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Title: Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, Vol. 12, No. 32, November, 1873
Author: Various
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, Vol. 12, No. 32, November, 1873" ***

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LIPPINCOTT'S MAGAZINE

OF

_POPULAR LITERATURE AND SCIENCE._

NOVEMBER, 1873.

Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1873, by J. B.
LIPPINCOTT & Co., in the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at
Washington.

Transcriber's Note: Minor typos have been corrected.



THE NEW HYPERION.

FROM PARIS TO MARLY BY WAY OF THE RHINE.

V.--IN PURSUIT OF A PASSPORT.

[Illustration: THE SIGN OF THE "STORK".]


"The Strasburgers have a legend--"

We were rolling along very comfortably in the engineer's coach. From
pavement to bridge, and from bridge to pavement, we effected the long
step which bestrides the Rhine.

"I knew you would prick your ears up at the word. Well, I have found a
legend among the people here about the original acquisition of Strasburg
by the French. You know Louis XIV. bagged the city quite unwarrantably
in 1681, in a time of peace."

I was much delighted with this beginning, and told my friend that to
cross the storied Rhine and simultaneously listen to a legend made me
feel as if I were Frithiof the Viking entertained on his voyage by a
Skald.

"The Alsatians will have it," said my canal-digger, "that the Grand
Monarch was a bit of a magician. The depth of what I may call his
High-Church sentiment, which at last proved so edifying to the
Maintenon, has never convinced them that he wasn't a trifle in league
with the devil. At the foot of his praying-chair was always chained a
little casket of ebony, bound with iron. In this he imprisoned a little
yellow man, a demon of the most concentrated structure, hardly a foot
long. This goblin ran through the air, on an errand or with a letter,
about as fast as a stroke of lightning, and admirably filled the place
of the modern telegraph. For each meal he took three seeds of hemp,
which he loved to receive from the king's hand. By and by the little
yellow man became more of a gourmand. He demanded seed-pearls, and the
king was obliged to rob the queen's jewel-boxes. Then the yellow dwarf's
appetite changed, and he required stars, orders and garters: one by one
the obedient monarch gave him the decorations of count, marquis, duke.
The demon's name was Chamillo.

[Illustration: A GRAND MONARCH AND A LITTLE YELLOW IMP.]

"One day the small devil-duke of a Chamillo hovered over the imperial
free city of Strasburg. Entering by key-holes and doors ajar, he stole
into the presence of the principal magistrates, and shortly after the
impregnable capital of Alsace opened its gates at a show of French
investment.

"For this important service Louis XIV. fancied that Chamillo would
require the letters patent constituting him a prince. Not at all.
Chamillo was tired of secular honors: he had seen the bishop of
Strasburg officiating in scarlet, and he insisted on being made
cardinal. The king could not make cardinals, and he doubted whether he
could induce the pope to receive a devil among the upper clergy. He
refused absolutely. Chamillo left him in dudgeon and went over to
Prussia. Apparently he has remained there. At any rate, the French
king's fortunes commenced at that epoch to decline, and the Peace of
Ryswick almost deprived him of Strasburg, which the little yellow man
wanted to get back for Germany."

We had quitted Strasburg by the gate of Austerlitz. While listening to
my friend I kept an eye open, and examined the present state of the
fortress, the incidents of the road to Kehl, and that fairy Ile des
Épis, a perfect little Eden in the Rhine, where the tall trees and
nodding flowers bury the tomb of Dessaix, with its inscription, "À
Dessaix, l'Armée du Rhin, 1800." This bright morning-ride enchanted me,
seasoned as it was with a goblin-story.

[Illustration: ILE DES ÉPIS.]

"Behind this tale, now, there must be a fact," I said. "There is some
bit of history concealed there. The common people never invent: they
distort."

"It is possible," he answered. "I tell you the story as it was told me
by one of my theodolite-bearers. You may find out the rest: it is in
your line."

Kehl has been bombarded or razed a dozen times by French armies crossing
the Rhine. The last occasion when the French ruined it, however, was
not in vain-glory, but in impotent malice. They fired it on August 19,
1870, during the horrors of the Strasburg bombardment. It is a town
formed of a single street--But I will enter no further into topographic
details.

[Illustration: BEGGARS AT BÂLE.]

I entered this town or street in haste, leaving my engineering
acquaintance talking to a Prussian general. The idea had seized me of
writing a line to Hohenfels at Marly, actually dated from the grand
duchy of Baden. Undoubtedly I should reach Marly before my letter, but
the postal mark would be a good proof of the actuality of my wanderings.
Clinging, then, to my childishness, as we do to most of our follies,
with a fidelity which it would be well to imitate in our grave affairs,
and feeling pressed for time, I looked eagerly around for a
resting-place where I could procure ink and paper, and entered at the
sign of the "Stork." I found a smoky crowd, peasants and military,
sucking German pipes and drinking from a variety of glasses, pots,
syphons and jugs. I had taken up my pen when an individual by my side,
at the next table, said to his opposite neighbor, "The French will
hardly take Strasburg again by surprise, as they did two centuries ago."

[Illustration: HOW THINGS FELL OUT.]

"It was not the French who took Strasburg," replied the _vis-à-vis_,
evidently a native: "it was _the little urchin in yellow_."

The expression, joined to what I had just heard in the carriage, was
sufficient to attract my attention. My neighbor, a Belgian by his
accent, opened his eyes. The man opposite, perceiving that he had more
than one auditor, narrated at length, in substance and detail, not the
fairy legend of the Alsatians, but accurately and to my amusement, the
historical anecdote which I had imagined to be wrapped up in that tale.
So then, while he spoke, I wrote--no longer to Hohenfels, but to my own
consciousness and memory--these little notes on Chamillo, or rather
Chamilly, and obtained a trifling contribution to the back-stairs
history of the Grand Nation.

"The marquis of Chamilly, afterward marshal of France, was often
promised a good place for a young nephew he had by the powerful
Minister de Louvois. Each time, however, that the youth presented
himself the experienced minister said, 'Bide your time, young man: I see
nothing yet on the horizon worthy of you.' The boy sulked in the
tortures of hope deferred. One day in September, 1681, Louvois said,
'Young man, post yourself at Bâle on the 18th day of this month, from
noon to four o'clock: stand on the bridge; take a note of all you see,
without the least omission; come back and report to me; and as you
acquit yourself so your future shall be.' The young chevalier found
himself on the bridge at Bâle at high noon. He expected to meet some
deputation from the Swiss cantons, with the great landamman at the head.
What he really saw were carts, villagers, flocks of sheep, children who
chased each other, mendicants who, with Swiss independence, demanded
alms rather than begged it. He gave to each, imagining in each a
mysterious agent. An old woman crossing the bridge on a bucking donkey,
who threw her, he picked up obsequiously, not knowing but this fall
might be a manoeuvre of state, and the precipitate take the form of
the landamman in disguise: he had even the idea of running after the
donkey, but the animal was already galloping with great relish outside
the assigned limits to his diplomacy. When tired of the sun, the dust
and the triviality of the panorama, Chamilly prepared to go. It was
nearing the hour fixed for his departure, and the absence of all
significant events vexed him. As if to put a crown on his discomfiture,
toward the close of the last hour an odd little urchin, grotesquely
dressed in a yellow coat, came to beat old blankets over the parapet,
and flirted the dirt and fluff into the young man's eyes. Already
angered, he was about to hang the young imp for a minute or two over the
bridge, when four o'clock sounded, his duty came to his mind, and he
departed.

[Illustration: THE LITTLE IMP IN YELLOW]

[Illustration: "THE TRAIN IS STARTING"]

"In the middle of the third night, tired and humiliated, he reappeared
before the minister and recounted his failure. When he came to the
little page in yellow, Louvois fell on his neck and kissed him. Chamilly
was dragged incontinently before the king. Louis XIV., who was snoring
with his royal nose in the air, was waked for the purpose, and heard
with attention the story of the beggars, the donkey and the little
monkey in yellow livery. At the apparition of the Yellow Jacket, Louis
XIV. leaped over the _ruelle_ and danced a saraband in his night-gown.
Chamilly might perhaps have considered himself sufficiently rewarded in
being the only man who ever saw the superb king dancing with bare legs
in a wig hastily put on crosswise. But to this recompense others were
added. The monarch named him chevalier of his orders, count and
counselor of state, to the grand stupefaction of the young man, who
understood nothing about it.

"The little yellow urchin, shaking his blankets, announced to the king's
envoy, on the part of the perjured Strasburg magistrates, that the city
was betrayed."

I had now that rare complementing pair, a legend and its historical
foundation. I had been obliged to cross the Rhine to obtain my prize,
but I did not regret the journey. How far I was from fancying the
ill-natured turn that the little yellow man was playing me!

While my neighbor of the Stork was talking, and I was taking down his
words with my utmost rapidity, Time took advantage of me, and put double
the accustomed length into each of his steps. On recrossing into
Strasburg I had before me barely the moments necessary to regain the
railway station.

The gate at the first-class passenger-exit was about closing, fifteen
minutes in advance of the start, according to the European custom. I
pushed in rather roughly.

[Illustration: "JUSTICE AND VENGEANCE PURSUING CRIME"]

The railway-officer or porter was at the gate, barring my passage until
I could exhibit a ticket. I had not taken time to purchase one: the
train was fuming and threatening the belated passengers with a series of
false starts. Surprised into rudeness, and quite forgetting that my
appearance warranted no airs of autocracy, I made some contemptuous
remark.

"Der Herr is much too hasty. Der Herr is doubtless provided with the
necessary papers which will enable him to pass the French frontier."

It was not the porter who spoke now: it was some kind of official relic
or shadow or mouchard left from the old custom-house, and suffered to
hang on the railway-station as an ornament. His costume, half uniform
and half fatigue-dress, compromised nobody, and was surmounted by a
skull cap. His pantaloons were short, his figure was paunchy,
authoritative and German. His German, however, was spoken with a French
accent. As I mused in stupefaction upon the hint he had uttered, he
pointed with his hand. "The train is starting," he observed.

The reader probably knows Prudhon's great picture in the Louvre,
originally painted for the Palace of Justice, and entitled "Divine
Justice and Vengeance in Pursuit of Crime"? This picture, which I had
not thought of, I suppose, for an age, suddenly seemed to be realized
before me, but the heavenly detectives were changed into mortal
gendarmes. The porter and the nondescript threw back the gate,
preventing my passage. The terrors of Prudhon's avenging spirits were
all expressed, to my thinking, in the looks which these two official
people exchanged in my favor, and then bent on me. We stood in a
triangle.

"One moment: I propose a plan," I cried in desperation. "I do not know a
soul in Strasburg, and the friend who brought me here is gone, I cannot
tell whither. But I have an acquaintance in the British consulate at
Carlsruhe--Berkley, you know," I explained with an insane familiarity,
"my old friend Berkley's nephew. Admit me to the train, and we will
telegraph to him. His reply will come in ten minutes, and will show you
my responsible character. I have come fifteen minutes in advance of the
starting-hour."

"The wire to Carlsruhe," said the porter, "is under repairs."

"The train to Paris," said the second man, "is off."

Some fate was pursuing me. Rudely rejected at the wicket, and treated as
a man without a nationality, I felt as if I had but one friend now
available on earth--the friend who had come into my head while
conversing with the railway guard. Old Mr. Berkley, Mr. Sylvester.
Berkley and I had once breakfasted together at Brighton, the first
sitting in a tub, the second eating nothing but raw macerated beef, and
I for my part devouring toast and Icelandic poetry. The nephew had since
gone into diplomacy to strengthen his bile. I had not seen him for
years.

I approached the schedule of distances hanging on the wall. My movements
were those of a man prostrated and resigned. I ran my forefinger over
the departures from Kohl to Carlsruhe.

In three hours I was in the latter city.

It was not in beggar's guise that Paul Flemming would fain be seen in
the capital of the grand duchy--the most formal capital, the most
symmetrical capital, the most monumental capital, as it is the youngest
capital, in Europe. Nor was it as a vagabond that he would wish to
appear in that capital, before a friend who happened to be a
diplomatist. I recollected the engaging aspect in which I had offered
myself to the reflections of the Rhine when last beside that romantic
stream--a comely youth, with Stultz's best waistcoats on his bosom and
with ineffable sorrows in his heart. Frau Himmelauen used to say, at
Heidelberg, that my gloves were a shade too light for a strictly
virtuous man. The Frau has gone to her account, and Stultz, the great
Stultz, is defunct too, after achieving for himself a baronetcy as the
prize of his peerless scissors, and founding a hospital here in
Carlsruhe. Not to insult the shade of Stultz, I determined to renew my
youth, at least in the matter of plumage. A shop of ready-made clothing
afforded me lavender gloves, silk pocket handkerchief, satin cravat,
detachable collar and a cambric shirt: the American dickey, in which
some of my early sartorial triumphs were effected, is not to be had in
Rhineland. My ornaments purchased, the trouble was--to change my shirt.
The great hotel, the Erbprinz, was no place for a man without a passport
and without baggage: not for the world would I have faced a hotel-clerk
with his accusing register. Yet the street was not to be thought of:
only cats are allowed by etiquette to freshen their linen on the
doorstep.

[Illustration: SUSPICIOUS BAGGAGE]

A resource occurred to me. In ransacking the city for my ornaments I
had observed the castle-park, with its clumps of verdure and almost
deserted walks. Hurrah for the leafy dressing-room!

[Illustration: CARLSRUHE: THE GRAND-DUCAL PARK.]

At the gate a sentinel stopped me. Would he demand my passport? No: he
taps with his finger the lid of that faithful botany-box, my sole
valise. Aware that it contained nothing contraband, I opened it
innocently and demonstratively. At the sight of that resonant cavity,
gaping from ear to ear and belching forth gloves, kerchiefs and minor
haberdashery, the dragon laughed: his mirth took the form of a deep,
guttural, honest German guffaw. He still, however, rapped sonorously on
my box, shaking his head from side to side like a china mandarin. In his
view my box was luggage, and luggage is not permitted in any European
park. Relieved to find that my detention was not more serious, my first
thought was to comply with the conditions of entrance. I begged to leave
my package in the sentry-box, to be reclaimed at departure. The amiable
Cerberus, smiling and nodding, closed his eyes significantly: at this
moment I recollected that my only motive for entering the park lay in
that feature of my paraphernalia, and caught it up again, with a gesture
of parental violence, in the very act of depositing it. The sentry,
watching with increasing delight my evolutions and counter evolutions,
evidently thought me a nimble lunatic, Heaven-sent for the recreation of
his long watch. He no longer opposed any of my demonstrations, and
finally, with a hearty chuckle, saw me slink past him into the groves,
wardrobe in hand. Most accommodating of sentinels, why were you not in
charge of a Paris barrier during the siege?

[Illustration: THE GENTLE CERBERUS.]

Once within the park, I found that my sight had deceived me: the day was
hot, and the public, driven from the sunny walks, were concentrated in
the shade. Not a bough but sheltered its group of Arcadians. I wended
from tree to tree, describing singular zigzags on the sward. The
guardians began to eye me with lively interest. Finally, Fortune having
guided me to a beautiful thicket, a closet curtained with evergreens, I
prepared to use it for my toilet, and relinquished a sleeve of my coat.
At that moment one of my watchmen suddenly showed himself.

Looking at him with extreme seriousness, I slowly re-entered my sleeve,
and walked away with unnecessary dignity, giving the guardian my
patronage in the shape of a nod, which he did not return.

[Illustration: THE EYE OF ARGUS.]

Forbidden the green-room, what if I tried the bathroom? Hastily making
for the Square of the Obelisk, I took a carriage, engaging it by the
hour, and directing it to the nearest bathing-establishment. The driver
immediately ran off with me outside the city.

Carlsruhe is an aristocratic construction, whose princely mansions are
supposed to be supplied with their own thermal conveniences. The
locality suggested for my bath proved to be a vast suburban garden,
buried in flowers, with amorous young couples promenading the alleys,
and tables crowned with cylinders of beer, each wadded with its handful
of foam. At the extremity, on a square building, five lofty letters
spelled out the word _Baden_.

A waiter showed me a handsome bath, decorated with a tub like some Roman
mausoleum. I instructed him as to the temperature of my desired plunge.
He nodded quietly, and left me. Twenty minutes passed. I thought of my
friend Sylvester Berkley, of the document I hoped to obtain by his aid,
and, most fondly, of the hour when I could return from Carlsruhe. I
thought of the little group who at Marly were expecting and reproaching
me. Charles now, for the twentieth time, would be brushing my morning
suit and smoking-cap; Josephine, in the act of whipping a mayonnaise,
would draw anxiously to the window. The baron, my galling and
dispensable old Hohenfels, would have arrived and scolded. My
home-circle was like a ring without its jewel, while I, an undenominated
waif in search of a _visé_, was fluttering through the duchy of Baden.
Thirty minutes passed, and the bath-house retained the silence of a
ruined monastery, while outside, among the perfumes and shadows of
twilight, there began to arise strains of admirable harmony. I looked
out of the window. Some lanterns placed among the trees were already
beginning to assert their light among the shadows of evening. A chorus
of fresh and accurate voices was pouring forth from the garden, the pure
young tenors and altos weaving their melodies like network over the
sustained, vibrating, vigorous bass voices. It was the antiphony of the
youthful promenaders to the drinkers, the diastole of the heart above
the stomach, the _elisire d'amore_ in rivalry with beer. Amid this scene
I recognized my waiter, illuminated fitfully like some extraordinary
firefly as he sprang into sight beneath the successive lanterns, and
pouring out beer to right and left. To my indignant appeal he turned,
lifting his head, and stood in that attitude, finishing a musical phrase
which he was contributing to the chorus. Then he told me that my bath
was being made ready. The Teutonic placidity of this youth confounded
me. Quite disarmed, I closed the shutter, changed my linen in the dark,
and drew on my gloves over a pair of hands that decidedly needed the
disguise. The lateness of the hour alarmed me, and I fled down the stair
in three jumps. At the bottom I met my musical waiter, still tranquilly
singing, and armed with a linen wrapper and a hairbrush.

[Illustration: BIER UND BADEN.]

"What do I owe?" I asked.

"Is der Herr not going to take his bath?" asked this most leisurely of
valets.

"No."

"Very well: it will be half a florin, including towels."

I gave him the half-florin, and was getting into my cab, when he came
rambling up.

"And the palm-greaser," he cried, "the trinkgeld?"

In ten minutes I was at the offices of the national representative, but
it was now dark, and the porter, without waiting for my question, told
me that the offices were closed and everybody gone to the opera.

"The theatre!" I shouted to my charioteer.

[Illustration: AN EXHAUSTED TRAVELER.]

The ticket-seller was asleep in his box, and was much astonished at my
application for an orchestra-seat. The last act of some obscure German
opera was being shouted in full chorus. At Carlsruhe the theatre opens
at five o'clock, and closes virtuously at half-past eight. There was no
sign of my friend, no indication of a box for members of the diplomatic
body. I was very hungry, and would willingly have re-entered the
boulevards in search of a supper; but the express-train going toward
Paris would start at ten-fifteen, and I could afford to think of nothing
but my passport. I drove to the national office again, my new costume
quite shipwrecked and foundered in perspiration.

I was more explicit with the porter this time. I asked if Mr. Sylvester
Berkley had returned from the opera. I was answered by that functionary
that Mr. Pairkley was living at present in the city of Heidelberg, where
he was trying a diet of whey for the benefit of his liver.

[Illustration: THE SUNNY GROVE.]

I became flaccid with despair. I was without a refuge on the habitable
globe; my slender provision of funds would be exhausted in paying for
the carriage; I was unable even to seek the friend who for the moment
represented to me both country and fortune. The driver, witness of my
dejection and recipient of my history in part, proposed to me a
temporary refuge in a private hotel on the avenue of Ettlingen, where I
would find chambers by the day, and a family table. The landlady, he
believed, was a Belgian and a widow.

We drew up before a small house of neat appearance. I was shown a
chamber, where, no longer dreaming of supper, I fell across a cushion
like an overthrown statue. I felt as if a good month must have passed
since I possessed a home.

I had in pocket about thirty sous. The philosopher was right enough when
he said, "Traveling lengthens one's life;" only he should have added,
"It shortens one's purse."

On awakening next morning the linnets and finches communicated through
the window a pleasanter sentiment. Nature was gay and inspiring on this
lovely May-day. By a perversity quite natural with me, my letter to
Berkley, which it was my first care to write and post, contained but a
slight reflection of my woes. My need of a passport only appeared in a
postscriptum, wherein I begged him to arrange that little affair for me
in some way by correspondence. The bulk of my communication was a eulogy
of May, of youth, of flowers, of birds, all of which were saluting me as
I scribbled from the beautiful little grove outside my casement.
Treating the diplomate as an intimate friend--a caprice of the moment on
my part--I begged him to go back with me to Marly, promising him the
joys described in old Thomas Randolph's invitation to the country:

            We'll seek a shade,
    And hear what music's made--
        How Philomel
        Her tale doth tell,
    And how the other birds do fill the choir:
        The thrush and blackbird lend their throats,
        Warbling melodious notes.
    We will all sport _enjoy_, which others but _desire_.

[Illustration: THE MILK OF HUMAN KINDNESS.]

I engaged to furnish him his regimen of whey, and did not omit to quote
from the same poem, apropos of that mild Anacreontic drink, the lines
which happen to introduce his name:

    And drink by stealth
    A cup or two to noble _Barkley's_ health.

"The cup," I continued, "shall be at once your toast and your medicine,
and the whey shall be fresh. If you want to make a Tartar of yourself,
and feed on koemiss, I will have the milk fermented." To the baron of
Hohenfels I wrote with equal gayety, begging him to plant the stakes of
his tent in my garden until my own nomadic career should be finished. A
third letter, as my reader may imagine, was directed to the Rue Scribe,
and addressed to the American banker, the beloved of all money-needing
compatriots--Mr. John Munroe.

My letters committed to a domestic, I felt absolutely relieved from
care. I breathed freely, and recovered all my self-possession. Sing
loud, little birds! it is a comrade who listens to you.

With two days, perhaps three, of enforced leisure before me, I undertook
in a singular spirit of deliberation the criticism of my surroundings. I
began with my bed-chamber. It contained both a stove and a fireplace.
The fireplace was like all other fireplaces, but not so the stove. Stark
and straight, rising from floor to ceiling, it was fixed immovably in
the wall, a pilaster of porcelain. No stove-door interrupted its
enameled shaft: only a register of fretwork for the emission of heat,
and quite dissociated from the cares of fire-building, relieved the
ennui of this sybaritic length of polish. It was kindled--and that is
the special merit of this famous invention--from without, in the
corridor which borders the line of rooms. If you put the idea to profit,
O overtoasted friends of Flemming, I shall not regret my forced
inspection of Carlsruhe. I would distinguish less honorably that small
oblique looking-glass inserted in the bevel of the window-jamb, and
common to all the dwellings of Carlsruhe--a handy article, an
entertaining distraction, a discreet but immoral spy, which places at
your mercy all the mysteries of the public street. This contrivance,
which enables you to see the world without being seen, certainly gives
you a tempting advantage over the untimely caller or the impertinent
creditor; but it encourages, in my opinion, a habit of vision better
adapted to a sultan's seraglio than to the discreet eyes of Western
folk.

[Illustration: THE TALE OF BRICKS.]

This reflection, by which I satisfied my perhaps exalted moral sense,
was no sooner made than I found myself peeping to right and to left in
my double mirror, not without a lively sense of curiosity. At first I
saw--what Flemming, indeed, was wont to see when he consulted the
Fountain of Oblivion--only streets and moss-grown walls and trembling
spires, like those of the great City of the Past, and children playing
in the gardens like reverberations from one's lost youth. Soon a nearer
image approached. From a troop of blond girls, who dragged after them
little chariots resembling baby-wagons, one damsel drew apart, allowing
the others to pass on. She neared my window. Who is the maiden with the
anachronic baby-cart? She is the milkmaid of the country. Here in
Germany Perrette does not poise her milk upon her head or weigh it in a
balance, in order to afford by its overthrow a fable to La Fontaine. She
can dream at her ease as she draws it behind her. My fair-haired
neighbor paused. A tall lad thereupon emerged from the neighboring
trees, and, replacing Perrette at her wagon, he fitted himself
dexterously into her maiden dream and into the shafts of her equipage.
As the avenue was deserted for the instant, his arm enlaced her figure,
with the obvious and commendable purpose of sustaining her in her walk,
and with his lips close to her smiling, rosy ones he contributed a
gentle note to the hymeneal chorus that was twittered from the trees.

[Illustration: THE FLY-BRUSH.]

Who could remain long shut up from such an out-of-doors? Directly I was
in the open air, scenting the fresh breath from the parks. I inspected
the streets, the factories, the people, the houses. A prolonged and
deliberate examination of Carlsruhe enables me to assert that it is the
most easy-going, slow-paced, loitering, temporizing, procrastinating
capital outside of Dreamland.

A young workingman was assisting some bricklayers in an extension
adjacent to the foundry of Christofle and Company. I saw him going, with
a slow and lounging pace, toward the brick-pile, stopping by the way to
quench his thirst at a hydrant, whose stream was so slender that a good
many applications of the cup of Diogenes were necessary to allay the
heat concentred in the fellow's thick throat. Arrived finally at the
heap of bricks, the goal of his promenade, he took up precisely six, and
proceeded with a lordly, lounging step to bear them back to the masons.
Then, folding his arms, he watched the imbedding of those bricks in
their plaster with a sovereign calm like that of Vitellius eating figs
at the combats of the gladiators. When he consented to take up again his
serene march, it was the turn of the bricklayers to fold their arms. At
each errand he consulted the hydrant, and the builders watched all his
movements with sympathy and approval.

I photograph the moving figures in the street with the same simple
fidelity which I have employed to represent the trouble-saving
conveniences of my chamber. Take another hero, equally worthy of Capua.
The placid personage who assisted me to a bath in my room was as happy a
dullard as my waiter in the _Baden_, and both of them caressed their job
as Narcissus caressed the fountain.

[Illustration: THE KNIGHT OF THE BATH]

A large cart drew up before the door, containing twelve kegs, thoroughly
bunged. Any stranger would take the load for one of beer, but a tub
among the kegs acted as interpreter. The young man from the baths in the
first place saw to his horse. He walked around it: the drive having
heated the animal, he covered it with a cloth, and guaranteed its head
against the flies with several plumes of foliage, beneath which Dobbin,
blinded but content, showed only the paralytic flapping of his
pendulous, negro-like lips. These indispensable cares despatched, the
young man from the baths brought up the tub after a short gossip with
the kitchen-maid, who was going out to market. He asked her if there
were a stable attached where he could put up the horse during the taking
of the bath: being answered in the negative, he then, with an almost
painful inconsequence of argument, chucked the girl under the chin. He
next inquired if she had any soap-fat. At length he consented to lumber
up the steps with one of his little kegs: the tenacity of the bung was
so exemplary that a long time was consumed in getting the advantage
over it, and the water on its part was but tardy in leaping toward the
tub in a series of strangulations. This formula, interrupted by minute
attentions to the horse, had to be repeated twelve times, and the bath,
which commenced as a warm bath, received its guest as a cold one. Such
was the result when to the languor of the individual was added the
national complication of apparatus.

[Illustration: GANYMEDE.]

The deliberate spectator--or, if you will, the imprisoned spectator like
myself, with his artificial leisure--asks himself how long a time was
consumed by this little country of Baden, by this people so lumpish in
its labor, so restricted in its movements, so friendly to its own ease,
in building its elegant metropolis of mansions and palaces? There is
something piquant in learning that the city is the hastiest construction
on the continent. It only dates from the year 1715.

[Illustration: ARRESTED MOTION.]

Carlsruhe reminds the American traveler of Washington. In place of the
tortuous plan and picturesque inconvenience of the antique capitals, it
offers a predetermined and courteous radiation of broad streets from the
grand-ducal palace, much like the fan of avenues that spreads away from
the Capitol building. Formal as it is, and recent as it is, Carlsruhe
affords as pretty a legend as any fairy-founded city of dimmest
ancestry.

The margrave Charles of Baden, hunter and warrior, returned from victory
to bathe his soul in the sylvan delights of the chase. One day, as he
coursed the stag in the Haardt Forest, he lay down with a sudden sense
of fatigue, and fell asleep: an oak tree shadowed him with its broad
canopies. Dreaming, he saw the green boughs separate, and in the zenith
of the heavens descried a crown blazing with incredible jewels, and
inscribed with letters that he felt rather than spelled: "This is the
reward of the noble." All around the crown, hanging in air like
sculptured cloudwork, spread a splendid city with towers: a noble
castle, with open portal and stairway inviting his princely feet, stood
at the centre, and the spires of sacred churches still sought, as they
seek on earth, to pierce the unattainable heaven. When he awoke his
courtiers were around him, for they had searched and found their lord
while he slept. He related his dream, and declared his ducal will to
build on that very spot a city just as he had seen it, with a splendid
palace for central point, and streets like the spokes of light that
spread from the sinking sun. So he said, and gave his whole soul to
building this graceful capital and developing it with the arts of peace;
for heretofore he had thought only of war, and had meant to patch up a
seat of government in the little town of Durlach.

[Illustration: THE PIPERS.]

The Haardtwald still spreads around Carlsruhe ("Charles's Rest") to the
eastward, but the bracken and underbrush have given way to beaten roads,
which prolong with perfect regularity the fan of streets. An avenue of
the finest Lombardy poplars in Germany, the trees being from ninety to a
hundred and twenty feet high, extends for two miles to Durlach. Around
the city spread rich plum and cherry orchards, yielding the "lucent
sirops" from which is distilled the famous Kirschwasser.

The reputation for drunkenness, in my opinion, has been very erroneously
fastened upon the German population. During my sojourn in Carlsruhe I
have paid many a visit to the beer-shops, from the petty taverns
frequented by the poor to the lofty saloons where Ganymedes in white
skirts shuffled with huge tankards through a perfect forest of orange
trees in tubs; for, worse luck to my morals, I have not seen a single
frightful example, not one individual balancing dispersedly over his
legs. In the grand duchy of Baden the debauch is punished by a law of
somewhat harsh logic, which commits to prison both drunkards and those
who have furnished the wherewithal to excess. The common people form a
nation of drinkers, not drunkards. The beer-tables are usually placed in
the open air, with shelter for the patrons in case of bad weather. The
out-door air is almost indispensable to correct the evils which might
proceed from such an artillery of pipes all fired in concert.

[Illustration: INCENSE AT THE ALTAR.]

For Germany, if not a land of intoxication, is certainly one of
fumigation. The face of a German is composed invariably of the
following features: two eyes, a nose, a mouth, and a pipe. Whichever of
these features is movable, the pipe at least is a fixture. Fortified by
this vital organ, he lives, loves and moves.

EDWARD STRAHAN.

[TO BE CONTINUED.]



AUTUMN VOICES.


    Seemeth the chorus that greets the ear
      A dirge for the dying hours,
    That wake no more for the passing year,
      Spring's voices of birds and flowers?
    Or is it a psalm of love upborne
     From this grateful earth of ours?

    Unfold us the burden of your song,
      Grasshoppers, chirping so
    Tender and sweet the whole day long!
      Is it of joy or woe,
    The music that breathes from each blade of grass
      In undertone deep and low?

    Vainly I list for a jarring tone,
      All is so blest to me--
    From the cricket that answers, beneath the stone,
      The brown toad hid in the tree,
    To the tiniest insect of them all
      That helps with the harmony.

    Never a pause in the serenade!
      Like the glory of ripened corn,
    It filleth the air through sunshine and shade;
      And from twilight till peep of morn
    Is a rhythmical pulse in the dreamful night,
      That of satisfied life seems born.

    As the gold of the summer about us floats,
      Soft melody crowneth the haze
    Of the yellow ether with choral notes
      Through these tuneful autumn days.
    Speak, sphinx of the hearthstone, cricket dear!
      Is the song of sorrow or praise?

    Of this I am sure, that you bring to me
      Thoughts the sweetest of any I know:
    Of this I am sure, that you sing to me,
      In minor tones tenderly low,
    Of things the dearest that life has brought,
      And dearest that hopes bestow.

MARY B. DODGE.



SKETCHES OF EASTERN TRAVEL.


II. BATAVIA.

"Batavia, ho! and just ahead at that!" exclaimed the captain of our
gallant East Indiaman as the entire party of passengers sprang to the
quarter-deck on the first cry of "Land ahead!" It was scarcely five
o'clock in the morning--not dawn between the tropics--but our impatience
could brook no delay, and despite impromptu toilettes and yet unswabbed
decks, with sluices of sea-water threatening us at every turn, we
hastened forward to catch the earliest possible glimpse of the quaint
old city of which we had heard such varied accounts. "You'll think a
good part of it was built in Holland three centuries ago," said our
captain, "then boxed up, sent across the waters, and dropped down,
pell-mell, in the midst of the jungle." We all laughed incredulously at
the time, but remembered his words afterward.

Batavia, one of the strongholds of Dutch power in the East, occupies the
north-western extremity of the island of Java. It is composed of two
distinct settlements, known, respectively, as the "Old City" and the
"New City." The former, built directly on the seaboard, consists mainly
of warehouses; stores and government offices, with a pretty extensive
mingling of native dwellings and bazaars. The business-houses occupied
by Europeans are all built in the old Dutch style of centuries ago, and
their venerable appearance is largely augmented by the mould and
discoloration of the sea-air; while the _tout ensemble_ presents an
ancient and dilapidated aspect strangely at variance with the luxuriant
verdure of the tropical scenery and the brilliant tints of the
picturesque Oriental costumes everywhere visible. The New City is a
terrestrial Paradise, with broad avenues shaded by majestic trees,
spacious parks, and palace-dwellings of indescribable elegance--a quaint
commingling of city and country, of Oriental luxuriousness with the
Hollander's characteristic love of solidity. In truth, the New City is
not a city at all, but a continuous succession of beautiful villas
embowered in orange groves, and surrounded by palms and banians, upon
which climb and clamber flowering vines and creepers innumerable, while
birds are singing, bees humming and butterflies fluttering their gauzy
wings, utterly regardless of the proprieties of city life.

At eight o'clock we found ourselves in the custom-house, surrounded by
Dutch revenue-officers, whose insignia of office seemed to consist of
the huge bunches of keys with which they were armed. Their stylish
uniforms and fair pale faces were singularly in contrast with the
chocolate-colored skins, naked busts, scarlet girdles and green or
yellow turbans of the crowds of native porters who stood ready to take
charge of the baggage as fast as it was examined. Having seen our
effects disposed of, we set out for our quarters in the New City,
attended by the Bengalese comprador who was to serve as guide and
purveyor-general during our stay in the island. We were driven in the
neatest of pony palanquins, drawn by horses scarcely larger than
Newfoundland dogs, over smooth, well-shaded roads, amid luxuriant fields
and meadows, and for a good portion of the route by the banks of a
beautiful canal, all aglow with busy life. Here and there were sampans
and _budgerows_, some loaded with merchandise, and others with
passengers, their light sails spread and pennons gayly flaunting in the
breeze, while men, women and children, bathing and swimming in the
smooth waters, sported like fish in their native element, and never
dreamed of the possibility of danger.

[Illustration: A STREET IN BATAVIA (THE NEW CITY).]

Among the majestic trees that formed natural archways above our heads,
shutting out completely the sun's fervid rays, we noted especially the
banians and cotton trees, the latter frequently besprinkling our heads
and shoulders with what seemed at first glance a shower of _bonâ fide_
snow, but on examination proved only the light, fleecy down of
sea-island cotton. Conspicuous among the trees we encountered on that
pleasant morning drive was the _Palmier du voyageur_, more generally
known as the _talipat_ or priestly palm, which was described in a recent
number of this magazine.

[Illustration: A canal in Batavia]

One characteristic feature of Javanese residences is their superb baths.
The pools are usually of marble or granite, of such huge dimensions that
one may float and flounder like fish in a pond, while the superintendent
of the bath keeps in constant play a brace of jets that send their
sparkling spray over the bather's head and shoulders with most
refreshing results. The water is clear as crystal, and sufficiently cool
for the relaxed state of the system in a tropical clime. Everybody
bathes three times a day, and one would far sooner dispense with a meal
than do without either of these stated baths.

[Illustration: THE TALAPAT PALM.]

The usual routine of European life in India is to rise at "gun-fire"
(five o'clock), go out for an airing in boat or palanquin for two full
hours, bathe and dress at eight, take breakfast at nine, lunch at one,
and siesta from two to four, when everybody retires, and, whether one
wishes to sleep or not, he is secure of interruption, and has the full
benefit of being _en déshabillé_ for the two most oppressive hours of
the day. At four the second bath is taken; at five all go out in full
dress in open carriages, and after a rapid drive over some of the public
thoroughfares, the horses are walked slowly up and down the esplanade,
where all the fashionable world assemble at this hour to see and be
seen, and exchange passing courtesies or comments. At half-past six "the
course" is deserted, and brilliantly-lighted dining-rooms are thronged
with guests eager to test the quality of the rich and varied delicacies
of which an Oriental dinner consists.

[Illustration: A "GAMMELANG," OR JAVANESE CONCERT.]

This is the principal meal of the day, and, occupying often two or three
hours, it is made not merely an epicurean feast, but also an
intellectual and social banquet. Strong coffee, served in the tiniest of
porcelain cups, follows the guests on their return to the
drawing-rooms, and music, conversation, reading and company fill up the
hours till midnight, when the third bath is taken immediately before
retiring. This routine is seldom varied, except by the arrival of
strangers, bent, like our party at Batavia, on sight-seeing. _We_ soon
wearied of the very voluptuousness of this stereo-typed course of
indulgence, and welcomed in preference the fatigues and annoyances of
exploring the thousand objects of interest that were beckoning us onward
to jungle, mountain or sea-coast. Our friends, who were old residents,
shook their heads knowingly, and prophesied sunstroke or jungle fever;
but we went sight-seeing continually, filled our specimen baskets, and
escaped both fever and sunstroke. The climate of Batavia is, however,
extremely insalubrious for Europeans: a deadly miasma everywhere
overshadows its luxuriant groves and lurks among the petals of its
brightest flowers, rendering absolutely necessary regular habits of
life. Before the occupation of the New City, when merchants and officers
all resided on the seaboard, in the immediate vicinity of their
business-places, the mortality was fearful, till utter depopulation
seemed to threaten the colony. The inland location of the New City is
more salubrious, and the extensive grounds that surround each dwelling
give abundant freedom for ventilation, while the few hours passed by
business or professional gentlemen at their offices--and those the best
hours of the day, from breakfast to luncheon--are not deemed specially
detrimental to health, even for foreigners. The Malays, Chinese and East
Indians generally reside anywhere with impunity.

[Illustration: LIEUTENANT OF THE SULTAN'S GUARD.]

As our ship would be several weeks in port, discharging and taking in
cargo, we availed ourselves of so fortunate an opportunity to explore
some of the native settlements in the interior of the island. A Dutch
officer, long resident in Java, kindly offered his escort, and obtained
for us such passes and other facilities as were needed. Our first
stopping place was at Bandong, the capital of one of the finest
provinces of Java. It is under the nominal control of a native prince,
who bears the title of "regent," holding his office under the government
of Holland, from which he receives, an annuity of about forty thousand
dollars. Among the natives he maintains the state of a grand Oriental
monarch, and his subjects prostrate themselves in profoundest reverence
before him; but both he and his domain are really controlled by half a
dozen resident Hollanders, at the head of whom is the prefect. The
palace of the regent is a massive structure, completely surrounded by
beautiful gardens; and just beneath the windows where we sat I noticed a
picturesque little lake, about which were sporting joyously at the
evening hour a group of the young maidens of the palace. They were
graceful and lovely in the careless abandon of their glee, but they no
sooner perceived the white faces of the foreigners looking down at them
than they fled like frightened doves, hiding themselves in a grove of
bananas, in any single leaf of which one of these dainty demoiselles
might have clothed herself entire.

We found the regent surrounded by crowds of native attendants, among
whose prostrate forms we wended our way to his presence. He was seated
on a raised dais at the upper end of the audience-hall, and received us
with the courteous dignity of a well-bred gentleman. His dress was that
ordinarily worn by Malayan rajahs--brocade silk _saráng_ fastened by a
rich girdle, a loose upper garment of fine muslin, and a massive turban
of blue silk wrought in figures of gold. Costly but clumsy Arabic
sandals, and a diamond-hilted _kris_ or dagger of fabulous value,
completed a costume that looked both graceful and comfortable for a warm
climate. He greeted the ladies of our party with marked _empressement_,
thanked them for their visit, and conducted them in person to the
entrance of the seraglio to make the acquaintance of his wives and
daughters.

[Illustration: SOLDIER OF THE SULTAN'S GUARD.]

The next evening we were all invited to be present at the _gammeláng_,
or orchestral and dramatic entertainment, in the harem of this prince.
The invitation was gladly accepted, and so novel an exhibition I have
seldom witnessed. Many of the musicians were masked, and wore
queer-looking, conical caps that looked like exaggerated extinguishers,
and a sort of light armor in which their unaccustomed limbs were
evidently ill at ease. Occupying a conspicuous position in the very
front, I noticed a Siamese _raknát_-player, robed in the native
dress--or rather _un_dress--of his country, and his hair cut _à la_
Bangkok. He was singularly expert in the use of his instrument; and I
learned afterward that, though taken to Java as a slave, his great
musical talents had won for him not only liberty, but the highest favor
of the regent of Bandong. He was the only rahnát-player in the
gammeláng, but there were some two hundred timbrels, half a dozen drums,
ten or twelve tom-toms, twenty violins, sixteen pairs of cymbals, and
any imaginable number of horns, flutes and flageolets. I leave the
reader to imagine the amount of noise produced by such a combination: my
ears did not cease tingling for a week. But everybody praised the music,
and evidently enjoyed the fun. The dancing was like all Oriental
dancing, very voluptuous and enthusiastic, adapted especially to display
the exquisite charms of the performers and move the passions of the
audience. The play that followed possessed no merit, except in the
bewildering beauty of the girlish actresses, and their superb adornments
of natural flowers artistically arranged in coronets and wreaths, with
costly pearls and diamonds. The play itself was simply a farce--a series
of ridiculous passages between some lovesick swains and their rather
tantalizing lady-loves, who eventually escaped, amid a shower of roses
and bon-bons, from their pursuers, and disappeared behind a huge palm
tree, which the next instant had vanished into air, roots, branches and
all.

After a somewhat adventurous ascent of Mount Tan-kon-bau-pra-hou, a
hurried visit to the volcanoes of Merbabou and Derapi (the former nine
thousand feet high, the latter eight thousand five hundred), and a
glimpse at the sacred woods of Wah-Wons, we turned our faces toward
Sourakarta and Djokjokarta, the two grand principalities of Java still
remaining under native rule. Each is governed by an independent sultan,
whom the Dutch have never been able to subjugate; and they are allowed,
only by sufferance, to keep a diplomatic agent or "resident" at the
courts of these monarchs. We had been forewarned, ere setting out on our
tour, of the state maintained by these proud Oriental princes, and the
utter impossibility of obtaining an audience without fulfilling to the
very letter all the requirements of courtly usage. So we had sent
forward some costly presents to each of the sultans, with letters
written in Arabic and French, praying for the honor of an interview. Our
messenger to the court of Sourakarta soon returned, accompanied by a
native officer and five soldiers in full uniform, with a courteous
letter of welcome from the sultan to his capital. He did not say to his
_court_, and we were left in doubt as to whether we should see him,
after all. But the day of our entrée was a most propitious one, as on
that very morning this renowned monarch had been made the happy father
of his twenty-eighth child. To this fortunate event we doubtless owed
our reception at the court of this very exclusive potentate, who, we
were told, almost invariably declined the proffered civilities of
foreigners. Bonfires, illuminations and processions seemed the order of
the day, business was suspended, bells were ringing, gongs sounding, and
everybody was taking holiday, in commemoration of an event that seemed
to have lost none of its novelty even after nearly a score and a half of
repetitions.

The palace is built in pagoda form, with abundant architectural
adornments, and is surrounded by a semicircle of smaller buildings of
much the same appearance, though somewhat less imposing. The grandest
view is at night, when the whole immense pile, from base to turret, is
one blaze of light that but for the abundant tropical growth might be
seen for miles away. The sultan is a well-informed and courtly
gentleman, with a polish of mind and manners we were quite unprepared to
find hidden away in the heart of Java. He is said to be the most
distinguished of all the Malayan princes of this isle. He conversed with
readiness on the general aspect of political affairs in Europe and
America, inquired for the latest intelligence, and before we left
invited us to be present at a grand military review on the following
day. The garb of the troops, both officers and men, consists of long
silken sarángs confined by embroidered girdles, gold or silver _bangles_
in lieu of boots, and costly turbans adorned with precious stones--a
garb that looked; better suited to the harem than the battle-field but
their manoeuvres certainly did credit to their royal instructor in
military tactics. The distinguishing weapon of Malayan soldiers, both in
Java and elsewhere, is the kris, worn at the back and passed into the
girdle. This is always carried both by officers and men, and very
frequently civilians: the long sword is worn only by officers.

After the review we were presented to the sultan's eldest son, a tall
slender young man, somewhat over twenty, with fierce, gleaming black
eyes, and a profusion of black hair falling below his shoulders. His
countenance indicated both intelligence and firmness, and his appearance
might have been _distingué_ but for his strangely effeminate dress of
damask silk made like a girl's, his anklets and bracelets, gold chains
and jeweled girdle, and a mitre-shaped _coiffure_ of black and gold
studded with enormous diamonds, any one of which would make the fortune
of a Pall-Mall pawnbroker. A score of attendants about his own age were
standing at the back of the young heir, while four diminutive dwarfs
and four jesters in comic garb crouched at his feet, and innumerable
other subordinates--such as the fan-holder, the handkerchief-holder, the
tea- and bouquet-holders, etc. etc.--made up the retinue of this
youthful dignitary. At a subsequent interview the _sonsouhounan_
presented me to his mother and several other ladies of the royal harem.
The sultan was first married at the age of twelve, and had at the time
of our visit forty-eight wives.

[Illustration: THE ELDEST SON OF THE SULTAN OF SOURAKARTA.]

There is very much to interest the tourist in this Javanese city, so
unlike the Anglo-Oriental settlements one meets elsewhere in the East,
nor does he soon weary of its noble sultan and splendid Oriental court;
but time forbade our tarrying longer than the third day, after which we
pressed onward to the neighboring principality of Djokjokarta. This is
the name most conspicuous in Javanese history, since there, from 1825 to
1830, floated victoriously the colors of the revolt, and victory was
purchased at last only by the blood of fifteen thousand soldiers, of
whom eight thousand were Europeans, and Djokjokarta remained as it was
before, an independent sovereignty. The sultan, who belongs to an
ancient family, is fine-looking, with a somewhat martial air, and a
native dignity evidently the heritage of high birth. On our first
interview he wore above the ordinary silk saráng a tight-fitting jacket
of French broadcloth (blue), richly embroidered and trimmed with gold
lace.

[Illustration: THE SULTAN OF DJOKJOKARTA.]

