The Project Gutenberg eBook of The World's Greatest Books — Volume 07 — Fiction

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Title: The World's Greatest Books — Volume 07 — Fiction

Editor: Arthur Mee

J. A. Hammerton

Release date: March 1, 2004 [eBook #11527]
Most recently updated: December 25, 2020

Language: English

Credits: Produced by John Hagerson, Kevin Handy and PG Distributed Proofreaders







Editor and Founder of the Book of Knowledge


Editor of Harmsworth's Universal Encyclopaedia




Table of Contents


Headlong Hall

Nightmare Abbey


Scottish Chiefs


The Captain's Daughter


Gargantua and Pantagruel


Hard Cash

Never Too Late to Mend

The Cloister and the Hearth



Clarissa Harlowe

Sir Charles Grandison





Papers of the Forest Schoolmaster


New Heloise


Paul and Virginia





Tom Cringle's Log



Guy Mannering

Heart of Midlothian



Old Mortality

Peveril of the Peak

Continued in Vol. VIII

Complete Index of THE WORLD'S GREATEST BOOKS will be found at the end of Volume XX


Headlong Hall

The novels of Thomas Love Peacock still find admirers among cultured readers, but his extravagant satire and a certain bookish awkwardness will never appeal to the great novel-reading public. The son of a London glass merchant, Peacock was born at Weymouth on October 18, 1785. Early in life he was engaged in some mercantile occupation, which, however, he did not follow up for long. Then came a period of study, and he became an excellent classical scholar. His first ambition was to become a poet, and between 1804 and 1806 he published two slender volumes of verse, which attracted little or no attention. Yet Peacock was a poet of considerable merit, his best work in this direction being scattered at random throughout his novels. In 1812 he contracted a friendship with Shelley, whose executor he became with Lord Byron. Peacock's first novel, "Headlong Hall," appeared in 1816, and is interesting not so much as a story pure and simple, but as a study of the author's own temperament. His personalities are seldom real live characters; they are, rather, mouthpieces created for the purposes of discussion. Peacock died on January 23, 1866.

I.--The Philosophers

The ambiguous light of a December morning, peeping through the windows of the Holyhead mail, dispelled the soft visions of the four insides, who had slept, or seemed to sleep, through the first seventy miles of the road.

A lively remark that the day was none of the finest having elicited a repartee of "quite the contrary," the various knotty points of meteorology were successively discussed and exhausted; and, the ice being thus broken, in the course of conversation it appeared that all four, though perfect strangers to each other, were actually bound to the same point, namely, Headlong Hall, the seat of the ancient family of the Headlongs, of the vale of Llanberris, in Carnarvonshire.

The present representative of the house, Harry Headlong, Esquire, was, like all other Welsh squires, fond of shooting, hunting, racing, drinking, and other such innocent amusements. But, unlike other Welsh squires, he had actually suffered books to find their way into his house; and, by dint of lounging over them after dinner, he became seized with a violent passion to be thought a philosopher and a man of taste, and had formed in London as extensive an acquaintance with philosophers and dilettanti as his utmost ambition could desire. It now became his chief wish to have them all together in Headlong Hall, arguing over his old Port and Burgundy the various knotty points which puzzled him. He had, therefore, sent them invitations in due form to pass their Christmas at Headlong Hall, and four of the chosen guests were now on their way in the four corners of the Holyhead mail.

These four persons were Mr. Foster, the optimist, who believed in the improvement of mankind; Mr. Escot, the pessimist, who saw mankind constantly deteriorating; Mr. Jenkison, who thought things were very well as they were; and the Reverend Doctor Gaster, who, though neither a philosopher nor a man of taste, had won the squire's fancy by a learned dissertation on the art of stuffing a turkey.

In the midst of an animated conversation the coach stopped, and the coachman, opening the door, vociferated: "Breakfast, gentlemen," a sound which so gladdened the ears of the divine, that the alacrity with which he sprang from the vehicle distorted his ankle, and he was obliged to limp into the inn between Mr. Escot and Mr. Jenkison, the former observing that he ought to look for nothing but evil and, therefore, should not be surprised at this little accident; the latter remarking that the comfort of a good breakfast and the pain of a sprained ankle pretty exactly balanced each other.

The morning being extremely cold, the doctor contrived to be seated as near the fire as was consistent with his other object of having a perfect command of the table and its apparatus, which consisted not only of the ordinary comforts of tea and toast, but of a delicious supply of new-laid eggs and a magnificent round of beef; against which Mr. Escot immediately pointed all the artillery of his eloquence, declaring the use of animal food, conjointly with that of fire, to be one of the principal causes of the present degeneracy of mankind.

"The natural and original man," said he, "lived in the woods; the roots and fruits of the earth supplied his simple nutriment; he had few desires, and no diseases. But, when he began to sacrifice victims on the altar of superstition, to pursue the goat and the deer, and, by the pernicious invention of fire, to pervert their flesh into food, luxury, disease, and premature death were let loose upon the world. From that period the stature of mankind has been in a state of gradual diminution, and I have not the least doubt that it will continue to grow small by degrees, and lamentably less, till the whole race will vanish imperceptibly from the face of the earth."

"I cannot agree," said Mr. Foster, "in the consequences being so very disastrous, though I admit that in some respects the use of animal food retards the perfectibility of the species."

"In the controversy concerning animal and vegetable food," said Mr. Jenkison, "there is much to be said on both sides. I content myself with a mixed diet, and make a point of eating whatever is placed before me, provided it be good in its kind."

In this opinion his two brother philosophers practically coincided, though they both ran down the theory as highly detrimental to the best interests of man.

The discussion raged for some time on the question whether man was a carnivorous or frugivorous animal.

"I am no anatomist," said Mr. Jenkison, "and cannot decide where doctors disagree; in the meantime, I conclude that man is omnivorous, and on that conclusion I act."

"Your conclusion is truly orthodox," said the Reverend Doctor Gaster; "indeed, the loaves and fishes are typical of a mixed diet; and the practise of the church in all ages shows----"

"That it never loses sight of the loaves and fishes," said Mr. Escot.

"It never loses sight of any point of sound doctrine," said the reverend doctor.

The coachman now informed them their time was elapsed.

"You will allow," said Mr. Foster, as soon as they were again in motion, "that the wild man of the woods could not transport himself over two hundred miles of forest with as much facility as one of these vehicles transports you and me."

"I am certain," said Mr. Escot, "that a wild man can travel an immense distance without fatigue; but what is the advantage of locomotion? The wild man is happy in one spot, and there he remains; the civilised man is wretched in every place he happens to be in, and then congratulates himself on being accommodated with a machine that will whirl him to another, where he will be just as miserable as ever."

II.--The Squire and his Guests

Squire Headlong, in the meanwhile, was superintending operations in four scenes of action at the Hall--the cellar, the library, the picture-gallery, and the dining-room-preparing for the reception of his philosophical visitors. His myrmidon on this occasion was a little, red-nosed butler, who waddled about the house after his master, while the latter bounced from room to room like a cracker. Multitudes of packages had arrived by land and water, from London, and Liverpool, and Chester, and Manchester, and various parts of the mountains; books, wine, cheese, mathematical instruments, turkeys, figs, soda-water, fiddles, flutes, tea, sugar, eggs, French horns, sofas, chairs, tables, carpets, beds, fruits, looking-glasses, nuts, drawing-books, bottled ale, pickles, and fish sauce, patent lamps, barrels of oysters, lemons, and jars of Portugal grapes. These, arriving in succession, and with infinite rapidity, had been deposited at random--as the convenience of the moment dictated--sofas in the cellar, hampers of ale in the drawing-room, and fiddles and fish-sauce in the library. The servants unpacking all these in furious haste, and flying with them from place to place, tumbled over one another upstairs and down. All was bustle, uproar, and confusion; yet nothing seemed to advance, while the rage and impetuosity of the squire continued fermenting to the highest degree of exasperation, which he signified, from time to time, by converting some newly-unpacked article, such as a book, a bottle, a ham, or a fiddle, into a missile against the head of some unfortunate servant.

In the midst of this scene of confusion thrice confounded, arrived the lovely Caprioletta Headlong, the squire's sister, whom he had sent for to do the honours of his house, beaming like light on chaos, to arrange disorder and harmonise discord. The tempestuous spirit of her brother became as smooth as the surface of the lake of Llanberris, and in less than twenty-four hours after her arrival, everything was disposed in its proper station, and the squire began to be all impatience for the appearance of his promised guests.

The first visitor was Marmaduke Milestone, Esq., a picturesque landscape gardener of the first celebrity, who promised himself the glorious achievement of polishing and trimming the rocks of Llanberris.

A postchaise brought the Reverend Doctor Gaster, and then came the three philosophers.

The next arrival was that of Mr. Cranium and his lovely daughter, Miss Cephalis Cranium, who flew to the arms of her dear friend Caprioletta. Miss Cephalis blushed like a carnation at the sight of Mr. Escot, and Mr. Escot glowed like a corn-poppy at the sight of Miss Cephalis.

Mr. Escot had formerly been the received lover of Miss Cephalis, till he incurred the indignation of her father by laughing at a very profound dissertation which the old gentleman delivered.

Next arrived a postchaise containing four insides. These personages were two very profound critics, Mr. Gall and Mr. Treacle, and two very multitudinous versifiers, Mr. Nightshade and Mr. McLaurel.

The last arrivals were Mr. Cornelius Chromatic, the most scientific of all amateurs of the fiddle, with his two blooming daughters, Miss Tenorina and Miss Graziosa; Sir Patrick O'Prism, a dilettante painter of high renown, and his maiden aunt, Miss Philomela Poppyseed, a compounder of novels written for the express purpose of supporting every species of superstition and prejudice; and Mr. Panscope, the chemical, botanical, geological, astronomical, critical philosopher, who had run through the whole circle of the sciences and understood them all equally well.

Mr. Milestone was impatient to take a walk round the grounds, that he might examine how far the system of clumping and levelling could be carried advantageously into effect; and several of the party supporting the proposition, with Squire Headlong and Mr. Milestone leading the van, they commenced their perambulation.

III.--The Tower and the Skull

The result of Mr. Milestone's eloquence was that he and the squire set out again, immediately after breakfast next morning, to examine the capabilities of the scenery. The object that most attracted Mr. Milestone's admiration was a ruined tower on a projecting point of rock, almost totally overgrown with ivy. This ivy, Mr. Milestone observed, required trimming and clearing in various parts; a little pointing and polishing was necessary for the dilapidated walls; and the whole effect would be materially increased by a plantation of spruce fir, the present rugged and broken ascent being first converted into a beautiful slope, which might be easily effected by blowing up a part of the rock with gunpowder, laying on a quantity of fine mould, and covering the whole with an elegant stratum of turf.

Squire Headlong caught with avidity at this suggestion, and as he had always a store of gunpowder in the house, he insisted on commencing operations immediately. Accordingly, he bounded back to the house and speedily returned, accompanied by the little butler and half a dozen servants and labourers with pickaxes and gunpowder, a hanging stove, and a poker, together with a basket of cold meat and two or three bottles of Madeira.

Mr. Milestone superintended the proceedings. The rock was excavated, the powder introduced, the apertures strongly blockaded with fragments of stone; a long train was laid to a spot sufficiently remote from the possibility of harm, and the squire seized the poker, and applied the end of it to the train.

At this critical moment Mr. Cranium and Mr. Panscope appeared at the top of the tower, which, unseeing and unseen, they had ascended on the opposite side to that where the squire and Mr. Milestone were conducting their operations. Their sudden appearance a little dismayed the squire, who, however, comforted himself with the reflection that the tower was perfectly safe, and that his friends were in no probable danger but of a knock on the head from a flying fragment of stone.

The explosion took place, and the shattered rock was hurled into the air in the midst of fire and smoke. The tower remained untouched, but the influence of sudden fear had so violent an effect on Mr. Cranium, that he lost his balance, and alighted in an ivy bush, which, giving way beneath him, transferred him to a tuft of hazel at its base, which consigned him to the boughs of an ash that had rooted itself in a fissure about halfway down the rock, which finally transmitted him to the waters of the lake.

Squire Headlong anxiously watched the tower as the smoke rolled away; but when the shadowy curtain was withdrawn, and Mr. Panscope was discovered, alone, in a tragical attitude, his apprehensions became boundless, and he concluded that a flying fragment of rock had killed Mr. Cranium.

Mr. Escot arrived at the scene of the disaster just as Mr. Cranium, utterly destitute of the art of swimming, was in imminent danger of drowning. Mr. Escot immediately plunged in to his assistance, and brought him alive and in safety to a shelving part of the shore. Their landing was hailed with a shout from the delighted squire, who, shaking them both heartily by the hand, and making ten thousand lame apologies to Mr. Cranium, concluded by asking, in a pathetic tone, "How much water he had swallowed?" and without waiting for his answer, filled a large tumbler with Madeira, and insisted on his tossing it off, which was no sooner said than done. Mr. Panscope descended the tower, which he vowed never again to approach within a quarter of a mile.

The squire took care that Mr. Cranium should be seated next to him at dinner, and plied him so hard with Madeira, to prevent him, as he said, from taking cold, that long before the ladies sent in their summons to coffee, the squire was under the necessity of ringing for three or four servants to carry him to bed, observing, with a smile of great satisfaction, that he was in a very excellent way for escaping any ill consequences that might have resulted from his accident.

The beautiful Cephalis, being thus freed from his surveillance, was enabled, during the course of the evening, to develop to his preserver the full extent of her gratitude.

Mr. Escot passed a sleepless night, the ordinary effect of love, according to some amatory poets, and arose with the first peep of day. He sallied forth to enjoy the balmy breeze of morning, which any but a lover might have thought too cool; for it was an intense frost, the sun had not risen, and the wind was rather fresh from the north-east. But a lover is supposed to have "a fire in his heart and a fire in his brain," and the philosopher walked on, careless of whither he went, till he found himself near the enclosure of a little mountain chapel. Passing through the wicket, and peeping through the chapel window, he could not refrain from reciting a verse in Greek aloud, to the great terror of the sexton, who was just entering the churchyard.

Mr. Escot at once decided that now was the time to get extensive and accurate information concerning his theory of the physical deterioration of man.

"You have been sexton here," said Mr. Escot, in the language of Hamlet, "man and boy, forty years."

The sexton turned pale; the period named was so nearly the true.

"During this period you have, of course, dug up many bones of the people of ancient times. Perhaps you can show me a few."

The sexton grinned a ghastly smile.

"Will you take your Bible oath you don't want them to raise the devil with?"

"Willingly," said Mr. Escot. "I have an abstruse reason for the inquiry."

"Why, if you have an obtuse reason," said the sexton, "that alters the case."

So saying, he led the way to the bone-house, from which he began to throw out various bones and skulls, and amongst them a skull of very extraordinary magnitude, which he swore by St. David was the skull of Cadwallader.

"How do you know this to be his skull?" said Mr. Escot.

"He was the biggest man that ever lived, and he was buried here; and this is the biggest skull I ever found. You see now----"

"Nothing could be more logical," said Mr. Escot. "My good friend, will you allow me to take away this skull with me?"

"St. Winifred bless us!" exclaimed the sexton. "Would you have me haunted by his ghost for taking his blessed bones out of consecrated ground? For, look you, his epitaph says:

"'He that my bones shall ill bestow,
Leek in his ground shall never grow.'"

"But you will well bestow them in giving them to me," said Mr. Escot. "I will have this illustrious skull bound with a silver rim and filled with wine, for when the wine is in the brain is out."

Saying these words, he put a dollar into the hand of the sexton, who instantly stood spellbound, while Mr. Escot walked off in triumph with the skull of Cadwallader.

IV.--The Proposals

The Christmas ball, when relatives and friends assembled from far and wide, was the great entertainment given at Headlong Hall from time immemorial, and it was on the morning after the ball that Miss Brindle-Mew Tabitha Ap-Headlong, the squire's maiden aunt, took her nephew aside, and told him it was time he was married if the family was not to become extinct.

"Egad!" said Squire Headlong. "That is very true. I'll marry directly. A good opportunity to fix on someone now they are all here, and I'll pop the question without further ceremony. I'll think of somebody presently. I should like to be married on the same day with Caprioletta. She is going to be married to my friend Mr. Foster, the philosopher."

"Oh!" said the maiden aunt, "that a daughter of our ancient family should marry a philosopher!"

"It's Caprioletta's affair, not mine," said Squire Headlong. "I tell you the matter is settled, fixed, determined, and so am I, to be married on the same day. I don't know, now I think of it, whom I can choose better than one of the daughters of my friend Chromatic."

With that the squire flew over to Mr. Chromatic, and, with a hearty slap on the shoulder, asked him "How he should like him for a son-in-law?"

Mr. Chromatic, rubbing his shoulder, and highly delighted with the proposal, answered, "Very much indeed"; but, proceeding to ascertain which of his daughters had captivated the squire, the squire was unable to satisfy his curiosity.

"I hope," said Mr. Chromatic, "it may be Tenorina, for I imagine Graziosa has conceived a penchant for Sir Patrick O'Prism."

"Tenorina, exactly!" said Squire Headlong; and became so impatient to bring the matter to a conclusion that Mr. Chromatic undertook to communicate with his daughter immediately. The young lady proved to be as ready as the squire, and the preliminaries were arranged in little more than five minutes.

Mr. Chromatic's words concerning his daughter Graziosa and Sir Patrick O'Prism were not lost on the squire, who at once determined to have as many companions in the scrape as possible; and who, as soon as he could tear himself from Mrs. Headlong elect, took three flying bounds across the room to the baronet, and said, "So, Sir Patrick, I find you and I are going to be married?"

"Are we?" said Sir Patrick. "Then sure, won't I wish you joy, and myself too, for this is the first I have heard of it."

"Well," said Squire Headlong, "I have made up my mind to it, and you must not disappoint me."

"To be sure, I won't, if I can help it," said Sir Patrick. "And pray, now, who is that I am to be turning into Lady O'Prism?"

"Miss Graziosa Chromatic," said the squire.

"Och violet and vermilion!" said Sir Patrick; "though I never thought of it before, I dare say she will suit me as well as another; but then you must persuade the ould Orpheus to draw out a few notes of rather a more magical description than those he is so fond of scraping on his crazy violin."

"To be sure, he shall," said the squire; and immediately returning to Mr. Chromatic, concluded the negotiation for Sir Patrick as expeditiously as he had done for himself.

