Home
  By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII | HTML | PDF ]

Look for this book on Amazon


We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

Title: Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science Volume 15, No. 89, May, 1875
Author: Various
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science Volume 15, No. 89, May, 1875" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.



LIPPINCOTT'S MAGAZINE

OF

_POPULAR LITERATURE AND SCIENCE._


MAY, 1875.

Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1875, by J. B.
LIPPINCOTT & CO., in the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at
Washington.



UP THE PARANA AND IN PARAGUAY.


TWO PAPERS.--I.

[Illustration: DIAMOND CLIFF: SUNSET.]

The lot of the foreigner in Buenos Ayres during the rainy season is not
an enviable one. The Englishman who finds himself in that city when the
rain falls for weeks at a time becomes a victim to the spleen, the
American to "the blues," the Frenchman to ennui. The houses, built with
a view mainly to protection against the torrid heats of summer, are not
adapted to shelter their inmates from the dampness of winter, which
penetrates through doors that do not fasten and windows that do not fit
as snugly as they should. The continual and monotonous drip of the
rain, which ripples in streams or falls drop by drop on the pavement of
the yards or of the street, is also highly depressing to the spirits
when one is held an involuntary prisoner in the ground-floors of the
houses, and must perforce listen to it for hours.

If, led by inclination or compelled by necessity, you go into the
street, you find the space between the sidewalks transformed into a
miniature river. In some of the streets the pavements are more than
three feet high, and pedestrians walk on them as on the tow-path of a
canal, passing from one side of the torrent to the other on small wooden
crossings. The comfort that is derived elsewhere in inclement weather
from fires may not be hoped for in Buenos Ayres, for the bed-rooms are
rarely provided with fireplaces, and in cases where they do possess them
the chimneys are liable to smoke dreadfully when the north-west wind
sweeps over the city.

The natives, accustomed to these features of the rainy season in La
Plata, look with indifference on the forlorn condition of the stranger
within their gates, and the foreigner, thus left to struggle against the
coalition of the elements with the thoughtless or selfish indifference
of the native population, must resign himself with patience and
resignation until the three months of watery affliction shall have
passed away.

It was at a time when the reign of Pluvius was at its height, and Buenos
Ayres daily wept blinding tears, as it were, from every roof and gable
for its sins, that M. X----, the head of a commercial house in the city,
put a most welcome question to one of the attachés of the establishment,
M. Forgues, a Frenchman, who just then was suffering from the grievous
burden of ennui.

"See here," he said: "I want somebody to go up into Paraguay to collect
an outstanding debt. Are you the man for my purpose?"

M. Forgues readily accepted the commission, for as the head of the house
spoke a vision passed through his mind of Paraguay with its old Jesuit
missions, its mysterious and despotic dictators, and its legends of the
terrible war waged by Lopez against Brazil, the Argentine Confederation
and the Banda Oriental. And, moreover, the venture promised relief from
the horrors of the rainy season in Buenos Ayres.

When Francisco Solano Lopez, late president of Paraguay, fell on the
field on March 1, 1870, at the head of a few hundred followers, the
survivors of that courageous army of sixty thousand men with which in
1865 he had begun his five years' struggle, he had left behind him a
devastated country, a decimated people and an impoverished population.
It is to this land, almost remote enough from the pathway of our modern
civilization to partake of the mystery of an unknown interior; where
Nature has lavished her beauties with open hand; where a brilliant
vegetation alternates with noble forests, solitudes that have rarely
echoed the footfall of civilized man, and vast plains dotted with
palms--a country of mountainous reaches in which the jaguar roams at
will, of great lagoons, the home of a primitive race dwelling for the
most part in villages,--to this land it is that we shall follow M.
Forgues on his journey of more than a thousand miles, and see with his
eyes its life and scenery.

From Buenos Ayres the traveler, issuing from the Rio de la Plata,
ascends the Parana by steamer to Asuncion, the capital of Paraguay; and
on the morning after the conversation with his principal M. Forgues
embarked on the Republica, a low-pressure steamboat furnished with a
walking-beam, and similar in its architecture and equipments to the
passenger steamers in use on the waters of the Northern and Middle
States of the Union.

After steaming two hours the Republica reaches the vast delta of the
Parana, skirting the Tigre Islands, a lovely group formed by the
numerous winding mouths of the river. The month is August, and a
charming effect is produced by the forests of palms, orange trees and
wild peach trees, the latter rosy with blossoms, which cover the
islands. The wild peach of the clingstone variety is almost the only
fruit of the province of Buenos Ayres, and when the season for gathering
it comes, a multitude of boats from the city may be seen moored in the
high grasses along the shores of the Tigre Islands, while the
_barqueros_ collect the peaches, which are free to whoever will pluck
them, fill their boats and return to the capital to sell them.

[Illustration: DELTA OF THE PARANA.]

[Illustration: TIGER ISLAND, MOUTH OF THE PARANA.]

The Republica ascends the river through the branch called the Parana de
las Palmas, up which Sebastian Cabot sailed in 1525, when in a schooner
of a hundred tons burden he penetrated to the heart of South America. It
passes, to the left, a hamlet, Campana, the prominent feature of which
is a handsome white building resembling a _palazzo_ of Italy, and which,
built on an elevation, dominates the other houses; Zarate, where are
situated a number of _saladeros_, or salting-places for the salting of
the hides of the province; and finally the mouth of the Baradero River,
a small stream which leads to a village of the same name, the home of a
prosperous colony of Swiss settlers.

Higher up, on the right shore, lies the drowsy old town of San Pedro,
founded in the middle of the seventeenth century, and which is chiefly
noticeable as having been at a standstill since that period, although
within the past three or four years it has begun to show signs of
development, one of which is a project to cut a ship-canal across a
narrow reach of sand which separates the lagoon on which the town is
built from the river, so as to give passage to Transatlantic vessels.

At San Pedro the steamer emerges from the Parana de las Palmas and
enters the main channel of the river. A notable locality a few leagues
above San Pedro is the Obligado, where the Parana becomes so narrow that
the channel lies within pistol-shot of the right bank. The Obligado is
interesting in an historical point of view as having been the scene in
1845 of a fierce engagement wherein the English and French fleets ran
the gauntlet of the Argentine batteries there, which attempted to
prevent their passage. One of the English vessels, under a withering
fire, cut a chain that barred the channel. A humorous sequel to this
brilliant feat of arms is this, that since that occurrence every French
sailor, and especially every deserter from the French merchant marine
who goes to La Plata, boasts that he "assisted" at the affair. He will
narrate all the details in the most bombastic manner to any pecuniarily
prosperous fellow-countryman who will listen to him, and will then close
with a proposition that he and his compatriot shall "take something."
The payment for the score naturally falls to the lot of the listener or
victim, and hence has arisen a saying among Frenchmen in La Plata:
"Distrust the gentleman who was at the combat of the Obligado."

Twenty-four hours after leaving Buenos Ayres the steamer stops at
Rosario, having previously passed the town of San Nicolas de los
Arragos, with its ten thousand inhabitants, its picturesque cathedral
flanked with a white tower on either side, its progressive tramways or
horse-cars, and its reputation for furnishing an excellent article of
hides, the province being celebrated for the quality of its cattle.

Rosario is the second port of the confederation. It stands a short
distance away from the river on a barranca or cliff. Passengers on
landing are conveyed in horse-cars to the town, which is laid out in
handsome streets and built up with charming and comfortable houses. The
barn-like church, of the "horrible Jesuit style," as M. Forgues calls it
(the heavy style of architecture common to nearly all the church
edifices of South America), is very ugly, and as to the "faithful
_élégantes_" who worshiped in it, our traveler did not deem them as
handsome as their sisters of Buenos Ayres. Much of Rosario's increasing
prosperity is owing to the railroad which connects it with the interior
town of Cordova to the west. This road also extends down the Parana to a
point about half-way to Buenos Ayres. When completed to the latter city
and to its western terminus, which will be at no distant day, Buenos
Ayres, on the Atlantic, will be connected with Valparaiso, in Chili, on
the Pacific. There is also a line of English steamers which ply directly
between Rosario and the English ports.

At Rosario the Republica takes on passengers, coal and freight, and
resumes her voyage. Above the city, the cliffs, increasing in height,
attain an altitude of nearly one hundred and fifty feet. They are
composed entirely of a hard brown earth having the appearance of
pulverized chocolate; and the river, rushing between them, assumes a
dirty, brownish hue for many miles. In their shadow, as the steamer
passes, lie a Brazilian gunboat and two monitors of the same
nationality: one of the latter is deeply dented in places where she was
struck by Paraguayan cannon-balls.

[Illustration: PUBLIC SQUARE IN PARANA.]

About twelve hours' distance from Rosario the Diamante, or Diamond
Cliff, is reached. Here the cliffs that line the left bank culminate.
They are especially interesting to the geologist because of their
extraordinary richness in fossils of various kinds. Fragments of the
megatherium and of the glyptodon have been found there, but the most
important discovery of all was a very complete skeleton of the former
animal--the most complete in existence, in fact--which now adorns the
museum at Buenos Ayres. The village of Diamante, with a population of
five or six hundred souls, is situated near by. Twenty hours later the
Republica arrives at Parana, a handsome city, formerly the capital of
the confederation. The removal of the seat of government to Buenos Ayres
was a great blow to the prosperity of the old capital. Once the
diplomatic corps had their residences there. The climate of the place is
delicious, and under its balmy influence the orange tree flourishes in
the open air and bears fruit of exquisite flavor. The country around
Parana is very picturesque, and the town itself, though since it has
ceased to be the Argentine capital it presents an appearance of
emptiness, is very gay. Among its attractions are a theatre and a fine
public square adorned with shade trees. The community has musical
tastes, and nearly every second house contains a piano--a fact of which
the stranger strolling through the place is kept constantly aware. Many
of the streets are paved and macadamized.

[Illustration: A BLANCO INSURGENT.]

Parana is the chief city of the province of Entre Rios, the people of
which are possessed of a fierce spirit of independence, and, like the
Basques of Spain, claiming the right to administer their domestic
affairs in their own way, they are often in insurrection against the
central government at Buenos Ayres, which resorts to force to check
their "separatist" tendencies. Within four years two or three efforts at
revolution have been made on the part of the people of Entre Rios under
Lopez Jordan, their principal leader, General Mitre, and others. One
year previous to the journey we are now describing our traveler had gone
from Buenos Ayres to Parana on business. In consequence of a municipal
election having gone in favor of the government candidates by a majority
of thirty votes, a fresh insurrection had just broken out in the city,
and when M. Forgues reached his destination he found the national troops
in possession of Parana, which was closely besieged by the Blancos or
"Whites," as the insurgents were called from their trappings, to
distinguish them from the Colorados or "Reds," which was the name given
to the Buenos Ayres party. On the occasion of this visit he had need to
seek the insurgent camp in furtherance of his mission, which was to
obtain possession of eight thousand hides that were within the
insurgents' lines. He returned to Parana, after successfully conducting
the negotiations, with a sketch of one of the mounted Blancos, a
picturesque, stately fellow, with the proud bearing of a brigand, having
enormous spurs on his heels, a white band around his hat, and armed with
a lance and a long cavalry sword.

[Illustration: A SALADERO ON THE PARANA.]

Immediately opposite Parana, on the other side of the river, which in
this part is very wide, is the city of Santa Fé, the point of export for
all the region occupied by the foreign agricultural colonies of the
confederation--to wit, the Swiss, Piedmontese, Germans and Belgians. The
chief industry in which these colonists are engaged is the cultivation
of wheat, of which enormous quantities are raised and converted into
flour on the spot, as there are several steam flour-mills in the
district. The flour is shipped from Santa Fé and sold in Rosario or
Buenos Ayres. These colonists number about thirteen thousand. Santa Fé
is a remarkably indolent town--the most indolent in the world, says M.
Forgues. Its chief features are its great plaza, its church and the
palace of the governor of Gran Chaco. Back of the country occupied by
the colonists begins the land of the Chaco Indians. They enjoy the
reputation of being savages, but as an example of the delicate line of
demarkation in La Plata between the extreme of civilization and the
extreme of savage life our traveler relates that riding thirty leagues
to visit a tribe of wild Indians, he found the chief with a _poncho_ of
Manchester manufacture on his shoulders, a pair of gaiters from Latour,
Rue Montorgueil, Paris, on his feet, and a hospitable glass of Hamburg
gin in his hand.

[Illustration: VIEW OF PARANA FROM THE RIVER.]

Leaving Parana, the steamer passes, at a short distance above the city,
the _saladero_ of Messrs. Carbo y Carril, a picturesque spot situated on
a cliff. From this point a fine view is obtained of Parana in the
distance, stretching along its high barranca, with its white houses and
belfries in bold relief against the blue sky, and borrowing from the
elevation on which it stands a delusively majestic aspect.

As the Republica ascends the river the cliffs continue to be the
prevailing feature of the shore-scenery. A Brazilian passenger steamer,
one of a line of steamers which ply between Cuyaba in the Brazilian
province of Matto Grosso and Montevideo, is met descending the stream.
This line, established by the government of Brazil to maintain
communication between its central South American possessions and the
large cities of the coast, receives an imperial subsidy of nine thousand
francs a month. A _saladero_ is passed, and then a village. The river is
thick with trees with twisted roots and short branches, floating
downward to the ocean. Then the appearance of the banks changes: the
cliffs gradually slope to a level with the river, and vegetation begins
to line the shore, first in the shape of bushes, next of undergrowth,
and finally of lofty forest trees, some of them dead, and with a wall
of tangled foliage overhead.

Passing Esquina, a hamlet at the mouth of the Rio Corrientes, vast
volumes of smoke rising behind the trees on the right bank proclaim that
the Indians of Gran Chaco are "burning a forest in order to roast a
quarter of venison." Here the steamer's course lies among islands
covered partly with undergrowth and partly with forests. In the shadow
of the tall trees on one of the most lovely of these islands is seen
from the deck a quaint, barefooted company consisting of two men, a
woman and three small children, who have just stepped ashore from two
boats made from the hollowed-out trunks of trees. Two dogs accompany
them. The adults of the party are clothed in rags. These people are
_monteros_, and are members of a tribe of gypsies who haunt the islands
of the Parana. They live a life of lordly independence, subsisting as
best they can, sleeping when fatigued wherever they may be when
drowsiness overtakes them, eating whatever comes to hand, drinking the
water of the river in the absence of anything stronger, and keeping
themselves warm by firing a forest from time to time. At the moment the
Republica hurries past they are preparing their evening meal, the
material for which, a _carpincho_, a sort of aquatic hog, lies at their
feet. The chief of the gypsy party stares at the steamer with bewildered
eyes, and at the noise made by the paddles a great terror seizes on a
colony of monkeys in the branches of the trees.

The town of La Goya, with a population of five thousand, is the next
place of importance reached. A few miles above this point is a famous
_saladero_, that of El Rincon de los Sotos (the "Fool's Corner"), which
belongs to a fellow-countryman of M. Forgues, and which, after the
_saladero_ of Baron Liebig in Uruguay, is the most extensive in the
valley of the Rio de la Plata. Here are slaughtered as many as fifteen
hundred head of cattle a day. Nor far distant from it is the
landing-place for the animals, a pretty spot which M. Forgues sketched
_en passant_.

The Republica is approaching Corrientes, the last of the Argentine towns
on the left bank of the Parana, and situated eighteen miles below the
point at which the Paraguay unites with that stream. Now alligators
appear, stretched lazily on the sand and basking in the sun, with their
ugly black bodies resembling logs partly submerged. The river assumes a
new aspect, widening into great sheets of water dotted with flat islands
lying far apart, and in its lake-like proportions justifying the
Guaranian meaning of its name--"like the sea." So far-reaching indeed
are these expanses of water that when a brisk south-east wind rises
large vessels in them roll and pitch as in the open bay. The belfries of
Corrientes will loom before the eyes of the company on the Republica at
ten o'clock the next morning, and in the mean time, and until the sun
shall rise, the steamer is moored before a small island. In that balmy
and odorous night myriads of insects cloistered in the leafy shades fill
the air with murmurs and drowsy noises. Behind the dark foliage a swarm
of fireflies illumines the gloom, until to the looker-on in the river
the depths of the solitary island take to themselves the fantastic guise
of a great city far away, with its gaslights twinkling merrily.

At Corrientes the Parana abruptly diverges to the east, marking the
northern boundary of Argentine territory, and separating the latter from
Paraguay. From the river the port presents a spectacle of groups of
rocks of some beauty, and of palms and orange-trees growing close to the
water's edge. Beyond the foliage are seen the belfries of several
churches built after the prevailing fashion. Among them is visible also
a handsome turret of Moorish architecture, which rears itself aloft with
a charming effect. This building is the cabildo, or court-house, and
dates from 1812. Near by is seen a white memorial pillar, built on the
site of the cross that the first Spanish settlers planted in 1588. The
population of Corrientes is about twenty thousand. From the country
around are procured the best oranges grown in the confederation, and the
city is the mart for the woods from the Paraguayan, Chaco and Corrientes
forests which are exported for manufacturing purposes.

[Illustration: GYPSIES OF THE ISLANDS IN THE PARANA.]

The elbow formed by the junction of the Parana and the Paraguay is
called by the natives _Las Tres Bocas_, or "The Three Mouths." From 1812
to 1865, under the rule of the dictators, this avenue of approach to
Paraguay remained closed. But the fortunes of the last war opened it
permanently, and the Republica quietly steams into the great
water-highway that leads to Asuncion through the passes of the Cerrito.
At the mouth of the river is the island of Cerrito, formerly the
Paraguayan Gibraltar, and now the Gibraltar of the Brazilians, who
maintain there a garrison and an arsenal for the equipment of their
navy.

After passing the Cerrito the Paraguay winds in its course and becomes
narrow--the width not exceeding twelve hundred feet--and of greater
depth than the Parana. Hereabout and above are spots made memorable by
the obstinate defence of the late President Lopez and the brave
endurance of his people. On the right are the famous batteries of
Curupaiti, where Lopez with thirty thousand Paraguayans and one hundred
and fifty cannon resisted for eight months the attempts of the united
Brazilian and Argentine forces to turn him out. But at last the
condition of affairs became critical, and on a dark night he silently
abandoned Curupaiti with his army, leaving his fires burning, wooden
images of men on the ramparts, logs in the embrasures in lieu of cannon,
and decamped to occupy a similar intrenched position at Humaita, six
leagues above, where for five months longer he checked the advance of
the allies. So adroitly was this change of position effected that the
Brazilian commander was unaware of the abandonment of the place until
four days after its desertion. To-day at Humaita a ruined belfry casts
its melancholy shadow on the long-contested field of battle.

Leaving Humaita behind, the mouth of the Vermejo, a stream which tinges
the Paraguay with the hue of its clay-colored waters, is reached and
passed: then Villa del Pilar, a forlorn hamlet, where a few dejected
inhabitants crouch in the shade of shattered houses. Next a magnificent
forest of palms appears. In front the yellow sand of the shore is
covered with alligators, which lie about in groups. From the boat M.
Forgues fires at these, and a little later he tries his skill on a
jaguar, which, however, with a fierce growl, scampers off, and is lost
to sight in the mazes of the high grass beyond. These localities and
Villa Oliva, which is next passed, are all on the left bank, the
opposite side of the river being peopled only by the wandering Indians
of Gran Chaco. A short distance above is the small and once prosperous
town of Villeta, whence are shipped in season boatloads of oranges, but
which at present is a mass of ruins that bear ample testimony to the
excellent aim of the Brazilian gunners.

Just before a turn in the river reveals the presence of Asuncion the
Republica steams by the Cerro de Lambare, a cone-shaped hill about three
hundred and twenty feet high, covered with so dense a growth of bushes
that no one has ever succeeded in climbing to its summit. The
river-channel in its length between this elevation and Asuncion still
contains remains of the obstructions which Lopez placed there to check
the progress of the Brazilian fleet and protect the city. As the steamer
rounds the bend the Paraguayan capital comes in sight. A prominent and
historical object in the medley of houses is the high tower of Lopez's
château, dominating the rest of the city, and now gilded with the rays
of the setting sun. A portion of its top is missing, a shell having
carried it away during the war. Two discharges of cannon from the deck
of the Republica announce the arrival, and in due time the steamer,
which draws too much water to approach the quay, is anchored two hundred
yards from the shore, having happily concluded her voyage of a thousand
miles, which has consumed nearly seven days.

The view from deck is a most picturesque one. In a little while a
flotilla of small boats, headed by the armed tender of the port-captain,
puts out from the quay and swarms around the steamer. Some of the boats
contain citizens who are expecting the arrival of friends, and in others
are hucksters, who jabber and gesticulate in frantic recommendation of
their fruits and small wares. Immediately in front is the custom-house
with its colonnade of white pillars, resembling a cloister. To the left
Lopez's palace rears its shattered tower, and on the right hand is the
arsenal, which serves as the barracks for the three or four thousand
troops composing the Brazilian army of occupation. Near it is the
horse-car station, connected by the street-cars with the station of the
Asuncion and Paraguari railroad, a line about twenty-five leagues in
length. Carts drawn by horses move slowly to and fro on the quay. Here
and there along the shore, with the look of skeletons about them, are
frames of unfinished ships: one of them is an iron vessel which was in
process of construction, under the orders of Lopez, at the breaking out
of the war in 1865. The Brazilian conquerors have left these vessels in
the condition in which they found them.

[Illustration: LANDING PLACE FOR CATTLE, PARANA RIVER.]

When the war supervened, Asuncion and all Paraguay, under the despotic
but intelligent sway of Lopez, were moving rapidly in the path of
progress. In fact, twelve years ago no country in La Plata was blessed
with so flourishing and perfected a system of industry as Paraguay. But
the war came, waged by the allies expressly to destroy for ever the
dictatorial authority wielded by Lopez; Paraguay was invaded and
overrun; and the fierce and destructive character of the contest has
left shattered walls in the capital, and in the interior the blackened
ruins of ranchos. These traces of the terrible conflict give a
melancholy aspect to the city, and its future is further shadowed by the
hopelessness of the people, who seem to have no heart to repair the
damage done to the houses.

[Illustration: THE HILL OF LAMBARE.]

In coming to Asuncion, M. Forgues had taken on himself a commission far
more troublesome than that of collecting the money due to the commercial
house with which he was connected; and this was to deliver into the
hands of the French _chargé d'affaires_ at Buenos Ayres, the comte A. de
C----, who happened to be at the time in Asuncion, the despatch-bag of
the legation, which had been consigned to his care by the French consul
in the former city. Behold, then, our traveler, as, accompanied by the
captain of the Republica, he sets foot on the quay, intent on relieving
himself of his precious valise, the possession of which is doubly
embarrassing because of its very preciousness. He has a hope that he may
meet the _chargé_ at the Progreso Club, whither he is going, but whether
he is to be met or not, he does not dare to leave behind him the valise,
which to him is a veritable Old Man of the Sea. Night has fallen when
they leave the steamer. The dark, sandy streets are badly graded, and he
stumbles repeatedly on the uneven brick pavements which line them, at
every step anathematizing the valise, which is far from being a light
burden. The club-house was the residence of Lopez before the allied
armies occupied the city. From its seclusion he went forth to meet his
death at Cerro Cora. In the parlor is a large mirror with gilded
mouldings, and the dining-room walls are hung with painted paper
representing in vivid colors, and with much gilding and silvering,
scenes from French history, in which musqueteers, courtiers and the
cardinal de Richelieu figure. A large and notable company is present,
among them many high civil functionaries, but the _chargé d'affaires_ is
not there. In the billiard-room the honorable minister of finance plays
a game with the honorable minister of the interior. They are both of
unpretending manners, polite and affable, and during the pauses of the
game they call for and drink their beer in true democratic fashion. M.
Forgues learns that his _chargé_ lives two leagues out of town, and,
hugging his exasperating valise--which, we may here remark, was
delivered safely to the _chargé_ next day--he returns in company with
the captain to the steamer, where, seated on the deck, he listens with
horror to the stories told by a citizen of divers murders committed in
the town and vicinity, one of the victims, a French pioneer, having been
slain lately at his _quinta_, or small farm, just on the other side of
the river, by the fierce Indians of Gran Chaco, whose camp-fires, about
six miles distant, even while they are conversing, light up one-fourth
of the horizon in that direction.

M. Forgues, introduced to General Vedia, who commands the Argentine
forces in Paraguay, is invited by that officer to go with him to Villa
Occidental, a town situated a few miles above Asuncion on the river, and
capital of the new province of Gran Chaco, claimed by the Argentine
Confederation. He accepts. The voyage is made in a small Argentine
gunboat, with its guard of thirty Argentine soldiers dressed in gray
linen, with green facings to their coats, and armed with Minié rifles.
This detachment is on its way to Villa Occidental to relieve the guard
at that place, which has been on duty for eight days protecting the
infant capital of Gran Chaco against the incursions of the Indians of
the province. Around them are grouped a number of Paraguayan women,
clad in the costume of the country--a chemise and a white rebozo--which
gives them a certain statuesque appearance. The general and M. Forgues
are received with military honors at Villa Occidental by the commandant
of the place and his garrison of three soldiers. A walk of ten minutes
brings them to the spot, a short distance out of the village, where
twenty years ago was established a colony of Frenchmen who had been sent
out from France by the late President Lopez at the time of the
dictatorship of Carlos Antonio Lopez, his father. The elder Lopez, it
appears, desired agriculturists from France, and the younger Lopez, who
was then in that country, despatched to him two or three hundred
bootblacks, organ-grinders, street vagabonds, etc. whom he had collected
on the quays of Bordeaux and in the suburbs of Paris. Carlos Antonio was
at first grieved to see the class of immigrants that had been forwarded
as tillers of the soil, but he became furious when he discovered that
his unwelcome colonists had brought with them certain dangerous ideas of
liberty which threatened to excite a mutinous spirit among his docile
Paraguayans. He therefore assembled them at a spot near Villa
Occidental, and placed them under the control of the governor of the
province of Gran Chaco, in spite of the protests of the French consul.
Here they were treated with the utmost cruelty. They were bastinadoed
and otherwise punished for the most trivial offences. Many died under
these inflictions. Of the few survivors some endeavored to escape
through the forests of Gran Chaco to Bolivia and Peru. Three were
caught, brought back and tortured, while the others, of whom no tidings
were ever received afterward, probably perished of hunger or were killed
by the Indians or jaguars. All that now remains of this ill-starred
enterprise is a few half-decayed palm-tree posts symmetrically planted
in the ground on the site of the unfortunate colony of New Bordeaux.

Villa Occidental is at present merely a village of eight hundred or one
thousand inhabitants. Its greatness, if it is ever to be great, lies in
the future. General Vedia, having ample room at his command for a
metropolitan experiment, has laid it out in long avenues seventy-five
feet wide, with a view to its future magnificence when it shall have
become the outlet of the northern regions of the Argentine Confederation
and the emporium of the Brazilian province of Matto Grosso.

[Illustration: A STREET IN ASCUNCION.]

At Villa Occidental, M. Forgues meets a fellow-countryman, who belongs
to the class of adventurers who flourish in the wake of great wars. His
name is Auriguau, and he was once a soldier in the Franco-Spanish free
corps which fought against Lopez in the campaign of 1870. His head is
filled with sublime ideas, and his pocket is empty. He has come to
Villa Occidental to propose to General Vedia the formation of a
military corps, of which he shall be chief, composed of his old
companions-in-arms, to serve against the Indians of Gran Chaco. He
explains his plan with much enthusiasm, and then begs our traveler to
present him with his gun, his revolver, his money, his hat, and even his
boots.

M. Forgues is of course General Vedia's guest for the night. As he is
about to dismiss the soldier who has conducted him to his chamber, which
is on the ground-floor of the house, an unexpected visitor glides into
the room through the open door. This visitor is a snake three feet long.
The soldier kills him, turns him on his back, and calmly remarks that he
is one of the most dangerous specimens of his kind in the neighborhood.
M. Forgues's curiosity is aroused. "Are there many like this in the
houses here?" he asks. "Sometimes yes, sometimes no," replies the
soldier philosophically, retiring from the presence. M. Forgues goes to
sleep to dream of a snake for a bedfellow, and to be bitten by
mosquitoes of a peculiarly virulent kind through the cords of his
hammock.

[Illustration: AN EARLY LESSON IN SMOKING.]

At early dawn our traveler is up and his toilet is made. Before the door
silently file the women of the colony on their way to the bank of the
river. Each bears on her head a large jug of red clay ornamented with
fanciful designs, the clay resembling that of which the bowl of an
Arab's pipe is made. When these jugs are empty the women carry them in a
pretty way inclining to one side, as the French soldier wears his
_képi_. This gives to their walk an air of ease and nonchalance that is
extremely graceful. They are draped after a charming fashion in a piece
of white cotton called the rebozo, which is scrupulously clean, and they
walk one behind the other in bare feet and with elastic step. Their
garment consists of a white cotton chemise embroidered around the neck
and at the top of the sleeves with black worsted. It is cut very low in
the neck, leaving a part of the breast bare, and descends to a point
below the knee. A cotton cord tied around the waist keeps the chemise to
the figure, and serves as girdle and corset at the same time. The space
between the top of the chemise and the belt is used as a receptacle for
cigars, money, and generally for all the small objects that elsewhere
people carry in their pockets. The rebozo is worn over the head and
shoulders, with the ends thrown back over the left shoulder. As they
thus pass in single file, the customary mode of walking with the
Guaranian women, nothing can be more coquettish than the pose of the
jugs on their heads. They resemble an ancient bas-relief. Some of them
have admirable figures, and nearly all have fine teeth. Though the type
of the race is not a handsome one, owing to the high cheek-bones and
square chin, many individuals are pretty. Their large dark eyes are
shaded with heavy eyebrows, and their hair is as black as the crow's
wing, but very coarse, notwithstanding the constant attention which its
owners devote to it. Add to this, and spoiling all, an immense cigar in
each mouth, for the Paraguayan women all smoke incessantly. Even
children of tender years smoke, and the only ones exempt from the habit
are babes at the breast. Indeed, M. Forgues remembers to have seen a
Guaranian mother, with her little one straddling her hip, endeavoring to
quiet the child's cries by placing between its lips the half-chewed end
of her cigar. Among the women of this class marriages are rare. Their
principal characteristics are attachment to the companions whom they
have chosen, a scrupulous cleanliness, great reserve in speaking,
superstition, industry and intelligence.

The general awakes. Horses are brought bridled and saddled for a ride,
and the two set out in the direction of the mouth of the Rio Confuso,
about five miles distant from the village. The road crosses a vast
plain shaded here and there with a few palms of small growth. After half
an hour's ride they reach a saw-mill, the property of an eccentric
Italian named Perucchino, who had served in his time as an officer of
the Italian volunteers of Montevideo under Garibaldi, at the period of
the latter's residence in South America. Perucchino receives them with
_evvivas_, gestures, and with even more than the usual demonstrations of
the Italian character, and invites them into his house, before which are
planted three cannon mounted on a large piece of timber. His bed-room is
an arsenal, supplied with enough old muskets, veterans of the war of
independence, rusty swords and pikes, to arm fifteen men. He loves
noise, and in proof thereof, after killing two chickens for breakfast
with two separate discharges of a dangerous-looking double-barreled
rifle--dangerous to him who fires it--he announces that the meal is
ready with a discharge of one of the cannon at the door--a noisy
proclamation which causes M. Forgues to jump in his seat. The breakfast,
consisting of chicken and corn and rice omelettes, washed down with
heavy Spanish wine, disappears as if by magic under the eager appetites
of the guests. Perucchino has been dwelling in this solitude of Gran
Chaco for three years with his wife, a Spanish woman. With two
fellow-countrymen to assist him, he has worked indefatigably, and at the
time of this visit his considerable property has greatly improved. In
two years more, when his fields of corn, tobacco and sugar-cane shall
begin to yield a return, the ex-beggar of Montevideo will be in the
enjoyment of a yearly income of fifteen thousand francs.

At noon M. Forgues and the general return to Villa Occidental under a
burning sun, and in the evening they embark for Asuncion on the gunboat,
accompanied by the relieved garrison of thirty men. M. Forgues
regretfully leaves this little colony, so peaceful and verdurous. As he
is about to embark some one runs after him and overtakes him. It is
Auriguau, who asks him for his traveling-bag and his pipe, and takes
possession, without asking, of his tobacco, promising him in return a
present of an entire museum of curiosities, among which are enumerated
tiger robes, dried butterflies and some enormous snakes, and in addition
a complete collection of all the woods of Gran Chaco, the total
approximate value of which is about forty thousand francs.

[Illustration: ROAD TO TRINIDAD.]

The return journey is along the Chaco side of the Paraguay. Here and
there on the sandbanks amid which the boat threads its way are sunk two
or three hulls of vessels covered with a rich growth of vegetation. They
represent so many incipient islands. It is amusing to observe the
soldiers and their wives busily employed in extinguishing the burning
cinders and sparks--small beginnings of conflagrations--which have been
deposited in their hair and on their clothing and bundles from the
wood-fed furnaces of the gunboat.

The scenery in the vicinity of Asuncion is very fine, and possesses a
special feature of its own with the dark shadows of the trees falling on
a reddish-yellow sand. Immense avenues lead out in a straight line from
the city. They are from seventy to eighty feet wide, but the sand is so
deep in them and in the streets that men and horses sink in it above the
ankle. Since the war the people have had very few horses, and have been
compelled to import them; and it very often happens that newly-arrived
saddle and draught horses die from exhaustion consequent on their
efforts to gallop in the streets and country roads. One of the most
charming of these avenues leads to the church of the Trinidad in the
outskirts of the town.

Sugar-cane grows to perfection in this part of Paraguay, but as the
methods employed in the manufacture of sugar are of the most rudimentary
kind, resulting in the loss of eighty per cent. of the juice the cane
contains, and as the sugar is made chiefly by private individuals for
their own use, and rarely reaches the market, this industry, which
should be a great source of revenue to the country, languishes. The
sugar used in Asuncion comes from Europe and Brazil. The cost of
machinery probably has been the obstacle to the establishment of a
sugar-house of sufficient importance to supply the people with all the
sugar of home manufacture they may require. The cane when cut is ground
between three large cylinders made of a hard wood--a process which,
instead of extracting the juice from the cane, leaves two-thirds of it
in the half-crushed stalk. The portion thus expressed flows through a
sort of wooden trench into pails, which are emptied as fast as they
become full into a large vat, under which a fire is constantly kept
burning. In this receptacle it is boiled for a considerable time, but
owing to the carelessness of those in charge of the vat about a third of
it is spilled on the ground. What is left is reduced to a kind of sugary
molasses, to which is given the name of "honey." Some of the
cane-growers distill with rude alembics a sort of sweet liquor from the
cane-juice, which is called _caña_. Another distillation is from the
juice of oranges, and is called _caña de naranja_. In the manufacture of
the latter birds of various kinds--ducks, paroquets, young chickens,
etc.--are sometimes placed in the liquor to be distilled, and the
curious mixture that results is known as _caña de substancia_, and is
much affected by gourmets.

Life in Asuncion is remarkably monotonous. It is a long course of
_maté_-drinking varied with meals, the inevitable siesta and cigars. The
_maté_ is the popular beverage of the country, as it is of nearly the
whole of South America. It is a tea of less fragrance but more strength
than the Chinese product, and is made of the _yerba_, the leaf of the
Paraguayan holly, which grows in immense profusion in the Cordillera of
Caaguazu in the interior. The Paraguayan women are active and
industrious, but the men elevate the _far niente_ into an institution.
The people rise early to enjoy the freshness of the morning, but at noon
they make up for their loss of sleep by indulging in a three hours'
siesta in the heat of the day. A singular fact, however, regarding the
climate is, that at Buenos Ayres, where the temperature is a third less
heated than in Asuncion, the heat is more overpowering than in the
latter city, and that one perspires far less in Asuncion than in the
Argentine capital.

While in Asuncion, M. Forgues attended a Te Deum which was sung at the
cathedral to celebrate the anniversary of the proclamation of Brazilian
independence, and a ball given by the Brazilian general in the house
that was formerly the residence of the somewhat famous Madame Lynch, a
star of the Parisian demi-monde whom the late President Lopez had
brought with him from Paris and installed in Asuncion as his favorite.
Each of these events was interesting in its way--the former as showing
how completely Brazilian supremacy shadows Paraguayan authority even in
the very capital of Paraguay, and the latter as offering our traveler a
glimpse of Paraguayan "high life" under its most favorable auspices.

[Illustration: A SUGAR-HOUSE.]

The cathedral is one of the masterpieces of M. Forgues's _bête noire_,
the Jesuit style of architecture. On the occasion of the Te Deum the
altar is brilliant with light. Silver plates cover it, as they do all
its accessories. Behind it is a carved wainscoting painted red and green
and gilded profusely, while in a niche is a small effigy of the Blessed
Virgin. At the beginning of the service a curtain rises to the sound of
music and exposes this niche to view. The Brazilian minister, M.
d'Azambuja, is the "marquis of Carabas" of Asuncion, and hence, as the
representative of the nation that conquered Paraguay, he enjoys his
privileges, one of which, apparently, is to keep the ceremony waiting
for half an hour, while the president of the republic, his cabinet
ministers, the foreign representatives and the officers of the army of
occupation who are present twiddle their thumbs, the Paraguayan
officials showing in their faces their sense of the Brazilian's want of
respect. Finally the minister arrives in a coach-and-four. The vehicle
is of the hackney-coach variety. The horses stop in the thick sand in
the middle of the street, unable or unwilling to go farther, and the
coachman in gold-lace livery jumps from his seat and opens the door of
the coach, exhibiting as he does so, in consequence of the inopportune
displacement of his coat-tails, a very undiplomatic spectacle in the way
of soiled stockings. The minister, however, makes amends for the
lackey's shortcomings, for he is brilliantly attired in white cassimere
breeches and a marquis's coat with embroidery, while a three-cornered
chapeau with white plumes adorns his head. As he descends from his
carriage the guard presents arms, and a horrible noise ensues of two
brass bands--one military and one marine--playing different tunes on
every separate instrument in the hands of the performers, while the
discharge of petards mingles with military commands. Amid all this
tumult and under a broiling sun the Brazilian minister makes a majestic
entrance into the cathedral, passing solemnly through the line of
authorities to the place of honor.

The celebration of Brazil's independence opens with a salvo of petards
at the door, after which follows a medley of trombones, flutes,
triangles and big drums, the whole dominated by an exasperating tenor
voice. With the exception of the president of the republic, his cabinet,
who wear scarfs of the Paraguayan colors--blue, white and red--and the
officiating priests, there is not a Paraguayan in the church. Lovers of
noise and of the excitement of festivals though they be, the people thus
protest mutely against a ceremony that exalts their conquerors and
recalls their own powerless condition.

The ball given by the Brazilian general was, as before stated, at the
house once occupied by Madame Lynch--Madame Elisa, as they call her in
Paraguay--where that functionary resided. The best society of the
capital, composed exclusively of the families of the higher officials,
attended, and what was curious was that most of the women present in
their ball-room attire, three years before, owing to the exigencies of
war, had little more than a brief garment wherewith to protect
themselves from the inclemencies of the weather. The dancing goes on in
the parlor of the establishment and under the verandah which surrounds
the courtyard. At the first glance, the parlor in its adornments
presents the appearance of a _salon_ of the Faubourg St. Germain, with
silken hangings vivid in color on the walls, gilded stucco-work on the
ceiling, and a brilliant carpet under foot. But on closer inspection all
these splendors are seen to be merely a stage-decoration, for the
effects--with the exception of the carpet--have been produced by some
skillful wandering artist with his paintbrush and an adequate supply of
gold-leaf. The illusion, however, is complete for a few minutes. The
women--among whom are some handsome representatives of Paraguayan
beauty--have wonderfully graceful manners. Their complexions are dark,
their eyes large and black, and their hair of the color of ebony. The
_décolleté_ style prevails in the cut of the dresses, which are made
simply, and generally present the combination of white and black. The
dances are those of Europe, and as the women dance a smile parts their
lips.

This is the bright side of the picture of the feminine element at the
ball. The reverse of the medal is not so satisfactory, for at the door
of entrance, seated on chairs or standing along the wall, are collected
groups of old women with wrinkled faces and coarse gray hair negligently
tucked on the tops of their heads with combs. These elders, rolled up,
rather than wrapped, in shawls of various sombre hues, and who look on
listlessly as if in a daze, are the mothers of the smiling dancers. It
is dreadful, however, to observe their proceedings when refreshments are
handed round, for suddenly a singular agitation is observable among
them, their long thin arms shoot from under their tightly-drawn shawls,
they rush for the refreshments as they are carried past them, and
swallow the liquids while stowing away supplemental cakes under their
wrappings. Casting his eyes toward the centre of the room, where the
young beauties are separating at the close of the dance, the observer
notices that several of them are directing their steps away from the
parlor to their retiring room. They have departed to smoke at their
ease.

Reference has been made to the scantiness of the attire of the
Paraguayan women at one period of the war. Some terrible facts are
related in connection with this matter, showing the horrible desperation
and sternness with which Lopez conducted his military operations,
bringing untold woe on his own people in his savage resolve to retard at
any cost the advance of the army of invasion. When the allies captured
Humaita, Lopez, retreating, decided to convert the country lying in the
enemy's front into a desert. He issued a proclamation ordering the
entire population living south of Asuncion to retire with all their
animals toward the interior, and to follow him into the cordillera,
eighty leagues to the east of the city. This order applied to all
classes without exception, the families of high dignitaries, ministers
and superior officers being included as well as the humbler sort. The
result was a terrified hegira of the people _en masse_, while behind
them the Paraguayan rear-guard destroyed houses and whatever could
afford shelter or subsistence to the enemy, leaving only bare fields
where once had flourished prosperous estancias and peaceful villages.
Terrible scenes ensued. Twenty-four hours' notice only was given to the
people to leave their homes. Delinquents and laggards were sabred
mercilessly or killed with lance-thrusts. This mode of massacre was
preferred, as it was a saving of valuable powder and shot. Women and
children were slaughtered in this way, as well as infirm old men. No
provision had been made to feed the famishing multitude that sought the
cordillera, and thousands of the homeless wretches died of starvation
and exposure in the mountains, where all that the women and children
could obtain in the way of food was oranges and roots. There were
numerous instances of cannibalism among these starving people, and our
traveler was shown a woman in Asuncion who had eaten a portion of her
sister to allay the pangs of hunger.

The effect on the allies of this frightful course was to compel them to
pay a fabulous price for provisions and for their transportation to the
army. Another effect was that at times, in the heat of the pursuit of
Lopez's forces, after an engagement the bodies of the soldiers who had
been killed in the battle were left to rot where they fell, as there
were no civilians to bury them. On one occasion, after a heavy skirmish,
two or three hundred slain Argentines remained unburied, the army having
marched forward in pursuit of the retreating Paraguayans. The horrors of
this campaign were relieved by one prosaic fact, which in itself bridges
the chasm between the terrible and the ridiculous: this was, that the
allied troops were accompanied amid all these scenes of carnage by a
poor Italian organ-grinder, carrying his organ on his back, who played
during the halts in the march while the Brazilian soldiers danced to his
music.

When the war ended with the death of Lopez at Cerro Cora, women, even of
the richest and most influential families, returned to their homes
nearly naked: the large majority made their reappearance in a still more
forlorn plight. The population of the republic, which had numbered about
one million three hundred thousand at the beginning of the conflict, had
dwindled to two hundred thousand or two hundred and fifty thousand.
These were mainly women and children, for the men were nearly all dead,
and of the few male adults in the population the majority have
immigrated to the country since the war. The national army, which under
Lopez was sixty thousand strong, comprised at the time of M. Forgues's
visit two hundred and fifty youths of fifteen or sixteen years of age,
clad in the cast-off uniform of the French mobiles of 1870 and 1871. Of
the Paraguayan children made orphans by the war, hundreds now live in
Argentine families, either as adopted children or as servants. They were
picked up by the Argentine soldiers during the flight of their parents
to the mountains, their mothers having perished of fatigue or hunger,
and Lopez's horsemen having spared them through pity or indifference to
continued slaughter.

The sequel of the resistance of Lopez surpasses in gloomy details almost
any similar struggle recorded in history. It has already been shown how
women and children died by thousands or survived to poverty and want.
But to understand the melancholy story at its worst, one should visit
the valley of the Aquidaban River, where Lopez fought his last fight, or
follow the line of his army's march from its camp at Panadero to the
encampment at Cerro Cora, where he perished miserably. A traveler in
that part of Paraguay--not M. Forgues, but Keith Johnston, the
geographer--who visited these localities in the summer and autumn of
1874, says that the march of the army in its final retreat can still be
traced by the heaps of human bones, with rusty swords or guns or
weather-stained saddles lying beside them, under every little
shade-giving tree. These skeletons he saw everywhere at very short
intervals. Cerro Cora is described as a splendid amphitheatre surrounded
by hills, with precipitous sides of red sandstone, and crowned with dark
forests. Here and there amid the undulations are grassy knolls flanked
by palm trees, and in one of these Lopez, driven to desperation, pitched
his tent with a handful of followers. Madame Lynch, his children and his
brother were with him. The single pass that led to this hiding-place was
guarded with cannon, but the Brazilian horsemen, strangely enough,
entered the retreat unperceived and surprised its occupants. Exactly how
Lopez died is a matter of dispute in Paraguay. There are those in that
country who revere his memory, and their story of his death represents
him as issuing from his tent at the approach of the enemy and valiantly
engaging them single-handed, while he bade his few adherents seek safety
in flight. According to this account, he fell gloriously after slaying
many Brazilians, refusing quarter and declaring his devotion to his
country with his dying breath. The generally accepted report, however,
is that he made a fruitless endeavor to escape from his encampment, and,
overtaken by a Brazilian horseman, died in a matter-of-fact way from a
lance-thrust. His grave is in that wild and lonely valley. At first a
wooden cross marked the spot where he lies, but this has disappeared,
and a bush, one of many that grow around, is pointed out as growing
above it.

Even at this day, though more than four years have elapsed since the
enactment of that tragedy, the scene remains as the Brazilians left it.
The wrecks of the camp lie thickly on every side--bones of men, broken
weapons, ammunition and the débris of gun-carriages, baggage-carts and
boxes. This region is the heart of the country occupied by the Cangua
Indians, a peaceable tribe who speak the Guarani language, without the
admixture of Spanish words which prevails in the language as spoken in
the more civilized parts of Paraguay. They rarely leave their forest
homes except to seek a market for their wax, which they exchange for
tobacco and other commodities. Their complexion is a dark brown, and the
men, who usually go armed with bows and iron-tipped lances, wear a
splinter of a substance like amber, about two inches in length, run
through a hole in their under lips. In the almost inaccessible country
of these Indians is situated the great cascade of the Panama River,
known as the Gran Salto de la Guayra. This Paraguayan Niagara is the
object of a superstitious reverence on the part of the Indians, who deem
it the gateway to the infernal regions, and hence fear to approach it.
The waters fall into a deep gorge with a roaring sound which may be
heard twelve miles away, while splendid rainbows are generated in the
clouds of spray that rise from the depths.



THREE FEATHERS.

BY WILLIAM BLACK, AUTHOR OF "A PRINCESS OF THULE."


CHAPTER XXXIII.

SOME OLD FRIENDS.

When they heard that Wenna was coming down the road they left Mr.
Roscorla alone: lovers like to have their meetings and partings
unobserved.

She went into the room, pale and yet firm: there was even a sense of
gladness in her heart that now she must know the worst. What would he
say? How would he receive her? She knew that she was at his mercy.