He displayed also a collection of crosses, stars, and other decorations
conferred by various European powers, the French predominating. He had
evidently a partiality for _la belle France_, and exhibited with no
little pride an album containing photographs of Louis Philippe and Louis
Napoleon. He conversed well in several languages, readily using either
Arabic or French in lieu of his vernacular, and was evidently up to time
in regard to the current political topics of the day. He introduced the
ladies of our party to his young and beautiful sultana, and invited them
to accompany her to the inner apartments of the harem. We found the
private apartments of the seraglio, like so many others I visited all
over the East, superbly magnificent in the display of gold and jewels,
in costly carpets and exquisite hangings, in the most lavish exhibition
of pictures, mirrors, statuettes and bijouterie generally. There were
glowing tints and warm, rich colors, but all was sensuous: wealth and
splendor were everywhere visible, but neither modesty nor true womanly
refinement.

The sultan afterward entertained us by the exhibition of a curious
collection of monkeys and apes. Some were of huge proportions, full four
feet in height, and looking as fierce as if just captured from their
native jungles, while the tiny marmosets were scarcely eight inches
long. The orang-outangs and long-armed apes had been trained to go
through a variety of military exercises; and when one of us expressed
surprise at their seeming intelligence, the sultan said gravely, "They
are as really _men_ as you and I, and have the power of speech if _they
chose to exercise it_. They do not talk, because they are unwilling to
work and be made slaves of." This strange theory is generally believed
by the Malays, in whose language _orang-outang_ is simply "_man_ of the
woods."

FANNIE R. FEUDGE.



LONDON BALLS

BY A LONDONER.


How London balls came to be what, in this latter half of the nineteenth
century, they are--by what process of development or natural or
artificial selection they acquired their present characteristics, and
where and when their congregation of frequenters picked up their current
ritual--are matters which I, for one, am content to leave to the
Dryasdusts of social history. The existing phase of the subject affords
phenomena enough and to spare to gossip about, without delving into the
rubbish-heaps of the past.

Well, of course there are different sorts of London balls, and
indifferent sorts, too, for that matter. It would be a hopeless and
endless task to try to classify their various species accurately; and
this paper isn't meant for scientific readers, who are hereby solemnly
warned off frivolous ground; so let us just mark out the field into
three broad divisions--the Public, the Semi-Public and the Private
Ball--and take a look at each successively.

About the public ball I do not intend to say much. Take the whole year
round, it perhaps gets together the biggest crowds, merely from the fact
of its affecting the biggest dancing-areas; but as anybody who wants to
realize it has at most only to spend the handful of dollars requisite
for a journey to London and a ticket of admission, it hasn't anything
but the charm of mere geographical inaccessibility to recommend it. But
if you must make acquaintance with the London variety of the public
ball, you will hardly find a better place for studying it than St.
James's Hall, that big, many-mouthed structure between Regent street and
Piccadilly, which with impartial alacrity, provided the hire is paid,
opens its doors to every sort of gathering--its platform occupied one
night by Joachim and Hallé, the next by Jolly Nash or the Christy
Minstrels; on Wednesday, maybe, by a knot of Total Abstinence
enthusiasts, denouncing publicans as sinners; and on Thursday by the
band to which Licensed Victualers and their friends are dancing at their
annual public ball. You really want to go in? Very well. Gentlemen's
tickets, one guinea; ladies', twenty-five per cent. less--a supposed
inducement to the sordid, money-grubbing male relative or friend who has
the purse to bring them. Are the prices expressed to be inclusive of
wine? If they are, you will be poisoned with some frothy compound of
white _ordinaire_ and chemicals--a truly "excellent substitute" for
champagne--with which ingenious Cette supplies refreshment contractors
(and, alas! others) in inexhaustible abundance. If not, you will have to
disburse a sixpence every time a partner accepts your offer of a glass
of claret-cup between the dances, and half a sovereign for your bottle
of indifferent "fizz" at supper-time. This latter is about the very
worst of conceivable arrangements: it is an improper and aggravating tax
upon the man, who, as likely as not, has not bethought him of bringing
the requisite pocketful of change; while the ladies--at any rate, all
the best of them--naturally hate the idea of letting stranger partners
pay for them, and often decline refreshments all the evening in
consequence.

But now for the company. Mark the splendor of the gentlemen--the
glossiness of their hair, the velvet collars of their dress-coats, the
snowy amplitude of their wristbands, the shininess of their
patent-leather boots or steel-buckled shoes. They don't don this kind of
gear every evening, like your _blasé_ Belgravian; so it is surely meet
and right that the get-up should be more elaborate and brilliant than
his when the festive occasions do come round. The aspect of the ladies,
gallantry and an imperfect acquaintance with the language of millinery
forbid one to criticise. Enough to say that they harmonize perfectly
with the gentlemen. The music is generally pretty good on these public
occasions, but apt to be over-brazen. It is often a military band. And
to organize the dancers--not always an easy task in a crowded hall--and
see that the business of introductions goes on duly, a small staff of
energetic professional gentlemen, styled M.C.'s (which in London, you
know, stands for Master of the Ceremonies), flit ever hither and thither
amongst the throng, now catching a wildly errant waltzing couple in
politely resolute arms and sending them back into the regular ring, now
getting up sets for Lancers and quadrilles, and at all points doing
their best to keep the ball a-rolling. Useful members of society, these
M.C.'s--a congenial profession for retired Harlequins and--what is
pretty much the same thing--dancing-masters. And it is their influence,
maybe, in some measure that is accountable for the extraordinary variety
of dances that is apt to be found in the programme of the public ball.
Mazurka, Schottische, Varsoviana, La Tempête and other curiosities of
the art Terpsichorean flourish and abound there, to the distraction of
folk who are not fresh from a dancing academy. Away go our friends,
though, with happy audacity, whether they're certain of the step or not.
If in doubt, make a waltz of it, is the golden rule; and you can't be
wrong in twisting your partner half a dozen times _in loco_ whenever you
seem to have a few bars to spare in a quadrille.

But we have lingered full long enough at the public ball, though indeed
it is quite the correct thing, you know, to go early and stay late at
such, and get one's money's worth for one's money. Jump into a swift
imaginary hansom, and pass on without more delay to what I have ventured
to call, in default of a better name, the semi-public ball. The term
will perhaps serve as well as any other to cover all those balls which,
though nominally private, are given so much as a matter of course, and
on such a large scale, that they tend to exhibit some characteristics of
the public ball, and also those which are got up by subscription amongst
the members of some semi-public body, such as a volunteer corps. The
lady mayoress's annual balls at the Mansion House, and those of the
Devil's Own (the Inns of Court Rifle Volunteers) in the Temple or
Lincoln's Inn, may stand as typical samples of the species semi-public.

Note those words "Full Dress" in the corner of your card of invitation
to the Mansion House ball. They mean that if you are the possessor of
anything in the nature of a uniform--military, naval, diplomatic,
consular, or what not--you are expected to appear in it. But, in any
case, do not omit to put your card in your pocket, for it will be
demanded at the door--a not unreasonable precaution against the influx
of uninvited guests in such a crowd. And start Cityward betimes, not
later than 10 or a quarter-past 10 P. M., if your home lies in
Belgravian or Mayfair parts, for it's a terribly long journey to that
spot where the Mansion House stands staring at the Bank, and City dances
always begin early. Come, now, isn't it something worth living for to
have one's coat and hat taken by one of this knot of magnificent
crimson-velvet-coated, gold-beplastered, silken-calved beings who are
ranged along the sides of the vestibule? For my part, I protest that,
familiar though their aspect is to me, I cannot see a lord mayor's
flunkeys in their state liveries--their hues varying chameleon-wise from
year to year--without feelings of almost reverential wonderment. What a
study for the great clothes-philosopher of _Sartor Resartus!_ But it
will never do to stand moralizing in the gangway here. Besides, a superb
majordomo has caught up our names and announced them electrifyingly; so
hurry we forward to where, between two pillars, the lord mayor,
distinguished by his chain of office, and the lady mayoress, stand to
receive their guests with bow and hand-shaking, and on, past them, into
the scene of action, the Egyptian Hall. A fine big room for a dance, now
that all those chairs and tables are cleared away that groan so
frequently under aldermanic bodies and things edible and potable (for
this hall is, as everybody knows, the home and centre of civic
hospitality). The platform, see, is occupied by the band of the
Grenadier Guards, so the music is sure to be, from a dancer's point of
view, pretty good. Though, in truth, at present one might wonder where
the dancers are to find space for their gyrations. The whole area of the
floor is covered by a gay crowd, all chattering away in a very Babel of
tongues. Some royal highness or other is expected to-night, it seems,
and it isn't etiquette to begin dancing before he or she arrives. But a
few minutes may well be spent in a quick survey of the assembled guests.
All peoples, nations and languages appear to be represented in the
crowd. Nawabs and other Indian dignitaries of unpronounceable names and
indefinite rank, in gorgeous, many-colored raiment (presumably their
national idea of evening full dress), culminating in jeweled caps and
terminating in the opposite direction, somewhat incongruously, in
London-made dress-boots; envoys from Burmah or the khanates, appareled
in a kind of bedgowns; diplomates from all the embassies and ministries,
in uniforms of all sorts and colors, the amount of stars, orders and
suchlike decorations on each illustrious chest being usually in the
inverse ratio of the real importance of the country to which the wearer
belongs; gallant generals in scarlet and gallant admirals in blue; and
gallant militia officers and deputy lieutenants just as scarlet and
blue, ay, and golden too, as anybody; and all these encircled and
enwrapped by billowy masses of tulle and gauze and silk and satin in
which the ladies have come forth conquering and to conquer.

Meanwhile H.R.H. has arrived, and first-quadrille sets forming in every
direction speedily drive the non-dancers into the background. Those who
mean dancing have turned the preliminary twenty minutes' waiting to
useful account by getting their ball-programmes duly penciled with
engagements. In doing this one little difficulty peculiar to such places
as the Mansion House has to be met. The hall is so vast and the
multitude so bewildering that, unless you know exactly where to look, it
is as hopeless to expect to find any given partner at the right moment
as to seek a needle in a haystack. The only safe expedient is to agree
upon a pillar. A row of substantial pillars runs down either side of the
hall, the base of each fringed with seats, apt head-quarters for
chaperons, who, sitting there at ease, survey the fray and note their
charges' movements in it. So, as soon as an introduction is over, and
the engagement noted on the cards, "Where will you be?" asks the old
hand. "Oh, mamma's by the second pillar from the dais;" and thereupon he
and she go their ways, confident of meeting when their dance's turn is
reached.

Have you ever gone a-skating on the Serpentine after a fall of snow?
Here and there a more or less circular space has been swept clear, and
on each space a batch of skaters whirl and attitudinize, the uncleared
interspaces of snow-covered, impracticable ice given up to miscellaneous
loafers. Even so it is with the wide area of the Egyptian Hall when the
ball is in full swing. The waltzers clear four or five ever-shifting
rings for themselves, in each of which a dozen to twenty couples go
round and round, colliding, jostling and (righteously enough)
eliminating the vagrant do-nothings who in aimless perambulation are for
ever trenching upon the dancers' ground. For which reprehensible
proceeding, mind, there is positively no excuse at the Mansion House,
where the range of drawing-rooms and vestibule is ample enough to
accommodate without difficulty the largest numbers that ever come
together there. There is always the Long Parlor, too, to resort to,
where, at about the longest buffet to be found in Christendom, an army
of waiters are assiduous all the evening through in dispensing tea,
coffee, ices, cakes, claret- and champagne-cups, fruit, and suchlike
light refections to all comers. Pretty well thronged the parlor is, too,
in the intervals between the dances, until between midnight and 1 A. M.,
when it begins to be comparatively deserted. The reason? Follow that
couple hurrying to a far corner of the vestibule, and you will soon see
the reason. Up a flight of stairs we follow to the first floor, to find
ourselves at the end of a long _queue_ of couples, all patiently waiting
with faces turned toward a doorway barred by two authoritative footmen.
Inside that doorway is--Supper, a word of substantial import to the
genuine London citizen; and it is with a keen practical appreciation of
its meaning that these good folk are gathered here, content to wait
their turn till those guardians of the doorway, letting down the barrier
of their arms, shall permit them to pass into the supper-room. Truly an
instructive and elevating sight! Still, people who dance, and still more
devoted matrons who chaperon, need and deserve to be fed, and when one
comes to deal with six or seven hundred feeders, it is perhaps necessary
to be somewhat methodical and systematic about it; so possibly the
_queue_ is inevitable, and not greatly to be sneered at.

The scene inside the supper-room may be dismissed with a very few words.
Narrowish tables, with a background of waiters, line all four sides,
leaving the centre space for the guests. No seats: every couple occupy
the first open standing room they can find at a table, and sup on
whatever viands happen to be opposite them. Maybe there is a certain
stony sameness about the food, a harping _ad infinitum_ on some eight or
ten hackneyed culinary ideas which one always finds where, as here, food
and drink for a great many relays of people are provided by contract;
but so long as chicken and jelly and fairly wholesome wine, with plenty
of that best of antidotal safeguards, seltzer, are obtainable, folk are
not apt to be hypercritical on such occasions.

Another staircase leads down again to the vestibule and hall, where the
crowd is by this time perceptibly thinning. Chaperons are sailing off
to the cloak-room, each followed by her brood; and the hoarse voices of
the servants and policemen outside--"Call Mrs. Thingummy's carriage,"
"Mrs. Whatshername's carriage stops the way"--penetrate almost to the
dancers' ears. Let us get our coats and hats and be off. There is an
almost amusing coolness in that open display of a saucer for the receipt
of tips on the counter at which the coats are applied for. It
prosaically recalls one to the fact that these magnificent flunkeys are
after all but human, and not above a regard for shillings. Next Tuesday,
mind, you must not fail to drop in for a few minutes at the lady
mayoress's afternoon "at home," in acknowledgment of your (I trust)
pleasant evening at the dance; and be sure you write your name and
address in the callers' book on the table near the entrance door, if you
wish to be remembered when the cards of invitation for the next dance
are going out.

Turn we now to a quite different phase of the ball semi-public. The Inns
of Court Rifle Volunteers--familiarly styled (as I have said) The
Devil's Own--are giving a dance in the fine newly-rebuilt hall of the
Inner Temple; which, by the way, stands on the very site where in past
days the Knights Templars used to laugh and quaff. It is a strictly
professional corps, this of the Inns of Court. Not only every officer,
but every man of the rank and file, is either actually a barrister, or
at any rate a student-member of one of the four old Inns, on his way, by
means of eating thirty-six dinners in term-time and passing an
examination, to achieve his "call" to the Bar. Still, overladen though
they be with briefs and business--as of course everybody knows all
London barristers are--the Devil's Own manage somehow to find time to
attain a passable proficiency in drill and rifle practice, and not a few
of them in waltzing too. So the corps determine to get up a dance.
Prompted by their festive and hospitable feelings? Oh, of course; that
is to say, partly, and partly, at least the moving spirits in the
affair, with a shrewdish eye to business. For, behold! it is rumored
one summer's day through the Inns that a ball is projected; ay, and such
a ball! so well managed, so brilliant, so in every way desirable as has
never been known before. Every barrister, every student must be there.
BUT--and this is an all-important "but"--it is at the same time to be
understood that tickets will be issued to _members of the corps only_,
and that members of the Inns of Court who are _not_ also members of the
corps will be specially and particularly inadmissible. Observe the moral
pressure thus brought to bear. Brown, Jones and Robinson have hitherto
withstood all the persuasive recruiting efforts of their friends in the
corps, but this dance turns the scale. They have sisters of their own
who beg and demand and insist upon their procuring tickets, and they
know sisters of their friends who are sure to be there, and whom they
feel ready to give any price to meet; so the long and short of it is
that they go off to the orderly-room and qualify themselves for tickets
by taking the oath and becoming enrolled members of the corps. Whereat
those moving spirits in the affair wink their shrewd eyes gleefully.
They will dance all the more heartily, remembering the good stroke of
business they have done in the interest of the corps and its recruiting.

The ball committee and their workmen have been hard at the work of
preparation till the last minute, and now it is half-past 10 P. M., and
carriages are beginning to roll up to the hall with their freights of
fair and--other ones. The staircase and corridor are lined with stately
tropical plants and banks of many-colored flowers. First to the
tea-room, as the stream seems to be flowing in that direction. This
suite of cozy paneled rooms are the sacred and most private haunts of
the Benchers, the self-electing governing body of the Inn. How
astonished, not to say shocked, those berobed and bewigged legal
luminaries, in their frames upon the walls, must be to look down upon
this gay laughing, talking, tea-and-ice-consuming mob of invaders! I
fear no one heeds their possible feelings much to-night, though: there
are far more important matters--searching in the crowd for friends,
engaging partners for dances, introducing and being introduced--to
occupy all one's time and thoughts.

From the dais-end of the hall, where on other days the Benchers' table
stands, you may well take a preliminary survey of the scene of action.
What a flood of light those sun-burners in the roof pour down! The
blazoned escutcheons of past and present judges, members of the Inn,
with which the walls are lined, show off all their colors, and the
stained-glass windows do their best to look illuminated. In the gallery
opposite a band of no less than nine-and-twenty picked men of Coote and
Tinney's sit ready to play all the latest dance-music as long as any one
will stay to dance to it; while all over the smoothly-polished floor the
dancers are somehow evolving a kind of order out of chaos, and sorting
themselves into pairs and sets for the opening quadrille. The male half
of the gathering is, of course, almost exclusively legal, but there are
no distinctions of legal rank to-night. Learned vice-chancellors,
queen's counsel, juniors and students fraternize and compete for chats
and dances with the ladies quite promiscuously. The hosts of the
evening, the members of the corps, are distinguished by a small knot of
ribbons, the corps colors, in their button-holes; but, for comfort's
sake, uniforms have been tabooed in favor of the ordinary civilian's
black and white. There is present, however, a military element, after
all. Something like eight hundred guests are assembled here, and no
little method is needed to enable such a crowd to move about from room
to room without confusion and blocking-up of doorways and passages. So a
couple of tall Guardsmen have been providently posted in every doorway,
who, you will find, allow you readily enough to pass them in one
direction, but, once passed, politely prohibit your returning on your
steps, and point you forward on a course which, circling through a suite
of rooms and passages, will bring you round again by another entrance
into the ball-room. By this simple expedient free circulation to and
from the tea-rooms and the supper-tent--a temporary erection stretching
nearly to the Temple church outside--is effectually kept up all the
evening, and much loss of time and temper saved. Note how, in the hall,
too, the crowd of dancers are kept, in their own interest, within
bounds. Half a score of the little drummers of the Grenadiers are on
duty there, in all the finery of scarlet, braid and overwhelming
bearskins. These, as soon as the band strikes up a waltz or galop, raise
slender barriers of silken cords at intervals across the hall, cutting
up the whole big area into three or four moderate-sized ones, in each of
which a distinct ring may spin round and round, without fear of
collisions with unexpected errant couples from other quarters of the
hall. Truly the ball committee deserve the credit of having been
ingeniously provident of many things; though, to be sure, it is just
part of their legal stock in trade to be so. But the author of that
arrangement in the passage-nooks--have you noticed it in your
between-dances saunterings?--smooth-hewn pyramids of crystal ice,
embowered in ferns and palms, and lit up from behind by some device
which makes them glow a lovely rose-color all over--that man deserves a
prize, I protest, for an inspiration that hardly could be expected from
the frowsy atmosphere of lawyers' chambers. It will be morning, pale and
gray, before the last volunteers see the last ladies to their carriage,
and betake themselves bedward with ears ringing with half a dozen waltz
tunes, and pleasantly oblivious for the nonce of briefs and work-a-day
botherations.

Kind, patient reader--I feel the adjectives are justly due to any one
who has accompanied my roving pen thus far--did you ever watch a
street-child eating, say, a jam-tart? The dry corners of pastry are
first all nibbled off; gradually the outworks where the jam lies thin
are trenched upon all round; while the toothsome centre is fondly kept
intact for the final morsel. Even so have I been reserving my _bonne
bouche_, the private ball; which in its happiest developments is, to my
thinking, as far superior to the semi-public ball as this latter to the
public. In its happiest developments, mind; for private balls in London
are as infinitely diverse in character as they are infinitely
multitudinous in number; and some sorts are (to speak politely)
comparatively undesirable. So, in deference to the exigencies of time
and space, let us confine our attention to the private dance as it
appears in what is called (or calls itself) "society."

And first, as to the people who give these private balls, or dances, or
dancing-parties (for these two synonyms are very commonly preferred to
the more pretentious word "ball"). They may be roughly classified under
five heads:

1st (and foremost). Mothers of marriageable daughters.

2d. People who for some reason or other--official or social position,
wealth, vanity, or what not--are expected, or think they are expected,
to give balls.

3d. Good-natured, amusement-loving married folk, with money and without
grown children.

4th. Benevolent grandfathers, dowagers and aunts.

5th. The most unlikely people.

And how, where and when are these various dance-givers' gifts bestowed?
The "how" is the easiest thing possible if the lady about to give the
dance is of established position in society. Her set of friends and
acquaintances is numerous, even to embarrassment. All the people whose
dinners or drums or dances she goes to must of course be asked: a dance
for a dance is a rule as obligatory as that of "cutlet for cutlet" (as a
matter-of-fact old lady of the world phrased it) is in dinner-giving
circles. At least as many young ladies as she can do with are sure to be
supplied by this means; while as for men, there are all the host of
bachelors to resort to who at the beginning of the season have left
their visiting-cards at her door, thereby intimating, "I am in town, and
ready to be asked to any entertainment you may happen to get up, and
here is my address." But if our intending hostess is a new-comer in
London, and has not yet picked up a sufficiency of town-acquaintances,
or if those whom she has are not altogether the style of folk she wishes
to invite, a different course of procedure has to be adopted. It may be
taken as an axiom that there are always plenty of people in society who
are ready to go anywhere (within recognized limits) to a ball, provided
that some lady of acknowledged experience in such matters will stand
sponsor for its probable goodness. So our hostess betakes herself to the
half dozen or dozen of her lady friends who are possessed of the most
extended and desirable sets of acquaintances, and, diplomatically
interesting them in her design, leaves with each of them, for
distribution at discretion, a little pack of cards of invitation. And
next day young Jones, coming home to his bachelor lodgings in St.
James's, find on his table the conventional oblong card:

    _Mr. Jones_

    Mrs. Smythe

    At home,

    _Tuesday, May 6th, 1873

    150 Queen's Gate. Dancing._

    R.S.V.P.

Knowing that he has not the pleasure of Mrs. Smythe's acquaintance, he
turns to the back of the card, and reading there (just the sort of thing
he had expected to find) the endorsement, "With Lady Fitzbattleaxe's
compliments," he at once grasps the situation, and sends off a note to
150 Queen's Gate, to the effect that he has much pleasure in accepting
Mrs. Smythe's kind invitation. He feels quite safe. Lady Fitzbattleaxe
and her set, all of whom he knows, will be there; and she wouldn't have
sent the card unless she had reason to know that the thing was going to
be well done. Unattached bachelors who dance have, in fact, little
difficulty in getting their fill of dancing in the season if they lay
themselves out for doing so. A young lady can't, as a rule, be asked
without at the same time sending a card to her mother or other chaperon,
whom the hostess may, from considerations of space or otherwise, not
want to have; whereas your dancing-man takes up very little room, brings
no one but himself, shifts for himself, and is indeed more or less
positively useful toward promoting the avowed object of the gathering.
Aware of this, it is a not uncommon practice with dance-going bachelors
to interrogate a partner whom they feel a wish to meet again as to the
_locales_ of her coming dance-engagements, and thereupon, through the
medium of some friend of that potent and wonderful class, the
Know-everybodys, to manage somehow to procure for themselves cards of
invitation to the houses and parties indicated, whosoever and wherever
they may be.

But now, supposing Lady This or Mrs. That to have made up her mind to
give a ball, where will she give it? At home, no doubt, in the great
majority of cases; but if her rooms happen to be small, or she wishes to
avoid the nuisance of having her own house turned upside down (as it
must be for a couple of days at the least if a ball is to be held in
it), she may prefer--I am assuming expense to be no object--to hire some
public rooms, like Willis's, or an empty house for the occasion; of
which alternatives it is ten to one that the latter will be adopted.
True it is that the ball-room at Willis's (in old days so well known as
Almack's), though far too narrow for its length, offers a floor of
superlative smoothness, and that its position, in the very heart of the
St. James's quarter, leaves nothing to be desired; but the place is so
generally associated with festivities of the public and semi-public
classes that anybody giving a private dance there may feel sure that the
guests will not regard it as quite the same sort of thing as a dance in
a private house. The empty-house plan is not open to this objection.
Owing its origin, doubtless, to the prodigious amount of house-building
that has been going on of late in fashionable London, it has become
quite a recognized institution of these last few seasons; and it
certainly saves the ball-giver a world of trouble. There stand plenty of
newly-built first-class mansions in Belgravia that have not yet found
tenants, thoroughly finished off, externally and internally, so far as
floors and doors and windows and staircases go, but of course entirely
unfurnished. One of these is selected and hired (at a cost that would
make some people gasp) for the determined evening. An upholsterer is
turned in to put up temporary mirrors, chandeliers and curtains, and lay
down temporary carpets; a florist, following, covers bare mantelpieces
with captivating layers of cut-roses, ferns and mosses, and empties a
whole conservatoryful of plants and flowers into halls and passages;
essential Gunter, always equal to any accumulation of occasions, sends
in the conventional foods and drinks, and a competent staff of waiters
to dispense them; from equally essential and omnipresent Coote and
Tinney's comes a detachment of competent musicians; and hey, presto! the
empty house bursts into light and life and music, and, exulting in its
Cinderella finery, welcomes the guests with all the air of an
establishment that has been accustomed to this kind of thing for years.

It is not always an easy matter to time one's arrival at a private ball
quite satisfactorily. The old hands have of course certain general rules
to go by: for instance, if the invitation-card has borne the words
"Small and early" in one corner, that dancing may be expected to begin
by eleven o'clock or thereabouts; but in the absence of any such guide
it is almost impossible to predict with accuracy the time when arrivals
will set in; and so one oftentimes falls into the Scylla of
over-lateness in anxiety to steer clear of the Charybdis of
over-earliness, or _vice versâ_. I call to mind a ball at the close of
last season to which I went expressly to meet certain friends, and
thought to have hit off the happy mean by entering the ball-room just
twenty minutes before midnight; but, lo! the musicians had not yet
taken possession of their corner, and sofas and chairs were but sparsely
occupied by some couple of dozen specimens of that portion of the fair
sex who in outward seeming not attractive, for dancing purposes, to the
frivolous male, yet for some inscrutable reason always put in the
earliest appearances in ball-rooms.

It is all very well to cry out against dances that don't begin till near
midnight as absurd and reprehensible; but, after all, their lateness is
easily accounted for. In May and June from six to half-past seven in the
evening are the pleasantest of hours for driving in the Park or
strolling to see others drive there. Nobody willingly goes home till
those pleasant hours are over; so no wonder that dinners tend to begin
at a quarter- or even half-past eight; that they consequently are not
over much before eleven; and that people who have, after that, to look
in and gossip for ten minutes at somebody or other's drum, do not find
themselves at the ultimate evening engagement, the ball, much before the
stroke of twelve. The balls of the London season will not become much
earlier, methinks, until some thorough revolution takes place in the
likings and habits of the folk who give and go to them.

Suppose, then, the arrival accurately timed, or, at any rate, any fault
on the side of over-earliness corrected by a judicious waste of minutes
in the cloak- and tea-rooms down stairs. At the top of the inevitable
staircase, or just inside her drawing-room, our hostess stands ready
with smile and hand-shake for each and every guest announced by the
sonorous butler. Many of the younger men (who have received cards by one
or other of the side-winds above spoken of) she has very likely never
seen or heard of till this moment; but no matter--they and she are
equally equal to the occasion. Perhaps the lady who has sent the
stranger a card "with her compliments" hears him announced, and stepping
forward introduces him to the hostess. If not, the hardly formidable
ordeal of a polite bow and a hand-shake passes him on into the
ball-room, where, once arrived, he looks about for friends, and
proceeds to engage dances, and (let us hope) enjoy them without the
slightest sense of strangeness in the strange house, provided only that
he has chanced upon a fair sprinkling of his own set there. Who the
master of the house may be he probably, if an average careless Gallio,
knows little and cares less. Indeed, _Paterfamilias_ is usually content
to sink his own personality and be a nonentity for the nonce on the
night of his wife's dancing-party.

The suite of drawing-rooms, usually two rooms occupying the whole of the
first floor, have been gutted of furniture and stripped of carpets to
form the ball-room. The floor is hardly ever of polished wood in modern
London houses, but the boards are smooth, and a very tolerable surface
for dancing purposes is produceable by the simple process of washing
them over with milk. Some people, not caring to go to the trouble of
having carpets taken up, content themselves with a holland cloth tightly
stretched over the carpeting, which is indeed preferable to that
abomination, a beeswaxed floor, but is, at best, but heavy traveling for
the dancers, and apt, too, to tear during the evening into dangerous
foot-ensnaring holes.

Are you a connoisseur in costumes? The men's dress is, of course, the
same, in general appearance, all the Western world over, and the only
varieties in a London ball-room are the better or worse styles of
tailoring and an occasional white waistcoat. Fortunately, the fair sex,
with all the colors of the rainbow and all the inspirations of the
fashion-books and dressmakers at command, can and do give a
kaleidoscopic plentitude of variety to the scene. _Débutantes_ just
"come out" in society are conventionally confined to simple white, but
their more experienced sisters may indulge in any combinations of tulle
and other gauzy substance, white or colored, with ribbons, flowers, and
all the materials and devices known to millinery, at discretion; to all
which the rich and stately velvets and silks of the chaperoning matrons
form an effective background.

And now for the introductions. There is no getting on at all in a
private dance, nor indeed in any London society, without introductions.
Society rigidly requires of every man that he submit to the process as a
preliminary to addressing even a remark anent the weather to a
lady--much more before asking of her such a favor as a dance. But a man
who goes much to dances soon grows somewhat wary in this matter. He
learns to shun the overtures of the seemingly benevolent people--above
all, the master of the house--who proffer willingness to introduce him
to partners; for has not experience taught him that such folk are always
actuated by the desire (laudable enough, perhaps) of procuring partners
for some lady friend whose personal attractions are not, by themselves,
calculated to bring them? No, he prefers, the selfish wretch! to seek
and choose for himself--first, to look about and determine to which of
all the strange faces in the room he would wish to be introduced, and
then to set about finding out means of getting introduced to them.

It is a misfortune that the present habits of society, placing the fair
sex in the position of waiting to be asked by would-be male partners, as
well for dances as for life-partnerships, do not at the same time, in
the former as they do in the latter case, countenance their meeting
undesired proposals with a direct negative. It is fully admitted in
principle, and is said to be experienced in practice, that a lady may
reply to the question, "Will you marry me?" with a conclusive "No." But
the same answer, given to the stock ball-room interrogatory, "May I have
the (honor/pleasure) of a dance?" would be conventionally reprobated as
discourteous, and is practically impossible. The natural consequence is,
that the fair answerer is driven to all manner of distressing--sometimes
almost amusingly distressing--shifts and equivocations, merely to escape
the necessity of dancing with men whom she doesn't wish to dance with,
but who insist on asking her to do so. Sometimes she salves her
conscience by the device of arranging beforehand with a brother or
other near relative that she shall be understood to be engaged to him
for every and any dance that may be asked for by a person undesired. At
other times she will have mislaid her programme, or "think mamma will
want to be gone" before the proposed dance is reached. To young ladies
thus embarrassed a practice which has recently gained some hold at
private balls, of supplying no dance-programmes at all, has afforded a
novel and most happy relief. For when one man has asked for (and perhaps
fondly noted on his ample cuff) "the third dance from now," another "the
second galop," and a third "the fourth round," she is so genuinely
bewildered as to how many and what dances she is and is not engaged for
that it becomes alike easy to checkmate proposals by the reply
"engaged," and at any time in the course of the evening to give an
immediate dance to any favored partner, in sheer hopelessness of
remembering to whom, if at all, it has already been promised, and on the
chance that the unknown will not appear to claim it.

But suppose, on the other hand, there are programmes. If one could get a
sight of any dozen, taken at random, after all, I warrant there would be
some curious if not edifying reading there. Names are (unintentionally
enough) so slurred in the hurry of introduction--"Miss Mumble-mumble,
allow me to introduce Mr. Jumble-jumble"--that, more often than not,
neither party catches the other's name; and so She, even if she gives up
her programme to be marked with the engagement, probably gets it back
just scrawled with some initials; while He is driven to the expedient of
entering on his programme some brief memorandum of dress or
ornament--"blue and roses," "pearls," or the like--which may or may not
serve to recall to him each fair personality in turn. Sisters, though,
are apt to upset this descriptive arrangement by their provoking habit
of going about in identical costumes. Some luckless wight has taken a
satisfactory note of the dress and general appearance of a Miss
Unknown, and then, horror! half an hour afterward he discovers that
there are _two_ wearers of such dress in the room, each the very ditto
of the other. There is only one way out of it: when the destined dance
arrives he must go boldly up to one of them with the usual "My dance, I
believe?" For there's, at any rate, an even chance of his being right;
while, at worst, if she answers, "I think not," his doubt is at once
solved in favor of the other sister.

In the dances themselves there is not much variety. Society knows of
four only--two "squares," quadrille and Lancers, and two "round," waltz
and galop. Of these, waltzes are the most, and quadrilles the least,
popular, it being of course understood that "round" dances occupy
considerably more than half of every programme. Still, "squares" are not
likely ever actually to disappear. There is a certain undeniable utility
about them. They give breathing-times between waltz and galop; a share
in the amusement of the evening to people who are too old or too
ponderous, or otherwise unsuited for the whirling "rounds;" and scope
for that pleasant institution, "sitting out," which, as everybody knows,
consists in ostensibly engaging a partner for a "square," and then,
instead of dancing it, deliberately spending the time in a quiet
sit-down chat. "Dancing it," I see I have written, but truly it is only
by courtesy that the word can be applied to a private-ball quadrille, in
which nobody dreams of doing steps or attending to time, and the
conventional ideal is reached by a sort of unconcerned-looking saunter,
distantly suggestive of the formulated movements of the figures. But if
you can't dance too ill for the "squares," on the other hand you can't
dance too well for the "rounds," especially waltzes. All thorough-going
dancers will now have nothing but the _valse à trois temps_, which
requires both partners to be exactly in time both with one another and
the music, and a partner who can only dance the old _deux temps_, or
whose _trois temps_ step is faulty, is not very likely, if a man, to be
favored with many "rounds," or if a lady to be asked for them.

As for the talk of ball-rooms, its silliness and inanity are almost
proverbial. And yet what else can one expect? In the "squares" one's
attention is so constantly called off to some process of bowing, or
setting, or crossing over, or turning round, that it is next to
impossible to get half a dozen consecutive sentences of conversation at
a time. Indeed, I have often meditated making a fortune by publishing,
for the use of men whose small talk is limited, a pocket _Dancers
Conversation Book_, to consist wholly of three-word beginnings of
sentences, such as "Don't you think--," "Have you seen--," "Do you
know--," and so on. The reader would be instructed, every time he found
himself at rest beside his partner, to start one of these fragments,
with a pleasant smile and an interrogative air, in well-founded
confidence that by the time the third word was out of his mouth some
exigency of the figure would require him to turn off to some independent
movement on his own part, which ended, his partner might safely be
assumed to have forgotten all about his last remark, and to be ready to
listen to another equally illusory. But even supposing a couple have
comparatively time to talk--as, for instance, during the short interval
between two dances--how, if (as must continually happen) they were utter
strangers to one another till ten minutes ago--how, I say, can they be
expected to get beyond the veriest outworks and superficialities of
conversation? The man (with whom it lies to take the lead) may possibly
have a host of interests, and be able to talk sensibly or speciously on
a variety of subjects, but at the start he is quite in the dark as to
his partner's tastes and pursuits, and so almost perforce breaks ground
with first one, and if that fails another, of the ordinary small-talk
questions, on the chance of lighting upon some topic that the lady knows
or cares about. There is always a hope of turning up trumps. "Have you
been to the opera lately?" may discover an ardent musician, and pave
the way for a long "sit-out" gossip on things musical. "Have you been in
town long?" may lead to any amount of pleasantly rambling talk about
places and people in the counties, or recollections of continental
travel, perhaps the most fascinating of all kinds of "shop." Of course,
if the partners are old friends, or even tolerably familiar
acquaintances, the surface-fishing process is happily unnecessary, and
they can plunge at once into deep waters. Still, even if they get upon
so-called tender subjects, it's long odds they won't have time enough to
get out of their depth. That danger is reserved for the quieter and more
prolonged intercourse of picnic-parties and country-house life. Cupid's
arrows seldom penetrate deep at a ball.

A careful observer of ball-room talk will not fail to notice what may be
called the exclusive slang of society. He will find people "in society"
habitually using a few pet words which they love, not because they are a
bit better than the synonyms used by other people, but just because
other people don't use them, whereby they serve as a sort of passwords
or Masonic signs among the initiated. Just now plainness is all the
fashion. Ladies who are not in society talk of "dresses" and
"gentlemen," and grammatically contract "are not" into "aren't;" so the
ladies of the Upper Ten say "gowns" and "men" and "ain't" for
distinction's sake. And the same idea comes out at many points. The
public-ball cavaliers rejoice in lavender- or lemon-colored kids, and
display exuberant activity in the "squares;" so the dancing-man of
society punctiliously gloves his hands in white, and strolls through a
quadrille with an air of languid indifference. One romp, and one only,
does the private ball countenance in the merry-go-round of the third
figure of a "sixteen" (double) set of Lancers.

After every dance, in the early stage of the ball, there is a general
set of the dancers in the direction of the tea-room. Till some time
between midnight and one o'clock the door of the supper room is kept
strictly closed, and light refreshments--tea, iced coffee, cream- and
water-ices, various "cups" and lemonades and strawberryades, and cakes
and biscuits and such-like--have undisputed possession of the field.
Anything to get away for five minutes from the heated atmosphere of the
dancing-room; so it is generally advisable to propose "tea" to your
partner as an excuse for a visit to the back room down stairs (probably
Paterfamilias's study or the children's school-room on other days); and,
once there, you will ask instructions as to whether "tea" shall this
time take the form of "cup," or something-ade, or ice. Most likely it
will be the latter, and between "cream" and "water" [ices] her voice is
almost sure, despite the certainty of consequential thirst, to be for
"cream." But hardly has the _preux chevalier_ successfully struggled at
the buffet for the creamy spoonful when harp and horn are heard
preluding to the next dance up stairs, and everybody must hurry back
from passage, stairs or tea-room to find or await his or her next
partner.

When the ball is at its fullest is the time for the really first-rate
dancer to turn his talent to the best advantage. Nearly all London
ball-givers have such an immense circle of acquaintances that, for some
shorter or longer period of the evening, their parties are pretty sure
to be overcrowded. Soon after midnight, it may be, all the world and his
wife will just have arrived together, and the abomination of suffocation
sets in. The staircase is congested and impassable: the dancing area in
the ball-room is encroached upon till a space about as big as a
dining-table is all the dancers have to dance in. At which crisis it
wants no little skill and practice in a man to steer his partner deftly
and without collisions through the intricate _mêlée_. It can be done,
though, to a degree hardly credible till practically tested, the really
greatest difficulties being, in point of fact, rather to start and stop
than to avoid bumpings when once fairly underweight; but ladies suffer
sufficiently from dizzy or clumsy partners to make them often, in a
crowd, prefer to give their "rounds" to a man whose steering is good,
rather than to one whose feet are less dexterous than his tongue.

At some unperceived moment toward one o'clock couples descending to the
ice-room find the dining-room door wide open, the signal that the supper
period has commenced. First, one or two make up their minds that the
discovery is opportune, and enter shyly in the face of an expectant line
of waiters drawn up behind the buffet. Note the arrangement of the room
while there is yet space to grasp its details, for ten minutes hence, be
sure, the place will be so thronged, with such an all-pervading
hurry-scurry going on, that there will be no chance of noting anything.
Facing you as you enter, down the length of one side of the room, runs a
long buffet-table, the nearer side spread with the apparatus of eating
and drinking, the centre laden with every variety of comestibles,
interspersed at intervals with tall _épergnes_ and other silver
ornaments sacred to all that's aesthetically captivating in fruit and
flower; while in the rear, calm, collected and decorous, stand a row of
middle-aged ministering persons from Gunter's. There are no chairs at
the buffet. If you sup there, you must sup standing--no great hardship,
as the table is of course of a height just convenient for the
purpose--and you can either accept the services of the ministering
person opposite you, or help yourself from the multitude of dishes
within reach. All very well, this, for those who are in a hurry, just
snatching a morsel between two dances, and for all who see no
practicable opportunity of doing better for their partners and
themselves. For, an intervening gangway being of course left clear for
folk to pass up and down to and along the buffet, the rest of the
floor-space is occupied by three or more (according to the size of the
room) small round tables, low, chair-surrounded, each laden with a due
complement of plates, glasses, victuals, and so on, and each capable of
accommodating three or four couples at a time. To one of these, if you
are wise, and have the luck to espy any vacant chairs, you will
surely--I am of course addressing my male readers--lead your partner. I
assume that, with an experienced eye to this very thing, you have
purposely contrived to engage one with whom you specially enjoy, or
think it likely that you will enjoy, a good gossip, for a quadrille that
occurs just at this period of the evening, and that you have suggested
"sitting out" the dance in the supper-room; so that you have now
descended the stairs happy in the consciousness of ten minutes or more
of leisure before the next "round" will again demand your indefatigable
_trois temps_ in the ball-room.

Well, two chairs secured, and partner comfortably seated on one of them,
the next thing for the man to do, before settling down into
conversation, is to forage at the buffet for supplies; for the stock
originally placed on the little table is pretty sure to have been
eviscerated in the course of the first half hour's attack. He doesn't
ask his partner to say what she will have, knowing full well that
ladies, young and old, even if so interrogated, are sure to give that
invariable pair of successive answers, "chicken" and "jelly," not
because they really prefer those to any other viands--as a matter of
fact, their own inclinations, so far as they are earthly enough to have
any, are generally very much otherwise--but from a modest wish to give
the least possible trouble; chicken and jelly being stock dishes that
are quite certain to be at hand in every supper-room. No, he is far more
likely to please by asking to have the matter left in his hands, and
thereupon going off to the buffet, to return with a small but varied
collection of three or four samples, each on a separate plate, of the
most novel and attractive of the culinary triumphs there displayed, for
her to choose from. Which duty done, and some champagne and
seltzer-water deftly mixed, he will with a light heart take possession
of his reserved chair, and fall to upon one or other of the unchosen
samples and the most thoroughly zestful chat of the evening.

Behooves it to say a word or two of the materials of the typical
ball-supper? There is a family likeness about those turned out by
Gunter that the experience of one season is enough to make one
recognize. And, on the whole, the Gunterian supper is as good, in its
way, as; need be. Nothing hot, of course, except oyster soup (specially
adapted for deserving chaperons), and, maybe, some delicately browned
cutlets; but cold meats of every shade of substantiality, from boars'
heads and chickens and raised pies to the most delicate of sandwiches,
tempting translucent aspics, in which larks, lobsters, prawns, fillets
of sole, and such-like lie "imbedded and injellied," and ethereal
plovers' eggs. Of sweets the multitude and variety is almost infinite;
and indeed the possible combinations of things creamy and jammy and
gelatinous are tolerably well known all over the world. Among them fresh
strawberries combined with plain iced cream may be mentioned as holding
a high place in general favor. As to the drinkables, sherry and claret
are always at hand, but the almost universal beverage is a mixture of,
say, two thirds of champagne to one of seltzer-water. The idea of this
mixture is, no doubt, partly to get rid of that excess of fixed air
which is apt to make undiluted champagne a rather uncomfortable material
for a draught; but the custom is mainly the result of sad experience of
the unwisdom of doing otherwise, owing (it must be admitted) to the
badness of the so-called champagne only too commonly dispensed at ball
suppers. How the man who wouldn't dream of giving his guests a glass of
inferior wine at his dinner-table comes to think nothing of poisoning
them with the cheap rubbish that audaciously flouts in advertising
columns as "supper-champagne," has puzzled sager brains than mine.
Surely, bad wine is not less injurious taken in repeated draughts in the
small hours of the morning than it would be sipped in small doses at
dinner-time; yet it's only here and there a logically-minded individual
produces his dinner-champagne at his wife's dancing-parties; and
everywhere else old and young with equal caution demand a prudent
admixture of the seltzer that will, if anything can, avert a
next-morning headache. The chaperon, warrantably hungry, taking her time
over her supper in a comfortable corner, is often not to be tempted by
any sparkling liquid; but the dancers want the nervous exhilaration that
champagne, however inferior, at least temporarily supplies, and are
rarely careful enough to shun the danger altogether.

"Are you going on anywhere?" is a query that not unfrequently meets
one's ears about halfway through the evening. "Going on" is an
essentially town practice. In the country, houses lie too far scattered
for it, and there is seldom such a press of gayeties on foot together as
to make it likely that two or more engagements will have been made for
one night. But in London, owing to the limited number of evenings
comprised in a season, as compared with the host of people who want to
give their parties in the course of it, it constantly happens that folk
who go out much find themselves invited to a dinner, a drum and a couple
of dances, all on one and the same evening. Ay, and they manage to
achieve them all, too, thanks to determination and broughams. To the
dinner at eight P. M.; away at a quarter to eleven to put in an
appearance and for ten minutes swell the hurried and promiscuous chatter
at the drum; thence off again to one of the balls--to stay if it is
good, or if it isn't to go on after a dance or two to the other. The
custom is so thoroughly recognized that no hostess would ever dream of
being offended with any of her guests for "going on" elsewhere whenever
they think fit. Not that she is ever likely to know whether this or that
individual does or does not do so; for it's not at all necessary before
one goes off to say any formal good-night to the hostess, and in fact
men very seldom do so. When they have had dancing enough, or,
remembering some disagreeable necessity of being up and alert for work
next morning, feel it's about time to be going bedward, they quietly
slink down stairs to the cloak-room, get hats and wraps, and are off in
a fast hansom without a word to anybody. It's all very well for the
young lady, who has from day to day no calls upon her time but those of
her own pleasures and engagements, to stay late at any particularly
pleasant dance. She may collapse to her heart's content next morning,
and still be ready again by nightfall for another round of excitements;
but with her partners things are very different, unless, indeed, they
are officers in the Household Brigade. The young barrister or banker, or
what not, who is frivolous enough to like combining some nights of
dancing in the season with hard days of work, soon finds that the only
way of gratifying both tastes is to partake sparingly, in point of
hours, of the former one; so he comforts himself with the reflection
that there are as good balls in the season as ever came out of it, and
resolutely says good-night to the most festive scenes by 2 A. M. at
latest. By that time, indeed, the best of a private ball is very
commonly over. No doubt there are delicious and long-to-be-remembered
opportunities now and then seizable by staying later. Strauss'
world-known "Blue Danube" waltz with an appreciative partner, and the
rare luxury of ample dancing-space in an emptying room, is one such. But
when the minute-hand of the hall-clock is approaching the third of the
small hours, the endurance of the most indulgent and enduring of matrons
is apt to get exhausted, and she carries off her brood, determined, like
everybody else, not to be the last to go. In the tea-room she will get a
strengthening draught of some clear soup or other in a tea-cup, and
meanwhile John Thomas will have called the carriage to the door.

