and blankets fast asleep, but
the other still sat by the fire in the same position--still dreamily
thinking. How long he had sat there he did not know. The fire had sunk
into a glowing heap of coals, fast changing into soft white ashes, on
which now and then a melting snow-flake that had stolen down through the
chimney would fall and disappear with a short angry sizz, and the
shadows in the cabin were deep and dark. Suddenly it seemed to him in
his dreaming that a voice called him by name, and he awoke from his
reverie with a chill and a shudder and a sense of indefinable dread
creeping over him--a dread of what, he could not tell. A handful of
chips blazed up brightly and lit up the cabin with their flickering
light as he turned nervously toward the patient, quiet face behind him.
The eyes, shaded by the long black eyelashes, were still on the fire,
and while he was confident that he had not been called, he was dimly
conscious of a great change that had taken place. As he still looked
anxiously at the faded features, the eyes left their long watching of
the embers and were raised to meet his. He felt he was wanted, and was
by his side in a moment: "How d'yer feel, old man?"

Gentleman Dick smiled as he laid his wasted fingers across the sturdy
brown hand that leaned on the edge of his bunk, and turning with
difficulty on his pillow, he said in a voice scarce above a whisper,
"Thompson, old fellow, you and Platte have been kind, very kind, to me.
I won't trouble you much more now. I'm going to say--good-bye to you;
and--Thompson--I want you to do one little thing for me--when spring
comes." He reached into a chink among the logs by his side and drew
forth an envelope containing a few letters, a photograph of a woman's
face, fair and tender, and a gold ring.

Thompson took it with a hand that shook as his rarely did.

"Send it soon--it's addressed and all--send it to her. Maybe she will be
glad to know I am--gone--at last--out of her path--out of the way--and
the world. She sent it back to me--would not have it--or me. Now--" Then
his mind seemed to wander, and he rambled incoherently, repeating over
and over again a name that sounded like that on the envelope. "You will
do it, won't you, Thompson?" said he, rallying suddenly.

Thompson's voice was husky and thick as he answered impressively, "Damn
me ef I don't!" adding mentally, as he glanced at the package, "Damn her
skin, whoever she is! She's at the bottom of all this here business, you
bet."

Gentleman Dick's lips moved as if he were speaking, and as Thompson
leaned over him he could hear, in a broken whisper, "Gold--in old
boot--under bed--Old Platte half."

He heard no more. The pressure of the wasted fingers relaxed, the weary
head sunk slowly back on the pillow, and the tired eyelids drooped over
the glazing eyes.

"Dick!" said Thompson--"Dick, old man!"

Too late. Away through the softly-falling snow, from the Blue with its
stillness and solitude, from its heartaches and sorrows and troubles,
the weary spirit had fled, and Gentleman Dick was at rest.

       *       *       *       *       *

Spring had come again; the snow had melted from the valleys; the grass
and the ferns and the green grass and bright lichens once more peeped
out among the gray boulders and about the feet of the stately pines; and
the Blue, freed from its wintry prison, sang merrily over the gravelly
reaches. And as the miners flocked down that spring from over the range,
they saw near by the Chihuahua Claim and the deserted cabin, in a square
formed by four gigantic pines, a neatly-built cairn of boulders. One big
gray boulder rested securely on top of all, and on it was hacked, in
rough and simple letters, GENTLEMAN DICK.

     W. MACKAY LAFFAN.



A SINGULAR FAMILY.


Almost as far back as I can remember three brothers, Italians named
Noele, were intimates and occasionally inmates of our home. The youngest
brother, Eugenio, had been imprisoned during the political disturbances
of his country, but had escaped and made his way to England. Here, at a
lecture given by Mazzini in London under the auspices of the liberal
Italians and those who espoused their cause, Eugenio, who to handsome
features and aristocratic appearance added a modulated voice and
persuasive manner, rose during the course of the evening, and in words
that held the audience spellbound narrated his own sufferings and those
of some of his friends under the yoke of Austria. As he concluded with
the utterance of the sentiment, "Libertà! Equalità! Fraternità!" a storm
of applause burst from the assembly, and many were the high personages
who at the close of the meeting requested an introduction to the
fascinating young orator. My father was present on this occasion, and
here his acquaintance with Eugenio Noele commenced. The young man having
discovered to him that his pecuniary resources were at the lowest ebb,
my father took him home with him, and my mother afterward united with
him in requesting Eugenio to consider their house as his own. My father
also introduced him to his mercantile connections and initiated him into
mercantile affairs, when by his astuteness and perseverance he was
enabled to lay the foundations of an excellent position. Indeed, but few
years had elapsed (during which time he had frequently resided with us)
ere he had acquired considerable wealth and we a clearer insight into
his true disposition.

His principles were such as the promptings of self-love, a violent
temper, pride and ambition could without difficulty overcome. As he rose
higher in the social scale the reflection that he had owed the impetus
to others was a constant source of annoyance to him. Our house was now
but rarely visited by him, unless when some legal difficulties had
arisen on which he wished to consult my father or some important papers
required translating. Then the air of pride would yield to one of
deferential affection, and in silvery tones he would discourse on such
topics as he imagined were the most pleasing to us. My father would be
termed "Signor Padre" and my mother "Signora Madre."

At about this time he sent to Italy for his brother Rugiero to assist
him in his affairs. Rugiero became as intimate at our house as Eugenio
had been. There were singularly contradictory elements in this brother's
character. At one time the history of a destitute family would move him
to tears, and his purse would be freely emptied for their benefit: at
another time he would spend half an hour in searching for a lost
farthing, and if not successful his countenance would betray lines of
anxiety for hours afterward. If he made me the gift of a paper horn or
box of sweets, his heart for the rest of the day would seem to be
expanded with the most joyous emotions, and for weeks after I was liable
to be asked whether I remembered the day when I was so pleased with his
little gift; and then he would request permission to examine the
pictures painted thereon, and call my attention to their merits. He was
ordinarily slow to understand the point of a witticism, but when he had
by deep pondering discovered it, nothing could exceed his enjoyment:
bending his head and clasping the bridge of his handsomely shaped nose,
he would laugh till the tears were ready to start. On the other hand, he
was extremely sensitive, jealous and suspicious. No one knew how soon
the pleasant smile and kindly word would give place to angry passions as
ungovernable as they were disagreeable to witness. A smile passing from
one person to another without his being acquainted with the cause, was
sufficient provocation for him to rise, make his respects in a frigidly
polite tone and take his leave, to return a few moments after with
heightened complexion and excited voice, and declare that he could not
suffer an affront with equanimity--that he would rid those present of
his "abhorred" society, and would never enter those doors again whilst
he drew the breath of life. We paid little attention to these egregious
eccentricities, merely remarking with a smile of amusement, "Poor
Rugiero! how ridiculous! He must be out of his senses;" and about a
fortnight later he would make his appearance, penitent, apologetic and
studious to remove the ill impression that his strange conduct must have
caused.

A third brother, Giuseppe, was added to the group, of whom vacillation
was the distinguishing characteristic. Giuseppe, in the innumerable
discussions that arose between Rugiero and Eugenio, would acquiesce with
first one and then the other in whatever exaggerated sentiments their
enraged frame of mind might prompt them to utter, with the view of
keeping on good terms with both; but the only result was that when the
flag of truce had been raised, grievances passed over and differences
adjusted, he would have the mortification of finding the whole of the
blame laid on his shoulders, and himself stigmatized as "a
feather-head," "a meddler" and "a spy."

As the years rolled on I grew into womanhood, and became the unwitting
source of constant ill-feeling between the brothers. Eugenio was
handsome, but I distrusted him; Rugiero was nearly as handsome, but I
regarded him as I would have regarded an uncle; Giuseppe was also
handsome, but unstable and entirely wanting in force. Time passed, and
the brothers had separated. Eugenio had married a woman in every way his
inferior. Rugiero had been drawn into a like union that surprised all
those who knew his refined tastes and sensitiveness to the social
amenities. Though a man of honor, his circumstances had become
embarrassed. In his emergencies he had recourse to his old friends,
whose aid was not withheld, but, a crisis arriving, he was declared
bankrupt. Eugenio, instead of assisting his brother, upbraided with
being a disgrace to his own respectability, publicly disowned him, and,
with the view of forcing him to abandon the country, spread injurious
reports concerning him amongst many of the merchants who would otherwise
have been willing to extend a helping hand.

Soon after this Eugenio made a journey to Italy on business. Here he
visited his native place with an equipage designed to astonish the
simple peasants and suggest to them the immensity of his wealth. Never
had the village on the outskirts of which dwelt his widowed sister seen
such magnificence or experienced such munificence. His name was on all
tongues; ovations were made to him; he was almost a king in their eyes.
His sister, Lucretia Mortera, had borne to her husband a large family,
of whom but three survived--a youth named after his uncle Eugenio, and
then being educated for the priesthood; Celestino, a boy of eleven
years; and Virginia, a girl of eight. The little home in which they
resided in quiet retirement had been given to the widow for as long as
she chose to occupy it by a friend of her late husband, as a token of
respect to his memory. Eugenio Noele, ashamed to see a sister of his
living in a way so unsuited to her birth and former expectations,
requested her to dispose of whatever property she might be possessed of,
and prepare to accompany him with her family to London, where he would
provide for them, and his nephew Eugenio, leaving his studies, could
take a place in his counting-house. This request--or rather command--was
embraced with gratitude, though it cost a pang to think of leaving the
home that had sheltered them under many vicissitudes. Besides which, it
was a matter of doubt to Signora Mortera and her eldest son whether any
worldly promotion could justify his deserting the priestly vocation to
which he had felt himself called.

One evening my mother and I were surprised by a call from Rugiero. His
face was pale and his eyes were wild. He sank into an easy-chair, and
after a long silence broke into the most terrible invectives against his
brother Eugenio, who had dragged the widow and orphans from a peaceful
home to cast them adrift.

"What widow? what orphans?"

"Simply, Madama Melville, my poor sister Lucretia, whom he induced to
accompany him to London, with her family, on the pretence of providing
for them all, is now with those children at my house, without means,
without even a change of clothing. Yes, my sister Lucretia, who was a
mother to him when his own mother died; and yet he prospers!"

"But, Rugiero, what was the cause of his treating them thus?"

"When they had arrived at my brother's house the wife, who had not
expected them, took an aversion to them, and no sooner did she learn
that they were strict Roman Catholics than she believed them to be
capable of every crime. Celestino, who is in a decline, was treated with
the greatest neglect. Every occasion of showing disrespect toward her
sister-in-law before her children or the servants was eagerly sought by
my brother's wife, whilst in the presence of her husband she was all
amiability. The sickness of one of her own children was made the
occasion of accusing Lucretia of an attempt to poison it, and the wily
woman so worked on my brother's parental feelings that he had not
returned home an hour ere he commanded his 'infamous sister'--'quel
assassinatrice!'--to leave his house with her children on the instant!
The door was closed upon them, and the outer apparel that had served
them for their journey was thrown to them from the window by the
servants. Amazed and full of grief, they directed their steps toward the
house of the good priest whose chapel they had once or twice attended.
Here they procured my address, and soon after came to my house, where
they now are in the extremest affliction. You, madama, may well imagine
that I can scarcely maintain my own family at this juncture, and that I
am therefore unable to do for my sister and her children what my heart
dictates. After a sleepless night I came to the conclusion that you,
Madama Melville, whose goodness of heart has so often been put sorely to
the test, would be able to suggest some plan by which to mitigate the
sufferings of my unfortunate sister or bring Eugenio to reason."

"My dear Rugiero, I feel certain that my husband would think as I
do--that for the present they had better stay here with us. We can turn
one floor into sleeping apartments for them, and have one sitting-room
in which your sister can receive callers or remain when she wishes to be
alone. You know that I have so often heard you speak of your sister
Lucretia that I can take the privilege of giving her an invitation to
come and make us a long visit; and so you must tell her."

"God bless you, dear madama, as you deserve to be blessed! This is
indeed a weight off my heart and mind."

The result of this conversation was that on the next morning Rugiero
returned, bringing with him his sister and her children. Signora
Lucretia responded to the welcome of my parents with expressions of
fervent gratitude, calling them the saviors of her family. She was a
short, slender woman, in whose dark eyes, long, finely-cut features, and
pale, thin face one could discern the spirit of asceticism and the
traces of past afflictions. Of the children she had buried, all had
reached their tenth year in apparent health and remarkable for their
physical and moral beauty, but from that age they had rapidly trodden
the pathway to the tomb. None of her children had resembled their father
but Eugenio, who was a well-made youth of wiry constitution, and gave
every promise of attaining the ordinary age allotted to man. Celestino
was destined soon to rejoin the children gone before. How can I describe
the thrill I felt when I saw that child's face as he entered the room?
Never had I seen in picture or in dream a countenance so lovely. But
what can I say of those soul-speaking eyes, the large, dark-brown iris
surrounded by the brilliant azure-white and shaded by long dark lashes?
Finely chiseled features were added to a rounded face of a clear pale
olive, except where a flush like the pink lining of a shell played upon
it. Virginia greatly resembled her brother Celestino, but was in full
health, and in spirits that would have been lively but for the constant
and harassing admonitions of her mother, who in every free and graceful
movement saw a tendency to levity that must be repressed. The poor child
was doomed to a perpetual entanglement of the lower limbs, owing to her
garments being made as long as those of a grown person. If, forgetting
decorum, she chanced to skip or jump, Signora Lucretia would exclaim,
"Va scompostaccia! sta più composta" ("Go to, most discomposed one! be
more composed"), and seating her by her side would supply her with
needlework or knitting until my mother would intercede, assuring Signora
Lucretia that the child could never attain healthy womanhood unless
allowed the full play of her muscles and the expansion of her lungs by
singing and laughter.

"Ah, madama, you know not how I fear lest the natural gayety of her
disposition should cause the loss of her soul."

"Oh, my dear lady, such ideas are born of the troubles through which you
have passed, and not of your native good sense. God has implanted this
gayety in your child's heart to enable her to enter with zest into those
amusements so necessary to her development."

One day my mother (by permission) had a tuck taken up in Virginia's
dress, and, directing me to take her for a walk, she privately
commissioned me to purchase for her such attire as was suitable to a
child of her years. I began with her head, and secured the jauntiest
little hat with feathers that I could find, not without a misgiving that
it would ultimately be consigned to the flames. Amongst other articles
that I procured was a wax doll, at the sight of which Virginia screamed
with delight. It was her first doll. Even Signora Lucretia's face was
lit by a smile of undisguised admiration at the improvement in the
child's toilette, but it soon gave place to a sigh at her own "vanity of
spirit," and she held the little hat as Eve might have held the apple
offered to her by the serpent.

Signora Lucretia and her children spent some hours every morning before
breakfast in reciting litanies and other prayers, and on retiring to
rest the same forms were repeated. During the day, whenever the clock
struck the hour, the whole family, leaving whatever might be the
occupation of the moment, knelt on their chairs and made a short prayer
or meditation on the flight of time.

At the time of their arrival my cousin Oswald was staying with us, and
on the first evening he retired early to give them an opportunity of
conversing more freely on the melancholy topics that filled their minds.
After bidding good-night to my mother and kissing her, he paid me the
same tokens of regard. This incident had not escaped the notice of the
young Eugenio, for when directed by his mother to retire to rest also,
he advanced toward me, shook hands, and (although, seeing his intention,
I drew back) succeeded in imprinting a kiss on my cheek. Signora
Lucretia turned as pale as death. My mother, to avoid a scene, turned
with a playful laugh to Eugenio, who by this time was scarlet with
shame, and said, "My dear boy, in this country such salutations are only
permitted from near relations or very intimate friends, but I am not
surprised that Mr. Oswald's thoughtlessness before you should have
misled you into doing the same. So I am sure that your good mother will
not be displeased with you."

"Oh, madama," exclaimed Signora Lucretia, bursting into tears as soon as
the door had closed upon him, "to think that my son should have been
tempted by the Evil One so far as to forget what is due to the holy
vocation for which he is to fit himself! In Italy never had he even been
in the same room with any woman but myself and the priest's old
housekeeper. This is the first time that his lips have been so
desecrated." (Here my mother and I interchanged smiles.) "Unhappy mother
that I am! by what sufferings can I atone for his sin? What shall I
impose upon him to mortify the spirit that has arisen within him?"

