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Title: Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science - Volume 17, No. 097, January, 1876
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 17, No. 097, January, 1876" ***

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LITERATURE AND SCIENCE, VOL. 17, NO. 97, JANUARY, 1876***


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

LIPPINCOTT'S MAGAZINE OF POPULAR LITERATURE AND SCIENCE

January, 1876.

Volume XVII, No. 97



TABLE OF CONTENTS

  ILLUSTRATIONS

  THE CENTURY: ITS FRUITS AND ITS FESTIVAL.
    I.--GENERAL PROGRESS.

  UP THE THAMES
    THIRD PAPER by EDWARD C. BRUCE.

  LINES WRITTEN AT VENICE IN OCTOBER, 1865 by FRANCES ANNE KEMBLE.

  SKETCHES OF INDIA.
    I.

  LADY ARTHUR EILDON'S DYING LETTER by THE AUTHOR OF "BLINDPITS."

  THE HOUSE ON THE BEACH by REBECCA HARDING DAVIS.

  A DEAD LOVE by F.A. HILLARD.

  GENTILHOMME AND GENTLEMAN by G. COLMACHE.

  SPECIAL PLEADING by SIDNEY LANIER.

  THE ATONEMENT OF LEAM DUNDAS by MRS. E. LYNN LINTON
    CHAPTER XVII. WHAT MUST COME.
    CHAPTER XVIII. RECKONING WITH LEAM.
    CHAPTER XIX. AT STEEL'S CORNER.
    CHAPTER XX. IN HER MOTHER'S PLACE.

  FAMISHING PORTUGAL.

  AT THE OLD PLANTATION.
    TWO PAPERS.--I. by ROBERT WILSON.

  OUR MONTHLY GOSSIP. '76. by LATIENNE.

  THE KREUZESSCHULE.
    OBER-AMMERGAU, Bavaria, Oct. 4, 1875.

  VARESE.

  A STATE GOVERNOR IN THE RÔLE OF ENOCH ARDEN

  THE PALATINE LIGHT.

  NOTES.

  LITERATURE OF THE DAY.

  Books Received.



ILLUSTRATIONS

  HAMPTON COURT--WEST FRONT.
  HAMPTON COURT--LOOKING UP THE RIVER.
  ENTRANCE TO WOLSEY'S HALL.
  MIDDLE QUADRANGLE, HAMPTON COURT.
  ARCHWAY IN HAMPTON COURT.
  WOLSEY.
  PORTICO LEADING TO GARDENS.
  CENTRE AVENUE.
  HAMPTON COURT--GARDEN FRONT.
  GATE TO PRIVATE GARDEN.
  BUSHY PARK.
  GARRICK'S VILLA.
  RIVER SCENE, THAMES DITTON.
  WOLSEY'S TOWER, ESHER.
  CLAREMONT.
  CLIVE'S MONUMENT.
  PRINCESS CHARLOTTE.
  WALTON CHURCH.
  KINGSTON CHURCH.
  A DWELLING AT MAZAGON.
  HINDU TEMPLE IN THE BLACK TOWN, BOMBAY.
  JAIN TEMPLES AT SUNAGHUR.
  THE VESTIBULE OF THE GRAND SHAÎTYA OK KARLI.
  SCULPTURED FIGURES IN THE VESTIBULE OF THE GREAT SHAÎTYA OF KARLI.



[Illustration: The CENTURY: ITS FRUITS and its FESTIVAL.]


THE CENTURY: ITS FRUITS AND ITS FESTIVAL.

I.--GENERAL PROGRESS.


This of ours is a conceited century. In intense self-consciousness
it exceeds any of its late predecessors. Its activity in externally
directed thought is accompanied by an almost corresponding use of
introverted reflection. Its inheritance, and the additions it has
made, can make or will make thereto, supply an ever-present theme. It
delights to stand back from its work, like the painter from his easel,
to scan the effect of each new touch--to note what has been done and
to measure what remains. It is a great living and breathing entity,
informed with the concrete life of three generations of mankind
the most alert and the most restless of all that have existed.
This sensation of exceptional endowments is self-nourishing and
ever-growing; and our little nook of time is coming to view all the
paths of the past, broad or narrow, direct or interlacing, straight or
obscure, as so many roads laid out and graded for the one purpose of
leading straight to its gate. It sounds its own praises and celebrates
itself at all opportunities. But with all this there is a wholesome
recognition of responsibility. Nobility obliges, it is prompt to
confess, and to act accordingly. It sees flaws in its regal diamonds,
spots that still sully on its ermine; and is not slow to address
itself to the duty of their removal.

If the century understands itself, it may be said likewise to
understand the others better than they did themselves. It collects
their respective autobiographies and their mutual criticisms. The real
truths, half truths and delusions each has added to the accumulating
common stock it sifts and weighs, mercilessly piling a dustheap beyond
Mr. Boffin's wildest dreams, and rescuing, on the other hand, from
the old wastebasket many discarded scraps of real but till now
unacknowledged value. Busy in gathering stores of its own, it is able
to find time for digesting those bequeathed to it, and for executing
both tasks with a good deal of care. It brings skepticism to its aid
in both, and subjects new and old conclusions to almost equally close
analysis. Each new pebble it picks up upon the shore of the Newtonian
ocean it holds up square and askew to the light, and cross-examines
color, texture and form. Now and then, being but mortal after all, it
chuckles too hastily over a brilliant find, but the blunder is not apt
to wait long for correction. Just now it appears to be overhauling its
accounts in the item of science, taking stock of its discoveries in
that field, balancing bad against good, and determining profit and
loss. Some once-promising entries have to undergo a black mark, while
a few claims that were despaired of come to the fore. This proceeding
is only preparatory, however, to a new departure on a bolder scale.
Scientific progress knows only partial checks. Its movement is that of
a force _en échelon_: one line may get into trouble and recoil, while
the others and the general front continue to advance. Theory does not
profess to be certainty. It is only tentative, and subject necessarily
to frequent errors, for the elimination of which the severely
skeptical spirit of the laws to which it is now held furnishes the
best appliance. Modern science possesses an internal _vis
medicatrix_ which prevents its suffering seriously from excesses
or irregularities. When it ventures to touch the shield of the
Unknowable, it is only with the butt of its lance, and the inevitable
overthrow is accepted with the least modicum of humiliation.

In that science which assumes to marshal all the others, philosophic
and judicial history, ours ought to be the foremost age, if only
because it has the aid of all the others. It does more, however, than
they can be said to have contemplated. It widens the scope of history,
and more precisely formalizes its functions. It makes of the old
chroniclers so many moral statisticians, fully utilizing at the same
time their services as collectors of material facts. The deductions
thus arrived at it aims to test by the methods of the exact sciences.
It invites, in a certain degree, moral philosophy to don the trammels
of mathematics and decorate its shadowy shoulders with the substantial
yoke of the calculus. Such is the programme of a school too young as
yet to have matured its shape, but full of vigor and confidence, and
a very promising outgrowth from the elder and more stately academy
of abstract historical inquiry and generalization. The latter has
redeveloped and freshened up for us the pictures of the ancient
story-tellers, and has furthermore had them, so to speak, engraved and
scattered among the people, until we have come to live in the midst of
their times and enjoy an intimate knowledge of the actual condition
of human polity and intelligence at any given period. Through the long
gallery or the thick portfolio thus presented to our eye we may trace
the common thread of motive under the varying conditions of time and
circumstance. This thread able hands are aiding us to discover.

To what segment of time shall we assign the name of Nineteenth
Century? In A.D. 1800 there was dispute as to which was properly its
first year, the question being settled in favor of 1801. Having thus
struck out the first of the eighteen hundreds, we may take the liberty
of similarly ostracizing the last twenty-four or twenty-five, which
are yet to come, and start the nineteenth century as far back in the
eighteenth. If we look farther behind us, the centuries will be found
often to overlap in this way. Coming events cast their shadows before,
and the morning twilight of the new age is refracted deeply into the
sky of the old one. Of no case can this be more truly said than of
that in point. Not only America, but Christendom, may safely date
the century's commencement about 1775 or 1776. The narrowest isthmus
between the mains of past and present will cover those years.

England and France were then both at the outset of a new political
era, sharply divided from that preceding. The amiable and decorous
Louis XVI., with his lovely consort, had just ousted from Versailles
the Du Barrys and the Maupeons. George III., a sovereign similar in
youth and respectability of character, had a few years before in like
manner improved the tone of the English court, and, after the first
flush of welcome from his subjects, surprised and delighted to have an
Englishman and a gentleman once more upon the throne, was getting over
his early lessons in adversity from the birch of Wilkes and Junius,
and entering upon a second series from that of Washington, all
preparatory to the longest and most brilliant reign in British annals.
Frederick II. was an old man, occupied with assuring to the power he
had created the position it now holds as the first in Europe. Clive,
in the House of Lords, was nursing a still younger bantling, now
an empire twice as populous as Europe was at that period. Under the
equally rugged hand of the young princess of Anhalt-Zerbst, Russia
was having her Mongolian epidermis indued with the varnish Napoleon
so signally failed to scrape off, and was for the first time taking a
place among the great powers of the West. The curtain, in short, was
in the act of rising on the Europe of to-day. Anson had lately brought
the Pacific to light, and Cook was completing his work. The crust of
Spanish monopoly in the trade of four-fifths of the North and South
American coasts had been broken, and England was preparing to replace
it, at some points, by her own. This was, of itself, a New World,
geographical and commercial.

Under Linnæus and Buffon, another world, wider still, was unfolding
its wonders and subjecting them to a classification which has since
been but little changed, vast as have been the subsequent accessions
of knowledge and attainments in methods of interpretation. Before
them, the study of the organic creation can scarcely be said to have
existed. The inorganic was as little reduced to system, and in its
broadest aspect was not even looked at. Buffon's acute but for the
most part empiric speculations on the structure of the globe were a
step in advance; but the science of geology he did not recognize, and
left to be shaped a very little later by Hutton. Priestley, Cavendish
and Lavoisier were dissecting the impalpable air and making the
gaseous form of substances as familiar and manageable as the solid.
Hence true analytic chemistry. Astronomy, an older science, had
derived new precision from the first observed transit of Venus,
imperfect as were the data obtained and the calculations made.

Contemporaneous with this sudden apparition of new fields of
scientific discovery and enlargement of the old was an intellectual
movement of a more general character than that necessarily involved
in the progress of natural philosophy. The French Encyclopædists took
hold of social, moral and juridical questions with an unsparing vigor
that could not be gainsaid. The art of criticism was simultaneously
introduced, perfected and applied. Many of the wrongs and follies
that paralyzed thought and industry were dragged to light. Hoary
absurdities that smothered law and gospel under the foul mass of
privilege and superstition, and made them a curse instead of a
blessing, shrank before the storm of ridicule and denunciation. Those
which did not at once succumb were placed in a position of publicity
and exposure in which they could not long survive. The great upheaval
of which the French Revolution was a part was thus originated.

Sounder political ideas were brought within reach of the masses, till
then not recipient, it may almost be said, of any political ideas
at all. Statesmen and governments were similarly enlightened,
Adam Smith's declaration of commercial antedated by two years Mr.
Jefferson's of political independence. The atrocities of the English
criminal code, approaching those of Draco, were put in process of
correction, though, as usual in British reforms, it took half a
century to effect their complete removal; a woman having been, if we
recollect rightly, hanged for a trifling theft in the last years of
George IV. This same slowness of that conservative but persevering
people is calculated to blind us to the operation among them of
deep-seated and active influences. Hardly till 1815 can we discover
in England any fervor, much less efficiency, in the demand for an
extension of popular rights and relaxation of the grasp of privilege.
Irish manufactures continued to be distinctly and rigidly repelled
from competition with English by formal statute; Jewish and Catholic
disqualification was maintained; the game-laws and the rotten-borough
system, which conferred on the nobility and gentry arbitrary power
over the purse and person of the commonalty, were determinedly upheld;
counsel was only nominally allowed to the defendant in criminal cases;
chancery withheld or plundered without resistance or appeal; and there
can be no doubt that life and property were better protected by law
in France at the fall of the First Napoleon than in Great Britain.
Nevertheless, the movement had begun in the latter country forty years
before. A generation had passed since the battle of Culloden, and the
island was at length indissolubly and efficiently one. It shared fully
in the intellectual impulse of the day. Victorious in all its latest
struggles and freed from all sources of internal danger, it might
naturally have been expected to enter at once on a career of
improvement more marked than in the case of its neighbors. It is not
easy to assign reasons for failure in this respect, unless we seek
them in disgust at the subsequent dismemberment and disturbance of
the empire by the fruits of popular agitations in America, Ireland
and France. The reaction due to such causes was probably sufficient
to defeat all liberal efforts. The leading English writers of the
Revolutionary period were strong Tories. Such were Johnson, the Lake
poets after their brief swing to the opposite extreme, and Scott.
All these except the first belong as well to the time of successful
reform, and Johnson may be claimed by the eighteenth century; which
serves to illustrate the blight cast upon British literature by the
prolonged resistance of British statesmen to the prevailing current--a
resistance which took its keynote from the dying recantation and
protest of the Whig Chatham.

The opening of the epoch, then, was as marked in Great Britain as
elsewhere. Only in special fields she afterward fell behind, and lost
something like half the century. In others she kept abreast, or even
in advance.

Criticism was not content to exercise its new powers and apply its
newly-framed laws exclusively in the investigation of any branch of
philosophy. It brought them to bear upon the arts. The discovery of
the buried cities of Campania aided in attracting renewed attention to
the art-stores of Italy, ancient and modern. The principles of taste
and beauty which they illustrated were searchingly analyzed and
carefully explained. Painting and sculpture began slowly to emit their
rays through the eclipse of more than a century. The allied art shared
in this second and secondary renaissance. Haydn was in full fruit,
Mozart ripening, and Music watched, in the cradle of Beethoven, her
budding Shakespeare. A fourth Teuton was studying the symphonies of
the spheres; and within the first five years of the century, while
the "crowning mercy" of Yorktown was maturing, a planet that had never
before dawned on the eye of man took its place with the ancient six,
and "swam into the ken" of Herschel.

We have said enough to vindicate our assumed chronology and justify
our readjustment of the calendar. Europe may well be invited to
celebrate her own political, social and material centennial in 1876,
as truly as that of America. Her intellectual revival indisputably
contributed, through Franklin, Laurens, the Lees and others who were
immediately within its influence, to bring on the American movement;
and her thought, in turn, has since that juncture as certainly
gravitated, in many of its chief manifestations, toward that of the
New World. Hers is the jubilee not less than ours. The humblest cot
on her broad bosom is the brighter for '76. By no means the least
fortunate of the beneficiaries is Great Britain herself. Contrast her
present position as a government and a society with what it was when
Liberty Bell announced the dismemberment of her empire. Her rank among
the nations has notably improved. The population of England, Scotland
and Wales was then estimated below eight and a half millions--a
numerical approximation, by the way, to the three millions of the
colonies not sufficiently considered when we measure the stoutness
of her struggle against them with France and Holland combined. Of the
continental powers, the French numbered perhaps twenty-two millions,
Spain twelve, the Low Countries six, Germany thirty, Prussia seven,
and so on. From the ratio of one to nearly three, as compared with
France, she has, if we include pacified and assimilated Ireland--an
element now of strength instead of weakness--advanced to an equality.
She has equally gained on the others, except Prussia, with its
aggregation of new provinces. She may, furthermore, in the event of an
internecine conflict with a combination, count upon the unwillingness
of America to see her annihilated; not the least just of Tallyrand's
observations expressing his conviction that, though the two great
Anglo-Saxon powers might quarrel with each other, they would not push
such a dispute for the benefit of a third party. But, dismissing
the question of mere brute strength, Britain's sentiment of pride is
conciliated by the spectacle of an advance in the numbers speaking her
tongue from eleven or twelve to eighty millions within the century,
and that in considerable part at the expense of other languages;
millions of foreign immigrants, parents or children, having abandoned
their vernacular in favor of hers.

Let us now essay a light sketch of the stream at whose source we have
glanced. Light and superficial it must be, for to attempt more were
to confront the vast and many-sided theme of modern civilization.
The nineteenth century, the child of history, has the stature of
its progenitor. It would fill more libraries. Conditions, forces,
results,--all have been multiplied. But a few centuries ago the world,
as known and studied, was a corner of the Levant, with its slender and
simple apparatus of life, social, political and industrial. Later,
its boundaries were extended over the remaining shores of the same
landlocked sea. Again a step, but not an expansion, and it looked
helplessly west upon the Atlantic: its ancient domain of the East
almost forgotten. Then that long gaze was gratified, and Cathay
was seen. With that came actual expansion, which continued in both
directions of the globe's circuit until now. At length the world of
thought, of inquiry and of common interest is becoming coincident with
the sphere.

In the direction of international politics progress during the century
has not kept pace with the advance in other walks. We are accustomed
to speak of Europe as forming a republic of nations, but that cannot
be said with much more truth than it could have been in the middle
of the sixteenth century. A sense of the value to the peace of the
continent of a balance of power was then recognized; and the object
was attained in some measure as soon as the career of Charles V.,
which had inculcated the lesson, admitted at his abdication of an
application of it. Treaties were then framed, as they have been
constantly since, for this purpose, and the observation of them was
perhaps as faithful. The passions of nations, like those of men,
furnish reason with its slowest and latest conquests. The great wars
of the French Revolution, and the short and sharp ones which have,
after an indispensable breathing-spell, recently followed it, were as
causeless and as defiant of the compacts designed to prevent them as
those of the Reformation period or of the Thirty Years. They were so
many confessions that an efficient international code is one of the
inventions for which we must look to the future. It is something,
meanwhile, that, with the extinction of feudalism and the concretion
of the detached provinces with which it had macadamized Christendom,
the ceaseless fusillade of little wars, which played like a lambent
flame of mephitic gas over the surface of each country, has come to an
end. The petty sovereignties which made up Germany, France and Italy
have been within a few generations absorbed into three masses--so many
police districts which have proved tolerably effective in keeping
the peace within the large territories they cover. The nations, thus
massing themselves for exterior defence, and maintaining a healthy
system of graduated and distributed powers, original or conferred,
for the support of domestic order and activity, have cultivated
successfully the field of home politics.

In that the change for the better is certainly vast. It is difficult
for Americans, whose acquaintance with European history is usually
derived from compends, to realize what an incubus of complicated
and conflicting privileges, restrictions and forms has, within the
century, been lifted from the energies of the Old World. The sweeping
reforms in French law are but a small part of what has been done. All
the neighbors of France, from Derry to the Dardanelles, have shared
in the blessing. We may be assisted to an idea of it by turning to the
experience of our own country, whose condition in this regard was
so exceptionally good at the beginning of the period in point. The
constitutions of our States have been repeatedly altered, and they are
now very different in their details from the old colonial charters,
liberal and elastic as these for the most part were. Yet American
innovations are but child's play to those of Europe, which has not
reached the position we held at the beginning, and has a great
deal still to do. In France the people are not trained to local
self-government, but they have an excellent police, and the rights
of person and property are well protected. In Italy, which has only
within a few years ceased to be a mere geographical expression,
municipal rights and the independence of the commune are on a
stronger basis, but the police is bad, though far better than when
the Peninsula was divided among half a dozen powers. Both have but
commenced arming themselves with the chief safeguard of Germany,
popular education. The great fact with them all is, that, despite the
drawbacks of external pressure and large standing armies, they are
at liberty to pursue the path of domestic reform as far as they have
light enough to perceive it or purpose enough to require it.

All this is an immense gain. It reflects itself in the improved social
condition of the people--a result, of course, not wholly due to it.
Crime, though the newspapers make us familiar with more of it than
formerly, has notably diminished. The savage classes of the great
capitals, populous as some of the old kingdoms, are controlled like
a menagerie by its keepers. A residuum of the untamable will always
exist, inaccessible to education or "moral suasion," and amenable only
to force. This force seems sufficiently supplied by the baton of the
constable, and we may hope that even in volcanic Paris an eruption
of barricades will henceforth cease, unless simply as a somewhat
flamboyant expression of political sentiment, the gamin throwing up
paving-stones and omnibuses as the independent British voter throws
up his hat at the hustings. But it will not do to expect too much from
any ameliorating cause or chain of causes. Race-characteristics cannot
be annihilated. Man is an animal, and the Parisian turbulent. The
Commune has done its worst probably, and the Internationale, which
threatened at one time to loom up as a modern Vehmgericht, has
subsided. Whatever may hereafter come of such slumbering perils, the
beneficent forces which so largely repress and reduce them are none
the less real.

The marked advance of the masses in physical well-being is a
great--some would say the greatest--item in social profit and loss.
Food is everywhere better in quality and more regular in supply. The
English record of the corn-market for six centuries shows a remarkable
alteration in favor of steadiness in price. The uncertainties of
the seasons are discounted or neutralized by the average struck
by increased variety of products and multiplied sources of supply.
Famines become infrequent. That of 1847 in Ireland, bad as it was,
would have been worse a hundred years earlier. A given population is
more regularly and better fed than one-fifth of its number would at
that time have been. A city of four millions would then have been an
impossibility. Dress and lodging are better, and relatively cheaper.
Hygiene is more understood, imperfect as is its application. Some
diseases due to its disregard have disappeared or been localized. As a
result, men have gained in weight and size and in length of life.

In the character of their recreations--a thing largely governed by
national idiosyncrasy--the masses have advanced. And this we may say
without losing sight of the devastations of intemperance since the
distillation of grain was introduced, about a century and a half ago.
With an enhanced demand upon man's faculties civilization brings an
increased use of stimulants. There are many of these unknown to former
generations. In noting those which attack the health by storm we are
apt to overlook others which proceed more stealthily by sap. Of these
are coffee, tea, chocolate, the rich spices and more substantial
accessions to the modern table, all stimulating and inviting to
excess, but all, as truly, nutritious and apt to take the place of
other aliment, thus adapting the measure of their use, as a rule,
to the demands of the system. The consumption of opium, the one
dissipation of the Chinese till now unadded to the three or four of
the Caucasian, is said to be extending. If so, a _Counter-blast_ to it
from king or commonwealth will be as ineffectual as against its allied
narcotic. Prohibitory laws will be even more unavailing than in
the case of ardent spirits. It will run its course--a short one,
we trust--and be followed or joined by new drugs contributed by
conscienceless trade.

Intemperance--we use the word in its special but most common
signification--is debasing. Compensation, so far as it goes, is found
in the abandonment by those communities among whom it is most rife of
certain gross amusements, such as cock-fighting and the prize-ring.
Bull-and bear-baiting, too, so prominent among the _deliciæ_ of
England's maiden queen, have died out. Isolated Spain, fenced off by
the Pyrenees from the breeze of benevolence wafted from the virtuous
and bibulous North, still utilizes the Manchegan or Estremaduran bull
as a means of conferring "happy despatch" on her superannuated horses
and absorbing the surplus belligerence of her "roughs." She seems,
however, disposed to tire of this feast of equine and taurine blood,
and the last relic of the arena will before many years follow its
cognate brutalities. For obvious reasons, bull-fighting can be the
sport, habitually, of but an infinitesimal fraction of the people.
They share with the other races of the Continent the simple pleasures
of dance and song. These enjoyments, as we go north and are driven
within doors from the pure and temperate air by a more unfriendly
climate, form an increasingly intimate alliance with strong drink,
until in the so-called gardens of Germany Calliope and Gambrinus are
inseparable friends. Farther still toward the Pole the voice of the
Muse gradually dies away upon the sodden atmosphere; and she, having
outlasted her successive Southern associates, wine and beer, in turn
gives place to brandy pure and simple--a beverage itself frost-proof
and only suited to frost-proof men.

The long nights and indoor days of the North are favorable to another
and more desirable trait of modern social progress--education. The
potency of such a meteorological cause in making popular a taste for
knowledge the instances of Iceland, Scotland, Scandinavia and North
Germany, to say nothing of New England, leave us no room to doubt.
It is, of course, not the only cause. Ability to read and write is as
universal in China and Japan, as in the countries we have named. In
the case of the Orientals it cannot be ascribed, either, wholly to
that conviction of the importance, as a conservative guarantee,
of elevating the popular mind and taste, which belongs to the
enlightenment of the day. Instinctive recognition of this need
manifests itself in a simultaneous move in the direction of universal
education at government expense throughout the two continents. All
the populations snatch up their satchels and hurry to school. Athens
revives the Academe and reinstates the Olympic games under a literary
avatar. Italy follows suit. Hornbooks open and shut with a suggestive
snap under the pope's nose, and Young Rome calculates its future with
slate and pencil. Gaul, fresh from one year's term in the severest of
all schools, adversity, joins the procession, close by John Bull, who,
_more suo_, pauses first to decide whether the youthful mind shall
take its pap with the spoon of orthodoxy or heterodoxy, or neither.
With him the question between Church schools and national schools
is complicated by one which is common to other nations--whether
attendance shall be compulsory or voluntary only. The tendency is
toward the former, which has long been in practice in some of the
States of the Union; and it seems not unlikely that Christendom will,
before many years, revert, in this important matter, to the Spartan
view that children are the property of the state.

Lavish beyond precedent are the provisions made by governments and
individuals everywhere for the promotion of this great object. Private
endowment of schools and colleges was never before so frequent and
liberal, and nothing so quickly disarms the caution of the average
taxpayer as an appeal for common schools. From California eastward to
Japan it is honored along the whole line, the unanimous "Yea" being
the most eloquent and hopeful word the modern world emits. Of the
slumbering power that till recently lay hidden in coal and water, and
which has so incalculably multiplied the material strength of man,
much has been said; but we fail to appreciate the unevoked fund
of intellect upon which he has additionally to draw. The highest
expectation of results to be witnessed and enjoyed by the approaching
generations involves no postulate of human perfectibility, It finds
ample warrant in what has been accomplished under our eyes. A century
ago only Scotland and two or three of the American colonies could
be said to possess a system of common schools. From those feeble and
smouldering sparks what a flame has spread! The space it has covered
and the fructifying light and warmth it has produced may in some
measure be gauged by the newspaper press and the vast bulk of
popularized information in book-form created since then. This shows
the increase in the numerical ratio of readers to the aggregate of
population.

A difficulty exists in the provision of officers for this great
army of pupils. They cannot always be raised from the ranks. The
thoroughness of a teacher's knowledge is not acquired by the requisite
proportion. Normal schools demand more and more attention. But here we
arrive at a field of detail that would lead us far beyond the limit
of these articles. We pass naturally from the subject of education
to what is, in the narrower but most generally accepted sense of the
word--mental training--- its leading object of pursuit.

If, in the broader and truer meaning of education--that which assumes
the impalpable part of man to be something more than a sponge for
facts--- the slender phalanx of _the men who know_ will ever
remain, proportionally, a small band, it is at least certain that in
acquaintance with natural phenomena and their relations the masses
of the nineteenth century stand out from their forefathers as eminent
philosophers. Our age may be almost said to have created rather than
extended science, so mighty is the bulk of what it has added by the
side of what it found.

In mathematics, the branch which most nearly approaches pure reason,
least advance has been made. There was least room for it. Newton,
when, at quite a mature period of his career, Euclid was first brought
to his attention, laid the book down after a cursory glance with
the remark that it was only fit for children, its propositions being
self-evident. Yet to those truisms Newton added very little. His work
lay in their development and application. Laplace and Biot belong to
our own day; but their task, too, consisted in the employment of old
rules. The most effective tools of the mathematician are framed from
the Arab algebra and Napier's logarithms. The science itself without
application is, like logic, a soul without a body.

The field most fruitful under its application is that of astronomy.
Here, progress has been great. A measuring-rod has been provided for
the depths of space by the ascertainment of the sun's distance within
a three-hundredth part of that body's diameter. The existence of
a cosmic ether, a resisting medium, has been established, and its
retarding influence calculated. Many of the nebulae have been reduced,
and others proved to be in a gaseous condition, like comets. The
latter bodies have been chained down to regular orbits, followed
far beyond those of the old planets, and brought into genealogical
relations with these through the links of bolides and asteroids. The
family circle of planets proper has been immensely increased, a new
visitant to the central fire appearing every few years or even months.
Newton connected the most distant points of the universe by the one
principle of gravitation: the spectroscope unites them by identity
of structure and composition. Improved instruments have detected the
parallax of a number of the fixed stars, and traced motion in both
solar and stellar systems as units. Coming homeward from the distant
heavens, the advances of astronomy diminish as we near what may be
called the old planets and our pale companion the moon. The existence
of a lunar atmosphere and the habitability of Mars are still debated;
with, we believe, the odds against both. But the star-gazers make
their craft useful in a novel way when it reaches the earth. Upon
the precession of the equinoxes they erect a fabric of retrograde
chronology, and set a clock to geologic time. Here Sir Isaac is
brought to grief. His excursions beyond the Deluge are proved blind
guides. He misleads us among the ages as sadly as Archbishop Usher.
The profoundest of laymen and the most learned of clerics are equally
at sea in locating creation. That successive phases of animate
existence were rising and fading with the oscillations of the earth's
inclination to its orbit never occurred to him to whom "all was
light." To probe the stars was to him a simpler process than to
anatomize the globe upon which he stood.

This is the less remarkable when we reflect what a hard fight geology
has had. A generation after Newton's death fossils were referred
for their origin to a certain "plastic power" in Nature--mere idle
whittlings of bone that had never known an outfit of flesh and
blood. Then came a long and motley procession of cosmogonies, every
speculator, from John Wesley down to Pye Smith, insisting warmly
on what seemed good in his own eyes. The last stand was made on the
antiquity of man, and it is only a dozen years since the ablest of
British--perhaps since Cuvier of modern--geologists, Sir Charles
Lyell, yielded to the preponderance of evidence, and confessed that
the era of man's appearance on earth had been made too recent. A few
determined skirmishers still linger behind the line of retreat, like
Ney at the bridge of Kowno, and fire some fruitless shots at the
advancing enemy. This is well. Tribulation and opposition are good
for any creed, scientific or other. It weeds out the weak ones and
strengthens those that are to stand.

The mapping out of extinct faunas and floras and assigning pedigree
to existing species are by no means the whole province of geologists.
Productive industry owes to them a vast saving of time and cost in
searching for useful minerals. They distinguish the same strata in
widely separated districts by means of the characteristic fossils,
and are thus enabled to guide the miner. A geological survey of its
territory is one of the first cares of an enlightened government, and
a geologist is the one scientific official the leading States of the
Union agree in maintaining. The science has moved forward steadily
from its original office of studying buried deposits and classifying
extinct organisms, until the hard and fast line between fossil and
recent has disappeared, the continuous action of ordinary causes in
past and present been established, and an unbroken domain assigned
to the laws of the visible creation. Deep-sea soundings have extended
inquiry, slight enough as yet, to that immensely preponderant portion
of the globe's crust that is covered by water. Penetrating the ocean
is like penetrating the rocks, inasmuch as it introduces us to some of
the same primal forms of life; but it presents them in an active and
sentient state. Neptune's ravished secrets vindicate the Neptunists,
while Pluto is relegated to the abode assigned him by classic myths,
where he and his comrade, Vulcan, keep their furnaces alight and
project their slag and smoke through many a roaring chimney.

Upon (as beneath) the deep, science is erecting for itself new homes.
It tracks the wandering wind, and moves at ease, calmly as a surveyor
with chain and compass, through the eddies of the cyclone. It maps for
the sailor the currents, aerial and subaqueous, of each spot on the
unmarked main, and sends him warning far ahead of the tempest. It
divides with the thermometer the mass of brine into horizontal zones,
and assigns to each its special population.

A hundred years ago, only the surface of the land was studied, and but
a small part of that. All beneath its surface was a mystery, and the
lore of the sea was untouched. Now, knowledge has penetrated to the
central fire, and of the sea it can be no longer said that man's
"control stops with its shores." The pathway of his messenger from
continent to continent he has laid deep in its chalky ooze, while over
it silt silently, flake by flake, as they have been falling since æons
before his creation, the induviæ of the earliest creatures.

And this his messenger at the bottom of the sea is back in its old
home. First hidden in the electron cast up by the waves of the Baltic,
it was left there, uncomprehended and barren, till our century. During
all that time it was calling from the clouds to man's dazzled eye and
deafened ear. It pervaded the air he breathed, the ground he trod and
the frame which constituted him. It bore his will from brain to hand,
and guarded his life, through the (so-called) spontaneously acting
muscles of the thorax, during the half or third of his life during
which his will slumbered. At length its call was hearkened to
intelligently. Franklin made it articulate. Its twin Champollions came
in Volta and Galvani. Its few first translated words have, under a
host of elucidators, swelled to volumes. They link into one language
the dialects of light, motion and heat. The indurated turpentine of
the Pomeranian beach speaks the tongue of the farthest star.

The sciences, like the nations and like bees, as they grow too large
for their hive are perpetually swarming and colonizing. Not that
colonization is followed, as in the case of the similitude, by
independence. Their mutual bonds become closer and closer. But
convenience and (so to speak) comfort require the nominal separation.
So electricity sets up for itself; and chemistry, the metropolis,
swells into other offshoots. So numerous and so great are these that
the old alchemists, unlimited range through the material, immaterial
and supernatural as they claimed for their art, would rub their eyes,
bleared over blowpipe and alembic, at sight of its present riches. The
half-hewn block handed down by these worthies--not by any means

  Like that great Dawn which baffled Angelo
  Left shapeless, grander for its mystery,

but blurred and scratched all over with childish and unmeaning
scrawls--has been wholly transformed. Chemistry no longer assumes to
read our future, but it does a great deal to brighten our present.
Laboring to supply the wants and enhance the pleasures and security
of daily life, it makes excursions with a sure foot in the opposite
direction of abstruse problems in natural philosophy. It analyzes all
substances, determines their relations, and tries to guide the artisan
in utilizing its acquisitions for the general good. To enumerate
these, or to give the merest sketch of chemical progress within the
century, would fill many pages. It has enriched and invigorated all
the arts by supplying new material and new processes. Illuminating
gas, photography, the anæsthetics, the artificial fertilizers,
quinine, etc. are a few of its more familiarly known contributions.
It has aided medical jurisprudence, and so far checked crime. Besides
enlarging the pharmacopoeia, it has promoted sanitary reform in many
ways, notably by ascertaining the media of contagion in disease and
providing for their detection and removal. Its triumphs are so closely
interwoven with the appliances of common life that we are prone to
lose sight of them. From the aniline dye that beautifies a picture or
a dress, to the explosive that lifts a reef or mines the Alps for a
highway, the gradations are infinite and multiform.

Heavy as is the draft of the material sciences upon the thought
and energy of the century, it has not monopolized them. No trifling
resources have been left for mere abstract investigation. If
meta-physics stands, despite the labors of Stewart, Hamilton, Hegel,
Comte, very much where it did when Socrates ran amuck among the
casuistical Quixotes of his day, and left the philosophic tilters of
Greece, the knights-errant in search of the supreme good, in the same
plight with the chivalry of Spain after Cervantes, the science of
mind, and particularly mental pathology, has made some steps forward
on crutches furnished by the medical profession. The treatment of
insanity is on a more rational and efficient footing. The statistician
collects, and invites the moral philosopher to collate, the records of
crime. The naturalist studies the life of the lower animals, and gives
the _coup de grace_ to the uncompromising distinction drawn by human
conceit between instinct and intelligence.

In the walks of comparative philology much has been accomplished.
Sanskrit has been exhumed. Aryan and Semitic roots are traced back
to an almost synchronous antiquity. The decipherment of the Egyptian
inscriptions seems to bring us into communication with a still more
remote form of language. More recent periods derive new light from the
Etruscan tombs and the Assyrian bricks. Linguists deem themselves in
sight of something better than the "bow-wow" theory, and are no longer
content to let the calf, the lamb and the child bleat in one and the
same vocabulary of labials, and with no other rudiments than "ma" and
"pa" "speed the soft intercourse from pole to pole." As yet, that part
of mankind which knows not its right hand from its left is the only
one possessed of a worldwide lingo. The flux that is to weld all
tongues into one, and produce a common language like a common unit of
weight, measure and coinage, remains to be discovered. A Chinese pig,
transplanted to an Anglo-Saxon stye, has no difficulty in instituting
immediate converse with his new friend, but the gentleman who travels
in Europe needs to carry an assortment of dialects for use on opposite
sides of the same rivulet or the same hill. However, as the French
franc has been adopted by four other nations, and the French litre and
mètre by a greater number, one and the same mail and postage made to
serve Europe and America, and passports been abolished, we may venture
to picture to ourselves the time when the German shall consent to
clear his throat, the Frenchman his nose, the Spaniard his tonsils and
the Englishman the tip of his tongue--when all shall become as little
children and be mutually comprehensible. Commerce at present is
doing more than the philosophers to that end. While the countrymen
of Wilhelm von Humboldt and Max Müller persist in burying their
laboriously heaped treasures under a load of black-letter type and
words and sentences the most fearfully and wonderfully made, the
skipper scatters English words with English calico and American clocks
among all the isles. A picturesque fringe of pigeon English decorates
the coasts of Africa, Asia and Oceanica. It might be deeper, and
doubtless will be, for our mother-tongue will very certainly be
supreme in the world of trade for at least a couple of centuries to
come. If we were only half as sure of its being adopted by France as
by Fiji!

If almighty steam and sail must remain unequal to this task, wondrous
indeed are their other potencies. They have contracted the globe like
a dried apple, only in a far greater degree. In 1776 three years
was the usual allotment of the grand tour. Beginning at London, it
extended to Naples and occasionally Madrid. It often left out Vienna,
and more frequently Berlin. In the same period you may now put a
girdle round the earth ninefold thick. You may, given the means
and the faculties, set up business establishments at San Francisco,
Yokohama, Shanghai, Canton, Calcutta, Bombay, Alexandria, Rome, Paris,
London and New York, and visit each once a quarter. The goods to
supply them may travel, however bulky, on the same ship and nearly the
same train in point of speed with yourself. Nowhere farther than a few
weeks from home in person, nowhere are you more remote verbally than a
few hours. The Red Sea opens to your footsteps, as it did to those of
Moses; and the lightning that bears your words cleaves the pathway of
Alexander and the New World for which he wept.

It is really hard to mention these innovations on the old ways, so
vast and so sudden, without degenerating into rhetoric or bombast. The
spread-eagle style comes naturally to an epoch that soars on quick
new wing above all the others. We have it in all shapes--- equally
startling and true in figures of arithmetic or figures of speech. Any
school-boy can tell you, if you give him the dimensions of the Great
Pyramid and state thirty-three thousand pounds one foot high in a
minute as the conventional horse-power, how many hours it would take a
pony-team picked out of the hundreds of thousands of steam-engines on
the two continents to raise it. He will reduce to the same prosaic but
eloquent form a number of like problems illustrative of the command
obtained over some of the forces of Nature, and their employment
in multiplying and economizing manual strength and dexterity and
stimulating ingenuity. When we come to contemplate the whole edifice
of modern production, it seems to simplify itself into one new motor
applied to the old mechanical powers, which may perhaps in turn be
condensed into one--the inclined plane. This helps to the impression
that the structure is not only sure to be enlarged, as we see it
enlarging day by day, but to grow into novel and more striking
aspects. Additional motors will probably be discovered, or some we
already possess in embryo may be developed into greater availability.
These, operating on an ever-growing stock of material, will convince
our era that it is but introductory to a more magnificent and not far
distant future.

Magnificent the century is justified in styling its work. What matter
could do for mind and steam for the hand it has done. But is there
any gain in the eye and intellect which perceive, and the hand which
fixes, beauty and truth? Is there any addition to the simple lines, as
few and rudimental as the mechanical powers, which embody proportion
and harmony, or in the fibres of emotion, as scant but as infinite in
their range of tone as the strings of the primeval harp, which ask and
respond to no motor but the touch of genius? Have we surpassed the old
song, the old story, the old picture, the old temple?

Such questions must be answered in the negative. The age, recognizing
perforce the inherent capabilities of the race as a constant quantity,
contents itself so far with endeavoring to adapt and reproduce, or at
most imitate, such manifestations of the artistic sense as it finds
excellent in the past. The day for originality may come ere long,
and nothing can be lost in striving for it, but a capacity for the
beautiful at first hand cannot come without an appreciation of it at
second hand. With the number of cultivated minds so vastly increased
as compared with any previous period, the greater variety of objects
and conditions presented to them, the multiplicity of races to
which they belong, and consequently of distinct race-characteristics
imbedded in them and brought into play, and the impulse communicated
by greater general activity, the expectation is allowably sanguine
that the nineteenth century will plant an art as well as an industry
of its own. Wealth, culture and peace seldom fail to win this final
crown. They are busily gathering together the jewels of the past,
endless in diversity of charm. Museum, gallery, library swell as never
before. The earth is not mined for iron and coal alone. Statue, vase
and gem are disentombed. Pictures are rescued from the grime of years
and neglect. All are copied by sun or hand, and sent in more or less
elaboration into hall or cottage. In literature our possessions
could scarce be more complete, and they are even more universally
distributed. The nations compete with each other in adding to this
equipment for a new revival, which seems, on the surface, to have more
in its favor than had that of the cinque-cento.



UP THE THAMES

THIRD PAPER.

[Illustration: HAMPTON COURT--WEST FRONT.]


Today our movement shall be up the Thames by rail, starting on the
south side of the river to reach an objective point on the north bank.
So crooked is the stream, and so much more crooked are the different
systems of railways, with their competing branches crossing each other
and making the most audacious inroads on each other's territory, that
the direction in which we are traveling at any given moment, or the
station from which we start, is a very poor index to the quarter for
which we are bound. The railways, to say nothing of the river, that
wanders at its own sweet will, as water commonly does in a country
offering it no obstructions, are quite defiant of their geographical
names. The Great Western runs north, west and south-east; the
South-western strikes south, south-east and north-west; while
the Chatham and Dover distributes itself over most of the region
south-east of London, closing its circuit by a line along the coast
of the Channel that completes a triangle. We can go almost anywhere
by any road. It is necessary, however, in this as in other mundane
proceedings, to make a selection. We must have a will before we find
a way. Let our way, then, be to Waterloo Station on the Southwestern
rail.

[Illustration: HAMPTON COURT--LOOKING UP THE RIVER.]

Half an hour's run lands us at Hampton Court, with a number of
fellow-passengers to keep us company if we want them, and in fact
whether we want them or not. Those who travel into or out of a city of
four millions must lay their account with being ever in a crowd.
Our consolation is, that in the city the crowd is so constant and so
wholly strange to us as to defeat its effect, and create the feeling
of solitude we have so often been told of; while outside of it, at the
parks and show-places, the amplitude of space, density and variety of
plantations, and multiplicity of carefully designed turns, nooks and
retreats, are such that retirement of a more genuine character is
within easy reach. The crowd, we know, is about us, but it does
not elbow us, and we need hardly see it. The current of humanity,
springing from one or a dozen trains or steamboats, dribbles away,
soon after leaving its parent source, into a multitude of little
divergent channels, like irrigating water, and covers the surface
without interference.

It would be a curious statistical inquiry how many visitors Hampton
Court has lost since the Cartoons were removed in 1865 to the
South Kensington Museum. Actually, of course, the whole number has
increased, is increasing, and is not going to be diminished. The
query is, How many more there would be now were those eminent bits of
pasteboard--slit up for the guidance of piece-work at a Flemish loom,
tossed after the weavers had done with them into a lumber-room, then
after a century's neglect disinterred by the taste of Rubens and
Charles I., brought to England, their poor frayed and faded fragments
glued together and made the chief decoration of a royal palace--still
in the place assigned them by the munificence and judgment of Charles?
For our part--and we may speak for most Americans--when we heard,
thought or read of Hampton Court, we thought of the Cartoons.
Engravings of them were plenty--much more so than of the palace
itself. Numbers of domestic connoisseurs know Raphael principally as
the painter of the Cartoons.

A few who have not heard of them have heard of Wolsey. The pursy
old cardinal furnishes the surviving one of the two main props of
Hampton's glory. An oddly-assorted pair, indeed--the delicate Italian
painter, without a thought outside of his art, and the bluff English
placeman, avid of nothing but honors and wealth. And the association
of either of them with the spot is comparatively so slight. Wolsey
held the ground for a few years, only by lease, built a mere fraction
of the present edifice, and disappeared from the scene within half a
generation. What it boasts, or boasted, of the other belongs to
the least noted of his works--half a dozen sketches meant for
stuff-patterns, and never intended to be preserved as pictures.
Pictures they are, nevertheless, and all the more valuable and
surprising as manifesting such easy command of hand and faculty, such
a matter-of-course employment of the utmost resources of art on
a production designed to have no continuing existence except as
finished, rendered and given to the world by a "base mechanical," with
no sense of art at all.

[Illustration: ENTRANCE TO WOLSEY'S HALL.]

Royalty, and the great generally, availed themselves of their
opportunities to select the finest locations and stake out the best
claims along these shores. Of elevation there is small choice, a level
surface prevailing. What there is has been generally availed of for
park or palace, with manifest advantage to the landscape. The curves
of the river are similarly utilized. Kew and Hampton occupy peninsulas
so formed. The latter, with Bushy Park, an appendage, fills a
water-washed triangle of some two miles on each side. The southern
angle is opposite Thames Ditton, a noted resort for brethren of the
angle, with an ancient inn as popular, though not as stylish and
costly, as the Star and Garter at Richmond. The town and palace of
Hampton lie about halfway up the western side of the demesne. The
view up and down the river from Hampton Bridge is one of the crack
spectacles of the neighborhood. Satisfied with it, we pass through the
principal street, with the Green in view to our left and Bushy Park
beyond it, to the main entrance. This is part of the original palace
as built by the cardinal. It leads into the first court. This, with
the second or Middle Quadrangle, may all be ascribed to him, with some
changes made by Henry VIII. and Christopher Wren. The colonnade of
coupled Ionic pillars which runs across it on the south or right-hand
side as you enter was designed by Wren. It is out of keeping with its
Gothic surroundings. Standing beneath it, you see on the opposite side
of the square Wolsey's Hall. It looks like a church. The towers on
either side of the gateway between the courts bear some relics of the
old faith in the shape of terra-cotta medallions, portraits of the
Roman emperors. These decorations were a present to the cardinal
from Leo X. The oriel windows by their side bear contributions in
a different taste from Henry VIII. They are the escutcheons of
that monarch. The two popes, English and Italian, are well met.
Our engravings give a good idea of the style of these parts of the
edifice. The first or outer square is somewhat larger than the middle
one, which is a hundred and thirty-three feet across from north to
south, and ninety-one in the opposite direction, or in a line with the
longest side of the whole palace.

A stairway beneath the arch leads to the great hall, one hundred
and six feet by forty. This having been well furbished recently, its
aspect is probably little inferior in splendor to that which it wore
in its first days. The open-timber roof, gay banners, stained windows
and groups of armor bring mediaeval magnificence very freshly before
us. The ciphers and arms of Henry and his wife, Jane Seymour, are
emblazoned on one of the windows, indicating the date of 1536 or 1537.
Below them were graciously left Wolsey's imprint--his arms, with a
cardinal's hat on each side, and the inscription, "The Lord Thomas
Wolsey, Cardinal legat de Latere, archbishop of Yorke and chancellor
of Englande." The tapestry of the hall illustrates sundry passages in
the life of Abraham. A Flemish pupil of Raphael is credited with their
execution or design.

This hall witnessed, certainly in the reign of George I., and
according to tradition in that of Elizabeth, the mimic reproduction
of the great drama with which it is associated. It is even said that
Shakespeare took part here in his own play, _King Henry VIII., or the
Fall of Wolsey_. In 1558 the hall was resplendent with one thousand
lamps, Philip and Mary holding their Christmas feast. The princess
Elizabeth was a guest. The next morning she was compliant or politic
enough to hear matins in the queen's closet.

The Withdrawing Room opens from the hall. It is remarkable for its
carved and illuminated ceiling of oak. Over the chimney is a portrait
of Wolsey in profile on wood, not the least interesting of a long list
of pictures which are a leading attraction of the place. These are
assembled, with few exceptions, in the third quadrangle, built in
1690. Into this we next pass. It takes the place of three of the
five original courts, said to have been fully equal to the two which
remain.