Next morning the _Morning Post_ will serve up to its (mostly lady)
readers a full list of the names of those who were at last night's
balls, under the head of "Fashionable Entertainments." The _Post_ is the
one daily paper that systematically goes in for this kind of news,
publishing every day during the season a long list of coming fixtures,
as well as catalogues of the guests attending them. And I fear it must
be owned that there are people not a few who take delight in having
their parties and appearances chronicled in this small-beer manner, and
that there are several grains of truth contained in the good-humoredly
sarcastic lines in which that clever rhymer "C.S.C," parodying the
_Proverbial Philosophy_ of Mr. Tupper, gives worldly advice to young
ladies entering society. Says "C.S.C.":

    Choose judiciously thy friends, for to discard them is undesirable;
    Yet it is better to drop thy friends, O my daughter, than to drop
        thy H's.
    Dost thou know a wise woman? yea, wiser than the children of light?
    Hath she a position? and a title? _and are her parties in the
        Morning Post_?
    If thou dost, cleave unto her, and give up unto her thy body and mind;
    Think with her ideas, and distribute thy smiles at her bidding:
    So shalt thou become like unto her, and thy manners shall be "formed:"
    And thy name shall be a sesame at which the doors of the great shall
        fly open:
    Thou, shalt know every peer, his arms, and the date of his creation,
    His pedigree and their intermarriages, and cousins to the sixth remove;
    Thou shalt kiss the hand of royalty, and lo! in next morning's papers,
    Side by side with rumors of wars and stories of shipwrecks and sieges,
    Shall appear thy name, and the minutiæ of thy headdress and petticoat,
    For an enraptured public to muse upon over their matutinal muffin.

Society expects every guest after a dance to go through the form of
paying a call upon the giver. If you are an old friend of the house, or
for any reason want to go in, it will be wise to defer your visit for
two or three days, until the interior of the house has recovered its
normal condition; for of course on the very day that follows a dance the
rooms are in such a universal state of up-side-downness (if the word may
be coined) that callers can't expect to be admitted. For which reason,
if you don't want to go in, you can't do better than select this very
day for leaving a card at the door; which last ceremony duly concluded,
all possible respect and duty may be taken to have been shown and done
to the private ball: at all events, the present writer--rejoice,
long-suffering reader, if you still exist--has no further word or
suggestion to offer, on this occasion, on the subject.

W. D. R.



THE LIVELIES.


IN TWO PARTS.--I.

"What under the canopy is all that hammering at the door?" said Mrs.
Lively, glancing up from her crocheting.

Master Napoleon Lively, the person appealed to, was sucking a lemon
through a stick of candy. He took this from his mouth, said, "Dunno,"
and then returned it to the anxious aperture.

"And don't care," said Mrs. Lively with spirit. "Any other child in the
city would go to the door and find out what it means; but you! much you
care to save your mother's feet!" Gathering her ball of worsted with the
crocheting in her left hand, she swept out of the room and through the
hall to the front door. She pulled this open. There stood a man with
hammer in hand.

"No harm to ye's, marm," he said. "I's jist afther puttin' a bill on
ye's door; for shure it's to be sowld, that the house is."

"Sold!" cried Mrs. Lively. "When?"

"Faith! whiniver it may please a body to buy it," was the definite
reply.

Mrs. Lively read the bill: "'Six thousand dollars!' Why the whole
property isn't worth six thousand, much less the lease for twelve years.
Won't the owner take less?"

"It's more than likely he would, 'specially from the likes of ye's.
Shure! folks most ginerly wants all they kin git, and ef they can't git
it they'll be afther takin' less. The gintleman says as it must be sold
immadiate, for the owner is bruck to smitherations."

Here was prospective trouble. Mrs. Lively went down the doorsteps and
along the paved walk to her husband's office, in the front basement. The
doctor laid down his pen, expecting a patient, but, seeing that it was
only his wife, resumed it.

"There's a bill put up on our door: the house is for sale--six thousand
dollars. I'll warrant it could be got for five: I think it's worth six,
though. We may have to move out at a day's notice, and we've just had
this office newly papered, and the kitchen repainted, and, dear me! just
got those Brussels carpets down in the parlors. It's too provoking! I
know those carpets'll have to be cut and slashed into ribbons to make
them fit other rooms. I was afraid of that when I got them. Until you
own a house we oughtn't to get anything nice. But, oh dear! if I waited
till we owned a home, I should go down to my grave on a two-ply. But
where in the name of reason are we going? There isn't another vacant
house in this neighborhood that I'd live in. And just think of the
damage to your practice in moving your office! What are we going to do?
Why in the world don't you say something? Can't you suggest something?
One would think you hadn't any interest in the matter. But it's always
the way. I've had to do all the planning for this family ever since I
came into it, and I came into it before it was a family. Oh, you needn't
smile: I know you're thinking that I haven't given you a chance to say
anything; but I wouldn't talk if you'd talk, and I wouldn't bother
myself about our arrangements if you would. It's too provoking about
this house. It just suits me: there isn't a thing about it I should wish
to have altered."

"Closets, little kitchen, back stairs," said Napoleon, who had entered
the office unobserved, and who had often heard his mother denounce the
house as most inconvenient in these three particulars.

"What have you come for?" the mother demanded sharply. "Go back to the
sitting-room, and learn your geography lesson for to-morrow."

"Have learnt it," replied the imperturbable Napoleon.

"Then go and get your arithmetic."

"Have got it."

"Well, then, get your history."

"Have."

"And your grammar and spelling and German--you've learned them all, have
you?"

"Yes."

"Then go and take your walk."

"Have."

"For pity's sake, what is it you haven't done?"

"Nothing."

"Every duty of life discharged, is it?" and Mrs. Lively smiled in spite
of herself.

"'Cept eating."

"Except eating! Of course: I never knew a time in your life when you'd
finished up your eating.--What are you going to do about that bill?"
Mrs. Lively continued, turning to her husband.

"I can't do anything about it except to leave it there," replied the
gentleman, smiling quietly.

"It's exasperating," cried the lady. "I don't see how I can ever give up
this house."

"We might buy it," said Dr. Lively. "I've been thinking about it for
some time."

"How can we? Where's the money?"

"I have some in bank."

"You have, and you didn't let me know it, you mean, stingy thing!" said
Mrs. Lively between a pout and a smile. "How much have you in bank?"

"Four or five thousand."

"Why, where did you get it?"

"Saved it."

"Why, you've always talked as poor as poverty, especially if I wanted a
bonnet or anything--said you were barely making a living."

"No man is making a living till he can afford to own a home," said the
doctor, laying aside his pen. "I'll go and see the agent, and learn what
we can get the house for."

"Well, beat him down: don't give him six thousand for it, and don't
decide on anything till you've consulted me. After all, there are a good
many things about this house that don't suit me. Maybe, we can get a lot
and build a house to suit us better for the same money."

"Hardly," said Dr. Lively.

"Well, really, I don't know about buying this house," said the lady in
an undecided way. "I should like to be nearer church, and Nappy ought to
be nearer his school."

"But my practice is all in this neighborhood, and it's a most excellent
neighborhood--permanent: the people own their houses. To go into a new
neighborhood would be like going into a new city. I should have to build
up a practice with new people."

Dr. Lively saw the agent, and agreed to pay five thousand dollars in
cash for the house, and five hundred in one year, at six per cent. "Now,
my dear," he said to his wife, "we've got to save that five hundred
dollars this year."

"Don't I know that? I suppose, now, I shall have to hear that
ding-donged at me for the next twelve months. You'll fling it at me
every time I ask for change. I dare say before the year is out I shall
repent in sackcloth and ashes that we ever bought the house. Save it! Of
course I've got to save it. It never enters your head that it's possible
for you to save anything."

"Who saved the five thousand?" asked the doctor quietly.

"For pity's sake, how could I save it if you never gave it to me? I
didn't even know you'd made it. I'm sure my dress has been shabby enough
to suit the stingiest mortal in existence. There isn't a woman in our
church that dresses plainer than I do."

"As you are going out," said the doctor, changing the subject, "you can
call at the savings bank and get the money: the agent will be here in
the morning with the papers."

Mrs. Lively came home in due time and displayed ten five-hundred-dollar
bills. "They offered to give me a cheque," she said, "but these bills
look so much richer."

"But a cheque is safer in case of accident," the doctor suggested.

"What in the world's going to happen to-night? You are such a croaker,
always anticipating trouble!"

"Oh no; I don't anticipate a fire or a robbery before morning," the
doctor said.

That night, when Mrs. Lively went to bed, she took the doctor's purse
from his pocket and put it under her pillow. All night long she was
dreaming about those bills. The next morning, when she woke, her first
act was to look for the purse. There it was, just where she had placed
it. She returned it to her husband's pocket, and then dressed without
waking him, for he had been called up that night to see a patient.

Very promptly at eight o'clock the agent for the house presented himself
in Dr. Lively's office. Who ever knew an agent behind time when a sale
was to be consummated?

Dr. Lively looked over the papers carefully, and, being satisfied,
opened his purse to make the cash payment. If the agent's eyes had not
been eagerly watching the purse for the forthcoming bills, but instead
had been fixed on Dr. Lively's face, they would have seen in it first a
look utterly blank, then one of intense alarm.

"Excuse me a moment," he said as he closed his purse. He left the office
and hurried to Mrs. Lively's sitting-room.

"Well, is the deed done?" the lady asked with the complacent air of a
land-holder.

"What did you do with the money?" the doctor asked anxiously. "I thought
you put it in my purse."

"I did," replied Mrs. Lively, her eyes dilating with alarm.

"It isn't here," the doctor asserted. "You must be mistaken."

"I am not mistaken," said the lady, panting with alarm. "I did put it in
your purse. You've dropped it out somewhere."

"That is impossible: I haven't opened my purse since those bills were
brought into the house until just now in my office. You must have put
the bills somewhere else. Look in your purse."

"I tell you I put the money in your purse," replied Mrs. Lively with
asperity, at the same time opening her purse with an impatient movement.
"It isn't here: I knew it wasn't. I tell you again I put it in your
purse, and you've dropped it out somewhere."

"But I haven't opened the purse till a moment since in my office," the
doctor reiterated.

"Then you've dropped the bills in the office."

"No, I have not. I was holding the purse over the table when I opened
it, and I perceived at once that it was empty, even to my small change."

"Well, that shows that the money has been dropped out of the purse some
time when you opened it. If I put the bills somewhere else, what's
become of the change? You've lost it all out together, you see."

"Then it must be in the house somewhere," said the doctor, evidently
staggered, "for I haven't been out since those bills were brought home."

"Yes, you have," urged Mrs. Lively from her vantage-ground. "You were
called up last night to see that child on Morgan street."

"But I didn't lose it there. For when I wanted to make change for a
five-dollar bill, I found that I hadn't my purse; and that reminds me, I
found it in my pocket this morning, though it wasn't there last night."

"I can explain that," said Mrs. Lively after a moment's hesitation. "I
put the purse under my pillow last night, and returned it to your pocket
this morning."

"Then of course you lost the money out," said the doctor promptly.

"Of course! I might have known you would lay it on me if there was a
shadow of a chance. I had nothing in the world to do with the losing of
that money."

"You ought to have got a cheque."

"Why in Heaven's name didn't you tell me to?"

All this while the two had been looking the room over, rummaging through
drawers, looking on whatnots, brackets, shelves, etc.

"Well, I can't keep the agent waiting any longer," said the doctor.
"I'll tell I him I'll bring the money round to him;" and he left the
room.

"What are you standing there for?" said Mrs. Lively, whirling sharply
on Napoleon. "Go, and look for that money."

"Where?"

"How do I know where? Look anywhere and everywhere. There's no telling
where your father lost it. Napoleon Lively," she exclaimed, a sudden
idea seeming to strike her, "what did you do with that money?"

"Nothing," answered the youth with cool indifference.

"Where did you hide it?"

"Didn't hide it."

His perfect nonchalance was irresistibly convincing.

"Have you found it?" said the doctor, re-entering the room.

"Found it!" Mrs. Lively snapped out the words, and then her lips shut
close together as if with the vehemence of the snapping.

"Perhaps the house was entered last night," suggested the doctor.

"I locked every door and window, and they were all locked this morning
when I got up," replied Mrs. Lively. "Perhaps you left the front door
open when you went out in the night. I'll warrant you did: it would be
just like you."

"I did _not_ leave the door open," replied the doctor. "I found it
locked when I got back, and opened it with my night-key. Besides, I was
not out of the house more than forty minutes, and you told me when I got
back that you hadn't been asleep."

"I told you I had scarcely been asleep," said Mrs. Lively.

All that day the Lively household was in extreme commotion. Every
bedstead was stripped naked, and each article of bedding was separately
shaken in the middle of the room; the contents of every drawer were
turned out; every piece of furniture was moved; every floor was
carefully swept. The house, in short, was turned inside out.
Advertisements were put in the papers; handsome rewards were offered;
the police were notified of the loss. The detectives were of opinion
that the house had been entered, but there was not the slightest clew to
the burglars.

It was Friday, the sixth of October, when the loss was discovered. On
the seventh the house was again looked over, inch by inch.

"You _must_ have put that money somewhere else than in my purse," said
Dr. Lively to his wife. "Have you looked in the pockets of all your
dresses?"

"Don't say to me again that I didn't put that money in your purse," said
Mrs. Lively vehemently: "I won't bear it. You might as well tell me that
I don't see you this minute. There never was anything in this world that
makes me so tearing mad as to be contradicted about something that I
perfectly well know. I'd go into any court and swear that I put that
money in your purse; and I don't want to hear any more of your
insinuations. Do you think I've stolen the money? You've lost it out of
the purse--that's all there is about it. This house has no more been
entered than I've been burglaring."

"Then where's the money?"

"How in the name of sense do you think I know? I'd go and get it if I
knew. Dear! dear! dear! dear! The savings of ten years gone in a night,
after all my pinching! I've done my own work--"

"When you couldn't get a girl," said Napoleon.

"I've worn old-fashioned clothes; I've twisted and screwed in every
possible way to save that money--"

"Pa saved it," was Napoleon's emendation.

"Well," retorted the lady, "he'd better not have saved it: he'd better
have let his family have it. What's the use of saving money for
burglars?"

"You think now that the burglars have it?" said the doctor dryly.

"Oh, for pity's sake, hush! I don't think anything about it. I believe
I'm going insane. How in the universe we're ever going to live is more
than I can conceive."

"My dear, we are better off than we were ten years ago, for I yet have
my practice, and we are as well off as you thought we were two days ago;
and you were happy then."

"Happy!" There was a volume of bitter scorn in the word as Mrs. Lively
uttered it.

"Oh, my dear!" said the husband in a tone of piteous remonstrance.

The next evening, which was Sunday, Dr. Lively and wife went to church,
and; heard a sermon by the Rev. Charles Hilmer from the words, "Help one
another."

"What's the use of preaching such stuff?" said Mrs. Lively with
petulance when they were out of church. "Nobody heeds it. Who's going to
help us in our loss?"

"Our lesson from that sermon is, that we are to help others," said the
doctor.

"We help others! I'd like to know what we've got to help others with!
Five thousand dollars out of pocket!"

"There's a fire somewhere," said the doctor as an engine whirled by them
while they stood waiting for a car.

The lady and gentleman proceeded to their home on the South Side, and
went to bed, though the fire-bells were still ringing. About midnight
they were roused by a violent ringing of the door-bell. Dr. Lively
started up with a patient on his mind. "There's a fire somewhere," he
exclaimed immediately, perceiving the glare in the room. Mrs. Lively was
out of bed in an instant.

"Where? where's the fire?" she cried. "Is the house afire? I believe in
my soul it is."

"No," said Dr. Lively, who had gone to the window; "but there's a
tremendous fire to the south-west. The flames seem to be leaping from
roof to roof. That was a policeman who rang us up. He seems to be waking
all this neighborhood."

They dressed hurriedly, called up Napoleon, and went out at the front
door, and on with the stream toward the fire. The street was crowded
with people, the air thick with noises, and everywhere it was as light
as day. They passed on under the lurid heavens, and reached a hotel
which stood open. Two streams of people were on the stairs--one hurrying
down, the other going up for a view of the fire. Our party followed the
stream up the stairs and on to the roof. It was crowded with spectators,
all greatly excited. Making their way to the front of the roof, our
couple stood spellbound by a vision which once seen could never be
forgotten. It was like a look into hell. The whole fire seemed below
them, a surging, tempest-lashed ocean of flame, with mile-long billows,
mile-high breakers and mile-deep shadows. All about the flaming ocean,
except to the leeward, was a sea of faces, white and upturned, and rapt
as with some unearthly vision. Stretching out for miles were housetops
swarming with crowds, gazing appalled at the spectacle in which the fate
of every man, woman and child of them was vitally involved. At times the
gale, with a strong, steady sweep, would level the billows of fire, and
bear the current northward with the majestic flow of a great river. Then
the flames would heave and part as with earthquake throes, dash skyward
in jets and spouts innumerable, and pile up to the north-east mountains
of fire that seemed to touch the heavens. Clouds of smoke obscured at
times the view of the streets below, without making inaudible the roll
of wheels, the beat of hoofs, the tramp of human feet, the cry of human
voices, the scream of the engines, the thunder of falling buildings, the
maniacal shriek of the gale, the Niagara-like roar of the fire; and ever
and anon, striking through all the tumult, the deep, solemn voice of the
great court-house bell, and the one word it seemed to say to the
trembling city--"Doomed! doomed! doomed."

"We must go home," said Mrs. Lively in a lost, bewildered way.

"Yes," assented the doctor: "there is no safety this side the river. All
the engines in creation couldn't stop that fire. Why in God's name don't
they pull down houses or explode them? Come!"

But the lady continued to gaze in a fascinated way at the unearthly
spectacle. It was all so wild, so awful, that the brain reeled. The
doomed houses in the path of the fire seemed to her to be animate
things--dumb, helpless, feeling creatures, that trembled and shrank as
the flames reached out cruel fingers for them. She shook off the
bewildered, dazed feeling, but it came again as the tempest of flame and
smoke went racing to the north. Street and house and steeple and the
vast crowds seemed sailing away on some swift crescent river to a great,
vague, yawning blackness beyond.

They hurried down into the street. Momently the crowds, the tumult, the
terror were growing. Every house stood open, the interior as clear as at
noonday. Men, women and children were moving about in eager haste,
tearing up carpets, lifting furniture and loading trucks. Ruffians were
pushing in at the open doors, snatching valuables and insulting the
owners. There was a hasty seizing of goods, and a wild dash into the
street from imperiled houses, a shouting for trucks and carriages,
piteous inquiries for absent friends, distressed cries for absent
protectors, screams of little children, swift, wild faces pushing
eagerly in this direction and that; oaths and prayers and shoutings;
women bowed beneath mattresses and heavy furniture; wheels interlocking
in an inextricable mass; horses rearing and plunging in the midst of
women separated from their husbands and little children from their
mothers; men bearing away their sick and infirm and their clinging
little ones; the shower of falling brands, and the roar of the oncoming
flood of destruction.

In the next block but one to our doctor's home a brand had lodged in the
turret of a little wooden Catholic church, and, pinned there by the
fierce gale, was being blown and puffed at as with a blowpipe. There was
no time to lose. While he stopped on the street to secure a truckman,
Mrs. Lively hurried in to get together the most valuable of their
belongings. For a time she proceeded with considerable system, tying in
sheets and locking in trunks the best of the bedding and other
necessaries. Then she got together some family relics, looked longingly
at some paintings, took down a quaintly-carved Black-Forest clock from
its shelf, and then set it back, feeling that something else would be
more needed. But as the roar of the tempest came nearer she was seized
with panic, and no longer knew what she did. When Dr. Lively came in to
announce the dray at the door he found his wife making for a trunk with
a tin baking-pan in one hand and a cloth duster in the other.

"For Heaven's sake, Priscilla, don't pack up such trash!" he cried.
"Have you got up the parlor carpets?"

"Oh dear! no: I never thought of them. Nappy might get them up if he
would. Napoleon! Where under the sun is that boy? Napoleon!" she called.

"Here," answered Napoleon through a mouthful of cake. He entered with a
basket in his hand.

"Why in the world don't you go to work and help?"

"Am helping."

"What are you doing?"

"Packing."

"Packing what, I'd like to know?"

"Victuals."

"Of course! I might have known without asking. What in the world shall
we want with victuals, in the street without roof or bed?"

But the father told him to hold on to his basket.

"You may be sure he'll do that," said the mother. "What in the world are
all those boxes you've got there?" she asked as she dragged a sheet full
of articles to the front door.

"Some things from my office," the doctor replied hurriedly.

"I just know they're those plants and fossils and casts and miserable
things that have been in my way everlastingly. I was in hopes they'd get
burnt up."

Without heeding his wife, Dr. Lively disappeared into the house for
something else.

"Take those boxes off," she said to the drayman.

"Blast my eyes if I'm going to be lifting boxes off and on here all
night for any darned twenty-five dollars that ever was paid. Hurry your
things on here, or, by Godfrey! I'll dump 'em and be off. Blast me if
I'll wait here a second beyond five minutes."

Just then the doctor reappeared, and began to turn over the contents of
a sheet before tying it. "Oh, my dear," he cried in a tone of mingled
remonstrance and despair, "we can't spare room for these worthless
traps;" and he pitched out a pair of vases, two pin-cushions, a dustpan,
a sieve, a kitchen apron, a statuette of Psyche, a pair of plaster
medallions, _Our Mutual Friend_ in paper cover, a pink tarletan dress, a
dirty tablecloth, an ice pitcher, a flat-iron, a mosquito-bar, a
hoop-skirt, a backgammon-board and a bottle of hair restorative.

"They're worth a thousand times more than those old rocks and things
you've loaded up the dray with," Mrs. Lively maintained.

At last the truck moved off, followed by Dr. Lively, shouting to his
wife to come on and not lose sight of him. Mrs. Lively seized a
carpet-bag in which she had packed her silver and jewelry, and rushed
into the street, screaming to Napoleon to follow and not lose sight of
her. Napoleon hung his basket of provisions on his arm and stuck his hat
on his head. Then he went to the pantry and poked up cookies through a
lift between his hat and forehead, until there was no vacant space
remaining in the top of his hat. Then he crammed a cake in his mouth,
filled his pockets and both hands, and left the rest to their doom.

The wind, which for a time had blown steadily to the north-east, was now
seemingly bewildered. At times there would be a dead calm, as though the
fierce gale had tired itself out; then it would sweep roaring down a
street with the force of a hurricane, and go shrieking through an alley
as though sucked through a tube; again, it seemed to strike from every
quarter of the compass, while anon a vast whirlwind was formed, swirling
and circling till one half expected to see the glowing masses of masonry
lifted and whirled like autumn leaves.

On went our party as fast as the press would permit. One bundle after
another, as it took fire from falling brands, was pitched off the truck
and left to burn out on the pavement; and to these bundle-pitchings Mrs.
Lively kept up a running accompaniment of groans and ejaculations. When
they had reached the corner of Washington and La Salle, the truckman
signified his intention of throwing off his load.

"They'll be safe here," he said. Dr. Lively, too, thought this, for he
did not believe that the flames could pass the double row of fireproof
buildings on La Salle street and others in the neighborhood. But as he
was bound for a friend's house across the river, on the North Side, he
would of course have preferred to take his goods with him, even if there
had been no danger from pillagers. But no arguments or persuasions, even
when offered in the shape of the gentleman's last five-dollar bill,
could induce the drayman to cross the river. He dumped on the sidewalk
all that remained of the Livelies' earthly possessions, and disappeared
in the press.

Again and again, but all in vain, Dr. Lively offered his forlorn hope,
his one greenback, to procure the transportation of his goods across the
river. But that five-dollar bill was so scorned and snubbed by the
ascendent truckmen that the doctor found himself smiling at his conceit
that the poor, despised thing, when returned to his purse, went
sneakingly into the farthest and deepest corner.

As he could not leave his goods, it was decided that Mrs. Lively and
Napoleon should cross the river without him. He sat down on Mrs.
Lively's big Saratoga trunk to await developments. He did not have to
wait long. The double row of fireproofs, which was to have held the fire
at bay, was attacked and went down; then the Chamber of Commerce melted
away; shortly after the court-house was assailed. Dr. Lively gave up his
trunks and bundles as lost, and as too insignificant, in that wild
havoc, to be worth a sigh. He did feel a desire, however, for a clean
shirt in which to face the heavens. Then, too, he wanted to bring
something through the fire--to preserve something which would serve as
a memento of his ante-igneous life. The best thing in the way of a relic
which he could secure was a case of sea-weeds mounted on cards. He made
a hasty bundle of these and a few articles of underwear, tucked it under
his arm, and then looked about him, considering which way he should go.
The wind had again risen to a hurricane. All around him was a storm of
fire-brands, as though the flakes in a snow-storm had been turned to
flame. Great sheets of blazing felt-roofing were driving overhead.
Everywhere timbers and masonry were falling: walls a half square in
length came down with the thunder's crash, and in such quick succession
that the noise ceased to be noticed. Thousands of frantic people were
pushing wildly in every direction. The crowds seemed bewildered, lost,
frenzied. And what wonder? The world seemed to be burning up, the
heavens to be melting: a star looked like a speck of blood, so that the
whole canopy of heaven when visible seemed blood-spattered.

As the doctor was gazing at the terrible spectacle the cry ran from
mouth to mouth that all the bridges across the west branch of the river
were burned. There were thousands of spectators from the West Division
who had come over to witness the melting away of the South Side
business-palaces. If the bridges were burned, there remained but one
avenue by which they could reach their homes. There were cries of "The
tunnel! the tunnel!" a panic and a grand rush, in which everybody was
borne westward toward Washington street tunnel. Dr. Lively found himself
forced into the tunnel. It was crowded with two streams of
wildly-excited people moving in opposite directions. One was rushing to
the rescue of property on the South Side or to see the fire--the other,
to get away from it. Most of these latter were carrying articles of
furniture and bales of goods, or they were wheeling loaded barrows.
Everybody was crowding and pushing. Our doctor had made his way through
about one-third of the tunnel when suddenly every light went out. The
great gasometer of the South Side gas-works had exploded. He was under
the river, in the bowels of the earth, in the midst of that wild crowd
of humanity, and in utter darkness. "There will be a panic," he thought:
"all the weak will be overrun and trampled to death. God help them and
help us all!" Then there came to him a flash of inspiration: "Keep to
the right!" he shouted, "to the right!" "Keep to the right!" repeated an
abetting voice. "To the right!" "Keep to the right!" "Right! right!" The
blessed words ran along from one end of the dark way to the other. Then
a hush seemed to fall on the lips as though the hearts were at prayer,
and the two streams moved along like processions through the dark valley
of the shadow of death.

Facing about, Dr. Lively squeezed his way through a dense throng on
North Water street bridge till he gained the North Division. Here he sat
down on the steps of a warehouse to take breath, and looked back on the
scene he had left. The fire had reached the river, which reflected the
lurid horror above, and seemed a stream of molten metal, or a current of
glowing lava poured from some wide rent in the earth. Struggling human
creatures in the blazing, hissing, sputtering waters realized Dante's
imaginings of tortured, writhing souls on the red floor of hell.

Tired and faint, Dr. Lively pressed on to the north. He was not long in
learning that the fire was already raging in the doomed North Division,
and that the waterworks were disabled. Reaching the house of his friend,
where his family had taken refuge, he found them all informed of the
peril to the North Side, and getting ready to move. His friend decided
to take refuge on the prairies. "There we can keep up the race," he
said.

"I'm going where I can get water," said Dr. Lively: "it's the only thing
under heaven that this fire-fiend won't eat. There isn't a suburb but
may be burned. I'm going toward the lake." So he took possession of his
wife and boy and started for Lincoln Park. There were lights in all the
houses, and eager, swift-moving figures were seen through the doors and
windows: everywhere people were getting their things into the streets.
Shortly after, the flames, it was; noticed, were beginning to pale. A
weird kind of light began to creep over burning house, blazing street
and ruined wall. The day was dawning. With a kind of bewildered feeling
our friends watched the coming on of the strange, ghostly morning, and
saw the pale, sickly, shamefaced sun come up out of the lake. It was ten
o'clock before they reached the old cemetery south of Lincoln Park.
Hundreds had already arrived here with their belongings, representing
every article that pertains to modern civilization. Parties were
momently coming in with more loads. Here our friends halted. Mrs. Lively
dropped down in a fugitive rocking chair, thinking what a comfort it
would be to go off into a faint. But without a pillow or salts or
camphor it was a luxury in which she did not dare to indulge, though she
had a physician at hand. Right in front of her she noticed a besmutched,
red-eyed woman who had something familiar in her appearance. "Why, it's
myself!" she said to her husband, pointing to a large plate mirror;
leaning against an old headstone.

"Yes," said the doctor smiling, "we all look like sweeps."

Napoleon seated himself on a grave and opened his lunch-basket.

"Did anybody ever?" cried the mother. "This boy's brought his basket
through. There's nothing in all the world except something to eat that
he would have devoted himself to in this way."

"Nothing could have proved more opportune," said the father.

Then they ate their breakfast, sharing it with a little girl who was
crying for her father, and with a lady who was carrying a handsome dress
bonnet by the ribbons, and who in turn shared her portion with her
poodle dog. They offered a slice of cake to a sad old gentleman sitting
on an inverted pail with his hands clasped above a gold headed cane, and
his chin resting on them. He shook his head without speaking, and went
on gazing in a dreary, abstracted way into the air, as though oblivious
of everything around him. "'Though I make my bed in hell, behold, Thou
art there,'" he said in slow measured soliloquy. His lip began to quiver
and the tears to stream down his furrowed face. Dr. Lively heard, and
wiped his eyes on the back of his hand: he had nothing else to receive
the quick tears. Just then a hearse with nodding black plumes came by
loaded with boxes and bundles, on which were perched a woman and five
children, the three youngest crowing and laughing in unconscious glee at
their strange circumstances. This was followed by two buggies hitched
together, both packed with women and children drawn by a single horse,
astride of which was a lame man.

"What is it, madam?" said Dr. Lively to a woman who was wringing her
hands and crying piteously.

"Why, you see," she said between her sobs, "me and Johnny made our
livin' a-sellin' pop-corn; and last night we had a bushel popped ready
for the Monday's trade; and now it's all gone: we've lost
everything--all that beautiful corn: there wasn't a single scorched
grain."

"But think what others have lost--their beautiful homes and all their
business--"

She suddenly ceased crying, and, turning upon him, said sharply, "We
lost all we had: did they lose any more'n they had?"

A young man came pressing through the crowd, desperately clutching a
picture in a handsome gilt frame. Through the smoke and smutch which
stained the canvas was seen a gray-haired, saintly woman's head.

"The picture of his mother," thought the doctor with a swelling about
his heart.

"I saved dese," said a jolly-faced German, extending his two hands; "and
dey is all I had when I come from de Faderland to Chicago. And saved you
nothin'?"

The man appealed to had about him three children and a pale delicate
woman.

"I saved these," he said with a gesture that was an embrace. "All the
baby-faces we left hanging on the walls in the home where all were
born."

Then the bearded lip quivered and the lids were dropped over the
brimming eyes. The mother looked up with clear, unfaltering features,
and with a light grateful, almost joyous, in her fine eyes, and said
softly, "But all the real faces we've brought along."

Then one of the little girls took up the story: "Oh, mother, Tommy's
picture will be burned, and we can never get another. Tommy's dead, you
know," she explained.

The mother's eyes grew misty, and so did the German's and the doctor's,
and many others. There they were in that old deserted cemetery, a
company of strangers, not one of whom had ever seen the other's face
before, exchanging their confidences and mingling their tears.

All day long the fugitives poured into this strange encampment, and by
night they numbered thirty thousand. There was shouting, swearing,
laughing, weeping, waiting. There was pallid stupefaction, sullen
silence, faces of black despair--every kind of face except the happy
variety. The air was thick with frightful stories of arson; of men
hanged to lamp-posts; of incendiaries hurled headlong into the fires
they had kindled; of riot, mobs and lawlessness. There was scarcely a
suburb that was not reported to be burning up, and prairie-fires were
said to be raging. The fate of Sodom was believed to have overtaken
Chicago and her dependent suburbs.

"There's no safety here," said Mrs. Lively nervously as the flames
approached the cemetery. "Do let's get out of this horrid place. What in
the world do you want to stay here for?"

"My dear," replied the doctor with a twinkle, "I don't want to stay
here. We are not certainly safe, but I don't know of any place where our
chances would be better."

"Let's go down to the beach, get on a propeller and go out into the
lake."

"But, my dear, 'the Sands' and the lake shore are already thronged. It
is said that people were lying in the lake, and others standing up to
their necks in water--women with children in their arms. The propellers
have doubtless taken off fugitives to their entire capacity."

In the mean time the fire came on. Everywhere over the dead leaves and
dry grass and piles of household goods, and against the headboards and
wooden crosses, the brands were falling; and the people were running and
dodging, and fighting the incipient fires.

"Oh, we shall be burned to death here: I knew all the time we should,"
cried Mrs. Lively, dodging to the right to escape a torch, and then
running backward over a grave, beyond the reach of a second. Dr. Lively
stamped out the fires. "What under the sun are we going to do?"
persisted the lady.

"Dodge the brands--that's your work--and look out that Napoleon doesn't
get on fire in one of his dreams."

"Look there!" said Napoleon.

"Look where?" cried Mrs. Lively, whirling around.

"There."

"Where is _there_?"

"Dead-house."

"The dead-house! Good Heavens! it's afire!"

"This fire-demon," said the doctor, "isn't going to let any of us off.
It strikes at the living through their dead."

The dead-house, fortunately empty, was consumed, the headboards and
crosses were burned, the trees were scorched and blackened, the graves
were seared: all the life which the years had drawn from the entombed
ashes was laid again in ashes.

After a horrible suspense these graveyard campers saw the fiery tide
recede from their quarters and sweep on to the north. Then came on the
weird, elfinish night, that mockery of day, when, except in the
direction of the lake, great mountains of fire loomed up on every side
against the horizon, so that one felt environed, besieged, engirdled by
horrors.

"Try to get some sleep," said Dr. Lively to his wife when the torrent
had swept by to the north.

"Sleep!" said Mrs. Lively. "How can anybody sleep with these terrible
fires all around? It seems to me as if I were in some part of the
infernal regions. I shall always know after this how hell looks."

"I don't think the fire will trouble us any more to-night, but I'll
watch: there will be plenty of watchers, indeed, to give the alarm. Lie
down and try to get some rest."

"Where in the world is anybody to lie? On a grave? What in the world are
you eating?" continued Mrs. Lively, turning on Napoleon.

"_Shoemake_" answered the boy. "Want some?"

Mrs. Lively took some of the crimson, acrid berries and put them in her
mouth.

"You're hungry," said the father compassionately.

"Awful," answered the lad.

"Where are you going?" asked the mother as he started off.

"To bed," he replied, and he stretched himself out on a piece of carpet
where half a dozen children were sleeping.

"Now do, Priscilla, lie down and try to sleep," the husband insisted.

"How under the stars do you suppose I could sleep with hunger and thirst
gnawing at the pit of my stomach? Do let me alone: I want to try to
think out something--to plan for the future. What under the sun is to
become of us?"

"My dear," said the doctor, "don't worry about the future. I'll take
care of it some way, if the fire will ever let us out of our present
prison. We have our lives, our hands and our heads, and we must thank
God."

"Heads! I feel as if I'd lost mine. I think sometimes that I'm insane."

"Oh no: you ain't of the kind that go insane."

"I suppose you mean by that I've got no feelings, no sensibility."

"No, I don't mean that;" and Dr. Lively became silent, as though it was
useless to prolong the conversation.

They were sitting together on the ground, she leaning against a
headstone.

"Let me sit there against that stone, and you put your head on my lap,"
the doctor proposed.

"What in the world is the use of it?" she said. "Do you think I'm deaf
that I could sleep with all this moaning around me? Just hear it! One
would think all these graves had just been made, and that all these
people were chief mourners for the dead."

"The strangest bivouac ever seen under heaven!" said the doctor, looking
around. "In a life liable to such vicissitudes," he continued softly,
"it is important that we possess our spirits."

"Oh, for pity's sake, don't preach! What's the use?" said the wife.

"What's the use, indeed?" said the husband in a saddened tone. "If one
heed not the voice of the past twenty-four hours--" He left the sentence
unfinished.

"Oh, I know. Everybody, the world over, will be preaching about Chicago.
She was so wicked. Sodom and Gomorrah and Babylon! That'll be the talk.
I suppose we shall be told ten thousand times that riches have
wings--just as though we hadn't seen the wings and couldn't swear to the
color of them. But, dear me! I've been thinking that your story of
losses by the fire is not worth telling. I wish to goodness we'd bought
the house. If you hadn't lost the money, we might have now a
respectable-sized story to tell of our losses. I shall be ashamed to
tell that we lost just some clothes and household traps, when some
people have lost millions. How much better it would sound to say that
our house and everything in it was burned! People wouldn't know but it
was a fifty-thousand-dollar house. But a few chairs and bedquilts!--it's
too small to talk about."

"We've lost enough to satisfy me," said the doctor. "All my practice
that I've been ten years in building up! I'm exactly where I was when I
began in Chicago. We own but five dollars in the world--haven't even a
change of clothes."

"I've a mind to say that we had just bought the house, and it was
burned," said Mrs. Lively. "I'm sure it was just the same. But then you
never would stand by me in the story: you'd be sure to let the cat out."

"But what good would come of such a story?" asked the doctor.

"Why, people would be so much sorrier for us. Nobody could feel sorry
for that old pop-corn woman you were talking to, even if she did lose
all she had; and just so it will be with us. It's just like you to be
always missing a good thing. If you'd only bought the house before you
lost the money!"

"You're determined to saddle the loss of that money on me," the doctor
said smiling.

"Well, who lost it if you didn't?"

"I'm sure I can't say."

"Of course you can't. You might as well say that black isn't black as
that you didn't lose that money."

"I'll acknowledge, once for all, that I lost the money if you'll let the
subject drop," said he wearily. "It's wasting time and breath to talk
about it. There," he continued soothingly, "try to forget, and go to
sleep."

"It's wasting time and breath telling me to go to sleep," replied the
wife.

"Hurrah! here's a cigar!" said the doctor, producing one from his
pocket. "Now, if I only had a match to light it!"

"For patience' sake, you needn't be at a loss for a light for a cigar
when all this universe is afire. Go and light it at that headboard over
there, and then sit down and take your comfort while I'm starving. Why
in the world doesn't it rain? I don't see why the Lord should have such
a spite against Chicago: we ain't any worse than other people."

And thus the woman continued to run on all night. Up to two o'clock she
complained because it didn't rain, and after that she shivered and
moaned because it did.

With the morning, water-carts and bakers' wagons began to arrive on the
ground. These were quickly emptied among the hungry, thirsty people. Dr.
Lively spent his five dollars to within fifty cents for the relief of
the sufferers about him. Mrs. Lively obstinately refused to take
anything.

"I won't eat bread at twenty-five cents a loaf, and I won't drink water
at ten cents a quart. I'll die first!" she declared.

"I want you to take me to the West Division," Dr. Lively said to one of
the bakers. He had already tried a dozen times to make terms with
teamsters to this end. "I have a wife and child."

"I'll do it for five dollars apiece," replied the man.

"I haven't any money. Will you take a set of silver forks in pawn?"

"He sha'n't have my forks," said Mrs. Lively violently.--"How dare you
speculate on our calamities?" she demanded of the baker. "You sha'n't
have my forks: I'll stay here and starve first. I mean to stand this
siege of extortion to the last gasp."

"But, my dear," remonstrated the doctor, "there are people here who are
already near their last gasp. There are the sick and infirm and little
children. There are women now on this desolate ground in the pangs of
childbirth, and infants not an hour old. These must have help. I must
get over to the West Division. There are some hearts over there, I am
sure."

"I'll take you, sir," said the baker, "and I don't want none of your
silver. I'm beat, sir: I never thought of women hit that way. I can't
fight with sich, and with babies born in a graveyard. I'm whipped, sir.
I ain't never had much of a chance to make a extry dollar: I thought
this fire had give me a chance. My shop was left, full of flour. I was
bakin' all night; but darn me if I kin put the screw onto babies, and
women in childbed. You shall have my horse and cart and all my bakery
for 'em. Come, load up."[A]

[Footnote A: It need scarcely be said that the incidents here related
are literal facts, which came under the writer's observation in the
midst of the scenes described.]

On their way through the burnt district, on the ill-fated Chicago
Avenue, they passed a ruined wall where people were preparing to dig out
two men. One was crying piteously in mixed German and English for help.
The other, except his head and shoulders, was completely buried beneath
the ruins. As the people began to remove the rubbish he said in a tone
expressive at once of pluck and agony, "Leave me, and go and get out
that bawling Dutchman: he ain't dead, and I am."

As it proved, he was broken all to pieces, both legs and both arms being
fractured, one of the arms in two places.

Of course Dr. Lively found the hearts he went to seek, not only among
the favored few whom God had spared the bitter cup, but all over the
world. We all know the beautiful story--how all the cities and villages
and hamlets of the land were on the housetops, watching the burning of
Chicago, marking her needs, and speeding the relief as fast as steam and
lightning could bring it. We know of that message of love, the sweetest,
the most wonderful the world ever heard since Christ died for us.
Through the pallid stupefaction, the sullen silence, the awful gloom,
the black despair that were settling over Chicago's heart, it pierced,
and from all the world it came: "We have heard thy cry, O our sister!
Our hearts are aching for thee; our tears are flowing for thee; our
hands are working for thee." Oh, how it electrified us in Chicago! If
any refused, if any gave grudgingly, we saw it not, we knew it not. We
saw only the eager outstretched hand of love.

And we know now the sequel of the wonderful story--how Chicago has
proved herself worthy of the great love wherewith the world hath loved
her, and of the great faith wherewith the world hath believed in her.
She has come up out of her bereavement strong through suffering, wearing
yet her badge of mourning, her face subdued, but uplifted, wise and
strong of purpose; her eye sad, but earnest and true; her figure less
imperious, but majestic and regal; her spirit less arrogant, but just as
brave, just as heroic, and more human.

SARAH WINTER KELLOGG.

[TO BE CONTINUED.]



A STRAYED SINGER.


Most of us know what a pathos is mixed with the sweet surprise of
meeting a beautiful thing in strange and inferior surroundings, in
circumstances that suggest an utter incongruity between the subject and
the situation, and imply an awful weight of loneliness and an
intolerable lack of sympathy. The Alpine harebell on the edge of the
glacier, the caged lion gazing vacantly into a wearisome monotony of
idleness, the shivering little Italian fiddling about our winter
streets, make the same appeal, in various measure, to this consciousness
of incongruity that in another phase would stimulate our laughter
instead of our tears.

As with space, so with time. It is the appreciation of the discord
between the subject and its surroundings that awakens our sympathy for
men "born out of their time," as we express it with an arrogance of
wiser judgment. In every period of history, affronting the great
averages of intellectual development, appear certain minds classified at
once as being either before or behind their age. To the first class
belong the great reformers, discoverers, inventors--men whose immense
genius, concentrated upon one idea, carries them beyond their fellows,
as a straight-going steamer distances a pleasure-yacht. These men we do
not think of pitying, unless they come too near us, and then we call
them fools or fanatics.

But there are lost children of the second class whose fate we all
deplore--children of an earlier age or a summer clime, drifting about
in this laborious world like helpless babes in the wood; bright-eyed,
luxurious young Greeks, rebelling against pain and intolerant of toil,
struggling in vain to hold their own among keen, restless Yankees;
dreamy mystics, strayed from the shadows of some cloister, their vague
eyes dazzled by the sun; artists of early Italy, worshiping the mediæval
Madonna; poets, belonging of right to the court of Elizabeth, or
companions of the wandering and disastrous fortunes of "the fairest and
crudest of princesses."

It is of an Elizabethan poet strayed into our Victorian age that I
propose to write. Few people except professed students of literature
know more of Thomas Lovell Beddoes than his name. More than a year ago
an article on him appeared in the _Fortnightly_, half biographical, half
occupied with a sketch of his principal tragedy--an article doing more
justice to the dramatic than to the lyric quality of his genius. But it
is by his songs that his name is kept in the minds of men
to-day--exquisite snatches of melody, full of the peculiar charm of that
Elizabethan age to which they properly belong.

In 1851 an edition of his poems in two volumes, with a memoir and
letters, was published by Pickering. The edition was small and soon
exhausted, but the literary world of England was unanimous in its
praise; and Landor, Browning, Proctor, and many others came out with
generous tributes to the genius of that poet whose circle of listeners
has always been so small. "Nearly two centuries have elapsed," wrote
Walter Savage Landor, with his hearty enthusiasm, "since a work of the
same wealth of genius as _Death's Jest-Book_ has been given to the
world." And Browning wrote to Mr. Kelsall, the author of the memoir:
"You might pick out scenes, passages, lyrics, fine as fine can be: the
power of the man is immense and irresistible."

The two volumes contain, besides the Life and letters, two dramas, _The
Brides' Tragedy_ and _Death's Jest-Book_, two unfinished plays,
_Torrismond_ and _The Second Brother_, and many dramatic and poetic
fragments and songs. The Life is an uneventful history, but the letters,
though singularly free from egotism, bring up before us a most
interesting character--a curious mixture of genius and want of faith in
that genius, of energy and self-distrust, of intense devotion to
practical studies and the most impractical and dreamy fancy, an
affectionate nature lonely and misunderstood, a spirit of the most
sturdy and uncompromising independence, a mind of keen and scientific
insight--a character made up, in short, of all the warring elements of
philosopher, physician, politician and poet.

Thomas Lovell Beddoes was born in Clifton in 1803, and died at Bâle in
Switzerland in 1849. His mother was a sister of Maria Edgeworth, and his
father a distinguished physician and an intimate friend of Sir Humphry
Davy. In the father's character we may trace the principal traits of the
son: a strong scientific bent, a fondness for poetic dreams, an
invincible independence, were predominant in both. The character of
Lovell Beddoes' poetry was the natural outgrowth of his early studies.
His schoolfellows at the Charterhouse speak of him at the age of
fourteen as already thoroughly versed in the best English literature and
a close student of the dramatists, from the Elizabethan to those of his
own day. He was always ready to invent and carry out any acts of
insubordination, which he informed with so much wit and spirit that the
very authorities were often subdued by their own irresistible laughter.
It was one phase of his dramatic genius, that seemed to be constantly
impelling him to get up some striking situation wherein he might pose as
a youthful Ajax defying the lightnings. At Oxford his restless
independence was continually prompting him to affront his tutors. He was
always in opposition to the spirit of the occasion, whatever it might
be.