Well, Mr. Roscorla at this moment was angry enough, for he had been
deceived and trifled with in his absence; but he was also anxious, and
his anxiety caused him to conceal his anger. He came forward to her with
quite a pleasant look on his face: he kissed her and said, "Why, now,
Wenna, how frightened you seem! Did you think I was going to scold you?
No, no, no! I hope there is no necessity for that. I am not
unreasonable, or over-exacting, as a younger man might be: I can make
allowances. Of course I can't say I liked what you told me when I first
heard of it; but then I reasoned with myself: I thought of your lonely
position, of the natural liking a girl has for the attentions of a young
man, of the possibility of any one going thoughtlessly wrong. And really
I see no great harm done. A passing fancy--that is all."

"Oh, I hope that is so!" she cried suddenly with a pathetic earnestness
of appeal. "It is so good of you, so generous of you to speak like
that!" For the first time she ventured to raise her eyes to his face.
They were full of gratitude.

Mr. Roscorla complimented himself on his knowledge of women: a younger
man would have flown into a fury. "Oh dear, yes! Wenna," he said
lightly, "I suppose all girls have their fancies stray a little bit from
time to time; but is there any harm done? None whatever. There is
nothing like marriage to fix the affections, as I hope you will discover
ere long--the sooner the better, indeed. Now we will dismiss all those
unpleasant matters we have been writing about."

"Then you do forgive me? You are not really angry with me?" she said;
and then, finding a welcome assurance in his face, she gratefully took
his hand and touched it with her lips.

This little act of graceful submission quite conquered Mr. Roscorla, and
definitely removed all lingering traces of anger from his heart. He was
no longer acting clemency when he said, with a slight blush on his
forehead, "You know, Wenna, I have not been free from blame, either.
That letter--it was merely a piece of thoughtless anger; but still it
was very kind of you to consider it canceled and withdrawn when I asked
you. Well, I was in a bad temper at that time. You cannot look at things
so philosophically when you are far away from home: you feel yourself so
helpless, and you think you are being unfairly--However, not another
word. Come, let us talk of all your affairs, and all the work you have
done since I left."

It was a natural invitation, and yet it revealed in a moment the
hollowness of the apparent reconciliation between them. What chance of
mutual confidence could there be between these two? He asked Wenna if
she had been busy in his absence; and the thought immediately occurred
to him that she had had at least sufficient leisure to go walking about
with young Trelyon. He asked her about the sewing club, and she stumbled
into the admission that Mr. Trelyon had presented that association with
six sewing-machines. Always Trelyon, always the recurrence of that
uneasy consciousness of past events which divided these two as
completely as the Atlantic had done! It was a strange meeting after that
long absence.

"It is a curious thing," he said rather desperately, "how marriage
makes a husband and wife sure of each other. Anxiety is all over then.
We have near us, out in Jamaica, several men whose wives and families
are here in England, and they accept their exile there as an ordinary
commercial necessity. But then they put their whole minds into their
work, for they know that when they return to England they will find
their wives and families just as they left them. Of course, in the
majority of cases the married men there have taken their wives out with
them. Do you fear a long sea-voyage, Wenna?"

"I don't know," she said rather startled.

"You ought to be a good sailor, you know."

She said nothing to that: she was looking down, dreading what was
coming.

"I am sure you must be a good sailor. I have heard of many of your
boating adventures. Weren't you rather fond, some years ago, of going
out at night with the Lundy pilots?"

"I have never gone a long voyage in a large vessel," Wenna said rather
faintly.

"But if there was any reasonable object to be gained an ordinary
sea-voyage would not frighten you?"

"Perhaps not."

"And they have really very good steamers going to the West Indies."

"Oh, indeed!"

"First rate! You get a most comfortable cabin."

"I thought you rather--in your description of it--in your first
letter--"

"Oh," said he, hurriedly and lightly (for he had been claiming sympathy
on account of the discomfort of his voyage out), "perhaps I made a
little too much of that. Besides, I did not make a proper choice in
time. One gains experience in such matters. Now, if you were going out
to Jamaica, I should see that you had every comfort."

"But you don't wish me to go out to Jamaica?" she said, almost
retreating from him.

"Well," said he with a smile, for his only object at present was to
familiarize her with the idea, "I don't particularly wish it unless the
project seems a good one to you. You see, Wenna, I find that my stay
there must be longer than I expected. When I went out at first the
intention of my partners and myself was that I should merely be on the
spot to help our manager by agreeing to his accounts at the moment, and
undertaking a lot of work of that sort, which otherwise would have
consumed time in correspondence. I was merely to see the whole thing
well started, and then return. But now I find that my superintendence
may be needed there for a long while. Just when everything promises so
well I should not like to imperil all our chances simply for a year or
two."

"Oh no, of course not," Wenna said: she had no objection to his
remaining in Jamaica for a year or two longer than he had intended.

"That being so," he continued, "it occurred to me that perhaps you might
consent to our marriage before I leave England again, and that, indeed,
you might even make up your mind to try a trip to Jamaica. Of course we
should have considerable spells of holiday if you thought it was worth
while coming home for a short time. I assure you you would find the
place delightful--far more delightful than anything I told you in my
letters, for I'm not very good at describing things. And there is a fair
amount of society."

He did not prefer the request in an impassioned manner. On the contrary,
he merely felt that he was satisfying himself by carrying out an
intention he had formed on his voyage home. If, he had said to himself,
Wenna and he became friends, he would at least suggest to her that she
might put an end to all further suspense and anxiety by at once marrying
him and accompanying him to Jamaica.

"What do you say?" he said with a friendly smile. "Or have I frightened
you too much? Well, let us drop the subject altogether for the present."

Wenna breathed again.

"Yes," said he good-naturedly, "you can think over it. In the mean time
do not harass yourself about that or anything else. You know I have
come home to spend a holiday."

"And won't you come and see the others?" said Wenna, rising with a glad
look of relief on her face.

"Oh yes, if you like," he said; and then he stopped short, and an angry
gleam shot into his eyes: "Wenna, who gave you that ring?"

"Oh, Mabyn did," was the frank reply; but all the same Wenna blushed
hotly, for that matter of the emerald ring had not been touched upon.

"Mabyn did?" he repeated, somewhat suspiciously. "She must have been in
a generous mood."

"When you know Mabyn as well as I do, you will find out that she always
is," said Miss Wenna quite cheerfully: she was indeed in the best of
spirits to find that this dreaded interview had not been so very
frightful after all, and that she had done no mortal injury to one who
had placed his happiness in her hands.

When Mr. Roscorla, some time after, set out to walk by himself up to
Basset Cottage, whither his luggage had been sent before him, he felt a
little tired. He was not accustomed to violent emotions, and that
morning he had gone through a good deal. His anger and anxiety had for
long been fighting for mastery, and both had reached their climax that
morning. On the one hand, he wished to avenge himself for the insult
paid him, and to show that he was not to be trifled with; on the other
hand, his anxiety lest he should be unable to make up matters with Wenna
led him to put an unusual value upon her. What was the result, now that
he had definitely won her back to himself? What was the sentiment that
followed on these jarring emotions of the morning?

To tell the truth, a little disappointment. Wenna was not looking her
best when she entered the room: even now he remembered that the pale
face rather shocked him. She was more insignificant--perhaps it is the
best word--than he had expected. Now that he had got back the prize
which he thought he had lost, it did not seem to him, after all, to be
so wonderful.

And in this mood he went up and walked into the pretty little cottage
which had once been his home. "What!" he said to himself, looking in
amazement at the small, old-fashioned parlor, and at the still smaller
study filled with books, "is it possible that I ever proposed to myself
to live and die in a hole like this?--my only companion a cantankerous
old fool of a woman, my only occupation reading the newspapers, my only
society the good folks of the inn?"

He thanked God he had escaped. His knocking about the world for a bit
had opened up his mind. The possibility of his having in time a handsome
income had let in upon him many new and daring ambitions.

His housekeeper, having expressed her grief that she had just posted
some letters to him, not knowing that he was returning to England,
brought in a number of small passbooks and a large sheet of blue paper.

"If yü baint too tired, zor, vor to look over the accounts, 'tis all
theear but the pultry that Mr.--"

"Good Heavens, Mrs. Cornish!" said he, "do you think I am going to look
over a lot of grocers' bills?"

Mrs. Cornish not only hinted in very plain language that her master had
been at one time particular enough about grocers' bills and all other
bills, however trifling, but further proceeded to give him a full and
minute account of the various incidental expenses to which she had been
put through young Penny Luke having broken a window by flinging a stone
from the road; through the cat having knocked down the best tea-pot;
through the pig having got out of its stye, gone mad, and smashed a
cucumber-frame; and so forth and so forth. In desperation Mr. Roscorla
got up, put on his hat and went outside, leaving her at once astonished
and indignant by his want of interest in what at one time had been his
only care.

Was this, then, the place in which he had chosen to spend the rest of
his life, without change, without movement, without interest? It seemed
to him at the moment a living tomb. There was not a human being within
sight. Far away out there lay the gray-blue sea--a plain without a speck
on it. The great black crags at the mouth of the harbor were voiceless
and sterile: could anything have been more bleak than the bare uplands
on which the pale sun of an English October was shining? The quiet
crushed him: there was not a nigger near to swear at, nor could he, at
the impulse of a moment, get on horseback and ride over to the busy and
interesting and picturesque scene supplied by his faithful coolies at
work.

What was he to do on this very first day in England, for example? Unpack
his luggage, in which were some curiosities he had brought home for
Wenna?--there was too much trouble in that. Walk about the garden and
smoke a pipe, as had been his wont?--he had got emancipated from these
delights of dotage. Attack his grocers' bills?--he swore by all his gods
that he would have nothing to do with the price of candles and cheese,
now or at any future time. The return of the exile to his native land
had already produced a feeling of deep disappointment: when he married,
he said to himself, he would take very good care not to sink into an
oyster-like life in Eglosilyan.

About a couple of hours after, however, he was reminded that Eglosilyan
had its small measure of society by the receipt of a letter from Mrs.
Trelyon, who said she had just heard of his arrival, and hastened to ask
him whether he would dine at the Hall, not next evening, but the
following one, to meet two old friends of his, General and Lady Weekes,
who were there on a brief visit.

"And I have written to ask Miss Rosewarne," Mrs. Trelyon continued, "to
spare us the same evening, so that we hope to have you both. Perhaps you
will kindly add your entreaties to mine."

The friendly intention of this post-script was evident, and yet it did
not seem to please Mr. Roscorla. This Sir Percy Weekes had been a friend
of his father's, and when the younger Roscorla was a young man about
town, Lady Weekes had been very kind to him, and had nearly got him
married once or twice. There was a great contrast between those days and
these. He hoped the old general would not be tempted to come and visit
him at Basset Cottage.

"Oh, Wenna," said he carelessly to her next morning, "Mrs. Trelyon told
me she had asked you to go up there to-morrow evening."

"Yes," Wenna said, looking rather uncomfortable. Then she added quickly,
"Would it displease you if I did not go? I ought to be at a children's
party at Mr. Trewhella's."

This was precisely what Mr. Roscorla wanted; but he said, "You must not
be shy, Wenna. However, please yourself: you need have no fear of vexing
me. But I must go, for the Weekeses are old friends of mine."

"They stayed at the inn two or three days in May last," said Wenna
innocently. "They came here by chance, and found Mrs. Trelyon from
home."

Mr. Roscorla seemed startled. "Oh!" said he. "Did they--did they--ask
for me?"

"Yes, I believe they did," Wenna said.

"Then you told them," said Mr. Roscorla with a pleasant smile--"you told
them, of course, why you were the best person in the world to give them
information about me?"

"Oh dear, no!" said Wenna, blushing hotly: "they spoke to Jennifer."

Mr. Roscorla felt himself rebuked. It was George Rosewarne's express
wish that his daughters should not be approached by strangers visiting
the inn as if they were officially connected with the place: Mr.
Roscorla should have remembered that inquiries would be made of a
servant.

But, as it happened, Sir Percy and his wife had really made the
acquaintance of both Wenna and Mabyn on their chance visit to
Eglosilyan; and it was of these two girls they were speaking when Mr.
Roscorla was announced in Mrs. Trelyon's drawing-room the following
evening. The thin, wiry, white-moustached old man, who had wonderfully
bright eyes and a great vivacity of spirits for a veteran of
seventy-four, was standing in front of the fire, and declaring to
everybody that two such well-accomplished, smart, talkative and
lady-like young women he had never met with in his life: "What did you
say the name was, my dear Mrs. Trelyon? Rosewarne, eh?--Rosewarne? A
good old Cornish name--as good as yours, Roscorla. So they're called
Rosewarne? Gad! if her ladyship wants to appoint a successor, I'm
willing to let her choice fall on one of those two girls."

Her ladyship, a dark and silent old woman of eighty, did not like, in
the first place, to be called her ladyship, and did not relish, either,
having her death talked of as a joke.

"Roscorla, now--Roscorla, there's a good chance for you, eh?" continued
the old general. "We never could get you married, you know--wild young
dog! Don't you know the girls?"

"Oh yes, Sir Percy," Mr. Roscorla said with no great good-will: then he
turned to the fire and began to warm his hands.

There was a tall young gentleman standing there who in former days would
have been delighted to cry out on such an occasion, "Why, Roscorla's
going to marry one of 'em!" He remained silent now.

He was very silent, too, throughout the evening, and almost anxiously
civil toward Mr. Roscorla. He paid great attention when the latter was
describing to the company at table the beauties of West Indian scenery,
the delights of West Indian life, the change that had come over the
prospects of Jamaica since the introduction of coolie labor, and the
fashion in which the rich merchants of Cuba were setting about getting
plantations there for the growth of tobacco. Mr. Roscorla spoke with the
air of a man who now knew what the world was. When the old general asked
him if he were coming back to live in Eglosilyan after he had become a
millionaire, he laughed, and said that one's coffin came soon enough
without one's rushing to meet it. No: when he came back to England
finally, he would live in London; and had Sir Percy still that old
walled-in house in Brompton?

Sir Percy paid less heed to these descriptions of Jamaica than Harry
Trelyon did, for his next neighbor was old Mrs. Trelyon, and these two
venerable flirts were talking of old acquaintances and old times at Bath
and Cheltenham, and of the celebrated beauties, wits and murderers of
other days, in a manner which her silent ladyship did not at all seem to
approve. The general was bringing out all his old-fashioned
gallantry--compliments, easy phrases in French, polite attentions: his
companion began to use her fan with a coquettish grace, and was vastly
pleased when a reference was made to her celebrated flight to Gretna
Green.

"Ah, Sir Percy," she said, "the men were men in those days, and the
women women, I promise you: no beating about the bush, but the fair word
given and the fair word taken; and then a broken head for whoever should
interfere--father, uncle or brother, no matter who; and you know our
family, Sir Percy, our family were among the worst--"

"I tell you what, madam," said the general, hotly, "your family had
among 'em the handsomest women in the west of England; and the
handsomest men, too, by Gad! Do you remember Jane Swanhope--the Fair
Maid of Somerset they used to call her--that married the fellow living
down Yeovil way who broke his neck in a steeplechase?"

"Do I remember her?" said the old lady. "She was one of my bridemaids
when they took me up to London to get married properly after I came
back. She was my cousin on the mother's side, but they were connected
with the Trelyons too. And do you remember old John Trelyon of
Polkerris? and did you ever see a man straighter in the back than he was
at seventy-one, when he married his second wife? That was at Exeter, I
think. But there, now, you don't find such men and women in these times;
and do you know the reason of that, Sir Percy? I'll tell you: it's the
doctors. The doctors can keep all the sickly ones alive now: before it
was only the strong ones that lived. Dear, dear me! when I hear some of
those London women talk, it is nothing but a catalogue of illnesses and
diseases. No wonder they should say in church, 'There is no health in
us:' every one of them has something the matter, even the young girls,
poor things! and pretty mothers they're likely to make! They're a misery
to themselves; they'll bring miserable things into the world; and all
because the doctors have become so clever in pulling sickly people
through. That's my opinion, Sir Percy. The doctors are responsible for
five-sixths of all the suffering you hear of in families, either through
illness or the losing of one's friends and relatives."

"Upon my word, madam," the general protested, "you use the doctor badly.
He is blamed if he kills people, and he is blamed if he keeps them
alive. What is he to do?"

"Do? He can't help saving the sickly ones now," the old lady admitted,
"for relatives will have it done, and they know he can do it; but it's a
great misfortune, Sir Percy, that's what it is, to have all these sickly
creatures growing up to intermarry into the good old families that used
to be famous for their comeliness and strength. There was a man--yes, I
remember him well--that came from Devonshire: he was a man of good
family too, and they made such a noise about his wrestling. Said I to
myself, Wrestling is not a fit amusement for gentlemen, but if this man
comes up to our country, there's one or other of the Trelyons will try
his mettle. And well I remember saying to my eldest son George--you
remember when he was a young man, Sir Percy, no older than his own son
there?--'George,' I said, 'if this Mr. So-and-so comes into these parts,
mind you have nothing to do with him, for wrestling is not fit for
gentlemen.' 'All right, mother,' said he, but he laughed, and I knew
what the laugh meant. My dear Sir Percy, I tell you the man hadn't a
chance: I heard of it all afterward. George caught him up before he
could begin any of his tricks and flung him on to the hedge; and there
were a dozen more in our family who could have done it, I'll be bound."

"But then, you know, Mrs. Trelyon," Mr. Roscorla ventured to say,
"physical strength is not everything that is needed. If the doctors
were to let the sickly ones die, we might be losing all sorts of great
poets and statesmen and philosophers."

The old lady turned on him: "And do you think a man has to be sickly to
be clever? No, no, Mr. Roscorla: give him better health and you give him
a better head. That's what we believed in the old days. I fancy, now,
there were greater men before this coddling began than there are
now--yes, I do; and if there is a great man coming into the world, the
chances are just as much that he'll be among the strong ones as among
the sick ones. What do you think, Sir Percy?"

"I declare you're right, madam," said he gallantly. "You've quite
convinced me. Of course, some of 'em must go: I say, Let the sickly ones
go."

"I never heard such brutal, such murderous sentiments expressed in my
life before," said a solemn voice; and every one became aware that at
last Lady Weekes had spoken. Her speech was the signal for universal
silence, in the midst of which the ladies got up and left the room.

Trelyon took his mother's place and sent round the wine. He was
particularly attentive to Mr. Roscorla, who was surprised. Perhaps,
thought the latter, he is anxious to atone for all this bother that is
now happily over.

If the younger man was silent and preoccupied, that was not the case
with Mr. Roscorla, who was already assuming the airs of a rich person,
and speaking of his being unable to live in this district or that
district of London, just as if he expected to purchase a lease of
Buckingham Palace on his return from Jamaica.

"And how are all my old friends in Hans Place, Sir Percy?" he cried.

"You've been a deserter, sir--you've been a deserter for many a year
now," the general said gayly, "but we're all willing to have you back
again to a quiet rubber after dinner, you know. Do you remember old John
Thwaites? Ah, he's gone now--left one hundred and fifty thousand pounds
to build a hospital, and only five thousand pounds to his sister. The
poor old woman believed some one would marry her when she got the whole
of her brother's money--so I'm told--and when the truth became known,
what did she do? Gad, sir! she wrote a novel abusing her own brother. By
the way, that reminds me of a devilish good thing I heard when I was
here last--down at the inn, you know. What's the name of the girls I was
talking about? Well, her ladyship caught one of them reading a novel,
and not very well pleased with it, and says she to the young lady,
'Don't you like that book?' Then says the girl--let me see what was it?
Gad! I must go and ask her ladyship."

And off he trotted to the drawing-room. He came back in a couple of
minutes. "Of course," said he. "Devilish stupid of me to forget it.
'Why,' said the young lady, 'I think the author has been trying to keep
the fourth commandment, for there's nothing in the book that has any
likeness to anything in heaven above, or in the earth beneath, or the
heavens under the earth.'"

"The waters under the earth."

"I mean the waters, of course. Gad! her ladyship was immensely tickled."

"Which of the two young ladies was it, Sir Percy? The younger, I
suppose?" said Mr. Roscorla.

"No, no, the elder sister of course," said Trelyon.

"Yes, the elder one it was--the quiet one; and an uncommon nice girl she
is. Well, there's Captain Walters, the old sea-dog! still to the fore;
and his uniform too. Don't you remember the uniform with the red cuffs
that hasn't been seen in the navy for a couple of centuries, I should
think? His son's got into Parliament now--gone over to the Rads and the
workingmen, and those fellows that are scheming to get the land divided
among themselves--all in the name of philosophy: and it's a devilish
fine sort of philosophy; that is, when you haven't a rap in your pocket,
and when you prove that everybody who has must give it up. He came to my
house the other day, and he was jawing away about primogeniture, and
entail, and direct taxation, and equal electoral districts, and I don't
know what besides. 'Walters,' said I--'Walters, you've got nothing to
share, and so you don't mind a general division. When you have, you'll
want to stick to what's in your own pocket.' Had him there, eh?"

The old general beamed and laughed over his smartness: he was conscious
of having said something that, in shape at least, was like an epigram.

"I must rub up my acquaintance in that quarter," said Roscorla, "before
I leave again. Fortunately, I have always kept up my club subscription;
and you'll come and dine with me, Sir Percy, won't you, when I get to
town?"

"Are you going to town?" said Trelyon quickly.

"Oh yes, of course."

"When?"

The question was abrupt, and it made Roscorla look at the young man as
he answered. Trelyon seemed to him to be very much harassed about
something or other.

"Well, I suppose in a week or so: I am only home for a holiday, you
know."

"Oh, you'll be here for a week?" said the younger man submissively.
"When do you think of returning to Jamaica?"

"Probably at the beginning of next month. Fancy leaving England in
November--just at the most hideous time of the year--and in a week or
two getting out into summer again, with the most beautiful climate and
foliage and what not all around you! I can tell you a man makes a great
mistake who settles down to a sort of vegetable life anywhere: you don't
catch me at that again."

"There's some old women," observed the general, who was so anxious to
show his profundity that he quite forgot the invidious character of the
comparison, "who are just like trees--as much below the ground as above
it. Isn't that true, eh? They're a deal more at home among the people
they have buried than among those that are alive. I don't say that's
your case, Roscorla. You're comparatively a young man yet: you've got
brisk health. I don't wonder at your liking to knock about. As for you,
young Trelyon, what do you mean to do?"

Harry Trelyon started. "Oh," said he with some confusion, "I have no
immediate plans. Yes, I have: don't you know I have been cramming for
the civil service examinations for first commissions?"

"And what the devil made the War Office go to those civilians?" muttered
the general.

"And if I pull through I shall want all your influence to get me
gazetted to a good regiment. Don't they often shunt you on to the First
or Second West Indians?"

"And you've enough money to back you, too," said the general. "I tell
you what it is, gentlemen, if they abolish the purchase of commissions
in the army--and they're always talking about it--they don't know what
they'll bring about. They'll have two sets of officers in the army--men
with money who like a good mess, and live far beyond their pay, and men
with no money at all, who've got to live on their pay; and how can they
afford the regimental mess out of that? But Parliament won't stand it,
you'll see. The war minister will be beaten if he brings it on--take my
word for that."

The old general had probably never heard of a royal warrant and its
mighty powers.

"So you're going to be one of us?" he said to Trelyon. "Well, you've a
smart figure for a uniform. You're the first of your side of the family
to go into the army, eh? You had some naval men among you, eh?"

"I think you'd better ask my grandmother," said young Trelyon with a
laugh: "she'll tell you stories about 'em by the hour together."

"She's a wonderful woman that--a wonderful old creature!" said the
general, just as if he were a sprightly young fellow talking of the
oldest inhabitant of the district. "She's not one of them that are half
buried: she's wide enough awake, I'll be bound. Gad! what a handsome
woman she was when I saw her first! Well, lads, let's join the ladies:
I'm none of your steady-going old topers. Enough's as good's a
feast--that's my motto. And I can't write my name on a slate with my
knuckles, either."

And so they went into the large, dimly-lit red chamber where the women
were having tea round the blazing fire. The men took various chairs
about; the conversation became general; old Lady Weekes feebly
endeavored to keep up her eyelids. In about half an hour or so Mrs.
Trelyon happened to glance round the room. "Where's Harry?" said she.

No one apparently had noticed that Master Harry had disappeared.


CHAPTER XXXIV.

A DARK CONSPIRACY.

Now, when Harry Trelyon drove up to the Hall after leaving Wenna
Rosewarne in the road he could not tell why he was vexed with her. He
imagined somehow that she should not have allowed Mr. Roscorla to come
home; and to come home just at this moment, when he, Trelyon, had stolen
down for a couple of days to have a shy look at the sweet-heart who was
so far out of his reach! She ought to have been alone. Then she ought
not to have looked so calm and complacent on going away to meet Mr.
Roscorla: she ought to have been afraid. She ought to have--In short,
everything was wrong, and Wenna was largely to blame.

"Well, grandmother," said he as they drove through the avenue, "don't
you expect every minute to flush a covey of parsons?"

He was angry with Wenna, and so he broke out once more in his old vein.

"There are worse men than the parsons, Harry," the old lady said.

"I'll bet you a sovereign there are two on the doorstep."

He would have lost. There was not a clergyman of any sort in or about
the house.

"Isn't Mr. Barnes here?" said he to his mother.

Mrs. Trelyon flushed slightly as she said, "No, Harry, Mr. Barnes is not
here, nor is he likely to visit here again."

Now, Mr. Roscorla would at once have perceived that a strange little
story lay behind that simple speech, but Mr. Harry, paying no attention
to it, merely said he was heartily glad to hear of it, and showed his
gratitude by being unusually polite to his mother during the rest of his
stay.

"And so Mr. Roscorla has come back?" his mother said. "General Weekes
was asking about him only yesterday. We must see if he will come up to
dinner the night after to-morrow; and Miss Rosewarne also."

"You may ask her--you ought to ask her--but she won't come," said he.

"How do you know?" Mrs. Trelyon said with a gentle wonder. "She has been
here very often of late."

"Have you let her walk up?"

"No, I have generally driven down for her when I wanted to see her; and
the way she has been working for these people is extraordinary--never
tired, always cheerful, ready to be bothered by anybody, and patient
with their suspicions and simplicity beyond belief. I am sure Mr.
Roscorla will have an excellent wife."

"I am not at all sure that he will," said her son, goaded past
endurance.

"Why, Harry," said his mother, with her eyes wide open, "I thought you
had a great respect for Miss Rosewarne."

"I have," he said abruptly--"far too great a respect to like the notion
of her marrying that old fool."

"Would you rather not have him to dinner?"

"Oh, I should like to have him to dinner."

For one evening, at least, this young man considered, these two would be
separated. He was pretty sure that Roscorla would come to meet General
Weekes: he was positive that Wenna would not come to the house while he
himself was in it.

But the notion that, except during this one evening, his rival would
have free access to the inn, and would spend pleasant hours there, and
would take Wenna with him for walks along the coast, maddened him. He
dared not go down to the village for fear of seeing these two together.
He walked about the grounds or went away over to the cliffs, torturing
his heart with imagining Roscorla's opportunities. And once or twice he
was on the point of going straight down to Eglosilyan, and calling on
Wenna, before Roscorla's face, to be true to her own heart, and declare
herself free from this old and hateful entanglement.

In these circumstances his grandmother was not a good companion for him.
In her continual glorification of the self-will of the Trelyons, and her
stories of the wild deeds they had done, she was unconsciously driving
him to some desperate thing against his better judgment.

"Why, grandmother," he said one day, "you hint that I am a nincompoop
because I don't go and carry off that girl and marry her against her
will. Is that what you mean by telling me of what the men did in former
days? Well, I can tell you this, that it would be a deal easier for me
to try that than not to try it. The difficulty is in holding your hand.
But what good would you do, after all? The time has gone by for that
sort of thing. I shouldn't like to have on my hands a woman sulking
because she was married by force. Besides, you can't do these mad freaks
now: there are too many police-courts about."

"By force? No," the old lady said. "The girls I speak of were as glad to
run away as the men, I can tell you, and they did it, too, when their
relations were against the match."

"Of course, if both he and she are agreed, the way is as smooth now as
it was then: you don't need to care much for relations."

"But, Harry, you don't know what a girl thinks," this dangerous old lady
said. "She has her notions of duty, and her respect for her parents, and
all that; and if the man only went and reasoned with her he would never
carry the day; but just as she comes out of a ball-room some night, when
she is all aglow with fun and pleasure, and ready to become romantic
with the stars, you see, and the darkness, then just show her a
carriage, a pair of horses, a marriage license, and her own maid to
accompany her, and see what will happen! Why, she'll hop into the
carriage like a dicky-bird: then she'll have a bit of a cry, and then
she'll recover, and be mad with the delight of escaping from those
behind her. That's how to win a girl, man! The sweet-hearts of these
days think too much, that's about it: it's all done by argument between
them."

"You're a wicked old woman, grandmother," said Trelyon with a laugh.
"You oughtn't to put such notions into the head of a well-conducted
young man like me."

"Well, you're not such a booby as you used to be, Harry," the old lady
admitted. "Your manners are considerably improved, and there was much
room for improvement. You're growing a good deal like your grandfather."

"But there's no Gretna Green now-a-days," said Trelyon as he went
outside, "so you can't expect me to be perfect, grandmother."

On the first night of his arrival at Eglosilyan he stole away in the
darkness down to the inn. There were no lamps in the steep road, which
was rendered all the darker by the high rocky bank with its rough masses
of foliage: he feared that by accident some one might be out and meet
him. But in the absolute silence under the stars he made his way down
until he was near the inn, and there in the black shadow of the road he
stood and looked at the lighted windows. Roscorla was doubtless
within--lying in an easy-chair, probably, by the fire, while Wenna sang
her old-fashioned songs to him. He would assume the air of being one of
the family now, only holding himself a little above the family. Perhaps
he was talking of the house he meant to take when he and Wenna married.

That was no wholesome food for reflection on which this young man's mind
was now feeding. He stood there in the darkness, himself white as a
ghost, while all the vague imaginings of what might be going on within
the house seemed to be eating at his heart. This, then, was the comfort
he had found by secretly stealing away from London for a day or two! He
had arrived just in time to find his rival triumphant.

The private door of the inn was at this moment opened: a warm glow of
yellow streamed out into the darkness.

"Good-night," said some one: was it Wenna?

"Good-night," was the answer; and then the figure of a man passed down
the road.

Trelyon breathed more freely: at last his rival was out of the house.
Wenna was now alone: would she go up into her own room and think over
all the events of the day? And would she remember that he had come to
Eglosilyan, and that she could, if any such feeling arose in her heart,
summon him at need?

It was very late that night before Trelyon returned: he had gone all
round by the harbor and the cliffs and the high-lying church on the
hill. All in the house had gone to bed, but there was a fire burning in
his study, and there were biscuits and wine on the table. A box of
cigars stood on the mantelpiece. Apparently, he was in no mood for the
indolent comfort thus suggested. He stood for a minute or two before the
fire, staring into it, and seeing other things than the flaming coals
there; then he moved about the room in an impatient and excited fashion;
finally, with his hand trembling a little bit, he sat down and wrote
this note:

"DEAR MOTHER: The horses and carriage will be at Launceston Station by
the first train on Saturday morning. Will you please send Jakes over for
them? And bid him take the horses up to Mr. ----'s stables, and have
them fed, watered and properly rested before he drives them over. Your
affectionate son, HARRY TRELYON."

Next morning, as Mabyn Rosewarne was coming briskly up the Trevenna
road, carrying in her arms a pretty big parcel, she was startled by the
appearance of a young man, who suddenly showed himself overhead, and
then scrambled down the rocky bank until he stood beside her.

"I've been watching for you all the morning, Mabyn," said Trelyon.
"I--I want to speak to you. Where are you going?"

"Up to Mr. Trewhella's. You know his granddaughter is very nearly quite
well again, and there is to be a great gathering of children there
to-night to celebrate her recovery. This is a cake I am carrying that
Wenna has made herself."

"Is Wenna to be there?" Trelyon said eagerly.

"Why, of course," said Mabyn petulantly. "What do you think the children
could do without her?"

"Look here, Mabyn," he said. "I want to speak to you very particularly.
Couldn't you just as well go round by the farm-road? Let me carry your
cake for you."

Mabyn guessed what he wanted to speak about, and willingly made the
circuit by a more private road leading by one of the upland farms. At a
certain point they came to a stile, and here they rested. So far,
Trelyon had said nothing of consequence.

"Oh, do you know, Mr. Trelyon," Mabyn remarked quite innocently, "I have
been reading such a nice book--all about Jamaica."

"So you're interested about Jamaica too?" said he rather bitterly.

"Yes, much. Do you know that it is the most fearful place for storms in
the whole world--the most awful hurricanes that come smashing down
everything and killing people? You can't escape if you're in the way of
the hurricane. It whirls the roofs off the houses and twists out the
plantain trees just like straws. The rivers wash away whole acres of
canes and swamp the farms. Sometimes the sea rages so that boats are
carried right up into the streets of Kingston. There!"

"But why does that please you?"

"Why," she said with proud indignation, "the notion of people talking as
if they could go out to Jamaica and live for ever, and come back just
when they please--it is too ridiculous! Many accidents may happen. And
isn't November a very bad time for storms? Ships often get wrecked going
out to the West Indies, don't they?"

At another time Trelyon would have laughed at this bloodthirsty young
woman: at this moment he was too serious. "Mabyn," said he, "I can't
bear this any longer--standing by like a fool and looking on while
another man is doing his best to marry Wenna: I can't go on like this
any longer. Mabyn, when did you say she would leave Mr. Trewhella's
house to-night?"

"I did not say anything about it. I suppose we shall leave about
ten--the young ones leave at nine."

"You will be there?"

"Yes, Wenna and I are to keep order."

"Nobody else with you?"

"No."

He looked at her rather hesitatingly. "And supposing, Mabyn," he said
slowly--"supposing you and Wenna were to leave at ten, and that it is a
beautiful clear night, you might walk down by the wood instead of the
road; and then, supposing that you came out on the road down at the
foot, and you found there a carriage and pair of horses--"

Mabyn began to look alarmed.

"And if I was there," he continued more rapidly, "and I said to Wenna
suddenly, 'Now, Wenna, think nothing, but come and save yourself from
this marriage. There is your sister will come with you; and I will drive
you to Plymouth.'"

"Oh, Mr. Trelyon!" Mabyn cried with a sudden joy in her face, "she would
do it! she would do it!"

"And you, would you come too?" he demanded.

"Yes!" the girl cried, full of excitement. "And then, Mr. Trelyon, and
then?"

"Why," he cried boldly, "up to London at once--twenty-four hours' start
of everybody--and in London we are safe. Then, you know, Mabyn--"

"Yes, yes, Mr. Trelyon!"

"Don't you think now that we two could persuade her to a quick
marriage--with a special license, you know? You could persuade her, I am
sure, Mabyn."

In the gladness of her heart Mabyn felt herself at this moment ready to
fall on the young man's neck and kiss him. But she was a properly
conducted young person, and so she rose from the big block of slate on
which she had been sitting and managed to suppress any great intimation
of her abounding joy. But she was very proud, all the same, and there
was a great firmness about her lips as she said, "We will do it, Mr.
Trelyon--we will do it. Do you know why Wenna submits to this
engagement? Because she reasons with her conscience and persuades
herself that it is right. When you meet her like that, she will have no
time to consider."

"That is what my grandmother says," Trelyon said with a triumphant
laugh.

"Yes, she was a girl once," Mabyn replied sagely. "Well, well, tell me
all about it. What arrangements have you made? You haven't got the
special license?"

"No," said he, "I didn't make up my mind to try this on till last night.
But the difference of a day is nothing when you are with her. We shall
be able to hide ourselves away pretty well in London, don't you think?"

"Of course," cried Mabyn, confidently. "But tell me more, Mr. Trelyon.
What have you arranged? What have you done?"

"What could I do until I knew whether you'd help me?"

"You must bring a fearful amount of wraps with you."

"Certainly--more than you'll want, I know. And I sha'n't light the lamps
until I hear you coming along, for they would attract attention down in
the valley. I should like to wait for you elsewhere, but if I did that
you couldn't get Wenna to come with you. Do you think you will get her
to come even there?"

"Oh yes," said Mabyn cheerfully: "nothing easier. I shall tell her she's
afraid, and then she would walk down the face of Black Cliff. By the
way, Mr. Trelyon, I must bring something to eat with me, and some
wine--she will be so nervous, and the long journey will tire her."

"You will be at Mr. Trewhella's, Mabyn: you can't go carrying things
about with you."

"I could bring a bit of cake in my pocket," Mabyn suggested, but this
seemed even to her so ludicrous that she blushed and laughed, and agreed
that Mr. Harry should bring the necessary provisions for the wild
night-ride to Plymouth.

"Oh, it does so please me to think of it!" she said with a curious
anxious excitement as well as gladness in her face. "I hope I have not
forgotten to arrange anything. Let me see: we start at ten; then down
through the wood to the road in the hollow--oh, I hope there will be
nobody coming along just then!--then you light the lamps; then you come
forward to persuade Wenna. By the way, Mr. Trelyon, where must I go?
Shall I not be dreadfully in the way?"

"You? You must stand by the horses' heads. I sha'n't have my man with
me. And yet they're not very fiery animals: they'll be less fiery, the
unfortunate wretches! when they get to Plymouth."

"At what time?"

"About half-past three in the morning if we go straight on," said he.

"Do you know a good hotel there?" said the practical Mabyn.

"The best one is by the station; but if you sleep in the front of the
house, you have the whistling of engines all night long, and if you
sleep in the back, you overlook a barracks, and the confounded
trumpeting begins about four o'clock, I believe."

"Wenna and I won't mind that--we shall be too tired," Mabyn said. "Do
you think they could give us a little hot coffee when we arrive?"

"Oh yes. I'll give the night-porter a sovereign a cup: then he'll offer
to bring it to you in buckets. Now, don't you think the whole thing is
beautifully arranged, Mabyn?"

"It is quite lovely!" the girl said joyously, "for we shall be off with
the morning train to London, while Mr. Roscorla is pottering about
Launceston Station at midday. Then we must send a telegram from
Plymouth, a fine dramatic telegram; and my father, he will swear a
little, but be quite content; and my mother--do you know, Mr. Trelyon, I
believe my mother will be as glad as anybody. What shall we say?--'To
Mr. Rosewarne, Eglosilyan: We have fled. Not the least good pursuing us.
May as well make up your mind to the inevitable. Will write to-morrow.'
Is that more than the twenty words for a shilling?"

"We sha'n't grudge the other shilling if it is," the young man said.
"Now you must go on with your cake, Mabyn. I am off to see after the
horses' shoes. Mind, as soon after ten as you can--just where the path
from the wood comes into the main road."

Then she hesitated, and for a minute or two she remained thoughtful and
silent, while he was inwardly hoping that she was not going to draw
back. Suddenly she looked up at him with earnest and anxious eyes. "Oh,
Mr. Trelyon," she said, "this is a very serious thing. You--you will be
kind to our Wenna after she is married to you?"

"You will see, Mabyn," he answered gently.

"You don't know how sensitive she is," she continued, apparently
thinking over all the possibilities of the future in a much graver
fashion than she had done. "If you were unkind to her it would kill her.
Are you quite sure you won't regret it?"

"Yes, I am quite sure of that," said he--"as sure as a man may be. I
don't think you need fear my being unkind to Wenna. Why, what has put
such thoughts into your head?"

"If you were to be cruel to her or indifferent," she said slowly and
absently, "I know that would kill her. But I know more than that: _I
would kill you._"

"Mabyn," he said, quite startled, "whatever has put such thoughts into
your head?"

"Why," she said passionately, "haven't I seen already how a man can
treat her? Haven't I read the insolent letters he has sent her? Haven't
I seen her throw herself on her bed, beside herself with grief?
And--and--these are things I don't forget, Mr. Trelyon. No, I have got a
word to say to Mr. Roscorla yet for his treatment of my sister; and I
will say it. And then--" The proud lips were beginning to quiver.

"Come, come, Mabyn," said Trelyon gently, "don't imagine all men are the
same. And perhaps Roscorla will have been paid out quite sufficiently
when he hears of to-night's work. I sha'n't bear him any malice after
that, I know. Already, I confess, I feel a good deal of compunction as
regards him."

"I don't at all--I don't a bit," said Mabyn, who very quickly recovered
herself whenever Mr. Roscorla's name was mentioned. "If you only can get
her to go away with you, Mr. Trelyon, it will serve him just right.
Indeed, it is on his account that I hope you will be successful. I--I
don't quite like Wenna running away with you, to tell you the truth. I
would rather have her left to a quiet decision, and to a marriage with
everybody approving. But there is no chance of that. This is the only
thing that will save her."

"That is precisely what I said to you," Trelyon said eagerly, for he was
afraid of losing so invaluable an ally.

"And you will be very, very kind to her?"

"I'm not good at fine words, Mabyn. You'll see."

She held out her hand to him and pressed his warmly: "I believe you will
be a good husband to her; and I know you will get the best wife in the
whole world."

She was going away when he suddenly said, "Mabyn!"

She turned.

"Do you know," said he, rather shamefacedly, "how much I am grateful to
you for all your frank, straightforward kindness--and your help--and
your courage?"

"No, no," said the young girl good-humoredly. "You make Wenna happy, and
don't consider me."


CHAPTER XXXV.

UNDER THE WHITE STARS.

During the whole glad evening Wenna had been queen of the feast, and her
subjects had obeyed her with a joyous submission. They did not take
quite so kindly to Mabyn, for she was sharp of tongue and imperious in
her ways, but they knew that they could tease her elder sister with
impunity--always up to the well-understood line at which her authority
began. That was never questioned.

Then at nine o'clock the servants came, some on foot and some on
dog-carts, and presently there was a bundling of tiny figures in rugs
and wraps, and Wenna stood at the door to kiss each of them and say
good-bye. It was half-past nine when that performance was over.

"Now, my dear Miss Wenna," said the old clergyman, "you must be quite
tired out with your labors. Come into the study; I believe the tray has
been taken in there."

"Do you know, Mr. Trewhella," said Mabyn boldly, "that Wenna hadn't time
to eat a single bit when all those children were gobbling up cake?
Couldn't you let her have a little bit--a little bit of cold meat, now?"

"Dear! dear me!" said the kind old gentleman in the deepest distress,
"that I should not have remembered!"

There was no use in Wenna protesting. In the snug little study she was
made to eat some supper; and if she got off with drinking one glass of
sherry, it was not through the intervention of her sister, who
apparently would have had her drink a tumblerful.

It was not until a quarter past ten that the girls could get away.

"Now I must see you young ladies down to the village, lest some one
should run away with you," the old clergyman said, taking down his
top-coat.

"Oh no, you must not--you must not indeed, Mr. Trewhella!" Mabyn said
anxiously. "Wenna and I always go about by ourselves; and far later than
this, too. It is a beautiful, clear night. Why--"

Her impetuosity made her sister smile. "You talk as if you would rather
like to be run away with, Mabyn," she said. "But indeed, Mr. Trewhella,
you must not think of coming with us. It is quite true what Mabyn
says."

And so they went out into the clear darkness together, and the door was
shut, and they found themselves in the silent world of the night-time,
with the white stars throbbing overhead. Far away in the distance they
could hear the murmur of the sea.

"Are you cold, Mabyn, that you tremble so?" said the elder sister.

"No, only a sort of shiver in coming out into the night-air."

Whatever it was, it was soon over. Mabyn seemed to be unusually
cheerful. "Wenna," she said, "you're afraid of ghosts."

"No, I'm not."

"I know you are."

"I'm not half as much afraid of ghosts as you are, that's quite
certain."

"I'll bet you you won't walk down through the wood."

"Just now?"

"Yes."

"Why, I'll not only go down through the wood, but I'll undertake to be
home before you, though you've a broad road to guide you."

"But I did not mean you to go alone."

"Oh," said Wenna, "you propose to come with me? Then it is you who are
afraid to go down by yourself? Oh, Mabyn!"

"Never mind, Wenna: let's go down through the wood, just for fun."

So the two sisters set out arm in arm, and through some spirit of
mischief Wenna would not speak a word. Mabyn was gradually overawed by
the silence, the night, the loneliness of the road, and the solemn
presence of the great living vault above them. Moreover, before getting
into the wood they had to skirt a curious little dingle, in the hollow
of which are both a church and churchyard. Many a time the sisters had
come up to this romantic dell in the spring-time to gather splendid
primroses, sweet violets, the yellow celandine, and other wild flowers
that grew luxuriantly on its steep banks; and very pretty the old church
looked then, with the clear sunshine of April streaming down through the
scantily-leaved trees into this sequestered spot. Now the deep hole was
black as night, and they could only make out a bit of the spire of the
church as it appeared against the dark sky. Nay, was there not a sound
among the fallen leaves and underwood down there in the direction of the
unseen graves?

"Some cow has strayed in there, I believe," said Mabyn in a somewhat low
voice, and she walked rather quickly until they got past the place and
out on to the hill over the wooded valley.

"Now," said Wenna cheerfully, not wishing to have Mabyn put in a real
fright, "as we go down I am going to tell you something, Mabyn. How
would you like to have to prepare for a wedding in a fortnight?"

"Not at all," said Mabyn promptly, even fiercely.

"Not if it was your own?"

"No. Why, the insult of such a request!"

According to Mabyn's way of thinking it was an insult to ask a girl to
marry you in a fortnight, but none to insist on her marrying you the day
after to-morrow.

"You think that a girl could fairly plead that as an excuse--the mere
time to get one's dresses and things ready?"

"Certainly."

"Oh, Mabyn," said Wenna far more seriously, "it is not of dresses I am
thinking at all; but I shudder to think of getting married just now. I
could not do it. I have not had enough time to forget what is past; and
until that is done how could I marry any man?"

"Wenna, I do love you when you talk like that," her sister cried. "You
can be so wise and reasonable when you choose. Of course you are quite
right, dear. But you don't mean to say he wants you to get married
before he goes to Jamaica, and then to leave you alone?"

"Oh no. He wants me to go with him to Jamaica."

Mabyn uttered a short cry of alarm: "To Jamaica! To take you away from
the whole of us! Why--Oh, Wenna, I do hate being a girl so, for you're
not allowed to swear! If I were a man now! To Jamaica! Why don't you
know that there are hundreds of people always being killed there by the
most frightful hurricanes and earthquakes and large serpents in the
woods? To Jamaica! No, you are not going to Jamaica just yet. I don't
think you are going to Jamaica just yet."

"No, indeed, I am not," said Wenna with a quiet decision. "Nor could I
think of getting married in any case at present. But then--don't you
see, Mabyn?--Mr. Roscorla is just a little peculiar in some ways--"

"Yes, certainly."

"--and he likes to have a definite reason for what you do. If I were to
tell him of the repugnance I have to the notion of getting married just
now, he would call it mere sentiment, and try to argue me out of it:
then we should have a quarrel. But if, as you say, a girl may fairly
refuse in point of time--"

"Now, I'll tell you," said Mabyn plainly: "no girl can get married
properly who hasn't six months to get ready in. She might manage in
three or four months for a man she was particularly fond of; but if it
is a mere stranger, and a disagreeable person, and one who ought not to
marry her at all, then six months is the very shortest time. Just you
send Mr. Roscorla to me and I'll tell him all about it."

Wenna laughed: "Yes, I've no doubt you would. I think, he's more afraid
of you than of all the serpents and snakes in Jamaica."

"Yes, and he'll have more cause to be before he's much older," said
Mabyn confidently.

