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Title: Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, Volume 22. July, 1878.
Author: Various
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, Volume 22. July, 1878." ***

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LIPPINCOTT'S MAGAZINE

OF

_POPULAR LITERATURE AND SCIENCE_.



JULY, 1878.
VOLUME XXII.


Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1878, by J.B.
LIPPINCOTT & Co., in the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at
Washington.


HERE AND THERE IN OLD BRISTOL.


[Illustration: GRAVE OF HANNAH MORE AT WRINGTON, NEAR BRISTOL.]

The streets of Bristol are, in a modern point of view, narrow and
uninviting, yet if the visitor have a liking for the picturesque he will
find much to interest him. There are plenty of streets crammed with
old-time houses, thrusting out their upper stories beyond the lower, and
with their many-gabled roofs seeming to heave and rock against the sky.
If they lack anything in interest, it is that no local Scott has arisen
to throw over them a glamour of romance which might make more tolerable
the odors wherein they vie with the Canongate of sweet memory.

[Illustration: CHATTERTON AS DOORKEEPER IN COLSTON'S SCHOOL.]

Nor is the throng which fills the Bristol streets wholly prosaic in its
aspect, for the quaint garb of ancient charities holds its own against
the modern tailor. Such troops of charity-children taking their solemn
walks! Such long lines of boys in corduroy, such streams of girls in pug
bonnets, stuff gowns and white aprons, as pour forth from the schools
and almshouses to be found in every quarter of the city! The Colston
boys are less frequently seen, because the school has been removed to
one of the suburbs, yet now and then one of their odd figures meets the
eye. They wear a muffin cap of blue cloth with a yellow band around it
and a yellow ball on its apex; a blue cloth coat with a long plaited
skirt; a leathern belt, corduroy knee-breeches and yellow worsted
stockings. Just such, in outside garb, was Chatterton a century ago, and
thus he is represented on his monument near Redcliff church.

[Illustration: CHATTERTON CENOTAPH.]

You are perhaps gazing skyward at some lordly campanile when a sudden
rush of feet and hum of voices comes around the corner, and the dark
street is all aglow. These are the Red Maids, who walk the earth in
scarlet gowns, set off by white aprons: they owe the bright hues of
their existence to Alderman Whitson, who died in 1628, leaving funds to
the mayor, burgesses and commonalty of the city of Bristol, "to the use
and intent that they should therewith provide a fit and convenient
dwelling-house for the abode of one grave, painful and modest woman of
good life and conversation, and for forty poor women-children (whose
parents, being freemen and burgesses of the said city, should be
deceased or decayed); that they should therein admit the said woman and
forty poor women-children, and cause them to be there kept and
maintained, and also taught to read English and to sew and do some other
laudable work toward their maintenance; ... and should cause every one
of the said children to go and be apparelled in red cloth, and to give
their attendance on the said woman, to attend and wait before the mayor
and aldermen, their wives and others their associates, to hear sermons
on the Sabbath and festival days, and other solemn meetings of the said
mayor and aldermen and their wives," etc. etc. These maids are admitted
between the ages of eight and ten, and at eighteen are placed at
service.

Other aspects of Bristol are brought out in Pope's description of it in
a letter to Mrs. Martha Blount.[1] After describing his drive from Bath
and his crossing the bridge into Bristol, he continues: "From thence you
come to a key along the old wall, with houses on both sides, and in the
middle of the street, as far as you can see, hundreds of ships, their
masts as thick as they can stand by one another, which is the oddest and
most surprising sight imaginable. This street is fuller of them than the
Thames from London Bridge to Deptford, and at certain times only the
water rises to carry them out; so that at other times a long street full
of ships in the middle and houses on both sides looks like a dream." ...
"The city of Bristol is very unpleasant, and no civilized company in it;
only, the collector of the customs would have brought me acquainted with
merchants of whom I hear no great character. The streets are as crowded
as London, but the best image I can give you of it is, 'tis as if
Wapping and Southwark were ten times as big, or all their people ran
into London. Nothing is fine in it but the square, which is larger than
Grosvenor Square, and well builded, with a very fine brass statue in the
middle of King William on horseback; and the key, which is full of
ships, and goes round half the square. The College Green is pretty and
(like the square) set with trees. There is a cathedral, very neat, and
nineteen parish churches."

[Illustration: STEEP STREET, NOW PULLED DOWN.]

It is quite as curious to note what Pope omits as what he mentions. He
is much taken with a commonplace square, and with the mingling of ships
and houses (which is truly effective), but the modern traveller would
find the chief beauty of the city in its Gothic architecture, to which
Pope gives one line--"a cathedral, very neat, and nineteen parish
churches." Let the visitor ascend any one of the hills which overhang
Bristol, and a beautiful scene at once bursts upon his view: this is due
to the pre-eminent beauty of the church-towers, the great stone lilies
of the fifteenth century soaring above the dingy town; each,

    For holy service built, with high disdain
    Surveys this lower stage of earthly gain;

and a hard struggle they have to hold their own against the menacing
chimney-stacks of manufacturing England. All the poetry and aspiration
of the past seems contending, shoulder to shoulder, in thick air with
the material interests of the present.

Strolling about through the grimy streets, one's eye is caught by the
sign "Quakers' Friars," and following up the narrow court to seek the
meaning of this odd combination of opposing ideas, one comes to the
Friends' school, occupying the remnant of a former priory of Black
Friars. It is a spot intimately associated with recollections of the
early Friends. In 1690 the father of Judge Logan of Pennsylvania was
master of this school. Adjoining the school is the Friends'
meeting-house, built in 1669 on what was then an open space near the
priory, where George Fox often preached; and within the walls of the
meeting-house this Quaker father took upon himself the state of
matrimony. A local bard is inspired to sing:

    Many years ago, six hundred or so,
      The Dominican monks had a praying and eating house
    Just on the spot where a little square dot
      On the Bristol map marks the old Quakers' meeting-house.

    A different scene it was once, I ween:
      No monk is now heard his prayers repeating;
    And the singers and chaunters and black gallivanters
      Had never a thought of "a silent meeting."

[Illustration: "TIMES AND MIRROR" PRINTING-OFFICE, NOW PULLED DOWN.]

The streets near by, called Callowhill, Philadelphia and Penn streets,
recall the residence here of William Penn in 1697, after his marriage
with Hannah, daughter of Thomas Callowhill and granddaughter of Dennis
Hollister, prominent merchants of _Bristol_. These streets are believed
to have been laid out and named by Penn on land belonging to Hollister.
Another Friend was Richard Champion, the inventor of Bristol china and
the friend of Burke. Champion's manufactory was not commercially a
success, but his ware is now highly prized, and some few remaining
pieces of a tea-service, presented by Mr. and Mrs. Champion to Mrs.
Burke at the time the latter's husband was returned member for Bristol,
have brought thrice their weight in gold.

In Castle street, not far from Quakers' Friars, stands a profusely
ornamented mansion, now St. Peter's Hospital. The eastern portion is of
considerable antiquity: the western was rebuilt in 1608. In the
fifteenth century the older portion was the residence of Thomas Norton,
a famous alchemist, who, according to Fuller, "undid himself and all his
friends who trusted him with money, living and dying very poor about the
year 1477."[2] Norton's ill-success was, however, in his own belief, the
success of others. He declared that a merchant's wife of Bristol had
stolen from him the _elixir of life_. "Some suspect her" (says Fuller)
"to have been the wife of William Cannings, contemporary with Norton,
who started up to so great and sudden wealth--the clearest evidence of
their conjecture." The person here intended is no other than the great
Bristol merchant William Canynge the younger, who was five times mayor
and one of the rebuilders of Redcliff church. His ships, which crowded
the quays of Bristol, were a more evident source of wealth than any
cunningly devised elixir except in the eyes of a disappointed dreamer.
The reflection that in this quaint old house was enacted a history like
to that of Balthazar Claes lends to it a strange fascination.

The church of St. Mary Redcliff is, as ever, intimately associated with
the name and genius of Chatterton: no saint in the calendar could have
shed over it such an interest; and beautiful as it is, "the pride of
Bristowe and the Westerne Land," how many visit it for its beauty alone?
This is rather hard for the clericals: they are unwilling to forget that
Chatterton was an impostor and a suicide; and to have their church
surrounded by a halo from such a _source_! bah! They have done what they
could by removing his monument from _consecrated_ ground and depriving
it of its inscription.

In an old chest left to moulder in a room over the north porch of this
church Chatterton professed to find the Rowley manuscripts. In this
room, "here, in the full but fragile enjoyment of his brief and illusory
existence, he stored the treasure-house of his memory with the thoughts
that, teeming over his pages, have enrolled his name among the great in
the land of poetry and song. Happy here, ere his first joyous
aspirations were repressed--ere the warm and genial emotions of his
heart were checked--before time had dissipated his idle dreams, and
neglect, contempt and distress had fastened on his mind, and hurried him
onward to his untoward destiny."[3]

This church is one of the finest examples of the Perpendicular Gothic:
it has been carefully restored, the work extending over thirty years.
The most interesting monuments are those of William Canynge the younger,
the great Bristol merchant, who lies buried here with his wife, his
almoner, his brewer, his cook and other servants--a goodly family party:
the cook is indicated by a knife and skimmer rudely cut upon a flat
stone. There are two effigies of Canynge--one in his robes as mayor, the
other in priest's robes; for in his latter years, after the death of his
wife, he took orders, and died in 1474 dean of Westbury.

[Illustration: MUNIMENT-ROOM, ST. MARY REDCLIFF.]

The memorial of Admiral Sir William Penn, father of the founder of
Pennsylvania, is a conspicuous object in the nave--a mural tablet
decorated with his helmet, cuirass, gauntlets, sword, and tattered
banners taken from the Dutch. Near it--a singular object in a church--is
the rib of a whale which is believed to date from the year 1497, there
being an entry in the town records of that year: "Pd. for settynge upp
ye bone of ye bigge fyshe," etc.;[4] and as Sebastian Cabot had then
just discovered Newfoundland, it may have been one of the trophies of
his voyage. But it long had a very different history: its origin being
forgotten, there grew up a legend that it was the rib of a dun cow of
gigantic build who gave milk to the whole parish of Redcliff, and whose
slaughter, by Guy, earl of Warwick, threw all the milkmaids out of
employment. It was in Redcliff church that both Southey and Coleridge
were married.

[Illustration: ADMIRAL PENN'S MONUMENT IN ST. MARY REDCLIFF.]

The cathedral, "very neat," as Pope expresses it, would be a great
treasure in New York, but in England, where Gothic structures so abound,
it is far surpassed by several in its vicinity. It has suffered much
from iconoclasts, both those who destroy and those who restore. The
completion of the nave is now being rapidly pushed forward, and will be
followed by that of the towers--good evidence that the Gothic revival in
England has not yet spent its force. In its present condition the
general effect of the building is disappointing, although there are many
admirable details. The chapter-house and the archway below the church
are fine relics of its Norman period. In the choir is the tomb of Bishop
Butler, author of the _Analogy_, for twelve years bishop of this
diocese. There is also a tablet to his memory, erected in 1834, with an
inscription by Southey. Among the monuments one finds two names which
shine, it may be said, by reflected light--that of Mrs. Draper, Sterne's
"Eliza," and Lady Hesketh, Cowper's devoted friend and cousin. A bust
of Southey finds a place here as a tribute of respect in his native
town; and the name of Sydney Smith comes to mind, who was a prebendary
of this cathedral.

The city of Bristol, although essentially a manufacturing and commercial
centre, is not deficient in names which have enjoyed a widespread
literary reputation. All through the first half of the present century
Bristol was associated with the colossal fame of Hannah More, but the
idol is long since forgotten, and now, a little more than forty years
after her death, many might ask, Who was Hannah More? She was the
daughter of the schoolmaster at Stapleton, near Bristol, and was born on
the 2d of February, 1745. She was one of five daughters, who by the
education received from their father were enabled to set up in Bristol a
boarding-school for young ladies which had the luck to become
_fashionable_. Hannah's literary reputation began at the age of
seventeen with a pastoral drama, the _Search after Happiness_, written
for, and performed by, the young ladies of the boarding-school. On this
slender basis she visited London, was so fortunate as to attract the
attention of Garrick, and was by him introduced into his brilliant
circle. She must have been at that time both witty and pretty, for Mrs.
Montagu and the Reynoldses were delighted with her, Dr. Johnson gave her
pet names, and Horace Walpole called her Saint Hannah. Her next great
success was her tragedy of _Percy_, in which Garrick sustained the
principal character, and in which Mrs. Siddons afterward appeared. Later
on, Mrs. More published some _Sacred Dramas_, but after the death of
Garrick she abandoned dramatic writing, her views leading her to take up
what was called, in her day, "strict behavior," of which she now became
the apostle. On her literary profits she retired to Cowslip Green, near
Bristol, and later on to Barley Wood, where she was joined by her
sisters, who were enabled to retire on the handsome profits of their
school. But neither "strict behavior" nor anything else could weaken
Hannah's hold on her day and generation: her _Estimate of the Religion
of the Fashionable World_ went off like hot cakes, and her _Thoughts on
the Manners of the Great_ were scrambled for by both great and
small--seven large editions in a few months, the second in a week, the
third in _four hours_! How many people now-a-days have read _Coelebs_,
of which twelve editions were printed in the first year, and in all
thirty thousand copies of disposed of in America alone? _Corinne_
appeared when Lucilla, the heroine of _Coelebs_, was at the height of
her popularity, and much animated comparison was instituted between
Corinne and the rival she has long survived.

[Illustration: THE CATHEDRAL]

The first opposition which Hannah More encountered arose from her
efforts to improve the condition of the poor in her neighborhood by
education and the formation of benefit societies. The impulse to this
movement came from Mr. Wilberforce, who, being on a visit at Barley
Wood, was taken on an excursion to Cheddar Cliffs, then, as now, one of
the "sights" of the vicinity. Mr. Wilberforce, while admiring the
scenery, chanced to fall into conversation with one of the inhabitants,
and learned, to his dismay, that the whole beautiful region was sunk in
ignorance and vice. This discovery was discussed in full conclave on
their return to Barley Wood, and Mrs. More undertook to have a school
opened in Cheddar. The school proved a success, and by the aid of the
subscriptions which her name brought from far and near she eventually
extended the system over nine of the neighboring parishes, sunk in the
barbarism of English village-life of that day, of which Cowper's village
of Olney was an example. But this work did not go on as smoothly as the
sale of _Coelebs_: it at once aroused opposition from the large class
who do not like to see old ruts abandoned, and was branded as
_Methodism_--an epithet that was then freely used as an extinguisher for
anything novel, and was a "bugaboo" of whose terrors we can have in this
day little conception. Hannah was accused of endeavoring to spread
toleration, and a favorite charge against her was that she had partaken
of "bread and wine in a meeting-house." In vain her sister Martha
explained that she sinned in good company, for many "High-Church people
did the same, and one gentleman and lady with ten thousand pounds a
year, who have always the Church prayers performed morning and evening
in their family." Although the bishop excused her, it was determined
that Hannah was to be crushed by a review; but all was of no more avail
than in the case of Miss Martineau, which has been recently recalled by
her autobiography. Hannah survived it all, and stuck through thick and
thin to her triumphant schools and her "strict behavior." A less harmful
shaft was hurled by a Bristol wit on an occasion when her clothes took
fire and she was saved by the stout quality of her gown:

    Vulcan to scorch thy gown in vain essays:
    Apollo strives in vain to fire thy lays.
    Hannah! the cause is visible enough:
    Stuff is thy raiment, and thy writings--_stuff_.

[Illustration: BARLEY WOOD, HANNAH MORE'S RESIDENCE.]

A curious incident in Hannah More's life was her encounter with Ann
Yearsley, the Bristol Milkwoman, of whom some account is given in
Southey's _Essay upon the Uneducated Poets_. A gossiping writer briefly
states the case as follows: "This poor woman, as is well known, sold
milk, and, from going to water it each morning at the Pierian font,
caught at length the poetic fervor. Mrs. Hannah More, whom she served
with cream, was struck by the _superior_ merit of her verses, and became
her patroness. Mrs. More's name was enough to sell worse poetry, or even
worse milk, than Ann Yearsley's. Milton had no such friend, and could
not get twenty pounds for _Paradise_; but Ann Yearsley's book brought
her some three hundred guineas. Hannah More, as she was the artificer,
wanted also to become the manager, of the milkwoman's little fortune;
but the milkwoman thought she was competent to take care of it herself,
and wanted to bind her boys out to trades. The lady-patroness was
offended at the independence of the _protégée_, who had been taken from
under the milk-pails; Ann Yearsley dared to differ _from_ her
benefactor, and was denounced as an ungrateful woman; all Mrs. More's
idolaters _declared against_ her, and the whole religious world opened
on her in full cry."[5] Lactilla (for so the Mores and Montagus called
her) loudly remonstrated: she accused Hannah of being envious of her
talents, and announced a new edition of her poems _freed from Mrs.
More's corruptions_. She carried her point, but, deprived of Mrs. More's
favor, she quickly sank back into misfortune and obscurity.

[Illustration: WINE STREET, THE BIRTHPLACE OF ROBERT SOUTHEY.]

The parents of Lord Macaulay were intimate friends of Mrs. More, and in
her later years Hannah watched with tender interest the brilliant
promise of that extraordinary youth. Young Macaulay was a not infrequent
visitor at Barley Wood, and Mrs. More at one time devised her library to
him, but afterward withdrew the bequest, owing to her doubts of the
"strictness" of Macaulay's views. Poor Macaulay! He failed to win the
esteem of two great female writers: the one feared he had no "religion;"
the other declared he had no "heart."

As the Misses More began to get on in the seventies, one after the other
died, and Barley Wood (or _Mauritania_, as wags called it) grew
desolate. Then occurred the last great event of Hannah's life--her
_flight_ from Barley Wood. It suddenly transpired that for three years
her eight servants had been in full enjoyment of high life below stairs
It was discovered that they had given large orders to tradesmen in her
name; they had intercepted sums of money intended for charity, and when
the whole household was supposed to be at rest they were supping on
presents of game sent to Mrs. More; they had secretly harbored in the
house one of their relatives who had lost her place for disreputable
conduct: in short, Mrs. Jellaby's household would have been a paradise
in comparison with this one. What did Hannah do? She left for ever the
home of her life: she _ran away_! A house was secretly taken at Clifton,
and after she had fled the servants received a quarter's wages in
advance with immediate dismissal. It must be said for Mrs. More that
during her sisters' lifetime she had had nothing to do with the
housekeeping; further, she was in very ill health, and had not been down
stairs for seven years; but, with all the palliations that may be
offered, is it not startling to find that this woman's influence had
pervaded the civilized world with the exception of that little corner of
it which was to be found under her own roof? This incident, together
with the quarrel with Lactilla, suggests that Mrs. More did not exert
_personally_ a very strong influence. In regard to her servants she
relied upon the deathbed harangue with which Mrs. Martha had consigned
her to their care, and her confidence was kept up by the texts of
Scripture which they each night carefully repeated to her before
retiring to eat her game.

In the heyday of Hannah More's popularity there were living in Bristol
or its vicinity three young men who were to bring in the new literary
epoch by which Hannah has been forgotten--Coleridge, Southey and
Wordsworth. Both Southey and Coleridge were introduced to Mrs. More by
Cottle. Southey was invited to pass a day at Cowslip Green: he pleased
equally all five of the sisters, and Hannah pronounced him "one of the
most elegant and intellectual young men they had seen." In 1814, Cottle
conferred a like favor on Coleridge: they went down to Barley Wood,
where for the space of two hours Coleridge delighted the five-leaved
clover with his brilliant talk, but, unluckily, a titled visitor coming
in, the poor philosopher was left to finish his soliloquy alone.

Southey was born in Bristol, at No. 9 Wine street, now the sign of the
Golden Key. His father, a draper, carried on his business under the sign
of a hare: although all his life a shopkeeper, he had been brought up in
the country, and was passionately fond of country sports. He related of
his first experience of city life in London that, happening to look out
at the shop-door just as a porter was passing with a hare in his hands,
it brought the country so vividly before him that he burst into tears,
and the impression was so lasting that years after, when opening a shop
in Bristol, he took the hare for a sign, having it painted on a pane in
the window on each side of the door and printed on the shop-bills. Of
Robert Southey's recollections of Bristol there is his own very charming
account in the first volume of his _Life_ by his son.

We return to Pope's letter to Mrs. Martha Blount for his description of
Clifton: "Passing still along by the river, you come to a rocky way on
one side, overlooking green hills on the other: on that rocky way rise
several white houses, and over them red rocks; and as you go farther
more rocks above rocks, mixed with green bushes, and of different
colored stone. This, at a mile's end, terminates in the house of the Hot
Well, whereabouts lie several pretty lodging-houses, open to the river
with walks of trees. When you have seen the hills seem to shut upon you
and to stop any farther way, you go into the house, and looking out at
the back door, a vast rock of an hundred feet high, of red, white,
green, blue and yellowish marbles, all blotched and variegated, strikes
you quite in the face; and, turning on the left, there opens the river
at a vast depth below, winding in and out, and accompanied on both sides
with a continued range of rocks up to the clouds, of an hundred colors,
one behind another, and so to the end of the prospect, quite to the sea.
But the sea nor the Severn you do not see: the rocks and river fill the
eye, and terminate the view much like the broken scenes behind one
another in a play-house.

"Upon the top of those high rocks by the Hot Well, which I have
described to you, there runs on one side a large down of fine turf for
about three miles. It looks too frightful to approach the brink and look
down upon the river; but in many parts of this down the valleys descend
gently, and you see all along the windings of the stream and the opening
of the rocks, which turns close in upon you from space to space for
several miles in toward the sea. There is first, near Bristol, a little
village upon this down called Clifton, where are very pretty
lodging-houses, overlooking all the woody hills, and steep cliffs and
very green valleys within half a mile of the Wells, where in the summer
it must be delicious walking and riding, for the plain extends, one way,
many miles: particularly, there is a tower that stands close at the edge
of the highest rock, and sees the stream turn quite round it; and all
the banks, one way, are wooded in a gentle slope for near a mile high,
quite green; the other bank all inaccessible rock, of an hundred colors
and odd shapes, some hundred feet perpendicular."

[Illustration: SUSPENSION BRIDGE AT CLIFTON.]

The reputation of the Hot Well, whose waters Pope was sent to drink, has
utterly collapsed. The Hot Well house was long ago removed to admit a
widening of the river, and the well itself is now inaccessible. There is
no spa, once of great reputation, that has sunk into such complete
oblivion as the Clifton Hot Well: this may be due, in part, to the
exaggerated estimate that was formed of the virtue of the water, and to
the blamable practice which prevailed of sending patients here at their
last gasp as a forlorn hope. Of too many it might be said as in these
lines from the epitaph on his wife by the poet Mason in Bristol
cathedral:

    To Bristol's fount I bore with trembling care
    Her faded form: she bowed to taste the wave,
    And died.

The little village of Clifton has now become a handsome suburb, where
reside the wealthy successors of the merchant-venturers of Bristol. It
is continuous with Bristol, and where the one begins or the other ends
is not evident except to the parish authorities. The downs are what they
were in Pope's time, with the exception of what is now their most
striking feature--the suspension bridge across the chasm. As early as
1753, Mr. Vick, an alderman of Bristol, bequeathed one thousand pounds,
to be kept at interest until they should reach ten thousand, when the
amount was to be expended upon a stone bridge across the Avon. Nearly
eighty years after, in 1830, the fund had reached eight thousand pounds,
and it was determined to form a company to push forward the project: a
plan for a suspension bridge by Mr. Brunel was accepted at an estimated
cost of fifty-seven thousand pounds, and subscriptions were vigorously
solicited. On the 27th of August, 1836, the foundation-stone was laid in
the presence of the members of the British Association for the
Advancement of Science, then holding its sixth annual meeting in
Bristol. The work went on slowly for seven years, at the end of which it
was abandoned for want of funds, forty-five thousand pounds having been
expended, including the legacy of eight thousand. For nearly twenty
years the towers and abutments stood, unsightly objects in a lovely
scene, until in 1860 the Hungerford suspension bridge in London was
taken down, and it was found that its chains might be made use of to
carry out the uncompleted plan at Clifton. A new company was formed
with a capital of thirty-five thousand pounds, in ten-pound shares, and
at length, in December, 1864, the bridge was thrown open to the public.
Its span is seven hundred and two feet; height from low water, two
hundred and eighty-seven feet. An inscription on one of the piers thus
epitomizes its story: "Suspensa vix via fit."

There are many reflections which may be called up by a glance over the
brink of the chasm at Clifton. Down this muddy ditch dropped the little
Matthew, with the Cabots in command, bound for the discovery of America;
borne on the surface of this liquid mud, the Great Western (built at
Bristol) found its way to the sea and demonstrated the practicability of
steam traffic with America; and if you ask why Bristol now has so little
share in that traffic, although reasons as plenty as blackberries will
be showered upon you, perhaps you will find as convincing a reason as
any in the sight of this narrow and tortuous channel. Now, at last,
docks are being built at the mouth of the Avon, and one adapted to the
largest vessels was opened on the 24th of February, 1877. The prospects
of present success cannot be brilliant in the prevalent depression of
the Atlantic trade, yet, to have heard the wild talk in February, one
would have thought that the dock had only to open its mouth (or gate) to
have the great plums of trade at once fall into it. The company is too
wise to expect to catch birds simply by hanging out a cage: every one
waits to see what _bait_ they will offer. It is claimed that the passage
from New York to Avonmouth may be made in a day less than to the Mersey,
and mails and passengers forwarded thence to London in three hours. May
we soon have the pleasure of welcoming American friends on Avonmouth
Dock!

ALFRED S. GIBBS.



AN ATELIER DES DAMES.

[Illustration: TABLEAU VIVANT.]


After years of patient endeavor, of hope deferred and heart oftentimes
made sick, Paletta found herself at last in Paris. Behind her were years
of anxious calculations and shabby economies, a chequered pathway of
brilliant ambitions and sombre discouragements. Before her was another
vista of several years of art-study in the great capital--a vista
arched, she could not but know, by as heavy clouds as had ever darkened
her path. Yet she _felt_, even although she could not see its end, that
the forward vista climbed ever upward toward glorious heights, upon
which the storms of despair never beat, and where she could more nearly
touch upon the divine ideals that ever elude the grasp of even the
loftiest of earth's climbers.

And thus she was content. Paletta was yet a little young, it must be
said, yet in that blessed youthfulness when the loins are girded with
the strength that reduces mountains to molehills and forces the Apollyon
of dismay to flee from out every dark valley.

Behold Paletta--twenty-three years of age, with a winy color upon her
lips, the faintest perceptible shadow of fading upon the roses of her
cheeks, a little anxious wrinkle between her earnest gray eyes, a slight
nasal twang in her New England voice, and a fresh flounce upon her old
black alpaca dress--the first morning of her experience in an _atelier
des dames_ in Paris! She had come down the hill from her dark little
room on Montmartre, fancying that the gray December day was crystalline,
that the dingy Rue Germain Pillon--with its dirty gamins of both sexes
in cropped hair and blouses or white caps and black gowns, its frowsy
women slouching in doorways, its succession of odorous _cuisines
bourgeoises_, vile-smelling _lavoirs_, cheap fruit-shops and plebeian
_crémeries_, its slimy cobblestones, its gutters running _not_ with
laughing waters, and sending up scents _not_ of spicy isles ensphered
by sun-illumined seas--was a rainbow arch over which she passed with
airy tread toward the Krug studio. For had she not at last finished for
ever the detestable photograph-coloring which had been a daily
crucifixion of all her artistic feelings for years? Had she not at last
reached the Enchanted Land for which she had labored and pined for half
her life? Had she not clothes enough to last her with patient mendings
and persistent remakings for two years? Had she not a thousand dollars
at the Crédit Lyonnais? And did not that stately entrance before her
lead into a spacious courtyard, and that courtyard open upon the famous
_Atelier des Dames_, where, at the feet of celebrated masters of form
and color, she was to learn some of the mysteries of the art to which
she had vowed her life?

[Illustration: "JE VIEN ME PROPOSER COMME MODÈLE, MESDAMES."]

Within the court, before the handsome building whose story after story
of immense north windows showed it to be a collection of artists'
studios, she found an interesting _tableau vivant_. A group of
chattering models came laughing across the sunny court. In one corner
loomed a huge square object surmounted by the conical crown of a
Tyrolean hat. Nothing else was visible except a pair of gaitered feet
mixed among the legs of a sketching-easel, making the whole seem some
queer phenomenal creature which science had not yet classified or named.
Before this phenomenon stood--or rather fidgeted--a beautiful Arabian
horse with flashing eyes, and limbs clean cut as if by Doric chisel in
marble of Pentelicus. This superb animal was held by two grooms, one at
his head, the other holding first one foot, then another, as the order
to pose the unwilling model fractionally in the attitude of a prancing,
curveting Bucephalus came from the square, five-legged, unnamed creature
in the corner.

"Ah!" thought Paletta as she followed her shadow over the sunny
pavement, "the famous animal-painter Jacques is behind that great square
canvas, I know, for I saw him there yesterday painting a struggling
sheep."

The large room was closely packed with easels--so closely, indeed, that
an inadvertent motion of hand or foot often sent a wave of excitement
through the whole atelier. Heads of every color, from youthful flaxen to
venerable gray, were bent over their labors. Hecubas and Helens worked
side by side; maulsticks everywhere gave the scene the appearance of a
winter-denuded thicket; plaster hands, feet and torsos hung upon the
walls; bull-headed Nero swelled upon a shelf beside the mutilated Venus
which is a revelation of the glory that merely human beauty can attain
without a gleam borrowed from the divine; fat Vitellius seemed to snore
open-eyed beside lean and wakeful Julius Cæsar; a mask of Medusa leaned
lovingly upon the shoulder of Dante; Apollo Belvedere smiled upon an
_écorché_--in atelier parlance "skun man;" finished and unfinished
studies of heads, bodies and detached sections of bodies hung from nails
in every possible and impossible place. Upon a slightly elevated
platform sat the model in his usual street-costume, with oily hair,
parted in the middle, falling in long waves upon his shoulders. A spiky
circle rested upon his brow, and upon his face was such a stupendous yet
futile effort after an expression of divine sweetness and resignation as
caused maulsticks to separate themselves every now and then from the
denuded thicket and to wabble vaguely about his mouth or play wildly in
his hair, accompanied by the commands, "Posez la bouche!" "Posez les
yeux!" or, in good American accents, accompanied with a sniff of wrath,
"Call _him_ a good Christ? Umph! He'd pose better as a first-class
Cheshire cat."

[Illustration: "THE BEST CHRIST IN PARIS."]

The model's divine smile broadened suddenly into a very human grin.

"Do you understand English, monsieur?" demanded Miss New Haven
suspiciously, remembering the freedom with which the personal merits and
defects of the French and Italian models were usually discussed in their
presence in the Anglo-Saxon tongue.

"A leetle, mademoiselle: I have lived in Londres during two years."

"As artists' model?"

"Oui, mademoiselle. I have made the Jesuses, the St. Johns and the
Judases for the great English artists teel I have ennuied myself
énormement."

"Why?"

"Because ze artists Anglaise are ze masters vairy difficile, not comme
les artists Français. Zey demand zat ze model pose during two hours sans
repose, and zey nevvair give of to drink to ze model."

"Did you return to Paris when you ennuied yourself so énormement?" asked
a yellow-haired English girl who had painted countless vaporous and
ravishing Eurydices and filmy Echoes from broad-waisted, pug-nosed
Cockney models, and who always declared that she would recognize a
"professional" even among the shining hosts of heaven.

"Non, mademoiselle. I rested at Londres to make la musique."

"The music?"

"Comme ça;" and the Italian made sundry rotary motions of the arm, as if
grinding an invisible hand-organ.

[Illustration: THE ELDER SWEDE AND ARAMINTA SHODDY.]

"Did you earn more money with the music or as model?" asked Mademoiselle
Émilie, the girl-artist from Madrid, with black hair dyed golden, who
always swore by Murillo's Virgins, and who did her work dreamily, as if
the motions of her hands were timed to the languorous rhythm of some
far-off, daintily-touched guitar beneath vine-wreathed balcony and
starlit sky.

"In Londres I gained more money as musician. In Angleterre zere is not
mooch love of ze Christ, ze St. John and ze Judas. It is not a Catholic
country, comme la France, and ze Anglaises aime bettaire ze gods of ze
old Greek hommes. In la France zey aime ze true religion, and I gain
mooch money, and am in ze Salon many times evairy year, because I am ze
best Christ in Paris."

A wail swept up from French, American, English, Swedish, Spanish,
Norwegian, Russian and West Indian bosoms.

"_We'll_ embrace the religion and the gods of the old Greek hommes then,
or throw ourselves into the profoundest gulfs of infidelity, while we
remain in Paris," ejaculated Bostonia in a vigorous stage-aside.

"Have you a wife?" asked Madame Deschamps, a fashionable
portrait-painter.

"Oui, madame. Ma femme is Lucreza, whom you _know_. She has made the
nymphs and goddesses for a _thousand_ pictures, but now she is so much
fat that the messieurs will have her only for the head, although she
still poses for the _ensemble_ in the ateliers des dames."

Here the best Christ in Paris grinned satanically as a polyglot howl
went up from among the students.

"That's his tit for the tat of the 'Cheshire cat,'" laughed Madame
Lafarge, a French-American Corinne with an all-French moustache.

"We won't have Lucreza again if she is too fat to pose for the nude
except in a _ladies'_ studio," snapped the elder Swede.

"Oh, I have forgotten to say zat she has upset ze pail since eight
days," chuckled the man.

"Upset the pail?" And twenty pairs of eyes looked full of
interrogation-points.

"Giggle! giggle! giggle!" came sputteringly from behind Concordia's
easel as she gasped, "Don't you understand? He has improved his English
among the Americans in Gérôme's studio, and he means she kicked the
bucket eight days ago."

"Quelle langue! quelle _langue est la langue_ Américaine!" sniffed the
elder Swede, wiping off a brushful of "turps" in her back hair.

Paletta twisted her head so as to peer through the forest of easels at
the last speaker.

"What daubs _she_ must make!" she thought, gazing at spectacled green
eyes and hay-colored hair _à la Chinoise_ with her fixed idea that "an
artistic nature always wrought a semblance of its own beauty upon its
outward form."

"What _was_ the Greek religion?" questioned a girlish voice.

Paletta twisted her neck again. "What _lovely_ ideals must blossom upon
_her_ _canvases_!" she thought as she saw a fair vision of rose-tints,
creamy texture and sculptured lines ensphered in a halo of golden hair.

"Who is that poor woman who has so mistaken her vocation?" she asked
with compassionate gesture toward the coiffure _à la Chinoise_.

"That? Oh, that's the celebrated Swedish artist, Miss Thingumbobbia, of
whom you have heard, of course. She returns to Stockholm next week to
paint the king's portrait. Mon Dieu! but I would give all my hair for
the genius of her little finger!" answered pretty Mademoiselle Hubert,
scraping her palette viciously, as if it were responsible for her
artistic inferiority to the gifted Thingumbobbia.

"O-o-o-h!" gasped Paletta. "But who is the sweet creature with golden
hair, who looks infused with fair ideals to her very finger-tips?"

[Illustration: AN AMIABLE MADONNA!]

"She? Oh, she's Miss Araminta Shoddy from Michigan Avenue, Chicago, who
is finishing her education in Paris. She comes here twice a week for
drawing-lessons from the antique, and also in pursuit of general
information, I should think, judging from her questions. Only yesterday
she said, 'Ladies, who can tell me the costume of the Venus de Melos? I
have an idea that it would be stunning for my next fancy-dress ball!'"

"Ladies," cried Miss San Francisco, invisible among the easels, "has
Professor Manley given out the subject of our composition for next
week?"

"Yes," answered a dozen voices--"'The Flight into Egypt.'"

"Oh, Miss Shoddy, Miss Shoddy, _will_ you pose for my Virgin Mother?"
cried another dozen.

[Illustration: THE MORNING LESSON.]

[Illustration: "HE'S GONE, GIRLS!"]

"Oh, Mees Shoddy, if you will pose for my Madonna I will pose for
yours," echoed the Raphaelesque Thingumbobbia.

Just before noon the forest of easels swayed slightly beneath a breeze
of excitement. A masculine step was heard at the door. The model's
expression became if not divine, at least superhuman. The ladies ceased
their chatter, and plied their brushes and crayons with increased
diligence. The morning professor entered, and passed from easel to
easel, commending this, criticising that, rebuking something else,
making a few touches of the brush upon several canvases, crossing others
with a network of charcoal-lines to prove inaccuracy of drawing,
distributed _très biens_ and _pas mals_ judiciously, and then with a
pleasant "Bon jour, mesdames," passed away, leaving behind him about an
equal measure of delight and dismay.

[Illustration: "H-E-A-VENLY CHEESE FOR A FRANC A POUND?"]

"I hope his bed-clothes will always come up at the foot!" growled
Austina, whose canvas looked like a map of a humming-bird's flight done
in charcoal.

"Let's all subscribe and buy The Angel a bouquet for Christmas," gushed
enthusiastically the British blonde Godsalina, upon whom one of the _pas
mals_ had fallen, and who had the true faith of her nation in the
efficacy of "tips" for sovereign or beggar.

[Illustration: "JE SUIS À VOUS."]

Then the model stretched his legs, returned to his normal and carnal
expression of countenance, and disappeared to return no more till the
morrow, leaving the platform vacant awaiting the nude female model who
was engaged for the afternoon. The atelier was abandoned to Sophie, the
_femme de ménage_, who stirred the fires, gathered stray brushes from
the floor, changed the background drapery for the afternoon model,
rearranged the easels into afternoon position, and brought out glasses
and plates for the ladies, who lunched in the anteroom. And then a
looker-on in a Parisian atelier des dames would readily have understood
the words, "He's gone, girls!" even were that looker-on deafer than the
deafest old woman who ever mistook a thunder-clap for one of her lord's
champion snores. In the anteroom conversation ran during lunch in
various channels. Some of the ladies discussed the ever-absorbing topic
of the price of living, and boasted of marvellous exploits in the way of
economy. Other and fewer students, to whom money was as the dust upon
the bust of Pallas over the studio-door, talked of the last "first
representations" at the Français, of Croisette's rapidly amplifying
figure, of Sarah Bernhardt's unnecessary immodesty in dressing Racine's
Andromaque, of the Grant reception at Healy's, of Lefevre's slipperiness
of texture, of the lack of the true sentiment of piety in Bouguereau's
religious pictures, of the harum-scarum amusements among the Americans
at Bonnât's atelier, and the latest gossip of the private studios.

[Illustration: SATURDAY EVE.]

"Want to know where you can buy just _h-e-a-venly_ cheese for a franc a
pound?" mumbles young Madame New Jersey with her mouth full of Gruyère.

"Where?" from several excited listeners.

"Over in the Latin Quarter, close by the Rue Jacob Brasserie, where so
many American students hold daily symposia."

"I'll go and buy a quarter of a pound this very evening," said Miss
Providence energetically.

"I too! I too! et moi aussi!" cried others of the many who lived _à la
Bohémienne_ in lofty mansards of _maisons meublées_, dining at cheap
restaurants, breakfasting by aid of spirit-lamps from corners of
dressing-tables and lunching on _charcuterie_ in the anteroom of the
Krug studio, searching high and low for "cheapness" as for a pearl of
great price.

"And pay twelve sous for your omnibus fare!" cried the practical little
Illinois maiden, Dixonia.

"Je suis à vous, mesdames," said the favorite model, Alphonse, at the
door.

"Alas, sweet Adonis! we have engaged our people for the next three
weeks."

"And I am desolé, mesdames, that you have not want of me;" and the
graceful Alphonse melted away like a snow-wreath in a south wind.

At one o'clock came the sallow Frenchwoman, with the face of a Gorgon
and the figure of a Juno, who posed for the _ensemble_. She stood
against the dark crimson background, outlined pure and white like a
marvel of Phidian sculpture upon which the Spirit of Life had slightly
breathed. So still, so white, so coldly, purely statuesque she seemed,
that one sometimes entirely forgot that she was else than the fair
statue born from the block of marble at the command of a divine genius,
till the chiselled arms were seen to quiver and the sculptured knees to
almost bend. Then a reproachful cry ran through the atelier: "Shame!
shame! We have forgotten that she was a woman and not a statue, and
have kept her posing two hours without a repose."

"How much do you earn by this wearisome business?" asked Paletta
pityingly as the tired model, wrapped in a threadbare waterproof,
cowered over the stove during "the repose."

"If I pose for a half day of each week like this in an atelier des
dames, I earn twenty-five francs a week, but what I earn by posing for
artists in private studios depends much upon chance. Sometimes I am
needed only for a leg or arm or bust, or even hand: then I earn less of
course, for it makes broken hours. I would demand much more from the
ateliers des dames had I a handsome face, but always my ensemble is
painted with the head of a prettier model where there is any purpose of
using me in a picture."

"Do you become often as fatigued as you are now?" continued Paletta.

"Often more so. I have posed for nearly an hour upon one foot with
extended arms in a dance of bacchantes, till I have fainted. Oftentimes
I am kept in a running position upon one foot, with the other far behind
me, in Atalanta's race; sometimes suspended by cords from the ceiling,
with arms and legs in horribly uncomfortable positions, till everything
seems to spin before me."

"Do you dislike to pose for male artists?" asked Paletta.

"Dislike? Why should I with so fine a figure as this?" answered the
woman, throwing off her cloak to resume her pose. "I'd like it better if
I had a handsome face, but I'd like it much worse if I had flabby flesh
or buniony feet."

Paletta saw that no question of modesty entered the model's mind, and
she went back to her easel to paint the rounded limbs and marble
huelessness of fair Dian, chastest of all Olympia's deities, wondering
if, after all, what is called modesty does not come as much of habit as
of nature--if the veiled face of the Oriental is not as immodest as the
unclothedness of the artist's model.

MARGARET B. WRIGHT.



"AUF DEM HEIMWEG."


    Thy light streams far, thou gladdening star,
      O'er vale and forest, tower and town:
    From land and sea men look to thee,
      In every clime, as night comes down.
    But ah! were all the eyes that mark
      Thy rising, closed in endless dark,
    Undimmed would glitter still
      Thy bright unpitying spark!

    I heed thee not. In yonder cot,
      As home I haste, from toil set free,
    Through dusk and damp the casement-lamp
      Shines clear across the fields for me.
    Dear light! dear heart! how well I know,
    If bitter Death should lay me low,
      Dark would that casement be,
    And quenched your winsome glow!

MARY KEELY BOUTELLE.



THROUGH WINDING WAYS.

CHAPTER I.


"I can't reach it," declared Georgy. "You boys are all growing so tall
that a girl has to mount on stilts in order to go about with you."

"I will find a log," said I, looking about us.

"Come!" struck in Jack Holt, laughing, "make a footstool of me, Georgy;"
and without another word he flung himself flat on his face. She was
never loath to put her foot upon any of our necks, figuratively
speaking, and now, with a burst of laughter, she took Jack at his word,
and planting herself on his shoulders peered down through the coils of
Virginia creeper into the cunningly devised bird's nest in the hollow of
an oak tree. There were five delicately tinted eggs, and she tried in
vain to squeeze her slim hand through the aperture and possess herself
of them.

"Getting tired, Jack?" she asked presently.

"No," he answered, his face still kissing the moss: "I don't tire so
easily in your service, Georgy."

I felt rather bitter against them both. I would have died to serve this
girl, I told myself, yet such an opportunity left me dull and cold. I
was always dreaming of doughty deeds to please her, yet if she dropped
her handkerchief I could hardly stoop to pick it up.

"Oh, get up, Jack!" cried Harry Dart, whose lip had been curling in
angry scorn as he watched the performance: "you are by far too good to
be trodden under foot by any girl, let alone Georgy Lenox."

Georgy tripped down from her temporary throne and made Harry a little
courtesy. "Do you mean to say that you would not be glad to be trodden
under foot by Georgy Lenox?" she asked, laughing and tossing her curls.

He gave a contemptuous shrug: "Wait until I give you an opportunity.
Floyd and I don't make fools of ourselves for any girls."

"Come, come, Harry!" said Jack, who had risen from the ground and was
now wiping off the earth-stains from his clothes, "don't spoil our day
by being disagreeable.--Shall we go on, Georgy?" He gave her a peculiar
glance in which there was less of humility than gentle command, and she
sprang after him and put her hand within his arm. He did not serve her
for rewards as yet, and was used to as many blows as smiles, and this
was a rare condescension on her part.

Georgy was fifteen--of the same age as Harry, but considerably younger
than Jack, who was two years older than his cousin, while I was the
youngest of the three. We had been playmates all our lives, and had each
of us found in Georgy Lenox the only girl-friend of our boyhood. She had
been a beauty from her infancy, and her wiles had grown with her growth
and strengthened with her strength; and now her myriad tricks of
mischief, caprice and cruelty were too closely identified with what was
most bewitching in her not to have become additional charms for us. In
those days, while we were still hobbledehoys, she pleased us the more
that she had, with the precocity of her sex, quite outstripped us where
all subtle social forces are concerned. Although she could be a hoyden
still, it was quite as easy for her to assume the part of an elegant
young lady, equipped for society with charming manners, a fastidious
taste and indifferent ease. We occasionally laughed at her airs, but
inwardly admired her superb assumptions of careless superiority: had she
become timid, docile, admiring toward us, I dare say her reign would not
have lasted the day out.

Harry flung his arm about me, and we followed Jack and Georgy deeper and
deeper into the wood. It was the last Saturday in May, and the fairest
day of the year. The thickets were full of mysterious sounds, and one
could almost feel the beating of the delicate pulses of the springing,
expanding life about us. I knew all the secrets of this forest, and
loved no place half so well in Belfield outside of my own home. Nature,
too, seemed tenderer of it than of other wildnesses, and had set the
seal of her choice upon it with every gift of fern and vine and moss and
lichen. No axe had invaded these solitudes for years except to prune
away a too riotous undergrowth along the cart-path: the trees grew in
grand natural aisles, and to look through the noble colonnade into
mysterious vistas of copsewood gloom and stillness was for me to thrill
with that blissful agony of youthful emotion which is our first
premonition of the unreachable secret that underlies the universe.

"Did you ever think," said Harry to me earnestly, "that you would like
to leave the world behind you for ever and live altogether in the woods,
with only the trees and birds for company?"

But, dearly although I loved the woods, I could not answer him that I
should be willing to resign my home, my mother, my friends and social
joys for the life of a hermit.

"It's pleasant to see people," I suggested.

"I'm not sure of that," Harry rejoined with sudden misanthropy. "See
what a hard world it is! I feel to-day like Achilles in his tent."

"But I don't like Achilles: he was only sullen because he had lost
Briseis. Surely, Harry, you don't mind it that Georgy has gone on with
Jack?"

Harry laughed loud and long: "That would be a good joke! As if I cared
for Georgy Lenox! But it does make me angry to see Jack so taken up with
her. Did you see her new shoes?"

There could be no question of that.

"Jack bought them for her," said Harry with angry emphasis. "He spends
all his money on her, and I think it is a shame. She told him at first
she could not come to-day, because she had nothing to wear on her feet
except thin slippers. What does Jack do but post off to John Edwards and
buy her a pair of boots at once!" He paused a moment, then burst out:
"Just look at them!"

Georgy had flung her flowers at Jack, and having jumped across the
little brook which meandered through the wood, now nodded at him
defiantly, tossing her long curls, while her eyes sparkled and her color
rose. He too sprang over the stream, with pretended anger, and she gave
a little shriek and flew down the path, with him in pursuit. Jack was
clumsy and not built for speed, while Georgy had the spring of a fawn;
but I suspect she was willing to be caught, for when we next gained a
glimpse of them she was sitting on a stump fanning herself with her
broad-brimmed hat, which had fallen off, while he was leaning against a
tree looking at her.

"He has kissed her--I know he has," Harry whispered to me with a bitter
look. "I would die before I would kiss her when she behaved like that!"

I was in a sort of tremor. I was too young to be in love in the ordinary
sense of the phrase, but I was aghast at the thought of the bloom of her
cheeks and lips being plucked like roses in a hedgerow. She was precious
to my imagination, yet, for all her every-day reality, scarcely nearer
to my aspirations than Lady Edith Plantagenet or Ellen, Lady of the
Lake.

"I don't care," muttered Harry doggedly--"I don't care. I dare say he
means to marry her when he grows up, but I don't care."