This spirit of rebellion inspired him with an intense interest in German
literature and German politics, as representing the ultra-liberal
tendencies of the day. Shelley, too, the rejected of Oxford, whose name
was scarcely to be mentioned to the British Philistine of the moment,
was one of Beddoes' idols, and he joined with two other gentlemen in the
expense of printing the first edition of the poet's posthumous works in
1824, afterward withdrawn by Mrs. Shelley. Byron was the popular poet
then, and universal Young England was turning down its shirt-collars in
a mockery of woe. But this boy of twenty, with his sturdy independence,
would judge for himself, and wrote to a friend: "I saw ---- (the
greatest fool within the walls of my acquaintance) the other night at
Oxford, repeating the whole of the _Deformed_ in raptures. God forgive
him!"

In 1821, while yet a freshman, he published a little volume of poems
called _The Improvisatore_, of which he was soon ashamed. Long before he
left Oxford he used to hunt the unfortunate volume through the libraries
of his acquaintance, and cutting out all the pages leave the binding
intact, a hollow mockery, upon their shelves. The next year, however, he
published _The Brides' Tragedy_, a drama of very great originality and
power, and a most extraordinary production for a boy of nineteen. The
_Edinburgh Review_ and the _London Magazine_. then at the height of
their power, came out with critical and highly laudatory notices by
Proctor (Barry Cornwall) and George Darley, and the former was ever
after one of Beddoes' warmest personal friends. In July, 1825, he went
to Göttingen, where his brilliant achievements as a student of medicine
won him numerous honors. The rest of his life was spent in Germany and
Switzerland, with occasional brief visits to England, but his heart was
with the German radicals, and he found the united attractions of
science, liberalism and Swiss scenery far more powerful than love of his
native land. He threw himself with enthusiasm into the discussion of the
scientific and political questions of the day, soon became a master of
the language, wrote a great deal for the German newspapers, both in
prose and verse, and used jestingly to call himself "a popular German
poet."

About this time he began his finest tragedy, _Death's Jest-Book_, still
undergoing correction and revision at the time of his death in his
forty-sixth year. He was never weary of making alterations: never
satisfied with the result of his labors, he tore up scene after scene,
or struck out remorselessly the finest passage in a drama if he thought
it inharmonious with the context. He had a theory that no man should
devote himself entirely to poetry unless possessed of most extraordinary
powers of imagination, or unfitted, by mental or bodily weakness, for
severer scientific pursuits. The studies of the physician and the
dramatist were to his mind allied by Nature, and he looked upon tragedy
as the fitting and inevitable result of combined physiological and
psychological researches. And he afterward declared himself determined
"never to listen to any metaphysician who is not both anatomist and
physiologist of the first rank." This was in 1825, when German and
French scientists were just beginning to explore the hidden mysteries of
matter, and to trace its intimate and subtle connections with the mind,
and when protoplasm was still an unknown quantity toward whose discovery
science was slowly feeling its way.

As he penetrated deeper and deeper into the arcana of anatomy and
physiology his judgment of his own poetry grew more and more severe. The
more he knew of Truth, the nearer absolute perfection must that Beauty
be which would compete with her for his heart. Busy with a pursuit in
which his progress was marked by absolute tests that even his modesty
could not disown, he shrank from trying to reach vague eminences in
poetry that he judged himself unable to attain. There is something in
his style that recalls Heine when he writes, "Me you may safely regard
as one banished from a service to which he was not adapted, but who has
still a lingering affection for the land of dreams--as yet, at least,
not far enough in the journey of science to have lost sight of the old
two-topped hill." And again: "I am essentially unpoetical in character,
habits and ways of thinking; and nothing but the desperate hanker for
distinction so common to the young gentlemen at the university ever set
me upon rhyming. If I had possessed the conviction that I could by any
means become an important or great dramatic writer, I would have never
swerved from the path to reputation; but seeing that others who had
devoted their lives to literature, such as Coleridge and Wordsworth--men
beyond a question of far higher originality and incomparably superior
poetical feeling and genius--had done so little, you must give me leave
to persevere in my preference of Apollo's pill-box to his lyre, and
should congratulate me on having chosen Göttingen instead of Grub street
for my abode.... It is good to be tolerable or intolerable in any other
line, but Apollo defend us from brewing all our lives at a
quintessential pot of the smallest ale Parnassian!"

There are so many racy bits of anecdote and opinion scattered through
this correspondence, so many things worth keeping for their own sakes or
as throwing new light upon the character of their writer, that it is
hard to choose a single specimen, but with one more extract we must
strive to be content. Beddoes' friend and editor had been trying to get
from him some personal details about his daily life, pursuits and
fancies, which, with his usual horror of the egotistical, he flatly
declined to give. "I will not venture on a psychological
self-portraiture," he writes, "fearing--and I believe with sufficient
reason--to be betrayed into affectation, dissimulation or some other
alluring shape of lying. I believe that all autobiographical sketches
are the result of mere vanity--not excepting those of St. Augustine and
Rousseau--falsehood in the mask and mantle of truth. Half ashamed and
half conscious of his own mendacious self-flattery, the historian of his
own deeds or geographer of his own mind breaks out now and then
indignantly, and revenges himself on his own weakness by telling some
very disagreeable truth of some other person; and then, re-established
in his own good opinion, marches on cheerfully in the smooth path toward
the temple of his own immortality. Yet even here, you see, I am
indirectly lauding my own worship for not being persuaded to laud my own
worship. How sleek, smooth-tongued, paradisaical a deluder art thou,
sweet Self-conceit! Let great men give their own thoughts on their own
thoughts: from such we can learn much; but let the small deer hold jaw,
and remember what the philosopher says, 'Fleas are not lobsters: d----n
their souls!'"

Caring nothing even for professional honors, Beddoes refused various
professorships in Germany, and traveled about to Zurich, to Bâle, and to
the other German centres of learning as his desires prompted him. Always
the same independent and rebellious spirit that he had shown himself as
a boy, he sympathized warmly with the democratic movements then
agitating Switzerland and the Rhine provinces, and devoted both his
purse and his pen to aid the anti-oligarchic and anti-clerical party. In
1848 he had intended to go back to England, but in the spring of that
year a slight wound received while dissecting infused a poison into his
system that undermined his health. In May, while seeking restoration in
the purer air of Bâle, his horse fell with him, and his left leg was so
badly broken that amputation became necessary. Until the autumn he
seemed to be doing well, but then the poison imbibed at Frankfort
declared itself once more, and a slow fever set in which terminated in
death on the 26th of January, 1849.

Beddoes' great fault as a dramatist he was quite aware of himself, and
had pointed out to the friend who was continually urging him to write:
"The power of drawing character and humor--two things absolutely
indispensable for a good dramatist--are the first two articles in my
deficiencies; and even the imaginative poetry I think you will find in
all my verse always harping on the same two or three principles; for
which plain and satisfactory reasons I have no business to expect any
great distinction as a writer." He could draw types of character, but
not individuals: the power of making the creations of the mind seem as
real as "our dear intimates and chamber-fellows" was denied him. But he
was not wholly destitute of humor, though he was possessed of but one
kind--that grim, sardonic quality which we find so often among the
Elizabethans--that mocking irony most like the grin upon a skull. His
fools are his best characters, so far as strength and originality go.
Here is a snatch from the wise conversation of two of these worthies in
_Death's Jest-Book_:

"_Isbrand._ Good-morrow, Brother Vanity! How? soul of a pickle-herring,
body of a spagirical tosspot, doublet of motley, and mantle of pilgrim,
how art thou transmuted! Wilt thou desert our brotherhood, fool
sublimate? Shall the motley chapter no longer boast thee? Wilt thou
forswear the order of the bell, and break thy vows to Momus? Have mercy
on Wisdom and relent.

"_Mandrake._ Respect the grave and sober, I pray thee. To-morrow I know
thee not. In truth, I mark that our noble faculty is in its last leaf.
The dry rot of prudence hath eaten the ship of fools to dust: she is no
more seaworthy. The world will see its ears in a glass no longer. So we
are laid aside and shall soon be forgotten; for why should the feast of
asses come but once a year, when all the days are foaled of one mother?
O world! world! The gods and fairies left thee, for thou wert too wise;
and now, thou Socratic star, thy demon, the great Pan, Folly, is parting
from thee. The oracles still talked in their sleep, shall our
grandchildren say, till Master Merriman's kingdom was broken up: now is
every man his own fool, and the world's sign is taken down.

"_Isbrand._ Farewell, thou great-eared mind! I mark, by thy talk, that
thou commencest philosopher, and then thou art only a fellow-servant out
of livery."

Isbrand is the brother of the slain knight Wolfram: his foolery is but
the disguise of his revenge, and thus he rails over the body of his
brother: "Dead and gone! a scurvy burden to this ballad of life. There
lies he, Siegfried--my brother, mark you--and I weep not, nor gnash the
teeth, nor curse: and why not, Siegfried? Do you see this? So should
every honest man be--cold, dead, and leaden-coffined. This was one who
would be constant in friendship, and the pole wanders; one who would be
immortal, and the light that shines upon his pale forehead now, through
yonder gewgaw window, undulated from its star hundreds of years ago.
That is constancy, that is life. O moral Nature!"

It is unnecessary to try to describe the plot of this strange drama, if
plot it may be called. The poem rather resembles the old bridge at
Lucerne with the gloomy figures of the Dance of Death painted along its
wormeaten sides, while over its old timbers rolls the current of busy
life, and the laughter of children echoes from its roof. With the
exception of Isbrand, the characters of the play are pale and shadowy
enough, but the poetry that they speak is wonderful. The gloom and
tender beauty of the verse are inextricably united, as in the plays of
Webster, whose "intellectual twin" Beddoes might have been. Here is a
lovely sketch of "a melancholy lady:"

      _Duke._ Thorwald, I fear hers is a broken heart.
    When first I met her in the Egyptian prison,
    She was the rosy morning of a woman:
    Beauty was rising, but the starry grace
    Of a calm childhood might be seen in her.
    But since the death of Wolfram, who fell there,
    Heaven and one single soul only know how,
    I have not dared to look upon her sorrow.

      _Thorwald._ Methinks she's too unearthly beautiful.
    Old as I am, I cannot look at her,
    And hear her voice, that touches the heart's core,
    Without a dread that she will fade o' th' instant.
    There's too much heaven in her; oft it rises,
    And, pouring out about the lovely earth,
    Almost dissolves it. She is tender too;
    And melancholy is the sweet pale smile
    With which she gently does reproach her fortune

But the greatest beauty of this singular poem, with its wild medley of
jesters and spirits, knights and fiends, Deaths and tender women, "like
flowers on a grave," is the wonderful perfection of its songs. There are
no less than thirteen in this play, some of them the wild mockery
remind us of their faults. A turgid inflation in the tragic passages, a
tendency to bombast, even more apparent in the man of forty-six than in
the boy of nineteen, mar the calm strength of many of his scenes. The
cloying sweetness that overloaded the verses of his juvenile work he
left behind him as he grew older, but the Marlowe-like extravagance that
noted in the soliloquies of _Hesperus_ still comes to the surface
occasionally in the pages of _Death's Jest-Book_. It is the extravagance
of strength, however, not of weakness.

It is not often that we see a poet giving up the glorious race from
sheer distrust of his power to win, but such was the case of Beddoes. A
want of faith in his own genius was for ever paralyzing his hand. To
succeed, as he himself knew but too well, and as he wrote to his editor,
"a man must have an exclusive passion for his art, and all the obstinacy
and self-denial which is combined with such a temperament--an
unconquerable and always enduring will, always working forward to the
only goal he knows." This singleness of purpose Beddoes never possessed.
Inheriting from his father the qualities of both poet and physician, the
faculties of the scientific man, trained and cultivated through a long
life by Dr. Thomas Beddoes (with whom poetry was but an occasional
pastime), seem to have overbalanced and diverted the poetic genius of
his son. The hereditary instinct overcame the individual bent. And in
spite of Lovell Beddoes' opinion that "the studies of the dramatist and
physician are closely, almost inseparably, allied," is it not true that
the analytical faculty so essential to the latter is rarely found in
connection with great creative ability? Sainte-Beuve never forgave
Balzac for saying that critics were unsuccessful authors, but he should
have consoled himself with the of the jesters, but many of them very
beautiful; and there are three more in _The Brides' Tragedy_. Since the
days of Elizabeth we have had nothing to compare with them. They have
that delicate poise of beauty, like the lighting of a butterfly on a
bending flower, that adds to our delight the keen sense of its
transitoriness. Here is one--"a voice from the waters:"

    The swallow leaves her nest,
    The soul my weary breast;
    But therefore let the rain
      On my grave
    Fall pure; for why complain?
    Since both will come again
      O'er the wave.

    The wind dead leaves and snow
    Doth hurry to and fro;
    And once a day shall break
      O'er the wave,
    When a storm of ghosts shall shake
    The dead, until they wake
      In the grave.

This is the least Elizabethan of them all, perhaps, in sentiment, but it
has an exquisite sombre tenderness and music of its own. Then follows
one of the finest of all Beddoes' songs, a dirge, beginning--

    If thou wilt ease thine heart
    Of love and all its smart,
      Then sleep, dear, sleep;

which it is useless to quote entire, because it may be found in Dana's
_Household Poetry_, and in the best collection of songs we have, R. H.
Stoddard's _Melodies and Madrigals_, wherein are enshrined three of
Beddoes' dirges, all from this one drama of _Death's Jest-Book_.

The second volume of Beddoes' poems also contains _The Brides' Tragedy_,
written when he was but nineteen. More simple and coherent in plot and
construction than the other drama, it has more sweetness and less
strength. It is full of the innocence of love, and rich with that
prodigality of beauty with which youthful genius loves to make itself
splendid. It begins with a scene in a garden, and "while that wingèd
song, the restless nightingale, turns her sad heart to music," two
lovers talk of flowers and love and dreams--dreams of the Queen of
Smiles, and her attendant mob of Loves, busy with their various tasks:

            Here stood one alone,
    Blowing a pyre of blazing lovers' hearts
    With bellows full of absence-caused sighs:
    Near him his work-mate mended broken vows
    With dangerous gold, or strung soft rhymes together
    Upon a lady's tress.... And one there was alone,
    Who with wet downcast eyelids threw aside
    The remnants of a broken heart, and looked
    Into my face and bid me 'ware of love,
    Of fickleness, and woe, and mad despair.

There are beautiful scenes and passages all through the play, the
passion and the terror smacking somewhat of youth, perhaps, that loves
to pile up agonies, but the poetry still so fine that one continually
forgets to say, This is the work of a boy of nineteen. There is no need
to say it, in fact: it is a work of genius, and demands no extenuation.
There is a scene between Olivia and her attendants, as they prepare her
for her bridal, that has a sustained and tender sweetness and calm about
it hard to be matched in all our modern drama. For the same Olivia is
sung this lovely


SONG, BY TWO VOICES.

    _First Voice._ Who is the baby that doth lie
    Beneath the silken canopy
    Of thy blue eye?

    _Second Voice._ It is young Sorrow laid asleep
    In the crystal deep.

    _Both._ Let us sing his lullaby,
    Heigho! a sob and a sigh.

    _First Voice._ What sound is that, so soft, so clear,
    Harmonious as a bubbled tear
    Bursting, we hear?

    _Second Voice._ It is young Sorrow, slumber breaking,
    Suddenly waking.

    _Both._ Let us sing his lullaby,
    Heigho! a sob and a sigh.

They are not all dirges, these beautiful scraps of melody. Sometimes we
come upon one as blithe as sunshine, like this serenade from the fine
fragment called _The Second Brother_:

    Strike, you myrtle-crownèd boys,
      Ivied maidens, strike together:
    Magic lutes are these whose noise
      Our fingers gather,
    Threaded thrice with golden strings
      From Cupid's bow:
    And the sounds of its sweet voice
    Not air, but little busy things,
      Pinioned with the lightest feather
        Of his wings,
      Rising up at every blow
    Round the chords, like flies from roses
      Zephyr-touched; so these light minions
      Hover round, then shut their pinions,
    And drop into the air, that closes
    Where music's sweetest sweet reposes.

There is a song worthy of Ariel, whose delicate involutions well repay
study, and whose perfect melody carries along the unfolding of the
thought as easily and lightly as a swift stream sweeps along scattered
rose-leaves. And here is another of the same dainty complexion, but
simpler:

    How many times do I love thee, dear?
      Tell me how many thoughts there be
        In the atmosphere
        Of a new-fall'n year,
    Whose white and sable hours appear
      The latest flake of Eternity:
    So many times do I love thee, dear.

    How many times do I love again?
      Tell me how many beads there are
        In a silver chain
        Of evening rain,
    Unraveled from the tumbling main,
      And threading the eye of a yellow star:
    So many times do I love again.

Nor is it only the songs of Beddoes that ought to keep his memory alive
among us, if his dramas are too long to enchain our fickle attention. We
turn over the small collection of fragments that his stern judgment has
spared from the material of his two finished plays, to come across
thoughts like these, that would have made the best part of some less
severe critic's pages:

      I know not whether
      I see your meaning: if I do, it lies
      Upon the wordy wavelets of your voice
      Dim as the evening shadow in a brook,
      When the least moon has silver on't no larger
      Than the pure white of Hebe's pinkish nail.

    And many voices marshaled in one hymn
    Wound through the night, whose still, translucent moments
    Lay on each side their breath; and the hymn passed
    Its long harmonious populace of words
    Between the silvery silences.

    Luckless man
    Avoids the miserable bodkin's point,
    And flinching from the insect's little sting,
    In pitiful security keeps watch,
    While 'twixt him and that hypocrite the sun.
    To which he prays, comes windless Pestilence,
    Transparent as a glass of poisoned water
    Through which the drinker sees his murderer smiling:
    She stirs no dust, and makes no grass to nod,
    Yet every footstep is a thousand graves,
    And every breath of hers as full of ghosts
    As a sunbeam with motes.

There is an old saying that the workman may be known by his chips:
surely from these chips we may gather a high opinion of that artificer
who left such fragments to testify for him. For imaginative power of a
very high order, for the true tragic spirit, for exquisitely melodious
versification, for that faculty of song which is the flower of the lyric
genius, Beddoes was pre-eminently distinguished. Nor for these alone.
His style is based upon the rich vocabulary of the old dramatists, and
is terse, pregnant and quaint, without any trace of affectation. There
was a sturdy genuineness about the man that forbade him to assume, and
his phraseology was the natural outgrowth of his mind and his early
education. He has not gone to work, like so many of our modern
pre-Raphaelite painters, to imitate crudeness of form in the vain hope
of acquiring thereby earnestness and innocence of spirit; but he has
studied the best tragic models in a reverent spirit, and allowed his
muse to work out her own salvation. That grim ironical humor which
infuses such bitter strength into the speeches of Isbrand was always
scoffing at his own verses, and nipping the blossoms of his genius in
the bud. "I believe I might have met with some success as a retailer of
small coal," he writes to Mr. Kelsall, "or a writer of long-bottomed
tracts, but doubt of my aptitude for any higher literary or commercial
occupation."

His greatest weakness as a writer of tragedy has already been mentioned
as one of which he was himself but too well aware--his inability to
create characters that should have any more individual existence than as
the mouthpieces of various sentiments. While holding that the proper aim
of the dramatic writer should be to write for the stage, his dramas are
nevertheless fitted only for the closet. "If it were possible," said
George Darley (in the _London Magazine_, December, 1823), "speaking of a
work of this kind (_The Brides' Tragedy_), to make a distinction between
the _vis tragica_ and the _vis dramatica_, I should say that he
possessed much of the former, but little of the latter." As the beauties
of his style--and they are many--recall to us the Shakespearian writers
and the matchless riches of their verse, so do its faults--which are
few--reflection that the author was unsuccessful because the critic was
great. All critics, however, do not aspire to create, but all poets
sooner or later attempt to criticise. Baudelaire, "the illustrious poet,
the faultless critic," as Swinburne calls him, went still further. He
said: "Tous les grands poëtes deviennent naturellement, fatalement,
critiques. Je plains les poëtes que guide le seul instinct; je les crois
incomplets. Il serait prodigieux qu'un critique devînt poëte, et il est
impossible qu'un poëte ne contienne pas un critique." Yet a man cannot
serve two masters, and Art is a jealous mistress who will not brook a
rival. Even Beddoes found that his ideal of the physiologist-poet was
fast slipping through his fingers, and confessed at last that were he
"soberly and mathematically convinced" of his own inspiration, he would
give himself up to the cultivation of literature. But he died at the
early age of forty-six, from the effects of a wound received in the
cause of Science. A singular retribution befell him, a truly poetic
justice: all his scientific writings have disappeared--were either
stolen before his executors had time to examine his papers, or had been
destroyed by his own ruthless hand--and all that was left to keep his
memory alive were the two tragedies and the few scattered fragments of
verse of which he had made so little account during his lifetime. Their
circle of readers has necessarily been small, but choice. There are few
left, besides Browning and Proctor and John Forster, of his original
admirers, and his name seems to be another on the long list of those who
have failed, as the world counts failure. But the poets know better, and
among their undying brotherhood space will always be kept for this
strayed singer.

KATE HILLARD.



HARVEST.


    Gray orchards starred with fruitage gold and red,
      Field beyond field of yellow-tasseled corn,
      Rippling responsive to each breath of morn.
    Along the Southern wall the dark vines shed
      Their splendid clusters, blue-black and pale green,
      With liquid sunshine through their thin films seen.
    In yonder mead the haymakers at work
      With lusty sounds the clear tense air fulfill,
      Rearing the shapely hayrick's mimic hill,
    The dried grass tossing with light-wielded fork.

    Daylong the reapers glean the bladed gold;
      High to the topmost orchard branches climb
      The apple-gatherers, and from each limb
    Shake the ripe globes of sweetness, downward rolled
      Upon the leaf-strewn ground; and all day long
      From the near vineyard comes the merry song
    Of those who prune the stocks and tread the press.
      The spirit melts beneath the mastering sense
      Of supreme beauty and beneficence,
    Power divine and awful gentleness.

    No space for sadness in the heart to-day,
      Seeing the generous, faithful earth fulfill
      The springtide promise of vine, field and hill
    When bush and hedge were rosy-flushed with May.
      Yet at the threshold of fruition fain
      We pause to catch the savor once again
    Of sweet expectancy. The perfect year
      In fourfold beauty rounds itself at length,
      With golden fullness of developed strength,
    Into the sure, complete, unswerving sphere.

    This the result of frozen winter-rains,
      Of hard, white snows, of dull, loud-dripping thaw,
      Of showers and shine of spring, of March blasts raw,
    Of glaring August heats,--these dainty grains,
      This fruitage delicate. O sluggard soul!
      What harvest reapest thou as seasons roll?
    Mayhap to thee the slow results of time
      Bring also profit, though thy fruit, hung high,
      Escape the glance of careless passers-by,
    A seeming fragile husk of empty rhyme.

    Yet there are those who know what fed the root,
      What long, dull tedium as of wintry hours,
      What rapture as of spring-light after showers,
    Went to the ripening of this strange, frail fruit.
      Defeat and hope, disaster, joy and pain,
      Grief, pleasure and despair--the same old train
    That follows every soul. No grafted seed,
      No alien harvest this, but a true part
      Of the whole being--soul and pulse and heart--
    That from the living bough is lightly freed.

EMMA LAZARUS.



ORCO.

FROM THE FRENCH OF GEORGE SAND.


We were as usual assembled in the arbor. The evening was stormy, the air
heavy and the sky charged with black clouds furrowed with frequent
lightnings. We were keeping a melancholy silence, as if the gloom of the
atmosphere had reached our hearts, disposing us involuntarily to tears.
Beppa, particularly, seemed given up to sorrowful thoughts. In vain had
the abbé, alarmed at the disposition of the company, tried several times
and in every way to reanimate the gayety, usually so sparkling, of our
friend. Neither questions, teasing nor entreaties succeeded in drawing
her from her reverie: her eyes fixed on the sky, her fingers wandering
carelessly over the trembling strings of her guitar, she seemed not to
notice what was going on around her, and to be thinking of nothing but
the plaintive sounds she caused her instrument to utter, and the
capricious course of the clouds.

The good Panorio, disheartened by the ill success of his attempts, took
the resolution of addressing himself to me. "Come, dear Zorze," said he,
"try in thy turn the power of thy affection upon this capricious beauty.
There exists between you two a sort of magnetic sympathy stronger than
all my reasoning, and the sound of thy voice succeeds in drawing her
from her deepest distraction."

"This magnetic sympathy of which thou speakest to me," I answered,
"comes, dear abbé, from the identity of our feelings. We have suffered
in the same way and thought the same things, and we know each other well
enough, she and I, to know what sort of ideas external circumstances
recall to each. I wager that I can guess, not the subject, but at least
the nature, of her reverie." And turning toward Beppa, "_Carissima_," I
said gently, "of which of our sisters art thou thinking?"

"Of the most beautiful," she answered without turning round, "of the
proudest, the most unfortunate."

"When did she die?" I continued, already interested in her who lived in
the memory of my noble friend, and desiring to associate myself by my
regrets with a destiny which could not be strange to me.

"She died at the close of last winter, on the night of the ball at the
palace Servilio. She had resisted many sorrows, she had come forth
victorious from many dangers, had suffered, without succumbing, terrible
agonies, and died suddenly without leaving any trace, as if carried off
by a thunderbolt. Every one here knew her more or less, but no one so
well as I, because none loved her so much, and she only let herself be
known according as she was loved. Others do not believe in her death,
although she has not appeared since the night of which I tell thee: they
say it has often happened that she has disappeared thus for a long time,
and returned again afterward. But _I_ know that she will never come
back any more, and that her part upon the earth is finished. If I wished
to doubt it I could not: she took care to let me know the fatal truth
through him who was the cause of her death. And what a misfortune was
that! O God! the greatest misfortune of our unhappy age! Such a
beautiful life was hers! so beautiful and so full of contrasts! so
illustrious, so mysterious, so sad, so magnificent, so enthusiastic, so
austere, so voluptuous, so complete in its resemblance to all human
things! No: no life and no death were like hers. She had found means of
suppressing all the pitiful realities of her existence, leaving only its
poetry. Faithful to the old customs of the national aristocracy, she
only showed herself after the close of the day, masked, but never
followed by any one. There is not an inhabitant of the city who has not
met her wandering in the squares or in the streets--not one who has not
noticed her gondola moored in some canal, but no one ever saw it enter
or go out. Although this gondola was watched by no one, it was never
known to have been the object of an attempt at theft. It was painted and
equipped like all other gondolas, yet every one knew it. Even the
children said, on seeing it, 'There is the gondola of the Mask.' As to
the way in which it moved, and the place from which it brought its
mistress at night, and to which it carried her back in the morning, no
one could even suspect it. The revenue-cruisers had, indeed, often seen
a black shadow upon the lagoons, and, taking it for a contraband boat,
had given chase to it as far as the open sea, but when morning came they
never saw upon the waves anything resembling the object of their
pursuit; and finally they fell into the way of not minding it, and of
saying when they saw it, 'There is the gondola of the Mask again.'

"At night the Mask traversed the whole city, seeking no one knew what.
She was seen by turns in the broadest squares and in the most crooked
streets, on bridges and under the arches of tall palaces, in the most
frequented places and the most deserted. She went sometimes slowly,
sometimes fast, without appearing to notice the crowd or the solitude,
but never stopping. She seemed to contemplate with passionate curiosity
the houses, the monuments, the canals, and even the sky above the city,
and to breathe with delight the air which circulated through it. When
she met a friendly person, she signed to him to follow her, and soon
disappeared with him. More than once she has led me thus from the midst
of the crowd, and has conversed with me of the things we loved. I
followed her with confidence, for I knew we were friends; but many of
those to whom she signaled did not dare respond to her invitation.
Strange stories circulated about her, and froze the courage of the most
intrepid. It was said that several young men, thinking they discovered a
woman beneath this mask and this black dress, became enamored of her, as
much for the singularity and mystery of her life as for her beautiful
form and noble appearance--that having had the imprudence to follow her,
they had never reappeared. The police, having even noticed that these
young men were all Austrians, had brought all their manoeuvres into
use to discover them, and get possession of her who was accused as the
cause of their disappearance. But the _sbirri_ were not more fortunate
than the revenue-officers, and were never able to learn anything about
the young foreigners or to lay hands upon _her_. A strange incident had
discouraged the most ardent spies of the Venetian Inquisition. Finding
that it was impossible to seize the Mask by night in Venice, two of the
most zealous of the police resolved to wait for her in her own gondola,
so as to capture her when she should enter it to row away. One evening,
when they saw it moored to the Quay dei Schiavi, they got into it and
concealed themselves. They remained there all night without hearing or
seeing any one, but an hour before day they thought they perceived that
some one was untying the boat. They rose silently and prepared to fall
upon their prey, but at the same instant a terrible push capsized the
gondola and the unlucky agents of Austrian rule. One of them was
drowned, and the other only owed his life to aid brought him by the
smugglers. The next day there was no trace of the boat, and the police
were forced to believe it submerged, but in the evening it was seen
moored in the same place and in the same condition as the night before.
Then a superstitious terror took possession of the police, and not one
of them was willing to make the same attempt a second time. After that
day they no longer sought to disturb the Mask, who continued her
excursions as in the past.

"In the beginning of last autumn there came to the garrison here an
Austrian officer named Count Franz Lichtenstein. He was an enthusiastic,
passionate young man, who had within him the germ of all great
sentiments and an instinct for noble thoughts. In spite of his bad
education as a great lord, he had been able to preserve his mind from
all prejudices, and to keep in his heart a reverence for liberty. His
position forced him to dissimulate in public his ideas and tastes, but
as soon as his duties were performed he hastened to throw off his
uniform, which seemed to him a badge of all the vices of the government
he served, and hurried to meet the friends whom his goodness and
intelligence had procured for him in the city. We loved particularly to
hear him speak of Venice. He had seen it as an artist, had deplored its
servitude, and had come to love it as much as a Venetian. He never
wearied of traversing it night and day, and of admiring it. He wished,
he said, to know it better than those whose good fortune it was to have
been born there. In his nocturnal rambles he encountered the Mask. At
first he paid no great attention to her, but having soon noticed that
she appeared to study the city with the same curiosity as himself, he
was struck with this strange coincidence, and spoke of it to several
persons. They related to him the stories which were afloat concerning
the veiled woman, and advised him to beware of her. But, as he was brave
even to rashness, these warnings, instead of frightening him, excited
his curiosity, and inspired him with a mad desire to make the
acquaintance of the mysterious personage who so terrified the vulgar.
Wishing to keep toward the Mask the same incognito which she preserved
toward him, he dressed himself as a citizen and continued his nocturnal
excursions. He was not long in meeting what he sought. He saw under a
beautiful moonlight the masked woman standing before the charming church
of Santi Giovanni e Paolo. She seemed to contemplate with adoration the
delicate ornaments which decorated its portal. The count silently and
slowly approached her. She did not appear to notice him, and did not
stir. The count, who had stopped a moment to see if he were discovered,
moved on again and came close to her. He heard her utter a profound
sigh, and as he knew Venetian very badly, but Italian very well, he
addressed her in pure Tuscan. 'Salutation,' said he--'salutation and
happiness to those who love Venice.'

"'Who are you?' replied the Mask, with a voice full and sonorous as a
man's, but sweet as a nightingale's.

"'I am a lover of beauty.'

"'Are you one of those whose brutal love does violence to free beauty,
or of those who kneel before captive beauty and weep for its sorrows?'

"'When the king of the night sees the rose flourish joyously beneath the
breath of the breeze, he flaps his wings and sings: when he sees her
wither beneath the hurrying blast of the storm, he hides his head under
his wing and shudders. Thus does my love.'

"'Follow me, then, for thou art one of the faithful.' And grasping the
young man's hand, she drew him toward the church. When he felt the cold
hand of the unknown press his, and saw her move with him toward the
sombre depth of the portal, involuntarily he recalled the fearful
stories he had heard, and, seized with a sudden terror, he stopped. The
Mask turned, and fixing a scornful look on the pale face of her
companion, said to him, 'You are afraid? Adieu.' Then loosing his arm
she hastened away.

"The count was ashamed of his weakness, and rushing after her, in his
turn seized her hand, saying, 'No, I am not afraid. Come!' Without
answering, she continued her walk. But instead of going toward the
church, as at first, she turned into one of the little streets which
lead into the square. The moon was hidden, and the most complete
obscurity reigned over the city. Franz hardly saw where he placed his
foot, and could distinguish nothing in the deep shadows which enfolded
him on all sides. He followed at random his guide, who seemed, on the
contrary, to know her way perfectly well. From time to time a few beams
gliding across the clouds came to show Franz the edge of a canal, a
bridge, an arch or some unknown part of a labyrinth of deep and tortuous
streets: then everything relapsed into darkness. Franz soon discovered
that he was lost in Venice, and that he was at the mercy of his guide,
but he resolved to brave everything. He showed no uneasiness, and let
himself be led along without making an observation.

"At the end of a full hour the masked woman stopped. 'It is well,' she
said to the count: 'you have courage. If you had shown the least sign of
fear during our walk, I would never have spoken to you again. But you
were calm: I am satisfied with you. To-morrow, then, on the square of
Santi Giovanni e Paolo, at eleven o'clock. Do not seek to follow me: it
would be useless. Turn down this street to the right and you will see
the piazza of St. Mark's. Au revoir!' She quickly pressed the count's
hand, and before he had time to answer disappeared behind the angle of
the street.

"The count remained for some time motionless, still perfectly astounded
at what had passed, and undecided what to do. But having reflected on
his slight chance of finding the mysterious lady again, and the risk he
ran of losing himself by pursuing her, he resolved to return home. He
followed, therefore, the street to the right, found himself in a few
moments in the piazza of St. Mark's, and thence easily regained his
hotel.

"The next day he was faithful to the rendezvous. He arrived in the
square as the church-clock was striking eleven. He saw the masked woman
standing waiting for him on the steps of the entrance.

"'It is well,' said she. 'You are punctual: let us enter.' So speaking,
she turned immediately toward the church.

"Franz, who saw that the door was shut, and knew that it was never
opened at night, thought the woman was mad. But what was his surprise at
seeing the door yield to her first effort! He mechanically followed his
guide, who quickly reclosed the door after he had entered. They then
found themselves in darkness, but Franz, remembering that a second door
without a lock still separated them from the nave, felt no uneasiness,
and prepared to push it before him in order to enter. But she stopped
him by a pressure of the arm. 'Have you ever come into this church?' she
asked him abruptly.

"'Twenty times,' he answered. 'I know it as well as the architect who
built it.'

"'Say you think you know it, for you do not really know it yet. Enter!'

"Franz pushed the second door, and they penetrated into the interior of
the church. It was magnificently lighted on all sides, but completely
empty.

"'What ceremony is to be performed here?' asked Franz, stupefied.

"'None: the church expected me to-night: that is all. Follow me.'

"The count vainly tried to understand the meaning of the words the Mask
addressed to him, but, subjugated by a mysterious power, he followed her
obediently. She led him into the middle of the church, made him notice,
understand and admire its general architecture; then, passing to the
examination of each part, she explained to him in detail, by turns, the
nave, the colonnades, the chapels, the altars, the statues, the
pictures, all the ornaments; showed him the meaning of everything,
disclosed to him the idea hidden beneath each form, made him feel all
the beauties of the works which composed the whole, and caused him to
penetrate, so to speak, into the very entrails of the church. Franz
listened with religious attention to all the words of the eloquent mouth
which was pleased to instruct him, and from minute to minute recognized
how little he had comprehended this ensemble of works which had seemed
to him so easy to understand. When she finished the rays of morning,
penetrating through the window-panes, caused the light of the tapers to
pale. Although she had spoken for several hours, and had not sat down
for an instant during the whole night, neither her voice nor her body
betrayed any fatigue. Only her head drooped upon her bosom, which was
throbbing violently, and seemed to listen to the sighs exhaling from it.
Suddenly she lifted up her head, and raising her arms toward heaven,
cried, 'O servitude! servitude!' At these words tears, rolling from
beneath her mask, fell among the folds of her black dress.

"'Why do you weep?' asked Franz, approaching her.

"'To-morrow,' she answered, 'at midnight, before the Arsenal;' and went
out by the side door at the left, which closed again heavily. At the
same moment the Angelus sounded.

"Franz, astonished by the unexpected noise of the bell, turned and saw
that all the tapers were extinguished. He remained for some time
motionless from surprise, then left the church by the great door which
the sacristan had just opened, and returned slowly home, endeavoring to
guess who this woman, so bold, so artistic, so powerful, with such charm
in her speech, such majesty in her appearance, could be.

"The next night at midnight the count was before the Arsenal. He found
the Mask, who was waiting for him as on the previous night, and who,
without saying anything, began to walk rapidly before him. Arrived
before one of the side doors on the right, she stopped, inserted in the
keyhole a golden key, which Franz saw glitter in the moonbeams, opened
the door without making any noise, and entered first, signing to Franz
to follow her. The latter hesitated an instant. To penetrate into the
Arsenal at night by the aid of a false key was to expose one's self to a
trial by a court-martial, if one were discovered; and it was almost
impossible to avoid discovery in a place guarded by sentinels. But
seeing the Mask on the point of closing the door upon him, he suddenly
decided to pursue the adventure to the close, and entered. The masked
woman first led him across several courts, then through corridors and
galleries, all the doors of which she opened with her golden key, and
ended by bringing him into vast halls filled with arms of all kinds and
times, which had served, in the wars of the republic, either its
defenders or its enemies. These halls were lighted by ships' lanterns
placed at equal distances between the trophies. She showed the count the
most curious and celebrated arms, telling him the names of those to whom
they had belonged and of the battles in which they had been used, and
relating to him in detail the exploits of which they had been the
instruments. Thus she revived before the eyes of Franz the whole history
of Venice. After having visited the four halls consecrated to this
exhibition, she led him into a last one, larger than all the others, and
lighted like them, but containing wood for shipbuilding, the débris of
vessels of different forms and sizes, and fragments of the last
Bucentaur. She told her companion the properties of these woods, the use
of the ships, the time at which they had been built and the expeditions
in which they had taken part: then pointing to the balcony of the
Bucentaur, 'There,' said she, in a sad voice, 'are the remains of a past
royalty. That was the last ship which bore a doge of Venice to wed the
sea. Now Venice is a slave, and slaves never marry. O servitude!
servitude!'

"As upon the previous evening, she went away after having pronounced
these words, but this time taking the count with her, as he could not,
without danger, remain in the Arsenal. Arrived in the square, they
agreed on a new rendezvous for the morrow and parted.

"The next night and many succeeding nights she took Franz to the
principal monuments of the city, introducing him everywhere with
incomprehensible facility, explaining to him with admirable lucidity
everything presented to their view, displaying to him marvelous
treasures of intelligence and sensibility. He did not know which to
admire most, the mind that had investigated so deeply or the heart that
displayed itself in such beautiful bursts of feeling. What had at first
been with him only a fancy, soon changed to a real and profound
sentiment. Curiosity had caused him to form a connection with the Mask,
and astonishment had led him to continue it. But at length the habit
which he had formed of seeing her every night became to him a veritable
necessity. Although the words of the unknown were always grave and often
sad, Franz found in them an indefinable charm which attached him to her
more and more, and he could not have fallen asleep at the break of day
if he had not at night heard her sighs and seen her tears. He had such a
sincere and profound respect for the grandeur and sufferings of which he
suspected her that he had not dared beg her to take off her mask or to
tell him her name. As she had not asked his, he would have blushed to
show himself more curious and less discreet than she; and he was
resolved to hope everything from her good-will and nothing from his own
importunity. She seemed to appreciate the delicacy of his conduct, and
to be pleased with it, for at each succeeding interview she showed him
more confidence and sympathy. Although not a single word of love had
been uttered between them, Franz had reason to believe that she knew his
passion and felt disposed to share it. His hopes almost sufficed for his
happiness, and when he felt a deeper desire to know her whom he already
named internally his mistress, his imagination, impressed and as if
assured by the marvels which surrounded him, painted her so perfect and
so beautiful that he almost feared the moment in which she should be
unveiled to him.

"One night, as they were wandering together under the arcades of St.
Mark's, the masked woman made Franz stop before a picture which
represented a girl kneeling before the patron saint of the basilica and
the city. 'What do you think of this woman?' said she to him, after
having given him time to examine it well.

"'It is,' he answered, 'the most wonderful beauty that one could, not
see, but imagine. The artist's inspired soul has been able to give us
its image, but the model can only exist in heaven.'

"The masked woman warmly pressed the hand of Franz. 'I,' she replied,
'know a face more beautiful than that of the glorious Saint Mark, and I
could love no other than that which is the living image of it.'

"On hearing these words Franz paled and trembled as if seized with
vertigo. He had just perceived that the face of the saint offered the
most exact resemblance to his own. He fell on his knees before the
unknown, and seizing her hand bathed it with his tears, without being
able to utter a word.

"'I know now that thou belongest to me,' she said in a voice full of
emotion, 'and that thou art worthy to know me and possess me. To-morrow,
at the ball of the palace Servilio.' Then she left him as before, but
without pronouncing the sacramental words, so to speak, which had
terminated the conversation of each previous night.

"Intoxicated with joy, Franz wandered through the whole city, without
being able to stop anywhere. He admired the sky, smiled upon the
lagoons, saluted the houses and spoke to the wind. All who met him took
him for a madman, and singled him out by their glances. He perceived it,
but only laughed at the madness of those who found amusement in his.
When his friends asked him what he had been doing for a month in which
he had not been visible, he answered, 'I am going to be happy,' and
passed on.

"Evening having arrived, he bought a magnificent scarf and new
epaulettes, returned home to dress, took the greatest pains with his
toilette, and then went, adorned with his uniform, to the palace
Servilio. The ball was magnificent: every one except the officers of the
garrison had come disguised, according to the injunction in the cards of
invitation; and this multitude of varied and elegant costumes, mingling
and moving to the sound of a numerous orchestra, presented the most
brilliant and animated appearance. Franz traversed all the halls,
approached all the groups and cast his eyes upon all the women. Several
were remarkably beautiful, but none seemed to him worthy to arrest his
regard. 'She is not here,' he said to himself. 'I was sure of it: it is
not yet her hour.' He placed himself behind a column near the principal
entrance and waited, his eyes fixed on the door. Many times it opened,
many women entered, without causing the heart of Franz to throb, but at
the moment when the clock struck eleven he started and cried out, loud
enough to be heard by his neighbors, 'There she is!'

"All eyes turned toward him, as if to ask the meaning of his
exclamation. But at the same moment the doors opened abruptly, and a
woman who entered attracted all attention toward herself. Franz
recognized her immediately. It was the young girl of the picture,
dressed like a dogess of the fifteenth century, and rendered still more
beautiful by the magnificence of her costume. She advanced with a slow
and majestic step, looking about her with assurance, and saluting
nobody, as if she had been the queen of the ball. No one except Franz
knew her, but every one, conquered by her marvelous beauty and her lofty
air, stood respectfully aside, and almost bowed down before her passage.
Franz, at once dazzled and enchanted, followed her at a sufficient
distance. At the moment she arrived in the last hall a handsome young
man wearing the costume of Tasso was singing, accompanying himself on
the guitar, a romance in honor of Venice. She walked straight toward
him, and looking; fixedly at him asked him who he was that dared to wear
such a costume and to sing of Venice. The young man, overwhelmed by her
look, turned pale, bent his head and handed her his guitar. She took it,
and drawing her fingers, white as alabaster, across the strings, she
intoned in her turn, with a harmonious and powerful voice, a strange and
irregular song: 'Dance, laugh, sing, gay children of Venice! For you the
winter has no frosts, the night no shadows, life no cares. You are the
happy ones of the world, and Venice is the queen of nations. Who says
No? Take care: eyes see, ears hear, tongues speak. Fear the Council of
Ten if you are not good citizens. Good citizens dance, laugh and sing,
but do not speak. Dance, laugh, sing, gay children of Venice!--Venice,
only city not created by the hand, but by the mind, of man! thou who
seemst made to serve as the passing dwelling of the souls of the just,
placed as a step for them from earth to heaven; walls which fairies
inhabited, and which a magic breath still animates; aërial colonnades
which tremble in the mist; light spires which one confounds with the
floating masts of ships; arcades which seem to contain a thousand voices
to answer each passing voice; ye myriads of angels and saints, who seem
to bound upon the cupolas and move your bronze and marble wings when the
breeze blows upon your damp brows; city which liest not, like others, on
a dark and filthy soil, but which floatest, like a troop of swans, upon
the waves,--rejoice, rejoice, rejoice! A new destiny is opening for you
as beautiful as the first! The black eagle floats over the lion of St.
Mark's, and Teutonic feet waltz in the palaces of the doges. Be silent,
harmony of the night! Die, insensate noises of the ball! Be no more
heard, holy song of the fishermen! Cease to murmur, voice of the
Adriatic! Pale lamp of the Madonna! hide thyself for ever, silver queen
of the night! There are no more Venetians in Venice. Do we dream? are we
at a fête? Yes, yes: let us dance, let us laugh, let us sing! It is the
hour when Faliero's shade descends slowly the staircase of the Giants,
and seats himself, immovable, upon the lowest step. Let us dance, let
us laugh, let us sing, for presently the voice of the clock will say,
Midnight! and the chorus of the dead will come to cry in our ears,
Servitude! servitude!'

"With these words she let fall the guitar, which gave forth a funereal
sound on striking against the marble floor. Every one listened for the
twelve strokes in a horrible silence. Then the master of the palace
advanced toward the unknown with an air half terrified, half angry.
'Madame,' said he in a troubled voice, 'who has done me the honor to
bring you to my house?'

"'I,' cried Franz, advancing, 'and if any one finds it ill, let him
speak.'

"The unknown, who had appeared to pay no attention to the host's
question, quickly raised her head on hearing the count's voice. 'I
live,' she cried with enthusiasm, 'I shall live!' and she turned toward
him with a radiant face. But as she looked at him her cheeks paled and
her brow darkened with a sombre cloud. 'Why have you taken this
disguise?' she said in a severe tone, pointing to his uniform.

"'It is not a disguise,' he answered: 'it is--' He could say no more: a
terrible look from the unknown had as if petrified him. She regarded him
some seconds in silence, then let fall from her eyes two large tears.
Franz would have rushed toward her, but she did not give him time.

"'Follow me,' she said in a hollow voice: then rapidly breaking through
the astonished crowd, she left the hall, followed by Franz.

"Arrived at the foot of the palace steps, she leaped into her gondola,
and told Franz to enter after her and be seated. When he had done so he
looked about him, and seeing no gondolier, 'Who will row us?' he asked.

"'I,' she answered, seizing the oar with a vigorous hand.

"'Rather let me.'

"'No: Austrian hands do not know the oar of Venice;' and giving a
powerful impulse to the gondola, she sent it like an arrow into the
canal. In a few moments they were far from the palace. Franz, who
expected from the unknown an explanation of her anger, was astonished
and unhappy at seeing her keep silence. 'Where are we going?' he said
after a moment's reflection.

"'Where destiny wills us to go,' she replied in a terrible voice, and as
if these words had reanimated her anger she began to row still more
vigorously. The gondola, obeying the impulse of her powerful hand,
seemed to fly over the water. Franz saw the foam dash with dazzling
rapidity along the sides of the boat, and the ships on their course flee
behind them like clouds borne away by the whirlwind. Soon the darkness
grew deeper, the wind rose, and the young man heard nothing but the
seething of the waves and the hissing of the air through his hair, and
saw nothing before him but the tall white figure of his companion in the
midst of the shadows. Standing at the stern, her hands on the oar, her
hair scattered over her shoulders, and her long, white garments
abandoned in disorder to the wind, she less resembled a woman than the
spirit of shipwrecks playing upon the stormy sea.