The next morning Eugenio came down looking pale and sad, and I felt sure
that he had been reprimanded in no measured terms. I gave him a pitying
glance, which fell like dew on the thirsting earth.

At every breakfast the children were taught to say good-morning to each
person separately. The elder son would commence, "Good-morning and good
appetite, Mr. Melville! good-morning and good appetite, Madama Melville!
good-morning and good appetite, Signora Felicia!" and so on. Then
Celestino would go through the same ceremony, and finally Virginia, and
a grace was uttered, during which the breakfast was liable to become
cool, and Rugiero's temper (if he were present) not so. "Andiamo! I am
sure that Signor Melville and madama do not insist upon so many
compliments; and you, Eugenio, should have more gallantry than to keep
the Signora Felicia waiting whilst her toast becomes cold." That he
should connect the word _gallantry_ with Eugenio was an imprudence,
to say the least. But the offence was more serious when once at dinner
he favored us with some reminiscences of his own gallantries: "I
remember that when I was in the army the wife of our colonel had a
sister, a splendid-looking creature, with eyes like stars, who (to tell
the truth) was head over ears in--But my sister Lucretia, who is
frowning at me, is right. One would say that she must have had an
enlarged experience in such matters, seeing how sensitive she is to the
danger of discussing them." (Here Signora Lucretia, with blushing
cheeks, glanced from Rugiero to her son, who with downcast eyes appeared
to be absorbed with the roast chicken on his plate.) "Without entering
into details that would appear ill-timed to my dear sister" (here his
eyes twinkled with roguishness and his lips parted in laughter),
"suffice it merely to say that I acted as any other man under the
circumstances would have acted, and kissed her not once or twice, but--"

"Go to thy room, Eugenio, most audacious!" panted Signora Lucretia, for
he had raised his head, and, meeting his uncle's laughing gaze, had
faintly smiled--"Go to thy room" (and here she struck him on the face),
"and recite the Litany of the Blessed Virgin three times, and pray for
thy uncle, that he may be converted."

Eugenio with flaming cheeks and ears rose submissively from the table,
and without a word or look ascended to his room to do her bidding.

"What!" exclaimed Rugiero, rising from his seat, "would you dare to
insult me by desiring my own nephew to pray for me? It seems to me that
I dream! Per Bacco!"

Here my father observed that he must own he saw nothing very outrageous
in what Rugiero had narrated, yet, as Signora Mortera had her own
peculiar views on the matter, he considered that her brother was bound
to respect them. Rugiero then admitted that he had been too hasty, and a
reconciliation was effected, but he never met his nephew's eye
thereafter without the same roguish smile, at which the poor youth would
blush painfully and lower his gaze.

During this scene at the dinner-table Celestino breathed quickly, but
never moved his eyes from the table-cloth, while Virginia looked at each
one of the speakers in open-mouthed astonishment and curiosity.

One day I accompanied Signora Lucretia and her children to a Roman
Catholic chapel in the neighborhood. I could not be unconscious of the
odd and incongruous appearance of the two sons--Eugenio in a suit like
that of a stage grandfather, snuff-colored, and with collar that raised
the lobes of his ears; and dear little Celestino with a similarly cut
coat in bottle green, with large gilt buttons, making him look like a
man in miniature. Such had been the style pronounced by the village
tailor to be in the height of Parisian fashion, but being a novelty to
the London "gamins," it attracted more notice from them than we could
have wished. After Signora Mortera and her children had attended the
confessional she seemed to be much easier in her mind, and was so
amiable as to tell my mother on our return home that it was edifying to
behold the signorina walking like a Roman matron, in contrast to those
who were giggling and turning their heads first one way and then the
other, like so many pulcinelle. Notwithstanding this compliment,
however, I perceived that she was uneasy concerning Eugenio and myself.
It was evidently a satisfaction to her that I should load Celestino with
caresses and endearing epithets, but that Eugenio should sit near me,
speak to me, or even be in the same room with me (whether alone or in
company), was the signal for demonstrations of the extremest vigilance.
On one evening my cousin had brought home some gifts, consisting of a
silver pencil-case with gold pen for Eugenio, a traveling writing-case
with his name on it for Celestino, and a small traveling work-bag
similarly marked for Virginia. These were highly appreciated. Celestino
seemed unwilling to have his desk out of his sight for a single moment,
and when his bed-time came wanted to take it up with him. His mother,
unwilling to leave Eugenio in my society without her watchful presence,
directed him to carry his brother up.

"Signora madre," said Celestino, "I am not tired to-night."

"Well, then, Eugenio can carry up thy writing-case for thee."

"Signora madre, it is not heavy, and I would like to carry it myself."

So Signora Lucretia went up with him herself, and, leaving my mother to
entertain Eugenio, I went immediately into another room. I felt too
deeply for the misfortunes of the unsophisticated Eugenio ever to have
willingly trifled with the nascent susceptibilities of his heart.

One little incident, however, occurred to interrupt the orthodox reserve
of our demeanor. An old friend of ours, Captain Stuart, had sent
Virginia a bank-note with which to procure some keepsake. One evening
the old gentleman called, and was shown into the drawing-room, where my
mother received him. The rest of us were in the dining-room below. On my
mentioning Captain Stuart's name to Signora Lucretia, she exclaimed,
"Let us go, my children, and thank this good man for his kind present to
our Virginia."

It was dark, but the hall-lamp had not been lit, so I took a wax taper
from the writing-table and, lighting it, proceeded to escort them up the
staircase. Some spirit of mischief prompted me by a sudden movement to
let the light be blown out. In an instant the hand of Eugenio met mine,
and thus hand in hand, swinging to and fro, we came to the drawing-room
door, and a flood of light bursting upon us discovered to Signora
Lucretia my face flushed with suppressed laughter, and Eugenio's eyes no
longer timid, but sparkling with joy. From this time he would spend
whole nights in writing verses, which he would show to his mother. She,
noting the classical allusions, and having a great respect for literary
talents, did not repress his efforts, but on the contrary appeared
desirous that he should show his verses to my mother and to me. Mingled
with expressions of grief and despair at the inconstancy of fortune and
the decrees of fate were allegorical fancies in which I could perceive
that I held a place, but I never allowed him to think that I noticed
this; and indeed after the escapade of the staircase I became more
distant than before.

However, one day when Celestino was feeling more weak and tired than
usual, and I was propping him up on the sofa, I observed with some
trepidation that Eugenio, who had been reading at the window, changed
his seat to one near the head of the sofa. His mother and mine were busy
sewing at a window in the next room, from whence they could see us
through the folding doors. His eyes were full of tears, and, suddenly
bending over his brother and rearranging a cushion, he seized my hand
and covered it with silent kisses. In a moment I had disengaged my hand,
full of fear for the result to Eugenio should Signora Lucretia's
attention be directed toward us. The same evening, on returning from a
visit, I learned that my mother and Signora Mortera had gone out under
the escort of Oswald to attend vespers at a church some distance off. We
young people passed the evening alone together. The crimson curtains
were closely drawn, and the cosy room was lighted by a blazing fire.
Reclining in an easy-chair, I held Celestino's fragile form in my arms,
the wonderful eyes gazing into mine as I watched with emotions too deep
for words their ever-varying expression. Eugenio sat on an ottoman at my
feet, alternately reading aloud from Dante and pausing to observe me,
while Virginia was on the hearth-rug, happy in adorning her doll with
pieces of silk, beads and flowers.

Suddenly Eugenio said, "Does the signora remember in the narrative of
Dives and Lazarus how Lazarus was thankful for the crumbs that fell from
the rich man's table?"

I understood him, and hiding my face in Celestino's tendril-like curls,
I replied, "Yes, but I wonder whether he would have been hungry enough
to eat crumbs that he knew to be poisoned?"

He made no reply.

"Eugenio," I continued, "what are your plans for the future? Is it your
own desire to become a priest?"

This last word made him tremble. "I _once_ desired it," he
answered, "thinking it the most honorable position to which I could
aspire, and also my natural vocation. But now--God knows whether it be a
sin or not--I would pass through any affliction He might send rather
than become one. But my mother's heart is fixed upon it more than ever,
and soon my family will be wholly dependent upon me. Ah! young as I am,
I have suffered and still suffer. Far happier is that child in your
arms, dying slowly though it may be, than the unfortunate Eugenio."

"Have a care," I said, "lest, entering the state of priesthood, you bear
with you a heart fixed on the things of this world. Do not yield to the
impulses of a strong imagination, but endeavor to forget whatever might
prove a hindrance to you hereafter."

"Ah, Felicia, my heart is too full ever to forget. Celestino, my
brother, _thou_ art indeed happy. Dost thou know it?"

"Yes, Eugenio, I feel even too happy."

"God bless thee, Celestino! I love thee more than ever;" and, stealing
his brother's hand from mine, he gently kissed it, whilst Celestino
smiled on us with a heavenly smile.

It was arranged that I should accompany my father to the counting-house
of Eugenio Noele and strive to obtain some redress for the widow and
orphans, for I had always been a favorite with him, and my mother
imagined that my influence would have more power than her own. But the
only result of this interview was that Eugenio promised, for my sake, to
furnish his sister and her family with sufficient funds to enable them
to return to their own country: he also told my father that he should
send one of his clerks to accompany them and see that they _did_ go
there.

On our way home we called on Dr. Newcastle, our old friend and
physician, and after describing the circumstances of the Mortera family,
asked him to call and see Celestino in the evening. The doctor was a
fine-looking man, with a profusion of silvery white hair and beard, a
deep thinker, blunt and sincere of speech, and full of dry wit that made
every one laugh but himself. His footman (a colored man) was once
overheard to say, "Berry strange man, my massa! berry sing'lar man! I
say to him, 'I can't walk fast in dese yere boots, sar--dey's too
short.' 'Oh,' he says, ''tis but the cutting off a piece of your toes,
Caesar, and de boots will fit well enuff.' Him berry sing'lar man. One
day I hear, through de open window of a lady's house, him say to her,
'For what did you send after me, madam?' and she say, 'I feel a leetle
'stericky again dis morning, doctor: what can you pescribe for me?'
'Pescribe!' says my massa with a sort of short laugh: 'why, dat you go
to de top of de house wid a brush and dustpan and sweep de stairs all de
way down, and make all de beds, and leave off drinking strong coffee;'
and a berry fashionable lady too, as dey tell me after. When de doctor
get into him carriage he talk to himself, and give him short laugh."

After an introduction to Signora Mortera, the doctor turned his
attention to Celestino, who lay on the sofa pale and agitated: "Bless my
heart! what a handsome lad! what splendid eyes! Ah! hm! hm! poor fellow!
hm!" and he cleared his throat. "Let me feel your pulse."

As Celestino turned and gazed on him with mute surprise the doctor
proceeded with his examination in complete silence, and then began
discoursing about the weather and politics.

"But, doctor," said my mother, "you have told us nothing about the boy?
What is your opinion? what shall we do for him? what do you prescribe?"

"Whirr! whirr! how many questions! I prescribe for him a course of early
rising, accompanied by long prayer and fasting. If he shows an
inclination for exercise, give him a rosary. Take away juvenile books,
and give him the _Lives of the Saints and Martyrs_. Let him
remember the days of fasting and abstinence. Why, bless me! the boy is
nothing but heart and brain. He must be kept cheerful and
well-nourished. Let him be in the open air when it is pleasant. I will
prescribe a little something for him, but his case is beyond all
medicine."

"Oh, doctor, do you really mean to say that he will die?"

"Die?" and the doctor laughed his little cynical laugh. "Why, we shall
all die some day, shall we not?"

"Now, doctor, do be serious. Is there no hope for him?"

"I don't see that there is;" and he continued to gaze at the boy's face
as if it had some fascination for him.

Eugenio Noele failed not a week later to send his clerk to make
arrangements for the departure of the Morteras. As the time drew nearer
Celestino failed rapidly. He would lie for hours without speaking except
with his eloquent eyes. Frequently he would kiss a little ring that I
had given him, and a few days before his departure I gave him a trinket
consisting of a turquoise heart, with a cross set with crystals over red
stones, emblematical of the blood and water that flowed from the side of
our Redeemer. This he received with great emotion, and as I tied it to
his neck with a ribbon he said, "I will wear it as long as I have life."

"Does Celestino fear to die?"

"No, signora, not whilst you are near me; and by dying I shall see my
brothers and sisters in heaven, and can come and watch over you all."

"Sweetest child! It will break my heart to lose thee."

"Ah, do not weep;" and the boy's lips paled and his eyelids closed. I
gave him water, and called to his mother to come and speak to him.

"Ah, this child of my bosom! my poor Celestino! must he leave me too?"

"Dear signora, he goes to a world free from such sorrows or cares as
yours have been. He is like an angel even now."

"Celestino, kiss thy poor afflicted mother." Without a word, but with
trembling lips, he stretched forth his arms to embrace her, and I stole
away, leaving to her sacred sorrow the poor woman who for the moment,
forgetting her self-imposed ascetic restraint, was yielding to every
impulse of demonstrative tenderness.

The night before their departure Eugenio wrote an ode addressed to me,
and placed it in my hands. I did not then read it through: I felt too
dispirited and preoccupied. The next morning his eyes met mine with a
questioning expression that I did not comprehend. When the hour for
parting had arrived tears and broken exclamations were mingled. Eugenio
lingered to kiss me, with a look first of inquiry, then of deep despair.
I found afterward that the poem he had presented to me contained a
protestation of humble and devoted love, which he entreated me not to
neglect with scorn, and thereby add to the cruelties of his situation.

What a sense of loneliness we experienced! I felt restless and unhappy:
I was pursued by the imploring face of Eugenio and haunted by the eyes
of Celestino. It was long ere our household recovered its old
equilibrium. Letters full of gratitude came from the Morteras. They were
re-established in their old home; Eugenio had resumed his studies;
Virginia was not so well; Celestino was dying. Soon after I received a
letter in Eugenio's handwriting informing me that the trinket he
enclosed would be to me an evidence that his beloved brother Celestino
was dead. He had died with a smile on his lips, and Eugenio with his own
hands had unfastened the jewel from his neck. In a letter written some
time after to my mother Eugenio implored her by all she loved to rescue
him from a position which he felt to be daily more unendurable, by
procuring for him some engagement, in however humble a capacity, that
would enable him to support himself and assist his family. A priest he
_could not, would not_ be. My parents had scarcely time to discuss
the matter ere another letter came from Eugenio, telling them that his
mother had discovered the subject of his correspondence, and that she
and their good old priest had succeeded in convincing him of his
wickedness in attempting to relinquish the holy vocation of priest--that
it had been a snare of the devil; and he implored Signor and Madama
Melville to forgive him for the scandal he had caused concerning his
holy religion by such unworthy backslidings, which he now deeply
repented.

One day Oswald came in exclaiming, "Aunt, who do you think has failed
and left the country?"

"Who?"

"Why, your friend, Eugenio Noele! As I passed the house I saw men
carrying away the pictures and things. I could not help stopping to
inquire into the matter. One of the workmen, who seemed to know a great
deal about it, said that a confidential clerk was at the bottom of it
all, and had run off before the great smash came."

The last news we heard of this singular family was that Rugiero, who had
gone to Italy with his family, was retrieving his position, that
Giuseppe was with him, and that Eugenio was a priest, and beloved by all
for his noble qualities and extended usefulness.

     CLELIA LEGA WEEKS.



THE MATCHLESS ONE:
A TALE OF AMERICAN SOCIETY, IN FOUR CHAPTERS.

PROLOGUE.


Ah, the misfortune of being wealthy, the misery of being handsome, the
disadvantage of a divine moustache and a dimple in the chin, the
affliction of having wavy hair and dark eyes, the forlorn condition of a
man who is very clever, who never makes a bad joke, who is such "good
company," such a "jolly dog," such a "happy creature" and "fortunate
fellow"! Oh the calamity of possessing a romantic country-seat and fine
horses!--the ill-starred luck of a person who is always finding a moon
that shines beautifully, a sun that is never too hot, long walks that
cannot be too long, and drives that are "_so_ delightful"!

