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Title: Chambers's Journal of Popular Literature, Science, and Art, No. 719 - October 6, 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 "Chambers's Journal of Popular Literature, Science, and Art, No. 719 - October 6, 1877" ***

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[Illustration:

CHAMBERS'S JOURNAL

OF

POPULAR

LITERATURE, SCIENCE, AND ART.

Fourth Series

CONDUCTED BY WILLIAM AND ROBERT CHAMBERS.

NO. 719.      SATURDAY, OCTOBER 6, 1877.      PRICE 1½_d._]



A WORD ON RICH FOLKS.


We have never quite understood why among preachers and moralists there
should be such a sweeping denunciation of riches. The rich man is
called all that is bad. The poor man--no matter that he had been a
spendthrift--is prescriptively an ill-used saint, for whom not enough
can be done. The older notions on the subject perhaps originated in
the fact that riches were too frequently accumulated by robbery and
oppression; which is not unlikely, for until this day in certain
eastern countries, of which Turkey is a luminous example, riches are
usually a result of some sort of extortion, if not actual violence.
And if so, we need not wonder that the poor were reckoned among the
oppressed and specially worthy of compassion.

However the ancient opinions regarding riches originated, it is surely
full time that new and more rational views were entertained, or at
least professed, on the subject. In Western Europe, men do not now go
about plundering and oppressing by armed force, as in the days of old.
The poorest are protected by the law. As a general rule, riches are
accumulated by a course of patient industry, and the reputedly wealthy
are among the most careful in setting the example of doing good. Of
course our mixed state of society is not without instances of wealth
being realised by jobbery, by fraudulent exploits among speculators.
But these are exceptions which a wise man does not fasten upon, except
to point the moral, that ill-gotten riches seldom last long, and
that their possessors are anything but respected. Why then persist
in holding up the wealthy to reprobation? The truth is, the cry is
little better than a sham. The very preachers who talk reproachfully
and warningly of riches, seldom fail to be as zealous in the pursuit
of riches as their neighbours. And in this no one can rationally blame
them. Every man within his proper calling is entitled as a matter
of duty to himself and those dependent on him to use all legitimate
means for bettering his condition, and, if possible, increasing
in wealth. It is indeed only by the prudential exercise of these
privileges that society is held together and advanced in civilisation.
It is very pleasant to see honest poverty decently struggling with
circumstances, and maintaining a good character amidst adversity;
but we deny altogether that poverty alone is synonymous with virtue,
and to be held up as meritorious. Without riches even comparatively
small, little good can be done. Wealth--meaning by that a surplus of
gains beyond what are required for daily subsistence--is obviously the
source of universal comfort. Money is above all things potential. It
hires labour, gives the employment which so many stand in need of. It
sets up manufactories, organises railways, puts ships on the ocean,
pays for machinery, builds and improves towns, schools, and churches,
encourages learning, enlarges processes of husbandry with a view to
ever-increasing demands for food. The most skilful and willing workman,
when placed in a country without money wherewith to employ him, is as
helpless in the attempt to realise the wages of labour as the merest
savage. In short, it is clear that before work can be given, there must
in some measure be an accumulation of capital, or in plain language
savings, in the hands of a part of the community.

Such being the case, how absurd does it seem to disparage money, as if
it were something sinful and dangerous. As well disparage man-power,
horse-power, steam-power, or any other power. As a force, money is
neither hurtful nor beneficial, neither bad nor good in itself. All
depends on the way in which it is used or directed. Gunpowder can blast
a quarry and bring forth stones with which a hospital may be built;
but the same gunpowder in the hands of the Russians or Turks can blow
thousands of men into eternity in a single day. A rich man, if he be
unselfish, has in his wealth the power of making his fellow-creatures
less coarse, less depraved, and as a consequence, less miserable. From
the vantage-ground of high position he can fight a chivalrous battle
for the afflicted and him that hath no helper. His good example will
have far more effect than that of a poorer man. His influence, if
directed to good and merciful objects, is as powerful for good as
that of the selfish rich man is for the reverse. 'Nobody should be
rich,' said Goethe, 'but those who understand it.' But when a man owns
gracefully and usefully, what good may he not do in the way of opening
a path for others, and giving them access to whatever civilising
agencies he may himself possess! Therefore we can understand how
both religion and philanthropy may treat with respect and even with
reverence the motto, 'Put money in thy purse.' May we not even say
that it is the desire to 'get on' and to become rich that prevents our
sinking into barbarism?

'There is always a reason _in the man_,' says Emerson, 'for his good
or bad fortune, and so in making money.' This rule is not without
exceptions, for now and then people do become rich by lucky or even by
dishonest 'hits;' nevertheless money is in the main representative.
Shew me a man who has made fifty thousand pounds, and I will shew
you in that man an equivalent of energy, attention to detail,
trustworthiness, punctuality, professional knowledge, good address,
common-sense, and other marketable qualities. The farmer respects
his yellow sovereign not unnaturally, for it declares with all the
solemnity of a sealed and stamped document that for a certain length of
time he rose at six o'clock each morning to oversee his labourers, that
he patiently waited upon seasonable weather, that he understood buying
and selling. To the medical man, his fee serves as a medal to indicate
that he was brave enough to face small-pox and other infectious
diseases, and his self-respect is fostered thereby. The barrister's
brief is marked with the price of his legal knowledge, of his
eloquence, or of his brave endurance during a period of hope-deferred
brieflessness.

But besides its usefulness and its being the representative of sterling
qualities, the golden smile of Dame Fortune is to be sought for the
invaluable privilege of being independent, or at least being out of
the horrid incumbrance of indebtedness. A man in debt is so far a
slave; while it is comparatively easy for one possessed of ten thousand
per annum to be true to his word, to be a man of honour, to have the
courage of his opinions. When a man or woman is driven to the wall,
the chances of goodness surviving self-respect and the loss of public
esteem are frightfully diminished. But while striving to escape from
the physical suffering and the mental and moral disadvantages that
attend the lot of poverty, we should admit to ourselves the fact, that
there are hardly less disadvantages and temptations ready to make us
miserable, if we are not on our guard after attaining to a reasonable
amount of wealth.

In a meeting assembled to make arrangements for Mr Moody's last
preaching campaign in London, one of the speakers expressed his hope
that Mr Moody would 'do something for the miserable poor of London.' 'I
shall try and do so,' was the preacher's reply; 'and I hope also to be
able to do something for the miserable rich.' 'The miserable rich!'
Some would think the expression almost a contradiction in terms, but it
is not; for the rich, while possessing the means, as we have already
said, of doing vast good, have nevertheless many things to render them
unhappy.

Great wealth is a heavy burden; the life of a rich peer being
described as 'made like the life of an attorney by the extent of his
affairs.' Even their most cherished means of enjoyment may become the
possibilities of vexation to the rich. Some may think it is a fine
thing to be a landlord, but there is hardly any position more irksome.
There is no end of trouble with tenants. The same thing with servants.
People who have many servants are sometimes worse served than those
who have only one; for what is every one's business is nobody's, and
each individual servant is ready with the answer: 'Oh, that is not in
my department,' when asked to do anything. The more valuable is your
horse, the greater is your anxiety about his knees. It is proverbially
difficult for a lady to be 'mistress of herself though china fall;' but
if the sound of broken _delf_ rise from the kitchen, 'Another plate'
is her indifferent remark. The fact is, every new possession becomes
an additional something to be looked after, and adds almost as much to
our anxiety as it does to our comfort. There is sound philosophy in the
answer a king is related to have given to one of his stable-boys, when
meeting him one morning he asked him: 'Well, boy, what do you do? What
do they pay you?' 'I help in the stable,' replied the lad; 'but I have
nothing except victuals and clothes.' 'Be content,' replied the king;
'I have no more.'

Occasionally there cast up in our social circle rich folks in an
unhappy state of cynicism. They are at a loss what to do with
their money. In making their will they demonstrate all sorts of
whimsicalities, passing over any recognition of their oldest and
most deserving friends, and leaving their means in some odd fashion
which everybody laughs at. In such instances it is curious to note
the anguish they experience in being asked to assist in charitable
contributions. In Dr Guthrie's Autobiography there is a good
illustration of this unhappy state of cynicism into which the rich
are prone to fall. There he relates how, in a winter of extraordinary
severity, he made an appeal to a lady who had succeeded to a prodigious
fortune, on behalf of the starving poor of his parish. In doing so he
had no very sanguine hope of success. On being ushered into her room,
she turned round, and shewing her thin spare figure, and a face that
looked as if it had been cut out of mahogany, grinned and said: 'I
am sorry to see ye. What do you want? I suppose you are here seeking
siller?' 'The very thing I have come for,' was the Doctor's frank
reply. Her next remark demonstrated how little power her riches had
of conferring happiness; and with all her wealth of flatterers, what
a poor, lonely, desolate, miserable creature this possessor of more
than a million sterling was. 'Ah!' she said, 'there is nobody comes to
see me or seek me; but it's money, the money they are after.' We are
glad to be able to relate that this miserably rich old lady gave to Dr
Guthrie fifty pounds for the poor--an act which we hope shed a gleam of
sunshine into her dark life.

It comes pretty much to this, that with riches there are sundry
drawbacks, and that rich people are sometimes as much to be pitied as
envied. All know the sharp penalties exacted by nature from those whose
only business in life is the pursuit of merely personal gratifications.
Wealth gives importance and satisfaction only in proportion to its
being administered to a useful purpose. Unhappily, as has been said,
there are miserable rich; but their misery is due to themselves. They
have failed to see the vast capacities for doing good with which they
have been charged. A wealthy person who spends the bulk of his time in
the cruelties of pigeon-shooting, or in some other 'sport' connected
with the coarse, wholesale destruction of innocent creatures, can be
called neither a great nor a good man. At best, we can estimate him as
an accomplished gamekeeper.

Luckily, and influenced by the wide expansion of modern ideas, the
rich, in the main, rise above paltry gratifications. There is obviously
an immense outgrowth in the generous distribution of wealth. In
innumerable cases, the rich have a difficulty in determining how to
expend their money in a way that will prove beneficial. The question,
'To whom or to what cause shall I contribute money?' must be a very
anxious one to conscientious men of wealth. 'How are we to measure,'
we may suppose rich men to ask, 'the relative utility of charities?
And then political economists are down upon us if by mistake we help
those who might have helped themselves. It is easy to talk against
our extravagance; tell us rather how to spend our money as becomes
Christians;' that is to say, for the greatest good of the greatest
number. The fact is, riches must now be considered by all good men
as a distinct profession, with responsibilities no less onerous than
those of other professions. And this very difficult business ought to
be learned by studying social science, and otherwise with as much care
as the professions of divinity, law, and medicine are learned. Were
the rich in this way to accept and prepare themselves for the duties
of their high calling, no one would grumble, because in the nature of
things money tends continually to fall into the hands of a few large
capitalists.