"'Where are we?' cried Franz in an agitated voice.

"'The captain is afraid?' answered the unknown with a disdainful laugh.

"Franz did not reply. He felt that she was right, and that fear was
gaining him. Not being able to master it, he wished at least to disguise
it, and resolved to remain silent. But at the end of a few moments,
seized with a sort of vertigo, he rose and walked toward the unknown.

"'Sit down!' she cried to him. 'Sit down!' she repeated in a furious
voice; and seeing that he continued to advance, she stamped with so much
violence that the boat trembled as if it would capsize. Franz was thrown
down by the shock, and fell fainting on the bottom of the boat. When he
came to himself he saw the unknown lying weeping at his feet. Touched by
her bitter sorrow, and forgetting all that had just passed, he seized
her in his arms, raised her up and made her sit by him; but she did not
cease to weep.

"'Oh, my love,' cried Franz, pressing her against his heart, 'why these
tears?'

"'The Lion! the Lion!' she answered, raising toward heaven her arm white
as marble.

"Franz raised his eyes to the part of the sky toward which she pointed,
and saw indeed the constellation of the Lion shining solitary amid the
clouds: 'What matters it? The planets have no power over our destinies,
and if they had we would find favorable constellations to struggle
against fatal stars.'

"'Venus is set, alas! and the Lion rises; and yonder, look yonder! Who
can struggle against what comes yonder?' She uttered these words in a
sort of delirium, lowering her arms toward the horizon.

"Franz turned his eyes in the direction she designated, and saw a black
point traced upon the waves in the midst of an aureole of fire. 'What is
that?' he asked with profound astonishment.

"'It is destiny,' she answered, 'who comes to seek its victim. Which of
us? thou wilt ask. Whichever I will. Thou hast heard of the Austrian
nobles who came with me in my gondola, and were never seen again?'

"'Yes, but that story is false.'

"'It is true. I must devour or be devoured. Every man of thy nation who
loves me, and whom I do not love, dies. As long as I do not love one, I
shall live and I shall cause to die; and if I love one, I shall die: it
is my fate.'

"'Oh, my God, who art thou, then?'

"'How it advances! In a minute it will be upon us! Dost thou hear? dost
thou hear?' The black point had approached with inconceivable rapidity,
and had taken the form of an immense boat. A red light came from its
sides and surrounded it with flame: tall phantoms stood motionless on
the deck, and innumerable oars rose and fell in measure, striking the
water with a dreadful noise, while hollow voices chanted the _Dies Iræ_,
accompanying themselves with the noise of chains.

"'O Life! O Life!' continued the unknown in a tone of despair. 'Oh,
Franz, here is the ship: dost thou recognize it?'

"'No: I tremble before this terrible apparition, but I do not know it.'

"'It is the Bucentaur: it is that which engulfed thy countrymen. They
were here in this same place, at this same hour, seated by my side in
this gondola. The ship approached as it is approaching now: a voice
cried to me, "Who goes there?" I answered, "Austrian." The voice cried
to me, "Dost thou hate or love?" I answered, "I hate;" and the voice
said to me, "Live!" Then the ship passed over the gondola, engulfed thy
compatriots, and bore me in triumph on the waves.'

"'And to-day?'

"'Alas! the voice is going to speak.'

"In fact, a lugubrious and solemn voice, imposing silence on the
funereal equipage of the Bucentaur, cried, 'Who goes there?'

"'Austrian,' replied the trembling voice of the unknown.

"A chorus of malediction burst from the Bucentaur, which approached with
ever-increasing rapidity. Then a new silence fell, and the voice
continued, 'Dost thou hate or love?'

"The unknown hesitated a moment, then in a voice thrilling like thunder
she cried out, 'I love.'

"Then the voice said, 'Thou hast accomplished thy destiny--thou lovest
Austria. Die, Venice!'

"A great cry, a heartrending, desperate cry, clove the air, and Franz
sank in the waves. On coming to the surface he saw nothing--neither the
gondola, the Bucentaur nor his beloved. Only on the horizon shone some
little lights: they were the famous lanterns of the fishermen of Murano.
He swam in the direction of the little isle, and arrived there at the
end of an hour. Poor Venice!"

Beppa had finished speaking: tears fell from her eyes. We watched them
flow in silence without seeking to console her. But suddenly she dried
them, and said to us with her capricious vivacity, "Well, what is the
matter with you that you are so sad? Is that the effect fairy-stories
produce upon you? Have you never heard of Orco, the Venetian Trilby?
Have you never met her at evening in the churches or on the Lido? She is
a good devil, who only does harm to oppressors and traitors. One may say
that she is the real genius of Venice. But the viceroy, having heard
indirectly and confusedly of Count Lichtenstein's perilous adventure,
begged the patriarch to pronounce a great exorcism over the lagoons, and
since then Orco has never reappeared."

L. W. J.



IN THE ISLE OF WIGHT.


The Solent Sea, the channel dividing the Isle of Wight from the
mainland, varies in breadth from one to six miles. The island must at
one time have formed a portion of the mainland, and so late as when the
Greeks traded with Cornwall for tin the Solent is said to have been
passable at low water by men and carts.

The circumference of the island is about sixty miles, the surface
undulating, with a range of fine downs running through from east to
west, having here and there points of considerable elevation. It is said
to have been well wooded formerly, but no forests remain, and the
hedge-rows, coppices and scattered trees are all it can now offer in the
way of foliage. The scenery of the north side of the island is quiet,
pleasing, here and there picturesque, but the southern side is full of
the beauty of bold cliffs, chasms, irregular coast- and hill-lines,
tumbled rocks, bare, wind-swept hills, and sheltered coves where flowers
bloom and ivy climbs from the very verge of the sea. On this side lies
the famous region known as the Undercliff--a series of terraces rising
ambitiously from the sea up the steep sides of St. Boniface's Down--the
tract being about seven miles long, and from a quarter to half a mile
broad.

On the one hand, the bold promontories, the shell-like bays of the
sea-line; on the other, the lofty, rounded down, with here and there its
buttress of gray rock coming out in naked grandeur; between the two a
lovely irregularity of soft slope, sinuous or dimple-like valleys, dark
ravines, velvet-smooth laps of terrace, with now and again a sudden
springing brook, and everywhere the thickets of holly and cedar
clambered rampantly over by masses of ivy and traveler's joy--_our_
Virgin's bower clematis--and such sunshine as falls not elsewhere in
England over all.

Miss Sewell, the author of _Amy Herbert, Ivors_ and _Ursula_, who
resides at Bonchurch with her sisters, where they have a school, says of
the Undercliff: "There is a verse spoken of a very different country
which often comes to my mind when I think of it: 'It is a land which the
Lord thy God careth for. The eyes of the Lord thy God are always upon
it, from the beginning of the year, even unto the end of the year.'
Sometimes it has even seemed to me that heaven itself can scarcely be
more beautiful."

It was Sir James Clark who discovered the Undercliff to the public. Up
to the time of the publication of his work _On the Influence of Climate
in the Prevention and Cure of Disease_, only a few fishermen's huts
marked the spot that is now populous Ventnor. But the sheltered, sunny
spot, the soft air, the plants flourishing even in winter, the charming
surroundings, at once caught the fancy of invalids: they came in
numbers, both for a summer visit and a winter residence, and of course
suitable accommodation had to be provided for them. The "plague of
building" lighted on Ventnor: almost every possible and impossible spot
has been used for lodging--houses, hotels, shops, villas, churches,
situated with utter disregard to the natural lines of the place. The
building still goes on. There are everywhere ugly scars in the
chalk-banks that Nature has not had time to heal: in short, Ventnor is
spoiled for those who remember it in its early days, and for
aristocratic dwellers roundabout, but it is a case of the greatest good
to the greatest number; and when the quick-springing green shall have
kindly softened and folded in the crowded, incongruous buildings, and
blended into rounded masses above them, Ventnor will be forgiven its
railway that has made this region accessible to the many-headed, in
consideration of the comforts and amenities of life brought to the doors
of circumjacent dwellers, instead of being, as once, lacking, or brought
laboriously from London at serious individual expense.

To say that Ventnor is dull, to American notions, is only to say that it
is an English sea-side resort. People live mostly in lodgings, which is
the most unsocial way possible of living: there are no reading-rooms, no
cafés, no hops, no places of meeting and introduction. There is the
rapprochement of proximity on the Esplanade and the bathing beach, where
one gets a little of his fellow-creatures in a sort of spiritual
endosmose and exosmose. But nothing more, and I am afraid our average
youthful American specimen of Solomon's lilies would, at the end of two
days, cause all her crisp, snowy and varicolored petals to be refolded
within their calyx "ark," and indignantly withdraw herself for evermore
from the "Fair Island." "Her own loss?" Doubtless, but it is the race's
as well that any single creature should be deaf, blind, without heart to
feel, intellect and culture to appreciate, or with any exquisite sense
of apprehension wanting.

But there are Americans _and_ Americans; and some of our countrymen and
countrywomen who have been busiest at home, who have journeyed far and
wide, seem to find it the most natural thing possible to linger for
months in Capuan Ventnor--anywhere in the soft-aired, Sleepy-Hollow
Undercliff; and to pluck themselves away from the sweet peace, the calm
delights of sauntering and lying on the cliffs, watching "the wrinkled
sea" that "beneath _them_ crawls," breathing the air that has no
suggestion of ocean in it save its freshness, so entirely is all odor of
brine and sea-weed overborne by the fragrance of flowers, notably that
of the mignonette, sweet-pea and nasturtium, making little excursions on
foot or coach-top along the coast, or to the charming inland famous
spots,--a thing very grievous to be borne patiently.

Just above Ventnor, where the down is steepest, and almost at its top,
is a wishing well; but if one would have his wish fulfilled, made while
drinking its waters, he must climb to the spring without casting one
backward glance. A sure foot and a head not easily dizzied are
imperative necessities, and then one may climb, as I did, with
carefulest directions, scramble to the very brow and find no drop of
water on the way, get a superb view of the Undercliff and the Channel
for miles and miles, gather handfuls of the lovely heather that clothes
the down's top, then, plunging downward again, almost set foot unawares
in the milky little basin no bigger than a kneading-bowl, that on the
upward way would have been a very Kohinoor, and is now only glanced at
with spiteful aversion. The ancients were right: there _is_ a malignity
of matter.

At Ventnor died John Sterling, made known to the world through the
biographies of Carlyle and Archdeacon Hare. He was buried in the
churchyard of the old church at Bonchurch, a tiny Norman building, of
date 1270, which has been for years deserted. Graves fill all the
enclosure, ancient elms shade it, a noisy brook half winds about it,
then dashes down the sudden slope to the restless sea, whose mighty
murmur underlies the streamlet's plashes and gurgles and the ceaseless
tender bird-notes, and makes for this little burial ground, that is
only hidden, not widely removed from men, a wondrous sense of space and
solemn solitude.

Bonchurch is perhaps a mile from Ventnor, and is the boskiest bit of
loveliness in all the lovely island. By every approach you enter it
under the interlacing arches of noble old trees; ivy and ferns mask all
with tender and dark glossy green; the thatched cottages are masses of
honeysuckle and jessamine, their tiny windows and gardens gay with old
English flowers; you may stand beneath fuchsia trees so reddened with
the profusion of blossoms that at a little distance they are like
nothing so much as tall clumps of barberry bushes laden with the ripe
berries; you may visit, by introduction or permission, gardens of the
lovely villas nestled in dells here, perched on bold crags there, or
backing against the abrupt gray cliff, which has here no turfy
covering--gardens such as one could well dream away life in, with no
wish to range beyond their bounds, had one in this work-filled world no
conscience about long dalliance in an earthly paradise. In one of these
gardens I wandered long one afternoon that was not sunny, and that was
yet not sombre, the air of balmiest breath, all the earth and sky
softened with the changing, tender tones one finds not out of England.
The house was grandly placed against the cliff, and the garden, which
was rather a succession of gardens, was all up and down on the scattered
terraces provided by long-ago landslips. There were modern gardens with
banks of color and mosaic parterres; old-fashioned gardens, clipt and
quaint; a fernery brought bodily from Fairy-land; clematis, ivy,
woodbine and jessamine clambering and flowering against the wall of
crag, and fuchsias that seemed to have no foothold swinging long,
jewel-hung branches from far overhead. In one place, from a broad low
arch at the crag's base, a clear spring rushed forth. One could see some
yards within the arch, discern rare ferns, a shimmer of ghostly lilies,
and one vigorous tuft of maiden-hair that dropped a veil of tremulous
green lace almost to the water's edge. Still, vines and vines, and in
this little garden of the grot what a magnificent growth of canes,
cannas and pampas-grass; with walks now dropping into densest shade, now
climbing out upon a bare spur of rock or lap of smooth lawn; the musical
rain of a fountain in the green depths below; the hamlet and neighboring
villas so lost to sight that the very birds might well doubt where to
pierce the leafy canopy to find home, wife and callow nestlings; beyond,
and round all, the half ring of quiet-colored, placid sea--the emerald
sea, rough with white caps; the blue sea, sparkling in sunshine; the
moonlit sea, silver-gleaming, but melancholy, and terrible as eternity.

At Bonchurch lived the parents of the poet Swinburne, but they left some
years since, because, it is affirmed, there was no church hereabouts
sufficiently ritualistic to content their consciences. One cannot help
thinking, with a little unmalicious amusement, what a cuckoo child the
poet must have been to this pair. Here, too, lived a good old man and
prolix poet, a friend of Tennyson. It is asserted, on authority, that
the laureate, in his visits to the family, sometimes found himself so
intolerably bored by his fellow-craftsman that he was fain to betake
himself to a bathing-machine, dallying therein and over his bath for two
or three hours to purchase the necessary respite.

Beyond Bonchurch are three lions--"the Landslip" and the Luccombe and
Shanklin Chines. Many and many a rocky hillside pasture in New England
is far finer than the Landslip, and the Chines (fissures or ravines--"He
that in his day did chine the long-ribb'd Apennine," sings Dryden) are
by no means impressive to American eyes. But the mixture of miniature
wildernesses, tumbled rocks, stream, waterfall, airy little swells and
falls of ground, elegant villas, charming walks where all is beautiful,
finished, dainty, with incessant views of the really grand features of
the scene--the sea and the down--forms an enchanting combination. The
authoress who under the _nom-de-plume_ "Holme Lee" has done so much for
the readers of circulating libraries, resides at Shanklin, and here in
1819 came Keats and tarried while writing _Lamia_.

From Ventnor south-west through the Undercliff to St. Catherine's Hill,
the western bulwark of the Elysium of suave airs, the scenery is perhaps
even finer to Western hemisphere taste than that of the more noted
northern region. It is, if not wilder, more solitary, unimproved by art,
less pervaded with tourists and tourists' needs: one feels less
suffocated, crowded, and very, very covetous of one or another of the
lovely, lonely homes scattered here and there.

On this side of Ventnor is situated the National Consumptive Hospital
projected by Dr. Arthur Hill Hassall. It is on the cottage plan. There
are to be sixteen cottages, each to contain about six patients. Several
of the buildings are already completed and in use. The hospital is
partly self-supporting, partly dependent upon voluntary aid, and in all
the places of resort one sees the little alms-box with its eloquent
appeal, "For I was sick, and ye visited me not."

High up upon the hill above Ventnor is the seaside refuge of the London
city missionaries. The block of buildings was erected as a series of
model cottages for laborers. Whether these found their intended homes
too fine, too phalansterian, or what not, I cannot tell, but the group
of houses was made over to the tired workers in the London slums, and
the laborers perch upon all sorts of inaccessible places upon the down,
scratching great unsightly places in the chalk, erecting therein the
tiniest houses of red brick; and though the one or two windows may be
filled with flowers, the ugly gashes do not heal quickly high on the
wind-swept hill.

The longest, and certainly the most interesting, excursions to be made
from Ventnor are those to Carisbrooke and to Freshwater. The first leads
you into the very heart of the island, through lanes that must be the
boweriest in all England. Often the road-bed drops for a long way into a
deep cutting. Ivies cover all the sides, ferns, vetches, campions and
arums spring thickly amid them, and the tall, straggling hedges of
dog-roses, brambles and hawthorn that top the banks are luxuriantly
overrun with honeysuckle, filling the whole air with its spicy
fragrance. On either side are blossoming fields of clover and beans, the
larks are mounting and singing in ecstasy overhead, the road climbs a
steep ascent, and we have miles and miles of finished landscape in view.
There are timber-tied farm-houses here and there, or tiny hamlets whose
straw thatches are simply glorious with their patches of velvet moss and
the brilliant golden blossoms of a succulent whose name I do not
know--houses and hamlets one would like to seize in one's arms and drop
them down in America, in the midst of New England's hideous
factory-villages, ornamentless, shadeless, unrestful, glaring with
white-painted deal.

For the _interior_ of the old English cottages there is not one word of
defence to be uttered: the ugliest pine box of a house to be found
anywhere in all the unlovely New England towns is more comfortable, more
sanitary. The English cottage has a rheumatic floor of beaten earth or
tile; its rooms are few and small, and very dark; the water-supply is
scanty and most inconvenient; its chimney smokes; mice and rats find
secure refuge in the thatch; the masses of clinging vines make it damp
and earwiggy; but what a lovely bit it is in the landscape!--the neutral
tints, the patches of color, the picturesque outlines, the pitch and
curved border of its roof, the yellow ricks in the background, the
little garden gorgeous with marigolds, wallflowers, stocks, pinks,
balsams, or white and pure with stately ranks of the beautiful Virgin
lily. For the interior, away with it! but can we get no hint from all
the external beauty?

Of Carisbrooke too much might be said for the scope and limits of this
paper: brief mention must suffice. It is the old capital of the island.
The remains of a Roman villa were discovered about a dozen years since;
the old church dates from the time of William the Conqueror; and the
grand old castle, connected with almost every era of English history,
had for its nucleus a Saxon stronghold, which succeeded a Roman
fortress, as that in turn succeeded a Celtic camp. The ruin covers a
large space of ground on a hill overlooking the old town. There is no
majesty of beetling crags, no girdle of turbulent sea, but the dignity
of its size, its age, its story, is all-satisfying. It is a good, a
fitting spot for an American to make a pilgrimage to. A noble, eloquent,
peaceful sadness pervades it, and generations shrink to dots. And Nature
herself has had pity on these stones for the mirth, the heroism, the
misery they have encompassed: she has propped up the tottering ramparts
with forests of tall trees in the courts, balustraded the dizzy heights
with a sturdy, bushy growth of ivy, and firmly bound together all the
crumbling decay with a centuries-old cording of vine-stems.

A mile from Carisbrooke village lies Newport, the modern capital of the
island--modern in its relation to Carisbrooke, but possessing some
traces that it was formerly of Roman occupation also. It is pleasantly
situated in a gentle valley, the temperature mild and damp like that of
Devonshire, but is chiefly interesting to visitors for the attractions
of the lovely region round about--stately Carisbrooke; Osborne, the
royal manor of Her Majesty, and not far from thence the birthplace of
Dr. Arnold; Godshill, a hamlet so beautiful one would like to wave over
it an enchanter's wand that should fix for ever just the charm one sees
in it to-day. The name of the village is accounted for by a tradition
that is not uncommon. The builders of the church proposed to erect it at
the foot of the hill, but each morning found the previous day's work
undone and the materials carried to the top. After some days'
perseverance they gave up the contest, and set up their beacon of the
faith on the spot indicated by their invisible combatants.

Not far from Newport, by a way filled with delight, one reaches
Shorwell, a little village beautifully placed, and with a curious old
church full of interest. Upon one of the walls is an old fresco
illustrating the life and adventures of St. Christopher, and there is a
quaint memorial brass erected by Barnabas Leigh in honor of his two
deceased wives, and with a flattering allusion to wife No. 3, then
living! One wife is followed by a troop of children--the other is
forlornly alone. There is also a memorial to Sir John Leigh and his
grandson Barnabas, who died seven days after the grand-sire:

    Inmate in grave he took his grandchild heire,
    Whose soul did haste to make to him repaire;
    And so to heaven along, as little page,
    With him did poast to wait upon his age;

and to Lady Elizabeth Leigh--"Sixteene a maide, and fiftie yeares a
wife."

In the opposite direction from Newport lies Arreton, where Legh Richmond
found the heroine of a narrative we have all read--_The Dairyman's
Daughter_. Her memorial is in the churchyard, which is unusually full of
interesting inscriptions. Here is an early English one from a brass,
dated 1430, within the church:

    Here is yburied vnder this graue
    Harry Hawles his soul God saue
    Longe tyme steward of ye yle of Wyght
    Have mercy on hym God ful of myght.

Legh Richmond was curate of two near-by villages, Brading and Yaverland,
during the first years of the present century. Both villages are very
old and full of interesting antiquities--churches, Jacobean manor- and
farm-houses, parish stocks, a bull-ring where our enlightened
forefathers amused themselves savagely as well as sadly.

The excursion to Freshwater, twenty-two miles from Ventnor, is
sufficiently charming when made on top of a coach in the veiled yet warm
friendliness of an English summer day; but the way of ways to make it,
as indeed to see the whole island, is as a pedestrian. Freshwater is at
the extreme western point of the island. In going thither from Ventnor
one traverses all the western portion of the Undercliff, where every
glimpse is a joy; then emerges into a wilder, solitary region, with a
bold coast-line sharply indented with chines whose scenery varies from
beautiful to savage and drear; finds always the little hamlets--this
with its church, that with its inn, become a classic resort, another
with its story of an old hermitage or tradition of gold-laden galleon
foundered on its cruel rocks, the gold coins still now and then to be
found in certain sands. Here a landslip has exposed the remains of a
Romano-British pottery; there is a down with Pictish tumuli, and at long
intervals one of the old farm-houses which it is impossible not to
grudge to its possessor. The landscape has none of the exuberant
luxuriance and variety of the Undercliff. Bare, lofty downs, shadeless
fields, no coppices, great swampy pastures--an open, breezy country all
swells and falls, with occasionally fine clumps and avenues of English
elms, feathered to their roots. And so, at last, Freshwater, where downs
are noblest, and the air, blown straight across the Atlantic, seems not
less bracing and exhilarating than that of New England.

The old village of Freshwater is picturesque, but the new lodging-house
portion, only lately sprung up because it has become a fashion with
doctors to prescribe Freshwater as a holiday and sanitary place, is
hideous in its newness of fiery red brick and freshly uptorn earth.

But it was not for Freshwater, old or new; not for its church, which has
some very fine bits, and an epitaph celebrating "the most virtuous Mrs.
Anne Toppe, in her widowhood, by a memorable providence, preserved out
of the flames of the Irish rebellion;" not for the really superb
character of the coast-cliffs, just here mined into caverns only
accessible from the sea, with huge detached masses of chalk, one
hollowed into a grand arch, through which the waters rush with
magnificent music; not for "the Needles," the extreme western points of
the middle range of downs, isolated masses of rock that are very fine
seen from seaward, entering "the Race" between the Isle of Wight and
Dorset; not for Alum Bay, whose gay sands we have all seen fantastically
arranged in landscapes under glass, and whose cliffs have their
vertical strata in brilliant stripes of deep, purplish-red, blue,
yellow, gray that is almost white, and jet black, and contrast
delightfully with the snowy sides of "the Needles;"--not for any or all
the sublimity of sea and shore, did I make the pilgrimage to this
out-of-the-way island corner. I went, as most lovers of our English
tongue in its strength and poetry will go, because here for years was
Tennyson's home--the home wherein most of his poems have been
written--Farringford,

    Where, far from noise of smoke and town,
    I watch the twilight falling brown
      All round a careless-ordered garden,
    Close to the ridge of a noble down.

    You'll have no scandal while you dine,
    But honest talk and wholesome wine,
      And only hear the magpie gossip
    Garrulous, under a roof of pine.

    For groves of pine on either hand.
    To break the blasts of winter, stand,
      And farther on, the hoary Channel
    Tumbles a breaker on chalk and sand.

The house is by no means beautiful, but it is in the midst of such a
network of peacefulest leafy lanes, the near-by surroundings are so
grand, the "groves of pine" and the "careless-ordered garden" look so
utterly fitted to be haunted by a poet's step and musings, the whole
place must be so associated, so saturated with his reveries and fancies,
so peopled with his creations, that it seems impossible any other spot
_could_ be home to him; and one feels a great pang of sadness that the
only true master of Farringford should have felt himself driven to leave
it, and to set up his household gods where he would be comparatively
unknown and unhunted.

An un-famous person finds it however, a little difficult to sympathize
with Tennyson's overpowering horror of the troublesomely affectionate
curiosity of which he is the object. Even such extreme cases of
hero-worship as that of the American who climbed the tree at Farringford
to survey its master at his leisure, and that of the bevy of ladies at a
London exhibition who, occupying a lounge before one of the special
pictures of the season, and beholding Tennyson approach for a look,
overwhelmed him with discomfiture by impressively ceding to him the
entire sofa,--even these, and others of their kind, have a humorous side
that might serve to qualify their impertinence and ill-breeding.

Neither Browning nor George Eliot is unknown by sight to the reading
world of London: neither was Thackeray nor Dickens. Did either of these
ever make outcry at the friendly if vulgar glances? Yet it is true that
no one of them, save Dickens, has been so widely read, and it is
probable that Browning, who looks like nothing so much as a hale, hearty
business-man, oftenest escapes detection, while Tennyson's late
photograph reproduces him so faithfully that he declares he can go
nowhere without being known. Of the mischievous fidelity of the picture
I am myself a witness, for having driven up one day to the Victoria
station of the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway, by which
Tennyson's new home is reached, and being busied with extricating from
my purse the cabman's fare, my companion suddenly caught my arm, crying
out, "Oh, S----, there's Tennyson!" The purse dropped in my lap: he was
so near the cab I could have touched him, and of course he had heard the
exclamation and knew why two ladies had so utterly forgotten their
manners; but if he had also known that one of us had a certain
shabby-through-use edition of all his earlier poems, which during a
space of a dozen years had never been separated from her, traveling in a
crowded trunk for even the shortest absences from home--that for months
of that time she had been used to read therefrom to a precocious child
who came every night in her night-gown to nestle in the reader's lap and
listen to the music without which she declined to undertake the business
of sleep,--I think the look bestowed upon the absorbed twain might well
have been more amiable than the one which really fell upon them and
blighted their innocent delight. It was all the photograph's fault, and,
enthusiastic American sisters, be content with beholding the
representation, for the original looks neither more patient, more
gracious, nor more hopeful. So sensitive is he to looks which have in
them any recognition, any stress, that a visitor at Farringford relates
that, wandering about the cliffs and shores with his host, the latter
would every now and then nervously cry out, "Come! let's walk on--I hear
tourists!" and his companion, delaying a little, would be able to answer
reassuringly, "Oh no: see! there's nothing in sight but a flock of
sheep."

Perhaps I ought to confess that finding in one of the Farringford lanes
a lovely little green gate opening into one of the "groves of pine," I
_did_ just try the latch. The door opened, and it looked all so still
and shaded, whispery and ferny, so exactly as if Tennyson might any
minute come pacing down between the tall trees, as if the "Talking Oak"
was sure to stand just round a sun-lighted corner of the wood, that,
incited thereto by a countrywoman of the poet's, who, herself a member
of the guild, should know how poets' possessions may worthily be
approached, I let my sacrilegious feet carry me a little way within that
violated enclosure. But it was only a very tiny raid we made. We stood
quietly for two or three minutes, just _feeling_ the place, then
scurried hastily away like two timorous hares; and as I have since lost
a much prized little fern-leaf plucked within the enclosure, I think Mr.
Tennyson should agree that this intrusive American has been quite
severely enough punished, and that much ought to be forgiven one who has
loved so much.

There really is one spot in England where "skies are blue and bright"
uniformly, and, in the Undercliff, where no harsh winds come. And the
whole island--with its smiling loveliness, its miniature sublimity, all
its varying scenery, all its old landmarks, its rich story, its soft yet
sparkling air, its dainty English culture, the sea that one never loses
for long--is a honeymoon paradise. It can have been intended for nothing
else. But it should be a pedestrian honeymoon. _They_ should come to
Ryde, leave all impedimenta to be sent forward to Ventnor by rail, and
Madame in a serviceable walking-dress that need not be hideous, a
sun-hat, with a strap holding her waterproof cloak, Monsieur with wraps,
a bag containing the indispensable toilet necessaries, an umbrella and
guide-book, should set gayly forth on their enchanted way. What a month
in the romantic byways, over hill, down dale, in the old churches,
churchyards, ivied ruins, through the ideal villages, resting amidst the
heather on a down's summit, on the sands of a little scallop of a bay,
stopping for food and sleep at the comfortable quaint inns or the
sometimes "swell" hotels that are nowhere many miles asunder--seeing it,
having it all together--the idyllic spot in the idyllic time!

And to American invalids it seems to me the Undercliff is far less known
as a winter resort than it deserves to be. It is perfectly sheltered,
yet has none of the dampness of Torquay and most of the other
south-of-England health-resorts. And to invalids who speak no language
save their own it must be infinitely pleasanter to abide where they hear
their own tongue, where home comforts and home ways are joined to the
other advantages they have come to seek. There is all the accessible
beauty of walk and drive, ever-changing aspects of sea, shore, sky and
crag, of which it would be difficult to tire, and a delicious languor in
the mental atmosphere inexpressibly soothing to worn brain and nerves.

S. F. HOPKINS.



SOLACE.


    Thou art the last rose of the year,
      By gusty breezes rudely fanned:
    The dying Summer holds thee fast
      In the hot hollow of her hand.

    Thy face pales, as if looking back
      Into the splendor of thy past
    Had thrilled thee strangely, knowing that
      This one long look must be the last.

    Thine essence, that was heavenly sweet,
      Has flown upon the tricksy air:
    Fate's hand is on thee; drop thy leaves,
      And go among the things that were.

    Be must and mould, be trampled dust,
      Be nothing that is fair to see:
    One day, at least, of glorious life
      Was thine of all eternity.

    Be this a comfort: Crown and lyre,
      And regal purple last not long:
    Kings fall like leaves, but thy perfume
      Strays through the years like royal song.

JAMES MAURICE THOMPSON.



A PRINCESS OF THULE.

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


CHAPTER XIX.

A NEW DAY BREAKS.

Was this, then, the end of the fair and beautiful romance that had
sprung up and blossomed so hopefully in the remote and bleak island,
amid the silence of the hills and moors and the wild twilights of the
North, and set round about, as it were, by the cold sea-winds and the
sound of the Atlantic waves? Who could have fancied, looking at those
two young folks as they wandered about the shores of the island, as they
sailed on the still moonlight nights through the channels of Loch Roag,
or as they sang together of an evening in the little parlor of the house
at Borvabost, that all the delight and wonder of life then apparently
opening out before them was so soon and so suddenly to collapse, leaving
them in outer darkness and despair? All their difficulties had been got
over. From one side and from another they had received generous help,
friendly advice, self-sacrifice to start them on a path that seemed to
be strewn with sweet-smelling flowers. And here was the end--a wretched
girl, blinded and bewildered, flying from her husband's house and
seeking refuge in the great world of London, careless whither she went.

Whose was the fault? Which of them had been mistaken up there in the
North, laying the way open for a bitter disappointment? Or had either of
them failed to carry out that unwritten contract entered into in the
halcyon period of courtship, by which two young people promise to be and
remain to each other all that they then appeared?

Lavender, at least, had no right to complain. If the real Sheila turned
out to be something different from the Sheila of his fancy, he had been
abundantly warned that such would be the case. He had even accepted it
as probable, and said that as the Sheila whom he might come to know must
doubtless be better than the Sheila whom he had imagined, there was
little danger in store for either. He would love the true Sheila even
better than the creature of his brain. Had he done so? He found beside
him this proud and sensitive Highland girl, full of generous impulses
that craved for the practical work of helping other people, longing,
with the desire of a caged bird, for the free winds and light of heaven,
the sight of hills and the sound of seas, and he could not understand
why she should not conform to the usages of city life. He was
disappointed that she did not do so. The imaginative Sheila, who was to
appear as a wonderful sea-princess in London drawing-rooms, had
disappeared now; and the real Sheila, who did not care to go with him
into that society which he loved or affected to love, he had not learned
to know.

And had she been mistaken in her estimate of Frank Lavender's character?
At the very moment of her leaving her husband's house, if she had been
asked the question, she would have turned and proudly answered, "No!"
She had been disappointed--so grievously disappointed that her heart
seemed to be breaking over it--but the manner in which Frank Lavender
had fallen away from all the promise he had given was due not to
himself, but to the influence of the society around him. Of that she was
quite assured. He had shown himself careless, indifferent, inconsiderate
to the verge of cruelty; but he was not, she had convinced herself,
consciously cruel, nor yet selfish, nor radically bad-hearted in any
way. In her opinion, at least, he was courageously sincere, to the verge
of shocking people who mistook his frankness for impudence. He was
recklessly generous: he would have given the coat off his back to a
beggar at the instigation of a sudden impulse, provided he could have
got into a cab before any of his friends saw him. He had rare abilities,
and at times wildly ambitious dreams, not of his own glorification, but
of what he would do to celebrate the beauty and the graces of the
princess whom he fancied he had married. It may seem hard of belief that
this man, judging him by his actions at this time, could have had
anything of thorough self-forgetfulness and manliness in his nature. But
when things were at their very worst, when he appeared to the world as a
self-indulgent idler, careless of a noble woman's unbounded love; when
his indifference, or worse, had actually driven from his house a
young wife who had especial claims on his forbearance and
consideration,--there were two people who still believed in Frank
Lavender. They were Sheila Mackenzie and Edward Ingram; and a man's wife
and his oldest friend generally know something about his real nature,
its besetting temptations, its weakness, its strength and its
possibilities.

Of course, Ingram was speedily made aware of all that had happened.
Lavender went home at the appointed hour to luncheon, accompanied by his
three acquaintances. He had met them accidentally in the forenoon, and
as Mrs. Lorraine was most particular in her inquiries about Sheila, he
thought he could not do better than ask her there and then, with her
mother and Lord Arthur, to have luncheon at two. What followed on his
carrying the announcement to Sheila we know. He left the house, taking
it for granted that there would be no trouble when he returned. Perhaps
he reproached himself for having spoken so sharply, but Sheila was
really very thoughtless in such matters. At two o'clock everything would
be right. Sheila must see how it would be impossible to introduce a
young Highland serving-maid to two fastidious ladies and the son of a
great Conservative peer.

Lavender met his three friends once more, and walked up to the house
with them, letting them in, indeed, with his own latch-key. Passing the
dining-room, he saw that the table was laid there. This was well.
Sheila had been reasonable.

They went up stairs to the drawing-room. Sheila was not there. Lavender
rang the bell, and bade the servant tell her mistress she was wanted.

"Mrs. Lavender has gone out, sir," said the servant.

"Oh, indeed!" he said, taking the matter quite coolly. "When?"

"A quarter of an hour ago, sir. She went out with the--the young lady
who came this morning."

"Very well. Let me know when luncheon is ready."

Lavender turned to his guests, feeling a little awkward, but appearing
to treat the matter in a light and humorous way. He imagined that
Sheila, resenting what he had said, had resolved to take Mairi away and
find her lodgings elsewhere. Perhaps that might be done in time to let
Sheila come back to receive his guests.

Sheila did not appear, however, and luncheon was announced.

"I suppose we may as well go down," said Lavender with a shrug of his
shoulders. "It is impossible to say when she may come back. She is such
a good-hearted creature that she would never think of herself or her own
affairs in looking after this girl from Lewis."

They went down stairs and took their places at the table.

"For my part," said Mrs. Lorraine, "I think it is very unkind not to
wait for poor Mrs. Lavender. She may come in dreadfully tired and
hungry."

"But that would not vex her so much as the notion that you had waited on
her account," said Sheila's husband with a smile; and Mrs. Lorraine was
pleased to hear him sometimes speak in a kindly way of the Highland girl
whom he had married.

Lavender's guests were going somewhere after luncheon, and he had half
promised to go with them, Mrs. Lorraine stipulating that Sheila should
be induced to come also. But when luncheon was over and Sheila had not
appeared, he changed his intention. He would remain at home. He saw his
three friends depart, and went into the study and lit a cigar.

How odd the place seemed! Sheila had left no instructions about the
removal of those barbaric decorations she had placed in the chamber; and
here, around him, seemed to be the walls of the old fashioned little
room at Borvabost, with its big shells, its peacocks' feathers, its
skins and stuffed fish, and masses of crimson bell-heather. Was there
not, too, an odor of peat-smoke in the air?--and then his eye caught
sight of the plate that still stood on the window-sill, with the ashes
of the burned peat on it.

"The odd child she is!" he thought with a smile, "to go playing at
grotto-making, and trying to fancy she was up in Lewis again! I suppose
she would like to let her hair down again, and take off her shoes and
stockings, and go wading along the sand in search of shellfish."

And then, somehow, his fancies went back to the old time when he had
first seen and admired her wild ways, her fearless occupations by sea
and shore, and the delight of active work that shone on her bright face
and in her beautiful eyes. How lithe and handsome her figure used to be
in that blue dress, when she stood in the middle of the boat, her head
bent back, her arms upstretched and pulling at some rope or other, and
all the fine color of exertion in the bloom of her cheeks! Then the
pride with which she saw her little vessel cutting through the
water!--how she tightened her lips with a joyous determination as the
sheets were hauled close, and the gunwale of the small boat heeled over
so that it almost touched the hissing and gurgling foam!--how she
laughed at Duncan's anxiety as she rounded some rocky point, and sent
the boat spinning into the clear and smooth waters of the bay! Perhaps,
after all, it was too bad to keep the poor child so long shut up in a
city. She was evidently longing for a breath of sea-air, and for some
brief dash of that brisk, fearless life on the sea-coast that she used
to love. It was a happy life, after all; and he had himself enjoyed it
when his hands and face got browned by the sun, when he grew to wonder
how any human being could wear black garments and drink foreign wines
and smoke cigars at eighteenpence apiece, so long as frieze coats,
whisky and a brier-root pipe were procurable. How one slept up in that
remote island, after all the laughing and drinking and singing of the
evening were over! How sharp was the monition of hunger when the keen
sea-air blew about your face on issuing out in the morning! and how
fresh and cool and sweet was that early breeze, with the scent of
Sheila's flowers in it! Then the long, bright day at the river-side,
with the black pools rippling in the wind, and in the silence the rapid
whistle of the silken line through the air, with now and again the
"blob" of a big salmon rising to a fly farther down the pool! Where was
there any rest like the rest of the mid-day luncheon, when Duncan had
put the big fish, wrapped in rushes, under the shadow of the nearest
rock, when you sat down on the warm heather and lit your pipe, and began
to inquire where you had been bitten on hands and neck by the ferocious
"clegs" while you were too busy in playing a fifteen-pounder to care?
Then, perhaps, as you were sitting there in the warm sunlight, with all
the fresh scents of the moorland around, you would hear a light footstep
on the soft moss; and, turning round, here was Sheila herself, with a
bright look in her pretty eyes, and a half blush on her cheek, and a
friendly inquiry as to the way the fish had been behaving. Then the
beautiful, strange, cool evenings on the shores of Loch Roag, with the
wild, clear light still shining in the northern heavens, and the sound
of the waves getting to be lonely and distant; or, still later, out in
Sheila's boat, with the great yellow moon rising up over Suainabhal and
Mealasabhal into a lambent vault of violet sky; a pathway of quivering
gold lying across the loch; a mild radiance glittering here and there on
the spars of the small vessel, and out there the great Atlantic lying
still and distant as in a dream. As he sat in this little room and
thought of all these things, he grew to think he had not acted quite
fairly to Sheila. She was so fond of that beautiful island-life, and she
had not even visited the Lewis since her marriage. She should go now. He
would abandon the trip to the Tyrol, and as soon as arrangements could
be made they would together start for the North, and some day find
themselves going up the steep shore to Sheila's home, with the old King
of Borva standing in the porch of the house, and endeavoring to conceal
his nervousness by swearing at Duncan's method of carrying the luggage.

Had not Sheila's stratagem succeeded? That pretty trick of hers in
decorating the room so as to resemble the house at Borvabost had done
all that she could have desired. But where was she?

Lavender rose hastily and looked at his watch. Then he rang the bell,
and a servant appeared. "Did not Mrs. Lavender say when she would
return?" he asked.

"No, sir."

"You don't know where she went?"

"No, sir. The young lady's luggage was put into the cab, and they drove
away without leaving any message."

He scarcely dared confess to himself what fears began to assail him. He
went up stairs to Sheila's room, and there everything appeared to be in
its usual place, even to the smallest articles on the dressing-table.
They were all there, except one. That was a locket, too large and clumsy
to be worn, which some one had given her years before she left Lewis,
and in which her father's portrait had been somewhat rudely set. Just
after their marriage Lavender had taken out this portrait, touched it up
a bit into something of a better likeness, and put it back; and then she
had persuaded him to have a photograph of himself colored and placed on
the opposite side. This locket, open and showing both portraits, she had
fixed on to a small stand, and in ordinary circumstances it always stood
on one side of her dressing-table. The stand was there, the locket was
gone.

He went down stairs again. The afternoon was drawing on. A servant came
to ask him at what hour he wished to dine: he bade her wait till her
mistress came home and consult her. Then he went out.

It was a beautiful, quiet afternoon, with a warm light from the west
shining over the now yellowing trees of the squares and gardens. He
walked down toward Netting Hill Gate Station, endeavoring to convince
himself that he was not perturbed, and yet looking somewhat anxiously at
the cabs that passed. People were now coming out from their business in
the city by train and omnibus and hansom; and they seemed to be hurrying
home in very good spirits, as if they were sure of the welcome awaiting
them there. Now and again you would see a meeting--some demure young
person, who had been furtively watching the railway-station, suddenly
showing a brightness in her face as she went forward to shake hands with
some new arrival, and then tripping briskly away with him, her hand on
his arm. There were men carrying home fish in small bags, or baskets of
fruit--presents to their wives, doubtless, from town. Occasionally an
open carriage would go by, containing one grave and elderly gentleman
and a group of small girls--probably his daughters, who had gone into
the city to accompany their papa homeward. Why did these scenes and
incidents, cheerful in themselves, seem to him to be somehow saddening
as he walked vaguely on? He knew, at least, that there was little use in
returning home. There was no one in that silent house in the square. The
rooms would be dark in the twilight. Probably dinner would be laid, with
no one to sit down at the table. He wished Sheila had left word where
she was going.

Then he bethought him of the way in which they had parted, and of the
sense of fear that had struck him the moment he left the house, that
after all he had been too harsh with the child. Now, at least, he was
ready to apologize to her. If only he could see Sheila coming along in
one of those hansoms--if he could see, at any distance, the figure he
knew so well walking toward him on the pavement--would he not instantly
confess to her, that he had been wrong, even grievously wrong, and beg
her to forgive him? She should have it all her own way about going up to
Lewis. He would cast aside this society-life he had been living, and to
please her would go in for any sort of work or amusement of which she
approved. He was so anxious, indeed, to put these virtuous resolutions
into force that he suddenly turned and walked rapidly back to the house,
with the wild hope that Sheila might have already come back.

The windows were dark, the curtains were yet drawn, and by this time the
evening had come on and the lamps in the square had been lit. He let
himself into the house by his latch-key. He walked into all the rooms
and up into Sheila's room: everything remained as he had left it. The
white cloth glimmered in the dusk of the dining-room, and the light of
the lamp outside in the street touched here and there the angles of the
crystal and showed the pale colors of the glasses. The clock on the
mantelpiece ticked in the silence. If Sheila had been lying dead in that
small room up stairs, the house could not have appeared more silent and
solemn.

He could not bear this horrible solitude. He called one of the servants
and left a message for Sheila, if she came in in the interval, that he
would be back at ten o'clock: then he went out, got into a hansom and
drove down to his club in St. James's street.

Most of the men were dining: the other rooms were almost deserted. He
did not care to dine just then. He went into the library: it was
occupied by an old gentleman who was fast asleep in an easy-chair. He
went into the billiard-rooms, in the vague hope that some exciting game
might be going on: there was not a soul in the place, the gases were
down, and an odor of stale smoke pervaded the dismal chambers. Should he
go to the theatre? His sitting there would be a mockery while this vague
and terrible fear was present to his heart. Or go down to see Ingram,
as had been his wont in previous hours of trouble? He dared not go near
Ingram without some more definite news about Sheila. In the end he went
out into the open air, as if he were in danger of being stifled, and,
walking indeterminately on, found himself once more at his own house.

The place was still quite dark: he knew before entering that Sheila had
not returned, and he did not seem to be surprised. It was now long after
their ordinary dinner-hour. When he went into the house he bade the
servants light the gas and bring up dinner: he would himself sit down at
this solitary table, if only for the purpose of finding occupation and
passing this terrible time of suspense.

It never occurred to him, as it might have occurred to him at one time,
that Sheila had made some blunder somewhere and been unavoidably
detained. He did not think of any possible repetition of her adventures
in Richmond Park. He was too conscious of the probable reason of
Sheila's remaining away from her own home; and yet from minute to minute
he fought with that consciousness, and sought to prove to himself that,
after all, she would soon be heard driving up to the door. He ate his
dinner in silence, and then drew a chair up to the fire and lit a cigar.

For the first time in his life he was driven to go over the events that
had occurred since his marriage, and to ask himself how it had all come
about that Sheila and he were not as they once had been. He recalled the
early days of their friendship at Borva; the beautiful period of their
courtship; the appearance of the young wife in London, and the close
relegation of Sheila to the domestic affairs of the house, while he had
chosen for himself other companions, other interests, other aims. There
was no attempt at self-justification in those communings, but an effort,
sincere enough in its way, to understand how all this had happened. He
sat and dreamed there before the warmth of the fire, with the slow and
monotonous ticking of the clock unconsciously acting on his brain. In
time the silence, the warmth, the monotonous sound produced their
natural effects, and he fell fast asleep.

He awoke with a start. The small silver-toned bell on the mantelpiece
had struck the hour of twelve. He looked around, and knew that the evil
had come upon him, for Sheila had not returned, and all his most
dreadful fears of that evening were confirmed. Sheila had gone away and
left him. Whither had she gone?

Now there was no more indecision in his actions. He got his hat, plunged
into the cold night air, and, finding a hansom, bade the man drive as
hard as he could go down to Sloane street. There was a light in Ingram's
windows, which were on the ground floor: he tapped with his stick on one
of the panes--an old signal that had been in constant use when he and
Ingram were close companions and friends. Ingram came to the door and
opened it: the light of a lamp glared in on his face. "Hillo, Lavender!"
he said in a tone of surprise.

The other could not speak, but he went into the house, and Ingram,
shutting the door and following him, found that the man's face was
deadly pale.

"Sheila--" he said, and stopped.

"Well, what about her?" said Ingram, keeping quite calm, but with wild
fancies about some terrible accident almost stopping the pulsation of
his heart.

"Sheila has gone away."

Ingram did not seem to understand.