They could not continue their conversation just then, for they were
going down the side of the hill between short trees and bushes, and the
path was only broad enough for one, while there were many dark places
demanding caution.

"Seen any ghosts yet?" Wenna called out to Mabyn, who was behind her.

"Ghosts, sir? Ay, ay, sir! Heave away on the larboard beam. I say,
Wenna, isn't it uncommon dark?"

"It is uncommonly dark?"

"Gentlemen always say uncommon, and all the grammars are written by
gentlemen. Oh, Wenna, wait a bit: I've lost my brooch."

It was no _ruse_, for a wonder: the brooch had indeed dropped out of her
shawl. She felt all over the dark ground for it, but her search was in
vain.

"Well, here's a nice thing! Upon my--"

"Mabyn!"

"Upon my--trotting pony: that was all I was going to say. Wenna, will
you stay here for a minute, and I'll run down to the foot of the hill
and get a match?"

"How can you get a match at the foot of the hill? You'll have to go on
to the inn. No, tie your handkerchief round the foot of one of the
trees, and come up early in the morning to look."

"Early in the morning?" said Mabyn. "I hope to be in--I mean asleep
then."

Twice she had nearly blurted out the secret, and it is highly probable
that her refusal to adopt Wenna's suggestion would have led her sister
to suspect something had not Wenna herself by accident kicked against
the missing brooch. As it was, the time lost by this misadventure was
grievous to Mabyn, who now insisted on leading the way, and went along
through the bushes at a rattling pace. Here and there the belated
wanderers startled a blackbird, that went shrieking its fright over to
the other side of the valley, but Mabyn was now too much preoccupied to
be unnerved.

"Keeping a lookout ahead?" Wenna called.

"Ay, ay, sir! No ghosts on the weather quarter! Ship drawing twenty
fathoms and the mate fast asleep. Oh, Wenna, my hat!"

It had been twitched off her head by one of the branches of the young
trees through which she was passing, and the pliant bit of wood, being
released from the strain, had thrown it down into the dark bushes and
briers.

"Well I'm--No, I'm not!" said Mabyn as she picked out the hat from among
the thorns and straightened the twisted feather. Then she set out again,
impatient over these delays, and yet determined not to let her courage
sink.

"Land ahead yet?" called out Wenna.

"Ay, ay, sir, and the Lizard on our lee. Wind south-south-west and the
cargo shifting a point to the east. Hurrah!"

"Mabyn, they'll hear you a mile off."

It was certainly Mabyn's intention that she should be heard at least a
quarter of a mile off, for now they had got down to the open, and they
could hear the stream some way ahead of them, which they would have to
cross. At this point Mabyn paused for a second to let her sister
overtake her: then they went on arm-in-arm.

"Oh, Wenna," she said, "do you remember 'young Lochinvar'?"

"Of course."

"Didn't you fall in love with him when you read about him? Now, there
_was_ somebody to fall in love with! Don't you remember when he came
into Netherby Hall, that

    The bride-maidens whispered, ''Twere better by far
    To have matched our fair cousin with young Lochinvar'?

And then you know, Wenna--

    One touch to her hand, and one word in her ear,
    When they reached the hall-door, and the charger stood near;
    So light to the croup the fair lady he swung,
    So light to the saddle before her he sprung!
    'She is won! we are gone--over bank, bush and scaur!
    They'll have fleet steeds that follow,' quoth young Lochinvar.

That _was_ a lover now!"

"I think he was a most impertinent young man," said Wenna.

"I rather like a young man to be impertinent," said Mabyn boldly.

"Then there won't be any difficulty about fitting you with a husband,"
said Wenna with a light laugh.

Here Mabyn once more went on ahead, picking her steps through the damp
grass as she made her way down to the stream. Wenna was still in the
highest of spirits.

"Walking the plank yet, boatswain?" she called out.

"Not yet, sir," Mabyn called in return. "Ship wearing round a point to
the west, and the waves running mountains high. Don't you hear 'em,
captain?"

"Look out for the breakers, boatswain."

"Ay, ay, sir. All hands on deck to man the captain's gig! Belay away
there! Avast! Mind, Wenna, here's the bridge."

Crossing over that single plank in the dead of night was a sufficiently
dangerous experiment, but both these young ladies had had plenty of
experience in keeping their wits about them in more perilous places.

"Why are you in such a hurry, Mabyn?" Wenna asked when they had crossed.

Mabyn did not know what to answer: she was very much excited, and
inclined to talk at random merely to cover her anxiety. She was now very
late for the appointment, and who could tell what unfortunate
misadventure Harry Trelyon might have met with?

"Oh, I don't know," she said. "Why don't you admire young Lochinvar?
Wenna, you're like the Laodiceans."

"Like the what?"

"Like the Laodiceans, that were neither cold nor hot. Why don't you
admire young Lochinvar?"

"Because he was interfering with another man's property."

"That man had no right to her," said Mabyn, talking rather wildly, and
looking on ahead to the point at which the path through the meadows went
up to the road. "He was a wretched animal, I know: I believe he was a
sugar-broker, and had just come home from Jamaica."

"I believe," said Wenna--"I believe that young Lochinvar--" She stopped.
"What's that?" she said. "What are those two lights up there?"

"They're not ghosts: come along, Wenna," said Mabyn, hurriedly.

       *       *       *       *       *

Let us go up to this road, where Harry Trelyon, tortured with anxiety
and impatience, is waiting. He had slipped away from the house pretty
nearly as soon as the gentlemen had gone into the drawing-room after
dinner, and on some excuse or other had got the horses put to a light
and yet roomy Stanhope phaeton. From the stable-yard he drove by a back
way into the main road without passing in front of the Hall: then he
quietly walked the horses down the steep hill and round the foot of the
valley to the point at which Mabyn was to make her appearance.

But he dared not stop there, for now and again some passer-by came along
the road; and even in the darkness Mrs. Trelyon's gray horses would be
recognized by any of the inhabitants of Eglosilyan, who would naturally
wonder what Master Harry was waiting for. He walked them a few hundred
yards one way, then a few hundred yards the other; and ever, as it
seemed to him, the danger was growing greater of some one from the inn
or from the Hall suddenly appearing and spoiling the whole plan.

Half-past ten arrived, and nothing could be heard of the girls. Then a
horrible thought struck him that Roscorla might by this time have left
the Hall, and would he not be coming down to this very road on his way
up to Basset Cottage? This was no idle fear: it was almost a matter of
certainty.

The minutes rolled themselves out into ages: he kept looking at his
watch every few seconds, yet he could hear nothing from the wood or the
valley of Mabyn's approach. Then he got down into the road, walked a few
yards this way and that, apparently to stamp the nervousness out of his
system, patted the horses, and finally occupied himself in lighting the
lamps. He was driven by the delay into a sort of desperation. Even if
Wenna and Mabyn did appear now, and if he was successful in his prayer,
there was every chance of their being interrupted by Roscorla, who had
without doubt left the Hall some time before.

Suddenly he stopped in his excited walking up and down. Was that a faint
"Hurrah!" that he heard in the distance. He went down to the stile at
the junction of the path and the road, and listened attentively. Yes, he
could hear at least one voice, as yet a long way off, but now he had no
more doubt. He walked quickly back to the carriage. "Ho, ho, my
hearties!" he said, stroking the heads of the horses, "you'll have a
Dick Turpin's ride to-night."

All the nervousness had gone from him now: he was full of a strange
sort of exultation--the joy of a man who feels that the crisis in his
life has come, and that he has the power and courage to face it.

He heard them come up through the meadow to the stile: it was Wenna who
was talking--Mabyn was quite silent. They came along the road.

"What is this carriage doing here?" Wenna said.

They drew still nearer.

"They are Mrs. Trelyon's horses, and there is no driver."

At this moment Harry Trelyon came quickly forward and stood in the road
before her, while Mabyn as quickly went on and disappeared. The girl was
startled, bewildered, but not frightened; for in a second he had taken
her by the hand, and then she heard him say to her, in an anxious, low,
imploring voice, "Wenna, my darling, don't be alarmed. See here: I have
got everything ready to take you away; and Mabyn is coming with us; and
you know I love you so that I can't bear the notion of your falling into
that man's hands. Now, Wenna, don't think about it. Come with me. We
shall be married in London: Mabyn is coming with you."

For one brief second or two she seemed stunned and bewildered: then,
looking at the carriage, and the earnest suppliant before her, the whole
truth appeared to flash in upon her. She looked wildly round. "Mabyn--"
she was about to say, when he guessed the meaning of her rapid look:

"Mabyn is here. She is quite close by--she is coming with us. My
darling, won't you let me save you? This indeed is our last chance,
Wenna."

She was trembling so that he thought she would fall; and he would have
put his arms round her, but that she drew back, and in so doing she got
into the light, and then he saw the immeasurable pity and sadness of her
eyes.

"Oh, my love," she said with the tears running down her face, "I love
you! I will tell you that now, when we speak for the last time. See, I
will kiss you; and then you will go away."

"I will not go away--not without you--this night. Wenna, dearest, you
have let your heart speak at last: now let it tell you what to do."

"Oh, must I go? Must I go?" she said; and then she looked wildly round
again.

"Mabyn!" called out Trelyon, half mad with joy and triumph--"Mabyn, come
along! Look sharp! jump in! This way, my darling!"

And he took the trembling girl and half lifted her into the carriage.

"Oh, my love, what am I doing for you this night?" she said to him with
her eyes swimming in tears.

But what was the matter with Mabyn? She was just putting her foot on the
iron step when a rapidly approaching figure caused her to utter a cry of
alarm, and she stumbled back into the road again. The very accident that
Trelyon had been anticipating had occurred: here was Mr. Roscorla,
bewildered at first, and then blind with rage when he saw what was
happening before his eyes. In his desperation and anger he was about to
lay hold of Mabyn by the arm when he was sent staggering backward half a
dozen yards.

"Don't interfere with me now, or by God I will kill you!" Trelyon said
between his teeth, and then he hurried Mabyn into the carriage.

What was the sound then that the still woods heard under the throbbing
stars through the darkness that lay over the land? Only the sound of
horses' feet, monotonous and regular, and not a word of joy or sorrow
uttered by any one of the party thus hurrying on through the night.

[TO BE CONTINUED.]



CAMP-FIRE LYRICS.


I.--CAMP--IN THREE LIGHTS.

    Against the darkness sharply lined
      Our still white tents gleamed overhead,
    And dancing cones of shadow cast
      When sudden flashed the camp-fire red,

    Where fragrant hummed the moist swamp-spruce,
      And tongues unknown the cedar spoke,
    While half a century's silent growth
      Went up in cheery flame and smoke.

    Pile on the logs! A flickering spire
      Of ruby flame the birch-bark gives,
    And as we track its leaping sparks,
      Behold in heaven the North-light lives!

    An arch of deep supremest blue,
      A band above of silver shade,
    And, like the frost-work's crystal spears,
      A thousand lances grow and fade,

    Or shiver, touched with palest tints
      Of pink and blue, and changing die,
    Or toss in one triumphant blaze
      Their golden banners up the sky,

    With faint, swift, silken murmurings,
      A noise as of an angel's flight,
    Heard like the whispers of a dream
      Across the cool clear northern night.

    Our pipes are out, the camp-fire fades,
      The wild auroral ghost-lights die,
    And stealing up the distant wood
      The moon's white spectre floats on high,

    And lingering sets in awful light
      A blackened pine tree's ghastly cross,
    Then swiftly pays in silver white
      The faded fire, the aurora's loss.

    EDWARD KEARSLEY.



OVERWORKED WOMEN.


In traveling through continental Europe one sees in the fields certain
coarse and blackened creatures who walk somewhat erect, and in that
respect resemble human beings. If you regard them with attention, they
will stop to offer you some rude but humble mark of respect: if you heed
them not, they will go on, as they have always gone on, with the work
that is before them, and from which they never cease but to sleep or
die. They have hands which are large and horny: they have faces somewhat
like those of men, but coarse, hideous and furrowed with the lines of
exposure. They speak, they have a language, but their words are few and
relate only to the heavy drudgery which is before them. These humble and
debased animals are women.

I remember, while traveling some years ago through the State of
Pennsylvania with Mr. Foster, who was then the Vice-President of the
United States, we saw from the window of the railway-carriage in which
we were sitting a woman barelegged and at work in the fields. She was
digging potatoes on some mountain-patch.

"Thank God," said Mr. Foster, "that I never saw such a sight in my own
country before!"

According to the census of 1870 there were in the United States, out of
a total population of 38,500,000, less than 400,000 females occupied in
the labor of agriculture, either as field-hands or indoor workers. Of
this number, 373,332 were hired laborers, and 22,681 the cultivators of
their own lands. All of the former, and two-thirds of the latter, were
freed-women in the late Slave States, and only 7994 females were
employed in agriculture, either as laborers or proprietors, in or out of
doors, in the Free States.

The States in which these few farm-women of the North were chiefly found
were Wisconsin, which claimed 1387; Pennsylvania, 1279; and Illinois,
1034. In Pennsylvania the farm-women belonged almost exclusively to the
population known as the "Pennsylvania Dutch," descendants of the
Hessians and other Germans who settled in the State at the close of the
Revolutionary War; in Illinois and Wisconsin they were recent immigrants
from Europe, chiefly Germans, and for the most part, it is presumed,
widows, who preferred to till the land left by their husbands rather
than part with it.

With the exception of these trifling numbers, which, including even the
freed-women, amount to but seven per cent. of the whole number of males
employed in agriculture, it may be said, with entire correctness, that
in the United States woman has been raised above the necessity of
field-labor.

This is so far from being the case in Europe that in some countries all
the women, except the few belonging to the aristocratic and bourgeois
classes, are employed in the fields. One-third of the entire rural
laboring population of Prussia and one-half of that of Russia are
females. The following figures are from official sources:

COUNTRY.                   Total population.  Total occupied
                                              in agriculture.
United States, 1870        38,558,371         5,922,471
Prussia, 1867              19,607,710         3,286,954
Europ. Russia, exclud.
  Baltic Provs., 1863      59,097,859         26,362,435


Of whom                         Percentage of female
Males.          Females.       to male agriculturists.
 5,525,503      396,968           7
 2,232,741     1,054,213         47

13,444,842    12,917,593         98

To every 100 men employed in field-work, there are in Russia 98 women,
in Prussia 47, and in the United States but 7; and of the latter, nearly
all are freed-women of the African race. I have heard men sneer at this
statement, which I regard as matter for boasting--men who regretted it
was true: "You Americans make too much of your women. You educate them
above their rank in life, dress them like dolls and keep them for show.
They are idle, and become enfeebled and vicious, and their progeny, if
indeed they have any, partake of the same characteristics."

It is not alone foreigners who hold this language. There is among our
own countrymen a growing class of admirers of what they are pleased to
term the robust female, and "robust" with this class means hard-worked.

We have already seen the debased condition to which field-work,
apparently, has reduced the peasant-women of continental Europe: we have
seen that they resemble animals as much as they do women, so heavy and
unremitting is the toil with which they are burdened.

"This only makes them hardy," cries the advocate of the robust school,
who believes that hard work is good for everybody, even for women, yet
carefully avoids it himself--avoids even hard thinking, which might
teach him better doctrine. "It is thus that women become the mothers of
a race of heroes."

Heroes! Moon-calves, rather; but we shall see.

Mr. Harris-Gastud in his late report to the British Foreign Office on
Prussia, after mentioning the north-eastern provinces of that country,
and the immorality, drunkenness and thieving propensities of its
peasantry, thus continues (p. 361): "The system of contract laborers,
under obligation to bring one or two other laborers into the field, is
in some measure responsible for the immorality, inasmuch as the one or
two, so to speak, gang-laborers, are usually girls, who live in the same
room as the family. Children are not carefully tended and reared. The
wives are obliged to work daily throughout summer and autumn, and on
many properties in winter also. They go very early to work, are free
half an hour before midday to prepare the dinner and do other household
work, and return to work till sunset. The children come badly off.
Often there is no older child to take charge of the little ones, who are
consequently left to themselves in the house. A direct result is the
great mortality of children. From 1858 to 1861 there died in the
province of Prussia, out of a total population of 2,190,072, an annual
average of 21,290 children under one year, and of 40,845 children under
ten years, being 0.97 and 1.86 per cent. of the population; whereas in
the Rhine province, with a population of 2,112,959, the percentages were
0.57 and 1.12 respectively."

In 1870 in the United States, with a total population in town and
country of 38,558,371, the number of deaths of children under one year
was 110,445, and under ten years 229,542, being 0.29 and 0.59
respectively. In other words, where one child dies in the United States,
_two_ die in the Rhenish provinces of Prussia, and _more than three_ in
one of the north-eastern provinces.

I was in Berlin in the autumn of 1872, when there was a meeting there of
the emperors of Germany, Russia and Austria. Every preparation had been
made for this august convocation, among others that of banishing from
the streets all unpleasant sights. Yet on that occasion, when Unter den
Linden was crowded with carriages and horsemen and well-dressed people,
when Russia and Austria were dashing about in open barouches, with
outriders before and guardsmen behind, and the eye encountered on all
sides the bravery of military uniforms and arms and waving pennants, I
saw in a side-street a woman drawing a hand-cart laden with some heavy
substance that was piled up to the height of four or five feet above the
rails of the cart. Beside this poor slave, who withal carried an infant
upon her back which could not have been more than a few weeks old,
struggled a dog, with whom she was harnessed to the cart. Poor wretch! I
thought, and the husband recently dead, too! I could not think of her as
a _widow_, for, in truth, she did not look human enough. She was not
over thirty years of age, but a coarser-looking hag I never saw the
picture of. Presently a man in crossing the street indulged in some
pleasantry at her expense, when she threatened to call her husband to
chastise him. Husband? Yes, sure enough, there he was, walking leisurely
_behind_ the cart, with his hands in his pockets, smoking his pipe and
gazing at the sights along the route.

If we would know the origin of this brutality to women wherever it is
practiced, we must look for it in the history of slavery, for there we
shall always find it. It was not the peasant-man who first brutalized
his wife and daughter, but the lord. If the ancient rights of the
peasantry had not been molested, and an oppressive system of feudal
exactions forced upon men who once were free and owners of the soil they
tilled, the slavery of women could hardly have occurred. It is now
nearly seventy years since the first decree that eventually resulted in
the abolition of serfdom in Prussia was promulgated, and time is rapidly
effacing many of the social evils which that institution entailed. But
this is not the case with Russia, where emancipation was only declared
ten years ago, and is not completed even yet. The causes that
superinduce the degradation and debasement of women can therefore still
be seen at work in that country, and are thus depicted by an
eye-witness. He is speaking of the condition of the peasantry of Russia
subsequent to the decree of emancipation, and so far as my own
observation in that country goes, I can corroborate all that he says:
"Their food begins to get scantier and scantier, and toward spring they
get more and more famished. The officer of government (who since the act
of emancipation replaces the officer of the lord of the manor) comes and
energetically demands the payment of arrears. Driven to desperation, the
peasant acknowledges to the mayor of the village the cause of his want
of punctuality--viz., the demands made upon him by his family, and
particularly by his wife. 'Give her a good thrashing,' is the advice of
the mayor. The mujik goes home, ties his wife by her hair to the tail of
a cart, and flogs her unmercifully with a whip. At a convenient
opportunity he will give his mother a knock or two on the head with a
log of wood. If any member of the family should die from privation, his
death is attributed to fate." Passing to the description of a village
community of higher civilization, the author continues: "The chief
features of such a village are fewer thrashings, a more perceptible
tendency to personal adornment on the part of the women, a larger number
of bachelors, and the existence even of old maids--_i. e._, in the sense
only of unmarried women. In such villages _fêtes_ are held each Sunday,
and all the village games, accompanied by much kissing, terminate in the
coarsest sensuality. Immorality prevails, followed by infanticide."
(_Condition of the Laboring Classes of Russia_, by N. Flerofski, 1869.)

For the sake of obtaining an additional laborer in the family it was
customary for the Russian serf to marry his son of tender years to a
woman of riper age, particularly in households where the father had
become a widower, and where, consequently, the family had lost a female
laborer. The son was then sent out to work in the fields, and this
circumstance, together with the subjection and degradation of women in a
social organization in which even the man was a mere chattel, favored
the existence of a crime that greatly complicated the relations of blood
in a peasant family, and often led to the brutal treatment of helpless
wives by infuriated husbands. Nor did the evil stop even with a partial
amelioration of the cause, but tended for a time to reproduce itself;
for the son, grown to a ripe age and bound to a wife now old and
wrinkled, would revenge himself by treating his own son in the manner in
which he had been treated himself.

Says Flerofski: "Women who assist in floating barges down the rivers
from the province of Vologda (in North-eastern Russia, three hundred to
five hundred miles above Nijni-Novgorod) to Nijni-Novgorod receive two
and a half roubles (about $2) for the journey. Both men and women work
until they become exhausted, and return back to their villages on foot.
Their master, the contractor, who is bound to support them until they
return, hastens as much as possible their homeward tramp, in order to
save expense, compelling them to walk eighty versts (fifty-five miles) a
day along village roads and byways. They will sometimes have to wade for
twenty miles through water and mud up to their knees.... The peasant is
ready to carry any burden, to suffer anything, to impose any privations
on his family, provided his principal object be attained, which is to
obtain means of paying his quit-rent and taxes. For that purpose he will
not unfrequently send his young daughter alone to float timber down the
rivers. Bending under the weight of labor unfitted for her age or sex,
the unhappy creature becomes the object of every form of bad usage.
Without sufficient experience or force of will, compelled to spend days
and nights among dissolute men, she falls an unwilling victim.... The
laborer is so poor, miserable and debased that he cannot save his
daughter from exposure to positions in which she must voluntarily or
involuntarily be drawn into a course of immorality. His principal care
is to place her where she can earn some money."

In some of the industrial districts of Russia villages may still be
found populated at certain seasons of the year exclusively by women and
children. The women plough the land, sow, reap, work on the roads and
pay the taxes. They fill the offices of _starosta_ (policeman) and
tax-gatherer; in short, conduct the entire communal administration. On
the shores of the White Sea women often drive the post-carts, whence
that branch of the service has taken the name of _sarafannaya_ or
"petticoat post." Where are the men who should be seen in these villages
of Amazons--the fathers, husbands, brothers, sons of these hard-worked
women? Drafted into the army or gone to seek work in the adjacent towns.

The terrible burdens which the government and social system of Russia
heap upon the peasant-man can best be realized from a description of its
effects upon the unhappy creature whom this man, himself a slave in all
but name, may treat--nay, almost must treat--as a slave. To pay the
quit-rent and taxes the peasant hires himself to the neighboring lord to
mow his corn at sixty-five cents an acre--a price which falls to forty
cents an acre before the harvest is completed. At the most, he can earn
an average of twenty-five cents a day, for his food has been poor, his
body is weak, his hands tremble, his scythe is antiquated and blunders
at its work. Yet swath after swath marks the sweep of his arms, and his
poor dull mind is filled with the thought of the day of liberation that
is drawing nigh. Still, he has not earned by a good deal the sum that
will save him from starvation. Starvation! Why? Because should he fail
to pay, the lord has the power, and will not fail, to seize every piece
of property which the peasant has in the world--his cow, his bed, his
clothing, even the uncut corn upon his little field, the very bread from
off his table. Where is that lord? Has he no heart, no mercy? Alas! he
is far away, in Vienna, in Rome, in Paris. He is at the Carnival, the
opera, the club-house. He has presented a diamond necklace to Schneider,
he has bought a new race-horse, he has lost fifty thousand francs at
_rouge et noir_. Meanwhile, his agent and the law do his cruel bidding
far away at home upon the bleak plains of Russia, and the peasant works
under them as Damocles sat under the sword.

In such peril and fear shall the woman stand idle? Idle she never is,
even from inclination, her household duties, the care of the young, the
ministration to the sick and feeble, the preparation of the daily meal,
being sufficient to keep her fully employed. But shall she stop at these
when failure on the man's part may to-morrow sweep away not only the few
articles of clothing and the one or two of furniture they possess, but
also the food which is to last them during the coming year? The thought
is death itself. She must go to the fields. No matter how young her
child, nor how near to death her aged mother or father; no matter how
rigorous the climate or deficient her clothing: she must go to the
fields. They are miles away, perhaps--for in Russia, serfdom, the
communal system and other circumstances have forced the peasantry to
live in villages--but go she must, with the child on her back or left
ailing and uncared-for in the hut, with the sick or dying behind her and
misery all around. Arrived at the scene of her unnatural labors, she
applies herself to them with an energy which despair alone could
engender, and which ends in completely unsexing her. She becomes
weatherbeaten, coarse and repulsive. Her hands are like knots of wood;
she is covered with dirt; her bones have grown large; her step is
ungainly; she speaks in husky tones; she swears, drinks and fights.
Meanwhile the corn ripens. After gigantic efforts she succeeds in
harvesting it. At best it would have repaid the seed but three times,
but gathered and threshed with insufficient skill or barbarous tools, it
scarcely more than doubles the perilous investment. Then this poor
creature casts herself upon the earth and weeps, for are not both parent
and child dead from exposure, from insufficient food, from the lack of
that attention which she alone could have conferred? The links that
bound her poor, rugged, but still woman's heart to both the sad past and
the hopeful future are severed, and she is almost alone in the world.
But her husband returns, and his joyful looks reanimate her. He has
succeeded. The tax is paid, and they are free for another year. But at
what a cost!

This sketch is far from being exaggerated. Too often does it happen that
despite these sacrifices the tax is not paid. Says Flerofski: "Along
that road walks a peasant's family in sorrowful procession, shedding
bitter tears. Is it a funeral? No, it is only the last calf being led
for sale with the aid of the local authorities. It is necessary to levy
rents with strictness, for are not the proprietors already ruined?" (He
means, ironically, by the emancipation of the serfs.) "And, in fact,
were it not for the deep impression thus made on the peasant, did he not
know that his last food-giving beast would be taken from him, his last
pot of milk carried out of his hut, although wanted for his newborn
child, which would perish without it, the landed proprietors could not
collect the tenth part of their rents."

In 1856 the Rev. T. Giliarofski, gold-medalist and corresponding member
of the Russian Geographical Society, published an inquiry into the
frequency and causes of infant mortality in the province of Novgorod,
the results of which are true to this day concerning the greater part of
Central, Eastern and Northern Russia. Let those who believe that it is
wise and merciful to subject women to hard work read the ghastly story.
In the first place, the reverend author mentions the notorious fact that
the statistics of illegitimate births in Russia, in which they are
stated to be but one-thirtieth of all the births, are kept down by the
great prevalence of certain practices, to which it is not necessary to
make further allusion here than to say that they put to shame all the
implications contained in Dr. Storer's erroneous pamphlet as to the
habits of Massachusetts women. Next, the Russian priest states that the
number of births is nearly the same in each month of the year, and that
out of 10,000 children born, 5537 die during the month of their birth.
Three out of four registered births in the months of July and August are
deaths before the termination of those months severally. By the twelfth
month death summons three-fourths, five-sevenths, or even six-sevenths,
of the infants born in some districts of Novgorod.

Now listen to the cause of this frightful waste of human life: "It is
the great mortality in July and August that causes the terrible
destruction of infant life in Russia. Those months are the months of
harvest, when the peasant-women are forced by necessity to leave their
newborn infants to be nursed by children four or five years old, or by
old women whose hands can no longer grasp the reaping-hook. Fed on sour
rye bread and cabbage- or mushroom-water, working as much as the men,
having less sleep, keeping more religious fasts, the peasant-women are
only exceptionally capable of rearing their children by the natural
process."... "I have seen children not a year old left for twenty-four
hours entirely alone, and in order that they should not die of hunger
feeding-bottles were attached to their hands and feet." In other cases
poultices of rye bread, oatmeal, curds, etc. are placed over the
infants' mouths by the miserable mothers who are obliged to leave them
to work in the fields. These poultices frequently choke or suffocate the
child. Domestic animals invade the hut, and deprive the infant of even
this wretched food. The cries of the child for sustenance produce
internal distensions which result in hernia and other disorders of a
like nature, which are very common in Russia. We shall see presently to
what degree these sad marks of neglect affect the strength and physical
capacity of those who survive such an infancy and become men.

Meanwhile, let us regard for a moment the sufferings of the peasant
mothers. Their confinement frequently takes place in a hut devoted to
the purposes of a steam-bath, or, in summer, in a barn, stable or
outhouse. Many a poor woman is obliged to bear her great trial
unattended--perhaps even without those appliances the absence of which
will compel her, even against her better nature, to follow the instinct
of brutes. In three days, at the utmost, she leaves the scene of her
unspeakable agony and resumes her household duties, even her hard
field-work. Cases occur in which the mother of only one day is forced by
the hardship of circumstances to take to the field. Of course, these
women, so cruelly enslaved, are to the last degree ignorant. What time,
even if opportunity offered, have they for schooling, or even discourse?
None whatever. They are but little superior in intellect to animals.
Naturally, this ignorance begets superstition, and from this source
arise new perils for their miserable offspring. On the third day after
birth it is considered necessary to baptize the child by complete
immersion in water, from which it is held by the Russian Church to be a
sin to remove the chill. A large proportion of the deaths of infants in
the colder months of the year are attributed by native writers to this
cause.

Mothers who have been able to suckle their own children generally wean
them at the expiration of twelve months, and popular custom, which takes
rank as a superstition, has appointed two days in the year for that
purpose--one in July, the other in January. Both of these periods are
unfavorable to the child: in July the cattle are mostly afflicted with
disorders, and their milk is hurtful; in January they give but little
milk. Various devices, more or less prejudicial to health, are resorted
to by the mother to effect a purpose to which the grossest ignorance and
superstition alone impel her. One of the mildest of these is separation
from her child for a week or longer: frequently she returns to find it a
corpse.

And now let us see what sort of men are born of these overworked women.
According to the statistical tables of Brun and Zernof, the number of
persons of both sexes alive between the ages of fifteen and sixty was in
Russia only 265 in 1000; in the United States in 1870 the number was
558. In Great Britain there are 548 adults to every 1000 population, and
in Belgium 518; so that Russia, which, from the subjection of the weaker
sex and their exposure to hardship, should, according to some persons,
produce the greatest number of heroes, in fact produces but half as many
adults, heroes or otherwise, as the other countries named, where women
do but little field-labor.

Even among those who from their ages are to be classed in Russia as
productive, great allowance must be made for physical incapacity. A
large number of the men are afflicted with deformity or disease: many of
them can scarcely drag themselves along. Out of 174,000 men brought up
from the villages to recruiting centres to supply the annual contingent
(84,000 men) of 1868, more than one-fourth (44,000) were rejected for
disease and other physical defects, not inclusive of short stature. In
Prussia, the other principal European country where women are compelled
to field-work, out of every 1000 men liable to military service in 1864,
no less than 467 were rejected for disease and other physical defects,
not inclusive of short stature. These are the heroes whom female slavery
brings forth!

Woman is an invalid, says Michelet, therefore she must not work. Woman
is not an invalid, therefore she is willing to work, and does work. But
that work has its proper sphere at the domestic hearth; and so long as
fortune does not lift the family above the cares of daily want, or
genius elevate the individual to the rank of teacher or leader, there
should it be suffered to remain.

    ALEXANDER DELMAR.



SPRING JOY


    The wet red glebe shines in the April light,
      The gray hills deepen into green again;
    The rainbow hangs in heaven; thin vapors white

    Drift o'er the blue, and freckle hill and plain
      With many moving shades; the air is strong
    With earth's rich exhalations after rain.

    Like a new note breaks forth the ancient song
      Of spring-tide birds, with fresh hope, fresh delight.
    Low o'er the fields the marsh-hawk sails along;

    Aloft small flocks of pigeons wing their flight;
      Alive with sound and movement is the air;
    The short young grass with sunlight rain is bright;

    The cherry trees their snow-white garlands wear;
      The garden pranks itself with leaf and flower;
    Quick with live seeds the patient earth lies bare.

    Oh joy! to see in this expectant hour
      The spirit of life, as on creation's day,
    Striving toward perfect form! No fear hath power,

    No sense of failure past hath strength to sway
      The immortal hope which swells within the breast,
    That this new earth matures not toward decay,

    But toward a beauty hitherto unguessed,
      A harvest never dreamed. These mild bright skies,
    This lovely uncompleted world, suggest

    A powerful joy, a thrill of high surprise,
      Which no fruition ever may inspire,
    Albeit each bud should flower, each seed should rise.

    EMMA LAZARUS.



HOW LADY LOUISA MOOR AMUSED HERSELF.


I.

The earl of Birndale was the magnate of the district. He was a tall,
strong, coarse-looking man: had he chanced to have been born in the
position of a coal-heaver, no one would have been surprised if he had
been hauled up before a magistrate for beating his wife or for squaring
his fists at any time and at any person as the humor seized him; or if
he had been a wharf-porter, he would have heaved a load on his shoulders
and carried it in a way to make puny specimens of the race sick with
envy. But he was born the son of an earl, and the coal-heaver
propensities had been trained and trimmed in patrician fashion. An earl
on occasion may fly into a passion, but he may not beat his wife: the
earl of Birndale did the one, and didn't do the other, nor was he in the
least conscious of the undeveloped coal-heaver he carried about with
him. On the contrary, his pride of birth and rank was enormous. His
physical strength not having been exercised in carrying loads, it had
brought him to his sixtieth year younger and more erect than many men of
forty, and even yet he employed it in felling trees: a high civilization
goes back for its amusement to what was the toil of primeval times. And
he never walked about his property without a hammer and nails, so that
if he came to any fence broken or breaking down, he could mend it, as
was very right and proper; but when people hear of an earl, they connect
the title with something lofty in the way of employment, and it is
certain that the village joiner would have mended the fences better than
the earl. But no doubt it was an innocent amusement, and _noblesse_ did
not _oblige_ the earls of Birndale: every man of them had always done
what was right in his own eyes. Why, the brother whom this earl had
succeeded passed a good deal of his time knitting, but he was the only
one of his race that had taken to that peaceful, aged-woman-looking
employment: the rest had not knitted anything except their brows, and
all of them had been pretty good at that.

There had been statesmen of the race, and there had been blackguards,
and there had been some of them who combined both characters in their
own persons. This earl had been in Parliament, for a short time even in
the cabinet, and for several years he had been governor in one of the
colonies; and in each of these positions he had made a respectable
figure. Every one has heard of the Swedish chancellor's remark to his
son: "Go, my son, and see with how little wisdom the world is governed."
If the earl had not great wisdom, he had a strong will; and a strong
will, backed by rank and wealth, will go a very long way even when
accompanied by a small modicum of intellect. He was a Tory of the
Tories--not of course, however, for the family had never stuck to one
line of politics--and he held that most men need to be governed, and
that only a few are fit to govern the rest, of which few he himself was
an illustrious example. But since his return from abroad he had not
taken, or desired to take, a lead in political matters: he preferred
living quietly on his estates, and for the greater part of the year at
Birns Castle, as the seat of the Birndale family was called, the village
in its neighborhood being known as "The Birns."

Birns Castle was an ambitious building, and really had accomplished its
design of looking "lordly," as the guidebooks say. When you entered it
by the main entrance, you stepped into a large hall lighted from the
roof, and looking up to such a height was very grand: all round this
hall there ran a gallery, and when high carnival was held at the castle,
in this gallery servants, retainers and other privileged persons were
stationed to see the nobility and gentry dancing below; and it was all
"mighty fine," as Pepys would have said. It was even more than mighty
fine on the occasion of the marriage of Lady Mary, the earl's eldest
daughter, to an English duke, the duke of Dover. From her father down to
the poorest and farthest-off relations of the Birndale family this
marriage had made the nerves of every one tingle with delight. But,
alas! grand as the marriage was, it had not turned out a happy one:
there had been no violent outbreak nor any public scandal, but the duke
and duchess saw as little of each other as possible: they both visited
now and then at Birns Castle, but never together. The duke appeared to
enjoy himself, and so, for that matter, did the duchess, but each went
his and her way. Besides the duchess of Dover, the earl had two
daughters, Ladies Helen and Louisa: he had no son, and his wife had been
dead some years.

When there happened to be no company at the castle the young ladies felt
it decidedly dull. It was true they had no end of china, old and new,
foreign and of home manufacture; they had a gallery of paintings
worth--it is better not to say how much--but the work of old masters and
new, besides ancestors looking at them from every wall; they had
drawing-rooms swarming with every unnecessary of life; they had the
spacious and lofty hall with armor and swords and spears and shields,
"all useful," as an auctioneer would say--"all useful, gentlemen, for
decorative purposes"--with trophies of the chase in its milder home
forms and as carried on in African or Bengal jungles; they had a library
filled from floor to ceiling with books containing, it is to be
presumed, the life-blood of master spirits, but they did not often tap
the vessels. The earl himself valued his library, but he was not a
reading man either. In short, they were in the unhappy position of
living in Birns Castle and having nothing to be astonished at.


II.

At one end of the Birns village stood a house, small, not comparatively,
but positively--a house out of which you could emerge and be
astonished--if you were young or had anything of the genius which is
always young--at Birns Castle, which is greatly to be preferred to
living in Birns Castle and having nothing to be astonished at, as has
been remarked by a high authority in connection with another castle.
There was no dullness in this house, although only four people lived in
it, but they were all busy always. It was surrounded by a wall which
enclosed not only the house, but a garden, a miniature courtyard and a
stable: the premises were small, but complete and compact, and the
owners were very well pleased with them. On the gate leading to the
house was a brass plate with the name "Dr. Brunton" on it. He was the
doctor of the place, and had only recently settled in it: he was young
and enthusiastic. If a man wants to spend and to be spent in doing good,
he has every opportunity as a country doctor, but if he wants to make
money, he has no opportunity at all. However, people who are young and
enthusiastic don't think much about money, and Dr. Brunton did not, nor
did his sister, who lived with him and attended to affairs in-doors.
They had one female servant and a man for the stable and garden.

They were very happy, this brother and sister--happy to be together, for
they had no very near relations, and they suited each other well; and
happy because they had not been accustomed to great things, and were not
ambitious. Of matrimony neither of them had ever thought, at least on
their own account, or if they had it was as a possible thing in the far
distance. Happy, busy, satisfied people don't readily think of change,
and certainly they don't seek for it; but it may come to them from very
unexpected quarters.

Mary Brunton had a young lady friend who visited her now and then, but
it never occurred to her as at all likely that this friend of hers and
her brother would draw together. If the idea had struck her, it is
difficult to say whether she would have been pleased or displeased--a
little of both, perhaps: she would have known that she ought to be
pleased, but she would not have enjoyed being supplanted in her
brother's affections, as she could not have helped feeling she would be.

Miss Robertson herself, the young lady in question, was not little and
dark, with a talent for keeping every one right and sacrificing herself
on all hands; neither was she tall and fair and handsome, with manners
petulant and somewhat haughty; but she had one quality which is rather
coming into fashion among heroines--namely, pliable affections.

    How happy could she be with either, were t' other dear charmer away!

When visiting at The Birns she could be exceedingly happy with Dr.
Brunton: she had a great admiration for him, and having heard him spoken
of as a rising man, and a series of clever papers which he had
contributed to a medical journal having got unqualified praise, she was
disposed to appreciate him, being one of the many people who can always
appreciate what has been appreciated. Very likely, Dr. Brunton might
have secured her and her fortune--which was not a trifle, and would have
been a large addition to his income--if he had tried to do so, but he
did not try: her attractions, personal and otherwise, did not strike him
at all. It might have been well if they had: at least it is
possible--one can't tell. She made a good wife in an ordinary way to the
man who got her, and a good wife in an ordinary way is a blessing. A
man's mind is not always agape for company, but his mouth is for a good
dinner; a book or a newspaper will be company to him, but he wants the
comfort that comes only through his wife; and if she gets burdened with
the mystery of the universe or stretches her thoughts toward matters too
high for her, or even if she takes an interest in politics, she is apt
to lose sight of the hundred and one things that make up the every-day
comfort that ought to pervade a house like the atmosphere. Perhaps this
is the reason that good wives in an ordinary way are so thickly sown,
for which let us be truly thankful. But, though Miss Robertson had not
by any means embarked the whole of her affections in one venture, she
would not have objected to making some impression on her host, and if
she had, it is possible, as has been said, that it might have been well
for him.

As the doctor went in at his gate one day he found a gypsy-looking woman
at the front door selling, or endeavoring to sell, baskets to Miss
Robertson; but that young lady had the good sense never to buy what she
did not need, and also she had an idea of the value of household
articles (both qualifications of the good wife in an ordinary way), and
knew that the woman was asking three prices for her goods: at least, in
the end she was ready and even anxious to take a third of what she had
first named as the price of her wares. And as Dr. Brunton came on the
scene she was saying, "Or if ye hae ony auld coat o' the maister's, I'll
gie ye the choice o' my baskets for 't."

"What is it? What are you about?" said the doctor as he came toward
them.

"I was just sayin' to yer wife, sir, that if--"

"My wife!" said Dr. Brunton, laughing: "I have no wife, and don't want
one."

"Ay but, sir," said the woman, taking the solemn oracular tone of a
sibyl, being in the habit of combining fortune-telling with
basket-selling if she thought she saw an opportunity, "it'll no be as ye
like: it'll be as it's ordained. A bonnie lassie'll maybe ask ye yet,
an' ye'll no say na; an' I could tell ye mair about it if ye want to
hear."

"Come, move off," said the doctor, tossing a coin to her, "and try some
better trade."

"If I had been a beauty," said Miss Robertson, "I should have thought
the woman personal, and have taken offence."

"Why," said he, looking at her as if to form an opinion, "you're well
enough."

Now in her heart Miss Robertson thought she looked considerably better
than well enough, but Dr. Brunton was honest and said just what he
thought.

"Well enough for what?" she asked.

"Oh, well enough in the way of looks, I mean."

"But not so intensely beautiful as to be justified in making a
matrimonial offer?"

"You can exercise your discretion as to that."

"Indiscretion perhaps?" she said.

"Either," said he.


III.

"I think, Mary," Miss Robertson said to her friend, "you don't need to
be afraid of your brother marrying in a hurry."

"Afraid?" said Mary.

"Yes. Now, confess you wouldn't like it. You would not like to be
shunted, you know."

"Well I should not, but I should like to see him happy, and if he got a
good wife--"

"Ay, but what wife would you think good enough for him? There's the
rub."

"I hope he'll be wisely guided," Mary said.

"So do I; but, as I said, I don't think you need be afraid: he won't be
in a hurry--he does not even care for a flirtation."

"Oh no: my brother is always in earnest whatever he does--in thorough
earnest. I don't think he could even imagine such a thing as a
flirtation."

"Well, he is very much stupider than I take him to be if he couldn't."

"He is not stupid: it is the want of stupidity or silliness that makes
trifling of that kind impossible to him," said Mary.

"It's a pity," her friend said. "What's the use of taking things so
seriously? I think a little flirtation a nice amusement, very much
suited to young people."

"To some young people: I should not like to try it. I should be sure to
burn my fingers."

"Singe your heart, you mean; but it goes off in a little, I suppose, for
I can't speak from experience."

"No, I trust not."

"Do you know," said Miss Robertson, "that I have a great ambition for
your brother? I think it a thousand pities that he should settle here. I
am far more ambitious for him than you are, or than I believe he is for
himself."

"It seemed the best opening that offered at the time," said Mary.

"A far inferior man would suit this place just as well. He'll work
himself to death, and nobody be the wiser or the better, whereas if he
had been in town he would have come to the surface, and might have been
driving his carriage shortly. That little thick-set, red-haired,
bulldog-looking man that was here the other night--Dr. What's-his-name,
your nearest medical neighbor?--that's the kind of man for a country
doctor. He has the bodily strength and the rough-and-ready manners for
the place: he is not too bright or good for human nature's daily drugs.
Were you present when he told about his attendance on Sir James Grieve,
the great man of his district?"

"No, I did not hear him speak of that."

"Sir James had a cold, and there was an ado made about it as if there
had not been another man in the world. The doctor was nights in the
house, and there were consultations and forms and ceremonies, and as
many fykes, he said, and his time was uselessly taken up, and other
patients neglected; and he could not charge at all in proportion. Even
as it was, Sir James went over every item of his account singly, and had
it explained. Imagine your brother going through all that if the earl of
Birndale takes a cold!"

"He would not go through it: he would give what attendance he thought
necessary, and if his charge were called in question he would decline
payment altogether: that's what he would do."

"And how would it work, do you think?"

"It would work well: upright, honorable dealing always works well in the
long run."

"But in the short? Why, the displeasure of the earl would be enough to
ruin him. Upright, honorable conduct is often its own reward. Now, our
little red-haired friend can put his manners in a strait-jacket for a
time and accommodate himself to the whims of the gentry; and he is not
squeamish in money-matters, so that he gets money, and enough of it."

"James is very contented here, and he likes better to live in the
country than in the town: so do I, but I must say I could wish him to
achieve reputation; it may be wrong, but I wish it;" and her eyes
sparkled.

"Wrong!" said Miss Robertson: "it's perfectly right, and what he should
do and will do; only, as I said, I think it a pity he settled here."

"I like reputation," said Mary, "because it is the result of great
ability well and thoroughly used: I hope mine is not a vulgar ambition."

"Oh dear, no!" said Miss Robertson; "but a quack has often a far greater
reputation than an honest man."

"Well, but people are always known sooner or later."

"Yes, sooner or later," echoed Miss Robertson: "I hope your brother will
be known sooner."

"Do you know," said Mary, "we are so happy as we are that it is a shame
to wish for anything better or different: I really don't know two
happier people."

"Just allow me to be a third: I am very happy too. The idea of calling
this world a vale of tears!"

"By the way," said Mary, "did you see the Ladies Moor ride past to-day?
It is the first time I have seen them. I think I never saw such a face
as the youngest has: they say her sister, the duchess of Dover, is a
great beauty, but surely she can't be more lovely than Lady Louisa."

"Yes, I met them when I was walking, and I was as much struck as you: I
am sure they don't get their beauty from their father: he is a
coarse-looking man."

"I don't know where they get it, but they have it, certainly," said
Mary: "that girl will drive some people crazy yet."

"Do you think beauty has so much power?" asked Miss Robertson.

"Oh, power! I know nothing like it: it is an intense pleasure to me to
see a face like Lady Louisa's."

"And yet beauty has not brought happiness to the duchess of Dover."

"We need not moralize about it," said Mary. "She is unhappy, not because
of her beauty, but in spite of it; besides, though she and her husband
don't get on together, she may have other sources of happiness. It would
give me great happiness to know that people got pleasure by merely
looking at me."

"Her Grace of Dover may have got accustomed to that kind of pleasure by
this time. I hope her sister may have a happier lot: it must be horridly
provoking to be a duchess and unhappy," said Miss Robertson.

"'Provoking' is hardly the word for the situation, I think," said Mary.

"To seem to have a thing and not to have it is very provoking," Miss
Robertson said; "besides, other people may hope for some turn of affairs
that will make things better, but what can she hope for? Why, she has
everything this world can give."

"Her case seems a very sad one--all glitter and no gold," Miss Brunton
said.


IV.

