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Title: Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science - Volume 17, No. 100, April, 1876
Author: Various
Language: English
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LIPPINCOTT'S MAGAZINE OF POPULAR LITERATURE AND SCIENCE

April, 1876.

Vol. XVII, No. 100.



TABLE OF CONTENTS

  ILLUSTRATIONS

  THE CENTURY ITS FRUITS AND ITS FESTIVAL.
    IV.--THE CENTENNIAL EXPOSITION UNDER ROOF.

  SKETCHES OF INDIA.
    IV.--CONCLUSION.

  THE COLLEGE STUDENT by JAMES MORGAN HART.

  SONNET by MAURICE THOMPSON.

  THE HOUSE THAT SUSAN BUILT by SARAH WINTER KELLOGG.

  AFTER A YEAR by KATE HILLARD.

  THE BERKSHIRE LADY by THOMAS HUGHES.

  THE SABBATH OF THE LOST

  THE ATONEMENT OF LEAM DUNDAS by MRS. E. LYNN LINTON.
    CHAPTER XXIX. THE FRIEND OF THE FUTURE.
    CHAPTER XXX. MAYA--DELUSION.
    CHAPTER XXXI. BY THE BROAD.
    CHAPTER XXXII. PALMAM QUI NON MERUIT.

  THE SING-SONG OF MALY COE by CHARLES G. LELAND.

  LETTERS FROM SOUTH AFRICA BY LADY BARKER.

  DINNER IN A STATE PRISON by MARGARET HOSMER.

  FAREWELL by AUBER FORESTIER.

  THE INSTRUCTION OF DEAF MUTES by JENNIE EGGLESTON ZIMMERMAN.

  OUR MONTHLY GOSSIP.
    THE CITY OF VIOLETS by ELISE POLKO.
    LA BEFANA.
    ERNESTO ROSSI.
    BISHOP THIRLWALL'S PRECOCITY.
    FREAKS OF KLEPTOMANIA.

  LITERATURE OF THE DAY.
    BOOKS RECEIVED.



ILLUSTRATIONS

  THE BRIDGE ACROSS LANSDOWNE RAVINE, CONNECTING MEMORIAL AND
    HORTICULTURAL HALLS.
  GIRARD AVENUE BRIDGE--ONE OF THE APPROACHES TO THE EXHIBITION GROUNDS.
  MAIN BUILDING.
  MACHINERY HALL.
  HON. JOSEPH R. HAWLEY, PRESIDENT OF THE CENTENNIAL COMMISSION.
  GENERAL ALFRED T. GOSHORN, DIRECTOR-GENERAL OF THE CENTENNIAL
    COMMISSION.
  JOHN WELSH, ESQ., PRESIDENT OF THE CENTENNIAL BOARD OF FINANCE.
  AGRICULTURAL BUILDING.
  HORTICULTURAL HALL.
  MEMORIAL HALL, WITH EXTENSION.
  INDIGO-FACTORY NEAR ALLAHABAD.
  MUSSULMAN SCHOOL AT ALLAHABAD.
  MÂLERS AND SONTALS.
  GRAIN-AND-FLOUR MERCHANT OF PATNA.
  A TIGER-HUNT, ELEPHANT-BACK.
  BENGAL WATER-CARRIERS.
  BRAHMANS OF BENGAL.
  BENGALESE OF LOW CASTE.
  CHARIOT OF THE PROCESSION OF THE RATTJATTRA, AT JAGHERNÂTH.
  THE PORT OF CALCUTTA.



LIPPINCOTT'S MAGAZINE

OF

_POPULAR LITERATURE AND SCIENCE_.

APRIL, 1876.
Vol. XVII, No. 100.



THE CENTURY ITS FRUITS AND ITS FESTIVAL.

IV.--THE CENTENNIAL EXPOSITION UNDER ROOF.

[Illustration: THE BRIDGE ACROSS LANSDOWNE RAVINE, CONNECTING MEMORIAL
AND HORTICULTURAL HALLS.]

None of the European exhibitions we have sketched partook of the
nature of an anniversary or was designed to commemorate an historical
event. Some idea of celebrating the close of the calendar half-century
may have helped to determine the choice of 1851 as the year for
holding the first London fair; but if so, it was only with reference
to the general progress during this period, and not to any notable
fact at its commencement. Still less did the later exhibitions owe any
portion of their significance and interest to their connection with a
date. They afforded occasion for comparison and rivalry, but no shape
loomed up out of the past claiming to preside over the festival, to
have its toils and achievements remembered, and to be credited with a
share in the production of the harvests garnered by its successors.

In our case it is very different. Here was the birth-year of the Union
coming apace. It forced itself upon our contemplation. It appealed
not merely to the average passion of grown-up boys for hurrahs,
gun-firing, bell-ringing, and rockets sulphureous and oratorical. It
addressed us in a much more sober tone and assumed a far more
didactic aspect. Looking from its throne of clouds o'er half the (New)
World--and indeed, as we have shown, constructively over the Old as
well--it summoned us to the wholesome moral exercise of pausing a
moment in our rapid career to revert to first principles, moral,
social and political, and to explore the germs of our marvelous
material progress. Nor could we assume this office as exclusively for
our own benefit. The rest of Christendom silently assigned it to the
youngest born for the common good. Circumstances had placed in our
hands the measuring-rod of Humanity's growth, and all stood willing to
gather upon our soil for its application, so far as that could be
made by the method devised and perfected within the past quarter of
a century. It was here, a thousand leagues away from the scene of the
first enterprise of the kind, that the culminating experiment was to
be tried.

[Illustration: GIRARD AVENUE BRIDGE--ONE OF THE APPROACHES TO THE
EXHIBITION GROUNDS.]

To what point on a continent as broad as the Atlantic were they to
come? The European fairs were hampered with no question of locality.
That Austria should hold hers at Vienna, France at Paris, and Britain
at London, were foregone conclusions. But the United States have a
plurality of capitals, political, commercial, historical and State.
Washington, measured by house-room and not by magnificent distances,
was too small. New York, acting with characteristic haste, had already
indulged in an exposition, and it lacked, moreover, the rich cluster
of associations that might have hallowed its claims as the "commercial
metropolis." Among the State capitals Boston alone had the needed
historical eminence, but, besides the obvious drawback of its
situation, its capacity and its commissariat resources, except for
a host of disembodied intellects, must prove insufficient. There
remained the central city of the past, the seat of the Continental
Congress, of the Convention and of the first administrations under
the Constitution which it framed--the halfway-house between North and
South of the early warriors and statesmen, and the workshop in which
the political machinery that has since been industriously filed at
home and more or less closely copied abroad was originally forged.
Where else could the two ends of the century be so fitly brought
together? Here was the Hall of 1776; the other hall that nearly two
years earlier received the first assemblage of "that hallowed name
that freed the Atlantic;" the modest building in a bed-chamber of
which the Declaration of Independence was penned; and other localities
rich with memories of the men of our heroic age.

The space of a few blocks covered the council-ground of the Union.
Those few acres afforded room enough for the beating of its political
heart for twenty-five years, from the embryonic period to that of
maturity--from the meeting of a consulting committee of subject
colonists to the establishment of unchallenged and symmetrical
autonomy.

The growth of Philadelphia from this contracted germ was only less
remarkable than that of the government. The capital of the provincial
rebels had expanded into one fit for an empire, comparable to Vienna
as a site for a World's Exposition and a caravanserai for those who
should attend it. Such advantages would have caused its selection had
the question been submitted in the first instance to the unbiased vote
of various quarters of the Union, all expected and all prepared to
contribute an equal quota, according to population and means, of the
cost. But the enterprise of the community itself anticipated such
decision. Its own citizens hastened to appropriate the idea and
shoulder the responsibility. They felt that the standpoint wherefrom
they were able to address their countrymen was a commanding one, and
they lost no time in lifting up their voice. Aware that those who
take the initiative have always to carry more than their share of the
burden, they were very moderate in their calls for aid; and the demand
for that they rested chiefly upon the same ground which naturally
sustained part of their own calculations of reimbursement in some
shape, direct or indirect--local self-interest. The dislike to the
entire loss of a large outlay on an uncertain event is not peculiar to
this commercial age. Appeals on the side of patriotism and of
public enthusiasm over the jubilee of a century would be at least as
effective with the American people as with any other in the world;
but they could not be expected to be all-powerful, and to need no
assistance from the argument of immediate and palpable advantage.
In default of subscriptions to the main fund from distant towns and
States, these were invited to provide for the cost of collecting,
transporting and arranging their individual shares of the display.
This they have generally, and in many cases most liberally, done, in
addition to direct subscriptions greater in amount than the provinces
of either Austria, France or England made to their respective
expositions. Withal, it could surprise no one that Pennsylvania and
her chief city would have to be the main capitalists of an undertaking
located on their own soil.

These came forward with a promptness that at once raised the movement
above the status of a project. The city with a million and a half, and
the State with a million, replenished the exchequer of the association
after a fashion that ensured in every quarter confidence in its
success, and at the same time extinguished what little disposition
may have been manifested elsewhere to cavil at the choice of location.
These large subventions very properly contemplated something more than
the encouragement of a transient display, and were for the most part
devoted to the erection of structures of a permanent character, such
as the Art-Gallery or Memorial Hall and the Horticultural Building. To
endowments of this description, called forth by the occasion, we might
add the Girard Avenue Bridge, the finest in the country, erected by
the city at the cost of a million and a half, and leading direct to
the exhibition grounds. The concession of two hundred and sixty
acres of the front of Fairmount Park, with the obliteration of costly
embellishments that occupied the ground taken for the new exposition
buildings, may be viewed in the light of another contribution.

[Illustration: MAIN BUILDING.]

A treasury meant to accommodate seven millions of dollars--three
millions less than the Vienna outlay--still showed an aching void,
which was but partially satisfied by the individual subscriptions of
Philadelphians. It became necessary to sound the financial tocsin
in the ears of all the Union. Congress, States, cities, counties,
schools, churches, citizens and children were appealed to for
subscriptions. The shares were fixed at the convenient size of ten
dollars each, hardly the market-value of the stock-certificate,
"twenty-four by twenty inches on the best bank-note paper," which
became the property of each fortunate shareholder on the instant of
payment. But these seductive pictures belonged to a class of art with
which the moneyed public had become since '73 unhappily too familiar.
They had to jostle, in the gallery of the stock-market, a vast
and various collection exhaustive of the whole field of allegory,
mythological and technical, and framed in the most bewitching aureoles
of blue, red and green printer's ink. It seemed in '72 much more
probable that the Coon Swamp and Byzantium Trans-Continental Railway
would be able, the year after completion, to pay eight per cent. on
fifty thousand dollars of bonds to the mile, sold at seventy in the
hundred, than it did in '75 that ten millions of fifty-cent tickets
could be disposed of in six months at any point on the Continent. Thus
it happened that the exchange of Mr. Spinner's twenty square inches of
allegory for the three square feet of Messrs. Ferris & Darley's went
on slowly, and it became painfully obvious that the walls of but an
imperceptible minority of American homes would have the patriotic
faith and fervor of their occupants attested a century hence by these
capacious engravings, as that of a hundred years ago is by rusty
muskets and Cincinnati diplomas.

Still, the stock did not altogether go a-begging. The adjacent
State of New Jersey signed for the sum of $100,000, more remote New
Hampshire and Connecticut for $10,000 each, and little Delaware for
the same. Kansas gave $25,000. Five thousand were voted by the city
of Wilmington, and a thin fusillade of ten-dollar notes played slowly
from all points of the compass. This was kept up to the last, and with
some increase of activity, but it was a mere affair of pickets, that
could not be decisive.

Undismayed, the managers fought their way through fiscal brake and
brier, the open becoming more discernible with each effort, till in
February, 1876, Congress rounded off their strong box with the neat
capping of a million and a half. The entire cost of administration and
construction was thus covered, and the association distinguished from
all its predecessors by the assurance of being able on the opening day
to invite its thousands of guests to floors laden with the wealth of
the world, but with not an ounce of debt.

The assistance extended in another and indirect form by the States
collectively and individually was valuable. Congress appropriated
$505,000 for the erection of a building and the collection therein
of whatever the different Federal departments could command of the
curious and instructive. Massachusetts gave for a building of her own,
and for aiding the contribution of objects by her citizens, $50,000;
New York for a like purpose, $25,000; New Hampshire, Nevada and West
Virginia, $20,000 each; Ohio, $13,000; Illinois, $10,000; and
other States less sums. The States in all, and in both forms of
contribution, have given over four hundred thousand dollars--not
a fourth, strange to say, of the sums appropriated by foreign
governments in securing an adequate display of the resources, energy
and ingenuity of their peoples. It does not approach the donation of
Japan, and little more than doubles that of Spain. In explanation, it
may be alleged that our exhibitors, being less remote, will encounter
less expense, and a larger proportion of them will be able to face
their own expenses.

Great as is the value to a country of a free and facile interchange of
commodities and ideas between its different parts, of not less--under
many circumstances far greater--importance is its wide and complete
intercourse with foreign lands. Provincial differences are never
so marked as national. The latter are those of distinct
idiosyncrasies--the former, but modifications of one and the same. To
study members of our own family is only somewhat to vary the study of
ourselves. Really to learn we must go outside of that circle. Hence
the tremendous effect of the world-searching commerce of modern times
in the enlightenment and enrichment of the race.

For the best fruits of the exposition its projectors and all concerned
in its success looked abroad. In this estimate of highest results they
had the example of Europe. It was remembered that British exports
rose from one hundred and thirty-one millions sterling in 1850 to two
hundred and fourteen in 1853--an increase equal to our average annual
export at present, and double what it was at that time. The declared
satisfaction of Austria with her apparent net loss of seven millions
of dollars by the exhibition of 1873, in view of the offset she
claimed in the stimulus it gave to her domestic industry and the
extended market it earned for her foreign trade, was also eloquent. We
must therefore address the world in the way most likely to ensure its
attention and attendance. The chief essential to that end was that it
should be official. Government must address government.

[Illustration: MACHINERY HALL.]

Naturally, this necessity was apparent from the beginning. Congress
was addressed betimes, and the consequence was a sufficiently sonorous
act of date March 3, 1871, assuming in the title to "provide for
celebrating the one hundredth anniversary of American independence."
It made, however, no provision at all for that purpose financially. On
the contrary, it provided very stringently that the Federal treasury
should not be a cent the worse for anything contained in the bill. It
furnished, however, the stamp wanted. It "created" the United States
Centennial Commission, and it directed the President, as soon as
the private corporators should have perfected their work, to address
foreign nations, through their diplomatic representatives and our
own, in its behalf. A commissioner and alternate were appointed by the
President, on the nomination of the respective governors, from each
State and Territory, who should have "exclusive control" of the
exhibition.

Subsequently, an act of June 1, 1872, established a Centennial Board
of Finance, as a body corporate, to manage the fisc of the exhibition,
provide ways and means for the construction of the buildings according
to the plans adopted by the commission, and after the close of the
exhibition to convert its property into cash and divide the same,
after paying debts, _pro rata_ among the stockholders. This was to be
done under the supervision of the commission, which was to wind up
the board, audit its accounts, and make report to the President of the
financial outcome of the affair. An inroad on the terms of this act
is made by the law of last winter, which makes preferred stock of
the million and a half then subscribed by the Federal government--a
provision, however, the literal enforcement of which, by the covering
back of so much money into the treasury of the United States, is,
in our opinion, not probable. It will doubtless be made a permanent
appropriation, in some form, for the promotion of the arts of industry
and taste.

Ten millions of dollars was the authorized capital of the new board.
Events have proved the amplitude of this estimate.

As early as the third day of July, 1873, the President was enabled,
by the notification of the governor of Pennsylvania, to make formal
proclamation that provision had been made for the completion of the
exposition structures by the time contemplated. Nearly three years was
thus allotted for preparation to home and foreign exhibitors. A
year later (June 5, 1874) an act of a single sentence requested the
President "to extend, in the name of the United States, a respectful
and cordial invitation to the governments of other nations to be
represented and take part in" the exposition; "_Provided, however_,
that the United States shall not be liable, directly or indirectly,
for any expenses attending such exposition, or by reason of the same."
The abundant caution of this _italically_ emphatic reservation will
scarcely preclude the extension to the representatives of foreign
governments of such measure of hospitality, on occasion, as they may
have in the like case offered our own.

Acts permitting the Centennial medals to be struck at the mint, and
admitting free of duty articles designed for exhibition, were passed
in June, 1874. The Secretary of the Treasury gave effect to the
latter by a clear and satisfactory schedule of regulations. Under its
operation foreign exhibitors have all their troubles at home; their
goods, once on board ship, reaching the interior of the building with
more facility and less of red tape than they generally meet with in
attaining the point of embarkation.

The answers of the nations were all that could be desired, and largely
beyond any anticipation. Their government appropriations will exceed
an aggregate of two millions in our currency. Great Britain, with
Australia and Canada, gives for the expenses of her share of the
display $250,000 in gold; France, $120,000; Germany, _$171,000_;
Austria, $75,000; Italy, $38,000 from the government direct, and the
same sum from the Chamber of Commerce, which is better, as indicating
enlightenment and energy among her business-men; Spain, amid all her
distractions, $150,000; Japan, an unknown quantity in the calculations
of 1851, no less than $600,000; Sweden, $125,000; Norway, $44,000;
Ecuador, $10,000; the Argentine Confederation, $60,000; and many
others make ample provision not yet brought to figures, among them
Egypt, China, Brazil, Chili, Venezuela, and that strange political
cousin of ours at the antipodes, begotten and sturdily nurtured by the
Knickerbockers, the Orange Free State. In all, we may reckon at forty
the governments which have made the affair a matter of public concern,
and have ranked with the ordinary and regular cares of administration
the interest of their people in being adequately represented at
Philadelphia. Many other states will be represented by considerable
displays sent at private expense. It results that we shall have
twenty-one acres under roof of the best products of the outer
world--more than the entire area of the London exposition of 1851. A
Muscovite journal, the _Golos_, expresses a wide popular sentiment in
declaring that our exposition "will have immense political importance
in the way of international relations." The people suspect they have
found what they have long needed--a great commercial, industrial and
political 'change to aid in regulating and equalizing the market of
ideas and making a common fund of that article of trade, circulating
freely and interchangeable everywhere at sight. Practically, the
territory of the United States is an island like Great Britain.
Everything that comes to Philadelphia, save a little from Canada, will
traverse the sea. We are assuming the metropolitan character, whereto
isolation is a step. All the imperial centres, old and new, have been
seated on islands or promontories. Look at England, Holland, Venice,
Carthage, Syracuse, Tyre, Rome and Athens. Shall we add New York and
San Francisco--little wards as they are of a continental metropolis?

A unanimous, graceful and cordial bow of acceptance having thus swept
round the globe in response to the invitation of the youngest
member of the family, let us glance at the preparations made for the
comfortable entertainment of so august an assemblage. An impression
that its host was not yet fully out of the woods, that the
chestnut-burs were still sticking in his hair, and that the wolf, the
buffalo and the Indian were among his intimate daily chums, may have
tended to modify its anticipations of a stylish reception. The rough
but hearty ways of a country cousin who wished to retaliate for city
hospitalities probably limited the calculations of the expectant
world. This afforded the cousin aforesaid opportunity for a new
surprise, of which he fully determined to avail himself. It is not
his habit to aim too low, and that was not his failing in the present
instance.

[Illustration: HON. JOSEPH R. HAWLEY, PRESIDENT OF THE CENTENNIAL
COMMISSION.]

The edifices, according to the original plan, were to excel their
European exemplars not less in elegance and elaboration than in
completeness for their practical purposes, in adaptation and in
capacity. The uncertainty, however, of success in raising the
necessary funds in time enforced the abandonment of much that was
merely ornate--a circumstance which was proved fortunate by the excess
in the demands of exhibitors over all calculations, since the means
it was at first proposed to bestow upon the artistic finish of the
buildings were needed to provide additional space. As it is, the
architectural results actually attained are above the average of such
structures in general effect. The Main Building strikes the eye, at an
angle of vision proper to its extent, more pleasingly than either
of the English or French structures; while for the massiveness and
dignity unattainable by glass and iron Memorial Hall has no rival
among them, and its façade is inferior chiefly in richness of detail
to the main entrance at Vienna. Were it otherwise, some shortcoming
in point of external beauty might be pardoned in erections which are
meant to stand but for a few months, and which can have no pretensions
to the monumental character belonging to true architecture.
Suitability to their transient purpose is the great thing to be
considered; and their merit in that regard is amply established.
Mr. P. Cunliffe Owen, familiar with all the minutiæ of previous
expositions, declares them supreme "in thoroughness of plan and energy
of construction"--a judgment designed to coyer the whole conception
and administration of the exhibition, and one which, coming from a
disinterested and competent foreign observer, may be cited as an
amply expressive tribute to the zeal and fidelity of those in control.
Ex-Governor Hawley of Connecticut, president of the commission, is
a native of North Carolina, and brings to the cause a combination
of Southern ardor with Northern tenacity. The secretary of the
commission, Mr. John L. Campbell of Indiana, was a good second in
that bureaucratic branch of the management. The trying charge
of supervising the work generally, conducting negotiations and
correspondence, and leading as one harmonious body to the objective
point of success an army of artists, contractors, superintendents,
clerks, exhibitors, railroad companies and State and national
commissioners, fell to General A.T. Goshorn of Ohio, director-general.
We do not know that anything more eloquent can be said of him than
simply thus to name what he had to do and point to what he has done.
The duties of procuring the ways and means and controlling their
expenditure devolved upon the Centennial Board of Finance. Of this
body Mr. John Welsh is Chairman; Mr. Frederick Fraley, Treasurer; and
Mr. Thomas Cochran, Chief of the Building Committee. Their office
was fixed upon the grounds at an early stage of the proceedings. Mr.
Welsh, more fortunate than Wren, has been able while yet in the flesh
to point to his monument, and see it rising around him from day to
day.

The exposition is peculiarly fortunate in its site. Had historical
associations determined the choice of the ground, the array of them
in Fairmount Park would have sufficed to justify that which has
been made. Its eminences are dotted with the country-houses of the
Revolutionary statesmen and with trees under which they held converse.
On one of them Robert Morris, our American Beaumarchais, enjoyed
his financial zenith and fell to its nadir. To another the wit and
geniality of Peters were wont to summon for relaxation the staid
Washington, the meditative Jefferson, Rittenhouse the man of
mathematics, the gay La Fayette with enthusiasm as yet undamped by
Olmütz, and his fellow-_émigrés_ of two other stamps, Talleyrand and
the citizen-king that was to be. The house of one of the Penns looked
down into a secluded dell which he aptly dubbed Solitude, but which
is now the populous abode of monkeys, bears and a variety of other
animals, more handsomely housed than any similar collection in
America.

[Illustration: GENERAL ALFRED T. GOSHORN, DIRECTOR-GENERAL OF THE
CENTENNIAL COMMISSION.]

Knolls not appropriated by the villas of the old time, or from which
they have disappeared, offered admirable locations for some of the
buildings of the exposition, and a broad and smooth plateau, situated
precisely where it was wanted, at the point nearest the city, offered
itself for the largest two, the Main Building and Machinery Hall, with
room additional for the Art Building. The amphitheatrical depression
flanked on the east by this long wall of granite and glass, and
spreading northward to the heights occupied by Horticultural Hall and
the Agricultural Building, was assigned to the mushroom city to be
formed of the various State and foreign head-quarters, restaurants,
the Women's Pavilion, the United States Government Building, that of
the press, a monster dairy, a ditto brewery, and a medley of other
outcroppings of public and private spirit. To this motley and
incoherent assemblage a quiet lakelet nearly in the centre would
supply a sorely-wanted feature of repose, were it not to be vexed by
a fountain, giving us over bound and helpless to the hurly-burly.
But that is what every one will come for. When each member of the
congregated world "tries its own expressive power," madness not
inappropriately rules the hour. Once in a hundred years a six months'
carnival is allowable to so ponderous a body. Civilization here aims
to see itself not simply as in a glass, but in a multitude of glasses.
To steer its optics through the architectural muddle in the basin
before us it will need the retina that lies behind the facets of a
fly.

[Illustration: JOHN WELSH, ESQ., PRESIDENT OF THE CENTENNIAL BOARD OF
FINANCE.]

Eighteen hundred and eighty feet long, four hundred and sixty-four
wide, forty-eight to the cornice and seventy to the roof-tree, are
figures as familiar by this time to every living being in the United
States as pictures of the Main Building. At each corner a square tower
runs up to a level with the roof, and four more are clustered in the
centre of the edifice and rise to the height of a hundred and twenty
feet from a base of forty-eight feet square. These flank a central
dome one hundred and twenty feet square at base and springing on iron
trusses of delicate and graceful design to an apex ninety-six feet
above the pavement--the exact elevation of the interior of the old
Capitol rotunda. The transept, the intersection of which with the nave
forms this pavilion, is four hundred and sixteen feet long. On each
side of it is another of the same length and one hundred feet in
width, with aisles of forty-eight feet each. Longitudinally, the
divisions of the interior correspond with these transverse lines.
A nave one hundred and twenty feet wide and eighteen hundred and
thirty-two feet long--said to be unique for combined length and
width--is accompanied by two side avenues a hundred feet wide, and as
many aisles forty-eight feet wide. An exterior aisle twenty-four feet
wide, and as many high to a half-roof or clerestory, passes round the
whole building except where interrupted by the main entrances in the
centres of the sides and ends and a number of minor ones between.

The iron columns which support the central nave and transept are
forty-five feet high, the roof between rising to seventy. Those of
the side avenues and transepts are of the same height, with a
roof-elevation of sixty-five feet. The columns of the centre space
are seventy-two feet high. In all, the columns number six hundred
and seventy-two. They stand twenty-two feet apart upon foundations of
solid masonry. Being of rolled iron, bolted together in segments, they
can, like the other constituents of the building, be taken apart and
erected elsewhere when the gentlemen of the commission, their good
work done and the century duly honored, shall fold their tents like
the Arabs, though not so silently.

A breadth of thirty feet will be left to the main promenades along and
athwart, of fifteen feet to the principal ones on either side, and of
ten feet to all the others. Narrow highways these for traversing the
kingdoms of the world, but, combined, they nearly equal the bottom
depth of the Suez Canal, very far exceed the five feet of the Panama
Railway, and still farther the camel-track that sufficed a few
centuries ago to link our ancestors to the Indies. The berths of
the nations run athwartship, or north and south as the great ark is
anchored. The classes of objects are separated by lines running in the
opposite direction. Noah may be supposed to have followed some such
arrangement in his storage of zoological zones and families. He had
the additional aid of decks; which our assemblers of the universe
decline, small balconies of observation being the only galleries of
the Main Building. Those at the different stages of the central towers
will be highly attractive to students who prefer the general to the
particular, or who, exhausted for the time, retire to clear their
brains from the dust of detail and muster their faculties for another
charge on the vast army of art. From this perch one may survey mankind
from China to Peru through "long-drawn aisles" flooded with mellow
light, the subdued tones of the small surface that glass leaves open
to the paint-brush relieved with a few touches of positive color to
destroy monotony. These are assisted by the colored glass louvres,
which have no other artistic merit, but serve, where they are placed
over the side-entrances, to indicate the nation to whose department
belongs that particular vomitorium.

Four miles of water- and drainage-pipe underlie the twenty-one and a
half acres of plank floor in this building. The pillars and trusses
contain thirty-six hundred tons of iron. The contract for it was
awarded in July, 1874, and it was completed in eighteen months, being
ready for the reception of goods early in January last. The cost
was $1,420,000, and in mechanical execution the iron-, glass-
and wood-work is pronounced fully equal to either of the British
structures and superior to those of the Continent. In economy of
material for producing a given result it is probable that the iron
trusses and supports of the English buildings are as much excelled as
the iron bridges of this country surpass those of Great Britain in the
combination of lightness with strength. Our metal is better, and its
greater cost has united with the scarcity of labor which so stimulated
ingenuity in other departments of industry to enforce tenuity of form.
Foreign engineers wonder that our viaducts stand, but somehow they do
stand.

The turrets and eagles of galvanized sheet iron, not being intended
to support anything but jokes, need not be criticized as part of
the construction. The tiled pavements of the vestibules, designed to
sustain, besides criticism of the he-who-walks-may-read order, the
impact of the feet of all nations, are more important. Their pattern
is very fair--their solidity will doubtless stand the test. The turf
and shrubbery meant to brighten the _entourage_, especially at the
carriage concourse on the east front, we can hardly hope will fare so
well. The defence of their native soil, to prevent its being rent from
them by the heedless tread of millions and scattered abroad in the
shape of dust, will demand the most untiring struggles of the guardian
patriots in the Centennial police service.

Shall we step northward from the middle of this building to Memorial
Hall, or thread the great nave to the western portal and enter the
twin tabernacle sacred to Vulcan? The answer readily suggests itself:
substantials before dessert--Mulciber before the Muses. Let us get
the film of coal-smoke, the dissonance of clanking iron and the
unloveliness of cog-wheels from off our senses before offering them
to the beautiful, pure and simple. We come from the domain of finished
products, complete to the last polish, silently self-asserting and
wooing the almighty dollar with all their simpers. We pass to their
noisy hatching- and training-ground, where all the processes of
their creation from embryo to maturity are to be rehearsed for
our edification. We shall here become learned in the biography of
everything a machine can create, from an iron-clad to a penknife or
a pocket-handkerchief. In the centre of the immense hall, fourteen
hundred and two by three hundred and sixty feet and covering fourteen
acres, the demiurges of this nest of Titans, an engine--which if
really of fourteen hundred horse-power must be the largest hitherto
known--is getting together its bones of cast and thews of wrought
iron, and seems already like the first lion "pawing to be free." Its
first throb one would fancy inevitably fatal to the shell of timber
and glass that surrounds it.

[Illustration: AGRICULTURAL BUILDING.]

Before it is brought to the test let us explore that shell. To
our eye, its external appearance is more pleasing than that of the
building we just left. The one central and four terminal towers, with
their open, kiosk-like tops, are really graceful, and the slender
spires which surmount them are preferable to the sham of sheet-iron
turrets. Thanks, too, to the necessity of projecting an annex for
hydraulic engines from one side of the middle, the building is
distinguished by the possession of a front. The main cornice is forty
feet in height upon the outside; the interior height being seventy
feet in the two main longitudinal avenues and forty feet in the one
central and two side aisles. The avenues are each ninety feet in
width, and the aisles sixty, with a space of fifteen feet for free
passage in the former and ten in the latter. A transept ninety feet
broad crosses the main building into that for hydraulics, bringing
up against a tank sixty by one hundred and sixty feet, whereinto
the water-works are to precipitate, Versailles fashion, a cataract
thirty-five feet high by-forty wide.