I am the unhappy victim of a fate which in spiteful mood gifted me
beyond my fellow-men. I might have had my share of enjoyment in the
world, as mediocre people have, but my perfections are in my way at
every turn, continually marring my prospects. A superficial observer
might think that these advantages would have the contrary effect--that I
should be more fortunate than others--but my story will prove my
assertion. Take, for example, my difficulties as a "marrying man." I
will relate my experience during the past three years, and you can judge
for yourself.



CHAPTER I.


My good mother (may Heaven reward her!) often advised me to marry
betimes. "Marry early in life, my dear Charles," she would say, "but
marry a woman _worthy_ of you."

In her solicitude my mother foresaw the difficulty of the task she had
set before me. She had known and admired me from childhood, and of
course appreciated my worth. I remember her sad but affectionate gaze as
she spoke, and I, unconscious of the future, smiled to reassure her.
With the simplicity inseparable from great natures, I did not value the
treasures I possessed. I was as the poet before he has touched his
lyre--as the sculptor ere he has found his marble. Since then the years
have brought knowledge. My eyes have been opened by the actions of those
around me--by the admiration I excite whenever I appear; by the respect
with which I am listened to when I speak; by the warmth with which I am
welcomed wherever I visit. I could produce many examples to illustrate
my gradual awakening, but they would be irrelevant to my subject.

I earnestly desired to fulfill my mother's wishes, and as soon as it
seemed proper after her decease I set out on my quest as on a
pilgrimage. The task which requires from most men some six weeks' or
three months' time, perhaps a few moments snatched from business or a
few evenings of ball-room devotion, has cost me three years' labor, and
it is not yet accomplished. But I suppose it is easier for other men to
find some one worthy of _them_.

I had read the poets: I had conceived an ideal of a faultless creature,
and with the enthusiasm of youth I sought for a woman to worship as a
star--one whom I should adore--one far above me, from whom it would be
honor to win a smile, and--and all that sort of thing. Alas! I found
they smiled before I could make my first bow at an introduction. At
first I blamed the poets--thought they had been mistaken--had not
studied human nature; but the truth gradually dawned upon me. _The
fault was mine_! The imagination of man had not been able to create a
hero of fiction like myself: in fact, had authorship attained such a
triumph, the most fastidious maiden would have been obliged to fall in
love at first sight, thereby spoiling many a fine three-volumed romance
and heroic cantos innumerable. How ruinous would the possession of
perfection such as mine have been to the chivalry of the Middle Ages!

I do not think any less of the ladies for the ease of my conquests: I
know how impossible it is for the poor dears to resist my charms; but oh
the happiness of mediocrity!

I was occupied for a whole season searching for the being whom I called
my star. My fancy was so pleased with the idea of basking in her
radiance, I had so fully persuaded myself to be guided by her light to
all things great and high, I had learned to think of her with so much
devotion, that I could not give up my hope of finding her somewhere. I
went to all the popular summer-resorts in turn, meeting only
disappointment. The star type of girls did not seem to be the mode that
season: I could see no trace of her I came to find. Though saddened, I
was too young to despair: in my usual clear and sensible manner I
thought the matter over. After all, I reflected, I suppose I can find a
woman worthy of me who is not a star. I doubt not the poets were sincere
in their civility to persons of the other sex. The exaggeration arose
from the absence of any really superior man with whom to compare them.
They _seemed_ stars in contrast with the existing male species:
_I_ had not yet appeared.

Another summer found me renewing my search with unabated vigor, but this
time on a different basis, having determined to lay romance aside--to
seek for nothing above me--to be content with an equal. If with her I
should not be ecstatically happy--if our _ménage_ would not quite
rival that of Adam and Eve in the garden of Paradise--yet a certain
amount of modern bliss might be extracted from the companionship of an
agreeable woman who could appreciate and sympathize with my tastes and
be my friend through life.

I employed my second summer in looking for a sympathetic woman, with the
intention of making her my wife. May I never see such a hard-working,
distracting season again! Not that such women were hard to find--they
were only too plenty: at one time I had six who were devoted to me. One
sympathized with my love of music; we sang duets together in the
evening; it was delightful, for I need hardly say that I sing as I do
everything else--remarkably well. Another sympathized with my sketching
propensities. We rambled in the woods together with boxes and colors. I
found it charming. "Nothing amateurish" about my style, Miss Pinklake
said. A third sympathized with my taste for horses: my restive Nero was
the "sweetest pet" she ever saw. (My groom says, "He's the divvil
hisself, Muster Charley.") With her I rode in the afternoon. She told
me--Miss Vernon, you know her? brunette, deuced pretty--she said one
day, when we were taking a canter together, "I can believe those
wonderful stories of the Centaurs when I see _you_ ride, Mr.
Highrank." She had a pleasant voice, and such a figure! I had almost
decided to propose to her one day, and was even thinking of the words I
should use, when the pale Miss Anabel Lee came walking along the road by
us, looking like a fairy, her hat hanging on her arm filled with wild
flowers, and her dress looped with ferns. As she passed she raised her
beautiful blue eyes to mine, and at the same time--it might have been
chance--she pressed a bunch of forget-me-nots to her lips. I remembered
I had an engagement to walk with Miss Lee on the beach that night: there
was a lovely moon--we talked poetry. It was Miss Annie Darling who said
I "waltzed divinely." Miss Annie laid her hand on one's sleeve when she
talked to one, mutilated her fan with various tappings on a fellow's
shoulder for being naughty, as she called it ("naughty" meant giving her
a kiss in a dark corner of the verandah), said saucy things to the
snobs, and used her eyes. She walked with the Grecian bend. When I had a
serious fit there was young Miss Carenaught, who was plain and read the
reviews, spoke sharply against fashion, and knew a man of my education
"must despise the butterfly existence of the surrounding throng."
Sometimes she would invite me to go with her to catch beetles and queer
insects--"not that she needed my help," she would say, "but my
intellectual society was indeed a treat in this crowded desert."

All this was very agreeable, but also very perplexing. At the end of the
season I found myself as far from making a choice as ever. If I indulged
one taste at the expense of the others, I should become a less perfect
man; nor could I decide in which of my pursuits I needed sympathy the
most--music, painting, dancing, riding, reading. Alas! could I find one
woman congenial in all my moods I would marry her immediately. Wearied
by the attentions of so many, I yet feared an imperfect life spent with
but one. I saw that I had made another mistake, and retired to my
country-seat, "The Beauties," to recruit.

I know there is a modern idea that women are the equals of men (the
poets, you remember, thought them superior), and many may consider it
odd that I did not find it so. I do not wish to offend. To those who
hold that opinion I modestly suggest my unfortunate superiority as the
probable cause of my failure. I do not blame the ladies, be it
understood.

Again I sat down to plan and reflect. I looked mournfully on the past
and less hopefully on the future. The obstacles were beginning to
dishearten me, but even after a second failure I dared not relinquish my
quest: my mother's wishes must be fulfilled. A woman worthy of me:
behold the difficulty! What course of action should I now pursue?

At last I had a flash of brain-light on the subject. I would look for
the purely good, rejecting the intellectual entirely. I would plunge
into the country and seek a bride fresh from the hands of Nature, a wild
flower without fashion, guile or brains--one who in leaving me free to
follow my own pursuits would yet adorn my life with charms of the
heart--a heart that had known no love but mine.

It was in the most beautiful month of autumn that I made this resolve,
which I lost no time in putting into execution. I wrote to my old
college friend, Dick Hearty, that I would spend a month with him: he had
often invited me to visit him in the country. I counted on doing enough
love-making in that time to win my wild rose, and at my return I would
bring home my bride. I reasoned that in those unsophisticated regions,
in the shadow of the virgin forest, the trammels of long courtship and
other fashionable follies are unknown: heart meets heart as the pure
woodland streams meet each other and become one.

Before I set out I gave a dinner-party at The Beauties to announce to my
gentleman friends the joyful event. At the dessert I rose and proposed
the health of my future bride.

"And may it be years before she arrives at The Beauties!" mumbled Percy
Flyaway when they had drunk the toast.

"I hope you will all welcome her at a grand reception here in--about a
month or six weeks." I remembered just in time that I had best not fix a
date, as something might intervene.

A storm of questions, exclamations and remarks ensued.

"Lovely?"

"As fair as poet's dreaming."

"Die Vernon?"

"Not for Joe!"

"The Soprano?"

A shake of my head.

"Anabel?"

"No."

"Who is she?"

"Let us drink her health again," said one, getting thirsty, and fearing
in the excitement the bottle would not be passed.

"Tell us all about her," cried another.

"Gentlemen," said I seriously when the noise had slightly abated, "you
know I am a deuced good fellow."

"Hear! hear!" they cried.

"That you are!" said Percy.

"Well, I am going to get a deuced good wife."

"Congratulate you, old fellow!"

"Do you think of going up in a balloon for a wedding-trip?"

They all came around me, clinked their glasses with mine, shook hands
with me, and drank my health, her health, the health of my
mother-in-law, and any other toast that would serve as an excuse for
emptying a glass.

"I say, will she cut rough on us chaps?" asked Percy in a plaintive
voice as the hubbub subsided.

"Gentlemen," cried I, waving my hand, "my wife that is to be is an
angel."

"Wish she would stay in heaven!" muttered Percy.

"What I mean by an angel is a perfect woman."

"Worse still," said the irrepressible Perce. (By the by, the wits had
nicknamed him "Perce sans purse," because he was poor, you know, but he
was a good fellow, quite.)

"Gentlemen, let me explain."

"Hear! hear!"

"I have been looking for a wife for the past year: I have thought much
on the subject, for I think it an important one."

"Solomon!" said Perce out of his wine-glass.

"Now, a good wife must be a refined, gentle, kind, loving, beautiful
woman, with no nonsense about her."

"Amen to the last clause!" cried Bear de Witt.

"You have found her?" asked Percy, absently watching the sparkling
bubbles rise one after the other in his glass.

"Ah--aw--I will bring her home," I answered, evading the question--"my
love, my bliss, my delight!"

"He is awful spoony on her," said Bear in a disgusted tone.

"He is tipsy," whispered Percy as I sat down with a tremor in my voice
and wiped my eyes with a napkin.

Then Perce began to lecture me in an injured tone: "I say, it is really
too bad of you. I should not have believed it if you had not told us
yourself. To go and get married like any fool of a fella' that hasn't
forty thou' a year, like any common man--it's too rough."

"I know it, Perce," I replied, "but we superior people must set an
example--the world expects it of us. The only question is, how to make a
proper choice."

I remember very little after, except that the lights shone dimmer
through the cigar-smoke, that there was much noise from popping corks,
and occasionally a breakage of glass, and I think I made another speech.
Next morning I awoke with a very robust and well-defined head-ache.

A few days later I started for the back-woods, with Wordsworth packed in
my trunk, he being the writer most congenial to my present state of
mind. Once seated in the cars, I looked with pleasure on each pastoral
scene as it came into view, and gazed at the milkmaids while thinking
romantically of my love. I took a nap, and awoke respectfully pressing
the handle of my portmanteau and murmuring a proposal to my wild flower.

It was late when I arrived at the little village near which my friend
resided, and I resolved to spend the night at the modest inn of the
place. The gay singing of birds, mingled with the ringing of Sunday
bells, caused my drowsy eyes to open on the morrow. A happy thought came
to me as I lay enjoying the delightful freshness of all around me: "I
will go to church: my little Innocence will be there. I know she is
pious. As unconscious as the birds, and with as sweet a voice, she will,
like them, be praising her Maker this bright morning."

I began to dress, looking each moment from the window with the hope that
she might pass by. The street was quiet--no one to be seen. Presently,
from a house near, tripped two pretty girls, and I eagerly came forward
to see them. "If it is not my rose herself," I thought, "it maybe some
relation--cousin, sister, friend: I am interested in the whole town
since _she_ lives here." The girls came nearer. They walked without
affectation: you could imagine that the spirit of Modesty herself had
taught them that quiet demeanor. Suddenly they looked up and saw me. Am
I Mephistopheles, to produce such a dire effect? They looked down, they
simpered, they laughed a laugh that was not natural: their voices grew
louder.

"_Did_ you see him?" said one.

"So perfectly lovely!" said the other.

"I wonder who he is?" remarked the first.

"My fate," I muttered as I turned away.

After breakfast I sallied forth, humming "Pure as the Snow." Taking a
reconnoissance of the town, I came to a pretty house with
woodbine-covered porch, and a slender figure at the window.

"I will not startle her with a rude glance," thought I, for I could see
without appearing to look. As my step resounded the figure turned.

"Oh, do come here, Jessie! Who _can_ he be?" said the slender
figure to some one inside.

I raised my eyes slowly, and my hat. "Could you tell me the way to Mr.
Hearty's?" I asked, not thinking of any other excuse for speaking to
her.

Blushing, she told me.

"And might I ask you," looking beseechingly at her as a person who might
be my future wife--"might I ask you to give me one of your roses?"

"Take as many as you like," she said courteously.

"I would rather you gave me one," with a smile.

She hesitated for an instant, then quickly plucked a bud from the side
of the open window, threw it to me and ran away.

"I shall find _my_ Rose later," sighed I.

I sauntered on to church, a pretty little building of mossy gray stone,
and seated myself on a shady bench under the elms to watch the people
assembling.

Ye gods! could it be? Here were last summer's styles, airs and grimaces,
served up as it were cold. I could pick out bad copies of each girl I
had flirted with the past season. You remember Florence Rich at The
Resort?--here was her portrait in caricature. Florence was the vainest
girl I ever knew, and showed it too. But she was vain of herself. This
country Florence was vain of a new silk that I would have taken the odds
she was wearing for the first time. She looked as if she were saying
with every rustle, "Admire me!" though of course she wasn't, you know.
She was constantly arranging her bracelet or smoothing her glove, and
looking on this side and that to see if any one was observing her. By
this means she gave her admirers the benefit of her full face, showing
both earrings; then of her profile, showing one earring and her curls;
and then of the back of her head, showing her fall bonnet. Her little
black veil ended just where her nose needed a shade. It is needless to
mention that she looked at me as she passed and gave me a smile _à la
profile_, which was ostensibly aimed at a pale young man near the
church-door.

On they came, looking like the remnants of my summer's feast--the supper
after my season's dinner--stale and repelling to my satiated palate. On
entering I saw the ghost of "the Soprano" at the head of the choir, with
less voice and more affectation. The same glances of envy that had been
shot from angry eyes at The Resort I now saw passing between angry eyes
here. The church was full of imitations of this kind, or were they only
inferior originals of the same type?

I learned afterward that the girls of the town were divided into two
classes--the followers of Miss Loude, who was fast and flashy, and the
imitators of Miss Weighty, who affected the quiet style, did not visit
indiscriminately, and was considered "stuck up" by the townspeople,
being the daughter of a retired grocer. During the service they all
looked at me. Some who were of the Loude school did it openly: those
after the Weighty pattern peeped clandestinely over their prayer-books,
through their fans, or between their fingers when praying. The more
clever would use strategy, shivering as if in a draught of air, and
looking around in my direction to see if a window were open, while the
mammas eyed me steadily through spectacles.

"I might have known it," I thought, exasperated: "'tis the same
everywhere, unless I should go to a country where the people are blind."

Dick Hearty, who was there with his sisters, came up after the service
and spoke to me. "Looking well, old fellow!" he said, as if I was not
sick of looking well. "Let me introduce you to my sisters."

His sisters were of the fast and flashy school. Both of them fell in
love with me before I left, though I tried hard to make myself
disagreeable, not thinking it right to disappoint them, being a friend
of the brother, and all that. But unless I wear a mask I cannot prevent
such accidents. I hope they will get over it in time. They were deuced
nice girls too, but more like peonies than wild roses.

Well, as I was saying, Dick introduced me, and insisted on taking me
home with him at once. I already began to fear for the success of my
object, but could not turn back at the very beginning of the promised
land; so I went with him.