"Floyd," called out Georgy, "can't you show me another bird's nest?"

Now I knew at least a hundred birds' nests in these woods. All Wednesday
afternoon I had nestled here in the thickets and watched the little
builders hopping from moss to bough and twig, and had learned all their
secrets. I knew that by the great rock just behind where she was sitting
was a ledge with shelving sides overhung with moss, and that there, so
cunningly wrought and hidden that none but a trained eye could ever have
discovered it, was an exquisite nest formed of lichens. Half ashamed of
disclosing such a sacred confidence, I led Georgy up to it. Last
Wednesday it was barely finished: now there were three eggs in it. It
was a wood-pewee's nest, and while I let her peep the mother-bird flew
toward us with a shrill pathetic cry.

"Hush, you horrid thing!" cried Georgy to the alarmed bird, that circled
about us with cries growing every moment more piercing.--"Is not that
perfectly sweet? I never saw anything prettier."

I had only consented that she should give one glance, and I now tried to
coax her away; but nothing would content her but to hold two of the eggs
in her hand, and while she held them her foot slipped and they fell to
the ground, and she trod upon them.

"Oh, Georgy!" I cried angrily, "that is too horribly careless of you: I
cannot forgive you."

"The idea!" she returned, laughing. "Do look at him, boys!--as white as
a ghost just because I broke those wretched eggs! Look at that furious
little bird! I declare it is ready to peck my eyes out! There, madam!
now you may go to work and lay some more eggs;" and she took the sole
remaining egg from the nest and flung it with wanton cruelty into the
thicket.

I was cut to the heart. Both Jack and Harry came up to me, but I shook
them off and sat down upon a fallen trunk, and would not say a word in
answer to their inquiries or consolations. Presently they wandered down
the woods together, and left me there alone. The owners of the despoiled
nest kept up a loud, emphatic chirping for a time, which drew all the
other birds to discover its cause. I felt as if they looked at me with
wonder and resentment in their innocent eyes. But after a time the
tumult of sorrow passed and the usual forest sounds returned: the whir
of partridge-wings smote the air, and I heard the tender coo of the
mother-hen; then the wind rose and blew through the tree-tops, and the
blossoming boughs moved restlessly, no longer filtering green sunshine
through their transparent leaves, but disclosing a gathering storm in
the glimpses I gained of the sky above. I knew a short cut through the
wood which led to the hill at the back of my mother's house, and when I
heard Harry's voice calling me I sprang like a deer into the covert, and
before the rain came had reached home.

Georgy's wanton cruelty had wounded me deeply, but my allegiance to our
girl-queen was not easily thrown off; and seizing an umbrella I flew
back to the woods to offer it to Georgy, who received it kindly, glad of
shelter from the sudden shower. I was as proud of her smile and
good-natured thanks as a dog is proud of his master's scant caress after
a sound beating.

The fair May day ended in rain, and, as usual on Saturdays, my three
mates finished the afternoon with me. Jack took his books and went
sturdily at his Greek; Harry drew pictures by the dozen; Georgy was
reading _Queechy,_ nestled in my mother's chair by the bay-window; and I
was deep in one of the _Waverley_ novels. Banners streamed, bugles blew,
spears gleamed, knights jostled in my world. Oh for a wet afternoon
again like that twenty-five years ago, with the monotonous patter of
rain in my ears, to go back to Coeur de Lion and Edith and Saladin! And
not alone the time and the books, and the old high heart with the old
longings and resolves, and the old fearless eyes to look out upon the
world, but the old companions as well, with their glorious boy-faces,
untouched then by any imprint of the base emotions and aims sure almost,
a little later, to enter in and defile! The rain pattered ceaselessly;
the heavy scent of the lilacs came in through the open windows; the
martins screamed about their boxes under the eaves of the stable, and I
could hear the twitter of innumerable birds; but with the consciousness
of all this I had no thought except of my rapture for Kenneth when the
dog sprang at the throat of Conrad.

"Floyd," said Georgy, putting her hand on my arm, "don't you hear the
door-bell? Ann went out an hour ago."

Our service was not numerous, and if Ann had gone out, as was her wont
when she found a moment's leisure, there was no one to answer the bell
but myself. I rose heavily and unwillingly, and walked along the little
hall, my eyes still glued upon the page, hardly raising them when I
opened, the door until I saw, instead of some indifferent neighbor, a
tall gentleman, quite strange to Belfield, who was shutting his dripping
umbrella. He was very tall, stately, broad-shouldered, with an impassive
but handsome face, and a glance at once quiet and commanding. He
regarded me with an amused smile, as if he knew me very well, and
something about him gradually renewed a sort of recollection in me.

"How do you do?" he asked as I stood squarely in the doorway staring at
him.

"I am quite well, sir," I returned gravely.

"What is your name?" he inquired, laughing.

"James Floyd Randolph," I answered.

"I am James Floyd," said he. "Suppose you invite me in?"

I led the way silently back to the dull, chilly sitting-room, where Jack
and Harry still sat at the table, while Georgy was peeping out to catch
a glimpse of the new arrival. Mr. Floyd, having put his umbrella in the
rack and taken off his hat and overcoat, followed me, casting a look
about the room as he entered, as if he missed somebody he expected to
see.

"My mother is not at home, sir," I observed, sitting down stiffly on the
edge of a chair: "she has gone to spend the afternoon with a sick lady."

"She will return presently?"

"Oh, she will certainly be at home to tea, sir," I answered; and then,
remarking that he gave a shrug as he glanced at the wide-open casements,
I closed both windows, went to the closet, brought wood and kindlings
and built a fire on the hearth.

"You are a boy of much nice discrimination," remarked Mr. Floyd. "Now
that you have a temperature not altogether conducive to lumbago, I will
venture to sit down. Do you know who I am?"

"Oh yes, sir: you are Mr. James Floyd, the gentleman I was named after."

"Has your mother often spoken of me?"

"Oh yes, sir," I said again, and at once observed that his face
brightened up.

"And who are these young people?" he inquired, apparently noticing the
group by the table for the first time.

I introduced them, and Mr. Floyd shook hands with Jack, put his hand
under Harry's chin and looked keenly into his chiselled, beautiful face;
then gave another glance at Georgy, to whom he had first bowed.

"Miss Lenox?" he repeated. "Any relation of George Lenox?"

"Oh yes, sir: I am his daughter," cried Georgy, blushing and dimpling.
"I am third cousin to your little girl: Mr. Raymond at The Headlands is
my great-uncle."

"Yes, of course. How is your father?"

"Papa is pretty well."

"He was first cousin of my wife," said Mr. Floyd, "and I have met him, I
believe."

The door-bell rang again.

"That is Antonio Thorpe," observed Mr. Floyd--"a young friend of mine
for whom I want to get board and lodging in Belfield. Can any of you
recommend a place? He is a lad of eighteen or nineteen, and will
probably study under your own masters."

"Mamma would be very glad to have a boarder," struck in Georgy
earnestly. "There is a nice large room for him."

I ushered in the new-comer, a slim fellow of my own height, but looking
immeasurably older, with a delicate black moustache and a coat which
fitted in a way to shame anything in Belfield.

"Well, well, Tony!" said Mr. Floyd: "you followed quickly upon my
footsteps; but all the better, perhaps, as I have already heard of a
suitable place for you to settle. This young lady, Miss Lenox, thinks
her mother may be able to accommodate you: perhaps she will be good
enough to take you home now and introduce you, referring her family to
me."

Thorpe bowed with a very finished air, and presently was walking off in
the rain with Georgy, holding his umbrella over her in a manner truly
Grandisonian. Harry and Jack also went away, and I was left alone with
my guardian; for, although I had never seen him since my father's
funeral eight years before, my guardian I knew him to be. He called me
up to him, flung his arm over my shoulder and looked into my eyes. "My
dear boy!" said he in a kind voice, and kissed me on the forehead. "You
remember me a little, don't you?" he asked.

"I remember you now very well: at first it seemed all gone from me."

"No wonder. I have been in Europe eight years. My little girl is ten
years old, and had never seen me since she was the merest baby. She was
afraid of me at first."

But not for long, I was sure of that: nobody, man, woman or child, could
look into his face and not love and trust him.

"I want to see your mother," he exclaimed with a sudden flash of
expression over his tranquil face. "Your mother is all that is left to
me of my youth: I have come back an old man."

I laughed at this, and then we fell to talking of our life in Belfield.
I was not a loquacious fellow, but something about Mr. Floyd unloosed my
tongue, and after describing our quiet household ways I spoke freely of
the Lenoxes and of Jack and Harry. The two boys were cousins, and Harry,
having neither father nor mother, lived with the Holts, who were the
rich people of our village. My two friends loved me dearly, but still
they were more to each other than I could be to either, for they shared
the same room, ate at the same table, and had grown into an intimacy
wonderful and rare even among brothers. They were Damon and Pythias,
Orestes and Pylades; but indeed I doubted if anything in poetry, history
or tradition had ever equalled this beautiful and complete friendship. I
could not be jealous of it, because each gave me all I needed; and even
if, at times, I felt the pang of being a little outside their world, my
isolation was made sacred to me by the recollection of the brother I had
lost, in whom some time, somewhere, I should regain everything.

Mr. Floyd had a way of listening which made me yearn to tell him every
insignificant detail of my life. I knew that he was a man of national
reputation, but I hardly cared for that, since he was the pleasantest
companion I had ever met. I found myself gossiping to him about our
village worthies, making him laugh heartily at their sayings passed into
tradition and fable among us boys; for our one-eyed shoemaker and our
corpulent grocer, like many other country wits to fortune and to fame
unknown, surpassed either Douglas Jerrold or Sydney Smith in quip and
drollery. And I did not omit George Lenox, for all Belfield except his
wife was in the secret of his affairs, and they were our crowning joke,
in which poor George himself joined merrily, although the story was so
against himself.

"That girl of his is remarkably pretty," said Mr. Floyd. "Is he, then,
so poor? He was well born, liberally educated, and married in a family
of high pretensions."

There could be no doubt but what George Lenox had begun better than
other men, with enough to live on comfortably in city or country,
provided he did not think too much of the necessity for showing his wife
that she had not lessened her consequence in marrying him. Nobody could
accuse poor Mr. Lenox now-a-days of ambition, or blame him if, in those
early days as now, that terrible woman had frankly regarded him as an
utter nonentity save in his association with her own destiny. She was a
handsome woman, with aquiline nose, a thin, firmly-set mouth, piercing
eyes and a magnificent carriage. She was no longer young when she had
accepted Mr. Lenox, and by what means she had encompassed his
subjugation we were never told: he always shook his head when he alluded
to his courtship. "A fellow is wax in a woman's hands," he had sometimes
remarked darkly. But after his marriage he had seemed to acquiesce in
his wife's belief in her high individual value to the world in general
and himself in particular, and had given her the best of everything.
Mrs. Lenox knew how to spend money, she had a house in New York and a
villa in Belfield; she had running accounts with tradesmen; and not only
gave dinner-parties, balls and receptions, but out-dressed her circle
with a sort of gorgeous superfluity which made her intimates experience
the ignominy of their inferiority. Mr. Lenox resigned himself to the
irresistible current of his wife's will, and if he felt inward doubts
silenced them as suggestions of morbid distrust in the discretion of a
woman whom he knew to be virtuous, and whose price was so much above
rubies that sordid calculations ought not to be mentioned in the same
breath with her. After a time, however, not even his high faith in the
necessity of agreeable issues where she was concerned could blind him to
the fact that he had many debts and but a few thousand dollars. He at
once invested these thousands in an enterprise which was shortly to make
all those interested in it millionaires. But if any one made money out
of it, it was not George Lenox, who suddenly found himself reduced to be
a pensioner upon his wife, who had twelve thousand dollars invested in
railway stock. They removed to their little Gothic cottage in Belfield,
and Mrs. Lenox lost what remained of her beauty, her spirits, her
temper, but never her ineradicable pride. Within a year her husband had
taken her railway stock, sold it and invested it in some speculation
which failed ignominiously, as any schemes of his were sure to do.
Nothing attracted him which was regulated by average laws of supply
answering a demand: all his undertakings required a miracle, an upheaval
of popular ideas, to ensure success. He never told his wife of this
embezzlement of his: when he lost her property he meditated suicide, and
merely staved off the evil day by pretending to pay her dividends
regularly; and for this he twice a year implored the assistance of his
uncle, Mr. Raymond. The railroad in which Mrs. Lenox had invested was a
prosperous one, and occasionally declared an additional stock dividend:
it was on these occasions that the reduced lady lost in a degree her
usual air of picturesque gloom--that she roused herself to talk about
her family and the glories of her youth, the éclat and brilliance of her
position, which she had never lost until after marrying her unfortunate
husband; and at such times she even regained her courage and made a
round of visits, dropping glazed and ancient cards, and retaining in her
feebleness all the traditions of her majesty. But this epoch of her
revived grandeur was set in painful contrast to poor Lenox's misery. He
was commissioned to sell the scrip, which, for him, had no existence,
and thus raise money to deck the family in transient brightness. I fancy
that at such times, without any waste of rhetoric or balancing of
expediencies, he was more in love with suicide than Hamlet or Cato, and
that if it had not been for the sympathy and aid of a golden-haired
little girl he would have swallowed his death-potion quietly. Georgy was
his firm ally against her mother, and helped him shrewdly in many a
close pinch; and his rich uncle, Mr. Raymond (Mr. Floyd's
father-in-law), rarely refused him provisional aid upon his application,
although he was wise enough to decline helping him in any of his
fantastic kite speculations.

"And what sort of a girl is this Miss Georgy?" inquired Mr. Floyd. "Has
she been injured at all by the somewhat exceptional circumstances of her
family?"

"Oh no, sir."

"Is she gentle, generous and open in her ways?"

"Gentle, sir--generous?"

"She is remarkably pretty."

I assented eagerly to this observation, and he laughed: "There is no
doubt in your mind upon that point. If she were in all respects a
suitable companion for Helen, I would request that she should be invited
to The Headlands. But Tony will find out what she is made of. He will be
a new friend for you."

And he told me about this Antonio Thorpe, who had been under his
guardianship for six years. He was the son of an Englishman who had
married a Spanish girl in the West Indies: the lad was but twelve years
old when he was thrown upon the world without parents or near relatives
or suitable provision for his maintenance. The elder Thorpe had been a
careless, good-natured person, without any distrust of his fellows, and
not knowing what to do with his son had thrust him upon Mr. Floyd, who
had at some trouble and expense looked after his education. He had
entered college the year before, but his conduct had been a little
unsatisfactory to the authorities, and his guardian had withdrawn him,
and now, in some doubt as to the best course to pursue in regard to his
future, wished him to study for a few months quietly at Belfield.

"Your mother will let him visit here, I trust," he went on. "I think he
is half a good fellow, and we must forgive the other half, because his
mother was the proudest, vainest, silliest little Castilian that ever
lived. Tony has got a good deal to contend against."

But the drawbacks to Thorpe's advancement were not so patent to my mind
on first acquaintance as his advantages. He had a slight, graceful
figure, a little under height, but carried himself with the dignity of a
grandee; his eyes were large, dark and languishing; his complexion was a
pale olive; while his moustache, black and exquisitely pencilled, was a
sign of itself of towering superiority above the rest of us callow
youths. That alone would have filled me with envy.



CHAPTER II.


"Ah," exclaimed Mr. Floyd, starting to his feet, "that is your mother, I
hope."

I had become too much absorbed in our talk to hear the click of the
gate, but now I sprang up and rushed to the door, and, seeing my mother
quietly walking up the path, I ran out bareheaded into the rain.

"Oh, mother," I cried, "you cannot guess who has come to spend Sunday
with us!"

It seemed to me all at once that some thought of him must have been in
her mind, for her color came and went. "I hope it is Cousin James," she
replied calmly.

As I took her umbrella from her hand I could see that she was trembling
and her lips quivering. I unclasped her cloak and untied her bonnet, and
took them from her: she ungloved her hands hastily and smoothed her hair
as she went along the hall. Mr. Floyd stood facing her as she entered
the sitting-room. "Dear Mary!" said he, and took her in his arms and
kissed her.

I felt as if I had been struck a heavy blow. I knew that he had been not
only my father's first cousin, but his nearest and dearest friend as
well; but, for all that, it was not easy for me to see my mother
surrendering herself to that caress. But presently, when I saw that she
was crying, I knew that she was thinking only of my father and her long
agony of loneliness, and I forgave them both. When she regained her
calmness she called me to her with a timid smile and a faint blush.

"This is my boy, James," she said, looking up at Mr. Floyd smiling, but
with the tears still on her cheeks. "He is your godson, you remember,
and namesake."

"My godson, my namesake, my ward, and my dear friend besides," replied
Mr. Floyd, throwing his arm heavily over my shoulder. "I know him
already very well, and I like him more than I can tell you."

That same old thrill of feeling goes over me now like a wave as I write.
As I stood looking up at him I seemed to grow rich, as if I had suddenly
come into my kingdom. I continued to stand leaning against him as he sat
down close beside my mother and talked intimately and freely with her. I
may have felt a little alien and apart at first, for the days they
talked of were the days of long ago, before I could remember. Mr.
Floyd's private personal history had been but one short chapter in his
long, full and busy life. He was well past thirty before he had married
Alice Raymond, the only child of a wealthy merchant: she was but
seventeen when he first saw her and fell in love with her. Few people
knew whether the twelve short months of his married life were but as a
dream to him now, eleven years later, or whether his scant allusions to
that time came from a shy tenderness for a memory which was his dearest
and most sacred possession. Alice Raymond was but little past eighteen
when she died, and even the child she left behind her had never really
belonged to Mr. Floyd, but had grown up at her grandfather's at The
Headlands while her father had assumed the duties of a mission abroad.
Life had denied him little of what men seek as objects in a brilliant
and exciting career; but in listening to him now I felt a certainty that
he had been a lonely man, and, if not an unhappy one, that his mind was
tinged at least with a certain melancholy which lay at the root of all
his impulses.

My mother seemed to have grown younger in meeting him. She was always
the most beautiful of women to me, with her large, serious brown eyes,
her wavy brown hair, her complexion pure and delicate as a young girl's;
and indeed she was but twenty years older than myself, thus at this date
only thirty-four. But while she talked to Mr. Floyd I observed a change
in her: her eyes had lost their pensiveness and calm, and fell before
his shyly: the flushes came and went on her cheeks. He told her again
and again that in meeting her he found the first realization that he had
come back to his home: old Mr. Raymond had seemed to be afraid of him,
and little Helen had cried with terror when he first clasped her in his
arms and kissed her with unguarded fondness.

"But that was not strange," observed my mother. "Intimate affection is,
after all, a habit. Now that you have a chance of having your little
girl always with you, she will very soon grow fond of you."

"Oh, but I have no claim to her. She must stay with Mr. Raymond as long
as he lives, I suppose. He loved Alice, but he worships Helen. I robbed
him of his child once almost against his will, and now that he is so old
a man I could not have the heart to do it again."

"But she is your own daughter!" cried my mother, half indignantly.

"But I made my mistake ten years ago. Just then I only cared for what
lay beneath a fresh grave at The Headlands: there seemed to be no
to-morrow for me--no time when I should get used to such sorrow and find
comfort in any one or anything that took Alice's place. I gave up Helen
then with absolute indifference: now such coldness seems enigmatical to
me."

"You ought to have her with you now."

"It could not be. I asked her this morning if she would come with me:
she burst into a passion of weeping, and declared she could not leave
her grandfather--that he would die without her; and I verily believe
that he would. Well! well! I have got along for ten years without
happiness. I have a career, while Mr. Raymond, millionaire though he is,
has nothing but Helen. If only my health does not altogether fail!"

"You are not ill, James?"

"The doctors tell me that I have three incurable diseases," returned Mr.
Floyd, laughing. "Then I took cold the moment I landed in this horrible
climate. I perfectly realize the truth of the Psalmist, who declares
that we are fearfully and wonderfully made. Physicians dote upon me: I
am an admirable field of research. Some people have the ill taste to die
without any preliminaries, but I shall not give occasion for any painful
surprise. Still, I only tell you this that you may make the most of me.
Let me hear about yourself, Mary. If you only knew how often I have
thought of you shut away here from the world in this wretched country
place, nothing near you not utterly foreign to your tastes and your
circles of thought!"

My mother's hand stole into mine, and she met my jealous glance and
smiled into my face. "Cousin James does not know what good times we
have, does he, Floyd?" said she.

"I forgot for one moment your consolations," said Mr. Floyd. "I saw your
boy's mates when I came in: one of them has a powerful face: he looks
like a youthful Cato."

"That is Jack Holt," I cried. "He _is_ like Cato: he is strong, severe,
just. Whatever he says ought to be done we know must be done, even if
the heavens fall."

"And the handsome fellow, who is he? Harry Dart? He looks equal to the
heroism of all Plutarch's heroes: he has a beautiful, consecrated face.
I hope he will live up to what it tells us now."

Glad and proud although I was to see Mr. Floyd, his coming disturbed me
a little. Hitherto I had accepted my life unquestioningly. We had been
poor ever since my father's death, and my mother's life had become
circumscribed and narrowed down to Belfield. It had seemed to me that no
other people in the world were just so happy as my mother and myself.
What need had we of a larger house, when the one stately mansion that I
was familiar with appeared to me a desert, even with all its fairy-land
splendors? Jack Holt's father was too rich a man not to allow his wife
all the good things which she coveted, and her parlors, halls and
bedrooms were irrefragable proof of the enormities which may be
committed with an utter want of taste and tens of thousands of dollars.
Both Harry and Jack hated the house, and spent every available moment
out of school in our comfortable, well-worn nooks inside and out of
doors. My mother used to play to us at twilight, and sing sweet ballads
which gave us a state of mind full of the blessed misery which youth
loves. Then what gay little waltzes used to rattle off from my mother's
fingers! She taught us all to dance, and in the winter dusk we would
waltz in turn with Georgy Lenox, the two of us who could not have her as
a partner circling with our arms about each other's less slender waists.
Then the feasts my mother used to cook for us with her own clever hands
have made the greatest banquets seem poor since: she had the gift of
performing every feminine task better than any other woman in the world.
In short, I had lived the life which undoubtedly comes to many a lad who
has no father: my mother appeared to have no thought but of me and my
happiness, and not one of my dreams of far-reaching happiness but
included her. I realized enough of the exquisite worth of her devotion
to me never to cross her wishes: an invisible yet insurmountable barrier
separated me from any of the grosser faults of boyhood, for she never
let me go from her without her kiss, the clasp of her hand, and her
saying, "You will be a good boy, Floyd?"

Yes, I had been perfectly happy; and, as I say, it disturbed me to have
a doubt suggested that this full, complete existence of mine had not
filled my mother's heart as well. Belfield--merely writing the word
"Belfield" has a breezy influence over my mind still. Wherever a man has
spent his boyhood there linger associations of the cool wind of the
hill-top, the sound of the sea audible yet invisible, the hush before a
storm, the tumbling of the ice in the river in the spring freshets, the
berries that grew on the edge of the wood, the ecstatic thrill of
physical strength and delight on the playground where he ran "drinking
in the wind of his own speed." But youth is the season not alone of
action, but of reverie. Most of our original thinking is done before we
are sixteen: after that we acquire so much of other men's experience
that our thoughts wear the current stamp. We come into our rich
inheritance of the world's accumulated knowledge, and evolve from it the
answers to the necessities of our own individual development. As boys we
were not cribbed by any exact logic and hard common sense, which must
stretch us a little later on a Procrustean bed, and we were free to grow
as we would and to stand on the highest level of noble thought and
heroic deed. The writers whom we read with avidity were those who
ennobled us: in those days youth was the era of a high romanticism, and
our authors did not enter the actual world which lay about us, giving us
pictures of real life, and with devilish ingenuity teaching us to regard
men's actions from the reverse side, and thus detect ignoble traits as
the mainspring of human achievement.

More than forty of us went to school together in the stiff white
academy which stood on the hill surrounded by a quadrangle of straight
poplars. We learned many things there--some from the grim old preceptor,
some outside the walls. I had a volume of Plutarch, from which I used to
read stories to the boys as we lay on the grassy slopes in the shade,
and I often felt a tremor in my voice as I read. It seems to me
sometimes that the youth of this day lose some of the grandeur which
made our ideals. Our sons read "Oliver Optic" and the magazines, while
we used to thrill over the grand words of the men who have ruled the
world. Then my mother's teaching was simple, direct and wise, and had
become incorporated in every action of my will and impulse of my heart.
I was to love and obey my God, never to tell a lie, never to do a mean
action, never to be disloyal to a friend nor unfair to a foe. Still, if
Harry and I were tolerably good, one of the reasons which acted most
powerfully to restrain us from committing faults was our wish to stand
well with Jack: he never scolded, never gave advice, but if he were
displeased with our conduct we could not eat or sleep. Once Harry
committed a trifling error--to call it a wickedness seems a grotesque
exaggeration now--and Jack did not like it.

"Of course, Harry," he said coldly, "you can do as you please, but I am
disappointed in you."

Harry rushed out of doors, and could not be found all night: he slept on
the turf beneath his cousin's window, and the rain drenched him and he
took a violent cold.

"You were foolish," observed Jack, smiling coldly.

"But do you forgive me now?"

"I forgive nothing: a bad action is a bad action. But I could not sleep
when I did not know where you were: I got up and studied, for I was so
tormented."

But Jack was so equable, so gentle! There was never a trace of harshness
in his treatment of us. Indeed, it was only in his unfailing rectitude
that he surpassed us, for, our senior although he was, he could barely
keep up in our classes. Harry was the quickest of the three, but with a
mortal hatred of hard study: he had an easy capacity for mastering
knowledge without tedious assiduity; and, as he was resolved to be a
painter, he held all mental acquirements as subsidiary to his
master-passion for gaining dexterity and skill with his pencil. He could
have done anything at his books had he expended any high endeavor, but
he always let his chances slip by him, and allowed me to carry off the
prizes which he might far more easily have won. I was by nature and
habit rigidly conscientious, and discontented with myself unless I did
my best. I hated cheap successes, and I was shy of praise, as my
performances always fell short of my ideals. Mine was no studious
disposition, and I had plenty of physical inclination to shirk lessons
and lie beneath the forest boughs watching the birds all day; but there
were detached lines that I used to repeat to myself aloud over and over
again in lonely places, caring far less for their meaning than for the
immeasurable music of the words.



CHAPTER III.


I could write many chapters about our life at Belfield, and perhaps of
all I have to tell nothing would be so well worth telling. Belfield is a
quiet place on the shore of Long Island Sound, placidly sleeping through
the summers and autumns beneath the shadows of its immemorial trees. We
went to school on the hill: below us was our ancient church built in
far-off colonial times, and connected with many a story of Revolutionary
times, to which we used to listen greedily: George Lenox had one of
which we never tired.

"My grandfather," said he, "went to church the Sunday after the
proclamation of the Declaration of Independence, and when the clergyman
read the prayers for the royal family he stood up in his pew and cried
out that no such prayers must be read in Belfield--that George III.'s
name was no longer the name of our friend, but of our worst enemy. The
minister rose and shut up his prayer-book forthwith, raised his hand and
pronounced the benediction, and the church was closed until the end of
the war. We were good Federalists, we were," continued Mr. Lenox, "but
we had one staunch Tory and Churchman in our family. After the church
was closed my grandfather's family used to attend Presbyterian meeting
on the hill, close by where your schoolhouse now stands; but their old
dog, Duke, would never go past the church when he followed his master
out on Sunday mornings: he would not go to Presbyterian meeting--not he:
he stretched himself on the great millstone before the closed
church-door."

When Jack, Harry and I sat together on the high "back seat" at school we
had a good view down the hill at the weather-stained old church, with
its imperishable gilt vane on top of the tall spire. Often enough our
vagrant eyes wandered that way, but not that we cared for green slopes
or colonial church or venerable weathercock. The truth of the matter
was, that we oftentimes saw Georgy Lenox walking along the quiet street
under the elms. To tell of our early life in Belfield, and say nothing
of the influence which was already moulding the lives of at least two of
us, would be to give an incomplete and partial picture. I was an
imaginative boy, and Jack was the reverse, yet we were both desperately
in love with the same girl. As for Harry, nobody ever decided what he
felt toward her. They continually quarrelled when they were together,
and Harry sometimes took pains to abuse her in her absence: he never
read of an unworthy trait in a woman but he at once pointed its meaning
at her. He called us "spoons," etc. for caring about her, yet, all the
same, she must have been invested with an endless store of associations
in his mind, for his portfolio was full of sketches of her; which seemed
to furnish his ideals of feminine beauty. She was not only Rowena, but
Rebecca as well (with only a change of complexion), Helen of Troy and
Joan of Arc, Cleopatra and the Madonna, Marie Stuart and Elizabeth
Tudor. Still, Jack and I each felt that he was not one with us in his
devotion to her, and we made no confidences to him respecting her. For
Jack and I talked about her incessantly when we were together: when we
saw her in the street below us we nudged each other, and together felt
the thrill, the inextinguishable rapture, of beholding the sunny gleam
of her golden hair and her quick, graceful gait.

We were not rivals. I do not know how the thought of her came to Jack in
those early days, but he had a habit of decision, and I dare say had
made up his mind that she was to be his wife. He had plenty of
pocket-money, and could buy her trinkets, ribbons and gloves: I had no
money, and my tribute to her was of flowers and fruits. It was natural
to both of us to offer her all we could; and it was equally natural to
her to receive our largesse with a smile and laughing thanks if it
pleased her, and a cool, indifferent shrug of contempt if it failed to
suit her.

I carried the thought of her into all my occupations. Were I planting my
mother's flower-beds, were I writing my composition, it was all the
same: the question was, "Will it please Georgy?" Not that it mattered;
and I well knew that I was a fool for it all, for she was steadily
indifferent to any matters in which she had no personal concern, and
despised my pains with scant ceremony. I too held in contempt my small
efforts to please her, and fell a-dreaming of the wonderful things I was
sure to do some time. Not that she was slow in telling us what she
wanted, and her demands upon us were not of the sort that appertain to
heroic achievements; yet I felt, all the same, that let me once be a
hero I must win her approbation. I can remember her sitting in our
garden at home under the laburnums, with the greenery making a
background for her fresh girl-face. From her babyhood her beauty had
been remarked, and at ten years old she was as used to compliments as an
old woman of the world. Mrs. Lenox had long since resigned expectation
for herself, but she was not yet too hopeless to indulge in passionate
belief of a brilliant future for her daughter; and when I used to
listen to the gorgeous day-dreams of the two, I felt dejectedly that my
own most radiant visions were by comparison the offspring of a lifeless
and gloomy fancy. There was nothing problematical or idealistic in their
ideas of a happy destiny. What they wanted was, in the first place,
money; in the second place, money; thirdly and finally, money. I doubt
whether Mrs. Lenox ever resigned herself to the sway of fiction or
poetry, but I am sure that had she studied Shakespeare she would have
thought Iago's advice to Roderigo shrewdly comprised the worth of all
aspiration. She and Georgy longed for dress, jewels and laces; great
houses panelled with mirrors and carpeted with velvet; magnificence and
pomp and circumstance about their every-day life; horses, carriages,
invitations, theatres, operas,--all the pleasures which throng toward
people with lined pockets and idle lives. Their wants were innumerable,
their taste and fancy a harp of a thousand strings upon which caprice
and vanity could play an endless variety of tunes. Mrs. Lenox had once
enjoyed the luxuries she still coveted so ardently, yet Georgy, who had
never known wealth, or even the easy-assured comforts of life, had
instinctively the keener perception of the two for the worth of costly
surroundings and possessions. No princess who had breathed perfumes all
her life, trod on velvet and been served on gold and silver, could have
felt a more vital necessity for luxury than Georgy, who had always lived
among shabby things and known few but shabby people. She was born with
the looks, manners and tastes of what we call an aristocrat, and her
mother worshipped these traits in her. When one day she flung away her
dinner because it was not to her liking, and went out of doors and
pulled the peaches ripening against the wall, and ate them instead, Mrs.
Lenox felt that such fastidiousness foreshadowed a destiny more than
common. For her to tear her hats to pieces and cut her dress or apron in
shreds because they did not suit her was a frequent caprice, and one we
had all laughed at again and again--except Jack, who was thrifty by
nature and respected the worth of things like a sensible economist. It
was generally he, however, who replaced the ruined garments, and by the
time he was sixteen he had attained quite a nice taste in millinery from
his frequent purchases for Georgy. Mrs. Lenox always had a fit of
weeping when such presents came and were displayed by Georgy as
trophies, for she was still too proud not to be cut deeply by every
fresh humiliation; but her belief in her daughter's future carried her
through the present, and she pacified her scruples in regard to her
course with Jack or anybody else who made outlay for her daughter by
remembering that all such services would be balanced by and by when the
natural order of things had been restored.

All in Belfield knew both Mrs. Lenox and Georgy so well--their history,
the miserable shortcomings of their home, the girl's scanty education
both of intellect and morals--that we could but attribute their faults
to sheer worldliness combined with the evils of their bitter poverty.
Jack and myself, at least, with the most meagre excuse readily forgave
Georgy everything. She was so beautiful, so radiant in all the phases of
her dingy life, so good-natured even in her contempt of our stupidity
and dulness, so eager to find enjoyment in everything, that we were
willing to accept all her faults with her charms, to love her
idolatrously, and blame ourselves for harshness if we were momentarily
angry with the lovely creature.

We had all, even Georgy, been reasonably happy in Belfield until Mr.
Floyd and Antonio Thorpe came. My guardian's influence I will speak of
later, for it touched only myself perhaps; but Tony's was felt more or
less by us all. He widened our horizons at once, and, as usual, enlarged
our imaginations at the expense of our belief in ourselves. We were not
used exactly to be complimented on our ignorance of the world, but in
Belfield habits of thought tended toward a pleasant conviction of the
uselessness of all knowledge and experience that our best inhabitants
did not happen to possess. Until Tony came we were in the habit of
deploring the fate of people who were not born and brought up in
Belfield. Almost the entire population were descendants of the original
proprietors of the soil, and we had our own ideas about our first
families. Thorpe's views, however, were not flattering: he was, in fact,
one of those elegant young men whose innermost souls are penetrated with
convictions of the inadequacy of intellects in general to appreciate
theirs in particular.

Both Jack and I passed sleepless nights at first, wretched at the
thought of his sleeping beneath the same roof with Georgy Lenox--of his
enjoying that mystical, beautiful experience of coming down every
morning to find her at table with her hair freshly curled, to enjoy the
felicity of passing her eggs and toast, to carve a slice for her from
the joint which the welcome addition of the young man's payment for
board allowed Mrs. Lenox to provide for her dinner. Then, too, we felt
with a pang that he would receive with his unequalled grace all sorts of
little services from the daughter of the house: she would pour his tea
for him, counting the lumps of sugar and dropping cream upon them in the
distracting way we knew; she would amuse him with her sweet-voiced
chatter. He was so old, so handsome with his velvety eyes and his
moustache, she might even fall in love with him. However, Georgy was not
given to sentiment, and Tony, for his part, was utterly indifferent to
her: indeed, the most exclusive circles in Belfield opened to him at
once, for a young man with a moustache was a _rara avis_ there, the
masculine element in the village falling short of social requirements,
as its representatives were generally either in their first or second
childhood. But the only intimacy he cultivated was with me and my
mother: he criticised everybody else, and it was evident that he
considered nothing in Belfield quite good enough for him.

"What a great man my master is!" says the French valet: "nothing suits
him." And it must be confessed that the valet's state of mind
concerning his master much resembled ours regarding Thorpe. At every
woman in the place except my mother he levelled trenchant sarcasms: the
men, he declared, possessed every trait which could shock or weary a man
of the world, and not only displeased his eyes, but were so foreign to
his spheres of thought that he was obliged to ignore them. At the habits
and customs of everybody alike he shrugged his shoulders, and we used to
wonder to each other why so great a man stayed in Belfield at all. But
he did us no harm, and it is not impossible that he did us good. He
laughed freely at our provincialisms, accustomed us to take raillery
good-naturedly, disillusionized us in many ways, and showed us always a
pattern of polished and careful demeanor.

He used to entertain us frequently--if I may use the word "entertain" to
describe his indifferent toleration of us and his acceptance of such
listeners in default of better--by a description of Mr. Raymond's place,
"The Headlands," as it was usually called. He had been in the habit of
spending a few days of his vacations there for years, and was in a
position to enlighten Georgy about her distant cousin and mine, Helen
Floyd, Mr. Raymond's probable heiress. Perhaps he liked to tease Georgy,
yet it is possible that the little daughter of Mr. Floyd, growing up in
the quiet, stately place, really possessed something already to arouse
Tony's admiration for a child ten years old; but he would dwell upon her
beauty, her brilliant prospects in the future and the grandeur of her
present possessions, until Georgy was enraged with him. The train was
perhaps already laid in the mind of the young girl which led up to a
magazine of hatred and anger against more successful mortals, and needed
but a chance spark to light it. She made a rival of little Helen Floyd
at once, and every action of her life became infused with ambitious
desires to surpass her in some way. She besieged me with questions
concerning my guardian, his ideas, views, tastes and habits, and beset
me feverishly to use my influence to get her invited to The Headlands.

Mr. Floyd's visits became more and more frequent as the summer advanced,
and I began with some jealousy to notice a growing change in my mother.
In former times she had shown an exquisite poise of strength and peace
in every phase of her life, but of late she seemed possessed with a sort
of girlish fluttering and disquiet: her eyes were dreamy and her voice
softer and less decided in its inflexions, and her manner to me, instead
of continuing its old noble habits of command, became timid and
caressing, as if she were anxious to propitiate me. In the evenings,
instead of sitting among us boys on the piazza, she would leave us and
walk by herself under the laburnums in the garden; and if I followed her
and put my arm about her, I found, with vague pain and rebellion at my
heart, that although she amply responded to my tenderness, she had sweet
and sacred thoughts that she was smiling over all by herself. It had
been her wont to busy herself with housekeeping cares from morning until
night: our income was small, and she was very busy, for she gave thought
to everything and decided wisely upon the smallest matter. In these
duties she had found pleasant occupation apparently: she had shown no
fatigue, had marred nothing by impatience or over-haste--had judiciously
studied how to manage every detail of our lives. Now all at once there
seemed a little lassitude upon her: she left all questions concerning
the housekeeping for her domestic, Ann, to decide; she would drop her
sewing in her lap and fall into reverie, her cheeks crimsoning, her eyes
growing dark and misty, and emerge into reality presently with a
beautiful trembling smile on her lips. I grudged her those reveries and
those smiles: I quaked at the thought that her heart was turning toward
Mr. Floyd, much as I loved and venerated him. I knew that she had
worshipped my father, and I wanted her to carry that one feeling supreme
to the end of her days. _Cet âge est sans pitié_. I realized nothing of
the preciousness of those impulses which were quickening her again into
happy youth: I realized nothing of her having been lonely--nothing of
the pain and passion of longing which must have tried her through these
eight years of widowhood, without any companionship save mine, with such
cruel silence when she had been used to every tenderness, to constant
loving flatteries, to gentlest ministrations--or I hope I should not so
bitterly have resented this new hope of hers which made her almost
afraid to look me in the face.

When Mr. Floyd did not come he wrote frequently to my mother. I used to
bring his letters to her with a swelling heart and bitter tears in my
eyes; but she knew nothing of those tears, for she never looked up, nor
when she took the letters did she read them before me. He wrote
frequently to me as well as to her, but while her envelopes covered
numerous well-filled pages, his notes to me were adorned with just one
degree more ample verbiage than we use in a telegram.

But nothing was said between us until one night early in September. It
was a rainy evening, but so warm that both doors and windows stood wide
open, and we heard the faint pattering music of the swift succeeding
showers mingled with the monotonous chant of the katydids. My mother sat
at the table with a pretence of work in her hands, but I saw that she
trembled so much that she could not draw the thread. I had brought her
in a letter at seven o'clock directed in Mr. Floyd's fine cramped
handwriting, and I too had a note from him. My mother had taken hers
from me with a devouring blush, and as if to hide it had thrust it
beneath a pile of cambric ruffles on the table.

Her look and manner had made me turn almost sick with pain, for it
seemed to me she no longer loved or trusted me. I had lost everything, I
told myself with profound dreariness. I laid my own letter from Mr.
Floyd open in her lap without a word. It ran thus:

"MY DEAR BOY: I have had a trying week: Helen has been at the point of
death, and that she is now convalescent fills me with gratitude to God
too great for words. I think she would have died if I had not been here.
As soon as she is well I want you to spend a few weeks at The Headlands:
you need the change, and my little girl needs a friend. Love to your
dear mother and for yourself.

"JAMES FLOYD."

But although my mother took up the letter, something seemed to blind
her: she could not read it, and put it by and resumed her work. We spent
an hour in complete silence.

"We are very dull," she said at last, looking over at me with a little
trembling smile. "Have you nothing to tell me, Floyd?"

"Why do you not read your letter, mother?"

"Oh, Floyd!" she cried, "it seems to me you are a little hard and cruel
to me of late."

"Read your letter, mother, and mine too. If it is impossible for you to
open a letter from Cousin James before me, I will leave the room."

She obeyed me, calmly taking her missive out from its hiding-place,
opening it and reading it through: then she handed it to me with her old
habit of command: "I wish you to read it, my boy."

I did so: it was just as I had thought. Mr. Floyd loved her: he had
spoken of his feelings many times, and was waiting for her answer.

"Poor little Helen!" said my mother tenderly. "I am so thankful she is
better! You will like to go to The Headlands, Floyd? 'Tis a beautiful
place: your father and I attended Cousin James's wedding there. I
remember still how superb and stately the place was."

"I do not feel as if I ever wanted to do anything any more, mother."

She gave me a piteous glance, and her hands locked and unlocked as they
lay together in her lap.

"I used to think you loved me, mother," I blurted out.

In another moment she had me in her arms. There was no more doubt
between us: she had given him up, and our old sweet, strong comradeship
returned.

ELLEN W. OLNEY.

[TO BE CONTINUED.]



THE WASHER AT THE WELL: A BRETON LEGEND.


    Nigh a league to the castle still:
      _Twelve_! booms the bell from the old clock-tower.
    Now, brave mare, for the stretch up the hill,
      Then just a gallop of half an hour.

    Half an hour, and home and rest!
      Is she watching for him on the oriel stair,
    Or cradling the babe on her silken breast
      In the hush of the drowsy chamber there?

    Holà! steady, good Bonnibelle!
      Scared at the wind, or the owlet's flight?
    Ha! what stirs by the Washing Well?
      Who goes there at the dead of night?

    Over the stream below the slope,
      Where the women wash their webs at noon,
    A form like a shadow seems to grope,
      Doubtful under the doubtful moon.

    Good mother, your task is late and lone.
      All goes well at the castle? say!--
    Not a word speaks the withered crone,
      Gray as a ghost in the moonlight gray.

    Stone-still over the running stream,
      Steadily, swiftly, round and round,
    Plying her web through gloom and gleam,
      Out and in, with never a sound--

    Never a sound save the blasted oak
      That shakes in the wind, and the bubbling well:
    This is no face of the peasant-folk!--
      With the sign of the cross he bars the spell.

    Slowly, slowly she turns about:
      Oh the creeping horror that chokes his breath
    As slowly she draws the linen out,
      And fashions its folds in guise of death--

    Long and loose like a winding-sheet!
      So sharp he pulls at the bridle-rein
    The mare stands straight on her trembling feet
      Before she cowers to the ground again.

    Now he knows, with a shudder of dread,
      The Ghost of the Well he has looked upon
    Washing the shroud for some one dead--
      Some one dear to him, dead and gone!

    Well and washer and funeral-pall
      Swim under his sight in pale eclipse.
    The good God send that the shroud be small!--
      He bites the words in his bloodless lips.

    Over the lonely moor alone,
      Praying a prayer for the dearest life,
    Stifling a cry for the dead unknown,
      Child or wife: is it child or wife?

    Over the threshold and up the stair,
      And into the hush of the deathly room,
    To a motionless form in the midnight there
      Under the tapers' glimmering gloom;

    And the babe on her bosom--child and wife!
      Child and wife! and his journey done.
    Hark! overhead, with a sullen strife,
      The bell in the old clock-tower booms--_One!_

KATE PUTNAM OSGOOD.



THE REAL PRISONER OF CHILLON: A GENTLEMAN GROSSLY MISREPRESENTED.

[Illustration: THE CASTLE OF CHILLON.]


"A character more celebrated than known" is Francis Bonivard, prior of
St. Victor and Prisoner of Chillon. It is not by any intentional
imposture on his part that he goes stalking through modern literature
disguised in the character of hero, saint and martyr, and shouting in a
hoarse chest-voice his "appeal from tyranny to God." In fact, if he
could be permitted to revisit his cherished little shelf of books about
which has grown the ample library of the University of Geneva, and view
the various delineations of himself by artist, poet, and even serious
historian, it would be delightful to witness his comical astonishment.
Perhaps it is not to be laid to the fault of Lord Byron, who after
visiting the old castle and its dungeon beguiled the hours of a rainy
day at the inn at Ouchy with writing a poem concerning which he frankly
confesses that he had not the slightest knowledge of its hero. Hobhouse,
his companion, ought to have been better informed, but was not. If
anybody is to blame, it is the recent writers, who do know the facts,
but are unwilling to hurt so fine an heroic figure or to dethrone "one
of the demigods of the liberal mythology." Enough to say that the Muse
of History has been guilty of one of those practical jokes to which she
is too much addicted, in dressing with tragic buskins and muffling in
the cloak of a hero of melodrama, and so palming off for earnest on two
generations of mankind, the drollest wag of the sixteenth century.

A wild young fellow like Bonivard, with a lively appreciation of the
ridiculous, could not fail to see the comic aspect of the fate which
invested him with the spiritual and temporal authority and emoluments
of the priory of St. Victor. This was a rich little Benedictine
monastery just outside the eastern gate of Geneva, on the little knoll
now crowned by the observatory, surrounded with walls and moat of its
own, independent of the bishop of Geneva in spiritual matters, and in
temporal affairs equally independent of the city: in fact, it was a
petty sovereignty by itself, and its dozen of hearty, well-provided
monks, though nominally under the rule of Cluny, were a law to
themselves, and not a very rigid one either. The office of prior, by
virtue of a little arrangement at Rome, descended to Bonivard from his
uncle, immediately upon whose demise the young potentate of twenty-one
took upon him the state and functions of his office in a way to show the
monks of St. Victor that they had no King Log to deal with. The document
is still extant, in the Latin of the period, in which Prior Bonivard
ordains that every new brother at his initiation shall not only stand
treat all round, but shall, at his own cost and charges, furnish every
one of his brethren with a new cap. Another document of equal gravity
makes new ordinances concerning the convent-kitchen, which seems to have
been one of the good prior's most religious cares.[6] Not only his own
subjects, but those of other jurisdictions, were made to feel the
majesty of his sovereign authority. He would let them know that he had
"just as much jurisdiction at St. Victor as the duke of Savoy had at
Chambéry." He heard causes, sentenced to prison, even received
ambassadors from his brother the duke, but not without looking sharply
at their credentials. If these were wanting, the unfortunate wretches
were threatened with the gallows as spies, and when they had been
thoroughly frightened the monarch would indulge himself in the exercise
of the sweetest prerogative of royalty, the pardoning power, and, when
it was considered that the majesty of the state had been sufficiently
asserted, would wind up with asking the whole company to dinner.

[Illustration: FRANÇOIS BONIVARD, "THE PRISONER OF CHILLON."

[From an old print in the Public Library of Geneva, never before
copied.]]

It had been considered a clever stroke of policy, at a time when the
dukes of Savoy and the bishops of Geneva, who agreed in nothing else,
were plotting, together or separately, to capture and extinguish the
immemorial liberties of the brave little free city, to get this
fortified outpost before its very gate officered by a brilliant and
daring young Savoyard gentleman, who would be bound to the duke by his
nativity and to the Church by his office, and to both by his interests.
To the dismay of bishop and duke, it appeared that the young prior, who
had led a gay life of it at the University of Turin, had nevertheless
read his classics to some purpose, and had come back with his head full
of Plato and Plutarch and Livy and of theories of republican liberty. So
that by putting him into St. Victor they had turned that little
stronghold from an outpost of attack upon Geneva liberties into the
favorite resort and rendezvous of all the young liberal leaders of that
gay but gallant little republic, who found themselves irresistibly drawn
to young Bonivard, partly as a republican and still more as a jolly good
fellow.