The substitution of timber for iron demands a closer placing of the
pillars. They are consequently but sixteen feet apart "in the
row," the spans being correspondingly more contracted. This has
the compensating advantage, æsthetically speaking, of offering more
surface for decorative effect, and the opportunity has been fairly
availed of. The coloring of the roof, tie-rods and piers expands over
the turmoil below the cooling calm of blue and silver. To this the
eye, distracted with the dance of bobbins and the whirl of shafts, can
turn for relief, even as Tubal Cain, pausing to wipe his brow, lifted
his wearied gaze to the welkin.

Machinery Hall has illustrated, from its earliest days, the process of
development by gemmation. Southward, toward the sun, it has shot forth
several lusty sprouts. The hydraulic avenue which we have mentioned
covers an acre, being two hundred and eight by two hundred and ten
feet. Cheek by jowl with water is its neighbor fire, safe behind bars
in the boiler-house of the big engine; and next branches out, over
another acre and more, or forty-eight thousand square feet, the domain
of shoes and leather under a roof of its own.

Including galleries and the leather, fire and water suburbs, this
structure affords more than fifteen acres of space. Over that area it
rose like an exhalation in the spring and early summer of 1875. At the
close of winter it existed only in the drawings of Messrs. Pettit &
Wilson. Under the hands of Mr. Philip Quigley it was ready to shelter
a great Fourth of July demonstration. This matches the rapidity of
growth of its neighbor before described. The Main Building, designed
by the same firm, had its foundations laid by Mr. R.J. Dobbins,
contractor, in the fall of 1874, but nothing further could be done
till the following spring. The first column was erected, an iron
Maypole, on the first day of the month of flowers, and the last on the
27th of October. Three weeks later the last girder was in place. All
had been done with the precision of machinery, no pillar varying half
an inch from its line. Machinery, indeed, rolled the quadrant-shaped
sections of each column and riveted their flanges together with
hydraulic hammers; great steam-derricks dropped each on its appointed
seat; and the main tasks of manual labor in either building were
painting, glazing, floor-laying and erecting the ground-wall of
masonry, from five to seven feet high, that fills in the outer columns
all round to a level with the heads of theorists who, holding that _la
propriété c'est le vol_, assert the propriety of theft.

Following Belmont Avenue, the Appian Way of the Centennial, to the
north-west, we penetrate a mob of edifices, fountains, restaurants,
government offices, etc., and reach the Agricultural Building--the
palace of the farmer. The hard fate of which he habitually
complains--that of being thrust into a corner save when he is wanted
for tax-paying purposes--does not forsake him here. The commission
does not tax him, however, and the boreal region whereto he and his
belongings are consigned is in no other way objectionable than as
not being nearer the front. The building is worthy of a Centennial
agricultural fair. Five hundred and forty by eight hundred and twenty
feet, with ten acres and a quarter under roof, it equals the halls of
a dozen State cattle-shows, The style is Gothic, the three transepts
looking like those of as many cathedrals stripped of the roof, the
extrados taking its place. The nave that spits them is a hundred and
twenty-five feet wide, with an elevation of seventy-five feet. An
ecclesiastical aspect is imparted by the great oriel over the main
entrance, and the resemblance is aided by a central tower that
suggests the "cymbals glorious swinging uproarious" in honor of the
apotheosis of the plough. The materials of this bucolic temple are
wood and glass. The contract price was $250,000. Its contents will
be more cosmopolitan than could have been anticipated when it was
planned. Germany claims five thousand feet and Spain six thousand.
Among other countries, tropical America is fully represented.

Besides this indoor portion of the world's farm-steading, a barnyard
of correspondent magnitude is close at hand, where all domestic
animals will be accommodated, and the Weirs, Landseers and Bonheurs
will find many novelties for the portfolio. A race-track, too, is an
addendum of course. What would our Pan-Athenaic games be without it?

From this exhibition of man's power over the fruits of the earth and
the beasts of the field we cross a ravine where the forest is allowed
to disport itself in ignorance of his yoke, and ascend another
eminence where floral beauty, gathered from all quarters of the globe,
is fed in imprisonment on its native soil and breathes its native
climate. We predict that woman will seek her home among the flowers on
the hill rather than in the atelier specially prepared for her in the
valley we have passed. Her tremendous struggles through the mud, while
yet the grounds were all chaos, to get sight of the first plants that
appeared in the Horticultural Building, left no doubt of this in our
mind.

[Illustration: HORTICULTURAL HALL.]

No site could have been more happily chosen for this beautiful
congress-hall of flowers. It occupies a bluff that overlooks the
Schuylkill a hundred feet below to the eastward, and is bounded by the
deep channels of a pair of brooks equidistant on the north and south
sides. Up the banks of these clamber the sturdy arboreal natives as
though to shelter in warm embrace their delicate kindred from abroad.
Broad walks and terraces prevent their too close approach and the
consequent exclusion of sunlight.

For the expression of its purpose, with all the solidity and grace
consistent with that, the Moresque structure before us is not excelled
by any within the grounds. The curved roofs of the forcing-houses
would have the effect upon the eye of weakening the base, but that,
being of glass and showing the greenery within, their object explains
itself at once, and we realize the strong wall rising behind them and
supporting the lofty range of iron arches and fretwork that springs
seventy-two feet to the central lantern. The design of the side
portals and corner towers may be thought somewhat feeble. They and the
base in its whole circuit might with advantage have been a little more
emphasized by masonry. The porticoes or narrow verandahs above them on
the second story are in fine taste. The eruption of flag-poles is,
of course, a transient disease, peculiar to the season. They have no
abiding-place on a permanent structure like this, and will disappear
with the exposition.

Entering from the side by a neat flight of steps in dark marble, we
find ourselves in a gayly-tiled vestibule thirty feet square, between
forcing-houses each a hundred by thirty feet. Advancing, we enter
the great conservatory, two hundred and thirty by eighty feet, and
fifty-five high, much the largest in this country, and but a trifle
inferior in height to the palm-houses of Chatsworth and Kew. A gallery
twenty feet from the floor will carry us up among the dates and
cocoanuts that are to be. The decorations of this hall are in keeping
with the external design. The woodwork looks out of place amid so much
of harder material; but there is not much of it.

Outside promenades, four in number and each a hundred feet long, lead
along the roofs of the forcing-houses, and contribute to the portfolio
of lovely views that enriches the Park. Other prospects are offered
by the upper floors of the east and west fronts; the aërial terrace
embracing in all seventeen thousand square feet. The extreme
dimensions of the building are three hundred and eighty by one hundred
and ninety-three feet. Restaurants, reception-rooms and offices
occupy the two ends. The contractor who has performed his work so
satisfactorily is Mr. John Rice.

A few years hence this winter-garden will, with one exception to which
we next proceed, be the main attraction at the Park. It will by that
time be effectively supplemented by thirty-five surrounding acres of
out-door horticulture, to which the soil of decomposed gneiss is well
suited.

Passing from the bloom of Nature, we complete our circuit with that
which springs from the pencil, the chisel and the burin. Here we
alight upon another instance of inadequate calculation. That the
art-section of the exposition would fill a building three hundred and
sixty-five by two hundred and ten feet, affording eighty-nine thousand
square feet of wall-surface for pictures, must, when first proposed,
have struck the most imaginative of the projectors as a dream. The
actual result is that it proved indispensably necessary to provide an
additional building of very nearly equal dimensions, or three hundred
and forty-nine by a hundred and eighty-six feet, to receive the
contributions offered; and this after the promulgation of a strict
requirement that "all works of art must be of a high order of merit."
Half the space in the extension had been claimed by Great Britain,
Germany, France, Belgium, Austria and Italy before ground was broken
for its foundation; and recent demands at home have rendered necessary
a further projection of the wings, with the effect of giving to the
building the form of a Greek cross.

This building is on the rear, or north side, of Memorial Hall, and is
the first portion of the fine-art department that meets the eye of
one coming from Horticultural Hall. It is of comparatively temporary
character, being built of brick instead of the solid granite that
composes the pile in front of it. Its architectural pretensions are of
course inferior. It is the youngest of all the exposition buildings,
the present spring witnessing its commencement and completion. The
drying of such green walls in such manner as to render them safe for
valuable pictures has been compassed by the use of "asbestos" brick,
which is said to be fire- as well as water-proof. Failure in this
regard would be of the less moment, inasmuch as a great proportion
of the contents will be drawings and engravings. In interior plan the
extension will closely imitate the main building.

Memorial Hall, as its name implies, contemplates indefinite
durability. What Virginia and Massachusetts granite, in alliance with
Pennsylvania iron, on a basis of a million and a half of dollars,
can effect in that direction, seems to have been done. The façade,
designed by Mr. Schwarzmann, is in ultra-Renaissance; the arch and
balustrade and open arcade quite overpowering pillar and pediment. The
square central tower, or what under a circular dome would be the
drum, is quite in harmony with the main front so tar as proportion
and outline are concerned; but there is too much blank surface on
the sides to match the more "noisy" details below it. This apart, the
unity of the building is very striking. That its object, of supplying
the best light for pictures and statuary, is not lost sight of, is
evidenced by the fact that three-fourths of the interior space is
lighted from above, and the residue has an ample supply from lofty
windows. The figures of America, Art, Science, etc. which stud the
dome and parapet were built on the spot, and will do very well for the
present. The eagles are too large in proportion, and could easily fly
away with the allegorical damsels at their side.

The eight arched windows of the corner towers, twelve and a half by
thirty-four feet, are utilized for art-display. Munich fills two with
stained glass: England also claims a place in them. The iron doors of
the front are inlaid with bronze panels bearing the insignia of the
States; the artist prudently limiting himself to that modest range of
subjects in recognition of the impossibility of eclipsing Ghiberti
at six months' notice. Thirty years is not too much time to devote
to completing the ornamentation of this building. Five, seven or ten
millions of people will pass through it in the course of its first
year, and among them will be some capable of making sound suggestions
for its finish. The wisdom that comes from a multitude of counsels
will remain to be sifted. Then will remain the creation of the artists
who are to carry the counsels into execution. We shall be fortunate if
the next three decades bring us men thoroughly equal to the task.

[Illustration: MEMORIAL HALL, WITH EXTENSION.]

It would be an unpardonable neglect of the maxim which enjoins
gratitude to the bridge that carries us safely over were we to
complete our tour of the exposition structures without a glance at the
graceful erections, diverse in magnitude and design, which overleap
the depressions so attractive to the student of the picturesque and
so trying to the pedestrian. The æsthetic capabilities of bridge
architecture are very great, and a fine field is here offered for
their display. The flat expanses of Hyde Park, the Champs de Mars
and the Prater could afford no such exhibition. The ground and the
buildings became, perforce, two sharply distinct things; and the
blending into unity of landscape and architecture could be but
imperfectly attained. Here the case is very different. With the aid of
an art that embraces in its province alike the fairy trellis and the
monumental arch and pilaster, the lines of Memorial Hall and
other permanent edifices may be led over the three hundred acres
appropriated to the exposition. From the foundation of a bridge-pier
to the crowning statue of America, the artist finds an uninterrupted
range.

The work of his foster-brother, the artisan, has certainly been well
done. The structures we have been traversing are, in their way, works
of art--very worthy, if not the choicest conceivable, blossoms of
our century-plant. For fitness, the quality that underlies beauty
throughout Nature from the plume to the tendril and the petal, they
have not been surpassed in their kind. Every flange, bolt, sheet and
abutment has been well thought out. Whatever the purpose, to bind or
to brace, to lift or to support, everything tells.



SKETCHES OF INDIA.

IV.--CONCLUSION.


The Koutab Minar, which I had first viewed nine miles off from one
of the little kiosquelets crowning the minarets of the Jammah
Masjid, improved upon closer acquaintance. One recognizes in the word
"minaret" the diminutive of "minar," the latter being to the former
as a tower to a turret. This minar of Koutab's--it was erected by the
Mussulman general Koutab-Oudeen-Eibeg in the year 1200 to commemorate
his success over the Rajpút emperor Pirthi-Raj--is two hundred and
twenty feet high, and the cunning architect who designed it managed to
greatly intensify its suggestion of loftiness by its peculiar shape.
Instead of erecting a shaft with unbroken lines, he placed five
truncated cones one upon another in such a way that the impression
of their successively lessening diameters should be lengthened by the
four balconies which result from the projection of each lower cone
beyond the narrower base of the cone placed on it--thus borrowing, as
it were, the perspective effects of five shafts and concentrating them
upon one. The lower portion, too, shows the near color of red--it is
built of the universal red sandstone with which the traveler becomes
so familiar--while the upper part reveals the farther color of white
from its marble casing. Each cone, finally, is carved into reeds, like
a bundle of buttresses supporting a weight enormous not by reason of
massiveness, but of pure height.

The group of ruins about the Koutab Minar was also very fascinating
to me. The Gate of Aladdin, a veritable fairy portal, with its
bewildering wealth of arabesques and flowing traceries in white marble
inlaid upon red stone; the Tomb of Altamsh; the Mosque of Koutab,--all
these, lying in a singular oasis of trees and greenery that forms a
unique spot in the arid and stony ruin-plain of Delhi, drew me with
great power. I declared to Bhima Gandharva that it was not often in a
lifetime that we could get so many centuries together to talk with at
once, and wrought upon him to spend several days with me, unattended
by servants, in this tranquil society of the dead ages, which still
live by sheer force of the beautiful that was in them.

"Very pretty," said my companion, "but not by force of the beautiful
alone. Do you see that iron pillar?" We were walking in the court of
the Mosque of Koutab, and Bhima pointed, as he spoke, to a plain iron
shaft about a foot in diameter rising in the centre of the enclosed
space to a height of something over twenty feet. "Its base is sunken
deeper in the ground than the upper part is high. It is in truth a
gigantic nail, which, according to popular tradition, was constructed
by an ancient king who desired to play Jael to a certain Sisera that
was in his way. It is related that King Anang Pal was not satisfied
with having conquered the whole of Northern India, and that a certain
Brahman, artfully seizing upon the moment when his mind was foolish
with the fumes of conquest, informed him there was but one obstacle
to his acquisition of eternal power. 'What is that?' said King Anang
Pal.--'It is,' said the Brahman, 'the serpent Sechnaga, who lies under
the earth and stops it, and who at the same time has charge of Change
and Revolution.--'Well, and what then?' said King Anang Pal.--'If the
serpent were dead there would be no change,' said the Brahman.--'Well,
and what then?' said King Anang Pal.--'If you should cause to be
constructed a great nail of iron, I will show you a spot where it
shall be driven so as to pierce the head of the serpent.' It was done;
and the nail--being this column which you now contemplate--was duly
driven. Then the Brahman departed from the court. Soon the king's mind
began to work, to question, to doubt, to harass itself with a thousand
speculations, until his curiosity was inflamed to such a degree that
he ordered the nail to be drawn out. With great trouble and outlay
this was done: slowly the heavy mass rose, while the anxious king
regarded it. At last the lower end came to his view. Rama! it was
covered with blood. 'Down with it again!' cries the joyful king:
'perhaps the serpent is not yet dead, and is escaping even now.'
But, alas! it would not remain stable in any position, pack and shove
howsoever they might. Then the wise Brahman returned. 'O king,' said
he, in reply to the monarch's interrogatories, 'your curiosity has
cost you your kingdom: the serpent has escaped. Nothing in the world
can again give stability to the pillar or to your reign.' And it was
true. Change still lived, and King Anang Pal, being up, quickly went
down. It is from this pillar that yon same city gets its name. In the
tongue of these people _dilha_ is, being interpreted, 'tottering;' and
hence Dilhi or Delhi. It must be confessed, however, that this is not
the account which the iron pillar gives of itself, for the inscription
there declares it to have been erected as a monument of victory by
King Dhara in the year 317, and it is known as the Lâth (or pillar) of
Dhara."

[Illustration: INDIGO-FACTORY NEAR ALLAHABAD.]

Next day we took train for Agra, which might be called Shah Jehan's
"other city," for it was only after building the lovely monument to
his queen--the Taj Mahal--which has made Agra famous all over
the world, that he removed to Delhi, or that part of it known as
Shahjehanabad. Agra, in fact, first attained its grandeur under Akbar,
and is still known among the natives as Akbarabad.

"But I am all for Shah Jehan," I said as, after wandering about the
great citadel and palace at the south of the city, we came out on the
bank of the Jumna and started along the road which runs by the river
to the Taj Mahal. "A prince in whose reign and under whose direct
superintendence was fostered the style of architecture which produced
that little Mouti Masjid (Pearl Mosque) which we saw a moment ago--not
to speak of the Jammah Masjid of Delhi which we saw there, or of the
Taj which we are now going to see--must have been a spacious-souled
man, with frank and pure elevations of temper within him, like that
exquisite white marble superstructure of the Mouti Masjid which rises
from a terrace of rose, as if the glow of crude passion had thus
lifted itself into the pure white of tried virtue."

A walk of a mile--during which my companion reviewed the uglinesses
as well as the beauties of the great Mogol reign with a wise and
impartial calmness that amounted to an affectionate rebuke of my
inconsiderate effusiveness--brought us to the main gate of the long
red stone enclosure about the Taj. This is itself a work of art--in
red stone banded with white marble, surmounted by kiosques, and
ornamented with mosaics in onyx and agate. But I stayed not to look
at these, nor at the long sweep of the enclosure, crenellated and
pavilioned. Hastening through the gate, and moving down a noble alley
paved with freestone, surrounded on both sides with trees, rare plants
and flowers, and having a basin running down its length studded with
water-jets, I quickly found myself in front of that bewilderment of
incrustations upon white marble which constitutes the visitor's first
impression of this loveliest of Love's memorials.

I will not describe the Taj. This is not self-denial: the Taj cannot
_be_ described. One can, it is true, inform one's friends that the red
stone platform upon which the white marble mausoleum stands runs some
nine hundred and sixty feet east and west by three hundred and twenty
north and south; that the dome is two hundred and seventy feet high;
that the incrustations with which the whole superstructure is covered
without and within are of rock-crystal, chalcedony, turquoise,
lapis-lazuli, agate, carnaline, garnet, oynx, sapphire, coral, Pannah
diamonds, jasper, and conglomerates, brought respectively from
Malwa, Asia Minor, Thibet, Ceylon, Temen, Broach, Bundelcund, Persia,
Colombo, Arabia, Pannah, the Panjab, and Jessalmir; that there are,
besides the mausoleum, two exquisite mosques occupying angles of the
enclosure, the one built because it is the Moslem custom to have
a house of prayer near the tomb, the other because the architect's
passion for symmetry demanded another to answer to the first, whence
it is called _Jawab_ ("the answer"); that out of a great convention of
all the architects of the East one Isa (Jesus) Mohammed was chosen to
build this monument, and that its erection employed twenty thousand
men from 1630 to 1647, at a total cost of twelve millions of dollars;
and, finally, that the remains of the beautiful queen variously known
as Mumtazi Mahal, Mumtazi Zemani and Taj Bibi, as well as those of her
royal husband, Shah Jehan, who built this tomb to her memory, repose
here.

[Illustration: MUSSULMAN SCHOOL AT ALLAHABAD.]

But this is not description. The only way to get an idea of the Taj
Mahal is--to go and see it.

"But it is ten thousand miles!" you say.

"But it is the Taj Mahal," I reply with calmness. And no one who has
seen the Taj will regard this answer as aught but conclusive.

But we had to leave it finally--it and Agra--and after a railway
journey of some twelve hours, as we were nearing Allahabad my
companion began, in accordance with his custom, to give me a little
preliminary view of the peculiarities of the town.

"We are now approaching," he said, "a city which distinguishes itself
from those which you have seen by the fact that besides a very rich
past it has also a very bright future. It is situated at the southern
point of the Lower Doab, whose fertile and richly-cultivated plains
you have been looking at to-day. These plains, with their wealth,
converge to a point at Allahabad, narrowing with the approach of the
two rivers,--the Ganges and the Jumna--that enclose them. The Doab,
in fact, derives its name from _do_, "two," and _ab_, "rivers." But
Allahabad, besides being situated at the junction of the two great
water-ways of India--for here the Jumna unites with the Ganges--is
also equally distant from the great extremes of Bombay, Calcutta,
and Lahore, and here centres the railway system which unites these
widely-separated points. Add to this singular union of commercial
advantages the circumstance--so important in an India controlled by
Englishmen--that the climate, though warm, is perfectly wholesome, and
you will see that Allahabad must soon be a great emporium of trade."

"Provided," I suggested, "Benares yonder--Benares is too close by to
feel uninterested--will let it be so."

"Oh! Benares is the holy city. Benares is the blind Teiresias of
India: it has beheld the Divine Form, and in this eternal grace its
eyes have even lost the power of seeing those practical advancements
which usually allure the endeavors of large cities. Allahabad,
although antique and holy also, has never become so wrapped up in
religious absorption."

On the day after our arrival my companion and I were driven by
an English friend engaged in the cultivation of indigo to an
indigo-factory near the town, in compliance with a desire I had
expressed to witness the process of preparing the dye for market.

"Not long ago," I said to our friend as we were rolling out of the
city, "I was wandering along the banks of that great lagoon of Florida
which is called the Indian River, and my attention was often attracted
to the evidences of extensive cultivation which everywhere abounded.
Great ditches, growths of young forests upon what had evidently been
well-ploughed fields within a century past, and various remains of
settlements constantly revealed themselves. On inquiry I learned that
these were the remains of those great proprietary indigo-plantations
which were cultivated here by English grantees soon after Florida
first came under English protection, and which were afterward
mournfully abandoned to ruin upon the sudden recession of Florida by
the English government."

"They are ruins of interest to me," said our English friend, "for one
of them--perhaps some one that you beheld--represents the wreck of my
great-great-grandfather's fortune. He could not bear to stay among the
dreadful Spaniards and Indians; and so, there being nobody to sell to,
he simply abandoned homestead, plantations and all, and returned to
England, and, finding soon afterward that the East India Company was
earnestly bent upon fostering the indigo-culture of India, he
came here and recommenced planting. Since then we've all been
indigo-planters--genuine 'blue blood,' we call ourselves."

Indigo itself had a very arduous series of toils to encounter before
it could manage to assert itself in the world. The ardent advocates
of its azure rival, woad, struggled long before they would allow its
adoption. In 1577 the German government officially prohibited the use
of indigo, denouncing it as that pernicious, deceitful and corrosive
substance, the Devil's dye. It had, indeed, a worse fate in England,
where hard names were supplemented by harsh acts, for in 1581 it was
not only pronounced _anathema maranatha_ by act of Parliament, but the
people were authorized to institute search for it in their neighbors'
dye-houses, and were empowered to destroy it wherever found. Not more
than two hundred years have passed since this law was still in force.
It was only after a determined effort, which involved steady
losses for many years, that the East India Company succeeded in
re-establishing the culture of indigo in Bengal. The Spanish and
French in Central America and the West Indies had come to be large
growers, and the production of St. Domingo was very large. But the
revolt in the latter island, the Florida disasters and the continual
unsettlement of Mexico, all worked favorably for the planters of
India, who may now be called the indigo-producers of the world.

[Illustration: MÂLERS AND SONTALS.]

The seed is usually sown in the latter part of October in Bengal, as
soon as the annual deposit of the streams has been reduced by drainage
to a practicable consistency, though the sowing-season lasts quite on
to the end of November. On dry ground the plough is used, the _ryots_,
or native farm-laborers, usually planting under directions proceeding
from the factory. There are two processes of extracting the dye, known
as the method "from fresh leaves" and that "from dry leaves." I found
them here manufacturing by the former process. The vats or cisterns of
stone were in pairs, the bottom of the upper one of each couple being
about on a level with the top of the lower, so as to allow the liquid
contents of the former to run freely into the latter. The upper is the
fermenting vat, or "steeper," and is about twenty feet square by three
deep. The lower is the "beater," and is of much the same dimensions
with the upper, except that its length is five or six feet greater. As
the twigs and leaves of the plants are brought in from the fields the
cuttings are placed in layers in the steeper, logs of wood secured by
bamboo withes are placed upon the surface to prevent overswelling, and
water is then pumped on or poured from buckets to within a few inches
of the top. Fermentation now commences, and continues for fourteen or
fifteen hours, varying with the temperature of the air, the wind,
the nature of the water used and the ripeness of the plants. When the
agitation of the mass has begun to subside the liquor is racked off
into the lower vat, the "beater," and ten men set to work lustily
beating it with paddles (_busquets_), though this is sometimes done by
wheels armed with paddle-like appendages. Meanwhile, the upper vat is
cleaned out, and the refuse mass of cuttings stored up to be used as
fuel or as fertilizing material. After an hour and a half's vigorous
beating the liquor becomes flocculent. The precipitation is sometimes
hastened by lime-water. The liquor is then drained off the dye by the
use of filtering-cloths, heat being also employed to drain off the
yellow matter and to deepen the color. Then the residuum is pressed in
bags, cut into three-inch cubes, dried in the drying-house and sent to
market.

The dry-leaf process depends also upon maceration, the leaves being
cropped from the ripe plant, and dried in the hot sunshine during two
days, from nine in the morning until four in the afternoon.

On the next day, at an early hour in the morning, my companion and
I betook us to the Plain of Alms. I have before mentioned that
Allahabad, the ancient city of Prayaga, is doubly sanctified because
it is at the junction of the Jumna and the Gauges, and these two
streams are affluents of its sanctity as well as of its trade. The
great plain of white sand which is enclosed between the blue lake-like
expanses of the two meeting rivers is the Plain of Alms. In truth,
there are three rivers which unite here--the Ganges, the Jumna and
the Saravasti--and this thrice-hallowed spot is known in the Hindu
mythologic system as the Triveni.

"But where is the third?" I asked as we stood gazing across the
unearthly-looking reaches of white sand far down the blue sweep of the
mysterious waters.

"Thereby hangs a tale," replied my companion. "It is invisible here,
but I will show you what remains of it presently when we get into the
fort. Here is a crowd of pilgrims coming to bathe in the purifying
waters of the confluence: let us follow them."

As they reached the shore a Brahman left his position under a great
parasol and placed himself in front of the troop of believers, who,
without regard to sex, immediately divested themselves of all clothing
except a narrow cloth about the loins, and followed him into the
water. Here they proceeded to imitate his motions, just as pupils in
a calisthenic class follow the movements of their teacher, until the
ceremonies of purification were all accomplished.

[Illustration: GRAIN-AND-FLOUR MERCHANT OF PATNA.]

"A most villainous-faced penitent!" I exclaimed as one of their number
came out, and, as if wearied by his exertions, lay down near us on the
sand.

Bhima Gandharva showed his teeth: "He is what your American soldiers
called in the late war a substitute. Some rich Hindu, off somewhere
in India, has found the burden of his sins pressing heavily upon
him, while at the same time the cares of this world, or maybe bodily
infirmities, prevent him from visiting the Triveni. Hence, by the most
natural arrangement in the world, he has hired this man to come in his
place and accomplish his absolution for him."

Striking off to the westward from the Plain of Alms, we soon entered
the citadel of Akbar, which he built so as to command the junction of
the two streams. Passing the Lâth (pillar) of Asoka, my companion led
me down into the old subterranean Buddhistic temple of Patal Pouri
and showed me the ancient Achaya Bat, or sacred tree-trunk, which its
custodians declare to be still living, although more than two thousand
years old. Presently we came to a spot under one of the citadel towers
where a feeble ooze of water appeared.

"Behold," said my friend, "the third of the Triveni rivers! This is
the river Saravasti. You must know that once upon a time, Saravasti,
goddess of learning, was tripping along fresh from the hills to the
west of Yamuna (the Jumna), bearing in her hand a book. Presently she
entered the sandy country, when on a sudden a great press of frightful
demons uprose, and so terrified her that in the absence of other
refuge she sank into the earth. Here she reappears. So the Hindus
fable."

On our return to our quarters we passed a verandah where an old
pedagogue was teaching a lot of young Mussulmans the accidence
of Oordoo, a process which he accomplished much as the "singing
geography" man used to impart instruction in the olden days when I was
a boy--to wit, by causing the pupils to sing in unison the A, B,
C. Occasionally, too, the little, queer-looking chaps squatted
tailor-wise on the floor would take a turn at writing the Arabic
character on their slates. A friendly hookah in the midst of the
group betrayed the manner in which the wise man solaced the labors of
education.

On the next day, as our indigo-planter came to drive us to the Gardens
of Chusru, he said, "An English friend of mine who is living in the
Moffussil--the Moffussil is anywhere _not_ in Calcutta, Bombay or
Madras--not far from Patna has just written me that word has been
brought from one of the Sontal villages concerning the depredations of
a tiger from which the inhabitants have recently suffered, and that
a grand hunt, elephant-back, has been organized through the combined
contributions of the English and native elephant-owners. He presses me
to come, and as an affair of this sort is by no means common--for it
is no easy matter to get together and support a dozen elephants and
the army of retainers considered necessary in a great hunt--I thought
perhaps you would be glad to accompany me."

Of course I was; and Bhima Gandharva, though he would not take any
active part in the hunt, insisted upon going along in order to see
that no harm came to me.

On the next day, therefore, we all took train and fared south-eastward
toward Calcutta, as far as to Bhagalpur, where we left the railway,
sending our baggage on to Calcutta, and took private conveyance to
a certain spot among the Rajmahal Mountains, where the camp had been
fixed by retainers on the day before. It was near a village of
the Sontals, which we passed before reaching it, and which was a
singular-enough spectacle with its round roofed huts and a platform at
its entrance, upon which, and under which, were ghastly heaps of the
skulls of animals slain by the villagers. These Sontals reminded me
of the Gónds whom I had seen, though they seemed to be far manlier
representatives of the autochthonal races of India than the former.
They are said to number about a million, and inhabit a belt of country
some four hundred miles long by one hundred broad, including the
Rajmahal Mountains, and extending from near the Bay of Bengal to the
edge of Behar. So little have they been known that when in the year
1855 word was brought to Calcutta that the Sontals had risen and were
murdering the Europeans, many of the English are said to have asked
not only _Who_ are the Sontals? but _What_ are the Sontals?

The more inaccessible tops of the same mountains, the Rajmahal, are
occupied by a much ruder set of people, the Mâlers, who appear to have
been pushed up here by the Sontals, as the Sontals were themselves
pressed by the incoming Aryans.

[Illustration: A TIGER-HUNT, ELEPHANT-BACK.]