It would be tiresome to tell of all the flirtations and adventures I had
while there, or of all the girls who devoted themselves to me. Like
skillful leaders, Miss Loude and Miss Weighty set the example to their
imitators--an example which none were slow to follow. Indeed, it seemed
as if the struggle consisted in seeing who should be first at my feet. I
averaged half a dozen conquests daily: Dick's house was overwhelmed with
lady visitors, and it was usually love at first sight with them all. A
second interview was sufficient to win the most intractable. Not that I
cared to win: I was fatigued with victory--my laurels oppressed me. I
began to wish, like that nobby old emperor, Au--I used to know his
name--that all womankind had but one heart, that I might finish it with
a look, and then turn my attention to more important matters.

Once I thought I had found her. At one of the picnics given in my honor
I saw a sober, pretty little thing, with rosy cheeks and chestnut hair,
who looked intensely rural. I fancied I should like to talk to her alone
for a while, and took her to a spring that was just in sight of the
dancing platform, thinking she would be too timid to go far away from
the others. I found her very sweet and bashful: I could desire nothing
more so. She blushed at each word she said, and made some very innocent
remarks, unfettered by the grammatic rules that restrain less ingenuous
people. Hoping to put her at her ease, I talked about the country, the
beautiful views, and all that.

"If you like lovely views," she said shyly, "I can show you one."

"I shall be most happy to see it," I replied.

To tell you of the walk that the treacherous innocent took me, of the
rocks we climbed and the marshy brooks we crossed, and the two hours she
kept me at the work! Her stock of conversation was exhausted in the
first ten minutes, and I was too angry to be civil. Two hours of such
silent torture man never underwent before, and yet when we returned
tired, with the perspiration rolling down our faces, I actually
overheard her tell one of her companions that it had been "a delightful
walk, I was _so_ agreeable." Just my luck! And that walk made her a
belle! After it all the country beaux flocked around to pay her
attention, and she looked upon them as Cinderella might have viewed her
other suitors after the prince had danced with her at the ball.
Disgusting!

Dick came to me after a while and said, "Charley, you are so stunning in
that velvet coat that all the girls are in love with you."

"I know it, Dick," I said in a complaining voice--"I know it. It always
happens just so. Think it's the coat? I would take it off in a minute if
I thought it was." Then I added with a burst of confidence, "Dick, 'tis
the same with everything I wear: the fascination is in myself. I would
do anything to lessen it, but I can't."

"You are a jolly joker," replied Dick with a tremendous slap on my back,
as if I had said something very funny. I am often witty when I don't
mean to be.

But why continue a history which was the same thing day after day? I
stayed in the country more than three weeks. Though doubting, I was
conscientious, and left nothing undone to gain my end. The task bored me
far more than my sympathizers did in the summer. Indeed, any of those
friends were bewitching in contrast to the girls I now met, and had one
of them dropped in on me during that tiresome period I think I should
have forgotten nice distinctions and made serious love to her, sure of
finding more pleasure in having a single taste in common than in having
none at all.

I believe country-people are even more egotistic than the dwellers in
cities. I sometimes found myself at the most isolated farm-houses
looking for my Rose. The men I met there invariably thought they knew
all about the weather and religion, politics and farming; the women were
convinced they had every kind of knowledge worth having, and that what
they did not know was "new-fangled" and not worth a pin; and their
daughters believed that they were beauties, or would be if they had fine
clothes to dress in. How people can be so mistaken as to their capacity
is a mystery to me.

During my stay I came to the conclusion that I would rather press a soft
hand than a hard one; that I would rather see a tasty toilette than
beauty unadorned; that shy manners are anything but graceful; that the
useful and the beautiful are not likely to be found in the same person;
and that girls, like _articles de luxe_, should be carefully kept.
I like to recall that well-bred, unconscious air of Miss Haughton; I
remember Miss Darling as a model of deportment: why, she could do the
naughtiest things in a less objectionable manner than that of these
girls when acting propriety.

I discovered some facts regarding wild roses. Their petals are few and
faded, and their thorns many and sharp. Their scanty green foliage will
always remind me of a calico gown. Take my word for it, and don't ever
go to the trouble of seeking one. Give me a full-blown damask rose. What
care I if it was nursed in a hot-house or if its beauty is due to the
gardener's care? I thank the gardener and take the rose. Or give me a
half-open sulphira, with suggestive odors and soft curving leaves,
passion-pale in tint, or a gorgeous amaryllis produced by artful
development, clothed like a queen in state, bearing erect her magic
beauty. No more wild roses for me!



CHAPTER II.


I had been at Breezy Brook, that beautiful summer resort which you all
know, about a month: it was now July, and nothing had happened worth
relating since my arrival. During the past winter I had not been
idle--attending parties, balls and operas without number, but without
success. This summer I made up my mind to be tranquil and to let events
take their course, for, as Fortune had given me every other good, she
would no doubt in time provide me with a good wife. I had therefore
every reason to be patient.

I was in an unsociable mood one afternoon; so, taking a cigar and book,
I sauntered up the mountain. There is an arbor halfway to its top, and I
have a lounging-place near by, where the roots of an old tree make a
comfortable nest just above a steep precipice, and the place is hidden
from intruders by rocks and foliage. 'Tis a discovery of mine I pride
myself upon, and I go there when I want to collect my thoughts and enjoy
my own company.

Hardly had I made myself comfortable in my retreat when I heard voices
in the arbor below. It was Mrs. Fluffy and her sister, Mrs. J.K.B.
Stunner. I knew them in a moment, though they were not visible. Panting
for breath, Mrs. F. invited the other to take a seat: she was very stout
and soon tired. The sisters were examples of opposite schools of art.
Mrs. Stunner, dark, hard and sharp-faced, was a widow with all her
daughters "well settled" in life--_i.e._, married to wealthy
husbands--and was considered "fortunate" among the matrons. Mrs. Fluffy
was soft and florid, without an angular point, physically or mentally:
much younger and prettier than her sister, she was always spoken of as
"poor Mrs. Fluffy," though she was not badly off that I could see. She
had two daughters "out" this season, and a third casting longing looks
in the same direction.

Thinking they would move on shortly, as the arbor was only a
halting-place for people walking to the summit, I lay snug and waited.
Presently the widow, among other commonplaces, began to discuss the
young ladies at The Brook.

"By the by, Sarah," she said, "I don't see that your girls are doing
much this season: I really must say you do not seem to manage well at
all. You may be playing a very deep game, but I can discover no signs of
it, and there is little that escapes me in such matters."

"Oh, Jane!" panted Mrs. F., "if you only knew the trouble of having two
daughters 'out' at once!"

"As if I didn't know!" snuffed Mrs. Stunner.

"True, true," replied Sarah in a conciliatory tone. "But you seemed to
have so little anxiety."

"Seemed!" echoed the Stunner contemptuously. "Of course I _seemed_,
and the difficulty it required to _seem_! Do you think I was so
witless as to let my manoeuvres be seen? I wonder at you, Sarah!"

"Well, well," said the other, yielding the point, "I know you have a
talent for such things, and can manage well, but _I_ don't know
what to do."

"I--should--think--you--did--not," replied her sister, tapping the
ground slowly with her foot.

"What have I done that you should speak like that, Jane?" asked the meek
Sarah, bridling up.

"Tell me," answered Jane after an ominous silence that was quite
thrilling, "where is Eva at this moment?"

"Oh,", replied Sarah with a sigh of relief, "she is walking with Mr.
Hardcash. You introduced him at the last ball."

"I introduced him to dance with, not to walk with," said Jane severely.

"Goodness me, sister! what's the difference?"

"She asks me 'What's the difference?' Are you a child? Why, just the
difference between dancing and walking."

From the pause that followed I knew that Mrs. F. was looking with both
her round eyes, intent on seeing it. I suppose she did not succeed, as
her sister continued, emphasizing each word clearly, "Mr. Hardcash has
not a penny," as if that at once explained the knotty question.

"Why did you introduce him if you don't approve of him?" asked Mrs.
Fluffy, with a feeble attempt to throw the blame on her sister.

"Have I not told you? In a ball-room girls need plenty of
partners--plenty of men about them. It makes them look popular and
fascinating, and if the gentlemen are handsome and stylish-looking, so
much the better. Mr. Hardcash is just the size to waltz well with
Eva--he shows her off to advantage--but he is not a man to encourage
afterward. She should not be seen walking or talking intimately with a
gentleman who has less than ten thousand a year." Mrs. Stunner delivered
this ultimatum with the tone of a just judge who will hear of no appeal.

"How can I know how much the gentlemen are worth?" said Sarah pettishly.

"It is your duty as a mother to discover it," replied the virtuous
widow.

"But how?"

"The visitors' book will tell where a man is from; you can easily get
acquainted with some old lady or gentleman from the same place; and--"

"What! and ask about them!"

"Nonsense! Speak of them, praise them if you wish, and let the others
talk: you have only to be an interested listener" (here I could imagine
Mrs. S. smiling grimly), "and you can soon hear enough. For instance,
commence in this way: 'Fine fellow, Mr. T. from your part of the
country.' As a general rule the old gentleman will then give you his
whole history. Another time you may say, 'What a pleasant young man that
Mr. B. is! but rather inclined to be wild, eh?' If he is you will soon
know it. You can also cross-question the man himself. Speak of a little
girl he has at home: if he blushes he is netted already, and lures are
useless. See how he eats his dinner: that is a good test to judge his
position by; not that a few _gaucheries_ will matter if he is very
wealthy--for a judicious mother-in-law can soon correct them--but for
every impropriety he should have a thousand added to his income. Such
things are so intolerable in a poor man!"

"I don't think Eva would obey me if I did interfere in her affairs,"
objected Mrs. Fluffy.

"Her affairs, indeed! It is _your_ affair. Of course you want a
son-in-law who can keep a comfortable house for you to live in. You have
brought up Eva badly, Sarah, and there is one thing I must tell you
about her--she is entirely too familiar and sisterly with gentlemen."

"She has a great many beaux," interrupted Mrs. F.

"It is one of her worst faults," continued Jane, not listening to her.
"If a girl gets into those sisterly habits with a man, it will never
come into his head to marry her. She may be his chief confidante; he
will talk of his lady-love to her, and she may end by being first
bridesmaid at his wedding, but nothing nearer. I don't approve of it.
One of my maxims is, that a man ought not be well acquainted with the
girl he is to marry until the ceremony is performed."

"Well, you cannot disapprove of Laura," said Mrs. Fluffy, trying to turn
the conversation. "I left her in her room reading."

"'Disapprove' of her? The word is not strong enough for my feelings.
Neither of your girls has the least bit of common sense; but I don't
wonder, with such a mother! A girl who gets a reputation for being
learned and saying brilliant things might just as well give up matrimony
altogether. Men are either afraid of them or detest them: gentlemen
don't like to puzzle their brains over a witticism, nor do they admire
chaffing that is beyond their comprehension. Courtship should be made
easy. My Jane was clever, and vexed me a great deal in consequence,
daughters of that kind are so unmanageable: give me the most stupid in
preference. It is pleasant to a husband to feel his superiority, to look
down on his wife. The mediocre is the girl I take most delight in. There
are so many mediocre men that they are sure to get suited without giving
you much anxiety."

"Jane," exclaimed Mrs. Fluffy with a burst of admiration, "you are so
clever I wonder _you_ ever were married. Did Mr. Stunner appreciate
that kind of women?"

"La! no. I had the sense to conceal my talents. Take my word for it,
superior people as a class are never liked, unless they do as I
did--conceal it, conceal it."

"I am glad I was not born talented: I fear I could not succeed in hiding
it as you do." Mrs. F. was too stupid for sarcasm, else I should have
thought--

"Now be frank with me, Sarah," broke in Mrs. Stunner, scattering my
thoughts: "who is paying attention to Eva now?"

"Well," replied the other, appearing to recollect, "there is Mr. Rich:
he asked her to ride with him."

"More than once?"

"No, not more, but it was only day before yesterday."

"Ah! he may ask her again: once means nothing. A gentleman may ask her
for pastime, or to make some one else jealous, or out of good-nature,
but to a girl properly brought up once is a chance--it is a good start."
(Mrs. S.'s late husband was fond of racing.) "It rests entirely with her
to make the once twice, the twice thrice, and so on; for if she is
amusing and don't talk love, he will be sure to ask her again."

"'Don't talk love'? Why, Jane, you surprise me! I thought that was the
proper thing to do."

"Just where people mistake. The most stupid man can talk love if he
feels love. Let girls be agreeable, sweet and charming, but without
especial effort to appear so, and when gentlemen are captivated they
will do their own love-making."

"Dear me!" was the reply.

"Yes, I protest against young ladies throwing themselves at the head of
every marriageable gentleman they see. They should think of the effect
it will have."

"But they are so unworldly that they don't think of effect," said Mrs.
Fluffy.

"Humph!" ejaculated the widow in a tone of incredulity.

"You seem to have a very poor opinion of women, Jane."

"They want to marry, all of them: you admit that, don't you?" asked Mrs.
Stunner severely.

"I think not," objected Mrs. F. in a feeble voice. "There is Miss
Furnaval: they say she has refused--"

"Then," interrupted her sister, not heeding her, "if they want to marry,
why not take the proper means? It is inconceivable to me how women,
after thinking about it all their lives, blunder into it in the end,
just as if it was an entirely unforeseen event. A little good sense is
requisite in everything, I think."

"They are not all anxious to marry," reiterated Mrs. Fluffy, gaining
courage: "there's Miss Furnaval--"

"A great example to give one!" remarked her sister contemptuously. "She
is making a fool of herself as fast as she can. Among all the young
ladies who marry badly, the fascinating ones prosper the worst. No girl
can refuse a good offer with impunity: a day of reckoning will come.
Society has its laws, which must be obeyed: if not, _gare_! Mark my
words," continued Mrs. Stunner solemnly: "Miss Furnaval has some
outlandish un-society principles, and practically they will not work.
Why, she is quite as well contented talking to a poor man as to a rich
one, and she is always encouraging worthless, amusing, handsome
fellows--talented men, instead of men whose position dispenses with the
necessity of their having brains. Those fellows she has about her are
the pests of society. If you hear of a runaway match, you may be sure it
is with one of them; if a daughter is obstinate, you may be sure some
ineligible jackanapes has prompted her to it. Blanche will end badly.
She will fall in love with one of them some day, and finish by marrying
him."

"If Miss Furnaval loves one of that kind of gentlemen, I don't see why
she might not be happy with him."

"You don't see anything, Sarah. You don't see the nose on your face,
though I see 'tis a very big one. I will make it evident to you. He will
be poor, Blanche is rich: if she gives him her money, he will spend it.
Never having had any of his own, he won't know how to take care of it.
If, on the other hand, she don't give it to him, he will think she does
not care for him--will get jealous, likely take to drink: your clever
man always does. They will quarrel; then her clever husband will use his
clever tongue to tease her, and his clever brain to thwart and provoke
her--which a stupid man would never think of doing--and, worse than all,
she will never get the least chance to have her own way in anything."

"Poor Blanche! I pity her," sighed Mrs. Fluffy.

"I don't, in the least," snapped the other. "Such an example will serve
to make other girls more sensible. Only you take it as a warning to your
own Eva."

After quite a long silence, in which I suppose Mrs. Fluffy was
considering, she said pathetically, "I wish you would tell me what to do
with Eva."

"Marry her as soon as possible," was the prompt and decided reply. "It
is her second summer 'out,' and she should at least be engaged."

"I can do nothing. What do you advise, Jane?"

"In the first place, stop her being with such gentlemen as Mr.
Hardcash."

"Eva is so high-spirited," groaned Mrs. Fluffy, "I fear she would not
listen to me."

"You mean _obstinate_, Sarah. Tell her seriously that she has had
two very gay seasons--that you can't afford another--that she must make
up her mind now. Then think over all the most eligible gentlemen you
know, and cultivate their acquaintance."

"Couldn't you help me, Jane?" asked the other timidly. "I shall not know
what to do."

"Let me see," continued Mrs. S. in a musing tone. "If you had a
country-house you could manage better. Elderly gentlemen are usually
pleased with domestic attractions, and there are many little attentions
that you and Eva could show them which in any other position would look
like courting them. Then there would be no danger of competition.
Indeed, if a pretty girl has a gentleman all to herself for a week or
two at a romantic country-house, a wedding is sure to follow. But there
must be no jarring, fretting, bad cooking or any household ill
whatever--no talk of poor servants or dishonest grooms: everything must
be _couleur de rose_."