The squire next addressed himself to Mr. Escot: "Here are three couples of us going to throw off together, with the Reverend Doctor Gaster for whipper in. Now I think you cannot do better than to make the fourth with Miss Cephalis."

"Indeed?" said Mr. Escot. "Nothing would be more agreeable to both of us than such an arrangement; but the old gentleman since I first knew him has changed like the rest of the world, very lamentably for the worse.".

"I'll settle him," said Squire Headlong; and immediately posted up to Mr. Cranium, informing him that four marriages were about to take place by way of a merry winding up of the Christmas festivities. "In the first place," said the squire, "my sister and Mr. Foster; in the second, Miss Graziosa Chromatic and Sir Patrick O'Prism; in the third, Miss Tenorina Chromatic and your humble servant; and in the fourth, to which, by the by, your consent is wanted, your daughter----"

"And Mr. Panscope," said Mr. Cranium.

"And Mr. Escot," said Squire Headlong. What would you have better? He has ten thousand virtues."

"So has Mr. Panscope. He has ten thousand a year."

"Virtues?" said Squire Headlong.

"Pounds," said Mr. Cranium.

"Who fished you out of the water?" said Squire Headlong..

"What is that to the purpose?" said Mr. Cranium. "The whole process of the action was mechanical and necessary. He could no more help jumping into the water than I could help falling into it."

"Very well," said the squire. "Your daughter and Mr. Escot are necessitated to love one another."

Mr. Cranium, after a profound reverie, said, "Do you think Mr. Escot would give me that skull?"

"Skull?" said Squire Headlong.

"Yes," said Mr. Cranium. "The skull of Cadwallader."

"To be sure he will. How can you doubt it?"

"I simply know," said Mr. Cranium, "that if it were once in my possession I would not part with it for any acquisition on earth, much less for a wife."

The squire flew over to Mr. Escot. "I told you," said he, "I would settle him; but there is a very hard condition attached to his compliance. Nothing less than the absolute and unconditional surrender of the skull of Cadwallader."

"I resign it," said Mr. Escot.

"The skull is yours," said the squire, skipping over to Mr. Cranium.

"I am perfectly satisfied," said Mr. Cranium.

"The lady is yours," said the squire, skipping back to Mr. Escot.

"I am the happiest man alive," said Mr. Escot, and he flew off as nimbly as Squire Headlong himself, to impart the happy intelligence to his beautiful Cephalis.

The departure of the ball visitors then took place, and the squire did not suffer many days to elapse before the spiritual metamorphosis of eight into four was effected by the clerical dexterity of the Reverend Doctor Gaster.

Nightmare Abbey

"Nightmare Abbey" is perhaps the most extravagant of all Peacock's stories, and, with the exception of "Headlong Hall," it obtained more vogue on its publication in 1818 than any of his other works. It is eminently characteristic of its author--the eighteenth century Rabelaisian pagan who prided himself on his antagonism towards religion, yet whose likes and dislikes were invariably inspired by hatred of cant and enthusiasm for progress. The hero of the story is easily distinguishable as the poet Shelley. On the whole the characters are more life-like presentations of humanity than those of "Headlong Hall." Simple and weak though the plot is, the reader is carried along to the end through a brilliant maze of wit and satire; underneath which outward show of irresponsible fun there pervades a gloomy note of tragedy.

I.--Mr. Glowry and His Son

Nightmare Abbey, a venerable family mansion in a highly picturesque state of semi-dilapidation, in the county of, Lincoln, had the honour to be the seat of Christopher Glowry, Esquire, a gentleman much troubled with those phantoms of indigestion commonly called "blue devils."

Disappointed both in love and friendship, he had come to the conclusion that there was but one good thing in the world, videlicet, a good dinner; and remained a widower, with one only son and heir, Scythrop.

This son had been sent to a public-school, where a little learning was painfully beaten into him, and thence to the university, where it was carefully taken out of him, and he finished his education to the high satisfaction of the master and fellows of his college. He passed his vacations sometimes at Nightmare Abbey, and sometimes in London, at the house of his uncle, Mr. Hilary, a very cheerful and elastic gentleman. The company that frequented his house was the gayest of the gay. Scythrop danced with the ladies and drank with the gentlemen, and was pronounced by both a very accomplished, charming fellow.

Here he first saw the beautiful Miss Emily Girouette, and fell in love; he was favourably received, but the respective fathers quarrelled about the terms of the bargain, and the two lovers were torn asunder, weeping and vowing eternal constancy; and in three weeks the lady was led a smiling bride to the altar, leaving Scythrop half distracted. His father, to comfort him, read him a commentary on Ecclesiastes, of his own composition; it was thrown away upon Scythrop, who retired to his tower as dismal and disconsolate as before.

The tower which Scythrop inhabited stood at the south-eastern angle of the abbey; the south-western was ruinous and full of owls; the north-eastern contained the apartments of Mr. Glowry; the north-eastern tower was appropriated to the servants, whom Mr. Glowry always chose by one of two criterions--a long face or a dismal name. The main building was divided into room of state, spacious apartments for feasting, and numerous bedrooms for visitors, who, however, were few.

Occasional visits were paid by Mr. and Mrs. Hilary, but another visitor, much more to Mr. dowry's taste, was Mr. Flosky, a very lachrymose and morbid gentleman, of some note in the literary world, with a very fine sense of the grim and the tearful.

But the dearest friend of Mr. Glowry, and his most welcome guest, was Mr. Toobad, the Manichean Millenarian. The twelfth verse of the twelfth chapter of Revelations was always in his mouth: "Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and of the sea, for the devil is come among you, having great wrath, because he knoweth he hath but a short time." He maintained that this precise time was the point of the plenitude of the power of the Evil Principle; he used to add that by and by he would be cast down, and a happy order of things succeed, but never omitted to add "Not in our time," which last words were always echoed by Mr. Glowry, in doleful response.

Shortly after Scythrop's disappointment Mr. Glowry was involved in a lawsuit, which compelled his attendance in London, and Scythrop was left alone, to wander about, with the "Sorrows of Werter" in his hand.

He now became troubled with the passion for reforming the world, and meditated on the practicability of reviving a confederacy of regenerators. He wrote and published a treatise in which his meanings were carefully wrapped up in the monk's hood of transcendental technology, but filled with hints of matters deep and dangerous, which he thought would set the whole nation in a ferment, and awaited the result in awful expectation; some months after he received a letter from his bookseller, informing him that only seven copies had been sold, and concluding with a polite request for the balance.

"Seven copies!" he thought. "Seven is a mystical number, and the omen is good. Let me find the seven purchasers, and they shall be the seven golden candlesticks with which I shall illuminate the world."

Scythrop had a certain portion of mechanical genius, and constructed models of cells and recesses, sliding panels and secret passages, which would have baffled the skill of the Parisian police. In his father's absence, he smuggled a dumb carpenter into his tower, and gave reality to one of these models. He foresaw that a great leader of regeneration would be involved in fearful dilemmas, and determined to adopt all possible precautions for his own preservation.

In the meantime, he drank Madeira and laid deep schemes for a thorough repair of the crazy fabric of human nature.


Mr. Glowry returned with the loss of his lawsuit, and found Scythrop in a mood most sympathetically tragic. His friends, whom we have mentioned, availed themselves of his return to pay him a simultaneous visit, and at the same time arrived Scythrop's friend and fellow-collegian, the Hon. Mr. Listless, a young gentleman devoured with a gloomy and misanthropical nil curo.

Mr. and Mrs. Hilary brought with them an orphan niece, Miss Marionetta Celestina O'Carroll, a blooming and accomplished young lady, who exhibited in her own character all the diversities of an April sky. Her hair was light brown, her eyes hazel, her features regular, and her person surpassingly graceful. She had some coquetry, and more caprice, liking and disliking almost in the same moment, and had not been three days in the abbey before she threw out all the lures of her beauty and accomplishments to make a prize of her cousin Scythrop's heart.

Scythrop's romantic dreams had given him many pure anticipated cognitions of combinations of beauty and intelligence, which, he had some misgivings, were not realised by Marionetta, but he soon became distractedly in love, which, when the lady perceived, she altered her tactics and assumed coldness and reserve. Scythrop was confounded, but, instead of falling at her feet begging explanation, he retreated to his tower, seated himself in the president's chair of his imaginary tribunal, summoned Marionetta with terrible formalities, frightened her out of her wits, disclosed himself, and clasped the beautiful penitent to his bosom.

While he was acting this reverie, his study door opened, and the real Marionetta appeared.

"For heaven's sake, Scythrop," said she, "what is the matter?"

"For heaven's sake, indeed!" said Scythrop, "for your sake, Marionetta, and you are my heaven! Distraction is the matter. I adore you, and your cruelty drives me mad!" He threw himself at her feet, and breathed a thousand vows in the most passionate language of romance.

With a very arch look, she said: "I prithee, deliver thyself like a man of the world." The levity of this quotation jarred so discordantly on the romantic inamorato that he sprang to his feet, and beat his forehead with his clenched fist. The young lady was terrified, and, taking his hand in hers, said in her tenderest tone: "What would you have, Scythrop?"

Scythrop was in heaven again.

"What but you, Marionetta! You, for the companion of my studies, the auxiliary of my great designs for mankind."

"I am afraid I should be but a poor auxiliary, Scythrop. What would you have me do?"

"Do as Rosalia does with Carlos, Marionetta. Let us each open a vein in the other's arm, mix our blood in a bowl, and drink it as a sacrament of love; then we shall see visions of transcendental illumination."

Marionetta disengaged herself suddenly, and fled with precipitation. Scythrop pursued her, crying, "Stop, stop Marionetta--my life, my love!" and was gaining rapidly on her flight, when he came into sudden and violent contact with Mr. Toobad, and they both plunged together to the foot of the stairs, which gave the young lady time to escape and enclose herself in her chamber.

This was witnessed by Mr. Glowry, and he determined on a full explanation. He therefore entered Scythrop Tower, and at once said:

"So, sir, you are in love with your cousin."

Scythrop, with as little hesitation, answered, "Yes, sir."

"That is candid, at least. It is very provoking, very disappointing. I could not have supposed that you could have been infatuated with such a dancing, laughing, singing, careless, merry hearted thing as Marionetta--and with no fortune. Besides, sir, I have made a choice for you. Such a lovely, serious creature, in a fine state of high dissatisfaction with the world! Sir, I have pledged my honour to the contract, and now, sir, what is to be done?"

"Indeed, sir, I cannot say. I claim on this occasion that liberty of action which is the co-natal prerogative of every rational being."

"Liberty of action, sir! There is no such thing, and if you do not comply with my wishes, I shall be under the necessity of disinheriting you, though I shall do so with tears in my eyes."

He immediately sought Mrs. Hilary, and communicated his views to her. She straightway hinted to her niece, whom she loved as her own child, that dignity and decorum required them to leave the abbey at once. Marionetta listened in silent submission, but when Scythrop entered, and threw himself at her feet in a paroxysm of grief, she threw her arms round his neck, and burst into tears.

Scythrop snatched from its repository his ancestor's skull, filled it with Madeira, and presenting himself before Mr. Glowry, threatened to drink off the contents, if he did not promise that Marionetta should not leave the abbey without her own consent. Mr. Glowry, who took the Madeira to be some deadly brewage, gave his promise in dismal panic. Scythrop returned to Marionetta with a joyful heart, and drank the Maderia by the way, leaving his father much disturbed, for he had set his heart on marrying his son to the daughter of his friend, Mr. Toobad.


Mr. Toobad, too much accustomed to the intermeddling of the devil in all his affairs to be astonished at this new trace of his cloven claw, yet determined to outwit him, for he was sure there could be no comparison between his daughter and Marionetta in the mind of anyone who had a proper perception of the fact that seriousness and solemnity are the characteristics of wisdom. Therefore he set off to meet her in London, that he might lose no time in bringing her to Nightmare Abbey. After the first joy of meeting was over, he told his daughter he had a husband ready for her. The young lady replied very gravely she should take the liberty of choosing for herself.

"Have I not a fortune in my own right, sir?" said Celinda.

"The more is the pity," said Mr. Toobad. "But I can find means, miss--I can find means."

They parted for the night with the expression of opposite resolutions, and in the morning the young lady's chamber was empty, and what was become of her, Mr. Toobad had no clue to guess. He declared that when he should discover the fugitive, she should find "that the devil was come unto her, having great wrath," and continued to investigate town and country, visiting and revisiting Nightmare Abbey at intervals to consult Mr. Glowry.

Notwithstanding the difficulties that surrounded her, Marionetta could not debar herself from the pleasure of tormenting her lover, whom she kept in a continual fever, sometimes meeting him with unqualified affection, sometimes with chilling indifference, softening him to love by eloquent tenderness, or inflaming him to jealousy by coquetting with the Hon. Mr. Listless. Scythrop's schemes for regenerating the world and detecting his seven golden candlesticks went on very slowly.

On retiring to his tower one day Scythrop found it pre-occupied. A stranger, muffled to the eyes in a cloak, rose at his entrance, and looked at him intently for a few minutes in silence, then saying, "I see by your physiognomy you are to be trusted," dropped the cloak, and revealed to the astonished Scythrop a female form and countenance of dazzling grace and beauty, with long, flowing hair of raven blackness.

"You are a philosopher," said the lady, "and a lover of liberty. You are the author of a treatise called 'Philosophical Gas?'"

"I am," said Scythrop, delighted at this first blossom of his renown.

She then informed him that she was under the necessity of finding a refuge from an atrocious persecution, and had determined to apply to him (on reading his pamphlet, and recognising a kindred mind) to find her a retreat where she could be concealed from the indefatigable search being made for her.

Doubtless, thought Scythrop, this is one of my seven golden candlesticks, and at once offered her the asylum of his secret apartments, assuring her she might rely on the honour of a transcendental eleutherarch.

"I rely on myself," said the lady. "I act as I please, and let the whole world say what it will. I am rich enough to set it at defiance. They alone are subject to blind authority who have no reliance on their own strength."

Stella took possession of the recondite apartments. Scythrop intended to find another asylum; but from day to day postponed his intention, and by degrees forgot it. The young lady reminded him from day to day, till she also forgot it.

Scythrop had now as much mystery about him as any romantic transcendentalist could desire. He had his esoterical and his exoterical love, and could not endure the thought of losing either of them. His father's suspicions were aroused by always finding the door locked on visiting Scythrop's study; and one day, hearing a female voice, and, on the door being opened, finding his son alone, he looked around and said:

"Where is the lady?"

Scythrop invited him to search the tower, but Mr. Glowry was not to be deceived. Scythrop talked loudly, hoping to drown his father's voice, in vain.

"I, say, sir, when you are so shortly to be married to your cousin Marionetta----"

The bookcase opened in the middle, and the beautiful Stella appeared, exclaiming:

"Married! Is he going to be married? The profligate!"

"Really, madam," said Mr. Glowry, "I do not know what he is going to do, or what anyone is going to do, for all this is incomprehensible."

"I can explain it all," said Scythrop, "if you will have the goodness to leave us alone."

Stella threw herself into a chair and burst into a passion of tears. Scythrop took her hand. She snatched it away, and turned her back upon him. Scythrop continued entreating Mr. Glowry to leave them alone, but he was obstinate, and would not go.

A tap at the door, and Mr. Hilary entered. He stood a few minutes in silent surprise, then departed in search of Marionetta.

Scythrop was now in a hopeless predicament.

Mr. Hilary made a hue and cry, summoning his wife and Marionetta, and they hastened in consternation to Scythrop's apartments. Mr. Toobad saw them, and judging from their manner that the devil had manifested his wrath in some new shape, followed, and intercepted Stella's flight at the door by catching her in his arms.

"Celinda!" he exclaimed.

"Papa!" said the young lady disconsolately.

"The devil is come among you!" said Mr. Toobad. "How came my daughter here?"

Marionetta, who had fainted, opened her eyes and fixed them on Celinda. Celinda, in turn, fixed hers on Marionetta. Scythrop was equi-distant between them, like Mahomet's coffin.

"Celinda," said Mr. Toobad, "what does this mean? When I told you in London that I had chosen a husband for you, you thought proper to run away from him; and now, to all appearance, you have run away to him."

"How, sir? Was that your choice?"

"Precisely; and if he is yours, too, we shall both be of a mind, for the first time in our lives."

"He is not my choice, sir. This lady has a prior claim. I renounce him."

"And I renounce him!" said Marionetta.

Scythrop knew not what to do. He therefore retreated into his stronghold, mystery; maintained an impenetrable silence, and contented himself with deprecating glances at each of the objects of his idolatry.

The Hon. Mr. Listless, Mr. Flosky, and other guests had been attracted by the tumult, multitudinous questions, and answers en masse, composed a charivari, which was only terminated by Mrs. Hilary and Mr. Toobad retreating with the captive damsels. The whole party followed, leaving Scythrop carefully arranged in a pensive attitude.

IV.--Scythrop's Fate

He was still in this position when the butler entered to announce that dinner was on the table. He refused food, and on being told that the party was much reduced, everybody had gone, requested the butler to bring him a pint of port and a pistol. He would make his exit like Werter, but finally took Raven's advice--to dine first, and be miserable afterwards.

He was sipping his Madeira, immersed in melancholy musing, when his father entered and requested a rational solution of all this absurdity.

"I will leave it in writing for your satisfaction. The crisis of my fate is come. The world is a stage, and my direction is exit."

"Do not talk so, sir; do not talk so, Scythrop! What would you have?"

"I would have my love."

"And pray, sir, who is your love?"


"Both! That may do very well in a German tragedy, but it will not do in Lincolnshire. Will you have Miss Toobad?"


"And renounce Marionetta?"


"But you must renounce one."

"I cannot."

"And you cannot have both. What is to be done?"

"I must shoot myself!"

"Don't talk so, Scythrop! Be rational, Scythrop! Consider, and make a cool, calm choice, and I will exert myself on your behalf."

"Well, sir, I will have--no, sir, I cannot renounce either. I cannot choose either, and I have no resource but a pistol."

"Scythrop--Scythrop, if one of them should come to you, what then? Have but a little patience, a week's patience, and it shall be."

"A week, sir, is an age; but to oblige you, as a last act of filial duty, I will live another week. It is now Thursday evening, twenty-five minutes past seven. At this hour next Thursday love and fate shall smile on me, or I will drink my last pint of port in this world."

Mr. Glowry ordered his travelling chariot, and departed from the abbey.