The value of riches, then, depends on the use that is made of them.
No doubt, as hinted at, they are often abused by the thoughtless, the
dissolute. But look at the many grand results of properly employed
wealth! Consider what is daily being effected in our own country alone
by the beneficence of wealthy individuals. What number of charities
supported, what churches built, what schools set on foot, what vast
enterprises of a useful kind entered into for the general benefit
of society. On these considerations, what a farce is that silly
declamation against the possession of riches, in which certain orders
of persons are indiscreetly pleased to indulge!



FROM DAWN TO SUNSET.

BY 'ALASTER GRÆME.'


IN THREE PARTS.--PART II.


CHAPTER THE NINTH.

The morning after Kingston's arrival and after their early breakfast,
Deborah followed her father into his 'den;' he was already equipped for
riding, and was drawing on his gloves.

'Late hours suit thee not, Deb; thou'rt looking pale, my Rose.'

'I am well enow. But father, I don't want you to take yourself away
to-day; it seems unmannerly to Kingston. He will not care for my dull
company alone. Do stay, my father!' She put her arms round his neck.

'Why, this is a new request! Thou'rt safe from all lovers while King is
with thee. Pshaw! little one, I must go; I have pressing business. King
will be proud to bear thee company. He raves about thee. Take him to
the vicarage, or to ride.'

'No. Stay, father.'

'Sweet heart, I cannot. Ye look scared. I will send King away, and have
Mistress Dinnage sent to ye. Ye're not well.'

'Indeed I am. Well, go, father; I will ask ye no more. Nay; I am all
right; but it grieved me for Kingston.'

Sir Vincent laughed. 'Grieve not for him.'

And so Deborah and Kingston Fleming found themselves alone, for
Mistress Dinnage, though urgently pressed by Deborah, was too proud to
bear them company.

Deborah put a brave careless face on the matter. 'What will ye do,
King?' she asked. 'I am going out for flowers. It is too hot to
ride till evening. Will ye go your ways till dinner, or will ye be
a carpet-knight, or what?' Truly, there was as much repulsion as
invitation in Deborah's question, as she stood looking up, with her hat
tied down and her basket on her arm; and though at that moment there
was no vestige of coquetry in her manner, that upturned face could not
look but lovely.

Kingston, half smiling, half mortified, answered: 'Well, I thought o'
no other plan but to bide with you, Deb; but if ye are anxious to be
rid o' me, I am off.'

'Nay!' Deborah laid her hand upon his arm, all penitent. 'Come with me.
I will not deign to answer your insinuation. I will shew ye all the old
haunts; the green paths where we played and romped, King, in the good
old days.'

'Ye speak like a grandmother,' said Kingston, as they went down the
long gallery together. 'The good old days! And what are these? _You_
are a child as yet. _I_ truly have cares and troubles.'

'You have not!' Deborah gazed up at him with her clear eyes,
reproachful, yet laughing. 'Everything comes to your hand,' said she:
'work, travel, honours, a ladye-love. Ye have all that life can offer,
and yet are not content.'

'Content? No; I am not.' Kingston stopped, and gazed at the 'Mistress
Mary Flemyng' whose picture hung above them. 'Here is our ancestress,
Deb, the "beautiful Mary Flemyng." She resembles you. The same eyes,
the same trick o' the eyelids, the same mocking, witching smile. Here
she is, but seventeen, unwed still, but her fate is hanging over her.
At eighteen, she was married to an old rich rake. She went mad in time,
and they tell us, "died young;" the best thing she could do. Why, she
had better have kept her name of Fleming, for she had a sad life of
it. But she had a soft, tame, yielding nature; there was excuse for
her. The Fleming fortunes too were at a perilous low ebb; and it is
needful ever and anon to sacrifice a bud off the parent stem to mend
the fortunes of the house. That was arranged. What is the worth of
beauty but to win gold? _Thy_ beauty, poor Mary Fleming, won a fortune;
thy sweetness and worth were sold to the highest bidder! It was for thy
kindred's sake. Truly, it was a noble act!'

'Who told you this?' asked Deborah, gazing gravely up at her beautiful
ancestress with a heightened colour and intense interest. 'I never
heard the tale. O yes; surely I heard it long long ago, and thought it
was a wicked act of hers. For had she not another lover--one that she
really loved, young and noble?'

Kingston laughed cynically. 'O yes, but poor. What was that? A victim
more or less never mattered. There were a dozen went to the dogs for
_her_. She looks like it--doesn't she? That invincible spirit of
coquetry could never have been quenched: it lurks in her eyes, on her
lips. She deserved her fate.'

'Kingston, you are hard and cruel. Success has not sweetened you. I
respect poor Mary Fleming!'

'Because _you_ would have done likewise?' he asked, gazing down into
her eyes fiercely and sardonically.

Half angered, she turned away, yet with a smile that was full of tender
trouble, tenderness sweet and strange. Kingston brooded over that
smile, and liked it not. That smile would seem to shew that Deborah had
a lover. Who was Deborah's favoured lover? Kingston even remembered the
daisy long ago. They had not another word to say till they reached the
garden. There lay the quaint flower-borders, smelling of a thousand
sweets, where bees and butterflies made up the jewels, and many a
darting dragon-fly. And away in the background stretched cool and deep
green woods, and a green path of tender shade, where stood a rustic
seat. Oh, such a seat for lovers! And the tall bright foxglove reared
its dappled bells about the gloom. Kingston's dreaming eyes took all
in unconsciously, while Deborah cut and piled up a blooming heap of
flowers.

'Now we have done,' she said. 'I must go and arrange them. Mistress
Dinnage arranges beautifully.'

'Don't go in, Deb; the sun thaws me. I am cold. Feel my hand. I thought
I was to be shewn the "old haunts?"'

Deborah blushed. 'O yes,' she answered hurriedly, avoiding his eyes
again. 'The flowers must die, then, King.'

'Let them! A thousand flowers have had their reign at Enderby in these
two years, and millions more will bloom and die before I see Enderby
again!' He spoke hurriedly, emphatically.

Deborah gazing up at him, turned pale. 'What! are you going to die,
King?'

'Nay, Deb, sweet heart; I can come here no more. Ask me not _why_. I
can tell you--nothing.'

'Oh, I like not to hear you talk like this, King. You had a bright
gay spirit once. _I_ live in an atmosphere where, it is true, all
is bright and beautiful and home-like, and but too dear! Yet I
feel it is volcanic land; and beneath our feet, King, I hear the
thunder-mutterings; and above our heads, King, it seems to me there
often rise clouds black as night; for ye know how it is with us. But
to your coming I looked for comfort. In father's and Charlie's faces I
often find paleness, apprehension, gloom, through all their looks of
love for me; and a foreboding chills my heart. But _you_ were never
wont to be like this. Now it seems to me your looks portend just such
gloom and mystery. Ye are sad; you are not yourself. What ails you? Is
there no lasting sunshine in life?'

'Not in yours, Deb, unless matters take another turn with you. Things
are dark with your father, my little one. He has told me much. For one
thing, I thank God, Deborah, that you have refused the Lincoln bait
they tempt you with. Listen to no one who may lure you to such utter
ruin. I know that man now. You were better dead than Mistress Sinclair.'

'No fear of that.--But shall we indeed be ruined, Kingston?'

'Things look dark. Could ye bear to lose Enderby, Deb?'

'Lose Enderby!' Her paling lips shewed that the girl had never
contemplated that. 'Nay; I know not how to bear it. Is it sure?'

'No; but I thought it best to prepare you for any emergency. Heaven
grant you may have some one to take care of you in this uncertain
future!'

'I have a father and brother,' exclaimed Deborah proudly.

Kingston laughed with some bitterness. 'Ay, you have.'

'Have ye aught to say against them?'

Kingston glanced with his old raillery at the flushed cheeks and
flashing eyes. 'I dare not say it, if I had. Yet I wish I could get
hold of that fellow Charlie; I might bring him to reason, if I could
find him out.'

'He will come when he knows that you are here.'

Kingston doubted this in his own mind.

'Dear old Enderby!' muttered Kingston, as they strolled up the winding
woodland path. 'With no home of my own, here I have always found one.
It is _our_ home, Deb. Can we leave it? Can we? I never thought it was
so dear till now.'

Deborah did not answer. Her breast was heaving tumultuously. He saw
that she was weeping silently and bitterly. She sat down on the
shrubbery seat, and Kingston walked slowly on. He soon returned,
guessing rightly that Mistress Fleming would be proudly herself again.

Deborah and Kingston saw not much more of each other that day till they
rode together in the evening. It happened that Mistress Dinnage stood
by her father's side and watched them.

'They make a pretty couple,' said old Jordan through his smoke. 'He's
more her match than Master Sinclair. 'Twould be a sin and shame to give
pretty Lady Deb to _him_. Why, Master Charlie would run him through
first!'

'That he would; and so would she, father, bless ye! Ye don't _yet_ know
our Lady Deb, if you think such a thought. See him go out through this
gate, father, times on time, the old sharp fox! his eyes glowering,
as he could murder me. He has caught it _then_; and I have well-nigh
laughed in his face. I hate the cunning bad old man, with his tall
hectoring air. I wish Master Charlie would horsewhip him soundly.'

Old Jordan chuckled over his pipe, glorying in the spirit of Mistress
Dinnage. 'Ay, ay; I wish he would, Meg. Young giant! Many's the time
I've hosswhipped he. He'd laugh in my face for my pains now.'

       *       *       *       *       *

That night the two girls were in their favourite walk, while Sir
Vincent and Kingston were indoors.

'I shall owe you a grudge, Mistress Dinnage.'

'Why?'

'For leaving me all day with my cousin Kingston.'

'I would have ye be together!'

'This is not like you. Can it end but in misery? Oh, the Fates send him
soon away from Enderby! Meg, he likes me well--far better than he did
formerly; but oh, man-like, he would fain get the better o' my heart by
fair fair words.'

'And why?' cried Mistress Dinnage impetuously. 'To hold and cherish it!
What is this Mistress Blancheflower? Can she compare with thee? Would
he linger here'----

'Hush, hush! He is betrothed. When he weds, thou and I will run away
and hide till it is all gone by. My heart will not break, sweet; do not
think it. I am too proud.'

They wrung hands; and Mistress Dinnage sped away like a deer, for King
Fleming's tall figure emerged from the garden-door in the wall.

'Plotting, plotting!' he said. 'My pretty conspirators! I wish I had
caught you in it. That was Mistress Dinnage. I know her pace. How is it
that the pretty lassie is not wedded out o' harm's way?'

'Because Mistress Dinnage only weds for love.'