"Jane, it appears to me you are talking very silly," said Mrs. Fluffy,
glad of a chance to attack her superior sister. "You know I have no
country-house, and I can't buy one just to marry Eva and Laura from."

"I merely said _if_ you had. I thought you might be pleased to hear
my theory," replied Mrs. Stunner stiffly, "The next best thing for you
is to have a parlor here, get up picnics and drives, make card-parties
with suppers--gentlemen so like to eat!--and do not spare expense when
you have a good investment in view. You can limit the invitations to two
or three gentlemen who are especially eligible: make these some little
compliment, such as '_You_ will come of course--our little party
would not be complete without you.' Contrive that they take care of the
girls, and you can entertain the others. Occasionally include some young
ladies in your evenings, so that the world may not say you are afraid of
them, but don't let them become intimate."--Here Mrs. Stunner paused for
breath.

"It sounds easy enough," said poor Mrs. F. dolefully.

"It is not easy at all," sharply replied her sister, "but if we manage
well we sha'n't have to go through with it more than one summer."

"Then you will help me?"

"I suppose I must sacrifice myself for the good of the family," said the
Stunner in an heroic tone, "but you must let me have my own way
entirely."

"Oh yes, Jane--certainly. I am so much obliged!" replied Mrs. Fluffy
with effusion.

"Then it is not necessary to explain my plans further: I shall be there
and will manage."

"But whom do you think we should invite, Jane dear?" asked Mrs. F.
anxiously.

"You spoke of Mr. Rich. I approve of him: I know he has twenty thousand
a year. Yes, he shall be one."

"I am afraid Eva won't like him," Mrs. Fluffy timidly remarked.

"Eva shall not interfere with my plans, and don't you commence with such
nonsense as liking and disliking; I won't have it," retorted Mrs. S. in
a louder voice than she would have used had she known I was so near.

"But there might be some nicer gentleman just as wealthy, might there
not?" suggested the weak sister.

"There is David Todd, with thirty thousand a year: I wonder if _he_
would suit the dainty Eva?" said Mrs. Jane, sneering.

"I think she would like Mr. Highrank to be invited," observed pink Mrs.
Fluffy, waiving the question.

I sat up and listened attentively when I heard my own name mentioned,
not forgetful of the adage that listeners hear no good of themselves,
but of course _I_ had nothing to fear.

"More sensible than I thought Eva could be," the Stunner rejoined.
"Forty thousand a year and entailed, so that he can't get through with
it. I have observed him a good deal for several seasons, and I find that
though he is such a fool, the sharpest girls can do nothing with him.
When so many are after him I suppose no single one can have a fair
chance. Yes, we will invite him, but I hope Eva will not think of
falling in love with him unless he should propose. Indeed, I think a
modest girl ought never to fall in love. It seems to me indecorous, at
least before marriage--after, they can do as they like about it. You
must warn Eva on the subject. If any other gentleman should ask for her,
she must not refuse, because we could not count on Highrank making up
his mind: I have an idea that he is too weak to form a resolution of any
kind."

I thought the old woman must be bilious. "Me a fool!"--a philosopher
rather. But I have always known that exalted worth is a fault in the
estimation of narrow-minded people, who can't appreciate it. Little Eva
has more sense--would like me to visit her: of course the poor child is
in love with me. I wish I could tease that ridiculous old lady in some
way. I have a confounded mind to run off with Eva. No, that, I fear,
would please Aunt Stunner. But I am missing all her trash: better
listen. It is really not worth getting heated over.

"The others I will see about," continued Aunt Jane. "It is very little
consequence who they are. Only one thing: I won't have that Hardcash
about: he and Eva have been entirely too much together."

"She is rough on Ned," thought I in ambush.

"I am afraid you won't be able to manage Eva, my dear Jane."

"Don't worry. When I have a duty to perform I go through with it. Let us
walk on to the summit."

"Just as you like: I am sufficiently rested, and we can talk as we go."

There was a rustling of silk and a crunching of gravel, and all was
quiet.

I lay there thinking for a long while: I wonder if my poor mother, were
she living, would take as much trouble to procure me a wife as Mrs.
Stunner is going to take to provide Eva with a husband. I wonder mothers
don't help their sons to marry, and let their daughters help themselves.
Girls are so much sharper about such things than men are. Everything is
against us. I suppose women think they deceive us for our good, but they
should continue to do so after marriage. 'Pon honor! I have seen the
sweetest, most amiable girl turn as sour as could be a few months after
the ceremony. The dressiest ones often get dowdy, the most musical can't
abide music, the most talkative have the dumps. A man has no chance of
judging how they are going to turn out. He is duped by the daughters,
inveigled by their mothers, and, what is worse still, as soon as he is
married they both undeceive him. It would not matter if a fellow was
cheated if he never knew it, but that's where it hurts.

I shouldn't wonder if that pair of old plotters would catch me yet if I
don't take care. I will tease them a bit, any way: I'll pay a deuced lot
of attention to Eva, and keep the other fellows away. No man would try
to win her if he thought I was serious.

Blanche Furnaval _is_ an odd girl, I went on musing. They said she
would end badly--hope she won't, though. Bewitching girl, but she don't
seem to care if people admire her or not. I never can quite understand
her. Once I wrote a few verses and gave them to her--compared her to an
ice-covered stream, quiet on the surface, but all motion and tumult
below. Well, she never even thanked me for them, though she said she
liked that simile, it was so new. There was another couplet about her
name--Blanche and snow and cold: when she read it she laughed and said,
"Though my name means white, it does not mean cold. You know there are
some white things that are very warm, Mr. Highrank--my ermine muff, for
instance." But I made a clever answer. I said, "The muff _looks_
cold, and so does Miss Blanche, but if I could be so fortunate as to
touch the heart of either I might find warmth." "My muff has no heart,"
she answered, looking at me as if she did not understand. "And is its
owner in the same condition?" I asked tenderly. (I make it a rule to
speak tenderly to all girls, it is so sad for them to love me when I
cannot return it.) "In a poetical sense I believe she is," she replied,
"but for all practical purposes she has one that serves very well."

Sometimes she would be invisible for two or three days together: no one
would see her, either at meals or at the evening ball. When asked what
she had been doing, she would smile that sweet smile of hers and say she
had been enjoying herself. She was very talented, but not a bit
ostentatious. To give you an example: It was rumored that she had a
wonderful voice, and though we had been begging her to sing for at least
a month, she steadily refused to gratify us. One day there was a queer
old Italian chap came to The Brook for his health. He looked like an
organ-grinder, and had been once actually on the stage. Well, do you
know she allowed him to be introduced to her, and talked to him with as
much deference as if he had been a prince, when she ought not have
spoken to him at all, you know; and in that gibberish, too, that no one
can understand. One evening, after entertaining him for about an hour,
she walked with him the whole length of the room, not noticing any one,
though every eye was upon her. He sat down at the piano which stood in a
corner, struck a few chords, and then, with no coaxing whatever, she
sang; and such a song! Her gray eyes grew dark, and her voice quivered,
deepened, expanded into a melody that made you think the heavens had
suddenly opened. Every other sound ceased; the doors and windows were
filled with eager faces; the dancers ended in the middle of a quadrille,
and the band came in a body to listen. I saw one fat Dutchman holding
his fiddle in one hand while he wiped the tears from his eyes with the
other. When the song was ended the old Italian took both her hands in
his and kissed them, talking at the same time with impossible rapidity;
and she smiled and looked as happy as if she had won a prize, turning
her back on every one else who wished to congratulate her. It showed how
very odd she was. The next evening _I_ asked her to sing, and she
flatly refused without the least excuse, saying, "No: a refusal will be
a pleasant novelty in your life, Mr. Highrank."

     ITA ANIOL PROKOP.

[TO BE CONTINUED]



THE STRANGER WITHIN THE GATES OF PARIS.


"Paris," once said Victor Hugo to me, "is the hostess of all the
nations. There all the world is at home. It is the second best place
with all foreigners--the fatherland first, and afterward Paris."

There was a great deal of truth in the observation, and especially is it
true as regards Americans. By our natural sociability and versatility of
temperament, by our love of all bright and pleasant surroundings, by our
taste for pleasure and amusement, we assimilate more closely in our
superficial characteristics to the French nation than we do to any
other. Our Britannic cousins are too cold, too unsociable, too heavy for
our fraternization, and mighty barriers of dissimilarity of language, of
tastes, of customs and manners divide us from the European nation which
of all others we most closely resemble in essential particulars--namely,
the Northern Germans. The Prussians have been called--and that, too,
with a good deal of truth--the Yankees of Europe; and if the term
"Yankees" means, as it usually does in European parlance, the entire
population of the United States, we citizens of the great republic have
every right to feel proud of the comparison. Yet, with all our genuine
respect and admiration for the Prussians, there are but few American
tourists who take kindly to that people or their country. The lack of
the external polish, the graceful manners and winning ways of the
Parisians is severely felt by the chance tarrier within the gates of
Berlin. We accord our fullest meed of honor to the great conquering
nation of Europe, to its wonderful system of education, its admirable
military discipline, and its sturdy opposition to superstition and
ignorance in their most aggressive form. And yet we do not like Prussia
or the Prussians. We scoff at Berlin, planted on a sandy plain and new
with the thriving, aggressive newness of some of our own cities. We long
for the soft shadows of antiquity, the dim twilight of past glories, to
overhang our daily path as we journey onward through the storied lands
of the ancient world. We have enough of bright progressive prosperity at
home. Something of the feeling of the artist, who turns from the trim,
elegant damsel arrayed in the latest fashion to paint the figure of a
beggar-girl draped in picturesque rags, hangs about us as we travel. It
is only to Paris--Paris beautiful in its strange blending of smoky ruins
and splendid, freshly-erected mansions--that we can pardon the white
glare of newly-opened streets, the Vandal desecration of antique
landmarks, the universal sacrifice of old memories, historic
associations and antique picturesqueness on that altar of modern
progress whose high priest was Baron Haussmann and whose divinity was
Napoleon III.

We love Paris, we Americans abroad, and we like the Parisians. One side
of our affection grows and strengthens and sends forth new shoots with
every passing day. The longer one lives in Paris the better one loves
it. Its beauty becomes part and parcel of one's daily life. The mighty
sweep of palace and arcade and museum and church, the plash of sunlit
fountains, the rustle and the shimmer of resplendent foliage, the grace
of statue, the grandeur of monument, the far-stretching splendor of
brilliant boulevard and bustling street,--all these make up a picture
whose lines are engraven on our heart of hearts. Often, passing along
the street, some far-off vista, some effect of light and color, some
single point of view, strikes on the sense with new and startling
beauty, and we pause to gaze and to admire, and to exclaim for the
thousandth time, How fair is Paris!

And she is so prodigal of her treasures, this goodly city! She lavishes
them on all comers without fee or favor. All day long her princely
art-galleries stand open to welcome the passing visitor. One comes and
goes unhindered and unquestioned in church or museum, and even the
service of guides and boats and cars to the sewers, and of official
guides to the Catacombs, is given without compensation--nay more, all
fees are strictly; forbidden. There is no city on earth that receives
its guests with such splendid and lavish hospitality. Apart from one's
board and lodging, it is possible for a stranger to come to Paris and to
visit all its principal sights without the expenditure of a single sou.
And for the persons who, prolonging their stay, wish in some sort to
take up their permanent residence in Paris, things are smoothed and
ironed and the knots picked out in the most wonderful way. Your board is
dainty and your bed soft. Velvet-footed and fairy-handed beings minister
to your wants. You are clothed as if by magic in garments of marvelous
beauty. The very rustle of your letter of credit is as an open sesame to
treasure-chambers to which Ali Baba's cavern was but a shabby cellar.
And if, on the contrary, your means are limited and your wants but few,
the science of living has been so exactly conned and is so perfectly
understood that your franc-piece will buy you as many necessaries as
ever your fifty-cent greenback did home, and that, too, in face of the
fact that all provisions are now, owing to the war and the taxes, as
dear, if not dearer than they are in Philadelphia. If a stranger comes
to Paris and wishes to live comfortably and economically, there are
plenty of respectable, well-situated establishments in the best section
of the city where he can obtain a comfortable, well-furnished room and
well-cooked, well-served meals, for eight to ten francs a day--such
accommodations as five dollars would scarcely avail to purchase in
Philadelphia or New York.

The whole secret of the matter is, that in France everybody understands
the art of making the most out of everything. No scrap of food is
wasted, no morsel cast aside, till every particle of nourishment it can
yield is carefully extracted. The portions given to the guests at the
minor hotels, where one lives _en pension_ at so much _per
diem_, are carefully measured for individual consumption. The slice
of steak, the tiny omelette, the minute moulded morsels of butter, even
the roll of bread and little _sucrier_ and cream-jug placed before
each person, have each been carefully gauged as to the usual dimensions
of an ordinary appetite. Nothing is squandered and nothing is wasted.
When one recalls the aspect of our hotel tables at home--the
bread-plates left with their piles of cold, uneatable corn-bread, and
heavy, chilled muffins and sodden toast uneaten, uncared-for and wasted;
the huge steak, with its scrap of tenderloin carefully scolloped out,
and the rest left to be thrown away; the broiled chicken--the legs
scorned in favor of the more toothsome breast; the half-emptied plates
of omelettes and fried potatoes,--one realizes how low prices for board
in Paris are still compatible with the increased price of provisions,
and why we must pay five dollars at home for accommodations for which we
expend two here. The same wastefulness creeps into all the details of
our hotel-life. If we want a glass of ice-water, for instance, we are
straight-way supplied with a pitcher brimming over with huge crystal
lumps of transparent ice. One-half the quantity would suffice for all
actual purposes: the rest is left to melt and run to waste.

The fact is, that we citizens of the United States live more luxuriously
than any other people on the face of the earth. On an average we dress
better, fare better, sleep softer, and combat the cold in winter and the
heat in summer with more scientific persistency, than do any of the
so-called luxurious nations of Europe. Take, for instance, the matter of
heating and lighting. A few of the leading hotels in Paris, and a small
minority among the most expensive suites of private apartments, have gas
introduced into all the rooms, but as a general thing it is confined to
the public rooms, and the unfortunate wight who longs to see beyond the
end of his nose is forced to wrestle with dripping candles and unclean
lamps, known only by tradition in our native land. The gaslight, which
is a common necessary in the simplest private dwelling in an American
city, is here a luxury scarcely attainable save by the very wealthiest.
And we do not know how precious our gaslight is till we have lost it. To
sit in a dim parlor where four lighted candles struggle vainly to
disperse the gloom, to dress for opera or ball by the uncertain glimmer
of those greasy delusions, is enough to make one forswear all the
luxuries of Paris, and flee homeward forthwith.

Then in winter comes the question of warmth. What is more delicious than
to plunge from the iced-champagne atmosphere of a sparkling winter's day
in America into the nest-like, all-pervading warmth of an American home?
Here such comfort is wholly unknown. The cold, though less severe than
with us, is damp, raw and insidious, and creeps under wraps with a
treacherous persistency that nothing can shut out. The ill-fitting
windows, opening in the old door-like fashion, let in every breath of
the chill outer air. A fire is a handful of sticks or half a dozen lumps
of coal. The _calorifère_, a poor substitute for our powerful
furnaces, is a luxury for the very rich--an innovation grudgingly
granted to the whims of the occupants of the most costly and fashionable
of private apartments. Warmth, our cosy, all-pervading warmth, is a
winter luxury that we leave behind us with the cheerful light of our
universal gas-burners.

In summer we sorely miss the cold, pure ice-water of our native land,
and we long for it with a thirst which _vin ordinaire_ and Bavarian
beer are powerless to assuage. The ill-tasting limestone-tainted water
of Paris is a poor substitute for our sparkling draughts of Schuylkill
or Croton. Ice-pitchers, water-coolers and refrigerators are unknown
quantities in the sum-total of Parisian luxuries. The "cup of cold
water," which the traveler in our country finds gratuitously supplied in
every waiting-room and railway-station, every steamboat, every car and
every hotel, is here something that must be specially sought for, and
paid for at an exorbitant price. Ice can be purchased only in small
quantities for immediate consumption. Ten cents for a few lumps swimming
in water on a tepid plate is the usual tariff for this our American
necessity, this rare Parisian luxury.

