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 20, September, 1877.
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 20, September, 1877." ***

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._


SEPTEMBER, 1877.

Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1877, by J. B.
LIPPINCOTT & CO., in the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at
Washington.



AMONG THE KABYLES.

TWO PAPERS.--I.


[Illustration: MOSQUE AND DWELLING OF MARABOUTS, KOUKOU.]

Remains of old nationalities are scattered in odd corners all over the
earth. Every land, almost, possesses a relic of the kind markedly
different from the specimens preserved elsewhere, and peculiar enough to
give color to the old theory of its having sprung from the soil. These
torn and battered shreds of humanity are usually found lodged among the
rocks, the blast of foreign invasion having driven them thither from the
plains. The mountains not only give them shelter, but seem to reinfuse
new vigor, and thus in many cases enable them to exert more or less of a
reflex influence on their conquerors. This influence varies with the
character of the country and of the respective races. The invaders, if
actuated by civilizing impulses and not mere military ambition, will
make themselves useful and necessary to the natives, develop what
capacity they have, and absorb them politically. In the opposite case
fusion is not effected, and a degree of antagonism is maintained which
breaks out on occasion into actual hostilities. Between these two
extreme cases we may trace an infinity of examples, modified by endless
combinations of circumstances and conditions.

In Great Britain we see the Gael whirled up by successive gusts from
Italy, the Elbe and Normandy into the clefts of the Welsh and Scottish
mountains. France has driven her aborigines into the peninsula of
Brittany and the gorges of the Eastern Pyrenees. The Finns find refuge
among the frozen swamps north-east of St. Petersburg. The ethnic museum
of mountainous Spain is more rich and varied than that of her Northern
neighbors, and Italy has remnants dating back into the night of historic
time in Sardinia and the Abruzzi. Japan, ancient as she is, has her
Ainos of unrecorded antiquity, and the ranges of Central India are
haunted by races still more primitive and unprepossessing in manners and
physiognomy. Over the plains of both continents so many successive waves
of population have swept that no race can claim more than a comparative
antiquity. The traceable pedigree of any given community becomes very
short indeed, and the inquirer contents himself with conceding that the
Thibetan sept which arrogates descent from Alexander's Greeks may do so
with truth--say as much truth as there was in the descent of certain
straw-colored Creeks and Choctaws from the followers of De Soto.

Unlike the Thibetans, the Kabyles repudiate classic origin. They are the
only people who have made "barbarian" a title of honor, and call
themselves Berbers, the modern name having been given them by the
Arabs. The dwellers on the Danube, the Seine and the Thames, who once
shared with them the designation of "barbarian," were quick to shake it
off. European Barbary exists no longer. Its modern inhabitants amuse
themselves with exploring the southern shore of the Mediterranean, and
in ascertaining whether their whilom fellow-provincials of that coast
are still determined to be barbarous in fact as in name. The Germans
took their turn at an attempt of this character in the days of Genseric,
the Vandal name and nation having wound up its career in Africa, sinking
into the sands of that inhospitable continent irrecoverably, unless we
accept the Kabyles as the representatives of their blood. Forty years
ago another Northern race entered upon the task, the misrule of the Arab
and the Turk having apparently prepared the way for a new invasion. The
French pined for an opportunity of testing once more their genius for
colonization, and they selected this time, in place of a wild tract in
America or Oceanica, a region opposite their own shores cultivated and
densely peopled when Gaul was savage, and still occupied by inhabitants
as proud and turbulent as those who proposed to reclaim and reconstruct
them. Kabylia proper is a part of the Algerine territory but a few hours
distant from the walls of Algiers, of the size of an average French
department, and having a population of one hundred and seventy-five to
the square mile--a ratio identical with that of France. But the new
province, like its new mother--or step-mother--country, had also its
outliers of territory and people. The Kabyles overflow east, west and
south. They nearly equal the Arabs of Algeria in numbers, the Mountain
Kabyles being estimated at five hundred and eighty thousand, and those
of the plain at three hundred and seventy-nine thousand, while the Arabs
count in all one million three hundred and eighty-five thousand. These
figures measure the extent to which the Oriental immigration has
supplanted the natives of Romano-Gothic Numidian origin. Its effect in
other respects has hardly been in a like proportion. It has imposed the
Mohammedan religion in a modified form, strangely mixed with relics of
older superstitions. In language it has wrought much less of a change,
though more than can be traced to either the Vandals or the Romans. In
physique and manners the difference between Arab and Kabyle remains
sharply drawn. The Arabs are gaunt and indolent dwellers in tents, as
they were in the days of Job, the spear their only implement; while the
Kabyles herd in towns, weave, forge and plough. Red beards, light eyes,
broad and round skulls and massive features are not unfrequent among the
Kabyle men, and in many of the villages the children are all blondes, as
are to a less degree the women.

[Illustration: OIL-WORKS.]

In nothing, perhaps, is the line more strongly drawn between the two
races than in the treatment of their females. The Asiatic seclusion of
women is unknown among the Kabyles. There are no harems and no veils.
If, in return, the Kabyle women are subjected to more of such unfeminine
employments as harvesting and turning the wheels of olive-mills, that
does not lessen the assimilation to Western usage, but rather increases
the resemblance between the life of the fair Africans and that of their
sisters among the peasantry of Europe. Carrying water, so characteristic
a female office in the East, as the artists are constantly reminding us,
is none the less so among the Kabyles. But it becomes a more serious
matter when the wells or streams are three or four hundred feet lower
than the site of the dwelling to be supplied. In such cases donkeys come
to the aid of their mistresses, at some sacrifice of the picturesque,
but with great advantage to comfort.

A water-supply thus obtained must be, it is obvious, inadequate to the
demands of scrupulous cleanliness. Accordingly, the desert wanderer has
the advantage in this respect of the Kabyles, crowded into a village
perched on the summit of a rock and traversed only by pathways cut, as
it were, through solid blocks of houses. These abodes are of but one
story, and generally of one room. Bipeds and quadrupeds live together,
eating and sleeping on the same earthen floor. There are no chimneys and
no windows. Cutaneous and ophthalmic affections are of course common,
and typhus fever now and then redresses the balance in Malthusian
fashion by reducing the crowd. Death is the great sanitary regulator or
superintendent of hygiene. His functions in this regard are but
slightly, if at all, interfered with by the authorities of the village.

The head of the municipality is an officer called an _amin_: we might
style him the mayor. He is chosen by popular suffrage from each of the
family or patriarchal groups or clans composing the community in turn.
He is guided in his administration by a code of written laws bearing the
name of _khanoun_ or canon, established from time immemorial. He is
checked also by a city council chosen from among the notables, and is
required to consult it before taking any executive or judicial step. The
secretary of the council, elected by it, bears the title of _chodja_. He
is generally an old codger, for the double reason that clerks usually do
grow old in harness, and that writing is not a universal accomplishment
among the Kabyles and competition for the office is not great. He keeps
the journal of the municipality, and conducts all its correspondence
with other towns and with the French authorities. He enjoys a salary,
paid in kind with figs, olives, etc. In this pleasant feature of his
post he seems to be distinguished from his associate functionaries. We
do not find that they receive any pay, unless in the indirect shape of
bribes and perquisites--a mode of compensation as well understood in the
East as in the West.

Moslem influence shows itself in the close association of Church and
State. The mosque of each town has its treasury, fed by the fines
imposed on transgressors by the municipal council and by dues from the
registration of marriages, births and deaths. The sacred building itself
serves another purpose still more alien to its religious character. The
hustings, even among this simple and primitive people, are not scenes of
unbroken tranquillity. There are always two parties in the village, as
with us; but, as fortunately is not the in the United States, these
parties have casehardened into hereditary factions, always ready to air
their ancestral feuds at the polls. Bullets come to the aid of ballots.
To use the local expression, "The speaking is done with powder." The
rude fire-lock of the country, with its absurdly long barrel and
wheel-lock, answers well enough at short range, and proves highly
influential in bringing about a speedy decision without the assistance
of returning boards and electoral commissions. The villages have rarely
more than two or three thousand souls, and cover but a few acres. The
dispute cannot last long, and contested elections are soon settled. The
mosque is one story higher than the other buildings, having a second
floor. It is also on more elevated ground. These attractions cause the
sanctuary to fill up rapidly in time of trouble. The faithful who get
first to church have a marked advantage over their fellow-parishioners.

[Illustration: A KABYLE WAKE.]

The administration of the tribe comes directly under French control. It
is committed to a chief who is not allowed to interfere with the local
affairs of the villages composing the tribe. But pressure in the
direction of centralization is gradually being employed by the French,
in accordance with the political notions and genius of that nation. It
needs, however, to be used with extreme caution, as warning catastrophes
still occur to prove. The solemn engagement made when the Kabyles
capitulated in 1857, to rigidly respect their public customs and their
communal elections, will enforce itself upon the more or less sincere
attention of the invaders as long as they possess the country. The
stormy clanhood that insists on the luxury of at least an annual fight
among neighbors is often the last hold of national independence.

[Illustration: THE POLLS: MODEL VOTERS.]

France is not the first suzerain who has found it hard to rule, and
indispensable to sedulously humor, these restless indigenes. They were
quite as troublesome to the Turks. The dey of Algiers was but a nominal
branch of the home house at Constantinople. Thanks to his Kabyle
constituents, he did business pretty much on his own account and in his
own way. Could the sultan have been held responsible for the piracies of
his nominal vassal, they would have been put an end to a century sooner.
He could not control the dey because the dey could not control the
Kabyles. At the village of Tiza-Terga is shown--or was a year or two
ago--a curious field-piece of hexagonal form abandoned by the Turks in
the seventeenth century after an unsuccessful attack on the Kabyle
stronghold of Koukou. When the dey yielded to the French he conveyed
what he was unable to deliver, and the conquest of the country has been
going on ever since. This process of subjugation is anything but
steady. The years of tranquillity outnumber those of disturbance, and
that disproportion, already very great, may be said to be increasing. In
the long intervals of peace everything goes on smoothly. The natives
busy themselves in their fields and their simple workshops, content with
the occasional effervescence of a town-quarrel. The exports of the
province mount up rapidly. France felicitates herself on the brilliant
success of her experiment, sends over small groups of immigrants and
occupies herself with projects of vast prospective value. Paper railways
permeate the gorges of the Djurjura Mountains, and paper canals lead the
waters of the Mediterranean into the desert basin beyond. She repairs
some of the Roman aqueducts, builds wooden bridges, keeps at bay the
purely predatory tribes of the interior, and protects industry as
certainly it never was protected under the Turks. She manifests a
sincere wish to make the tri-color a blessing to Africa, and with time
and no disaster at home bids fair to succeed.

[Illustration: KABYLE ARMORERS AT WORK.]

Were she to be driven out to-day, the traces of her beneficent sway
would be more marked than those left by her predecessors, or by _their_
predecessors the Vandals. They could not possibly be less so. The
mission of both these was fruitful chiefly of disorder and devastation.
Compared with them, the natives whom they ruled against incessant
protest were the representatives of civilization. The Arabs built a few
forts on the beach to shelter piracy. What the Vandals left were burnt
and overthrown walls, the memory of some religious riots, and a small
library of pious polemics. Between them, they held the country for
fifteen centuries: the Romans had it for four. All the moles and
artificial forts, numerous and often massive; all the aqueducts, some of
them spanning ravines three hundred feet deep, and others stretching for
many leagues; all the cities, tombs and temples, of which the remains
are scattered from the sea to the peaks,--everything, in fact, which
shows that this was once a domain of art and intellect and culture, is
Roman. Roman sepulchres look down upon the central French cantonment;
Roman coins and gems are thrown out by the zouave, who works with the
pick in one hand and the rifle in the other; and the squared stones and
round columns of Roman temples are built into the huts of the people and
the forts of their present rulers.

This superiority of the ancient methods of colonization, as attested by
results, cannot be explained by any advantage in the arts of war
comparable to that now enjoyed by the invading nation. Gunpowder did not
exist to cast the balance. The success attained must be ascribed to a
deeper knowledge of the arts of peace, and especially those of
government. Surely the nineteenth century ought to be able to discover
the secret.

Their suspicions once allayed, and apprehensions of purposes of mere
military encroachment and new oppression removed, the Kabyles are very
ready to forward the construction of works of public utility, and
respond with alacrity to calls for labor. The mountain-streams, nearly
dry for great part of the year, are at times swelled by destructive
floods which carry down great boulders and trunks of trees. For want of
bridges, access to the open-air markets which are held at places and
periods fixed by long usage is thus liable to be prevented.

One of the most largely attended of these markets is held on the right
bank of the small river Djemaa at a point about midway between Fort
National on the north and the summit of the Djurjura on the south, three
or four leagues from either. The crowd of buyers and sellers, most of
them belonging to both classes, reaches as many as four thousand. The
freshets of the Djemaa becoming yearly more of an impediment to travel,
the tribe of the Beni-Menguellet, upon whose territory the fair is held,
became fearful of the loss of its commercial advantages, which were
largely dependent on the visits of the tribes on the left bank. They
consequently proposed the building of a bridge, and offered to furnish
men and materials to be used under French direction. A section of
sappers commanded by a lieutenant soon finished the work with the aid
promised. The Kabyles showed great skill in the handling of their rude
tools. With their small axes they felled large trees so rapidly as to
astonish the French. The felling, however, was a minor part of the task.
The heavy beams had to be carried from the bottom of the steep ravine up
goat-paths to the level of the bridge. This was done in the old
Egyptian way, by sheer multiplication of hands, with no aid from the
mechanical forces. A number of men took hold of each beam and of
hand-spikes passed under it where the track was wide enough, and others
drew by ropes. The slow and solemn procession, enlivening its way with
equally solemn chants in the deepest of gutturals, climbed the precipice
on the slow but sure principle. The bridge was a success, the threatened
diversion of trade escaped, and Beni-Menguellet stock stood at a higher
quotation than ever. A squad of sappers, not a mouthful in a military
sense for the hundreds of Kabyles they supervised, had done more to win
the loyalty of the natives than a brigade of _beaux sabreurs_ or
cave-smokers could have accomplished. The hammer rather than the musket
is the weapon of subjugation.

[Illustration: FORT NATIONAL.]

[Illustration: ROMAN TOMB, NEAR FORT NATIONAL.]

At these markets Kabylia sits to the foreigner for her picture. How she
lives, what she produces and what she wants is plainly and picturesquely
stated. The inevitable Jew, in beard and gaberdine, brings from the city
his pack of trinkets and gay stuff, with bales of heavier tissues for
the excessively simple work-day robes of the Kabyle. The rich plain of
Oued Sahel sends its wheat and barley to exchange for the products of
the hill-loving olive-orchard and fig-plantation. The Beni-Janni, chiefs
of the metal-workers, sit surrounded by enticing rows of swords,
daggers, guns, armlets, leglets, silver and copper-gilt head-dresses and
brooches. Vases in clay, ornamental and plain in every gradation, are
the specialty of the Beni-Aissi. The Beni-bou-Yousef are the weavers,
famous for many-colored haïks and burnouses, leaving to the Beni-Abbes a
repute for similar garments of a particular striped fabric. Horses of
the Barb type, small but elegant in figure, come from all quarters; but
mules, which are offered in considerable number, are something of a
monopoly with the Beni-Ouassif, the Kentuckians of Kabylia. Women,
indifferent as to tribe, and indifferent also, it is sad to state, in
appearance, being mostly over age, spread stores of butter, honey, eggs,
fruit, lean poultry and herbs. The young ladies, there as in other parts
of the world, come not to sell, but to shop. Things of Paris are not
wanting to encourage this propensity, which grows by what it feeds on,
and promotes the civilization of the country by the creation of
artificial wants.

[Illustration: AN IMPROVISED GOBLET.]

Brushing through dewy thickets of lentisk and rose-bay, or drawn sharp
against the vivid African sky on the summit of a bare spur, groups of
mountaineers with their wares and their flocks wend their way at dawn to
the market. It has the air of a unanimous turn-out of the family, all
who can walk or be carried, with dogs, goats, sheep, asses and cattle,
yielding to the common attraction. The Kabyles, unlike the Arabs, do not
smoke, making up for that privation by a much greater consumption of
meat. The marketers of the Beni-Menguellet will swallow for breakfast
and dinner two score oxen and twice as many sheep and goats. The
butchering is done on the spot, or rather hard by, usually by negroes
who make it their profession, and journey from fair to fair with the
outfit of knives and steel and a reed flute to beguile the way with
genuine African melodies. The Kabyles have no higher use for the negro,
the post of seraglio-guard assigned him among wealthier and more
orthodox Moslems being a sinecure with them.

When we remember that these large commercial reunions are held as often
as each week, we are prepared to recognize a degree of movement and
energy sufficient of itself to separate sharply the Kabyles from their
Asiatic coreligionists. Repose is not their chief luxury. The charms of
_kief_ are less irresistible than to the Arab or the Turk. The mere
labor, indeed, of reaching their rock-built homes exacts considerable
bodily exertion. Compared with a daily climb of some hundreds of feet
when the ploughman homeward takes his weary way, the toil of the
harvest-field below looks like recreation. A life which keeps the blood
circulating so rapidly cannot fail to develop a hardy race full of the
pride born of conscious strength, and not disposed to yield readily to
lords who exhaust their physical powers in scaling their eyries. Long
training has given the natives something of the agility of the monkeys
with which they share the crags. Kabyle sharpshooters obstructed the
completion of French hill-forts by ascending the parapet at night and
waking the garrison and the workmen with a storm of balls. The pursuit
of them, when driven back, was unavailing. The soldiers, encumbered with
clothing and accoutrements and shod with stiff leather, could hold no
headway with the Kabyle clad only in a tunic and grasping the cliffs
with four hands like the monkeys. Finally, dogs were imported, regularly
brigaded and regularly credited at the commissariat. Dogs are keen
distinguishers of persons and acute ethnologists. These traits, however,
were possessed alike by the African curs, which outnumbered the
quadruped Gauls and fully sympathized with the prejudices of their dusky
proprietors. This difficulty was fatal to the canine crusade. The
infidel dogs were too many for the Christians, and were soon able to
redevote themselves to older enemies, the jackals and hyænas.

A preference for peaceful industry may be said to have always prevailed
among the Kabyles when left to themselves. The chronic passion for
fighting was rather localized: particular villages were affected by it.
That of Taka, for instance, commandingly posted on a height thirty-five
hundred feet above the level of the sea, has always been the terror of
its neighbors. Whatever the flag or faith nominally in the ascendant,
Taka took her place in the opposition and invited all Adullamites to
make their home within her gates. Misdirected energy like this will,
under a strong, patient and progressive government, be directed into
more useful channels. The most turbulent will become sensible of the
necessity of eating. The larder of crags and caves is necessarily meagre
and precarious. The braves must go to market. For success at that place
of popular resort they must carry something to sell in order to be able
to buy, and they must behave themselves in 'change hours. On the latter
point the French and the peaceably disposed natives insist with
increasing unanimity. They will have to take a lesson from the vultures
which stoop with them from the hills. These know market-day as well as
the almanac or the negro butcher. Punctual to a minute, they perch at a
respectful distance from the centre of traffic, frame the dusky crowd
with a circle of feathered sentinels in uniform of light gray, and
calmly await the distribution of such shreds of eatables as even the
Kabyle cannot use. It is impossible to fancy a gentleman who restricts
himself to the occupation of fighting, buying from those at whose
expense he pursues it his weekly supply of provisions, and marching home
with his _diss_, or strings of chops and cutlets, festooned from his
spear or garlanded around his gallant brow.

Such is the drift of the times. Mankind is banded against brigandage.
Never was an ancient and honorable profession so sadly under the weather
everywhere. When it flares up into momentary life in Sicily or Attica
the newspapers seize hold of the event, a reporter is promptly on the
spot, and the bandit-chief is interviewed as coolly as though he had
merely shot his wife, bought a legislature or effected a triumphant
corner in mess pork. Such depressing influences cannot but wear down the
noblest calling. Sicily is tamed, and Circassia, the Asiatic Kabylia,
nearly so. A recent French tourist in Algeria was much struck with
certain resemblances between the two mountain-races separated by the
length of the Mediterranean and the Euxine. At the Kabyle rock-village
of Tighil-boukbair the town band turned out to receive him. It consisted
of a flute and two tambourines. Both the instruments and the airs
appeared to him identical with those to which he had listened in the
gorges of frosty Caucasus. At Tiflis he had "assisted" at a concert
almost the duplicate of the African entertainment. To make the
resemblance perfect, it would have sufficed, he says, to strip the
Caucasians to a single undergarment.

The same seeker of the picturesque describes a wayside scene
characteristic alike of landscape, dress and manners. What can be more
sensational than a draught of spring-water, under the shadow of a great
rock in a weary land, from the hollowed palm of a Kabyle girl surrounded
by her juniors arrayed in a costume that can neither be described nor
expressed, for the simple reason that it does not exist? A group like
this carries us back to within easy hail of the primal simplicity of
Eden. And a period little later than that of Adam and Eve is suggested
by the experience of the same traveller at his halt a few hours later.
As Abraham, according to the custom of his day, was ready for the three
angels with a substantial lunch, so the official Frenchman is the
beneficiary of a regulation which entitles him to an abundant _diffa_,
or provender for man, horse and attendants, supplied by the nearest
village. The Gaul is not always an angel, but his appetite is none the
worse for that. Butter does not usually appear in the bill of fare, but
its absence is amply atoned for by couscoussou, or African vermicelli,
mutton, boiled fowls, honey and sour milk. This repast is served upon
flat shallow dishes of wood or earthenware a foot and a half in
diameter, the universal platter of Kabylia, and must be a highly
acceptable surprise in the desert. Wine is not a part of the required
ration, the native grapes, though delicious when eaten, not performing
well in the press and vat. Efforts are in progress to remedy this defect
and make Algeria a wine-exporting country, but the summer heat is
probably too great, and the northern edge of the vine-zone will
doubtless maintain its supremacy over the southern, and make the Loire,
the Rhine and the Middle Danube lords of the vintage for all time. Yet
there is no more pacifying industry than wine-making, whatever may be
said of wine-drinking; and the French anxiety to turn the Kabylian caves
into wine-vaults is sensible and laudable.

                                                EDWARD C. BRUCE.



A PADUAN HOLIDAY.


On the morning of Sant' Antonio's Day we strolled through the streets of
Padua, side by side with the country-folk who had come from miles around
to offer up their prayers at the shrine of the saint. Some rode jaded
mules or were packed close in great market-wagons. Others trudged on
foot, with their dinners tied up in blue cotton handkerchiefs. There
were bronzed men in homespun, who pushed steadily on, aiding themselves
with mighty umbrellas; dark-eyed girls, with bright kerchiefs knotted
about their heads or carnations in their glossy braids; smart young
_contadini_, with their hats tied afresh with ribbons and their long
blue hose darned anew. The murmurs of the crowd, loud and merry and full
of bursts of laughter, softened into a solemn whisper as the multitude
pressed onward to the broad piazza where the sanctuary of Sant' Antonio
stands.

One by one the people lifted the leathern curtain of the church-door.
The men doffed their hats, the women told their beads. An awed hush fell
upon those simple peasants as they gazed up at the vastness of the
arches. The world of the winepress and the silk-weaving and the soup-pot
vanished from their hearts, and in its place came the illimitable calm
which holds them bowed for hours against the altar-steps. But now they
press on toward the shrine of the saint. The choir bursts into a
triumphant shout that seems to come from the throats of the bronze
angels about the altar. The chancel is a blaze of light, against which
stand two great dark bronze candelabra like sentinels of the tabernacle.
The steps before Sant' Antonio's shrine are half buried under the great
white lilies that bear his name, and the tall dark angels that keep
guard about his tomb bear sceptres of fresh lilies. There is no need of
the swinging silver censers. Myrrh and frankincense rise, sweet and
strong, from the depths of the snowy chalices. The children kneeling
about the altar bear stalks of the lilies like tall waxen tapers, that
wave to and fro over the surging heads of the multitude. There are
carved pillars around the shrine brought from Byzantium, and great white
marble heads of saints and holy men stand out in relief from the walls.
Silver lamps, beautiful with shining chains and the winged heads of
cherubim, hang from the low vault, warming all the pale figures into
life with the crimson glow of the flame within.

A little bell tinkles. There is a murmur of voices and a rustle of
garments throughout the church. The golden lights of the altar die away,
one by one. The people rise from their prayers with the wide-eyed,
unseeing gaze of those who have been wandering in a far land. They have
crossed the sea with the blessed Antonio; they have followed him into
the presence of the terrible Ezzelin, the feudal enemy of Padua; they
have heard him command the tyrant to set his captives free; they have
accompanied the saint to his hermitage among the purple olive-hills
about the city; they have struggled and suffered and died with him, and
have rejoiced at last in his apotheosis and canonization. And then, the
war being over, the race of Ezzelin expelled, and the lords of the soil,
the Carraras, strong in power, they see how the holy body is brought
into the town to protect it for ever, and a fair temple is built above
its resting-place to prove the people's gratitude to the power that set
them free. They press about the marble sarcophagus that holds his poor
skeleton, and stoop and kiss the clammy surface with reverent looks, or
take the benediction from the hand of some neighbor who stands nearer
the shrine, and utter a petition for the coming year.

See that high-bred young girl in her simple black dress, with her nurse
by her side, and her dark eyes bright and soft under their long lashes.
It is some sweet Bianca, who has left her home to escape sister
Katharine's taunts and make Heaven knows what blushing vow at the shrine
of the kind saint. See how her soft lips caress the feet of the bronze
angel with the lilies in his hand. Do you mark those bold, black,
handsome eyes devouring her face from across the crowd of low-statured
peasants? It is some wild youth from the university, you say? Ay, one
Lucentio of Pisa, a noble gentleman, whose father has sent him to Padua
to study those parts of philosophy that treat of happiness. Bianca knows
not how near her fate lies--knows not that to-morrow the new master of
music and languages will present himself at her father's door and try
his skill in translation, and carry off the sweet prize under the very
beards of the reverend wooers of Padua.

[Illustration: CHURCH OF SANT' ANTONIO.]

Oh horror! there comes sister Katharine! Blessed Virgin, help us to
escape before she sees us, or there will be no peace in the house for a
week. Come, nurse! quick! And Bianca flutters off in affright, and is
lost in the crowd.

There she comes, bonny Kate--a small, slight consequential person,
dressed in a robe of that brilliant green of the northern Italian
painters. She wants no nurse--not she! She would go from Padua to the
farthest country on Fra Paolo's map on the strength of her biting tongue
and her snapping green eyes. "Make way," she orders, "you low, vile
brutes!" and the peasants draw back and look askance at her, and the
women mutter under their breath, and the girls laugh a low laugh. See
her kiss her hand and lay it on the marble. She will not touch her lips
to it for fear of contamination. She hurls an angry oath at the
market-woman standing near with her hens tied up in her kerchief,
because she crowds so close that the hungry birds peck at the silver
galloon of her sleeve. Ay, pretty Kate, you are arrogant now. But wait a
little. Here comes Petruchio, a most unwholesome sight for a summer's
day. Get thee gone in haste, fair Kate!

See how he stalks on through the crowd, with his riding-whip in his
hand, now cutting good-humoredly at a small boy's legs, now playfully
throttling a ruddy peasant-girl with the long lash. His clothes are
torn and muddy. He wears a new hat and an old jerkin, and a pair of old
breeches, thrice turned. He has ridden into town on the sorriest nag
ever bred on the plains of Lombardy. See him stride up to the shrine of
Sant' Antonio. Do you think he will kiss that filthy stone, with the
impress of so many foul mouths upon it? He cuts at it with his whip
until the people start back in affright and the wind blows half the
lamps out, and the priest would gladly launch a malediction at his head,
but that he knows his man, for Petruchio's pranks with the clergy are
the talk of all Padua.

He is the delight of the university lads, this mad fellow from Verona.
See how they crowd about him as he stalks down the nave, and crave a
look or a salute from their bully hero! They lay bets in lecture-hours
as to whether he will succeed in taming that young shrew, Baptista's
daughter.

Be sure the Moorish prince and he of Arragon stopped with their trains
to ask the saint's protection when they went to woo fair Portia. And the
lady herself, after that good deed done in Venice, when she went praying
about at holy crosses, craved the saint's blessing on her lord,
Bassanio. He too, I wager, meditated here on his lady and his friend.
They crowd, a shadowy multitude, about the gleaming sepulchre under the
crimson glow of the silver lamps.

We wandered on, past the carved chapel-gates, the wrought bronze lamps,
the incense-clouds and the silver-white lilies, out into the tomb-filled
cloisters. There they lie, cheek by jowl--old professors from the
university in cap and gown, high up under the arches; old warriors in
armor, with their griffins and lions at their feet, and slaves bearing
scrolls with their names and exploits registered thereon. Old
councillors and syndics in robe and ruff, noble women in veil and coif,
lie side by side with some brave young heart that shed its life's blood
for united Italy.

[Illustration: PADUAN CAFFÉ.]

Old dragons and monsters and wide-mouthed cherubim leer down from the
gray sepulchres. From under the pointed arches, blossoming with
palm-leaves and sweet stone child-faces, young painted angels,
soft-eyed, long-haired, in pink and blue robes, smile down from the gold
background, with emblems of resurrection in their hands, like flowers
springing from the dust beneath. Here and there, high up under the
cornice of some old Gothic tomb, is a round-eyed frescoed Madonna
watching the slumbers of an old knight whose bed-curtain is upheld by
long-armed saints. Pompous and grim and fantastic and sullen by turns,
these tombs would make the heart of the stranger ache with their
mockery, but that the living sunlight streams athwart the hard stone
faces and the monster heads, and in the quadrangle of the cloister the
lilies are standing like white-robed heavenly hosts, and a well upheld
by angels rises up from the rank meadow-space. The purple clover runs
riot among the grass. There is humming of bees about the golden
lily-hearts, and a red butterfly loses its way now and then among the
graves.

There is the rustle of ghostly garments in the silent air--the fall of
shadowy feet upon the grave-lined pavements. A white-robed, shining
multitude of philosophers and sages is for ever pacing up and down the
sunny gallery discoursing of great and high things, like the blessed in
the _Paradise_ of Dante. A goodly company were they who walked there of
old. Here came Giotto, pale-browed and thoughtful, discoursing with his
friend, old Pietro di Abano, wizard, astrologer and learned physician,
of the designs he was to give him for the frescoing of the new Palace of
Reason that the city was erecting. With them, perchance, walked the
great Tuscan, for he knew and loved them both, and all three, the seer,
the poet and the painter, brooded over the inner forces of Nature and
bared their souls to revelation. Hither came Petrarch, worn with the
pomp of courts, yet flushed with modest pride at the new clerical
dignity conferred upon him by his friend the Carrara, looking back upon
his past life with philosophic calm, bidding no man judge the day till
the evening be past, yet now and again feeling the old waves of passion
surge through his heart, breathing a prayer for the repose of his dead
love and a sigh for those sweet, far-off days of his youth. Here Tasso,
the beautiful young dreamer, escaping from the dull round of the
university, threw himself down in the clover beside the angels of the
well, and saw fair white women with golden hair wreathing their arms
about him, while the bees and the butterflies laughed aloud and cried,
"Poor fool! he does not know they are only lilies." And Galileo,
teaching the while the dull youth of the school, came to gather strength
in the thought of the great finality that was to lay him low beyond the
reach of the Inquisition, and yet lift him far above all human grandeur
to mate with the stars that had been his comfort through long years of
pain. Great Paolo Sarpi, when he came down from Venice in his monk's
dress to discourse with the learned men of Padua, wandered here with his
mind intent on the mighty problems of the universe, all unthinking of
the assassin's knife that was to ease the jealousy of the Roman
cardinals. Here wandered the apprentice-boy Mantegna, poor and humble,
stealing timidly in behind the furred gowns and the gilded chains to
feast his poor little artist-soul upon the frightened young Madonnas and
wide-eyed angels that look out timidly from the arches of the
sepulchres. What grand old phantoms glide on by the side of the laughing
student-lads, and the old market-women in red kerchiefs who tell their
beads in corners, and the young girls who gather the long stalks of
seed-grass from the quadrangle and whisper to them timid questions
concerning their absent lovers!

On the great square in front of the church were booths filled with
bright flowers and early fruit and cheap sweetmeats, at which the
peasants were haggling and chaffering and filling their blue
handkerchiefs. The saints and prophets raised their hands in blessing
from the blossoming spires. Over the way, in the inn of the "Two White
Crosses," the farmers were dining. The laughter floated out through the
open windows, and a man appeared at the door and scattered cherries to
the crowd. By the side of the church was a great sepulchre, horrible
with demon-heads and pictures of the sinners in Purgatory. Above the
heads of the crowd, high on a pedestal, sat a bronze warrior on a fiery
charger. It is old Gattamelata, the _condottiere_ of the Venetian forces
in the long wars with Padua. His body lies within the church, and his
effigy is the work of one Donatello, famous in Tuscan art.

We followed the crowd along the white-walled street to the great
market-square the people call the Prato della Valle. In the middle was a
circular space of meadow, with trees above it, surrounded by a moat,
above which stand life-size statues of warriors and poets and nobles and
philosophers, blackened with the damp and mould of centuries, the folds
of their gowns battered and grass-grown, their noses missing, their eyes
put out by stones in the well-nerved hands of riotous youth, their
swords and sceptres broken short, their pointed beards snapped off into
bluntness. All around the great piazza are arches with _caffès_ and
shops under them. Off at one end rises the massive front of Santa
Giustina.

The broad paved space between the arcades and the moat of the statues
was the scene of a horse-fair. The most miserable animals that the
imagination can conjure up, all the gaunt, ghostly steeds that graze in
the pastures of legend and fable, were gathered there, neighing and
pawing as impatiently as their half-starved spirits would allow. Be sure
Petruchio bought his famous steed at the horse-fair of Padua, and that
he tried the beast's speed, as these peasants do, by driving him round
and round the statues, raising a cloud of white dust and scattering
crowds of girls and children, who screamed with terror and prayed that
the curse of Sant' Antonio might ever follow him.

Suddenly, a sound as of kettledrums and cymbals and squeaking violins
rose above the neighing and braying of the fair. In front of Santa
Giustina were a circus and a wild-beast show and a crowd of lesser
jugglers and charlatans. Outside the circus-booth, high up on a
platform, stood the clowns in their dingy fleshings and faded scarlet
trunks. They blew furiously on great brass trumpets until their cheeks
were purple and nigh to bursting under all the ghastly chalk. There were
_ballerine_ in draggled pink tarletan petticoats and low white bodices
that made their bony necks and brawny arms still browner by contrast.
They had honest, unpainted faces, and wore their hair screwed up tightly
on the tops of their heads. They bore traces of exposure to wind and
rain. Their eyes had a kind of wistful look, as though they were tired
of all this noise and foolery, and wished themselves back again on the
old olive-farms with their toiling mothers. There was something in their
dogged mouths and the resolute manner in which they thumped the big
drums and clashed the great brass cymbals that told of the threshing of
grain and the treading of the winepress. There were gorgeous matrons in
threadbare velvet and tattered lace head-dresses who cast glances of
sweetness upon the unresponsive crowd, and cheered on the panting clowns
to cry out at the top of their poor strained lungs, "Avanti, signori!
avanti!" Small lithe children clothed in pink tights, with jewelled
crowns on their heads, darted in and out among the curtains of the tent,
and gazed with a royal air upon the open-eyed, wondering little
peasants, rough-shod and clothed in homespun, who stood and worshipped
them.

Not far from the circus, under a wooden tent, a half score of monsters
were whirling round and round in mad rivalry--fishes with enormous
mouths and mighty fins, like the terrible "Orco" of Ariosto; wild steeds
whose legs blossomed out into acanthus-leaves, like the old grotesques
that lurk under the ferns about the basins of the village fountains;
great mysterious birds, with big eyes, and golden chains about their
necks; beasts with the heads of cats and the bodies of dogs, as
monstrous and fantastic a crew, full of high-colored, confused images,
as ever rioted in the high-strung brain of some old _cinque-cento_
poet. Each of these terrible monsters had its rider--some little
golden-curled child, who clung about the neck of a cat-headed dolphin
and shrieked with delight at the danger. Some pale sewing-girl, with a
turret of powdered hair above her soft face and her black shawl thrown
like a habit around her, sat erect on her white palfrey, and for a
moment held herself the equal of the great ladies of other times whose
faces looked down upon her from the corridors of the palaces to which
she went to carry home her work, and haunted her as she sat alone in her
little chamber high up among the red roofs. Some straight-limbed
peasant-boy, with a clear-cut face and a red flower in his hat,
bestriding the black charger with fiery nostrils, felt his heart swell
with noble longing at some dim memory of the glorious deeds of the old
warriors of Padua that his grandmother had related to him many a
winter's night when the chestnuts were roasting on the hearth and the
rain was rustling through the dead vine-stalks. To him every note of the
cracked trumpet was full of intoxication: it meant war and love and
glory and heroic deeds.

There are brown-faced women in tarnished spangles tumbling on squares of
carpet, with their children crouching patiently on the blue
handkerchiefs that contain the family wardrobe, waiting for their dinner
to be earned. They are assisted by white curly poodles, with pink shaven
legs, solemn faces and long ears, which make them look like old Paduan
_marchesi_ in powdered wigs. They make the circuit of the carpet on
their hind legs, and jump through hoops, and pass the hat among the
bystanders, and watch the sleeping babies, and carry the weight of the
whole family upon their meditative shoulders.

There are tame magpies that tell the peasant-girls' fortunes by choosing
printed slips of paper from a box, and others that predict the winning
numbers of next week's lottery. Now and then an old magician passes who
has horse-hair curls reaching to his waist, a green shade over his eyes,
and carries slung about his neck a board on which sits a drugged cock
or a great black cat. He consults his familiar for answers to the
questions that are put to him. The peasants form groups about the
charlatans and tumblers and ring-throwers, and the sunlight streams over
the happy, careless crowd with a blessing. How many of them know that
where they stand the early Christians met their death with psalms upon
their lips and the palm of martyrdom in their hands?

There was one among those early martyrs, a beautiful young maiden, named
Giustina, whose life and death were full of such heroic loveliness that
in later times a mighty church was raised in her honor near the spot of
the sacrifice. The bones of all her fellow-martyrs were collected and
buried in a vault within the edifice. It is a great gray pile, cold and
solemn and austere, that rises dark behind the brilliant groups of the
fair. On either side of the great staircase crouches a stone monster,
some mysterious symbol of the early faith. Tradition gives them the
names of the paladins Roland and Oliver. The one clasps the figure of a
crusader between its mighty paws--the other, some mystical four-footed
creature. They look down upon the merry crowds with solemn unwinking
gaze, large-eyed and mysterious. They seem to put the old riddle of the
Sphinx to the traveller who pauses by their side to watch the surging
waves of human life that beat against the broad stairway of the church.
The seal of the centuries is on their broad brows. They have looked down
upon battle and tournament, upon success and defeat, upon life and
death.

The history of the Prato is a stirring Italian epic, some heroic
_Orlando_ or _Gerusalemme_, with undertones of mirth and satire. There
the Paduans held their masques and holiday-shows; there rose the mighty
castle that was stormed on a feast-day by armed men with missiles of
oranges and pomegranates; there stalked Donatello's mighty wooden horse,
towering high above the crowd in the Carnival cavalcades; there, after
Ezzelin the Terrible had for years enriched the ground with Paduan blood
and hung the Paduan bodies high on gibbets, the freed and happy people
celebrated the expulsion of the tyrant by instituting the famous
horse-races, in which the prizes were scarlet cloth and gloves and a
sparrow-hawk. Hither came Charlemagne and Barbarossa to witness the
games held in their honor. Fairs and shows and Carnival riot have been
the lot of the Prato from the days when the nuns of Santa Giustina sold
it to the town, until now when the Paduan ladies drive around the
weatherbeaten statues of a Sunday with mighty towers of hair on their
heads and enormous fans screening their faces. But there were times when
the Prato echoed with the noise of battle. Blood flowed through the moat
about the statues swifter than the sluggish waters of to-day. What
stern, mighty figures have that Prato for their background! Alaric the
Goth, Attila, Ezzelin, all fought with the rebellious Paduans on those
gray stones. All the Venetian generals and the princes of old Verona and
the terrible Visconti of Milan--all have left the traces of their iron
tread upon the patch of meadow where the pink daisies open their eyes,
and the red clover calls to the bees from the base of the dingy statues,
and the boys lie on the grass and play at _morra_ or sit for hours with
their bare brown legs hanging over the moat fishing for the infant
minnows. What wonder that the great square echoes with battle-cries and
the clash of steel! There is another echo, lower and more feeble, but
yet more ominous, for it is the echo of the plague-bell. I can hear it
above all the noises of battle and tournament and Carnival mirth that
haunt the Prato. For the old chronicles tell us how in the war with
Venice the starving, the plague-stricken, the dying lay in heaps upon
the flower-starred turf of the Prato. At midnight the death-cart made
its round about the square, the muffled tread of the horses' hoofs
mingling with the moaning of the sick and the wailing of the wind
through the ghostly trees above the statues. The darkness was broken but
by the light of a lantern fastened to the shafts of the cart, which
threw the white-faces into ghastly relief. Black-robed figures, silent
and prayerful, passed in and out among the stricken groups.

[Illustration: SANTA GIUSTINA.]

Of all the tragic episodes connected with the Prato, there is none that
contains such elements of warm vital interest or extorts from us such
sorrowful sympathy as the history of Francesco, the last of the
Carraras. The old Italian chronicles are written with such sublime and
pathetic simplicity that human life after centuries rises up before us
with all its warm joys and sorrows, delights and agonies. We see him
first, this gallant Francesco, as a youth returning home in triumph from
a victory over the Scaligeri of Verona, welcomed by his old father, the
lord of Padua, there on the Prato, amidst the rejoicings of the people.
Then we see how, when Padua had fallen into the hands of the Visconti,
the old Francesco was kept a prisoner at Monza. His son, Francesco II.,
was also held in bondage by the Milanese, but his proud heart revolted
at the thought of his slavery, and he compassionated the sufferings of
his country, for the Visconti were hard, stern rulers. He asked
permission of the Visconti to reside in Asti, which lay near the
frontier of the Milanese territory. A little later he quitted the town,
disguised as a pilgrim and accompanied by his wife and two servants,
under pretext of visiting the shrine of Sant' Antonio at Vienne in
France. The emissaries of the Visconti follow him to Avignon, where he
treats with the pope in person and by letter with other influential
personages. Having obtained promises of assistance, he returns to Italy
by way of the coast. Moneyless, friendless, dreading arrest at every
step, burdened with a sick wife, Francesco knocks at the gate of Genoa.
The haughty city favors the Visconti, will have nothing to do with the
wanderer, and threatens him with the dungeons of the ducal palace. So
they follow the coast down to Pisa, the wife almost dead with fatigue
and privation, for they are often obliged to walk all day, and no
peasant is bold enough to offer them assistance. At last, one of their
servants, by much diplomacy, procures a miserable nag and a shaky
market-wagon filled with straw, and in this state the outcast rulers of
Padua drive up to the gates of Pisa. They are refused admittance, and
wander sorrowfully on. Outside the town they chance upon a deserted
hovel. How these princes praise God for his goodness, for now Madonna
Taddea can have a night's rest on the straw in the corner! One of the
servants steals back to the town and bribes a shopkeeper to sell him
bread and meat and wine. They build a fire and warm their poor
weatherbeaten limbs, and are right merry in a desperate, reckless way.
With the morrow they take up their march, and at last reach a friendly
city, where the wife rejoins her children. Francesco is provided with
men and arms to enable him to attack his native town, which is ready to
welcome him back. He assaults the city one midnight, surprises the
Milanese, is welcomed by the Paduans with the old shout, "Viva il
Carro!" and at dawn is encamped in triumph upon the Prato. He ruled for
a long time wisely and well, for he had known the discipline of life,
and had hungered and thirsted like the lowest of his subjects. How he
must have laughed, this stately soldier banqueting in his palace-halls,
at the thought of the night when he had been so thankful for that bit of
bread and drop of wine snatched from the grudging Pisan! And Madonna
Taddea, a blooming matron, surrounded by her children, laughed with the
tears in her eyes, and told them how one of their number had come near
being born not in a manger like our Lord, but in the open fields.

But a terrible fate hangs over this princely house. Francesco is accused
by the Venetians of violating a treaty, and war is declared against him.
The flower of the Venetian army, led by the bravest of the Venetian
generals, is sent against Padua. There is a long, fierce struggle. In
spite of famine and plague, Francesco holds out to the very last, but
one night the Venetians scale the walls and build their camp-fires on
the Prato. Francesco, with his two sons, Jacopo and Francesco, is loaded
with chains and carried to Venice, and lodged in the dungeons of the
ducal palace. There is the mockery of a trial in one of those great
painted rooms, but there is only one opinion with regard to the sentence
that will be pronounced against them. It is a terrible sight, the
proclamation of that judgment to the prisoners, nearly blind, wan and
half dead in their cells under the canal. When the executioner prepares
to read the fatal document one of them rushes at him and throws his
stool at his head. When the day of execution comes they embrace one
another, and Jacopo writes a letter to his wife, which the tenderness
and sorrow of the chronicler have handed down to us, bidding her pray
for his soul and love their children. Then they are placed upon wooden
chairs in their several dungeons, with their backs toward the door. The
executioner jerks a silken cord about their necks, and the race of the
Carraras has vanished from among the rulers of the earth. Their bodies,
wrapped in velvet cloaks and adorned with golden spurs, are laid in
different churches, but their graves are nameless and the memory of the
old heroic lords of Padua is branded with shame.

[Illustration: PRATO DELLA VALLE.]

We wandered on with the holiday crowd through the narrow arcades.
Against the pillars leaned little stalls and booths where were sold
fruit and fried cakes and hard gingerbread and crucifixes and rosaries
and lives of the saints and veils and ribbons and fans and silver
hair-pins. The young peasant-girls, strolling up and down under the
arcades, some in groups, some clinging timidly to their lovers' arms,
stop at the booths and glance wistfully at the pretty trinkets, and end
by buying a life of Sant' Antonio for the old mother who has stayed at
home among the olives, and a clay pipe for the old father taking his
holiday rest on the doorstep by her side. They form bright pictures
against the open archways of the palaces beyond, through which the young
green of the gardens gleams in the sunlight. There is an air of mystery
and reserve about these broad gateways which contrasts well with the
honest, gaudy street-life under the arcades. One of these palaces may be
Baptista's, and within the unwelcome wooers of his daughters may be
feasting with him or sauntering arm-in-arm through the young leafage of
the garden, flouted by saucy Kate and shunned by sweet Bianca.

Conspicuous among the brown-faced peasants were the students, who
strolled by in groups with a lordly air of possession or gathered in
knots at the street-corners and waxed loud in discussion. They were
lithe, slender, handsome fellows, with dark eyes and fair skins and oval
faces. They had that nameless poetic grace which is the birthright of
all young Italians. The soft feminine beauty of these young Paduans,
with their dainty dress and pretty girlish ways, was something akin to
the sleepy grace of young lions. Watch that group at the corner waxing
hot over some wrong done to the leaders of their party--some one of
their political heroes arrested and cast into prison for uttering the
thoughts of all just men. See their eyes flash, their hands move in
anger and grope instinctively toward the place where they wore their
swords in their year of service. Do you say that the old Paduan flame
has died out of these young hearts? They are of the same temper as the
hearts that held out against the Venetian, the Visconti, the pope
himself--that made a hedge for the Austrian bayonets to pierce, and
yielded life and fame and fortune for their country's sake, and
languished in the hundred prisons of the northern tyrants, and were
lifted up at last in one great glad shout of victory. Let those
battle-fields among the olive-farms on the hills outside the gates tell
the story of the Paduan students. Their bright youthfulness was like
sunshine warming the gray old walls of the town. The romance of the old
Italian life seemed incarnate in their graceful shapes. Such heads as
theirs gleam out from the dark canvases that hang high in the corridors
of the old palaces--sometimes as the portrait of a long-forgotten young
knight; sometimes in the guise of a warrior-saint, some George or
Michael, painted by a master hand; sometimes as a beautiful young
ascetic in his monk's dress.

Is it strange that the pretty peasant-girls cast shy veiled glances at
the young lads that stroll by with a careless stare? For centuries they
have given pledges and broken them there under the dark arcade, and so
they will do for centuries to come. There will be other holidays and
other prayers at Antonio's shrine, and other girls will have ribbons
bought for them at the booths, and then there will be a couple of kisses
and a parting and a few tears, and now and then a broken heart. The
young men will take their diplomas and go out into the world, and rush
into the turmoil of the state and the senate and the court, and lose the
proud heroic bearing of their youth in cringing and fawning; or they
will settle down on their estates and marry the Marchesa Tal Quale, who
will have many quarterings and many bank-notes, and their beautiful
Greek outlines will disappear under the weight of fat proper to a landed
proprietor. The grand ideals of their youth will drop away from them one
by one, and they will laugh with contempt at their old student notions
of liberty and freedom for high and low.