[Illustration: MIDDLE QUADRANGLE, HAMPTON COURT.]

The modern or Eastern Quadrangle is a hundred and ten by a hundred and
seventeen feet. It is encircled by a colonnade like that in the middle
square, and has nothing remarkable, architecturally, about it. In the
public rooms that surround us there are, according to the catalogue,
over a thousand pictures. Leonardo da Vinci, Paul Veronese, Titian,
Giulio Romano, Murillo and a host of lesser names of the Italian and
Spanish schools, with still more of the Flemish, are represented. To
most visitors, who may see elsewhere finer works by these masters, the
chief attraction of the walls is the series of original portraits by
Holbein, Vandyck, Lely and Kneller. The two full-lengths of Charles I.
by Vandyck, on foot and on horseback, both widely known by engravings,
are the gems of this department, as a Vandyck will always be of any
group of portraits.

[Illustration: ARCHWAY IN HAMPTON COURT.]

Days may be profitably and delightfully spent in studying this fine
collection. The first men and women of England for three centuries
handed down to us by the first artists she could command form a
spectacle in which Americans can take a sort of home interest. Nearly
all date before 1776, and we have a rightful share in them. Each
head and each picture is a study. We have art and history together.
Familiar as we may be with the events with which the persons
represented are associated, it is impossible to gaze upon their
lineaments, set in the accessories of their day by the ablest hands
guided by eyes that saw below the surface, and not feel that we have
new readings of British annals.

[Illustration: WOLSEY.]

Among the most ancient heads is a medallion of Henry VII. by
Torregiano, the peppery and gifted Florentine who executed the
marvelous chapel in Westminster Abbey and broke the nose of Michael
Angelo. English art--or rather art in England--may be said to date
from him. He could not create a school of artists in the island--the
material did not exist--but the few productions he left there stood
out so sharply from anything around them that the possessors of the
wealth that was then beginning to accumulate employed it in drawing
from the Continent additional treasures from the newly-found world
of beauty. The riches of England have grown apace, and her collectors
have used them liberally, if not always wisely, until her galleries,
in time, have come to be sought by the connoisseurs, and even the
artists, of the Continent.

[Illustration: PORTICO LEADING TO GARDENS.]

The last picture-gallery we traverse is the only one at Hampton Court
specially built for its purpose; and it is empty. This is the room
erected by Sir Christopher Wren for the reception of the Cartoons.
It leads us to the corridor that opens on the garden-front. We leave
behind us, in addition to the state apartments, a great many others
which are peopled by other inhabitants than the big spiders, said to
be found nowhere else, known as cardinals. The old palace is not kept
wholly for show, but is made useful in the political economy of
the kingdom by furnishing a retreat to impecunious members of the
oligarchy. Certain families of distressed aristocrats are harbored
here--clearly a more wholesome arrangement than letting them take
their chance in the world and bring discredit on their class.

[Illustration: CENTRE AVENUE.]

Emerging on the great gardens, forty four acres in extent, we find
ourselves on broad walks laid out with mathematical regularity, and
edged by noble masses of yew, holly, horse-chestnut, etc. almost as
rectangular and circular. We are here struck with the great advantage
derived in landscape gardening from the rich variety of large
evergreens possible in the climate of Britain. The holly, unknown as
an outdoor plant in this country north of Philadelphia, is at home in
the north of Scotland, eighteen degrees nearer the pole. We are more
fortunate with the Conifers, many of the finest of which family are
perfectly hardy here. But we miss the deodar cedar, the redwood and
Washingtonia of California, and the cedar of Lebanon. These, unless
perhaps the last, cannot be depended on much north of the latitude of
the _Magnolia grandiflora._ They thrive all over England, with others
almost as beautiful, and as delicate north of the Delaware. Of the
laurel tribe, also hardy in England, our Northern States have but a
few weakly representatives. So with the Rhododendra.

[Illustration: HAMPTON COURT--GARDEN FRONT.]

When, tired of even so charming a scene of arboreal luxury, we knock
at the Flower-Pot gate to the left of the palace, and are admitted
into the private garden, we make the acquaintance of another stately
stranger we have had the honor at home of meeting only under glass.
This is the great vine, ninety years or a hundred old, of the Black
Hamburg variety. It does not cover as much space as the Carolina
Scuppernong--the native variety that so surprised and delighted
Raleigh's Roanoke Island settlers in 1585--often does. But its
bunches, sometimes two or three thousand in number, are much larger
than the Scuppernong's little clumps of two or three. They weigh
something like a pound each, and are thought worthy of being reserved
for Victoria's dessert. Her own family vine has burgeoned so broadly
that three thousand pounds of grapes would not be a particularly large
dish for a Christmas dinner for the united Guelphs.

[Illustration: GATE TO PRIVATE GARDEN.]

We must not forget the Labyrinth, "a mighty maze, but not without a
plan," that has bewildered generations of young and old children since
the time of its creator, William of Orange. It is a feature of the
Dutch style of landscape gardening imprinted by him upon the Hampton
grounds. He failed to impress a like stamp upon that chaos of queer,
shapeless and contradictory means to beneficent ends, the British
constitution.

Hampton Court, notwithstanding the naming of the third quadrangle the
Fountain Court, and the prominence given to a fountain in the design
of the principal grounds, is not rich in waterworks. Nature has done a
good deal for it in that way, the Thames embracing it on two sides
and the lowness of the flat site placing water within easy reach
everywhere. This superabundance of the element did not content the
magnificent Wolsey. He was a man of great ideas, and to secure a head
for his jets he sought an elevated spring at Combe Wood, more than two
miles distant. To bring this supply he laid altogether not less than
eight miles of leaden pipe weighing twenty-four pounds to the foot,
and passing under the bed of the Thames. Reduced to our currency
of to-day, these conduits must have cost nearly half a million of
dollars. They do their work yet, the gnawing tooth of old _Edax rerum_
not having penetrated far below the surface of the earth. Better
hydraulic results would now be attained at a considerably reduced cost
by a steam-engine and stand-pipe. At the beginning of the sixteenth
century this motor was not even in embryo, unless we accept the story
of Blasco de Garay's steamer that manoeuvred under the eye of Charles
V. as fruitlessly as Fitch's and Fulton's before Napoleon. Coal, its
dusky pabulum, was also practically a stranger on the upper Thames.
The ancient fire-dogs that were wont to bear blazing billets hold
their places in the older part of the palace.

[Illustration: BUSHY PARK.]

Crossing the Kingston road, which runs across the peninsula and skirts
the northern boundary of Hampton Park, we get into its continuation,
Bushy Park. This is larger than the chief enclosure, but less
pretentious. We cease to be oppressed by the palace and its excess of
the artificial. The great avenues of horse-chestnut, five in number,
and running parallel with a length of rather more than a mile and an
aggregate breadth of nearly two hundred yards, are formal enough in
design, but the mass of foliage gives them the effect of a wood. They
lead nowhere in particular, and are flanked by glades and copses in
which the genuinely rural prevails. Cottages gleam through the trees.
The lowing of kine, the tinkling of the sheep-bell, the gabble
of poultry, lead you away from thoughts of prince and city. Deer
domesticated here since long before the introduction of the turkey
or the guinea-hen bear themselves with as quiet ease and freedom
from fear as though they were the lords of the manor and held the
black-letter title-deeds for the delicious stretch of sward over
which they troop. Less stately, but scarce more shy, indigenes are
the hares, lineal descendants of those which gave sport to Oliver
Cromwell. When that grim Puritan succeeded to the lordship of the
saintly cardinal, he was fain, when the Dutch, Scotch and Irish
indulged him with a brief chance to doff his buff coat, to take
relaxation in coursing. We loiter by the margin of the ponds he dug
in the hare-warren, and which were presented as nuisances by the grand
jury in 1662. The complaint was that by turning the water of the "New
River" into them the said Oliver had made the road from Hampton Wick
boggy and unsafe. Another misdemeanor of the deceased was at the same
time and in like manner denounced. This was the stopping up of the
pathway through the warren. The palings were abated, and the path is
open to all nineteenth-century comers, as it probably will be to those
of the twentieth, this being a land of precedent, averse to change.
We may stride triumphantly across the location of the Cromwellian
barricades, and not the less so, perhaps, for certain other barricades
which he helped to erect in the path of privilege.

Directing our steps to the left, or westward, we again reach the river
at the town of Hampton. It is possessed of pretty water-views, but of
little else of note except the memory and the house of Garrick.
Hither the great actor, after positively his last night on the stage,
retired, and settled the long contest for his favor between the Muses
of Tragedy and Comedy by inexorably turning his back on both. He
did not cease to be the delight of polished society, thanks to his
geniality and to literary and conversational powers capable of making
him the intimate of Johnson and Reynolds. More fortunate in his
temperament and temper than his modern successor, Macready, he never
fretted that his profession made him a vagabond by act of Parliament,
or that his adoption of it in place of the law had prevented his
becoming, by virtue of the same formal and supreme stamp, the equal
of the Sampson Brasses plentiful in his day as in ours among their
betters of that honorable vocation. His self-respect was of tougher if
not sounder grain. "Worth makes the man, and want of it the fellow,"
was the motto supplied him by his friend and neighbor, Pope, but
obeyed long before he saw it in the poetic form.

[Illustration: GARRICK'S VILLA.]

Garrick's house is separated from its bit of "grounds," which run down
to the water's edge, by the highway. It communicates with them by a
tunnel, suggested by Johnson. It was not a very novel suggestion,
but the excavation deserves notice as probably the one engineering
achievement of old Ursus major. We may fancy the Titan of the pen and
the tea-table, in his snuffy habit as he lived and as photographed
by Boswell, Mrs. Thrale, Fanny Burney, and their epitomizer Macaulay,
diving under the turnpike and emerging among the osiers and water-rats
to offer his orisons at the shrine of Shakespeare. For, in the fashion
of the day, Garrick erected a little brick "temple," and placed
therein a statue of the man it was the study of his life to interpret.
The temple is there yet. The statue, a fine one by Roubillac, now
adorns the hall of the British Museum, a much better place for it.
Garrick, and not Shakespeare, is the _genius loci_.

[Illustration: RIVER SCENE, THAMES DITTON.]

This is but one, if the most striking, of a long row of villas that
overlook the river, each with its comfortable-looking and rotund trees
and trim plat in front, with sometimes a summer-house snuggling down
to the ripples. These riverside colonies, thrown out so rapidly by the
metropolis, have no colonial look. We cannot associate the idea of a
new settlement with rich turf, graveled walks and large trees devoid
of the gaunt and forlorn look suggestive of their fellows' having
been hewn away from their side. The houses have some of the pertness,
rawness and obtrusiveness of youth, but it is not the youth of the
backwoods.

Bob and sinker are in their glory hereabouts. Fishing-rods in the
season and good weather form an established part of the scenery. From
the banks of the stream, from the islands and from box-like boats
called punts in the middle of the water, their slender arches project.
It becomes a source of speculation how the breed of fish is kept up.
Seth Green has never operated on the Thames. Were he to take it under
his wing, a sum in the single rule of three points to the conclusion
that all London would take its seat under these willows and extract
ample sustenance from the invisible herds. If perch and dace can hold
their own against the existing pressure and escape extinction, how
would they multiply with the fostering aid of the spawning-box! We are
not deep in the mysteries of the angle, but we believe English waters
do not boast the catfish. They ought to acquire him. He is almost
as hard to extirpate as the perch, would be quite at home in these
sluggish pools under the lily-pads, and would harmonize admirably with
the eel in the pies and other gross preparations which delight the
British palate. He hath, moreover, a John Bull-like air in his
broad and burly shape, his smooth and unscaly superficies and the
_noli-me-tangere_ character of his dorsal fin. Pity he was unknown to
Izaak Walton!

At this particular point the piscatory effect is intensified by the
dam just above Hampton Bridge. Two parts of a river are especially
fine for fishing. One is the part above the dam, and the other the
part below. These two divisions may be said, indeed, in a large sense
to cover all the Thames. Moulsey Lock, while favorable to fish and
fishermen, is unfavorable to dry land. Yet there is said to be no
malaria. Hampton Court has proved a wholesome residence to every
occupant save its founder.

[Illustration: WOLSEY'S TOWER, ESHER.]

The angler's capital is Thames Ditton, and his capitol the Swan Inn.
Ditton is, like many other pretty English villages, little and old. It
is mentioned in _Domesday Boke_ as belonging to the bishop of Bayeux
in Normandy, famous for the historic piece of tapestry. Wadard,
a gentleman with a Saxon name, held it of him, probably for the
quit--rent of an annual eel-pie, although the consideration is not
stated. The clergy were, by reason of their frequent meagre days and
seasons, great consumers of fish. The phosphorescent character of that
diet may have contributed, if we accept certain modern theories of
animal chemistry as connected in some as yet unexplained way with
psychology, to the intellectual predominance of that class of the
population in the Middle Ages. That occasional fasting, whether
voluntary and systematic as in the cloisters, or involuntary and
altogether the reverse of systematic in Grub street, helps to clear
the wits, with or without the aid of phosphorus, is a fixed fact. The
stomach is apt to be a stumbling-block to the brain. We are not prone
to associate prolonged and productive mental effort with a fair round
belly with fat capon lined. It was not the jolly clerics we read of
in song, but the lean ascetic brethren who were numerous enough to
balance them, that garnered for us the treasures of ancient literature
and kept the mind of Christendom alive, if only in a state of
suspended animation. It was something that they prevented the mace of
chivalry from utterly braining humankind.

The Thames is hereabouts joined from the south by a somewhat
exceptional style of river, characterized by Milton as "the sullen
Mole, that runneth underneath," and by Pope, in dutiful imitation, as
"the sullen Mole that hides his diving flood." Both poets play on the
word. In our judgment, Milton's line is the better, since moles do not
dive and have no flood--two false figures in one line from the precise
and finical Pope! Thomson contributes the epithet of "silent," which
will do well enough as far as it goes, though devoid even of the
average force of Jamie. But, as we have intimated, it is a queer
river. Pouring into the Thames by several mouths that deviate over
quite a delta, its channel two or three miles above is destitute in
dry seasons of water. Its current disappears under an elevation called
White Hill, and does not come again to light for almost two miles,
resembling therein several streams in the United States, notably Lost
River in North-eastern Virginia, which has a subterranean course of
the same character and about the same length, but has not yet found
its Milton or Pope, far superior as it is to its English cousin in
natural beauty.

For this defect art and association amply atone. On the southern side
of the Mole, not far from the underground portion of its course--"the
Swallow" as it is called--stand the charming and storied seats of
Esher and Claremont.

Esher was an ancient residence of the bishops of Winchester. Wolsey
made it for a time his retreat after being ousted from Hampton Court.
A retreat it was to him in every sense. He dismissed his servants
and all state, and cultivated the deepest despondency. His inexorable
master, however, looked down on him, from his ravished towers hard by,
unmoved, and, as the sequel in a few years proved, unsatisfied in
his greed. Gardiner, bishop of Winchester, was called upon for a
contribution. He loyally surrendered to the king the whole estate of
Esher, a splendid mansion with all appurtenances and a park a mile
in diameter. Henry annexed Esher to Hampton Court, and continued his
research for new subjects of spoliation. His daughter Mary gave Esher
back to the see of Winchester. Elizabeth bought it and bestowed it on
Lord Howard of Effingham, who well earned it by his services against
the Armada. Of the families who subsequently owned the place, the
Pelhams are the most noted. Now it has passed from their hands. That
which has alone been preserved of the palace of Wolsey is an embattled
gatehouse that looks into the sluggish Mole, and joins it mayhap in
musing over "the days that we have seen."

[Illustration: CLAREMONT.]

Claremont, its next neighbor, unites, with equal or greater charms of
landscape, in preaching the old story of the decadence of the great.
Lord Clive, the Indian conqueror and speculator, built the house from
the designs of Capability Browne at a cost of over a hundred thousand
pounds. His dwelling and his monument remain to represent Clive. After
him, two or three occupants removed, came Leopold of Belgium, with
his bride, the Princess Charlotte, pet and hope of the British
nation. Their stay was more transient still--a year only, when death
dissipated their dream and cleared the way to the throne for Victoria.
Leopold continued to hold the property, and it became a generation
later the asylum of Louis Philippe. To an ordinary mind the miseries
of any one condemned to make this lovely spot his home are not apt to
present themselves as the acme of despair. A sensation of relief and
lulling repose would be more reasonably expected, especially after
so stormy a career as that of Louis. The change from restless and
capricious Paris to dewy shades and luxurious halls in the heart of
changeless and impregnable England ought, on common principles, to
have promoted the content and prolonged the life of the old king.
Possibly it did, but if so, the French had not many months' escape
from a second Orleans regency, for the exile's experience of Claremont
was brief. We may wander over his lawns, and reshape to ourselves his
reveries. Then we may forget the man who lost an empire as we look up
at the cenotaph of him who conquered one. Both brought grist to
Miller Bull, the fortunate and practical-minded owner of such vast
water-privileges. His water-power seems proof against all floods,
while the corn of all nations must come to his door. Standing under
these drooping elms, by this lazy stream, we hear none of the clatter
of the great mill, and we cease to dream of affixing a period to its
noiseless and effective work.

[Illustration: CLIVE'S MONUMENT.]

If we are not tired of parks for today, five minutes by rail will
carry us west to Oatlands Park, with its appended, and more or less
dependent, village of Walton-upon-Thames. But a surfeit even of
English country-houses and their pleasances is a possible thing;
and nowhere are they more abundant than within an hour's walk of our
present locality. So, taking Ashley Park, Burwood Park, Pains Hill
and many others, as well as the Coway Stakes--said by one school of
antiquarians to have been planted in the Thames by Cæsar, and by
another to be the relics of a fish-weir--Walton Church and Bradshaw's
house, for granted, we shall turn to the east and finish the purlieus
of Hampton with a glance at the old Saxon town of Kingston-on-Thames.
Probably an ardent Kingstonian would indignantly disown the impression
our three words are apt to give of the place. It is a rapidly--growing
town, and "Egbert, the first king of all England," who held a council
at "Kyningestun, famosa ilia locus," in 838, would be at a loss to
find his way through its streets could he revisit it. It has the
population of a Saxon county. Viewed from the massive bridge, with
the church-tower rising above an expanse of sightly buildings, it
possesses the least possible resemblance to the cluster of wattled
huts that may be presumed to have sheltered Egbert and his peers.

[Illustration: PRINCESS CHARLOTTE.]

A more solid memento of the Saxons is preserved in the King's
Stone. This has been of late years set up in the centre of the town,
surrounded with an iron railing, and made visible to all comers,
skeptical or otherwise. Tradition credits it with having been that
upon which the kings of Wessex were crowned, as those of Scotland down
to Longshanks, and after him the English, were on the red sandstone
palladium of Scone. From the list of ante-Norman monarchs said to
have received the sceptre upon it the poetically inclined visitor will
select for chief interest Edwy, whose coronation was celebrated in
great state in his seventeenth year. How he fell in love with and
married secretly his cousin Elgiva; how Saint Dunstan and his equally
saintly though not regularly beatified ally, Odo, archbishop of
Canterbury, indignant at a step taken against their fulminations and
protests, and jealous of the fair queen, tore her from his arms, burnt
with hot iron the bloom out of her cheeks, and finally put her
to death with the most cruel tortures; and how her broken-hearted
boy-lord, dethroned and hunted, died before reaching twenty,--is a
standing dish of the pathetic. Unfortunately, the story, handed down
to us with much detail, appears to be true. We must not accept it,
however, as an average illustration of life in that age of England.
The five hundred years before the Conquest do not equal, in the bloody
character of their annals, the like period succeeding it. Barbarous
enough the Anglo-Saxons were, but wanton cruelty does not seem to have
been one of their traits. To produce it some access of religious fury
was usually requisite. It was on the church doors that the skins of
their Danish invaders were nailed.

[Illustration: WALTON CHURCH.]

[Illustration: KINGSTON CHURCH.]

Kingston has no more Dunstans. Alexandra would be perfectly safe in
its market-place. The rosy maidens who pervade its streets need not
envy her cheeks, and the saints and archbishops who are to officiate
at her husband's induction as head of the Anglican Church have their
anxieties at present directed to wholly different quarters. They have
foes within and foes without, but none in the palace.

Kingston bids fair to revert, after a sort, to the metropolitan
position it boasted once, but has lost for nine centuries. The capital
is coming to it, and will cover the four remaining miles within
a decade or two at the existing rate of progress. Kingston may be
assigned to the suburbs already. It is much nearer London, in point
of time, than Union Square in New York to the City Hall. A slip of
country not yet endowed with trottoirs and gas-lamps intervenes. Call
this park, as you do the square miles of such territory already deep
within the metropolis.

London's jurisdiction, as marked by the Boundary Stone, extends much
farther up the river than we have as yet gone. Nor are the swans her
only vicegerents. The myrmidons of Inspector Bucket, foot and horse,
supplement those natatory representatives. So do the municipalities
encroach upon and overspread the country, as it is eminently proper
they should, seeing that to the charters so long ago exacted, and so
long and so jealously guarded, by the towns, so much of the liberty
enjoyed by English-speaking peoples is due. Large cities may be under
some circumstances, according to an often-quoted saying, plague-spots
on the body politic, but their growth has generally been commensurate
with that of knowledge and order, and indicative of anything but a
diseased condition of the national organism.

But here we are, under the shadow of the departed Nine Elms and of
the official palace of the Odos, deep enough in Lunnon to satisfy the
proudest Cockney, in less time than we have taken in getting off that
last commonplace on political economy. Adam Smith and Jefferson never
undertook to meditate at thirty-five miles an hour.

EDWARD C. BRUCE.



LINES WRITTEN AT VENICE IN OCTOBER, 1865.

  Sleep, Venice, sleep! the evening gun resounds
    Over the waves that rock thee on their breast:
  The bugle blare to kennel calls the hounds
    Who sleepless watch thy waking and thy rest.

  Sleep till the night-stars do the day-star meet,
    And shuddering echoes o'er the water run,
  Rippling through every glass-green, wavering street
    The stern good-morrow of thy guardian Hun.

  Still do thy stones, O Venice! bid rejoice,
    With their old majesty, the gazer's eye,
  In their consummate grace uttering a voice,
    From every line, of blended harmony.

  Still glows the splendor of the wondrous dreams
    Vouchsafed thy painters o'er each sacred shrine,
  And from the radiant visions downward streams
    In visible light an influence divine.

  Still through thy golden day and silver night
    Sings his soft jargon the gay gondolier,
  And o'er thy floors of liquid malachite
    Slide the black-hooded barks to mystery dear.

  Like Spanish beauty in its sable veil,
    They rustle sideling through the watery way,
  The wild, monotonous cry with which they hail
    Each other's passing dying far away.

  As each steel prow grazes the island strands
    Still ring the sweet Venetian voices clear,
  And wondering wanderers from far, free lands
    Entranced look round, enchanted listen here.

  From the far lands of liberty they come--
    England's proud children and her younger race;
  Those who possess the Past's most noble home,
    And those who claim the Future's boundless space.

  Pitying they stand. For thee who would not weep?
    Well it beseems these men to weep for thee,
  Whose flags (as erst they own) control the deep,
    Whose conquering sails o'ershadow every sea.

  Yet not in pity only, but in hope,
    Spring the hot tears the brave for thee may shed:
  Thy chain shall prove but a sand-woven rope;
    But sleep thou still: the sky is not yet red.

  Sleep till the mighty helmsman of the world,
    By the Almighty set at Fortune's wheel,
  Steers toward thy freedom, and, once more unfurled,
    The banner of St. Mark the sun shall feel.

  Then wake, then rise, then hurl away thy yoke,
    Then dye with crimson that pale livery,
  Whose ghastly white has been the jailer's cloak
    For years flung o'er thy shame and misery!

  Rise with a shout that down thy Giants' Stair
    Shall thy old giants bring with thundering tread--
  The blind crusader standing stony there,
    And him, the latest of thy mighty dead.

  Whose patriot heart broke at the Austrian's foot,
    Whose ashes under the black marble lie,
  From whose dry dust, stirred by the voice, shall shoot
    The glorious growth of living liberty.

  FRANCES ANNE KEMBLE.



SKETCHES OF INDIA.

I.


"Come," says my Hindu friend, "let us do Bombay."

The name of my Hindu friend is Bhima Gandharva. At the same time, his
name is _not_ Bhima Gandharva. But--for what is life worth if one may
not have one's little riddle?--in respect that he is _not_ so
named let him be so called, for thus will a pretty contradiction
be accomplished, thus shall I secure at once his privacy and his
publicity, and reveal and conceal him in a breath.

It is eight o'clock in the morning. We have met--Bhima Gandharva and
I--in "The Fort." The Fort is to Bombay much as the Levee, with
its adjacent quarters, is to New Orleans; only it is--one may say
_Hibernice_--a great deal more so. It is on the inner or harbor side
of the island of Bombay. Instead of the low-banked Mississippi, the
waters of a tranquil and charming haven smile welcome out yonder from
between wooded island-peaks. Here Bombay has its counting-houses, its
warehouses, its exchange, its "Cotton Green," its docks. But not its
dwellings. This part of the Fort where we have met is, one may say,
only inhabited for six hours in the day--from ten in the morning until
four in the afternoon. At the former hour Bombay is to be found
here engaged at trade: at the latter it rushes back into the various
quarters outside the Fort which go to make up this many-citied city.
So that at this particular hour of eight in the morning one must
expect to find little here that is alive, except either a philosopher,
a stranger, a policeman or a rat.

"Well, then," I said as Bhima Gandharva finished communicating this
information to me, "we are all here."

"How?"

"There stand you, a philosopher; here I, a stranger; yonder, the
policeman; and, heavens and earth! what a rat!" I accompanied this
exclamation by shooing a big musky fellow from behind a bale of cotton
whither I had just seen him run.

Bhima Gandharva smiled in a large, tranquil way he has, which is like
an Indian plain full of ripe corn. "I find it curious," he said, "to
compare the process which goes on here in the daily humdrum of trade
about this place with that which one would see if one were far up
yonder at the northward, in the appalling solitudes of the mountains,
where trade has never been and will never be. Have you visited the
Himalaya?"

I shook my head.

"Among those prodigious planes of snow," continued the Hindu, "which
when level nevertheless frighten you as if they were horizontal
precipices, and which when perpendicular nevertheless lull you with a
smooth deadly half-sense of confusion as to whether you should refer
your ideas of space to the slope or the plain, there reigns at this
moment a quietude more profound than the Fort's. But presently, as
the sun beats with more fervor, rivulets begin to trickle from exposed
points; these grow to cataracts and roar down the precipices; masses
of undermined snow plunge into the abysses; the great winds of the
Himalaya rise and howl, and every silence of the morning becomes
a noise at noon. A little longer, and the sun again decreases; the
cataracts draw their heads back into the ice as tortoises into their
shells; the winds creep into their hollows, and the snows rest. So
here. At ten the tumult of trade will begin: at four it will quickly
freeze again into stillness. One might even carry this parallelism
into more fanciful extremes. For, as the vapors which lie on the
Himalaya in the form of snow have in time come from all parts of the
earth, so the tide of men that will presently pour in here is made up
of people from the four quarters of the globe. The Hindu, the African,
the Arabian, the Chinese, the Tartar, the European, the American, the
Parsee, will in a little while be trading or working here."

[Illustration: A DWELLING AT MAZAGON.]

"What a complete _bouleversement_," I said, seating myself on a
bale of cotton and looking toward the fleets of steamers and vessels
collected off the great cotton-presses awaiting their cargoes, "this
particular scene effects in the mind of a traveler just from America!
India has been to me, as the average American, a dream of terraced
ghauts, of banyans and bungalows, of Taj Mahals and tigers, of sacred
rivers and subterranean temples, and--and that sort of thing. I
come here and land in a big cotton-yard. I ask myself, 'Have I left
Jonesville--dear Jonesville!--on the other side of the world, in order
to sit on an antipodal cotton-bale?'"

"There is some more of India," said Bhima Gandharva gently. "Let us
look at it a little."

One may construct a good-enough outline map of this wonderful land in
one's mind by referring its main features to the first letter of the
alphabet. Take a capital A; turn it up side down; imagine that the
inverted triangle forming the lower half of the letter is the
Deccan, the left side representing the Western Ghauts, the right side
representing the Eastern Ghauts, and the cross-stroke standing for
the Vindhya Mountains; imagine further that a line from right to left
across the upper ends of the letter, trending upward as it is drawn,
represents the Himalaya, and that enclosed between them and the
Vindhyas is Hindustan proper. Behind--i.e. to the north of--the
centre of this last line rises the Indus, flowing first north-westward
through the Vale of Cashmere, then cutting sharply to the south and
flowing by the way of the Punjab and Scinde to where it empties at
Kurrachee. Near the same spot where the Indus originates rises also
the Brahmaputra, but the latter empties its waters far from the
former, flowing first south-eastward, then cutting southward and
emptying into the Gulf of Bengal. Fixing, now, in the mind the sacred
Ganges and Jumna, coming down out of the Gangetic and Jumnatic peaks
in a general south-easterly direction, uniting at Allahabad and
emptying into the Bay of Bengal, and the Nerbudda River flowing over
from the east to the west, along the southern bases of the Vindhyas,
until it empties at the important city of Brooch, a short distance
north of Bombay, one will have thus located a number of convenient
points and lines sufficient for general references.

This A of ours is a very capital A indeed, being some nineteen hundred
miles in length and fifteen hundred in width. Lying on the western
edge of this peninsula is Bombay Island. It is crossed by the line
of 19° north latitude, and is, roughly speaking, halfway between the
Punjab on the north and Ceylon on the south. Its shape is that of a
lobster, with his claws extended southward and his body trending
a little to the west of north. The larger island of Salsette lies
immediately north, and the two, connected by a causeway, enclose the
noble harbor of Bombay. Salsette approaches near to the mainland at
its northern end, and is connected with it by the railway structure.
These causeways act as break-waters and complete the protection of the
port. The outer claw, next to the Indian Ocean, of the lobster-shaped
Bombay Island is the famous Malabar Hill; the inner claw is the
promontory of Calaba; in the curved space between the two is the body
of shallow water known as the Back Bay, along whose strand so many
strange things are done daily. As one turns into the harbor around
the promontory of Calaba--which is one of the European quarters of the
manifold city of Bombay, and is occupied by magnificent residences
and flower-gardens--one finds just north of it the great docks and
commercial establishments of the Fort; then an enormous esplanade
farther north; across which, a distance of about a mile, going still
northward, is the great Indian city called Black Town, with its motley
peoples and strange bazars; and still farther north is the Portuguese
quarter, known as Mazagon.

As we crossed the great esplanade to the north of the Fort--Bhima
Gandharva and I--and strolled along the noisy streets, I began to
withdraw my complaint. It was not like Jonesville. It was not like any
one place or thing, but like a hundred, and all the hundred _outré_
to the last degree. Hindu beggars, so dirty that they seemed to have
returned to dust before death; three fakirs, armed with round-bladed
daggers with which they were wounding themselves apparently in the
most reckless manner, so as to send streams of blood flowing to the
ground, and redly tattooing the ashes with which their naked bodies
were covered; Parsees with their long noses curving over their
moustaches, clothed in white, sending one's thoughts back to Ormuz,
to Persia, to Zoroaster, to fire-worship and to the strangeness of the
fate which drove them out of Persia more than a thousand years ago,
and which has turned them into the most industrious traders and
most influential citizens of a land in which they are still exiles;
Chinese, Afghans--the Highlanders of the East--Arabs, Africans,
Mahrattas, Malays, Persians, Portuguese half-bloods; men that called
upon Mohammed, men that called upon Confucius, upon Krishna, upon
Christ, upon Gotama the Buddha, upon Rama and Sita, upon Brahma, upon
Zoroaster; strange carriages shaded by red domes that compressed
a whole dream of the East in small, and drawn by humped oxen,
alternating with palanquins, with stylish turnouts of the latest mode,
with cavaliers upon Arabian horses; half-naked workmen, crouched
in uncomfortable workshops and ornamenting sandal-wood boxes; dusky
curb-stone shopkeepers, rushing at me with strenuous offerings of
their wares; lines of low shop-counters along the street, backed by
houses rising in many stories, whose black pillared verandahs
were curiously carved and painted: cries, chafferings, bickerings,
Mussulman prayers, Arab oaths extending from "Praise God that you
exist" to "Praise God _although_ you exist;"--all these things
appealed to the confused senses.

The tall spire of a Hindu temple revealed itself.

[Illustration: HINDU TEMPLE IN THE BLACK TOWN, BOMBAY.]

"It seems to me," I said to Bhima Gandharva, "that your steeples--as
we would call them in Jonesville--represent, in a sort of way, your
cardinal doctrine: they seem to be composed of a multitude of little
steeples, all like the big one, just as you might figure your Supreme
Being in the act of absorbing a large number of the faithful who had
just arrived from the dismal existence below. And then, again, your
steeple looks as if it might be the central figure of your theistic
scheme, surrounded by the three hundred millions of your lesser
deities. How do you get on, Bhima Gandharva, with so many claims on
your worshiping faculties? I should think you would be well lost in
such a jungle of gods?"

"My friend," said Bhima Gandharva, "a short time ago a play was
performed in this city which purported to be a translation into the
Mahratta language of the _Romeo and Juliet_ which Shakespeare wrote.
It was indeed a very great departure from that miraculous work, which
I know well, but among its many deviations from the original was one
which for the mournful and yet humorous truth of it was really worthy
of the Master. Somehow, the translator had managed to get a modern
Englishman into the play, who, every time that one of my countrymen
happened to be found in leg-reach, would give him a lusty kick and cry
out 'Damn fool!' Why is the whole world like this Englishman?--upon
what does it found its opinion that the Hindu is a fool? Is it upon
our religion? Listen! I will recite you some matters out of our
scriptures: Once upon a time Arjuna stood in his chariot betwixt
his army and the army of his foes. These foes were his kinsmen.
Krishna--even that great god Krishna--moved by pity for Arjuna, had
voluntarily placed himself in Arjuna's chariot and made himself the
charioteer thereof. Then--so saith Sanjaya--in order to encourage him,
the ardent old ancestor of the Kurus blew his conch-shell, sounding
loud as the roar of a lion. Then on a sudden trumpets, cymbals, drums
and horns were sounded. That noise grew to an uproar. And, standing on
a huge car drawn by white horses, the slayer of Madhu and the son
of Pandu blew their celestial trumpets. Krishna blew his horn called
Panchajanya; the Despiser of Wealth blew his horn called the Gift
of the Gods; he of dreadful deeds and wolfish entrails blew a great
trumpet called Paundra; King Yudishthira, the son of Kunti, blew the
Eternal Victory; Nakula and Sahadeva blew the Sweet-toned and the
Blooming-with-Jewels. The king of Kashi, renowned for the excellence
of his bow, and Shikandin in his huge chariot, Dhrishtyadumna, and
Virata, and Satyaki, unconquered by his foes, and Drupada and the sons
of Drupadi all together, and the strong-armed son of Subhadrá, each
severally blew their trumpets. That noise lacerated the hearts of the
sons of Dhartarashtra, and uproar resounded both through heaven and
earth. Now when Arjuna beheld the Dhartarashtras drawn up, and that
the flying of arrows had commenced, he raised his bow, and then
addressed these words to Krishna:

"'Now that I have beheld this kindred standing here near together for
the purpose of fighting, my limbs give way and my face is bloodless,
and tremor is produced throughout my body, and my hair stands on end.
My bow Gandiva slips from my hand, and my skin burns. Nor am I able
to remain upright, and my mind is as it were whirling round. Nor do I
perceive anything better even when I shall have slain these relations
in battle, I seek not victory, Krishna, nor a kingdom, nor pleasures.
What should we do with a kingdom, Govinda? What with enjoyments, or
with life itself? Those very men on whose account we might desire a
kingdom, enjoyments or pleasures are assembled for battle. Teachers,
fathers, and even sons, and grandfathers, uncles, fathers-in-law,
grandsons, brothers-in-law, with connections also,--these I would not
wish to slay, though I were slain myself, O Killer of Madhu! not even
for the sake of the sovereignty of the triple world--how much less
for that of this earth! When we had killed the Dhartarashtras, what
pleasure should we have, O thou who art prayed to by mortals? How
could we be happy after killing our own kindred, O Slayer of Madhu?
Even if they whose reason is obscured by covetousness do not perceive
the crime committed in destroying their own tribe, should we not
know how to recoil from such a sin? In the destruction of a tribe
the eternal institutions of the tribe are destroyed. These laws being
destroyed, lawlessness prevails. From the existence of lawlessness the
women of the tribe become corrupted; and when the women are corrupted,
O son of Vrishni! confusion of caste takes place. Confusion of caste
is a gate to hell. Alas! we have determined to commit a great crime,
since from the desire of sovereignty and pleasures we are prepared to
slay our own kin. Better were it for me if the Dhartarashtras, being
armed, would slay me, harmless and unresisting in the fight.'

[Illustration: JAIN TEMPLES AT SUNAGHUR.]

"Having thus spoken in the midst of the battle, Arjuna, whose heart
was troubled with grief, let fall his bow and arrow and sat down on
the bench of the chariot."

"Well," I asked after a short pause, during which the Hindu kept his
eyes fixed in contemplation on the spire of the temple, "what did
Krishna have to say to that?"

"He instructed Arjuna, and said many wise things. I will tell you
some of them, here and there, as they are scattered through the
holy _Bhagavad-Gitá_: Then between the two armies, Krishna, smiling,
addressed these words to him, thus downcast:

"'Thou hast grieved for those who need not be grieved for, yet thou
utterest words of wisdom. The wise grieve not for dead or living. But
never at any period did I or thou or these kings of men not exist, nor
shall any of us at any time henceforward cease to exist. There is no
existence for what does not exist, nor is there any non-existence for
what exists.... These finite bodies have been said to belong to an
eternal, indestructible and infinite spirit.... He who believes that
this spirit can kill, and he who thinks that it can be killed--both of
these are mistaken. It neither kills nor is killed. It is born, and
it does not die.... Unborn, changeless, eternal both as to future and
past time, it is not slain when the body is killed.... As the soul
in this body undergoes the changes of childhood, prime and age, so it
obtains a new body hereafter.... As a man abandons worn-out clothes
and take other new ones, so does the soul quit worn-out bodies and
enter other new ones. Weapons cannot cleave it, fire cannot burn
it, nor can water wet it, nor can wind dry it. It is impenetrable,
incombustible, incapable of moistening and of drying. It is constant;
it can go everywhere; it is firm, immovable and eternal. And even
if thou deem it born with the body and dying with the body, still,
O great-armed one! thou art not right to grieve for it. For to
everything generated death is certain: to everything dead regeneration
is certain.... One looks on the soul as a miracle; another speaks of
it as a miracle; another hears of it as a miracle; but even when he
has heard of it, not one comprehends it.... When a man's heart is
disposed in accordance with his roaming senses, it snatches away his
spiritual knowledge as the wind does a ship on the waves.... He who
does not practice devotion has neither intelligence nor reflection.
And he who does not practice reflection has no calm. How can a man
without calm obtain happiness? The self-governed man is awake in that
which is night to all other beings: that in which other beings are
awake is night to the self-governed. He into whom all desires enter in
the same manner as rivers enter the ocean, which is always full, yet
does not change its bed, can obtain tranquillity.... Love or hate
exists toward the object of each sense. One should not fall into the
power of these two passions, for they are one's adversaries.... Know
that passion is hostile to man in this world. As fire is surrounded
by smoke, and a mirror by rust, and a child by the womb, so is this
universe surrounded by passion.... They say that the senses are great.
The heart is greater than the senses. But the intellect is greater
than the heart, and passion is greater than the intellect....

[Illustration: THE VESTIBULE OF THE GRAND SHAÎTYA OK KARLI.]

"'I and thou, O Arjuna! have passed through many transmigrations. I
know all these. Thou dost not know them.... For whenever there is a
relaxation of duty, O son of Bharata! and an increase of impiety,
I then reproduce myself for the protection of the good and the
destruction of evil-doers. I am produced in every age for the purpose
of establishing duty.... Some sacrifice the sense of hearing and the
other senses in the fire of restraint. Others, by abstaining from
food, sacrifice life in their life. (But) the sacrifice of spiritual
knowledge is better than a material sacrifice.... By this knowledge
thou wilt recognize all things whatever in thyself, and then in me. He
who possesses faith acquires spiritual knowledge. He who is devoid of
faith and of doubtful mind perishes. The man of doubtful mind enjoys
neither this world nor the other, nor final beatitude. Therefore,
sever this doubt which exists in thy heart, and springs from
ignorance, with thy sword of knowledge: turn to devotion and arise, O
son of Bharata!...

"'Learn my superior nature, O hero! by means of which this world is
sustained. I am the cause of the production and dissolution of the
whole universe. There exists no other thing superior to me. On me are
all the worlds suspended, as numbers of pearls on a string. I am the
savor of waters, and the principle of light in the moon and sun, the
mystic syllable _Om_ in the Vedas, the sound in the ether, the essence
of man in men, the sweet smell in the earth; and I am the brightness
in flame, the vitality in all beings, and the power of mortification
in ascetics. Know, O son of Prithá! that I am the eternal seed of all
things which exist. I am the intellect of those who have intellect:
I am the strength of the strong.... And know that all dispositions,
whether good, bad or indifferent, proceed also from me. I do not exist
in them, but they in me.... I am dear to the spiritually wise beyond
possessions, and he is dear to me. A great-minded man who is convinced
that _Vasudevu_ (Krishna) _is everything_ is difficult to find....
If one worships any inferior personage with faith, I make his faith
constant. Gifted with such faith, he seeks the propitiation of this
personage, and from him receives the pleasant objects of his desires,
which (however) were sent by me alone. But the reward of these
little-minded men is finite. They who sacrifice to the gods go to the
gods: they who worship me come to me. I am the immolation. I am the
whole sacrificial rite. I am the libation to ancestors. I am the
drug. I am the incantation. I am the fire. I am the incense. I am
the father, the mother, the sustainer, the grandfather of this
universe--the path, the supporter, the master, the witness, the
habitation, the refuge, the friend, the origin, the dissolution, the
place, the receptacle, the inexhaustible seed. I heat. I withhold
and give the rain. I am ambrosia and death, the existing and the
non-existing. Even those who devoutly worship other gods with the gift
of faith worship me, but only improperly. I am the same to all beings.
I have neither foe nor friend. I am the beginning and the middle and
the end of existing things. Among bodies I am the beaming sun. Among
senses I am the heart. Among waters I am the ocean. Among mountains I
am Himalaya. Among trees I am the banyan; among men, the king; among
weapons, the thunderbolt; among things which count, time; among
animals, the lion; among purifiers, the wind. I am Death who seizes
all: I am the birth of those who are to be. I am Fame, Fortune,
Speech, Memory, Meditation, Perseverance and Patience among feminine
words. I am the game of dice among things which deceive: I am splendor
among things which are shining. Among tamers I am the rod; among means
of victory I am polity; among mysteries I am silence, the knowledge of
the wise....

"'They who know me to be the God of this universe, the God of gods and
the God of worship--they who know me to be the God of this universe,
the God of gods and the God of worship--yea, they who know me to be
these things in the hour of death, they know me indeed.'"

[Illustration: SCULPTURED FIGURES IN THE VESTIBULE OF THE GREAT
SHAÎTYA OF KARLI.]

When my friend finished these words there did not seem to be anything
particular left in heaven or earth to talk about. At any rate, there
was a dead pause for several minutes. Finally, I asked--and I protest
that in contrast with the large matters wherof Bhima Gandharva had
discoursed my voice (which is American and slightly nasal) sounded
like nothing in the world so much as the squeak of a sick rat--"When
were these things written?"

"At least nineteen hundred and seventy-five years ago, we feel sure.
How much earlier we do not know."

We now directed our course toward the hospital for sick and disabled
animals which has been established here in the most crowded portion of
Black Town by that singular sect called the Jains, and which is only
one of a number of such institutions to be found in the large cities
of India. This sect is now important more by influence than by numbers
in India, many of the richest merchants of the great Indian cities
being among its adherents, though by the last census of British India
there appears to be but a little over nine millions of Jains and
Buddhists together, out of the one hundred and ninety millions of
Hindus in British India. The tenets of the Jains are too complicated
for description here, but it may be said that much doubt exists as
to whether it is an old religion of which Brahmanism and Buddhism are
varieties, or whether it is itself a variety of Buddhism. Indeed,
it does not seem well settled whether the pure Jain doctrine
was atheistical or theistical. At any rate, it is sufficiently
differentiated from Brahmanism by its opposite notion of castes, and
from Buddhism by its cultus of nakedness, which the Buddhists abhor.
The Jains are split into two sects--the _Digambaras_, or nude Jains,
and the _Svetambaras_, or clothed Jains, which latter sect seem to
be Buddhists, who, besides the Tirthankars (i.e. mortals who have
acquired the rank of gods by devout lives, in whom all the Jains
believe), worship also the various divinities of the Vishnu system.
The Jains themselves declare this system to date from a period ten
thousand years before Christ, and they practically support this
traditional antiquity by persistently regarding and treating the
Buddhists as heretics from their system. At any event, their
religion is an old one. They seem to be the gymnosophists, or naked
philosophers, described by Clitarchos as living in India at the time
of the expedition of Alexander, and their history crops out in various
accounts--that of Clement of Alexandria, then of the Chinese Fu-Hian
in the fourth and fifth centuries, and of the celebrated Chinese
Hiouen-Tsang in the seventh century, at which last period they appear
to have been the prevailing sect in India, and to have increased
in favor until in the twelfth century the Rajpoots, who had become
converts to Jainism, were schismatized into Brahmanism and deprived
the naked philosophers of their prestige.

The great distinguishing feature of the Jains is the extreme to which
they push the characteristic tenderness felt by the Hindus for animals
of all descriptions. Jaina is, distinctly, _the purified_. The priests
eat no animal food; indeed, they are said not to eat at all after
noon, lest the insects then abounding should fly into their mouths
and be crushed unwittingly. They go with a piece of muslin bound over
their mouths, in order to avoid the same catastrophe, and carry a soft
brush wherewith to remove carefully from any spot upon which they are
about to sit such insects as might be killed thereby.

"Ah, how my countryman Bergh would luxuriate in this scene!" I said as
we stood looking upon the various dumb exhibitions of so many phases
of sickness, of decrepitude and of mishap--quaint, grotesque, yet
pathetic withal--in the precincts of the Jain hospital. Here were
quadrupeds and bipeds, feathered creatures and hairy creatures, large
animals and small, shy and tame, friendly and predatory--horses,
horned cattle, rats, cats, dogs, jackals, crows, chickens; what not.
An attendant was tenderly bandaging the blinking lids of a sore-eyed
duck: another was feeding a blind crow, who, it must be confessed,
looked here very much like some fat member of the New York Ring
cunningly availing himself of the more toothsome rations in the sick
ward of the penitentiary. My friend pointed out to me a heron with a
wooden leg. "Suppose a gnat should break his shoulder-blade," I said,
"would they put his wing in a sling?"

[Illustrations: INTERIOR OF THE GREAT SHAÎTYA OF KARLI.]

Bhima Gandharva looked me full in the face, and, smiling gently, said,
"They would if they could."

The Jains are considered to have been the architects _par excellence_
of India, and there are many monuments, in all styles, of their skill
in this kind. The strange statues of the Tirthankars in the gorge
called the Ourwhaï of Gwalior were (until injured by the "march of
improvement") among the most notable of the forms of rock-cutting.
These vary in size from statuettes of a foot in height to colossal
figures of sixty feet, and nothing can be more striking than these
great forms, hewn from the solid rock, represented entirely nude,
with their impassive countenances, which remind every traveler of
the Sphinx, their grotesque ears hanging down to their shoulders, and
their heads, about which plays a ring of serpents for a halo, or out
of which grows the mystical three-branched _Kalpa Vrich_, or Tree of
Knowledge.

The sacred hill of Sunaghur, lying a few miles to the south of
Gwalior, is one of the Meccas of the Jains, and is covered with
temples in many styles, which display the fertility of their
architectural invention: there are over eighty of these structures in
all.

