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Title: Lippincott's Magazine, Vol. 22, November, 1878 - of Popular Literature and Science
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, Vol. 22, November, 1878 - of Popular Literature and Science" ***

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  LIPPINCOTT'S MAGAZINE

  OF

  _POPULAR LITERATURE AND SCIENCE_,

  NOVEMBER, 1878.

  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.


Transcriber's Note:

Variant spelling, dialect, and unusual punctuation have been retained.



SEAWANHAKA, THE ISLAND OF SHELLS.

[Illustration: WRECK OF THE CIRCASSIAN.]


It is not by any means certain what was the name by which Long Island
was known to the aboriginal dwellers in its "forest primeval," or indeed
that they ever had a common name by which to designate it. It seems
probable that each tribe bestowed upon it a different name, expressive
of the aspect that appeared most striking to its primitive and poetical
visitors and occupants. Among so many tribes--the Canarsees (who met
Hudson when on September 4, 1609, he anchored in Gravesend Bay), the
Rockaways, Nyacks, Merrikokes, Matinecocs, Marsapeagues, Nissaquages,
Corchaugs, Setaukets, Secataugs, Montauks, Shinecocs, Patchogues, and
Manhansetts, to say nothing of the Pequots and Narragansetts on the
northern shore of the Sound--a community of usage in regard to
nomenclature could hardly be expected. We accordingly find that one of
the old names of the island was Mattenwake, a compound of _Mattai_, the
Delaware for "island." It was also called Paumanacke (the Indian
original of the prosaic Long Island), Mattanwake (the Narragansett word
for "good" or "pleasant land"), Pamunke and Meitowax. For a name,
however, at once beautiful and suggestive, appropriate to an island
whose sunny shores are strewn with shells, and recalling Indian feuds
and customs, savage ornament and tributes paid in wampum, no name equals
that we have chosen--Seawanhaka or Seawanhackee, the "Island of Shells."

No general description will give an adequate idea of its changing beauty
and wellnigh infinite variety. Its scenery assumes a thousand different
aspects between odoriferous Greenpoint and the solitary grandeur of
Montauk. If one could only recall the old stagecoach, and, instead of
whirling in a few hours from New York to Sag Harbor, creep slowly along
the southern shore, and complete the journey of one hundred and ten
miles in two days and a half, as they did fifty years ago, a description
of the route would be both easy and interesting. Then the old stage
lumbered out of Brooklyn about nine o'clock in the morning, a halt was
made at Hempstead for dinner, and at Babylon the passengers slept.
Starting early, they arrived in due time at Patchogue, where they
breakfasted late, and thereby saved their dinner, and at Quogue, about
twenty-four miles farther, they supped and slept. Again making an early
start without breakfast, they jogged along to Southampton, where the
morning meal was taken, and thus fortified they returned to their seats,
and, passing through the beautiful country lying around Water Mill and
Bridgehampton, rattled into Sag Harbor--a far different place from the
Sag Harbor of to-day--and there dined. Fortunately, the rest of the
route remains to us, and we can still "stage it" down the old and
beautiful road to Easthampton. A leisurely journey of this description,
at an average rate of a fraction less than two miles an hour, and with
abundant opportunity of getting out for a brisk walk as the horses
dragged their cumbrous load over an occasional sandhill, gave the
traveller a chance of seeing the country he passed through. Long Island
lay before him like a book, every line of which he could read at
leisure. He could wander along the shore of the bay at Babylon, and
mayhap meditate upon the beauty of Nature while looking at the moonlight
sleeping on the water: he could at Quogue seek his way across the
meadows and gaze upon the troubled face of the ocean. We can do so
still, but these pleasures are no longer to be counted among the
fascinating interludes of continuous travel. They are not the
accompaniments of a long journey that gave it a flavor of romance, and
made a trip to Sag Harbor and return the employment of an eventful and
delightful week.

To adapt ourselves to modern conditions, and as we must view Long Island
in sections to appreciate it as a whole, a route may be chosen in which,
by using both railroad and stage, we may see even more of it, and that
to greater advantage, than the old-time traveller. It is necessary, in
the first place, that something should be seen of the northern shore. In
character and associations it differs widely from the southern. There
is, in the second place, the central section, in avoiding which much of
the rural and most placid beauty of the island would be lost. There is,
thirdly, the southern shore, varied in itself according as the point at
which it is viewed lies on the ocean or on the landlocked bays between
Hempstead and Mecoc, and extending to the rugged headland of Montauk. We
shall thus, by passing from point to point, see as in a panorama all
that need now attract our attention in viewing Seawanhaka.

[Illustration: PORT JEFFERSON, FROM CEDAR HILL.]

The place which the Indians named Cumsewogue is now mainly distinguished
by the cemetery of Cedar Hill. Passing among the graves, we reach the
summit, and a wonderful scene bursts upon our view. Looking north toward
where the village is nestling in a hollow surrounded by woods, the
waters of Port Jefferson Bay are lying without a visible ripple; the
sails of the ships passing up and down the Sound gleam in the sun; and
beyond them, like a hazy line, are the shores of Connecticut. On the
left are glimpses of farmhouses, the church-spires of Setauket, and
rolling fields alternating with woods. On the right are more woods,
bounded far away by the broken shore of the cliff-bound Sound. The
wooded peninsula in front that stretches to the north, forming the
eastern shore of Port Jefferson Bay, was named by the old Puritan
settlers--for what reason it would be hard to divine--Mount Misery. It
is now, fortunately, more generally known in the neighborhood by the
name of the Strong estate of Oakwood. Sea, shore, woods and valleys make
up a picturesque scene of peaceful beauty, and one forgets in the
presence of its living charms that the site upon which he stands is
within the limits of a city of the dead.

[Illustration: CABIN IN THE WOODS ABOVE POQUOTT.]

We descend into the village--which lies as if in a slumber that has
lasted for a century and a half--at the head of the bay. The Indians
named the place Souwassett, and the Puritans, in their usual
matter-of-fact manner, called it Drowned Meadow. Its present name was
adopted about forty years ago, probably in a patriotic mood, and also in
the belief that the name it then bore was too unqualified and likely to
give rise to unwarrantable prejudices. That there was some truth, if
there was neither beauty nor imagination, in the name, is, however,
evident from the marsh-lands lying between the village and Dyer's Neck
or Poquott, which divides the harbor from that of Setauket on the west.
One of the old landmarks of the village, dating from about the first
quarter of the last century, is the house built by the Roe family when
the settlement was first made. It now forms part of the Townsend house,
and is still occupied by collateral descendants of its builder.
Accessions to the little colony came slowly. Even the fine harbor could
not compensate for the disadvantages of Drowned Meadow for building
purposes, and the hillsides are steep and rocky. But about 1797, when it
is said there were only half a dozen houses in the village, shipbuilding
was begun, and its subsequent rise was comparatively rapid.

Securely though it seems to repose among its wood-crowned hills, it has
had at least one exciting episode in its history. During the war of 1812
its shipping suffered considerably at the hands of King George's
cruisers, and one night the enemy entered the harbor and captured seven
sloops that were lying there at anchor. Otherwise, life at Port
Jefferson appears to have been as it is now, unexciting and peaceful.
Its attractions are in part those of association, but chiefly those of
Nature--its sandy shore, its still woods and its placid bay. It is a
place to fly to when the only conception of immediate happiness is to be
still, to float idly upon water that has no waves to detract from the
perfection of a dream of absolute rest, or to seek shelter and eloquent
quiet in deep and shady woods. There are several winding paths that lead
up the hilly promontory of Oakwood, and there are clearings upon the
high ground swept over by breezes from the Sound where one can look upon
rural scenes as perfect in their way as imagination can picture.

[Illustration: LAKE RONKONKOMA.]

To the west of the village, pathways lead through the woods and past
many ruined and ruinous cabins. The latter are chiefly occupied by
negroes, who enjoy the sweets of liberty in these sequestered nooks. It
is questionable if emancipation in any way bettered their condition. The
Dutch introduced slaves into Long Island immediately upon settling on
its western extremity, but it is said upon good authority--and the fact
is a notable one in the history of the island--that slavery never
existed there except in name. The work of the farms and houses was
divided with the utmost impartiality among the nominal slaves and the
white men and boys of the household. Possibly, then, there is not only
no dark background to the lives of these Port Jefferson negroes, but one
that in comfort and happiness is a contrast to the present. One little
fellow--a darkling he should be called--peeped out shyly as we passed,
and then disappeared in a hut which, though embowered in creeping plants
and bushes, did not suggest either comfort or beauty when the trees are
bare and the winds of winter are moaning through the woods. Beyond these
cabins the path leads to the pebbly and shell-covered shore of Poquott.

To the east of Port Jefferson the shore runs in bolder outline to Orient
Point, but within thirty or forty miles to the west there are
innumerable points and well-sheltered bays and inlets that give the
scenery the same picturesque character that is found at Port Jefferson.
It may be taken, in short, as representing the northern side of the
island.

When the shore is left a few miles behind the country assumes an
entirely different aspect. The roads run through a wide tract covered as
far as the eye can see with young timber and brushwood. In places the
charred trunks give evidence that it has at no distant period been
passed over by a forest-fire. The view to the south is bounded by the
low range of hills that runs nearly the entire length of the island. In
a hollow in this rising ground, a few miles east of Comac Hills, about
two miles north-east of Mount Pleasant and near the eastern continuation
of the Comac range, we drop suddenly upon the most charming of the lakes
of Long Island--Ronkonkoma. It matters little from which side it is
approached or from what point it is viewed--Lake Ronkonkoma is in every
way and in every aspect beautiful. Around it on all sides is an
undulating country comprising both woodland and farm, and dotted with
quaint old houses of the many-gabled order, and a few that affect a
certain latter-day primness. The architectural patriarchs and juveniles
represent two different orders of things. The first tell of the early
colonists of two hundred years ago making their way through the dense
woods from the northern shore, and choosing dwellings by the lake where
the land was good. The latter tell of later settlers, attracted solely
by the beauty and salubrity of the place. There is one house still
standing on the east side of the lake, a weather-beaten veteran of a
century and a half. It has been in the same family ever since it was
built, and if its walls were as eloquent of facts as they are of
sentiment, it could no doubt unfold a varied tale. The place has, of
course, a history based upon Indian times. Where we now see boats and
skiffs, canoes were once paddled, and the lonely seclusion of the lake
is said to have made it the theme of many an Indian story. Only one
legend now survives. The lake has always been, and is now, well stocked
with fish, and it is in places so deep that the Indians thought it
unfathomable. With a curious kind of veneration they believed that the
Great Spirit brought the fish that swarm in its waters, and kept them
under his special care. Even when the whites came upon the scene the red
men clung to their superstition, and would not catch nor eat the fish,
believing them to be superior beings.

A change has come over the spot since that day. The land near the lake
has been partially cleared, but not to such an extent as to divest it of
any of its early beauty. A fringe of trees encloses it on all sides
except the north, where a narrow belt of sand divides it from a lily
pond. It is from that feature, and from the glistening western shore,
that the lake was called Ronkonkoma (Sand Pond). At the point where it
first bursts upon the traveller from the south it is seen gleaming
through the trees like a diamond in a robe of green. Standing upon its
margin, we are about fifty feet above the sea, and the cool wind that is
rustling among the trees comes fresh from the Great South Bay, seven
miles away. To right and left are high tree-covered banks, and to the
north across the lake, about a mile off, the white sand is shining like
a line of silver. The trees above the eastern shore are reflected as in
a mirror, and the little boat with its snowy sail is there in duplicate,
itself and double.

[Illustration: THE BEACH AT FIRE ISLAND.]

But, to be seen at its best, Ronkonkoma should be viewed from one of the
higher points along its eastern shore when the sun is sloping down the
western sky. One memorable evening this view was so beautiful as to be
almost unearthly. The sun had sunk behind a heavy cloud-bank, which it
tipped with a dull tawny red. By and by the sky began to change. The
cloud sank lower, and lay upon the horizon in a perfectly black mass
that threw its shadow upon the landscape. Its lining had deepened in
color to a blood-red, and the clouds higher up the arch of the sky were
ringed with a rich crimson border. Higher still they shaded off into
paler tints, mingled with a copper-like hue that merged in the lighter
clouds into gold. Above these were fleecy, rounded fragments of cloud
floating over the deep blue like burnished brass upon lapis lazuli; and
higher yet, about midway to the zenith, every cloudlet was tinged with
pale yellow. Could such a sky be represented on canvas it would be
condemned as unnatural--a case of the painter's imagination carrying him
beyond the limits of true art. But it was from the reflection in the
lake that the scene derived its weird, supernatural character. The
shadows lay heavily upon the trees and bank that line the western shore.
Upon the edge of the waters, which were so still that not a ripple waved
the line drawn upon the white streak of sand, the deep red of the cloud
upon the horizon reappeared. Nearer were the graduated tints of crimson,
copper, gold, brass and pale yellow, every hue mirrored in the crystal
lake with a fidelity so perfect that one was in doubt whether the
reality or the reflection were the more gorgeous.

To the east and west of the lake, for twenty miles on either side of it,
stretches a pleasant tract, chiefly of rolling woodland, with here and
there a farm or garden. Wherever the land has been cleared and brought
under cultivation it appears to give ample return to the husbandman. But
the least observant traveller can hardly help being struck by the sight
of a few fields of apparently healthy grain surrounded by miles of
brushwood. It is a mystery not yet satisfactorily solved how within
fifty miles of a city like New York so much land should be left
unproductive and untilled. All the evidence, both of experiment and of
opinion, goes to show that the soil, if not the richest in the world, is
far too good to be given over to scrubby bushes and luxuriant weeds.

Leaving, however, a question so abstruse, let us turn southward from
Yaphank and follow the brook that runs down past Carman's until it
empties itself in Fireplace Bay. Again the scenery undergoes a change.
Here is neither the broken, picturesque shore of the north nor the
inland quietude of Ronkonkoma. Toward the west, beyond our ken,
stretches the Great South Bay, far past where the lighthouse of Fire
Island can be seen flashing out upon the night. To the south, about
three miles distant, are the undulating dunes of the Great South Beach,
that like a huge breakwater shuts out the ocean. To the east is the
broad promontory lying behind Mastic Point. This is practically the same
view upon which we have imagined the traveller by the old-time stage
feasting his eyes at the halting-places along the southern shore. At any
point between Babylon and the place at which we stand the scenery has
the same general character--a picturesque pleasantness devoid of
disturbing grandeur. However loudly the ocean may thunder upon the outer
shore, the bay seldom changes its dimpling smiles for a rougher aspect,
and never wears in wrath the scornful look of the outer deep. A strong
wind may sometimes give a little trouble to the yachtsmen whose craft
enliven the scene, and lead them to reef their swelling canvas, but the
impression carried away from the Great South Bay is decidedly summery--a
memory of mingled sunshine and gentle breezes. The shore is generally
flat, and is lined with a succession of villages located at intervals of
from three to four miles. They are all more or less alike--quiet,
healthy places, in which, to all appearances, the inhabitants take life
easily.

Five or six miles to the west is Blue Point, of oyster fame, in
connection with which a curious tradition is extant. It is said that
long ago the oysters disappeared entirely from the bay. The poor people
from all the country round were in the habit of raking up the oysters
for their own consumption and for sale. In an evil hour the authorities
of the town of Brookhaven, to which the beds belong, resolved upon
replenishing the town treasury by the imposition of a license upon the
poor fishermen. The latter, either unable to meet the demands of the law
or bent upon maintaining what appeared to them a natural right, made a
counter-resolve upon resistance to its enforcement. The result was a
collision, and by dint of armed men and boats the unlicensed fishermen
were driven off. Thereafter, curious to relate, not another oyster was
taken, and nothing but empty shells filled the unblessed rakes. This
state of things lasted until about forty years ago, when it is presumed
the grip of the law was relaxed. The poor people, at all events, then
again had recourse to the long-deserted beds, and found them covered to
the depth of several feet with luscious young oysters.

A number of boats ply between Bellport and the Great South Beach,
whither the summer visitors are in the habit of repairing for the
purpose of tumbling in the surf on the outside. In one of these, with a
fair wind and a skipper acquainted with the numerous shoals, it is very
pleasant to sail across the bay, and then turning round Mastic Point to
follow the channel connecting the Great South with East Bay, and so to
reach Moriches. From that point east the shore is broken up into shallow
creeks until Quogue (from _quohaug_, a clam), an old resort of the
citizens of Philadelphia, New York and other cities, is reached. It
occupies the neck of land dividing Shinecoc from East Bay, and is the
first place after leaving Rockaway, about sixty miles to the west, which
has direct communication with the shore of the ocean. The beach there
touches the mainland, and then leaves it again to make room for Shinecoc
Bay. At the most northerly arm of the latter we come upon a place with a
peculiar history and corresponding associations, and there on the
adjacent hills of Shinecoc we may pause for a few moments' observation.
We are now in the township of Southampton, where, with the exception of
Lion Gardiner's settlement upon the island still bearing his name, the
first English settlement in the State of New York was effected.

Toward both east and west the country stretches away as far as we can
see in undulating woods and fields. Had we come by land instead of the
bays, we should have passed through a series of four or five little
villages, Moriches, Speonk, Good Ground and West Hampton, cozily
nestling among the woods--quiet, retired places, given over to peace and
agriculture. There is no particularly prominent feature in the
landscape. Its charm lies in its harmony, and the _ensemble_ is as
nearly perfect as can be imagined. Immediately in front are the knolls
and dales above and below Good Ground, and extending down to where the
Ponquogue lighthouse stands out in clear outline against the sky. To the
south is Shinecoc Bay, and to the north is Peconic Bay, the water that
lies between the forks at the eastern end of Long Island. Below us,
looking west, is Canoe Place, the name given to the narrow neck of land
joining the peninsula that terminates at Montauk to the body of the
island. It is the point at which the waters on the north and south come
most nearly together, and there, accordingly, as the name implies, was
the Indian portage.

[Illustration: PECONIC BAY, AND RESIDENCE OF CHIEF-JUSTICE DALY.]

Toward the east, across the rising and falling ground and beyond the
woods, lies the village of Southampton, where the first settlement in
the township was formed. The colonists were chiefly Englishmen, who,
having resided for a short time in Lynn, Massachusetts, turned their
eyes toward such "pastures new" as Long Island afforded. They first
tried to locate themselves in the north-western part of the island, but
having been driven out by the Dutch, their second venture led them to
North Sea, and thence through the woods to Southampton. They found the
land both good and cheap. All that the Indians asked for the district
lying between Canoe Place and the eastern limit of the township at Sag
Harbor was sixteen coats, threescore bushels of Indian corn and a
promise of protection against hostile tribes. Forty-three years
afterward the official estimate of the township amounted to about eighty
thousand dollars, so that the men of Lynn undoubtedly received good
value for their coats and corn.

Their choice of a home is sufficient to place their good judgment above
question. There are still existing in the village a few mementos of
their presence in the form of weather-stained houses, over which have
passed, leaving them untouched, all the vicissitudes of Indian times,
the Revolutionary War and modern improvement. Time, however, has left
its scars upon their fronts. The street leading down toward the shore of
the ocean is grass-grown and spacious, and probably differs very little
from what it was in the olden time. On the left side stands the
Pelletreau house, where Lord Erskine resided during the winter of 1778.
On the floor in one of the rooms are certain marks, said to have been
made by the axe of the British quartermaster. Others of the old
buildings have recently been removed, but those that are left are
sufficient to recall the time when, plundered alike by friend and foe,
and compelled to maintain its enemy, Southampton yet patriotically
contributed its quota of men to the war for independence. There is
nothing of the upstart about the place. It reposes in a quiet, dignified
present resting upon a long and honorable past, and there is in its
attitude and air something that compels one to revert to the latter. Its
population partakes of the same character. Although some of the first
settlers removed to other places or returned to Lynn, most of the old
families took deep root in the soil, and are represented by descendants
who live within sight of the primitive dwellings their forefathers
reared. Offshoots were, however, thrown off in many directions. Some
went down to Cape May, whither the whale-fishing attracted them; others
were among the pioneers of the West, and founded colonies at various
places in New York State and in Pennsylvania; others took their places
among the Argonauts of '49 and sought the gold-fields of California. But
still the parent trees stood fast in Southampton.

The appearance of whales off the coast, though now a rare occurrence,
was not so in the early days of the town. Among the earliest of its
records is a law providing for the cutting up and division of any whales
that might be cast up on the shore. At a later day boats were fitted up
either to put off in pursuit when a whale was signalled or to cruise
along the coast in the whaling season. In the former case, by a usage
which extended to the adjoining township of Easthampton, signals were
hoisted at fixed stations along the shore, whereupon the boats were
dragged down the beach and launched through the surf, while the
venturesome crew leaped in, each man taking his own place. How dangerous
such a pursuit was can be estimated by any one who will walk to the high
ridge of sand running along the beach and look eastward down the long
line of breakers that toss their foam-capped heads before a heavy gale.
For many miles nothing can be seen but the arching waves dashing
themselves upon the sand, as if furious that their course should be
checked. The whale has almost entirely deserted its old haunt, but the
sea still furnishes many an exciting, and also many a sad, episode in
the otherwise uneventful lives of the townsmen. Not a winter passes
without some ship or ocean steamer being thrown upon Hampton shore, and
often, in spite of the gallantry and exertions of the lifeboatmen, whose
stations stand at intervals of five miles, the crews never reach the
land until flung up lifeless by the waves.

[Illustration: SAG HARBOR.]

Maintaining still an eastward course, we pass Water Mill, lying upon one
of the inlets of Mecoc Bay, and hurrying through Bridgehampton arrive at
Sag Harbor, the chief port of the peninsula. It is a quiet, interesting
town, beautifully situated on a branch of Gardiner's Bay. Across the
neck that projects over toward Shelter Island on the north, and beyond
the site chosen by Chief-Justice Daly for his residence, lies Peconic
Bay. Toward the east stretches the bay, past the lower end of Shelter
Island, past Cedar Point, and then away off to where Gardiner's Island
is stretching its long arms to the north and south, as if to guard the
great haven inside from the ocean storms. A century and a half ago
nothing stood upon the spot where the town now stands but a few
fishermen's huts. In a short time the settlers were engaged in
whale-fishing off the coast, and thereby really laid the foundations of
Sag Harbor's future prosperity and wealth. In 1760 three sloops were
fitted out to prosecute the fishing in the northern seas, and after the
war of independence Dr. N. Gardiner and his brother despatched on the
same errand the first ship that ever sailed from Sag Harbor. The venture
failed, but others succeeded, and in 1847 sixty-three ships were engaged
in the business. After that date the decline was fast, and now not a
single ship of the whole fleet is left. Captain Babcock, the
lighthouse-keeper of Montauk, sailed six or seven years ago the brig
Myra, the last whaler that left Sag Harbor. His success was not so great
that the owners, the Messrs. French, cared to repeat the experiment; so
that within twenty years Sag Harbor has fallen from its position as the
third or fourth whaling-port in the country to that in which we find it
to-day. The gold fever of '49, the discovery of petroleum and the
increased expense attending the whale-fishing, all contributed to its
decline. It is also claimed for Sag Harbor that Captain Cooper of the
Manhattan, sailing from that port, was the first to take a ship into
Yeddo.

[Illustration: NEAR EASTHAMPTON.]

In and around the town are many evidences of the generally well-to-do
condition of its inhabitants, amongst whom are several whose rise to
greater wealth was checked by the fall of the whale-fishing. In their
homes and those of retired merchant captains are many mementos of long
voyages to China, Japan, the Indies, and, in short, to every part of the
world. It is singular how interesting, as compared with the choicest
things to be found in the shops, these porcelains, lacquers, enamels,
ivories, fans, silks, weapons and cabinets are. They are the trophies of
the Ancient Mariner, who takes some pride in turning over the contents
of his shelves, and derive a personal interest from having been with him
through the storms he weathered before he brought them safe to port.

[Illustration: "HOME, SWEET HOME!"--PAYNE'S INTERIOR.]

Every part of the town is interesting, and certainly not the least so is
the old cemetery. It contains an extensive collection of rude headstones
and quaint epitaphs. Here, on a sailor's grave, are engraved the lines--

          Rude Boreas' winds and Neptune's waves
            Have tossed me to and fro:
          By God's decree, you plainly see,
            I'm harbored here below.

In Sag Harbor there lived a certain Captain David Hand, who died in 1840
at the age of eighty-one. Here he and his five wives are sleeping, all
in a row. The first died in 1791; the second, in 1794; the third, in
1798; the fourth, in 1810; the fifth, in 1835. The gallant captain
himself went down while cruising in quest of a sixth. It is upon the
grave of the third that the following appears:

          Behold, ye living mortals passing by,
          How thick the partners of one husband lie.
          Vast and unsearchable the ways of God:
          Just, but severe, we feel His chastening rod.

The meaning is a little obscure, and it is only the subsequent
matrimonial ventures of the captain that assure us he did not mean that
the three who had gone were to him as a chastening rod.

Let us now take our station where we can look down upon the town and
over the surrounding scene of mingled island, sea and shore, and try to
recall some of the thrilling events that give Sag Harbor its historical
interest. Two hundred and fifty years ago these bays, now alive with
coasting vessels, pleasure craft and an occasional steamer, showed
nothing but the canoes of the Manhansetts and Montauketts. In 1637 we
might have seen the large canoe of Wyandanch, the sachem of the
Montauks, surrounded by those of his tribe, stealing across toward
Shelter Island to complete the extermination of the Pequots. In 1699 the
ship in which Kidd won his plunder in the southern seas was lying under
the island's lee while the famous pirate was burying a part of his booty
on its shore. It is said that the proprietor of the island has still in
his possession a piece of gold cloth given to his ancestor by Captain
Kidd. Soon afterward Gardiner's Island was visited and plundered by
Paul Williams and some of his buccaneering associates. In 1728 these
seas swarmed with the pirates of Spain, and one night in September of
that year the crew of a schooner landed upon Gardiner's Island, and for
three days it was given up to plunder. The next we see is a British
fleet in 1775 sweeping round the arm of the island and coming to anchor
in the bay, whence, like the pirates, they sent out parties to plunder
Mr. Gardiner's house and farm. Sag Harbor was occupied by British
troops, and one evening in 1777 across Peconic Bay from Southold the
boat that carried Lieutenant-Colonel Meigs and his patriot companions
was sailing. Landing a few miles to the west of the town, they fell upon
the British garrison like a midnight thunderbolt. The commander was
seized in bed, the shipping and provisions were fired, and Meigs and his
men had finished their work and retired before the British soldiers were
fully awake. Again, in 1780-81, the British fleet anchored in the bay,
and yet again in 1813. In the latter year Commodore Hardy sent a launch
and two barges with a hundred men to plunder Sag Harbor, but the project
utterly failed. The town was roused, the guns of the fort opened upon
the intruders, and then the villagers returned to their slumbers. When
peace was restored the bay was ploughed by West Indiamen and whalers,
and then, as we have seen, they also vanished. Apart, then, from the
beauty of its situation, Sag Harbor has associations and a history that
form appreciable items in the list of its attractions; and if its future
should be less glowing than its past, it will not be for lack of a
healthy and mild climate nor of exceptional advantages of location.

[Illustration: FISHERMAN'S HOUSE NEAR HAMPTON BEACH.]

Before leaving the town in quest of Easthampton Village we find
ourselves in the township of that name. All these woods and fair fields
stretching from the Southampton limit eastward to Montauk, and
comprising upward of thirty thousand acres, were in 1648 bought for "20
coats, 24 hoes, 24 hatchets, 24 knives, 24 looking-glasses and 100
muxes." Most of the settlers in the village we are now approaching came
from Kent, and memories of their English home led them to give it the
name of Maidstone, which was afterward changed to Easthampton. It lies
in the midst of a beautiful section of country, full of pretty little
pictures of rustic life. The main street is, like that of Southampton, a
broad grass-grown avenue lined with stately trees, and as we go down in
the direction of the shore we pass a spot interesting to
English-speaking people all over the world--the birthplace of John
Howard Payne, the author of "Home, Sweet Home." It is with a feeling
approaching reverence that we look at the old open fireplace, the
rafters and walls; and as we emerge and glance up and down the spacious
street, and drink in the placid beauty of the scene, the fountain of the
poet's inspiration is revealed. Once seen, it is a place for every man
to remember all through life, even if "he owed it not his birth." And
here the thought recurs that there must be an unusually strong tie
between the villagers in all the Hamptons and their homes. The names of
many of the old settlers are still met with throughout the entire
section from Southampton eastward, so that while Payne was giving
expression to a sentiment that is universal in language that the world
at large has adopted, his words have also a particular significance in
telling us of the atmosphere of sentiment peculiar in its warmth and
manifestation to the district in which he was reared.

[Illustration: KING SYLVESTER.]

Our path now lies eastward through the straggling little village of
Amagansett, and through the woods beyond which lie Neapeague and
Montauk, the "Hilly Land." The quiet repose of village-life is now left
behind, and through rapidly-changing scenes we set our faces toward the
grandest and most wonderful section of Long Island. For about two miles
after leaving Amagansett our route lies through thick woods of young
timber, and then we suddenly emerge at a point where the road turns
round a spur of the high land we have just passed. On the south is the
ocean, in sight of which the road thereafter runs the greater part of
the way to the point, and in front, stretching for six or seven miles
until it joins the hills of Montauk, is the marshy beach of Neapeague,
the "Water Land." As we descend, the sea is hidden by the irregular
dunes that lie along the shore, and the dreary expanse extends far
before us and off toward the north. Every step leads us to realize more
fully the dismal character of the sterile flat. The wagon-wheels
alternately grind through the sand and bump into deep puddles in the
marsh. There can be no doubt that once this whole tract was overflowed
by the sea, and still in heavy storms the waves force their way between
the sandhills and lay parts of the beach under water. Meanwhile,
however, attention is likely to be diverted from the consideration of
the inroads of the sea to the incessant attacks of the insatiate and
bloodthirsty mosquitoes. We are here in their very home, and, galled by
their furious stinging onslaughts, can recall nothing but Ayres's
exclamation:

          Cheerless Neapeague! how bounds the heart to gain
          The hills that spring beyond thy weary plain!

The busy, bloodthirsty wretches spring in clouds from every swamp. They
fill the air, obscure the blue lining of the wagon with their own tawny
gray, and would, I verily believe, turn a white horse brown. But the end
comes at length, and as we climb the hill bounding the beach on the east
the last of the little tormentors disappears. To our left are the
Nommonock Hills, and those of Hither Wood rise in front of us. At the
point now reached it is well to turn round and view the land we have
passed. We can look across from shore to shore, from the ocean breakers
on the south to the little harbor of Neapeague on the north, and beyond
it to where Gardiner's Island lies out in the bay. The conviction grows
upon us that where we now stand was once an island, and that the rugged
base of Nommonock was once washed by the sea.

[Illustration: KING DAVID FARO AND FAMILY.]

Soon we pass through the Hither Woods, and with them leave behind the
last remnant of the forest that formerly covered Montauk. All else, to
where Womponomon--the Indian name of the eastern point--juts out into
the sea, are hills and rolling downs which rise and fall like the sea
when the waves are running "mountains high." Here and there we pass a
pond, and often startle the cattle that graze over the greater part of
Montauk; and at length pause, spellbound by the view from the hills
looking down upon Fort Pond, or Kongonock. The road runs past its
southern extremity, where, until the embankment was built, the
ocean-surf frequently broke across; and after passing this plain, called
Fithian's, we find ourselves a very short distance south of the site of
the old Indian village. The hill about halfway between the two ends of
the pond on its eastern side was once occupied by an Indian fort, and
between it and us lies the valley where were clustered the wigwams of
Wyandanch and his tribe. He figures in history as the staunch and often
severely-tried ally of the whites, and was the lifelong friend of Lion
Gardiner. His warriors were, hyperbolically, "as many as the spires of
the grass" until reduced by sickness and battle. The Narragansetts
pursued him with an insatiate and vindictive hate, and this peaceful
valley was once the scene of a bloody tragedy from which the Montauketts
never recovered. Wyandanch had pursued a party of Narragansetts to Block
Island, and killed a great number of them. To retaliate, Ninicraft (or
Ninigret) invaded Montauk, and on the night of the nuptials of the
chief's daughter fell upon the village, burned, sacked and slew, and, in
spite of Wyandanch's bravery, totally defeated his followers. Among the
fallen was the bridegroom, and beside his dead body the invaders found
the bride in a stupor of grief. She was hurried away, an unresisting
captive, but was ultimately restored to her father by the exertions of
Lion Gardiner. In 1659, Wyandanch died from the effects of poison, and
with him went out the glory of his tribe. Piece after piece, the lands
he had held were ceded to the whites, and the royal line of Faro came to
an end. In 1819 "King" Stephen died, and was buried by subscription. His
distinctive badge consisted of a yellow ribbon round his hat. After him
others reigned, and although the royal family long ago became extinct,
the name of king or chief is still retained. The late holder of the
title was David Faro, and he reigned over two families, his own and the
Fowlers. He will probably be succeeded by his cousin Stephen, an
athletic gentleman and a full-blooded Indian, who is said to have walked
in one day from Brooklyn to Montauk, and who thinks little of stepping
from Montauk to Bridgehampton, thence to Sag Harbor for dinner, and so
on back to Montauk. The late chief left a widow and five children. The
eldest is a boy named Wyandanch, who occasionally visits the few houses
on the peninsula and the nearest villages, selling berries. The queen's
mother and the rest of the tribe are basket-makers. The second of
David's children is Maggie Arabella, a pleasant-faced girl with
thick-set figure; the third and fourth are bright-eyed boys, Samuel
Powhattan and Ebenezer Tecumseh; and the fifth is a child of about six
months, Sarah Pocahontas. Besides these there are the present king,
Stephen, and his son Samuel. King Sylvester preceded David, so that we
are in possession of the likenesses of three of the line of sachems.
Ephraim Fowler, a son of Sylvester, also survives. Of the other family
of Fowlers, there are the husband and wife and their four children,
three sons and a daughter. Such, so far as I know, is a complete census
of the tribe of Montauketts. Their possessions are small and their way
of living rude. Ichabod! Ichabod!

[Illustration: STEPHEN, KING _IN POSSE_.]

Returning to the hill overlooking Fort Pond, we are almost due south of
Point Culloden. When Montauk throws off entirely its old character and
fully assumes the inevitable new, the bay to the west of Culloden will
probably be converted by a breakwater into a harbor, and to the north of
where we stand it is not unlikely that the snort of the locomotive may
yet be heard. Already there are rumors of impending change. With the
railroad brought through from Sag Harbor, Fort Pond Bay will be the
point of arrival and departure of steamers plying between the island and
the New England shore. It is even suggested that the Transatlantic
steamers might make it a stopping-place to land mails and passengers.
The bay is so deep that vessels of any tonnage could enter it, and it
would moreover prove an excellent refuge in stormy weather. When thus
brought into more speedy communication with the western part of the
island, the lonely grandeur of Montauk will be modified by the inroads
of traffic and the things that tell of the far-distant city and its
seething mass of jaded humanity. The tens who now seek it will be
exchanged for hundreds in quest of the health and vigor that are inhaled
with every breath of the fresh salt air. There is, it must be admitted,
a certain amount of resignation in our view of such a transformation. We
wish for no change in Montauk--would not even ask for the iron road to
span the waste of Neapeague. All around is beauty--of the sky, of the
sea, of lake and land--beauty of wavy outline and delicious color. There
is a deep pleasure also in the feeling that we are here away from the
world. Care went riding down the wind into the marshes of the Water
Land, and we are emancipated from drudgery and routine. The workshop has
receded so far from its usual prominence that it is almost out of
memory, a thousand miles away. Why should it be brought nearer and
Montauk be made a portion of the old, every-day world?

[Illustration: MONTAUK LIGHTHOUSE.]

But to turn to the present. To the east of the hill upon which we stand
lies Great Pond, the largest sheet of water on Long Island, and across
it may be seen the Shagwannock Hills. And now we may return to the point
whence we started at the south end of Fort Pond, and resume our drive
across the downs. Soon after passing Stratton's, the third house between
Neapeague and the point, the road makes a sweeping détour to the south,
bringing us nearer to the sea-cliff, and we hastened to reach the
lighthouse before the night made the rough track dangerous. The sky was
threatening, and had to the west and north-west an aspect ominous of
storm. It was on that night that Wallingford was swept almost out of
existence by a tornado. Before we arrived at the lighthouse the
lightning was playing brilliantly over the dense mass of clouds that
overhung the Connecticut shore. Gradually the black bank drifted
eastward, and then to the south, and as it drew near the rumble of the
thunder became more audible. By and by a counter-current of wind seemed
to set in toward the south-west, and a part of the huge vapory mass was
broken off from the rest and whirled directly overhead. The unceasing
roar of the surf was drowned by the thunder, and the foam-crested waves
that came curling into Turtle Bay were lit up by the glare of the
lightning. Toward the east the darting forks of fire seemed now to flash
down into the inky sea, and now to throw a baleful and blinding light
around the lighthouse. What made the phenomenon singular was that the
wind had been blowing a southerly gale all day, and that for a time the
motion of the clouds appeared to be entirely independent of the wind. A
heavy rainstorm accompanied the thunder, and it was in the midst of this
elemental chaos that we first looked out upon the ocean from Womponomon.
Soon, however, the heavy cloud passed away to sea, and again

              The pale and quiet moon
          Makes her calm forehead bare.

[Illustration: THE CLIFFS OF MONTAUK.]

In the morning a dull gray sky hung over the still-vext ocean, and upon
its long swell a few fishing craft were riding at anchor. The view from
the lighthouse, the lantern of which was presented to the United States
by the French government, is worth all and far more than is ever likely
to be passed through in reaching it. Block Island lay like a dark mark
deepening the horizon-line, and to the south and east were ships passing
gallantly out to sea. To the north the view was hazy, and to the west
were the hills of Montauk and glimpses of its ponds. Round the point the
water was comparatively still, but the long swell was breaking grandly
among the boulders on the south. Below the lantern is the room in which
the keepers maintain their vigils, listening to the roar of the wind,
and occasionally feeling the tower vibrate to such an extent that the
lantern ceases its revolutions. This, however, rarely happens. The tower
is strongly built of stone and brick, and, although it has seen many a
storm since 1795, it is staunch enough to weather many more.

Down under the cliffs, where the "cruel, hungry foam" is dashing among
the rocks, the seaward view is grand and awful. In Turtle Bay, as we
casually learned, the dead bodies of those shipwrecked farther up the
coast generally come ashore, and a ghastly kind of interest attaches to
the place. For miles along the shore the same sad tale is being
continually told: it is the solemn burden of the sea's loud wail. We
heard it at Fire Island; walking along the beach opposite Sayville, we
heard it again in the billows that broke over the wreck of the Great
Western; it haunted us at Quogue, and rang in our ears on the lovely
beach at the Hamptons; it followed us to Amagansett, and within a few
miles of the point we can sit in a veritable "graveyard" filled with
beams, broken timbers and rusty iron bolts, the rejected spoils of the
ocean. For the moment one cannot help sympathizing with the shepherd of
the _Noctes_, who "couldna thole to lieve on the seashore." There is, in
truth, something disturbing to the imagination and confusing to the
senses in its everlasting thunder. We see it and leave it--perhaps for a
month, possibly for a year--and it is hard to realize when we return
that throughout the long interval it has never for a single moment been
at rest.

But the time comes when we must retrace our steps to the world which
seems so far away. Again we roll over the pasture-land, swept by
constant winds, sometimes by storms, and long before we reach Neapeague
have learned the truth and felt the sentiment that inspired Ayres's
lines:

          There is no country like Montauk's rude isle.
          Strange are its rolling hills, its valleys' smile,
          Its trees lone dying in their ancient place,
          As if in sorrow for a dying race.

              JENNIE J. YOUNG.



"FOR PERCIVAL."

CHAPTER XLVI.

THE RESULT OF PERCIVAL'S ECONOMY.

[Illustration]


Judith's letter lay on the table still. Bertie had not come to claim it,
and she had not come home.

Having ascertained these facts, Percival went to his own room, and,
finding his tea set ready for him, ate and drank hurriedly, hesitating
whether he should go and meet her. Standing by the window he looked out
on the darkening street. All vulgarity of detail was lost in the
softening dusk, and there was something almost picturesque in the
opposite roof, whose outline was delicately drawn on the pale-blue sky.
Everything was refined, subdued and shadowy in the tender light, but
Percival, gazing, saw no charm in the little twilight picture. Sorrow
may be soothed by quiet loveliness, but perplexities absorb all our
faculties, and we do not heed the beauty of the world, which is simple
and unperplexed. If it is forced upon our notice, the contrast irritates
us: it is almost an impertinence. Percival would have been angry had he
been called upon to feel the poetry which Bertie had found only a few
days before in the bit of houseleek growing on that arid waste of tiles.
It is true that in that dim light the houseleek was only a dusky little
knob.

Should he go and meet Judith? Should he wait for her? What would she do?
Should he go to St. Sylvester's? By the time he could reach the church
the choristers would have assembled: would the organist be there? While
he doubted what to do his fingers were in his waistcoat pocket, and he
incidentally discovered that he had only a shilling and a
threepenny-piece in it. He went quickly to the table and struck a light.
Since he had enrolled himself as Judith Lisle's true knight, ready to go
anywhere or render her any service in her need, it would be as well to
be better provided with the sinews of war. He unlocked the little
writing-case which stood on a side table.

Percival's carefulness in money matters had helped him very much in his
poverty. It seemed the most natural thing in the world to him that,
since his income was fixed, his expenditure must be made to fit it. He
hardly understood the difficulties of that numerous class of which
Bertie was an example--men who consider certain items of expenditure as
fixed and unchangeable, let their income be what it may. But Percival
had retained one remembrance of his wealthier days, a familiarity with
money. People who have been stinted all their lives are accustomed to
handle silver and copper, but are anxious about gold and frightened at
notes or cheques. Percival, though he was quite conscious of the
relative greatness of small sums to his narrow means, retained the old
habit of thinking them small, and never bestowed an anxious thought on
the little hoard in his desk. As he went to it that evening he
remembered with sudden pleasure that there was the money that had been
accumulating for some time in readiness for Mrs. Bryant's return. He
could borrow from that if need were.

The money was gone.

Percival stood up and stared vaguely round the room. Then, unable to
believe in his misfortune, he emptied out the contents of the desk upon
the table and tossed them over in a hurried search. A carelessly-folded
paper caught his eye as something unfamiliar. He opened it and read:

     "DEAR THORNE: You were good enough to let me borrow of you once
     when I was in a scrape. I am in a worse difficulty now, and, as I
     have not the chance of asking your leave, I've ventured to help
     myself. You shall have it back again in a few days, with an
     explanation of this cool proceeding."

          "H.L."

Percival threw the letter down, and walked to the window again. It was
clear enough now. Bertie had had no need to borrow eight or nine pounds
if he were only going out for the day to inquire about a situation as
organist. But if a man is running off with a young lady it will not do
to have an absolutely empty purse. Even though she may be an heiress, he
cannot very well begin by asking her to pay his railway-fare. "It would
define the relative positions a little _too_ clearly," thought Percival
with a scornful smile.

"Will she hope still?" was his next thought. "It is not utterly
impossible, I suppose, that Master Bertie has bolted alone. One couldn't
swear he hadn't. Bolted he certainly has, but if she _will_ hope I can't
say that I know he has gone with Miss Nash. Though I am sure he has: how
else would he undertake to repay me in a few days? Unless that is only a
figure of speech."

He suddenly remembered the time when Bertie left his debt unpaid after a
similar promise, and he went back to his desk with a new anxiety. His
talisman, the half-sovereign which was to have been treasured to his
dying day, had shared the fate of the commonplace coins which were
destined for Mrs. Bryant and his bootmaker. It was a cruel blow, but
Percival saw the absurd side of his misfortune, and laughed aloud in
spite of himself.

"My sentiment hasn't prospered: it might just as well have been a
three-penny-piece! Ah, well! it would be unreasonable to complain," he
reflected, "since Bertie has promised to send my souvenir back again.
Very thoughtful of him! It will be a little remembrance of Emmeline Nash
when it comes, and not of Judith Lisle: that will be the only
difference. Quite unimportant, of course. Upon my word, Lisle went about
it in a systematic fashion. Pity he gave his attention to music: a
distinguished burglar was lost to society when he turned organist." He
took up the paper and glanced at it again. "If I show this to her she
will pay his debt, as she did last time; and that she never shall do."
He doubled it up and thrust it in with the rest.

A shuffling step in the passage, a knock at the door, and Emma made her
appearance: "Miss Lisle has come in, sir."

Percival looked up a little astonished, but he only thanked her in his
quiet voice and closed his desk. He turned the key, and waited a moment
till Emma should have gone before he obeyed the summons. When, answering
Judith's "Come in," he entered the Lisles' room, he found her standing
by the window. She turned and looked at him, as if she were not quite
certain whom to expect.

"It is I," he said. "Thank you for sending for me."

"Sending for you? I didn't send. But I am glad you came," she added.

She had not sent for him, and Percival remembered that he had passed
Lydia Bryant on his way. The message--which, after all, was a mere
statement of a fact--was hers. He colored angrily and stood confused:
"You did not send? No--I see. I beg your pardon--I misunderstood--"

"It makes no difference," said Judith quickly. "Don't go: I wanted to
tell you--" She paused: "I have not been unjust, Mr. Thorne. Mr. Nash
has been at Standon Square this afternoon. After he had my telegram he
received a letter from Emmeline, and it was as I thought. She is with
Bertie."

"With Bertie? And he came here?"

"Yes--to see if it was as Emmeline said, that they were married at St.
Andrew's last Tuesday."

Percival looked blankly at her: "Married! It isn't possible, is it?"

[Illustration: "IT IS I," HE SAID. "THANK YOU FOR SENDING FOR ME."--Page
542.]

"Quite possible," said Judith bitterly. "Standon Square is in St.
Andrew's parish, as well as Bellevue street. It seems that Bertie had
only to have the banns mumbled over for three Sundays by an old
clergyman whom nobody hears in a church where nobody goes. It sounds
very easy, doesn't it?"

Percival stood for a moment speechless while the cool audacity of
Bertie's proceeding filtered slowly into his mind. "But if any one had
gone to St. Andrew's?" he said at last.

"That would have ended it, of course. I suppose he would have run away
without Emmeline. If I had gone that Sunday when I had arranged to go,
for instance. Yes, that would have been very awkward, wouldn't it, Mr.
Thorne? Only, you see, Bertie happened to be ill that morning, and I
couldn't leave him. You remember you were good enough to go to church
with us."

"I remember," said Percival with a scornful smile as he recalled the
devoted attention with which he had escorted the young organist to St.
Sylvester's.

"He must have enjoyed that walk, I should think," said Judith, still
very quietly. Her unopened note was on the table, where she had placed
it that morning. She took it up and tore it into a hundred pieces. "You
have heard people talk of broken hearts, haven't you?" she said.

"Often," he answered.

"Well, then, Bertie has broken Miss Crawford's. She said this morning
that she should never hold up her head again if this were true; and I
believe she never will."

"Do you mean she will die of it?" said Thorne, aghast.

"Not directly, perhaps, but I am sure she will die the sooner for it.
All her pride in her life's work is gone. She feels that she is
disgraced. I could not bear to see her this afternoon, utterly ashamed
and humble before that man."

"What did he say?"

"Some things I won't tell you." A quick blush dyed her face. "Naturally,
he was angry: he had good reason to be. And when he told her she was
past her work, she moaned, poor thing! while the tears rained down her
cheeks, and only said, 'God forgive me--yes.'"

Percival could but echo her pity. "Bertie never thought--" he began.

"Never thought? When our trouble came," said Judith, "we had plenty of
friends better able to do something for us, but, somehow, they didn't.
And when there was the talk of Bertie's coming here, and I remembered
her and asked her if she could help me to a situation anywhere in the
neighborhood, she wrote to me to come to her at once, and she would do
all she could to help Bertie too. I have her letter still. She said she
longed to know me for my mother's sake, and was sure she would soon love
me for my own. And this afternoon she prayed God she might never see my
face again!"