As we arrived at the camp I realized the words of our English
friend concerning the magnitude of the preparations for a tiger-hunt
undertaken on the present scale. The tents of the sportsmen, among
whom were several English army officers and civil officials, besides
a native rajah, were pitched in a beautiful glade canopied by large
trees, and near these were the cooking-tents and the lodging-places
of the servants, of whom there was the liberal allowance which
is customary in India. Through the great tree-trunks I could see
elephants, camels and horses tethered about the outskirts of the camp,
while the carts, elephant-pads and other _impedimenta_ lying about
gave the whole the appearance of an army at bivouac. Indeed, it was
not an inconsiderable force that we could have mustered. There were
fifteen or twenty elephants in the party. Every elephant had two men,
the _mahaut_ and his assistant; every two camels, one man; every
cart, two men; besides whom were the _kholassies_ (tent-pitchers),
the _chikarries_ (native huntsmen to mark down and flush the tiger),
letter-carriers for the official personages, and finally the personal
servants of the party, amounting in all to something like a hundred
and fifty souls. The commissary arrangements of such a body of men and
beasts were no light matter, and had on this occasion been placed by
contract in the hands of a flour-and-grain merchant from Patna. As
night drew on the scene became striking in the extreme, and I do not
think I felt the fact of India more keenly at any time than while
Bhima Gandharva and I, slipping away from a party who were making
merry over vast allowances of pale ale and cheroots, went wandering
about under the stars and green leaves, picking our way among the huge
forms of the mild-countenanced elephants and the bizarre figures of
the camels.

[Illustration: BENGAL WATER-CARRIERS.]

On the next day, after a leisurely breakfast at eight--the hunt was
to begin at midday--my kind host assigned me an elephant, and his
servants proceeded to equip me for the hunt, placing in my howdah
brandy, cold tea, cheroots, a rifle, a smooth-bore, ammunition, an
umbrella, and finally a blanket.

"And what is the blanket for?" I asked.

"For the wild-bees; and if your elephant happens to stir up a nest
of them, the very best thing in the world you can do is to throw it
incontinently over your head," added my host, laughing.

The tiger had been marked down in a spot some three miles from camp,
and when our battle-array, which had at first taken up the line of
march in a very cozy and gentleman-militia sort of independence,
had arrived within a mile of our destination the leader who had
been selected to direct our movements caused us all to assume more
systematic dispositions, issued orders forbidding a shot to be fired
at any sort of game, no matter how tempting, less than the royal
object of our chase, and then led the way down the glade, which now
began to spread out into lower and wetter ground covered by tall
grasses and thickets. The hunt now began in earnest. Hot, flushed,
scratched as to the face by the tall reeds, rolling on my ungainly
animal's back as if I were hunting in an open boat on a chopping
sea, I had the additional nervous distraction of seeing many sorts
of game--deer, wild-hogs, peafowl, partridges--careering about in the
most exasperating manner immediately under my gun-muzzle. To add to my
dissatisfaction, presently I saw a wild-hog dash out of a thicket
with her young litter immediately across our path, and as my elephant
stepped excitedly along one of his big fore feet crunched directly
down on a beautiful little pig, bringing a quickly-smothered squeak
which made me quite cower before the eye of Bhima Gandharva as he
stood looking calmly forward beside me. So we tramped on through the
thickets and grasses. An hour passed; the deployed huntsmen had
again drawn in together, somewhat bored; we were all red-faced and
twig-tattooed; no tiger was to be found; we gathered into a sort of
circle and were looking at each other with that half-foolish, half-mad
disconsolateness which men's faces show when they are unsuccessfully
engaged in a matter which does not amount to much even after it _is_
successfully achieved,--when suddenly my elephant flourished his
trunk, uttered a shrill trumpeting sound, and dashed violently to one
side, just as I saw a grand tiger, whose coat seemed to be all alive
with throbbing spots, flying through the air past me to the haunches
of the less wary elephant beside which mine had been walking.
Instantly the whole party was in commotion. "_Bagh! bagh!_" yelled the
mahauts and attendants: the elephants trumpeted and charged hither and
thither. The tiger seemed to become fairly insane under the fusillade
which greeted him; he leapt so desperately from one side to the other
as to appear for a few moments almost ubiquitous, while at every
discharge the frantic natives screamed "_Lugga! lugga!_" without
in the least knowing whether he _was_ hit (_lugga_) or not, till
presently, when I supposed he must have received at least forty shots
in his body, he fell back from a desperate attempt to scale the back
of the rajah's elephant, and lay quite still.

[Illustration: BRAHMANS OF BENGAL.]

"I thought that last shot of mine would finish him," said one of
the English civil officials as we all crowded around the magnificent
beast.

"Whether it did or not, I distinctly saw him cringe at _my_ shot,"
hotly said another. "There's always a peculiar look a tiger has when
he gets his death-wound: it's unmistakable when you once know it."

"And I'll engage to eat him," interjected a third, "if I didn't blow
off the whole side of his face with my smooth-bore when he stuck his
muzzle up into my howdah."

"Gentlemen," said our leader, a cool and model old hunter, "the
shortest way to settle who is the owner of this tiger-skin is to
examine the perforations in it."

Which we all accordingly fell to doing.

"B----, I'm afraid you've a heavy meal ahead of you: his muzzle is as
guiltless of harm as a baby's," said one of the claimants.

"Well," retorted B----, "but I don't see any sign of that big bore of
yours, either."

"By Jove!" said the leader in some astonishment as our search
proceeded unsuccessfully, "has _anybody_ hit him? Maybe he died of
fright."

At this moment Bhima Gandharva calmly advanced, lifted up the great
fore leg of the tiger and showed us a small blue hole just underneath
it: at the same time he felt along the tiger's skin on the opposite
side to the hole, rolled the bullet about under the cuticle where
it had lodged after passing through the animal, and deftly making an
incision with his knife drew it forth betwixt his thumb and finger. He
handed it to the gentleman whose guests we were, and to whom the
rifle belonged which had been placed in our howdah, and then modestly
withdrew from the circle.

"There isn't another rifle in camp that carries so small a bullet,"
said our host, holding up the ball, "and there can't be the least
doubt that the Hindu is the man who killed him."

Not another bullet-hole was to be found.

"When _did_ you do it?" I asked of Bhima. "I knew not that you had
fired at all."

"When he made his first leap from the thicket," he said quietly. "I
feared he was going to land directly on you. The shot turned him."

At this the three discomfited claimants of the tiger-skin (which
belongs to him who kills) with the heartiest English good-nature burst
into roars of laughter, each at himself as well as the others, and
warmly shook Bhima's hand amid a general outbreak of applause from the
whole company.

Then amid a thousand jokes the tiffin-baskets were brought out, and we
had a royal lunch while the tiger was "padded"--i.e., placed on one
of the unoccupied elephants; and finally we got us back to camp, where
the rest of the day was devoted to dinner and cheroots.

From the tiger to the town, from the cries of jackals to those of
street-venders,--this is an easy transition in India; and it was only
the late afternoon of the second day after the tiger-hunt when my
companion and I were strolling along the magnificent Esplanade of
Calcutta, having cut across the mountains, elephant-back, early in the
morning to a station where we caught the down-train.

[Illustration: BENGALESE OF LOW CASTE.]

Solidity, wealth, trade, ponderous ledgers, capacious ships'
bottoms, merchandise transformed to magnificence, an ample-stomached
_bourgeoisie_,--this is what comes to one's mind as one faces the
broad walk in front of Fort William and looks across the open space to
the palaces, the domes, the columns of modern and English Calcutta;
or again as one wanders along the strand in the evening when the
aristocrats of commerce do congregate, and, as it were, gazette the
lengths of their bank-balances in the glitter of their equipages and
appointments; or again as one strolls about the great public gardens
or the amplitudes of Tank Square, whose great tank of water suggests
the luxury of the dwellers hereabout; or the numerous other paths of
comfort which are kept so by constant lustrations from the skins
of the water-bearers. The whole situation seems that of ease and
indulgence. The very circular verandahs of the rich men's dwellings
expand like the ample vests of trustees and directors after dinner.
The city extends some four and a half miles along the left bank of the
Hooghly, and its breadth between the "Circular Road" and the river
is about a mile and a half. If one cuts off from this space that part
which lies south of a line drawn eastward from the Beebee Ross Ghât
to the Upper Circular Road--the northern portion thus segregated being
the native town--one has a veritable city of palaces; and when
to these one adds the magnificent suburbs lying beyond the old
circumvallation of the "Mahratta Ditch"--Chitpore, Nundenbagh,
Bobar, Simla, Sealdah, Entally, Ballygunge, Bhovaneepore, Allypore,
Kidderpore--together with the riverward-sloping lawns and stately
mansions of "Garden Reach" on the sea-side of town, and the great
dockyards and warehouses of the right bank of the river opposite the
city, one has enclosed a space which may probably vie with any similar
one in the world for the appearances and the realities of wealth
within it.

But if one should allow this first impression of Calcutta--an
impression in which good eating and the general pampering of the flesh
seem to be the most prominent features--to lead one into the belief
that here is nothing but money-making and grossness, one would commit
a serious mistake. It is among the rich babous, or commercial natives,
of Calcutta that the remarkable reformatory movement known as "Young
India" has had its origin, and it would really seem that the very same
qualities of patience, of prudence, of foresight and of good sense
which have helped these babous to accumulate their wealth are now
about being applied to the nobler and far more difficult work of
lifting their countrymen out of the degradations of old outworn
customs and faiths upon some higher plane of reasonable behavior.

"In truth," said Bhima Gandharva to me one day as were taking our
customary stroll along the Esplanade, "you have now been from the west
of this country to the east of it. You have seen the Past of India: I
wish that you may have at least a glimpse of its Future. Here comes a
young babou of my acquaintance, to whom I will make you known. He is
an enthusiastic member of 'Young India:' he has received a liberal
education at one of the numerous schools which his order has so
liberally founded in modern years, and you will, I am convinced, be
pleased with the wisdom and moderation of his sentiments."

Just as I was reaching out my hand to take that of the babou, in
compliance with Bhima's introduction, an enormous adjutant--one of
the great pouched cranes (_arghilahs_) that stalk about Calcutta
under protection of the law, and do much of the scavenger-work of the
city--walked directly between us, eyeing each of us with his red round
eyes in a manner so ludicrous that we all broke forth in a fit of
laughter that lasted for several minutes, while the ungainly bird
stalked away with much the stolid air of one who has seen something
whereof he thinks but little.

The babou addressed me in excellent English, and after some
preliminary inquiries as to my stay in Calcutta, accompanied by
hospitable invitations, he gradually began, in response to my evident
desire, to talk of the hopes and fears of the new party.

"It is our great misfortune," said he, "that we have here to do with
that portion of my countrymen which is perhaps most deeply sunk in the
mire of ancient custom. We have begun by unhesitatingly leading in the
front ourselves whenever any disagreeable consequences are to be borne
by reason of our infringement of the old customs. Take, for example,
the problem of the peculiar position of women among the Hindus.
Perhaps"--and here the babou's voice grew very grave and earnest--"the
human imagination is incapable of conceiving a lot more wretched than
that of the Hindu widow. By immemorial tradition she could escape it
only through the flames of the _satti_, the funeral-pile upon which
she could burn herself with the dead body of her husband. But the
_satti_ is now prohibited by the English law, and the poor woman who
loses her husband is, according to custom, stripped of her clothing,
arrayed in coarse garments and doomed thenceforth to perform the most
menial offices of the family for the remainder of her life, as one
accursed beyond redemption. To marry again is impossible: the man who
marries a widow suffers punishments which no one who has not lived
under the traditions of caste can possibly comprehend. The wretched
widow has not even the consolations which come from books: the decent
Hindu woman does not know how to read or write. There was still one
avenue of escape from this life. She might have become a _nautchni_.
What wonder that there are so many of these? How, then, to deal with
this fatal superstition, or rather conglomerate of superstitions,
which seems to suffer no more from attack than a shadow? We have begun
the revolution by marrying widows just as girls are married, and by
showing that the loss of caste--which indeed we have quite abolished
among ourselves--entails necessarily none of those miserable
consequences which the priests have denounced; and we strike still
more deeply at the root of the trouble by instituting schools where
our own daughters, and all others whom we can prevail upon to
send, are educated with the utmost care. In our religion we retain
Brahma--by whom we mean the one supreme God of all--and abolish all
notions of the saving efficacy of merely ceremonial observances,
holding that God has given to man the choice of right and wrong,
and the dignity of exercising his powers in such accordance with his
convictions as shall secure his eternal happiness. To these cardinal
principles we subjoin the most unlimited toleration for other
religions, recognizing in its fullest extent the law of the adaptation
of the forms of relief to the varying moulds of character resulting
from race, climate and all those great conditions of existence which
differentiate men one from another."

[Illustration: CHARIOT OF THE PROCESSION OF THE RATTJATTRA, AT
JAGHERNÂTH.]

"How," I asked, "do the efforts of the Christian missionaries comport
with your own sect's?"

"Substantially, we work together. With the sincerest good wishes for
their success--for every sensible man must hail any influence
which instills a single new idea into the wretched Bengalee of low
condition--I am yet free to acknowledge that I do not expect the
missionaries to make many converts satisfactory to themselves, for
I am inclined to think them not fully aware of the fact that in
importing Christianity among the Hindus they have not only brought the
doctrine, but they have brought the _Western form_ of it, and I fear
that they do not recognize how much of the nature of substance this
matter of form becomes when one is attempting to put new wine into old
bottles. Nevertheless, God speed them! I say. We are all full of hope.
Signs of the day meet us everywhere. It is true that still, if you put
yourself on the route to Orissa, you will meet thousands of pilgrims
who are going to the temple at Jaghernâth (what your Sunday-school
books call Juggernaut) for the purpose of worshiping the hideous idols
which it contains; and although the English policemen accompany the
procession of the Rattjattra--when the idol is drawn on the monstrous
car by the frenzied crowd of fanatics--and enforce the law which now
forbids the poor insane devotees from casting themselves beneath
the fatal wheels, still, it cannot be denied that the devotees are
_there_, nor that Jaghernâth is still the Mecca of millions of debased
worshipers. It is also true that the pretended exhibitions of the
tooth of Buddha can still inspire an ignorant multitude of people to
place themselves in adoring procession and to debase themselves with
the absurd rites of frenzy and unreason. Nor do I forget the fact that
my countrymen are broken up into hundreds of sects, and their language
frittered into hundreds of dialects. Yet, as I said, we are full of
hope, and there can be no man so bold as to limit the capabilities of
that blood which flows in English veins as well as in Hindu. Somehow
or other, India is now not so gloomy a topic to read of or to talk
of as it used to be. The recent investigations of Indian religion and
philosophy have set many European minds upon trains of thought which
are full of novelty and of promise. India is not the only land--you
who are from America know it full well--where the current orthodoxy
has become wholly unsatisfactory to many of the soberest and most
practically earnest men; and I please myself with believing that it is
now not wholly extravagant to speak of a time when these two hundred
millions of industrious, patient, mild-hearted, yet mistaken Hindus
may be found leaping joyfully forward out of their old shackles toward
the larger purposes which reveal themselves in the light of progress."

At the close of our conversation, which was long and to me intensely
interesting, the babou informed us that he had recently become
interested with a company of Englishmen in reclaiming one of the
numerous and hitherto wholly unused islands in the Sunderbunds for the
purpose of devoting it to the culture of rice and sugar-cane, and
that if we cared to penetrate some of the wildest and most picturesque
portions of that strange region he would be glad to place at our
disposal one of the boats of the company, which we would find lying at
Port Canning. I eagerly accepted the proposition; and on the next day,
taking the short railway which connects Calcutta and Port Canning, we
quickly arrived at the latter point, and proceeded to bestow ourselves
comfortably in the boat for a lazy voyage along the winding streams
and canals which intersect the great marshes. It was not long after
leaving Port Canning ere we were in the midst of the aquatic plants,
the adjutants, the herons, the thousand sorts of water-birds, the
crocodiles, which here abound.

[Illustration: THE PORT OF CALCUTTA.]

The Sunderbunds--as the natives term that alluvial region which
terminates the delta of the Ganges--can scarcely be considered either
land or sea, but rather a multitudinous reticulation of streams, the
meshes of which are represented by islands in all the various stages
of consistency between water and dry land. Sometimes we floated along
the lovely curves of canals which flowed underneath ravishing arches
formed by the meeting overhead of great trees which leaned to each
other from either bank; while again our course led us between shores
which were mere plaits and interweavings of the long stems and
broad leaves of gigantic water-plants. The islands were but little
inhabited, and the few denizens we saw were engaged either in fishing
or in the manufacture of salt from the brackish water. Once we landed
at a collection of huts where were quartered the laborers of another
company which had been successfully engaged in prosecuting the same
experiment of rice-culture which our friend had just undertaken. It
was just at the time when the laborers were coming in from the fields.
The wife of the one to whose hut my curiosity led me had prepared his
evening meal of rice and curry, and he was just sitting down to it as
I approached. With incredible deftness he mingled the curry and the
rice together--he had no knife, fork or spoon--by using the end-joints
of his thumb and fingers: then, when he had sufficiently amalgamated
the mass, he rolled up a little ball of it, placed the ball upon
his crooked thumb as a boy does a marble, and shot it into his mouth
without losing a grain. Thus he despatched his meal, and I could not
but marvel at the neatness and dexterity which he displayed, with
scarcely more need of a finger-bowl at the end than the most delicate
feeder you shall see at Delmonico's.

The crops raised upon the rich alluvium of these islands were
enormous, and if the other difficulties attending cultivation in
such a region could be surmounted, there seemed to be no doubt of
our friend the babou's success in his venture. But it was a wild and
lonesome region, and as we floated along, after leaving the island,
up a canal which flamed in the sunset like a great illuminated baldric
slanting across the enormous shoulder of the world, a little air came
breathing over me as if it had just blown from the mysterious regions
where space and time are not, or are in different forms from those
we know. A sense of the crudity of these great expanses of
sea-becoming-land took possession of me; the horizon stretched away
like a mere endless continuation of marshes and streams; the face of
my companion was turned off sea-ward with an expression of ineffably
mellow tranquillity; a glamour came about as if the world were again
formless and void, and as if the marshes were chaos. I shivered with a
certain eager expectation of beholding the shadowy outline of a great
and beautiful spirit moving over the face of the waters to create a
new world. I drew my gaze with difficulty from the heavens and turned
toward my companion.

He was gone. The sailors also had disappeared.

And there, as I sat in that open boat, midst of the Sunderbunds, at
my domestic antipodes, happened to me the most wondrous transformation
which the tricksy stage-carpenters and scene-shifters of the brain
have ever devised. For this same far-stretching horizon, which had
just been alluring my soul into the depths of the creative period,
suddenly contracted itself four-square into the somewhat yellowed
walls of a certain apartment which I need not now further designate,
and the sun and his flaming clouds became no more nor less than a
certain half dozen of commonplace pictures upon these same yellowish
walls; and the boat wherefrom I was about to view the birth of
continents degraded itself into a certain--or, I had more accurately
said, a very uncertain--cane chair, wherein I sit writing these lines
and mourning for my lost Bhima Gandharva.



THE COLLEGE STUDENT.


The most marked trait in American college life is its spirit of caste.
This same spirit, it is true, manifests itself in other lands--in
England, France and Germany. In fact, it reached its extreme
development in the last-named country: the very term _Philistia_ is of
German coinage. The causes that originated and kept alive this
spirit in Europe are obvious. During the Middle Ages students enjoyed
privileges such as made them, in the strictest legal sense, a distinct
class. Thus, they had the right to wear side-arms, and had their own
courts of justice. Some of these privileges have survived, in England
and Germany at least, to the present day. Yet even in Germany the old
student spirit is evidently on the wane, and is doomed to extinction
at a day not far distant. In America, on the contrary, where like
causes have never operated, the spirit exists in force. It is due
to peculiar causes--to college life, to locality and to the mode of
teaching.

The tendency to monkish seclusion lingers in England and America,
the lands that have led the van in political and social progress. The
motives that urged the monks of the olden time to turn their backs
upon the world and bury themselves in cloisters were praiseworthy:
but for such havens of peace, letters might have perished. When the
Reformation was carried out in England, and the sequestration of
Church property left immense convents idle, it was only natural that
the newly-established colleges and halls should convert the buildings
to their own uses. The dormitory system of Oxford and Cambridge,
accordingly, has an historic right of being; and, growing by natural
laws, it has become so rooted in the national life that nothing short
of a political revolution, greater even than that of the seventeenth
century, could eradicate it. The founders of our earliest colleges
were governed by the desire to make them conform as closely as might
be to the English model. There is scarcely the trace of a disposition
to look to the institutions of continental Europe for guidance. This
was a matter of course. The founders of our colleges and the men
whom they selected to be teachers were Englishmen by descent or by
education, trained after the English fashion--seeking freedom in
America, yet at heart sympathizing with English thought, English
habits and English prejudices. Hence the establishment of our
dormitory system--not at once nor in all the fullness of a system. The
colleges were at first little more than schools. The scholars boarded
with the professors: there were no funds for the erection of separate
buildings. But soon we see the evidences of a persistent effort to
make each college an embryonic Oxford or Cambridge. Harvard, Yale and
Princeton before completing the first half century of existence were
committed to the dormitory system. Other colleges have followed the
example thus set. The exceptions are too few to need enumeration.

The mildest judgment that can be passed upon the system is that it has
cost us dear. Were all the figures accurately ascertained and summed
up, were we able to see at a glance all the money that has been
expended for land and brick and mortar by the hundreds of colleges
between Maine and California, even such an aggregate, startling enough
in itself, would fail to reveal the whole truth. We should have to
go behind the figures--to consider what might have been effected by a
more judicious investment of those millions--how many professorships
might have been permanently established, how many small colleges, now
dragging out a sickly existence, too poor to live, too good to die,
might have become vigorous branches in the tree of knowledge. What
have we in return for the outlay? A series of structures concerning
which the most ardent friend of the system cannot but admit that
they are inelegant, uninspiring and unpractical. Some of the newer
dormitories at Harvard and Yale, it is true, are decided improvements.
They are well built and supplied with many conveniences that will
serve to make student life less heathenish. But they can scarcely be
called beautiful, and they certainly are not inspiring. The heart of
the student or the visitor at Oxford swells within him at the sight of
the grand architecture, the brilliant windows, the velvet turf. It is
pardonable in us to wish for ourselves a like refining beauty. But
is it not becoming in us to confess, without repining, that we cannot
realize the wish? Oxford is not merely the growth of ages: it is the
product of certain peculiar ages which have gone. Men build now for
practical purposes, not for the glorification of architecture. The
spirit of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance will probably never
return, or, if it should, it will come as a folk-spirit, neither
springing from nor governed by the colleges, but carrying them along
with it. Hence, our colleges may content themselves with playing a
less ostentatious part, and the most zealous alumnus need not think
less of his alma mater for observing her limitations.

We are not concerned with the dormitory system in all its bearings,
but only in so far as it directly affects the student. The fact is
significant that a large majority of our collegians pass their term
of four years, vacations excepted, in practical seclusion. They are
gathered in large numbers in dingy and untidy caravanseries, where
the youthful spirit is unchecked by the usual obligations to respect
private property and individual quiet. President Porter, in his work
on _The American Colleges_, endeavors to prove that the dormitory
system is, upon the whole, favorable to discipline. The facts are
against his argument. The evils of student life are two--vice and
disorder. So far as the former is concerned, no system has succeeded,
or will ever succeed, in extirpating it. Vice may be punished, but
it is too deeply rooted in human nature to be wholly cured. Its
predominating forms are drinking and gambling, neither of which is
checked by the dormitory system. At Oxford, for instance, both
these vices prevail despite the most elaborate system of gates and
night-patrols. Our college faculties must perforce content themselves
with detecting vice, and punishing it when detected. The most
satisfactory and appropriate means of detection is to watch closely
the way in which the student performs his college duties. No man
can waste his time over cards or the bottle without betraying his
dissipation in the recitation-room. Here, and not in the dormitory,
is the professor's hold upon the student. The dormitory system, so far
from restraining, rather tends to diffuse vice and render its practice
easy.

Disorder is different from vice. The latter, the doing of things wrong
in themselves or made wrong by force of opinion, shuns observation:
the former courts it. The disorderly act is in many instances harmless
enough in itself, and the evil lies in doing it in an improper place
and at an improper time. Hence it is that good students, who would
scorn to stoop to vice, so often suffer themselves to be led to the
commission of an act of disorder. We may even go to the extent of
admitting that occasionally college disorder is not without a certain
color of reason. It is the youthful way of resenting a real or an
imaginary grievance. When a class discovers that it or some of its
members have been treated too severely, according to its standard, by
a certain professor, what more natural than to create a disturbance in
the recitation-room or in public? In itself considered, the act is a
youthful ebullition, and we might be tempted at first to look upon it
as something venial and pass it by in silence. Reflection, however,
should lead us to the opposite conclusion. There is nothing that a
college faculty cannot afford to pardon sooner than disorder.
The reason is almost self-evident. There is nothing that ruins so
effectually the general tone of the college and demoralizes all the
students, good and bad. Vice moves in rather narrow circles--much more
narrow than those in authority are apt to perceive. It does not affect
the great body of students, who are filled with robust life, and whose
very faults are conceits and extravagances rather than misdeeds. But
disorder spreads from one to another: originating with the morally
perverse, it gathers sufficient volume and momentum to overpower at
times even the very best. To protect the better class of students,
then, were there no other reason, the faculty is bound to interfere
energetically and in season. Its position is not unlike that of the
commander of a regiment. The colonel will not unfrequently wink at a
certain amount of dissipation among the officers, and even among the
privates. He may say to himself that the offence is one hard to prove,
that perhaps it will wear itself out in time, that perhaps it is best
not to draw the reigns too tightly. But no commanding officer
can afford to tolerate for an instant the slightest movement of
insubordination. He must put it down on the spot, without regard to
consequences, and without stopping to inquire into abstract questions
of right and wrong. No one, of course, will assert that the head of
a college is to act according to the military code. The differences
between soldier life and college life are fundamental. Yet there are
certain resemblances which prompt and justify the wish that a touch at
least of the military spirit might be infused into our colleges.
The spirit, be it carefully observed, and not the forms, for the
incompatibility between the military and the literary-scientific
methods has been demonstrated repeatedly, the most recent evidence
being furnished by those colleges that have attempted to combine,
under the terms of the Congressional land-grant, agriculture, the
mechanic arts, classical studies and military tactics. But a touch of
the military spirit would be possible and beneficial in many ways.
It would make the relationship between professor and student
more tolerable for both parties. The mental drill and substantial
information acquired through the college course are undoubtedly great.
Still greater is the formative influence exercised by the body of
students upon the individual member. But the greatest lesson of the
course--and the one which seems to have escaped the otherwise close
observation of President Porter--should be the lesson of deference to
position and authority. This deference to one's superiors in age and
position, this respect due to the professor simply because he is a
professor, and aside from any consideration of his personal character
or attainments, should be the first thing to impress itself upon the
student's mind, the last to forsake it. For it is a high moral gain,
a controlling principle that will stand the graduate in good stead
through all the vicissitudes of after-life. Unless it be acquired we
may say with propriety that the college course has fallen short of its
highest aim. For the acquisition of this spirit of respect, military
training is superior to civil. One officer salutes another, the
private salutes his officer, simply because the person saluted is an
officer. It may be that he is disagreeable or boorish in manners, or
even notoriously incompetent. This matters not: so long as he wears
the epaulettes he is entitled to an officer's salute. Honor is shown,
not to the transient owner of the title, but to the title itself.

The inculcation of a kindred spirit in all our colleges is devoutly to
be wished. It exists already in some of the older ones, especially
in the New England States, and in not a few of the very
recently-established ones. But even where it does exist it has not
full sway: it does not set, as it should set, the keynote to college
life in all its variations. And in very many colleges it is unable to
establish itself because of gross disorder. Should this opinion seem
harsh and sweeping, the reader, if a student or a graduate, has only
to recall to mind the instances that he himself must have observed of
discontent and disorder growing out of trifling causes and culminating
perhaps in a "class-strike." Let him consider the waste of time,
the ill-temper, the censorious, invidious spirit engendered by this
fermentation, the loss of faith in the conduct, and even the honesty,
of the faculty. Can he conceive of anything more likely to frustrate
all the aims of college study? Yet in nine-tenths of the cases of
public disorder it will be safe to assume that the dormitory
system lies at the base of the evil. Where it does not occasion the
grievance, it furnishes at least the machinery for carrying matters
to a direct issue. Community of life suggests of itself community of
action. The inmates of a dormitory acquire insensibly the habit of
standing by one another. This is so evident that it needs no proof.
But an illustration of the workings of the dormitory system and its
opposite in one and the same place will not come amiss. When the
Cornell University was founded, some of the trustees opposed the
erection of dormitories. Others, assuming that the people of Ithaca,
to whom a college was a novelty, could not or would not furnish
sufficient accommodation, argued that dormitories were an absolute
necessity. They carried the point: the Cascadilla was converted into a
large boarding-house for both professors and students, and the greater
part of South University was laid out in student-rooms. Both buildings
were full. This state of affairs lasted during the first year and part
of the second. Disturbances of various kinds were not infrequent; and
although no one of them was very serious, yet in the aggregate they
were a severe tax upon the faculty's time and patience. But before the
end of the second year many of the students discovered that life
in town was more comfortable, and accordingly they gave up their
university rooms. At the opening of the academic year 1870-1871
perhaps three-fourths, certainly two-thirds, were lodged in town. The
change was significant. During the entire year, although individual
students were disciplined for individual offences, the faculty was
not once forced to punish public disorder. This phenomenon will appear
still more remarkable when we consider that meanwhile the so-called
"class-feeling" had sprung up, and that students admitted from other
colleges had endeavored to introduce certain traditional practices.
The year 1870-1871 was perhaps too good to be repeated. The next year
witnessed at least one discouraging exhibition of student-manners, and
since then there have been explosions from time to time. For all that,
the general tone at Cornell is excellent. The transitory disturbances
seem to leave behind them no abiding ill-will, and there is
certainly less friction between faculty and students than at any like
institution. Nowhere in this country is college life more free from
petty annoyance, dislike and mistrust, and hereditary prejudices. It
should be added, that those students who now reside in the university
buildings belong almost exclusively to what is known as the working
corps. They are type-setters in the printing-office, or are engaged
upon the university farm, or in the workshops connected with the
department of the mechanic arts. Their time is too valuable to them to
be wasted. The experience of the Sheffield Scientific School resembles
that of Cornell. In one respect it is even better. This school has
never had a dormitory system. Its managers, imbued thoroughly with the
German and French spirit of study, have resisted successfully from the
outset every inducement to follow the usual college system. Although
growing up in the shadow of one of the oldest colleges in the country,
and exposed to formidable competition, and still more formidable
criticism, the Sheffield Scientific has adhered strictly to its
self-appointed mission. It has regarded instruction in science as
its sole object. Whatever tended to this object has been adopted:
everything else has been rejected as irrelevant. We are not concerned
in this place with the general reputation of the Sheffield Scientific
at home and abroad. Singling out only one of its many merits, we can
point to it with pride as the first institution to solve effectually
the knotty problem of discipline. The means of its success are
anything but occult. It has made its pupils feel from the moment
of entrance that they were young men, and must act as such. It has
refused to encumber itself with expensive and useless dormitories,
and the faculty has in the main left the students to themselves. But
whenever interference became necessary, it has acted promptly, without
undue haste or severity, and also without vacillation. Here, at least,
we do not find the ruinous practice of suspending a student one week,
only to take him back the next. The mere existence, then, of the
Sheffield Scientific--to say nothing of its success--by the side of
the powerful corporation of Yale College is fatal to every argument in
favor of the dormitory system.