"Sheila has gone away, Ingram," said Lavender in an excited way. "You
don't know anything about it? You don't know where she has gone? What am
I to do, Ingram? how am I to find her? Good God! don't you understand
what I tell you? And now it is past midnight, and my poor girl may be
wandering about the streets!"

He was walking up and down the room, paying almost no attention, in his
excitement, to the small, sallow-faced man who stood quite quiet, a
trifle afraid, perhaps, but with his heart full of a blaze of anger.

"She has gone away from your house?" he said slowly. "What made her do
that?"

"I did," said Lavender in a hurried way. "I have acted like a brute to
her--that is true enough. You needn't say anything to me, Ingram: I feel
myself far more guilty than anything you could say. You may heap
reproaches on me afterward, but tell me. Ingram, what am I to do? You
know what a proud spirit she has: who can tell what she might do? She
wouldn't go home--she would be too proud: she may have gone and drowned
herself."

"If you don't control yourself and tell me what has happened, how am I
to help you?" said Ingram stiffly, and yet disposed somehow--perhaps for
the sake of Sheila, perhaps because he saw that the young man's
self-embarrassment and distress were genuine enough--not to be too rough
with him.

"Well, you know, Mairi--" said Lavender, still walking up and down the
room in an excited way. "Sheila had got the girl up here without telling
me, some friends of mine were coming home to luncheon, we had some
disagreement about Mairi being present, and then Sheila said something
about not remaining in the house if Mairi did not: something of that
sort. I don't know what it was, but I know it was all my fault, and if
she has been driven from the house, I did it: that is true enough. And
where do you think she has gone, Ingram? If I could only see her for
three minutes I would explain everything: I would tell her how sorry I
am for everything that has happened, and she would see, when she went
back, how everything would be right again. I had no idea she would go
away. It was mere peevishness that made me object to Mairi meeting those
people; and I had no idea that Sheila would take it so much to heart.
Now tell me what you think should be done, Ingram. All I want is to see
her just for three minutes to tell her it was all a mistake, and that
she will never have to fear anything like that again."

Ingram heard him out, and said with some precision, "Do you mean to say
that you fancy all this trouble is to be got over that way? Do you know
so little of Sheila, after the time you have been married to her, as to
imagine that she has taken this step out of some momentary caprice, and
that a few words of apology and promise will cause her to rescind it?
You must be crazed, Lavender, or else you are actually as ignorant of
the nature of that girl as you were up in the Highlands."

The young man seemed to calm down his excitement and impatience, but it
was because of a new fear that had struck him, and that was visible in
his face. "Do you think she will never come back, Ingram?" he said,
looking aghast.

"I don't know: she may not. At all events, you may be quite sure that,
once having resolved to leave your house, she is not to be pacified and
cajoled by a few phrases and a promise of repentance on your part. That
is quite sure. And what is quite as sure is this, that if you knew just
now where she was, the most foolish thing you could do would be to go
and see her."

"But I must go and see her--I must find her out, Ingram," he said
passionately. "I don't care what becomes of me. If she won't go back
home, so much the worse for me; but I _must_ find her out, and know that
she is safe. Think of it, Ingram! Perhaps she is walking about the
streets somewhere at this moment; and you know her proud spirit. If she
were to go near the river--"

"She won't go near the river," said Ingram quietly, "and she won't be
walking about the streets. She is either in the Scotch mail-train, going
up to Glasgow, or else she has got some lodgings somewhere, along with
Mairi. Has she any money?"

"No," said Lavender. And then he thought for a minute. "There was some
money her father gave her in case she might want it at a pinch: she may
have that--I hope she has that. I was to have given her money to-morrow
morning. But hadn't I better go to the police-stations, and see, just
by way of precaution, that she has not been heard of? I may as well do
that as nothing. I could not go home to that empty house--I could not
sleep."

"Sheila is a sensible girl: she is safe enough," said Ingram. "And if
you don't care about going home, you may as well remain here. I can give
you a room up stairs when you want it. In the mean time, if you will
pull a chair to the table and calm yourself, and take it for granted
that you will soon be assured of Sheila's safety, I will tell you what I
think you should do. Here is a cigar to keep you occupied: there are
whisky and cold water back there if you like. You will do no good by
punishing yourself in small matters, for your trouble is likely to be
serious enough, I can tell you, before you get Sheila back, if ever you
get her back. Take the chair with the cushion."

It was so like the old days when these two used to be companions! Many
and many a time had the younger man come down to these lodgings, with
all his troubles and wild impulses and pangs of contrition ready to be
revealed; and then Ingram, concealing the liking he had for the lad's
generous waywardness, his brilliant and facile cleverness and his dashes
of honest self-depreciation, would gravely lecture him and put him right
and send him off comforted. Frank Lavender had changed much since then.
The handsome boy had grown into a man of the world; there was less
self-revelation in his manner, and he was less sensitive to the opinions
and criticisms of his old friend; but Ingram, who was not prone to
idealism of any sort, had never ceased to believe that this change was
but superficial, and that, in different circumstances and with different
aims, Lavender might still fulfill the best promise of his youth.

"You have been a good friend to me, Ingram," he said with a hot blush,
"and I have treated you as badly as I have treated--By Jove! what a
chance I had at one time!"

He was looking back on all the fair pictures his imagination had drawn
while yet Sheila and he were wandering about that island in the
northern seas.

"You had," said Ingram decisively. "At one time I thought you the most
fortunate man in the world. There was nothing left for you to desire, so
far as I could see. You were young and strong, with plenty of good
spirits and sufficient ability to earn yourself an honorable living, and
you had won the love of the most beautiful and best-hearted woman I have
known. You never seemed to me to know what that meant. Men marry
women--there is no difficulty about that--and you can generally get an
amiable sort of person to become your wife and have a sort of affection
for you, and so on. But how many have bestowed on them the pure and
exalted passion of a young and innocent girl, who is ready to worship
with all the fervor of a warmly imaginative and emotional nature the man
she has chosen to love? And suppose he is young too, and capable of
understanding all the tender sentiments of a high-spirited, sensitive
and loyal woman, and suppose that he fancies himself as much in love
with her as she with him? These conditions are not often fulfilled, I
can tell you. It is a happy fluke when they are. Many a day ago I told
you that you should consider yourself more fortunate than if you had
been made an emperor; and indeed it seemed to me that you had everything
in the shape of worldly happiness easily within your reach. How you came
to kick away the ball from your feet--Well, God only knows. The thing is
inconceivable to me. You are sitting here as you used to sit two or
three years ago, and in the interval you have had every chance in life;
and now if you are not the most wretched man in London, you ought at
least to be the most ashamed and repentant."

Lavender's head was buried in his hands: he did not speak.

"And it is not only your own happiness you have destroyed. When you saw
that girl first she was as lighthearted and contented with her lot as
any human being could be. From one week's end to the other not the
slightest care disturbed her mind. And then, when she entrusted her
whole life to you--when she staked her faith in human nature on you, and
gave you all the treasures of hope and reverence and love that lay in
her pure and innocent soul--my God! what have you done with these? It is
not that you have shamed and insulted her as a wife, and driven her out
of her home--there are other homes than yours where she would be welcome
a thousand times over--but you have destroyed her belief in everything
she had taught herself to trust, you have outraged the tenderest
sentiments of her heart, you have killed her faith as well as ruined her
life. I talk plainly: I cannot do otherwise. If I help you now, don't
imagine I condone what you have done: I would cut my right hand off
first. For Sheila's sake I will try to help you."

He stopped just then, however, and checked the indignation that had got
the better of his ordinarily restrained manner and curt speech. The man
before him was crying bitterly, his face hidden in his hands.

"Look here, Lavender," he said presently: "I don't want to be hard on
you. I tell you plainly what I think of your conduct, so that no
delusions may exist between us. And I will say this for you, that the
only excuse you have--"

"There is no excuse," said the other, sadly enough. "I have no excuse,
and I know it."

"The only thing, then, you can say in mitigation of what you have done
is that you never seem to have understood the girl whom you married. You
started with giving her a fancy character when first you went to the
Lewis, and once you had got the bit in your teeth there was no stopping
you. If you seek now to get Sheila back to you, the best thing you can
do, I presume, would be to try to see her as she is, to win her regard
that way, to abandon that operatic business, and learn to know her as a
thoroughly good woman, who has her own ways and notions about things,
and who has a very definite character underlying that extreme gentleness
which she fancies to be one of her duties. The child did her dead best
to accommodate herself to your idea of her, and failed. When she would
rather have been living a brisk and active life in the country or by the
seaside, running wild about a hillside, or reading strange stories in
the evening, or nursing some fisherman's child that had got ill, you had
her dragged into a sort of society with which she had no sympathy
whatever. And the odd thing to me is that you yourself seemed to be
making an effort that way. You did not always devote yourself to
fashionable life. Where are all the old ambitions you used to talk about
in the very chair you are now sitting in?"

"Is there any hope of my getting Sheila back?" he said, looking up at
last. There was a vague and bewildered look in his eyes. He seemed
incapable of thinking of anything but that.

"I don't know," said Ingram. "But one thing is certain: you will never
get her back to repeat the experiment that has just ended in this
desperate way."

"I should not ask that," he said hurriedly--"I should not ask that at
all. If I could but see her for a moment, I would ask her to tell me
everything she wanted, everything she demanded as conditions, and I
would obey her. I will promise to do everything that she wishes."

"If you saw her you could give her nothing but promises," said Ingram.
"Now, what if you were to try to do what you know she wishes, and then
go to her?"

"You mean--" said Lavender, glancing up with another startled look on
his face. "You don't mean that I am to remain away from her a long
time--go into banishment as it were--and then some day come back to
Sheila and beg her to forget all that happened long before?"

"I mean something very like that," said Ingram with composure. "I don't
know that it would be successful. I have no means of ascertaining what
Sheila would think of such a project--whether she would think that she
could ever live with you again."

Lavender seemed fairly stunned by the possibility of Sheila's resolving
never to see him again; and began to recall what Ingram had many a time
said about the strength of purpose she could show when occasion needed.

"If her faith in you is wholly destroyed, your case is hopeless. A woman
may cling to her belief in a man through good report and evil report,
but if she once loses it she never recovers it. But there is this hope
for you: I know very well that Sheila had a much more accurate notion of
you than ever you had of her; and I happen to know, also, that at the
very time when you were most deeply distressing her here in London she
held the firm conviction that your conduct toward her--your habits, your
very self--would alter if you could only be persuaded to get out of the
life you have been leading. That was true, at least, up to the time of
your leaving Brighton. She believed in you then. She believed that if
you were to cut society altogether, and go and live a useful and
hardworking life somewhere, you would soon become once more the man she
fell in love with up in Lewis. Perhaps she was mistaken: I don't say
anything about it myself."

The terribly cool way in which Ingram talked--separating, defining,
exhibiting, so that he and his companion should get as near as possible
to what he believed to be the truth of the situation--was oddly in
contrast with the blind and passionate yearning of the other for some
glimpse of hope. His whole nature seemed to go out in a cry to Sheila
that she would come back and give him a chance of atoning for the past.
At length he rose. He looked strangely haggard, and his eyes scarcely
seemed to see the things around him. "I must go home," he said.

Ingram saw that he merely wanted to get outside and walk about in order
to find some relief from this anxiety and unrest, and said, "You ought,
I think, to stop here and go to bed. But if you would rather go home, I
will walk up with you if you like."

When the two men went out the night-air smelt sweet and moist, for rain
had fallen, and the city trees were still dripping with the wet and
rustling in the wind. The weather had changed suddenly, and now, in the
deep blue overhead, they knew the clouds were passing swiftly by. Was it
the coming light of the morning that seemed to give depth and richness
to that dark-blue vault, while the pavements of the streets and the
houses grew vaguely distinct and gray? Suddenly, in turning the corner
into Piccadilly, they saw the moon appear in a rift of those passing
clouds, but it was not the moonlight that shed this pale and wan
grayness down the lonely streets. It is just at this moment, when the
dawn of the new day begins to tell, that a great city seems at its
deadest; and in the profound silence and amid the strange
transformations of the cold and growing light a man is thrown in upon
himself, and holds communion with himself, as though he and his own
thoughts were all that was left in the world. Not a word passed between
the two men, and Lavender, keenly sensitive to all such impressions, and
now and again shivering slightly, either from cold or nervous
excitement, walked blindly along the deserted streets, seeing far other
things than the tall houses and the drooping trees and the growing light
of the sky.

It seemed to him at this moment that he was looking at Sheila's funeral.
There was a great stillness in that small house at Borvabost. There was
a boat--Sheila's own boat--down at the shore there, and there were two
or three figures in black in it. The day was gray and rainy; the sea
washed along the melancholy shores; the far hills were hidden in mist.
And now he saw some people come out of the house into the rain, and the
bronzed and bearded men had oars with them, and on the crossed oars
there was a coffin placed. They went down the hillside. They put the
coffin in the stern of the boat, and in absolute silence, except for the
wailing of the women, they pulled away down the dreary Loch Roag till
they came to the island where the burial-ground is. They carried the
coffin up to that small enclosure, with its rank grass growing green and
the rain falling on the rude stones and memorials. How often had he
leaned on that low stone wall, and read the strange inscriptions in
various tongues over the graves of mariners from distant countries who
had met with their death on this rocky coast! Had not Sheila herself
pointed out to him, with a sad air, how many of these memorials bore the
words "who was drowned;" and that, too, was the burden of the
rudely-spelt legends beginning "Hier rutt in Gott," or "Her under hviler
stovit," and sometimes ending with the pathetic "Wunderschen ist unsre
Hoffnung." The fishermen brought the coffin to the newly-made grave, the
women standing back a bit, old Scarlett MacDonald stroking Mairi's hair
and bidding the girl control her frantic grief, though the old woman
herself could hardly speak for her tears and her lamentations. He could
read the words "Sheila Mackenzie" on the small silver plate: she had
been taken away from all association with him and his name. And who was
this old man with the white hair and the white beard, whose hands were
tightly clenched, and his lips firm, and a look as of death in the
sunken and wild eyes? Mackenzie was gray a year before--

"Ingram," he said suddenly, and his voice startled his companion, "do
you think it is possible to make Sheila happy again?"

"How can I tell?" said Ingram.

"You used to know everything she could wish--everything she was thinking
about. If you find her out now, will you get to know? Will you see what
I can do--not by asking her to come back, not by trying to get back my
own happiness, but anything, it does not matter what it is, I can do for
her? If she would rather not see me again, I will stay away. Will you
ask her, Ingram?"

"We have got to find her first," said his companion.

"A young girl like that," said Lavender, taking no heed of the
objection, "surely she cannot always be unhappy. She is so young and
beautiful, and takes so much interest in many things: surely she may
have a happy life."

"She might have had."

"I don't mean with me," said Lavender, with his haggard face looking
still more haggard in the increasing light. "I mean anything that can be
done--any way of life that will make her comfortable and contented
again--anything that I can do for that. Will you try to find it out,
Ingram?"

"Oh yes, I will," said the other, who had been thinking with much
foreboding of all these possibilities ever since they left Sloane
street, his only gleam of hope being a consciousness that this time at
least there could be no doubt of Frank Lavender's absolute sincerity, of
his remorse, and his almost morbid craving to make reparation if that
were still possible.

They reached the house at last. There was a dim orange-colored light
shining in the passage. Lavender went on and threw open the door of the
small room which Sheila had adorned, asking Ingram to follow him. How
wild and strange this chamber looked, with the wan glare of the dawn
shining in on its barbaric decorations from the sea-coast--on the shells
and skins and feathers that Sheila had placed around! That white light
of the morning was now shining everywhere into the silent and desolate
house. Lavender found Ingram a bedroom, and then he turned away, not
knowing what to do. He looked into Sheila's room: there were dresses,
bits of finery and what not that he knew so well, but there was no light
breathing audible in the silent and empty chamber. He shut the door as
reverently as though he were shutting it on the dead, and went down
stairs and threw himself almost fainting with despair and fatigue on a
sofa, while the world outside awoke to a new day with all its countless
and joyous activities and duties.


CHAPTER XX.

A SURPRISE.

There was no letter from Sheila in the morning; and Lavender, so soon as
the post had come and gone, went up to Ingram's room and woke him. "I
am sorry to disturb you, Ingram," he said, "but I am going to Lewis. I
shall catch the train to Glasgow at ten."

"And what do you want to get to Lewis for?" said Ingram, starting up.
"Do you think Sheila would go straight back to her own people with all
this humiliation upon her? And supposing she is not there, how do you
propose to meet old Mackenzie?"

"I am not afraid of meeting any man," said Lavender: "I want to know
where Sheila is. And if I see Mackenzie, I can only tell him frankly
everything that has happened. He is not likely to say anything of me
half as bad as what I think of myself."

"Now listen," said Ingram, sitting up in bed, with his brown beard and
grayish hair in a considerably disheveled condition: "Sheila may have
gone home, but it isn't likely. If she has not, your taking the story up
there and spreading it abroad would prepare a great deal of pain for her
when she might go back at some future time. But suppose you want to make
sure that she has not gone to her father's house. She could not have got
down to Glasgow sooner than this morning by last night's train, you
know. It is to-morrow morning, not this morning, that the Stornoway
steamer starts; and she would be certain to go direct to it at the
Glasgow Broomielaw, and go round the Mull of Cantyre, instead of
catching it up at Oban, because she knows the people in the boat, and
she and Mairi would be among friends. If you really want to know whether
she has gone north, perhaps you could do no better than run down to
Glasgow to-day, and have a look at the boat that starts to-morrow
morning. I would go with you myself, but I can't escape the office
to-day."

Lavender agreed to do this, and was about to go. But before he bade his
friend good-bye he lingered for a second or two in a hesitating way, and
then he said, "Ingram, you were speaking the other night of your going
up to Borva. If you should go--"

"Of course I sha'n't go," said the other promptly. "How could I face
Mackenzie when he began to ask me about Sheila? No, I cannot go to Borva
while this affair remains in its present condition; and, indeed,
Lavender, I mean to stop in London till I see you out of your trouble
somehow."

"You are heaping coals of fire on my head."

"Oh, don't look at it that way. If I can be of any help to you, I shall
expect, this time, to have a return for it."

"What do you mean?"

"I will tell you when we get to know something of Sheila's intentions."

And so Frank Lavender found himself once more, as in the old times, in
the Euston Station, with the Scotch mail ready to start, and all manner
of folks bustling about with that unnecessary activity which betokens
the excitement of a holiday. What a strange holiday was his! He got into
a smoking-carriage in order to be alone, and he looked out on the people
who were bidding their friends good-bye. Some of them were not very
pretty, many of them were ordinary, insignificant, commonplace-looking
folks, but it was clear that they had those about them who loved them
and thought much of them. There was one man whom, in other
circumstances, Lavender would have dismissed with contempt as an
excellent specimen of the unmitigated cad. He wore a white waistcoat,
purple gloves and a green sailor's knot with a diamond in it, and there
was a cheery, vacuous, smiling expression on his round face as he
industriously smoked a cheroot and made small jokes to the friends who
had come to see him off. One of them was a young woman, not very good
looking perhaps, who did not join in the general hilarity; and it
occurred to Lavender that the jovial man with the cheroot was perhaps
cracking his little jokes to keep up her spirits. At all events, he
called her "my good lass" from time to time, and patted her on the
shoulder, and was very kind to her. And when the guard came up and bade
everybody get in, the man kissed the girl and shook hands with her and
bade her good-bye; and then she, moved by some sudden impulse, caught
his face in both her hands and kissed him once on each cheek. It was a
ridiculous scene. People who wear green ties with diamond pins care
nothing for decorum. And yet Lavender, when he averted his eyes from
this parting, could not help recalling what Ingram had been saying the
night before, and wondered whether this outrageous person, with his
abominable decorations and his genial grin, might not be more fortunate
than many a great statesman or warrior or monarch.

He turned round to find the cad beside him; and presently the man, with
an abounding good-nature, began to converse with him, and explained that
it was 'igh 'oliday with him, for that he had got a pass to travel
first-class as far as Carlisle. He hoped they would have a jolly time of
it together. He explained the object of his journey in the frankest
possible fashion, made a kindly little joke upon the hardship of parting
with one's sweetheart, said that a faint heart never won fair lady, and
that it was no good crying over spilt milk. She would be all right, and
precious glad to see him when he came back in three weeks' time, and he
meant to bring her a present that would be good for sore eyes.

"Perhaps you're a married man, sir, and got past all them games?" said
the cad cheerily.

"Yes, I am married," said Lavender coldly.

"And you're going farther than Carlisle, you say, sir? I'll be sworn the
good lady is up somewhere in that direction, and she won't be
disappointed when she sees you--oh no! Scotch, sir?"

"I am not Scotch," said Lavender curtly.

"And she?"

Should he have to throw the man out of the window? "Yes."

"The Scotch are a strange race--very," said the genial person, producing
a brandy flask. "They drink a trifle, don't they? and yet they keep
their wits about them if you've dealings with them. A very strange race
of people, in my opinion--very. Know the story of the master who
fancied his man was drunk? 'Donald, you're trunk,' says he. 'It's a tam
lee,' says Donald. 'Donald, ye ken ye're trunk,' says the master. 'Ah
ken ah wish to Kott ah was!' says Donald. Good story, ain't it, sir?"

Lavender had heard the remarkable old joke a hundred times, but just at
this moment there was something odd in this vulgar person suddenly
imitating, and imitating very well, the Highland accent. Had he been
away up in the North? or had he merely heard the story related by one
who had been? Lavender dared not ask, however, for fear of prolonging a
conversation in which he had no wish to join. Indeed, to get rid of the
man, he shoved a whole bundle of the morning papers into his hands.

"What's your opinion of politics at present, sir?" observed his friend
in an off-hand way.

"I haven't any," said Lavender, compelled to take back one of the
newspapers and open it.

"I think, myself, they're in a bad state: that's my opinion. There ain't
a man among 'em who knows how to keep down those people: that's my
opinion, sir. What do you think?"

"Oh, I think so too," said Lavender. "You'll find a good article in that
paper on University Tests."

The cheery person looked rather blank. "I would like to hear your
opinion about 'em, sir," he said. "It ain't much good reading only one
side of a question, but when you can talk about it and discuss it,
now--"

"I am sorry I can't oblige you," said Lavender, goaded into making some
desperate effort to release himself. "I am suffering from relaxed throat
at present. My doctor has warned me against talking too much."

"I beg your pardon, sir. You don't seem very well: perhaps the throat
comes with a little feverishness, you see--a cold, in fact. Now if I was
you I'd try tannin lozenges for the throat. They're uncommon good for
the throat; and a little quinine for the general system--that would put
you as right as a fiver. I tried it myself when I was down in 'Ampshire
last year. And you wouldn't find a drop of this brandy a bad thing,
either, if you don't mind rowing in the same boat as myself."

Lavender declined the proffered flask and subsided behind a newspaper.
His fellow-traveler lit another cheroot, took up Bradshaw and settled
himself in a corner.

Had Sheila come up this very line some dozen hours before? Lavender
asked himself as he looked out on the hills and valleys and woods of
Buckinghamshire. Had the throbbing of the engine and the rattle of the
wheels kept the piteous eyes awake all through the dark night, until the
pale dawn showed the girl a wild vision of northern hills and moors,
telling her she was getting near to her own country? Not thus had Sheila
proposed to herself to return home on the first holiday-time that should
occur to them both. He began to think of his present journey as it might
have been in other circumstances. Would she have remembered any of those
pretty villages which she saw one early morning long ago when they were
bathed in sunshine and scarcely awake to the new day? Would she be
impatient at the delays at the stations, and anxious to hurry on to
Westmoreland and Dumfries, to Glasgow, and Oban, and Skye, and then from
Stornoway across the island to the little inn at Garra-na-hina? Here, as
he looked out of the window, the first indication of the wilder country
became visible in the distant Berkshire hills. Close at hand the country
lay green and bright under a brilliant sun, but over there in the east
some heavy clouds darkened the landscape, and the far hills seemed to be
placed amid a gloomy stretch of moorland. Would not Sheila have been
thrilled by this glimpse of the coming North? She would have fancied
that greater mountains lay far behind these rounded slopes hidden in
mist. She would have imagined that no human habitations were near those
rising plains of sombre hue, where the red-deer and the fox ought to
dwell. And in her delight at getting away from the fancied brightness
of the South, would she not have been exceptionally grateful and
affectionate toward himself, and striven to please him with her tender
ways?

It was not a cheerful journey, this lonely trip to the North. Lavender
got to Glasgow that night, and next morning he went down, long before
any passengers could have thought of arriving, to the Clansman. He did
not go near the big steamer, for he was known to the captain and the
steward, but he hung about the quays, watching each person who went on
board. Sheila certainly was not among the passengers by the Clansman.

But she might have gone to Greenock and waited for the steamer there.
Accordingly, after the Clansman had started on her voyage, he went into
a neighboring hotel and had some breakfast, after which he crossed the
bridge to the station and took rail for Greenock, where he arrived some
time before the Clansman made her appearance. He went down to the quay.
It was yet early morning, and a cool fresh breeze was blowing in across
the broad waters of the Frith, where the sunlight was shining on the
white sails of the yachts and on the dipping and screaming sea gulls.
Far away beyond the pale blue mountains opposite lay the wonderful
network of sea-loch and island through which one had to pass to get to
the distant Lewis. How gladly at this moment would he have stepped on
board the steamer with Sheila, and put out on that gleaming plain of
sea, knowing that by and by they would sail into Stornoway harbor and
find the wagonette there! They would not hasten the voyage. She had
never been round the Mull of Cantyre, and so he would sit by her side
and show her the wild tides meeting there, and the long jets of white
foam shooting up the great wall of rock. He would show her the pale
coast of Ireland; and then they would see Islay, of which she had many a
ballad and story. They would go through the narrow sound that is
overlooked by the gloomy mountains of Jura. They would see the distant
islands where the chief of Colonsay is still mourned for on the still
evenings by the hapless mermaiden, who sings her wild song across the
sea. They would keep wide of the dangerous currents of Corryvreckan, and
by and by they would sail into the harbor of Oban, the beautiful
sea-town where Sheila first got a notion of the greatness of the world
lying outside of her native island.

What if she were to come down now from this busy little seaport, which
lay under a pale blue smoke, and come out upon this pier to meet the
free sunlight and the fresh sea-air blowing all about? Surely at a great
distance he could recognize the proud, light step, and the proud, sad
face. Would she speak to him, or go past him, with firm lips and piteous
eyes, to wait for the great steamer that was now coming along out of the
eastern mist? Lavender glanced vaguely around the quays and the
thoroughfares leading to them, but there was no one like Sheila there.
In the distance he could hear the throbbing of the Clansman's engines as
the big steamer came on through the white plain. The sun was warmer now
on the bright waters of the Frith, and the distant haze over the pale
blue mountains beyond had grown more luminous. Small boats went by, and
here and there a yachtsman, scarlet-capped and in white costume, was
taking a leisurely breakfast on his deck. The sea-gulls circled about,
or dipped down on the waters, or chased each other with screams and
cries. Then the Clansman sailed into the quay, and there was a flinging
of ropes and general hurry and bustle, while people came crowding round
the gangways, calling out to each other in every variety of dialect and
accent.

Sheila was not there. He lingered about, and patiently waited for the
starting of the steamer, not knowing how long she ordinarily remained at
Greenock. He was in no hurry, indeed, for after the vessel had gone he
found himself with a whole day before him, and with no fixed notion as
to how it could be passed.

In other circumstances he would have been in no difficulty as to the
spending of a bright forenoon and afternoon by the side of the sea. Or
he could have run through to Edinburgh and called on some artist-friends
there. Or he could have crossed the Frith and had a day's ramble among
the mountains. But now that he was satisfied that Sheila had not gone
home all his fancies and hopes went back to London. She was in London.
And while he was glad that she had not gone straight to her own people
with a revelation of her wrongs, he scarcely dared speculate on what
adventures and experiences might have befallen those two girls turned
out into a great city of which they were about equally ignorant.

The day passed somehow, and at night he was on his way to London. Next
morning he went down to Whitehall and saw Ingram.

"Sheila has not gone back to the Highlands, so far as I can make out,"
he said.

"So much the better," was the answer.

"What am I to do? She must be in London, and who knows what may befall
her?"

"I cannot tell you what you should do. Of course you would like to know
where she is; and I fancy she would have no objection herself to letting
you know that she was all right, so long as she knew that you would not
go near her. I don't think she has taken so decided a step merely for
the purpose of being coaxed back again: that is not Sheila's way."

"I won't go near her," he said. "I only want to know that she is safe
and well. I will do whatever she likes, but I must know where she is,
and that she has come to no harm."

"Well," said Ingram slowly, "I was talking the matter over with Mrs.
Lorraine last night--"

"Does _she_ know?" said Lavender, wincing somewhat.

"Certainly," Ingram answered. "I did not tell her. I had promised to go
up there about something quite different, when she immediately began to
tell me the news. Of course it was impossible to conceal such a thing.
Don't all the servants about know?"

"I don't care who knows," said Lavender moodily. "What does Mrs.
Lorraine say about this affair?"

"Mrs. Lorraine says that it serves you right," said Ingram bluntly.

"Thank her very much! I like candor, especially in a fair-weather
friend."

"Mrs. Lorraine is a better friend to you than you imagine," Ingram said,
taking no notice of the sneer. "When she thought that your going to
their house continually was annoying Sheila, she tried to put a stop to
it for Sheila's sake. And now, at this very moment, she is doing her
very best to find out where Sheila is; and if she succeeds she means to
go and plead your cause with the girl."

"I will not have her do anything of the kind," said Lavender fiercely.
"I will plead my own cause with Sheila. I will have forgiveness from
Sheila herself alone--not brought to me by any intermeddling woman."

"You needn't call names," said Ingram coolly. "But I confess I think you
are right; and I told Mrs. Lorraine that was what you would doubtless
say. In any case, she can do no harm in trying to find out where Sheila
is."

"And how does she propose to succeed? Pollaky, the 'Agony' column,
placards, or a bellman? I tell you, Ingram, I won't have that woman
meddle in my affairs--coming forward as a Sister of Mercy to heal the
wounded, bestowing mock compassion, and laughing all the time."

"Lavender, you are beside yourself. That woman is one of the most
good-natured, shrewd, clever and amiable women I have ever met. What has
enraged you?"

"Bah! She has got hold of you too, has she? I tell you she is a rank
impostor."

"An impostor!" said Ingram slowly. "I have heard a good many people
called impostors. Did it ever occur to you that the blame of the
imposture might possibly lie with the person imposed on? I have heard of
people falling into the delusion that a certain modest and
simple-minded man was a great politician or a great wit, although he had
never claimed to be anything of the kind; and then, when they found out
that in truth he was just what he had pretended to be, they called out
against him as an impostor. I have heard, too, of young gentlemen
accusing women of imposture whose only crime was that they did not
possess qualities which they had never pretended to possess, but which
the young gentlemen fancied they ought to possess. Mrs. Lorraine may be
an impostor to you. I think she is a thoroughly good woman, and I know
she is a very delightful companion. And if you want to know how she
means to find Sheila out, I can tell you. She thinks that Sheila would
probably go to a hotel, but that afterward she would try to find
lodgings with some of the people whom she had got to know through her
giving them assistance. Mrs. Lorraine would like to ask your servants
about the women who used to come for this help. Then, she thinks, Sheila
would probably get some one of these humble friends to call for her
letters, for she would like to hear from her father, and she would not
care to tell him that she had left your house. There is a great deal of
supposition in all this, but Mrs. Lorraine is a shrewd woman, and I
would trust her instinct in such matters a long way. She is quite sure
that Sheila would be too proud to tell her father, and very much averse,
also, to inflicting so severe a blow on him."

"But surely," Lavender said hastily, "if Sheila wishes to conceal this
affair for a time, she must believe it to be only temporary? She cannot
propose to make the separation final?"

"That I don't know anything about. I would advise you to go and see Mrs.
Lorraine."

"I won't go and see Mrs. Lorraine."

"Now, this is unreasonable, Lavender. You begin to fancy that Sheila had
some sort of dislike to Mrs. Lorraine, founded on ignorance, and
straightway you think it is your duty to go and hate the woman. Whatever
you may think of her, she is willing to do you a service."

"Will you go, Ingram, and take her to those servants?"

"Certainly I will, if you commission me to do so," said Ingram readily.

"I suppose they all know?"

"They do."

"And every one else?"

"I should think few of your friends would remain in ignorance of it."

"Ah, well," said Lavender, "if only I could get Sheila to overlook what
is past, this once, I should not trouble my dear friends and
acquaintances for their sympathy and condolence. By the time I saw them
again I fancy they would have forgotten our names."

There was no doubt of the fact that the news of Sheila's flight from her
husband's house had traveled very speedily round the circle of
Lavender's friends, and doubtless in due time it reached the ears of his
aunt. At all events, Mrs. Lavender sent a message to Ingram, asking him
to come and see her. When he went he found the little, dry, hard-eyed
woman in a terrible passion. She had forgotten all about Marcus Aurelius
and the composure of a philosopher, and the effect of anger on the
nervous system. She was bolstered up in bed, for she had had another bad
fit, but she was brisk enough in her manner and fierce enough in her
language.

"Mr. Ingram," she said the moment he had entered, "do you consider my
nephew a beast?"

"I don't," he said.

"I do," she retorted.

"Then you are quite mistaken, Mrs. Lavender. Probably you have heard
some exaggerated story of all this business. He has been very
inconsiderate and thoughtless, certainly, but I don't believe he quite
knew how sensitive his wife was; and he is very repentant now, and I
know he will keep his promises."

"You would apologize for the devil," said the little old woman frowning.

"I would try to give him his due, at all events," said Ingram with a
laugh. "I know Frank Lavender very well--I have known him for years--and
I know there is good stuff in him, which may be developed in proper
circumstances. After all, what is there more common than for a married
man to neglect his wife? He only did unconsciously and thoughtlessly
what heaps of men do deliberately."

"You are making me angry," said Mrs. Lavender in a severe voice.

"I don't think it fair to expect men to be demigods," Ingram said
carelessly. "I never met any demigods myself: they don't live in my
neighborhood. Perhaps if I had had some experience of a batch of them, I
should be more censorious of other people. If you set up Frank for a
Bayard, is it his fault or yours?"

"I am not going to be talked out of my common sense, and me on my
death-bed," said the old lady impatiently, and yet with some secret hope
that Ingram would go on talking and amuse her. "I won't have you say he
is anything but a stupid and ungrateful boy, who married a wife far too
good for him. He is worse than that--he is much worse than that; but as
this may be my death-bed, I will keep a civil tongue in my head."

"I thought you didn't like his wife very much?" said Ingram.

"I am not bound to like her because I think badly of him, am I? She was
not a bad sort of girl, after all--temper a little stiff, perhaps; but
she was honest. It did one's eyes good to look at her bright face. Yes,
she was a good sort of creature in her way. But when she ran off from
him, why didn't she come to me?"

"Perhaps you never encouraged her."

"Encouragement! Where ought a married woman go to but to her husband's
relatives? If she cannot stay with him, let her take the next best
substitute. It was her duty to come to me."

"If Sheila had fancied it to be her duty, she would have come here at
any cost."

"What do you mean, Mr. Ingram?" said Mrs. Lavender severely.

"Well, supposing she didn't like you--" he was beginning to say
cautiously, when she sharply interrupted him:

"She didn't like me, eh?"

"I said nothing of the kind. I was about to say that if she had thought
it her duty to come here, she would have come in any circumstances."

"She might have done worse. A young woman risks a great deal in running
away from her husband's home. People will talk. Who is to make people
believe just the version of the story that the husband or wife would
prefer?"

"And what does Sheila care," said Ingram with a hot flush in his face,
"for the belief of a lot of idle gossips and slanderers?"

"My dear Mr. Ingram," said the old lady, "you are not a woman, and you
don't know the bother one has to look after one's reputation. But that
is a question not likely to interest you. Let us talk of something else.
Do you know why I wanted you to come and see me to-day?"

"I am sure I don't."

"I mean to leave you all my money."

He stared. She did not appear to be joking. Was it possible that her
rage against her nephew had carried her to this extreme resolve?

"Oh!" he stammered, "but I won't have it, Mrs. Lavender."

"But you'll have to have it," said the little old woman severely. "You
are a poor man. You could make good use of my money--better than a
charity board that would starve the poor with a penny out of each
shilling, and spend the other elevenpence in treating their friends to
flower-shows and dinners. Do you think I mean to leave my money to such
people? You shall have it. I think you would look very well driving a
mail-phaeton in the Park; and I suppose you would give up your pipes and
your philosophy and your bachelor walks into the country. You would
marry, of course: every man is bound to make a fool of himself that way
as soon as he gets enough money to do it with. But perhaps you might
come across a clever and sensible woman, who would look after you and
give you your own way while having her own. Only don't marry a fool.
Whatever you do, don't marry a fool, or all your philosophers won't make
the house bearable to you."

"I am not likely to marry anybody, Mrs. Lavender," said Ingram
carelessly.

"Is there no woman you know whom you would care to marry?"

"Oh," he said, "there is one woman--yes--who seems to me about
everything that a man could wish, but the notion of my marrying her is
absurd. If I had known in time, don't you see, that I should ever think
of such a thing, I should have begun years ago to dye my hair. I can't
begin now. Gray hair inspires reverence, I believe, but it is a bad
thing to go courting with."

"You must not talk foolishly," said the little old lady with a frown.
"Do you think a sensible woman wants to marry a boy who will torment her
with his folly and his empty head and his running after a dozen
different women? Gray hair! If you think gray hair is a bad thing to go
courting with, I will give you something better. I will put something in
your hand that will make the young lady forget your gray hair. Oh, of
course you will say that she cannot be tempted, that she despises money.
If so, so much the better; but I have known more women than you, and my
hair is grayer than yours, and you will find that a little money won't
stand in the way of your being accepted."

He had made some gesture of protest, not against her speaking of his
possible marriage, which scarcely interested him, so remote was the
possibility, but against her returning to this other proposal. And when
he saw the old woman really meant to do this thing, he found it
necessary to declare himself explicitly on the point. "Oh, don't
imagine, Mrs. Lavender," he said, "that I have any wild horror of money,
or that I suppose anybody else would have. I should like to have five
times or ten times as much as you seem generously disposed to give me.
But here is the point, you see. I am a vain person. I am very proud of
my own opinion of myself; and if I acceded to what you propose--if I
took your money--I suppose I should be driving about in that fine
phaeton you speak of. That is very good: I like driving, and I should be
pleased with the appearance of the trap and the horses. But what do you
fancy I should think of myself--what would be my opinion of my own
nobleness and generosity and humanity--if I saw Sheila Mackenzie walking
by on the pavement, without any carriage to drive in, perhaps without a
notion as to where she was going to get her dinner? I should be a great
hero to myself then, shouldn't I?"

"Oh, Sheila again!" said the old woman in a tone of vexation. "I can't
imagine what there is in that girl to make men rave so about her. That
Jew-boy is become a thorough nuisance: you would fancy she had just
stepped down out of the clouds to present him with a gold harp, and that
he couldn't look up to her face. And you are just as bad. You are worse,
for you don't blow it off in steam. Well, there need be no difficulty. I
meant to leave the girl in your charge. You take the money and look
after her: I know she won't starve. Take it in trust for her, if you
like."

"But that is a fearful responsibility, Mrs. Lavender," he said in
dismay. "She is a married woman. Her husband is the proper person--"

"I tell you I won't give him a farthing!" she said with a sudden
sharpness that startled him--"not a farthing! If he wants money, let him
work for it, as other people do; and then, when he has done that, if he
is to have any of my money, he must be beholden for it to his wife and
to you."

"Do you think that Sheila would accept anything that she would not
immediately hand over to him?"

"Then he must come first to you."

"I have no wish to inflict humiliation on any one," said Ingram stiffly.
"I don't wish to play the part of a little Providence and mete out
punishment in that way. I might have to begin with myself."

"Now, don't be foolish," said the old lady with a menacing composure.
"I give you fair warning: the next fit will do for me. If you don't
care to take my money, and keep it in trust for this girl you profess to
care so much about, I will leave it to found an institution. And I have
a good idea for an institution, mind you. I mean to teach people what
they should eat and drink, and the various effects of food on various
constitutions."

"It is an important subject," Ingram admitted.

"Is it not? What is the use of giving people laborious information about
the idle fancies of generations that lived ages before they were born,
while you are letting them poison their system, and lay up for
themselves a fearfully painful old age, by the continuous use of
unsuitable food? That book you gave me, Mr. Ingram, is a wonderful book,
but it gives you little consolation if you know another fit is coming
on. And what is the good of knowing about Epictetus and Zeno and the
rest if you've got rheumatism? Now, I mean to have classes to teach
people what they should eat and drink; and I'll do it if you won't
assume the guardianship of my nephew's wife."

"But this is the wildest notion I ever heard of," Ingram protested
again. "How can I take charge of her? If Sheila herself had shown any
disposition to place herself under your care, it might have been
different."

"Oh, it would have been different!" cried the old lady with a shrill
laugh. "It would have been different! And what did you say about her
sense of duty to her husband's relatives? Did you say anything about
that?"

"Well--" Ingram was about to say, being lost in amazement at the odd
glee of this withered old creature.

"Where do you think a young wife should go if she runs off from her
husband's house?" cried Mrs. Lavender, apparently much amused by his
perplexity. "Where can she best escape calumny? Poor man! I won't
frighten you or disturb you any longer. Ring the bell, will you? I want
Paterson."

Ingram rang.

"Paterson," said Mrs. Lavender when the tall and grave woman appeared,
"ask Mrs. Lavender if she can come here for a few minutes."

Ingram looked at the old woman to see if she had gone mad, and then,
somehow, he instinctively turned to the door. He fancied he knew that
quick, light step. And then, before he well knew how, Sheila had come
forward to him with her hands outstretched and with something like a
smile on her pale face. She looked at him for a second, she tried to
speak to him, but there was a dangerous quivering of the lips; and then
she suddenly burst into tears, and let go his hands and turned away. In
that brief moment he had seen what havoc had been wrought within the
past two or three days. There were the same proud and handsome features,
but they were pale and worn, and there was a piteous and weary look in
the eyes that told of the trouble and heartrending of sleepless nights.

"Sheila," he said, following her and taking her hand, "does any one know
of your being here?"

"No," she said, still holding her head aside and downcast--"no one. And
I do not wish any one to know. I am going away."

"Where?"

"Don't you ask too much, Mr. Ingram," said the old lady from amid her
cushions and curtains. "Give her that ammonia--the stopper only. Now,
sit down, child, and dry your eyes. You need not be ashamed to show Mr.
Ingram that you knew where you ought to come to when you left your
husband's house. And if you won't stop here, of course I can't compel
you, though Mr. Ingram will tell you you might do worse."

"Sheila, why do you wish to go away? Do you mean to go back to the
Lewis?"

"Oh no, no!" she said, almost shuddering.

"Where do you wish to go?"

"Anywhere--it does not matter. But I cannot remain here. I should meet
with--with many people I used to know. Mrs. Lavender, she is kind enough
to say she will get me some place for Mairi and me: that is all as yet
that is settled."

"Is Mairi with you?"

"Yes: I will go and bring her to you. It is not any one in London she
will want to see as much as you."

Sheila left the room, and by and by came back, leading the young
Highland girl by the hand. Mairi was greatly embarrassed, scarcely
knowing whether she should show any gladness at meeting this old friend
amid so much trouble. But when Ingram shook hands with her, and after
she had blushed and looked shy and said, "And are you ferry well, sir?"
she managed somehow to lift her eyes to his face; and then she said
suddenly, "And it is a good day, this day, for Miss Sheila, that you
will come to see her, Mr. Ingram, for she will hef a friend now."

"Yon silly girl," said Mrs. Lavender sharply, "why will you say 'Miss
Sheila?' Don't you know she is a married woman?"

Mairi glanced in a nervous and timid manner toward the bed. She was
evidently afraid of the little shriveled old woman with the staring
black eyes and the harsh voice.

"Mairi hasn't forgotten her old habits, that is all," said Ingram,
patting her good-naturedly on the head.

And then he sat down again, and it seemed so strange to him to see these
two together again, and to hear the odd inflection of Mairi's voice,
that he almost forgot that he had made a great discovery in learning of
Sheila's whereabouts, and wholly forgot that he had just been offered,
and had just refused, a fortune.


CHAPTER XXI.

MEETING AND PARTING.

The appearance of Sheila in Mrs. Lavender's house certainly surprised
Ingram, but the motives which led her to go thither were simple enough.
On the morning on which she had left her husband's house she and Mairi
had been driven up to Euston Square Station before she seemed capable
of coming to any decision. Mairi guessed at what had happened with a
great fear at her heart, and did not dare to speak of it. She sat, mute
and frightened, in a corner of the cab, and only glanced from time to
time at her companion's pale face and troubled and distant eyes.

They were driven in to the station. Sheila got out, still seeming to
know nothing of what was around her. The cabman took down Mairi's trunk
and handed it to a porter.

"Where for, miss?" said the man. And she started.

"Where will you be going, Miss Sheila?" said Mairi timidly.

"It is no matter just now," said Sheila to the porter, "if you will be
so kind as to take charge of the trunk. And how much must I pay the
cabman from Notting Hill?"

She gave him the money and walked into the great stone-paved hall, with
its lofty roof and sounding echoes.

"Mairi," she said, "I have gone away from my own home, and I have no
home for you or myself either. What are we to do?"

"Are you quite sure, Miss Sheila," said the girl, dismayed beyond
expression, "that you will not go back to your own house? It wass a bad
day this day that I wass come to London to find you going away from your
own house;" and Mairi began to cry. "Will we go back to the Lewis, Miss
Sheila?" she said. "It is many a one there will be proud and pleased to
see you again in sa Lewis, and there will be plenty of homes for you
there--oh yes, ferry many that will be glad to see you! And it wass a
bad day sa day you left the Lewis whatever; and if you will go back
again, Miss Sheila, you will neffer hef to go away again, not any more."

Sheila looked at the girl--at the pretty pale face, the troubled
light-blue eyes and the abundant fair-yellow hair. It was Mairi, sure
enough, who was talking to her, and yet it was in a strange place. There
was no sea dashing outside, no tide running in from the Atlantic. And
where was old Scarlett, with her complaints and her petulance and her
motherly kindness?

"It is a pity you have come to London, Mairi," Sheila said wistfully;
"for I have no house to take you into; and we must go now and find one."

"You will not go back to sa Lewis, Miss Sheila?"

"They would not know me in the Lewis any more, Mairi. I have been too
long away, and I am quite changed. It is many a time I will think of
going back; but when I left the Lewis I was married, and now--How could
I go back to the Lewis, Mairi? They would look at me. They would ask
questions. My father would come down to the quay, and he would say,
'Sheila, have you come back alone?' And all the story of it would go
about the island, and every one would say I had been a bad wife, and my
husband had gone away from me."

"There is not any one," said Mairi, with the tears starting to her eyes
again--"not from one end of sa island to sa other--would say that of
you, Miss Sheila; and there is no one would not come to meet you, and be
glad sat you will come again to your own home. And as for going back, I
will be ferry glad to go back whatever, for it was you I was come to
see, and not any town; and I do not like this town, what I hef seen of
it, and I will be ferry glad to go away wis you, Miss Sheila."