"She thinks you are to blame, then?" said Thorne.

"Yes; and am I not?" was the quick reply. "Ought I not to have known
Bertie better? And I did know him: that is the worst of it. I did not
expect this, and yet I ought to have been on my guard. He has been my
one study from first to last. From the time that he was a little
boy--the bonniest little boy that ever was!--my life has been all
Bertie. I remember him, with long curls hanging down his back and his
gray eyes opened wide, when he stood on tiptoe at the piano and touched
the little tunes that he had heard, and looked over his shoulder at me
and laughed for pleasure in his music. I can see his little
baby-fingers--the little soft fingers I used to kiss--on the keys
now.--Oh, Bertie, why didn't you die then?"

She stopped as if checked by a sudden thought, and looked so quickly up
at Percival that she caught an answer in his eyes that he would never
have uttered.

"Ah, yes, he would have been the same," she said. "He _was_ the same
then: I know it. They used to praise me, when I was a child, for giving
everything up to Bertie. As if he were not my happiness! And it has been
so always. And now I have sacrificed Miss Crawford to Bertie--my dear
old friend, my mother's friend, who is worth ten times as much as Bertie
ever was or ever will be! Is not this a fine ending of all?"

Percival broke the silence after a moment's pause. "_Is_ it an ending of
all?" he said. "Bertie has been very wrong, but it has been partly
thoughtlessness. He is very young, and if he should do well hereafter
may there not even yet be a future to which you may look forward? As for
the world, it is not disposed to look on a runaway match of this sort as
a crime."

She turned her eyes full upon him, and he stopped.

"Oh, the world!" she said. "The world will consider it a sort of young
Lochinvar affair, no doubt. But how much of the young Lochinvar do you
think there is about Bertie, Mr. Thorne? You have heard him speak of
Emmeline Nash sometimes--not as often nor as freely as he has spoken to
me; still, you have heard him. And judging from that, do you believe he
is in love with her?"

"Well--no," said Thorne reluctantly. "Hardly that."

"A thousand times no! If by any possibility he had loved her, foolishly,
madly, with a passion that blinded him to the cruel wrong he was doing,
it would all have been different. I should have blamed him, but in spite
of Miss Crawford I should have forgiven him; I should have had hope; he
would have been my Bertie still; I should not have despised him. But
this is cold and base and horrible: he has simply sold himself for
Emmeline's money--sold himself, his smiles and his pretty speeches and
his handsome face. And now it is all over."

As Judith spoke Percival understood for the first time what a woman's
voice could be. The girl's soul was filled and shaken with passion. She
did not cry aloud nor rant, but every accent thrilled through him from
head to foot. And it seemed to him that she needed no words--that, had
she been speaking in an unknown tongue, the very intonation, the mere
sound, the vibration of her voice, would have told him of her wounded
heart, her despair, her unavailing sorrow, her bitter shame, so eloquent
it was. He did not think all this, but in a passing moment felt it. "I
fear it is all too true," he said. "I don't know what to say nor how to
help you. Your brother--"

"Don't call him that: he is no brother of mine. Ah yes, God help me, he
_is_ my brother; and I think we Lisles bring sorrow to all who are good
to us. We have to you, have we not? Don't stay here, Mr. Thorne: don't
try to help me. Remember that I am of the same blood as my father, who
robbed you--as Bertie, who has been so base."

"And if Judas himself were your brother, what then?" Percival demanded.
His voice, in its masculine vigor and fulness, broke forth suddenly,
like a strong creature held till then in a leash. "And as for the money,
what of that? I am glad it is gone, or I should not have been here
to-day."

No, he would not have needed to turn clerk and earn his living. He would
not have gone to Brackenhill to confess his poverty. He might never have
discovered anything. Most likely he would long since have been Sissy's
husband. Sissy seemed far away now. He had loved her--yes. Oh, poor
little Sissy, who had clung to him! But what were these new feelings
that thronged his heart as he looked at Judith Lisle? He stopped
abruptly. What had he said?

Judith too looked at him, and grew suddenly calm and still. "You are
very good," she said. "I should have been very lonely to-day if I had
not had a friend. It has been a comfort to speak out what I felt, though
I'm afraid I've talked foolishly."

"One can't weigh all one's words," said Percival.

"No," she answered; "and I know you will not remember my folly."

"At any rate, I will not forget that you have trusted me. You are
tired," he said gently: "you ought to rest. There is nothing to be done
to-night."

"Nothing," she answered hopelessly.

"And to-morrow, if there is anything that I can do, you will send for
me, will you not?"

She smiled.

"Promise me that," he urged in a tone of authority. "You will?"

"Yes, I promise."

Sometimes, when clouds roll up, black with thunder and rain, to
overshadow the heavens and to deluge the earth, between their masses
you may catch a momentary gleam of blue, faint and infinitely far away,
deep, untroubled, most beautiful. Judith had caught such a glimpse that
evening as she bade Percival good-night.



CHAPTER XLVII.

CONSEQUENCES.


The story of the elopement was in all the local papers, which seemed for
once to be printed on Judith Lisle's heart. It was the latest and most
exciting topic of conversation in the neighborhood of Standon Square and
St. Sylvester's, and was made doubly interesting by the utter collapse
of Mr. Clifton's Easter services, which were to have been something very
remarkable indeed. Every one recollected the young organist who was so
handsome and who played so divinely. People forgot that his father had
failed very disgracefully, and only remembered that Bertie had once been
in a much better position. There was a sort of general impression that
he was an aristocratic young hero who lived in lofty poverty, and was a
genius into the bargain. No one was very precise about it, but Beethoven
and Mendelssohn and all those people were likely to find themselves
eclipsed some fine morning. Emmeline Nash of course became a heroine to
match, vaguely sketched as slim, tall and fair. She had stayed on at
Miss Crawford's at an age when a girl's education is generally supposed
to be finished, and she had not always gone home for the holidays. These
facts were of course the germs of a romance. There was a quarrel with
her father, who wished her to marry some one. No one knew who the some
one might be, but as he was only a shadowy figure in the background, his
name was of no importance. Emmeline and her music-master had fallen in
love at first sight; and when the moment came for the girl to return
home, to be persecuted by her father's threats and by the attentions of
the shadowy lover, her heart had failed her and she had consented to fly
with the young musician. As Judith had said, it was a young Lochinvar
romance--a boy-and-girl attachment. No one seemed to think much the
worse of Bertie. Hardly any one called him a fortune-hunter, for
Emmeline's money seemed trivial compared with the wealth that he was
supposed to have once possessed. And no one thought anything at all of
Judith herself or of Miss Crawford.

It would soon be over and forgotten, but Judith suffered acutely while
it lasted. Perhaps it was well that she was forced to think about her
own prospects, which were none of the brightest.

"Shall you go to Rookleigh?" Percival asked her a couple of days later.

She shook her head: "No: I'm too proud, I suppose, or too miserable: I
can't have my failure here talked over. Aunt Lisle's conversation is
full of sharp little pin-pricks, which are all very well when they don't
go straight into one's heart."

He saw her lip quiver as she turned her face away. "Where will you go,
then?" he asked with gentle persistence. It was partly on his own
account, for he feared that a blow was in store for him, and he wanted
to know the worst.

"I shall not go anywhere. I shall not leave Brenthill."

The blood seemed to rush strongly to his heart: his veins were full of
warm life. She would not leave Brenthill!

"I will stay, at any rate, while Miss Crawford remains here. She will
not speak to me, she has forbidden me to attempt to see her, but I
cannot go away and leave her here alone. I may not be of any use--I do
not suppose I shall be--but while she is here I will not go."

"But if she left?"

"Still, I would not leave Brenthill if I could get any work to do. I
feel as if I must stay here, if only to show that I have not gone away
with Bertie to live on Emmeline's money. Poor Emmeline! And when he used
to talk of my not working any more, and he would provide for me, I
thought he meant that he would make a fortune with his opera. What a
fool I was!"

"It was a folly to be proud of."

He was rewarded with a faint smile, but the delicate curve of the
girl's lips relaxed into sadness all too soon.

The table at her side was strewn with sheets of roughly-blotted music,
mixed with others daintily neat, which Judith herself had copied. "His
opera," she repeated, laying the leaves in order. "Emmeline will be
promoted to the office of critic and admirer now, I suppose. But I think
the admiration will be too indiscriminate even for Bertie. Poor
Emmeline!"

"What are you going to do with all these?" said Thorne, laying his hand
on the papers.

"I am putting them together to send to him. I had a letter this morning,
so I know his address now. He seems very hopeful, as usual, and thinks
her father will forgive them before long."

"And do you think there is a chance of it?"

"No, I don't. Bertie did not hear what Mr. Nash said that afternoon to
Miss Crawford and to me," she replied; and once again the color rushed
to her face at the remembrance.

"Miss Lisle," said Percival suddenly, "I am ready to make every
allowance for Mr. Nash, but if--"

"Oh, it was nothing. He was angry, as he had reason to be: that was all.
And you see I am not used to angry men."

"I should hope not. I wish I had been there."

"And I don't," said Judith softly. "I think you might not have been very
patient, and I felt that one ought to be patient for Miss Crawford's
sake. Besides, if you had been there I could not have--Bertie writes in
capital spirits," she continued with a sudden change of tone. "He wants
me to go and join them. He is just the same as ever, only rather proud
of himself."

"Proud of himself! In Heaven's name, why?"

"Why, he is only two-and-twenty, and has secured a comfortable income
for the rest of his life by his own exertions. Naturally, he is proud of
himself." Percival had learned now that Judith never suffered more
keenly than when she spoke of Bertie in a jesting tone, and it pained
him for her sake. He looked sorrowfully at her. "Mr. Thorne," she went
on, "he does not even suspect that what he has done is anything but
praiseworthy and rather clever. He does not so much as mention Miss
Crawford. And I am haunted by a feeling that we have somehow wronged my
mother by wronging her old friend."

Percival did not tell her that he too had had a letter from Bertie. It
was in his pocket as he stood there, and when he went away he took it
out and read it again.

Bertie was as light-hearted as she had said. He enclosed an order for
the money taken from the desk, and hoped Thorne had not wanted it; or,
if he had been put to any inconvenience, he must forgive him this once,
as he, Lisle, did not suppose he should ever run away in that style
again.

"I think the old man will come round without much fuss," Bertie went on.
"We have been very penitent--the waste of note-paper before we could get
our feelings properly expressed was something frightful; but the money
was well laid out, for we have heard from him again, and there is a
perceptible softening in the tone of his letter. Emmeline assures me
that he is passionately fond of music, and reminds me how anxious he was
that she should learn to play. The reasoning does not exactly convince
me, but if the old fellow does but imagine that he has a passion for
music I will conquer him through that. And if the worst comes to the
worst, and he is as stony-hearted as one of his own fossils, we have
only to manage for this year, and we must come into our money when
Emmeline is twenty-one. But I have no fear. He will relent, and we shall
be comfortably settled under the paternal roof long before Christmas.

"What did old Clifton say and do when he found I had bolted? And how did
the Easter services go off? Those blessed Easter services that he was in
such a state of mind about! Was he very savage? Send me as graphic a
description as you can.

"Excuse a smudge, but Emmeline and I are bound to do a good deal of
hugging and kissing just now--a honeymoon after an elopement is
something remarkably sweet, as you may suppose--and her sleeve brushed
the wet ink. This particular embrace was on the occasion of her
departure to put on her things. We are going out.

"Don't they say that married women always give up their accomplishments?
Emmeline is a married woman, therefore Emmeline will give up her music.
How soon do you suppose she will begin?"

Half a page more of Bertie's random scribble brought him to a
conclusion, but it was not a final one, for he had added a couple of
lines: "P.S. Persuade J. to shake herself free of Brenthill as soon as
possible: there can be no need for her to work now, thank God! You know
it has always been my day-dream and hope to provide for her. You must
come and see us too. Come soon, before we go to my father-in-law's.
Good-bye: we are off.--P.S. No. 2. No, we are not. E. has forgotten her
parasol, and is gone for it. How is Lydia? What did she say when she
heard the news? I suppose by this time everybody knows it."

Percival's lip curved with scorn and disgust as he refolded the letter,
in which Emmeline, Judith and Lydia jostled each other as they might
have done in a bad dream. Then he looked up, being suddenly aware of
eyes that were fixed upon him.

Miss Bryant stood in the doorway: "You've heard from _him_, Mr. Thorne?"

Percival did not choose to answer as if he were in Miss Bryant's secrets
and knew as a matter of course that "_him_" meant Lisle. Neither did he
choose to say that he did not know who was intended by the energetic
pronoun. He looked back at Lydia politely and inquiringly, as if he
awaited further information before he could be expected to reply.

"Oh, you know," said Lydia scornfully. "You have heard from Mr. Bertie
Lisle?"

"Yes," Percival acquiesced gravely.

"Well?"

"Well--what, Miss Bryant?"

"What does he say?" Lydia demanded; and when Thorne arched his brows,
"Oh, you needn't look as if you thought it wasn't my business. I've a
right to ask after him, at any rate, for old acquaintance' sake."

"I'm sorry to hear you take so much interest in him," he rejoined.

"Why? You may keep your sorrow for your own affairs: I'll manage mine. I
can take very good care of myself, I assure you, and I won't trouble you
to be sorry for me," said Lydia shortly. I do not think she had ever
spoken to a young man before and been unconscious that it _was_ a young
man to whom she spoke. But she was utterly heedless of Percival as she
questioned him, and he perceived it, and preferred this angry mood.
"Can't you tell me anything about him?" said the girl. "Is he
well--happy?"

"He writes in the best of spirits."

Lydia advanced a step or two: "And is it all true what they are saying?
He has married this young lady?"

"Yes, he has married her."

"And do you suppose he cares for her?" said Lydia slowly.

Thome's brows went up again: "Really, Miss Bryant--"

"Because if he does, he has told lies enough: that's all."

("And he isn't a miracle of honor if he doesn't," said Percival.)

"But that's quite likely," Lydia went on, unheeding. "I knew all the
time that he didn't mean any good. He thought I believed him, but I
didn't--not more than half, anyhow. But when he went away I didn't guess
it was for this."

"You knew he was going?" Thorne said.

Lydia half smiled, in conscious superiority.

"You don't seem to have served yourself particularly well by keeping his
secrets. You are deceived at last, like the rest."

"Well, if I haven't served myself I've served him," said Lydia. "And I
don't know but what I am glad of it. He wasn't as stuck-up and proud as
some people. One likes to be looked at and spoken to as if one wasn't
dirt under people's feet. And, after all, I don't see that there's any
harm done." There were red rims to Lydia's eyes, telling of tears which
must surely have been too persistent to pass for tears of joy at the
tidings of Bertie's elopement. "I suppose a marriage like that is all
right?" she asked with a quick glance.

"Of course--no doubt of it," said Percival very shortly. He had pitied
her a moment earlier.

"Ah! I supposed so. But things ain't always all right when people run
away. And the money's all right too, is it?"

"Some of it, at any rate," said Thorne, taking a book from the table.

"Wouldn't he be sure to take care of that! And there's more to come if
the father likes, isn't there? He'll get that too: see if he doesn't."

"It is to be hoped he will--for Mrs. Lisle's sake. Otherwise, I cannot
say I care to discuss his prospects."

"Well," said Lydia after a pause, during which she turned a ring slowly
on her finger--"well, I'll wish him all the happiness he deserves."

Percival's lip curved a little: "Miss Bryant, are you absolutely
pitiless?"

Lydia's expression was rather blank. "What do you mean? No, I ain't,"
she said. "I've nothing more to do with him. He hasn't done me any harm,
and I won't wish him any. At least, only a little." With which small
ebullition of feminine tenderness and spite she fled hurriedly down
stairs to shed a few more tears, and left Thorne to write his letter to
Lisle. It was brief, and none the sweeter for that recent interview.

"I return the money," Percival wrote, "which you say was so useful to
you. I know that what you have sent me is not yours, but your wife's,
and I cannot conscientiously say that I think Mrs. Herbert Lisle is
indebted to me in any way.

"I have not delivered your message to your sister. I have no wish to
insult her in her trouble, and I know she would feel such persuasion a
cruel insult, as indeed I think it would be."

Judith at the same time was writing:

"From this time our paths must lie apart. I will never touch a penny of
your wife's money. Do not dare to offer me a share of it again. It seems
to me that all the shame and sorrow is mine, and you have only the
prosperity. Not for the whole world would I change burdens with you.

"Miss Crawford is going to give up her school at once. She will not see
or speak to me, for she suspects me of having been your accomplice. And
I cannot help blaming myself that I trusted you so foolishly. But I
could not have believed that you would have been false to her--our one
friend, our mother's friend. Is it possible that you do not see that
every one under her roof should have been sacred to you? But what is the
use of saying anything now?

"I don't know, after this, how to appeal to you, and I don't want any
promises; but if you feel any regret for the pain you have caused, and
if you really wish to do anything for me, I entreat you to be good to
Emmeline. It is the only favor I will ever ask of you. She is young and
weak, poor girl! and she has trusted you utterly. In God's name, do not
repay her trust as you have repaid Miss Crawford's and mine!"

Bertie's incredulous amazement was visible in every line of his answer
to Percival:

"Are you both cracked--you and Judith--or am I dreaming? I have read
your letters a score of times, and I think I understand them less than I
did. Here are sweet bells jangled out of tune with a vengeance, and
Heaven only knows what all the row is about: I don't.

"Do you suppose a man never made a runaway match before? And how could I
do otherwise than as I did? Was I to stop and consult all the old women
in the parish about it--ask Miss Crawford's blessing, and get my sister
to look out my train for me and pack my portmanteau? Can't you see that
I was obliged to deceive you a little?

"And what is amiss with the marriage itself? It is true that just now
Emmeline has the money and I have none, but do you suppose I am going to
remain in obscurity all my life? A few years hence you shall own that it
was not at all a bad match for her. Old Nash is nobody, though he is
clever enough in his own way. His father was a tailor, and made a good
lot of money so. By the way, he is certainly coming round (Mr. Nash, I
mean, not my grandfather-in-law the tailor: he is dead), and if he
doesn't object, why should anybody else?

"If I have done Miss Crawford any harm, I'm very sorry of course. Can't
I help her in some way?"

The reply to Judith's letter came in a feeble, girlish handwriting. It
began: "Herbert tells me you are angry with him because he deceived you
about our marriage," and it ended, "Your affectionate sister, EMMELINE
LISLE." The writer was evidently in the seventh heaven of bliss. Her
letter was an attempt at persuading Judith, but it was sprinkled all
over with fond allusions to Bertie--"My dear, dear husband," "my own
dearest," "darlingest Herbert," "my own love;" and in one place there
was an unnecessary little parenthesis: "He is such a _dear_, you know!"
It was silly enough to be maddening, but it was wonderfully happy, with
the writer's adoration of Bertie and her serene certainty that Bertie
adored her. Clearly, no shadow of doubt had crossed Emmeline's mind.
There was not such another man in all the world as Herbert Lisle, and
she was his ideal woman. Every other girl must envy her the prize she
had won. Even his sister was jealous and angry when she found that she
held only the second place in his affections. Emmeline, elated by her
proud position, reasoned sweetly with the unreasonable Judith, who read
the foolish scribble with mingled irritation, laughter, contempt, and
almost tears. At the end were three lines in another hand: "Judith, you
_must_ let me send you some money. If you don't understand why yet, you
will soon. You really must."

"Does he think I can't get a situation without his help?" Judith
wondered. She smiled, for she had found one. Mrs. Barton had come to her
assistance--Mrs. Barton, whose stupid little daughter Judith was still
patiently teaching. She understood the girl's wish to remain at
Brenthill: she believed in her and sympathized with her, and exerted
herself in her behalf. She brought her the offer of a situation in a
school for little boys, where she would live in the house and have a
small salary. "It won't be like Miss Crawford's, you know," the good
lady said.

"It will do, whatever it is," Judith answered.

"It is a school of quite a different class. Miss Macgregor is a woman
who drives hard bargains. She will overwork you, I'm afraid: I only hope
she won't underfeed you. You will certainly be underpaid. She takes
advantage of the cause of your leaving Standon Square, and of the fact
that you can't ask Miss Crawford for testimonials. She is delighted at
the idea of getting a really good teacher for next to nothing."

"Still, it is in Brenthill," said Judith, "and that is the great thing.
Thank you very much, Mrs. Barton. I will take it."

"She will reopen school in about ten days."

"That will suit me very well, won't it? I must pack up here, and settle
everything." And Judith cast a desolate glance round the room where she
had come with such happy hopes to begin a new life with Bertie.

Mrs. Barton's eyes were fixed on her. "I am half inclined now to wish I
hadn't said anything about Miss Macgregor at all," she remarked.

"Why? If you only knew how grateful I am!"

"That's just it. Grateful! And that schoolmistress will work you to
death: I know she will."

"She must take a little time about it," said the girl with a smile.
"Perhaps before she has quite finished I may hear of something else.
What I want is something to enable me to stay at Brenthill, and this
will answer the purpose."

Mrs. Barton stood up to go. "I've made one stipulation," she said.
"Miss Macgregor will let you come to us every Wednesday afternoon to
give Janie her lesson."

"Oh, how good you are!" Judith exclaimed. "I thought all that must be
over."

"I wish I could have you altogether," Mrs. Barton said. "It would be
charming for Janie, and for me too. But, unfortunately, that can't be."
She had her hand on the handle of the half-open door. As she spoke there
was a quick step on the stairs, and Percival Thorne went by. A slanting
light from the window in the passage fell on his sombre, olive-tinted
face with a curiously picturesque effect. An artist might have painted
him, emerging thus from the dusky shadows. He carried himself with a
defiant pride--was he not Judith's friend and champion?--and bowed, with
a glance that was at once eager and earnest, when he caught sight of the
young girl behind her friend's substantial figure. His strongly-marked
courtesy was so evidently natural that it could not strike any one as an
exaggeration of ordinary manners, but rather as the perfection of some
other manners, no matter whether those of a nation or a time, or only
his own. Mrs. Barton was startled and interested by the sudden
apparition. The good lady was romantic in her tastes, and this was like
a glimpse of a living novel. "Who was that?" she asked hurriedly.

"Mr. Thorne. He lodges here," said Judith.

"A friend of your brother's?"

"He was very good to my brother."

"Ah!" said Mrs. Barton. "My dear, he is very handsome."

Judith smiled.

"He is!" exclaimed her friend. "Don't say he isn't, for I sha'n't
believe you mean it. He is _very_ handsome--like a Spaniard, like a
cavalier, like some one in a tragedy. Now, isn't he?"

Mrs. Barton's romantic feelings found no outlet in her daily round of
household duties. Mr. Barton was good, but commonplace; so was Janie;
and Mrs. Barton was quite conscious that there was nothing poetical or
striking in her own appearance. But Miss Lisle, with her "great, grave
griefful air," was fit to take a leading part in poem or drama, and here
was a man worthy to play hero passing her on the staircase of a dingy
lodging-house! Mrs. Barton built up a romance in a moment, and was quite
impatient to bid Judith farewell, that she might work out the details as
she walked along the street.

The unconscious hero of her romance was divided between pleasure and
regret when he heard of the treaty concluded with Miss Macgregor. It was
much that Judith could remain at Brenthill, but one day, on his way to
dinner, he went and looked at the outside of the house which was to be
her home, and its aspect did not please him. It stood in a gloomy
street: it was prim, straight, narrow, and altogether hideous. A tiny
bit of arid garden in front gave it a prudish air of withdrawing from
the life and traffic of the thoroughfare. The door opened as Percival
looked, and a woman came out, frigid, thin-lipped and sandy-haired. She
paused on the step and gave an order to the servant: evidently she was
Miss Macgregor. Percival's heart died within him. "That harpy!" he said
under his breath. The door closed behind her, and there was a
prison-like sound of making fast within. The young man turned and walked
away, oppressed by a sense of gray dreariness. "Will she be able to
breathe in that jail?" he wondered to himself. "Bellevue street is a
miserable hole, but at least one is free there." He prolonged his walk a
little, and went through Standon Square. It was bright and pleasant in
the spring sunshine, and the trees in the garden had little leaves on
every twig. A man was painting the railings of Montague House, and
another was putting a brass plate on the door. There was a new name on
it: Miss Crawford's reign was over for ever.

Percival counted the days that still remained before Judith's bondage
would begin and Bellevue street be desolate as of old. Yet, though he
prized every hour, they were miserable days. Lydia Bryant haunted
him--not with her former airs and graces, but with malicious hints in
her speech and little traps set for Miss Lisle and himself. She would
gladly have found an occasion for slander, and Percival read her hate of
Judith in the cunning eyes which watched them both. He felt that he had
already been unwary, and his blood ran cold as he thought of possible
gossip, and the manner in which Lydia's insinuations would be made.
Precious as those few days were, he longed for the end. He thought more
than once of leaving Bellevue street, but such a flight was impossible.
He was chained there by want of money. He could not pay his debt to Mrs.
Bryant for weeks, and he could not leave while it was unpaid. Day after
day he withdrew himself more, and grew almost cold in his reserve,
hoping to escape from Lydia. One morning, as they passed on the stairs,
he looked back and caught a glance from Judith never intended to meet
his eye--a sad and wondering glance--which made his heart ache, even
while filling it with the certainty that he was needed. He answered only
with another glance. It seemed to him to convey nothing of what he felt,
but nevertheless it woke a light in the girl's eyes. Moved by a quick
impulse, Percival looked up, and following his example, Judith lifted
her head and saw Miss Bryant leaning over the banisters and watching
them with a curiosity which changed to an unpleasant smile when she
found herself observed. It was a revelation to Judith. She fled into her
room, flushing hotly with indignation against Lydia for her spitefully
suggestive watchfulness; with shame for herself that Percival's sense of
her danger should have been keener than her own; and with generous pride
and confidence in him. Thus to have been guarded might have been an
intolerable humiliation, but Judith found some sweetness even in the
sting. It was something new to her to be cared for and shielded; and
while she resolved to be more careful in future, her dominant feeling
was of disgust at the curiosity which could so misunderstand the truest
and purest of friendships. "_He_ understands me, at any rate," said
poor Judith to herself, painfully conscious of her glowing cheeks. "_He_
understands me: he will not think ill of me, but he shall never have to
fear for me again." It might be questioned whether Percival did
altogether understand her. If he did, he was more enlightened than
Judith herself.

After that day she shrank from Percival, and they hardly saw each other
till she left. She knew his hours of going and coming, and was careful
to remain in her room, though it might be that the knowledge drew her to
the window that looked into Bellevue street. As for Percival, though he
never sought her, it seemed to him that his sense of hearing was
quickened. Judith's footstep on the stairs was always distinct to him,
and the tone of her voice if she spoke to Miss Bryant or Emma was noted
and remembered. It is true that this strained anxiety sometimes made him
an involuntary listener to gossip or household arrangements in which
Miss Lisle took no active part. One day there was a hurried conversation
just outside his door.

"Did you give it to her?" said Lydia's voice.

Emma replied, "Yes'm."

"Open? Just as it came? Just as I gave it to you?"

Emma again replied, "Yes'm."

"Did she look surprised?"

"She gave a little jump, miss," said Emma deliberately, as if weighing
her words, "and she looked at it back and front."

"Well, what then? Go on."

"Oh! then she laid it down and said it was quite right, and she'd see
about it."

Lydia laughed. "I think there'll be some more--" she said. Percival
threw the tongs into the fender, and the dialogue came to an abrupt
termination. "She" who gave a little jump was Miss Lisle, of course. But
there would be some more--What? The young man revolved the matter
gloomily in his mind as he paced to and fro within the narrow limits of
his room. A natural impulse had caused him to interrupt Lydia's
triumphant speech, which he knew was not intended for his ears, but her
laugh rang in the air and mocked him. What was the torture that she had
devised and whose effects she so curiously analyzed? There would be
more--What?

He thought of it that night, he thought of it the next morning, and
still he could not solve the mystery. But as he came from the office in
the middle of the day he passed his bootmaker's, and the worthy man, who
was holding the door open for a customer to go out, stopped him with an
apology. Percival's heart beat fast: never before had he stood face to
face with a tradesman and felt that he could not pay him what he owed.
His bill had not yet been sent in, and the man had never shown any
inclination to hurry him, but he was evidently going to ask for his
money now. Percival controlled his face with an effort, prepared for the
humiliating confession of his poverty, and found that Mr. Robinson--with
profuse excuses for the trouble he was giving--was begging to be told
Mr. Lisle's address.

"Mr. Lisle's address?" Thorne repeated the words, but as he did so the
matter suddenly became clear to him, and he went on easily: "Oh, I ought
to have told you that Mr. Lisle's account was to be sent to me. If you
have it there, I'll take it."

Mr. Robinson fetched it with more apologies. He was impressed by the
lofty carelessness with which the young man thrust the paper into his
pocket, and as Thorne went down the street the little bootmaker looked
after him with considerable admiration: "Any one can see he's quite the
gentleman, and so was the other. This one'll make his way too, see if he
doesn't!" Mr. Robinson imparted these opinions to Mrs. Robinson over
their dinner, and was informed in return that he wasn't a prophet, so he
needn't think it, and the young men who gave themselves airs and wore
smart clothes weren't the ones to get on in the world; and Mrs. Robinson
had no patience with such nonsense.

Meanwhile, Percival had gone home with his riddle answered. More--What?
More unsuspected debts, more bills of Bertie's to be sent in to the
poor girl who had been so happy in the thought that, although their
income was small, at least they owed nothing. Percival's heart ached as
he pictured Judith's start of surprise when Emma carried in the open
paper, her brave smile, her hurried assurance that it was all right, and
Lydia laughing outside at the thought of more to come. "She'll pay them
all," said Percival to himself. "She won't take a farthing of that
girl's money. She'll die sooner than not pay them, but I incline to
think she won't pay this one." His mind was made up long before he
reached Bellevue street. If by any sacrifice of pride or comfort he
could keep the privilege of helping Judith altogether to himself, he
would do so. If that were impossible he would get the money from Godfrey
Hammond. But he felt doubtful whether he should like Godfrey Hammond
quite as well when he should have asked and received this service at his
hands. "I ought to like him all the better if he helped her when I
couldn't manage it. It would be abominably unjust if I didn't. In fact,
I _must_ like him all the better for it: it stands to reason I must.
I'll be shot if I should, though! and I don't much think I could ever
forgive him."

Percival found that the debt was a small one, and calculated that by a
miracle of economy he might pay it out of his salary at the end of the
week. Consequently, he dined out two or three days: at least he did not
dine at home; but his dissipation did not seem to agree with him, for he
looked white and tired. Luckily, he had not to pay for his lodgings till
Mrs. Bryant came back, and he sincerely hoped that the good lady would
be happy with her sister, Mrs. Smith, till his finances were in better
order. When he got his money he lost no time in settling Mr. Robinson's
little account, and was fortunate enough to intercept another, about
which Mr. Brett the tailor was growing seriously uneasy. He would not
for the world have parted with the precious document, but he began to
wonder how he should extricate himself from his growing embarrassments.
Lydia--half suspicious, half laughing--made a remark about his
continual absence from home. "You are getting to be very gay, ain't you,
Mr. Thorne?" she said; and she pulled her curl with her old liveliness,
and watched him while she spoke.

"Well, rather so: it does seem like it," he allowed.

"I think you'll be getting too fine for Bellevue street," said the girl:
"I'm afraid we ain't scarcely smart enough for you already."

Had she any idea how much he was in their power? Was this a taunt or a
chance shot?

"Oh no, I think not," he said. "You see, Miss Bryant, I'm used to
Bellevue street now. By the way, I shall dine out again to-morrow."

"What! again to-morrow?" Lydia compressed her lips and looked at him.
"Oh, very well: it is a fine thing to have friends make so much of one,"
she said as she turned to leave the room.

Percival came home late the next evening. As he passed Judith's
sitting-room the door stood wide and revealed its desolate emptiness.
Was she gone, absolutely gone? And he had been out and had never had a
word of farewell from her! Perhaps she had looked for him in the middle
of the day and wondered why he did not come. Down stairs he heard Lydia
calling to the girl: "Emma, didn't I tell you to put the 'Lodgings' card
up in the windows as soon as Miss Lisle was out of the house? It might
just as well have been up before. What d'ye mean by leaving it lying
here on the table? You're enough to provoke a saint--that you are! How
d'ye know a score of people mayn't have been looking for lodgings
to-day, and I dare say there won't be one to-morrow. If ever there was a
lazy, good-for-nothing--" The violent slamming of the kitchen-door cut
off the remainder of the discourse, but a shrill screaming voice might
still be heard. Percival was certain that the tide of eloquence flowed
on undiminished, though of articulate words he could distinguish none.
It is to be feared that Emma was less fortunate.

It was true, then. Judith was gone, and that without a farewell look or
touch of the hand to mark the day! They had lived for months under the
same roof, and, though days might pass without granting them a glimpse
of each other, the possibility of a meeting was continually with them.
It was only that night that Percival, sitting by his cheerless fireside,
understood what that possibility had been to him. He consoled himself as
well as he could for his ignorance of the hour of Judith's departure by
reflecting that Lydia would have followed her about with malicious
watchfulness, and would either have played the spy at their interview or
invented a parting instead of that which she had not seen. "She can't
gossip now," thought Percival.

Meanwhile, Lydia perceived, beyond a doubt, that they must have arranged
some way of meeting, since they had not taken the trouble to say
"Good-bye."

  [TO BE CONTINUED.]



THE HARVESTING-ANTS OF FLORIDA.

[Illustration: EXCAVATING AN ANT-HILL.]


In the low pine barrens of Florida are large districts thickly dotted
over with small mounds made by a species of ant whose habits are unknown
to the scientific world. Each mound is surrounded by a circle of small
chips and pieces of charcoal, which the busy inhabitants often bring
from a long distance. The hills are regular in outline, with a
crater-like depression on the summit, in the centre of which is the
gateway or entrance.

These ants do not live in vast communities like the mound-builders of
the North, but each hill seems to be a republic by itself, though
separate colonies in the same neighborhood have friendly relations with
each other. Their color is rufous or reddish-brown, and they are
furnished with stings like bees and wasps, and, like the honey-bee,
always die after inflicting a wound, for their stings are torn from
their bodies and left in the victim. The pain inflicted is about the
same as that caused by the sting of the honey-bee. But they are not as
vicious as most stinging insects: they will submit to considerable rough
treatment before resorting to this last resource.

There are three sets of neuters in each colony--major and minor workers
and soldiers: also one wingless queen is found in each nest. The head is
very large, especially that of the soldier.[1] The workers minor--which
are the true workers--have regular well-defined teeth on the mandibles,
while most of the soldiers have merely the rudiments or teeth entirely
obsolete. All the queens which I have found--eighteen in number--have
perfectly smooth mandibles, without the least vestige of a tooth.

Early in December, 1877, I brought a large colony of these ants from one
of the hills, including the workers major and minor and soldiers, and
established them in a glass jar which I placed in my study. They very
soon commenced work, tunnelling the earth and erecting a formicary, as
nearly as they could after the pattern of their home on the barrens. The
mining was done entirely by the small workers. At first they refused all
animal food, but ate greedily fruit and sugar, and all kinds of seeds
which I gave them were immediately taken below, out of sight. I now
visited the mounds on the barrens and found abundant indications of
their food-supplies. At the base of each mound was a heap of chaff and
shells of various kinds of seeds. The chaff was _Aristida speciformis_,
which grew plentifully all about. I also found many seeds of _Euphorbia_
and _Croton_, and several species of leguminous seeds. But the ants were
not bringing seeds in at this time of year: they were only carrying out
the discarded seeds and chaff; and only on the warmest days were they
very active. But they do not wholly hibernate. Even after a frosty
night, by ten o'clock in the morning many of the hills would be quite
active.

[Illustration: SOLDIER.]

I sent specimens to the Rev. Dr. McCook of Philadelphia to be named, and
he identified them as _Pogono myrmex crudelis_, described by Smith as
_Atta crudelis_[2] Dr. McCook predicted from their close structural
resemblance to the Texan "agricultural ant" that they would prove to be
harvesting-ants.

On excavating a nest I found chambers or store-rooms filled with various
kinds of seeds. But, so far as I have observed, the seeds are not eaten
until they are swollen or sprouted, when the outer covering bursts of
itself. At this stage the starch is being converted into sugar, and this
seems to be what the ants are after. They also seemed to be very fond of
the yellow pollen-dust of the pine. The catkins of the long-leaved pine
(_Pinus australis_) commenced falling in February, and I noticed ants
congregated on them; so I took those just ready to discharge the pollen,
and shook the dust on the mound in little heaps, which were soon
surrounded by ants, crowding and jostling each other in their eagerness
to obtain a share.

The colony in the glass jar seemed perfectly contented, not trying to
make their escape at all. The earth was originally a little more than
two inches in depth, but by the first of February these wonderful
architects had reared their domicile to the height of six inches. They
raised tier upon tier of chambers in so substantial a manner that they
never fell in. One of the store-rooms in which they deposited the seeds
I gave them was at the bottom of the jar, and the seeds were stored
against the glass with no intervening earth between: it contained about
a teaspoonful of millet. I gave this chamber the right degree of heat
and moisture to sprout the seed by pouring a little water down the side
of the jar until it penetrated the chamber, and then setting it near the
fire. The ants soon appreciated the condition of this store-room, and
many congregated there and seemed to be enjoying a feast. The next day
the seeds were all brought to the surface and deposited in a little heap
on one side of the jar, where many of them grew, making a pretty little
green forest, which the ants soon cut down and destroyed. This chamber
remained empty for three or four days, and was then again refilled with
fresh millet and apple and croton seeds.

I kept a small shell, which held about a tablespoonful of water,
standing in the jar for the ants to drink from. For more than a month
the water was allowed to remain clear, the ants often coming to the edge
to drink; but one day one was walking on the edge of the shell, and
carrying an apple-seed, when she lost her footing and rolled into the
water. She floundered about for a few moments, still holding on to the
seed: at last she let it drop and crawled out. As soon as she had
divested herself of the surplus water, she consulted several of her
companions, and they immediately went to work and filled up the shell,
first throwing in four or five apple-seeds, and then filling in with
earth; and ever after, as often as I cleared out the shell and put in
fresh water, it would be filled with earth, sticks and seeds; and they
now served all sweet liquids which I gave them in the same way, sipping
the syrup from the moistened earth.

Like other ants, they are very fastidious about removing their dead
companions. I buried one about half an inch beneath the soil. Very soon
several congregated about the spot and commenced digging with their fore
feet, after the manner of digger-wasps, throwing the earth backward.
They soon unearthed and pulled the body out, when one seized and tried
to remove it, climbing up the side of the jar, and falling back until I
relieved her of the burden.

From time to time I add new recruits of soldiers and workers to the jar.
This always causes a little confusion for a few moments: there is a
quick challenging with antennæ, but no fighting, and soon all are
working harmoniously together. I found three half-drowned, chilled ants
near the mound from which most of the inhabitants of the jar were taken.
One was not only wet and chilled, but also covered with sand. These I
put on a small leaf and placed in the centre of the jar. The genial
warmth soon revived them. Many of their old companions clustered around
them, and there seemed to be considerable consultation. The two wet ants
were soon made welcome, and, leaving the leaf, were conducted by their
comrades--from whom they had been separated for more than two
months--to the rooms below. But the one covered with sand--a major--did
not meet with so kindly a reception. She still remained on the leaf
trying to cleanse herself. All the ants had left her save one, who was
determined to quarrel with her. I removed this one, and now another came
up, bit at her and annoyed her until I removed this one also. Then some
half dozen congregated about the leaf, touching her with their antennæ
and walking round her. By this time she was nearly free from the sand,
and was looking quite bright, strutting about the leaf in a threatening
attitude, with her mandibles wide apart. She was not attacked by these
last inspectors, though still looked upon a little suspiciously. I then
returned the two quarrelsome ants: they immediately walked up to their
unfortunate comrade, and now seemed to be satisfied that she was a
respectable ant, and admitted her into the community with no further
challenging.

[Illustration:

1. WORKER MAJOR.
2. OUTLINE OF HEAD OF WORKER MAJOR.
3. OUTLINE OF BODY OF WORKER MINOR.]

I found a nest of large carpenter-ants (_Camponotus atriceps_, var.
_esuriens_, Smith) which had made their home in fallen timber. Upon
examining their work, it was evident they must have strong tools to work
with, for the numerous rooms and chambers of their domicile were often
made in firm, hard wood. They are the largest, most vicious species I
have ever seen. I introduced one of these terrible creatures into the
jar among the quiet, peaceful occupants. A large worker major
immediately closed with her: it was so quickly done that I could not
tell which was the attacking party. They rolled about a few moments in a
close embrace, till they rolled out of sight through the wide entrance
to one of the rooms below. There was considerable excitement and
increased activity among the workers, who were constantly bringing to
the surface bits of earth which the struggling warriors had loosened. In
about an hour the head of the carpenter was brought out, divested of
every member: both the antennæ and palpi were gone, cut close to the
head. A little later the abdomen was brought out, and still later the
thorax with not an entire leg left.

[Illustration: QUEEN: SIDE-VIEW, SHOWING PECULIAR CONFORMATION OF THE
THORAX.]

Several times during the months of January and February I introduced
into the jar a number of half-grown larvæ of the harvester. Without any
hesitation they were quickly carried to the rooms below by the workers
minor. On the 4th of February I found a large number of the larvæ of the
carpenter-ant (_Camponotus meleus_, Say). They were very small, and
closely packed together in a chamber cut out of hard wood, two inches in
length and an inch and a quarter in diameter, nearly circular. It was
packed full of larvæ and eggs, the larvæ apparently just hatched. I
detached a small mass, all stuck together, and placed them in the jar
with the harvesters. The workers minor immediately surrounded the mass,
touching it with their antennæ, and then retreated backward, passing
their fore legs over the head and antennæ, as if the larvæ were
obnoxious to them. Great commotion ensued, followed by an apparent
consultation lasting a few moments; but soon the usual quietness
reigned, and most of the ants left the helpless larvæ and returned to
their mining and to the storing away of seeds or feeding their own
young. But two or three had not entirely deserted the young carpenters.
Again and again they touched them, and then retreated, cleansing the
antennæ as they moved backward. At last one seized the mass and held it
in her mandibles, standing nearly in an upright position. Several
workers now surrounded her, picked the larvæ off, one by one, and
carried them below, until all were separated and disposed of.

But by far the most satisfactory way of studying the ants is in their
native haunts on the barrens, where I had ten nests under observation.
One of these was so situated that it received the direct rays of the sun
all day, and was protected from north and east winds by dense, low
shrubbery. On sunny days, even with a cool wind from the north, when
taking my seat in this sheltered spot, I would soon become uncomfortably
warm. This hill was always active whenever I visited it, while in other
localities the ants would often be all housed. Around this active nest I
stuck stems of millet eighteen inches high, surmounted by the
close-packed heads. The ants climbed the stems, loosened and secured the
seeds, and stored them within the nest. They worked vigorously,
sometimes twenty or more on one head pulling away at the seeds. In my
artificial formicary they did not mount the stems, even when the heads
were not more than three or four inches from the ground, but seeds that
I scattered in the jar were always taken below.

I threw down a handful of apple-seeds near the entrance of the active
hill on the barrens. This immediately attracted a large number of
excited ants. They rushed to the seeds in a warlike attitude, and began
carrying them off, depositing them two or three feet away. But as soon
as the excitement caused by the sudden pouring down of the seeds had
subsided, they seemed to comprehend that they had been throwing away
good seeds; and now, changing their tactics, not only carried the
remainder into the nest, but finally brought back and stored all those
that had been thrown away.

On excavating the nests we found granaries of seed scattered irregularly
throughout to the depth of twenty-two inches below the surface of the
ground: some were near the surface, and a few sprouted seeds were
scattered about in the mound. The mound is usually not more than four to
six inches above the level of the ground.

The great majority of nests that I have found are in the low pine
barrens--so low that on reaching the depth of two feet the water runs
into the cavity like a spring, and stands above some of the granaries.
Notwithstanding this wet locality, I found no sprouted seeds in the
deeper store-rooms, but only in the warmer mound. On sunny days the
larvæ are brought up into the mound and deposited in chambers near the
surface, where they receive the benefit of the sun's rays. On cool,
cloudy days and in the early morning I found no larvæ near the surface.
If the ants are intelligent enough to treat the larvæ in this way, why
should they not store seeds where they will not sprout? And when they
need to sprout them in order to obtain the sugar they contain, it would
take no more wisdom to treat the seed as they do the larvæ--bringing
them near the surface to obtain the right degree of heat for the
required result.

The little workers seem very determined not to allow any green thing to
grow on their mounds. Cassia and croton and many other plants start to
grow from seeds which the ants have dropped, but they are always cut
down and destroyed if too near the mound, though allowed to grow at a
little distance; so that a botanist would be astonished at the great
variety of plants within a small area if not aware of the source from
which they came. I sometimes found small shrubs of _Kalmia hirsuta_ and
_Hypericums_ entirely dead on the mounds, the roots completely girdled
in many places. It is very amusing to watch them in their efforts to
destroy grass and other plants. Their determined persistence is
remarkable: they cut off the tender blades and throw them away. But they
do not stop here: the roots must be exterminated; so several dig around
the plant, throwing the earth backward, and after making it bare they
cut and girdle the roots until the plant is killed.

[Illustration: 1. With well-formed teeth. 2. Partially developed. 3.
Entirely obsolete.

MANDIBLES OF THE HARVESTING-ANT.]

Early in March the ants in the jar seemed to have completed their
domicile. At first, several chambers were visible through the glass, and
the galleries leading to them, but gradually the light was all shut out
by placing little particles of earth against the glass, thus depriving
me of the opportunity of watching their movements within the nest. So I
now took the jar to the barrens, and set it by the side of a nest which
was about a mile distant from where most of the ants were obtained. Here
I carefully broke it, and took the thin shell of glass from around the
nest, which did not fall, but stood six inches in height and eighteen
inches in circumference. With a large knife I removed a thin layer of
earth, which revealed three admirable chambers with galleries leading
from one to the other. Immediately below there were five chambers well
filled with ants, and below these other chambers were scattered
irregularly throughout, with only thin partitions between.

At various times I had given the ants moistened sugar on the thick
curved leaves of the live-oak, and several of these had been covered
while the ants were making their excavations. Two of the leaves were
three inches below the surface, and the ants had utilized them by making
the inner curved surface answer for the floor and sides of fine
chambers; and here a large number of ants, both soldiers and workers,
were crowded together. In other chambers I found the larvæ, which were
greatly increased in size since I had placed them in the jar; and the
larvæ of the carpenter-ant were being reared, as I found some smaller
than any I had introduced belonging to the harvester.

Very soon a great crowd of excited ants came from the hill near which I
had broken the jar, and began to transport the larvæ, and also the
mature ants, to their own dominions. There was no fighting: the ants
from the jar submitted to being carried, not offering the least
resistance. A small worker would often take hold of a large soldier,
sometimes pushing, sometimes dragging, her through the sand, and she
would be as quiet as if dead or dying; but if we touch the little worker
she leaves her burden and rushes about to see what the interference
means; and now the soldier straightens up, as bright and lively as the
rest, and after passing her fore legs over her head and body, goes of
her own accord into the new nest, meeting with no opposition. Some of
the ants would coil up and allow themselves to be carried easily. Others
were led along by an antenna or a leg, in either case manifesting no
resistance. For three hours I watched the proceeding, and could see no
fighting. It looked precisely as if the inhabitants of the jar realized
their helpless condition, and gladly submitted to be taken prisoners or
to become partners with this new firm.