The first manifestation of his sympathies in that direction occurred soon
after his installation as prior. His uncle on his deathbed had confessed
to young Francis the burden on his conscience in that he had taken Church
money and applied it to the making of a battery of culverins wherewith to
levy war against one of his neighbors in the country; and bequeathed to
his nephew the convent and the culverins, with the charge to melt down the
latter into a chime of church-bells which should atone for his evil deeds.
Not long after, Bonivard was telling the story to his friend Berthelier,
the daring and heroic leader of the "Sons of Geneva" in their perilous
struggle against tyranny, when the latter exclaimed, "What! spoil good
cannon to make bells? Never! Give us the guns, and you shall have old
metal to make bells enough to split your ears. But let guns be guns. So
the Church will be doubly served. There will be chimes at St. Victor and
guns in Geneva, which is a Church city." The bargain was struck, as a vote
in the records of the city council shows to this day. But it was the
beginning of a quarrel with the duke of Savoy which was to cost Bonivard
more than he had counted on. There was reckless deviltry enough among all
these young liberals, but some of them--not Bonivard--were capable of
seriously counting the cost of their game. On one occasion--it was at the
christening of Berthelier's child, and Bonivard was godfather--Berthelier
took his friend aside from the guests and said, "It is time we had done
with dancing and junketing and organized for the defence of
liberty."--"All right!" said the prior. "Come on, and may the Lord prosper
our crazy schemes!" Berthelier took his hand, and with a serious look that
sobered the rattle-headed ecclesiastic for a moment, replied, "But let me
warn you that this is going to cost you your living and me my head."--"I
have heard him say this a hundred times," says Bonivard in his
_Chronicles_. The dungeon at Chillon and the mural tablet in the Tour de
l'Isle at Geneva tell how truly the prophecy was fulfilled.

There was so little of the strut of the stage-hero about Bonivard that
he could not be comfortable in doing a chivalrous thing without a joke
to take off the gloss of it. Before the ducal party had quite given up
hopes of him there was a serious affair on their hands--the need of
putting out of the way by such means, treacherous and atrocious, as the
Savoyards of that day loved to use, one of the noblest of the Geneva
magistrates, Aimé Lévrier. An emissary of the duke, of high rank,
kinsman to Bonivard, came to St. Victor and offered the prior
magnificent inducements to aid in the plot. With a gravity that must
have convulsed the spectators if there had been any, Bonivard pointed to
his monastic gown, his prayer-book and his crucifix, and pleaded his
deep sense of the sacredness of his office as a reason for having
nothing to do with the affair. "Then," says his kinsman, rising in
wrath, "I will do the business myself. I'll have Lévrier out of his bed
and over in Savoy this very night."--"Do you really mean it, uncle? Give
me your hand!"--"Then you consent, after all, to help me in the
matter?"--"Oh no, uncle: that isn't it. But I know these Genevese are a
hasty sort of folk, and I am just going to raise thirty florins to be
spent in saying masses to-morrow for the repose of your soul." Before
the evening was over, Bonivard found an opportunity of slipping in
disguise over to the house of Lévrier and giving a hint of what was
intended: the notes of preparation for resistance that Berthelier and
his friends began at once to make wrought upon the excited nerves of the
ambassador and his armed retinue to such a point that they were fain to
escape from the town by a secret gate before daylight.

The affair of his rescue of Pecolat is another illustration of his
character and of the strange, turbulent age in which he lived; and it
went far to embitter the hatred of the duke and the bishop against him.
This poor fellow was the jester, song-singer and epigrammatist of the
madcap patriots who were associated under the title of "Sons of Geneva."
Under a trumped-up charge of plotting the death of the bishop he was
kidnapped and carried away to one of the castles in the neighborhood,
and there tortured until a false confession was wrung from him
implicating Berthelier and others. To secure his condemnation to death
he was brought back into the city and presented before the court; but
the sight of the poor cripple, racked and bruised with recent tortures,
and his steadfastness in recanting his late confession, wrought more
with the judges than the fear of the duke, and he was acquitted. But the
feeble and ferocious bishop, moved partly by malignity and partly, no
doubt, by sincere and cowardly terror, was resolved to kill him; and by
some fiction declaring him to have been in the minor orders, he clapped
him into the bishop's prison, claiming to try him by ecclesiastical law.
The story of renewed tortures inflicted on their helpless comrade, and
their knowledge of the certain death that awaited him, stirred the blood
of the patriots of Geneva. It was just the moment for the prior of St.
Victor to show that the studies at Freiburg and Turin that had made him
_doctor utriusque juris_ had not been in vain. He would fight the bishop
with his own weapon of Church law. He despatched Pecolat's own brother
with letters to the archbishop of Vienne, metropolitan to the bishop of
Geneva, and, using his family influence, which was not small, he secured
a summons to the bishop and chapter of Geneva to appear before the
archiepiscopal court and give account of the affair, and meanwhile to
cease all proceedings against the prisoner.

[Illustration: THE DUNGEON OF BONIVARD.]

It was comparatively easy to procure the summons. The difficulty was to
find some one competent to the functions of episcopal usher and bold
enough to serve it. Bonivard bethought him of a "caitiff wretch"--an
obscure priest--to whom he handed the document with two round dollars
lying on it, and bade him hand the paper to the bishop at mass the next
day in the cathedral. The starving clergyman hesitated long between his
fears and his necessities, but finally promised to do the work on
condition that the prior should stand by him in person and see him
through. The hour approached, and the commissioner's courage was oozing
rapidly away. His knees knocked together, and he slipped back in the
crowd, hoping to escape. The vigilant prior darted after him, seized
him, and laying his hand on the dagger that he wore under his robe
whispered in his ear, "Do it or I'll stab you!" He adds, in his
_Chronicles_, "I should have been as good as my word: I do not say it by
way of boasting. I know I was acting like a fool, but I was quite beside
myself with anxiety for my friend." Happily, there was no need of
extreme measures. He gripped his terrified victim by the thumb, and as
the procession moved toward the church-door he thrust the paper into his
hand, saying, "Now's the time! You've got to do it." And all the time he
held him fast by the thumb. The bishop came near, and Bonivard let go
the wretch's thumb and pushed him to the front, pointing to the prelate
and saying, "Do your work!" The bishop turned pale with terror of
assassination as he heard the words. But the trembling clerk, not less
terrified than the bishop, dropped on his knees and presented the
archiepiscopal mandate, gasping out, "My lord, _inhibitur vobis, prout
in copia_." Bonivard retreated into his inviolable sanctuary of St.
Victor. "I was young enough and crazy enough," he says, "to fear neither
bishop nor duke." He had saved poor Pecolat's life, although the work
was not finished until the publication of an interdict from the
metropolitan silencing every church-bell and extinguishing every
altar-candle in the city had brought the bishop to terms.[7]

It is a hardship to the writer to be compelled to retrench the story of
the early deeds for liberty of Bonivard and his boon companions. There
is a rollicking swagger about them all, which by and by begins to be
sobered when it is seen that on the side of the oppressor there is
_power_. By violence, by fraudulent promises, by foul treachery on the
part of cowardly citizens, the duke of Savoy gains admittance with his
army within the walls of Geneva, and begins his delicious and bloody
revenge for the indignities that have been put upon his pretensions and
usurpations. Berthelier, a very copy from the antique--a hero that might
have stepped forth into the sixteenth century from the page of
Plutarch[8]--remained in the town serenely to await the death which he
foreknew. On the day of the duke's entrance Bonivard, who had no such
relish for martyrdom for its own sake, put himself between two of his
most trusted friends, the lord of Voruz and the abbot of Montheron of
the Pays de Vaud, and galloped away disguised as a monk. "Come first to
my convent," said the abbot, "and thence we will take you to a place of
safety." The convent was reached, and in the morning Bonivard was
greeted by his comrade Voruz, who came into his room, and, laying paper
and pen before him, required him to write a renunciation of his priory
in favor of the abbot of Montheron. Resistance was vain. He was a
prisoner in the hands of traitors. The alternative being "Your priory or
your life!" he frankly owns that he required no time at all to make up
his choice. Voruz took the precious document, with the signature still
wet, and went out, double locking the door behind him. His two friends
turned him over to the custody of the duke, who locked him up for two
years at Grolée, one of his castles down the Rhone, and put the honest
abbot of Montheron in possession of the rich living of St. Victor.

But Bonivard in his prison was less to be pitied than the citizens of
Geneva who remained in their subjugated city. The two despots, the
bishop and the duke, who had seized the unhappy town, combined to crush
the gay and insubordinate spirit out of it. All this time, says
Bonivard, "they imprisoned, they scourged, they tortured, they beheaded,
they hung, so as it is pitiful to tell."

Meanwhile, the influential family friends of Bonivard, some of them high
in court favor, discovering that he was yet alive and in prison,
bestirred themselves to procure his liberation; and not in vain, for the
possession that had made him dangerous, the priory of St. Victor, having
been wrested from him, there was little harm that he could do. His
immediate successor in the priory, good Abbot de Montheron, had not
indeed long enjoyed the benefice. He had gone on business to Rome,
where certain Churchmen who admired his new benefice invited him (so
Bonivard tells the story) to a banquet _more Romano_, and gave him a
dose of the "cardinal powder," which operated so powerfully that it
purged the soul right out of the body. He left a paper behind him in
which, as a sign of remorse for his crime, he resigned all his rights in
the priory back to Bonivard.[9] But the pope, whose natural affection
toward his cousins and nephews overflowed freely in the form of gifts of
what did not belong to him, bestowed the living on a cousin, who
commuted it for an annual revenue of six hundred and forty gold
crowns--a splendid revenue for those days--and poor Bonivard, whose sole
avocation was that of gentleman, found it difficult to carry on that
line of business with neither capital nor income. He came back, some
five years later, into possession of the priory. They were five years of
exciting changes, of fierce terrorism and oppression at Geneva, followed
by a respite, a rallying of the spirit of the people, an actual recovery
of some of the old rights of the city, and, presently, by the beginning
of some signs of religious light coming from the direction of Germany.
And the way in which Bonivard at last got reinstalled into his convent
is curiously illustrative of the strange condition of society in those
times. One May morning in 1527 the little town was all agog with strange
news from Rome. The Eternal City had been taken by storm, sacked,
pillaged, burned! The Roman bishop was prisoner to the Roman emperor, if
indeed he was alive at all. In fact, there was a rumor--dreadful, no
doubt, but attended by vast consolations--that the whole court of Rome
had perished. Immediately there was a rush to the bishop's palace, and a
scramble for the vacant livings in the diocese that had been held by
absentees at Rome. The bishop, delighted at such a windfall of
patronage, dispensed his favors right and left, not forgetting, says
Bonivard, to reserve something comfortable for himself in the shape of
a fat convent that had been held by a cardinal. This was Bonivard's
opportunity, and, times and the bishop having changed, he got back once
more into his cherished quarters as prior of St. Victor. The convent was
there, and the friars, but the estates that had been wont to keep them
all right royally were mostly in the hands of the duke and his minions.
It is in the effort to recover these that Bonivard shines out in his
most magnificent character, that of military hero. The campaign of
Cartigny includes the most memorable of his feats of arms.

Cartigny was an estate about six miles down the left bank of the Rhone
from Geneva, appertaining to St. Victor. "It was a chastel of
pleasaunce, not a forteresse," says our hero, who is the Homer of his
own brave deeds. But the duke kept a garrison there, and to every demand
the prior made for his place he replied that he did not dare give it up
for fear of being excommunicated by the pope. Rent-time came, and the
Savoyard government enjoined the tenants not to pay to the prior.
Whereupon that potentate declared that, being refused civil justice, he
"fell back on the law of nations."

The military resources of his realm were limited. He counted ten
able-bodied subjects, but they were monks and not liable to service. The
culverins of his uncle were gone, but he had six muskets--a loan from
the city--and there were four pounds of powder in the magazine. But this
was not of itself sufficient for a war against the duke of Savoy. He
must subsidize mercenaries.

About this time there chanced to be at Geneva a swashbuckler from Berne,
Bischelbach by name, by trade a butcher, who had found the new régime of
the Reformers at that city too strait-laced for his tastes and habits,
and had come to Geneva, with some vagabonds at his heels, in search of
adventures and a livelihood. Him did the prior of St. Victor, greatly
impressed with his own accounts of his powers, commission as
generalissimo of the forces. Second in command he set a priest, likewise
just thrown out of business by the Reformation in the North; and in a
council of war the plan of campaign was determined. But before the
actual clash of arms began the solemn preliminaries usual between
hostile powers must be scrupulously fulfilled. A herald was commissioned
to make proclamation in the name of the lord of St. Victor, through all
the lands of Cartigny, that no man should venture to execute there any
orders, whether of pope or duke, under penalty of being hung. This
energetic procedure struck due terror, for when Bonivard's captain with
several soldiers appeared before the castle it capitulated without a
blow.

It was a brief though splendid victory. The very first raid in which the
"Knights of the Spoon"--an association of neighboring country
gentlemen--harried that region they found that the captain and entire
garrison of the castle had gone to market (not without imputations of
treason), leaving the post in charge of one woman, who promptly
surrendered.

The sovereign of St. Victor's blood was up. He resolved to draw, if need
were, on the entire resources of his realm. The army was promptly
reinforced to twenty men, and Bonivard took the field in person at the
head of his forces. On what wise this array debouched in two corps
d'armée one Sunday morning from two of the gates of Geneva; how the
junction of the forces was effected; the military history of the march;
how they appeared, at last, before the castle of Cartigny,--are these
not written by the pen of the hero himself in his _Chronicles_ of
Geneva? But Bonivard, though brave, was merciful. Willing to spare the
effusion of blood, he sent the general-in-chief, Bischelbach, with his
servant, Diebolt, as an interpreter, to summon the castle. The answer
was a shot that knocked poor Diebolt over with a mortal wound; whereupon
the attacking army fell back in a masterly manner into the woods and
made good their way into Geneva, bringing one prisoner, whom they had
caught unarmed near the castle, and leaving Diebolt to die at a roadside
inn.

We may not further narrate the deeds of Bonivard as a martial hero,
though they are neither few nor uninteresting.[10] But he is equally
worthy of himself as a religious reformer. It was about this time that
the stirrings of religious reformation at Berne and elsewhere began to
be heard at Geneva, and the thought began to be seriously entertained by
some of the patriotic "Sons of Geneva" that perhaps that liberty for
which they had dared and suffered so much in vain might best come with
that gospel which had wrought such wonders in other communities. There
was one man who could advise them what to do; and they went together
over to the convent and sought audience and ghostly counsel of the
prior. "We are going to have done with all popish ceremonies," said
they, "and drive out the whole rabble-rout of papistry, monks, priests
and all: then we mean to send for gospel ministers to introduce the true
Christian Reformation." It is pleasant to imagine the expression of
Bonivard's countenance as he replied to his ardent friends: "It is a
very praiseworthy idea. There is no doubt that all these ecclesiastics
sadly need reformation. I am one of them myself. But who is to do the
reforming? Whoever it is, they had better begin operations on
themselves. If you are so fond of the gospel, why don't you practise it?
It looks as if you did not so much love the gospel as you hate us. And
what do you hate us for? It is not because we are so different from you,
but because we are so like. You say we are a licentious lot; well, so
are you. We drink hard; so do you. We gamble and we swear; but what do
you do, I should like to know? Why should you be so hard on us? We
don't interfere with your little enjoyments: for pity's sake, don't
meddle with ours. You talk about driving us out and sending for the
Lutheran ministers. Gentlemen, think twice before you do it. They will
not have been here two years before you will wish they were gone. If you
dislike us because we are too much like you, you will detest them
because they are so different from you. My friends, do one thing or the
other. Either let us alone, or, if you must do some reforming, try it on
yourselves."

Thus did this excellent pastor, in the spirit of the gospel injunction
to count the cost, give spiritual counsel to those who sought
reformation of the Church. "I warrant you," he wrote concerning them,
"they went off with their tails between their legs. I am as fond of
reformation as anybody, but I am a little scrupulous as to who shall
take it in hand."[11]

Bonivard's harum-scarum raids into the duke of Savoy's dominions after
rents or reprisals at last became so embarrassing to his Geneva friends
that, much as they enjoyed the fun of them, it became necessary to say
to the good monk that this sort of thing really must stop; and feeling
the force of his argument, that he must have _something_ to live on, the
city council allowed its neighboring potentate a subvention of four
crowns and a half monthly to enable him to keep up a state worthy of the
dignity of a sovereign. He grumbled at the amount, but took it; and
thereafter the peace of Europe was less disturbed on his part.

But bad news came to the gay prior in his impoverished monastery. His
mother was ill at his old home at Seyssel in Savoy, and he must see her
before she died. It was venturing into the tiger's den, as all his
friends told him, and as he did not need to be told. But he thought he
would adventure it if he could get a safe-conduct from the tiger. The
matter was arranged: the duke sent Bonivard his passport, limited to a
single month; and the prior arrived at Seyssel, and nearly frightened
the poor old lady out of her last breath with her sense of the peril to
which he had exposed himself.

Our hero's incomparable genius for getting himself into difficulties
never shone more brightly than at this hour. While here in the country
of his mortal enemy, on the last days of his expiring safe-conduct, he
got news of accusations gravely sustained at Geneva that he had gone
over into Savoy to treat with the enemy. He did not dare to stay: he did
not dare to go back. If he could get his safe-conduct extended for one
month, to the end of May, he would try to make his way through the Pays
de Vaud (then belonging to Savoy) to Fribourg in the Swiss
Confederation. The extension was granted, and with many assurances of
good-will from friends of the duke he pushed on. It was a fine May
morning, the 26th, that he was on his last day's journey to Lausanne,
and passing through a pine wood. Suddenly men sprang from ambush upon
Bonivard, who grasped his sword and spurred, calling to his guide, "Put
spurs!" But instead of so doing the guide turned and whipped out his
knife and cut Bonivard's sword-belt; "Whereupon these worthy gentlemen,"
says Bonivard's _Chronicle_, "jumped on me and took me prisoner in the
name of my lord duke." Safe-conducts were in vain. A bagful of ropes was
produced, and he was carried on a mule, bound hand and foot, in secrecy,
to the duke's castle of Chillon, the captain of which was one of the
ambuscading party. For six years he was hidden from the world, and at
first men knew not whether he was alive or dead. But his sufferings at
the hand of the common foe put to shame the suspicions that had been
engendered at Geneva, and it is recorded, to the honor of the Genevese,
that during all that period, whenever negotiations were opened between
them and the duke of Savoy, the liberation of Bonivard was always
insisted on as one of the conditions.

The story of the imprisonment is soon told; for, strangely enough, this
most garrulously egotistical of writers never alludes to it but twice,
and then briefly. The first two years he was kept in the upper chambers
of the castle and treated kindly, but at the end of this time the castle
received a visit from the duke, and from that time forth the Prisoner of
Chillon was remanded to the awful and sombre crypt. A single sentence in
his handwriting is all that he tells us of this period, of which he
might have told so much, and in this he shows a disposition to look at
the affair rather in its humorous than in its Byronesque aspect. For his
one recorded reminiscence of his four years of dungeon-life is, that "he
had such abundant leisure for promenading that he wore in the rock
pavement a little path as neatly as if it had been done with a
stone-hammer."[12]

One March morning in 1536 the Prisoner of Chillon heard through the
windows of his dungeon the sound of a cannonade by land and lake. It was
the army of Berne, which was finishing its victorious campaign through
the Pays de Vaud by the siege of the duke's last remaining stronghold,
the castle of Chillon. They were joyfully aided by a flotilla fitted out
by Geneva, which had never forgotten its old friend. That night the
dungeon-door was burst open, and Bonivard and three fellow-prisoners
were carried off in triumph to Geneva.

Not Rip Van Winkle when he awoke from his long slumber in the Catskills,
not the Seven Sleepers of Ephesus when they came back from their
sepulchre and found their city Christian, had a better right to be
surprised than the prior of St. Victor when he got back to Geneva. Duke
and bishop and all their functionaries were expelled; priests and
preaching-friars were gone; the mass was abolished; in the cathedral of
St. Peter's and all the lesser churches, which had been cleared of
their images, there were singing of psalms and preaching of fiery
sermons by Reformers from France; and the streets through which he had
sometimes had to move by stealth were filled with joyous crowds to hail
him as a martyr. St. Victor was no more. If he went to look for his old
home, he found a heap of rubbish, for all the suburbs of the city that
might give shelter to an enemy had been torn down by the unsparing
patriots of Geneva, and the trees had been felled. The joyous city had
ceased, and Bonivard's prophecy to his roystering companions was not
long in being fulfilled for himself as well as for them: they soon found
Calvin's little finger to be heavier than the bishop's loins.

And yet the heroic little town showed a noble gratitude toward the old
friend of its liberties. The house which he chose out of all the city
was given him for his own and furnished at the public expense. A pension
of two hundred crowns a year in gold was settled on him, and he was made
a senator of the republic. To all which was added a condition that he
should lead a respectable life--a proviso which is practically explained
in the very next appearance of his name in the records on account of a
misdemeanor for which his accomplice was ordered to quit the town within
three days.

The more generous was the town the more exacting became the Martyr. He
could not get over his free-and-easy way of living in the gay old days
when the tithes of his benefice yielded him nigh a thousand yellow
crowns a year. He could not see why he was not entitled to have his
rents back again; and after a vain effort on the part of the council to
make him see it, he went off to Berne, where he had been admitted a
citizen, to ask it to interfere for him, sending back an impudent letter
renouncing his Geneva citizenship, on the ground that in his reduced
circumstances he could not afford to be a citizen in two places at once.
For a while the patient city lost its patience with its unruly
beneficiary, but the genuine grateful and kindly feeling that every one
felt for the poor fellow, and the general admiration for his learning
and wit, conspired with his growing embarrassments to bring about a
settlement of the affair on the basis of a reduced pension with a round
lump sum to pay his debts.

They sent for him two or three years later to come to Geneva as
historiographer, and he came, bringing with him a wife from Berne, who
died soon after his arrival. For a man of his years, he had a remarkable
alacrity at getting married, and his second venture was an unlucky one.
For from the wedding-day onward, when he was not before the council with
some quarrel or some affair of debt he was apt to come before it to get
them to compel his wife to live with him, or, failing that, to get her
money to live on himself. What time could be saved from these
wranglings, which lasted almost till the poor woman's death, was devoted
ardently to his literary work. The history grew apace, and other books
besides. In the seditions of the Libertine party against the austerities
of the new régime the old man took the side of law and order and good
morals (in his book on _L'ancienne et nouvelle Police de Genève_) with
an ardor that was the more surprising as one remembered his antecedents.
In the midst of his toils he found time to get married to a third wife
and to go to law with his neighbors. He is continually coming to the
council, sometimes for a little loan to help him with his lawsuits,
sometimes for relief in his embarrassments. It is touching to see how
tender they are toward the poor foolish old man. They make him little
grants from time to time, always looking to it that their money shall be
applied to the object designated, and not "on his fantasies." They take
up one of his notes for him, looking to see that it has not been
tampered with, because "he is easily circumvented and not adroit in his
business." He complains of the heat during an illness one summer, and
the seigneurie give him the White Chamber in the town-hall, and when
winter comes on, and he is old and infirm, they assign him the lodging
lately occupied by Mathurin Cordier (famous schoolmaster Corderius,
whose _Dialogues_ were the first book in Latin of our grandfathers),
because it contained a stove--a rare luxury. He thanks them for their
kindness as his fathers, and makes them heirs of his library and
manuscripts.

There was another and more solemn assemblage, his relations with which
were less tender. This was the consistory of the Church, which found it
less easy to allow for the old man's infirmities. His first appearance
before this body was under accusation of playing at dice with Clement
Marot, another famous character and the sweet singer of the French
Reformation. He comes next time of his own accord, asking the venerable
brethren to interfere because his second wife ran away from him on their
wedding-day, she defending herself on the ground of a bad cold. His
domestic troubles bring him thither so often as to put the clergy out of
patience. He is called up for beating his wife, but shows that the
discipline was needed, and she is admonished to be more obedient in
future. Later on he is questioned why he does not come to church. He
can't walk, is the answer. But he is told that if he can get himself
carried to the hôtel de ville to see the new carvings, he could get
carried to church. And why does he neglect the communion? _Answer_: He
has been debarred from it. "Then present your request to be restored."
So the poor old gentleman presents himself six weeks later, asking to be
readmitted to the Church; which is granted, but with the remark, entered
on the record, that he "does not show much contrition in coming with a
bunch of flowers over his ear--a thing very unbecoming in a man of his
years."

The dreadful consistory had a principal concern in the affair that
darkened the declining days of Bonivard with the shadow of a tragedy. An
escaped nun had found refuge in his lodgings after his third wife's
death; and after some love-making--on which side was disputed--there was
a promise of marriage given by him, which, however, he was in no hurry
to fulfil. The consistory deemed it best to interfere, in the interests
of propriety, and insist on the marriage; and the decrepit old invalid
in vain pleaded his age and bodily infirmities. So he was married in
spite of himself to his nun, and showed his disposition to make the best
of it by making her a wedding-present of his new Latin treatise, just
finished, on _The Origin of Evil_, and receiving in tender return a
Greek copy of the _Philippics_ of Demosthenes. Three years later the
wretched woman was accused of adultery, and being put to the torture
confessed her crime and was drowned in a sack, while her paramour was
beheaded. Bonivard, being questioned, declared his belief of her
innocence, and that her worst faults were that she wanted to make him
too pious, and tormented him to begin preaching, and sometimes beat him
when he had a few friends in to drink.[13]

For five years after this catastrophe the old man lingered, tended by
hirelings, but watched with filial gratitude by the little state whose
liberties he had helped to save, and whose heroic history he had
recorded. He had at least the comfort of having finished that great
work; and when he brought the manuscript of it to the council, they
referred it to a committee with Master Calvin at the head; who reported
that it was written in a rude and familiar style, quite beneath the
dignity of history, and that for this and other reasons it had better
not be printed. The precious manuscript was laid on the shelf until in
the lapse of years it was found that the very reasons why those solemn
critics rejected it were the things that gave it supreme value to a
later age. It has been the pride of Geneva scholars to print in elegant
archaic style every page written by the Prisoner of Chillon in prose or
verse, on history, polity, philology and theology.

Somewhere about September, 1570, Francis Bonivard died, aged
seventy-seven, lonely and childless, leaving the city his heir. The
cherished collection of books that was the comfort of his harassed life
has grown into the library of a university, and the little walled town
for whose ancient liberties he ventured such perils and suffered such
imprisonment is, and for the three hundred years since has been, one of
the chief radiant centres of light and liberty for all the world.
LEONARD WOOLSEY BACON.

     NOTE.--Like every subject relating to the history of Geneva,
     the life of Bonivard has been thoroughly studied by local
     antiquarians and historians. The most important work on the
     subject is that of Dr. Chaponnière, before cited: this is
     reprinted (but without the documents attached) as a preface
     to the new edition of the _Chronicles_. M. Edmond Chevrier,
     in a slight pamphlet (Macon, 1868), gives a critical account
     both of the man and of his writings. Besides these may be
     named Vulliemin: _Chillon, Étude historique_, Lausanne,
     1851; J. Gaberel: _Le Château de Chillon et Bonivard_,
     Geneva. Marc Monnier, _Genève et ses Poëtes_ (Geneva, 1847),
     gives an excellent criticism on Bonivard as author. For
     original materials consult (besides the work of Chaponnière)
     Galiffe: _Matériaux pour l'Histoire de Genève_, and Cramer:
     _Notes extraites des Registres du Consistoire_, a rare book
     in lithography (Geneva, 1853). A weak little article in the
     _Catholic World_ for September, 1876, bravely attacks
     Bonivard as "one of the Protestant models of virtue," and
     triumphantly proves him to have been far from perfect. The
     charge, however, that he was "a traitor to his
     ecclesiastical character," and "quitted his convent and
     broke his vows," is founded on a blunder. Bonivard never
     took monastic vows or holy orders, but held his living _in
     commendam_, as a lay-man. The main resource, however, for
     Bonivard's life up to his liberation from Chillon is in his
     own works, especially the _Chronicles_ (Geneva, edition
     Fick, 1867).



"FOR PERCIVAL."



CHAPTER XXXI.

WHY NOT LOTTIE?

[Illustration]


It was all over. The neighborhood had paid due honor to Godfrey Thorne.
Old Garnett, who was kept at home by his gout, had written a letter of
condolence to Mrs. Middleton, and expressed his deep regret at his
enforced absence. She was pleased with the letter. She did not care for
Dick Garnett, but he had known her brother all his life. She would not
have been so pleased, perhaps, had she seen old Dick grinning and
showing his fierce old teeth as he wrote it: "Ought to have been
there--believe I was his best man fifty years ago. But half a century
takes the shine out of most things--and people too." He shrugged his
shoulders, eyed the last sentence he had written, and perceiving a
little space at the end of a line, put in an adjective to make it rather
warmer. "Won't show," he said to himself--"looks very natural. Lord!
what a farce it all is! Fifty years ago there was Thorne, like a fool,
worshipping the very ground Fanny Harvey trod on, and a few years later
he wasn't particularly sorry to put her safe underneath it. Wonderful
coal-scuttle of a bonnet she wore that wedding-day, to be sure! And I
was best man!" Dick chuckled at the thought. "I shouldn't look much like
best man now. Ah, well! I mayn't be best, but I'm a better man than old
Godfrey to-day, anyhow." (And so, no doubt, for this world's affairs,
Richard Garnett was, on the principle that "a living dog is better than
a dead lion.") "And the candlemaker's daughter begins her reign, for
that poor lad will never marry. Upon my word, I believe I'm a better man
than Master Horace now. And I'm not likely to play the fool with
physic-bottles, either: I know a little better than _that_." No, Aunt
Harriet would not have liked Garnett's train of thought as he folded and
addressed the letter which pleased her. And yet the old fellow meant the
best he could.

And now it was all over, and Brackenhill would know Godfrey Thorne no
more. But for that one day he was still all-powerful, for they had met
to hear his will read.

Horace sat by the table with an angry line between his brows, and
balanced a paper-knife on his finger. He tried to appear composed, but a
shiver of impatience ran through him more than once, and the color came
and went on his cheek. His mother was by his side, controlling her face
to a rigidly funereal expression. But the effort was evident.

Godfrey Hammond said to himself, "Those two expect the worst. And if the
worst comes, if Percival is mistaken and Horace is cut off with just a
pittance, we shall see what Hunting Harry's temper really is. We may
have an unpleasant quarter of an hour, but it will give us a vivid idea
of the end of the millennium, I fancy."

Aunt Harriet was unfeignedly troubled and anxious.

Percival was rather in the background. Sitting on one chair, he laid his
folded arms on the back of another and rested his chin on his wrists. In
this attitude he gazed at Hardwicke with the utter calm of an Assyrian
statue. He felt his pulses throbbing, and it seemed to him as if his
anxiety must betray itself. But it did not. If you have a little
self-restraint and presence of mind you can affect to have much.
Percival had that little.

Just before Hardwicke began to read Mrs. James leant toward her son and
whispered with an air of mystery. He answered with a short and sullen
nod.

Hardwicke read clearly but monotonously. The will was dated four days
after Alfred Thorne's death--not only before Percival came to
Brackenhill, but before any overtures had been made to him. Mrs.
Middleton came first with a legacy of ten thousand pounds and a few
things which the dead man knew she prized--their mother's portrait and
one or two memorials of himself. Sissy had five thousand pounds and a
small portion of the family jewels, which were very splendid. His
godson, Godfrey Hammond, had three pictures and a ring, all of
considerable value, and two or three other things, which, though of less
importance, had been looked upon as heirlooms by successive generations
of Thornes. Hammond perfectly understood the wilful pride and remorseful
pangs with which that bequest was made.

Then came small legacies to old friends. Duncan the butler and one or
two of the elder servants had annuities, and the others were not
forgotten. Two local charitable institutions had a hundred pounds each.
By this time Horace was white to his very lips and drawing his breath
painfully. Percival preserved an appearance of calm, but he could feel
his strong, irregular heart-throbs as he leant against the chair.

The lawyer went on to read the words which gave Brackenhill to Horace
for his life. If he died and left no son to inherit the estate, it was
to go to Percival Thorne. But unless Horace died first, and died
childless, Percival would not take sixpence under his grandfather's
will.

It was a heavy blow, and his lips and hands tightened a little as he met
it. He had known that the great prize was for his cousin, but he had
fancied that there might be some trifling legacy for him. He would have
been more thankful than words could say for half the annuity which was
left to the butler. The remembrance of that paper which but for him
would have been all powerful rose vividly before his eyes. Did he repent
now that he was certain of the greatness of the sacrifice? Again from
the bottom of his heart he answered, No. But even while Hardwicke read
the words which doomed him to beggary it almost seemed to young Thorne
as if the wrinkled waxen face and shrunken figure must suddenly become
visible in the background to protest--as if a dead hand must be laid on
that lying will which was itself more dead than the newly-buried corpse.
Even in that bitter moment Percival was sorry for the poor old squire.

Hardwicke finished, and thought it all very well. He did not pity the
young fellow opposite him who had listened so intently and now was
looking thoughtfully into space. The lawyer summed up Percival's
position in his own mind thus:

He had an income of his own, amount unknown, but as during Alfred
Thorne's life it had sufficed for both, it must be more than enough to
support the son.

He was engaged to Sissy Langton. Her father had left her at least eight
hundred pounds a year, besides which there were all the accumulations of
a long minority and this legacy. Mr. Hardwicke thought that the united
incomes would be more than fifteen hundred pounds a year.

There were expectations too. Mrs. Middleton was rich, and though some of
her property would revert to her husband's family, Hardwicke knew that
she had saved a considerable sum. He had no doubt that those savings and
her brother's ten thousand pounds would go to Sissy, and consequently to
Percival.

And lastly he looked at the new owner of Brackenhill. No, Mr. Hardwicke
did not pity Mr. Percival Thorne.

All these thoughts had flashed through his mind as he folded the paper
and laid it down. Mrs. Middleton broke the silence. "But Percival--" she
exclaimed in utter bewilderment: "I don't understand. What does
Percival have?"

"Nothing," said the young man quickly, lifting his head and facing her
with a brave smile.

"Nothing? It isn't possible! It isn't right!"

"That will was made before ever I came here. It doesn't mean any
unkindness to me, for he didn't know me."

"But did he never make another?--Horace!--Oh, Mr. Hardwicke, _you_ know
Godfrey never meant this! That was what his letter was about, then?"

"He intended to make some change, no doubt," said Hardwicke.

"Perhaps Mr. Percival Thorne would like to dispute the will." It was
evident that Mrs. James perfectly comprehended the position. Aunt
Harriet looked helplessly at her boy, unable to understand his silence.

Horace, though unconscious of the glance, rose suddenly to his feet. "I
want to understand," he began in a high thin voice--an unnatural
voice--which all at once grew hoarse.

"Yes--what?" said Hardwicke, looking up at the young man, who rested
both his quivering hands on the table to support himself. All eyes were
turned to the one erect figure.

"That"--Horace nodded at the will--"that makes me master here, eh?"

"Undoubtedly," Hardwicke replied, wondering whether Horace was unusually
slow of comprehension.

"Nothing can alter it?" said Horace. "I may do what I please in
everything? I want to be sure."

"You can't sell it, if you mean that," said the lawyer. "Didn't you
understand? You have only--"

"I know--I know that." The interruption was hasty, as if the speaker
would not be reminded of an unpleasant truth.

Hardwicke's eyes rested on the two hands which were pressed on the
table. They were painfully weak and white. "You are master here," he
said gently. "Certainly. Your grandfather has made no conditions
whatever. Brackenhill is yours for your life."

Horace looked fixedly at him, and half opened his lips as if to speak,
but no sound came. It was so evident that he had something to say that
the others waited in strained anxiety, and no one spoke except Mrs.
James. She laid her fingers on his and said, "Now--why not now?"

"Leave me to manage it," he answered, and drew his hand away, provoking
a lofty "Oh, _very_ well!" He walked hurriedly to the hearth-rug and
stood in the master's place with an air of having taken possession.
Hardwicke moved his chair a little, so as to look sideways at the new
squire: Hammond put up his glass.

Mrs. James was like a living explanation of the text, "As an adamant
harder than flint have I made thy forehead." Though she was sulky and
persistently silent, there was a lurking triumph in her eyes, and it was
easy to see that she listened eagerly for the words which seemed to die
on her son's lips. He glanced quickly round, stepped back, and rested
his elbow on the chimney-piece so awkwardly that a small china cup fell
and was shivered to atoms on the hearth.

"Oh, Horace!" exclaimed Aunt Harriet.

"It's mine," said the young man with a nervous little laugh. "And--since
Brackenhill is mine too--it is time that my wife should come home."

There was a startled movement and a sudden exclamation of surprise,
though it would have been impossible to say who moved or spoke.

"Your wife! Do you mean that you are going to be married?" said
Hardwicke.

"No. I mean that I am married," Horace replied. "Oh, it's all right
enough. I took care of that. You shall know all about it."

"But how? when? who is she?" Mrs. Middleton had her hand on his arm and
was stammering in her eagerness. "Oh, my dear boy, why didn't we know?"

"Because Mrs. Horace Thorne was Miss Adelaide Blake," said Hammond
decisively.

Horace turned upon him and said "No," and he was utterly confounded.

"But who, then? Tell us."

Horace looked at Percival, the only one who had been silent. "Why not
Lottie?" he said, and the tone was full of meaning.

Percival stared at him for a moment, and then leapt to his feet. "It
isn't true!" he exclaimed.

"Indeed! And why not?" said Horace. "If I may ask--"

"Lottie do anything underhand! Lottie! It can't be true!"

"You're very kind, but Lottie doesn't want your championship, thank
you," said Horace with an angry sneer. "No doubt you find it very
incredible that she should prefer mine."

"Oh, by all means, if it suits her," scoffed Percival, and sat down
again, feeling stunned, robbed and duped.

"And as to anything underhand--" Horace began fiercely.

Aunt Harriet, scared by the menacing clash of words, uttered a faint
little cry.

"Percival! Horace!" said Godfrey Hammond, "you forget what day this
is--you forget Mrs. Middleton. For God's sake don't quarrel before
her!--Horace, is this really true? Is Lottie your wife?"

"Yes," said the young man, turning quickly toward him: there was a
sudden light of tenderness in his glance--"since last November." He
paused, and then added softly, "the third," as if the date were
something sacred. "Hammond, you know her: you know how young she
is--only eighteen this month. If you choose to blame any one, blame me.
And I'm not ashamed of what I've done." He looked defiantly round. "I'm
proud of having won her; and as to my having concealed it, I ask you, in
common fairness, what else could I do? My grandfather used to be very
good to me, but of late he was set against me." A quick glance at
Percival, who smiled loftily. "Whatever I did was wrong. If I'd told him
I was going to marry a princess, it wouldn't have satisfied him. Since
this time last year I've hardly had a good word. I've been watched and
lectured, and treated like an outsider here, in my own home. You know
it's true, and you know to whom I owe it. I never expected to have my
rights: I thought my grandfather would have no peace till I was driven
out of Brackenhill. And even now I can't understand how it is that I am
master here." Percival smiled again, to himself this time. "But Lottie
was willing to share my poverty--God bless her!--and I won't let an hour
go by without owning my wife. I should be ashamed of myself if I did."

Horace paused, not unconscious of the weakness of his position, yet more
like the Horace of old days to look at--flushed, with a happy loyalty in
his eyes and his proud head high in the air.

"No one will blame you for marrying the girl you loved," said Percival
in his strong voice. "That is exactly what my father did. It is true
that you manage matters in a different way, and naturally the result is
different." He rose. "I prefer my father's way--result and all." And
with a bow to the assembled company young Thorne walked out of the room.

Horace looked round to see how the attack was received--at Aunt Harriet,
who was wiping away the quick coming tears; at Hardwicke, who was
looking at the door through which Percival had vanished; at Hammond, who
came forward a step or two. "I ordered a dog-cart to come over from
Fordborough for me," he said. "If you will allow me I will ring and have
it brought round."

"You are going?" said Horace.

"We shall just catch the four-o'clock train very comfortably if we go
now," Godfrey replied. "Thorne will prefer going by that."

"I see: you take his part. Very well. I suppose sooner or later you must
choose between us: as well now as later." Horace rang the bell.

"Horace," said Hammond, dropping his voice, yet speaking in the same
tone of authority he had used once before that day, "for the first time
in your life Mrs. Middleton is your guest. If you have a spark of right
feeling--and you have more than that--you will not make her position
here more painful than it must be. We will defer all discussion: there
_must_ be a truce while she is here.--My dog-cart," he said over his
shoulder to the servant. "It was to come from Fordborough. At
once.--Keep out of the way ten minutes hence when your cousin goes," he
added to Horace: "it will be best."

The young squire bent his head in sulky acquiescence.

"I shall take Percival with me," said Hammond to Mrs. Middleton as he
went by. "He wants to be off, I know, and I shall be of more use with
him than here."

He found Percival crushing his things into his little portmanteau and in
hot haste to get away from Brackenhill.

"I'm going by the four train," Hammond remarked, "and I've told them
you'll drive with me."

"In one of _his_ carriages?" said young Thorne, looking up with furious
eyes. "No, thank you: I'll walk."

"If you jumped out of that window you wouldn't have to go down his
staircase," said Hammond.

"Oh, if you came here to--" began the young man, tugging at a strap.

"I came here to ask you to drive with me in the dog-cart from the Crown.
It's no use pulling a strap _much_ past the tightest hole. Come, you are
not going to quarrel with me?"

"I'm a fool," said Percival. "I shall feel it all in a minute or two, I
suppose. Just now I only feel that everything belongs to the man who has
duped me, and every breath I draw is choking me."

"I understand," returned Hammond. "Percival, Mrs. Middleton is coming: I
hear her step. For her sake--to-day--Thorne, you will not break her
heart?"

The old lady was knocking at the half-open door. "Come in," said
Percival in a gentle voice. His portmanteau was strapped, and he rose as
she entered. "Come to say good-bye to me, Aunt Harriet? I'm off, you
see."

"Oh, Percival, I can't understand it!" she exclaimed. "Horace
married--_married_! And you going away like this! It is like a dream."

"So it seems to me," said the young man.

"And one of those Miss Blakes! Oh dear! what would Godfrey have said?
Oh, Percival, he never meant this!" She had her hand to her forehead as
she spoke.

"No," said Percival. "But don't fret about me: I shall do very well."

"But it isn't right. Oh, I don't know what to say or think, I am so
bewildered. Perhaps Horace has hardly had time to think yet, has he?"
she said faintly. "He will do something, I'm sure--"

"He mustn't--don't let him! I can hold my tongue if I'm let alone. But
if he insults me--" said Percival. "Aunt Harriet, for God's sake,
_don't_ let him offer me money."

"Ah!" in an accent of pain. "But my money! Percival, do you want any?
It's a good thing, as _he_ said, that Mr. Lisle didn't fail before you
came into yours, but if you want any--"

"But I don't," said Percival. "As you say, it's a good thing I have some
of my own." He had his fingers in his waistcoat pocket, and was
wondering which of the coins that he felt there would prove to be gold.
It was an important question. "Don't vex yourself about me, Aunt
Harriet. Kiss me and say good-bye: there isn't much time, is there? Tell
Sissy--" he stopped abruptly.

"What?" said the old lady.

"Tell her--I don't know. You'll let me hear how she is. You've been very
good to me, Aunt Harriet. It's best as it is about Sissy, isn't it,
seeing how things have turned out?"

He caught up his luggage and went quickly out, but only to turn and
pause irresolutely in the doorway.

"I'll not say anything about Horace: we are best apart. But Lottie! I
liked Lottie: we were very good friends when she was a school-girl. She
is very young still. Perhaps she didn't understand. I ought to say this,
because you never knew her, and I did."

And having said it, he went away with a light on his sombre face. Mrs.
Middleton looked up at Hammond with streaming eyes and shook her head:
"I shall never like that girl: I shall never have anything to do with
her. Godfrey was right."

"In what way?"

"Percival was his favorite always."

"I'll look after him," said Hammond; and with a quick pressure of her
hand he followed the young man down stairs.

As they drove away Percival sat erect and grave, with a face as darkly
still as if it were moulded in bronze. He went away from the dear old
house without one backward glance: Horace might be looking out. He never
spoke, and when they reached the station he took his ticket and got into
the carriage without the least reference to Hammond, who followed him
quietly. There was no one else with them. The silence was unbroken till
they drew near their journey's end, when Thorne took out his ticket and
examined it curiously. "I wonder if I shall ever see another?" he said.

"Another what?"

"First-class ticket. I ought to have gone third."

"You get an opportunity of studying character, no doubt. But I think
this is better to-day," said Hammond.

Percival was silent for a moment. Then he spread all his money on his
open hand and eyed it: "What do you think of that for a fortune, eh,
Godfrey?"

Godfrey glanced at the little constellation of gold and silver coins.
"Wants a little more spending," he said. "Two-pence halfpenny is the
mystic sum which turns to millions. So Lisle has swindled you, has he? I
thought as much."

Percival nodded: "Keep my secret. They sha'n't say that I lived on my
grandfather first, and then on Aunt Harriet or Sissy. They may find it
out later, and welcome if I have shown them that I can do without them
all."

"Ah yes," said Hammond a little vaguely. "Here we are."



CHAPTER XXXII.

LOTTIE WINS.


Percival had not been wrong about Lottie: she had at any rate only
partially understood what she was doing. The poor child had been
bitterly humiliated by the discovery that he did not love her, and felt
that she was disgraced for life by her ill-judged advance. The feeling
was high-flown and exaggerated no doubt, but one hardly expects to find
all the cool wisdom of Ecclesiastes in a brain of seventeen. Lottie,
flying from Percival's scorn as she supposed, was ready for any
desperate leap. What wonder that she took one into Horace's open arms!
How could she find a better salve for wounded pride than by captivating
the man who had passed her by as nothing but a child, and who had been,
as she would have said, "much too great a swell to take any notice of
_her_"? He had dangled in a half-hearted fashion after Addie, and had
given himself airs. Wounded vanity had attracted him to Lottie, but,
smitten by sudden passion, he wooed her hotly, with an eagerness which
startled even himself. How could she be unconscious of the difference
and of her triumph? Percival Thorne, who had slighted her, should see
her reigning at Brackenhill!

Proud, pleased, grateful, excited, dizzy with success, Lottie was swept
away by the torrent of mingled feelings. Her sorrow for her father's
death was violent, but not lasting. She could not feel his loss for any
length of time, she had always been so much more her mother's child.
Even during her mourning there was something of romance in Horace's
letters of comfort, for Horace, who had always been the laziest
correspondent in the world, wrote ardent letters to Lottie, and used all
the hackneyed yet ever fresh expedients for transmitting them which have
been bequeathed to us by generations of bygone lovers. There were
meetings too, more romantic still. No one is so sentimental as the man
who is startled out of a languid scorn of sentiment. He does not know
where to stop. Horace would have been capable of serenading Lottie if
Mrs. Blake would only have slept on the other side of the house.

Addie was unconscious of the fiery romance which went on close at hand.
She felt that the languid attentions which she had prized were fading
away and would never ripen to anything more. Her sorrow for her father's
death was deeper than Lottie's, and while it was fresh she hardly
thought of Horace Thorne's coldness, except as a part of the general
dreariness of life, and did not attempt to seek out its cause. Even Mrs.
Blake never for a moment expected the revelation which was made to her
near the beginning of October.

It was Lottie who told her, coming to her one night with a white face of
agony and resolution.

Horace was dangerously ill. He had been ill before, but this was
something altogether different. The cold which led to such alarming
results had been caught in one of his secret expeditions to see Lottie.
She had been forced to keep him waiting, and a chilly September rain had
drenched him to the skin. He had gone away in his wet clothes, had tried
to pretend that there was nothing amiss with him, and had gone out the
next day in order to be able to attribute his cold to a ride in the
north-east wind. Since that time Lottie had had three letters--the first
a gallant little attempt at gayety and hopefulness; the second, after a
considerable interval, depressed and anxious. They had ordered him
abroad. "I am sure they think badly of me," he wrote, "though I'll cheat
the grave yet--if I can. But how am I to live through the winter in some
horrible hole of a place without my darling? Suppose I get worse instead
of better, and die out there, and never see you again--never once?" And
so on for a page of forebodings. Lottie's fondness for him, fanned by
pity and remorse--was it not for her that he had risked his
life?--flamed up to passion. They say that a woman always puts the real
meaning of her letter into the postscript. I don't know how that may be,
but I do not think she would ever fail to give full weight to any
postscript she might receive. Horace's postscript was, "After all, I've
a great mind to stay in England and chance it."