Most of our colleges are situated in small towns. To this
circumstance, more than to any other, perhaps, is due the
exclusiveness which, in its exaggerated manifestations, is so puzzling
to the city visitor. Petty items of life and character, intrigues,
quarrels and social jealousies have an importance which the world
outside cannot understand. They affect the college more or less
directly. The professor finds it doubly hard to exercise his vocation
in a place where the details of his home life are known and exposed
to comment. The student's power for mischief is increased. He has
only too much reason for believing that he is indispensable from the
business point of view. Besides, as every one knows, close contact in
narrow circles has a tendency to cramp the mind. Trifling annoyances,
real or imaginary, are apt to rankle in the spirit unless they
be brushed away by the quick, firm touch of the great world.
_Kleinstädtisches Leben_, despite its many advantages, fails to
develop the burgher in every direction. It leaves him one-sided, if
not exactly narrow-minded. Professor C.K. Adams, in his admirable
essay upon "State Universities,"[1] has touched upon this point with
reference to studies. His words should be carefully weighed: "If the
best education consisted simply of making perfect recitations and
keeping out of mischief, the smallest college would be incomparably
the best college. But the best education is far more than that.
Perhaps it is correct to say that it is an inspiration rather than an
acquisition. It comes not simply from industry and steady habits, but
far more largely from that kindling and glowing zeal which is best
begotten by familiar contact with large libraries and museums and
enthusiastic specialists.... It is the stir, the enthusiasm, the
unceasing activity, and, above all, the constant intercourse with men
of the same pursuits and the same ambitions, that develop the greatest
energies and secure the highest successes."

[Footnote 1: _North American Review_, Oct., 1875.]

Professor Adams, it will be observed, is contrasting small colleges
with larger ones. We are not bound by his concessions in favor of the
former. And we may also take the liberty of advancing his comparison
a step by claiming for large cities, no less than for large colleges,
the superiority over small ones. Without intending disrespect, we may
even put the direct question, Would not your own university, for whose
advantages you are contending, be better off to-day had it been placed
in Detroit instead of Ann Arbor? Is there not something dwarfing
in the atmosphere of a small country town, where character is
undiversified and life uneventful? Were books the sole source of
knowledge, were the acquisition of ideas and principles the sole aim,
we could wish for our professors and students nothing better than
monotony of life. But success, whether in professional or
scholarly pursuits, depends largely upon temper and practical
judgment--qualities which are developed by contact with the busy
world. Whoever has had the experience, knows that life in large cities
is both stimulating and sobering. It enlarges one's range of ideas
and sympathies: it also keeps idiosyncrasies within proper bounds. The
individual does not lose his individuality, but rather intensifies
it: he loses only the exaggerated sense of his own importance. We must
regard it, then, as unfortunate that so many of our seats of learning
are out of the world, so to speak. Our professors would probably
do their work better--that is to say, with greater freshness of
spirit--and would exert a wider influence, were they thrown more in
the company of men of the world. In like manner, our colleges would
play a more direct part in the affairs of the country. The history of
the German universities suggests a lesson. Is it a mere accident that
the oldest and the youngest German universities are in large cities?
In the Middle Ages, before the political organization of the country
had fairly entered upon its morbid process of disintegration, we find
Vienna, Prague[2] and Leipsic heading the list. Subsequently, each
petty duke and count, moved by the sense of his autonomy, sought
to establish a university of his own. The Reformation increased the
spirit of rivalry. Most of these second- and third-rate universities
have passed away or have been merged in others. The three youngest,
Berlin, Munich and Strasburg, are all in large cities, and are
all three the direct offspring of political and educational
reorganization. As Germany is now constituted, it would be impossible
to found a new university in a small town. Such places as Jena,
Erlangen, Greifswald, Rostock, Marburg and Giessen barely hold their
own against the strong movement in favor of concentration.

[Footnote 2: Heidelberg comes between Vienna and Leipsic, but
Heidelberg was then a much more important town than at present.]

The wholesome influence of large surroundings upon students is
perhaps even more marked than upon professors. History teaches us with
singular clearness that small towns are precisely the ones in which
student character is distorted out of all proportion. No better
example can be found than the University of Jena. From the time of its
foundation down to the present century the name of Jena stood for all
that was wild, absurd, and outrageous. In a village whose permanent
population did not exceed four thousand, students were crowded by
hundreds and thousands. To speak without exaggeration, they ruled
Philistia with a rod of iron, in defiance of law and order, and not
infrequently of decency itself. On this point we have an eye-witness
of unquestionable veracity. In 1798, Steffens, a young Dane brimful of
enthusiastic admiration for German learning, arrived in the course
of his travels at Jena. He gives the following account of his first
impressions of German student manners:[3] "I looked out into the
neighborhood so strange to me, and a restless suspicion of what was
to come ran through my mind. Then we heard in I the distance a loud
shouting like the voices of a number of men, and nearer and nearer
they seemed to come. Lights had been brought shortly before, and,
as the uproar was close upon us, a servant burst in to warn us to
extinguish them. We asked with curiosity why, and what the shouting
mob wanted. We suspected, indeed, that it was students. The servant
told us that they were on their way to the house of Professor A----,
who was unpopular with them--I knew not why--to salute him with their
Pereat, or college damnation. The cry of some hundred students grew
plainer and plainer. 'Out with lights!' was called, and just then
we heard the panes of glass clatter when the warning was not quickly
enough complied with. I confess that this circumstance, occurring so
soon after my arrival, filled me with a kind of gloom. It was not such
things as this that had called me to Jena: these were not the voices
which I had wished and expected to hear, and my first night was a sad
one."

[Footnote 3: _German Universities_. Translated by W.L. Gage.
Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott & Co., 1874. Steffens little imagined at
the time that he was destined to become a German professor.]

Jena, be it said in her praise, is no longer what she was: her
students no longer break window-panes or perform the _Gänsemarsch_ or
elect their beer-duke of Lichtenhain. The great herd has scattered,
and the few who are left dwell with their professors in peace. But has
the spirit of brutality passed wholly away? Perhaps loving parents who
have placed their sons under the "protecting" influence of some quiet
country town believe so. It is almost a pity to disturb their
faith. Yet truth is uncompromising. Let us record and ponder the
fact--epithets are superfluous--that in the year of grace 1874, in
a small college town not one hundred miles distant from the City
of Brotherly Love, students supposed to be guided and restrained by
influences more distinctively "Christian" than any that ever mitigated
the barbarism of Jena, could become utterly lost to all recollection
of father and mother, brother and sister, could forget their own
manhood, could steal under cover of night to the house of an unpopular
professor and bombard the windows, to the peril of his wife and
mother, and of his child in the cradle.

Truly, we have been surfeited with mistaken praise of small colleges
and rural virtue. We have a right to demand that our colleges,
whatever they may undertake or omit, shall teach at least the
first lesson of life--manliness. This lesson is not best learned
by withdrawing one's self from the world, burying one's self in an
obscure and unrefined village, foregoing social intercourse with
amiable men and women, and wrapping one's self in a mantle of
traditional prejudice. President Porter, although a staunch defender
of the existing college system, concedes its weakness. He says (p.
168): "It is no paradox to say that the first essay of the student's
independence [i.e., the independence of college as contrasted with
school] is often an act of prostrate subserviency to the opinion of
the college community. This opinion he has little share in forming:
he does little else than yield himself to the sentiment which he finds
already formed.... It [this community] is eminently a law unto itself,
making and enforcing such laws as no other community would recognize
or understand--laws which are often strangely incongruous with the
usually received commandments of God and man.... No community is
swayed more completely by the force of public opinion. In none does
public opinion solidify itself into so compact and homogeneous a
force. Before its power the settled judgments of individual opinion
are often abandoned or overborne, the sacred associations of
childhood are relaxed, the plainest dictates of truth and honor are
misinterpreted or defied."

It may surprise us to find the author contending, only a few pages
farther on, for "the civilizing and culturing influences which spring
from college residence and college associations." The truth is that
the case has two sides to it. No friend of education could wish to
see student opinion or student sentiment banished wholly from student
life--to reduce study to a mere intellectual process without any trace
of _esprit de corps_. Some such spirit is not only good in itself, but
is natural and unavoidable. Three hundred or four hundred young men
cannot associate freely day by day for years in succession, pursuing
the same studies under the guidance of the same teachers, without
establishing a certain community of sentiment and action, from which
the student's intellectual efforts must derive a great share of
their nourishment. Yet, admitting the principle, we cannot justify or
palliate the excess to which it has been carried. We insist upon the
observance of certain limits, which no man, whether old or young,
learned or unlearned, is at liberty to transgress. And when these
limits are transgressed we have a right to regard the offenders as all
the more culpable because of their advantages. The circumstance that
they come of a "good stock," as it is called, and are pursuing liberal
studies, is only an aggravation of the offence. We expect youthful
extravagances, waste of time, neglect of opportunities, exaggerated
self-importance, a supercilious way of looking down upon the
outside world--these are all phases of growth, and are usually
short-lived--but we cannot tolerate any violation of the rights of
property, any overawing of individual conscience, any breach of public
order, any disregard of public decency. Such offences we must resent
and punish, not only for the sake of those injured, but in the best
interests of the offenders themselves. We cannot afford to let the
most promising class of our young men entertain even for the brief
period of four years false and pernicious views of the fundamental
principles of life. It is the duty of every community to suppress
error _en voie de fait_, wherever it may occur. And if it is our
duty to suppress, it is no less our duty to prevent. Common sense
and experience teach us that danger must arise from gathering large
numbers of young men in places too small to hold them in check. Are
we not at liberty to borrow an example from the history of President
Porter's own college? In the days when the president was a young
professor, Yale was a small college and New Haven was a small town.
The name of the college then was, to speak mildly, notorious. The Yale
of thirty or forty years ago seemed to personify everything that was
obnoxious and lawless in our college life: in no other place did the
conflict between "town" and "gown" assume such dimensions and lead to
such deplorable results. Yet the Yale of to-day, although the number
of students has trebled, will compare favorably with any college
or university. The students, without having lost a particle of true
manliness and independence, riot less and learn more: they show in
every way that they are better students and better citizens. Wherein,
then, lies the secret of the change? Evidently, in the circumstance
that the city has outgrown the college. New Haven is no longer an
insignificant town, but has become the seat of a large local trade and
the centre of heavy manufacturing and railroad interests. Like other
cities, it has established a paid fire department and a strong police
force for the protection of all its residents, the college included.
It is no longer overshadowed, much less over-awed, by the college. On
the contrary, the observation forces itself upon the visitor in New
Haven that the college, notwithstanding its numerous staff of able
professors, notwithstanding its great body of students, its libraries
and scientific collections, is far from playing the leading part in
municipal matters. It is only one among many factors. Life and its
relations are on an ampler scale: the wealth and refinement of the
permanent population are great, and are growing unceasingly. In a few
years more New Haven will be fairly within the vortex of New York.
This change, which has come about so gradually that those living in it
perhaps fail to perceive it readily, has affected the college in many
ways. It has made the life of the professors more agreeable, more
generous, so to speak, and it has toned down the student spirit
of caste. The young man who enters Yale feels, from the moment of
matriculation, that he is indeed in a large city, and must conform
to its regulations--that there are such beings as policemen and
magistrates, whom he cannot provoke with impunity. Even were this all,
it would be gain enough. But there is another gain of a far higher
nature. The student perceives that outside his college world lies a
larger world that he cannot overlook--a world whose society is worth
cultivating, whose opinions are backed by wealth and prestige. It does
not follow from this that he ceases to be a student. Companions and
study make him feel that he is leading a peculiar life, that he is a
member of an independent organization. But he does not feel--and this
is the main point--that he has retired from the world or that he can
set himself up against the world.

In this connection we have to be on our guard against the opposite
extreme--namely, the inference that the larger a city the better for
the college. The very largest cities are perhaps not favorable to
the growth of institutions of learning. Even in Germany, where the
university system rests upon a different basis and adapts itself more
readily to circumstances, the leading capitals, Berlin and Vienna, are
at a disadvantage. The expenses of living are so great as to deter all
but the wealthy or the very ambitious, and the pomp and pageantry
of court and nobility, the numerous _personnel_ of the several
departments of state, finance, war and justice throw the less
ostentatious votaries of science and letters into the shade.
Nevertheless, the universities of Berlin and Vienna can scarcely
be said to be threatened with permanent decline. The governments of
Prussia and Austria recognize the necessity of a great university in
a great capital to give tone to the administrative departments and to
resist the spread of the spirit of materialism. Besides, the resident
population of each of these cities is entitled to a university, and
would be sufficient of itself to support one. We may rest assured,
therefore, that the Prussian government will act in the future as
it has done in the past, by sparing no efforts to make the
Frederico-Gulielma the head of the Prussian system in fact as well as
in name. Nevertheless, it must be admitted that the present hard times
and the unsettled state of society in Berlin tend to restrict the
number of students. The remarkable contrast presented in the sudden
growth of the Leipsic University shows how even matters of education
are influenced by social and economic laws. This Saxon city seems
marked out by Nature for a seat of learning. It combines almost all
attractions and advantages. It is accessible from every quarter, the
climate is good for North Germany, and the neighborhood is pleasant,
although anything but picturesque. The newer houses are well built,
rooms and board are not expensive. The inhabitants are wealthy and
highly cultured, the book-trade is enormous, and the banking-business
considerable. Yet trade does not move with the fever-heat of
speculation: the life of the city is quiet and regular. Amusements
of a high order are within the reach of every one. These minor
attractions, combined with the more important ones offered by the
university itself, will explain to us how it is that Leipsic has taken
the foremost rank. Students who are used to city ways, and who would
have chosen Berlin ten or twenty years ago, now come here because of
the cheapness of living. Others, tired of the monotony of the smaller
university towns, come to get a foretaste of the world that awaits
them after the completion of their studies. The temper of the
students is admirable. Rarely if ever do they betray any traces of the
hectoring spirit which still lingers at Heidelberg, for instance.
But for the display of corps-caps and cannon boots and an occasional
swagger in the street, one might pass an entire semester in Leipsic
without realizing that the city contains three thousand students.
Undoubtedly, the young men perceive, like their colleagues of Yale,
that their surroundings are too much for them.

Another prolific source of trouble is the class system. Whether this
system is to be maintained as it is, or to be modified, or to be
abandoned for another more in accordance with the needs of the age,
are questions which must be kept in abeyance. The answer will
depend upon the view which we take of higher education in the main.
Meanwhile, let us consider the system in its operations during the
past and at the present day. Here, as so often before, Germany affords
us a warning example of the dangers consequent upon the recognition
of class distinctions. The comparatively harmless practice of
_Deposition_--a burlesque student-initiation which sprang up in the
sixteenth century and obtained a quasi sanction from no less a
person than Luther--degenerated in the seventeenth century into
_Pennalisimus_. Newly-matriculated students, called Pennalists (the
modern term is _Füchse_), were maltreated by the elder ones, the
Schorists, and were pillaged and forced to perform menial services
"such as a sensible master would hesitate to exact of his servant[4]."
The Schorists considered themselves a licensed corporation. To give an
idea of their deportment, not merely toward the younger students, but
even toward the university itself, it will suffice to state that they
conducted their orgies at times in the public streets without fear
or shame. In 1660, during the student insurrection at Jena,
they assaulted and dispersed the Academic Senate in session. The
governmental rescripts of those days are taken up with accounts of the
evil and the means proposed for curing it. The matter was even brought
before the Imperial Diet. Pennalismus was not suppressed until the
close of the century, after the various governments had resorted to
the most stringent measures. Such excesses have, of course, never
been committed in America; yet we observe the same spirit of
insubordination to superiors and domination over inferiors betraying
itself in the New World. When we hear of "rushing," "hazing,"
"smoking-out" and the like, we must admit to ourselves that the animus
is the same, although the form be only ludicrous. And what shall we
say to performances such as the explosion of nitro-glycerine? Much may
be urged in extenuation of the offences of the German students in the
seventeenth century. Their sensibilities were blunted by the horrors
of a Thirty Years' War; they had been born and reared amid bloodshed
and rapine; some of them must have served in the campaigns of Banér,
Torstenson and Wrangel, where human life went for nothing, and honor
for less than nothing. Some of them, perhaps, could not name their
parents. They were waifs of the camp, their only education the crumbs
of knowledge picked up in the camp-school mentioned by Schiller in his
_Wallenstein_. Our students, on the contrary, are anxiously shielded
against temptation and are carefully trained for their work. Why,
then, should they be the only set of persons to disobey, as a set, the
rules of public order? The answer suggests itself: Because they have
acquired the habit of joint action without the sense of individual
responsibility.

[Footnote 4: The words of the decree of the Imperial Diet, 1654. See
Von Raumer, _Geschichte. der Pedagogik_, iv. 45.]

The advantages of the present system of instruction by classes are
not to be overlooked. Yet they are attended with one serious evil.
The members of a class, reciting day by day, term after term, upon the
same subjects, acquire the notion of a certain average of work. The
class, as a unit, has only so much to learn, and the professor is not
to exceed this maximum. Furthermore, each class gauges its work by
the work of its predecessors. The Sophomore class of this year, for
instance, is not willing to do more than the Sophomore class of last
year. To introduce more difficult text-books, or to increase the
number of hours, or to lengthen the lessons, is injustice. The notion
of unity extends itself to social relations. Each member considers
himself identified with his comrades. Tradition--everywhere a power,
and especially powerful in college--establishes nice distinctions. It
lays down the rule that one class shall not wear beaver hats or carry
canes--that another class shall steal the town-gates on a particular
night of the year or publish scurrilous pamphlets. Each member of the
class must do certain things or must refrain from them, not because
he wishes to, but because he is a member of the class. The strength of
this community of feeling and interests can be estimated only by one
who has experienced it. Were its operations confined to the relations
among students, they would be less formidable. We might perhaps
shrug our shoulders and leave the young men "to fight it out among
themselves." The case becomes quite different, however, when a class
arrays itself in opposition to its professor or to the entire faculty.
Then we see plainly the dangers of insubordination. The immature and
inexperienced set themselves above their elders: they arrogate to
themselves the right of deciding what they shall learn, how much they
shall learn, how they shall learn it. And, being a class, they
stand or fall as a class. They exhibit tenacity of purpose and an
unscrupulous use of improper means. Many a professor has learned to
his cost what it is to be defied by his class.

An example will be more instructive than vague generalities. About
seven years ago a gentleman was engaged by one of our colleges to take
charge of a new department until a permanent appointee might be found.
The resident faculty committed one blunder after another. It added the
new study outright without adjusting it to the previous studies. It
also fixed upon Saturday as the day for beginning. Thus, the students
were prejudiced against their new instructor before they had even seen
him. Besides, they regarded the innovation as an "interloper." The
victim to student rule may now tell his own story: "I took the 6 A.M.
train Saturday morning from the city. After breakfast I was directed
by the president to go to a certain room, unaccompanied, to meet the
Sophomore class. One hundred hyenas! My entrance was greeted with
groans, 'Ahas!' 'Hums!' I spent half an hour in the vain attempt to
explain the subject. Before I was half through I had made up my mind
to return to the city by the first train. On leaving the room I met
Professor ----, who comprehended the situation at a glance. He said
that he had been through it all himself--that it had taken him two
years to get control of his classes. I learned afterward that this is
the usual time allowed for such purpose. The president on meeting me,
said in his usual abrupt, nervous brogue, 'It's nothing against the
men, sir! It would be just the same if it were anybody else, sir!
(!!!). Just go on, sir.' I finally decided 'to go on, sir,' but I
hardly retain my self-respect when I remember how I submitted for
three months to a series of petty annoyances unworthy the lowest
_gamins_ of New York. Students purposely made mistakes to give others
an opportunity to groan. The Sophomore class was divided into two
sections after the third week. By dint of strict watching, which
so absorbed my attention that I could do little in the way of
instruction, I succeeded in obtaining tolerable order. Usually, a
painful silence was observed, every one knowing that there was a
hand-to-hand fight going on for the mastery. The Junior class could
not be divided because of other studies. Their recitations (?)
continued to be a bedlam, a pandemonium. I afterward learned that some
students, who already had some knowledge of the subject, remained
on purpose to create disturbance. One of them, a son of a trustee, I
caught blowing snuff through the room. It was a favorite trick of the
class to drop a bundle of snuff in the stove. Each one of the
fifteen recitations that I had with this class was spoiled by some
disturbance. On two occasions some of them stole the keys of the room
and locked me in with part of the class. Fortunately, I was able to
drive back the bolt. The president was less lucky. Twice he and his
entire class were obliged to climb down from the window by a ladder.
There is no use in multiplying words. The treatment to which I
was subjected was shameful. What made it even worse was, that the
authorities permitted such conduct toward one whom they had invited
to take the initiative in beginning a new study. It was a
perfectly-understood thing that I had accepted the temporary
appointment more to relieve the college than for my own benefit."

The writer of the above is now one of the leading professors in
another college. His name and reputation are among the best in the
land. He writes concerning his present position: "We have here two
hundred and fifty students, all told. The utmost courtesy prevails,
both in the recitation-room and in the streets. During the five years
that we have been in existence as a college I do not remember that a
single rude act has been committed toward any professor. I attribute
this to a variety of circumstances. We began with a small body
of students, who gave tone to the subsequent ones. We have no
dormitories. The college is in a city too large to be controlled by
students. Nothing could be pleasanter than the intercourse between
town and college. Not a gate has been carried off, no loud shouting is
heard. If there are night-revels, nobody ever hears of them. We have
no prizes, no honors, no marking system. We hold rigid examinations,
and watch the tendency to negligence if it shows itself."

One circumstance may lead us to take a more hopeful view of the
situation. The colleges--and consequently the classes--are growing
larger. At Yale and Harvard, for instance, the classes exceed two
hundred on entrance. It is clear that so large a body cannot cohere
very firmly. The sense of homogeneousness is lost. Furthermore, the
class is divided into sections and sub-sections. The occasions on
which the student can see his entire class together are becoming
comparatively few. The so-called elective studies will also help to
keep down the class spirit. In many colleges the curriculum is no
longer an inflexible routine. On reaching a certain standing the
student, although not entirely free to select his studies, has at
least an option. He may take German instead of Greek, French in place
of Latin, advanced mathematics or the natural sciences in place of
both. Whatever estimate we may set upon the intrinsic value of
such options, we can scarcely doubt their efficacy in the matter of
discipline. The class which branches out on different lines of study
has already ceased to be a class. The results of the system of free
selection established at the Cornell University are very instructive.
We find here three or four courses of study, now running parallel, now
overlapping one another, and outside of them the elective students who
follow partial courses or specialties. The university has scrupulously
refrained from the official use of the terms Senior, Junior, Sophomore
and Freshman, and arranges the students' names in the index in
alphabetical order. The sections in certain departments, especially in
the modern languages and history, are made up of students of all four
years. Even the courses themselves are not inflexible. The policy
of accepting _bonâ fide_ equivalents has been adopted, and has given
satisfaction to both teachers and pupils. There are probably not
twenty students in the university at this moment who have recited side
by side on exactly the same subjects and in the same order for three
years. Hence the absence of any strong class feeling. Although those
who have attended the university the same number of years may try hard
at times to convince themselves and others that they are a class in
the ordinary sense, they meet with little success. Individual freedom
of opinion and conduct is the rule, and such a thing as class coercion
is an impossibility. At one time it was argued by the adversaries of
the university that this laxity must result in lowering the standard
of scholarship. But recent events lead us to the opposite conclusion.
The Saratoga regatta last summer proved that the Cornell students are
not wanting in muscle, and the inter-collegiate contest of this winter
shows still more conclusively that they are not wanting in brains.
Cornell entered in four of the six contests, and won four prizes--one
second and three firsts. Two of these first prizes, be it observed,
far outrank the others as tests of scholarship--namely, those in Greek
and in mathematics. No shallow theory of luck will explain this sudden
and remarkable success. The older colleges will do well to inquire
into causes, and to ask themselves if their young rival is not
possessed of a new power--if sturdiness of character and independence
of thought are not more efficient than mere routine. After all, is it
surprising that the institution which is most liberal should attract
to itself the most progressive minds?

JAMES MORGAN HART.



SONNET.

  I saw a garden-bed on which there grew,
    Low down amid gay grass, a violet,
    With flame of poppy flickering over it,
  And many gaudy spikes and blossoms new,
  Round which the wind with amorous whispers blew.
  There came a maid, gold-haired and lithe and strong,
    With limbs whereof the delicate perfumed flesh
    Was like a babe's. She broke the flowering mesh
    Of flaunting weeds, and plucked the modest bloom
  To wear it on her bosom all day long.
    So in pure breasts pure things find welcomest room,
  And poppied epics, flushed with blood and wrong,
  Are crushed to reach love's violets of song.

MAURICE THOMPSON.



THE HOUSE THAT SUSAN BUILT.


Susan--Susan Summerhaze--was twenty-nine, and had never had a lover.
You smile. You people have a way of smiling at the mention of a maiden
lady who has never had a lover, as though there was a very good joke
in the matter. You ought to be ashamed to smile. You have a tear for
the girl at the grave of her lover, and for the bride of a month in
her widow's cap, and even for her who mourns a lover changed. But
in each of these cases the woman has had her romance: her spirit has
thrilled to enchanted music; there is a consecrated something in her
nature; a tender memory is hers for ever.

Nothing is so pathetic as the insignificant. Than a dead blank,
better a path marked by--well, anything, perhaps, except dishonor. The
colorless, commonplace life was especially dreary to my Susan, because
of a streak of romance--and a broad streak it was--that ran from end
to end of her nature.

It's another provoking way you people have of laughing at romantic
young women. Sentimental, you call them. I tell you it's the most
womanly thing in the world to be sentimental. A woman's affections
reaching out toward a man's heart is as much a part of Nature, and
just as pretty a thing in Nature, as the morning-glory--or let us take
the old and oft-used yet good illustration of the ivy and the
oak. When the woman's reaching affections attain the sought heart,
everybody cries out, "How sweet and tender and graceful!" But if they
miss of the hold, then there is derision. Here, as everywhere else,
there are cheers for success and no pity for failure.

Well, however you may receive it, the truth must be acknowledged: my
Susan was sentimental. She had had her longings and dreams, and an
abundance of those great vague heartaches which only sentimental
people can have. She had gone through with the whole--the sweet hopes,
the yearning expectancy, the vague anxiety, the brooding doubt, the
slow giving up--the reluctant acceptance of her fading life. Her
romance died hard. Very gradually, and with many a protest, the woman
of heartaches and sentiment glided into the practical and commonplace
maiden lady who served on all sorts of committees and watched with
sick people.

At an early age, when she was barely sixteen, the suggestion had been
forced on Susan that it was her duty to spread her wings and leave
the paternal nest to earn her living. Of course she went to teaching.
That's what such people as Susan always do in like circumstances. At
first her earnings went into the family fund to buy bread for little
mouths that were not to blame for being hungry, and shoes for little
feet that did not know wherefore they had been set to travel life's
road. But after a while a portion of Susan's salary came to be
deposited in bank as her very own money, to have and to hold. She had
now reached the giving-up period of her life, when the heartaches were
dulling, and the nameless longings were being resolved into occasional
lookings back to the time when there had been hopes of deliverance
from the commonplace. Having tasted the sweets of being a capitalist,
Susan came in process of time to be eager at money-getting and at
money-saving and at speculating. The day arrived when my sentimental
Susan had United States bonds and railroad stocks, and owned a half
acre in city lots in a great, teeming, tempestuous State metropolis.

It was at this period in her affairs that Susan received a gift
of fifteen hundred dollars from her bachelor uncle Adolphus, "as a
token," so the letter of transmission read, "of my approval of your
industry and of your business ability and successes, and as a mark of
my gratitude for your kindness to me twenty-one years ago when I was
sick at your father's house. You were the only one of my brother's
children that showed me any consideration."

"Twenty-one years ago!" exclaimed Gertrude, Susan's younger sister,
when she had read the letter through. "Why, that was before I was
born! How in the world could I show him consideration? I wish to
goodness he'd come here now and get sick. I'd show him consideration:
I'd tend him like an own mother."

"Susie didn't tend him like an own mother," said Brother Tom, who was
two years younger than Susan. "I remember all about it. All she did
for him was to keep the flies off with an apple-tree limb, and she was
for ever letting it drop on his face."

"I recollect all about it," said Susan: "I pity myself now when I
remember how tired and sleepy I used to get. The room was always so
quiet--not a sound in it but the buzzing of the lazy flies and poor
uncle's hard breathing. I used to feel as though I were in prison or
all alone at a funeral."

"But self-abnegation has its reward, Susie," said Brother Tom, lifting
his eyebrows and shrugging his shoulders.

"Oh, I'm free to acknowledge that I performed the duties at that
bedside very reluctantly," Susan answered. "I had many a cry over my
hard fate. Indeed, I believe I always had to wash off the tear-stains
before going to the task. I can recall now just how the little
red-eyed girl looked standing before the glass with towel and brush.
But still, I did keep the flies off, and I did bring uncle fresh water
from the well, and perhaps I deserve a reward all the more because the
work was distasteful."

"Mother used to try to make me do it," said Brother Tom. "I remember
how I used to slip away from the table while she was pouring out
father's fourth cup of coffee, and put for the playground, to escape
that fly-brush. I wasn't a good boy, alas! or I might now be a happy
man with all my debts paid. I wish my mother had trounced me and made
me keep those flies off Uncle Adolphus."

Brother Tom was one of those people who are always trying to say and
look funny things. Sometimes he succeeded, and sometimes he didn't.

"Anyhow, I think it's a shame," Gertrude said, pouting--"downright
mean for Uncle Adolphus to give you all that money, and never give me
a cent."