I left them, and after the lapse of two hours again visited the spot.
The seeds that had been in the jar were now being transferred to the
other nest, and two new entrances at the base of the mound were being
made. And now every little while an ant would be ejected from the nest.
One worker would bring another out and lay her down, often not more than
three inches away from the door, but, so far as I could see, she was in
no wise injured. Her first movement was to make herself presentable by
passing her fore legs over her head and body: as soon as this was
completed she returned within the nest. But there was one large soldier
which the whole community seemed combined against. She was led or
dragged away from the entrance of the nest eight times, and each time
left at the base of the mound among the rubbish. Sometimes she was led
or carried by one alone, sometimes two or three would conduct her, and
then leave her, when she would at once proceed to make her toilet; which
completed, she would again return to the door of the nest, when she
would be again conducted away, offering no resistance. I now picked her
up, which made her very fierce. She seized my glove with her powerful
mandibles, and held on with a persistency equal to the most vicious
species, at the same time trying to use her sting. As soon as I could
free her from the glove I secured her, and on reaching home placed her
under the microscope, and found she was not injured and had strong teeth
in her mandibles.

On the next day I returned her to the nest, and again she was met by the
indignant police at the door and conducted away. With her strong
mandibles she could have crushed any number of her small assailants, but
in no instance did she show the least disposition to rebel against the
indignities to which she was subjected. She was often dragged away with
her back on the ground and her legs coiled up, apparently helpless. If
all the soldiers had been treated in this way, it would not have been so
remarkable, but so far as I could see the rest were allowed to remain,
going in and out of the nest as if taking a survey of their new
surroundings.

For five months I had these ants under almost constant observation, and
yet I was unable to make out the true position of the soldiers in the
colony. They stay mostly within the nest. On the warmest days a few
will come out and walk leisurely around the mound. They are not
scattered irregularly through the nest, but seem to be housed together
in large chambers. In one of these chambers I found a wingless queen in
their midst. It seemed very fitting for a queen to be surrounded by
Amazon soldiers; but, alas! they seemed more like maids of honor than
soldiers, for they forsook the royal lady without making an effort to
defend her. Not so, however, with the little workers: they rallied
around her, ready to guard her with their lives, and no doubt would have
succeeded had it been any ordinary foe.

This phenomenon--the soldiers and queens with smooth mandibles--is very
puzzling, and has excited much interest among naturalists both in this
country and in Europe. I sent specimens to Mr. Charles Darwin, which he
forwarded to Mr. Frederick Smith of the British Museum (who, Mr. Darwin
informs me, is the highest authority in Europe on ants and other
Hymenoptera). Mr. Smith says: "Your observations on the structural
differences in the mandibles of this ant are quite new to me." I also
sent specimens to the eminent naturalist Dr. Auguste Forel of Munich,
who, like Mr. Smith, had never observed this feature of the mandibles in
any ant; but he has a theory to account for it--that the smooth
mandibles have been worn down by labor. If this theory is true, how can
we account for the fact that other ants do not wear down their teeth?
The chitinous covering of this harvesting-ant is firm and hard. The
stage forceps of my microscope closes with a spring, and in studying
this ant I have put thousands of individuals to the test, holding them
in the forceps to examine their mandibles, and in no instance do I
recollect seeing one injured, while many other species are easily
injured by the forceps. Among these are the two large species of
carpenter-ant before mentioned, which work in stumps or fallen timber.
These ants all have well-developed teeth, and the shell-like covering
enveloping the body is much thinner than that of the harvesting-ant.

If it be urged that hard wood will not wear down the teeth like mining
in the sandy soil, I can bring forward another member of this family
(_Camponotus socius_, Roger), which lives in the ground, and whose
mining and tunnelling are on a much more extensive scale than those of
the harvesting-ant. The formicary of this _Camponotus_ often extends
over several square rods, with large entrances at various points, all
connected by underground galleries, requiring a great amount of labor to
construct them; while each colony of the harvesting-ant has a close,
compact nest or formicary, requiring much less work to construct it. The
worker major of _Camponotus socius_ is very large--larger than the
soldier of the harvesting-ant. The formicaries of the two species are
often in close contact, so that the nature of the soil is precisely the
same. I have examined thousands of _Camponotus socius_, and in no
instance have I found the teeth worn down.

There is still another difficulty in the way of Dr. Forel's theory.
Careful observations have revealed the fact that all the harvesting-ants
that engage in work of any kind are armed with teeth. I took thirty
soldiers with smooth mandibles, put them in a glass jar with every
facility for making a nest, but they refused to work, scorned all my
offers of food, and remained huddled together for three days. I then
introduced several workers minor, and they immediately commenced
tunnelling the earth and making chambers, into which the lazy soldiers
crawled, meeting with no opposition from these industrious little
creatures. My experiments did not stop here. I now took about a hundred
specimens--soldiers and a few workers major, the last with
partially-developed teeth--and placed them in a jar. Some of these made
feeble attempts to construct a nest, but they did not store away seeds,
and larvæ which I put in the jar they carried about as if not knowing
what to do with them.

There is every appearance of an aristocracy among these humble
creatures. The minors are the servants who do the work, while the queens
and soldiers (especially the soldiers, which more nearly approach the
queen in shape of head and mandibles) seem to live a life of comparative
ease, and have their food brought to them by the minors. This may be the
reason of the non-development of the teeth among the aristocracy. But
how the same parent can produce such differing offspring--some born to a
life of ease, with obsolete teeth, and others with well-developed teeth
to do the work--is one of the mysteries in Nature. The only way to
settle the point with regard to the mandibles beyond dispute is to find
the pupæ of very young queens and soldiers, which I was unable to do
during my stay in Florida. All the young were in the larval state.

  MARY TREAT.



DOCTEUR ALPHÈGE.


"Marcelline! Marcelline! viens m'aider: je souffre!"

The voice was thin and querulous, but painfully weak, and the stalwart,
broad-shouldered negress to whom the cry was addressed had an anxious,
startled look on her usually stolid face as she turned away from the
open door and went into the sick room.

"My poor mistress," she said tenderly in French, raising in her arms as
she spoke the attenuated form of the suffering woman before her and
rearranging her pillows, "you feel very bad to-day: I knew you did just
now when you were asleep and I heard you groaning. I wish--_bon
Dieu!_--I wish I could do something for you."

The invalid made no reply for a minute, but gazed piteously up into the
other's face. She was a woman of about fifty, who even in the last
stages of emaciation and weakness showed traces of wonderful beauty. The
sharp, drawn features were as clear and fine as those of a model, and
even now the sweetness and brilliancy of her dark-blue eyes were little
diminished. But pain of some kind and utter prostration held her in
their grip, and she made several attempts to speak before she said, in a
hoarse whisper, "Thou canst help me, child. Food, Marcelline! food, for
the love of God!"

The negress started, knit her brows and murmured anxiously, "Oh, my dear
mistress, anything but that! Think what would happen to me and my
children if--if--"--she seemed almost afraid even to whisper the name,
but sank her voice to the lowest tone as she continued--"if Mons.
Alphège were to find me out. _Attends!_" she added aloud and coaxingly:
"it will soon be time for your supper now: when the bell rings you are
to have some milk, and the sun is almost down."

The sick woman groaned and lay quite still, but when, in a few minutes,
a clanging plantation-bell rang the joyful announcement that the day's
work was over, she grasped the milk which Marcelline brought her like
one famished, and drained it without breathing. It was a short draught,
after all, for the cup was only half full, but Marcelline turned away
with a shiver from the imploring eyes and outstretched hands, which
asked her to replenish it, and, as though unable to endure the sight of
suffering which she could not alleviate, went out upon the open gallery
and sat down on the steps.

The room was on the ground floor, and the house was an old-fashioned
creole dwelling, long and low, with many doors and innumerable little
staircases--everything in disorder and out of repair, and weeds and
grass growing up to the threshold. There was a well-stocked and
carefully-tended vegetable garden not a hundred yards off: the
poultry-yards, dove-cotes and smoke-houses were as full as they could
hold, and over yonder, just behind the tall picket fence, were
corn-cribs bursting with corn and hay-lofts choked with hay. Fifty or
sixty negro hovels, irregularly grouped together down by the bayou-side,
and indistinctly seen in the fading twilight, contained about three
hundred slaves, who, having trooped in from the field at the sound of
the bell, were now eating pork and hominy as fast as they could swallow.
But no one would have guessed that all this abundance was at hand, or
that this was the homestead of one of the richest creole families in the
State. Yet it was so. Old Madame Levassour--or Madame Hypolite, as she
was invariably called--was not only the widow of a wealthy planter, but
had been herself a great heiress, perhaps the greatest in the whole
South, at the time of her marriage. The property had gone on
appreciating, as slave property did in old times, and now that she was
lying at the point of death, her two daughters, who had married
brothers, and, like all true creoles, still lived at home with their
mother, would soon be enormously rich. They were well off already by
inheritance from their father, and each owned a valuable plantation and
many slaves; but these were nothing compared to the possessions of their
mother, who was an excellent business-woman, full of energy, prudence
and moderation, and never weak or capricious, especially where the
interests of others were concerned. She had always been a kind and
indulgent mistress to her slaves, who loved her in return with
passionate fidelity, and many were the sighs and tears their approaching
change of owners produced among them. Her sons-in-law were educated men,
of good birth and moderate fortune; but negroes are the best judges of
character in the world, and there was not a trait or feeling concealed
under the quiet, nonchalant exterior of Mons. Volmont Cherbuliez which
they did not thoroughly understand. About his brother Alphège, who was a
physician, there was more diversity of opinion. That he also was bad,
cruel, dissipated, profoundly deceitful, there was no doubt in the minds
of his future chattels, but what precise form his idiosyncrasies would
take they felt to be uncertain, and gazed with terror--all the more
acute for being somewhat vague--at his cold, impassive face. In the mean
time, nothing could be more irreproachable than the demeanor of the two
brothers. Dr. Alphège was known to be a man of great skill, a graduate
of the medical schools of Paris and always interested in the practice of
his profession. He devoted himself to his mother-in-law now with
unfailing assiduity, and when her disease--which he pronounced to be a
dangerous gastric affection--baffled his utmost efforts, he sent for
advice and assistance even to New Orleans; which, thirty years ago in
South-western Louisiana, was quite an enterprise. His fellow-physicians
agreed with him in his management of the case, and the daughters and
friends of Madame Hypolite, though deeply grieved by her illness, felt
that nothing more could be done. As is usual in diseases of the stomach,
her suffering was very great, and the most rigid care had to be
exercised in the choice and administration of nourishment. On her food,
said Dr. Alphège, he depended for the only hope of a cure: consequently,
the rules which he laid down must be, and were, enforced in the most
rigid manner. The penalty of transgressing his orders was always severe,
but now the fiat went forth that any one of the nurses or attendants
upon Madame Hypolite who should depart from his carefully-explained
orders in the minutest particular should receive a punishment such as
had never been administered in that household before.

One of the marked features of creole life was always the immense number
of house-servants, and in a long illness such as Madame Hypolite was now
experiencing many attendants and various nurses seemed a matter of
course. Therefore the doctor's orders were doubly necessary, and would
in all cases have been entirely correct, since the first element of good
nursing is implicit obedience. Still, with all this care, she did not
improve, and in the evening of which we write her two daughters,
Mesdames Volmont and Alphège (for a creole never gets his or her last
name except in legal documents), were sitting on the gallery not far
from where Marcelline crouched on the steps, rocking themselves backward
and forward to keep off the mosquitoes and talking over the aspect of
affairs. They were both extremely pretty women, and very much alike.
Euphrosyne (Madame Volmont) was a year or two the older, but still not
more than twenty-two or three. She had been married at fourteen, and her
oldest boy was nearly eight, but she seemed not more than sixteen now;
while Clothilde (Madame Alphège), who, although married at the same age,
was childless, looked even younger; and any stranger seeing them this
evening in their soft white cambric dresses, little high-heeled red
slippers and floating ribbons, would have taken them for a couple of
pretty, dark-eyed, lazy school-girls enjoying their holiday.

Marcelline listened to them as they talked, at first with the same
intent, peculiar expression she had worn in the sick room, but gradually
her features relaxed as she heard their harmless chatter, subdued so as
not to disturb the sufferer near by, but full of little childish gossip
and kindly details of daily life. After talking for a few minutes about
Dr. Alphège's last report, which was that some slight improvement was
visible, Clothilde asked her sister with much interest if she had
finished the novena she was making, and on being answered in the
affirmative said that she would begin one herself on Monday.

"Bien!" said Euphrosyne. "If you will make a novena I will burn two more
candles, and get Père Ramain to say three masses for my intention in
honor of the Blessed Trinity."

"Say the novena with me," suggested Clothilde, fanning and rocking, and
speaking less distinctly than usual because her mouth was full of candy.

"Indeed, I cannot," replied Euphrosyne: "my knees are black and blue
now. I told Père Ramain yesterday that if he could just see them he
would not make me kneel again for a week."

As she spoke a horse's step was heard on the grass, and Volmont
Cherbuliez galloped lightly up over the turf. As he jumped down and
threw the reins to half a dozen nearly naked little black fellows who
were at his heels, his wife rose to meet him affectionately, and with
her hand on his shoulder said in a low tone of genuine delight, "Cher
ami, you will be so glad to hear that mamma is really better to-night!"
She was not looking at him, but even in the darkness, which was now that
of a starlit summer evening, Marcelline could see the slight start and
change of expression with which he heard her. He said nothing, however,
but kissed her hand with as much gallantry as though he was still
_faisant la cour_ to "mademoiselle," and they all passed into the
dining-room together. This, as was the custom in all such houses, was
also the common sitting-room of the family, or rather, when the weather
was too cold to sit on the galleries and they had occasion to leave
their bedrooms, it was here they met. As a rule, the women invariably
occupied their sleeping apartments, and never thought of leaving them
except for the open gallery or at meal-times. Here they received their
friends, sewed, embroidered, gossiped and told their beads. Two large
double beds were the ordinary complement of each room, and, what with
large family connections and frequent visitors, it was rare indeed to
find one not in use. Owing to this habit on the part of the women, and
the fact that no Creole planter ever spent two consecutive minutes in
his house during the daytime if he could possibly help it, the
dining-room was as dreary a spot as could be imagined. A long, narrow
table covered with oilcloth and surmounted by a huge punkah, a number of
straight wooden chairs and a square red cupboard comprised all the
furniture, the whole dimly lighted by two candles. The Cherbuliez
family, however, as they sat down to supper, seemed to feel no
deficiency, and ate and drank merrily, especially when Madame Volmont's
three children came in and were bountifully helped to everything on the
table, including ripe figs, cucumbers, melons and gumbo _choux_. As they
were all lingering over the table and wondering why Alphège did not
come in, he suddenly appeared, looking very pale and tired. Without
stopping even to say "Good-evening," he passed directly through into the
room beyond, where Madame Hypolite was lying, and was heard questioning
Marcelline rapidly as to his patient's condition. When he at last sat
down to his supper he looked like a man overworked bodily indeed, but
with a great weight suddenly removed from his mind; and Clothilde, who
was an _enfant gâtée_ to him as to others, exclaimed joyfully, "Oh,
Alphège, maman is really better--elle va se guérir, elle est hors de
danger, n'est ce pas?" And she came behind him and put her arms round
his neck as he tried to eat, and gave him a joyful embrace.

Whatever the dark secrets of his soul might be, at which so many dimly
guessed, Alphège Cherbuliez was invariably tender and considerate to his
wife; and now, as he gently disengaged the little hands that were
throttling him from his throat, he said kindly, but with a gravity which
always awed and restrained her, "I think she is better, my dear, but it
is impossible to predict in such cases; and all we can do is to wait and
hope."

As he spoke, his brother, who had lighted a cigarette and was sitting
opposite with his youngest child on his knee, looked up. The gaze of the
two men met. On the bronzed cheek of Volmont came a slight flush, and
his eyes had an expression for the moment of fear and appeal. But the
dark, handsome face of Alphège maintained its cold, inscrutable
composure, and the look before which his brother's slowly fell was
magnetic in its steady strength.

A little later, as they smoked together on the steps their last cigar
before retiring, Volmont asked in a sudden low whisper, "Did you
succeed?" and Alphège said slowly aloud, "Yes: they will wait two weeks
longer."

"Hadst thou trouble, my brother?"

The other paused a moment, and then said, "Yes: they were inclined to
insist. They have been a long time out of their money, mon ami, and when
this danger is over we shall do well to avoid another--with them."

"What did you promise?" asked Volmont, as if reassured by his brother's
tone.

"I promised," said Alphège, carefully rolling the end of his cigar, but
this time dropping his voice, "that in a fortnight the notes should be
taken up."

       *       *       *       *       *

It was midnight, and the house was entirely silent and dark except where
one shaded candle burned in the sick room. Down at the "quarters," as
the negro cabins were called, every one was literally locked in slumber,
and it must have been a loud and prolonged noise which should have
awakened those tired sleepers. But some one was stirring, for all that,
and had the moon been shining ever so faintly it would have been a
dangerous task for those two gliding, crouching figures to move across
the open green beyond the stable as they were doing. But the night was
safely dark: a soft gray scud from the Gulf was flying rapidly in,
obscuring even the dim starlight, and no one saw them as they passed
through the turngate in the fence and sat down close to the water's edge
under the overhanging trunk of a huge water-oak.

"Now we are safe," said the woman, throwing back her coarse shawl; "and
I tell you, Pierre, you must listen to me, and I _must_ speak, or some
day I shall just burst out and go screaming my dreadful news from one
end of the parish to the other."

The speaker was Marcelline, and the man who listened to her a huge
raw-boned mulatto of that square-jawed, vindictive-looking type which is
the manifest offspring of foul oppression and long-continued wrong.

But he shrank appalled from the tremendous energy of the woman beside
him. "Hush--sh!" he said in a warning whisper and with an apprehensive
glance into the still darkness around. "Don't talk so loud, you fool! or
I'll choke the d----d black blood out of you."

The woman lowered her voice, but paid no other heed to his menace as
she went on in the same earnestly-excited manner. "Listen, Pierre!" she
said, grasping him by the arm and speaking with an amount of decision
which even he could not withstand. "Do you love la bonne maîtresse? Do
you care for her to live or die? Dis-moi, dis ce que tu veux!"

The man answered slowly, as if the words were forced from him against
his will, but still with an accent of truth and a certain amount of
energy: "Love her? Jesu! yes, I do love her. It seems drôle for one of
us to talk about loving these cursed whites, who treat us worse than
dogs; but, for all that, I do love madame."

The woman almost shook him as she said in a whisper of concentrated
fury, "Who saved your life, Pierre Lambas, when you were perishing with
smallpox? Who went to New Orleans to buy your wife and children from a
cruel master and bring them here to you? Who watched by Sophie when she
was in convulsions?"

Her voice broke and her fingers relaxed their hold, but this time Pierre
answered without hesitation: "C'était-elle, je le sais bien--I know it
well."

"Then," pursued Marcelline, "you are willing to stand by and see her
slowly murdered, inch by inch, by this white-faced devil, who leans over
her and professes to love her, but is killing her--_killing her_, Dieu
des dieux!--with hunger and thirst?" Her voice shook so that she could
scarcely speak as she concluded.

"How do I know," asked Pierre slowly, after a long pause, "that what you
think about this may not be a mistake?" Marcelline made an impatient
gesture, but he went calmly on: "They say Mons. Alphège is a good
doctor, and that he is fond of sa belle-mère. How can I take a man's
life on a mere suspicion?"

She almost flew at him in her frenzy, but the darkness so shielded her
that he did not see the movement, which was as well. She controlled
herself instantly, and only said in reply, "Thou hast not been always so
careful of white life, mon ami--so unwilling to shed white blood."

"Ah, bah!" retorted he: "that was when I could not be detected, and
when more than life was in question. But now to kill this man would be
to suffer death myself in the next hour, and to know that my wife and
children were punished as well. Besides," he continued, as if trying to
reason with her, "you have told me nothing which convinces me that what
you say is true."

"Listen, then," she said, raising her head, which had sunk upon her
breast. "You do not believe that he is starving her to death: you think
she has all the food required by one in her weak and perishing
condition. You think her cries, her prayers, her agony of desire for
nourishment--for nourishment!--are only the result of sickness, and that
if she had it she could not eat. Bien! Every morning, when I go into her
room to dress her blisters with fresh poultices, I find the old ones
torn off and eaten up! Tell me, Pierre, have any of our kin, in their
worst straits of hunger and suffering, done worse than that?"

She spoke in a low voice, but it was freighted with such an intensity of
horror and misery that the man beside her could not speak for an
instant. When he did, he said in tones of the deepest feeling, "Ma
pauvre maîtresse! ma pauvre maîtresse!"

"Do you still refuse?" hissed Marcelline.

The answer was compassionate, but resolved: "I do, Marcelline. Not even
for her sake can I risk all. _You_ know I have nearly saved enough money
to buy my freedom. Once free, I shall soon purchase Sophie and the young
ones: I cannot abandon such hopes even to save her."

There was a moment's silence. "May God help me, then!" said the woman as
she rose, "for I swear by the Blessed Sacrament to save her if she be
still alive--to revenge her if she be dead."

       *       *       *       *       *

Three days later a long funeral cortége passed from the gates of the
Levassour plantation and took its way along the dusty road toward the
Catholic church of the settlement, some three miles off. In and out
between the massive green walls of shining Cherokee rose-vines, which
formed impenetrable barriers on either side of the way, wound the long
line of old-fashioned chariots with black coachmen in queer, antiquated
liveries, preceded by the tawdry French hearse with its numerous gilt
devices and huge nodding plumes. The pitiless sun beat down upon them,
and the blinding clouds of dust rose and choked them, but the mourners,
both black and white, who formed the procession--and it was closed by a
throng of weeping negroes on foot--were too much interested and absorbed
in their melancholy task to feel either the one or the other, for such
an occasion as this had never taken place in all that quiet country-side
before. Inside of that hearse, in a snow-white coffin covered with
flowers and gayly decorated with cut paper, silver crosses and waxen
saints, reposed the mortal remains of Madame Hypolite Levassour, who had
died at midnight thirty-six hours previously; and by her side in another
coffin, more hastily contrived, lay the body of her well-beloved
son-in-law and physician, Docteur Alphège Cherbuliez, who within six
hours after her death had been killed by a shot-gun in the hands of an
unknown assassin. Two negro men, Gérard Grôl and Pierre Lambas, had been
arrested on strong suspicion, and were now in close confinement awaiting
the trial which both knew would be short, sharp and swift, and
administered by a judge who would not wait for legal proceedings to
assist or confirm his decisions. Circumstantial evidence was strong
against them, and the two unfortunate wretches were not more conscious
that the sun was shining in heaven, making the narrow caboose in which
they had been confined an unendurable, suffocating den of heat, than
they were that when the dead were buried and grief was satisfied
vengeance would make sudden and terrible work with them.

When the church was reached the carriages drew up in double ranks around
the broad green meadow in which it stood, and the occupants, descending,
filed in motley array into the building. Just in front of the altar two
tressels were prepared for the coffins, which were not brought in until
the whole congregation, which filled the pews to overflowing, was
seated. Then the measured tramp of men was heard, and amid general
weeping and lamentation the pall-bearers entered, and the priest,
advancing from the foot of the altar, sprinkled with holy water first
one coffin and then the other as they were placed before him, while the
choir chanted softly the "De Profundis." Everything proceeded quietly as
usual through the beautiful services for the burial of the dead, and the
cool, dark church, with its mingled odor of incense and flowers, became
more and more quiet as the soothing influences crept over the hearts of
those assembled there. Mass was over, and the priest, coming out from
the chancel, knelt before the tall crucifix which stood at the foot of
the coffins and began the most touching of all prayers, "Non intres in
judicium," when a sudden movement was heard at the lower end of the
church, a stifled cry of alarm instantly hushed, and in another moment
Marcelline, who had followed the cortége, like the other servants, on
foot, walked slowly and with a perfectly composed and steady step up the
aisle, made her reverence to the Host which was concealed in the
tabernacle before her, and then stood facing the priest, who without
pausing finished his prayer and rose from his knees.

"What wouldst thou have, my daughter," he asked with dignity, "that thou
dost disturb the holy services of the Church?"

There was a slight pause. Marcelline seemed to steady herself: then
putting her hand on the coffin of Alphège Cherbuliez, she said in a
high, monotonous voice which rang through the building and reached even
the watchers on the green without, "I killed Doctor Alphège Cherbuliez
with my own hands. No one helped me and no one saw me. You can turn
Pierre Lambas and Gérard Grôl loose."

There was a sudden stir like the rushing of a mighty wind through the
church, but the priest waved his hand and the people were still.

"What was your motive?" he asked without moving.

The woman had never turned her head, and now answered him in the same
overstrained key: "He starved my mistress to death. I saw her slowly
dying of hunger and thirst day after day, and I made up my mind to kill
him as soon as I could get the chance. I had to wait and wait," she went
on, her voice sinking a little, "till at last it was too late."

She stopped, suddenly stooped and kissed her mistress's coffin: then
wheeling round and facing the congregation, who sat spellbound, she
shook her clenched fist at them. "Ah!" she said, speaking in a terrible
voice, "you knew, you must have known--friends and cousins and brothers,
ay, daughters too--that bread--_bread_!--was what she wanted. Who heard
her cry for food? Who heard her beg and pray and implore for one little
sip of milk, one little bite of meat?" Her voice rose to a shriek as she
went on, but such was the force of her passion that no effort was made
to check her: "You, all of you--all heard, all saw, all knew, yet none
had courage to act; and now, c'est moi! c'est moi!" striking her breast
violently with both hands, "la pauvre esclave, qui l'ai vengée!"

She paused: there was a dead silence. Instantly a ring of men closed
round her: she was swept from the church, so swiftly was she borne away,
and the service proceeded.

The priest looked pale, and sent two or three messages to those without,
but they were of no avail. Before he could leave the altar, which he did
as hurriedly as possible, Marcelline was hanging from the limb of an oak
tree within sight of the church, her last words being, "God will forgive
me: I did right." But bitter were the tears Père Ramain shed when he
found she had gone to her last account unshriven and unabsolved.

  ANNIE PORTER.



SYMPHONIC STUDIES.

(AFTER ROBERT SCHUMANN.)

PRELUDE


          Blue storm-clouds in hot heavens of mid-July
            Hung heavy, brooding over land and sea:
            Our hearts, a-tremble, throbbed in harmony
          With the wild, restless tone of air and sky.
          Shall we not call him Prospero who held
            In his enchanted hands the fateful key
            Of that tempestuous hour's mystery,
          And with controlling wand our spirits spelled,
          With him to wander by a sun-bright shore,
            To hear fine, fairy voices, and to fly
          With disembodied Ariel once more
            Above earth's wrack and ruin? Far and nigh
          The laughter of the thunder echoed loud,
          And harmless lightnings leapt from cloud to cloud.


          I.

          Floating upon a swelling wave of sound,
            We seemed to overlook an endless sea:
            Poised 'twixt clear heavens and glittering surf were we.
          We drank the air in flight: we knew no bound
          To the audacious ventures of desire.
            Nigh us the sun was dropping, drowned in gold;
            Deep, deep below the burning billows rolled;
          And all the sea sang like a smitten lyre.
          Oh, the wild voices of those chanting waves!
            The human faces glimpsed beneath the tide!
          Familiar eyes gazed from profound sea-caves,
            And we, exalted, were as we had died.
          We knew the sea was Life, the harmonious cry
          The blended discords of humanity.


          II.

          Look deeper yet: mark 'midst the wave-blurred mass,
            In lines distinct, in colors clear defined,
            The typic groups and figures of mankind.
          Behold within the cool and liquid glass
          Bright child-folk sporting with smooth yellow shells,
            Astride of dolphins, leaping up to kiss
            Fair mother-faces. From the vast abyss
          How joyously their thought-free laughter wells!
          Some slumber in grim caverns unafraid,
            Lulled by the overwhelming water's sound,
          And some make mouths at dragons, undismayed.
            Oh dauntless innocence! The gulfs profound
          Re-echo strangely with their ringing glee,
          And with wise mermaids' plaintive melody.


          III.

          What do the sea-nymphs in that coral cave?
            With wondering eyes their supple forms they bend
            O'er something rarely beautiful. They lend
          Their lithe white arms, and through the golden wave
          They lift it tenderly. Oh blinding sight!
            A naked, radiant goddess, tranced in sleep,
            Full-limbed, voluptuous, 'neath the mantling sweep
          Of auburn locks that kiss her ankles white!
          Upward they bear her, chanting low and sweet:
            The clinging waters part before their way,
          Jewels of flame are dancing 'neath their feet.
            Up in the sunshine, on soft foam, they lay
          Their precious burden, and return forlorn.
          Oh bliss! oh anguish! Mortals, _Love_ is born!


          IV.

          Hark! from unfathomable deeps a dirge
            Swells sobbing through the melancholy air:
            Where Love has entered, Death is also there.
          The wail outrings the chafed, tumultuous surge:
          Ocean and earth, the illimitable skies,
            Prolong one note, a mourning for the dead,
            The cry of souls not to be comforted.
          What piercing music! Funeral visions rise,
          And send the hot tears raining down our cheek.
            We see the silent grave upon the hill
              With its lone lilac-bush. O heart, be still!
            She will not rise, she will not stir nor speak.
          Surely, the unreturning dead are blest.
          Ring on, sweet dirge, and knell us to our rest!


          V.

            Upon the silver beach the undines dance
              With interlinking arms and flying hair;
              Like polished marble gleam their limbs left bare;
            Upon their virgin rites pale moonbeams glance.
            Softer the music! for their foam-bright feet
              Print not the moist floor where they trip their round:
              Affrighted they will scatter at a sound,
            Leap in their cool sea-chambers, nimbly fleet,
            And we shall doubt that we have ever seen,
              While our sane eyes behold stray wreaths of mist,
              Shot with faint colors by the moon-rays kissed,
            Floating snow-soft, snow-white, where these had been.
          Already, look! the wave-washed sands are bare,
          And mocking laughter ripples through the air.


          VI.

            Divided 'twixt the dream-world and the real,
              We heard the waxing passion of the song
              Soar as to scale the heavens on pinions strong.
            Amidst the long-reverberant thunder-peal,
            Against the rain-blurred square of light, the head
              Of the pale poet at the lyric keys
              Stood boldly cut, absorbed in reveries,
            While over it keen-bladed lightnings played.
            "Rage on, wild storm!" the music seemed to sing:
              "Not all the thunders of thy wrath can move
            The soul that's dedicate to worshipping
              Eternal Beauty, everlasting Love."
            No more! the song was ended, and behold,
            A rainbow trembling on a sky of gold!


          EPILOGUE.

            Forth in the sunlit, rain-bathed air we stepped,
              Sweet with the dripping grass and flowering vine,
              And saw through irised clouds the pale sun shine.
            Back o'er the hills the rain-mist slowly crept
            Like a transparent curtain's silvery sheen;
              And fronting us the painted bow was arched,
              Whereunder the majestic cloud-shapes marched:
            In the wet, yellow light the dazzling green
            Of lawn and bush and tree seemed stained with blue.
              Our hearts o'erflowed with peace. With smiles we spake
            Of partings in the past, of courage new,
              Of high achievement, of the dreams that make
            A wonder and a glory of our days,
            And all life's music but a hymn of praise.

                                                  EMMA LAZARUS.



UNWRITTEN LITERATURE OF THE CAUCASIAN MOUNTAINEERS.

CONCLUDING PAPER.


All or nearly all of the unwritten literature of the Caucasian
mountaineers may be referred to one or the other of three great classes.
First. Literature which is intended simply to amuse or entertain,
including popular tales, beast-fables, anecdotes, riddles and
burlesques. Second. Literature which grows out of, and afterward reacts
upon, the popular love of glory, of war, of adventure and of heroism,
including historical ballads, death-songs and the fiery orations of the
mullahs. And third. Literature which serves merely as an outlet for the
emotions. A fourth class might perhaps be made of the prayers,
exhortations, pious traditions and edifying anecdotes of the theological
schools and the mosques, but such productions are more or less alike
among all Mohammedan peoples, and those current in the Caucasus are
interesting only as illustrations of a peculiar phase of Oriental
mysticism--viz. the philosophy of the Murids.

Of these three classes, that which includes anecdotes, beast-fables and
popular tales is, although not the most original, by far the most varied
and extensive, comprising as it does full four-fifths of the entire body
of Caucasian traditionary lore. The popular tales already collected by
the officers of the Caucasian mountain administration at Tiflis would
make a volume of four or five hundred pages, and as yet the collectors
have hardly gone outside the limits of the single province of Daghestan.
For the most part, however, these stories are only variants of
well-known Aryan and Turanian originals, and are valuable chiefly for
their local coloring and for the light which they throw upon the tastes,
the habits and the mental processes of a peculiar and long-isolated
people. Yet the fact that they are among the oldest heirlooms of the
human race does not detract in the least from their value as indices to
character. On the contrary, it adds to it by linking them with the
folk-lore of the world, and enabling the student to compare them with
their original types and understand and estimate aright the significance
of the variations. Every one knows how a story is unconsciously varied,
colored and adapted in the course of repeated narration to accord with
the views, knowledge and tastes of its successive narrators, and how
differently the same intellectual framework of fact or fancy will be
filled up by the imaginations of different races. This working-over
process, which has been going on in the Caucasus without interference
and without literary restraint for hundreds--perhaps thousands--of
years, has given to Caucasian stories a peculiar psychological interest
which in their original forms they never could have had. The themes upon
which they were originally founded are most of them perfectly familiar
to every student of comparative folk-lore, but the modifications which
they have undergone, the changed forms in which they reappear, are all
new, and every such change or modification points to some peculiarity in
the character of the people who originated it. The variations of a
story, therefore, are so many "Fraunhofer's lines" which reveal to us
the nature of the intellectual medium through which it has passed. For
these reasons the stories, fables and songs which are herewith presented
must not be judged by their intrinsic value as literature alone, but by
the light which they throw upon the life, tastes, temperament and
artistic methods of a semi-barbarous but naturally gifted people.

The space to which I am limited will enable me to give only one or two
specimens from each of the three classes into which I have for
convenience' sake divided Caucasian literature. I will begin with one of
the shortest of its popular tales, a humorous narrative entitled "The
Hero Naznai." This story, in one form or another, is common to all
branches of the Aryan family, but the mountaineers have so modified and
improved it as to make it almost their own. It recites the adventures
and achievements of a certain worthless coward who is made by the force
of circumstances to appear a hero.

_The Hero Naznai._--Listen! listen! There was and there was not. The fox
lived with the hare in the fields, the bear lived with the wild-boar in
the forest, and in the land of Daghestan there lived a hero, a scurvy
fellow without brains or bravery. When he should have been in front he
was behind; when he should have been behind he was in front; and if his
wife only lifted the poker he hid himself behind the door. Oh, he was
very brave! He was called "the hero Naznai." One night he went out of
doors to get a drink: it was bright moonlight. Beside him, with a
pitcher in her hand, stood his wife. Without his wife he never went out
at night: he said, because he didn't like to leave her alone; she said,
because he was afraid to go out of doors without her. "What a beautiful
night!" exclaimed Naznai--"the very night for a raid."--"Look out!"
cried his wife suddenly: "there's a wolf." Naznai, trembling with fear,
ran and climbed up into a cart, almost breaking his neck in his haste.
His wife led him into the house and said, "I am disgusted with your
cowardice, and I am disgusted with you: leave my house this instant (the
house belonged to her), or you shall never see another peaceful day:
every God-given day, morning and evening, I will pound you with the
poker." Naznai begged her to let him stay until daybreak. She consented.
In the morning he slung his miserable old sabre over his shoulder and
started. Walking and strolling along, he came to a place where some one
had been eating fruit, and where there had gathered a great swarm of
flies. Picking up a big flat stone, he clapped it down on the very spot,
lifted it up, looked, and there lay exactly five hundred dead flies.
Then he went on until he reached a certain town, where he inquired for a
blacksmith. Having found one, he ordered him to cut on the blade of his
sabre this inscription: "The hero Naznai, killer of five hundred at a
blow."

Then he went on, on--travelled little, travelled much, travelled as far
as a frog can jump--until he came at last to a country where he had
never before been, and where he was himself unknown, and entered the
capital city of a great king. It was already growing dark, and Naznai
was beginning to wonder where he should spend the night, when he heard
not far away the sound of fifes, drums and singing. "That's the place
for me," he said to himself: "there's nothing worse than a dry throat
and an empty stomach." So he went in the direction of the music. When he
came to the place he looked, and there stood a great building surrounded
by a spacious courtyard, all full of men and women who were eating,
drinking and singing. "Will you receive a guest?" inquired Naznai,
entering the courtyard. The servants rushed up to him, took his sabre,
led him into the house, gave him the seat of honor, and made him eat and
drink until he was full up to the very nostrils. The house was the
palace of the king's vizier, and they were celebrating that night the
wedding of his son. When Naznai had eaten and drunk all he could--enough
to last him for a month, the clever rascal!--the vizier asked him,
"Where do you come from, guest? Where is your city? Of what country are
you? Are you buying or selling?"--"Why should I talk about myself?"
replied Naznai. "Look at my sabre: that will tell you who I am." The
vizier unsheathed the sabre, looked at it, stared first at Naznai and
then at the weapon, and finally rushed, sabre in hand, straight to the
king. The king was even more astonished than the vizier. He sent for all
the eloquent fools in the city, called together all the wise men who
hadn't any judgment, and held a great council. They all said to the
king, "You must take the hero Naznai from the land of Daghestan into
your service, no matter at what cost, no matter how much you may have to
reward him: so long as he lives you will be as safe as if you were
behind an iron wall." Then the king sent for Naznai, and the vizier
brought him in. "Hero Naznai from the land of Daghestan," said the
king--"first I, then you, I the father, you the son--take my only
daughter: live with me and defend my kingdom."--"Hard as it is for me,"
replied Naznai, twisting his moustache, "I will do as you desire." That
very night he married the king's daughter, and went to sleep in her arms
on a bed from which if one should fall out not even so much as one's
bones could ever be gathered together again.[3]

In the course of a week Naznai was summoned to the king, and found him
sitting on his throne surrounded by a great multitude of people. "My
dear son, Hero Naznai," said the king, "I gave you my daughter and made
you my son with the hope that when a black day should come upon me you
would give me your help. The black day has come: a great dragon gives no
peace to my flocks and my herds. Twice every year, at certain known
times, he makes his appearance: to-morrow is the day of his coming. You
must go out to meet him: who should go if not you, the killer of five
hundred men at a blow?" No sooner did Naznai catch the word "dragon"
than his heart sank within him, and hardly had the king finished
speaking when he ran furiously out of doors. Some said that he had
turned coward: others said, "No: he ran out filled with rage against the
dragon." In the mean time Naznai had gone home; and that night, as soon
as his wife fell asleep, he took to his heels to save his head. He ran
and ran and ran until he was so tired that he could run no farther, and
at last came to a great forest. Fearing to sleep on the ground, he
climbed up into a tree, and, holding fast to a limb with each hand, he
fell asleep. When he awoke he looked down, and there, coiled around the
trunk of the tree and fast asleep, lay the dragon. Overcome with terror,
Naznai lost his hold, fell from the tree and came down plump on the
dragon's back. The dragon thought that God in His wrath had struck him
with lightning: his heart burst and he gave up the ghost. Naznai
started to run, but, looking over his shoulder, he saw that the dragon
did not move. Then he knew that it was dead, and going back he cut off
its head and went with it to the king. "Then that is what you call a
dragon, is it?" he demanded: "in our Daghestan we have cats like that.
Why didn't you send some of your children after him, and not give me so
much trouble?" The king could think of nothing to say, and so was left
with his mouth open.

After a little time the king sent for Naznai again, and said to him, "My
dear son-in-law, Hero Naznai, three _narts_ [giants] have invaded my
kingdom and are harassing my people with their raids: to-morrow you must
go out against them." Again Naznai's heart sank within him, and he ran
home. At midnight he fled a second time from the city, took refuge in
the same forest as before, and, climbing up the very same tree, went to
sleep. When it began to grow light he looked down, and there were the
three narts, who, having hoppled their horses and turned them out to
graze, were themselves resting under the tree. Naznai's soul went down
into his very toes: he almost fell from the tree in a swoon. Suddenly
one of the narts said to another, "Now that the king has in his service
the hero Naznai, who kills five hundred at a blow, we must be more
careful than we have been, and not turn our horses out in this way to
graze."--"We have never been afraid of any living thing yet," rejoined
the other: "are we going to let him scare us?" This led to a dispute
which ended in a quarrel, and the three narts all killed one another.
Then Naznai climbed down out of the tree, cut off their heads, stripped
them of their clothes and weapons, which he loaded upon two of their
horses, and, mounting the third, rode back to the city. Throwing down
the heads before the king, he said, "Then those are your narts? We
should have called them orphan children in our Daghestan. What was the
use of sending a man after them? Women would have done as well." The
king was surprised, so were all the people.

A little while afterward the king summoned Naznai for the third time.
"My dear son-in-law," he said, "an infidel king has declared war against
me. Tomorrow at the head of my army you must invade his dominions:
otherwise the infidel hordes will come down like grass of the earth and
like the stars of heaven, and surround our capital." Again Naznai ran
home with a quaking heart. That night the king stationed a hundred
sentinels around the hero's house to restrain him, lest his rash bravery
should impel him to go off alone in search of the infidel horde. In vain
he tried again and again to escape from the house: the sentinels always
stopped him, and his wife worried over him as if she were afraid that he
would be carried away by some passing crow. In the morning the king
assembled all his forces, put Naznai in the midst of them, and said,
"March now, and God go with you! Whoever does not obey my son-in-law's
orders, whoever does not do exactly as he sees him do, is a traitor."
The army marched away, taking one step forward to two or three steps
backward, until they came in sight of the infidel forces. Then Naznai's
heart failed him: he grew hot under his clothes. He took off his shoes,
so as to be able to run away faster, then his coat, and finally stripped
himself as bare as a cake of ice. The soldiers all followed his example,
as the king had ordered. Just at that moment a hungry wandering dog ran
past, and seizing one of Naznai's shoes (they were greased with mutton
tallow: may their owner die!) set off with it in the direction of the
infidel army. "Hm!" exclaimed Naznai: "so you'll make me a
laughing-stock too, will you?" and, naked as he was, he started in
pursuit. After him rushed the whole naked army. "Those are not men: they
are devils," thought the infidels; and, filled with terror, they
scattered in all directions, throwing away their weapons and abandoning
their treasure. Naznai gathered up all the booty, and returned at the
head of the army to the kingdom of his father-in-law. Upon their
arrival they found that the king was dead, and the army with one voice
chose Naznai as his successor. Ever afterward, when the conversation
turned upon heroism and notable exploits, Naznai used to say, "They who
will may boast of courage: _I_ would rather have good luck."

If the reader will take the trouble to compare the above rendering of
this story with the Hindoo variant entitled "The Valiant
Chattee-Maker,"[4] and the closely-related German version called by
Grimm "The Valiant Little Tailor,"[5] he will see how far it surpasses
them both in unity of conception, in coherence of detail, in keen
appreciation of humor and in skill of literary treatment. The grotesque
statement of impossibilities with which it begins is the Caucasian
story-teller's conventional method of forewarning his hearers that they
are about to listen to a burlesque, a pure extravaganza, lying entirely
outside the domain of fact and reality. There is no attempt made to give
it the air of truth: on the contrary, the narrator takes especial pains
to demolish what little intrinsic probability the story has by
introducing the conventional formula, "Travelled little, travelled much,
travelled as far as a frog can jump," etc. This, like the jingle of a
court-jester's bells, is intended to remind the hearer that nothing is
to be taken seriously.

It is remarkable that men living in such wild, gloomy fastnesses as the
tremendous ravines of the Eastern Caucasus--men whose characters have
been hardened and tempered in the hot fires of war and the vendetta--men
who have the pride and fortitude of American Indians with the sternness
and ferocity of Scandinavian Berserkers--should still be capable of
appreciating and enjoying such anecdotes as "The Kettle that Died" and
"The Big Turnip," and such popular tales as "The Hero Naznai." The
fierce lust of war, which is perhaps the most salient feature of the
mountaineer's character, and the sternness and hardness of mental and
moral fibre which it tends to produce, are generally supposed to be
incompatible not only with the delicacy of perception upon which humor
largely depends, but with the very taste for humor itself; and yet in
the Caucasian mountaineer they are coexistent. How versatile the
Caucasian character is, and how wide is the range of its tastes and
sympathies, I shall show more fully hereafter.

The characters which figure in Caucasian popular tales are very
numerous, and are taken, as might be expected, from a great variety of
sources. There are the stereotyped three brothers of German and Russian
stories; the dragons, giants, were-wolves, wicked magicians, and
beautiful girls married to bears, of all Aryan folk-lore; and sundry
nondescript personages with superhuman powers which have no exact
analogues among the other Aryan races, and seem to be original products
of Caucasian fancy. Among the latter are _karts_, female ogres with
cannibalistic tastes; _narts_, or giants of protean shapes and variable
dispositions; and certain mysterious equestrians who are always
described as "hare-riders." These three classes of supernatural beings,
karts, narts and hare-riders, are known to the whole body of the
Caucasian mountaineers without distinction of tribe or race; and it is a
significant fact that the two first mentioned have everywhere and in all
Caucasian languages the same names. By whom they were originally
invented, and from what tongue their appellations were derived,
philologists can as yet only conjecture. Among the Ossetes, who are
unquestionably an Aryan race, narts have a quasi-historical existence
like the Knights of the Round Table, and their lives and adventures have
been woven by popular tradition into a sort of mediæval epic resembling
the _Nibelungen Lied_ of Germany. Elsewhere, among the Chechenses, the
Avars and the Circassians, narts are simply giants of the orthodox
nursery type.

It is remarkable that we should also find among the _dramatis personæ_
of Caucasian popular tales such Old-Testament heroes as Jonah and
Solomon, and such historical characters as the Roman Cæsars. The former
were very likely introduced by the Jews and Arabs, whose descendants
form no inconsiderable part of the present population, but the Roman
emperors must have gained a foothold in Caucasian traditional lore
before the downfall of the Byzantine Empire, and may have done so as
long ago as the reign of Augustus, when the lowlands of the Caucasus
were under Roman rule.

Next to anecdotes and stories in importance and popularity come
beast-fables, of which the mountaineers have an almost endless number
and variety. Animals, especially birds and foxes, figure more or less
extensively throughout Caucasian literature, but in the beast-fables,
properly so called, they have the whole stage to themselves, and think,
act and talk in perfect independence of natural laws and limitations.
The view taken by the mountaineers of the animal world seems to be the
view of the Aryan races generally. With them, as with us, the fox is the
embodiment of cunning, the ass of stupidity, and the bear of clumsy
strength and good-humored simplicity. If they can be said to have a
favorite animal, it is the wolf, whose predatory life, ferocity when at
bay and ability to die fighting and in silence comprise all that in a
mountaineer's eyes is most worthy of admiration. "Short-eared wolf" is a
Caucasian girl's pet name for her lover, and "wolf of the North" was the
most complimentary title which the Chechenses could think of to head an
address to a distinguished Russian general whose gallantry in battle had
won their respect. The serpent, in the Caucasus, is the Cardinal
Mezzofanti of the brute world. To know as many languages as a serpent is
the _ne plus ultra_ of polyglot erudition. A swaggering coward is
compared to a drunken mouse; and many a boaster on the porch of the
Caucasian village mosque has been silenced by some sceptical bystander
with the well-known quotation from a popular beast-fable: "'What has
become of all the cats?' inquired the drunken mouse." Of the Caucasian
beast-fables the following is a characteristic specimen:

_The Jackal and the Fox._--Once upon a time a hunter set a trap and
baited it with a piece of fat mutton. Along came a hungry fox and
discovered it, but, not daring to approach it, she proceeded to walk
round and round it at a distance. In the mean time she was joined by a
jackal. The fox asked the jackal where he was going. "Oh, I am almost
dead with hunger," replied the jackal. "I started to go to the village
in search of something to eat, but I am afraid of the dogs."--"Well,
Brother Jackal," said the fox, "I know a place not far from here where
there lies a big piece of fat mutton: how would you like that?"--"Why
don't you eat it yourself?" inquired the jackal.--"I'm now keeping
_oroozh_" [a Mohammedan fast], said the fox, "but I'll show it to you."
Whereupon she led the jackal to the trap. Hardly had the jackal seized
the mutton when the trap sprung and caught him by the neck. In trying to
free himself by shaking his head he dislodged the bait, which rolled
away to one side. This was all that the fox had waited for: she quickly
seized the mutton, and sat down composedly to eat it. "Here!" exclaimed
the jackal: "I thought you said you were keeping a fast, and now you are
eating."--"I was," replied the fox, "but I have seen the moon,[6] and
now I am having a holiday."--"But when am I going to have my holiday?"
asked the jackal.--"When the owner of the trap comes," answered the fox,
and so saying walked away.