'So she lives to do mischief. O Deb! look, there was the daisy-scene!
There lay you, and there stood I. Deb, I would give up all the good o'
my years of toil to be a boy again!'

The blush had not faded from Deborah's face when he looked at her. 'We
all feel that,' she responded. 'How you did tease me, King!'

He smiled. 'I should love to tease thee now, if I had ease of mind.
Give me your hand, Deb. Now climb, and gather that rose, and give it me
with a gracious grace, as I saw you give to _another_.'

'I never climbed, though. Will _this_ not content you, Master Fleming?'

'Nay, the highest, the highest! the "Rose of Enderby." I was blind, I
was stone-blind! I never cared for roses; the taste comes too late. A
student's life kills joy, and men grow blind in burrowing in books.'

'Well, there! Can your old blind eyes see that? I will fasten it in
your coat.--Nay, you shall not, Kingston Fleming!' Deborah started
back, with all her fiery soul blazing in her eyes, for Kingston would
fain have drawn her to him and thanked her with a kiss. She plucked the
rose to atoms and scattered it in the night air. 'Some maidens might
think this cousinly of you; not I. I will not abide this familiarity.'

His face looked pale and changed in the moonlight. 'Have I offended
you, Deborah? Can I not even be your brother--for love of the olden
time? Nay, see me! Look on me, Deb; I have need of pity. Do ye not see
I am in trouble?'

All the girl's passion vanished; she drew near and laid her hands in
his; she felt those strong hands trembling like leaves in the wind.

'In trouble, King?' she asked tenderly and piteously, with her sweet
face upturned. 'Ye are ever hinting this; yet never win the courage
to tell me where this trouble lies. Trust Deborah Fleming! She is the
receiver of troubles; she is used to them. Deborah Fleming can prove a
truer sister to you, perchance, than by idle words and caresses.'

But the strangely sensitive and impassioned nature of Kingston Fleming
was all stirred and tempest-tossed; the gay calm summer sea was swept
by a great storm-wind, which stirred the depths beneath.

'Nay, child,' he whispered, with hurried agitated breath; 'I cannot
tell. Thou'dst hate me, Deb--hate me. I cannot afford to lose thy
friendship even. Deb, I have few true friends. But above all, I have
been mine own worst enemy! Ah Deborah, _I am most miserable_.' His
head sank: lorn, dejected, despairing, he stood before her, the wild,
high-spirited, light-hearted Kingston Fleming!

'Thou shalt not be miserable,' said Deborah, trembling herself, and her
great lovely eyes brimming over with tears, while she pressed to his
side, and twined her arms round one of his. 'All will be right, King.
But for hating, I cannot hate thee, dear, being constant to my kinsfolk
and my friends. Yet I will not press thee to confide in me. Take
comfort. These be dark days for us all, King; brighter will come yet.'

'Thou'rt an angel-comforter, Deb.' Kingston had regained some calmness,
and resumed his walk, holding Deb's hand upon his arm. 'But of all
human infirmities, ye would hate weakness most. Isn't it so?'

'Weakness? Well, yes. I like not weak men. You are not weak, King?'

He laughed aloud and bitterly. 'Weak as water! Ah, ye will know it some
day, perchance!'

'Mistress Blancheflower does not think ye weak, I'll warrant.'

He laughed again. 'Mistress Blancheflower thinks not much about it.'

('They have quarrelled,' thought Deborah, 'and this makes him so
reckless and unhappy. Well-a-day! I cannot interfere.') 'So it seems to
you,' she answered aloud; 'but maids can be very proud, I tell ye; but
because she does not shew her thoughts, you must not love her less.'

'Ah, this is sound advice, and easy to be followed! Some maids have no
thoughts at all.'

'You would never have loved such, dear King! Nay, you are hard and
bitter, and that makes you unjust.'

'Have I been so? Not one word have I uttered against Mistress
Blancheflower. I am fond enough of Mistress Blancheflower, Deb.'

So they said no more, and Kingston Fleming received neither rose nor
kiss. He did not sleep that night, he could not, for his 'trouble.' He
stepped out on the leads to smoke, and saw all Enderby lying still and
peaceful in the pale glory of the moon. He stood thinking, thinking.
There is her lighted window in the turret. His whole soul ached and
yearned. Why, O unhappy Kingston? He said not to his soul _then_: 'Deb,
thou'rt too mad for me!' King Fleming, you are betrothed; you are about
to wed a beautiful and 'honourable' lady; fly from all thoughts that
would wrong her and your own honour; shut your eyes and steel your
heart against the dangerous charm of Deborah Fleming; fly from Enderby!
Deborah, are you witch or siren? With what subtle glamour are those
eyes charged, that they haunt the captive soul, and will not let it be?
Is it coldness, indifference, disdain, a sisterly tenderness--she gives
him each in turn--that is madding him so? Why was she so beautiful?
Why should the sun-tanned romp of two years ago turn to so perfect
and delicate a beauty? Deborah has bewitched her cousin Kingston, and
for that he knows not if he loves or hates her most, as he upbraids
her bitterly. Yet, has she tried to lure him on? Has she not rather
rebuffed him? No; it is the very essence of coquetry to woo and fly. He
will allow her no grace, but that she is a 'graceless Fleming flirt.'
And then he pictures her an angel in all but wings and crown. Anon the
room is dark, the light is gone, the moon is clouded over, and Deborah
Fleming lies sleeping--the noble, the beautiful, the guardian of a wild
old father--the sweet adviser of a reckless brother--the angel and
the Rose of Enderby--the lover of honour, purity, and good faith. Too
late! too late! The bright and noble soul had been unsought, uncared
for in its immaturity, darkened as it was in early days, and obscured
by childish shames and sudden passions; but that fatal gift of beauty
roused him now to a sense of all that he had lost. Beauty had ever been
Kingston Fleming's lure. Then it was only her beauty that he loved?
Again he voted her fiercely a universal and wild coquette. Well, she
was fair game then. Indifference, and then and again a swift glance
or tender sigh, should win her yet. No matter if the rose faded, if
it could be no rose to him. Then, then he would wed the lovely and
uncertain Beatrix Blancheflower. Still he lingered. 'Deborah! Deborah!'
In all Enderby there is no light; and no light in Kingston's soul.


CHAPTER THE TENTH.

It was late in the morning before they met. Deborah was all sunshine
and gaiety. Womanlike, she lived in the present, and realised no
Enderby and no future without Kingston Fleming; the interchange of
words and looks was enough for her. He turned his face aside, that
she might not see how haggard it was, and was angry with her for her
happiness.

Adam Sinclair came that day to Enderby, and Deborah played a dangerous
part, but with infinite spirit, grace, and charm, so that it set the
young man and the old man hating one another, as men can hate in
jealousy. But Master Sinclair was the favoured one, and saw it. What
was Master Fleming but a kinsman and a brother? So Master Sinclair rode
off more madly possessed than ever, and darkly revolving plans; for
Mistress Fleming he would wed, by fair means or by foul.

But the youthful beauty was not pleased. Kingston had seemed tenderer
the day before; his eyes had looked admiration of her beauty; he had
watched her, and given her his troubled confidence and affection. She
loved him better then. Ah, he was content. He had heard from Mistress
Blancheflower! and he cared not if she, Deborah, encouraged and even
wedded old Adam Sinclair. So the rapid thoughts fled through Deborah's
mind. No; she would not be treacherous to Mistress Blancheflower, she
_would not_; but she could not bear this coldness! He was leaning from
the window, and watching Mrs Dinnage, who sat below at her work in the
sunny courtyard, while her sworn friend and foe, Dame Marjory, fed the
pigeons. Deborah went and leaned beside the window.

'Wilt ride, King? We may not have steeds to offer long.'

'Nay; I will have none of your rides. I prefer watching Mistress
Dinnage. She is pretty. All girls are pretty.'

'Ye are not gracious, Master Fleming. See if I ask ye again! Now there
is one, Master Adam Sinclair, Lord of Lincoln, would ride to the
world's end for me.'

'He can ask for favours in return; one day ye will pay him dearly.'

'How so, bird of ill omen?'

'With yourself.'

'Master Kingston Fleming, I do not need your auguries; once before I
told you so.'

He looked up and flashed a smile--most mocking, or most tender?

She leaned from the window at his side. 'You are happier to-day, King:
you can taunt.'

'O ay, I can always do that.--How pretty is Mistress Dinnage!'

'I am glad she pleases you.'

'Give me a rose, Deb, for peace.'

She gave him one. 'Throw it not to Mistress Dinnage now; she would only
scorn your offering.'

Kingston touched the flower with his lips. Deborah blushed.

'If I may not kiss the Rose par excellence,' said he, 'I will kiss "the
Rose's" rose.'

'Ye talk nonsense. Poetry does not suit you, King.'

'Ah, I have never written you verses.'

'I have not inspired you, mayhap.'

'Ye are too cold, Deb, save when Adam Sinclair is by. Once ye were all
fire and fret; now ye are all snow and sorcery.'

'Strange blending! Have I witched you then?'

'Ay, the first day I came.'

'What worth is witchery?'

'To wear the heart away.'

'A pleasant vocation, truly, if I am working the like on you! But I
thought not I was of so much dignity in your eyes as either to wear
your heart or pleasure it.'

He looked in her eyes then as if his whole soul were in his own. 'Deb,
art speaking truth?'

'Ay,' she answered with earnestness; 'as surely as that my name is
Deborah.'

'"None so blind as those who will not see." Well, well, Lady Deb, think
as ye will. Are you a coquette, Deb? I was wondering last night.'

'Oh, you _do_ think o' me then? Well, I know not. If I lived in the
great world, I might be; here, what can I do?'

'Enow; it seemeth me. It is well for ye, Deb, ye're not in the world;
ye'd be a wild one! You're too beautiful by half.'

Deborah blushed, and with what covert joy Master King Fleming noted it!

'After that fine compliment,' said she, 'I will leave you to the
contemplation of Mistress Dinnage. All girls are fair to you. I am
going to ride. I may meet my wandering Charlie.'

'You will not ride _alone_?'

'Ay; not even Jordan with me. I may ride to Lincoln Castle.'

Kingston rose. 'Ye shall not have the chance. I am your cavalier, Deb.'

'As it please ye!' And away went Deborah, singing.



A SUMMER HOLIDAY IN NORWAY.