Only some morning, when the children tell them it is Sant' Antonio's
Day, an old pain will rise in their hearts, and they will see the dear
old arcades of Padua and the little gay booths, and trustful eyes and
fresh girl-faces will start up in their memories; and when the
church-bells ring out they will hide their heads from the _marchesa_ and
the _marchesini_ and cry out aloud for the old happy student-time, when
love and hope of glory and high belief in God and man were theirs. God
pity them, those poor young things, in spite of all their glorious
youth! The beautiful promise of their spring will ripen into dull
mediocrity. They will learn to be false to themselves and the truth.
Happier are they who die there in old Padua in the fulness of their
youth and hope, and are borne to the great hall of the university and
are laid on the black-draped bier, with candles burning about them and
their fellow-students rising from their seats and bowing three times
before the corpse, and reading the funeral eulogy of him who is going to
his grave with the spirits of the great and good that have left their
footprints in the solemn halls for his mourning train.

[Illustration: PIAZZA DELLA ERBE.]

In the vestibule of the university, high up on the walls, hang the
escutcheons of the more famous of the students of past centuries, gray
with age and mould and cobweb. What colossal figures stalk about the
quadrangle and along the overhanging galleries! The mightiest minds of
Europe are among them. Every footfall makes an echo across the
centuries. Yet of all the old shadows, the one that has the greatest
charm for me is that of the gray-haired serving-man who steals along the
gallery with the bundle under his arm. Do you say it is only the
sunlight lying athwart the arches? I tell you it is Portia's faithful
servant, and he has been to the university to seek Doctor Balthazar, her
cousin, and has obtained from him a lawyer's cap and gown, and he is
hastening home to Belmont, that his mistress may don them and reach
Venice in time to save Antonio from the Jew's hands.

Sedate groups of students were seated on the terrace of the _caffè_
opposite sipping beer in gentlemanly Italian fashion. Here and there
some honest burgher family, out for a holiday, was cooling itself with
pink ices after the pilgrimage to the shrine. The female members were
clothed with garments of such exaggerated form and color that one sees
at once why Petruchio, in spite of his madness, had wit enough left to
send to Venice for the wedding-clothes, and why Katharine, after the
atrocious fashions of Padua, was disposed to be content with anything
the Veronese tailor chose to offer her.

We sauntered on to where the afternoon sun flashed red against the great
arched windows of the Palace of Reason. It is a mighty stone edifice,
with a curved glass roof over the great justice-hall, which was the
pride of mediæval Padua. Under the pointed arches of the wide galleries
outside are gathered gray old milestones and funeral tablets and antique
busts that carry the stranger back to the days of Latin legend, when old
Antenor came up from the south and founded the city.

On the piazza, under the shadow of the beautiful loggie, the
market-women are gathering up the bright fruits from the stalls and
folding their red umbrellas, and thanking the saint for a profitable
feast-day. A flood of yellow sunlight streams over the piazza, wrapping
it about with a delicious drowsiness. No sound is in the air save the
echo of a footfall in some one of the dark streets behind or the yawn of
a weary fruit-seller. In the little _caffè_ under the arcades the idlers
seem to have fallen into an enchanted sleep. Now and then a student
saunters by, gazing dreamily up at the graceful galleries. Tired mothers
hasten across the piazza, dragging their tired but happy children after
them. The mothers are red in the face with the heat, their bonnets are
nigh to falling off, and their mighty castles of hair are shaken to
their foundations. The children's hands are filled with dead lilies and
hard cakes, and their faces are aglow with melted sugar and happiness.
They have a weary air, as through surfeit of sweets. They will welcome
the work-day minestra to-night when they reach their homes high up
among the terraces and the chimneys and the clothes-lines. Ah, well!
Sant' Antonio's Day is drawing to a close.

Those children with the lilies in their hands carried me back to the old
religious masque of centuries ago. The chroniclers tell us that every
year, in the month of the Blessed Virgin, a procession formed here on
the piazza in front of the palace composed of all the civil dignitaries,
the priests, the nobles and the different guilds. At their head went two
children beautiful as seraphim, the one dressed in snowy white, with
golden hair falling on his shoulders and a sceptre of white lilies in
his hand--the angel of the Annunciation; the other, clothed in a flowing
blue garment, with long brown hair escaping from under her golden
crown--the Blessed Virgin herself. So they passed on, accompanied by
music and the shouts of the people, through the streets of Padua, that
were hung with crimson arazzi and tapestry from the looms of Flanders
and curtains of cloth of gold. Onward they went to the vineyard outside
the town, in which stands Giotto's chapel. At the gate the procession
paused, and there was a colloquy in rhyme between the Virgin and the
angel, and all the dignitaries listened with profound seriousness, and a
mass was chanted within the chapel, and bombs were exploded, and bells
rung, and there were singing and shouting and feasting throughout Padua.

After all the gaudy brilliancy of the feast-day, after all the hot
unrest of the streets and the stifling atmosphere of the churches, it
was pleasant to stroll toward the gray walls of the town in the late
afternoon. The bells were calling from tower to tower. Along the
grass-grown streets no footfall save our own broke the stillness. Here
and there a goddess or a couple of cherubs bearing an escutcheon smirked
at us from the high garden-walls. Sometimes from within the wrought-iron
gates came the rustling of trees or the plash of a fountain. We paused
at a wide weatherbeaten door, rang the bell and were admitted by a brown
smiling contadina, who preceded us up the narrow path that had vines
stretching out on either side, with flowering peas and beans climbing,
all crimson and scarlet blossom, over the jagged stakes. The air was
rilled with perfume and the eager buzzing of bees. At the end of the
path stood a large square house, on the portico of which sat two
blue-frocked peasants smoking and drinking red wine. There was a broad
patch of green sward in front, on which three yellow-haired children and
a small tawny dog were rolling in play. Under the great fig tree at the
side of the house sat three brown-faced women, two knitting, the third
dressing her hair. There were cool shadows under the broad leaves of the
fig tree, and bars of slanting sunlight falling through the foliage on
to the grass. At the right of the house stood a little Gothic chapel
with the sunlight streaming across the threshold. On the arch of the
door the birds were singing, and there was a growth of purple cabbages
and kingly artichokes by the side of the chapel, and low in the hollows
near by lay patches of brake and fern.

At the sunlit threshold a woman sat sewing. Before her was a table with
photographs, and a stalk of lilies in a blue earthern pitcher upon it.
The sun streamed over the sunken pavement to the neglected little altar
with its coarse mosaics and paper flowers, over the rickety little
pulpit and the traces of Byzantine gilding, and over the quaint old
effigy of the founder. It fell, soft and brilliant and caressing, on the
frescoes of Giotto. They were as pure and fresh and holy as the very
lilies; and as the lilies revealed the innermost meanings of Sant'
Antonio's Day to the hearts of the worshippers, so the frescoes
symbolized the deepest reverence, the hidden longing of the whole
brilliant, noisy Middle Age life of Padua. Their very crudeness, their
nakedness, their barrenness of accessory, their sharp, brilliant
coloring, cause them to stand out in strong relief. Never did the
mystery of Holy Writ receive better interpretation than at the hands of
Giotto. The characters in the sacred writings stand out sharp, bold,
naked, crude, and Giotto caught the bare emotional and intellectual
nature of every personage. He painted their souls and not their bodies,
and therefore he painted well. Each character might stand for the
personification of some one emotion. What can be more full of sweetness
and humble adoration than the Annunciation! what more awe-inspiring,
more faithful in its horror, than the miracle of Lazarus, where the
corpse, swathed in its bandages, stands upright among the multitude with
its hollow eyes gazing in mingled gratitude and terror at the Saviour!
what more full of grotesque sternness than the Last Judgment! what more
nobly imagined, more faithfully executed, than the Last Supper! The
simplicity and sublimity of revelation shine down from them, and make
the beholder speechless with the thought of divine love.

Let us go no farther. Let us end our holiday here. Under the altar
sleeps the old knight who built the chapel, and outside the door the
peasants sit upon the threshold of his palace. The butterflies saunter
in on the sun-filled breeze and flutter about the lilies on the table
and the painted lilies on the wall. The dark sweet faces shine down from
the frescoes, as they have shone down upon the worshippers through the
ages, with a blessing on their holy, sentient mouths. A deep reverent
hush is in the air--a nameless expectancy fills our hearts. We stand on
the threshold of all that is best and worthiest in the human life of
centuries, with the shades of the great and noble pressing about us. The
announcing angel has brought unto us the lilies of revelation, and we
feel with glad humility that we are for ever one with all the high souls
that have joined earth with heaven.

                                                CHARLOTTE ADAMS.



A LAW UNTO HERSELF.


CHAPTER VI.

A year after Laidley's death, Judge Rhodes, being in New York,
breakfasted with Mr. Neckart. He noticed that the editor had grown lean
and sallow. "And God knows he had no good looks to spare," smoothing
down his own white beard over his comfortable paunch. Something, too, of
that easy frankness which had made Neckart so popular was gone; no topic
interested him; his eye was secretive and irritable; he spoke and moved
under the constant pressure of self-control. The judge, as he watered
his claret, eyed the dark face opposite to him critically. "Now, I
never," he thought, "saw a sign of ill-temper or cruelty in that man.
Yet I have a queer fancy that if the reins were once taken off he could
not master himself again. It must be devilishly uncomfortable, holding
one's self in in that way," the last morsel of quail sliding down his
throat unctuously. "_I_ can let myself out without danger."

"Why, you eat nothing! The campaign's been too much for you, Mr.
Neckart," he said aloud. "You've run down terribly in the last year.
Always the way. You young men make too many spurts in the first heat,
and break down before the middle of the race. Well, that's our American
policy. But the American physique won't stand it."

"Do you only mean that I have broken down physically, or do you see any
change in my work? The leading articles are mine, you know. Don't be
afraid to be frank."

"Well, now that you ask me--Your articles are more forcible lately, more
popular: they bring down the galleries, eh? But it's a sledge-hammer
force, it's vehemence, d'ye see? There's a lack of that moderation, that
repressed power, in which was your real strength. You asked me to be
frank?"

"Yes. And I knew just what you would say. Well, what must be, is!" with
a gesture which dismissed the subject.

"Nonsense! It's your nervous system that needs toning, that's all. If
our side goes in, get a foreign mission--some warm, lazy place on the
Mediterranean, say. Rest a few years, and when you come home take an
easier pace for the rest of your life. Lord bless you, boy! I've been
through it all. When I was a young fellow--mere bundle of nerves,
high-strung, sir--high-strung! Ambition, love! Constitution wouldn't
stand it!--Bit of the steak, John, rare.--Joe Rhodes, I said, either
come down to the jog-trot level or die. So here I am! Good for forty
years yet, please God! When you are my age you may be just what I am, if
you choose."

Neckart's eye twinkled: "Try the birds, judge."

He made an effort after that to resume his old careless manner, and the
judge had tact enough to drop the subject. But he was not deceived.
"There's more here than meets the eye," he said shrewdly to himself.
"Neckart has had a blow that has made him stagger. He has worked like a
horse in a treadmill. But he has the constitution to stand it. Functions
in healthy condition--tremendous vital power. Either hereditary disease
is at work, or some morbid passion, or he would not have given way."

He urged him to eat with tender solicitude, even gave him his famous
recipe for a salad. No matter what our sympathy, our help for each other
can seldom come any closer than skin or stomach, after all.

"By the way," he said presently, "I hear that Swendon has bought a place
up the Hudson. Can you tell me anything about him?"

"I meet him everywhere," said Neckart. "The old man is failing fast. But
he takes life just as he always did--like a boy let loose for the
holidays."

"And his daughter?"

"She never comes into town: she is not a woman of society."

"I remember the little Swede was no favorite of yours," noticing a
certain reserve in Neckart's tone. "But I had an object in asking for
her. Of course you would not be likely to know much about them: they are
out of your line."

"I have met the captain and his daughter several times during the year,"
said Neckart. "They were camping on the Maine coast last summer, and I
stumbled into their tent one day. Miss Swendon fancied her father would
grow strong on a diet of fish of his own catching. When the cold weather
set in she took him to St. Augustine. I ran against him by the old fort
the very morning I arrived, and in the spring we met at Omaha, and made
the overland trip to California together. There is no kind of air and no
kind of amusement which she has not tried, since she had the means, to
give the old man his health back again. To no purpose, however."

"Very odd!" the judge nodded mysteriously. "Very odd indeed about that
property! Laidley told me the very night before he died that he had made
a will leaving it in charity. Now, Jane inherited by virtue of a will
made two years before. No other forthcoming. I suppose remorse seized
him _in articulo mortis_. There was a curious thing occurred in that
last interview of mine with Laidley.--How can I see Swendon?"
interrupting himself. "Where is their house?"

Mr. Neckart hesitated a moment: "I am going there this evening to dine
and spend the night, and I will take you with me. It will be a surprise
which the captain will like."

"The very thing! Precisely! The truth is, Neckart--light a cigar--the
truth is," lowering his voice and leaning over the table, "Laidley
exacted a half promise from me that night which troubles me. The fellow
died forthwith, you see, and so clenched it on me. He had a plan for
Miss Swendon's future, and asked me to forward it. I thought he was
going to cheat the girl, and paid little attention to it. But he did
the clean thing after all, and then died promptly. I must say Laidley
acted in a much more decent and gentlemanlike way than I expected. So,
now I feel as if I owed it to the fellow to keep my word."

Mr. Neckart nodded. He asked no questions, but scanned the judge's
flabby face narrowly. Rhodes lifted one leg on to the other knee and
nursed it. It was his confidential attitude.

"It's a delicate matter, you see. Van Ness is concerned."

"Van Ness, the antiquarian?"

"Oh, he's more than that! You don't suppose a man of his breadth of
intellect confines himself to old bricks and dry bones? Why, God bless
you! Pliny Van Ness is the final authority in Philadelphia on new
singers or pictures or cracked teapots or great religious or
philanthropic reforms. If he were taken from it, the underpinnings of
that town would be knocked away, and it would fall flat."

"Last fall, I think, I heard he had a plan for enforcing compulsory
education in Pennsylvania?"

"Well, yes. I don't know why that didn't pass. It died out. Van Ness was
trying, too, to establish a grand scheme for the benefit of the mining
population. But somehow I haven't heard of that lately. Oh he's a great
man, sir! When I hear him talk half an hour it quite lifts me up to
purer air. I always say when I come away, 'Joe Rhodes, you're a selfish
scoundrel! A selfish scoundrel!'"

The judge smoked in silence a few minutes. "Yes," he resumed
thoughtfully, "it was about Van Ness. Poor Laidley had that reverence
for him which men of his calibre are apt to have for a character of
perfect excellence, and in his anxiety for Jane he planned that a
marriage should be brought about between them. I was to inaugurate the
matter--bring them together. Easily, naturally, you understand? The sort
of thing that is done every day. I've seen excellent matches made in
Virginia by a little quiet management of friends."

"Yes. It is done every day." Mr. Neckart yesterday would have talked of
the marriages of half the women he knew as "good matches" or "well
managed" without knowing that he was vulgar in so doing. But now the
whole idea struck him as loathsome and disgusting. Were women to be
paraded before their buyers as in a slave-market? He looked at the poor
judge babbling innocently as he might at some venal go-between in the
markets of Cairo.

"Thinking the matter over," pursued the judge anxiously, "it has
occurred to me that Laidley would not have been so confident of Van
Ness's ultimate concurrence in the scheme unless Pliny had shown some
prepossession in favor of the little girl."

"You think, then, the sultan is ready to throw the handkerchief?" dryly.

"Oh, that's a coarse way of putting it, Neckart. But, considered as a
match, now, really, you know, Van Ness is--The idea that he was
favorable to it was suggested to me again yesterday when he proposed
that we should look up the captain and call upon him. He is not a man
who usually makes advances."

"Is Mr. Van Ness in New York with you?"

"Yes, certainly. I thought you knew that."

"And you propose to take him out to-night?"

"Why, that seemed a good plan. Unless you have some objection?"

"What objection can I have? What does it matter to me?" He stooped to
pat his dog, that sat upright watching his face.

"Surely, that is that savage wolf-hound of Miss Swendon's?"

"Yes. He divides his time between us." After a few minutes he said, "You
seem to anticipate no difficulty in the way of your conquering hero? Yet
Miss Swendon by no means belongs to the warm-blooded, susceptible order
of women. This Van Ness, as I remember him, is a starved,
insignificant-looking fellow."

"Oh, on the contrary! He has a very noble presence. Pliny is tall, with
much dignity of carriage."

"Pompous, eh? 'I am Sir Oracle'?"

"Nothing of the kind. Rather deprecating manner, with a calm face,
beaming blue eyes, and abundant fair hair and beard. The very finest of
Saxon types, in fact."

"Ah? But these reformers are apt to be underbred, irritable, with nasty
peculiarities of habits and manner which they never have thought it
worth while to cure. I suppose your friend is like his brethren?"

"Now, Neckart, just wait until you see Van Ness. You'll be charmed, or
I've no judgment. Most men are, and all women," laughing significantly.

They rose at the moment. As they left the room Neckart caught sight in a
mirror of his own dwarfed bulk and the massive head set in its black
mane. He stopped and looked for an instant at himself fixedly, a thing
which he had not done perhaps for years, and then walked on in silence
beside the judge. When they parted in the street he wrote a line on a
card and gave it to him.

"In case I am not able to go out on the same train with you, this is the
route to the farm," he said.

He could scarcely be courteous. He was in a rage of indignation. Not, of
course, that it mattered to him whether Jane married this or any other
man whom she loved. She was only an acquaintance--more perhaps--his
little friend. She must marry: he had thought of that often; and she
would love--with a strength and fidelity beyond that of any woman he had
ever known. He had often thought of that too. When the time came--years
hence, perhaps--he would consult with her father as to the man. They
must be satisfied that he would make her happy--they two. It must be a
careful, cautious, slow matter. He might surely claim so much of a
guardianship over her! He had studied her character very carefully, and
appreciated it as a rare and delicate one; and he was very fond of the
captain--very fond of the captain. But as for the plan of marriage--Mr.
Neckart understood his own disgust at the judge, and accounted for it
naturally. He had but little of the ordinary chivalric belief in woman's
modesty and purity. Much knowledge of female lobbyists and literary
tramps and champagne-tippling belles had shaken his faith, probably.

"But this girl is the most innocent, sincerest thing God ever made," he
said. "She is clean in thought and body and word."

In those long days on the Maine coast, or by the sea-wall at St.
Augustine, or crossing the interminable mountain-ranges or alkali
deserts, he had had time to read this candid soul page by page: her
clear skin and liquid eyes were not more transparent than her thoughts.
All through that day's work a young noble figure moved like a shadow--a
woman with the brave blue eyes, the ruddy lips, the grand
unconsciousness of the great women of her race. The blood of Aslauga and
Ingeborg was in her veins. So strong was this feeling upon him, that
always, when he was making ready to meet her, he bathed and arrayed
himself as if he was going to take part in the rites of a church or some
sacred place. "'So white, so fair, so sweet was she!'" he sang softly to
himself. And guzzling Rhodes, with his oily laugh and fat hands, meant
to show her off, exhibit her fine points to this Admirable Crichton of
morality, and persuade him to marry her! Was there any danger that she
would love or marry him? She was undoubtedly dull in perception of
character: had she not always made a demigod of the silly old captain?
The finest vessels were always first to break themselves to pieces
against some earthen pitcher.

He made haste to take an early afternoon train. He would see his friends
again before Rhodes arrived.


CHAPTER VII.

The Hemlock Farm, the captain's new possession, was a great untrimmed
tract of farm and woodland on the Hudson, with a rough-hewn stone house,
open-windowed and wide-doored, uncivilized and picturesque, set down
hospitably in the midst of it. Mr. Neckart, striking across the fields
from the little station, caught glimpses through the forest for a mile
or two of its walls and heavy chimneys stained with smoke and lichen.
They seemed to grow out of the ground as naturally as the oaks and gray
beeches.

It was a damp, cool day in June. Ragged patches of clouds were driven
down across the tree-tops; the dark blue of the sky had yet a tinge of
moist yellow in it after the night's rains; the wind was wet as it blew
now and then gustily in Neckart's face. He jumped across a brush hedge
overgrown with smilax and blackberry vines, and passed in under the
hemlocks. They were dark and still. Outside, the sunshine flashed
sometimes, pale and watery, and the blackberries in the hedge were
getting rid of their white blossoms and reddening their green knobs, and
a wild tiger-lily here and there blazed its answer to the summer; but
the old hemlocks, just as Neckart knew them when a boy, kept silence and
nodded thoughtfully together, meditating over their ancient secret. He
walked more slowly. How long was it since he had left the office or sat
in the club-room at breakfast with Rhodes's puffy face and unsavory
talk?

Why, even the hedge with its sleepy hum of bees and yellow butterflies
seemed to be of the world, worldly here. He left it far behind. The
aisles of the wood grew higher and more solemn, and slowly filled with
pale-green light. The wind and rain last night had not reached these
solitudes, yet he climbed over fallen trunks rank with soaked emerald
moss and branching fungus yellow or red as coral. A lizard with bulging
eyes of jet darted across his foot: now came the whir of a partridge
from under the dead leaves, now the veery cut the air with its fine
silver pipe.

Neckart stood still and drew long slow breaths. The life of the woods
was like sleep to him; the air was marrowy, stimulating; he could feel
himself growing quiet and stronger in it. A moment later he drew his
breath deeper.

"She is coming!" A tall, erect girl, bareheaded, came noiselessly down
between the gray trunks of the trees, her feet sinking at each step into
the dead, ash-colored moss. Her color rose as she saw him, and her eyes
lighted, but she put her finger on her lips. "You have frightened them,"
she whispered. "They have all gone into their houses."

"They--?"

"Hush-h!" She sat down on a fallen log and motioned him to a place
beside her: then she waited, listening. There was a space of silence:
presently a red squirrel came out overhead and darted along the limbs;
the ragged bark of the tree in front of them was suddenly full of
creeping things, busily hurrying up and down; the coffee-colored water
of the brook at their feet began to glance with silvery flashes of
minnows and wagtails; out of a miniature hill came a long procession of
ants; they marched, deployed, disappeared, and came again; monster
spiders, like lumps of glittering enamel, swung in the air by invisible
threads; two black beetles rose to view by Neckart's foot, rolling a
white ball twice as big as themselves toward a flicker of clear sunshine
on the grass.

"They are taking the babies for a sun-bath," whispered Jane.

The muffled hammering of a woodpecker, building its nest, came from a
hollow tree at a little distance. A flock of kingbirds dashed
boisterously through the underbrush. The pewees began their pitiful cry
of "Lost! lost!" a scarlet tanager sat like a sentinel on a dead branch
and challenged them with a sharp single note. The whole air grew full of
that strenuous, mysterious wood-sound which is next to silence--the
voice and movement of millions of living things too small for sight. It
rose to a full orchestra as the two human listeners sat motionless,
though only a few notes were familiar to Neckart--the tic-tic of the
grasshoppers, the low monotone of countless unseen springs escaping
under the grass, the lone call of the thrush, a single minor note from a
golden bugle. But it was not the grasshoppers or thrush to which he
listened breathlessly: it was the soft breathing of the young girl
beside him, as she sat attentive, a quiet delight in her face, her blue
eyes gathering soft lustre. Nature, when she and the world were young,
might have looked with such motherly tenderness on all her living
things. Her large nervous hands were clasped about her knees: the yellow
hair glistened close beside him, and as her full bosom rose and fell he
could hear her heart beat in the silence.

He stood up quickly with a shiver: "Shall we go to the house?"

She rose: "Yes, if you will. They are learning to know me now. I come
here every day. There is a partridge lives under that bush, and he came
out and actually let me see him drum once, and yesterday I found a
blacksnake attacking a bluebird's nest in time to help fight the
battle."

They had reached the hedge: Neckart held apart the thorny bushes, but
did not give her his hand to help her through, as he would have done to
any other woman. He was always scant in personal courtesies to her.

She looked back at the woods: "Yes, there they all live and keep house,
and marry and quarrel and die. It does not concern them at all what man
you make President, Mr. Neckart. It is very hard to make their
acquaintance. I think they ought to know their friends at sight."

"I don't know. I know two human beings," said Neckart gravely, "who,
when they first met, felt a strong mutual antipathy, and now they--"

She turned, looking keenly at him.

"They are good friends, Miss Swendon," looking into her eyes.

"Yes. There could not be any better," putting out her hand frankly. He
held it but an instant, as he might have done a boy's when offered to
him; but as she turned away a soft lovely color dyed her throat and
face.

"There is so much wild mint growing here," she said incoherently,
stooping to gather it, "and pennyroyal, and a plenty of sweet basil. I
am going to have an herb- and seed-room, and give out the seeds to Twiss
myself next spring. I have not told you any of the news. Father has
slept every night without a tonic. Don't you think his color is better?
Did you see him yesterday?" anxiously.

"Oh, it is better without doubt."

"I am quite sure, now, we did the very wisest thing in coming here. The
house is on an elevation, you see--above any chance of malaria--and then
the warm moisture from the river--just what he needs. And the going to
town--Do you often meet him in town? Is he enjoying himself? Did it
strike you that he was improving until I suggested it?"

"Why, it was only to-day," said Neckart, "that I told Judge Rhodes how I
met Captain Swendon everywhere--at the club--"

"Yes. _I_ urged him to join the club," her face beaming.

"Couldn't have been a wiser move.--At the club, at dinners, at the
theatre, meeting old friends, taking in new life everywhere, and making
new life for everybody. Why, to see him on Broadway waving his hat and
calling 'Hillo!' to somebody across the street puts even the cab-horses
in good humor."

She laughed: "I knew it, I knew it! And here on rainy days he has so
much to do. He is trying every one of his patents in the house or
grounds. I am fitting up a billiard-room to surprise him on his
birthday. But come and I'll show you some of the patents at work. And I
have never showed you the barn or the orchard. Father will not be at
home until evening. He expected to meet you on the train. We can go
exploring all the afternoon."

They crossed the meadow to the barn, Jane explaining that the former
owner of the Hemlocks had lived for years in Europe, and left house and
land to run into their present overgrown decay. "Farmer and gardeners
worry about new fences and repairs, but I will not have even the dead
leaves cleared from the paths. I remember you said once you liked to
hear them crisp under your feet," sliding her own feet among them.

There was nothing in the idle, purposeless afternoon which any practical
man or woman would have thought worthy of an hour's remembrance; yet it
stood out for ever after, above all of Bruce Neckart's life, as some
fair table-land lifted from the fogs near to the sun.

They went into the house, examined patent hinges and locks, and
explored the vacant rooms and mysterious garrets filled with lumber. She
sat down by an old spinning-wheel, turning it and singing a scrap of
Gretchen's song, while the light from the dormer window touched her
white arched throat and yellow hair. They went to the stables, and the
old Scotch hostler brought out the horses and talked with Neckart of the
mysteries of flanks and strains of blood, while Jane looked on shyly,
standing with the dog in the wide door.

"Maybe I shall know them as well as I do you some day, Bruno," she said
gravely to him. "But I shall never like them as well. That wouldn't be
possible: they're strangers." The dog nuzzled his head into her hand and
marched steadily beside her. Then she took Neckart and Bruno over a
little hill to a spring-house, into which you went through a mossy door
across a sparkling little brook. She went inside and brought out a bowl
of yellow cream, all of them watching the kitchen windows guiltily as
she did it; and then they went on aimlessly across the stepping-stones
in the brook up through the field of young corn until they skirted the
brush hedge again, when Bruno left them in pursuit of ground-squirrels.
There was a bank running along the river-shore, topped with nodding
ferns and purple iron-weed, and brown with the soft, feathery tops of
the mouse-ear. The bank was on one side, the water on the other, swift,
dark, mobile, throwing back now a still belt of sunshine, now gloomy
woods, now the yellow shadows of low-driven clouds. They walked with the
river, not against it. The wind blew damp in their faces. Since Neckart
had talked so confidently of her father's improvement, Jane had been gay
and light-hearted as a child, with a nervous quaver now and then in her
voice as if a word would bring the tears. She looked at him thoughtfully
as they walked on.

"You ought to go to California again," she said abruptly.

"I can take tonics at home, if you mean that I need them."

"Yes. You are more worn and haggard than when we left Omaha. Every day
of the journey I used to see how the wrinkles left your forehead, and
your eye cleared and your voice changed. It was the mountain-air. There
is no tonic for you like the mountain-air."

Neckart shifted his hat uneasily, and turned to look at the river as
though the frank blue eyes anxiously inspecting his face hurt him.

"I was harassed and perplexed then as to the policy which I should adopt
for the paper in a certain political question. My grim looks were no
doubt owing to that. You decided the question for me."

"I? Why, I know nothing of politics."

"No. But the choice offered me was between right and financial ruin on
one side, and a fortune and neutrality on the other. It would be
impossible," in a tone which suddenly became careless and matter of
fact, "for any man to come in contact with a nature as absolutely honest
as yours, Miss Swendon, and not be influenced by it. I do not think I
spoke to you at all of this question, yet it seemed to me that you
dictated every step of my course. I never have told you of my affairs
since, yet every day I take your advice on them. It is always different
from that of my political friends, because it is simply the broad truth
and common sense. I follow it." He turned to her with one of his rare
smiles and an odd break in his controlled voice. "I hold your hand in
mine every step of my way."

She did not smile in return. She was standing still in the path, as
though she had been stopped by a blow. "Honest? _I_ honest?" she said.

The dog jumped up on her breast to go on with his romp. She pushed him
down, looking straight into Neckart's amazed face.

"You may have made mistakes: everybody is liable to do that," he
stammered. "But as for sincerity--"

She drew a long breath as if throwing off a burden: "No. I have been
honest. You are not wrong about me there. I have made no mistakes." She
turned and walked on quickly.

As he followed her he observed for the first time how steady was her
step and how close set the finely-cut jaws. His own mouth, by the way,
was coarser, but more facile: it spoke when silent: the chin was cleft
and sensitive.

"When she once makes up her mind, the verdict of the whole world will
not make her flinch," he thought with keen approval. The quality which
he had that very day damned as mulish obstinacy in one of his clerks was
infinitely alluring to him in this young girl. He came closer to her,
watching her averted face, a passion of delight and longing gradually
dulling all past resolves or reason.

If she would but turn her eyes on his face again searching for signs of
trouble or illness! It was actually the first time in Neckart's life
that a woman had taken any care of him. His mother had been a burden and
charge on him since his boyhood. That single kindly glance had opened to
him unknown possibilities of tenderness, of the touch of a woman's
fingers, and all that came to other men through them.

But she walked on without speaking, her head sunk on her breast. She
seemed to have forgotten that he was in the world.

At a bend in the road they met the captain. He was heated and agitated,
and tried to hide it by tremendous hilarity. He welcomed Neckart
boisterously, shaking hands with him again and again before he turned to
Jane, who stood watching him with delighted eyes.

"How well you are looking this afternoon, father! Your cheeks are as red
as a girl's!"

"Oh, I'm all right! Don't bother about me. Think of other people
sometimes, child. Now, there's a matter I want to speak to you about, if
I could only put it to you properly."

"I am ready. Put it directly, point-blank: that is the best way in
delicate questions."

"Don't laugh. It's no laughing matter. It's the most serious business of
my life, and I've only a few minutes to make you understand," mopping
his hot forehead with his handkerchief. "The train will be due in half
an hour."

"The train? Serious business? The commissioner of patents is coming?--"

"Damn the patents! I beg your pardon, Jane. But really--This is a
request I have to make of you. A request of you from poor Will Laidley."

She drew back. The weight which she had a moment ago thrown off fell on
her again. "A request of me?" she said slowly. "Whatever he asked me to
do I shall do. I owe him at least so much."

"Of course! You owe him everything. You know he might have left us
without a penny, as he thought of doing. Instead of which, there was not
even a legacy to any charity."

"No. Every dollar of it came to me. I know."

"Oh, Will behaved most generously, nobly, to you, there's no doubt of
it! And this plan of his shows such tender care of you. I never heard of
it until to-day from Judge Rhodes. God forbid that I should influence
you! But you would be sorry to thwart him in his grave."

"I will not thwart him again."

"If I could put it to you properly now!" The captain grew red and
coughed. Mr. Neckart looked at him with fierce disgust. Was he so brutal
as to talk to any woman of her marriage with a man whom she had never
seen?

"You forget," he said coldly. "Miss Swendon owes no gratitude for money
which was justly her own. William Laidley, too, was a weak, impure
man--the very last who should be allowed to stretch his hand out of his
grave to control any woman's life. You should not hamper her with any
such gratitude."

"You cannot judge of this for me, Mr. Neckart," said Jane. "He has the
right, especially when it concerns his money.--What is it he wished me
to do?"

The captain stammered with embarrassment.

"Tut! tut! Money has nothing to do with it.--As for poor Will, Bruce, he
had his good points. _De mortuis_--you know. I knew him in his prime.
It's a trifle, after all," evading Neckart's eye, of which he had read
the meaning. "But you are so apt, Jane, to take unreasonable prejudices
against people. This is a friend of Will's, whom Judge Rhodes will bring
out this evening. And it was your cousin's wish that he should be your
friend also--adviser, eh? I've no head for business, you know, and you
might refer knotty questions to him. Consult him about stocks, and the
drainage of the stables, and this and that," glancing at Neckart for
approval of his delicacy and cunning. "I only wanted to warn you not to
take an antipathy to him, but I am clumsy--"

"Is that all?" putting her hand to her eyes for a minute as though they
ached.--"Come, Bruno. It is time to dress for dinner."

"Yes, do, my dear. Haven't you any dress with frills and fal-lals, such
as the ladies are wearing now? These clinging gowns do well enough for
home-folks like me and Bruce, but--Something airy, gay, now. It's only
as an adviser that Will recommended Mr. Van Ness to you, you understand?
Your cousin consulted him of late years in all financial matters. I do
suppose Van Ness--and Laidley too," turning to Neckart--"would think the
child was flinging the money to the dogs, buying such a place as this to
humor her old father's whims."

Jane halted, her hands on the dog's collar: "I will have no advice from
Mr. Van Ness, father, as to my disposal of the money. It is mine. No
man, dead or living, shall interfere with my use of it," she said in a
low voice.

"Now I've prejudiced her against him," groaned the captain as soon as
she was out of sight. "I saw you thought me coarse in urging this matter
on her so abruptly, Bruce. But you do not understand. My time here is
short--God knows how soon it may end--and I can't bear the thought of
leaving the child alone. Van Ness is so pure a man--a Christian whom all
the world reverences--What better can I hope than to see her his wife
before I go?"

"His wife?"

"Yes. Is there any objection to him? Be frank, Bruce. It is nothing to
you, but it's life and death to me. Van Ness told Judge Rhodes candidly
this morning that he had watched Jane since she was a child, himself
unknown, and that it was his hope their acquaintance would deepen into
something warmer than friendship."

"Good God! what a model lover! Stands off watching for years--weighs her
carefully in his scales. Item, so much amiability; item, so many pounds
of healthy flesh; item, annual income so much. Then he steps in to
inspect her a little closer, and if she prove satisfactory he will marry
her."

"Bruce, you're unjust. Every man has not your sensitiveness. The way
that Rhodes stated it there really was no indelicacy in it. Do you know
any objection to Van Ness? Be candid. Have you any reason to urge
against the marriage in case--?"

Mr. Neckart did not answer for a few moments. He had been smoking, but
the cigar went out in his mouth. "No," he said at last. "I have no
objection to urge to it. I have nothing to say. Go in, captain. The
train is due now. I will follow you when I have finished my cigar."


CHAPTER VIII.

Miss Swendon, going up the wooded hill toward the house, raising her
head, saw a man coming toward her down the narrow path. The low sunlight
struck through the trees on his broad forehead and magnificent golden
beard flowing full on his breast. He was in evening-dress; a topaz
blazed on his snowy shirt-front; he walked meditatively, his hands
clasped behind him; his eyes rested on her with beaming pleasure. She
turned her head away, but saw him, without her eyes, advancing upon
her--coming, it seemed to her, into her life.

Mr. Van Ness's personality indeed was too potent to admit of his slying
unnoticed, like an ordinary human being, in and out of anybody's vision.
You might look at him but for a moment, but his majestic port, the
fineness of his linen, the very set of his high hat, his Christian
benignity and grace, remained with you ever after, a possession of
comfort and joy.

Jane knew him at a glance, though they had never met before. All of her
life she had heard Aristides called the Just, and been a trifle bored by
it. Undoubtedly this was he. She was not petulant or bored now.

If we want a key to her feeling, we can find it in the fact that there
was not a moment since she burned the will that she had not known that
she was right in doing it, and that there was not a moment in which she
had not remembered that in the judgment of the world she was a thief.

Here was the man sent by Laidley out of his grave to judge her, a man
who was embodied Virtue and Honor--in the world's eye.

There was evidently no doubt in Mr. Van Ness's mind, either, as to who
the slight erect woman might be who came slowly up the rocky path, one
hand on the dog's collar, the folds of her blue dress falling about her
like the drapery of an antique statue, the coils of yellow hair only
held in place by a black velvet band. If he had been watching her growth
for years, as he said, waiting for this supreme moment, he gave no sign
of emotion now that it had arrived, except that the radiance in his
protruding light eyes became more intense. I may as well say, once for
all, that Mr. Van Ness never was known to yield to weak emotion,
irritability or any of those vicious humors which beset other men. If he
had done so it would have grievously wounded the faith of his disciples.
He possibly had met these temptations in his cradle, as the infant
Hercules the serpents, strangled them and left them dead there, so
passing into a serene boyhood and victorious middle age.

Bruno at this moment caught sight of the stranger, and began to growl
ominously. Now, the dog was an amiable, courteous dog ordinarily, but
subject, like his mistress, to irrational antipathies, and, like her,
with a large reserve of untamed blood to support his prejudices. He
stopped, dropped his head between his fore legs, his eyeballs reddened,
he barked a short, sharp warning. Miss Swendon knew the signs: she had
seen them once before. She caught him by the collar, looking straight at
the exceptionally handsome man with the underbred blaze of yellow on his
shirt-front: "Down! down, sir!--You had better go back," to Mr. Van
Ness. "I beg of you to go back."

"No, no," gently, and still advancing. "Poor fellow!--Let me catch his
eye, Miss Swendon."

It was something in the eye, however, which maddened the dog: he shook
in every limb; his lips were drawn back; the sharp teeth glistened.

Jane threw herself on her knees, her arms about his throat: she motioned
Van Ness back with her head, but the enraged animal threw her off as he
would a wisp of straw, and sprang straight at his throat. Van Ness,
though a heavily-built man, staggered back; but he caught the dog about
the throat with both hands, and held him as in a vise. The red eyeballs
and panting tongue were close to his face. Next, Bruno struck with his
paw at one of the white soft hands, and tore a great gash in it, from
which the blood gushed; but the pleasant smile did not leave the lips of
his antagonist.

"Now, Miss Swendon," he said gently, "I think you can soothe him. I will
hold him quiet to listen to reason."

Jane came to him, and in a few moments had the beast subdued and lying
panting at her feet, his bloodshot eye still fixed on Van Ness. She was
pale and trembling, offered her handkerchief to tie up the wounded hand,
and was humble in her apologies; but Van Ness knew all the while that
her sympathies were with the dog. Judge Rhodes had heard the scuffle,
and arrived now, out of breath, and violent in his abuse of poor Bruno.

"Why you keep such an ill-conditioned beast, Jane, I cannot understand,"
he cried as he swabbed and tied the wound.

Mr. Van Ness beamed down unruffled on the stout little man: "You are
always unjust to dogs, Rhodes. Now, I should say that our friend Bruno
was one of the Brahmin caste--fine-natured and well-bred as a rule.
Liable to mistakes, perhaps.--I am right, Miss Swendon?" and he beamed
down in his turn on Jane, who sat on the bank, stroking the dog's muzzle
as it lay on her knee. She forced a smile which proved a failure, said
that he was right, and that she must hurry before them to the house. She
stopped as soon as she was out of sight to hug the dog with a sob: "But
we are not wild beasts, are we, Bruno?"

She felt the dog's insane desire to tear off this amiability, this
cloying gentleness of the newcomer, and find what was beneath. It was
just as it used to be long ago when prim, polite little misses came to
play with her--white, pink-eyed poodles consorting with a big
Newfoundland. She used to feel clumsy and worsted beside them, possessed
by the devil too to scare and disgust them. Yet she knew herself more
right than they all the time.

When she sat at the head of the dinner-table an hour or two later, soft
silken drapery having taken the place of the soft woollen, and her usual
calm good temper on the surface instead of pallor and tears, her secret
mood was very much the same. Mr. Neckart sat apart from her: he spoke
little, and that only to the captain, who was eager about the political
question of the day. Judge Rhodes, dropping his voice, poured into her
ear eulogiums on Van Ness.

"Did you see him smiling down on that brute? Now, how did he know but he
had given him the hydrophobia?"

"I appreciated the self-control," smiling. "So did Bruno. It drove him
mad."

"Self-control? I tell you, it's super-human! I've thought sometimes it
was a divine power sustaining him. Why, I saw that man at his mother's
deathbed. She lay in his arms, and he sang to her--hymns, you know--sang
to her in a clear, unbroken voice until her spirit had passed out of
hearing. I couldn't have done it, even for a stranger."

"I am sure you could not," said Miss Swendon.

"He sinks self out of sight wholly, you see. Now, he had a dog once--a
hound like yours--brought him up. It was touching to see them
together--the devotion of the poor brute. Well, he sold him, and gave
the hundred dollars to his State Home for Children. He could not afford
such a luxury as the dog's love, he said, while these poor wretches
needed so much."

"But my dog," said Miss Swendon quite distinctly, "is more to me than
all the wretches in Pennsylvania."

There was an awkward silence.

Mr. Van Ness turned his handsome face on her with a benign nod: "How
natural and beautiful that is! Her dog and her babe and her lover are
more to a woman than all the outside world. So they ought to be! Love is
like air: when it is confined it only fills a given space, but give it
escape and it spreads over all God's creation. The day is not far
distant when young, fair women will freely give themselves to the work
of raising the dangerous classes."

"Well, I don't know about that," said Rhodes. "I'm growing hopeless.
What with ignorance and whiskey and conceit, the dangerous classes even
here are too heavily handicapped to make any running. They will need two
or three lives after this, it seems to me, to bring them up to a fair
starting-point."

"That's a fact!" cried the captain. "Now, there are beggars. My plan is
to give to 'em all, and so be on the safe side; but the organized
charities tell us they are all impostors; and then every day some
organized charity turns out a swindle! What is a man to do?"

"To do? Give himself up, I suppose, to the cause of the poor and the
Lord, as this man has done!" cried the judge earnestly, touching Van
Ness on the shoulder, who shook his head and smiled--a sad, deprecating
smile.

"Don't look for wages of any sort, then. If a man wants to be suspected
by the rich and abused by the poor, let him take up my work," he said a
moment after, meeting Neckart's eye with a frank laugh.

"No doubt you are right," said Mr. Neckart gravely. "I never tried it."

They were rising from the table at the moment. As they passed through
the hall, Mr. Neckart halted beside a window in which grew some
house-plants. Jane came directly to him. She had fallen of late into the
habit of consulting him in all her plans, as they both knew very well
that she was not at all a capable woman--according to the New England
idea: she lacked acuteness and knowledge of facts and all the
fashionable aptitudes. She had not even cognizance enough of Wagner or
cloisonné or old andirons to put her _en rapport_ with her times.

It was a daily matter for her to appeal to Neckart to help her ignorance
here or there, yet when he heard the soft rustle of her skirts beside
him he grew perceptibly colder and stiffer, waiting without a smile for
her to speak.

"I have brought my mind, as usual, to have it made up," she began gayly,
growing instantly sober when she caught his glance. "What do I want with
this ready-made Mentor? Do you think I need a financial adviser?"

"I have no doubt you will find Mr. Van Ness both shrewd and honest in
that capacity, if you choose to consult him."

"Why should I? I suppose the money is invested properly. I draw the
dividends regularly, and I have no use for money but one. I mean to make
my father's life happy with it, and I know how to do that. Nobody can
teach me. What have I to do with this reformer and his State Home?"

Mr. Neckart had been in the habit of looking down on her in her
occasional outbursts with an amused indulgence as from an immeasurable
difference of years. He was looking down at her now with unsmiling and,
as she thought, unfriendly eyes; but she was suddenly, for the first
time, conscious of how young he actually was, and how near to her in
many unworded, fathomless ways. She drew back within the narrow limits
of the window, and was silent.

He withdrew his eyes from her with an effort, and did not immediately
answer. When he did, it was in a cool business tone. "I do not know
what relation Mr. Van Ness may hold to you hereafter, if any," he said.
"But he seems to me thoroughly honest and manly. He is the first
professed reformer I ever saw who was not either subservient or
aggressive to me, as a newspaper-man who did not ride his hobby."

"I do not see him with your eyes," she said with a shrug. "Bruno's,
rather."

Neckart laughed. After the manner of men, he had judged the man who was
crossing his life with calm common sense and justice, but he was quite
satisfied that the woman with neither should condemn him.

The late clear twilight lingered with a haze of red in the sky, although
the sun had been down for an hour or more. Jane stood irresolutely in
the window. Through the bushes she could see the stoop where her father
and the judge sat smoking, Mr. Van Ness beside them, his benign,
sheep-like gaze wandering slowly around in search of her.

"Of course he does not smoke!" she said. "He has not a single weakness
on which one can hang a liking; and he has actually taken father's own
chair!" which by the way she had cushioned herself years ago, when it
and two small stools furnished their shabby room. No wonder that she and
the captain looked upon it as a sacred relic.

The window where they stood was shaded on the outside by privet and
althea bushes: it opened to the ground, and a sandy little footpath ran
directly to the river, where her boat was moored. Usually, while the
captain took his after-dinner nap, she rowed along the shore, and
Neckart, when he was there, would sit in the stern reading or scribbling
his next leader, but oftener leaning back, his hands clasped behind his
head, listening with half-closed eyes to her chatter. It is significant
to note the occasion on which a silent woman has a _flux de bouche_. The
necessity for talking was upon Jane at this moment. There were twenty
things which she must tell Mr. Neckart to-night--how the shoemaker
Twiss, who used to live--or starve--in the alley back of their garden,
was here as head-gardener; and how capitally that consumptive
sempstress, Nichols, managed the dairy and was growing quite fat at the
work; and how that boy in the stable, whom Neckart had brought from the
printing-office, where he was going headlong to the devil, had really
turned out the best of fellows. The truth was, that there were very few
people who had been kind to Jane or the captain in the days when they
were all hungry together whom Neckart had not met at the farm, either as
visitors or settled in fat sinecures of office. He had arranged the
business part of their removal, indeed, in many cases. But he was in no
mood for consultation to-night--answered briefly when she spoke to him:
his face, hard and inflexible, was turned toward the river. "His mind is
filled with some matter of state--that Navy appropriation bill, I
suppose," she thought, looking at him deferentially. Her little affairs
and thoughts fell back on her as if they had struck against iron.

She never wanted sympathy or advice from others: sometimes there were
whole days in which, her father being gone, she scarcely spoke a word.
But now, at the necessity for silence, her heart sunk with a miserable
emptiness, her throat choked, hot wretched tears came up into her eyes.
She had thought all the week of this day, and she had kept the best of
all she had to tell until this evening. She thought, of course, they
would go out in the boat, and now his mind was full of the Navy
appropriation bill!

She pulled the white threads from the ragged cactus leaves beside her,
looking at him sometimes from under her lashes. "I think I will go out
on the river," she said timidly.

"Shall I push out the boat? The water will drift you without rowing,"
going promptly before her down the path. He took up the little anchor,
wiped the seat of the bateau with the sponge, and held out his hand to
help her in. She seated herself and took the oars. Surely he was coming?
He never had allowed her to go alone. No: he waited with one hand on the
stern, and then pushed her off, taking off his hat as the boat darted
out into the current and her oars struck the water.

It was the bill: no doubt it was the bill! She knew he had been sent for
to Washington on business concerning it. Of course he was a statesman,
and it was quite right that the government and the country should have
the benefit of his best thoughts. But what if this bill and other bills
should always fill his mind, and leave no room there for--for the poor
little affairs of his friends? "What would father do then?"

The oars rested motionless in the row-locks. Her eyes were dry, but
there was a breathless stricture on her breast, as though an iron hand
had clenched her and for the moment crushed the life back.


CHAPTER IX.

Mr. Neckart, standing back in the shadow of the scrubby althea-bushes,
his hands clasped behind him and his eyes following the skiff as it
drifted down the river in the twilight, compelled himself to argue the
matter out according to the rulings of common sense, just as he would
the appropriation bill.