Dr. Brunton had been attending an old woman who kept one of the gates of
the castle-grounds and lived in the lodge. It was the least frequented
of all the entrances to the castle, and the least important. The gate
was rustic, and the lodge was rustic and thatched, and looked like a big
beehive, standing as it did at the corner of a fir plantation, the trees
coming up almost to its walls and overshadowing it entirely. It seemed
an eerie, solitary place for one lone woman to inhabit, but she had been
there for many years, and, whatever she had or wanted, time had come and
time had gone. It was a place where you might have thought Death would
have called early any day if he was passing, in case he might forget it
altogether; but he had not, and not only did he not forget it, but he
had come to this house months ago, and hovered about since as if he had
nothing to do elsewhere, or as if he could not have despatched his
business in a moment. At this very time he was seizing some of the great
ones of the earth with little ceremony, for rank and wealth can't keep
him waiting in an anteroom till they are ready to receive him: if they
could, he might get leave to wait long enough. How was it worth his
while to look in on this poor woman every night and show her his face as
king of terrors, and yet hang back from enforcing his rights?

Another elderly woman, lonely like herself, had been got to wait on her.
Women of this kind are not scarce: as life closes in on them they drift
away into little remote houses in the country, or into single rooms up
three or four stairs in towns, like the leaves of autumn that have had
their spring and summer, and are only waiting for the kindly mother
earth to absorb them again. It looks but a dreary last chapter in their
lives, yet it may not be so. In one such instance, at least, which had
been utterly obscure and unknown but that it stood within the charmed
circle of genius, it was not so--that of Christophine, the eldest sister
of Schiller, who, after a self-denying life, died the last survivor of
her family in her ninety-first year, having lived in the loneliness of
widowhood for thirty years on the slenderest of means, yet, we are told,
"in a noble, humbly admirable, and even happy and contented manner;" and
there are many such women. But Bell Thomson, the keeper of this outlying
lodge of the earl's, had no chance of the bull's eye from the lantern of
genius throwing her into a strong permanent light, nor had the friend
who had come to be with her. Happily, the pathetic in their
circumstances did not strike themselves as it might strike others, and
no doubt they had their own interests and enjoyments. At this time they
looked forward to the doctor's daily visit, not merely in the
expectation of gathering hope and comfort from his words, but because
they liked the man himself: he was kind and courteous even to poor old
women, and it was a break in the continuous monotony of their lives.

It chanced on one occasion that the doctor did not get the length of the
lodge till toward the gloaming, having been occupied the whole day: he
was tired, and rather reluctant to hear the minute history of Bell's
sensations for the last twenty-four hours, but he did drive up to the
lodge, and, leaving his gig at the gate, walked in. "How is this?" he
said to Bell: "are you alone? what's become of your nurse?"

"Oh, she had to gang hame for an hour or twa, but I'm no my lane: a
lassie offered to bide wi' me till Ann cam back."

"That's right," said the doctor, and he talked for a little. "Now," he
said, "you're better to-day than you were yesterday, just admit that."

"Weel, I'm nae waur, but, doctor, ye aye see me at my best, come when ye
like. Whether it's you comin' in that sets me up a wee I dinna ken, but
I'm aye lighter when ye're here than ony other time."

"I must try and act the other way," he said: "it won't do for me to
rival my own medicine."

He turned round and saw standing with her back to him, and looking out
at the little window, a girl, apparently the daughter of one of the
neighboring hinds, as farm-servants who live in the cottages on a farm
are called in Scotland. She wore a striped woolen petticoat, short
enough to show her thick worsted stockings and stout little shoes that
were tied close round her ankles; a striped pink-and-white cotton
short-gown, as it is called, with a small tartan shawl pinned round her
neck. This was her dress--the dress common to female farm-servants,
which to neatness joins fitness: it is not in the way, and it gives all
the muscles free room for exercise; but it is rapidly becoming a thing
of the past now, the more's the pity! Her hair was all drawn behind and
twisted up at the back of her head, where it was fastened by a little
common horn comb: she had also a string of amber glass beads round her
neck.

This girl turned round and looked at the doctor with a simple stare of
curiosity, such as her class fix on a stranger.

The doctor was startled, he almost uttered a low cry of admiration: the
face was perfect, heavenly, indescribable.

Bell, who was sitting up in bed supported by pillows, said, "Isn't she a
bonnie lassie, doctor?"

"Hoot!" said the girl--"hoot, Bell! that's nae news. Could ye no tell us
something we dinna ken?"

From some lips this might have been an impertinent remark: from hers it
had the most piquant charm of simplicity.

The doctor, having recovered from his first thrill of surprise, said,
"Where do you live, my good girl?"

"Wi' my faither, sir," she said simply.

"Who is your father?" he asked.

"He is ane o' our neighbors," Bell answered.

"Just up the gate a bit," the girl said.

"Over at Claygates?" said the doctor.

"A wee bit farrer yont, sir," the girl said, and disappeared into an
inner room.

"I wonder I never saw her before," the doctor said to his patient.

"Weel, she's worth seeing: she's--"

But the rustic beauty reappeared, and Bell did not speak further.

Dr. Brunton's visit had exceeded its ordinary limits, and he rose to go.
The girl opened the door for him, and as he was passing out he said to
her, "Are you often here?"

"Gey an' often: Bell's an auld friend o' my mither's, and I run over to
speir for her aye when I've time."

"Shall you be here to-morrow?"

"Oh, ay: I'll be here the morn and the next day, and maybe the day
after: I'll be often here as lang as I'm at hame."

"And where will you be when you are not at home?"

"Weel, sir"--and she hesitated a little--"weel, sir, where can the like
o' me be but at service? We hae nae muckle choice, folk like us."

"Choice!" thought the doctor. "At service! Why, to be served by a being
wearing such a face must be like being waited on by an angel: she might
have her choice of the crowned heads of Europe."

He sprang into his gig: all his sense of fatigue had vanished, and a new
and strange feeling had taken possession of him.

"And they are going to send her to service!" he said to himself. "What a
shame!"

And yet he knew he was unreasonable. As she herself had said, what
choice was there in her rank of life? and it was only her beautiful face
that made it seem at all out of place; but what an _only_ that was!
"Why," he thought, "I have been five and twenty years in the world, and
I have never seen a face to match it--never!"

At dinner that day Dr. Brunton was rather preoccupied and taciturn till
his sister asked him if he had yet happened to see Lady Louisa Moor.

"No," he said, "I have not had that pleasure."

"Well, it is a pleasure," she said: "I think she is as pretty a girl as
I ever saw."

"Pretty!" said he: "why, I saw a girl to-day--a hind's daughter--so
beautiful that I can't think how I never heard of her before: her beauty
is a thing to be spoken about."

"The style of good looks that pleases one person often does not please
another," said Miss Robertson.

"But she is not good-looking--I tell you no one would speak of good
looks in connection with her--she is simply and perfectly beautiful; and
she is going to service. Imagine yon creature brushing your boots and
bringing them to you! The bare idea is profanation. She only wants
education to make her a thing to be worshiped; but she is quite
uncultured: I shouldn't wonder if she can't even read or write decently,
but she has no want of natural ability: everything she said proved
that."

"I am afraid you have fallen in love," said Miss Robertson.

"I am afraid of it," he said.

"I think hardly," said his sister. "I think you have more sense, James,
than to be taken with a pretty face belonging to a young lady who can
neither read nor write."

"Millions of people can read and write," said he, "but how many have a
face like hers?"

"I must find her out and have a look at her," said Miss Robertson.

"Wait, James," said Mary, "till you see Lady Louisa."

"Lady Louisa may be anything she likes," said he, "but it is impossible
she can match this peasant-girl without a single grace of dress or
culture. I never saw anything like her--never."

"I have heard of gentlemen picking up pretty girls and sending them to
be educated with a view of marrying them," said Miss Robertson.

"I've heard of that too," said the doctor. "Well, beauty is a wonderful
gift; that is, the transcendent beauty that every one acknowledges."

"And very rare," said Mary. "I should like to see the beauty every one
would acknowledge. If this girl seemed as beautiful to every one as she
does to you, I think she would have been advanced to a tobacconist's
shop at least by this time."

"Don't speak of it!" said her brother.


V.

On the following day about the same hour Dr. Brunton approached the
lodge where he had come so often full of pity, and had submitted to be
bored with a good grace. But instead of dragging himself up to make this
visit as a tiresome duty, which he had sometimes felt it to be, it had
floated before his mind all day, and he went through the gate with the
most vivid and even tremulous expectation and interest. But the
celestial beauty in the amber beads was not there. He sat and listened
patiently to the old woman's story, and various times tried to draw her
out about her visitor of yesterday; but she was so occupied with herself
that she could speak of nothing else, and he left with a stinging, empty
sense of disappointment, as he did on the next day, and the next; but on
the fourth the rustic beauty reappeared, as innocently simple and
slightly sheepish in manner as before.

"You have not been here for some days?" the doctor said to her.

"Na, I couldna coom."

"Why not?"

"My faither said I was to bide in the house and mind my wark."

"What do you do? Can you read well?"

"Oh, ay, I can read no that ill: I whiles take a lesson on the
newspapers."

"Can you write?"

"Weel, I canna say muckle for my writing, but the likes o' us hae nae
time to put off writing;" and she sent her eyes right into the eyes of
the doctor, as they stood beside Bell's little window--innocently,
simply, appealingly, the doctor felt--and from that moment he was a lost
man: his prudence went down like straws before the wind.

"You are far too beautiful," he said with deep earnestness, "to go to
service: would you not like to be educated and be a lady?"

"Oh, I wad like it weel aneuch, I daur say, but I'll just hae to be
content wi' the place I'm in: I've a heap to be thankfu' for, and I maun
bide wi' my faither."

"But you'll not be with him if you are at service?"

"No, but I can help him with the siller I mak."

The doctor was silent. This girl was good, then, as well as beautiful.

"Are you his only child?" he asked: "have you no brothers or sisters?"

"I've nae brothers, but I've twa sisters."

"And what do they do?"

"The ane's married, and, the ither bides at name like me, except when
she's awa'."

"She can't be so beautiful as you?"

"Do ye think me so extra weel-faured, sir?" she said with much
simplicity, and glancing at the morsel of looking-glass that hung by the
window. "Whether do ye like my yellow beads or my blue anes best? I put
on my blue anes the day: my sister's gudeman give me them when they were
married."

"Are you fond of beads?"

"Oh, ay--they set a body off, divn't they?"

"You set them off: everything near you looks well because it is near
you."

"Ye've a fair tongue, sir."

"I always speak the truth."

"I believe that," she said; and again her eyes looked into the doctor's
with childish simplicity.

"You can trust me?" he said.

"What about, sir?"

"About anything: if you want a friend you'll trust me?"

"Oh, ay, sir: I'll do that; but I'm no ill off for friends."

"I should think not," he said. "Where does your married sister live?"

"Oh, far away--away up on the English hand."

"What is her husband?"

"He has a bit land o' his ain, sir: she made a gude marriage, it's
thought, but I whiles jalouse he's no very gude to her."

"Surely not, surely not," said the doctor; and a vision crossed him of
this beautiful and simple girl he was speaking to marrying some coarse
working-man, and being made a hardly-used drudge of to the end of her
days; and he determined it should not be. He determined it should not
be: surely, she was born for some better fate. The very idea of it made
him feel dazed, and it was possible that even now she was pledged to
some such thing. Another man would have had no difficulty in "chaffing"
her on such a subject and finding out all he wanted to know, but this
man could not: even if chaffing had been a habit with him, he could not
have done it in this instance: his feeling was far too deep and real and
reverent to admit of it. He went back to his patient and tried to listen
to her story as usual, but in truth it was little of it that he heard.
He was in a dream.

After he went away, Bell looked across to her young attendant, who was
sweeping up about the fireside in active business-style, and said, "My
bonnie leddy, see that ye dinna wark mischief."

"I'm no settin' up a stour, am I?" the girl said.

"Weel, see that ye dinna set up a stour," Bell answered.


VI.

Early next forenoon, as Dr. Brunton was driving home after having been
out the most of the night, he saw two ladies on horseback approaching,
followed by a servant in livery: he liked to look at a pleasant sight,
and first his eye caught the horses, and he thought what fine animals
they were; then he glanced at the ladies. The one nearest bowed to him
and touched her hat: the action could not be called "fast;" still, it
piquantly broke the bounds of very exact stiff propriety. He hurriedly
roused himself to look in her face, which he had not thought of doing
till he saw her action, and lo! it was the face, with the smile, of the
girl with the amber beads!

Beautiful as she was, she might have been the head of the Medusa, for
Dr. Brunton felt suddenly as if turned to stone. When he went into his
house all chance of an hour's sleep was gone. He met his sister in the
passage: she stopped and said, "Oh, James, you must have passed the
Ladies Moor as you came home: did you notice Lady Louisa?--did you?"

"Yes," he said shortly.

"Well, allow that she excels your rustic beauty."

"I allow it," he said. "I'm going to bed: don't call me for an hour or
two unless it's something urgent."

Not that he wanted to sleep or could have slept, but he wanted to think:
he wanted to cast out the dream he had been dreaming, and from which he
had been roused so thoroughly. The girl, the peasant-girl that he had
purposed to take from her rude, coarse setting, that he had yearned to
love and protect while he lived,--she had disappeared like the mists of
the morning, and in her place was left a lady of rank and fashion, the
daughter of an earl, the sister of a duchess. How she must have been
laughing at him! how she had taken him in! He, whose very business it
was to observe, and who prided himself on his powers of observation, to
be so thoroughly deceived! Was he densely stupid, or was she
superlatively clever? He leaned to the last solution. No actual daughter
of a hind could have played the part better. Her language, both in the
pronunciation and accent, was perfect: she had even caught the trick of
phrase and idea natural to the peasantry; and she had neither underdone
it nor overdone it. She was not only perfectly beautiful, she was
excessively clever, down to twisting her hands in her apron, which she
was always doing, as if it had been a piece of rustic awkwardness, when
it was to hide them of course: if her hands had been visible, they would
at once have betrayed her. But he might as well think to win a star from
heaven as her. It was a conflict, but it was soon over: there was no
doubt about it, no uncertainty. He gave up the thought of her at once:
his peasant-girl had taken wings and soared into a region where he could
not follow.

He began to dress wearily, as people do when the zest of life has been
taken out of it: the world was not the world of yesterday, nor even the
world of last week, when he had been his own master and felt no want. If
only he had never seen her, or seen and known her only as the Lady
Louisa Moor, when the idea of loving her never would have occurred to
him--when she would simply to him have been a beautiful creature to look
at without exciting the shadow of a thought of appropriation, and not
the peasant-girl, the beautiful peasant-girl, he had thought he might
possibly win and wear!

While he was still dressing he saw a man in livery ride up to the door
and hand in a note, which was sent up to him at once. He opened it and
read:

                                               "THE CASTLE, Tuesday.

     "DEAR DOCTOR BRUNTON: Bell is much worse to-day. Could you make
     it convenient to see her at five o'clock, when I shall be at
     the lodge? I am glad I can write so that you will at least be
     able to read this.

     "I am yours sincerely,

     "LOUISA MOOR."



He read this, and read it again, and yet again: it was frank, friendly
and familiar. Did it mean merely what the words stood for, or was it
possible--was it in the least degree possible--that she really cared for
him? It might mean everything or it might mean nothing. "But I shall see
when we meet," he thought as he laid it down.

He was at the lodge before five, and found the peasant-girl with the
amber beads there before him. He merely bowed to her, and went direct to
his patient, whom he examined closely: then he turned round and said
somewhat sharply, "She is not worse than when I saw her last."

"She appeared to me to be much worse," said the rustic maiden, coloring
ever so little.

"That may be," said the doctor, going to the window out of hearing of
the old woman. "Do you know," he said to the girl standing before him in
her short-gown and amber beads--"do you know that my visits here are of
no real use? I can do nothing. I can't fight with death, which is
certain to be the end before long. I shall make my visits very much more
seldom than I have done."

"Will you?" she said softly.

"Yes, I will."

"No you won't," she said pleadingly--"not if I wish you to come."

"Do you wish me to come?"

"Certainly I wish it."

"Then you distinctly understand that I come on your account?"

"Yes. Bell was an old favorite of mamma's, and I should like to see her
well attended to."

The doctor looked into the beautiful eyes to help him to make up his
mind: they fell gently and graciously under his gaze, and he said, "I'll
see her every day," meaning his patient.

Which he did--not quite every day, but very near it. Lady Louisa flitted
in and out of the lodge, sometimes in her own character, or as the
peasant-girl, or in any other rôle she chose to assume: it was an
amusement she was fond of.

Dr. Brunton lived in a fever. If she was not at the lodge when he
called, he felt his day was lost; if she was, it was almost worse: he
felt he himself was lost. Where was it to end? If she married him, what
chance of happiness was there for her, or even for him? and if she did
not--But he would not allow himself to think of that. Cloth of gold had
matched with cloth of frieze before now, and the union had been blessed.
Why not in this case? If Lady Louisa thought the world well lost for
love, who had a right to interfere? Not that the doctor was a vain
man--he was the reverse--but he held that human beings were men and
women before they were earls and countesses, and that the lesser rank
should give place to the greater. The insignificant dwelling at the
corner of the wood became the centre of his world, the place round which
his thoughts revolved, whether he would or no.

One day when he went in he found his patient alone, and she explained to
him that her ladyship had been there, but had gone away, saying she
might be back in a little.

"It was a thoughtless thing o' her to gang awa' and leave me my lane,
after she had tell't Ann she might bide at her ain house for an hour,"
the old woman said, feeling injured; "but what can ye expect o' the like
o' her?"

"I'll stay till one or other of them comes," said the doctor; and he sat
down by the bedside, and did _not_ listen to the history of Bell's last
severe attack. His ears were at the door, and when he heard a movement
outside he went and looked out; but it was only an old beggar-woman he
saw, much bent with age and with her head pearled. She was the
impersonation of clean, decent, thread-bare poverty: she had a plain
snowy muslin mutch close round her face, which was small and wrinkled,
and a black ribbon bound round her head, as the fashion used to be. A
basket with some pins and tapes in it served as a kind of apology for
her visit.

When she saw the doctor she said, "Maybe ye wad tak some preens frae a
puir auld body that can neither work nor want?"

She spoke in a thin, shaky voice, and Dr. Brunton's compassion was
moved. "Do you belong to this district?" he asked.

"'Deed, div I, sir. Eh, but auld age and poverty are ill neighbors!"

"You ought to be looked after: have you ever applied for relief?"

"Frae the parish? Na, nane o' our family hae come to that yet, let me be
thankfu', and I'll mak a fend without it."

"Then how do you live?"

"Ye may say that. Whiles the young leddies at the castle gie me a pickle
tea or the like--that's the youngest ane, her they ca' Leddy Louisa:
she's just an angel o' licht. Eh, if a' body was like her!"

"I'll inquire into your case and see that something is done for your
comfort."

"Oh, mony thanks, sir! I'm no very able noo to travel wi' the basket.
Eh, what time does! Little did I think I wad ever come to this."

The doctor dropped a shilling into her hand, which, cased in a
carefully-mended big coarse worsted glove, she held out: when she saw
what she had got she bowed her head, overcome with thankfulness, and
passed on.

The doctor resumed his watch, and in a little he was rewarded: Lady
Louisa came in.

"If I had not promised Bell to look in again," she said, "I would not
have been here. See, there's your shilling. If I worked as hard for my
money as you do, I would not give it to every impostor: I don't do it,
as it is."

"I don't understand," he said.

"You gave a shilling to an old woman at the door?"

"Yes: was _she_ an impostor?"

"Rank," said Lady Louisa; and she pulled a cap from her pocket, put it
on her head, drew it close round her face, which she threw into age and
wrinkles with marvelous effect, and looked at the doctor, shaking her
head like the pearled old woman.

"Didn't I give myself a high character?" she said, laughing.

"It was the truth," the doctor said--"nothing but the truth."

"The whole truth, and just a little more, don't you think?"


VII.

Shortly after, as the Ladies Moor were walking through the village, Lady
Louisa said to her sister suddenly, "I'm going to call at the doctor's
house."

"Why?" said Lady Helen.

"I want to see what it is like. It must be a queer little nutshell of a
place, and yet I fancy," she said, glancing her eye along the village
street, "people are happy enough in these birdcages."

"They may easily be as happy as people who live in big houses, but what
excuse are you going to make for calling at the doctor's? Do you want
anything?"

"Nothing except to see the house: it is mere curiosity."

"Won't it seem impertinent?"

"Oh no: they ought to think it an honor. We'll ask for Miss Brunton: the
doctor won't be in at this hour."

They were shown into the ordinary sitting-room of the house, in which
was Dr. Brunton engaged in reading the newspapers, but from the news of
the day his thoughts were straying away to the visit he was to make to
his singularly interesting patient at the lodge. Would _she_ be there or
would she not? It was not merely that his eyes were fed by her beauty,
but it seemed to him that custom could not stale her infinite variety:
she had all the qualities that make life noble. He had got to this point
of his meditations when the door opened and the lady walked in.

"How do you do?" she said. "This is my sister, Dr. Brunton. I was sure
you would be out at this hour."

"In general I am, but I have had a most fortunate lazy fit to-day."

"Why, Loo," said her sister, "I don't know how you always come to know
everything. I should not know in the least when Dr. Brunton was likely
to be in or out."

"That's different," said Loo: "I'm intimate with the doctor."

"We called," said Lady Helen, feeling that the visit needed to be
accounted for in some shape, and that her sister was in the humor for
speaking nonsense--"we called to see Miss Brunton: we thought we should
like to know her."

"Dr. Brunton," said Lady Louisa, "the truth is I came to see your house.
I was curious, and I like to gratify myself. I don't see why your house
should not be open to inspection as well as ours: ours is open to the
public two days a week all summer--Wednesdays and Saturdays, I
think--and it is a great nuisance. Have you ever been through it? If
not, I shall be happy to be your guide any day: if every person were as
sick of it as I am, fewer would come to see it."

"Sick of it, are you?" said the doctor.

"Yes, sick. It's just like a well-organized prison, with papa for
jailer--an upright, humane man, no doubt, but always feeling responsible
for his prisoners, and giving them very little indulgence."

"Loo," said Lady Helen, "you talk nonsense.--You must not believe all
she says, Dr. Brunton."

"You want to see my house?" he said. "Why do you want to see it?"

"Why do you _not_ want to see ours?" said Lady Louisa.

"I do want to see it."

"Well, I want to see yours for the same reason you want to see
ours--curiosity. I like to poke my nose in wherever I can get it."

"This, then, is our chief apartment."

"You live, move and have your being here?"

"Yes, my in-doors being: my sister will show you the rest."

"Oh, we don't want to see any more. We only show our own public rooms,
and not all of them: we generally keep one for a refuge."

Miss Brunton appeared, and the ladies prolonged their call a few
minutes: in leaving they invited her to the castle. Miss Brunton and her
brother went with them to the gate, and when they came in again and were
standing in the nutshell room, Miss Brunton said, "James, one feels as
if there had been a bright light here, and it had gone suddenly out."

"There has been a bright light here, and it has gone suddenly out," he
said.

In a few days there came an invitation to Dr. and Miss Brunton from the
earl to dine at the castle.

The earl fastened on Dr. Brunton as a leech or mosquito fastens on fresh
blood: this was an entirely new listener, and he felt free to tell his
very oldest stories without a lurking suspicion that he had told them
before. And Dr. Brunton enjoyed the evening, even though Lady Louisa did
not bring her charms specially to bear upon him. The earl had mixed much
in the world and seen a great deal of life; and a man who has done so
must be stupid indeed if he can't say something that shall be both
interesting and profitable. As man to man the doctor felt every inch the
earl's equal, and more, for he discovered that the earl was commonplace
in intellect, and informed only in one or two beats; nor did it require
strained attention to take in the meaning of his lordship's talk, so
that Dr. Brunton could listen and at the same time think of the many
instances--which only of late had stuck to his memory--of ladies of rank
who had married professional men; indeed, it seemed, now that his
thoughts were occupied with the subject, that he never opened a book of
gossip or memoirs but he came on some such instance in it. Why should
this not be his case? Why, indeed?

It has been said that the founder of civil society was the man who first
staked off a piece of ground, said it was his, and got fools to believe
him: possibly the earldom of Birndale had been founded in some such way;
and there it was. But the ancestors of Dr. Brunton had had neither the
boldness nor the originality for such a stroke; and there he was, in the
estimation of society at a very long distance indeed from equality with
the earl of Birndale. But the doctor shut his eyes to this answer to his
question, and began to let the tow of discretion go with the bucket of
hope.

"Well," said Miss Robertson when Miss Brunton and her brother got
home--"well, doctor, has the beauty the gypsy-woman spoke of asked you
to marry her yet?"

"I don't suppose ladies ever do that," said Mary, "but Lady Louisa
might, I am sure, if beauty may be a law to itself."

Seeing she got no answer from her host, Miss Robertson said, "And what
kind of an evening had you?"

"Very pleasant," said Mary: "they were good and kind, and the house is
well worth seeing, although, as a rule, I don't care for seeing
gentlemen's houses, they are all so much alike. Still, where there are
the gatherings of two or three hundred years, it is wonderfully
interesting."

The old woman at the lodge still lingered. Never was an old woman so
well looked after. Was she proud of the attention she got? did it
please her that a doctor and an earl's daughter should wait on her every
day? or had the nearness of the eternal world brought everything to its
level? It would depend on her natural temperament: there are people
whose vanity and self-love can be flattered at the grave's brink. She
lingered, and stuck to life like a beech leaf to the tree, which a
child's breath might almost blow to the ground. But she had weathered
the winter, and the days were stretching out again: it was almost the
end of March, with bright sunshine and an occasional softness in the
atmosphere that had a tinge of summer in it. As the doctor paid his
afternoon visit the sun's beams streamed in at the little window, and
hitting some of the tins hung on the wall for ornament, made a glory in
the room which caused Bell to yearn for out-door sunshine and the caller
air.

"Eh, doctor," she said, "do ye no think I might get the length of the
door, just to see how things are looking?"

"Hardly yet, I doubt," he was saying, knowing well that never more would
she walk to her own doorstep, when Lady Louisa came in.

"I have only time," she said to Bell, "to ask you how you are and run
home again, and I have not time to speak to you at all, Dr. Brunton."

"I'll not detain you," he said. "I go your way, and I'll walk with you:
I have a visit to make near the castle."

"Very well," she said; and they left the lodge.

They had often met in Bell's little room, and they had met at the
castle, but they had never walked together before; and it seemed to the
doctor that this was something closer and nearer than had yet been.

"Do you know," said Lady Louisa, "that I have got my carte taken again?
Papa wished it: my sister Mary is here, and we all three were in town
yesterday getting them done. Had you ever your photograph taken?"

"Yes."

"And was it good?"

"It is like, I believe."

"But not good: that's often the case. Have you got it? I should like to
see it."

"I haven't it with me, if you mean that."

"Oh, it doesn't signify, but I am rather fond, do you know, of
collecting the photos of people I know."

They had been walking up hill, and had now descended a little, and had
come to a seat above a waterfall in the grounds. They did not sit
down--neither proposed that--but they stood a moment at this spot. The
waterfall was an artificial feature in the grounds, and bore about as
great a resemblance to the reality as a glass eye does to the living
orb, or a drawing-room polka to the wild war-dance of a tribe of
savages. The water fell smoothly and peacefully over a smooth ledge of
masonry, then got up quietly and went on its way again, as if slightly
ashamed of its tumble; a wild green bank sloped up toward the seat, but
as the gardener had planned and made it, it was in keeping with the
waterfall: there, however, the primrose showed its richly-embossed
leaves and clusters of pale stars, the first love of the year. How is it
that all first things are so delicate and pure? Overhanging the bank
behind the seat stood what the gardener had not planted, a gigantic
Scotch fir, its arms spread out hither and thither, scarred and
weatherbeaten: if it had clung to a mountain-side over a raging torrent,
it might have seemed the genius of the storm: even as it was, in the
afternoon light of the spring day, it had a haggard, weird effect; but
the pale green spines at the end of every twig, contrasting with the
dark green of a former year, showed that, bare and battered as it
looked, it was strong with the strength of renewed life. On the other
side of the stream was a smooth green haugh; the clouds of the early
part of the day had vanished, and the blue sky stretched overhead;
innumerable crows flying homeward dotted it all over and patterned the
azure dome.

"Don't those crows flying often look like a lady's veil floating and
fluttering against the blue?" said Lady Louisa. "I like to watch the
flight of birds. 'Oh, had I the wings of a dove!'"

"What would you do?" asked Dr. Brunton.

"I should be pretty frequently absent from Birns Castle."

"Should you?"

"Yes, but a railway-train does equally well, only it is a fussier way of
traveling than merely spreading one's wings would be. I am not at all
romantic. Good-bye," she suddenly said, flinging a bright glance at him,
and running down the narrow winding path that led to the side of the
stream.

"Oh, stay," he cried in a tone of entreaty--"stay only a moment!" But
she heard as if she heard not, and running on crossed a little rustic
wooden bridge below the fall, when she turned round and waved her hand
to him, still standing where she had left him: then she disappeared
through a gate and went up the gardens to the castle.

"When or how is this to end?" he said to himself.

Going away from her presence into the little sordid houses where disease
and sickness were rife, he felt as if he had dropped from heaven to
earth, from paradise to purgatory. When in heaven and paradise every
obstacle to his wishes vanished, and he was lapped in elysium; but when
he returned to earth and purgatory, the idea of marrying Lady Louisa
seemed the most wild and improbable dream.

He went home and wrote to Lady Louisa, enclosing his photograph--had she
not almost asked for it?--and as he did it he felt that according as it
should turn out he was committing an act either of great folly or great
wisdom. He did not sleep, thinking of it and continually balancing the
probabilities of the case; but even if he had been sleepier than he was,
the roar of the wind, which rose almost to a tempest, would have
prevented sleep.

In the morning a messenger came to let him know that his patient at the
lodge had died suddenly during the night. It has been recorded that the
soul of the Lord Protector Cromwell passed away in the midst of a
tempest; but it was not remarked at the time, nor has it been noticed
since, except on this page, that Bell Thomson breathed her last when the
fury of the wind was at its height. Whether the one fact was
significant, and the other insignificant, I do not know.

It is to be feared that Dr. Brunton's first thought in connection with
the intelligence sent him was, the excuse for meeting at the lodge being
over, where or how was he to see Lady Louisa?


VIII.

At the very time Dr. Brunton was thinking of this, the family at the
castle were sitting at breakfast, and the letter-bag came in. As the
earl was looking over the letters he said, "Here's a thick despatch for
you, Loo: open it, and tell me what it is?" She opened it.

"Well?" said her father.

"It is a likeness of the doctor," she said.

"The doctor! what doctor?"

"Oh, Dr. Brunton--he who lives in the village. He has been here several
times, you remember?"

"I remember perfectly. How is his likeness sent to you? who sends it?"

"Himself probably, but I have not read the letter yet."

"Don't read it: hand it to me," he said sternly.

The duchess and Lady Helen were listening to this dialogue, and watching
the rising wrath of their father and the cool, calm bearing of Loo.

The earl read the letter, then rose and flung it and the carte into the
fire. "The man is a vain fool," he said--"a perfect fool!"

"I don't see that, papa. I should have wished to have his likeness: I am
not sure that I did not say so to him. I sometimes meet him in the
cottages of the people about."

"Do you know the kind of insult you have brought upon yourself?"

"I have brought no insult on myself, and I know of none."

"In that letter he asked you to be his wife."

"The thing is not possible," she said, starting from her chair: "he
must be mad. _I_ his wife! Why, he'll want the moon down to put into his
gig-lanterns next."

"If it were not for the laws of the country," said the earl, his face
red with wrath--"if it were not for the laws of the country, I would
shoot that man as I would shoot a partridge."

Lady Louisa rose and left the room: her sister Mary followed her. "Loo,"
she said, "you have been doing wrong."

"Not that I know of, Mary."

"Dr. Brunton would never have written or sent his carte if he had not
been led on to do it somehow."

"He never was led on by me: he may have been by his own vanity; only I
did not think he was so stupid."

"I don't say he was wise, but I say you have been foolish: you have done
a thing you had no right to do."

"I have done nothing. Is it reasonable to blame me because a man wrote a
foolish letter? His vanity is egregious: to think I was going to forget
my rank to marry him! I always gave him credit for more brains."

"Maybe you thought your rank entitled you to amuse yourself as you
liked."

"No, I didn't, but I certainly thought it enough to prevent him
forgetting himself so far as he seems to have done. I wish I had seen
that letter: I wonder how he expressed himself? It is a ridiculous
mistake, but I'll soon put it right."

"To love, and have your love flung back with contempt, is something more
than a ridiculous mistake. It is--" and the duchess stopped with a
quaver in her voice, and failed to go on: perhaps she was speaking from
experience that she was so strongly affected.

In the afternoon, at the usual time, Lady Louisa set out to walk to the
lodge; not that she did not know of what had happened, for she had heard
of that, but she thought it not unlikely that Dr. Brunton might be there
on the chance of meeting her, and the sooner this misunderstanding was
put right the better, especially as they were on the eve of leaving
Birns for London, and she might as well make things straight before
going. She was right in her calculations: Dr. Brunton was walking on
the road outside the park-gate, in the hope that Lady Louisa, not
knowing of the old woman's death, might come to visit her as before.

She came up as frankly as was her custom and shook hands, and there was
no unusual expression in her face whatever; but the doctor had too much
at stake, was feeling far too keenly, to be capable of sharp observation
at this time, and he said, hardly knowing what he was saying, "My
patient here does not need me any longer."

"Yes, I heard of her death," Lady Louisa said.

A great flash of joy thrilled him: she had come here, then, for no other
end than to meet him. He had difficulty in controlling himself. "You
have got my letter?" he said.

"Yes, I got it."

He was silent as he stood before her.

"I got it," she repeated, "but I did not read it: papa took it from me
and read it, and put it and the carte into the fire. I won't tell you
what he said, but I agreed with him, and came to say that you had made a
ridiculous mistake."

He was still silent.

"You knew," she went on--"you must have known from the first--that I
cared no more for you than I do for the shoe below my foot. Could you
think for a moment that I would demean myself by coming here to meet you
or any one else? Could you think it? It is impossible. That is all I
have to say."

"All?" he echoed.

"Yes, all. But I am sorry you should have made such a mistake--very
sorry."

"Thank you," he said, bowing his head; and they each turned and went
different ways.

Dr. Brunton went home. "Is Miss Robertson still here?" he said to his
sister.

"To be sure she is: she was not speaking of going away."

"Then send her away--send her away as soon as you can."

"Indeed! Have you taken a dislike to her?"

"No, but I want to be alone, in my own house at least."

"Oh, James, has anything happened?" she said anxiously, struck by his
look and tone.

"Nothing--nothing but what has happened often before, I dare say"--and
he laughed in a way painful to his sister to hear--"to other men, and is
not much thought of; but my organization is different. Mary, I feel as
if I shall lose my reason: I am dazed;" and he burst into tears.

Mary was dazed for the moment too: in all her life she had never seen
her brother like this. The peculiar gleam in his eye was altogether new
to her: could there be truth in what he said? Was it the glitter of
insanity that shone in his eyes? But she could not admit the idea.

In a small place like Birns the frequent meeting of Lady Louisa and Dr.
Brunton had not passed unnoticed, and had, of course, been the subject
of remark, and Mary guessed what had happened, and felt sure that Lady
Louisa had been guilty of heartless thoughtlessness, to give it the
mildest name. Oh, how from her inmost heart she wished they had never
seen her, or that she had exercised her folly on some one better able to
bear the consequences of it! How to commit the inhospitality of
suggesting her friend's departure Mary did not know, but it chanced that
Miss Robertson proposed it herself, having received a letter which made
her eager to get home; and the brother and sister were left alone to do
battle with the threatened calamity.

For months Dr. Brunton struggled like a man against the dark cloud that
was settling down upon him, but at last he said, "It's all in vain,
Mary; my mind is going from me; my memory is gone already; I forget
everything, even the most important engagement; and when a man told me
of a sad death to-day I burst out laughing: I could not help it. Mary,"
he said in a kind of cowering whisper, "I know what the end will be."

"No, you don't: no one knows what the end of anything will be. We'll
leave this place, James; we'll go and travel about; we'll sell off
everything--I'll manage that--and when you are better you can begin
life again elsewhere."

"Take me away from this place," he said with a kind of cry: "I'm not fit
to go about among people."

And they went away, and moved from place to place, but still the malady
grew, till at last, unutterably mournful as it was, Mary felt it a
relief when he ceased to be capable of watching the progress of it
himself: his misery at least was over. Thereafter he slipped into
perfect mindlessness, happy and harmless, but hopelessly mindless and
vacant. Meantime, Lady Louisa Moor made a very brilliant marriage to a
marquis, the eldest son of a duke, the account of which Mary Brunton
read in the newspapers while watching her brother's face with its
meaningless smile. How her heart swelled! and she burst into a passion
of weeping. She threw her arm round him as if to shield him from evil as
she said, "Oh, Jamie, nothing can reach you now--nothing." He looked at
her with the look that was always so touching, as if he were vainly
trying to remember or comprehend: that occasional look of effort was the
only remnant left of all his powers of mind.

The duchess of Dover asked her sister the marchioness one day if she
knew what had become of Dr. Brunton.

"No," said she, "I don't. He has left the Birns, I know."

"Shortly after he wrote that letter to you he became insane," said the
duchess: she put the information in that form, fearful that her sister
would be overwhelmed with self-reproach.

"He was insane before he wrote it," said the young marchioness: "only
insanity could excuse such presumption. Men don't go mad from
disappointed love, or women either, I believe, unless there's a
predisposition to madness. He must have had that, and any other accident
in his life would have brought it out as well as his foolish fancy for
me. If he had been thrown from his gig, or had two or three of his
patients die on his hands at once, the effect would have been the same;"
and she passed easily to other topics.

The marchioness was wonderfully beautiful, and she was clever and
ambitious, and took and kept a very conspicuous place in her sphere; but
her amusements were sometimes costly in their nature, whether she
thought so or not. THE AUTHOR OF "BLINDPITS."



WALPURGIS NIGHT.


      Three travelers making haste,
    And whisp'ring of some errand of their own,
    With arms enlinked and garments backward blown,
      Across a twilight waste.

      Three gibbets dumb and tall,
    Against the east, with scrawny arms, outlined;
    Far off a lonely tower, left behind,
      With silver cross and ball.

      And distant, round and dim,
    Behind the waste, behind the gibbets high,
    The witches' moon, with filmy bloodshot eye,
      Peering above the rim!

    W. W. YOUNG.



FRÉDÉRIC LEMAITRE.


"Incomparably the finest acting I ever saw," wrote Dickens from Paris
twenty years ago, "I saw last night at the Ambigu." The actor was
Frédéric Lemaitre, and the part he played was that of Georges de Germany
in the drama of _Thirty Years, or the Life of a Gambler_. At this time
(February, 1855) Lemaitre was already so old a man that Dickens was
surprised to see him still playing, and the part was one which the actor
had created originally twenty-eight years before that. He first played
it at the Porte Saint-Martin Theatre in 1827, close upon half a century
ago. "Never," continues Dickens, "did I see anything in art so exaltedly
horrible and awful. In the earlier acts he was so well made up and so
light and active that he really looked sufficiently young. But in the
last two, when he had grown old and miserable, he did the finest things,
I really believe, that are within the power of acting. Two or three
times a great cry of horror went all round the house. When he met in the
inn-yard the traveler whom he murders, and first saw his money, the
manner in which the crime came into his head--and eyes--was as truthful
as it was terrific. This traveler, being a good fellow, gives him wine.
You should see the dim remembrance of his better days that comes over
him as he takes the glass, and in a strange dazed way makes as if he
were going to touch the other man's, or do some airy thing with it, and
then stops and flings the contents down his hot throat, as if he were
pouring it into a limekiln. But this was nothing to what follows after
he has done the murder, and comes home with a basket of provisions, a
ragged pocket full of money, and a badly-washed, bloody right hand,
which his little girl finds out. After the child asked him if he had
hurt his hand, his going aside, turning himself round, and looking over
all his clothes for spots was so inexpressibly dreadful that it really
scared one. He called for wine, and the sickness that came upon him when
he saw the color was one of the things which brought out the curious cry
I have spoken of from the audience. Then he fell into a sort of bloody
mist, and went on to the end groping about, with no mind for anything
except making his fortune by staking this money and a faint dull kind of
love for the child. It is quite impossible to satisfy one's self by
saying enough of such a magnificent performance. I have never seen him
come near its finest points in anything else. He said two things in a
way that would put him far apart from all other actors. One to his wife,
when he has exultingly shown her the money, and she has asked him how he
got it--'I found it;' and the other to his old companion and tempter,
when he charged him with having killed that traveler, and he suddenly
went headlong mad and took him by the throat and howled out, 'It wasn't
I who murdered him--it was misery!' And such a dress! such a face! and,
above all, such an extraordinarily guilty, wicked thing as he made of a
knotted branch of a tree which was his walking-stick from the moment
when the idea of the murder came into his head! I could write pages
about him. It is an impression quite ineffaceable. He got half boastful
of that walking-staff to himself, and half afraid of it, and didn't know
whether to be grimly pleased that it had the jagged end, or to hate it
and be horrified at it. He sat at a little table in the inn-yard
drinking with the traveler; and this horrible stick got between them
like the Devil, while he counted on his fingers the uses he could put
the money to."

It will be a surprise to many readers to learn that Frédéric Lemaitre is
still living and still playing. On the evening of March 25, 1874, I went
to this same old theatre of the Ambigu to see him play Feuillantin in
_Le Portier du Numero 15_. The part is that of an old man, and the
actor played it "in his habit as he lived," without artificial make-up
or wig. His own long iron-gray hair floated on the air; the wrinkles in
his old face were painted there by the hand of Time; his voice was
cracked and broken, and his gait that of advanced age. I had formed the
impression, beforehand, that Lemaitre was simply a tottering old wreck,
a painful and pitiable sight; and I went to the theatre prepared to be
saddened by the spectacle of a ruin. A ruin it was, perhaps, but what a
grand and impressive one! The old man was magnificent! So far from
exciting pity, he roused in me feelings of the warmest enthusiasm. So
far from seeming to ask for sympathy, he compelled admiration by force
of his splendid pantomime, in witnessing which one forgot he had no
voice, or remembered it only to see in the fact a fitting feature of the
old _portier_ he was playing. In the midst of my admiration for the
actor, however, I studied the man himself; and I saw that he dominated
his fellow-actors with a will of the most imperious sort. He swept along
the action of the piece, and manipulated the rather poor company of
actors who moved about him, with a leonine agility of movement and an
autocratic command of the scene which showed that even in his old age he
was no subject for patronizing sympathy. There was a meek, white-faced
young lady who played the part of granddaughter to the old _portier_,
and I transferred my pity to her; for the way Lemaitre hauled her hither
and thither by her slender wrists (not in simulated rudeness, for she
was the pet of the old _portier's_ heart, but simply in the actor's
imperative arrangements of tableaux), and the manner in which he dragged
her young head with his iron arms to his broad breast in affectionate
but rough and picturesque embrace, were enough to wear on the nerves of
the stoutest young woman; and this one was as frail in form as she was
fair in face.

A day or two later I had an opportunity of observing more closely the
hero of fifty years of mimic life. It was in the green-room of the
Ambigu, half an hour before the curtain rose on his fiftieth
performance of the _portier_, and the old man was in his shirt-sleeves
and with his apparel otherwise disordered. Learning that we were from
America, he invited us to sit for a moment in his dressing-room, which
adjoined the green-room, and waved us toward the door with as grand a
gesture as if he were Hamlet saying "Lead on! I'll follow thee." The
dressing-room was a pleasant little box (in French stage-parlance, by
the way, a player's dressing-room is always called his _loge_), with the
walls covered with portraits of theatrical and other celebrities. The
impression Lemaitre made on me at this time was more that which might be
made by an American statesman of the old school--a Clay, a Webster, an
Adams--than that one would expect from a mere mouther of other people's
words. However, I am wrong to apply this term to Lemaitre, who was in
the truest sense an _author_. But of this later. He was full of a sort
of sad dignity, and the burden of his conversation was, "I am no longer
young." He inquired curiously concerning America, but when it was
suggested that he should visit our country, shook his head: "No; I am
too old to cross the sea now." The above passage from Dickens was
referred to, but he had never heard of it: he said, however, that
Monsieur Dickens had once sent him some novels to read, and by his tone
did not imply that he was at all flattered by the admiration of the
Englishman. For in truth Lemaitre was already a spoiled child of
adulation years before Charles Dickens became famous; and now that
Dickens was nearly four years dead, the old actor still lived, and
remembered that every admiring adjective known to the French language
had been showered upon himself: what mattered a few more in the English
language? Looking in the tired, watery old eyes of the man sitting
before me with his hands thrust deep in his pockets--and what
magnificent, fiery, great black billiard-balls of eyes they must have
been in his youth!--looking at the skinny folds which years had gathered
about his aged jaws, it was still, strange to say, perfectly easy to
realize the fascinating man Lemaitre had been in his prime, the
tremendous power for swaying the emotions of his auditors which once
abode in that rugged frame.

Frédéric Lemaitre was born at Havre on the 21st of July, 1798, and had
been on the stage thirty years at the time when Dickens saw him at the
Ambigu. As he was at that time already nearly sixty years old, it is
easy to believe what some have asserted, that his powers were beginning
to wane. Seeing him, therefore, in the year 1874, at the age of
seventy-six, still an actor of such fascination that I hardly know his
equal in Paris, and reading Dickens's account of his acting at the age
of fifty-eight, the most cautious critic may accept without modification
the extravagant stories told of the power he had over his audience when
he was still young. Similar stories are related of Edmund Kean, and the
resemblance in the private characters of the two men is most striking.

Lemaitre's father was an architect. There is nothing to show that the
boy displayed extraordinary mimetic genius. He was already about twenty
years old when his father, yielding to his wishes, and perceiving in him
a certain taste for declamation, brought him to Paris that he might be
educated for the stage. He was admitted to the Conservatoire[A] and
began his studies. He was not a very brilliant student, though he was
assiduous in his devotion to study. During his pupilage he secured his
first engagement as an actor at a little theatre on the Boulevard du
Crime, called the Variétés Amusantes--a theatre long since dead. They
were playing a piece with three actors, called _Pyramus and Thisbe_. As
in the Babylonian anecdote, the lovers of the play agreed to meet under
a mulberry tree at some distance from the town. Thisbe, who arrived
first, was surprised by a lion: she fled, and was about to hide when her
veil fell, and the lion seized it and tossed it about in his bloody
jaws. The lion was Frédéric Lemaitre, who thus made his first appearance
on any stage on all fours. One night the actor who played Pyramus got
into a dispute in a neighboring café, and could not appear on account of
the exceeding warmth of the discussion, which resulted in sending him
home with a broken head. The manager was in a highly excited state of
mind. "Who the devil will play my Pyramus?" he cried. Whereupon the
lion, who was waiting on all fours to make his entrance, straightened
himself, took off his head, and said, "I'll play it if you
like."--"You?"--"I, who know the part."--"Well roared, lion!" quoth the
manager: "I accept your offer." This was Lemaitre's first essay in a
speaking part. It was greeted by the indulgent audience with cries of
indignation, peltings of apples, insults, hisses, whatever could most
energetically express disapprobation of the lion turned lover. The next
night Lemaitre resumed his dramatic career as a wild beast.

Yet he was at this period as handsome as Antinöus, with an elegant and
slender but powerful figure, waving black hair, expressive and noble
features, a beautiful complexion, wide forehead, flashing dark eyes, and
a carriage full of grace and poetry. Rare personal beauty and
extraordinary strength were striking physical advantages for the stage:
the mental qualities were as yet but faintly shadowed forth.