On the morning of the eventful Thursday, Scythrop ascended the turret with a telescope and spied anxiously along the road, till Raven summoned him to dinner at five, when he descended to his own funeral feast. He laid his pistol between his watch and his bottle. Scythrop rang the bell. Raven appeared.

"Raven," said he, "the clock is too fast."

"No, indeed," said Raven. "If anything it is too slow----"

"Villain," said Scythrop, pointing the pistol at him, "it is too fast!"

"Yes, yes--too fast, I meant!" said Raven, in fear.

"Put back my watch!" said Scythrop.

Raven, with trembling hand, was putting back the watch, when the rattle of wheels was heard; and Scythrop, springing down the stairs three steps together, was at the door in time to hand either of the young ladies from the carriage; but Mrs. Glowry was alone.

"I rejoice to see you!" said he. "I was fearful of being too late, for I waited till the last moment in the hope of accomplishing my promise; but all my endeavours have been vain, as these letters will show."

The first letter ended with the words: "I shall always cherish a grateful remembrance of Nightmare Abbey, for having been the means of introducing me to a true transcendentalist, and shall soon have the pleasure of subscribing myself


The other, from Marionetta, wished him much happiness with Miss Toobad, and finished with: "I shall always be happy to see you in Berkely Square, when, to the unalterable designation of your affectionate cousin, I shall subjoin the signature of


Scythrop tore both the letters to atoms, and railed in good, set terms against the fickleness of women.

"Calm yourself, my dear Scythrop," said Mr. Glowry. "There are yet maidens in England; and besides, the fatal time is past, for it is now almost eight."

"Then that villain Raven deceived me when he said the clock was too fast; but I have just reflected these repeated crosses in love qualify me to take a very advanced degree in misanthropy. There is therefore, good hope that I may make a figure in the world."

Raven appeared. Scythrop looked at him very fiercely, and said, "Bring some Madeira!"


The Scottish Chiefs

Jane Porter was born at Durham in 1776, but at the age of four she went to Edinburgh with her family, was brought up in Scotland, and had the privilege of knowing Sir Walter Scott. Her first romance, "Thaddeus of Warsaw," was published in 1803, soon after she had removed from Edinburgh to London. Her next romance, "The Scottish Chiefs," did not appear until 1810. It won an immediate popularity, which survived even the formidable rivalry of the "Waverley Novels," and the book remained a favourite, especially in Scotland, during most of the last century. The story abounds in historical inaccuracies, and the characters are addicted to conversing in the dialect of melodrama-but these blemishes did not abate the vogue of this exciting and spirited work with the reading public. Miss Porter remained a prominent figure in London literary society until her death on May 24, 1850.

I.--The Lady Marion

Sir William Wallace made his way swiftly along the crags and across the river to the cliffs which overlooked the garden of Ellerslie. As he approached he saw his newly-wedded wife, the Lady Marion, leaning over the couch of a wounded man. She looked up, and, with a cry of joy, threw herself into his arms. Blood dropped from his forehead upon her bosom.

"O my Wallace, my Wallace!" cried she in agony.

"Fear not, my love, it is a mere scratch. How is the wounded stranger?"

It was Wallace who had saved the stranger's life. That day he had been summoned to Douglas Castle, where he had received in secret from Sir John Monteith an iron box entrusted to him by Lord Douglas, then imprisoned in England; he had been charged to cherish the box in strictness, and not to suffer it to be opened until Scotland was again free. Returning with his treasure through Lanark, he had seen a fellow countryman wounded, and in deadly peril at the hands of a party of English. Telling two of his attendants to carry the injured man to Ellerslie, he had beaten off the English and slain their leader--Arthur Heselrigge, nephew of the Governor of Lanark.

"Gallant Wallace!" said the stranger, "it is Donald, Earl of Mar, who owes you his life."

"Then blest be my arm," exclaimed Wallace, "that has preserved a life so precious to my country!"

"Armed men are approaching!" cried Lady Marion. "Wallace, you must fly. But oh! whither?"

"Not far, my love; I must seek the recesses of the Cartlane Crags. But the Earl of Mar--we must conceal him."

They found a hiding-place for the wounded earl, and Wallace went away, promising to be near at hand. Hardly had he gone when the door was burst open by a band of soldiers, and Lady Wallace was confronted by the governor of Lanark.

"Woman!" cried he, "on your allegiance to King Edward, answer me--where is Sir William Wallace, the murderer of my nephew?"

She was silent.

"I can reward you richly," he went on, "if you speak the truth. Refuse, and you die!"

She stretched her hands to heaven.

"Blessed Virgin, to thee I commit myself."

"Speak!" cried the governor, drawing his sword. She sank to the ground. "Kneel not to me for mercy!"

"I kneel to heaven alone," she said firmly, "and may it ever preserve my Wallace!"

"Blasphemous wretch!" cried the governor, and he plunged the sword through her heart.

A shudder of horror ran through the English soldiers.

"My friends," said Heselrigge, "I reward your services with the plunder of Ellerslie."

"Cursed be he who first carries a stick from its walls!" exclaimed a veteran.

"Amen!" murmured all the soldiers.

But next day the governor, with a body of soldiers who had not witnessed his infamous deed, plundered Ellerslie and burnt it to the ground. During the day Lord Mar was brought from his hiding-place, and taken to Bothwell Castle; but the English seized him and his wife, and they were placed in strict confinement among the English garrison on the Rock of Dumbarton.

An aged retainer carried the awful news of the murder to Wallace in his concealment. For long he was overpowered with agony. Then a desperate determination arose in his mind. "The sun must not again rise upon Heselrigge!" was his thought. He called his followers, and told them of the deed. "From this hour," he cried, "may Scotland date her liberty, or Wallace return no more!"

"Vengeance! vengeance!" was the cry.

That night the English garrison of Lanark was surprised, and Wallace's sword was buried in the body of his wife's murderer.

"So fall the enemies of Sir William Wallace!" shouted his men exultantly.

"Rather so fall the enemies of Scotland!" cried he. "Henceforth Wallace has neither love nor resentment but for her. From now onwards I devote myself to the winning of my country's freedom, or to death in her cause."

II.--Wallace the Liberator

Band after band of Scottish patriots flocked to the banner of Wallace--the banner that bore the legend "God armeth the patriot," and in which was embroidered a tress of Lady Marion's hair. The making of it had been the labour of Lady Helen Mar, daughter of the earl; admiration for Wallace's prowess, and sympathy with his misfortune had aroused in her--although she had never seen him--an eager devotion to him as the man who had dared to strike at tyranny and fight for his country's freedom.

When her parents had been seized, Helen had escaped to the Priory of St. Fillans. But she was persuaded to leave the priory by a trick of the traitor Scottish Lord Soulis, whom she hated, and whose quest of her hand had the secret approval of Lady Mar. When the ruffian laid hold upon her, he carried her away with threats and violence; but as Soulis and his band were crossing the Leadhill moors, a small party of men fell suddenly upon them. Soulis was forced to relinquish his prey, and was carried away by his men covered with wounds; while Helen found herself in the presence of a gentle and courteous Scottish warrior, who conveyed her to a hermit's cell near at hand. Without revealing his name he passed on his way, declaring that he went to arouse a few brave spirits to arms. Brief as the interview had been, Helen knew when it was ended that she had given her heart to the unknown knight.

As her father and mother lay one dark night in Dumbarton Castle, a fearful uproar arose without their prison--the clashing of swords, the thud of falling bodies, the groans of wounded.

"There is an attack," cried the earl.

"Nay, who would venture to attack such a fortress as this?" answered Lady Mar.

"Hark! it is the slogan of Sir William Wallace. Oh, for a sword!" exclaimed the earl.

A voice was heard begging for mercy--the voice of De Valence, the governor.

"You shall die!" was the stern answer.

"Nay, Kirkpatrick, I give him life." The accents were Wallace's.

A battering-ram broke down the prison-door. There stood Wallace and his men, their weapons and armour covered with blood. De Valence, evading the clutch of Kirkpatrick, thrust his dagger into Wallace's side and fled.

"It is nothing," said Wallace, as he staunched the wound with his scarf.

"So is your mercy rewarded," muttered the grim Kirkpatrick.

"So am I true to my duty," returned Wallace, "though De Valence is a traitor to his."

The Countess of Mar looked for the first time upon Wallace's countenance. He was the enemy of her kinsmen of the house of Cummin; unknown to her husband, she had sought to betray him to one of these kinsmen; and now, as this beautiful woman beheld the man she had tried to injure, a sense of shame, accompanied by a strange fascination, entered her bosom.

"How does my soul seem to pour itself out to this man!" she said to herself. "Hardly have I seen this William Wallace, and yet my very being is lost in his!"

Love mingled with ambition in her uneasy mind. Her husband was old and wounded; his life would not be long. Wallace had the genius of a conqueror. Might he not be proclaimed king of Scotland? She threw herself assiduously into his company during the days that followed. At last, with tears in eyes, she confessed her love, thinking, in her folly, that she could move the heart of one who had consecrated himself to the service of Scotland and the memory of Marion.

"Your husband, Lady Mar," he said with gentleness, "is my friend; had I even a heart to give to women, not one sigh should arise in it to his dishonour. But I am deaf to women, and the voice of love sounds like the funeral knell of her who will never breathe it to me more."

He rose, and ere the countess could reply, a messenger entered with news from Ayr. Eighteen Scottish chiefs had been treacherously put to death, and others were imprisoned and awaiting execution. Wallace and his men marched straight to the castle of Ayr, surprised it while the English lords were feasting within, and set it afire. Those who escaped the flames either fell by Scottish steel, or yielded themselves prisoners.

Castle and fortalice opened their gates before Wallace as he marched from Ayr to Berwick; but at Berwick he encountered stout resistance from a noble foeman, the Earl of Gloucester, who with his garrison yielded only to starvation. Wallace, touched with their valour, permitted them to march out with all the honours of war, and with the chivalrous earl he formed a friendship that was never dimmed by the enmity of the nations to which they belonged.

Soon there came a summons to Stirling. By a dishonourable stratagem of De Valence's, Lord and Lady Mar and Helen had been seized and carried to Stirling Castle, where Lord Mar was in danger of immediate death. Helen was in the power of De Valence, who pressed his hateful suit upon her. Wallace and his men marched hastily, and captured the town; once more De Valence begged Wallace's mercy, and once more, unworthy as he was, obtained it. But the ruthless Cressingham, commanding the castle, placed Lord Mar on the battlements with a rope round his neck, and declared that unless the attack ceased the earl and his whole family would instantly die. Wallace's reply was to bring forward De Valence, pale and trembling. "The moment Lord Mar dies, De Valence shall instantly perish," he declared.

Cressingham agreed to an armistice, hoping to gain time until De Warenne, with the mighty English host then advancing from the border, had reached Stirling. Next morning this great army in its pride poured across the bridge of the Forth; but the Scottish warriors, rushing down from the hillsides, with Wallace at their head, swept all before them. It was rather a carnage than a battle. Those who escaped the steel of Wallace's men were thrust into the river, and land and water were burdened with English dead.

That evening Stirling Castle surrendered, the Scottish prisoners were released, and their places were taken by the commanders of the enemy's host.

III.--Wallace the Regent

When the victorious chiefs were gathering in the hall of the castle, Helen looked upon each one with anxious eyes. Would the gentle knight who rescued her be in Wallace's train? Lady Mar turned a restless glance upon her step-daughter. "Wallace will behold these charms," she cried to herself, "and then, where am I?"

Amid a crowd of knights in armour the conqueror entered; and as Helen raised her eyes she saw that the knight of her dream, the man who had saved her from worse than death, was Wallace himself!

"Scots, behold the Lord's anointed!" cried the patriot Bishop of Dunkeld, drawing from his breast a silver dove of sacred oil, and pouring it upon Wallace's head.

Every knee was bent, and every voice cried "Long live King William!"

"Rise, lords!" exclaimed Wallace. "Kneel not to me--I am but your fellow soldier. Bruce lives; God has yet preserved to you a lawful monarch."

Eagerly they sought to persuade him, but in vain. He consented to hold the kingdom for the rightful sovereign, under the name of regent, but the crown he would not accept. He found a nation waiting on his nod--the hearts of half a million people offered to his hand.

On the night before the English prisoners were to start on their journey southwards to be exchanged with Scottish nobles--an exchange after which, by England's will, the war was to continue--Lady Mar, whose husband was now governor of Stirling Castle, gave a banquet in honour of the departing knights. The entertainment was conducted with that chivalric courtesy which a noble conqueror always pays to the vanquished.

But the spirit of Wallace was sad amid the gaiety; seeking quiet, he wandered along a darkened passage that led to the chapel, unobserved save by his watchful enemy De Valence--whose hatred had been intensified by the knowledge that Helen, whose hand he had again demanded in vain, loved the regent. He had guessed her secret, and she had guessed his--the design he had of murdering the foe who had twice spared his life.

As Wallace entered the chapel and advanced towards the altar, he saw a woman kneeling in prayer. "Defend him, Heavenly Father!" she cried. "Guard his unshielded breast from treachery!" It was Helen's voice.

Wallace stepped from the shadow; Helen was transfixed and silent. "Continue to offer up these prayers for me," he said gently, "and I shall yet think, holy maid, that I have a Marion to pray for me on earth, as well as in heaven."

"They are for your life," she said in agitation, "for it is menaced."

"I will inquire by whom," answered he, "when I have first paid my duty at this altar. Pray with me, Lady Helen, for the liberty of Scotland."

As they were praying together, Helen rose with a shriek and flung her arms around Wallace. He felt an assassin's steel in his back, and she fell senseless on his breast. Her arm was bleeding; she had partly warded off the blow aimed at him, and had saved his life. He took her up in his arms, and bore her from the chapel to the hall.

"Who has done this?" cried Mar, in anguish.

"I know not," replied Wallace, "but I believe some villain who aimed at my life." With a gasp he sank back unconscious on the bench.

Helen was the first to recover, and while they were staunching the blood that flowed from Wallace's wound, Lady Mar turned to her step-daughter.

"Will you satisfy this anxious company," said she sneeringly, "how it happened that you should be alone with the regent? May I ask our noble friends to withdraw, and leave this delicate investigation to my own family?"

Wallace, recovering his senses, rose hastily.

"Do not leave this place, my lords, till I explain how I came to disturb the devotions of Lady Helen;" Straightforwardly and with dignity, he told the story of what had happened, and the jealous Lady Mar was silenced.

"But who was the assassin?" they asked.

"I shall name him to Sir William Wallace alone," said Helen.

But the dagger, found in the chapel, revealed the truth. The chiefs clamoured for De Valence's death, Wallace again granted him life. Next morning, as the cavalcade of southern knights was starting, Wallace rode up and handed the dagger to De Valence.

"The next time that you draw this dagger," said he, "let it be with a more knightly aim than assassination."

De Valence, careless of the looks of horror and contempt cast upon him by his fellow countrymen, broke it asunder, and, throwing the fragments in the air, said to the shivered weapon, "You shall not betray me again!"

"Nor you betray our honours, Lord de Valence," said De Warenne sternly. "As lord warden of this realm, I order you under arrest until we pass the Scottish lines."

After the exchange of prisoners had been effected, Wallace invaded the enemy's country, and brought rich stores from the barns of Northumberland to the starving people of desolated Scotland. The reduction followed of all the fortresses held by the English in Northern Scotland. King Edward himself was now advancing; but a greater peril menaced the regent than that of the invader.

Many of the nobles, headed by the Earls of Athol, Buchan, and March, were bitterly jealous of the ascendancy of a low-born usurper--for so they called Scotland's deliverer--and conspired to restore the sovereignty of Edward. Their chance of treachery came when Wallace faced the English host at Falkirk. When the battle was joined, Athol, Buchan, and all the Cummins, crying, "Long live King Edward!" joined the English, and flung themselves upon their fellow-countrymen. Grievous was the havoc of Scot on Scot; and beside the English king throughout the battle stood Bruce, the rightful monarch, aiding in the destruction of his nation's liberties.

But on the night of that disastrous day, a young stranger in splendid armour came secretly to Wallace. It was Robert Bruce, seeking to offer his services to his country and to wipe out the stigma that his father had cast upon his name.

IV.--The Traitors

None fought more fiercely than Robert Bruce in the attack made by Wallace's men upon the English on the banks of the Carron, and the traitor, Earl of March, fell by the young warrior's own hand. But treason, smitten on the field of battle, was rampant at Stirling; and when Wallace returned there, bowed with grief at the death of Lord Mar, he found the Cummin faction--Lady Mar's kinsmen--in furious revolt against the "upstart." His resolution was quickly made; he would not be a cause of civil strife to his country.

"Should I remain your regent," said he to the assembled people, "the country would be involved in ruinous dissensions. I therefore quit the regency; and I bequeath your liberty to the care of the chieftains. But should it be again in danger, remember that, while life breathes in this heart, the spirit of Wallace will be with you still!" With these words he mounted his horse, and rode away, amidst the cries and tears of the populace.

Lady Mar, whose secret hopes had been stirred afresh by the death of her husband, heard with consternation of Wallace's departure. But he went away without a thought of her; his mission was the rescue of Helen, to which he had pledged himself by the death-bed of Lord Mar. Helen had been kidnapped by De Valence, and carried off by him to his castle in Guienne.

Wallace disguised himself as a minstrel, and travelled to Durham, where King Edward held his court, and where young Bruce, taken captive, was now confined. By making himself known to the Earl of Gloucester, Wallace was able to gain access to Bruce, whose father was now dead, and to lay his plans before him. These were that Bruce should escape from Durham, that the two should travel to Guienne and rescue Helen, and that they should then, as unknown strangers, offer their services to Scotland.

The plans were fulfilled. Bruce escaped, De Valence was once more deprived of his prey--he did not suspect the identity of the two knights until after Helen had been delivered from his clutches--and the pair fought as Frenchmen in the wars of Scotland. To few was the truth revealed, and only one discovered it--a knight wearing a green plume, who refused to divulge his name until Wallace proclaimed his own on the day of victory.

But the secret could not be kept for ever, and it was Wallace himself who cast off the disguise. At the battle of Rosslyn the day seemed lost; an overwhelming mass of English bore down the Scots; men were turning to fly. The fate of Wallace's country hung on an instant. Taking off his helmet, he waved it in the air with a shout, and, having thus drawn all eyes upon him, exclaimed: "Scots, follow William Wallace to victory!" The cry of "Wallace!" turned the fugitives; new courage was diffused in every breast; defeat was straightway changed into triumph.