A summer holiday in Norway can scarcely be otherwise than delightful.
This beautiful northern land has attractions for all classes of
tourists. In few other regions in Europe can there be found commingled
such picturesque firths, such clusters of rocky islets, such lofty
mountains, such exuberant sunshine, and such a bright ever-changeful
sea. Interesting to all, it is peculiarly attractive to the lovers of
Izaak Walton's gentle art. To the angler, a Norwegian lake or river has
long been an aquatic Paradise. What a blissful experience it must be
to hook a twenty-pound salmon, or even a five-pound grilse; to feel it
rush like an arrow through the pellucid flood, and to dash away after
it through a cool forest of sedges, or over a subaqueous Stonehenge,
with the pleasant hum of the line as it spins out into the river,
resounding in your ears. While high overhead the lark sings in the
clear air, and the silvery mists creep up the steep hill-sides, and the
golden sunlight streams down through the thickets of birch and alder,
dancing on the ripples of the gladsome river, and shining right down
into the angler's gladsome heart. This is an experience worth all the
elixirs that were ever invented. It braces the nerves, it expands the
lungs with full draughts of the healthful mountain breeze, and makes
the sinking heart bound once more elastic with the buoyant unforgotten
lightness of boyhood.

Mr Arnold, in his _Summer Holiday in Scandinavia_, has done ample
justice to the great and varied natural charms of Norway. Unhappily
for some travellers at least, it cannot be approached without a longer
or shorter sea-voyage, the pleasure or discomfort of which depends
very much upon the weather. Our author in this respect was not very
fortunate, for the sun kept resolutely out of sight. The sky, the
dim haze-covered land, and the surrounding waves, were all one dull
uniform gray; but even with this drawback, he was struck by the rugged
grandeur and beauty of the sea-wall of Norway, one of the noblest in
the world. Frowning, it rises a rocky rampart of gray beetling crags,
fantastic buttresses, and cliffs of limestone, embosomed in masses of
delicate many-toned hues of verdure, as the silvery gray green of the
birch, the brighter shade of the hazel, or the more sombre colouring
of the pine, predominates in the foliage of the copse-wood, with which
every available nook and cranny is crowned. Jagged peaks and serried
promontories fashion themselves in the most picturesque fashion out
of the gray limestone crags, sheltering lonely sequestered bays of
wondrous beauty; while beyond rise long ridges of lofty hills, their
brown sides covered in great part with odoriferous pine-forests,
checkered with vivid green patches of corn-land and pasture; with here
and there a cluster of little quaint wooden red-tiled houses, lending
to the beautiful wild scenery the interest of human life and industry.

At Christiania Mr Arnold and his party landed amid a group of placid
onlookers; and having, chiefly by their own efforts conveyed their
luggage to the custom-house, found that dreaded ordeal to be in Norway
mere child's play. 'An old official,' says our author, 'with a flat
cap, looking remarkably like a Greenwich pensioner, patted some of the
luggage, and said in good but brief English: "Tourists?" "Yes," replied
our spokesman. The old official then bowed, intimating obligingly that
Norway was glad to see us, and waved his hand for the next lot.' A
month was the time that the party had to spend in Norway; and after
mature consideration, they decided that the best route for them would
be from 'Christiania by Lake Miosen to Giovik and the Fille Fjeld _viâ_
Fagernœs, and so to Bergen by Lœrdalsoren, returning by the southern
road and Lake Kröderen.' What they could not determine was, whether
to walk or ride or drive; but at last they decided that it was best
to do at Rome as the Romans do, and wisely fell back upon the native
carrioles.

As these are quite an institution in Norway, they merit a few words
of description. Imagine a low light wooden conveyance, somewhat
spoon-shaped, with an upright splash-board in front, two very large
wheels, and a big apron buttoned down on both sides around the
traveller. A sensible conscientious cream-coloured pony is attached
to it in front; and behind, perched on a shaky projecting board, is a
fair-haired, sallow, phlegmatic-looking peasant, boy or man as may be,
who is called a _skyds-carl_. You may drive yourself, if you choose;
and if you do, you may possibly flatter yourself that you are lord, if
not of all you survey, yet still of the cream-coloured pony in front
of you, and may make the pace according to your liking. Never was a
greater mistake; the skyds-carl perched behind is that pony's master,
not you; and if he chooses to utter in a low tone bur-r-r-r-dar-r, you
may flog until you are weary; neither whipping nor coaxing will make
the sagacious creature quicken its pace an iota. The _stol-kjærre_
or country cart is a square wooden tray with large wheels, and a
low-backed seat across the centre, sometimes with and sometimes without
springs. The posting stations are more or less picturesque as regards
scenery, but are all built upon one plan, of red pine logs, around a
spacious yard, which may be tidy or untidy according to the taste of
the inmates. Barns or other outhouses form two sides of the square,
the house makes the third, and the fourth is supplied by the road.
The buildings are roofed very generally with sods of turf, forming a
plateau on which long grass and wild-flowers wave luxuriantly. The
food to be procured at these stations is good of its kind: salmon,
trout, reindeer venison, mutton; and wild-ducks in abundance if the
tourist can shoot them--all very tolerably cooked. By way of dessert,
there are wild raspberries, strawberries, and molteberries, a yellow
insipid fruit of a pale amber colour, which tastes like a rain-soaked
raspberry. The only bread to be procured at the up-country stations is
_flad-bröd_ to whose qualities Mr Arnold bears the following affecting
testimony: 'It is thin, dry, dusty, full of little bits of straw, and
quite tasteless, like the bottom of a hat-box with the paper torn off.'

The household arrangements of these posting establishments are often
very primitive. The front door sometimes opens into the sleeping-room
of the entire family; and if you arrive any time after nine P.M. you
may see on entering the master and mistress of the mansion reposing
on a broad high shelf at one end of the room near the stove, while
the rest of the family and guests of lowly degree recline around on
benches, or on the floor, where they can at least have what room
they require. This is a luxury which no tall tourist need expect in
a Norwegian guest-chamber; there the beds, although furnished with
appliances for making them as wide, if need be, as the famous bed of
Ware, are seldom longer than five feet eleven.

The roads, although necessarily steep at places, are fairly good; but
most of the bridges are constructed in a very primitive style. The
natives are a kind, hospitable, honest, but somewhat apathetic race.
Watching their stolid expressionless faces, one cannot help wondering
where the superabundant energy of the old vikings has betaken itself
to. During the long winter evenings, the women knit and spin a great
deal. They provide themselves plentifully with household linen and
homespun clothes, which are often of a dark-brown colour, enlivened
in the case of the men by a bright scarlet cap, and in that of the
women by a white kerchief tied under the chin. In appearance, a small
Norwegian farmer is very like an English labourer. His house, built of
wood and thatched with sods, is devoid of ornament, but has no lack of
solid comfort, and is sufficiently warmed by a huge quaint-looking iron
stove.

The women on holiday occasions turn out in the old Norse costume, the
chief feature of which is the bodice, which is often made of some
bright-coloured velvet, turned down in front with white silk, and laced
before and behind, according to our author, 'with several yards of fine
silver chain, each chain ending in a silver bodkin, in order that they
may be the better threaded through double rows of eyes (in themselves
strikingly pretty articles of silver), that run in four lines up the
back and front of this showy piece of Scandinavian haberdashery.' Both
men and women are very fond of large bright buttons and of silver or
plaited ornaments.

Bears abound in the dense forests of Norway and on the high barren
uplands; and thrilling stories are told of hair-breadth escapes from
these fierce but sagacious animals. A sportsman near Maristuen was
one day wandering in a birch thicket, when he suddenly came upon
a huge bear regaling itself with raspberries. Bruin was peaceably
inclined, and fled; but he instantly gave chase. With a speed perfectly
surprising in such a lumbering unwieldy animal, it ran down the
hill-side, while he rushed after it in hot pursuit, till on a steep
slope of the mountain it suddenly disappeared. There was a little
patch of brushwood before him, over which he leaped, and hearing an
ominous crashing of branches in his rear, turned round, when there
was the bear, which with a murderous growl rushed right upon him.
Instinctively he raised his rifle and drew the trigger just in time,
for almost at the same moment the infuriated brute seized the muzzle of
the piece, which exploding, blew its head to atoms.

A Norse wedding is always preceded by a series of presents from the
bridegroom to the bride. First, there are about two dozen meal-tubs
of various sizes, elaborately painted; and last and crowning glory of
the _trousseau_, there is a wonderful clothes-press. Inside, as far as
regards drawers large and small, and brass pegs and racks for crockery,
it is a marvel of ingenuity; while outside it is a perfect triumph of
art. The ground tint is a warm bright vermilion, painted all over with
green and yellow scrolls, enlivened with wreaths of gorgeous flowers,
and piles of brilliantly hued fruit, pleasingly interspersed with
quaint lovers' knots and bleeding hearts transfixed upon Cupid's darts,
in the midst of which are the names and birth-dates of the liberal
donor and blissful recipient of this magnificent wedding-gift. A
Norwegian maiden, who is generally as sober as a linnet in her ordinary
attire, appears on her bridal day glittering in all the colours of the
rainbow. On her long fair hair is set an antique crown of silver gilt;
and her bodice, stiff as a cuirass, is thickly studded with beads,
silver-gilt brooches, and small mirrors. This bridal adornment is too
valuable to be the individual property of any Norse belle, but belongs
to the district, and is hired out for the day.

The scenery in Norway is remarkably beautiful; the mountain roads often
wind along the base of huge gray cliffs with steep dells beneath, where
some bright salmon river may be seen sparkling along beneath the gloom
of the overhanging pine-trees, or some soft blue lake may be discerned
glimmering like a sheet of silver in the sunshine, or pillowing on the
stillness of its waveless breast the mighty shadows of the everlasting
hills.

At Strande Fjord, one of these lovely lakes, which was shut in by
a dark background of pine-clad mountains, whose rugged sides were
furrowed with deep torrents and white lines of waterfalls, our
travellers found in the pleasant station-house a party of seven English
ladies and gentlemen, tempted, like themselves, to make a halt of
a few days at this charming spot. Here there was every variety of
scenery--lofty mountains, precipitous waterfalls, dense pine forests,
and wide undulating stretches of fresh green meadow-land; while in
the midst slept the tranquil lake; now kissing with tiny wavelets the
pebbles on its silvery shore, now bending away round the bold red
cliffs, that guard like weird sentinels this lake Paradise of the
North. The face of the huge crags is frayed and worn into deep shadowy
caves, whose roofs are tapestried with a profusion of ferns; while
by the precipitous margin of the lake, long verdant palm-like fronds
wave in the breeze, or stoop to meet sub-aquatic forests of weeds and
water-flags.

Lœrdalsoren, the highest point which they reached, was a quaint
overgrown village, nestling between high green and purple hills.
Insignificant as they accounted it, it was a town of no small repute
in the surrounding wilderness, for it possessed a doctor, a church,
two hotels, and a telegraphic office. Still, in spite of all these
advantages, it was an undeniably dismal little place, intensely cold,
and with nothing to offer by way of comfort for the inner man, except
salmon, a viand of which, when confined to it exclusively, people tire
sooner than of any other.