Most of the Caucasian literature to which I have hitherto had occasion
to refer is the reflection of the lighter, more genial side of the
mountaineer's character, and taken alone would give the impression that
he is an amiable, jovial, good-humored fellow with a keen sense of the
ludicrous and little knowledge of, or feeling for, the sorrows, the
sufferings and the tragedies of life. Such an impression, however, would
be a wholly mistaken one; and in order that the reader may see how full
of sorrow and suffering and tragedy his life really is, I will, before
taking up Caucasian poetry, give some extracts from a code of Caucasian
criminal law. I do this partly because the code itself is a legal and
literary curiosity, and partly because it shows better than any
description could do the state of society in which a Caucasian
mountaineer lives:

_Laws of Ootsmee Rustem, Khan of Kaitaga._--1. To the reader of these
ordinances a piece of silk from him in whose favor the case shall be
decided.

2. He shall not read these laws for any one who has not a paper from the
_bek_, with the impression of the bek's seal.

_He who holds his tongue will save his head._

1. He who kills a robber in his sheepfold or his house shall not be
punished.

2. He who kills the killer of a robber shall pay two fines and have two
blood-enemies.

3. One suspected of robbery shall clear himself by taking the oath of
purgation, with seven compurgators.

4. For robbery with murder, a sevenfold fine and seven blood-avengers.

5. For robbery and murder of a woman, a fourteen-fold fine and fourteen
blood-avengers.

_He who holds his tongue will save his head._

1. He who assaults a woman with intent to commit outrage shall forfeit a
thousand yards of linen to the community.

2. The life-blood of him who carries off a woman and keeps her by force
shall count for nothing.

3. If a slave touch a free woman, kill him.

4. He who murders a Jew shall fill a part of his skin with silver and
give it to the bek.

_He who holds his tongue will save his head._

1. If one be killed in a fight between a number of persons, and the
killer be unknown, the relatives of the killed may count as blood-enemy
any one whom they choose of those engaged in the fight.

2. If in a general fight several persons are killed, the relatives of
those who die first shall be the blood-seekers of the relatives of those
who die last.

3. If one die from wounds inflicted by several persons, count two of
them blood-enemies, and after the killing of one take a fine from the
other.

4. He who kills another and hides the body shall pay a sevenfold fine
and have seven blood-avengers.

_He who holds his tongue will save his head._

1. He who does not at once leave the village where his blood-seekers
live shall forfeit one hundred yards of linen for the benefit of the
community.

2. If a blood-enemy claim refuge, do not send him away: receive him.

3. If he wishes to go away, let no one travel with him.

4. If one be killed while travelling with a blood-enemy, his blood shall
count for nothing.

5. Him through whose betrayal a blood-enemy is killed, count as himself
a blood-enemy, with all his family.

_He who holds his tongue will save his head._

1. The bek shall summon the general assembly every year: if he does not,
remove him.

2. From him who does not come at the bek's call take a hundred yards of
linen.

3. From a country without a ruler, from a community without a general
assembly, from a flock without a shepherd, from an army without a leader
and from a village without aldermen, no good will come. Let him who has
sense think of this.

4. Have a care, bek! Speak the truth. Truth exalts a man and makes his
power endure for ever. The earth does not consume, but glorifies, the
body of him whom God has blessed.

5. Have a care, people of Kaitaga! Receive the truth. It is by justice
and truth that a community becomes great.

The above are only a few extracts from a long and detailed code of
criminal law written in Arabic and preserved in the mosque of an East
Caucasian village. The separate rules are known as _adats_, or
precedents, and the system of jurisprudence founded upon them is called
"trial by adat," to distinguish it from the course of procedure laid
down in the Koran and known as "trial by _shariat_." It is hardly
necessary to say that in such a state of society as that reflected in
this barbarous and archaic code of laws there must exist the elements of
the profoundest tragedy and almost infinite possibilities of suffering.
Out of grief, tragedy and suffering grows the literature of heroism,
bearing fruit in such fierce triumphant songs as the one which follows.
It is supposed to be sung by the spirit of a mountaineer who has been
killed in battle:

          THE DEATH-SONG OF THE CHECHENSE.

          The earth is drying on my grave, and thou art forgetting me,
            O my own mother!
          The weeds are overgrowing my burial-place, and they deaden even
            thy sorrow, O my aged father!
          The tears fall no more from the eyes of my sister, and from her
            heart the misery is passing away;
          But do not thou forget me, O my elder brother! until thou shalt
            have avenged my death;
          And do not thou forget me, O my younger brother! until thou
            shalt lie beside me.
          Thou art hot, O bullet! and thou bringest death, but hast thou
            not been my true slave?
          Thou art black, O earth! and thou coverest me, but have I not
            spurned thee under my very horses' feet?
          Thou art cold, O death! but I _have_ been _thy_ master.
          My body is the inheritance of earth, but my soul rises in
            triumph to heaven.

It would be hard to find in any literature a song which breathes a
fiercer, more indomitable, spirit of heroism than this. The mountaineer
is dead; he can fight no more; his body lies in the black earth; but his
freed soul is as proud, defiant and unconquerable as ever. He takes a
fierce delight even beyond the grave in taunting the bullet which has
killed him with having once been his slave; in reminding the earth which
covers him that he has spurned it under his horses' hoofs; and in
mocking and defying even death itself. They have destroyed his body, but
nothing has subdued, or ever can subdue, the brave, proud spirit which
tenanted it. That, and not the body, was the man's true self, and that
still lives to exult over bullet, grave and death.

So far is the true mountaineer from being afraid of death, that he
seems to take a savage pleasure in imagining it in its most horrible
forms and dwelling upon its most repulsive and terrifying features,
merely to have the satisfaction of triumphing over it in fancy. As an
illustration of this I give below a part of another Chechense song
called "The Song of Khamzat." Khamzat was a celebrated _abrek_, or
Caucasian Berserker, who harried the Russian armed line of the Terek
with bloody and destructive raids before and during the reign of the
great Caucasian hero Shamyl. He was finally overtaken and surrounded by
a large Russian force on the summit of a high hill near the river Terek,
called the Circassian Gora. Finding it impossible to escape, he and his
men slaughtered their horses, built a breastwork of their bodies, and
behind this bloody half-living wall fought until they were literally
annihilated. The song of which the following are the closing lines was
composed in commemoration of Khamzat's heroic defence and death. Just
before the final Russian onset he is supposed to see a bird flying over
the field of battle in the direction of his native village, and he
addresses it as follows:

          O aërial bird! carry to Akh Verdi Mohammed, the ruler of Hikka,
            our last farewell:
          Bid good-bye to our sweethearts, the fair girls of Hikka,
          And tell them that our breasts are a wall which will stop the
            Russian bullets:
          Tell them that we had hoped to lie in the graveyard of our
            native village,
          Where our sisters would have come to weep over our graves,
          Where sorrowful relatives would have gathered to mourn our
            death.
          But God has not granted us this last favor: instead of the
            weeping of sisters,
          Over us will be heard the growls of fighting wolves;
          Instead of sorrowing relatives, here will assemble clouds of
            croaking ravens:
          The ravens will drink up our eyes and the bloodthirsty wolves
            will devour our bodies.
          Tell them all, O bird! that on the Circassian mountain, in the
            land of the infidel,
          With naked sabres in our hands, we all lie dead.

The reader who merely sees this song on a printed page in an imperfect
prose translation can form little conception of the thrilling effect
which it produces when sung by an excited woman to the fierce wild music
of the Caucasian highlanders amid a group of Khamzat's fiery and
sensitive countrymen. Their faces flush with strong emotion, their hands
close with nervous grip upon the hilts of their long kinjals, and their
bright eyes slowly fill with tears of mingled grief, rage and pity as
the excited singer wails out the dying words of their lost leader.

The heroic poetry of the Caucasian mountaineers is largely taken up with
recitals of their freebooting exploits and achievements in the valley of
Georgia, usually in the form of songs or ballads, which all breathe the
same fierce, proud, cruel spirit. In the diction there is very little
art. Rhyme, although it is known to the mountaineers, is seldom used,
and their poetry is, as a rule, nothing more than rhythmical or blank
verse broken into irregular stanzas of from seven to eleven metrical
feet. This kind of verse they improvise with great readiness and
facility. It seems to be the form of expression which their stronger
feelings naturally take. I have heard an Avarian mother chant amid her
sobs an improvised but rhythmical lament over the body of her dead
child. Rude as Caucasian poetry is, however, in construction, fierce and
warlike as it generally is in spirit, one meets occasionally in
Caucasian songs with the most delicate and graceful conceptions.
Contrast, for example, "The Song of Khamzat" or "The Death-Song of the
Chechense" with the following bit of Avarian poetry, which I have taken
the liberty of calling:

          GLAMOUR.

          Come out of doors, O mother! and see what a wonder is here:
          Up through the snows of the mountain the flowers of spring
            appear.
          Come out on the roof, O mother! and see how along the ravine
          The glacier-ice is covered with the springtime's leafy green!

          There are no flowers, my daughter: 'tis only because thou art
            young
          That blossoms from under the mountain-snows appear to thee to
            have sprung.
          There is no grass on the glacier: the blades do not even start;
          But thou art in love, and the grass and flowers are springing
            in thy heart.

I have space for only one more specimen of Caucasian heroic literature,
a brief oration of Kazi Mullah, the friend and teacher of Shamyl and
the founder of Caucasian Muridism. An imperfect translation of this
speech will be found in Latham's _Races of the Russian Empire_. Copies
of it in Arabic were widely circulated throughout Daghestan immediately
after its delivery, and it probably contributed more than any other
single thing to bring on the general insurrection of the East Caucasian
mountaineers in 1832. In the spring of that year the inhabitants of a
small aoul or mountain-village in Central Daghestan--I think
Khunzakh--were assembled one evening in the walled courtyard of one of
its houses under the minaret of the village mosque for the purpose of
social enjoyment. Tradition relates that they were celebrating a
wedding. A fire had been built in the middle of the courtyard, and
around it picturesquely-dressed men and women were singing and dancing
to the accompaniment of fifes, kettledrums and tambourines. Suddenly
there appeared in the circular gallery of the minaret which overlooked
the courtyard the figure of a tall, gray-bearded stranger, a mullah,
whose green turban marked his lineal descent from the family of the
Prophet. He looked down for a moment with stern displeasure into the
fire-lighted courtyard, and then putting his hands to his lips chanted
the Mohammedan call to prayers. The music and merrymaking instantly
ceased, and the sweet weird chant rang out far and wide through the
still evening air over the silent village, dying away at last in a long
musical cry of _La illaha il Allah!_ ("There is no God but God"). Amid
profound silence Kazi Mullah--for the gray-bearded stranger was that
renowned priest--stretched out his hand over the crowded courtyard and
with slow stern gravity said:

"Upon all your merrymakings and feasts, upon all your marriages and
rejoicings, upon yourselves, your children and your households, upon
everything that you do, have and are, rests the awful curse of God!
Heaven has marked you with the black seal of eternal damnation because
you still grovel in sin and refuse to obey the voice and teachings of
our holy Prophet. Your duty is to spread with the sword the light of our
holy faith throughout the world; but what have you done? what are you
doing? Miserable cowards! without faith and without religion! you pursue
eagerly the pleasures of this life, but you despise the law of God and
of his holy Prophet. Vain are your selfish prayers--vain is your daily
attendance at the mosque. Heaven rejects your heartless sacrifices. The
presence of the Russian infidel blocks up the way to the throne of God!
Repent, pray, and arm yourselves for the war of the Most High. The hour
draws near when I shall call you forth and consecrate you for the holy
sacrifice of battle."

This impassioned speech fell like a lighted torch into a perfect
powder-magazine of religious enthusiasm. Copies of it in Arabic were
borne from village to village by mounted Murids; other mullahs took up
Kazi's cry of _gazavat_ (war for the faith), using his speech as a text
for their excited harangues; and in less than a month the whole district
was in a blaze of insurrection. Kazi Mullah himself was the first victim
of the fire of war which his eloquence had kindled. He was killed while
fighting desperately at the storming of the aoul of Ghimry by a column
of Russian infantry under Baron Rosen, on October 17, 1832.

I have endeavored to give in the preceding songs and in the speech of
Kazi Mullah an idea of the nature and the spirit of Caucasian heroic
literature. I will turn now in closing to the literature of sorrow and
suffering, which is the black shadow cast by heroism across the
threshold of domestic life. Heroic literature is the voice of Caucasian
manhood: the literature of suffering is the cry of bereaved women.

The following lines are the lament of an Avarian girl whose lover has
been killed while making a raid with a troop of Lesghian horsemen
through the valley of Georgia:

          My beloved went away into the valley of the Alazan,
                     and as he left me he looked over his shoulder
                     at every step.
          My clear-eyed one rode down into the lowlands of
              Georgia, and his horse was fleet and fearless
              as a mountain-wolf.
          But from the depths of the lowlands has come the
              bitter news that our mountain-hawks will never
              more return:
          From the far-away valley of Georgia have come the
              scorching tidings that our lions lie dead in the
              pass with broken talons.
          O merciful God! if I were only an eagle, that I might
              touch once more those cold dead hands!
          O almighty One! if I were only a wild dove of the
              cliffs, that I might look once more into that
              pale dead face!
          I envy thee, I envy thee, O jackal of Georgia! thou
              feedest upon the bodies of those who wore
              weapons of steel!
          I envy thee, I envy thee, O raven of the river! thou
              drinkest the eyes of those who rode to battle on
              swift horses.
          The jackal devours the bodies of the warriors who
              bore weapons of steel, and skulks away into
              the depths of the forest:
          The raven drinks up the eyes of those who rode to
              battle on swift horses, and with hoarse croaks
              vanishes in the blue sky.

There is no attempt in this wild lament to soften or mitigate the
horrors of a violent death by throwing around it a halo of heroism and
glory. The woman cares not what prodigies of valor her lover performed,
but she dwells with self-torturing vividness of imagination upon the
helpless and abandoned body which she can never again see or touch, but
which the ravens and jackals can tear and mutilate at will.

Compare with this the following lament of a Lesghian woman over the body
of her dead husband:

          I would stand on the shore of the green ocean if I only knew
          That I should see the diamond which has fallen into its surges:
          I would climb to the lonely summit of the highest mountain if I
            only knew
          That I should find a spring flower blossoming in the blue ice.
          If one look carefully one may see the diamond which has fallen
            into the ocean,
          But never again shall I see the life which has gone:
          If one search patiently one may find a spring flower rooted in
            the blue ice,
          But never again shall I find the swift falcon which has flown
            away.
          Henceforth I live upon an earth which is no longer a world,
          And in a world which has no longer a heaven.

There is a certain rude art in the way in which the asserted possibility
of two evident impossibilities is made to lead up to and heighten the
utter hopelessness of the third. The diamond may be recovered from the
depths of the ocean; the flower which has withered and died may spring
again even from glacier-ice; but the soul once gone is gone for ever:
the great disaster of death is irretrievable even in imagination. There
is no hint or suggestion here of any possible resurrection of the body
or of reunion beyond the grave: I cannot recall any Caucasian lament in
which there is. But whether the omission is due to the breaking down of
faith under the strain of grief, or whether it is conventionally
improper in a lament to allude to anything which would lighten the sense
of bereavement, I do not know.

With these two characteristic illustrations of the form of expression
which sorrow takes in Caucasian life, I must close my brief and
imperfect sketch of Caucasian literature. I hope I have amply proved the
assertions which I made in a previous paper with regard to the
originality and innate intellectual capacity of the Caucasian
highlanders; but whether I have or not, the reader must, I am sure,
admit that the proverbs, songs and anecdotes above translated are at
least indications of great latent capability, of unusual versatility of
talent, and of a wide range of human feeling and sympathy. It is
possible that I overestimate their value on account of my inability to
separate the impressions made upon me by the people themselves from
those made by their literature; but I am confident that the general
outlines of the Caucasian character as I have tried here to sketch them
are accurate, and that the reader would fully appreciate and admit the
significance of the literature if he could make the personal
acquaintance of the people.

In conclusion, I cannot better express my own opinion of the Caucasian
mountaineers than by adopting the words of A. Viskovatof, one of the
fairest and most discriminating of Russian travellers: "Nature has not
properly brought out the moral and intellectual capacity of the
Caucasian highlanders. Through the superficial crust of ignorance and
wildness you may see in every mountaineer a frank and acute intellect,
and, brigand though he may be, he still shows evidences of human
feeling and of a soul. His brigandage, indeed, is only the external
roughness which results naturally from his education, his circumstances
and his mode of life. Beneath it there are intellect, feeling, manliness
and strength of character. Under certain conditions of course these very
traits go to make up the daring, skilful mountain-brigand whom we know;
but separate him from his surroundings, educate him in the civilized
world, and you have a capable, energetic, intellectual and feeling man.
Love of honor and love of fame are, generally speaking, among the
strongest actuating impulses of the mountaineer's character; and these
were the very impulses which kept him always hostile to the Russians,
which impelled him constantly to engage in partisan warfare, and which
enabled him to resist so long and with such terrible strength all
Russia's efforts to subdue him. Was it merely for plunder that parties
of mountaineers used to assemble in front of our lines and throw
themselves furiously upon our outposts? No: the leaders of those parties
reminded them in forcible and eloquent speeches of the deeds of their
heroic fathers and forefathers, of the glory to be won in battle with
the _giours_, of the exploits of their brothers and countrymen who had
left their bodies on Russian soil; and they fought for honor and fame.
What made the Chechenses hold out so long and so desperately, suffering
hunger and peril and hardship, dying, and sending their children to die,
in battle? Was it a spirit of blind submission to Shamyl and their
religious leaders, or an unreasoning hatred of infidels, or a thirst for
plunder and rapine? Not at all. It was the love of independence--the
natural devotion of brave men who were fighting for their country, their
honor and their freedom."

  GEORGE KENNAN.



THE GIFT.


          You brought me a flower of spring
            When the winter airs were cold,
          And the birds began to sing,
            And the gloom turned swift to gold.

          The world looked chilly and dark,
            But you called a flash from the sky:
          Your clear eyes kindled a spark
            Of splendor that cannot die.

          O Love with the heart of Truth!
             What is it you lay at my feet?
          The bloom of your glorious youth,
             Its flower and radiance sweet?

          I lift to my lips the flower,
            For thanks seem worthless and weak,
          And I bless the beautiful hour,
            But I have no word to speak.

                     CELIA THAXTER.



THROUGH WINDING WAYS.

CHAPTER XIII.


I am not enough of a hero even in my own story to dwell upon the events
of the two following years. I graduated with honors, of which I was
secretly and my mother and Mr. Floyd ostentatiously proud. Then my
guardian and I set out upon our travels. Travel was something different
in those times from what it is to-day, but Mr. Floyd had for years been
familiar with the best of European life, and this gave me opportunities
such as few men of my age possessed. We spent our second winter in the
East: then returned to Florence, and were planning a few months more of
adventure when we received the news of Mr. Raymond's death. Mr. Floyd
had but one thought after this, which was that now at last his little
girl was his own again.

He had had an accident in Damascus--a fall which in itself was not
serious, causing mere contusion and sprains, but it had resulted in a
severe illness by the time we reached Alexandria. Harry Dart had been
with us in Egypt and Palestine, but was obliged to leave us, and for a
month or more I had nursed my guardian assiduously, with a fear lest
this was to be the end of a sacred and beloved existence. He too feared
it, and between his intervals of pain would say, "I want to see my
little girl once more: I must see your mother. Oh, why do we separate
ourselves from those we love?" But he rallied, and finally regained his
ordinary health, and before May we were again in Florence in our old
rooms and talking of joining Harry Dart at Venice, when Helen's letter
came.

Mr. Floyd sent for me at once when he had read the news. I found him
lying on a sofa in his great dingy parlor, with its heavily-moulded
ceilings frescoed into dusky richness, its sides hung with heavy crimson
draperies and decaying canvases, out of whose once splendid pigments
color and meaning had faded long ago.

"Think of it, my boy," said he softly: "my father-in-law is dead. Mr.
Raymond died the twenty-second of April."

"Poor little Helen!" I exclaimed: "is she all alone?"

"I fancy your mother is with her," he returned, glancing back at the
letter. "She says she shall send for Mrs. Randolph. She and I are
executors of the old man's will. I try to feel solemn over the death,"
he went on gravely. "With all our belief in immortality, death is a
terrible thing to regard closely. But yet he was an old, old man: am I
wrong that I cannot mourn for him?"

We went about our preparations for return at once. Vanished were our
plans for Venice and the Alps. I had looked forward with pleasure to
spending my summer with Dart. No man in the world is so good a comrade
as an enthusiastic painter, and Harry was keen of eye, with an exquisite
pleasure in form and color: nothing came amiss to him between earth and
sky. It had been a pleasant dream with us to go together about Venice,
rowed by some sweet-voiced Luigi or Antonio from one stretch of
sea-kissed marble palace-steps to another--to spend our mornings in dim
basilicas, our afternoons away across the widening lagoons, and finish
the day in the square of San Marco listening to Bellini's and Verdi's
airs. But now that this sweet idleness of Italy must be put by, I was
glad that we were to come back home again. I was a little surprised to
find myself almost as eager as Mr. Floyd in making preparations for
return. In a week we were on the ocean.

Mr. Floyd had seemed to enjoy our travels. He was always in good
spirits, always a brilliant and engaging talker, a pleased observer and
clever analyst. Harry and I had made the usual display of unlimited
fastidiousness which youth delights in, but our elder had taken
everything more kindly. He could not fatigue himself, and rarely looked
at more than two or three pictures at a time.

"I used to feel," he would say, "if I went away from a gallery without
a crick in my back and a blinding headache that I had no realization of
my æsthetic privileges. Now-a-days I am willing to confess that I find
too much of everything. Besides, all these pictures have been so
overpraised! Let us find some pleasure that is not in the guide-books."

This was his tone, and I discovered in it at times, despite all his
cheerfulness, a strange fatigue of spirit. But now that he was on his
way home he had suddenly become exuberantly joyful.

"It is so delightful," he would remark to me, "to realize once more that
the chief end of man is not, after all, to have fluent meditations upon
wrecks of lost empires--to discover beauty in hideousness because
somebody else pretends to do so--to mumble praises about frescoes which
are frightful to look at, and break your neck besides--to have profound
emotions in Jerusalem and experience awe before pyramids and sphinxes.
This fictitious life we have been leading is very elegant, no doubt, and
gives one material for just criticisms, but, strictly between us, I
think it dreadfully tiresome. I shall never go into it again. I suppose
my little girl will want to go abroad now that she can do what she
chooses, but I shall let you take care of her, Floyd."

I laughed. "You will find Helen a magnificent young lady by this time,"
I returned. "She is seventeen, is she not? A good many men will fight
for the pleasure of showing her about, and likely as not she will not
look at me."

"She is as old as her mother was when I married her," said Mr. Floyd
thoughtfully. "Can it be that people will want to be marrying my little
girl? I want her all to myself for a time. Who knows how long? I have
been a lonely man, and now I want close, intimate human companionship. I
am tired of doing, I am tired of thinking. I am out of politics: I am
ready for enjoyment. It seems to me I can be very happy with Helen and
your mother close at hand. We shall not be a dreary family. Your mother
and I can sit together and talk: you and Helen can have your little
amusements. Now that she is to be quite unrestricted, I hope and expect
a little nonsense from her."

"But, sir--" I began hesitatingly.

"But what, pray?"

"You cannot believe that we are all to live together. It is time for me
to make a beginning in life, and my mother must be with me."

"You have made a very handsome beginning," returned Mr. Floyd dryly.
"Once for all, Floyd, I will have no nonsense of independence and pride
from you. You are to me as my own son. I may talk much of Helen, because
our love for women is of the kind that gives us the impulse to proclaim
it, but she is scarcely more dear to me than you are. You are part of my
life now: don't fret me and make me miserable by deserting me. Be as
free as air and follow out every wish of your heart, yet, all the same,
feel that your home is where my home is, your interests where mine are."

As soon as we landed we had news of my mother having joined Helen at The
Headlands shortly after Mr. Raymond's death. Mr. Floyd wasted not an
hour in New York, but went on to his daughter at once. I lingered behind
him, detained in part by some delays at the custom-house. I longed to
see my mother, but felt, though with but little of the old jealousy,
that Mr. Floyd had almost the best right to see her first, because,
now-a-days, I was always looking the truth square in the face, and
realizing that it could not be long before cruel and irremediable loss
was to encompass us, and that the rest of our lives we should have not
substance, but shadowy memories only, in place of this dear friend of
ours. So I let him speed on to The Headlands, and dreamed of the
love-flush on the cheeks of the two women who met him there.

I knew comparatively little of my old set of friends, and of late Jack
Holt had almost slipped out of my circle of correspondents. I was aware
that his marriage had been delayed the previous year and the time fixed
for Christmas, but neither Harry nor I had been advised of it, and my
mother had only written that she heard there were fresh delays, and that
the elder Holt had involved his firm in difficulties. I determined,
therefore, to stop at Belfield on my way to The Headlands and see Jack
and all the old friends I might still have remaining there. Of late
years my passing associations had become so diffused with their endless
transitions that every memory of my old home was becoming more and more
fixed and permanent, the nucleus of my recollection distinct and
unchangeable.

I reached Belfield early one morning late in May. The season was perhaps
a little late, for the apple trees were still in bloom, and the village
looked fair and virginal as a bride on her wedding-day. I walked along
the wide pleasant streets with a curious pain. The years that lay
between me and the last day I had paced these broad walks under the pale
greenery of the elms seemed legendary and dreamlike. There was the
schoolhouse on the hill, and the well-worn playground about it. Beyond
lay the woods, half colored now with clear pellucid green, gleams of
silver and shades of scarlet here and there. My mind reverted with
clearness to the little nooks and dingles of the hills and meadows
thereabouts: I remembered a woodland spring boiling up in a hollow of
the greenest grass I ever saw, and in the copse beside it grew the most
beautiful rose-tinted anemones. I could have gone to the foot of a great
oak and found the root of white violets which had been one of my
earliest and dearest secrets; and I wondered--with a longing
inexpressibly strong to go and seek it--if there were still a nest in a
little hollow I knew of, where in my time I had watched scores of
yellow-beaked nestlings.

I went past the house where my mother and I had lived so many years. It
was so changed I should not have recognized it, repainted and modernized
with much show of glass and bow-windows. There were few people to be
seen along the white walks until I met the stream from the post-office.
Old men and boys, shy girls and children, came out with their letters
and papers just as in the old time. Some of the men, grown corpulent and
gray, I recognized with the old feeling of reverence and love, and
stopped to speak with them. But Belfield life, slow and stagnant though
it was, was busy enough to have filled their minds with fresher
memories, and I was so nearly forgotten that there was small pleasure in
reminding them of the lad who had grown from babyhood into a tall
stripling among them. My sentiment passed. I looked about more coldly
even at the street that led to the cottage where Georgy Lenox lived, and
went on briskly to the great stone house of the Holts. Georgy would be
there of course: impossible that another Easter could have passed
without her being a bride. I wondered as I entered the open iron gate
what she would say to me.

The place had seemed splendid to me as a boy, and I well remembered how
all the beautiful wonders of the spring blossomed here as nowhere else.
But now these grounds too seemed to have suffered a change: there was an
air of neglect about the unpruned hedges, with straggling blossoms
running riotously over fence and shrubbery; the beds of hyacinths and
tulips were trampled, and as I neared the house I saw that the blinds
swung carelessly and the old look of thrift and prosperity was quite
absent. Still, I observed all this dreamily, wondering, as returned
travellers are apt to do, if the change were in the things themselves or
in my own eyes.

"Perhaps," thought I, "Jack and his wife live in New York," when,
suddenly answering my doubt, Jack himself came down the avenue in his
light wagon.

I stepped aside, standing still, and he regarded me at first absently,
then with startled curiosity, and sharply drew his skittish mare back on
her haunches. "Good God, Floyd!" said he, "how glad I am to see you!" We
looked straight in each other's face for a time, and his features
worked, as he regarded me, with some emotion. "You were going to the
house?" said he. "Nobody could see you. I have been driving father to
the factories to-day, and he is not so well after it, and my mother is
with him. I have to be back at twelve, so jump in and come out with me."

I obeyed him. It was but two years since we had parted, but he had aged
and seemed quite different from the Jack Holt of former times. He was
roughly dressed, and, though scrupulously neat and shaven, looked, I am
sure, fifteen years my senior. He touched his whip, and the mare plunged
down the avenue at a pace too disconcerting to allow either of us to
speak for a few moments, and we were at least a mile away before her
swinging canter subsided into a trot.

"What is her name?" I asked, laughing. "It ought to be Mary Magdalen,
for she has seven devils in her this morning."

"Don't you remember the Duchess?" he inquired with a flicker of
something like a smile crossing his heavy face. "You christened her
yourself."

I remembered the Duchess. The yearling colt had been given to him on his
sixteenth birthday. He wanted to call her Georgy, but his mother forbade
it: so we named her after that duchess of Devonshire who had made the
name famous.

"You'll find I have forgotten nothing," I replied, "but my thoughts are
such a medley that I can't settle them at once."

"When did you return?"

"Only four days ago: I have not seen my mother yet."

"And you have come to look me up? Floyd, that is kind."

Something in his cool, pleasant tones touched me powerfully. "I knew
nothing about you," I blurted out. "Why, Jack, at this minute I'm not
sure if you are married or not."

"I am not married," he said softly. He was not used to reply so quickly,
and I waited for him to speak before I questioned him further. "I am
well," he said presently, "and mother is in her usual health. Have you
heard about my father?"

"Nothing. Both Harry and I have famished for news of you."

I could see a little trouble in his face: he would have preferred that
somebody else should have broken his news to me. But he sighed, and went
on without flinching. "My father had a paralytic stroke in December," he
explained in his deliberate, gentle voice. "When once our eyes were
opened we could easily comprehend that for months his mind had been
failing. When the bad news came the accumulation of trouble was too much
for him. We thought at first nothing could save him, but he rallied
physically. His mind has quite gone, however," Jack added, his voice
trembling: "his brain has softened."

I stared at him speechlessly: I knew by instinct that I had not heard
the worst.

"The moment I saw you," pursued Jack, "my first thought was, 'I hope he
knows the whole story.' You heard nothing of our failure?"

"Not a word."

"The firm of Holt & Strong suspended payment last December," said he
with a deep flush rising to his temples. "There were two companies, you
know: I was only in Holt & Co. Strong was in Europe. My poor father's
weakness did not display itself openly, but took the form of mad secret
speculations. It is a long story, Floyd. There were no bounds to his
schemes, in which he involved not only himself, but others. He was
president of the savings bank too, you may remember. The troubles began
with the failure of a house in New York to which we owed something. He
was pressed: there was a whisper of something wrong, and of course there
came a run on the bank. I was not here. My father sent for me: when I
came I found a riotous mob outside the closed doors, and he lay
insensible in the bank parlor. He never recovered any real
consciousness, and for weeks we worked in the dark. There was much to
bear. I could have endured every loss without a murmur, had it not been
for the cruelty of some of his smallest creditors."

He stopped for a few minutes, but when I would have spoken he motioned
me to be silent, and presently went on: "There are men to-day who
pretend to believe that my father's mental state is as perfect as
ever--that he is merely shielding himself from punishment by shamming
imbecility. Ah, well! let me continue. Just at this juncture one of our
buildings was destroyed by fire. The insurance policy had lapsed, and he
had failed to renew it. The factory was packed with goods ready for
shipment. The loss to Holt & Strong was a quarter of a million of
dollars." He stopped again, and I saw him moisten his dry lips. "The
chief creditors," he resumed, "were honorable men. By the first of March
we had agreed upon terms of adjustment. My mother gave up all she had.
My sisters are angry with me that I allowed her to strip the house of
everything that had possessed a moneyed value, and think it shameful
that I despoiled her of her jewels. But such things did not count with
my mother and me. I kept the Duchess--nothing else." He smiled sombrely
as he pulled out his watch. It was the little silver one he had used
when we played marbles together. "We paid fifty cents on the dollar," he
said presently, "and by and by shall manage something of a dividend at
the bank. It will give me plenty to do for years yet," he added with a
peculiar smile.

"You have assumed your father's debts?" I exclaimed. "That seems a
needless penalty, Jack."

"My father and I are as one," said he gently. "It was fortunate for me
in every way that I was not my father's partner. When I entered Holt &
Co. he gave up everything to me. I have the entire business now, and it
leaves me little unoccupied time."

"You are doing well, I trust."

"Reasonably well." I knew the look on his heavy, sombre face--a patient
but combative look, powerful as Fate itself.

"Do you mind telling me the rest, Jack?" I asked after a time. "If it
hurts you don't open your lips."

The veins in his forehead swelled a little, yet he neither flinched nor
reddened. "I suppose," he answered, his voice a little less clear and
distinct, "you allude to my engagement to Miss Lenox. It was broken off
when these troubles came. We were to have been married a year ago in
June, but I was not quite free to take her travelling, and it seemed her
wish to wait. The wedding-day was quite fixed for a fortnight after the
date of my poor father's sickness. Of course I offered her her freedom
at once when I realized my scanty prospects of ensuring her a luxurious
future. Naturally, everything was broken off. I am hampered by
circumstances. I shall never feel myself free to live even in ordinary
comfort until my father's debts are paid to the last penny. My first
duty is to my father and mother. My sisters are all married, have large
families, and, above all, have lost the home feeling. We three are alone
in the world in our reverses. When you see our home, Floyd, you won't
wonder that I could not ask Georgy to come to it."

"But would she have come, Jack?" I stammered. "Was she faithful to you?
would she not wait for you?"

"Georgy is not romantic," he said kindly, "and has not been brought up
in a school which inspires the tenderest feelings. I should never have
expected that sort of devotion from her, nor am I one to inspire it. I
knew at once when the dark days came that everything was over. Blow
after blow had struck me: just at that time that she should desert me
was but one blow the more."

I threw my arm about him in the old way, but he did not turn now and
smile into my face as when we were boys. This gloom was not so easily
dispelled.

He himself ended the silence that I could not bring myself to break. "I
have heard of a divided duty, but I can have no doubts, no dilemmas, as
to mine. I believe that I am not fanciful--that I see realities just as
they are. If ever man found work lying close to his hands, I have found
it. If ever an entire and undivided responsibility rested upon human
creature, it is mine. Every instinct of my heart, every decision of my
intellect, alike shows me that my duty lies in the path which I am
treading. Nobody on earth, nobody but God, knows just exactly what I
have felt the few past months. I couldn't write to you and Harry. Life
had always been a pleasant thing to me. My father was not a lovable man,
nor was he in his home all that a son longs for in a father. Still, he
was rich and respected; he represented a beneficent financial power; he
controlled many interests, developed resources, carried out schemes
which were useful alike to poor and rich. I used to be proud to hear it
said, 'That is young Holt, son of Adam Holt of the ---- Mills.' Now I am
obliged to bear with meekness, when he is called dishonest, when he is
classed with those who have suffered the punishment of convicted felons,
when his pitiful infirmity of body and mind is sneered at. We are living
in our house as transient guests: as soon as it can be sold we shall
seek some humbler shelter. The pleasant household ways are all gone:
everything that used to gladden our eyes has been carried away. My
mother's eyes rest nowhere save on my father's face or mine: she cannot
look at the bare places in the house, for she thinks too much then of
her great calamity. All these are troubles which cut me deep: you don't
know, Floyd, how disgrace burns into the soul--worse than bereavement,
worse than death. I have been bereaved of all, and I seem to have tasted
the bitterness of a thousand deaths. Still"--he turned abruptly and
looked me in the eyes with a stiff white face--"there are times when I
feel but one loss. There is strength in me, and, please God, by and by I
shall shape things to their right ends again; but this other loss! I
don't need to tell you," he went on huskily, "how above and beyond all
other objects on earth Georgy Lenox has been to me. At times,
retrievement, success, unsullied honor, all seem to me as nothing, since
she is not to be at the end of them."

We had reached the factories now, and he resumed his usual calmness, and
I could see in a moment that he was a business-man again. He asked me to
stay and drive back with him, and dine and spend the night, urging it
on the plea that his mother would like to see me--that she had so few
pleasures. I consented against my wish, almost against my will.



CHAPTER XIV.


No one knows what change means, what frightful possibilities of sadness
it covers, until one has such an experience as mine that night. In
former times the Holt house had been a sort of fairyland to me: our own
ménage was simple and inexpensive, and, in contrast, the profusion and
splendor of Jack's home had impressed me powerfully. Their expenditure
was not moderated by what we call good taste, and they did not possess
that fine grace of compassing elegance without ostentation which is one
of the last results of culture; but as a boy I had missed nothing that
money could buy in their house, and I had often thought how my mother
would shine there. Mr. Holt had been a man to look up to with respect,
although somewhat arrogant and dictatorial, and Mrs. Holt--good, easy
soul!--had enjoyed her prosperity with an equal pride and joy in her
husband, her children, her silver plate, her heavy silks and her jewels,
which, displayed in their satin cases, were the chief show in Belfield
for the women, who used to tiptoe up the grand staircase to Mrs. Holt's
dressing-room, and come down with awe in their faces.

Mrs. Holt at this later time I write of was a sad, soft-eyed little
woman, with a patient smile: she was so much of a lady that her dress
was neat and pleasing, although of the plainest. She kissed me when I
went in with Jack, and I felt like going on my knees before her. She
treated Jack as if he were older than herself, although with the utmost
tenderness qualifying the respect she gave him; but I was a boy to her
still, and she looked lovingly in my face and told me that she knew I
was a comfort to my mother. I had been a good deal of a man in my own
eyes in Europe, but in these familiar places I did not feel much older
than I had done six years before, full-grown although I was, and so
tall that I had to stoop very low to meet the little woman's kiss.

"Here is father," said Mrs. Holt in a tender, cooing voice; and she went
up to a feeble old man in an arm-chair and began telling him that this
was Floyd come back--Floyd Randolph, whom he used to like so well years
ago. Mr. Holt looked at me with hopeless, bleared eyes, and shook his
head and complained in mumbling tones that dinner was not ready, that
nobody took care of him, that he was neglected by wife and son.

Jack himself led his father to the table, and it was a hard task to
guide the tottering footsteps, but not so hard perhaps as for the poor
wife to tend him while he ate as if he were a baby. There are sad things
upon which one may dwell, for some sorrows bring sweetness with them,
and give meaning and perfume to a life, just as the night is almost
lovelier in its shadows than the garish day; but I cannot write about
Jack's troubles, for it was so pitiful to me to see this strong man so
fretted, so bound, by the fine chains which duty sometimes forges for
men. The meal we ate was of the poorest, but I think there is no
bitterness in bearing personal deprivation, and I did not pity Jack that
neither the taste of the palate nor the taste of the eye could be
gratified at his board; but when I saw him playing backgammon with his
father afterward I did pity him. The old man's hand shook so that his
wife had to guide his wrist as he threw the dice, and he burst into
senile tears if the throw did not suit him. But Jack was hopeful and
cordial through it all, and would patiently tell his father little
trifles of news about his business, and engage his attention so kindly
that once or twice the heavy fallen features would almost gather
expression again. At such times happy tears would start to Mrs. Holt's
eyes. "I do believe father's getting better," she would say, looking at
her son.

It was still early, however, when Jack and I were left alone. He had
carried the poor old man to bed, and now for a few hours the burden had
fallen from the son.

"Let us go out and walk about the old places," said he. "The house is
dreary, is it not?"

"I have only thought of you all, Jack," was my answer. "My dreariness
has not been induced by the look of the house. Still, when I do look
around and see the rich carpets gone, the pictures, statues, all the
thousand beautiful things we used to take pleasure in, I say to myself,
'This just man will have his reward.' Don't despond, Jack: I tell you,
things will come right again."

"Thank you, Floyd," said he in his cool way. "I am better for having
seen you. But let us talk of something besides my troubles to-night. It
is a sweet evening."

He took my arm, and we walked out along the avenue into the street. It
was a beautiful night, calm and warm, with a full moon shining down upon
the deserted squares. We went up the hill and stood on the steps of the
academy, then sat down upon a bench on the playground beneath the
poplars, and found our initials there where we had cut them years
before. Missing Dart in these old familiar places, it was natural for us
to talk of him, for, well as Jack loved me, Harry was his dearest
friend. A peculiar tenderness had always knit their hearts together, and
it had been another sorrow to Holt that in all his trouble his cousin
was too far away to give him a glance of his eyes, a grip of his strong
hand.

I told him all I knew of Harry. We had not been mistaken in our estimate
of his genius: he had not been in Rome three months before the famous
Z----had become interested in him and allowed him to study in his
atelier. Every one predicted success for the young artist, and dealers
were already beginning to buy up his pictures, paying a mere song for
studies to-day which years hence they expected to sell for a big sum on
the strength of the reputation he would have gained. Harry's strong
points were his unequalled distinctness of vision and his intensity of
feeling for art. He put a passionate throb into every movement of his
brush. When once an idea occurred to him as desirable to work out, it
defined itself to his imagination with a reality, a power, an amplitude
of detail, which blinded him for the time being to everything else, and
he worked so faithfully that he stamped his conception and his meaning
upon not only every figure, but every accessory of his picture; so that
the most commonplace observer gazed at his canvas with some of the same
feeling with which he gazed at an experience of life. But Z---- was not
yet satisfied to have him attempt compositions, and he was spending much
time over the curious processes by which the perfection of skill in art
is attained--productive analyses of coloring, light, shadow and the
mellowed harmonies of time-worn pictures.

"We shall be proud of Harry by and by," said Holt as I paused. "I hope
he won't stay too long abroad. I have missed you so, Floyd!" And we fell
to telling stories of our boyhood, and again and again Jack's laugh
broke the silence of the night, for there were droll tales to tell. We
heard the chimes of midnight before we stirred from our seat, and then
we moved with some reluctance, for the moonlight was rare, and the light
upon the water where the sea-line showed through the interstices of the
trees was a silvery radiance too blessed to lose. But at last we rose
and moved carelessly homeward. We did not take the nearest way, but
turned as with one intention through another street than that by which
we came. Our feet knew the way to a little Gothic cottage on the hill,
and we stood outside silently for a time. No sight or sound of any
creature stirring in the world but ourselves met eyes or ears. No light
was in the windows, and the blinds of a casement beneath the gable were
close drawn. I wondered if a white hand had closed them a few hours
before, and if a fair sleep-flushed face and bright disordered hair lay
on the pillow inside. Just then some bird, brooding over her three eggs
in her nest, stirred drowsily and cooed softly at some delicious dream
of love or maternity. It broke the spell, and we turned to go away.

"Don't fancy," said Jack, "that this is a habit of mine. I have not been
here before since December."

"Is she here?"

"I have no idea. I never hear her name, and when I am in church I never
turn to look."

I left Belfield early the next morning, and pursued my way to The
Headlands. I had many thoughts of Jack as I went on, wondering if this
cruel and irremediable wrong which Fate had inflicted was to shadow all
his life. Indeed, I felt disheartened, for I had warm sympathies; and
besides, the cruel prose of his experience broke upon the easy,
pleasure-loving harmony of my life like the sudden crash of kettledrums
in the midst of moribund flute melody. I had always possessed too much
leisure not to have become saddened and perplexed at times with doubts
before the eternal problem of life; and they all returned now, and not
until I reached The Headlands in the late afternoon did I rouse myself
into an anticipation of the pleasant life I was to meet.



CHAPTER XV.


I was not expected: no one met me at the station, and, finding no
conveyance, I walked on myself to the place, and entered the grounds not
more than an hour before sunset. Everything was curiously calm and at
peace except the breakers, which moaned against the rocks below as the
tide came in. The shadows were long upon the grass, and looked like
things that had felt life all day, but now had coiled themselves up for
sleep. Beyond the trees the fiery sun still shone, gilding the stately
house with gold and resting lovingly upon the roses which clambered
riotously over embrasures and abutments, lighting up the piazzas and
columns with their bloom. I recognized a change at once in the aspect of
the place: more windows and doors were open than formerly, and the
porticoes showed signs of careless occupancy with their chairs and
afghans, tables and a litter of books, papers and work. I stood before
the door, gazing through the wide-columned vista of the hall, and the
infinite seemed open before my eyes as I saw the blue and opal-tinted
sea. But still there was no sound except the murmur from the shore, and
nothing stirred except the sunbeams as they climbed the carved
balustrade of the great staircase and gleamed on the frozen faces of a
marble group in a niche. I did not ring at first, for it seemed as if my
mother or Helen must come out--that they were close at hand, picking
roses on the terrace or descending from their rooms. But it was Mills
who presently issued from the dining-room and saw me. He greeted me as
if I were one of the family, and ushered me into the library as he had
done at the time of my first visit years before.

Sitting there quietly, I seemed for the first time to realize the fact
of old Mr. Raymond's death. I saw his chair by the fireplace, and the
low seat on which Helen and I had sat together many and many a time. I
had not grieved at the old man's death, but had felt that weeping for
the dead might sometimes be a less dreary task than bearing with the
living; yet here I could not see these beautiful inanimate things, once
his intimate surroundings, without a thrill of regret that he was gone.

A shadow fell across the doorway, and a young girl came in, one of the
sunset gleams reflected from some of the endless mirrors of the house
falling on her and lighting up her face. My first thought was, "She is
almost a woman:" my second was, "I had never expected she would be so
beautiful."

We had not spoken yet: she ran up to me eagerly and looked into my face,
and I clasped her hands. When I saw that she was crying there seemed to
me but one way of greeting the child. I took her in my arms and kissed
her. It seemed strange, I think, to neither of us that we should meet in
this way. But when we looked at each other now, I felt a curious glow
over my face, and she hung her head and was blushing vividly, as I had
never suspected the pale little Helen I had once known so well, with her
aspect of almost severe purity, could ever blush. There was a new sort
of beauty about her: a soft richness of tint and texture seemed added to
cheek and lip, and the old imperious concentration of her glance was,
for the moment, quite gone. Still, although I could easily see that she
was frightened at her own temerity in allowing my more than brotherly
freedom, I could not find it in my heart to repent it.

"Where is my mother, Helen?" I asked, taking her hand in mine to
reassure her, for I saw that something was embarrassing her very much.
"It seems I was not expected to-day?"

"Not so late as this," she explained; and presently I was talking freely
with her, and she was listening without a particle of self-consciousness
in her manner. It appeared that my mother and Mr. Floyd had gone out to
drive, but would presently return to tea--that my mother had been
longing for me, and they had all wondered why I had delayed coming. This
was all very pleasant, uttered in the sweetest voice by my young
hostess, and when she asked me if I would go out and see the sunset from
the terrace, it was very easy to say that I would follow her anywhere.

She was a shy child still, I discovered, despite her tall figure, her
pretty womanly shape and elegant air. My manhood was too recent a
possession not to be rejoiced in when I saw that a woman's blushes came
and went as she felt the weight of my glance. We went out of doors and
saw the surges breaking on the shore, but the waves seemed happy that
night, and lisped joyfully like children at their play. There was no
voice of sorrow in all Nature: the birds circling about their nests
began glad strains, then hushed them only to break forth again into
fresh confused and joyful beginnings which they were too sleepy to
finish. We talked of sorrow and loss, yet I think neither of us was very
sorrowful, although Helen's tears flowed unchecked as she poured forth
the simple narrative of her grandfather's last days--how he had never
been so tender, so self-forgetful, as then; how he could not do enough
to show his deep love for her; and then how, in the night, all at once,
without a last look, word or caress, he was gone and his tenderness was
but a memory.