Soon after this declaration the knight of the green plume came to Wallace, tore off the disguise of knighthood, and stood before him the bold and unblushing Countess of Mar. It was unconquerable love, she said, that had induced her to act thus. Wallace told her once more that his love was buried in the grave, and entreated her to refrain from guilty passion. Angered, she thrust a dagger at his breast; he wrenched the weapon from her hand, and bade her go in peace.

Ere sunset next evening he heard that he had been accused of treason to Scotland, and that his accuser was the Countess of Mar.

He faced the false charge, and repudiated it. But such was the hatred of the Cummins and their supporters that it was plainly impossible for him to serve Scotland, now that his name was known, without causing distraction in the country's ranks. He wandered forth, alone save for his ever-faithful follower, Edwin Ruthven, a price set upon his head by the relentless Edward, leaving his enemies to rejoice, and his friends to despair of Scotland's liberty.

V.--Tragedy and Triumph

As Wallace journeyed in the regions made sacred to him by Marion's memory, he was met by Sir John Monteith, who offered to conduct him to Newark-on-the-Clyde, where he might embark on a vessel about to sail. Wallace gladly accepted the offer, little guessing that his old and trusted friend Monteith was in the pay of England.

As he and Edwin reposed in a barn near Newark, a force of savages from the Irish island of Rathlin burst in upon them. Wallace, with a giant's strength, dispersed them as they advanced. But a shout was heard from the door. Monteith himself appeared, and an arrow pierced Edwin's heart. Wallace threw himself on his knees beside the dying boy. They sprang upon him, and bound him. Wallace was Edward's prisoner.

As he lay in the Tower of London awaiting death, a page-boy entered nervously, and turned pale when he cast his eyes upon him. He started; he recognised the features of her who alone had ever shared his meditations with Marion.

"Lady Helen," he cried, "has God sent you hither to be His harbinger of consolation?"

"Will you not abhor me for this act of madness?" said Helen, in deep agitation. "And yet, where should I live or die but at the feet of my benefactor?"

"Oh, Helen," exclaimed Wallace, "thy soul and Marion's are indeed one; and as one I love ye!"

At that moment the Earl of Gloucester entered, and to this true friend Wallace expressed his wish that he and Helen should be united by the sacred rites of the church. Gloucester retired, and returned with a priest; the pair were joined as man and wife.

Two days later Wallace stood on the scaffold. The executioner approached to throw the rope over the neck of his victim. Helen, with a cry, rushed to his bosom. Clasping her to him, he exclaimed in a low voice: "Helen, we shall next meet to part no more. May God preserve my country, and--" He stopped--he fell. Gloucester bent to his friend and spoke, but all was silent. He had died unsullied by the rope of Edward.

"There," said Gloucester, in deepest grief, "there broke the noblest heart that ever beat in the breast of man."

It was the evening after Bannockburn. The English hosts were in panic-stricken flight; Scotland at last was free. Robert Bruce, king and conquerer, entered the Abbey of Cambuskenneth with his betrothed, Isabella, and stood before the bier of Wallace.

Helen, wan and fragile, was borne on a litter from the adjoining nunnery. In her presence Bruce and Isabella were wedded; her trembling hands were held over them in blessing; then she threw herself prostrate on the coffin.

At the foot of Wallace's bier stood the iron box that the dead chieftain had so faithfully cherished. "Let this mysterious coffer be opened," said the Abbot of Inchaffray, "to reward the deliverer of Scotland according to its intent" Bruce unclasped the lock, and the regalia of Scotland was discovered!

"And thus Wallace crowns thee!" said the Bishop of Dunkeld, taking the diadem from its coffer and setting it on Brace's head.

But Helen lay motionless. They raised her, and looked upon a clay-cold face. Her soul had fled.


The Captain's Daughter

Alexander Sergeyevitch Pushkin was born at Moscow on June 7, 1799. He came of an ancient family, a strange ancestor being a favourite negro ennobled by Peter the Great, who bequeathed to him a mass of curly hair and a somewhat darker skin than usually falls to the lot of the ordinary Russian. Early in life a daring "Ode to Liberty" brought him the displeasure of the court, and the young poet narrowly escaped a journey to Siberia by accepting an official post at Kishineff, in Southern Russia. But on the accession of Tsar Nicholas in 182s, Pushkin was recalled and appointed imperial historiographer. His death, which occurred on February 10, 1837, was the result of a duel fought with his brother-in-law. Pushkin's career was one of almost unparallelled brilliancy. As a poet, he still remains the greatest Russia has produced; and although his prose works do not rise to the high standard of his verse, yet they are of no inconsiderable merit. "The Captain's Daughter, a Russian Romance," was written about 1831, and published under the nom de plume of Ivan Byelkin. It is a story of the times of Catherine II., and is not only told with interest and charm, but with great simplicity and reality, and with a due sense of drama. Others of his novels are "The Pistol Shot," "The Queen of Spades," and "The Undertaker," the last-named a grim story in a style that has been familiarised to English readers by Edgar Allan Poe.

I.--I Join the Army

My father, after serving in the army, had retired with the rank of senior major. Since that time he had always lived on his estate, where he married the eldest daughter of a poor gentleman in the neighbourhood. All my brothers and sisters died young, and it was decided that I should enter the army.

When I was nearly seventeen, instead of being sent to join the guards' regiment at Petersburg, my father told me I was going to Orenburg. "You will learn nothing at Petersburg but to spend money and commit follies," he said. "No, you shall smell powder and become a soldier, not an idler."

It seemed horrible to me to be doomed to the dullness of a savage and distant province, and to lose the gaiety I had been looking forward to; but there was nothing for it but to submit.

The morning arrived for my departure, the travelling carriage was at the door, and our old servant Savélütch was in attendance to accompany me.

Two days later, when we were nearing our destination, a snowstorm overtook us. We might have perished in the snow, for all traces of the road were lost, but for a stranger who guided us to a small and lonely inn, where we passed the night. In the morning, to the sorrow of Savélütch, I insisted on giving our guide, who was but thinly clad, one of my cloaks--a hare-skin touloup.

"Thanks, your excellency," said the vagrant, "and may heaven reward you. As long as I live I shall never forget your kindness."

I soon forgot the snowstorm, the guide, and my hare-skin touloup, and on arrival at Orenburg hasted to wait on the general, an old comrade-in-arms of my father's. The general received me kindly, examined my commission, told me there was nothing for me to do in Orenburg, and sent me on to Fort Bélogorsk to serve under Commander Mironoff. Bélogorsk lay about thirty miles beyond Orenburg, on the frontier of the Kirghiz Kaisak Steppes, and it was to this outlandish place I was banished.

I expected to see high bastions, a wall and a ditch, but there was nothing at Bélogorsk but a little village, surrounded by a wooden palisade. An old iron cannon was near the gateway, the streets were narrow and crooked, and the commandant's house to which I had been driven was a wooden erection.

Vassilissa Ignorofna, the commandant's wife, received me with simple kindness, and treated me at once as one of the family. An old army pensioner and Palashka, the one servant, laid the cloth for dinner; while in the square, near the house, the commandant, a tall and hale old man, wearing a dressing-gown and a cotton nightcap, was busy drilling some twenty elderly men--all pensioners.

Chvabrine, an officer who had been dismissed from the guards for fighting a duel, and Marya, a young girl of sixteen, with a fresh, round face, the commandant's daughter, were also at dinner.

Mironoff pleaded in excuse for being late for dinner that he had been busy drilling his little soldiers, but his wife cut him short ruthlessly.

"Nonsense," she said, "you're only boasting; they are past service, and you don't remember much about the drill. Far better for you to stay at home and say your prayers." Vassilissa Ignorofna never seemed to stop talking, and overwhelmed me with questions.

In the course of a few weeks I found that she not only led her husband completely, but also directed all military affairs, and ruled the fort as completely as she did the household. This really suited Ivan Mironoff very well, for he was a good-hearted, uneducated man, staunch and true, who had been raised from the ranks, and was now grown lazy. Both husband and wife were excellent people, and I soon became attached to them, and to the daughter Marya, an affectionate and sensible girl.

As for Chvabrine, he at first professed great friendship for me; but being in love with Marya, who detested him, he began to hate me when he saw a growing friendliness between Marya and myself.

I was now an officer, but there was little work for me to do. There was no drill, no mounting guard, no reviewing of troops. Sometimes Captain Mironoff tried to drill his soldiers, but he never succeeded in making them know the right hand from the left.

All seemed peace, in spite of my quarrels with Chvabrine. Every day I was more and more in love with Marya, and the notion that we might be disturbed at Fort Bélogorsk by any repetition of the riots and revolts which had taken place in the province of Orenburg the previous year was not entertained. Danger was nearer than we had imagined. The Cossacks and half-savage tribes of the frontier were again already in revolt.

II.--The Rebel Chief

One evening early in October, 1773, Captain Mironoff called Chvabrine and me to his house. He had received a letter from the general at Orenburg with information that a fugitive Cossack named Pugatchéf had taken the name of the late Czar, Peter III., and, with an army of robbers, was rousing the country, destroying forts and committing murder and theft. The news spread quickly, and then came a disquieting report that a neighbouring fort some sixteen miles away had been taken by Pugatchéf, and its officers hanged.

Neither Mironoff nor Vassilissa showed any fear, and the latter declined to leave Bélogorsk, though willing that Marya should be sent to Orenburg for safety. An insolent proclamation from Pugatchéf, inviting us to surrender on peril of death, and the treachery of our Cossacks and of Chvabrine, who went over at once to the rebels, only made the commandant and his wife more resolute.

"The scoundrel!" cried Vassilissa. "He has the impudence to invite us to lay our flag at his feet, and he doesn't know we have been forty years in the service!"

It was the same when Pugatchéf was actually at our door, and the assault had actually begun. Old Ivan Mironoff blessed his daughter, and embraced his wife, and then faced death. There was no fight in the poor old pensioners who made up our garrison, and both Mironoff and myself were soon captured, bound with ropes, and led before Pugatchéf.

The commandant indignantly refused to swear fidelity to the robber chief, and was hanged there and then in the market square; an old one-eyed lieutenant was soon swinging by his side. Then came my turn, and I gave the same answer as my captain had done. The rope was round my neck, when Pugatchéf shouted out "Stop!" and ordered my release. A few minutes later, and poor old Vassilissa, who had come in search of her husband, was lying dead in the market square, cut down by a Cossack's sword. Pugatchéf's arrival had prevented Marya's escape to Orenburg, and she was now lying too ill to be moved, in the house of Father Garassim, the parish priest.

Pugatchéf gave me leave to depart in safety, but before Savélütch and I left the fort, the rebel bade me come and see him. He laughed aloud when I presented myself.

"Who would have thought," he said, "that the man who guided you to a lodging on that night of the snowstorm was the great tzar himself? But you shall see better things; I will load you with favours when I have recovered my empire."

Then he invited me again and again to enter his service, but I told him I had sworn fidelity to the crown; and finally he let me go, saying: "Either entirely punish or entirely pardon. Tell the officers at Orenburg they may expect me in a week."

It hurt me to leave Marya behind, especially as Pugatchéf had made Chvabrine commandant of the fort, but there was no help for it. Father Garassim and his wife bade me good-bye. "Except you, poor Marya has no longer any protector or comforter," said the priest's wife.

At Orenburg I was in safety, but the town was soon besieged, and I could not persuade the general to sally out and attack the rebels. All through those dreary weeks of the siege I was wondering anxiously about Marya, and then one day when we had been driving off a party of cossacks, one of the rebels, whom I recognised a former soldier at Bélogorsk, lingered to give me a letter. It was from Marya, and she told me that she was now in the house of Chvabrine, who threatened to kill her or hand her over to the robber camp if she did not marry him, and that she had but three days left before her fate would be sealed. Death would be easier, she said, than to be the wife of a man like Chvabrine.

I rushed off at once to the general, and implored him to give me a battalion of soldiers, and let me march on Bélogorsk; but the general only shook his head, and said the expedition was unreasonable.

I decided to go alone and appeal to Pugatchéf, but the faithful Savélütch insisted on accompanying me, and together we arrived at the rebel camp.

Pugatchéf received me quite cordially, and I told him the truth, that I was in love with Marya, and that Chvabrine was persecuting her. He flared up indignantly at Chvabrine's presumption, and declared he would take me at once to Bélogorsk, and attend my wedding. But on our arrival Chvabrine mentioned that Marya was the daughter of Mironoff, and immediately the countenance of the robber chief clouded over.

"Listen," I said, knowing Pugatchéf was well disposed towards me. "Do not ask of me anything against my honour or my conscience. Let me go with this unhappy orphan whither God shall direct, and whatever befall we will pray every day to God to watch over you."

It seemed as if Pugatchéf's fierce heart was touched. "Be it as you wish," he answered. "Either entirely punish or entirely pardon is my motto. Take your pretty one where you like, and may God give you love and wisdom."

A safe-conduct pass was given us, and I made up my mind to take Marya to my parents' house. I knew my father would think it a duty and an honour to shelter the daughter of a veteran who had died for his country. But Marya said she would never be my wife unless my parents approved of the marriage. We set off, and as we started I saw Chvabrine standing at the commandant's window, with a face of dark hatred.

III.--The Arrest

I parted from Marya two days later, and entrusted her to Savélütch, who promised me to escort her faithfully to my parents. My reason for this was that we had fallen in with a detachment of the army, and the officer in charge persuaded me to join him, and it seemed to me I was bound in honour to serve the tzarina.

So all that winter, and right on till the spring came, we pursued the rebels; and still Pugatchéf remained untaken; and this war with the robbers went on to the destruction of the countryside.

At last Pugatchéf was taken, and the war was at an end. A few days later I should have been in the bosom of my family, when an unforeseen thunderbolt struck me. I was ordered to be arrested and sent to Khasan, to the commission of inquiry appointed to try Pugatchéf and his accomplices.

No sooner had I arrived in Khasan than I was lodged in prison, and irons were placed on my ankles. It was a bad beginning, but I was full of hope and courage, and believed that I could easily explain my dealings with Pugatchéf.

The next day I was summoned to appear before the commission, and asked how long I had been in Pugatchéf's service.

I replied indignantly that I had never been in his service; and then when I was asked how it was he had spared my life and given me a safe-conduct pass I told the story of the guide in the snowstorm and the hair-skin touloup.

Then came the question how was it I had left Orenburg, and gone straight to the rebel camp?

I felt I could not bring in Marya's name, and expose her as a witness to the cross-examination of the commission, and so I stammered and became silent.

The officer of the guard then requested that I should be confronted with my principal accuser, and Chvabrine was brought into court. A great change had come over him. He was pale and thin, and his hair had already turned grey. In a feeble but clear voice Chvabrine went through his story against me; that I had been Pugatchéf's spy in Orenburg, and that after leaving that town I had done all I could to aid the rebels. I was glad of one thing, some spark of feeling kept him from mentioning Marya's name.

I told the judges I could only repeat my former statement that I was entirely innocent of any part in the rebellion; and then I was taken back to prison, and underwent no further examination.

Several weeks passed, and then my father was informed that the tzarina had condescended to pardon his criminal son, and remit the capital punishment, condemning him instead to exile for life in the heart of Siberia.

The unexpected blow nearly killed my father. He had heard of my arrest, and both Savélütch and Marya had assured him of my complete innocence. Now he broke out into bitter lament.

"What!" he kept on saying. "What! My son mixed up in the plots of Pugatchéf! Just God! What have I lived to see! The tzarina grants him life, but does that make it easier for me to bear? It is not the execution which is horrible. My ancestors have perished on the scaffold for conscience sake; but that an officer should join with robbers and felons! Shame on our race for ever!"

In vain my mother endeavoured to comfort him by talking of the injustice of the verdict. My father was inconsolable.

IV.--The Captain's Daughter to the Rescue

From the first Marya had been received with the warm-hearted hospitality that belonged to old-fashioned country people. The opportunity of giving a home to a poor orphan seemed to them a favour from God. In a very short time they were sincerely attached to her, for no one could know Marya without loving her, and both my father and my mother looked forward to the union of their son Peter with the captain's daughter.

My trial and condemnation plunged all three into misery; and Marya, believing that I could have justified myself had I chosen, and suspecting the motive which had kept me silent, and holding herself the sole cause of my misfortune, determined to save me.

All at once she informed my parents that she was obliged to start for Petersburg, and begged them to give her the means to do so.

"Why must you go to Petersburg?" said my mother, in distress. "You, too--are you also going to forsake us?"

Marya answered that she was going to seek help from people in high position for the daughter of a man who had fallen a victim to his fidelity.

My father could only bow his head. "Go," he said. "I do not wish to cast any obstacles between you and your happiness. May God grant you an honest man, and not a convicted traitor, for husband."

To my mother alone Marya confided her plans, and then, with her maid Palashka and the faithful Savélütch--who, parted from me, consoled himself by remembering he was serving my betrothed--set out for the capital.

Arrived at Sofia, Marya learnt that the court was at the summer palace of Tzarskoe-Selo, and at once resolved to stop there. She was able to get a lodging at the post-house, and the postmaster's wife, who was a regular gossip, began to tell her all the routine of the palace, at what hour the tzarina rose, had her coffee, and walked in the gardens.

Next morning, very early, Marya dressed herself and went to the imperial gardens. She saw a lady seated on a little rustic bench near the large lake, and went and seated herself at the other end of the bench. The lady wore a cap and a white morning gown, and a light cloak. She appeared to be about fifty years old, and the repose and gravity of her face, and the sweetness of her blue eyes and her smile, all attracted Marya and inspired confidence. The lady was the first to speak.

"You do not belong to this place?"

"No, madame. I only arrived yesterday from the country."

"You came with your parents?"

"No, madame, alone. I have neither father nor mother."

"You are very young to travel by yourself. You have come on business?"

"Yes, madame. I have come to present a petition to the tzarina."

"You are an orphan. It is some injustice or wrong you complain of? What is your name?"

"I am the daughter of Captain Mironoff, and it is for mercy I have come to ask."

"Captain Mironoff? He commanded one of the forts in the Orenburg district?"

"Yes, madame."

The lady seemed moved.

"Forgive me," she said, speaking even more gently, "if I meddle in your affairs; but I am going to court. Perhaps if you explain to me what it is you want, I may be able to help you."

Marya rose and curtsied; then she took from her pocket a folded paper, and handed it to her protectress, who read it over. Suddenly the gentleness turned to hardness in the face of the unknown lady.

"You plead for Peter Grineff!" she said coldly. "The tzarina cannot grant him mercy. He passed over to this rebel not in ignorance, but because he is depraved."