Lottie was terrified. She replied, wildly entreating him to go, and
vowing that they should meet again and not be parted. She did not yet
know what she would do, but--Then followed a few notes of music roughly
dashed in.

He was puzzled. He tried the notes furtively on the piano, but they told
him nothing. That day, however, there came to his mother's house a girl
with whom he had had one of his numerous flirtations in bygone days. He
asked her to play to him, and then to sing, hanging over the piano
meanwhile, and thrilling her with his apparent devotion and with the
melancholy which reminded her of the fate which threatened him. When she
had finished her song he said, "But you'll sing me one more, won't you?
I sha'n't have the chance again, you know." He looked down as he spoke
and struck the notes which haunted him. "Do you know what that is?" he
asked. "It has been going in my head all day, and I can't put a name to
it."

She tried it after him. "What _is_ it?" she said: "I ought to remember,"
and paused, finger on lip. Horace's eager eyes flashed upon hers, when
she suddenly exclaimed, "I know. It's one of Chappell's old songs;" and,
dashing her hands victoriously upon the keys, she sang "Love will find
out the way."

"Ah!" said Horace, and stood erect in a glow of passion and triumph. He
remembered himself enough to ask again for one more song, but when, with
a wistful tremor in her voice, she said, "This? you used to like this,"
he assented, without an idea what it was, and dropped into the nearest
arm-chair to ponder Lottie's message. He was quite unconscious that the
girl at his side was singing "O Fair Dove! O Fond Dove!" with an
earnestness of meaning, a pathos and a power, which she never attained
before or since. But he was sorry when she stopped, for he had to come
out of a most wonderful castle in the air and say "Thank you." When she
went away he looked vaguely at her and let her hand fall, as was only
natural. How we listen for the postman when we are longing for a letter
and sick with hope deferred! But who thinks of him when he has dropped
it into the box and is going down the street? Horace felt almost sure as
he said good-bye that Love _had_ found out the way.

And his next note sent Lottie to her mother.

Mrs. Blake was utterly confounded when her younger daughter announced
that she was engaged to Horace Thorne. "It was no good saying anything,"
said Lottie frankly, "for his old wretch of a grandfather wouldn't think
we were good enough to marry into _his_ family, and I dare say he would
go and leave all his money to Percival if Horace thwarted him. So we
thought we would wait. People can't live _very_ much longer when they
are seventy-seven, can they? At least they do sometimes, I know," Lottie
added, pulling herself up. "You see them in the newspapers sometimes in
their ninety-eighth or ninety-seventh year, I've noticed lately. But I'm
sure it will be very wicked if he lives twenty years more. And now
Horace is ill, and we can't wait. For he must not and shall not go away,
and perhaps die, without me." And Lottie broke down and wept.

"But what do you want to do?" said Mrs. Blake. It was a shock to her,
and she was sorry for Addie, but she could not repress a thrill of
exultation at the thought that Horace Thorne, whom she had so coveted
for a son-in-law, was caught. The state of his health was serious of
course, but they must hope for the best, and the idea of an alliance
with one of the leading county families dazzled her.

"We want to be married before he goes out, and nobody to know anything
about it," said Lottie; "and then you must take me abroad this winter."

Mrs. Blake declared that it was utterly impossible.

"Oh, very well," said Lottie, drying her tears. "Then I give you fair
warning. I shall run away, and get to Horace somehow. I don't know
whether we can get married abroad--"

"I should think not--a child like you, without my consent," said Mrs.
Blake.

"No, I suppose we couldn't. Well, then, it will be your doing, you know,
if we are not. _I_ shouldn't like to have such a thing on my
conscience," said Lottie virtuously. "But perhaps you don't mind."

Mrs. Blake said that it was impossible that Lottie could be so lost to
all sense of propriety, so wicked, so unwomanly--

The girl stood opposite, slim, white and resolute. Her slender hands
hung loosely clasped before her and a fierce spark burned in her eyes.

"Oh, that's impossible too, is it?" she said quietly. "We'll see."

Mrs. Blake quailed, but murmured something about her "authority."

"Oh yes," was the calm reply. "You might lock me up. Try it: I think I
should get out. Make a fuss and ruin Horace and me. That you _can_ do,
but keep us apart you can't."

"You don't know, you can't know, what it is you talk of doing, or you
couldn't stand there without blushing."

"Very likely not," said Lottie. "But since I know enough to do it--"

"You are a wicked, wilful child."

"Wicked? Perhaps. Yes, I think I am wicked. I'm a child, I know. Help
me, mother, for I love him!"

The argument was prolonged, but the end could not be doubtful. Mrs.
Blake could scold and bluster, but Lottie was determined. The mother was
in bondage to Mrs. Grundy: the daughter played the trump card of her
utter recklessness and won the game.

Having yielded, Mrs. Blake threw herself heart and soul into the scheme.
She announced that painful recollections made Fordborough impossible as
a place of residence, that Lottie was looking ill, and that they both
required a thorough change. She dropped judiciously disagreeable remarks
about her stepson till Addie was up in arms, and said that her mother
and Lottie might go where they liked, but she should go to her aunt,
Miss Blake, till Oliver, who was on his way, came home. Then Mrs. Blake
shut up her house and went quietly off to Folkestone: Horace was to
start from Dover in rather more than a fortnight's time.

[Illustration: "DO YOU WANT TO SEE WHAT I HAVE SAID?"--Page 66.]

After that the course was clear. Horace found out that he was worse, and
must put off his departure for a week or ten days. Then, when the time
originally fixed arrived, he said that he was better and would start at
once. Naturally, Mrs. James was not ready, and he discovered that the
house was intolerable with her dressmakers and packing, that he must
break the journey somewhere, and that he might as well wait for her at
Dover. The morning after his arrival there he took the train to
Folkestone, met Lottie and her mother, went straight to the church, and
came back to Dover a lonely but triumphant bridegroom, while Mrs. Blake
and Mrs. Horace Thorne crossed at once to Boulogne.

It was necessary that Mrs. James should be enlightened, but Horace was
not alarmed: he knew that she had no choice but to make common cause
with him. Mrs. Blake, however, could hardly make up her mind what should
be done about Addie. She more than suspected that the tidings would be a
painful humiliation to her daughter. "We mustn't tell her," she said at
last to Lottie. "She might be spiteful: it wouldn't be safe."

"It will be quite safe," said Lottie. "Because of what we used to say
about Horace, you mean? But that is just what makes it safe. I know
Addie: she won't let any one say that she betrayed me because she wanted
Horace herself once. She _said_ she didn't, but I think there was
something in it; and if there was, she'd be torn in pieces sooner than
let any one say so."

There was a curious straightforwardness about Lottie, even while she
schemed and plotted. She calculated the effect of her sister's
tenderness for Horace as frankly and openly as one might reckon on a
tide or a train, and behaved as if the old saying, "All is fair in love
and war," were one of the Thirty-nine Articles.

She wrote her letter without difficulty or hesitation. It was after
Horace had joined them, and he laid his hand lightly on her shoulder as
she was contemplating her new signature.

"Nearly done?" he said. "And who is to have the benefit of all this?"

"Addie: she ought to know."

"Ah!" There was something of uneasiness in his tone, as if an unpleasant
idea had been presented to him. Horace had felt, when he arranged his
secret marriage, that he and Lottie were doing a daring and romantic
deed, and risking all for love in a truly heroic fashion. But when she
told him that she had written to Addie the matter wore a less heroic
aspect. Lottie might be unconscious of this in her sweet sincerity,
thought the ardent lover, but he remembered old days and felt like
anything but a hero.

"Do you want to see what I have said?" She tilted her chair backward and
looked up at him with her great clear eyes.

"No," Horace answered with a smile: "I'm not going to pry into your
letters." In his heart he knew that it was impossible to put the
revelation of their secret to Addie into any words that would not be
painful to him to read.

"Shall I give any message for you?"

"N-no," said Horace, doubtfully: "I think not."

"It might be considered more civil if you sent one."

"Then say anything you please," was the half-reluctant rejoinder.

"Oh, I'm not going to invent your messages, you lazy boy! A likely
story!" Lottie sprang up and put the pen into his hand: "There! write
for yourself, sir."

Horace thought that a refusal would betray his feelings about Addie, and
he sat down, wondering what he was going to say. But his eye was caught
by the last two words of the letter, "LOTTIE THORNE;" and as he looked
at them the young husband forgot Addie and his lips curved in a tender
smile.

"Make haste," said Lottie from the window--"make haste and come to me."

Horace started from his happy reverie, set his teeth and wrote:

"DEAR ADDIE: I suppose Lottie has told you everything. It was a reckless
thing to do, no doubt: perhaps you will say it was wrong and underhand.
Some people will, I dare say, but I hope you won't, for I should like to
start with your good wishes. May I call myself

"Your brother, H.T.?"

In due time came the answer:

"DEAR HORACE: I will not pass judgment on you and your doings: I am not
clever in arguing such matters. I will only say (which is more to the
point, isn't it?) that you and Lottie have my best wishes for the
safe-keeping of your secret, and anything I can do to help you I will.
We are having very cold damp weather, so I am glad you are safe in a
warmer climate, and hope you are the better for it.

"Your affectionate sister,

"ADELAIDE BLAKE."

Horace showed this to Lottie, and then thrust it away and forgot it all
as quickly as he could. Addie had read this little scrap in her own
room, had stood for a moment staring at it, had kissed it suddenly, then
torn it into a dozen pieces and stamped upon it. Then she gathered up
the fragments, sighed over them, burnt them, and vowed she would think
no more of it or him. But as she went about the house there floated
continually before her eyes, "Your brother, H.T.;" and the word which
had been so sweet to her, which had always meant her dear old Noll, and
which she had uttered so triumphantly to Percival in Langley Wood when
she said "I have a brother," became her torment.

Horace felt like a hero again when he forgot Addie, and only remembered
how he was risking his grandfather's displeasure for his love's sake. He
fully thought, as he had said, that he was Esau, and that smooth Jacob
would win a large share of the inheritance; but when he stood with his
back to the fireplace at Brackenhill, and knew that he was master of
all, Percival's parting sneer awoke his old doubts as to his heroism
once more. He had succeeded too well, and the risk which had ennobled
his conduct in his own eyes would never be realized by others.
Percival's attempt to supplant him had been foiled, and Horace was
triumphant, yet he regretted the glaring contrast in their positions
which rendered comparisons of their respective merits inevitable. But he
could do nothing. Percival had said, "Don't let him offer me money."
Horace, keener-sighted than Aunt Harriet, had not the slightest
intention of doing so. He knew how such overtures would be received;
and, after all, Brackenhill was his by right! And had not Percival
plenty to live on?

And as for himself, let who would turn their backs on him--even Aunt
Harriet, if it must be so--he had Lottie, and could defy the world.



CHAPTER XXXIII.

A START IN LIFE.


For some days after he left Brackenhill, Percival was busy arranging his
affairs. His ruin was remarkably complete. He had been running up bills
in every direction during the last month or two, intending to pay for
everything before his marriage out of the funds which were in Mr.
Lisle's hands. He had plenty there, he knew, for his method of saving
had been to live principally on his grandfather's supplies, and to leave
his own to accumulate under his guardian's care--a plan which had always
seemed to him admirably simple, as indeed it had proved to be. Lately he
had not received much from the squire, because the old man so fully
intended to provide for his favorite once and for all on the approaching
wedding-day. Percival got some of the tradesmen to take back their
goods, and sold off everything he had to meet the rest of the claims
against him. Even the watch his grandfather had given him went, on
Bombastes Furioso's theory that

    Watches were made to go.

Hammond was urgent that he should accept a loan. "It isn't friendly to
be so infernally proud," said Godfrey.

"What do you call being 'infernally proud'?" Percival retorted. "I've
been living on you for the last fortnight; and I bought myself a silver
watch this morning, and I've got two pounds seventeen shillings and
sevenpence and a big portmanteau full of clothes. I don't _want_ your
money."

It was after dinner. Hammond filled his glass and pushed the bottle to
his guest. "What do you mean to do?" he asked.

"Ah, that's the question," answered Percival. "Do you happen to know if
one has to pass much of an examination to qualify one for breaking
stones on the roads now-a-days? Not that I should like that much;" and
he sipped his claret reflectively. "It would be rather monotonous,
wouldn't it? And I can't help thinking that bits would get into one's
eyes."

"I think so too," said Godfrey. "Emigrate."

"That advice would be good in some cases. But addressed to any one who
is notoriously helpless its meaning is obvious."

"Are you notoriously helpless?"

"Am I not?"

"Well, perhaps. What does it mean, then?"

"It is a civil way of saying, 'Ruin is inevitably before you--gradual
descent in the social scale, ending in misery and starvation. _Would_
you be so kind as to go through the process a few thousand miles away,
instead of just outside my front door?' I don't say you mean that--"

"I'm sure I won't say I don't," Hammond interrupted him. "Very likely I
do: I don't pretend to be any better than my neighbors. But that doesn't
matter. If you are so clear-sighted that there's no sending you off
under a happy delusion, it would be mere brutality to urge you to
undergo sea-sickness in the search for such a fate. As you say, it is
attainable here. Will you turn tutor?"

Percival winced: "That sort of thing isn't easy to get into, is it? I
doubt if I've the least aptitude for teaching, and I never went to
college. I should be a very inferior article--not hall-marked."

"Then write," said Godfrey.

"Cudgel my lazy brains to produce trash, and hate my worthless work,
which probably wouldn't sell. I haven't it in me, Godfrey." There was a
pause.--"By Jove, though, I _will_ write!" said Percival suddenly.

"What will you write?"

"Anything. I'll be a lawyer's clerk."

"But, my good fellow, you'll have to pay to be articled. I fear you
won't make a living for years."

"Articled? nonsense! I'll be a copying-clerk--one of those fellows who
sit perched up on high stools at a desk all day. I _can_ write, at any
rate, so that will be an honest way of getting my living--the only one I
can see."

Hammond was startled, and expostulated, but in vain. The relief of a
decision was so great that Percival clung to it. Hammond talked of a
situation in a bank, but Percival hated figures. His scheme gave him a
chance of cutting himself loose from all former associations and
beginning a new, unknown and lonely life. "No one will take any notice
of a lawyer's clerk," he said. "I want to get away and hide myself. I
don't want to go into anything where I shall be noticed and encouraged,
and expected to rise--don't let any one ever expect me to rise, for I
certainly sha'n't--nor where any one can say, 'That is Thorne of
Brackenhill's grandson.' I'm shipwrecked, and I've no heart for new
ventures."

"Not just at present," said Godfrey.

"Never," said the other. "I'm not the stuff a successful man is made of,
and what I want isn't likely to be gained in business. I might earn
millions, I fancy, if I set them steadily before my eyes and loved the
means for the end's sake, easier than I could get what I covet--three or
four hundred a year, plenty of leisure, and brain and habits unspoilt by
money-making. There's no chance for the man who not only hasn't the
necessary keenness, but wouldn't like to have it. If you want to say,
'More fool you!' you may."

Hammond shrugged his shoulders and shook his head.

"Stick to your money, Godfrey," said Thorne with a melancholy smile, "or
you'll feel some day as if the ground were cut away from under your
feet. It isn't pleasant."

"I'll take your word for it," said Hammond.

Percival mused a little. "It's hard, somehow," he said. "I didn't want
much and I wasn't reckless: upon my word, it's hard. Well, it can't be
helped. Look here: do you know a lawyer who would suit me?"

"Is that the way you mean to apply for a situation? Let us see: will
Your Highness stay in town?"

"And meet all sorts of people? My Highness will not."

"In the country, then?"

"No, a big town--the bigger the better--some great manufacturing place,
where every one has smuts on his face, money in his pocket, and is too
busy improving machinery to have time to look at his neighbor."

"Would Brenthill do?"

"Admirably."

"I know a man there: I dare say he would as soon oblige me as not. What
shall I say?"

"Say that I want employment as a clerk, and that, though I am utterly
inexperienced, I write a good hand and am fairly intelligent. Don't say
that I am active and obliging, for I'm neither. Tell him that if he can
give me a fair trial it is all that you ask, and that he may turn me out
at the end of a week if I don't do."

Godfrey nodded assent.

"I think you may as well write it _now_," said Percival. "I shall find
it difficult to live for any length of time on this private fortune of
mine without making inroads on my capital."

Hammond stretched himself and crossed the room to his writing-table.
"Are you sure you won't change your mind?" he said. "It will be a
horrible existence. Clerks receive very poor pay: I don't believe you
can live on it."

"At any rate, I can die rather more slowly on it, and that will be
convenient just now."

"Why don't you wait, and see if we can't help you to something better?"

Percival shook his head: "No. I promised Sissy that if I took help from
any one, it should be from her. I must try to stand by myself first."

Godfrey wrote, and Percival sat with bent head, poring over the little
note which Sissy had sent to entreat that the past might be forgotten.
"Let me do something for you," she wrote. "Come back to me, Percival, if
you have forgiven me; and you said you had. I was so miserable that
miserable night, and we were so hurried, I hardly know what I said or
did. It was like a bad dream: let us forget it, and wake up and begin
again. Can't we? Come and be good to me, as you were last autumn. You
remember your song that day in the garden, 'You would die ere I should
grieve;' and I have grieved so bitterly since last Wednesday night! You
will be good to me--won't you?--and I promise I will tell you everything
always. I promise, Percival, and you know I will really when I say I
promise."

He had answered her with tender and sorrowful firmness. "I knew your
letter was coming," he said. "I was as certain of it, and of what you
would say, as if I held it in my hand. But, Sissy, you wouldn't have
written so to me if I had been a rich man, as you hoped I should be; and
I can't take from your sweet pity what you couldn't give me when I asked
it for love's sake. It is impossible, dear, but I thank you from the
bottom of my heart, and I love you for it. I hardly know yet where I
shall go and what I shall do; but if I should want any help I will ask
it first of you, and I will be your friend and brother to my dying day."

Thus he closed the page of his life on which he had written that brief
story of love. Yet Sissy's letter was an inexpressible comfort to him.
It was something to know that elsewhere a little heart was beating--so
true and kind that it would have given up its own happiness--to help him
in his trouble.

A few days later Percival was going north in a slow train. On his right
sat a stout man with his luggage tied up in a dirty handkerchief. On his
left was an old woman in rusty black nursing an unpleasant grandchild,
who made hideous demonstrations of friendship to young Thorne. Opposite
was a soldier smoking vile tobacco, a clodhopping boy in corduroy, and a
big girl whose tawdry finery was a miracle of jarring and vulgar colors.

Never, I think, could a young hero have set forth to make his way
through the world with less hope than did Percival Thorne. He was
already disheartened and disgusted, and questioned within himself
whether life were worth having for those who went third-class. The slow
train and the lagging hours crawled onward through the dust and heat.
"And this," he thought, "should have been my wedding-day!"



CHAPTER XXXIV.

NO. 13 BELLEVUE STREET.


June gave way to July, July to August, August to September. Lottie
reigned at Brackenhill, and Mrs. Middleton, whose heart clung to the
neighborhood where she had lived so long, had taken a house on the other
side of Fordborough. Between it and her old home lay an impassable
gulf--none the less real that it was not marked on the county map. It
appeared there as a distance of five miles and a quarter, with a good
road, but Mrs. Horace Thorne, as well as Mrs. Middleton, knew better.
Lottie laughed, and Horace's resentment was so keen that he was almost
unconscious of his pain.

Percival's utter disappearance was a nine days' wonder in Fordborough,
and when curiosity was dying out it flamed up again on the discovery
that the marriage was not only put off, but was off altogether. This
fact, considered in connection with the old squire's will, gave rise to
the idea that there was something queer about Mr. Percival Thorne--that
he had been found out at the last moment, and had lost both wife and
legacy in consequence. "No doubt it was hushed up on condition he should
take himself off. The best thing they could do, but how sad for an old
county family! Still, there will be black sheep, and what a mercy it was
that Miss Langton was saved from him!" So people talked, and generally
added that they could not tell why--just a feeling, you know--but they
never had liked that Percival Thorne.

In September, Godfrey Hammond cut a tiny slip out of the _Times_ and
sent it to the banished man: "On the 15th, the wife of Horace Thorne,
Esq., Brackenhill, Fordborough, of a son."

Percival ate his breakfast that morning with the scrap of paper by his
plate, and looked at it with fierce, defiant eyes. Lottie was avenged
indeed--she would never know how bitterly. He had sworn that he would
never think of Brackenhill, yet without his knowledge it had been the
background to his thoughts of everything. And now the cruel injustice of
his fate had taken a new lease of life in this baby boy: it would
outlive him, it would become eternal. Percival leapt to his feet with a
short laugh: "Well, that's over and done with! Good luck to the poor
little fellow! he's innocent enough. And I don't suppose he'll ever know
what a scoundrel his father was." So saying, he glanced at his watch and
marched off to his work.

Those three months had left their trace on him. He loathed his life; he
had no companions, no hope; he was absorbed in the effort to endure his
suffering. His indolence made his daily labor hateful as the treadmill.
He was fastidious, and his surroundings sickened him. His food disgusted
him, and so did the close atmosphere of the office. But he had chosen
his fate, and he had no heart to try to escape from it, since it gave
him the means of keeping body and soul together. Day after day, as that
hot September wore away, he looked out on a dreary range of roofs and
chimney-pots. He learned to know and hate every broken tile. From his
bedroom he looked into a narrow back yard, deep like a well, at the
bottom of which children swarmed, uncleanly and unwholesome, and women
gossiped and wrangled as they hung out dingy rags to dry. The fierce sun
shone on it all, and on Percival as he leant at his window surveying it
with disgust, yet something of fascination too. "I fancied the sun
wouldn't seem so bright in holes like this," he mused. "I thought
everything would be dull and dim. Instead of which, he glares into every
cranny and corner, as if he were pointing at all the filth and squalid
misery, and makes it ten times more abominable." Nor did the slanting
rays light up anything pleasant and fresh in the bedroom itself. It was
shabby and small, with coarsely-papered walls and a discolored ceiling.
Percival remarked that his window had a very wide sill. He never found
out the reason, unless it were intended that he should take the air by
sitting on it and dangling his legs over the foulest of water-butts. But
when night came the broad sill was the favorite battlefield for all the
cats in the neighborhood. It might have been pointed out as readily as
they point you out the place where the students fight at Heidelberg.

From his sitting-room he looked on a melancholy street. The
unsubstantial houses tried to seem--not respectable, no word so honest
could be applied to them, but--genteel, and failed even in that
miserable ambition. Percival used to watch the plastered fronts, flaking
in the sun and rain, old while yet new, with no grace of bygone memory
or present strength, till he fancied that they might be perishing of
some foul leprosy like that described in Leviticus. And the wearisome
monotony! They were all just alike, except that here and there one was a
little dingier than its neighbors, with the railings more broken and the
windows dirtier. One day, when his landlady insisted on talking to him
and Percival was too courteous to be absolutely silent, he asked where
the prospect was from which the street took its name. She said they used
to be able to see Three-Corner Green from their attic-windows. In her
mother's time there was a tree and a pond there, she believed, and she
herself could remember it quite green, a great place for Cheap Jacks and
people who preached and sold pills. But now it was all done away with
and built over. It was Paradise Place, and Paradise Place wasn't much of
a prospect, though there might be worse. But it was no detriment to Mr.
Thorne's rooms, for it was only the attic that ever had the view.
However, folks must call the place something, if only for the letters;
and Bellevue looked well on them and sounded airy, and she was never the
one for change. This sounded so like the beginning of a discourse on
things in general that Percival thanked her and fled.

It was about ten minutes' walk to Mr. Ferguson's office. There, week
after week, he toiled with dull industry. He could not believe that his
drudgery would last: something--death perhaps--must come to break the
monotony of that slowly unwinding chain of days, which was like a
grotesquely dreary dream. To have flung himself heart and soul into his
work not only demanded an effort of which he felt himself incapable,
but it seemed to him that such an effort could only serve to identify
him with this hideous life. So, with head bowed over interminable pages,
he labored with patient indifference. On his left sat a clerk ten or
fifteen years older than himself, a white-faced man, who blinked like an
owl in sunlight and had a wearisome cough. There was always a sickly
smell of lozenges about him, and he was fretful if every window was not
tightly closed. On Percival's right was a sallow youth of nineteen. He
worked by fits and starts, sometimes driving his pen along as if the
well-being of the universe depended on the swift completion of his task
and the planets might cease to revolve if he were idle, while a few
minutes later he would be drawing absently on his blotting-paper or
feeling for his whiskers, as if they might have arrived suddenly without
his being aware of it. Probably he was thinking over his next speech at
the Young Men's Mutual Improvement Society. They debated high and
important matters at their weekly meetings. They inquired, "Was Oliver
Cromwell justified in putting King Charles to death?" they read
interesting papers about it, and voted the unlucky monarch into or out
of his grave with an energy which would have allowed him little rest if
it could have taken effect. They marshalled many arguments to decide the
knotty and important question, "Does our Country owe most to the Warrior
or the Statesman?" and they made up their minds and voted about that
too. The sallow young man was rather a distinguished member of the
society, and had much to say on such problems as these.

The clerks did not like Thorne. They felt that he was not one of
themselves, and said that he was stuck up and sulky. They resented his
silence. If you do not like a man you always understand his silence as
the speech you would most dislike--veiled. Above all, they resented his
grave politeness. They left him alone, with an angry suspicion that it
was exactly what he wanted them to do; as indeed it was, though he was
painfully conscious of the atmosphere of distrust and ill-will in which
he lived. But he could have found no pleasure in their companionship,
and in fact was only interested in their coats. He was anxious to learn
how shabby a man might become and pass unnoticed in the office; so he
would glance, without turning his head, at the white-faced man's sleeve,
and rejoice to see the same threadbare cuff travelling slowly across a
wide expanse of parchment.

When he wrote to Hammond he said that he was getting on very well. He
could not say that his work was very amusing, but very likely he should
get more used to it in time. He wished to be left alone and to give it a
fair trial. How was Sissy?

Hammond replied that Mrs. Middleton had aged a good deal, but that she
and Sissy were both pretty well, and had got an idea--he could not think
from whom--that Percival had gone in for the law and was going to do
something very amazing indeed. "They are waiting to be surprised,"
Godfrey wrote, "like children on their birthdays. St. Cecilia especially
wouldn't for worlds open her eyes till the right moment comes and you
appear in your glory as lord chancellor or attorney-general, or
something of the kind. I'm afraid she's a little hazy about it all,
though of course she knows that you will be a very great man and that
you will wear a wig. Mrs. Middleton is perhaps a trifle more moderate in
her expectations. I left them to build their castles in the air, since
you had bound me to secrecy, but I wish you would tell them the truth.
Or I would help you, as you know, if I knew how."

Percival answered that Godfrey must not betray him: "I couldn't endure
that Horace and his wife should know of my difficulties; and as to
living on Aunt Harriet--never! And how could I go back to Fordborough,
now that Sissy and I have parted? She would sacrifice herself for
me--poor child!--out of sheer pity. No: here I can live, after a
fashion, and defy the world. And here I will live, and hope to know some
day that Sissy has found her happiness. Till then let her think that I
am prospering."

Godfrey shrugged his shoulders over Percival's note. It was irrational,
no doubt, but Thorne had a right to please himself, and might as well
take care of his pride, since he had not much else to take care of. So
he attempted no persuasion, but simply sent any Fordborough news and
forwarded occasional letters from Mrs. Middleton and Sissy. As the
autumn wore on, Percival began to feel strange as he opened the
envelopes and saw the handwriting which belonged to his old life. He had
an absurd idea that the letters should not have come to _him_--that his
former self, the self Sissy had known, was gone. He read her letters by
the light of what Hammond had told him, and saw the delicate wording by
which she tried to show her sympathy, yet almost repelled his
confidence. She was so anxious not to thrust herself into his
secrets--it was so evident that she would not be troublesome, but would
wait with shut eyes, as Hammond had said, for a birthday surprise and
triumph! O poor little Sissy! O faith which he felt within himself no
strength to vindicate! He answered her in carefully weighed sentences,
and smiled as he wrote them down because they amused him--a smile sadder
than tears. Percival Thorne was dead, and he was some one else, trying
to think what Percival would have said, and to hide his death from
Sissy, lest her heart should break for pity.

It was very foolish? Yes. But if you had parted yourself from every one
you knew; if for five months you had never heard a friendly word; if you
had a secret to hide and a part to play; if you lived alone, surrounded
by faces of people with whom you had no faintest touch of
sympathy--faces which were to you like those of swarming Chinese or men
and women in a nightmare,--perhaps you might have some thoughts and
fancies less calm and less rational than of old. And the more changed
Percival felt himself, the more he shrank from the friends he had left.

November came. One day he looked at the date on the office almanac and
remembered that it was exactly a year since he went down to Brackenhill
and heard of old Bridgman's death. He could not repress a short sudden
laugh. It was half under his breath, but his neighbor, who was at that
moment gazing fiercely into space and turning a sentence, heard it, and
felt that it was in mockery of him. Percival was thinking how seriously
he had considered that important question, "Would he stand as the
Liberal candidate for Fordborough?" Percival Thorne, Esq., M.P.! He
might well laugh as he sat at his desk filling in a bundle of notices.
But from that moment the sallow youth on his right hated him with a
deadly hatred.

December came--a dull, gray, bitter December--not clear and sparkling,
as December sometimes is, nor yet misty and warm, as if it would have
you take it for a lingering autumn, but bitter without beauty, harsh and
pitiless. Keen gusts of wind whirled dust and straws and rubbish in
dreary little dances along Bellevue street, the faces of the passers-by
were nipped and miserable with the cold, and the sullen sky hung low
above the pallid row of houses opposite. Percival looked out on this and
thought of Brackenhill, which he left in leafy June. He was very
miserable: he had always been quickly sensitive to the beauty or
dreariness around him, and the gray dulness of the scene entered into
his very soul. Warmth, leisure, sunlight and blue sky! There was plenty
of sunlight somewhere in the world. O God! what had he done that it
should be denied him?

There was a weary craving upon him that might have led to terrible
results, but his pride and fastidiousness saved him. His delicately
cultivated palate loathed the coarse fire of spirits, and he had a
healthy horror of drugs. Once or twice he had thought of opium when he
could not escape, even in dreams, from the grayness of his life. "This
is unendurable," he would say; and he played in fancy with the key which
unlocks the gates of that strange region lying on the borders of
paradise and hell. But his better sense questioned, "Will it be any more
endurable when I have ruined my nerves and the coats of my stomach?" It
did not seem probable that it would be. If death had been the risk he
might have faced it, but he recoiled from the thought of a premature and
degraded old age, still chained to the hateful desk.

There are times when a man may be cheaply made into a hero. What would
not Percival have given for the chance of doing some deed of reckless
bravery?

[TO BE CONTINUED.]



A LEVANTINE PICNIC.


We had been a long time in Suda Bay--one of the numerous indentations on
the north coast of Crete--in company with Turkish, Egyptian, Russian and
Austrian men of war. Fighting was going on at intervals on the
mountains--of which Mount Ida and some of the other peaks were covered
with snow--and we could sometimes see from our anchorage the spirts of
white smoke where the Cretans (not "slow-bellies" now) were ambushing
the Turkish columns as they struggled up the mountain-defiles. Egyptian
transports came in and landed their long-legged, white-uniformed troops,
who perhaps bivouacked that night on the shores of the bay, and the next
day were absorbed in the great reticulations of the mountain-island,
which must have seemed a strange country indeed to the Fellah recruits,
to whom the Mokattam Hills were mountains.

_We_ could do nothing in Crete. We were closely bound down by orders,
and sympathies had no play. Hundreds of women and children, the
families of the insurgents, were interned at Retimo in an old fort and
in other similar strongholds. Some were hovering about the south coast,
not far from St. Paul's Fair Havens, in hopes of being taken off from
there. The condition of these people was very pitiable. The Russian
frigate General Admiral had taken one load of them to Greece, but the
pacha in command, Mustapha Kiritli, positively refused to allow us or
the Russians to take any more. The blockade-runners (one of which, at
least, had distinguished herself in our own then recent war) took off a
few, but could not, of course, stay on the coast long enough to
accomplish much without having a Turkish cruiser down upon them. As a
war-measure the refusal of the pacha was right, for the possession of
the women and children gave the Turks a certain hold upon the Cretans
who were bushwhacking in the mountains.

The pacha did give us permission to go down to Retimo to see for
ourselves the condition of the families detained there. They were not so
badly off, according to Levantine notions. They had lentils, oil, flour
and firewood, a shelter for their heads, and their rugs and rags to
sleep under. The Turkish officers asked, What more could people want?
What they wanted was the Turks out of the island for ever, but it was of
no use to say that. Such a remark on our part might have been thought
personal.

Sometimes during our stay we went over to the town of Canea, where the
only things of interest were--first, a red-hot consul, who sympathized
so violently with the Cretans that he had lost all his influence with
the Turks, to whom, of course, he was accredited; and, secondly, the
fine old Venetian slips and galley-houses, in such preservation as
almost to make one fancy that the days of Francesco Prioli, the admiral,
had not yet departed.

At Suda Bay there was a large Turkish camp, which was interesting for an
hour or two. About its outskirts it had a curious collection of
half-savage camp-followers and hangers-on, the close inspection of whom
on their own ground, with their queer ways of butchering and cooking and
what not, was interesting, but not altogether unattended with a spice of
danger to a solitary _Giaour_. We had visited and entertained the
Russians and the Austrians, and they had returned our civilities and
tried to make things cheerful; but we were very weary of Suda Bay long
before orders came permitting us to go over to Smyrna; which place, when
we got there, seemed a very Naples by comparison with Canea.

The Bay of Smyrna is far famed as a fine one. The _imbat_, or
sea-breeze, usually blows every day and all day long, so that, however
close one may lie to the town, the odors from its filthy, narrow streets
are all blown the other way--sufficiently rich, one would think, to
fertilize any soil over which they may be wafted. I suppose there is no
better instance of the whited sepulchre than Smyrna. The view of the
city and its environs from an anchorage in the bay, with the sun shining
upon its blue waters dancing and crisping under the brisk imbat; the
Greek spires and the minarets of the mosques relieved by the cypresses
of the graveyards; the amphitheatrical situation of the whole place,
crowned by Mount Pagus with its picturesque ruined castle, and the fine
mountain-scenery in the background,--must impress every visitor. And yet
nowhere has the plague so often reaped its harvest, owing to neglect of
everything which goes to make life clean and decent.

We had been many days in Smyrna, and had eaten many bunches of grapes,
each as fine as any the spies brought from Eshkol. We had seen the
famous _rahat-li-coom_ boiling in the caldrons, and then flavored and
beaten and drawn, and then had eaten it. We had smoked many okes of
Latakia. We had spent pleasant evenings among the foreign residents at
Bournabat, where the dress-coat and claret-jug and piano represent
Western civilization to the merchants and consuls tired after a long day
in the hot, reeking, noisy town. We had learned to find our way through
the bazaar without a guide, and had bought shawls and rugs in the
Persian khan, driving close bargains, as we thought, after hours of
patient sitting and much smoking and coffee-drinking, and being cheated
frightfully, as we found out afterward on comparing notes with resident
ladies. We had ridden up, on donkeys, to the huge ruined castle
dominating the city, said, popularly, to have been built by the English
Richard, and certainly dating from the thirteenth century, and we had
come down from there in a high state of heat, dust and disgust. We had
been to see figs packed for the market in a place and after a manner
which made us think of the motto of the Garter. We had gone to see the
Whirling Dervishes, and had witnessed the drill of the Turkish nizam at
the grand new barracks. We had visited the English military cemetery
formed in Crimean days, and had experienced a strange home-feeling as we
read the familiar names on the headstones. We had had sailing-parties on
the bay for consuls and consulesses, landing at Sanjak Kalessi to take
luncheon and to see the huge old-fashioned guns in the fort, with their
stone balls (of granite or marble, two feet in diameter), once thought
so formidable. We had been the round of the Greek cafés which flourish
in such numbers in Smyrna, where polyglot concerts and the worst
features of the _café chantant_ seem never to tire their patrons. We had
seen a Persian caravan start--a sight well worth rising early for, if
only to see their outlandish drivers lash the loads upon the camels,
which groan and bellow and scold during the operation, retracting their
hare-lips, showing their long yellow teeth, and projecting from their
mouths the very hideous and peculiar bag of flesh and blue color; in
which condition they attain a point of repulsiveness possessed by no
other animal I know of.

An official reception and visit by the pacha had of course been
accomplished, both parties seeming to be about equally bored by the
ceremony, and Smyrna seemed, for us, to be pretty well "played out." We
were reduced to dropping small coin over the taffrail for expectant men
and boys to dive for through the clear blue water, and to betting upon
the time of arrival of the Austrian Lloyds or the Russian mail-steamer.

Clearly, this was not a wholesome state to be in; and knowing this, a
Good Samaritan, our acting consul, Mr. G----, proposed as a distraction
trips to neighboring places of interest, especially to Ephesus and
Magnesia. They were both to be reached by rail, and so near as to
require but a single day's absence, which was of importance to us, as we
were expecting orders to sail at any moment.

The first-mentioned place naturally attracted us most, from its
association with our youthful studies, both biblical and secular; and so
it was decided that we should make a day of it at Ephesus, and have a
picnic. The party consisted of our consul and his two nieces, very
excellent specimens of Levantine-born people of English stock; an
Armenian gentleman, Mr. A----, and his wife; and three of our officers.
Due preparation was made by kind Mr. G---- in the way of sending hampers
of provision and wine, and in ordering horses to meet us at Aïasulouk,
the nearest station to Ephesus, and about fifty miles by rail from
Smyrna.

We were obliged to start very early in the morning, for there was only
one daily passenger-train each way on the Smyrna and Aidin Railroad. The
road was far from being remunerative to the bond- and stock-holders at
that time, and I fancy it has not been so since. There seemed, indeed,
scant reason for any passenger-train at all, for, besides our own party,
there were only two or three Zaptiehs, truculent-looking fellows, a
couple of English merchants and some rayahs.

The contrast between the bustling noise and modern associations of the
railway-train and the mediæval-looking environs of Smyrna, through which
it threaded its way, was sufficiently striking to occupy one's thoughts
for some time after starting, especially as alongside the railway ran
for some distance the caravan-route, already filled by strings of camels
and their drivers--most picturesque objects in such a landscape. Most
of the native traders prefer that time-honored mode of transportation to
the iron horse, and a large proportion of the merchandise received at
this most important commercial centre came on the backs of camels, mules
and asses. Aidin, the southern terminus of the road on which we were
travelling, is a great dépôt of the figs which we have all eaten from
infancy put up in drums; and the freight of these is one of the
principal sources of revenue to the railway. That more products of the
soil are not sent in this way is rather the fault of the wretched
government than of the rayahs or agricultural laborers. They are ground
to the very earth by iniquitous taxation, and only manage to live from
hand to mouth in what should be a land of plenty.

After the railroad turns southward it follows a broad valley between two
low mountain-ridges, the western one being rather precipitous. Here and
there were ledges which were occupied by the flocks of Bedouins and of
Yourouks (a true nomad race, speaking a Turkish dialect), as well as by
their low, broad black tents, scarcely distinguishable at that
elevation. These people had encroached upon land formerly cultivated and
very fertile--in some places merely in the fallow-time, but in others in
consequence of the proper tillers of the soil being driven away,
hopeless from endless exactions on the part of the greedy pachas and
kaimacans set over them. There was one comfort. They got little from the
Bedawee or the Yourouks, who flitted when tax-time came. These hills had
quite recently been the scene of the exploits of Kitterji Janni, a
celebrated robber-chief not long gone to his account. From all we heard
of him he was not altogether a bad fellow, but robbed the rich and gave
to the poor in a quite Rinaldo-Rinaldini sort of style.

We were already on friendly terms with all our entertainers except the
Armenian lady, the wife of Mr. A----, whom we now met for the first
time. She was still a young woman, tall, with a very comely face and
laughing black eyes, but hugely fat, as Armenians are apt to become
very early. She was dressed in bright colors and in the latest Parisian
style, including the bonnet and parasol. A jolly, wholesome, honest look
and manner prepossessed us in her favor, but, unfortunately, she did not
speak a word of either English or French. Her husband, tall and fat too,
was a good fellow, and, unlike his wife (who possessed only Turkish,
Greek and Armenian), spoke in addition French, Italian and English with
great ease and fluency. Indeed, the Armenians are the best of the
different nationalities of Asia Minor and Syria: diligent in business,
moderately honest, good linguists and accountants, they have more
dignified manners and stability than the Fanariot Greeks, and more
brains than the Turks. They retain their physical type as distinctly as
do the Parsees in India, and are equally ready to turn an honest penny,
_en gros_ and _en détail_.

We rattled along the excellent railway in a style calculated to make the
"limited express" look to its laurels, and in less than two hours drew
up at the station of Aïasulouk. Here the western chain of hills which we
had skirted ceases, and the great marshy plain of Ephesus opens out, the
river Cayster meandering through it. The insignificant station-house and
platform, with a small coffee-house and some dwellings, reminded me of a
prairie station in our Western country. But the eye was at once
attracted by something we should not find in the Western World--to wit,
some ruins, large, roofless, but with solid walls, two domes, some
pinnacles and a graceful minaret. These are the ruins of the mosque of
Sultan Selim, called by the Greeks the church of St. John, though it was
certainly not the church under which the saint was buried. There are the
remains of a Christian church behind those of the mosque, and below a
ruined Turkish castle with a Roman gateway which crowns the hill still
farther north. The apse of this ruined church, also called St. John by
the native Greeks, is still visited and venerated by them.

A ruined aqueduct stalked across the plain from east to west, bearing
high in air the rude nests of numerous storks, which were to be seen
sitting or standing on their nests or flying deliberately to and fro
with that air of being perfectly at home which belongs to storks in
whatever part of the world they may chance to make their sojourn. This
aqueduct received its water from a tunnel in the eastern range, and was
probably the principal source of supply for the city in Roman times. The
ruins of another (tunnelled) aqueduct have been discovered of late years
coming from the mountains to the south of the city; and this is probably
much older than the first named, as the Greeks preferred that mode of
conducting water wherever practicable, their subterranean channels, a
sort of syphon arrangement, being in use long before any of the Roman
aqueducts were built. The fact is, that the Greeks early found out that
water would find its own level, while the Romans, if they knew the fact,
did not always act upon it.

Far off from the railway-station, to the west and south-west, in the
midst of the dreary marshy plain, rose Mount Coressus, about which as a
centre formerly clustered the imperial city of Diana. Hardly a moving
thing was in sight but the flying storks and the waving green patches of
rushes and of grain bowed by the strong imbat, which wafted
cloud-shadows over the rather melancholy landscape. The peasants who
till the arable part of the plain only come down there to work at the
planting and the harvest, and live at Kirkenjee, a town on the
mountain-side. Malaria does not permit them to live nearer to their
work. Indeed, the traces of the swamp-poison were plainly seen in the
faces of the railway employés and other residents in the vicinity of the
station. While we were taking this glance about us our hampers were
deposited on the platform and the train rattled off again with great
briskness, as if time were of any importance, and as if the whole
arrangement were not an anachronism in this part of the world!

We were to return to have our picnic at the ruins on our right, after
which we should be in readiness for the evening train; but just now the
great thing was to get to horse and to finish the necessary
sight-seeing before the heat of the day if possible. And so the horses
were brought up. Such horses! Plucky enough, but small and lean and
scraggy, of all colors and all degrees of ugliness. Three English
side-saddles had been brought out in the train for the ladies, while the
men of the party took the horse-gear provided by the owner of the
animals, instruments of torture known as Turkish saddles. The two young
ladies, light weights, were soon mounted. Then the horse intended for
the Armenian lady was brought up alongside the platform, and her husband
placed her upon the side-saddle after a careful tightening of girths.
When the horse, which seemed lighter than his burden, moved away, the
saddle at once began to turn in a very deliberate fashion, depositing
the fair rider gently upon the ground. There they were, the rider seated
quietly upon the turf, and the side-saddle pendulous between the horse's
legs, the animal apparently much puzzled to know what to make of the
strange machine, but evidently not intending any such nonsense as
running away. The men rushed at the animal, righted the saddle, and
hauled away at the girths until the horse became quite wasp-like in
form. He was then led back to the platform, and the lady's ponderous
form was once more placed on the side-saddle, only to repeat the turning
operation, gravity asserting itself with all the ease and certainty
belonging to natural laws. Our laughter was by this time uncontrollable,
the good-natured Armenian joining in it heartily, and a consultation was
held to determine what was to be done. She was out for a day's pleasure,
and evidently did not mean to be left behind. Finally, it was determined
that she should take one of the other saddles; and she mounted one
accordingly, the horse then moving off slowly, but well enough, as the
weight was evenly balanced. I have seldom seen a jollier sight than that
portly dame, in her resplendent skirts and spick-and-span French bonnet
and parasol, mounted _en cavalier_.

Having discreetly and safely accomplished this difficult piece of
business, we all set off by a narrow footpath, muddy in many places,
toward the site of the ancient city. We passed patches of cultivated
ground here and there, a good deal of which was tobacco, but for the
most part our way was through marsh-grass and low bushes. Nearly a mile
north-east of the ruins of the city we passed what the best authorities
positively say are the ruins of the temple. The archæologists have been
quarrelling over this point for generations, and some think that the
ruins are those of a great Christian fane. The fact is, that almost all
the ruins have been quarries of building- and lime-stone for centuries,
and those edifices which stood farthest to the east and north-east, as
the temple did, suffered most because most accessible.

I do not propose to inflict upon the reader a list of the ruins which we
saw, some well authenticated, and some not. It is not every mind,
however well regulated, that will bear the personal inspection of ruins,
much less a catalogue of them.

We passed on, still westward, skirting the rocky Mount Coressus, on the
western side of which was the great theatre, then in process of
excavation by Mr. Wood, who has since published an elaborate account of
his discoveries. Far toward the west stretched the ruins where had been
the markets, the stadium and the ports, with crumbling walls and towers
of all stages of antiquity, Greek, Roman and Byzantine. One of the
towers or forts, on an elevation to the westward, and of somewhat
cyclopean construction, passes popularly for "St. Paul's Prison."

Far to the west glittered the sea in the Bay of Scala Nova, and beyond
rose the mountains of Samos, still famed for fruity wine. It is
generally supposed that the sea once came up to the site of Ephesus, but
there is no good reason for the belief. The Cayster has undoubtedly in
the course of ages brought down and deposited much soil, and has formed
a delta, but we know that in the palmy days of the city a long canal,
with solid quays of cut stone, led the ships up to the two ports. The
remains of these canals have been traced for a long way, showing that
the distance to the sea was always considerable, while the ports are
still defined by the extra-luxuriant growth of bulrushes and cat-tails.

We had stopped at the theatre to examine the curious sculptures
collected there by the excavators, and to enjoy the view. To do this we
all dismounted, with the exception of the Armenian lady, who mildly but
firmly declined to descend, no doubt feeling that there would be a
difficulty in remounting where there was no railway-platform. In her own
mind she no doubt said with MacMahon, "J'y suis! j'y reste!" Mounting
again, we rode round to the south of Coressus, passing along a regular
street, with the remains of paving and curbing, parallel with the
southern wall of the ancient city, which ran along the declivity of
Mount Pion. Here was pointed out the tomb of St. Luke. Extensive
excavations were being made near here under English auspices, and tombs
were daily being discovered, both pagan and early Christian. On the very
day of our visit a substantial tomb had been exposed, cut clearly and
deeply into the stone of which was the inscription in Greek, "Alexander
the Rich."