"And now," said Bhima Gandharva next day, "while you are thinking upon
temples, and wondering if the Hindus have all been fools, you should
complete your collection of mental materials by adding to the sight
you have had of a Hindu temple proper, and to the description you have
had of Jain temples proper, a sight of those marvelous subterranean
works of the Buddhists proper which remain to us. We might select
our examples of these either at Ellora or at Ajunta (which are on the
mainland a short distance to the north-east of Bombay), the latter
of which contains the most complete series of purely Buddhistic caves
known in the country; or, indeed, we could find Buddhistic caves just
yonder on Salsette. But let us go and see Karli at once: it is the
largest _shaîtya_ (or cave-temple) in India."

Accordingly, we took railway at Bombay, sped along the isle, over the
bridge to the island of Salsette, along Salsette to Tannah, then
over the bridge which connects Salsette with the mainland, across the
narrow head of Bombay harbor, and so on to the station at Khandalla,
about halfway between Bombay and Poonah, where we disembarked. The
caves of Karli are situated but a few miles from Khandalla, and in
a short time we were standing in front of a talus at the foot of a
sloping hill whose summit was probably five to six hundred feet high.
A flight of steps cut in the hillside led up to a ledge running out
from an escarpment which was something above sixty feet high before
giving off into the slope of the mountain. From the narrow and
picturesque valley a flight of steps cut in the hillside led up to the
platform. We could not see the façade of the shaîtya on account of
the concealing boscage of trees. On ascending the steps, however, and
passing a small square Brahmanic chapel, where we paid a trifling
fee to the priests who reside there for the purpose of protecting the
place, the entire front of the excavation revealed itself, and with
every moment of gazing grew in strangeness and solemn mystery.

The shaîtya is hewn in the solid rock of the mountain. Just to the
left of the entrance stands a heavy pillar (_Silasthamba_) completely
detached from the temple, with a capital upon whose top stand four
lions back to back. On this pillar is an inscription in Pali, which
has been deciphered, and which is now considered to fix the date
of the excavation conclusively at not later than the second century
before the Christian era. The eye took in at first only the vague
confusion of windows and pillars cut in the rock. It is supposed
that originally a music-gallery stood here in front, consisting of
a balcony supported out from the two octagonal pillars, and probably
roofed or having a second balcony above. But the woodwork is now gone.
One soon felt one's attention becoming concentrated, however, upon a
great arched window cut in the form of a horseshoe, through which one
could look down what was very much like the nave of a church running
straight back into the depths of the hill. Certainly, at first, as one
passes into the strange vestibule which intervenes still between the
front and the interior of the shaîtya, one does not think at all--one
only _feels_ the dim sense of mildness raying out from the great
faces of the elephants, and of mysterious far-awayness conveyed by the
bizarre postures of the sculptured figures on the walls.

Entering the interior, a central nave stretches back between two
lines of pillars, each of whose capitals supports upon its abacus two
kneeling elephants: upon each elephant are seated two figures, most
of which are male and female pairs. The nave extends eighty-one feet
three inches back, the whole length of the temple being one hundred
and two feet three inches. There are fifteen pillars on each side
the nave, which thus enclose between themselves and the wall two
side-aisles, each about half the width of the nave, the latter being
twenty-five feet and seven inches in width, while the whole width from
wall to wall is forty-five feet and seven inches. At the rear, in a
sort of apse, are seven plain octagonal pillars--the other thirty are
sculptured. Just in front of these seven pillars is the _Daghaba_--a
domed structure covered by a wooden parasol. The Daghaba is the
reliquary in which or under which some relic of Gotama Buddha
is enshrined. The roof of the shaîtya is vaulted, and ribs of
teak-wood--which could serve no possible architectural purpose--reveal
themselves, strangely enough, running down the sides.

As I took in all these details, pacing round the dark aisles, and
finally resuming my stand near the entrance, from which I perceived
the aisles, dark between the close pillars and the wall, while the
light streamed through the great horseshoe window full upon the
Daghaba at the other end, I exclaimed to Bhima Gandharva, "Why, it is
the very copy of a Gothic church--the aisles, the nave, the vaulted
roof, and all--and yet you tell me it was excavated two thousand years
ago!"

"The resemblance has struck every traveler," he replied. "And, strange
to say, all the Buddhist cave-temples are designed upon the same
general plan. There is always the organ-loft, as you see there; always
the three doors, the largest one opening on the nave, the smaller ones
each on its side-aisle; always the window throwing its light directly
on the Daghaba at the other end; always, in short, the general
arrangement of the choir of a Gothic round or polygonal apse
cathedral. It is supposed that the devotees were confined to the front
part of the temple, and that the great window through which the light
comes was hidden from view, both outside by the music-galleries and
screens, and inside through the disposition of the worshipers in
front. The gloom of the interior was thus available to the priests for
the production of effects which may be imagined."

Emerging from the temple, we saw the Buddhist monastery (_Vihara_),
which is a series of halls and cells rising one above the other in
stories connected by flights of steps, all hewn in the face of the
hill at the side of the temple. We sat down on a fragment of rock near
a stream of water with which a spring in the hillside fills a little
pool at the entrance of the Vihara. "Tell me something of Gotama
Buddha," I said. "Recite some of his deliverances, O Bhima
Gandharva!--you who know everything."

"I will recite to you from the _Sutta Nipata_, which is supposed by
many pundits of Ceylon to contain several of the oldest examples of
the Pali language. It professes to give the conversation of Buddha,
who died five hundred and forty-three years before Christ lived on
earth; and these utterances are believed by scholars to have been
brought together at least more than two hundred years before the
Christian era. The _Mahámangala Sutta_, of the _Nipata Sutta_, says,
for example: 'Thus it was heard by me. At a certain time Bhagavá
(Gotama Buddha) lived at Sávatthi in Jetavana, in the garden of
Anáthupindika. Then, the night being far advanced, a certain god,
endowed with a radiant color illuminating Jetavana completely, came to
where Bhagavá was, [and] making obeisance to him, stood on one side.
And, standing on one side, the god addressed Bhagavá in [these]
verses:

    "1. Many gods and men, longing after what is good, have
    considered many things as blessings. Tell us what is the
    greatest blessing.

    "2. Buddha said: Not serving fools, but serving the wise, and
    honoring those worthy of being honored: this is the greatest
    blessing.

    "3. The living in a fit country, meritorious deeds done in a
    former existence, the righteous establishment of one's self:
    this is the greatest blessing.

    "4. Extensive knowledge and science, well-regulated discipline
    and well-spoken speech: this is the greatest blessing.

    "5. The helping of father and mother, the cherishing of child
    and wife, and the following of a lawful calling: this is the
    greatest blessing.

    "6. The giving alms, a religious life, aid rendered to
    relatives, blameless acts: this is the greatest blessing.

    "7. The abstaining from sins and the avoiding them, the
    eschewing of intoxicating drink, diligence in good deeds: this
    is the greatest blessing.

    "8. Reverence and humility, contentment and gratefulness, the
    hearing of the law in the right time: this is the greatest
    blessing.

    "9. Patience and mild speech, the association with those
    who have subdued their passions, the holding of religious
    discourse in the right time: this is the greatest blessing.

    "10. Temperance and charity, the discernment of holy truth, the
    perception of Nibbána: this is the greatest blessing.

    "11. The mind of any one unshaken by the ways of the world,
    exemption from sorrow, freedom from passion, and security:
    this is the greatest blessing.

    "12. Those who having done these things become invincible on
    all sides, attain happiness on all sides: this is the greatest
    blessing."

"At another time also Gotama Buddha was discoursing on caste. You know
that the Hindus are divided into the Brahmans, or the priestly
caste, which is the highest; next the Kshatriyas, or the warrior and
statesman caste; next the Vaishyas, or the herdsman and farmer caste;
lastly, the Sudras, or the menial caste. Now, once upon a time the two
youths Vásettha and Bháradvaja had a discussion as to what constitutes
a Brahman. Thus, Vásettha and Bháradvaja went to the place where
Bhagavá was, and having approached him were well pleased with him; and
having finished a pleasing and complimentary conversation, they sat
down on one side. Vásettha, who sat down on one side, addressed Buddha
in verse: ...

    "3. O Gotama! we have a controversy regarding [the distinctions
    of] birth. Thus know, O wise one! the point of difference
    between us: Bháradvaja says that a Brahman is such by reason
    of his birth.

    "4. But I affirm that he is such by reason of his conduct....

    "7. Bhagavá replied: ...

    "53. I call him alone a Brahman who is fearless, eminent,
    heroic, a great sage, a conqueror, freed from attachments--one
    who has bathed in the waters of wisdom, and is a Buddha.

    "54. I call him alone a Brahman who knows his former abode, who
    sees both heaven and hell, and has reached the extinction of
    births.

    "55. What is called 'name' or 'tribe' in the world arises from
    usage only. It is adopted here and there by common consent.

    "56. It comes from long and uninterrupted usage, and from the
    false belief of the ignorant. Hence the ignorant assert that a
    Brahman is such from birth.

    "57. One is not a Brahman nor a non-Brahman by birth: by his
    conduct alone is he a Brahman, and by his conduct alone is he
    a non-Brahman,

    "58. By his conduct he is a husbandman, an artisan, a merchant,
    a servant;

    "59. By his conduct he is a thief, a warrior, a sacrificer, a
    king....

    "62. One is a Brahman from penance, charity, observance of the
    moral precepts and the subjugation of the passions. Such is
    the best kind of Brahmanism."

"That would pass for very good republican doctrine in Jonesville," I
said. "What a pity you have all so backslidden from your orthodoxies
here in India, Bhima Gandharva! In my native land there is a region
where many orange trees grow. Sometimes, when a tree is too heavily
fertilized, it suddenly shoots out in great luxuriance, and looks as
if it were going to make oranges enough for the whole world, so to
speak. But somehow, no fruit comes: it proves to be all wood and no
oranges, and presently the whole tree changes and gets sick and good
for nothing. It is a disease which the natives call 'the dieback.'
Now, it seems to me that when you old Aryans came from--from--well,
from wherever you _did_ come from--you branched out at first into a
superb magnificence of religions and sentiments and imaginations and
other boscage. But it looks now as if you were really bad off with the
dieback."

It was, however, impossible to perceive that Bhima Gandharva's smile
was like anything other than the same plain full of ripe corn.



LADY ARTHUR EILDON'S DYING LETTER.

I.


Lady Arthur Eildon was a widow: she was a remarkable woman, and her
husband, Lord Arthur Eildon, had been a remarkable man. He was a
brother of the duke of Eildon, and was very remarkable in his day for
his love of horses and dogs. But this passion did not lead him into
any evil ways: he was a thoroughly upright, genial man, with a frank
word for every one, and was of course a general favorite. "He'll just
come in and crack away as if he was ane o' oorsels," was a remark
often made concerning him by the people on his estates; for he had
estates which had been left to him by an uncle, and which, with
the portion that fell to him as a younger son, yielded him an ample
revenue, so that he had no need to do anything.

What talents he might have developed in the army or navy, or even
in the Church, no one knows, for he never did anything in this world
except enjoy himself; which was entirely natural to him, and not the
hard work it is to many people who try it. He was in Parliament for
a number of years, but contented himself with giving his vote. He
did not distinguish himself. He was not an able or intellectual man:
people said he would never set the Thames on fire, which was true;
but if an open heart and hand and a frank tongue are desirable things,
these he had. As he took in food, and it nourished him without further
intervention on his part, so he took in enjoyment and gave it out to
the people round him with equal unconsciousness. Let it not be said
that such a man as this is of no value in a world like ours: he is at
once an anodyne and a stimulant of the healthiest and most innocent
kind.

As was meet, he first saw the lady who was to be his wife in the
hunting-field. She was Miss Garscube of Garscube, an only child and
an heiress. She was a fast young lady when as yet fastness was a rare
development:--a harbinger of the fast period, the one swallow that
presages summer, but does not make it--and as such much in the mouths
of the public.

Miss Garscube was said to be clever--she was certainly eccentric--and
she was no beauty, but community of tastes in the matter of horses and
dogs drew her and Lord Arthur together.

On one of the choicest of October days, when she was following the
hounds, and her horse had taken the fences like a creature with wings,
he came to one which he also flew over, but fell on the other side,
throwing off his rider--on soft grass, luckily. But almost before an
exclamation of alarm could leave the mouths of the hunters behind,
Miss Garscube was on her feet and in the saddle, and her horse away
again, as if both had been ignorant of the little mishap that had
occurred. Lord Arthur was immediately behind, and witnessed this bit
of presence of mind and pluck with unfeigned admiration: it won his
heart completely; and on her part she enjoyed the genuineness of his
homage as she had never enjoyed anything before, and from that day
things went on and prospered between them.

People who knew both parties regretted this, and shook their heads
over it, prophesying that no good could come of it. Miss Garscube's
will had never been crossed in her life, and she was a "clever" woman:
Lord Arthur would not submit to her domineering ways, and she would
wince under and be ashamed of his want of intellect. All this was
foretold and thoroughly believed by people having the most perfect
confidence in their own judgment, so that Lord Arthur and his wife
ought to have been, in the very nature of things, a most wretched
pair. But, as it turned out, no happier couple existed in Great
Britain. Their qualities must have been complementary, for they
dovetailed into each other as few people do; and the wise persons
who had predicted the contrary were entirely thrown out in their
calculations--a fact which they speedily forgot; nor did it diminish
their faith in their own wisdom, as, indeed, how could one slight
mistake stand against an array of instances in which their predictions
had been verified to the letter?

Lord Arthur might not have the intellect which fixes the attention of
a nation, but he had plenty for his own fireside--at least, his wife
never discovered any want of it--and as for her strong will, they
had only one strong will between them, so that there could be no
collision. Being thus thoroughly attached and thoroughly happy, what
could occur to break up this happiness? A terrible thing came to
pass. Having had perfect health up to middle life, an acutely painful
disease seized Lord Arthur, and after tormenting him for more than a
year it changed his face and sent him away.

There is nothing more striking than the calmness and dignity with
which people will meet death--even people from whom this could not
have been expected. No one who did not know it would have guessed how
Lord Arthur was suffering, and he never spoke of it, least of all to
his wife; while she, acutely aware of it and vibrating with sympathy,
never spoke of it to him; and they were happy as those are who know
that they are drinking the last drops of earthly happiness. He died
with his wife's hand in his grasp: she gave the face--dead, but with
the appearance of life not vanished from it--one long, passionate
kiss, and left him, nor ever looked on it again.

Lady Arthur secluded herself for some weeks in her own room, seeing no
one but the servants who attended her; and when she came forth it was
found that her eccentricity had taken a curious turn: she steadily
ignored the death of her husband, acting always as if he had gone on a
journey and might at any moment return, but never naming him unless it
was absolutely necessary. She found comfort in this simulated delusion
no doubt, just as a child enjoys a fairy-tale, knowing perfectly well
all the time that it is not true. People in her own sphere said
her mind was touched: the common people about her affirmed without
hesitation that she was "daft." She rode no more, but she kept all
the horses and dogs as usual. She cultivated a taste she had for
antiquities; she wrote poetry--- ballad poetry--which people who were
considered judges thought well of; and flinging these and other things
into the awful chasm that had been made in her life, she tried her
best to fill it up. She set herself to consider the poor man's case,
and made experiments and gave advice which confirmed her poorer
brethren in their opinion that she was daft; but as her hand was
always very wide open, and they pitied her sorrow, she was much loved,
although they laughed at her zeal in preserving old ruins and her
wrath if an old stone was moved, and told, and firmly believed, that
she wrote and posted letters to Lord Arthur. What was perhaps more to
the purpose of filling the chasm than any of these things, Lady Arthur
adopted a daughter, an orphan child of a cousin of her own, who came
to her two years after her husband's death, a little girl of nine.


II.

Alice Garscube's education was not of the stereotyped kind. When
she came to Garscube Hall, Lady Arthur wrote to the head-master of
a normal school asking if he knew of a healthy, sagacious,
good-tempered, clever girl who had a thorough knowledge of the
elementary branches of education and a natural taste for teaching. Mr.
Boyton, the head-master, replied that he knew of such a person whom he
could entirely recommend, having all the qualities mentioned; but
when he found that it was not a teacher for a village school that her
ladyship wanted, but for her own relation, he wrote to say that he
doubted the party he had in view would hardly be suitable: her father,
who had been dead for some years, was a workingman, and her mother,
who had died quite recently, supported herself by keeping a little
shop, and she herself was in appearance and manner scarcely enough
of the lady for such a situation. Now, Lady Arthur, though a firm
believer in birth and race, and by habit and prejudice an aristocrat
and a Tory, was, we know, eccentric by nature, and Nature will always
assert itself. She wrote to Mr. Boyton that if the girl he recommended
was all he said, she was a lady inside, and they would leave the
outside to shift for itself. Her ladyship had considered the matter.
She could get decayed gentlewomen and clergymen and officers'
daughters by the dozen, but she did not want a girl with a sickly
knowledge of everything, and very sickly ideas of her own merits and
place and work in the world: she wanted a girl of natural sagacity,
who from her cradle had known that she came into the world to do
something, and had learned how to do it.

Miss Adamson, the normal-school young lady recommended, wrote thus to
Lady Arthur:

    "MADAM: I am very much tempted to take the situation you offer
    me. If I were teacher of a village school, as I had intended,
    when my work in the school was over I should have had my time
    to myself; and I wish to stipulate that when the hours of
    teaching Miss Garscube are over I may have the same privilege.
    If you engage me, I think, so far as I know myself, you will
    not be disappointed.

    "I am," etc. etc.

To which Lady Arthur:

    "So far as I can judge, you are the very thing I want. Come,
    and we shall not disagree about terms," etc. etc.

Thus it came about that Miss Garscube was unusually lucky in the
matter of her education and Miss Adamson in her engagement. Although
eccentric to the pitch of getting credit for being daft, Lady Arthur
had a strong vein of masculine sense, which in all essential things
kept her in the right path. Miss Adamson and she suited each other
thoroughly, and the education of the two ladies and the child may be
said to have gone on simultaneously. Miss Adamson had an absorbing
pursuit: she was an embryo artist, and she roused a kindred taste in
her pupil; so that, instead of carrying on her work in solitude, as
she had expected to do, she had the intense pleasure of sympathy
and companionship. Lady Arthur often paid them long visits in their
studio; she herself sketched a little, but she had never excelled in
any single pursuit except horsemanship, and that she had given up at
her husband's death, as she had given up keeping much company or going
often into society.

In this quiet, unexciting, regular life Lady Arthur's antiquarian
tastes grew on her, and she went on writing poetry, the quantity of
which was more remarkable than the quality, although here and there in
the mass of ore there was an occasional sparkle from fine gold (there
are few voluminous writers in which this accident does not occur). She
superintended excavations, and made prizes of old dust and stones
and coins and jewelry (or what was called ancient jewelry: it looked
ancient enough, but more like rusty iron to the untrained eye than
jewelry) and cooking utensils supposed to have been used by some noble
savages or other. Of these and such like she had a museum, and she
visited old monuments and cairns and Roman camps and Druidical remains
and old castles, and all old things, with increasing interest. There
were a number of places near or remote to which she was in the habit
of making periodical pilgrimages--places probably dear to her from
whim or association or natural beauty or antiquity. When she fixed a
time for such an excursion, no weather changed her purpose: it might
pour rain or deep snow might be on the ground: she only put four
horses to her carriage instead of two, and went on her way. She was
generally accompanied in these expeditions by her two young friends,
who got into the spirit of the thing and enjoyed them amazingly. They
were in the habit of driving to some farm-house, where they left the
carriage and on foot ascended the hill they had come to call on, most
probably a hill with the marks of a Roman camp on it--there are many
such in the south of Scotland--hills called "the rings" by the people,
from the way in which the entrenchments circle round them like rings.

Dear to Lady Arthur's heart was such a place as this. Even when the
ground was covered with snow or ice she would ascend with the help of
a stick or umbrella, a faint adumbration of the Alpine Club when as
yet the Alpine Club lurked in the future and had given no hint of its
existence. On the top of such a hill she would eat luncheon, thinking
of the dust of legions beneath her foot, and drink wine to the memory
of the immortals. The coachman and the footman who toiled up the hill
bearing the luncheon-basket, and slipping back two steps for every one
they took forward, had by no means the same respect for the immortal
heroes. The coachman was an old servant, and had a great regard for
Lady Arthur both as his mistress and as a lady of rank, besides being
accustomed to and familiar with her whims, and knowing, as he said,
"the best and the warst o' her;" but the footman was a new acquisition
and young, and he had not the wisdom to see at all times the duty of
giving honor to whom honor is due, nor yet had he the spirit of the
born flunkey; and his intercourse with the nobility, unfortunately,
had not impressed him with any other idea than that they were mortals
like himself; so he remarked to his fellow-servant, "Od! ye wad think,
if she likes to eat her lunch amang snawy slush, she might get enough
of it at the fut o' the hill, without gaun to the tap."

"Weel, I'll no deny," said the older man, "but what it's daftlike, but
if it is her leddyship's pleasure, it's nae business o' oors."

"Pleasure!" said the youth: "if she ca's this pleasure, her friends
should see about shutting her up: it's time."

"She says the Romans once lived here," said John.

"If they did," Thomas said, "I daur say _they_ had mair sinse than sit
down to eat their dinner in the middle o' snaw if they had a house to
tak it in."

"Her leddyship does na' tak the cauld easy," said John.

"She has the constitution o' a horse," Thomas remarked.

"Man," said John, "that shows a' that ye ken about horses: there's no
a mair delicate beast on the face o' the earth than the horse. They
tell me a' the horses in London hae the influenza the now."

"Weel, it'll be our turn next," said Thomas, "if we dinna tak
something warm."

When luncheon was over her ladyship as often as not ordered her
servants to take the carriage round by the turnpike-road to a given
point, where she arranged to meet it, while she herself struck right
over the hills as the crow flies, crossing the burns on her way in the
same manner as the Israelites crossed the Red Sea, only the water did
not stand up on each side and leave dry ground for her to tread on;
but she ignored the water altogether, and walked straight through.
The young ladies, knowing this, took an extra supply of stockings and
shoes with them, but Lady Arthur despised such effeminate ways and
drove home in the footgear she set out in. She was a woman of robust
health, and having grown stout and elderly and red-faced, when out
on the tramp and divested of externals she might very well have been
taken for the eccentric landlady of a roadside inn or the mistress
of a luncheon-bar; and probably her young footman did not think she
answered to her own name at all.

There is a divinity that doth hedge a king, but it is the king's
wisdom to keep the hedge close and well trimmed and allow no gaps: if
there are gaps, people see through them and the illusion is destroyed.
Lady Arthur was not a heroine to her footman; and when she traversed
the snow-slush and walked right through the burns, he merely endorsed
the received opinion that she wanted "twopence of the shilling." If
she had been a poor woman and compelled to take such a journey in such
weather, people would have felt sorry for her, and have been ready to
subscribe to help her to a more comfortable mode of traveling; but
in Lady Arthur's case of course there was nothing to be done but to
wonder at her eccentricity.

But her ladyship knew what she was about. The sleep as well as the
food of the laboring man is sweet, and if nobility likes to labor, it
will partake of the poor man's blessing. The party arrived back among
the luxurious appointments of Garscube Hall (which were apt to pall on
them at times) legitimately and bodily _tired_, and that in itself
was a sensation worth working for. They had braved difficulty and
discomfort, and not for a nonsensical and fruitless end, either: it
can never be fruitless or nonsensical to get face to face with Nature
in any of her moods. The ice-locked streams, the driven snow, the
sleep of vegetation, a burst of sunshine over the snow, the sough of
the winter wind, Earth waiting to feel the breath of spring on her
face to waken up in youth and beauty again, like the sleeping princess
at the touch of the young prince,--all these are things richly to
be enjoyed, especially by strong, healthy people: let chilly and
shivering mortals sing about cozy fires and drawn curtains if they
like. Besides, Miss Adamson had the eye of an artist, upon which
nothing, be it what it may, is thrown away.

But an expedition to a hill with "rings" undertaken on a long
midsummer day looked fully more enjoyable to the common mind: John,
and even the footman approved of that, and another individual, who
had become a frequent visitor at the hall, approved of it very highly
indeed, and joined such a party as often as he could.

This was George Eildon, the only son of a brother of the late Lord
Arthur.

Now comes the tug--well, not of war, certainly, but, to change the
figure--now comes the cloud no bigger than a man's hand which is to
obscure the quiet sunshine of the regular and exemplary life of these
three ladies.

Having been eight years at Garscube Hall, as a matter of necessity
and in the ordinary course of Nature, Alice Garscube had grown up to
womanhood. With accustomed eccentricity, Lady Arthur entirely
ignored this. As for bringing her "out," as the phrase is, she had
no intention of it, considering that one of the follies of life: Lady
Arthur was always a law to herself. Alice was a shy, amiable girl, who
loved her guardian fervently (her ladyship had the knack of gaining
love, and also of gaining the opposite in pretty decisive measure),
and was entirely swayed by her; indeed, it never occurred to her
to have a will of her own, for her nature was peculiarly sweet and
guileless.


III.

Lady Arthur thought George Eildon a good-natured, rattling lad, with
very little head. This was precisely the general estimate that had
been formed of her late husband, and people who had known both thought
George the very fac-simile of his uncle Arthur. If her ladyship had
been aware of this, it would have made her very indignant: she had
thought her husband perfect while living, and thought of him as very
much more than perfect now that he lived only in her memory. But she
made George very welcome as often as he came: she liked to have him in
the house, and she simply never thought of Alice and him in connection
with each other. She always had a feeling of pity for George.

"You know," she would say to Miss Adamson and Alice--"you know, George
was of consequence for the first ten years of his life: it was thought
that his uncle the duke might never marry, and he was the heir;
but when the duke married late in life and had two sons, George was
extinguished, poor fellow! and it was hard, I allow."

"It is not pleasant to be a poor gentleman," said Miss Adamson.

"It is not only not pleasant," said Lady Arthur, "but it is a
false position, which is very trying, and what few men can fill to
advantage. If George had great abilities, it might be different, with
his connection, but I doubt he is doomed to be always as poor as a
church mouse."

"He may get on in his profession perhaps," said Alice, sharing in
Lady Arthur's pity for him. (George Eildon had been an attaché to some
foreign embassy.)

"Never," said Lady Arthur decisively. "Besides, it is a profession
that is out of date now. Men don't go wilily to work in these days;
but if they did, the notion of poor George, who could not keep a
secret or tell a lie with easy grace if it were to save his life--the
notion of making him a diplomatist is very absurd. No doubt statesmen
are better without original ideas--their business is to pick out the
practical ideas of other men and work them well--but George wants
ability, poor fellow! They ought to have put him into the Church: he
reads well, he could have read other men's sermons very effectively,
and the duke has some good livings in his gift."

Now, Miss Adamson had been brought up a Presbyterian of the
Presbyterians, and among people to whom "the paper" was abhorrent:
to read a sermon was a sin--to read another man's sermon was a sin
of double-dyed blackness. However, either her opinions were being
corrupted or enlightened, either she was growing lax in principle or
she was learning the lesson of toleration, for she allowed the remarks
of Lady Arthur to pass unnoticed, so that that lady did not need to
advance the well-known opinion and practice of Sir Roger de Coverley
to prop her own.

Miss Adamson merely said, "Do you not underrate Mr. Eildon's
abilities?"

"I think not. If he had abilities, he would have been showing them by
this time. But of course I don't blame him: few of the Eildons have
been men of mark--none in recent times except Lord Arthur--but they
have all been respectable men, whose lives would stand inspection; and
George is the equal of any of them in that respect. As a clergyman he
would have set a good example."

Hearing a person always pitied and spoken slightingly of does not
predispose any one to fall in love with that person. Miss Garscube's
feelings of this nature still lay very closely folded up in the bud,
and the early spring did not come at this time to develop them in the
shape of George Eildon; but Mr. Eildon was sufficiently foolish and
indiscreet to fall in love with her. Miss Adamson was the only one of
the three ladies cognizant of this state of affairs, but as her creed
was that no one had any right to make or meddle in a thing of this
kind, she saw as if she saw not, though very much interested. She saw
that Miss Garscube was as innocent of the knowledge that she had made
a conquest as it was possible to be, and she felt surprised that Lady
Arthur's sight was not sharper. But Lady Arthur was--or at least had
been--a woman of the world, and the idea of a penniless man allowing
himself to fall in love seriously with a penniless girl in actual
life could not find admission into her mind: if she had been writing
a ballad it would have been different; indeed, if you had only known
Lady Arthur through her poetry, you might have believed her to be a
very, romantic, sentimental, unworldly person, for she really was all
that--on paper.

Mr. Eildon was very frequently in the studio where Miss Adamson and
her pupil worked, and he was always ready to accompany them in their
excursions, and, Lady Arthur said, "really made himself very useful."

It has been said that John and Thomas both approved of her ladyship's
summer expeditions in search of the picturesque, or whatever else she
might take it into her head to look for; and when she issued orders
for a day among the hills in a certain month of August, which had been
a specially fine month in point of weather, every one was pleased.
But John and Thomas found it nearly as hard work climbing with the
luncheon-basket in the heat of the midsummer sun as it was when they
climbed to the same elevation in midwinter; only they did not slip
back so fast, nor did they feel that they were art and part in a
"daftlike" thing.

"Here," said Lady Arthur, raising her glass to her lips--"here is to
the memory of the Romans, on whose dust we are resting."

"Amen!" said Mr. Eildon; "but I am afraid you don't find their dust a
very soft resting-place: they were always a hard people, the Romans."

"They were a people I admire," said Lady Arthur. "If they had not been
called away by bad news from home, if they had been able to stay, our
civilization might have been a much older thing than it is.--What do
_you_ think, John?" she said, addressing her faithful servitor. "Less
than a thousand years ago all that stretch of country that we see so
richly cultivated and studded with cozy farm-houses was brushwood
and swamp, with a handful of savage inhabitants living in wigwams and
dressing in skins."

"It may be so," said John--"no doubt yer leddyship kens best--but I
have this to say: if they were savages they had the makin' o' men in
them. Naebody'll gar me believe that the stock yer leddyship and me
cam o' was na a capital gude stock."

"All right, John," said Mr. Eildon, "if you include me."

"It was a long time to take, surely," said Alice--"a thousand years to
bring the country from brushwood and swamp to corn and burns confined
to their beds,"

"Nature is never in a hurry, Alice," replied Lady Arthur.

"But she is always busy in a wonderfully quiet way," said Miss
Adamson. "Whenever man begins to work he makes a noise, but no one
hears the corn grow or the leaves burst their sheaths: even the clouds
move with noiseless grace."

"The clouds are what no one can understand yet, I suppose," said Mr.
Eildon, "but they don't always look as if butter wouldn't melt in
their mouths, as they are doing to-day. What do you say to thunder?"

"That is an exception: Nature does all her best work quietly."

"So does man," remarked George Eildon.

"Well, I dare say you are right, after all," said Miss Adamson, who
was sketching. "I wish I could paint in the glitter on the blade of
that reaping-machine down in the haugh there: see, it gleams every
time the sun's rays hit it. It is curious how Nature makes the most
of everything to heighten her picture, and yet never makes her bright
points too plentiful."

Just at that moment the sun's rays seized a small pane of glass in the
roof of a house two or three miles off down the valley, and it shot
out light and sparkles that dazzled the eye to look at.

"That is a fine effect," cried Alice: "it looks like the eye of an
archangel kindling up,"

"What a flight of fancy, Alice!" Lady Arthur said. "That
reaping-machine does its work very well, but it will be a long time
before it gathers a crust of poetry about it: stopping to clear
a stone out of its way is different from a lad and a lass on the
harvest-rig, the one stopping to take a thorn out of the finger of the
other."

"There are so many wonderful things," said Alice, "that one gets
always lost among them. How the clouds float is wonderful, and that
with the same earth below and the same heaven above, the heather
should be purple, and the corn yellow, and the ferns green, is
wonderful; but not so wonderful, I think, as that a man by the touch
of genius should have made every one interested in a field-laborer
taking a thorn out of the hand of another field-laborer. Catch your
poet, and he'll soon make the machine interesting."

"Get a thorn into your finger, Alice," said George Eildon, "and I'll
take it out if it is so interesting."

"You could not make it interesting," said she.

"Just try," he said.

"But trying won't do. You know as well as I that there are things no
trying will ever do. I am trying to paint, for instance, and in time I
shall copy pretty well, but I shall never do more."

"Hush, hush!" said Miss Adamson. "I'm often enough in despair myself,
and hearing you say that makes me worse. I rebel at having got just so
much brain and no more; but I suppose," she said with a sigh, "if
we make the best of what we have, it's all right, and if we had
well-balanced minds we should be contented."

"Would you like to stay here longer among the hills and the sheep?"
said Lady Arthur. "I have just remembered that I want silks for my
embroidery, and I have time to go to town: I can catch the afternoon
train. Do any of you care to go?"

"It is good to be here," said Mr. Eildon, "but as we can't stay
always, we may as well go now. I suppose."

And John, accustomed to sudden orders, hurried off to get his horses
put to the carriage.

Lady Arthur, upon the whole, approved of railways, but did not use
them much except upon occasion; and it was only by taking the train
she could reach town and be home for dinner on this day.

They reached the station in time, and no more. Mr. Eildon ran and got
tickets, and John was ordered to be at the station nearest Garscube
Hall to meet them when they returned.

Embroidery, being an art which high-born dames have practiced from the
earliest ages, was an employment that had always found favor in the
sight of Lady Arthur, and to which she turned when she wanted change
of occupation. She took a very short time to select her materials, and
they were back and seated in the railway carriage fully ten minutes
before the train started. They beguiled the time by looking about the
station: it was rather a different scene from that where they had been
in the fore part of the day.

"There's surely a mistake," said Mr. Eildon, pointing to a large
picture hanging on the wall of three sewing-machines worked by three
ladies, the one in the middle being Queen Elizabeth in her ruff, the
one on the right Queen Victoria in her widow's cap: the princess
of Wales was very busy at the third. "Is not that what is called an
anachronism, Miss Adamson? Are not sewing-machines a recent invention?
There were none in Elizabeth's time, I think?"

"There are people," said Lady Arthur, "who have neither common sense
nor a sense of the ridiculous."

"But they have a sense of what will pay," answered her nephew. "That
appeals to the heart of the nation--that is, to the masculine heart.
If Queen Bess had been handling a lancet, and Queen Vic pounding in a
mortar with a pestle, assisted by her daughter-in-law, the case would
have been different; but they are at useful womanly work, and the
machines will sell. They have fixed themselves in our memories
already: that's the object the advertiser had when he pressed the
passion of loyalty into his service."

"How will the strong-minded Tudor lady like to see herself revived in
that fashion, if she can see it?" asked Miss Garscube.

"She'll like it well, judging by myself," said George: "that's true
fame. I should be content to sit cross-legged on a board, stitching
pulpit-robes, in a picture, if I were sure it would be hung up three
hundred years after this at all the balloon-stations and have the then
Miss Garscubes making remarks about me."

"They might not make very complimentary remarks, perhaps," said Alice.

"If they thought of me at all I should be satisfied," said he.

"Couldn't you invent an iron bed, then?" said Miss Adamson, looking at
a representation of these articles hanging alongside the three royal
ladies. "Perhaps they'll last three hundred years, and if you could
bind yourself up with the idea of sweet repose--"

"They won't last three hundred years," said Lady Arthur--"cheap and
nasty, new-fangled things!"

"They maybe cheap and nasty," said George, "but new-fangled they are
not: they must be some thousands of years old. I am afraid, my dear
aunt, you don't read your Bible."

"Don't drag the Bible in among your nonsense. What has it to do with
iron beds?" said Lady Arthur.

"If you look into Deuteronomy, third chapter and eleventh verse,"
said he "you'll find that Og, king of Bashar used an iron bed. It is
probably in existence yet, and it must be quite old enough to make it
worth your while to look after it: perhaps Mr. Cook would personally
conduct you, or if not I should be glad to be your escort."

"Thank you," she said: "when I go in search of Og's bed I'll take you
with me."

"You could not do better: I have the scent of a sleuth-hound for
antiquities."

As they were speaking a man came and hung up beside the queens and
the iron beds a big white board on which were printed in large black
letters the words, "My Mother and I"--nothing more.

"What _can_ the meaning of that be?" asked Lady Arthur.

"To make you ask the meaning of it," said Mr. Eildon. "I who am
skilled in these matters have no doubt that it is the herald of some
soothing syrup for the human race under the trials of teething." He
was standing at the carriage-door till the train would start, and he
stood aside to let a young lady and a boy in deep mourning enter. The
pair were hardly seated when the girl's eye fell on the great white
board and its announcement. She bent her head and hid her face in her
handkerchief: it was not difficult to guess that she had very recently
parted with her mother for ever, and the words on the board were more
than she could stand unmoved.

Miss Adamson too had been thinking of her mother, the hard-working
woman who had toiled in her little shop to support her sickly husband
and educate her daughter--the kindly patient face, the hands that had
never spared themselves, the footsteps that had plodded so incessantly
to and fro. The all that had been gone so long came back to her, and
she felt almost the pang of first separation, when it seemed as if the
end of her life had been extinguished and the motive-power for work
had gone. But she carried her mother in her heart: with her it was
still "my mother and I."

Lady Arthur did not think of her mother: she had lost her early,
and besides, her thoughts and feelings had been all absorbed by her
husband.

Alice Garscube had never known her mother, and as she looked gravely
at the girl who was crying behind her handkerchief, she envied
her--she had known her mother.

As for Mr. Eildon, he had none but bright and happy thoughts connected
with his mother. It was true, she was a widow, but she was a kind and
stately lady, round whom her family moved as round a sun and centre,
giving light and heat and all good cheer; he could afford to joke
about "my mother and I."

What a vast deal of varied emotion these words must have stirred in
the multitudes of travelers coming and going in all directions!

In jumping into the carriage when the last bell rang, Mr. Eildon
missed his footing and fell back, with no greater injury, fortunately,
than grazing the skin, of his hand.

"Is it much hurt?" Lady Arthur asked.

He held it up and said, "'Who ran to help me when I fell?'"

"The guard," said Miss Garscube.

"'Who kissed the place to make it well?'" he continued.

"You might have been killed," said Miss Adamson.

"That would not have been a pretty story to tell," he said. "I shall
need to wait till I get home for the means of cure: 'my mother and I'
will manage it. You're not of a pitiful nature, Miss Garscube."

"I keep my pity for a pitiful occasion," she said.

"If you had grazed your hand, I would have applied the prescribed
cure."

"Well, but I'm very glad I have not grazed my hand,"

"So am I," he said.

"Let me see it," she said. He held it out. "Would something not need
to be done for it?" she asked.

"Yes. Is it interesting--as interesting as the thorn?"

"It is nothing," said Lady Arthur: "a little lukewarm water is all
that it needs;" and she thought, "That lad will never do anything
either for himself or to add to the prestige of the family. I hope his
cousins have more ability."


IV.

But what these cousins were to turn out no one knew. They had that
rank which gives a man what is equivalent to a start of half a
lifetime over his fellows, and they promised well; but they were only
boys as yet, and Nature puts forth many a choice blossom and bud that
never comes to maturity, or, meeting with blight or canker on the way,
turns out poor fruit. The eldest, a lad in his teens, was traveling
on the Continent with a tutor: the second, a boy who had been always
delicate, was at home on account of his health. George Eildon was
intimate with both, and loved them with a love as true as that he bore
to Alice Garscube: it never occurred to him that they had come into
the world to keep him out of his inheritance. He would have laughed at
such an idea. Many people would have said that he was laughing on
the wrong side of his mouth: the worldly never can understand the
unworldly.

Mr. Eildon gave Miss Garscube credit for being at least as unworldly
as himself: he believed thoroughly in her genuineness, her fresh,
unspotted nature; and, the wish being very strong, he believed that
she had a kindness for him.

When he and his hand got home he found it quite able to write her
a letter, or rather not so much a letter as a burst of enthusiastic
aspiration, asking her to marry him.

She was startled; and never having decided on anything in her life,
she carried this letter direct to Lady Arthur.

"Here's a thing," she said, "that I don't know what to think of."

"What kind of thing, Alice?"

"A letter."

"Who is it from?"

"Mr. Eildon."

"Indeed! I should not think a letter from him would be a complicated
affair or difficult to understand."

"Neither is it: perhaps you would read it?"

"Certainly, if you wish it." When she had read the document she said,
"Well I never gave George credit for much wisdom, but I did not think
he was foolish enough for a thing like this; and I never suspected it.
Are you in love too?" and Lady Arthur laughed heartily: it seemed to
strike her in a comic light.

"No. I never thought of it or of him either," Alice said, feeling
queer and uncomfortable.

"Then that simplifies matters. I always thought George's only chance
in life was to marry a wealthy woman, and how many good, accomplished
women there are, positively made of money, who would give anything to
marry into our family!"

"Are there?" said Alice.

"To be sure there are. Only the other day I read in a newspaper that
people are all so rich now money is no distinction: rank is, however.
You can't make a lawyer or a shipowner or an ironmaster into a peer of
several hundred years' descent."

"No, you can't," said Alice; "but Mr. Eildon is not a peer, you know."

"No, but he is the grandson of one duke and the nephew of another; and
if he could work for it he might have a peerage of his own, or if he
had great wealth he would probably get one. For my own part, I don't
count much on rank or wealth" (she believed this), "but they are
privileges people have no right to throw away."

"Not even if they don't care for them?" asked Alice,

"No: whatever you have it is your duty to care for and make the best
of."

"Then, what am I to say to Mr. Eildon?"

"Tell him it is absurd; and whatever you say, put it strongly, that
there may be no more of it. Why, he must know that you would be
beggars."

Acting up to her instructions, Alice wrote thus to Mr. Eildon:

    "DEAR MR. EILDON: Your letter surprised me. Lady Arthur says
    it is absurd; besides, I don't care for you a bit. I don't
    mean that I dislike you, for I don't dislike any one. We
    wonder you could be so foolish, and Lady Arthur says there
    must be no more of it; and she is right. I hope you will
    forget all about this, and believe me to be your true friend,

    "ALICE GARSCUBE.

    "P.S. Lady Arthur says you haven't got anything to live on;
    but if you had all the wealth in the world, it wouldn't make
    any difference.

    "A. G."

This note fell into George Eildon's mind like molten lead dropped on
living flesh. "She is not what I took her to be," he said to
himself, "or she never could have written that, even at Lady Arthur's
suggestion; and Lady Arthur ought to have known better."

And she certainly ought to have known better; yet he might have found
some excuse for Alice if he had allowed himself to think, but he did
not: he only felt, and felt very keenly.

In saying that Mr. Eildon and Miss Garscube were penniless, the remark
is not to be taken literally, for he had an income of fifteen hundred
pounds, and she had five hundred a year of her own; but in the eyes of
people moving in ducal circles matrimony on two thousand pounds seems
as improvident a step as that of the Irishman who marries when he has
accumulated sixpence appears to ordinary beings.

Mr. Eildon spent six weeks at a shooting-box belonging to his uncle
the duke, after which he went to London, where he got a post under
government--a place which was by no means a sinecure, but where there
was plenty of work not over-paid. Before leaving he called for a few
minutes at Garscube Hall to say good-bye, and that was all they saw of
him.

Alice missed him: a very good thing, of which she had been as
unconscious as she was of the atmosphere, had been withdrawn from her
life. George's letter had nailed him to her memory: she thought of him
very often, and that is a dangerous thing for a young lady to do if
she means to keep herself entirely fancy free. She wondered if his
work was very hard work, and if he was shut in an office all day; she
did not think he was made for that; it seemed as unnatural as putting
a bird into a cage. She made some remark of this kind to Lady Arthur,
who laughed and said, "Oh, George won't kill himself with hard work."
From that time forth Alice was shy of speaking of him to his aunt.
But she had kept his letter, and indulged herself with a reading of it
occasionally; and every time she read it she seemed to understand it
better. It was a mystery to her how she had been so intensely stupid
as not to understand it at first. And when she found a copy of her own
answer to it among her papers--one she had thrown aside on account of
a big blot--she wondered if it was possible she had sent such a thing,
and tears of shame and regret stood in her eyes. "How frightfully
blind I was!" she said to herself. But there was no help for it: the
thing was done, and could not be undone. She had grown in wisdom since
then, but most people reach wisdom through ignorance and folly.

In these circumstances she found Miss Adamson a very valuable friend.
Miss Adamson had never shared Lady Arthur's low estimate of Mr.
Eildon: she liked his sweet, unworldly nature, and she had a regard
for him as having aims both lower and higher than a "career." That
he should love Miss Garscube seemed to her natural and good, and
that happiness might be possible even to a duke's grandson on such a
pittance as two thousand pounds a year was an article of her belief:
she pitied people who go through life sacrificing the substance for
the shadow. Yes, Miss Garscube could speak of Mr. Eildon to her friend
and teacher, and be sure of some remark that gave her comfort.


V.

A year sped round again, and they heard of Mr. Eildon being in
Scotland at the shooting, and as he was not very far off, they
expected to see him any time. But it was getting to the end of
September, and he had paid no visit, when one day, as the ladies were
sitting at luncheon, he came in, looking very white and agitated. They
were all startled: Miss Garscube grew white also, and felt herself
trembling. Lady Arthur rose hurriedly and said, "What is it, George?
what's the matter?"

"A strange thing has happened," he said. "I only heard of it a
few minutes ago: a man rode after me with the telegram. My cousin
George--Lord Eildon--has fallen down a crevasse in the Alps and been
killed. Only a week ago I parted with him full of life and spirit,
and I loved him as if he had been my brother;" and he bent his head to
hide tears.

They were all silent for some moments: then in a low voice Lady Arthur
said, "I am sorry for his father."

"I am sorry for them all," George said. "It is terrible;" then after a
little he said, "You'll excuse my leaving you: I am going to Eildon at
once: I may be of some service to them. I don't know how Frank will be
able to bear this."

After he had gone away Alice felt how thoroughly she was nothing to
him now: there had been no sign in his manner that he had ever thought
of her at all, more than of any other ordinary acquaintance. If he had
only looked to her for the least sympathy! But he had not. "If he only
knew how well I understand him now!" she thought.

"It is a dreadful accident," said Lady Arthur, "and I am sorry for the
duke and duchess." She said this in a calm way. It had always been her
opinion that Lord Arthur's relations had never seen the magnitude of
_her_ loss, and this feeling lowered the temperature of her sympathy,
as a wind blowing over ice cools the atmosphere. "I think George's
grief very genuine," she continued: "at the same time he can't but see
that there is only that delicate lad's life, that has been hanging so
long by a hair, between him and the title."

"Lady Arthur!" exclaimed Alice in warm tones.

"I know, my dear, you are thinking me very unfeeling, but I am not: I
am only a good deal older than you. George's position to-day is very
different from what it was a year ago. If he were to write to you
again, I would advise another kind of answer."

"He'll never write again," said Alice in a tone which struck the ear
of Lady Arthur, so that when the young girl left the room she turned
to Miss Adamson and said, "Do you think she really cares about him?"

"She has not made me her confidante," that lady answered, "but my own
opinion is that she does care a good deal for Mr. Eildon."

"Do you really think so?" exclaimed Lady Arthur. "She said she did not
at the time, and I thought then, and think still, that it would not
signify much to George whom he married; and you know he would be so
much the better for money. But if he is to be his uncle's successor,
that alters the case entirely. I'll go to Eildon myself, and bring him
back with me."

Lady Arthur went to Eildon and mingled her tears with those of the
stricken parents, whose grief might have moved a very much harder
heart than hers. But they did not see the state of their only
remaining son as Lady Arthur and others saw it; for, while it was
commonly thought that he would hardly reach maturity, they were
sanguine enough to believe that he was outgrowing the delicacy of his
childhood.

Lady Arthur asked George to return with her to Garscube Hall, but
he said he could not possibly do so. Then she said she had told Miss
Adamson and Alice that she would bring him with her, and they would be
disappointed.

"Tell them," he said, "that I have very little time to spare, and I
must spend it with Frank, when I am sure they will excuse me."