The scant supply of water for ablution is another annoyance to the
American traveler accustomed to the hot-and cold-water faucets
introduced into private bed-rooms and hotel apartments, and the capacious
bath-tubs and unlimited control of water in his native land. To be sure,
one can get a bath in Paris, as well as anywhere else, by ordering it
and waiting for it and paying for it; but the free use of water and its
gratuitous supply in hotels, so entirely a matter of course with us, is
here unheard of. As with ice-water, the bath is an American necessity, a
Parisian luxury. However, the latest erected dwelling-houses here have
had water-pipes and bath-tubs introduced. Wealth can command its bath
here as well as its gaslight and its supplies of ice, but wealth only.
The humblest abode of a Philadelphia mechanic contains comforts and
conveniences which are wellnigh unattainable luxuries in all but the
most splendid apartments of the most luxurious city of Europe.

Nor do all the delicate artifices of French cookery suffice wholly to
replace for an American palate the dainties of his native land. The
buckwheat cakes and waffles, the large, delicate-flavored, luscious
oysters, the canvas-back ducks, the Philadelphia croquettes and
terrapin, find no substitutes on this side of the water. The delicious
shad and Spanish mackerel have no gastronomic rivals in these waters,
and the sole must be accepted in their stead. We miss, too, our
profusion and variety of vegetables, our stewed and stuffed tomatoes,
green corn, oyster-plants and sweet potatoes. As for fruits, the smaller
varieties are far more abundant and much finer here than they are with
us. Strawberries, cherries, raspberries, gooseberries, apricots--all of
great size and exquisite flavor--tempt and enchant the palate. But our
rich profusion of tropical fruits, such as bananas and pineapples, is
wholly unknown. Peaches are poor in flavor and exorbitant in price. As
for meats, poultry is dearer in Paris than at home, a small chicken for
fricasseeing costing six francs ($1.20 in gold), and a large one for
roasting ten francs ($2). Beef and mutton are at about the same prices
as in Philadelphia and New York. Butter costs from sixty to seventy
cents a pound. One can easily see, therefore, that it takes all the
skill and experience in domestic economy of Parisian housekeepers to
maintain the prices of living at anything like its present standard in
_pensions_ and hotels. But, in truth, the general standard of
French cooking has been much lowered since the war. A really sumptuous
French dinner is no longer to be procured at any of the tables d'hôte or
the leading hotels, and if ordered at a first-class restaurant it will
cost twice as much as it used to do.

Rents, though somewhat lowered from their former proportions, are still
very high, a really elegant unfurnished suite of apartments costing from
five thousand to ten thousand francs a year, according to location; and
if furnished, nearly as much more. Two thousand francs is the lowest
rent which economy, desirous of two or three bed-rooms, in addition to
the parlor, kitchen and dining-room of an ordinary suite, can
accomplish. There are now in process of construction in the suburbs of
Paris several rows of houses built on the American plan, and it is
hardly possible to tell how comfortable and home-like the neat separate
abodes look to one who has been journeying round amid a series of
"floors," each so like the others. To the casual visitor there is a
despairing amount of sameness in the fitting-up of all French furnished
apartments. The scarlet coverings on the furniture, the red curtains,
the light moquette carpet with white ground and gay flowers, the white
and gold of the woodwork, the gilt bronze clock and candelabra, the
tables and cabinets in marquetry and buhl, are all precisely alike in
each, and all wear the same hotel-like look and lack of individuality.
Nobody here seems to care anything for home or home belongings. A suite
of apartments, even if occupied by the proprietor, is not the shrine for
any household gods or tender ideas: it is a place to rent out at so much
per month should the owner desire to go on a journey. No weak
sentimental ideas about keeping one's personal belongings from the touch
and the usage of strangers ever troubles anybody's mind. Tables and
chairs and carpets and curtains are just so many chattels that will
bring in, if rented, just so much more income: around them gleams no
vestige of the tender halo that surrounds the appurtenances of an
American home.

The servant question is one that is just now of special interest to the
American housekeeper in Paris. I have elsewhere spoken of some of the
trials inflicted by these accomplished but often unprincipled domestics
on their masters and mistresses, so will not expatiate further on the
subject. I will merely specify as a special grievance the law that
forces the employer who discharges a servant to inscribe on his or her
character-book a _good_ character: should the departing help have
been sent away for gross immorality, theft or drunkenness, and should
the master write down the real reason of the dismissal, he renders
himself liable to an action for defamation of character. The person,
therefore, who engages servants from their character-book has no real
guarantee as to their worth. It is a well-known fact also that the
intelligence offices in Paris are far more anxious to obtain places for
bad servants than for good ones, because the former class return to them
more frequently, and are consequently the better customers. As to the
percentage exacted from grocers and provision-dealers by cooks and
stewards--a percentage which of course comes indirectly out of the
pocket of the master--the evil has become a crying one, but it is
apparently irremediable. A provision-dealer opened not long since a shop
in one of the most fashionable quarters of Paris, and sent round
circulars to all the housekeepers in the neighborhood announcing his
determination of paying no percentage to servants. The consequence was,
that not one of the cooks would buy anything of him, and he has been
forced to break up his establishment and depart. It is an impossibility
to engage a first-class cook without according to her the privilege of
doing all the marketing--a privilege by which she is enabled to more
than double the amount of her wages at her employer's expense.

Among the other drawbacks of a residence abroad to an American woman is
an absence of the kindly deference to which, by virtue of her womanhood
alone, she is accustomed at home. The much-vaunted politeness of the
French nation is the thinnest possible varnish over real impertinence or
actual rudeness. None of the true, heartfelt, genuine courtesy that is
so freely accorded to our sex in our own favored land is to be met with
here. "A woman is weak and defenceless," argue, apparently, a large
class of Parisians, "therefore we will stare her out of countenance, we
will mutter impudent speeches in her ear, we will elbow her off the
sidewalk, we will thrust her aside if we want to enter a public
conveyance. Politeness is a thing of hat-lifting, of bowing and
scraping, of 'Pardon!' and 'Merci!' It is an article to be worn, like a
dress-coat and a white tie, in a drawing-room and among our
acquaintances. We have the right article for that occasion--very sweet,
very refined, very graceful, very charming indeed. But as for everyday
use--_nenni_!" That deep, true and chivalrous courtesy that
respects and protects a woman merely because she _is_ a woman, and
as such needs the guardianship of the stronger sex, is something of
which they have never heard and which they do not understand. They will
hand Madame la duchesse de la Haute Volée or Mademoiselle Trois-Étoiles
into her carriage with incomparable grace, but they will push Mrs. Brown
into the gutter, and will whisper in poor blushing Miss Brown's ear that
she is "une fillette charmante."

And when a Frenchman _is_ rude, his impoliteness is worse than that
of other nations, because he knows better: he is rude with malice
prepense. The lower classes have especially lost much of their courtesy
since the Commune. I have seen a French workingman thrust a lady
violently aside on a crowded sidewalk, with a scowl and a muttered curse
that lent significance to the act. And the graceful, suave courtesy of
the shopkeepers--how swiftly it flies out of the window when their hope
of profit in the shape of the departing shopper walks out of the door!

Shortly before quitting the United States I went into one of our large
public libraries to consult a voluminous work of reference. In the
remote recess where the books were kept sat a gentleman intent on the
perusal of a volume, his chair tipped back as far as it could be with
safety inclined, and his feet resting on the table. "Horrid fellow!" I
said to myself, glancing at the obtrusive members, and going forward to
the bookcase in search of the work I wanted. It proved to be of somewhat
ponderous dimensions, and higher than I could conveniently reach, so I
stood on tiptoe and tugged vainly at it for a moment. My friend of the
feet saw my dilemma, and down went his book, and he sprang to my
assistance in an instant, "Allow me," he said; and in a moment the heavy
tome was brought down, dusted by a few turns of his pocket-handkerchief
and laid on the table for my accommodation. If he had but known it,
there was mingled with my thanks a world of unuttered but heartfelt
apologies for my former hard thoughts respecting his attitude. And
therein lay the difference between the two nationalities. A Frenchman
would have died rather than have made a library-table a resting-place
for his feet, but he would have let a woman he did not know break a
blood-vessel by her exertions before he would have rendered her the
slightest assistance.

American women are too apt to accept all the courtesies offered them by
strangers at home as their right, even neglecting to render the poor
meed of thanks in return. But let them when in Paris try to get into an
omnibus on a wet day, and being thrust aside by a strong-armed Frenchman
they will remorsefully remember the seats accorded to them in crowded
cars, and accepted thanklessly and as a matter of course. And when the
lounger on the boulevards dogs their steps or whispers his insulting
compliments in their shuddering ear, they will remember how they were
guarded at home not by one protector, but by all right-minded mankind,
and will thank Heaven that their brothers, their sons, their husbands
"are not even as these are."

     LUCY H. HOOPER.



OUR MONTHLY GOSSIP.

GYPSY MUSIC IN HUNGARY.


We have all, at some time or other, felt our curiosity and interest
excited by the bands of wandering gypsies whom we may sometimes have
come upon in their encampments pitched in some remote or sequestered
wood or dell--wild-looking men and women and dark, ragged children
grouped about fires over which hang kettles suspended from stakes
arranged in a triangle; mongrel curs which seem to share their masters'
instinctive distrust of strangers; and donkeys browsing near the tilted
carts which convey the tribe from one place to another. We feel a sort
of traditional repulsion for these people, almost amounting to dread,
for stories of children stolen by gypsies, and of their dark, mysterious
ways, have taken root in our infant minds along with those of ghosts and
goblins, robbers and Indians. There are, it is true, romantic
associations connected with them, and we try to fancy a Meg Merrilies in
the swarthy old woman who examines the lines of our hand and tells us
the past, present and future--sometimes with a startling consistency and
probability. But few of us would have supposed that this race of
vagabonds and outcasts had ever risen much above their traditional
occupation of tinkering, far less that any portion of it had displayed
original artistic genius. We have, however, from Robert Franz the
composer a most interesting account of the wonderful music of the
Hungarian gypsies or Tziganys, which he had several opportunities of
hearing during a visit to a friend in Hungary. He had been much
impressed in his youth by the wandering apparitions of these people in
the streets of Kiev, and by the strange, wild dances of their women,
whose outlandish garb was rendered still more effective by the pieces of
red stuff cut into hearts and sewed all over their skirts. "These
caravans of strange beings, who preserve under every sky their dreamy
laziness, their rebellion against the yoke, their love of solitude," had
always possessed an irresistible charm for him, and he had never
understood the scorn and disgust of which they were the object.

Being informed of the arrival of a gypsy band within eight or ten miles
of his friend's château, he took his immediate departure for the forest
where they had made their temporary home. The sun was going down when he
reached the camp. It was in an open glade, where the ground was trampled
down, in some places blackened by fire, and covered with fragments of
coarse pottery, wooden bowls, bones, parings, etc. The gypsies were
there pell-mell--men, women and children, horses, dogs and wagons. The
men, lounging about in various attitudes, were smoking: all had a look
of careless nobility about them, an air of melancholy, and eyes which
burned with slumbering passion. Old women were cowering about the fires,
surrounded by children whose meagre limbs were frankly displayed to
view. Tall girls, with Oriental eyes, firm and polished cheeks, and
vigorous forms, stood facing the horizon, and were distinctly defined
against the blue of the sky. Some wore scarlet gowns, bodices covered
with metallic ornaments, embroidered chemisettes and a profusion of
glass trinkets. In the centre was one, taller by a head than her
companions, her face of a fine and delicate oval unknown amongst us,
with magnetic, disquieting eyes which suggested splendid vices; a black
turban confined her black locks; a chemisette of dazzling whiteness half
opened on her breast; she wore, as a necklace, twisted five or six times
about her neck, a long chaplet of yellow flowers, clusters of which she
held in her hands. The red rays of the setting sun flashed with
fantastic effect upon the scene: then night fell, and in the flickering
glare of the fires gleaming eyes, white teeth and mobile hands emerged
from the gloom.

Franz had expressed his wish to hear their music, but for a while all
was silent. Suddenly a strange, prolonged note vibrated through the air
like a sigh from the supernatural world; another followed; then after a
pause a majestic but sombre melody was developed. The sounds swelled
like an immense choral, with incomparable purity and nobleness, fraught
with memories of ruins and tombs, of lost liberty and love. Another
pause, and some strophes of unbridled gayety burst forth; then again the
principal phrase, detaching itself like a flower from its stem, among
myriads of winged notes, clusters of vaporous sounds, long spirals of
transparent _fioritures_. Still the violins grew bolder and more
impetuous. Franz rose from his seat while watching these men standing
with their violins pressed against their breasts, as if they were
pouring their life's blood into them: he felt oppressed with anguish,
when, by an ingenious inversion, the gloomy theme was transformed into a
graceful, poetic melody. The sounds passed away rapidily like sparks,
then were extinguished for a moment. A ferocious violence animated the
last measures, and the gypsies laid down their bows. But, divining a
sympathetic listener, they recommenced and played on till the night was
far advanced. At length they ceased, and Franz left the camp, carrying
with him the revelation of a hitherto unknown art.

Three principal features (he tells us) determine the character of
Tzigany music--its intervals, not used in European harmony, its peculiar
rhythms, and its Oriental fioritures or grace-notes. In the minor scale
the Tziganys take the fourth augmented, the sixth diminished and the
seventh augmented. It is by the frequent augmentation of the fourth that
the harmony acquires a wonderfully audacious and disquieting character.
The educated musician at first thinks he hears false notes, but the law
of their harmonies is to have no law. Their abundance is incalculable,
and the solemn and intoxicating effects resulting from the rapid and
beautiful transitions cannot be imagined. As for the grace-notes, they
give to the ear a pleasure like that which Moorish architecture gives to
the eye: the architects of the Alhambra painted on each of their bricks
a graceful little poem; the gypsies adorn each note with melodious
designs and luxuriant embroideries. But (we quote M. Franz throughout)
who shall describe the impalpable flame of Tzigany sentiment, the
strange, subjugating charm of which is a vital animation almost adequate
to life itself? or the mysterious equilibrium which reigns in this
undisciplined art between the sentiment and the form? Mystery of genius,
which bears in itself its inexplicable power of emotion, and which
science and taste in vain deny!

When Franz again heard Tzigany music it was under very different
circumstances. A fete was given by a Hungarian gentleman, of which this
music was to be one of the attractions, the most distinguished
performers being Farkas Miska and Remenyi Ede. The arrival of the latter
on the morning after the first evening concert (the fete seems to have
lasted some days) was announced to M. Franz by a great noise, a banging
of doors and windows and moving of furniture in the room next his own.
It at length ceased, and he was just getting to sleep again when some
one knocked at his door, and a pretty, fair-haired boy entered, who
announced himself as Ptolemyi Nandor, the fervent disciple of Remenyi
Ede, who, he said, had just arrived and was about to take possession of
the adjoining apartment.

"Well, sir, is it to inform me of your name and your fervor that you
have come to prevent me from sleeping?"

"No," said the boy decidedly: "it is to ask you to dress yourself and go
out for a walk."

To the astonished exclamation of M. Franz he replied that his master
wished to practice, beginning early, and that it annoyed him to have any
one hear him.

"Go to the devil, you and your master!" naturally shouted our composer.

The boy became purple. "What!" he said, "send him to the devil?--him,
the great violinist, the successor of Czemak, of Bihary!"

"Is your master a gypsy?"

"No, but he is the only living violinist who possesses the authentic
tradition of gypsy music."

"I love this music; therefore I will get up and go down to the garden."

"Oh no, sir: go into the fields. See!" and he opened the window, "every
one has left the castle." And actually the master of the house and his
guests were all defiling through the garden-gate, having had only three
hours' sleep. M. Franz soon joined them, and heard from them the story
of Remenyi.

At the age of seventeen he had been attached to the person of Görgey
during the Hungarian war. Leaving his country with the emigration, he
had shared the exile of Count Teleki, Sandor and others; then passed
some time at Guernsey, where he knew Victor Hugo. He had afterward
performed with brilliant success in London, Hamburg, etc., and his
renown, after his return to Hungary, went on increasing. He traveled
about the country in every direction, astonishing nobles and peasants,
and playing with the same enthusiasm and poetry in barns as in palaces.
On hearing this our author slipped back to the garden, where he hid
himself to listen to Remenyi, who, to his great disgust, was playing a
concerto of Bach's.