The sun by this time was more than warm, and we were three or four miles
from our luncheon. So the horses' heads were turned toward Aïasulouk; on
which sign of being homeward bound they developed a speed little to be
expected from their looks and previous conduct. Passing a breach in the
wall of the ancient city, more tombs and the remains of an extensive
colonnade, we came out upon the marshy plain which we had crossed once
before, having completely circled Coressus. On the left, as we rode
along, the ruins of the church dedicated to the Seven Sleepers were
pointed out to us. The church or chapel was cut out of the solid rock as
to the walls, with a groined roof of stone. We have all heard of the
"Seven Sleepers" from our boyhood, perhaps the toughest yarn incident to
that period. The Turks and Persians have their legends about them as
well as the Christians. The Mohammedans preserve one set of names and
the Christians another, so an inquirer may take his choice. The Moslems
certainly make the most of the legend, for they place the names of the
Sleepers upon buildings to prevent their being burned, and upon swords
to prevent them from breaking; and they preserve the name of the dog
which was shut up with them. The legend refers to the persecution of the
Christians in the reign of Diocletian--some say the Decian persecution.
The story goes that seven noble youths of Ephesus (being Christians and
under persecution) fled to this cave for refuge--were pursued,
discovered and walled in. In this dreadful condition they were
miraculously put into a sleep which lasted, some say two, some three,
hundred years.

The Koran relates the tale in a circumstantial way, regarding Moslems
persecuted by Christians of course. It declares that the sun, out of
respect for these young martyrs, altered his course, so that twice in
the day he might shine upon the cavern. The name of the dog, "Kit Mehr,"
has always appeared in the traditions of the Mussulmans, but I believe
no name has been preserved for him in the Christian story. This dog,
having consumed three hundred years in standing erect, growling and
guarding his masters' slumbers, was for his faithfulness considered
worthy of translation to heaven. He was admitted to that beatitude in
company with Abraham's ram, Balaam's ass, the foal upon which Jesus rode
into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, and Mohammed's mare upon which he
ascended to heaven.

What says Alcoran?--"When the youths betook them to the cave they said,
'O our Lord! grant us mercy from before thee, and order for us our
affairs aright!' ... And thou wouldst have deemed them awake, though
they were sleeping; and we turned them to the right and to the left; and
in the entrance lay their dog with paws outstretched. Hadst thou come
suddenly upon them thou wouldst surely have turned thy back on them in
flight, and have been filled with fear of them.... Some say, 'There
were three, their dog the fourth;' others say, 'Five, their dog the
sixth,' guessing at the secret; others say, 'Seven, and their dog the
eighth.' Say, 'My Lord best knoweth the number: none save a few shall
know them.' Therefore be clear in thy discussions about them, and ask
not any Christian concerning them. Haply, my Lord will guide me that I
may come near to the truth of this story with correctness.... And they
tarried in this cave three hundred years, and nine years over."

Half an hour brought us back to Aïasulouk and the mosque of Sultan
Selim. Here everything seemed still more quiet than when we left. Even
the storks were sitting or standing in a meditative posture, not one
flying about. The railway porters and some rayahs were lying on the
platform in the enjoyment of their midday slumbers, their heads and
faces carefully wrapped up in their capotes, while their bare, bronzed
shanks and huge feet, in shapeless red shoes, projected in what seemed
absurd disproportion to the rest of their bodies. I must make an
exception. There was one wide-awake individual awaiting us, the owner of
the horses. He was no sooner paid for the hire of his animals than,
tying them fast, he went into the miserable little café; and we found
the animals still made fast, still saddled, unwatered and unfed, when we
took the evening train, the owner being descried in the house of
entertainment at work at a nargileh, and evidently the worse for raki.

It is rather a difficult thing to acknowledge, in the face of the great
ruins then about us, with all their associations, that the thought of
our dinner was by this time uppermost in the minds of nearly all our
company. I have generally found, however, in much journeying about this
wicked world, that the amount of condescension and interest with which
one looks upon ancient remains depends very much upon the company in
which one finds one's self, the state of the weather and the state of
one's stomach.

Our worthy entertainer was a man of the world, and understood this
little trait of humanity; so he led us straight to the roofless mosque,
where we were shaded from the afternoon sun, but at the same time had
his cheerful reflection from the upper part of the marble walls, from
which trailed and waved lovely vines and parasites. There we found,
spread upon a spotless cloth which rested on a clean-swept though
cracked pavement parqueted in different marbles, a most delightful and
plentiful luncheon. Shawls and rugs were placed, and we fell to at once,
the Armenian lady playing her part as manfully as she had done in the
saddle, and causing grilled fowls, kibabs and claret-cup to disappear in
a way which reflected upon the capacity of some of the males of the
party.

We had nearly finished our repast when a gypsy-woman peeped in at one of
the doorways, but with instinctive good manners retired again until we
had done with dessert and cigarettes were lighted. Then she came into
the huge unroofed hall in which we were, and brought a pretty girl of
about twelve and a boy of ten, who danced for our amusement a wild sort
of prance with a castanet accompaniment. The mother then begged leave to
divine our fortunes from the coffee-grounds in the cups, with the
contents of which we had just wound up our feast. There is this
difference between Levantine coffee and that made in our Western World:
_grounds_ are essential to the one, and are eagerly shaken up and
swallowed, while in our parts the grounds are the opprobrium of the
cook. There were, however, grounds enough left for the gypsy. But she
made a very mild use of them mostly, predicting "good health and a good
fig-season" to an American officer who did not grow figs and who had the
constitution of a horse. Then she took a handful of pebbles, shells and
the small cubes of stone extracted from ancient mosaic floors, and threw
them broadcast upon a very dirty cotton handkerchief, predicting from
their relative positions the fortunes of the two young ladies. As
interpreted by one of the servants the prediction was decidedly hazy. It
may have lost in being translated, but it amounted to this: "Him husband
hab--werry good: plenty piastre got." A very small gratuity sent our
gypsy friend off perfectly satisfied after salaams and kissing the hands
of all the men of the party. Nobody ever kisses women's hands in the
East--at least in public.

The conscientious member of the party, who "understood we had come
mainly to inspect the ruins, and not for a picnic," and who had all day
been very uncomfortable at the slight put upon antiquity by our light
conduct in the face of so many centuries, now insisted upon at least a
glance at the fine ruins in which we then were. They were well worthy of
a close inspection, but I don't propose to inflict a description upon
the reader. I may, however, mention a particularly picturesque minaret
of very solid construction. Up the winding steps of this we all filed
except the fat lady, who sat on the pavement below cross-legged, smoking
a cigarette and smiling up at us benignly through the blue wreaths
circling round her head from under the Paris hat.

After enjoying the view of the plain and the encircling hills with the
satisfaction of persons who had "done" the thing and had not to do it
again, we began to inspect the minaret itself and the dressed stone
parapet against which we leaned; and there we found the name of the
everlasting English (or American) snob who seems to pervade the universe
for the sake of cutting or writing his name and the date of his visit
upon every coign of vantage to which he can get access. Our Armenian
friend, Mr. A----, pointed out that there were few Italian names in this
record of fools, and scarcely any French or German; but Herostratus
appears weak in comparison with our English and American travellers in
the desire for cheap fame, for he had only to make a fire, a thing done
in a very few moments, while the travelling snob must have worked
industriously for an hour or two, and made his hands very sore, and
probably spoiled a knife, in satisfying his aspirations.

The portals of this mosque are very fine. No doubt the greater part of
the material for the building came from the ruins of Ephesus, but the
portals and other principal points are of original design, and most
undoubtedly erected by true architects and sculptors. They are
Saracenic, not quite up to the examples we find in Spain and in Sicily,
and in a modified and debased form in Morocco and elsewhere on the coast
of Barbary. The inscriptions from the Koran are most elaborately and
beautifully cut, and still in excellent preservation. The Moslem
peasantry would not touch them, and the Christian rayahs are afraid to
do so. There are, of course, no figures of men, or even of animals, but
the charmingly correct arches and doorways, and the delicate tracery
above them intermingled with Arabic characters, give a lightness to the
portals which is hardly to be found anywhere east of the Alhambra or the
Sevillian Alcazar.

But I must leave the ruins, for by this time the sun was sinking, giving
the plain on which so many important events had occurred a more weird
and deserted look than ever. The _cavass_ in charge of the servants was
beginning to be fussy, in fear that while we were dawdling about the one
train might come and go, and the _sitts_ and _effendis_ be left to the
limited accommodations of Aïasulouk for the night. So we filed down to
the station, the servants preceding us with the hampers upon their
heads, and the Armenian lady stepping out after them fresh and
fair--indeed, much fresher than most of us, who were rather tired after
the unusual exertions of the day.

As we retraced our morning's track we saw the same black tents of the
Yourouks and Bedawee, the smoke from the fires of which mingled with the
evening exhalations from the valley. Hundreds of sheep, horses and
camels were now gathering close about the tents which had seemed so
entirely deserted as we passed in the morning. There was no other moving
thing to be seen as we rode north and the evening closed in--no lights
in peasants' houses or fires on their hearths, for the Levantines are
"early to bed and early to rise;" in addition to which custom they have,
under the present paternal rule, acquired the habit of remaining as much
out of sight as possible.

When we came into the station at Smyrna the night had fallen. A few
flickering lamps and lanterns made the darkness visible, and except the
porters and necessary officials there was not a soul there, Turk or
Frank, to take the slightest interest in our movements. The place was
perfectly deserted and dismal. At last we saw lights approaching, and
another cavass (belonging to our excellent consul) appeared with lots of
lanterns and men "with staves and swords," as becometh a Levantine
consul, and, escorted by these, we walked a long way over the rough,
slippery paving-stones before we reached the Armenian and Greek
quarters. Here people were seen sitting in family groups at their doors
and windows, gossiping with their neighbors and enjoying such evening
air as is afforded by the streets of Smyrna. But they showed, at any
rate, some human interest and enjoyment of life, and we must remember
that they had been accustomed to the smells from childhood. Perhaps the
weaker ones had all died off, for those we saw were very stout and
hearty. In all respects their streets presented a pleasant contrast to
the dark, filthy, windowless, cheerless lanes in the Turkish town, with
the skulking, snarling, mangy dogs disputing one's right of way, and an
occasional encounter with a scowling Moslem, lantern in hand and
homeward bound, who drew up to the wall, and showed by the gleam of our
lanterns upon his yellow face that he inwardly cursed us all for
Giaours, and wondered that Allah in His providence permitted us to
exist. In fact, the Anatolian Turk is still a good Mohammedan of the
time of Solyman, and not one of the degenerate race of Stamboul.

E.S.



A BIRD STORY.


Visible from my study-window, and less than a stone's throw away, is a
cottage, all tree-embowered and vine-covered, which its owners call "The
Nest." All over the house, wherever a bird-box can be placed, there you
are sure to find one. These little homes nestle under the eaves among
the supporting brackets; they hide under the nooks of the gables; they
are perched above the windows; they are indeed to be found wherever you
would be likely to look for them, and in a good many places where you
would never think of looking. Besides these bird-boxes on the house,
there are bird-boxes in the trees, bird-boxes airily placed on high
poles--bird-boxes in all forms, from the plain four-sided salt-box to
the elaborate Swiss chalet and the pretentious be-spired and be-columned
meeting-house. Then there are bird-cages--pretty brass cages, with
tarlatan petticoats to keep the seeds from flying out, and tied with
such dainty bows of ribbon that one has no need to be told there is a
woman in the house; there are capacious cages in which brown
mocking-birds sit all day long echoing back the other birds' songs they
hear; there are dainty glass cages from Venice, in which Java sparrows
carry on their ceaseless love-making, billing and cooing for hours and
hours, as if all life to them was an interminable honeymoon. There is
also a great white parrot, who, perched in a brass ring, mutters and
mutters to himself for hours, and hums snatches of tunes, and calls
imaginary dogs and visionary cats; and when he sees a certain manly form
coming up the garden-walk is wont to cry out in a miserable mockery of
tenderness, "Oh, my darling! I'm _so_ glad to see you!" and then smack
his bill as near like a kiss as he can, and chuckle and laugh and turn
somersaults, and otherwise disport himself as parrots do when they are
pleased.

And while all this is going on there comes running out of the house a
pretty little figure in a fresh muslin dress and with outstretched arms;
and, strangely enough, she says just what Polly has said, and there is a
kiss that is no imitation, and a responsive kiss that fairly puts Polly
to shame; but the bird chuckles and laughs nevertheless.

When all this takes place--and it is no more of an event than the daily
home-coming of our good neighbor and dear friend Arthur Sterling, Esq.,
barrister-at-law,--when this home-coming takes place, all the birds at
The Nest break forth into a merrier song--get so enthusiastic in their
pipings that you'd think, to hear them, that they would split their
throats; and still gladder and sweeter and merrier than their song is
the voice of our dear neighbor's wife, Mistress May Sterling, who pours
forth, in a ceaseless chattering song, a whole day's accumulation of
love--yes indeed, a whole lifetime's accumulation; and while the
rippling flow goes on their two fond hearts sing louder with joy than
any birds would ever dare to think of singing.

How they love the birds! And why not? Since but for a little bird they
would not have been together in this sweet little nest, outbilling and
outcooing the Java sparrows, dwelling in the land of Love's young dream,
in the sunshine of each other's affection, and ready to declare upon
oath that there is no night in their lives that isn't radiant with the
sheen of the honeymoon.

And now I'll tell you the story of a little bird as Mistress May
Sterling told it to me one evening while her Arthur and I smoked our
cigars in the moonlight on The Nest's piazza. No: on the whole, Mistress
Sterling shall tell the story herself: she tells it much better than I
can.

"Why, yes," she says, "I'll tell it: why not? I love to tell it, for,
taken altogether, it is the best story I ever heard of.--Kiss me,
dear."

Arthur having done as he was bidden, Mrs. Sterling begins at once, and
all you and I have to do is to listen:

"When I was young and giddy--ever and ever so long ago, of course:
indeed I was quite a girl then, only eighteen--I was, as you may
imagine, quite a pet with my father--don't laugh, Arthur: you know I
was--and quite a belle too, I can assure you, with lots of young men
flinging themselves at my feet and swearing all kinds of oaths about
fidelity and everlasting affection, and all the other things that young
and enthusiastic--"

"And inexperienced," put in Arthur.

"Don't interrupt me, sir. Where was I? Oh yes!--that young and
enthusiastic and inexperienced people are accustomed to swear. And my
father, who was very stern and had old-fashioned notions--and has now,
for that matter, dear old papa!--said that, whatever befell, he would
not on any account give the least encouragement or the slightest
permission to any lover till I was past twenty years old. Not that I
cared, only it was such fun to hear the men talk, and me looking
unutterable things and saying softly, 'You must never say anything to me
on this subject again till you have papa's consent: he would be very
angry if he knew what you've said already'! You see, I knew papa's
will--it is unchangeable as granite: at least I thought it was--and I
felt perfectly safe.

"This was, you know--no, you don't know--but it was the year I came out
in society. And I used to go to receptions and all sorts of things with
papa, and receive his company, and sit at the head of the table, and
keep house, just as my mother would have done if she'd been living. I
hardly remember mamma: I was not four years old when she died. And
society and people's admiration seemed so glorious! I declared I'd never
marry, but go on to the end of my days saying 'No' to any man that asked
me, and enjoying such a lot of pity for the poor fellows. I deliberately
hardened my heart, as many a girl does at that age, and fairly
pitied--yes, actually pitied--the girls that were so weak as to fall in
love and get married. I think papa used to encourage me in the feeling,
for he didn't like to think of losing me out of the house, and he a
judge and a Congressman, and having ever so much company, and nobody but
dear old-fashioned Aunt Jane to help him receive them if I was to leave
him.

"When father was re-elected to Congress we had a glorious reception at
our house in the country, and among others that came to it was a Mr.
Sterling, the son of my father's college chum, and a promising young
sprig of the law, father said. He came to stay a day or two in the house
as a visitor before the reception, and was to leave the morning after it
took place."

At this point in the narrative Mr. Arthur bethought him of a letter he
must write, and begged to be excused for a time--a piece of rare good
sense on his part, considering how much the story had to do with
himself.

"During his stay we had been a good deal together. I had been his guide
to all the famous spots in the neighborhood, and he had been chatty and
bright, and amused me greatly. We had a little chat in the conservatory
that evening of the reception, and I told him I was sorry to have him
leave.

"'Thank you,' he said. 'I would rather hear you say that than anything
you could have said, except one.'

"'What is that, pray?' I asked.

"'That you would like to see me here again.'

"'Oh,' I replied, 'I never give invitations: papa does that. Of course
he'll be glad to see you again.'

"'And you?'

"'Why, since you insist upon my saying it, I shall be glad too: you
amuse me greatly.'

"'So might a tight-rope performer or a performing dog, I suppose?'

"'No: I don't care for such amusements. I like to hear the talk of
bright men, and you strike me as a very bright man.'

"'It is only the reflection of yourself, Miss Bronson,' he said in a
cold society tone, which, strange to say, pained me, and I replied that
I didn't care for compliments: I had plenty of them, and they palled on
me.

"Then he said, 'Do you want me to tell you the truth, the out-and-out
truth--the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help me God?'

"'That's an oath, Mr. Sterling,' I said: 'don't commit yourself.'

"'I do commit myself--I came here to commit myself. I want you to hear
me out and believe that I realize fully the solemnity of what I am
saying. I have sought this opportunity to tell you that I love you, Miss
Bronson.'

"Strangely enough, I wasn't the least moved: I don't think my heart beat
the least bit faster; and I said, 'Why, Mr. Sterling, how can you know
anything about me? How can you love me, when you've known me only two
days, and seen me always on my best behavior? I am a very unlovable
person: if you only knew me well you'd soon find it out. Of course, if
you love me, it is all very well for you to tell me so, but I can't
understand why you should.'

"'Is that all you have to say to me, Miss Bronson?' he asked earnestly.

"'Why, what can I say? You don't know me, and I don't know you; and you
think you love me, and I don't love you at all. I'm fond of you in a
certain way, to be sure, but love is quite a different thing. I never
shall love anybody very much except papa: I never intend to. I'm very
kind to you, Mr. Sterling, to talk to you as I do. In a few weeks, when
you've all but forgotten my existence, you'll think of me just enough to
be grateful to me for talking to you as I have. Love isn't a mushroom to
spring up in a night: it is an oak to grow and grow, and only come to
perfection after years and years. You don't love me at all, Mr.
Sterling: you only think you do.'

"All this time he stood silent, looking more awkward than I ever saw him
before or have seen him since. Then he put out his hand and said, 'I'll
bid you good-bye, Miss Bronson: I'm going early in the morning. I shall
not see you then, so I'll say good-bye now. I am going abroad in a few
days.'

"'Abroad! where?' I hadn't heard of it, and I felt a strange sort of
pang--of surprise, I thought.

"'To Leipsic, to finish my studies. I shall be gone a considerable
time--two years at least. When I return I shall come to you and repeat
what I've said to-night.'

"'Oh no, you won't: you'll forget all about it. I'd much rather you
would. Please don't feel bound to come back: I release you from your
oath, and I shall not expect you.'

"I don't know what more we might have said, but there was a flutter
among the vines by the door, and we thought some one was near us. We
were just returning into the adjoining dining-room when a little brown
bird flew out into the light, and, hopping about among the flowers,
began chirping in a sad sort of way that caught our attention at once.

"'It is only the little widow,' I said.

"'Lost her mate, eh?' Arthur said carelessly. He wasn't Arthur then, you
know, but Mr. Sterling.

"'Yes: he's deserted her. She built here in the vines last spring when
the conservatory was all thrown open. They were such a pair of lovers,
she and her mate! She raised two broods of little ones, and it was quite
a domestic revelation for me to see them, they seemed so fond of each
other, and so happy, and so loving. But a month ago, when the plants
were brought in and the cold nights began to come on, he left her, and
she has been sad and heartbroken ever since.'

"'Perhaps he'll come back to her by and by,' said Arthur.

"'Oh no: he'll no more come back to her than you'll come back to me.'

"'Then he's sure to come,' replied Arthur; and just then my father came
to look for me and bid me join the other guests.

"I didn't see Arthur again that night, and the next day he was gone. I
never missed anybody so much. Nobody and nothing seemed to fill his
place. I went into the room he had occupied, and found there a glove
that he had left behind. I took it to my room and said, 'I'll keep it
for him till he comes back.' I tried to speak lightly, and was surprised
and angry at myself that the trivial thought seemed to mean so much.

"The winter wore on, and the little forsaken bird remained in the
conservatory, and sometimes would fly into the room, and I felt a lonely
sort of sympathy with it. I used to take the bird in my hand sometimes
and call it a poor thing, and talk to it, and tell it that it was no
worse off than many a poor girl or many a young wife, for men were like
her mate, and promised all sorts of things they didn't mean, and
couldn't be faithful if they tried. After a while we went to Washington,
and I saw a great many people and received a great deal of attention.
The Prussian ambassador had a brother visiting him--a Baron
Dumbkopf--very handsome, very rich, very distingué, and soon very
attentive to me. He was constantly at our house, and he was agreeable
enough and easy to talk to, and very obedient, and very seldom a bore. I
rather liked him, and papa liked him exceedingly. I wasn't at all
surprised when one day he suddenly became sentimental and ended by
offering me his hand.

"'Have you spoken with my father on this subject?' I asked.

"He had not: would I give him permission to do so? I told him that I
should not even consider his proposition for a moment till he had talked
with my father; that I never intended to marry without my father's
consent; and as for falling in love, I was sure I should never do that.

"So he went away to talk with my father, and I felt safe. I hadn't an
idea papa would do as he did, you see; but the truth is, papas are not
to be depended upon--at least, not always.

"The next day my father called me into the library and asked me if I
loved Baron Dumbkopf.

"'No,' I said, 'I don't love him.'

"'Do you like him?'

"'No.'

"'Do you dislike him?'

"'No: I am quite indifferent to him.'

"'He is of a very good family and of excellent character,' said my
father.

"'I know all that,' I replied. 'Do you wish me to marry him, papa?'

"'I can't say that I wish you to, my daughter, but if you loved him I
should be pleased for you to have such a husband.'

"I was never more surprised in my life. Then he told me a great many
things about the baron--how universally he was esteemed, what a position
he held in society, how wealthy he was, how honorable and how good.
These things I knew before. They certainly had weight with me in favor
of the baron: I think they would have had with almost any girl. I asked
my father if he had given the baron any encouragement, and he replied
that he had left everything between the baron and myself for settlement.

"The next evening the German came again to woo me with my father's
sanction. He became very earnest, and I told him that I would not, could
not, give him any hope. He asked me if it might ever be otherwise, and I
told him I thought not. 'Well,' he said, 'I shall certainly ask you
again. I return to Germany in April, and I shall hope to carry home the
tidings of my betrothal.'

"It was then late in the winter, and pretty soon we returned to the
country, for father liked to be close to Nature when it burst into its
new life.

"How nice it seemed to be once more in the old house! I soon found
myself interested in my old occupations, and most of all in the care of
the conservatory, which was then all abloom with azaleas and other
spring-flowering plants. There too was the little widow, as sad as ever,
but glad to see me back, and more than ready to resume the old
friendship. We had hardly got into our old routine ways before my father
announced one morning that the baron Dumbkopf was coming down to say
good-bye before leaving for Germany. I knew very well what it all meant,
and I began to think that as it was my father's wish that I should marry
some time, and that as I could hardly find a husband more suited to his
ideas, and that as I probably should never fall in love, I might as well
accept him as anybody. Then I began to think of Arthur. Thoughts of the
two men crossed and recrossed in my mind, closely woven like the threads
in a cloth. I used to go and look at his glove and talk to the little
bird-widow about him, and really was quite angry with myself for having
him so much in my mind and he so long gone.

"At last the baron came. He was a splendid-looking man, and his manners
were perfect. These things tell for so much with girls! He came, and one
morning--I remember it well: it was a cold, blowy spring morning--he
found me alone in the conservatory and renewed his suit. I was petting
the little bird when he found me, and he said, 'Dear little bird! he is
to be envied in having so much tenderness shown him.'

"'It is a female bird,' I said, 'and a forsaken bird, for its mate has
flown away and left it broken-hearted;' and I began at once to think of
Arthur, and fell into a reverie.

"The baron interpreted my little speech and my subsequent silence as
favorable to himself. He really thought I was beginning to pity myself
because he was going away. 'Ah,' he said, 'you know why I have come?'

"'To say good-bye,' I answered.

"'Perhaps, but to say first that I love you still, and to ask you to be
my wife.'

"My heart beat rapidly now, and I think the little bird that I was
holding to my bosom must have felt it, for it began to chirp in a low
murmur as if it would comfort me.

"'Give me a little time to think,' I said; and, strangely enough, all my
thinking was of Arthur and his going away, and his promised return; and
then I said to myself, 'What folly! he has forgotten me. If he had loved
me he wouldn't have gone till he had my word of love in return. He's
forgotten all about me.'

"The baron was gaining ground with me: I was reasoning myself into
something above esteem for him, and I turned to put my hand in his,
when there was a tap at the window, and the little bird, struggling from
my hand, burst into such a flood of singing that the whole place was
drowned with melody.

"'Oh,' I cried, 'her mate has come back! her mate has come back! He is
fluttering against the window. Do let him in, baron, the poor dear,
happy little thing!' and I sat down among the azaleas and the budding
Easter lilies and cried like a baby.

"The poor baron did let the little bird in, and side by side we
witnessed the joy of their meeting, expressed in a hundred tender little
caresses.

"At last the baron said, 'You forget, Miss Bronson, you haven't given me
my answer.'

"'And I can't answer you now,' I said. 'Please forget me. Indeed, I
don't know what to say to you: I believe I shall say No.'

"'Don't say anything,' he replied. 'I have done wrong. I have not given
you time to think. I must go now, but a year from now I shall ask you
the same question again, and then you must say Yes or No; and God grant
it may be the first!'

"'You are very good,' I said; 'and a year hence I will tell you if I can
be your wife or not.'

"So the baron went away, and he had hardly been gone a week when I was
ashamed of having been so much affected by the bird's return. The idea
of believing in omens! Then a little time further on there came a letter
from a friend of mine in Leipsic which mentioned Arthur Sterling, spoke
of him as a young man very popular in society--you know Arthur is most
fascinating--and said that he was very attentive to a young American
girl there, a beautiful blond: they were seen everywhere together, and
report said he was to marry her.

"'It is a lie!' I said to myself: 'he promised to come back to me.' And
then I said again, 'Why should I be angry? why should I believe him? I
hardly knew him, and most men are false.' I was such a silly girl, I
thought. Then father was always speaking of the baron: I could see that
he was sorry I had not accepted him at once. And Aunt Jane, she had to
talk to me about it, and say that she couldn't last long, and that
father was getting old, and that I ought to think about getting married,
and--Well, you know how women talk to each other about marrying.
Considering that Aunt Jane had never thought of marrying herself, it
oughtn't to have had much weight with me, but it did.

"The year wore on. Of course I thought a great deal about Arthur, but I
thought a good deal about the baron too. The little bird was no longer
lonesome; and as she and her mate had built themselves a nest, and had
domestic duties to perform in rearing a brood of young ones, they were
too much wrapped up in their own affairs to be very companionable. But
when autumn came again, and the leaves were falling and the cold winds
blew out of the north, that foolish little mate flew off to the south,
and the little forsaken thing came back into the conservatory and wanted
to be comforted. And we did comfort her as best we could. All the winter
through she was in and out from the conservatory to the dining-room,
becoming very friendly and answering to her name instantly: papa had
named her Niobe.

"In due course of time the early spring came round again, and one April
morning there came a letter from the baron. He asked me for my answer:
should he come and take me with him to his German home? I showed the
letter to papa, and all he said was, 'My daughter, he would make you an
excellent husband--such a one as your poor mother would wish for you
were she alive. I hope you'll consider the matter well before you say
No.'

"I thought it all over. Why not? Yes, I would write to the baron and say
Yes. Arthur was away; he'd never come back; he was in love with that
pretty blond. Was it likely I was going to ruin my life for him? I had
too much sense for that. I would just go and throw his old glove into
the fire and all thoughts of him to the winds. So I went for the glove,
and kissed it--foolish thing!--and put it back in my treasure-box, and
went on thinking of Arthur more than ever. Then I remonstrated with
myself for my foolishness, and took my writing-desk in my lap and sat
down in the conservatory to write to the baron. I began my letter 'My
dear Arthur,' and then had to begin again, and started fairly with 'My
dear baron.' Then I tried to frame a proper sentence to start with, but
that desolate little bird came flying to my shoulder, and chirped so
sadly and so persistently that it put me all out.

"'Oh, you poor foolish little thing!' I said: 'anybody would think there
were no other birds in the world but your faithless mate.'

"The bird fluttered and chirped and talked with a purring song, which I
fancied to say, 'Oh, my poor heart! poor heart! poor broken heart!
Alas!' and it was such a strong impression that I put my hand to my own
heart and held on there, while I laid my head on one side till it
touched the feathers of the bird on my shoulder; and so we sat silently
musing.

"What do you think roused us? There was a quick fluttering in the bird's
breast. She flew away from my shoulder: she flew to the top of the
highest azalea, and she sung--oh, how she sung! Joy, victory over doubt,
faith crowned, glimpses of heaven in the spring sunlight,--they were all
in that song. I knew in a minute what had come. I threw open the sash,
and out of the sunshine, borne in with the odors of the new grass and
budding trees, came a little brown bird, tired as from a long journey,
but with a song of greeting that overtopped even the song of welcome
that awaited him.

"I watched them a moment, as if in a spell, and then I tore up my letter
to the baron and tossed it among the flowers; and the tears came in my
eyes, and I said aloud, 'Oh, Arthur, I do love you--I know I do! If you
don't come back I shall die.'

"'Then, dear, you shall not die, for I am here;' and the foolish
boy--for it was Arthur come back and stolen upon me to surprise me--put
his dear strong arms about me, and I was ready to faint, and cried a
little on his shoulder, and he kissed me, and we went in to papa and
talked it all over; and he told me about his finishing his studies and
hurrying home, and all about the blond, a cousin of his who was out in
Leipsic with her mother studying music, and they'd made a home for him,
and said I should know them and they should know me; and it was all
lovely. And the result of it all is, here we are, and we love birds, and
we love each other. And do you wonder at it? And here's Arthur, coming
back from his letters. And, and--Come and kiss me, Arthur."

And so the little lady finished with a kiss, as she had begun, and the
parrot moved uneasily on his perch at being disturbed with conversation
at so late an hour, and the Java sparrows twittered a little; and I rose
to go, only asking, "And the baron?"

"Oh! he's married since--such a lovely wife!--and I dare say is as
grateful to the bird as Arthur and I. You see, he was only
infatuated--Arthur and I were in love."

"Good-night," from me.

"Good-night, good-night," from them; and I heard another kiss as I went
down the walk.

WM. M.F. ROUND.



THE MOCKING-BIRD.


    A golden pallor of voluptuous light
        Filled the warm Southern night:
    The moon, clear orbed, above the sylvan scene
        Moved like a stately queen.
    So rife with conscious beauty all the while,
        What could she do but smile
    At her own perfect loveliness below,
        Glassed in the tranquil flow
    Of crystal fountains and unruffled streams?
        Half lost in waking dreams,
    As down the loneliest forest-dell I strayed,
        Lo! from a neighboring glade,
    Flashed through the drifts of moonshine, swiftly came
        A fairy shape of flame.
    It rose in dazzling spirals overhead,
        Whence, to wild sweetness wed,
    Poured marvellous melodies, silvery trill on trill:
        The very leaves grew still
    On the charmed trees to hearken; while for me,
        Heart-thrilled to ecstasy,
    I followed--followed the bright shape that flew,
        Still circling up the blue,
    Till as a fountain that has reached its height
        Falls back, in sprays of light
    Slowly dissolved, so that enrapturing lay
        Divinely melts away
    Through tremulous spaces to a music-mist,
        Soon by the fitful breeze
          How gently kissed
    Into remote and tender silences.

PAUL H. HAYNE.



POPULAR MARRIAGE CUSTOMS OF SICILY.


The customs of the Sicilian people in regard to the celebration of
marriages are so numerous and so strange that were I to attempt to
describe them all I should furnish not only the material for a volume,
but also for a series of quaint pictures. I shall not pretend to collect
the most of them, but only present a few which will awaken, I trust,
some interest in those who study popular traditions and the comparative
history of customs and usages.

Let us begin by supposing two young people in love with each other. The
parents of the young girl are aware of the fact, but have shut their
eyes because the match is a good and fitting one. When, on taking her
daughter to mass, the mother has noticed her blush on meeting the young
man more than once, she has pretended not to notice it. At night she has
heard some love-song at the door, and seen that her daughter was the
first to awaken at it, but has remained oblivious of this also. She
knows all, and pretends to know nothing--sees her daughter careful about
her dress, often hears mentioned a name dear to her, mentions it herself
with praise, and contributes without seeming to do so to increase that
love which sooner or later becomes a subject of conversation to
neighbors, to friends, to all. The matter is known, and it is time for
the parents of the young man to go or send to the parents of the young
girl to ask her hand.

Here begins the business of the future marriage. The young man's mother
visits the girl's mother, and gives her to understand that they wish to
make the match, and therefore would like to know whether their proposal
is agreeable and what dower the girl will have. The other mother, after
the usual compliments have been exchanged, either gives at once, or
promises to give, a memorandum of all that she is able to bestow on her
daughter as dower.

This is the most usual way of arranging a marriage, but the manner
formerly varied, and still varies, in places. In Noto, in the province
of Syracuse, fifty years ago the mother of the young man put under her
Greek mantle the reed of a loora, and going to the house of a young girl
asked her mother if she had a reed like that. If the match was
acceptable, the reed was found at once: if not, there was no reed, or
they could not find it, or they would look for it.[14] In the county of
Modica the mother selected the future daughter-in-law by trial. She went
to one of the young girls of the neighborhood, and if she found her busy
the matter was settled: if idle, she went home again, repeating three
times the word _abrenuntio_, Sicilianized as well as possible.[15]

The memorandum above mentioned, written, according to traditional usage,
by some one for this particular occasion, is sent wrapped up in a silk
handkerchief which belongs by right to the young man. As soon as the
memorandum is sent and accepted the announcement of the engagement or
the betrothal takes place. On this occasion the relatives of the parties
are present, and at the proper moment one of the parents of the young
girl announces in a solemn tone the future marriage, and makes known the
time (generally it is a matter of years) which will elapse before it is
celebrated. Everything is religiously accepted by the guests and the
interested parties, and after congratulations have been offered a
banquet or supper (technically termed _trattamento_, "entertainment")
takes place, in which a sort of fried pastry called _sfincuini_ plays an
important part, accompanied by filberts, almonds and chestnuts. The
whole is washed down by copious draughts of wine.

The manner in which the betrothal is celebrated is sometimes very
curious. At Salaparuta, in the province of Trapani, the girl takes her
place in the centre of the room: her future mother-in-law then enters
and parts her hair, places a ring on her finger, gives her a
handkerchief and kisses her. At Assaro, in the province of Catania, the
young man presents his betrothed with a red ribbon, which she braids
into her hair as a sign of her betrothal, and does not leave off until
the wedding. This custom is observed in many places in Sicily, and is
called the _'nzingata_ (from _'nzinga_, "sign"). In the county of Modica
the girl is veiled in a broad white veil, tied under the chin with a
purple ribbon. This custom of the ribbon (also called '_ntrizzaturi_,
"head-dress") often takes the place of the formal proposal and
announcement of the betrothal. In a popular song a young man in making
love to a girl offers her a red ribbon, which is the same as offering
her his hand.[16] As soon as the betrothal has taken place, the _fiancé_
must think at once about a present for his _fiancée_. This varies, of
course, according to the ability and taste of the giver. Formerly it was
a tortoise-shell comb, a silver needlecase, a silk handkerchief,
ear-rings, finger-rings, gloves, etc. Now-a-days nothing is left but
rings and a certain silver arrangement to support the hair, and called,
like the ribbon above mentioned, _'ntrizzaturi_. In Milazzo and its
territory the fiancé makes a present of a small gold cross for the neck,
an engagement-ring and a dish of fish.

The fiancée returns the gift, usually with under-clothing,
handkerchiefs, etc. During the betrothal, while the lovers are enjoying
their love, the fiancé does not let the principal festivals of the year
pass without expressing his affection by suitable presents--at Easter, a
piece of pastry containing an egg, or a little wax lamb; on the feast of
St. Peter, keys made of pastry, with honey or confectionery or cinnamon,
according to the ability of the giver. On All Souls' Day he gives candy,
fruit, etc.; on St. Martin's, a kind of biscuit named after the saint;
at Christmas, cakes and pastry containing dried fruit; and finally, for
his fiancée's birthday, something still finer.

We have now reached the eve of the wedding, and the time has arrived for
the valuation of the bride's trousseau--a ceremony known by different
names in different parts of Sicily, but usually termed _stima_. Let us
enter for a moment the house of the bride. Everything is in a pleasant
state of confusion. Friends and relatives of the betrothed have been
invited to the ceremony, and take part in it with an air of satisfied
curiosity. Upon the large bed of the bride's mother is displayed the
trousseau, sorted according to the various articles composing it, while
from lines stretched across the room hang the dresses and suits of
clothes. Near by are tables, chairs and chests of drawers. A woman
called the _stimatura_ ("appraiser") examines each article of the outfit
and appraises its value, announcing the approximate price, sometimes
publicly, sometimes secretly to the accountant. The appraisal is final,
and generally in favor of the fiancée, for the value of the trousseau
goes to increase the dower. Not infrequently the mother of the fiancé
complains of the exaggerations of the _stimatura_, and disagreeable
recriminations follow. Finally, the parents of the bride bestow on her a
certain number of "ounces,"[17] which the _stimatura_ announces in a
solemn tone. If the parents have anything else to give their daughter in
the way of money or silver, they announce it with the utmost gravity,
while the fiancé, for his part, declares that he will give his wife
after his death the sum of twenty or thirty ounces as a gift. This
present is known at Salaparuta by the name of _buon amore_, at Palermo
as _verginista'_--true _pretium sanguinis_ which the giver does not
possess, and which the wife will never receive. At this valuation, in
some parts of the island, each one of the relatives offers to the
parties gifts of jewelry and clothing, which are requited by similar
gifts from the bride and groom.

The civil marriage precedes the religious, which, however, is more
important to the people than the former: hence the evening after the
civil marriage the groom goes about his business as though he were not
yet married. The religious marriage, on the contrary, is a festal
occasion. The hour differs according to habits and family tastes. In
Salaparuta the marriage takes place before night--in Ficarazzi, before
daybreak, a favorite time for those contracting a second marriage. In
Palermo the wedding formerly took place late in the evening or in the
night, whence there was a necessity for attendants with lighted torches.
If the Sicilian Jews preferred to go in the dark to their synagogues,
and considered themselves favored by King Peter when in 1338 he allowed
them to go to their weddings with a single lantern, the Christians were
not satisfied with four or six lights, but wanted twenty or more--an
actual procession. Frederick II. in 1292 limited the number of lights to
twelve only, six for each party. Now, at Palermo, the wedding takes
place at any hour of the day or night, and only the poorest walk to the
church: the others ride in carriages paid for by those using them at so
much apiece. In the first carriage are the bride and her mother and
intimate friends--in the second, the other women in the order of
relationship. The groom occupies the first place in the carriages
assigned to the men: then come his father, brothers and others. The
bride is dressed in various ways, and her dress is called _l'abitu di lu
'nguaggiu_ ("wedding-dress"). In Salaparuta she wears the Greek peplum,
gathered under the arms; in Terrasini, a dress of blue or some other
bright color; in Milazzo, a blue silk skirt with wide sleeves; in
Palermo, a white dress, the _tunica alba_ of the Romans, with a veil
kept on the head by a wreath of orange-flowers. In Assaro (province of
Catania) by an old baronial custom the wedding-ring is presented by a
young man of noble family. Speaking of the wedding-ring, it may be noted
that formerly it was carefully preserved on a table for many purposes,
as at Valledolino the whole dress is kept to be used some day as a
shroud.[18]

There are some parts of the country where the entrance to the church is
also a ceremony. An old tradition of Palermo, grafted on a popular tale,
informs us that in certain districts esteemed somewhat rude by the
inhabitants of the old capital the bride entered the church on
horseback, erect and proud.[19] In Salaparuta she enters by the lesser
door of the cathedral and departs by the principal one, afterward
passing beneath the belfry. In Palermo the newly-wedded pair on leaving
the church enter the same carriage, and followed by relatives and
friends take a drive about the city. It is on this occasion that they
throw to their neighbors confectionery, which they are also accustomed
to present personally. This custom is a Roman one, in spite of the fact
that candy has taken the place of the nuts which the bridegroom bestowed
on the children after the wedding. Outside of Palermo and other large
cities the confectionery is replaced by roasted chickpeas, alone or
mixed with beans, almonds, filberts, etc. On the other hand, relatives
and friends as the bride and groom go by throw after them not only
confectionery, but dried or roasted fruits, wheat and barley; which they
call a sign of abundance. In Milazzo the simple ceremony is turned into
a spectacle: when the pair come out of the church they are suddenly
received by a perfect hail of confectionery thrown by their nearest
relatives, from which they strive to escape by quickening their pace or
running away.[20] In Syracuse salt and spelt are thrown as a symbol of
wisdom, which recalls the _confarreatio_ of the Romans; in Assaro, salt
and wheat; nuts and wheat in Modicano; in Terrasini, nuts, chestnuts,
beans and sweetmeats of honey and flour; in Camporeale, wheat alone. In
Avola (province of Syracuse) one of the bride's most intimate lady
friends, upon the arrival of the pair, presents the bride with an
apronful of orange-leaves, and tossing them in her face exclaims,
congratulating her, "Contentment and sons!" and scatters orange-leaves
also over the sill where the bride must pass. Sometimes she breaks at
her feet two eggs--a truly Oriental symbol of fruitfulness. In the
county of Modica wine is sprinkled before the door and the bottle
broken: when the married pair have entered, the husband is offered a
spoonful of honey, of which he takes half and gives the rest to his
wife. There gifts of sweetmeats, dried fruits, etc. are given to the
guests.[21] In Avola a spoonful of honeyed almonds is presented to each
of the lady-guests--in Marineo (province of Palermo) and in Prizzi clear
honey and a sip or two of water.

The house of the wedded pair is ornamented with flowers, as we learn
from the popular Sicilian song: "Flowers of roses: the bride when she
returns from the church finds the house adorned with flowers." The
marriage _pro verbo de præsenti in faciem ecclesiæ_ is termed
_'nguaggiàrisi_ (and hence the dress above mentioned, _l'abitu di lu
'nguaggiu_), but the contracting parties are not yet man and wife; and
to become so it is necessary to undergo another religious ceremony,
which consists in hearing mass and kneeling before the altar holding a
lighted wax candle while the priest bestows on them the benediction _pro
sponso et sponsa_. The old legal grants (_concessi_) to young girls who
married could not, nor can they now, be claimed without this ceremony;
and the bride does not enter into possession of the legacy which she has
acquired until she shows to the proper person the certificate of her
parish priest that she has been married and espoused (_'nguaggiatu e
sposatu_). The latter ceremony may take place within a year after the
marriage. Widows, according to the Roman ritual approved by Pope Paul V.,
were not formerly, nor are they now, ever _espoused_: nevertheless,
in the seventeenth century there were many examples[22] of widows
blessed a second time in the parish church of St. Hippolytus in Palermo.

We are face to face with a newly-married couple in the midst of people
who have a good breeding of their own; and we, who measure our words and
are ashamed to eat our soup with a wooden spoon, must enter their
cottage and take part in the poor but sincere, joyful and cordial
festival of the evening. Let us betake ourselves for a short time to
Trapani, and look in on one of those modest houses during a
wedding-night.

When the bride and groom return from the church they find at the house
of the former a drink prepared from the milk of almonds and some small
cakes. While at table the groom leaves his wife a moment to go to his
father's house, and returns when the meal is half finished. He remains
with her until midnight, when he takes her to his mother's, where there
is a new celebration, similar to the one that has already taken place at
the bride's mother's. The hour at which the groom goes for the bride is
so scrupulously observed that any delay would be a grave cause of
complaint, and perhaps of quarrels. The first day of the celebration is
called the "festival of the bride" (_fistinu di la zita_), and the
guests are all selected by the bride's mother. The second day is called
the "festival of the groom" (_fistinu di lu zitu_), and the guests are
all the friends of the groom. This ceremonial is, however, not so fine
as that called "of the bride," _di lu macadàru_. The bride, elegantly
dressed, is seated beneath a mirror to receive the congratulations of
her friends. At her right and left are placed seats for relatives and
friends, arranged according to certain traditional laws which no one
ever thinks of violating. The right side is reserved for the relatives
of the groom; and if any one is prevented by ill-health from attending
the festival, the seat belonging to him is either left vacant, or some
friend is sent to occupy it, or a pomegranate is placed in it, or it is
turned upside down. We may note, in passing, that the women alone are
allowed to be seated in the circle: the men, of every age and rank,
remain standing. This custom, and especially the position assumed by
the bride at that time, has given rise to the proverbial expression of
comparison: _Pari la zita di lu macadàru_, which is said of a woman in
gala-dress.[23]

Let us now pass to other parts of the island and share the
nuptial-banquet. Everywhere great quantities of macaroni or of fried
fish are prepared, and the guests eat and drink to repletion. Even the
most miserly are liberal on this occasion, and a proverb advises one to
attend the weddings of the avaricious: _A li nozzi di l'avaru
trovaticci_. The bride and groom, as can be easily imagined, have their
heads full of other things than macaroni and fried fish. At Borghetto
baked beans and pease are served not only to the bridal-party, but also
to the others, to whom, during the banquet, it is the custom to send a
dish of _maccarruna di zitu_--a dish in use also in Modica until within
fifty years. In Assaro there are the accustomed sweetmeats, the cakes of
honey and flour, and roast pease and almonds. At the banquet, where
usually these things are not lacking, they begin with macaroni, which in
Milazzo is poured out on a napkin, with cheese grated over it. Then
follow sausages or roast meat. At the nuptial-banquet of the peasants of
Modica a dish is placed on the table intended to receive the gifts of
the guests for the bride: one gives money, another gold; one a ring,
another a dollar; nor do those who come last wish to be outdone by the
first. At the end of the banquet come the toasts, more or less lively
and witty.

After the banquet follows the ball, which at Favaratta is held eight
days after the wedding. The orchestra consists of two or three violins,
which play the whole evening, or afternoon if the marriage took place in
the daytime. The répertoire is that of the people, and embraces the
dances known as the _fasòla_,[24] the _tarantella_, the _tarascùri_, the
_'nglisina_, the _capona_, the _chiovu_, etc. In some of the towns in
the province of Palermo it is the groom who engages the musicians and
conducts them to the house. In Modica they dance the _ciovu_ (the
_chiovu_ above mentioned) to the accompaniment not only of violins, but
also of tambourines, etc. The groom opens the ball, holding his hat in
his hand and making a profound bow to the bride, who rises with alacrity
and begins to dance with all her might. The groom makes another bow and
sits down again, and the bride, dancing alone, makes a turn round the
room and selects a partner from the guests, who in turn choose a woman,
and so on in graceful alternation.

In general, in large cities, there is no one who calls out the figures
at the ball: the musicians play what they please, unless they are asked
to change or continue a tune that has tired or pleased any one of the
guests. The dancing is without any rule or order: nevertheless, there is
some regularity in its execution, especially in the pantomime that
accompanies it. The bride and groom dance their share: the first one
with whom the bride dances is the groom, who permits her to dance with
others.

An interesting subject in the history of the Sicilian people would be
this ball after the nuptial-banquet if it could be illustrated in all
the varieties of ancient and modern customs. Buonfiglio, the historian
of Messina, has left us in his larger work an account of these customs
two centuries and a half ago. The peasants, he says, have not abandoned
the ancient custom of dancing in a crowd and in a circle to the sound of
the lyre and flute, although these have been changed for the songs of
the musicians; and they dance with the handkerchief, being extremely
jealous of allowing the hands of their wives to be touched. So also with
the collection of the presents from the relatives and guests in
profusion; and this takes place after the groom has offered them
something to eat three times, on which account the ovens are filled with
meat, with kettles of rice cooked in milk, the wine constantly going the
rounds.[25]

In Milazzo the dance "threatens the existence of the bride," to cite an
historian of the place. Here, as elsewhere, the groom has a patron, a
gentleman to whom he lends his services, and by whom he is rewarded, not
always generously. At the ball the bride knows that if the patron or
other gentleman of the city dance with her, he will leave a silver piece
in her hand; and if her partner is of her own rank, it will not remain
empty. So she summons up all the strength of her limbs and spends hours
and hours in dancing; for dancing with the new bride that evening is an
occasion for boasting.