Sheila did not answer. She felt that it was impossible she could go back
to her own people with this disgrace upon her, and did not even argue
the question with herself. All her trouble now was to find some harbor
of refuge into which she could flee, so that she might have quiet and
solitude, and an opportunity of studying all that had befallen her. The
noise around her--the arrival of travelers, the transference of luggage,
the screaming of trains--stunned and confused her; and she could only
vaguely think of all the people she knew in London, to see to whom she
could go for advice and direction. They were not many. One after the
other she went over the acquaintances she had made, and not one of them
appeared to her in the light of a friend. One friend she had who would
have rejoiced to be of the least assistance to her, but her husband had
forbidden her to hold communication with him, and she felt a strange
sort of pride, even at this moment, in resolving to obey that
injunction. In all this great city that lay around her there was no
other to whom she could frankly and readily go. That one friend she had
possessed before she came to London: in London she had not made another.

And yet it was necessary to do something, for who could tell but that
her husband might come to this station in search of her? Mairi's
anxiety, too, was increasing every moment, insomuch that she was fairly
trembling with excitement and fatigue. Sheila resolved that she would go
down and throw herself on the tender mercies of that terrible old lady
in Kensington Gore. For one thing, she instinctively sought the help of
a woman in her present plight; and perhaps this harshly-spoken old lady
would be gentle to her when all her story was told. Another thing that
prompted this decision was a sort of secret wish to identify herself
even yet with her husband's family--to prove to herself, as it were,
that they had not cast her off as being unworthy of him. Nothing was
farther from her mind at this moment than any desire to pave the way for
reconciliation and reunion with her husband. Her whole anxiety was to
get away from him, to put an end to a state of things which she had
found to be more than she could bear. And yet, if she had had friends in
London called respectively Mackenzie and Lavender, and if she had been
equally intimate with both, she would at this moment have preferred to
go for help to those bearing the name of Lavender.

There was doubtless something strangely inconsistent in this instinct of
wifely loyalty and duty in a woman who had just voluntarily left her
husband's house. Lavender had desired her not to hold communication with
Edward Ingram: even now she would respect his wish. Lavender would
prefer that she should, in any great extremity, go to his aunt for
assistance and counsel; and to his aunt, despite her own dislike of the
woman, she would go. At this moment, when Sheila's proud spirit had
risen up in revolt against a system of treatment that had become
insufferable to her, when she had been forced to leave her home and
incur the contemptuous compassion of friends and acquaintances, if
Edward Ingram himself had happened to meet her, and had begun to say
hard things of Lavender, she would have sharply recalled him to a sense
of the discretion that one must use in speaking to a wife of her
husband.

The two homeless girls got into another cab, and were driven down to
Kensington Gore. Sheila asked if she could see Mrs. Lavender. She knew
that the old lady had had another bad fit, but she was supposed to be
recovering rapidly. Mrs. Lavender would see her in her bedroom, and so
Sheila went up. The girl could not speak.

"Yes, I see it--something wrong about that precious husband of yours,"
said the old lady, watching her keenly. "I expected it. Go on. What is
the matter?"

"I have left him," Sheila said with her face very pale, but no sign of
emotion about the firm lips.

"Oh, good gracious, child! Left him? How many people know it?"

"No one but yourself and a young Highland girl who has come up to see
me."

"You came to me first of all?"

"Yes."

"Have you no other friends to go to?"

"I considered that I ought to come to you."

There was no cunning in the speech: it was the simple truth. Mrs.
Lavender looked at her hard for a second or two, and then said, in what
she meant to be a kind way, "Come here and sit down, child, and tell me
all about it. If no one else knows it there is no harm done. We can
easily patch it up before it gets abroad."

"I did not come to you for that, Mrs. Lavender," said Sheila calmly.
"That is impossible: that is all over. I have come to ask you where I
may get lodgings for my friend and myself."

"Tell me all about it first, and then we'll see whether it can't be
mended. Mind, I am ready to be on your side, though I am your husband's
aunt. I think you're a good girl: a bit of a temper, you know, but you
manage to keep it quiet ordinarily. You tell me all about it, and you'll
see if I haven't means to bring him to reason. Oh yes, oh yes, I'm an
old woman, but I can find some means to bring him to reason." And she
laughed an odd, shrill laugh.

A hot flush came over Sheila's face. Had she come to this old woman only
to make her husband's degradation more complete? Was he to be
intimidated into making friends with her by a threat of the withdrawal
of that money that Sheila had begun to detest? And this was what her
notions of wifely duty had led to!

"Mrs. Lavender," she said, with the proud lips very proud indeed, "I
must say this to you before I tell you anything. It is very good of you
to say you will take my side, but I did not come to you to complain. And
I would rather not have any sympathy from you if it only means that you
will speak ill of my husband. And if you think you can make him do
things because you give him money, perhaps that is true at present, but
it may not always be true, and you cannot expect me to wish it to
continue. I would rather have my present trouble twenty times over than
see him being bought over to any woman's wishes."

Mrs. Lavender stared at her: "Why, you astonishing girl, I believe you
are still in love with that man!"

Sheila said nothing.

"Is it true?" she said.

"I suppose a woman ought to love her husband," Sheila answered.

"Even if he turns her out of the house?"

"Perhaps it is she who is to blame," Sheila said humbly. "Perhaps her
education was wrong, or she expects too much that is unreasonable, or
perhaps she has a bad temper. You think I have a bad temper, Mrs.
Lavender, and might it not be that?"

"Well, I think you want your own way, and doubtless you expect to have
it now. I suppose I am to listen to all your story, and I must not say a
word about my own nephew. But sit down and tell me all about it, and
then you can justify him afterward, if you like."

It was probably, however, the notion that Sheila would try to justify
Lavender all through that put the old lady on her guard, and made her,
indeed, regard Lavender's conduct in an unfairly bad light. Sheila told
the story as simply as she could, putting everything down to her
husband's advantage that was possible, and asking for no sympathy
whatsoever. She only wanted to remain away from his house; and by what
means could she and this young cousin of hers find cheap lodgings where
they could live quietly and without much fear of detection?

Mrs. Lavender was in a rage, and as she was not allowed to vent it on
the proper object, she turned upon Sheila herself. "The Highlanders are
a proud race," she said sharply. "I should have thought that rooms in
this house, even with the society of a cantankerous old woman, would
have been tolerated for a time."

"It is very kind of you to make the offer," Sheila said, "but I do not
wish to have to meet my husband or any of his friends. There is enough
trouble without that. If you could tell me where to get lodgings not far
from this neighborhood, I would come to see you sometimes at such hours
as I know he cannot be here."

"But I don't understand what you mean. You won't go back to your
husband, although I could manage that for you directly--you won't hear
of negotiations, or of any prospect of your going back--and yet you
won't go home to your father."

"I cannot do either," Sheila said.

"Do you mean to live in those lodgings always?"

"How can I tell?" said the girl piteously. "I only wish to be away, and
I cannot go back to my papa, with all this story to tell him."

"Well, I didn't want to distress you," said the old woman. "You know
your own affairs best. I think you are mad. If you would calmly reason
with yourself, and show to yourself that, in a hundred years, or less
than that, it won't matter whether you gratified your pride or no, you
would see that the wisest thing you can do now is to take an easy and
comfortable course. You are in an excited and nervous state at present,
for example; and that is destroying so much of the vital portion of your
frame. If you go into these lodgings and live like a rat in a hole, you
will have nothing to do but nurse these sorrows of yours, and find them
grow bigger and bigger while you grow more and more wretched. All that
is mere pride and sentiment and folly. On the other hand, look at this.
Your husband is sorry you are away from him: you may take that for
granted. You say he was merely thoughtless: now he has got something to
make him think, and would without doubt come and beg your pardon if you
gave him a chance. I write to him, he comes down here, you kiss and make
good friends again, and to-morrow morning you are comfortable and happy
again."

"To-morrow morning!" said Sheila sadly. "Do you know how we should be
situated to-morrow morning? The story of my going away would become
known to his friends: he would go among them as though he had suffered
some disgrace, and I the cause of it. And though he is a man, and would
soon be careless of that, how could I go with him amongst his friends,
and feel that I had shamed him? It would be worse than ever between us;
and I have no wish to begin again what ended this morning--none at all,
Mrs. Lavender."

"And do you mean to say that you intend to live permanently apart from
your husband?"

"I do not know," said Sheila in a despairing tone. "I cannot tell you.
What I feel is that, with all this trouble, it is better that our life
as it was in that house should come to an end."

Then she rose. There was a tired look about the face, as if she were too
weary to care whether this old woman would help her or no. Mrs. Lavender
regarded her for a moment, wondering, perhaps, that a girl so handsome,
fine-colored and proud-eyed should be distressing herself with imaginary
sentiments, instead of taking life cheerfully, enjoying the hour as it
passed, and being quite assured of the interest and liking and homage of
every one with whom she came in contact. Sheila turned to the bed once
more, about to say that she had troubled Mrs. Lavender too much already,
and that she would look after these lodgings. But the old woman
apparently anticipated as much, and said with much deliberation that if
Sheila and her companion would only remain one or two days in the house,
proper rooms should be provided for them somewhere. Young girls could
not venture into lodgings without strict inquiries being made. Sheila
should have suitable rooms, and Mrs. Lavender would see that she was
properly looked after and that she wanted for nothing. In the mean time
she must have some money.

"It is kind of you," said the girl, blushing hotly, "but I do not
require it."

"Oh, I suppose we are too proud," said the old woman. "If we disapprove
of our husband taking money, we must not do it either. Why, child, you
have learnt nothing in London. You are a savage yet. You must let me
give you something for your pocket, or what are you to do? You say you
have left everything at home: do you think hair-brushes, for example,
grow on trees, that you can go into Kensington Gardens and stock your
rooms?"

"I have some money--a few pounds--that my papa gave me," Sheila said.

"And when that is done?"

"He will give me more."

"And yet you don't wish him to know you have left your husband's house!
What will he make of these repeated demands for money?"

"My papa will give me anything I want without asking any questions."

"Then he is a bigger fool than I expected. Oh, don't get into a temper
again. Those sudden shocks of color, child, show me that your heart is
out of order. How can you expect to have a regular pulsation if you
flare up at anything any one may say? Now go and fetch me your Highland
cousin."

Mairi came into the room in a very timid fashion, and stared with her
big, light-blue eyes into the dusky recess in which the little old woman
sat up in bed. Sheila took her forward: "This is my cousin Mairi, Mrs.
Lavender."

"And are you ferry well, ma'am?" said Mairi, holding out her hand very
much as a boy pretends to hold out his hand to a tiger in the Zoological
Gardens.

"Well, young lady," said Mrs. Lavender, staring at her, "and a pretty
mess you have got us into!"

"Me!" said Mairi, almost with a cry of pain: she had not imagined before
that she had anything to do with Sheila's trouble.

"No, no, Mairi," her companion said, taking her hand, "it was not you.
Mrs. Lavender, Mairi does not understand our way of joking in London.
Perhaps she will learn before she goes back to the Highlands."

"There is one thing," said Mrs. Lavender, observing that Mairi's eyes
had filled the moment she was charged with bringing trouble on
Sheila--"there is one thing you people from the Highlands seem never
disposed to learn, and that is to have a little control over your
passions. If one speaks to you a couple of words, you either begin to
cry or go off into a flash of rage. Don't you know how bad that is for
the health?"

"And yet," said Sheila with a smile--and it seemed so strange to Mairi
to see her smile--"we will not compare badly in health with the people
about us here."

Mrs. Lavender dropped the question, and began to explain to Sheila what
she advised her to do. In the mean time both the girls were to remain
in her house. She would guarantee their being met by no one. When
suitable rooms had been looked out by Paterson they were to remove
thither. The whole situation of affairs was at once perceived by Mrs.
Lavender's attendant, who was given to understand that no one was to
know of young Mrs. Lavender's being in the house. Then the old woman,
much contented with what she had done, resolved that she would reward
herself with a joke, and sent for Edward Ingram.

When Sheila, as already described, came into the room, and found her old
friend there, the resolution she had formed went clean out of her mind.
She forgot entirely the ban that had been placed on Ingram by her
husband. But after her first emotion on seeing him was over, and when he
began to discuss what she ought to do, and even to advise her in a
diffident sort of way, she remembered all that she had forgotten, and
was ashamed to find herself sitting there and talking to him as if it
were in her father's house at Borva. Indeed, when he proposed to take
the management of her affairs into his own hands, and to go and look at
certain apartments that Paterson had proposed, she was forced, with
great heart-burning and pain, to hint to him that she could not avail
herself of his kindness.

"But why?" he asked with a stare of surprise.

"You remember Brighton," she answered, looking down. "You had a bad
return for your kindness to me then."

"Oh, I know," he said carelessly. "And I suppose Mr. Lavender wished you
to cut me after my impertinent interference. But things are very much
changed now. But for the time he went North, he has been with me nearly
every hour since you left."

"Has Frank been to the Lewis?" she said suddenly, with a look of fear on
her face.

"Oh no: he has only been to Glasgow to see if you had gone to catch the
Clansman and go North from there."

"Did he take the trouble to do all that?" she asked slowly and
wistfully.

"Trouble!" cried Ingram. "He appears to me neither to eat nor sleep day
or night, but to go wandering about in search of you in every place
where he fancies you may be. I never saw a man so beside himself with
anxiety."

"I did not wish to make him anxious," said Sheila in a low voice. "Will
you tell him that I am well?"

Mrs. Lavender began to smile. Were there not evident signs of softening?
But Ingram, who knew the girl better, was not deceived by these
appearances. He could see that Sheila merely wished that her husband
should not suffer pain on her account: that was all.

"I was about to ask you," he said gently, "what I may say to him. He
comes to me continually, for he has always fancied that you would
communicate with me. What shall I say to him, Sheila?"

"You may tell him that I am well," she answered.

Mairi had by this time stepped out of the room. Sheila sat with her eyes
fixed on the floor, her fingers working nervously with a paper-knife she
held.

"Nothing more than that?" he said.

"Nothing more."

He saw by her face, and he could tell by the sound of her voice, that
her decision was resolute.

"Don't be a fool, child!" said Mrs. Lavender emphatically. "Here is your
husband's friend, who can make everything straight and comfortable for
you in an hour or two, and you quietly put aside the chance of
reconciliation and bring on yourself any amount of misery. I don't speak
for Frank. Men can take care of themselves: they have clubs and friends,
and amusements for the whole day long. But you!--what a pleasant life
you would have, shut up in a couple of rooms, scarcely daring to show
yourself at a window! Your fine sentiments are all very well, but they
won't stand in the place of a husband to you; and you will soon find out
the difference between living by yourself like that, and having some one
in the house to look after you. Am I right, Mr. Ingram, or am I wrong?"

Ingram paused for a moment, and said, "I have not the same courage that
you have, Mrs. Lavender. I dare not advise Sheila one way or the other
just at present. But if she feels in her own heart that she would rather
return now to her husband, I can safely say that she would find him
deeply grateful to her, and that he would try to do everything that she
desired. That I know. He wants to see you, Sheila, if only for five
minutes, to beg your forgiveness."

"I cannot see him," she said with the same sad and settled air.

"I am not to tell him where you are?"

"Oh no!" she cried with a sudden and startled emphasis. "You must not do
that, Mr. Ingram. Promise me you will not do that?"

"I do promise you; but you put a painful duty on me, Sheila, for you
know how he will believe that a short interview with you would put
everything right, and he will look on me as preventing that."

"Do you think a short interview at present would put everything right?"
she said, suddenly looking up and regarding him with her clear and
steadfast eyes.

He dared not answer. He felt in his inmost heart that it would not.

"Ah, well," said Mrs. Lavender, "young people have much satisfaction in
being proud: when they come to my age, they may find they would have
been happier if they had been less disdainful."

"It is not disdain, Mrs. Lavender," said Sheila gently.

"Whatever it is," said the old woman, "I must remind you two people that
I am an invalid. Go away and have luncheon: Paterson will look after
you. Mr. Ingram, give me that book, that I may read myself into a nap,
and don't forget what I expect of you."

Ingram suddenly remembered. He and Sheila and Mairi sat down to luncheon
in the dining-room, and while he strove to get them to talk about Borva
he was thinking all the time of the extraordinary position he was
expected to assume toward Sheila. Not only was he to be the repository
of the secret of her place of residence, and the message-carrier between
herself and her husband, but he was also to take Mrs. Lavender's
fortune, in the event of her dying, and hold it in trust for the young
wife. Surely this old woman, with her suspicious ways and her worldly
wisdom, would not be so foolish as to hand him over all her property,
free of conditions, on the simple understanding that when he chose he
could give what he chose to Sheila? And yet that was what she had vowed
she would do, to Ingram's profound dismay.

He labored hard to lighten the spirits of those two girls. He talked of
John the Piper, and said he would invite him up to London, and described
his probable appearance in the Park. He told them stories of his
adventures while he was camping out with some young artists in the
Western Highlands, and told them anecdotes, old, recent and of his own
invention, about the people he had met. Had they heard of the steward on
board one of the Clyde steamers who had a percentage on the drink
consumed in the cabin, and who would call out to the captain, "Why wass
you going so fast? Dinna put her into the quay so fast! There is a gran'
company down below, and they are drinking fine!" Had he ever told them
of the porter at Arran who had demanded sixpence for carrying up some
luggage, but who, after being sent to get a sovereign changed, came back
with only eighteen shillings, saying, "Oh yes, it iss sexpence! Oh, ay,
it iss sexpence! But it iss two shullens _ta you!_" Or of the other, who
after being paid hung about the cottage-door for nearly an hour, until
Ingram, coming out, asked him why he had waited; whereupon he said, with
an air of perfect indifference, "Oo, ay, there was something said about
a dram; but hoot toots! it is of no consequence whatever!" And was it
true that the sheriff of Stornoway was so kind-hearted a man that he
remitted the punishment of certain culprits, ordained by the statute to
be whipped with birch rods, on the ground that the island of Lewis
produced no birch, and that he was not bound to import it? And had Mairi
heard any more of the Black Horse of Loch Suainabhal? And where had she
pulled those splendid bunches of bell-heather?

He suddenly stopped, and Sheila looked up with inquiring eyes. How did
he know that Mairi had brought those things with her? Sheila saw that he
must have gone up with her husband, and must have seen the room which
she had decorated in imitation of the small parlor at Borvabost. She
would rather not think of that room now.

"When are you going to the Lewis?" she asked of him with her eyes cast
down.

"Well, I think I have changed my mind about that, Sheila. I don't think
I shall go to the Lewis this autumn."

Her face became more and more embarrassed: how was she to thank him for
his continued thoughtfulness and self-sacrifice?

"There is no necessity," he said lightly. "The man I am going with has
no particular purpose in view. We shall merely go cruising about those
wonderful lochs and islands, and I am sure to run against some of those
young fellows I know, who are prowling about the fishing-villages with
portable easels. They are good boys, those boys. They are very
hospitable, if they have only a single bedroom in a small cottage as
their studio and reception-room combined. I should not wonder, Sheila,
if I went ashore somewhere, and put up my lot with those young fellows,
and listened to their wicked stories, and lived on whisky and herrings
for a month. Would you like to see me return to Whitehall in kilts? And
I should go into the office and salute everybody with 'And are you ferry
well?' just as Mairi does. But don't be downhearted, Mairi. You speak
English a good deal better than many English folks I know; and by the
time you go back to the Lewis we shall have you fit to become a
school-mistress, not only in Borva, but in Stornoway itself."

"I wass told it is ferry good English they hef in Stornoway," said
Mairi, not very sure whether Mr. Ingram was joking or not.

"My dear child," he cried, "I tell you it is the best English in the
world. If the queen only knew, she would send her grandchildren to be
educated there. But I must go now. Good-bye, Mairi. I mean to come and
take you to a theatre some night soon."

Sheila accompanied him out into the hall. "When shall you see him?" she
said with her eyes cast down.

"This evening," he answered.

"I should like you to tell him that I am well, and that he need not be
anxious about me."

"And that is all?"

"Yes, that is all."

"Very well, Sheila. I wish you had given me a pleasanter message to
carry, but when you think of doing that I shall be glad to take it."

Ingram left, and hastened in to his office. Sheila's affairs were
considerably interfering with his attendance there--there could be no
question of that--but he had the reputation of being able to get through
his work thoroughly, whatever might be the hours he devoted to it, so
that he did not greatly fear being rebuked for his present
irregularities. Perhaps if a grave official warning had been probable,
even that would not have interfered much with his determination to do
what could be done for Sheila.

But this business of carrying a message to Lavender was the most serious
he had as yet undertaken. He had to make sundry and solemn resolves to
put a bold face on the matter at the outset, and declare that wild
horses would not tear from him any further information. He feared the
piteous appeals that might be made to him; the representations that,
merely for the sake of an imprudent promise, he was delaying a
reconciliation between these two until that might be impossible; the
reasons that would be urged on him for considering Sheila's welfare as
paramount to his own scruples. He went through the interview, as he
foresaw it, a dozen times over, and constructed replies to each
argument and entreaty. Of course it would be simple enough to meet all
Lavender's demands with a simple "No," but there are circumstances in
which the heroic method of solving difficulties becomes a trifle
inhuman.

He had promised to dine with Lavender that evening at his club. When he
went along to St. James's street at the appointed hour his host had not
arrived. He walked for about ten minutes, and then Lavender appeared,
haggard and wornout with fatigue. "I have heard nothing--I can hear
nothing--I have been everywhere," he said, leading the way at once into
the dining-room. "I am sorry I have kept you waiting, Ingram."

They sat down at a small side-table: there were few men in the club at
this late season, so that they could talk freely enough when the waiter
had come and gone.

"Well, I have some news for you, Lavender," Ingram said.

"Do you know where she is?" said the other eagerly.

"Yes."

"Where?" he almost called aloud in his anxiety.

"Well," Ingram said slowly, "she is in London, and she is very well; and
you need have no anxiety about her."

"But where is she?" demanded Lavender, taking no heed of the waiter who
was standing by and uncorking a bottle.

"I promised her not to tell you."

"You have spoken with her, then?"

"Yes."

"What did she say? Where has she been? Good Heavens, Ingram! you don't
mean to say you are going to keep it a secret?"

"Oh no," said the other: "I will tell you everything she said to me, if
you like. Only I will not tell you where she is."

"I will not ask you," said Lavender at once, "if she does not wish me to
know. But you can tell me about herself. What did she say? What was she
looking like? Is Mairi with her?"

"Yes, Mairi is with her. And of course she is looking a little troubled
and pale, and so forth; but she is very well, I should think, and quite
comfortably situated. She said I was to tell you that she was well, and
that you need not be anxious."

"She sent a message to me?"

"That is it."

"By Jove, Ingram! how can I ever thank you enough? I feel as glad just
now as if she had really come home again. And how did you manage it?"

Lavender, in his excitement and gratitude, kept filling up his friend's
glass the moment the least quantity had been taken out of it: the wonder
was he did not fill all the glasses on that side of the table, and
beseech Ingram to have two or three dinners all at once.

"Oh, you needn't give me any credit about it," Ingram said. "I stumbled
against her by accident: at least, I did not find her out myself."

"Did she send for you?"

"No. But look here, Lavender, this sort of cross-examination will lead
to but one thing; and you say yourself you won't try to find out where
she is."

"Not from you, any way. But how can I help wanting to know where she is?
And my aunt was saying just now that very likely she had gone right away
to the other end of London--to Peckham or some such place."

"You have seen Mrs. Lavender, then?"

"I have just come from there. The old heathen thinks the whole affair
rather a good joke; but perhaps that was only her way of showing her
temper, for she was in a bit of a rage, to be sure. And so Sheila sent
me that message?"

"Yes."

"Does she want money? Would you take her some money from me?" he said
eagerly. Any bond of union between him and Sheila would be of some
value.

"I don't think she needs money; and in any case I know she wouldn't take
it from you."

"Well, now, Ingram, you have seen her and talked with her, what do you
think she intends to do? What do you think she would have me do?"

"These are very dangerous questions for me to answer," Ingram said. "I
don't see how you can expect me to assume the responsibility."

"I don't ask you to do that at all. But I never found your advice to
fail. And if you give me any hint as to what I should do, I will do it
on my own responsibility."

"Then I won't. But this I will do: I will tell you as nearly as ever I
can what she said, and you can judge for yourself."

Very cautiously indeed did Ingram set out on this perilous undertaking.
It was no easy matter so to shut out all references to Sheila's
surroundings that no hint should be given to this anxious listener as to
her whereabouts. But Ingram got through it successfully; and when he had
finished Lavender sat some time in silence, merely toying with his
knife, for indeed he had eaten nothing. "If it is her wish," he said
slowly, "that I should not go to see her, I will not try to do so. But I
should like to know where she is. You say she is comfortable, and she
has Mairi for a companion; and that is something. In the mean time, I
suppose I must wait."

"I don't see, myself, how waiting is likely to do much good," said
Ingram. "That won't alter your relations much."

"It may alter her determination. A woman is sure to soften into charity
and forgiveness: she can't help it."

"If you were to ask Sheila now, she would say she had forgiven you
already. But that is a different matter from getting her to resume her
former method of life with you. To tell you the truth, I should strongly
advise her, if I were to give advice at all, not to attempt anything of
the sort. One failure is bad enough, and has wrought sufficient
trouble."

"Then what am I to do, Ingram?"

"You must judge for yourself what is the most likely way of winning back
Sheila's confidence in you, and the most likely conditions under which
she might be induced to join you again. You need not expect to get her
back into that square, I should fancy: _that_ experiment has rather
broken down."

"Well," said Lavender, "I sha'n't bore you any more just now about my
affairs. Look after your dinner, old fellow: your starving yourself
won't help me much."

"I don't mean to starve myself at all," said Ingram, steadily making his
way through the abundant dishes his friend had ordered. "But I had a
very good luncheon this morning with--"

"With Sheila," Lavender said quickly.

"Yes. Does it surprise you to find that she is in a place where she can
get food? I wish the poor child had made better use of her
opportunities."

"Ingram," he said after a minute, "could you take some money from me,
without her knowing of it, and try to get her some of the little things
she likes--some delicacies, you know: they might be smuggled in, as it
were, without her knowing who had paid for them? There was ice-pudding,
you know, with strawberries in it, that she was fond of--"

"My dear fellow, a woman in her position thinks of something else than
ice-pudding in strawberries."

"But why shouldn't she have it all the same? I would give twenty pounds
to get some little gratification of that sort conveyed to her; and if
you could try, Ingram--"

"My dear fellow, she has got everything she can want: there was no
ice-pudding at luncheon, but doubtless there will be at dinner."

So Sheila was staying in a house in which ices could be prepared?
Lavender's suggestion had had no cunning intention in it, but here was
an obvious piece of information. She was in no humble lodging-house,
then. She was either staying with some friends--and she had no friends
but Lavender's friends--or she was staying at a hotel. He remembered
that she had once dined at the Langham, Mrs. Kavanagh having persuaded
her to go to meet some American visitors. Might she have gone thither?

Lavender was somewhat silent during the rest of that meal, for he was
thinking of other things besides the mere question as to where Sheila
might be staying. He was trying to imagine what she might have felt
before she was driven to this step. He was trying to recall all manner
of incidents of their daily life that he now saw might have appeared to
her in a very different light from that in which he saw them. He was
wondering, too, how all this could be altered, and a new life begun for
them both, if that were still possible.

They had gone up stairs into the smoking-room when a card was brought to
Lavender.

"Young Mosenberg is below," he said to Ingram. "He will be a livelier
companion for you than I could be. Waiter, ask this gentleman to come
up."

The handsome Jew-boy came eagerly into the room, with much excitement
visible on his face.

"Oh, do you know," he said to Lavender, "I have found out where Mrs.
Lavender is--yes? She is at your aunt's house. I saw her this afternoon
for one moment--" He stopped, for he saw by the vexation on Ingram's
face that he had done something wrong. "Is it a mistake?" he said. "Is
it a secret?"

"It is not likely to be a secret if you have got hold of it," said
Ingram sharply.

"I am very sorry," said the boy. "I thought you were all anxious to
know--"

"It does not matter in the least," said Lavender quietly to both of
them. "I shall not seek to disturb her. I am about to leave London."

"Where are you going?" said the boy.

"I don't know yet."

That, at least, had been part of the result of his meditations; and
Ingram, looking at him, wondered whether he meant to go away without
trying to say one word to Sheila.

"Look here, Lavender," he said, "you must not fancy we were trying to
play any useless and impertinent trick. To-morrow or next day Sheila
will leave your aunt's house, and then I should have told you that she
had been there, and how the old lady received her. It was Sheila's own
wish that the lodgings she is going to should not be known. She fancies
that would save both of you a great deal of unnecessary and fruitless
pain, do you see? That really is her only object in wishing to have any
concealment about the matter."

"But there is no need for any such concealment," he said. "You may tell
Sheila that if she likes to stay on with my aunt, so much the better;
and I take it very kind of her that she went there, instead of going
home or to a strange house."

"Am I to tell her that you mean to leave London?"

"Yes."

They went into the billiard-room. Mosenberg was not permitted to play,
as he had not dined in the club, but Ingram and Lavender proceeded to
have a game, the former being content to accept something like thirty in
a hundred. It was speedily very clear that Lavender's heart was not in
the contest. He kept forgetting which ball he had been playing, missing
easy shots, playing a perversely wrong game, and so forth. And yet his
spirits were not much downcast.

"Is Peter Hewetson still at Tarbert, do you know?" he asked of Ingram.

"I believe so. I heard of him lately. He and one or two more are there."

"I suppose you'll look in on them if you go North?"

"Certainly. The place is badly perfumed, but picturesque, and there is
generally plenty of whisky about."

"When do you go North?"

"I don't know. In a week or two."

That was all that Lavender hinted of his plans. He went home early that
night, and spent an hour or two in packing up some things, and in
writing a long letter to his aunt, which was destined considerably to
astonish that lady. Then he lay down and had a few hours' rest.

In the early morning he went out and walked across Kensington Gardens
down to the Gore. He wished to have one look at the house in which
Sheila was, or perhaps he might, from a distance, see her come out on a
simple errand? He knew, for example, that she had a superstitious liking
for posting her letters herself: in wet weather or dry she invariably
carried her own correspondence to the nearest pillar-post. Perhaps he
might have one glimpse of her face, to see how she was looking, before
he left London.

There were few people about: one or two well-known lawyers and merchants
were riding by to have their morning canter in the Park; the shops were
being opened. Over there was the house--with its dark front of bricks,
its hard ivy, and its small windows with formal red curtains--in which
Sheila was immured. That was certainly not the palace that a beautiful
sea-princess should have inhabited. Where were the pine woods around it,
and the lofty hills, and the wild beating of the waves on the sands
below? And now it seemed strange and sad that just as he was about to go
away to the North, and breathe the salt air again, and find the strong
west winds blowing across the mountain-peaks and through the furze,
Sheila, a daughter of the sea and the rocks, should be hiding herself in
obscure lodgings in the heart of a great city. Perhaps--he could not but
think at this time--if he had only the chance of speaking to her for a
couple of moments, he could persuade her to forgive him everything that
had happened, and go away with him--away from London and all the
associations that had vexed her and almost broken her heart--to the free
and open and joyous life on the far sea-coasts of the Hebrides.

Something caused him to turn his head for a second, and he knew that
Sheila was coming along the pavement--not from, but toward the house. It
was too late to think of getting out of her way, and yet he dared not go
up to her and speak to her, as he had wished to do. She, too, had seen
him. There was a quick, frightened look in her eyes, and then she came
along, with her face pale and her head downcast. He did not seek to
interrupt her. His eyes too were lowered as she passed him without
taking any notice of his presence, although the sad face and the
troubled lips told of the pain at her heart. He had hoped, perchance,
for one word, for even a sign of recognition, but she went by him
calmly, gravely and silently. She went into the house, and he turned
away with a weight at his heart, as though the gates of heaven had been
closed against him.

[TO BE CONTINUED.]



LAKESHORE RELICS.


We were sitting on the sand looking off over the blue water veiled with
the soft haze of Indian summer. A point covered with pine trees
stretched boldly out into the lake, its rocky cliffs rising
perpendicularly eighty feet above the beach, a sheer precipice from
whose summit a pebble dropped would strike the water below. On the west
a stream came rippling over the stones between bluffs high and massive
enough for a deep rapid river--bluffs of wild majesty worn into varied
outlines, as though a mighty torrent had once surged between them,
forcing the very rocks to crumble before its headlong career. But now
only a gentle stream wandered through the broad bed, here shallow over
the sand, there darkling in a still pool, now making a green
willow-shaded island, and now a deep rock-bordered channel, doing its
best with the various graceful devices of a happy little stream to
compensate for the absence of the river, to whose former existence the
cliffs bore silent witness and the pines testified in sighing
lamentations all the day long. On the east the lake swept inland in a
gradual curve to the piers and wharves of a city with a cloud of smoke
hanging above its spires, and then outward again to a wooded point
twelve miles away, the eastern boundary of the bay. Looking north, we
could see only water, apparently as deep as the ocean: no land was
visible on the Canadian horizon, no island to break the harmony--nothing
but vessels sailing gayly toward the east or tacking patiently toward
the west, some distinct and snowy, others dark in the distance, and all
with the graceful rigging peculiar to the lake-craft. Although November
was far advanced, the warm sunshine and soft breeze gave no indications
of approaching winter: the leaves had fallen from the trees and lay in
brilliant heaps upon the ground, and children running through the groves
waded in their glowing masses and tossed them high in the air with many
a shout and half-finished song. The bare branches basked motionless in
the hazy warmth, and the brown and empty farm-lands expanded their broad
breasts to the heat, the care of the crops well over, the last sheaf
safely housed and their labors ended. Nature works hard in these Western
fields, conquering them from the forest, redeeming them from the swamp
and tending the delicate grain amid the rank growth of prairie-grass;
but when the last load is driven home and the last leaf has fallen, then
she rests, and the hazy atmosphere and peculiar stillness mark her
repose. Indian summer! what is it? It is Nature's _dolce far niente_,
her one holiday. Wise will he be who, working with her through the
dreary winter, the budding spring, yes, and even the sultry summer,
earns the right to rest with her in Indian summer, the vacation of the
year.

We had come from the East to visit friends at the West, from a venerable
village on the Atlantic Ocean to a new city on the Western lake-shore;
and although we acknowledged that the country was advancing with the
strides of a giant, we also maintained that the charm of old
associations, the mystery of the past, the interest of stirring events,
were all wanting, and therefore the West, prosperous as it was, could
not be compared to the rock-bound coasts of New England or the
beautiful shores of New York Bay, so filled with legends and adventures,
memories of the past, battles and shipwrecks, all dating back before the
first axe resounded in the Western wilderness. Everything here was new.
There were no houses with the marks of Revolutionary bullets, no
families of unbroken aristocratic descent from over the ocean, no
traditions of Colonial times, no stories of danger, no interesting
relics: a few tales of pioneer life, a few encounters with the Indians,
composed the annals of the town; and the prosaic reality of its life was
as new and glaring as the white paint on its houses.

These thoughts we expressed to Uncle John as he joined us on the beach,
bringing the baskets containing our picnic dinner: over the sandwiches,
cakes and native Catawba we dilated upon the subject, and invited him to
visit us at Winthrop, where the very atmosphere was redolent with old
associations and the beach a treasure-house of strange relics. Our quiet
uncle smiled as we talked, and when we had finished our lunch and
climbed the cliff he took us to a pleasant stone house and introduced us
to its owner, a silver-haired gentleman of the old school, whose
personal appearance and courtly manners filled us with admiration and
respect. Living thus quietly on the lake-shore, this man of learning and
science had spent many years absorbed in natural history and its kindred
pursuits, in close communion with Nature, loved by his neighbors and
honored by the naturalists of the whole country for his persevering
industry and valuable discoveries. Surrounded by his birds, bees and
flowers, the beautiful old man received us with kindly courtesy, and
from him we heard a story of the past, authenticated by records and old
letters, and illustrated by relics found on the beach below, washed up
by the waves or exposed to view by the shifting of the sands. Deeply
interested in the narrative, we yet found it hard to believe that the
peaceful hazy lake and the little stream rippling over the bar had ever
been the scene of the raging tempest, desolation and death described in
the story. But as we drove homeward in the evening the sun went down in
a lurid cloud, and a wind came driving up from the east, whirling the
dry leaves in circles and blowing the dust in eddies at the corners of
the streets. All night it raged over land and water, increasing to a
gale as the pale dawn broke, lashing the lake into a sheet of foam, and
growing colder and colder as the flying watery clouds obscured the sun
and the dismal day waxed and waned. With our faces pressed against the
window-panes we watched the fresh-water sea in its fury. Out in the
offing several vessels were scudding under bare poles, and a steamer
trying to make the harbor was blown over almost horizontally in the
water before she reached the piers. Darkness fell and the wind howled
over the city, changing to the north and bringing a storm of sleet and
snow in its train, so that the ground was white when daylight broke, and
the air so thick with the stinging hail that we could not see the lake.
Anxiously we waited, but in vain: our thoughts were with the sailors out
on the raging waters. Not until twilight did the atmosphere grow clear;
and as an angry gleam of sunshine shot from under the heavy bank of
clouds, we saw two schooners, one near the shore, the other out on the
horizon, driving before the gale.

"Are they in danger, Uncle John?" we asked.

"Yes, I should say so, although I am no sailor."

"Why do not the tugs go out to help them?"

"Each one for himself, my two little nieces. The tugs could do nothing
in such a sea."

Another night came, and after its long hours had passed the sky grew
clearer and the gale abated: there was still a high wind and the dark
lake looked threatening, but the worst was over, at least for the time.
One of the schooners had disappeared, but the other was coming in under
a rag of a sail, plunging and almost unmanageable. As she neared the
shore a tug ventured out, and succeeded in reaching her safely, but
close to the end of the pier a furious gust broke the fastenings and
threw the vessel up on the stone foundation of an old wharf at the
western side of the entrance, where she pounded to pieces in a few
moments. The crew made desperate efforts to escape, and we could see
their black forms clinging to the spars and the logs of the wharf
between the waves. All possible aid was given, and all but one were
saved: he, poor fellow! was washed out to sea and lost.

"A cruel lake!" exclaimed Ada. "Who would suppose that such a
comparatively small body of water could rival the great ocean in
danger?"

"In a storm navigation is more dangerous on our Western lakes than on
the ocean," said Uncle John: "there is not space enough for safety, and
the short waves and narrow channels require more skill than the broad
sweep of the ocean. There is always a lee shore near, and you cannot run
away from it, as you can at sea."

At noon the wind had somewhat subsided, and a faint sunshine gleamed
through the ragged clouds. Driving out to the scene of our picnic a few
days before, we stood on the edge of the cliff and watched the great
waves come rolling in and dash against the rocks sixty feet in the air,
so that our faces were wet with their spray. The little river was white
with surf rushing in over the bar: not a leaf remained on the bare
ground, the naked trees tossed their arms wildly to and fro, and the
pines were coated with ice. A short distance to the west a boy pointed
out some timbers floating in the surf. "Them's the schooner that come
ashore last night," he explained. "This here beach is a bad place in a
storm. The crew's all drownded: guess the bodies will be coming ashore
in a few days." We turned away with a shudder. The story of the
silver-haired professor came vividly back to our minds. We relate it in
almost his own words, as it forms part of the unwritten history of
ante-Revolutionary times, but vaguely known and appreciated by this busy
generation.

In the spring of 1763 the great conspiracy of the North-western
Indians, headed by Pontiac, the celebrated chief, made its first
demonstration against the whites. By the influence and wisdom of Pontiac
the attack was simultaneous upon every fort and post in the West, and
the result successful for the conqueror and disastrous for the
conquered. Had the Indians possessed many chiefs endowed with the energy
and prudence of this remarkable red man, their history would not be
merely a monotonous repetition of defeat and extermination. But it was
not to be: the stars in their courses fought against Sisera. After the
massacre, the British, awakened to the power of their savage foes,
endeavored to send troops across the country to the relief of the
garrisons at Forts Pitt and Detroit, the only posts which had escaped
destruction; and in the fall of the same year a number of batteaux
loaded with troops and supplies started from Albany, by way of the
Mohawk, and after stopping at the fort on the Niagara River, entered
Lake Erie, intending to coast along the southern shore to Detroit. One
can easily imagine the scene. Six hundred regulars with their officers,
a train of artillery and supplies, and the boatmen, who were probably
the hardy, merry voyageurs, sailing over the placid lake covered with
the purple haze of the Indian summer, camping on the beach at night,
their fires shining through the silent forest where now towns and cities
dot the shore. They passed the mouth of the Cuyahoga in safety, and
steered northward to clear the bold headland covered with evergreens
known as the Point-aux-Pins, when suddenly a gale came upon them,
darkness fell, and, tossing on the furious waves, they knew not where to
steer, even if their frail boats had not become unmanageable in the
storm. Separated from each other, shipping water at every plunge, they
drifted toward the shore, and finding the mouth of Rocky River close
upon them, they made a desperate effort to enter, hoping to find a
harbor where they could obtain shelter. The channel is very narrow, and
but few of the boats succeeded in entering, the rest being cast upon
the rocks, engulfed in the surf or stranded on the bar, where the waves
soon tore them to pieces. In the darkness, amid the roaring of the winds
and waters, the survivors rushed wildly to and fro, seeking to climb the
perpendicular rock wet with spray, and falling headlong in the seething
waves below. The only route to the plateau above was through a ravine
within the point, and when the stormy morning broke, through this gully
the dispirited soldiers climbed to the summit of the cliff, and, making
a fire, dried their clothing and cooked a scanty meal. Here they
remained during the storm, probably for three days, crowded within a
circle of boulders, and relieving each other in the watch on the beach
as the bodies of their drowned comrades came ashore--seventy men and
three officers, Lieutenant Davidson, Lieutenant Paynter, and the
surgeon, Dr. Williams of the Eightieth Regiment. When the storm ceased,
the dead were buried, the remaining boats repaired, and the forlorn band
started back down the lake, unable to render any assistance to the
besieged garrison at Detroit on account of the loss of their ammunition
and arms.

In the fall of the next year, 1764, General Bradstreet with three
thousand men opened a campaign against the Indians on Lake Erie, and
after various successes and defeats started in batteaux from Sandusky
Bay to coast down the lake, his forces consisting of British regulars,
provincials and a large body of Indian allies. It is probable that the
beautiful autumn weather peculiar to the Western lakes deceived him as
it had deceived Major Wilkins in the preceding year, for when a sudden
gale overtook him, surprised and confused, he ran the boats ashore on an
open beach, where twenty-five were broken into fragments by the surf,
and six cannon, together with most of the ammunition and baggage, were
lost. This open beach was within a mile of the scene of the previous
year's disaster. As before, the storm continued three days, and many of
the men were lost, swept away by the waves and overcome with hunger and
fatigue. When the skies cleared, Bradstreet reviewed his diminished
forces, and after burying the remaining cannon and ammunition, started
onward with the regulars in the batteaux which had escaped the storm,
leaving the provincials and Indians to make their way by land, on foot
and without provisions, four hundred miles through the forest as best
they could. These provincials came from New York, Connecticut and New
Jersey, and were commanded by Major Israel Putnam, afterward
major-general in the United States army. The story of their terrible
journey is unwritten, but it is known that many died of slow starvation
and fatigue along the route, which led through swamps and thickets, with
deep rivers barring their path; and not until the last of December did
they reach the forts, after having been twelve weeks in the wilderness.
The number of those who perished in the wreck or died on the journey is
not recorded, but it was so large as to occasion petitions to the
government--an unusual proceeding at that early date.

These are the narratives as compiled from authorities most vague and
diverse, and yet, when taken together, most indisputable. At that time,
before the Revolution, when, save a narrow belt on the Atlantic coast,
the whole country was a forest, authentic news was rare, and records
carelessly kept, if kept at all. Soldiers marching hundreds of miles
through a wilderness had no time to compose elaborate journals, and had
something else to think of than the curiosity of posterity. When a man
lives in a state of uncertainty as to his scalp, we cannot expect from
him systematic habits of writing; and therefore we are compelled to call
upon the earth and sea for information concerning these early
adventures. Generously have they responded, producing silent witnesses
who tell the tale of disaster with a melancholy fidelity more real than
the printed page.

From time to time after heavy storms portions of the old batteaux have
been thrown up on the Rocky River beach. One of these fragments was a
bow-stem chafed and water-soaked, the iron ring-bolt secured by a
nut--both covered with rust. From its appearance it had evidently been
for a long time buried in the sand. In ploughing a field on the
bottom-lands the nails, rudder-hangings, bow-ring and other irons of a
boat were discovered, together with a heap of ashes: having been cast
high and dry upon the shore by the waves, no doubt this batteau was
burned to keep it from falling into the enemy's hands.

In 1842, during a severe gale, the sand-bar shifted its position at the
mouth of the river, and from the quantity of gun-flints, brass
musket-guards, musket-barrels and bayonets washed ashore it became
evident that one of the submerged boats had been uncovered and broken
up, after having been in the sand nearly a century.

The beach beyond Rock River, although a good fishing-ground, has been
abandoned on account of the hidden obstacles which cut and break the
nets: these are without doubt portions of Bradstreet's batteaux; and
concealed in the same locality are probably some of the cannon, as
six-pound cannon balls have been discovered there. Along this beach many
relics have been found, and every storm washes up new ones: bayonets,
muskets and bullets are to be seen in most of the houses of the
neighborhood, preserved as curiosities. Silver teaspoons have been found
in several places: they are of antique design, heavily moulded, and
engraved with various initials. No doubt they belonged to the British
officers. An ancient and elaborately finished sword was discovered on
the beach, with the hilt terminating in a lion's head of solid silver:
the guard was also of silver.

On the land, traces of the soldiers are numerous. In one of the ravines
leading up from the narrow beach a bayonet was found firmly thrust into
the clay about six feet from the bottom, which had evidently been used
as a fixture by which the soldiers drew themselves up to the top of the
bank; and on the plateau a circle of boulders with the ashes of a fire
was found in ploughing, together with a case-knife. Near by the blade of
a surgeon's amputating knife was discovered in the soil; and this
relic, perhaps the most indisputable one yet found, probably belonged to
Surgeon Williams of Wilkins's expedition, lost on the point in 1763.

A mound not far from the locality of the camp-fire had long been avoided
by the settlers on account of the human bones within it. Recent
investigations have shown it to be composed of skeletons arranged in
tiers, with earth thrown over the whole, and the skulls have been
identified as those of Anglo-Saxons, with a few Indian skulls mixed
among them. Here, then, the survivors buried their dead comrades,
English soldiers left behind, cold and still, on the shores of the
Western lake. No doubt as the boats started from the point there were
some who looked back at the new mound with sad regret for such a
burial-place. But what difference will it make when the earth and sea
give up their dead? He who made us will keep us in safety, no matter
where we lie.