They excused him, but they were not the less disappointed, all the
three ladies; indeed, they were so much disappointed that they did not
speak of the thing to each other, as people chatter over and thereby
evaporate a trifling defeat of hopes.

Mr. Eildon left his cousin only to visit his mother and sisters for a
day, and then returned to London; from which it appeared that he was
not excessively anxious to visit Garscube Hall.

But everything there went on as usual. The ladies painted, they went
excursions, they wrote ballads; still, there was a sense of something
being amiss--the heart of their lives seemed dull in its beat.

The more Lady Arthur thought of having sent away such a matrimonial
prize from her house, the more she was chagrined; the more Miss
Garscube tried not to think of Mr. Eildon, the more her thoughts would
run upon him; and even Miss Adamson, who had nothing to regret or
reproach herself with, could not help being influenced by the change
of atmosphere.

Lady Arthur's thoughts issued in the resolution to re-enter society
once more; which resolution she imparted to Miss Adamson in the first
instance by saying that she meant to go to London next season.

"Then our plan of life here will be quite broken up," said Miss A.

"Yes, for a time."

"I thought you disliked society?"

"I don't much like it: it is on account of Alice I am going. I may
just as well tell you: I want to bring her and George together again
if possible."

"Will she go if she knows that is your end?"

"She need not know."

"It is not a very dignified course," Miss Adamson said.

"No, and if it were an ordinary case I should not think of it."

"But you think him a very ordinary man?"

"A duke is different. Consider what an amount of influence Alice
would have, and how well she would use it; and he may marry a vain,
frivolous, senseless woman, incapable of a good action. Indeed, most
likely, for such people are sure to hunt him."

"I would not join in the hunt," said Miss Adamson. "If he is the man
you suppose him to be, the wound his self-love got will have killed
his love; and if he is the man I think, no hunters will make him their
prey. A small man would know instantly why you went to London, and
enjoy his triumph."

"I don't think George would: he is too simple; but if I did not think
it a positive duty, I would not go. However, we shall see: I don't
think of going before the middle of January."

Positive duties can be like the animals that change color with what
they feed on.


VI.

When the middle of January came, Lady Arthur, who had never had an
illness in her life, was measuring her strength in a hand-to-hand
struggle with fever. The water was blamed, the drainage was blamed,
various things were blamed. Whether it came in the water or out of the
drains, gastric fever had arrived at Garscube Hall: the gardener took
it, his daughter took it, also Thomas the footman, and others of the
inhabitants, as well as Lady Arthur. The doctor of the place came and
lived In the house; besides that, two of the chief medical men from
town paid almost daily visits. Bottles of the water supplied to the
hall were sent to eminent chemists for analysis: the drainage was
thoroughly examined, and men were set to make it as perfect and
innocuous as it is in the nature of drainage to be.

Lady Arthur wished Miss Adamson and Alice to leave the place for a
time, but they would not do so: neither of them was afraid, and they
stayed and nursed her ladyship well, relieving each other as it was
necessary.

At one point of her illness Lady Arthur said to Miss Adamson, who was
alone with her, "Well, I never counted on this. Our family have all
had a trick of living to extreme old age, never dying till they could
not help it; but it will be grand to get away so soon."

Miss Adamson looked at her. "Yes," she said, "it's a poor thing,
life, after the glory of it is gone, and I have always had an intense
curiosity to see what is beyond. I never could see the sense of making
a great ado to keep people alive after they are fifty. Don't look
surprised. How are the rest of the people that are ill?" She often
asked for them, and expressed great satisfaction when told they were
recovering. "It will be all right," she said, "if I am the only death
in the place; but there is one thing I want you to do. Send off a
telegram to George Eildon and tell him I want to see him immediately:
a dying person can say what a living one can't, and I'll make it all
right between Alice and him before I go."

Miss Adamson despatched the telegram to Mr. Eildon, knowing that she
could not refuse to do Lady Arthur's bidding at such a time, although
her feeling was against it. The answer came: Mr. Eildon had just
sailed for Australia.

When Lady Arthur heard this she said, "I'll write to him." When she
had finished writing she said, "You'll send this to him whenever you
get his address. I wish we could have sent it off at once, for it will
be provoking if I don't die, after all; and I positively begin to feel
as if that were not going to be my luck at this time."

Although she spoke in this way, Miss Adamson knew it was not from
foolish irreverence. She recovered, and all who had had the fever
recovered, which was remarkable, for in other places it had been very
fatal.

With Lady Arthur's returning strength things at the hall wore into
their old channels again. When it was considered safe many visits
of congratulation were paid, and among others who came were George
Eildon's mother and some of his sisters. They were constantly having
letters from George: he had gone off very suddenly, and it was not
certain when he might return.

Alice heard of George Eildon with interest, but not with the vital
interest she had felt in him for a time: that had worn away. She had
done her best to this end by keeping herself always occupied, and many
things had happened in the interval; besides, she had grown a woman,
with all the good sense and right feeling belonging to womanhood, and
she would have been ashamed to cherish a love for one who had entirely
forgotten her. She dismissed her childish letter, which had given her
so much vexation, from her memory, feeling sure that George Eildon had
also forgotten it long ago. She did not know of the letter Lady Arthur
had written when she believed herself to be dying, and it was well she
did not.


VII.

Every one who watched the sun rise on New Year's morning, 1875, will
bear witness to the beauty of the sight. Snow had been lying all over
the country for some time, and a fortnight of frost had made it hard
and dry and crisp. The streams must have felt very queer when they
were dropping off into the mesmeric trance, and found themselves
stopped in the very act of running, their supple limbs growing stiff
and heavy and their voices dying in their throats, till they were
thrown into a deep sleep, and a strange white, still, glassy beauty
stole over them by the magic power of frost. The sun got up rather
late, no doubt--between eight and nine o'clock--probably saying to
himself, "These people think I have lost my power--that the Ice King
has it all his own way. I'll let them see: I'll make his glory pale
before mine."

Lady Arthur was standing at her window when she saw him look over the
shoulder of a hill and throw a brilliant deep gold light all over the
land covered with snow as with a garment, and every minute crystal
glittered as if multitudes of little eyes had suddenly opened and were
gleaming and winking under his gaze. To say that the bosom of Mother
Earth was crusted with diamonds is to give the impression of dullness
unless each diamond could be endowed with life and emotion. Then he
threw out shaft after shaft of color--scarlet and crimson and blue and
amber and green--which gleamed along the heavens, kindling the cold
white snow below them into a passion of beauty: the colors floated and
changed form, and mingled and died away. Then the sun drew his thick
winter clouds about him, disappeared, and was no more seen that day.
He had vindicated his majesty.

Lady Arthur thought it was going to be a bright winter day, and at
breakfast she proposed a drive to Cockhoolet Castle, an old place
within driving distance to which she paid periodical visits: they
would take luncheon on the battlements and see all over the country,
which must be looking grand in its bridal attire.

John was called in and asked if he did not think it was going to be
a fine day. He glanced through the windows at the dark,
suspicious-looking clouds and said, "Weel, my leddy, I'll no uphaud
it." This was the answer of a courtier and an oracle, not to mention
a Scotchman. It did not contradict Lady Arthur, it did not commit
himself, and it was cautious.

"I think it will be a fine day of its kind," said the lady, "and we'll
drive to Cockhoolet. Have the carriage ready at ten."

"If we dinna wun a' the gate, we can but turn again," John thought as
he retired to execute his orders.

"It is not looking so well as it did in the morning," said Miss
Adamson as they entered the carriage, "but if we have an adventure we
shall be the better for it."

"We shall have no such luck," said Lady Arthur: "what ever happens out
of the usual way now? There used to be glorious snowstorms long ago,
but the winters have lost their rigor, and there are no such long
summer days now as there were when I was young. Neither persons nor
things have that spirit in them they used to have;" and she smiled,
catching in thought the fact that to the young the world is still as
fresh and fair as it has appeared to all the successive generations it
has carried on its surface.

"This is a wiselike expedition," said Thomas to John.

"Ay," said John, "I'm mista'en if this is no a day that'll be heard
tell o' yet;" and they mounted to their respective places and started.

The sky was very grim and the wind had been gradually rising. The
three ladies sat each in her corner, saying little, and feeling that
this drive was certainly a means to an end, and not an end in itself.
Their pace had not been very quick from the first, but it became
gradually slower, and the hard dry snow was drifting past the windows
in clouds. At last they came to a stand altogether, and John appeared
at the window like a white column and said, "My leddy, we'll hae to
stop here."

"Stop! why?"

"Because it's impossible to wun ony farrer."

"Nonsense! There's no such word as impossible."

"The beasts might maybe get through, but they wad leave the carriage
ahint them."

"Let me out to look about," said Lady Arthur.

"Ye had better bide where ye are," said John: "there's naething to be
seen, and ye wad but get yersel' a' snaw. We might try to gang back
the road we cam."

"Decidedly not," said Lady Arthur, whose spirits were rising to the
occasion: "we can't be far from Cockhoolet here?"

"Between twa and three mile," said John dryly.

"We'll get out and walk," said her ladyship, looking at the other
ladies.

"Wi' the wind in yer teeth, and sinking up to yer cuits at every step?
Ye wad either be blawn ower the muir like a feather, or planted amang
the snaw like Lot's wife. I might maybe force my way through, but I
canna leave the horses," said John.

Lady Arthur was fully more concerned for her horses than herself: she
said, "Take out the horses and go to Cockhoolet: leave them to rest
and feed, and tell Mr. Ormiston to send for us. We'll sit here very
comfortably till you come back: it won't take you long. Thomas will go
too, but give us in the luncheon-basket first."

The men, being refreshed from the basket, set off with the horses,
leaving the ladies getting rapidly snowed up in the carriage. As the
wind rose almost to a gale, Lady Arthur remarked "that it was at least
better to be stuck firm among the snow than to be blown away."

It is a grand thing to suffer in a great cause, but if you suffer
merely because you have done a "daftlike" thing, the satisfaction is
not the same.

The snow sifted into the carriage at the minutest crevice like fine
dust, and, melting, became cold, clammy and uncomfortable. To be set
down in a glass case on a moor without shelter in the height of a
snowstorm has only one recommendation: it is an uncommon situation,
a novel experience. The ladies--at least Lady Arthur--must, one would
think, have felt foolish, but it is a chief qualification in a leader
that he never acknowledges that he is in the wrong: if he once does
that, his prestige is gone.

The first hour of isolation wore away pretty well, owing to the
novelty of the the position; the second also, being devoted to
luncheon; the third dragged a good deal; but when it came to the
fourth; with light beginning to fail and no word of rescue, matters
looked serious. The cold was becoming intense--a chill, damp cold that
struck every living thing through and through. What could be keeping
the men? Had they lost their way, or what could possibly have
happened?

"This is something like an adventure," said Lady Arthur cheerily.

"It might pass for one," said Miss Adamson, "if we could see our way
out of it. I wonder if we shall have to sit here all night?"

"If we do," said Lady Arthur, "we can have no hope of wild beasts
scenting us out or of being attacked by banditti."

"Nor of any enamored gentleman coming to the rescue," said Miss
Adamson: "it will end tamely enough. I remember reading a story of
travel among savages, in which at the close of the monthly instalment
the travelers were left buried alive except their heads, which were
above ground, but set on fire. That was a very striking situation, yet
it all came right; so there is hope for us, I think."

"Oh, don't make me laugh," said Alice: "I really can't laugh, I am so
stiff with cold."

"It's a fine discipline to our patience to sit here," said Lady
Arthur. "If I had thought we should have to wait so long, I would have
tried what I could do while it was light."


VIII.

At length they heard a movement among the snow, and voices, and
immediately a light appeared at the window, shining through the
snow-blind, which was swept down by an arm and the carriage-door
opened.

"Are you all safe?" were the first words they heard.

"In the name of wonder, George, how are you here? Where are John and
Thomas?" cried Lady Arthur.

"I'll tell you all about it after," said George Eildon: "the thing is
to get you out of this scrape. I have a farm-cart and pair, and two
men to help me: you must just put up with roughing it a little."

"Oh, I am so thankful!" said Alice.

The ladies were assisted out of the carriage into the cart, and
settled among plenty of straw and rugs and shawls, with their backs to
the blast. Mr. Eildon shut the door of the carriage, which was left
to its fate, and then got in and sat at the feet of the ladies. Mr.
Ormiston's servant mounted the trace-horse and Thomas sat on the front
of the cart, and the cavalcade started to toil through the snow.

"Do tell us, George, how you are here. I thought it was only heroes of
romance that turned up when their services were desperately needed."

"There have been a good many heroes of romance to-day," said Mr.
Eildon. "The railways have been blocked in all directions; three
trains with about six hundred passengers have been brought to a stand
at the Drumhead Station near this; many of the people have been half
frozen and sick and fainting. I was in the train going south, and very
anxious to get on, but it was impossible. I got to Cockhoolet with a
number of exhausted travelers just as your man arrived, and we came
off as soon as we could to look for you. You have stood the thing much
better than many of my fellow-travelers."

"Indeed!" said Lady Arthur, "and have all the poor people got housed?"

"Most of them are at the station-house and various farm-houses. Mr.
Forester, Mr. Ormiston's son-in-law, started to bring up the last of
them just as I started for you."

"Well, I must say I have enjoyed it," Lady Arthur said, "but how are
we to get home to-night?"

"You'll not get home to-night: you'll have to stay at Cockhoolet, and
be glad if you can get home to-morrow."

"And where have you come from, and where are you going to?" she asked.

"I came from London--I have only been a week home from Australia--and
I am on my way to Eildon. But here we are."

And the hospitable doors of Cockhoolet were thrown wide, sending out a
glow of light to welcome the belated travelers.

Mrs. Ormiston and her daughter, Mrs. Forester--who with her husband
was on a visit at Cockhoolet--received them and took them to
rooms where fires made what seemed tropical heat compared with the
atmosphere in the glass case on the moor.

Miss Garscube was able for nothing but to go to bed, and Miss Adamson
stayed with her in the room called Queen Mary's, being the room that
unfortunate lady occupied when she visited Cockhoolet.

On this night the castle must have thought old times had come back
again, there was such a large and miscellaneous company beneath its
roof. But where were the knights in armor, the courtiers in velvet and
satin, the boars' heads, the venison pasties, the wassail-bowls? Where
were the stately dames in stiff brocade, the shaven priests, the
fool in motley, the vassals, the yeomen in hodden gray and broad blue
bonnet? Not there, certainly.

No doubt, Lady Arthur Eildon was a direct descendant of one of "the
queen's Maries," but in her rusty black gown, her old black bonnet set
awry on her head, her red face, her stout figure, made stouter by a
sealskin jacket, you could not at a glance see the connection. The
house of Eildon was pretty closely connected with the house of Stuart,
but George Eildon in his tweed suit, waterproof and wideawake looked
neither royal nor romantic. We may be almost sure that there was a
fool or fools in the company, but they did not wear motley. In short,
as yet it is difficult to connect the idea of romance with railway
rugs, waterproofs, India-rubbers and wide-awakes and the steam of tea
and coffee: three hundred years hence perhaps it may be possible.
Who knows? But for all that, romances go on, we may be sure, whether
people are clad in velvet or hodden gray.

Lady Arthur was framing a romance--a romance which had as much of the
purely worldly in it as a romance can hold. She found that George was
on his way to see his cousin, Lord Eildon, who within two days had
had a severe access of illness. It seemed to her a matter of certainty
that George would be duke of Eildon some day. If she had only had
the capacity to have despatched that letter she had written when she
believed she was dying, after him to Australia! Could she send it to
him yet? She hesitated: she could hardly bring herself to compromise
the dignity of Alice, and her own. She had a short talk with him
before they separated for the night.

"I think you should go home by railway to-morrow," he said. "It is
blowing fresh now, and the trains will all be running to-morrow. I am
sorry I have to go by the first in the morning, so I shall probably
not see you then,"

"I don't know," she said: "it is a question if Alice will be able to
travel at all to-morrow."

"She is not ill, is she?" he said. "It is only a little fatigue from
exposure that ails her, isn't it?"

"But it may have bad consequences," said Lady Arthur: "one never can
tell;" and she spoke in an injured way, for George's tones were not
encouraging. "And John, my coachman--I haven't seen him--he ought to
have been at hand at least: if I could depend on any one, I thought it
was him."

"Why, he was overcome in the drift to-day: your other man had to leave
him behind and ride forward for help. It was digging him out of the
snow that kept us so long in getting to you. He has been in bed ever
since, but he is getting round quite well."

"I ought to have known that sooner," she said.

"I did not want to alarm you unnecessarily."

"I must go and see him;" and she held out her hand to say good-night.
"But you'll come to Garscube Hall soon: I shall be anxious to hear
what you think of Frank. When will you come?"

"I'll write," he said.

Lady Arthur felt that opportunity was slipping from her, and she grew
desperate. "Speaking of writing," she said, "I wrote to you when I
had the fever last year and thought I was dying: would you like to see
that letter?"

"No," he said: "I prefer you living."

"Have you no curiosity? People can say things dying that they couldn't
say living, perhaps."

"Well, they have no business to do so," he said. "It is taking an
unfair advantage, which a generous nature never does; besides, it is
more solemn to live than die."

"Then you don't want the letter?"

"Oh yes, if you like."

"Very well: I'll think of it. Can you show me the way to John's place
of refuge?"

They found John sitting up in bed, and Mrs, Ormiston ministering to
him: the remains of a fowl were on a plate beside him, and he was
lifting a glass of something comfortable to his lips.

"I never knew of this, John," said his mistress, "till just a few
minutes ago. This is sad."

"Weel, it doesna look very sad," said John, eying the plate and the
glass. "Yer leddyship and me hae gang mony a daftlike road, but I
think we fairly catched it the day."

"I don't know how we can be grateful enough to you, Mrs. Ormiston,"
said Lady Arthur, turning to their hostess.

"Well, you know we could hardly be so churlish as to shut our doors on
storm-stayed travelers: we are very glad that we had it in our power
to help them a little."

"It's by ordinar' gude quarters," said John: "I've railly enjoyed that
hen. Is 't no time yer leddyship was in yer bed, after siccan a day's
wark?"

"We'll take the hint, John," said Lady Arthur; and in a little while
longer most of Mr. Ormiston's unexpected guests had lost sight of the
day's adventure in sleep.


IX.

By dawn of the winter's morning all the company, the railway pilgrims,
were astir again--not to visit a shrine, or attend a tournament, or to
go hunting or hawking, or to engage in a foray or rieving expedition,
as guests of former days at the castle may have done, but quietly to
make their way to the station as the different trains came up, the
fresh wind having done more to clear the way than the army of men
that had been set to work with pickaxe and shovel. But although the
railways and the tweeds and the India-rubbers were modern, the castle
and the snow and the hospitality were all very old-fashioned--the snow
as old as that lying round the North Pole, and as unadulterated; the
hospitality old as when Eve entertained Raphael in Eden, and as true,
blessing those that give and those that take.

Mr. Eildon left with the first party that went to the station; Lady
Arthur and the young ladies went away at midday; John was left to
take care of himself and his carriage till both should be more fit for
traveling.

Of the three ladies, Alice had suffered most from the severe cold, and
it was some time before she entirely recovered from the effects of it.
Lady Arthur convinced herself that it was not merely the effects
of cold she was suffering from, and talked the case over with Miss
Adamson, but that lady stoutly rejected Lady Arthur's idea. "Miss
Garscube has got over that long ago, and so has Mr. Eildon," she said
dryly. "Alice has far more sense than to nurse a feeling for a man
evidently indifferent to her." These two ladies had exchanged opinions
exactly. George Eildon had only called once, and on a day when they
were all from home: he had written several times to his aunt regarding
Lord Eildon's health, and Lady Arthur had written to him and had told
him her anxiety about the health of Alice. He expressed sympathy and
concern, as his mother might have done, but Lady Arthur would not
allow herself to see that the case was desperate.

She had a note from her sister-in-law, Lady George, who said "that she
had just been at Eildon, and in her opinion Frank was going, but his
parents either can't or won't see this, or George either. It is a sad
case--so young a man and with such prospects--but the world abounds in
sad things," etc., etc. But sad as the world is, it is shrewd with a
wisdom of its own, and it hardly believed in the grief of Lady George
for an event which would place her own son in a position of honor and
affluence. But many a time George Eildon recoiled from the people who
did not conceal their opinion that he might not be broken-hearted
at the death of his cousin. There is nothing that true, honorable,
unworldly natures shrink from more than having low, unworthy feelings
and motives attributed to them.


X.

Lady Arthur Eildon made up her mind. "I am supposed," she said to
herself, "to be eccentric: why not get the good of such a character?"
She enclosed her dying letter to her nephew, which was nothing less
than an appeal to him on behalf of Alice, assuring him of her belief
that Alice bitterly regretted the answer she had given his letter, and
that if she had it to do over again it would be very different. When
Lady Arthur did this she felt that she was not doing as she would be
done by, but the stake was too great not to try a last throw for it.
In an accompanying note she said, "I believe that the statements in
this letter still hold true. I blamed myself afterward for having
influenced Alice when she wrote to you, and now I have absolved my
conscience." (Lady Arthur put it thus, but she hardly succeeded
in making herself believe it was a case of conscience: she was too
sharp-witted. It is self-complacent stupidity that is morally small.)
"If this letter is of no interest to you, I am sure I am trusting it
to honorable hands."

She got an answer immediately. "I thank you," Mr. Eildon said, "for
your letters, ancient and modern: they are both in the fire, and so
far as I am concerned shall be as if they had never been."

It was in vain, then, all in vain, that she had humbled herself before
George Eildon. Not only had her scheme failed, but her pride suffered,
as your finger suffers when the point of it is shut by accident in the
hinge of a door. The pain was terrible. She forgot her conscience, how
she had dealt treacherously--for her good, as she believed, but still
treacherously--with Alice Garscube: she forgot everything but her
own pain, and those about her thought that decidedly she was very
eccentric at this time. She snubbed her people, she gave orders and
countermanded them, so that her servants did not know what to do or
leave undone, and they shook their heads among themselves and remarked
that the moon was at the full.

But of course the moon waned, and things calmed down a little. In the
next note she received from her sister-in-law, among other items
of news she was told that her nephew meant to visit her
shortly--"Probably," said his mother, "this week, but I think it will
only be a call. He says Lord Eildon is rather better, which has put us
all in good spirits," etc.

Now, Lady Arthur did not wish to see George Eildon at this time--not
that she could not keep a perfect and dignified composure in any
circumstances, but her pride was still in the hinge of the door--and
she went from home every day. Three days she had business in town: the
other days she drove to call on people living in the next county. As
she did not care for going about alone, she took Miss Adamson always
with her, but Alice only once or twice: she was hardly able for
extra fatigue every day. But Miss Garscube was recovering health and
spirits, and looks also, and when Lady Arthur left her behind she
thought, "Well, if George calls to-day, he'll see that he is not a
necessary of life at least." She felt very grateful that it was so,
and had no objections that George should see it.

He did see it, for he called that day, but he had not the least
feeling of mortification: he was unfeignedly glad to see Alice looking
so well, and he had never, he thought, seen her look better. After
they had spoken in the most quiet and friendly way for a little she
said, "And how is your cousin, Lord Eildon?"

"Nearly well: his constitution seems at last fairly to have taken
a turn in the right direction. The doctors say that not only is he
likely to live as long as any of us, but that the probability is he
will be a robust man yet."

"Oh, I am glad of it--I am heartily glad of it!"

"Why are you so very glad?"

"Because you are: it has made you very happy--you look so."

"I am excessively happy because you believe I am happy. Many people
don't: many people think I am disappointed. My own mother thinks so,
and yet she is a good woman. People will believe that you wish the
death of your dearest friend if he stands between you and material
good. It is horrible, and I have been courted and worshiped as the
rising sun;" and he laughed. "One can afford to laugh at it now, but
it was very sickening at the time. I can afford anything, Alice: I
believe I can even afford to marry, if you'll marry a hard-working man
instead of a duke."

"Oh, George," she said, "I have been so ashamed of that letter I
wrote."

"It was a wicked little letter," he said, "but I suppose it was the
truth at the time: say it is not true now."

"It is not true now," she repeated, "but I have not loved you very
dearly all the time; and if you had married I should have been very
happy if you had been happy. But oh," she said, and her eyes filled
with tears, "this is far better."

"You love me now?"

"Unutterably."

"I have loved you all the time, all the time. I should not have been
happy if I had heard of your marriage."

"Then how were you so cold and distant the day we stuck on the moor?"

"Because it was excessively cold weather: I was not going to warm
myself up to be frozen again. I have never been in delicate health,
but I can't stand heats and chills."

"I do believe you are not a bit wiser than I am. I hear the carriage:
that's Lady Arthur come back. How surprised she will be!"

"I am not so sure of that," George said. "I'll go and meet her."

When he appeared Lady Arthur shook hands tranquilly and said, "How do
you do?"

"Very well," he said. "I have been testing the value of certain
documents you sent me, and find they are worth their weight in gold."

She looked in his face.

"Alice is mine," he said, "and we are going to Bashan for our
wedding-tour. If you'll seize the opportunity of our escort, you may
hunt up Og's bed."

"Thank you," she said: "I fear I should be _de trop_."

"Not a bit; but even if you were a great nuisance, we are in the humor
to put up with anything."

"I'll think of it. I have never traveled in the character of a
nuisance yet--at least, so far as I know--and it would be a new
sensation: that is a great inducement."

Lady Arthur rushed to Miss Adamson's room with the news, and the
two ladies had first a cry and then a laugh over it. "Alice will be
duchess yet," said Lady Arthur: "that boy's life has hung so long by a
thread that he must be prepared to go, and he would be far better away
from the cares and trials of this world, I am sure;" which might be
the truth, but it was hard to grudge the boy his life.

Lady Arthur was in brilliant spirits at dinner that evening. "I
suppose you are going to live on love," she said.

"I am going to work for my living," said George.

"Very right," she said; "but, although I got better last year, I can't
live for ever, and when I'm gone Alice will have the Garscube estates:
I have always intended it."

"Madam," said George, "do you not know that the great lexicographer
has said in one of his admirable works, 'Let no man suffer his
felicity to depend upon the death of his aunt'?"

It is said that whenever a Liberal ministry comes in Mr. Eildon will
be offered the governorship of one of the colonies. Lady Arthur may
yet live to be astonished by his "career," and at least she is not
likely to regret her dying letter.

THE AUTHOR OF "BLINDPITS."



THE HOUSE ON THE BEACH.


"What is that black mass yonder, far up the beach, just at the edge of
the breakers?"

The fisherman to whom we put the question drew in his squid-line, hand
over hand, without turning his head, having given the same answer for
half a dozen years to summer tourists: "Wreck. Steamer. Creole."

"Were there many lives lost?"

"It's likely. This is the worst bit of coast in the country, The
Creole was a three-decker," looking at it reflectively, "Lot of good
timber there."

As we turned our field-glasses to the black lump hunched out of the
water, like a great sea-monster creeping up on the sand, we saw still
farther up the coast a small house perched on a headland, with a flag
flying in the gray mist, and pointed it out to the Jerseyman, who
nodded: "That there wooden shed is the United States signal station;"
adding, after a pause, "Life-saving service down stairs."

"Old Probabilities! The house he lives in!"

"Life-boats!"

Visions of the mysterious old prophet who utters his oracles through
the morning paper, of wrecks and storms, and of heroic men carrying
lines through the night to sinking ships, filled our brains.
Townspeople out for their summer holiday have keen appetites for the
romantic and extraordinary, and manufacture them (as sugar from beets)
out of the scantiest materials. We turned our backs on the fisherman
and his squid-line. The signal station and the hull of the lost vessel
were only a shed and timber to him. How can any man be alive to the
significance of a wreck and fluttering flag which he sees twenty times
a day? Noah, no doubt, after a year in the ark, came to look upon it
as so much gopher-wood, and appreciated it as a good job of joinery
rather than a divine symbol.

We believe, however, that our readers will find in the wrecked Creole
and the wooden shed, and the practical facts concerning them, matter
suggestive enough to hold them a little space. They fill a yet
unwritten page in the history of our government, and of great and
admirable work done by it, of which the nation at large has been
given but partial knowledge. Or, if we choose to look more deeply into
things, we may find in the old hulk and commonplace building hints as
significant of the Infinite Order and Power underlying all ordinary
things, and of our relations to it, as in the long-ago Deluge and the
ark riding over it.

The little wooden house stands upon a lonely stretch of coast in Ocean
county, New Jersey. Several miles of low barren marshes and sands gray
with poverty-grass on the north separate it from Manasquan Inlet and
the pine woods and scattered farm-houses which lie along its shore,
while half a mile below, on the south, is the head of Barnegat Bay,
a deep, narrow estuary which runs into and along the Jersey coast for
more than half its extent, leaving outside a strip of sandy beach,
never more than a mile wide. All kinds of sea fish and fowl take
refuge in this bay and the interminable reedy marshes, and for a few
weeks in the snipe-and duck-season sportsmen from New York find their
way to "Shattuck's" and the houses of other old water-dogs along the
bay. But during the rest of the year the wooden shed and its occupants
are left to the companionship of the sea and the winds.

The little building (with a gigantic "No. 10" whitewashed outside)
stands close to the breakers, just above high-water mark in winter. It
is divided into two large rooms, upper and lower, with a tiny kitchen
in the rear and an equally comfortless bedroom overhead. The doors of
the lower room (which, like those of a barn, fill the whole end of the
house) being closed, we sought for Old Probabilities up stairs, and
found very little at first sight to gratify curiosity or any craving
for mystery. There was a large wooden room, with walls and floor of
unpainted boards, the ceiling hung with brilliantly colored flags, a
telegraphic apparatus, one or two desks, books, writing materials--a
scientific working-room, in short, with its implements in that order
which implied that only men had used them.

There were in 1874 one hundred and eight such signal stations as
this, modest, inexpensive little offices, established over the United
States, from the low sea-coast plains to the topmost peak of the Rocky
Mountains.

If we were accurate chroniclers, we should have to go back to
Aristotle and the Chaldeans to show the origin and purpose of these
little offices, just as Carlyle has to unearth Ulfila the Moesogoth to
explain a word he uses to his butter-man. The world is so new, after
all, and things so inextricably tangled up in it! In this case, as
it is the sun and wind and rain which are the connecting links, it is
easy enough to bring past ages close to us. The Chaldeans, building
their great embankments or raiding upon Job's herds, are no longer a
myth to us when we remember that they were wet by the rain and anxious
about the weather and their crops, just as we are; in fact, they felt
such matters so keenly, and were so little able to cope with these
unknown forces, that they made gods of them, and then, beyond prayers
and sacrifices, troubled themselves no further about the matter.
Even the shrewd, observant Hebrews, living out of doors, a race of
shepherds and herdsmen, never looked for any rational cause for wind
or storm, but regarded them, if not as gods, as the messengers of God,
subject to no rules. It was He who at His will covered the heavens
with clouds, who prepared rain, who cast forth hoar-frost like ashes:
the stormy wind fulfilled His word. Men searched into the construction
of their own minds, busied themselves with subtle philosophies, with
arts and sciences, conquered the principles of Form and Color, and
made not wholly unsuccessful efforts to solve the mystery of the sun
and stars; but it was not until 340 B.C. that any notice was taken of
the every-day matters of wind and heat and rain.

Aristotle, the Gradgrind of philosophers, first noted down the known
facts on this subject in his work _On Meteors_. His theories and
deductions were necessarily erroneous, but he struck the foundation of
all science, the collection of known facts. Theophrastus, one of his
pupils, made a compilation of prognostics concerning rain, wind
and storm, and there investigation ceased for ages. For nearly two
thousand years the citizens of the world rose every morning to rejoice
in fair weather or be wet by showers, to see their crops destroyed
by frost or their ships by winds, and never made a single attempt to
discover any scientific reason or rules in the matter--apparently
did not suspect that there was any cause or effect behind these daily
occurrences. They accounted for wind or rain as our grandfathers did
for a sudden death, by the "visitation of God." In fact, Nature--which
is the expression of Law most inexorable and minute--was the very last
place where mankind looked to find law at all.

About two hundred and thirty years ago Torricelli discovered that
the atmosphere, the space surrounding the earth, which seemed more
intangible than a dream, had weight and substance, and invented the
barometer, the tiny tube and drop of mercury by which it could be
seized and held and weighed as accurately as a pound of lead. As soon
as this invisible air was proved to be matter, the whole force of
scientific inquiry was directed toward it. The thermometer, by which
its heat or cold could be measured--the hygrometer, which weighed,
literally by a hair, its moisture or dryness--were the results of the
research of comparatively a few years. Somewhat later came the curious
instrument which measures its velocity. As soon as it was thus made
practicable for any intelligent observer to handle, weigh and test
every quality of the air, it became evident that wind and storm, even
the terrible cyclone, were not irresponsible forces, carrying health
or death to and fro where they listed, but the result of plain,
immutable; laws. It was an American in this our Quaker City who
reduced the wind to a commonplace effect of a most ordinary cause.
Franklin, one winter's day passing with a lighted candle out of a warm
room into a cold one, saw that as he held it above his head the flame
was blown outward before him: when he held it near the floor, the
flame was blown into the room. The shrewd observer stood in the
doorway, instead of hurrying out, as most of us would have done,
to save the wasting candle. The warm air in the heated room, he
conjectured, was expanded by the heat, consequently it rose as high as
it could, and made a way for itself out of the room at the upper part
of the doorway, while the heavier cold air from without rushed in
below to fill the vacated space. What if he took the equatorial
regions or great tracts of arid desert for the heated room? The air
over them, subjected by the heat to constant rarefaction, must
rise, must overflow above, and must force the colder air from the
surrounding regions in below. Two sheets of air will thus set in
vertically on both sides, rise, and again separate above. Here was an
explanation of the great, steady, uninterrupted aërial currents which,
at the rate of from fifteen to eighteen miles per hour, sweep the
surface of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. The candle, no doubt, was
wasted, but the secret of the trade-winds was discovered.

The idea was correct as far as it went. It did not go very far, it is
true. It had not taken into account the earth's rotation, whose force,
according to Herschel, "gives at least one-half of their average
momentum to all the winds which occur over the whole world;" nor the
infinite variation in the movements of the atmosphere which we call
winds, caused by the change in the sun's motion, by the differing
amounts of vapor held in them, by the physical configuration of the
earth below, by the vicinity of the sea or arid deserts, and by the
passage of storms or electric currents.

The science of meteorology, especially as regards wind, is as yet
searching for general principles, which can only be deduced from
countless facts. We do not now, like Saint Paul, talk of the wind
Euroclydon as of a special agent of God, but describe it by stating
that it is an aërial ascending current over the Mediterranean,
produced by the heated sands of Africa and Arabia. We can even measure
its heat at 200° Fahrenheit, and its velocity at fifty-four miles per
hour. But it attacks us just as unexpectedly as it did the apostle,
and brings disease and death to Naples or Palermo to-day just as
surely as it did to Cambyses. The popular verdict on the matter
would no doubt be that when meteorologists can not only describe the
sirocco, but give warning of its coming, their science will justify
its claim to consideration. The common sense of mankind always demands
as a royalty from every science daily practical benefits to the mass
of men and women. It is not enough for meteorologists to have proved
that the atmosphere varies in weight, in temperature or velocity of
motion according to fixed rules, or to be able to explain why no rain
falls on a certain portion of the coast of Portugal, while a like
coast-exposure in England is incessantly drenched; or to have
determined beyond a doubt that precisely as the ocean of water,
under the influence of the moon and wind, ebbs and flows and has
its succession of storms or calms, the ocean of air in which we
are enveloped answers to the influence of the sun in great tidal
movements, and has also its vast steadily moving waves of cold or heat
or moisture. These discoveries of general truths must be brought to
bear directly on men's daily life before they will have fulfilled
their true purpose. It would seem as if nothing were more easy than to
bring them so to bear. Meteorology, more intimately perhaps than any
other science, concerns our ordinary affairs. The health of mankind,
navigation, agriculture, commerce, the hourly business and needs of
every man, from the merchant sending out his cargo and the consumptive
waiting for death in the east wind, to the laundress hanging out
the family wash, are ruled by that most mysterious, most uncurbed
of powers, the weather. We may rub along through life with scanty
knowledge of the history of dead nations or the philosophy of living
ones, but heat and cold, the climate of the coming winter, yesterday's
rainfall or to-morrow's frost, are matters which take hold of every
one of us and affect us every hour of the day. Now, to bring the known
general truths of this science to practical rules, or to base upon
them predictions of storms or changes in the weather during any
future period, requires, as Sir John Herschel stated twelve years ago,
"patient, incessant and laborious observations, carried on in
every region of the globe." One reason why this is required is the
perpetually shifting conditions of heat, wind and storm. A man who sat
down to work a mathematical problem in the days of Job, if there was
such a man, found its result just the same as the school-boy does
to-day: figures not only never lie, but never alter. But the man who
solves an equation of which the winds and waters are members finds
that the sum to be added varies with every hour. There are, so far
as is yet known, no regularly recurring cycles of weather on which
to base predictions: the conditions of heat and wind and moisture are
never precisely the same at any given point. Hence the necessity, if
we would give the science stability and bring it to bear on our daily
life, of educated, skilled observers at different points to collect
and report simultaneously the daily details of the present conditions.

It is this daily detail of fact which the United States government
supplies through the little stations of observation one of which we
have stumbled into on the Jersey beach. Americans, indeed, have from
the first taken hold of this science with a most characteristic effort
to reduce it to practical uses, to bring it at once to bear on the
well-being at least of farmers and navigators. Dove had no sooner
published his chart of isothermal lines and charts, showing the
temperature throughout the world of each month, and also of abnormal
temperatures, than our government issued the _Army Meteorological
Register_ for the United States, which for accuracy and fullness had
never been equaled. In these the temperature and rainfall for each
month of the year were shown. The forecasts of the weather now
published daily in this country, and which come so directly home to
every man's business that Old Probabilities is a real personage to
us all, have been given in England for several years under the
supervision of Admiral Fitzroy.

But it is high time now that we should come back to our little wooden
house on the beach, and tell what we know of its occupants and uses.
The courteous gentleman (in a blue flannel suit for "roughing it")
who sits at the telegraphic wires is Sergeant G----, belonging to the
Signal Service Department of the army. Instruction in this department
is given at Fort Whipple, Va. One hundred officers besides Sergeant
G---- are now in charge of stations, with 139 privates as assistants.
The average force at Fort Whipple is 140 men. These men are, in point
of fact, soldiers liable to be called into active service in the
field: their duty there, however, is not fighting, but signaling and
telegraphy--a duty quite as dangerous as the bearing of arms. Fresh
recruits for this service are divided into those capable of receiving
instruction only in field duty and those for "full service," which
includes, with military signaling and telegraphy, the taking
of meteoric observations, the collating and publication of such
observations, and the deduction from them of correct results. Passing
two examinations successfully in the latter course, the signal-service
soldier is detailed for duty at a post as assistant, and after six
months' satisfactory service is returned to Fort Whipple for the
special instruction given to observer-sergeants. When qualified for
this work he is detailed, as a vacancy occurs, for actual service.

Having thus discovered how our friend the sergeant came into his
post, we looked about to see what he had to do there. The
brilliantly-colored flags overhead drew the eye first. These flags
serve the purpose of an international language on the high seas, where
no other language is practicable. Twenty thousand distinct messages
can be sent by them. Rogers's system has been, adopted by the United
States Navy, the Lighthouse Board, the United States Coast Survey and
the principal lines of steamers. Each flag represents a number, and
four flags can be hoisted at once on the staff. With the flags there
is given a book containing the meaning of each number. Thus, a wrecked
ship cries silently to the shore, "Send a lifeboat" by flags 3, 8, 9,
or says that she is sinking by 6, 3, 2; or a vessel under full sail
hails another by 8, 6, 0, or bids her "_bon voyage_" with 8, 9, 7.
Owing to the difficulty of distinguishing colors in cloudy days or
when the flags will not fly, other systems of signaling are used: that
of cones similar to umbrellas being considered in the English service
one of the most efficient, a different arrangement of cones on the
staff representing the nine numerals. Men may convert themselves into
cones in an emergency by raising or letting fall their arms, and two
men thus give any signal necessary. As the flags, however, belong
more especially to Sergeant G---- 's duty on the field of battle or to
exceptional cases of storm and danger, we pass them by to examine into
his daily round of duty. Outside, a queer little house of lattice-work
perched on a headland shelters the thermometers and barometers: on
a still higher point directly over the foaming breakers is the
anemometer, the little instrument which measures the swiftness of the
fiercest cyclone as easily as the lightest spring breeze. It consists
of four brass cups shaped to catch the wind, and attached to the ends
of two horizontal iron rods, which cross each other and are supported
in the middle by a long pole on which they turn freely. The cups
revolve with just one-third of the wind's velocity, and make five
hundred revolutions whilst a mile of wind passes over them. A register
of these revolutions is made by machinery similar to a gas-meter.
The popular idea, by the way, of the speed of the wind runs very far
beyond the truth: we are apt to say of a racer that he goes like the
wind, when the fact is the horse of a good strain of blood leaves the
laggard tempest far behind; the ordinary winds of every day travel
only five miles an hour, a breeze of sixteen and a quarter miles an
hour being strong enough to cause great discomfort in town or field:
thirty-three miles is dangerous at sea, and sixty-five miles a violent
hurricane, sweeping all before it.

Our friend the sergeant examines seven times a day at stated periods
the condition of the atmosphere as to heat, weight and moisture, the
velocity of the wind, the kind, amount and speed of the clouds, and
measures the rainfall and the ocean swell: all these observations are
recorded, and three are daily reported to headquarters at Washington.
In these telegrams a cipher is used--as much, we presume, to ensure
accuracy in the figures as for purposes of secresy. In this cipher the
fickle winds are given the names of women with a covert sarcasm
quite out of place in the respectable old weather-prophet whom every
housewife consults before the day's work begins. Thus, when the
telegraph operator receives the mysterious message, "Francisco Emily
alone barge churning did frosty guarding hungry," how is he to know
that it means "San Francisco Evening. Rep. Barom. 29.40, Ther. 61,
Humidity 18 per cent., Velocity of wind 41 miles per hour, 840
pounds pressure, Cirro-stratus. N.W. 1/4 to 2/4, Cumulo-stratus East,
Rainfall 2.80 inch."?

Besides these simultaneous reports from the one hundred and eight
United States stations which are telegraphed to the central office
at Washington, there are received there daily three hundred and
eighty-three volunteer reports from every part of the country, these
being the system of meteorological observations under control of the
Smithsonian Institution for twenty-four years, and given in charge to
the Signal Service Bureau in 1874. In addition to these, again, are
simultaneous reports from Russia, Turkey, Austria, Belgium, Denmark,
France, England, Algiers, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain,
Portugal, Switzerland, Canada--in all two hundred and fourteen. When
we add together, therefore, the

United States Signal Service reports   108
Volunteer reports                      383
International reports                  214
Reports of medical corps of army       123

we have a grand total of eight hundred and twenty-eight daily
simultaneous reports received at the central office, where
Brigadier-General Albert J. Myer and his brevet aide, Captain H.W.
Howgate (or, if you choose, Old Probabilities himself), wait to scan
through these many watchful eyes the heavens around the world
and utter incessant prophecies and warnings. Besides the regular
observations, report is also made of casual phenomena--lightning,
auroras, time of first and last frosts, etc., etc.

The history of the Signal Service Bureau and the establishment of
these stations and telegraph-lines, bringing the whole country under
the instant oversight of one intelligent observer, would, if it were
briefly written, be full of points of dramatic interest. As yet it
must be gathered out of acts of Congress and official reports. The
service has now existed for fourteen years, but is still without that
full recognition by Congress which would ensure its permanency.
"With interests depending on its daily work as great as can by any
possibility rest upon any other branch of the service, it is yet
regarded as an experiment, an offshoot of regular army service
existing on sufferance, liable at any moment to be hindered in its
operations, if not totally abolished." The benefit of this daily work,
however, affects too nearly and constantly the mass of the people to
allow much danger of its final extinction. What the real value of this
practical work is can be gathered not only from the dry statistics of
annual reports, but from the increased confidence placed in it by the
people, the unscientific working majority.

The help given to farmers should rank perhaps first in estimating the
value of this work. At midnight of each day the midnight forecast is
telegraphed to twenty centres of distribution, located strictly with
regard to the agricultural population. The telegrams, as soon as
received, are printed by signal-service men, rapidly enveloped in
wrappers already stamped and addressed, and sent by the swiftest
conveyance to every post-office which can be reached before 2 P.M. of
the same day, and when received are displayed on bulletin-boards. The
average time elapsing from the moment when the bulletin leaves the
central office until it reaches every post-office from Maine to
Florida is ten hours. In 1874, 6286 of these farmers' bulletins
were issued, and when we consider that by each one of them reliable
information as to the chances of success or failure in planting or
reaping was given, we gain some idea of the directness and force of
the work of this bureau.

The river reports of the office include not only regular daily
observations of the changing depths of the great water-highways,
but forecasts of coming floods or sudden rises and falls of the
river-levels. Before the great floods in the Mississippi Valley in
1874 the warnings given by this means, and which could have been given
by no other, saved an incalculable amount of property and human life.
Bulletins are also issued regarding approaching freezing of our canals
in the winter months, and have enabled shippers to avoid the accidents
common heretofore when enormous quantities of grain, etc. in transit
have been detained by this means, to the serious disturbance of the
market.

Cautionary day and night signals are displayed at the principal ports
and harbors when dangerous winds or storms are anticipated. In
one year 762 of these warning signals were displayed, and 561 were
verified by storms of destructive winds which otherwise would not have
been foreseen. In not a single instance during the last two years has
a great storm reached, without warning from the office, the lakes or
seaports of the country. The amount of shipping, property and life
thus saved to the country is simply incalculable.

Tri-daily deductions or probabilities of the weather, wind and storms,
with part of the data on which they rest, are published in all the
principal papers of the country, and each man and woman can testify as
to their use of them. Who now goes to be married or to bury his dead
or to begin a journey without consulting the two oracular lines in
italics at the head of the leading column? They have come to take part
in our domestic lives. The people would miss politics or the markets
or literature out of the paper with less regret than Probabilities
should the service be discontinued.

Besides this practical labor, there is the publication of nine daily
charts on which are inscribed 2160 readings of different instruments,
giving an accurate view of the general meteoric condition; monthly
charts and charts condensing the results of years of observation;
records furnished for the study of scientific men more comprehensive
and regular than can be offered by any similar institution in any
country.

A special bit of history comes to light respecting our little wooden
shed at the head of Barnegat Bay. An act of Congress approved March,
1873, authorized the establishment of signal stations at lighthouses
or life-saving stations along dangerous coasts, and the connection of
the same by telegraphs, thirty thousand dollars being appropriated
for that end. In consequence, signal stations were established on the
Massachusetts coast, from Norfolk, Va., to Cape Hatteras, and
more closely along this dangerous lee-shore of New Jersey, and
telegraph-lines were laid connecting them with each other and also
with the central office. The plan for the future is to net the whole
coast--the lake, Atlantic and Pacific shores--with these stations and
telegraph-wires. By this means information of coming storms can be
conveyed by signal to vessels, or of wrecks, by telegraph, to other
life-saving stations: the close watch kept upon the ocean-swell
and currents will give warning inland of approaching changes in the
weather; for it is a singular fact that the ocean-swell communicates
this intelligence more quickly than the barometer, in quite another
sense than the poet's

  Every wave has tales to tell
  Of storms far out at sea.

Our little station belongs to the advanced guard of this proposed line
which is to encircle the coast, the whole work of establishing these
stations and telegraph-lines having been, done by Sergeant G----
and his comrades. Indeed, when we look at all the work done by our
blue-coated friend, his steady, unintermitting attention to duty by
day and night year after year, his comfortless quarters in the wooden
shed on the lonely beach, and the almost absolute solitude for an
educated man during many months of the year, we begin to think his
station not the least honorable among the soldiers of the republic.
Almost any man, set down on the battle-field, one army to meet and
another to back him, with the crash of music and arms, the magnetic
fury of combat blazing in the air, would rise to the height of the
moment and prove himself manly. But to be faithful to petty tasks hour
after hour, through all kinds of privation and weather, for years, is
quite a different matter.