However rich the popular songs of Sicily are, they are very poor in
nuptial-songs. Among the many thousand that have seen the light the
following, from Cianciana and Casteltermini, is characteristic, because
peculiar to the evening of the wedding: "Come and sing this evening to
the bride and groom. Oh what joy! what delight! (You, O wife!) hold the
seat of power: when the sun appears you rise. There are pleasant sights,
with dress of gold and all embroidered. This song is sung to the bride
and groom. Good-day! long life and health!"[26] The following song, from
Borghetto, is a greeting to the pair on their return from the church:
"Long live in health the bride and groom! What a beautiful and fortunate
marriage! Let the mind be firm and the heart constant. And so we come to
the happy day. I would that my words were as sweet as those of a song,
and my lute well tuned! A hundred years I would sing new songs. Long
live love and marriage!" This other song, from Palermo, a variant of one
already published, is also an expression of good wishes for the pair:
"Health to this excellent pair! What a fine and gallant wedding! The
bridegroom seems like a resplendent sun, and the bride like a Greek from
the Levant. How many obstacles there have been! The stars of heaven go
before. Now the bride and groom are happy: the diamond is set in gold."

At the ball the singing is done alternately by some of the guests. The
favorite song in the cities is that of the class called _arie_--in the
country, _canzoni_. The three songs above cited are those which are
heard on such occasions.

Song, dance and music alternate, and are prolonged for hours, until the
guests are tired out and prepare to leave the bride and groom, who are
already sleepy.

Let the reader accompany the pair to their abode. The door is open, the
room lighted, the bed prepared: some sighs and laments are heard among
the bystanders. It is the mother, the married sisters (young girls do
not accompany to her home the sister who marries), who are grieved at
seeing their sister leave her home and become another's, uncertain of
the lot that will be hers in the future. An old custom requires the
bride to be undressed and put to bed by her mother-in-law. In lack of
the mother-in-law the right belongs to the oldest sister-in-law. Woe to
whoever dares to transgress this custom! Grave quarrels would arise, and
even worse. I have myself been present when a family having wished to do
as they pleased and not adhere to custom, blows and wounds followed, and
the bride and groom were obliged to spend the night in jail.

The first visits paid to the newly-married pair are by their mothers,
who hasten to congratulate them. These are followed later by friends,
who go to make the _bon lirata_.

The bride remains at home a week to receive the visits of relatives,
friends and acquaintances who either did or did not share in the
wedding-festivities. After this time she leaves the house solemnly for
the first time to go and hear mass, high mass being ordinarily
preferred. The white dress which in some localities constitutes the
wedding-dress, in others is the one worn on the first occasion of
leaving the house and in returning the visits of the guests.

The last act of this drama or comedy of life is a journey on which the
husband must take his wife within a year after their marriage. In the
marriage-contract, written or verbal, there is a clause by which the
husband assumes the obligation of taking his wife within the year to
such and such a festival of some town more or less remote--the farther
away the more important to the contracting parties and their relatives.
Where no contract is made the custom is enough, the "word"--which, as
the proverb says, "is more than the contract"--is sufficient. In Piana
dei Greci, an Albanian colony of Sicily, the husband obliges himself to
take his wife a journey in honor of St. Rosalia on the 4th of September
to the sanctuary of Monte Pellegrino in Palermo. In many of the villages
of the _Conca d'oro_ ("the golden shell," the plain of Palermo) the
husband binds himself to take his wife to the _festino_ of St. Rosalia
in Palermo, the 13th-15th of July; and this is an obligation that
involves much expense, because the statue of Charles V. in the Piazza
Bologni (Palermo) says, according to the people, "Palermu un saccu
tantu!"[27] The husband of Noto was accustomed, and perhaps still is, to
take his wife to the festival of St. Venera in Avola.

The wife of Monte Erice (province of Trapani) by a very old custom
should be taken, the first time she leaves the house, on an excursion
out of Erice--the longer the better for the reputation of her husband.
The one who is worth anything will take her to the sanctuary of St. Vito
lo Capo or to the festival of the Madonna of Trapani in the middle of
August: the worthless husband will take her a short distance from Erice,
as, for example, to the church of the Capuchins or to the neighborhood
delle Ficàri. Here are four proverbs which refer to these
marriage-journeys: "The beautiful bride the first time goes to the
Annunciation;" "Who has a fine husband goes the first time to St. Vito;"
"Who has a mean husband goes the first time to the Capuchins;" "Who has
a worthless husband goes the first time to the Ficàri."

Not every season is propitious for weddings. From ancient times the
months of May and August have been deemed unlucky, and no one would
marry during these months, mindful of the proverb, "The bride of May
will not enjoy her marriage;" and the other, "The bride of August, the
torrent will carry her away." Instead of these months, February, the
Carnival, April, June and September are preferred. This last month is
recommended in another proverb: "In September tender marriages are
made." Likewise two days of the week are avoided for weddings--Tuesday,
and especially Friday--it being a common saying that on Friday and
Tuesday one should not marry or set out on a journey. Friday is a fatal
day, on which one would believe he ran a certain danger not only in
marrying, but also in beginning any work. On the other hand, Sunday is a
lucky day, on which marriages always turn out according to the wishes of
the parties.

These are not all the superstitious beliefs relating to marriage, which
extend so far as to ordain that if, for example, the bride or one of the
company slips, or the ring falls in the house, or one of the candles on
the altar takes fire or goes out, something unlucky is to be expected,
as these are bad omens; that if two sisters are married the same
evening, the younger must suffer; finally, that marriages between
relatives always turn out badly.

In addition, it must not be believed that a marriage can be made, or is
made, with any one without due regard being had to the relations and
spirit of the family of the bride or groom. The intimate, unwritten
history of Sicily and the Sicilians is full of facts that show how
between natives of this town and that, of this ward and that, and
between the partisans of different factions, marriages cannot, and ought
not, and will not, be made. Municipal and country contentions kept many
parts of Sicily in such enmity that they quarrelled even about the thing
most sacred to Sicilians--religion. It was not enough that hatred grew
up between the natives of two different but neighboring localities: it
was often born and perpetuated "between those whom one wall and one
fosse shut in," and assumed considerable proportions. Thus we see as
far back as the fifteenth century the inhabitants of a certain "fifth"
(Palermo was divided into five wards) so hostile to those of another
ward that the intervention of the senate was necessary in order to
obtain from King Alfonso (in 1448) supplementary laws to obviate the
evil.[28] In like manner the members of different confraternities are
often unfriendly. In Modica it is a rare thing for a man devoted to St.
George to marry a woman devoted to St. Peter. An excellent young lady of
Syracuse, devoted to St. Philip and engaged to a distinguished young man
of the same city who was a member of the confraternity of the Holy
Ghost, a few days before the wedding broke her engagement because on
visiting her betrothed, who was ill, she found hanging above his head a
picture of the Holy Ghost, which she tore down and broke to pieces in
anger and scorn.

Men engaged on the sea do not marry into families employed on the land.
The sailors consider themselves, and are, better and milder than other
classes, as is shown by the criminal cases[29] and the words and phrases
which they use (especially those of the _Kalsa_ of Palermo). Then there
are the social differences, which are an obstacle to many marriages. We
do not speak of the large cities, where certain prejudices are more or
less overlooked; but in the smaller and less populous towns there are
distinctions and sub-distinctions, so that he is fortunate who does not
lose himself in that labyrinth. The gentleman (_galantuomo_, who is also
called _cappeddu_ or _cavaleri_) forms the highest caste, and is above
the master (_maestro_), who in turn must not be confounded with the
countryman (_villano_), the lowest grade in the social scale. Among the
countrymen of Modica a shepherd who lives on his own property is above a
reduced _massarotto_ (who is a countryman proprietor of lands), and yet
the _massarotto_ would refuse him for a son-in-law: the mechanic would
not be accepted by a family of drivers, nor these by another the head of
which is the keeper of swine or of cattle. The husbandman who can prune
the vines is above the one who can only till the ground; the cowherd
looks down on the one who guards the oxen; the last named scorns the
keeper of calves; the one who keeps sheep deems himself noble in
comparison with the one who guards goats; and so with other most minute
distinctions. When a countryman woos a young girl of a different rank,
he hopes to overcome the difficulties in his way by choosing a
matchmaker from among the foremost men of his native place, but the
matchmaker will inevitably receive the answer, "The young man is honest,
laborious, he owns a vineyard and land, he possesses all the qualities,
but--he is not of my rank."

GIUSEPPE PITRÈ.



AUNT EDITH'S FOREIGN LOVER.


"There is a destiny which shapes our end;" and I am a firm believer in
it, for how else can I explain my adventures and their results while
travelling in Austria in the year of the Welt-Ausstellung at Vienna?

As is usual with a novice in European travel, I received during the week
prior to sailing the ordinary amount of advice as to what I _should_ and
should _not_ do. Meantime, my aunt Edith, who had spent a year in Europe
ten or twelve years before, rather surprised me by her reticence in
regard to my proposed voyage. However, the night before I was to sail I
suggested to her that she might be able to give me some valuable advice,
as she had probably not "forgotten how one should behave in Paris."

"Forgotten!" she exclaimed with a start, and then, raven-like, "nothing
more." I played with the tassel of the window-curtain and wondered how I
should ever get on without this aunt, the dearest, bravest and
handsomest woman in all the world--to me. She was thirty-six years old,
just ten years older than myself, for by a happy coincidence our
birthdays fell in the same month, and upon the same day of the month,
the twenty-fifth of August.

Aunt Edith was a great comfort to the maiden sisterhood. Spinsters
referred to Edith Mack with a sense of triumph whenever any
disrespectful allusions were cast upon "old maids." She was always
bright, charming and witty, and people wondered, like so many idiots,
why she had never married, instead of wondering why most other women
did. When questioned about it, which was rarely, she usually replied
that she never "had the time," or that she had been "warned in dreams,"
or that she awaited her "king from over the seas"--some such _bêtise_.
But to me the fact that she had never married was never a matter for
wonder: she had never loved, I supposed, which was reason enough. She
had her work in life--had written two very delightful books, made
occasional illustrations for publishers, and played German music _à
ravir_. At length she spoke, this Aunt Edith.

"Yes, my dear niece, I _have_ some advice to give you," she said in a
low voice: "don't fall in love with a European."

"Do you think there is any danger?" I asked with mock seriousness.

"Not with a Frenchman or German," she quickly replied. "But let me tell
you _my_ experience. I was not far from your age when I went to Europe
with Cousin Helen. I had just refused an offer of marriage from a very
noble fellow because I could not love him. He lacked the power to
control me: I felt myself the stronger of the two. Not that women like
to be ruled, but that they like that power in men which can rule if need
be, generously, but never despotically. I had only in my imagination a
conception of that love 'which passeth understanding'--which lifts a
woman out of herself into a willing sacrifice that looks to calmer eyes
as the height of folly. I liked men well, but none had ever stirred more
than the even surface of my feelings, and I so firmly believed that no
one ever could as to regard my 'falling in love' as most improbable. I
really desired the experience, feeling that something is lost out of
life if every phase of human feeling and emotion be not awakened. But I
went to Europe, and walked straight into my fate.

"The day after my arrival in Paris, in passing through the court of the
hotel where I was stopping, I encountered a gentleman who lifted his
hat, and who looked at me in a manner that caused me to observe his
eyes, which were large, black and exceptionally splendid. In figure he
was tall and firmly built, an aquiline nose and clearly-cut chin giving
a high-bred look to his face, and he wore some sort of a decoration
which caught Helen's notice. At the table-d'hôte that evening I found
myself seated next to him. Our table-talk, begun early in the meal, was
the beginning of an acquaintance that developed into that strongest of
affections which makes slaves of us all. I never forgot my proud
birthright, and well understood the danger of a European alliance--or
misalliance. The gentleman was quite Oriental, belonging to that country
which has Bucharest for its capital. His family was of high distinction,
connected with that of the reigning prince. He possessed a modest
fortune, had been educated in Athens and Paris, and spoke four or five
languages. He was ardent, jealous, passionate, but possessed a heart at
once so loving, so full of every tender and winning quality, that it was
easy to forgive outbursts of feeling and similar offences. He had spent
some time in England, without, however, learning to speak much of the
language. The history of his past life, as he related it to us, was
quite in keeping with his character as a man. He had been affianced when
quite young to a beautiful girl, quarrelled with her, broke off the
engagement, then joined the Greek army, fought against the Turks, and
was four times wounded.

"It was early in June when we arrived in Paris, and at the occurrence of
my birthday in August we had become very well acquainted, as also with a
number of his friends to whom he had introduced us. Wishing to observe
my _fête_, he sent me a tiny bouquet--a rose and some sprays of fragrant
flowers. In the evening he begged for some souvenir of the day, when I
declared I had nothing to give.

"'Then I shall _take_ something,' he replied, and clipped from a curl a
ring of my hair, which he placed in a locket attached to his watchguard,
in the back of which he previously made a note of the day.

"'That will remain there for ever,' he remarked.

"'Which means six months, at the end of which time you will have
forgotten me,' I replied.

"'Not at the end of six months, six years, nor six ages,' he warmly
retorted.

"As the autumn months wore away, and he began to talk to me of marriage,
the seriousness of his love frightened me, and it was not until I was
assured by what seemed unmistakable proofs that all his statements in
regard to himself were true that I in any sense considered the question
of marriage with him. To be obliged always to talk French or Italian was
not to my liking, and to marry anybody but a compatriot seemed very
unpatriotic. But I loved him, and that was the solution of the whole
matter. His kindness to us was without limit, and tendered in the most
graceful and grateful manner. He knew some excellent English families
who were living in Paris, whose acquaintance we afterward made, and who
spoke of him in the highest terms of esteem.

"As the winter set in, Helen and I arranged to go to Italy. My friend
was to take advantage of our departure to go to his 'provincial estates'
on business, and afterward to join us in Italy. He gave us a letter to
the Greek consul at Rome, a friend of his, to whose care he would
confide his letters, and who, he thought, might be of real service to
us notwithstanding our own ambassadorial corps there.

"My separation from him proved to me in a thousandfold manner how deep
and strong was the bond that bound me to him. We had scarcely more than
become well settled in Rome than a letter arrived which he had mailed at
Vienna, and which the polite consul came and delivered in person. And
what a letter it was!--only a page or two, but words alive with the love
and passion of his heart. And that was the last letter, as it was the
first, that I ever received from him. The cause of his silence none of
us could tell. He knew that a letter sent to me in care of any one of
the American consuls in Paris or in Italy would reach me. As the mystery
of his silence deepened the attentions of the consul became more
assiduous. For some reason I did not like the man, although he was very
kind and gentlemanly. Once he lightly remarked that doubtless 'our
friend had been _épris_ by some fair Austrian blond;' and the suggestion
filled me with shame. Who knew but it might be true--that the man fell
in love with every pretty new face--for mine was called beautiful
then--and that after an entertaining season of flirtation he had bid me
adieu? Of course I blamed myself for having been so confiding as to be
deceived by a handsome adventurer without principle or honor. I cannot
tell you what agony I suffered. I begged Helen to go on to Naples, for
Rome had become very hateful to me. But at Rome, as you know, Helen fell
ill with Roman fever, and died, and I returned to Rome to bury her body
there in the Protestant cemetery. Four months had gone by, and not a
word from my friend. Alone as I was, my troubles drove me nearly
frantic. I returned to Paris. That I was so sad and changed seemed
naturally due to Helen's death: nobody suspected that I was the victim
of a keener sorrow. None of his friends had received news of him. I was
too proud to show that my interest in him had been of more than ordinary
meaning. Nobody knew of my love for him but Helen, and the secret was
buried in her grave.

"I tarried a month or two in Paris, hoping against hope for news of him,
without even the consolation of addressing him letters, as I did not
know where one would reach him. To know he was dead would have been a
relief: to think he had abandoned me, that he had been false, was
insupportable. It was the most probable solution of the mystery, but I
have never believed it, and I love him as deeply to-day as ever. I have
schooled myself to cheerfulness and gayety, but having known him spoiled
me for loving again. Here is his portrait," drawing a case from a
drawer: "I wish you to see how handsome and good and noble a man may
look to be, and yet--"

She paused, and I added, "Be a villain."

"So you see," she smiled, "how apropos my advice to you is: have nothing
to do with foreigners."

I returned her the portrait without comment, kissed her good-night, and
next day sailed out to sea, with Aunt Edith waving her handkerchief
after me like a flag of warning. We lived in the country, six hours'
ride from New York, and my oldest brother and Aunt Edith had followed me
to the "water's edge," as she playfully expressed it. At London I was to
join Cecilia Dayton, a handsome widow of forty-five, an old friend of
ours, who was to act the part of "chaperone." We called her "St.
Cecilia," although she was anything but saintly.

Late in the following winter we left Paris and went to Nice, where "the
romance of a serviette" began; and I trust the reader will not question
my truthfulness when I observe that what I am writing is, without
exaggeration, strictly true.

St. Cecilia, from nervousness brought on by drinking strong tea (as I
firmly believe), kept a small night-lamp burning in her room at night,
so she should not be afraid to sleep. For this purpose she used tiny
tapers, which float on the top of oil poured in a tumbler half full of
water. We breakfasted in our own rooms, and the breakfast napkins of the
Grand Hôtel, where we were stopping, were decidedly shabby and only
about six inches square. On the morning of our leavetaking of Nice, St.
Cecilia wanted a "rag" to tie over her bottle of oil, which she carried
with her for her night-tapers, and cast her eyes about for one: she
seized upon the raggedest of the serviettes.

"I don't consider this _stealing_, ma chère," she murmured in apology.
"My bill is enormous! I feel that I've paid for this rag twice over."

So the serviette went with us by sea to Naples. There we were obliged
for a time to occupy the same apartment, and the napkin taken off the
bottle was lying about the room, for it was warm and there was no fire
to throw it in. Tucking it away with soiled linen, it came back from the
laundry clean and white, save one round oil-spot on it, and was thrown
into my trunk along with the refreshed linen; and there it remained
untouched until four months later, when I arrived at Vienna.

At Venice, Cecilia was obliged to return to Paris: she was to rejoin me
a fortnight later at Vienna. Meantime, a young Englishwoman, Kate
Barton, whose acquaintance we had made at Rome, was going to Vienna to
join a party of cousins; and as we were both alone, we arranged to make
the journey together. Kate was one of the merriest of English girls (a
native, however, of Cape Town), a tall, rosy-cheeked blond, with a half
dozen brothers distributed in the British army and provincial
parliaments.

We left Venice at midnight in an Adriatic steamer, and arrived next
morning at Trieste, a town which during our forced stay in it of
forty-eight hours filled my mind with nothing but most disagreeable
souvenirs. Life there was in complete contrast to the quiet, poetic,
graceful existence at Venice, and the change from the one to the other
had been so sudden as to act like a stunning blow. A detention caused by
illness and the loss of a train through the purposed maliciousness of a
hotel-waiter led to two results. One was our sending a telegram to the
proprietor of the W----Hôtel in Vienna to inform him of the delay, as
rooms had been engaged for us by a gentleman who was in the habit of
lodging in that hotel when in Vienna, and who before leaving the city
had shown the kind thoughtfulness of sending us a letter of introduction
to the proprietor commending us to his courtesy. The other result was to
bring about an acquaintance with a Prussian, Herr Schwager, which
happened in this wise: Kate, whose wrath was fully aroused at the
troubles we encountered in Trieste, was extravagant in her denunciations
of those "horrid Germans" after we were once fairly seated in the cars
bound for Gratz. Neither of us spoke German with any degree of ease or
much intelligibility, and consequently gave vent to our opinions in
plain English. A young man of a studious, gentlemanly appearance, but of
unmistakable Teutonic descent, sat in one corner of the compartment, and
from his frequent smiling at our talk I concluded that he understood
English, and made bold to ask him if he did.

"Happily, I do," he replied, his handsome brown eyes twinkling with
increased merriment, "and I am one of those 'horrid Germans.'"

His reply greatly amused Miss Barton, and opened the way to a very
animated conversation, in which we learned that he had just come from
Italy, had been on the same steamer as ourselves coming from Venice, and
had stopped in the same hotel and suffered the same agonies. Then we
talked of what we liked best in Italy, and he spoke of an American
friend, Mr. Fanton, with whom he had greatly enjoyed Rome. The fact that
he was a friend of John Fanton, whom I had known for years, and who was
the last to bid me good-bye in Rome, was recommendation enough for any
stranger, and constituted us friends at once. I forgot all about Aunt
Edith's advice to have "nothing to do with foreigners," but placed at
once the most unlimited confidence in Herr Schwager, who from the
beginning of our acquaintance attached himself in a most brotherly way
to our fortunes, proving himself in every particular a rare honor to his
sex. However gross and brusque the German character may be, I must for
ever make an exception of our Herr, whose genuine politeness, delicacy
of kindness, refinement and manliness I have rarely seen equalled and
never excelled.

Kate kept up her banter about the "horrid Germans," for which she had
abundant reason in our journey from Gratz to Vienna. We had hoped to
have a compartment to ourselves, to which end Herr Schwager had expended
a florin; but at the last moment a portly Gratzian entered and settled
himself by one of the windows which would command the Semmering Pass. He
too spoke some English, and endeavored to be sociable. As we neared the
pass he insisted upon my taking his seat the better to see the
marvellous scenery, with which he was already familiar. I had been too
long on the Continent not to have become suspicious of a voluntary
sacrifice on the part of a European. It invariably means something: it
covers an _arrière pensée_. He offers you a paper to read or a peach or
a pear to eat, or buys a bouquet of flowers at a station, and if you
accept the proffer of either he takes advantage of the obligation under
which he has placed you and proceeds generally to smoke, remarking for
form's sake that he "hopes it is not offensive," while you, under the
burden of his kindness, smile a fashionable lie, and reply, "Not in the
least." So our Gratzer withdrew to the farther end of the seat and began
to smoke a most villainous cigar, and continued to smoke, lighting
another when one was finished. I soon began to succumb to the poisonous
effects of the close atmosphere, for, although we kept our windows
open--it was the middle of June--the Gratzer with true German caution
kept his firmly closed. But the effect upon Kate was even worse, and her
pallid face plainly told how much she was suffering. We cast entreating
looks upon Herr Schwager, who never smoked, but understood our annoyance
without knowing just how to ask the Gratzer to cease. We poked our heads
out of the window, opened cologne-bottles and indulged in various
manifestations of disgust; but to no purpose: the Austrian smoked on.
Finally, when he began on the fourth cigar, Kate, whose patience was
utterly exhausted, begged me to ask him to stop. I naturally demurred,
being under obligation to him, and replied, "You're the sicker, Kate:
_you_ tell him."

When suddenly she lifted her pale face and shouted at him, "Oh, you
_horrid_ German! we are nearly smoked to death! For mercy's sake, stop!"

"Ah, pardon!" he replied unconcernedly, taking the cigar from his mouth
and putting it in his pocket.

Herr Schwager's amusement was boundless, and our satisfaction also, as
we had no more smoke on the road to Vienna.

The landlord of the Hôtel W----, to whom we were recommended, received
us with a pleasant cordiality, and at the same time apologized because
he could not give us the rooms engaged for us until the next day; so we
were temporarily lodged in a large room leading from an anteroom
designed for a servant--an arrangement which is common in Austrian
hotels. On the following morning, as Kate was waiting half dressed in
the anteroom for the kammer-mädchen to bring her warm water, who should
walk in upon her, _sans cérémonie_, but a long, black-gowned priest! He
stared at her, nonchalantly looked about the room, and walked out with
never a word. She might have regarded the intrusion as a mistake if a
like visit from the same personage had not been made at the same hour
next morning in our own rooms, to which we were that day transferred.
The two successive intrusions were to us inexplicable, unless, in the
light of succeeding events, we were to regard the priest as a detective
officer or spy. Our apartments communicated, both being reached through
an entry, while my room, lying beyond Kate's, was only reached by
passing also from the entry through hers.

On the fourth day of our sojourn in the hotel, about nine o'clock in the
morning, Kate tapped on the door leading into my room, and at my cry of
"Entrez," came in. She was in a dressing-gown, her long, curling brown
hair hanging over her shoulders and a very unusual expression on her
face.

"More priests?" I asked in explanation.

"_Police!_" she exclaimed. "If we ever get out of this town alive I
shall be thankful! I had rung as usual for water, and just as I had
finished my bath I heard a knock at the outside door, and asking 'Wer
ist da?' the chambermaid replied that _she_ was. I then opened the door
a bit, and saw looking over her shoulders two strange men. My first
thought was that they were friends of yours wishing to give you a
surprise, and I cried out, 'Oh, you can't come in, for we are not
dressed.' Then one of the men said in broken English, 'We shall and we
_will_ come in;' and they forced the door in upon me, while I hastened
to close and fasten the other, but was too late, for they followed at my
heels. 'You are Miss W----?' the one who had already spoken said.--'No,
I am not.'--'Then she is in the next room?'--'But you cannot go in, for
she isn't dressed,' I said.--'You are her sister, and you come from the
Grand Hôtel,' he continued; and you've no idea with what a ferocious
face. It was dreadful! Then he said something about the _police_--that
we must go to the _police-court_; and finally said he would give you
five minutes to dress in. Now, there they are, banging at the door. Oh,
what have we done? Why _did_ we ever come into this barbarous land?" and
poor merry Kate was on the brink of hysterics.

"Oh, 'tis all a mistake," I replied, adjusting my necktie. "I will see
the men, and the matter will be explained at once."

The noise from the street coming in from my open windows had prevented
me from hearing the conversation in Kate's room, and I should have been
inclined to regard her startling narrative as one of her jokes if it had
not been for the loud banging on the door. I hastened to open it: the
men came in, and, wishing to relieve Kate of their presence, I asked
them to pass into my room. This they refused to do, taking a decided
stand in Kate's. I was too curious to lose my presence of mind or show
that I was annoyed, and with my blandest smile inquired why I was
honored with so matinal a visit from two strangers, when the following
dialogue ensued:

"We come from the police. You are Miss W----?"

"Yes."

"Englishwoman?"

"By no means."

"Yes you are; and this woman is your sister."

"No, she is not my sister."

"Yes, she is. You're English. No? What are you, then?"

"I'm American."

"Show your passport."

"Here it is;" and I opened the document bearing the American eagle and
the signature of Hamilton Fish.

The two men put their heads together, neither being able to tell what
sort of a paper it was, which secretly amused me. The men were in
civilian's dress. Turning to Kate, her passport was demanded. She had
none.

"And of what nation are you?" asked the spokesman.

She refused to tell.

"And what is your name?"

She refused to answer that. The poor girl had become so nervous under
the ordeal, which for her had been of a very violent character, that she
imagined nothing could be more disgraceful and humiliating than to have
her name mixed up with a police-affair.

Finding that she was inexorable, they returned to me with, "Well, miss,
you must go with us to the police," and showed me a paper of arrest.

"And why must I go to the police?"

"Because you have been at the Grand Hôtel."

"What Grand Hôtel?"

"The Grand Hôtel. You must go to the police."

I rang the bell, and asked that the proprietor of the house come at once
to my room. He came, and I demanded an explanation of the mystery.

"You must know, mademoiselle," he began, "that in Vienna we are all in
the power of the police: they must have the name, nationality, business
and address of every person who comes into the city. The morning after
your arrival these men came and asked if two English ladies were
stopping here. I said 'Yes.' They then said they believed you were
persons they had been trying for two weeks to catch, and that you were
very suspicious characters who had been stopping here in the Grand
Hôtel. I told them it was not possible--that you had come direct from
Italy; and I mentioned the telegram you had sent from Trieste, and that
you had been recommended to my courtesy by a gentleman whom I well knew
and who had many times lodged here. But they went away, and came back
again next day, making some inquiries about you, and asking if numbers
so and so were those of your rooms. You were out, and whether they
visited your rooms or not I cannot say. This is all that I know. Now
they are here again, and if they say you must go to the police-court,
there will be no other way but to go."

"But I don't understand. I have my passport: there is my bill, receipted
at the hotel in Trieste six days ago. I never knew before it was a crime
for two English-speaking women to travel alone or to stop at a Grand
Hôtel. Of what are we suspected? and upon what grounds suspected?"

"Why, a napkin has been seen among your effects with the mark of the
Grand Hôtel upon it."

After a moment's thought it flashed into my mind that it was that Nice
serviette, and, more amused than annoyed, I exclaimed, "Oh, I have it.
'Tis that serviette St. Cecilia took at Nice;" and opening my trunk soon
had it in my hands, holding it up by two corners for the men to see and
explaining how it came into my possession.

"It will go very hard with Madame Cecilia," observed the spokesman: "you
will please give us her address."

My indiscretion at once became apparent, but I was a complete novice in
"being arrested." To involve Cecilia in the affair would be but an
aggravation of matters, and I at once decided, come what might, I would
not give the police her address. Looking at the half-obliterated stamp
in the corner of the napkin, there was unmistakably the mark "Grand
Hôtel," but directly underneath "Nice," which the police, in their ardor
to find me guilty of something which I could not find out, had
undoubtedly mistaken for Wien, the German name for Vienna. I called
their attention to the "Nice," asking what jurisdiction the Austrian
government had over matters relating to hotels in Italy. They replied by
looking very closely at the stamp, and then one of them took my passport
and the napkin and went out, leaving the other man to guard our
apartment, and soon returned with a new arrest for myself and my
_gesellschafterin_, Miss Barton still refusing to give her name. The
landlord had only placed mine in the visitors' book, thereby making
himself liable to a fine of eight or ten dollars.

Nothing could have been more widely different than the effect produced
upon Kate and myself. To me the whole affair was inexpressibly
mysterious and ludicrous, notwithstanding the insolence of the police,
and, as it seemed to me, their amazing stupidity. Poor Kate was the
wrathfullest woman I ever saw, while her obstinate refusal to answer any
questions about herself only increased the ferocity of the men, whose
treatment of her was shameful in the extreme. They threatened to search
our trunks, which aroused Kate's wrath the more. I observed that as they
had assumed the right to unlock and search mine during my absence, they
were probably already acquainted with its contents. They, however,
abandoned the searching scheme, and ordered us to get ready to go to the
police-court, which was about two minutes' walk distant. Kate declared
that to the police-court she would not go, unless she were dragged there
by her hair, while the men declared that she would then be taken by
_armed force_. I concluded to telegraph to the American embassy for
help, but that was denied me. Herr Schwager had called to see us only
the day previous, saying his lodgings were quite in our neighborhood,
but we had not asked his address. There seemed nothing to do but to go
to the court and be my own lawyer. It never occurred to me that the
landlord to whose courtesy I had been recommended would refuse to go
with me; but when I asked him for his protection he begged to be
excused, on the ground of being _very_ busy and that he could be of no
service to me. I do not wish any reader to infer from this that he was
an exceptional Viennese hotel-keeper--that is, exceptionally
ungentlemanly: he was, on the contrary, a fair representative both of
his trade and his countrymen. Austrian military officers and diplomatic
attachés of the government have won in fashionable society a reputation
for extreme politeness and gallantry toward women; which may be true, as
neither under such conditions costs any earnest sacrifice. But the rank
and file of the middle class of Austrians, the class with which
travellers have naturally most to do, are most brusque and ungracious in
manner as well as in deed, unembellished with any hint of courtesy.

I enjoyed a fling at the landlord by expressing surprise at his refusal
to accompany me to the police-court, adding maliciously that American
gentlemen were not famous for polished manners, but there was not one
mean enough in the whole country to refuse his protection to a lady, a
guest under his own roof and in a strange land, where the help of
friends was denied her. I then appealed to Kate to go with me, as it
would only end the trouble sooner, and that I would never allow her to
go to such a place alone, but with tears streaming from her eyes she
resisted my entreaties, and I followed one of the men to the court: the
other remained behind to watch Kate.

I had no more idea of a police-court than I had of the reason why I was
being taken there. It was mystery and curiosity that sustained me. I
undoubtedly looked like an amused interrogation-mark, for the moment I
was introduced into the presence of the grand interrogator of that
inquisition, upon whose desk lay my passport and "that serviette," he
smiled and remarked in French, "It is very evident, mademoiselle, that
you have nothing to do with this affair."

"With what affair, monsieur? I haven't the faintest idea what I was
brought here for," I responded.

"Why, just this: about a fortnight ago two Englishwomen stopped at the
Grand Hôtel in this city, and left without paying their bills, carrying
off with them all the household linen they could lay their hands on."

And so we had been arrested as house-linen thieves! It was too
humiliating. I was then interviewed as to my companion's refusal to give
her name, etc., which argued very much against her. I explained as well
as I could the extreme annoyance and brutal treatment to which she had
been subjected, her horror of having anything to do with a police-court,
and how the disgrace of being suspected of a crime was aggravated by
intense nervous excitement brought on by the insolence of the police.
After considerable pleading on my part in her behalf--for I felt that I
was the sole cause of the trouble--it was agreed upon that she should be
relieved from coming to the court upon condition that she would sign a
paper giving her name, nationality, etc., and I was dismissed without
the slightest apology for the trouble to which I had been subjected. At
that point the affair ceased to be funny, and, turning back after I had
reached the door of exit, I made a short and as effective a speech as
the polite language of the French would allow, in which I conveyed a
frank idea of my opinion of Austrian courtesy. I succeeded well enough
to convince my examiner of something--probably that he had caught a
Tartar--and I left him tugging furiously at his moustache. My official
escort led the way back to the hotel with a very crestfallen air, savage
and sullen.

I found Miss Barton in a worse condition than ever, the persecutions of
the guarding policeman having continued with increased ferocity. He had
dogged every movement she made, until the poor girl had nearly gone mad;
and it was only after long persuasion that I induced her to sign the
paper, such a one as most travellers without passports in Austria are
obliged to fill out. She finally wrote her name in a great scrawl which
nobody could decipher, and gave as her country "Cape Town, Africa;"
which again confounded the men, as they had no idea how a "Hottentot"
could be an English subject. But they swallowed their ignorance, and
finally went away.

When Kate had become restored to her normal condition she heaped upon
herself all sorts of self-reproaches, and paid me extravagant
compliments for what she called "good sense" and "presence of mind." As
she demanded redress for the insults she had suffered, and as I wished
to know by what right an Austrian policeman privily searched the trunks
of American women who had the misfortune to come into the Austrian
dominions, we posted off to our respective national ambassadors. Kate
had the satisfaction of being told that she ought to congratulate
herself upon getting off as well as she did, since two of her
countrywomen had been arrested, put in jail and kept there for two weeks
upon even less grounds for suspicion. The result of our complaints was,
that the amplest official apologies were made by the Foreign Office, the
two policemen severely censured and degraded from rank, while, through
the influence of Herr Schwager, who went to the president of the police,
an officer was sent from that organization to apologize to us in person.
But what I cared most for I never got--an acknowledgment of the right of
the police to search baggage _à plaisir_.

As might have been expected, our liking for Vienna had been thoroughly
damped. From that moment Kate never saw an officer without fear and
trembling, and officers were everywhere. "To think," she exclaimed,
"that I have grown to be such a ninny! My brothers always said, 'Oh, we
can trust Kate to go anywhere: she never gets nervous or afraid;' and
here I am actually afraid to cross a street! I shall never have a
moment's peace until I get out of this horrid country."

At the end of a fortnight, having entirely missed her cousins, she
joined a party of Americans going to England. St. Cecilia meantime had
arrived, and was of course entertained by the napkin adventure. But she
could not abide Vienna, and quickly returned to Paris. As I wished to
"do" the Exposition and run no more risks of arrest, I decided to
withdraw to Baden, a half hour's ride by express from the Südbahn
station of the Austrian capital, as the town was strongly recommended by
Herr Schwager and several American friends residing in Vienna. Herr
Schwager declared that with my small stock of _Deutsch sprechen_ the
Badenites would cheat me out of my eyes, and very kindly volunteered to
help me get installed. A history of the trials attending that
transaction would alone "fill a volume," but I mention only one, and
that simply because it seemed another link in the manifest chain of
destiny.

An hour after our arrangement for my accommodation for the season had
been settled "meine Wirthin" received a letter from her son-in-law that
he was coming, and she informed me that she would need her guest-chamber
for him, returning to me my advanced guldens at the same time she broke
her bargain. Nothing was to be done but to look elsewhere, and
eventually lodgings were obtained in the Bergstrasse, in quite another
part of the town. The locality was excellent, being very near the
promenade and music-gardens: then I liked the face of the
_Haus-meisterin,_ as did Herr Schwager, who wisely remarked that he
thought kindness of heart should rank high in that "benighted land."

I frequently went to Vienna, spending the day at the Exposition and
returning to Baden in the evening. Upon one of these occasions I found
upon my return to the Südbahn that I had a half hour to wait for the
train. As I was hungry, I ordered a cup of coffee in the café
waiting-room. Upon putting my hand in my pocket for my portemonnaie, lo!
I had none, not a kreutzer to my name, and my portemonnaie contained
also my return railway-ticket! I was alone: it was seven o'clock in the
evening. My situation was dramatic, even comic, and I laughed to myself
and smiled upon a gentleman and two ladies who sat at the same table,
calmly remarking that I had been robbed of my _Gelttasche_: they smiled
in return, and nothing more. I sent a _kellner_ to bring me the master
of the café, whom I informed of my loss and my inability to pay my debt
to him. He at once led me off to a _commissaire de police_--of whom
there are always plenty about in civilian's dress--to whom I made a
statement of my loss, describing my lost treasure and where I thought it
had in all probability been taken. While we were talking a very
distinguished-looking man, perhaps forty-five years of age, with
magnificent black eyes, passed near, evidently interested. When through
with the police I remarked that I did not know how I was to get back to
Baden; whereupon the master of the café--who, by the way, spoke English
well--exclaimed, "Oh, as to that, I will lend you what you need."
Hearing this, the distinguished-looking stranger came up with a salaam,
and, begging the conventional number of _pardons_, graciously
volunteered any service he might be able to render me. I thanked him,
explaining to him in a few words my misfortune, but that the master of
the café--who had meantime purchased a railway-ticket for me--had
gallantly come to my rescue. At this moment the car-bell rang: I gave my
card to the _Meister_, took down his name, and hurried away to get a
seat in the train, the owner of the black eyes following me, helping me
as best he could, and, "if madame had no objections, would take a seat
near her, as he too was _en route_ for Baden." He spoke in French, with
a pure French accent, although it was evident he was not a Frenchman. He
evinced a desire to continue an acquaintance so oddly begun, but I was
obliged to doom him to disappointment. My mind was occupied with the
grave question of finance, and about how long I should be obliged to
remain in Baden before I should receive a remittance from London. I
remembered having seen the gentleman once or twice in the park at
Baden, and thought him, with his splendid eyes, graying hair and
military bearing, a man of no ordinary appearance. He had the air of a
person looking for some one, and the expression was sad. Under ordinary
circumstances I should have been curious to learn more of him. My
coolness of manner, accompanied by the almost rude brevity of my replies
to his few ventured remarks, seemed to amuse him, for he smilingly
observed that I was a true "Anglaise."

To be taken for English always aroused my honest indignation, and I
quickly retorted, "Pardon, mais je ne suis pas Anglaise."

"Vraiment! but you speak with the English accent."

"Quite possible, monsieur, as English is my mother tongue, but I am a
_vrai Américaine."_

"_Américaine! Américaine!_" he repeated eagerly. "I once knew an
American lady, and I should prize above all things some knowledge of
her. I hope I may have the honor--" A blast from the engine broke upon
his speech at that juncture: we were at Baden.

Hastily thanking him--for abroad one falls into the continental habit of
thanking people "mille fois" for what they do not do, as for what they
do do--and saying "Bon jour," I hurried off to the Bergstrasse. The next
morning I refunded my borrowed guldens to the master of the café by post
(as I had not placed my entire bank in my purse), and feeling
conscience-smitten at having, in my direst extremity, been befriended by
one of those "dreadful Austrians" whom I had so bitterly berated, I
hinted my amazement, along with my thanks, at having been the recipient
of so graceful and needed a courtesy from a Viennese. He acknowledged
the receipt of the money, adding, "I hope you do not take me for a
Viennese: I am a Bavarian, and have lived twelve years in England."

Among the occupants of the house and dwellers in the garden where I
lodged and lived was a young Austrian woman, two years married, with
whom I formed a pleasant acquaintance, and whose chatty ways rapidly
revived my knowledge of the German, in which language only she could
express herself. I shall not soon forget her, for she told me that she
married to please the "Eltern"--that she "had never loved," and was so
naïve in her mode of reasoning as to prove a source of infinite
surprise. She had no conception of any destiny for a girl but that of
marriage, and never tired of asking about "American girls," whom I
described as oftentimes living and dying unmarried.

"And do not the parents force them to marry? And what do they do if not
marry? And when they get old, what becomes of them? And they are
_doctors_ even? Did you ever see a woman-doctor?" etc., etc., and
hundreds of similar questions.

One evening, two or three days after the "robbery," we went to sit in
the park and listen to the music. On the end of a bench where we sat
down was a poorly-clad, miserable-looking woman, who occupied herself in
dozing and waking. I had no money in my pocket, but I could not rid
myself of the idea that the poor wretch was dying of hunger, and her
sharp contrast to the hundreds of elegantly-dressed people all about her
and constantly moving to and fro only gave more force to her isolation
and misery. At length, perhaps more to relieve my mind than otherwise, I
begged my _Nachbarin_ to lend me a coin, which I slipped without a word
into the creature's hand. To the surprise of both of us, she made no
sign of acceptance or thanks. Ten or fifteen minutes later she rose, and
coming near us she began to stammer out her thanks and to tell us how
poor she was--that she could not work, and that for a month she had been
coming to the park, hoping that where there were so many rich people
some would kindly give her a trifle; but that in all that time but one
person had done so--a gentleman who had given her a gulden; and if we
would look she would point him out. We looked: it was the distinguished
stranger. I confess to have been gratified, and to feeling confident
that if he was one of the foreigners that Aunt Edith had bade me beware
of, he was at least a gentleman and a Christian.

The last of August was nearing, and, as the heat was intense, I often
went up a hill at the back of the park to be alone and enjoy the breezy
atmosphere and the charming view the elevation commanded. On one of
these occasions--it was the twenty-fifth and my birthday--I was more
than usually absorbed in my thoughts when my attention was caught by a
shadow passing over the declivity a little removed from where I sat, and
looking up I recognized the giver of alms. He lifted his hat, begged
pardon and hoped it was not an indiscretion to ask if I had recovered my
purse; which opened the way to further conversation. The sun was fast
setting, and the scene on earth and sky was resplendent. Leaning upon a
rock, he contemplated the miracle in silent adoration.

"Ah, that is equal to what I have so often seen in America," I remarked.

After a moment he replied, "For many years no land has so much
interested me as America, and upon no people do I look with so much
interest. America gave me my supremest joy and my profoundest sorrow.
Perhaps this confession may, in a measure, excuse my impolite intrusion
upon you, as I am so thoroughly a stranger."

"Yes, and a foreigner," I laughed. "I have a dear, beautiful aunt Edith
at home who warned me against foreigners. This is my _fête_, and as her
birthday is the same as mine, I am naturally thinking of her just now,
and recall her sage advice. As the sun is down, I will follow it and bid
you good-night."

As I rose to go he made no reply, as if he had been indifferent to what
I had said. I glanced at his face: it was ashen white. He was opening a
locket attached to his watchguard, from which he lifted a ring of dark
hair, and then drawing it nearer his eyes he spoke as if reading a date:
"Le vingt-cinq août."

The pallor of his face, joined to its outline, which was in full
profile, held me where I stood as if spellbound. Somewhere, a long time
ago, I had seen that face.

"Yes, it is an unusual coincidence," he remarked, as if just
comprehending what had been said. "But your aunt Edith must be much
older than you?"

"No: only ten years."

"Is she married?"

"No."

"And you?"

"Nor I, monsieur. We belong to the noble army of old maids, which on the
other side is a more honorable and obstinate sisterhood than here."

He smiled faintly, and wiped his forehead with a large white
handkerchief.

"If I should go to America," he observed, "I should greatly desire to
visit the locality where women like you live and die unmarried."

"Oh, for that matter, you can't miss them," I replied laughingly:
"they're common from Maine to California. Spinsterhood is an outgrowth
of our Declaration of Independence--'liberty and the pursuit of
happiness.'"

"But, really, I desire to know the name of the place where you live: I
am sure it will interest me greatly. Will you not write it for me?" And
he offered me a blank card.

"Oh, certainly, but I don't understand why."

"I may possibly go and see your aunt Edith and tell her I saw you on the
top of a mountain. Perhaps you would like to send her a message?"

"Well, if you see her," I replied in the same tone, moving away, "tell
her I haven't forgotten to beware of foreigners."

"Just one more word," he entreated, following me. "Is your aunt Edith,
Edith Mack?"

"Yes, but how should you know?" and in that moment it flashed upon my
mind like sudden daybreak. "And you are--" I stammered.

"A man who has loved her many a year. To-morrow I leave Vienna for
England, to sail for New York. I cannot say more to you now than that I
begin to see my way through a sad, sad mystery. Here is my card.
Adieu!"

The bright glow left in the atmosphere by the brilliant sunset had quite
died away, but it was light enough for me to read the superscription:
"LE CHEVALIER ACHILLE ROMA."

I walked back to my lodgings in a manner probably quite sane to other
people, although the distance was compassed by myself in a condition of
complete unconsciousness as to how. Like the phantasmagoria of fated
events swept before my mind the train of complicated circumstances that
had led to my finding Aunt Edith's lost lover. And the beautiful romance
at the end had resulted from my having disregarded her warning to
"beware of foreigners."

       *       *       *       *       *

There is not much more to tell. I left Baden at the end of the month,
and returned to Paris. Six weeks later I had a letter from Aunt Edith
urging me to come home for her wedding, which would take place prior to
the holidays. The Chevalier Roma had long since become convinced that
his "friend," the consul at Rome, was the key to the whole mischief, but
his suspicions in that direction came too late for him to regain a clue
to Aunt Edith. Several letters sent to her name at New York of course
had never reached her. The surest and quickest way to accomplish his
desire, to prove to the heart he had through so many years cherished how
true and loyal had been his allegiance, how deep and sincere his love,
was the one he had chosen and acted upon with such alacrity.

A few weeks after my aunt's marriage I received the wedding-cards of
Herr Schwager and Miss Kate Barton. After all, merry Kate had accepted a
"horrid German" for her husband, and thereby the truth suddenly dawned
upon my mind that _I_ had been the recipient of the Herr's exceeding
kindness because I was "neighbor to the rose."

MARY WAGER-FISHER.



THE CENSUS OF 1880.


The taking of the census of the United States is, at any time, an event
of national interest and importance. That of the tenth census, in 1880,
will be especially interesting, as marking the completion of the first
century of our declared independence. We shall then ascertain, more
fully and concisely than we have yet been able to do, exactly what
progress has been made in one hundred years by a people left free to
work out its own destiny, alike in form of government and in material,
moral and intellectual development, under no check except its own
self-imposed restraints. The record of such progress ought to be the
most valuable contribution ever made to political, economic and social
science. Whether it shall prove so or not depends chiefly on the manner
in which the essential work is done. It is already time that public
attention should be drawn to this important event, since the law under
which the census is to be taken must, if it shall be at all adequate to
the occasion, be passed by the present Congress.

The United States is the first nation which ever implanted in its
Constitution a provision for taking at regular periods a census of its
people. The makers of that instrument seemed to have an intuitive sense
of the importance of such a step, for they had no guide and borrowed
from no precedent. It is true the fundamental law provides only for an
enumeration of persons, but under the authority given to Congress to
"provide for the general welfare" such laws have heretofore been passed
as have rendered our census reports documents of inestimable value. It
is doubtful if any people have ever taken so great pains to find out
"how they are getting along," or have ever made so great and immediate
use of that information. So marked is the fact that the Constitution
requires a decennial census that a distinguished French writer on
statistics declares, "The United States presents in its history a
phenomenon which has no parallel. It is that of a people who instituted
the statistics of their country on the very day when they formed their
government, and who regulated in the same instrument the census of their
citizens, their civil and political rights and the destinies of their
country."

To understand the progressive steps by which our census has reached its
present magnitude and importance a brief glance is necessary at the
successive laws under which the enumeration has been made and the manner
in which their results have been presented.