On the conclusion of his studies at the Conservatoire young Lemaitre
sought admission to the classic Odéon Theatre, and would have failed had
not the tragedian Talma perceived what others could not, and insisted
that the young man had in him the making of a great actor. He made his
"serious" début at the Odéon, and remained at this theatre five months,
but without producing any special impression as an actor. Then removing
to the Ambigu, he suddenly achieved a startling and brilliant success,
and created the first of that long list of parts which have since won
worldwide celebrity, and been played in every polite tongue, in every
civilized land. This was Robert Macaire in _L'Auberge des Adrets_. It is
no exaggeration to say that Lemaitre _created_ this part, though this
verb is used in our day in very slipshod fashion. Robert Macaire was the
creation of Lemaitre, and not of the authors of the play. At the
rehearsals he repeatedly declared that the part was "impossible," and
that the public would never receive it as the authors had written it.
The event justified his opinion: the piece was hissed outrageously. But
it was redeemed on the second night through the audacity of Lemaitre,
who, in strolling about the streets during the day in no very pleasant
frame of mind, racked his brains for an expedient for saving the
fortunes of the theatre. Suddenly he perceived a strange creature
standing before the open-air shop of a cake-seller--an outré individual,
clad in indescribable clothing. In some former day the man's garments
had been elegant and fashionable, but they were now dropping to pieces.
Misery and debauchery could be read in every stain upon them, but the
wearer seemed not to have lost a particle of his self-esteem. Standing
proudly in a pair of boots all run down at the heel and riddled with
holes, a greasy and misshapen felt hat perched on one ear, he daintily
broke with the extreme tips of his fingers a piece from a penny cake,
carried it to his lips with the delicate air of a dandy, and ate it as
if he were an Epicurean philosopher. His collation over, he drew from
the pocket of his coat a torn rag, wiped his hands elaborately upon it,
dusted his costume airily and then resumed his leisurely promenade up
the boulevard. "I've got him!" cried Lemaitre; for here he saw the
flesh-and-blood reality of the conception of Robert Macaire which had
been running through his brain during the rehearsals of the new piece.
That evening the actor appeared on the stage with a coat, hat and boots
modeled on those of the man on the boulevard. He reproduced the manner
of this ragged fashionable, his grotesque calm, his ridiculous dignity;
and having induced his fellow-actor, Serres, to get up a like
metamorphosis for the part of Bertrand, the piece obtained a marvelous
success.

The management of the Ambigu, appreciating the service Lemaitre had
rendered the theatre, immediately raised his salary to a high figure,
and from that day, as the saying is, his fortune was made. Saturday is
the usual pay-day in French theatres, and it was one of the first
illustrations of the eccentricity of Lemaitre's character that he took a
whim to have himself paid every Saturday in silver five-franc pieces.
Then throwing over his shoulder the bag of money, he would walk proudly
through the crowd which was waiting to see him at the door of the
theatre.

One of the earliest developments of Lemaitre's independence of spirit
and contempt of the honeyed adjectives of critics was displayed in his
refusal to pay those amiable taxes which are so much the rule in Paris,
if not in all European cities. Generous enough in his own way with the
abundant earnings of his art, Lemaitre declined to pay for puffery. A
well-known journalist of the time, counting on his success with less
eccentric artists, called one day at Lemaitre's residence and suggested
that the actor should smooth over the rough places of criticism by a
liberal _douceur_. Lemaitre refused. "It is but a small matter to you,"
said this gentle literary bandit: "a thousand or twelve hundred francs a
year--what does so trifling a sum signify to one who has your splendid
income? And thanks to this modest subvention you will be constantly well
treated in my columns." To which Lemaitre replied, "Monsieur, I will not
be eulogized for gold: other eulogies or none." Two days later a
slashing article against Lemaitre appeared in the columns over which the
blackmailer had control. Lemaitre made no complaint, but knowing that it
would not be long ere his assailant would visit the green-room of the
theatre according to French custom, he waited in patience. A night or
two later the critic appeared. Lemaitre walked up to him, made a low
bow, and while the crowd in the green-room were attending to see what
would follow, slapped the fellow's face. Naturally, this liberty was
resented by the journalist, who struck back at Lemaitre; but the actor,
who was gifted with extraordinary muscular power, took both the man's
hands in one of his own, and holding him thus, said to the witnesses of
the scene, "To-morrow, if it is necessary, I will fight this
_misérable_; but before all I desire to treat him in your presence as he
merits--that is to say as a vulgar scoundrel." With this he dragged the
blackmailer to the door and kicked him out.

The part of Georges de Germany, which Dickens saw played in 1856, was
Lemaitre's second great creation. Those who saw him in this part in his
younger days so rave about it that even Dickens's warm eulogy seems cool
in comparison. Such unheard-of developments of passion and disorder!
such incredible fire and magnetism! such subjugation of a vast audience
to his will!--language fails to express the rapturous accounts which
those old Frenchmen now living who saw him then will give you with many
a roll upward of the eyes, many a hopeless shake of head and shrug of
shoulder and agitation of outstretched hand.

Boiling over with health, radiant with youth, full of vigor, Lemaitre
now began to lead a life of extravagance which would almost have given
Bacchus the delirium tremens and driven Hercules into a consumption. But
his excesses seemed to take away nothing from the magnificence of his
physical beauty, and he was petted by the fair sex in a manner to which
the coddlings of a young English unmarried curate are as nothing. Nor
can it be said that the actor was quite an anchorite: few French
bachelors are. It is not meet to dwell on this phase of Lemaitre's
character at length, perhaps; but I should hardly envy the old man's
feelings in these days when, sitting by his lonely hearth, he lets his
fancy wander among the ruins of the dead past, if he ever does such a
thing.

There is a gray-haired and toothless old woman at present engaged in
that menagerie of old women, the old-clo' market of the Temple in Paris,
who might go wandering back with Lemaitre into that dead past of his if
he wanted company. Fifty years ago she was a ruddy-cheeked young girl
from the provinces, who had come up to Paris with a little fortune of
thirty thousand francs, which a relative had left her. Going one night
to the theatre where Lemaitre was playing, she became fascinated with
Georges de Germany, and went to see him evening after evening.
Forty-five nights in succession she attended the theatre to weep, to
shudder and to admire, and ended by offering the actor her heart, her
hand and her fortune. Lemaitre accepted the heart, but declined the
hand; and as for the fortune, pooh! What did he want of the lady's
pin-money? Nevertheless, six weeks saw the end of her little fortune,
and left her with a quantity of elegant dresses and a few diamonds.
Waking up one morning from her dream, she betook herself to the old
market of the Temple, and began to try and get her money back. She is
said to be worth a good deal more to-day than Lemaitre is.

In the drama of _Faust_ Lemaitre's genius took a new development in
creating the part of Mephistopheles. The feature of the part which
balked and baffled him was the infernal laugh indicated by Goethe. By
every expedient that mimicry could suggest day after day he studied to
give forth that terrible laugh, but all his efforts were useless: he
could not satisfy his conception with his execution. Then the idea came
into his head to abandon the laugh altogether, and substitute for it
that diabolical grimace which every Mephisto of the grand opera in our
day strives again to repeat. But, unless all testimony is to be utterly
flouted, there has never since been seen a grimace so inexpressibly
hideous and terrifying as that of Lemaitre. He practiced it before the
glass for days, and at last, succeeding in a play of muscles which gave
an expression to his face as sinister and frightful as he wished, he
walked to the window of his room to try the effect of it upon the
passers-by in the street. A woman who chanced to look up at him while he
stood there grinning fell to the ground in a swoon. "Good!" said the
artist, turning away from the window: "I have succeeded at last."

It does not seem wonderful at the present day that Robert Macaire or
Mephistopheles should be played in the manner which all play-goers are
so familiar with, and recognize as the correct mode of embodying the
part; but he who _creates_ the idea that is afterward accepted as a
matter of course is a very different being from him who repeats it. In
our day and country the actor who creates _one_ rôle in the way Lemaitre
created a score is a made man in his profession. Jefferson created Rip
Van Winkle--Sothern created Dundreary. But Lemaitre, in addition to the
parts already named, created Ruy Blas, Don Cæsar de Bazan, Gennaro,
Corporal Cartouche, and a host of others familiar as household words to
American play-goers through the grand army of his imitators who have
played them since.

When Macaire, Germany and Mephisto had successively dawned on the
delighted consciousness of the Parisians--those most insatiate of all
theatre-goers--Lemaitre had won the sceptre of the Paris stage. He
reigned over the public with despotic sway, and the public adored its
theatrical monarch. With his subjects he could do anything, take any
liberty, without fear of dethronement. One evening, during an act in
which he had not to appear on the stage, he was leaning while chatting
with a comrade against that part of the wings known in French as
"harlequin's cloak"--in our stage language the prompt-place. A brass
knob was under his elbow. "What's this machine for?" he said, examining
it. "Don't touch it, Monsieur Frédéric," cried an employé: "it's the
gas-regulator." "Bah! has the gas got a regulator, then? Lucky gas!
Let's see what will happen." With this he turned the knob and plunged
the whole theatre into darkness. Two thousand Frenchmen and women cried
out in alarm and consternation. Great was their indignation and savage
their inquiries as to the cause of the occurrence. But no sooner were
they informed that Lemaitre had committed this hangable feat than the
joke seemed charming, and when he came on the stage in the following act
they received him with bravos and joyous laughs.

Lemaitre was indeed a spoiled child of the public, and his prodigious
success began to have the effect which success often has upon us poor
mortals. He became impatient of all restraint, jealous of all honor
offered to his confrères. The Ambigu won him away from the Porte
Saint-Martin after a short time, and on the stage of his first successes
he was supported by Madame Dorval, one of the finest actresses the
French stage has known. These two dramatic powers did wonders, and the
public divided its applause between them. This did not suit the petted
genius. He complained to the manager. "Your horrible _claque_ splits my
ears," he cried in a fury: "I expect you to get rid of it at once. Or if
not--" Before his _ultimatum_ was pronounced Madame Dorval appeared.
"Are you crazy?" she said to the manager: "what is the use of these
imbeciles with their hand-clapping? Drive them all away from the
theatre, and leave the real public to its own impressions. If your
Romans[B] do not at once disappear, I play no more."--"Nor I," said
Lemaitre.--"So be it," said the manager: "the claque shall be
discharged."

Such a bold step in a Paris theatre was almost unheard of. What! try to
run a theatre without the regular corps of hired applauders? The thing
was incredible. But the leading artists demanded it, and the manager
notified his claqueurs that their pay was stopped. That night not a
ripple of applause disturbed the monotony of the performance. The
public, left to itself, and accustomed to have a gang of paid worthies
to start the applause at the right moment, applauded neither Lemaitre
nor Dorval, nor any of the other players. "It is evident," said Lemaitre
to himself, "that people who admire my acting fear being mistaken for
hired claqueurs if they express their enthusiasm. I must arrange that."
He therefore quietly caused to be planted a few judicious claqueurs
about the house at his own expense, and that night bravos and
hand-clappings were bestowed on Lemaitre alone. This suited the actor's
notions to a nicety. Not so with the actress, however. "These people
have no taste," she thought; "but that can't last." So she arranged
privately for a small claque of her own, and that night she also was
applauded. But this sort of game was one which the smaller players of
the theatre could take a hand in, too. And on the third night, strange
to say, there was applause for everything and everybody; all the
performers had "ovations" in turn; even the ballet-girls had a share in
the general glory so liberally bestowed. "What is the meaning of this?"
demanded Lemaitre and Dorval of the manager: "did you not promise that
your claque should be discharged?" The manager shrugged his shoulders.
"My claque is discharged," said he; "and now there are, I perceive,
three claques instead of one--yours, madame's and the whole company's.
Nothing could be fairer."

It may seem strange that our actor, who dealt so roughly with the critic
who suggested bribery, should have condescended to pay men for applause.
But custom regulates our sense of honor. The claque is an institution so
openly recognized in French theatres that the proudest dramatic or lyric
temple in Paris would not know what to do without it. Even the classic
Théâtre Français and the frigid Odéon, which are in great part supported
by the government, and about which hangs the purest odor of high art,
have each a regularly organized claque, which is paid to applaud, and
which holds its rehearsals with the same solemnity that the players do,
in order to introduce at the proper moment a gust of hand-clapping, a
burst of laughter, or cries of "Bravo! bravo!" There is no concealment
whatever about their operations. The claqueurs occupy conspicuous seats
in every theatre, and it is often quite an entertainment in itself to
watch their goings on. The leader gives the signal to begin and the sign
to stop; and if any man of his band applauds too idly, that man is
openly rebuked, and instructed by vehement gesture to do his duty
better.

But, as has been said, Lemaitre was growing spoiled as a man by his
success as an artist. He rebelled against the idea that any person
should be admired on the scene where he was king, and he carried this
feeling to the absurdest lengths. In one of his plays he had to bring in
the corpse of his young brother (of the story), and the actor who played
this part identified himself so well with the immobility of the last
sleep that the public, struck with astonishment, broke in upon one of
Lemaitre's finest speeches with cries of bravo for the little dead
brother. "This is a very impertinent rascal," muttered Lemaitre, "who
makes himself applauded in my very arms. I shall punish him for it."
Leaning over the supposed corpse while speaking his lines, he blew into
the dead boy's nostrils. Not a movement! Then pretending to yield to
despair--always in consonance with the part he was playing--Lemaitre
pulled the hair of the defunct with frantic gestures. Not a muscle
stirred! Whereupon Lemaitre seemed to break down utterly under his
grief, let go of the body, and it fell hard upon the stage like an inert
mass. The effect was superb. The whole house applauded, the bravos
became frantic, the great actor was hoist with his own petard. Lemaitre
passed the night in solemn reflection on the seriousness of the case.
The result was that at the next representation, while carrying in his
little dead brother, he delicately tickled him under the arms. The
unhappy defunct could not stand this. He came to life, burst out
laughing, and was heartily hissed, while Lemaitre, the picture of solemn
grief, inly chuckled at the success of his efforts to destroy rivalry.

But, notwithstanding his superb egotism and his jealousy of applause,
Lemaitre was capable of mocking at himself in a most amusing manner. At
one of the last representations of _Robert Macaire_ he expected to be
called before the curtain at the end of the play. He was not, however;
whereupon he ordered the curtain to be raised and came forward with his
gravest air. "Gentlemen," said he, addressing the audience, "I desire to
know if M. Auguste is not here." M. Auguste does not answer, and the
spectators look at each other in surprise. "M. Antoine!" Silence again.
"Well, gentlemen, I am the victim of the dishonesty of the chef and
sous-chef of the claque. I gave them forty francs this morning to call
me out, and neither of them is here. You perceive, gentlemen, how
grossly I have been swindled."

After his fame had grown to greatness Lemaitre reappeared on the classic
stage of the Odéon, the scene of his earliest efforts. Here he played a
number of parts, including Othello. But the actor had in his mind an
idea which haunted him. It was that his favorite rôle of Robert Macaire
had not had all the development of which it was capable. He associated
with himself two authors, Antier and Saint-Amant, who accepted his ideas
and wove them into a new play under his direction, bearing the name of
his thieving hero. The success the piece achieved was something
prodigious. All Paris ran to see it, and it was played for an
unparalleled length of time. Lemaitre was so in love with the part that
he used often to play it off the stage. Thus, one day at the Café de
Malte they brought him his bill after breakfast. He arose, threw ten
francs on the counter, and was leaving. "But the bill is ten francs
fifty," said the café-master. "Very good," said Lemaitre: "the fifty
centimes are for the garçon." The stage and caricature have since
dressed up this _mot_ in various forms, but Lemaitre was its first
publisher. During this same winter of 1836 he was skating one afternoon
on the basin in the Luxembourg garden, where he was the object of great
admiration for his graceful evolutions. Presently one of a group of
women, as he passed near, recognized him and cried out, "My fifteen
francs, Monsieur Frédéric: have you forgotten my fifteen francs?" The
actor stopped. The woman was his former hostess of the Latin quarter,
with whom he had lived in the days of his impecuniosity during his first
connection with the Odéon. Putting on the air of Robert Macaire,
Lemaitre replied, "Your fifteen francs, madam? You are mighty
impertinent. Under the alcove in my room I left an old wig. That wig
cost me thirty-five francs: you owe me a louis. I will send for it
to-morrow." And he skated calmly away. Next day, however, the hostess
received her due.

After having played this wicked and trivial thief so long that people
began to say (as they say now of the creator of Rip Van Winkle) that he
could not play anything else, Lemaitre startled the town with a new
creation, utterly distinct from anything he had hitherto done. From
depicting the most abject rascality he passed in a moment, as it seemed,
to the representation of delicacy of sentiment and grandeur of soul in
Alexandre Dumas's play of _Richard d'Arlington_, and again as Gennaro in
Victor Hugo's _Lucretia Borgia_. Yet the wild dissipation of the man's
life was never so great as at this precise period of his career. Harel,
the manager of the theatre where he was now playing (the Porte
Saint-Martin), was obliged almost every night to send emissaries after
him to the restaurant opposite the play-house, where Lemaitre was
indulging in monstrous dinners and was usually hilarious with wine.
Harel, it must be mentioned, was a very penurious man, who never paid
his people when he could postpone it, and whose meanness of soul
Lemaitre delighted to excoriate. Often when dining bountifully at his
restaurant, the actor being sent for in hot haste with the intelligence
that the curtain was just going up, would cry, "_Diable!_ And I haven't
a sou in my pocket! Here's the bill. Carry it to Harel, and tell him
they are keeping me here as a hostage." Though grinding his teeth with
rage, the manager never failed to send the necessary sum for the release
of his principal actor. At other times, when Lemaitre had breakfasted
copiously, he did not dine, but the manager's purse then ran another
peril. His actor would arrive at the theatre in a carriage, after having
been driven about for five or six hours "for the benefit of his
digestion," as he said, but never did he have the necessary sum to
settle with the _cocher_, and again Harel paid before Lemaitre would get
out of the vehicle. At other times during an _entr' acte_ Lemaitre would
disappear from the theatre, and when the curtain was ready to go up
again could nowhere be found. "Frédéric! where is Frédéric?" the
distracted manager would cry. Frédéric was down stairs in the café under
the theatre playing games where the stakes were high, and almost always
losing. "Monsieur Frédéric, the curtain is up!" the prompter would rush
in to say. "_Ciel!_ What can I do?" the imperturbable actor would reply.
"I can't leave here, my dear fellow: I must win back what I've lost."
Poor Harel had to pay again. As the receipts of the theatre were large,
he did not dare complain much of these forced presents of money:
Lemaitre called them his perquisites. He had a profound contempt for his
manager's slippery financial manoeuvres. Harel was really almost as
eccentric in his own way as Lemaitre was in his. The history of some of
his subterfuges with his creditors would make a curious chapter. One day
he stuck up the following notice in the theatre: "To-morrow the
box-office will be open from three-quarters past two until a quarter
before three for the payment of claims." The box-office was besieged at
half-past two by a crowd of creditors who had failed to see the hoax.

"My dear Frédéric," said Harel one night to the actor, "I have a
proposition to make to you that will not displease you."--"Very good:
tell it me to-morrow at breakfast." The next day they breakfasted, as
our hero always breakfasted in those days, on truffles and champagne.
Harel's proposition was this: "My project is to diminish your salary
one-half."--"What!" cried Lemaitre in very natural surprise, "are you
mocking me?"--"The theatre is on the verge of bankruptcy," pleaded
Harel.--"How can that be? I have earned more than a million francs for
it. What the devil do you do with your money?"--"My dear fellow," quoth
Harel, "what do you do with yours?"--"Ah! that's different: I have no
account to give to anybody but myself."--"But come, let us not get
angry," said Harel: "I will continue to pay you the whole sum, while
appearing to give you but half of it. In this way I shall be at liberty
to cut down the other salaries, and the theatre can go on." Lemaitre
arose, looked Harel straight in the eyes, and answered, "You have the
secret of sobering a man by a single phrase. So you think me capable--"
Harel interrupted him hurriedly, not relishing the angry light in the
actor's eyes: "No, no--not at all: I was joking."--"Ah, you were joking?
_Eh bien_, your joke is a horribly bad one. Pray don't repeat it."

Lemaitre was not deceived by the manager's sudden change of base. Three
days afterward he revenged himself by a cutting bit of sarcasm. It was
in Harel's own office. A young and well-dressed man presented himself,
carrying a roll of manuscript. At sight of Lemaitre he drew back
modestly, but Harel bade him remain, and asked him if he brought a
drama. "Yes," answered the young man.--"Your own?"--"Yes."--"Then you
have a reputation, doubtless?"--"No, it is my first piece."--"Ah," said
the manager, who had taken note of the fact that the young author was
far from shabby-looking, "in that case you are no doubt aware of the
conditions. The essential thing with us managers always is to raise the
receipts over the expenses."--"I understand that, sir."--"We prudent
managers are obliged to refuse the pieces of all authors who have not
yet achieved success, unless they will guarantee us the expenses that
the rehearsal of the piece will entail upon us."--"That is my
intention," was the young man's reply.--"Then we shall be able to
understand each other. Your piece is in five acts?"--"In three,
sir."--"Five acts would not have cost you a sou more." The conversation
continued in this strain until the young author had signed a contract to
pay ten thousand francs. With the spirit of a Shylock, Harel made out an
account of actors, actresses, costumes, musicians, etc. that would have
given gooseflesh to a less anxious and less wealthy author. Lemaitre
remained sitting in a corner of the room until the manager arose to
conduct the young man to the door: then he went up to them, laid his
hand on Harel's shoulder, and said, "Why do you let him go? He has got
his watch yet."

When Victor Hugo wrote _Ruy Blas_ he informed the director of the
Renaissance--for which theatre the piece was intended--that the only
actor who could play the part of Ruy was Lemaitre. The result was
another of his wonderful creations, which set all Paris wild with
excitement. Those who have admired Fechter in this part will perhaps be
surprised to hear that in Paris his performance was pronounced but a
faint imitation of Lemaitre's. Soon after this Lemaitre's despotic and
ungovernable disposition began to get him into trouble with the law. He
quarreled with the manager of the Renaissance, and was compelled by a
judicial condemnation to play his part. Later, he threw up the principal
part in _Zacharie_, and compelled the manager to post up an
announcement, after repeated postponements and disappointments of the
public, that Lemaitre refused to play, and the theatre was closed in
consequence. The press took sides with the manager. Threatened again
with the terrors of the law, Lemaitre consented to play. He came on the
stage and was greeted with a storm of hisses. With imperturbable
coolness he advanced to the footlights and with hand on heart said, "I
am really confused, embarrassed, gentlemen, by the enthusiastic
reception you have so kindly given me. Pray receive the expressions of
my gratitude, and believe that I will place at the service of this drama
all my good will and my best efforts." Thereupon the wind changed: that
weather-cock, the French public, whirled around and applauded to the
echo.

Lemaitre did not often speak to his audience with so much
submissiveness. Sometimes he treated them to such impertinences that he
brought the police on him. After these theatrical escapades he not
unfrequently slept in the station-house. He once made a bet that he
could take off his wig on the stage without his audience getting angry.
No American play-goer, unacquainted with the temper of French audiences,
their reverence for stage decorum, can fully appreciate what a defiance
of public sentiment this was on Lemaitre's part. He did it, however,
and the action was received in silence. This indulgence encouraging him,
he took the wig off again and wiped his face with it: still no
expression from the audience. Lemaitre then put the wig in his pocket:
the audience remained silent. Surprised at their indulgence, the actor
advanced to the prompter's hole at the front of the stage, bent down
grotesquely, took out his snuff-box and offered some to the invisible
functionary: the audience broke out in a fury. Lemaitre drew the wig
from his pocket and threw it at the _souffleur's_ head: a frightful
tumult followed. The pit climbed over the footlights, determined to make
the insolent actor offer apologies: he refused. The play was stopped,
and the commissaire of the theatre sent the offending actor to prison,
where he remained thirty-nine days. When he got out again Lemaitre
hastened to make his peace with the public. It was easy enough. He had
only to act in the superb manner of which he was master, and everything
was forgiven.

The great genius of the actor finally triumphed over the erratic
dispositions of the man so far as to secure for him a call to that
theatrical holy of holies, the stage of the Comédie Française. He made
his début at the theatre in the Rue Richelieu in _Frédégonde et
Brunehaut_. The frigid array of respectable and scholarly old men who
sit in solemn state in the orchestra-stalls of the Française, holding
their seats from year to year by subscription, cabaled against Lemaitre,
and endeavored to drive him from the stage. But the audience with a
tumult of applause stifled the rancor of the classic phalanx of
orchestra-ancients. Lemaitre afterward, in _Othello_, conquered even the
prejudices of these stern stage-censors, and they applauded with the
rest. The actor was in his place at the Comédie Française, because it is
by common consent the leading theatre of the world; but the man was
sadly out of his element there. In the "House of Molière" there is an
atmosphere of respectability as severe among the artists as that of the
most dignified college in America, and the stage is bound round with a
solemn network of dignified forms and sacred traditions, amid which
Lemaitre chafed and fretted like a caged lion. His strolling-player
instincts, his lack of self-respect, his bacchanalian habits and his
irregularities generally unfitted him for association with the scholarly
and correct-lived men who for the most part formed the company. Lemaitre
felt ill at ease there, and conceived the idea that the _sociétaires_
did not respect him enough. The actors of the Comédie Française are of
two bodies--the first and controlling one in the councils of the theatre
being composed of men who are participators in the profits of the house
as well as recipients of salaries. They are an extremely dignified body
of artists, with the utmost reverence for the proprieties of life. For
these _sociétaires_ Lemaitre entertained a profound dislike, and loved
to sneer at them and ridicule their dignity. One day these artists were
giving a grand dinner to some manager when a knock was heard at the door
of the banquet-hall. "Who is there?" cried several voices.--"A man,"
answered Lemaitre outside, "who wishes to have some converse with you,
and tell you once for all what he has on his heart." So saying, he
entered, threw off his cloak, and appeared before the company dressed
simply in a shirt-collar and a pair of stockings.

Lemaitre returned to the Porte Saint-Martin, and soon after created the
rôle of Don Cæsar de Bazan, a part in which he was indescribably
delightful, and of which he was the real author. The play, written by
Dumanoir and Dennery, was roundly condemned by the critics for its
weakness, but the actor created prodigious effects, and the piece
obtained a great success. In the _Ragpicker of Paris_, a sort of honest
Robert Macaire, written by Félix Pyat for Lemaitre, this extraordinary
actor went through another transformation not less striking than some
which had preceded it. He engaged the lamplighter of the theatre to wear
the ragpicker's costume for three weeks, so that it might be suitably
dirty. He went every day into the low cabarets of the Rue Mouffetard,
where ragpickers congregated in great numbers (and still do), in order
to study from nature the peculiarities of the race. One day, as he was
chatting with his models, familiarizing himself with their characters
and manners, he was recognized by one of them, who immediately
communicated his discovery to his companions. The report spread up and
down the Rue Mouffetard like wild-fire. In a few minutes two or three
hundred ragpickers had assembled about the door of the cabaret, and as
many as could get in crowded about the wonderful actor whom they had
seen from their perch in the gallery of the theatre. They pressed him to
drink with them; they poured out their compliments and praises on him;
they wanted to carry him in triumph through the streets. Not relishing
the idea of such an ovation, Lemaitre jumped through a window and took
to flight.

It was not until he had passed the age of fifty that Lemaitre began in
the least to modify the excesses of his career, either on or off the
stage. He still indulged in bacchanalian orgies; he still broke out at
times into those violations of the stage proprieties which are so
startling to any audience, but which are to a French audience something
bordering on the incredible and awful. He was already an old man when he
was playing one evening at Amiens, on a provincial tour, in
_Tragaldabas_, a play written for him by M. Vacquerie, who shared Victor
Hugo's exile at Jersey. At a certain point in the piece the actor is
supposed to drink champagne. Now, dramatic managers are obliged to be
economical about such things as food and drink, and generally replace
the sparkling vintage by another liquid quite as gaseous, but less
agreeable to the palate. Lemaitre put the glass to his lips, made a
horrible grimace, spit out the mouthful, and to the consternation of the
audience cried out, "Where is the manager of this theatre? Send me the
manager instantly!" Great excitement behind the scenes: the manager
arrives. "Approach," says the actor to him gravely, and he walks upon
the stage in full view of the audience. "What is the meaning of this bad
joke, Mr. Manager? Do you think me capable of being your accomplice in
the wickedness of deceiving the public!" "Deceive the public! I!"
stammers the manager.--"Yes, sir, you:" then addressing the pit,
"Gentlemen, you think I am drinking champagne. No, it is seltzer-water."
At this there was a roar of laughter, and the manager, deeming it wise
to humor the joke, promised to go and get real champagne. During the
time he was gone--when necessarily the action of the piece was brought
to a standstill--Lemaitre entertained his audience with a dissertation
on seltzer-water and the consciencelessness of managers.

With regard to similar stories related of the elder Booth, it is often
said now-a-days that his audiences were not made up of the decorous
class which attends theatres in _our_ times, and that managers of the
present day would not for a moment tolerate such insolent violations of
theatrical discipline. This may be possible as regards Booth, but so far
as it relates to Lemaitre it affords no explanation of the anecdotes in
question. For the severest theatrical audience that can be gathered in
America to-day--at Wallack's, at Booth's, or wherever decorum is
supposed to be most preserved--could not for a moment compare, in the
severity of its artistic judgments and the sternness of its
requirements, with the audiences which Lemaitre so boldly trifled with.
And the fact illustrates, as nothing else could, the prodigious
popularity of the man and the marvelous power of his art. At the
_répétition générale_ of _Toussaint L'Ouverture_ the cream of artistic
Paris was present. The members of the Comédie Française came in force;
Lamartine occupied a stage-box; the house was full of poets, novelists,
painters, artists and authors of every description. Yet on _this_ solemn
night Lemaitre had one of his explosions of temper, and stopped the play
to publicly scold the stage-carpenter for setting a scene wrong in some
trifling detail. The incident was destructive to the power of the play,
or would have been in an ordinary case; but before the evening was over
Lemaitre regained perfect control of himself and swept his audience
with him as by storm.

Before passing his sixtieth year Lemaitre turned over a new leaf. He
abandoned his dissipated habits and set to work to take care of his
health and his morals. Better late than never. He had always borne a
good reputation for generosity: he now set about winning one for virtue.
He devoted himself to his children--of whom he had four--with exemplary
care and solicitude. The Antinöus of former days is now, as has been
said, but a ruin, but what a magnificent ruin! He has no voice, but
voice seems hardly necessary to him, so eloquent is his pantomime, so
expressive are his features, so full of fire his great black eyes when
acting. Several years ago, while still in his full vigor, he sustained a
loss of his teeth, which temporarily destroyed his articulation. He was
playing in a piece called _The Black Doctor_ at the time, and did not
intermit his representations on account of his misfortune. But one who
was present on the occasion relates that the audience heard him repeat
again and again, in ever-varying tones, "Ellla mârrr montââât tojors"
("Et la mer montait toujours"--"And the sea still rose!"), and shuddered
and sobbed under the pathos of his tones for more than twenty minutes
without appearing to notice the absurdity of the language. And for fully
fifteen years Frédéric Lemaitre has now been playing without a voice.

No stage reputation in the century he lives in has equaled this actor's.
Talma and Rachel, if as great as he, were not so complete, so versatile.
This sketch has mentioned but a few of his many marvelous creations,
each so rich in individuality, each so marked and so distinct from the
other, and each in its turn so original and novel. In his proud face,
his fiery eyes, his trembling lip, there seems still energy enough for a
hundred ordinary actors of merit; and yet he gives to any part he essays
the minute attention to details, the unwearying patience, which would in
themselves almost win success for an incarnation of commonplace.

    WIRT SIKES.

FOOTNOTES:

[A] The Conservatoire de Musique et de Déclamation lyrique is a
municipal and governmental institution in the French capital, founded
for the gratuitous instruction of youth of both sexes in singing, music
and declamation. It accommodates six hundred pupils, and has a library
of eight thousand volumes.

[B] A cant name among the French for the claque.



THE SONG-WIND.


    I stand in a climate of spring,
      Overblown by a wind from the South,
    With joy unspeakable thrilled,
      Ineffable song in my mouth;
    For the wind is a breeze of delight,
      And its blowing is rhythmic and fleet;
    It comes from the heart of the South.
      Oh, the South wind, the song-wind is sweet!

    It comes like the breath of a dream
      Blown through the still regions of sleep;
    It comes from the islands of love,
      Lying midmost the tropical deep;
    It has the fresh smell of sea-grass,
      It is woven of coolness and heat,
    Fruit-flavored and burdened with spice.
      Oh, the South wind, the song-wind is sweet!

    It stirs the high tops of the trees,
      With greenness and fragrance o'erfraught,
    Through which the swift sun-glories glance
      Like flashes of wonderful thought;
    It touches the rose till it burns
      Like love in a heart made complete;
    It kisses the world into flower.
      Oh, the South wind, the song-wind is sweet!

    A breath of all ages it is,
      From Teos, and Lesbos, and Ind;
    Through the years, like a shuttle of gold,
      Runs the wonder of song on the wind--
    The wonder of flute and of lyre,
      A music made mellow and meet
    For Sappho, the princess of song.
      Oh, the South wind, the song-wind is sweet!

    O Sappho! O love-laden soul!
      A thrill in the rushes there is,
    And the sea breaks into loud song
      That throbs with the pulse of the breeze;
    And singers, remembering thee,
      Cast their crowns and their lyres at their feet,
    For the South wind rewakens thy song.
      Oh, the South wind, the song-wind is sweet!

    It blows with a rustle of palms
      And a sound of the laurel and bay,
    Far voices and clapping of hands,
      Like applause at the end of a play:
    It strengthens the poet like wine,
      And clothes him from head unto feet
    In the power and glory of life.
      Oh, the South wind, the song-wind is sweet!

    It lifts the gold hair of a girl
      Till it shines in the sun like a flame,
    It flows through the locks of a man
      Toiling hard at his song and his fame;
    It is heavy with music of birds;
      It has whispers no lips can repeat:
    The angels float by on its tide.
      Oh, the South wind, the song-wind is sweet!

    Ah, world! while the South wind prevails--
      With flowers and rushes and streams,
    Intrude not a sound of thy wheels,
      But leave me alone with my dreams--
    My reveries born of this breeze;
      And my life, though lowly it be,
    Will be happier far than a king's
      If the South wind, the song-wind kiss me!

    JAMES MAURICE THOMPSON.



NORTHWARD TO HIGH ASIA.


From Calcutta my route was northward to Thibet, to reach, if possible,
its capital city of Lhassa, residence of the Grand Lama of the
Booddhists--the pontifical sovereign of Eastern Asia. My journey thither
was planned by the way of Sikkim, and thence through the Cholah Pass in
the Himalaya range. I was most anxious to reach a city so interestingly
described by the Abbé Huc nearly thirty years ago, and to learn
something further about the present condition and prospects of the
"Snowy Region of the North" and the lofty table-lands of Central Asia,
so seldom visited by European travelers.

The cars of the East Indian Railway carry one in a single night 220
miles to the town of Sahibgunge and the banks of the Ganges. The first
sight of the sacred river excited in me but little enthusiasm. It was
about a mile in width, shallow and very muddy, with a swift current and
dreary sandy banks, where huge crocodiles were basking in the sun. Its
religious character among the Hindoos is well known. Though highly
esteemed from its source to its mouth, there are some particular places
more eminently sacred than others--as Benares, Allahabad and
Hurdwar--and to these pilgrims resort from great distances to perform
their ablutions and carry off water to be used in future ceremonies. The
Ganges water is also valued for its supposed medicinal properties, and
in the British courts of justice witnesses of the Brahmanical faith are
sworn upon it.

Having been ferried across the sacred flood, I journeyed onward in what
is termed a _shigram_--simply a large palanquin on wheels drawn by two
horses. As I reclined at length upon its cushion-covered bottom, I could
see that the country through which we passed was an immense plain, and a
clump of bamboos or an occasional palm alone hinted at an Oriental and
a tropical landscape. The trees were mostly banians, peepuls and
mangoes, and there were many large fields of rice and corn. The native
huts were made of bamboo reeds and mud, with straw-thatched roofs. A
view of their interiors was of course forbidden me on account of that
cursed system of caste which prevails from Peshawur to Rangoon and from
Cashmere and Thibet to Cape Cormorin and Ceylon. The road was
macadamized and shaded by rows of immense trees. The tricky and balky
horses (Mongol ponies) delayed us considerably, but it was very amusing
to see the methods employed to coax or coerce them. A groom held in his
hand a piece of bamboo about two feet in length, at the extremity of
which was fastened a strong looped horsehair cord, which was twisted
around the ear of a fractious beast, and a very little power applied a
few paces in advance generally removed all scruples as to its progress.
Horses who would not back into the shafts were assisted by a rope
secured round a hind leg, and one who would not start forward was
suddenly persuaded to change its mind through a similar combination of
rope and pressure applied to a fore leg. Often one native would take a
wheel, others would push from behind, some would lift one of the fore
feet of the obstinate brutes, a few would take their heads, and then,
after much alternate fondling and beating, off we would go at a very
break-neck speed for perhaps a mile, when the horses would quiet down
into an easy trot for the remainder of the stage.

About twelve o'clock on the first night a very provoking yet amusing
incident happened. I had some time previously covered myself with my
blankets and closed the sliding doors of the vehicle, as it was a bitter
cold night, and had been enjoying a sound sleep, when, waking suddenly,
I found the shigram standing in the middle of the road, but without
either horses, coachman or groom. I had heard that such an event will
occasionally happen in Indian dak-posting and so endeavored not to be
disconcerted. Alighting from the shigram, I walked toward a fire which
was just discernible through the trees, and found my missing coachman
taking a comfortable smoke and a quiet chat with half a dozen
bullock-drivers, friends of his, who were camping there for the night. I
approached the social group with the feelings of a ghoul, shook my fists
in the coachman's face and talked exceedingly loud, making free use of
all the bad words in Bengalee of which my then limited vocabulary would
admit, placing particular emphasis upon the scathing _soour_ ("pig") and
the withering _gudha_ ("fool")--epithets more dreaded by the Hindoos
than the most profane oaths. The man jabbered something in his native
tongue, about as intelligible to me as if spoken in the language of the
Bechuanas of South Africa or in that of our Sioux Indians. Returning to
the shigram, I quietly prepared myself to await the issue. But the
effects of my furious philippic had been complete, and in less than ten
minutes the ponies were harnessed and we were again on our way.

In the morning I stopped at a dak-bungalow for breakfast. The word _dak_
means post or stage, and the bungalows are inns for the accommodation of
post-travelers built by government at distances of about twenty miles
apart. They are of one story, and usually contain some half dozen
apartments for sitting, dining and sleeping, besides dressing- and
bath-rooms. These bungalows are under the direction of a _khansamah_, or
native butler, who hires a small corps of servants to attend the wants
of travelers. If you bring provisions, the khansamah will have them
cooked for you, or he will supply you with a limited bill of fare,
charging for each dish according to an official scale with which every
bungalow is furnished. Any traveler can obtain rooms in a dak-bungalow
during twenty-four hours, for which he must pay one rupee (fifty cents),
and no one can claim shelter for more than this period should the
bungalow be full or should other travelers arrive.

On the afternoon of the following day we reached the foot of the hills
and the terminus of the shigram travel. The Himalayas in view were bold
and sharp in outline, and densely wooded to their very tops, and my
route lay directly over the nearer range, which was something more than
a mile in height. You may ascend the foot-hills by palanquin or pony.
For the former, previous application is necessary, as relays of bearers
must be arranged on the road. There are eight bearers, four of whom
carry you at a time. They have two movements--a sharp trot, and a long
even step as a rest from the regular gait--but neither is very enjoyable
to the occupant of the palanquin after a few hours' trial. They relieve
each other every half mile. The stages are about eight miles in length,
at the end of each of which an entire new set of bearers is obtained. On
comparatively good and level roads these bearers will average four miles
an hour: in ascending or descending steep mountains the rate of speed is
of course somewhat less. I chose a mountain-pony, a wiry and vicious
little fellow, and engaged a coolie to carry my baggage to a village
thirty miles distant for the grand recompense of one rupee.

Soon after starting I met people of both sexes who were neither Hindoos
nor Mohammedans, but bore a strong resemblance to the Chinese. The men
were short, stout and muscular, and their faces wore a stolid and almost
stupid look, which was not at all improved by their long black hair or
by their filthy garments and persons. The women, however, were rather
good-looking, not concealing the face as in the plains. These people
were natives of Nepaul and Bhotan, independent states of India. After a
ride of five or six miles I passed a _terai_, a great jungle infested by
tigers and elephants; so at least my companion, a devout follower of the
Prophet, informed me. This terai consisted of rank grass fifteen feet in
height, thick underbrush and some few huge trees; and so dense was it
that a passage could only be made with an axe. It is always advisable to
pass through such places during the daytime. At Kurseong there was a
good hotel, the Clarendon, kept by an old New Yorker, who told me he had
left America fifteen years before, and during that period had traveled
all over the world, had made a great deal of money in Western Africa in
the palm-oil trade, and had finally "settled down" (or rather _up_) in
India. He started the first tea-plantation in the Himalayas, and is
reported to be worth at present more than a million rupees.

The coolie, a Nepaulese, carried my baggage up the mountains at a sharp
trot, and reached the hotel but two hours after my own arrival. It was a
wonderful exhibition of strength and endurance. The distance was thirty
miles and the weight of the burden nearly eighty pounds. The
hill-tribes, breathing a cool and invigorating air, are alone equal to
such displays of vigor and endurance. Some time afterward, in going to
Simla in the Western Himalayas, I employed coolies who were possessed of
the same wonderful stamina as these Nepaulese. They were
splendid-looking men, shorty but thick-set and very muscular, with
olive-brown skins, piercing black eyes, long glossy hair and regular and
handsome features. One of this class of men (Hindoo hill-tribes) will
carry thirty _seers_ (sixty pounds) upon his back, or twenty-five seers
upon his head, up the hills for fifty miles, without rest or food, in
twenty-four hours; his charge for which is but one rupee--a special
instance of the astonishingly cheap labor of all India.

The road ran the whole distance on the face of almost perpendicular
hills, and for the greater part of the way was guarded by a low wall on
the dangerous side. The scenery was most grand, and I already felt well
repaid for the arduous journey from Calcutta. Some views were, however,
rather frightful. Imagine a ride on the very brink of a precipice
thirty-five hundred feet in depth, with the hills rising abruptly on the
other hand twenty-five hundred feet in height above you. The tops of the
distant and lofty mountains were all hidden in the clouds, but the
scenery of the valleys beneath one's feet was very beautiful. The
immense fields of tea planted in rectangular rows, the dark-green and
dense foliage of the forests, with here a planter's dwelling or a
factory glistening in the morning's sun, and there perhaps a little
silvery waterfall or a bubbling brook, and great black shadows cast by
the clouds, made a truly impressive picture. And yet, though already on
hills more than a mile in height, I had only gained this altitude in
order to obtain glimpses of much higher and grander mountains, nearly a
hundred miles distant.

Just before reaching Darjeeling there is a military cantonment, where
some troops are stationed for the active duty of protecting Her
Majesty's northern Indian boundaries. The officers' residences and the
barracks are situated on the top and upon the precipitous sides of a
small hill, and bridle-paths wind between, and flower-gardens and
ornamental trees are to be seen grouped about each dwelling. Darjeeling
is distant about three hundred and fifty miles almost due north from
Calcutta, of which it is regarded as the sanitarium, though, owing to
the hardships of the journey from that city, the more distant Simla is
quite as often resorted to by the invalided officials, merchants and
troops of Hindostan. The feasibility of building a railroad to
Darjeeling has long been discussed, and it appears that the engineering
difficulties, though great, can nevertheless be overcome; but no active
steps have as yet been taken toward the attainment of so desirable an
object. The European residents of the town of Darjeeling number about
fifty, and there are perhaps four times as many tea-planters in the
surrounding country.

The next day being Sunday, and the day on which marketable supplies are
brought into town for the whole week, the proprietor of my hotel took me
to see the bazaar. It much resembled others visited in and near
Calcutta, but I was surprised at the variety of European vegetables
offered for sale: there were peas, onions, potatoes, squashes, lettuce,
radishes, turnips and many kinds of grain, including that peculiarly
Yankee "institooshun" pop-corn. The bazaar was held out of doors in a
public square, with a few shops of dry goods around, and a most terrible
din arose from the motley crowd there assembled. In one place a number
of soldiers from the cantonments were bidding on some glassware offered
at auction, and in another mothers of families and _khansamahs_ were
bustling about engaging their necessary household supplies. Here was a
wretched beggar, with a grotesque mask on his face, dancing before some
of the merchants, who gave him a few potatoes in exchange for his
contortions. The people embraced Hindoos, Mohammedans, Bhoteeas,
Nepaulese and Sikkimites, and presented every variety of dress and
figure, having seemingly but one feature or possession in common, and
that was a very prominent display of unclean skin and raiment. The
Nepaulese women wore bracelets and necklaces of Indian coins, besides
silver anklets, finger- and nose-rings, gold earrings and beads, and
each had also suspended from her neck a silver snuff-box. These boxes
were three or four inches square, made of the purest metal, and
handsomely carved and embossed.

At Darjeeling I learned that my plan of traveling to Lhassa was not
feasible--that the Talé Lama ("sea of wisdom") and the great palace, and
a city whose three productions, according to Chinese travelers, are
lamas, women and dogs--many of whose streets are lined with houses built
of ox and rams' horns; and a people whose mode of salutation is by
uncovering the head, thrusting out the tongue and scratching the right
ear, and whose manner of disposal of their dead is by cutting the
corpses in pieces and giving them to "sacred dogs," raised and nurtured
in convents for the express purpose--would have to be known only through
the reports of others. The Thibetan traders in Darjeeling reported that
the _Pugla Diwan_ of Sikkim had become a great man in Thibet, and had
seized everything _en route_ from Lhassa during the year, and, having
stored all in huge warehouses, would allow nothing to pass into Sikkim
and Bengal. Previous travelers and missionaries had all of them entered
the country in the disguise of priests or of Chinese or Mogul traders,
having a knowledge of the Thibetan or some allied language; and even
then so greatly fearing detection as to be unable to learn very much of
the condition and capabilities of the land or the habits and usages of
the people. That foreigners should be so rigorously excluded from Thibet
is doubtless owing to Chinese influence--to the fear and jealousy of
British power and possession in the East, the southern boundaries being
rigorously guarded by a _cordon_ of Chinese garrison-stations on the
highlands of the Himalayas.

I might approach nearer, or perhaps ascend the great mountain
Kanchinjinga, which is about fifty miles distant from Darjeeling, though
there are no roads over or around the intervening hills, and the journey
would have to be undertaken on foot, and tents, provisions and a large
retinue of servants would be necessary. And then, at best, but the
snow-limit or a little higher could be reached (hardly two-thirds the
distance to the summit), and therefore the interest of the trip would
scarcely compensate for its hardships. Instead of this, the proprietor
of the hotel proposed a little excursion on horseback into Sikkim, the
country of the Lepchas. It is ten or twelve miles to the bottom of the
valley, and the road (or rather bridle-path) winds around the hills
forward and back, but constantly descending, until at length the Rungeed
River is reached. Some of the precipices were frightful to look over,
and I clutched the reins tightly, braced myself in the saddle, and
almost held my breath as the pony trotted quietly along a path three
feet in width and often lying at an angle of 45°; but there was no
danger, unless it might perhaps be from the sliding away of part of the
road, since the ponies are mountain-bred and very sure-footed. The views
were extremely grand, and the distances from peak to peak so immense
that the mind was almost lost to detail. Much of the land is cleared of
forest trees and covered with tea-plants: cinchona also is cultivated,
and with great success.