Wide ranges of mountains extend all around Lœrdalsoren, towering up
one above the other in savage grandeur till their jagged snow-clad
peaks seem to pierce the sky. Gray and yellow patches of reindeer's
moss carpet the sheltered nooks and hollows among the hills, and the
deer themselves are abundant: the skyds-carl pointed out a hill where a
native sportsman had recently shot nine in one day.

So bitter was the cold, that before they reached Bjoberg, on the
downward road, they were half frozen, and could scarcely hold the reins.

From Bjoberg the descent was rapid, and was like the change from
Christmas to midsummer; the sun's rays became warmer and warmer, and
the breeze more mild, until they exchanged the snow-clad hills, the
bleak uplands, and the barren patches of reindeer's moss, for the
wild-flowers, the sparkling rivers, and the luxuriant greenness of the
northern summer.

At Huftun they found excellent entertainment at the house of Madame
Brun, a Frenchwoman, whose superior cookery worthily sustained the
high gastronomical pretensions of her nation. Near her pretty house
they shot two varieties of the woodpecker, and saw tranquilly sailing
in mid-air, a few hundred yards from them, a splendid specimen of the
Norwegian eagle.

The most abundant bird in Norway is the magpie, which the peasantry,
from superstitious motives, seldom or never kill. There are also
great quantities of the hooded or gray crow, abundance of swallows
and snipes, and great flocks of wild-ducks of five different kinds.
Generally, they are excellent eating; but at the Lillie Strand a black
duck was shot, a bird of such a singularly unpalatable and fishy
_goût_, that our author jestingly supposed it must be a stray member
of the species which the Pope benevolently allows good Catholics to
partake of on Fridays.

Grouse, ryper, and woodcock are also found. Grouse one would fancy
must be abundant, judging from the experience of an Englishman who is
reported to have killed twenty-two brace in one day.

Lake Kröderen they found a pretty placid sheet of water; but after
the surpassingly grand and beautiful scenery through which they had
passed, it seemed to them tame; and as it was impossible to obtain any
refreshment on board the steamboat which plied on its waters, they
made no unnecessary delay, but pressed on as quickly as they could to
Christiania, whence they repaired, _viâ_ Jonköping and Helsingborg, to
Copenhagen.

The Swedish railways they found very slow, and the country flat and
uninteresting, except around Lake Wenern, which was beautiful, and had
besides all the interest associated with the birthplace of Linnæus.
They passed the little village in which the boyhood of the great
botanist was spent, and called to mind that as a child he could not
recollect names; and was voted, even at the university of Lund, a most
superlative dunce, who could not be made to display much interest in
anything except the pursuits of his father and uncle, who were ardent
botanists. So poor was the household of this illustrious Swede, that
his father could only allow him eight pounds a year for his whole
collegiate course; and the poor student while at Upsal had often to
mend his shoes with gray paper, and sally forth rod in hand to eke out
his slender meals with a few fish from the lake. The country between
Elsinore and Copenhagen impressed them favourably; it is, our author
says, 'dense with beech and fir woods, and full of glades, lakes, and
park-like lawns.'

Copenhagen is a handsome town, with a population singularly
English-looking in manners and appearance. Its great point of
attraction for our tourists was the Museum, filled with the works of
Thorwaldsen, the Phidias of the North. Here, in the middle of a large
hall, a cenotaph is erected to the memory of the great sculptor; and
around stand the imperishable monuments of his genius, instinct with
the classic grace, with the refined delicacy, with the glorious beauty
of old Greek art, carried to as great perfection beneath these cold
skies of the gray North as ever it was in sunny Athens.

From Copenhagen our tourists returned by Jutland and the Hamburg
railway to Calais; having enjoyed their holiday so much, that Mr Arnold
recommends 'all the lovers of nature to see Norway as well as Seville
before they die.'



THE ADMIRAL'S SECOND WIFE.


CHAPTER I.--SURMISES.

A dreary evening, rain and sleet chasing each other alternately, and
making the streets of the busy town of Seabright dismal as streets can
well be. Yet there must be some fascination in the outdoor scene, or
Katie Grey would not stand so long peering out of the window into the
dim dark night. Presently a carriage comes in sight; splash go the
horses' feet into the deep mud; there is a quick rattle of wheels, a
sudden glitter of white dresses, scarlet cloaks, and brilliant uniforms
through the misty windows, and the vehicle passes rapidly out of sight.

Katie adds up on her fingers: 'That makes the tenth carriage. Everybody
is invited except us. Why--_why_ have we been left out?'

Miss Grey is standing alone in a darkened room. She has turned down the
gas, that she may see without being seen, and she remains hidden in
the shade of the deep crimson curtains. There is a party at Government
House this evening. News has reached her of numerous invitations that
have been issued, and she is mystified and perplexed that neither note
nor card nor message has found its way to her house. Hitherto Katie has
been a favoured guest at the Admiral's. No festive occasion has seemed
complete without her presence. She has sung to Sir Herbert Dillworth,
played for him, talked to him; and he has stood entranced beside the
piano, whispering thanks, that she has interpreted at their full value.
'What can have changed him now?' She has asked herself that question
over and over again; but so far no answer has come to her restless
surmises. Presently a hack cab comes in sight; and instead of driving
past the window, it stops suddenly at her door, deposits its burden,
and goes on its way. Katie distinguishes a flash of gold-lace and hears
the rattle of a sword on the door-steps. Wondering much who can have
come to the wrong house, she starts when a servant throws open the door
and announces 'Captain Reeves.'

Katie comes out from the crimson curtains in much confusion, vexed
at the bare possibility of being suspected of spying at guests more
favoured than herself. With a flushed cheek she turns on the gas and
quickly goes forward to greet her visitor. Captain Reeves is a tall
man, with dark hair, keen dark eyes, and with an unmistakable air
of being on perfectly good terms with himself. He wears full naval
uniform, and has ribbons and clasps on his breast. His first look
at Katie is one of amazement, for he sees she is in her usual home
costume, and is not dressed for the party at Government House.

'What! not ready, Miss Grey!' he exclaims quickly.

'Ready for what?' inquires the young lady with transparent
dissimulation. Whatever her private discomfiture may be, she has no
intention of proclaiming it to all the world--least of all to Walter
Reeves.

'We shall be late. Your mamma offered me a seat in your carriage; so I
have taken her at her word, and am come to join your party.'

'We are not going to the Admiral's to-night.'

'Not going! Is anybody ill?' He starts back a step, as though the news
is incredible; and Katie laughs merrily.

'We are all quite well, thank you; but we don't consider ourselves
bound to attend every party. You don't grudge us a quiet evening at
home sometimes, do you?'

'O no, certainly not; but I'm sorry your taste for retirement asserts
itself to-night. I'm horridly disappointed; and if there's anything in
the world I hate, it's these semi-official, stuck-up assemblies. I'd
far rather stay here and have a chat with your father.'

Walter Reeves has seated himself by this time, and is watching Katie,
as she plucks off a geranium leaf from a stand near her and crushes it
between her fingers.

'You'll be sure to enjoy yourself when you get there.'

'I'm very sure I _shan't_. You 're the only one I cared to meet! I can
tell you the Admiral expects you all.'

'How can you possibly know that?'

'Because he said so. I went to his office this morning about some
question of duty, and he suggested I could talk it over this evening
with your father, for you were all going to Government House.'

A quick blush rises to Katie's cheeks, giving a wonderful brilliancy
to her complexion; just the warmth and tinge needed to make her beauty
perfect. She stoops down, apparently to look more closely at the
geranium leaf, in reality to hide the glow of triumph that flashes
from her eyes, as her rapid thoughts sum up the case. 'So Sir Herbert
is not to blame after all. _He_ expects me to-night. Who then can have
thrown this slight on our household?--I know! I know! Blind that I was,
not to suspect it before! Mrs Best, the Admiral's daughter, has done
it. She is afraid and jealous of me!' The geranium leaf falls to the
floor, but Katie does not notice it, nor does she see that Walter is
smoothing it out, to the evident damage of his pure white kid gloves.
He is furtively gazing at Katie in a half-vexed, half-admiring manner;
thinking how well she looks in that dusky, shadowy, black dress, with
that band of crimson velvet in her hair. Not one of the girls at the
Government House party, with all their splendour and show and glitter,
will match her. He has never seen her equal, except perhaps in the
orange groves and sunny gardens at Valparaiso. There he has sometimes
met with beautiful women, graceful houris, resolute with beauty and
light, tinged and ripened with the glow of that fervid climate.

'You will be dreadfully late at the party. Why do you waste your time
here?'

'I am _not_ wasting my time; and even if I were, I deserve some amends
for being offered the corner of a carriage, and then being thrust out
in the cold. I don't care in the least about going,' he exclaims in an
aggrieved tone.

Katie laughs, with a gay mocking ring in her voice. 'Oh, you will
change your opinion by-and-by, when Mrs Best is singing one of her
duets with you.'

'I hate Mrs Best's singing! That tiny pipe of a voice of hers, that she
calls "soprano," is nothing to boast of after all. I don't mean to sing
a note to-night.'

'Oh, how cruel of you. What will people do? But you will not be able to
resist, when Mrs Best begins to persuade you and purr at you. Do you
know what she always reminds me of?'

'How can I tell what your fertile imagination may portray?'

'She reminds me of a beautiful Persian cat my grandmother once had--a
rare, soft, splendid-looking creature, with lovely white fur, innocent
mild eyes, and with blue ribbons round its neck. You would never dream
of its cruel claws, till you saw the bleeding scratches on your hand.'

Captain Reeves looks puzzled. 'I don't see the resemblance.'

'No, no; you don't understand my nonsense; so please don't notice it.
And now, as you don't seem in the slightest hurry to go to Government
House, we won't stay in this cold room any longer. Come up to the
drawing-room; they will all be glad to see you.'

'Thanks; no. I must be off now; but remember! the next time I accept
a corner in your carriage, I shall make sure you are going, before I
dismiss my cab. Good-night.'


CHAPTER II.--A QUIET EVENING AT HOME.

With a smile still lingering on her lips, Katie hears the door close
after Walter Reeves; then she goes up-stairs to join the rest of her
household. A calm family scene meets her view as she throws open the
drawing-room door. The room is not a large one; but what it wants in
size is amply atoned for by the exquisite taste with which everything
is arranged and grouped. A few strokes of the pen might describe the
well-chosen accessories of curtains, sofas, and carpet; but it would
take artistic skill to portray the many touches of prettiness and
beauty to be found there.