"It is not true!" cried Marya. "Before God it is not true! I know all; I will tell you everything. It was only on my account that he exposed himself to the misfortunes which have overtaken him. And if he did not vindicate himself before the judges, it was because he did not wish me to be mixed up in the affair."

And Marya went on to relate all that had taken place at Bélogorsk.

When she had finished, the lady asked her where she lodged, and told her she would not have to wait long for an answer to the letter.

Marya went back to the post-house full of hope, and presently, to the consternation of her hostess, a lackey in the imperial livery entered and announced that the tzarina condescended to summon to her presence the daughter of Captain Mironoff.

"Good heavens!" cried the postmaster's wife. "The tzarina summons you to court! And I'm sure you don't even know how to walk in court fashion. Shall I send for a dressmaker I know who will lend you her yellow gown with flounces? I think I ought to take you."

But the lackey explained that the tzarina wanted Marya to come alone, and in the dress she should happen to be wearing. There was nothing for it but to obey, and, with a beating heart, Marya got into the carriage and was driven to the palace. Presently she was ushered into the boudoir of the tzarina, and recognised the lady of the garden.

The tzarina spoke graciously to her, telling Marya that it was a happiness to grant her prayer.

"I have had it all looked into, and I am convinced of the innocence of your betrothed. Here is a letter for your father-in-law. Do not be uneasy about the future. I know you are not rich, but I owe a debt to the daughter of Captain Mironoff."

Marya, all in tears, fell at the feet of the tzarina, who raised her and kissed her forehead. The tzarina almost overwhelmed the orphan before she dismissed her.

That same day Marya hastened back to my father's house in the country, without even having the curiosity to see the sights of Petersburg.

I was released from captivity at the end of the year 1774, and, as it happened, I was present in Moscow when Pugatchéf was executed in the following year. The famous robber chief recognised me as I stood in the crowd, and bade me farewell with a silent movement of his head. A few moments later and the executioner held up the lifeless head for all the people to look upon.

Chvabrine I never saw again after the day I was confronted with him at my trial.

Soon after Pugatchéf's death, Marya and I were married from my father's house.

An autograph letter from the tzarina, Catherine II., framed and glazed, is carefully preserved. It is addressed to the father of Peter Grineff, and contains, with the acquittal of his son, many praises of the intelligence and good heart of the daughter of Captain Mironoff.


Gargantua and Pantagruel

Francois Rabelais was born at Seuillé in Touraine, France, about 1483. Brought up in a Franciscan convent, he was made a priest in 1520. During his monastic career he conceived a deep and lasting contempt for monkish life, and he obtained permission from the Pope to become a secular priest. He then studied medicine, and became a physician. After wandering about France for many years, he was appointed parish priest of Meudon in 1551, and he died at Paris in 1553. "The Great and Inestimable Chronicles of the Grand and Enormous Giant Gargantua" ("Les Grandes et Inestimables Chroniques du Grande et Enorme Géant Gargantua"), and its sequel, "Pantagruel," appeared between 1533 and 1564. Had these appeared during Rabelais' life, his career would probably have been shorter than it was, for the work is, with all its humour, a very bitter satire against both the Roman Church and the Calvinistic. Rabelais is one of the very great French writers and humourists whose work is closely connected with English literature. But what he borrowed from Sir Thomas More, he generously repaid to Shakespeare, Swift, and Sterne. The famous Abbey of Thelema is inspired by More's "Utopia"; on the other hand, Shakespeare's praise of debt is taken from the speech of Panurge--the most humorous character in French literature, and worthy to stand beside Falstaff.

I.--The Very Horrific Life of the Great Gargantua

Grangousier was a right merry fellow in his time, and he had as great a love as any man living in the world for neat wine and salt meat. When he came to man's estate he married Gargamelle, daughter to the king of the Parpaillons, a jolly wench and good looking, who died in giving birth to a son.

They had gone out with their neighbours in a hurl to Willow Grove, and there on the thick grass they danced so gallantly that it was a heavenly sport to see them so frolic. Then began flagons to go, gammons to trot, goblets to fly, and glasses to rattle. "Draw, reach, fill, mix. Give it to me--without water; so my friend. Whip me off this bowl gallantly. Bring me some claret, a full glass running over. A truce to thirst! By my faith, gossip, I cannot get in a drinking humour! Have you caught a cold, gammer? Let's talk of drinking. Which was first, thirst or drinking? Thirst, for who would have drunk without thirst in the time of innocence? I do, as I am a sinner. I drink to prevent thirst. I drink for the thirst to come. Let's have a song, a catch; let us sing a round. Drink for ever, and you shall never die! When I am not drinking I am as good as dead. Drink, or I'll--The appetite comes with eating and the thirst goes with drinking. Nature abhors a vacuum. Swallow it down, it is wholesome medicine!"

It was at this moment that Gargantua was born. He did not whimper as the other babes used to do, but with a high, sturdy, and big voice, he shouted out, "Drink, drink, drink!" The sound was so extremely great that it rang over two counties. I am afraid that you do not thoroughly believe in the truth of this strange nativity. Believe it or not, I do not care. But an honest man, a man of good sense, always believes what is told him, and what he finds written.

When the good man Grangousier, who was then merrily drinking with his guests, heard his son roar out for drink, he said to him in French, "Que Grand Tu As et souple le gousier!" That is to say, "How great and nimble a throat thou hast." Hearing this, the company said that the child verily ought to be called Gargantua, because it was the first word uttered by his father at his birth. Which the father graciously permitted, and to calm the child they gave him enough drink to crack his throat, and then carried him to the font where he was christened according to the manner of good Christians.

So great was Gargantua, even when a babe of a day old, that seventeen thousand nine hundred and thirteen cows were required to furnish him with milk. By the ancient records to be seen in the chamber of accounts at Montsoreau, I find that nine thousand six hundred ells of blue velvet were used for his gown, four hundred and six ells of crimson velvet were taken up for his shoes, which were soled with the hides of eleven hundred brown cows; and the rest of his costume was in proportion. By the commandment of his father, Gargantua was brought up and instructed in all convenient discipline, and he spent his time like the other children of the country--that is, in drinking, eating, and sleeping; in eating, sleeping, and drinking; and in sleeping, drinking, and eating.

In his youth he studied hard under a very learned man, called Master Tubal Holofermes, and, after studying with him for five years and three months, he learnt so much that he was able to say the alphabet backwards. About this time, the king of Numidia sent out of the country of Africa to Grangousier, the hugest and most enormous mare that was ever seen. She was as large as six elephants, and of a burnt sorrel colour with dapple grey spots; but, above all, she had a horrible tail. For it was little more or less as great as the pillar of St. Mars, which, as you know, is eighty-six feet in height.

When Grangousier saw her, he said, "Here is the very thing to carry my son to Paris. He shall go there and learn what the study of the young men of France is, and in time to come he shall be a great scholar!"

The next morning, after, of course, drinking, Gargantua set out on his journey. He passed his time merrily along the highway, until he came a little above Orleans, in which place there was a forest five-and-thirty leagues long and seventeen wide. This forest was most horribly fertile and abundant in gadflies and hornets, so that it was a very purgatory for asses and horses. But Gargantua's mare handsomely avenged all the outrages committed upon beasts of her kind. For as soon as she entered the forest, and the hornets gave the attack, she drew out her tail and swished it about, and swept down all the trees with as much ease as a mower cuts grass. And since then there has been neither a forest nor a hornet's nest in that place, for all the country was thereby reduced to pasture land.

At last Gargantua came to Paris, and inquired what wine they drank there, and what learning was to be had. Everybody in Paris looked upon him with great admiration. For the people of this city are by nature so sottish, idle, and good-for-nothing, that a mountebank, a pardoner come from Rome to sell indulgences, or a fiddler in the crossways, will attract together more of them than a good preacher of the Gospel. So troublesome were they in pursuing Gargantua, that he was compelled to seek a resting-place on the towers of Notre Dame. There he amused himself by ringing the great bells, and it came into his mind that they would serve as cowbells to hang on the neck of his mare, so he carried them off to his lodging.

At this all the people of Paris rose up in sedition. They are, as you know, so ready to uproars and insurrections, that foreign nations wonder at the stupidity of the kings of France at not restraining them from such tumultuous courses, seeing the manifold inconveniences which thence arise from day to day. Believe for a truth, that the place where the people gathered together was called Nesle; there, after the case was proposed and argued, they resolved to send the oldest and most able of their learned men unto Gargantua to explain to him the great and horrible prejudice they sustained by the want of their bells. Thereupon Gargantua put up the bells again in their place, and in acknowledgement of his courtesy, the citizens offered to maintain and feed his mare as long as he pleased. And they sent her to graze in the forest of Biére, but I do not think she is there now.

For some years Gargantua studied at Paris under a wise and able master, and grew expert in manly sports of all kinds, as well as in learning of every sort. Then he was called upon to return to his country to take part in a great and horrible war.

II.--The Marvellous Deeds of Friar John

The war began in this way: At the time of the vintage, the shepherds of Grangousier's country were set to guard the vines and hinder the starlings from eating the grapes. Seeing some cake-bakers of Lerné passing down the highway with ten or twelve loads of cakes, the shepherds courteously asked them to sell some of their wares at the market price. The cake-bakers, however, were in no way inclinable to the request of the shepherds; and, what is worse, they insulted them hugely, calling them babblers, broken-mouths, carrot-pates, tunbellies, fly-catchers, sneakbies, joltheads, slabberdegullion druggels, and other defamatory epithets. And when one honest shepherd came forward with the money to buy some of the cakes, a rude cake-baker struck him a rude lash with a whip. Thereupon some farmers and their men, who were watching their walnuts close by, ran up with their great poles and long staves, and thrashed the cake-bakers as if they had been green rye.

When they were returned to Lerné, the cake-makers complained to their king, Picrochole, saying that all the mischief was done by the shepherds of Grangousier. Picrochole incontinently grew angry and furious, and without making any further question, he had it cried throughout his country that every man, under pain of hanging, should assemble in arms at noon before his castle. Thereupon, without order or measure, his men took the field, ravaging and wasting everything wherever they passed through. All that they said to any man that cried them mercy, was: "We will teach you to eat cakes!"

Having pillaged the town of Seuillé, they went on with the horrible tumult to an abbey. Finding it well barred and made fast, seven companies of foot and two hundred lances broke down the walls of the close, and began to lay waste the vineyard. The poor devils of monks did not know to what saint to pray in their extremity, and they made processions and said litanies against their foes. But in the abbey at that time was a cloister-monk named Friar John of the Trenchermen, young, gallant, frisky, lusty, nimble, quick, active, bold, resolute, tall, wide-mouthed, and long-nosed; a fine mumbler of matins, a fair runner through masses, and a great scourer of vigils--to put it short, a true monk, if ever there was one since the monking world monked a monkery. This monk, hearing the noise that the enemy made in the vineyard, went to see what they were doing, and perceiving that they were gathering the grapes out of which next year's drink of the abbey ought to be made, he grew mighty angry. "The devil take me," he cried, "if they have not already chopped our vines so that we shall have no drink for years to come! Did not St. Thomas of England die for the goods of the church? If I died in the same cause should I not be a saint likewise? However, I shall not die for them, but make other men to do so."

Throwing off his monk's habit, he took up a cross made out of a sour apple-tree, which was as long as a lance, and with it he laid on lustily upon his enemies. He scattered the brains of some, and the legs and arms of others. He broke their necks; he had off their heads; he smashed their bones; he caved in their ribs; he impaled them, and he transfixed them. Believe me, it was a most horrible spectacle that ever man saw. Some died without speaking, others spoke without dying; some died while they were speaking, others spoke while they were dying. So great was the cry of the wounded, that the prior and all his monks came forth, and seeing the poor wretches hurt to death, began to confess them. But when those who had been shriven tried to depart, Friar John felled them with a terrible blow, saying, "These men have had confession and are repentant, so straight they go into Paradise!"

Thus by his prowess and valour were discomfited all those of the army, under the number of thirteen thousand six hundred and twenty-two, that entered the abbey close. Gargantua, who had come from Paris to help his father against Picrochole, heard of the marvellous feats of Friar John, and sought his aid, and by means of it utterly defeated the enemy. What became of Picrochole after his defeat I cannot say with certainty, but I was told that he is now a porter at Lyons. He always inquires of all strangers on the coming of the Cocquecigrues, for an old woman has prophesied that at their coming he shall be re-established in his kingdom.

III.--The Abbey of Thelema

Gargantua was mightily pleased with Friar John, and he wanted to make him abbot of several abbeys in his country. But the monk said he would never take upon him the government of monks. "Give me leave," he said, "to found an abbey after my own fancy." The notion pleased Gargantua, who thereupon offered him all the country of Thelema by the river of Loire. Friar John then asked Gargantua to institute his religious order contrary to all others. At that time they placed no women into nunneries save those who were ugly, ill-made, foolish, humpbacked, or corrupt; nor put any men into monasteries save those that were sickly, ill-born, simple-witted, and a burden to their family. Therefore, it was ordained that into this abbey of Thelema should be admitted no women that were not beautiful and of a sweet disposition, and no men that were not handsome, well-made, and well-conditioned. And because both men and women that are received into religious orders are constrained to stay there all the days of their lives, it was therefore laid down that all men and women admitted to Thelema should have leave to depart whenever it seemed good to them. And because monks and nuns made three vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience, it was appointed that those who entered into the new order might be rich and honourably married and live at liberty.

For the building of the abbey Gargantua gave twenty-seven hundred thousand eight hundred and thirty-one long-wooled sheep; and for the maintenance thereof he gave an annual fee-farm rent of twenty-three hundred and sixty-nine thousand five hundred and fourteen rose nobles. In the building were nine thousand three hundred and thirty-two apartments, each furnished with an inner chamber, a cabinet, a wardrobe, a chapel, and an opening into a great hall. The abbey also contained fine great libraries and spacious picture galleries.

All the life of the Thelemites was laid out, not by laws and rules, but according to their own free will and pleasure. They rose from their beds when it seemed good to them; they drank, worked, ate, slept, when the wish came upon them. No one constrained them in anything, for so had Gargantua established it. Their rule consisted of this one clause:


Because men are free, well-born, well-bred, conversant in honest company, have by nature an instinct and a spur that always prompt them to virtuous actions and withdraw them from vice; and this they style honour. When the time was come that any man wished to leave the abbey, he carried with him one of the ladies who had taken him for her faithful servant, and they were married together; and if they had formerly lived together in Thelema in devotion and friendship, still more did they so continue in wedlock; insomuch that they loved one another to the end of their lives, as on the first day of their marriage.

IV.--Pantagruel and Panurge

At the age of four hundred four score and forty-four years, Gargantua had a son by his wife, Badebec, daughter of one of the kings of Utopia. And because in the year that his son was born there was a great drought, Gargantua gave him the name of Pantagruel; for panta in Greek is as much as to say all, and gruel in the Arabic language has the same meaning as thirsty. Moreover, Gargantua foresaw, in the spirit of prophesy, that Pantagruel would one day be the ruler of the thirsty race, and that if he lived very long he would arrive at a goodly age.

Like his father, Pantagruel went to Paris to study. There his spirit among his books was like fire among heather, so indefatigable was it and ardent. One day as Pantagruel was taking a walk without the city he met a man of a comely stature and elegant in all the lineaments of his body, but most pitifully wounded, and clad in tatters and rags.

"Who are you, my friend?" said Pantagruel. "What do you want, and what is your name?" The man answered him in German, gibberish, Italian, English, Basque, Lantern-language, Dutch, Spanish, Danish, Hebrew, Greek, Breton, and Latin.

"Well, well, my friend," replied Pantagruel, when the man had come to an end, "can you speak French?"

"That I can very well, sir," he replied, "for my name is Panurge, and I was bred and born in Touraine, which is the garden of France. I have just come from Turkey, where I was taken prisoner, and my throat is so parched and my stomach so empty that if you will only put a meal before me, it will be a fine sight for you to see me walk into it."

Pantagruel had conceived a great affection for the wandering scholar, and he took him home and set a great store of food before him. Panurge ate right on until the evening, went to bed as soon as he finished, slept till dinner time next day, so that he only made three steps and a jump from bed to table. Panurge was of a middle height, and had a nose like that of the handle of a razor. He was a very gallant and proper man in his person, and the greatest thief, drinker, roysterer, and rake in Paris. With all that, he was the best fellow in the world, and he was always contriving some mischief or other. Pantagruel, being pleased with him, gave him the castellany of Salmigondin, which was yearly worth 6,789,106,789 royals of certain rent; besides the uncertain revenue of cockchafers and snails, amounting one year with another to the value of 2,435,768, or 2,435,769 French crowns of Berry. Sometimes it amounted to 1,234,554,321 seraphs, when it was a good season, and cockchafers and snails in request; but that was not every year.

The new castellan conducted himself so well and prudently than in less than fourteen days he wasted all the revenue of his castellany for three whole years. Yet he did not throw it away in building churches and founding monasteries, but spent it in a thousand little banquets and joyful festivals, keeping open house for all good fellows and pretty girls who came that way.

Pantagruel being advertised of the affair was in no wise offended. He only took Panurge aside, and sweetly represented to him that if he continued to live in this manner it would be difficult at any time to make him rich.

"Rich?" answered Panurge. "Have you undertaken the impossible task to make me rich? Be prudent, like me, and borrow money beforehand, for you never know how things will turn out."

"But," said Pantagruel, "when will you be out of debt?"

"The Lord forbid I should ever be out of debt," replied Panurge. "Are you indebted to somebody? He will pray night and morning that your life may be blessed, long and prosperous. Fearing to lose his debt, he will always speak good of you in every company; moreover, he will continually get new creditors for you, in the hope, that, through them, you will be able to pay him."

To this Pantagruel answering nothing. Panurge went on with his discourse, saying: "To think that you should run full tilt at me and twit me with my debts and creditors! In this one thing only do I esteem myself worshipful, reverend, and formidable. I have created something out of nothing--a line of fair and jolly creditors! Imagine how glad I am when I see myself, every morning, surrounded by them, humble, fawning, and full of reverence. You ask me when I will be out of debt. May the good Saint Babolin snatch me, if I have not always held that debt was the connection and tie between the heavens and the earth; the only bond of union of the human race; without it the whole progeny of Adam would soon perish. A world without debts! Everything would be in disorder. The planets, reckoning they were not indebted to each other, would thrust themselves out of their sphere. The sun would not lend any light to the earth. No rain would descend on it, no wind blow there, and there would be no summer or harvest. Faith, hope, and charity will be quite banished from such a world; and what would happen to our bodies? The head would not lend the sight of its eyes to guide the hands and the feet; the feet would refuse to carry the head, and the hands would leave off working for it. Life would go out of the body, and the chafing soul would take its flight after my money.