At breakfast, Remenyi appeared, a very commonplace-looking man, full of
his own praises, and always speaking himself in the third person.
"Remenyi practiced well this morning," said he.

"Yes, a concerto of Bach's!" Franz.

Thereupon Remenyi asked for his violin, and they heard a marvelous
specimen of real Tzigany inspiration. Vanity disappeared--passion, nerve
and sentiment took its place. He had all the qualities demanded by
science, together with those of imagination. It was the passionate
inspiration of genius. After his performance was over, he went gravely
to the mantelpiece, stopped the clock, and said to the master of the
house, "Let this hand mark for ever the hour when Remenyi played at your
house."

M. Franz taking no pains to disguise; his admiration, Remenyi, gratified
by it, invited him to accompany him home. Wherever he went he received a
perfect ovation. At one place he ordered a pair of boots, which were
sent home, paid for by the municipality. Art is a national glory in
Hungary, especially that of the gypsies, which has taken root in the
very heart of the soil.

Remenyi's house at Rakos-Palota, near Pesth, is a long, rambling
building, the courtyard of which is given up to chickens, ducks and
pigs. M. Franz says the poplars before the door look like
exclamation-marks, and he thinks they are planted there to serve as
such. There are heaps of rare and precious objects of every imaginable
description--all gifts--but the ones which the owner shows with most
pride are his Hungarian sabre and a pair of boots which Liszt wore when
a child.

The question is often discussed in Hungary whether the national
Hungarian music is the production of Tzigany genius, or whether the
gypsies are only the exponents of what properly belongs to Hungary
itself. The gypsies are proved to have been in Hungary as early as the
thirteenth century, and their musicians were celebrated in the
sixteenth, some of their names still living in the memory of the people.
What has been preserved of genuine old Hungarian music (some melodies of
Timody Stephens) has no charm save its antiquity. These and other
facts--but, above all, the impression produced on him by the music
itself--have convinced M. Franz that the gypsy faculty is one not only
of execution, but creation. Gypsy art proceeds from the sentiment, the
genius, of the Tzigany race. It is too strange, its elements are too
wild, to be the exclusive product of a thoughtful, wise, believing,
practical and civilized people; but the Hungarians have understood this
art--they have surrounded it with love and respect. Gaining new life,
warmth and vigor from the welcoming applause of Hungary, it belongs to
her by virtue of her admiration and sympathetic tears.

     E.C.R.



THE "GIORNO DEI MORTI."


We all know that the second of November is All Souls' Day, and that it
is the day dedicated in the Roman calendar to the commemoration of all
those who have departed "in the faith." And few who have traveled on the
continent of Europe are not aware that the day is observed in all
Southern countries with a degree of devotion which the greater part of
the communities in question are not in the habit of according to any
other of the ordinances of the Church. But to observe the manifestation
of this devotion in its most striking forms, to seize all the more
picturesque developments and presentations of it, the "Giorno dei Morti"
must be passed at Rome.

It is a curious fact--one of the many of a similar order which
illustrate the moral specialties of the Latin populations--that hundreds
of thousands of people of both sexes, who neither believe, nor affect to
believe, the doctrines of the orthodox Church, and who are in the habit
of utterly disregarding all her prescriptions and teaching, should
nevertheless, as often as this sad anniversary comes round, behave as if
they were to all intents and purposes good Catholics. It will be said,
perhaps, that the feelings to which the special character of the
commemoration appeals are so common to all human hearts that the
manifestation of them on any customary occasion is in no degree to be
wondered at. But I do not think that this will suffice to explain the
phenomenon--at least as it may be witnessed here in Italy. Other church
ordinances might be pointed out of which the same thing might be said,
but which are not similarly observed. The real cause of the phenomenon I
take to be that this population is--as it was of old, and as it always
has been through all outward changes--pagan. I put it crudely for the
sake of putting it shortly, for this is not the place to trouble the
readers of a few paragraphs of "Gossip" with a dissertation in support
of the assertion. The innate paganism of these people, born of the
beauty of the climate and of all external Nature, and of the sensuous
proclivity to live and breathe and have their being in the present and
the visible which results therefrom, first forcibly shaped their early
Christianity into moulds which assimilated it to pagan observances and
modes of thought, and still remains ready to resume more and more of its
old empire as the authority of Church beliefs waxes feeble. The very
striking and singular scene which was to be witnessed in the great Roman
cemetery outside the Porta di San Lorenzo on the second day of November
was to all intents and purposes pagan in its spirit and meaning. And it
is curious to observe in this, as in so many other instances, how the
use of words supplies illustrations of national peculiarities and
specialties of character. The Church has dedicated the day in question
to the commemoration "_omnium animarum"_--of all _souls_. And we others,
people of a Teutonic race, have taken and used the phrase in its proper
Christian sense: we talk of "All _Souls_' Day." But with the peoples of
the Latin stock all thought or question of "souls" is very speedily lost
sight of. With them the day is simply the "Giorno dei _Morti_"--the day
of _the dead_. And their observance of it is to all intents and purposes
what it might have been two thousand years ago.

The very ancient church of San Lorenzo, one of the four extramural
basilicas, is situated some ten minutes' walk outside the gate of the
same name on the road to Tivoli; and around and behind this church is
the vast cemetery to which all the Roman dead are carried. It was first
used as an extramural cemetery at the time of the first French
occupation, but has been very greatly extended since that time. Clergy,
nobles and monks were at first, and as long as Papal rule lasted,
exempted from the decree which forbade interment within the city. Now
all must be taken to San Lorenzo, and the greatly increased population
of the city has already very thickly filled an immense area. The first
thing that strikes the visitor to this huge necropolis is the very
marked division between the poor and the rich quarters of this city of
the dead. The _fashionable_ districts are quite as unmistakably divided
and separated from those occupied by "the lower classes" as they are in
any city of the living; as is perhaps but right and natural in the case
of a population among which it is held that the condition and prospects
of the dead may be very materially influenced by a _quantum sufficit_ of
masses said for them, and where these can be purchased in any quantity
for cash. A very large parallelogram, for the most part surrounded by
cloisters, is first entered from the gates which open on the road. But
this has been but little used as yet. Beyond it, to the right, is the
vast space occupied by the graves of the multitude. Let the reader
picture to himself a huge flat space extending as far as the eye can
see, thickly planted with little black wooden crosses, with inscriptions
on them in white letters. The sameness of all these fragile memorials
produces a strange and depressing effect. The undistinguished thousands
of them make all the space seem black spotted with white. They are ugly;
and the poverty of these bits of painted stick, incapable of resisting
the effects of the weather, seems sordid in the extreme. In the graves
of this part of the cemetery all are in truth equal. To the left of the
vast cloister-surrounded square which has been mentioned the scene is a
very different one. There, immediately behind the eastern end of the
basilica, the soil rises in a very steep bank to a height greater than
that of the church. To the space on the top of this bank a handsome and
garden-decorated flight of step leads; and there the "Upper Ten" take
their dignified rest, and their dust is perfectly safe from all danger
of being mingled with that of less distinguished mortality. This higher
ground is called the _Pincetto_--as who should say the "Little
Pincian"--a name adapted from that of the celebrated promenade of the
gay and fortunate in life, with a suggestion of meaning so satirical
that it might seem to have been given to the "fashionable" quarter of
the dead city by the united sneers of all the ghosts who haunt the
undistinguished graves below. In this aristocratic quarter there is of
course no monotonous uniformity. The monuments, some of freestone and
some of marble, are of every conceivable form and degree of splendor,
and death is made to look pretty and coquettish by the introduction of
numerous weeping willows and other such botanical helps to sentiment.
The great majority of the inscriptions are in Latin, for Pius IX., so
long as his power lasted, absolutely forbade the use of any other
language; which was a measure of very questionable judiciousness, seeing
that a large crop of Latinity by no means creditable to Italian
scholarship has been the result. It would have been better to stick to
good Della-Cruscan Italian, or to have employed some English
school-usher to come here as resident reviser of Roman Latinity.
Inelegant and even ungrammatical inscriptions, however, do not interfere
with the general picturesqueness of the spot, or with its singular
adaptation to show to advantage the remarkable scene enacted there on
the last "Giorno dei Morti."

The cemetery had been visited by great numbers of persons, bringing
chaplets and flowers, during the day, both in the aristocratic and the
plebeian quarters, but it was at night that the crowd was greatest and
the scene most striking. The night, as it so chanced, was a dark one,
which did not make the scene by any means less strange and
weird-looking. The greater number of visitors, especially in the poor
quarter of the dead city, were women. Such is always the case, whether
it be that the female mind is more generally accessible to gentle
thoughts of and yearnings over their lost ones, or whether the
explanation be simply that, as is especially the case here, women,
having less to occupy their leisure either in the way of business or
amusement, are more eager to seek any emotion or occasion which may
serve to break the flat monotony of their lives.

Certainly the scene in the cemetery on the evening of the "Day of the
Dead" was one calculated to make an impression not to be readily
forgotten by any mere looker-on who witnessed it. Nor was that presented
by the road from the gate to the cemetery less remarkable in its way. It
is an ugly, disagreeable bit of road, between high walls, deep with mud
in wet, and with dust in dry weather, as was the case on the present
occasion, and without the smallest vestige of a pathway for
foot-passengers; so that the motley crowd, with their lights and
chaplets and flowers, had to make their way amid a cloud of dust and
among the carriages of those bound for the "Pincetto" as best they
might. But it was the general apparent mood and temper of mind in which
these pilgrims, bound on so sad an errand, seemed to be performing their
self-imposed task that was especially noteworthy. It might be supposed
that a certain degree of reverential self-concentration, or at least of
quietude, would have been the characteristic of a crowd bound on such an
errand. There was not the smallest symptom of anything of the sort. It
is true that many visit the cemetery on the evening in question who have
not recently lost any relative or friend, going thither merely as
performing an act of devotion or of amusement, or, as is usually the
case with all devotion in this country, of both combined. But the
greater number of the pilgrims is composed of those who have buried
their dead within the preceding year. Yet, as I have said, there was
observable in the bearing of the crowd not only no reverential feeling,
but not even that amount of quietude which the most careless body of
people of our race would have deemed it but decent to assume on such an
occasion. Laughter might have been heard, though not perhaps very much.
But the noise was astonishing--noise of incessant chatter in tones which
bespoke anything but the tone of mind which might have been expected.
The truth is, that he who expects to find in the people of this race the
sentiment of awe or reverence under any circumstances whatever does not
know them. It is not in them. The capacity for it is not in them. It is
not a question of more or less education, or of this or that condition
of life. The higher and the lower classes, the clergy and the laity, are
equally destitute of the capacity for feeling or comprehending the
sentiment which makes so large a part of the lives of the people of a
different race. To me the observation, far from being suggested by what
met my eye on the occasion in question, is the outcome of more than a
quarter of a century's experience of Italian ways and thoughts. But the
exhibition of the peculiarity on that occasion was very striking.
Doubtless there was many a mother among that throng whose heart had been
wrung, whose very soul had been struck chill within her, by the loss of
the child on whose grave she was about to place the humble tribute of
common flowers which she carried in her hand. No doubt many a
truly-sorrowing husband and yet more deeply-stricken wife were on the
way to visit the sod beneath which their hopes of happiness had been
buried with their lost ones. But whatever might have been in their
hearts was not manifested by any token of _reverential_ feeling. There
were tears, there were even sobs occasionally to be heard, but there was
neither reverence nor what we should deem decency of behavior.

Within the cemetery "distance lent enchantment to the view." As seen
from the cloister which surrounds the great square, as has been
mentioned, the outlook over the "poor quarter" of the vast burial-ground
was very striking. Amid the wilderness of black crosses, which extends
farther than eye could see, numerous figures were flitting hither and
thither, many of them with lights in their hands. In the farther
distance, where the figures were invisible, the lights could still be
seen mysteriously, as it seemed, moving over the closely-ranged graves
like corpse-candles, as the old superstition termed the phosphoric
lights which may in certain states of the atmosphere be seen in crowded
graveyards. In the foreground, where the figures could be distinguished,
many were seen on their knees in the damp and malarious evening air at
the graves of their lost relatives. But not even in the bearing these
could anything of real earnestness be traced. They were performing a
routine duty, of which no doubt their own consciences and their friends
and neighbors would have disapproved the omission; and that was all.
Nevertheless, the _picturesqueness_ of the general effect was perfect,
and it appealed to the imagination of a looker-on in a manner which to
many minds, more intent on sensational emotions than on discrimination
of social characteristics, would have caused the above remarks to appear
sadly ill-timed and out of place.

The scene which was meantime being enacted on the Pincetto, where the
wholly separated resting-places of the "Upper Ten" protest so
successfully against the leveling notion that in death all are equal, I
might have suggested many a mordant epigram to the cynically-minded
visitor. I fear that there is often something provocative of cynicism in
sundry of the aspects of fashionable devotion, but on such an occasion
as the present it could hardly be otherwise. Rachels in Parisian bonnets
and sweeping silk skirts, muttering over their rosaries for their
children on splendid cushions borne in due state by attendant
plush-clothed ministers, were contrasted in these realms of the
universal Leveler somewhat too strongly with the scene one had just left
in the (physically and socially) lower regions of the cemetery. Of
course hearts that beat beneath silken bodices may be wrung as bitterly
as those that serge covers. I am speaking only of those outward
manifestations which contributed to complete the strangeness of the
general spectacle which I had come out to see. The better tending of the
aristocratic portion of the cemetery, and the greater space between the
graves and their monuments, made it of course easier and less
disagreeable to pass among them and to note the bearing of individual
mourners. If the former scene had presented much that was indecorously
formal, here all was decorously formal. The routine, cut-and-dry nature
of the duty being performed exercised in either case its property of
numbing natural feeling, or at least the appearance of it.

On the whole, the experience offered by a visit to the great Roman
cemetery on the evening of the "Giorno dei Morti" is a singular and
curious one, as will be admitted, I think, by any one who may be tempted
by my example to go and see it.

     T.A.T.



MR. MILL'S MOTHER.


The publication of the late Mr. John Mill's _Theism_ (writes a
correspondent from England) has again brought forward its author and his
peculiarities as subjects of general conversation. Not content with
having talked these matters pretty well over some months ago, people are
at this moment discussing them with not a whit less of interest than if
they were brand-new. But it is what Mr. Mill has omitted to tell us in
his _Autobiography_, quite as much as what he has there told us, that
excites popular curiosity about him. How came it that a man whose
admiration of his wife was hardly distinguishable from idolatry should
never once mention his mother? Thousands have asked, and have asked in
vain, who she was, and whether she could have been so entirely
insignificant as to deserve being passed over, without even so much as
an allusion to her, by her very philosophic son. These questions, and
others connected with them, I might answer at length. However, the few
facts I shall here state will perhaps be no less welcome than a long
detail. The wife of James Mill, and mother of John Mill, was a Miss
Burrows, daughter of a Dr. Burrows who superintended an asylum for the
insane at Islington. She died in London about twenty years ago, having
outlived her husband not quite that period. Her children were nine in
number, of whom four daughters are still living--two in England and two
in France. She was not what would be reckoned a conspicuously
intellectual woman, and yet she by no means deserved the heartless
slight which was put on her memory by her son. Indeed, such a slight
could have its justification in little short of utter worthlessness;
and Mrs. James Mill was not only esteemed, but beloved, by a large
circle of friends. On the appearance of the _Autobiography_ her
daughters were, naturally enough, not a little indignant at finding
their mother as much ignored in it as if she had never existed, and were
inclined, at first, to supplement, publicly, their brother's account of
himself by certain disclosures not exactly of a character to exalt him
in the estimation of the world. Suffice it to say here that for many
years before his death he had been estranged from his family; and this
estrangement was attributed, by those who had the best opportunities of
judging, to the sinister influence of his wife. This is all that I am
disposed to communicate at present, but I should not be at all surprised
if we were to know, by and by, much more of the private life of John
Mill than we as yet know.



NOTES.