The few paintings that hang on the walls are marvels of delicate
colouring and completeness of design; the ornaments of various kinds
about the room are most of them due to feminine cleverness; screens,
cushions, chair-covers, all shew that busy graceful fingers have been
at work; but they were not Katie's fingers--not the outcome of Katie's
industry. _She_ has a perfect abhorrence of fancy-work; rarely is she
to be found sitting down like other girls to puzzle her head with
intricacies of knitting, lace-making, or embroidering. Her plea is:
'I haven't patience for that sort of thing, nor have I taste or time
for it. Here Nellie, my dear, you puzzle out this pattern; and while
you are doing it, I'll play any amount of pieces you like--Beethovens,
Mozarts, Mendelssohns, or Schuberts, which you choose.'

So patient Nellie of the artistic mind and home-loving tastes would
pick up her sister's discarded work, and skilfully mould it into
wondrous results of aptitude and dexterity.

Nellie is sitting at the table on this evening, bending over a volume
of travels. She who rarely leaves the house herself, yet likes to read
of scenes of wild adventure and foreign travel, with all their detail
of fervid luxuriance and gorgeous scenery. Her delight is in tales of
peril and bravery. A piece of bright-coloured embroidery lies beside
her. She is evidently reading and working by turns.

At first glance of Katie's youngest sister, one is struck by her
sweet countenance and delicately moulded face, the calm blue eyes and
thoughtful look. But at the next glance, one sees that her figure is
hopelessly deformed. Some blight has fallen on her in early childhood,
and closed to her for ever the active pursuits and enjoyments of life.
But Nellie is happy and contented in her placid way; she has resources
and pleasures of which Katie has never even time to think. The school
of weakness and suffering has taught her many a salutary, many a holy
lesson. At the further end of the room sits Mr Grey, the master of the
household, a thin, wiry, irritable, high-principled man, with white
hair and close-cropped white head--a man who thinks himself a very
martinet in his strict ideas of discipline on board ship; but who is a
tame enough, easily ruled ruler in his own house on shore. He flatters
himself he is very firm with Katie, yet she manages to have her way in
most things. Mr Grey, with a small table before him, is engaged with
navy statistics, making calculations that will open the eyes of the
Admiralty some of these days, he thinks.

His wife is the only other member of the family party, and she is a
soft, pillowy, amiable, motherly woman, with no very demonstrative
ideas of her own, but rather ever proving herself a mild reflector of
the thoughts and wishes of the various stronger minds of her family.

It is on this placid scene that Katie dashes like a brilliant meteor.
Somehow, she never can do anything quietly. She is never the one to
steal into a corner and settle herself down there, lest she should
disturb any other person; rather she makes the constant sense of her
presence felt; there is always something in her movements that draws
attention to her and centres it there. Thus, when she opens the door,
they all gaze up at her. Mrs Grey, who has been dozing off now and
then into calm forgetfulness, picks up her knitting and looks at her
daughter with a sigh. The sigh is one of sympathy, for she knows the
depth of the mortification under which her daughter has been labouring,
and does not know the panacea has come. She does not know Katie has
armed herself for combat, and is quite prepared for a tilt with Mrs
Best when the opportunity arrives. No red-skinned Indian with war-paint
and tomahawk is more ready for action with a rival chief, than Katie
is to assert her power over the Admiral's daughter. True, her weapons
are only woman's witchery; true, the disputed prize is only a warrior's
heart; yet the strife promises to be difficult, perhaps prolonged. In
other words, Miss Grey has said to herself: 'If Sir Herbert makes me an
offer, I will marry him; and then Laura Best will discover that even
_her_ influence does not equal _mine_.'

'Where have you been all this time, Katie?' asks Mrs Grey in a
plaintive tone.

'Down in the dining-room.'

'What! in that cold room, alone? You should not mope so, my dear. You
should come up here with us, and be cheerful.'

Katie gives one of her ringing laughs as she replies: 'Oh, I have not
been moping, mother; neither have I been alone. Walter Reeves called
in; and do you know you have half offended him, for you asked him to go
with us to Government House.'

'So I did, sure enough. I said we should have a carriage from Robyn's
livery-stables as usual, and that there would be plenty of room for
him. I little thought _then_, we should not even have an invitation.
Was Walter very angry?'

'I daresay he has got over it by this time, and is sunning himself in
Mrs Best's smiles. Do you know, mother, I have found out it was Laura
who would not invite us to the party? It was not the Admiral's fault
after all.'

'I can't see that makes any difference, Katie: the fact remains the
same.'

'But it _does_ make a difference--a very great one to me; and I'm so
glad I've found out the truth at last.'

Katie sees her sister looking up over her book at her with grave
reproach in her blue eyes. If Mrs Grey is too obtuse to understand,
Nellie is not so blind, and she has a sudden revelation of what it all
means. She knows the sublime selfishness of her sister, her ambition,
her love of retaliation; and the unspoken reproof makes Katie turn
suddenly away and seat herself at the piano. A feeling of defiance
actuates the girl at the moment; and she begins at once to sing one
of Sir Herbert's favourite songs, one he has often asked for, a
stirring vigorous melody, that goes straight to the heart, and wakens
up whatever is brave and martial in one's nature. Mr Grey closes his
books at once; he knows he cannot reckon up decimal fractions while
the room is flooded with music and melody, for Katie's rich voice and
brilliant accompaniments arrest attention at once. Mrs Grey listens
also, and dozes between whiles, thoroughly enjoying her evening at
home. Though she would have shaken off her drowsiness, and dressed
herself in one of her rich brocaded silks or lustrous moires, and would
have accompanied Katie to the scene of action, had she been an invited
guest at the Admiral's to-night. Willingly would she have gone through
any amount of inconvenience, rather than this handsome daughter of hers
should fail of proper escort, or infringe any of the 'thousand-and-one'
rules of etiquette.


CHAPTER III.--AT GOVERNMENT HOUSE.

Captain Reeves is in no placid frame of mind as he goes on his way to
the Admiral's. He passes through the grim strong gates at the entrance,
near which a sentry is solemnly pacing to and fro. He walks down the
long pathway, on each side of which huge tubs of aloes hold out their
dark sharp-pointed leaves, and then he goes up the broad brightly
lighted stairs. The rooms are already full of people; a confused
well-bred murmur of conversation rises from the throng of guests in
mingled subdued tones. Sir Herbert is standing inside the larger
drawing-room, talking with a group of officers; but he leaves them the
moment he catches a glimpse of Walter at the door. He even goes to meet
him with a smile of welcome on his lip, looking all the while over his
shoulder, as though he expected to see other guests coming with him.

'You are late, Captain Reeves. But where is the rest of your party? Did
you not say you were coming with the Greys?'

'The Greys won't be here, Sir Herbert. I called there, but find none of
them are going out this evening.'

'Is any one ill?'

'O no; Miss Grey tells me illness is not the cause of their
non-appearance. She did not give any reason for their sudden fit of
seclusion.'

'Very strange!' murmurs the Admiral; and he saunters away to another
part of the room, where other guests speedily claim his attention. A
curious observer though, might observe a shadow of disappointment has
come over his face, also that he is unusually grave and thoughtful
during the rest of the evening.

Sir Herbert is by no means an old man, as some reckon age. He has a
grave refined face, keen penetrating eyes, dark hair beginning to grow
a little thin on the temples. He wears uniform, and a star that gleams
forth upon his breast tells that he has done good service for his
country. His composed dignified bearing might well bear comparison with
many far younger men in that brilliant assembly. His smile is sweet,
and lights up his rather serious face like sunlight; but the Admiral is
generally grave; his thoughts are earnest, his life is earnest, and he
is not by any means easily moved to mirth.

Walter Reeves, as in duty bound, makes his way towards the lady who
at the present holds sway in her father's house. But it is no easy
matter to reach her, for the crowd is considerable. Men are lounging
about, dressed apparently in every kind of uniform under the sun. The
dark-blue of the navy of course predominates, but the marines and
several line-regiments are amply represented. Swords, epaulets, and
stars glitter and sparkle from every part of the spacious well-lighted
rooms.

Elegantly dressed ladies add to the goodly show; and their many-hued
robes mingling among the varied uniforms, add brilliant colouring to
the scene. Here and there, a few black coats are visible, but civilians
are rare on this evening. Walter Reeves, who is fond of pleasant
effects, notes all this in his half-careless half-indolent way, as he
slowly makes his passage through the throng and advances to the inner
room. Mrs Best is seated on a low sofa, looking like a queen in her
court, for many and admiring are her courtiers. Red coats and blue
coats jostle each other, in the anxiety of the wearers to get speech
with the lady of the house. Very pretty and graceful she looks as she
sits there, dividing her favours with impartial hand. She has a fair
blooming face, bright eyes, and a girlish lively manner. Her dress is
of snowy crape, that falls round her like a fleecy cumulous cloud;
the pale lavender trimmings that peep forth here and there in fringe
and ribbon, are the last faint remains of mourning dedicated to her
late husband. To catch the sparkle in her laughing blue eyes, to note
her almost flaxen hair and eyebrows, to mark the rounded grace of her
youthful figure, one would hardly imagine her to be a mother and a
widow. Yet such is the case: she has two visible responsibilities at
home in the shape of two little sons, who are at that moment, it is to
be hoped, soundly slumbering in their faraway nursery down at Hayes
Hill. Laura Best looks like some sunny-hearted merry girl just out of
her teens, so innocent and guileless is her countenance, so silvery are
her peals of musical laughter. Her sofa is placed in a kind of alcove
slightly away from the full glare of the light; on each side fall the
soft folds of white lace curtains, for the sofa is placed between
two bow-windows. Behind it is a high stand of beautiful plants; many
coloured hoyas display their clusters of waxy flowers; delicate white
azaleas and rose-tinted and crimson camellias mingle their blooms, and
hold their proud heads above their glossy foliage.

Mrs Best smiles to herself as she sees Walter Reeves advancing. A
suspicion had been haunting her that as the Greys were not coming, for
reasons she knows well, he would frame some apology and decline to put
in an appearance. So she holds out her hand to him, playfully chides
him for being late, and speedily draws him into conversation--that
flows naturally and brilliantly wherever Laura Best chooses to make
herself a centre. By-and-by Walter finds himself by that lady's side
in the music-room; a small place, draped with rose-coloured curtains
and lit with soft wax-candles, and just holding a piano, a harp, and a
limited number of performers and listeners. As he takes part in a trio
with Mrs Best and Major Dillon, and watches Laura's white dimpled hands
running over the ivory notes of the piano, bringing out sweet sounds in
her own light rippling manner, he remembers Katie's words about 'hidden
claws,' and smiles as he recollects how severe and satirical Miss Grey
can sometimes be.

He remains in the music-room all the rest of the evening, and does not
seek to join the various groups of men, who are either talking politics
or discoursing naval matters. And when at last the evening comes to an
end and he goes out of the gates again, he confesses to himself that
the time has passed pleasantly and rapidly enough, even though Katie
Grey was absent.