"On the contrary, I shall be pleased to represent unto your fancy another world, in which everyone lends and everyone owes. Oh, how great will be the harmony among mankind! I lose myself in this contemplation. There will be peace among men; love, affection, fidelity, feastings, joy, and gladness; gold, silver, and merchandise will trot from hand to hand. There will be no suits of law, no wars, no strife. All will be good, all will be fair, all will be just. Believe me, it is a divine thing to lend, and an heroic virtue to owe. Yet this is not all. We owe something to posterity."

"What is that?" said Pantagruel.

"The task of creating it," said Panurge. "I have a mind to marry and get children."

"We must consult the Oracle of the Divine Bottle," exclaimed Pantagruel, "before you enter on so dangerous an undertaking. Come, let us prepare for the voyage."

V.--The Divine Bottle

Pantagruel knew that the Oracle of the Divine Bottle could only be reached by a perilous voyage in unknown seas and strange islands. But, undismayed by this knowledge, he fitted out a great fleet at St. Malo, and sailed beyond the Cape of Good Hope to Lantern Land. As they were voyaging along, beyond the desolate land of the Popefigs and the blessed island of the Papemanes, Pantagruel heard voices in the air, and the pilot said: "Be not afraid, my lord! We are on the confines of the frozen sea, where there was a great fight last winter between the Arimaspians and the Nepheliabetes. The cries of the men, the neighing of the horses, and all the din of battle froze in the air, and now that the warm season is come, they are melting into sound."

"Look," said Pantagruel, "here are some that are not yet thawed." And he threw on deck great handfuls of frozen words, seeming like sugar-plums of many colours. Panurge warmed some of them in his hands, and they melted like snow into a barbarous gibberish. Panurge prayed Pantagruel to give him some more, but Pantagruel told him that to give words was the part of a lover.

"Sell me some, then," cried Panurge.

"That is the part of a lawyer," said Pantagruel. But he threw three or four more handfuls of them on the deck, and as they melted all the noises of the battle rang about the ship.

From this point Pantagruel sailed straight for Lantern Land, and came to the desired island in which was the Oracle of the Bottle. On the front of the Doric portal was engraved in fine gold the sentence: "In Wine, Truth." The noble priestess, Bachuc, led Panurge to the fountain in the temple, within which was placed the Divine Bottle. After he had danced round it three Bacchic dances, she threw a magic powder into the fountain, and its water began to boil violently and Panurge sat upon the ground and waited for the oracle. First of all a noise like that made by bees at their birth came from the Divine Bottle, and immediately after this was heard the word, "Drink!"

The priestess then filled some small leather vessels with this fantastic water, and gave them to Panurge and Pantagruel, saying: "If you have observed what is written above the temple gates, you at last know that truth is hidden in wine. Be yourselves the expounders of your undertaking, and now go, friends, in the protection of that intellectual sphere, the centre of which is in all places and the circumference nowhere, which we call God. What has become of the art of calling down from heaven, thunder and celestial fire, once invented by the wise Prometheus? You have certainly lost it. Your philosophers who complain that all things were written by the ancients, and that nothing is left for them to invent, are evidently wrong. When they shall give their labour and study to search out, with prayer to the sovereign God (whom the Egyptians named the Hidden and Concealed, and invoking Him by that name, besought Him to manifest and discover Himself to them), He will grant to them, partly guided by good Lanterns, knowledge of Himself and His creatures. For all philosophers and ancient sages have considered two things necessary for the sure and pleasant pursuit of the way of divine knowledge and choice of wisdom--the goodness of God, and the company of men.

"Now go, in the name of God, and may He guide you."


Hard Cash

Charles Reade made his first appearance as an author comparatively late in life. He was the son of an English squire, born at Ipsden on June 8, 1814, and was educated for the Bar, being entered at Lincoln's Inn in 1843. His literary career began as dramatist, and it is significant that it was his own wish that the word "dramatist" should stand first in the description of his works on his tombstone. His maiden effort in stage literature, "The Ladies' Battle," was produced in 1851; but it was not until November, 1852, with the appearance of "Masks and Faces"--the story which he afterwards adapted into prose under the title of "Peg Woffington"--that Reade became famous as a playwright. From 1852 until his death, which occurred on April 11, 1884, Reade's life is mainly a catalogue of novels and dramas. Like many of Charles Reade's works, "Hard Cash, a Matter-of-Fact Romance," is a novel with a purpose, and was written with the object of exposing abuses connected with the lunacy laws and the management of private lunatic asylums. Entitled "Very Hard Cash," it first appeared serially in the pages of "All the Year Round," then under the editorship of Charles Dickens, and although its success in that form was by no means extraordinary, its popularity on its publication in book form in 1863 was well deserved and emphatic. The appearance of "Hard Cash," which is a sequel to a comparatively trivial tale, "Love me Little, Love me Long," provoked much hostile criticism from certain medical quarters--criticism to which Reade replied with vehemence and characteristic vigour. His activity in the campaign against the abuses of lunacy law did not end with the publication of this story, since he conducted personal investigations in many individual cases of false imprisonment under pretence of lunacy.

I.--The Dodd and Hardie Families

In a snowy-villa, just outside the great commercial seaport, Barkington, there lived, a few years ago, a happy family. A lady, middle-aged, but still charming; two young friends of hers, and an occasional visitor.

The lady was Mrs. Dodd; her periodical visitor her husband, the captain of an East Indiaman; her friends were her son Edward, aged twenty, and her daughter, Julia, nineteen.

Mrs. Dodd was the favourite companion and bosom friend of both her children. They were remarkably dissimilar. Edward was comely and manly, no more; could walk up to a five-barred gate and clear it; could row all day, and then dance all night; and could not learn his lessons to save his life.

In his sister Julia modesty, intelligence, and, above all, enthusiasm shone, and made her an incarnate sunbeam.

This one could learn her lessons with unreasonable rapidity, and Mrs. Dodd educated her herself, from first to last; but Edward she sent to Eton, where he made good progress--in aquatics and cricket.

In spite of his solemn advice--"you know, mamma, I've got no headpiece"--he was also sent to Oxford, and soon found he could not have carried his wares to a better market. Advancing steadily in that line of study towards which his genius lay, he was soon as much talked about in the university as any man in his college, except one. Singularly enough, that one was his townsman--much Edward's senior in standing, though not in age. Young Alfred Hardie was doge of a studious clique, and careful to make it understood that he was a reading man who boated and cricketed to avoid the fatigue of lounging.

To this young Apollo, crowned with variegated laurel, Edward looked up from a distance, praised him and recorded his triumphs in all his letters; but he, thinking nothing human worthy of reverence but intellect, was not attracted by Edward, till at Henley he saw Julia, and lo! true life had dawned. He passed the rest of the term in a soft ecstasy, called often on Edward, and took a prodigious interest in him, and counted the days till he should be for four months in the same town as his enchantress. Within a month of his arrival in Barkington he obtained Mrs. Dodd's permission to ask his father's consent to propose an engagement to Julia, which was promptly refused; and inquiry, petulance, tenderness, and logic were alike wasted on Mr. Hardie by his son in vain. He would give no reason. But Mrs. Dodd, knowing him of old, had little doubt, and watched her daughter day and night to find whether love or pride was the stronger, all the mother in arms to secure her daughter's happiness. Finding this really at stake, she explained that she knew the nature of Mr. Hardie's objections, and they were objections that her husband, on his return, would remove. "My darling," she said, "pray for your father's safe return, for on him, and on him alone, your happiness depends, as mine does."

Next day Mrs. Dodd walked two hours with Alfred, and his hopes revived under her magic, as Julia's had. The wise woman quietly made terms. He was not to come to the house except on her invitation, unless indeed he had news of the Agra to communicate; but he might write once a week, and enclose a few lines to Julia. On this he proceeded to call her his best, dearest, loveliest friend--his mother. That touched her. Hitherto he had been to her but a thing her daughter loved. Her eyes filled.

"My poor, warm-hearted, motherless boy," she said, "pray for my husband's safe return."

So now two more bright eyes looked longingly seaward for the Agra, homeward bound.

II.--Richard Hardie's Villainy

Richard Hardie was at that moment the unlikeliest man in Barkington to decline Julia Dodd, with hard cash in five figures, for his daughter-in-law.

The great banker stood, a colossus of wealth and stability to the eye, though ready to crumble at a touch, and, indeed, self-doomed; for bankruptcy was now his game. This was a miserable man, far more so than his son, whose happiness he was thwarting; and of all things that gnawed him, none was more bitter than to have borrowed £5,000 of his children's trust money, and sunk it. His son's marriage would expose him; lawyers would peer into trusts, etc.

When his son announced his attachment to a young lady living in a suburban villa it was a terrible blow, but if Alfred had told him hard cash in five figures could be settled by the bride's family on the young couple, he would have welcomed the wedding with a secret gush of joy, for he could then have thrown himself on Alfred's generosity, and been released from that one corroding debt.

He had for months spent his days poring over the books, fabricating and maturing a false balance-sheet. Suspecting that the cashier was watching him, he one day handed him his dismissal, polite but peremptory, and went on cooking his accounts with surpassing dignity. Rage supplying the place of courage, the cashier let him know that he--poor, despised Noah Skinner--had kept genuine books while he had been preparing false ones.

He was at the mercy of his servant, and bowed his pride to flatter Skinner, and soon saw this was the way to make him a clerk of wax. He became his accomplice, and on this his master told him everything it was impossible to keep from him. At this moment Captain Dodd was announced. Mr. Hardie explained to his new ally the danger that threatened him from Miss Julia Dodd.

"And now," said he, "the women have sent the father to soften me. I shall be told his girl will die if she can't have my boy."

But, instead of the heartbroken father he expected, in came the gallant sailor, with a brown cheek reddened with triumph and excitement, who held out his hand cordially, almost shouting in a jovial voice, "Well, sir, here I am, just come ashore, and visiting you before my very wife; what d'ye think of that?"

Hardie stared, and remained on his guard, puzzled; while David Dodd showed his pocket-book, and in the pride of his heart, and the fever in his blood--for there were two red spots on his cheeks all the time--told the cold pair its adventures in a few glowing words; the Calcutta firm--the two pirates--the hurricane--the wrecks, the land-sharks he had saved it from. "And here it is safe, in spite of them all, and you must be good enough to take care of it for me."

He then opened the pocket-book, and Mr. Hardie ran over the notes and bills, and said the amount was £14,010 12s. 6d.

Dodd asked for a receipt, and while it was written poor Dodd's heart overflowed.

"It's my children's fortune, you see; I don't look on a sixpence of it as mine. It belongs to my little Julia, bless her, she's a rosebud if ever there was one; and my boy Edward, he's the honestest young chap you ever saw; but how could they miss either good looks or good hearts, and her children? Here's a Simple Simon vaunting his own flesh and blood, but you know how it is with us fathers; our hearts are so full of the little darlings, out it must come. You can imagine how joyful I feel at saving their fortune from land-sharks, and landing it safe in an honest man's hands."

Skinner gave him the receipt.

"All right, little gentleman; now my heart is relieved of such a weight. Good-bye, shake hands. God bless you! God bless you both!" And with this he was out and making ardently for Albion Villa.

Ten minutes later the door burst open, and David Dodd stood on the threshold, looking terrible. He seemed black and white with anger and anxiety. Making a great effort to control his agitation, he said, "I have changed my mind, sir; I want my money back."

Mr. Hardie said faintly, "Certainly; may I ask----"

"No matter," cried Dodd. "Come! My money! I must and will have it."

Hardie drew himself up majestically; and Dodd said, "Well, I beg your pardon, but I can't help it!"

The banker's mind went into a whirl. It was death to part with this money and get nothing by it. He made excuses. Dodd eyed him sternly, and said quietly, "So you can't give me my money because your cashier has carried it away. It is not in this room, then?"


"What, not in that safe there?"

"Certainly not," said Hardie stoutly.

"My money! My money!" cried David fiercely. "No more words. I know you now. I saw you put it in that safe. You want to steal my children's money. My money, ye pirate, or I'll strangle you!"

While Hardie unlocked the safe with trembling hands, Dodd stood like a man petrified; the next moment his teeth gnashed loudly together, and he fell headlong on the floor in a fit. So the £14,000 remained with the banker.

Not many days after this a crowd stood in front of the old bank, looking at the shutters, and a piece of paper announcing a suspension, only for a month or so.

Many things now came to Alfred Hardie's knowledge till he began to shudder at his own father, and was troubled with dark, mysterious surmises, and wandered alone, or sat brooding and dejected. Richard Hardie's anxiety to know whether David Dodd was to live or die increased. He was now resolved to fly to the United States with his booty, and cheat his son with the rest. On his putting a smooth inquiry to Alfred, his face flushed with shame or anger, and he gave a very short, obscure reply. So he invited the doctor to dinner, and elicited the information that David's life indeed was saved, but he was a maniac; and his sister, a sensible, resolute woman, had signed the certificate, and he was now in a private asylum.

Mr. Hardie smiled, and sipped his tea luxuriously; he would not have to go to a foreign land after all. Who would believe a lunatic? He said, "I presume, Alfred, you are not so far gone as to insist on propagating insanity by a marriage with Captain Dodd's daughter now?"

Alfred ground his teeth, and replied that his father should be the last man to congratulate himself on the affliction that had fallen on that family he aspired to enter, all the more now they had calamities for him to share.

"More fool you," put in Mr. Hardie calmly.

"For I much fear you are the cause of that calamity."

"I really don't know what you allude to."

The son fixed his eyes on his father, and said, "The fourteen thousand pounds, sir!"

One unguarded look confirmed Alfred's suspicions; he could not bear to go on exposing his father, and wandered out, sore perplexed and nobly wretched, into the night.

III.--Alfred in Confinement

At last Alfred decided that justice must be done, and confided his suspicions to the Dodds. Edward's good commonsense at once settled that, as the man who married Julia would be the greatest sufferer by Hardie senior's fraud, Hardie junior should settle his own £10,000 on her, and marry her as soon as he came of age. Alfred joyfully agreed, privately arranging that the money should be settled on Julia's parents, and preparations went on apace.

But on the wedding-day the bridal party waited in vain for the bridegroom, and Edward ran to his lodgings to fetch him.

He came back alone, white with wrath, hurried the insulted bride and her mother into the carriage, and they went home as if from a funeral. Aye, and a funeral it was; for the sweetest girl in England buried her hopes, her laugh, her May of youth that day.

As soon as possible this heartbroken trio removed to London, where Mrs. Dodd became a dressmaker, and Edward a fireman.

It was true Alfred had received a letter in a female hand, but it was from a discharged servant of his father's, offering information about the £14,000 if he would come to a house about ten miles off the next morning. He calculated he could do so, and still be in the church in time, and drove there with all his luggage, only to find himself shut up in a lunatic asylum.

He made a desperate resistance, but was soon overpowered and left handcuffed, hobbled, and strapped down, more helpless than a swaddled infant. He lay mute as death in his gloomy cell; deeper horror grew and grew, gusts of rage swept over him, gusts of despair. What would his Julia think? He shouted, he screamed, he prayed. He saw her, lovelier than ever, all in white, waiting for him, with sweet concern in her peerless face. Half-past ten struck. He struggled, he writhed, he made the very room shake, and lacerated his flesh, but that was all. No answer, no help, no hope.

By-and-by his good wit told him his only chance was calmness; they could not long confine him as a madman, being sane. But all his efforts to convince his keepers that he was sane were useless; his letters seemed to go, but he got no answers; his appeals to visiting justices were in vain. The responsibility rested with the people who signed the certificates, and he could not even find out who they were. After months of softening hearts and buying consciences, he was on the point of escape, when he was moved to another asylum. Here there was no brutality, but constant watchfulness; and he had almost prevailed on the doctor to declare him cured when he was again moved to a still more brutal place, if possible, than the first.

One day he found himself locked in his room. This was unusual, for though they called him a lunatic in words, they called him sane by all their acts. He thought the commissioners must be in the house; had he known who really was in the house he would have beaten himself to pieces against the door.

At dinner there was a new patient, very mild and silent, with a beautiful mild brown eye like some gentle animal's. Alfred contrived to say some kind word to him; and the newcomer handled his forelock, and announced himself as William Thompson, adding, with simple pride, "Able seaman, just come aboard, your honour."

At night Alfred dreamed he heard Julia's sweet, mellow voice speaking to him; and lo, it was the able seaman. He slept no more, but lay sighing.

The matron told him this was David Dodd, Alfred redoubled his efforts to escape, and at last one of the keepers consented to help him off. He was sitting on his bed full dressed, full of hope, his money in his pocket, waiting for his liberator. Every moment he expected to hear the key in the door.

Then came a smell of burning, and feet ran up and down. "Fire!" rang from men's voices. Fire cracked above his head; he sprang up at the window, and dashed his hand through it, and fell back. He sprang again, and caught the woodwork; it gave way, and he fell back, nearly stunning himself. The flames roared fearfully now, and David, thinking it was a tempest, shouted appropriate orders. Alfred implored him, and got him to kneel down with him, and prayed. He gave up all hope, and prepared to die.

Crash! As if discharged from a cannon, came bursting through the window a helmeted figure, rope in hand, and alighted erect and commanding on the floor. All three faces came together, and Edward recognised his father and Alfred Hardie. Edward clawed his rope to the bed, and hauled up a rope ladder, crying, "Now, men, quick for your lives!" But poor David called that deserting the ship, and demurred, till Alfred assured him the captain had ordered it. He then touched his forelock to Edward, and went down the ladder. Alfred followed.

They were at once overpowered with curiosity and sympathy, and had to shake a hundred hands.

"Gently, good friends; don't part us," said Alfred.

"He's the keeper," said one of the crowd, and all helped them to the back door.

Alfred ran off across country for bare life. To his horror, David followed him, shouting cheerily, "Go ahead, messmate, I smell blue water."

"Come on, then!" cried Alfred, half mad himself; and the pair ran furiously the livelong night. Free!