"Very likely." Susan replied dryly.

"Well, it is, Susie. You've got lots more money now than you know what
to do with: you don't need that money at all."

"Don't I?"

"No, you don't, Susie: you know you don't. You never go into society,
and you wear your dresses the same way all the time, just as Grandma
Summerhaze does. But I'm just making my _début_"--and Gertrude flushed
and tossed her head with a pretty confusion, because she was conscious
of having made a sounding speech--"and I need lots of things, such as
the rest of the girls have."

"My dear Gertrude," began Brother Tom, "'beauty unadorned'--"

"Oh, do, pray, Tom, have mercy upon us!" Gertrude said testily.
"Unfortunately, I happen not to be a beauty, so I need some adorning.
Moreover, I don't admit that beauty can do without adorning. There's
Minnie Lathrop: she's a beauty, but she wouldn't improve herself by
leaving off flowers and ribbons and laces, and dressing herself like
a nun. Dear me! she does have the loveliest things! Mine are so shabby
beside them. I'm about the tag-end of our set, anyhow, in matters of
dress. I think, Susie, you might give me a hundred or two dollars."

"To waste in ribbons and bonnets?" asked business-woman Susan.

"Why, Susie, how you do talk! A body would think you had never worn a
ribbon, and that you'd gone bareheaded all the days of your life. But
you needn't talk: it's not so long ago but I can remember when you
were as fond of dress as any girl in the city. I remember how you used
to tease mamma for pretty things."

"Which I never got, even though I was earning them over and over."
Susan spoke half sadly, half bitterly.

"Well, you ought to have had nice things, Susie, when you were in
society," Gertrude insisted. "Girls can't get married if they're
shabby and old-fashioned."

"That's true," said Susan gravely.

"I think," continued her sister, "it's the meanest feeling, the
sheep-ish-est"--Gertrude syllabled the word to make sure of her hold
on it--"in this world to know that the gentlemen are ashamed to show
you attention. Now, I'm cleverer and better-looking than lots of girls
in our set--Delia Spaulding, for instance--but I don't have half the
attention she receives, just on account of her fixings and furbelows."

"And Miss Spaulding always manages to keep ahead in those
sublimities," said Brother Tom.

"Yes," assented Gertrude briskly. "No matter what on earth the rest
of us girls get, Delia Spaulding manages to have something to cast
us into the shade. It makes me so mad! Now, last week at Mrs.
Gildersleeve's, when I dressed for the party I thought I looked really
nice. I felt a complacency toward myself, as Margaret Pillsbury would
say. But when I got to the party, there was Delia Spaulding prinked
out with such lights and shades and lustres that I looked plain as
a Quaker in comparison with her--or with any of the other girls, for
that matter. Do you know, Susie, what the feeling is to be always
behind in dress?"

"Yes," Susan answered, a piteous shadow coming into her face as
memories of the heart-burning days were evoked, "but I am glad to have
done with all the vanity and heartache that comes of it."

"But yet, Susie, you ought to know how to feel for me."

"I do know how," Susan answered.

"Then why don't you help me across some of the heartache?"

"I might help you into a worse heartache by my meddling," Susan
suggested.

"You don't want anybody to marry you because you dress well and are
stylish?" said Brother Tom, undertaking to explain Susan's meaning.

"I don't know that I want anybody to marry me for any reason,"
Gertrude flashed out, her cheeks flushing, "but I like to go, once in
a while, to young people's gatherings, and then I like to be dressed
so that gentlemen are not ashamed to be seen with me."

"A fellow ought to have pluck enough to stand up for the merit of a
young lady, no matter how she's dressed."

"Now, Tom, for pity's sake, don't talk heroics," said Gertrude. "I've
seen you at parties shying around the poorly-dressed girls and picking
out the pretty-plumaged birds. I know all about your heroism. I'm not
blaming you, you understand: I don't like to dance or promenade with
a gentleman not well dressed. Next to looking well yourself, you wish
your partner to look well. That's nature.--But what are you going to
do with your fifteen hundred dollars, anyhow, Susie?"

"I shall add something to it and build a house on one of my lots."

"'Pon my soul!" said Brother Tom, laughing.

"How perfectly absurd!" exclaimed Gertrude. "Suppose your house should
burn down as soon as it's finished, as the First Congregational church
did?"

"I'd get the insurance on it, as the Congregational church didn't."

"What in the world do you want with a house? Are you going to live in
it yourself? Are you going to get married?" asked Brother Tom.

"I have two objects in building the house," Susan explained. "One is
to secure a good investment for my money: the other is to exercise my
ingenuity in planning a model house."

"And in the mean time I am to keep on being Miss Nobody," Gertrude
said warmly, "and lose all the chances of fortune. I wouldn't have
believed, Susie, that you could be so hard-hearted;" and tears began
to gather in Miss Gertrude's pretty eyes. "It must be that you want an
old-maid sister for company," she added with some spite.'

Tom went out of the room whistling. He was apt to run if he perceived
a fight waxing. He had a soft place in his silly heart for his pretty
young sister. He wished Susan would do something for Gertrude:
he thought she might. He'd feel considerably more comfortable
in escorting Gertrude to parties if she ranked higher in the
dress-circle. He'd help her if he could, but he was already behind at
his tailor's and at Hunsaker's cigar-shop.

"I'm invited to Mrs. Alderson's next week," Gertrude continued, "and
I've nothing on earth to wear but that everlasting old white muslin
that I've worn five times hand-running."

"I heard you say that Amanda Stewart had worn one dress to all the
parties of this season," Susan remarked.

"Amanda Stewart can afford to wear one dress: her father's worth
millions, and everybody knows it. Everybody knows she can have a dozen
new dresses for every day of the year. But we poor folks have got
to give ocular demonstration of our ability to have new dresses, or
nobody will ever believe that we can. Everybody knows that I wear that
white muslin because I can't afford any other, I do wish I could have
a new dress for Mrs. Alderson's: it will be a dreadfully select party.
I've rung all the changes possible on that white muslin: I've worn
pink trimmings, and white trimmings, and blue trimmings, and I've worn
flowers; and now I'm at my wit's end."

"I wish I were able to advise you," Susan said.

"Advise me?" Gertrude exclaimed impatiently. "What good would advice
do? It takes money to get up changes in evening dresses."

"You poor little goose!" said Susan with a grave smile, "I suppose I
was once just as foolish. Well, here are twenty-five dollars you may
have. It is really all I can spare, for I mean to go at building my
house immediately."

"Susie, you're a duck!" cried the delighted Gertrude, eagerly taking
the bills. "I can get along nicely with twenty-five dollars for this
time, but, oh dear! the next time!"

But Susan did not heed her sister's foreboding cry. Getting pencil and
paper, she was soon engaged in sketching the ground-floor of a cottage
house. It was to cost about twenty-six hundred dollars. This was
years before the day of high prices, when a very cozy house could be
compassed for twenty-six hundred.

The following three weeks were very busy weeks for Susan, though all
she did was to work at the plan of her house. Her mother grumbled.
Brother Tom made his jokes, and Gertrude "feazed," to use her own
word. The neighbors came and went, and still Susan continued to
sit with drawing-tools at her desk, sketching plan after plan, and
rejecting one after another.

"I declare, Susie," said her sister, "I don't believe Christopher Wren
gave as much thought to the planning of St. Paul's as you have to that
cottage you're going to build. I believe in my heart you've made a
thousand diagrams."

"Well," Susan retorted, "I don't suppose anybody's been hurt by them."

"You wouldn't say that if you had to clear up the library every
morning as I have to. Those sketches of yours are everywhere, lying
around loose. I have picked them up and picked them up, till they've
tired me out. 'Parlor, dining-room, kitchen, pantry:' I've read this
and read it, till it runs in my head all day, like 'rich man, poor
man, beggar-man, thief.' I've marked off the figures on all the
papering in this house into 'parlor, dining-room, kitchen, pantry."

"I don't see a mite of reason in Susan's being so particular about
that house," said the mother, "seein' she's going to rent it. Now, if
she was going to live in it herself, or any of the rest of the
family, it would be different, Anyway, these plans all look to me like
first-rate ones," she continued, glancing from one to another of half
a dozen under her spectacles--"plenty good enough for renting-houses.
Now, this one is right pretty, 'pears to me, and right handy.--What's
the reason this one won't do, Susan?"

"Why, mother, don't you see the fault?" Susan replied. "There's no way
of getting to the dining-room except through the kitchen."

"To be sure!" said the mother. "Of course that would never do, for,
of all things, I do despise to have folks stalking through my kitchen
when the pots and kittles are all in a muss, as they're always like to
be at meal-times. What ever did you draw it this way for, Susan?"

"Well, I didn't see how it was coming out till it was finished."

"To be sure! Well, now, what's the matter with this one?" and the
mother singled out another sketch. "This one seems to be about right."

"Why, yes, I think it's splendid," said Gertrude, leaning over her
mother's shoulder and studying the plan under consideration. "There's
the cellar-way opening from the pantry, and there's a movable slide
between dining-room and pantry, right over the sink.--Why, Susie, I
think this is wonderfully nice. Why don't you adopt this plan?"

"The objection to it is that the pantry has no window: it would be as
dark as a pocket. Don't you see there can't be a window?"

"So there can't," said Gertrude.

"That spoils the whole thing," said the mother. "If there's anything I
do despise, it's this thing of fumblin' 'round in a dark pantry; and,
before everything else, I want my mouldin'-board so I can see what
goes into my bread. Now, I never noticed about that window, and I
s'pose would never have minded about it till the house was built an'
I'd gone in to mix my bread. Then wouldn't I have been in a pretty
pickle? Clean beat! Well, I suppose there's something or other the
matter with all these plans?"

"Yes," said Susan, "they're all faulty."

"I don't see any fault in this one, Susie," said Gertrude.

"That one has the kitchen chimney in the pantry," Susan explained.

"Dear me! that would never do," said the mother. "Of all things, I
dote on a cool pantry. What with the baking and the laundry-work, that
chimney would keep the pantry all the while het up. It would be handy
for canned fruits and jellies in the winter, though--so many of ours
froze and bursted last winter."

"Now, this one," said Gertrude--"I'm sure this is all right, Susie. I
can't see anything wrong about this one."

"Why, don't you see? That kitchen hasn't a door in it except the
cellar-door," said Susan.

"Well, I declare!" Gertrude said. "What ridiculous plans you do make,
Susie! The idea of planning a kitchen without a door!"

"Why, that would never do, Susan," the mother objected. "Folks never
could take all the victuals and things down through the cellar."

"I warrant I could plan a house, and a model house, the first time,"
Gertrude boasted.

"Try it," replied Susan quietly.

"I know I can," Gertrude insisted, settling herself with paper and
pencil.

"I believe I'll try my hand," said the mother. "I've housekept so long
I likely know what are the belongings of a handy house;" and she too
settled herself with paper and pencil and spectacles.

There was silence for a few minutes as the three drew lines and rubbed
them out.

Presently Brother Tom came in. "Well, for ever!" he exclaimed, with
the inevitable laugh. "What are you people all about? Have you all
gone house-mad? Are you, too, going to build a house, Gert?"

"No, I'm just helping Susie: she can't get any plan to suit her."

"Why don't you call on me, Susie? Let me have a pencil and a scrap of
paper: I can plan a house in the half of no time."

"Here," Susan answered, furnishing the required materials, and
enjoying, meanwhile, the thought of the discomfiture which, as she
felt sure, awaited these volunteer architects.

"Do see mother's plan!" laughed Gertrude after a while, peeping over
that lady's shoulder. "Her kitchen is large enough for a prosperous
livery-stable, and it has ten windows; and here's the parlor--nothing
but a goods-box; and she hasn't any way of gettin; to the second
floor."

"Put in an elevator," said Brother Tom.

This drew Gertrude's attention to Tom's sketch, so she went across,
and looked it over. Man-like, he had left out of his plan everything
in the way of a pantry or closet, though he had a handsome
smoking-room and a billiard-hall.

Not at all disconcerted by the criticisms of his plan, Tom proceeded
with wonderful contrivance to run a partition with his pencil
across one end of his roomy smoking apartment for pantry and ladies'
clothes-presses.

"That's just like a man," Gertrude said. "He'd have all the dishes and
all the ladies' dresses toted through the smoking-room."

"Well, see here," Tom said: "I can take closets off this bedroom;" and
the division-line was quickly run.

"And, pray, whose bedroom is that supposed to be?" Gertrude asked. "It
might answer for a retired bachelor who has nothing to store but an
extra shirt: it wouldn't do for a young lady with such hoops as they
wear these days. She couldn't squeeze in between the bed and washstand
to save her flounces. You ain't an architect, Tom: that's certain."

"Well, now, let's see your plan," challenged the gentleman; and he
began to read from Gertrude's paper: "'Parlor, sewing-room--' Now
that's extravagant, Gert. I think your women-folks might get along
without a special sewing-room. Why can't they sew in the dining-room?"

"That's handsome, and very gallant," answered Gertrude. "Your men can
have a billiard-room and a smoking-room, while my poor women can't
even have a comfortable place for darning the men's stockings and
sewing on their shirt-buttons. Oh, men are such selfish creatures!"

"Well, now," said Brother Tom, "I'll leave it to Susie if those
tenants of hers can afford to have a special sewing-room."

"And I'll leave it to Susie if--"

But Susan interrupted her: "You and Tom must settle your disputes
without my help. There, now! I think I have my plan decided upon at
last. After a hundred and one trials I believe I have a faultless
sketch."

"Let's see it," said one and another, all gathering about the speaker.

Susan explained her plan. The only objection to it came from the
mother. She was afraid if things were made so dreadful handy the folks
would get to be lazy; and, anyhow, there wasn't any use in having
things so nice in a rented house: they'd get put out of kilter right
away.

But Susan had set out to build a perfect house, and she was not to be
frightened from her object. So in process of time there were delivered
into the owner's hands the keys of the house that Susan had built.

Three lines in a morning paper inviting a tenant brought a throng of
applicants. Susan, like the generality of landlords, had her face
set against tenants with certain encumbrances, so a score or more of
applicants had been refused the house before the close of the first
day.

Toward evening a gentleman called to see Miss Summerhaze, announcing
himself as Mr. Falconer. When Susan entered the parlor she found a
heavy-set, rather short man, who had bright gray eyes, a broad full
forehead, and was altogether a very good-looking person.

"I have called," he said immediately, "to inquire about the house you
have advertised for rent on North Jefferson street."

"I am ready to answer your inquiries," said Susan, like the
business-woman she was.

After the questions usual in such circumstances, by which Mr. Falconer
satisfied himself that the house would probably answer his purpose,
it became Susan's turn to satisfy herself that he was such a tenant as
she desired for her model house. "Before going to look at the house,"
she said, "I ought to ask you some questions, for I feel particular
about who goes into it."

Susan had occasion at a later day to remember the shade of uneasiness
that came into Mr. Falconer's face at this point. "I trust I shall be
able to answer all your questions to your satisfaction," he said.

"Do you keep dogs?" This is the first question Susan asked.

Mr. Falconer smiled, and looked as though he wondered what that had to
do with the matter.

"I ask," Susan hastened to explain, "because dogs often tear up the
grounds."

"Well, no, I don't keep dogs," Mr. Falconer answered.

"Have you boys?"

Mr. Falconer smiled quietly, and replied, "No, I haven't any boys."

"Three or four rough boys will ruin a house in a few months," Susan
said in her justification. "Have you any children?--a large family?"

"What do people do who have large families and who must rent houses?"
Mr. Falconer asked.

"Why, go to people more anxious to rent than I am."

"No," said Mr. Falconer, returning to the question: "I am
unfortunately a bachelor."

"Do you propose keeping bachelor's hall?" Susan asked in quick
concern. "Excuse me, but I could not think of renting the house to a
bachelor or bachelors. It is a rare man who is a house-keeper. Things
would soon be at sixes and sevens with a set of men in the house."

"I do not wish to rent the house for myself, but for a friend."

"Well, I propose the same questions in reference to your friend that I
have asked concerning yourself."

"Well, then," Mr. Falconer replied, still smiling, "my friend does not
keep dogs; she has no boys; she has one little girl."

"Your friend is a lady--a widow?"

"No--yes, I mean to say."

"Do I understand that she is a widow?"

"Yes, of course."

There was a confusion in Mr. Falconer's manner that Susan remembered
afterward.

"Can you give me references, Mr. Falconer?" and Susan looked him
straight in the eye.

"Well, yes. Mr. Hamilton of the Hamilton Block I know, and Mr.
Dorsheimer of the Metropolitan Hotel. I am also acquainted with Andrew
Richardson, banker, and with John Y. Martindale, M.C."

"Those references are sufficient," Susan said, her confidence
restored. "I will make inquiries, and if everything is right, as I
have no doubt it is, you can have the house if you should find that it
suits you. Will you go over now and look at it? It is scarcely a half
block from here."

"Yes, if you please: I should like the matter settled as soon as
possible."

So Susan put on her bonnet and brought a bunch of keys, and walked
away with Mr. Falconer to show the house which she had built. And a
proud woman was Susan as she did this, and a perfect right had Susan
to be a proud woman. She had, indeed, built a model house as far
as twenty-six hundred dollars could do this. That amount was never,
perhaps, put into brick and mortar in better shape. So Mr. Falconer
thought, and so he said very cordially.

"Oh," sighed our poor Susan when she was again at home, "how good it
seems to have such appreciation!"

Susan made inquiries of Mr. Hamilton of the Hamilton Block concerning
Mr. Falconer.

"Very nice man--very nice man, indeed!" Mr. Hamilton answered briskly:
"deals on the square, and always up to time."

So the papers were drawn up, and Mr. Falconer paid the first month's
rent--forty dollars.

"Here, Gertrude," Susan said, handing her sister a roll of bills:
"half the rent of my house I shall allow you. Make yourself as pretty
as you can with it."

"Oh, you blessed darling angel!" Gertrude cried in a transport.
"You're the best sister that ever lived, Susie: you really are. Make
myself pretty! I tell you I mean to shine like a star with this money.
Twenty dollars a month! Delia Spaulding spends five times as much, I
suppose. But never mind. I have an eye and I have fingers: I'll make
my money do wonders."

This Gertrude indeed did. She knew instinctively what colors and what
shapes would suit her form and face and harmonize with her general
wardrobe. So she wasted nothing in experiments or in articles to be
discarded because unbecoming or inharmonious. If Gertrude's toilets
were less expensive than Delia Spaulding's, they were more unique
and more picturesque. Indeed, there was not in her set a more
prettily-dressed girl than Gertrude, and scarcely a prettier girl. Her
society among the gentlemen was soon quoted at par, and then rose to a
premium.

Promptly on the first day of the second month Mr. Falconer called to
pay Susan's rent.

"How does your friend like the house?" she asked with a pardonable
desire to hear her house praised.

"Very much indeed. She says it is the most complete house of its kind
that she ever saw. Who was your architect, Miss Summerhaze? I
ask because the question has been asked of me by a gentleman who
contemplates building an inexpensive residence."

"I planned the house," Susan answered, a light coming into her face.

"Indeed! In all its details?"

"Yes, I planned everything."

"Have you studied architecture?"

"Not until I undertook to plan that house."

"That is your first effort? You never planned a house before?"

"No."

"You ought to turn builder: you ought to open an architect's office."

Susan laughed at the novel suggestion, for that was before the days
when women were showing their heads in all the walks of life.

"'Miss Summerhaze, Architect:' that would make a very unique card. It
would get abundant advertising free of expense, for everybody would
talk about it. There is no reason," continued Mr. Falconer, "why women
should not be architects: they have the taste, and they are the best
judges as to household conveniences--the only proper judges, indeed."

This has now a very commonplace sound, but for the period it was
fresh and original, and seemed so to Susan. Indeed, the idea was
fascinating: she thought Mr. Falconer a wonderfully bright and
suggestive man.

"I wish there were other things women could do besides teaching and
taking in sewing," Susan said.

"Well, why don't you put yourself in the lead in this matter, Miss
Summerhaze? Somebody or bodies must step to the front. A revolution in
these matters is bound to come. Why shouldn't you become an architect?
Why shouldn't you go into a work for which you have evidently
remarkable talent? Why shouldn't you become a builder?"

"Well," said Susan, smiling, "there is no pressing call for me to earn
money. I have had my work-day, and have sufficient means to meet my
simple wants. Besides, I am not pining or rusting in idleness. The
management of my little means gives me employment. I happen to be
one of those exceptional women who 'want but little here below,'
especially in the way of ribbons and new bonnets. As you perceive, I
give myself little concern about matters of dress."

"And why shouldn't you give yourself concern about matters of dress,
Miss Summerhaze? Pardon me, but I think it your duty to look as well
as you can. You cannot do this without bestowing thought on matters of
dress."

"Why," said Susan, laughing, "what possible difference can it make to
anybody how I look?"

"It makes a difference to every person whom you encounter," Mr.
Falconer replied incisively.

"To you?" Susan challenged laughingly.

"Yes, a good deal of difference to me," the gentleman replied
promptly. "The sight of a woman artistically dressed affects me like
fine music or a fine painting."

"But have you no commendation for the woman who is independent enough
to rise above the vanities of fashion?" Susan asked with some warmth.

"Most certainly I have. I admire the woman who rises above vanities of
whatever nature. By all means throw the vanities of dress overboard,
but don't let sense and taste go with them. But I am making a lengthy
call: I had forgotten myself. Excuse me. Good-morning;" and Mr.
Falconer went out, and left Susan standing in the parlor just opposite
an oil-painting over the mantel.

She lifted her eyes to the picture. A simple little landscape it was,
where cows stood in a brook which wound in and out among drooping
willows. Susan always liked to look at this picture, because she knew
it was well painted. The cows had a look of quiet enjoyment in their
shapely figures. A coolness was painted in the brook and a soft
wind in the willow-branches. She stood there before it this morning
thinking how sweet it would be to move some man's soul as a fine
painting might move it. Then she sighed, and went to divide her
month's rent with her sister.

"Gertrude," she said, "do I look very old-fashioned?"

"Of course you do," said Gertrude. "You look fully as old-fashioned as
grandma does--more old-fashioned than mother does. I do wish, Susie,
you would dress better. You make me feel terribly sheepish sometimes.
You can afford to dress well."

"I have decided to get a new dress," said Susan. "What shall it be?
and how shall it be made? Something for the street."

"Oh, I know exactly what you ought to have," Gertrude said with
enthusiasm. "A dark-blue merino, a shade lighter than a navy, with
blue velvet bretelles. You would look superb in it, Susie: you'd be
made over new."

"I never looked superb in anything," said Susan with a smile through
which one saw a heartache.

"Because you never had pretty things to wear, Susie--because you never
dressed becomingly." The tears were actually in Gertrude's eyes, so
keen was her sympathy with any woman who didn't wear pretty things.
"Mayn't I go and select your dress this afternoon? Please let me: I
know the exact shade you ought to have."

Susan gave her consent, and away sailed Gertrude to the shops,
brimming with interest.

Through the enterprising management of this exuberant lady the new
blue dress soon arrived from the dressmaker's, bearing at its throat a
white favor in the shape of a good-sized bill. But then the dress was
handsome and stylish, and Susan when duly arrayed in it did indeed
seem made over.

"Susie, you look really handsome," Gertrude said when she had wound
her sister's abundant chestnut hair into a stylish coil, and had
arranged with artistic touches the inevitable laces and ribbons. "Just
come to the glass and look at yourself."

To the mirror went Susan--poor Susan who had always thought herself
plain--and there, sure enough, was a handsome face looking into hers,
growing momently handsomer with surprise and pleasure kindling in the
eye and spreading over cheek and brow.

Susan, be it understood, was by no means an ill-favored woman even in
her old-fashioned dress. She had a very good complexion, blue eyes,
large and dark and warm; and a mouth of some character, with mobile
lips and bright even teeth. But nobody had ever called her handsome
till to-day, neither had anybody called her plain. She had simply
passed unmarked. But what she had all along needed was somebody
to develop her resources, somebody to do just what had been done
to-day--to get her into a dress that would bring out her clear
complexion, that would harmonize with the shade of her earnest eyes;
to take her hair out of that hard twist at the back of the head, and
lay it tiara-like, a bright mass, above the brow; to substitute soft
lace for stiff, glazed linen, and a graceful knot of ribbon for
that rectangular piece of gold with a faded ambrotype in it called a
breastpin. And, too, she needed that walk she took in the crisp air to
bring the glow into her cheek; and then she needed that meeting with
Mr. Falconer, which chanced in that walk, to heighten the glow and to
brighten her already pleased eyes. The meeting took place at the door
of her house. It was an arrested, lingering look which he gave
her, and doubtless it was the character of this look, conscious and
significant, that deepened the glow in her face,

"I wonder if I affected him like a fine picture or a fine strain of
music?" Susan asked herself in passing him.

"Miss Summerhaze must be acting on the hint I gave her," thought
Mr. Falconer; and he went on with a little smile about his mouth. It
pleased him to think he had influenced her.

Thus it was that this man and this woman came to think of each other.
And now you are guessing that this thinking of each other advanced
into a warmer interest--that these two people fell in love if they
were not too far gone in years for such nonsense. Well for us all that
there are hearts that are never too old for the sweet nonsense--the
nonsense that is more sensible than half the philosophy of the sages.
Your guess is so good that I should feel chagrined if I were one of
those writers who delight in mysteries and in surprising the
reader. But my highest aim is to tell a straight-forward story, so
I acknowledge the guess correct, so far, at least, as my Susan is
concerned. I have said that the romance in her nature died hard; but
it never died at all. This man, this almost stranger, was rousing it
as warmth and light stir the sleeping asphodels of spring. The foolish
Susan came to think of Mr. Falconer whenever she made her toilet--to
thrill at every sight of him and at his lightest word. But this was
not till after many other meetings and interviews than those this
story has recorded. As Mr. Falconer was frequently at the house which
Susan built, and as this was less than a block removed from the one
she occupied, there naturally occurred many a chance meeting, when
some significant glance or word would send Susan's heart searching for
its meaning.

And these chance meetings were not all.

"Who was it that called, Susie?" Gertrude asked one evening when
her sister came up from a half-hour's interview with some one in the
parlor.

"The gentleman who rents my house," Susan replied, her face turned
from Gertrude.

"What is he for ever coming here for?"

"He came to tell me that there were some screws loose in a
door-hinge," Susan answered.

"For pity's sake!" exclaimed Gertrude. "That's a great thing to come
bothering about! Why didn't he get a screw-driver and screw up the
screws?"

"It's my place to keep the house in order," said Susan.

"The report of things out of order usually sets landlords in a feaze,
but you keep as serene as the moon with your tenant's complaints.
He's always finding something out of order, which seems strange,
considering that the house is brand-new."

Not many days after Gertrude had occasion to repeat her question to
Susan: "Who was it called?"

She received the reply she was expecting: "The man who rents my
house."

"Indeed! What's the matter now? another screw loose?" Gertrude asked.

"He wanted to suggest an alteration in the pantry."

"Why, he's for ever wanting alterations made! I don't see how you can
be so patient with his criticisms: we all know you are house-proud.
I wouldn't listen to that man: he'll ruin your house with his
improvements. I don't know, anyhow, what he can mean by saying in
one breath that it is a perfect house, and in the next asking for an
alteration."

"I'm sure I don't know," said Susan; and then her heart went into a
happy wondering as to what Mr. Falconer could mean.

"What is it this time?" Gertrude asked about three days after in
reference to "the man who rents my house," as described by Susan.
"Does he want another story put on your house?"

"No, he simply wanted to say that it would suit him to pay the rent
semi-monthly, instead of monthly," Susan answered somewhat warmly.

"And, pray, what's his notion for that?" Gertrude asked.

"I didn't inquire," replied Susan shortly, resenting the evident
criticism in her sister's tone.

But Susan did inquire why it was--inquired not of Mr. Falconer, but of
her own heart.

"I don't see any reason for his making two errands to do a thing that
could be done in one call. Instead of putting off pay-day, after the
manner of most men, he proposes to anticipate it. Well, perhaps you
and he understand it: I don't."

Why was this? Was it because it would double his visits to her? Was
Susan vain or foolish that she thus questioned herself?

It was perhaps a little singular that Mr. Falconer's name had never
passed between these two sisters; neither had Gertrude ever seen the
gentleman who made these frequent business-calls on Susan.

"The man who rents my house:" this reply told something--all that
Gertrude cared to know on the subject; whereas the reply, "Mr.
Falconer," would have conveyed no information. And because the name
had never been mentioned Susan was startled one morning after one
of Gertrude's fine parties. She was sitting at the window with a new
magazine while the young people talked over the party.

"I liked him so much," said Gertrude. "He says such bright, sensible
things: he's so original. Some men are good to dance, and some are
good to talk: he's good for both."

"I heard him when he asked for an introduction to you," said Brother
Tom. "He designated you as the young lady in the blonde dress: then he
said, 'Her dress is exquisite--just the color of golden hair. I never
saw a more beautiful toilette.'"

"Isn't that delightful?" cried Gertrude in a transport. "You precious
old Tom, to hear that! I'll give you a kiss for it."

"I wonder," said Brother Tom, recovering, "if he can be the same
Falconer I've heard the boys talk about?"

Susan had been hearing in an indolent way the talk between Tom and
Gertrude, but now her heart was bounding, and she was listening
intently.

"They tell about a Falconer who holds rather suspicious relations with
a handsome woman somewhere in the city. He rents a house for her where
she lives all alone, except that there's a baby and a servant-girl."

Alas for Susan! she knew but too well that this was her Mr. Falconer.

Tom continued: "The fellows have quizzed him about his lady, and have
tried to find out who she is, and how he's connected with her, but
he's close as a clam about the matter."

"Perhaps it's a widowed sister," Gertrude suggested.

"Then why doesn't he say so? and why doesn't he go there and live with
her, instead of boarding at a hotel? and why doesn't she ever go out
with him? They say she never goes out at all, but keeps hid away there
like a criminal."

"I'd like to know how the fellows, as you call them, could have
found all this out unless they employ spies?" Gertrude spoke testily,
feeling a strong inclination to stand up for the man who had paid
her a handsome compliment. "There probably are two Falconers. I know
there's nothing wrong about my Mr. Falconer, otherwise Mr. Richmond
wouldn't have introduced him to me."

"I wish I had thought to inquire if he's the man, but till this moment
I've not thought of that talk of the boys since I heard it. It takes
women to remember scandal and repeat it," said Brother Tom sagely.
"But I'll inquire about it, Gerty. Don't go to dreaming about Mr.
Falconer till I find out."