TRICKS IN THE WINE TRADE.


Amongst articles of daily consumption in this and other countries,
perhaps none is more adulterated than wine; and although the attention
of the public has been from time to time directed to the evil, the evil
seems to continue unabated.

Hamburg has long enjoyed a notoriety for the manufacture of sherry--a
merely fictitious article, in which no real sherry has any existence,
but which, imported to England, passes muster as genuine wine.
Latterly, to the discredit of France, false wines have been largely
fabricated and vended in that country; for it is as easy, if not
easier, to imitate French wines as the wines of Spain or Portugal. It
is well known to persons in France, that Nancy, the ancient capital
of Lorraine, bears a bad name as having been the first to set the
evil example of a systematic adulteration of French wines, white and
red. Lorraine, Alsace, and Luxembourg are notoriously the seat of
a very extensive manufacture of spurious wines, some of which owe
nothing whatever to the vine. Imitations of the most renowned brands
of champagne, such as Rœderer or Clicquot, are here concocted from
rhubarb-juice and carbonic acid, made cheap and sold dear. Light
clarets, strong St Georges, Macon, and the rough red Roussillon, can
be turned out to suit all tastes, merely by re-fermenting squeezed
grape-husks that have already done duty, in company with the coarse
sugar extracted from potatoes. Various colouring matters are added,
such as caramel, cochineal, and the more formidable fuchsine, and the
highly tinted compound is ready for the market.

Narbonne, nestling amidst her vineyards, is not much behind northern
Nancy in audacious falsification of the strong natural wines that
form the staple of her trade. It has long been the custom with these
south of France wine-growers to press the grapes a second time with
the addition of some water, and to brew a light, thin, vinous liquor,
which was doled out in rations to the farm-servants, or sold at
an exceedingly low rate. It has lately occurred to them that this
second-hand commodity, dosed with tartaric acid, thickened with
treacle, and artificially coloured, would pass muster with heedless
consumers as good ordinaire; and as good ordinaire, or Wine of the
Plains, it is accordingly vended. First class and even second-class
wines, it is well to bear in mind, are invariably the vintage of some
hill-side or mountain slope, but even the low-lying vineyards of a
wine-growing country yield a growth which has deservedly a good name
with buyers of moderate means. This good name, unfortunately, the
landowners and métayers of Southern France seem resolved to throw away,
in their hurry to be rich.

What most perturbs, not merely the doctors and scientific men of
France, but the French government as well, is the deleterious character
of the colouring matters employed in palming off mock or inferior
wines on the unwary public. The syndicate of Narbonne have formally
complained to the Minister of Agriculture that Portuguese, Italian, and
Spanish wines, all coloured by elderberries, enter freely into France.
But the growers of the Narbonne district have themselves learned to
make liberal use of the elderberry and of other ingredients less
innocuous. Fuchsine, which is extracted from coal-tar, and of which
immense quantities are employed, is the agent in the worst repute; but
it imparts a fine ruby-red, and is therefore in high favour. Fuchsine,
which is prepared by adding arsenical acid to aniline, is admitted
on all hands to be poisonous, although the authorities have as yet
hesitated to take vigorous action with regard to its abuse.

There are other colouring principles less dangerous than fuchsine,
but still injurious to health, which are in daily requisition for the
manipulation of wines. There is caramel, an extract of mallow; pink
althæa; Mexican cochineal; rosaline, derived from tar; colorine, and
many a fantastically named essence, sometimes of vegetable, sometimes
of mineral, or even animal origin. The ammoniacal cochineal which gives
so brilliant a dye to the scarlet cloth of an officer's uniform, is
decidedly inappropriate as an adjunct to wine. Each ounce of cochineal,
it should be known, represents several thousands of cochineal insects
boiled down to a pulp, and was once excessively dear. It is cheaper
now; and in the July of last year a single grocer of Narbonne sold ten
thousand francs' worth of this scarlet colour to wine-growers of the
village of Odeillan alone, for the artificial tinting of poor and pale
wines.

M. Paul Massot, who in the French Assembly represents the department of
the Eastern Pyrenees, has taken the leading part in a sort of crusade
for the repression of the new frauds in the wine-manufacture, and has
been able to lay before the government a mass of authentic evidence
on the subject. It was proved, for instance, by careful analysis that
a quart of one especial kind of wine, reddened by elderberry juice,
contained no less than half an ounce of alum. It was proved also that
the red extract of coal-tar, known as grenate, and formerly flung
away as refuse, now commands a high price as an ingredient in the
composition of that fuchsine which is now tossed by the hundred-weight
into wine-vats.

The best and readiest means of detecting the presence of artificial
colouring in wines we owe to the ingenuity of M. Didelot, a chemist in
Nancy. A tiny ball of gun-cotton supplies us with the necessary test.
Dip it in a glass of the suspected wine, then wash it, and it will
resume its whiteness if the wine be pure; if not, it will retain the
ruddy colour due to the treacherous fuchsine. The addition of a few
drops of ammonia gives us a violet or a greenish hue when vegetable
matters have been made use of to impart the desired colour.

Other and more elaborate tests on a larger scale have been devised; and
with the aid of acids and ethers of peroxide of manganese, and notably
of chloroform, the tricks of the wine-forger have been completely
exposed. Even benzine forms, with fuchsine and its fellows, a red
jelly that swims on the surface of the discoloured liquor, and by
skilfully conducted processes, a precipitate, varying in colour, can in
every instance be obtained. Government and the public have now taken
alarm, and it may be hoped that before long the adulteration, by means
of fuchsine at all events, will be effectually checked. It must be
remembered that growers and dealers were probably in the first instance
quite unaware of the dangerous nature of the convenient drug which gave
so tempting an appearance to their stock in trade; but publicity, and
the recent seizures of falsified wines which have taken place at Paris,
Nancy, and Perpignan, may probably serve to enlighten them upon the
subject.



TIT FOR TAT.


So long as men are what they are, those who can hit will give blow for
blow, literally or metaphorically as the case may be, and standers-by
will delight in the passage-at-arms.

Certainly it is pleasant to hear a sayer of ill-natured things put down
by an intended victim of his cynical tongue. 'The great assembly,' as
Manningham terms it, must have greatly enjoyed the discomfiture of a
certain Lord Paget, who, oblivious of his own mean origin, thought to
extol his superiority by asking Sir Thomas White what he thought of the
quality of the cloak he wore. 'Truly,' replied the worthy alderman,
'it seems to be a very good cloth; but I remember when I was a young
beginner, selling your lordship's father a far better, to make him a
gown when he was sergeant to the Lord Mayor; and he was a very honest
sergeant.'

Nor did those behind the scenes at a certain theatre fail to appreciate
the situation when a prosperous equestrian's daughter observed to a
retired actress: 'After all, you were only a circus artist; my father
recollects you well;' and the elder lady retorted: 'I daresay he does,
my dear; he used to chalk my shoes.'

When Lincoln and Douglas stumped Illinois as rival candidates, the
latter in one of his speeches declared he remembered his opponent when
he served liquor behind a bar. 'That's so,' said Lincoln; 'but the
judge has forgotten to mention that while I was serving the liquor
on one side of the bar, he was drinking it on the other.' A mild bit
of retaliation compared with that inflicted by Brougham upon his
fellow-actor Burton. In reply to the first-named asking if he had read
the last number of the _Lantern_, a comic paper in which Brougham was
personally interested, Burton said he never read the thing unless he
was tipsy; a compliment his questioner acknowledged with a bow and,
'Then, Mr Burton, I am sure of one constant reader!'

It is well not to shew contempt for a book to its author's face, as
newly made Sergeant Murphy learned when dining in company with the
author of _Ten Thousand a Year_. He called out across the table:
'Warren, I never had patience to finish that book of yours; tell me
what was the end of Gammon?' 'Oh,' said Warren to the lawyer, 'they
made him a sergeant, and he was never heard of after.'

Charles Dickens turning over the leaves of a literary lady's album,
came upon a page bearing the autographs of Daniel O'Connell and Joseph
Bonaparte, and over against them read, in Southey's handwriting:

    Birds of a feather flock together;
      But _vide_ the opposite page;
    And thence you may gather,
    I'm not of a feather
      With some of the birds in this cage.

Underneath the Laureate's lines the novelist wrote:

      Now if I don't make
      The completest mistake
    That ever put man in a rage,
      This bird of two weathers
      Has moulted his feathers,
    And left them in some other cage--

a reflection upon the poet's political inconstancy, that called forth a
_quid pro quo_ from one of Southey's admirers, who thought a man had as
much right to change his opinions as to alter his style:

    Put _his_ first work and last work together,
      And learn from the groans of all men,
    That if _he_ has not altered his feather,
      He's certainly altered his pen.

Seeing that men of all sorts delight in girding at the professors of
law and physic, it is strange that instead of making common cause
together, lawyers and doctors rather cherish a mutual antipathy, which
finds vent in an amusing interchange of asperities. Cross-examining Dr
Warren, a New York counsel declared that a doctor ought to be able to
give an opinion of a disease without making mistakes.

'They make fewer mistakes than the lawyers,' responded the physician.

'That's not so,' said the counsellor; 'but doctors' mistakes are buried
six feet under ground; a lawyer's are not.'

'No,' replied Warren; 'but they are sometimes hung as many feet above
ground.' The advantage was with the doctor.

It was on the other side when, disputing as to the comparative
merits of their professions, Sir Henry Holland said to Bobus Smith,
ex-advocate-general: 'You must admit that your profession does not make
angels of men?' and the lawyer replied: 'There you have the best of it;
yours certainly gives them the best chance.'

Said a pompous man of money to Professor Agassiz: 'I once took some
interest in natural science; but I became a banker, and I am what I
am!' 'Ah!' replied Agassiz, 'my father procured a place for me in a
bank; but I begged for one more year of study, then for a second, then
for a third. That fixed my fate, sir. If it had not been for that
little firmness of mine, I should now have been myself nothing but a
banker.'

The money-dealer must have felt as small as the American judge who,
finding his enforced bed-fellow by no means overwhelmed by the company
of a person of his dignity, observed: 'Pat, you would have remained a
long time in the old country before you could say you had slept with
a judge.' 'True for you,' said Pat; 'and yer Honour would have been a
long time in the ould counthry, I'm thinking, before ye'd been a judge!'