He had been coming too close of late to this little girl in a brotherly
way--of course in a brotherly way. He must stand farther off. She must
marry. He had always looked forward to her marrying, and the time, in
all probability, had come now. Van Ness was a manly, strong fellow: her
father would urge it, and Jane would soon be won. For Neckart, with the
majority of men, regarded amiability and high-colored, beefy good looks
in his own sex as the irresistible attractions in a woman's eyes.

"They both have youth and personal attractions and culture--everything
to make a marriage suitable. I can find no objection to it," proceeded
his most reasonable meditation.

"But I can never see it!"

He had not spoken, but it seemed to him as if he had cried out. Then he
laughed to think what an egregious ass he was. What was this
yellow-haired girl in the boat to him more than any other of the
millions of women with whom the world was filled? Nothing. They all were
nothing to him.

He turned his back on the river and struck into one of the dusky alleys
of the garden, pacing up and down below the old plum trees. He whistled
to himself, and ran his hand through his shaggy hair as if to be rid of
some cobwebs in his brain. As he brushed against the branches a bird
fluttered out of its nest and chirped angrily. Why, women and their love
and their homes could no more come into his life than that silly robin
or her brood! Two years ago this inexorable necessity did not even give
him a moment's chagrin. The newspaper, his army of followers, the policy
of the country,--these made life big and full enough. If he wanted
little selfish pleasures, there was his arm-chair and open fire, his
shelf of old books, or a dinner at Delmonico's with some clever fellow,
or a dash to Europe, or across the continent, to pry into the background
against which other clever fellows, whether white or yellow or black,
lived and worked. He would go back to the office to-night; he could hear
the engine puffing at the station now, making ready for the next train;
he could finish the evening with his old friends, the books; he could
order a dinner to-morrow that would satisfy even his palate,--and he
used to be an epicure. He ought to go. He would go.

He walked up the open path leading to the house. Then he stopped, turned
and struck directly through the trees and bushes to the river-side. The
boat was at some distance: he called once or twice for her to come and
take him on board before she heard him. His voice sounded hoarse and
strange to himself: he did not know himself in what he did. As for the
world, there was nothing in it but that boat yonder which shot through
the water, and the woman with eager face rowing swiftly toward him.

There was not a Wall-street banker or a politician among Neckart's
confrères who would not have looked upon him as insane for the moment.
This dull wisp of a woman to blot out all business, power, place, from
his life? But, after all, there is no insanity so practical or
long-lived. Why does A bull and bear the market, or B sell himself and
his party, but for the sake of some ugly, faded woman and the
commonplace children she has borne him? They are not thought worth
notice by anybody but himself, but he ignores honesty, death, God
himself, for them his life long. A plodding, shrewd fellow too, probably
not a whit heroic.

Neckart was tramping along the common road which all of us know, but it
seemed to him that he was breaking ground in a new world full of misty
splendors and untried action. When he called to her his breath failed
him, as it used to do when he was a boy wild with excitement. The sand
under his feet, the brambles on the bank, the overarching sky, were not
the same they were an hour ago. When the boat darted up to the shore,
rocking as she held it fast with the oar, it seemed strange to him that
she should speak in her ordinary tone. Did she not know?

She stood up in the bow steadying the skiff as he sprang into it. His
hand touched her fingers for an instant, and she noticed that it shrank
from hers.

"Did my father call me?"

"No: I wanted to talk to you alone."

She pushed from shore and dipped her oars: in a moment they were out in
the current. It was a rippling belt of steely blue, the banks making
indistinguishable ramparts of shadow on either side. Overhead was the
soft starless twilight of June, through which a nighthawk flapped
heavily and vanished. When it was gone they were alone. Could she not
understand that they were alone? In this wide dark world that there were
only they two, a man and a woman?

He could not distinguish her face, and her figure was but a light dark
outline like a silhouette against the air. But the power of her
womanhood was upon him, a something which Neckart had never felt
before--a terrible, pure passion.

"Give me the oars," he said. "Let me help you," reaching forward to
take them. His hand rested on hers accidentally: he did not remove it.
_Now_ did she understand? His mouth was closed. It seemed to him as if
words were poor to say what was in his blood, in his soul, in the water,
the air, the very ground.

She was startled, and turned to him wondering. The moon, rising higher,
showed him the childish, sensitive mouth, the dark eyes heavy with
tears, for she had been crying. What was that which gleamed through
them, half answering him, frightened at itself? It seemed to him in this
brief pause that they had been waiting all their lives for this word--he
to speak and she to hear.

"Jane!" He took her hand in both of his and held it close, and then he
threw it from him, drawing back: "My God! I had forgotten."

"Forgotten?" She closed her eyes once or twice, bewildered, as if
suddenly wakened from sleep. "You are in trouble," she said anxiously.
"Can I help you?"

The question brought him to sober reason sharply enough. It was
precisely the frank, tender tone which she would use to her father; and
the truth was, that the girl to herself did not yet distinguish between
her father and this friend. A moment before a strange emotion had
touched her. But it had passed like a warm gust of summer. There was not
a seven-year old child in the city yonder who did not know more about
love than Jane. She had never heard servants or schoolmates chatter
about it; novels had bored her; the captain, whatever he had left
undone, had kept the air pure and cold about her as for a very nun.

"What is this trouble, Mr. Neckart? You have been ill for months, I
know. Can I--? Or perhaps father--"

She leaned forward, the oars suspended in her hands, her lips apart,
attentive and eager.

He leaned over the edge of the skiff and wet his forehead and eyes,
forcing a careless laugh: "One moment, Miss Swendon, and I will explain
to you," adding presently, precisely in the manner with which he would
have discussed the weather, "We men each have our skeleton to hide,
according to popular belief, and mine is no worse than the rest. It is
the most practical of facts. Only I am apt to forget it, and then, when
it meets me unawares, it is as grim as death."

She nodded, watching him intently as if he were physically ill: she
would not let the oars strike on the water, lest the noise might jar on
him. All kinds of wild plans for helping him filled her brain. If the
trouble were anything which money could help, there was plenty of that,
thank God! If it was political difficulty--bills maybe--she could not
even understand it. If God had only not made her so stupid! the humble
tears rising slowly to her eyes.

Mr. Neckart did not see them. He was careful not to look at her as he
spoke, and hurried on with his explanation, as if it were business of
small importance. But she was not deceived by that. "I never have talked
of this matter, and least of all should I have told it to you. I can
bear the trouble when it comes without difficulty. The most ordinary men
meet disaster coolly which they know is inevitable. Commonplace fellows
who are born with scrofula or consumption march along with them to early
death cheerfully. They make no tragedy out of it. There is no reason why
I should complain of my lifelong companion." His tone was harder than he
had ever used in speaking to Jane before.

"I have never told you of my mother?"

"No," eagerly, hastening to spare him pain. "But I have heard of her
from Cornelia Fleming, who was your neighbor in Delaware. I know all
that she suffered. You need not tell me."

"She was the last of the Davidge family. There was not one of them for
generations who had not inherited disease of the brain. They were either
epileptics from youth, or became, as she did, incurably insane. The
disease invariably manifested itself in that way after middle age, and
from that time they were helpless burdens to their children. Yet there
was not a Davidge who refrained from marriage, so entailing the curse
on another generation. It would have been more righteous to have put a
pistol to their heads and have blown out their brains."

His manner was quiet and cold. Jane made no answer.

"Naturally, I have studied the pathology of insanity closely. I know
that I have inherited the disease. The symptoms within the last six
months are unmistakable. I know that in five or ten years at the outside
I shall be of no more use in the world than any other mindless animal.
But I will have no woman, nor child, suffer for me."

When he ceased to speak the silence and the night fell oppressively on
them. The boat had drifted down to the edge of the bank and grounded.
The moonlight showed her to him sitting in the bow of the boat facing
him, her hands clasped on her knees. She was so near that if he but
opened his arms he could take her to his breast. Yet he knew that she
was separated from him now as though death itself lay between.

"I have known this necessity which lay upon me for years, Miss Swendon,"
he said quietly, but leaning forward to watch her immovable face. "It is
my duty to isolate myself as other men need not do. The more dear"--his
voice failed suddenly, but he recovered himself in a moment and went
on--"the more dear a woman is to me, the more I must shut her out of my
sight. I can never try to win her nor marry her."

Was the girl stone? Had she not even common human sympathy for him?

"You understand why I do this?"

"Yes, I understand."

"And you think I am right?"

She looked up at him with her usual blunt directness: "You are
altogether right. An honest man could not do otherwise." Her chin fell
on her breast again. Not a moan, not a breath of regret, at the blow
which struck them apart. Weaker women would have cried a little at
parting from a dog who had been sometimes a companion. This cool-blooded
Swede gave her verdict on the right and wrong of the matter as though
it had been a sale of goods, and there was the end of it! All the
long-latent passion in Neckart's nature revolted and flamed into life.
He moved restlessly, watching her sit there stony and immovable. He
would have flung away life, as men used to do against the dumb Sphinx,
to tear from her some word of pity or life.

The boat rocked in the shallow water. She rose to leave it. Neckart
mechanically held out his hand to help her jump ashore. She held it
tightly, and when she stood beside him on the grass took it in both her
own: "No. You ought never to marry. You ought to hold yourself apart
from the world. These strange people would only irritate and wear you
out. Now you can give yourself entirely to us. We are your nearest
friends. You shall give up the paper and politics: it is the work and
anxiety that are telling on your brain. You shall live here with father,
in the quiet and country air. I will take care of you both." She stroked
his hand as a mother might that of her dying child, trying to believe
that it was not growing cold. For a year the girl had fought death back
from her father step by step. Now, her one friend, who with the old man
filled all the world for her, was to be taken from her.

He seated her on a fallen log and pushed back the hair from her clammy
forehead: "Child! child! you do not understand! All I have told you has
gone for nothing!"

"I do understand. I can cure you both. Rest and the air--I am dull, but
you don't know how good a nurse I can be for my own people," with a
pitiful laugh.

He did not speak. The soft golden hair lay in his hand, warm and alive.
He looked down at her. He could soon turn this childish affection into
love: he could wrench her soul into his own. Why should he not take what
God had set before him? All the other men of his race had done it.

One moment he stood irresolute. Then the hair dropped from his hand.
"Jane," he said, as if reasoning with a child, "when I remember my
mother first she was a pretty, tender little woman, with hardly a
thought outside of her boy. For years before she died I was forced to
fasten her as one does a wild beast, that she might not kill me. Do you
understand what that was to me? Do you think I can bring the misery I
knew in those years to any woman? My wife shall never have it to bear."

"But you can have no wife!" she cried. "You said you dared not marry!
_I_ can bear the misery. You will come to us--us. Those women in
Washington of whom you tell me--how could they know what you need? I
have nobody but you and father."

She felt herself so young and strong! Death, a most horrible and certain
death, was creeping upon him. In her agony of pity she held his hand to
her wet, burning cheeks.

"Jane, you drive me mad!" stooping over her trembling. "It is you--you
that I dare not marry!"

She stood erect: "_I_ marry you? I never thought of that," simply.

"You never thought of it?" with a queer uncertain laugh. "You never
thought that I loved you?"

"That you loved me, Mr. Neckart? Me?" The blue innocent eyes that had
been fixed on his suddenly filled with light; she dropped her face into
her hands; her whole body burned with blushes, and she turned away.

Neckart slowly followed her. Jane's thoughts were always transparent as
crystal: he had read in that one brief glance all the delight, the
tender passion, whose first impulse was to escape from him.

"I have been a damned scoundrel!" he said to himself: "I have ruined her
life!"

He was now thoroughly awake to what he had done--saw it as any other
practical, honorable man would do, unbiased by his passion or his pity
for himself. He walked silently beside her as she went up the steep path
to the house.

As for Jane, she did not know that he was silent: she would scarcely
have heard if he had spoken to her. She did not know what this was that
had come to her, that had lifted her whole life upward as by a touch.
She could not look at him. If she could only reach her father and hide
from him, that he might never find her--never! She remembered how a
minute ago she had held his hand to her face, and the hot flood of shame
covered every other thought: the next she glanced shyly at him with a
sweet pride;--he loved her, he would understand! The terrible story he
had told her had passed out of her mind like a breath of smoke in
sunshine. He loved her: she could keep him out of all danger. Even if
she had remembered that she could never be his wife, it would not have
troubled her. He loved her! She thought no more of marriage than the
bird in its first song of dawn thinks of the barred lines and visible
notes to which its music might somewhere be written down.

Neckart followed her up the steps and into the wide hall, carrying his
hat behind him in his hand. The damp air wet his hair, and it hung
lankly back from his haggard face. He felt physically ill. He had acted
like a brute, a coward! This was the end of his stern resolve, his
lifelong self-denial!

A lamp burned at the foot of the wide staircase. He paused beside it:
she had gone up a step or two, and halted, her hand on the rail, looking
down. "Good-night!" she said shyly.

The light shone full on the pink glow in her cheeks, the loose hair
glistening like a golden mist, the half-frightened, half-triumphant
gleam shot down from the blue eyes.

He did not answer her.

The delicate virgin bloom of this love which he had coveted so madly an
hour ago scarcely stirred his heart now with pleasure. A man cannot live
all the time on the heights of emotion or of religion; the air is too
rarefied up there for healthy lungs; he comes down punctually to the
ordinary levels of his saner self; and Neckart, on his ordinary level,
was an exceedingly practical, honest man. He knew that he had brought
irreparable injury to this girl, and that it was his duty now to make
amends as best he could.

                                          REBECCA HARDING DAVIS.

[TO BE CONTINUED.]



A WISH.


     When thou, O Death! shalt wait
     Without my gate--
     Call not the porter out
     With knock and shout:
     But still unnoticed bide
     The gate beside,
     Till Sleep, my oft-time guest,
     Doth come in quest
     Of me. Quick after her,
     Past bolt and bar,
     Enter all silently.
     Thenceforth for me
     The gate thou mayest keep,
     That calm-browed Sleep,
     So often missed before,
     Pass forth no more.

                   HENRIETTA R. ELIOT.



MADAME PATTERSON-BONAPARTE.


Each year adds fresh interest to this remarkable woman, whose story has
been rehearsed in every land, whose personal traits still afford food
for social chronicle. Lady Morgan said, "She belongs to history; she
lived with kings and princes, philosophers and artists; there is about
her a perpetual curiosity and romance." Speeding on to a rounded century
of life, she is still moved to eloquent agitation in reciting her
wrongs, not merely those sustained at the hands of the Bonapartes, but
those inflicted by her father. William Patterson, son of a farmer in
Donegal county, Ireland, was at fourteen years of age sent to
Philadelphia and placed in the counting-house of Samuel Jackson, a
shipping merchant. In 1775 young Patterson embarked his property in
vessels trading to France with returning cargoes of powder and arms, for
need of which the colonies were crippled. The supply arrived at a
critical time, Washington, then before Boston, not having powder
wherewithal to fire a salute. Mr. Patterson stopped at the West Indies,
where he soon made eighty thousand dollars, coming thence to Baltimore,
where he soon acquired a million of dollars and high social position.
These facts are minutely set forth in his will, a remarkable document in
its complacent personal details. Cataloguing his own virtues, he says:
"I have made the fortunes of some, saved others from ruin, and found
bread and employment for thousands of my fellow-mortals; and no one
could ever say to me, 'Neighbor and friend, you got the advantage of me,
you acted ungenerously to me.' The conduct of my daughter Betsey has
through life been so disobedient that in no instance has she ever
consulted my opinion and feelings: her folly and misconduct have first
to last cost me much money;" but yielding to the dictates of his large
heart he bequeaths her from his great wealth a few paltry houses and his
cellar of wine! _De mortuis nil nisi bonum_--a humane maxim; but when a
man deposits in the public archives his autobiography, we are incited to
inquire of what worth may be his self-laudation, and what the animus
that winged from the grave so cruel a shaft at his child's good name.
That he was of strict integrity in business relations, a citizen of no
mean "credit and renown" is true, but beneath this respectable cloak we
find on contemporary authority a man close and arbitrary in his family
and by no means impeccable in morality. One incident lets in light on
his amiable domestic relations. His wife having long expressed a wish
for a carriage, he at length imported an English chariot, but no horses
were forthcoming, and in answer to her remonstrances he said, "I never
promised you any horses;" so the chariot remained in the coach-house for
the rest of his life.

Mrs. Patterson came of that sturdy, independent Scotch-Irish race that
has peopled Pennsylvania's prosperous valleys. Her grandmother, Mrs.
Galbraith, was of remarkable force of character, taking a prominent part
in Revolutionary stir, and on one occasion traversing on horseback the
then almost wilderness to canvass votes for her husband's election to
the Assembly, which she won--whether by robust argument or in the
felicitous way of the beautiful duchess of Devonshire is not recorded.
To Mrs. Patterson--tender, religious and well cultured--her daughter
owes her familiarity with English and French classics, becoming versed
in the literature of Queen Anne's Augustan age, and able when ten years
old to recite from memory a large portion of that tough morsel, Young's
_Night Thoughts_, a page of which she recently repeated to a friend with
the remark that she "had not seen the poem for seventy-five years." She
learned Rochefoucauld's _Maxims_ by heart--an unfortunate guide, to whom
doubtless she partly owes her cynical appreciation of human motives.
She possessed a quick, logical mind and prodigious memory, while passing
years developed sparkling wit, fascinating manners and woman's crown of
beauty. This gifted child was repressed by her father with strange
bitterness, as if unnaturally jealous of her talent. In what consisted
her "folly, misconduct and disobedience"? The wayward self-will of a
mere girl could hardly merit such stern reprisal. She had barely reached
womanhood when she made the marriage on which his heart was set, which
he instigated and urged forward, allured by the alliance of his name
with that already reechoing through the world, although fully warned of
the risk of his daughter being scorned by Napoleon. Previous to her
marriage she said to her father, "Suppose the First Consul should refuse
to receive me?"--"Do not fear," he replied: "you shall come back to me
an honored daughter."

While in Martinique, Jerome Bonaparte said to a former resident of
Baltimore, "Ah! il me faut une mariage de convenance." "Not so,"
rejoined the lady; "and I know the most beautiful woman in the world,
whom you must marry--Miss Elizabeth Patterson of Baltimore." And so he
first heard her name. Soon after Jerome's arrival in Baltimore one of
his suite, M. Rubelle--his father a member of the famous French
Directory--married a young lady of that city, to whom Jerome said,
"Jamais je n'épouserai une demoiselle Américaine."--"Ne soyez pas si
sûr," replied she: "Mademoiselle Patterson est si belle que la voir
c'est l'épouser." Mrs. Patterson, with a maternal prevision of
misfortune, wishing to prevent their meeting, carried her daughter to
her country place, where they remained until November. This enforced
exclusion from the festivities consequent on Jerome's arrival naturally
excited the young girl, who was found by her brother in tears. "What
ails you, Betsey?" Having sobbingly disclosed her woes, she was allowed
to return to town. Meanwhile Jerome was saying, "Ma belle femme,
pourquoi ne revient-elle de la campagne." One morning, as Mme. Rubelle
entered her carriage, in which Miss Patterson awaited her as chaperon to
the races, Jerome appeared, was presented and accompanied them, to the
annoyance of the fair Betsey, who, irate at his rumored impertinence in
calling her his _belle femme_, turned from him with indifference and
even _brusquerie_, which, if coquetry, could not have been better
designed: from that moment he was captive. On this momentous occasion
she was attired in buff-colored silk, very scant as to drapery, a lace
fichu and a huge Leghorn bonnet trimmed with pink gauze and long ostrich
feathers. The wooing was ardent, but growing at one moment lukewarm, Mr.
Patterson, wise in his generation, sent Miss Betsey to Virginia; which
ruse had the desired effect, piquing the lover into an immediate
declaration on her return. Mrs. Patterson yielded a reluctant consent.
"Your father," she said, "would probably force you into something
detestable for money, so this may be for you a happy escape." The
marriage, the preliminaries of which are historically familiar, was
celebrated in her father's house on Christmas Eve, 1803, in the presence
of ecclesiastical, national and State dignitaries. There were only two
bridesmaids, the Misses Brown, great folk of that day, and no groomsman.

Jerome had imported for her a superb trousseau, but her bridal attire
was a simple India muslin, costly with old lace, a row of pearls
encircling her lovely throat--"a gown I had frequently worn," she said
in describing the event to the writer, "for I particularly wished to
avoid vulgar display; and, truth to say, there was as little as possible
of any gown at all, dress in that day being chiefly an aid in setting
off beauty to advantage." These bridal garments are still preserved, as
well as Jerome's wedding-suit of laced and embroidered purple satin--the
white satin-lined pointed skirts reaching to his heels--knee-breeches
and diamond buckles, the powdered hair enhancing his Napoleonic beauty.

In 1804, Aaron Burr wrote from Washington to his daughter: "Jerome
Bonaparte and his bride are here. She is a charming little woman--just
the figure and nearly the size of Theodosia Burr Alston, by some thought
a little like her; perhaps not so well in the shoulders; dresses with
taste and simplicity (by some thought too free); has sense, spirit and
sprightliness." Jerome now began to quake at Napoleon's fulminations
against his marriage, and but for his spirited wife would have longer
delayed confronting the imperial wrath. In 1805 they set sail from
Philadelphia, but before reaching the Capes a terrific gale drove them
on a sandbank, each moment threatening destruction. Mme. Bonaparte's
courage saved their lives. Clambering to the deck, she insisted that the
sailors should man a boat. "Pray, are you commanding this vessel?" asked
the captain.--"Yes, if necessary."--"How do you propose reaching that
boat?" he queried when at length it was launched.--"You are to throw me
in." He obeyed, but in attempting to lower her from the ship, now nearly
on its side, his strength failed and she fell into the waves. Her wadded
silk pelisse carried her down, but as she rose the sailors grasped and
hauled her into the boat. "Where is Prince Jerome?" was her first
question in that perilous moment. They reached land through a dangerous
surf, and forgot their drenching in the hospitality of a farm-house.
"You irreligious little wretch!" said her aunt: "instead of kneeling in
thanksgiving for your deliverance, you are enjoying roast goose and
apple sauce!"

Not disheartened by this ominous venture, in a few weeks they again
embarked for Lisbon, where, after Jerome's desertion, his wife remained
for seven days, and then sailed for Amsterdam. As the Erin lay in Texel
Roads, the captain of a French frigate came daily to present "ses
hommages à Mademoiselle Patterson," and to ascertain her orders for the
day. "Prisoners, sir, have no orders to give," was her reply. Perceiving
the futility of opposing the emperor's decrees, and justly apprehensive
of personal peril should she force a landing on the Continent, she
sailed for Dover, but here again she was immeshed in Bonaparte
restrictions, as no member of that family could enter England without
permission of the government. Mr. Pitt, then prime minister, sent a
military escort, which lined the way, keeping off the crowd that strove
to get a glimpse of her as she disembarked and entered her carriage. At
Camberwell, her son, Jerome Napoleon Bonaparte, was born, eighteen
months after her marriage. Two months later she sailed for the United
States. Her father in the marriage contract had guaranteed to her
certain property and one thousand dollars per annum, but on her return
he declined to redeem his promise, on the plea that her rejection by the
First Consul, by invalidating the marriage, had nullified his agreement
with his child, whose misfortune he resented as a crime. Prince Jerome
at the birth of their son sent her a thousand guineas, and with this
paltry sum she began life anew.

Neither poverty nor the humiliating overthrow of her happiness daunted
this young creature's spirit, which rose always to the occasion. When
King Jerome, after his marriage with the princess of Würtemberg, offered
his repudiated wife the principality of Smalcand with forty thousand
dollars per annum, her witty reply, that "Westphalia no doubt was a
considerable kingdom, but not large enough to hold two queens," so
pleased the emperor that he directed the French minister at Washington,
M. Serrurier, to intimate his wish to serve her. "Tell the emperor that
I am ambitious: I wish to be made a duchess of France." This the emperor
promised to do at a later moment, and offered her twenty thousand
dollars down and a life annuity of twelve thousand dollars, which she
accepted, "proud to be indebted to the greatest man of modern times,"
but with the proviso that the receipt for payment should be signed by
her as _Elizabeth Bonaparte_, which would be a virtual acknowledgment of
the legality of her marriage and her claims on the head of the family.
To this stipulation the emperor acceded, and until his abdication the
annuity was regularly paid. Jerome was stung to a protest against her
acceptance of aid from his brother while rejecting his own, to which she
retorted that she "preferred shelter beneath the wing of the eagle to
suspension from the pinion of the goose."

Mme. Bonaparte now applied to the Maryland Legislature for a divorce,
which was at once granted. This action on her part was natural, but as a
matter of policy questionable. His wife by every law human and divine,
she could better have guarded her son's interests, and even maintained
her own rightful position, by ignoring Jerome's alliance with the
princess, which was regarded by Catholic Christendom as illegal, the
pope stoutly refusing to nullify the previous marriage.

Mme. Bonaparte always expresses enthusiasm for the emperor, despite the
despotism that shivered the fair fabric of her life, seeking its excuse
in the exigencies of his anomalous position. During her residence in
Paris after the Restoration, Louis Dix-Huit--_Des Huitres_, the wits
styled him from his inordinate love of oysters--fancying that her
presence would reflect contemptuously on the late "Corsican usurper,"
made known his wish to see her at court. This honor she declined, "not
wishing to pose as a victim of imperial tyranny: she had accepted the
emperor's kindness, and ingratitude was not one of her vices." Marshal
Bertrand--"faithful among the faithless" Napoleon called him--who heard
the last sigh of the great heart at St. Helena, visited this country
thirty years ago and requested an interview with Mme. Bonaparte. "The
emperor," he said, "had spoken of her talent with admiration tinged with
regret for the shadow he had cast over her life, for he had heard of her
generous sentiments toward him, alluding to which he one day said,
'Those whom I so wronged have forgiven me: those I overwhelmed with my
bounty have forsaken me.'"

Mme. Bonaparte bore no malice to Jerome, whose nature was not of heroic
mould; and yet what touching professions of fidelity he sent
her!--letters unsurpassed in manly tenderness. A few months after their
separation a gentleman writes of him: "He is always saying, 'My wife!
my dear little wife!' He seems much affected, and declares that he
'shall for ever remember the shipwreck they had encountered: how well on
that trying occasion did she behave! how, when danger was over, he
pressed her in his arms!'" "Jerome loved me to the last," says Mme.
Bonaparte: "he thought me the handsomest woman in the world, and the
most charming. After his marriage to the princess he gave to the
court-painter several miniatures of me from which to make a portrait,
which he kept hidden from the good Catherine."

With the return of the Bourbons, Mme. Bonaparte was free to tread the
soil of France, and among the throngs of lovely women who entered Paris
after Waterloo she was no inconspicuous figure. Portraits and
contemporaries represent her as uncommonly beautiful--the spirited head
crowned with waving brown hair; large, lustrous, liquid hazel eyes,
promising a tender sensibility that did not exist; a nose of delicate
Greek outline; mouth and rounded chin nests for Cupid; arms, bust and
shoulders to satisfy a sculptor. Surgeon-General Larrey, the medical
attendant at St. Helena, meeting Mme. Bonaparte at dinner in Paris,
requested their host, Count Rochefoucauld, to intercede with her for the
privilege of looking at the back of her neck. After studying her a
moment, he said, "It is extraordinary! The bend of the neck, the contour
of face, the pose of the head, even the manner of rising from her chair,
are singular in their resemblance to the emperor." The duchess
D'Abrantes (Mme. Junot) describes in her _Memoirs_ a meeting with
Jerome, "who showed us a fine miniature of his wife, the features
exquisitely beautiful, with a resemblance to those of the princess
Borghese, which Jerome said he and many Frenchmen in Baltimore had
remarked. 'Judge,' he said, replacing the portrait in his bosom, 'if I
can abandon a being like her! I only wish the emperor would consent to
see her, to hear her voice, but for a single moment. For myself, I am
resolved not to yield.'" Walpole's friend, Miss Berry, met Mme.
Bonaparte in the _salon_ of Mme. Récamier, "who sat on a _chaise longue_
with a headache and twelve or fifteen men, only two ladies being
present--Mme. Moreau and Mrs. Patterson, the ex-wife of Jerome
Bonaparte, who is exceedingly pretty, without grace and not at all
shy.... Mme. Récamier is _the_ beauty of this _new_ world, if she can be
called handsome: her manners are _doucereuses_, thinking much of
herself, with perfect carelessness about others, for, besides being a
beauty, she has pretensions to _bel esprit_: they may be as well founded
as the other, yet not sufficient to burn her for a witch." Now, Miss
Berry--called the black-Berry, in contradistinction to her duller
sister, the goose-Berry--was jaundiced in her estimation of both
beauties, and Mme. Bonaparte bears tribute to "that rare loveliness of
temper and tact in displaying the good qualities even of rivals that
were potent weapons in Récamier's quiver of charms." Miss Berry's dictum
is also outweighed by the homage of Mme. de Staël's envying sigh, that
she "would willingly exchange her genius for Récamier's beauty." Mme.
Récamier was anxious that Mme. Bonaparte should know "Corinne." "No,
no," she replied: "De Staël est une colosse qui m'écraserait; elle me
trouverait une jolie bête et je ne veux pas être tuée à Paris par ce
mot-là."

The duke of Wellington succeeded Napoleon in his residence at the
Elysée-Bourbon, since then fitted up as the dower-palace of Eugénie, and
now the head-quarters of President MacMahon. Gay, fickle Paris,
oblivious of disaster, was shouting hosannas to the victor of its
erewhile idol, and in this carnival of _fêtes_ those of the duke were
surpassingly magnificent. Mme. Bonaparte describes Wellington as "short,
erect, spare of figure, with long pale face, thin-lipped, obstinate
mouth, small light eyes, high, sharp, angular nose, the head
disproportionately large, and as squarely flat as an Indian's, reverence
and benevolence being undeveloped. Coldly quiet in voice and greeting,
simple and high-bred in manner, there was in this reticence a suggestion
of reserved force exceedingly attractive." At one of these balls Mme.
Bonaparte was seated in conversation with the handsome and fascinating
Lord Castlereagh, when Mme. de Staël approached, and stopping in front
of her gazed steadily for a moment, then turning to her son, Baron de
Staël-Holstein, on whose arm she leaned, an intimate friend of Mme.
Bonaparte, she said, "Oui, elle est bien, bien jolie," and walked off
without another word. Near by sat Lady Morgan, whose success, literary
and social, was phenomenal. As Sidney Owenson, soon after her _Wild
Irish Girl_ made her famous, she sat awestruck opposite to Dr. Johnson
at a large London dinner, when suddenly, to the terror of the child,
untamed as her own heroine, burly Samuel called across in severe tones,
"Little girl! little girl! where did you get so many hard
words?"--"Please, sir, in your dictionary," was the naïve reply that
disarmed the lexicographer. In Lady Morgan's _Memoirs_ we read: "Mme.
Bonaparte, wife of Jerome, who had abandoned her in a cruel and
dastardly way, was not of the _pâte_ out of which victims and martyrs
are made. She held her difficult position with a scornful courage that
excites pity for the woman's nature so scathed and outraged. Her letters
bear the impress of a life run to waste: they are clever, mordant and
amusing, but the bitter sense of wrong cannot be concealed: there is a
dissatisfaction--one might almost call it jealousy--in the topics
discussed." Mme. Bonaparte keeps her friend _au courant_ with Paris
gossip, but we have only space to glance at the revelation of her weary,
empty heart: "PARIS, November, 1816. DEAR LADY MORGAN: I have executed
all your commissions except that _auprès de_ Mme. de Genlis. I have been
so unwell it has been impossible for me to visit the penitent at the
Carmelites. I meet the princess de Beauveau every week at Mme.
Rumford's, where there is an assemblage of _gens d'esprit_--not that I
call myself one of them. However, people say that I am very good, which
is my passport to these _réunions_. I have been asking after the _Novice
of St. Dominic_, which has not yet been seen by any of your friends."
[William Pitt read this novel for the fifth time a few days before his
death.] "I have been very triste: tout m'ennuie dans ce mondeci, et je
ne sçais pas pourquoi, unless it be the recollection of what I have
suffered. I think the best thing for me is to return to my dear child. I
love him so entirely that seeing him may render my feelings less
poignant. Any inconveniences are more supportable than being separated
from one's children. How much more we love them than our husbands! the
latter are often so selfish and cruel; but children cannot force mothers
from their affection."... "PARIS, 1817 Your kind letter by Tom Moore
reached me. He seldom sees me: I did not take with him at all.... How
happy you must be at filling the world with your name! Mme. de Staël and
Mme. de Genlis are forgotten, and if the love of fame be of any weight,
your excursion to Paris was a brilliant success. Your work on France has
appeared through a French translation, in which they have suppressed
what they thought best. Its truths cannot at this moment be admitted
here, but in all other countries it will have complete success. The
violent clamor of the Paris gazettes proves it to be too well written.
They are publishing it in America, where your talents are justly
appreciated.... I have not seen Mme. d'H---- for a long time: she dines
at half-past nine--wakes when other persons sleep, which makes it
impossible to enjoy her society without paying the price of a night's
repose.... Your friend and admirer Mr. S---- is dead of old age. I met
him two weeks previous at a party. His widow gave a dinner the next
week, because she was afraid of being _triste_--receives and appears on
the Boulevards, because 'bon ami m'a dit qu'il fallait vivre.' Her
friends flatter themselves that her sensibility will not kill her, at
the same time that it enables them to give agreeable parties.... My
desire to see my child is stronger than my taste for Paris. I am of your
opinion: the best thing a woman can do is to marry: even quarrels with
one's husband are preferable to the ennui of a solitary existence.
There are so many hours apart from those appropriated to the world that
one cannot get rid of--at least one like myself, having no useful
occupation. You never felt ennui, because you cultivate talents which
will immortalize you.... Mme. de Staël died regretting a life that she
had contrived to render very agreeable. Her most intimate friends were
ignorant that a marriage with M. Rocca existed, and unless her will had
substantiated the fact they would have treated it as a calumny. Marrying
a man twenty years younger than herself, without fortune or name, is in
France _un ridicule, pire qu'un crime_. What think you of the
_Manuscript of St. Helena_ being attributed to her and Benjamin
Constant? Is it possible to carry the desire of rendering her
inconsistent further?... Adieu! Your recollection accompanies me to the
New World, where I hope I may meet any one half so agreeable. They write
me that my son is _pétri d'esprit_. I fear that after exciting my hopes
he will become, like the generality of people, mediocre and tiresome.
Yours affectionately, ELIZA PATTERSON."

The next letter is preceded by Lady Morgan's comment: "Mme. Bonaparte,
with her airy manner, beauty and wit, would have made an excellent
princess, American as she was. One wonders that Napoleon should have
been blind to her capabilities--he whose motto was, 'The tools to him
who can use them.'"--"BALTIMORE, 1818. DEAR LADY MORGAN:... The demand
for your work on France was so great that it went through three editions
with us.... My son is intelligent, good and very handsome.... You have a
great deal of imagination, but it can give you no idea of the mode of
existence inflicted on us. The men are all merchants, and commerce may
fill the purse, but clogs the brain: beyond their counting-houses they
possess not a single idea; they never visit except when they wish to
marry. The women are occupied in _les détails du ménage_ and nursing
children--useful occupations that do not render them agreeable to their
neighbors. The men, being all bent on marriage, do not attend to me,
because they fancy I am not inclined to change the evils of my condition
for those they could offer me. I have been thought so _ennuyée_ as to
accept very respectable offers, but I prefer remaining as I am to
marrying a person to whom I am indifferent. My letters from Paris say
that Decaze, the minister of police, is created a peer and is to marry
Princess de Beauveau. It appears very strange to my recollections of
political feelings, but nothing is too surprising with politicians. He
is very handsome at least--not a bad thing in a husband: they say, too,
that he has talents and sensibility.... Suppose you were to come to this
country: it is becoming the fashion to travel here, and you might find
materials for an interesting work.... It is impossible for me to return
to Europe: a single woman is exposed to so many disagreeable comments in
a foreign land. Besides, I have only eleven hundred pounds a year--not
enough to support me out of my own family.... I embroider and read. Do
you remember Mme. de Staël's description of the mode of life Corinne
found in an English country town, the subjects of conversation limited
to births, deaths and marriages? My opinion on these topics has long
been decided: that it is a misery to be born and married I have
painfully experienced.... Have you a good college in Dublin? I might
send my son there in two years, as he cannot go to France, and I do not
wish him to be educated in England, where his name would not recommend
him to favor."

"GENEVA, 1819. DEAR LADY MORGAN:... I should never have ventured on
another voyage to Europe could I have found the means of education for
my son.... We have been nearly ruined by commercial speculations, and
even I have suffered.... My son's education, too, demands no
inconsiderable expense, and his father never _has_, and never _will_,
contribute a single farthing toward his maintenance. We have no
correspondence since the demand that he would pay part of his necessary
expenditure, which he positively refused.... This town is intolerably
expensive--as much so as Paris: there exists, too, an _esprit de
coterie_ appalling to _women_ strangers, for men are _les bien venus
partout_. They have a custom _parmi les gens du haut_ of receiving
strangers to board at a very high price _seulement pour leur agrément_,
in which houses there is no feast to be found unless it be of reason:
the hosts are too _spirituels_ to fancy that we possess a vulgar
appetite for meat, vegetables, tarts and custards; but as I cannot
subsist altogether on the contemplation of _la belle Nature_, I have
taken an apartment, hoping to get something to eat.... My health is
restored, and I am much less in the _genre larmoyant_ than when you saw
me.... I am happy not to have gone to Edinburgh: the climate here is
finer, living cheaper and the language French--more desirable for my
son. Why do you persist in living in Ireland?"

King Jerome afterward allowed his son one hundred dollars per month for
seven years, but with malignant cruelty ignored him in his will, which
wrong at once to her son and her own wifely fame Mme. Bonaparte
contested in Paris with a spirit that elicited the sympathy of Europe;
but Napoleon III., for reasons of policy, permitted her defeat, and also
at this time discontinued the annuity of fourteen thousand dollars
allowed to her son, Jerome Bonaparte, although recognizing him at court
as his cousin; but the six thousand dollars per annum granted to her
grandson, Captain Bonaparte, ceased only with the Empire.

"GENEVA, 1820. DEAR LADY MORGAN:... Baron Bonstetten came to see me
to-day. You were the subject of our conversation: nothing but
admiration. M. Sismondi has made my acquaintance--he is married too: I
wonder that people of genius marry. I have been in such a state of
melancholy as to wish myself dead a thousand times. What think you of a
person advising me to turn Methodist? Have you read Lamartine's
_Méditations poétiques_? There are some fine things in them, but he is
too _larmoyant_ and of the bad school of politics. Miss Edgeworth is
here: she came to see me, but we have not met. She has a great deal of
good sense, which I particularly object to in my companions unless
accompanied by genius.... They are so reasonable and unmoved in this
place, their mornings devoted to the exact sciences, their evenings to
whist! There have been some English, but I have seen little of them:
they are cold, formal, affected--just my antipodes; therefore we should
not please each other: they require a year to become acquainted, and I
have too little left of life to waste on formalities.... In this
birthplace of Calvinism I found no trace of its originator, either in
actual relics or asceticism: it was rather the centre of folly and
license."

Baron Bonstetten, savant and philanthropist--whom Lady Morgan styles
"that fresh, frisky old darling"--showed Mme. Bonaparte paternal
kindness. In a morning visit she found him in his library examining
letters. He said, "Asseyez vous un peu, mon enfant, en attendant que je
finisse de ces papiers," and she sat for an hour reading letters from
celebrities which he tossed to her--among others, perhaps inadvertently,
from Mme. de Staël, proving the good baron's admiration for Corinne to
have been "warmer than friendship if colder than love." At a ball at
Bonstetten's, as Mme. Bonaparte entered the room, a stout, handsome man
covered with orders eagerly exclaimed, "Qui est-ce? qui est-ce?"--"La
première femme de Jérome Bonaparte," replied the princess Gallitzin. It
was Duke William of Würtemberg, uncle of Jerome's second wife. He
requested a presentation, took both hands affectionately, and after
conversing half an hour led her to his duchess, to whom he said
afterward, "Mais, mon Dieu! que Jérome a manqué son coup. Quelle grâce,
quelle beauté, quel esprit! Et ma pauvre nièce! il faut être juste;
jamais ne pourrait-elle régner comme cette belle Américaine, qui par
tout droit est vraiment la reine. Jérome a été bête de la
quitter."--"Ah," said Bonstetten, "si elle n'est pas reine de
Westphalie, elle est au moins reine des coeurs."

Jerome sent for his son, then a lad, to visit him at Rome, where he
remained several months, treated with affection by his father and with
maternal kindness by the princess, who went two leagues to meet him, and
taking his face between her hands said tearfully, "Ah! mon enfant, je
suis la cause innocente de tous vos malheurs." She evinced always the
utmost interest in her predecessor. Mme. Rubelle was appointed lady of
honor to her when queen of Westphalia, and was meaningly questioned,
"Are all the American ladies as beautiful as yourself?" Prince Woronzow
said of these rival wives, "Je suis amoureux des deux reines de
Westphalie."

On her arrival in France the princess of Würtemberg halted at Raincy to
meet Prince Jerome, "who had sworn to me," says Mme. Junot, "never to
forget the mother of his son, the young wife who had given him a
paradise in a strange land.... The princess was not pretty; she seldom
smiled; her expression was haughty.... Her complexion was fair and
fresh, hair light, eyes blue, teeth very white.... As the princess had
made up her mind to give her hand to Jerome, it was desirable that she
should please him, as he certainly regretted his wife; and Miss
Patterson was really his wife and a charming woman.... Her dress was in
uncommon bad taste--the gown of bluish-white _moire_, trimmed in front
with badly-worked silver embroidery in a forgotten style; a little train
resembling the round tail of a beaver; tight, flat sleeves, pressing the
arm above the elbow like a bandage after blood-letting. Her pointed
shoes belonged to the era of King John, the hair old-fashioned in style.
About her neck were two rows of very fine pearls, to which was suspended
the portrait of the prince set in diamonds, and much too large to be
ornamental, as it dangled from her neck and bestowed heavy blows at
every step.... Marshal Bessières had espoused the princess by proxy....
As Jerome entered she advanced two steps and made him her compliments
with grace and dignity.... Jerome seemed to be there because he had been
told 'You must go.' After Jerome retired the princess fainted."

The duke of Würtemberg was a mere tool in Napoleon's hands, and his
pliancy was rewarded. In 1809 the emperor greeted him as _mon
frère_.--"Comment, Sire? No longer your cousin?"--"You _were_ mon
cousin: you are _now_ Monsieur mon frère!" And yet the domestic tragedy
of this new _frère_ was known to the imperial king-maker! In 1780 the
duke had married Princess Caroline of Brunswick, young and beautiful,
who was accused of regarding too favorably a page in her service.
Letters inculpating them were found, a family and state council was
convened, and the page sentenced to death, while all concurred in the
guilt of the duchess. A divorce was proposed, but finally her death was
decreed. The page lodged in the palace, his door opening on a corridor
beneath which were similar corridors, in each of which a trapdoor was
now arranged, one below the other, a slight flooring concealing the one
immediately above the apartment of the duchess. As the unsuspicious page
stole at midnight to the rendezvous, the trap yielded, and from floor to
floor he was dashed, mangled and dead, to the feet of the duchess. The
infatuated woman, previously warned, had refused to abandon her lover;
but now she sought escape, was intercepted, and the city executioner
immediately brought blindfolded to the great hall, where he beheld a
fair, noble woman bound hands and feet. He implored to be spared his
terrible task, but, sworn to secrecy, he was forced under penalty of
instant death to strike the fatal blow. He drew up a detailed account of
the double murder and sent it to Baron Bretueil, then French minister of
state, who laid the matter before King Louis XVI. Jerome's wife was the
daughter of this unfortunate princess. The duke afterward married a
daughter of George III. of England.

Mme. Bonaparte's last meeting with Jerome was at the Pitti Palace in
Florence in 1822, and, singular to say, these once wedded lovers did not
know each other! She chanced to be attired in her most _recherché_
costume--a rich silk halfway to the knee, then the mode, displaying
dainty prunella shoes; a gauze hat about three feet in circumference,
with high-wired bows; a crimson cashmere shawl and large green velvet
reticule. In passing through the gallery she was attracted by the eager,
persistent stare of a very handsome man whom she did not recognize, but
whose strange likeness to her son enchained her. Suddenly the truth
flashed to her heart: "It is Jerome!" He meanwhile, gazing at her, said
to one of the ladies with him, "Si belle! si belle! qui est-ce?"--"Vous
devriez la connaître, c'est votre première femme," replied Mme. Joseph
Bonaparte. Jerome started, and with an agitated whisper to the other
lady, the princess Catherine, they left the gallery. For one moment only
the two "discrowned queens" were face to face. The next day Mme.
Bonaparte was driving in the Cascine, when from a passing carriage
Jerome nearly precipitated himself in a last, lingering look at the wife
of his youth.

At that period Florence was the focus of continental social brilliancy,
and Mme. Bonaparte was received with due distinction at its charming
court. "My presentation was special," she relates, "and being superbly
dressed, though caring but little for _chiffons_, I advanced with entire
composure and self-satisfaction through the apartments of the Pitti
Palace, crowded with the _élite_ of the court and diplomacy. Preceded by
the chamberlain, I was welcomed by the grand duke and duchess with such
kindness as quite to overcome me, and I nearly burst into tears; but
saying to myself, 'Good gracious! I shall spoil my lovely satin gown,
and be thought _bête_ to make a scene,' this reflection restored my
serenity and enabled me to go through the ceremony with becoming
dignity."

"Si elle etait reine avec quelle grâce elle règnerait," said Talleyrand
after one of their witty jousts, in which he was not always victor. "She
charms by her eyes while she slays with her tongue," said Count Crillon:
if her unsparing repartee inspired wholesome fear, she disarmed by her
tact, sportive manner and childlike laughter. "Had she been near the
throne the Allies would have found it even more difficult to dispose of
Napoleon," said Gortschakoff, that brilliant and fascinating Russian,
noted even then for the astuteness and diplomatic resource that still
steady the Russian helm through Disraelian and Bismarckian breakers, and
who now, after fifty years, faithful in friendship, recalls to his
_belle alliée_ the _guerre spirituelle épigrammatique_ of their bright
spring-time. The duke of Buckingham and Chandos in his _Memoirs_ pays
tribute to her talent, piquant charm and "untarnished name," while her
enemy, Prince Napoleon--Plon-Plon--thus characterizes her: "Ambitieuse,
un esprit indomptable, une réputation sans tâche."

She writes to Lady Morgan from Paris in 1825: "I passed only a few
months in Rome, where I saw the most beautiful woman in the world, who
has since died in her husband's palace in Florence, conjugally regretted
by Prince Borghese. He buried her in the handsomest chapel in Europe.
She left my son a legacy of twenty thousand francs.... I have paid a
short visit to America. La Fayette was caressed, adored and
substantially rewarded. I saw him, and talked to him of you, whom he
loves and admires _malgré le temps et l'absence_. Fanny Wright was with
or near him all the time he was in America. She is to write something of
which he is to be the hero.... My son has grown up handsome--a classical
profile and _un esprit juste_."

At Rome, Mme. Bonaparte first met her imperial relatives, by all of whom
she was affectionately welcomed except Madame Mère. "Qu'est-ce que vous
allez faire à son sujet?" questioned Pauline Borghese. "Je n'y ferai
rien;" and to this armed neutrality she adhered, though by request
sending her son daily to see his grandmother, until at length overtures
were made and the spirited daughter-in-law received with cordiality.
"She was not tall," says Mme. Bonaparte; "features like her great son;
fine mournful eyes; a manner touching and majestic. She was then very
_dévote_. Pauline was empty-headed, selfish and vain, cared only for
luxury, but in every line exquisite as Canova's statue represents her.
Hortense was not really handsome--irregular features, a wide mouth
exposing the gums and defective teeth, a blemish in her mother, whose
faultless figure, kindly nature and caressing manner she also inherited.
She was lovely at the harp, and sang her own _romances_ in a sweet
voice."

Among the few celebrities of her day unknown by Mme. Bonaparte was
Byron, who had expressed a great wish to meet her, so his friend Captain
Medway told her. "I hate a dumpy woman," says the noble bard; and to
that complexion did the Guiccioli come at last. Mme. Bonaparte knew her
well--"a shower of golden curls; fair, with blue eyes, unlike the
typical Italian; teeth and hands perfect; naïve and sweet of temper.
Byron, she said, took a woman's care of his beauty; slept in gloves--he
was so proud of his hands--and kept bits of cotton between his teeth to
preserve their regularity."