The reports of the chief officer give us a hint of some of the
privations borne by the observer-sergeants, educated young fellows
like our friend. In 1872 the chief ordered one of these men to
establish a station on the western coast of Alaska and on the island
of St. Paul in Behring Sea, which was done, the observer continuing
for a year in that farthest outpost. His record of frozen fogs which
wrap the island like a pall, of cyclones from the Asian seas that lash
its rocky coast, of vast masses of electric clouds seen nowhere else
which sweep incessantly over it toward the Pole, reads more like the
story of a nightmare dream than a scientific statement.

In the next spring the chief ordered another sergeant to found a
station on Mount Mitchell, the highest mountain-peak east of the
Mississippi. Professor Mitchell discovered and measured this mountain
about twenty years ago. While taking meteorological observations upon
it he was overtaken by a storm, lost his way, and was dashed to pieces
over one of its terrible precipices. Several years after his death the
government, suddenly recognizing his right to some acknowledgment from
science, ordered his body to be disinterred and buried on the topmost
peak of the mountain. It was a work of weeks, the body in its coffin
being carried by the hardy mountaineers up almost impassable heights.
But it reached the top at last, and lies there in the sky above all
human life, with the mountain for a monument. One is startled by such
a pathetic whim of poetic justice in a government. It was to this peak
that the sergeant was ordered to carry his instruments and to make an
abiding-place for himself. And here, after two days' journey from
the base, he arrived at night in a storm of snow and hail--the guides
having cleared the way with axes--set up his instruments, and took
observations above the clouds while trees and rocks were sheeted with
ice, and there was no shelter for himself or his companions from
the furious tempests. A hut was built after a few days, and here the
observer remained with the lonely grave as companion, taking hourly
observations during several months.

Another officer was sent to the top of Pike's Peak, where he lived in
a rudely-constructed cabin until his health broke down; he was then
replaced by another, who after a year was obliged to yield also. As
soon as one soldier succumbs in these perilous outposts another goes
forward. The rarity of the air at this great altitude (nearly thirteen
thousand feet) produces nausea, fever and dizziness: added to this
were the intense cold and exposure to terrific storms. Sergeant
Seyboth records several nights when he with his companions were
forced, in a driving tempest, to leave the shelter of their hut and
work all night heaping rocks upon its roof to keep it from being blown
away; beneath them, many thousand feet, was the rolling sea of clouds.
Again and again these men were lost in the drifted snow of the cañons
while passing from station to station, and barely escaped with their
lives. So imminent, indeed, was their danger during the winter of 1873
that prayers for their safety were offered continually in the churches
below.

Frederick Meyer, another of these signal-service soldiers, was sent on
the North Polar expedition with Captain Hall. No such marvelous tale
as that contained in his formal report was ever found in fiction.
Sergeant Meyer made observations every three hours on the voyage
north, and hourly when coming south, during a year and two months. At
the end of that time, as is well known to our readers, he, with part
of the crew of the Polaris, was deserted by the ship, and left on a
floe of ice in 79° north latitude, the steamer going southward without
attempting their relief. Even in that moment of extremity he made
an effort to secure the case containing his observations, but it was
washed away from him by heavy seas. For six months these nineteen
human beings drifted on the mass of ice over the polar seas, through
all the darkness and horrors of an Arctic winter, without fire except
such as was made by burning one of their boats--a feeble blaze
daily, enough to warm a quart of water in which to soak their
pemmican--without shelter save such as the heaped ice and snow
afforded, and on starvation diet. After four months the floe began
to melt so rapidly that it was but twenty yards wide. "We dared not
sleep," says Sergeant Meyer, "fearing the ice would break under us and
we should find our grave in the Arctic Sea." Several times the ice did
break beneath them, and they were washed into the flood, but scrambled
up again on the fast-melting floe. During the whole of this time the
signal-service soldier continued faithful to his work, taking such
observations as were possible with the instruments left to him. The
boat had been burned long before, and they warmed their water with
an Esquimaux lamp. On April 22d their provisions consisted of but ten
biscuits. Starvation was before them when a bear was shot, and they
lived on its raw meat for two weeks. At the end of that time a steamer
passed within sight. The poor wretches on the ice hoisted a flag and
shouted, but the vessel passed out of sight. Another ship a few days
later came within the horizon and disappeared. The next day was foggy:
again a steamer was sighted, and for hours the shipwrecked crew strove
to make themselves seen and heard through the fog, firing shots,
hoisting their torn flag and shouting at the tops of their voices.
They were seen at last, and taken aboard the Tigress, "more like
ghastly spectres who had come up through hell," says one of the
narrators, "than living men."

The pay of the signal-service soldiers is small, and it is hardly to
be supposed that they are all enthusiasts in science, or so in love
with meteorology that they cheerfully brave danger and hardships such
as these for its sake. We must look for the secret of their loyalty
to their steady, tedious work in that quiet devotion to duty which
we find in the majority of honest men--the feeling that they must
go through with what they have once undertaken. And, after all,
the majority of men are honest, and loyalty to irksome work is so
commonplace a matter that it is only when we see it carry a man
steadily through great and sudden peril, or consider how in its great
total the work of obscure individuals has lifted humanity to higher
levels in the last three centuries, that we can understand how good a
thing it is.

At some future time we shall ransack the lower floor of the little
house on the beach and discover what is to be found there.

REBECCA HARDING DAVIS.



A DEAD LOVE.


  O Rose! within my bloomy croft,
    Where hidden sweets compacted dwell,
  The wanton wind with breathings soft,
    To perfect flower thy bud shall swell,
      Then steal thy rich perfume,
      Tarnish both grace and bloom,
  Until, thy pearly prime being past,
  Withered and dead thou'lt lie at last.

  O gleaming Night! whose cloudy hair
    Waves dark amid its woven light,
  Bestudded thick with jewels rare,
    Than royal diadem more bright,
      Lo! the white hands of Day
      Shall strip thy gauds away,
  And in the twilight of the morn
  Mock thy estate with cold-eyed scorn.

  My love, O Rose! hath had a day
    As fair, a fate as quick, as thine:
  All wrapped in perfumed sleep I lay
    Till my fond fancies grew divine,
      And sweet Elysium seemed
      Around me as I dreamed.
  The rose is dead, the dawn comes fast:
  Joy dies, but grief awakes at last.

  F.A. HILLARD.



GENTILHOMME AND GENTLEMAN.


"Le dernier gentilhomme de France vient de mourir!" exclaimed the
_Figaro_ a short time ago when recording the death of the Count de
Cambis. But the announcement has been made so often during the last
century that we are led to hope that the race may not be extinct
yet. Every generation of Frenchmen has boasted the possession of its
"first" and lamented the loss of its "last" "gentilhomme de France,"
and on each occasion have hasty English journalists of the day joined
both in the glorification and the lamentation over the individuals
thus commemorated by their own countrymen. The term "gentilhomme" is
so liable to be confounded with "gentleman" that it needs explaining,
for, despite the similarity of derivation, no two words can be more
distinct. The French gentilhomme must be of noble blood: he must be
of ancient and distinguished race, for no _nouveau parvenu_ can ever
aspire to be cited as a _vrai gentilhomme_, while the qualifications
necessary for sustaining the character seem to be wholly confined to
the one virtue of generosity. Whenever you hear it said of a man, "Il
s'est conduit en vrai gentilhomme," be sure that it means no more than
that he performed a simple act of justice in a courteous and graceful
manner. The sacred and self-imposed qualities which make up the
significance of the English word "gentleman" no Frenchman, nor
indeed any foreigner, can understand, and the word itself is never
translated, but always left in its original English. Bulwer defines
the appellation more clearly than any other author when he says, "The
word _gentleman_ has become a title peculiar to us--not, as in other
countries, resting on pedigree and coats-of-arms, but embracing all
who unite gentleness with manhood."

Now the gentilhomme of France is an entirely different type. He _must_
rely on pedigree and coats-of-arms; he must be sudden and quick in
quarrel; he must fling away his money freely amongst the _roture_; he
must be what is called a _beau joueur_--that is to say, he may lose at
the gaming-table the dowry of his mother, the marriage-portion of
his sister, everything, in short, save his temper; he may defraud a
creditor, and be the first to laugh at the fraud. "One God, one
love, one king!" is the cry of the good old English gentleman. But in
religion the gentilhomme Français may declare with Henri Quatre that
"Paris vaut bien une messe;" in love he may pledge his faith to as
many mistresses as that same valiant sovereign; and in politics he
may cry, "Vive le Roi! vive la Ligue!" and yet remain a _parfait
gentilhomme_ in spite of all.

Every generation seems to have furnished its _parfait gentilhomme par
excellence_. The court of Louis Quatorze boasted of its Chevalier de
Grammont, from whose own confession we learn that he gloried in the
skill with which he cheated the poor Count de Camma at Lyons and the
cunning with which he eluded payment of his bill at the inn.

Then came M. de Montrond, and he again was _premier gentilhomme de
France_ while he lived and _le dernier des gentilhommes Français_
when he died. M. de Montrond belonged to two generations, two
strongly-contrasted epochs. At his first ball at court he wore a
powdered _cadogan_ and danced in _talons rouges_: at his last he
lolled with bald head against a doorway, in varnished boots and
starched cravat. His existence has remained an enigma to this hour.
Although solicited to accept office by every party that rose to power
during his life, he steadfastly refused, and yet, by virtue of
his quality of premier gentilhomme de France, possessed unbounded
influence with them all. The explanation he gave of his system was
cynical enough: "A man must march straight to the cash-box and secure
the money, without waiting in the ante-room or the bureau: the power
is sure to follow." He chatted politics sometimes, but never "talked"
them, and seldom failed to introduce the names of one or more of the
forty-three duchesses, countesses and marquises whose peace of mind he
boasted of having wrecked for ever. Is it not strange that such frothy
frivolity could have obtained dominion for more than fifty years over
the most critical people in the world? But Montrond always declared
that no man in France would ever take the trouble to read a book
if once he had taken the trouble to read the preface. Even by the
capricious and pedantic yet ignorant society of fashionable London his
fantastical dominion was acknowledged; and the reason of this will be
understood at once in the fearlessness with which he uttered his rule
of conduct: "Every man of distinction should settle his income at ten
thousand pounds a year, and never trouble himself whether or not he
possesses as much for the capital." This premier gentilhomme de France
was proud of his want of reading, and used often to declare that the
only two books he had ever skimmed were the wearisome _Henriade_
of Voltaire and the frivolous _Liaisons Dangereuses_ of Laclos.
No research, no analysis of character, can be found to explain the
strange inconsistency by which M. de Montrond was, notwithstanding,
entrusted by every government under which he lived with the most
important secrets, the most serious negotiations--sent abroad to stay
revolutions, summoned home to remodel constitutions, and consulted
on every point as though he had spent his whole life in the study of
Montesquieu or Colbert. Such was the moral life of the man pronounced
the premier gentilhomme de France by the fathers and grandfathers of
the present generation.

Let us glance at the physical side of his existence--the outward and
visible sign of the distinctive title with which he was honored. M.
de Montrond began his career by the study of arms, wine, women and
dice--which constituted the accomplishments necessary for a gentleman
of the period--in the regiment of Royal Flanders. Theodore Lamette
was his first colonel, Douai his first garrison-town. Soon after his
arrival there every man in the place became his devoted friend, every
woman his willing slave, and every tradesman his ready creditor. It
so happened that a detachment of Royal Cravattes had sought temporary
quarters in the same town; and among the officers was a certain Comte
de Champagne, a great duelist and gamester. From this man, by some
good fortune, over which a veil has always been thrown by Montrond's
friends, he won a considerable sum, and on finding, after suffering
a considerable time to elapse, that no sign of payment was made,
he proclaimed his intention of taking steps--not according, but in
opposition, to the law--in order to obtain his due. Montrond knew
himself to be a wretched swordsman, and therefore resolved at once
to replace his want of skill by audacity. He sent his servant to the
stable where four-and-twenty goodly steeds belonging to the Count de
Champagne were champing their oats in all security, with orders to
carry them off and leave in lieu of the magnificent animals a message
to the effect that M. de Montrond would sell the stud to pay himself,
and hand over the balance to the Count de Champagne. In a few hours,
as he had expected, he was called to the field, and presented himself
before the great duelist with a phlegmatic humor which completely
upset the count's own self-possession. Montrond was hit hard at
the first lunge. He had intended to be; and the result has become
historical in the annals of dueling. He had been pierced in the breast
by his adversary's sword, and was evidently thought by the latter to
have received his death-wound. In token of this belief the Count de
Champagne lowered his weapon, and then M. de Montrond, making one
desperate thrust, drove his sword right through his adversary's heart.
The Count de Champagne fell dead without a cry, without a struggle.
Then M. de Montrond rose covered with glory and with honor, for in
such adventures lay the fame of the gentilhommes of that time.

It would be impossible to recount the long catalogue of M. de
Montrond's triumphs after this. He became the idol of fashion--as much
with the Directoire as he had been with the old court--and under the
patronage of Madame Tallien he was permitted to carry amongst the
stern republicans the habits and morals of the Régence. It was at
this moment of his life that the one act of expiation of the past took
place. He worked with right good-will for the benefit of the exiled
nobles, many of whom were recalled through his influence, which was
so great that he found means to persuade the unkempt rulers of the
Republic to invite to their banquets the pardoned émigrés, and to show
that they felt no rancor and experienced no dread.

We were about to follow the example of Montrond himself, and forget
that he was married--"just as little as possible," as he was wont to
say, but legally, notwithstanding. He married during the Revolutionary
movement a _grande dame_, a divorced lady, a certain Duchesse de
Fleury, who had sought in this union nothing more than the protection
of her property against the name of her first husband, through which
it would have been infallibly condemned to confiscation. Many of
the great ladies of that time had done likewise, thus defrauding the
Republic. But the Duchesse de Fleury neglected the most important
precaution of all--that of securing protection against the protector
she had chosen, who at once seized the property--more gayly perhaps,
but quite as effectually as the Republic would have done. The terms
of the marriage-contract may be quoted as a specimen of the motives
by which the premier gentilhomme de France was governed in the
transaction. After the declaration that the Duchesse de Fleury had
brought to the _communauté_ certain houses and lands, besides an
income of forty thousand livres, we find added by way of set-off to
this fortune that the count engaged himself to bring yearly the sum
of a hundred thousand francs--the produce of his wits. After a little
while, the premier gentilhomme having exercised the said wits in
spending the produce of the houses and lands of Madame de Fleury, and
Madame de Fleury not being able to return the compliment by selling
the wits of the Count de Montrond, the two went on their respective
ways, leaving to Providence the task of redeeming the lands which the
wits had sold and the income which the wits had scattered to the four
winds of heaven.

Space is wanting to recount the struggles of the different parties
which succeeded each other with such frightful rapidity in France
to obtain possession of the Count de Montrond's influence. But he
remained true to one principle, the one with which he started--"to
make straight for the cash-box." Yet with all this prosaic prudence,
amid the poetry of his position, the moral of this man's life was
fulfilled to the very letter. The Count de Montrond managed to outlive
every pecuniary resource save the one afforded by the remembrance of
"auld lang syne" and the unforgotten days of bygone love. He died in
the house of Madame Hamelin, after having been soothed and sheltered
by this friend and protectress through the revolutionary storm of
1848. He died dependent, subject to the same changes and caprice he
had so long inflicted upon others.

Montrond's successor, the Count de Cambis, the man who has represented
the premier gentilhomme de France in our day, died lately at as good
an old age as the Count de Montrond. _Autres tems, autres moeurs_: no
more cheating at cards, no more beating the watch, as in the case of
the Chevalier de Grammont; no more dueling and killing the adversary
by surprise, as in that of the Count de Montrond. When the bourgeois
king, Louis Philippe, succeeded to the elder branch, the gentilhomme
Français entirely lost his prestige, and the necessity of his
existence was ignored. Everything bourgeois had become the fashion at
court: the court itself was denominated a _basse-cour_ (farm-yard) by
the Faubourg St. Germain, and all who frequented it "les oies de Frère
Philippe" or "les canards d'Orléans." The Count de Cambis appeared at
that moment at the Tuileries in search of office. His name stood high
in the annals of the French noblesse: society had, however, ceased to
confound the gentilhomme with the roué. The conditions necessary
to fulfill the character were changed, and it was now the bourgeois
gentilhomme and not the gentilhomme roué whose claim to the vacant
place was more likely to be accepted. The Count de Cambis had held the
place of honorary equerry to the Duc d'Angoulême, having obtained
it less on account of his patent of nobility than by reason of his
unblemished character. He was now in search of some place about the
court, and soon found favor in the eyes of the citizen-king, to whom
the quiet virtues of the Tiers-État were of more value than the flash
and tinsel of the Régence. The count was of fine, commanding person
and handsome countenance: moreover, he was "the man with a story," and
a painful one it was, creative of the greatest interest in the tender
bosoms of the Orleans princesses. Although poor, belonging to a ruined
family, his prospects had been good at the court of Charles Dix, and
one of the greatest ladies of the court had cast her eyes upon him as
a suitable _parti_ for her daughter. The young lady, nothing loath,
had accepted with alacrity the proposition of marriage, seconded as
it was by the Duchesse d'Angoulême, and backed by the promise of high
office on its realization. A marriage is easy to arrange in France;
not so the execution of the marriage-contract, which is rendered as
wearisome by delays as the still more dilatory proceedings of the law;
and therefore it was deemed advisable, in order to pass this dismal
period, to despatch the Count de Cambis to Holland for the purchase of
horses for the royal stable. Arrived at The Hague, he was seized with
an attack of smallpox, which laid him prostrate on the low flock bed
of the miserable little inn to which he had been conveyed on landing
from the boat. Here he lay for some time incognito, his identity
unknown to any save the faithful valet who attended him, until he had
perfectly recovered from the disease, which, however, was found to
have left the most frightful traces of its passage in scar and seam
and furrow from forehead to chin. The handsome young cavalier who
landed so full of hope and spirits on the quay at The Hague rose from
his bed with a face bloated and discolored, seamed and scarred
and pockmarked, his once luxuriant locks grown thin and dank, his
eyelashes gone, his whole appearance so changed that as he gazed at
himself for the first time in the looking-glass he was overwhelmed
with such despair that, as he owned afterward to his friends, he would
have thrown himself from the window at which he stood into the canal
below had he not been prevented by the strong arm of his servant,
Dulac. A terrible period of anguish and depression followed on this
first excitement, but he awoke from it and returned to life once more,
a sadder and a wiser man. When the first impression of horror and
dismay had passed away his resolution was taken at once. He resolved
to disengage the lady from her vow, and sat down to write the words
which were to rend his heart in twain. At that moment Dulac entered
the room with a packet of letters just arrived from Paris by
estafette. Amongst them was one from the young lady's mother, full of
sweet pleasantry and graceful mirth, describing the gay doings at the
Tuileries, and the delight her daughter had experienced at the idea of
being allowed to attend the Duchesse d'Angoulême to the ball about to
be given in honor of the visit to Paris of some one or other of the
Spanish princes. She described with the greatest vivacity all the
details of the toilet to be worn by her chère petite Adèle and the
kindness of the royal princess, and ended with the most affectionate
expressions of regret at the absence from the fête of her daughter's
affianced lover, writing in playful terms of the danger in which
Adèle's heart would have been placed at the accession of so many new
and handsome cavaliers in attendance on the Spanish prince had it not
been for the precaution of wearing, as the safest shield against all
attacks, the locket which contained the portrait of her brave and
beautiful lover--the miniature he had given her on his departure.
He turned from the perusal of the letter with a deadly chill at his
heart: he crushed it in his hand, and threw it on the blazing logs
upon the hearth, holding it down with the tongs until every fiery
spark had disappeared, then watched the blackened flakes as they flew
one by one up the chimney; and when the last had disappeared he dashed
the tears from his eyes, and, to the great surprise and consternation
of Dulac, ordered him to pack up and prepare for their immediate
return to France.

That very evening he set out by the passage-boat, and arrived in
Paris on the very night of the ball at the Tuileries. With the strange
self-immolation which is generated in some characters by despair
he caused himself to be driven by the quay round to the Place Louis
Quinze, and made the driver stop so that he might torture himself
with the sight of the lights and the shadows of the dancers. He then
alighted at his own door beneath the gateway in the Rue de Rivoli,
which at that hour was silent and deserted, for the line of carriages
were all setting down in the courtyard of the Place du Carrousel. The
gaping valets merely nodded acquiescence to the password he muttered
as, muffled up to the chin, he glided noiselessly over the polished
floor of the vestibule and hurried up the stairs. Dulac was well
pleased to be home again, anticipating with delight the enjoyment of
that repose which after such a long arid rapid journey he had well
earned. What, therefore, was his consternation when _Monsieur le
Comte_ announced his intention of attending the ball, ordering him
to prepare in all haste his court-costume for the purpose! Dulac was
accustomed to obey without opposition, and, although wondering at this
sudden vagary on the part of his master, usually so reasonable in
all things, hastened to do his bidding. The toilet was completed in
silence. A few tears were shed by Dulac over the thin lank locks he
was called upon to friz, and when all was completed and he held aloft
the girandole to light him down the back stairs used by members of the
royal household to gain admission to the state apartments of the
royal palace without passing through the crowd in the ante-room, the
faithful fellow turned heartbroken to his master's chamber.

The Count de Cambis entered the ballroom at the moment when a
quadrille was being made up, and the very instinct of his love--for
it could not be mere chance--led him at once to the room and the place
where Mademoiselle de B---- was seated beside her mother. The count
has often told his friends that he trembled so violently that for a
few minutes he could neither speak nor move, but stood gazing upon
the young lady silent, motionless, as if rooted to the spot. The
whole seemed as if passing before him in a magic-lantern, and when
at length, recalled to himself by the amazement expressed upon the
countenances of both ladies, he ventured to ask his beautiful fiancée
for her hand in the dance, it was no wonder that she did not recognize
his voice, so choked and husky was it with emotion. But the young lady
turned abruptly away with an impatient gesture, and looked imploringly
at her mother for help against the intrusion of the repulsive gallant
she had secured. At a signal from the matron, which did not escape
the count, she bent her head, and the count, stooping also, caught the
whisper, "Nay, mon enfant, ugly as he is, he must not be refused, or
you cannot dance with any other partners all night." With pouting lips
and tearful eyes the young lady extended her hand, but by the time
she had raised her eyes again the suppliant had vanished through the
doorway, his disappearance as mysterious as his first apparition, and,
strange to say, was seen no more. He had caught sight of the locket,
the miniature of himself, with the bright eyes and flowing hair, the
long black eyelashes and glossy moustache. It seemed to reproach him
with the fraud he was premeditating against the lovely girl to whom,
if he listened to the dictates of honor, he must henceforth be as one
dead--as one, indeed, who had died many years before.

His anguish was intense. The test of love had been deceptive, the
ordeal had failed, the verdict had been given against him. He went
back to his chamber, where Dulac was still busily engaged in unpacking
his valise, bade the astounded valet replace everything he had already
taken out, and hurry at once to the Poste aux Chevaux to command
horses for the return journey to The Hague. As soon as he arrived at
that place he wrote a long letter to the young lady's mother releasing
her daughter from all obligation toward himself, and announcing his
determination never to intrude himself upon her notice again. The
Duchesse d'Angoulême, whose experience of life was of its bitterness
alone, is said to have interfered to prevent the affair from becoming
public, and to have assisted in finding another _parti_ for the
deserted fair one.

Meanwhile, the Restoration with its disappointments and broken vows
was replaced by the government of Louis Philippe with its hopes and
promises. The Count de Cambis, whose official position was annihilated
by the storm which swept over the kingdom, found himself immediately,
with the whole army of officials, compelled to choose between poverty
and obscurity or treachery to his former benefactors. When this combat
is allowed to take place between the heart and the stomach, the latter
generally carries the day; and so it did in this case. The Count de
Cambis did but follow the majority in binding himself at once to the
interests of the Orleans family. Louis Philippe, who, like all French
sovereigns, displayed undue eagerness to make use of the old servants
of the preceding dynasty, was not slow to avail himself of the offer
of service made by the Count de Cambis. A place was found for him as
superintendent of the royal stud, and here he really displayed that
disinterestedness in his dealings which entitled him to the highest
consideration. The Duke of Orleans, whose aristocratic tastes always
inclined him to favor distinction of birth, treated the Count de
Cambis with especial preference; and on his side the count was careful
to flatter the instincts of His Royal Highness by assuming the manners
and gait of the ancient raffinés of the Garde Royale. One of
the duke's chief delights consisted in fashioning his household
regulations after the model set by the Due d'Angoulême, and the count
became his chief counsel and adviser in every matter concerning
the etiquette to be observed in a well-ordered court. The tradition
preserved to the latest hour of the existence of the royal stables
tells of the fatality which rendered the Count de Cambis the avenger
of the Restoration he had denied through his share in the catastrophe
which deprived the throne of July of its heir.

It was the 13th of July, 1842. The day was fine. The duke appeared at
a window which looked into the courtyard where the Count de Cambis
was giving orders concerning the day's service. "The victoria to-day,"
called out His Royal Highness from the balcony.--"And Tom?" was the
question sent upward to the duke.--"No, let me have Kent: he goes
best with Ridge," returned the duke.--"But Kent has been much worked
lately, monseigneur, and--."--"Well, well, Cambis, as you like: you
know best," was the final reply as the duke turned away from the
window and retreated into the chamber. Just then one of the grooms,
who had been standing at a respectful distance and had overheard the
words, came forward and in a voice full of mystery begged to inform M.
le Comte that something was wrong with Tom, who had been observed to
be restless and irritable the whole morning, and inquired whether it
would not be well to have him doctored. "Pooh! pooh!" exclaimed
the count. "You are all chicken-hearted in _your_ stable--always
complaining of Tom, whose only fault lies in his spirit. He only shows
his thorough breeding, and the duke wishes to make a gallant display
on starting. There is a crowd already gathered round the gate to
see him drive off." So Tom was harnessed, and the postilion who rode
Piedefer declares that from the very first he argued ill of Tom's
temper, for he observed a vicious expression in his eye, and a
distension of the nostrils which never boded good.

The Duke of Orleans was driven from the palace-gate full of health and
spirits. He was to proceed to Neuilly to bid farewell to his mother,
Queen Amélie, at the little summer château there. Detractors of
the duke's character will tell you that on the way he stopped and
prolonged to undue length a visit he should not have made at all, and
that consequently he was compelled to urge the postilion to greater
speed. Whatever the cause, just at the entrance of the Route de la
Révolte the dreaded outburst of temper on the part of the irascible
Tom took place. At first merely fidgety, and managed with the greatest
delicacy by the English postilion, then ill-tempered and capricious,
swerving from side to side, necessitating in self-defence the use of
the whip--"But only gently and lighthanded, as one's obliged to do
sometimes, just to show 'em who's master," was the poor fellow's
explanation amid the bitter tears he shed when recounting the
catastrophe--when suddenly Tom reared and plunged, and set off at a
mad gallop which no human hand could have had the power to arrest.
The postilion kept a cool head and steady seat: not so the Duke of
Orleans, who rose to his feet in alarm just as the wheels of the
carriage struck against a stone. The shock caused him to lose his
balance: he was dashed violently to the ground, and in a few hours the
hope of France lay dead in the small back shop of a petty tradesman in
the avenue.

The blow was a dreadful one--far heavier than that of a mere domestic
bereavement. It was felt that the royal family had lost its hold, not
of authority, but of sentiment, upon the nation--that the dynasty for
which such sacrifices had been made was wrecked for ever. But no blame
was attached to any individual save by the Count de Cambis himself,
who acknowledged the grievous responsibility he had incurred by
instantly sending in his resignation and withdrawing from court. In
vain did Louis Philippe endeavor to persuade him to return; in vain
did the queen herself, even amid the desolation of the first storm of
grief, disclaim any imputation of blame to the count; in vain did
the Duc de Némours write with his own hand the urgent request that he
would resume office, were it only for a time, in order to display to
the world the conviction felt by every member of the royal family of
the utter absence of any neglect or carelessness on his part. It was
of no avail: the Count de Cambis remained steady to his purpose of
retirement, and disappeared entirely from court.

It was not until the summer of 1847 that a renewal of intercourse took
place. The day was a festival, and the approaches to the palace were
thronged till a late hour. A garden below the windows, surrounded by
a low iron grating, and called the garden of the Count de Paris, had
just been closed for the night; the sound of the drums beating the
_retraite_ was already dying in the distance; the crowd had all
withdrawn, and yet one solitary figure still remained, leaning
disconsolately against the railing, gazing wistfully into the garden,
and every now and then casting furtive glances up at the balcony into
which opened the window of the apartment occupied by the Duchess of
Orleans. Presently a child came down the steps and walked straight to
the gate against which the stranger was leaning, his forehead pressed
against the grating, his hand grasping the iron bars. In a moment the
key was turned in the lock, a little hand was placed within that of
the Count de Cambis, and a gentle voice whispered in his ear, "Come
in! come in! We are all there to-night--grandpère and all. We want
to see you so much. It is mamma's fête." There was no resisting this
appeal. Le premier gentilhomme de France would have been compelled
to forego his title had he refused the invitation, and clasping
the child's hand he traversed the garden in silence, and soon found
himself in the midst of the royal family assembled to celebrate the
fête of St. Hélène in the privacy of domestic affection. The sight
of the well-remembered faces, the smiles and greetings of the royal
family, the cordial kindness of the king, the silent sympathy of
the queen, the gentle welcome of the duchess, at length brought
consolation to the wounded spirit of the count, and without further
ado he consented at once to resume his old position; and the next day,
when he was seen galloping beside the royal carriage up the Champs
Élysées, he was greeted with hearty shouts of recognition by the
promenaders on either side. Everything now went on in the old train.
He was readmitted to the intimacy of the Orleans family, and retained
his place and the confidence of his master until the revolution
of February drove the Orleans family into exile. He retired into
obscurity with a grace and dignity befitting the premier gentilhomme
de France--without reproach, without a stain upon his escutcheon. He
refused the most tempting offers of employment at the imperial
court, and was seen no more, save when now and then, passing down the
boulevard with hurried steps, he was recognized by his long white hair
and braided jacket, with the persistent cipher of the royal house to
which he had been for so many years attached. Then, as he hastened
along with riding-whip in hand and jingling spurs upon his heels,
some old bourgeois sipping his demi-tasse at the door of a café would
exclaim, "There goes the Count de Cambis, le dernier gentilhomme de
France!"

A desperate attempt was made by the imperialists to set up a premier
gentilhomme of their own in the person of Count Morny, who sought to
revive the traditions of De Grammont and of De Montrond. He was brave,
he was witty, his _physique_ might be said to realize the ideal of the
role, but his _morale_ was founded on the theories of the Bonaparte
school. De Grammont tells us how he cheated the greasy cattle-dealer;
De Montrond makes us laugh when he relates how in his tour of
mediation with Prince Talleyrand he was wont to take bribes from two
rival princes, each willing to pay a heavy sum that the other might
be baffled; but neither De Grammont nor De Montrond would ever have
consented to soil his hands with such vile commercial speculations as
the Houillères d'Anzin or the Vieille Montagne, or condescend to such
disgraceful financial mystification as the "Affaire Jecker" of Mexico.

It would be impossible to explain the difference which exists between
the "gentilhomme" and the "gentleman." It is felt and understood,
but cannot be described. The term "gentleman" itself is conventional.
Neither birth nor accomplishments, nor even gentle manners, are
necessary for undisputed assumption of the title. The man who acts
as a lawyer's clerk cannot be called a gentleman, according to Judge
Keating's decision, because, the title having no place in the language
of the law, if he chanced to be indicted for a criminal offence he
would be denominated a "laborer." Serjeant Talfourd's sweeping theory,
of the term "gentleman" being legally applicable to every man who has
nothing to do and is out of the workhouse, cannot be accepted, as it
would of necessity include thieves, mendicants and out-door paupers.
The American police have been compelled, to defend the border-line of
gentility against the encroachments of their vagabond gold-seekers,
card-sharpers and ruffians, and confine the term to those of
respectable calling. In California the term may be applied to every
individual of the male gender and the Caucasian race, the line being
drawn at Chinamen. An American writer contests the acceptance of the
term, in England as being too vague and uncertain for comprehension by
foreigners, and suggests that some less conventional designation than
those now in use should be found to indicate the idea. To the moral
sense it would be natural to suppose that character rather than
calling would be the most important point in the consideration of
the question; but it is not so. In the four-oared race of gentlemen
amateurs held last year at Agecroft in Lancashire the prize of
silver plate was won by a crew taken from a club composed entirely of
colliers, who had been allowed to row under protest, they not being
acknowledged as "_gentlemen_ amateurs." The race over and the prize
won by the colliers, an investigation took place by the committee.
The result was unanimity of the vote against acceptance of the
qualification of the winners. Here, then, occurred the best
illustration of the comprehension of the term by the moderns, for
the "gentlemen," deeming that money _must_ be a salvo to pride in
the bosom of all whose quality of gentleman remains unacknowledged,
subscribed a handsome sum to be distributed amongst the disappointed
crew. But here, again, the proof was given of the vague uncertainty of
the term, for the crew of colliers were _gentlemen_ enough to refuse
the proffered gift with scorn.

G. COLMACHE.



SPECIAL PLEADING.

  Time, bring back my lord to me:
  Haste, haste! Lov'st not good company?
    Here's but a heart-break sandy waste
    'Twixt this and thee. Why, killing haste
  Were best, dear Time, for thee, for thee!

  Oh, would that I might divine
  Thy name beyond the zodiac sign
    Wherefrom our times-to-come descend.
    He called thee _Sometime_. Change it, friend:
  _Now-time_ soundeth far more fine.

  Sweet Sometime, fly fast to me:
  Poor Now-time sits in the Lonesome-tree
    And broods as gray as any dove,
    And calls, _When wilt thou come, O Love_?
  And pleads across the waste to thee.

  Good Moment, that giv'st him me,
  Wast ever in love? Maybe, maybe
    Thou'lt be this heavenly velvet time
    When Day and Night as rhyme and rhyme
  Set lip to lip dusk-modestly;

  Or haply some noon afar,
  --O life's top bud, mixt rose and star!
    How ever can thine utmost sweet
    Be star-consummate, rose-complete,
  Till thy rich reds full opened are?

  Well, be it dusk-time or noon-time,
  I ask but one small, small boon, Time:
    Come thou in night, come thou in day,
    I care not, I care not: have thine own way,
  But only, but only, come soon, Time.

  SIDNEY LANIER.



THE ATONEMENT OF LEAM DUNDAS.

BY MRS. E. LYNN LINTON, AUTHOR OF "PATRICIA KEMBALL."


CHAPTER XVII.

WHAT MUST COME.


If Madame de Montfort could not teach Leam some of the things
generally considered essential to the education of a gentlewoman, if
her orthography was disorderly, her grammar shaky, her knowledge of
geography, history and language best expressed by _x_, and her moral
perceptions never clear and seldom straight, she was yet far in
advance of a girl whose training in all things was so infinitely below
even her own dwarfed standard. Madame could read with native grace
and commendable fluency, making nimble leapfrogs over the heads of the
exceptionally hard passages, but Leam had to spell every third word,
and then she made a mess of it, Madame did know that eight and seven
are fifteen, but Leam could not get beyond five and five are ten and
one over makes eleven. If madame thought deception the indispensable
condition of pleasant companionship, and lies the current coin of good
society--in which she certainly sided with the majority of believing
Christians--Leam would be none the worse for a little softening of
that crude out-speaking of hers, which was less sincerity than the
hardness of youthful ignorance and the insolence of false pride. If
madame was only lacquer, and not clear gold all through, Leam had not
the grace of even the thinnest layer of varnish, and might well take
lessons in the religion of appearances and that thing which we call
"manner." Madame did know at least how to bear herself with the
seeming of a lady, and could say her shibboleth as it ought to be
said. Thus, she ate with delicacy and held her knife nicely poised and
balanced, but Leam grasped hers like a whanger, and cut off pieces of
meat anyhow, which as often as not she took from the point. Mamma had
eaten with her knife grasped also like a whanger, and why might not
she? she said when madame remonstrated and gave her a lecture on the
aesthetics of the table. And why should she not make her bread her
plate, and hold both bread and meat in her hand if she liked? Why
was she to wipe her lips when she drank? and why, traveling farther
afield, was she to speak when she was spoken to if she would rather be
silent? Why get up from her chair when ladies like Mrs, Harrowby and
Mrs. Birkett came into the room? They did not get up from their chairs
when she went into their rooms, and mamma never did. And why might she
not say what she thought and show what she disliked? Mamma said what
she thought and showed what she disliked, and mamma's rule was her
law.

All these objections madame had to combat, and all these things to
teach, and many more besides. And as Leam was young, and as even
the hardest youth is unconsciously plastic because unconsciously
imitative, the suave instructress did really make some impression;
so that when she assured the incredulous neighborhood of Leam's
improvement she had more solid data than always underlaid her words,
and was partly justified in her assertion.

Religion, too, was another point on which the forces of new and old
met in collision. Madame was of course what is meant by the word
"religious." Like all persons trading on falsehood and living
in deception, her orthodoxy was undoubted, and the most rigid
investigation could not have discovered an unsound spot anywhere.
She would as soon have thought of questioning her own existence as of
doubting the literal exactness of the first chapter of Genesis,
and she thought science an awfully wicked thing because it went
to disprove the story of the six days. She firmly believed in the
personality of Satan and material fires for wicked souls; and the
sweet way in which she lamented the probable paucity of the saved was
extremely edifying, not to say touching. This childlike acceptance,
this faithful orthodoxy, was one of the things for which the rector
liked her so well. He had a profound contempt for science and
skepticism together; and an unbeliever, even if learned in the stars
and old bones, ranked with him as a knave or a fool, and sometimes
both. His pet joke, which was not original, was that there was only
one letter of difference between septic and skeptic, and of the two
the skeptic was the more unsavory.

Being then pious, madame had hung about her walls short texts in fancy
lettering, with a great deal of scroll-work in gold and carmine to
make them look pretty. When she came into possession of Leam's mind,
she was shocked at her ignorance of all the sayings that were so
familiar to herself and other persons of respectability. Leam knew
nothing but a few barbarous prayers to saints, used more after the
fashion of charms than anything else, the ave and the paternoster said
incorrectly and not understood when said. Wherefore madame caused to
be illuminated some texts for her room too, as lessons always before
her eyes, and counter-charms to those heathenish invocations in which
the child put her sole faith and trust of salvation. And among other
things she gave her the Ten Commandments, very charmingly done.
Round each commandment were pictures, emblems, symbolic flowers, all
enclosed in fancy scroll-work of an elaborate kind. Really, it was a
very creditable piece of bastard art, and Mr. Dundas was moved almost
to tears by it. Madame did it herself--so she said with a tender
little smile--as her pleasant surprise for poor dear Leam on her
fifteenth birthday. And Leam was so far tamed in that she suffered
the Tables to be hung up in her bedroom, and even found pleasure in
looking at them. The pictures of Ruth and Naomi; of the thief running
away with the money-bags; of a woman lying prostrate with long hair,
and a broken lily at her side; of a murdered man prone in the snow,
and a frightened-looking bravo, half covering his face in his cloak,
fleeing away in the darkness, with a bowl marked "poison" and a dagger
dripping with blood in the margin,--all these pictures, which stood
against the commandments they illustrated, fascinated her greatly. The
colors and the gilding, the flowers and the emblems, pleased her,
and she took the texts sandwiched between as the jalap in the jam. At
first she thought it impious to have them there at all, because they
were in the Bible, and mamma used to say that good Christians never
read the Bible. It was a holy book which only priests might use, and
when those pigs of Protestants looked into it and read it, just as
they would read the newspaper, they profaned it. But by force of habit
she reconciled herself to the profanity, and by frequent looking at
the art got the literature into her head. And when it was there she
did not find anything in it to be afraid of or to condemn as too
mysteriously holy for her knowledge. All of which was so much to the
good; and Mr. Dundas had no words strong enough whereby to express his
gratitude to the fair woman who had saved his child from destruction
by giving her the Ten Commandments made pretty by adjuncts of bastard
art.

But had it not been for Alick Corfield, Madame la Marquise de Montfort
would not have made quite so much way. Alick and Leam used to meet
in Steel's Wood; and when Leam carried her perplexities to Alick, and
Alick told her that she ought to yield and gave her the reasons why,
after first fiercely combating him, telling him he was stupid, wicked,
unkind, she always ended by promising to obey; and when Leam promised
the things agreed to might be considered done. In point of fact,
then, it was Alick who was really moulding her, in excess of that
unconscious plasticity and imitation already spoken of. But this was
one of the things which the world did not know, and where judgment
went awry in consequence.

Of course the neighborhood saw what was coming--what must come,
indeed, by the very force of circumstances. The friendship which had
sprung up from the first between Mr. Dundas and madame could not stop
at friendship now, when both were free and evidently so necessary
to each other. For madame, with that noble frankness backed by wise
reticence characteristic of her, had told every one of her loss by
which she had been necessitated to become Leam's governess; always
adding, "So that I am glad to be able to work, seeing that I am
obliged to do so, as I could not borrow, even for a short time: I am
too proud for that, and I hope too honest."

Wherefore, as she was evidently Leam's salvation, according to her own
account, and Sebastian was confessedly her income, and a very good one
too, there was no reason why their several lines should not coalesce
in an indissoluble union, and one home be made to serve them instead
of two. As indeed it came about.

When the year of conventional mourning had been perfected, on the
anniversary of the very day when poor Pepita died, the final words
were said, the last frail barrier of madame's conjugal memories
and widowed regrets was removed, and Sebastian Dundas went home
the gladdest man in England. All that long bad past was now to be
redeemed, and he had made a good bargain with life to have passed
through even so much misery to come at the end into such reward.

Nothing startled him, nothing chilled him. When madame, laying
her hand on his arm, said in a kind of playful candor infinitely
bewitching, "Remember, dear friend, I told you beforehand that I have
lost _all_ my fortune; in marrying me you marry only myself with my
past, my child and my liabilities," his mind repudiated the idea of
the flimsiest shadow on that past, the faintest blur on its spotless
record. As for her child, it was his: he would give it his name, it
should be dearer to him than his own; which, all things considered,
was not an overwhelming provision of love; and her liabilities,
whatever they were, he would be glad to discharge them as a proof of
his love for her and the forging of another golden link between them.

He doubted nothing, believed all, and loved as much as he believed.
He was happy, radiant, content: the woman whom he loved loved him, and
had consented to become his wife. In giving her dear self to him she
was also accepting security and devotion at his hands; and what more
can a true man want than to be of good service to the woman he loves?
If women like to minister, it is the pride of men to protect; and if
the vow to endow with all his worldly goods is a fable in fact, it is
true as an instinctive feeling.

When Mrs. Harrowby heard that the marriage was positively arranged,
she sat with her daughters at a kind of inquest on their dead
friendship with Sebastian Dundas, and came to the conclusion that
they must know something more definite now about this person calling
herself Madame la Marquise de Montfort. As a stranger it was all
very well to overlook the vagueness of her biography--they were
not committed to anything really dangerous by simply visiting a
householder among them--but it was another matter if she was to be
married to one of themselves. Then they must learn who she really
was, and Mr. Dundas must satisfy them scrupulously, else they should
decline to know her.

"It will make a great gap in our society," said kindly Josephine, who,
having the most to suffer, had forgiven the most readily.

"Gap or no gap, it is what we owe to ourselves," said Mrs. Harrowby.

"And to Edgar," added Maria.

"I shall call on Sebastian to-morrow," said Mrs. Harrowby, laying
aside her knitting with the air of a minister who has dictated his
protocol and has now only to sign the clean copy.

"Sleep on it, mamma," pleaded Josephine.

"It will make no difference," returned the mother; and her elder two
echoed in concert, "I hope not."

The next day Mrs. Harrowby did call on Mr. Dundas, and, finding that
gentleman at home, succeeded in speaking her mind. She conveyed her
ultimatum as a corporate not individual resolution, speaking in the
name of the "ladies of the place," which she was scarcely entitled to
do.

Mr. Dundas declined to satisfy her. Indeed, it would have been
difficult for him to have done so, seeing that he knew no more of
Madame de Montfort, his intended wife, than what they all knew; which
was substantially nothing, unless her fancy autobiography could be
called something. He spoke, however, as if he had her private memoirs
and all the branches, roots and hole of the family tree in his pocket;
and he spoke loftily, with the intimation that she was superior; to
all at North Aston, Mrs. Harrowby herself included.

This interview, with its demand unsatisfied and its assertions
unproved, sent the coolness already existing between the Hill and
Andalusia Cottage down to freezing-point; and the worst of it was that
Mrs. Harrowby did not find backers. The neighborhood did not take up
the cause as she expected it would. It halted midway and faced both
sides, in the manner so dear to English respectability--less cordial
to Mr. Dundas and madame than it would have been had Mrs. Harrowby
been friendly, but unwilling to follow her to the bitter end. As they
said to each other, it was all very well for Mrs. Harrowby to be so
severe on the marriage, because she was angry and disappointed--and an
angry and disappointed mother is ever unreasonable--but they who
had no daughters to marry, really they did not see why they should
persecute that poor madame who was such pleasant company, and
had behaved herself with so much propriety since she came. And if
Sebastian Dundas was going to make a second mistake, that was his
lookout, and would be his punishment.

On the whole, the neighborhood when polled was decidedly more friendly
than hostile. The Corfields and Fairbairns were, as they had always
been, neutrals of a genial tint, more for than against; Mr. and Mrs.
Birkett were warm partisans; and only Adelaide joined hands with the
Hill and said that Mrs. Harrowby was justified in her renunciation
and that madame was a wretch. And for the first time in her life
the rector's daughter spoke compassionately of Leam and humanely of
Pepita, saying of the one how much she pitied her, having such a woman
for a stepmother; of the other, that, horrible as she was, at least
they knew the worst of her, which was more than they could say of
madame.

She made her father very angry when she said these things, but she
repeated them, nevertheless; and she knew that he dared not scold her
too severely before the world for fear of that little something called
conscience, and knowledge of the reason why he believed in Madame de
Montfort so implicitly.



CHAPTER XVIII.

RECKONING WITH LEAM.


The announcement of her father's intended marriage with madame came
on Leam with a crushing sense of terror and despair. Unobservant youth
sees little, and even what it does see it does not comprehend. Though
the girl had accustomed herself by slow degrees to many works and ways
which mamma had never known; though the faculties which had been, as
it were, imprisoned by that close-set, hide-bound love of hers were
now a little loosened and set free; though the activities of youth
were stirring in her, and her inner life, if still isolated, was a
shade more expanded than of old,--yet she had no desire for greater
change, and she had no keener vision for the world outside herself
than before. She saw nothing of that diabolical thing which her
father and madame had been so long plotting as the outcome of their
friendship, the parable of which her education had been the text. If
her intelligence was warping out from the narrow limits in which her
mother had confined it, it was still below the average--as much as her
feverish love and tenacious loyalty were above. All that she knew
was, mamma dead was the same as mamma living, only to be more tenderly
dealt with, as she could not defend herself; and that she wondered how
papa could be so wicked as to affront her now that she was not able to
punish him and let him know what she thought of him.

When he told her that he was going to give her a new mother, one whom
she must love as she had loved her own poor dear mamma--- he was so
happy he could afford to be tender even to that terrible past and poor
Pepita--Leam's first sensation was one of terror, her first movement
one of repulsion. She flung off the hand which he had laid on her
shoulder and drew back a few steps, facing him, her breath held, her
tragic eyes flashing, her face struck to stone by what she had heard.

"Well, my dear, you need not look so surprised," said Mr. Dundas
jauntily. "And you need not look so terrified. Your new mother will
not hurt you,"

"She shall not be my mother, papa," said Learn: "I will not own her."

"You will do what I tell you to do," her father returned with
admirable self-command.

"Not when you tell me to do a crime," flashed Leam.