Joseph Hume, the economical reformer, having occasion to visit Brussels
when Sir Robert Adair was our representative there, mindful of the
minister's repute as a host, lost no time in leaving his name at the
legation. Remembering Hume's constant attempts to cut down official
salaries, Sir Robert was inclined to ignore the hint; but taking
second thought, invited the troublesome economist to dine with him.
Hume put his legs under the ambassador's mahogany in the expectation
of tasting the choicest viands and the most exquisite wines, but had
to content himself with poor soup and poorer sherry, roast mutton
and light Bordeaux, a chicken and a salad; supplemented with Adair's
apologetical observation when the banquet was over: 'You see, sir, what
these confounded Radicals have brought us to with their reductions.
By-and-by, I daresay we shall come to prison diet, with pudding perhaps
on Sundays.'

Scribe the dramatist met his match in a nobleman ambitious of gaining
a literary reputation by proxy; from whom he received the following
curious epistle: 'SIR--I have the honour to propose to you to associate
yourself with me in the composition of a drama. Your name will figure
by the side of mine; you alone composing the play, and I alone
defraying all the expenses of the first representation. You shall have
all the profits, for I work only for glory.'

Scribe replied: 'SIR--I have never been accustomed to harness together
in my carriage a horse and an ass; I am therefore unable to accept your
very kind offer.'

The nobleman closed the correspondence with: 'MONSIEUR SCRIBE--I
received your note of refusal to unite our literary labours. You are at
liberty not to understand your own interest, but not to allow yourself
to call me a horse.'

Would-be wits are apt to have the tables turned upon them. At a dinner
in honour of Nick Denton, one of the staff of the Illinois Central
Railway, his friend Jack Wallace, intrusted with the toast of the
evening, proposed it in this wise: 'The two Nicks--Old Nick and Nick
Denton!' Denton rose to respond, saying he appreciated the honour
conferred upon him by connecting him with Mr Wallace's most intimate
friend, and scarcely knew how to requite the compliment; but as one
good turn deserves another, he would give 'The two Jacks--Jack Wallace
and Jackass!'

Cham the caricaturist turning into a restaurant, chanced to take
possession of the favourite seat of a stock-broker. Upon coming in and
seeing how things were, the latter called the proprietor aside and
inquired if he were aware that the tall thin stranger occupying his
usual place was the executioner. The horrified man hurried to Cham and
entreated him to go away, saying M. Heldenrich need not pay for what
he had eaten if he would only leave at once. 'Who told you I was the
headsman?' asked Cham, without displaying any surprise at what he had
heard. The landlord pointed out his informant. 'Ah,' said Cham, as he
rose to depart, 'he ought to know me; I flogged and branded him at
Toulon not two years ago.'

Hood once took a proper revenge upon some practical jokers who upset
a boat before he could get out of it, giving him a thorough ducking.
Directly he was safe on land he began to complain of cramps and
stitches, and at last went indoors. His friends, rather ashamed of
their rough fun, persuaded him to go to bed, which he immediately
did. His groans and complaints increased so alarmingly that they were
at their wits' end what to do. Mrs Hood had received a quiet hint
from the sufferer, and was therefore only amused at the terrified
efforts and prescriptions of the repentant jokers. There was no doctor
come-at-able; and all sorts of queer remedies were suggested and tried;
the poet shaking with laughter, while they thought he was shaking with
ague or fever. One rushed up-stairs with a kettle of boiling water,
another tottered in under a tin bath, and a third brought a quantity
of mustard. Hood then gave out in a sepulchral voice his belief that
he was dying; and proceeded to give the most absurd instructions
for his will, which his hearers could not see the fun of, for their
fright. They begged him to forgive them for their unfortunate joke,
and beseeched him to believe in their remorse; till unable to keep up
the farce any longer, Hood burst into a perfect shout of laughter,
which they thought at first was delirious frenzy, but which ultimately
betrayed that the biters were bit.

General Charretie, known some thirty years ago as a capital talker,
clever versifier, skilful musician, bold bettor, daring horseman, and
dead-shot, was as cool as the proverbial cucumber. He once hired a
Hertfordshire manor for the shooting-season, and in following his game
was not particular about trespassing on the adjoining estate, belonging
to a lord of high degree. The latter's keeper out with his master one
morning, heard the General blazing away in an adjoining cover, and
calling attention to the intruder's proceedings, was instructed to go
and shoot one of the General's dogs and turn him off the ground. 'You
had better take my pony; you will get back quicker,' said his lordship;
and the keeper cantered away on a perfect treasure of a pony, that its
owner would not have parted with for any amount. Upon reaching the spot
where Charretie was blazing away at the pheasants, the keeper told him
to get off the ground or, by his master's orders, he should shoot one
of his dogs.

'Very well,' said the General; 'shoot the old one; but if you do, I
shoot your pony; and as I am not sure where my manor ends, I shan't
stir.'

The old dog dropped at a shot from the keeper; and before the man could
turn round, the pony he bestrode was as dead as the dog.

'Now, my man,' said Charretie in the mildest of tones, 'if you shoot
again, the next barrel is for yourself!'

The keeper took to his heels, told the doleful story to his master,
who had not made up his mind how to act ere he received a challenge
from the General for insulting him by ordering his servant to shoot his
setter. Seeing the sort of customer he had to deal with, the nobleman
thought it best to come to an amicable arrangement and accept the
defeat.

The editor of the _Terre Haute Journal_ had the impudence to write:
'The reason why Lafayette doesn't build a rink is this. The ladies of
that city have such big feet that no more than four or five could skate
in a rink at one time; therefore the concern wouldn't pay.' Whereupon
the _Lafayette Journal_ retorted: 'It is a number eleven lie. The
Lafayette ladies are celebrated for their pretty feet. All's well, you
know, that ends well, and the _Terre Haute_ editor, afflicted with the
daily exhibition of agricultural hoofs, is dying of envy. Goodwin of
our city once made a pair of twenty-eights for a Terre Haute belle. He
built them in the back-yard on a sort of marine railway, and launched
them. If ever an old woman lived in a shoe, it was down at Terre Haute.'

Ladies know how to give tit for tat, as a politician learned when,
piqued by a fair listener noticing a pet dog while he was holding
forth to her on the Eastern Question, he asked how a woman of her
intelligence could be so fond of a dog. 'Because he never talks
politics,' was the significant reply.

An Englishman attached to the Washington Commission incautiously
remarked to his pretty American partner at a ball, that although he had
seen many beautiful women, he had not come across a handsome man in the
States. 'I suppose there are plenty of handsome men in England?' she
observed. 'O yes, lots,' said he; provoking the poser: 'Then why didn't
Queen Victoria send some over here?'



STORY OF A PARTRIDGE AND HER CHICKS.


One morning in the beginning of July an agricultural labourer, in the
employment of an East Lothian farmer, was driving a reaping-machine
in a field of long grass preparatory to haymaking. In a part of the
field that the machine had not yet shorn, a hen partridge was sitting
on a number of eggs which were within a few short hours of being
hatched. It may naturally be conceived that the bird would hear with
no little concern the sharp clipping noise made by the machine as,
in its progress up and down the ridges, it approached nearer and
nearer to the nest; but like a true mother, she would rather die than
leave her nearly hatched young. As the knife of the machine, in quick
shuttle-like motion, laid swath after swath of goodly rye-grass level
with the ground, the iron fingers of the cutter struck the bird, killed
her, and drove her some distance from the nest. To the moment of her
death she kept the eggs warm; and the young life within them that she
had cherished soon afterwards found protection.

The driver of the machine, who was a kind-hearted man, stopped his
horses and gazed compassionately on the poor bird. Soon, however, his
attention was withdrawn from the dead bird by hearing numerous minute,
plaintive, peeping sounds--as if made by very tiny, fine-throated,
tender chicks. Hastily concluding that a brood of young partridges
lay buried and struggling for life in the nearest swath of grass, he
turned it carefully over and over, in expectation of seeing a number of
chicks; but after a diligent search, he could not discover any birds
whatever. Still the peeping noises continued. The workman stood silent
and listened attentively, in order that his ear might catch the true
direction of the sounds. By the unceasing 'Peep, peep, peep,' he was
attracted to a little hollow in the ground. There, almost hid from
observation, lay sixteen sounding eggs, for it was from the eggs that
the peeping chorus proceeded! The farmer, who was in the field, came to
the spot where the driver was standing; and he being also of a humane
disposition, placed the eggs carefully in his handkerchief, and carried
them home to the farmstead, where they were soon placed under a common
sitting hen. In a few hours afterwards the partridge chicks had broken
open their shells, and were running about their foster-mother crying
'Peep, peep, peep.'

The writer may be permitted to add, that when partridge chicks are
hatched by a common hen, they should be intrusted to a gamekeeper or
other person who understands the kind of food the birds need, otherwise
it will be almost impossible to rear them.



THE FALL OF THE YEAR.


    Coldly and bright draws in the day;
    Gloomy and drear it steals away;
    For slowly now comes up the sun,
    His Summer's ardent labours done;
    And low his golden wheel declines
    Where Winter shews his starry signs.

    No more to earth the fervid beams
    Give beauty such as poet dreams;
    No more descends the glorious ray,
    The rapture of the summer day.
    The sky's deep blue is waxing pale,
    The sun's inspiring fervours fail;
    The slanting beam he gives is chill
    Within the vale and on the hill;
    And now, with many a jealous fold,
    The clouds would all his cheer withhold,
    Nor would on plain or height bestow
    The soothing of his waning glow.

    The flowers are gone, save those that still,
    Like friends who cleave to us through ill,
    Outbrave the bitter wind that blows,
    And deck their season to its close.
    The leaves that late were only stirred
    By gentlest breath, that only heard
    The song-bird's note, round these the blast
    Blows keen and fierce, and rude and fast
    The rising gale flings far and wide
    Their withered bloom and idle pride.
    The birds have fled; the wind alone
    Makes song in many a sullen tone.

    But sudden through the bursting sky
    The sun again comes out on high;
    The clouds fall back to yield him way,
    And fly before his eager ray;
    And gladness fills the breast amain--
    The glimpse of Summer come again!
    Ah! sweet the beam, but like the smile
    With which the dying would beguile
    The mourning heart--the last sad ray
    Love gives to cheer our tears away.
    The light is gone, the moment's bloom
    Is sunk again in cold and gloom.
    So pass away all things of earth,
    Whate'er we prize of love and worth--
    The form once dear; the voice that cheered;
    The friends by many a tie endeared;
    The dreams the aching heart forgets;
    The hopes that fade to cold regrets.

    Sweet scenes, dear haunts, that once I knew,
    My heart yet fondly turns to you.
    Let seasons change, and be ye bright
    With all the Summer-tide's delight,
    Or let the Winter's gloom be yours,
    Your beauty still for me endures;
    For Memory keeps unfaded yet
    What Love would have me not forget.

        D. F.

       *       *       *       *       *

Printed and Published by W. & R. CHAMBERS, 47 Paternoster Row, LONDON,
and 339 High Street, EDINBURGH.

       *       *       *       *       *

_All Rights Reserved._





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