"I felt at first," said Helen, "as if there were no longer anything for
me to do in the world. It seemed a treason to poor grandpa that I saw
how beautiful the crocuses were as they blossomed in the beds on the
terrace here, and when the mayflowers came I did not dare to pick them
except to put them on his grave. Then, you know, as not even papa knows,
that with all my reverence for my grandfather I had still had a terrible
sense of responsibility mingled with my love for him; and not even yet
can I go out a few hours for a drive or a ride without my feeling every
now and then, through all my pleasure with papa, a sudden pang of dread.
After such times I run to his room: it is easy enough to believe then
that he no longer has any need of me."

"You were all alone at first, Helen, until my mother came to you? Two
weeks alone! It seems dreadful."

"Georgy Lenox was here, you know."

"Georgy Lenox here?" I echoed in surprise. "I never heard anything so
strange. How did it happen?"

Helen looked at me in her turn in astonishment. "Why was it strange?"
she asked, as if regarding the matter in a new light. "She was one of
the family: she came to grandpapa's funeral. Cousin Charles Raymond
himself invited all the Lenoxes, for Mr. Lenox's mother was a
Raymond--was grandpa's own sister, I believe. Why was it strange?"

"Natural for her to come perhaps, but I should not have expected her to
remain. You asked her, no doubt?"

"No-o-o," returned Helen doubtfully. "I don't know how it was. The house
was filled with people for a week: then they went away and Georgy
stayed. She said it was horrid for me to have no lady near me in my
trouble. Cousin Charles was here all the time until your mother came,
but his wife was ill in New York."

"And when my mother arrived Georgy left you?"

"No, indeed: she is still here. You see," said Helen with a little of
her old imperious way when she took control of things, "Georgy was
greatly disappointed at the terms of the will. She had been led to
expect that she would be quite an heiress when grandpa died. I don't
know who taught her to believe in so strange an idea, for, to tell the
truth, grandpapa did not fancy Georgy. Poor girl! everything has gone
wrong with her. She was to have been married to Mr. Holt, you know, but
it is all quite broken off; and she was very unhappy about that. She
hates being in Belfield, because she sees him all the time, and is
reminded of what she is trying to forget. So I asked her to stay here
for a little while. You are not angry to find her here, Floyd?"

I laughed with an indefinable feeling of embarrassment. "I shall be most
happy to see Miss Lenox," I rejoined; "and if I were not, it would be
great impertinence in me to question for a moment the doings of the lady
of the house."

"I am not the lady of the house," said she, a little piqued. "Mrs.
Randolph is that. I give no orders now: everybody goes to papa. He says
I have governed too long, and that I must be a little girl again. It
seems so strange sometimes to have nobody consult me: I do nothing all
day long but enjoy myself."

"But I belong to the old régime," said I, "and to me you will always be
the châtelaine. I remember how you used to give orders to Mills and Mrs.
Black: I can still smell the aromatic odors of the store-room when we
used to make the weekly survey together, and can hear you talking
'horse' solemnly with the coachman down at the stables. I am not at all
sure if I shall like you so well as a gay young lady of pleasure, with
all your thoughts on your dresses and your lovers."

"As if I should ever think about my dresses or my lovers!" she replied
with deep disdain.

"What do you think about?"

"I think about papa," she rejoined, still indignantly: "I think about
your mother and you. I have a great many nice things to think about
without being taken up with those horrid subjects."

"'Horrid subjects'! Good gracious!" I exclaimed: "I intend some day to
be somebody's lover: shall I be a 'horrid subject'?"

She laughed frankly, a delightful girlish laugh which showed her little
pearly teeth. "It depends on how you behave," she said with a little
nod. "Georgy Lenox has lovers: she tells me about them, and I think them
horrid."

"Do they come to the house here?"

"Oh yes. One is a stout man with a red face. He wears a solitaire
diamond in his necktie. Papa knows him: he was in Congress, and his name
is Judge Talbot. Then there is a young man--not so young as you, but
still young. He remembers you: he used to be in Belfield. He is Mr.
Thorpe."

"Tony Thorpe here? What unlikely people I come across! Which is Miss
Lenox's favorite admirer?"

"As if she would have favorites among such admirers! Georgy is the most
beautiful girl in the world. Papa is not fond of her, but even he says
she is a superb creature. Why does nobody like Georgy? Papa does not,
and I am sure Mrs. Randolph does not, nor do you. Yet she is so
beautiful, so winning, so clever!"

"You don't need to pity her for not gaining love," said I gravely. "My
mother may not like her, because she knew her as a faulty child who did
considerable mischief first and last; and Mr. Floyd dislikes her
because--You know why he dislikes her, Helen. But many people love her:
I think few women in the world have won so much devotion. I have just
seen Jack Holt, who had to give her up, and I am far from believing that
nobody likes her."

"But why did he give her up?" questioned Helen.

"Why did she give him up," I returned with heat, "except that he had
lost his fortune, and instead of being able to endow her with all the
good things of life, himself needed aid, sympathy, love and comfort?"

Helen stared at me: "But he told Georgy she was free."

"Suppose," said I passionately, "that a man had loved you from your
earliest childhood, Helen--that instead of your being possessed of
wealth and other facilities for making your life all you wished, you
were poor and obscure, and this man had made every sacrifice to gratify
every desire of your heart. Suppose you had read his soul like a printed
page, and found every thought in it noble, lofty and pure; suppose you
knew that his happiness depended on you--that without you he could not
have one sacred personal hope,--when you found that he was poor instead
of rich, would you throw him over as you put away a glove that is worn
out, even though he told you you were free--that although you had shared
his prosperity he shrank from letting you endure the pains of his
adversity?"

Helen was looking at me with a curious look in her brilliant dark eyes,
and still watched me when I paused.

"Would you have accepted such freedom?" I demanded, impatient that she
did not respond.

"I would have died for him!" she exclaimed abruptly, but she said no
more about Georgy or her lovers.

The sun had set, and the glory of the clouds was all reflected in the
sea. The air grew chilly, and we went in and watched at the front door
for Mr. Floyd and my mother to return from their drive. It seemed
curiously like the old times, and once or twice I started at some sound,
expecting to hear a querulous voice and see old Mr. Raymond with his fur
wrappings crossing the hall leaning on Frederick, who carried his
tiger-skin. Helen was too quick and sympathetic not to understand my
startled look.

"He will never come any more," said she sadly. "He is sleeping up on the
hill beside his wife and all his children. Had it not been for papa I
should have felt that I must go there too, it seemed so strange and
lonely for him."

Presently through the pale gloaming came my mother from her drive, and
when I lifted her from the carriage and almost bore her up the steps in
my arms, I felt a happiness and peace which seemed but the beginning of
a blessed time. My mother had grown perhaps a little older in the last
two years, but surely she had grown more beautiful. It was enough at
first merely to look into her face: then when I followed her up to her
room we told each other many, many things, but I invite none to follow
me over that threshold.

"I took good care of your boy, Mary," said Mr. Floyd, coming up to us
when we descended; and when I met my mother's look I felt again all the
proud humility that a son can feel, beloved as I was beloved.

"He was not such a bad boy," pursued Mr. Floyd, ringing the bell and
ordering tea, "and his faults, such as they were, belonged to his
age.--Don't open your eyes, Helen, as if you expected to hear just what
he did. I shall not betray him. All the world knows that when one is
abroad one may commit enormities which there may be put inside your
sleeve, while here they are as big as a meeting-house."

"I don't believe Floyd did anything wicked," remarked Helen with some
spirit.

"We are at home now, Floyd," pursued he with an air of resignation, "and
our little diversions are over. The eyes of two women are upon us. No
more cakes and ale--nothing but rectitude, cold water, naps in the
evening. I forgot, though, about our charming guest. While Miss Lenox is
here ginger will be hot i' the mouth, and life will have a slight flavor
of wickedness still."

"But where is Miss Lenox?" I asked.

"Miss Lenox is far too brilliant a young lady to stay constantly in a
dull country-house," said Mr. Floyd. "The cottage people over at the
Point _raffolent_, as our friends abroad say, upon the charming Miss
Georgina. We have, after all, very little of her society. She goes on
yachting-parties, to dinners, luncheons, picnics--everywhere, in fact,
where the delicate lavender ribbons of slight mourning may be allowed.
She has attended a déjeuner to-day, and we are every moment expecting
that our gates of pearl will unclose and admit a celestial visitant."

"Now, papa," said Helen, "you shall not make fun of Georgy. Nobody does
her justice."

"Don't they?" returned Mr. Floyd dryly. "_Fiat justitia_, then! _Ruat
cælum!_ One would follow the other in this case, I fear.--She generally,
Floyd, brings home one or two in her train. You remember Antonio Thorpe?
That young man is so often here that I am beginning to regard him as one
of the regular drawbacks to existence, like draughts, indigestion, bills
and other annoyances outrageously opposed to all our ideas of comfort,
yet inevitable and to be borne with as good grace as may be."

"What on earth is Tony doing at the Point?"

"He dresses well," returned Mr. Floyd reflectively: "his hands are soft,
his nails clean. I don't think he follows any occupation which demands
manual labor. I can generally tell a man's business by his hands or his
coat; but on Tony's irreproachable broadcloth not one shiny seam
discloses what particular grist-mill he turns."

"Of course he has no grist-mill," said Helen. "I thought he was a man of
fortune."

"I was the guardian of his youth," observed Mr. Floyd, "and when he was
twenty-one I paid over to him intact the sum of money left to him by his
father. It had originally been less than fifteen hundred dollars, but by
lying untouched for nine years at compound interest it had nearly
doubled. That was several years ago, and with the utmost frugality on
his part I can't see how he could have worn such decent coats on the
interest of that money all this time."

"But you put him into business half a dozen times," interposed my
mother: "I suppose he made money."

"No, he never made any money. The only way Tony will make money honestly
is by marrying a rich girl. Not that I assume him to be dishonest or a
sharper, for I do think him a gentleman, after the fashion of Sir
Fopling. He probably is considerably in debt, but floats himself from
all danger of sinking by speculation or the like. Five times I set him
at work to make his living: five times he was returned on my hands. His
character possesses all the drawbacks of great genius, without any of
its resources: he is proud, discontented, misunderstood, with a talent
for failure."

"Is he a suitor of Miss Lenox's?" I asked. "He was never in the habit of
admiring her."

"You can make up your mind," said Mr. Floyd with a shrug, thus
dismissing the subject.--"Helen, my child, looking at this young man
impartially and judicially, what do you think of him?" and he put his
hand on my shoulder.

We were at tea, which was always an informal meal at The Headlands.
Helen sat among the tea-cups, my mother had a little table by her sofa,
and Mr. Floyd and I walked about carrying cream and sugar and cakes. I
was on my way for a fresh cup when this question was put, and I went up
to Helen and sat down beside her.

"Impartially and judicially," said I, "what do you think of me?"

Mr. Floyd took his seat on the other side of her, put his face close to
hers and began to whisper all sorts of nonsense in her ear about me.
"Tell him," said he, "to begin with, that he is a prig."

"But I don't know what a prig is."

"A prig is a handsome fellow born to create disturbance among the
ladies."

She looked around at me and laughed. "Isn't he a goose?" she asked in a
pretended whisper. "Where was it in Europe that he lost his brains? He
has brought none of them home."

"It may have been at Damascus," said Mr. Floyd. "Did I tell you that
after I fell through the trapdoor in Damascus and broke my ribs, they
put a railing about the place and asked a piastre for a look at the spot
where the American gentleman almost came to an untimely end?"

But Helen did not laugh: she put her arm about his neck and brought his
cheek to her lip, and kept it there, giving it mute caresses now and
then, while she smoothed his hair about his temples with her little
hand.

"I'll take some more tea, if you please," remarked Mr. Floyd after a
while in a meek voice.--"I'm obliged to endure a good deal of this sort
of thing, my boy: it's not so unpleasant as it may look, but
nevertheless it requires some stimulant to keep up an emotion of
agreeable surprise. By the bye, what do you think of my little girl, now
that she is quite grown up?"

"Don't dare to tell," said Helen. "I'm dreadfully vain all at once, for
papa flatters me so that the rugged courtesy of the outside world would
seem hard to me. Still, papa's compliments count for very little. When
Georgy comes in presently just listen to what he says to her."

And precisely at this juncture there was a little commotion in the hall,
and Miss Lenox did come in with Tony Thorpe. She had spoken to my
mother, kissed Helen and answered Mr. Floyd's badinage before she saw
me, yet when her eyes did turn toward me she showed no surprise.

"Have you come at last?" she inquired coolly, holding out her hand. "I
am glad to see you again, Mr. Randolph."

I greeted her as calmly, and said, "How are you, Thorpe?" to her
companion, with another shake of the hand. And then everybody sat down,
and there was fresh tea brought. I noticed that Thorpe was quite
assiduous in his attentions to Helen over the cups and saucers, and
seemed as much at home in the house as a tame spaniel. Meanwhile, Miss
Lenox had sat down by my mother and begun telling her the events of the
day. The déjeuner had been given on a yacht in the bay, and had begun in
mistake and ended in disaster: the wrong people had come, while the
right ones had been kept away, like the invited guests in the Gospel.
The sun had been too warm, the breeze too cool, the men who talked to
her garrulous and stupid, and the women abominably over-dressed.

"Dear Helen," cried Georgy with effusion, "I have wished myself at home
with you all day.--Dear Mrs. Randolph, tell me what you have been doing
with yourselves;" and she wasted a slight caress on my mother.

"Our doings were nothing remarkable in themselves," said my mother
gently, with a little smile--one of those smiles which women keep for
use among themselves, and rarely give to men.

"Papa and Mrs. Randolph and I sat under a tree until dinner-time," said
Helen. "We have been very idle, but had a delightful time nevertheless."

"Praying all the time that Miss Lenox was enjoying herself at the
déjeuner," drawled Mr. Floyd.

Georgy had risen and was crossing the room, and now, passing Mr. Floyd,
paused and looked down into his face as he surveyed her with a slightly
satirical air.

"I am glad of anybody's prayers," she returned, quite unruffled, "but I
am afraid, Mr. Floyd, yours are merely a pretty figure of speech."

Mr. Floyd suddenly sprang to his feet and walked up and down the room
with a restless way he had. "I have it! I have it!" he exclaimed with a
triumphant air. "It is a picture of a Wili of whom you remind me, Miss
Lenox. I saw it in R----'s studio at Rome.--Don't you remember it,
Floyd?"

I knew it very well, and was aware, besides, that R---- had got the face
from Dart's sketch-book.

"What is a Wili?" inquired Georgy, looking at me. "You know I used to go
to you for all my bits of knowledge when I was a little girl, Mr.
Randolph."

I rose and crossed the room to her side. "A Wili," said I, "is a
betrothed maiden who dies before her wedding-day. Your knowledge of your
sex may tell you why it is that she is never at peace in her grave, but
is impelled by some unconquerable love of life to rise every night and
dance till morning."

"With whom does she dance? Her unfortunate lover?"

"Oh, where Wilis live you see them dancing together in the woods and
fields by moonlight and starlight, their white arms wreathed about each
other and their long hair floating. When a Wili meets a youth abroad in
the night-time she beseeches him to dance with her; and the voice of the
Wili is so sweet, her eyes so terribly beautiful, her clasp so horribly
close, that whether he will or not he must join the fatal dance and keep
pace with her eager, frenzied movements. When morning comes the Wili has
gone back to her grave."

"And where is the young man?" asked Georgy.

"They find him dead on the grass," put in Thorpe, who was standing
behind Helen's chair. "It is death to dance with a Wili."

"Both of you seem very experienced young men," remarked Miss Lenox
calmly. "Did either of you ever meet with a Wili?"

"I have frequently met them on flowering meads," I returned, laughing,
"but when they invite me to dance I tell them I am unable to dance with
even the prettiest of live women, I am such a miserable cripple."

"It's rather a pretty story," mused Georgy, "but I don't quite see what
it means.--Do you, Helen?"

"It seems to be a sort of warning to young men to keep in o' nights,"
returned Helen with a droll little air.

"Dead women never trouble me," said Thorpe, "but I have had no end of
charming dances with live ones.--Do you waltz, Miss Floyd?"

"Oh yes. Miss Lenox and I waltz together whenever we can get any one to
play for us."

"That must be a tame amusement," rejoined Thorpe with an ineffable air
of conceit.

"Thanks for the neat compliment," said Georgy, "but neither Miss Floyd
nor myself suffer from the tameness."

"Oh, allow me to explain--"

"We are not so dull but that we can understand even the most stupid
bungle at a compliment of any awkward man," yawned Georgy. "Some time,
by and by, when I am very rich, and so old that I don't care what
happens nor how I offend my admirers, I intend to give to the world a
woman's opinion upon the fascinations of men."

"Bravo! I hope I may live a hundred or so years in order to hear it,"
said Mr. Floyd. "However, Miss Georgy, it would be safe enough for you
to tell us now that you hold men contemptible, only practising your
coquetries upon them for your own amusement, quite indifferent whether
your shafts hit or go astray. We could bear the ordeal, for we should
know very well that circumstances must vindicate us. We are, after all,
superior to even the highest simian types, and our poor fascinations
shine by comparison with those of even the most intelligent baboon; so
we should be certain that, in spite of your opinion of us, you would go
on making yourself beautiful for our approbation to the end of your
life, because you have, in fact, no other object worth spending your
energies upon."

"I confess," said Georgy, with a peculiar glance at Mr. Floyd, "some men
are worth any effort."

Thorpe, after many vain attempts to engage Helen in conversation, took
his leave, and when I went to the door with him he begged me to stroll
down the grounds to the gate. He had a three-mile walk before him for
his pains in coming home in the carriage with Miss Lenox, but he vowed
that the pleasure he always found at The Headlands recompensed him for
any labor. He burst into enthusiastic talk about the old times at
Belfield: he remembered the charm of my mother's house, he said, and the
good times we boys had enjoyed together. How was Holt now-a-days? and
where was Dart? Was it true that Jack himself had thrown Miss Lenox
over, or was the fault on her side? "She is much admired," he went on.
"How do you think her looking? She has many lovers and two or three
suitors. There is Judge Talbot, with his mind set on winning her."

"What category of her admirers do you come in?"

"I am neither lover nor suitor," he rejoined lightly. "Miss Lenox and I
are on excellent terms of camaraderie--no more. Were I to admire any
woman from my heart, it would be the one I have just left. Is she not
the rarest, sweetest, dearest Lady Disdain in the world?"

"I cannot guess to whom you refer," said I, "for I am at a loss how to
excuse the familiarity of your speech in reference to any lady in the
house except Miss Lenox."

"Now, Randolph," exclaimed Thorpe, putting his hand on my shoulder, "you
shall not bluff me off so. I would cut my tongue out before I used it
too freely in praising a young lady like Miss Floyd. I knew her as a
child: her father is my best friend, my benefactor. Remember, if I spoke
too freely, that my Southern blood gives me more trouble than the chilly
currents in your Northern veins."

He spoke so eagerly, and with such perfect temper, that I was ashamed of
my momentary outburst. I shook hands with him cordially at the gate, and
walked back slowly, looking at the heavy bank of fog lying in the east
over which the moon was peering, and thinking of my mother, of Helen,
perhaps a little of Georgy, although my heart was swelling with anger
toward her still: so I told myself again and again. Yet how beautiful
she was, with a new and bewildering tenderness in her manner! What had
softened her? Was it suffering?

When I returned to the parlor she had gone up stairs, tired with her
excursion, I heard, and longing for a night's rest. I sat down by my
mother, and we talked until midnight, while Helen sang ballads to her
father in the next room in a rare contralto voice which had gained
strength and richness since I heard it last.

When, finally, Mr. Floyd--who always put off going to bed as a final
necessity--allowed me to go up stairs, I found inside my dressing-case a
folded paper on which these lines were written: "The prettiest hour of
the day at The Headlands is at seven o'clock in the morning, down among
the rocks."

I should have felt no doubt whose hand had put the notelet there even if
it had failed to breathe the perfume of violets, which no one who knew
Georgy Lenox could hesitate to recognize.



CHAPTER XVI.


It was full two o'clock before I began to think of sleeping, but
nevertheless I was on the rocks next morning at seven; and my
punctuality was rewarded by the sight of Miss Lenox walking on the shore
in a white dress. I clambered down and joined her before she seemed
aware of my presence: then she turned and laughed softly in my face.
"What an early riser you are!" she exclaimed. "You have brought
excellent habits home from the lazy Old World."

"But it would be such a pity to miss 'the prettiest hour of the day'!" I
retorted quickly.

"Were you surprised to meet me last night?" she asked.

"Perhaps so. I had at least not expected it. I was in Belfield on
Wednesday, and supposed that you were there."

"You could easily have found out my whereabouts if you had called upon
mamma. I should not have expected you to be in Belfield without going
near our house."

"Mrs. Lenox has too often snubbed me in my boyhood for me to count upon
her grace now," I returned. "But I hope your mother is very well."

But it was very droll to me that I had embarked upon something like an
adventure for the sake of talking about old Mrs. Lenox. Still, Miss
Georgy was well worth coming out to see with the flush of healthy sleep
still upon cheek and lip and the morning light in her eyes.

"Mamma is well," said she soberly. "Poor papa too: though he is worked
to death, he is still quite well."

"What does he do, then?" I asked. I knew that he was one of the
book-keepers at the factories, but I wanted her to be the first to speak
Jack's name.

"As soon as Mr. John Holt went into the business," she returned, very
coolly, "he gave my father a position. He had promised to do it years
before, and you know how well Jack keeps all his promises."

"Jack is faithful and true," I said, looking at her keenly. "No one will
ever be able to say of him, 'That man has wronged me.'"

"What did he say about me?" she demanded suddenly, stopping short in
her walk and facing me. "I shall have no disguises with you, Floyd: you
know me too well. I never really loved Jack, good, kind and noble
although I recognize him to be. When he offered me my freedom I took it.
How could I have endured to wait for him, ruined, disgraced as he was,
through the uncertainty and pain of years? It is impossible that he
should be in a position to marry until my youth is passed."

Her voice was so tremulous and pleading, her eyes and lips so eloquent,
that she needed no vindication. I pitied Jack more than ever, but still
I no longer blamed her.

"You men have a hundred chances," she went on. "If the first fails you,
you have no reason for despondency, for a better one is sure to come. We
poor women find our golden opportunity but once. Do not call me
mercenary or false. I was neither. I had been talked into a belief that
I ought to marry Jack, but when the trial came all the potential reasons
failed. Had I kept my engagement to him, I should have been a clog, an
encumbrance, upon him: he is better off without me."

"Nothing but devoted love could have held you to him in his trouble,"
said I. "If you did not feel that, your bondage through a hopeless
engagement would have been a terrible burden."

"Tell me what he said," she murmured coaxingly. "Is he angry with me?
does he complain of me?"

"No: no man could have spoken of you more kindly."

"Is he forgetting me?"

I met her look and smile with a curious thrill that I thought I had
lived down years ago.

"I am afraid, Georgy," said I, "that you are not one of those women whom
men forget."

"Jack will forget me. He is wedded to his business: he is angry with the
world, maddened, desperate. I have walked out behind him at church in
Belfield, and he has not seen me: I have met him driving in the streets,
and he has not turned his head. The men who once trusted and believed
in his father treated him shamefully after his misfortunes came, and
Jack resented it: he goes about the place seeing nobody, holding his
head high, and showing the men he meets that he asks no favor of any one
of them. All the softness has gone out of him."

I told her how wrong her idea of him was, and presently found myself
repeating many things that he had said. Before I ended I had even let
her hear of our midnight stroll about the place and our look at the
gabled room where we believed her to be sleeping. This pleased her.

"That is not unlike you," she remarked with charming complacency, "but I
never before heard of Jack's doing anything so poetic."

"Jack is not a man to write poems," said I, "but he is one of the men
poets write about. After you had gone up stairs last night Helen sang to
her father, and the words of one of her songs were Heine's: it reminded
me of Holt beneath your window."

"One of those German songs? I understand nothing but English."

"They have translated it, and it runs like this:

          Silent the streets by night overtaken:
            This house my darling's presence did grace;
          But she the town has long forsaken,
            Yet there stands the house in the selfsame place;
          And there stands a man who upward is staring,
            His hands hard wringing in outbursts of woe!"

I paused and looked into her face.

"That is not all of it?"

"No: I will tell you the rest some day."

"Did Jack 'wring his hands in outbursts of woe'?"

"Good Heavens, no! I presume we both stood with our hands in our
pockets: I was smoking a cigar myself. It is only in poetry that one may
be picturesque in one's grief now-a-days."

"Did you think of me when you stood there, Floyd?"

Her little fingers closed on the edge of my coat and she looked up in my
eyes. I smiled demurely. I was determined to be quite the master of
myself with Georgina. I had suffered too much from her in the past not
to be on my guard. Still, it was hard to resist the upturned face--the
face with which was associated all the passionate inspiration of my
early life--the face I had carried in my mind and heart through all my
wanderings, finding none to compare with it--the face which always came
with flash and quickness when I felt the warm desire and longing to love
somebody which youth must always know.

I kissed her.

She looked at me startled, and ran ten paces away and sat down upon a
rock.

"Upon my word!" she exclaimed, bursting into light laughter, "you have
learned pretty manners abroad!"

"I am so glad you like them," said I, going up to her.

"But I don't like them at all," she retorted, shaking her head. "You
remind me of a toy I used to play with years ago--a very pretty,
harmless, inoffensive-looking toy, but which when touched unguardedly
changed all of a sudden into a dreadful little fiend that flew right up
into your face. Such a surprise is enough to make one's hair turn gray."

"At any rate, I have vindicated myself from the charge of being,
'pretty, harmless and inoffensive,' have I not? As for the gray hairs, I
don't see one."

"I quite admired you last night," sighed Georgy, "you looked so
interesting and innocent. Now--"

"Have I then suffered in your estimation?"

"I shall remember hereafter," she said with a delightful little laugh,
"to whom I am talking. Now let us forget all about it. There are other
things I want to talk about. I want to ask you how you like Helen."

"How I like Helen?" I did not fancy her question: I had never approved
her tone regarding her cousin. "I think Miss Floyd very beautiful, and a
very elegant girl besides."

"Do you like her proud cold manner?"

"Is she proud and cold? Perhaps so to Thorpe: certainly, she is the most
unaffected child where the rest of us are concerned."

"She never forgets her wealth and position. I do not blame her: in her
place I should be quite spoiled. Think of it!" she went on, with such
eagerness that tears stood in her eyes: "Mr. Raymond left her
everything--everything except a hundred thousand dollars which he gave
to a college. She is so rich that she can lose a hundred thousand
dollars and never feel it. It did not belong to the property, but came
from a deposit which had accumulated ever since she was a baby. She
begged her grandfather to do some good with it: she did not want to have
everything herself. Might he not have given it to me?--Helen would have
liked that--but no: he hated me too well for that. It has all gone for a
dreary old professorship in the college where he graduated sixty years
ago. And I am as poor as ever!"

"But Helen is generous with her wealth, I am sure: she will do a great
deal for you."

"She gave me the money to buy the dress I am wearing, the very shoes on
my feet;" and she granted me a delicious glimpse of French slippers.
"But do you suppose I like alms? If I am a beggar, Floyd, it is from
necessity, not because I have not plenty of pride. The child means to be
good to me, I suppose, but it makes me bitterly angry with her at times
that she has the right to be gracious and condescending. I am such an
unlucky girl!"

But she laughed while she complained, and I echoed her laugh when she
said she was unlucky.

"You unlucky!" I exclaimed. "You are one of those women who have it in
their power to have every wish in life granted."

"I am not so sure of that. Besides, it is hard for me to know what I
want now-a-days. I used to think if a fairy came offering me the
fulfilment of my dearest longing, it would be easy enough to secure
lifelong happiness at once: I should have asked for wealth. But now they
are comfortable at home: they would not know how to spend more money
than papa earns at the factory. And I am comparatively rich: I have
almost five hundred dollars in my purse, part of the thousand which
Helen gave me a month ago. I cried myself to sleep last night, I was so
unhappy; yet, all the same, I am not quite sure what I want. Life is so
dull! That is what ails me, I think."

I looked at her in uncertainty as to her mood, but she left me in doubt,
and began telling me about society at the Point, her friend Mrs.
Woodruff, and the houseful of guests. She told me stories with some
scandalous flavor about them, enough to give them a zest; she mimicked
all the earnest people and spoke with contempt of all the shallow ones;
she appeared to have fathomed all the petty under-currents which
influenced people's actions, detected every shade of pretension and
studied all the affectations and habits of the men and women she saw
intimately. All this, too, without betraying any personal liking for one
of them, and seeming to regard them all as mere puppets, to some of whom
she attached herself when there was anything to gain, and from whom she
withdrew herself when there was anything to lose. But she was too clever
to allow me time to think what qualities of mind and heart lay behind
this philosophy, and I was very much diverted.

"I must take you to see Mrs. Woodruff," she remarked. "You will be
welcome in the set as flowers in May. You are spending the summer here,
I suppose?"

"I have no plans. Where my mother is I shall be for the present, I have
been separated from her so long."

"How beautiful! But about your future, Floyd? Have you a career decided
upon, or are you to be a gentleman of leisure?"

I flushed: "My resolution is not taken as to what I shall be--certainly
not an idle man."

"I can tell your fortune," she said in a low voice. "You need not cross
my palm with silver for it, either."

"With gold, then?"

"I will tell it for love, but it is a golden fortune. You will marry
Helen Floyd."

"No," said I with decision and some anger, "I shall never marry Helen.
You do me too much honor. She would never look at me; and if she would
there is something within me which forbids my marrying a rich woman. But
it is nonsense. For Heaven's sake don't allude to it again! The man who
marries her will be, to my thinking, the most fortunate of men, but--"

"We won't talk about it," said she good-naturedly. "There comes Mr.
Thorpe to bid us good-morning. Astonishing how well he likes the walk to
The Headlands!"

It was Thorpe indeed, carelessly but irreproachably dressed as usual,
and looking at us with a smile of internal amusement, which he was
probably too well-bred to express in words, for he merely drawled a
good-morning and remarked on the beauty of the day.

"You're a famous pedestrian in these days, Thorpe," I said, rising with
a trifle of embarrassment from my seat as close to Miss Lenox's as the
rocks permitted, "and an early riser too. When I got up this morning at
half-past six I told myself that I should see nobody for three hours at
least, yet both Miss Lenox and you equal me in my love for the early
morning hours."

But Thorpe was indifferent, and I saw at once that his mind was too
preoccupied to allow of his wasting a thought upon the reason of my
rising earlier than usual. "If you got up at half-past six," said he
coolly, looking at his watch, "you must be ready for your breakfast, for
it is a quarter to nine."

"I shall go in," remarked Georgy, rising and shaking out her white
skirts and putting herself to rights generally after the manner in which
birds and women plume themselves. "Did you come to breakfast, Mr.
Thorpe?" she inquired with bare civility.

"I thought of dropping in," he returned; and as I assisted Miss Lenox up
the ledge I turned to see if he were following us. He seemed to be
waiting, however, for us to get away, and when I gained another distant
glimpse of him he was apparently searching for something in a crevice of
the rocks. Yet we were scarcely on the back piazza, before he had
rejoined us in high spirits, and I was conscious of a gleam in his eyes
which I had never seen before.

I could not resist speculations upon the reasons of his intimacy at the
house, but dismissed them all as idle, for I knew very well that the
habits of a young man at a watering-place are made by the necessity of
filling up the hours of the day with occupation. The cottagers have
perfect leisure as a rule, and with amiable, courteous ways press upon
all acquaintances an incessant hospitality; and Thorpe, always
frivolous, had at once fallen into the general way. Here at The
Headlands the house was still under the shadow of deep mourning, but his
old acquaintance with Mr. Floyd and my mother made his frequent visits
admissible. At any rate, beyond Mr. Floyd's unobtrusive sarcasm at his
expense, I heard no objections to Thorpe's dropping in to breakfast.
Mills brought him a plate, and he himself chose a seat at Helen's left
hand, and devoted himself to her service in a way that I knew bored her
immeasurably. He sugared her strawberries and creamed them generously,
and she sent them to her parrot. "I will take some more strawberries,
Mills," she said then, and treated Thorpe's further attempts to serve
her with chilly disdain.

"Now that Floyd is here," said Mr. Floyd when we were through breakfast,
"I shall indulge in laziness no longer, but shall sit by and see him
work." And the result was that for the next two weeks he and my mother,
Helen and I, all sat in Mr. Raymond's study for an hour or two every
morning and looked over his papers. Two or three times Mr. Wickham the
lawyer came from New York, and it was easy enough to see that Helen's
property was so large, its investments so various, that its proper care
was work enough for one man.

"I shall look about for a husband for her at once," Mr. Floyd said half
a dozen times to the lawyer when we three men were alone: "nobody can
expect me to waste my few energies in looking after all these
interests."

"Depend upon it, sir," Mr. Wickham would return with an easy chuckle,
"you will find the world full of young men who will be happy to relieve
you of every responsibility regarding Miss Floyd's fortune."

"They shall none of them have her," her father exclaimed once,
fiercely--"not one! No man but one who loves her for her sweet self
alone shall ever have my little girl." At such times Mr. Wickham always
looked at me with a critical curiosity which I could forgive in so old a
friend of Helen's, but which at the same time robbed me of a certain
composure I should have liked to carry through the difficulties of my
present position. For I was, in truth, performing all the duties of an
executor and mastering the details of the schedule of property, while
Mr. Floyd sat by and made jokes upon the way Helen would spend her
income.

"Hair-pins cost a great deal," he would affirm solemnly, "and pins. How
much pin-money had the princess royal? Put down fifteen thousand dollars
for hair-pins, black pins, white pins: what other pins do women use?"

"But," I would expostulate, "you must attend to this."

"And why?" he would ask, turning his fine melancholy eyes upon me.
"Don't tire me out, Floyd."

We were alone, although my mother and Helen were almost within hearing
on the balcony.

"I am willing to do everything for you, sir," I said, "but nevertheless
it seems to me that it is scarcely prudent for you to entrust me with
your duties. I am totally inexperienced; my knowledge of finance is the
mere mastery of figures; I am--"

"Look here, dear boy," said Mr. Floyd in a kind but weary voice: "I am
only trying to save you trouble. When I die you will take my place as
Helen's executor and trustee. It would be harder then for you to learn
the mystery of all these details by yourself. Now I am here to teach
you."

  ELLEN W. OLNEY.

[TO BE CONTINUED.]



TO THE RAINBOW.


          O Iris! bringing balm for Summer's tears,
            So lightly gliding down thy bridge of rose,
            I know not why my spirit drinks repose
          Soon as thy footfall the horizon nears.
          Spellbound I watch the crimson-shaded piers
            As arch by arch the blooming pathway grows,
            And where the richest flush of color glows
          I trace thy trailing garments. Sighs and fears
            Have vanished: in one long and ardent gaze
          Thy steps I follow down the heavenly slope.
            Iris, be mine thy message! Let thy rays
          Write out how I with destiny may cope.
            Ah! spanned with light would be all coming days,
          Could I but read thy oracle of hope.

                                    FRANCES L. MACE.



THE PARIS EXPOSITION OF 1878.

III.--FINE ARTS.


It is the "Memorial Hall" of the Champ de Mars--the Gallery of Fine Arts
which there takes the place of the familiar building in Fairmount
Park--that has decided the really great success of the Exposition of
1878. The unanimous verdict of popular admiration was given at
Philadelphia to the machinery: in Paris it is as strongly pronounced in
favor of the fine arts. Paris is, indisputably, the capital of modern
art, and her title to this proud distinction is to-day confirmed by the
assembled peoples with all the solemnity and authority of a universal
congress.

I have, like all visitors no doubt, yielded to the seductive spell of
this magnificent collection of objects of art, to which two worlds have
contributed, and under the influence of the keen and exalted enjoyment
of the first few days I should have found it impossible to qualify by a
single censure the expression of my admiration. But after a short
retirement in the country, where I allowed my mind to lie fallow, I
found that I could revisit the galleries of the Champ de Mars with more
judgment and method, and that the beauties of the first order, which I
admired as much as ever, no longer made me blind to the defects and the
weak points of certain parts.

First of all, it must be admitted that the Exhibition of this year is
not equal to that of 1855; and this is no more than was to be expected,
when one remembers that the latter had brought together the scattered
masterpieces of the long period of half a century--a period illustrated
by such names as Ingres, Delacroix, Decamps and others. This splendid
assemblage of so many important works could not be repeated in 1867; and
at that time there were unmistakable indications that a new artistic
current had set in, and we saw the first rays of the coming glory of the
painter of genre and of landscape--the triumph of Meissonier, of Gérôme,
of Théodore Rousseau, of Corot.

This year, the tiny, pleasing genre pictures are still very numerous,
and in this respect the Exposition of 1878 is not unlike that of 1867,
while in another aspect it is superior to it. If, on the one hand, we
miss the names of the great masters of landscape, who, dying, have left
no successors, we have, on the other hand, to hail the advent of some
others who have risen above the level of genre and have returned to the
traditions of high art: I refer to MM. Bonnat, J.P. Laurens and Baudry.
Thanks to these great artists, one can assert with confidence that there
has been an advance within the last ten years. And how art widens its
borders and augments the number of its adepts! How many painters there
are to-day!--of the second or of the third rank, to be sure, but masters
of their business, skilful and conscientious. In 1867 the jury admitted
but four hundred pictures. In 1878 it has had to receive eleven hundred!
Evidently, French art is in the fulness of its summer bloom. Its decline
will come, for Art, which knows no country, and has wandered from the
East to the South, and from the South to the West, will doubtless travel
still, and will some day leave Paris to dwell with other races and under
other skies. But to-day her home is Paris--Paris, her well-beloved city.

Since 1871 especially, we have witnessed a fresh starting into life, an
activity, indeed, almost feverish. In 1871 and in 1874 the Minister of
Fine Arts officially recognized a general return toward serious and
vigorous work, and in 1876 he bore testimony to the exceptional
brilliancy of the Salon, which showed the "influence and impulse of a
genuine revival."

Historical painting, unfortunately, can never be adequately represented
at exhibitions. Designed for the civil and religious monuments of
France, whence, from the nature of the case, they cannot be removed, its
most important illustrations are to be found at the Opéra, at the Palace
of Justice and of the Legion of Honor, at the museums of Marseilles and
of Amiens, the Hôtel de Ville of Poitiers, and in the numerous churches
of Paris and throughout the country. The immense work which Baudry has
executed for the foyer of the Opéra is absent from the Exhibition, and
this great painter, whom some consider the first of his time, is not
represented at the Champ de Mars by even a sketch. Fortunately, the
Palace of Justice has parted with two principal works of Léon Bonnat,
his _Christ_ and _Justice between Guilt and Innocence_. The Panthéon has
permitted the exhibition of the large decorative paintings in which
Cabanel has represented the principal episodes of the history of St.
Louis. But the largest historical canvases on the walls of the gallery
are those by J.P. Laurens, belonging to the museums of Florence, of
Havre, of Nantes and of Toulouse. Laurens delights in the Middle Ages,
gloomy and stately periods of ecclesiastical domination and feudal
violence. He is the painter of tortures and of tombs (the _Exhumation of
Pope Formosus_, _The Interdict_, _Francis Borgia before the Coffin of
Isabella of Portugal_), but his vigorous and severe genius never suffers
him to fall into overstrained action and theatrical artifice. He does
not move us by declamatory gestures and forced attitudes. Nothing can be
more simple, yet nothing more affecting, than the _Execution of the Duc
d'Enghien_ and the _Death of Marceau_. Many young artists are following
this new path, which has opened such success to M. Laurens. MM. Cormon,
Dupain (in his _Good Samaritan_), Benjamin Constant (_Entry of Mohammed
II. into Constantinople_), and Sylvestre (_Locusta and Nero trying a
Poison_) have sent to the Champ de Mars the fine historical compositions
that gained for them the first medals and the prize of honor at the last
Salons. M. Tony Robert-Fleury has two vast canvases, the _Sack of
Corinth_ and the _Reform of the Mad-house in 1795_--large and admirable
compositions, which engraving has already made popular. Of course we
find M. Landelle's inevitable _Eastern Dancing-Girl_, and an _Italian
Woman_ by M. Hébert. There could be no exhibition without these. These
two painters have talent, individuality, delicacy of feeling, but they
are absolutely without imagination. M. Hébert, in particular, has
learned nothing since his _Malaria_, which has been for a long time at
the Museum of the Luxembourg. He has not discovered, nor even sought
for, anything beyond this; and this eternal repetition of the same
subject is a malady which afflicts too many of the artists of our day.
One no longer distinguishes between the pictures of certain of our
popular painters. Even M. Luminais never travels beyond his specialty,
which is the barbarian Gaul, though he does vary somewhat the attitudes
and physiognomy of his characters. Henner and Ribot, two great artists,
who are better appreciated by their professional brethren than by the
public, will undoubtedly gain much by this year's exhibition. The eulogy
of competent criticism will be accepted as authoritative, and will
compel the admiration of the crowd, which is not very apt to comprehend
new and original forms in painting. Schopenhauer has classified the
professions according to the degree of difficulty which they find in
making their merits understood by the world at large; and he puts in the
front rank, as the most quickly and easily comprehended and applauded,
acrobats, dancers and players; philosophers come last of all; and
immediately before them the painters.

Portraiture would seem to be more in esteem than ever. Everywhere along
the walls are to be seen nothing but statesmen, poets and women of the
world, whose identity is indicated in the official catalogue by initials
only, but whom everybody recognizes at a glance. Many of these portraits
are life-like and admirable in expression, and one can say of them what
Victor Cherbuliez said of Mademoiselle Nelly Jacquemart's picture of
Thiers: "The house is inhabited: some one is looking out of the
window." This time Mademoiselle Jacquemart exhibits portraits of M.
Duruy, M. Dufaure and a young lady. Singularly enough, she paints men
better than she does women. Her portrait of Mademoiselle G---- B---- is
very inferior to the others. Virility, in short, is the distinguishing
characteristic of the talent of this woman.

M. Cabanel's portraits of women of the great world are conventionally
painted, and with the coldness of manner which distinguishes him. One
feels that if these fine creatures should speak they would utter nothing
but the commonplaces which pass for conversation in the salons. The
duchess of Vallambrosa--"the queen of the strand," as they call her at
Cannes--Madame de Lavalette, the countess of Mercy-Argenteau, are all
there, as if against their will and disdainful of the vulgar herd which
is staring at them. To make amends, however, the duchess of Luynes is
charming, surrounded and, as it were, adorned by her beautiful children.
M. Cabanel is the recognized head of what may be called the official
school. To get medals and crosses or the prize of Rome, to obtain
commissions from government, it is now-a-days almost necessary to have
been his pupil. Never had painter a more lofty position. Perhaps it is
the opinion at the ministry of Fine Arts that Bonnat and Laurens will be
so well paid by posthumous fame and the admiration of future generations
that it is but fair to keep the balance between the masters even by
rewarding M. Cabanel in his lifetime.

I have said that there are many portraits at the Exhibition, but I do
not mean to complain of this. Indeed, we cannot too highly applaud the
revival of this noble branch of art, to which we owe the _Joconde_ of
the Louvre and the _Violin-player_ of the Sciarra Palace. Many a fair
young girl unknown to fame, many a matron whose quiet life will pass
unheeded by the world, will by her portrait enter into immortality.
Torn, sooner or later, from the family roof and carried to a museum,
there to be gazed upon by thousands of eyes, her smile or her reverie
will recall for generations to come that sigh of Sénancour's: "O woman
that I might have loved!"

It is doubtful if this regretful tribute to genius--which may perhaps
some day be heard before the portraits of Henner, of Bonnat or of
Madrazzo--will ever be inspired by those of M. Carolus Duran. This
artist is the painter of elegant trifles and worldly vanities, of grand
and striking toilettes, of blondes in violet and yellow and brunettes in
gray and rose, for, like M. Worth the man-milliner, it pleases his fancy
to attempt the reconciliation of the most inimical colors. For the rest,
the future will no doubt owe him a debt of gratitude for the precious
evidence which his pictures will furnish of the dress of the period.
Indeed, without the help of certain of our portrait-painters future
investigators would find themselves sadly at a loss in reconstructing
the Paris of Napoleon III. and of the Third Republic. We are so much
under the influence of the past that our artists scarcely have the
sentiment of the civilization which surrounds them. Our colleges send us
into the world, not Frenchmen, but Greeks and Romans, knowing nothing of
modern life, and inspired by our classical studies with a profound
contempt for the manners and usages of the present day. Our statues,
bas-reliefs, medals and pictures represent the events of all ages except
our own. The attempts in the direction of realism of these latest days,
the paintings of Courbet and Manet, seem, by a sort of instinctive
preference, to seek out the _ugly_, rather than to give us an exact
reproduction of contemporaneous Nature. Some of our genre
painters--Millet, for example, and Jules Breton--have, it is true,
studied the actual and the modern, but their types are all taken from
the rustic class, and it is safe to say that outside of portraiture
neither the men nor the women of the world will leave a trace upon the
art of the period.

Let us note, however, one exception to this statement. I refer to
certain painters of military scenes who have chosen to call up the
spectre of the Franco-German war--Édouard Detaille, Neuville, Boulanger.
These have ventured to depict one side of modern life--and an important
one, alas!--modern warfare, not by showing us those episodes of
classical combat where half a dozen cavaliers, mounted upon their heavy
historical horses, fight hand to hand for the possession of a flag, and
trample under foot a wounded wretch whose very _pose_ is traditional,
but by giving us actual scenes witnessed during the autumn of 1870 and
the winter of 1871--scenes often frightful, but always grandly effective
and worthy of art. A sentiment of diplomatic propriety, with which the
Germans were but little troubled at Philadelphia, has naturally kept
these paintings out of the Champ de Mars, and banished them to Goupil's
in the Rue Chaptal. We certainly do not complain of this, but we cannot
help regretting that modern life should be so slightly represented in
the art of an epoch indued with a life so intense. There are laurels yet
to be won in the field of serious painting--triumphs such as Balzac,
Thackeray and Tourgueneff have achieved in literature, and Gavarni in
caricature, by the faithful representation of phases of modern life.

Since so many Frenchmen are converted by their early classical training
not only into citizens of Rome or of Athens, but into veritable pagans,
we naturally find the Exhibition full of gods and goddesses, of demigods
and nymphs--the _Truth_ of M. Jules Lefebvre, for instance, and his
_Vision_, losing itself in the mists of morning; the _Sarpedon_ of M.
Lévy; M. Bouguereau's _Flora and Zephyr_ and _Meeting of Nymphs_; the
_Naiads_ of Henner, etc. Amongst all these mythological tableaux one's
attention is arrested by the striking productions of M. Gustave Moreau,
a remarkable union of technical ability and poetical
fancy--hallucinations of an opium-smoker who should be able to paint his
visions with all the confidence and knowledge of a master. Paul de
Saint-Victor, the eminent critic, has called these canvases "painted
dreams;" and they cannot be better described. _Hercules fighting the
Hydra of Lerna_, _Salome_, _Jacob and the Angel_, _Moses exposed upon
the Nile_, are dazzling phantoms, which, eluding the literal text of
history, recede to the depths of an unknown past. We do not think of
discussing their accuracy: we are absorbed in admiration of this
wondrous art, at once subtle and splendid, which makes us dream of lost
civilizations and buried empires. Gustave Moreau is more than a painter:
he is a magician and his pencil is an enchanter's wand.