In 1839, Mme. Bonaparte writes to Lady Morgan from Paris: "Death, time
and absence have left me hardly an acquaintance here.... I hardly know
which is most distressing--to hear that our friends have gone to the
other world or have forgotten us in this.... My son is gone from Geneva
to Italy to visit his relatives and to see after a legacy which his
grand-uncle, Cardinal Fesch, had the goodness to leave him.... I have
grown fat, old and dull--good reasons for persons not to think me an
intelligent listener. They mistake: I have exactly the talent to
appreciate the powers of others. Poor Mme. Junot made a sad end, the
natural consequence of her prodigality: her pecuniary difficulties, it
is said, caused her death. I liked her very much, and felt pained at the
misery caused by her want of judgment. Her heart was generous and
warm.... I know not if the late princess Charlotte, daughter of Joseph
Bonaparte, was of your acquaintance: she possessed some mental
superiority and many noble qualities."

"Lady Morgan," says Mme. Bonaparte, "was brilliant in wit, good-natured
and flattering; short, with sparkling eyes; her hair close cut, in dark
curls. 'Why is it,' she said to me, 'that you speak French perfectly,
but English with such an American drawl?'--'For the same reason
probably that yours is a brogue'--one of the miseries of her life."

"BALTIMORE, 1849.... No one expects me to be grateful for the evil
chance of having been born here. Society and conversation belong to
older countries: you ought to thank your stars for your European
birth.... France, _je l'espère_, is in a transition state, and will not
let her brilliancy be put under an extinguisher called _la République_.
The emperor hurled me back on what I most hated on earth, my Baltimore
obscurity: even that shock could not destroy the admiration I felt for
his genius and glory. I have ever been an imperial Bonapartist _quand
même_, and am enchanted at the homage paid by six millions of voices to
his memory in voting an imperial President: the prestige of the name has
elected a prince who has my most ardent wishes for an empire. Dear Lady
Morgan, having been cheated out of my inheritance from my late rich and
unjust father, I have only ten thousand dollars annually. You speak of
my 'princely' income. I have all my life been tortured and mortified by
pecuniary difficulties: but for my industry, energy and determination to
conquer a decent sufficiency to live on in Europe, I might have remained
as poor as you first saw me.... Lamartine and Chateaubriand are giving
their memoirs to the public: the first _de son vivant_. When I knew
Lamartine he was chargé d'affaires from Charles X. Florence was then a
charming place. I met him every night in society. How little did I
foresee that he was to become a poetical republican, and that dear
Florence was to be travestied in a republic! Hoping that England may
remain steady and faithful to monarchical principles, that at least some
refined society may be left in the world, I shall, _Dieu permettant_,
have the satisfaction of seeing you next summer."

Neither the climate nor "the freezing social _convenance_" of England
pleased Mme. Bonaparte, though she was received with distinction.
"Abroad, these fair insulars _occasionally_ unbend and are charming" she
says, "but at all times I have found Englishmen of birth the best bred
and most agreeable men in the world."

Since her withdrawal from European life Mme. Bonaparte has lived
secluded from society. Baltimore's shrewdest banker says that he knows
"no man capable of creating legitimately, with so small a capital, the
large fortune amassed by Mme. Bonaparte." She has no accomplishment in
any branch of art, and although her love of study remains, her
fast-increasing blindness deprives her of this resource. Her diary, if
ever given to the public, will have the effect of a shower of cayenne;
but her _magnum opus_, which discretion will probably forbid seeing the
light, is entitled _Dialogues of the Dead_, the scene being laid in
Hades, where her father and King Jerome rehearse her story. Her wit is
still incisive, her conversation replete with interest, her memory
retaining minutely every incident and figure of the wondrous diorama
that has unrolled before her eyes close upon a hundred years. Her birth
was nearly coeval with that of our republic, many of whose fathers she
knew. She wept as the tidings of Marie Antoinette's tragedy reached our
shores; she was a woman when Washington died; Jefferson was her friend;
La Fayette has held her hand; and her name is imperishably associated
with one "who kept the world at bay, whose game was empires, whose
stakes were thrones."



A SUMMER EVENING'S DREAM.


It is a village street, with great elms on either side, while along the
middle stands another row set in a narrow strip of grassy common, so
that the street and roadway are in reality double. The dwellings on
either side are not only widely parted by the broad street, but are
still further isolated, each in its large garden of ancient fruit trees.
It is four o'clock of a sunny August afternoon, and a quiet,
Sabbath-like but for its lazy voluptuousness, broods over the scene. No
carriage, or even pedestrian, has passed for an hour. The occasional
voices of children at play in some garden, the latching of a gate far
down the street, the dying fall of a drowsy chanticleer, are but the
punctuation of the poem of summer silence that has been flowing on all
the afternoon. Upon the tree-tops the sun blazes brightly, and between
their stems are glimpses of outlying meadows, which simmer in the heat
as if about to come to a boil. But the shadowed street offers a cool and
refreshing vista to the eye and a veritable valley of refuge to the
parched and dusty traveller along the highway.

On the broad piazza of one of the quaint old-fashioned houses, behind a
needless screen of climbing woodbine, two girls are whiling away the
afternoon. One of them is lounging in a lazy rocking-chair, while the
other sits more primly and is industriously sewing.

"I suppose you'll be glad enough to see George when he comes to-night to
take you back to the city? I'm afraid you find it pretty dull here,"
said the latter with an intonation of uneasy responsibility sufficiently
attesting that the brilliant-looking girl opposite was a guest.

That young lady when addressed was indulging in a luxurious country
yawn, an operation by no means to be hurried, but to be fully and lazily
enjoyed in all its several and long-drawn stages, and as thus practised
a wonderfully calming and soporific relaxation wholly unknown to the
fretted denizens of cities, whose yawn is one of irritation and not of
rest. "I do so enjoy your Plainfield yawns, Lucy," she said when she had
quite finished. "Were you saying that it was a little dull? Well,
perhaps it is, but then the trees and things seem to be enjoying
themselves so hugely that it would be selfish to make a fuss, even if it
isn't exactly my kind of fun."

"Your kind of fun is due by the six-o'clock stage, I believe."

The other laughed and said, "I wish you wouldn't make another allusion
to George. I think of him so much that I'm ashamed as it is. I'm sure
this is a very aggravating place for an engaged girl to be at. One gets
so dreadfully sentimental with nothing to take up the mind, especially
with such monstrous moons as you have. I got fairly frightened of the
one last night. It drew me out through my eyes like a big plaster."

"Mabel French!"

"I don't care: it did. That was just the feeling."

There was no hurry about talking, for the rich, mellow summer silence
had a body to it that prevented pauses from seeming empty, and it might
have been half an hour afterward that Mabel suddenly leaned forward,
putting her face close to the vine-trellis, and cried in a low voice,
"Who's that? Do tell me! They're the very first persons who have gone by
this afternoon, I do believe."

A pretty phaeton was slowly passing, containing an elderly gentleman and
lady.

"Oh, that is only Lawyer Morgan and old Miss Rood," replied Lucy, just
glancing up, and then down again. "They go out driving once a week
regularly, and always at about this time in the afternoon."

"They look like afternoon sort of people," said Mabel. "But why doesn't
Lawyer Morgan take out his wife?"

"He hasn't got any. Miss Rood comes nearest to that. Oh no, you needn't
open your eyes: there's not a properer old maid in town, or old bachelor
either, for that matter."

"Are they relatives?"

"No, indeed."

"How long has this Platonic romance been going on, pray?"

"Oh, ever since they were young--forty years perhaps. I only know by
tradition, you see. It began ages before my day. They say she was very
pretty once. Old Aunty Perkins remembers that she was quite the belle of
the village as a girl. It seems strange, doesn't it?"

"Tell me the whole story," said Mabel, turning round so as to face Lucy
as the phaeton passed out of sight.

"There's not much to tell. Mr. Morgan has always lived here, and so has
Miss Rood. He lives alone with a housekeeper in that fine house at the
end of the street, and she entirely alone in that little white house
over there among the apple trees. All the people who knew them when they
were young are dead, gone away or moved off. They are relics of a past
generation, and are really about as much shut up to each other for
sympathy as an old married couple."

"Well, why on earth aren't they married?"

"People hereabouts got tired of asking that full thirty years ago,"
replied Lucy with a little shrug. "Even the gossips long since wore out
the subject, and I believe we have all of us forgotten that there is
anything peculiar about their relations. He calls on her two or three
times a week, and takes her out driving on pleasant days; escorts her to
places of amusement or social gatherings when either of them cares to
go, which isn't often; and wherever they are, people take it for granted
they will pair off together. He is never seen with any other lady."

"It's very strange," said Mabel thoughtfully, "and I'm sure it's very
romantic. Queer old couple! I wonder how they really feel toward each
other, and whether they wouldn't like to be married?"

A while after she suddenly demanded, "Don't you think Miss Rood looks
like me?"

Lucy laughed at first, but upon closer inspection of the fair questioner
admitted that there might be some such resemblance as the shrivelled
apples brought up from the cellar in spring bear to the plump,
rosy-cheeked beauties that went down in October.

If Mr. Morgan and Miss Rood, as they rode past, had chanced to overhear
Mabel's question why they had not married, it would have affected them
very differently. He would have been startled by the novelty of an idea
that had not occurred to him in twenty years, but the blush on her cheek
would have been one of painful consciousness.

As boy and girl they had been each other's chosen companion, and as
young man and maiden their childish preference had bloomed into a
reciprocal love. Thanks to the freedom and simplicity of village life,
they enjoyed as lovers a constant and easy familiarity and daily
association almost as complete in sympathy of mind and heart as anything
marriage could offer. There were none of the usual obstacles to incite
them to matrimony. They were never even formally engaged, so wholly did
they take it for granted that they should marry. It was so much a matter
of course that there was no hurry at all about it; and besides, so long
as they had it to look forward to the foreground of life was illuminated
for them: it was still morning. Mr. Morgan was constitutionally of a
dreamy and unpractical turn, a creature of habits and a victim of ruts;
and as years rolled on he became more and more satisfied with these
half-friendly, half-loverlike relations. He never found the time when it
seemed an object to marry, and now, for very many years, the idea had
not even occurred to him as possible; and so far was he from the least
suspicion that Miss Rood's experience had not been precisely similar to
his own, that he often congratulated himself on the fortunate
coincidence.

Time cures much, and many years ago Miss Rood had recovered from the
first bitterness of discovering that his love had become insensibly
transformed into a very tender but perfectly peaceful friendship. No
one but him had ever touched her heart, and she had no interest in life
besides him. Since she was not to be his wife, she was glad to be his
lifelong, tender, self-sacrificing friend. So she raked the ashes over
the fire in her heart, and left him to suppose that it had gone out as
in his. Nor was she without compensation in their friendship. It was
with a delightful thrill that she felt how fully in mind and heart he
leaned and depended upon her, and the unusual and romantic character of
their relations in some degree consoled her for the disappointment of
womanly aspirations by a feeling of distinction. She was not like other
women: her lot was set apart and peculiar. She looked down upon her sex.
The conventionality of women's lives renders their vanity peculiarly
susceptible to a suggestion that their destiny is in any respect
unique--a fact that has served the turn of many a seducer before now.

To-day, after returning from his drive with Miss Rood, Mr. Morgan had
walked in his garden, and as the evening breeze arose, it bore to his
nostrils that first indescribable flavor of autumn which warns us that
the soul of Summer has departed from her yet glowing body. He was very
sensitive to these changes of the year, and, obeying an impulse that had
been familiar to him in all unusual moods his life long, he left the
house after tea and turned his steps down the street. As he stopped at
Miss Rood's gate, Lucy, Mabel and George Hammond were under the apple
trees in the garden opposite.

"Look, Mabel! There's Mr. Morgan going to call on Miss Rood," said Lucy
softly.

"Oh, do look, George!" said Mabel eagerly. "That old gentleman has been
paying court to an old maid over in that little house for forty years.
And to think," she added in a lower tone, intended for his private ear,
"what a fuss you make about waiting six months!"

"Humph! You please to forget that it's easier to wait for some things
than for others. Six months of my kind of waiting, I take it, require
more patience than forty years of his--or any other man's," he added
with increased emphasis.

"Be quiet, sir!" replied Mabel, answering his look of unruly admiration
with one of half pique. "I'm not a sugar-plum, that's not enjoyed till
it's in the mouth. If you haven't got me now, you'll never have me. If
being engaged isn't enough, you don't deserve to be married." And then,
seeing the blank expression with which he looked down at her, she added
with a prescient resignedness, "I'm afraid, dear, you'll be so
disappointed when we're married if you find this so tedious."

Lucy had discreetly wandered away, and of how they made it up there were
no witnesses. But it seems likely that they did so, for shortly after
they wandered away together down the darkening street.

Like most of the Plainfield houses, that at which Mr. Morgan turned in
stood well back from the street. At a side window, still further
sheltered from view by a syringa-bush at the house corner, sat a little
woman with a small pale face, the still attractive features perceptibly
sharpened by years, of which the half-gray hair bore further testimony.
The eyes, just now fixed absently upon the dusking landscape, were light
gray and a little faded, while around the lips there were crowsfeet,
especially when they were pressed together, as now, in an unsatisfied,
almost pathetic look, evidently habitual to her face when in repose.
There was withal something in her features that so reminded you of Mr.
Morgan that any one conversant with the facts of his life-romance would
have at once inferred--though by just what logic he might not be able to
explain--that this must be Miss Rood. It is well known that long-wedded
couples often gain at length a certain resemblance in feature and
manner; and although these two were not married, yet their intimacy of a
lifetime was perhaps the reason why her face bore when in repose
something of that seer-like expression which communion with the bodiless
shapes of memory had given to his.

The latching of the gate broke up her depressing revery and banished the
pinched and pining look from her features. Among the neighbors Miss Rood
was sometimes called a sour old maid, but the face she kept for Mr.
Morgan would never have suggested that idea to the most ill-natured
critic.

He stopped at the window, near which the walk passed to the doorway, and
stood leaning on the sill--a tall slender figure, stooping a little,
with smooth scholarly face and thin iron-gray hair. His only noticeable
feature was a pair of eyes whose expression and glow indicated an
imaginative temperament. It was pleasant to observe the relieved
restlessness in the look and manner of the two friends, as if at the
mere being in each other's presence, though neither seemed in any haste
to exchange even the words of formal greeting.

At length she said in a tone of quiet satisfaction, "I knew you would
come, for I was sure this deathly autumn's flavor would make you
restless. Isn't it strange how it affects the nerves of memory and makes
one sad with thinking of all the sweet dear days that are dead?"

"Yes, yes," he answered eagerly: "I can think of nothing else. Do they
not seem wonderfully clear and near to-night? To-night, of all nights in
the year, if the figures and scenes of memory can be re-embodied in
visible forms, they ought to become so to the eyes that strain and yearn
for them."

"What a fanciful idea, Robert!"

"I don't know that it is: I don't feel sure. Nobody understands the
mystery of this Past, or what are the conditions of existence in that
world. These memories, these forms and faces, that are so near, so
almost warm and visible that we find ourselves smiling on the vacant air
where they seem to be, are they not real and living?"

"You don't mean you believe in ghosts?"

"I am not talking of ghosts of the dead, but of ghosts of the
past--memories of scenes or persons, whether the persons are dead or
not--of our own selves as well as others. Why," he continued, his voice
softening into a passionate, yearning tenderness, "the figure I would
give most to see just once more is yourself as a girl, as I remember you
in the sweet grace and beauty of your maidenhood. Ah well! ah well!"

"Don't!" she cried involuntarily, while her features contracted in
sudden pain.

In the years during which his passion for her had been cooling into a
staid friendship his imagination had been recurring with constantly
increasing fondness and a dreamy passion to the memory of her girlhood.
And the cruellest part of it was that he so unconsciously and
unquestioningly assumed that she could not have identity enough with
that girlish ideal to make his frequent glowing references to it even
embarrassing. Generally, however, she heard and made no sign, but the
suddenness of his outburst just now had taken her off her guard.

He glanced up with some surprise at her exclamation, but was too much
interested in his subject to take much notice of it. "You know," he
said, "there are great differences in the distinctness with which we can
bring up our memories. Very well! The only question is, What is the
limit to that distinctness, or is there any? Since we know there are
such wide degrees in distinctness, the burden of proof rests on those
who would prove that those degrees stop short of any particular point.
Don't you see, then, that it might be possible to see them?" And to
enforce his meaning he laid his hand lightly on hers as it rested on the
window-seat.

She withdrew it instantly from the contact, and a slight flush tinged
her sallow cheeks. The only outward trace of her memory of their
youthful relations was the almost prudish chariness of her person by
which she indicated a sense of the line to be drawn between the former
lover and the present friend.

"Something in your look just now," he said, regarding her musingly, as
one who seeks to trace the lineaments of a dead face in a living one,
"reminds me of you as you used to sit in this very window as a girl, and
I stood just here, and we picked out stars together. There! now it's
gone;" and he turned away regretfully.

She looked at his averted face with a blank piteousness which revealed
all her secret. She would not have had him see it for worlds, but it was
a relief just for a moment to rest her features in the sad cast which
the muscles had grown tired in repressing. The autumn scent rose
stronger as the air grew damp, and he stood breathing it in, and
apparently feeling its influence like some Delphian afflatus.

"Is there anything, Mary--is there anything so beautiful as that light
of eternity that rests on the figures of memory? Who that has once felt
it can care for the common daylight of the present any more, or take
pleasure in its prosaic groups?"

"You'll certainly catch cold standing in that wet grass: do come in and
let me shut the blinds," she said, for she had found cheerful lamplight
the best corrective for his vagaries.

So he came in and sat in his special arm-chair, and they chatted about
miscellaneous village topics for an hour. The standpoint from which they
canvassed Plainfield people and things was a peculiarly outside one.
Their circle of two was like a separate planet from which they observed
the world. Their tone was like, and yet quite unlike, that in which a
long-married couple discuss their acquaintances; for, while their
intellectual intimacy was perfect, their air expressed a constant mutual
deference and solicitude of approbation not to be confounded with the
terrible familiarity of matrimony; and at the same time they constituted
a self-sufficient circle, apart from the society around them, as man and
wife cannot. Man and wife are so far merged as to feel themselves a unit
over against society. They are too much identified to find in each other
that sense of support and countenance which requires a feeling of the
exteriority of our friend's life to our own. If these two should marry
they would shortly find themselves impelled to seek refuge in
conventional relations with that society of which now they were calmly
independent.

At length Mr. Morgan rose and threw open the blinds. The radiance of the
full harvest-moon so flooded the room that Miss Rood was fain to blow
out the poor lamp for compassion. "Let us take a walk," he said.

The streets were empty and still, and they walked in silence, spelled by
the perfect beauty of the evening. The dense shadows of the elms lent a
peculiarly rich effect to the occasional bars and patches of moonlight
on the street floor; the white houses gleamed among their orchards; and
here and there, between the dark tree-stems, there were glimpses of the
shining surface of the broad outlying meadows, which looked like a
surrounding sea.

Miss Rood was startled to see how the witchery of the scene possessed
her companion. His face took on a set, half-smiling expression, and he
dropped her arm as if they had arrived at the place of entertainment to
which he had been escorting her. He no longer walked with measured pace,
but glided along with a certain stealthiness, peering on this side and
that down moony vistas and into shadow-bowers, as if half expecting, if
he might step lightly enough, to catch a glimpse of some sort of
dream-people basking there.

Nor could Miss Rood herself resist the impression the moony landscape
gave of teeming with subtle forms of life, escaping the grosser senses
of human beings, but perceptible by their finer parts. Each cosey nook
of light and shadow was yet warm from some presence that had just left
it. The landscape fairly stirred with ethereal forms of being beneath
the fertilizing moon-rays, as the earth-mould wakes into physical life
under the sun's heat. The yellow moonlight looked warm as spirits might
count warmth. The air was electric with the thrill of circumambient
existence. There was the sense of pressure, of a throng. It would have
been impossible to feel lonely. The pulsating sounds of the insect world
seemed the rhythm to which the voluptuous beauty of the night had
spontaneously set itself. The common air of day had been transmuted
into the atmosphere of revery and Dreamland. In that magic medium the
distinction between imagination and reality fast dissolved. Even Miss
Rood was conscious of a delightful excitement, a vague expectancy. Mr.
Morgan, she saw, was moved quite beyond even his exaggerated habit of
imaginative excitement. His wet, shining, wide-opened eyes and ecstatic
expression indicated complete abandonment to the illusions of the scene.

They had seated themselves, as the concentration of the brain upon
imaginative activity made the nerves of motion sluggish, upon a rude
bench formed by wedging a plank between two elms that stood close
together. They were within the shadow of the trees, but close up to
their feet rippled a lake of moonlight. The landscape shimmering before
them had been the theatre of their fifty years of life. Their history
was written in its trees and lawns and paths. The very air of the place
had acquired for them a dense, warm, sentient feeling, to which that of
all other places was thin and raw. It had become tinctured by their own
spiritual emanations, by the thoughts, looks, words and moods of which
it had so long received the impression. It had become such vitalized
air, surcharged with sense and thought, as might be taken to make souls
for men out of.

Over yonder, upon the playground, yet lingered the faint violet
fragrance of their childhood. Beneath that elm a kiss had once touched
the air with a fire that still warmed their cheeks in passing. Yonder
the look of a face was cut on the viewless air as on marble. Surely,
death does but touch the living, for the dead ever keep their power over
us: it is only we who lose ours over them. Each vista of leafy arch and
distant meadow framed in some scene of their youth-time, painted in the
imperishable hues of memory that borrow from time an ever-richer and
more glowing tint. It was no wonder that to these two old people,
sitting on the bench between the elms, the atmosphere before them,
saturated with associations, dense with memories, should seem fairly
quivering into material forms like a distant mist turning to rain.

At length Miss Rood heard her companion say, in a whisper of tremulous
exultation, "Do you know, Mary, I think I shall see them very soon."

"See whom?" she asked, frightened at his strange tone.

"Why, see us, of course, as I was telling you," he whispered--"you and
me as we were young--see them as I see you now. Don't you remember it
was just along here that we used to walk on spring evenings? We walk
here no more, but they do evermore, beautiful, beautiful children. I
come here often to lie in wait for them. I can feel them now: I can
almost, almost see them." His whisper became scarcely audible and the
words dropped slowly. "I know the sight is coming, for every day they
grow more vivid. It can't be long before I quite see them. It may come
at any moment."

Miss Rood was thoroughly frightened at the intensity of his excitement,
and terribly perplexed as to what she should do.

"It may come at any time: I can almost see them now," he murmured.
"A--h! look!" With parted lips and unspeakably intense eyes, as if his
life were flowing out at them, he was staring across the moonlit paths
before them to the point where the path debouched from the shadow.

Following his eyes, she saw what for a moment made her head swim with
the thought that she too was going mad. Just issuing from the shadows,
as if in answer to his words, were a young man and a girl, his arm upon
her waist, his eyes upon her face. At the first glance Miss Rood was
impressed with a resemblance to her own features in those of the girl,
which her excitement exaggerated to a perfect reproduction of them. For
an instant the conviction possessed her that by some impossible,
indescribable, inconceivable miracle she was looking upon the
resurrected figures of her girlish self and her lover.

At first, Mr. Morgan had half started from his seat, and was between
rising and sitting. Then he rose with a slow, involuntary movement,
while his face worked terribly between bewilderment and abandonment to
illusion. He tottered forward a few steps to the edge of the moonlight,
and stood peering at the approaching couple with a hand raised to shade
his eyes and a dazed, unearthly smile on his face. The girl saw him
first, for she had been gazing demurely before her, while her lover
looked only at her. At sight of the gray-haired man suddenly confronting
them with a look of bedlam, she shrieked and started back in terror.
Miss Rood, recalled to her senses, sprang forward, and catching Mr.
Morgan's arm endeavored with gentle force to draw him away.

But it was too late for that. The young man, at first almost as much
startled as his companion at the uncanny apparition, naturally
experienced a revulsion of indignation at such an extraordinary
interruption to his tête-à-tête, and stepped up to Mr. Morgan as if
about to inflict summary chastisement. But perceiving that he had to do
with an elderly man, he contented himself with demanding in a decidedly
aggressive tone what the devil he meant by such a performance.

Mr. Morgan stared at him without seeing him, and evidently did not take
in the words. He merely gasped once or twice, and looked as if he had
fainted away on his feet. His blank, stunned expression showed that his
faculties were momentarily benumbed by the shock. Miss Rood felt as if
she should die for the pity of it as she looked at his face, and her
heart was breaking for grief as she sought to mollify the young man with
some inarticulate words of apology, meanwhile still endeavoring to draw
Mr. Morgan away. But at this moment the girl, recovering from her panic,
came up to the group and laid her hand on the young man's arm, as if to
check and silence him. It was evident that she saw there was something
quite unusual in the circumstances, and the look which she bent upon Mr.
Morgan was one of sympathy and considerate interrogation. But Miss Rood
could see no way out of their awkward situation, which grew more
intolerable every moment as they thus confronted each other. It was
finally Mr. Morgan's voice, quite firm, but with an indescribable
sadness in the tones, which broke the silence: "Young people, I owe you
an apology, such as it is. I am an old man, and the past is growing so
heavy that it sometimes quite over-balances me. My thoughts have been
busy to-night with the days of my youth, and the spell of memory has
been so strong that I have not been quite myself. As you came in view I
actually entertained the incredible idea for a moment that somehow I saw
in you the materialized memories of myself and another as we once walked
this same path."

The young man bowed as Mr. Morgan ended in a manner indicating his
acceptance of the apology, although he looked both amazed and amused.
But the explanation had a very different effect upon the girl at his
side. As she listened her eyes had filled with tears and her face had
taken on a wonderfully tender, pitiful smile. When he ended speaking,
she impulsively said, "I'm so sorry we were not what you thought us! Why
not pretend we are, to-night at least? We can pretend it, you know. The
moonlight makes anything possible;" and then glancing at Miss Rood, she
added, as if almost frightened, "Why, how much we look alike! I'm not
sure it isn't true, anyway."

This was, in fact, an unusually marked example of those casual
resemblances between strangers which are sometimes seen. The hair of the
one was indeed gray and that of the other dark, but the eyes were of the
same color by night, and the features, except for the greater fulness of
the younger face, were cast in the same mould, while figure and bearing
were strikingly similar, although daylight would doubtless have revealed
diversities enough that moonlight refused to disclose.

The two women looked at each other with an expression almost of
suspicion and fear, while the young man observed, "Your mistake was
certainly excusable, sir."

"It will be the easier to pretend," said the girl as with a
half-serious, half-sportive imperiousness she laid her hand on Mr.
Morgan's arm. "And now it is thirty years ago, and we are walking
together." He involuntarily obeyed the slight pressure, and they walked
slowly away, leaving the other two after an embarrassed pause to follow
them.

For some time they walked in silence. He was deliberately abandoning
himself to the illusion, supported as it was by the evidence of his
senses, that he was wandering in some of the mysterious between-worlds
which he had so often dreamed of, with the love of his youth in her
youth-time charm. Did he really believe it to be so? Belief is a term
quite irrelevant to such a frame as his, in which the reflective and
analytical powers are for a time purposely held in abeyance. The
circumstances of her introduction to him had dropped from his mind as
irrelevant accidents, like the absurdities which occur in our sweetest
and most solemn dreams without marring their general impression in our
memories. Every glance he threw upon his companion, while on the one
hand it shocked his illusion in that she seemed not likely to vanish
away, on the other strengthened it with an indescribable thrill by the
revelation of some fresh trait of face or figure, some new expression,
that reproduced the Miss Rood of his youth. Not, indeed, that it is
likely his companion was thus perfectly the double of that lady,
although so much resembling her, but the common graces of maidenhood
were in Mr. Morgan's mind the peculiar personal qualities of the only
woman he had ever much known.

Of his own accord he would not have dared to risk breaking the charm by
a word. But his companion--who, as is tolerably evident by this time,
was Mabel French--had meanwhile formed a scheme quite worthy of her
audacious temper. She had at once recognized both Mr. Morgan and Miss
Rood, and had gone thus far from a mere romantic impulse, without
definite intentions of any sort. But the idea now came into her head
that she might take advantage of this extraordinary situation to try a
matchmaking experiment, which instantly captivated her fancy. So she
said, while ever so gently pressing his arm and looking up into his face
with an arch smile (she was recognized as the best amateur actress in
her set at home), "I wonder if the moon will be so mellow after we are
married?"

His illusion was rudely disturbed by the shock of an articulate voice,
softly and low as she spoke, and he looked around with a startled
expression that made her fear her rôle was ended. But she could not know
that the eyes she turned to his were mirrors where he saw his dead
youth. The two Miss Roods--the girl and the woman, the past and the
present--were fused and become one in his mind. Their identity flashed
upon him.

An artesian well sunk from the desert surface through the underlying
strata, the layers of ages, strikes some lake long ago covered over, and
the water welling up converts the upper waste into a garden. Just so at
her words and her look his heart suddenly filled, as if it came from
afar, with the youthful passion he had felt toward Miss Rood, but which,
he knew not exactly when or how, had been gradually overgrown with the
dulness of familiarity and had lapsed into an indolent affectionate
habit. The warm voluptuous pulse of this new feeling--new, and yet
instantly recognized as old--brought with it a flood of youthful
associations, and commingled the far past with the present in a
confusion more complete and more intoxicating than ever. He saw double
again. "Married!" he murmured dreamily. "Yes, surely, we will be
married."

And as he spoke he looked at her with such a peculiar expression that
she was a little frightened. It looked like a more serious business than
she had counted on, and for a moment if she could have cut and run,
perhaps she would have done so. But she had a strain of the true
histrionic artist about her, and with a little effort rose to the
difficulty of the rôle. "Of course we will be married," she replied with
an air of innocent surprise. "You speak as if you had just thought of
it."

He turned toward her as if he would sober his senses by staring at her,
his pupils dilating and contracting in the instinctive effort to clear
the mind by clearing the eyes.

But with a steady pressure on his arm she compelled him to walk on by
her side. Then she said, in a soft low voice, as if a little awed by
what she were telling, while at the same time she nestled nearer his
side, "I had such a sad dream last night, and your strange talk reminds
me of it. It seemed as if we were old and white-haired and stooping, and
went wandering about, still together, but not married, lonely and
broken. And I woke up feeling you can't think how dreary and sad--as if
a bell had tolled in my ears as I slept; and the feeling was so strong
that I put my fingers to my face to find if it was withered; and when I
could not tell certainly, I got up and lit my lamp and looked in the
glass; and my face, thank God! was fresh and young; but I sat on my bed
and cried to think of the poor old people I had left behind in my
dream."

Mabel had so fallen into the spirit of her part that she was really
crying as she ended. Her tears completed Mr. Morgan's mental confusion,
and he absolutely did not know whom he was addressing or where he was
himself, as he cried, "No, no, Mary! Don't cry! It shall not be: it
shall never be."

Lightly withdrawing her hand from his arm, she glided like a sprite from
his side, and was lost in the shadows, while her whispered words still
sounded in his ear, "Good-bye for thirty years!"

A moment after three notes, clear as a bird's call, sounded from the
direction whither she had vanished, and Miss Rood's companion, breaking
off short a remark on the excessive dryness of the weather, bowed
awkwardly and also disappeared among the shadows.

When Miss Rood laid her hand on Mr. Morgan's arm to recall him to the
fact that they were now alone together, he turned quickly, and his eyes
swept her from head to foot, and then rested on her face with an
expression of intense curiosity and a wholly new interest, as if he were
tracing out a suddenly-suggested resemblance which overwhelmed him with
emotion. And as he gazed his eyes began to take fire from the faded
features on which they had rested so many years in mere complacent
friendliness, and she instinctively averted her face. Long intimacy had
made her delicately sensitive to his moods, and when he drew her arm in
his and turned to walk, although he had not uttered a word, she trembled
with agitation.

"Mary, we have had an extraordinary experience to-night," he said. The
old dreaminess in his voice, as of one narcotized or in a trance,
sometimes a little forced, as of one trying to dream, to which she had
become accustomed, and of which in her heart of hearts she was very
weary, was gone. In its place she recognized a resonance which still
further confused her with a sense of altered relations. His polarity had
changed: his electricity was no longer negative, but positive.

Her feminine instinct vaguely alarmed, she replied, "Yes, indeed, but it
is getting late. Hadn't we better go in?" What lent the unusual
intonation of timidity to her voice? Certainly nothing that she could
have explained.

"Not quite yet, Mary," he answered, turning his gaze once more fully
upon her.

Her eyes dropped before his, and a moment after fluttered up to find an
explanation for their behavior, only to fall again in blind panic. For,
mingling unmistakably with the curiosity with which he was still
studying her features, was a new-born expression of appropriation and
passionate complacency. Her senses whirled in a bewilderment that had a
suffocating sweetness about it. Though she now kept her eyes on the
ground, she felt his constant sidewise glances, and, desperately seeking
relief from the conscious silence that enveloped them like a vapor of
intoxicating fumes, she forced herself to utter the merest triviality
she could summon to her lips: "See that house." The husky tones betrayed
more agitation than the ruse concealed.

He answered as irrelevantly as she had spoken, "Yes, indeed, so it is."
That was their only attempt at conversation.

For a half hour--it might have been much more or much less--they walked
in this way, thrilling with the new magnetism that at once attracted and
estranged them with an extraordinary sense of strangeness in
familiarity. At length they paused under the little porch of Miss Rood's
cottage, where he commonly bade her good-evening after their walks. The
timidity and vague alarms that had paralyzed her while they were walking
disappeared as he was about to leave her, and she involuntarily
returned his unusual pressure of her hand.

A long time after behold her still encircled in his arms, not blushing,
but pale and her eyes full of a soft astonished glow! "Oh, Robert!" was
all she had said after one first little gasp.

They never met George or Mabel again. Mrs. Morgan learned subsequently
that two young people from the city answering their description had been
guests at the opposite house, and had left Plainfield the morning after
the events hereinbefore set forth, and drew her conclusions accordingly.
But her husband preferred to cherish the secret belief that his theory
that memories might become visible had proved true in one instance at
least. EDWARD BELLAMY.



BRANDYWINE, 1777.


Toward noon of a September day, the fifth of the week and the eleventh
of the month, 1777, a few of the steady meeting-going Friends of
Birmingham had collected for their "mid-week" assembly in a
wheelwright-shop at Sconnel Town, a roadside group of shops and houses
that had disappeared entirely thirty years ago. Their usual place of
worship, the low stone structure on the hills of Birmingham, three miles
to the south, had been taken for a hospital for the sick of Washington's
army, and even on the previous First Day, as they gathered at ten
o'clock, they had found it being prepared for such a purpose, and had
taken their seats under the shade of the trees outside. The
wheelwright-shop had therefore been selected as a temporary place of
meeting.

Among those gathered on this day was Joseph Townsend, a young man of
twenty-one, who has left us an interesting narrative of the day's
events. Much of the battle of Brandywine he saw. The day, he says, was
exceedingly warm. It had been foggy in the morning, but later the mists
had dissipated--doubtless to the discontent of the husbandmen, for
little rain had fallen for a long time except on the 26th of August--and
now the September sun was pouring down, so that in the hillside fields
roundabout the ploughman, preparing his ground for winter wheat, rested
his sweating horses at the end of each furrow and wiped his own beaded
face with the handkerchief from his hat. The upland pastures were brown;
dust had settled on the forest foliage; the whole face of Nature was
athirst; and the Brandywine, flowing from north to south half a mile
away, was shrunken and narrow.

As the Friends sat in the shop, hats on heads, the elders and overseers
"facing the meeting," women on one side, men on the other, all on
hastily-arranged benches of wheelwright planks, their silent serenity
must have been inwardly disturbed, for the spiritual ear surely heard
wild voices of conflict in the air. The shock of a near battle was
impending; the very tread of the advancing invaders could almost be
heard; already, indeed, as the Friends gathered in meeting, the fighting
had begun six miles down the creek, near the ford at John and Amos
Chad's.

On the preceding 20th of July--a Sunday--General David Forman, who had
been patiently watching from the shores of New York Bay the embarkation
of the British army upon the fleet of Lord Howe, and anxiously wondering
from day to day whither the armada, with its eighteen thousand soldiers,
would sail, observed an increased activity amongst the ships. One
hundred and sixty sail lay inside of Sandy Hook. Next morning fifteen
more came down from the city, and in the afternoon yet eighty
more--mostly small brigs, schooners and sloops--came out of the Narrows
and joined the fleet, so that it numbered two hundred and fifty-five
sail.

On Wednesday the wind favored their departure. At half-past six in the
morning the admiral's signal-gun was fired, and at seven they began to
get under way. All day the vigilant Forman watched them as they passed
out of the bay and moved down the Jersey coast. In three divisions they
stretched away, steering mostly south-east, and moving like an immense
flock of white waterfowl over the placid summer seas. He riding on shore
as they sailed on the water, night found him at Shrewsbury, and thence,
with all speed, he sent couriers to General Washington and to the
Executive Council of Pennsylvania at Philadelphia. The council, in whose
archives we find his despatch, at once sent another scout, Captain John
Hunn, to the Jersey coast to watch the hostile fleet. Setting off
promptly, Hunn had reached the shore, near Little Egg Harbor, by two
o'clock of Friday, the 25th, and thence he rode slowly down to Cape May,
not seeing any of the ships, however, until the 30th, when, after three
days of "thick" weather, some of them came into the view of observers on
both capes of the Delaware. From the Delaware side, at ten in the
morning, that truculent Sussex Whig, Henry Fisher, had discerned two
hundred and twenty-eight sail, and he sent off an express to ride with
might and main, up the forest roads by Dover and Cantwell's Bridge, to
Wilmington, and so to Philadelphia. Leaving the cape at ten in the
morning, the messenger reached Chester at a quarter before six in the
afternoon, and thence hurried on.

Hunn, too, saw the ships from his post on Cape May, and only the need of
being brief is reason for not giving here his quaint and badly-spelled
despatches, which, however, in spite of imperfect orthography,
sufficiently told the movements of the fleet.

July 31st the ships were still in the offing, but the next day not one
could be seen from the Delaware capes. Howe had sailed away for the
ampler waters of the Chesapeake, though the change of plan involved
further delay on shipboard and exposure to the dangers of a greatly
lengthened voyage. August 7th his ships were seen beating down the coast
toward Cape Charles, but, encountering adverse winds, it was some ten
days later before they were heard of inside the great bay.

Washington had already moved from New Jersey, and on the 24th of August
he set forth from Philadelphia, riding at the head of his troops, who,
as they marched through the streets, were decorated with sprays of green
and watched by great crowds. With him rode the marquis de la Fayette,
and other foreign officers of renown accompanied the march--Pulaski, the
gallant Pole, the marquis de la Rouerie, and Louis de Fleury, a young
and spirited compatriot of La Fayette, on duty with Stirling's division.

Part of the army, including the division of General Stephen, had
preceded the commander's march to Chester, and at that place General
Armstrong had been for some days gathering the Pennsylvania militia.
There moved with Washington the remaining divisions of the army under
Sullivan, Stirling, Wayne and Greene, the artillery alone excepted.
This, General Nash was to place upon flatboats at Philadelphia, and so
float down to Chester.

By the 26th the whole army was in and about Wilmington, then only a
modest town, the larger part gathered on one side along the Christiana,
and the other clustered about the great mills upon the Brandywine, whose
corn-meal gave the place its chief repute. Washington fixed his
head-quarters in the mansion of one of the mill-owners (presumably
Joseph Tatnall's spacious house), and the troops occupied the hills
around, on which some traces of their lines of defence may still be
discovered. The Delaware militia, urgently called upon by Congress, had
been aroused, as far as possible, by the ever-faithful Rodney, the
Signer of the Declaration--that tall, thin, odd-looking man, with a
green patch covering the cancer that consumed his face--and they had
taken the field under the command of General Thomas Collins of Belmont
Hall in Kent, recently sheriff of that county, and afterward governor of
the State. Part of their duty had been an attempt to save from the
enemy's hands the stores, including a large quantity of that precious
article, salt, which had been gathered at the "Head of Elk."

The British had arrived. Their enormous fleet, proceeding slowly, had
kept well together, and now lay anchored in Elk River, the greatest
company by far that these quiet estuaries, the home of the wildfowl,
fish and crab, had ever seen; and on the 25th the debarkation of the
troops began, Cornwallis's command landing first, and Knyphausen's,
local chronicles say, not coming ashore until the 31st of the month. The
long voyage had been especially trying to the horses: those that
survived were almost starved, and in no condition either to carry
dragoons or drag cannon. General Howe issued a proclamation to the
people declaring that he came only to punish the rebellious, and making
all due assurances to those disposed to maintain the royal authority.
They were informed they would be paid in gold and silver for all the
horses, cattle and produce they would bring in, and the Tories, we are
told, thereupon drove in some of the stock of their Whig neighbors.
Knyphausen's men destroyed the county buildings of Cecil at Court-house
Point, and the public records were carried away, most of them being
subsequently recovered in New York. Several thousand bushels of oats and
corn were amongst the stores captured.

Heavy rains fell on the 26th, the day after the debarkation began, and
no forward movement of importance was made until the 27th, when
Cornwallis marched to Elkton (the Head of Elk), and thence issued the
proclamation referred to. The next day his advance-guard occupied Gray's
Hill, two miles to the east.

The two armies therefore confronted each other at a distance of some
fifteen to eighteen miles, and the unhappy people between sustained the
usual penalties of such a situation. The American "light-horse," part of
which was the famous command of Harry Lee, scoured the country, annoying
the British outposts and capturing numbers of prisoners. On the 28th
they secured thirty or forty, and the next day twenty-nine were
reported, besides twenty deserters who had come in, eight of them from
the fleet. General Collins, with his Delaware militia, hung upon the
right flank of the British, commanded by Knyphausen, and preserved the
lower section of New Castle county from being despoiled. Numerous
skirmishes occurred, and amongst them one which, upon the scale of other
Revolutionary encounters, almost rises to the dignity of a battle.
Should we call it by that name, it was the only battle ever fought in
Delaware during the struggle, unless we except some bloody local fights
between the Whigs and the Tories of Sussex. This affair took place on
the 3d of September. The British were then advancing slowly eastward,
and their vanguard, composed of German yagers, supported by light
infantry, encountered at Cooch's Bridge, a crossing of the White Clay
Creek, the riflemen of Maxwell and some of the Delaware militia.
Maxwell's men, posted thinly and under cover, poured a deadly fire into
the British ranks as they advanced, but were presently forced back by
their superior numbers across the stream. The Americans admitted a loss
of forty killed and wounded, and while the casualties on the other side
were not known, a woman who came the next day from the British camp
declared she had seen nine wagonloads of wounded brought in.

Meanwhile, the American commanders had been choosing a position in which
to meet the advance of the enemy. During the rains of the 26th,
Washington himself rode down nearly to the British front, and Greene and
Weeden, reconnoitring carefully, had selected the high ground of Iron
Hill, near the British lines on Gray's Hill, as a strong position. A
council of general officers, however, decided against this location,
choosing instead an advance of five or six miles out of Wilmington to
the east side of Red Clay Creek. To the position thus chosen on
September 5th the whole army moved, except a brigade under General
Irwin, which was left to occupy the defensive works around Wilmington.
On the Red Clay the line extended from near the confluence of that
stream with the Christiana on the left up to Hockessin on the right.
Greene disapproved altogether of the position. He pointed out that it
did not cover Philadelphia, and that it would be easily turned by the
march of Howe northward into Pennsylvania--exactly what subsequently
occurred.

Three days after the line of the Red Clay had been occupied, the
British, having bought and seized horses enough to serve their pressing
needs, began their forward movement. Their tents and heavy baggage, the
last to be disembarked, had now been landed, and the rear, under General
Grant, was ready to follow the onward march. On the 8th, therefore,
Cornwallis extended his left flank well up into the country above
Newark, far outreaching the American lines, while a strong column of the
right wing threatened the American front, moving directly toward it as
far as Milltown, only two miles away. This manoeuvre developed the
untenable character of the Red Clay line, and Washington hastened to
extricate himself. On the night of the 8th he broke camp and marched
rapidly northward. At two o'clock on the morning of the 9th he crossed
the Brandywine at Chad's Ford, and posted his army on the high
hill-slopes east of the creek, directly in Howe's path toward
Philadelphia. The British commander, disappointed and chagrined when he
perceived at daylight the escape of the Americans, moved also, and on
the evening of September 10th united his two columns at Kennet Square,
directly west some seven miles, by a well-used road, from Washington's
position.

The Brandywine Valley, near the battle-ground, then, as now, teemed with
agricultural wealth. The fine farms of the thrifty English settlers,
many of whom traced their ownership back in a family line of
three-quarters of a century, spread out along the creek in fine meadows
of natural "green grass," and rolled upward over the hill-slopes, which,
though broken and irregular, nowhere rise precipitously or to great
height. The invading forces, as they marched up from the Chesapeake,
could not but see the richness of the region, and one of their officers,
conversed with by Joseph Townsend, exclaimed "in some rapture," Joseph
says, "You have got a hell of a fine country here; which we have found
to be the case ever since we landed at the Head of Elk."

Along the hill-slopes, on the east side of the Brandywine, from Chad's
Ford up to Brinton's, a distance of about three miles, the Americans lay
on the night of September 10th. Wayne was posted to guard the lower
ford, and Sullivan had his own division and those of Stirling and
Stephen stretched up along the stream. Greene's division formed the
reserve. Sullivan's duties included the guarding of the fords above
Brinton's, and he had become possessed of the unfortunate idea that
there were but three of these fordable, and that beyond the three in
question there was no place for a distance of twelve miles where the
hostile army could cross. He therefore sent detachments on this evening
of the 10th to the three fords--the Delaware regiment to Jones's, and
battalions of Hazen's regiment to Wistar's and Buffington's. With this
he rested content. It is, however, true that the cavalry at his command
seems to have been pitifully meagre: he asserts that on the morning of
the battle he had _four_ light-horsemen only, two of whom he sent on
scouting duty, retaining the other two to serve as couriers to
head-quarters.

Below the line of Washington's main army, at Pyle's Ford, were posted
the Pennsylvania militia under General Armstrong, and below their
position the Brandywine enters rocky hills, flowing between steep banks
that forbid the easy passage of an army.

Washington slept on this night at Benjamin Ring's, just east of Chad's
Ford, and La Fayette at Gideon Gilpin's, near by. Both the dwellings are
still standing and occupied as places of residence. To defend the
crossing at the ford a battery of six guns was planted in front of John
Chad's house. Its location may yet be distinctly traced. West of the
stream, Maxwell's riflemen were posted well out on the road toward
Kennet Square, where General Howe occupied Wiley's tavern, an ancient
hostelry, as his quarters. He had formed his plan of attack--to engage
the attention of the Americans by a sharp attack on the road to the
crossing at Chad's with Knyphausen's division of five thousand men,
while Cornwallis should proceed, upon roads concealed from the American
view by distance and intervening forests, far up the creek to the fords
that Sullivan had not guarded, and, crossing there, descend with
crushing force upon the American line. Sullivan himself declared, in
letters written after the battle, that he had anticipated such an
attack: it was the natural plan of battle for Howe to adopt under the
circumstances. If, then, our general had only taken sufficient
precaution to meet it!

Early on this foggy, warm morning of the 11th the British were in
motion. There was no hurry for Knyphausen, but Cornwallis's men had a
long, hard march before them. At five o'clock they set off, leaving
behind them all encumbering baggage, even their knapsacks. Turning
northward, they took the road which, pursuing a direction generally
parallel with the Brandywine, reaches the west branch of the creek at
Trimble's Ford. Howe himself rode with them. He was mounted, Townsend
says, "on a large English horse, much reduced in flesh"--thanks to short
rations on shipboard. Thirteen thousand men, the whole left wing of the
army, marched in this column. Hidden by the forests and hills, as well
as by the mists of the morning, they had moved several miles on their
way before any word of their march reached the Americans across the
creek, only three miles away.

Cornwallis having gone, Knyphausen presently took up his share of the
morning's work. At nine o'clock, or thereabout, he pressed forward on
the road toward Chad's. The opposing force between him and that place
was mainly Maxwell's command of riflemen and light infantry, whose main
body, about a thousand strong, lay upon the high ground a mile west of
the ford, but whose scouting-parties the British advance-guard speedily
encountered. A party of scouts, indeed, tradition says, had ventured to
Johnny Welsh's tavern, almost in the very embraces of Knyphausen, and
there, in cheerful disregard of precaution, had tied their horses in
front, and were making merry with the apple whiskey and New England rum
of the bar-room. Surprised thus, the patriot bacchanals ran for their
lives from the back door and escaped through the fields, emptying their
guns in one sputtering volley that wounded one of their own horses left
in the hands of the enemy.