IV.--Into Smooth Waters

Exhilarated by freedom, Alfred began to nurse aspiring projects; he would indict his own father and the doctor, and wipe off the stigma they had cast on him. Meantime, he would cure David and restore him to his family. They bowled along towards blue water with a perfect sense of security. But at Folkestone, David disappeared, and Alfred, hearing as he ran wildly all over the place that there was "another party on the same lay"--the mad gentleman's wife--took the first train to London, dispirited and mortified. David was in good hands, however, and Alfred had glorious work on hand--love and justice.

He at once put his affairs into a lawyer's hands, and thought of love alone. After a violent encounter with his late keepers and a narrow escape from capture, in the midst of Elysium with Julia, her mother returned in despair. David had completely disappeared. Again these lovers were separated, and again Edward's commonsense came to the rescue. Alfred went back to Oxford to read for his first class, and Julia to her district visiting, while the terrible delays of the law went on. Alfred had begun to believe trial by jury would never be allowed him, and when at last, after many postponements, the trial did come on, he was being examined in the schools, and refused to come till his counsel had actually opened the case. Mr. Thomas Hardie, Alfred's uncle, was the defendant, for it was proved he had authorised Alfred's arrest.

A detective had been employed to find Mr. Barkington, a little man in Julia's district, whom the lawyers suspected might be useful; and when the trial was half over, he led them all in great excitement to the back slums of Westminster. Mr. Barkington, alias Noah Skinner, was wanted by another client of his.

The room was full of an acrid vapour, and a mummified figure sat at the table, dead this many a day of charcoal fumes; in his hand a banker's receipt to David Dodd, Esq., for £14,000. The lawyer was handing it to Julia, having just found a will bequeathing all Skinner had in the world to her, with his blessing, when a solemn voice said: "No; it is mine."

A keen cry from Julia's heart, and in an instant she was clinging round her father's neck. Edward could only get at his hand. Instinct told them Heaven had given them back their father, mind and all.

Alfred Hardie slipped out, and ran like a deer to tell Mrs. Dodd.

Husband and wife met alone in Mrs. Dodd's room. No eyes ventured to witness a scene so strange, so sacred.

They all thought in their innocence that Hardie v. Hardie was now at an end, with Captain Dodd ready to prove Alfred's sanity; but the lawyer advised them not to put the captain to the agitation of the witness-box.

Mr. Thomas Hardie, the defendant, won the case for Alfred by admitting in the witness-box that his brother Richard had declared that "if you don't put Alfred in a madhouse, I will put you in one."

The jury found for the plaintiff, Alfred Hardie, and gave the damages at £3,000. The verdict was received with acclamation by the people, and in the midst of this Alfred's lawyer announced that the plaintiff had just gained his first class at Oxford.

Mr. Richard Hardie restored the £14,000, and a few years later died a monomaniac, believing himself penniless when he possessed £60,000.

Alfred married Julia, and, with the consent of his wife, took his father to live with them. Then Alfred determined to pay in full all who had been ruined by the bank failure, and in time the old bank was reopened with Edward Dodd as managing partner. In the end, no creditor of Richard Hardie was left unpaid. Alfred went in for politics and became an M.P. for Barkington; whence to dislodge him I pity anyone who tries.

It Is Never Too Late to Mend

"It is Never Too Late to Mend, a Matter-of-Fact Romance," published in 1856, is, like "Hard Cash," a story with a purpose, the object in this instance being to illustrate the abuses of prison discipline in England and Australia. Many of the passages describing Australian life are exceptionally vivid and imaginative, and exhibit Charles Reade, if not in the front rank of novelists of his day, at least occupying a high position.

I.--In Berkshire

George Fielding, assisted by his brother William, tilled The Grove--as nasty a little farm as any in Berkshire. It was four hundred acres, all arable, and most of it poor, sour land. A bad bargain, and the farmer being sober, intelligent, proud, sensitive, and unlucky, is the more to be pitied.

Susanna Merton was beautiful and good; George Fielding and she were acknowledged lovers, but latterly old Merton had seemed cool whenever his daughter mentioned the young man's name.

William Fielding, George's brother, was in love with his brother's sweetheart, but he never looked at her except by stealth; he knew he had no business to love her.

While George Fielding had been going steadily down-hill, till even the bank declined to give him credit, Mr. Meadows, who had been a carter, was, at forty years of age, a rich corn-factor and land surveyor.

This John Meadows was not a common man. He had a cool head, and an iron will; and he had the soul of business--method.

Meadows was generally respected; by none more than by old Merton. In fact, it seemed to Merton that John Meadows would make a better son-in-law than George Fielding.

The day came when a distress was issued against Fielding's farm for the rent, and as it happened on that very day Susan and her father had come to dinner at The Grove. Old Merton, knowing how things stood, spoke his mind to George.

"You are too much of a man, I hope, to eat a woman's bread; and if you are not, I am man enough to keep the girl from it. If Susan marries you she will have to keep you instead of you her."

"Is this from Susanna, as well as you?" said George, with a trembling lip.

"Susan is an obedient daughter. What I say she'll stand to."

This was blow number two for George Fielding. The third stroke on that day was the arrest of Mr. Robinson who had been staying at The Grove as a lodger. Mr. Robinson dressed well, too well, perhaps, but somehow the rustics wouldn't accept him for a gentleman. George had taken a great liking to his lodger, and Mr. Robinson was equally sincere in his friendship for Fielding. And now it turned out that the fools who had disparaged Robinson were right, and he, George Fielding, wrong. Before his eyes, and amidst the grins of a score of gaping yokels, Thomas Robinson, alias Scott, a professional thief, was handcuffed and carried off to the county gaol.

This finished George. An invitation to go out to Australia with the younger son of a neighbouring landowner, hitherto disregarded, was now accepted.

Old Merton approved the decision, and when his daughter implored him not to let George go, he replied plainly, to both of them:

"Susan! Mayhap the lad thinks me his enemy, but I'm not. My daughter shall not marry a bankrupt farmer, but you bring home a thousand pounds--just one thousand pounds--to show me you are not a fool, and you shall have my daughter, and she shall have my blessing." And the old farmer gave George his hand upon it.

Meadows exulted, thinking, with George in Australia, he could secure his own way with Susan and old Merton. He had forgotten one man; old Isaac Levi, of whom he had made an implacable enemy, by insisting on his turning out of the house where he lived. Meadows, having bought the house, intended to live in it himself, and treated the prayers and entreaties of the old Jew with contempt. Only the interference of George Fielding, on the day of his own ruin, had saved old Levi from personal violence at the hands of Meadows; and so while George was sinking under the blows of fortune, he had made a friend in Isaac Levi.

Before George sailed William promised that he would think no more of Susan as a sweetheart.

"She's my sister from this hour--no more, no less," he declared. "And may the red blight fall on my arm and my heart if I or any man takes her from you--any man! Sooner than a hundred men should take her from you while I am here I'd die at their feet a hundred times."

William kept his eye on Meadows, but Meadows soon had William in his clutches. For John Meadows lent money upon ricks, waggons, leases, and such things, to farmers in difficulties, employing as his agent in these transactions a middle-aged, disreputable lawyer named Peter Crawley--a cunning fool and a sot.

First William Fielding, and then old Merton were heavy debtors to Peter Crawley, that is to John Meadows; for Merton, a solid enough farmer, was beguiled into rash and ruinous speculations by a friend of Meadows'.

And now George Fielding is gone to Australia to make a thousand pounds by farming and cattle-feeding, so that he may marry Susan. Susan, at home, is often pensive and always anxious, but not despondent. Meadows is falling deeper and deeper in love, but keeping it jealously secret; on his guard against Isaac Levi, and on his guard against William; hoping everything from time and accidents, and from George's incapacity to make money; and watching with keen eye and working with subtle threads to draw everybody into his power who could assist or thwart him in his object. William Fielding is going down the hill, Meadows was mounting; getting the better of his passion, and gradually substituting a brother-in-law's regard. Within eighteen months William was happily married to another farmer's daughter in the neighbourhood.

II.--In Gaol

Under Governor Hawes the separate and silent system flourished in ---- gaol, and the local justices entirely approved the system. In the view of Hawes and the justices severe punishment of mind and body was the essential object of a gaol.

Now Tom Robinson had not been in gaol these four years, and though he had heard much of the changes in gaol treatment, they had not yet come home to him. When, therefore, instead of being greeted with the boisterous acclamations of other spirits as bad as himself, he was ushered into a cell white as driven snow, and his duties explained to him, the heavy penalty he was under should a speck of dirt ever be discovered on the walls or floor, Thomas looked blank and had a misgiving. To his dismay he found that the silent cellular system was even carried out in the chapel, where each prisoner had a sort of sentry-box to himself, and that the hour's promenade for exercise conversation was equally impossible.

The turnkeys were surly and forbidding, and the hours dragged wearily to this active-minded prisoner. Robinson was driven to appeal to the governor to put him on hard labour.

"We'll choose the time for that," said the governor, with a knowing smile. "You'll be worse before you are better, my man."

On the tenth day Robinson tried to exchange a word with a prisoner in chapel, and for this he was taken to the black-hole.

Now Robinson was a man of rare capacity, full of talent and the courage and energy that show in action, but not rich in the fortitude that bears much. When they took him out of the black-hole, after six hours' confinement, he was observed to be white as a sheet, and to tremble violently all over.

The day after this the doctor reported No. 19--this was Robinson--to be sinking, and on this Hawes put him to garden work. The man's life and reason were saved by that little bit of labour. Then for a day or two he was employed in washing the corridors, and in making brushes; after that, came the crank. This was a machine consisting of a vertical post with an iron handle, and it was worked as villagers draw a bucket up from a well.

"Eighteen hundred revolutions per hour, and two hours before dinner," was the order given to No. 19, a touch of fever a few days later made it impossible for him to get through his task, and Hawes brutally had the unfortunate prisoner placed in the jacket.

This horrible form of torture consisted of a stout waistcoat, with a rough-edged collar. Robinson knew resistance was useless. He was jammed in the jacket, pinned tight to the collar, and throttled in the collar. Weakened by fever, he succumbed sooner than the torturers had calculated upon, and a few minutes later No. 19 would have been a corpse if he had not been released.

Water was dashed over him, and then Hawes shouted: "I never was beat by a prisoner yet, and I never will be," and had him put back again. Every time he fainted, water was thrown over him.

The plan pursued by the governor with Robinson was to keep him low so that he failed at the crank, and then torture him in the jacket. "He will break out before long," said Hawes to himself, "and then--"

Robinson saw the game, and a deep hatred of his enemy fought on the side of his prudence. This bitter struggle in the thief's heart harmed his soul more than all the years of burglary and petty larceny. All the vices of the old gaol system were nothing compared with the diabolical effect of solitude on a heart smarting with daily wrongs. He made a desperate appeal to the chaplain: "We have no friends here, sir, but you--not one. Have pity on us."

But Mr. Jones, the chaplain, was a weak man--unequal to the task of standing between the prisoners and their torturers, the justices and governor, and he held out no hope to No. 19.

Robinson now became a far worse man. He hated the human race, and said to himself, "From this hour I speak no more to any of these beasts!"

It was then that Mr. Jones, unequal to his task, resigned his office, and a new chaplain, the Rev. Francis Eden, took his place.

Mr. Eden, having ascertained the effects of both the black-hole and the punishment jacket, at once began a strenuous battle for the prisoners, and in the end triumphed handsomely. Hawes, in the face of an official inquiry by the Home Office, threw up the governorship, and a more humane regime was instituted in the gaol.

For a time Robinson resisted all the advances of the new chaplain, but when Mr. Eden came to him in the black-hole, and cheered him through the darkness and solitude by talking to him, not only was Robinson's sanity preserved,--the man's heart was touched, and from that hour he was sworn to honesty.

Then came the time for Robinson to be transported to Australia, with the promise of an early ticket-of-leave. Mr. Eden, anxious for the man's future, thought of George Fielding. Taking Sunday duty in the parish where Merton and his neighbours lived, Mr. Eden had become acquainted with Susan, and had learnt her story. He now wrote to her: "Thomas Robinson goes to Australia next week; he will get a ticket-of-leave almost immediately. I have thought of George Fielding, and am sure that poor Robinson with such a companion would be as honest as the day, and a useful friend, for he is full of resources. So I want you to do a Christian act, and write a note to Mr. Fielding, and let this poor fellow take it to him."

Susan's letter came by return of post. Robinson sailed in the convict ship for Australia, and in due time was released. He found George Fielding at Bathurst recovering from fever, and the letter from Susan, and his own readiness to help, soon revived the old good feeling between the two men.

III.--Between Australia and Berkshire

Meadows, having the postmaster at Farnborough under his thumb, read all George's letters to Susan before they were delivered. As long as George was in difficulties--and the thousand pounds seemed as far off as ever until Tom Robinson struck gold and shared the luck with his partner--the letters gave Meadows no uneasiness. With the discovery of gold he decided Susan must hear no more from her lover, and that Fielding must not return. By this time, old Merton was heavily in debt to Meadows, and saw escape from bankruptcy only in Meadows becoming his son-in-law, while Susan was kindly disposed to Meadows because he said nothing of love, and was willing to talk about Australia.

Meadows confided his plan to Peter Crawley.

"My plan has two hands; I must be one, you the other. I work thus: I stop all letters from him to her. Presently comes a letter from Australia telling how George Fielding has made his fortune and married a girl out there. She won't believe it at first, perhaps, but when she gets no more letters from him she will. Of course, I shall never mention his name, but I make one of my tools hang gaol over old Merton. Susan thinks George married. I strike upon her pique and her father's distress. I ask him for his daughter; offer to pay my father-in-law's debts and start him afresh. Susan likes me already. She will say no, perhaps, three or four times, but the fifth she will say yes. Crawley, the day that John and Susan Meadows walk out of church man and wife I put a thousand pounds into your hand and set you up in any business you like; in any honest business, that is. But suppose, Crawley, while I am working, this George Fielding were to come home with money in both pockets?"

"He would kick it all down in a moment."

"Crawley, George Fielding must not come back this year with a thousand pounds. That paper will prevent him; it is a paper of instructions. My very brains lie in that paper; put it in your pocket. You are going a journey, and you will draw on me for one hundred pounds per month."

"When am I to start, sir? Where am I to go to?"

"To-morrow morning. To Australia."

A dead silence on both sides followed these words, as the two colourless faces looked into one another's eyes across the table.

To Australia Peter Crawley went, and with half-a-dozen of the most villainous ruffians on earth in his pay, it seemed impossible for Fielding and Robinson to escape. But here the ex-thief's alertness came to George Fielding's aid, and the two men managed to get the better of all the robbers and assassins who attacked their tent. Robinson, in fact, not only saved his own and his partner's lives, by common consent he was elected captain at the gold-diggings, and by his authority some sort of law and order were established throughout the camp, and all thefts were heavily punished.

The finding of a large nugget by Robinson ended gold-digging for these two men. The nugget was taken to Sydney and fetched £3,800, and when Crawley, who had pursued them from the camp, reached the city, he found they had already sailed for England.

George Fielding went to Australia to make £1,000, and by industry, sobriety, and cattle, he did not make £1,000; but, with the help of a converted thief, he did by gold-digging, industry, and sobriety, make several thousand pounds, and take them safe away home, spite of many wicked devices and wicked men.

Mr. Meadows flung out Peter Crawley, his left hand, into Australia to keep George from coming back to Susan with £1,000, and his left hand failed, and failed completely. But his right hand?

IV.--George Fielding's Return

One market day a whisper passed through Farnborough that George Fielding had met with wonderful luck. That he had made his fortune by gold, and was going to marry a young lady out in Australia. Farmer Merton brought the whisper home; Meadows was sure he would.

When eight months had elapsed without a letter from George, Susan could no longer deceive herself with hopes. George was either false to her or dead. She said as much to Meadows, and this inspired him with the idea of setting about a report that George was dead. Susan's mind had long been prepared for bitter tidings, and when old Merton tried in a clumsy way to prepare her for sad news, she fixed her eyes on him, and said, "Father, George is dead."

Old Merton hung his head, and made no reply. Susan crept from the room pale as ashes.

Then Meadows contradicted this report, and showed a letter he had received, saying that "George Fielding was married yesterday to one of the prettiest girls in Sydney. I met them walking in the street to-day."

"He is alive!" Susan said. "Thank God he is alive. I will not cry for another woman's husband."

It was not pique that made Susan accept John Meadows, it was to save her father from ruin. She said plainly that she could not pretend affection, and that it was only her indifference that made her consent. She tried to give happiness, and to avoid giving pain, but her heart of hearts was inaccessible.

The return of Crawley with the news that Fielding and Robinson were at hand, drove Meadows to persuade Susan to hasten the marriage. The following Monday had been fixed, Susan agreed to let it take place the preceding Thursday.

The next thing was Meadows himself recognised Fielding and Robinson; they were staying the night at the King's Head, in Farnborough, where Meadows was taking a glass of ale. He promptly decided on his game. The travellers called for hot brandy-and-water, and while the waiter left it for a moment, Meadows dropped the contents of a certain white paper into the liquor. In the dead of night he left his bedroom, and crept to the room where Robinson slept. The drug had done its work. Meadows found £7,000 under the sleeper's pillow, and carried the notes off undetected.

He returned in the early morning to his own house, he explained to Crawley why he had done this. "Don't you see that I have made George Fielding penniless, and that now old Merton won't let him have his daughter. He can't marry her at all now, and when the writ is served on old Merton he will be as strong as fire for me and against George Fielding. I am not a thief, and the day I marry Susan £7,000 will be put in George Fielding's hand; he won't know by whom, but you and I shall know. I am a sinner, but not a villain."

He lit a candle and placed it in the grate. "Come now," Meadows said coolly, "burn them; then they will tell no tale."

Crawley shrieked: "No, no, sir! Don't think of it, give them to me, and in twelve hours I will be in France!"

Meadows hesitated, and then agreed to give him the notes on condition Crawley went to France that very day.

Crawley kept faith. He hugged his treasure to his bosom, and sat down at the railway-station waiting for the train.

Old Isaac Levi was there, and a police officer whom Crawley knew.

"You have £7,000 about you, Mr. Crawley," whispered Isaac in his ear. "Stolen! Give it up to the police officer. Stolen by him, received by you. Give it up unless you prefer a public search. Here is a search warrant from the mayor."

"I won't without Mr. Meadows' authority. Send for Mr. Meadows, if you dare!"

"Well, we will take you to Mr. Meadows. Keep the money till you see him, but we must secure you. Let us go in a carriage."