For the rest, we have plenty of archæological painters, who painfully
restore antiquity for us, following accurate authorities and examples.
The curiosity to know the past, which has created a literature of its
own, the researches of travellers and of learned men, the excavations
made in Greece, in Asia Minor, in Africa, at Pompeii, have led many
artists to search for new effects in this direction. Every one will
recall the circuses and the Roman scenes of Gérôme. This year he
exhibits hardly anything but modern Oriental subjects--Turkish baths,
Bashi-Bazouks and lions--but his pupils have now taken the place which
their master held in 1867. Hector Leroux, one of the thousand and one
painters of this Neo-Grecian school, shows us a _Toilette of Minerva
Polias_ and _A Miracle in the Temple of Vesta_, his most celebrated
work. Gustave Boulanger exhibits his _Roman Baths_, his _Roman Comedians
rehearsing their Rôles_, and his _Roman Promenades_, which the
wealthiest amateurs, MM. Aguado, André, Stebbins, contended for at the
late Salons; M. Lecomte du Nouy his _Pharoah slaying the Bearers of Evil
Tidings_ and his _Homer Begging_; while M. Alma-Tadema completes the
group with his best-known pictures, including _The Studio of an Antique
Painter_, _An Audience at the House of Agrippa_, and _The Vintage at
Rome_, which was also at Philadelphia. Americans will remember the young
reddish-haired priestess of Ceres, so elegantly attired and _coiffée_,
advancing with torch in hand and followed by flute-players. The details,
which are multiplied almost to profusion, are all calculated to enhance
the effect, and are distributed with exquisite art. The amount of
research which this work suggests is almost incredible, and it was
perhaps a more laborious undertaking to paint the _Vintage at Rome_ than
to write the Carthaginian romance of Gustave Flaubert. Alma-Tadema
exhibits in the English gallery, and his contribution has raised the
average of that section by a good third. If I have spoken of this
painter in connection with the pupils of Gérôme, it is that, considering
his place of birth (Dromvyp, Netherlands), I think that I have an equal
right with the English to classify him according to my fancy.

But let us leave the remote antiquity in which the poet-painters of the
Neo-Greek school delight to dwell, and come back to modern times.
Passing through one of the central rooms, one is struck by the
appearance of a great space of gilded wall hung with pictures
considerable in number, but mostly quite diminutive in size. It needs no
reference to the catalogue nor to the signature of these works to tell
us the name of their author. If the singular talent which they display
were not enough, the _mise en scène_ would leave no doubt that this
extraordinary piece of wall has the honor of supporting the exhibit of
M. Meissonier. M. Meissonier holds a great position in contemporary
art--a fact which is known to everybody, and to no one better than to M.
Meissonier. But it was in 1867 rather than in 1878 that he ought to have
gilded his wall. It was in the former year that he exhibited his _1814_,
his _Reading at Diderot's_ and other incomparable works, which placed
him beyond all dispute at the head of the French school. To-day he shows
us but one considerable work, the _Cuirassiers of 1805_, and fifteen
small pieces--very pretty things, but then he has taught his pupils to
imitate him too well! They have so often and so skilfully counterfeited
the art of their master that the dignity of his work seems lessened and
its value diluted, as it were, until for the substance we are given the
shadow, and the _tableau_ is replaced by the _tableautin_. The same
tendency to contraction is apparent in every country. Paintings are
growing smaller, as if to keep in proportion with the small modern
salons. That this is due to the great influence of M. Meissonier there
is no doubt, but no diminution of his own fame accompanies the dwindling
of his pictures.

And yet there are half a dozen painters at the Champ de Mars who lack
nothing but the golden wall to make them the equals of the master. M.
Detaille is absent, but we have M. Worms, with seven little chefs
d'oeuvre; M. Vibert, with his _Departure of the Spanish Bride and
Bridegroom_, the _Serenade_, and the _Toilette of the Madonna_; M.
Firmin Girard, with his _Flower-Girl_; M. Berne-Bellecour, in his famous
_Coup de Canon_; MM. Fichel, Lesrel, Louis Leloir and others whom I have
not space to mention, as exact and as minute in detail as their _chef_,
and, moreover, almost as well paid by amateurs, especially Americans.

Landscape-painting mourns the loss of its greatest masters. Amongst all
the painters, Death seems to have singled out the _paysagistes_ by
preference. Since the last Exhibition how many have gone! Chintreuil,
Belly, Corot, Courbet, Daubigny, Millet, Diaz, are no more. A few
canvases recall them--the _Wave_ of Courbet, an admirable effect of snow
by Daubigny, and four or five pictures by Corot--but one regrets that
the illustrious dead have not had the honor of a room apart. The members
of the jury have been careful to keep the best places for their own
works, while the masterpieces of departed genius have been banished to
the top of the walls or half hidden in corners. M. Cabanel and M.
Bouguereau fill whole rooms with their pale compositions, and--Millet is
absent!

Has the school of French landscape-painting survived these serious
losses? We may reply with confidence that it has. This very year, in the
Exposition of the Champs Élysées, the _Haymaking_ of M. Bastien Lepage
reveals a great painter. At the Champ de Mars there are admirable
landscapes by living artists--Hanoteau, who with such masterly power of
execution bends and crooks in every direction the knotted branches of
his giant oaks; Émile Breton, painter of the melancholy scenes of
winter; Harpignies, faithful interpreter of the varying aspects of the
valley of the Allier under all the changes of day and season; Eugène
Feyen and Feyen-Perrin, who delight us with the sea-coast of Brittany
and its fisher-women and bathing-women; Van-Marcke, who is less than the
successor, but more than the imitator, of Troyon; and finally, MM.
Pelouse and Ségé, representatives of new forces and processes.

Americans are supposed in Paris to prefer highly-finished and elaborate
work, like that of Gérôme, but I have seen in America examples of the
painter who elaborates least of all, who lays on his colors in the
boldest manner--in a word, the painter of general effect, Isabey. It is
refreshing to meet again, here, his _Wedding-Feast_, a delightful repose
to the eye, almost wearied with minute perfection of detail.

Before quitting the labyrinth of French art we must not forget a class
of painters who have received a great deal of admiration, and who
deserve it, whatever rank one may be disposed to assign to their special
branch of art. I refer to the painters of still-life. There is Vollon,
for instance, whose name suggests those wonderful representations of
armor, of rich goldsmith's work, superb tapestries and damascened metal,
to say nothing of the equally admirable counterfeits of warming-pans and
saucepans, which delight the lover of _nature-morte_. We find here his
famous kettle of red copper, sold at a price which might suggest that it
was of solid gold. Amateurs and dealers pronounce Vollon the first of
painters in his specialty, though there are some who profess a
preference for his rival, Blaise-Desgoffes, of whom there are three
examples in the Exposition; and though these are only Venetian glass,
Gothic missals, jewel-boxes and the like, there are some of them worth
thirty thousand francs at the very least: it will be understood that I
speak of the paintings, and not of what they represent. Philippe
Rousseau displays not less than a dozen pictures, and the names of
their owners, Alexandre Dumas, the baroness de Rothschild, Barbedienne,
Édouard Dubufe, etc., show how much he is the _mode_. Indeed, it is
impossible to imagine cheeses more savory, fresher oysters, peaches and
vegetables more inviting, and flowers--I had almost said more fragrant,
so perfect is the illusion of reality.

But we must tear ourselves from these fascinating galleries, for should
we write for ever we shall always be sure to forget some celebrity who
deserves to be mentioned. We have said nothing of the scenes from
fashionable life; nor of the dogs and horses which MM. Claude and J.
Lewis Brown render so capitally; nor of the portraits of Pérignon,
Édouard Dubufe and Cot; nor of the flowers of Mademoiselle Escallier.
Three great names, Jules Dupré, Rosa Bonheur and Puvis de Chavannes, are
absent--one knows not why.

Belgium is next in order--thrifty Belgium, where painting is a
commercial industry and its products an important article of
exportation. The Belgian display in the Champ de Mars is certainly a
considerable one in point of numbers, which will not surprise us when we
remember that there are at least twelve art-schools in the country--to
say nothing of the great academies of Brussels and Antwerp--where
hundreds of young men are daily drilled in the grammar and technique of
art. But genius is the gift of Nature, not of schools. All that the
latter can bestow is probably here, but we miss the imagination, the
variety, the sentiment of the born artist, and it needs no very critical
examination of these paintings to show us that the acquired dexterity of
the academy, the mere _business_ of the painter, is almost the only
characteristic of the Belgian school.

There are some examples of "high art," such as _The Pope and the Emperor
of Germany at Canossa in 1077_, by M. Cluysenaar, a composition as cold
as it is vast; some illustrations of the national history by M. Wauters,
who reminds us, in some respects, of the great French painter Laurens,
though lacking his power; and there are the historico-religious
pictures of M. Verlat. But much the best things in the Belgian
collection are the numerous works of a painter whose aims are not so
high, and who in Brussels seems like an exile from Paris. M. Alfred
Stevens draws his inspiration from fashionable life; and no Parisian
could surpass the execution of his velvets and laces and the thousand
new stuffs which Fashion invents every year--_gants de Suède_, and faces
too of a certain type, the pretty _chiffonnées_ faces of girls of every
rank in life. But the pretty faces are, after all, mere accessories in a
picture where the principals are the hat and the dress and the parasol,
upon which, as any one can see, the artist has bestowed all his loving
care. Nothing of his, however, in the Exposition can compare with his
_Young Mother_, which I saw last year in the Academy at Philadelphia.

Next after Stevens, in point of reputation, comes M. Willems, who really
belongs to the French school of Gérôme, but who feels himself under
obligation, in his character of Fleming, to paint nothing but what
Terburg and Metzu painted two centuries before him. The man without a
plumed hat and big boots and a great sword at his side has, for M.
Willems, no existence. I would not say that he does not paint hat, boots
and sword as well as the old Flemish masters themselves did, but while
they drew from the life he paints at second hand, and the modern artist
who passes his days in the vain effort to revivify the models of his
predecessors will always rank below the masters whom he imitates, as M.
Willems does, with so many others whom a false public taste encourages
in a hopeless pursuit.

There are no landscapes in the Belgian section, if one may be allowed to
except the _marines_ of M. Clays, and yet Belgium can boast of at least
one excellent _paysagiste_, M. César de Cock, who, unfortunately, is not
represented in the Exposition.

French painters have often been blamed for neglecting the material
around them, and for trespassing upon the domain of foreign artists by
representing Russian peasants and Italian beggars or selecting subjects
from Spain or Japan; but I have looked in vain through the various
galleries for any evidence that other countries are a whit less
obnoxious to this reproach than our own. Each nation forages in its
neighbor's field. Is it too much to hope that modern art may free itself
from the bondage of a senseless fashion, and may take to the study of
the living types close at hand? Russia and America, for instance, have
shown themselves capable of producing a literature distinctively
national and characteristic: must they ever remain without a school of
art as indigenous to the soil, and shall their painting never have its
Tourgueneff and its Bret Harte? The law of development may require that
the birth of a nation's art shall succeed that of its letters--though
the history of the Renaissance would seem to contradict this theory--but
whether this be so or not, it is certain that one does not imagine one's
self in Moscow while perambulating the Russian _salon_ in the Champ de
Mars, where the best representative of the national art, M. Siemiradski,
has chosen for the two paintings which have deservedly won a medal of
honor subjects from ancient Rome--the one an amateur hesitating in his
choice between two articles of equal value--namely, a chased cup and a
female slave--and the other representing a soirée of Nero. The subject
of this last is horrible. The tyrant, crowned with flowers and
surrounded by women and freedmen, descends from his palace. Attached to
long poles and besmeared with pitch, ready for the fatal flame, are the
living bodies of wretched Christians which will illumine to-night the
gardens of Cæsar. _Living Torches_ is the title of the picture, which is
one of the most successful paintings of the Exposition, and has given
its author a high rank among contemporary artists.

The painters of the United States naturally feel the inspiration of the
country of their sojourn, be it France or Italy or Germany, for most of
them study abroad; but it is to be hoped that they will, after their
return to their own beautiful land, find motives for grander and more
picturesque studies than these hackneyed Old-World scenes of ours can
afford. Mr. Bridgman has painted--and well painted too--the _Obsequies
of a Mummy upon the Nile_, but why could he not as well have gratified
us with some equally impressive scene from the life of the pioneers in
the Far West, where wondrous landscape and romantic incident might so
well combine to furnish a new sensation to the amateurs of London and
Paris? Mr. Du Bois deserves our thanks for his _View upon the Hudson_,
and so does Mr. J.B. Bristol for his upon Lake Champlain. The
admiration which these two pictures have excited, amongst critics as
well as the public, is evidence enough that these two painters, or Mr.
Wyatt Eaton or Mr. Swain Gifford or Mr. Bolton Jones, may, if they so
will, make American landscape the _mode_ in Europe. Mr. J.M.L.
Hamilton has, to say the least, damaged his prospects of success by a
strangely inconsiderate choice of subject. Critics do not deny that his
_Woman in Black_ is firmly and solidly painted, but they are quite
unanimous in the opinion--in which everybody agrees with them--that the
composition is in the worst possible taste. I have a vague recollection
of having seen this painting in Philadelphia, and Americans may
recognize it by the general description of a woman smoking a cigarette
and holding her knee with both hands. Altogether, it might have been
tolerated in another age and country, which took no offence at the
coarse manners of Dutch fairs and merrymakings, but we are not living
in the time of the _kermesses_, and Mr. Hamilton, moreover, is not a
Hollander, but a Philadelphian.

The contribution of Sweden, Norway and Denmark may be said to be, upon
the whole, less important than that of the United States, and to show,
perhaps, less ability in execution; but it has, upon the other hand, the
charm of local interest, which the American collection lacks. It is
refreshing to meet with these honest, simple little pictures of
Scandinavian life, with its typical faces and figures, its costumes and
interiors, all so little known to us, and so delightful from their
novelty. Amongst the Danish painters we may note especially the names of
Exner, Carl Bloch, Kroeger and Bache; and amongst the Swedes, those of
Zetterstein, Ross and Hagborg, who follow very closely, in manner and
composition, the German school of Düsseldorf.

Art is migratory. If she sojourns to-day in France, it is but as a guest
who reposes a while ere she continues her unceasing journey. This
reflection--with which we opened our rapid review of the Exhibition in
the Champ de Mars--haunts us especially as we linger in the galleries
devoted to Holland and Italy. Even in those favored lands, where Art
once seemed to have fixed her eternal abode, the inspiration of genius
is succeeded by the technical skill of the academician. There are
excellent sea-pieces, by Mesdag and Gabriel in the Dutch gallery, but
Italy, which has fairly crowded her allotted space with canvases, has
nothing to challenge our admiration except a few pretty genre pictures.
M. de Nittis--whom, by the way, we are apt to think of as a Parisian,
but who is, it appears, Neapolitan--exhibits a dozen pictures quite as
_modern_ in conception as the latest scenes from the comedies of Henri
Meilhac, and which will, one day, serve as valuable documents in the
authentication of the manners and costume of the present epoch.
Connoisseurs of the twenty-first century will curiously study our
cavalcades in Hyde Park or upon the Brindisi road, the return from the
races on the avenue of the Bois de Boulogne, and the hundred other
incidents of our every-day life, certified by the signature of Nittis.
Clear and brilliant, too, and full of movement and gayety, are the
compositions of MM. Michetti, Mancini and Delleani (_A Fête on the Grand
Canal_, _The Return from the Fête of the Madonna_, etc.); but the most
remarkable of these little Italian masters is Pasini, the Orientalist.
His _Suburbs of Constantinople_ and his _Promenade in the Garden of the
Harem_ are pictures on which the eye may feast, so finely drawn are
their diminutive figures, so wonderful is their variety of intense
color--yellow, blue, green, rose--and so clear and transparent withal,
startling and amusing us like a display of fireworks.

In the English section are plenty of old acquaintances: we have seen
them at Philadelphia, in London and I know not where besides. Frith's
_Railway Station_ and _Derby Day_ we all remember, so badly realistic
and modern, and the _Casual Ward_ of Fildes--pictures that have gained
in England the popularity and success due to veritable works of art, and
in Paris the sort of praise we should give to a large colored
photograph--if it were well done. This English school is hardly to our
taste: Leslie, Leighton, Millais, Orchardson, the painters most in vogue
in their own country, have not succeeded in overcoming the cold
indifference of the public, who pass through the galleries without
caring even to stop. Whence comes the strange disregard for art in a
country which lavishes such vast sums for the encouragement of artists?
Here are canvases which have been covered with gold, but Parisian
criticism treats them as contemptuously as if they were mere
chromo-lithographs. The English school is severely condemned for its
inharmonious colors, which are either too violent or too cold; for its
drawing, which is without what we call _distinction_; and for that
unaccountable light which seems to shine through their figures from
within, giving many of the heads the appearance of lanterns. Naturally,
Professor Ruskin comes in for his share of this harsh criticism--which,
I beg my readers to observe, is not ventured as my own, but is only the
echo of the opinion of competent authorities, members of the Institute
of France--and the veteran apostle of Pre-Raphaelism is accused of an
affected simplicity, and, at the same time, of an offensive and coarse
realism, of a mongrel combination of the styles of Courbet and of the
old missals, of a want of perspective, and, in short, of all the faults
which mark the contemporary English school.

It was only at the last moment that Germany decided to exhibit, and it
would be hardly fair to judge of the art of that country by the small
number of examples on the walls. There are some paintings by M. Knauss
and his followers, however, in whom, if we may accept the opinion of
certain connoisseurs, is to be found the true representation of the
genius of the land beyond the Rhine. The subjects are invariably
peasants or children, rendered according to the monotonous processes of
this school, the shape clearly projected upon a dull and sombre ground,
the attitudes correct and the gestures faultless, but there is an
absence of everything brilliant or striking. No one of the attributes
which go to make up a good picture is allowed to assert itself above
another: there is an equalization of many talents, sure of themselves,
and as incapable of weakness or failure as of telling strokes of genius.
One cannot fail to look with curiosity at the _Furnace_ of M. Menzel, a
picture of much celebrity in Germany, representing an immense foundry
with its massive framework of iron, its machinery and furnaces, the
powerful glare of light from a melted casting vividly illuminating the
faces and figures of the workmen. Worthy of mention too are the
portraits of men by the Bavarian Lembach, and Richter's fine portrait of
the beautiful princess Karolath-Beuthen in a ball-dress of white satin,
seated by the chimney with an enormous house-dog at her feet. Nor must
we omit the _Baptism after the Death of the Father_ by M. Hoff, the
chief of the Realistic school, and the landscapes of the two Achembachs
and of Breudel and Munthe.

One of the greatest successes of the Exposition has been achieved by
Spain. M. Pradilla's remarkable composition representing a passage from
the national history--the mad queen Joanna watching by the corpse of her
husband, Philip the Handsome--has received a medal of honor. This
important painting, which was exhibited at Philadelphia, has attracted
so much attention at Madrid during the past two years that the Chambers
voted a sum for its acquisition by the state. MM. F. and R. de Madrazzo,
father and son, who are well known in America, are also represented,
the former (who is director of the Museum of Madrid) by some admirable
portraits, one of which is especially noticeable. In a large arm-chair
covered in red reclines a very young girl, whose dress, of a light
rose-color, is nearly of the same tint as her own delicate complexion,
while the red carpet at her feet, the carnations and red geraniums upon
the table, all thrown out boldly upon a background of intense blue,
produce a strange but wonderfully harmonious effect of color. M.
Madrazzo's eldest daughter was the wife of the young and lamented
Fortuny, and her bright and lovely face reappears in many, if not in
most, of the compositions of her gifted husband.

Fortuny, who sold his first picture to a costermonger in Madrid for a
bag of peas, is represented at the Champ de Mars by several canvases,
the smallest of which would bring forty thousand francs. His best works
are in France. _The Wedding at the Vicarage_, his chef-d'oeuvre,
belongs to Madame de Cassin; M. André owns his _Serpent-Charmer_; and
the well-known _Choice of a Model_ and _The Judgment-Hall at Granada_
are in the possession of M. Stewart, the painter's intimate friend,
whose collection of Fortuny's works is worth, at the current prices of
the day, not less than six hundred thousand francs. Fortuny's painting
is indescribable. It has the sparkle of diamonds and rubies and emeralds
in the brilliant light of a ball-room. His figures are small, and as
minutely elaborated and as highly finished as those of Meissonier
himself, whose cherished pupil he was; and I could not but smile, while
examining them, at the notion of an enthusiastic young Philadelphian, an
almost idolatrous worshipper of Fortuny, that he could imitate this
incomparable work by a rapid and free sort of sketching, and all on the
faith of two pictures of the master which he had had the happiness to
see at an exhibition in Broad street. The immense influence of Fortuny
upon the younger contemporary painters of Spain is very apparent in the
Exposition. MM. Rico, Simonetti, Domingo, Melida, Casanova vie with each
other in their imitation of his manner, but, excellent artists as they
are, they are doing so at the expense of originality. The qualities of
Fortuny belonged to the nature and temperament of this extraordinary
artist, and are not to be acquired by any amount of labor or by any
effort of will.

My favorite corner at the Champ de Mars is here before the sparkling
little canvases of the Spanish master. But this prodigality of color
will sometimes dazzle and fatigue the eye, and turning from it one sees,
framed by the heavy red curtains which enclose the Spanish gallery, the
immense canvas of the Austrian Hans Makart. This is the _Entry of
Charles V. into Antwerp_. The emperor is surrounded by nearly nude
women, who in the midst of horsemen and men-at-arms are offering him
flowers and wreaths. These figures, with those of ladies upon balconies
gay with flags, and the vast architecture, fill this enormous canvas,
which is much larger than even the _Catharine Cornaro_ with which the
Philadelphia Exhibition made Americans familiar. The nudity of the women
mingled with clothed personages in the streets of a city of the
sixteenth century has naturally called forth much adverse criticism, and
people have fancied that they saw in it an unworthy attempt to achieve a
popular success by means of the scandal; but M. Makart replies that he
has respected the truth of history if we are not to disbelieve a
contemporary letter of Albert Dürer to Melanchthon. Be this as it may,
this great effort receives the applause of the public, notwithstanding
the monotonous amber tint which pervades this picture as it did the
_Catharine Cornaro_. Another Austrian, the historical painter Matejko,
has received a medal of honor for pictures full of energy, truth and
character, though marred by that unaccountable scattering of the light
which is a peculiar eccentricity of Austrian painters.

  L. LEJEUNE.



DESERTED.


"What a glorious, all-satisfying country this Nevada desert would be if
one were only all eyes, and had no need of food, drink and shelter!
Wouldn't it, Miss Dwyer? Do you know, I've no doubt that this is the
true location of heaven. You see, the lack of water and vegetation would
be no inconvenience to spirits, while the magnificent scenery and the
cloudless sky would be just the thing to make them thrive."

"But what I can't get over," responded the young lady addressed, "is
that these alkali plains, which have been described as so dreary and
uninteresting, should prove to be in reality one of the most wonderfully
impressive and beautiful regions in the world. What awful fibbers or
what awfully dull people they must have been whose descriptions have so
misled the public! It is perfectly unaccountable. Here, I expected to
doze all the way across the desert, while, in fact, I've grudged my eyes
time enough to wink ever since I left my berth this morning."

"The trouble is," replied her companion, "that persons in search of the
picturesque, or with much eye for it, are rare travellers along this
route. The people responsible for the descriptions you complain of are
thrifty business-men, with no idea that there can be any possible
attraction in a country where crops can't be raised, timber cut or ore
dug up. For my part, I thank the Lord for the beautiful barrenness that
has consecrated this great region to loneliness. Here there will always
be a chance to get out of sight and sound of the swarming millions who
have already left scarcely standing-room for a man in the East. I
wouldn't give much for a country where there are no wildernesses left."

"But I really think it is rather hard to say in just what the beauty of
the desert consists," said Miss Dwyer. "It is so simple. I scribbled two
pages of description in my note-book this morning, but when I read them
over, and then looked out of the window, I tore them up. I think the
wonderfully fine, clear, brilliant air transfigures the landscape and
makes it something that must be seen and can't be told. After seeing how
this air makes the ugly sagebrush and the patches of alkali and brown
earth a feast to the eye, one can understand how the light of heaven may
make the ugliest faces beautiful."

The pretty talker is sitting next the window of palace-car No. 30 of the
Central Pacific line, which has already been her flying home for two
days. The gentleman who sits beside her professes to be sharing the
view, but it is only fair I should tell the reader that under this
pretence he is nefariously delighting in the rounded contour of his
companion's half-averted face as she, in unfeigned engrossment, scans
the panorama unrolled before them by the swift motion of the car. How
sweet and fresh is the bright tint of her cheek against the ghastly
white background of the alkali-patches as they flit by! Still, it can't
be said that he isn't enjoying the scenery too, for surely there is no
such Claude-Lorraine glass to reflect and enhance the beauty of a
landscape as the face of a spirituel girl.

With a profound sigh, summing up both her admiration and that despair of
attaining the perfect insight and sympathy imagined and longed for which
is always a part of intense appreciation of natural beauty, Miss Dwyer
threw herself back in her seat and fixed her eyes on the car-ceiling
with an expression as if she were looking at something at least as far
away as the moon.

"I'm going to make a statue when I get home," she said--"a statue which
will personify Nevada and represent the tameless, desolate, changeless,
magnificent beauty and the self-sufficient loneliness of the desert. I
can see it in my mind's eye now. It will probably be the finest statue
in the world."

"If you'd as lieve put your ideal into a painting I will give you a
suggestion that will be original if nothing else," he observed.

"What's that?"

"Why, having in view these white alkali-patches that chiefly
characterize Nevada, paint her as a leper."

"That's horrid! You needn't talk to me any more," she exclaimed
emphatically.

With this sort of chatter they had beguiled the time since leaving San
Francisco the morning of the day before. Acquaintances are indeed made
as rapidly on an overland train as on an ocean steamship, but theirs had
dated from the preceding winter, during which they had often met in San
Francisco. When Mr. Lombard heard that Miss Dwyer and Mrs. Eustis, her
invalid sister, were going East in April, he discovered that he would
have business to attend to in New York at about that time; and oddly
enough--that is, if you choose to take that view of it--when the ladies
came to go it turned out that Lombard had taken his ticket for the
selfsame train and identical sleeping-car. The result of which was that
he had the privilege of handing Miss Dwyer in and out at the
eating-stations, of bringing Mrs. Eustis her cup of tea in the car, and
of sharing Miss Dwyer's seat and monopolizing her conversation when he
had a mind to, which was most of the time. A bright and congenial
companion has this advantage over a book, that he or she is an author
whom you can make discourse on any subject you please, instead of being
obliged to follow an arbitrary selection by another, as when you commune
with the printed page.

By way of peace-offering for his blasphemy in calling the Nevada desert
a leper, Lombard had embezzled a couple of chairs from the smoking-room
and carried them to the rear platform of the car, which happened to be
the last of the train, and invited Miss Dwyer to come thither and see
the scenery. Whether she had wanted to pardon him or not, he knew very
well that this was a temptation which she could not resist, for the
rear platform was the best spot for observation on the entire train,
unless it were the cowcatcher of the locomotive.

The April sun mingled with the frosty air like whiskey with ice-water,
producing an effect cool but exhilarating. As she sat in the door of the
little passage leading to the platform she scarcely needed the shawl
which he wrapped about her with absurdly exaggerated solicitude. One of
the most unmistakable symptoms of the lover is the absorbing and
superfluous care with which he adjusts the wraps about the object of his
affections whether the weather be warm or cold: it is as if he thought
he could thus artificially warm her heart toward him. But Miss Dwyer did
not appear vexed, pretending indeed to be oblivious of everything else
in admiration of the spectacle before her.

The country stretched flat and bare as a table for fifty miles on either
side the track--a distance looking in the clear air not over one-fifth
as great. On every side this great plain was circled by mountains, the
reddish-brown sides of some of them bare to the summits, while others
were robed in folds of glistening snow and looked like white curtains
drawn part way up the sky. The whitey-gray of the alkali-patches, the
brown of the dry earth and the rusty green of the sagebrush filled the
foreground, melting in the distance into a purple-gray. The wondrous
dryness and clearness of the air lent to these modest tints a tone and
dazzling brilliance that surprised the eye with a revelation of
possibilities never before suspected in them. But the mountains were the
greatest wonder. It was as if the skies, taking pity on their nakedness,
had draped their majestic shoulders in imperial purple, while at this
hour the westering sun tipped their pinnacles with gilt. In the distance
half a dozen sand-spouts, swiftly-moving white pillars, looking like
desert genii with too much "tanglefoot" aboard, were careering about in
every direction.

But as Lombard pointed out the various features of the scene to his
companion, I fear that his chief motive was less an admiration of Nature
that sought sympathy than a selfish delight in making her eyes flash,
seeing the color come and go in her cheeks, and hearing her charming
unstudied exclamations of pleasure--a delight not unmingled with
complacency in associating himself in her mind with emotions of delight
and admiration. It is appalling, the extent to which spoony young people
make the admiration of Nature in her grandest forms a mere sauce to
their lovemaking. The roar of Niagara has been notoriously utilized as a
cover to unlimited osculation, and Adolphus looks up at the sky-cleaving
peak of Mont Blanc only to look down at Angelina's countenance with a
more vivid appreciation of its superior attractions.

It was delicious, Lombard thought, sitting there with her on the rear
platform, out of sight and sound of everybody. He had such a pleasant
sense of proprietorship in her! How agreeable--flatteringly so, in
fact--she had been all day! There was nothing like travelling together
to make people intimate. It was clear that she understood his intentions
very well: indeed, how could she help it? He had always said that a
fellow had shown himself a bungler at lovemaking if he were not
practically assured of the result before he came to the point of the
declaration. The sensation of leaving everything else so rapidly behind
that people have when sitting on the rear platform of a train of cars
makes them feel, by force of contrast, nearer to each other and more
identified. How pretty she looked sitting there in the doorway, her eyes
bent so pensively on the track behind as the car-wheels so swiftly
reeled it off! He had tucked her in comfortably. No cold could get to
the sweet little girl, and none ever should so long as he lived to make
her comfort his care.

One small gloved hand lay on her lap outside the shawl. What a jolly
little hand it was! He reached out his own and took it, but, without
even a moment's hesitation for him to extract a flattering inference
from, she withdrew it. Perhaps something in his matter-of-course way
displeased her.

To know when it is best to submit to a partial rebuff, rather than make
a bad matter worse by trying to save one's pride, is a rare wisdom.
Still, Lombard might have exercised it at another time. But there are
days when the magnetisms are all wrong, and a person not ordinarily
deficient in tact, having begun wrong, goes on blundering like a
schoolboy. Piqued at the sudden shock to the pleasant day-dream, in
which he had fancied himself already virtually assured of this young
lady--a day-dream which she was not really accountable for spoiling,
since she had not been privy to it--what should he do but find
expression for his mingled vexation and wounded affection by reminding
her of a previous occasion on which she had allowed him the liberty she
now denied? Doubtless helping to account for this lack of tact was the
idea that he should thus justify himself for so far presuming just now.
Not, of course, that there is really any excuse for a young man's
forgetting that ladies have one advantage over Omniscience, in that not
only are they privileged to remember what they please, but also to
ignore what they see fit to forget.

"You have forgotten that evening at the California Theatre," was what
this devoted youth said.

"I'm sure I don't know to what you refer, sir," she replied freezingly.

He was terrified at the distant accent of her voice. It appeared to come
from somewhere beyond the fixed stars, and brought the chill of the
interstellar spaces with it. He forgot in an instant all about his
pique, vexation and wounded pride, and was in a panic of anxiety to
bring her back. In a moment more he knew that she would rise from her
chair and remark that it was getting cold and she must go in. If he
allowed her to depart in that mood he might lose her for ever. He could
think of but one way of convincing her instantaneously of his devotion;
and so what should he do but take the most inopportune occasion in the
entire course of their acquaintance to make his declaration? He was like
a general whose plan of battle has been completely deranged by an
utterly unexpected repulse in a preliminary movement, compelling him to
hurry forward his last reserves in a desperate attempt to restore the
battle.

"What have I done, Miss Dwyer? Don't you know that I love you? Won't you
be my wife?"

"No, sir," she said flatly, her taste outraged and her sensibilities set
on edge by the stupid, blundering, hammer-and-tongs onset which from
first to last he had made. She loved him, and had meant to accept him,
but if she had loved him ten times as much she couldn't have helped
refusing him just then, under those circumstances--not if she died for
it. As she spoke she rose and disappeared within the car.

It is certainly to be hoped that the noise of the wheels, which out on
the platform was considerable, prevented the recording angel from
getting the full force of Lombard's ejaculation.

It is bad enough to be refused when the delicacy and respectfulness of
the lady's manner make "No" sound so much like "Yes" that the rejected
lover can almost persuade himself that his ears have deceived him. It is
bad enough to be refused when she does it so timidly and shrinkingly and
deprecatingly that it might be supposed she were the rejected party. It
is bad enough to be refused when she expresses the hope that you will
always be friends, and shows a disposition to make profuse amends in
general agreeableness for the consummate favor which she is forced to
decline you. Not to put too fine a point upon it, it is bad enough to be
refused anyhow you can arrange the circumstances, but to be refused as
Lombard had been, with a petulance as wounding to his dignity as was the
refusal itself to his affections, is to take a bitter pill with an
asafoetida coating.

In the limp and demoralized condition in which he was left the only
clear sentiment in his mind was that he did not want to meet her again
just at present. So he sat for an hour or more longer out on the
platform, and had become as thoroughly chilled without as he was within
when at dusk the train stopped at a little three-house station for
supper. Then he went into one of the forward day-cars, not intending to
return to the sleeping-car till Miss Dwyer should have retired. When the
train reached Ogden the next morning; instead of going on East he would
take the same train back to San Francisco, and that would be the end of
his romance. His engagement in New York had been a myth, and with Miss
Dwyer's "No, sir," the only business with the East that had brought him
on this trip was at an end.

About an hour after leaving the supper-station the train suddenly
stopped in the midst of the desert. Something about the engine had
become disarranged which it would take some time to put right. Glad to
improve an opportunity to stretch their legs, many of the passengers
left the cars and were strolling about, curiously examining the
sagebrush and the alkali, and admiring the ghostly plain as it spread,
bare, level and white as an ice-bound polar sea, to the feet of the
far-off mountains.

Lombard had also left the car, and was walking about, his hands in his
overcoat pockets, trying to clear his mind of the wreckage that
obstructed its working; for Miss Dwyer's refusal had come upon him as a
sudden squall that carries away the masts and sails of a vessel and
transforms it in a moment from a gallant bounding ship to a mere hulk
drifting in an entangled mass of débris. Of course she had a perfect
right to suit herself about the kind of a man she took for a husband,
but he certainly had not thought she was such an utter coquette. If ever
a woman gave a man reason to think himself as good as engaged, she had
given him that reason, and yet she refused him as coolly as she would
have declined a second plate of soup. There must be some truth, after
all, in the rant of the poets about the heartlessness and fickleness of
women, although he had always been used to consider it the merest bosh.
Suddenly he heard the train moving. He was perhaps fifty yards off, and,
grumbling anathemas at the stupidity of the conductor, started to run
for the last car. He was not quite desperate enough to fancy being left
alone on the Nevada desert with night coming on. He would have caught
the train without difficulty if his foot had not happened to catch in a
tough clump of sage, throwing him violently to the ground. As he
gathered himself up the train was a hundred yards off, and moving
rapidly. To overtake it was out of the question.

"Stop! ho! stop!" he yelled at the top of his lungs. But there was no
one on the rear platform to see him, and the closed windows and the
rattle of the wheels were sufficient to render a much louder noise than
he could make inaudible to the dozing passengers. And now the engineer
pulled out the throttle-valve to make up for lost time, and the clatter
of the train faded into a distant roar and its lights began to twinkle
into indistinctness.

"Damnation!"

A voice fell like a falling star: "Gentlemen do not use profane language
in ladies' company."

He first looked up in the air, as on the whole the likeliest quarter for
a voice to come from in this desert, then around. Just on the other side
of the track stood Miss Dwyer, smiling with a somewhat constrained
attempt at self-possession. Lombard was a good deal taken aback, but in
his surprise he did not forget that this was the young lady who had
refused him that afternoon.

"I beg your pardon," he replied with a stiff bow: "I did not suppose
that there were any ladies within hearing."

"I got out of the car supposing there was plenty of time to get a
specimen of sagebrush to carry home," she explained, "but when the cars
started, although I was but a little way off, I could not regain the
platform;" which, considering that she wore a tie-back of the then
prevalent fashion, was not surprising.

"Indeed!" replied Lombard with the same formal manner.

"But won't the train come back for us?" she asked in a more anxious
voice.

"That will depend on whether we are missed. Nobody will miss me. Mrs.
Eustis, if she hasn't gone to bed, may miss you."

"But she has. She went to bed before I left the car, and is asleep by
this time."

"That's unfortunate," was his brief reply as he lit a cigar and began to
smoke and contemplate the stars.

His services, so far as he could do anything for her, she should, as a
lady, command, but if she thought that he was going to do the agreeable
after what had happened a couple of hours ago, she was mightily
mistaken.

There was a silence, and then she said, hesitatingly, "What are we going
to do?"

He glanced at her. Her attitude and the troubled expression of her face
as well as her voice indicated that the logic of the situation was
overthrowing the jaunty self-possession which she had at first affected.
The desert was staring her out of countenance. How his heart yearned
toward her! If she had only given him a right to take care of her, how
he would comfort her! what prodigies would he be capable of to succor
her! But this rising impulse of tenderness was turned to choking
bitterness by the memory of that scornful "No, sir." So he replied,
coldly, "I'm not in the habit of being left behind in deserts, and I
don't know what is customary to do in such cases. I see nothing except
to wait for the next train, which will come along some time within
twenty-four hours."

There was another long silence, after which she said in a timid voice,
"Hadn't we better walk to the next station?"

At the suggestion of walking he glanced at her close-fitting dress, and
a sardonic grin slightly twitched the corners of his mouth as he dryly
answered, "It is thirty miles one way and twenty the other to the first
station."

Several minutes passed before she spoke again, and then she said, with
an accent almost like that of a child in trouble and about to cry, "I'm
cold."

The strong, unceasing wind, blowing from snowy mountain-caverns across a
plain on which there was not the slightest barrier of hill or tree to
check its violence, was indeed bitterly cold, and Lombard himself felt
chilled to the marrow of his bones. He took off his overcoat and offered
it to her.

"No," said she, "you are as cold as I am."

"You will please take it," he replied in a peremptory manner; and she
took it.

"At this rate we shall freeze to death before midnight," he added as if
in soliloquy. "I must see if I can't contrive to make some sort of a
shelter with this sagebrush."

He began by tearing up a large number of bushes by the roots. Seeing
what he was doing, Miss Dwyer was glad to warm her stiffened muscles by
taking hold and helping; which she did with a vigor that shortly reduced
her gloves to shreds and filled her fingers with scratches from the
rough twigs. Lombard next chose an unusually high and thick clump of
brush, and cleared a small space three feet across in the centre of it,
scattering twigs on the uncovered earth to keep off its chill.

"Now, Miss Dwyer, if you will step inside this spot, I think I can build
up the bushes around us so as to make a sort of booth which may save us
from freezing."

She silently did as he directed, and he proceeded to pile the brush
which they had torn up on the tops of the bushes left standing around
the spot where they were, thus making a circular wall about three feet
high. Over the top he managed to draw together two or three bushes, and
the improvised wigwam was complete.

The moonlight penetrated the loose roof sufficiently to reveal to each
other the faces and figures of the two occupants as they sat in opposite
corners as far apart as possible, she cold and miserable, he cold and
sulky, and both silent. And, as if to mock him, the idea kept recurring
to his mind how romantic and delightful, in spite of the cold and
discomfort, the situation would be if she had only said Yes, instead of
No, that afternoon. People have odd notions sometimes, and it actually
seemed to him that his vexation with her for destroying the pleasure of
the present occasion was something quite apart and in addition to his
main grievance against her. It might have been so jolly, and now she had
spoiled it. He could have boxed her pretty little ears.

She wondered why he did not try to light a fire, but she wouldn't ask
him another thing if she died. In point of fact, he knew the sagebrush
would not burn. Suddenly the wind blew fiercer, there came a rushing
sound, and the top and walls of the wigwam were whisked off like a
flash, and as they staggered to their feet, buffeted by the whirling
bushes, a cloud of fine alkali-dust enveloped them, blinding their eyes,
penetrating their ears and noses, and setting them gasping, sneezing and
coughing spasmodically. Then, like a puff of smoke, the suffocating
storm was dissipated, and when they opened their smarting eyes there was
nothing but the silent, glorious desolation of the ghostly desert around
them, with the snow-peaks in the distance glittering beneath the moon. A
sand-spout had struck them, that was all--one of the whirling
dust-columns which they had admired all day from the car-windows.

Wretched enough before both for physical and sentimental reasons, this
last experience quite demoralized Miss Dwyer, and she sat down and
cried. Now, a few tears, regarded from a practical, middle-aged point of
view, would not appear to have greatly complicated the situation, but
they threw Lombard into a panic. If she was going to cry, something must
be done. Whether anything could be done or not, something _must_ be
done.

"Don't leave me," she cried hysterically as he rushed off to reconnoitre
the vicinity.

"I'll return presently," he called back.

But five minutes, ten minutes, fifteen minutes passed, and he did not
come back. Terror dried her tears, and her heart almost stopped beating.
She had quite given him up for lost, and herself too, when with
inexpressible relief she heard him call to her. She replied, and in a
moment more he was at her side, breathless with running.

"I lost my bearings," he said. "If you had not answered me I could not
have found you."

"Don't leave me again," she sobbed, clinging to his arm.

He put his arms round her and kissed her. It was mean, base,
contemptible to take advantage of her agitation in that way, but she did
not resist, and he did it again and again--I forbear to say how many
times.

"Isn't it a perfectly beautiful night?" he exclaimed with a fine gush of
enthusiasm.

"Isn't it exquisite?" she echoed with a rush of sympathetic feeling.

"See those stars: they look as if they had just been polished," he
cried.

"What a droll idea!" she exclaimed gleefully. "But do see that lovely
mountain."

Holding her with a firmer clasp, and speaking with what might be styled
a fierce tenderness, he demanded, "What did you mean, miss, by refusing
me this afternoon?"

"What did you go at me so stupidly for? I had to refuse," she retorted
smilingly.

"Will you be my wife?"

"Yes, sir: I meant to be all the time."

The contract having been properly sealed, Lombard said, with a
countenance curiously divided between a tragical expression and a smile
of fatuous complacency, "There was a clear case of poetical justice in
your being left behind in the desert to-night. To see the lights of the
train disappearing, leaving you alone in the midst of desolation, gave
you a touch of my feeling on being rejected this afternoon. Of all
leavings behind, there's none so miserable as the experience of the
rejected lover."

"Poor fellow! so he shouldn't be left behind. He shall be conductor of
the train," she said with a bewitching laugh. His response was not
verbal.

"How cold the wind is!" she said.

"Shall I build you another wigwam?"

"No: let us exercise a little. You whistle 'The Beautiful Blue Danube,'
and we'll waltz. This desert is the biggest, jolliest ball-room floor
that ever was, and I dare say we shall be the first to waltz on it since
the creation of the world. That will be something to boast of when we
get home. Come, let's dedicate the Great American Desert to
Terpsichore."

They stepped out from among the ruins of their sagebrush booth upon a
patch of hard bare earth close to the railroad track. Lombard puckered
his lips and struck up the air, and off they went with as much
enthusiasm as if inspired by a first-class orchestra. Round and round,
to and fro, they swept until, laughing, flushed and panting, they came
to a stop.

It was then that they first perceived that they were not without a
circle of appreciative spectators. Sitting like statues on their
sniffing, pawing ponies, a dozen Piute Indians encircled them. Engrossed
with the dance and with each other, they had not noticed them as they
rode up, attracted from their route by this marvellous spectacle of a
pale-face squaw and brave engaged in a solitary war-dance in the midst
of the desert.

At sight of the grim circle of centaurs around them Miss Dwyer would
have fainted but for Lombard's firm hold.

"Pretend not to see them: keep on dancing," he hissed in her ear. He had
no distinct plan in what he said, but spoke merely from an instinct of
self-preservation, which told him that when they stopped the Indians
would be upon them. But as she mechanically, and really more dead than
alive, obeyed his direction and resumed the dance, and he in his
excitement was treading on her feet at every step, the thought flashed
upon him that there was a bare chance of escaping violence if they could
keep the Indians interested without appearing to notice their presence.
In successive whispers he communicated his idea to Miss Dwyer: "Don't
act as if you saw them at all, but do everything as if we were alone.
That will puzzle them, and may make them think us supernatural beings,
or perhaps crazy: Indians have great respect for crazy people. It's our
only chance. We will stop dancing now, and sing a while. Give them a
burlesque of opera. I'll give you the cues and show you how. Don't be
frightened. I don't believe they'll touch us so long as we act as if we
didn't see them. Do you understand? Can you do your part?"

"I understand: I'll try," she whispered.

"Now," he said, and as they separated he threw his hat on the ground,
and, assuming an extravagantly languishing attitude, burst forth in a
most poignant burlesque of a lovelorn tenor's part, rolling his eyes,
clasping his hands, striking his breast, and gyrating about Miss Dwyer
in the most approved operatic style. He had a fine voice and knew a good
deal of music; so that, barring a certain nervousness in the performer,
the exhibition was really not bad. In his singing he had used a
meaningless gibberish varied with the syllables of the scale, but he
closed by singing the words, "Are you ready now? Go ahead, then."

With that she took it up, and rendered the prima donna quite as
effectively, interjecting "The Last Rose of Summer" as an aria in a
manner that would have been encored in San Francisco. He responded with
a few staccato notes, and the scene ended by their rushing into each
other's arms and waltzing down the stage with abandon.

The Indians sat motionless on their horses, not even exchanging comments
among themselves. They were evidently too utterly astonished by the
goings on before them to have any other sentiment as yet beyond pure
amazement. Here were two richly-dressed pale-faces, such as only lived
in cities, out in the middle of an uninhabitable desert, in the freezing
midnight, having a variety and minstrel show all to themselves, and, to
make the exhibition the more unaccountable, without apparently seeing
their auditors at all. Had they started up the show after being
captured, Indian cunning would have recognized in it a device to save
their lives, but the two had been at it before the party rode up--had,
in fact, first attracted attention by their gyrations, which were
visible for miles out on the moony plain.

Lombard, without ever letting his eyes rest a moment on the Indians so
as to indicate that he saw them, had still managed by looks askance and
sweeping glances to keep close watch upon their demeanor, and noted with
prodigious relief that his wild scheme was succeeding better than he had
dared to hope. Without any break in the entertainment he communicated
his reassurance to Miss Dwyer by singing, to the tune of "My Country,
'tis of Thee," the following original hymn:

          "We're doing admir'blee--
          They're heap much tickledee:
            Only keep on."

To which she responded, to the lugubrious air of "John Brown's Body,"

          "Oh what do you s'pose they'll go for to do,
          Oh what do you s'pose they'll go for to do,
          Oh what do you s'pose they'll go for to do,
            When we can sing no more?"

A thing may be ridiculous without being amusing, and neither of these
two felt the least inclination to smile at each other's poetry. After
duly joining in the chorus of "Glory, Hallelujah!" Lombard endeavored to
cheer his companion by words adapted to the inspiriting air of "Rally
Round the Flag, Boys," This was followed by a series of popular airs,
with solos, duets and choruses.

But this sort of thing could not go on for ever. Lombard was becoming
exhausted in voice and legs, and as for Miss Dwyer, he was expecting to
see her drop from moment to moment. Indeed, to the air of "'Way Down
upon the S'wanee River" she now began to sing,

          "Oh dear! I can't bear up much longer:
              I'm tired to death;
          My voice's gone all to pie-ee-ee-ces,
              My throat is very sore."

They must inevitably give out in a few minutes, and then he--and,
terribly worse, she--would be at the mercy of these bestial savages, and
this seeming farce would turn into most revolting tragedy. With this
sickening conviction coming over him, Lombard cast a despairing look
around the horizon to see if there were no help in their bitter
extremity. Suddenly he burst forth, to the tune of "The Star-Spangled
Banner:"

          "Oh, say can you see,
          Far away to the east,
          A bright star that doth grow
          Momentarily brighter?
          'Tis the far-flashing headlight
          Of a railroad-train:
          Ten minutes from now
          We shall be safe and sound."