A little farther, however, the riflemen began to fire upon the advancing
British, though, pressed by the heavy column, they fell slowly back
toward Maxwell's main body. From behind the clumps of trees, the hedges,
the walls and the houses they aimed at the invaders, and harassed, if
they did not impede, their march. The "Old Kennet" meeting-house and its
graveyard walls gave them another and yet more favorable ambush. But by
ten o'clock the fighting had become more serious. Maxwell, pressed by a
greatly superior force, resisted stoutly, and the firing on both sides
was heavy. Proctor's artillery pounded away across the stream. The
riflemen, well under cover, at first threw Knyphausen's men into
confusion, though they included some of the best regiments of the
British army, the Fourth, Fifth, Twenty-eighth, Forty-ninth and
Seventy-first being among them.

As Proctor trained his guns upon the advancing British, the house of
William Harvey (Senior--his son William, Junior, lived east of the
creek) was directly in the line of fire. William, who was a quiet but
firm old Friend, was at his home, intending to protect his goods if
possible, though he had sent his family away. His neighbor, Jacob Way,
found him at this juncture sitting on his front piazza, which ended to
the eastward against his kitchen, a semi-detached building. "Come away!"
said Jacob: "thee is in danger here. Thee will surely be killed." But
William refused. Jacob expostulated. As they exchanged words, a
twelve-pound cannon-ball came from Proctor's battery directly for the
house, passed through both walls of the kitchen, and plunged along the
piazza floor, tearing up the boards and barely avoiding William's legs,
until, a little farther on, it buried itself six feet deep in the earth.
It is recorded that William hesitated no longer, but sought a safer
place. His house was thoroughly despoiled when the British came up.

Knyphausen, however, steadily pressed the Americans back, forced them
from the high ground down to the edge of the creek, and finally drove
them across. By half-past ten o'clock this was accomplished, and the
British line was then formed half a mile back from the stream, where it
lay until half-past four in the afternoon, the artillery keeping up a
threatening but not serious fire upon Wayne's position on the east side,
which his batteries returned. On the whole, the Americans thought
themselves doing fairly well. Washington's secretary sent off a despatch
to Congress saying that the British loss must be three hundred killed
and wounded, "while ours does not exceed fifty altogether."

Part of the British force at the ford on this morning was a rifle corps
commanded by Major Patrick Ferguson, a young Scotchman recently arrived
in America, and subsequently killed in the sanguinary fight on King's
Mountain. In a letter describing the Brandywine battle he says his men
were lying concealed in a skirt of woods when "a rebel officer in a
huzzar dress" passed in front, followed by another in dark green and
blue "mounted on a good bay horse and wearing a remarkably high cocked
hat." Ferguson ordered three men to steal near and fire upon them, but
believing that they would surely be killed, so near were they riding, he
felt the act to be murder and recalled his men. Again, having first
passed to some distance, the officer on the bay horse returned, and rode
within easy shooting distance, but Ferguson again restrained himself.
The next day he learned from wounded Americans who fell into the hands
of the British "that General Washington was all the morning with the
light troops, and attended only by a French officer in a huzzar dress,
he himself mounted and dressed in every respect as above described."

The Friends whom we left gathered in the wheelwright-shop adjourned with
some agitation. "While we were sitting therein," Joseph Townsend says,
"some disturbance was discovered near the house and about the door,
which occasioned some individuals to go out to know the cause, and they
not returning and the uneasiness not subsiding, suspicions arose that
something serious was taking place: the meeting accordingly closed."

It was indeed quite time that the heads of the meeting had shaken hands
as the signal for adjourning. The "uneasiness" outside had good reason.
The cry was that the red-coats were coming. Women were weeping and
crying that "they murdered all before them, young and old." The men
endeavored to allay their fears, and urged them to be more composed; but
while this took place "our eyes were caught, on a sudden, by the
appearance of the army coming out of the woods into the fields belonging
to Emmor Jefferis, on the west side of the creek, above the
fording-place. In a few minutes the fields were literally covered over
with them, and they were hastening toward us. Their arms and bayonets,
being raised, shone bright as silver, there being a clear sky and the
day exceedingly warm."

Howe and Cornwallis, making their long détour, since five in the morning
had crossed the western branch at Trimble's Ford, and were here now, at
the undefended crossing of the eastern branch, ready to sweep down upon
the American line. Emmor Jefferis, who lived at the ford in a
substantial house, was surprised at such an arrival of visitors. There
lay in his ample cellar great store of wines and other liquors, silks,
cloths, etc., the most valuable goods of some of the merchants down at
Wilmington, which they had hauled up to this point when they considered
their own town threatened. As the British pressed their company upon
Emmor with great unreserve, they speedily found the prize in the cellar.
The casks were rolled out, the heads knocked in, and the officers,
quaffing the old madeira, drank to its rebel owners, whose chagrin may
be imagined when they heard of its fate.

To cross the creek, General Howe ordered Jefferis to act as guide and
further to direct them down the roads toward the American position.
Emmor obeyed with great hesitancy, and later, when the battle was on and
a bullet flew uncomfortably near, he flinched so perceptibly that Howe
felt called on to say, "Don't be afraid, Mr. Jefferis: they won't hurt
you." Notwithstanding which assurance, Emmor still was not happy.

The hour of crossing must have been near noon or a little after. They
turned down the road toward Birmingham as they reached the east side,
and soon the head of the column passed through Sconnel's, by the
meeting-house so lately vacated. "The space occupied by the main body
and flanking-parties was near a half mile wide." Sarah Boake, the wife
of Abel, whose house stood near, called to Joseph Townsend and his
brother William--who since meeting closed had gone home to secure their
horses in the stable, but had now returned--to see what fine fellows
these were. "They're something like an army!" cried she. As the column
passed "one of the most eligible houses" in the little cluster at
Sconnel, "divers of the principal officers" entered and soon "manifested
an uncommon social disposition," being full of inquiries where the
rebels now were, and especially where Mr. Washington was to be found. To
this William Townsend answered that he thought if they would have
patience they would presently meet with Mr. Washington, as he and his
men were not far distant--a dry joke that does great credit, under the
circumstances, to Quaker William. Moreover, as they plied the young men
with further inquiries, William said he had seen the commander down at
his quarters at Chad's the day before, and described him as "a stately,
well-proportioned, fine-looking man, of great ability, active, firm and
resolute, of a social disposition, and considered to be a good man."
This was observed, Joseph says, "to check their ardor for a sight of
him," though one rejoined that "he might be a good man, but he was most
damnably misled to take up arms against his sovereign." As they sat thus
talking, Cornwallis passed the house. He appeared tall and sat very
erect, wearing his scarlet uniform, richly trimmed with gold lace and
heavy epaulets. Most of the officers, our narrator says, "were rather
short, portly men, well dressed and of genteel appearance, and did not
look as if they had ever been exposed to any hardship, their skins being
as white and delicate as is customary for females brought up in large
cities or towns." A halt of the advance-guard had been made a few
minutes in the village while the horses were fed on some patches of
growing corn. These troops were Germans, "and many of them," Townsend
remarks, "wore their beards on their upper lips, which was a novelty in
that part of the country."

By two o'clock, or somewhat earlier, the British had reached Osborne's
Hill, from which they had a good view to the south and east. The high
ground around Birmingham meeting-house, on which a little later the
hurrying Americans would appear, was plainly in view. Cornwallis's men
had now marched since morning about thirteen miles under the burning
sun, wading the two branches of the Brandywine. They were halted here,
took out their dinner-rations and ate them, and about three o'clock were
rested and ready to fight.

All the fore part of the day Washington had been near the crossing at
Chad's, watching the encounter there. It must have been nearly noon when
he received intelligence of a startling character. Colonel Bland had
been across the creek (the main stream below its "forks"), and now sent
word that he had observed at a distance the march north of a large body
of the enemy. Two brigades he had distinctly seen, "and the dust
appeared to rise in their rear for a considerable distance." While this
despatch was in Washington's hand came another from Colonel Ross, who
had ridden to a point on "the Great Valley road," in the rear of Howe's
column, and sent word confirming Bland's observations. He estimated the
moving force at not less than five thousand.

With such intelligence of Howe's strategy, Washington promptly resolved
upon a bold and vigorous counter-movement--not hastily, we may presume,
for he had doubtless anticipated the contingency and formed the plan in
anticipation of such an attempt to outflank him. He now gave orders to
his division commanders--Sullivan on the right, Greene in the centre and
Wayne on the left--to prepare for an immediate offensive movement
against Knyphausen, designing to cross the creek, crush him and capture
his baggage before Howe could counter-march and come to his relief.
Sullivan says he received orders to cross and attack the enemy's left,
while the rest of the army crossed below (at Chad's) and engaged his
right. "This I was preparing to do when Major Spear, a militia officer,
rode hastily in. He informed me that he was from the upper country, that
he had come in the road where the enemy must have passed to attack our
right, and that there was not the least appearance of them in that
quarter." He added that he had been sent to reconnoitre by General
Washington. Sullivan now hesitated: he could not omit to forward such
intelligence. It contradicted certainly what Colonel Bland and Colonel
Ross had sent, but it was possible that Cornwallis had moved northward
only as a feint, and had returned to the support of Knyphausen; so that
if the Americans should now cross, they would encounter not merely the
British right, but their whole army--not five thousand men, but eighteen
thousand. Sullivan therefore sat down, took Spear's statement word for
word "from his own mouth," and forwarded it to Washington, sending Spear
himself after the messenger to report verbally. "I made no comment and
gave no opinion," says Sullivan. Upon the heels of Spear came another
keen-eyed scout who had not seen the British. This was "Sergeant Tucker
of the Light Horse." He confirmed Spear's story. Washington now recalled
his orders and abandoned the intended attack on Knyphausen.

On the hill-slope south of the present road which crosses the Brandywine
at Chad's, Washington was resting under the shade of a cherry tree
(which fell in a storm a few years ago), when, about half-past one
o'clock, there came riding across the hillside fields from above,
avoiding the circuitous roads, Squire Thomas Cheyney, his hat gone, his
black hair streaming in the wind and his black eyes blazing with
excitement. The blooded mare he rode, trained to fox-hunting, carried
his two hundred pounds easily, and cleared ditches, fences and hedges.
Cheyney had been near the upper fords, and had suddenly come upon the
British as they moved down toward Osborne's Hill. They fired upon him as
he wheeled and galloped off, but he escaped unhurt. Reporting to
Sullivan, that officer received him discourteously, the chroniclers say;
as not improbably he might, for the contradictory reports as to the
British movement were, upon a subject so terribly momentous,
exasperating enough. But as Sullivan hesitated, Cheyney demanded to see
Washington himself, and was accordingly sent to him. Washington ordered
him to dismount. "Now," said he, "draw me a sketch of the upper roads.
Where did the British cross? and where are they now?"

Cheyney alighted and made the plan. Washington seemed to hesitate, as if
doubting the information. The ardent squire, in the intensity of the
moment, cried, "Take my life, general, if I deceive you!"

If the commander doubted, however, there came on the instant further
word. Colonel Bland had sent another despatch to Sullivan, dated at "a
quarter-past one o'clock," and saying that the enemy were then arriving
in great force on Osborne's Hill, a little to the right of Birmingham
meeting-house. This despatch Sullivan sent instantly to Washington, and
the word Cheyney had brought was now made sure beyond peradventure.

Bland's confirmation of Cheyney's news aroused the injudicious but brave
commander of the right wing, and he moved his troops at once up toward
Birmingham. His immediate command, he says in one of the several
defensive letters written after the battle, marched a mile from the
position it occupied to that in which it met the enemy. On a hill just
west of the meeting-house, from which, as they looked north-west, they
could see the British on Osborne's Hill, they made their line of battle,
and Cornwallis, as he sat upon his horse watching them through his
glass, cried out with a round army oath, "The damned rebels form well!"

In what order the American line was formed we know. The division of
Stephen occupied the right, that of Stirling the centre, that of
Sullivan the left. But many of the details are vaguely and
contradictorily stated. Lossing, following the sketch of the battle in
the Pennsylvania Historical Society's collections, describes Sullivan's
circuitous march to outreach Deborre, both seeking to obtain the right
of the line, while Bancroft says that Sullivan posted his division in
advance of the extreme left, detached by a half-mile gap from the rest
of the line, but that, on being remonstrated with, he moved to close up
the space, and was attacked before he had again formed his line of
battle. What followed, however, is distinct enough. Rested and fed, the
royal army precipitated itself, three to one in strength, and equally
disproportionate in discipline and experience, upon the unready line of
the Americans. The German and British troops, we are told, "vied with
each other in fury" as they ran forward in a superb and irresistible
bayonet charge. The struggle began about four o'clock: it lasted perhaps
half an hour. As the enemy advanced they were fired upon by a body of
outposted riflemen in an orchard near the road on which the attacking
column moved; whereupon, says Joseph Townsend, who was near by watching
the movement, the Hessians ran up the bank by the roadside, and,
levelling their guns through the fence, returned the fire.

Overwhelmed by the attack, the Americans broke on the right. This was
the post of honor which Deborre, an old French officer, had obtained for
his brigade. Conway, in a letter written a few weeks later to support
Sullivan's defence, says the latter, though entitled to the right, took
the left in order to save time, and that Deborre, though the ground was
much more favorable for the quick formation of his line, was not in
order when the enemy attacked. It is agreed that Deborre's brigade broke
first, and that then the left, Sullivan's men, gave way, though Sullivan
struggled bravely to hold them. "I saw him," says De Fleury, "rallying
his men with great ardor," but unsuccessfully; and he then came to
Stirling's division, which was fighting on the hill, braving the thick
of the fire until the centre too gave way, when, at the last, he was
striving to rally the fugitives and encourage them to form a new line
behind the fences. Had Sullivan shown vigilance and discretion equal to
his courage, the day's history might have been totally different.

Thirty minutes completed this epoch of the battle. The first line was
destroyed. Those who had formed it were stretched on the sere pastures
or hurrying to the rear. Stirling and Conway, as well as Sullivan, had
shown great bravery and coolness, but the resistance, practically, had
been totally ineffective. The beaten and demoralized troops streamed
into the woods, and sought shelter or escape until they met the
reinforcements under Greene.

As the sound of Sullivan's encounter reached him--possibly
sooner--Greene had moved from his reserve position to the support of the
right flank. He marched, it is asserted, four miles in forty minutes.
Washington himself left Chad's Ford, giving the command there to Wayne,
and hurried off to the more perilous quarter of the field. Joseph Brown,
a resident of the vicinity, was impressed as a guide. He was hurriedly
mounted on a fine charger belonging to a staff officer, and Washington
bade him ride with all speed in the direction of the firing. Away they
went, Joseph's horse clearing fences and ditches gallantly, the
commander at his flank urging him on. "Push along, old man! push along,
old man!" was his repeated command, remembered and related for many
years after by Joseph. They rode, he said, to a point between
Dilworthtown and the meeting-house, half a mile away from the former
place, and here the sounds of the battle seemed close at hand. Bullets
flew thick, the general and his staff turned their attention from the
guide, and he, glad to be excused, slipped from his saddle and withdrew.

Precisely when and where Greene met the fugitives from the first rout is
another of the uncertainties. The best descriptions of the battle, upon
being compared carefully, will be found vague and to some degree
conflicting. But there are two points on the road from the meeting-house
to Dilworth, marked upon the military map of the field as the "Second
Position," where Greene undoubtedly posted his men. These positions are
near together: one is south of the road, half a mile east of the
meeting-house, on a hill-slope descending toward the west; and the other
is north of the road, at a ravine now known as Sandy Hollow.

It is said that Greene opened his lines, received the fugitives from the
front, and re-formed. Possibly this took place at this second position.
It is certain that here the British advance was sharply checked, and
the Americans stubbornly held their ground until late in the afternoon.
It was at this turn in the battle that La Fayette was wounded, and not
in the first encounter, as the current historical narrative would give
us to understand. A survey of the map ascertains very precisely the
place where he was shot, according to abundant testimony, and this is
more than a mile distant from Sullivan's lines. It is very unlikely that
La Fayette was in the first encounter, beyond the meeting-house. He
probably arrived on the field with Washington, or he may possibly have
accompanied Greene. The place where he was wounded is a field about
halfway from the meeting-house to Dilworth, south-west of the road and
about a hundred rods away. Trustworthy accounts say he was with
Washington at the time, both engaged in rallying the troops; and this is
quite likely: the place is only a little distance westward from the
point to which Joseph Brown guided the general. In July, 1825, when La
Fayette revisited the ground, he drove up from Wilmington in a carriage
with the Messrs. Du Pont, whom he had been visiting. Great crowds
accompanied him over the historic field, and as he drove along the road
near the place already described, the carriage was stopped and the
gallant old gentleman rose to his feet to point out the position in
which he sustained his wound. "It was," he said, "somewhere on yonder
slope. The exact spot I cannot now tell."[A]

[Footnote A: The precise nature of La Fayette's wound is differently
stated in the chronicles. It was a gun-shot injury in his left leg, and
did not immediately disable him. He rode that night to Chester, and
thence reached Bristol, from which place Henry Laurens took him to the
gentle nursing of the Moravian Sisters at Bethlehem. He remained there
two months before he rejoined the army.]

Baffled as Howe was by the stubborn resistance after Greene arrived,
this check was almost the only American triumph in the day's contest.
There was hard fighting from five o'clock until dusk. Posted in strong
positions, well supported by the artillery, commanded by Washington
himself, the patriot troops displayed their most soldierly qualities.
The brigades of Muhlenberg, the Episcopal rector, and of Weeden, the
Virginia innkeeper, stood well and fought bravely. History preserves
especially the names of three regiments as earning distinction--one from
Pennsylvania, under Colonel Stewart; and two from Virginia--the Tenth,
under Colonel Stevens, and the Third, commanded by John Marshall,
afterward chief-justice of the United States. The Marylanders, under
Smallwood, and the Delaware regiment, acquitted themselves with probably
equal credit. Amongst the officers, Sullivan, Stirling and Conway had
been conspicuous for courage; La Fayette was wounded; De Fleury had his
horse shot under him (Congress soon voted him another); Pulaski had
rendered gallant service, earning early promotion; the marquis de la
Rouerie was a prisoner.

But though resisting so well, the effect was only to cover the needful
retreat. Down at Chad's Ford the conflict had been quickly over after
the fighting began at Birmingham. The sound of the guns from the hills
set Knyphausen in motion in earnest after all his feints and pretences
since morning. He pressed forward to cross the creek. Wayne fought him
well a little while, Proctor's artillery raking the advancing Hessians
as they waded the stream until its placid waters ran crimson with their
blood. But while Knyphausen's column was itself too heavy for Wayne to
oppose successfully, the catastrophe at Birmingham followed so quickly
upon the beginning of the struggle there that the contest at the ford
was soon ended. Howe was rapidly gaining his rear when Wayne learned of
Sullivan's disaster, and there was now only one resource--to retreat
with all speed. Proctor's guns and other munitions were abandoned, and
the fragments of the left wing, like those of the right, went drifting
toward the Delaware.

As the friendly shades of night came down the British were pressing the
fugitive army off the field, though not with a hot pursuit. In the
Wilmington road, below Dilworthtown, at dusk, we have a view of
Washington riding hastily along and ordering the officers whom he met to
gather up the disorganized troops and hurry toward Chester. As the night
hid the retreat, the stars came out to shine upon the dead, the dying
and the wounded. Howe estimated the American loss at three hundred
killed, six hundred wounded and four hundred prisoners--figures which
Greene's report did not essentially contradict. The wounded were mostly
in Howe's hands: few had escaped, as one did in a "chair" hurriedly
driven over to the Black Horse tavern, on the road to Chester, by Robert
Mendinhall, a neighboring Quaker farmer. The British loss was reported
as five hundred and seventy-eight killed and wounded, including
fifty-eight officers. Even if these figures were too low, the day's
casualties aggregated fifteen hundred. The little meeting-house was
filled with the badly wounded, and Howe sent word to Washington that
more surgeons were needed, in response to which message several were
sent to the field. The dead, as usual, were hastily buried, and heavy
rains after the battle washed out many of the shallow pits, exposing
their ghastly occupants to the elements and prowling beasts. The
neighboring people were compelled to undertake the work of re-interment,
in which, Joseph Townsend says, "it would be difficult to describe the
many cases of horror and destruction of human beings" that they
encountered. The battle was over, the tide of war had swept past, but
these horrid evidences of its slaughter remained as the memorials of the
struggle by which, for a time, the British had captured Philadelphia.

                                              HOWARD M. JENKINS.



A GREAT DAY.

FROM THE ITALIAN OF EDMONDO DE AMICIS.


The G---- family were at their villa, a few miles out of Florence, when
the Italian army was preparing to march on Rome. The enterprise was not
favorably regarded by them. The father, the mother and the two grown-up
daughters, ardent Catholics and mild patriots, desired "moral measures."
"We do not understand politics," said Madame G---- to her friends, "and
I least of all; and if I had to tell you quite clearly and distinctly
why I think as I do, I should be puzzled. But what can I do? I have a
presentiment; I hear a voice within me; I feel a thrill--something which
tells me they must not go, they ought not to go, they cannot go, to Rome
in such a manner. I remember '48; I remember '59; I remember '60. Well,
in those days I had no fear; I never felt at heart the anxiety that I
have now: I always thought things would come right. But this time, my
friends, there is no use in talking, I see trouble in the air, and a
great deal of it. You smile. Pray to Heaven that some day or other you
may not have cause to weep. That day does not seem to me far off."

The only one of the whole family who did not think thus was the son, a
young man of twenty, who was just now reading Roman history, and was in
a state of ferment. The mere mention of Rome in his presence was the
signal for a battle: there had already been one of the liveliest kind,
and it was agreed never to broach the subject again.

One evening early in September they received an official journal in
which the news was authoritatively announced that the Italian soldiers
had passed the frontier. The young man leapt for joy. The father read
the article, remained thoughtful for some time, and then, shaking his
head, muttered, "No!" and again, "No!" and a third time, "No, no, no!"

"But excuse me, papa," exclaimed the son, firing up.

"There! there!" interrupted the mother tenderly.

And during the rest of the evening no more was said about it. But
serious trouble occurred the following evening, when, shortly before
going to bed, the young man frankly and without preamble, as if he were
doing the most natural thing in the world, announced his intention of
going to Rome with the army.

There was a general cry of surprise and indignation, followed by a
tempest of reproaches and threats. "It was not a thing one could
honorably desire to see; already part of the guilt attached to each of
them as an Italian, without having to add the responsibility of being an
eye-witness; and this, that and the other; and, in fine, that anything
might be conceded or pardoned in a well-born young man except the
madness of going to see" (these were the mother's words) "_a poor old
man bombarded_. A fine war! Fine glory, indeed!"

When she had finished the young man gnashed his teeth, tore the journal
to pieces, jumped up from his seat, lighted a lamp and went to shut
himself up in his room, stamping his feet like an Italian actor playing
the part of a furious king.

But in half an hour softly, softly, on tiptoe, he returned to the
dining-room. There was no one there but the father and mother, silent
and sad. He asked pardon of his father, who growled, but suffered him to
press his hand, and then returned to his room, followed by his mother.
"Now we shall have no more of such ideas, shall we?" she said to him
tenderly, laying her hands on his shoulders.

The son answered with a kiss.

The next day he crossed the frontier of the Pontifical States.

As soon as they became aware of it at home there were tears, outbursts,
invectives, suggestions of never receiving him again, of not even
rising from their seats when he returned, of allowing a month to pass
without addressing a word to him, of striking out the item
"pocket-money" from the family budget, and a hundred other things. On
the mother's part these were words, but on the father's serious
intentions. He was not a man to waver; he was good, but stern, and at
times, when he was angry, even terrible: his son knew this, and feared
him. How he had ever been able, therefore, to offer him such an outrage
was inexplicable. The accounts of the 20th of September only served to
embitter the parents more. "He shall feel it," said they between their
teeth. "Let him come!" Their words, their gestures, their plan of
action, had all been thought over and prepared. It would be a severe
lesson.

On the morning of the 22d they were all seated at table when suddenly a
loud knock was heard at the door, and immediately after the son
appeared, red in the face, out of breath, bronzed by the sun, standing
erect and motionless on the threshold. No one moved.

"What!" exclaimed the young man, folding his arms with an air of
astonishment, "you do not know the news?"

No one answered.

"Have you been told nothing? Has no one been here from Florence? Are you
still in the dark about everything?"

No one breathed.

"The taking of Rome," one of the girls ventured to say presently, after
having consulted her papa with a glance--"we know of it."

"What! Nothing else?"

"Nothing else."

"But what a taking of Rome!" burst out the young man with a cry that
made them all tremble--"what a taking of Rome! Then I bring you the
account of it."

They all rose and gathered around him.

"But how is it possible," he went on crying, waving his hands--"how is
it possible that you know nothing of it? Has not the news spread through
the country? Have not the country-people assembled? What is the city
government doing? Listen, then--listen; seat yourselves around me; I
will relate all to you. My heart beats so that I can hardly speak."

"But what has happened?"

"Nothing: I will tell you nothing. I wish to relate everything in order:
give me breathing-time. I wish you to hear the facts one by one as I saw
them."

"Oh, you mean the Roman feasts?"

"The plébiscite?"

"The arrival of the king?"

"No, indeed, no: something quite different."

"Well, tell us."

"But sit down."

"Oh, how is it that we have heard nothing about it here?"

"How can I tell? All I know is, that to be the first who brings you this
news is the greatest pleasure I have experienced in my whole life. I
arrived this morning at Florence: they knew all about it. I left
immediately. Who knows? thought I, perhaps the news has not yet reached
home. I am out of breath."

"Tell us! tell quickly!"

They all seated themselves around him.

"You shall hear, mamma--things to make one wild! Come nearer: so! You
know all about the morning of the 21st, do you not? The other regiments
entered: crowds, noise, music, as on the previous day, until twelve
o'clock. At twelve o'clock, as if by common consent, the confusion
ceased--first in the Corso, then in the other main streets, and
gradually everywhere. The crowds of citizens stood still, formed groups
and chatted in an undertone; then they dispersed in all directions,
nodding to each other like people who expect to meet soon again. It
seemed as if the order had circulated to prepare for some great event.
People meeting in the street spoke to each other hastily, and then each
one went his own way. From one end to the other of the Corso there was a
general bustle, some going home, others going out; some calling from the
street, others answering from the windows; the soldiers rushing to and
fro as if they had heard a call; officers on horseback trotting by; men
and boys passing with bundles of flags on their shoulders and in their
arms; all active and hurrying as if they were being pursued. I, who knew
nothing and no one, looked now at this face, now at that, to try and
discover something. They all seemed happy, but did not exhibit their
former boisterous, unrestrained joy: all betrayed a disturbing thought,
a misgiving, almost an uneasiness: one could see that they were people
concocting something. I turned into one of the smaller streets; went
farther on; stopped at two or three crossways: everywhere was the same
sight--great crowds, a great stir, great haste and an indescribable
manner of speaking and gesticulating, which I had already remarked in
the Corso, as if the whole mass of people wished to conceal something
from some one, although it was visible to every one. Knots of people
passed by me, troops, hundreds of men and women together, and not a cry
was to be heard. All were going in the same direction, as if to a place
of rendezvous."

"Where were they going?" asked the mother and father.

"Wait. I returned to the Corso. The nearer I approached, the more
distinctly I heard a dull, continuous roar, like that of an immense
crowd. I reached it: the Corso was full of people, who had all stopped
and turned toward the Campidoglio, as if they were waiting for something
from that quarter. From the Piazza del Popolo to the Piazza di Venezia
there was such a press that it was impossible to move. There was a
whispering here and there, 'They will be here in a little while;' 'They
are coming yonder,'--'Who are coming yonder?'--'The main column.'--'The
main column is coming.'--'Here it is!'--'No.'--'Yes.'--All at once the
crowd began to move turbulently. Everybody cried on all sides, 'There
they are!' And in less time than I can say it the street was cleared in
the middle, as if to make way for a procession. All heads were
uncovered. I, who had remained behind, elbowed my way across the street
and looked. I seem to feel now a thrill that ran through me from head
to foot. First advanced generals in full uniform and noblemen in black
coats with tri-colored scarfs: in the midst of the nobles and generals
came men, women and children with tattered, unbuttoned shirts; behind,
work-people, country-people, women with babies on their backs, soldiers
of all arms, grand ladies, students, whole families holding each other
by the hands so as not to get lost; all crowded and pressed, so that it
seemed strange they were able to walk; and yet only a monotonous murmur
like a buzz was to be heard--not a sound on either side of the street,
not a sound from the windows. It was a solemn sight: what with surprise
and awe I was in a trance."

"But where were they going?" asked the father, mother and sisters
eagerly.

"Let me finish," resumed the young man. "I was turned off in the mean
while, and with me gradually all those who were leaning against the wall
right and left were turned off also. Fancy what a tight squeeze! The
crowd was just like a torrent, filling both pavements, pouring people
like rushing waves into the shops, to the gates, wherever an inch of
room could be found. As the procession advanced more swarms of people
streamed into the Corso from the side streets, which were also thronged
from end to end; and the procession continued to ascend from the
Campidoglio, and the rumor spread that thousands more were coming from
Campo Vaccino. Numbers of people arrived from the Piazza di Spagna, from
the Via del Babbuino, from the Piazza del Popolo. All had something in
their hands--some garlands of flowers, some olive and laurel branches,
some banners, some rags tied on the top of sticks; some carried in both
hands sacred images over their heads--inscriptions, emblems, portraits
of the pope, of the king, of the princes and of Garibaldi. It was a
mixture, a medley, a confusion of persons and things, such as I believe
has never been seen under the sun; and always and everywhere that
subdued murmur, that slow pace, that repose, that dignity, so singular
and astonishing in such a multitude that I thought I must be dreaming."

The whole family pressed closer round the young man without speaking a
word.

"At a certain point I perceived that the crowd had turned to the left:
all fell back. Slowly, slowly, with great difficulty, trampled upon,
crushed, jostled on all sides, unable to move their arms, panting for
breath, they pressed on from street to street to the piazza in front of
the bridge of St. Angelo. The bridge was overflowing with people: the
crowd disappeared across the river in the direction of St. Peter's. The
whole right bank was swarming. The passage of the bridge was a serious
matter: it took more than a quarter of an hour. The unfortunate
creatures who were at the sides, pressed by those in the middle, clung
desperately to the railings for fear of being thrown over, and uttered
cries of terror. It was said that some accidents occurred. By degrees
all passed over. All the streets leading to the square filled up. When
the crowd reached the entrance of one of the streets which lead directly
to the Basilica, suddenly a low, hollow sound was heard, like a sea in a
storm, now far off, now near, and coming toward us in waves. It was the
multitude assembled in the Piazza di San Pietro. The crowd pressed
forward more eagerly, one on top of another, carried forward,
overturned--on, on, until it reached the piazza. Almighty God! if you
had seen it! What an astounding spectacle!--all this immense square
tightly packed, black, and all in motion: it was no longer a square--it
was a sea. On all sides--between the four rows of columns, on the
church-steps, under the portico, on the great terrace in front, in the
galleries of the cupola, on the capitals of the pillars, on the pillars
themselves; and behind--at the windows of the houses, on the balconies,
on the roofs, above, below, right and left, wherever a human creature
could plant his foot or clutch hold or hang on; everywhere heads, arms
and legs dangling, banners, gestures, voices! All Rome was there!"

"Heavens! But the Vatican?" they all cried in great agitation.

"Closed. You know that one wing of the Vatican opens on the square, and
in that is the pope's apartment. All the windows belonging to it were
closed: it seemed like a deserted palace. At that moment it had the
appearance of a cold, stern, impassive person looking down with fixed,
wide-open eyes. The multitude looked up with a murmuring noise. On one
side, toward the terrace, could be seen a great body of officers and
noblemen, who appeared to give orders which were repeated from mouth to
mouth. The agitation continued to increase. All heads were
uncovered--white heads of old men, dark heads of soldiers, blond heads
of children. A bright sun was shining; a thousand movements, a thousand
noises, a thousand colors, were waving and mingling on this immense
surface. Banners and rags fluttered, tossed back here and there as if
they were floating on the water. The seething was such it seemed as if
fire were burning under the earth. Suddenly, from all sides was heard
and spread a cry, 'The boys! the children! Bring forward the children!'
It was evidently a concerted plan. In a moment on all parts of the
square people were seen holding up the children above their heads, and
the men and women who were carrying them broke through the mass, all
going in the direction of the Vatican: the bigger boys forced their own
way, holding hands, rushing between the people's legs, ten and twenty at
a time. In a few minutes hundreds of children--a whole population of
creatures concealed until now--some by means of their own legs, some
pushed, some carried, were crowded into one corner of the square, and in
the mean while arose a deafening cry from the women, 'Take care! Slowly!
My child!' Soon after another louder and more imperative call, 'The
women! the women!' Another disturbance, another breaking through the
crowd in all directions. Then a third and more formidable cry, 'The
army! the soldiers! Forward!' And once more an indescribable upheaving,
but simultaneous, resolute, rapid. There were none of the difficulties
and delays usually seen in similar cases: all worked and helped to
accomplish the end. There was an impetuosity, a fervor, and yet an
astonishing accord: this innumerable crowd seemed ruled and controlled.
By degrees the bustle ceased, all cries were hushed, arms were dropped,
everybody looked around, and it seemed as if by enchantment the
children, the women and the soldiers had disappeared. They all stood on
the right side of the square, divided into three great masses, from the
door of St. Peter's to the middle of the Colonnade, facing the Vatican,
dense and compact. The multitude burst forth into boisterous applause."

"But the Vatican?" asked the family for the third time, all in the same
breath.

"Still closed and quiet as a convent."

"Oh! great Heavens!" they exclaimed, confounded.

"Wait! All at once the applause ceased, and all heads were seen turning
around slowly and whispering, 'Silence! silence!' The murmur ran from
the beginning to the end of the two streets which open into the square.
The whisper soon died away entirely, and there was such a stillness,
such silence, as I should never have believed possible among so many
people. It was something super-human. In the midst of this silence I
seemed suddenly to hear a faint voice that I could not understand, a
vague sound coming from a distance. Gradually, insensibly, it
increased--first an uplifting of voices, now far, now near, uncertain
and discordant; soon more distinct, more decided, finally blending as if
by magic, till a single voice, tremulous, silvery, suave, rose to
heaven, echoing like the voice of a legion of angels. It was that of
thousands of children singing the hymn to Pius IX. of 1847."

"Oh!" exclaimed the mother and daughters, clasping their hands.

"That song re-echoed in every one's heart; it ascended in such a way as
to touch the most tender chords of the soul; a thrill seemed to pass
through the crowd; there was a great moving of arms and hands, as if
they wished to speak and could not. Nothing but a confused murmur was
heard. 'Holy Father'--this is what they wished to say--'look! listen!
These are our children; they are your sons who seek you, who invoke you,
who implore your benediction; they are innocent souls. Hear their
prayer; bless them; grant that their country and their religion shall be
united in their hearts. Holy Father, one word from you, one sign, one
glance from you declaring pardon and peace, and we are with you, for
you--all of us, now, always, for ever! They are our children, your
sons.' Thousands of banners waved in the air. The song ceased: a
profound silence ensued."

"Well?" they all asked eagerly.

"No response. Then arose the women's song. There was a deep tremor in
that immense voice: you could hear a something which only issues from
the hearts of mothers; it seemed more like a cry than a song; it was
sweet and solemn. The people, from the first note, remained motionless:
suddenly, after a while, they became agitated as if moved by an
irresistible ardor; the exclamations almost overpowered the song. 'These
are our mothers,' they said, 'our wives, our sisters. Holy Father, hear
them. They have never cherished hatred or anger in their breasts; they
have always loved and hoped; they believe and pray; they implore the
privilege of teaching their children your name together with that of
Italy. Holy Father, one word from you will save them many mournful
doubts and many bitter tears. Bless our families, Holy Father.'"

The listeners questioned with their eyes and gestures.

"Nothing! Then burst forth a tumultuous, rapid song, followed by a more
violent agitation: it was the soldiers. 'These are our soldiers,' all
said together--'they will be yours: they are the sons of the field and
the shops. Holy Father, they will guard your gates and escort your
steps: they, born on your soil, they who heard as children your sublime
cry of liberty, will fight against the foreign enemy with your name and
that of the king on their lips and in their hearts. Bless them. You will
see them congregated around your throne in your hour of need, ready to
die: one word, Holy Father, and these swords, these breasts, this blood,
are yours. They implore your blessing upon the country. Remember, Holy
Father, your sublime cry.'--A window of the Vatican opened."

All seized the young man by the arm without saying a word.

"The song ceased, the cries were hushed: there was silence. There was
not a living soul at the window. During a few moments the very breath of
the multitude seemed suspended. Something like a shadow moved past the
window, but inside, far back, and then disappeared. There seemed to be
people passing to and fro, and a confusion within. All faces, all eyes,
were fixed motionless on the spot. Suddenly the whole multitude, as if
inspired at the same moment, pointed to the palace; thousands of women
held up the children; the soldiers swung their caps on their bayonets;
all banners were waved; a hundred thousand voices burst forth in one
tremendous shout: 'Viva! viva! viva!' At the window of the Vatican
something was seen fluttering, moving, shining, all at once floating in
the air.--Great Heavens!" exclaimed the young man, throwing himself on
his mother's neck, "it was the Italian flag!"

It would be impossible to describe the delight, the joy, the enthusiasm
of those worthy people. The young man had spoken with so much fervor, he
had become so enamored of his own deception, that by degrees he had
finally ceased to be aware of the fact that he was inventing, and truly
his eyes were moist and his voice trembled. However, not the shadow of a
suspicion had crossed the minds of his parents and sisters. They
embraced each other, laughed and wept. From how many scruples, how many
grievous conflicts between Italian hearts and Catholic consciences, did
they find themselves released! The reconciliation between Church and
State! The dream of so many years! What peace of mind henceforward!
What a beautiful life of love and concord! What free, secure repose!

"Heaven be praised!" exclaimed the mother, dropping into a low chair,
exhausted by excitement.

And then again they all rushed around the young man, one seizing his
hand, another pulling him by the coat: "Is it really true?"--"Is it not
a dream?"--"Speak!"--"Go on: tell us about everything--the pope--the
crowd--what happened."

"What followed?" resumed the young man in a fatigued voice. "To tell you
the truth, I don't know myself: I don't remember. There was such a
shouting, an upheaving, a frenzy, a delirium, that the very thought of
it even now makes my head whirl. I no longer saw anything around me but
upraised arms and banners, which concealed everything. An elbow-knock
that I received in my breast in a terrible commotion of the crowd almost
took my breath away. After a few moments I seemed to have a little more
space, and I escaped into one of the streets leading to the bridge,
determined to get out of the confusion. From all the streets of the
Borgo Pio the people dashed with loud cries toward the square. It was
said afterward that the crowd rushed to the doors of the Vatican to
force an entrance: the soldiers had to keep them back, first with their
breasts, then with their hands, finally with their weapons. I heard of
people suffocated in the press. It is not known what happened in the
interior of the Vatican: they said that the pope had given his blessing
from the window. I did not see him. Weary, exhausted, I arrived at the
bridge, and crossed it. People were still running from all sides,
attracted by the news of the great event, which had spread like
wildfire. Large troops of cavalry coursed by at full speed. Guides,
aides-de-camp, carbiniers, sent to carry orders hither and thither, ran
through the streets screaming. The people answered from the windows:
decrepit old men, invalids, women with children in their arms, stood on
the terraces, came down into the deserted streets, asked questions,
wondered and kissed each other. I reached the Corso. Suddenly a
terrific explosion was heard from the direction of the Pincio, then
another from the Porta Pia, then a third from the Porta San Pancrazio:
it was all the batteries of artillery belonging to the Italian army
greeting the Pontiff with a tumultuous salute. Presently the chiming of
the bell of the Campidoglio resounded: then gradually the bells of
hundreds of churches blending into one magnificent concert. The crowd
from the Borgo Pio rushed back impetuously to the left bank of the
Tiber, invading in a very short time the streets, the squares and the
houses; displayed the papal coat-of-arms, which had remained covered;
carried in triumph busts of Pius IX., portraits and banners; thousands
of people assembled in front of the palaces of the nobles most noted for
their devotion to the pope and burst into applause, and these nobles
appeared on their balconies and hung out the national colors. One
moment: let me take breath."

As soon as he had breathed they immediately beset him with more
questions: "And after that? and the Vatican? and the pope?"

"I don't know. I cannot tell you how beautiful, how grand, how
wonderful, Rome was that evening. The night was transcendent, and there
was an illumination such as never was seen or imagined since the
creation of the world: the Corso appeared to be on fire. The churches
were full of people, and priests preaching; in the streets were music,
singing, dancing, citizens speaking to the people in the cafés and
theatres. I wished to see the Piazza di San Pietro once more. The rumor
had spread that His Holiness needed rest: Borgo Pio was as quiet as on
the quietest nights; the square was lit up by the moon; a silent crowd
was collected around the two fountains and on the steps: some were
seated on the ground, some lying down; a great many of them, those most
overcome by the fatigue and excitement of the day, were asleep--women,
soldiers and children promiscuously; hundreds of people kneeling, and
here and there sentinels of every corps with little flags and crosses
tied to the barrels of their guns. The ground was strewn with banners,
with leaves and flowers, and hats that had been lost in the tumult. The
windows of the Vatican were illuminated; not a voice was to be heard;
all these people seemed to be holding their breath. I left there
excited, exalted, thinking over everything I had seen--of the effect
that the news would produce on Italy, on the world, on all of you--more
particularly on you, papa. I found myself at the station almost before I
was aware: there was a confusion, a deafening noise. I stepped into a
train, started off, and here I am. The news had arrived last evening in
Florence: they told me it created a furore; the king had left; the news
is already spread over the whole world."

At this point he sank into a low chair and stopped short, as if he had
no more breath in his body.

       *       *       *       *       *

The newspapers, which should have arrived at the villa by noon, did not
come, so that the family retained their pleasant illusion until evening.
The dinner was animated, the young man continued to jumble detail on
detail, and the mother and family rapture on rapture, blessing on
blessing, when suddenly they heard a hasty foot on the steps, and then a
noisy ring at the bell. Presently the door opened, and a tall, dried-up
priest, with a livid face and crooked mouth, appeared on the threshold.
It was a priest whom the family had known only a short time, and of whom
they were not particularly fond, but whom they received and welcomed at
their house--more, however, out of respect for his garb than for his
person. All except the young man grouped around him, crying out, "Well!
have you heard the news? It is all over, thank Heaven! Tell us! speak!"

"But what news?" asked the priest, looking in the face of each one in
turn with a pair of rolling eyes.

They all told him at once, hastily and eagerly, of the festival, the
pardon, the reconciliation.

The priest looked at all of them with the air of a man who fears that he
has fallen into the midst of a set of lunatics: then flashing a fiery
glance upon the young man, he exclaimed with a sinister smile, "There is
not a shadow of truth in it, fortunately."

"Oh!" they all exclaimed, turning toward the son.

The latter, without seeming disconcerted, looked fixedly at the priest,
and said to him, in a half-sorrowful, half-contemptuous voice, "Only,
reverend father, do not say 'fortunately.' You are an Italian: say,
'What a pity that it is not so!'"

And all the others flew once more at the priest, and, as is generally
the case, more incensed against the one who had destroyed the illusion
than against him who had created it, they repeated almost
involuntarily, "Decidedly! Say rather, 'What a pity!'"

"I?" answered the priest, turning toward his breast a long knotty
finger: then, in a bitter vibrant voice, "Never!"

The old man, thus suddenly wounded and so rudely deprived of the
delightful emotion which had agitated him, lost his wits as usual, and
stretching out his arm toward the door framed with his lips the word
"Begone!"

The priest disappeared, slamming the door behind him. The son threw his
arms around his father's neck: the latter, looking toward the door,
muttered in a feeble voice, "Heartless man!"



A VENETIAN OF THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY.


A strange figure, a man almost wholly forgotten, but one to whom Goethe,
Schiller, Tieck and Schlegel owed not a little, is yet to be known by
whoever cares to rub the dust from old memoirs and turn the pages of
some rare and racy volumes. And in knowing this Venetian much may be
learned of the decadence of Venice, which had come to produce, not the
great and reverent and serious men who laid her stones and covered her
walls with sweet and splendid works expressive of the endurance and
piety of great souls, but such men as Casanova the gambler, Goldoni the
play-writer, Longhi and Canaletto the painters; and then, as the best
among them all, the honest Venetian whom we now meet, sometimes called
the Shakespeare of Venice, but in fact only a play-writer, a Venetian
nobleman, who depicted in a dispassionate temper the trivialities of his
age, and lacked both the _milieu_ and the material to produce a great
work.

Venice had long reached and passed the culmination of her brilliant
power, and had become the very palpitating centre of unchecked
dissipation and of an extravagant luxury of living. All Europe came to
it to be amused. It is impossible to frame with sober English words the
bas-reliefs of those licentious times as they are found to-day in the
popular songs of the Lagoons. At this epoch there was a young Venetian,
Count Carlo Gozzi, who wrote for the Venetian theatre, and may be
considered as having first invested with the dignity of literary
expression the typical figures of Italian comedy--Pantaleone, Harlequin,
Tartaglia, etc. He came from a literary family, and his brother, Count
Gaspard Gozzi, was an honored man of letters who gave several volumes to
Venetian literature, and whose vivacious face in marble may be seen in
the gallery of the ducal palace with the busts of doges, prelates and
painters of the great state of Venice. But he whom we think the more
interesting man, as well as the most representative, has not been
honored with bust or portrait, and we must look to his memoirs to find
out what manner of man he was.

Carlo Gozzi was the seventh son of one of those opulent noble Venetian
families which a century of indolent leisure and mad enjoyment of gayety
had reduced to a state bordering upon beggary. The family was
disorganized, and for the completion of its bad fortune the eldest son
fell in love with and married a foolish literary young woman, who to an
unchecked ambition of distinguishing herself either as a poetess, a
writer of plays, or as the fashionable directress of some _accademia_,
added an uncontrollable spirit of domination. She mismanaged the
household, rendering it intolerable to every one but herself. Gozzi's
good sense very soon convinced him that there was nothing to hope from
such a condition of affairs, and he sought guidance and protection from
his uncle, Almore Cesare Tiepolo, the venerated senator, who recommended
him to Girolamo Quirini, governor-general of Dalmatia. It was to go
there and to meet a new fate that Gozzi, then a lad of sixteen, left
Venice on board of a ship of war, having for his whole fortune his
youth, his guitar and a few books.

It was only after he had become an old man that he wrote the story of
his life, and that he so piquantly portrayed the physiognomy of the
Venetian people in his famous _Memorie inutile_, which, as he quaintly
says, he published "from humility." The _Memorie inutile_ in which Gozzi
has depicted himself with such lifelike realism are sincere and
vivacious, and rival Diderot and Rousseau for directness, luminousness
and interest. Gozzi's nature is as free from conceit as it is from that
reserve which is sometimes mistaken for the enviable result of
hereditary culture, when it often is but the makeshift of vanity to
cover mental penury. The serenity of his soul never fails him even under
the most disheartening circumstances. His unalterable gayety, his
playfulness and his genial humor, just a little bit satirical, made him
the best of fellows and the most capital companion. None of the changes
or chances of an adventurous life seem to have either abated or checked
the flow of his animal spirits. He took hold of things and of the people
he met by their laughable side. Hence the remarkable elasticity and the
buoyancy of his writings. How far he stands from the reactionary
romantic movement of a later literature we may know if we notice that
there is no morbid self-retrospection and no shadow of melancholy in any
one page he ever wrote. When domestic difficulties and the complications
attending the dismemberment of the family after the death of his
paralytic father--whom he worshipped--absorbed his whole mind, and he
had to call upon his reserved strength of character to endure sorrow,
Gozzi kept up a brave heart. He believed in his vocation as a writer of
plays, and he fed his talent by an indulgent and sympathetic
comprehension of human nature.

He says: "It is an endless amusement for me to see the world, such as it
is in my century, and to contemplate the big caldron in which all our
follies are kept boiling. Is it not an immense farce? and am I not right
to make it the plaything of my reflections, and to laugh as I keep
counting the somersaults of humanity?" These "somersaults" are precisely
what Gozzi has so successfully reproduced upon the scene.