Mr. Dundas smiled. "Your words are a trifle strong," he said.

"It is a crime," she reiterated. "But if you have forgotten mamma, and
want to affront her now that she cannot defend herself, I have not,
and never will."

Mr. Dundas smiled again. If he was so happy that he could afford to
be tender to the past, so also could he afford to be patient with
the present. "Foolish child!" he said compassionately: "you do not
understand things yet."

"I understand that I love mamma, and will not have this wicked woman
in her place," said Leam hotly.

"I think you will," he answered, playing with his watch-guard. "And in
the future, my little daughter, you will thank me."

"Thank you? For what?" asked Leam. "You made mamma miserable when she
lived: you and your madame helped to kill her, and now you put this
woman in her place! Papa, I wonder Saint Jago lets you live."

"As Saint Jago is kind enough to leave me in peace, perhaps you
will follow his example. What a saint allows my little daughter may
accept," said Mr. Dundas mockingly.

"No," said Leam with pathetic solemnity, "if the saints forget mamma,
I will not."

"My dear, you are a fool," said Mr. Dundas.

"You may call me what you like, but madame shall not be my mother,"
returned Leam.

"Madame will be your mother because she will be my wife," said
Mr. Dundas slowly. "Unfortunately for you--perhaps for myself
also--neither you nor I can alter the law of the land. The child must
accept the consequences of the father's act."

"Then I will kill her," cried Leam.

Her father laughed gayly. "I think we will brave this desperate
danger," he said. "It is a fearful threat, I grant--an awful
peril--but we must brave it, for all that."

"Papa," said Leam, "I will pray to the saints that when you die you
may not go to heaven with mamma and me."

It was her last bolt, her supreme effort at threat and entreaty, and
it meant everything. If her words of themselves would have amused
Mr. Dundas as a child's ignorant impertinence, the superstition of an
untaught, untutored mind, her looks and manner affected him painfully.
True, he did not love her--on the contrary, he disliked her--but, all
the same, she was his child; and, dissected, realized, it was rather
an awful thing that she had said. It showed an amount of hatred and
contempt which went far beyond his dislike for her, and made him
shudder at the strength of feeling, the tenacity of hate, in one so
young.

If more absurdity than good sense is talked about natural affection,
still there is a residuum of fact underneath the folly; and Leam's
words had struck down to that small residuum in her father's heart. It
was not that he was wounded sentimentally so much as in his sense of
proprietorship, his paternal superiority, and he was angry rather than
sorrowful. It made him feel that he had borne with her waywardness
long enough now: it was time to put a stop to it. "Now, Leam, no more
insolence and no more nonsense," he said sternly. "You have tried my
patience long enough. This day month I marry Madame de Montfort, with
or without your pleasure, my little girl. In a month after that I
bring her home here as my wife, consequently your mother, the mistress
of the house and of you. I give you the best guide, the best friend,
you have ever had or could have: you will live to value her as she
deserves. Your own mother was not fit to guide you: your new one will
make you all that my dearest hopes would have you. Now go. Think over
what I have said. If you do not like our arrangements, so much the
worse for you."

"The saints will never let her come here as my mother. I will pray to
them night and day to kill her." said Leam in a deep voice, clenching
her hands and setting her small square teeth, as her mother used to
set hers, like a trap.

Naturally, the second Mrs. Dundas could not be brought home without
a certain upsetting of the old order and a rearrangement of things
to suit the new. And the upsetting was not stinted, nor were the
exertions of Mr. Dundas. He superintended everything himself, to the
choice of a tea-cup, the looping of a curtain, and racked his brains
to make his beloved's bower the fit expression of his love, though
never to his mind could it be worthy of her deserving. There was not
an ornament in the place but was dedicated to her, placed where she
could see it on such and such an occasion, and shifted twenty times a
day for a more advantageous position. Everything which the house
had of most beautiful was pressed into her service, and even Leam's
natural rights of inheritance were ignored for madame's better
endowing. Lace, jewelry, trinkets, all that had been Pepita's, was
now hers, and the man's restless desire to make her rich and her home
beautiful seemed insatiable.

But there was always Leam in the background with whom he had to
reckon--Leam, who wandered through the house in her straight-cut,
plain black gown, made in the deepest fashion of mourning devisable,
pale, silent, feverish, like an avenging spirit on his track; undoing
what he had done if he had profaned an embodied memory of her mother,
and as impervious to his anger as he was to her despair.

One day he carried from the drawing-room to the boudoir which was to
be madame's, and had been Pepita's, a certain Spanish vase which had
been a favorite ornament with her because it reminded her of home.
He firmly fixed it on the bracket destined for it, opposite the couch
where he longed so ardently to see his fair and queenly loved one
sitting--he by her side in the lovers' paradise of secure content; but
the next time he went into the room he found it lying in fragments on
the floor. None of the servants knew how the mischance had happened:
the window was not open, and none of them had been in the room.
How, then, came it there, broken on the floor? When he asked Leam,
wandering by in that pale, feverish, avenging way of hers, he knew the
truth.

"Yes," she said defiantly, "I broke it. It was mamma's, and your
madame shall not have it."

"If you intend to go on like this I shall have you sent to school or
shut up in a lunatic asylum," cried Mr. Dundas in extreme wrath.

"Then I shall be alone with mamma, and shall not see you or your
madame," answered Leam, unconquered.

"You are a hardened, shameful, wicked girl," said her father angrily.
"Madame is an angel of goodness to undertake the care of such a
wretched creature as you are. I could not do too much for her if I
gave her all I had, and you can never be grateful enough for such a
mother."

"She is not my mother, and she shall not pollute mamma's things," Leam
answered with passionate solemnity. "If you give them to her I will
break or burn them. Mamma's things are her own, and she shall not be
made unhappy in heaven."

Provoked beyond himself, Sebastian Dundas said scornfully, "Heaven!
You talk of heaven as if you knew all about it, Leam, like the next
parish. How do you know she is there, and not in the place of torment
instead? Your mother was scarcely of the stuff of which angels are
made."

"Then if she is in the place of torment, she is unhappy enough as
it is, and need not be made more so," said faithful Leam, suddenly
breaking into piteous weeping; adding through her sobs, "and madame
shall not have her things."

Her tenacity carried the day so far that Mr. Dundas left off
rearranging the old, and sent up to London for things new and without
embarrassing memories attached to them. On which Leam swept off all
that had been her mother's, and locked up her treasures in her own
private cupboard, carrying the key in the hiding-place which that
mother had taught her to use, the thick coils of her hair. And her
father, warned by that episode of the vase, and a little dominated,
not to say appalled, by her resolute fidelity, shut his eyes to her
domestic larceny and let her carry off her relics in safety.

So the time passed, miserably enough to the one, if full of hope and
the promise of joy to the other; and the wedding morning came whereon
Sebastian Dundas was to be made, as he phrased it, happy for life.

It had been madame's desire that Leam should be her bridesmaid. She
had laid great stress on this, and her lover would have gratified her
if he could. He had no wish that way--rather the contrary--but her
will was his law, and he did his best to carry it into effect. But
when he told Leam what he wanted--and he told her quite carelessly,
and so much as a matter of course that he hoped she too would accept
her position as a matter of course--the girl, enlightened by love if
not by knowledge, broke into a torrent of disdain that soon showed him
how sleeveless his errand was likely to be.

He did his best, and tried all methods from pleading to threatening,
but Leam was immovable. No power on earth should bend her, she said,
or make her take part in that wicked day. She go to church? She would
expect to be struck dead if she did. She expected, indeed, that all of
them would be struck dead. She had prayed the saints so hard, so hard,
to prevent this marriage, she was sure they would at the last; and if
they did not, she would never believe in them nor pray to them again.
But she did believe in them, and she was sure they would punish this
dreadful crime. No, she would take no part in it. Why should she put
herself in the way of being punished when she was not to blame?

So Mr. Dundas had the mortification of carrying to his bride-elect
the intelligence that he had been worsted in his conflict with his
daughter, and that her hatred and reluctance were to be neither
concealed nor overcome.

Madame was sorry, she said with her sweetest air of patience and
liberal comprehension. She would have liked the dear girl to have been
her bridesmaid: it would have been appropriate and touching. But
as she declined--and her feelings were easy to be understood and
honorable, if a little extreme--she, madame, elected to be married
as a widow should, with only Mrs. Birkett and Mr. Fairbairn as the
witnesses, Mr. Fairbairn to give her away for form's sake. The dear
rector of course would marry them in this simple manner. They must
hope that time and her own unvarying affection--Mr. Dundas called it
sweetness, angelic patience, greatness of soul--would soften poor Leam
into loving acceptance of what would be so much to her good when she
could be got to understand it. Meanwhile they must be patient--content
to go gradually and gain her bit by bit. She, madame, would be
quite content with her presence in the room, when they returned to
breakfast, in the pretty white muslin frock ordered from town as the
sign of her participation in the event.

But when the morning came, where was Leam? The most diligent search
failed to discover her, and the only person who could have betrayed
her whereabouts was the last whom they would have thought of asking.

Of course, Mr. Dundas was properly distressed at this strange
disappearance, and madame was unduly afflicted. She proposed that the
marriage should be delayed till the girl was found, but the lover was
stronger than the father, and she was overruled--yielding because it
is the duty of the wife to yield, but only because of that duty--for
her own part desirous of delay until they were assured of the safety
of Leam.

The ceremony, however, was performed within the canonical hours, the
rector a little tremulous and apparently suffering from sore throat;
and as the happy pair drove away, madame, remembering her advent and
her objects more than a year ago now, could not but confess that she
had done better than she expected, and, her conscience whispered,
better than she deserved.

All this time Leam was sitting on the lower branches of the yew tree
beneath which that godless ruffian had murdered his poor sweetheart
two generations ago in Steel's Wood. It was a lonely corner, where no
one would have gone by choice at the best of times, but now, with its
bad name and evil association, it was entirely deserted. Leam had made
it her hiding-place ever since madame had taken her in hand to teach
her the correct pronunciation of Shibboleth, and she had escaped
from her teaching and run away into the wood, armed banditti and wild
beasts notwithstanding. And one day, hunting in it for fungi, Alick
Corfield had found her sitting there, and thenceforth they had shared
the retreat between them.

No one knew that they met there, and no one suspected it--not even
Mrs. Corfield, who believed, after the manner of mothers who bring up
their boys at home, that she knew the whole of her son's life from end
to end, and that he had not a thought kept back from her, nor had ever
committed an action of which she was not cognizant.

Alick had installed Leam as the girl-queen of his imagination, and
paid her the homage which she seemed to him to deserve more than many
a real queen crowned and sceptered or princess born in the purple. It
pleased him to write bad poems to her as his Infanta, his royal rose,
his pomegranate flower, his nestling eagle waiting for strength to
fly upward to the sun--all with halting feet and strained metaphor.
He drew pictures of her by the dozen, mostly symbolic and all out
of drawing, but expressive of his admiration, his hope, his respect;
while to Leam he was little better than a two-legged talking dog whose
knowledge interested and whose goodness swayed her, but on whose neck
she set her little foot and kept it there. She always treated him with
profound disdain, even when he told her curious things that were like
fairy-tales, some of which she did not believe if they were too far
removed from the narrow area of her personal experience. Thus, when he
assured her that certain plants fed on flies as men feed on meat, she
told him with her sublime Spanish calm, "I do not believe it." And she
said the same when he one day informed her that the planets could be
weighed and their distance from the earth and the sun measured. In
the beginning she knew nothing--neither whether the earth was round or
flat, nor what was the meaning of the stars, nor the name of one wild
flower excepting daisies, nor of one great man. That fallow waste
called her mind was virgin ground in truth, but Alick was patient,
and labored hard at the stubborn soil; and when madame had given the
credit to her own tact and those ugly little books from which she
taught, it was to him really that Leam's microscopic amount of
plasticity and reception was due.

These secret meetings amused Leam, and kept her from that ceaseless
inward contemplation of her mother which else was her only voluntary
occupation. They gave her a sense of power, as well as of successful
rebellion to her father, that gratified her pride. To be sure,
they were not what mamma would have liked. Alick Corfield was an
Englishman, and mamma hated the English. But then, Leam reflected, she
had not known Alick: if she had, she would have seen there was no harm
in him, and that he was not teaching her things which a child of Spain
ought not to know, and which Saint Jago would be angry with her for
learning. And perhaps now that mamma was up in heaven, and knew all
that went on here at home, she would not mind her little Leama seeing
Alick Corfield so often. In her prayers she told her very faithfully
all that she had done and felt and thought; she never deceived her a
hair's breadth; and as she had asked her permission so often and so
humbly, she made sure now that it was granted. Mamma could not refuse
her when she asked her so earnestly; and she was not angry, but on the
contrary glad, that her little heart had such a good dog to care for
her, and that she was defying el señor papa, that false image of the
false saint.

For the rest, it was only natural that she should like the air of
quasi adventure and independence which this unknown, intercourse with
Alick gave her. And as she was still in that conscienceless phase of
youth when liking means everything, and honor without love is a grass
having neither root nor flower, she continued to meet her faithful
dog, and to learn from him--not all that he could tell her, but what
she chose to accept.

So here it was, perched among the lower branches of the yew tree in
Steel's Wood, that Leam spent her father's wedding-day with Madame la
Marquise de Montfort; and when she became hungry Alick went home and
brought her some dry bread and grapes from Steel's Corner, Dry bread
and grapes--this was all that she would have, she said. She was not
greedy like the English, who thought of nothing but eating, she added
in her disdainful way; and if Alick brought her anything but bread and
grapes, she would fling it into the wood. On his life he was not to
touch anything on papa's table. She would rather die of hunger than
eat their wicked food. She wondered it did not choke them both.

"Now go," she said superbly, "and come back soon: I am hungry," as if
her sense of inconvenience was a catastrophe which heaven and earth
should be moved to avert.

But young and so beautiful as she was, her little tricks of pride and
arbitrariness were just so many additional charms to Alick; and if
she had not flouted and commanded him, he would have thought that
something terrible was about to happen: had she become docile,
grateful, familiar, he would have expected her to die before the day
was out. He liked her superb assumption of superiority. She was his
girl-queen, and he was her slave; she was his mistress, and he was her
dog; and, dog-like, he fawned at her feet even when she rated him and
placed her little foot on his neck.



CHAPTER XIX.

AT STEEL'S CORNER.


"I hope you will not be bored, my boy, but I am thinking of bringing
that wretched Leam Dundas here for a few days. I don't like a girl
of her age and character to be left for a full month alone. It is
not right, for who knows what she may not do? If she ran away on the
wedding-day, she may run away again, and then where would we all be?
I cannot think what her father was about to leave her unprotected like
this. So I shall just take and bring her here; and if you are bored
with her, you must make the best of it."

Mrs. Corfield and Alick were sitting in the "work-room" on the morning
of the fifth day after the marriage, when the thought struck the
little woman of the propriety of Leam's visit to them for the month of
her father's absence. She did not see her son's face when she spoke,
being busy with her wood-carving. If she had, she would not have
thought that the presence of Leam Dundas would bore or annoy him. The
clumsy features gladdened into smiles, the dull eye brightened, the
dim complexion flushed: if ever a face expressed supreme delight,
Alick's did then; and it expressed what he felt, for, as we know, the
one love of his boyish life was this girl-queen of his fancy. Not that
he was in love with her in the ordinary sense of being in love. He
was too reverent and she too young for vulgar passion or commonplace
sentiment. She was something precious to his imagination, not his
senses, like a child-queen to her courtier, a high-born lady to her
page. He bore with her girlish temper, her girlish insolence of pride,
her ignorant opposition, with the humility of strength bending its
neck to weakness--the devotion and unselfish sweetness characteristic
of him in other of his relations than those with Leam. Judge, then, if
he was likely to be bored, as his mother feared, or if this project of
a closer domestication with her was not rather a "bit of blue" in
his sky which made these early autumn days gladder than the gladdest
summer-time.

To will and to do were synonymous with Mrs. Corfield: her motto was
_velle est agere_; and a resolve once taken was like iron at white
heat, struck into the shape of deed on the instant. Darting up from
her chair, birdlike and angular, she put away her work. "Order the
trap," she said briskly, "and come with me. We will go at once, before
that poor creature has had time to do anything, wild, or silly."

"I do not think she would do anything wild or silly, mother," said
Alick in a deprecating voice. It galled him to hear his darling spoken
of so slightingly.

"No? What has she ever done that was rational?" cried his mother
sharply. "From the beginning, when she was a baby of three months old,
and howled at me because I kissed her, and that dreadful mother of
hers flew at me like a wildcat and said I had the evil eye, Leam
Dundas has been more like some changeling than an ordinary English
girl. I declare it sometimes makes my heart ache to, see her with
those awful eyes of hers, looking as if she had seen one does not
know what--as if she was being literally burnt up alive with sorrow.
However, don't let us discuss her: let us fetch her and save her from
herself. That is more to the purpose at this moment."

And Alick said "Yes," and went out to order the trap with alacrity.

When they reached Andalusia Cottage, the first thing they saw was a
strange workman from Sherrington painting out the name which in his
early love-days for his Spanish bride Sebastian Dundas had put up in
bold letters across the gate-posts. The original name of the place had
been Ford House, but the old had had to give place to the new in
those days as in these, and Ford House had been rechristened Andalusia
Cottage as a testimony and an homage. Mrs. Corfield questioned the
man in her keen inquisitorial way as to what he was about; and when
he told her that the posts were to show "Virginia" now instead of
"Andalusia," her great disgust, to judge by the sharp things which she
said to him, seemed as if it took in the innocent hand as well as the
peccant head. "I do think Sebastian Dundas is bewitched," she said
disdainfully to her son as they drove up to the house. "Did any one
ever hear of such a lunatic? Changing the name of his house with
his wives in this manner, and expecting us to remember all his
absurdities! Such a man as that to be a father! Lord of the creation,
indeed! He is no better than a court fool." Which last scornful
ejaculation brought the trap to the front door and into the presence
of Leam.

Standing on the lawn bareheaded in the morning sunshine, doing nothing
and apparently seeing nothing, dressed in the deepest mourning she
could make for herself, and with her high comb and mantilla as in
olden days, her eyes fixed on the ground and her hands clasped in each
other, her wan face set and rigid, her whole attitude one of mute,
unfathomable despair,--for the instant even Mrs. Corfield, with all
her constitutional contempt for youth, felt hushed, as in the presence
of some deep human tragedy, at the sight of this poor sorrowful child,
this miserable mourner of fifteen. Instead of speaking in her usual
quick manner, the sharp-faced little woman, poor Pepita's "crooked
stick," went up to the girl quietly and softly touched her arm.

Leam slowly raised her eyes. She did not start or cry out as a
creature naturally would if startled, but she seemed as if she
gradually and with difficulty awakened from sleep, or from something
even more profound than sleep. "Yes?" she said in answer to the touch.
"What do you want?"

It was an odd question, and Leam's grave intensity made it all the
more odd. But Mrs, Corfield was not easily disconcerted, and it was
"only Leam" at the worst.

"I want you," she answered briskly, "Tell the maid to pack up your
box, take off that lace thing on your head, and come home with me for
a day or two. You need not stay longer than you like, but it will be
better for you than moping here, thinking of all sorts of things you
had better not think of."

"Why do my thoughts vex you?" asked Learn gravely. "I was not thinking
of you."

Mrs. Corfield laughed a little confusedly. "I don't suppose you
were," she said, "but you see I did think of you. But whether you
were thinking of me or not, you certainly look as if you would be the
better for a little rousing. You were standing there like a statue
when we came up."

"I was listening to mamma," said Leam with an air of grave rebuke.

Mrs. Corfield rubbed her nose vigorously. "You would do better to come
and talk to me instead," she said.

Learn transfixed her with her eyes. "I like mamma's company best," she
said in the stony way which she had when stiffening herself against
outside influence.

"But if you come to us, you can listen to her as much as you like,"
said Alick soothingly. "We will not hinder you; and, as my mother
says, it is not good for you to be here alone."

"I like it," said Leam.

"Nonsense! then you should not like it. It is not natural for a girl
of your age to like it. Come with us," cried Mrs. Corfield: "why not?"

"I have something to do," Leam answered solemnly.

"What can a chit of a thing like you have to do? Come with us, I tell
you." Mrs. Corfield said this heartily rather than roughly, though
really she could not be bothered, as she said to herself, to stand
there wasting her time in arguing with a girl like Leam. It was too
ridiculous.

Leam looked at her with mingled tragedy and contempt, and disdained to
answer.

"What have you got to do?" again asked Mrs. Corfield.

"I shall not tell you," answered Leam, holding her head very high.

How, indeed, should she tell this little sharp-faced woman that she
was thinking how she could prevent madame from coming here as her
home? The saints had deserted her; she had prayed to them, threatened
them, coaxed, entreated, but they had not heard her; and now she had
nothing but herself, only her poor little frail hands and bewildered
brain, to protect her mother's memory from insult and revenge her
wrongs. The fever in her veins had given her mamma's face sorrowful
and weeping, meeting her wherever she turned--mamma's voice, faint
as the softest summer breeze in the trees, whispering to her, "Little
Leama, I am unhappy. Sweet heart, do not let me be unhappy." For five
days this fancy had haunted her, but it had not become distinct enough
for guidance. She was listening now, as she was listening always, for
mamma to tell her what to do. She was sure she would show her in time
how to prevent that wicked woman from living here, bearing her name,
taking her place: mamma could trust her to take care of her, now that
she could not take care of herself. As she had said to papa, if all
the world, the saints, and God himself deserted hers she, her child,
would not.

She would not tell these thoughts, even to Alick. They were a secret,
sacred between her and mamma, and no one must share them. If, then,
she went with this bird-like, insistent woman, she would talk to her
and not let her think: she and Alick would stand between herself and
mamma's spirit, and then mamma would perhaps leave her again, and go
back to heaven angry with her. No, she would not go, and she lifted up
her eyes to say so.

As she looked up Alick whispered softly, "Come."

Feverish, excited, her brain clouded by her false fancies, Leam did
not recognize his voice. To her it was her mother sighing through the
sunny stillness, bidding her go with them, perhaps to find some method
of hinderance or revenge which she could not devise for herself. They
were clever and knew more than she did; perhaps her mother and the
saints had sent them as her helpers.

It seemed almost an eternity during which these thoughts passed
through her brain, while she stood looking at Mrs. Corfield so
intently that the little woman was obliged to lower her eyes. Not that
Leam saw her. She was thinking, listening, but not seeing, though her
tragic eyes seemed searching Mrs. Corfield's very soul. Then, glancing
upward to the sky, she said with an air of self-surrender, which Alick
understood if his mother did not, "Yes, I will go with you: mamma says
I may."

"It is my belief, Alick," said Mrs. Corfield, when she had left them
to prepare for her visit, "that poor child is going crazy, if she is
not so already. She always was queer, but she is certainly not in her
right mind now. What a shame of Sebastian Dundas to bring her up as he
has done, and now to leave her like this! How glad I am I thought of
having her at Steel's Corner!"

"Yes, mother, it was a good thing. Just like you, though," said Alick
affectionately.

"You must help me with her, Alick," answered his mother. "I have done
what I know I ought to do, but she will be an awful nuisance all the
same. She is so odd and cold and impertinent, one does not know how to
take her."

Alick flushed and turned away his head. "I will take her off your
hands as much as I can," he said in a constrained voice.

"That's my dear boy--do," was his mother's unsuspecting rejoinder as
Leam came down stairs ready to go.

Steel's Corner was a place of unresting intellectual energies. Dr.
Corfield, a man shut up in his laboratory with piles of
extracts, notes, arguments, never used, but always to be used, an
experimentalist deep in many of the toughest problems of chemical
analysis, but neither ambitious nor communicative, was the one
peaceable element in the house. To be sure, Alick would have been both
broader in his aims and more concentrated in his objects had he been
left to himself. As it was, the incessant demands made on him by his
mother kept him too in a state of intellectual nomadism; and no one
could weary of monotony where Mrs. Corfield set the pattern, unless
it was of the monotony of unrest. This perpetual taking up of
new subjects, new occupations, made thoroughness the one thing
unattainable. Mrs. Corfield was a woman who went in for everything.
She was by turns scientific and artistic, a student and a teacher, but
she was too discursive to be accurate, and she was satisfied with a
proficiency far below perfection. In philosophy she was what might be
called a woman of antepenultimates, referring all the more intricate
moral and intellectual phenomena to mind and spirit; but she was
intolerant of any attempt to determine the causation of her favorite
causes, and she derided the modern doctrines of evolution and inherent
force as atheistic because materialistic. The two words meant the same
thing with her; and the more shadowy and unintelligible people made
the _causa causarum_ the more she believed in their knowledge and
their piety. The bitterest quarrel she had ever had was with an old
friend, an unimaginative anatomist, who one day gravely proved to her
that spirits must be mere filmy bags, pear-shaped, if indeed they
had any visual existence at all. Bit by bit he eliminated all the
characteristics and circumstances of the human form on the principle
of the non-survival of the useless and unadaptable. For of what use
are shapes and appliances if you have nothing for them to do?--if you
have no need to walk, to grasp, nor yet to sit? Of what use organs
of sense when you have no brain to which they lead?--when you are
substantially all brain and the result independent of the method?
Hence he abolished by logical and anatomical necessity, as well as the
human form, the human face with eyes, ears, nose and mouth, and by
the inexorable necessities of the case came down to a transparent bag,
pear-shaped, for the better passage of his angels through the air.

"A fulfillment of the old proverb that extremes meet," he said by
way of conclusion. "The beginning of man an ascidian--his ultimate
development as an angel, a pear-shaped, transparent bag."

Mrs. Corfield never forgave her old friend, and even now if any one
began a conversation on the theory of development and evolution she
invariably lost her temper and permitted herself to say rude things.
Her idea of angels and souls in bliss was the good orthodox notion of
men and women with exactly the same features and identity as they had
when in the flesh, but infinitely more beautiful; retaining the Ego,
but the Ego refined and purified out of all trace of human weakness,
all characteristic passions, tempers and proclivities; and the
pear-shaped bag was as far removed from the truth, as she held it, on
the one side as Leam's materialistic conception was on the other. The
character and condition of departed souls was one of the subjects on
which she was very positive and very aggressive, and Leam had a hard
fight of it when her hostess came to discuss her mother's present
personality and whereabouts, and wanted to convince her of her
transformation.

All the same, the little woman was kind-hearted and conscientious, but
she was not always pleasant. She wanted the grace and sweetness known
genetically as womanliness, as do most women who hold the doctrine of
feminine moral supremacy, with base man, tyrant, enemy and inferior,
holding down the superior being by force of brute strength and
responsible for all her faults. And she wanted the smoothness of
manner known as good breeding. Though a gentlewoman by birth, she gave
one the impression of a pert chambermaid matured into a tyrannical
landlady.

But she meant kindly by Leam when she took her from the loneliness of
her father's house, and her very sharpness and prickly spiritualism
were for the child's enduring good. Her attempts, however, to make
Leam regard mamma in heaven as in any wise different from mamma on
earth were utterly abortive. Leam's imagination could not compass the
thaumaturgy tried to be inculcated. Mamma, if mamma at all, was
mamma as she had known her; and if as she had known her, then she was
unhappy and desolate, seeing what a wicked thing this was that papa
had done. She clung to this point as tenaciously as she clung to
her love; and nothing that Mrs. Corfield, or even Alick, could say
weakened by one line her belief in mamma's angry sorrow and the
saints' potent and sometimes peccant humanity.

Among other scientific appliances at Steel's Corner was a small
off-kind of laboratory for Alick and his mother, to prevent their
troubling the doctor and to enable them to help him when necessary: it
was an auxiliary fitted up in what was rightfully the stick-house. The
sticks had had to make way for retorts and crucibles, and as yet no
harm had come of it, though the servants said they lived in terror of
their lives, and the neighbors expected daily to hear that the inmates
of Steel's Corner had been blown into the air. Into this evil-smelling
and unbeautiful place Leam was introduced with infinite reluctance
on her own part. The bad smell made her sick, she said, turning round
disdainfully on Alick, and she did not wonder now at anything he might
say or do if he could bear to live in such a horrid place as this.

When he showed off a few simple experiments to amuse her--made crystal
trees, a shower of snow, a heavy stone out of two empty-looking
bottles, spilt mercury and set her to gather it up again, showed her
prisms, and made her look through a bit of tourmaline, and in every
way conceivable to him strewed the path of learning with flowers--then
she began to feel a little interest in the place and left off making
wry faces at the dirt and the smells.

One day when she was there her eye caught a very small phial with a
few letters like a snake running spirally round it.

"What is that funny little bottle?" she asked, pointing it out. "What
does it say?"

"Poison," said Alick.

"What is poison?" she asked.

"Do you mean what it is? or what it does?" he returned.

"Both. You are stupid," said Leam.

"What it does is to kill people, but I cannot tell you all in a breath
what it is, for it is so many things."

"How does it kill people?" At her question Leam turned suddenly round
on him, her eyes full of a strange light.

"Some poisons kill in one way and some in another," answered Alick.

Leam pondered for a few moments; then she asked, "How much poison is
there in the world?"

"An immense deal," said Alick: "I cannot possibly tell you how much."

"And it all kills?"

"Yes, it all kills, else it is not poison."

"And every one?"

"Yes, every one if enough is taken."

"What is enough?" she asked, still so serious, so intent.

Alick laughed. "That depends on the material," he said. "One grain of
some and twenty of others."

"Don't laugh," said Leam with her Spanish dignity: "I am serious. You
should not laugh when I am serious."

"I did not mean to offend you," faltered Alick humbly. "Will you
forgive me?"

"Yes," said Leam superbly, "if you will not laugh again. Tell me about
poison."

"What can I tell you? I scarcely know what it is you want to hear."

"What is poison?"

"Strychnine, opium, prussic acid, belladonna, aconite--oh, thousands
of things."

"How do they kill?"

"Well, strychnine gives awful pain and convulsions--makes the back
into an arch; opium sends you to sleep; prussic acid stops the action
of the heart; and so on."

"What is that?" asked Leam, pointing to the small phial with its
snake-like spiral label.

"Prussic acid--awfully strong. Two drops of that would kill the
strongest man in a moment."

"In a moment?" asked Learn.

"Yes: he would fall dead directly."

"Would it be painful?"

"No, not at all, I believe."

"Show it me," said Learn.

He took the bottle from the shelf. It was a sixty-minim bottle, quite
full, stoppered and secured.

She held out her hand for it, and he gave it to her. "Two drops!"
mused Leam.

"Yes, two drops," returned Alick.

"How many drops are here?"

"Sixty."

"Is it nasty?"

"No--like very strong bitter almonds or cherry-water; only in excess,"
he said. "Here is some cherry-water. Will you have a little in some
water? It is not nasty, and it will not hurt you."

"No," said Leam with an offended air: "I do not want your horrid
stuff."

"It would not hurt you, and it is really rather nice," returned Alick
apologetically.

"It is horrid," said Learn.

"Well, perhaps you are better without it," Alick answered, quietly
taking the bottle of prussic acid from her hands and replacing it on
the shelf, well barricaded by phials and pots.

"You should not have taken it till I gave it you," said Leam proudly.
"You are rude."

From this time the laboratory had the strangest fascination for Leam.
She was never tired of going there, never tired of asking questions,
all bearing on the subject of poisons, which seemed to have possessed
her. Alick, unsuspecting, glad to teach, glad to see her interest
awakened in anything he did or knew, in his own honest simplicity
utterly unable to imagine that things could turn wrong on such a
matter, told her all she asked and a great deal more; and still Leam's
eyes wandered ever to the shelf where the little phial of thirty
deaths was enclosed within its barricades.

One day while they were there Mrs. Corfield called Alick.

"Wait for me, I shall not be long," he said to Leam, and went out to
his mother.

As he turned Learnm's eyes went again to that small phial of death on
the shelf.

"Take it, Leama! take it, my heart!" she heard her mother whisper.

"Yes, mamma," she said aloud; and leaping like a young panther on the
bench, reached to the shelf and thrust the little bottle in her hair.
She did not know why she took it: she had no motive, no object. It was
mamma who told her--so her unconscious desire translated itself--but
she had no clear understanding why. It was instinct, vague but
powerful, lying at the back of her mind, unknown to herself that it
was there; and all of which she was conscious was a desire to possess
that bottle of poison, and not to let them know here that she had
taken it.

This was on the afternoon of her last day at the Corfields. She was
to go home to-night in preparation for the arrival of her father and
madame to-morrow, and in a few hours she would be away. She did not
want Alick to come back to the laboratory. She was afraid that he
would miss the bottle which she had secured so almost automatically
if so superstitiously: Alick must not come back. She must keep that
bottle. She hurried across the old-time stick-house, locked the door
and took the key with her, then met Alick coming back to finish his
lesson on the crystallization of alum, and said, "I am tired of your
colored doll's jewelry. Come and tell me about flowers," leading the
way to the garden.

Doubt and suspicion were qualities unknown to Alick Corfield. It never
occurred to him that his young queen was playing a part to hide the
truth, befooling him for the better concealment of her misdeeds. He
was only too happy that she condescended to suggest how he should
amuse her; so he went with her into the garden, where she sat on the
rustic chair, and he brought her flowers and told her the names and
the properties as if he had been a professor.

At last Leam sighed. "It is very tiresome," she said wearily. "I
should like to know as much as you do, but half of it is nonsense, and
it makes my head ache to learn. I wish I had my dolls here, and that
you could make them talk as mamma used. Mamma made them talk and go
to sleep, but you are stupid: you can speak only of flowers that
don't feel, and about your silly crystals that go to water if they
are touched. I like my zambomba and my dolls best. They do not go to
water; my zambomba makes a noise, and my dolls can be beaten when they
are naughty."

"But you see I am not a girl," said Alick blushing.

"No," said Leam, "you are only a boy. What a pity!"

"I am sorry if you would like me better as a girl," said Alick.

She looked at him superbly. Then her face changed to something that
was almost affection as she answered in a softer tone, "You would be
better as a girl, of course, but you are good for a boy, and I like
you the best of every one in England now. If only you had been an
Andalusian woman!" she sighed, as, in obedience to Mrs. Corfield's
signal, she got up to prepare for dinner, and then home for her father
and madame to-morrow.


CHAPTER XX.

IN HER MOTHER'S PLACE.


Whatever madame's past life had been--and it had been such as a
handsome woman without money or social status, fond of luxury and to
whom work was abhorrent, with a clear will and very distinct knowledge
of her own desires, clever and destitute of moral principle, finds
made to her hand--whatever ugly bits were hidden behind the veil of
decent pretence which she had worn with such grace during her sojourn
at North Aston, she did honestly mean to do righteously now.

She had deceived the man who had married her in such adoring good
faith--granted; but when he had reconciled himself to as much of the
cheat as he must know, she meant to make him happy--so happy that he
should not regret what he had done. Though she was no marquise, only
plain Madame de Montfort--so far she must confess for policy's sake,
and to forestall discovery by ruder means, but what remained beyond
she must keep secret as the grave, trusting to favorable fortune and
man's honor for her safety--though the story of the fraudulent trustee
was untrue, and she never had more money than the three hundred pounds
brought in her box wherewith to plant her roots in the North Aston
soil--though all the Lionnet bills were yet to be paid, and her
husband must pay them, with awkward friends in London occasionally
turning up to demand substantial sops, else they would show their
teeth unpleasantly,--still, she would get his forgiveness, and she
would make him happy.

And she would be good to Leam. She would be so patient, forbearing,
tender, she would at last force the child to love her. It was a new
luxury to this woman, who had knocked about the world so long and so
disreputably, to feel safe and able to be good. She wondered what it
would be like as time went on--if the rest which she felt now at the
cessation of the struggle and the consciousness of her security would
become monotonous or be always restful. At all events, she knew
that she was happy for the day, and she trusted to her own tact and
management to make the future as fair as the present.

The home-coming was triumphant. Because the rector was inwardly
grieved at the loss of his ewe-lamb--for he had lost her in that
special sense of spiritual proprietorship which had been his--he was
determined to make a demonstration of his joy. He and Mrs. Birkett
meant to stand by Mrs. Dundas as they had stood by Madame la Marquise
de Montfort, and to publish their partisanship broadly. When,
therefore, the travelers returned to North Aston, they found the
rector and his wife waiting to receive them at their own door.
Over the gate was an archway of evergreens with "Welcome!" in white
chrysanthemums, and the posts were wreathed with boughs and ribbons,
but leaving "Virginia Cottage" in its glossy evidence of the new
regime. The drive was bordered all through with flowers from the
rectory garden, and Lionnet too had been ransacked, and the hall was
festooned from end to end with garlands, like a transformation-scene
in a pantomime. One might have thought it the home-coming of a young
earl with his girl-bride, rather than that of a middle-aged widower of
but moderate means with his second wife, one of whose past homes had
been in St. John's Wood, and one of her many names Mrs. Harrington.

But it pleased the good souls who thus displayed their sympathy, and
it gratified those for whom it had all been done; and both husband and
wife expressed their gratitude warmly, and lived up to the occasion in
the emotion of the moment.

When their effusiveness had a little calmed, down, when Mrs. Dundas
had caressed her child--which poor Mrs. Birkett gave up to her with
tears--and Mr. Dundas had also taken it in his arms and called it
"Little Miss Dundas" and "My own little Fina" tenderly--when, the
servants had been spoken to prettily and the bustle had somewhat
subsided, Mrs. Dundas looked round for something missing. "And where
is dear Leam?" she asked with her gracious air and sweet smile.

It was very nice of her to be the first to miss the girl. The father
had forgotten her, friends had overlooked her, but the stepmother, the
traditional oppressor, was thoughtful of her, and wanted to include
her in the love afloat. This little circumstance made a deep
impression on the three witnesses. It was a good omen for Leam, and
promised what indeed her new mother did honestly design to perform.

"Even that little savage must be tamed by such persistent sweetness,"
said Mr. Birkett to his wife, while she, with a kindly half-checked
sigh, true to her central quality of maternity and love of peace all
round, breathed "Poor little Leam!" compassionately.

Leam, however, was no more to the fore at the home-coming than she had
been at the marriage, and much searching went on before she was found.
She was unearthed at last. The gardener had seen her shrink away into
the shrubbery when the carriage-wheels were heard coming up the road,
and he gave information to the cook, by whom the truant was tracked
and brought to her ordeal.

Mrs. Birkett went out by the French window to meet her as she came
slowly up the lawn draped in the deep mourning which for the very
contrariety of love she had made deeper since the marriage, her young
head bent to the earth, her pale face rigid with despair, her heart
full of but one feeling, her brain racked with but one thought, "Mamma
is crying in heaven: mamma must not cry, and this stranger must be
swept from her place."

She did not know how this was to be done; she only knew that it must
be done. She had all along expected the saints to work some miracle
of deliverance for her, and she looked hourly for its coming. She had
prayed to them so passionately that she could not understand why they
had not answered. Still, she trusted them. She had told them she was
angry, and that she thought them cruel for their delay; and in her
heart she believed that they knew they had done wrong, and that the
miracle would be wrought before too late. It was for mamma, not for
herself. Madame must be swept like a snake out of the house, that
mamma might no longer be pained in heaven. Personally, it made no
difference whether she had to see madame at Lionnet or here at home,
but it made all the difference to mamma, and that was all for which
she cared.

Thinking these things, she met Mrs. Birkett midway on the lawn, the
kind soul having come out to speak a soothing word before the poor
child went in, to let her feel that she was sympathized with, not
abandoned by them all. Fond as she was of madame, the new Mrs, Dundas,
and little as she knew of Leam, the facts of the case were enough for
her, and she saw Adelaide and herself in the child's sorrow and poor
Pepita's successor. "My dear," she said affectionately as she met the
girl walking so slowly up the lawn, "I dare say this is a trial to
you, but you must accept it for your good. I know what you must feel,
but it is better for you to have a good kind stepmother, who will be
your friend and instructress, than to be left with no one to guide
you."

Leam's sad face lifted itself up to the speaker. "It cannot be good
for me if it is against mamma," she said.

"But, Leam, dear child, be reasonable. Your mamma, poor dear! is dead,
and, let us trust, in heaven." The good soul's conscience pricked her
when she said this glib formula, of which in this present instance
she believed nothing. "Your father has the most perfect right to marry
again. Neither the Church nor the Bible forbids it; and you cannot
expect him to remain single all his life--when he needs a wife so
much, too, on your account--because he was married to your dear mamma
when she was alive. Besides, she has done with this life and all the
things of the earth by now; and even if she has not, she will be happy
to see you, her dear child, well cared for and kindly mothered."

Leam raised her eyes with sorrowful skepticism, melancholy contempt.
It was the old note of war, and she responded to it. "I know mamma,"
she said; "I know what she is feeling."

She would have none of their spiritual thaumaturgy--none of that
unreal kind of transformation with which they had tried to modify
their first teaching. There was no satisfaction in imagining mamma
something different from her former self--no more the real, fervid,
passionate, jealous Pepita than those pear-shaped transparent bags,
so logically constructed by Mrs. Corfield's philosopher, are like the
ideal angels of loving fancy. If mamma saw and knew what was going
on here at this present moment--and Mrs. Birkett was not the bold
questioner to doubt this continuance of interest--she felt as she
would have felt when alive, and she would be angry, jealous, weeping,
unhappy.

Mrs. Birkett was puzzled what to say for the best to this
uncomfortable fanatic, this unreasonable literalist. When believers
have to formularize in set words their hazy notions of the feelings
and conditions of souls in bliss, they make but a lame business of it;
and nothing that the dear woman could propound, keeping on the side of
orthodox spirituality, carried comfort or conviction to Leam. Her one
unalterable answer was always simply, "I know mamma: I know what she
is feeling," and no argument could shake her from her point.

At last Mrs. Birkett gave up the contest. "Well, my child," she
said, sighing, "I can only hope that the constant presence of your
stepmother, her kindness and sweetness, will in time soften your
feeling toward her."

Leam looked at her earnestly. "It is not for myself," she said: "it is
for mamma."

And she said it with such pathetic sincerity, such an accent of deep
love and self-abandonment to her cause, that the rector's wife felt
her eyes filling up involuntarily with tears. Wrong-headed, dense,
perverse as Leam was, her filial piety was at the least both touching
and sincere, she said to herself, a pang passing through her heart.
Adelaide would not speak of her if she were dead as this poor ignorant
child spoke of her mother. Yet she had been to Adelaide all that the
best and most affectionate kind of English mother can be, while Pepita
had been a savage, now cruel and now fond; one day making her teeth
meet in her child's arm, another day stifling her with caresses;
treating her by times as a woman, by times as a toy, and never
conscientious or judicious.

All the same, Leam's fidelity, if touching, was embarrassing as things
were; so was her belief in the continued existence of her mother. But
what can be done with those uncompromising reasoners who will carry
their creeds straight to their ultimates, and will not be put off with
eclectic compromises of this part known and that hidden--so much sure
and so much vague? Mrs. Birkett determined that her husband should
talk to the child and try to get a little common sense into her head,
but she doubted the success of the process, perhaps because in her
heart she doubted the skill of the operator.

By this time they reached the window, and the woman and the girl
passed through into the room.

Mrs. Dundas came forward to meet her stepdaughter kindly--not warmly,
not tumultuously--with her quiet, easy, waxen grace that never saw
when things were wrong, and that always assumed the halcyon seas even
in the teeth of a gale. For her greeting she bent forward to kiss the
girl's face, saying, "My dear child, I am glad to see you," but Leam
turned away her head.

"I am not glad to see you, and I will not kiss you," she said.

Her father frowned, his wife smiled. "You are right, my dear: it is a
foolish habit," she said tranquilly, "but we are such slaves to silly
habits," she added, looking at the rector and his wife in her pretty
philosophizing way, while they smiled approvingly at her ready wit and
serene good-temper.

"Will you say the same to me, Leam?" asked her father with an attempt
at jocularity, advancing toward her.

"Yes," said Leam gravely, drawing back a step.

"Tell me, Mrs, Birkett, what can be done with such an impracticable
creature?" cried Mr. Dundas.

"She will come right: in time, dear husband," said the late marquise
sweetly; and Mrs. Birkett echoed, looking at the girl kindly, "Oh yes,
she will come right in time."

"If you mean by coming right, letting you be my mamma, I never will,"
cried Leam, fronting her stepmother.

"Silence, Leam!" cried Mr. Dundas angrily.

His wife laid her taper fingers tenderly on his. "No, no, dear
husband: let her speak," she pleaded, her voice and manner admirably
effective. "It is far better for her to say what she feels than to
brood over it in silence. I can wait till she comes to me of her own
accord and says, 'Mamma, I love you: forgive me the past'"

"You are an angel," said Mr. Dundas, pressing her hand to his lips,
his eyes moist and tender.

"I always said it," the rector added huskily--"the most noble-natured
woman of my acquaintance."

"I never will come to you and say, 'Mamma, I love you,' and ask you to
forgive me for being true to my own mamma," said Learn. "I am mamma's
daughter, no other person's."

Mrs. Dundas smiled. "You will be; mine, sweet child," she said.

How ugly Leam's persistent hate looked by the side of so much
unwearied goodness! Even Mrs. Birkett, who pitied the poor child,
thought her tenacity too morbid, too dreadful; and the rector honestly
held her as one possessed, and regretted in his own mind that the
Church had no formula for efficient exorcism. Believing, as he did, in
the actuality of Satan, the theory of demoniacal possession came easy
as the explanation of abnormal qualities.

Her father raged against himself in that he had given life to so much
moral deformity. And yet it was not from him that she inherited "that
cursed Spanish blood," he said, turning away with a groan, including
Pepita, Leam, all his past with its ruined love and futile dreams, its
hope and its despair, in that one bitter word.

"Don't say that, papa: mamma and I are true. It is you English that
are bad and false," said Leam at bay.

Mrs. Dundas raised her hand, "Hush, hush, my child!" she said in a
tone of gentle authority. "Say of me and to me what you like, but
respect your father."

"Oh, Leam has never done that," cried Mr. Dundas with intense
bitterness.

"No," said Leam, "I never have. You made mamma unhappy when she was
alive: you are making her unhappy now. I love mamma: how can I love
you?"

And then, her words realizing her thoughts in that she seemed to see
her mother visibly before her, sorrowful and weeping while all this
gladness was about in the place which had once been hers, and whence
she was now thrust aside--these flowers of welcome, these smiling
faces, this general content, she alone unhappy, she who had once been
queen and mistress of all--the poor child's heart broke down, and
she rushed from the room, too proud to let them see her cry, but too
penetrated with anguish to restrain the tears.

"I am sure I don't know what on earth we can do with that girl,"
said Mr. Dundas with a dash of his old weak petulance, angry with
circumstance and unable to dominate it--the weak petulance which had
made Pepita despise him so heartily, and had winged so many of her
shafts.

"Time and patience," said madame with her grand air of noble
cheerfulness. But she had just a moment's paroxysm of dismay as she
looked through the coming years, and thought of life shared between
Leam's untamable hate and her husband's unmanly peevishness. For that
instant it seemed to her that she had bought her personal ease and
security at a high price.

As Leam went up stairs the door of her stepmother's room was standing
open. The maid had unpacked the boxes most in request, and was now at
tea in the servants' hall, telling of her adventures in Paris, where
master and mistress had spent the honeymoon, and in her own way the
heroine of the hour, like her betters in the parlor. The world seemed
all wrong everywhere, life a cheat and love a torture, to Leam, as she
stood within the open door, looking at the room which had been hers
and her mother's, now transformed and appropriated to this stranger,
She did not understand how papa could have done it. The room in which
mamma had lived, the room in which she had died, the window from
which she used to look, the very mirror that used to reflect back her
beautiful and beloved face--ah, if it could only have kept what it
reflected!--and papa to have given all this away to another woman!
Poor mamma! no wonder she was unhappy. What could she, Leam, do to
prevent all this wickedness if the blessed ones were idle and would
not help her?

Her eyes fell on a bottle placed on the console where madame's night
appliances were ranged--her night-light and the box of matches, her
Bible and a hymn-book, a tablespoon, a carafe full of water and a
tumbler, and this bottle marked "Cherry-water--one tablespoonful for
a dose." In madame's handwriting underneath stood, "For my troublesome
heart." Only about two tablespoonsful were left.