What they did in those ten minutes neither could tell afterward. The
same idea was in both their minds--that unless the attention of the
Indians could be held until the train arrived, its approach would only
precipitate their own fate by impelling the savages to carry out
whatever designs of murder, insult or capture they might have. Under the
influence of the intense excitement of this critical interval it is to
be feared that the performance degenerated from a high-toned concert and
variety show into something very like a Howling-Dervish exhibition. But,
at any rate, it answered its purpose until, after a period that seemed
like a dozen eternities, the West-bound overland express with a
tremendous roar and rattle drew up beside them, in response to the
waving of Miss Dwyer's handkerchief and to Lombard's shouts.

Even had the Indians contemplated hostile intentions--which they were
doubtless in a condition of too great general stupefaction to do--the
alacrity with which the two performers clambered aboard the cars would
probably have foiled their designs. But as the train gathered headway
once more Lombard could not resist the temptation of venting his
feelings by shaking his fist ferociously at the audience which he had
been so conscientiously trying to please up to that moment. It was a
gratification which had like to have cost him dear. There was a quick
motion on the part of one of the Indians, and the conductor dragged
Lombard within the car just as an arrow struck the door.

Mrs. Eustis had slept sweetly all night, and was awakened the next
morning an hour before the train reached Ogden by the sleeping-car
porter, who gave her a telegram which had overtaken the train at the
last station. It read:

     "Am safe and sound. Was left behind by your train last night, and
     picked up by West-bound express. Will join you at Ogden to-morrow
     morning."

  "JENNIE DWYER."



Mrs. Eustis read the telegram through twice without getting the least
idea from it. Then she leaned over and looked down into Jennie's berth.
It had not been slept in. Then she began to understand. Heroically
resisting a tendency to scream, she thus secured space for second
thought, and, being a shrewd woman of the world, ended by making up her
mind to tell no one about the matter. Evidently, Jennie had been having
some decidedly unconventional experience, and the less publicity given
to all such passages in young ladies' lives the better for their
prospects. It so happened that in the bustle attending the approach to
the terminus and the prospective change of cars everybody was too busy
to notice that any passengers were missing. At Ogden, Mrs. Eustis left
the train and went to a hotel. The following morning, a few minutes
after the arrival of the Central Pacific train, Jennie Dwyer walked into
her room, Lombard having stopped at the office to secure berths for the
three to Omaha by the Union Pacific. After Jennie had given an outline
account of her experiences, and Mrs. Eustis's equilibrium had been
measurably restored by proper use of the smelling-salts, the latter lady
remarked, "And so Mr. Lombard was alone with you there all night? It's
very unfortunate that it should have happened so."

"Why, I was thinking it very fortunate," replied Jennie with her most
child-like expression. "If Mr. Lombard had not been there, I should
either have frozen to death or by this time been celebrating my
honeymoon as bride of a Piute chief."

"Nonsense, child! You know what I mean. People will talk: such
unpleasant things will be said! I wouldn't have had it happen for
anything. And when you were under my charge too! Do hand me my salts."

"If people are going to say unpleasant things because I pass a night
alone with Mr. Lombard," remarked Jennie with a mischievous smile, "you
must prepare yourself to hear a good deal said, my dear, for I presume
this won't be the last time it will happen. We're engaged to be
married."

  EDWARD BELLAMY.



RAMBLING TALK ABOUT THE NEGRO.


What guides the bee when, turning from the "suck," he wheels in air and
strikes his wonderful line for the "gum"? Heaven knows. And by what
process does the negro calculate the shortest distance between the point
he occupies and the place he would be? That also is a mystery, yet the
least observant person familiar with the negro cannot have failed to
note his wonderful--we had almost said his preternatural--power to
discover, without guide or compass, the shortest possible distance
between two given places--to make, as he calls it, a "near cut."

To the right of us lay a berry and wild-fruit tract, on our left was a
large village, and our farm was in a certain portion skirted by an old
field, through which the negroes had discovered the most direct path to
market. At dawn they could be seen winding around the brow of the hill,
men, women and children, with baskets on their heads and buckets on
their arms, singly and in couples, sometimes three, four or a half dozen
together. And how they stole from us! It seemed impossible to prevent,
or even limit, their depredations.

One evening Mr. Smith said to me, "The man Tony is sentenced to be
hung."

Tony was a village negro accused of murder, and as he had been confined
in the village jail and tried at the village court-house, the case
naturally created some excitement in our quiet neighborhood.

"Oh, I am so sorry!" I exclaimed.

"Yes, poor devil!" said Mr. Smith. "But it was a clear case. He belonged
to Mr. Lamkin before the surrender, and the old man made every effort to
get him off--employed the very best counsel. I am sorry for him, but the
wind which is so ill for him will blow us good. He is to be hung in the
old field that edges our farm, and after the execution takes place we
shall have no more negro trespassers in that quarter. I very much doubt
whether I shall be able to obtain hands to work that portion of the
land."

It would require a psychological study of the negro character to enable
one to explain the spirit in which they flocked to the execution of
their comrade, their friend, in some instances their kinsman. They came
in holiday attire and with hurrying steps, and long before the hour
appointed the adjoining fence was crowded with eager spectators, and,
like flocks of blackbirds, they had filled every tree within five
hundred yards, chatting and bustling and moving around with no apparent
emotion except the desire to see.

At length the cart appeared on the brow of the hill, and every neck was
craned for a glimpse of the poor creature who sat on the coffin--a
pitiful-looking, half-dwarf mulatto, who gave you the idea of deformity
and distress without your being able to tell why. He walked bravely to
his place on the scaffold, singing and praying, protesting his innocence
and bequeathing forgiveness to his enemies, apparently full of faith,
like many others who by reason of weariness and despair have attained
resignation; but the fictitious piety born of nervous excitement, and
the abnormal elevation of feeling induced by continued spiritual
exhortation during weeks of unrest and suspense, both gave way when his
old mother, unsightly and pitiful as himself, asked leave to bid him
good-bye, and came tottering to his side, saying as well as she could
for the tears that choked her, "Oh, Tony! mammy ain't gwine back on you!
Mammy don't b'lieve you done it, she don't keer who 'kuses you.
Good-bye, my baby! good-bye! 'Twon't be long 'fo' mammy jines you an'
daddy whar dar ain't no onjestice an' no mizry. Mammy ain't gwine to
stay here long arter you goes."

He threw up his arms with a wild, sobbing cry: "Oh, mammy! mammy! can't
you do nothin' fer me? Ain't you got _no_ way to he'p me? Oh, de sun do
shine so pretty, an' de leaves shakes 'bout on de trees so natchul! An'
I nuvver knowed de birds to sing like dey does to-day. It ain't
fa'r--no, it's not fa'r to shet me up in de groun' for what I ain't
done. So many 'ginst one, an' me so little an' so po'! I ain't got a
fren' on top o' de yuth. Nary one outen all dese folks, what I use ter
go to shuckin's wid 'em, an' play de banjer, an' hunt possums--nary one
uv 'em didn't stand up for me an' try to git me off! Not eben you,
mammy, didn't try to git in jail an' gimme somethin' to wu'k my way out,
an' I a-lis'nin' night an' day! Night an' day, an' you nuvver come!"

"Lord! Lord! my baby!" sobbed the poor old thing, her trembling limbs
hardly able to sustain the feeble frame. "What could yo' ole mammy do
'ginst all dem folks? Ef Mars' Henry couldn't make 'em let you 'lone,
what could a po' ole nigger do what ain't got no money, an' no sense,
an' no fren's? Lord! Lord! my blessed chile!" she sobbed, the tears
raining down her withered black cheeks, "ef mammy had a hundred nakes
she would put dat rope 'roun' 'em all to keep it off o' your'n."

That was true, poor soul! but could avail nothing, and the appointed
sentence was carried into execution. The soul of the boy returned to its
Creator and its Judge, and the old mother was taken to her cabin almost
as lifeless as the body that swung in the air half a mile away.

If the fact that they flocked to the place of execution cannot be
ascribed to any idiosyncrasy of the negro race, it was curious to see
how they were afterward overwhelmed with superstitious fear. We had no
more trouble about the melons and grapes. The negroes found another
route to the village market, and the little well-worn path became
overgrown with grass and ox-eyed daisies, like the rest of the old
field. Even after the body had been buried far off and the scaffold
removed, in broad daylight they shunned the place, but at dusk or after
dark neither bribery nor persuasion could have induced one of them to
go near it. Mr. Smith tried some of them.

"But what the d----l are you afraid of?" he asked impatiently.

"I dunno, sir," returned one of the men doggedly. "All I does know is, I
ain't gwine (no disrespek, sir). But when a man is took off dat
onnateral kind o' way, de sperrit is always hangin' 'roun', tryin' to
git back whar it come from."

"But Tony is buried a mile away."

"I can't help dat, sir. De sperrit were let out in de ole field, an'
maybe it don't know whar to find the pusson it 'longs to. Anyhow, ef it
come back dar lookin' for Tony, I gwine take good keer it don't find
_me_!"

An amusing eccentricity of feeling, certainly a very nice distinction,
was shown during slave times by a woman belonging to a friend of ours.
Some disturbance had taken place on the premises of a neighbor, Mr.
H----, who, being a severe old man, forthwith forbade that any negro
should again visit his place. This result was very dispiriting to Judy,
the slave above referred to, for she had a cousin belonging to Mr. H----
to whom she was in the habit of paying frequent visits, and for whom she
felt undoubtedly very great affection; and as time passed and Mr. H----
continued implacable, her indignation grew and her wrath waxed exceeding
strong. It came to pass that the cousin one night fared over-sumptuously
on cold cabbage and beans, and when the mists of dawn had fled she too
had left to join her friends over Jordan.

Presently a messenger came from Mr. H----: "Would Mrs. S---- be so kind
as to allow Judy to come over and prepare the body for burial?"--that
being one of Judy's specialties.

The family was at table when the message was delivered, and Judy was
serving cakes and muffins, with short parentheses sacred to the memory
of her cousin. Mrs. S---- had respected her affliction and given her
permission to retire, but Judy continued to return with more cakes and
more muffins, and, as soon as they were handed, to retire to a corner
with her apron at her eyes, even after Mr. H----'s message had been
delivered and she had been told to go. During one of her temporary
absences Mr. S---- asked his wife, "Why don't you tell her to go, if she
is going? It seems nobody can be 'laid out' without Judy, but any of the
rest can wait at table."

"But this is her cousin, and she may not wish to perform so trying a
service; so I will leave it to her.--Judy, if you prefer not going to
Mr. H----'s just at present, I will send word that I cannot spare you."

Judy threw her apron over her head with a vari-toned cry issued in the
keys of grief, anger and scorn. Then she stiffened her neck and rolled
her eyes from side to side till the whites glistened again. "Go dar,
indeed!" she indignantly exclaimed. "Ef I couldn't go on de lot to see
my own dear cousin, I know I ain't gwine to dress up his dead nigger!"

The leading trait of the negro is his instability, his superficiality.
It is superlative. His emotions are as easily aroused and as evanescent
as those of children, flowing in a noisy and tumultuous current, but
utterly without depth and volatile as ether. To this may in a measure be
attributed his lack of progress, but I doubt whether he be capable of
any high order of development without an infusion of Caucasian blood
which will dissipate his simian type, improving the shape of his
retreating forehead, changing the contour of his heavy jaw, giving
weight and measurement to his now inferior and inactive brain. Since the
surrender and the institution of public schools, and the opportunities
for improvement afforded him, we seem to have all around us evidence of
this utter instability of character. Never since the world began has he
had, and never will he have again, the incentives and aids to
improvement which at that time fell into his hands. There was, as one
spur to ambition, the spirit of resentment which he was supposed
naturally to entertain at having been kept in servitude by even the
kindest of masters; but the negro is amiable and forgiving, and not only
during but after the war conducted himself with admirable good feeling
and moderation. Granting, then, that he indulged no feeling of
resentment, there must have been, should have been, there was, a
sentiment of rivalry with the whites which was pardonable and proper to
the most amiable and forgiving nature; and at first the young negroes
applied themselves with assiduity, and learned with an avidity which
delighted some classes, and was no doubt a discomfiting surprise to
others. It was astonishing to see the rapidity with which they mastered
the alphabet of progress, and white mothers said to their indolent or
refractory children, "Are you not ashamed to see little negroes more
studious than yourself, making even greater progress according to their
advantages, and in matters with which you should be already familiar?"

As time went on even the indolent or refractory white boy to some extent
improved, and seemed conditionally sure of further improvement; but the
negro, having arrived at a certain point--and that usually no high
one--seemed incapable of further progress, as a man, though not
afflicted with dimness of vision, is prevented by natural causes from
seeing beyond the horizon. Doubtless the spirit of rivalry already
mentioned, born of defiance and resentment in a mild form, was to some
extent the incentive to application, and its brief duration serves to
illustrate the instability of which we speak. Doubtless, also, many
others, by reason of poverty, which necessitated manual labor, were
unable to continue the pursuit of an education to any great advantage;
but what numbers of white children, by the losses of war placed on the
same footing--placed identically on the same footing, because they also
and their parents were compelled to earn by labor their daily
bread--have yet continued to improve! The negro had the same privilege
of night study and (immediately after the war) as many teachers at his
service as any white child. He had also one advantage over the white: he
had never learned the difference between _meum_ and _tuum_, and the
silver lining to this cloud of ignorance lay in the fact that he was
thereby enabled more speedily to increase his store of worldly goods,
thus leaving time for greater devotion to the particular of mental
development.

But take the minority of instances, where every advantage has been given
him; where, freed from the relations of master and slave, he has been
thrown with whites and the spirit of emulation naturally excited; where
his parents have made every sacrifice necessary to procure him tutors
(numbers of them had private teachers, and very competent ones too, just
after the war) and books and all the paraphernalia of learning, and even
the best social position possible to him in the section where he
happened to be, themselves retreating into the background with the
pathetic humility and self-abnegation of parents who believe and desire
their offspring to be of a higher order than themselves,--does the
highest culture of which he seems capable make him more than the peer of
the mediocre white? I and hundreds of others have read with pleasure the
speech of Rev. William D. Johnson, A.M., colored delegate to the
Methodist Episcopal Conference which some months ago met in Georgia. It
was a good speech for a colored man--a capitally, wonderfully good
speech--and I applaud it with cordial pleasure and reciprocation of the
good feeling which pervades it; but is it more than the address of the
average white? As the address of any one of the white members would it
have been reported, or have attracted attention, save for its animus?

There are exceptional cases among the negroes as among the whites; but
because we have a Cuvier, a Webster, a Dupuytren, are we prepared to
assert as a general fact that the brain of the white man weighs
sixty-four ounces? And I speak of the negroes as a class. I refer to the
negro of the South, not to the barbarian of Africa, who really exists,
nor to the negro of the Northern mind, who is only "founded on fact." I
refer to the negro as he is in our day and generation, not as he will or
may be after centuries of revolution in his circumstances which will
produce Heaven knows what changes in his mental, moral and physical
nature. Many believe that these negroes, whom and whose children we have
civilized, having with their freedom received ideas of social equality
and personal ambition which except in isolated cases can never be
realized on this continent, will gradually return, as in South Carolina
they are now doing, to their original land, and thus eventually civilize
their own race. Were they to return in a body, they would all probably
relapse into barbarism, but if a clear stream be kept running, though
the pool through which it flow be stagnant, it will in time become pure.
And there is material in this country for a pretty continuous flow.

I do not say that the negro is incapable of progress, but his mental
horizon is very limited, and seems bounded by natural causes as
immovable (except by aid of foreign blood, which having he ceases to be
a genuine negro) as the chains of mountains which in some localities
limit the horizon in material Nature; and that as a people they will
become the peer of the white race is simply impossible, for if progress
be a law of Nature, it will be obeyed by the white man also, and he is
already centuries ahead of the black, with advantages of every possible
nature. Also, that they should now be competent to fill the offices many
of them occupy is a pure absurdity, as demonstrated all around us--at
the polls, in the jury-box, in the chair of the magistrate. A very cruel
absurdity it has sometimes proved.

But speaking of their mercurial nature: I was once spending the summer
at a village in the mountains, and not far from my chamber-window were
three or four cabins occupied by very cleanly, orderly negroes, who had
hitherto been a source of no annoyance, for I am very fond of negroes
and like to have them about me. These cabins were situated near the
mouth of a deep ravine heavily wooded and producing echoes of beautiful
distinctness. One evening negroes began to assemble in and around the
largest cabin, and there was evidently to be a meeting of some very
mournful--or at any rate solemn--character, for they came quietly, shook
hands silently, and crept into their places with a stealthy gliding
motion. It was a weird, uncanny scene. The moon rose slowly behind the
great black mountains, and cast its rays upon the tree-tops and
shimmered its light on the whitewashed cabins, and only half revealed
the dark figures that glided like spectres in and out; but nothing could
pierce the depths of that black ravine, and it was easy to believe it
the abode of spirits blest or otherwise--especially otherwise. There was
a long, oppressive silence: then they began to sing. What remarkable
voices they have, especially the men--so full, so rich, so deep and
sonorous! If the mental development of the negro is to involve change in
his physical conformation, it is to be hoped it will not interfere with
his chest and lungs, nor with that wonderful cavern in the back of his
mouth and at the base of the nose. Some should be kept barbarians that
they may continue to be vocal instruments. No one who has heard him only
as a "minstrel" can have any conception of the exquisite mournfulness,
the agonizing pathos, which the negro voice is capable of expressing;
nor, we may fairly add, of the wild, devil-may-care jollity; but this
last is more truly represented on the stage, the invariable adjuncts of
caricature not only contributing to stimulate the comedian, but
broadening the effect of his voice on the hearer. Why is it that we
always have caricature in negro delineations--that we never have any
simple representations of the reality or any touches of unalloyed
pathos? In all Nature there is nothing more pathetic than a pitiful
negro. You may paint the negro's lips and roach his hair, and even
exaggerate the peculiarities of his feet, but I can pick you up one, out
on the suburbs or down in the alleys, who has become old and feeble and
cannot work any more, whose old master is dead and whose children have
kicked him out, who steals and struggles and starves in ignorant terror
of the poorhouse; and for yours people will raise their opera-glasses to
their eyes--for mine, their handkerchiefs.

But to return. Oh how inexpressibly mournful were their chants that
night! I remember one especially. It began with a wailing recitative--a
prolonged, mournful recitative in the minor key by female voices only,
and at its close the men joined them in a full, deep chorus, slow and
solemn, the last words of which were "Dead and gone!" The black ravine
took up the sound, and from its deep, mysterious heart came back the
solemn echo, "Dead and gone!" It was simply horrible. I never felt so
homesick in my life; and as the mournful chant rolled toward the
mountain, and then came floating back again like a corpse upon the
ebbing tide, I leaned my head upon the window-sill and cried heartily.
One by one my friends died and were buried, my children became orphans,
and, by a curious freak of circumstances, their father and I were left
to a childless old age. All possible accidents were put in requisition,
all manner of possible misfortunes called upon to contribute their quota
of woe. Then I fell to wondering how people could like to sing mournful
things and make themselves and other people miserable; and that made me
think of what negroes liked, and that naturally led to watermelons; so I
dried my eyes and summoned my maid: "Betty, what is it they are singing
about? Is anybody dead?"

"It's de las' en' of a funerul, I b'lieve, m'm--somebody whar dey didn't
git done preachin' over him, 'count of a storm."

"Betty, the singing does make me feel so badly. Just step over and say I
will send them a barrel of watermelons and cantaloupes, and those Mrs.
Brown sent me too, if they will get up a dance or make any kind of
cheerful noise. There is a tambourine among the children's toys: you can
beat it as you go."

Betty laughed, and went over. There was a pause in the singing: then I
heard a man's voice: "Go 'way wid dat fool talk! Whar she gwine git
watermillions an' mushmillions by de bar'l, an' dey ain't more'n fa'rly
ripe?"

"Mr. Smith sent 'em from de city," simpered Betty, who liked to put on
airs with the country-folk; "an' Mrs. Brown, of your nabority, reposed
her some to-day."

"Dat's so 'bout dem from town, 'cos I helped to tote 'em up to de
house," said another.

"Huk kum she ain't et 'em?"

"The baby conwulshed, an' Mrs. Smith's mind disbegaged of de melons,"
replied Betty.

"Huk kum he sen' so many?" asked the first speaker, who appeared to be
business-manager, and duly afraid of being swindled--fervid in fair
speech, and correspondingly suspicious. "His wife mus' be a mons'ous
hearty 'ooman!"

"He knowed she were goin' to resperse 'em to her village fren's too, of
course. Which we all know dere ain't no place where you carn't" (Betty
was from Cumberland county, and pronounced the _a_ broad, to the envious
disgust of the Rockbridge darkies) "git fruit like you carn't git it in
the country. It is always five miles off, an' de han's is busy, or de
creek is riz an' you carn't cross it."

"Come now, town-nigger, we don't want none o' yo' slack-jaw; an' ain't
gwine take it, nudder!"

"Mos' incertny not," sang out a high-pitched female voice from some
unseen point.

"Comin' here wid yo' half-white talk an' half-nigger!"

"But who'll git up de fus' larf?" inquired the metropolitan, suavely
waiving personal discussion.

"Yo' git de 'millions, an' de laf's boun' ter foller. Don't be skeered
'bout de laf."

And his veracity proved unimpeachable, for as the melons were
distributed the air became vocal with rude wit and noisy laughter, and
the deep ravine gave back loud "yah-yahs" which sounded truly demoniac
in the darkness, and were no doubt the reproachful, sneering laughter of
the late lamented, whose obsequies were for the second time
abbreviated--the resentful, mocking laughter of him who was "dead and
gone."

But the negro, as said before, has one advantage over his impecunious
white brother--a genius for theft. The white man may not have, as a
general thing, sterner principle or a softer conscience, but it cannot
be said, except in isolated cases, that he has a passion for stealing.
The Chinaman is regarded by severe moralists as somewhat lax in the
matter of honesty, and indeed, to be candid, he has been accused of
cultivating theft as one of the fine arts; but even he has the grace to
be, or to affect to be, ashamed of it, and indignantly resentful at
being suspected of the immorality. The negro, on the other hand, is only
terribly afraid of being punished, and on being forgiven feels
immediately purified and free from sin. He has, in fact, no moral
principle, and his code of honesty is comprised in a conversation I
overheard this winter. Our youngest child seemed to have a vague,
indefinite fear of rogues, and a very imperfect idea of what a rogue
might be, and was always asking questions on the subject. One morning,
while his nurse was dressing him, I heard him inquire, "How big is a
rogue, Betty? Can he hear a mile?"

Before she could reply, his brother, very little older, rose to explain:
"Why, Bob, you've seen a many a rogue. A rogue is thes' a man. Papa an'
Uncle Bob looks ezactly like other rogues."

"Is papa an' Unker Bob rogues?" asked the youngest with innocent wonder.

"No, chile--dat dey ain't!" said Betty as she filled his eyes with soap.
"Yo' papa an' yo' uncle Borb is jes' as ornes' as anybody, 'cos rogues
is folks what steals an' _gits cotch_!"

  JENNIE WOODVILLE.



THE AFTER-DINNER SPEECH OF THE BARONESS CONTALETTO.


In one of the most salubrious sections of Alaska there exists--or did
exist in December, 1876--a society named "The Irreparables." It was
composed of women only. For this there were several reasons. The
subjects discussed were not supposed to interest men, but this might
have been remedied had not the men, already in a minority in the
village, absolutely refused to have anything to do with a society in
which they were sure to be voted down without any very promising power
of appeal. It was at one time suggested that they could become associate
members, but the notary, upon examining their prospective position in
the club, declared that their taxes would be so many and their rights so
few that it was an offer not to be considered. So the matter was
dropped, and an "Irreparable" was always a creature of the gentler sex.

The most important event in the year to this society was its annual
meeting and festive celebration in December. Upon this occasion the
members reviewed their accounts, perhaps voted in a new member, acted
upon delinquents, and, in a word, settled up the business of the year.
The festivities sometimes took the shape of a mothers' meeting, a
quilting-party or a cozy little tea. In 1876 they were, however,
affected by the excitement that prevailed throughout the whole United
States, and which fairly reached them in December. Alaska, it was true,
was not one of the thirteen colonies, but neither was Ohio nor Colorado.
It was much larger than Rhode Island or Delaware. It had great
possibilities, and it had cost money, which was more than could be said
of the original thirteen, leaving out Pennsylvania, which even then
could not be counted as a very expensive investment on the part of Mr.
Penn. These patriotic reasons fired the hearts of the "Irreparables,"
and they determined that Alaska should celebrate the Centennial of their
country, and that the celebration should be theirs.

Then the question arose of what nature this celebration should be. An
Exposition was clearly out of the question, and even a school-fair was
voted troublesome. Some of the younger members favored a dance, but this
was objected to, because of the absurdity of a roomful of women waltzing
and treading the light, fantastic German by themselves. It would seem,
said the Baroness Contaletto, like a burlesque of merriment; and so the
dance fell through. A service of song, a tea-drum, a cream-cornet, and a
pound-party met the same fate; and finally all minds gently but firmly
centred upon a dinner-party; and so it _was_ a dinner with courses.

Naturally enough, it was not at first easy to arrange, but the admirable
spirit of organization pervading the society soon brought everything
into shape. There was a committee upon the bill of fare, upon the
toasts, upon invitations, upon the room and upon the general
arrangements. It was true that the only room in the village that was
suitable was the little hall back of the tavern, and the invitations
were verbally given at the meeting when the matter was decided upon; but
as one never knows what emergencies may arise, it is always well to have
a committee ready to act.

The chairwoman of most of the committees was the Baroness Contaletto.
This was not because of her rank, as, in fact, she had no claim to her
title either from birthright or marriage. Her claim rested upon the fine
sense the village had of the fitness of things. She _looked_ like a
baroness: she always made it a point to behave like one. In the course
of time they called her so, and when she added the name of Contaletto,
the village acknowledged the fitness of _that_, and very soon the
Baroness Contaletto was universally accepted, and Thisba Lenowski
forgotten. The reason of her being so many chairwomen also rested on her
fitness. She was a woman of ideas and of deeds. The minister's plans
might come to naught, the editor's predictions be falsified, and the
schoolmaster's reforms die out; but the enterprises undertaken by the
baroness went through to a swift success. Her ideas were both contagious
and epidemic, and she was always a known quantity in the place.

And so when she pooh-poohed the dance, laughed at the tea-drum and
shivered at the idea of the cream-cornet, declaring for the dinner, the
matter was settled, and each of the younger members promptly decided who
she would ask to escort her and deliberated as to what she should wear.

Then the baroness arose. She glanced around. She read the thoughts of
the members. She looked at two women. One was the sister of the county
clerk: she was a woman of the most appreciative character, the clearest
sense, and--she was the faithful echo of the baroness. The second was a
pretty girl. She represented the other pretty girls. Then the baroness
spoke. She said it was of the first importance to do this thing
decorously and in order. When men had suppers they never invited women.
They wanted to have a good time, and women spoiled it. She was not in
favor of an "invitation entertainment." She supposed that what they
wanted was a society, an "Irreparable," dinner. Therefore, _she_ did not
propose to invite men.

"But," said the pretty girl, with a rosy color mounting to her cheeks
and an ominous flash in her eyes, "when I was in New Moscow _I_ was
invited to the Hercules dinner."

"To the table?" asked the baroness.

"Well--no," replied the pretty girl.

"Did you get anything to eat?" pursued the baroness.

"Oh no," answered the victim, as if this was something preposterous--"of
course I didn't. We did not expect anything. But I had a splendid seat,
and I heard all the toasts and everything."

"That _was_ very nice," answered the baroness, grimly; "but I think we
can do quite as well. We will invite the gentlemen to the
gallery--fortunately, there is one--we will have toasts, and _we_ will
be very entertaining."

Of course the baroness had her way. Here, at once, was an advantage in
the absence of associate members. Rosy cheeks and pretty eyes now
counted in the society for nothing, and when the sister of the county
clerk promptly moved that no gentleman be invited to the floor, the
sexton's wife seconded the motion. It was carried, and on the night
appointed the "Irreparables" had their dinner, and up in the gallery sat
the minister, the sheriff, the county clerk, the editor of the
_Snow-Drift_, the head-teacher and a dozen other gentlemen, all in
strict evening--if still Alaskian--toilettes. At first it was funny.
Then it wasn't funny. It became tiresome, and the sheriff went away. His
boots creaked, the ladies looked up, and then not a married man but
smiled delightedly and settled himself in his seat.

They paid much attention to the wine. It had been bought in New Moscow
of the Hercules Club, and was of course all right. Yet it was over the
wine that the county clerk grew restless. It was not that he wished for
it particularly, but when the "Irreparables" drank champagne with their
soup, sauterne with the meat, ate their nuts and made their toasts with
sherry, his patience was put to a severe test. It was something to see
that most of the glasses went away almost untasted, but the head-teacher
found it best to keep a steady eye upon him and save him from doing more
than mutter his opinions.

But when the toasts came the gallery visibly brightened up. The
"Irreparables" toasted the country and its resources, the United States,
Mrs. Seward, the Centennial, Mrs. Grant, and the widow the chief
alderman was to marry. They drank to Queen Victoria, and, with a
remembrance of past loyalty, to the czarina. To each toast a member
responded in terms fitting and witty, and when the pretty girl arose
and, with a glance at the gallery, gave "The gentlemen--God bless them!"
the baroness stood up and made reply. She thanked the company in the
name of the gentlemen. She spoke of them in high and eloquent terms. She
alluded to their usefulness, their courage, their good looks. She did
them full justice as resources in times of trouble, of war and of
midnight burglaries.

The county clerk ran his fingers through his hair, the color came into
the cheeks of the clergyman, and a subdued murmur as of pleasure ran
through the little group in the gallery.

Then the baroness continued. She said she was not a woman-suffragist--at
least she wasn't sure that she was. She had, she thanked her stars, her
own opinion upon most matters, but while she had no positive objection
to right-minded women having any real or fancied wrongs redressed, and
in their own way, she had not yet thought clearly enough upon the
subject to be sure that the ballot was the remedy. She knew there was a
great deal of nonsense talked about the moral influence women would
exert in politics: perhaps they would, but to her it seemed very much
like watering potato-blossoms to get rid of the worms at the root.

Here the county clerk half rose, but the head-teacher held him with his
disciplining eye, and he sat down again.

What was needed, said the baroness, was not mending, regenerating,
giving freedom or doing justice. These things were all very good, but
more was necessary. "There is no remedy," she said with rising
inflections and with emphasis--"no remedy but a total change. What we
want is not an extension of the suffrage, but a _limitation_!"

She wished it, however, distinctly understood that she in no way meant
to affirm that woman was man's superior: she did not think so. In his
own place man could not be surpassed. The sciences, the arts, the
industrial pursuits, religion, civilization, all owed a deep debt to
man, and it could not be ignored. She was the last person in the world
to wish to ignore it. Properly governed, disciplined and educated, his
development might outrun hope, defy prophecy. Out of his place he was a
comet without an orbit. Drawn hither and thither by sinister stars, he
was an eccentricity beyond calculation and full of harm. For this reason
the interests of humanity demanded that the place of man in the conduct
of affairs should be well defined and limited. It was well to look this
matter in the face.

"Now," proceeded the baroness, "I leave it to any class of men, to any
one man, to declare whether the world is, or ever has been, well
governed. Is there any age, any country upon record, where justice has
reigned, where the interests of every class have been consulted, and
where the people have lived together in mutual esteem, in unity and in
prosperity? If we look through the world to-day, we find but one country
that is governed in anything like a satisfactory manner. It is loved by
some classes of its people, and admired by very many foreigners. When we
reflect that it is governed by a queen, and that history tells us that
its most prosperous period in the past was under Queen Elizabeth, it is
certainly safe to assume--No, no, my friends," she said, hastily, "do
not applaud. That is not my point. It is possible that women may govern
better than men, but that is yet to be tested. This illustration proves
but one thing--_that a country is better for not being governed by a
man_."

Her point was this: she did not appear as an advocate of suffrage for
women, but as an earnest petitioner against its being any longer held by
men. The one thing a man could _not_ do was--to govern! This was no
assertion. It was a fact proved by all history. Since the beginning of
the world men had had the governing power in their hands, and what a
mess they had always made of it! There had never been a decent
government. Oppression, rebellion, anarchy, war, bloodshed, slavery and
tyranny,--this was their record.

If women could do anything better, she was in favor of giving them the
opportunity of proving it, but it was not her purpose to propose the
after-treatment. She was not a physician in charge, but the surgeon for
the moment.

She had made suggestions: she freely confessed it. She had, for
instance, proposed to their talented townsman, the editor of the
_Snow-Drift_, a series of articles upon the existing Presidential
contest. As far as she could learn, there was a great lack of unanimity
regarding the vote, and it was not clear to the Hayes party that Tilden
was elected. Now, she had suggested that there were certain classes
concerned but _not_ consulted in the election, and to them she proposed
leaving the decision. The legal voters had blundered horribly in some
way, and she would have been in favor of allowing the Indians, the
Chinese, the convicts, the idiots _and_ the women to decide the matter.
It could not be made worse, and it might be made better.

But leaving all these questions of a past hour, she would put the axe
where George Washington did not put it--at the root of the tree--near
enough also, she would remark, to leave no stump, and so at once place
politics upon a new basis by taking the governing power away from the
gentlemen, God bless them!

  LOUISE STOCKTON.



MUSIC IN AMERICA


England and America have long been classed among the unmusical countries
of the world, and for good reasons. Their history so far records the
names of no composers of a high rank; and although in both countries
there are plenty of amateurs and minor musicians who fully appreciate
the best there is in the art, yet the people as a whole are not
influenced by it in the same way as the Germans and the Italians, to
whose hungry souls music is as necessary as is oxygen to their lungs. If
we adopt the good old-fashioned classification of instrumental and vocal
pieces into "music for the feet," or dance music, "music for the ear,"
or drawing-room music, "and music for the head and heart," or classical
music, we are forced to admit that so far only the first of these
classes has found general favor with our masses. Waltzes, quick-steps,
galops, quadrilles, are the daily food of our people, and there are
thousands of pianos scattered throughout the country which are never
used for any other purpose than to play this dance music, which occupies
about the same place in relation to the higher forms of music as dancing
on the stage does to artistic acting. Next comes the somewhat more
elevated branch of drawing-room or _salon_ music, which in the cities
and towns is very largely cultivated. It is typified by the popular
"Maiden's Prayer," and also includes the more sensational of the French
and Italian opera melodies with all their vocal pyrotechnics, as well as
the pianoforte fantasias on these same melodies--in short, all music
written with a view to giving the performer an opportunity of displaying
facility of execution rather than genuine feeling.

It is only in our centres of culture, the largest of our cities, that
sufficient interest is taken in the highest products of musical genius
to call into life and to support respectable orchestras and choruses;
and even in these centres of culture there is no excess of devotion, as
is perhaps best shown by the great rarity of amateur string quartettes,
those most intellectual and most enjoyable of all musical clubs, whose
sphere is classical chamber music, the direct opposite in most respects
of the drawing-room music just spoken of. How different all this is
from the state of affairs in Germany, where every town of ten thousand
inhabitants has its well-managed opera-house and its various kinds of
musical clubs for public and private amusement! The difference may best
be realized by reading Wagner's admirable little essay, _Ueber Deutsches
Musikwesen_, republished in the first volume of his collected works.

Perhaps there is no better way of arriving at a just estimate of the
present state of general musical culture in this country than by looking
at what may be called the creative department, and examining the vocal
and instrumental sheet-music of native composers continually issued in
such large quantities by our publishers. Were we to follow an old maxim,
that the best way of judging the inner life of a nation is to listen to
its music, and accordingly judge of the sentiments and emotions of
Americans by their sheet-music, we should arrive at very discouraging
results. The characteristics of our sheet-music, briefly summed up, are:
(1) trite and vulgar melody, devoid of all originality, repeating what
has been heard a thousand times already; (2) equally trite and
monotonous accompaniments, the harmony limited to half a dozen
elementary chords, the rhythm mechanical and commonplace, and the
cadences unchanging as the laws of Nature; (3) insipid, sensational
titles; (4) words usually so silly that a respectable country newspaper
would refuse to print them in its columns--true to the French _bon-mot_,
that what is too stupid to be spoken or read must be sung.

This may seem too sweeping a condemnation, but it is not. There are some
honorable exceptions of course, but only just enough of them to attract
notice by the contrast, and thus to prove the rule. If an aspiring young
composer wishes to appear in print, the point to which he must direct
his attention is to secure, not a good original melody or a piquant
accompaniment, but a "catching" title, like "Timber-Thief Galop,"
"Silver Bill Polka," or "Sitting Bull March." If his choice in this
respect does not please the publisher, his manuscript may yet escape the
paper-basket if its title-page happens to be embellished with a
grotesque cartoon or a sentimental picture of a couple of lovers or cats
who have met by moonlight alone. From these external and all-essential
attributes an experienced agent can form an accurate estimate of how
large the sale of a new piece will be; and he will tell you that so
little does the excellence of the music contribute to its success that
in general the sale of compositions in this country stands in inverse
ratio to their merits.

The sheet-music nuisance seems to be a phenomenon peculiar to this
country; for, although France, England, Italy, and even Germany,
annually produce much music which is not worth the printer's ink, yet in
comparison with ours it might almost be called classical. And the
melancholy thing about it is, that specimens of these flimsy productions
may be seen lying about freely on the pianos of people who would blush
at the mere thought of having books of the same intellectual and
æsthetic level lying on their parlor-tables for general inspection and
for the entertainment of guests. For, while the corrupting influence of
an impure story or a bad picture has long since been recognized, it
still seems to be imagined by many educated people that music being the
"divine art" any form of it must of course be desirable, and better than
nothing at all. This is the form of Philistinism which before all others
must be combated ere we can hope to materially purify our musical
atmosphere. The error naturally arose from the great amount of silly
talk about music, which is usually represented as being incapable of
lending itself to the expression of any but the noblest sentiments and
emotions. Quite the contrary. If good music has all those wonderful
powers which have been ascribed to it from time immemorial, it follows
necessarily that bad music must exert equal powers in an opposite
direction. In fact, bad music is even a more demoralizing agent than,
for instance, a miserable newspaper. The latter is once hastily read
through and then thrown away, while a poor musical composition is apt to
be preserved in the parlor--perhaps, neatly bound with some others of
like value, is carefully studied, or even memorized, and repeatedly sung
at evening parties; and in this way it cannot but slowly vitiate the
taste of performer and hearer alike, and make them deaf to the beauties
of better things.

If we turn from this aspect of music in America to our concert-halls,
the prospect is much brighter. In this department we have achieved more
than in any other, and no one is now obliged to go abroad in order to
hear a good concert, as he is if he wishes to enjoy a respectable
operatic performance. How much of this is due to the energy of one man,
Mr. Theodore Thomas, everybody knows, and it is not too much to say that
the "new departure" he is about to make may be expected to mark an epoch
in the history of American music. Cincinnati will henceforth claim the
position of musical metropolis, and whether its pre-eminence be conceded
or a vigorous rivalry maintained, the whole country must feel the good
effect of that generous ambition which has rescued a noble enterprise
from an uncertain and fluctuating condition, and offered it a secure
haven.

Americans have already good reasons for being proud of their concerts,
for except in Berlin there are perhaps no audiences in Europe which have
the advantage of us in this respect. This can be seen by comparing our
programmes with those offered in continental cities, as recorded every
week in the _Neue Zeitschrift für Musik_, published at Leipsic. I have
repeatedly seen paragraphs in leading German papers calling attention to
Mr. Thomas's programmes, and hinting that their own conductors might
learn something from them. What is particularly noticeable about them is
their cosmopolitanism, and this has contributed much to their success.
It has been said, however, by some that Thomas's sole aim seems to be to
offer as many novelties as possible, and that he disregards artistic
perspective in the arrangement of his programmes. He has indeed never
followed the illiberal principle that it is bad taste to perform the
works of living masters--a principle which has done much to bring to the
brink of ruin a certain association in Boston--but he has endeavored to
do justice to all the composers from Bach to Berlioz and Wagner. If Mr.
Thomas makes an effort to introduce to his audience a new symphony by
Brahms or a new symphonic poem by Saint Säens immediately after its
issue from the press, we certainly ought to be very grateful to him for
his enterprise. When a prominent author writes a new book everybody is
eager to get sight of it as soon as possible, and no one has any fault
to find with this curiosity. But when a similar eagerness is manifested
to hear a new symphony, the conservatives at once cry out, "For shame!
Would you neglect the old masters for the sake of pieces which the wear
and tear of time have not yet proved to possess permanent value?" The
Messrs. Conservatives evidently do not perceive the ludicrous aspect of
their position. If their influence were not fortunately losing instead
of gaining in strength, we might soon look for the extinction of art
through the infanticide of genius. Mr. Thomas is not a conservative,
and, thanks to this fact, we are often enabled to hear a new composition
even before it has been performed in all the German capitals.

Of the condition of our operatic affairs it is impossible to speak in
the same terms of self-congratulation as of our concerts, and will
remain impossible as long as our opera troupes differ in no essential
respects--except in being less sure of their parts--from travelling
bands of negro minstrels. An orchestra may with impunity travel from one
city to another: it always remains the same, and only needs a good hall
to appear to advantage. But an operatic performance is such a
complicated affair that excellence can only be attained after years of
constant practice under the same conditions and with the same materials,
and without constant changes in the chorus, orchestra and stage
surroundings. European experience seems to show that without government
assistance good dramatic and operatic performances are not possible. In
France and Germany, where such assistance is given, the theatres are
good: in England and America, where none is given, they are bad. Perhaps
in course of time our national or city governments will come to
recognize and support the theatre as an educational institution, or at
least as a good means of suppressing intemperance and other vices by
supplying a harmless mode of amusement. There is little prospect,
however, that this will happen soon. It is more likely that some of our
rich men will at last come to see the folly of founding so many new
colleges, and devote their money to other uses. Had Mr. Samuel Wood left
his money for the establishment of a permanent first-class opera instead
of a conservatory, he would have done a wiser thing. The importance of a
good opera-house as an institution for promoting musical culture is not
yet generally understood--naturally enough, considering the wretched
performances we have so far been obliged to endure. The opera has one
great advantage over concerts: it is more attractive to the uninitiated.
It appeals to the eye as well as the ear. The scenic splendors will
attract many unmusical and semi-musical people who shun the purely
intellectual atmosphere of a classical concert as a great bore; and
while they gaze at the wonders of the scenery they unconsciously drink
in the music, so that in course of time they learn to appreciate that
for its own sake. When _Lohengrin_ was first performed in the German
cities the masses attended it chiefly to see the new and brilliant
scenic effects. They found the music stupid, devoid of melody and form,
and bristling with "algebraic" harmonies. But they went so often to see
the swan drawing the mysterious knight through the waters of the Rhine
that they finally learned that the opera is a rich storehouse of the
most exquisite melody, that a wonderful unity of forms pervades the
whole, and that the algebraic harmonies serve to express depths of
emotion hitherto unknown. In the same way the Vienna people have been
lately crowding the theatre to see the Rhine-daughters in their long
blue robes swimming about under the surface of the river, to see the
fight with the dragon, the march of the gods over the rainbow, the ride
of the walkyries on their wild steeds, the burning Walhalla, etc., and
have gradually discovered that their critics at Bayreuth again hoaxed
them when they wrote that the music of the _Trilogy_ was "atomic," that
it was devoid of melody, and that the harmony was in defiance of all the
laws of euphony.

These illustrations show the value of good scenery. Independently of its
artistic value, it is a legitimate bait for enticing people to a place
where they are obliged to hear good music. Good scenery, however, has
never been the strong point of our opera troupes. They never had more
than one strong point. Formerly, some of the great _prime donne_ used to
pay us an occasional visit, but now even they have learned to avoid us,
because we are no longer willing to pay five dollars for an evening's
amusement. London, Paris and St. Petersburg are at present the
head-quarters of the costly "stars." Nor is this fact to be regretted.
The decline of the star system is rather to be greeted as the dawn of a
better era. It has always been the curse of the opera and the greatest
obstacle to improvement. There was a time when the prima donna was so
omnipotent that even the composers were her slaves, being frequently
obliged to alter passages to suit the taste of the stage goddess; and
there are instances on record of whole operas having been composed in
vain because she did not happen to be pleased with them, and refused to
sing. This evil period we have happily out-grown, but an equally great
nuisance remains. The exorbitant prices still demanded by the "stars"
are out of all proportion to their deserts, and show that even if the
composers are their slaves no longer, the spectators and managers still
are so. In Paris and elsewhere it is often found impossible to do
justice to the secondary stage appointments because the salaries of the
soprano and the tenor swallow the whole income. The Germans, on the
other hand, are too artistic and rational to endure such an imposition.
To them the one-star-and-ten-satellites system seems an abomination, and
doubtless Emperor William had the sympathies and approval of all his
subjects when he refused to engage Patti at a price that would have
proved disastrous to the high aims of the imperial opera, which are to
preserve an evenly-balanced and uniform excellence of all the parts of a
performance. There are signs that even England is outgrowing the star
system. Carl Rosa has adopted the German system of dispensing with
"phenomenal" singers, putting the minor rôles into good hands, and
keeping a well-trained chorus and orchestra; and his success, as
everybody knows, has been enormous. Now let some competent manager in
this country follow his example: let him show that he does not merely
aim at getting the people's money, but that he has also the ambition of
honestly interpreting the works of the masters and developing a healthy
taste for good dramatic music and acting, and there can be little doubt
that instead of increasing the number of failures now recorded, the
enterprise would prove a success, and show, as Carl Rosa's has done,
that in this way opera can be made to pay even without government
assistance.

Although our rulers have not yet recognized the theatre as a possible
source of culture, they have done something which to the country at
large is of even greater importance than this would be. They have been
gradually introducing vocal music as a regular branch of study in our
public schools. In this matter we seem to have anticipated England, for
while singing was introduced in the schools of Boston more than forty,
and in Baltimore more than thirty, years ago, in the British House of
Commons only twenty-five years ago, when a member proposed that singing
should be taught in all schools, as in Germany, "the suggestion was
received with ridicule, and was deemed deserving of no other response
than a loud laugh." But there has also been, and still is, some
opposition to its general introduction in this country. Only a few
months ago the St. Louis press urged its removal from the schools on the
ground that it is one of the "ornamental" studies, and that more time is
in that city, for instance, devoted to it than to the practical subjects
of geography and arithmetic. This last objection has not much force. All
that is really practical and generally useful in geography and
arithmetic can be learned in a few years, whereas to make progress in
the difficult art of music it is necessary to begin early and continue
for many years. The true answer to such an objection is, that there is
no need of neglecting either of these branches. There is time enough for
all of them if only a proper method of instruction be pursued. Still
more untenable is the idea that music is merely an ornamental study and
of no practical value. This idea rests on the mistaken theory of
education which holds that only the intellect needs training. If our
sole aim is to get something to eat and to drink, and a house to shelter
us from the weather, then we need only cultivate the intellect so that
we may be able to compete with others. But if we care for beautiful
homes, if we wish to enjoy life in a higher sense than that in which a
savage enjoys it, and to make ourselves and others happy, then the
training of the emotions through music is as important as the training
of the intellect in a practical and not an "ornamental" sense.