The first census was taken in 1790, under the act of March 1 of that
year, and many of the worst features of that tentative experiment still
remain to vex the soul of every one who desires a census which shall be
in accord with the demands of science and the times. Then, as now, the
United States marshals were designated to conduct the enumeration. They
were authorized to employ as many assistants as might be needful, and
each assistant was required, prior to making his return, to "cause a
correct copy of the schedule, signed by himself, to be set up at two of
the most public places within his division, there to remain for the
inspection of all concerned." It is from this crude law that the
mischievous custom is borrowed of having a copy of the census returns
deposited with the county court clerk. As originally conducted, the
system was harmless, since only the names of heads of families were
given and only the number of persons constituting the family reported.
The compensation was also based on the number of persons returned by the
assistant marshals. The form of schedule was as follows:


  ______________________________________________________________
           |Free White |          |          |         |
           |Males of 16|          |Free White|         |
  Names of |years and  |Free White|Females,  |All Other|Slaves.
  Heads of |upwards,   |Males     |including |Free     |
  Families.|including  |under 16  |heads of  |Persons. |
           |heads of   |years.    |families. |         |
           |families.  |          |          |         |
  --------------------------------------------------------------


Such and so simple were the results sought at the first census, the
enumeration for which was to commence on the 1st of August, 1790, and to
close within nine months thereafter, and the returns were to be made to
the President of the United States on or before September, 1, 1791.
These results were published in an octavo pamphlet of fifty-two pages.
No officer of the government seems to have had any supervision of the
work of preparing it for the press. The returns were doubtless handed by
the President to some clerk for compilation, and communicated to
Congress along with other routine and miscellaneous documents
accompanying the annual message.

The second census was taken under the act of February 28, 1800, and,
like the first, was confined to an enumeration of the population under
the care of the United States marshals, but the whole work was
prosecuted under the direction of the Secretary of State. The number of
facts to be returned was somewhat enlarged by further inquiries into the
ages of the inhabitants: otherwise there was no substantial change.

The act providing for the taking of the third census was passed March
26, 1810, and was almost identical with that for the second census.

A great step in advance was, however, taken in the act of May 1, 1810,
which imposed upon the marshals and their assistants the additional duty
of taking, under direction of the Secretary of the Treasury, Albert
Gallatin, an account of the manufacturing establishments and
manufactures of the several districts, at an aggregate expense not
exceeding thirty thousand dollars.

The only changes introduced into the act of March 14, 1820, for taking
the fourth census, provided for a return of the number of males between
sixteen and eighteen, the number of foreigners not naturalized, and the
colored population by age and sex. The provisions for a return of
manufactures were re-enacted, the results to be reported to the
Secretary of State (J.Q. Adams). But these returns, like those of the
third census, were of very slight value.

In the act of March 23, 1830, for taking the fifth census, provision is
made for ascertaining the number of blind and deaf and dumb, and the
returns of age and sex were required with greater fulness than before.
The time for commencing the enumeration was changed from August 1 to
June 1, and the work was to be completed in six instead of nine months.
The return of manufactures required by the two preceding census laws was
omitted.

The act of March 3, 1839, for the sixth census, differed very slightly
from that for the fifth, except that returns were also required of the
number of insane and idiotic, the number of Revolutionary pensioners,
and of the manufacturing, agricultural and educational statistics. By an
amendment adopted February 26, 1840, the time for completing the
enumeration was reduced to five months from June 1, and, for the first
time provision is made for special supervision of the work by requiring
the appointment of a superintending clerk.

Thus it appears that down to the taking of the sixth census, in 1840,
the chief object aimed at was the enumeration of the population. No
effort was made to arrive at, or even approach, by any thorough and
scientific process the great facts relating to our material progress and
prosperity, or to supervise the publication of such returns as were
required. But the report for that year shows a great advance over any
preceding one both in quantity and quality of information. The decade
then closing was one of great life and movement. The States west of the
Alleghanies were rapidly filling up with immigrants, whose arrival was
followed by speculations hitherto unknown. Fabulous wealth was speedily
followed by utter bankruptcy. The railroad, the steamship and the
telegraph foreshadowed the approaching revolution in methods of commerce
and communication. A new life was dawning.

These commercial changes and social revolutions were continued with
increasing intensity during the next decade. The great famine in Ireland
sent us swarms of laborers. The Mexican war brought us California, and
the discovery of gold there marked the beginning of a new era in our
material condition. It was under the influence of these stimulating
events that the seventh census was undertaken. To make such preparations
that it should, to some extent, embody the spirit of the time and
furnish us with a correct statement of our condition under the new
impulses and burdens of the nation, an act was passed March 3, 1849,
creating a census board, whose duty it should be to prepare, and cause
to be printed, forms and schedules for the enumeration of the
population, and also for collecting "such information as to mines,
agriculture, commerce, manufactures, education and other topics as will
exhibit a full view of the pursuits, industry, education and resources
of the country; _provided_, the number of said inquiries, exclusive of
enumeration, shall not exceed one hundred." On the same day the
Department of the Interior was established, and all matters relating to
the census were transferred to that department. The census board
reported "an act for taking the seventh and subsequent censuses of the
United States," which became a law May 23, 1850, and under that law the
censuses of 1850, 1860 and 1870 were taken.

However far that law was an improvement upon either of those under which
the preceding censuses were taken, it is now wholly inadequate--so much
so, indeed, that the superintendent of the ninth census (1870) declared,
"It is not possible for one who has had such painful occasion as the
present superintendent to observe the workings of the census law of 1870
to characterize it otherwise than as clumsy, antiquated and barbarous.
The machinery it provides is as unfit for use in the census of the
United States in this day of advanced statistical science as the
smooth-bore muzzle-loading 'queen's arm' of the Revolution would be for
service against the repeating rifle of the present time." It includes
many inquiries which are practically worthless, and excludes many
vitally necessary to an understanding of our social and industrial
condition. Thus the questions, "Has this season produced average crops?"
"What crops are short?" "What are the average wages of a female domestic
per week, without board?" "How much road-tax did you pay, and how?" may
be of some interest, if regarded as conundrums, but are practically of
as little value as the color of one's hair or the average number of
hours one sleeps; while, as matters of fact, the answers to them have
been so unsatisfactory that no attempt has ever been made to classify
them, and in the census of 1870 they were discarded altogether, though
still forming part of the law. Nor is the method required for
ascertaining the facts relating to manufactures of any greater value.
The inquiries are the same in regard to every kind of industry, whether
the product be cloth, leather, iron or silver, and are confined solely
to wages, kinds and quantities. No means are provided for ascertaining
with skill and exactness the necessary details of the varied
manufactures of the country. The schedules for agricultural returns are
also the same for all sections--for cotton and sugar-cane in Maine, for
maple-sugar and hops in Louisiana. These, however, are merely
superficial defects, some of which might easily be remedied in the hands
of a competent superintendent, as was the case with the census of 1870.
The graver inherent defects are equally obvious, but not equally
susceptible of remedy. Nothing short of a new law will accomplish that
result.

In the first place, the officer designated to take the census is, in
every point of view, objectionable. That officer is the United States
marshal, originally selected, probably, for no better reason than that,
as there was such an officer in every State whose services could be made
available, it was better to use him than to create a new office. But
neither the legitimate duties of his office nor the department to which
he belongs justify such a selection. His duties are chiefly connected
with violations of law, and he is necessarily associated in public
opinion with the criminal side of life. A police-officer is not a good
census-taker. Moreover, many of the States are divided into several
marshalships from considerations which do not at all enter into the
taking of the census. Thus, New York has three districts, the largest of
which contains more than two and a quarter millions of inhabitants,
while Florida has two districts, the smaller of which, but by far the
more important so far as the legitimate duties of the marshal are
concerned, contains scarcely six thousand inhabitants. Massachusetts is
a district with over a million and a third of people: so is Arizona,
with less than ten thousand.

Then the methods of payment are unfair, irrational and cumbersome. They
bear no relation to the amount of work performed, are irregular in their
operation, are obscure in their manner of calculation, and impose
needless labor alike on the officer to be paid and the census office. To
say that the square root of an area multiplied by the square root of the
number of horses indicates the number of miles travelled in taking a
census is as absurd as to say that the square root of the yards of cloth
in a suit multiplied by the square root of the number of stitches taken
to make the suit will give the length of the thread used. In its
practical working in 1860 the result was to give to one assistant
marshal a per diem of $1.66 and to another $31.32 for the same labor. A
proposition which works out such a result may serve for a joke in negro
minstrelsy: it will hardly be accepted as honest figuring by the
recipient of the minimum pay.

But the greatest objection of all is to the schedules created by the law
of 1850. The number of inquiries is limited by that law to one hundred,
though why that number should be selected as the limit, except at
haphazard, is a mystery. It is purely arbitrary, and in its practical
working is mischievous. Statistical inquiries ought to be exhaustive,
whether the questions asked are ten or ten thousand. To limit the number
to one hundred requires the lumping together of incongruous facts or
the entire omission of some of prime importance. Of what real value is
the answer to the question, "Kind of motive-power?" in relation to
manufactures unless other details are given? Yet only such questions can
be asked where the margin is so narrow. In the census of Massachusetts
for 1875, 304 inquiries were made, embracing 1337 topics; and so
satisfactorily was the work done that out of a population of 1,651,912
only 43 persons were unaccounted for when the statistics of occupations
were compiled; while in the United States census of 1870 the number thus
unaccounted for exceeded 1,000,000. In Rhode Island no less than 561
inquiries were made in the census of 1875, and the result is the most
complete census--not merely of persons, but of every kind of manufacture
and production--yet taken in any State. The returns of cotton, woollen
and iron manufactures show what can and ought to be done in that
direction for the whole nation in 1880. They answer the requirements set
forth by the superintendent of the census of 1870 by presenting "tables
so full of technical information as to become the handbook of
manufacturers."

By the side of the census reports for 1875 of Massachusetts and Rhode
Island, and even of the young State of Iowa, those of the United States
hitherto published appear like incomplete, vague and childish efforts.
For instance, in the census of Massachusetts for 1875, in the
agricultural statistics, 140 different items are reported, exclusive of
10 included among "domestic products," but reckoned in the United States
census among agricultural products. Of these 150 items, only 24 are
reported in the United States census of 1870, although some of those
omitted are from $1,500,000 to $5,000,000 in annual value. In the case
of manufactures the defects are still more striking--ludicrously so but
for the importance of the subject. By the schedules of 1850 the facts
called for in regard to manufactures are simply these: number of
establishments, horse-power, hands employed, capital, wages, materials,
products. The 1 establishment which employed 3 hands and turned out
$3000 worth of artificial eyes demanded and received exactly the same
treatment with the 22,573 flouring- and grist-mills with their army of
58,448 workmen and $444,985,143 of products. On this Procrustean bed all
are stretched or shrunken--the giant industries by which men are fed,
clothed, housed and shod, with their 1,000,000 of men and $2,000,000,000
of products, and the pigmy occupations of making skewers,
calcium-lights, mops, dusters, etc., employing 150 persons and
aggregating $150,000 of products.

And this leads directly to a consideration of the measures necessary to
secure a proper census of the United States in 1880. To begin with, as
already reiterated, a new law is imperatively demanded: no good thing
can come of the present statute. As early as possible during this
present Congress a committee on the tenth census should be appointed,
which should carefully study the laws and methods of every civilized
state and country in which a census is taken, and from these collect
whatever is best, giving at the same time ample power to the
superintendent in all matters of administration and appointment. Such a
law might be as short and simple as that of Rhode Island, which is
comprised in eight brief sections, yet is so comprehensive that under
its provisions was compiled the most complete census yet taken in this
country, if not in the world.

The time at which the census is taken should be changed from June 1 to
at least November 1, if not to January 1, when the labors of the year
are ended, when the harvest has been gathered in, the books made up and
the family naturally talk over the events of the past twelve-month.
Then, if ever, is the time when full, frank and honest answers will be
given, and the census-taker will be hailed rather as a friend than an
enemy in disguise. The method adopted years ago in all other civilized
countries, and in Massachusetts and Rhode Island in 1875, of leaving the
blank schedules in advance at each house and manufactory, to be filled
up carefully and thoughtfully, and to be called for on a given day,
should also be adopted. The result of the first attempt in Massachusetts
was that 37 per cent. of the schedules was found ready for delivery to
the enumerator, and for the remaining 63 per cent. the labor was greatly
diminished by the readiness of the people to answer all inquiries
intelligently. The number who at first failed or refused to comply was
only one hundred, and of manufacturers less than twenty; and these all
subsequently made the necessary returns. The total answers of all kinds
received at the census office was 13,000,000, at a cost to the State of
one dollar for each hundred answers.

Under such a law, enacted by the present Congress, and by such methods,
the census report of 1880 would become a document to which every good
citizen could point with pride and congratulation. We should no longer
be mortified with such errors and shortcomings as are so frankly
commented on in the census report of 1870. We should have not merely a
correct enumeration of the population, with all the important facts
connected with their domestic and social condition, but also such a
return of the occupations, manufacturing industries, education and
commercial operations, and all the elements which go to make up the
material well-being of the races on this portion of the continent, as
would mark a new departure in our national life. The absurd inanities
which characterize so much of the report of the superintendent of the
census of 1860, and the _doctrinaire_ theories injected into the report
of 1850, ought never again to find expression in any public document
bearing the official sanction of the United States.

The census report of 1860, as compared with that of 1870, is as the
Serbonian bog to a well-appointed lawn. For the first time since its
inception the taking of the census was in 1870 placed in thoroughly
competent hands. By inherited ability, as well as by previous training,
General Walker possesses in an eminent degree the qualities essential to
the fitting and successful execution of such a task. At every step he
shows the skill and readiness of a master workman; and it will be
fortunate for the country if he shall be selected as superintendent of
the tenth census under a law of his own devising.

As to the results to be revealed by the tenth census, it is not worth
while to speculate. That they will be disappointing in many aspects to
the national pride, or at least to the national vanity, there can be
little doubt; but it is to be hoped we have outlived the period when the
truth can make us angry. Of course there will be no such increase of
population as marked our earlier career down to 1860, nor should we
expect much increase in the reported wealth of the country since 1870.
For the first time, except in the decade from 1820 to 1830, there will
be no increase of area, unless all signs fail. Whatever the changes may
be, they will more fully concern our social and political condition than
in any previous decade, except perhaps the last.

An early and intelligent interest in this important subject is all that
is requisite to secure the needed reform. It is not creditable to the
country that the census of 1870 was taken under the provisions of the
law of 1850: it will be disgraceful should that of 1880 be subjected to
the same fate, as it must be unless a new law is passed before the first
of January of that year. The matter should be pressed upon the attention
of Congress during its present session. In 1870 an admirable law was
passed by the House of Representatives under the skilful and intelligent
leadership of Hon. James A. Garfield, but it failed in the Senate
because of the apathy of some and the personal pique of others. It seems
incredible that in that dignified body so little attention was paid to
this vast subject. Again and again its consideration was postponed
because a sufficient attendance could not be secured to act upon the
proposed law, which at last fell to the ground, a victim to the
indifference and prejudice of those who ought to have acted more wisely
in a matter that so nearly concerns the welfare and good name of a great
nation.

HENRY STONE.



CHANG-HOW AND ANARKY.


"Gret beezle!"

A dismayed silence while Anarky, our cook--black as night, eyes set
square in her head, that head set level on her stout black
shoulders--walked around the Chinese youth my husband had brought home
as an experiment in our domestic life--around the Chinese youth with his
wiry frame and insinuating stoop of the shoulders, and a smile of
neutral tint lying placid but wary on his buff countenance.

"Lordy-mussy!" quoth Anarky. Another vehement, aggressive pause on her
part, a silence observant and self-defensive on his. "Name o' Satan,
Mis' Maud! what is it?"

"This is to be your fellow-servant, Anarky."

"Gret Beezle! Wish I may die ef I didn't think it wor a yaller rat!"

"Anarky, I am ashamed of you! What should Mr. Smith want with a yellow
rat?"

"Thought he bought it at de sukus in New York, an' gif to you like he
did dat monkey. Ef it ain't no rat, an' ain't a monkey, name o' Satan,
what kin it be? 'Tain't a 'ooman, for all dem gret long sleeves: you
know dat yo'se'f. An' 'tain't like no man as eber _I_ seed. What dat
hangin' on to its head? An' what motter wid its eyes, sot crank-sided
right 'ginst its nose, kickin' up der heels, pintin' ebry way for
Sunday--one en' uv um ez sharp as a 'nittin'-needle, an' tudder en' ez
roun' ez a marble?"

Chang-how sent one eye skirmishing in my direction, and the other toward
Anarky, and the same deprecatory yet wary smile rested like moonlight on
his placid face.

"That will do, Anarky," said I. "I wish you to understand that this is
to be your fellow-servant. You will cook and wash as usual. Chang-how
will attend in the dining-room, and do I don't know yet exactly what
else; but I wish you to be kind to him, remembering that he is a
stranger in a strange land. Also, I will have no further remarks on his
personal appearance."

Silenced by authority, but unmoved by my eloquence, Anarky made another
tour of inspection--silently raised the end of Chang-how's queue,
disgustedly let it fall, and went to the door. There she stopped and
looked at him again. "Good Lord!" said she under her breath by way of
parting salute.

The look of mild unconcern that had rested on Chang-how's features was
rippled by a quaint, cunning smile, and for the first time he cast a
quick glance full at her, then stood again with folded hands, calm,
submissive, apparently unobservant.

Seeing the antagonism that was likely to exist between them, I myself
showed Chang-how and his bundle to the room he was to occupy, and in a
short time he emerged clad in a neat white jacket, his queue deftly
bound around his head, ready for business.

The fellow was exceedingly bright and quick, and, though he never seemed
to be "takin' notes," nothing escaped his observation. He learned our
ways in an incredibly short time, and when those ways did not come in
conflict with any habit previously formed he adapted himself to them at
once; but woe to any pet notion that interfered with Chang's
preconceived ideas! That notion had to go to the wall. However, that has
nothing to do here.

Whether Chang-how had been "takin' notes" was a debatable point, but
that somebody was taking everything takable on the premises soon became
a self-evident proposition; and this was uncomfortable for more reasons
than one. Mr. Smith and I almost quarrelled about it. He would not
believe it to be Chang-how, and I was determined it should not be
Anarky. Said he, "Anarky is taking advantage of the popular idea that
the Chinese are invariably dis--"

"Now, who ever heard anything like that?" I interrupted. "What does
Anarky know about the popular idea concerning the Chinese? About as much
as I should know if you were to talk to me about the Teutonic idiom for
mezzo-tinted phonetics."

"You have convinced me, my dear, that Chang-how is the guilty party; but
the idea I meant to convey before you knocked me down with those big
words was this--that Anarky, knowing what people think of the Chinese,
indulges her dishonest yearnings, believing we shall suppose the thief
to be Chang-how."

"But I know it _isn't_ Anarky, because Anarky always had a blundering,
awkward, above-board way of stealing that made it only _taking_ things,
and she was always getting caught; and Chang-how always manages not to
be found out. And I know it is Chang-how; I know it by that. It shows he
is used to it."

Mr. Smith laughed.

"It does! and I know it _is_ Chang-how and it _isn't_ Anarky."

Then Mr. Smith laughed again, and said women were born to be lawyers.

Chang-how would come to me (he was dining-room servant, you remember):
"Evly one spoonee no come homee."

"How you mean, Chang-how? Where spoonee go?"

"All no light: all longee. Spoonee go 'way: I no find him."

"Oh, but you must find them, Chang-how. How many go?"

"Four spoonee."

"But they are solid silver! You really must find them."

"You tell where lookee, I go lookee."

"I am sure I don't know were you are to look. And two forks were missing
last week!"

I stared reflectively at a June-bug on the window-sill. Chang-how stood
with folded hands and drooping shoulders, a seraphic calm upon his
features, as of one who had stood upon the burning deck when all but he
had fled. Evidently he had done his duty. I was so impressed with this
fact, and that the responsibility, if not the guilt, was now mine, that
I simply said, "Go set the table then, Chang-how. Mr. Smith will have
to tell us what to do when he comes home."

Exit Chang.

Enter Anarky: "Mis' Maud, how many hank'chers you sent out dis week?"

"Twenty-three, I believe."

"An' now I ain't got but nineteen. You see dat? How many socks for Mas'
Jim?"

"Six or seven, I suppose. Why?"

"You see dat again? Ain't but fo' par lef'! Ef I don't beat him, shoze
I'm a nigger!"

"Your Mas' Jim?" I asked, smiling.

"'Tain't nobody but dat yaller varmint dat's stealin' roun' de
lot.--Lor'! Lor'! ef I jes' could cotch him!"

"Anarky, while we are talking about it, I--I really wish you would
manage a little better about the biscuit and--well, the eggs, and--and a
good many little things of the kind. I am sure we have an abundance of
everything, and it mortifies me exceedingly not to have it at table.
Haven't you and Chang everything you want, and as much?"

"We gits more'n 'nuff. An' what goes outen de kitchen goes correc'. Whar
dey lands 'tween dar an' de din'-room don't nobody know but dat yaller
dorg. I misses things cornstant--things dat I ain't took my eyes off
'em, 'cep' ter wink; an', bless de Lord! while I wor a-winkin' de lard
done took to its heels or de flour flewed away."

The next evening, when Chang brought in supper, Anarky walked by his
side in solemn state, empty-handed, dignified, watchful. He appeared
totally unconscious of his escort, and I made no remark; but Mr. Smith
sent him into the hall on an errand, and during his absence Anarky rose
to explain: "Which you see all dem biskit, Mis' Maud?"

"Yes: I am glad we are getting all right again, Anarky."

"Well, I got dat many mo' in de ub'n now--jes' like I use ter hab 'fo'
dat--" Here an appalling idea seemed to strike her. "War dat Chow-chow
nigger?" she exclaimed, and made a dash toward the door. As she reached
it Chang-how quietly glided in and handed Mr. Smith the paper he had
gone for.

The next moment a sound came from the kitchen--something between a howl
and a roar--and following in its wake came Anarky. Almost inarticulate
with rage, she shook her brawny fist in Chang-how's face. "You
good-fur-nuthin' yaller _houn'!_" she exclaimed.

Mr. Smith wheeled around on his chair and looked at her in stern
surprise. Chang-how stood his ground and gazed at her with the unruffled
calm of a full moon beaming o'er a raging sea.

She turned to us, trembling with excitement: "Well, ef dat ain't de
beatinest trick et ebber I seed! Think dat yaller houn' ain't stole de
biskit outen de ub'n? An', 'fo' Gord! I didn't know he'd been out o'
here long 'nuff for a dog to snap at a fly! Ef you ain't de
oudaishusest--" She stopped and glared at him with the despairing,
silent venom of one who felt herself a pauper in words, a verbal
failure, a wretched creature who in the supreme hour of trial was
proving herself the wrong person in the wrong place.

Chang-how's hands were folded, and his eyes rested dreamily on the
floor. Evidently, he was contentedly rolling tea-leaves in his native
land.

Suspiciously regarding the abnormal appearance of Chang-how's neat white
jacket, I forbore to rebuke my sable favorite, but Mr. Smith, not having
observed the little protuberances which had attracted my attention
toward his more delicately-tinted protégé, said with decision, "Go to
the kitchen, Anarky, and send in supper or bring it yourself; and make
haste about it."

Anarky turned again to Chang-how and fixed her great black eyes on him
in silence. Then she sounded a note of solemn warning: "Lord! Lord!
Shang-hai!" said she, "ef ebber I _does_ cotch you out an' out, ef ebber
I _does_ git a good square holt on you, I'll t'ar you all to pieces! Yo'
mammy won't want what'll be left uv you, 'cos' 'twon't be wuf berryin'!"

"Shut upee! too much jawee," said Chang-how benignly, and dreamed again
of his native land. But for three days nothing was missing in Anarky's
department, and so far Chang-how escaped with unbroken bones.

On the evening of the fourth day I received a letter announcing the
coming of visitors, and it unfortunately occurred to me that Chang-how
might assist Anarky in the laundry, thus affording her an opportunity
for greater display in the culinary department; so I called him up: "You
washeeman, Chang-how?"

"Oh yes, I washee all light," said Chang.

"You help Anarky iron to-day I give you more money."

"All light! How muchee?"

"One dollar."

"Two dollar."

"One dollar."

"No washee one dollar," said Chang.

"No washee at all, then."

"One dollar ap."

"Nor a dollar and a half: I get other washee."

"Melican man no washee ap."

"Oh yes. Melican woman suit me."

"All light! I washee one dollar."

"Very well. As soon, then, as you leave the dining-room go to the
laundry. And, Chang, no make cook cross."

"Cook too much talkee: cookee bad egg."

"Well, you no make cookee cross perhaps I give you more money."

"All light! How muchee?"

"No matter: a quarter."

"Ap."

"A half, then."

Going to the laundry, I said to Anarky, "Chang-how will assist you in
the ironing to-day, so that you can get through quickly and show my
friends some of your best cooking, Anarky. I do hope--"

"What Shang-doodle know 'bout i'unin'?" asked Anarky sulkily.

"Oh, he knows ever so much," said I with cheerful faith; "and I do hope
you will try to get on nicely with him this time. You know what the
Bible says about brothers dwelling together in unity, and all that?"

"Chang-jaw ain't none o' my brudder, an' I ain't none o' his'n,"
resisted Anarky.

"Oh yes, we are all brothers; and if you will only be Chang-how's long
enough to get through with the ironing, I will give you almost anything
you want."

"Gimme a nigger all day long," said Anarky: "I fa'rly hates a Chinee an'
a Orrisher."

"Try it to-day, though, Anarky, for my sake," said I persuasively; and
she consented, though sulkily enough.

Hearing Chang-how coming, I seated myself on the stairway leading into
the laundry, curious to see how they would work together.

Anarky pointed authoritatively to a heap of dried linen. "Sprinkle dem
ar cloze," said she to Chang. "I'm gwine out in de yard to git what's on
de line."

While she was gone, Chang-how, as is the manner of his people, filled
his mouth with water, and was blowing it in a fine spray over the linen
when Anarky appeared in the doorway, a basket of clothes on her head,
her knuckles on her hips. As she caught sight of Chang-how moistening
the linen with water from his mouth she stopped: she staggered, her
basket fell to the floor, and, stooping down, she threw her hands above
her head, then brought them down again with a violent slap on her knees.

"Good Lor'! come down," said she, "an' look at dat yaller houn'
a-spittin' on Mis' Maud's cloze.--I got you now! Can't nobody blame me
fur beatin' you 'bout _dat_."

Then she flew at him, and what a scene it was! She, black, brawny, of
immense physical power--he, lithe, sinewy, supple as a panther. It was a
spectacle! First one, then the other, seemed to have the advantage. She
would catch him in her powerful grasp, and, lifting him off his feet,
swing him in the air as if about to slam him to his final resting-place,
when by some inexplicable manoeuvre he would writhe from between her
fingers or wriggle himself to the back of her neck and mash her nose
flat against her breast as if bent on suffocating her or breaking her
neck. In a moment she would reach back with both hands and pull him over
her head very much as men doff a shirt. Likely as not, Chang came down
with his heels in the air, and at it they would go again. Presently she
was tripped, and fell with a violence that should have broken every bone
in her body, but before Chang-how could pursue his advantage she had
wheeled on her side, wound his queue halfway up her arm and had her knee
on his breast.

"Good for you, An--! I mean, aren't you ashamed of yourself? Stop! for
Heaven's sake, stop! You might kill him."

As well have spoken to the winds. And as they became more terribly in
earnest I began to scream for help: "Stop, Anarky! (Murder! murder!)--Here,
Chang, take the poker. (_Mu--u--u--r--_der!) Great Heaven! don't hit her
with it! Stop, Chang-how! (Mur--_d--e--r!_ Oh, mercy! somebody
come!)--Here, Anarky, take the pota- (Mur--_d--e--r--rr!_)--potato-masher
and don't kill (_M--u--r_--der!)--kill him with it, unless he kills you
first.--Oh, mercy! mercy! I don't know what else to give you all to keep
you from killing (Murder!)--killing each other with.--Anarky, you are
breaking his neck!--Here's a flatiron, Chang! (Murder! Fire! fire! fire!)"

This brought the neighbors and the neighbors' children, and their
neighbors and their neighbors' children, and finally a forlorn
policeman, who marched Anarky to the magistrate's office and left Chang
to do up his pigtail at leisure, and reflect how often he had sinned and
gone unwhipt of justice, and now, in the hour of peace and in the act of
duty, retribution had deliberately sought him out, and found him and
disposed of him as afore told.

It seems that Anarky went quietly enough to the magistrate, who gave her
the choice between going to jail and depositing five dollars as security
for her appearance next morning for examination. Not having five dollars
to deposit, she was allowed an hour in which to seek some one who would
go bail for her. At the end of that time she returned to the office
panting, exhausted, wiping the perspiration from her face with her blue
cotton apron.

"Who is going bail for you?" she was asked.

Calmly turning down the sleeves that had been rolled above her shining
black elbows, she replied with contempt, "I ain't been arter no bail: I
dun been home an' finish beatin' de lites outen dat yaller houn'. Dat
all de bail _I_ wants! Which ef ennybody's lookin' fur him, dey kin
fin' his pigtail, an' maybe a piece uv his head a-stickin' to it, hin'
de chick'n-coop at Mas' Jim's. Now kyar me to jail an' lemme res'. I
boun' he don't spit on no mo' cloze _I_ got ter han'le!"

JENNIE WOODVILLE.



THE IDYL OF THE VAUCLUSE.


A dusky opening in a range of purpling hills; a vision of a cluster of
small white human homes; a shining, murmuring little river spanned by a
wooden bridge; a towering background of bald, steep rock, cleft at its
base into a shadowy cavern,--such is the first of my memories of the
Vaucluse. At the entrance of the little town stands a low white-walled
building, over the door of which is a tablet inscribed thus: "On the
site of this café Petrarch established his study. Here he wrote the
lines--

    O soave contrada, O puro fiume,
    Che bagni 'l suo bel viso e gli occhi chiari."

On the banks of the classic Sorgue I was offered the photographs of
Petrarch and Laura. I took them, and there, with the sweet May sunlight
flooding all the sod, with the fresh spring grass and buds bursting into
life beneath my feet, with the murmur of the glad young river in my
ears, I stood and gazed upon the faces of those lovers of five hundred
years ago, whose love was as a spring-time idyl. For they met in the
spring, they parted in the spring, their intercourse was like the
mingling of young winds with woodland violets; and, dust and ashes
though they have been for centuries, they still prefigure to our hearts
the eternal spring-time of the world.

And yet, could the picture that I held in my hand be a faithful
reproduction of the famous portrait of Laura which was painted at the
request of Petrarch by Simon Menimi and charmed him into verse with its
loveliness? It represented simply the head and bust. The face was
elongated, the cheeks hollow, the hair smoothed down below the ears. The
long, oval, half-shut eyes wore a horrible leer, as though the owner
were making a painful effort to close them. On the head was a stiff,
ungainly jewelled helmet, which terminated low on the forehead in a
triangular ornament. The long, slender throat was encircled by three
rows of pearls. The dress was cut squarely across the neck, and was
checkered off like a draught-board, while over one shoulder was thrown a
small lace scarf. The whole expression of the figure was that of
serious, earnest sobriety and saintliness, as understood by a mediæval
painter and treated according to his conception of his art, which
recognized no difference between a man's earthly love and his spiritual
patron, and made them equally crude, righteous, quaint and angular.

But I felt that these harsh distorted outlines had naught in common with
Petrarch's Laura. For she had golden hair that floated loose in the
breeze and was the prison of enchained and captive Love, and she had
roses, red and white, upon her face, and a throat of snowy purity, and a
smile of such rare gentleness that when she passed them by men said,
"Sure this is an angel come from heaven!" That is the Laura who for
centuries has beamed upon humanity--a sweet, benign, refreshing
presence--from within her lover's sonnets. That is the Laura in whose
reality I believe, but the Laura who lies imprisoned and disguised
behind the grotesque mask of mediæval art I cannot, will not, recognize.
In Petrarch's utterance I find Laura, a pure spiritual shape in mind and
body and soul; but in her portrait I see only Laura clogged and choked
and bound about with the trammels of early art and the weight of crude,
untruthful detail. Thus, I believe that art at its best is but a dull,
material, mechanical means for the translation or reproduction of
thought and Nature, and that for the swift, living, electric flame of
truth we must refer in all ages and climes to speech pure and
simple--the speech of the poet.

There are many who doubt that the words in which Petrarch clothed his
love for Laura were words of sincerity and truth, and who blame his
fatal tendency to utilize every incident and feeling connected with her.
Unquestionably, there was a strong element of earthliness, a dilution of
the pure essence of his affection, in much that Petrarch wrote. It could
hardly have chanced otherwise with a man into whose life worldly
intercourse entered so largely. There must have been times when the pure
light of revelation was hidden from him, and he unknowingly supplied its
place with fancies of a lower kind. His experiences as he met them one
by one were, I doubt not, faithfully and sincerely treated, but after
they had fallen into the past he was enabled to view them by the cold
strong light of the intellect, and the instincts of his nature led him
to incorporate them in verse. It has always been a concomitant of the
poetic character, except perhaps in those lofty organizations whose
utterances are revelations, to regard its own personality objectively
and treat it as material for expression in speech. The very
word-crystallization that a thought or sentiment, however full of
inspiration, must needs undergo to make it palpable, denotes an amount
of conscious effort which detracts in a measure from its apparent
spontaneity. But in spite of the quaint conceits, the frequent play upon
words, the unworthy tricks of speech, the painful sacrifice to rhyme
which occasionally mar his verse, I believe Petrarch was sincere. If he
was only a pretence and a sham, then all the amatory poetry that has
been written since his time, intellectual or analytic, passionate or
sensuous, is a pretence and a sham. Petrarch's utterance must needs have
been founded on truth, else never could it have stood the test of five
centuries, and never would it have assimilated itself, as it has done,
with the poetic speech of an entire race. I know of hardly an English
poet in whose rhymes in the matter of love, and particularly among those
of a narrower range of thought and a lower plane of vision, one cannot
trace in a greater or less degree the influence of Petrarch. Thus, to
me, Petrarch remains the very king of spring-time poets. There are
summer poets, autumn poets and winter poets, but Petrarch was none of
these. Neither his passion nor his poetry ever ripened into summer or
faded into autumn. He will always typify the early youth of love and
song. I can never open his book of sonnets that I do not hear the rustle
of young winds in green boughs, and do not catch the faint sweet odor of
violets and primroses--the violets and primroses that grow on the banks
of the Sorgue in the Vaucluse--the violets and primroses that Laura wore
in her hair when Petrarch saw her kneeling in the church of Santa Chiara
in Avignon, and loved her all at once.

The bright little river Sorgue is here a rushing brook, tumbling and
foaming over the great stones in its bed, and imprisoned between two
green sloping banks covered with low trees and bushes and tendrils of
creeping ivy. It finds birth, this merry, roaring brook, in a dark,
mysterious, shadowy pool, overhung by wild fantastic masses of rock,
which loses itself far back in a dim cavern beneath the cliffs. Black
and motionless, sullen and inscrutable, it lies, this source of the
river Sorgue, a very pool of Lethe, looking as though it knew it drew
its sustenance from the deepest heart of the earth, held communication
with the hidden powers of Nature, and was one at the core with all the
mighty waters of the creation. What a type of the poet's own
genius--nourished deep down under the ground in the universal soul of
humanity, fed by the elements that centuries of solution have infused
into the hidden springs of the intellect, one in thought with all the
great minds that have watered the arid fields of lower human
intelligence, profound, unsearchable as the earth itself! And yet when
it rises to the surface of the world it becomes only a sunny, murmuring
river, which dances along among green banks and bushes; and, being
noticed by the careless passer-by, who cannot see the deep infinity of
waters of which it is the symbol, and knows not even whether they exist,
is termed "a pretty stream of thought and fancy, but one that hath no
profundity nor seriousness."

Across the river, on a hill just above its banks, a mass of tawny ruin
fades away into the blue of the sky and the gray of the cliffs. Wild
flowers grow all about it, dark brambles stretch their wanton arms over
all its space, and through the clefts in its jagged surface gleam the
shining walls of the village below and the hazy brightness of the wide
Rhone country. The people call this bit of rare coloring the castle of
"La Belle Laure," but we know that it was the home of a great cardinal,
Petrarch's trusty friend and generous patron.

Down in the valley among the white village walls nestles a low brown
house surrounded by a humble, sweet-smelling space of flowers. It is a
dainty little spot of earth, this garden, hallowed by such rare
associations. It is more precious than rubies, this small dark house,
for it sheltered from the outer world the body and soul of Petrarch. The
garden is enclosed by a hedge of sweet pale Provence roses and buds. I
remembered, as I stood there with the breath of the beautiful blossoms
creeping up about me, how Petrarch tells that walking one bright May day
with Laura, a friend and confidant of both approached them and gave to
each a rose, "all fresh and culled in Paradise," and said, "Such
another pair of lovers the sun ne'er shone upon," and left them with a
smile; and they remained all confused and trembling. Yes, I knew
instinctively that it was here, on this very consecrated spot, that the
sacred meeting had taken place; that he who gave the roses was no other
than the good cardinal of the castle; and that those roses of five
hundred years ago were the ancestors of the roses now blooming about me,
and plucked from this very hedge. No wonder that the perfumes of
Paradise are enchaliced in their hearts. Few flowers can boast such high
and haughty lineage as these, the bright posterity of those transfigured
love-tokens of centuries past. They are glorified for ever by
association with the highest, purest phase of human relation. They have
reached the apotheosis of flowerhood--the highest destiny vouchsafed to
aught that grows. They have become one with thought in immortality.

In the heart of the little garden stands a laurel tree, a shoot from
Petrarch's own sacred laurel tree. More young shoots and saplings are
springing up about it, all issuing from the great root that lies deep
underground--the root of five hundred years ago; and the tree
overshadows all the garden and the little crystal brook that sparkles
along by the side of the wall. As I gazed at the stately shape, with its
shining black berries and its glossy dark leaves, I knew that I had
found the keynote to much of Petrarch's music--not always that of his
best and most inspired moods. The resemblance of the name of Laura to
the _laurel_; the antique fable of the transformation of Daphne into a
laurel, and its adoption by Apollo as his emblem; the old superstition
that the laurel was shielded against thunderbolts; his desire to win the
laurel crown as the guerdon of his pains, both amorous and poetic,--were
chains of tradition and convention which Petrarch had not strength to
break, pompous, meaningless hieroglyphics which he felt it his duty to
interpret to men, hinderances and trammels to the development of his
genius. The laurel tree of Petrarch's garden is a fair type of one
phase of the poet's own speech, prone to derive its significance from
extraneous sources and overloaded with borrowed metaphor. But the laurel
receives a new meaning if we picture to ourselves Madonna Laura
reclining in its shadow on the banks of the little river, with flowers
scattered all about her garments and little Loves disporting in the air
about her wreathed head. Then it becomes instinct with life and
vitality, and we wonder why Petrarch deemed it needful to resort to the
dead and withered husks of antique fable for what lay there at his own
cottage-door, and waited but to be lifted from the sod--a wealth of
poetic illustration and conceit.

Since the day when I made the memory of the Vaucluse my own, I have read
how a great festival was held there in the summer-tide in honor of
Petrarch. I have read how they came, those intellectual debauchees, and
rioted and revelled and wrangled and jarred, and poisoned the chaste,
calm waters of the sacred river with the hot fumes of literary
dissension and argument. I have read how they came, with their heads
full of quotations and their notebooks full of impressions and hints for
effective rhapsody--how they feasted on the silver trout of the Sorgue,
and gathered Laura's roses to adorn their buttonholes, and stripped the
consecrated laurel of its leaves to make garlands for their own dull
heads, and poured forth international compliments, and glorified one
another, and hugged themselves for delight at their fine comprehension
of the poet, and fell on their knees before him, and immolated their
individual hearts and souls at the shrine of his genius; and, lo! there
was not a true appreciater of Petrarch among them all! The right
appraiser of Petrarch has been there before and since, but he was not
there then. The noise and the bustle and the wisdom of the multitude
held him aloof, and he waited until a more convenient season. He comes
by preference in the spring-time, knowing that then Nature and Petrarch
sing in unison. He is a poet, because it takes a poet to understand a
poet, no less than a hero a hero. He is of such simple, foolish mould
that when he thinks there is no one near to spy him out he casts himself
down upon the sod and kisses it with all tenderness, and caresses the
daisies with his finger-tips, greeting them as his younger brethren; for
there is something stirring in him which draws him nearer to earth's
heart than other men, and he loves to dwell upon his common origin with
flower and leaf. He does not fall down and worship Petrarch, because he
knows that Petrarch is only one expression of the great power that lives
behind all thought and speech--one part of the great whole that lies
spread out before him on the river and the cliff. But he takes the old
poet by the hand and looks straight into his eyes, and reads there what
is written in his own heart, and says, "We twain are brethren and
friends, sovereign and equal, for evermore."

If Petrarch had lived earlier in the centuries of Christianity, he would
have been a monk. His genius would have found expression in the
cloister-life, for the first monks were poets and philosophers. But he
lived at a period when that beautiful principle of asceticism was no
longer at one with genius. The fine essence of spirituality was gone
from it, and it had hardened into senseless form and matter; and the law
of his own mind forbade his pledging himself irrevocably to what in one
mood seemed highest and most precious, but what another mood might
contradict and openly defy. He knew that, although that ascetic temper
which took possession of his soul at times when his genius was loudest,
most clamorous, most importunate, was the basis of all monastic
principle, he might not imprison it, fleeting, evanescent, within the
dungeons of vows and formalism. And to-day, no less than in Petrarch's
time, the same spirit walks the earth, shines through the actions and
speech of all high souls, and yet refuses to bind itself to dull
external shows and symbols.

If Petrarch had not withdrawn himself to the solitude of the Vaucluse, I
doubt if we should know more of his passion for Laura to-day than could
be told in a score of sonnets. For with his mind overloaded by the
sights and sounds and honors that were heaped upon him, he never could
have separated her from the contingent circumstances that surrounded
their intercourse in Avignon. But there, on the banks of the Sorgue, he
viewed her image from afar, dismissed all the attendant episodes of
palace and revel, court and council, and beheld only the ideal--or
rather the real--Laura in her own worth and significance. Surely, never
was there verse through which showed so plainly the Nature under whose
auspices it was brought forth as those songs of Petrarch. I seem to feel
that they were written in solitude, not sublime, but pleasing, and in a
narrow valley shut out from contemplation of aught else. And I know, as
I leave the Vaucluse behind me, how deep a hold the memory of the loved
fountain must needs have taken upon the poet's mind, for I too have made
me a picture of a river, and a grotto, and a shadowy pool, and a low
brown house, and a stately laurel tree, which will always live in my
sense. And these things resolve themselves into one with a few scattered
sonnets, and a shadowy gold-haired form, and a handful of sweet small
roses, and, lo! I have made incarnate and have bound fast to me for ever
that beautiful old-time idyl of the Vaucluse.

CHARLOTTE ADAMS.



A "TARTAR FIGHT" AT KAZAN, AND HOW IT WAS STOPPED.


Rooshia? Why, yes, I ought to know something about Rooshia, seein' I've
lived there, off and on, this fifteen year and more; and if a young man
was to come to me and ax me where's the best place for a workin' man to
git on, I'd say to him, jist as I says it to you now, "Go to Rooshia!"
Why so? says you. Well, jist this way. You see, cotton-mills and
mowin'-machines and steam-ploughs and sich are quite new ideas out
there; and they haven't got the trick of workin' 'em properly, not yet;
so that any man as _has_ got it is pretty safe to git anything he likes
to ax in the way o' wages. Why, _I_ knowed a man once--common
factory-hand he was when he started: couldn't read nor write, nor
nothin'; but he had his wits about him, all the same,--well, _he_ cum
out here 'bout ten year ago, and went to some place on the Volga, with
some crack-jaw name or other that I can't reck'lect. First year he was
there he got as good pay as any overseer at home; next year he was
overseer himself; two year arter that he owned his own mill, he did; and
now, jist t'other day I gits a letter from him to say he's goin' home
ag'in, with money in both pockets, and a-goin' to buy a big house and a
bit o' ground, and I don't know what all. And if _that_ ain't gittin'
on, I should jist like to know what is!

But you mustn't think, neither, as it's all jist as easy as supping
porridge: it ain't that, nohow. I can tell yer, if you was to go into
one o' them hot work-rooms on a roastin' day in July, with the
thermometer anywhere you like above a hundred, you'd feel more like
lyin' down in the shade and havin' a drink o' beer than workin' hard for
nine or ten hours on end. They say we overseers have an easy life of it.
I wish them as says so had jist got to try it themselves for a day or
two. Then, ag'in, most likely there's only one road from your place to
the nearest town, and jist when you want to send off your stuff it'll
come on pourin' rain for ever so long, and the whole road'll be nothin'
but plash and mash, like a dish of cabbage-soup; and there the stuff'll
have to lie idle for weeks and weeks, and you've jist got to grin and
bear it. And in them parts, instead of one good pelt and have done with
it, it keeps on drip, drip, drip, for days and days in a sneaking
half-and-half kind o' way, as if it hadn't the pluck to come out with a
good hearty pour. The very thunder don't make a good round-mouthed peal
like it does at home, but a nasty jabberin' row, jist as if it was
a-tryin' to talk French. And, altogether, it is a place to try a chap's
temper: it is, indeed.

Are the native workmen good for much? says you. Well, that depends
pretty much on how you look at it. When you've once shown 'em how to do
a thing, they'll do it every bit as well as yourself; but they take a
powerful deal o' showin', they do. You see, a Rooshan has his own way of
doin' everything, and tryin' to teach him any other way is as bad as
eating soup with a one-pronged fork. And then to see how thick some on
'em are! Why, they may well be brave in battle, for it 'ud take a
precious clever bullet to git through one of _their_ 'eads, it would.
Here's one sample for yer: A friend o' mine in Mosker had got a Rooshan
servant--one o' them reg'lar _Derevenskis_ ("villagers"), and so one day
he sends him to the shop with two o' them twenty-kopeck pieces,[30]
tellin' him to buy bread with one and butter with t'other. Off goes the
chap, and never comes back ag'in; so at last his master goes to see
what's up; and there he finds Mr. Ivan at the door of the shop, holdin'
out the money in one hand and scratchin' his head with t'other, as if
he'd forgot his own name, and couldn't find hisself nowhow. "Oh,
_barin_" ("master"), says he in a voice like a fit o' chollerer,
"whatever am I to do now? I've been and _mixed_ the two pieces, and now
I don't know which was the one for the bread and which for the butter."

As for the Tartars, _they're_ troublesome in another way. They make
prime workmen--there's no denyin' it; and I had ought to know, seein' I
was over a gang of 'em myself for more'n a year--but they're the
hot-bloodedest lot as ever I saw yet, and reg'lar born imps for
fightin'; and when _they_ git up a shindy, look out! I can speak, for I
saw the big fight betwixt them and the Rooshans at Kazan 'bout three
year ago; and if you cares to hear the story, I'll tell yer jist how it
all happened.

You tell me as you've been to Kazan, and so, o' course, you'll remember
that the "Tartar Town," as they calls it, lies a mile or two east o' the
reg'lar Rooshan quarter; and midway between 'em's a dry gully
(leastways, it's dry in the summer-time, but you should jist see it
arter the spring thaw!), with a little bridge over it. Now, the Rooshan
gangs and the Tartar gangs, a-comin' from their work, used to cross each
other jist at this bridge; and o' course there was a good deal o'
chaffin' among 'em, and some fightin', too, now and then; for I needn't
tell _you_ that a Rooshan and a Tartar are jist about as fond of each
other as a Rooshan and a Turk. Now-a-days, the masters have had the
gumption to change the hours of work, and keep 'em out of each other's
way; but in _my_ time there was a scrimmage nearly every week, though
nothin' like this 'un I'm tellin' of.

Well, sir, I'd knocked off early that evenin', and strolled back to my
place with a young Rooshan merchant as I knowed--a right good feller,
name o' Michael Feodoroff. Just at the bridge we stopped to have a look
at the sunset; and a rare sight it was! There was the dark-red tower of
the old Tartar gateway standin' out ag'in the bright evenin' sky, and
the citadel-wall with all its turrets and battlements, and the gilt
cupolers o' the churches in the town, and the great green plain of the
Volga away below us, and the broad river itself a-shinin' wherever the
light fell on it, and the purple hills beyond tipped with gold every
here and there, jist like them Delectable Mountains as mother used to
read about on Sundays when I was a boy.