The route of the provincials and Indians left by Bradstreet to find
their way by land is marked by various objects dropped at the start or
soon after. A stack of bayonets covered with soil and rubbish was found
piled systematically at the foot of a tree, forgotten perhaps, or else
left behind as too heavy for the long journey. A musket barrel was also
found enclosed in a fork of a tree by the growth of the wood: it had
been placed in an inclined position, and had remained undisturbed until
the tree had completely enveloped it. A number of gun-flints, a peck or
more, were ploughed up on the high ground back of the lake, also a
sword and bayonets. Farther on, French and English coins bearing the
date of 1714 were found, and in another locality a silver teaspoon and
some pennies of 1749: these articles were probably thrown down in
discarded clothing or knapsacks.

Every year discoveries are made of articles thrown up by the waves,
washed out of the cliffs or ploughed up in the fields. Many of these
relics are in the possession of the silver-haired professor, who has
studied the localities and invested the point with a legendary interest
rare in this busy West. When we recall the early date of these
expeditions, the great loss of life, the tragic scenes on the shore, and
the terrible journey of the provincials through the forest, we must feel
that the story with its silent illustrations is as worthy of a place in
American history as many other events of less interest, whose minutest
details have been described over and over again in the current
literature of the day.

In the words of the venerable professor: "The correctness of my
conclusions will be confirmed by an examination of the peculiar and
dangerous character of these localities during a storm, and of the
manner in which these vestiges must have been lost; and a more complete
comprehension of the terrific scenes attendant on those disasters would
thereby be gained, together with a full conception of the horrors of the
catastrophe. Few of the present generation know that either of these
events have occurred: fewer still are aware of the pecuniary loss and
human suffering they involved."

CONSTANCE FENIMORE WOOLSON.



OUR MONTHLY GOSSIP.


A FRIEND OF MY CHILDHOOD.

I suppose I must have pulled the bell very hard that day, for otherwise
I don't think she would have kept me waiting twenty minutes, as she did.
_She_ was only my mother's servant-woman, whose duty was to wait upon
the dinner-table and the door, the latter function being the more
onerous one. Looking back at my conduct over the lapse of eighteen
years, I am disposed to acknowledge that she was right in the abstract
in punishing the inconsiderate impatience which made me keep the
door-bell upon a continuous ring till I was let in. But how wrong did
the event prove her! Scarcely was I warmed up to my work, when, turning
my head, I saw a tall gentleman with broad shoulders and a round face,
whose look, at first one of inquiry, and perhaps bewilderment as he
tried to distinguish the house he was in search of from among a dozen,
all characterized by that unity of design which in Philadelphia strikes
forcibly the intelligent foreigner, suddenly changed to one of
amusement, not, I thought then, unmixed with approval, as he caught
sight of me at my reprehensible employment. And as I rang with a
persistency which nothing can now call from me, he stood on the bottom
step (for it was my mother whom he had come to see) with that expression
in which I found so little discouragement, still looking forth from
those great eyes of his, which had pierced deeply and sternly so many of
the false and hollow things of this world, and which now, not, I am
sure, for the first time, were bent kindly down upon a rude boy and his
ruder pranks. How little did the latter know about the tall gentleman,
and how little too would he have cared even if he had known all there
was to know about him:--known that then the age was beginning to
recognize its philosopher, whose lessons, sharp and bitter enough at
first, were to make it better and truer and purer, if such a thing were
possible of accomplishment.

But that he was tall I did know, and my standard of eminence was a
purely physical one. Five feet eight I did not despise, but six feet
alone commanded absolute and genuine respect; and he, I believe, stood
six feet one. The presumption which could keep such a height of
perfection waiting at the front door shocked me beyond expression. No,
not beyond expression, for the triumphant yell with which the hapless
servant-girl was greeted when at last she admitted me, and I burst in
exclaiming, "You have kept the tall gentleman waiting half an hour!"
must have given, I think, some adequate idea of my feelings. To that
incident may I not justly look back with satisfaction? Am I not right in
taking pride to myself for having amused for so long a time one whose
momentary attention the witty and the wise have thought it no slight
thing to have gained? And--who knows?--perhaps he himself did not
altogether forget it, and with the two sturdy _Buben_ on the Rhine-boat,
and those little men he used to meet at Eton or on the play-ground of
the Charterhouse, may not the American boy also have found a place in
his kindly memory? But I wish it clearly understood that I did not force
myself upon his acquaintance: no lion-hunting can be laid to my charge.
On the contrary, after giving him a glance of approbation for proving
such an effectual weapon to me in subduing my enemy in the gate--or
rather the enemy whose offence was that she was anywhere but in the
gate--I did not, I can truly say, bestow another thought upon him till I
was sent for to afford him, at his own special request, the honor of
knowing me. Were there no servants in the kitchen to be tormented? No
cats in the back yard to be chased with wild halloo? No rowdy boys in
the alley with whom to fraternize over pies of communistic mud? No
little sister up stairs much nicer than any tall gentleman, even though
he might have come from across the ocean and be thought a great deal of
by the grown-up people, that I should go out of my way to see him, and
abandon my cherished pursuits to listen to him talking of what I did not
understand, and did not believe was worth understanding? No: my position
was a high one, and I kept to it, for, though I gave up my occupations a
little while and went down to the parlor, it was simply because
politeness and filial obedience were the ruling motives of my conduct.
Of the first formal introduction to my friend I have but a shadowy
recollection. He said, I think, that he wanted to know the impetuous
little boy he had met outside; but nothing more which I can recall. My
own share in the conversation has entirely faded from my memory: it is
probable indeed that I had no share in it at all, being less at my ease
in the conventional sphere of a drawing-room than in the more
unconstrained atmosphere of a back alley. Yet in hours of depression,
when, in spite of the most sincere desire to think favorably of mankind,
I cannot fail to notice that I am not appreciated as I should be by the
undiscerning world, and my soul seeks consolation and forgetfulness from
higher sources, I half believe that when he went back to his own
country, and spoke there, as I have heard he did very often, of the
pleasant people he had met here, of the American friends he valued so
much, it was perhaps not without an _arrière-pensée_ of his noisy
acquaintance of the doorstep in Locust street.

The intercourse so tempestuously begun was threatened with an early
extinction, for my newly acquired friend returned soon after this to his
home, where were the two little girls whom he was fond of describing
while saying that he would not dare to bring them to this country, lest
they should come to despise the simple muslin gowns with which they were
then quite content; home to the toil of the hard-worked brain, the
steady labor of the untiring pen, which was to give us before it rested
for ever nothing indeed like his earlier works, but much which we shall
not willingly let die; home to England, in truth, but only that, having
written the story of certain of its kings, as he had before written the
worthier history of some of its unsceptred monarchs, whose sovereign
sway is over our spirits still, he might come again across the ocean to
greet all who should wish to hear him tell of the Britain of a century
past, when our own history had as yet scarcely seen the conclusion of
its opening chapter; giving as he did, so minute, life-like details
relating to the great men of that time, whose familiar names were to
most of his hearers not much more than names, but which, thanks in great
part to him, are now as household words. And so we met, and being two
years older, I was accorded the honor of becoming one of his auditors,
going with my mother to hear each of his lectures. We sat in a box on
one side of the stage in Concert Hall, and at this moment I recall the
tall, dignified figure standing before the desk on which were placed his
notes, and the crowded room full of indistinguishable attentive faces. I
sometimes fancy too that I cannot have forgotten what are now favorite
passages from those lectures--passages read and re-read, and then read
again, till they are known almost by heart. I cannot acknowledge to
myself that I do not remember his voice and look, and the tribute of
listening silence which waited upon him while he spoke.

One at least of these evenings is well remembered. Its distinguishing
feature was my being tipped. My mother and I had gone on this occasion
quite early to our places--half an hour or three-quarters before the
time when the lecture should begin--and we found the lecturer already at
his post. He, with head thrown back, had been walking with long strides
up and down the little waiting-room, and talking in bright spirits to my
mother, when a sudden thought seemed to strike him, and diving into one
of his pockets he brought out a sovereign--perhaps it was a five-dollar
gold piece--and insisted upon giving it to me; but the proposal produced
at once a most severe parental resistance, while I disinterestedly
looked on--a resistance apparently quite unlooked for by "my illustrious
friend," who had much trouble in explaining that this species of
beneficence was a thing of course in England. But American pride was
silenced at last, though not convinced, as will be seen, for it planned
on the spot a compromise which should reconcile the differences of
national feeling, though _I_ was induced to suppose that the sovereign
was as far out of my reach as ever; and being then, as I said before,
above or below such things, I turned all my attention to the lecture,
which began soon afterward, and whose subject, the royal bugbear of
patriotic schoolboys of that time, I imagined I knew all about. It was
therefore with astonished awe that I heard the peroration, when the
speaker said, appealing directly to us all: "O brothers speaking the
same dear mother-tongue! O comrades! enemies no more, let us take a
mournful hand together as we stand by this royal corpse and call a truce
to battle! Low he lies to whom the proudest used to kneel once, and who
was cast lower than the poorest--dead whom millions prayed for in vain.
Driven off his throne, buffeted by rude hands, with his children in
revolt, the darling of his old age killed before him untimely--our Lear
hangs over her breathless lips and cries, Cordelia! Cordelia! stay a
little!

    Vex not his ghost: oh, let him pass! He hates him
    That would upon the rack of this tough world
    Stretch him out longer.

Hush, strife and quarrel, over the solemn grave! Sound, trumpets, a
mournful march. Fall, dark curtain, upon his pageant, his pride, his
grief, his awful tragedy." This view of the subject was altogether new.

The compromise just spoken of--and I must bring to an end my story,
already too long--consisted in the expenditure of the five-dollar piece
in two of the books written by the bestower of that inflammatory coin.
I open the volumes of _Pendennis_ and _Vanity Fair_ which have been
lying at my elbow, and across the title-page of each I see written, in
curiously small and delicate hand, "---- ----, with W. M. Thackeray's
kind regards. April, 1856." These were the books.

H. R.


HAMLET IN A FRENCH DRESS.

If any one, on a rainy day or a lonely evening, wishes to drive away the
blue devils by the perusal of some laughter-compelling volume, we can
recommend for the purpose no better reading than the tragedy of _Hamlet_
done into French verse by the Chevalier de Chatelain, a gentleman well
known as a very successful translator of English poetry. With singular
good sense and feeling he has selected, not the play as Shakespeare
wrote it, but the stage-version thereof, as the foundation of his work.
For which Heaven be praised! for what he has done is sufficient, in all
conscience. Not that his translation is totally devoid of merit. On the
contrary, some passages are admirably rendered, and give the sense and
sound of the original in a manner really remarkable when the difference
between the two languages is considered. But there is such a calm
conviction on M. de Chatelain's part that he is doing his work
faultlessly, that, in view of the ludicrous errors, additions and
variations with which his text abounds, the effect is irresistible.

For instance, to begin at the beginning, the phrase

    Looks it not like the king?

is translated

    C'est le roi _tout craché_.

And in the same scene--

    Or if thou hast uphoarded in thy life
    Extorted treasure in the womb of earth,
    For which, they say, you spirits oft walk in death,

is rendered--

    Si, prévaricateur, tu volas des trésors
    Par ton ordre enfouis dans le sein de la terre,
    De tels fails vous font faire _école buissonière_
    À vous autres esprits.

In the next scene we are treated to a small specimen of M. de
Chatelain's genius as an emendator of Shakespeare. For no one can
consider this passage a translation of the text:

    Venez, Dame, venez. Ce J'y consens si doux,
    Si spontané de Hamlet m'enchante et m'enivre.
    C'est pour moi _le charmant feuillet d'un charmant livre._

That charming page of a delightful book will, we think, be sought for in
the original in vain. Still more delicious is the interpellation into
Hamlet's first soliloquy of the following lines, referring to the
"unweeded garden":

            Ces jours qu'on nous montre superbes
    Sont un vilain jardin, rempli de folles herbes,
    Qui donnent de l'ivraie et certes rien de plus,
    Si ce n'est les engins du _choléra morbus_.

Angels and ministers of grace, defend us! When _did_ Hamlet talk about
the cholera morbus?

Passing over some minor variations, we come to the brief closing
soliloquy of the scene:

    My father's spirit in arms! all is not well;
    I doubt some foul play: would the night were come!

Thus Shakespeare, and thus M. de Chatelain:

    Le spectre de mon père--armé! Vraiment ça cloche!
    Je flaire, je le crains, _quelqu' anguille sous roche_!

Doubtless Hamlet did "smell a rat," but this is the first intimation we
have had of his scenting an eel.

Thus Hamlet addresses the ghost:

    Mais oh dis moi, pourquoi tes ossemens par chance
    Déposés dans la tombe, out brisé leurs liens,
    Pour te jeter ici _comme une langue aux chiens_.

Probably the "ponderous and marble jaws" suggested this extraordinary
comparison.

In the next, act, evidently thinking that poor Ophelia has been
neglected by her creator, M. de Chatelain makes Polonius speak of her to
the king and queen as "un vrai morceau de roi"--a gentle method of
suggesting that she is worthy of the distinguished honor of a royal
alliance. But the fair Ophelia is destined to suffer nearly as unkind
treatment from the hands of her French usher as she endures from her
princely lover. We give entire the translation of her beautiful lament,
which begins--

    O what a noble mind is here o'erthrown!

and which M. de Chatelain thus renders:

    Oh! quelle triste fin pour si grande épopée
    Le soldat, l'érudit, l'oeil, la langue et l'épée,
    Tout cela culbuté--perdu. Le noble espoir,
    La fleur de ce pays--le plus riant miroir
    De la mode toujours;--le plus parfait modèle
    De gout;--des observes la plus _fine dentelle_--
    Entièrement à bas! oui, _sans ressource_ à bas!
    Et moi qui dans ses voeux trouvais tant de soulas,
    Qui du miel _de ses vers_ ai sucé la musique,
    De sa raison je vois descendre la tunique
    Sur moi, malheur!... C'est comme au lointain le tin-tin
    De la cloche ... de près qui se change en tocsin.
    De tout ce que j'ai vu conserver souvenance
    Et voir ce que je vois! Quelle désespérance!

We are at a loss which to admire most--Ophelia sucking the music from
Hamlet's honeyed verses, or the "sweet bells" whose tin-tin changes to a
tocsin, or the comparison of Hamlet to fine lace, or the "melancholy
ending to a grand epic."

The passage--

    We shall obey, were she ten times our mother,

is thus translated:

    Nous obeirons, plutôt dix fois qu'une. N'est elle pas notre mere?

M. de Chatelain confesses in a note that his translation is not in
accordance with the text, but he adds: "Nous ne concevons pas la penée
ainsi exprimée." It is a good thing for Shakespeare that he has found a
French commentator who understands what he meant to say better than he
did himself.

Ophelia's first exclamation in the mad scene, "Where is the beauteous
majesty of Denmark?" is translated,

    De Danemarck où donc est _la reine jolie_?

Such an epithet applied to the middle-aged and matronly Gertrude, the
mother of the thirty-years'-old Hamlet, is pretty--very pretty, indeed.
A few pages farther on the "bonny-sweet Robin" of Ophelia's song is
supposed by the translator to be a bird, as he thus renders the passage:

    Car le gentil Robin n'est un oiseau de proie,
    Il fait tout ma joie!

It is also exceedingly amusing to note how the old adjective "whoreson"
bothers M. de Chatelain, who seems to consider it a word of weight and
meaning. The "whoreson dead body" of the gravediggers' scene is turned
into "le cadavre des enfants de nos mères;" and in like manner that
"whoreson mad fellow Yorick" is presented to us as "un fou né d'une
fille à la morale elastique."

The tragedy of _Hamlet_ by Ducis does no wrong to the manes of
Shakespeare, for though the title-page declares that it is "imitated
from the English," nothing is left of Shakespeare's play save the names
and the fact that Hamlet's father had been murdered before the action of
the drama begins. Hamlet is the reigning king of Denmark, Claudius is
first prince of the blood and father of Ophelia, and Polonius is an
ordinary conspirator. There is no ghost and no gravedigger. Ophelia does
not go mad, there is no fencing-scene, and Hamlet, after declaiming
through innumerable pages in the set style of French classic tragedy,
solemnly stabs Claudius, and then declares that as he is a king he must
consent to live for the good of his people.

L. H. H.


ANECDOTES OF PUBLIC WORTHIES.

GEORGE WASHINGTON. One day, in a fit of abstraction the juvenile George
cut down Bushrod's favorite cherry tree with a hatchet. His purpose was
to cut--and run.

But the old gentleman came sailing round the corner of the barn just as
the future Father of his Country had started on the retreat.

"Look here, sonny," thundered the stern old Virginian, "who cut that
tree down?"

George reflected a moment. There wasn't another boy or another hatchet
within fifteen miles. Besides, it occurred to him that to be virtuous is
to be happy. Just as Washington senior turned to go in and get his
horsewhip, our little hero burst into tears, and, nestling among his
father's coat-tails, exclaimed, "Father, I cannot tell a lie. It must
have been a frost."

"My son, my son," stammered the fond parent as he made a pass for his
off-spring, "when you get to be first in war and first in peace, just
cover your back-pay into the Treasury, and the newspaper press will
respect you!"

ABRAHAM LINCOLN. Early in the war a party of distinguished gentlemen
from New England called on Mr. Lincoln to urge the appointment of a
certain Mr. Brown to the post of quarter-master. The President, who was
amusing himself by splitting portions of the staircase of the White
House into rails, received them cordially. They stated their errand in
an earnest but respectful tone, and calmly awaited his answer. Mr.
Lincoln, drawing himself up to his full height and clapping the
spokesman of the party on the shoulder, began to tell a story about a
dog-fight he once saw in Kentucky.

By and by it had gradually grown dark: several hours had passed away,
and neither dog appeared to get killed or to gain any advantage over the
other. One by one the party had dropped out, till the leader (who did
not wish to disturb Mr. Lincoln's hold on his shoulder) was left alone,
trying to conceal a yawn and to look interested. Suddenly, Mr. Lincoln,
with that peculiar smile on his countenance which Mr. Carpenter can talk
about, but can't paint, remarked, "By the way, my friend, I'm sorry for
Brown, but I gave that appointment to the other man yesterday."

DANIEL WEBSTER. The following anecdote of the great Massachusetts
statesman has never before appeared in print:

One day, Clay, Webster and Calhoun met upon the steps of the Capitol.
Mr. Clay ventured to remark, in his most affable style, that it looked
like rain. Calhoun looked wise, but said nothing. Evidently he took in
the whole situation at a glance. It was a crisis for Webster. Carefully
laying his thumb behind the third brass button of his blue coat, he
gazed from out of those cavernous eyes and grandly uttered these
prophetic words: "No, gentlemen, the American people will never forsake
the Constitution. We shall have fair weather."

And so it proved.

ALONZO SAVAGE. This time it was the pupil who put the question. The
Sabbath-school teacher encouraged her children to bring each a Scripture
question to be propounded to the class. Alonzo Savage said he would like
to be told why St. Stephen was like a thanksgiving raisin? He allowed
it was because they stoned him.

That boy has grown up and entered on a career of usefulness. He gets
steady wages as a railroad brakeman, and last week he celebrated his
golden wedding. All because Alonzo was faithful at Sabbath-school.

SARSFIELD YOUNG.


THE CANADIANS.

A New York oracle, discoursing lately upon Canadian affairs, concludes
that American ideas are pervading that region because the people speak
of "baggage" and take the right hand in driving on the road. Having
traveled somewhat in Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and
"the Island," I have never heard the term "baggage" used there except by
Americans, as they call people from the States. The word is invariably
"luggage" in hotels, steamers and stage-wagons. On the road all the
people in those provinces whom I met took the left hand, and if any one
should attempt to deviate from this old custom of England, he would
surely come to grief. When Canadians take greenbacks at par, or make
their morning porridge of corn instead of oats, perhaps they may be
ready for those other innovations.

What causes the curious difference between the people on the two sides
of the boundary-line? for a difference exists in customs, in appearance
and in the tones of the voice. It has been a favorite theory that the
New England thinness of fibre and sharpness of voice came from the harsh
climate and piercing winds; but in Canada the climate is more severe,
and the winds are as piercing, yet the faces and forms of the people are
rounder and more robust, and their voices, especially those of the
women, have a soft and mellow intonation very different from those of
their cousins in New England. The customs and habits are also different.
In Canada one sees little of the hurried life of the States, always at
high pressure. The people take life more easily than we do, and look
less anxious. Do these differences arise from different political
institutions, and are the burdens of life greater in a republic than
under a monarchy?

C.


NOTES.

Self-deception and superstition nowhere reign more supremely, at least
in civilized communities, than among the wretched devotees of the
gaming-table, who are ever promising themselves to quit the mad pursuit,
ever flattering themselves that the next _coup_ will be their last, and
always expecting that some quite supernatural piece of luck in that
final _coup_ will secure the long-sought fortune. Some time ago we
referred in a "Note" to the fanciful combinations which the gamesters of
Europe had been making, in their play, on the numerals connected with
the death of Napoleon III. M. de Villemessant in his last work gives a
very ludicrous instance of the extent to which a superstitious gambler
can carry his belief in presentiments, in theories of luck and in
prognostications. He tells us that a certain Paris vaudevillist was
persuaded that if a man unexpectedly found a piece of money when
destitute, it would bring him good luck. Accordingly, before setting
foot in a gambling-house he never failed to hide--from himself--a coin
in the bottom of a pocket, where he was fully determined to forget it.
When he had lost his all (except, of course, the aforesaid lucky piece)
he would put on his overcoat, tie up his comforter, seize his umbrella,
and open the door, when, all of a sudden, his hand happening to be
thrust by mere chance into his watch-fob, would, wonderful to relate!
hit upon the very piece whose existence he had pledged himself never to
suspect save in the case of direst need. "What a streak of luck!" he
then regularly exclaimed. "I can't be mistaken, can I? It isn't a louis,
any way? By George, it is! Well, if this isn't luck alive!" Then our
good vaudevillist would hurry back, deposit his umbrella, unroll his
muffler, shed his overcoat, throw his lucky louis on the cloth--and lose
it! After all, incredible as this story seems, M. Villemessant's
vaudevillist is but a type of a great class of men who deceive
themselves by devices which in others they would pronounce
monstrosities of silliness, and who hug their delusions with a gravity
none the less profound from their own half consciousness of the sham.

       *       *       *       *       *

It was a theory, we believe, of that profound philosopher, Mr. Weller
senior, that turnpike-keepers were confirmed misanthropes, who, after a
bitter experience in life, had sought that occupation as a means of
venting their spleen against everybody who should come their way. We
have never observed in our own experience--more limited, it is true,
than the meditative Tony's--that the milk of human kindness is specially
sour in the breasts of tollgate-keepers; nevertheless, there are few
occupations in which a man delighting to worry his fellow-creatures in a
small way could more effectually do so. The pike-keeper inflicts daily a
legion of infinitesimal annoyances. He stops people who are in a hurry,
and forces them to find change for the toll--stops them in the fierce
sun, in the drenching rain, in the thick of a snow-storm or at dead of
night. He puts an ignoble end to the excited trotting-match on the road:
he alike mercilessly pulls up Paterfamilias hurrying for the doctor and
the city man struggling to catch the train. Often, though the toll
itself is a trifle, yet the loss of those two minutes which would have
saved the appointment or caught the train, nay, even the bore of pulling
off one's gloves and pulling out one's wallet with the mercury below
zero, tries the traveler's temper. The emancipation of highways from all
taxes levied upon wayfarers is a mark of modern civilization. The
mediæval plan was to extort a toll from every luckless traveler in the
name of baron or bandit. In our day Algerine corsairs, Italian brigands,
Chinese pirates and Mexican guerillas have continued the thievish custom
of "tributes," and not long ago even Montana Indians established
themselves on the leading roads and levied tolls from the passers-by.
The civilized differs from the savage or feudal practice in rendering an
equivalent for the contributions exacted--that is, it provides from
their proceeds a stout bridge or a smooth turnpike, and keeps it
steadily in repair. But the county or State should take care of highways
and bridges without putting an impost on travel. Especially in the
suburbs of cities is the preservation of tolls a relic of commercial
barbarism. In New England they have gradually become almost extinct,
cities or counties having bought the franchises originally granted to
private companies. These petty exactions upon the freedom of travel
ought to cease everywhere.

       *       *       *       *       *

It is well known that many persons who scrupulously refrain from
perusing Lord Byron's _Don Juan_, yet enjoy witnessing Mozart's opera of
_Don Giovanni_, following the libretto with assiduity, and laughing with
special heartiness at Leporello's song as it rehearses the adventures of
his master. In the same way, many who are rather shocked at _Camille_,
find no trouble in listening to _La Traviata_, and weep for the woes of
_Favorita_ when that opera thrown into the form of an English novel
excites their censure or disgust. The fact is, that the Italian
language, like the cloak of charity, covereth a multitude of sins. Never
did it cover them more strikingly than in an instance recounted by
_L'Eclipse_. The present French government, according to that paper,
lately prohibited the theatre of La Porte Saint-Martin from playing _Le
Roi s'amuse_ of Victor Hugo, a piece familiar to Frenchmen in its
reading edition for two-score years. The edict seems to have been rather
arbitrary, since, whatever its morality, at least the play could give no
political offence, there being but the remotest kind of comparison
possible between the court of Francis I. and the government of Marshal
MacMahon. But be this as it may, on the very day after its prohibition
of _Le Roi s'amuse_ the government inserted in its budget a subvention
of a hundred thousand francs for the Théâtre Italien, whose favorite
performance is _Rigoletto_. Now, _Rigoletto_ is only a bad Italian
translation of _Le Roi s'amuse_; so that the droll spectacle was
offered of the government prohibiting one theatre, at a great loss, from
playing the very same piece which next day it offered another theatre
twenty thousand dollars for playing in Italian! The _Eclipse_
satirically suggests that the secret must be that "entrer par la
fenêtre" becomes harmless as _entrare per la finestra_, and "donner la
main" is innocent as "_donare la mano_" and that Italian purifies
everything. If this be so, could not the Paris journalists borrow a
useful hint from the affair, and avoid suspension by the government
through the simple device of turning into Italian verses, of the
operatic sort, those passages of the editorial articles which if printed
in French would provoke the censor's ire?

       *       *       *       *       *

During the recent disgraceful squabble and riot of the monks around
Jerusalem there was one incident that should especially pain all lovers
of art. This was the destruction of the two pictures by Murillo in the
Bethlehem church that fell a victim to ecclesiastical fury. They were
true Murillos, and masterpieces; and, what is worse, having been
despatched to the church immediately on their execution, and there
retained, it is believed that they have never been engraved. They were
unusually well preserved, too, for, on being placed in the oratory of La
Crèche, both canvases had been covered with glass to protect them from
candle-smoke. One of the subjects was the Nativity, the other the
Adoration of the Magi. In reading with involuntary indignation and
disgust of this barbarous instance of iconoclasm, one is reminded of
what Thackeray wrote on the same scene and topic nearly thirty years
ago. In his _Journey from Cornhill to Cairo_, speaking of the leading
Christian sects in and around Jerusalem, he says: "These three main
sects hate each other; their quarrels are interminable; each bribes and
intrigues with the heathen lords of the soil to the prejudice of his
neighbor. Now it is the Latins who interfere, and allow the common
church to go to ruin, because the Greeks purpose to roof it; now the
Greeks demolish a monastery on Mount Olivet, and leave the ground to the
Turks, rather than allow the Armenians to possess it. On another
occasion, the Greeks having mended the Armenian steps which lead to the
(so-called) Cave of the Nativity at Bethlehem, the latter asked for
permission to destroy the work of the Greeks, and did so. And so round
this sacred spot, the centre of Christendom, the representatives of the
three great sects worship under one roof, and hate each other!" The
church of La Crèche is, as its name implies, the church of "The Manger"
(_i. e._, the reputed place of the nativity of Christ); and to this
spot, and the furious wrangles of which it has been the scene, we may
therefore apply the exclamation which Thackeray makes regarding the tomb
of Christ: "What a place to choose for imposture, good God!--to sully
with brutal struggles for self-aggrandizement or shameful schemes of
gain!" The Germans had the grace to try to spare with their bombs the
spire of Strasburg cathedral; religious fanaticism in the Middle Ages
directed itself to the destruction of "pagan" art, no matter how
beautiful; but in these enlightened days for ecclesiastical fury to take
up the barbarous _rôle_ of destruction, which even savage war discards,
is pitiable indeed.

       *       *       *       *       *

Comeliness becomes every day more and more an affair of chemistry.
Science has now found what bids fair to be a very "glass of
fashion"--not a metaphorical, but a literal glass, at least for lean
people. The chemical properties of each color in the solar spectrum have
long been known, and of late years it has also been discovered that
plants may be made to thrive wonderfully in green-houses constructed of
blue or violet panes, the production of such nurseries being sometimes
doubled or trebled by this device. But the experiment has been pushed
further, for some English chemists maintain that rooms provided with
violet windows, or even with hangings of that color, will fatten the
occupants! Shakespeare's "glass wherein the noble youth did dress
themselves" was not so practical a possession as this. Surely, hereafter
those who would divest themselves of their lean and hungry look may grow
obese at will, and turn the scale at the very pound required; and this,
too, by no such regimen as the Oriental one of rice and indolence, but
merely by passing a season under a violet dome or a blue crystal
green-house. Such a remedy is good tidings for all the wan, the haggard
and the wizened of society, and for those "whom sharp misery has worn to
the bone." Henceforth there need be no "starvelings," "elf-skins" or
"dried neat's tongues" of leanness for the Falstaffs to mock. And the
fat men, too, the "huge hills of flesh," shall they not have their
complementary color in their windows to make them thin? Let the
compassionate Bantings look to it.



LITERATURE OF THE DAY


A Simpleton: A Story of the Day. By Charles Reade. New York: Harper &
Brothers.

In a preface to the English edition of this book Mr. Reade grapples with
the charge of plagiarism so often urged against his stories, and,
justifying his habitual course by precedents, forestalls the search of
the detectives in the present case by proclaiming the sources from which
incidents and descriptions have been gathered. Having treated of many
matters beyond the range of his personal knowledge and experience, he
has necessarily had recourse to the writings of other men, and by citing
his authorities he not only clears himself of the suspicion of
surreptitious borrowing, but establishes the truthfulness, or at least
the plausibility, of what might otherwise have been considered
improbable inventions. This frankness, which, after all, sheds no new
light upon his method of composition, seems to have had the happy, if
undesigned, effect of throwing his critics off the true scent. The real
plagiarism in _A Simpleton_ lies not in the details, but in the
conception. The "situation" which leads to all the embroilments and
developments is the apparently ill-assorted union of a man of science
and genius, absorbed in the labors of investigation and discovery,
practical in his views of life and upright in all his actions, with an
ill-trained and unintellectual beauty, whose perfections of form and
face, pretty coquetry, studied artlessness and sweet recognition of the
value of masculine knowledge and strength as the proper stay of feminine
weakness and the proper organ of the feminine will, assail the superior
being just at that point where his perceptions are weakest, and lead him
an easy captive. When we add that this Samson is a young medical man,
marked out for the highest honors of his profession, and that his career
is temporarily blighted at the outset through the extravagance,
silliness and deception of his wife, we have given an outline which no
reader of _Middlemarch_ will require to have paralleled. Dr. Christopher
Staines is matched and contrasted with Rosa Lusignan, precisely as
Lydgate is matched and contrasted with Rosamond Vincy. There is even a
further resemblance in the minor pairing and natural dissonance of Phebe
Dale and Reginald Falcon in the one book and of Mary Garth and Fred
Vincy in its predecessor; while Lady Cicely Treherne, though her
simplicity, unlike that of Dorothea, is merely assumed, is almost as
unworldly as that heroine, makes a similar use of her wealth and social
advantages, stands in much the same relation to the other characters,
serves them in the same manner, and ends by marrying her Will Ladislaw
under the designation of a "mercurial Irish gentleman" not further
introduced to the reader. It will be understood that it is not the
characters, in the proper sense of the word, that Mr. Reade has
borrowed. In fact, George Eliot's characters are too intimately
associated with their surroundings, the circumstances in which they are
placed enter too largely as elements into their nature, to allow of
their being transplanted without losing all identity. And on the other
hand, Mr. Reade, for a reason to be mentioned hereafter, is quite
incapable of borrowing characters--still using the word in its most
rigid meaning: the characters in his books are always in an emphatic
sense his own. The plot, too, and the action of the one book, bear as
little resemblance to those of the other as an exhibition of fireworks
bears to the "after-glow" of an Alpine sunset. It is, as we have said,
the "situation" which Mr. Reade has taken, and this with a palpable
purpose, as if, after reading _Middlemarch_, he had said: "Ha! here is a
good idea; but George Eliot, with her commonplace, humdrum way of
treating things, has missed the effects of which it was capable. I,
Charles Reade, who see beneath the surface, besides being a master of
pyrotechnics, will work up the theme in that flashing, whizzing,
startling, dazzling way which shall reveal its full proportions as well
as my own transcendent powers." Accordingly, while Rosamond continues to
be Rosamond throughout, each fresh exhibition of her traits only showing
their natural growth or furthering the reader's knowledge of them, Rosa
passes through the swift transformations which a "Hey, presto!" is quite
sufficient to announce. In the early part of the book she is an
embodiment of silliness, levity and selfishness--in the latter part she
is reason, self-devotion and passionate love personified. As for Dr.
Staines, there is no need of any apotheosis in his case: as the hero of
the book he must perforce be that renowned prestidigitateur whom Mr.
Reade long since presented to an admiring audience as the principal
performer in his troupe. It is needless, therefore, to say that he goes
through the programme with the highest dexterity and éclat, displaying
the marvelous knowledge, encountering the terrific dangers, achieving
the prodigies which belong to his part, without the least falling off in
vivacity or suppleness. When he finally hurls his treacherous friend
from a cottage window and impales him on the garden railings, who can
withhold the well-merited applause?

It may seem paradoxical to say of a very successful novel-writer that he
has mistaken his vocation, yet such, we think, is Mr. Reade's case. For
the novelist, as for the dramatist, an essential combination is that of
a strong individuality with an equal endowment of the imitative faculty.
This union is found, perhaps, in its perfection only in Shakespeare.
Shakespeare's personages bear the double stamp of their own
individuality and of their creator's. In their appropriate diversity
their origin is still apparent. Their fidelity to Nature is never that
of literal copies. When Lear says, "Undo this button," we are thrilled
with the reality of the trait, but we do not suspect it of having been
borrowed from real life. On the contrary, it glows with the heat of that
imaginative power whose office it is to transfuse reality--to seize
truth in its essence and idealize it in form. Descending to two writers
in whom this combination is also strong, we may notice how,
nevertheless, the balance inclines to one side or the other. There are
many passages of Jane Austen which read like transcripts of actual
conversations: one might suppose them to have been done by a skillful
reporter. In George Eliot's books, on the other hand, the spontaneity of
the actors is checked by the brooding, analytical spirit of the author:
their verisimilitude is perfect, but their dramatic capabilities do not
always have the free play necessary to their complete exhibition and
appropriate effect. Turning now to Mr. Reade, we find that in him one
element of this combination--the power of impersonation--is utterly
lacking. His own individuality protrudes itself at every point. His
characters are all identical in essence--all imbued with the confidence,
the unflagging ardor, the impetuosity and extravagance of the same
ideal. It is in vain that he labels them with different designations: no
sooner do they begin to speak and move than every tone and gesture
reveals the familiar type. The poor, mean-spirited creature intended to
contrast with the hero turns out to be only his pale reflection.
Distinctions of sex and age, of race and education, are merely
superficial. High or low, good or bad, they are all equally knowing and
equally self-willed. The women may talk of bonnets, but their lofty and
fiery souls glow through the twaddle. The children have an infantile
prattle, but the schoolmaster, overhearing it, would at once remark that
it was only _that boy Reade_ holding one of his strange colloquies with
himself.

With this incapacity to understand the diverse springs of human action,
Mr. Reade is clearly no novelist in the true sense of the term. He is,
however, an admirable describer and a capital story-teller. He is
consequently always entertaining and secure of his reader. Yet, inasmuch
as he professes to relate and describe only actual facts, we cannot but
regret that he should have adopted a form which is ill suited to this
object, and which makes him a mere retailer of other people's
observations. In the book before us he paints the interior of Africa
from somebody else's information: had he gone thither himself his
picture would have had great value. So, too, he is continually
instructing us about the processes used in the arts and manufactures;
but his knowledge being gained at second hand and crammed for the
occasion, we mistrust the teacher. If he would apply himself to such
matters, and give us the results of his experience, our gain would be
great. He could not, of course, as now, traverse the whole field; but
what his teaching might lose in superficial extent would be more than
made good by its greater accuracy and reliability. He might select, for
instance, the useful art of coopering. We know his powers, we appreciate
his genius. It is safe to say that a cask made in accordance with his
directions, after he had served a short apprenticeship, would not only
be fair to see and easy to handle, but would also hold water. This is
more than we should venture to affirm of the plot of any of his novels.


The Fishing Tourist. By Charles Hallock. New York: Harper & Brothers.

I Go A-Fishing. By W. C. Prime. New York: Harper & Brothers.

Mr. Hallock tells us in his preface that his province is to write an
anglers' guide without embellishment. It would have been well if he had
adhered to this plan. After some pages of high-flown periods he informs
us that twenty-six years ago fly-fishing was in its infancy, being
scarcely known in America, and but little practiced in England. If he
had asserted that fly-fishing was scarcely known among his "green hills"
at that period, and but little practiced in Hampshire county, the
statement need not have been impugned; but hundreds of books have been
written upon this art in England since the time of Dame Juliana Berners,
and in America fifty years ago there existed many such practitioners as
Fay, Eckley and Bethune.

When Mr. Hallock treats of the natural history of his favorite fishes he
is equally unfortunate; which is the less remarkable since he gets his
science from W. H. Herbert, a writer who knew little of American
ichthyology. As a specimen of the methods of that "cautious student," as
our author calls him, Herbert, pretending to quote from Agassiz, who in
his _Tour to Lake Superior_ described a new salmon of that lake under
the name of _Salmo Siskowet_, calls it _Salmo Siskowitz_, and this
mistake Hallock repeats. Again, Herbert writing of the great northern
pickerel, calls it "_Esox lucioides_, Agassiz;" the fact being that
Professor Agassiz describes it in his _Lake Superior_ as _Esox boreas_.
This mistake of Herbert has been perpetuated by most of the popular
writers, Norris, Roosevelt, etc. Mr. Hallock calls the sea-trout _Salmo
trutta_, again copying Herbert, while all naturalists now give it the
name bestowed upon it by Hamilton Smith, _Salmo Canadensis_, it being
very distinct from _Salmo trutta_, which is a European species. Mr.
Hallock writes of the "toag of Lakes Pepin, Moosehead and St. Croix."
Now, Lake Pepin contains no large gray trout; in fact, with the
exception of _Salmo fontinalis_, its fishes are all of the Western type.
He also mentions "the common lake-trout of New York and New England,
_Salmo confinis_, DeKay," which is identical with the toag, just
mentioned. Dr. A. L. Adams of the British army, in a recent work on the
_Natural History of New Brunswick_, calls it "the togue or toladi,
_Salmo confinis_, DeKay, the gray-spotted lake-trout." Mr. Hallock
asserts that _Salmo Sebago_ is a monster brook-trout, like those of the
Rangely lakes. Dr. Adams states that this name, _Salmo Sebago_, was
applied to the Schoodic salmon, _Salmo Gloveri_, by Girard, in 1853; the
species being first observed in that lake, where it is now said to be
extinct.

As a guide-book, _The Fishing Tourist_ is not without value, for a work
on this plan was needed. An unfortunate spirit of exaggeration seems,
however, to pervade the narrative. What remarkable good luck a man must
have who kills a four-pound trout at Bartlett's! How fortunate is he who
can make an average of two-pound trout in a New Hampshire river! Our
experience teaches us that it is dangerous to guarantee that no trout
under ten ounces will be found in the Tabasintoc, though one might say
that of the Novelle, another New Brunswick river. When Mr. Hallock
states that the trout in the "Big Woods" of Wisconsin are lamentably
ignorant of the angler's wiles, he must be referring to a remote period:
we find them now very wide awake, and meet almost as many anglers on
Rush River as on the Raquette.

Mr. Prime's book is a very pleasant one. Evidently the work of a
scholar, it indulges in none of those spasmodic efforts of eloquence
which are the joy of the newspaper correspondent. Perhaps there is
something too much of the Iskander Effendi and the Sea of Galilee to be
congruous with the St. Regis and Franconia Notch, but the dialogue is
natural, the fishing adventures are painted with a modest brush, the
trout are not incredibly large or numerous, and the whole tone of the
book is well suited to summer reading, when, on your return from a long
tramp by the river-side, you wish to take your ease in the society of a
sympathizing author. Mr. Prime treats of well-known resorts, the
much-whipped St. Regis lakes and the depleted streams of Connecticut and
New Hampshire, but even among these familiar scenes he is able to find
something new, or at least they are described in a fresh and lively way.
The book is worthy to rest on the same shelf with Walton, Davy, Wilson,
and the other classics of the angler's library. There are some sketches
of fly-fishing in European waters which will be interesting to American
anglers, and there is much pleasant talk about old books.


Lombard Street: A Description of the Money Market. By Walter Bagehot.
New York: Scribner, Armstrong & Co.

In England, as in America, notes are a legal tender, the Bank of England
notes corresponding in that respect to our greenbacks. An American
banker is safe if he have enough greenbacks to pay all probable demands,
though the value of these changes as our government chooses to enlarge
or contract the issue. The number of attainable bank-notes is not so
elastic, however, in England as with us: the issue department of the
Bank of England is limited, by an act of Parliament passed in 1844, to
fifteen millions of pounds. For the last few years that bank, in
addition to its fifteen millions in notes, has retained something like
twenty millions in coin. It has not uniformly, though, been so rich:
three times since 1847 its banking department has been reduced to a
figure of three million pounds or under. On these occasions "Peel's Act"
has been suspended to tide over the affairs of the embarrassed bank, and
its business could not have survived if the law had not been broken. The
bank which has thus three times practically given out in a quarter of a
century is, however, so thoroughly protected by prestige, by national
and international confidence, that it is the custodian of the reserves
belonging to all Lombard street and to all the country banks of England,
as well as those of Scotch and Irish bankers. And "since the
Franco-German war," says Mr. Bagehot, "we may be said to keep the
European reserve also." All great communities have at times to pay large
sums in cash, and of that cash a great store must be kept somewhere.
Formerly, there were two such stores in Europe: one was the Bank of
France, and the other the Bank of England. But since the suspension of
specie payments by the Bank of France its use as a reservoir of specie
is at an end: no one can draw a cheque on it and be sure of getting gold
for it. Accordingly, the whole liability for such international payments
in cash is thrown on the Bank of England. The accumulations secured
ultimately by this bank represent a remarkable share of the national
wealth. England is the only European country where small savers commit
their money to custody: France has never recovered from the timidity
consequent on Law's failure, and still hoards its petty sums in
stockings; Holland and Germany have never felt secure from invasion.
England alone trusts its whole gain to a bank, and demands interest for
it. The vast amount of idle gold distributed through the homes of France
and Germany is not tangible, is not money "of the money market." The
hoards of France can only be tempted from their torpor by a vast
national misfortune and by a great loan in French securities. But the
English money is borrowable money. The British are bold lenders, and
even if they were not so, the mere fact that their money lies in a bank
makes it far more obtainable. Millions in the hand of a banker are a
power, whereas distributed through a nation they cannot be asked for,
and are no power at all. It is thus that Lombard street stands ready to
lend to all civilized or partly civilized governments at different
rates, and builds railways in indigent states all over the world. For,
though "English bankers are not themselves very great lenders to foreign
countries, they are great lenders to those who lend." Rude and poor
countries and undeveloped! colonies find in Lombard street a fund into
which they may dip at a suitable premium, and thus possess a chance of
material felicity which was never the privilege of any previous epoch.
This vast machine, however, the legacy of unnumbered years, is not an
ideally perfect custodian of the wealth entrusted to it. The reforms
called for by a long experience are what the most important part of Mr.
Bagehot's volume is devoted to. Some permanent and skilled authority to
rule the bank is the principal novelty suggested; but the French plan
will not do for England. The direct appointment of a governor by the
Crown would not lessen the difficulty. The American law, saying that
each national bank shall have a fixed proportion of cash to its
liabilities, Mr. Bagehot considers one of many reforms which the English
could not adopt if they would: "in a sensitive state of the British
money-market the near approach to the legal limit of reserve would be a
sure incentive to panic." The difficulties of remodeling such an
institution as the Bank of England are the most curiously developed
portion of Mr. Bagehot's treatise, where all is curiously and
intelligently handled. The book is interesting to outsiders as well as
to professionals.


Wau-Ban: The Early Day in the North-west. Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott
& Co.

This is a reprint, in a condensed and convenient form, of a work written
some twenty years ago by Mrs. John H. Kinzie of Chicago. It is a real
contribution to the early history of the North-west, and contains enough
of romantic adventure to form the basis of half a dozen novels. The
story of the massacre of Chicago in 1812 is one of the most thrilling in
American history, and it is here told by an eye-witness. Still, it is
difficult to realize that sixty years ago a wagon-load of children were
tomahawked by Indians in what is now the heart of the great City of the
Lakes.

The family of Kinzie had certainly a remarkable history, beginning with
the female ancestor who was captured by savages in the early history of
the country, through that generation who were the founders of Chicago,
down to the living representative of the family, who in 1830 entered one
hundred and sixty acres of the present town at the government price, one
dollar and twenty-five cents per acre, and only paid for one hundred,
thinking, as he said, that that quantity of land would be all he should
ever want or could find a use for. The rejected portion is now worth
from two to three millions of dollars. A hundred years hence, when
Chicago will perhaps contain a million or two of inhabitants, the name
of this family of pioneers will be as memorable as that of Winthrop in
Boston or Stuyvesant in New York.



_Books Received._


De Witt's Acting Plays: No. 142. Dollars and Cents: A Comedy. By L. J.
Hollenius.--No. 145. First Love: A Comedy. From the French of Eugene
Scribe. By L. J. Hollenius. New York: R. M. De Witt.

Memoirs of the Founding and Progress of the United States Naval
Observatory. By Professor J. E. Nourse, U.S.N. Washington Government
Printing-Office.

America Picturesque: A Visit to the Academy. By Henry Blackburn, late
editor of "London Society." New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons.

Expression: Its Anatomy and Philosophy. By Sir Charles Bell, K. H.
Illustrated. New York: S.R. Wells.

The Mystery of Metropolisville. By Edward Eggleston. Illustrated. New
York: Orange Judd & Co.

Bits of Talk about Home Matters, By H. H., author of "Bits of Travel."
Boston: Roberts Brothers.

The Lawrences: A Twenty-Years' History. By Charlotte Turnbull. New York:
American News Co.

The Forty-five Guardsmen. By Alexandre Dumas. Philadelphia: T. B.
Peterson & Brothers.

Lars: A Pastoral of Norway. By Bayard Taylor. Boston: James R. Osgood &
Co.

The New York City "Ring." By S. J. Tilden. New York: Press of John
Polhemus.

Poems of the Plains. By William Darwin Crabb. Cambridge: Riverside
Press.

Woman's Wrong. By Mrs. Eiloart. Philadelphia: T. B. Peterson & Brothers.

Adventures of Kwei, the Chinese Girl. By Myra. Boston: Henry Hoyt.





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Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.



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