The Rungeed is a small mountain-torrent, a branch of the Peesta, which
latter empties its waters into the great Brahmapootra ("son of Brahma").
It serves as a boundary-line between Bengal and Sikkim. Crossing this
stream at a height of about thirty feet, there is a bamboo-cane
suspension bridge three hundred feet in length, which was built entirely
by the natives. It is intended for foot-passengers, and will safely
support a dozen people at a time. It consists of sixteen bamboo canes,
of the size of the finger, on either side. The bottom is formed of three
very large stems of bamboo, and a sort of wickerwork extends from these
upward to the supporting canes, which are about six feet from side to
side, and may in crossing just be grasped by the hands. The bridge has a
peculiar oscillating motion, which increases so much at the centre,
together with an up-and-down movement, that, with a sight of the
fiercely rushing water beneath, the traveler's head is apt to become
giddy.

Crossing to the other side, I met in the forests an English gentleman,
who informed me he was just returning from a two weeks' tour through
Sikkim. It was Colonel Manwaring of H. M.'s Indian army, who was engaged
in compiling under government orders a dictionary of the Lepcha tongue.
Salutations over, Briton like, he pressed me at once to drink, asked if
I would try a native beer, and upon my assenting ordered a quantity of
_chi_ (a drink made of fermented millet) from a hut near at hand. It
proved a nutritious and exhilarating though not intoxicating beverage,
and we drank it _à la_ Sikkimite, warm, through a reed a foot in length
and from a joint of bamboo holding perhaps a couple of quarts. The
colonel informed me that the Lepcha language is very copious, expressive
and beautiful, abounding largely in metaphor. The number of words is
very extraordinary, and requires a person to be something of a
geologist, botanist and zoologist--in short, to understand very many of
the sciences and not a few of the arts--in order to learn perfectly this
curious tongue. His labors among the people he described as very trying
and discouraging. He had been employed upon the dictionary more than
three years, and it was not nearly completed. We rode slowly up the
hills, and reached the inn late in the evening.

I had waited nearly a week for a clear day on which to view the highest
mountain-peaks in the world, and had almost despaired of success when on
the last morning of my stay, upon looking from my window at daybreak, I
saw that although the valleys and sides of some of the hills were
covered with clouds and fog, still a lofty peak near Darjeeling showed
its face distinctly and for the first time during my visit. Remembering
that this mountain was over two miles in height, perhaps Mount
Kanchinjinga might be in sight, but I hardly dared entertain the
thought. It was my last chance, for I intended to return to the plains
in the afternoon; so, jumping into my clothes, pulling on my hat and
snatching up my field-glass, I walked, or rather ran, to the other side
of the hill for an unobstructed view. Suddenly turning a sharp bend in
the road, I saw through the trees a clearly-defined, substantial-looking
cloud--was it a cloud, though?--and rushing forward a dozen paces, lo
and behold! one of the highest mountain-summits on the globe stood
unveiled before me! I confess never in my travels to have experienced
like sensations of awe and reverence. My eyes involuntarily filled with
tears, and I stood completely lost in wonder and admiration.

It was early morning. The sun had newly risen, though not yet visible,
and threw a flood of rosy light upon the gigantic snow-tipped pinnacles,
causing them to glisten like polished white marble. The valley below,
four or five thousand feet deep, was filled with an ocean of silvery
clouds, which majestically rolled and rose upon the forest-clad sides of
the great mountains as far as the limit of perpetual snow; and from this
fleecy mass as a border towered aloft against an azure-hued sky the
magnificent form of Kanchinjinga. For miles in each direction the
thickly-wooded sub-hills were in sight, but all interest centred in the
never-by-man-trodden peak before and above me. A dread and awful silence
seemed to pervade the air, and the total absence of life or motion lent
an almost supernatural glamour to the scene. For nearly two hours I sat
as one entranced, until the sun gently lifted the clouds from the
valleys, and as with a silver-wrought screen shut off from my eyes the
most impressive sight they ever beheld. During this marvelous exhibition
the "littleness of man" had been made very painfully lucid. Yet,
perhaps, there is nothing so calculated to raise the thoughts, enlarge
the mind or purify the heart as the contemplation of the sublime and
beautiful in Nature.

Kanchinjinga, properly speaking, consists of three peaks, which are
sharp, serrated, precipitous, and apparently composed of solid rock from
the snow-limit to the summit. Its immense height is not thoroughly
appreciated by the traveler for two causes--its great distance (fifty
miles "as the crow flies"), and the fact that the point of observation
is itself one-fourth the height of the mountain. Had I risen earlier and
ridden to Mount Senchal, fifteen hundred feet above Darjeeling, I
_might_ have obtained a view of Mount Everest, which is nearly thirty
thousand feet in perpendicular height above the sea (about five and a
half miles), and is the supremest point upon our globe, while Mount
Kanchinjinga, which until quite recently was supposed to be the higher
of the two, is found to be of about eight hundred feet less altitude.
Mount Everest is a single peak, a cone, and appears like a small white
tent above the clouds, but in grandeur and sublimity it is excelled by
Kanchinjinga. Well do the Himalaya Mountains bear out the meaning of
their name--the "abode of snow"--for on their southern slopes in some
places the snow-line descends to fourteen thousand feet. The mean
elevation of this remarkable range is double that of the Alps, and many
of its passes to the elevated table-lands of Central Asia are higher
than the summit of Mont Blanc. Huge glaciers of smooth ice, though none
so vast as those of the Alps, are numerous in parts of this stupendous
mountain-chain, and even descend from the regions of perpetual snow to
eleven thousand feet. Though the Andes of South America present a
mountain-system twice the length of the Himalayas, still in respect to
altitude the former are much surpassed by the latter. Mount Dwalaghiri
in Nepaul is of nearly the same height as Kanchinjinga: then, there are
two peaks which attain twenty-six thousand feet; four about twenty-four
thousand feet; and over twenty that reach an elevation exceeding twenty
thousand feet!

Leaving Darjeeling, I visited one of the large tea-gardens near the
terai at the foot of the hills. The best of land may be purchased at ten
rupees per acre, and an average-sized plantation embraces about two
hundred acres. The prospective garden must be cleared of its forest and
jungle, which is an arduous task, but when once it is in order one
native can properly cultivate an acre. The best teas are raised upon the
tops of the hills, upward of seven thousand feet above the sea-level.
Good tea can only be grown under two conditions: these are moisture and
heat, and hence the southern slopes of the Himalayas are admirably
adapted to its cultivation, for during the middle of the day the sun is
warm, and at night there are very copious dews. The laborers employed
are all natives, and one or two Europeans only are necessary to
superintend the largest plantation. The indigenous tea-plant was first
discovered in Assam (the north-eastern district of Bengal) in the year
1830. From there it was introduced into Cachar and Darjeeling, and from
these places into the hills in the north-western part of Hindostan. In
1850 the English government founded plantations in the Kangra Valley,
about one hundred and twenty miles from Lahore, on the borders of
Cashmere, which proved so successful that many were soon established in
various other localities. Cinchona (_Cinchona calisaya_) also succeeds
well upon the hills, and is being extensively grown, as, owing to the
prevalence of fevers of all kinds, quinine is in great demand throughout
India.

Reaching the Ganges again without accident or noteworthy event, I
traveled on westward up its rich valley, and soon entered upon the great
plain of Hindostan (embracing an area of half a million square miles),
which, though nearly treeless, contains some of the most fertile soil on
the globe. There were clusters of huts and dilapidated mosques at short
intervals, and the natives might be seen at work in the fields with
their antiquated wooden ploughs, the bent limbs of trees, or engaged in
cutting _paddy_ (rice in the husk), or hoeing poppy-plants, or digging
little drains. Wherever we met them they would stop work, drop
everything, and gaze at the railway train, which seemed to them
apparently as strange a sight as if it had just dropped down from the
clouds.

In Hindostan, land is owned either by government or by the native rajahs
and nawabs. That belonging to the former is leased to a class of people
called _zemindars_ (the word means "landholder," "landkeeper"), and they
sublet it to another class styled _ryots_ (the "husbandmen,"
"peasants"), who are the real tillers of the soil. A well-to-do zemindar
will rent two thousand acres of land, for which he pays about four
_annas_ (twelve cents) an acre. The hardships of the ryots are
great--they are treated like slaves, and can barely make a
subsistence--but among the zemindars are numbered some of the wealthiest
men in the country: one, for instance, owns fifty square miles of
fertile land, all wrung from the labor of the poor peasants. Formerly
these zemindars were merely the superintendents of the land, but
latterly they have been declared its hereditary proprietors, and the
before fluctuating dues of government have under a permanent settlement
been unalterably fixed in perpetuity.

As we rolled along, on both sides of the railroad as far as the eye
could see were immense fields of wheat and barley, paddy, tobacco,
mustard, the castor-oil plant, millet, maize, the poppy, indigo and
sugar-cane. Wheat and barley are not sown broadcast as with us, but in
drills a few inches apart: both grains are consumed in the
country--little or none is exported. The paddy resembles rye or wheat
when growing, the rice-kernels being contained in husks at the top of
the spires. The plant requires a wet loamy soil (such as is best offered
in Cambodia and Siam, the former being styled "the Asiatic storehouse of
rice"), and there is but one crop in the year. The mustard-plants which
we saw were about two feet in height, and bore small yellow flowers as
crests. The oil and the table article of commerce are made by grinding
the seeds in mills constructed for the purpose. The castor-oil plant is
a green and succulent shoot about six feet in height, with white flowers
hanging in bunches like hops. Maize is never fed to cattle as in
America, but is all consumed by the poorer classes of natives. But most
interesting were the poppy-plants. These are raised in oblong patches of
ground surrounded by low mud walls for retaining the water which is
essential to their growth. The plants are quite small, with green leaves
at the base, from which rise tall stalks with bulb-like tops, the pod of
the flower. At the proper season, when ripe, incisions are made in these
bulbs--simple scratches--by drawing two needles across them toward
evening, and the juice, which exudes during the night, is scraped off in
the morning and collected in shells. This operation is performed upon
all sides of the bulb, and then the juice is sent in earthenware jars to
Bankipore to be manufactured into opium by drying in the sun and various
other processes. When quite prepared it is pressed into balls, boxed and
exported to China, to the great emolument of the British Indian
government, in whose hands the trade is a monopoly (it deriving
one-twelfth of its entire income from this traffic alone), and to the
fearful moral and physical degradation of the Chinese.

Patna is one of the oldest cities in India. It extends for a mile and a
half along the south bank of the Ganges, which is here five miles in
width in the rainy season. It consists properly of but a single street
eight miles in length and thirty feet in width, with numerous short
byways. Patna contains about two hundred and fifty thousand inhabitants,
and was formerly a place of such considerable trade that the English,
French, Dutch and Danes had factories here, though few European
merchants remain at the present day. I found the streets crowded with
gayly-dressed, vivacious Mohammedans and Hindoos and solemn,
gruff-looking Afghans. Some were on foot; some on horseback, astride
splendid horses brought from the Deccan; many rode in _eckas_, a few in
_baillies_--two varieties of native vehicle. The dwellings in the city,
built of mud with tiled roofs, were mostly but one story in height. In
those of two stories the lower is rented as a shop to the merchants (or
used as such by the owners), and in the upper the family dwells, as is
customary in our cities. The stores were of all denominations, but the
manufactures were principally of cotton goods and earthenware, which
latter is made in feeble imitation of European crockery. The smell of
the curry and _ghee_ (clarified butter) in some shops was intensely
disagreeable, and the numerous shelves of _metai_ (sweets compounded of
sugar, butter and flour, and of which the natives are very fond) looked
anything but inviting to a _gora-log_ (a fair-complexioned person). It
is generally supposed that the Hindoos never use intoxicating beverages,
but I passed several liquor-shops and saw three or four men drunk in the
streets. The drink in general request is the fermented juice of the
_taul_ or Indian palm tree, which, though mild and soft to the palate,
is yet very acrid and baneful to the stomach.

There is an old granary in Patna, a large beehive-shaped structure of
brick and plaster, at a guess two hundred feet in diameter by one
hundred feet in height and twelve feet in thickness. Two stair-cases of
one hundred and fifty steps each wind upward to its summit on either
side, giving the building from a distance the appearance of a huge brick
cork-screw. These steps were intended to be used for carrying up the
grain, the building being filled through a small aperture at the top,
and up them Shah Maharaj, the present premier of Nepaul, is said once
to have ridden his pony--a most daring feat of horsemanship and nerve.
On one side were two large stone tablets with inscriptions--the one in
Persian, the other in English. They simply stated that the granary was
erected in 1786 as part of a general plan ordered by the
governor-general and council of India for the perpetual prevention of
famine. It has never yet, however, been filled with grain, but has been
employed as a military magazine. From the summit a fine view of the
surrounding country is to be had, comprising plains and forests, stately
bungalows and flowery "compounds," vegetable gardens, native huts, and
in the distance the sacred Ganges, with its stony bed more than half
exposed.

Formerly, famines were not infrequent in Hindostan, which was owing to
an insufficient fall of rain at the proper season and consequent failure
of the crops. One occurred in the year 1770, in which thirty millions of
people are said to have perished in the valley of the Ganges. This Patna
granary was doubtless one of a number which it was intended should be
built throughout the country and filled with grain in times of plenty to
supply the people in case of famine, like those in the cities of ancient
Egypt which Joseph filled with corn in the seven years of plenteousness
and opened in the seven years of dearth, when "famine waxed sore in the
land." But the building of the Ganges Canal and the railroads have
rendered it almost impossible that a widespread calamitous famine should
again occur in this section of India--the former by providing a more
thorough system of irrigation, and the latter by affording means for the
rapid and easy transportation of food from one province to another. The
extent of the recent famine has been grossly exaggerated. Had certain
public works--the construction of railroads and other sources of
communication and of canals for the irrigation of the rice-fields--which
the government contemplated prior to the outbreak of the distress, been
completed, probably no reckless, sensational reports of "a disaster
which had no parallel in the history of human misery" would have reached
our ears.

In the long street already mentioned as extending from Bankipore to
Patna is situated the government opium manufactory and warehouse. March
and April are the months in which opium is made: at the time of my visit
it was being packed and prepared for shipment to China. The various
buildings are of brick, and the grounds are surrounded by a high wall.
Entering one of the gates, I passed a Sepoy sentinel, and a little
farther on some stone barracks. I then entered one of the largest
buildings, and found about a hundred natives, with a European
superintendent, busily engaged in weighing and packing the drug. The
juice of the poppy-plant is brought in by the farmers from the
surrounding country in stone jars, and has the appearance of thick tar.
It is placed in large tanks, well worked up, and then dried in the sun.
Next, cases are made about six inches in diameter, resembling
cannon-balls, of alternate layers of thin poppy-leaves, of the
poppy-flowers and of the liquid juice, and these are an inch in
thickness. The whole interior is then filled with the viscous fluid, and
the balls are placed to dry in earthenware cups upon immense shelves
with which many entire buildings are filled. The balls weighed two seers
(four pounds), and were worth thirty-two rupees (sixteen dollars) each.
They were packed in long wooden boxes with thin partitions, rolled in
poppy-leaves. There were forty balls in a box, which was worth when
filled twelve hundred and eighty rupees or six hundred and forty
dollars. About three thousand natives were employed in this manufactory.

From Patna I went on to Benares, the Mecca of Hindooism, where for the
space of two weeks I was royally fêted by Maharajah Isuree Pershod,
chief of the four great castes of the Hindoos.

    FRANK VINCENT, JR.



BEHIND THEIR FANS.

FROM THE FRENCH OF GUSTAVE DROZ.


Last evening I was guilty of a very shameful action. I hid behind a
curtained door and listened to a conversation, and, what makes it still
more unpardonable in me, I cannot help telling you what I heard. It was
this.

I had been at the ball about half an hour when I saw in a corner of the
parlor, through the door which leads into the conservatory, a little
group of three young girls arrayed in billows of white muslin, who were
talking behind their fans with so much animation that it was impossible
not to notice them.

These three girls had reached that age when young women's hands are
slender but still rosy, when their forms have still that charming
delicacy which some people call thinness and others youthfulness, and
when their movements have that excessive suppleness which is like
awkwardness, but which it would be the height of art to imitate. Leaning
back with easy grace in their arm chairs, which were drawn up close
together, they were laughing unrestrainedly. Already women and
coquettes, they would from time to time stretch out their well-gloved
hands and pat their ample draperies with a thousand graceful little
gestures. They were already mistresses of the art of looking at things
without seeing them, of laughing when they were not amused, of showing
their white teeth while smoothing their gloves at the wrist, and while
modestly looking down of giving a vibration to their voices like the
striking of glass, which cannot fail to attract attention. They had,
too, the trick of stopping short in the midst of a movement and posing
that you might see the turn of a shoulder or a graceful arm, and of
turning their profile to you to show a pretty nose, of catching up their
skirts and turning away with a movement like a frightened dove till the
ear alone is visible, and replying, "Oh, how you frightened me!" when
you have said nothing to them but "How do you do?" Then their way of
prattling unceasingly without rhyme or reason, or when both ideas and
words fail them of exclaiming, "Oh! oh! oh! yes, indeed!" while stroking
their hair!

Ah, dear little creatures! I love them just as they are, so knowing and
so pure, so gracious and so skillful. I really love these little angels
who make their entrance into the great world between two polkas--who go
to a ball instead of going to bed--who broke their doll into pieces two
days ago, and now think of painting themselves under the eyes like
mamma--who know to a louis the price of a cashmere shawl--are
connoisseurs in diamonds, look men straight in the eye, are all worn out
when Lent comes, and who during Holy Week, after devoutly nibbling a bit
of salmon salad, run off to their religious exercises in boots with
tassels and with their hair powdered. I love these little painted lambs
as one loves roses in December or green peas in the middle of January.
There is simplicity even in their excessive self-possession--something,
at any rate, which reminds one of green apples which one longs to taste.

They are already women--in fact, they were when they were born--but
still one guesses at their motives, reads their little thoughts:
sometimes, too, one finds a clue which is like a revelation. They are--

But pardon me, young ladies! I am afraid I am going too far: perhaps as
you turn over these pages you will recall the gentleman who was looking
at you so attentively the other evening. Perhaps you will recognize
yourselves, however imperfect the sketch may be, and then--But it is too
late now not to tell you all.

I slyly opened the library-door, and, turning to the left, I made my way
to the conservatory, and stationed myself directly behind you, near the
door, in the folds of the curtain, and there I heard it all. I did even
more than that: in coming away I snapped off a branch of camellia. What
follows is merely the work of a reporter: if memory or skill is lacking,
forgive me and I will do better another time.

"No," said the youngest, looking at her pink satin slipper, "I mean the
one with the decoration in his buttonhole: don't you see him? He is
standing by the mantelpiece, by the side of the big bald man in a white
waistcoat."

"Why, the big bald man is not a colonel--no indeed. I know him very
well: he comes to see papa. It's Mr. Thingamy--some queer name. After
every visit of his we find two casters off the easy-chair. Mamma says
he's clever, papa says he's not: as for me, I think he smells of
pomade."

"Where does he put his pomade? He has hardly three hairs on his head."

"Yes, but they curl, my dear. I am sure he ought to wear a little
crimson velvet cap with tassels. Dear me! how I do hate a man as fat as
that! Papa, who is slender in comparison with this bear, seems to me a
little--when he is shaving--Well, if it was not papa, I should like to
plane him down a little."

"But, girls, I don't mean the stout one: I mean the one by his side,
with an aquiline nose and moustaches. There, he is taking an ice. He
seems to be a lion. Now he's blowing his nose: he's Colonel C----."

"Oh yes, I see. Dear me! how hard he blows his nose! Your colonel has a
cold: one can hear him from here--ha! ha!"

"There is nothing strange in his having a cold: he has just come from
Africa: see how tanned he is. Well, my dear, he _is_ a lion."

"Then he is an attaché?"

"Oh, how stupid you are! I said he is a lion because he fought like a
tiger, and he--"

"Then say he is a tiger, and have done with it."

--(Shrugging her shoulders) "and that at the battle of
Rapata--Ratapa--or Patara--I can't remember exactly what, but it was a
frightful battle--where the Arabs bit the dust--That's it, word for
word, as papa read it aloud the other day out of the paper."

"Why did they bite the dust?"

"Why, because they were so angry. You know when you are in a
passion--Well, in this battle the colonel received a cannon-ball or
bullet--I don't remember which--in his left shoulder, and they could not
extract it, so he returned to France very ill."

"How terrible those battles must be!"

"It is the day after a battle that is terrible. Just think of it! They
found this poor colonel under a mountain of dead men at the very moment
the wild beasts were going to devour him like the missionary in the
_Propagation of the Faith_. Being swallowed by a crocodile is indeed
terrible."

"That's nothing. When you think you have before you a man with an iron
machine in his shoulder that you could hardly lift, you can't help
shivering. Oh, it's fine to be a soldier: in fact, you may call it the
noblest profession. To begin with, every one respects them, and their
life is full of triumph."

"Yes, in time of war, but in time of peace--in time of peace--well, they
talk over the way they got their wounds, and the band plays while they
are at dinner. It seems the colonel can have the band play whenever he
wants to."

"Naturally, since it's his band."

"Well, all that is very nice, and besides that you make calls on the
wife of the prefect, the receiver-general and the bishop."

"On the bishop's wife? What are you talking about? Ha! ha!" (She takes
off her gloves and begins to bite her nails.)

"I did not say the bishop's wife: you are a naughty girl."

"Besides, it's only a general's wife who makes calls on the prefect's
wife, like that."

"I only began with the colonel: one soon gets to be general. Do you
suppose that Colonel C----, for instance, won't be a general soon?"

"As for me, I would rather marry a general at once."

"Yes, but a general does not get married in uniform."

"Why not, if you ask him to? That is something fine--a general at the
altar. There is nothing more imposing than the military at church. Their
gold epaulettes seem to go well with the organ. At the church of the
Carmelites there are always one or two officers, but they are little
ones, and they do not have the same effect. You did not know I was at
the church of the Carmelites on Advent Sunday? Oh, there was a good
father there who preached: it was indescribable!--Why don't you wear a
braid across the top of your head? My dear child, everybody wears them:
won't your mamma let you?"

"It is not that, but you can't possibly make a braid to go over the top
and then two rolls behind, all out of your own hair."

"Well, you can get false hair. Ha! ha! what an innocent lamb you are!
You can get false hair, my dear child."

"Yes, but papa won't let me: he says I'm too young to begin."

"What a pity! As for me, I had no trouble about it. Mamma said, 'It's
vexatious, but what can you do, my child? You can't go to a ball in a
cap;' and so we went and bought two beautiful blond braids."

"Why two?"

"Let me finish.--See, there is Madame de V---- coming in: do you hear
the door creaking?--Well, as I was saying, I had to buy two braids, for
the very simple reason that I lost the first. It was very funny. We had
hired a coupé for the day, papa having taken ours for himself: he always
does. We started off for the hairdresser's in this hired carriage. I
bought a superb braid, and they wrapped it up nicely for me. I got into
the coupé and put my little parcel up against the window, you know,
under the strap that you pull it up and down by. That was all very nice,
but when we got home, and I was looking for my parcel before getting
out, no parcel was to be found. I made a great fuss, and mamma did too.
Only think! it had slipped in by the glass of the window, and had fallen
into the inside of the door. I suppose it's still there. There's no way
of getting it again, you see, so I had to buy another braid" (bending
down her head coquettishly), "which I have the honor of introducing to
you: it is thick, of a good color--one of the very best."

"Oh, I wish I could have one, but I'm afraid I sha'n't before I'm
married.--See, there is Jeanne bowing to us. Oh, that everlasting dress
of hers! Doesn't she look like a fright with that pink pom-pon in her
hair and her red nose? She's a kind-hearted girl, but then that pink!
Pink never looks well with light hair. It always looks to me like salmon
with white sauce. Ha! ha! Speaking of salmon, by the way, you left too
early the other evening: we had such a supper, my dear!"

"Oh, how lovely Juliette looked! Didn't she? What a lovely head she has!
I would give ten years of my life to have a head like hers. Ten years,
dear me! yes, gladly: life isn't such very good fun, after all. And how
becoming that headdress was to her!"

"It was really magnificent: you know it came from Persia."

"Did it, really? From Persia? I heard it came from--you know the place,
ever so far off, where the colonies are. And how about her marriage?"

"It's broken off: she said no, and it's all settled."

"But the trousseau? Mamma saw the three cashmere shawls, three wonders!
One had red ground with little figures on it--you know the sort they're
wearing now: that shawl was really eloquent. I think that sort of thing
is like music, it delights one so."

"That was very fine--three cashmeres, and diamonds too, and she said
no?"

"She said no, and she was right, for it seems he limped frightfully."

"Who did?"

"The gentleman, of course."

"But, my dear girl, people always give three cashmeres. Only think a
minute: the long cashmere for calls in winter--well, that's one; then
you must have a square one: it would kill you to wear a long cashmere
in hot weather; and then you could not refuse a third to go to the bath
or to mass in--well, that makes three, don't you see? I would not be
married with fewer. No, thank you, I wouldn't go about looking like a
chambermaid. No, indeed I wouldn't."

"Did the gentleman limp very badly? For, after all, he was a consul."

"Oh, as to that, his position is a magnificent one. It seems that in the
country where he is consul people are carried in palanquins."

"That's the least thing they can do for lame people. As for me, I think
she has done quite right. I have a horror of deformed people: one is
never sure that it may not be something catching. Do you remember Sister
Adelaide at the convent, who had one leg shorter than the other? Well, I
wouldn't have sat down in her chair for a hundred thousand francs."

"What would you have done if you had had to marry her?"

"How silly you are!--Don't look over there: I see M. Pincette coming to
ask us to dance. The more I see of him, the more I detest him. He is
stupid, he is fair, his whiskers are too large, he doesn't dance in
time: he has no attractions. Don't you think he looks like the Abbé
Julien, who used to hear our catechisms, and who was always saying, 'Not
another word, my children'?"

"Yes, he does look like him, especially when he is waltzing: he has the
same eyes. As for me, I don't like a man who looks like a priest. That
is not saying anything against priests, my dear. In the first place, a
man ought to have brown moustaches: without them he is not worth looking
at. Have you seen my brother's moustaches since he left Saint-Cyr? That
is the kind of moustaches I like--pointed, pointed and waxed. I used to
do them for him last summer, and I fully understand them."

"Ernest is a fine-looking young man; and then he's so strong."

"I hate a Hercules. M. de Saint-Flair is not handsome, is he? Well, I
can see very well how he fascinated Adèle with his pale face, thin hair
and his look of illness."

"Your M. de Saint-Flair looks as if he were just getting over a fever.
When he is sitting round in the corners I am always tempted to offer him
a bowl of gruel."

"Oh, that's all very well, but as for distinction, I don't see any one
who comes up to him. And then, too, they say he writes poetry."

"Still, I must say I prefer M. de P----."

"What an idea! M. de P----! He's a perfect barrel, and besides he's
forty-six or forty-eight years old."

"Well, my dear, a man has to be as old as that to be able to offer a
woman an acceptable position. It's not at all bad to be the wife of a
banker."

At this moment the music began, and the men came forward to ask my
little neighbors to dance. They accepted languidly, with a
half-indifferent air. The gentlemen placed their opera-hats on the
chairs the ladies had left, and they all advanced, talking, to join the
dancers. I followed them with my eyes through the crowd. Each abandoned
herself with charming grace to her partner's arm, turning her head a
little to one side, her hair floating on the waves of the waltz. Perhaps
there was exaggerated ease and a trace of childish awkwardness in their
manner. In ten minutes they came back to their places, out of breath,
but with bright eyes. They took up their fans again, and while fanning
themselves went on with their conversation.

"That gentleman dances very well, but he's a queer creature: he talked
to me about geography. Do you know the principal town in the department
of the Eastern Pyrenees?"

"No I have forgotten. Dear me! how warm I am! I danced with that partner
of yours the other evening: he talked about geography to me too. Isn't
it strange that some partners always say the same thing over and over
again?"

"Oh, there is mamma making me a sign that it is time to go home. Oh
dear! no indeed! It will be like the other evening, when we should have
gone to bed as early as the hens if mamma hadn't been asked for the
German. Tell your cousin to ask mamma to dance, and to ask me. I like
him very much: he at least makes you laugh, even if you don't understand
very well what he is talking about. He seems sometimes to be making fun
of you, but that's no matter: he's very nice; and then, too, he holds
you firmly while dancing, so that you feel perfectly comfortable."

       *       *       *       *       *

Toward two o'clock in the morning, after having looked through M. de
B.'s collection of etchings and played a game of whist, I returned to my
station behind the three girls. Two were bravely drinking a glass of
claret, and the third a cup of chocolate. They were laughing so loud
while leaning back in their chairs, and so talking all together, that I
could scarcely catch what they said, but I saw by their loosened hair
and the brilliancy of their eyes, and their feverish agitation, that
they had not wasted their time. Their mothers, who were quite as
animated, had collected together, and three or four gentlemen had
gathered round them saying a thousand charming bits of nonsense. The
gayety had become so fast and furious in that corner that I despaired of
hearing anything more, so I went back to the ante-chamber.

What charming women my adorable little girls will have become in a few
years!

Pray do not think that the fever of pleasure, that candlelight and love
of waltzing will at all impair the solid treasures which a good
education has stored up in their little hearts. This very night when
they go to bed these three little angels will piously fold their hands
beneath the quilt, so as to keep warm, and will thank Heaven for all
that has been done for them, and will beg that they may not catch a
horrible cold in the head which will prevent their going to the opera
to-morrow. Then, having kissed the little gold medal which protects them
from fire and spraining their ankles, and makes them dance in time, they
will fall fast asleep to the dim murmur of a waltz, like a bird in his
nest.

    T. S. PERRY.



A MODERN ART-WORKSHOP IN UMBRIA.


I met with a book on Italy some little time ago by an American author,
whose name was not given--or if it was, I have forgotten it, and beg his
pardon for the negligence--of which this was the first sentence: "Art is
fast asleep in Italy, and that is why Italy is called the cradle of
Art." If the statement be not altogether accurate, it is neatly said
enough. But I am afraid that the facts of the case go farther than one
would wish to believe toward bearing out the severe critic's judgment.
Assuredly, the arts if not fast asleep, are but beginning to arouse
themselves from a very long and lethargic nap in their classic
cradle-land. But I think that signs are not wanting that they _are_
beginning to shake off their slumber, and that when they shall have
effectually done so, it will once again become evident to the world that
this Italian race is very specially endowed with those gifts and
qualities which go to make up the artistic temperament and to fit eye
and head for artistic creation. A recent visit to an Italian
country-town, one of the secondary centres of population in the
Peninsula, has done much to confirm the correctness of these views, and
has at the same time introduced me to some circumstances and scenes so
interesting, and lying so far out of the path of the experiences and
ideas of our ordinary nineteenth-century world, that I cannot but think
some account of them will be acceptable to the general reader, and
especially worthy of the attention of lovers of art.

The town in question is Perugia, where I spent a week in the early part
of last February, and which boasts the best inn in all Central Italy,
ruled by a clever and notable English landlady, who has entirely
un-Italian notions of a good fire and warm rooms. Let travelers, whether
in winter or in summer, ask for the "Hotel Brufani," disregarding the
fact that, being recently established, it is not mentioned in some of
the guidebooks, and they will, I am very sure, thank me for the
recommendation.

There is an immense wealth of fourteenth, fifteenth and sixteenth
century Umbrian art to be seen in Perugia, besides some of the most
interesting extant remains of Etruscan antiquity. But I am not going to
trespass on the domain of the guidebooks, though, truth to say, the best
of them are very defective in completeness as well as accuracy of
information. Nor are the professional local _ciceroni_ much more to be
trusted. They will indeed probably show the traveler all or almost all
that there is to be seen. But he must guard himself against accepting
their statements in the matter of names and dates, and such like
archæological particulars. If the stranger can have the good fortune to
make the acquaintance of Signor Adamo Rossi, the accomplished and
learned archivist and librarian of the municipal library, he will hardly
fail to bring away with him from this centre of the old Umbrian
art-world a considerably larger stock of ideas and information upon the
subject than he carried thither with him.

But now for the special experience which it is my present object to
share with the reader. We went as a matter of course into the Duomo or
cathedral. We did not enter the huge old church in the hope of seeing
its special and much-boasted treasure, "the marriage-ring of the Virgin
Mary." And if such had been our object, it would have been baffled, for
the ring in its casket of mediæval jeweler's work (which really is
worth seeing, as far as may be judged from engravings of it) is only
shown on St. Joseph's Day; and being locked up under Heaven knows how
many different keys, all in the custody of an equal number of
ecclesiastical bigwigs, no human power short, I suppose, of that of the
pope in person, can get at the relic on any other occasion. But what we
did see--what instantly arrested and riveted our attention--was a modern
painted window which has been put up for the adornment of the chapel
where the ring is kept. It is by far the finest specimen of modern
painted glass which I have seen in any country; and I have seen a great
deal of all the manufactures, English, Belgian and Bavarian, which have
recently been competing for the approval of the artistic world. The
window in question in the cathedral at Perugia fills a plain Gothic arch
seven mètres in height by one mètre eighty-five centimètres in width,
and it is divided into two parts by a slender column of stone eighteen
centimètres broad. The window which fills this space is occupied by a
representation of one subject only, the Virgin and Child in--or rather
sitting in front of--the stable; Saint Joseph leaning on his staff and
gazing at the Divine Infant; a knot of shepherds in adoration, some
bringing gifts and others playing on bagpipes, exactly similar to the
instruments still used in the Neapolitan Apennines; other figures in the
middle distance; beyond these a delicious bit of mountain-landscape; "a
glory" above; and in the arch of the window a half-figure representation
of God the Father. The composition, drawing and disposition of this
design, which I had subsequently an opportunity of examining in the
cartoon, is truly masterly. The figure of the Virgin, with long flowing
locks of the richest and most sunny auburn, is of very great beauty and
quite Peruginesque in style and conception. Her figure and the others in
the immediate foreground are somewhat above life-size, so that the
Virgin would be, if standing, about six feet in height, and the male
figures in proportion. Those in the middle distance are about ordinary
life-size. And in all of them there is that dignity of pose and
conception inseparable from perfect unself-conscious simplicity which is
so prevalent in the Italian art up to the period of the end of Raphael's
first manner, which he began to lose in his second, and from which his
successors strayed ever farther as the generations succeeded each other.
The fullness and richness of coloring of the glass leaves really nothing
to be desired. It is as brilliant, as jewel-like, and at the same time
as free from opacity and heaviness, as the best ancient glass; and it is
mainly in these respects that it so far excels the productions of other
makers of painted glass. The landscape is treated with a pellucid
delicacy and accuracy of truth which I have seen very rarely equaled in
ancient windows. In a word, we were absolutely struck dumb with
astonishment at finding such a work in such a place. And it may be
imagined that this surprise was in no small degree increased, and a
vivid sentiment of interest and curiosity added to it, when we were told
on inquiry that this magnificent work of an art which was but recently
deemed all but lost was produced wholly and entirely in Perugia, and,
far more astonishing still, by the brain and hands of one single artist!
In other countries--in England, at Munich, at Brussels--a cartoon
prepared by an artist who has not the smallest knowledge of
glass-painting or its special needs and limitations is taken to a
_factory_, where a variety of artificers are employed in carrying out
the various processes needed for the completion of the product. But in
this case the conception of the design, the preparation of the cartoon,
the selection of the colors, the arrangement of the glass, the coloring
and burning of it, all are the work of one brain and one pair of hands.

Our next demand, after again admiring in all its details the work, was
to see the man who was the author of it, and our desire was very readily
gratified.

We have all heard much of the circumstances and conditions, so different
from those of our day, under which the old Italian art-workers of the
palmy days of art lived and worked. We have read Vasari's naïve
gossiping, and have endeavored to picture to ourselves the life and
surroundings of the craftsman of a time when the line which is
now-a-days supposed to divide the artist from the artisan did not exist
or was ignored. We have followed the patient investigations which
Leonardo, while his brain was teeming with forms of beauty and new
creations, did not disdain to expend on matters which we in these days
deem the province of the colorman. We have been delighted by Cellini's
simple accounts of his methods of subjecting matter to the conceptions
of his brain, uncaring and unconscious whether such methods involved
processes that belonged to high art or low art, fine art or not
fine--caring only for the beauty that his handiwork was to create. The
modern "studio" is a phrase that claims greater affinity with strictly
intellectual processes, but in the days and generations when immortal
works were being produced in every little town throughout the central
part of Italy, the men who created them were content to call the place
in which they worked a _bottega_--"a shop." And the blacksmith who
wrought with sturdy arm and hammer the ironwork that museums now contend
against each other for the possession of, and pay for as if it were
gold--the wood-carver who produced by his free fancy the gems which our
best artists are content to servilely copy--the sculptor who would sign
works that now make the cities that possess them famous--the _lapicido_
("stone-cutter"), like that Agostino Fiorentino whose inimitable chisel
produced the front of the oratorio of Saint Bernardino in this same
Perugia--the goldsmith, the delicate fancy of whose handiwork puts to
shame the coarser and heavier work of our time--the painter for whose
presence at their courts princes were bidding against each other,--all
these alike lived and labored in a _bottega_, and would have scorned the
notion of calling themselves or imagining themselves other than
craftsmen.

Well, we sought and easily found an introduction to the artist who had
produced the new window in the cathedral. His name is Signor Francesco
Moretti. A common friend accompanied us to his workshop-studio. It is
situated in a part of a suppressed convent, or some such place, which
has come into the hands of the municipality, and a vast chamber in which
has been placed at the disposition of the artist. The _locale_ itself
has an Old-World look about it. A huge stair, up which you might almost
drive a coach and four, ascends from a cloister running round a
quadrangle. At the top of this we knocked at a great door, which looked
wormeaten and decayed. It was opened by a little boy, and strange and
striking indeed was the scene that presented itself. The room is an
immense and very lofty one, reaching to the rafters of the building. It
is lighted by one enormous window to the north, giving the artist just
the light his work requires. On one wall, opposite to the window, was
the cartoon which Signor Moretti had executed for the window we had been
admiring. It is of the size of the original, and is in all respects a
perfectly and highly finished drawing in black and white. The colors are
not shown on it. On an easel near it was the drawing of a colossal head
of Saint Donato, bishop and martyr, destined for a window for a church
in Arezzo. It is full of life and vigor. The head is that of an
evidently born and Nature-ordained ruler of men. And such Rome's bishops
for the most part were in the days when Saint Donato gave his life for
the faith. The window for which this drawing has been made will be a
circular one in the centre of the west front of the church in Arezzo.
Other designs, large and small, were hung with a total disregard of
symmetry or order on the wide white walls, and among them an infinity of
plaster casts of almost every part of the human body. The floor and
furniture of the vast chamber seemed to the eye of a stranger to offer
an inextricable and wellnigh indescribable medley of objects in the
utmost confusion. Quaint-looking bottles and jars of every conceivable
and inconceivable form, and of many more than all the colors of the
rainbow, were on all sorts of tables and brackets and shelves,
containing the coloring-matters which, when let out from beneath the
stoppers that held them down, were, like imprisoned genii in the Arabian
Nights' tales, destined to produce such marvelous effects. Other
suspicious-looking flasks, wearing a warning touch-me-not air, contained
chemical agents of varied kinds and properties. And everywhere, upon,
among and under all this heterogeneous litter, was glass of every
kind--plain glass, colored glass of every hue under the sun, unshaped
panes of glass, glass cut into every imaginable form. And all to any eye
save that of the master seemed to be a very type of orderless confusion.
On a large easel backed against the abundant light from the great window
was the partly-completed portion of another work, also destined for
Arezzo, consisting of two life-sized figures of Saint John the Baptist
and Saint Francis. They appeared to me to be treated in a somewhat more
archaic style than the subject of the window in the cathedral, but were
in no degree inferior in truth and accuracy of drawing and brilliancy of
color.

Above all, on one side of the room, were the furnaces in which the great
work of burning in the colors is achieved. Does the reader know under
what conditions of difficulty this part of the work is performed? When
the harmony of the coloring of a picture, especially in a branch of art
in which color goes for so much, has been duly considered and determined
on, it would not do to have that which was intended for a scarlet robe
turning out a crimson one, nor a brilliant emerald-green changed to a
bottle-green, nor, even yet more fatal, the delicate azures and lilacs
and grays of a distant landscape changed to comparative opacity, or
indeed altered by the shadow of a half-tint from that which the artist's
eye has designed for them. But if this is so with respect to the hues of
drapery or of landscape, it is easy to imagine how much more fatal would
be the slightest alteration of tint in those pieces of the glass which
are destined to represent the naked portions of the human body--in the
faces, the hands, the feet. And when, bearing these considerations in
mind, we further learn that the very smallest degree of heat in excess
of that which is required for the purpose in hand, or the very smallest
deficiency in the heat, or the greater or less degree of rapidity with
which this heat is communicated to the glass--any variation from the
exact point needed in each of these conditions--will without fail have
the effect of altering the result, it may be imagined how great are the
difficulties with which the artist has to struggle. And let it be
remembered that in other establishments for the revival of this
beautiful art the great modern principle of the division of labor is
called into aid in producing the result. The man whose business it is to
manage the furnace does this alone. All the power of his intelligence,
all the rule-of-thumb derived from his practice, is devoted to this
alone. Unable to do anything else, he has acquired the art of heating a
furnace to the exact degree needed. It is hardly necessary to insist on
the greatness of the change in the conditions when this specialty has to
be undertaken by the same brain and hands which perform equally all the
purely mental and all the purely mechanical portions of the work. The
conditions of the problem may be assimilated to those which would
surround the search for a first-rate astronomer who was also capable of
manufacturing first-rate mathematical instruments. And yet, on the other
hand, let the inevitable results of applying the principle of the
division of labor to the fine arts be considered. Mechanical excellence
attained at the cost of artistic deadness is and must be the result. The
individuality, the soul of the artist, the expression which his cunning
hand can put into his work, is found to have been lost, evaporated in
the process. What is the special value, of which the world has heard so
much lately, of an etching? A first-rate engraving is _per se_ a more
beautiful thing than an etching; but the value, the charm of the latter
is that it is the work of the hand which was directed by the designer's
brain--that, in a word, there is no division of labor in the production
of the result. And it is impossible to avoid the conviction that the
wonderfully artistic feeling and power which pervades the work in the
Duomo of Perugia are due in a great measure to the fact that there has
been no division of labor in the production of it.

Truly, it was a remarkable and striking scene, that strange workshop,
appealing very powerfully to the imagination, and carrying the
visitor very forcibly out of the ordinary surroundings of this
nineteenth-century world, and back to the habits, ways and associations
of the great centuries of art. There in the midst of it was the
master-spirit, the artist; and in truth he was, mere outward
circumstances of costume apart, a worthy representative of the olden
time, and one well calculated to carry on and complete the illusion.
Signor Francesca Moretti is a man, I should suppose, on the better side
of forty, of a tall, stalwart figure, such as becomes a genuine workman,
with a bearded face which, put a velvet toque above it, might well
recall some of the heads which the wood-cut blocks in the old editions
of Vasari have preserved for us. A modest, unassuming man--that one
might, _a priori_, have been quite sure of--delighted to talk of his
work and of the processes connected with them, doing so with frankness,
enthusiasm and unreserve--utterly above the affectation of mystery or
secresy as to his _modus operandi_, and quite ready to say to all the
world, "Do the same if you will, and better if you can." I need hardly
say that he received us with the utmost courtesy, and with that
genuinely unaffected simplicity of manner which is the heritage and the
specialty of genius, and is the true workman's patent of gentlemanhood.

Our talk was long and various, and the subject-matter of it did not tend
to dispel the illusion that we were by means of some strange
magic-lantern taking a peep into a resuscitated bit of the old
cinquecento art-life, so full were the mind and heart of the artist of
the special art-glories of his native city. Social philosophers have
much to say against the restricted nature of that intensely
concentrated form of patriotism in which the love and pride in one's
own native place--one's _paese_, as the old Italian phrase went--is a
species of religion. But it would not be difficult to show that the
objections these philosophers adduce would, if carried out logically, be
fatal to the reasonableness of all patriotism. Pure philanthropy no
doubt is a very grand sentiment, but, somehow or other, it has never as
a motive-power produced the great achievements that the narrower
sentiment of love of country has produced. And I am inclined to believe
that in the case, at all events, of ordinary people the love of one's
own "paese"--that church-steeple patriotism that it has become a fashion
with a certain school of politicians to deride--is very often a yet
stronger passion and a more powerful incentive to great deeds than even
the love of country in a larger sense. Such was undoubtedly the case
during the great days of Italian hegemony in literature and the arts. It
is difficult for those who have not made a special study of the subject
to conceive the strength of the tie that during the whole of the
mediæval period, and for a couple of centuries beyond it, bound every
Italian citizen to the special community of which he was a member. The
fact and the consideration that he was an Italian in no degree stirred
his sympathies or moved his imagination, but that he was a Venetian, a
Florentine, a Pisan, or even that he was an Aretine, a Bolognese, a
Comasque, a Sienese or a Perugian, was all in all to him. The tie, save
perhaps in the cases of some of the greater of the historical families,
was a stronger one than even that of family. The Capulet or the Montague
may have felt that his place in the world was marked as such, but the
simple burgher who, had he not been entitled to call himself so, would
have been little better than a pariah, one whom all might have kicked
because he had no friends, a mere waif on the turbulent current of the
surging and unruly life of those days, felt in every fibre of his being,
and from his cradle to his grave, that what he _was_ in the world, and
what all that he cared for in the world depended on, was the fact that
he was a constituent part of this, that or the other civic community.
His fellow-citizens were his friends; and it but too naturally followed
that the members of other, and especially of neighboring communities,
were his enemies: even in the best times, and in the case of the best
and largest natures, they were his rivals. The relative superiority of
his own city in arts, in arms and in glory of every kind was the
strongest sentiment and most fondly-cherished belief of all those men on
whom the world now looks back as forming the diadem by virtue of which
Italy claims to have led the van of modern European civilization, but
who in their own estimation belonged wholly and exclusively to their own
city. If Dante, the range of whose intellectual sympathies can hardly be
deemed a narrow one--Dante the exile, whose chequered life made him the
denizen of so many foreign homes--could speak of the degeneration of the
pure Florentine blood by the admixture of that of _foreigners_ whose
native place was some five or ten miles outside the walls of Florence it
may be estimated how smaller minds and narrower natures would feel on
the subject. Each townsman felt that he was the heir to all the glories
achieved or inherited by his community. Each artist, each workman who
attained to praise and excellence in his craft, felt that he was
increasing the store of those glories, and was deserving well of a body
of compatriots who would lovingly appreciate his works and be the
jealous guardian of his fame. Dreadful that men living within walls on
the eastern slope of a valley should be bred to hatred of those
inhabiting other walls on the opposite slope, and be ever ready at a
moment's notice and on the smallest cause to fly at the others' throats!
Contrary to every principle alike of morality, religion, political
economy and social science! All true; and yet how wonderful, how
matchless was the amount of deathless work produced under the conditions
of that order of things!