"Hold your tongue, you great _idjiot_!" said Gertrude, wrapping with
lazy grace a bright shawl about her and settling herself on a sofa
to nap off the party drowsiness. "Go on down town and find out," she
continued, her heavily-lashed lids dropping over the sleepy eyes: "go
along!"

So Tom went down town, Gertrude went to sleep, and Susan was left to
her thoughts. What had these thoughts been about all these weeks
that the question had never arisen as to the connection between Mr.
Falconer and the woman who occupied her house, "Who is she?" Now,
indeed, Susan asked the question with a burning at her heart. If she
was simply a friend or a sister, why this reticence and mystery
of which Tom had spoken? If she was his wife, why any reticence or
mystery? Besides, Mr. Falconer had said he was a bachelor.

Susan could contrive no answers to these questions that brought any
relief to her vexed heart. She had no courage to make inquiries of
others, lest the character of her interest might be discovered. Guilt
made her cowardly.

She was yet turning the matter over and over when Brother Tom
returned. She scanned his face with a keen scrutiny, eager to get at
what he had learned, yet not daring to ask a question.

When Tom had pinched Gertrude's drowsy ear into consciousness he
poured into it this unwelcome information: "I've found out that your
Mr. Falconer is the man. But who the lady is I have not been able to
discover. She is an inscrutable mystery--a good heroine for Wilkie
Collins."

"Who told you?" Gertrude demanded in a challenging tone.

"Jack Sidmore: he knows your Mr. Falconer well. Why, Falconer's no
new man: he's an old resident here. He's of the firm of Falconer,
Trowbridge & Co., grain-dealers on Canal street. You know Phil
Trowbridge?"

"I'm sure there's nothing wrong about Mr. Falconer, or he wouldn't
have been at Minnie Lathrop's party." said Gertrude resolutely.

"Well, Jack Sidmore knows the gentleman, and he says there is no doubt
he has suspicious relations with Miss or Madam The-Lord-knows-who. So,
you see, you're to drop Mr. Falconer like a hot potato--to give him
the cut direct."

"It would be a shame to if he's all right, and I feel certain he is,"
said Gertrude, still showing fight.

"Now, look here, Gert: don't be foolish. It won't do to compromise
yourself. Be advised by me: I'm your guardian angel, you know. You can
spare Mr. Falconer: your train will be long enough with him cut off."

"He's the most interesting acquaintance I've made this winter," said
Gertrude persistently.

"Don't you say so, Sue? Oughtn't Gertrude to cut him? You've heard
what we've been talking about, haven't you?"

"Please don't appeal to me," Susan managed to say without lifting her
eyes from the blurred page before her.

She had been more than once on the point of telling Gertrude and Tom
what she knew about Mr. Falconer--that it was her house he had
rented for his friend, etc. But everything about the matter was so
indefinite. She was fearful of exposing her unhappy heart, and she had
withal some vague hope of unsnarling the tangled skein when she should
find opportunity to think. So she allowed them to finish up their
discussion and to leave the room without a hint of the facts in her
knowledge.

When they had gone the set, statuesque features relaxed. A stricken
look settled like a shadow over them. You would have said, "It will
never depart: that face can never brighten again."

The thing in Susan's heart was not despair. There was the
suffering that comes from the blight of a sweet hope, from the rude
dispossession of a good long withheld. But overriding everything else
was humiliation--a feeling of degradation, such as some deed of shame
would engender. Her spirit was in the dust, for she knew now that she
had given her love unasked. Was not this enough, after all the years
of longing and dreary waiting and sickening commonplace? Could not
the Fates have let her off from this cup, so bitter to a proud woman's
lips? Why should she be delivered over to an unworthy love? Why should
they exact this uttermost farthing of anguish her heart could pay? But
is he unworthy? is this proved? asked the sweet voice of Hope. Then
the face which you were sure could never brighten, did brighten, but,
alas! so little; for there was another voice, a voice that dismayed:
"Why otherwise the silence, the mystery?" Persistently the question
was repeated, till Mrs. Summerhaze came in and asked Susan to do some
marketing for dinner.

"You look all fagged, anyway: the fresh air 'll be good for you."

So Susan put on her bonnet and went out, feeling there was nothing
could do her any good. She drew her veil down, the better to shut away
her suffering from people, and a little way from home turned into a
meat-market. She was in the centre of the shop before she discovered
Mr. Falconer a few yards away, his back turned to her. She
involuntarily caught at her veil to make sure it was closely drawn.
She held it securely down, and hurried away at random to the remotest
part of the shop, though her ear was all the while strained to hear
what Mr. Falconer was saying.

He was ordering sundry packages to be sent to No. 649 North Jefferson
street--Susan's house. In her remote corner, from behind her veil,
with eager eyes Susan looked at the face that to her had been so
noble, at the form which had seemed full of graceful strength. She
would have yielded up her life there to have had that face and form
now as it had been to her. He went out of the shop, and she went about
making her purchases in a dazed kind of way that caused the shopman
to stare. Then she wandered up the street past her home to 649 North
Jefferson street, to the house she had built with such abounding
pride and pleasure. How changed it now seemed! It had become a haunted
house--haunted by the ghosts of her faith and peace.

For three days Susan as much as possible kept away from the family,
and appeared very much engaged with Prescott's _Conquest of Peru_. But
at the breakfast-table on the third day she received a start. Gertrude
and Tom had been at a party the evening before. (They averaged some
four parties a week.) Tom looked surly and Gertrude defiant.

"Why, Tom, what's the matter with you?" the mother asked. "'Pears to
me I never did see you so pouty as you be this morning. What's gone
crooked?"

"Perhaps Gertrude can inform you," Tom answered severely.

Gertrude flushed with annoyance, but tossed her head.

"Why, what's happened, Gertrude?"

"Nothing for Tom to make such a fuss about. He's mad at me because I
won't insult a gentleman who is invited to the best houses, and who is
received by the most particular young ladies of my acquaintance."

"At any rate," retorted Tom, "I heard Jack Sidmore tell his sister
that she was not to recognize Mr. Falconer. I have warned Gertrude
that a great many people believe him to be a suspicious character, and
some know him to be such, so far as women are concerned, and yet last
night Gertrude accepted his company home."

"Hadn't you gone home with Delia Spaulding? Was I to come trapesing
home alone?" said Gertrude by way of justification.

"Now, Gert, be fair: didn't I tell you that I'd be back immediately?"

"Yes, but I knew something about the length of your 'immediatelies'
when Delia Spaulding was concerned."

"You might have had Phil Trowbridge as an escort."

"Phil Trowbridge! I hate him!" said Gertrude with such vehemence that
the very line which parted her hair was crimsoned.

"Well, what's that other man done?" asked the mother, who had not lost
her interest in the original question. "What do folks have against
him?"

"Why, he's rented a house and set up a woman in it, and nobody knows
who she is, and he won't let out a word about her. If she's an honest
wife or his sister or a reputable friend, why the deuce doesn't he
say so? Jack Sidmore says there isn't any doubt but that the woman
is Falconer's mistress, to speak in plain English. Hang it! Gertrude
can't take a hint."

"Falconer! Why, Susan, ain't that the name of the man who rented your
house?" cried the mother.

Susan felt all their eyes turned on her, and knew that she was
cornered. So she said "Yes," and raised her coffee-cup to her lips,
but set it down quickly, as she felt her hand trembling.

"And did he rent it for a _lady friend?_" Tom asked, putting a
significant stress on the last two words.

"He did," Susan answered.

"And is there living in your house, right here beside us, a mysterious
woman with a baby?" Gertrude asked eagerly.

"There's a woman living in my house, and she has a little girl," said
Susan on the defensive.

"And does Mr. Falconer visit her?"

"Perhaps so: I have no spies out."

"Why, Susie! how strange! You never told me a word about it. I never
dreamed that Mr. Falconer was the man who had rented your house, and
who has been running here so much," Gertrude said.

"Well, I'd get that woman out of my house as quick as ever I could if
I was you, Susan," said Mrs. Summerhaze. "Like as not the house will
get a bad name, so you'll have trouble renting it."

"I'm more concerned about Gertrude's name," Tom said.

Gertrude's eyes flashed daggers at Tom.

"Of course Gertrude mustn't keep company with Mr. Falconer," said the
mother. "Young girls can't be too particular who they 'sociate with."

Susan said nothing on the subject, though by far the most concerned
of the party on her sister's account. It was significant and alarming,
the warmth and persistence with which Gertrude defended Mr. Falconer.
It was evident that her interest was in some way enlisted. Was it
sympathy she felt, or was hers a generous stand against a possible
injustice? Whatever the feeling, there was danger in this young and
ardent girl becoming the partisan of an interesting man. Yet how could
she, the involved, bewildered Susan, dare warn Gertrude? How could
she ever do it? Would it not seem even to her own heart that she was
acting selfishly? How could she satisfy her own conscience that she
was not moved by jealousy? Besides, what could she say? Gertrude knew
all that she could tell her of Mr. Falconer and his relations--knew
everything except that she, Susan, had loved--and, alas! did yet love
unasked--this unworthy man.

Ought she, as her mother had advised, demand possession of her house?
She shrunk from striking at a man--above all, this man--whom so many
were assaulting. No. She would leave God to deal with him. Besides,
there might be nothing wrong. All might yet be explained, all might
yet be set to rights, all--unless, unless Gertrude--Oh, why should
there arise this new and terrible complication? Gertrude with her
youth and beauty and enthusiasm--why must she be drawn into the
wretchedness?

For days, feverish, haunted days, Susan went over and over these
questions and speculations. In the mean time, Tom entered another
complaint against Gertrude. "She gave the greater part of last evening
to the fellow," he said.

"The party was stiff and stupid: Margaret Pillsbury's parties always
are--no dancing, no cards. Mr. Falconer was the only man there who
could say anything." This was Gertrude's defence, given with some
confusion, and with more of doggedness than defiance in her tone.

"I told you, Gertrude, you had ought to stop keeping company with Mr.
Falconer," said her mother.

"If she doesn't stop, she will force me to insult the gentleman," said
Brother Tom resolutely.

Gertrude looked at the speaker as though she would like to bite him
with all her might.

"Now, don't go to getting into a fuss," the mother said to Tom.
"Gertrude must stop, or else she'll have to stop going to parties and
stay to home."

Gertrude did not speak, but Susan, glancing up, saw a set look in the
young face that struck a terror to her heart. She believed that
she could interpret her sister's every look and mood--that she knew
Gertrude by heart.

"By their opposition they are only strengthening her interest:" this
was Susan's conclusion.

In the mean time, Mr. Falconer's next pay-day was approaching. With a
dreadful kind of fascination Susan counted the hours that must bring
the interview with him. She longed yet dreaded to meet him. Would he
look changed to her? would she seem changed to him? How should she
behave? how would he behave? Would she be able to maintain a calm
coldness, or would her conscious manner betray her mistrust, her
wounded heart? So great, at times, grew her dread of the meeting that
she was tempted to absent herself, and to ask her mother or Tom to see
Mr. Falconer and receive the rent-money. But she did not dare trust
either of these. Tom might take that opportunity of conveying
the insult with which he had threatened Mr. Falconer, while the
plain-spoken mother would be certain to forbid him Gertrude's society,
and probably give him notice to vacate Susan's house. No, she must
stay at home and abide the meeting; and, after all, what would she not
rather do and suffer than miss it?

But an interview with Mr. Falconer came sooner than Susan had
anticipated. It was in the early evening, immediately after tea, that
the servant brought her Mr. Falconer's card, on which was written, "An
emergency! May I see you immediately?"

Susan hid the card in her dress-pocket, and went wondering and
blundering down stairs and into the parlor.

Mr. Falconer rose and came quickly forward. His manner was nervous
and hurried; "I thank you for this prompt response to my appeal,
Miss Summerhaze. You can do a great kindness for me; and not for me
only--you can serve a woman who is in sore need of a friend."

Susan's heart was ready to leap from her bosom. Was she to be asked
to befriend this woman toward whom people's eyes were turning in
mistrust, and about whom their lips were whispering?

"May I depend on you?" Mr. Falconer asked.

"Go on," said Susan vaguely.

"But may I depend upon you? upon your secresy?"

"In all that is honest you may depend upon me," she replied.

"Briefly, then. The lady for whom I rented your house is my sister. I
could never tell you her story: it ought never to be told. But the
man she married betrayed all her trust, and made her life one long
nightmare of horrors. At length, in a drunken fury one wretched autumn
night, in the rain and sleet, he turned her and her baby into the
street at midnight, and bolted the doors against them. Then she
resolved to fly from him and be rid of him for ever. A train was about
leaving the dépôt, some three blocks distant. Without bonnet or shawl,
the damp ice in her hair and on her garments, she entered the car, the
only woman in it. She came to me. Thank God! she had me to come to!"

Mr. Falconer was crying; so was Susan.

"The beneficent law gives the child to the father," Mr. Falconer
continued. "The father is now in the city seeking the child. He has
his detectives at work, and I have mine. In his very camp there is a
man in my service. Fortunately, I out-money him. Now, my sister knows
of Patterson's being here. (The man's name is Patterson.) She has
grown pitifully nervous, and is full of apprehension. She is very
lonely. I must get her away from that house, and yet I must keep
her here with me: she has no one else to look to. I don't know, Miss
Summerhaze, why I should come to you for help when there are hundreds
of others here whom I have known so much longer. I am following an
impulse."

He paused and looked at Susan, as if waiting for her reply. Happy
Susan! Eager, trembling, her face glowing with a tender enthusiasm, a
tearful ecstasy, feeling that it would be sweet to die in the service
of this man whom her thoughts had so wronged, she gave her answer: "I
am so glad you have come to me! Anything on earth I can do to aid you
I will do with all my heart--as for myself. Let your sister come here
if that will suit you."

It was what he wanted.

"I am sorry I have not made your sister's acquaintance: would it be
convenient for me to go with you this evening and get acquainted with
her?"

"Perfectly convenient, and I should be glad to have you go."

"I will bring my bonnet and shawl, and we will go at once."

"If you please."

Susan quickly crossed the parlor, but stopped at the door: "Perhaps
your sister would feel more secure and more at peace to come to us
right away--to-night. Sha'n't I bring her away to-night?"

"It would be a great mercy if you would do so, Miss Summerhaze," Mr.
Falconer replied with an earnest thankfulness in his voice.

"Then please wait a few minutes till I explain things a little to my
mother;" and with a quick, light step Susan hurried away.

Great were the surprise and interest awakened in the household by the
revelation she made in the next ten minutes.

"Have her come right along to-night, poor thing!" the mother said,
overflowing with sympathy.

Gertrude was triumphant. There was a warm glow on her cheek, and such
a happy light in her eyes as Susan afterward remembered with a pang.
"She had better have my room: it is so much more cheerful than the
guest-chamber," Gertrude said.

Even Brother Tom, though demonstrated to have been on the wrong side,
was pleased, for he was good-natured and generous in his light manner.

So Susan went back to Mr. Falconer, feeling that she had wings and
could soar to the heavens. And she was happier yet as she walked that
half block, her arm in his, feeling its warmth and strength. It is
all very well to speculate in stocks and to build houses, but for such
hearts as Susan's there is perhaps something better.

Too soon for one of them their brief walk was ended, and Susan sat in
the neat, plainly-furnished parlor waiting the return of Mr. Falconer,
who had gone to seek his sister. When at length the door opened, Susan
sat forgetful, her gaze intent on the rare face that appeared by
Mr. Falconer's side. It was not that the face was beautiful, though
perhaps it was, or had been. It was picturesque, made so in great
measure by a stricken look it had, and a strange still whiteness.
It was one of those haunting faces that will not let themselves be
forgotten--a face that solemnized, because it indexed the mortal agony
of a human soul.

"Miss Summerhaze, this is my sister, Mrs. Patterson." said Mr.
Falconer,

With a sweet cordiality of manner the lady held out her hand: "My
brother has often told me about you: I am very glad to make your
acquaintance."

Susan was greatly interested. "And I am very glad too," she said,
a tremor in her voice. She wanted to run away and cry off the great
flood of sympathy that was choking her. "Dear lady, may I kiss
you?" she wanted to say. "Poor dear! she needs brooding." This Susan
thought, and she wished she dared put out her arms and draw the sad
face to her bosom, the sad heart against her own.

They talked over their plans, and then Mrs. Patterson and the little
girl went home with Susan.

During Mrs. Patterson's stay with the Summerhazes, Mr. Falconer made
frequent calls, though his movements were marked by great caution,
lest they might betray the pursued wife to her husband. These calls
were of a general character, designed for the household, and not
exclusively for Mrs. Patterson. And they were continued after the lady
had returned to No. 649. But they were to Susan tortures. They were
but opportunities for noting the interest between Mr. Falconer and
Gertrude. This was evident not alone to Susan, or she might have had
some chance of charging it to the invention of her jealousy. Tom and
Mrs. Summerhaze had both remarked it.

"He's well to do, Tom says, and stands respectable with the
business-men," the mother commented to Susan; "and Gertrude 'pears
fond of him, and he does of her; so I can't see any good reason why
they shouldn't marry if they want one another. Anyhow, it's better for
girls to marry and settle down and learn to housekeep--"

"Yes, yes," cried Susan's heart with pathetic impatience, "it's
better, but--"

"Instead of going to parties in thin shoes and cobweb frocks: I wonder
they don't all take the dipthery. And then they set up till morning.
I couldn't ever stand that: I'd be laid up with sick headache every
time. Besides, they eat them unhealthy oysters and Charlotte rooshes,
and such like: no wonder so many people get the dyspepsy. Yes, I think
Gertrude had better take Mr. Falconer if he wants her to. Ain't that
your mind about it, Susan?"

"She had better accept him if--if--they love each other." Then Susan
grew faint and soul-sick, and something in her heart seemed to die, as
though she had spoken the fatal words that made them each other's for
ever--that cut her loose from her sweet romance and sent her drifting
into the gloom.

That evening Mr. Falconer called. Susan said she was not well, and
kept her room. Gertrude had planned to go to the opera with Tom, but
she decided to remain at home. Long after Tom had gone out Susan in
her chamber above could hear from the parlor the murmur of voices--Mr.
Falconer's and Gertrude's. They were low and deep: the topic between
them was evidently no light one. While she listened her imagination
was busy concerning their subject, their attitudes, their looks, and
even their words. And every imagining was such a pain that she tried
to close her ear against their voices. Then she went to her mother's
room. Here, being forced to reply to commonplaces when all her thought
was strained to the parlor, she was soon driven back to her own
chamber. She turned the gas low and lay on a lounge, her face buried
in the cushion, abandoned to a wrecked feeling.

After a time she heard some one enter her room. She sat up, and saw
Gertrude standing beside her, the gas turned high. She wished her
sister would go away: she hated the sight of that beautiful, glad
face. She turned her eyes away from it, and then, ashamed to begrudge
the young thing her happiness, she lifted her stained lids, to
Gertrude's face and smiled all she possibly could. She tried in that
moment to feel glad that the disappointment and grief had come to
her instead of Gertrude. Her heart was inured to a hard lot, but
Gertrude's had always been sheltered. It would be a pity to have it
turned out into the cold: her own had long been used to chill and to
hunger.

"Susie, won't you go with us sleigh-riding to-morrow evening?"
Gertrude asked. "Mr. Falconer and I have planned a sleighing-party for
to-morrow evening. They say the sleighing is perfectly superb."

"Is that what you've been doing?" Susan asked, feeling somehow that
there would be a relief in hearing that it was all.

"That's a part of what we've been doing." A rosy glow came into
Gertrude's cheek, and the old mean, jealous feeling came back into
Susan's heart. "Mr. Falconer wants you to go," said Gertrude.

"He does not," Susan returned in a fierce tone. She was forgetting
herself: her heart was giddy and blind with the sudden wave of
bitterness that came pouring over it. "He wants you: nobody wants me.
Go away!"

"Of course I'll go away if you want me to," Gertrude replied, pouting
and looking injured, but yet lingering at Susan's side. She had
come to tell something, and she didn't wish to be defrauded of the
pleasure. "I guess you're asleep yet, Susie. Wake up and look at
this;" and Gertrude held her beautiful white hand before Susan's eyes,
and pointed to a superb solitaire diamond that blazed like a star on
her finger. She sat down beside her sister. "I'm engaged, Susie, and
I came up here to ask your blessing, and you're so cross to me;" and
Gertrude put her head on Susan's shoulder and shed a few tears.

Susan could have cried out with frantic pain. "But," she thought,
"I knew it was coming. After all, I am glad to have the suspense
ended--to be brought to face the matter squarely."

In response to Gertrude's reproach Susan said in a low tone that was
almost a whisper, "I congratulate you: I think you are doing well."

"Of course I'm doing well," Gertrude said, lifting her head and
speaking with triumphant animation. "He's wealthy and handsome, and
half the girls in our set are dying for him. But we've been about the
same as engaged for months. But about two weeks ago we had an awful
quarrel, all about nothing. But we were both so spunky I don't believe
we ever would have made up in the wide world if it hadn't been for
Mr. Falconer. He just went back and forth between us until I agreed
to grant Phil an interview. So Phil came round to-night; and don't you
believe the conceited thing brought the ring along!"

Susan was listening with wide-opened, staring eyes, like one in a
trance. It wasn't Mr. Falconer, then; and who in the world was Phil?
Was she awake? Had she heard aright? Yes, there was the ring and there
was Gertrude, and she was still speaking: "I've already picked out my
bridesmaids, I'm going to have Nellie Trowbridge--Phil's sister, you
know--she's going to stand with Tom; and you're going to stand with
Mr. Falconer, because he's the senior partner in Phil's firm: and then
I'm going to have Delia Spaulding and Minnie Lathrop, because they'll
make a good exhibition, they're so stylish."

On and on Gertrude went, talking of white satin and tulle and lace and
bridal veils and receptions. And Susan sat and listened with a happy
light in her eyes, and now and then laughed a little glad laugh or
spoke some sweet word of sympathy.

At a late hour in the night Susan put her arms around her sister and
kissed the happy young face once, twice, three times, and said, in no
whisper now, "God bless you, dear!" Then Gertrude went away to happy
dreams, and left Susan to happy thoughts--at last.

No, not at last. The "at last" did not come till the next evening,
when by Mr. Falconer's side, warm and snug under the great wolf-robe,
Susan heard something. With the something there came at length to the
tired, hungry, waiting heart the thrill, the transport, the enchanted
music that makes this earth a changed world.

SARAH WINTER KELLOGG.



AFTER A YEAR.

  Dear! since they laid thee underneath the snow
    But one brief year with all its days hath past.
    Methought its hurrying moments flew too fast:
  I would have had them lingering, move more slow;
  For of the past one happy thing I know,
    That thou wert of it; but these swift days flee,
    And bear me to a future void of thee.
  Yet still I feel that ever as I go
  I know thee better, and I love thee more.
    As one withdraws from a tall mountain's base
      To see its summit, bright, remote and high,
  So hath my heart through distance learnt its lore,
    The knowledge of thy soul's most secret grace--
      Those silent heights that lose themselves in sky.

KATE HILLARD.



THE BERKSHIRE LADY.


_To the Editor of Lippincot's Magazine_:

SIR: There are few pleasanter ways of passing a desultory hour than
haphazard reading amongst old numbers of a good magazine. I say
advisedly "a desultory hour," for when it comes to more than that the
habit is apt to become demoralizing. And, excellent as many English
magazines are, I must own that for this particular purpose I give
the preference to our American cousins. It would not be easy to say
precisely why, but so it is. One feels lighter after them than one
does after the same time given to their English confrères. It may be
that there is more abandon, more tumbling in them--much more of that
borderland writing (if one may use the phrase) so good, as I think,
for magazine purposes, which you skim with a kind of titillating doubt
in your mind whether it is jest or earnest--whether you are to take
seriously, or the writer intended you to take seriously, what he
is telling you; and so you may drop into a sort of dreamy
_Alice-in-Wonderland_ state, prepared to accept whatever comes next in
a purely receptive condition, and without any desire to ask questions.

It was in such a frame of mind, and with considerable satisfaction,
that I found myself some time since sitting in a friend's house with
a spare corner of time on my hands, in a comfortable armchair, and a
number of old _Lippincotts_ on the table by my side, the odds and
ends of the collection of a young countrywoman of mine of literary and
Transatlantic tastes. I glanced through some half dozen numbers taken
up at hazard, recognizing here and there an old friend--for I have
been an on-and-off reader in these pages for years--and getting just
pleasantly pricked with a number of new ideas, as to which I felt no
responsibility--no need of ticketing or labeling or packing them--when
I came suddenly upon a paper which sharply roused me from my mood of
_laisser aller_. It was by your accomplished and amusing contributor
Lady Blanche Murphy, and the subject just such a one as one would wish
to happen on under the circumstances--Slains Castle, one of the oldest
and most romantic of the grim palace-keeps which are dotted over
Scotland, round which legends cluster so thick that there is not one
of their towers, scarcely a slender old mullioned window, which is not
specially connected with some stirring tale of love, war or crime. But
Slains stands pre-eminent among Scotch castles on other grounds, and
has an interest which the doings of the earls of Errol, its lords,
could never have won for it. The Wizard of the North has thrown his
spell over it, and, whether Sir Walter Scott intended it or not,
Slains is accepted now as the Elangowan Castle in _Guy Mannering_.

Now, with all these rich stores to work on, these exceeding many
flocks and herds of Northern legend and glamour, Lady Blanche should
surely have been content, and not have descended into the South of
England, upon a quiet country-house in Berkshire, to seize its one
ewe lamb and claim that the heroine of the story which I hope to tell
before I get to the end of my paper was none other than the termagant
Countess Mary, hereditary lord high constable of Scotland, and the
owner of Slains Castle at the beginning of last century.

Sir, I am bound to admit that this audacious claim spoilt my
wanderings up and down the pages of your excellent magazine, and I
resolved that whenever I should find time I would write to you to
revindicate the claims of the "Berkshire Lady" to be native born and
entirely unconnected with the Countess Mary or Slains Castle. I can
scarcely remember the time when I did not know the story, which indeed
all Berkshire boys--or at any rate all Bath-road Berkshire boys--took
as regularly as measles in early youth. But let me explain to
New-World readers what I mean by a Bath-road Berkshire boy. Our royal
county of Berks is in shape somewhat like a highlow or ancle-jack boot
with the toe toward London, and at the tip of the toe Windsor Castle,
which, as we all know, looks down on the Thames as it finally leaves
the county, of which it has formed the northern boundary for more than
one hundred miles. The sweet river--for in spite of all pollution it
is still sweet at Windsor--has run all along the top of the boot
and down the instep, and along the toes, taking Oxford, Abingdon,
Wallingford, Henley, Reading and Maidenhead in its way, with other
places historically interesting in a small way over here, but which
would scarcely be known by name even in the best-drilled classes of
your public schools. Along the sole of the boot, from the heel at
Hungerford, but sloping gently upward till it joins the Thames at
Reading, runs another stream (a river we call it in little England)--

  The Kennet swift, for silver eels renowned.

Now, before the Great Western Railway had opened up the county the
only main line of road which passed through it was the great Bath
road, which entered near the toe at Windsor and ran along the sole for
the greater part of the way by the side of the Kennet to the extreme
heel at Hungerford. All the northern part of the county--the Thames
valley and Vale of White Horse, and the hill-district which separates
these from the Vale of Kennet--was at that time pierced only by
cross-country roads, and remained during the pre-railroad era one of
the most primitive districts of the West of England. Its inhabitants
retained their broad drawling speech, very slightly modified from
Tudor times, and looked with a mixture of distrust and envy even on
their fellow county brethren in the Kennet Valley, who were being
demoralized by their daily intercourse with London through the
constantly growing traffic of the Bath road. Along that thoroughfare,
besides strings of post-chaises, vans and wagons, ran daily more than
one hundred coaches most of which started from Bristol, and made the
journey to London in the day. The best of them did their ten miles an
hour, and so punctually that many of the inhabitants preferred setting
their watches by the "York House." the "Tantivy" or the "Bristol Mail"
rather than by the village clock. It were much to be desired that
their gigantic successor would follow their excellent example more
faithfully in this matter.

Notwithstanding the distrust with which we of the back country were
bred to regard the metropolitan varnish which was thus undermining the
ancient Berkshire habits and speech along our one great artery, it was
always, I am bound to admit, a high day for the dweller in uncorrupted
Berkshire when business or pleasure drew him from his home in the
downs or rich pastures of the primitive northern half of the county by
devious parish ways to the nearest point on the great Bath road, where
he was to meet the coach which would carry him in a few hours "in
amongst the tide of men." I can still vividly recall the pleasing
thrill of excitement which ran through us when we caught the first
faint clink of hoof and roll of wheels, which told of the approach
of the coach before the leaders appeared over the brow of the gentle
slope some two hundred yards from the cross-roads, where, recently
deposited from the family phaeton (dog-carts not having been yet
invented), we had been waiting with our trunk beside us in joyful
expectation. Thrice happy if, as the coach pulled up to take us on
board, we heard the inspiring words "room in front," and proceeded to
scramble up and take our seats behind the box, waving a cheerful
adieu to the sober family servant as he turned his horse's head slowly
homeward, his mission discharged.

The habit of our family, and of most others, was to attach ourselves
to one particular coach or coachman on the road, as thus special
attention was secured for ladies or children traveling alone, and
preference as to places should there happen to be a glut of would-be
passengers. I cannot honestly say that the old Bath-road coachman
was, as a rule, an attractive member of society, though the mellowing
effects of time and the traditions of the road (helped largely by the
immortal sayings and doings of Mr. Tony Weller) have done much for his
class. He was often a silent, short-tempered fellow, with a very keen
eye for half-crowns, and no information to speak of as to the country
which passed daily under his eyes. But there were plenty of exceptions
to the rule, of whom Bob Naylor was perhaps the most remarkable
example. He had no doubt been selected as our guardian on the road for
his kindly and genial nature and great love of children, and for his
repute as one of the safest of whips. But, besides these sterling
qualities, he was gifted with irrepressible spirits, a good voice and
ear, and a special delight in the exercise of them. To county magnate
or parson or stranger seated by him on the box he could be as decorous
as a churchwarden, and talk of politics or cattle or county business
with all due solemnity. But he was only at his best when "the front"
was occupied by boys, or at any rate with a strong sprinkling of boys,
amongst whom he was quite at his ease, and who were even more eager
to hear than he to sing and talk. And of both songs and talk he had
a curious and ample store. Of songs his own special favorites, I
remember, were a long ballad in which a faithful soldier is informed
on his return to his native village that his own true love "lives with
her own granny dear," which he, his mind running in military grooves,
takes for "grenadier," with temporarily distressing results--though
all comes right at last--and a lyrical description of an upset of his
coach, the only one he ever had, written by a gifted hostler. But on
call he could give "The Tight Little Island," "Rule Britannia" or any
one of a dozen other insular melodies.