There has recently emerged into notice, from her hiding-place in one of
the outskirts of London, an ancient woman whose surroundings forcibly
illustrate the persevering vitality of even the insanest forms of
religious belief. Joanna Southcott and her fanaticisms we are apt to
associate with Dr. Faustus, alchemy, and persons and things of that
kind, as belonging to an age with which we have no personal concern. Yet
this is a mistake. The followers of the fatidical Joanna may still be
counted by thousands in Great Britain, particularly in its metropolis;
and their acknowledged head, in strict accordance with the fitness of
things, is a woman. She is a very old woman, too, her age symbolizing,
perhaps, the longevity to which her crazy superstition is destined.
Elizabeth Peacock is the name of this relic of the past. For many years
she itinerated as a preacher, and at the great age of one hundred and
three her health is still vigorous. Modern priestesses, however, not
unlike the prophets of antiquity, are subject to be scanted of due
honor, or, at all events, of what is more essential than this as
contributing to keep soul and body from parting company prematurely. The
fact of her being in a state of destitution was notified not long ago to
the magistrate of the Lambeth police-court, and that unappreciative
functionary, while consenting to subscribe, with others, for her relief,
openly expressed his conviction that she would be best off in the
workhouse. Altogether, the old creature is a bit of a curiosity. She has
had three husbands, and the last of them, whom she married in 1852,
killed himself only the other day, possibly from finding the twofold
burden of domestic predication and a helpmeet of five score too much for
his nerves. If sane, the ungrateful fellow ought, in all reason, to have
had the grace to survive her; for when he undertook matrimony, as he had
nothing to turn his hand to, she instructed him herself in the art and
mystery of cooperage. At that time, so robust a specimen of anility was
she, she could pitch an empty cask across the street, and her credulity
is as strong at this moment as her arm was of yore. We conclude, from
her story, that the proper stuff for making prophetesses of the baser
sort has, even in our day, only to be looked for to be discovered.

       *       *       *       *       *

Our countrymen have lately learned to admire, in its Western
transformation, the extremely clever _Rubáiyát_ of Omer Khayyám. And
they are certainly much in the right in so doing. The sterling merits of
the Persian original are preserved with striking fidelity in the English
version of the poem, which, for the rest, has gone far to prove that the
acceptableness among us of Oriental poetry may depend very largely on
the skill with which it is transplanted into our language. The
translator of the _Rubáiyát_ is Mr. Edward FitzGerald, of Woodbridge in
Suffolk. Mr. FitzGerald's ancient family one may learn all about from
Burke's _Landed Gentry_, and that he was born in 1809, and that he
married Lucy, daughter of Bernard Barton, the Quaker poet. He was
educated at Trinity College, Cambridge, where among his contemporaries
and friends were the present poet-laureate and Mr. Spedding, the editor
of Bacon. The _London Catalogue_ names three works as by Mr. FitzGerald.
These, as we find from inspection of the works themselves, are as
follows: 1. _Euphranor, a Dialogue on Youth,_ 1851 (it reached a second
edition, increased by an _Appendix_, in 1855); 2. _Polonius: A
Collection of Wise Saws and Modern Instances_, 1852; 3. _Six Dramas of
Calderon_, 1853. These dramas are translations, in prose and verse, of
_The Painter of his Own Dishonor, Keep your Own Secret, Gil Perez the
Gallician, Three Judgments at a Blow, The Mayor of Zalamea_, and _Beware
of Smooth Water_. In none of these volumes, however, except the last is
there any indication of its authorship but there Mr. FitzGerald's name
is given in full. The date of his metrical translation of _Salámán and
Absál_, from the Persian, we are not at this moment, able to specify.
Add, as printed by him, but not published, two other small volumes of
translations--one, of the _Agamemnon_ of Æschylus; and the other, of two
of Calderon's plays, _Life is a Dream_ and _The Wonderful Magician_.
Finally, we have to mention an unprinted verse-translation, _The Bird
Parliament_, from the Persian _Mantiq-ut-tair_ by Attár. Mr. Allibone
knows nothing of Mr. FitzGerald, and he is similarly passed over in
silence by the compiler of _Men of the Time._ Everything that he has
produced is uniformly distinguished by marked ability; and, such being
the case, his indifference to fame, in this age of ambition for literary
celebrity, is a phenomenon which deserves to be emphasized.



LITERATURE OF THE DAY.

The French Humorists from the Twelfth to the Nineteenth Century.
  By Walter Besant, M.A.
  Boston: Roberts Brothers.


Had Mr. Besant given us definitions of "humor" and "humorist," we might
possibly not have been satisfied with them, but they would at least have
enabled us to understand what sense he attaches to the words, and what
principle determined him in selecting the writers embraced in his
category. In the first page of his book he speaks of humor as "a branch"
of satire; in the second he identifies French satire as the "esprit
gaulois;" in the third he tells us that "the French type for satire and
humor has preserved one uniform character from generation to
generation;" and in his last page he claims superiority for the French
over the English humorists, on the ground that "Rabelais has a finer wit
than Swift," that "we have no political satire so good as the _Satyre
Mènipée_," "no English humor comparable for a moment with that of the
fabliaux," "no letter-writer like Voiture," "no teller of tales like La
Fontaine," and "no _chansonnier_ like Béranger." Now, it is evident that
this is a comparison not of French and English humorists, but of certain
classes of writers in the two languages in reference to their
manifestation of humor. We have no fabulist like La Fontaine, no
song-writer equal to Béranger; but then we do not think of citing our
fables and songs as the highest examples of English humor. It would be
easy to array a list of names as a set-off against that of Mr. Besant.
But this is needless. Humor, in the sense in which the word is commonly
understood, may almost be said to be a distinctive quality of English
literature, which is pervaded by it in a far greater degree than that of
any other people. It is a leading trait in all the great English
novelists, from Fielding to Thackeray and George Eliot, without
excepting Richardson, in whom it is least conspicuous; it is the chief
attribute of our finest essayists, from Addison to Charles Lamb; it is
harmoniously blended with the fresh and simple pathos of Chaucer and
with the passionate moodiness of Carlyle: it holds equal sway with the
tragic element in the world created by Shakespeare. When Mr. Besant says
that "there is no English humor comparable for a moment with that of the
fabliaux," we are forced to suppose either that he uses the word "humor"
in some unexplained and inexplicable sense, or that he leaves out of the
account what would generally be considered the greatest of humorous
productions. The puzzle increases when we find him omitting all mention
of Le Sage, while excusing himself for the omission, from lack of space,
of Rousseau! A list of humorous works which should exclude _Gil Blas_ to
make room for _Émile_ or _Le Contrat Social_, might itself, one would
think, act as a provocative on the _esprit gaulois_.

These mysteries are not the only ones in Mr. Besant's volume to which we
have to confess our inability to discover a key. In closing his remarks
on Montaigne he touches with undissembled irony the question whether he
was a Christian, and, after contrasting the tone and sentiments of the
_Essais_ with those of the Gospels, bids us "remember that we are not in
the nineteenth century, but in the sixteenth, that Montaigne died in the
act of adoration, and cease to ask whether the man was a Christian;"
adding, "Christian? There was no better Christian than Montaigne in all
his century." It appears, therefore, that the sixteenth century, instead
of being, as we had supposed, one in which the Reformation had brought
with it a revival of religious earnestness and a reaction against
religious formalism, and in which on the battle-field, in the dungeon
and at the stake, as well as through voluntary exile and the
relinquishment of property, thousands in every country testified to the
fervor and sincerity of their religious convictions, was in truth, like
the eighteenth century, one in which a prevailing skepticism or
indifference paid to dead but not yet dethroned creeds its light homage
of affected "adoration." Mr. Besant informs us that "to the men of
culture the rival parties were but two political sides." How many men of
culture could be cited in support of this assertion? We grant him
Montaigne, but it was precisely because the case of Montaigne was an
exceptional one in the age of Erasmus and More, of Calvin and Coligny,
that the question in regard to him has not seemed altogether idle.

It appears from another passage that Mr. Besant has an easy method of
arriving at a judgment in regard to the character or general aspect of
an historical epoch. From the details in regard to food, dress and
furniture which he finds in the works of Eustache Deschamps, a satirical
poet of the fourteenth century, he infers that the bourgeois life of
that period was "comfortable, abundant and cheery." "History," he says,
"paints this as the worst and most disastrous period that Europe had
ever seen; yet here, in the most real poet of the century, we see how
life, as a whole, went on in the usual way. For when a great pestilence
strikes a country, it slays its thousands and goes away. Time quickly
heals the wounds of grief, and the world goes on as before. Then come
the English to sack and destroy. Nature heals their wounds, too, by the
recurring seasons, and the world goes on as before. I am inclined to
think that life, on the whole, was generally pleasant for a well-to-do
Frenchman of the period." Mr. Besant, it will be seen, concedes that
evils are evils while they last, that war and pestilence are not
pleasant things to the victims, and that the comfortable and cheery life
of the fourteenth century suffered some interruptions from these causes.
But then it was still, he insists, an agreeable life "on the whole,"
since "the recurring seasons" healed the wounds and the grief, and left
the survivors to enjoy existence "in the usual way." This, it must be
owned, is a very comfortable and cheery philosophy--for those who preach
it. We do not see that they need ever complain of "bad times," since
they can always be sure that the recurring seasons will bring
alleviation to the survivors. It may also be admitted that, as there is
no age in which the recurring seasons do not bring relief, so there has
been none when war and pestilence and similar evils did not interrupt
the usual course of life. There is, however, this difference, that in
some ages these evils last longer than in others, the wounds are deeper,
the victims more numerous, the intermissions less frequent, the relief
tardier, the survivors fewer. Such an age in France was the period of
the English invasions, comprising a great portion of the fourteenth and
fifteenth centuries. That life was then, "on the whole," anything but
comfortable and cheery is attested by records and evidence of all kinds,
against which the mention of weddings and christenings, of
gold-embroidered mantles and robes of silk, in the pages of a court poet
will, we apprehend, count for very little, especially as the sufferers
do not appear to have solaced themselves with reflections on the sure
effects of the recurring seasons. Deschamps himself was unable, it
seems, to get his pension paid; and if he died, as Mr. Besant tells us,
about 1409, the chances, we think, are that however he may have
denounced luxury as the "crying evil" of his time, his death was the
result of starvation.

Mr. Besant, it will be perceived, is one of those writers who indulge in
haphazard assertions without troubling their heads with the facts that
conflict with them. A glaring instance of his tendency to exaggeration
and wild speculation will be found in his estimate of Rabelais, whom he
first vaunts as "a great moral teacher," "a teacher the like of whom
Europe had not yet seen," and then denounces as having "destroyed
effectually, perhaps for centuries yet to come, earnestness in France,"
declaring that "no writer who ever lived has inflicted such lasting
injury on his country," and that "it would have been better for France
if his book, tied to a millstone, had been hurled into the sea." These
opinions are contradictory of each other, since it is impossible that a
writer who so perverted men's minds should also have been, in any proper
sense of the term, a great moral teacher; they are inconsistent with Mr.
Besant's account of the "unbroken lines of writers," of whom Rabelais
was one, but not the first, all having the same characteristics, all
"irreverent," having "no strong convictions," "like children for
mockery, mischief and lightness of heart;" and finally, they are so
improbable in themselves, and so unsusceptible of proof, that, uttered
as they are with the solemnity of communications from an unseen world,
they produce much the same impression on us as the disclosures with
which Mr. Robert Dale Owen is favored by his "materialized" visitants.

We might cite other examples to prove that Mr. Besant is not a safe
guide either in his general speculations or in his critical judgments.
He is an agreeable narrator, showing a close familiarity with the topics
he handles, and an enthusiasm which, if it sometimes degenerates into
mere fume, adds on the whole to the liveliness of his writing. His
translations in verse are remarkable for their ease and finish. The book
may be read with pleasure, but not, we fear, with equal profit. The
chapters that deal with the least known works and writers are the most
satisfactory. On Montaigne and Molière Mr. Besant has nothing to say
which is likely to incite the reader to a fresh study of their works,
which ought to be the effect of every fresh discourse on a great author.

       *       *       *       *       *

Recollections of a Tour made in Scotland A.D. 1803.
  By Dorothy Wordsworth.
  Edited by J.C. Shairp, LL.D.
  New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons.


The special charm of this book lies in the fact that it is not a
book--that there was no thought in the writer's mind of printer's ink,
no vision of publicity or fame, no solicitude to propitiate critics or
win the sympathy of the "gentle reader." Or one might say it was a book
of the primitive kind, written on the bark of trees by some shy dryad,
unconcious translator into speech of the rustlings and whisperings of
the woodland. It is, as the editor observes, an "effortless narrative,"
with "no attempt at fine or sensational writing, ... at that modern
artifice which they call word-painting," but recording with "vivid
exactness" what was seen and felt by the writer and her companions on a
journey through regions then little frequented by tourists and
unsmirched by the eloquence of guide-books. That the travelers were
William and Dorothy Wordsworth and (for a part of the way) S.T.
Coleridge, that scenes and incidents here first sketched in the sister's
sober prose were afterward memorialized and moralized in the brother's
verse, and that many of the spots described were about to become famous
with and through Scott--a meeting with whom formed the fitting close to
the tour,--these are circumstances that of course invest the journal
with a deeper interest and have called wider attention to its
unobtrusive beauty. But its chief attractiveness lies in the Doric
simplicity not only of the style but of the matter. An outlandish Irish
car was the conveyance; the appearance of the party was not such as to
attract notice unless by the quaintness of their garb or their awkward
management of the horse, "now gibbing and backing over a bank, now
reduced to a walk, with one of the poets leading him by the head;" and
they themselves were in search of nothing more notable than such wayside
objects as might serve to feed contemplation. On one occasion, having
turned aside to visit the duke of Hamilton's picture-gallery, they were
told by the porter, after he had scanned them over, that they ought not
to have come to the front door, and were directed to an obscure entrance
at the corner of the house, where they seated themselves humbly on a
bench while waiting for admittance, which was finally refused. They were
mortified, but had a deeper pang in the grounds around Bothwell Castle,
for here they were "_hurt_ to see that flower-borders had taken place of
the natural overgrowings of the ruins, the scattered stones and wild
plants." Sometimes at an inn they were made to perceive how little
consideration they were entitled to by being lodged in inferior rooms
while better ones were vacant; but to compensate for this, in the wilder
parts of the country they were greeted with the hospitality which their
mere condition as strangers was still sufficient to call forth. The
descriptions given of the people have at least an equal interest with
those of the scenery. We have a succession of pictures in which, as
Principal Shairp remarks, "man is seen against a great background of
Nature and solitude." The book is one not to be read and laid away, but
to be kept near at hand, and made a frequent companion and familiar
friend.



_Books Received_.



Sophisms of Protection.
  By the late M. Frédéric Bastiat.
  Translated from the Paris edition of 1863,
  with Preface by Horace White.
  New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons.


Select Notes on the International Sabbath School Lessons for 1875.
  By a New England Pastor.
  Boston: Henry Hoyt.


Notes in England and Italy.
  By Mrs. Nathaniel Hawthorne.
  Illustrated Edition.
  New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons.


William Prince of Orange; or, The King and his Hostage.
  By Rev. T.M. Merriman, A.M.
  Boston: Henry Hoyt.


Report of the Commissioner of Education for the year 1873.
  Washington: Government Printing Office.


Among the Trees.
  By William Cullen Bryant.
  Illustrated.
  New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons.


Early English History.
  By John P. Yeatman.
  London: Longmans, Green & Co.


Poems.
  By Stuart Sterne.
  (Published for the Author.)
  New York: F.B. Patterson.


The Frozen Deep.
  By Wilkie Collins.
  Boston: William F. Gill & Co.


A Lecture on the Protestant Faith.
  By Dwight H. Olmstead.
  New York.



FOOTNOTES.


[1] _Travel and Art-Study in Italy_, by C.E. NORTON.

[2] December, 1874, art. "Physical Effects of Emotion on the Heart."

[3] I have several times performed this experiment, and by a method,
the explanation of which would require a separate article, have proved
that the vaso-motor centre, as well as the respiratory centre, is
situated in the medulla oblongata, and that paralysis of neither
respiration nor of the vaso-motor nerves follows the operation.





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