Doubtless, Signor Francesco Moretti would not feel the smallest desire
to belittle the works of any contemporary artist of the still rival
cities around him. Doubtless he would fraternize with any such with all
courtesy and a genuine sentiment of the universal brotherhood of art.
But that Perugia was not greater and more glorious in arts and in arms
than any of her rival cities in the great olden time--that her artistic
history is not the richest, her school the most worthy of persistent
study--this it would be too much to expect him to think possible for an
instant. And accordingly our talk was of the school that had produced
Fiorenzo di Lorenzo, Pintusicchio, Perugino, Giannicola (generally but
erroneously called Giannicola _Manni_) and so many others. Signor
Moretti's own style has very evidently been formed on a long and loving
study of the works of Pietro Vannucci, more generally known as Perugino,
unquestionably the greatest of the school. The delicious figure of the
Virgin in his great window in the cathedral is thoroughly and entirely
Peruginesque. Yet in the treatment especially of his male figures Signor
Moretti has profited by the wider range of study possible at the present
day, and by the juster feeling springing from it, to avoid that
mannerism and too constantly recurring affectation of dainty
grace--often much out of place--which must be admitted to be a marking
characteristic of Perugino. There is a sturdy unself-consciousness about
Signor Moretti's figures which is incompatible with the somewhat
dandified airs and attitudinizing which Perugino often attributes to
figures to whom such characteristics seem the least appropriate, and in
cases where they would be least expected. It cannot be denied that
Perugino's figures are dignified, and that in a very remarkable degree;
but they are so by virtue of bearing, of proportion, of grace, and,
above all, of expression of face and feature; and in the case of his
full-length figures especially it is the dignity of a fine gentleman,
rather than that of a grand nature, objective and in no wise subjective
in its thoughts and preoccupations. In a word, it cannot, I think, be
denied that the grandeur and dignity of Perugino's men and women are
due rather to outward than to inward characteristics. It occurred to me
to reflect whether certain portions of our conversation in Signor
Moretti's studio might not, while illustrating in a singular manner the
value of much of the current talk of the present day about the great
Umbrian painter, throw at the same time some light on the peculiarity
which I have been mentioning. And I am the more tempted to give my
readers the gist of the conversation alluded to in that it discloses
certain interesting facts and anecdotes which are new to the world, and
will not be made known to any other part of it save the readers of
_Lippincott's_ till next year.

We were talking, as I have said, of Perugino and his works, apropos of
the spirit in which those of Signor Moretti have been conceived, and our
friend Signor Adamo Rossi was present. I had been reading an English
magazine article in which, after the manner of a certain English school
in literature and art, a great deal was said of the spirituality and
piety of sentiment which are thought to characterize the great Umbrian
painter's works, and I cited some of the remarks which I had been
reading. I saw a somewhat wicked smile mantling on the learned
professor's face and a merry twinkle shining in his eye, which led me to
ask him if his estimate of this quality in Perugino's works differed
from that of the English writer.

"Only in that it is rather amusing," said he, "to hear those special
qualities attributed to the work of a man who had no belief whatsoever,
and no sympathy with the devotional feeling he is thought to have
expressed so well."

The statement was quite new to me, as it will probably be to every
reader of these lines; and with no little surprise I asked whether the
professor were drawing an inference from any general circumstances of
probability, or whether he had any documentary evidence to support his
assertion. I was aware that Signor Adamo Rossi is one of the most
accomplished and indefatigable readers of archives in Italy, especially
on the subject of Umbrian art, and I was sure that if any documentary
evidence were in existence which could throw any light on the facts, he
would be in possession of it.

"Documentary evidence!" cried he: "to be sure there is. Here is a little
anecdote which I came upon the other day. Perugino fell ill at a village
about half-way between Città di Piese (where, as I may mention, by the
by, a second large fresco by his hand, fully equal, I am assured to the
well-known Adoration of the Magi still preserved in that little town,
has quite recently been discovered) and Perugia. He was very sick, and
like to die. The parish priest of the place came to him as a matter of
course, and would have proceeded to administer the last sacraments, but
the apparently dying artist refused to avail himself of the priest's
ministry in any way. He absolutely declined to confess, saying that he
had a mind to see whether one did not fare quite as well where he was
going without any such practices."

Somewhat later he did die, and his infidelity was then so notorious that
he was refused burial in holy ground. He obtained the rites of Christian
burial eventually, it is true, but it was under the following somewhat
amusing circumstances, as appears from a notarial contract, the original
draft of which Signor Rossi has recently discovered. This very curious
document is the legal record and stipulation of a contract between the
prior of the Augustinian monastery in Perugia and the son of Perugino.
It is recited that whereas a portion of the sum due from the convent to
the deceased artist for a series of pictures painted for the convent of
the Augustines (these works, with the exception of one part of them
stolen by the French, and now, I believe, in the Musée at Lyons, are to
be seen at the present day in the Pinacotheca of Perugia, and very grand
they are) had not been paid at the time of the painter's death, it was
now hereby agreed between the prior and the representative of the
creditor that in consideration of five ducats in money paid down, and on
condition that the prior should at his own cost cause the remains of the
artist to be transported from the place where they lay in unhallowed
ground to Perugia, and should there give them Christian burial in the
church of his convent of the Augustines, the outstanding balance of the
debt should be considered to be thereby discharged and canceled. I may
mention that this curious anecdote, together with a variety of other
interesting matter respecting Perugino and the other artists of the
Umbrian school, will be found in a volume by Professor Adamo Rossi, to
be published in 1876 under the auspices of the Italian government
commission for the preservation and publication of historical documents
regarding Tuscany and Umbria.

It will be admitted that the professor's documentary evidence throws a
very singular and instructive light on the speculations of the
transcendental rhapsodists who are never weary of going into ecstasies
over the profound and touching piety of the works inspired by the vivid
and simple belief of the "ages of faith."

"But there _is_," I ventured to object, after having heard the
professor's anecdotes, "an unmistakable expression of devout feeling to
be seen in many of Perugino's faces."

"Therein," replied the professor, "you have a measure of the power of
the man's imagination. If he felt no devotion himself, he was able to
conceive the frame of mind, and consequent expression of face and
feature, in those who did."

Perugino was therefore giving us _not_ the outcome of his own heart and
emotions, as Beato Angelico did, but only his imagination of what would
be under certain given circumstances the outcome of another man's heart
and emotions. Now, may not the same exercise of the imagination account
for those special mannerisms which have been noticed as observable in
Perugino's figures? The great Umbrian painter was not a man who lived in
the companionship and intimacy of the great and noble, as several of his
successors of a generation or two later did. He was the son of a
_piccolo possidente_ (a small landowner), doubtless cultivating his own
fields, and in all respects little removed from the condition of a
_contadine_, or peasant. Look at the speaking portrait of the artist by
his own hand which hangs on the wall of the Collegio dell' arti del
Cambio in Perugia, the walls of which are covered with immortal frescoes
by him. It is a broad, bluff, open face, with abundance of
brain-development, with plenty of shrewd intelligence, and not a little
of strong volition--the presentation of a strong, highly-gifted and
thoroughly self-radiant character, but the last face in the world to
have belonged to a man accustomed to sacrifice much to the graces or
elegancies of life. Yet this is the man who may be accused, not without
some show of reason, of having deemed it desirable to array saints and
martyrs in the attitudinizing airs of dancing-masters. Is not the
explanation of the inconsistency to be found in the fact that here also
the artist was representing not what he felt and was conscious of
himself, but what his imagination told him was likely to be the
expression of the feelings and consciousness of others?

Much as Signor Moretti has of Peruginesque in the treatment of his art,
his figures, especially his male figures, are free from the faults that
have been signalized. There is a robust simplicity about them that is
far removed from affectation of any kind. In a small darkened room
opening off his studio he showed us some portions of his restoration of
a painted window belonging to the east end of the church of the
Dominicans in Perugia, on which he has been, and will for the next two
years be engaged, for the municipality of the city. The window is, as
regards dimensions, the finest in all Italy--a noble work of the later
but still brilliant period of the art. The state of dilapidation into
which it had been allowed to fall was such that, coming restored as it
will from Signor Moretti's workshop, it will in many parts be almost
equivalent to a new work. The five or six full-sized figures which we
saw restored are very grand. I do not know who the original artist may
have been--I think that it is not known--but, whoever he was, the design
of the figures is as simply grand and as free from affectation as could
be wished. And whether the restorer found the remains of the almost
destroyed work sufficient to guide him satisfactorily in this respect,
or whether their excellence as now seen be due to his own conception, it
is clear that the principles of taste on which he has formed his style
are free from faults which might have resulted from a servile following
of the manner of his great townsman.

One other reason besides the object of directing the attention of the
lovers of art to the works of a real and genuine artist has led me to
think it desirable to make Signor Moretti and his workshop known to
American and English readers. The custom, an excellent one, of putting
up in churches or other public buildings painted windows as memorials of
those lost to their country or to those dear to them has become common
on both sides of the Atlantic; and I am sure that I am giving good
counsel to any persons contemplating such an undertaking in recommending
them to pay a visit to Signor Moretti's studio at Perugia before finally
deciding on giving their commissions.

    T. ADOLPHUS TROLLOPE.



A STORY OF AMERICAN CHIVALRY.


"America is the paradise of women," is a foreign proverb that must
frequently recur to every American woman who travels or resides in the
Old World. Whenever in my Transatlantic journeyings I witness, or hear
of, or experience any flagrant act of discourtesy, or injustice arising
from contempt of the weaker sex, I am reminded by contrast of an
incident which occurred to me in early youth, and which I have often
related to astonished, almost incredulous, hearers in Europe, as a
specimen of the truly chivalrous sentiments and behavior commonly
exhibited by men toward women in every part of our great republic.

Once, when I was a very young girl, it became necessary for me to take a
journey of several hundred miles to visit a near relative who lived in
the State of Pennsylvania, a little over the New York border. It
happened that I was obliged to go alone and in an inclement season of
the year, but the circumstances were imperative, and my love of
traveling prevented any anticipation of fear or danger.

The morning of the third day after my departure from home found me
seated at breakfast in the large hotel at Corning, N. Y., which stands
within a few steps of the Corning and Blossburg railway-station. From
the conversation going on around me, I inferred that several of the
guests besides myself were going by the Blossburg train, but I could not
see the point of the landlord's jokes on the subject, which, however,
appeared to be fully understood and heartily appreciated by my
neighbors. He laughed and chuckled, and repeatedly wished us all
patience and perseverance to carry us safely through the trials in store
for us; and when we started in a body for the station, he followed us to
the door and called out that he would be sure to have a nice hot supper
of beefsteak and fried potatoes awaiting us on our return.

The train comprised only the engine and a few coal-cars, one
passenger-car, and two smaller cars for luggage. Altogether, it looked
very shabby and old-fashioned in comparison with the luxurious
appointments of the trains upon the more important lines; but the way
was short and the passengers were few, so that the accommodations were
as good as we had a right to expect.

The travelers consisted of eight or ten sportsmen equipped with rifles
and other accoutrements; two young men, one of them a lawyer, the other
a merchant (as I discovered from their conversation); an elderly
gentleman, evidently of wealth and position, whom the young lawyer
addressed as "Judge;" a middle-aged widow from Chicago; a brisk little
milliner on her way back to some Pennsylvania village with the latest
fashions from New York; and myself, a lively girl just out of school.
There was also a negro huddled up in the farthest corner of the car,
whose business it was to attend to the fire.

At eleven o'clock the train started with a great jerk, and crept slowly
out of the town. The motion was very disagreeable; the seats were hard;
the air was stuffy, and became after a while almost unbearable from the
accumulated breaths and the dry heat of the stove, into which the negro
was continually thrusting more coal. The hunters, in the forward part of
the car, exchanged remarks now and then: the rest of us read newspapers
and looked out of the windows at the monotonous winter landscape.
Wondering at the snail's pace at which we moved, I recalled the
landlord's mysterious jokes, and at last ventured to ask the little
milliner, who sat in the next seat to mine, what he meant by his
allusions. "Oh, it was nothing," she replied; "only this is an old road,
and there have been so many break-downs on it that Mr. Smith likes to
make fun of all the Blossburg passengers."

"But is anything the matter now?" I asked.

"No: we always creep along this way. You see, the distance is only
eighteen miles, or nobody could stand it. I always feel as though I
should fly out of my skin the whole way; but, after all, it is better
than a stage in cold weather. They are going to build a new road soon."

She had scarcely finished speaking when the train, which had been moving
more and more slowly, came to a dead stop. There was no station in
sight, nor any house or other sign of human occupation. We were in the
woods: a high hill was close against us on one side, and on the other a
steep embankment went down to the shore of a rapid stream that ran
through the valley. After waiting several minutes in vain for the train
to move on, one of the hunters went out to see what was the matter, and
came back laughing with the news that a piece had fallen out of the
bottom of the boiler, so that the water had put out the fire, and there
was no chance of our getting any farther until the boiler was mended.
Whereupon all the men rushed out to watch the progress of affairs, and
remained away for a time that seemed to us an age. At last they came
dropping back, one after another, each later arrival bringing more
encouraging news of the prospect of a speedy start, until finally the
same hunter who had announced the disaster appeared, saying that it was
all right and we should now go ahead. In the profound stillness of the
forest we could hear the hissing of the steam, and presently came the
welcome whistle; then two or three pantings of the engine and that
preparatory jarring of the whole train which precedes its regular
motion, and then all was still again. The same impatient hunter went out
again, and returned--this time not laughing--to inform us that as soon
as the water had begun to boil the hole had broken open again, and put
out the fire as before. Again all the men rushed out: even the
half-torpid negro in the corner became excited and followed the
procession of males, while we "womanites" waited in patience for the
sequel of the calamity.

It was now three o'clock in the afternoon, and the short winter day was
drawing near its close. The frequent opening and shutting of the door
had replaced the heavy atmosphere with a stream of cold air, at first
very refreshing, but soon uncomfortably cool, especially as the stove
had for some time ceased to give out heat, the negro, with the
improvidence that characterizes his race, having burned up the fuel as
fast as possible, without taking into account the probability of
detention. We began, too, to be dreadfully hungry, and not one of us had
brought any lunch, as we had fully expected to arrive at the end of the
railway-journey by dinner-time. To crown our miseries, the sky, which
had lowered above us gray and heavy all day, began to relieve itself in
a thick fall of snow.

The widow vented her discomfort in a monotonous grumble; the cheery
little milliner, who knew the road of old, kept up a hopeful prophesying
that we should come out all right; as for myself, I was young enough to
enjoy anything in the shape of an adventure, although this part of our
experience began after a time to seem rather tedious.

At last we heard our fellow-passengers approaching, all talking together
and apparently much excited. They brought bad news. The old engine could
not be properly mended, and it was useless to try to fire up again; we
had come only six miles, and it was twelve miles farther to the nearest
station; the conductor and engineer had decided to go on, to prevent the
evening train from starting, and to obtain another engine to remove our
train; but considering the distance they must go, and the heavy storm
that was coming on, they could not probably get back before morning. So
there we were, on a high ridge of road just wide enough to hold the
track; a mountain on one side of us and a deep river on the other; no
house in sight, and no way of getting at it if there had been one; our
fire gone out; nothing to eat or drink; night coming on, and the snow
falling as it seems to me I never saw it fall before or since.

The hunters made short work of the problem. They decided to follow the
train-hands to the next village, twelve miles off; so they picked up
their guns and knapsacks, and sprang over the ditch that lay on the
mountain side of the track and wound along the base of the hill to the
level beyond where the train had stopped. After they were gone the three
remaining men proceeded to discuss the situation. The old gentleman
mentioned that he was one of the directors of the road, and therefore
felt a degree of responsibility in our unfortunate circumstances;
moreover, as a man, he could not think of leaving three helpless women
to take care of themselves in such a dilemma, and he was sure the young
men must share this feeling; to which appeal they gave a hearty assent.
As neither of my companions seemed ready to speak, I ventured to thank
the gentlemen for their kindness, and to ask what we could do to lighten
their task--whether we could not go to some house near by, or even walk
back to Corning. But the brisk little milliner exclaimed, "I know the
whole road, and there isn't a house anywhere in this neighborhood. About
a mile back there is one in sight, but it is away over marshes and
fields, and the road is built so high up that we can't possibly get down
the bank; besides, it's a poor little hut when you get there, and I
don't believe the people could take us in."

Here the widow burst out crying, and the gentlemen, taking up the
parable, said that we could not walk to Corning. A good part of the way
the road was built over marshes and laid only upon timbers, so that we
might easily meet with some accident; besides, six miles in such a
snowstorm, and with empty stomachs! No, it was not to be thought of.

They went out to see what could be done, and we awaited their decision
in great anxiety, the widow bemoaning her fate and wishing she had never
begun the journey, and the milliner rehearsing numerous other
misfortunes which had befallen the Blossburg train when she had been a
passenger; not one of which, however, had proved such a "fix" as we were
in now.

Before long the Judge returned, calling out in a cheerful voice, "We
have it! We are going to put you into the hinder baggage-car, and give
you a ride back to Corning. So pick up your traps and follow me: it is
only a few steps through the snow, and then you will be as snug as
possible."

We gladly followed our leader out of the cold, dismal car, and he helped
us, one after another, over the narrow passage separating the track from
the ditch, until we came to the open space between the train and the
baggage-car, which the young men had detached and pushed a few steps
back. It was a queer little car--like an enormous goods-box set upon
end--and the interior was nearly filled with trunks, barrels and freight
of various kinds. But by pushing about and piling up the things room was
made for us, and two of the smaller boxes were left near the door to
serve as seats, which the two elder women were invited to occupy, while
I, as the youngest and smallest of the company, was assisted by the
director to climb up into a rocking-chair that stood on the top of a
hogshead in the corner, where I had an excellent seat, except that I was
obliged to crouch a little in order not to hit my head against the
ceiling.

Having disposed of us, the three gentlemen set themselves to the work of
pushing the car back toward Corning. They could only move it by resting
their hands against the sill of the open door and then pressing forward
with all their might, their feet being braced against the earth, so that
their bodies seemed almost in a horizontal position. After once starting
it, they were in hopes to be able to keep it in motion without much
difficulty. But the task proved to be a harder one than they had
anticipated. The car was strongly built and cumbrous in itself, and the
freight it carried was heavy, to say nothing of our additional weight.
Then, too, the snow had fallen to the depth of several inches, clogging
the wheels and encumbering the footsteps of the men and darkness added
to the difficulty.

After struggling along for a considerable time there was a pause for
rest and consultation. Just then a light twinkled far over the meadows,
probably in the little hut which the milliner had described; and it was
decided that the two young men should go there and try to borrow a
horse. Accordingly, they scrambled down the steep bank, while the
director shook the snow off his clothes and came into the car to rest
until their return. We did our best to be hospitable. The milliner
wanted him to take her seat on the box, and I offered to descend from my
perch and let him have the rocking-chair; but he refused both proposals,
and, finding a small barrel in an opposite corner, seated himself upon
it and declared that he was quite comfortable. He seemed to look upon
the whole adventure as a good joke, and we thought we could do no less
than be merry also; so we chatted and laughed and told stories, and at
last, discovering that he was very fond of music, I sang several songs,
with which he expressed himself highly pleased. When I say _we_, I mean
the little milliner and myself, for I am ashamed to say that the widow
was all the while discontented and cross, maintaining a sullen silence,
excepting when she broke it to grumble over our misfortunes, and
appearing totally insensible to the generous kindness of our protectors,
who could so easily have taken care of themselves if we had not been in
their way.

By and by we heard footsteps and voices, and the two young men
reappeared with a farmer's boy leading a horse. But, oh, misery! the lad
had forgotten the rope which he was told to bring, and there was no
other way but for him to go back to the farm for it. Reproaches were
useless, and so the lad was despatched for the missing rope, with a
warning that he was to come back "in less than no time;" and the young
men joined us in the car, glad to find shelter from the snow, although
there was scarcely any room for them to stand, and none at all for them
to sit down. The horse, too, seemed inclined to join our group, as one
of the young men held him by the bridle so that his head was inside the
door.

The director gave such brilliant accounts of the entertainment he had
enjoyed during the absence of his companions that they bewailed their
deprivation most bitterly, nor would they be comforted until the
milliner had repeated her story of "Mrs. Perkins's Tea-party" and I had
sung over again all my songs. As soon as the boy reported himself the
three gentlemen hurried out to superintend the hitching up. We could see
nothing of what was going on, excepting now and then a bright gleam cast
by the lantern across the snow opposite our open door, but we could hear
all that was said, and we soon learned that there was more trouble in
store for us. The horse would not go. It was not that the load was too
much for him, for when all was ready the three men came back to their
old place and started the car, with the intention of helping the horse
all the way. But it was of no use: he would not stir a step. Perhaps he
disliked the look of the wagon; more likely, he was afraid to walk upon
the timbers; at all events, he refused to budge an inch. The boy
chirruped and hallooed and swore; the men pushed the car until it came
up to the horse's heels; but he only kicked and baulked, and would not
draw. There was nothing to be done but to dismiss the beast and his
driver, and try again. So the three gallant knights went bravely to
work, and we watched them, ashamed of our helplessness, and yet feeling
that it was out of our power to prevent their self-sacrifice. The most
that we could do was to keep up their spirits by cheerful talk and merry
songs; and I must say that when not contrasted with their greater merit
our courage in keeping up the semblance of gayety is not to be despised,
considering that we had been sitting still for hours in cold and
darkness, and had had nothing to eat or drink since our early breakfast.
Even the one disconsolate member of our company was perhaps really
incapable of exerting herself so much as we younger and naturally gayer
women succeeded in doing.

For myself, wretch that I was, I enjoyed, away up in my rocking-chair,
many a stolen moment of pure fun during the intervals my forced jollity
for the benefit of others. There was a comical side to the adventure
which made me shake with suppressed laughter even more than with cold.
The whole affair of the horse was so ridiculous! The long journey in
search of him, the forgetting of the rope, and finally the utter failure
of the plan through the obstinacy of the sagacious beast! I laughed till
the tears ran down my cheeks while listening to the discussions going on
outside. And then to see those long-suffering men pushing our lumbering
old car, with their six hands in a row on the doorsill, and their feet
stretched so far out behind as to look almost as though not belonging to
their bodies, the more so because their clothing was entirely white with
snow! Once, one of them slipped and fell down flat, and I only laughed
the harder, though feeling all the while that I could have beaten myself
for my want of gratitude. The sighings of the patient little milliner,
who sat near the door with her precious bandboxes around her, and the
occasional moans and groans of the fretful widow in her dark corner,
only ministered to my mirth, which was probably the more irresistible
because I was obliged to smother it with the greatest care lest my
companions should become aware of my inexcusable levity.

In one of the pauses for rest the young lawyer gave a shout on
discovering an apple in his coat-pocket. But instead of eating it
himself or sharing it with his fellow-laborers, he cut it into three
pieces and handed it to us, together with a snowball to quench our
thirst; and then they all set to work again as bravely as though they
themselves had just been refreshed with food and drink.

But good-will was not all that was necessary to make their enterprise
successful. Their strength was giving out, and on seeing the gleam of
another light at a distance it was thought best to try to procure
another horse. Again the two young men set off across the meadows, and
again the good old Judge came into the car and took his seat on top of
the barrel. But the sequel of the second endeavor was more satisfactory
than the first had been. The young men returned with a lively young
horse, which, after being duly fastened with the rope that this boy had
not forgotten, started off at a good pace as soon as the car had been
got underway. He seemed to draw the load so easily that the three
exhausted men thought they might rest a while, and so they all piled
into the car and drew the door partly to, in order to keep out the cold
wind, which had begun to blow quite hard. They, poor souls! rejoiced
greatly over their change of base, and imagined themselves in wonderful
luck; while we, the former occupants, realized that our misery had a
lower depth than we had yet experienced, since we were nearly stifled by
the confined air, and at the same time chilled to the very marrow of our
bones by the close proximity of those animated bundles of melting snow.
But an unexpected piece of good-fortune fell to us all just then. The
Judge, while swinging his foot over the side of his barrel, happened to
strike one of them against a small object that tumbled over and rolled
away between the boxes. He sprang down to the floor in a moment.
"Hurrah!" he cried: "I believe I have run down a keg of oysters." A
match was lighted and the precious freight hunted for. It turned out to
be not oysters, but a tin box of oyster-crackers. "Never mind," said the
Judge: "it is something to eat, at any rate, and the owner will never
need it as much as we do. What's the use of being a director of the road
if one cannot help himself to the property once in a while?" So saying,
he pried open the box, the young lawyer keeping the matches going in
order to give him light, and soon the contents were distributed among
the company. While we were munching away at our dry food, now and then
varying the fare by a pull at a snowball, the driver gave a shout and
the car suddenly stopped.

On going out the men were told that we had come to a culvert, over which
the horse could not go, and so one of the party unhitched the horse and
led him carefully down the steep bank and up the other side on to the
track again, while the others pushed the car across the partially-open
space. Then the horse was hitched up anew, the car started, and our
guests again darkened the doorway. But the culverts multiplied, and as
the same process must be gone through with each one, the gentlemen gave
up trying to come under shelter between-times, and patiently plodded
along in the deep snow behind the car.

By and by the horse began to show signs of giving out, and the old mode
of pushing was resorted to in order to help him. But he was young and
easily tired, and finally the driver said he must not draw any more; so
he was unhitched, the boy was paid and dismissed, the men bent their
weary backs again to grasp the low doorsill, and we creaked along more
slowly than ever.

At last the lights of Corning became visible, and the work immediately
stopped. We were within about a mile of the town, and the director now
proposed that his two companions should go on and return with a
conveyance, while he remained in charge of us. This was done, and in
less time than it had taken to procure a steed for our railway vehicle
our deliverers appeared in the road below us, looking very grand in a
large sleigh carrying lamps, filled with fur robes, and drawn by two
fiery black horses that promised to bring our prolonged discomforts to a
speedy close. But how to reach this tantalizing object? The railway was
on an embankment, and between us and the road was another ridge, a deep
ditch filled with half-frozen water lying between. The young men debated
for a few moments, and at last went to a neighboring fence and broke off
a long board, which they brought and laid across from the track to the
ridge; and then one of them stood nearly knee-deep in the ditch and
supported the board on his shoulder, while the other climbed up the
ridge and told the director to hand us over, one at a time, as far as
his arm would extend, and he would reach out to us from the other side.
In this way we all passed over safely, and had no further mishap,
excepting that once the horses became unmanageable, and we came very
near being run away with on our way to the hotel.

As we drove up to the door the landlord appeared, rubbing his hands and
chuckling, just as he had done on our departure, and crying out, "Didn't
I tell you I should see you again to-day? and it hasn't struck twelve
yet! And I told you, too, that I would have a good supper of beefsteak
and fried potatoes ready: there they are smoking hot in the dining-room
this blessed minute; so come and eat."

The deliciousness of that meal I will not attempt to describe, nor the
comfort of the night's rest that followed it. Before separating from our
generous companions we three women (for even the widow came out strong
after the trouble was over) tried to express in some degree our
gratitude for their extreme kindness, but they laughed at the very idea
of any obligation on our side, and declared that the pleasure of our
society had far outweighed the hardships of the journey.

As a fitting sequel to this story I will add that the next morning the
two young gentlemen (one of whom resided in the town which I was
intending to visit, and knew my relations well) hired a sleigh and
invited me to drive across the country to my destination with them. And
about a week after my arrival I was surprised by a visit from the
director, who said that, having business in the county, he had come
twenty miles out of his way to see the little girl who had been so
cheerful and good-humored under so severe a trial of fortitude as was
our railroad disaster among the Pennsylvania hills. I believe that the
noble old gentleman really thought me more deserving of praise than
himself; and I am certain that not one of the three ever considered that
there was anything wonderful in having thus sacrificed their comfort and
risked their health in behalf of three women, insignificant in
themselves and having no claim, not even that of previous acquaintance,
upon their attention and care.

    E.



WILLIAM, EARL OF SHELBURNE.


Among the English statesmen of a century ago, William, earl of
Shelburne, seems to us to have a peculiar claim upon the recollection of
citizens of the United States--one, too, that involves none of those
offensive associations that cluster round the names of, let us say,
Grenville and North. For in looking at Lord Shelburne's career we see a
man whose clear-sighted judgment from the first, and consistently,
protested against that system of high-handed imperialism which drove
thirteen reluctant colonies into a war of independence; who both in
office and out of office did his utmost, first to avert, by a policy
never of cowardly concession, but of just expediency, the impending
storm, and then, when it had burst, to withstand and counteract its
fury; and the last great act of whose public life was to conclude the
struggle which he had always deprecated and deplored.

It is therefore with no ordinary interest that we welcome the first
installment of a work[C] whose promise--and, we at once cordially add,
performance--heralds a really satisfactory account, a realizable
flesh-and-blood portraiture, of the English prime minister under whose
administration the peace preliminaries of 1782 were signed. The present
biographer comes before us with advantages for the treatment of his
subject never before possessed. He has enjoyed access not only to his
great-grandfather's papers at Lansdowne House, but to those of two other
most important actors in the British drama of a century ago--Lord Bute,
"the favorite," and Henry Fox; and these documents, pieced together and
set side by side, throw upon the events to which they relate, and the
motives and objects of their authors, that light, unquestionable and
convincing, which is the peculiar and happy characteristic of this kind
of evidence. It is all very well for an acrid Walpole, or in our own day
a scandal-mongering Greville, to draw, with plausibly life-like touches,
his version of this or that historical transaction--to tell us, with the
authority of one seemingly in the secret, that in such and such a matter
Lord A. was scheming for this, and that we are to find the key to Mr.
B.'s conduct in the knowledge that he was all along intriguing for that;
but how often it happens that when, by good luck, the contemporaneous
documentary evidence of correspondence, private memoranda and the like
is forthcoming, the off-hand allegations of the memoir-writer are in
infinite particulars tried and found wanting in correctness, and
sometimes fall refuted altogether! More than one notable instance of
this will strike the historical student in reading this first volume of
Lord Shelburne's _Life_; and in the eventful and disputed years which
Lord Edmond Fitzmaurice has yet to chronicle it may safely be assumed
that he will have plenty to say in the way of correction and explanation
of previous histories of the time.

An autobiographical fragment, composed by Lord Shelburne in his closing
years, and found among the Shelburne papers at Lansdowne House, presents
with a vividness of detail and verisimilitude that leaves nothing to be
desired the outlines of the first twenty years of his life. The Second
George had been ten years on the throne, the Young Pretender, alike the
bugbear and the consolidator of the House of Hanover, was a stripling of
seventeen, when, in the summer of 1737, William Fitzmaurice, afterward
earl of Shelburne (the name by which history best knows him) and marquis
of Lansdowne, was born in Dublin. "I spent the four first years, of my
life" (he tells us) "in the remotest part of the south of Ireland, under
the government of an old grandfather [Thomas Fitzmaurice, earl of
Kerry], who reigned, or rather tyrannized, equally over his own family,
and the neighboring country as if it was his family, in the same manner
as I suppose his ancestors, lords of Kerry, had done for generations
since the time of Henry II., who granted to our family one hundred
thousand acres in those remote parts in consideration of their services
against the Irish, with the title of barons of Kerry.... My grandfather
did not want the manners of the country nor the habits of his family to
make him a tyrant. He was so by nature. He was the most severe character
which can be imagined--obstinate and inflexible: he had not much
understanding, but strong nerves and great perseverance, and no
education except what he had in the army, where he served in his youth,
with a good degree of reputation for personal bravery and activity. He
was a handsome man, and, luckily for me and mine, married a very ugly
woman, who brought into his family whatever degree of sense may have
appeared in it, and whatever wealth is likely to remain in it." In 1741
the stern grandfather died, and in the course of the next ten years the
grandson picked up such bits of education as an Irish public school of
the period, supplemented by a clerical private tutor, might afford. At
sixteen he went to Christ Church, Oxford (in those days boys were
commonly taking their degrees at the universities at an age when they
would now be well content to have won their way into a school sixth
form), and there read law, history, Demosthenes, and "by myself a great
deal of religion."

And here our autobiographer abruptly turns aside from the incidents of
his own story to sketch the antecedents, existing condition and
character of the politics and politicians of the time of his first entry
into public life. No one, we take it, will be disposed to quarrel with
the interruption, for it gives us, in the space of a few pages, a
picture of men and manners which, painted as it is by the mature hand of
a shrewd contemporary observer, cannot but form a most important
addition to our stock of knowledge of those times. The literary style of
this piece of writing shows Lord Shelburne to have had in him the
making of a successful memoirist. Gossip, anecdote, passages of sarcasm
and epigram are mingled in skillful proportions; and there is certainly
no waste of the milk of human kindness. Pitt (Lord Chatham) is dissected
with ruthless elaboration: half a dozen minor statesmen are scarified
with a single sentence apiece. Horace Walpole himself, with all his
sinister acidity, nowhere hits harder--we had almost said more
bitterly--than does Lord Shelburne in this short sketch of his. But just
as an English House of Commons loves nothing so well as a "personal
explanation," so the personalities of literature have a way of
attracting us in the direct ratio of their piquancy and severity. Lord
Shelburne has quite a gift of killing two birds with one stone in his
trenchant criticisms. He cannot crush George III.'s father without
demolishing poor Lord Melcombe _en passant_. "The prince's life (he
says) may be judged in some degree from the account given of it in Lord
Melcombe's diary--a man who passed his life with great men whom he did
not know, and in the midst of affairs which he never comprehended, but
recites facts from which others may draw deductions which he never
could. The prince's activity could only be equaled by his childishness
and his falsehood. His life was such a tissue of both as could only
serve to show that there is nothing which mankind will not put up with
where power is lodged."

The elder Pitt--with whom, it will be remembered, Lord Shelburne acted
in the memorable events that immediately preceded and accompanied the
beginning of the war of independence--comes in for his full share of
severe animadversion, but the portrait is undeniably vigorous and alive.
Here is a specimen: "It was the fashion to say that Mr. Pitt was
insolent, impetuous, romantic, a despiser of money, intrigue and
patronage, ignorant of the characters of men, and one who disregarded
consequences. Nothing could be less just than the whole of this, which
may be judged by the leading features of his life, without relying on
any private testimony. He certainly was above avarice, but as to
anything else, he only repressed his desires and acted; he was naturally
ostentatious to a degree of ridicule; profuse in his house and family
beyond what any degree of prudence could warrant. His marriage certainly
had no sentiment in it. The transaction at the time of his resignation
does not carry with it an absolute indifference as to money or other
advantages, nor did there appear in any of his subsequent negotiations,
in or out of power, that he went beyond what was necessary to satisfy
the people at the time or to secure his wished-for situation. In truth,
it was his favorite maxim that a little new went a great way.... I was
in the most intimate political habits with him for ten years, the time
that I was secretary of state included, he minister, and necessarily was
with him at all hours in town and country, without drinking a glass of
water in his house or company, or five minutes' conversation out of the
way of business. I went to see him afterward in Somersetshire, where I
fell into more familiar habits with him, which continued and confirmed
me in all that I have said. He was tall in his person, and as genteel as
a martyr to the gout could be, with the eye of a hawk, a little head,
thin face, long aquiline nose, and perfectly erect. He was very well
bred, and preserved all the manners of the _vieille cour_, with a degree
of pedantry, however, in his conversation, especially when he affected
levity, I never found him when I have gone to him--which was always by
appointment--with so much as a book before him, but always sitting alone
in a drawing-room waiting the hour of appointment, and in the country
with his hat and stick in his hand."

All this, it must not be forgotten, was written in the year 1801, long
after the writer had finally retired from the battlefield of politics,
upon which, at the period when his own account of his youth breaks off,
he had not yet made his first essay. Some practical experience of actual
battlefields was to be gained by the future statesman before his
appearance in the parliamentary arena. Just before the time when,
between nineteen and twenty years of age, he was leaving Oxford, the
Seven Years' War broke out, and finding "home detestable, no prospect of
a decent allowance to go abroad [he had a trifling six hundred pounds a
year from his father, though], neither happiness nor quiet," he joined
the army and went on foreign service. Here he had the good-fortune to
come under the chivalrous General Wolfe, whom he eulogizes in terms the
genuine warmth and heartiness of which is all the more striking from the
contrast with his generally severe judgments upon his contemporaries. At
the battle of Minden in 1759, and again at Kloster Kampen in the
following year, he displayed conspicuous personal courage, which was
rewarded, on his return to England, with the rank of colonel and the
court appointment of _aide-de-camp_ to the new king, George III.

Hardly had camp been exchanged for court when circumstances offered the
young Lord Fitzmaurice his first introduction to a kind of political
employ which was to be thenceforward, through a series of years, his
frequent and peculiar function. Lord Bute, the favorite, had begun to
climb the ladder of ministerial office, and had cast his eyes upon that
unscrupulous and greedy but undeniably able politician, Henry Fox, as
the man most desirable for his purpose by way of a House-of-Commons
ally. Owing, very possibly, to the fact that there existed some
connection between Fox and Fitzmaurice's father, Lord Fitzmaurice fell
into the place of intermediary between the parties to this negotiation,
which had hardly passed out of its first stage when the death of his
father removed him, now Lord Shelburne, to the House of Lords before he
had ever taken the family seat, into which he had been elected at the
last general election, in the lower House. The negotiation was
successfully carried through. Fox named his price--a peerage for his
wife--and after considerable haggling got it, and in return undertook a
position which Shelburne announced to Bute in a letter dated October
31, 1761, as follows: "Mr. Fox will attend [the House of Commons] every
day, and will, either by silence or by speaking, as he finds it prudent
according to the occasion, do his best to forward what your lordship
wishes, and will enter into no sort of engagement with any one else
whatever." But before the year was out Bute found himself in want of a
closer and more positive support on the part of Fox than he had in the
first instance contracted for. The peace party, which he (Bute) headed,
had at last the close of the continental war full in sight, peace
preliminaries were about to be laid before Parliament, but there was a
prospect of the war party fighting over the terms proposed by ministers,
and Bute felt that he must have a strong leader to champion his treaty
in the House of Commons. Fox was his man for the place, and Shelburne
was again commissioned to treat with him. The details of a negotiation
of this kind are not of a character to call for very particular
attention a century afterward, but the letters between the parties--many
of them now for the first time published--are not without considerable
interest from the light they throw upon the characters and motives of
their writers. The position of a go-between is always more or less
perilous; his task, however well performed, is generally a thankless
one; nor in such matters can the adeptest diplomacy, joined to the most
thorough _bona fides_, always ensure the conduct of the common agent
against misapprehension and sore feelings. Of this the particular
negotiation of which we are now speaking is a typical instance. Bute's
offer (through Shelburne) to Fox was the leadership of the Commons, with
a peerage for himself to follow. Fox at the time held the very lucrative
post of paymaster-general--lucrative, because in those days it was
deemed a perfectly legitimate practice for the paymaster to make a
private profit out of the investment of the public moneys for the time
being under his control. Shelburne appears to have assumed--and so,
indeed, it was only natural to assume--that Fox would not dream of
accepting high office in the ministry without at the same time resigning
his extra-ministerial berth at the Pay Office; and there is evidence
that such--at first, at any rate--was Fox's own intention. The king was
given to understand that Fox's resignation of the Pay Office would be a
term of the proposed arrangements, and consented to them on that
footing; and then all at once Fox came out in the character of Injured
Innocent, protested that he had never meant to resign, that he had all
along intended to have his cake as well as eat it, and that Shelburne
had entrapped and betrayed him. The story goes, but on what authority
history saith not, that Bute afterward owned to Fox that Shelburne's
conduct in this transaction had been a "pious fraud," and that Fox
retorted, "I can see the fraud plainly enough, but where is the piety?"
The correspondence and the other evidence which, with a pardonable
jealousy for his ancestor's fair fame, Lord Edmond Fitzmaurice sets out
with much detail in his biography, requires, we think, at the very
least, that a verdict of "Not proven" should be entered in Shelburne's
favor; but a man who chooses to make personal negotiation his specialty
must not be surprised to find his tact sometimes called trickery, and
his double agency set down as double dealing. It is certain that the
part he played in the Bute-Fox negotiations entailed upon Shelburne
imputations of duplicity which he never succeeded in entirely
dissipating. The king himself wrote of him as "the Jesuit of Berkeley
Square," alluding, no doubt, to the nickname "Malagrida" (the name of a
prominent Italian Jesuit of the day) which somebody had fastened upon
him, and which served Goldsmith as the text of that deliciously
maladroit remark of his to the earl: "Do you know, I never could
conceive the reason why they call your lordship Malagrida, _for
Malagrida was a very good sort of man_."

Bute, however, obviously retained undiminished confidence in his
favorite agent, for in his arrangements for the formation of a new
ministry under the ostensible headship of George Grenville in the
spring of 1763, he not only employed Shelburne in negotiations with no
less than seven politically important personages, but he even wished to
get him the seals of secretary of state. This, however, was more than
Grenville would consent to. He objected that the old peers would be
jealous of the elevation of the representative of a family which,
however great its note in Ireland, was a comparatively recent addition
to the peerage of Great Britain; and also--reasonably enough, one is
inclined to say--that Shelburne's youth and total inexperience of office
rendered it advisable that he should at least try his 'prentice hand in
one of the lower administrative offices. Shelburne was at this time, it
must be remembered, only five-and-twenty years of age. A man of his
parts and rank and opportunities might rise rapidly in those days, but
he had hitherto had absolutely no official training; and the English
Parliament had not yet seen, what it was soon to see in the younger
Pitt, a chancellor of the exchequer of the almost undergraduate age of
three-and-twenty. However, Bute persisted in forcing upon his
friend--who appears to have been not unwilling to stand for the time
aside--a place in the new ministry, and he accordingly accepted the
presidency of the Board of Trade, was sworn a privy councillor, and
entered the cabinet of the so-called "Triumvirate" administration.
Immediately he found himself called upon to face American questions in
which he was destined to play so important a part. Some time before he
took office, Fox, in one of his shrewd letters to Bute, had marked out
Shelburne as a man pre-eminently fitted to effect "that greatest and
most necessary of all schemes, the settlement of America;" and he had
hardly been a month at the Board of Trade when a communication from Lord
Egremont, the "Southern" secretary of state, directed his particular
attention to this subject.

The North American colonies--or, as they were commonly called,
plantations--labored in those days, in their relation with the
home-country, under the inconveniences of a system of dual government.
The Board of Trade was the working colonial office, framed instructions
to the governors, gave information and advice, and carried on the
every-day colonial business generally; but the secretary of state for
the southern department, whose sphere of supervision embraced all the
colonies wherever situate, had always a permanent right to interfere in
and control the conduct of colonial affairs. It was in virtue of this
right that in May, 1763, Secretary Lord Egremont took the initiative in
setting the Board of Trade to work to solve the problem of how best to
arrange for the administration of the wide area of North American
territory that the peace had transferred from French to British rule.
His instructions were short and pointed. "The questions (he wrote) which
relate to North America in general are--1st, What new governments should
be established there? what form should be adopted for such a government?
and where the capital or residence of each governor should be fixed?
2dly, What military establishment will be sufficient? what new forts
should be erected? and which, if any, may it be expedient to demolish?
3dly, In what way, least burdensome and most palatable to the colonies,
can they contribute toward the support of the additional expense which
must attend their civil and military establishments upon the arrangement
which your lordships shall propose?" Mark the "3dly." It is interesting,
as illustrating the ideas and circumstances which led to the famous
Stamp Act, to see how completely Lord Egremont's question assumes not
only the right of the mother-country to tax her colonies, but the
probable expediency of her actually exercising that right. In his reply,
Shelburne, while admitting the revenue question to be a "point of the
highest importance," practically evaded it on the plea of the inability
of the board to form a satisfactory opinion without further materials.
With regard to the new territory, his advice, which was followed, was,
in effect, not to attempt to annex the whole of the north-western
acquisitions, but to form a new colony of Canada, limited by definite
geographical boundaries.

"American historians," remarks Lord Shelburne's biographer, "have seen
in the policy thus pursued a deliberate intention of closing the West
against further emigration, from the fear that remote colonies would
claim the independence which their position would favor. The statesmen
of the eighteenth century have follies enough to answer for without
charging them with this in addition. However impossible it was in
practice to dam up the ever-advancing tide of the English race, it was
equally impossible in theory openly to avow the intention of
dispossessing the still powerful savage nations, which were bound to
England by numerous conventions, and were regarded for the most part as
subjects of George III., equally entitled with the inhabitants of
Boston, or even of London, to the protection of his government. To
adjust the relations between savage and civilized man during the period
of the struggle which can have but one result is a task as difficult as
it is thankless, but American Presidents have not been accused of
attempting to prevent further colonization of their continent because
they have from time to time issued proclamations ascertaining and
attempting to protect the ever-retiring bounds of the Indian
reservations."

But the march of events was soon to take the responsibility of the
"settlement" (save the mark!) of American affairs out of the hands of
Shelburne. He had joined the ministry more because of the insistance of
his friend, Bute, the potent cabinet-maker, than from any general
sympathy with the views of the men with whom he had to act; and every
week put him more and more out of touch with them. He protested formally
to Egremont against the dual government of the colonies, and when the
latter tried to shelve the question by professing fatigue, curtly told
him--what was true enough--that he must expect more if the affairs of
America were to be put in order. He questioned the legality of the
action of his colleagues, the Triumvirate (Grenville, Halifax and
Egremont), in ordering the arrest of Wilkes of _North Briton_ fame.
But, oddly enough, considerations of a wholly different character
appear to have influenced his actual resignation of office. Bute,
nominally in retirement, but really playing the _rôle_ of ministerial
wirepuller-in-ordinary, had a surprising fancy for devising unlikely
combinations; and now he was minded to conjure with the still potent
name of Pitt. Once more, and, as it happened, for the last time, he
sought the service of Shelburne as negotiator, and once more Shelburne,
undeterred by past experiences, undertook the difficult position. Pitt
nibbled, and for a time seemed about to bite, but in the end he drew off
unhooked; whereupon (at the beginning of September, 1763) Shelburne
immediately resigned the Board of Trade. What his real motive in taking
this step was, his own letters do not at all clearly show. Doubtless he
felt his uncordial relations with his colleagues irksome, but we can
also hardly doubt that the attraction Pitt was beginning to exercise
over him formed a material factor in his resolve. Freed from the
trammels of office, Shelburne boldly stood forward as an opponent of the
arbitrary and fatuous course which the Grenville ministry, all
subservience to the king's wishes, adopted in the miserable business of
Wilkes. Jeremy Bentham has said of Shelburne that he was the only
statesman he ever heard of who did not fear the people. Certainly,
Shelburne on this occasion showed, with an unmistakableness that simply
infuriated George III., that he did not fear the court. The king made no
secret of his displeasure. He dismissed the ex-minister even from his
post of royal _aide-de-camp_, and when he appeared at court snubbed him
pointedly by pretending not to notice his presence. Bute followed suit,
and from this time all intercourse between him and Shelburne ceased.

For upward of a year after these events Shelburne kept entirely aloof
from the world of politics, busying himself with the management of his
estates in the country, collecting a vast number of historical documents
(which are now in the British Museum), and every now and then coming up
to London to enjoy the society of the "young orators" (as Walpole calls
them) who frequented his house in Hill street, and the non-political
clubs of _littérateurs_. Benjamin Franklin was among his visitors at
this time, and the two, as Shelburne in a letter to Franklin nineteen
years afterward reminds him, "talked upon the means of promoting the
happiness of mankind."