Leam took the bottle in one hand, the other thrust itself mechanically
into her hair. No one was about, and the house was profoundly still,
save for the voices coming up from the room below in a subdued and
not unpleasant murmur, with now and then the child's shrill babble
breaking in through the deeper tones like occasional notes in a
sonata. Out of doors were all the pleasant sights and sounds of the
peaceful evening coming on after the labors of the busy day. The birds
were calling to each other in the woods before nesting for the night;
the homing rooks flew round and round their trees, cawing loudly; the
village dogs barked their welcome to their masters as they came off
the fields and the day's work; and the setting sun dyed the autumn
leaves a brighter gold, a deeper crimson, a richer russet. It was
all so peaceful, all so happy, in this soft mild evening of the late
September--all seemed so full of promise, so eloquent of future joy,
to those who had just begun their new career.

But Leam knew nothing of the poetry of the moment--felt nothing of
its pathetic irony in view of the deed she was half-unconsciously
designing. She saw only, at first dimly, then distinctly, that here
were the means by which mamma's enemy might be punished and swept from
mamma's place, and that if she failed her opportunity now she would be
a traitor and a coward, and would fail in her love and duty to mamma.
No, she would not fail. Why should she? It was the way which the
saints themselves had opened, the thing she had to do; and the sooner
it was done the better for mamma.

She uncorked the bottle of cherry-water, good for that troublesome
heart of poor madame's. All that Alick had told her of the action
of poisons came back upon her as clearly as her mother's words,
her mother's voice. This cherry-water, too, had the smell of bitter
almonds, and was own sister to that in the little phial in her other
hand. Now she understood it all--why she had been taken to Steel's
Corner, why Alick had taught her about poisons, and why her mamma
had told her to steal that bottle. She looked at it with its eloquent
paper marked "Poison" wound about it spirally like a snake, uncorked
it and emptied half into the cherry-water.

"Two drops are enough, and there are more than two there," she said to
herself. "Mamma must be safe now." And with this she left the room and
went into her own to watch and wait.

It was early to-night when Mrs. Dundas retired. There were certain
things which she wanted to do on this her first night in her new home;
and among them she wanted to put that green velvet pocket-book, gold
embroidered, in some absolutely safe place, where it would not be seen
by prying eyes or fall into dangerous hands. She did not intend to
destroy its contents. She knew enough of the uncertainty of life to
hold by all sorts of anchorages; and though things looked safe and
sweet enough now, they might drift into the shallows again, and she
wished her little Fina's future to be assured by one or other of those
charged with it--if the stepfather failed, then to fall back on the
father. Wherefore she elected to keep these papers in a safe place
rather than destroy them, and the safest place she could think of
was Pepita's jewel-case, now her own. It had a curious lock, which no
other key than its own would fit--a lock that would have baffled even
a "cracksman" and his whole bunch of skeleton keys.

In putting them away, obliged for the need of space to take off the
paper wrappings, she was foolish enough to look at the photographs
within--just one last look before banishing them for ever from her
sight, as an honest wife should--and the sight of the handsome young
face which she had loved sincerely in its day, and which was the face
of her child's father, shook her nerves more than she liked them to be
shaken. That troublesome heart of hers had begun to play her strange
tricks of late with palpitation and irregularity. She could not afford
that her nerve should fail her. That gone, nothing would remain to her
but a wreck. But her cherry-water was a pleasant and safe calmant, and
she knew exactly how much to take.

Her maid saw nothing more to-night than she had seen on any other
night of her service. Her mistress, if not quite so sweet to her as to
Mrs. Birkett, say, or the rector, was yet fairly amiable as mistresses
go, and to-night was neither better nor worse than ordinary. Her
attendance went on in the usual routine, with nothing to remark, bad
or good; and then madame laid her fair head on the pillow, and took
a tablespoonful of her calmant to check the palpitation that had
come on, and to still her nerves, which that last look backward had
somewhat disturbed.

How beautiful she looked! Fair and lovely as she had always been to
the eyes of Sebastian Dundas, never had she looked so grand as now.
Her yellow hair was lying spread out on the pillow like a glory: one
white arm was flung above her head, the other hung down from the bed.
Her pale face, with her mouth half open as if in a smile at the happy
things she dreamt, peaceful and pure as a saint's, seemed to him the
very embodiment of all womanly truth and sweetness. He leaned over her
with a yearning rapture that was almost ecstasy. This noble, loving
woman was his own, his life, his future. No more dark moods of
despair, no more angry passions, disappointment and remorse; all was
to be cloudless sunshine, infinite delight, unending peace and love.

"My darling, oh my love!" he said tenderly, laying his hand on her
glossy golden hair and kissing her. "Virginie, give me one word of
love on your first night at home."

She was silent. Was her sleep so deep that even love could not awake
her? He kissed her again and raised her head on his arm. It fell back
without power, and then he saw that the half-opened mouth had a little
froth clinging about the lips.

A cry rang through the house--cry on cry. The startled servants ran up
trembling at they knew not what, to find their master clasping in his
arms the fair dead body of his newly-married wife.

"Dead--she is dead," they passed in terrified whispers from each to
each.

Leam, standing upright in her room, in her clinging white night-dress,
her dark hair hanging to her knees, her small brown feet bare above
the ankle--not trembling, but tense, listening, her heart on fire, her
whole being as it were pressed together, and concentrated on the one
thought, the one purpose--heard the words passed from lip to lip.
"Dead," they said--"dead!"

Lifting up her rapt face and raising her outstretched arms high above
her head, with no sense of sin, no consciousness of cruelty, only with
the feeling of having done that thing which had been laid on her to
do--of having satisfied and avenged her mother--she cried aloud in
a voice deepened by the pathos of her love, the passion of her deed,
into an exultant hymn of sacrifice, "Mamma, are you happy now? Mamma!
mamma! leave off crying: there is no one in your place now."

[TO BE CONTINUED.]



FAMISHING PORTUGAL.


The following paper contains the substance of a remarkable letter and
accompanying documents recently received from Portugal:

LISBON, September, 1875.

You wish to know what truth there is in the cable reports of "a
drought in the north and south of Portugal, and a threatened famine
in two or three provinces." Shall I tell you all? Well, then, Heaven
nerve me for the task! I shall have an unpleasant story to narrate.

You, who have been in Portugal, need not be reminded that the kingdom
consists of six provinces--Minho, Tras-os-Montes, Beira, Estremadura,
Alemtejo and Algarve. In the early part of this summer a drought
affected the whole kingdom. Toward the end of July abundant rain fell
in Minho, where two products only are raised--wine ("port wine")
and maize. The rain, which, had it fallen in Alemtejo, the principal
wheat-province of the kingdom, would have done incalculable good,
benefited neither the vineyards of Minho nor the maize-crop anywhere.
The consequence is, that this last-named crop, the principal
bread-food of the country, has failed, and famine prevails throughout
the land. Having lived in America, I know what you, so accustomed to
freedom and plenty, will say to this:

"France, Sprain, Morocco, England--all these countries are near to
Portugal. If she is short of bread, let her simply exchange wine for
it, and there need be no fears of a famine."

Ah, my dear American friends, little do you suspect the artlessness
of this reply. Know, then, that those who own the wines of Portugal do
not lack for bread, and those who lack for bread do not own the wines;
that the first of these classes are the aristocrats and foreigners who
live in the cities or abroad, and the second the people at large;
that there exists an abyss between these classes so profound that no
political institutions yet devised have been able to bridge it; that
there is no credit given by one class to the other, and few dealings
occur between them; and that the laws of Portugal discourage the
importation of grain into the kingdom.

You are a straightforward people, and dive at once to the bottom of
a subject. "Why do not the Portuguese devote themselves so largely to
the cultivation of grain that there need never be danger of famine?"
you will now ask. My answer to this is: The people do not own the
land.

"What! Were the reforms of Pombal, the French Revolution, the
Portuguese revolution of 1820 and the various constitutions since that
date, the abolition of serfdom and mortmain, and the law of 1832, all
ineffectual to emancipate the Portuguese peasant from the thralldom of
land?"

Alas! they were indeed all in vain, and the Portuguese peasantry
stands to-day at the very lowest step of European civilization--far
beneath all others. The number of agricultural workers in Portugal is
about eight hundred and seventy-five thousand. Of this number,
some seven hundred thousand are hired laborers, farm-servants,
_emphyteutas_ (you shall presently know the meaning of this ominous
word) and metayers; that is to say, persons who may cultivate only
such products as their employers or landlords choose, and the latter
in their greed and short-sightedness always choose that the former
shall cultivate wine. The remainder, or some one hundred and
seventy-five thousand, consist chiefly of small proprietors, owning
three, four, five and ten acre patches of land, often intersected by
other properties, and therefore not adapted for the cultivation of
grain: such of the _emphyteutas_ and metayers as are practically free
to cultivate what they please make up the remainder of this class.

The quantity of land devoted to grain is therefore exactly what the
aristocratic land-owners choose to make it; and, never suspecting that
a well-fed peasant is more efficient as a laborer than a famished one,
they have made it barely enough, in good years, to keep the miserable
population from entirely perishing. The product in such years is about
six bushels of edible grain per head of total population, together
with a little pulse and a taste of fish or bacon on rare occasions. In
unfavorable years, like the present one, the product of edible grain
falls to five bushels per head, and unless the government suspends the
corn laws for the whole country--which since 1855 it has usually done
on such occasions--famine ensues. The nation (excepting, of course,
the court and aristocracy, who live in or near Lisbon and Oporto) is
thus kept always at the brink of starvation, and every mishap in these
artificial and tyrannical arrangements consigns fresh thousands to the
grave.

The population of Portugal was the same in 1798 that it is
to-day--viz., about four millions--and there has been no time between
those periods when it was greater. Knowing, as we do, that the law
of social progress is growth--in other words, that the condition of
individual development, both physical and intellectual, is that degree
of freedom which finds its expression in the increase of numbers--what
does this portentous fact of a stationary population bespeak? Simply,
the utmost degradation of body and mind; vice in its most hideous
forms; filth, disease, unnatural crimes; a hell upon earth. These are
always the characteristics of nations which have been prevented from
growing. The melancholy proofs of a condition of affairs in Portugal
which admits of this description shall presently be forthcoming.

Antonio de Leon Pinelo, who was one of the greatest lawyers and
historians that Spain ever produced, very profoundly remarked that no
man could possibly understand the history of slavery in America who
had not first mastered the subject of Spanish _encomiedas_. With equal
truth it may be said that the solution of Portuguese history lies
in the subject of _emphyteusis_. Emphyteusis (Greek: zmphutehuis,
"ingrafting," "implanting," and perhaps, metaphorically,
"ameliorating") is a lease of land where the tenant agrees to improve
it and pay a certain rent. The origin of this tenure is Greek, and it
was probably first adopted in Rome after the conquest of the Achaean
League (B.C. 146), when Greece became a Roman province. It was carried
into Carthage B.C. 145, and into Spain and Portugal about B.C. 133,
when those countries fell beneath the Roman arms. Whenever this
occurred the first act of the conquerors was to assume the ownership
of the land. They then leased it on emphyteusis, either to
the original occupiers, to their own soldiers, or to settlers
("carpet-baggers"). The rent was called _vectigal_, and decurions
(corporals in the army) were usually employed to collect it and
administer the lands.

Syria, Greece, Carthage, and the Iberian Peninsula were the first
countries to succumb to the Roman arms outside of Italy. These
conquests all occurred within the space of fifty-seven years (from 190
to 133 B.C.), and this was doubtless the period when emphyteusis was
first employed upon an extensive scale. Originally, the tenants
were liable to have their rents increased, and to be evicted at the
pleasure of the state, and thus lose the benefit of any improvements
effected by them. The result was, that no improvements were effected.
The forests were cut down, the orchards destroyed, the lands exhausted
by incessant cropping; and by the beginning of the present era the
entire coasts of the Mediterranean were exploited.

This great historical fact is replete with significance--not only to
Portugal, but also to the rest of the world, even to America, which,
by abandoning its public lands to the rapacity of monopolists and the
vandalism of ignorant immigrants, is preparing for itself a future
filled with forebodings of evil.

The ruin of the lands of Carthage, Spain, etc. eventually hastened the
ruin of Italy. It put an end to the legitimate supplies of grain which
those countries had been accustomed to contribute; it forced their
populations to crowd into already overcrowded Italy, and increase the
requirements of food in a country which had been exploited like their
own, and, though not so rapidly, yet by similar means;[1] and it gave
rise to the servile wars, to the most corrupt period in Roman history,
to the Empire, and to the endless series of consequences in its train.

[Footnote 1: Although the various states of Italy were conquered
by Rome before Greece was, it is probable that emphyteusis was not
employed in those states until after the year B.C. 146--between that
and B.C. 120.]

After the Western Empire had apparently fallen beneath the Northern
arms--that is to say, five hundred years later--and not until then,
the Roman Code ameliorated the baneful tenure of emphyteusis. A law of
the emperor Zenos (A.D. 474-491) fixed whatever had theretofore been
uncertain in the nature and incidents of emphyteusis. The tenant was
guaranteed from increase of rent and from eviction--the alienation
of the property by the state being held thenceforth to affect the
quit-rent only--and finally he obtained full power to dispose of the
land, which nevertheless remained subject to the quit-rent in whatever
hands it might be. Before these reforms were effected, Portugal was
conquered by the Visigoths, the Roman proprietors of the soil were
expelled, and their laws and institutions suppressed. This occurred
in the year 476. Whether emphyteusis in any form remained is not quite
certain, but it seems not; and during this government, and the Moorish
one which superseded it in the year 711, the Iberian Peninsula enjoyed
an interval of prosperity to which it had been a stranger for ages.

In the eleventh century this happy condition of affairs was disturbed
by the appearance of certain Spanish crusading knights, who, issuing
from the mountainous parts of the country adjacent to their own, began
to war against the Moorish authorities. In the course of a century,
and with little voluntary aid from the peasants, who distrusted
them and their religious pretensions and promises of advantage, they
managed to acquire possession of the country. Now, what do you suppose
was one of the first acts committed by these adventurers? Nothing less
than the re-enactment of the odious Roman tenure of emphyteusis, and
that in its most ancient and worst form--liability to increased
rent and to eviction; not only this, but with certain base services
combined. The wretched inhabitants were required to work so many days
in the week for these lords, to break up a certain amount of waste
land; to furnish so many cattle; to kill so many birds; to provide (in
rural districts remote from the sea) so many salt fish; to furnish so
much incense or so many porringers, iron tools, pairs of shoes, etc.

Talk of the Western Empire having "declined and fallen," as Messrs.
Gibbon and Wegg put it! Why, here it was again, and with the worst
of its ancient crimes inscribed upon its code of law. Emphyteusis was
reintroduced into Portugal by King Diniz (Dennis) in the year 1279,
and was followed by its usual effects--ruin and depopulation. In
1394 was born Prince Henry. He was the son of John I. and Philippa,
daughter of John of Gaunt, duke of Lancaster, and was therefore the
nephew of Henry IV. of England. Perceiving and commiserating the
wretchedness of the people, and casting about him for a remedy,
Henry saw but one: that was departure from the land, emigration,
colonization, escape from the tyranny of the soil, of nobles and of
ecclesiastics--a tyranny which both his illustrious rank and his piety
forbade him to oppose. Hence his intense devotion to the discovery and
colonization of strange lands, which is in vain to be accounted for
on the ground of a mere passion, the only one usually advanced by
unthinking historians.

The results of this mania, as it was then considered, of Prince Henry
are well known--the discovery of Madeira, the Azores, Senegambia,
Angola, Benguela, etc., and, after Prince Henry's death, the Cape of
Good Hope, Goa, Macao, the islands, etc.; all of which were colonized
by Portuguese. These colonies, and the commerce which sprang up with
them, afforded outlets for the downtrodden serfs of Portugal. Such was
the beneficial result of this partial measure of freedom that in
the course of the following two centuries Portugal became one of the
leading nations of the world, with a population of 5,000,000 and a
flag respected in every clime.

Unhappily, this interval of prosperity to Portugal was the cause of
infinite misery to the negro race. The discoveries in Africa and Asia
afforded a career to the enslaved Portuguese; yet, by leading, as they
did, to the discovery of America, they were eventually the cause of
the slave-trade, which without America could not have flourished. Such
will ever be the result of the attempt to palliate instead of cure
evil. Moreover, the discovery of America and the resulting slave-trade
were the cause of Portugal's retrogression to the point whence she had
started in Prince Henry's time. When gold and slaves rendered maritime
discovery profitable to the aristocratic class, all the nobles went
into it--not only the aristocrats of Portugal, but those also of
Spain, England, France, Holland, Italy. They all went into the trade
of acquiring empires, and it is not to be wondered at if in this
rivalry of greed and violence Portugal, exploited and burdened with
serfdom and other features of bad government at home, was distanced
and overcome. Her colonies were captured and reduced by foreign
enemies, or invaded and ruined by one of the several political
diseases from which she had never wholly rid herself. For example, the
once magnificent city of Goa, which formerly contained a population of
150,000 Christians and 50,000 Mohammedans, is now an almost deserted
ruin, with but 40,000 inhabitants, _chiefly ecclesiastical_.

When Pombal assumed the reins of government in 1750 the population of
Portugal had been reduced to less than 2,000,000: there was neither
agriculture, manufactures, army nor navy. Perceiving this state of
affairs, and recognizing the cause of it, Pombal caused the vines to
be torn up by the roots and corn planted in their place. Ruffianism
was crushed, the Jesuits were banished, the nobility were taught
to respect the civil law, the peasantry were encouraged. After
twenty-seven years of reforms and prosperity Pombal was dismissed
from office and the old abuses were reinstated, among them those worst
incidents of emphyteusis which had been devised by the base ring of
nobles and ecclesiastics who held the land in their grasp.

These abuses remained without material change until 1832, and thus you
have a complete history of emphyteusis from the first to the last day
of its institution in Portugal. In truth, however, its last day has
not come even yet, for many of its incidents still linger in the code
of laws.

Now for its effects on the land. What growth of forest trees had
followed the abolition of emphyteusis under the Gothic and Saracenic
monarchs was destroyed under the government of Christian nobles, and
to-day there is scarcely a tree in Portugal--the woods, including
fruit and nut trees, covering less than 400,000 out of 22,000,000
acres, the entire area of the country. The destruction of the woods,
to say nothing of its effects upon the rainfall, caused the top soil
to be washed away, and thus impoverished the arable land, filling the
rivers with earth, rendering them innavigable, and converting them
from gently-flowing streams to devastating torrents, which annually
bestrew the valleys and plains with sand and stones.[2] In the next
place, emphyteusis has caused every kind of improvement to be avoided.
The soil has been exhausted by over-cropping; public works, like
roads, wells, irrigating canals, etc., have been neglected; and the
numerous works left by the industrious Saracens have been allowed to
go to ruin. Finally, the tenant, being placed entirely in the power of
the lord, was continually kept at the point of starvation. To escape
this dreadful fate he has committed every conceivable offence against
the laws of Nature and humanity. Tyranny and starvation have made
of him a liar, thief, smuggler, assassin, beast. The very ground is
tainted with his tread, the air is redolent of his crimes.

[Footnote 2: The Mondega annually overflows its banks, changes its
course and buries thousands of once fertile acres under sand and
stones; the Vonga has converted the once productive land between
Aveiro and Ovar into a vast morass; the Douro is periodically
converted into a frightful and resistless torrent which sweeps
everything before it.]

I am aware of the eminently legal, and therefore judicial, mind of
Americans; therefore I shall give nothing of importance on my own
testimony alone. It shall be seen what the Portuguese peasant is from
the descriptions that travelers have written, and from the fragments
of statistical evidence which the deeply-culpable ruling classes have
permitted to be published.

But first let me describe the degree of destitution to which the
peasant has been reduced, for without this destitution this criminal
character would not have been his.

Baron Forrester says:[3] "The poverty of the inhabitants of the
interior of Portugal is equal to that of the Irish." (This was written
in 1851, immediately after the Irish famine.) "The wretchedness of
their condition checks marriage and promotes clandestine intercourse."
William Doria writes:[4] "The inhabitants (all ages) do not obtain
half (scarcely one-third) as much as the minimum of animal food
required to sustain active vitality, which is one hundred grammes,
about one-fifth of a pound, per day." Marques says:[5] "The daily
ration of an able-bodied man should consist of at least twelve hundred
grammes, of which one-fourth (about three-fifths of a pound) should be
animal food. The Portuguese soldier (much better fed than the peasant)
receives but seventeen grammes (little over half an ounce) of animal
food." Notwithstanding the superior food of the soldier, such is the
hatred of the peasant for the aristocratic classes, in whose service
the army is employed, that he will mutilate himself to escape the
conscription.[6] Says Malte-Brun: "During four months of the year
the inhabitants of the Algarve have little to eat but raw figs. This
causes a disease called _mal de veriga_, which sweeps away numbers of
the people." Says Doria: "All the women work in the fields;" and Dr.
Farr[7] tells us that "when women are employed in any but domestic
labors they discharge the duties of mother imperfectly, and the
mortality of children is high." Says Forrester: "Leavened bread
is beginning to be known in the principal cities, but not in the
provinces. Gourds, cabbages and turnip-sprouts, with bread made from
chestnuts (which are always wormy), form the peasant's diet." "In
Algarve carob-beans are commonly roasted, ground into flour and made
into bread." Says Da Silva:[8] "The growth of the peasantry is stunted
by insufficient nourishment, which consists largely of chestnuts,
beans and chick-peas."

[Footnote 3: _Prize Essay on Portugal_, London, 1854.]

[Footnote 4: _Parliamentary Papers_, London, 1870.]

[Footnote 5: _Estudos Estatisticos, hygienicos e administrativas sobre
as doenças e a mortalidade do exercito Portuguez_, etc., by Dr. José
Antonio Marques, Lisbon, 1862.]

[Footnote 6: Doria, p. 184.]

[Footnote 7: The Registrar-General of England.]

[Footnote 8: L.A. Rebello da Silva (minister of marine), _Economia.
Rural_, Lisbon, 1868.]

The utmost area of land which the average Portuguese peasant can
cultivate is two and a half acres: in the United States the average of
cultivated land per laborer is over thirty-two acres; on prairie-land
sixty acres is not uncommon. Forrester writes: "In the Alto Douro, the
richest portion of the kingdom, the villages are formed of wretched
hovels with unglazed windows and without chimneys. Instead of bread or
the ordinary necessaries of life, one finds only filth, wretchedness
and death. Emigration is the one thought of the people."

Now for the moral, intellectual and physical results of the
destitution thus evinced. The work entitled _Voyage du Duc du Châtelet
en Portugal_, although usually quoted under this title, was really
written by M. Comartin, a royalist of La Vendée, and written during
the French Revolution. If it had any bias at all, that bias was all in
favor of Portugal, yet this is his description of her people: "Il est,
je pense, peu de peuple plus laid que celui de Portugal. Il est petit,
basané, mal conformé. L'intérieur répond, en général, assez à cette
repoussante envelope, surtout à Lisbonne, où les hommes paroissent
réunir tous les vices de l'âme et du corps. II y a, au reste, entre
la capitale et le nord de ce royaume, une différence marquée sous ces
deux rapports. Dans les provinces septentrionales, les hommes sont
moins noirs et moin laids, plus francs, plus lians dans la société,
bien plus braves et plus laborieux, mais encore plus asservis, s'il
est possible, aux préjugés. Cette différence existe également pour
les femmes; elles sont beaucoup plus blanches que celles du sud.
Les Portugais, considérés en général, sont vindicatifs bas, vains,
railleurs, présomptueux à l'excès, jaloux. et ignorans. Après avoir
retracé les défauts que j'ai cru appercevoir en eux, je serois injuste
si je me taisois sur leurs bonnes qualités. Ils sont attachés à leur
patrie, amis géneréux, fidèles, sobres, charitables. Ils seroient bons
Chrètiens si le fanatisme ne les aveugloit pas. Ils sont si accoutumés
aux pratiques de la religion qu'ils sont plus superstitieux que
dévots. Les hidalgos, ou les grands de Portugal, sont très bornés dans
leur éducation, orgueilleux et insolens; vivant dans la plus grande
ignorance, ils ne sortent presque jamais de leur pays pour aller voir
les autres peuples." Time and changed circumstances have somewhat
softened these traits, but their general correctness is still
recognizable.

"Add hypocrisy to a Spaniard's vices and you have the Portuguese
character," says Dr. Southey. "They are deceitful and cowardly--have
no public spirit nor national character," says Semple. "The morals of
both sexes are lax in the extreme; assassination is a common
offence; they rank about as low in the social scale as any people
of Christendom," says McCulloch. "Their songs are licentious: the
national dance or the _toffa_ is so lascivious that every stranger who
sees it must deplore the corruption of the people, and regret to find
such exhibitions permitted, not only in the country, but in the heart
of towns, and even on the stage," says Malte-Brun. "Portugal is a
paradise inhabited by demons and brutes," says Madame Junot--a phrase
taken probably from Byron's description of Cintra.

My countrymen will be enraged with me for thus repeating the worst
that has been said about them, but I repeat it for their own benefit,
like the surgeon, who, to save the patient's life, cruelly probes
the wound or lays bare the corruption from which he is suffering.
Moreover, I shall have still darker spots to exhibit in a national
character which has been stamped with centuries of feudal and
ecclesiastical tyranny.

In a country possessing a fair share of the natural resources commonly
in demand a free and prosperous population will double in numbers
every fifteen years, an increase of about 4-1/2 per cent. per annum
compounded. The United States, a country rich in natural resources,
and one whose government offers but few obstacles to freedom and
individual prosperity, has doubled its population every twenty-two and
a half years since 1790. This is equal to over 3 per cent. per
annum. In that country the annual number of births in every 10,000
of population is 500,[9] of immigrants, 75; total increase, 575. The
deaths are 250, leaving 325 in 10,000, or 3-1/2 per cent. gain as the
net result of the year's growth and decay of population.

There is no reason for believing that the proportion of births in
Portugal is less than it is in Germany, or even the United States: on
the contrary, "in climates where the waste of human life is excessive
from the combined causes of disease and poverty affecting the mass of
the inhabitants, the number of births is proportionately greater
than is experienced in countries more favorably circumstanced....
Population does not so much increase because more are born, as because
fewer die."[10] Hence, the presumption is that the rate of births in
Portugal is equal to that in Carthagena de Colombia, where it is 8 to
10 per cent., or at least that of some parts of Mexico, where it is
6.21 per cent. Yet the population of Portugal has not increased during
a hundred years. What, then, has become of the 250,000 human beings
annually called into existence in Portugal? One-half of them took
their chances with the rest of the population, were registered at
birth, died according to rule, were duly entered upon statistical
tables and buried in consecrated ground: the other half were strangled
by their mothers, flung into ditches, exposed to die, starved to
death, assassinated in some manner. The crimes of foeticide
and infanticide have become so common that there is scarcely a
peasant-woman in Portugal not guilty of them, either as principal or
accessory.

[Footnote 9: It is understood, of course, that the census figures of
births are admittedly and grossly inaccurate.]

[Footnote 10: Porter's _Progress_, p. 21.]

Illegitimacy is more common in Portugal than in any country of Europe.
This fact can be proved from a comparison of marriages, births and
baptisms; but since the statistics on these subjects are defective,
the better testimony is to be derived from the number of deposits at
the foundling hospitals. The foundling of the house of Misericordia in
Lisbon, that of the Real Casapin in Belem and the foundling at Oporto
together receive nearly five thousand foundlings during the year, of
whom two-thirds[11] perish in the establishments, which thus become
"charnels and houses of woe." Almost every town or village in the
kingdom has its _roda dos expostos_--literally, a "wheel for exposed
ones"--where, upon the ringing of a bell, the children deposited in
a turning-basket or wheel are passed into the interior of the
establishment without inquiry. Although their term of stay is limited
to a few weeks, less than one-half of them ever pass out of the
establishment alive! Says Dr. T. de Carvalho: "The _roda_ is the
_açouque_ ('slaughter-house') for children. It is the permanent and
legal means of infanticide. _Abaixo a roda dos expostos!_"

Notwithstanding this frightful mortality, the number of infants always
on hand in the foundlings of Portugal is nearly 40,000, or 1 per cent
of the entire population. One-eighth of all the reported births in the
kingdom become foundlings: as for the non-reported ones, their fate
is known only to the recording angel. Says Claudio Adriano da Costa:
"Promiscuous intercourse has become common all over the country;"
and he attributes it, though I think superficially, to the "misplaced
indulgence to concubinage awarded by the rodas."[12]

[Footnote 11: During the thirteen years from 1840-52 the number of
children deposited in the Oporto foundling was 15,608, of whom no less
than 11,310, or 72.4 per cent.--_nearly three-fourths_--died while in
the hospital. Most of the remainder died during infancy after leaving
the hospital.]

[Footnote 12: In some districts of Portugal the proportion of married
to single persons is as 1 to 173!]

The true cause of Portuguese immorality and crime is the unequal
distribution of wealth, which leaves the mass of the inhabitants a
prey to the vicissitudes of the seasons, the tyranny of the powerful
and wealthy and the despair of insecurity. The origin of this evil
state of affairs was the tenure of emphyteusis: its active and
unfeeling promoters have been always the nobility and ecclesiastics,
and its only powerful enemy, the only hope of the people, the Crown.

After what has been mentioned it is unnecessary to speak of minor
crimes--- of street assassinations, highway robberies and the
like. Your own McCulloch will inform you that according to official
information reported to the Cortes there occurred in one year, and
merely in the two districts of Oporto and Guarda, no less than three
hundred and forty-two assassinations and four hundred and sixty
robberies. It is true that life is not quite so insecure now as when
McCulloch wrote. Some few rays of light have penetrated the profound
abyss of misery and evil in which the country was then plunged;
nevertheless, the improvement has been but slow and partial, and
nothing short of revolution can accelerate it. There is but one man
in the world who possesses the means to render that revolution
successful, and that man--His Majesty Dom Pedro II., the emperor of
Brazil--is now, or soon will be, on his way to the United States.
May he not peruse in vain this sad account of famine and crime in
Portugal!

There are persons with nervous organisms so abused that a sudden cry,
whether it be of boisterousness or despair, will cause them great
agony: so there are others with moral susceptibilities so overstrained
that the story of a nation's misery and crime, such as I have
endeavored to sketch, will evoke within them more pain than interest.
Regard for such exceptional persons has created a namby-pambyism in
literature which would banish these topics--the greatest and holiest
in which human sympathy can be enlisted--to the domains of science.
But science cannot aid unhappy Portugal. Sympathy and prayer alone can
mitigate our sufferings. Therefore sympathize with and pray for us,
you who stand in the broad glare of freedom, filled with plenty and
surrounded by promise, Pray for unhappy Portugal!



AT THE OLD PLANTATION.

TWO PAPERS.--I.


The life of the low-country South Carolina planter, until broken up by
the war, had changed but little since colonial times. It was the life
which Washington lived at Mount Vernon, with some slight differences
of local custom. The two-storied house, with its ten or twenty rooms
and broad piazza, had probably been built in ante-Revolutionary days
by the British country gentleman or Huguenot exile from whom the
present owner drew his descent. I well remember how the old house
at Hanover bore near the top of the chimney stack the legend "_Peu à
peu_" written with a stick in the soft mortar with which the bricks
had been covered. The old Huguenot builder had burned his bricks by
guess, and three times the work had to stop until the kiln could
be replenished and a new lot prepared. The top was finally reached,
however, and the triumphant _Peu à peu_ was only his French way
of proclaiming to posterity _Perseverantia vincit omnia_. In many
instances, however, fire has destroyed the original structure--a
danger to which the country residence is specially exposed--but the
new one has usually been modeled after that which it succeeded. Indian
names, flowing softly from the tongue, have usually come down with
the tracts to which they originally belonged, as _Pooshee, Wantoot,
Wampee, Wapahoula_, though Chelsea, White Hall, Sarrazin's or
Sans Souci often betrays the English or French origin of the first
patentee.

To understand the home and life of the wealthy Carolina planter we
must remember that he was the most contented man in the world. The
greed of gain was unknown to him, and his deep-rooted conservatism
forbade everything like speculation. Solid, substantial comfort and
large-hearted hospitality were the objects in all his expenditures. He
never invested his surplus money except in another plantation to
put his surplus negroes on, for he never sold a negro except for
incorrigible bad qualities or to pay some pressing debt. He had no
expensive tastes except for rare old madeira and racing-stock, from
the last of which his splendid saddle-horses were always selected;
and these were usually of the best and purest blood. He was as much at
home in the saddle as an English fox-hunter or a Don Cossack, and the
only wheeled vehicles in his spacious carriage-house were the heavy
family coach, and the light sulky in which his summer trips were made
between the pineland and the plantation.

Come back with me now to the days when the North-eastern Railroad was
a possibility of the future, and join me in a Christmas visit to old
Pooshee. We take the little steamer for the head of Cooper River, the
December sun being warm enough to tempt us from the close cabin to
the airy deck. The graceful spire of old St. Michael's cuts sharply
against the sky, reminding you, if you have visited the suburbs of
London, of St. Martin's-in-the-Fields, that fine specimen of Sir
Christopher Wren's style, after which it was modeled. The old
customhouse looks just as it did when Governor Rutledge had the tea
locked up in its store-rooms, and the gray moss droops in weeping
festoons from the live-oaks of beautiful Magnolia. I wonder how the
miles of green marsh through which we pass can seem to you such a
dreary waste. To my eye it is all alive with interest. I never tire
of watching how the lonely white heron spears his scaly prey, how the
clapper-rail floats on his raft of matted rushes, how the marsh-wren
jerks his saucy little tail over his bottle-shaped nest, or how
with quick and certain stroke the oyster-catcher extracts the juicy
"native" from his bivalved citadel. We are now getting above the
salt-water line, and on either hand the rice-fields, now covered
with water, stretch away from the banks, their surface covered with
countless thousands of ducks. As the winding river brings the channel
somewhat nearer to the shore, the splash of the paddles startles the
feeding multitude, and they rise with a rush and roar of wings which
might be heard for miles. Could we stop for a day or two at Rice Hope,
we might have rare sport among the mallards and bald-pates as they
fly out between sunset and dark, or in the early morning from behind
a well-constructed blind. But we must decline the cordial invitation
which urges us to do so as the boat casts off from the landing, and in
a couple of hours more we step ashore at Fairlawn, where we find the
carriage waiting to take us over the twelve remaining miles of our
journey. The road, like the marsh, may seem lonely and tedious to
you, but I know every turn and bend of it, and the trees are all old
friends. I'm sure I know that green heron which "skowks" to me as he
springs from the rail of the bridge, and there is something familiar
in the bark of the black squirrel which has just rushed up that pine.
Hark! that was the yelp of a turkey. Stop the horses for a moment and
we may see them. One, two, four, seven! What a splendid old gobbler
last crossed the road, and no guns loaded! And there is the track
of as noble a buck as I ever saw: that's where he jumped into the
pea-field, and ten to one he's lying now in that patch of sedge.

"Well!" I think I hear you say, "you have seen more to interest you in
a hundred yards than I should have found in two miles."

Exactly; and that is why I enjoy the country so much. Learn to love
Nature in her every mood and to study her every feature, and you will
never know the feeling of loneliness if you keep outside the walls of
a jail. But we are at the outer gate, and our journey is nearly over.
At the end of a long enclosed road, shaded by trees--which, however,
do not form an avenue, such as you may see near the coast, where the
live-oaks flourish more vigorously--stands the spacious mansion, with
its white walls, green Venetian shutters and red tin roof. There is no
enclosure about it save that which is formed by the rail fences of the
distant fields. The "yard" contains about forty acres of grassy
lawn shaded by spreading forest trees--white-oaks, water-oaks and
hickories--from which hang the graceful folds of the Spanish moss. The
out-buildings are scattered about without the slightest reference to
distance, except in the case of the kitchen, which is at the back and
some twenty yards from the dwelling. The stable and carriage-house
stand on either side, _in front_, but at a distance sufficient to
prevent unsightliness or discomfort. In the background are the large
"cotton-houses," with their bleaching-platforms, the "gin-house," the
corn-house, the fodder-house and the poultry-house, which is nearly
as large as any of them; while nearer the mansion are grouped the
"loom-house," the dairy and the oven-shed, under which is built the
huge brick oven capable of baking to a sugary confection several
bushels of yam "slips" at a time. On the left is the "negro-yard"
(never called "the quarter" in this region), with its fifty or sixty
substantial cabins, each gleaming with whitewash and having its own
little vegetable patch and chicken-house.

It is Saturday evening, and the sun is just entering the heavy
cloud-bank which rests on the western horizon as we drive up to the
door. Our genial and venerable host, "the old doctor," is at the
stables superintending the feeding of his horses, and thither we bend
our steps with a sense of exhilaration which only the crisp, fresh
country air can impart, and a new vigor thrilling through every muscle
as the foot presses the green and springy sod. Our old friend is a
worthy representative of the old _régime_, the only change which the
lapse of thirty years has made in his costume being the substitution
of black for blue broadcloth in the velvet-collared, brass-buttoned,
narrow-skirted coat with its side-pocket flaps. The collar sits as
high in the neck; the red silk handkerchief peeps out behind; the
trousers are cut with the "full fall," over which hangs the watch
fob-chain with its heavy seals; the low-crowned beaver hat has the
same wide brim; and the silver snuff-box is still redolent of Scotch
maccaboy.

"The hounds have got fat waiting for you, and the birds are almost
tame enough to put salt on their tails," says the old gentleman after
the hearty welcome is over. "Old Nannie says the foxes are eating up
all her turkeys, and Loudon tells me that he sees deer-tracks coming
out of the new ground every morning."

"How _are_ ye, gentlemen?" says stout John Myers, the "obeshay," which
is negro for "overseer."--"I say, there! you Cuffee, that basket ain't
half full o' corn.--I s'pose you're goin' to clean out all the game by
Chris'mas?--You Cæsar, why don't you fill up old Chester's stall with
trash? You niggers are gittin' too lazy to live;" and he walks off to
see that the negroes, who are watching us with open mouths and eyes,
do not allow their astonishment to interfere with the comfort of the
horses. Five sturdy negro men are doing the work of two boys, forking
in the "pine-trash" from the huge pile outside, and bringing ear-corn
in oak bushel-baskets on their shoulders from the corn-house three
hundred yards away.

We cross over to this building when the stable-door has been locked
and watch the eager crowd which is waiting for the weekly "'lowance."
Sturdy, strapping women, with muscular arms and stout calves freely
displayed under the skirts which are tucked around their waists,
are standing in picturesque attitudes or sitting on their upturned
baskets, while ragged, wild-looking little "picknies" are clinging
to the said skirts and peeping with great staring eyes at the strange
"buckrah man." Each will take the week's supply of ear-corn and
potatoes for her household--a peck for each member of the family,
large and small--and will grind her own grist at the mill-house, or
more probably trade away the entire supply at the cross-roads store
for flour, sugar and coffee.

"Why, Rose, is that you? How are you, and how are the children?"

"De Lawd! Wha' dat? who dat da' talk me? Bless de Lawd! da' nyoung
maussa! Ki! enty you tek wife yet? Go 'way! Look! he done got bayd
(beard) same like ole nanny-goat! Bless de Lawd!"

"I'm glad to see you looking so young, Kitty: your children must be
grown up."

"Tenk de Lawd, maussa," with a low curtsey, "I day yah yet! Dem
pickny, da big man an' 'oman now. Enty you got one piece t'bacca fo'
po' ole nigger?"

The tobacco is forthcoming, together with a few gaudy
head-handkerchiefs and little parcels of sugar, and "nyoung maussa"
has it all his own way with the simple creatures. These negroes are as
near the original wild African type as if a few years instead of more
than a century of contact with civilization had passed over them.
They are all the direct descendants of original importations, chiefly
Ghoolahs and Ashantees; indeed, "Gullah niggah" is a favorite term
of playful reproach among them. Their _male_ names are still largely
Ashantee, as "Cudjo," "Cuffee," "Quarcoo," "Quashee," etc., and
their dialect, a mixture of "pigeon English" and Ghoolah, strongly
impregnated with the French of the Huguenot masters of their
forefathers, is simply incomprehensible to a stranger, whether white
or black. Indeed, when excited and talking rapidly even those who
have grown up among them can scarcely understand the lingo. "Coom,
Hondree," says an old nurse to her little charge at bedtime, "le' we
tek fire go atop:" in English, "Come, Henry, let's take a light and go
up stairs." "Child" is "pickny;" "white man" (or woman), "buckrah;"
"I don't know," "Me no sabbée;" "Is it not?" "Enty?"; "watermelon" is
"attermillion" or "mutwilliam;" and so on.

Paying a medical visit, I enter a house where the patient is a sick
child: the old crone who is sitting in the doorway with a boy's head
between her knees, performing the office of which monkeys are so fond,
calls out, "Lindy! de buckrah coom."

"What's the matter with the child?" I inquire.

"Ki, maussa! me no sabbée wha' do a pickny," replies the intelligent
Lindy, who wishes me to know that she knows nothing about the case.

We shall see more of them before leaving the plantation.

A day on the water and a long drive are excellent preparatives for
a supper of broad rice-waffles toasted crisp and brown before the
crackling hickory fire, of smoking spare-ribs and luscious tripe,
of rich, fragrant Java coffee with boiled milk and cream; nor does a
sound night's sleep unfit one for enjoying at breakfast a repetition
of the same, substituting link sausages and black pudding for the
tripe and spare-ribs, and superadding feathery muffins and soft-boiled
eggs.

It is Sunday morning, but the service to-day is at the other end of
the parish, some twenty miles away. The sky seems brighter and the
grass more green than on the work-days of the week: the birds sing
more cheerily, and seem to know that for one day they are safe from
man's persecution. Certain it is that the wary crow will on that day
eye you saucily as you pass within ten yards of him, while on any
other you cannot approach him within a hundred. At ten o'clock the
household is assembled in the drawing-room, the piano--with, it may
be, a flute accompaniment--is made to do the organ's duty, and the
full service of the Prayer-Book is read and sung and listened to with
reverent attention. There are yet two hours to dinner, and as the
wild, wailing chant from the negro-yard comes to our ears we determine
to visit their chapel. If there was one point in which, more than
in others, the Carolina planter was faithful to his duty, it was in
securing the privileges of religion to his slaves. Every plantation
had its chapel, sometimes rivaling in its appointments the churches
for the whites. One of the largest congregations of the Protestant
Episcopal Church in South Carolina, having lost its silver during the
sack of Columbia, is still using the sterling communion service of a
chapel for negroes which was burned upon a neighboring plantation. The
missionary is to-day upon another portion of his circuit, and we have
a specimen of genuine African Christianity. On one side the rough
benches are filled with men clad, for once in the week, in _clean_
cotton shirts, with coat and pants of heavy "white plains," some young
dandies here and there being "fixed up" with old black silk waistcoats
and flashy neckties, holding conspicuously old mashed beaver hats,
which have been carefully wetted to make them shine. On the other are
ranged the women, the front benches holding the sedate old "maumas,"
with gaudy yellow and red kerchiefs tied about their heads in stiff
high turbans, and others folded _à la_ Lady Washington over their
bosoms; behind them sit the young women in white woolen "frocks,"
without handkerchiefs on head or breast; while the children who
are not minding babies at home or hunting rabbits in the woods are
gathered about the door.

Old Bob, the preacher, rises and fixes his eyes severely on the small
fry near the door: "We's gwine to wushup de Lawd, an' I desiah dem
chilluns to know dat no noise nor laffin', nor no so't o' onbehavin',
kin be 'lowed; so min' wot you's 'bout dere. You yerry me? (hear me)."

Then, adjusting the great silver-rimmed spectacles and opening a
ragged prayer-book (upside down), he proceeds to read over the hymn,
the whole congregation listening with rapt attention. As he utters the
last word all rise together, the old women with closed eyes, heads on
one side and hands crossed over their breasts, and he begins to "line
out," dividing the words rhythmically into spondaic measure, with the
accent strongly on every second syllable and the falling inflection
invariably on the last uttered:

  When I'--kin read'--my ti'--tul clear'--
  To man'--shuns in'--de skies'.

Immediately the old mauma at the end of the front bench "sets de
tchune," a sad, quavering minor, and pitched so high that any attempt
to follow it seems utterly hopeless. But no: the women all strike in
on the same soaring key, while the men, by a skillful management of
the _falsetto_, keep up with the screamiest flights. As they wail out
the last word, "skies," the women all curtsey with a sharp jerk of the
body and the men droop their heads upon their breasts--a token that
the strophe is ended; and the next two lines follow in the same
manner. Then follows the prayer, in which due remembrance is made of
"ole maussa" and "nyoung missis an' maussa," and all their friends
and visitors. We are considerate enough to withdraw before the
sermon, lest our presence should embarrass the preacher, but a little
eavesdropping gives us an opportunity of hearing how practically
he deals with "lyin' an' tiefin', an' onbehavin' 'mongst de nyoung
'omans," and how he holds up "de obeshay," as Saint Paul did the
magistrate, in terror to those who "play 'possum w'en de grass too
t'ick," or "stick t'orn in he finger so he can't pick 'nuff cotton
w'en de sun too hot." With our withdrawal is removed a restraint which
has chilled the active devotion of the assembly, and soon the singing
begins again, accompanied now, however, by the heavy tramp of feet
and the clapping of hands keeping time to the sad, wailing minor which
characterizes all their music. The hymn, too, is no longer selected
from the prayer-book, but from some unwritten collection better
adapted to their ideas of "heart-religion":

  De angel cry out A-men,
    A-men! A-men!
  De angel cry out A-men!
    I'se bound to de promis' lan'!

  I da gwine up to hebbin in a long w'ite robe,
    Long w'ite robe! long w'ite robe!
  My Sabiour tell me wear dat robe
    W'en I meet him in de promis' lan'!

We've a great deal before us during the coming week, for we must give
a day to the partridges (never called "quail" in the South), and we
have a fox-hunt or two in the mornings, and that old buck to look
after whose tracks I showed you in the road; besides the ducks
and turkeys which are waiting to be shot, and all the Christmas
frolicking, from which the ladies will not excuse us. We will
therefore take this quiet Sunday afternoon for a walk among the fields
and woods to see what manner of country we are in. Bending our steps
first toward the huge old oak which seems to hang upon the very edge
of the green hill near the house, we suddenly find ourselves just over
a large basin enclosed with an octagonal brick wall, except where the
clear water runs out over silvery gravel between curbings of heavy
plank. This is the spring, and a queer sort of spring it is. Just
under the tree-roots the water is but a few inches deep over a bed
of bluish-gray limestone, and in no part of the basin, which is about
twelve by twenty feet, does it seem to be more than a half fathom in
depth. But just under the ledge of rock a shelving hole slopes back
under the hill, the bottom of which no man has ever found. This hole
is only about three feet by two, and the narrow outlet to the basin is
but four inches deep, and loses itself within fifty yards in an oozy
bog. Yet, peering into the depth, you catch a glimpse of the black
head and beady white eyes of a mudfish at least two feet long, and
presently of the silvery side of a three-pound bass which glides
across the opening. Drop a line with the cork set at ten feet, and you
will draw out of the very bosom of the earth a mess of fat perch and
bream each as large and as thick as your hand, and eels three feet in
length are sometimes caught in the basin at night. Two miles away,
in the direction of the "run," there are on Woodboo plantation two
similar basins connected by a shallow streamlet, and with no outlet
which a minnow could navigate: one of them is large enough for a
little skiff to float on, and the gray rock slopes down to a centre
depth of ten feet. Just where the sides meet is a long, irregular
fissure, out of which huge bass, pike, jack and mudfish are constantly
emerging, and into which they retreat when disturbed. Hundreds of
perch, bream and young bass sport in the shallow parts, and are easily
caught with rod and line, the water being so clear that you can watch
the fish gorging the bait, and strike when the entire hook disappears.
Now, where do these fish live? where do they breed? and upon what do
they feed? But the mystery does not end there. About a mile in the
opposite direction as we walk through a little belt of wet pineland,
where the woodcock runs across our path or whistles up from the wet
leaves, we come suddenly upon a dozen or more little basins, the
largest not over six feet by nine, which have no outlet whatever. One
hole about two feet in diameter goes sheer down between two pine trees
to a depth never yet fathomed: you cannot see it until right on it,
and you cannot use a rod, but drop your line about twelve feet deep,
and your cork will go down like lead, while you pull up red perch and
blue bream until your arm wearies of the sport. I have caught five
dozen in a winter's afternoon, for the fish bite best in the coldest
weather, the temperature of the water being sixty-two degrees the year
round, irrespective of the weather. You must go fifteen miles before
reaching another of these springs or fountains, and then ten more
to the last of the chain, the famous Eutaw Springs of Revolutionary
memory. Here, then, must be a subterranean river or reservoir at least
twenty-eight miles long, teeming with the same fish which swim in the
surface-streams, yet having no discoverable connection with any of
these. We meet with no rocks or stones anywhere, but our walk leads
us past many marl-pits from which numerous fossil remains have been
obtained. The fertile and superstitious imagination of the negroes has
not been idle in such a suggestive field, and they have peopled these
fountains with spirits which they call "cymbies," akin to the undine
and the kelpie. On Saturday nights you may hear a strange rhythmic,
thumping sound from the spring, and looking out you may see by the
wild, fitful glare of lightwood torches dark figures moving to and
fro. These are the negro women at their laundry-work, knee-deep in the
stream, beating the clothes with heavy clubs. They are merry enough
when together, but not one of them will go alone for a "piggin" of
water, and if you slip up in the shadow of the old oak and throw a
stone into the spring, the entire party will rush away at the splash,
screaming with fear, convinced that the "cymbie" is after them.