Then his talk was racy of his beloved road, of which he would recount
the glories even in the days of its decline, when the cormorant iron
way was already swallowing stage after stage of the best of it. He
would narrate to us the doings and feats of mighty whips--notably of
a never-to-be-forgotten dinner at the Pelican Inn, Newbury, to which
were gathered the _élite_ of the Bath-road cracksmen. At that great
repast we heard how "for wittles there was trout, speckled like a
dane dog, weal as wite as allablaster, sherry-wite-wine, red-port,
and everything in season. Then for company there was Sir Pay (Sir H.
Peyton), Squire Willy boys (Vielbois), Cherry Bob, Long Dick, _and_
I; and where would you go to find five sech along any road out of
London?" But his crowning story, which he never missed as he cracked
his four bays along on the first stage west out of Reading, was that
of the Berkshire Lady, which, alas! my gifted countrywoman has now
laid covetous hands on and claimed for that dour Lady Mary Hay,
hereditary lord high constable of Scotland,

The "Berkshire Lady" is so bound up in my mind with my early friend
of the road, from whom I first heard it, that I have let Memory fairly
run away with me. But now, if your readers will pardon me for this
gossip, I will promise to stick to my text.

At the beginning of the last century the fortune of one of the last of
the "Great Clothiers of the West," John Kendrick, was inherited by a
young lady, his granddaughter, who thus became the mistress of Calcott
Park, past which the Bath road runs, three miles to the west of
Reading. The house stands some three hundred yards from the road,
facing due south, with a background of noble timber behind it, and
in front a gentle slope of fine green turf, on which the deer seem to
delight in grouping themselves at the most picturesque points. Miss
Kendrick is said to have been beautiful and accomplished, and it is
certain that she was an eccentric young person, who turned a deaf
ear to the suits of many wooers, for, as the ballad quoted by your
contributor says--

  Many noble persons courted
  This young lady, 'tis reported;
  But their labor was in vain:
  They could not her love obtain.

This metrical version of the story is, I fear, lost except the
fragments which I shall quote; at least I have sought for it in vain
in all likely quarters since reading Lady Blanche's article.

So Miss Kendrick lived a lonely and stately life in Calcott Park.

Now, at this time there was a young gentleman of the name of Benjamin
Child, a barrister of the Temple, belonging to the western circuit, of
which Reading is the first assize-town. He came of a family which had
seen better days, but his ancestors had suffered in the civil war, and
he had no fortune but his good looks. His practice was as slender as
his means, but nevertheless he managed to ride the western circuit
after the judges of assize. The arrival of the judges in a county-town
in those days was a signal for hospitalities and festivities in which
the circuit barristers were welcome guests, and one spring assizes
Benjamin Child found himself at a wedding and ball, where no doubt he
carried himself as a young gentleman of good birth and town breeding
should.

Next morning he received at his lodgings a written challenge,
which alleged that he had grievously injured the writer at the
entertainments on the previous day, and appointed a meeting in Calcott
Park on the following morning to settle the affair in mortal combat.
In those days no gentleman could refuse such an invitation,
and accordingly Child appeared at the appointed time and place,
accompanied by another young barrister as his second. The rendezvous
was at a spot near the present lodge, and the young men on arriving
found the lawn occupied by two women in masks, while a carriage
was drawn up under some trees hard by. They were naturally in some
embarrassment, from which they were scarcely relieved when the ladies
advanced to meet them, and Child learned that one of them was his
challenger, the mortal offence being that he had won her heart at the
Reading ball, and that she had come there to demand satisfaction.

  So, now take your choice, says she--
  Either fight or marry me.

  Said he, Madam, pray, what mean ye?
  In my life I ne'er have seen ye,
  Pray, unmask, your visage show,
  Then I'll tell you, ay or no.

  _Lady_. I shall not my face uncover
  Till the marriage rites are over.
  Therefore, take you which you will--
  Wed me, sir, or try your skill.

Benjamin Child retires to consult with his friend, who advises him--

  If my judgment may be trusted,
  Wed her, man: you can't be worsted.
  If she's rich, you rise in fame;
  If she's poor, you are the same.

This advice, coupled perhaps with the figure and appearance of his
challenger, and the family coach in the background, prevails, and the
two young men and the masked ladies drive to Tilchurst parish church,
where the priest is waiting. After the ceremony the bride,

  With a courteous, kind behavior,
  Did present his friend a favor:
  Then she did dismiss him straight,
  That he might no longer wait.

They then drive, the bride still masked, to Calcott House, where he is
left alone in a fair parlor for two hours, till

  He began to grieve at last,
  For he had not broke his fast.

Then the steward appears and asks his business, and

  There was peeping, laughing, jeering,
  All within the lawyer's hearing;
  But his bride he could not see.
  "Would I were at home!" said he.

At last the dénouement comes. The lady of the house appears and
addresses him:

  _Lady_. Sir, my servants have related
  That some hours you have waited
  In my parlor. Tell me who
  In this house you ever knew?

  _Gentleman_. Madam, if I have offended
  It is more than I intended.
  A young lady brought me here.
  "That is true," said she, "my dear."

His challenger was the heiress of Calcott, where he lived with her for
many years; and

  Now he's clothed in rich attire,
  Not inferior to a squire.
  Beauty, honor, riches, store!
  What can man desire more?

They had two daughters, through one of whom the property has descended
to the Blagraves, the present owners.

And so ends the story of "The Berkshire Lady," and if it should meet
the eye of your accomplished contributor I trust she will for ever
hereafter give up all claim on behalf of Lady Mary Hay.

Perhaps, too, some of your readers may be led to visit the scene
of these doings if they ever come to wander about the old country.
Reading is only an hour from London now-a-days, and I will promise
them that they will not easily find a fairer corner in all England.
The Bath road, it is true, is now comparatively deserted, and no
well-appointed coaches flash by in front of Calcott Park. But it is
an easy three miles' walk or ride from Reading Station, and by missing
one train the pilgrim may get a glimpse of English country-life under
its most favorable aspects, while at the same time, if skeptical as
to this "strange yet true narration," as the metrical chronicler calls
it, he may at any rate satisfy himself as to the marriage of B. Child
and the Berkshire Lady, and the birth of their two daughters, by
inspecting the parish register at Tilchurst church for the years 1710
to 1713.

THOMAS HUGHES.



THE SABBATH OF THE LOST[1].


  Mid homes eternal of the blessed
    Erewhile beheld in trance of prayer,
  A secret wish the saint possessed
    To see the regions of despair.

  The Power in whose omniscient ken
    The thoughts of every heart abide
  Sent him to those lost souls of men,
    A splendid spirit for his guide--

  Michael, the warrior, the prince
    Of those before the throne who dwell,
  The brightest of archangels since,
    Eclipsed, the son of morning fell.

  Down through the voids of light they sped
    Till Heaven's anthems faintly rung
  Through darkening space, and overhead
    Earth's planets dim and dwindled hung.

  Still downward into lurid gloom
    The saint and angel took their way,
  Moving within a clear cool room,
    The light benign of heavenly day.

  The wretched thronged on every side.
    "Have mercy on us, radiant twain!
  O Paul! beloved of God!" they cried,
    "Pray Heaven for surcease of our pain."

  "Weep, weep, unhappy ones, bewail!
    We too our prayers and tears will lend:
  Our supplication may prevail,
    And haply God some respite send."

  Then upward from the lost there swept
    Entreaty multitudinous,
  As every wave of ocean wept:
    "O Christ! have mercy upon us!"

  And as their clamor rose on high
    Beyond the pathway of the sun,
  Heav'n's happy legions joined the cry,
    Their voices melting into one.

  The saint, up-gazing through the dew
    Of pity brimming o'er his eyes,
  Discerned in Heav'n's remotest blue
    The Son of God lean from the skies.

  Then through their agonies were heard
    The tones which still'd the angry sea,
  The voice of the Eternal Word:
    "And do ye ask repose of me?

  "Me whom ye pierced with curse and jeer,
    Whose mortal thirst ye quenched with gall?
  I died for your immortal cheer:
    What profit have I of you all?

  "Liars, traducers, proud in thought,
    Misers! no offering of psalms
  Or prayer or thanks ye ever brought--
    No deed of penitence or alms."

  Michael and Paul at that dread speech,
    With all the myriads of Heaven,
  Fell on their faces to beseech
    Peace for the lost one day in seven.

  The Son of God, who hearkens prayer,
    In mercy to those souls forlorn
  Bade that their torments should forbear
    From Sabbath eve to Monday morn.

  The torments swarmed forth at the gate--
    Hell's solemn guardians let them pass:
  Those awful cherubim who wait
    All sorrowful surveyed the mass.

  But from the lost a single cry,
    Which rang rejoicing through the spheres:
  "O blessed Son of God most high!
    Two nights, a day, no pain or tears?"

  "O Son of God, for ever blessed!
    Praise and give thanks, all spirits sad:
  A day, two nights of perfect rest?
    So much on earth we never had!"

[Footnote 1: See Fauriel, _Hist. de la Poésie provençale_, tom. i. ch.
8.]



THE ATONEMENT OF LEAM DUNDAS.

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


CHAPTER XXIX.

THE FRIEND OF THE FUTURE.


Instead of going home when she left Steel's Corner, Leam turned up
into the wood, making for the old hiding-place where she and Alick had
so often sat in the first days of her desolation and when he had been
her sole comforter. She was very sorrowful, and oppressed with doubts
and self-reproaches. As she climbed the steep wood-path, her eyes
fixed on the ground, her empty basket in her hand, and her heart as
void of hope or joy as was this of flowers, she thought over the last
hour as she might have thought over a death. How sorry she was that
Alick had said those words! how grieved that he loved her like this,
when she did not love him, when she could never have loved him if even
she had not been a Spaniard and her mother's daughter!

But she did not wish that he was different from what he was, so that
she might have been able to return his love. Leam had none of that
shifting uncertainty, that want of a central determination, which
makes so many women transact their lives by an If. She knew what she
did not feel, and she did not care to regret the impossible, to tamper
with the indefinite. She knew that she neither loved Alick nor, wished
to love him. Whether she had unwittingly deceived him in the first
place, and in the second ought to sacrifice herself for him, unloving,
was each a question on which she pondered full of those doubts and
self-reproaches that so grievously beset her.

As she was wandering drearily onward Mr. Gryce saw her from a side
path. He struck off to meet her, smiling, for he had taken a strong
affection for this strange and beautiful young creature, which he
justified to himself as interest in her history.

This acute, suspicious and inquisitive old heathen had some queer
notions packed away in his wallet of biological speculations--notions
which supplemented the fruits of his natural gifts, and which
he always managed to harmonize with what he already knew by more
commonplace means. He had been long in the East, whence he had brought
a cargo of half-scientific, half-superstitious fancies--belief
in astrology, mesmerism, spiritualism, and cheiromancy the most
prominent. He could cast a horoscope, summon departed spirits, heal
the sick and read the reticent by mesmeric force, and explain the past
as well as prophesy the future by the lines in the hand.

So at least he said; and people were bound to believe that he believed
in himself when he said so. He had once looked at Leam's hand, and had
seen something there which, translated by his rules, had helped him
on the road that he had already opened for himself by private inquiry
based on the likelihood of things. Crime, love, sorrow--it was no
ordinary history that was printed in the lines of her feverish little
palm, as it was no ordinary character that looked out from her intense
pathetic face. There was something almost as interesting here as a
meditation on the mystic Nirvana or a discourse on that persistent
residuum of all myths--Maya, delusion.

It was to follow up the line thus opened to him that he had attached
himself with so much zeal to his landlord, unsympathetic as such a man
as Sebastian Dundas must needs be to a metaphysical and superstitious
student of humanity, a born detective, shrewd, inquisitive and
suspicious. But he attached himself for the sake of Leam and her
future, saying often to himself, "By and by. She will come to me by
and by, when I can be useful to her."

Meanwhile, Leam received his cares with the characteristic
indifference of youth for the attentions of age. She was not at the
back of the motives which prompted him, and thought him tiresome with
his mild way of getting to know so many things that were no concern of
his. The shrewd guesses which he was making, and the terrible mosaic
that he was piecing together out of such stray fragments as he could
pick up--and he was always picking them up--were hidden from her; and
she understood nothing of the mingled surmise and certainty which made
his interest in her partly retrospective and partly prophetic, as
he fitted in bit by bit that hidden thing in the past or foresaw the
discovery that must come in the future. She only thought him tiresome
and inquisitive, and wished that he would not come so often to see
papa.

It did not take a large amount of that faculty of thought-reading
which Mr. Gryce claimed as so peculiarly his own to see that something
unusual had happened to disturb poor Leam to-day. As she came on, so
wrapped in the sorrow of her thoughts that the world around her was
as a world that is dead--taking no heed of the flowers, the birds,
the sweet spring scents, the glory of the deep-blue sky, while the
flickering shadows of the budding branches played over her like the
shadow of the net in which she had entangled herself--she looked the
very embodiment of despair. Her face, never joyous, was now infinitely
tragic. Her dark eyes were bright with the tears that lay behind them;
her proud mouth had drooped at the corners; she was walking as one
who neither knows where she is nor sees what is before her, as one for
whom there is no sun by day and no stars for the night--lost to all
sense but the one faculty of suffering. She did not even see that some
one stood straight in the path before her, till "Whither and whence?"
asked Mr. Gryce, barring her way.

Then she started and looked up. Evidently she had not heard him. He
repeated the question with a difference. "Ah! good-morning to you,
Miss Dundas. Where are you going? where have you been?" he said in
his soft, low-pitched, lisping voice, with the provincial accent
struggling through its patent affectation.

"I am going to the yew tree and I have been to Steel's Corner," she
answered slowly, in her odd, almost mathematically exact manner of
reply.

"From Steel's Corner! And how is that excellent young man, our deputy
shepherd?" he asked.

"Better," she said with even more than her usual curtness, and she was
never prolix.

"He has been fearfully ill, poor fellow!" said Mr. Gryce, in the
manner of an ejaculation.

She looked at the flowers with which the wood was golden and azure.
"Yes," was her not too eloquent assent.

"And you have been sorry?"

"Every one has been sorry," said Leam evasively.

"Yes, you have been sorry," he repeated: "I have read it in your
face."

He had done nothing of the kind: he had guessed it from the fact of
her daily visits, and he had surmised a special interest from that
other group of facts which had first set him thinking--namely, that
Steel's Corner owned a laboratory--two, for the matter of that; that
old Dr. Corfield was a clever toxicologist; that Leam had stayed there
during her father's honeymoon; and that her stepmother had died on
the night of her arrival. "And your average Englishman calls himself
a creature with brains and inductive powers!" was his unspoken
commentary on the finding of the coroner's jury and the verdict of the
coroner. "Bull is a fool," the old heathen used to think, hugging his
own superior sagacity as a gift beyond those which Nature had allowed
to Bull in the abstract.

"I have known him since I was a child. Of course, I have been sorry,"
said Leam coldly.

She disliked being questioned as much as being touched. The two,
indeed, were correlative.

"Early friendships are very dear," said Mr. Gryce, watching her. He
was opening the vein of another idea which he had long wanted to work.

She was silent.

"Don't you think so?" he asked.

"They may be," was her reluctant answer.

"No, they are--believe me, they are. The happiest fate that man or
woman can have is to marry the early friend--transform the playmate of
childhood into the lover of maturity, the companion of age."

Leam made no reply. She was afraid of this soft-voiced, large-eyed,
benevolent old man who seemed able to read the hidden things of life
at will. It disturbed her that he should speak at this moment of the
happiness lying in the fulfillment of youthful friendship by the way
of mature love; and, proud and self-restrained as her bearing was, Mr.
Gryce saw through the calmer surface into the disturbance beneath.

"Don't you think so?" he asked for the second time.

"How should I know?" Leam answered, raising her eyes, but not looking
into her companion's face--looking an inch or two above his head. "I
have seen too little to say which is best."

"True, my child, I had forgotten that," he said kindly. "Will you take
my word for it, then, in lieu of your own experience?"

"That depends," said Leam. "What is good for one is not good for all."

"But safety is always good," returned Mr. Gryce, meaning to fall back
on the safety of love and happiness if he had made a bad shot by his
aim at safety from the detection of crime.

A scared look passed over Leam's face. It was a look that meant a cry.
She pressed her hands together and involuntarily drew back a step,
cowering. She felt as if some strong hand had struck her a heavy blow,
and that it had made her reel. "You are cruel to say that. Why should
I marry--?" She began in a defiant tone, and then she stopped. Was she
not betraying herself for the very fear of discovery?

"Alick Corfield, for instance?" put in Mr. Gryce, at a venture. "He
may serve for an illustration as well as any one else," he added with
a soothing kind of indifference, troubled by the intense terror that
came for one moment into her face. How soon he had startled her
from her poor little hiding-place! How easy the assumption of
extraordinary, powers based on the clever use of ordinary faculties!
Your true magician is, after all, only your quiet and accurate
observer. "You are not vexed that I speak of him when I want a
name?" he asked, after a pause to give Leam time to regain her
self-possession, to readjust the screen, to fasten once more the mask.

"Why should I be vexed?" she said in a low voice.

"He is not disagreeable to you?"

"No, he is my friend," she answered.

"And a good fellow," said Mr. Gryce, lisping over a maple twig. "Don't
you think so?"

"He is good," responded Leam like a dry and lifeless echo.

"An admirable son."

"Yes."

"A devoted friend--a friend to be trusted to the death; a man without
his price, incorruptible, with whom a secret, say, would be as safe as
if buried in the grave. He would not give it even to the wind, and no
reed on his land would whisper 'Midas has ass's ears.'"

"He is good," she repeated with a shiver. Yet the sun was shining and
the spring-tide air was sweet and warm.

"And he would make the most faithful and indulgent husband."

There was no answer.

"Do you not agree with me?"

"How should I know?" she answered; and she said no more, though she
still shivered.

"Be sure of it--take my word for it," he said again, earnestly.

"It is nothing to me. And I hate your word _indulgent_!" cried Leam
with a flash of her mother's fierceness.

Mr. Gryce, still watching her, smiled softly to himself. His love of
knowledge, as he euphemistically termed his curiosity, was roused to
the utmost, and he was like a hunter who has struck an obscure
trail. He wished to follow this thing to the end, and to know in what
relations she and her old friend stood together--if Alick knew what
he, Mr. Gryce, knew now, and had offered to marry her notwithstanding;
and whether, if he had offered, Leam had refused or accepted.
Observation and induction were hurrying him very near the point. Her
changing color, her averted eyes, her effort to maintain the pride and
coldness which were as a rule maintained without effort, the spasm
of terror that had crossed her face when he had spoken of Alick's
fidelity, all confirmed him in his belief that he was on the right
track, and that the lines in her hand coincided with the facts of
her tragic life. Tragic indeed--one of those lives fated from the
beginning, doomed to sorrow and to crime like the Orestes, the
Oedipus, of old.

But if he was curious, he was compassionate: if he tortured her now,
it was that he might care for her hereafter. That hereafter would
come--he knew that--and then he would make himself her salvation.

He thought all this as he still watched her, Leam standing there like
a creature fascinated, longing to break the spell and escape, and
unable.

"Tell me," then said Mr. Gryce in a soft and crooning kind of voice,
coming nearer to her, "what do you think of gratitude?"

"Gratitude is good," said Leam slowly, in the manner of one whose
answer is a completed thesis.

"But how far?"

"I do not know what you mean," she answered with a weary sigh.

Again he smiled: it was a soft, sleepy, soothing kind of smile, that
was almost an opiate.

"You are not good at metaphysics?" he said, coming still nearer and
passing his short thick hands over her head carressingly.

"I am not good at anything," she answered dreamily.

"Yes, at many things--to answer me for one--but bad at dialectics."

"I do not understand your hard words," said Leam, her sense of injury
at being addressed in an unknown tongue rousing her from the torpor
creeping over her.

How much she wished that he would release her! She had no power to
leave him of her own free-will. A certain compelling something in
Mr. Gryce always forced her to do just as he wished--to answer his
questions, stay when he stopped, follow when he beckoned. She resented
in feeling, but she obeyed in fact; and he valued her obedience more
than he regretted her resentment.

"How far would you go to prove your gratitude?" he continued.

"I do not know," said Leam, the weary sigh repeated.

"Would you marry for gratitude where you did not love?"

"No," she answered in a low voice.

"Would you marry for fear, then, if not for gratitude or love? If you
were in the power of a man, would you marry that man to save yourself
from all chance of betrayal? I have known women who would. Are you one
of them?"

Again he passed his hands over her head and across and down her face.
His voice sounded sweet and soft as honey: it was like a cradle-song
to a tired child. Leam's eyes drooped heavily. A mist seemed stealing
up before her through which everything was transformed--by which the
sunshine became as a golden web wherein she was entangled, and the
shadows as lines of the net that held her--where the songs of the
birds melted into distant harmonies echoing the sleepy sweetness of
that soft compelling voice, and where the earth was no longer solid,
but a billowy cloud whereon she floated rather than stood. A strange
sense of isolation possessed her. It was as if she were alone in the
universe, with some all-powerful spirit who was questioning her of the
secret things of life, and whose questions she must answer. Mr. Gryce
was not the tenant of Lionnet, as the world knew him, but a mild yet
awful god, in whose presence she stood revealed, and who was reading
her soul, like her past, through and through. She was before him there
as a criminal before a judge--discovered, powerless--and all attempt
at concealment was at an end.

"Tell me what you know," said the soft and honeyed voice, ever
sweeter, ever more soothing, more deadening to her senses.

Leam's whole form drooped, yielded, submitted. In another moment she
would have made full confession, when suddenly the harsh cry of
a frightened bird near at hand broke up the sleepy harmonies and
scattered the compelling charm. Leam started, flung back her head,
opened her eyes wide and fixed them full on her inquisitor. Then she
stiffened herself as if for a personal resistance, passed her hands
over her face as if she were brushing it from cobwebs, and said in a
natural voice, offended, haughty, cold, "I did not hear what you said.
I was nearly asleep."

"Wake, then," said Mr. Gryce, making a movement as if he too were
brushing away cobwebs from her face. After a pause he took both her
hands in his. "Child," he said, speaking naturally, without a lisp
and with a broader provincial accent than usual--speaking, too, with
ill-concealed emotion--"some day you will need a friend. When that day
dawns come to me. Promise me this. I know your life and what lies in
the past. Do not start--no, nor cover your face, my child. I am safe,
and so are you. You must feel this, that I may be of use to you when
you want me; for you will want me some day, and I shall be the only
one who can save you."

"What do you know?" asked Leam, making one supreme effort over herself
and confronting him.

"Everything," said Mr. Gryce solemnly.

"Then I am lost," she answered in a low voice.

"You are saved," he said with tenderness. "Do not be afraid of me:
rather thank God that He has given you into my care. You have
two friends now instead of one, and the latest the most powerful.
Good-bye, my poor misguided and bewildered child. A greater than you
or I once said, 'Her sins, which are many, are forgiven her, because
she loved much.' Cannot you take that to yourself? If not now, nor yet
when remorse is your chief thought, you will later. Till then, trust
and hope."

He turned to leave her, tears in his eyes.

"Stay!" cried Leam, but he only shook his head and waved his hand.

"Not now," he said, smiling as he broke through the wood, leaving her
with the impression that a chasm had suddenly opened at her feet, into
which sooner or later she must fall.

She stood a few moments where the old philosopher and born detective
had left her, then went up the path to the hiding-place where she
had so often before found the healing to be had from Nature and
solitude--to the old dark-spreading yew, which somehow seemed to be
more her friend than any human being could be or was--more than even
Alick in his devotedness or Mr. Gryce in his protection. And there,
sitting on the lowest branch, and sitting so still that the birds
came close to her and were not afraid, she dreamed herself back to the
desolate days of her innocent youth--those days which were before she
had committed a crime or gained friend or lover.

She had been miserable enough then--one alone in the world and one
against the world. But how gladly she would have exchanged her present
state for the worst of her days then! How she wished that she had died
with mamma, or, living, had not taken it as her duty to avenge those
wrongs which the saints allowed! Oh, what a tangled dream it all was!
she so hideously guilty in fact, and yet that thought of hers, if
unreal and insane, that had not been a sin.

But she must wake to the reality of the present, not sit here dreaming
over the past and its mystery of loving crime. She must go on as if
life were a mere holiday-time of peace with her, where no avenging
Furies followed her, lurking in the shadows, no sorrows threatened
her, looking out with scared, scarred faces from the distance. She
must carry her burden to the end, remembering that it was one of her
own making, and for self-respect must be borne with that courage of
despair which lets no one see what is suffered. Of what good to dream,
to lament? She must live with dignity while she chose to live. When
her grief had grown too great for her strength, then she could take
counsel with herself whether the fire of life was worth the trouble of
keeping alight, or might not rather be put out without more ado.



CHAPTER XXX.

MAYA--DELUSION.


Leam was not dedicated to peace to-day. As she turned out of the road
she came upon the rectory pony-carriage--Adelaide driving Josephine
and little Fina--just as it had halted in the highway for Josephine to
speak to her brother.

Adelaide was looking very pretty. Her delicate pink cheeks were rather
more flushed and her blue eyes darker and fuller of expression than
usual. Change of air had done her good, and Edgar's evident admiration
was even a better stimulant. She and her mother had ended their
absence from North Aston by a visit to the lord lieutenant of the
county, and she was not sorry to be able to speak familiarly of
certain great personages met there as her co-guests--the prime
minister for one and an archbishop for another. And as Edgar was, she
knew, influenced by the philosophy of fitness more than most men, she
thought the prime minister and the archbishop good cards to play at
this moment.

Edgar was listening to her, pleased, smiling, thinking how pretty
she looked, and taking her social well-being and roll-call of grand
friendships as gems that enriched him too--flowers in his path as well
as roses in her hand, and as a sunny sky overarching both alike. She
really was a very charming girl--just the wife for an English country
gentleman--just the mistress for a place like the Hill, the heart of
the man owning the Hill not counting.

But when Leam turned from the wood-path into the road, Edgar felt
like a man who has allowed himself to be made enthusiastic over but
an inferior bit of art, knowing better. Her beautiful face, with its
glorious eyes so full of latent passion, dreaming thought, capacity
for sorrow--all that most excites yet most softens the heart of a man;
her exquisite figure, so fine in its lines, so graceful yet not weak,
so tender yet not sensual; as she stood there in the sunlight the
gleam of dusky gold showing on the edges of her dark hair; her very
attitude and action as she held a basket full of wild-flowers which
with unconscious hypocrisy she had picked to give herself the color of
an excuse for her long hiding in the yew tree,--all dwarfed, eclipsed
Adelaide into a mere milk-and-roses beauty of a type to be seen
by hundreds in a day; while Leam--who was like this peerless Leam?
Neither Spain nor England could show such a one as she. Ah, where
was the philosophy of fitness now, when this exquisite creation, more
splendid than fit, came to the front?

Edgar went forward to meet her, that look of love surprised out of
concealment which told so much on his face. Adelaide saw it, and
Josephine saw it, and the eyes of the latter grew moist, but the lips
of the other only closed more tightly. She accepted the challenge, and
she meant to conquer in the fight.

Wearied by her emotions, saddened both by the love that had been
confessed and the friendship that had been offered, this meeting with
Edgar Harrowby seemed to Leam like home and rest to one very tired and
long lost. The bright spring day, which until now had been as gray as
winter, suddenly broke upon her with a sense of warmth and beauty, and
her sad face reflected in its tender, evanescent smile the delight of
which she had become thus suddenly conscious. She laid her hand in
his frankly: he had never seen her so frankly glad to meet him; and a
look, a gesture, from Leam--grave, proud, reticent Leam--meant as much
as cries of joy and caresses from others.

"Good-morning, Miss Dundas: where have you been?" said Edgar, his
accent of familiar affection, which meant "Beloved Leam," in nowise
overlaid by the formality of the spoken "Miss Dundas."

"Into the wood," said Leam, her hand, as if for proof thereof,
stirring the flowers.

"It is a new phase to see you given to rural delights and
wild-flowers, Leam," said Adelaide with a little laugh.

"But how pleasant that our dear Leam should have found such a nice
amusement!" said Josephine.

"As picking primroses and bluebells, Joseph?" And Adelaide laughed
again.

Somehow, her laugh, which was not unmusical, was never pleasant. It
did not seem to come from the heart, and was the farthest in the world
removed from mirth.

Leam looked at her coldly. "I like flowers," she said, carrying her
head high.

"So do I," said Edgar with the intention of taking her part. "What are
these things?" holding up a few cuckoo-flowers that were half hidden
like delicate shadows among the primroses.

"You certainly show your liking by your knowledge. I thought every
schoolboy knew the cuckoo-flower!" cried Adelaide, trying to seem
natural and not bitter in her banter, and not succeeding.

"I can learn. Never too late to mend, you know. And Miss Dundas shall
teach me," said Edgar.

"I do not know enough: I cannot teach you," Leam answered, taking him
literally.

"My dear Leam, how frightfully literal you are!" said Adelaide. "Do
you think it looks pretty? Do you really believe that Major Harrowby
was in earnest about your giving him botanical lessons?"

"I believe people I respect," returned Leam gravely.

"Thanks," said Edgar warmly, his face flushing.

Adelaide's face flushed too. "Are you going through life taking as
gospel all the unmeaning badinage which gentlemen permit themselves
to talk to ladies?" she asked from the heights of her superior wisdom.
"Remember, Leam, at your age girls cannot be too discreet."

"I do not understand you," said Leam, fixing her eyes on the fair face
that strove so hard to conceal the self within from the world without,
and to make impersonal and aphoristic what was in reality passionate
disturbance.

"A girl who has been four years at a London boarding-school not to
understand such a self-evident little speech as that!" cried Adelaide,
with well-acted surprise. "How can you be insincere? I must say I have
no faith, myself, in Bayswater _ingénues_: have you, Edgar?" with the
most graceful little movement of her head, her favorite action, and
one that generally made its mark.

"I do not understand you," said Leam again. "I only know that you are
rude: you always are."

She spoke in her most imperturbable manner and with her quietest face.
Nothing roused in her so much the old Leam of pride and disdain
as these encounters with Adelaide Birkett. The two were like the
hereditary foes of old-time romance, consecrated to hate from their
birth upward.

"Come, come, fair lady, you are rather hard on our young friend," said
Edgar with a strange expression in his eyes--angry, intense, and yet
uncertain. He wanted to protect Leam, yet he did not want to offend
Adelaide; and though he was angry with this last, he did not wish her
to see that he was.