It was while he lived in wild Dalmatia that Gozzi had first revealed to
him his own dramatic genius. His protector there was a man of letters,
who lent him books and encouraged him to exercise his literary taste and
talent in scribbling sketches of character, poetical essays and such
things as usually serve as the magnetic conductor between a youth and
the people around him, whom he hardly knows. The dramatic troupe in Zara
was composed of young Venetian officers only. To amuse the governor and
his suite they distributed among themselves the different rôles of men
and women, and upon some given theme they improvised those comedies
which are so much to the taste of Italians. What a chance there was for
individual talent to reveal itself! Gozzi created spontaneously his own
rôle--it was that of an Illyrian chambermaid--and in it he used the
Dalmatian _patois_ with such dexterity, he railed at feminine foibles
with so much _finesse_, and, using recent social scandals, he touched
the whole with such apt satire, that he had an immense success. The rôle
of the fictitious chambermaid won universal admiration. Ladies of rank
inquired who was that inimitable young man, and expressed the wish to
have presented to them the amateur actor. Their disappointment was
unconcealed upon finding him reserved in manner, simple, and almost
timid and taciturn. We appreciate his surprise when he tells us, "I
wondered that my love of study, my chaste tastes, some literary
aptitude, and some serious views of life above those of my age did not
produce as favorable an impression upon the sex as did my fancy dress of
a Dalmatian chambermaid and my skill in gymnastic performances. But,
then, had I yet gone down into the inextricable depths of the feminine
mind? and was I already acquainted with the laws that rule the magnetic
attractions of the most bizarre of brains?"

The stories Gozzi tells us of life in Dalmatia have a fresh, primitive
flavor. No one ever told them before him. Their bloom is untouched, and
much of the pleasure one has in reading them comes from that. Some of
his pictures of manners are as crisp and as vivid as a fine etching.

At the time of his residence there that little, out-of-the-way corner of
Europe had not yet been awakened from the stupor of its feudal sleep,
nor had the faintest breath of modern ideas so much as rippled over the
sullen surface of hereditary slavery to traditional customs. From time
immemorial the habits of the people were the same, and singularly
uninfluenced by the presence of the gay gallants of Venice who were
stationed there. It is not difficult to imagine the distaste with which
they left all the enervating delights of their resplendent island of
marble, with its mantling of sunlight and the tranquil beauty of its
dreamy days, for tedious exile among an inhospitable and untamed
population, the severe silence and sombre forests or the monotony of
barren rocks. "If you have read your Virgil or Homer," Gozzi tells us,
"you have seen Illyrians. These people are quite as pagan in their rites
of marriage and the burying of their dead as any people of pagan
antiquity. One of their favorite national games consists in lifting a
tremendous disk cut out of marble and hurling it to a great distance. Is
not this Diomedes and Turnus?

"Contempt weighs down upon every family who has not had several of its
men killed, or has not executed cruel vengeance on the right and on the
left, or has not been itself the object of outrageous retaliation. It
was not long before I had the opportunity to ascertain the truth of what
the old priest had told me as we walked together under the walls of the
city.

"A woman about fifty years old came one day and threw herself at the
feet of the governor. From her shoulder hung down a cumbrous gamebag,
and out of it she pulled a mass of hair clinging to a dried-up skull:
then, placing the hideous object before the governor, she struck her
head against the ground, crying, 'Justice! justice!' I inquired what
could possibly be the motive of so extraordinary an exhibition, and I
learnt that the skull was that of the woman's mother, who was
assassinated _thirty years before_--that the murderers had been
executed, but that the greed for vengeance not being yet appeased in
that wild daughter of Dalmatia, she had never failed to repeat the same
ceremony at the installation of each successive governor, always
exhibiting the same thirst for avenging herself upon the family of her
enemies, the same gamebag and the same skull!"

"It was impossible to have introduced into Dalmatia any such
agricultural reform or innovation as would have ameliorated the
cultivation of its fertile plains. The Dalmatian peasants were wedded to
the unintelligent routine of their forefathers, and in their ideas or
apprehension of things no landmark was ever removed. But, then, is the
mere industry which clears the soil of any good if courage and
intelligence do not second and direct material labor? Why do we so
little care for the improvement of men? Machines and inventions are not
a sufficient development: it is the heart and the mind which should be
worked upon, changed, electrified into new activity. Will men never
comprehend that civilization can never begin except at the soul, and
that whatever is purely material must ever be overruled by what is
intellectual?" This was written nearly a century and a half ago.

The series of little pictures which Gozzi has left us of those days,
when upon his return from Dalmatia he realized the abasement into which
the family had finally fallen, are most vivid, and remind us of the
honest realism of the Dutch painters. And the charm of Gozzi's writings
lies precisely in that sense of genuineness which more than anything
else inspires us with trust in a writer. You feel sure that whatever he
relates is the thing he has himself observed or felt, just as it
happened. All the puerile inconsistency of an age not fecundated by any
belief, in which a strong religious sense is replaced by childish
superstition and bold materialism, is admirably rendered in the episode
of the death of the old senator Almore Cesare Tiepolo. He was a man of
great benevolence, and he distinguished himself from his peers by a rare
courtesy of manner toward his servants and the people of that class. It
happened one day that as he was stepping out of his gondola his foot
caught in the folds of his senatorial robe, and he fell down. In trying
to hold him up his gondolier let go the oar, which struck Tiepolo's arm
and broke it. He, however, showed no sign of pain and no irritation
toward his man, but quietly walked home and sent for the surgeon. Forty
days he was kept motionless in bed, and during all that time the same
unalterable regard for the feelings of others made him gentle and
uncomplaining and grateful for the care he received. But the old
Venetian loved a good table; so every morning he had his gondolier come
to his bedside and tell him what fish was in the market, how it looked,
how much it cost; and, giving himself up to his culinary enthusiasm with
the appreciative appetite of a connoisseur, he established the relative
merit of the different fish and discussed their flavor, till one day,
while he was engaged in his favorite morning occupation, the end of
things came for him, and Almore Cesare Tiepolo turned his face toward
the wall, like the prophet of old, and, surrendering himself to acts of
fervid contrition with the aid of his confessor, he obtained a last
parting benediction and died.

Two writers, two rival would-be poets, and critics one of the other,
held then the literary sway over Venice. One was the licentious and
unscrupulous Abbé Chiari, who imitated with a certain success the
artificial manner of the brilliant French writers of the day: the other
was Goldoni, then at the height of his fame. It is difficult for us,
placed as we are so far from that tinselly age, to form an idea of the
fever and furore of admiration which raged in Venice for these two men.
A deluge of adulatory literary expression poured on every side in the
shape of comedies, tragedies, plays, sonnets, poems, songs and
apologies, all of them inflating with a fervid enthusiasm the
inflammable youth of the most mobile of populations. The comedies of
Goldoni were the fashion. They were found in everybody's hands, in
ladies' rooms, on shop counters and on the benches of workmen. The plain
literal copy of Nature, the unblushing _sans-gêne_ of a sportive
cynicism, pleased the indolent imagination of the blasé and immoral
Venetians. And the infatuation was carried so far that a certain abbé,
the fashionable preacher of the day, boasted that he preached his Lent
sermons only after he had read a comedy of Goldoni!

Gozzi fell in the very midst of that literary ebullition, and watched
curiously its ephemeral duration; for, like a brilliant soap-bubble
blown by merry children, it soon vanished into nothing. Even Goldoni
could not retain his hold on minds which, if they knew it not, needed a
more satisfying nourishment than the uninspiring, material rendering of
characters overcharged with vices or virtues inharmoniously collocated.

Gozzi, persecuted by extreme poverty, stepped on the scene with the
determination and the power to substitute for works full of defects and
cynical in their influence his own conceptions of life. It was throwing
the glove in the face of popular favor, and it opened literary
skirmishes which lasted from 1757 to 1761, and determined his vocation
as a a writer of plays and a theatrical manager. If we remember how
minds had lost all nice critical perception, and had become too confused
to distinguish between a good and a bad literary style, having
accustomed themselves to admire at large whatever served for amusement,
we shall better understand what was the task that Gozzi took upon
himself, and appreciate the way he fulfilled it. His work was the
creation of a national theatre. He used his vivid imagination and the
ingenious turn of his fancy to personify the pet vices and the fatal
frivolity of the Venetians. He created fantastic beings, brilliant
caricatures and grotesque characters. They made a hit and became popular
favorites.

His plays, written especially for the dramatic troupe which he had taken
under his paternal protection, and which he loved, cared for, watched
over during twenty-five years of his life, are a strong and spicy satire
upon the follies of the eighteenth century--a subtle and sagacious
criticism of its universal immorality. Our humorist was greatly aided in
the prosecution of his work by the sustained rectitude of his own life.
With the naïve confidence of a child he relates to us some of his
strange experiences of men and of women--mostly of women--and we feel
sorry when he is so cruelly and so unnecessarily deceived, and he must
lose his implicit trust in that young prima donna in whose purity of
soul he so unreservedly believed. How many years he had seen her, day
after day, first as a mere girl, then as a young wife and a young
mother, and always surrounding her with the homage of his admiration and
of his respect! She appears like one of those enshrined figures one is
surprised to find in out-of-the-way places, and which, after all, have
to be left to other eyes. Gozzi came very near losing the dignity of his
mental quietude--and that in spite of his mature age, for he was then
nearly fifty--in a Don Quixotism well worthy of a man who had so deeply
immersed his fancy in the fount of the Spanish drama, and whose head was
filled with romantic adventures. A strange, an almost unaccountable,
devotion bound him during five years to the erratic destiny of Ricci.
Yet his affection for her did not go beyond a sustained solicitude for
her welfare and an active interest in the development of her talent. For
a long time he blindly believed in her moral capacities, and he went to
work with the hope of winning her permanently to a pure and an elevated
life. It is touching to watch him centring his whole interest and
placing his paternal pride in that delusive will-o'-the-wisp glimmer of
goodness which must inevitably lead hope astray. Gozzi broke off his
friendship for her the day he found out she was less than he expected
her to be. But this time he did not laugh, though he tells his readers
that they may well laugh at him for his credulity, his childish,
untaught experience, his romantic effort to believe in and to create an
impossible ideal.

What makes Gozzi's memoirs so interesting is, above all, their vitality.
A fresh, bounding current of life runs through them, and while watching
it you take no notice of those _débris_ of character which an austere
moralist would surely count up and remember. In the midst of extreme
licentiousness, Gozzi endeavored to awaken in the Venetians a sense of
the dignity of existence by placing before their eyes tangible ideas of
virtue. The public is a materialist by right of usage, and therefore
prefers the reality of the theatre to all other forms of teaching or of
amusement. Rouge and tinsel have the gift of persuasion. Gozzi felt that
instinctively, and few play-writers have been more successful as an
influence than he was. At the avenue of every new sensation, and gifted
with a quick-catching sense of gayety, he lost nothing of the play which
men and women enacted before him. He observed, he listened carefully:
nothing escaped the grasp of his constructive and fanciful mind. His
daily walks through the most populous streets; his habitual lingering
around the fashionable shops where pretty modistes attracted the idle
admiration of idlers; his morning visit to the Rialto, and his
never-failing appearance on the Piazza when everybody was assembled
there in the afternoon,--these were the varied sources of his study of
his contemporaries and also of his dramatic inspiration. Though at that
time there were several playhouses in Venice, and going to the theatre
was then, as it is now, the favorite way of spending the evening, no
theatre was so well patronized and so crowded as that of San Samuele,
where Venetian nobles and high-born women dazzled the eye of the people
with their splendor, while an unbounded admiration welcomed some new
play from the well-known, the genial and much-loved Count Carlo Gozzi.
And yet, reading these same plays, may we not somewhat wonder at the
extravagant praise that was showered upon them in those far-off days?
They are sketchy, sparkling, interesting by their movement and color.
Like a piece of faceted glass they catch and radiate light. But they are
not distinguished by any originality of thought nor by a profound and
far-reaching philosophy. They are society-studies, an exact portraying
of what was considered _le beau monde_. Gozzi had too much common sense
and too much honesty of nature not to be very much shocked by the avowed
cynicism which it was the fashion then to parade. He takes pains to aim
against it the full and spicy expression of his disfavor, considering it
as a fatal outgrowth of French infidelity. Therefore he deserves to be
considered a moral writer. The freedom of his language is only the seal
of realism affixed to his writings, such as we find it in Shakespeare.
Nothing could be more unlike and dissimilar in the after-taste which
they leave on the mental palate than these very plays which we are
considering and any French play of our own time. In Gozzi the moralist
lines the writer, and that, perhaps more than anything else, establishes
the different character of his literary influence from that of Goldoni.
He says that he wrote his plays for his own pleasure first, and with a
wish to illustrate for his fellow-citizens a joyous and wholesome moral.

One hundred years ago one of the most famous comedies of Gozzi was given
to the Venetian public. _Le Droghe d'Amore_ ("Love's Potion") caused so
much perturbation in its author, and so much excitement and importance
in the Venetian people, so much manoeuvring and intriguing was set to
work for and against it, and so much more was said and felt and suffered
about it, that for its adventurous _entrée_ into the world, if for
nothing else, it deserves a special notice. What was, then, the cause of
all this stirring-up of passions and of prejudices? And how could it
happen that an inoffensive dramatic representation of character should
have proved the spark which suddenly set on fire a perfect powder-house
of human interests? It occurred in this manner: On the night of the
first representation the Venetian public recognized in the character of
Don Adone the well-known and fashionable figure of Pietro Gratarol,
secretary of the august Senate of Venice, and, in spite of such a
charge, one of the most unscrupulous profligates and successful _roués_
of the time. Young as he was, and handsome, he had acquired the marked
reputation of an exquisite in the salons of Venice, where he was a
leader and used the prestige of his influence to introduce foreign
customs. No man was more universally known in every grade of society
than he was, and his _bonnes fortunes_ as a gambler and as a man of
pleasure formed an important subject of the daily conversation of the
men and women who dispensed public favor. He was therefore a conspicuous
person, and whatever happened to him became an object of general
interest to people as frivolous as he. It was of course impossible for
him to remain indifferent to the spectacle of his own ridicule placed
before the laughter of the public. His indignation was immense, and with
the help of such of his admirers as he could rally around him he formed
a clique bent upon destroying Gozzi as a writer. They employed every
means of calumny to effect it, but failed. The piece, which for a time
had been withdrawn by superior order, was again given, and was received
with triumphant applause. It was something gained to have in a manner
brought the censorship to terms and forced it to change its verdict. The
star of Gratarol set for ever. He was no longer admired, but he was
pitilessly laughed at or patronized with crushing compassion wherever he
appeared; and wounded self-love, wounded vanity, everything, combined to
excite a desire for revenge. But honest Gozzi had not intended any
personal allusion in the writing of his play, and was hardly responsible
for the characterization of a quick-witted public. Parties, however,
became so envenomed about the whole affair that Gratarol was finally
banished from Venice, on the ground of having slanderously attacked the
reputation of Gozzi in a pamphlet which was suppressed; and he withdrew
to Stockholm, where he died.

But for that episode of his picturesque life Gozzi would never have
given us his memoirs. He wrote them not from a motive of vanity, but
only to let the world have a fair chance of judging his character
correctly. Surely, a man as conspicuous as he was in his day had the
right to get a hearing before his contemporaries, and to leave unblurred
by prejudices or false impressions the mirror of public memory in which
his figure was to reflect itself.

When Aristophanes amused the Athenians with his satirical or comical
allusions to those great men of the republic who were his
contemporaries--Euripides, Plato, Socrates or Cleon--was he not mostly
prompted by his indomitable conservatism, which made him the avowed
enemy of all innovation in ideas and customs? It is that resemblance
between the Greek poet and the Venetian writer which has made some
critics call Gozzi the Aristophanes of the eighteenth century. He hated
the bold and sacrilegious hands of modern philosophy, because it pulled
down and trampled under foot the traditions and the usages which the
cherishing care of centuries had consecrated as the guiding-star of
honor in the heart of the people. He hated the inroad of foreign ideas
and of foreign independence in the conduct of life. He believed in the
sacredness of custom and authority, and he preached it _con amore_ in
all his writings.

Gozzi lived an isolated and studious life. He seldom left his old ruined
palace, where at night "dances of rats" alone disturbed his quiet,
except on his way to rehearsals or to the evening representations. No
man in Venice was more loved; and well might he be, for he gave bread
and support to the whole of that little dramatic world of which he was
the centre and the inspiration. As he never consented to sell his work,
he remained very poor. His habits were simple, and with his own
inimitable _naïveté_ he confesses that the whole of his worldly care
consists in having the largest of silver buckles on his shoes and
keeping his wig in the fashion.

Venice during the eighty years of Gozzi's life was the Venice of
unprincipled, corrupt men and women. It had become a masked ball, a mad
pleasure-place, where intrigue and adventure gave the chief interest to
each day. In art, in letters and in the conduct of life the most
frivolous or trivial or fleeting occupations engaged the attention and
absorbed the time. The old men forgot the dignity of their age in a
puerile leisure, and the young men were dissipated and purposeless.
People had nothing to do but to laugh at each other and to play with the
passing moment; and the loss of all sense of moral responsibility left
them adrift in the midst of the most glorious of national memories. One
has to wonder at the strange indifference which settled over those
descendants of the illustrious men whose names are built into the
magnificent palaces on both sides of the Grand Canal; and there is
perhaps no greater lesson than that which may be learnt from studying
the private history of the noble patrician families of Venice of the
fifteenth and sixteenth centuries--men whose hearts were opened to all
great emotions--and by looking at the marionette life of the men and
women of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, such as it is
portrayed in the pictures of Longhi, where the _Chamber of Sighs_ never
empties itself of the opulent gamblers who patronized the Ridotto night
and day.

When Gozzi was a young man his first initiation into life had been a
repeated experience of the playful capriciousness of the sex, and he
never forgot it. What a commentary on the fair Venetians is his remark,
"I do not admit the possibility for a woman to know love"! In his eyes
she remains a being incapable of any grand and sustained sacrifice of
her instincts to the ennobling mastery of moral responsibility. In all
his dramas, plays and comedies there is but one character of a woman
which is at all magnetic or lovable--that of Angela, the heroine of the
play of the _Deer Ring_. It is a pleasure to meet at last that gentle
and guileless feminine personality after you have wearied of the tinsel
flimsiness, the bubbling frivolity, the sparkling emptiness of the
society-women who so turned the head of the age in which they lived, and
have so scandalously immortalized it.

Goldoni and Gozzi have both given us plays which show us that scandal
and intrigue were the favorite seasoning of the stale stuff of Venetian
life after it had lost its religion and its patriotic ideal. Triviality
for triviality, we prefer Gozzi.

     As for Venice and her people, merely born to bloom and drop,
     Here on earth they bore their fruitage: mirth and folly were the crop.
     What of soul was left, I wonder, when the kissing had to stop?

                                                   H. M. BENSON.



HEINE.

BUCH DER LIEDER.


     Pain brings us more than pleasure;
     Tears comfort more than wine;
     Grief's hands are full of treasure,
     And sorrow is divine.

     The nightingale that's making
     Night happy with his strain,
     His little heart is breaking:
     He sings to still its pain.

     Better than laughing folly,
     Gay songs and wassail ale,
     Thy tuneful melancholy,
     O poet nightingale!

     I have no ear for gladness
     When thou with song dost make
     Such rapture out of sadness--
     Such transport of heart-break.

                    CHARLES QUIET.



THE MARQUIS OF LOSSIE.

BY GEORGE MACDONALD, AUTHOR OF "MALCOLM."


CHAPTER LXVIII.

THE CREW OF THE BONNIE ANNIE.

Having caught as many fish as he wanted, Malcolm rowed to the other side
of the Scaurnose. There he landed, and left the dinghy in the shelter of
the rocks--the fish covered with long, broad-leaved _tangles_--climbed
the steep cliff and sought Blue Peter. The brown village was quiet as a
churchyard, although the sun was now growing hot. Of the men, some were
not yet returned from the night's fishing, and some were asleep in their
beds after it: not a chimney smoked. But Malcolm seemed to have in his
own single being life and joy enough for a world: such an intense
consciousness of bliss burned within him that in the sightless,
motionless village he seemed to himself to stand like an altar blazing
in the midst of desert Carnac. But he was not the only one awake: on the
threshold of Peter's cottage sat his little Phemy, trying to polish a
bit of serpentine marble upon the doorstep with the help of water, which
stood by her side in a broken tea-cup. She lifted her sweet gray eyes
and smiled him a welcome.

"Are ye up a'ready, Phemy?" he said.

"I haena been doon yet," she answered, "My mither was oot last nicht wi'
the boat, an' Auntie Jinse was wi' the bairn, an' sae I cud du as I
likit."

"An' what did ye like, Phemy?"

"A'body kens what I like," answered the child: "I was oot an' aboot a'
nicht. An' eh, Ma'colm! I hed a vision."

"What was that, Phemy?"

"I was upo' the tap o' the Nose jist as the sun rase, luikin' aboot me,
an' awa' upo' the Boar's Tail I saw twa angels sayin' their prayers. Nae
doobt they war prayin' for the haill warl' i' the quaiet o' the mornin'
afore the din begun. May be ane o' them was that auld priest wi' the
lang name i' the buik o' Genesis, 'at hed naither father nor mither,
puir man!--him 'at gaed aboot blissin' fowk."

Malcolm thought he might take his own time to set the child right, and
asked her to go and tell her father that he wanted to see him. In a few
minutes Blue Peter appeared, rubbing his eyes--one of the dead called
too early from the tomb of sleep.

"Freen' Peter," said Malcolm, "I'm gaein' to speak oot the day."

Peter woke up. "Weel," he said, "I _am_ glaid o' that, Ma'colm--I beg
yer pardon, my lord, I sud say.--Annie!"

"Haud a quaiet sough, man. I wadna hae 't come oot at Scaurnose first.
I'm come noo 'cause I want ye to stan' by me."

"I wull that, my lord."

"Weel, gang an' gether yer boat's crew, an' fess them doon to the cove,
an' I'll tell them, an' maybe they'll stan' by me as weel."

"There's little fear o' that, gien I ken my men," answered Peter, and
went off, rather less than half clothed, the sun burning hot upon his
back, through the sleeping village to call them, while Malcolm went and
waited beside the dinghy.

At length six men in a body, and one lagging behind, appeared coming
down the winding path, all but Peter no doubt wondering why they were
called so soon from their beds on such a peaceful morning after being
out the night before.

Malcolm went to meet them. "Freen's," he said, "I'm in want o' yer
help."

"Onything ye like, Ma'colm, sae far 's I'm concernt, 'cep' it be to ride
yer mere. That I wull no tak in han'," said Jeames Gentle.

"It's no that," returned Malcolm. "It's naething freely sae hard 's
that, I'm thinkin'. The hard 'ill be to believe what I'm gaein' to tell
ye."

"Ye'll no be gaein' to set up for a proaphet?" said Girnel, with
something approaching a sneer. Girnel was the one who came down behind
the rest.

"Na, na--naething like it," said Blue Peter.

"But first ye'll promise to hand yer tongues for half a day?" said
Malcolm.

"Ay, ay, we'll no clype." "We s' haud wer tongues!" cried one and
another and another, and all seemed to assent.

"Weel," said Malcolm, "my name 's no Ma'colm MacPhail, but--"

"We a' ken that," said Girnel.

"An' what mair du ye ken?" asked Blue Peter, with some anger at his
interruption.

"Ow, naething."

"Weel, ye ken little," said Peter; and the rest laughed.

"I'm the markis o' Lossie," said Malcolm.

Every man but Peter laughed again: all took it for a joke precursive of
some serious announcement. That which it would have least surprised them
to hear would have been that he was a natural son of the late marquis.

"My name 's Ma'colm Colonsay," resumed Malcolm quietly, "an' I'm the
saxt markis o' Lossie."

A dead silence followed, and in doubt, astonishment, bewilderment and
vague awe, accompanied in the case of two or three by a strong
inclination to laugh, with which they struggled, belief began. Always a
curious observer of humanity, Malcolm calmly watched them. From discord
of expression, most of their faces had grown idiotic. But after a few
moments of stupefaction, first one, then another, turned his eyes upon
Blue Peter, and perceiving that the matter was to him not only serious,
but evidently no news, each began to come to his senses, the chaos
within him slowly arranged itself, and his face gradually settled into
an expression of sanity--the foolishness disappearing, while the wonder
and pleasure remained.

"Ye maunna tak it ill, my lord," said Peter, "gien the laads be ta'en
aback wi' the news. It's a some suddent shift o' the win', ye see, my
lord."

"I wuss yer lordship weel," thereupon said one, and held out his hand.

"Lang life to yer lordship!" said another.

Each spoke a hearty word and shook hands with him--all except Girnel,
who held back, looking on with his right hand in his trouser-pocket. He
was one who always took the opposite side--a tolerably honest and
trustworthy soul, with a good many knots and pieces of crossgrain in the
timber of him. His old Adam was the most essential and thorough of
dissenters, always arguing and disputing, especially on theological
questions. "Na," said Girnel, "ye maun saitisfee me first wha ye are,
an' what ye want o' me. I'm no to be drawn into onything 'at I dinna ken
a' aboot afore-han'. I s' no tie mysel' up wi' ony promises. Them 'at
gangs whaur they kenna may lan' at the widdie (_gallows_)."

"Nae doobt," said Malcolm, "yer ain jeedgement's mair to ye nor my word,
Girnel; but saw ye ever onything in me 'at wad justifee ye in no
lippenin' to that, sae far's it gaed?"

"Ow na! I'm no sayin' that, naither. But what hae ye to shaw anent the
privin' o' 't?"

"I have papers signed by my father, the late marquis, and sealed and
witnessed by well-known gentlemen of the neighborhood."

"Whaur are they?" said Girnel, holding out his hand.

"I don't carry such valuable things about me," answered Malcolm. "But if
you go with the rest you shall see them afterward."

"I'll du naething i' the dark," persisted Girnel. "Whan I see the
peppers I'll ken what to du." With a nod of the head as self-important
as decisive he turned his back.

"At all events," said Malcolm, "you will say nothing about it before you
hear from one of us again?"

"I mak nae promises," answered Girnel from behind his own back.

A howl arose from the rest.

"Ye promised a'ready," said Blue Peter.

"Na, I didna that: I said never a word."

"What right, then, had you to remain and listen to my disclosure?" said
Malcolm. "If you be guilty of such a mean trick as betray me and ruin my
plans, no honest man in Portlossie or Scaurnose but will scorn you."

"There! tak ye that!" said Peter. "An' I s' promise ye, ye s' never lay
leg ower the gunnel o' _my_ boat again. I s' hae nane but Christi-an men
i' _my_ pey."

"Ye hired me for the sizzon, Blew Peter," said Girnel, turning
defiantly.

"Oh! ye s' hae yer wauges. I'm no ane to creep oot o' a bargain, or say
'at I didna promise. Ye s' hae yer penny. Ye s' get yer reward, never
fear. But into my boat ye s' no come. We'll hae nae Auchans i' oor camp.
Eh, Girnel, man, but ye hae lost yersel' the day! He'll never loup far
'at winna lippen. The auld worthies tuik their life i' their han', but
ye tak yer fit (_foot_) i' yours. I'm clean affrontit 'at ever I hed ye
amo' my men."

But with that there rushed over Peter the recollection of how he had
himself mistrusted--not Malcolm's word indeed, but his heart. He turned,
and clasping his hands in sudden self-reproach, "My lord, I saired ye
ill mysel' ance," he cried, "for I misdoobted 'at ye wasna the same to
me efter ye cam to yer ain. I beg yer pardon, my lord, here i' the face
o' my freen's. It was ill-temper an' pride i' me, jist the same as it's
noo in Girnel there; an' ye maun forgie him, as ye forgae me, my lord,
as sune 's ye can."

"I'll du that, my Peter, the verra moment he wants to be forgi'en," said
Malcolm.

But Girnel turned with a grunt, and moved away toward the cliff.

"This'll never du," said Peter. "A man 'at's honest i' the main may play
the verra dog afore he gets the deevil oot o' 'im ance he's in like
that.--Gang efter 'im, laads, an' kep (_intercept_) 'im an' keep 'im.
We'll hae to cast a k-not or twa aboot 'im an' lay 'im i' the boddom o'
the boat."

The six had already started after him like one man. But Malcolm cried,
"Let him go: he has done me no wrong yet, and I don't believe will do me
any. But for no risk must we prevent wrong with wrong."

So Girnel was allowed to depart--scarcely in peace, for he was already
ashamed of himself. With the understanding that they were to be ready to
his call, and that they should hear from him in the course of the day,
Malcolm left them and rowed back to the Psyche. There he took his basket
of fish on his arm, which he went and distributed according to his
purpose, ending with Mrs. Courthope at the House. Then he fed and
dressed Kelpie, saddled her and galloped to Duff Harbor, where he found
Mr. Soutar at breakfast, and arranged with him to be at Lossie House at
two o'clock. On his way back he called on Mr. Morrison, and requested
his presence at the same hour. Skirting the back of the House, and
riding as straight as he could, he then made for Scaurnose, and
appointed his friends to be near the House at noon, so placed as not to
attract observation, and yet be within hearing of his whistle from door
or window in the front. Returning to the House, he put up Kelpie, rubbed
her down and fed her; then, finding there was yet some time to spare,
paid a visit to the factor. He found his lady, for all his present of
fish in the earlier morning, anything but friendly. She did all she
could to humble him--insisted on paying him for the fish, and ordered
him, because they smelt of the stable, to take off his boots before he
went up stairs--to his master's room, as she phrased it. But Mr. Crathie
was cordial, and, to Malcolm's great satisfaction, much recovered. He
had better than pleasant talk with him.


CHAPTER LXIX.

LIZZY'S BABY.

While they were out in the fishing-boat together, Clementina had, with
less difficulty than she had anticipated, persuaded Lizzy to tell Lady
Lossie her secret. It was in the hope of an interview with her false
lover that the poor girl had consented so easily.

A great longing had risen within her to have the father of her child
acknowledge him--only to her--taking him once in his arms. That was all.
She had no hope--thought indeed she had no desire--for herself. But a
kind word to him would be welcome as light. The love that covers sins
had covered the multitude of his, and although hopelessness had put
desire to sleep, she would gladly have given her life for a loving smile
from him. But mingled with this longing to see him once with his child
in his arms, a certain loyalty to the house of Lossie also influenced
her to listen to the solicitation of Lady Clementina and tell the
marchioness the truth. She cherished no resentment against Liftore, but
not therefore was she willing to allow a poor young thing like Lady
Lossie, whom they all liked, to be sacrificed to such a man, who would
doubtless at length behave badly enough to her also.

With trembling hands, and heart now beating wildly, now failing for
fear, she dressed her baby and herself as well as she could, and about
one o'clock went to the House.

Now, nothing would have better pleased Lady Clementina than that Liftore
and Lizzy should meet in Florimel's presence, but she recoiled
altogether from the small stratagems, not to mention the lies, necessary
to the effecting of such a confrontation. So she had to content herself
with bringing the two girls together, and when Lizzy was a little rested
and had had a glass of wine, went to look for Florimel.

She found her in a little room adjoining the library, which, on her
first coming to Lossie, she had chosen for her waking nest. Liftore had,
if not quite the freedom of the spot, yet privileges there, but at that
moment Florimel was alone in it. Clementina informed her that a
fisher-girl, with a sad story which she wanted to tell her, had come to
the house; and Florimel, who was not only kind-hearted, but relished the
position she imagined herself to occupy as lady of the place, at once
assented to her proposal to bring the young woman to her there.

Now, Florimel and the earl had had a small quarrel the night before,
after Clementina left the dinner-table, and for the pleasure of keeping
it up Florimel had not appeared at breakfast, and had declined to ride
with his lordship, who had therefore been all the morning on the watch
for an opportunity of reconciling himself. It so happened that from the
end of one of the long narrow passages in which the house abounded, he
caught a glimpse of Clementina's dress vanishing through the
library-door, and took the lady for Florimel on her way to her boudoir.

When Clementina entered with Lizzy carrying her child, Florimel
instantly suspected the truth, both as to who she was and as to the
design of her appearance. Her face flushed, for her heart filled with
anger, chiefly indeed against Malcolm, but against the two women as
well, who, she did not doubt, had lent themselves to his designs,
whatever they might be. She rose, drew herself up, and stood prepared to
act for both Liftore and herself.

Scarcely, however, had the poor girl, trembling at the evident
displeasure the sight of her caused in Florimel, opened her mouth to
answer her haughty inquiry as to her business, when Lord Liftore, daring
an entrance without warning, opened the door behind her, and almost as
he opened it began his apology. At the sound of his voice Lizzy turned
with a cry, and her small remaining modicum of self-possession vanished
at sight of him round whose phantom in her bosom whirred the leaves of
her withered life on the stinging blasts of her shame and sorrow. As
much from inability to stand as in supplication for the coveted favor,
she dropped on her knees before him, incapable of uttering a word, but
holding up her child imploringly. Taken altogether by surprise, and not
knowing what to say or do, the earl stood and stared for a moment; then,
moved by a dull spirit of subterfuge, fell back on the pretence of
knowing nothing about her. "Well, young woman," he said, affecting
cheerfulness, "what do you want with me? I didn't advertise for a baby.
Pretty child though!"

Lizzy turned white as death, and her whole body seemed to give a heave
of agony. Clementina had just taken the child from her arms when she
sank motionless at his feet. Florimel went to the bell.

But Clementina prevented her from ringing. "I will take her away," she
said. "Do not expose her to your servants. Lady Lossie, my Lord Liftore
is the father of this child; and if you can marry him after the way you
have seen him use its mother, you are not too good for him, and I will
trouble myself no more about you."

"I know the author of this calumny," cried Florimel, panting and
flushed. "You have been listening to the inventions of an ungrateful
dependant. You slander my guest."

"Is it a calumny, my lord? Do I slander you?" said Lady Clementina,
turning sharply upon the earl.

His lordship made her a cool obeisance.

Clementina ran into the library, laid the child in a big chair, and
returned for the mother. She was already coming a little to herself and
feeling about blindly for her baby, while Florimel and Liftore were
looking out of the window, with their backs toward her. Clementina
raised and led her from the room. But in the doorway she turned and
said, "Good-bye, Lady Lossie. I thank you for your hospitality, but I
can of course be your guest no longer."

"Of course not. There is no occasion for prolonged leave-taking,"
Florimel returned with the air of a woman of forty.

"Florimel, you will curse the day you marry that man," cried Clementina,
and closed the door.

She hurried Lizzy to the library, put the baby in her arms, and clasped
them both in her own.

A gush of tears lightened the oppressed heart of the mother. "Lat me oot
o' the hoose, for God's sake!" she cried; and Clementina, almost as
anxious to leave it as she, helped her down to the hall. When she saw
the open door she rushed out of it as if escaping from the pit.

Now, Malcolm, as he came from the factor's, had seen her go in with her
baby in her arms, and suspected the hand of Clementina. Wondering and
anxious, but not very hopeful as to what might come of it, he waited
close by; and when now he saw Lizzy dart from the house in wild
perturbation, he ran from the cover of the surrounding trees into the
open drive to meet her.

"Ma'colm!" groaned the poor girl, holding out her baby, "he winna own
till 't! He winna alloo 'at he kens aucht aboot me or the bairn aither!"

Malcolm had taken the child from her, and was clasping him to his bosom.
"He's the warst rascal, Lizzy," he said, "'at ever God made an' the
deevil blaudit."

"Na, na," cried Lizzy; "the likes o' him whiles kills the wuman, but he
wadna du that. Na, na, he's nae the warst: there's a heap waur nor him."

"Did ye see my mistress?" asked Malcolm.

"Ow ay, but she luikit sae angry at me, I cudna speyk. Him an' her's
ower thrang for her to believe onything again' 'im. An' whatever the
bairn 's to du wantin' a father!"

"Lizzy," said Malcolm, clasping the child again to his bosom, "I s' be a
father to yer bairn--that is, as weel's ane 'at's no yer man can be."
And he kissed the child tenderly.

The same moment an undefined impulse--the drawing of eyes probably--made
him lift his toward the house: half leaning from the open window of the
boudoir above him stood Florimel and Liftore, and just as he looked up
Liftore was turning to Florimel with a smile that seemed to say, "There!
I told you so! He is the father himself."

Malcolm replaced the infant in his mother's arms and strode toward the
house.

Imagining he went to avenge her wrongs, Lizzy ran after him. "Ma'colm!
Ma'colm!" she cried, "for my sake! He's the father o' my bairn!"

Malcolm turned. "Lizzy," he said solemnly, "I winna lay han' upon 'im."

Lizzy pressed her child closer with a throb of relief.

"Come in yersel' an' see," he added.

"I daurna! I daurna!" she said. But she lingered about the door.


CHAPTER LXX.

THE DISCLOSURE.

When the earl saw Malcolm coming, although he was no coward and had
reason to trust his skill, yet knowing himself both in the wrong and
vastly inferior in strength to his enemy, it may be pardoned him that
for the next few seconds his heart doubled its beats. But of all things
he must not show fear before Florimel. "What can the fellow be after
now?" he said. "I must go down to him."

"No, no! don't go near him: he may be violent," objected Florimel, and
laid her hand on his arm with a beseeching look in her face. "He is a
dangerous man."

Liftore laughed. "Stop here till I return," he said, and left the room.

But Florimel followed, fearful of what might happen, and enraged with
her brother.

Malcolm's brief detention by Lizzy gave Liftore a little advantage, for
just as Malcolm approached the top of the great staircase, Liftore
gained it. Hastening to secure the command of the position, and resolved
to shun all parley, he stood ready to strike. Malcolm, however, caught
sight of him and his attitude in time, and, fearful of breaking his word
to Lizzy, pulled himself up abruptly a few steps from the top just as
Florimel appeared.

"MacPhail," she said, sweeping to the stair like an indignant goddess,
"I discharge you from my service. Leave the house instantly."

Malcolm turned, flew down, and ran to the servants' stair, half the
length of the house away. As he crossed the servants' hall he saw Rose.
She was the only one in the house except Clementina to whom he could
look for help. "Come after me, Rose," he said, without stopping.

She followed instantly, as fast as she could run, and saw him enter the
drawing-room. Florimel and Liftore were there. The earl had Florimel's
hand in his.

"For God's sake, my lady!" cried Malcolm, "hear me one word before you
promise that man anything."

His lordship started back from Florimel, and turned upon Malcolm in a
fury. But he had not now the advantage of the stair, and hesitated.
Florimel's eyes dilated with wrath.

"I tell you for the last time, my lady," said Malcolm, "if you marry
that man, you will marry a liar and a scoundrel."

Liftore laughed, and his imitation of scorn was wonderfully successful,
for he felt sure of Florimel, now that she had thus taken his part.
"Shall I ring for the servants, Lady Lossie, to put the fellow out?" he
said. "The man is as mad as a March hare."

Meantime, Lady Clementina, her maid having gone to send her man to get
horses for her at once, was alone in her room, which was close to the
drawing-room: hearing Malcolm's voice, she ran to the door, and saw Rose
in a listening attitude at that of the drawing-room. "What are you doing
there?" she said.

"Mr. MacPhail told me to follow him, my lady, and I am waiting here till
he wants me."

Clementina went into the drawing-room, and was present during all that
now follows. Lizzy also, hearing loud voices and still afraid of
mischief, had come peering up the stair, and now approached the other
door, behind Florimel and the earl.

"So," cried Florimel, "this is the way you keep your promise to my
father?"

"It is, my lady. To associate the name of Liftore with his would be to
blot the scutcheon of Lossie. He is not fit to walk the street with men:
his touch is to you an utter degradation. My lady, in the name of your
father, I beg a word with you in private."

"You insult me."

"I beg of you, my lady, for your own dear sake."

"Once more I order you to leave my house, and never set foot in it
again."

"You hear her ladyship?" cried Liftore. "Get out!" He approached
threateningly.

"Stand back," said Malcolm. "If it were not that I promised the poor
girl carrying your baby out there, I should soon--"

It was unwisely said: the earl came on the bolder. For all Malcolm could
do to parry, evade or stop his blows, he had soon taken several pretty
severe ones. Then came the voice of Lizzy in an agony from the door:
"Haud aff o' yersel', Ma'colm: I canna bide it. I gie ye back yer word."

"We'll manage yet, Lizzy," answered Malcolm, and kept warily retreating
toward a window. Suddenly he dashed his elbow through a pane, and gave a
loud shrill whistle, the same instant receiving a blow over the eye
which the blood followed. Lizzy made a rush forward, but the terror that
the father would strike the child he had disowned seized her, and she
stood trembling.

Already, however, Clementina and Rose had darted between, and, full of
rage as he was, Liftore was compelled to restrain himself. "Oh!" he
said, "if ladies want a share in the row, I must yield my place," and
drew back.

The few men-servants now came hurrying all together into the room.

"Take that rascal there and put him under the pump," said Liftore. "He
is mad."

"My fellow-servants know better than touch me," said Malcolm.

The men looked to their mistress. "Do as my lord tells you," she said,
"and instantly."

"Men," said Malcolm, "I have spared that foolish lord there for the sake
of this fisher-girl and his child, but don't one of _you_ touch me."

Stoat was a brave-enough man, and not a little jealous of Malcolm, but
he dared not obey his mistress.

And now came the tramp of many feet along the landing from the
stair-head, and the six fishermen entered, two and two.

Florimel started forward. "My brave fishermen!" she cried, "take that
bad man, MacPhail, and put him out of my grounds."

"I canna du 't, my leddy," answered their leader.

"Take Lord Liftore," said Malcolm, "and hold him while I make him
acquainted with a fact or two which he may judge of consequence to him."

The men walked straight up to the earl. He struck right and left, but
was overpowered in a moment and held fast.

"Stan' still," said Peter, "or I hae a han'fu' o' twine i' my pooch 'at
I'll jist cast a k-not aboot yer airms wi' in a jiffey."

His lordship stood still, muttering curses.

Then Malcolm stepped into the middle of the room, approaching his
sister.

"I tell you to leave the house," Florimel shrieked, beside herself with
fury, yet pale as marble with a growing terror for which she could ill
have accounted.

"Florimel!" said Malcolm solemnly, calling his sister by her name for
the first time.

"You insolent wretch!" she cried, panting. "What right have you, if you
_be_, as you say, my base-born brother, to call me by my name?"

"Florimel!" repeated Malcolm--and the voice was like the voice of her
father--"I have done what I could to serve you."

"And I want no more such service," she returned, beginning to tremble.

"But you have driven me almost to extremities," he went on, heedless of
her interruption. "Beware of doing so quite."

"Will nobody take pity on me?" said Florimel, and looked round
imploringly. Then, finding herself ready to burst into tears, she
gathered all her pride, and stepping up to Malcolm, looked him in the
face, and said, "Pray, sir, is this house yours or mine?"

"Mine," answered Malcolm. "I am the marquis of Lossie, and while I am
your elder brother and the head of the family you shall never with my
consent marry that base man--a man it would blast me to the soul to call
brother."

Liftore uttered a fierce imprecation.

"If you dare give breath to another such word in my sister's presence I
will have you gagged," said Malcolm.--"If my sister marries him," he
continued, turning again to Florimel, "not one shilling shall she take
with her beyond what she may happen to have in her purse at the moment.
She is in my power, and I will use it to the utmost to protect her from
that man."

"Proof!" cried Liftore sullenly. But Florimel gazed with pale dilated
eyes in the face of the speaker. She knew his words were true. Her soul
assured her of it.

"To my sister," answered Malcolm, "I will give all the proof she may
please to require--to Lord Liftore I will not even repeat my assertion:
to him I will give no shadow of proof. I will but cast him out of my
house.--Stoat, order horses for Lady Bellair."

"Gien ye please, sir, my lord," replied Stoat, "the Lossie Airms' horses
is ordered a'ready for Lady Clementina."

"Will my Lady Clementina oblige me by yielding her horses to Lady
Bellair?" said Malcolm, turning to her.

"Certainly, my lord," answered Clementina.

"You, I trust, my lady," said Malcolm, "will stay a little longer with
my sister."

Lady Bellair came up. "My lord," she said, "is this the marquis or the
fisherman's way of treating a lady?"

"Neither. But do not drive me to give the rein to my tongue. Let it be
enough to say that my house shall never be what your presence would make
it." He turned to the fishermen: "Three of you take that lord to the
town-gate, and leave him on the other side of it. His servant shall
follow as soon as the horses come."

"I will go with you," said Florimel, crossing to Lady Bellair.

Malcolm took her by the arm. For one moment she struggled, but, finding
no one dared interfere, submitted, and was led from the room like a
naughty child.

"Keep my lord there till I return," he said as he went.

He led her into the room which had been her mother's boudoir, and when
he had shut the door, "Florimel," he said, "I have striven to serve you
the best way I knew. Your father, when he confessed me his heir, begged
me to be good to you, and I promised him. Would I have given all these
months of my life to the poor labor of a groom, allowed my people to be
wronged and oppressed, my grandfather to be a wanderer, and my best
friend to sit with his lips of wisdom sealed, but for your sake? I can
hardly say it was for my father's sake, for I should have done the same
had he never said a word about you. Florimel, I loved my sister, and
longed for her goodness. But she has foiled all my endeavors. She has
not loved or followed the truth. She has been proud and disdainful, and
careless of right. Yourself young and pure, and naturally recoiling from
evil, you have yet cast from you the devotion of a noble, gifted,
large-hearted and great-souled man for the miserable preference of the
smallest, meanest, vilest of men. Nor that only; for with him you have
sided against the woman he most bitterly wrongs, and therein you wrong
the nature and the God of women. Once more I pray you to give up this
man--to let your true self speak and send him away."

"Sir, I go with my Lady Bellair, driven from my father's house by one
who calls himself my brother. My lawyer shall make inquiries."

She would have left the room, but he intercepted her. "Florimel," he
said, "you are casting the pearl of your womanhood before a swine. He
will trample it under his feet and turn again and rend you. He will
treat you worse still than poor Lizzy, whom he troubles no more with his
presence." He had again taken her arm in his great grasp.

"Let me go. You are brutal. I shall scream."

"You shall not go until you have heard all the truth."

"What! more truth still? Your truth is anything but pleasant."

"It is more unpleasant yet than you surmise. Florimel, you have driven
me to it. I would have prepared you a shield against the shock which
must come, but you compel me to wound you to the quick. I would have
had you receive the bitter truth from lips you loved, but you drove
those lips of honor from you, and now there are left to utter it only
the lips you hate. Yet the truth you shall receive: it may help to save
you from weakness, arrogance and falsehood. Sister, your mother was
never Lady Lossie."

"You lie! I know you lie! Because you wrong me, you would brand me with
dishonor, to take from me as well the sympathy of the world. But I defy
you."

"Alas! there is no help, sister. Your mother indeed passed as Lady
Lossie, but my mother, the true Lady Lossie, was alive all the time, and
in truth died only last year. For twenty years my mother suffered for
yours. In the eye of the law you are no better than the little child his
father denied in your presence. Give that man his dismissal, or he will
give you yours. Never doubt it. Refuse again, and I go from this room to
publish in the next the fact that you are neither Lady Lossie nor Lady
Florimel Colonsay. You have no right to any name but your mother's. You
are Miss Gordon."

She gave a great gasp at the word, but bravely fought the horror that
was taking possession of her. She stood with one hand on the back of a
chair, her face white, her eyes starting, her mouth a little open and
rigid--her whole appearance, except for the breath that came short and
quick, that of one who had died in sore pain.

"All that is now left you," concluded Malcolm, "is the choice between
sending Liftore away and being abandoned by him. That choice you must
now make."

The poor girl tried to speak, but could not. Her fire was burning out,
her forced strength fast failing her.

"Florimel," said Malcolm, and knelt on one knee and took her hand: it
gave a flutter as if it would fly like a bird, but the net of his love
held it, and it lay passive and cold--"Florimel, I will be your true
brother. I _am_ your brother, your very own brother, to live for you,
love you, fight for you, watch and ward you, till a true man takes you
for his wife." Her hand quivered like a leaf. "Sister, when you and I
appear before our father, I shall hold up my face before him: will you?"

"Send him away," she breathed rather than said, and sank on the floor.

He lifted her, laid her on a couch, and returned to the drawing-room.
"My Lady Clementina," he said, "will you oblige me by going to my sister
in the room at the top of the stair?"

"I will, my lord," she answered, and went.

Malcolm walked up to Liftore. "My lord," he said, "my sister takes her
leave of you."

"I must have my dismissal from her own lips."

"You shall have it from the hands of my fishermen.--Take him away."

"You shall hear from me, my lord marquis, if such you be," said Liftore.

"Let it be of your repentance, then, my lord," said Malcolm. "That I
shall be glad to hear of."

As he turned from him he saw Caley gliding through the little group of
servants toward the door. He walked after her, laid his hand on her
shoulder and whispered a word in her ear. She grew gray rather than
white, and stood still.

Turning again to go to Florimel, he saw the fishermen stopped with their
charge in the doorway by Mr. Morrison and Mr. Soutar, entering together.

"My lord! my lord!" said the lawyer, coming hastily up to him, "there
can surely be no occasion for such--such--measures!"

Catching sight of Malcolm's wounded forehead, however, he supplemented
the remark with a low exclamation of astonishment and dismay--the tone
saying almost as clearly as words, "How ill and foolishly everything is
managed without a lawyer!" Malcolm only smiled, and went up to the
magistrate, whom he led into the middle of the room, saying, "Mr.
Morrison, every one here knows you: tell them who I am."