Fortunately, none of the objections hitherto urged against singing in
public schools have been able to effect any change for the worse. Vocal
music is now taught in the common schools of nearly every city and large
town in New England and the Northern and Western States. In
Boston--which has always been noted for its excellence in this
department--thanks to the intelligent labors of Mr. Lowell Mason and Mr.
Julius Eichberg, it is now possible, on occasion, to raise a chorus of
five thousand well-trained juvenile voices. And it is gratifying to
observe with what unanimity the good influence of public-school singing
is attested by the commissioners of all those States which have given it
a fair trial. The grounds on which it is usually commended are that it
puts life and variety into the dull routine of studies--that it promotes
order and discipline, stimulates the social feelings, electrifies the
wearied nervous system, conduces to health by the regular and vigorous
exercise of the lungs, trains the moral sentiments by refining the
æsthetic emotions, and tends to improve the congregational singing in
our churches. To quote the language of the Commissioner of Education
(_Report for 1873_): "Experience proves that as music is perfected and
used in the daily routine of school duties, just in that proportion are
the deportment and general appearance of the schools improved." Indeed,
it is difficult to calculate all the good results that in course of time
must follow from general musical instruction in our schools. It is
certainly the only effective method of removing in a few generations the
reproach that we are not a musical people. In Germany--which perhaps has
done more for music than all other countries combined--the foundation
for musical culture is laid in the schools by the singing of folk-songs
(_Volkslieder_) and chorals in three-or four-part harmony. And those who
have read the history of music know that these same folk-songs and
chorals were the first musical fruits grown on German soil: they were
the fruits on which in past centuries the people lived and formed their
taste. It is evident, therefore, that in now teaching these folk-songs
and chorals to their children the Germans are guided by that important
law of evolution which shows that the development of the child partly
does, and partly should be made to, conform to the development of the
race, step by step.

There is no reason why we should not follow this same principle. Of
course it will not be necessary to confine ourselves to German
folk-songs, although these are on the whole the best. We are a mixed
people, compounded of all nationalities, and hence the folk-songs of
Italy, France, Scotland, Russia and various other countries should all
be acclimated in our schools. There is something peculiarly healthy and
fresh about folk-songs which one only finds again in the very highest
efforts of individual creative genius. They are like flowers that have
grown up in virgin forests, nurtured by rain and sunshine, fanned by
vigorous breezes and shielded from all the hot-house influences of a
morbid civilization. So rich and spontaneous are many of these melodies
that they can be thoroughly enjoyed even when sung without harmony or
accompaniment, while for advanced classes it is easy to write second and
third vocal parts, thus adding to their interest and value.

While early familiarity with the best of these songs would have a good
effect in refining the popular sense of melody, the appreciation of what
came last and is highest in music--of harmonic progressions--could best
be taught by a similar familiarity with the German four-part chorals.
They are the very embodiment of vigorous, soul-stirring harmony, the
basis of sacred, as the _Volkslied_ is of secular, music. "Each of our
churches," says Thibaut, the author of the celebrated little book on
_Purity in Musical Art_, "had a period of the highest enthusiasm, which
will never return, and each of them has at this very period of the most
ardent religious zeal done its utmost for the development of its song."
The German choral is the result of the intense devotional feelings which
existed among the early Protestant congregations, and it is evident that
a wholesome religious spirit could with it be introduced in our schools
in a manner which could be objectionable to no denomination. In course
of time these chorals might then be transferred to our churches, where
they might well take the place of the easier but very eccentric melodies
and incorrect harmonies now too often heard there.

  HENRY T. FINCK.



OUR MONTHLY GOSSIP.

A SUCCESSFUL ENTERPRISE.


In one of the side streets of a city which fronts on Long Island Sound
is to be found a curiosity-shop whose show-window challenges the
attention of all lovers of the quaint and queer by its jumble of cracked
and ancient porcelain, old-fashioned brasses and small articles of more
or less valuable bric-à-brac. Inside, the three small rooms are crowded
with sets of delft and willow china, old candlesticks, clocks, andirons,
fenders, high-backed chairs and the like. The whole aspect of the place
is shabby and dingy, and the antique furniture has no chance of showing
either its worth or its dignity amid such surroundings; yet the traffic
which goes on in this "curiosity-shop" has already brought a respectable
fortune to the owner, and promises, if the rage for revivals of ancient
fashions continues, to make him a capitalist. Knapp, as we will call
this dealer in second-hand furniture and bric-à-brac, began his trade
some five or six years ago. He was originally a tin-peddler, travelling
up and down the country with his wagon, offering tin and glass ware in
return for rags, feathers and old metals. Knapp probably had, to start
with, a touch of that original genius which transmutes the most ordinary
conditions of life into means of personal aggrandizement. He laid the
stepping-stone to his fortune when it one day occurred to him to accept
a piece of old-fashioned Wedgwood ware in return for half a dozen
shining tins. It was an inspiration which he considered half a weakness,
but he yielded to it, and afterward had cause to congratulate himself
when he found an opportunity for disposing of the cup at a remunerative
rate. This gave him an impulse of curiosity toward any heirlooms in the
way of china and pottery to be found among the farmers' wives in the
section of New England he traversed; and his activities soon had their
reward. At that date the passion for ceramics was but just beginning to
invade our cities, and not a suspicion of it stirred the minds of the
good women who artlessly opened their cupboards and displayed their
treasures of Worcester china and willow-ware to the ingratiating Knapp.
No man in the world was ever better calculated to drive good bargains
for himself, yet leave an impression on his victim's mind that the
peddler's interest in a "sort of china which matched a set his
grandmother used to have" was running away with his better judgment.

Knapp became shortly a most interesting personage to people who were
making collections, and he attained, besides ingenuity, genuine taste
and skill in detecting marks and discerning values. In a year he had as
nice a knowledge of china and pottery as any one in the country, and if
the farmers' wives were so much the poorer by the loss of what had been
in the family for generations, they did not recognize their loss.

However, it was by old clocks and brass andirons and fenders that Knapp
made his fortune. A gentleman asked him to procure him some
old-fashioned articles of this sort, and the peddler at once went into
the matter on speculation, and bought up all the old brasses he could
find within a radius of fifty miles. These fenders and andirons were
gladly parted with, growing rusty as they had been for years, and almost
forgotten in garrets and cellars. New England farmers remember too
distinctly the shiverings and burnings of their youth not to feel an
insurmountable prejudice against open fires. So Knapp, whose wider
knowledge made him master of the fact that this present generation,
sickened of stoves and dreary black holes in the wall and burnt dead
heat, and longing for some cheerful household centre, were restoring the
old fireplaces and open fires, where the flames could leap and roar,
and the logs burn and glow and smoulder,--Knapp, I say, humored this
fancy by opening his shop and offering his old-fashioned fenders and
andirons to the public. He had bought them at a mere song, and sold them
again at a price so reasonable that any purchaser might be suited, yet
still at a profit of five hundred to a thousand per cent.

Once started as a regular dealer, he went steadily on: his activity was
incessant, and always productive. His energies seemed to have been
shaped by an unerring and divining instinct. He found old sideboards,
chests, wardrobes, brought from England two centuries ago, dropping to
pieces in barns and cellars. He found an "almost priceless Elizabethan
cabinet" serving as a hen-house in a farmer's barnyard, and another in a
little better condition used as a receptacle for pies in his cellar. He
bought them both for five dollars, had them "restored," and sold one for
eight hundred and the other for five hundred dollars. It is true that
this process of "restoration" was an expensive one, and in his next
venture of the sort he demanded higher prices without offering articles
so valuable or so unique. At present he is engaged in refurnishing a
North River mansion of colonial times with suitable furniture and
decorations, and will be handsomely rewarded for his pains. But he is
too well known now to find rare and curious articles as freely parted
with as they were a few years ago. Still, the hard times help him. Then,
too, in New England old families are constantly passing away, and
leaving what small possessions belonged to the last surviving maiden of
the race to far-away relations. These possessions, consisting of good
solid old furniture, are certain to become Knapp's if he finds anything
desirable among them. He has been known to go to a house within twelve
hours of the death of the last surviving member of the family, and offer
to negotiate with a servant or friend of the deceased for a chair,
table, clock or sideboard he coveted. I doubt if an auction of old
furniture has occurred for four years within one hundred miles of him
where he has not been the first and the most privileged buyer.

  L.W.



SMALL-WAISTED WOMEN.


If the truth be fairly stated, women have many excuses for their
infatuation regarding small waists. It is Mrs. Haweis who says, "The
reason why a small waist is a beauty is because, when it is natural, it
goes together with the peculiar litheness and activity of a
slenderly-built figure. All the bones are small, the shoulders and arms
_petite_, and the general look is dainty and youthful." In other words,
a small waist is only a beauty when it is in proportion to the rest of
the figure. The common mistake lies in considering it a beauty in a
large woman of massive proportions. A few centuries ago women did not
take a scientific view of things, and fell into delusions which in this
age are a disgrace to the sex. They knew nothing of anatomy, of the law
of proportion or of the curve of beauty, and they misunderstood the
language of admiration. The latter I suspect to be at the root of the
whole matter. Poets were, as we shall presently see, everlastingly
praising small waists, and women fell into the error of supposing that a
small waist was, in the abstract, a beauty and an attraction. When or
where the mistake originated I cannot tell, but here are the words of
praise of probably a fourteenth-century lover: "Middel heo hath menskful
smal," or, "She hath a graceful small waist." At a later day Master
Wither included in the attractions of her who had left him,

          Her wast exceeding small,
            The fives did fit her shoo;
          But now, alasse! sh'as left me.

This suits exactly the modern view of a small waist and a No. 5 shoe.

In the well-known Scotch ballad "Edom o' Gordon" the Lady Rodes is
represented as being shut up by Gordon in her burning castle. The smoke
was suffocating when,

          Oh than bespaik her dochter dear:
          She was baith jimp and sma', etc.

Here it might be said that the evident youth of the girl, who was
dropped over the wall and fell on the point of the cruel Gordon's spear,
accounts for her being "jimp and sma'." The explanation will not apply
to "The Cruel Sister," as given by Sir Walter Scott:

          She took her by the middle sma',
            Binnorie, O Binnorie!

So fascinated was the rhymer by that special feature of her beauty that
he returns to it after recounting how the elder sister drowned the
younger:

          You could not see her middle sma',
            Binnorie, O Binnorie!
          Her gouden girdle was so bra,
            By the bonny milldams of Binnorie.

Another instance is in the opening verse of Sir Walter Scott's version
of "The Lass of Lochroyan:"

          Oh wha will shoe my bonny foot?
            And wha will glove my hand?
          And wha will lace my middle jimp
            Wi' a lang, lang linen band?

The last line appears to indicate the use of a linen band, as the Roman
ladies used the _strophium_, a broad ribbon tied round the breast as a
support. From this it may be inferred that the "Lass of Lochroyan" did
not owe her "middle jimp" to any very deadly artificial means of
compression.

One of the most remarkable instances that can be adduced is in the
original version of "Annie Laurie," by William Douglas, a Scottish poet
of the seventeenth century. It has been so completely displaced by a
later version that few are probably acquainted with the song as written
by Douglas:

          She's backit like a peacock,
            She's breisted like a swan,
          She's jimp about the middle,
            Her waist ye weel micht span;
          Her waist ye weel micht span,
            And she has a rolling ee, etc.

In view of all these passages is there any wonder that it is hard to
persuade women that men do not admire "wasp" waists? How are they to
know that the "jimp middle" of the ballads was in its jimpness in
proportion to the shoulders? The trouble is, that the early rhymesters
have used up the only side of the question capable of poetical
treatment. One cannot sing of the reverse: no poet could seriously lift
up his voice in praise of her "ample waist" or "graceful portliness." In
order to reach woman's ear, modern writers must adopt a different
course, and it is curious to contrast their utterances with those of the
ballad-makers. Place Charles Reade by the side of Douglas, and then what
becomes of the "waist ye weel micht span"? After showing how the liver,
lungs, heart, stomach and spleen are packed by Nature, the novelist
asks: "Is it a small thing for the creature (who uses a corset) to say
to her Creator, 'I can pack all this egg-china better than you can,' and
thereupon to jam all those vital organs close by a powerful, a very
powerful, and ingenious machine?"

Every lady should read _A Simpleton_, and learn something of the
monstrous wrong she inflicts upon herself by trying to compass an
artificially-produced "middle sae jimp." It will prepare her for Mrs.
Haweis's lessons upon _The Art of Beauty_. One or two passages will give
a hint of their flavor: "Nothing is so ugly as a pinched waist: it puts
the hips and shoulders invariably out of proportion in width.... In
deforming the waist almost all the vital organs are affected by the
pressure, and the ribs are pushed out of their proper place."
"Tight-lacing is ugly, because it distorts the natural lines of the
figure, and gives an appearance of uncertainty and unsafeness.... Men
seldom take to wife a girl who has too small a waist, whether natural or
artificial." "In architecture, a pillar or support of any kind is called
debased and bad in art if what is supported be too heavy for the thing
supporting, and if a base be abnormally heavy and large for what it
upholds. The laws of proportion and balance must be understood. In a
waist of fifteen inches both are destroyed, and the corresponding effect
is unpleasant to the eye. The curve of the waist is coarse and
immoderate, utterly opposed to what Ruskin has shown to be beauty in a
curve. Real or artificial, such a waist is always ugly: if real, it is a
deformity that should be disguised; if artificial, it is culpable, and
nasty to boot."

No rhyming can withstand such reasoning. If the ballads really had any
effect in fostering an admiration of abnormally small waists, both
science and a truer conception of beauty should by this time have
counteracted their influence. Women cannot much longer, with decency,
plead ignorance of the results of a practice which would be ridiculous
were it less pernicious.

  J.J.



VICTOR HUGO AT HOME.


On the steep heights of the Rue de Clichy, at the corner of a street, we
find the number 21. How many heads crowned either with a laurel or a
diadem have passed beneath the arch of this doorway since Victor Hugo
left the Rue Pigalle to take up his abode here! The apartment inhabited
by the poet can hardly be considered either spacious or elegant. Its
dining-room is of cramped dimensions, and the famous red drawing-room,
though handsomely furnished, lacks the air of individuality that one
would naturally expect to find in it. Probably this arises from the
wandering life that Victor Hugo has led for so many years. After the
_coup d'état_ the furniture of his house in the Rue de la Tour
d'Auvergne was sold at auction. Contrary to custom, and probably through
the interference of some member of the imperial party, no police were at
hand to protect or watch over the articles exposed for sale.
Consequently, the depredations were frightful. Small objects were
carried off bodily, tapestries were cut to pieces and the furniture and
statues were mercilessly mutilated. One well-dressed man walked off with
Columbus's compass--that which the insurrectionists had a few months
before examined so respectfully, their leader remarking, "That compass
discovered America." Many of the poet's household treasures remain at
Hauteville House, in the island of Guernsey.

But the curiosity of the abode is the study. From floor to ceiling it is
one mass of books, letters, newspapers and manuscripts: the chairs, the
mantelpiece, the table have disappeared beneath their burdens. A narrow
path, shaped in the midst of these accumulations, permits the poet to
pass from the door to the window, Victor Hugo's correspondence is
enormous, and is continually increasing. He receives letters from all
sorts of people on all sorts of subjects--letters of homage and letters
of abuse, requests for autographs and demands for money, verses sent by
youthful poets with prayers for his advice, and the wails of the
oppressed who look to him as their sworn champion. Very seldom does
Victor Hugo refuse to answer, though his responses are necessarily
brief. Among these accumulated papers must be cited the vast mass of
Victor Hugo's unpublished works. He never fails to devote a certain
portion of the day to literary work, his brain being as clear, his
imagination as fertile, his pen as ready, as they were twenty-five years
ago. "Nulla dies sine linea" is the motto of his daily life. Yet with
all his industry he has been heard to lament that he will not live long
enough to transfer to paper all the conceptions that crowd his busy
brain. In January, 1876, he remarked to a friend, "Were I to begin
giving to the world my unpublished and completed works, I could issue a
new volume monthly for a year." Among these treasures for posterity are
to be found the tragedies of _Torquemada_ and the _Twins_ (the Iron
Mask); the comedies of the _Grandmother_, _The Sword_, and perchance
_The Brother of Gavroche_; a fairy piece wherein the flowers and trees
play speaking parts; volumes of poems entitled _The Four Winds of the
Mind_, _All the Lyre_, _Just Indignation_, _The Sinister Years_ (a
connecting link between _Les Châtiments_ and a _Terrible Year_); and
even a scientific work on the effects of the sphere. He once said, "I
have more to do than I have yet done. It seems to me that as I advance
in years my horizon grows larger, so I shall depart and leave my work
unfinished. It would take several more lifetimes to write down all that
fills my brain. I shall never complete my task, but I am resigned: I see
in my future more than I behold in my past."

He was once speaking of the dénouement of _Marion Delorme_, and remarked
that he had written two last scenes for that tragedy, the first sombre
and terrible, the second tender and touching, and that he had preferred
the former, but had yielded to the counsels of his friends and the
actors in the piece, and had suffered it to be produced with the more
gentle dénouement. On being asked if he had destroyed the rejected
scene, he made answer that he preserved everything he had ever written.
"Posterity can destroy what it pleases, and keep what it pleases," he
added with a smile.

Victor Hugo's receptions are delightfully simple and informal. He is at
home one evening in the week, when his friends and admirers gather round
him. No change of toilette is needed: the ladies appear in walking
costume, the gentlemen in frock-coats. "The Master," as his intimate
friends and disciples love to call him, avoids all airs and posing with
the quiet simplicity of true genius. He does not plant himself in the
midst of his company, neither does he assume the consequential manners
of a dictator. Seated in an arm-chair or on a sofa beside some favored
guest, he converses--he does not discourse. At an early hour, in view of
the age and the simple habits of the host, the company separate, the
most enthusiastic raising the hand of the Master to their lips as they
take leave. One of the greatest charms about Victor Hugo's manner is
that he never shrinks from or repels any manifestation of genuine
admiration or homage. Unlike celebrities of far less note, who profess
to be indignant or disgusted at any such manifestations, he lends
himself to what must often be wearisome to him with a kindly
graciousness that often changes the enthusiasm of his admirers into a
passionate personal attachment.

Few men have ever enjoyed so wide-spread and enduring a popularity as
does Victor Hugo among the people of Paris. When, during the dark days
of 1870, he returned from his long exile, he was greeted at the
railway-station by a vast crowd, which escorted his carriage to his
first resting-place, the home of M. Paul Meurice, and he was twice
compelled to address a few words to them in order to appease their
eagerness to hear his voice. When he appears in public on great and
solemn occasions, such as the funeral of M. Thiers, he is invariably
made the object of a popular ovation of the most touching character.
People climb up the sides of his carriage to touch his hand, mothers
lift up their children to the windows imploring his blessing, and the
cry of "Vive Victor Hugo!" goes up from the very hearts of the throng.
On the day of the funeral of Madame Paul Meurice, as the cortége was
going along the exterior boulevards, it passed near a menagerie. Just as
the carriage of Victor Hugo came opposite the door the lions within set
up a tremendous roar. "They know that the _other one_ is passing by,"
said an old workingman beside the carriage ("Ils sentent que l'autre
passe"). The fondness of Victor Hugo for riding about Paris on the top
of an omnibus is well known. It has sometimes happened that on tendering
his fare the conductor has put the coin aside with the remark, "I shall
keep that as a relic." One day, on returning from a session of the
senate at Versailles, he arrived late at the station. It was a snowy
day, the train was full, and he was obliged to climb into a fourth-class
place, a seat on the top of the cars. The benches were covered with
snow. A workingman who recognized the poet would not let him sit down
till with his blouse he had wiped the seat clean and dry. Victor Hugo
thanked him and offered him his hand, and with a naïve delight the good
fellow cried, "Ah, monsieur, ah, citizen, how proud I am to have seen
you and touched you!" More than once the cabman employed to take the
poet to his house has refused to accept his fare, declaring that the
honor of having driven Victor Hugo was recompense enough. On the day of
the funeral of M. Thiers so dense a crowd surrounded the carriage of the
poet that it remained for a long time motionless and imprisoned, and the
shouts that greeted him were so wildly enthusiastic that the coachman
who was driving his carriage fairly shed tears, remarking, however, in a
shame-faced manner, "A crying coachman! what a silly sight!"

Naturally, beside this passionate love stands a hate as passionate. The
vindictive fury of the Bonapartists against Victor Hugo can easily be
understood. No writer more than he has contributed to render a
restoration of the Empire impossible. Hence insults of all kinds, from
the calumny openly printed in an imperialist newspaper to the anonymous
letter overflowing with menaces. One of these, received in September,
1877, threatened the poet in no doubtful terms. "Do not imagine,
scoundrel, that we will let you escape us a second time:" so ran one of
its paragraphs. Under the Second Empire all letters written to or by
Victor Hugo were compelled to pass through the ordeal of the Black
Cabinet. Many of his Parisian correspondents evaded this surveillance by
sending their letters under cover to acquaintances in Germany or by
confiding them to travellers who were going to England. But the letters
of the poet to his friends in France were invariably opened and read,
and many of them were confiscated. In a sarcastic mood Victor Hugo
caused a quantity of envelopes to be prepared for his use, in one corner
of which was printed an extract from the law forbidding any agent of the
government to open or to tamper with any letter that passes through the
post-office. On one occasion he wrote across the address of a letter,
"Family matters--useless to open it."

It is said that the empress Eugénie, after perusing _Les Châtiments_,
threw the volume aside with this exclamation: "I do not see what harm we
have ever done to this M. Hugo." This remark was afterward repeated to
the poet. "Tell her that the harm was the second of December," was his
reply.

The bottle that contained the ink used in writing _Napoleon le Petit_
had a curious history. That splendid and fiery piece of invective, so
amply justified by after events, was commenced on the 12th of June,
1852, and finished on the 14th of July, the anniversary of the taking of
the Bastile. With the few drops of ink that remained in the bottle
Victor Hugo wrote upon its label--

          Out of this bottle
          Came _Napoleon the Little_,

and affixed his signature. The bottle was given by Victor Hugo to Madame
Drouet, who afterward presented it to a young physician who had attended
her through a dangerous illness. This young physician, Dr. Yvan, owed to
the intercession of Prince Jerome Napoleon permission to return to
France to visit his dying father. Having invited the prince to dinner
after his return, he showed him as a curiosity the famous bottle. No
sooner had the prince read the inscription than he insisted upon taking
possession of it, and in spite of the remonstrances of Dr. Yvan he
carried it off in triumph.

Victor Hugo is very hospitable, and delights in having three or four
friends to dine with him, but his appetite, though healthful, is neither
very great nor very dainty: he prefers plain food and drinks only light
claret habitually. He is a very early riser, and on fine spring or
summer mornings he may often be met at six o'clock taking a stroll in
the Champs Élysées. Of his fondness for riding on the tops of omnibuses
I have already spoken. These long rides, when he traverses Paris from
one end to the other, are his periods of composition. He sits plunged in
a profound reverie, with vague eyes gazing unseeing into space. So well
are his moods understood by the conductors and habitual travellers on
those lines that he is always left undisturbed. Sometimes the greater
part of the day will be passed in these excursions, nor does any
severity of the weather ever daunt the aged poet. Yet with all the quiet
simplicity of his habits his daily life has not escaped the shafts of
calumny. The Bonapartist press declared that he was a drunkard who used
often to be picked up insensible from the floor of his own dining-room.
He has been called an assassin because of his sympathy with the
proscribed Communists, a madman because of his enthusiastic and
impassioned utterances, and he has been said to be a hunchback whose
deformity was dissimulated by the skill of his tailor.

Any sketch of the poet's home-life would be incomplete did I not touch
on his passionate fondness for his grand-children, the two little beings
whose prattle and caresses lend a charm of peculiar sweetness to the
waning hours of that illustrious career. For them the world-renowned
genius is but the most loving and tender of grandfathers. Their games,
their studies, their baby caprices, sway the actions of that grand
personality as the zephyrs ruffle the surface of the summer ocean. The
creator of _Marion Delorme_ excels in manoeuvring a puppet-show and in
getting up plays on a dolls' theatre. The author of _Les Miserables_
often lulls these little ones to sleep with improvised tales of
wonderful fascination. For their sakes he becomes a sculptor and moulds
in bread-crumb most marvellous pigs with four matches for legs. They it
is who know best the almost feminine tenderness, the wellnigh maternal
love, of which that powerful nature is capable.

I write in the present tense, yet as I write these things exist no
longer. The red drawing-room is closed, the dwelling on the Rue de
Clichy is deserted. Victor Hugo is in Guernsey, and from that far
retreat come sinister rumors respecting his failing health. These are
denied by his friends, but are stoutly supported by his enemies. Which
of them speak the truth? That is hard to tell. It may be that this grand
career, long and lustrous as a summer day, has reached its evening hour
at last. Perchance we shall see no more the massive head framed in its
snow-white locks and beard, the piercing eyes, the stalwart frame that
bore so lightly the burden of wellnigh fourscore years. It may be so,
and yet we hope, we pray, for the return of him who lights our century
with the lustre of the great creative genius of the world.

  L.H.H.



SPIRITS IN SCANDINAVIA.


Although it is generally known that there have been of late great and
peculiar changes in the laws which regulate the sale of intoxicating
drinks in the Scandinavian peninsula, there is not among foreigners an
accurate idea of these changes. It may not therefore be uninteresting
to state them a little in detail, as well as to glance at the results as
gathered from personal experience and observation in different parts of
Sweden and Norway. It should be premised that the peculiar "vanity" of
both the Swedes and the Norwegians is spirits, and that the recent
licensing laws in Scandinavia have been largely levelled against the
sale of these drinks. For about a century prior to 1854, Sweden was so
given to drunkenness that one who has had special opportunities of
judging described it as "the most drunken country in the world." Free
trade in spirits was practically in force: every small land-owner could
distil on payment of a nominal license fee, and in towns every burgher
had the right of sale. The whole country may be said "to have been
deluged with spirits;" but, profiting by the exertions of the apostles
of temperance, a public opinion was created which twenty-four years ago
produced a bill on which the existing _general_ law is based. It
abolished the small stills and imposed a comparatively heavy duty on the
popular drink, _branvin_. It established a sort of threefold control
over the issue of new licenses for the sale of spirits, under which the
communal committee, the commune and the governor of a province have
power to restrict or lessen the number of such licenses, while each
seller of spirits was required to pay to the local rates a tax on the
amount of spirits sold. The licenses were issued for periods of three
years, and sold by auction to the highest bidders. To such an extent has
the sale of spirits been swept under this law from the rural parts of
Sweden that in 1871 there were only four hundred and sixty places for
the sale of spirits in the country, the towns excepted. From observation
and from the report of others the writer is able to say that the effect
of this has been most beneficial in the rural parts, materially
contributing to the sobriety and the moral welfare of the people. The
general law, it may be noticed, had some of the clauses which are
commonly supposed to attach to the later local laws that have been put
into operation. It contained a permissive clause which allowed of the
formation of companies to control the spirit-sale in towns. One company
may take the whole of the licenses allotted to any town, guaranteeing a
certain income to the town from such sale of spirits. In Gothenburg, the
chief port of Sweden, such a company was formed at the suggestion of a
committee appointed in 1865 to inquire into the cause of the constant
increase of pauperism and insanity there, which it charged largely on
the sale of spirits, especially in dark, unhealthy places. This company,
which was called the "Goteborg Utskankings Bolag," began operations in
October, 1865, with forty licenses, and acquired by 1868 the whole of
the public-house licenses for the sale of spirits, with the exception of
about a dozen, the owners of which had life-licenses. The Bolag, or
company, had, with these exceptions, a monopoly of the sale of spirits
in the town in places for consumption on the premises, and a monopoly to
that extent only. It weeded out some of the worst of these
public-houses: it improved the condition of the rest, appointing
salaried managers, who had in addition the profit on the sale of food
and all drinks except spirits, the sale of the latter being under very
stringent regulations for the profit only of the Bolag. The managers
were compelled to sell food, "cooked and hot" if needed; to give no
credit; to keep orderly, clean and well-ventilated houses; to allow no
drunkenness; and not to sell spirits to those "overloaded." In the first
ten years of its existence the Bolag met with opposition, not only from
spirit-sellers who sold for non-consumption on the premises, but also
from the many sellers of ale and porter, who were permitted to sell
those drinks unnoticed by the law. It is claimed that in spite of this
competition the working of the company materially contributed to the
sobriety of the town; and it may be worth while to test this by the
facts.

When the Bolag began in 1865 there were, for the police year, 2070 cases
of drunkenness; in 1866 there were only 1424; and there was a decrease
in the next year, and again in 1868, when the number was 1320, which has
proved the minimum. From that period there has been an increase, until
in 1876--the latest year for which the facts are procurable--the number
of cases was 2357. But during the whole of that time the population has
been increasing: it was 46,557 in 1866, and in 1876 it was over 66,000;
so that the apparent increase in these years is a proportionate though
very small decrease--a decrease of about one per cent. There has been
also a large decrease in the more serious crimes reported to the police
of the town. As to pauperism, there is a decrease in the number of
persons receiving entire relief from the community, but an increase in
the number of those receiving partial relief. The sales of spirits by
the company's agents have materially increased, but it is urged that
this is due to the fact that in its earlier years it had more opposition
to encounter, while in 1875 it had acquired a full monopoly over the
sale of spirits, except in the instances of the life-licenses, which had
been reduced in number. Its gross profits have materially increased,
rising from £7200 in English money in 1865 to £52,850 in 1876, and the
amount of the net profit it paid into the town treasury had increased
from £2800 to £40,100! The authorities of the town are satisfied with
these results; and there is an almost universal belief that the state of
Gothenburg in regard to drunkenness is incomparably better than it would
have been without the operation of the Bolag: at the same time it is
fair to state that some are of opinion that the benefits have not been
so great as they should have been, and that the company has to some
extent been worked rather with a view to money-making for the community
than to the repression of drunkenness. As to the general opinion, it is
indicated by the fact that every large town in Sweden has now followed
in the wake of Gothenburg. In 1871 the Norwegian Storthing passed a law
to enable their towns to follow suit; and about a score have adopted a
similar scheme, modified by allowing the profits of the Norwegian
"associations" to be paid by the members to objects of public utility.

As to personal impressions of the working of the system, it may be first
said that attention having been so fully directed to the provision made
for sale of food in these public-houses, this was tested in many with
satisfactory results--food cheap, plentiful and wholesome being
procurable. The public-houses were found to be generally neat and
orderly, but not equal in comfort or appearance to the public-houses in
other lands, several of them being underground vaults merely. The
company has in Gothenburg twenty-five public-houses now; it leases the
right of sale of spirits to eleven eating-houses and clubs; it has seven
spirit-shops and thirteen wholesale places of sale; so that it makes
ample provision for the satisfying of the thirsty throats of the Swedes.
Unquestionably, Gothenburg has still a larger amount of drunkenness than
is known in towns of equal size elsewhere, and a few minutes'
observation near one of these "model public-houses" shows that there is
a very great sale of drink; but it is also evident that much of the sale
on market-days is to country-people from districts where there are no
public-houses. Finally, the result of some time given to observation and
to the consideration of the question on the spot convinced us that the
stricter regulation and supervision of the sale of spirits in this
method has reduced the proportionate drunkenness so far as it is brought
before police notice; that the public-houses are improved in appearance
and in order; that the grosser evils are to some extent done away with,
and the community pecuniarily benefited; but that the working of this
"experiment" has not succeeded in lessening the exceedingly large local
demand for spirits.

  J.W.S.



RUSSIAN RECRUITING.


It is a common observation in the mouths of men who are estimating
Russia's military strength that, although short of money, she has at
least a boundless supply of men; but this idea, though plausible at
first sight, is utterly erroneous. A few years ago the confidence of
the Russian optimists in their "inexhaustible numbers" was rudely shaken
by the discovery that in a single year, out of eighty-four thousand
conscripts sent up to the various recruiting centres, no fewer than
forty-four thousand were rejected as unfitted for service by disease or
other physical defects, _not_ inclusive of short stature. The government
took the alarm, and gave orders for the immediate formation of a medical
commission and the thorough investigation of the sanitary condition of
the population at large. This was promptly done, and the result startled
all Russia with the announcement that her strength was barely one-half
what it had previously been supposed to be.

Nor is this by any means an over-statement of the case. In European
Russia the weakness in productive ages is such that whereas in Great
Britain the proportion of persons alive between the ages of fifteen and
sixty is 548 in the thousand, and in Belgium 518, in Russia it barely
reaches 265. It is computed that in the government of Pultava alone, by
no means a populous district, not less than one hundred thousand persons
are absolutely disabled by various chronic complaints. Out of the
forty-nine millions of the laboring class, the "raw material" of the
Russian army, fully fifty per cent. are practically unfit to serve. The
statistics of the average duration of human life are even more terribly
significant. In England and Northern Germany, according to the best
authorities, every man lives, on an average, about 40 years; in Southern
Germany, 38 years; and in France, 36. In Russia, on the other hand, the
average, even in the healthiest regions (_i.e._ the north and west),
varies from 27 to 22 years. Along the banks of the Volga and in the
south-east provinces generally, where the conditions of life are less
favorable, the proportion falls as low as 20 years, while in the
governments of Perm, Viatka and Orenburg it is only 15.

In whatever way this glaring evil may be explained away by native
apologists, it really springs from two very simple causes--insufficient
wages and popular ignorance. The miserably low scale of wages among the
artisans of the great towns has long since become proverbial, but in the
agricultural districts matters are even worse. The ordinary wages of the
Russian "field-hand" are as follows: Laborers by the day, 37-1/2 kopecks
(about 25 cents) per diem; by the month, 23 kopecks (15 cents); by the
season, 17 kopecks (11 cents); in harvest, 75 kopecks (half a dollar).
For this pittance the peasants toil from twelve to fifteen, and often
sixteen, hours a day; and, thanks to their insufficient food, the
constant strain soon begins to tell. A few seasons of such overwork and
their strength breaks down altogether, while, instead of the substantial
diet needed to recruit it, their scanty fare is still further diminished
by the countless fasts of the Greek Church, occurring twice, or even
thrice, a week. Hence, upon the first outbreak of fever or cholera the
poor creatures perish helplessly, thousands upon thousands, while the
St. Petersburg fashionables, yawning over the printed death-roll,
languidly wonder why the lower classes are so careless of their health.
Nor are the calamities entailed by superstition less deplorable than
those which spring from poverty. Those who have seen, in the villages of
the interior, new-born infants plunged in ice-cold water which it would
be thought sacrilege to warm; children of four and five running about on
a bitter day in the fall of the year with no clothing but a light linen
shirt; cholera-stricken peasants refusing the medicines offered them;
and women employed in hard field-labor three days after their
confinement,--can easily credit the statement, frightful as it is, that
at least fifty, and in some cases eighty-three, per cent. of the
children born in the provinces die in their infancy, and that the
population of certain districts has diminished fully one-third during
the past generation.

  D.K.



SOCIETIES OF HEALTH.


That an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure has passed into a
proverb, and yet there is no doubt that the majority of the cases of
sickness, general ill health and debility, especially with women, arise
from a disregard of the simplest rules for health. But how shall the
people learn these rules unless they are taught them? and who so well
fitted to teach them as the doctors?

Does any one say that it is against the interest of the doctors to
prevent disease? The reply would be that such a conception of the
medical profession is a very low one; for doctors were men before they
acquired their profession, and there is little doubt that they would
find their profession a much more agreeable, and possibly a more
profitable, one if, as in China, they were paid for keeping their
patients well, instead of for curing, or trying to cure, them when they
are sick.

At least such a conception of his office has occurred to Dr. George
Dutton of Springfield, Mass., and he has been engaged for some years in
attempting to have the idea practically introduced in that city. About
two years ago he started a Society of Health there with a few members.
The members, who have now reached about fifty, pay him two dollars each
a year for advice and one dollar for the expenses of the society.
Whenever they need his services they call upon him and get his advice
gratis, or he calls upon them at their homes for half price. But this is
the smallest part of the innovation. By the agreement Dr. Dutton binds
himself to give them a free lecture once a month upon matters of hygiene
and cognate subjects, either serving as lecturer himself or obtaining
the services of some competent person for the same duty. When the
society was first formed it was made a part of the agreement that the
members should annually elect their consulting physician, but so far the
society has preferred to elect Dr. Dutton to this position.

In these days of enforced combinations for economy there is no reason
why such societies of health should not multiply, to the manifest
benefit of all parties concerned.

  E.H.



LITERATURE OF THE DAY.

     The Cossacks: A Tale of the Caucasus in 1852. By Count Leo Tolstoy.
     Translated from the Russian by Eugene Schuyler. New York: Charles
     Scribner's Sons.


Russian novels, to judge from the specimens that have been presented to
English readers, are prose poems rather than novels in the English sense
of the word, dealing more with poetic phases than with those details and
events of ordinary life which go to make up English and American novels
of the better class. With whatever elaboration of plot or the reverse,
they are distinctly artistic compositions, in which every part is in
unison with a dominant idea, and their effect, not being scattered or
diluted, is single and more or less forcible. Their method is the
reverse of analytical. Nothing, for example, could be further from the
pregnant sentences, the exhaustive analysis, of George Eliot, whose
books are freighted with the accumulated and ever-accumulating wisdom of
a life, than the poetic suggestiveness of Tourgueneff's creations, in
which a wealth of material is sacrificed to artistic perfection, and the
highest thought often seems to lie between the lines. George Eliot lays
bare the innermost souls of her characters--we enter fully into their
lives and thoughts: with Tourgueneff's it is left to a glance of the
eye, a few passionate words, to reveal the mind within. In _The
Cossacks_ this absence of analysis is still more apparent. It is a
picture of a curious and simple race, painted, not from within, but from
the outside or Russian point of view. But here is no refining, no
affectation of pastoral simplicity. _The Cossacks_ is distinctly a
primitive poem, one which can scarcely be classed either as idyl or
epic, though, in spite of its scenes being mainly rural, it perhaps
approaches more nearly to the epic. There is an Homeric simplicity in
its descriptions of half-drunken warriors with their superb physique,
their bravado, their native dignity and singleness of character.
Marianka, the beautiful heroine, passes from one picture to another in
her quiet, regular toil. Whether, clad in a loose skirt of pink cotton,
she drives the oxen or piles the _kizyak_ or dung-fuel along the fence
with her hoe, or in holiday attire mingles with other girls at evening,
she is always a subject for the artist's brush. What thoughts occupied
this stately figure, in what way ideas circulated in her kerchiefed
head, we are left to divine. Her conduct is a little enigmatical. Had
she any thought of marrying Olenin, or were her actions dictated by
coquetry accompanied by a spice of mischief? We are inclined to the
latter opinion.

The story of _The Cossacks_ exhibits a close similarity to that of a
recent English (or rather Irish) novel, _The Hon. Miss Ferrard_. Both
books transport a man of culture to the midst of a rude and more or less
primitive people: in each, the hero, smitten with the beauty of a native
girl (and in Olenin's case with the wild freshness of the life), is
seized with a desire to throw off his old life, with its polish, its
intellectual disappointments and its limitations, and become a primitive
man among primitive men. In both, the moral and end are substantially
the same. The girl's affections are bestowed naturally in her own class,
and the disconsolate urban discovers that a wide divergence of feelings
and sympathies, a gulf not to be voluntarily bridged over, lies between
the man of the world and the illiterate peasant; that the results of
habit are not lightly to be got rid of; and that a happiness which lies
below us in the social scale may be as unattainable as higher prizes.
The relations of the romantic and dreamy Olenin to his barbaric
neighbors are finely portrayed. Nothing could be more natural than his
presenting the young Cossack Lukashka with a horse in a fit of generous
enthusiasm, and the latter's astonished and suspicious reception of the
gift. Being utterly unable to divine its motive, he suspects some
lurking design of evil, and regards the generosity as a deceit practised
upon him.

But any comparison with an English book would but faintly illustrate
_The Cossacks_. In the novelty of its scenes and characters, in its
poetic simplicity of form and its unconscious picturesqueness, it is
widely different from anything in our literature. It has a certain
coldness, the coldness of an epic; for passion, though not lacking, is
kept in abeyance in its pages, which are indeed chiefly filled with
pictures, a set of literary _chef d'oeuvres_, drawn with great power
and vividness and full, of color and poetic feeling. That the book
should produce such an impression in a translation so uncouth and
blundering as Mr. Schuyler has given us is a strong testimony to its
merit. It is usually thought that a translator ought to be tolerably
familiar with two languages, but readers of _The Cossacks_ will be
forced to doubt if Mr. Schuyler is acquainted with one.


     Molly Bawn: A Novel. By the author of "Phyllis." Philadelphia: J.
     B. Lippincott & Co.

_Molly Bawn_ disarms criticism by its exuberant gayety, its lusciousness
of description, its imperturbable good-humor and self-satisfaction, and
its utter absence of responsibility. What can an auld _critic_ do wi' a
young _book_? And such a very young book!--so full of sweets and
prettinesses, of audacious coquetries, and of jokes delivered with such
a simple and fatuous joy that the meed of our laughter cannot be denied
them! If we were to suggest that there is rather a surfeit of these good
things, our objection would be liable to be set aside as the acrid
cavilling of one whose taste for sweetmeats has been vitiated by
dyspeptic tendencies. We can only recommend the book with hearty
good-will to those whose sweet tooth still preserves its enamel,
congratulating them upon the acquisition of a novel which may be read
without any of those harassing perplexities or dismal ideas in which
petulant authors embroil our tender susceptibilities--a novel in which
the utmost pathos is in the little poutings of true lovers; in which
kissing goes by favor, and favor is lavishly distributed; in which
ugliness is the only crime, and virtue, or rather beauty (which is the
same thing), is unfailingly triumphant. The stock scenery and
properties, together with the usual characters of a society novel appear
in _Molly Bawn_; and the personages are invested, if not with the divine
gift of life, with a certain wire-strung movement which does not lack
vivacity, and in some cases novelty; the villain, for example, having
but little employment in his original capacity, and being utilized as a
laughing-stock for the amusement of his victims. Even the grammar of the
book can hardly be taken _au sérieux_. It exhibits a serene carelessness
of rules, with a tendency to bulls which suggests that the heroine's
nationality is also that of the author. A sentence in which we are told
of a house that it is "larger, at first sight, than it in reality is,"
strikes a blow at the very essence of things, and those much-abused
words _will_ and _would_ usurp the place of their relatives, _shall_ and
_should_, with a uniformity that proves the absence of negligence.


     Samuel Johnson. By Leslie Stephen. (English Men of Letters, edited
     by John Morley.) New York: Harper & Brothers.

The constant increase of books is not, we are inclined to think, so
great a curse or so wholly to be ascribed to malevolent intentions as
many despondent people suppose. A very considerable, if not the greater,
number of new works have for their aim not to add to, but to diminish,
the literature of the world, and so to lighten the burden imposed on
each successive generation of readers. The great bulk of the writers of
our day are employed not in producing anything new, but in summarizing,
epitomizing, and, as far as possible, suppressing, what their
predecessors produced. Criticisms are offered to us as substitutes for
the works criticised; volumes are tapped that their sap and pith may be
extracted; the analyst takes our labor upon himself and generously
presents us with the fruits. Up to a certain point the process is
unobjectionable, and we have reason to be grateful to those who are
skilful in it. It used, however, to be thought that there were
limitations to the practice of it--that while it was lawful and right to
treat as a _caput mortuum_ any work containing merely a certain amount
of useful information or of original thought, a sacredness attached to
the masterpieces of literature and to books which, having survived the
accidents of time and changes of fashion, were ranked as classics and
[Greek: ktêmata es aei]. These were held entitled to a place in every
library, and, far from being subjected to condensation or abridgment,
were too often supplemented by commentaries and illustrative matter
exceeding in bulk the original text. It is less than half a century
since the publication of Croker's edition of Boswell's _Johnson_, "with
numerous additions and notes," excited a prolonged tumult, and the
editor was arrayed at the bar of criticism and solemnly condemned, not
for having contributed elucidations to the text, but for having
mutilated it by insertions which should have been relegated to an
appendix. But now, while one literary craftsman announces an edition
from which all that is "obsolete" or "unimportant" is to be expurgated,
another offers us in lieu of the five venerated tomes a rifacimiento in
a single volume of less than two hundred pages. It is, of course, not to
be denied that Boswell's _Life_ includes a large amount of matter wholly
unimportant in itself, relating to persons and events that have no
independent claim on the interest of readers of the present day. But it
does not follow that such details are superfluous and may properly be
weeded out. They give us the _milieu_, to use M. Taine's word, in which
Johnson's character and intellect were developed and displayed, the
perspective in which his career is to be viewed, the background from
which his figure stands out in bold relief. The impression they make
upon us is an essential part of the effect which is produced by the
book, deepening the sense of reality and the charm of intimate
familiarity which have so much to do with its abiding fascination. And
the style and manner of the narration are no less an integral part of
it. The book is not only a biography, but an autobiography. Johnson
without Boswell is Don Quixote without Sancho, Lear without the Fool,
Orestes without Pylades. It is safe to say, not only that a thousand
incidents of Johnson's life and conversation would never have been
preserved but for Boswell, but that some of the most amusing and
remarkable of them would never have occurred. The tour to Scotland and
the Hebrides, which may be said to have been the one romantic episode of
Johnson's life, bringing him into scenes and among characters widely
contrasted with his habitual surroundings, is one instance, and the
memorable midnight "frisk" in the neighborhood of the Temple is another,
among many that might be cited. To separate these two men, to reduce
Boswell to the status of a mere "reporter" or "authority," to repeat his
stories and records of conversation in any language but his own, to
interlard them with the comments and reflections of a superior wisdom,
seems to us a sort of moral offence as well as an impertinence. Mr.
Leslie Stephen is, without doubt, a very skilful workman, and has
brought to his task all the knowledge, taste and judgment, if not the
perfectly sympathetic tone, which the most exacting reader could
demand. It may, too, be urged on his behalf that he has written for
those who have not the leisure to make themselves acquainted with the
work which he has condensed. We can only reply that his talents would
have found ample scope in a more fitting field, and that people who
cannot spare the time to read Boswell can well afford to be ignorant of
Johnson.



_Books Received._


A Concise History of Music from the Commencement of the Christian Era to
the Present Time. By H.G. Bonavia Hunt. New Edition. Revised. New York:
Charles Scribner's Sons.

Savéli's Expiation: A Russian Story. Translated from the French of Henri
Gréville. By Mary N. Sherwood. Philadelphia: T.B. Peterson & Brothers.

International Exhibitions. Paris--Philadelphia--Vienna. By Charles
Gindriez and Prof. James Morgan Hart. New York: A.S. Barnes & Co.

Geographical Surveying: Its Uses, Methods and Results. By Frank de Yeaux
Carpenter, C.E. New York: D. Van Nostrand.

Goethe's Faust. Edited by James Morgan Hart. German Classics for
American Students. New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons.

Catholicity in its Relationship to Protestantism and Romanism. By Rev.
F.C. Ewer, S.T.D. New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons.

The Former and Present Number of our Indians. By Brevet
Lieutenant-Colonel Garrick Mallery. Philadelphia: Collins.

Gaddings with a Primitive People. By W.A. Baillie-Grohman. (Leisure-Hour
Series.) New York: Henry Holt & Co.

How to be Plump; or, Talks of Physiological Feeding. By T.C. Duncan,
M.D. Chicago: Duncan Brothers.

Nobody's Business. By Jeannette Hadermann. (Satchel Series.) New York:
The Authors' Publishing Co.

Railroads: Their Origin and Problems. By Charles Francis Adams, Jr. New
York: G.P. Putnam's Sons.

Annual Report of the Chief Signal-Officer for the Year 1877. Washington:
Government Printing-office.

How to Parse. By Rev. Edwin A. Abbott, D.D. Boston: Roberts Brothers.

Lines in the Sand. By Richard E. Day. Syracuse: John T. Roberts.

Roxy. By Edward Eggleston. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons.


FOOTNOTES:

[1] I use the term "soldier" for the sake of definiteness. The soldier
approaches the queen in size, and in many of the specimens the head is
larger than that of the queen.

[2] _Hymenoptera of the British Museum_: Formicidæa, p. 170.

[3] A lofty bed is the Caucasian mountaineer's highest conception of
luxury.

[4] Frere's _Old Deccan Days_, p. 227.

[5] Grimm's _German Popular Tales_, First Series, No. XX.

[6] Mohammedan fasts generally end with the first sight of the new moon.





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