But it was not in nature that a man of Shelburne's energetic and
practical temperament should long be content to remain in his tent when
a Grenville was afield with such (to say the least) debatable measures
as the taxation of the colonies and the Regency Bill inscribed upon his
banner. His marriage happening to occur just at the time when the famous
Stamp Act was in the House of Lords kept Shelburne away from the debates
on that measure, to which we may be sure he would, if present, have
offered a persistent and uncompromising opposition; but at the end of
April, 1765, he appeared in his place in Parliament to deliver a
vigorous speech against the Regency Bill, and showed the courage of his
opinions by leading a minority of eight into the lobby. To Rockingham,
now at the head of the ministry, it was obvious that Shelburne, despite
his years--he was barely eight-and-twenty--was a personage whose support
was worth conciliating, and in July he offered to replace him in the
Board of Trade. The offer was declined, and not unnaturally. Shelburne
had always, with Pitt, protested against the policy of the Stamp Act,
and could hardly have sat in a cabinet which, domineered over by the
king, was preparing to carry it into execution. We may surmise, too,
that he was not unalive to the advantages of a waiting game, and that,
closely allied with Pitt as he had now become, and heartily believing in
him, he was unwilling to take office on any other than what we may call
the Pitt platform. Indeed, he himself says as much in writing to Pitt, a
few months afterward, apropos of the Rockingham overtures: "My answer
was very short and very frank--that, independent of my connection, I was
convinced, from my opinion of the state of the court, as well as the
state of affairs everywhere; no system could be formed, durable and
respectable, if Mr. Pitt could not be prevailed on to direct and head
it." In the same letter--the date is about December, 1765--he tells
Pitt, "'Tis you, sir, alone, in everybody's opinion, can put an end to
this anarchy, if anything can. I am satisfied your own judgment will
best point out the time when you can do it with most effect. You will
excuse me, I am sure, when I hazard my thoughts to you, as it depends
greatly upon you whether they become opinions, but, by all I find from
some authentic letters from America, nothing can be more serious than
its present state; and though it is my private opinion it would be well
for this country to be back where it was a year ago, I even despair of a
repeal [of the Stamp Act] effecting that if it is not accompanied with
some circumstances of a firm conduct, and some system immediately
following such a concession."

Whatever the faults and weaknesses of the Rockingham administration of
1765-66--and they were many--their moral courage in proposing and
carrying through the repeal of the Stamp Act ought to stand weightily to
their credit. The king was well known to be vehemently averse to the
slightest tampering with the act; and it is difficult for any body of
statesmen, even where--which here was anything but the case--public
opinion unanimously admits that a false step has been taken, to face the
obloquy and sneers sure to attend upon any proposal to retrace it.
However, the repealing measure was proposed and carried, Shelburne
supporting the ministers with all his might, though, doubting as he did
even the abstract right of England to tax her colonies, he with only
four other peers divided the House against them on the question of the
well-known declaratory resolution. _Sic vos non vobis._ Though the
Rockingham administration repealed the Stamp Act, it was the popular
belief that Pitt had been the real moving cause in the matter. Pitt, and
none other, was demanded by the national voice. The king reluctantly
yielded. Pitt marched into the royal closet with words of profoundest
deference upon his tongue and the stern triumph of a conqueror in his
heart, and proceeded to form an administration in which there was not
even the offer of a place for Rockingham. For Shelburne, on the other
hand, he immediately sent, and offered him the seals of secretary of
state. Such an appointment must have been a bitter pill indeed to George
III., but Pitt stood firm, and the king had to swallow his dislike as
best he might. What Choiseul, the French minister, thought of the new
arrangement appears from an interesting letter from him to Guerchy in
London, which Lord Edmond Fitzmaurice quotes from a copy at Lansdowne
House. His conclusion is: "Alors le ministère d'Angleterre aura une
certaine consistance; sans cela, avec l'opposition de my Lord Temple,
l'ineptie de M. Conway, la jeunesse et peut-être l'étourderie de my Lord
Shelburne quoique gouverné par M. Pitt, il ne sera pas plus fort qu'il
ne l'étoit ci-devant. My Lord Chatham à pris une charge trop forte
d'être le gouverneur de tout le monde et le protecteur de tous." At this
critical point, the mosaic administration (as Burke felicitously
nicknamed it) just formed, Pitt entering the House of Lords as earl of
Chatham, to the annoyed surprise of the multitude to whom he had so long
been distinctively the Great Commoner, Shelburne at nine-and-twenty
essaying the grave responsibilities of a secretaryship of state, the
first volume of the biography before us comes, most tantalizingly, to a
close. We stand on the threshold of the ever-memorable events of the war
of independence, and our appetite is keenly whetted for the feast of
freshly interesting details which, though Mr. Bancroft has enjoyed most
liberal access to the papers at Lansdowne House, may confidently be
expected to be brought to light by one possessed of the opportunities,
and, as the volume before, us abundantly shows, the diligence and
judgment of Lord Shelburne's present biographer. The main outlines of
Shelburne's career throughout the war are familiar, doubtless, to most
American readers. How he dissented from his colleagues' treatment of
the American difficulty, and was driven, in consequence, to resign his
office; how, in opposition, he struggled with all the energy of his
character against the policy of North; how, when that policy received
its deathblow in the surrender of Cornwallis, he had the quiet triumph
of seeing the king come over to the views which he had so long vainly
advocated; how, placed at the head of affairs, he arranged and got the
king's consent to preliminaries of peace; and how, before he had time to
finish his work, he was overthrown by the most disgraceful coalition
that British parliamentary government has seen;--are not all these
things written in a hundred history books? But pending the detailed and
authentic narrative of these things that we shall look for in a future
volume of this new life of Shelburne, we have here, by anticipation, a
most powerful sketch, by Shelburne's own hand, of one of the
principal--we cannot add famous--actors in the conduct of the war; we
mean the notorious Lord George Sackville, who, after being cashiered for
cowardice at Minden, was whitewashed by the first Rockingham ministry,
and thenceforward so boldly held up his head again, and traded on his
plausible gravity of manner and family connections, that in the heat of
the war the court actually got him appointed to the peculiarly
responsible post of American secretary. Shelburne is terribly severe
upon his conduct. "He sent out (writes Shelburne) the greatest force
which this country ever assembled, both of land and sea forces, which
together perhaps exceeded the greatest effort ever made by any nation,
considering the distance and all other circumstances, but was totally
unable to combine the operations of the war, much less to form any
general plan for bringing about a reconciliation. The best plan which
was formed in the office was one which was given in by General Arnold.
The inconsistent orders given to Generals Howe and Burgoyne could not be
accounted for except in a way which it must be difficult for any person
who is not conversant with the negligence of office to comprehend.
Among many singularities he had a particular aversion to being put out
of his way on any occasion. He had fixed to go into Kent or
Northamptonshire at a particular hour, and to call on his way at his
office to sign the despatches, all of which had been settled, to both
these generals. By some mistake, those to General Howe were not fair
copied, and, upon his growing impatient at it, the office, which was a
very idle one, promised to send it to the country after him, while they
despatched the others to General Burgoyne, expecting that the others
could be expedited before the packet sailed with the first, which,
however, by some mistake, sailed without them, and the wind detained the
vessel which was ordered to carry the rest. Hence came General
Burgoyne's defeat, the French declaration, and the loss of thirteen
colonies." What, indeed, could have been, even _a priori_, greater
fatuity than to entrust the direction of a war to a man who years
before, on the continent of Europe, had over and over again proved
himself to be utterly destitute of every military quality--of whose
general repute the following lines, quoted by Shelburne (from a
newspaper of the time of the Seven Years' War), with the caustic
commentary, "It is feared there was too much foundation for what is
insinuated, and more need not be said," are a sufficiently suggestive
indication?--

    All pale and trembling on the Gallic shore,
    His lordship gave the word, but could no more:
    Too small the corps, too few the numbers were,
    Of such a general to demand the care.
    To some mean chief, some major or a brig.,[D]
    He left his charge that night, nor cared a fig.
    'Twixt life and scandal, honor and the grave,
    Quickly deciding which was best to save,
    Back to the ships he ploughed the swelling wave.

Our view of Shelburne would be but a one-sided one if it regarded him
solely and wholly as a public character, and took no count of the
domestic and private side of him. We are proportionately grateful for
some extracts from a diary kept at the time by his wife, Lady Shelburne,
which her great-grandson has been able to lay before us. They picture to
us a quietly-ordered, rather serious home, pretty constantly frequented,
however, by company, as one would expect from the many interests and
associations of its busy-minded master. He seems to have been in the
habit of treating his wife, in private, to solid readings in history,
politics and theology. One morning breakfast is followed by some
chapters of Thucydides, the next by part of one of Abernethy's sermons,
another day "Lord Shelburne read to us a paper concerning the Stamp Act
in America;" while on a fourth occasion Lady Shelburne, after dining at
the French ambassador's and going to a couple of gossipy assemblies
afterward, comes home to her lord, who very appropriately reads to her
"a sermon out of Barrow against judging others--a very necessary lesson
delivered in very persuasive and pleasing terms." More of Lord
Shelburne's private life we shall no doubt learn in the second volume of
his biography, in which we are promised "a picture of the society of
which Bowood [Lord Shelburne's country-seat in Wiltshire] was the centre
during the latter part of the century." Here, for the present, we
conclude by registering once more our cordial appreciation of the
service that is rendered to history by the publication of such
biographies of leading men as that treated of in this paper. Documentary
evidence carefully collected, besides correcting the hasty and generally
biased assertions of irresponsible contemporary chroniclers, forms the
only trustworthy foundation for the judgment of the impartial historian.

    W. D. R.

FOOTNOTES:

[C] _Life of William, Earl of Shelburne, afterward First Marquess of
Lansdowne, with Extracts from his Papers and Correspondence._ By Lord
EDMOND FITZMAURICE. Vol. 1., 1737-66. Macmillan & Co., London and New
York, 1875.

[D] Brigadier-general Mostyn.



OUR MONTHLY GOSSIP.

SOCIETY IN PARIS.


If there is one point in social matters wherein Philadelphia shines
pre-eminent, it is in the matter of entertainments, whether private or
public. A lavish and generous hospitality rules our actions whenever we
bid a guest to our board. Emphatically, it is to our board. If that
hospitality has a flaw, it is to be found in the fact that we make the
eating and drinking part of our festivities of far too much importance.
Terrapin and Roederer take the place of dress and of diamonds. Our
cooks, and not our mantuamakers, are set in a flutter at the rumor of a
projected ball. We are less learned in point lace than we are in
croquettes. There may be a flaw in our diamonds, but our butter is
peerless. Our balls have their culminating point in the supper, and not
in the German. We invite our best friends more willingly to partake of a
new dish than to meet some distinguished stranger. And at most of our
grand entertainments two great rushes take place--the one toward the
dining-room when supper is announced, and the other out of the front
door when the banquet is ended, when repleted Nature finds no more joy
at the thought of terrapin, and when champagne has become a delusion and
a snare.

In far different style do people entertain on the other side of the
water. In Paris, that very paradise of cookery, the substantial element
of balls and parties is either wholly wanting or is but a very secondary
consideration. A Parisienne will bid you to her house, and leave you to
refresh exhausted Nature with a cup of tea and a sponge-cake. In summer
she may vary the entertainment by offering you a glass of currant syrup
and water. She would consider herself as utterly ruined in a financial
point of view did she conceive that an assemblage of some twenty or
thirty people would require anything more substantial. At entertainments
on a larger scale, such as _soirées musicales_, evening receptions,
etc., ices, coffee, sandwiches and a variety of small cakes are usually
handed round during the course of the evening; and that is all. At the
grandest of grand balls the supper is almost invariably composed
entirely of cold dishes--chicken, filet of beef, fish with mayonnaise
sauce, etc., with ices, cakes and delicious bon-bons. If extra
magnificence in the matter of viands is aimed at, it is sought in the
matter of unseasonable and consequently costly delicacies. Thus, at a
ball which was given during the month of February last the feature of
the supper was strawberries served in unlimited profusion. The
substantiality, the abundance, the variety of one of our Philadelphia
suppers, with its terrapin, its croquettes, its oysters dressed in half
a dozen styles, its game and sweetbreads and chicken salad, its ices and
Charlotte Russe and meringues, its fruits and flowers, its oceans of
champagne, rivers of hock and lakes of claret punch, would make a
Parisian open his eyes--ay, and his mouth as well. For, be it known, the
foreigners who scorn suppers in their native land lay aside all such
prejudices with marvelous celerity when bidden to a Philadelphia
banquet.

It must, however, be confessed that this simplicity in the matter of
food which is characteristic of French entertainments is a great
encouragement to the givers of soirées in general. With us, to entertain
as other people do requires not only a lengthy purse, but a degree of
care and forethought in the preparation for any festivity which is very
wearing on body and mind alike. If Mrs. Quakercity wishes to invite
fifty people to her house, her soul is vexed within her and her body is
worn to a shadow with the magnitude of her preparations before the event
can take place. Not so with Madame la Marquise. The purse of Madame la
Marquise is but slender and her rooms are small. Nevertheless, she
shrinks not from bidding her friends come to see her. Either she has, in
pleasant sociable fashion, a regular reception-evening, once a week,
when she is "at home" to all her friends and acquaintances, or else she
organizes a little soirée twice or thrice during the season. Fifty or
sixty people, as many as her rooms will conveniently hold, are invited.
The mistress of the house provides something in the way of some good
amateur music, a charade or two acted in almost professional style, a
bit of declamation, or possibly the presence of some literary or
artistic lion. Everybody comes, and everybody tries to make himself or
herself as agreeable as possible. Nobody turns up his or her nose at the
cup of tea, the delicately cut sandwiches, the tiny cakes that are
handed round during the course of the evening. Nobody goes away
groaning, "Heavens! how hungry I am!" Madame la Marquise cannot afford
to give her friends _pâté de foie gras_ and hothouse strawberries, and
they neither expect to have them nor blame her for not offering them. If
she were obliged to offer costly and delicate viands to her friends
whenever she invited them to her house, she would not be able to invite
them at all. They recognize the fact, and enjoy the hospitality which
she offers them without expecting anything more. But I should very much
like to see a reception at home where tea and sandwiches formed the sole
refreshments of the evening. The comments of the departing guests would
be more audible than flattering to the hostess, I am afraid.

The dinner-parties which form in Paris, as with us, a very prominent
feature of social life, are far less heavy in character than are the
same class of entertainments with us. They consist of fewer courses,
which are served more rapidly. The guests are usually invited at seven
o'clock, and are seldom detained at table after ten. Music, either
private or professional, usually fills up the evening. It is customary
to invite a certain number of guests to come in after a grand dinner to
pass the remainder of the evening--a practice which proves that in
Parisian society people are far less "cantankerous" than they are in our
own. I can scarcely picture to myself a state of affairs wherein an
American belle or society-man would consider an invitation to "come in"
after dinner as anything but an insult. Which proves that we are not,
after all, as we pride ourselves upon being, the most sensible people on
the face of the earth in _all_ respects. That pleasant willingness to
accept invitations as they are really meant, and to appreciate
hospitality for its own sake, is a social lesson that the members of
American society would do well to study after the example set by their
Parisian brethren.

A Parisian dinner-party is far less conducive to indigestion than is one
of our own. Not only are the courses fewer, as I before remarked, but
the viands are less rich in quality and are served in smaller portions.
Delicacy of flavor, and not solidity, is the result aimed at by a true
French _cordon bleu_. There is also considerable taste and ingenuity
displayed in serving the ices, which are brought to the table in all
manner of pretty and fanciful forms. Thus, at one dinner-party a basket
formed of brown _nougat_ was handed round. It was filled with apricots
moulded in peach-tinted ice and of delicious apricot flavor. At another
the basket was of white _nougat_, and the ice-cream was colored and
moulded to represent pink and crimson roses. On another occasion a large
silver dish was borne in, on which was placed a bundle of asparagus, the
stalks held together by a broad blue satin ribbon. The ribbon was
untied, the stalks fell apart, and one was served to each guest,
together with a rich sauce from a silver sauce-boat. The asparagus-stalk
was composed of vanilla ice-cream, and the green part of pistacchio ice,
while the sauce was a delicately flavored cream. The imitation of the
vegetable was perfect in every particular, and was thoroughly deceptive.
The floral decorations at dinner-parties are usually on a far less
extensive scale than with us. A single basket tastefully arranged for
the centre of the table is considered quite sufficient, except on
occasions of extra magnificence and importance.

The official balls at the Élysée, of which two or three are usually
given every winter, are very informal in character. The American
traveler who wishes to attend must send in his or her name through the
medium of the American minister. The invitation-lists are divided into
as many sections as there are balls to be given, so as to avoid
over-crowding in the comparatively small salons of the Élysée. Madame
MacMahon and the marshal receive their guests in a small reception-room,
which is the first of the suite of apartments on the first floor, all of
which are thrown open to the public on such occasions. They receive in a
perfectly simple and informal manner. Each guest on entering bows to the
host and hostess without any form of presentation, and is then at
liberty to wander about at will. The apartments thrown open comprise the
state suites on the first and second floors, numbering some twenty or
thirty rooms in all. A temporary gallery is erected to serve as a
supper-room, and there refreshments are served all through the evening,
there being no set hour for supper, as with us. The profusion of flowers
and lights, the crowd of powdered footmen in the white and scarlet
liveries of the marshal, the delightful music and splendid toilettes,
combine to make these balls very elegant and attractive, though far less
so than were the official fêtes given under the Empire, when the superb
apartments of the Hôtel de Ville and of the Tuileries formed the grand
ball-rooms for the hospitalities of the government. The Élysée is much
too small to accommodate the crowds that usually rush to these
festivals. The heat and crush are excessive, and it is recorded that
after the great ball last year wisps of costly laces, shreds of
Chantilly, rags of old point, scraps of point de Bruxelles strewed the
grand staircase from top to bottom. The crowd, owing to the division of
the invitation-lists of which I have spoken, is less dense this year,
but still great enough to render a ball at the Élysée anything but a
comfortable form of enjoyment.

There is one feature about Parisian entertainments, whether public or
private, which is apt to strike a stranger very unpleasantly; and that
is the card-playing--nay, to put it accurately, the actual
gambling--which forms one of the amusements of the evening. It is not
pleasant to behold in the salons of the President of the French Republic
an accurate reproduction in miniature of the departed glories of
Baden-Baden and of Homburg--the shaded lamps, throwing a lurid light on
the "board of green cloth," the piles of gold, the shifting cards, the
intent faces of the players, and the groups of gazers looking on in
silence. Vast sums are, I am told, often lost and won in this manner
during a single evening. This, at least, is a reproach from which
American entertainments of the highest class are certainly free. John
Morrisey may take his seat in Congress, but he does not direct the
amusements in the back parlor of the White House.

But if French society is unexacting in the matter of refreshments, it
runs to waste in regard to dress. The toilettes worn at all
entertainments of any extent and formality far surpass in costliness and
beauty any festal garbs which feminine humanity can contrive to don in
America. In this birthplace of dress, dress is a pre-eminent and
all-important feature. Two great points are _de rigueur_ in a
Frenchwoman's toilette: it must always be appropriate, and always be
fresh. It may not be costly, it may not be elaborate, but those two
qualities must not be lacking. And they shade things off so much more
minutely than they do with us. A ball-dress cannot be a dinner-dress,
and _vice versâ_; while in America the same toilette is considered
appropriate for both occasions. If a dinner-party is to number over
twelve guests, a low-necked dress is admissible; otherwise, the
dinner-dress must be made with open corsage and half-long sleeves. The
same shade of glove is not suitable at a wedding-reception that is
proper for a formal call. The handsomest of walking-dresses is
inadmissible to receive calls in or to wear out in the evening to the
opera or to a small party. The very length of skirt that is appropriate
for each festive occasion is regulated by the laws of fashion. A lady at
the Grand Opéra or Les Italiens must not wear her opera-cloak after she
takes her seat in the theatre: it is considered only a wrap, no matter
how magnificent or costly it may be. Fancy jewelry of all kinds is
entirely out of fashion, and is seen no more: pearls and precious stones
alone are worn on full-dress occasions. This rule has, it is whispered,
caused a great increase in the trade of dealers in imitation jewelry,
those who cannot afford the real article taking refuge in the highly
_vraisemblable_ splendors of wax-lined pearls and paste diamonds. It is
rumored that after one of the great official balls of last season a
superb diamond necklace was found behind one of the cushions of a sofa
at the Élysée. It was placed in the hands of the prefect of the police,
where it remained for some time without any claimant presenting herself.
Finally, it was decided that the ornament should be sold and the
proceeds applied to the relief of the poor of Paris. A jeweler was
accordingly summoned, who, by the application of acids and a file, soon
proved conclusively to the authorities that the precious _trouvaille_
was a worthless piece of imitation. Sardou's heroine in his _Maison
Neuve_, who sells her small real diamonds in order to appear at a ball
ablaze with paste, is a true character of the epoch, and was evidently
sketched from real life. But the disappearance of the masses of
_clinquante_ which used to be worn some years ago is a positive boon to
the lovers of correct taste in dress.

Another striking feature of European society to an American is the
predominance of old women therein--ladies of sixty or seventy years of
age, very much coiffées, tremendously dressed and glittering with gems.
This element is far from being an attractive one. A venerable dowager
with white roses and lilies of the valley in her frizzed gray hair, with
many diamonds and pearls displayed upon a neck which should long ago
have retired into the deep obscurity of kerchief and high corsage, is
not a charming object. It has been made a subject of reproach against
American society that it is given up so entirely to the youth of both
sexes. Well, after all, it is better so--that is, so far as balls and
dancing-parties are concerned. Seventeen in white tarletan is a far more
beauteous and appropriate ornament for a ball-room than is seventy in
white brocade or rose-pink satin.

    L. H. H.


NATIONAL FORMS OF GREETING.

The general structure of a language is admitted on all hands to be a
good index of the character of the people using it. To cite but two
instances: the firm, compact, stern mould in which a Latin sentence is
cast seems only the natural mode of expression for those who so firmly,
compactly and sternly carried their eagles in triumph over the world and
assembled the deities of conquered nations in their own Pantheon; while
the marvelous grace and flexibility spread like a transparent veil of
ravishing beauty over the well-posed members of a Greek sentence could
emanate, from no source so naturally as the gay, beauty-loving sons of
the Hellenes, whose conceptions of beauty are the ideals for all time;
whose flexible wit needed, as it created, the vehicle of its
communication; and whose philosophical acumen could flash out in no
speech less capable of manifesting delicate shades of thought.

What is thus true of language in general has a concentrated truth in the
forms of speech used in greetings. Let us compare these in a few
languages, ancient and modern, and see if the fact be not so. We will
begin with the most familiar, as it is the best and most enduring, type
of the Semitic race--the Hebrew. The history of the Jews--at any rate as
it is set forth in their own sacred Books--is pre-eminently the history
of a race singled out by an overruling Power for the education of
_conscience_. To this bear witness the laws of the Two Tables, and most
of those other laws, purely ceremonial, whose apparent triviality in
some particulars is at any rate a mode of symbolizing what was the main
object of the Lawgiver--keeping the heart and conscience pure. To this
bear witness the indignant denunciations of their prophets, as well as
the impassioned pleadings to return to a better mind and keep the
conscience unaccused--to "do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly
with God." To this bear witness the plaints--the like of which no other
ancient literature furnishes--of their royal Psalmist, the type of what
was best and noblest in his race--plaints which mourned not so much
outward adversity or physical suffering as the pain of a hurt
conscience, a realization of guilt which threw a pall over all that else
was bright--plaints which, as that secluded education in Palestine
became handed down to posterity and diffused wherever the Old Testament
found its way, have been adopted by humanity as the _de profundis_ of
all hearts conscious of guilt. And what was the Hebrew's salutation as
he met his brother or his friend? "Peace!" The inner life of the race
could not be more clearly shown by volumes.

With the Greek it was different. His heaven and his earth were
counterparts of each other. Even his Zeus Terpikeraunos seemed fonder of
other occupations than hurling his flashing bolts. The Father of gods
and men disdained not (when nectar and ambrosia perhaps began to surfeit
him) to lead the dwellers of Olympus on festive journeys to the
"blameless Ethiops," and there pass a week or two in revels. No chance
of a quiet flirtation would he miss if only he could escape the keen
watchfulness of Hera; and not unfrequently, if such escape were
hopeless, would he run the risk of a curtain-lecture rather than forego
his _tête-à-tête_. And for the other "greater gods," if we except the
cold Pallas Athene and the stately spouse of Zeus, their principal aim
seemed to be to have a jolly time of it.

    Man tanzt, man schwätzt, man kocht, man trinkt, man liebt:
    Nun sage mir, wo es was Besseres giebt?

might serve popularly as the Greek's notion of the occupations of the
gods when they were not quarreling with each other; and no wonder, for
he simply peopled Olympus with exaggerated counterparts of himself and
his fellows. Life to him was nothing if it was not a fast and merry one;
and to make it so were pressed into the service not only what catered to
his sensual nature (and, truly, if Faust had been a Greek there had been
no need of Mephistopheles), but all the charms of art, all the powers of
exuberant fancy, all the keen delights of literary culture. He had
higher aspirations than mere enjoyment, even of an elevated kind:
witness Salamis and Mycale, the Pass of Thermopylæ and the fields of
Marathon and Platæa. But when the serious business of life gave time,
wine, flowers and lovely women were uppermost in his thoughts. To and
from him, then, what greeting so natural as [Greek: Chaire!] ("Rejoice!"
"Be happy!")?

As we pass from the shadows of the Acropolis and the Acrocorinthus to
the crests and valleys of the Seven Hills, the tone is changed. We do
not speak of the degenerate days when, after his indignant burst of

          Non possum ferre, Quirites,
    Græcam Urbem,

Juvenal, in speaking of Rome itself, says,

    Non est Romano cuiquam locus hîc, ubi regnat
    Protogenes aliquis, vel Diphilus, aut Erimarchus,

although even then the Latin speech retained forms of a nobler
antiquity. We speak rather of those times when Rome was Roman--when the
spirit which framed the speech still pervaded the commonwealth which
used the speech. To the citizen of that time the idea of the chief of
the Olympian gods was not of a rollicking despot, angry and jovial by
turns, a delighter in thunderbolts, a cloud-compeller, a reckless
adulterer: he was the awful personification of the majesty of law,
mighty to impose its decrees and mighty to avenge its disregarded
sanctions--who, brought near to the city, was worshiped as Jupiter
Capitolinus, majestic as the conservator of civil and social order. The
charms of art, the graces of song, the effeminacy of festal pleasures
were little recked of by the Roman of the Roman period--he who used his
ancestral speech in the meanings imposed upon its terms by his fathers.
Phoebus Apollo and Pallas Athene were not so much revered by him as
was Mars of the visage stern and the bloody hand, to whom he gloried in
ascribing the blood of Romulus, protected by whom he believed the
"Mavortia moenia" would stand for ever. To him the state was
everything, the citizen nothing, save in so far as he was a working
member of the state. No private pleasure, no private gain, no private
right was admitted which stood in the way of the common weal; and
whatever privileges one might have, belonged to him not as a man, but as
a Roman, reflecting in his own person the sacred being of the state. No
wonder that in spite of all reverses, and until absorption of foreign
poisons had vitiated the blood of her sons or fratricidal strife had
spilled it, Rome saw the world at her feet. No wonder, too, that the
customary greeting of those who used her speech was "Salus!" ("Health!")
at meeting, and "Vale!" ("Be strong!") at parting.

To pass from ancient nations to modern. No race has had, in its way, a
greater influence upon European civilization than the French, many-sided
in character, and whose language is that of modern diplomacy. By no
people are _appearances_ more studied or cared for. Courage,
undoubtedly, is possessed by the men, but a Frenchman (the typical
Frenchman, that is) is better pleased if his courage, whether on the
field of battle, in the private encounter or the civic assembly, can
have a good _mise en scène_ for its exhibition. Deportment is the great
thing; and in social life who can deny what charm is given to friendly
intercourse--even though one may know that feelings are not very
deep--by the studious attention to a pleasant way of saying or doing
things?--so different from the heedless bluntness of some other races,
which, even while it may proceed from no unkindness, yet gives, at any
rate, the impression of disregard for the feelings of others. What a
regard to appearances is not revealed in such common expressions as
"Être de mauvaise tournure" and "Avoir bonne tournure," as applied to
either man or woman? And as for the women, who can excel a Frenchwoman
in the art of looking if not elegant, yet at any rate spruce, by the aid
of even meagre materials, and in the art of "savoir faire," of which our
English "tact" hardly preserves the aroma? What dynasty or party shall
rule the destinies of France may be uncertain. Bonapartist, Legitimist,
Republican may be in the ascendant or may be hurled from power, but
under each or all, whether for good or evil, _manners_ will rule until
the French cease to be French; for when they meet you do not they say,
naturally, "Comment vous portez-vous?" ("How do you _carry_ yourself?")?

If a Frenchman should unintentionally run against you, would he not ask
your pardon with the politest possible bow? If a German should encounter
you in the same unintentionally unceremonious way, would he not in all
probability, after the recoil, look at you with inquiring eyes, with a
mixture of phlegmatic coolness and curiosity, and partly as an
exclamation, partly as an interrogation, utter the monosyllable "So!"?
He would not be so much occupied in trying to parry the blunder
gracefully as in thinking of its cause, with that love of sifting which
involuntarily exhibits itself even in little things, or with that
tendency to take even jokes gravely which originated the fable of Pope
Joan, and led a learned commentator, in his annotations on Thucydides,
to cite, with all the ponderous clang of a critical Latin note, the
factions "of the Long Pipes and the Short Pipes, mentioned by Mr.
Diedrich Knickerbocker in his _History of New York_," as a grave
historic parallel to the factions at Athens and those of the Guelphs and
the Ghibellines! Wonderful is the exactness in research, as well as the
gravity, of the Teuton--his reflectiveness, his going to the bottom of
the minutiæ of facts, as well as his recourse to his "inner
consciousness" when the concrete fails him. Thoroughness, quiet,
plodding thoroughness--a looking at things in all their bearings, an
exhaustive (as well as exhausting) treatment of a subject, whether of
fact or of speculation, a constant striving to _find out_ all about
whatever he takes in hand--is not this one of his most marked
characteristics? And so, is it not natural that his greeting should be,
if he is gravely polite, "Wie _befinden_ Sie sich?" ("How do you _find_
yourself?")?

Lastly, the Anglo-Saxon greeting has its revelation of character no less
than the others. No corner of the earth is ignorant of the
representatives of that sturdy race whose commerce is worldwide; whose
inventions have revolutionized ways and means of getting and doing and
having things; whose enterprise is boundless; whose self-contained
courage is resistless in onset as it is strong in resistance; whose busy
going to and fro, or whose steady home-work, always has an eye to the
main chance; whose stateliness as shown in the conservative wealth of
the Old England is matched by its progressiveness as developed in the
New; whose Anglo-Saxon _homes_ are models of what is nowhere else so
readily found, "home comforts," won by hard work or conserved by happy
inheritance. Has not the Anglo-Saxon a character all his own--a
compound, doubtless, of the good (and often the bad) elements which he
has absorbed with his natural acquisitiveness from others? And can the
same number of words better gather up the sum and substance of it than
his salutation, "How do you _do_?"?

    J. A. H.


SEASONABLE READING.

I once wrote for a monthly magazine an out-door paper--a summer study,
intended to enliven the reader's feeling rather than enlighten his
understanding--and timed the production of it so that it should appear
during the winter. The thought that it would be read only by bright
firesides cheered me not a little in the writing. The editor,
endeavoring to propitiate that thoughtless creature, "the general
reader"--in matters of art but another name for "the general prejudice"
or "the general ignorance"--notified me in January that he would prefer
to hold the contribution till summer came again, when it would be
regarded as "more appropriate, and just the thing to be read under
green arbors and spreading beeches." I was glad to know that he thought
it just the thing to be read anywhere, but nevertheless resolved to lay
before the general reader, or the general prejudice, or the general
ignorance, my little protest.

Most people are aware that the effects of Nature are so evanescent that
the painter generally makes his study as if he were observing an
eclipse. Down go a few strokes; into the spaces go notes, signs,
symbols--all in the shortest kind of shorthand. Six months afterward,
when the picture is made amid other scenes, the sketch and notes are
used, to be sure, so far as they go, but the artist uses his good memory
more. All people know that a book or canvas gives us not Nature, but an
interpretation, a translation, a few selections, a memory of Nature. If
the work be good, we are glad to abstract our eyes, for the time, from
all else. We can do this best when the scene from which the work was
studied is shut farthest away from sight. Summer landscapes themselves
are one thing, and we enjoy them in summer: such landscapes
utilized--they cannot be reproduced--by art, are another thing, and
these we enjoy at the winter fireside, when the eye sees nothing without
except leaden clouds and effacing snow. Not even the average American
would take a landscape-painting under his arm if he wished to get the
good of it, and go set it up in the glare of an open harvestfield or in
the darkness of a deep wood, although these objects may have made the
picture. He would enjoy Nature just as well, no doubt, during such a
proceeding, but would he get the good of art? What would the painter do
to the critic or buyer who subjected his work to such a test? Poison him
at the very least. And this is what the literary artist should complain
of, rather than desire, at the hands of an editor. He should not want
the little bit that he selected, narrowed, intensified, idealized, and
then imperfectly transcribed from memory, brought out and set up before
a reader whose eye is filled at every glance with the overpowering and
inexhaustible realities of Nature herself.

Just the thing to read in the blistering days of July, if anything can
be read then, is a graphic description of a snowstorm, or a lively
account of the way a polar bear invaded the ice-hut of a benumbed
Eskimo, or a history of the Washington Monument: something cold. Ice is
as grateful in your dog-day literature as in your August julep. No one
will hold that at such a time he prefers to contemplate a picture of
Sahara or of a frying-pan. On the same principle, let us have, in art,
our green leaves and warm colors amid the frosts of midwinter. Only the
atmospheric extremes, summer and winter, can be seriously considered in
"seasoning" periodical literature, the months our almanacs call spring
being neither one thing nor another. In capricious April, however, a
vision of golden and placid October would seem to be the proper thing,
as would the freshness of May in the mellow melancholy of autumn. If
editors receive more censures than compliments for publishing certain
articles, into which the element of "news" does not enter, six months
after the seasons of which they treat, there is one obscure contributor
at least who considers the necessity a virtue.

    C. H.

[According to the theory of "C. H.," the Christmas number of a magazine
should be filled with midsummer idyls, while Christmas carols would be
the appropriate reading in July or August. He thinks this would provide
a grateful relief--like ice on a hot day or a blazing log on a cold
one--from the effects of any intensity of temperature in the opposite
seasons. But this is confounding sensations with mere conceptions, and
seeking to "cloy the hungry edge of appetite by bare imagination of a
feast." The ice cools and the fire warms, but a description of one or
the other in place of the reality would make its absence only the more
intolerable. Reynolds the dramatist tells us that one of his summer
pieces was damned, owing to a scene in which the actors were served with
plentiful libations of cool drinks--a tantalizing spectacle that drew a
storm of hisses from the hot and thirsty audience. We hope the editor
whom "C. H." has so inconsiderately assailed may not be tempted to
revenge himself by exposing his contributor to a similar mishap.--ED.]


A HINT FOR THE CENTENNIAL.

The interest in the approaching Centennial celebration at Philadelphia
is daily widening and extending, and if those entrusted with its
management prove themselves competent for the work, and show that they
are duly inspired with its breadth and its significance to the world,
before the end of the present year there will not be a hamlet in the
land whose citizens are not made prouder of their nationality and
individually anxious to contribute something to its glory. It should be
made the grandest occasion of the kind which the world has ever
witnessed, for if it be anything less than that, it will fail to respond
to the honest aspirations and generous pride of the American heart.
Aside from the museum proper--the collection of past and present
manufactures, past and present implements of industry--every day should
witness some grand tournament, like that trial of grain-reapers which
took place at the exposition at Paris in 1855. The scene was a splendid
field of grain forty miles from the city. Three machines--one English,
one French (from Algiers), and one American--were the weapons of the
contest. The audience was a crowd of curious witnesses gathered from
every quarter of the globe. At a signal from the judges' stand the fine
machines started and moved each over its allotted acre, cutting down and
raking the grain like magic. The Algerian machine did its work in
seventy-two minutes, the English in sixty-six, and the American in
twenty-two minutes! A French journal at the time said of the American
machine, "It did its work in the most exquisite manner, not leaving a
single spear ungathered, and it discharged the grain in the most perfect
shape, as if placed by hand for the binders. It finished its piece most
gloriously." The contest was finally narrowed down to three reapers,
all American, and the champion won its laurels amid the most deafening
shouts of applause.


SHRIMPS.

Some one has said that he who first swallowed an oyster was a brave man,
but many will agree that the one who first devoured a shrimp bodily was
still braver. Not but that the shrimp may possess desirable nutritive
qualities--may indeed be exceedingly palatable to those whose
imaginations are proof against the sight of its jointed legs and arms
and its ugly physiognomy. But in India, at least, where dead human
bodies are often seen floating down the sacred Ganges literally covered
with these crustaceans, the appetite for them must be sensibly affected.
Many of Her Majesty's subjects there will never touch a shrimp after
once witnessing this spectacle in the Ganges. The animal, however, may
not be the common shrimp (_Crangon vulgaris_).

Catching shrimps for market is quite an extensive industry, and in
France mostly pursued by women, who wade knee deep into the water,
pushing before them a net sewed around a hoop at the end of a long
stick. A pannier or bag tied around the waist receives the animals from
the net. In winter the shrimp retires from the beach into deeper water.
It is then caught in boats with nets, made now of galvanized wire, which
resists the action of the sea-water and is a great improvement upon the
old twine net. In feeding, the shrimp grasps its minute prey by the
short rake-like appendages between the legs proper and the tail, and
passes it along up to its claws, and then to the mouth. These appendages
serve also as a brush when the shrimp makes its toilet. To do this it
stands as high as it can on the tips of its long legs, and bends its
head and claws under its body, and when these are duly brushed the lobes
of the tail are subjected to the same process.



LITERATURE OF THE DAY.


     The Poetical Works of William Blake, Lyrical and Miscellaneous.
     Edited, with a prefatory memoir, by William Michael Rossetti.
     Boston: Roberts Brothers.

     The Poems of William Blake, comprising Songs of Innocence and
     of Experience, together with Poetical Sketches and some
     Copyright Poems not in any other edition. London: Basil Montagu
     Pickering.

It does not add to the mere delight of reading Blake's poems to know
that in point of time they preceded the writings of Cowper, Wordsworth
and Burns, but assuredly it enhances our estimation of their merit, and
should have great weight in determining the literary rank of their
author. His first volume, called _Poetical Sketches_, printed only for
private circulation after lying for six years in manuscript, appeared in
1783, and then only by dint of the kindly efforts of influential and
prosperous friends, notably Flaxman the sculptor. The _Sketches_ were
written between the ages of twelve and twenty. The _Songs of Innocence
and Experience_ appeared between 1787 and 1794, and were united in one
volume in the latter year. It is by the poems contained in these two
volumes, although he published or left in manuscript many other
compositions, most of which are collected in one or the other of the
editions now before us, that he is best known. During his lifetime his
writings never achieved any general literary success. It fared with his
poems as with his paintings, only in a minor degree: they were highly
esteemed by the initiated, by his personal friends, by a few men whose
keen natural perception of genius enabled them to discern it in spite of
the eccentricity and inequality of his work; but to the general public,
on whose recognition depends the reputation of the artist, his verses as
well as his drawings were a sealed, or at least an enigmatical, book.
His verses have no literary atmosphere about them: they smell neither
of the midnight oil nor of that smoke of fame the fumes of which Byron
tells us "are frankincense to human thought." They seem to have been
written as spontaneously as a bird might warble on a bough, and no bird
was ever more careless of auditors than Blake. It was not until twelve
years after his death that a selection from his poems was given to the
general public by the elder Pickering, and twenty-four years after
(eleven years ago) a more general interest was created in his work, both
as artist and poet, by a long and elaborate biography of him written by
Mr. Gilchrist, and accompanied by a selection from his poems made by Mr.
Rossetti. Subsequent to this publication appeared a voluminous critical
essay on his genius by Mr. Algernon Charles Swinburne. The former of
these two books was calculated to induce and foster a more general
knowledge and appreciation of Blake's poetry. We can hardly say as much
for Mr. Swinburne's essay. The exaggerated and fantastical epithets of
praise, the involved and overloaded method of criticism, would have the
effect upon most readers of creating a distaste in advance for the
writings so heralded. The "Prefatory Memoir" prefixed by Mr. W. M.
Rossetti to the most recent edition of the poems is of a different
character, and may be commended to all readers who are about to make
acquaintance with them.

But the best and most efficient introduction that a true poet can have
is the general publication of his works. Let them speak for themselves
to lovers of poetry, and no other prophet or expounder is needed. This
is no place for extended comment on Blake's characteristics as a poet.
His best songs are worthy to be ranked with those of the early
Elizabethan dramatists, and they are not like them as a copy is like an
original, but rather resemble them as the inspirations of a kindred
genius. To find the superiors of some of Blake's songs we must go to
Shakespeare. The faults of his best poems are always superficial, and
often mere errors of carelessness and of the absence of literary
workmanship, but the hand that strikes the keynote is the hand of a
master. Such pieces as the "Lines to the Evening Star," the songs
beginning "Memory, hither come," "How sweet I roamed from field to
field!" "Love and Harmony combine," and the "Address to the Muses," in
the _Sketches_, are full of melody and sweetness, and have a certain
lyrical perfection in which Blake excels; while in the _Songs of
Innocence_ the poems called "Night" and "Ah Sunflower!" seem to be
equally beautiful. "A Little Boy Lost," in the _Songs of Experience_, is
perhaps the best known of all the poems, and is quoted, with an
unlicensed change of title, in Mr. Emerson's _Parnassus_. The disorder
of Blake's mind, which was a very real and positive fact, undoubtedly
had a detrimental effect on his work, both in art and literature; and
there is often a sense of "sweet bells jangled, out of tune and harsh"
as he touches on some one of the subjects which were potent to disturb
his brain. But when he sings for the love of singing, with no memory of
the outer world and its terrible problems, the solving of which lay
heavy on his heart and brain, then he is all sweetness, melody and
harmony, and gives us not only the delight of his exquisite verses, but
that other joy that comes from the sense of breathing an atmosphere of
devotion, purity, and genial sweetness.


     Les Pléiades. Par le comte de Gobineau. Stockholm and Paris.

The author of this book has traveled extensively, and has been a keen
observer of men and manners, as well as a diligent student of history
and ethnography. He has represented his government in countries so
remote and contrasted as Persia and Sweden, has made antiquarian
researches in the islands of the Mediterranean, has visited parts of
America, and has won reputation as a scholar and writer by a number of
works on such abstruse questions as Oriental philosophy and religion,
the cuneiform inscriptions and the distinctions of race. The present
book is merely a novel, yet it was clearly intended to embody the
deepest and maturest thoughts of the author in regard to "the proper
study of mankind," both individually and collectively. The nature of
man, how it is affected by diversity of circumstances, by nationality,
descent, rank and occupation, by the relations of class to class, of
society to the individual, of personal will to a controlling
destiny,--this may be said to form the _motive_ of the volume; and
though such action as there is in it takes place chiefly at the court of
one of the minor states of Germany, this narrow field was evidently
selected on a similar principle to that of the Greek drama, with its
"unities" of time and place and the narratives and explanations of the
Chorus. The discussions in the book embrace all the problems of
history, the characters are of different nationalities, and are all
enriched by the fruits of culture and travel, and the story is a series
of crucial tests by which, as we are to infer, the author's theories are
verified. This plan is not absolutely novel. Goethe had adopted a still
slighter though far happier framework for his ripest thoughts and
profoundest observations. Yet even Goethe's exquisite art was at fault
when he sought to extend the original design; and if the first part of
_Wilhelm Meister_ is the most perfectly constructed work in the whole
range of literature, the second is merely a heap of precious materials,
with here and there such groupings and dispositions as indicate how
details had been conceived, while the general plan refused to shape
itself in the master's mind. Count Gobineau's failure is of a different
kind. His story is not only grotesque in construction, but inartistic in
all its parts. In every group of incidents there is the same lack of
harmony and completeness as in the adaptation and subordination of each
to the whole. Nor, with all the author's knowledge of life and of men,
has he succeeded in creating characters recognizable as life-like and as
veritable originals. Single features are well drawn, certain
temperaments are keenly analyzed, but the whole conception is never
firm, consistent and complete. The simplest, like old Lanze and his
daughter Lina, are intrinsically commonplace; the most elaborated, like
Madame Tonska and the duke Jean-Théodore, waver between familiar types
and questionable shadows; and those that, like Laudon and the
Gennevilliers, promise better results, are imperfectly developed. Such
defects would be fatal in a novel of the ordinary kind. But this is not
a novel of the ordinary kind. The real staple of the book consists not
of the incidents and the characters, but of discussions and reflections
which sparkle with wit, with shrewd observation, and with ingenious if
not absolutely profound speculation. There are a hundred little essays
in it, compact with thought and bristling with epigram, that have an
eighteenth-century flavor, and suffuse with a _sauce piquante_ what
would otherwise have been a flavorless dish. Whether the theory from
which the title of the book is derived, and which is expounded at length
in the opening chapters, would bear a rigid examination, or was even
meant to be taken seriously, may be doubted. It is, at all events, very
poorly illustrated by the characters and events selected to exemplify
it.



_Books Received._


Africa: The History of Exploration and Adventure from Herodotus to
Livingstone. By Charles H. Jones. With illustrations. New York: Henry
Holt & Co.

The Vatican Decrees in their bearing on Civil Allegiance. By Henry
Edward, Archbishop of Westminister. New York: Catholic Publication
Society.

Six Months under the Red Cross with the French Army. By George H.
Boyland. Cincinnati: Robert Clarke & Co.

The Tower of Babel: A Poetical Drama. By Alfred Austin. Edinburgh and
London: Wm. Blackwood & Sons.

Young Folks' History of the United States. By T. W. Higginson.
Illustrated. Boston: Lee & Shepard.

Baby Died To-day, and Other Poems. By the late William Leighton. London:
Longmans, Green & Co.

Goethe's Hermann and Dorothea. Vol. I. of German Classics. New York: G.
P. Putnam's Sons.

Types and Emblems: A Collection of Sermons. By C. H. Spurgeon. New York:
Sheldon & Co.

The Maintenance of Health. By J. M. Fothergill, M.D. New York: G. P.
Putnam's Sons.

A Passionate Pilgrim, and Other Tales. By Henry James, Jr. Boston: James
R. Osgood & Co.

Christian Belief and Life. By A. P. Peabody, D.D., LL.D. Boston: Roberts
Brothers.

Ezra Stiles Gannet: A Memoir. By his son, W. C. Gannet. Boston: Roberts
Brothers.

Recollections and Suggestions. By John, Earl Russell. Boston: Roberts
Brothers.

Birds of the North-west. By Elliot Coues. Washington: Government
Printing-office.

Morality of Prohibitory Liquor Laws. By W. B. Weeden. Boston: Roberts
Bros.

Victor La Tourette: A Novel. By a Broad Churchman. Boston: Roberts
Brothers.

Domus Dei. By Eleanor C. Donnelly. Philadelphia: P. F. Cunningham & Son.

Poems of Twenty Years. By Laura W. Johnson. New York: De Witt C. Lent.

Protection and Free Trade. By Isaac Butts. New York: G. P. Putnam's
Sons.

Mistress Judith. By C. C. Frazer Tytler. New York: Henry Holt & Co.

Generalship: A Tale. By George Roy. Cincinnati: Robert Clarke & Co.





*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science Volume 15, No. 89, May, 1875" ***

Doctrine Publishing Corporation provides digitized public domain materials.
Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians.
This effort is time consuming and expensive, so in order to keep providing
this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.



Home