Leaving the spring behind us, we pass up the long lane between two
cotton-fields of a hundred acres each, in which the blackened stalks
are still standing, as are the dried cornstalks and gray pea-vines in
the field beyond. These will remain until the early spring, when they
will be cut down and "listed in" with the hoe, for not a foot of this
rich and profitable plantation has ever been broken with the plough.
Incredible as it may appear, there is not a plough or a work-horse,
and but one old mule, upon this highly-cultivated tract of one
thousand acres. All the hauling is done by ox-teams, with three sturdy
negroes to each cart, and the heavy cotton-hoe does everything else.
Where one man and a plough could till three acres, twenty men and
women with hoes 'ridge up the ground, scatter manure in the furrows,
and draw the ridges down on it again. True, the surface only is
scratched, and the soil is soon exhausted, but who cares for that when
there is abundance of rich timber-land from which to clear new fields?
and as to economizing labor, that is the last thing a planter cares
about, for what are the negroes to do? None are ever sold, the
"picknies" who swarm around every cabin growing up to stock the
plantations bought for each child as he or she "comes of age or is
married," and work has to be made for them to do.

"What shall I put the hands at to-day, sir?" asked an overseer of an
old planter when the last bale of cotton had been packed.

"Hum! let's see! Well, set them to filling up the old ditches and
digging new ones."

For the same reason power-gins and saw-mills found little favor, the
single-treadle "foot-gin" and the saw-pit and cross-cut employing ten
times as many hands. It was the aim of every large planter to produce
and manufacture by hand-power everything needed on the place. Of
course, it required a heavy expenditure of labor and land to raise
provisions for such an army of unprofitable workers, on which account
slave capital was the poorest paying property in the world. The
planter was wealthy, but he owned only land and negroes: when the
latter were emancipated the former became useless; and this is the
reason why the war so utterly ruined the rich land-owners of the
South.

ROBERT WILSON.



OUR MONTHLY GOSSIP.

'76.


  Pass, '75, across the Styx!
  Make way for stately '76,
  Who comes with mincing, minuet pace,
  Well-powdered hair and patch-deckt face--
  An antiquated kerchief on:
  White-capped, like Martha Washington;
  Clock-hosed and high-heeled slipper-shod,
  To give no Nineteenth Century nod;
  Nay, but a courtesy profound,
  Whose look demure consults the ground.
  O rare-seen bloom! No flower perennial,
  This aloe-crowned Dame Centennial!

  She comes with shades of days long fled--
  Knee-breeched; long silk-stockingèd;
  Well-braided queues; bright-buckled shoon
  That flash with diamonds; gold galloon
  On rebel uniforms of blue---
  A color that this land found _true_;
  Three-cornered hats, and plumes that flew
  Through conflicts where men dare and do.
  A patriot throng, a gallant host,
  Our Dame Centennial's train can boast.

  O aloe-flower upon her brow!
  Of what strange birth-pangs breathest thou,
  The while we gaze with dreamy eyes
  Back o'er a sea of memories,
  And see thy seed of foreign skies
  Here washt, to spring beneath our sun
  And ripen till its bloom is won!
  What storms have rocked thy stem aslant,
  O changeful-nurtured Century-Plant!
  Whose living flower now opens bland
  Its kindly promise o'er the land!
  With blood and tears 'twas watered,
  The bud whose blossom now is spread
  A floral cap her head upon,
  Who, _à la_ Martha Washington,
  Our Dame Centennial now appears,
  Our '76, our crown of years!

  Brave preparations thee await,
  O dame arrayed in olden state!
  For thee, for thee, Penn's city stands
  And stretches forth inviting hands
  To guests of home and foreign lands,
  And gathers all historic pride
  Of ancient records at her side,
  With gifts from all, on thee to rain
  Who bring'st such mem'ries in thy train.

  Hail, city well named "Brother's Love!"
  The Quaker City of the dove,
  That fain would call a land to fling
  Its spites away, and 'neath thy wing
  Renew the treaty made by Penn
  In the wildwood with wilder men;
  Yet true men still! Be this the token---
  loyal faith, a pledge unbroken!

  O year that wear'st thy aloe-flower
  So proudly! may thy touch have power
  Of healing! May thy visage bland
  Drive threatening discord from the land,
  And thronèd Peace more firmly fix!
  Then shall the elder '76,
  From out the eighteenth century's band
  Of Time's host in the shadowy land,
  Greet thee as one true soul may smile
  Upon another, where nor guile
  Nor sorrow can its brightness dim.
  So greet the clear-eyed seraphim--
  So once in Eden's sinless bower
  Unfading flower smiled on flower.

  LATIENNE.



THE KREUZESSCHULE.

OBER-AMMERGAU, BAVARIA, OCT. 4, 1875.


The town lies at the end of a lovely green valley. Behind it are
fir-clad mountains with rocky peaks: on one side a great square rocky
peak, which towers above all and is surmounted by a cross. On each
side of the valley sloping hills, fir-clad to the top. A rapid, clear
stream runs by on the edge of the village. Green pastures dotted with
haymakers, a few scattered trees and a distant town fill the charming
valley. Virginia creepers hang on the walls, and gay flowers fill
pretty balconies and peep through sunny little casements. All is
simple and neat, and the bright fresco pictures on the fronts of many
houses lighten it all.

On a high hill overlooking the town they are placing a colossal
crucifixion group, presented by King Ludwig II. in _Erinnerung an die
Passionsspiele_--in memory of the Passion play--Christ on the cross,
with the Virgin and St. John, one on each side. The two latter were
ready to be hoisted on to the pedestal: the former is partly up the
hill. All are surrounded by heavy planking, so that it is impossible
to judge of the artistic merit, but the great group cannot fail to
have a fine effect when viewed from a distance.

Yesterday (October 3d) was the eventful day. Our tickets had been
ordered by telegraph, and we had "the best seats." The performance was
to begin at nine o'clock, and at a quarter before nine we were in our
places.

The building in which the play is given is of plain rough wood without
paint ("or polish"); in the interior a gallery and two side-galleries,
below them a parterre, and on each side of it a standing-place, all of
plain, unpainted boards. The orchestra was sunk below the level of the
stage, the proscenium painted to represent columns and entablature.
The curtain represented, or seemed intended to represent, Jerusalem.
The whole place could not probably contain over six hundred people,
and was about half full. There were very few foreigners.

The play to be represented was not the "Passion play," which is given
every ten years, but the _Kreuzesschule_, which is played once in
fifty years--last in 1825. In it the play is taken from the Old
Testament, and the tableaux from the New Testament--the reverse of the
Passion play.

The orchestra began punctually at nine o'clock. There were about
twenty performers, and they played with skill and taste. The selection
of music was admirable. They commenced with a sort of prelude, slow
and declamatory. Perfect silence reigned, and the deep interest of
the spectators was, from the first and throughout, shown in their
expressive faces. Men and women at times shed tears, and made not the
slightest effort to hide their emotion. The black head-*kerchiefs of
many of the women spectators, tight to the skull with ends hanging
down behind, seemed in harmony with the scene.

The prelude ended, the Chorus entered with slow and dignified
pace--seven men and women from one side, six from the other, all in a
kind of Oriental costume, picturesque and handsome. The tallest came
first, and so on in gradation, so that when ranged in front of the
curtain they formed a kind of pyramid. The central figure then began
the prologue, an explanation. Then the basso commenced singing an
air, during which the Chorus divided, falling back to the sides and
kneeling, while the curtain rose, displaying the first tableau. This
lasted nearly three minutes, during which time the figures were really
perfectly motionless. The basso finished his air and the tenor sang
another while the curtain was up. This tableau represented the cross
supported by an angel, while grouped around were men, women
and children looking up at it in adoration. This was the
"Kreuzesschule"--the school of the Cross--the prologue to the piece.
The picture had the simplicity of the best school: no affected
attitudes--all plain, earnest and beautiful. When the curtain fell the
Chorus again took their places in front of it, a duet was sung, then a
chorus, and then they countermarched and retired in quiet dignity.

Then came the first part. A prelude by the orchestra, and the curtain
rises on Abel, dressed in sheep skin, by his altar, from which
smoke ascends, he returning thanks. Enter Cain in leopard skin, much
disturbed and angry. They discourse, Abel all sweetness, Cain bitter
and cross. An angel in blue mantle, like one of Raphael's in the
"Loggia," appears at the side and comforts Abel. Then Eve in white
dress--evidently it had been a puzzle to dress her--and buskins, who
says sweet words to Cain. Then Adam in sheep skin, very sad at all
this difficulty. Eve sweetly strives to reconcile Cain to his brother,
and appeals to him with much feeling. He discourses at length, then
appears to relent and embraces Abel, but is evidently playing the
hypocrite, and as the curtain falls you see that hate is in his heart.

The curtain down, the orchestra plays a prelude, the Chorus enters
as before, and the leader speculates on Cain's behavior. "Is he
honest?"--"Ah no, his heart is full of hate: he meditates evil."
The Chorus divides as before, falls back and the curtain rises. This
tableau represents the hate and rage of the people and Pharisees
toward Christ, who drives the traders out of the Temple. In grouping,
costume, color, tone, action and completeness it was truly a marvelous
picture. The stage was crowded with figures: Christ in the centre,
behind--a row of columns on each side--a scourge in his left hand, his
right upheld in admirable action; in the background a group in
wild confusion; on the right, richly dressed priests and Pharisees,
indignant and fierce; in front, sellers of sheep and doves,
money-changers and traders of various kinds. All the elements of a
great picture were here shown in the highest degree, and no words of
praise could be too strong to express the idea of its merits and its
charm. This tableau lasted nearly two minutes, with the most complete
steadiness, the basso singing an aria. The curtain then fell, and the
Chorus, taking its place, sang and retired as before. This ended the
first part, Cain's hate prefiguring the hatred toward Christ.

Then came Part Second. The curtain rose on Cain by the side of his
ruined in a soliloquy. Enter Abel, gentle and mild. Eve comes in,
and again tries to make peace, and Cain again plays the hypocrite
and invites his brother into the wood on some pretext. They retire,
leaving Eve disturbed by she knows not what. Adam enters, shares her
fears and goes out to seek his sons. Thunder and lightning, admirably
represented, and then enter Cain disheveled and disturbed. His mother
knows not what has happened, but is agonized and calls for her Abel.
An angel appears at the side and discloses all by asking Cain, "Where
is thy brother?" and then announcing the fiat of the Most High to him.
He rushes off as Adam enters bearing the body of Abel; and his mother,
sitting down beside the dead body, makes a most touching picture of
a _Pietà_. Adam with upstretched arms appeals to God, and the curtain
falls. This was the "Blutschuld"--the crime of blood--and prefigured
the betrayal of Christ by Judas for the thirty pieces of silver.

After a most beautiful prelude by the orchestra, the Chorus again
enters; the leader expresses his horror at Cain's action and his
pity for a fate thus given over to Satan; they again divide, and the
curtain rises on the tableau of Judas receiving the money. At the end
the high priest and other priests, in appropriate costume, stand on a
platform beyond a railing. Judas in the centre, by a table, is
taking the money from an attendant: all around are groups, admirably
arranged, expressing, in face and attitude, wonder or pleasure or
disgust. The same artistic ideas and beautiful arrangement and the
same unaffected simplicity. This tableau lasted one minute and a half,
while the tenor sang an aria, "Oh, better for him that he had never
been born."

The third part was _Das Opfermahl_--the offering of bread and wine
by Melchisedek to Abraham, prefiguring the Last Supper. Prelude by
orchestra. The curtain rises, displaying Melchisedek before an altar,
on which are bread and wine. Four attendants are near him. He, in
a flowing white robe, discourses to them. The scene is simple
and natural. Enter Abraham and attendants on one side and Lot and
attendants on the other, all dressed in Roman mantles, buskins and
helmets. The stage was filled and the grouping admirable. Abraham
and Lot discourse, embrace and part, Lot and his followers retiring.
Melchisedek comes forward and addresses Abraham, who replies at some
length. Then Melchisedek prepares his bread and wine, takes some,
then offers to Abraham, who eats and drinks. Meantime, a most charming
chorus of Handel is sung behind the scenes, while Melchisedek and his
attendants offer the bread and wine to all of Abraham's suite, who
partake reverentially. Tableau and chorus, and the curtain descends.
The ease and simple quiet action of all this scene were remarkable.

Enter Chorus as before: leader speaks. They divide and the curtain
rises on the tableau of the Last Supper. I know not whether it
was taken from any one picture--I think not--but it was simply and
effectively grouped, and it recalled both Lionardo and Andrea del
Sarto. This lasted two and a half minutes, during which time the
contralto sang an air of Mozart's.

The fourth part--_Die Ergebung_ (Resignation)--was represented in the
play by Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son at God's command,
prefiguring the agony of Christ in the Garden.

After a prelude by the orchestra the curtain rose and discovered
Abraham and Isaac in loving discourse, with figures in the background,
admirably costumed and grouped. An angel in white robe and blue mantle
appears and delivers his heavenly message to the astounded Abraham.
His agony was simply and feelingly depicted. He appears at last
resigned, when Sarah, in red robe and Eastern headdress, enters to
renew his grief. The beauty of this woman was of the highest order in
feature and expression, and her dress was truly artistic. The scene
between these two was most touchingly acted. Isaac reappears, thinking
that he is simply going on a journey, and, scarcely comprehending his
mother's great grief, presents his companion to her as a comfort and
stay, thus prefiguring John and Mary at the cross. Abraham and Isaac
depart, and the curtain falls.

Then another prelude by the orchestra, and the Chorus appears: the
leader delivers the epilogue. They divide and kneel, and the curtain
rises on the tableau of the scene in Gethsemane.

Christ, on an elevation, is kneeling: an angel stands in front of him.
Below, the apostles are all asleep in groups. Behind, in the centre,
Judas advances with the soldiers, who bear tall lanterns. It was like
a picture of Carpaccio, and worthy of that great master. This tableau
lasted two and a quarter minutes, during which time the tenor sang an
aria.

The fifth part--_Es ist vollbracht_ (It is fulfilled)--represents
Abraham going out to sacrifice his son, prefiguring the Crucifixion.
The curtain rises on Sarah, full of agony, which is most simply and
powerfully depicted. Attendants enter, who tell a long story: then
Abraham and Isaac appear, and there is a most striking scene--Sarah
fainting, the friend sustaining her, the others grouped around in
various picturesque attitudes. An angel appears, simple and practical,
like those of the good old painters, and delivers the blessing. The
curtain falls.

Again the orchestra in a superb prelude: then the Chorus appears,
and, after the epilogue, divides and kneels as the curtain rises on
a tableau which my imagination never could have pictured, for its
wonderful completeness, its power, its feeling, its artistic beauty
and its marvelous expression far exceeded any idea that I had of the
power of men and women to represent such a picture--the Crucifixion.

The stage was crowded with figures, Christ in the centre, fully
extended on the cross, with no signs whatever of support to disturb
the illusion--the thieves on one side and the other, with arms over
the cross, as frequently represented; the group at the foot of the
cross so touchingly tender--the soldiers, the priests, the people--all
grouped with such consummate skill, such harmony of colors, such
appropriateness and vigor of expression, as have never, to my
thinking, been excelled in the greatest pictures of the greatest
masters. Here was most remarkably shown the wonderful artistic talent
and feeling of these simple people. There was nothing repulsive in any
way, scarcely painful, except tenderly so. You breathlessly gazed on
this wondrous scene, and when, after three minutes, the curtain fell,
you were speechless with admiration and emotion. A lovely air by the
soprano accompanied this tableau, and after the curtain fell a grand
chorus completed the fifth part.

The sixth part--_Durch Dunkel zum Lichte_ (through Darkness to
Light)--ended the programme. The play represented Joseph, with all his
honors upon him, receiving his old father and his brothers--prefiguring
the Ascension of Christ.

After the prelude by the orchestra the curtain rises and discovers
old Jacob, surrounded by his sons in various groups. The scene and
costumes were admirable and appropriate. In the midst of a discourse
Joseph bursts in in fine attire, followed by a great train, among
which are two darkies, taken bodily from Flemish pictures. After much
embracing and blessing and forgiveness, the curtain falls as Jacob
with outstretched arms thanks the Lord and prophesies all good things.

Then again the orchestra, and again our Chorus enters on the scene,
and after the epilogue, "At last all woe is ended," they divide and
kneel, as the curtain rises on the scene of the Ascension. This was
most simply represented. Christ ascends from the tomb, standing on it,
surrounded by angels, while figures appropriately grouped around make
a picture which recalled Perugino. The basso sings an aria, and a
grand chorus, "Alleluja!" ends this most remarkable performance.

There was no delay nor interruption throughout. Not the sound of a
hammer nor the whisper of a prompter was ever heard. There was no
applause whatever from the audience until the end, and then it seemed
to come from the strangers. The three hours--for the end was precisely
at twelve--seemed not more than one, so filled was the mind with the
simple, grand beauty and the artistic completeness of the whole thing.
No personality appears for an instant. There are no bills to tell the
names of the actors, nor did any actor or actress at any time look
toward the audience.

Never since early childhood have the Bible stories been brought back
with such vividness, such tender and absorbing interest. Tradition,
faith and earnestness have made this a people of artists. If one could
believe, as all must wish, that love of money-making and speculation
will not invade this simple village, to the demoralization of its
people, the satisfaction would be most complete. Be that as it may, I
shall always owe a debt of gratitude to Ober-Ammergau, and as long as
memory lasts shall remember _Die Kreuzesschule_.

J.W.F.



VARESE.

Varese is an ancient little town on a hill overlooking the small lake
of the same name in the midst of the mountainous country between
Como and Lago Maggiore, and a little to the southward of the Lake of
Lugano. It is within a very few miles of the Swiss frontier. All
this lacustrine region has for many generations been celebrated as a
specially privileged one. It is Italy without the enervating heat and
aridity which are such serious drawbacks to the enjoyment of its other
charms by Northern folk. It is Switzerland without the rigidity of its
climate and the comparative poverty of the northern vegetation. You
have the oleander and cactus around your feet, while the snow-peaks
high above your head are rose-colored morning and evening by a
southern sun. You wander amid groves of Spanish chestnut, and may hear
the while the Swiss-sounding cattle-bells from Alpine pastures high
above them. The lakes themselves, with their branching arms and bays
and their fairy-like islands, are of course a feature of ever-varying
and incomparable beauty.

Accordingly, Fortune's favorites of all countries have long, even from
the old Roman times downward, thickly studded the district with their
villas and gardens and palaces and parks. But the possession of a
villa on one of the Italian lakes implies that the happy owner is
nothing very much less than a millionaire. And it has been reserved
for these quite latter days to find the means of placing within the
reach of the many all the delights which were heretofore the exclusive
privilege of the few. In no instance has this been done with so
complete a measure of success as at Varese. The hotel is situated
about a mile from the little town. Its gardens look down on the lake,
the intervening slope being covered with forest. To the left, as one
stands at the garden-front of the house, looking toward the lake, are
the hills in the midst of which the Lake of Lugano nestles, and on
the right, beyond the Lago Maggiore, is a view of Monte Rosa with its
eternal snows, perhaps the finest to be found anywhere. I have seen
Monte Rosa and its chain very finely from the top of the pass called
the Col di Tenda, between Turin and Nice, but I think the view from
the terrace in front of this house is finer. Immediately at the back
of the house we have the hills--mountains they would be called in any
other part of Europe--of which Monte Generoso, now covered with snow,
though with a hotel on the top, is the most conspicuous. The country
more immediately around us is a district of rolling hills, partly
vineyard, but in a larger degree wooded, and here and there
diversified by the well-cared-for gardens of some large villa. Our
outlook, it will be admitted, is pleasant enough. The house I am
speaking of, now known under the style and title of the "Excelsior
Hotel," was recently a magnificent villa of the Morosini family at
Venice. The name will not be new to any who have visited Venice; for
the traveler, even if his tastes did not lead him to take any heed of
such matters, will not have been allowed by the _ciceroni_ to overlook
the tombs of the doges of that family in the grand old church of the
beheaded Saint John, _San Giovanni decollata,_ or "San Zuan Degolà,"
as the soft-lisping Venetians call it. Yes, the Morosini were very
great men in their day: more than one of the brightest chapters in
the history of the great republic on the Adriatic is filled with their
name. But now their place knows them no more: the family is extinct.
The last scion of the race, an old lady who died quite recently at
Varese, is said to have declared that it was time for a Morosini to
retire from the scene when their house was about to be turned into an
inn. Poor old lady! One could have wished that she had vanished before
that desecration had been threatened, especially as her end was so
near at hand; for it would, I fear, have been too much to wish that
the Excelsior Hotel should have been kept out of existence for another
generation.

The Morosini had palaces among the most splendid of that city of
palaces, Venice, as may be seen to the present day. But this Varese
villa was their place of delight and enjoyment. And truly the ideas
which we generally attach to the word "villa" are scarcely
represented by the magnificent building to which the public are now
indiscriminately invited. It is an enormous pile of building, the vast
garden-frontage of which makes considerable claims to architectural
magnificence. There are, especially in Switzerland, very magnificent
and palace-like hotels which have been built for the purpose they
now serve, but the fact that they were so built has very effectually
prevented even the most splendid among them from rivaling, or indeed
approaching, the grandiose magnificence of this superb hostelrie,
which has chosen its name in no idle spirit of vaunting. For building
is costly, space is precious, and the necessity of finding a due
return for the capital employed is the paramount rule which the
architect has to keep ever in mind. The old Morosini, who raised this
pile with the abundant profits of the trade with the East when Venice
had the monopoly of it, were curbed in their architectural ambition by
no such considerations. The building of this Villa Morosini must
have cost a sum which no possible amount of success in the way of
hotel-keeping could ever be expected to pay a tolerable interest on.
But the sum for which it was purchased by the present proprietors by
no means represents the whole of the capital which has been expended
on it as it now stands. It needed the expenditure of no less a sum
than sixty thousand pounds sterling to adapt it in all respects to its
present purpose, and it is now really such a hotel as does not
exist elsewhere in Europe. The whole of the ground floor of the vast
building, looking in its entire length on the trimly-kept gardens and
on the lake below them, is devoted to public rooms, the spaciousness
of which is such that even if the entire house were filled to its
utmost capacity they would never be in the least degree crowded.
First on the right hand is the breakfast-room. Then comes an enormous
dining-hall, the coved ceiling of which, supported by noble pillars
and ornamented with stuccoes in relief, is in perfect keeping with the
style of the rest of the ornamentation. Next to the dining-room is
a reading-room well furnished with papers and books: then comes a
so-called ladies' drawing-room, though I do not observe that that
better half of the creation has the smallest wish to monopolize it.
Next to that is the very handsome general drawing-room; then a large
music-room with a grand pianoforte and harmonium; then an equally
spacious smoking-room; and, lastly, a billiard-room;--truly a princely
suite of rooms. The manager speaks English perfectly, and the results
of his English education may be seen in the admirably comfortable and
clean arrangements of the chambers and every part of the house. The
bedrooms are all warmed with hot air, and really nothing has been
neglected which can contribute to ensure the comfort of the inmates.

And all this can be enjoyed for nine francs per diem! A palace to live
in, placed in one of the choicest spots in the world, abundant and
well-skilled service, an excellently well-kept and well-served table,
charming gardens, and all for about two dollars a day! Truly wonderful
are the possibilities brought within our reach by _co-operation!_
Still, I do not suppose that quite the same results could be attained
without the fortunate chance which placed a magnificent palace at the
disposal of the present proprietors at doubtless a comparatively very
small cost. _Morosini "nobis hæc otra fecit"_ The princely expenditure
of that noble family in days long since gone by provided for us nomads
these enjoyments; for one is afraid to guess what the cost at the
present day of erecting such a pile would be. Throughout a large part
of the house, in the huge corridors and antechambers, a great deal
of the old furniture and the vast marble chimney-pieces and mural
decorations remain as the Morosini left them, and contribute their
part toward persuading us that we are not dwellers in a vulgar inn,
but the guests of some magnificent old doge, who leaves his friends
the most complete liberty and independence, and merely gratifies the
commercial traditions of his race by requesting us _pro formâ_ to drop
a small present to his domestics at parting.

There are a great variety of charming drives and walks in the
neighborhood in every direction; and the whole district is full of
the villas and well-kept gardens of the rich Milanese, who have
chosen this favored spot for their country residences. I have said
_well-kept_ gardens advisedly; and it is worth noting that the love
of gardens and gardening seems to be a specialty of the Milanese among
all the Italians. One sees in other parts of Italy the remains of care
and magnificence of this sort--at Rome especially; but all (though
in many cases belonging to owners still wealthy as well as noble)
dilapidated, little cared for, and speaking in melancholy tones of
decay and perished splendor. A ruined building may be an extremely
picturesque object, but a ruined garden can never be other than a
melancholy and repulsive one. But the whole of this district testifies
to the love of the Milanese for their gardens; and most of them are
on a truly princely scale of magnificence. There is one villa which I
will mention, because the owner of it is doing there what recalls
to our minds strikingly the old days which saw the creation of that
Italian splendor the remains of which we still admire, and suggests
that it is not beyond hope that the privileged soil of Italy and the
genius for the arts which seems inherent in this people may, under
their new political circumstances, lead to yet another renaissance.
The villa I am alluding to is in the immediate neighborhood of Varese,
on a rising ground above the town, commanding the most magnificent
views of Monte Rosa, Monte Viso and the country between the lakes of
Como and Maggiore. It is a new creation, and is the property and the
work of the Milanese banker, Signor Ponti. The house and gardens
are well worth a visit--if the traveler is fortunate enough to be
permitted to see them--for the sake of the happy originality of idea
which has inspired the architecture of the former and the excellent
taste which has turned the favorable circumstances of the ground to
the best account in laying out the latter. But the feature which I
specially wished to mention is the ornamentation of the principal
_salon_ or ball-room in the villa. When permitted to visit it we found
Signor Bertini, a Milanese artist well known in all parts of Italy,
engaged in putting the last touches to a series of frescoes which form
the principal ornamentation of the room. The four largest paintings
commemorate the glories of Italy in the history of human discovery.
In one the monk, Guido of Arezzo, the inventor of modern musical
notation, is teaching a class of four boys to sing from the page of an
illuminated missal--a really charming composition. In another Columbus
is showing to the Spanish monarchs the natives of the newly-found
world whom he had brought home with him. In a third Galileo is showing
to the astonished pope, by means of a telescope, the wonders of that
other newly-found world of which he was the discoverer. The fourth
shows us the very striking and lifelike figure of Volta explaining
the wonders of the "pile" to which he has given his name to the First
Napoleon. The whole of these, as well as of the other decorations of
the room, are in "real fresco"--that is to say, the colors are laid
on while the mortar is yet wet (whence the name _fresco_), and thus
become so entirely incorporated with the substance of the wall that
the painting is indestructible save by the destruction of at least
the coating of the latter. Of course, it is evident that a painting so
executed admits of no second touch. The hand of the artist must
obey his thought with absolutely unfailing fidelity or the work is
worthless. Hence the special difficulty of this description of art,
and the necessity of a very high degree of mastery in him who attempts
it. In the present case Signor Bertini has succeeded admirably. But
I was especially struck by the taste and liberality of the Milanese
banker, who, instead of making his room gorgeous with damask hangings
and satin and velvet, which any man who has cash in his pocket may
have, is giving encouragement to the art of his country, and doing at
this day exactly that which the Strozzi, the Borghesi, the Medici and
so many other bankers and merchants did three hundred and odd years
ago, and by doing made Italy what it was.

T.A.T.



A STATE GOVERNOR IN THE RÔLE OF ENOCH ARDEN.


The conventional romance of the long-lost husband returning home just
in time to interrupt the second nuptials of his wife is told of Samuel
Cranston, governor of Rhode Island, who died in 1727, after being
elected to that office thirty-two times in succession.

It appears that when quite a young man Mr. Cranston married Mary, a
granddaughter of Roger Williams. Soon after the marriage he went to
sea, was captured by pirates and carried to some country--Algiers,
it is supposed--where he was detained for several years without
being able to communicate with his family. Meanwhile, Mrs. Cranston,
believing him to be dead, accepted an offer of marriage, and was on
the eve of the nuptial ceremonies when her first husband arrived in
Boston. There he heard the news of the proposed marriage, but there
being no such thing then as telegraphs or railroads, he started for
home by means of post-horses as fast as they could carry him. When he
reached Howland's Ferry, just before night, he learned that his wife
was to be married that very evening. "With increased speed he flew to
Newport, but not until the wedding-guests had begun to assemble. She
was called by a servant into the kitchen, 'a person being there
who wished to speak with her.' A man in sailor's habit advanced and
informed her that her husband had arrived in Boston, and requested him
to inform her that he was on his way to Newport." It does not appear
that the hero of this romance made any attempt to find out if his wife
had become more attached to his rival, with the purpose of remaining
incognito should he find this to be the fact. On the contrary, after
being questioned very closely by her, he advanced toward her, "raised
his cap, and pointing to a scar on his forehead, said, 'Do you
recollect that scar?'" Whereupon she at once recognized him, though
the romance is marred by the absence of the assurance that she "flew
into his arms." This may be inferred, however, for the returned
wanderer became the hero of the evening, entertaining the
wedding-guests with an account of his adventures and sufferings among
the pirates.



THE PALATINE LIGHT.


This phenomenon appeared off the northern coast of Block Island about
1720, and reappeared at irregular intervals down to the year 1832,
since which it has not been seen. A common impression of those seeing
it for the first time was that it was a light on board of some ship,
or a ship on fire when very bright. Arnold, in his _History of Rhode
Island_, gives an account of it, and also of the tradition which
assigned to it a strange origin. "This light," he remarks, "has been
the theme of much learned discussion within the present century,
and, while the superstition connected with it is of course rejected,
science has failed thus far in giving it a satisfactory explanation."
Dr. Aaron C. Willey, a resident physician of Block Island, wrote a
careful account of the phenomenon in 1811, which was published at the
time in the _Parthenon_, whatever that may have been. He says: "Its
appellation originated from that of a ship called the Palatine, which
was designedly cast away at this place in the beginning of the last
century, in order to conceal, as tradition reports, the inhuman
treatment and murder of some of its unfortunate passengers." This was
an emigrant ship bound from Holland to Pennsylvania. Some seventeen
of the survivors were landed on the island, but they all died except
three. One lady, it was said, having "much gold and silver plate on
board," refused to land. The ship floated off the rocks, and soon
after disappeared for ever. Dr, Willey says he saw this light in
February, 1810. "It was twilight, and the light was then large and
greatly lambent, very bright, broad at the bottom and terminating
acutely upward. From each side seemed to issue rays of faint light
similar to those perceptible in any blaze placed in the open air
at night. It continued about fifteen minutes from the time I first
observed it, then gradually became smaller and more dim until it
was entirely extinguished." The same gentleman saw it again in the
following December, when he thought it was a light on board of some
vessel until undeceived. It moved along apparently parallel to the
shore on this occasion, after a time falling behind the doctor, who
was riding along the coast. Finally, it stopped, then moved off some
rods and stopped again. The same authority declares that he had been
told by a gentleman living near the sea that it had often been so
bright as to "illuminate considerably the walls of his room through
the windows." This happened only when the light was within half a mile
from the shore, for it was "often seen blazing at six or seven miles'
distance, and strangers supposed it to be a vessel on fire."

M.H.



NOTES.

It is not very extraordinary that printers' ink is a poor pigment for
painting sunsets or sunrises. The strange thing is that travelers and
sentimentalizers obstinately ignore the fact, and hang their paper
walls with more scenery of that description than any other. What a
gallery of alpine, arctic and marine sunsets we have, and how blank an
impression do they all produce! From any of them, done with a clever
pen by one who undertakes to describe what he has freshly seen, we
gather that the spectacle must have been very fine, and must have
deeply delighted the spectator. We can even catch some tints here
and there, but they are fugitive, and each escapes the eye before it
grasps the next one. If we shut our eyes on Tennyson's page we may
realize a glimpse of Mont Blanc blushing through "a thousand shadowy
penciled valleys," and have a momentary pleasure; but the poet's
picture does not abide with us. Some one devotes a couple of pages
to mapping out the infinitude of half-tints that composed a summer's
evening view looking seaward from the North Cape--a good subject
faithfully gone into, but still not a satisfactory sketch even of the
reality. The pen and type will outline and shade, but cannot color.
They give us some fair landscapes made up of form and effect; they can
compass a cavernous bit of Rembrandt, a curtain of fog or shower, or
a staircase of wood and rock climbing into the distance, just as they
can sometimes faintly depict the infinite chiaroscuro of the Miserere
in St. Peter's; but the monochrome, in music as in painting, is their
limit.

       *       *       *       *       *

Has photography dealt hardly with portrait-painting as a branch of
art, or has it benefited it by weeding out the feeble? The Memorial
Exhibition will assist in determining. It will, we hope, allow the
best living painters in this department to be fully represented by the
side of their predecessors. We shall then see if the Inmans, Neagles,
and Sullys are an extinct species, and if the ranks of their pupils
have melted away before the cannon-like camera. We cannot believe that
the sun, always exaggerating perspective except when rectified by
the stereoscope, and more or less falsifying light and shade by the
chemical effect of different rays, is to be the only limner of faces.
Thus imperfect even in mechanical execution, it seems impossible that
he should supersede future Vandycks. As Webster used to say to young
lawyers, there is plenty of room up stairs. Painters may fearlessly
aim to get above the sun. Take one of Sully's women and compare it
with the smoothest print softened into inanity by the dots of the
retoucher of negatives--the representative of the element of art in
the process. A difference exists equivalent to that between brain and
no brain. No woman, "primp" herself for the sitting as she may, can
present her soul to the dapper gentleman under the canopy of black
velvet as Sully saw it. She does not know herself, as reflected in her
lineaments, as he did; and in ninety-nine cases out of a hundred the
knight of the tripod does not know her at all.

The same is true of John Neagle as a perpetuator of character with the
pencil. Men were his best subjects. In individualizing them he has had
no superior, if an equal, among American artists. His finish was not
always good, and his coloring for that reason occasionally crude.
In female heads he was less happy: character-painters generally are.
Stuart's women are equally defective, but in a rather different way,
being hard and angular in drawing.

       *       *       *       *       *

England is determined not to shrink from the solution of the
time-honored problem of the result of the meeting between an
irresistible force and an impregnable target. Her iron-clads have
piled pellicle on pellicle of iron till two feet thick has become
their normal shell. Everything thinner has been punctured, and now
an eighty-ton gun, to cost sixty thousand pounds, is getting ready to
perforate that. There must be a stopping-point for all this somewhere.
Perhaps the fate of armor afloat may soon be settled finally by the
torpedo, as its efficiency on land was disposed of by the bullet,
and the men-at-arms of the sea no longer lord it over hosts of wooden
yeomanry. Happy the nation that can look on with its hands firmly
in its pockets while others lavish their treasure in seeking the new
philosopher's stone!



LITERATURE OF THE DAY.


Nero: An Historical Play. By W.W. Story. Edinburgh and London: Wm.
Blackwood & Sons; New York: Scribner, Welford & Armstrong,

The fashion of so-called historical dramas is spreading, but the
standard is lowering. When Mr. Swinburne wrote _Chastelard_, whatever
its faults, it was entitled to the name of drama: last year he
published _Bothwell_, which, whatever its beauties, does not deserve
to be so ranked. Tennyson's _Queen Mary_ followed during the
past summer, and many similar attempts may be expected from less
illustrious pens. It is an unfortunate direction for dramatic and
poetic composition to have taken, tending to impair the excellence of
both styles, while fulfilling the exigencies of neither. _Bothwell_
and _Queen Mary_ are not historical dramas, but versified chronicles,
a certain number of pages of the annals of Scotland and England in
metre, divided into acts and scenes and distributed into parts. Such
a production, be it called what it may, must necessarily lack the
essential qualities of the true drama, while it introduces into a
branch of literature which belongs to the imagination the realism
against which art is struggling. The latest specimen of this new
school is Mr. Story's _Nero_, for, although by his preface it appears
that the publication did not follow the writing for several years, it
comes to the world in the wake of the aforementioned works. It is to
be remembered that Mr. Story's pen is as versatile as his talent is
various. He has given the public two law-books, commonly attributed to
his eminent father; the delightful _Roba di Roma_, which embodies the
actual animate beauty and interest of Roman life; a volume of poems,
_Graffiti d'Italia_, full of fine dramatic fragments and studies of
character in the manner of Browning, descriptions which are pictures,
and sweet verses which live in the heart; and a number of essays in
the pleasantest style of table-talk. Moreover, we are to bear in mind
that this gentleman is not an author by profession, but one of
the most distinguished living sculptors. But the very merit of his
productions subjects them to a code of criticism more severe than that
by which amateur performances are usually judged, and the faults one
finds are by comparison with a standard which makes fault-finding
flattery. In the first place, one cannot turn over a few pages of Mr.
Story's _Nero_ without perceiving that he is imbued with the knowledge
of classical things and times, and with the study of Shakespeare and
the old English playwrights. The turn of the phrases and the march of
the passages recall those best models, though without imitation. As
in them, there is less beauty than vigor and spirit: the dialogue is
strewn with expressions as striking as they are simple. Speaking of
Claudius's murder, Burrhus says:

  And Agrippina, startled, pushed him down
  The dark declivity to death.

Agrippina herself to Nero:

              Oh what a day it was
  When, with a shout that seemed to rend the air,
  The army hailed you Cæsar! _My poor heart
  Shook like the standards straining to the breeze
  With that great cheer of triumph_.

The finest portions of the play are those in which Agrippina has the
principal part, and, notwithstanding some flaws and inconsistencies
in the character, which is evidently meant to be complete and
homogeneous, the whole impression is very forcible and _single_. Her
final menace (Act ii., Scene 5) when Nero defies her, the terrible
scene in which she tries to regain her failing influence by kindling
unholy fire in his blood, her rage at the inaction and ignorance of
her forced retirement, her monologue when she knows that her last
hour has come, are all of a piece and exceedingly well sustained. The
dramatic ends of the play would have been better answered if she and
her son had been the central figures, and the tragedy had ended with
her death. Poppæa is closely studied: her petty, feline personality
contrasts well with the large, imperial presence of Agrippina. Nero
himself is not so successful as a whole: his puerility in the first
part is overdone, though as the play goes on the creation takes
definite shape, and becomes at once more complex and more distinct.
The invariable recurrence of his vanity at the most tremendous moments
is admirably managed: it is like an unconscious trick of look or
gesture for which we watch. In his first outburst of grief at Poppæa's
death he cries:

            How still she lies!
  How perfect in her calm! No more distress,
  No agitations more, no joy, no pain.
  I'll keep her as she is. Fire shall not burn
  That lovely shape; but it shall sleep embalmed--
  Thus, thus for ever in the Julian tomb,
  And she shall be enrolled among the gods.
  A splendid temple shall be raised to her,
  A public funeral be hers, _and I
  The funeral eulogy myself will speak_.

There are some impressive dramatic situations, the finest of which is
at the close of the second act, after the murder of Britannicus, the
result of a threat from Agrippina to dethrone her refractory son in
behalf of the rightful heir:

  _Nero_. How is Britannicus?

  _Agrip_. Dead.

  _Nero_. Are you sure?

  _Agrip_. Go see his corpse there, and assure yourself.

  _Nero_. Dead? Poor Britannicus! who might have sat
  Upon this very throne instead of me!

  _Agrip_. Nero!

  _Nero_. My mother!

  _Agrip_. Ah! I understand.

  _Nero_. Take him and make him emperor--if you can.

This has what the French call the _coup de fouet_. But the power and
progress of the play are clogged by two faults--defective construction
and a curious diffuseness and lack of concentration in many of the
scenes and speeches. The action is sadly impeded, for instance, by the
author's not making one business of Seneca's death, but spinning it
out through four scenes of going and coming, as also with Poppæa's,
and even more with Nero's, where the intercalation of long
conversations with changes of places and personages is hurtful, almost
destructive, to the effect. This appears to be the result of too close
an adherence to fact, which brings us back to our original grievance
against dramatizing history. The loss of force from lack of
concentration probably arises from carelessness, haste or want of
revision. From the same causes may spring, too, sundry anachronisms of
expression, such as "For God's sake;" vulgarisms like "Leave me alone"
for "Let me alone;" extraordinary commonplaces, as in the comparison
of popular favor to a weathercock, and of woman's love to a flower
worn, then thrown aside; and a constant lapsing from the energy and
spirit of the dialogue into flatness, familiarity and triviality.
There is an occasional not unwholesome coarseness which recalls Mr.
Story's Elizabethan masters, as in the following passage:

            What a crew is this
  Which just have fled! Foul suckers that drop off
  When they no more can on their victims gorge!
  This Tigellinus....
  Within his sunshine basked and buzzed and stung;
  And, now the shadow comes, off, like a fly--
  A pestilent and stinking fly--he goes!

But it is unpardonable to make even Nero say, "I have to rinse my
mouth after her kiss."

The fine qualities of the composition give the blemishes relief, and
the material deserved that Mr. Story should work it up to its utmost
possible perfection.

       *       *       *       *       *

Autobiography of Mrs. Fletcher. With Letters and other Family
Memorials. Edited by the Survivor of her Family. Boston: Roberts
Brothers.

There are in this work several elements of a gentle but unfailing
interest, such as generally attaches to the class of books to which
it belongs. It gives us some delineations of bygone manners and social
changes, glimpses of many more or less notable persons, and above all
the record of a life which, without being in the usual sense of these
terms eventful or distinguished, stands forth as one in a great degree
self-determined and bearing a strong impress of individuality. Mrs
Fletcher was one of those women who easily become the central figures
of the circles in which they move, and who owe this position, not
to any transcendent qualities, but to the combined and irresistible
influence of great personal charms, a high degree of mental vivacity,
and those sympathetic and harmonizing qualities which it is so
difficult to define, but which are equally distinct from mere
amiability on the one hand and intense self-devotion on the other.
There seems to be in such characters a hint of heroic possibilities
that would only be narrowed and despoiled of some of their charm if
put to the test of action. Lord Brougham compared Mrs. Fletcher to
Madame Roland, but she had neither the soaring intellect nor the
self-assertive tendencies that mark the representative of a cause.
Principle, however, counted for much more with her than with the sex
generally, and one can easily believe that her tenacity in adhering to
it would have been proof against any ordeal whether of persecution
or persuasion. This trait was not more strikingly illustrated by
the strength and fervency of her Whiggism amid the reactionary
tide produced by the excesses of the French Revolution than by the
circumstances of her marriage. The only child of a small landed
proprietor in Yorkshire, she had no lack of opportunities for
gratifying her father's ambition by marrying in a rank far above her
own. Nor was it her ardent affection for the man of her choice that
made her strong against entreaties and reproaches. She would probably
have been capable of any sacrifice of feeling imposed by her sense of
duty, but it was this latter sentiment that forbade the sacrifice.
"I was not, perhaps," she writes, "what in the language of romance
is called in love with Mr. Fletcher, but I was deeply and tenderly
attached to him. He had inspired a confidence and regard I had never
felt for any other man. I could not bear the thought of marrying in
opposition to my father's will, but I was resolved _on principle_
never to marry so long as Mr. Fletcher remained single." He was twenty
years her senior, without fortune, and hindered, instead of aided, in
his struggle at the Scottish bar by his prominence as an advocate of
reform. These, she admits, were "sound and rational objections,"
and could she have prevailed on Mr. Fletcher to release her from the
engagement, this solution, she confesses, would have been less painful
to her than offending her father. But her lover remaining firm, she
decided after two years, having come of age in the interval, to take
the step dictated by honor as well as inclination, and which the event
proved to have been, as she anticipated, "best for the interest and
happiness of all parties."

Her married life lasted thirty-seven years, and she survived her
husband nearly thirty more, dying in 1858 at the age of eighty-seven.
Her career was, on the whole, one of singular happiness and
prosperity, made so in part by fortunate circumstances, but in a still
greater degree by her sunny temperament, her power of attracting and
retaining friends, her unflagging interest in public affairs and her
unshaken belief in human progress. Jeffrey and Brougham were among her
earliest friends, Carlyle and Mazzini among her latest, and there have
been few Englishmen of note in the present century whose names do not
appear in the list. Unfortunately, they appear for the most part as
names only. They occur incidentally in a record intended not for
the public, but for the writer's own family, whose interest in her
personal history needed no stimulant and called for no extraneous
details. Here and there we find a passage calculated to whet if not
to satisfy a more general curiosity, such as the account of a
conversation with Wordsworth after his return from Italy in 1837,
and some letters from Mazzini written soon after his first arrival in
England, But even these belong not to the memoir itself, but to the
editor's additions. The book is therefore not to be judged by a mere
literary standard, or read with expectations founded on a general
knowlege of the writer's position and associations. On all with
whom she came in contact Mrs. Fletcher produced the impression of
a character singularly round and complete. Something of the same
influence is felt in the perusal of her unaffected narrative, and with
readers of a reflective turn may prove a sufficient compensation for
the lack of more ordinary attractions.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Books Received_.

Notes on the Manufacture of Pottery among Savage Races. By Ch. Fred.
Hartt, A.M. Rio de Janeiro: Printed at the office of the "South
American Mail."

The History of My Friends; or, Home-Life with Animals. Translated from
the French of Emile Achard. New York; G.P. Putnam's Sons.

The Cultivation of Art, and its Relations to Religious Puritanism and
Money-Getting. By A.R. Cooper. New York: Chas. P. Somerby.

Health Fragments; or, Steps toward a True Life. By Geo. H. Everett,
M.D. New York: Chas. P. Somerby.

Sewerage and Sewage Utilization. By Prof. W.H. Corfield, M.A. New
York: D. Van Nostrand.

Notes of Travel in South-western Africa. By C.J. Andersson. New York:
G.P. Putnam's Sons.

St. George and St. Michael: A Novel. By George Macdonald. New York:
J.B. Ford & Co.

Water and Water-Supply. By W.H. Corfield, M.A., M.D. New York: D. Van
Nostrand.

Home Pastorals, Ballads and Lyrics. By Bayard Taylor. Boston: James R.
Osgood & Co.

Soul Problems, with other Papers. By Joseph E. Peck. New York: Chas.
P. Somerby.

Scripture Speculations. By Halsey R. Stevens. New York: Charles P.
Somerby.

Antiquity of Christianity. By John Alberger. New York: Chas. P.
Somerby.

The Ship in the Desert. By Joaquin Miller. Boston: Roberts Brothers.





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