"The marquis of Lossie, my lord," answered Mr. Morrison; "and from my
heart I congratulate your people that at length you assume the rights
and honors of your position."

A murmur of pleasure arose in response. Ere it ceased Malcolm started
and sprung to the door. There stood Lenorme! He seized him by the arm,
and without a word of explanation hurried him to the room where his
sister was. He called Clementina, half drew her from the room, pushed
Lenorme in, and closed the door.

"Will you meet me on the sandhill at sunset, my lady?" he said.

She smiled assent. He gave her the key of the tunnel, hinted that she
might leave the two to themselves for a while, and returned to his
friends in the drawing-room.

Having begged them to excuse him for a little while, and desired Mrs.
Courthope to serve luncheon for them, he ran to his grandfather,
dreading lest any other tongue than his own should yield him the opened
secret. He was but just in time, for already the town was in a tumult,
and the spreading ripples of the news were fast approaching Duncan's
ears.

Malcolm found him expectant and restless. When he disclosed himself he
manifested little astonishment, only took him in his arms and pressed
him to his bosom, saying, "Ta Lort pe praised, my son! and she wouldn't
pe at aal surprised." Then he broke out in a fervent ejaculation of
Gaelic, during which he turned instinctively to his pipes, for through
them lay the final and only sure escape for the prisoned waters of the
overcharged reservoir of his feelings. While he played Malcolm slipped
out and hurried to Miss Horn.

One word to her was enough. The stern old woman burst into tears,
crying, "Oh, my Grisel! my Grisel! Luik doon frae yer bonny hoose amo'
the stars, an' see the braw laad left ahint ye, an' praise the Lord 'at
ye hae sic a son o' yer boady to come hame to ye when a' 's ower." She
sobbed and wept for a while without restraint. Then suddenly she rose,
dabbed her eyes indignantly, and cried, "Hoot! I'm an auld fule. A body
wad think I hed feelin's, efter a'!"

Malcolm laughed, and she could not help joining him.

"Ye maun come the morn an' chise yer ain room i' the Hoose," he said.

"What mean ye by that, laddie?"

"'At ye'll hae to come an' bide wi' me noo."

"'Deed an' I s' du naething o' the kin', Ma'colm. H'ard ever onybody sic
nonsense? What wad I du wi' Jean? An' I cudna thole men-fowk to wait
upo' me: I wad be clean affrontit."

"Weel, weel! we'll see," said Malcolm.

On his way back to the House he knocked at Mrs. Catanach's door, and
said a few words to her which had a remarkable effect on the expression
of her plump countenance and deep-set black eyes.

When he reached home he ran up the main staircase, knocked at the first
door, opened it and peeped in. There sat Lenorme on the couch, with
Florimel on his knees, nestling her head against his shoulder, like a
child that had been very naughty, but was fully forgiven. Her face was
blotted with her tears, and her hair was everywhere, but there was a
light of dawning goodness all about her, such as had never shone in her
atmosphere before. By what stormy-sweet process the fountain of this
light had been unsealed no one ever knew but themselves.

She did not move when Malcolm entered--more than just to bring the palms
of her hands together and look up in his face.

"Have you told him _all_, Florimel?" he asked.

"Yes, Malcolm," she answered. "Tell him again yourself."

"No, Florimel: once is enough."

"I told him _all_," she said with a gasp, then gave a wild little cry,
and, with subdued exultation, added, "and he _loves_ me yet! He has
taken the girl without a name to his heart!"

"No wonder," said Malcolm, "when she brought it with her."

"Yes," said Lenorme, "I but took the diamond casket that held my bliss,
and now I could dare the angel Gabriel to match happinesses with me."

Poor Florimel, for all her worldly ways, was but a child. Bad associates
had filled her with worldly maxims and words and thoughts and
judgments. She had never loved Liftore: she had only taken delight in
his flatteries. And now had come the shock of a terrible disclosure,
whose significance she read in remembered looks and tones and behaviors
of the world. Her insolence to Malcolm when she supposed his the
nameless fate had recoiled in lurid interpretation of her own. She was a
pariah--without root, without descent, without fathers to whom to be
gathered. She was nobody. From the courted and flattered and high-seated
and powerful, she was a nobody! Then suddenly, to this poor houseless,
wind-beaten, rain-wet nobody, a house--no, a a home she had once looked
into with longing--had opened, and received her to its heart, that it
might be fulfilled which was written of old, "A man shall be as an
hiding-place from the wind and a covert from the tempest." Knowing
herself a nobody, she now first began to be a somebody. She had been
dreaming pleasant but bad dreams: she woke, and here was a lovely,
unspeakably blessed and good reality which had been waiting for her all
the time on the threshold of her sleep. She was baptized into it with
the tears of sorrow and shame. She had been a fool, but now she knew it,
and was going to be wise.

"Will you come to your brother, Florimel?" said Malcolm tenderly,
holding out his arms.

Lenorme raised her. She went softly to him and laid herself on his
bosom. "Forgive me, brother," she said, and held up her face.

He kissed her forehead and lips, took her in his arms and laid her again
on Lenorme's knees.

"I give her to _you_," he said, "for you are good."

With that he left them, and sought Mr. Morrison and Mr. Soutar, who were
waiting him over a glass of wine after their lunch. An hour of business
followed, in which, amongst other matters, they talked about the needful
arrangements for a dinner to his people, fishers and farmers and all.
After the gentlemen took their leave nobody saw him for hours. Till
sunset approached he remained alone, shut up in the Wizard's Chamber,
the room in which he was born. Part of the time he occupied in writing
to Mr. Graham.

As the sun's orbed furnace fell behind the tumbling waters, Malcolm
turned his face inland from the wet strip of shining shore on which he
had been pacing, and ascended the sandhill. From the other side
Clementina but a moment later ascended also. On the top they met in the
red light of the sunset. They clasped each other's hand, and stood for a
moment in silence.

"Ah, my lord," said the lady, "how shall I thank you that you kept your
secret from me? But my heart is sore to lose my fisherman."

"My lady," returned Malcolm, "you have not lost your fisherman: you have
only found your groom."

And the sun went down, and the twilight came, and the night followed,
and the world of sea and land and wind and vapor was around them, and
the universe of stars and spaces over and under them, and eternity
within them, and the heart of each for a chamber to the other, and God
filling all--nay, nay, God's heart containing, infolding, cherishing
all, saving all, from height to height of intensest being, by the bliss
of that love whose absolute devotion could utter itself only in death.


CHAPTER LXXI.

THE ASSEMBLY.

That same evening Duncan in full dress, claymore and dirk at his sides
and carrying the great Lossie pipes, marched first through the streets
of the upper, then through the closes of the lower, town, followed by
the bellman, who had been appointed crier upon his disappearance. At the
proper stations Duncan blew a rousing pibroch, after which the bellman,
who, for the dignity of his calling, insisted on a prelude of three
strokes of his clapper, proclaimed aloud that Malcolm, marquis of
Lossie, desired the presence of each and every of his tenants in the
royal burgh of Portlossie, Newton and Seaton, in the town-hall of the
same, at seven of the clock upon the evening next following. The
proclamation ended, the piper sounded one note three times, and they
passed to the next station. When they had gone through the Seaton they
entered a carriage waiting for them at the sea-gate, and were driven to
Scaurnose, and thence again to the several other villages on the coast
belonging to the marquis, making at each in like manner the same
announcement.

Portlossie was in a ferment of wonder, satisfaction and pleasure. There
were few in it who were not glad at the accession of Malcolm, and with
every one of those few the cause lay in himself. In the shops, among the
nets, in the curing-sheds, in the houses and cottages, nothing else was
talked about; and stories and reminiscences innumerable were brought
out, chiefly to prove that Malcolm had always appeared likely to turn
out somebody, the narrator not seldom modestly hinting at a glimmering
foresight on his own part of what had now been at length revealed to the
world. His friends were jubilant as revellers. For Meg Partan, she ran
from house to house like a maniac, laughing and crying. It was as if the
whole Seaton had suddenly been translated. The men came crowding about
Duncan, congratulating him and asking him a hundred questions. But the
old man maintained a reticence whose dignity was strangely mingled of
pomp and grace; sat calm and stately, as feeling the glow of reflected
honor; would not, by word, gesture, tone or exclamation, confess to any
surprise; behaved as if he had known it all the time; made no pretence,
however, of having known it--merely treated the fact as not a whit more
than might have been looked for by one who had known Malcolm as he had
known him.

Davy, in his yacht uniform, was the next morning appointed the marquis's
personal attendant, and a running time he had of it for a fortnight.
Almost the first thing that fell to him in his office was to show into
the room on the ground floor where his master sat--the same in which for
ages the lords of Lossie had been wont to transact what little business
any of them ever attended to--a pale, feeble man, bowed by the weight of
a huge brass-clasped volume under each arm.

His lordship rose and met him with outstretched hand. "I am glad indeed
to see you, Mr. Crathie," he said, "but I fear you are out too soon."

"I am quite well since yesterday, my lord," returned the factor, his
face shining with pleasure. "Your lordship's accession has made a young
man of me again. Here I am to render account of my stewardship."

"I want none, Mr. Crathie--nothing, that is, beyond a summary statement
of how things stand with me."

"I should like to satisfy your lordship that I have dealt
honestly"--here the factor paused for a moment, then with an effort
added--"by _you_, my lord."

"One word," said Malcolm--"the last of the sort, I believe, that will
ever pass between us. Thank God we had made it up before yesterday! If
you have ever been hard upon any of my tenants, not to say unfair, you
have wronged me infinitely more than if you had taken from me. God be
with me as I prefer ruin to wrong! Remember, besides, that my tenants
are my charge and care. For you, my representative, therefore, to do one
of them an injury is to do me a double injury--to wrong my tenant, and
to wrong him in my name."

"Ah, my lord, you don't know how they would take advantage of you if
there were nobody to look after your interests."

"Then do look after them, sir. It would be bad for them to succeed, as
well as crippling to me. Only be sure, with the thought of the righteous
God to elevate your sense of justice, that you are in the right. If
doubtful, then give in. And now, if any man thinks he has cause of
complaint, I leave it to you, with the help of the new light that has
been given you, to reconsider the matter, and where needful to make
reparation. You must be the friend of my tenant as much as of his
landlord. I have no interests inimical to those of my tenants. If any
man comes to me with complaint, I will send him to re-state his case to
you, with the understanding that if you will not listen to him he is to
come to me again, when I shall hear both sides and judge between. If
after six months you should desire me to go over the books with you, I
will do so. As to your loyalty to my family and its affairs, of that I
never had a shadow of suspicion." As he ended Malcolm held out his hand.

The factor's trembled in his strong grasp.

"Mistress Crathie is sorely vexed, my lord," he said, rising to take his
leave, "at things both said and done in the dark."

Malcolm laughed. "Give Mrs. Crathie my compliments," he said, "and tell
her a man is more than a marquis. If she will after this treat every
honest fisherman as if he might possibly turn out a lord, she and I
shall be more than quits."

The next morning he carried her again a few mackerel he had just caught,
and she never forgot the lesson given her. That morning, I may mention,
he did not go fishing alone, but had a lady with him in the dinghy; and
indeed they were together, in one place and another, the most of the
day--at one time flying along the fields, she on the bay mare and he on
Kelpie.

When the evening came the town-hall was crammed--men standing on all the
window-sills--and so many could not get in that Malcolm proposed they
should occupy the square in front. A fisherman in garb and gesture, not
the less a gentleman and a marquis, he stood on the steps of the
town-hall and spoke to his people. They received him with wild
enthusiasm.

"The open air is better for everything," he began. "Fishers, I have
called you first, because you are my own people. I am and shall be a
fisherman--after such fashion, I trust, as will content my old comrades.
How things have come about I shall not now tell you. Come, all of you,
and dine with me, and you shall hear enough to satisfy at least lawful
curiosity. At present my care is that you should understand the terms
upon which it is possible for us to live together as friends. I make no
allusion to personal friendships. A true friend is for ever a friend.
And I venture to say my old friends know best both what I am and what I
shall be. As to them, I have no shadow of anxiety. But I would gladly be
a friend to all, and will do my endeavor to that end.

"You of Portlossie shall have your harbor cleared without delay."

In justice to the fishers I here interrupt my report to state that the
very next day they set about clearing the harbor themselves. It was
their business--in part, at least, they said--and they were ashamed of
having left it so long. This did much toward starting well for a new
order of things.

"You of Scaurnose shall hear the blasting necessary for your harbor
commence within a fortnight; and every house shall ere long have a small
piece of land at a reasonable rate allotted it. But I feel bound to
mention that there are some among you upon whom, until I see that they
carry themselves differently, I must keep an eye. That they have shown
themselves unfriendly to myself, in my attempts to persuade them to what
they knew to be right, I shall endeavor to forget, but I give them
warning that whoever shall hereafter disturb the peace or interfere with
the liberty of my people shall assuredly be cast out of my borders, and
that as soon as the law will permit.

"I shall take measures that all complaints shall be heard, and all save
foolish ones heeded; for, as much as in me lies, I will to execute
justice and judgment and righteousness in the land. Whoever oppresses or
wrongs his neighbor shall have to do with me. And to aid me in doing
justice I pray the help of every honest man. I have not been so long
among you without having in some measure distinguished between the men
who have heart and brain, and the men who have merely a sense of their
own importance; which latter class, unhappily, always takes itself for
the former. I will deal with every man as I find him. I am set to rule,
and rule I will. He who loves righteousness will help me to rule: he
who loves it not shall be ruled or depart."

The address had been every now and than interrupted by a hearty cheer:
at this point the cheering was greatly prolonged: after it there was no
more. For thus he went on:

"And now I am about to give you proof that I mean what I say, and that
evil shall not come to the light without being noted and dealt with.

"There are in this company two women--my eyes are at this moment upon
them where they stand together. One of them is already well known to you
all by sight: now you shall know, not what she looks, but what she is.
Her name, or at least that by which she goes among you, is Barbara
Catanach. The other is an Englishwoman, of whom you know nothing. Her
name is Caley."

All eyes were turned upon the two. Even Mrs. Catanach was cowed by the
consciousness of the universal stare, and a kind of numb thrill went
through her from head to foot.

"Well assured that if I brought a criminal action against them it would
hang them both, I trust you will not imagine it revenge that moves me
thus to expose them. In refraining from prosecuting them I bind myself
of necessity to see that they work no more evil. In giving them time for
repentance I take the consequences upon myself. I am bound to take care
that they do not employ the respite in doing mischief to their
neighbors. Without precaution I could not be justified in sparing them.
Therefore those women shall not go forth to pass for harmless members of
society, and see the life and honor of others lie bare to their secret
attack. They shall live _here_, in this town, thoroughly known and
absolutely distrusted. And that they may thus be known and distrusted, I
publicly declare that I hold proof against these women of having
conspired to kill me. From the effects of the poison they succeeded in
giving me I fear I shall never altogether recover. I can prove also, to
the extreme of circumstantial evidence, that there is the blood of one
child at least upon the hands of each; and that there are mischiefs
innumerable upon their lying tongues it were an easy task to convince
you. If I wrong them, let them accuse me, and whether they lose or gain
their suit, I promise, before you for witnesses, I will pay all; only
thereby they will compel me to bring my actions for murder and
conspiracy. Let them choose.

"Hear what I have determined concerning them. The woman Catanach shall
take to her cottage the woman Caley. That cottage they shall have rent
free: who could receive money from such hands? I will appoint them also
a sufficiency for life and maintenance, bare indeed, for I would not
have them comfortable. But they shall be free to work if they can find
any to employ them. If, however, either shall go beyond the bounds I set
she shall be followed the moment she is missed, and that with a warrant
for her apprehension. And I beg all honest people to keep an eye upon
them. According as they live shall their life be. If they come to
repentance, they will bless the day I resolved upon such severe measures
on their behalf. Let them go to their place."

I will not try to describe the devilish look, mingled of contempt and
hate, that possessed the countenance of the midwife as, with head erect
and eyes looking straight before her, she obeyed the command. Caley,
white as death, trembled and tottered, nor dared once look up as she
followed her companion to their appointed hell. Whether they made it
pleasant for each other my reader may debate with himself. Before many
months had gone by, stared at and shunned by all, even by Miss Horn's
Jean, driven back upon her own memories, and the pictures that rose out
of them, and deprived of every chance of indulging her dominant passion
for mischievous influence, the midwife's face told such a different tale
that the schoolmaster began to cherish a feeble hope that within a few
years Mrs. Catanach might get so far as to begin to suspect that she was
a sinner--that she had actually done things she ought not to have done.
One of those things that same night Malcolm heard from the lips of
Duncan--a tale of horror and dismay. Not until then did he know, after
all he knew concerning her, what the woman was capable of.

At his own entreaty, Duncan was formally recognized as piper to the
marquis of Lossie. His ambition reached no higher. Malcolm himself saw
to his perfect equipment, heedful specially that his kilt and plaid
should be of Duncan's own tartan of red and blue and green. His dirk and
broadsword he had new sheathed, with silver mountings. A great silver
brooch with a big cairngorm in the centre took the place of the brass
one, which henceforth was laid up among the precious things in the
little armory, and the badge of his clan in gold, with rubies and
amethysts for the bells of the heather, glowed on his bonnet. And
Malcolm's guests, as long as Duncan continued able to fill the bag, had
to endure as best they might, between each course at every dinner
without fail, two or three minutes of uproar and outcry from the treble
throat of the powerful Lossie pipes. By his own desire, the piper had a
chair and small table set for him behind and to the right of his chief,
as he called him: there he ate with the family and guests, waited upon
by Davy, part of whose business it was to hand him the pipes at the
proper moment, whereupon he rose to his feet--for even he with all his
experience and habitude was unable in a sitting posture to keep that
stand of pipes full of wind--and raised such a storm of sound as made
the windows tremble. A lady guest would now and then venture to hint
that the custom was rather a trying one for English ears, but Clementina
would never listen to a breath against Duncan's music. Her respect and
affection for the old man were unbounded.

Malcolm was one of the few who understand the shelter of light, the
protection to be gained against lying tongues by the discarding of
needless reticence and the open presentation of the truth. Many men
would not tell a lie, yet seem to have faith in concealment; they would
rather not reveal the truth; darkness seems to offer them the cover of a
friendly wing. But there is no veil like light--no adamantine armor
against hurt like the truth. To Malcolm it was one of the promises of
the kingdom that there is nothing covered that shall not be revealed. He
was anxious, therefore, to tell his people at the coming dinner the main
points of his story, and certain that such openness would also help to
lay the foundation of confidence between him and his people. The one
difficulty in the way was the position of Florimel. But that could not
fail to appear in any case, and he was satisfied that even for her sake
it was far better to speak openly; for then the common heart would take
her in and cover her. He consulted, therefore, with Lenorme, who went to
find her. She came, threw her arms round his neck, and begged him to say
whatever he thought best.

To add the final tinge to the rainbow of Malcolm's joy, on the morning
of the dinner the schoolmaster arrived. It would be hard to say whether
Malcolm or Clementina was the more delighted to see him. He said little
with his tongue, but much with his eyes and face and presence.

This time the tables were not set in different parts of the grounds, but
gathered upon the level of the drive and the adjacent lawny spaces
between the house and the trees. Malcolm, in full Highland dress as
chief of his clan, took the head of the central table, with Florimel in
the place of honor at his right hand and Clementina on his left. Lenorme
sat next to Florimel, and Annie Mair next to Lenorme. On the other side,
Mr. Graham sat next to Clementina, Miss Horn next to Mr. Graham, and
Blue Peter next to Miss Horn. Except Mr. Morrison, he had asked none who
were not his tenants or servants, or in some way connected with the
estates, except indeed a few whom he counted old friends, amongst them
some aged beggar-folk waiting their summons to Abraham's bosom; in which
there was no such exceptional virtue on the marquis's part, for, the
poor law not having yet invaded Scotland, a man was not without the
respect of his neighbors merely because he was a pauper. He set Mr.
Morrison to preside at the farmers' tables, and had all the fisher-folk
about himself.

When the main part of the dinner was over, he rose, and with as much
circumstance as he thought desirable told his story, beginning with the
parts in it his uncle and Mrs. Catanach had taken. It was, however, he
said, a principle in the history of the world that evil should bring
forth good, and his poor little cockboat had been set adrift upon an
ocean of blessing. For had he not been taken to the heart of one of the
noblest and simplest of men, who had brought him up in honorable poverty
and rectitude? When he had said this he turned to Duncan, who sat at his
own table behind him with his pipes on a stool covered with a rich cloth
by his side. "You all know my grandfather," he went on, "and you all
respect him."

At this rose a great shout.

"I thank you, my friends," he continued. "My desire is that every soul
upon land of mine should carry himself to Duncan MacPhail as if he were
in blood that which he is in deed and in truth--my grandfather."

A second great shout arose, which wavered and sank when they saw the old
man bow his head upon his hands.

He went on to speak of the privileges he alone of all his race had ever
enjoyed--the privileges of toil and danger, with all their experiences
of human dependence and divine aid; the privilege of the confidence and
companionship of honorable laboring men, and the understanding of their
ways and thoughts and feelings; and, above all, the privilege of the
friendship and instruction of the schoolmaster, to whom he owed more
than eternity could reveal.

Then he turned again to his narrative, and told how his father, falsely
informed that his wife and child were dead, married Florimel's mother;
how his mother, out of compassion for both of them, held her peace; how
for twenty years she had lived with her cousin, Miss Horn, and held her
peace even from her; how at last, when, having succeeded to the
property, she heard he was coming to the House, the thought of his
nearness, yet unapproachableness--in this way at least he, the child of
both, interpreted the result--so worked upon a worn and enfeebled frame
that she died.

Then he told how Miss Horn, after his mother's death, came upon letters
revealing the secret which she had all along known must exist, but after
which, from love and respect for her cousin, she had never inquired.

Last of all, he told how, in a paroxysm of rage, Mrs. Catanach had let
the secret of his birth escape her; how she had afterward made affidavit
concerning it; and how his father had upon his deathbed, with all
necessary legal observances, acknowledged him his son and heir.

"And now, to the mighty gladness of my soul," he said, looking on
Florimel at his side, "my dearly-loved and honored sister--loved and
honored long before I knew she was my own--has accepted me as her
brother, and I do not think she greatly regrets the loss of the headship
of the house which she has passed over to me. She will lose little else.
And of all women, it may well be to her a small matter to lose a mere
title, seeing she is so soon to change her name for one which will bring
her honor of a more enduring reality. For he who is about to become her
husband is not only one of the noblest of men, but a man of genius whose
praises she will hear on all sides. One of his works, the labor and gift
of love, you shall see when we rise from the table. It is a portrait of
your late landlord, my father, painted partly from a miniature, partly
from my sister, partly from the portraits of the family, and partly, I
am happy to think, from myself. You must yourselves judge of the truth
of it. And you will remember that Mr. Lenorme never saw my father: I say
this, not to excuse, but to enhance his work.

"My tenants, I will do my best to give you fair play. My friend and
factor, Mr. Crathie, has confided to me his doubts whether he may not
have been a little hard: he is prepared to reconsider some of your
cases. Do not imagine that I am going to be a careless man of business.
I want money, for I have enough to do with it, if only to set right
much that is wrong. But let God judge between you and me.

"My fishermen, every honest man of you is my friend, and you shall know
it. Between you and me that is enough. But for the sake of harmony and
right and order, and that I may keep near you, I shall appoint three men
of yourselves in each village to whom any man or woman may go with
request or complaint. If two of those three men judge the matter fit to
refer to me, the probability is that I shall see it as they do. If any
man think them scant of justice toward him, let him come to me. Should I
find myself in doubt, I have here at my side my loved and honored master
to whom to apply for counsel, knowing that what oracle he may utter I
shall receive straight from the innermost parts of a temple of the Holy
Ghost. Friends, if we be honest with ourselves, we shall be honest with
each other.

"And, in conclusion, why should you hear from any lips but my own that
this lady beside me, the daughter of an English earl of ancient house,
has honored the house of Lossie by consenting to become its marchioness?
Lady Clementina Thornicroft possesses large estates in the south of
England, but not for them did I seek her favor, as you will be convinced
when you reflect what the fact involves which she has herself desired me
to make known to you--namely, that it was while yet she was unacquainted
with my birth and position, and had never dreamed that I was other than
only a fisherman and a groom, that she accepted me for her husband. I
thank my God!"

With that he took his seat, and after hearty cheering, a glass or two of
wine and several speeches, all rose and went to look at the portrait of
the late marquis.



CHAPTER LXXII.

KNOTTED STRANDS.

Lady Clementina had to return to England to see her lawyers and arrange
her affairs. Before she went she would gladly have gone with Malcolm
over every spot where had passed any portion of his history, and at each
heard its own chapter or paragraph; but Malcolm obstinately refused to
begin such a narration before Clementina was mistress of the region to
which it mainly belonged. After that, he said, he would, even more
gladly, he believed, than she, occupy all the time that could be spared
from the duties of the present in piecing together the broken
reflections of the past in the pools of memory until they had lived both
their lives over again together, from earliest recollection to the time
when the two streams flowed into one, thenceforth to mingle more and
more inwardly to endless ages.

So the Psyche was launched: Lady Clementina, Florimel and Lenorme were
the passengers, and Malcolm, Blue Peter and Davy the crew. There was no
room for servants, yet was there no lack of service. They had rough
weather a part of the time, and neither Clementina nor Lenorme was
altogether comfortable, but they made a rapid voyage, and were all well
when they landed at Greenwich.

Knowing nothing of Lady Bellair's proceedings, they sent Davy to
reconnoitre in Portland Place. He brought back word that there was no
one in the house but an old woman. So Malcolm took Florimel there.
Everything belonging to their late visitors had vanished, and nobody
knew where they had gone.

Searching the drawers and cabinets, Malcolm, to his unspeakable delight,
found a miniature of his mother, along with one of his father--a younger
likeness than he had yet seen. Also he found a few letters of his
mother--mostly mere notes in pencil--but neither these nor those of his
father which Miss Horn had given him would he read. "What right has life
over the secrets of death?" he said. "Or, rather, what right have we who
sleep over the secrets of those who have waked from their sleep and left
the fragments of their dreams behind them?" Lovingly he laid them
together and burned them to dust-flakes. "My mother shall tell me what
she pleases when I find her," he said. "She shall not reprove me for
reading her letters to my father."

They were married at Wastbeach, both couples in the same ceremony.
Immediately after the wedding the painter and his bride set out for
Rome, and the marquis and marchioness went on board the Psyche. For
nothing would content Clementina, troubled at the experience of her
first voyage, but she must get herself accustomed to the sea, as became
the wife of a fisherman: therefore in no way would she journey but on
board the Psyche; and as it was the desire of each to begin their
married life at home, they sailed direct for Portlossie. After a good
voyage, however, they landed, in order to reach home quietly, at Duff
Harbor, took horses from there, and arrived at Lossie House late in the
evening.

Malcolm had written to the housekeeper to prepare for them the Wizard's
Chamber, but to alter nothing on walls or in furniture. That room, he
had resolved, should be the first he occupied with his bride. Mrs.
Courthope was scandalized at the idea of taking an earl's daughter to
sleep in the garret, not to mention that the room had for centuries had
an ill name; but she had no choice, and therefore contented herself with
doing all that lay in the power of woman, under such severe
restrictions, to make the dingy old room cheerful.

Alone at length in their somewhat strange quarters--concerning which
Malcolm had merely told her that the room was that in which he was
born--what place fitter, thought Clementina, wherein to commence the
long and wonderful story she hungered to hear? Malcolm would still have
delayed it, but she asked question upon question till she had him fairly
afloat. He had not gone far, however, before he had to make mention of
the stair in the wall, which led from the place where they sat straight
from the house.

"Can there be such a stair to this room?" she asked in surprise.

He rose took a candle, opened a door, then another, and showed her the
first of the steps down which the midwife had carried him, and
descending which, twenty years after, his father had come by his death.

"Let us go down," said Clementina.

"Are you not afraid? Look!" said Malcolm.

"Afraid, and you with me!" she exclaimed.

"But it is dark, and the steps are broken."

"If it led to Hades I would go with my fisherman. The only horror would
be to be left behind."

"Come, then," said Malcolm; "only you must be very careful."

He laid a shawl on her shoulders, and down they went, Malcolm a few
steps in front, holding the candle to every step for her, many being
broken.

They came at length where the stair ceased in ruin. He leaped down: she
stooped, put her hands on his shoulders and dropped into his arms. Then
over the fallen rubbish, out by the groaning door, they went into the
moonlight.

Clementina was merry as a child. All was so safe and peaceful with her
fisherman! She would not hear of returning: they must have a walk in the
moonlight first. So down the steps and the winding path into the valley
of the burn, and up to the flower-garden, they wandered, Clementina
telling him how sick the moonlight had made her feel that night she met
him first on the Boar's Tail, when his words concerning her revived the
conviction that he loved Florimel. At the great stone basin Malcolm set
the swan spouting, but the sweet musical jargon of the falling water
seemed almost coarse in the soundless diapason of the moonlight. So he
stopped it again, and they strolled farther up the garden.

Clementina venturing to remind him of the sexton-like gardener's story
of the lady and the hermit's cave, which, because of its Scotch, she was
unable to follow, Malcolm told her now what John Jack had narrated,
adding that the lady was his own mother, and that from the gardener's
tale he learned that morning at length how to account for the horror
which had seized him on his first entering the cave, as also for his
father's peculiar carriage on that occasion: doubtless he then caught a
likeness in him to his mother. He then recounted the occurrence
circumstantially.

"I have ever since felt ashamed of the weakness," he concluded; "but at
this moment I believe I could walk in with perfect coolness."

"We won't try it to-night," said Clementina, and once more turned him
from the place, reverencing the shadow he had brought with him from the
spirit of his mother.

They walked and sat and talked in the moonlight, for how long neither
knew; and when the moon went behind the trees on the cliff, and the
valley was left in darkness, but a darkness that seemed alive with the
new day soon to be born, they sat yet, lost in a peaceful unveiling of
hearts, till a sudden gust of wind roused Malcolm, and looking up he saw
that the stars were clouded, and knew that the chill of the morning was
drawing near.

He kept that chamber just as it was ever after, and often retired to it
for meditation. He never restored the ruinous parts of the stair, and he
kept the door at the top carefully closed. But he cleared out the
rubbish that choked the place where the stair had led lower down, came
upon it again in tolerable preservation a little beneath, and followed
it into a passage that ran under the burn, appearing to lead in the
direction of the cave behind the Baillies' Barn. Doubtless there was
some foundation for the legend of Lord Gernon.

There, however, he abandoned the work, thinking of the possibility of a
time when employment would be scarce and his people in want of all he
could give them. And when such a time arrived, as arrive it did before
they had been two years married, a far more important undertaking was
found needful to employ the many who must earn or starve. Then it was
that Clementina had the desire of her heart, and began to lay out the
money she had been saving for the purpose in rebuilding the ancient
castle of Colonsay. Its vaults were emptied of rubbish and ruin, the
rock faced afresh, walls and towers and battlements raised, until at
last, when the loftiest tower seemed to have reached its height, it rose
yet higher and blossomed in radiance; for, top-most crown of all, there,
flaming far into the northern night, shone a splendid beacon-lamp to
guide the fisherman when his way was hid. Every summer for years
Florimel and her husband spent weeks in the castle, and many a study the
painter made there of the ever-changing face of the sea.

Malcolm, as he well might, had such a strong feeling of the power for
good of every high-souled schoolmaster that nothing would serve him but
Mr. Graham must be reinstated. He told the presbytery that if it were
not done he would himself build a school-house for him, and the
consequence, he said, needed no prediction. Finding, at the same time,
that the young man they had put in his place was willing to act as his
assistant, he proposed that he should keep the cottage and all other
emoluments of the office, on the sole condition that when he found he
could no longer conscientiously and heartily further the endeavors of
Mr. Graham he should say so; whereupon the marquis would endeavor to
procure him another appointment; and on these understandings the thing
was arranged.

Mr. Graham thenceforward lived in the House, a spiritual father to the
whole family, reverenced by all, ever greeted with gladness, ever
obeyed. The spiritual dignity and simplicity, the fine sense and
delicate feeling of the man, rendered him a saving presence in the
place; and Clementina felt as if one of the ancient prophets, blossomed
into a Christian, was the glory of their family and house. Like a
perfect daughter she watched him, tried to discover preferences of which
he might not himself be aware, and often waited upon him with her own
hands.

There was an ancient building connected with the house, divided now for
many years into barn and dairy, but evidently the chapel of the
monastery: this Malcolm soon set about reconverting. It made a lovely
chapel--too large for the household, but not too large for its
congregation upon Wednesday evenings, when many of the fishermen and
their families, and not a few of the inhabitants of the upper town,
with occasionally several farm-servants from the neighborhood, assembled
to listen devoutly to the fervent and loving expostulations and
rousings, or the tender consolings and wise instructions, of the
_master_, as every one called him. The hold he had of their hearts was
firm, and his influence on their consciences far reaching.

When there was need of conference or ground for any wide expostulation
the marquis would call a meeting in the chapel; but this occurred very
seldom. Now and then the master, sometimes the marquis himself, would
use it for a course of lectures or a succession of readings from some
specially interesting book; and in what had been the sacristy they
gathered a small library for the use of the neighborhood.

No meeting was held there of a Sunday, for although the clergyman was
the one person to whom all his life the marquis never came any nearer,
he was not the less careful to avoid everything that might rouse
contention or encourage division. "I find the doing of the will of God,"
he would say, "leaves me no time for disputing about His plans--I do not
say for thinking about them." Not, therefore, however, would he waive
the exercise of the inborn right of teaching, and anybody might come to
the house and see the master on Sunday evenings. As to whether people
went to church or stayed away, he never troubled himself in the least;
and no more did the schoolmaster.

The chapel had not been long finished when he had an organ built in it.
Lady Lossie played upon it. Almost every evening, at a certain hour, she
played for a while: the door was always open, and any one who pleased
might sit down and listen. Gradually the feeling of the community, from
the strengthening and concentrating influence of the House, began to
bear upon offenders; and any whose conduct had become in the least
flagrant soon felt that the general eye was upon them, and that
gradually the human tide was falling from them, and leaving them
prisoned in a rocky basin on a barren shore. But at the same time, all
three of the powers at the House were watching to come in the moment
there was a chance; and what with the marquis's warnings, his wife's
encouragements and the master's expostulations there was no little hope
of the final recovery of several who would otherwise most likely have
sunk deeper and deeper.

The marchioness took Lizzy for her personal attendant, and had her boy
much about her; so that by the time she had children of her own she had
some genuine and worthy notion of what a child was, and what could and
ought to be done for the development of the divine germ that lay in the
human egg, and had found that the best she could do for any child, or
indeed anybody, was to be good herself.

Rose married a young fisherman, and made a brave wife and mother. To the
end of her days she regarded the marquis almost as a being higher than
human, an angel that had found and saved her.

Kelpie had a foal, and, apparently in consequence, grew so much more
gentle that at length Malcolm consented that Clementina, who was an
excellent horsewoman, should mount her. After a few attempts to unseat
her, not of the most determined kind, however, Kelpie, on her part,
consented to carry her, and ever after seemed proud of having a mistress
that could ride. Her foal turned out a magnificent horse. Malcolm did
not allow him to do anything that could be called work before he was
eight years old, and had the return at the other end, for when Goblin
was thirty he rode him still, and, to judge by appearances, might but
for an accident have ridden him ten years more.

It was not long ere people began to remark that no one now ever heard
the piper utter the name _Campbell_. An ill-bred youth once--it was well
for him that Malcolm was not near--dared the evil word in his presence:
a cloud swept across the old man's face, but he held his peace, and to
the day of his death, which arrived in his ninety-first year, it never
crossed his lips. He died with the Lossie pipes on his bed, Malcolm on
one side of him and Clementina on the other.

Some of my readers may care to know that Phemy and Davy were married,
and made the quaintest, oldest-fashioned little couple, with hearts
which king and beggar might equally have trusted.

Malcolm's relations with the fisher-folk, founded as they were in truth
and open uprightness, were not in the least injured by his change of
position. He made it a point to be always at home during the
herring-fishing. Whatever might be going on in London, the marquis and
marchioness, their family and household, were sure to leave in time for
the commencement of that. Those who admired Malcolm--of whom there were
not a few even in Vanity Fair--called him the fisher-king: the wags
called him the kingfisher, and laughed at the oddity of his taste in
preferring what he called his duty to the pleasures of the season. But
the marquis found even the hen-pecked Partan a nobler and more elevating
presence than any strutting platitude of Bond street. And when he was at
home he was always about amongst the people. Almost every day he would
look in at some door in the Seaton, and call out a salutation to the
busy house-wife--perhaps go in and sit down for a minute. Now he would
be walking with this one, now talking with that--oftenest with Blue
Peter; and sometimes both their wives would be with them upon the shore
or in the grounds. Nor was there a family meal to which any one or all
together of the six men whom he had set over the Seaton and Scaurnose
would not have been welcomed by the marquis and his Clemency. The House
was head and heart of the whole district.

A conventional visitor was certain to feel very shruggish at first sight
of the terms on which the marquis was with "persons of that sort;" but
often such a one came to allow that it was no great matter: the persons
did not seem to presume unpleasantly, and, notwithstanding his atrocious
training, the marquis was after all a very good sort of
fellow--considering.

In the third year he launched a strange vessel. Her tonnage was two
hundred, but she was built like a fishing-boat. She had great stowage
forward and below: if there was a large take, boat after boat could
empty its load into her, and go back and draw its nets again. But this
was not the original design in her. The after half of her deck was
parted off with a light rope-rail, was kept as white as holy-stone could
make it, and had a brass-railed bulwark. She was steered with a wheel,
for more room; the top of the binnacle was made sloping, to serve as a
lectern; there were seats all round the bulwarks; and she was called the
Clemency.

For more than two years he had provided training for the fittest youths
he could find amongst the fishers, and now he had a pretty good band
playing on wind-instruments, able to give back to God a shadow of His
own music. The same formed the Clemency's crew. And every Sunday evening
the great fishing-boat, with the marquis and almost always the
marchioness on board, and the latter never without a child or children,
led out from the harbor such of the boats as were going to spend the
night on the water.

When they reached the ground all the other boats gathered about the
great boat, and the chief men came on board, and Malcolm stood up
betwixt the wheel and the binnacle, and read--always from the gospel,
and generally words of Jesus, and talked to them, striving earnestly to
get the truth alive into their hearts. Then he would pray aloud to the
living God, as One so living that they could not see Him, so One with
them that they could not behold Him. When they rose from their knees man
after man dropped into his boat, and the fleet scattered wide over the
waters to search them for their treasure.

Then the little ones were put to bed, and Malcolm and Clementina would
sit on the deck, reading and talking, till the night fell, when they too
went below and slept in peace. But if ever a boat wanted help or the
slightest danger arose, the first thing was to call the marquis, and he
was on deck in a moment.

In the morning, when a few of the boats had gathered, they would make
for the harbor again, but now with full blast of praising trumpets and
horns, the waves seeming to dance to the well-ordered noise divine. Or
if the wind was contrary or no wind blew, the lightest-laden of the
boats would take the Clemency in tow, and with frequent change of rowers
draw her softly back to the harbor.

For such Monday mornings the marquis wrote a little song, and his
Clemency made an air to it and harmonized it for the band. Here is the
last stanza of it:

     Like the fish that brought the coin,
     We in ministry will join--
     Bring what pleases Thee the best--
     Help from each to all the rest.



OUR BLACKBIRDS.


I have in mind the delta of a river whose shores are so level that it is
a constant struggle whether land or water shall prevail. The river finds
its way to the broad harbor through a dozen or more channels, between
which are low islands overgrown with great trees burdened and festooned
with grapevines and moss, and tangled with thickets and rank fernbrakes,
or growths of wild rice and luxuriant water-weeds so dense and tall as
to be impenetrable to even a canoe. Here blooms the magnificent lotus
(_Nelumbium luteum_), with its corolla as large as your hat and its leaf
half a boat-length broad--great banks of it, which give out a sweet,
faint, intoxicating odor.

Curious sounds reach you as you thread the mazes of the swamp. The water
boils up from the oozy bottom, and the bubbles break at the surface with
a faint lisping sound: the reeds softly rattle against one another like
the rustle of heavy silks, and you can hear the lily-pads and
deeply-anchored stems of the water-weeds rubbing against one another.
More articulate noises strike your ear--the sharp-clucking lectures on
propriety of the mud-hen to its young; the _brek-kek-kek, coaz-coaz_ of
the frog; the splash of a tumbling turtle; the rushing of a flock of
startled ducks rising on swift wings; the sprightly contagious laughter
of those little elves the marsh-wrens, teetering on the elastic leaves
of the cat-tails.

No birds are more characteristic of such a reedy tract than the
blackbirds, of which there are several more or less common species in
different parts of the country. The most striking of all, in the eastern
half of the Union, is


THE RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD.

The red-wing's favorite resort is the vicinity of water where the rushes
grow densely, among which he places his nest; but the little swales in
the meadows, where tufts of rank grass flourish upon islands formed by
the roots of previous years' growth, and a few stunted alders and
cranberry-bushes shade the black water, are nearly always sure to be the
home of a few pairs. Such extensive marshes as I have just described
are, however, the great centres of blackbird population, where they
breed, where they collect in great hordes of young and old as the end of
the season approaches, and whence they repair to the neighboring fields
of Indian corn to tear open the husks and pick the succulent kernels. In
September I have seen them literally in tens of thousands wheeling about
the inundated wild-rice fields bounding the western end of Lake Erie,
their black backs and gay red epaulets glistening in the sun "like an
army with banners." The Canadian _voyageurs_ call them "officer-birds,"
and the impression of an army before him is always strong upon the
beholder as he gazes at these prodigious flocks in autumn; and it is
extremely interesting to watch the swift evolutions of the crowded
ranks, and observe the regularity and concert of action which governs
the movements of the splendidly uniformed birds.

The red-wings are among the earliest of our spring visitors, and south
of the Ohio River and Washington may be found all through the winter.
Their loud and rollicking spring note is familiar to every one in the
country. _Conk-quiree! conk-quiree!_ sings out the male, as though he
knew a good story if only he had a mind to tell it; and then adds
_Chuck!_ as though he thought it of no use to try to interest you in it,
and that he had been indiscreet in betraying an enthusiasm beneath his
dignity over a matter beyond your appreciation. His plain brown mate
immediately says _Chuck!_ too, quite agreeing with her lord and master
that it is not best to waste their confidence upon _you_.

The centre of all their interest is the compact, tight basket woven of
wet grass-blades and split rush-leaves which is supported among the
reeds or rests on a tussock of wire-grass surrounded by water. It is a
model nest, and they understand so well the labor it cost that they are
mightily jealous of harm coming to it. The eggs are five in number, of a
faded blue tint, marbled, streaked and spotted with leather-color and
black, in shape rather elongated and pointed. The fledglings are abroad
about the first of June, when the parents proceed to the production of
another blood.

These blackbirds have the bump of domesticity largely developed, and if
their household is disturbed they make a terrible fuss, calling upon all
Nature to witness their sorrow and execrate the wretch that is violating
their privacy.

During all the spring season, and particularly while the young are being
provided for, the red-wings subsist almost exclusively on worms, grubs,
caterpillars and a great variety of such sluggish insects and their
voracious larvæ as do great damage to the roots and early sprouts of
whatever the farmer plants, nor do they abandon this diet until the
ripening of the wild rice and maize in the fall. "For these vermin,"
says Wilson, "the starlings search with great diligence in the ground at
the roots of plants in orchards and meadows, as well as among buds,
leaves and blossoms; and from their known voracity the multitudes of
these insects which they destroy must be immense. Let me illustrate this
fact by a short computation: If we suppose each bird on an average to
devour fifty of these larvæ in a day (a very moderate allowance), a
single pair in four months, the usual time such food is sought after,
will devour upward of 12,000. It is believed that not less than a
million pair of these birds are distributed over the whole extent of the
United States in summer, whose food, being nearly the same, would swell
the amount of vermin destroyed to 12,000,000,000. But the number of
young birds may be fairly estimated at double that of their parents; and
as these are constantly fed on larvæ for three weeks, making only the
same allowance for them as for the older ones, their share would amount
to 42,000,000,000, making a grand total of 54,000,000,000 of noxious
insects destroyed in the space of four months by this single species!
The combined ravages of such a hideous host of vermin would be
sufficient to spread famine and desolation over a wide extent of the
richest, best-cultivated country on the earth."

The yellow-headed blackbird belongs properly north-west of Lake
Superior, but frequently gets into Michigan and Illinois. The bright
yellow head and neck make it very noticeable if seen. Its habits are
essentially those of the red-wing.

We have another set of blackbirds of greater size, commonly known as
"crow" blackbirds, but which in the books are called grakles. There are
several species, but none are greatly different from that too-common
pest of our cornfields,


THE PURPLE GRAKLE.

The real home of the grakles is along the edges of the swamps--not among
the reeds where the red-wing and bobolink sit and swing, but rather in
the bushes and trees skirting the muddy shores. They build their nests
in a variety of positions, but usually a convenient fork in an
alder-bush is chosen, twenty or thirty pairs often nesting within a
radius of a hundred feet. The nest is a rude, strong affair of sticks
and coarse grass-stalks lined with finer grass, and looks very bulky and
rough beside the neat structure of the red-wing; which illustrates how
much better a result can be produced by an artistic use of the same
material. In the case of both these birds, however, the female does not
wear the jetty, iridescent coat which adorns the head of the family and
reflects the sunlight in a thousand prismatic tints, but hides herself
and the home she cares for by affecting a dull, brown-black, streaked
suit, assimilating her closely with the surrounding objects. This
protective coloration of plumage is possessed by the females of many
species of birds, which would be very conspicuous, and of course greatly
liable to danger while incubating their eggs, if they wore the bright
tints of the males. The tanager and indigo-bird afford prominent
examples. Sometimes the crow blackbirds make their homes at a distance
from the water, and occasionally they choose odd places, such as the
tops of tall pine trees, the spires of churches, martin-boxes in gardens
and holes in trees. The latter situation is one which the bronzed
blackbird of the Mississippi Valley (var. _Æneus_) especially makes use
of.

Grakles' eggs are among the first on every boy's string, and until he
gains experience the young collector supposes he has almost as many
different species represented as he has specimens, so much do they
differ, even in the same nestful, in respect to color, shape and size.
Their length averages about 1.25 by .90 of an inch, but some are long,
slender and pointed, while others are round, fat, and blunt at both
ends. The ground color may be any shade of dirty white, light blue,
greenish or olive brown; the markings consist of sharply-defined spots
and confused blotches, scratches and straggling lines of obscure colors,
from blue-black to lilac and rusty brown--sometimes scantily and
prettily marbled upon the surface of the egg, and sometimes painted on
so thick as to wholly conceal the ground color.

The crow blackbirds are in the advance-guard of the returning hosts of
spring, making their appearance in small scattering flocks, and
announcing their presence by loud smacks frequently repeated. They
obtain most of their food from the ground, and walk about with great
liveliness, scratching up the leaves, turning over chips and poking
about the pastures for insects and seeds softened by the spring rains.
Their destruction of insects--especially during May, when their young
are in the nest--is enormous; yet their forays upon the cornfields, I
fear, overbalance the good done the farmer by putting an end to grubs
noxious to his crops.

"The depredations committed by these birds are almost wholly on Indian
corn at different stages. As soon as its blades appear above the ground
after it has been planted, the grakles descend upon the fields, pull up
the tender plant and devour the seeds, scattering the green blades
around. It is of little use to attempt to drive them away with a gun:
they only fly from one part of the field to another. And again, as soon
as the tender corn has formed, these flocks, now replenished by the
growing of the year, once more swarm in the cornfields, tear off the
husks and devour the tender grains. Wilson has seen fields of corn in
which more than half the corn was thus ruined.

"These birds winter in immense numbers in the lower parts of Virginia,
North and South Carolina and Georgia, sometimes forming one congregated
multitude of several hundred thousand. On one occasion Wilson met, on
the banks of the Roanoke, on the 20th of January, one of these
prodigious armies of crow blackbirds. They arose, he states, from the
surrounding fields with a noise like thunder, and descending on the
length of the road before him, they covered it and the fences completely
with black: when they again rose, and after a few evolutions descended
on the skirts of the high-timbered woods, they produced a most singular
and striking effect. Whole trees, for a considerable extent, from the
top to the lowest branches, seemed as if hung with mourning. Their notes
and screaming, he adds, seemed all the while like the distant sounds of
a great cataract, but in a musical cadence."

                                               ERNEST INGERSOLL.



OUR MONTHLY GOSSIP.


THE MODERN FRENCH NOVELISTS.