"Dear Leam! I am sure she is very sweet and nice," breathed Josephine;
but little Fina, playing with Josephine's chatelaine, said in her
childish treble, "No, no, she is not nice: she is cross, and never
laughs, and she has big eyes. They frighten me at night, and then I
scream. Your are far nicer, Missy Joseph."

Adelaide laughed outright; Josephine was embarrassed between the weak
good-nature that could not resist even a child's caressing words and
her constitutional pain at giving pain; Edgar tried to smile at the
little one's pertness as a thing below the value of serious notice,
while feeling all that a man does feel when the woman whom he loves
is in trouble and he cannot defend her; but Leam herself said to the
child, gravely and without bitterness, "I am not cross, Fina, and
laughing is not everything."

"Right, Miss Dundas!" said Edgar warmly. "If the little puss were
older she would understand you better. You unconscionable little
sinner! what do you mean? hey?" good-humoredly taking Fina by the
shoulders.

"Oh, pray don't try and make the child a hypocrite," said Adelaide.
"You, of all people in the world, Edgar, objecting to her naïve
truth!--you, who so hate and despise deception!"

While she had spoken Fina had crawled over Josephine's lap to the
side where Edgar was standing. She put up her fresh little face to be
kissed. "I don't like Learn, and I do like you," she said, stroking
his beard.

And Edgar, being a man, was therefore open to female flattery, whether
it was the frank flattery of an infant Venus hugging a waxen Cupid
or the more subtle overtures of a withered Ninon taking God for her
latest lover--with interludes.

"But you should like Leam too," he said, fondling her, "I want you to
love me, but you should love her as well."

"Oh, any one can get the love of children who is kind to them," said
Adelaide. "You know you are a very kind man, Edgar," in a quiet,
matter-of-fact way. "All animals and children love you. It is a gift
you have, but it is only because you are kind."

The context stood without any need of an interpreter to make it
evident.

"But I am sure that Leam is kind to Fina," blundered Josephine.

"And the child dislikes her so much?" was Adelaide's reply, made in
the form of an interrogation and with arched eyebrows.

"Fina is like the discontented little squirrel who was never happy,"
said Josephine, patting the plump little hand that still meandered
through the depths of Edgar's beard.

"I am happy with you, Missy Joseph," pouted Fina; "and you," to Edgar,
whom she again lifted up her face to kiss, kisses and sweeties being
her twin circumstances of Paradise.

"And with sister Leam: say 'With Leam,' else I will not kiss you,"
said Edgar, holding her off.

She struggled, half laughing, half minded to cry. "I want to kiss
you," she cried.

"Say 'With Leam,' and then I will," said Edgar.

The child's face flushed a deeper crimson, her struggles became more
earnest, more vicious, and her laugh lost itself in the puckered
preface of tears.

"Don't make her cry because she will not tell a falsehood,"
remonstrated Adelaide quietly.

"She does not like me. Saying that she does would not be true, and
would not make her," added Leam just as quietly and with a kind of
hopeless acceptance of undeserved obloquy.

On which Edgar, not wishing to prolong a scene that began to be
undignified, released the child, who scrambled back to Josephine's
lap and hid her flushed and disordered little face on the comfortable
bosom made by Nature for the special service of discomposed childhood.

"She is right to like you best," said Leam, associating Edgar as the
brother with Josephine's generous substitution of maternity.

"I don't think so. You are the one she should love--who deserves her
love," he answered emphatically.

"Come, Joseph," cried Adelaide. "If these two are going to bandy
compliments, you and I are not wanted."

"Don't go, Adelaide: I have worlds yet to say to you," said Edgar.

"Thanks! another time. I do not like to see things of which I
disapprove," was her answer, touching her ponies gently and moving
away slowly.

When she had drawn off out of earshot she beckoned Edgar with her
whip. It was impolitic, but she was too deeply moved to make accurate
calculations. "Dear Edgar, do not be offended with me," she said
in her noblest, most sisterly manner. "Of course I do not wish to
interfere, and it is no business of mine, but is it right to fool that
unhappy girl as you are doing? I put it to you, as one woman anxious
for the happiness and reputation of another--as an old friend who
values you too much to see you make the mistake you are making now
without a word of warning. It can be no business of mine, outside the
purest regard and consideration for you as well as for her. I do not
like her, but I do not want to see her in a false position and with a
damaged character through you."

Had they been alone, Edgar would probably have accepted this
remonstrance amicably enough. He might even have gone a long way in
proving it needless. But in the presence of Josephine his pride took
the alarm, and the weapon intended for Leam cut Adelaide's fingers
instead.

He listened patiently till she ended, then he drew himself up.
"Thanks!" he drawled affectedly. "You are very kind both to Miss
Dundas and myself. All the world knows that the most vigilant overseer
a pretty girl can have is a pretty woman. When the reputation of Miss
Dundas is endangered by me, it will then be time for her father to
interfere. Meanwhile, thanks! I like her quite well enough to take
care of her."

"Now, Adelaide, you have vexed him," said Josephine in dismay as Edgar
strode back to where Leam remained waiting for him.

"I have done my duty," said Adelaide, drawing her lips into a thin
line and lowering her eyebrows; and her friend knew her moods and
respected them.

On this point of warning Edgar against an entanglement with Leam she
did really think that she had done her duty. She knew that she wished
to marry him herself--in fact, meant to marry him--and that she would
probably have been his wife before now had it not been for this girl
and her untimely witcheries; but though, naturally enough, she was not
disposed to love Leam any the more because she had come between her
and her intended husband, she thought that she would have borne the
disappointment with becoming magnanimity if she had been of the
right kind for Edgar's wife. With Adelaide, as with so many among us,
conventional harmony was a religion in itself, and he who despised its
ritual was a blasphemer. And surely that harmony was not be found in
the marriage of an English gentleman of good degree with the daughter
of a dreadful low-class Spanish woman--a girl who at fifteen years
of age had prayed to the saints, used her knife as a whanger, and
maintained that the sun went round the earth because mamma said so,
and mamma knew! No, if Edgar married any one but herself, let him at
least marry some one as well fitted for him as herself, not one like
Leam Dundas.

For the sake of the neighborhood at large the mistress of the Hill
ought to be a certain kind of person--they all knew of what kind--and
a queer, unconformable creature like Leam set up there as the Mrs.
Harrowby of the period would throw all things into confusion. Whatever
happened, that must be prevented if possible, for Edgar's own sake and
for the sake of the society of the place.

All of which thoughts strengthened Adelaide in her conviction that she
had done what she ought to have done in warning Edgar against Leam,
and that she was bound to be faithful in her course so long as he was
persistent in his.

Meanwhile, Edgar returned to Leam, who had remained standing in the
middle of the road waiting for him. Nothing belonged less to Leam
than forwardness or flattery to men; and it was just one of those odd
coincidences which sometimes happen that as Edgar had not wished her
good-bye, she felt herself bound to wait his return. But it had the
look of either a nearer intimacy than existed between them, or of
Leam's laying herself out to win the master of the Hill as she would
not have laid herself out to win the king of Spain. In either case it
added fuel to the fire, and confirmed Adelaide more and more in the
course she had taken. "Look there!" she said to Josephine, pointing
with her whip across the field, the winding way having brought them in
a straight line with the pair left on the road.

"Very bold, I must say," said Josephine; "but Leam is such a
child!--she does not understand things as we do," she added by way of
apology and defence.

"Think not?" was Adelaide's reply; and then she whipped her ponies and
said no more.

"Why does Miss Birkett hate me?" asked Leam when Edgar came back.

"Because--Shall I tell you?" he answered with a look which she could
not read.

"Yes, tell me."

"Because you are more beautiful than she is, and she is jealous of
you. She is very good in her own way, but she does not like rivals
near her throne; and you are her rival without knowing it."

Leam had looked straight at Edgar when he began to speak, but now she
dropped her eyes. For the first time in her life she did not disclaim
his praise, nor feel it a thing that she ought to resent. On the
contrary, it made her heart beat with a sudden throb that almost
frightened her with its violence, and that seemed to break down her
old self in its proud reticence and cold control, leaving her soft,
subdued, timid, humble--childlike, and yet not a child. Her face was
pale; her eyelids seemed weighted over her eyes, so that she could
not raise them; her breath came with so much difficulty that she was
forced to unclose her lips for air; she trembled as if with a sudden
chill, and yet her veins seemed running with fire; and she felt as
if the earth moved under her feet. What malady was this that had
overtaken her so suddenly? What did it all mean? It was something like
that strange sensation which she had had a few hours back in the
wood, when Mr. Gryce had seemed to her like some compelling spirit
questioning her of her life, while she was his victim, forced to
reveal all. And yet it was the same, with a difference. That had been
torture covered down by an anodyne: this was in its essence ecstasy,
if on the outside pain.

"Look at me, Leam," half whispered Edgar, bending over her.

She raised her eyes with shame and difficulty--very slowly, for their
lids were so strangely heavy; very shyly, for there was something in
them, she herself did not know what, which she did not wish him to
see. Nevertheless, she raised them because he bade her. How sweet and
strange it was to obey him against her own desire! Did he know that
she looked at him because he told her to do so? and that she would
have rather kept her eyes to the ground? Yes, she raised them and met
his.

Veiled, humid, yearning, those eyes of hers told all--all that she
herself did not know, all that Edgar had now hoped, now feared, as
passion or prudence had swayed him, as love or fitness had seemed the
best circumstance of life.

"Leam!" he said in an altered voice: she scarcely recognized it as
his. He took her hand in his, when suddenly there came two voices on
the air, and Mr. Gryce and Sebastian Dundas, disputing hotly on the
limits of the Unknowable, turned the corner and came upon them.

Then the moment and its meaning passed, the enchanted vision faded,
and all that remained of that brief foretaste of Paradise before the
serpent had entered or the forbidden fruit been tasted was the bald,
prosaic fact of Major Harrowby bidding Miss Dundas good-day, too much
pressed for time to stop and talk on the Unknowable.

"Disappointed, baulked, ill-used!" were Edgar's first angry thoughts
as he strode along the road: his second, those that were deepest and
truest to his real self, came with a heavy sigh. "Saved just in time
from making a fool of myself," he said below his breath, his eyes
turned in the direction of the Hill. "It must be a warning for the
future. I must be more on my guard, unless indeed I make up my mind to
tempt fortune and take the plunge--for happiness such as few men have,
or for the ruin of everything."

Meanwhile, pending this determination, Edgar kept himself out of
Leam's way, and days passed before they met again. And when they did
next meet it was in the churchyard, in the presence of the assembled
congregation, with Alick Corfield as the centre of congratulation
on his first resumption of duty, and Leam and Edgar separated by the
crowd and stiffened by conventionality into coldness.

Maya--delusion! That strange trouble, sweet and thrilling, which
disturbed Leam's whole being; Edgar's unfathomable eyes, which seemed
almost to burn as she looked at them; his altered voice, scarcely
recognizable it was so changed--all a mere phantasy born of a
dream--all, what is so much in this life of ours, a mockery, a
mistake, a vague hope without roots, a shadowy heaven that had
no place in fact, the cold residuum of enthralling and bewitching
myths--all Maya, delusion!



CHAPTER XXXI.

BY THE BROAD.


After that scene in the pony-carriage Leam began to take it to heart
that little Fina did not love her. Hitherto, solicitous only to do
her duty unrelated to sentiment, she had not cared to win the child's
rootless and unmeaning affection: now she longed to hear her say to
Major Harrowby, "I love Leam." She did not care about her saying it to
any one else, but she thought it would be pleasant to see Edgar smile
on her as he had smiled at Josephine when Fina had crawled on to her
lap that day of Maya, and said, "You are far nicer, Missy Joseph."

She would like to have Edgar's good opinion. Indeed, that was only
proper gratitude to a friend, not unwomanly submission to the great
young man of the place. He was invariably kind to her, and he had done
much to make her cheerless life less dreary. He had lent her books to
read, and had shown her pretty places in the district which she would
never have seen but for him: he talked to her as if he liked talking
to her, and he had defended her when Adelaide was rude. It was
right, then, that she should wish to please him and show him that she
deserved his respect.

Hence she put out her strength to win Fina's love that she might hear
her say, when next Major Harrowby asked her, "Yes, I love Leam."

But who ever gained by conscious endeavor the love that was not given
by the free sympathies of Nature? Hearts have been broken and lives
ruined before now for the want of a spell strong enough to turn
the natural course of feeling; and Leam's success with Fina was no
exception to the common experience. The more she sought to please her
the less she succeeded; and, save that the child grew disobedient in
proportion to the new indulgences granted, no change was effected.

How should there be a change? Leam could not romp, was not fond
of kissing, knew no childish games, could not enter into childish
nonsense, was entirely incapable of making believe, never seemed to
be thinking of what she was about, and had big serious eyes that
oppressed the little one with a sense of awe not conducive to love,
and of which she dreamed with terrifying adjuncts when she had had too
much cake too late at night. What there was of sterling in Leam had
no charm for, because no point of contact with, Fina. Thus, all her
efforts went astray, and the child loved her no better for being
coaxed by methods that did not amuse her. At the end of all she still
said with her pretty pout that Leam was cross--she would not talk to
her about mamma.

One day Learn took Fina for a walk to the Broad. It was the
most unselfish thing she could do, for her solitary rambles, her
unaccompanied rides, were her greatest pleasures; save, indeed, when
the solitude of these last was interrupted by Major Harrowby. This,
however, had not been nearly so often since the return of the families
as before; for Adelaide's pony-carriage was wellnigh ubiquitous, and
Edgar did not care that the rector's sarcastic daughter should see him
escorting Leam in lonely places three or four times a week. Thus, the
girl had fallen back into her old habits of solitude, and to take
the child with her was a sacrifice of which she herself only knew the
extent.

But, if blindly and with uncertain feet, stumbling often and straying
wide, Leam did desire to find the narrow way and walk in it--to know
the better thing and do it. At the present moment she knew nothing
better than to give nurse a holiday and burden herself with an
uncongenial little girl as her charge and companion when she would
rather have been alone. So this was how it came about that on this
special day the two set out for the Broad, where Fina had a fancy to
go.

The walk was pleasant enough, Leam was not called on to rack her
brains--those non-inventive brains of hers, which could not imagine
things that never happened--for stories wherewith to while away the
time, as Fina ran alone, happy in picking the spring flowers growing
thick on the banks and hedgerows. Thus the one was amused and the
other was left to herself undisturbed; which was an arrangement that
kept Leam's good intentions intact, but prevented the penance which
they included from becoming too burdensome. Indeed, her penance was so
light that she thought it not so great a hardship, after all, to make
little Fina her companion in her rambles if she would but run on alone
and content herself with picking flowers that neither scratched nor
stung, and where therefore neither the surgery of needles nor the
dressing of dock-leaves was required, nor yet the supplementary
soothing of kisses and caresses for her tearful, sobbing, angry pain.

The Broad, always one of the prettiest points in the landscape, was
to-day in one of its most interesting phases. The sloping banks were
golden with globe-flowers and marsh "mary-buds," and round the margin,
was a broad belt of silver where the starry white ranunculus grew. All
sorts of the beautiful aquatic plants of spring were flowering--some
near the edges, apparently just within reach, tempting and perilous,
and some farther off and manifestly hopeless: the leaves of the
water-lilies, which later would be set like bosses of silver and gold
on the shimmering blue, had risen to the surface in broad, green,
shining platters, and the low-lying branches of the trees at the edge
dipped in the water and swayed with the running stream.

It was the loveliest bit of death and danger to be found for miles
round--so lovely that it might well have tempted the sorrowful to take
their rest for ever in a grave so sweet, so eloquent of eternal peace.
Even Leam, with all the unspoken yearnings, the formless hopes, of
youth stirring in her heart, thought how pleasant it would be to go to
sleep among the flowers and wake up only when she had found mamma in
heaven; while Fina, dazzled by the rank luxuriance before her, ran
forward to the water's edge with a shrill cry of delight.

Leam called to her to stand back, to come away from the water and the
bank, which, shelving abruptly, was a dangerous place for a child. The
footing was insecure and the soil treacherous--by no means a proper
playground for the rash, uncertain feet of six. Twice or thrice Leam
called, but Fina would not hear, and began gathering the flowers with
the bold haste of a child disobeying orders and resolved to make
the most of her opportunity before the time came of her inevitable
capture.

Thus Leam, walking fast, came up to her and took her by the arm in
high displeasure. "Fina, did you not hear me? You must not stand
here," she said,

"Don't, Leam, you hurt me--you are cross: leave me alone," screamed
Fina, twisting her little body to free herself from her step-sister's
hand.

"Be quiet. You will fall into the river and be drowned if you go on
like this," said Leam, tightening her hold; and those small nervous
hands of hers had an iron grasp when she chose to put out her
strength.

"Leave me alone. You hurt me--oh, you hurt me so much!" screamed Fina,
still struggling.

"Come with me, then. Do as you are bid and come away," returned Leam,
slightly relaxing her grasp. Though she was angry with the child, she
did not want to hurt her.

"I shan't. Leave me alone. You are a cross, ugly thing, and I hate
you," was Fina's sobbing reply.

With a sudden wrench she tore herself from the girl's hands, slipped,
staggered, shrieked, and the next moment was in the water, floating
downward with the current and struggling vainly to get out; while
Leam, scarcely understanding what she saw, stood paralyzed and
motionless on the bank.

Fortunately, at this instant Josephine drove up. She was alone,
driving her gray ponies in the basket phaeton, and saw the child
struggling in the stream, with Learn standing silent, helpless, struck
to stone as it seemed, watching her without making an effort to save
her. "Leam! Fina! save her! save her!" cried Josephine, who herself
had enough to do to hold her ponies, in their turn startled by her own
sudden cries. "Leam, save her!" she repeated; and then breaking down
into helpless dismay she began to sob and scream with short, sharp
hysterical shrieks as her contribution to the misery of the moment.
Poor Josephine! it was all that she could do, frightened as she was
at her own prancing ponies, distracted at the sight of Fina's danger,
horrified at Leam's apparent apathy.

As things turned out, it was the best that she could have done, for
her voice roused Leam's faculties into active life again, and broke
the spell of torpor into which horror had thrown them. "Holy St. Jago,
help me!" she said, instinctively turning back to first traditions and
making the sign of the cross, which she did not often make now, and
only when surprised out of conscious into automatic action.

Running down and along the bank, with one hand she seized the branch
of an oak that swept into the water, then plunged in up to her
shoulders to catch the child drifting down among the white ranunculus.
Fortunately, Fina was still near enough to the shore to be caught as
she drifted by without absolute danger of drowning to Leam, who waded
back to land, drawing the child with her, not much the worse for her
dangerous moment save for the fright which she had suffered and the
cold of her dripping clothes; in both of which conditions Leam was her
companion.

So soon as she was safe on shore the child began to scream and cry
piteously, as was perhaps but natural, and when she saw Josephine she
tore herself away from Leam and ran up to her as if for protection.
"Take me home to nurse," she sobbed, climbing into the little low
phaeton and clinging to Josephine, who was also weeping and trembling
hysterically. "Leam pushed me in: take me away from her."

"You say what is not true, Fina," said Leam gravely, trembling as much
as Josephine, though her eyes were dry and she did not sob. "You fell
in because you would not let me hold you."

"You pushed me in, and I hate you," reiterated Fina, cowering close to
the bosom of her warm, soft friend.

"Do you believe this?" asked Leam, turning to Josephine and speaking
with all her old pride of voice and bearing. Nevertheless, she was as
white as those flowers on the water. It was madame's child who accused
her of attempting to kill her, and it was the child whom she had so
earnestly desired to win who now said, "I hate her," to the sister of
the man to whom she longed to hear her say, "I love Leam."

"Believe that you pushed her in--that you wanted to drown dear little
Fina? No!" cried Josephine in broken sentences through her tears.
"She mistakes.--You must not say such dreadful things, my darling,"
to Fina. "Dear sister Leam would not hurt a hair of your head, I am
sure."

"She did: she pushed me in on purpose," persisted the shivering child,
beginning to cry afresh.

On which, a little common sense dawning on Josephine's distracted
mind, she did her best to stop her own hysterical sympathy,
remembering that to go home, change their wet clothes, have something
warm to drink and be put to bed would be more to the purpose for
both at this moment than to stand there crying, shivering and
recriminating, with herself as the weak and loving judge, inclining to
both equally, to settle the vexed question of accident or malice.

"Good gracious! why are we waiting here?" she cried, drying her eyes
quickly and ceasing to sob. "You will both get your deaths from cold
if you stand here in your wet clothes.--Come in, dear Leam, and I will
drive you home at once.--Fina, my darling, leave off crying, that's
my little angel. I will take you to papa, and you will be all right
directly. I cannot bear to see you cry so much, dear Fina: don't, my
pet."

Which only made the little one weep I and sob the more, children,
like women, liking nothing better than to be commiserated because of
distress which they could; control without difficulty if they would.

Seating the child at the bottom of the carriage and covering her with
the rug, Josephine flicked her ponies, which were glad enough to
be off and doing something to which they were accustomed, and soon
brought her dripping charge to Ford House, where they found Mr. Dundas
in the porch drawing on his gloves, his horse standing at the door.

"Good heavens! what is all this about?" he cried, rushing forward to
receive the disconsolate cargo, unloading one by one the whole group
dank and dismal--Josephine's scared face swollen with tears, white
and red in the wrong places; Leam's set like a mask, blanched, rigid,
tragic; Fina's now flushed and angry, now pale and frightened, with
a child's swift-varying emotions; and the garments of the last two
clinging like cerements and dripping small pools on the gravel.

"Learn pushed me into the river," said Fina, beginning to cry afresh,
and holding on by Josephine, who now kissed and coaxed her, and said,
"Fina, my darling, don't say such a wicked thing of poor Leam: it is
so naughty, so very naughty," and then took to hugging her again, as
the mood of the instant swayed her toward the child or the girl,
but always full of womanly weakness and kindness to each, and only
troubled that she had to make distinctions, as it were, between them.

"What is it you say, Fina?" asked Mr. Dundas slowly--"Leam pushed you
into the river?"

"Yes," sobbed Fina.

"I did not, papa. And I went in myself to save her," said Leam,
holding her head very straight and high.

Mr. Dundas looked at her keenly, sternly. "Well, no, Leam," he
answered, with, as it seemed to her, marked coldness and in a strange
voice: "with all your unpleasant temper I do not like to suppose you
could be guilty of the crime of murder."

The girl shuddered visibly. Her proud little head drooped, her fixed
and fearless eyes sank shamed to the ground. "I have always taken care
of Fina," she said in a humbled voice, as if it was a plea for pardon
that she was putting forward.

"You pushed me in, and you did it on purpose," repeated Fina; and Mr.
Dundas was shocked at himself to find that he speculated for a moment
on the amount of truth there might be in the child's statement.

Cold, trembling, distressed, Leam turned away. Would that sin of hers
always thus meet her face to face? Should she never be free from
its shadow? Go where she would, it followed her, ineffaceable,
irreparable--the shame of it never suffered to die out, its remorse
never quenched, the sword always above her head, to fall she knew not
when, but to fall some day: yes, that she did know.

"But you must go up stairs now," said Josephine with a creditable
effort after practicality: "we shall have you both seriously ill
unless you get your clothes changed at once."

Mr. Dundas looked at her kindly. "How wise and good you are!" he said
with almost enthusiasm; and Josephine, her eyes humid with glad tears,
her cheeks flushed with palpitating joy, sank in soul to him again,
as so often before, and offered the petition of her humble love, which
wanted only his royal signature to make an eternal bond.

"I love little Fina," she said tremulously. It was as if she had said,
"I love you."

Then she turned into the house and indulged her maternal instinct by
watching nurse as she undressed the child, put her in a warm bath,
gave her some hot elderberry wine and water, laid her in her little
bed, and with many kisses bade her go to sleep and forget all about
everything till tea-time. And the keen relish with which she
followed all these nursery details marked her fitness for the post
of pro-mother so distinctly that it made nurse look at her more than
once, and think--also made her say, as a feeler--"Law, miss! what a
pity you've not had one of your own!"

Her tenderness of voice and action with the child when soothing her at
the door had also made Sebastian think, and the child's fondness for
this soft-faced, weak and kindly woman was setting a mark on the man's
mind, well into middle age as she was. He began to ask himself whether
the blighted tree could ever put forth leaves again? whether there was
balm in Gilead yet for him, and nepenthe for the past in the happiness
of the future. He thought there might be, and that he had sat long
enough now by the open grave of his dead love. It was time to close
it, and leave what it held to the keeping of a dormant memory only--a
memory that would never die, but that was serene, passive and at rest.

So he pondered as he rode, and told Josephine's virtues as golden
beads between his fingers, to which his acceptance would give their
due value, wanting until now--their due value, merited if not won. And
for himself, would she make him happy? On the whole he thought that
she would. She worshiped him, perhaps, as he had worshiped that other,
and it was pleasant to Sebastian Dundas to be worshiped. He might do
worse, if also he might do better; but at least in taking Josephine he
knew what he was about, and Fina would not be made unhappy. He forgot
Leam. Yes, he would take Josephine for his wife by and by, when the
fitting moment came, and in doing so he would begin life anew and be
once more made free of joy.

He was one of those men resilient if shallow, and resilient perhaps
because shallow, who, persecuted by an evil fortune, are practically
unconquerable--men who, after they have been prostrated by a blow
severe enough to shatter the strongest heart, come back to their old
mental place after a time smiling, in nowise crushed or mutilated, and
as ready to hope and love and believe and plan as before--men who are
never ennobled by sorrow, never made more serious in their thoughts,
more earnest in their aims, though, as Sebastian had been, they may
be fretful enough while the sore is open--men who seem to be the
unresisting sport of the unseen powers, buffeted, tortured as we see
helpless things on earth--dogs beaten and horses lashed--for the mere
pleasure of the stronger in inflicting pain, and for no ultimate good
to be attained by the chastening. The souls of such men are like
those weighted tumblers of pith: knocked down twenty times, on
the twenty-first they stand upright, and nothing short of absolute
destruction robs them of their elasticity. As now when Sebastian
planned the base-lines of his new home with Josephine, and built
thereon a pretty little temple of friendship armed like love.

His heart was broken, he said to himself, but Josephine held the
fragments, and he would make himself tolerably content with the rivet.
Still, it was broken all the same; which simply meant that of the two
he loved madame the better, and would have chosen her before the other
could she have come back; but that failing, this other would do, even
Josephine's love being better than no love at all. Besides, she
had her own charms, if of a sober kind. She was a sweet-tempered,
soft-hearted creature, with the aroma of remembrance round her
when she was young and pretty and unattainable: consequently, being
unattainable, held as the moral pot of gold under the rainbow,
which, could it have been caught, would have made all life glad. The
sentimental rest which she and her people had afforded during the
turbulent times of that volcanic Pepita had also its sweet savor of
association that did not make her less delightful in the present;
and when he looked at her now, faded as she was, he used to try and
conjure back her image, such as it had been when she was a pretty,
blushing, affectionate young girl, who loved him as flowers love the
sun, innocently, unconsciously, and without the power of repulsion.

Also, she had the aroma of remembrance about her from another
side--remembrance when she had been madame's chosen friend and
favorite, and the unconscious chaperon, poor dear! who had made his
daily visits to Lionnet possible and respectable. He pitied her a
little now when he thought of how he had used her as Virginie's hood
and his own mask then; and he pitied her so much that he took it on
his conscience, as a duty which he owed her and the right, to make
her happy at last. Yes, it was manifestly his duty--unquestionably the
right thing to do. The petition must be signed, the suppliant raised;
Ahasuerus must exalt his Esther, his loving, faithful, humble Esther;
and when inclination models itself as duty the decision is not far
off.



CHAPTER XXXII.

PALMAM QUI NON MERUIT.


All North Aston rang with the story of little Fina's peril,
Josephine's admirable devotion and Leam's shameful neglect--so
shameful as to be almost criminal. It was the apportionment of
judgment usual with the world. The one who had incurred no kind of
risk, and had done only what was pleasant to her, received unbounded
praise, while the one who was of practical use got for her personal
peril and discomfort universal blame. They said she had allowed the
child to run into danger by her own carelessness, and then had done
nothing to save her: and they wondered beneath their breath if she had
really wished the little one to be drowned. She was an odd girl, you
know, they whispered from each to each--moody, uncomfortable, and
unlike any one else; and though she had certainly behaved admirably to
little Fina, so far as they could see, yet it was not quite out of the
nature of things that she should wish to get rid of the child, who,
after all, was the child of no one knows whom, and very likely spoilt
and tiresome enough.

But no one said this aloud. They only whispered it to each other,
their comments making no more noise than the gliding of snakes through
the evening grass.

As for Fina, she suffered mainly from a fit of indigestion consequent
on the shower of sweetmeats which fell on her from all hands as the
best consolation for her willful little ducking known to sane men and
women presumably acquainted with the elements of physiology. She was
made restless, too, from excitement by reason of the multiplicity of
toys which every one thought it incumbent on him and her to bestow;
for it was quite a matter for public rejoicing that she had not been
drowned, and Josephine, as her reputed savior, leapt at a bound to the
highest pinnacle of popular favor.

It made not the slightest difference in the estimation of these clumsy
thinkers that the thing for which Josephine was praised was a pure
fiction, just as the thing for which Leam was condemned was a pure
fiction. Society at North Aston had the need of hero-worship on it at
this moment, and a mythic heroine did quite as well for the occasion
as a real one.

No one was so lavish of her praise as Adelaide. It was really
delightful to note the generosity with which she eulogized her friend
Joseph, and the pleasure that she had in dwelling on her heroism;
Josephine deprecating her praises in that weak, conscious, and
blushing way which seems to accept while disclaiming.

She invariably said, "No, Adelaide, I do not deserve the credit of it:
it was Leam who saved the child;" but she said it in that voice and
manner which every one takes to mean more modesty than truth, and
which therefore no one believes as it is given; the upshot being that
it simply brings additional grist to the mill whence popularity is
ground out.

Her disclaimers were put down to her good-natured desire to screen
Leam: she had always been good to that extraordinary young person,
they said. But then Josephine Harrowby was good to every one, and if
she had a fault it was the generalized character of her benevolence,
which made her praise of no value, you see, because she praised every
one alike, and took all that glittered for gold. Hence, her assurances
that Leam had really and truly put herself into (the appearance of)
actual danger to save Fina from drowning, while she herself had done
nothing more heroic than take the dripping pair of them home when all
was over--she forgot to add, sit in the carriage and scream--went for
nothing, and the popular delusion for all. She was still the
heroine of the day, and