While we were standin' lookin' at it up comes half a dozen Rooshan
workmen, a-goin' home from their work, and four or five Tartars from
t'other side, a-goin' home from _theirn_; and they meets jist on the
bridge. As they crossed each other one o' the Rooshans pulls a bit o'
sassage out of his pocket and holds it up to the foremost Tartar (a
great ugly-lookin' bruiser with one eye), and says to him, chaffin'
like, "Hollo, Mourad! d'ye want a bit o' grease to make yer beard grow?"

Now, I needn't tell _you_ that offerin' pork to a Mussulman is like
drinkin' Dutch William's health at an Irish fair; and the words warn't
well out o' the Rooshan's mouth afore the Tartar had him by the throat
and was bangin' his head ag'in' the bridge-rails as if he was drivin' a
nail with it.

Then, all in one minute, a whole crowd of 'em seemed to start up out o'
the werry earth, and we found ourselves right in the middle of a reg'lar
tearin' fight--tossin' arms and fierce faces whirlin' all round us; men
strikin' and grapplin' and clawin' like fury; the broad, bearded faces
of the Rooshans and the flat sallow mugs of the Tartars all blurred up
together; and sich a yellin' and cursin' and screechin' a-goin' on that
I a'most thought myself one o' them old Roman hemperors a-lookin' on at
a wild-beast fight in the Call-and-see-'em.

I was so took aback that I jist stood and stared like a fool; but
Feodoroff had his wits about him, and dragged me into a corner where we
could see it all without bein' swep' in. I saw d'reckly that it was more
than a plain bout o' fisticuffs, for several of the Rooshans had got out
their knives, and were slashin' about like one o'clock; and the Tartars,
on their side, had begun to tear out the rails o' the palisade and to
crack the skulls of the Rooshans with them. Just then Ivan Martchenkoff,
one o' my best men, came tumblin' down at my feet with half a dozen
Tartars atop of him; and as he fell he caught sight of me, and cried to
me for help.

Well, _that_ was more'n I could stand. I busted loose from Feodoroff
(who tried to hold me), and leapt right among 'em. I cotched the
uppermost Tartar by the scruff o' the neck, and chucked him away like a
kitten; and the second I hit sich a dollop behind the ear as made him
look five ways at once; but just then two o' the rips jumped upon me
from behind, and down I went. Then Feodoroff flew in to save me, but the
crowd closed upon him, and down _he_ went too; and I thought 'twas all
up with us both.

Jist then I heerd a rumble of wheels up the slope leadin' to the bridge,
and then a great shout of "_Soldati! soldati!_" ("The soldiers! the
soldiers!").

Then I lay close to the ground and made myself as small as I could, for
I knowed that if they fired into sich a crowd with cannon it 'ud just
mow 'em down like grass. The next minute I heerd an orficer's voice
singin' out, "Halt! front! fire!" But instead of the bang of a cannon
there cum a hiss like fifty tea-kettles a-bilin' over, and then a great
splash, and the crowd scattered fifty ways at once; and I found myself
wringin' wet all in a minute. Then somebody gripped hold o' me and
pulled me up, and there was Feodoroff, and beside him Lieutenant
Berezinski of the garrison laughin' fit to burst. And when I looked
round the whole place was a puddle o' water, with dozens of men rollin'
in it like flies in treacle; and at the end of the bridge was ten or
twelve sogers, and right in front of 'em a great steam _fire-engine_!
Then I understood it all, and began laughin' as loud as anybody.

"You've cooled their courage this time, Mr. Lieutenant," says I.

"I think I have," says the lieutenant; "and that, too, without wasting a
cartridge or killing a man. When you go home to England, Yakov
Ivanovitch (James son of John), you can say that if you haven't stood
fire, you've stood water, and been at the battle of Voyevoda."[31]

DAVID KER.



OUR MONTHLY GOSSIP.


THE COLORED CREOLES OF BALTIMORE.

It is well known that many French families, fugitives from St. Domingo,
took refuge in Baltimore during the last decade of the eighteenth
century. They gracefully and gratefully accepted favors and kindness of
various kinds, but they were too proud and self-reliant to resign
themselves to eat the bread of charity or lead lives of indolence. Some,
born to fortune and ancient titles, employed their talents and
accomplishments promptly and without hesitation. Counts and marquises
became gardeners (introducing a great variety of fruits and vegetables
unknown before in the United States), dancing-masters, music-teachers,
drawing-masters, architects, chemists, confectioners, cigar-makers and
teachers of their own beautiful language. The names of many of those
_émigrés_ are now borne by the most estimable citizens of the community
which first sheltered their ancestors: they are ornaments of society,
distinguished in the professions and skilled in the arts and sciences.

But it is not of this high and noble class that I desired to speak: it
is of a more humble but not less worthy set of French people who came
here at the same time. I allude to the colored creoles who were the born
slaves of these ladies and gentlemen. Some shared the dangers of their
flight from St. Domingo: others found a way, by tedious voyages, to join
their old masters and tender their services, not as slaves, but as
honest, humble, faithful servants. It was honorable both to master and
slave that such cordial relations should have existed under such trying
circumstances. Some of the creoles were good cooks, bakers,
snuff-makers, laundry-women, etc.; and the most beautiful and touching
part of this relation between the master and their former slaves was
that hundreds of the latter laid the profits of their labor at the feet
of their white friends with reverence and devotion. Many old ladies and
gentlemen, accustomed to every attention from the best trained servants,
were altogether incapable of helping themselves, and were dependent on
the bounty and tender care of their former slaves. Most of the better
class of French _émigrés_ retained all their former habits of domestic
life, such as taking a cup of coffee before rising in the morning and an
eleven-o'clock _déjeuner à la fourchette_, while those who could afford
it had a modest _petit souper_ at nine o'clock in the evening. At the
latter were often found the élite of this French society. Music, dancing
and refined conversation were indulged in for two or three hours: old
memories and stirring events were recalled and the bonds of nationality
and family affection were more closely knit. French only was spoken at
these soirées, and the elegant manners of the old school were observed
in perfection.

The most remarkable of this set was a Madame Valanbrun, the widow of a
gentleman of large fortune and high position in St. Domingo. He died
before the Revolution. She was only twenty-five when the massacre took
place, beautiful, accomplished and fascinating. Her estates were
extensive, and she lived in one of the principal cities of the island.
At the time of the outbreak she escaped to a Baltimore vessel,
accompanied by several of her house-servants, and saved a part of her
fortune--plate, jewels and some gold coin. Arriving in Baltimore, she
found several of her friends already there. With the elastic temper
peculiar to the French, she determined to make the best of her changed
circumstances. Having purchased a large house in a cheap part of the
city, she fitted up her own suite of rooms on the second floor. Here she
received company, and was attended by her servants as if she had been a
queen. At that period snuff-taking was very fashionable and almost
universal. Some of madame's servants were very expert in making snuff,
cigars and cigarettes: these articles they sold at high prices, for they
soon became well known. Others of her servants made confections, cakes,
sweetmeats, which they carried around in baskets: some made dresses, and
others went out as nurses. The arrangements for all these various
employments were made by the servants themselves, but the profits were
carefully reserved for the queen bee of the hive.

For many years Madame Valanbrun was the centre of the French society of
Baltimore. She had few acquaintances outside of this circle, but the
most distinguished foreigners who visited the city--French, Spanish and
Italian--and several young Americans ambitious to become better
acquainted with the French language, were glad to have the entrée of her
salon.

Time wore on. The Bourbons were restored to the throne, and many French
families returned to France to seek their lost fortunes. Some were
successful, but most of them were doomed to disappointment and continued
poverty. Madame Valanbrun remained contented with her humble but
comfortable lot. By degrees her corps of servants was reduced by death,
a new race of competitors sprang up, and her income each year grew less
and less.

In 1832, when the Asiatic cholera fell upon Baltimore like an Alpine
avalanche upon a quiet Italian village, the colored creoles suffered
more, relatively, than any other portion of the population, probably
because they lived in the more confined streets in the centre of the
city. The venerable physician who furnished most of the particulars for
this sketch said: "I was passing through a narrow and rather dirty
street one day during the height of the cholera, when I met Dr. B----,
who asked me whether I did not know Madame Valanbrun: if so, would I go
with him to see her in one of the houses near? He had been there a few
hours before, and thought she had a severe attack of cholera. We went,
and found the venerable old lady _in articulo mortis_. She was much
changed, and the surroundings indicated an equally great change in her
circumstances which it was melancholy to witness. But one feature
redeemed all that was disgusting in the picture: round the squalid bed
five or six old negroes, men and women, knelt in deep devotion like
fixed statues, offering up their prayers to the Throne of grace for the
departing soul of their beloved mistress, whose life had been so
chequered by the sunshine of pleasure and the clouds of adversity. She
had just received the last rites of the Church. The priest had retired
to perform similar duties elsewhere, leaving the humble but devoted
blacks to watch the last breath of life and to close the eyes of their
lifelong friend and mistress. I never felt more veneration at the
deathbed of any of my own kindred, or deeper respect for mourners than I
then felt for those faithful servants of Madame Valanbrun. The old lady
died that evening. She devised the small remnant of her property to be
divided among her old servants in common.

"Among these colored Creoles were some remarkable women. Well do I
remember Suzette, Fanny, Clementine, as faithful watchers at sick beds:
many precious lives did they save by their skill, judgment and fidelity.
They were not _eye_-servants, working for money only: they worked from
the purest motives of benevolence, from the sentiment of Christian
charity.

"Another instance of fidelity came under my notice when I was a student
of medicine in 1819. I boarded at a good old Frenchman's, whose few
domestics were French creoles. One of these was the washerwoman. When
quite young she had left St. Domingo with her old mistress, who had been
kind to her in the days of prosperity on the island. The old lady
managed to save a small portion of her wealth, and lived quietly with
her former servant, now her faithful friend. Madame Curchon, as she grew
older, required more comforts than her slender means could afford, and
Lizette determined to take in washing. She soon obtained as much as she
could attend to, and spent her earnings in making madame comfortable in
her old age.

"About this time appeared a fine-looking negro sailor from St. Domingo.
He had heard that Lizette, his former sweetheart, was alone in
Baltimore, and he came in search of her. He found her. She welcomed him
joyously, with her affection for him unchanged. He told her he would
marry her at once and take her back to the West Indies. Lizette
explained to her lover that she considered herself bound in honor to her
old mistress, though no longer her slave, adding that if he would give
her five hundred dollars to leave with Madame Curchon her conscience
would be free of all charge of ingratitude, and she would follow him to
any part of the world. He said he would not pay a dollar for her, as she
was a free woman and had worked for the old lady long enough.

"This little love-story came to the knowledge of the boarders through
our kind-hearted landlady, and they agreed to subscribe one hundred
dollars toward the payment of the amount fixed on by Lizette: the old
mistress knew nothing of this romance in low life. Some weeks passed:
the man remained stubborn in his idea of right, and she in her
conscientious sense of what was due to her dear old mistress. Lizette
positively refused to abandon madame to an old age of poverty. Her lover
finally returned to the West Indies without her. Whatever disappointment
the faithful creole may have suffered, she remained true to her trust,
and was for many years the comfort and companion of this poor old French
lady."

Another instance of creole gratitude and fidelity is worth recording. A
lady who had enjoyed wealth and luxury at home escaped the massacre, but
arrived in America entirely destitute. Her feeble health required
constant care and delicate food. She was accompanied in her flight by
her faithful servant Fanny, who devoted herself to the care and comfort
of her former mistress. Fanny rented a small brick house containing five
rooms--two chambers, two rooms below and a kitchen. In the upper rooms
she made her dear old godmother as comfortable as any lady could be, and
when her duties called her elsewhere she placed another in attendance
there. The constant piety of this excellent creole was an edifying
sight. Fanny still lives, but her dear friend is no more: she believes
firmly that they will again be united, to part no more.

One fact connected with these colored Creoles is worthy of mention.
Although they have been living in this country for more than
three-quarters of a century, they have never united themselves, as
social beings, with any of our American negroes. They have treated them
with kindness and politeness, helped them in poverty and visited them in
sickness, but have never intermarried with them, never gone to their
churches, never joined any of the various African societies so
conspicuous on certain days of parade. Distinguished for their honesty,
they have seldom appeared in the courts either as plaintiffs or
defendants. Respected by all, they have never demanded social equality.

Scarcely a dozen of the colored creoles who originally emigrated from
St. Domingo are now alive, but their descendants are numerous. They form
a very worthy part of the community in which they live. They retain many
of the traditionary qualities of their ancestors, and among the
shiftless, dependent and often destitute negroes around them they are
conspicuous for their industry, integrity and morality.

  E.L.D.


GLIMPSES OF BRUSSELS.

To leave Paris for Brussels is to exchange excitement for tranquillity,
a crowd for a few, the oppressive newness and vivacity of to-day for a
mild animation tempered with a flavor of bygone ages. Brussels has been
called a miniature Paris. I should rather consider her as the younger
sister of the great city--less beautiful, less decked out, less
accomplished, less versed in the ways of the world, yet keeping a
certain freshness and virginity of aspect that is lacking in her more
brilliant elder.

There is one thing that a foreign resident of Paris is apt to find very
enjoyable in Brussels, and that is the absence of the eternal crowd
that mars for many people a full enjoyment of the pleasant places of
Paris. Her thronging millions overwhelm you on every festive day or
joyous occasion. Any little outside show or attraction calls together in
some restricted space the population of a small city. Thirty thousand
people rushed to hear the Spanish students play on the guitar in the
garden of the Tuileries. Twenty thousand go every Sunday to the Salon
during the period that it remains open. One hundred thousand go out to
the races on ordinary days, and twice that number attend the Grand Prix.
Hence comes a famine of conveyances and of seats, and a plethora of
companions that are far from being uniformly agreeable.

In Brussels one has enough of human surroundings. There is no lack of
companionship in her gardens, her galleries, her streets and her parks.
She is not a solitude, as are some of the dead cities of Italy and
Germany or some of the minor provincial towns in Belgium and France. The
influence of her three hundred and fifty thousand inhabitants is very
comfortably apparent. But where Paris pours forth her tens of thousands,
Brussels sends out some hundreds. Hence there is always room and to
spare. And she is well-to-do in the world, is this pretty capital of
Belgium. She is growing and thriving, and wears every mark of an active
and contented prosperity. New and handsome streets meet the view on
every side. Foremost among these is the elegant Avenue Louise, named
after the late queen of the Belgians, which leads out to the spacious
and lovely Bois de la Cambre, a second Bois de Boulogne, omitting the
traces of the siege. The Avenue Louise reminds me very much of South
Broad street in Philadelphia. It forms an almost unbroken row of elegant
private residences, extending for full two miles to the very gate of the
Bois. The centre of the roadway is macadamized and bordered with rows of
trees, thus forming a charming road to the Bois for the private
carriages of the Belgian aristocracy.

The royal family of Belgium appear but little in public. A series of
family misfortunes, combined with the ill-health of the king, has
induced them to live in comparative retirement. Of the children of the
late king Leopold, but three survive, the present king, the Count de
Flandres and the luckless empress Charlotte. The last, still sunk in a
state of hopeless insanity, inhabits the Château de Tervueren. The king,
with his wife and family, passes most of his time at the Château de
Laeken. He is a great sufferer from a disease which has attacked one of
his legs. The queen, an Austrian archduchess, was formerly one of the
most beautiful princesses of Europe, but she has never regained either
her health or her spirits since the death of her only son some years
ago, and looks faded and careworn. On the king's death the crown will
pass to his only brother, the Count de Flandres. This gentleman, whose
wife, a beautiful and spirited lady, is a princess of the house of
Hohenzollern, is as deaf as a post. He inhabits a very handsome palace
in the heart of Brussels, and his own sleeping apartments are on the
ground floor. One summer night the sentinel in charge was amazed to see
a crowd gathered in front of the windows of the count's room, and
evidently highly amused. On approaching it was discovered that the
attendants had failed to close the outside shutters, and had drawn the
lace curtains merely. The room was brilliantly lighted, and of course
every part of it was distinctly visible from without. And there,

    Dans le simple appareil
    D'une beauté qu'on vient d'arracher au sommeil,

the heir to the Belgian throne was peacefully walking to and fro in a
brown study, unconscious that the eyes of some hundreds of his future
subjects were fixed upon his lightly-draped form. His deafness prevented
him from hearing the noise outside the window, and rendered all warnings
by means of sounds ineffectual. So the prince's chamberlain was aroused,
and after some delay His Royal Highness was released from his very
undignified position.

Among the proprietors of the new buildings of Brussels is cited the
empress Eugénie. Whole rows of newly-erected and handsome shops were
pointed out to me as being her property. A very strong sympathy for the
dethroned imperial family seemed to be prevalent in Brussels, as well as
an equally strong dislike to the Germans. I was amused to find that two
animals in the Zoological Garden, a very cross monkey and a
savage-looking African boar, both bore the name of Bismarck.

This Zoological Garden, by the by, is unworthy of the beautiful city to
which it belongs. It is small, shabby and ill-kept, contains very few
animals, and has become a sort of beer-garden, with open-air concerts
and a skating-rink for its chief attractions. A very large and beautiful
aquarium, a vast grotto of artificial rock-work, is really worth seeing,
but its contents are of the most commonplace kind.

The picture-gallery--or Musée Royal, as it is called--has recently been
rearranged, and the modern paintings that used to be on view in the ducal
palace are now installed in a series of new and beautifully-decorated
rooms. Thither have also been removed a number of pictures by contemporary
Belgian painters that used to adorn the public buildings of Brussels.
Chief among these is Gallait's noble picture of the _Abdication of Charles
V_. This fine work, considered by some critics as the masterpiece of the
great Belgian artist, is worthy of the pencil of Delaroche. Nor is it in
style unlike the best productions of that master, recalling the _Death of
Elizabeth_ by its admirable grouping and refinement of color.
Verboeckhoven is seen here at his best, his _Flock of Sheep in a Storm_, a
large and carefully-finished work, being replete with all the most
striking characteristics of his genius. Madou's _Interrupted Ball_ is a
brilliant and vivacious representation of a village festival troubled by
the intrusion of a group of dandies of the Directory--gay Incroyables who
chuck the country damsels under the chin, rouse their swains to jealous
wrath and otherwise misconduct themselves. Rohbe's pictures of still life
are perfect feasts of coloring, warm, rich and glowing as the heart of a
crimson rose brimming with the sunshine and sweetness of a summer's day.

The Musée itself is a noble building, and in point of arrangement and of
decoration forms a contrast to the dreary halls of the Luxembourg. The
gallery devoted to the old masters contains some valuable specimens of
early Flemish art, and some extremely interesting historical portraits,
the gem of the collection being a wonderfully fine portrait by Holbein
of Sir Thomas More.

But the most interesting point in all Brussels is the Hôtel de Ville.
That marvellous edifice, that looks as though it ought to be preserved
in a velvet-lined case, so delicate and elaborate are its multitudinous
sculptures, lifts the exquisite tracery of its spire against the summer
sky, as perfect in its beauty as when Alva and Egmont and Orange passed
beneath its shadow ages ago. No spot in Europe, save perhaps the Tower
of London, is more haunted by historic memories than is this perfect
marvel of architectural beauty. The centuries roll back as we stand
beneath its shadow. There is a stain of blood upon the stones, and
Philip of Spain rides by, and the duke of Alva comes through yonder
doorway, and the air is full of thronging phantoms and of cries--the
wail of the Netherlands beneath the sword of the oppressor.

Around the Hôtel de Ville are grouped a series of antique buildings, the
one more exquisite than the other--the ancient halls of the corporations
of Brussels, among which that of the brewers shows supreme by reason of
the luxury of its carvings and the care wherewith its beauty and
solidity have been maintained throughout the centuries. In one of the
simplest houses of the square Victor Hugo first took refuge after the
great catastrophe of the _coup d'état_. It bore the number 27. A
tobacco-shop occupied the ground floor. The poet's parlor was furnished
in a style of bald simplicity, with chairs and a sofa covered with black
haircloth. But he was wont to say, pointing to the Hôtel de Ville, "I
have the most wonderful piece of carving in the world for a sideboard."
In this modest abode he wrote _Napoléon le Petit_. Then, stirred by the
historic memories around him, he chose the Inquisition itself for a
subject, and planned his as yet unpublished tragedy of _Torquemada_. The
dwelling in the Grande Place became the haunt of all the proscribed
republicans of France. Yet Belgium gave them but a cold welcome and
grudging hospitality. They were subjected to a series of humiliating
formalities, chief among which was the requirement of the authorities
that each should provide himself with a permit of residence. These
permits were temporary and revocable, and their holders were obliged to
go weekly to ask for their renewal at the central police-office. It is
not surprising, therefore, that so few of the fugitives should have
remained in Belgium. Seven thousand took refuge there after the coup
d'état, but only two hundred and fifty took up their abode on Belgian
soil. Yet Brussels remained, in some sense, the continental
head-quarters of Victor Hugo, though never kindly or generous in her
treatment of the great exile. In 1871, the rumor having gone abroad that
he had offered shelter to some of the fugitive Communists, his house was
attacked by an armed mob, and its inmates barely escaped with their
lives.

Brussels possesses among her other sights a curiosity with which she
could very well dispense--namely, the Wiertz Gallery. It is a collection
of horrors depicted on a colossal scale by a man whose powers of
painting were scarcely equal to those of a respectable scene-painter. A
series of nightmares, expressed with a sort of epileptic violence and
without any artistic value, clothe the walls of the immense studio with
gigantic abominations. There is neither originality of conception nor
intelligence of execution to redeem their hideousness: their horror is
of the simplest bugaboo kind. A man blowing his head to pieces with a
pistol-shot; a supposed corpse coming to life in its coffin; the First
Napoleon in the flames of hell, with a multitude of women shaking at
him the bloody severed limbs of their sons and husbands; a child burned
alive in its cradle; the head of a decapitated criminal, and the visions
that filled its brain,--such are some of the ghastly imaginings of this
diseased and uneducated nature. Compare such works as these with Doré's
crudest conceptions, and the difference between the inventions of genius
and those of a morbid intellect becomes at once apparent.

  L.H.H.


AN OFF YEAR.

It is a great luxury to find ourselves and the country in the midst of
what Marshal MacMahon might style a _quadrennate_, and to be at the
neutral and central point from which a much-vexed people can look both
ways for a Presidential election. The contest of two years ago is over,
and that of two years hence not near enough to beget mentionable worry.
This equator of partisanship, lying midway between the two polls, is a
happy medium of repose. The trade-winds of party passion blow from both
sides fiercely toward it, but fail to break its calm. The average
American--even the average professional American politician--possesses
his soul in patience. He looks forward to no revolution, and, when he
thinks of the matter at all, is entirely certain that the night of the
first Tuesday in November, 1880, will bring nothing more tremendous than
the usual hubbub among the telegraph-operators, the reporters and the
haunters of the clubs and leagues. He doubts the due abnormal succession
of the Presidents as little as he does that of the British kings, and a
great deal less than he does that of some of the continental monarchs,
to say nothing of the French ruler, whose septennate happens also to be
within about two years of its close.

So pleasant it is to be at leisure to bestow attention on life, liberty
and the pursuit of happiness, without thought of the usually engrossing
machinery so painfully and minutely contrived for facilitating our
advance to those ends! To forget the means and for once look at the
object; to ignore the strife for free government, and be placidly and
contentedly free; to shut our eyes on eternal vigilance, and realize
that we have paid that price and have the receipt in our pockets; to
intermit our nursing of the tree and enjoy the fruit; to feel that life
in a republic is not necessarily and always "the fever called
living,"--such is, for the present interval, our lot. Self-government is
such very hard work that those engaged in it are entitled to occasional
holidays. Nature demands it. Whether their stated Sabbath come once in
four years or once in seven, it must come. No wonder that it is apt to
prove too welcome and seductive, and that healthy relaxation should grow
into harmful lethargy, Sunday into "Blue Monday." Examples of that
result are abundant enough to warn us when we need warning. They have
chromoed in brilliantly illuminated text, in all the languages and
alphabets, the maxim about eternal vigilance, and hung it up over our
council-fires and our domestic hearths. We can only venture, perhaps, to
half close our eyes and view it sleepily as through cigar-smoke, or turn
our backs upon it for a little while and go out into a world of other
cares which takes no note of elections, constitutions, statutes or
office-holding. The shorter the interval the less should our enjoyment
of it be marred. Investigations into past elections serve only to
interfere with it, or to assist the newspapers in interfering with it;
and newspapers are our daily food or a part of it. Three-fourths of the
reading-matter in the five or six thousand of them published in the
Union are filled with politics, although the conductors of them, like
the rest of us, are aware that politics are temporarily in eclipse. They
can teach us nothing on that subject, and we want to learn nothing.
Their occupation as trade-journals devoted to the art and science of
government is gone. Other periodicals devoted to a specialty, whether
iron, coal, calico or the Thirty-nine Articles, show judgment and
compassion on their readers when a "slack" time comes by turning
miscellaneous and slipping in choice literary tidbits among their
regular "shop" items. The five thousand should do likewise. If they
will not wholly exclude politics, they might at least sweep political
news and disquisitions into a separate corner of the sheet--say among
the jokes, base-ball accidents and last year's advertisements.

Could our legislators and their chroniclers only convince themselves
that they are _de trop_, that the best they can do just now is to assist
us in cultivating a transitory oblivion of them and their deeds, and
that, instead, they are depriving us of the refreshment of our forty
winks, they would show a correct understanding of the situation. If they
cannot be altogether silent, they might at least give their noise
another pitch, and direct it into some humdrum monotone that would not
jar upon our slumbers. Do their worst, however, they cannot take from us
the delicious consciousness that it will be two years before another
Presidential campaign. Panoplied in that reflection, we can stand a good
deal.

We sometimes think it must have been a vast relief to the Poles when
partition came and the three powers for good and all put an end to their
perpetually recurring agony of electing a king. To the masses of the
people, who were serfs, and had no more the right of suffrage or any
other attribute of liberty than their cattle, we have no doubt it was
so. Only by the small minority of privileged and fussy nobles, who went
armed to the hall of election, ready to silence effectually any
troublesome minority-man who should undertake to defeat their choice
with his veto, could the loss of the wonted excitement have been
seriously felt. That it was a relief to the neighboring nations, whose
peace was constantly compromised by the recurrence of Poland's stormy
call for a new king, is certain enough. The change threw a few very
worthy men out of business--the Kosciuskos, Pulaskis, Czartoriskis,
etc.--but it did away with a much larger number who were standing
nuisances, and it left the surplus energy of many more to seek more
legitimate and profitable paths. Of course the fate of the Poles,
prosperous though their country is beyond anything dreamed of in the
days of its nominal independence, is not enviable to us. It were to be
wished that they had been cured of the regular--or irregular--spasms of
selecting a chief without losing their national autonomy. What we remark
is, that the strain of that convulsion was greater than they or their
neighbors could bear, and that all concerned, with the trifling
exceptions named, must have breathed freer and deeper when it was put an
end to.

  E.C.B.


CONJUGAL DISCORDS.

The weaknesses and follies of woman are a theme on which men, from the
sage to the clown, have at all times been eloquent. Her natural coquetry
in dress, her maternal vanity, her devotion to the little elegancies of
the home, to clean windows and fresh curtains, are inexhaustible sources
of masculine merriment or abuse. What housekeeper ever complained of an
aching back or of nervous irritation without being scolded by her "lord"
for some extra work she had done in beautifying the home? Men never seem
to learn that women, as a rule, cannot find life endurable in the
atmosphere of dust and disorder which characterizes bachelor
housekeeping, and which seldom disturbs the equanimity of the masculine
mind in the least. Men and women are so different in their tastes and
ways that there must always be discord and unhappiness in the household
until the sexes give over trying to change or remodel those tastes and
ways, and learn to respect them. Men must accept as inevitable the fact
that women to be happy must have artistic, or at least dainty and cozy,
environments; and women must learn to preserve their souls in quiet when
men spill their tobacco and ashes over the carpets and tables, for
probably no man ever lived who could fill a pipe, even from a wash-tub,
without scattering the tobacco over the premises.

That the sexes will give over trying to reform each other does not seem
likely to happen very soon. Indeed, one might be pardoned for believing
that matrimony is specially adapted to develop all the imperfections
and meannesses of human character, and that even of those matches that
are made in heaven the devil arranges all the subsequent conditions.
There is hardly a pure and innocent delight that unmarried women enjoy
which they can carry into that blissful world bounded by the
marriage-ring. One of those delights is that of squandering a little
money, which is merely the equivalent of man's spending it as he likes,
without accounting to any one. Few wives can do this and not be
subjected to the humiliation of hearing the husband say, "My dear, are
you not a little extravagant? Is all that money gone that I gave you
last week?"

Men and women seem incapacitated, in the very nature of things, from
understanding each other. While mutually enamored they meet as upon a
bridge--a Bridge of Sighs perhaps: break this, and they are for ever
separated as by an impassable gulf. Leaving aside entirely the enamored
state, do men as a rule seek the society of women and prefer it to that
of men? The thriving clubs, the billiard- and drinking-saloons, and the
other resorts of men common all over the civilized world, seem very like
a negative answer to the question. In savage life we know that the sexes
do not hunt or fish or do any work together. In our modern drawing-rooms
most men confess themselves "bored." They long to get away to their
clubs or some other resort of their fellows. When husbands spend their
evenings at home, if no one happens to call it is not common for them to
enter into long and exhilarating conversations with their wives. To be
sure, wives are too often ignorant of the subjects that interest
intelligent men; still, not more ignorant than before marriage, when the
one bridge upon which they could meet was unbroken. _Then_ conversation
never flagged: it was ever new and entrancing. Both talked pure
nonsense, while having the art of "kissing full sense into empty words."
On the other hand, it is, I think, quite a defensible proposition,
despite the inferences to the contrary drawn from the failure of the
Women's Hotel, that women enjoy conversation with women more than with
men when there is no possible question of gallantry or flirtation; and,
finally, that the recognition of the fact that men and women are not by
nature in sympathetic accord, but only attracted through the law of
compensation or opposites, will do more than all other things combined
to make them study each other's natures and to respect sexual biases and
characteristics, the motive for that study being, of course, the
consummation of the ideal marriage, where man and woman set themselves
together "like perfect music unto noble words."

  M.H.


A RUSSIAN GENERAL IN CENTRAL ASIA.

Afternoon in Tashkent, the burning sun of Central Asia glaring upon the
dusty streets and countless mud-hovels of the great city; files of
camels gliding past with their long, noiseless stride, led by gaunt
brown men in blue robes and white turbans; a deep archway in a high wall
of baked earth, above which appear the trees of a spacious garden, and
just within the entrance two tall, wiry, black-eyed Cossacks, in flat
forage-caps, soiled cotton jackets and red goatskin trousers, leaning
indolently on their long Berdan rifles.

At my approach, however, the two sentinels start up briskly enough--as
well they may, for they are guarding one whom every man in Bokhara would
give his best horse for a fair chance of murdering. My announcement that
I am expected by the governor-general is received with evident suspicion
and a crossing of bayonets to bar my way; but, happily, a passing
aide-de-camp recognizes me and promptly leads me in.

The clustering trees, through which the sunshine filters in a rich,
subdued light suggestive of some great cathedral, are deliciously cool
and shady after the blinding glare outside; but there is life enough in
the scene, nevertheless. White-frocked soldiers are hurrying to and fro;
laced jackets, shining epaulettes, clinking spurs and sabres meet us at
every turn; and in the centre of all, under a huge spreading tree
planted years before any Russian had set foot in Turkestan, sits a
towering form whose vast proportions and bold swarthy face seem to dwarf
every other figure in the group. Twelve years ago, General Kolpakovski
was a private soldier in the Russian army: to-day he is the commander of
thirty thousand men and absolute master of a territory as large as the
States of New York and Pennsylvania together.

"Fine fellow, isn't he?" says my conductor, looking admiringly at the
stalwart form of his chief. "Did you ever hear of his ride across the
steppes from here to Kouldja? He started with twelve Tartars, and you
know what horsemen _they_ are. Well, three of them broke down the first
day, five more the second, and all the rest on the third; and the
general got in by himself. Ever since then the Tartars have called him
'The Chief with the Iron Skin;' and the soldiers go about singing,

    Kolpakovski molodetz--
    Fsadnik Tatarski--glupetz!

("Kolpakovski's a fine fellow: the Tartar horseman is a fool.")

"Well done!"

"Ay, and he did a better thing still two years ago. He was crossing the
mountains with a Cossack squadron in the heat of summer. Presently up
comes one fellow: 'Your Excellency, my horse is lame.'--'Go back,
then.'--Another man, seeing that, thought he'd get off the same way; so
_he_ calls out, 'My horse is lame, Your Excellency.'--'Get off and lead
him, then,' says Kolpakovski; and the unfortunate fellow had to tramp up
hill all day, and tow his horse after him into the bargain, with the
thermometer ninety-five in the shade."

But just at this moment my name is called, and I go up to the general's
chair, to receive a cordial handshake, a few words of frank, manly
kindness, and the passport which is to carry me northward across the
steppes as far as the border of Siberia.

  D.K.



LITERATURE OF THE DAY.


Memoir of William Francis Bartlett. By Francis Winthrop Palfrey. Boston:
Houghton, Osgood & Co.

The Story of my Life. By the late Colonel Meadows Taylor. Edited by his
Daughter. With a Preface by Henry Reeve. London: William Blackwood &
Sons.

We put these two books together, not on account of any similarity in the
scenes and events, the characters and careers, depicted in them, but
because each in its way brings under a strong light the qualities on
which nations rely in seasons of peril and emergency, but of which in
ordinary times there is only a consciousness as of a latent source of
strength, the sound and enduring pith beneath many accretions of
questionable fibre and tenacity. General Bartlett may very well stand
for a type of the "heroes" produced by our civil war--men who, neither
bred to the profession of arms nor inspired by military or political
ambition, quitting their homes and chosen vocations at the call of their
country or their State, devoted themselves heart and soul to the duties
and demands of the hour, distinguished themselves not more by their
bravery than by their strict attention to discipline, and in seasons of
discouragement and defeat, of bad generalship or defective organization,
gave to the respective armies that "staying power," so rare in a citizen
soldiery, which prolonged the contest until it ended in the sheer
exhaustion of the weaker party. Conspicuous examples of this class were
sent forth, perhaps, by every State, and within its borders were often
regarded with a fonder admiration than the great commanders on whom a
larger responsibility and more complex duties brought a more anxious and
less partial scrutiny. Massachusetts, in particular, which could boast
of no eminent professional soldier and whose "political generals"
carried off the palm of a disastrous incapacity, turned with especial
pride to those of her sons who in the camp and in the field were
recognized as models of zeal, fidelity and gallantry. Of this
number--and it was not small--Bartlett, though one of the youngest, was
the most distinguished. He showed from the first equal coolness and
daring in battle, as well as the special faculty of a minute
disciplinarian. The regiments which he trained and led were among those
that headed victorious charges and stemmed the torrent of defeat,
besides presenting a faultless appearance on parade and resisting
temptations to plunder. He himself was repeatedly disabled by severe
wounds, and, being captured before Petersburg, passed many of the last
months of the war in confinement, suffering from a disease which
permanently injured his system and shortened his life. Yet he survived
most of the comrades whose careers had opened with a like promise, and
down to his death, in 1876, was full of enterprise and activity as a
private citizen, bearing a spotless reputation, and displaying qualities
which, it seems to have been generally believed, would have found their
fittest field in some high public position. The story of his life is
well and modestly told by his friend Colonel Palfrey, and may be
specially commended to readers capable of being stirred and stimulated
by memories and examples which have certainly not been dimmed by the
greater lustre of those of a more recent date.

It would be unfair to expect in such a narrative the rich and varied
interest that belongs to the autobiography of Meadows Taylor, whose
career was as eventful and exciting as that of any hero of romance, and
who has told it with a vividness and graphic power which few writers of
romance have equalled. "He was one of the last of those," remarks Mr.
Reeve, "who went out to India as simple adventurers." His boyhood and
youth were full of precocious adventure and achievement. At the age of
sixteen he obtained a commission in the military contingent of the
Nizam. At seventeen he was employed as interpreter on courts-martial,
and at eighteen was appointed "assistant police superintendent" of a
district comprising a population of a million of souls. The duties of
this post "involved not only direct authority over the ordinary
relations of society, but the active pursuit of bands of Dacoits, Thugs
and robbers," and occasional military expeditions to reduce some lawless
chief to obedience. But the most remarkable and laborious years of his
life were those during which he filled the office of "political agent"
at Shorapoor, administering the affairs of that principality and holding
the guardianship of the young rajah during a long minority, while cut
off from intercourse with Europeans and exposed to continual plottings
and intrigues of native functionaries and court favorites. The skill,
tact and courage with which he executed the delicate and complicated
functions of this anomalous position, and encountered its difficulties
and perils, make themselves felt and appreciated in all the details of
the narrative, while the picture presented of Eastern character and
manners is one which only the most intimate knowledge, combined with
rare faculties of delineation, could furnish, and differs in many
features from any other to be found in European descriptions of life in
India. "Meadows Taylor was never, properly speaking, in the civil
service of the East India Company or the Crown, nor did he hold any
military appointment in the British Indian army. He was throughout life
an officer of the Nizam. He never even visited Calcutta or Bengal." He
was thus thrown out of the main line of advancement, and never attained
the rank or emoluments that fell to the share of many less gifted
contemporaries. Hence the peculiarly adventurous character of his career
and the novelty of the scenes which he depicts. Hence, too, perhaps, the
width of his attainments, the enlightened spirit he displayed in his
intercourse with the natives, and his cultivation of his literary powers
as the main resource of his leisure while isolated from the society of
his own race. His start in life belonged to a period long antecedent to
the days of competitive examinations, but his assiduity and desire for
knowledge needed no stimulant and were the keys to his early success.
"His perfect acquaintance with the languages of Southern India--Teloogoo
and Mahratta, as well as Hindoostanee--was," we are told, "the
foundation of his extraordinary influence over the natives of the
country and of his insight into their motives and character." He taught
himself land-surveying and engineering, and constructed roads, tanks and
buildings. He studied geology, botany and antiquities, and applied the
knowledge thus obtained to practical purposes. He gained an acquaintance
with the principles of law, Hindoo, Mohammedan and English, that he
might devise codes and rules of procedure for a country where there were
no courts or legislation, and where he had to administer justice
according to his own lights. In the midst of his thousand avocations he
found time to write a series of novels portraying the manners and
superstitions of India, and depicting the various epochs of its history,
with a fidelity and liveliness that have gained for these works a wide
popularity. Yet perhaps the strongest impression made by this record of
his life comes from the evidence it affords of his humane and
conciliatory spirit in his dealings with the native Indians of every
class, his unselfish devotion to their welfare, his habit of treating
them as equals and his power of inspiring them with confidence, with the
result of enabling him to preserve a large and important district from
participation in the Mutiny, without the aid of troops and against the
constant pressure and appeals of surrounding populations all in full
revolt. His autobiography has already gone through several editions in
England, and we cannot but regret that it has not been republished in
America, where the interest in the country and events to which it
relates is of course far less general and intense, but where, we may
hope, the appreciation of heroic energy and noble achievements is not
less common. The book is not to be confounded with the class to which
the lives of governor-generals and military commanders in India belong.
Arrian complained that the expedition of the Ten Thousand was far more
famous in his day than the exploits of Alexander; and this narrative of
what must be considered an episode of the British rule in India is
likely to hold the attention of most readers more closely than many
volumes that recount the grander events of that wonderful history.


Walks in London. By Augustus J.C. Hare, author of "Walks in Rome," etc.
New York: George Routledge & Sons.

Not many visitors to London would be likely to take all or half the
walks described in Mr. Hare's two thick volumes, even if the word
_walks_ should be so interpreted as to include commoner modes of transit
between distant points of interest and through interminable
thoroughfares. In Rome or Venice the tourist may be expected to follow
religiously the prescriptions of his guide-book: he is there for that
purpose, he has no other means of employing his time, and he would be
ashamed to report that he had omitted to see or do anything that Jones
or Smith had seen and done. But a few rapid excursions in a hansom cab
will enable him to visit all the "sights" that are _de rigueur_ in
London--Westminster Abbey and Hall and the Houses of Parliament; the
Museum, the Zoological and the National Gallery; St. Paul's, Guildhall
and the Bank and Exchange; the Monument, the Tower and the
Tunnel,--after which he may devote himself without scruple to an endless
round of social amusements, or to "the proper study of mankind" with all
varieties and countless specimens of the genus collected for his
inspection. It is only the zealous investigator, primed with the
associations of English literature from Chaucer to Dickens, who will be
apt to put himself under Mr. Hare's guidance, and to explore patiently
the widely-separated districts in which lie scattered and almost hidden
the relics that attest the identity of London through the ages of growth
and change that have transformed it from the "Hill Fortress" of Lud or
the Colonia Augusta of the Romans into the commercial metropolis of the
world, with a population, circumference and aggregate of wealth
exceeding those of most of the other European capitals combined. Yet one
who undertakes this labor with the due amount of knowledge and
enthusiasm may be sure of finding his reward in it. Though London is the
supreme embodiment of modern life, with its ceaseless absorption and
accumulation, it is none the less imbued with a conservative spirit
which has saved it from the wholesale demolitions and ruthless
remodellings to which Paris has been subjected. Mr. Hare speaks with
just indignation of the destruction of Northumberland House at Charing
Cross, but this has so far been an exceptional instance, though it is
perhaps an ominous one. The traveller may still step aside from the busy
Strand into the silent and beautiful Temple Church with its tombs of
Crusaders, pause as he leaves his banker's in Bishopsgate to take a
survey of Crosby Hall and Sir Paul Pindar's house with their reminders
of the financial magnates of a bygone time beautifying their homes in
the City as visible proclamations of their prosperity, and find, as he
wanders through Aldgate and Bevis Marks, Wych street, Holborn and
Lincoln's Inn, Southwark and Lambeth, hundreds of quaint fronts or
picturesque memorials linked with names and events, epochs and usages,
that have been familiar to his mind from childhood. But many such
scenes and objects will escape notice or fail of due appreciation unless
an informant be at hand qualified to proffer the needed suggestions
without indulging in wearisome garrulity. Mr. Hare seems to us to meet
very well the requirements of this office, his book being a happy medium
between the concise though comprehensive, and for ordinary purposes
indispensable, manual of Baedeker and the voluminous works of Timbs and
Cunningham.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Books Received._

Putnam's Art Hand-books. Edited by Susan N. Carter, Principal of the
"Women's Art-School, Cooper Union." "Landscape Painting" and "Sketching
from Nature." New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons.

Current Discussion: A Collection from the Chief English Essays on
Questions of the Times. By Edward L. Burlingame. Second volume:
Questions of Belief. New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons.

Economic Monographs: France and the United States; Suffrage in Cities;
Our Revenue System and the Civil Service--shall they be Reformed? New
York: G.P. Putnam's Sons.

Off on a Comet: A Journey through Planetary Space. From the French of
Jules Verne, by Edward Roth. Philadelphia: Claxton, Remsen &
Haffelfinger.

A Year Worth Living: A Story of a Place and of a People one cannot
afford Not to Know. By William M. Baker. Boston: Lee & Shepard.

The Voyages and Adventures of Vasco da Gama. By George M. Towle. Boston:
Lee & Shepard.

The Fall of Damascus: An Historical Novel. By Charles Wells Russell.
Boston: Lee & Shepard.

Adventures of a Consul Abroad. By Samuel Sampleton, Esq. Boston: Lee &
Shepard.

The Future State (Christian Union Extras). New York: Christian Union
Print.

       *       *       *       *       *

_New Music Received._

The Broken Ring, and The Young Recruit: Part-songs for Male Voices.
Composed and arranged by A.H. Rosewig. (Lotus Club Collection.)
Philadelphia: W.H. Boner & Co.

Strew Sweet Flowers o'er my Grave: Song and Chorus. Words and Music by
M.C. Vandercook. Arranged by D.H. Straight. Philadelphia: W.H. Boner &
Co.

Monthly Journal of Music and General Miscellany. Philadelphia: W.H.
Boner & Co.

Latest and Best Lancers. By Frank Green. Philadelphia: W.H. Boner & Co.



FOOTNOTES:

[1] _Gentleman's Magazine_, 1807.

[2] Fuller's _Worthies_.

[3] _Churches of Bristol._

[4] Taylor's _Book about Bristol_.

[5] _The Churchgoer._

[6] The documents are given in full in the appendix of Dr. J.J.
Chaponnière's memoir in vol. iv. of the _Mém. de la Soc. Archéol. de
Genève_. The former is signed by Bonivard, apostolic prothonotary and
_poet-laureate_.

[7] The story is told by Bonivard himself in his _Chronicles_, and may be
found in full detail in the Second Series of Dr. Merle d'Aubigné's volumes
on the Reformation, vol. i. chaps. viii. and x. The story that Pecolat,
about to be submitted a second time to the torture, and fearing lest he
might be again tempted to accuse his friends, attempted to cut off his own
tongue with a razor, seems to be authenticated. The whole story is worthy
of being told at full length in English, it is so full of generous
heroism.

[8] "Je n'ai vu ni lu oncques un si grand mépriseur de mort," says
Bonivard in his _Chronicles_.

[9] The text of this act is given by Chaponnière, p. 156.

[10] We have the history of one of them in a brief of Pope Clement VII.
addressed to the chapter and senate of Geneva, in which he expresses his
sorrow that in a city which he has carried in his bowels so long such
high-handed doings should be allowed. One Francis Bonivard has not only
despoiled the rightful prior of his living, but--what is worse--has chased
his attorney with a gun and shot the horse that he was running away upon:
"_quodque pejus est, Franciscum Tingum ejusdem electi procuratorem,
negocium restitucionis dicte possessionis prosequentem, scloppettis
invasisse, et equum super quo fugiebat vulnerasse_." His Holiness
threatens spiritual vengeance, and explains his zeal in the case by the
fact that the excluded prior is his cousin.

[11] _Advis et Devis des difformes Reformateurz_, pp. 149-151.

[12] It is needful to caution enthusiastic tourists that nearly all the
details of Byron's poem are fabulous. The two brothers, the martyred
father, the anguish of the prisoner, were all invented by the poet on that
rainy day in the tavern at Ouchy. Even the level of the dungeon, below the
water of the lake, turns out to be a mistake, although Bonivard believed
it: the floor of the crypt is eight feet above high-water mark. As for the
thoughts of the prisoner, they seem to have been mainly occupied with
making Latin and French verses of an objectionable sort not adapted for
general publication. (See Ls. Vulliemin: _Chillon, Étude historique_,
Lausanne, 1851.)

[13] This touching tribute of conjugal affection is all the more honorable
to Bonivard from the fact that this wife, like the others, had provoked
him. Only a few months before he had been compelled to appear before the
consistory to answer for treating her in a public place with profane and
abusive language, applying to her some French term which is expressed in
the record only by abbreviations.

[14] Avolio: _Canti Popolari di Noto._

[15] Guastella: _Canti Popolari del Circondario di Modica._

[16] D'Ancona: _Venti Canti Pop. Siciliani_, No. 5.

[17] An "ounce" equals twelve francs seventy-five centimes.

[18] Auria: _Miscellaneo_, MS. _segnato_ 92, A. 28, Bib. Com. Palermo.

[19] Pitrè: _Fiabe, Novelle e Racconti Pop. Sicil.,_ No. cxlviii.

[20] Piaggia: _Illustrazione di Milazzo_, p. 249.

[21] These gifts are called _spinagghi_ and _cubbaìta_.

[22] Alessi: _Notizie della Sicilia_, No. 164, MS. QqH. 44, of the Bib.
Com. of Palermo.

[23] Traina (_Vocab. Sicil._) defines _macadàru_ as nuptial-bed, and cites
Pasqualino, who derives the word from the Arabic _chadar_, which signifies
"bed," "couch."

[24] So called, according to Traina (_Vocab. Sicil._), because of the
frequent occurrence of the notes _fa, sol, la_.

[25] Buonfiglio e Costanzo: _Messinà, Città Nobìlissima_.

[26] Pitrè: _Studj di Poesia Pop.,_ p. 21.

[27] This may be translated, "Palermo needs a long purse." See Pitrè:
_Fiabe, Novelle, etc.,_ No. cclxviii.

[28] Dante: _Div. Com.,_ _Purg.,_ vi. 84.

[29] See the _Giornale di Sicilia_, An. xv., No. 84.

[30] 20 kopecks = 6-1/2 d., or 1/5 of a rouble.

[31] This play upon _voda_ ("water") and _voyevod_ ("a general") has no
equivalent in English. Perhaps the best rendering would be "the battle of
_Water_loo."





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