The grand old race of French story-tellers has wellnigh departed. One by
one the great names in this department of modern French literature
become erased from the lists of the living. Nor is this all. Many of the
most brilliant of the novelists of the day have relinquished the pen of
the romance-writer for that of the politician. About, for instance,
expends in the leading articles of the _XIXe. Siècle_ the wit, the
sparkle, the energy that charmed us long years ago in the pages of his
novels. The younger Dumas--always less a novelist than a dramatist
and (we must coin a word to do justice to the position) an
_im_moralist--confines his efforts now to the production of unclean
plays and uncleaner prefaces, that glow with unwholesome lustre like the
phosphorescent flames that are bred of corruption and quiver over
graves. Pitiless and cold, with a scalpel in one hand and a
magnifying-glass in the other, he is at once the closest observer and
the most eloquent denunciator of the moral maladies of French society.
But he is not a novelist, strictly speaking. His gifts have another
direction, his mind another bent. Nor is he altogether a dramatist, as
is Sardou. His comedies are less remarkable on the stage than they are
in the library. An invincible passion for preaching mars the development
of the action. His characters say more than they do, and his plays charm
less by any actual theatrical qualifications than by the extreme finish
and brilliancy of their style. He will bring two men on the stage, and
will let them talk together for half an hour without moving a muscle.
They say wonderfully wise and witty things, it is true. But such
dramatic writing is not exactly in the manner of Shakespeare. M. Dumas
evidently dreams that his mission is to regenerate French society, but,
apparently, he has as yet found the task beyond his powers. Nor are the
means he suggested--in _L'Étrangère_, for instance--exactly those that
would most strongly commend themselves to the Anglo-Saxon mind.

Among the most daring and successful of the novel-writers of the day we
must undoubtedly number M. Émile Zola, whose recent works have created a
deep and widespread sensation in literary circles in France. He is the
chief of the so-called Realistic school, and is already recognized as a
power in the land. To describe the characteristics of his works it is
necessary to speak in superlatives. They are immensely strong, immensely
realistic, and, it must also be added, immensely repulsive. Vice stands
before us stripped of all her plumes and tinsel--naked, hideous and
unclean. In _Thérèse Roquin_, for instance, he tells a tale of
adulterous passion, of murder and of remorse. It is precisely the theme
that used to arouse the genius of George Sand to its loftiest and most
impassioned flights. But instead of poets and high-born ladies, moonlit
nights and Italian landscapes, poetry, romance, art and music, Zola
descends to the lower classes of society: he takes his characters from
the shop and the factory, and shows us evil in all its abominations,
remorse in all its horrors. In _L'Assommoir_, his latest and, in some
respects, his most remarkable work, he has given us so atrocious and so
powerful a delineation of the vices of the French working-classes that
the mind recoils, sickened and terrified, from the contemplation of the
tremendous picture. To find its parallel even in another form of art we
must turn to some of the most repulsive of the pictures of Hogarth, the
representation of Gin Lane or the dissection-scene in the "Successive
Stages of Cruelty." Yet the foremost figures in this terrible
delineation, his hero and heroine, are not wicked: they are simply weak.
The _assommoir_--otherwise the drinking-shop--is the spider that poisons
and ensnares their humble natures. The first pages of the book, the
wedding and installation of Gervaise and Coupeau, the birth of their
child, her anxieties, her cares, her longing for a clock, her pride in
her modest home, are all told with a touch of tenderness, which,
however, speedily disappears amid an accumulation of unclean horrors.
The book is hideous, terrific, disgusting, but it is _not_ immoral. It
is scarcely fit for any decent woman to read, but it is no more
demoralizing than is the interior of a dissecting-room.

In the _History of the Rougon Macquart Family_, a series of six separate
works united by the slightest of links, M. Zola attempted to trace the
career of a family during the period of the Second Empire, or rather he
tried, in imitation of Victor Hugo, to make an epoch, and not a human
being, the hero of the work. In this he has but partially succeeded. The
_Rougon Macquart Family_ is less a novel or series of novels than it is
a dissertation on the Second Empire from a hostile point of view. As a
gallery of historical pictures, painted by an able and contemporaneous
hand, it is a work of considerable value, but this value is in spite of,
not on account of, the story. Victor Hugo could indeed embody in his
_Quatre-Vingt Treize_ the mighty image of the first Revolution, but M.
Zola is not Victor Hugo, and such a task is beyond his powers.

One of the peculiarities of this tremendous and iconoclastic realist is
the care with which he writes and the indefatigable polish he bestows
upon his style. He writes and re-writes, corrects and copies, weighs
every phrase, and is never content till the written words exactly
reproduce the image of his thought. Another is his extreme reticence and
self-possession. There are no traces of a fine frenzy about the most
vigorous of his works. He paints vice from the standpoint of a
street-corner. To others he leaves the roses and the raptures: for him
are the mud and the stones. He has no illusions respecting the lower
orders, as had Dickens and Eugène Sue. He reminds one of a certain
picture by Courbet, who, disgusted with the elegant studies of the nude
in the annual exhibition, painted a group of real every-day bathers,
some half a dozen washerwomen at Asnières. The picture was revolting,
but it was great, because there was truth in the subject and power in
the execution. And notwithstanding the tempest of adverse criticism
which his later works, and especially his _Assommoir_, have called
forth, he holds a high and recognized place amid the writers of the day.

To turn from Zola to Alphonse Daudet is to leave the back slums of a
city for a flower-decked forest-path: it is to exchange the hideous
facts of police records and city statistics for the fresh and tender
poesy of the woods and fields. M. Daudet is yet so young that he may
possibly surpass in the future even the great success of his earlier
career--namely, _Fromont Jeune et Risler Ainé_. His _Nabob_, now in
course of publication as a feuilleton in one of the Parisian newspapers,
is a work of far different style and scope from his first great success.

Among the rising writers of the _Revue des Deux Mondes_ the name of
André Theuriet is rapidly becoming prominent. As chaste, as tender, as
sincere as Daudet, if less gifted and poetical, he depicts provincial
life and manners with scarcely less skill than does his brilliant
contemporary the factory and the salons of the Marais. He is, above all,
an adorer of the woods--not such wild virgin forests as may still be
met with in our own land, but the decorous and well-trained woods of
France, where the very trees seem to have learned politeness and keep to
their own places, not one of them daring to tower to an undue height or
to spread its roots or branches over an unaccustomed breadth of space.
Born at Marly-le-Roi, his youth was spent at Bar-le-Duc, and in his
mature manhood he was transferred to Auberive--three points where his
love of forests could be indulged in to any extent. Something of the
freshness, the summer sweetness, the natural charm of his favorite
haunts seems to pervade the atmosphere of his graceful and delicate
tales. He is one of the few French novelists one can imagine writing in
English. _Gerard's Marriage_, _Angèle's Fortune_, _An Undine_, are all
imbued with that peculiar quality which the French call _honnêteté_--an
expression for which our language furnishes no equivalent. Neither
striking in incident nor complicated in plot, his stories charm by their
delicate delineations of character, their refinement of tone and
sincerity of sentiment, and their truthfulness of description. His
stories remind one of what Miss Mulock's novels used to be when she
wrote her best, while Daudet might be characterized as a Parisian
mingling of Hawthorne and Bret Harte, and Zola as a brutal Thackeray.

M. Jules Claretie has written many novels. But he has also written
plays, histories, biographies, leading articles: he is the most
indefatigable of writers, as he is one of the most intelligent and
clear-headed. He has, however, the defect of being a literary Don Juan,
wasting his smiles amid the _mille e tre_ instead of consecrating his
pen in legitimate wedlock to a single Muse. The immense facility with
which he writes is fatal to the enduring success of his novels. They
abound in powerful episodes and strong bits of description, and here and
there some single scene, original in conception and forcible in
treatment, starts out from the mass like the scarlet draperies in a
faded piece of Gobelin tapestry. His gifts are those of an historian or
of a critic, not those of a novel-writer. When in his historical
novels, such as _Les Muscadins_ or _Le Beau Solignac_, he trenches on
the firm ground of the Real, his true force displays itself. In these
works he has attempted to revive the lengthy chronicles of the elder
Dumas, but without that irrepressible verve, that headlong vehemence of
animal spirits, which, like the rush of a locomotive, bore the reader,
breathless and interested, over rough places and smooth alike. The
draught M. Claretie brews for our drinking bears no affinity to that
intoxicating and sparkling champagne. The Dumas brand is exhausted, and
all imitations are but as flat cider in comparison. In the _Renegade_,
which is a specimen of a style of fiction largely in vogue at present in
France--one that might be called the contemporaneous historical
novel--M. Claretie found himself once more on firm and familiar ground.
The hero of the _Renegade_ is a Republican politician who turns
Bonapartist, and who finally commits suicide something after the fashion
of M. Prevost-Paradol, whose career, it is indeed said, suggested the
book.

But M. Claretie is seen at his best when he lays down the pen of a
novel-writer and takes up that of a critic or that of a chronicler of
passing events. His plays possess the same defects as his novels, being
diffuse, devoid of incident and overloaded with unnecessary details. But
the clearness and vigor of the style, the strong sense and daylight
intelligence that reign in all his writings, prevent his poorest works
from being commonplace or uninteresting.

Arsène Houssaye, like his almost un-namable contemporary Belot, is the
Laureate of Vice. His imagination is as unclean as a street-gutter, only
it is a gutter that runs rose-water. He deals exclusively with the
"roses-and-raptures" side of the question. He always lays the scene of
his romances in dainty boudoirs, beneath the soft light of real wax
candles (gas would be far too vulgar). He revels in annals of the
nobility. His heroes seldom or never are without a "handle to their
names." His heroines are usually selected from a set whose name he has
chosen as the title of one of his novels--_Les Courtisanes du Grand
Monde_. His books would be injurious if they were not so very stupid.
They are improbable in incident, immoral in tone, exaggerated in style
and lamentably dragged out in length. The trail of the class among which
M. Houssaye spends his days is visible in every page. M. Houssaye is
possessed with a passionate desire to become a member of the French
Academy. Well, why should he not sit where Taine does not and where
Sardou does? His _History of the Forty-first Fauteuil_, one of the
brightest and wittiest of his works, will probably avail, not to open
the doors to him, but to bar them against him.

                                                        L. H. H.


FRANÇOIS BULOZ.

The man whose fortunes were to be during nearly half a century connected
with the _Revue des Deux Mondes_ was born in 1804 at Vulbens, a village
in French Savoy. Without becoming anything of a savant, M. Buloz
received the fair education then obtainable at the Collége Louis le
Grand. After leaving school he was forced to take a situation at some
chemical works in Sologne, but soon returned disgusted and without means
to Paris. There we find him passing his days in a printing-office, and
his evenings--and often, too, his nights--in miscellaneous reading. In
all that he did he displayed that indomitable energy which characterized
his entire subsequent career.

The _Revue des Deux Mondes_ had been started in 1829. It was a sickly
bantling, and had to change its name the following year to the _Journal
des Voyages_. The new name, however, brought no fresh subscribers, and
the _Journal_ was dragging on a dreary existence when M. Auffray, the
printer, bought it, and engaged his former schoolfellow, François Buloz,
as editor of the new series of the _Revue des Deux Mondes_. His yearly
salary was twelve hundred francs, and two francs for every subscriber.
There were then but three hundred and fifty of these, but in 1834 the
three hundred and fifty had become one thousand; in 1838 five hundred
more had been added; in 1843 there were two thousand; in 1846, two
thousand five hundred; and in 1851, five thousand. Long before this the
_Revue_ had become a power. Buloz remained as a partner, but M. Auffray
had long since given up his interest in it: he had been succeeded by
Alexander Bixio, and the latter by Messrs. Florestan and Felix Bonnaire,
the owners of the _Revue de Paris_. Messrs. Bonnaire in 1845 proposed to
buy out Buloz for a sum exceeding one hundred thousand francs. After
consulting with Mérimée, Sainte-Beuve and others, Buloz declined the
proposal, and with the aid of his friends bought out the brothers
Bonnaire for a sum just double that which they had offered him. It was
then, in 1846, that the new company was constituted, with Buloz as
managing director, and M. Molé, M. d'Haussonville, M. de Saint Priest,
Count Roger, the duc de Broglie, M. de Rothschild, M. Baude and others
as stockholders. A number of writers too were interested in the concern,
and were to pay for their stock in the shape of contributions. A year or
two before, the _Revue_ had been most violently attacked by persons ill
disposed to bear with M. Buloz's firm determination to admit nothing
into the _Revue_ but what he considered up to the standard requisite to
maintain its reputation. Alexandre Dumas led the coalition, which was in
part made up of men who had been criticised by the _Revue_. As was
natural, their enmity only advertised the periodical and increased its
circulation. Still, his enemies managed in more ways than one to make
him feel their power. Ever since 1838, M. Buloz, under the title of
"commissaire du roi," had been manager of the Théâtre Français, but
after the revolution of 1848 he was abruptly dismissed. Thenceforth he
gave his attention exclusively to his literary enterprise, and the
_Revue_ gained thereby.

From the very first, Buloz had secured the rising literary talent of the
day for the _Revue_. Alfred de Vigny contributed to it successively
_Stello_, _Laurette_ and _Le Capitaine Renaud_; Alexandre Dumas, whose
jealousy was only aroused later on, published therein his _Impressions
de Voyage_; Balzac wrote for it, as did also Nodier, Victor Hugo,
Barbier, Brizeux, Mérimée, Lerminier, George Sand, Jouffry, Alfred de
Musset, Sainte-Beuve, Gustave Planche and Augustin Thierry, whose
_Nouvelles lettres sur l'Histoire de France_ first appeared in the
_Revue_.

In 1840, M. Thiers, while president of the council, wrote an article for
the _Revue_. Buloz, who greatly admired the statesman-historian, pressed
him strongly the following year to write upon the Eastern Question. M.
Thiers, then at Lille, was about to go to Germany in order to examine
the battle-fields of Napoleon for his great work. We find him writing to
Buloz a letter which is not less interesting at the present time than it
was thirty-six years ago: "I often think of writing for you an article
on the Eastern Question, but it is somewhat difficult for me to leave my
work. However, I am preparing to put pen to paper in order to carry out
my promise. I must tell you that with an ever-increasing taste for _la
grande politique_, I daily care less and less for _la petite politique_,
which consists in simply providing each day for the requirements of the
hour. This daily bread upon which men live at Paris is repugnant to my
tastes. I am a strong partisan of our institutions, for I know of none
other possible, but they convert the government of the country into an
association for the merest chit-chat.... It is therefore for me a real
sacrifice to return to the narrow sphere of affairs of the present day,
and to speak or write thereon. I am happy where I am, and in doing what
I am now about.... Still, I will make an effort to write for you before
leaving for Germany. I see nothing very important except the Eastern
Question, which is not a _question du moment_, and which will outlive
us."

It is truly wonderful how many men eminent in various departments Buloz
managed to enrol among the contributors to the _Revue_. Of course, his
strict adherence to the rule he had laid down of rigidly exercising his
prerogative as director led many who had written a few articles for the
_Revue_ to abandon it in disgust. Still, many even of these returned
after years of separation to their old love. Buloz maintained his even
course undaunted by storms of criticism. He was to be found early and
late at work, constantly reading, correcting proofs, busying himself as
to the punctuation, the type, even the appearance of the title-pages. He
himself was wont to define his position thus: "I am the public: all I
ask is to be instructed or interested. If a work neither instructs nor
interests me, the chances are that it will produce no better effect on
the real public for whom it is written." He was always fearing that
something would intervene to prevent the publication appearing by the
1st or the 15th of each month, and became almost feverishly agitated as
the calendar pointed to the near approach of the day of publication.

He received a severe blow by the death in 1869 of Louis Buloz, an
intelligent, active and devoted young man who had already become the
sharer of his father's toils. He went off to the estate he had purchased
in 1859 in Savoy, commanding a view of the Valley of Chambéry and the
Lake of Bourget. While in this charming retreat the news reached him of
the successive French defeats, culminating in the surrender of Sedan,
the revolution of the 4th of September and the march of the Germans upon
Paris. Without paying heed to his already weakened condition of health,
he set out at once for Paris. Duty called him there, as he considered,
and every other consideration was hushed. "What," his friends asked,
"could the _Revue_ do in a besieged city, separated from so large a
proportion of its readers and contributors?" Buloz was deaf to their
remonstrances, and, struggling bravely against the enormous difficulties
of his position, he managed, with the aid of a few devoted writers like
M. de Mazade and Vitel, to get the _Revue_ out regularly during all
those painful, weary weeks. When at length Paris capitulated, on the
28th of January, 1871, the world first knew to what straits the _Revue_
had been reduced. Its means had become completely exhausted. There was
no paper left, nor were there funds to replenish the stock of the
printing-office, even supposing that such a stock could have been
purchased at that time. Yet, terrible as had been the struggle to keep
up the _Revue_ during the siege, there was yet a harder task in store
for M. Buloz and his family. After the capitulation he and his
associates at once set about organizing afresh the entire machinery of
the _Revue_. This occupied some six weeks, and when all the arrangements
had been completed one contributor after another left the city. M.
Buloz, too, went away. All at once broke forth, on the 18th of March,
the Communist insurrection, and Paris for more than two months was in
the hands of the rabble. It is not too much to say that but for the
intrepidity and intelligent management of affairs by Madame Buloz the
publication of the _Revue_ must have been suspended during part, at
least, of that period. She feared nothing, but, braving the danger of
frequent journeys between Paris and Versailles, she summoned to her aid
all the contributors and friends she was able to communicate with. Of
course it was not long ere the Communist leaders perceived that true
liberty, such as they understood it, was incompatible with the existence
of such an outspoken periodical as the _Revue_. They arrested M. Émile
Beaussaire for his courageous article entitled "Le procès entre Paris et
la Province," and the other contributors, as well as M. Buloz himself,
would have certainly shared the same fate could they have been found.

After the number of the 15th of May had appeared the rulers of the city
voted that the continuance of the _Revue_ was prejudicial to the
interests of the Commune, and accordingly its suppression was decreed.
On the 25th of May, however, Paris was again occupied by the government
troops, and thus the number of the 1st of June was published as
punctually as all its predecessors.

                                                        C. H. H.


WATER-LILIES.

Who does not love the beautiful water-lily, the _Nympha odorata_ of our
ponds and lakes? No one, not even he of whom the poet said,

     A primrose by the river's brim
     A yellow primrose was to him,
     And it was nothing more,

could be quite insensible to the charms of this loveliest of wild
flowers. Yet those who have seen it only in those crowded, half-wilted
bunches in the vegetable markets or in the hands of enterprising urchins
on railroad trains know little of its perfect state. To come upon it
unexpectedly, holding its snowy petals proudly open upon the still water
of some sylvan lake, is a poetic inspiration. There it breathes its
divinest fragrance. There, enthroned with its companions among its
shining green leaves spread out upon the water, it is an enchanting
vision. Plucked from its anchorage at the bottom of the lake, it soon
closes its corolla, as if hiding its beauty and its sorrow from the eyes
of the captor.

Our pond-lily closely resembles the lotus, the _Nympha lotus_ of Egypt,
Syria and other countries of the East, which has been venerated in all
times, and figures extensively in Egyptian hieroglyphics, besides
forming the model for the capital of Egyptian columns. Another, or
perhaps the same species, is held sacred among the Hindoos. It is
intimately connected with their religion, and they give it a wonderful
origin. Vishnu, the God of Light, the Preserver, is represented seated
upon the lotus and holding one of the flowers in his hand.

There are two species of the water-lily in the East--the one mentioned
and the _Nympha coerulea_. The latter, as the name implies, is blue,
and said to be wonderfully beautiful. A blue water-lily! What an object
to thrill the soul of the florist! It must be rare even in gardens of
acclimatization. Who has ever seen one? Perhaps it would flourish in
some of our small lakes farther South. It would produce a splendid
effect growing with the white water-lily in our ponds.

During the last year or two there have been paragraphs in our newspapers
declaring that the pond-lily could be made to grow in gardens. Most
people have doubted it. Could a flower so naturally wild, so secluded
in its loveliness, so fond of shady nooks and comparatively deep water,
be made to expand its shy petals and exhale its rare perfume in a vulgar
tub? Yet is it true. Like the noblest beauty of every kind, it blesses
despite captivity and ignoble surroundings.

Last spring I determined to give the cultivation of the water-lily a
trial, and impressed an old lime hogshead into the service. This I had
sawed through the middle, and one half sunk in the ground at the
north-east end of the veranda, under the rain-spout. Then, armed with a
big basket and a long rake, two of us started for the pond, about a mile
distant, where the lilies grew. Some of the leaves, as yet all rolled
together, were just peeping from the water.

The process of dragging out the roots was rather difficult, but
exhilarating. First, we threw out the long rake, let it sink, worked it
down into the mud as far as practicable, and then pulled together with
all our strength. At every pull we brought up a long piece of the fleshy
root with several leaves just sprouting; but every pull, or rather every
yielding of a root, resulted in our sudden sitting down on the marshy
ground with peals of laughter. This was the exhilarating part. We placed
the roots, with all the doughy clay adhering, in the basket, and tugged
it home with many pauses for rest and frequent changing of hands. The
basket seemed freighted with lead, and the dripping of yellow mud was
not improving to the appearance of shoes and stockings.

Seeing the kind of bed the lily flourished in in the pond, we did not
dare trust the roots to common mould, and therefore packed the bottom of
the tub a foot deep with the common swamp-muck used on the farm. In this
we planted the roots, put in several pails of cistern-water, and left
the rain, already falling, to do the rest. The next morning the tub was
full of the dirtiest-looking liquid imaginable. It did not become
perfectly clear for several weeks; and then our labor was rewarded by
the sight of numerous little folded leaves, which soon reached the top
and unfolded their satiny, green surface upon the water. The smallness
of the leaves troubled me greatly at first, not knowing that they grow
broad after opening. After patient waiting, and after covering the tub
with mosquito-netting to disabuse the young turkeys of the notion that
it was specially designed as a drinking-cup and a watery grave for them,
and the young ducks of the notion that it was preordained for them to
swim in, we were delighted to see a veritable lily-bud coming up.

At the present moment (July 25th) the whole surface of the water is
covered with leaves so large and fresh and beautiful that these alone
would compensate for all the trouble taken. The leaves are quite as
large, many of them, as the largest seen in the wild state, and among
them are two superbly perfect lilies, and several more struggling up to
the light. For the winter I shall cover the tub with boards and a thick
layer of straw, which will keep the water from freezing much below the
surface, and, I trust, preserve the precious roots at the bottom.

A little visitor from Philadelphia, whose grand passion is collecting
turtles, lizards, frogs, etc., has added five small frogs to the tub. At
any time one or more of them may be seen enthroned on a large leaf,
while at night callers sitting on the veranda hear the gentle croaking
and are greatly puzzled to account for it.

                                                           M. H.


A NEGLECTED BRANCH OF PHILOLOGY.

Slang must be coeval with the race. That part of the race which delights
in and creates it must have always existed. It is found in the oldest
light literature we possess, and in some of the gravest. It abounds in
the Greek plays, not being limited to those of them which avowedly
"Aristophanize." We can imagine the gamins of Israel echoing and
embellishing the "chaff" launched by Elijah at the discomfited priests
of Baal. Miriam comes as close to it as a lady may in her exultations
over the drenched Egyptians. Terence is full of it, and the _graffiti_
exhumed in Italy further enlighten us as to the deadest portion of one
of the dead languages.

Slang is one form of popular poetry. It will maintain its existence, in
ever-fleeting shapes, so long as the mind of the masses has a poetic
side, and will particularly flourish wherever circumstances favor the
combination, in the ideas of the masses, of the grotesque and the novel
with the imaginative. In this country, the West--and California, the
farthest border of the West--is the hotbed of slang. A Western writer
"spreads himself" at the expense of a rival who "welters" in "gush" or
"slops over" too profusely. His darling aim is to get his own "head
level" and to send his opponent off "on his ear." Of some of the phrases
of this kind the origin is difficult to trace, and generally not worth
tracing. Others are markedly metaphorical fittings of words with new
meanings, and often highly expressive meanings. They are efforts of
fancy not conveyed in metre, nor even in prose, but condensed into a
single word or phrase. They thus become portable enough to run like
lightning from tongue to tongue and pen to pen over a continent. But,
like other electric flashes, they are not usually of long duration. If
quickly started, they are as quickly forgotten. Each generation or
decade or year manufactures its own supply of slang words, and seldom
bequeaths any of them as a permanent inheritance. Delineators of rude or
low life, like the littérateurs of the Pacific coast school, Dickens and
Thackeray, embed in their writings the slang of their day; but it stays
there, recommended though it may be by the brilliancy of its setting,
and rarely passes into currency outside of their pages. Its flavor is
usually too local and fugitive for that.

As slang blends in one direction with genuine poetry, in another it
sinks into the base jargon invented by evil-doers for the disguise of
their intercourse and concealment of their purposes. Of the latter
description are the dialects of the prize-ring and the fraternity of
thieves. These are rich and copious, and often ingenious, like the other
devices of their originators. How far the gypsy language may be
included with them it is impossible to say; but it has been largely
borrowed from by them, thanks either to community of objects, and
consequent sympathy of feelings, or to its obscurity and shapelessness,
and the utter ignorance of it among the intelligent and plunderable
classes.

These classes have a slang of their own too; and some of it gets
established in the language. Broadly speaking, all foreign words which
are adopted from affectation, and not from the growing necessities of
science and thought, may be ranked as slang. That they should
occasionally effect a lodgment it is not at all indispensable that they
should impart a new idea. Very often they merely elbow out an old member
of the vernacular conveying precisely the same meaning. It would be easy
to cite such cases, and to point to naturalized foreigners, now
unnoticed in every-day intercourse, but at their first appearance
conspicuous enough in fashionable slang. Scores of them have been
introduced to us by the milliner and the tailor. Vouched for by such
august authority, they are of course elegant. But they are nothing more.
More solid merit than theirs, in the eyes of the student of language,
belongs to the humbler products of the popular fancy--words more
pointed, more pithy and more graphic, but more fleeting.


ANOTHER DEFUNCT MONOPOLY.

The patent on sewing-machines has passed into limbo with the patent on
the revolver and the steam-engine and the patent on gunpowder, if Friar
Bacon ever entered his caveat, paid his fee, fought the pirates through
the courts and took one out--a point on which history, which chronicles
the minutest military or judicial homicide and the most contemptible
court-intrigue of his day, forgets to inform us. His last possible
renewal, however, would have in any case died out long ago, and left his
valuable contribution to human happiness as common property as the
contrivance of the blind, bedevilled, rich and unhappy originator of the
sewing-machine.

This great change extinguishes a tribe of agents as numerous and
troublesome as any that roams the Upper Missouri or the Lower Colorado.
As numerous, did we say? It outnumbered all the septs of the Sioux--did
more travelling and peopled more lodges. It had its peculiar literature
and its peculiar vehicles. We have known a single contract made with a
Western carriage-factory for five hundred sewing-machine wagons, for the
use of one out of the fifteen or twenty companies. All these gay and
jaunty equipages go into quod, like the tumbrils and ambulances left
over in 1865, and with them, into yet more helpless disuse, a mass of
literature, written, printed and oral, great beyond computation. It is a
fossil industry whereof even the bones have suddenly perished. To its
credit, be it said, it died game, struggling to the last, its
battlefield the lobbies of Congress and the halls of the Patent Office.
Gold and greenbacks were shed like water, but not much blood save the
blood of the grape. All was in vain. The little needle, with an eye near
the point, the sharp steel weapon of Howe that so long held at bay all
assailants, puzzled a succession of judges of first and second instance,
original and appellate, and enriched a generation of attorneys, was
forced finally to succumb. All the world and his wife--his wife
especially--may make and use a needle with any style or position of hole
without paying a cent of royalty for the inestimable privilege. That
historic implement has the largest liberty, and may disport itself in an
infinity of scrolls and intricacies over the raiment of male and female.
The befrogged officer is no longer limited in the arabesques of braid
and tinsel that make gay his manly breast. He commands all the resources
of Snip's imagination, and whirligigs beyond what hath entered the mind
of man to conceive will shortly meander over the cerulean expanse.


KATERFELTO IN REPOSE.

Is there not a lull in the quack-medicine business? Its advertisements
do not appear to us to shine with the brilliancy of old. Those
astonishing portraits of Old Doctor So-and-So, and the gorgeous
perspective view of the interior of Professor Snooks's laboratory, all
alive with forty 'prentice-power pill-machines and tincture-vats like
the pools of a swimming academy, have ceased to illustrate the condition
of modern art and medicine.

Possibly, the sensational style has been found to have lost its force,
and a more quiet and stately tone to be more promotive of the popularity
of bread-pills and root-bitters. It looks more professional.
Mountebankery in physic has been overdone, as it has in a great many
other things. The quacks, if they successfully inculcate this lesson and
bring in a corresponding reform, will have been useful public servants.
Others have been forcing the pace as well as they, and may well slacken
speed, if not call a halt. The blatant and dogmatic has been
increasingly predominant in the announcement of new theories, notions
and "missions." We are all concerned in seeing it checked, and simple
truth and plodding inquiry once more given a chance. Repeated
disappointments have made the world distrustful of startling discoveries
and sweeping panaceas--a fact which should commend itself to the
attention of all the charlatans, and of those who, not charlatans, have
caught from them the fashion of violent and premature trumpeting.
Political and social cure-alls will have to work their way slowly and
painfully into notice. They must submit to the rules of trade, and not
look for success until they have demonstrated that what they offer in
the market is what it pretends to be. The world is tired of being taken
by storm. Just now it is in a more than usually distrustful mood--in a
state of marked disillusionment. It declines to have a creed of any kind
slammed into its face--so many new ones have palpably failed, and so
many old ones have proved themselves possessed of forgotten virtues.
Good and evil have proved to be omnipresent, and to pervade everything,
like iron and sulphur.

                                                        E. C. B.



LITERATURE OF THE DAY.


     Madame Gervaisais. By Edmond and Jules de Goncourt. New
     Edition. Paris.

This is in many respects a remarkable book. It shows unusual talent and
thought--skill in the morbid anatomy of the soul. It is out of the
common line in having but one character, the heroine, and not a word
about love. It is, in fact, the biography of a woman during her
conversion to Roman Catholicism: the incidents are merely the successive
steps by which she is brought within the pale. The interest lies in the
mental and moral fluctuations through which she passes while under the
influence to which she is subjected, and which in one way or another
does not cease to act upon her for an instant. The book is a complement
to Madame Craven's pictures of conversion and the devout life, but
differs from them in the point of view.

Madame Gervaisais is the widow of a man who filled for years an
important office under the government by dint of small gifts of
precision and punctuality, being in himself an insignificant person. His
position and wealth, and the beauty and superior endowments of his wife,
attracted men of mark to the house, and her _salon_ was long one of the
most sought in Paris. Her marriage had not been a happy one: the
intellectual resources in which she has sought compensation have been
insufficient, although she has never tried more exciting distractions,
and at thirty-seven she finds herself free, rich, still handsome, with
one child, delicate and slow of development, born after ten years of
wedlock, the spring of her heart and hopes broken from the long pressure
of conjugal despotism and unkindness, her health enfeebled to a degree
which makes it advisable for her to spend a winter in Rome. This is the
_status quo_ at the opening of the history. Her life in Rome is told
almost day by day, affording opportunity for the most detailed
descriptions of places and customs, times and seasons, festivals and
ceremonies: these are given with extreme, scrupulous fidelity and an
accurate choice of words, but they have not the magic touch which brings
unvisited scenes before you or revives half-forgotten ones with the
freshness of things seen yesterday. This is strange, as the impressions,
the sensations of mind and body, produced upon a stranger by Rome are
wonderfully conveyed. "She was astonished at the refinement and
acuteness of perception which she had acquired since coming thither....
She remembered a glass of water which she had drunk at the door of a
little café on one of the first evenings, and which had seemed the most
delicious draught she had ever tasted. It struck her that warm countries
must possess all sorts of little felicities of soil and climate unknown
in colder ones, an enchanted _aqua felice_ trickling everywhere. And day
by day she felt the nothings of her life assuming an intensity of
pleasure and enjoyment that nothings have when one is in love." "In the
gardens of the Villa Borghese on those spring days she had hours of
singular well-being--a sort of sweet oppression, a relaxation which made
her happy: they were days whose temperature was like a tepid bath, with
warm whiffs of acacia and orange blossoms; a dusty sky; a sun which was
only an orange glow; a smothering of the sound of the distant bells; a
song of disconnected notes, as if the birds were tired; an atmosphere
where a line which might be taken for the flight of an insect proved to
be a drop of rain, which fell every five minutes without wetting you."
Her life, which is very solitary, consists principally of sightseeing,
study, the care and companionship of her child, and the revery which
hangs about existence in Italy like an exhalation from the ground.
Madame Gervaisais, brought up of course a French Catholic, has gradually
become a free-thinker of the serious kind, high-principled and earnest:
she is described as a woman of elevated mind and character, the force of
whose will and intelligence has kept her from being betrayed by a
naturally loving disposition, which has expended itself in friendship
and filial and maternal affection, the latter being her only passion.
The respectful distance which the author places between her and the rest
of the world is indicated by her first name never being mentioned: she
is only Madame Gervaisais. But she is not only a woman of reading: she
is an artist and a musician, and these tastes increase her
susceptibility to the soft masterdom of the place.

Rome is considered by those who make such matters their business a
peculiarly favorable spot for proselytizing: there is supposed to be an
afflatus from various sources which disposes the unbelieving soul to the
reception of the Church's teaching. The MM. de Goncourt understand this:
"What a vast embrace, what an immense holy contagion, is religion at
Rome!" We become aware of a general lassitude and ennervation in the
firm texture of Madame Gervaisais's nature before the first approach is
made to her convictions. And how are those approaches made? Can any one
point to the first step? Has it ever been positively ascertained whether
a certain meeting, a borrowed book, a striking coincidence, a
conversation which has insensibly glided into a particular channel, was
the result of chance or long premeditation? In the present case it is
impossible to detect the earliest shadow of design falling across
circumstance. Was Madame Gervaisais's landlady sent to offer prayers for
the recovery of the sick child at the Sant' Agostino? Did the
man-servant read her journal and report its contents? Had the Russian
countess come on purpose to make her acquaintance when she found her
sitting under the oak tree at Castel Gandolfo reading Lammenais's essay
on religious indifference? The mystery which surrounds these questions
corresponds entirely to similar unexplained occurrences in Madame
Craven's seductive pages, where the finger of the sacred-supernatural is
tacitly supposed to play a decisive part. But, chance or calculation, it
leads in the same direction; and after a year and a half in Rome, Madame
Gervaisais, who has given up Lammenais for a book of her Russian
friend's, and has fallen into a state of languid dejection, takes to
attending the regular sermon at the Jesuits' church, where the music,
the paintings, the architecture, corrupt in style as they are, gradually
induce a sort of somnolent ecstasy. Before many Sundays pass a
celebrated preacher ascends the pulpit. "He was known as a man of talent
in the order--an actor, a pantomimist, a comedian, a tragedian, whose
gesticulatory and perambulatery eloquence swept the platform, and whose
dramatic fire was enough to kindle the wood of the desk. He declaimed,
wept, sobbed, raised his voice, let it break, whimpered, thundered, and
his discourse gave the congregation all the emotions and illusions of a
theatrical recitation." Madame Gervaisais at first hardly listens, but a
few words suddenly arrest her attention, and she hears the preacher
say, "Rash and audacious woman--and not only rash and audacious, but
wretched and unhappy--who dares to disdain the manifestations of the
divine will, and declares that her own reason is the only light she
needs!" proceeding to describe her habitual attitude of mind, and
winding up with a terrible denunciation delivered with the authority
which those alone can wield who believe themselves the mouthpieces of
Infallibility. She returns home profoundly shaken, with the dreadful
suspicion that her inmost secrets have somehow been discovered, and that
she has been preached at. A few days later she accidentally hears that
it is the princess de Belgiojoso who has been the object of the
fulmination: the relief is unspeakable, and produces a momentary
reaction, but the mark has been made.

It is impossible to follow in detail an operation which is like the
perpetual falling of drops of water or friction of grains of sand,
accompanied, moreover, by an occult, spiritual process like the function
of an organ. Before many months the proselyte put herself under the
direction of a Jesuit confessor. Little by little she had separated
herself from her few relations with the outer world; she went no more to
the French embassy or the French academy, where she had met fresh
currents of thought from political, artistic and literary circles; she
gave up a pleasant Italian house where there was superstition enough,
but not bigotry, broke off her intercourse with a lifelong friend, a
sincere but liberal member of the Gallican Church, and left the letters
of her only brother unanswered and unread. Her faculties were absorbed
by her fanaticism. "A secret metamorphosis was taking place within her:
her pride of intellect, her spirit of analysis, research, criticism, her
individuality of judgment, the energy of her own opinions, gave way
little by little under a revolution of her moral temperament, a sort of
inversion of her nature." She undergoes various phases of beatitude and
depression, and is amazed at the penetration with which her Jesuit
confessor, whose study has been human nature and whose learning is
soul-craft, divines her condition of mind. She lends herself to his
practices in the same way that assistant mortals unconsciously help the
spirits in table-turning. He finds her too self-tormenting and
scrupulous, and after a long and perfectly graduated exordium, in which
he has felt her spiritual pulse from time to time to ascertain that it
gave the due number of beats, and no more, concludes by telling her to
throw off all individual responsibility: he assumes that for her.
"Believe that when you appear before the tribunal of the Sovereign Judge
you can say, Lord, what I have done or omitted has been in obedience to
those whom you have given to govern me in your name. And be sure that a
soul cannot sin in acting according to the orders and lights of its
spiritual father." But by the time she had entirely abnegated her
accountability she finds the easy rule of the Jesuits too lax, and for
her further humiliation and penance takes for her director a monk of one
of the barefooted orders--a coarse and ignorant Calabrian peasant, whose
austerity has given him a widespread reputation for sanctity.

There is something more than painful in the minute portrayal of the
degradation of mind, character, even temper, which occupies the latter
part of the book: it is repulsive, and it strikes us as overdone,
although we know of at least one similar instance in real life. But
Madame Gervaisais has been represented as an uncommon woman in every
way, and we are forced to allow the progress of undermining disease some
share in her abasement. The last ten or a dozen chapters and the
tragical conclusion are among the weaker portions of the book, which as
a novel has many defects. It is nevertheless an able performance, and
might be a useful one if people, as a rule, were not more eager for the
poison than the antidote. All the phenomena and experiences which are
unfolded like holy relics by Madame Craven's high-bred hands are
recognized by MM. de Goncourt, but they are differently accounted for.

In _Rénée Mauperin_, another book by the same authors, which with
considerable cleverness has also many faults of construction and
development, we have a glimpse of the cheerful social aspect of the
Roman hierarchy through its intervention in mundane affairs. "The Abbé
Blampoix had neither parish nor curacy. He had a special vocation: he
was the priest of the world, the gay world, the great world.... His
voice was musical and his style flowery. He called the devil 'the prince
of evil,' and the Eucharist 'the divine aliment.' He abounded in
periphrases colored like sacred prints.... From time to time fashionable
phrases and colloquialisms of the day mingled in his spiritual
consolations, like bits of a newspaper in a book of devotion. He had
the odor of the century. His gown kept, as it were, the perfume of all
the pretty sins which had come near it.... Mothers consulted him before
they took their daughters to their first ball: daughters sought his
advice before going thither. He was the man from whom permission was
obtained to wear low-neck dresses--of whom one inquired the novels which
might be perused and the plays which might be seen. He baptized children
and confessed adulteries of heart.... Great sorrows, despair, had
recourse to him, and he ordered a journey to Italy, the diversions of
painting and music and a good confession at Rome." By this and analogous
counsel on still more delicate matters he superseded the fashionable
physician. But what kept him most busy was a species of matrimonial
agency which he managed for the benefit of his flock. "There was an
instant's silence, during which nothing was heard but the rustling of
the abbé's papers. At last he drew out a visiting-card turned down at
the corner, which he held toward the light, and read: 'Three hundred
thousand francs interest, obligations; fifteen thousand francs income
from the wedding-day; father and mother dead; six hundred thousand at
the death of some uncles and aunts who are not married and will not
marry. The young lady is nineteen--charming, prettier than she is aware
of. Here, let us think about that,' said the abbé, putting back the
card. 'Well--let's see: I have also--yes, at this very moment--an
orphan: twenty-five thousand francs income on marrying. But no, that
won't do: the guardian is desirous of an influential connection. Ah!
wait: perhaps this will do: twenty-two years old, not pretty,
accomplished, intelligent, dresses well; the father has fifteen hundred
thousand francs, three children, a solid fortune."

The authors of these books may not be very good Catholics, but, at all
events, they are not Protestants, and it cannot be objected that they
are writing of things they know nothing about.


     Charlotte Brontë: A Monograph. By T. Wemyss Reid. New York:
     Scribner, Armstrong & Co.

We should all be grateful to one who lets in a glint of sunshine on a
scene, a career, a life or a group of lives which we have been
accustomed to see wrapped in unbroken shade. Perfect shadow we distrust
instinctively, for we know that it is false Art and false Nature. There
must be a bit of light somewhere for every picture and every being. We
have long been looking for it, in the face of persistent denial, in the
case of that famous Haworth household and its literary productions. Mrs.
Gaskell rather deepened the gloom of Jane Eyre and Villette, and left us
small hope of a glance at the bright side of the characters and the
daily life of the three weird sisters, their brother Patrick and their
father, Patrick senior.

Mr. Reid cries _fiat lux_, and carries the proclamation into effect,
like the impatient gentleman who broke the windows which were obscured
by the too frequent repetition of that motto burnt in on every pane. And
he suggests, or leaves to dawn upon our after-perception, more light
than he directly makes. To carry out the glass simile, panes merely
cracked by him drop out piecemeal after he has withdrawn his hand, and
we come to see more and farther than our guide himself.

In this way he unwittingly enlightens us in the trivial matter of the
family name. Everybody has wondered how an English country parson came
to have for patronymic Lord Nelson's second title, won in battle from
the Mediterranean. This Mr. Reid explains by a short cut like the
well-known solution of an extraordinary story: "The man lied." Brontë,
with or without an unaccountable diæresis on the last letter, was an
assumed name, adopted by the first and last who bore it purely for the
sake of euphony. Now, while we could believe anything sombre and stern
of one sporting that deep, nasal and majestic appellative, we find it
impossible to associate thoughts of unearthly gloom with the airy
Milesian cognomen of Pat Prunty, even though weighted with the solemn
prefix of "Reverend." Sure enough, we satisfy ourselves very speedily
that the parent we have been accustomed to denounce as having blighted
three or four young lives, and cheated English literature out of several
good novels, was by no means the savage depicted by Mrs. Gaskell, or
even by Mr. Reid. His worst recorded exploits have something of the
bizarre about them, as when he cut into bits a dress presented to his
wife by one to whom he was not willing she should be indebted, and fired
off pocket-pistols at unseasonable hours and places. Mrs. Prunty does
not appear to have run short in her wardrobe, nor did the pistols ever
hit any one. The old gentleman, in spite of narrow circumstances, gave
his daughters and son a good education and what social advantages lay
within his reach. The world was clearly more open to them than it was to
him. A widower from the infancy of all his children, he not unnaturally
became a little peculiar and exacting. When, his only son having drunk
himself to death, the last of three daughters who had reached elderly
and acidulated maidenhood indicated a wish to marry a man she confesses
she did not love, he objected. Yet he persisted in his opposition only a
few months. As soon as he perceived Charlotte to be really anxious for
the union, he gave his full and kindly consent. All his daughters used
him and his scapegrace of a son freely as literary material, drawing
from them the central figures of the most effective of the novels. Nor
was he an unconscious or unwilling sitter. The writing of the tales soon
ceased to be a secret to him. He criticised, suggested and otherwise
assisted with some of them in a more active sense of the term than that
in which it is applied to a spectator.

A secluded life and narrow range of observation mainly account for what
of morbidness and lack of geniality marks these works. Charlotte's
private correspondence, when printed precisely as written and not
clipped or garbled, shows distinctly a sunny side, and justifies the
conclusion that the early life of the sisters was "unquestionably
peaceful, happy and wholesome." That this should be the fact adds to our
enjoyment of the novels. Our confidence in, and consequent admiration
of, a powerful picture are the more assured by our knowledge that the
touch under which it grew was not cramped or warped by suffering. Had
Charlotte Brontë's literary life been prolonged under the new conditions
opened to her by her sudden fame, we have small reason to suppose that
she would have created a more telling character than Rochester, though
she would not have exhausted her powers in the microscopic delineation
of commonplace people which constitutes the province of her most popular
female successor. She would have portrayed stronger subjects in a more
vigorous and incisive style. Some critical remarks in her few letters
from London are strikingly direct and acute. Thackeray, Mrs. Browning,
Turner and Macready come in for a few lines each which hit them to the
life. She possessed the critical temperament and faculty. The
metropolitan field suited to its best exercise she was, alas! destined
never to enter.


     Kismet. (No-Name Series.) Boston: Roberts Brothers.

As long as there are readers who care for a novel packed from cover to
cover with interesting scenes of a promising flirtation that ripens into
enthusiastic love-making by which three persons are in turn made
miserable, so long such books as _Kismet_ will be liked. The scene of
the story is the Nile, the characters are for the most part voyagers on
that river, and descriptions of the wonders that line its shores make an
imposing background to the lightness of the incidents. This setting of
the story makes the book really impressive: the scenery is brought
before the reader not in the way a topographical map is constructed, but
by dexterous touches which show that the anonymous author can rise above
recording the vicissitudes of a more or less conventional courtship. But
a good many writers have ship-wrecked just at that which seems so easy
and is really so hard. All the good scenery in the world will not make a
dull novel entertaining; but when, as is the case here, the story is
interesting, the reader can only be grateful for everything thrown in
over measure. This story is clever, because it describes so well the way
in which a young woman who at the beginning of the tale is engaged to a
young painter, George Ferris, whom she does not really love, learns a
good deal about that passion when she meets the more fascinating Arthur
Livingston on the Nile, and travels for a long time in his company. This
Livingston, too, is not the conventional hero whose success wins the
envious hatred of every man that reads its history: on the contrary, he
is a well-drawn, probable character, who is well informed without being
priggish, and whose sentimentality does not too thickly overlie his more
active qualities. He seems like what he is--a rich young American who
prefers Europe to this country, and who is not spoiled by living abroad.
The whole relation in which he stands to the heroine, Bell Hamlyn--or
Miss Hamlyn, as she is generally called, while her step-mother is almost
always known as Flossy--is entertainingly and naturally told. To be
sure, the veteran reader of novels will have a sense of having come
across some of the incidents several times before, but what will seem
much less familiar are the humor and the amusing satire with which the
foibles of travellers are made fun of. The collarless American, the
artless young Englishman, the light-minded flirt of the same country,
and the more solemn British tourist, are shown up with great cleverness;
and the talk of all the people is natural and amusing, although at times
the solemn parts are not so well done as the lighter and more frivolous
bits of the conversation. The book abounds with hits at social faults of
one kind and another, and shows a perception of the ridiculous which
promises well for the future success of the writer. It is not a great
book, but it is a clever one, which belongs in the same category with
_The Initials_; and every one has had, has, or will have a period of his
or her life in which no more is asked than is to be found in that famous
story. In both books the characters have a great resemblance to human
beings as seen by a bright, observant, humorous person whose experience
has not been wasted. It is not everybody who has afterward been famous
that has made so good a beginning as the author of _Kismet_.



_Books Received._


Narrative of the North Pole Expedition: U. S. Ship Polaris. Edited,
under the direction of the Hon. G. M. Robeson, by Rear-Admiral C. H.
Davis, U. S. N., U. S. Naval Observatory. Washington: Government
Printing-Office.

Life and Letters of Lord Macaulay. By his Nephew, George Otto Trevelyan,
M. P. (Leipsic edition.) Vols. I. and II. Leipsic: Lemmermann & Co. From
R. Worthington, New York.

Fruit and Bread: A Scientific Diet. By Gustav Schlickeysen. Translated
from the German by M. L. Holbrook, M. D. New York: M. L. Holbrook & Co.

A Woman-Hater. By Charles Reade. (Harpers' Household and Popular
Editions.) New York: Harper & Brothers.

Unclaimed: A Story of English Life. By an Englishwoman. (Loring's Tales
of the Day.) Boston: Loring.

Lectures on the History of Protection in the United States. By W. G.
Sumner. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons.

The Scripture Club of Valley Rest. By the author of "Helen's Babies."
New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons.

In Change Unchanged. By Linda Villari. (Leisure-Hour Series.) New York:
Henry Holt & Co.

Afterglow. (No-Name Series.) Boston: Roberts Brothers.





*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, Volume 20, September, 1877." ***

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