Meantime, Mr. Meadows had gone to the bank, and had made over the sum of £7,000 to George Fielding and Thomas Robinson. Then he hastened to the church, for it was his wedding-day, and every delay was dangerous.

The parson was late, and while Meadows stood waiting outside the church, along with old Merton and his daughter, and a crowd of neighbours, George Fielding and Robinson came up.

"Susan!" cried a well-known voice behind her. The bride turned, and forgot everything at the sight of George's handsome, honest face, and threw herself into his arms. George kissed the bride.

"What have you done?" cried Susan. "You are false to me! You never wrote me a letter for twelve months, and you are married to a lady in Bathurst! Oh, George!"

"Who has been telling her I have ever had a thought of any girl but her?" said George sternly. "Here is the ring you gave me, Susan."

"Miss Merton and I are to be married to-day," said Meadows.

"I was there before you, Mr. Meadows, but I won't stand upon that, and I wouldn't give a snap of the finger to have her if her will was toward another. So please yourself, Susan, my lass; only this must end. Choose between John Meadows and George Fielding."

Susan looked up in astonishment.

"What choice can there be? The moment I saw your face I forgot there was a John Meadows in the world!" With that she bolted off home.

George turned to old Merton.

"I crossed the seas on the faith of your promise, and I have brought back the thousand pounds."

"John," said old Merton, "I must stand to my word, and I will--it is justice."

It was then that Robinson, producing his pocket-book, found they had been robbed. Despair fell upon George. But Meadows was promptly hindered from pursuing any advantage by the arrival of Isaac Levi, with a magistrate and police officers. Presently Crawley was produced. The game was up. Levi had overheard all that had passed between Meadows and Crawley. Crawley turned upon Meadows, and the magistrate had no choice but to commit Meadows for trial, while the notes were returned to their rightful owners.

A month later George and Susan were married, and Farmer Merton's debts paid.

Robinson wisely went back to Australia, and more wisely married an honest serving-maid. He is respected for his intelligence and good nature, and is industrious and punctilious in business.

When the assizes came on neither Robinson nor George was present to prosecute, and their recognisances were forfeited. Meadows and Crawley were released, and Meadows went to Australia. His mother, who hated her son's sins, left her native land at seventy to comfort him and win him to repentance.

"Even now his heart is softening," she said to herself. "Three times he has said to me 'That George Fielding is a better man than I am.' He will repent; he bears no malice, he blames none but himself. It is never too late to mend."

The Cloister and the Hearth

"The Cloister and the Hearth" a Tale of the Middle Ages, is by common consent the greatest of all Charles Reade's stories. A portion of it originally appeared in 1859 in "Once a Week," under the title of "A Good Fight," and such was its success in this guise that it increased the circulation of that periodical by twenty thousand. During the next two years Reade, recognising its romantic possibilities, expanded it to its present length. As a picture of the manners and customs of the times it is almost unsurpassable; yet pervading the whole is the strong, clear atmosphere of romantic drama never allowing the somewhat ample descriptions to predominate the thrilling interest with which the story is charged. Sir Walter Besant regarded it as the "greatest historical novel in the language." Swinburne remarked of it that "a story better conceived, better constructed, or better related, it would be difficult to find anywhere."

I.--Gerard Falls in Love

It was past the middle of the fifteenth century when our tale begins.

Elias, and Catherine his wife, lived in the little town of Tergon in Holland. He traded, wholesale and retail, in cloth and curried leather, and the couple were well to do. Nine children were born to them; four of these were set up in trade, one, Giles, was a dwarf, another, little Catherine, was a cripple. Cornelis, the eldest, and Sybrandt, the youngest, lived at home, too lazy to work, waiting for dead men's shoes.

There remained young Gerard, a son apart and distinct, destined for the Church. The monks taught him penmanship, and continued to teach him, until one day, in the middle of a lesson, they discovered he was teaching them. Then Gerard took to illuminating on vellum, and in this he was helped by an old lady, Margaret Van Eyck, sister of the famous brothers Van Eyck, who had come to end her days near Tergon. When Philip the Good, Count of Flanders, for the encouragement of the arts, offered prizes for the best specimens of painting on glass and illumination on vellum, Gerard decided to compete. He sent in his specimens, and his mother furnished him with a crown to go to Rotterdam and see the work of his competitors and the prize distribution. Gerard would soon be a priest, she argued; it seemed hard if he might not enjoy the world a little before separating himself from it for life.

It was on the road to Rotterdam, within a league of the city, that Gerard found an old man sitting by the roadside quite worn out, and a comely young woman holding his hand. The old man wore a gown, and a fur tippet, and a velvet cap--sure signs of dignity; but the gown was rusty, and the fur old--sure signs of poverty. The young woman was dressed in plain russet cloth, yet snow-white lawn covered her neck.

"Father, I fear you are tired," said Gerard bashfully.

"Indeed, my son, I am," replied the old man; "and faint for lack of food."

The girl whispered, "Father, a stranger--a young man!" But Gerard, with simplicity, and as a matter of course, was already gathering sticks for a fire. This done, he took down his wallet, and brought his tinder-box and an iron flask his careful mother had put in.

Ghysbrecht Van Swikten, the burgomaster of Tergon, an old man redolent of wealth, came riding by while Gerard was preparing a meal of soup and bread by the roadside. He reined in his steed and spoke uneasily: "Why, Peter--Margaret--what mummery is this?" Then, seeing Gerard, he cast a look of suspicion on Margaret, and rode on. The wayfarers did not know that more than half the wealth of the burgomaster belonged to old Peter Brandt, now dependent on Gerard for his soup; but Ghysbrecht knew it, and carried it in his heart, a scorpion of remorse that was not penitence.

From that hour Gerard was in love with Margaret, and now began a pretty trouble. For at Rotterdam, thanks to a letter from Margaret Van Eyck, Gerard won the favour of the Princess Marie, who, hearing that he was to be a priest, promised him a benefice. And yet no sooner was Gerard returned home to Tergon than he must needs go seeking Margaret, who lived alone with her father, old Peter Brandt, at Sevenbergen. Ghysbrecht's one fear was that if Gerard married Margaret the youth would sooner or later get to hear about certain documents in the burgomaster's possession, documents which established Brandt's right to lands held by the burgomaster, and which old Peter had long forgotten.

So Ghysbrecht went to Eli and Catherine and showed them a picture Gerard had made of Margaret Brandt, and said that if Eli ordered it his son should be locked up until he came to his senses. Henceforth there was no longer any peace in the little house at Tergon, and at last Eli declared before the whole family that he had ordered the burgomaster to imprison his son Gerard in the Stadthouse rather than let him marry Margaret. Gerard turned pale at this, and his father went on to say, "and a priest you shall be before this year is out, willy-nilly."

"Is it so?" cried Gerard. "Then hear me all. By God and St. Bavon, I swear I will never be a priest while Margaret lives. Since force is to decide it, and not love and duty, try force, father. And the day I see the burgomaster come for me I leave Tergon for ever, and Holland too, and my father's house, where it seems I am valued only for what is to be got out of me."

And he flung out of the room white with anger and desperation.

"There!" cried Catherine. "That comes of driving young folk too hard. Now, heaven forbid he should ever leave us, married or single."

Gerard went to his good friend Margaret Van Eyck, who advised him to go to Italy, where painters were honoured like princes, and to take the girl he loved with him. Ten golden angels she gave him besides to take him to Rome.

Gerard decided to marry Margaret Brandt at once, and a day or two later they stood before the altar of Sevenbergen Church. But the ceremony was never concluded, although Gerard got a certificate from the priest, for Ghysbrecht getting wind of what was afoot, sent his servants, who stopped the marriage, and carried Gerard off to the burgomaster's prison. In the room where he was confined were very various documents, which the prisoner got hold of.

Gerard escaped from the prison, and vowing he had done with Tergon, bade farewell to Margaret, and set off for Italy. Once across the frontier in Germany he was safe from Ghysbrecht's malice. He also had in his keeping the piece of parchment which gave certain lands to Peter Brandt, and which Ghysbrecht had hitherto held.

II.--To Rome

It is likely Gerard would never have reached Rome but for his faithful comrade Denys, a soldier making his way home to Burgundy, whom he met early on the road. Gerard, at first, was for going on alone, but his companion would not be refused.

"You will find me a dull companion, for my heart is very heavy," said Gerard, yielding.

"I'll cheer you, mon gars."

"I think you would," said Gerard sweetly; "and sore need have I of a kindly voice in mine ear this day."

"Oh, no soul is sad alongside me. I lift up their poor little hearts with my consigne; 'Courage, tout le monde, le diable est mort.' Ha! Ha!"

"So be it, then," said Gerard. "We will go together as far as Rhine, and God go with us both!"

"Amen!" said Denys, and lifted up his cap.

The pair trudged manfully on, and Denys enlivened the weary way. He chattered about battles and sieges, and things which were new to Gerard; and he was one of those who make little incidents wherever they go. He passed nobody without addressing him. "They don't understand it, but it wakes them up," said he. But, whenever they fell in with a monk or priest, he pulled a long face and sought the reverend father's blessing, and fearlessly poured out on him floods of German words in such order as not to produce a single German sentence. He doffed his cap to every woman, high or low, he caught sight of, and complimented her in his native tongue, well adapted to such matters; and at each carrion crow or magpie down came his crossbow, and he would go a furlong off the road to circumvent it; and indeed he did shoot one old crow with laudable neatness, and carried it to the nearest hen-roost, and there slipped in and sat it upon a nest. "The good-wife will say, 'Alack, here is Beelzebub a hatching of my eggs.'"

But the time came for parting and Denys, with a letter from Gerard to Margaret Brandt, reached Tergon, and found Eli and Catherine and gave them news of their son. "Many a weary league we trode together," said Denys. "Never were truer comrades; never will be while earth shall last. First I left my route a bit to be with him, then he his to be with me. We talked of Sevenbergen and Tergon a thousand times, and of all in this house. We had our troubles on the road, but battling them together made them light. I saved his life from a bear, he mine in the Rhine; for he swims like a duck, and I like a hod o' bricks; and we saved one another's lives at an inn in Burgundy, where we two held a room for a good hour against seven cut-throats, and crippled one and slew two; and your son met the stoutest champion I ever countered, and spitted him like a sucking-pig, else I had not been here. And at our sad parting, soldier though I be, these eyes did rain salt, scalding tears, and so did his, poor soul. His last word to me was: 'Go, comfort Margaret!' So here I be. Mine to him was: 'Think no more of Rome. Make for Rhine, and down stream home.'"

Margaret Brandt had removed to Rotterdam, and there was no love lost between her and Catherine; but Gerard's letter drew them to a reconciliation, and from that day Catherine treated Margaret as her own daughter, and made much of Gerard's child when it was born. Eli and his son Richart, now a wealthy merchant, decided that Gerard must be bidden return home on the instant, for they longed to see him, and since he was married to Margaret, it was useless for any further strife on the matter.

But Ghysbrecht, the burgomaster, knew by this time that Gerard had obtained the parchment relating to Peter Brandt's lands, and was anxious that Gerard should not return. Cornelis and Sybrandt were also against their brother, and willing to aid the burgomaster in any diabolical adventure. So a letter was concocted and Margaret Van Eyck's signature forged to it, and in this letter it was said that Margaret Brandt was dead.

In the meantime, Gerard had reached Rome. The ship he sailed in was wrecked off the coast between Naples and Rome, and here Gerard was nearly drowned. He and a Dominican friar clung to a mast when the ship had struck.

It was a terrible situation; one moment they saw nothing, and seemed down in a mere basin of watery hills; the next they caught glimpses of the shore speckled bright with people, who kept throwing up their arms to encourage them.

When they had tumbled along thus a long time, suddenly the friar said quietly: "I touched the ground."

"Impossible, father," said Gerard. "We are more than a hundred yards from shore. Prythee, leave not our faithful mast."

"My son," said the friar, "you speak prudently. But know that I have business of Holy Church on hand, and may not waste time floating, when I can walk in her service. There, I felt it with my toes again! Thy stature is less than mine; keep to the mast; I walk." He left the mast accordingly, and extending his powerful arms, rushed through the water. Gerard soon followed him. At each overpowering wave the monk stood like a tower, and, closing his mouth, threw his head back to encounter it, then emerged and ploughed lustily on. At last they came close to the shore, and then the natives sent stout fishermen into the sea, holding by long spears, and so dragged them ashore.

The friar shook himself, bestowed a short paternal benediction on the natives, and went on to Rome, without pausing.

Gerard grasped every hand upon the beach. They brought him to an enormous fire, left him to dry himself, and fetched clothes for him to wear.

Next day, towards afternoon, Gerard--twice as old as last year, thrice as learned in human ways, a boy no more, but a man who had shed blood in self-defence, and grazed the grave by land and sea--reached the Eternal City.

III.--The Cloister

Gerard stayed in Rome, worked hard, and got money for his illuminations. He put by money of all he earned, and Margaret seemed nearer and nearer. Then came the day when the forged letter reached him. "Know that Margaret Brandt died in these arms on Thursday night last. The last words on her lips was 'Gerard!' She said: 'Tell him I prayed for him at my last hour, and bid him pray for me.'" The letter was signed with Margaret Van Eyck's signature, sure enough.

Gerard staggered against the window sill and groaned when he read this. His senses failed him; he ran furiously about the streets for hours. Despair followed.

On the second day he was raving with fever on the brain, and on his recovery from the fever a dark cloud fell on Gerard's noble mind.

His friend Fra Jerome, the same Dominican friar who had escaped from the wreck with him, exhorted him to turn and consecrate his gifts to the Church.

"Malediction on the Church!" cried Gerard. "But for the Church I should not lie broken here, and she lie cold in Holland." Fra Jerome left him at this.

Gerard's pure and unrivalled love for Margaret had been his polar star. It was quenched, and he drifted on the gloomy sea of no hope. He rushed fiercely into pleasure, and in those days, more than now, pleasure was vice. The large sums he had put by for Margaret gave him ample means for debauchery, and he sought for a moment's oblivion in the excitements of the hour. "Ghysbrecht lives; Margaret dies!" he would try out. "Curse life, curse death, and whosoever made them what they are!"

His heart deteriorated along with his morals, and he no longer had patience for his art, as the habits of pleasure grew on him.

Then life itself became intolerable to Gerard, and one night, in resolute despair, he flung himself into the river. But he was not allowed to drown, and was carried, all unconscious, to the Dominican convent. Gerard awoke to find Father Jerome by his bedside.

"Good Father Jerome, how came I hither?" he inquired.

"By the hand of Heaven! You flung away God's gift. He bestowed it on you again. Think of it! Hast tried the world and found its gall. Now try the Church! The Church is peace. Pax vobiscum!"

Gerard learnt that the man who had saved him from drowning was a professional assassin.

Saved from death by an assassin!

Was not this the finger of Heaven--of that Heaven he had insulted, cursed, and defied?

He shuddered at his blasphemies. He tried to pray, but found he could only utter prayers, and could not pray.

"I am doomed eternally!" he cried. "Doomed, doomed!" Then rose the voices of the choir chanting a full service. Among them was one that seemed to hover above the others--a sweet boy's voice, full, pure, angelic.

He closed his eyes and listened. The days of his own boyhood flowed back upon him.

"Ay," he sighed, "the Church is peace of mind. Till I left her bosom I ne'er knew sorrow, nor sin."

And the poor torn, worn creature wept; and soon was at the knees of a kind old friar, confessing his every sin with sighs and groans of penitence.

And, lo! Gerard could pray now, and he prayed with all his heart.

He turned with terror and aversion from the world, and begged passionately to remain in the convent. To him, convent nurtured, it was like a bird returning wounded, wearied, to its gentle nest.

He passed his novitiate in prayer and mortification and pious reading and meditation.

And Gerard, carried from the Tiber into that convent a suicide, now passed for a young saint within its walls.

Upon a shorter probation than usual, he was admitted to priests' orders, and soon after took the monastic vows, and became a friar of St. Dominic.

Dying to the world, the monk parted with the very name by which he had lived in it, and so broke the last link of association with earthly feelings. Here Gerard ended, and Brother Clement began.

The zeal and accomplishments of Clement, especially his rare mastery of language, soon transpired, and he was destined to travel and preach in England, corresponding with the Roman centre.

It was rather more than twelve months later when Clement and Jerome set out for England. They reached Rotterdam, and here Jerome, impatient because his companion lingered on the way, took ship alone, and advised Clement to stop awhile and preach to his own countrymen.

Clement was shocked and mortified at this contemptuous desertion. He promised to sleep at the convent and preach whenever the prior should appoint, and then withdrew abruptly. Shipwrecked with Jerome, and saved on the same fragment of the wreck; his pupil, and for four hundred miles his fellow traveller in Christ; and to be shaken off like dirt, the first opportunity. "Why, worldly hearts are no colder nor less trusty than this," said he. "The only one that ever really loved me lies in a grave hard by at Sevenbergen, and I will go and pray over it."

IV.--Cloister and Hearth

Friar Clement, preaching in Rotterdam, saw Margaret in the church and recognised her. Within a day or two he learnt from the sexton, who had been in the burgomaster's service, the story of the trick that had been played upon him by his brothers, in league with Ghysbrecht.

That same night a Dominican friar, livid with rage, burst into the room when Eli and Catherine were collected with their family round the table at supper.

Standing in front of Cornelius and Sybrandt he cursed them by name, soul and body, in this world and the next. Then he tore a letter out of his bosom, and flung it down before his father.

"Read that, thou hard old man, that didst imprison thy son, read, and see what monsters thou has brought into the world! The memory of my wrongs, and hers dwell with you all for ever! I will meet you again at the judgement day; on earth ye will never see me more!"

And in a moment, as he had come, so he was gone, leaving them stiff and cold, and white as statues, round the smoking board.

Eli drove Cornelis and Sybrandt out of doors at the point of a sword when he understood their infamy, and heavy silence reigned in his house that night.

And where was Clement?

Lying at full length upon the floor of the convent church, with his lips upon the lowest step of the altar, in an indescribable state of terror, misery, penitence, and self-abasement; through all of which struggled gleams of joy that Margaret was alive.

Then he suddenly remembered that he had committed another sin besides intemperate rage. He had neglected a dying man. He rose instantly, and set out to repair the omission.

The house he was called to was none other than the Stadthouse, and the dying man was his old enemy Ghysbrecht, the burgomaster.

Clement trembled a little as he entered, and said in a low voice "Pax vobiscum." Ghysbrecht did not recognise Gerard in the Dominican friar, and promised in his sickness to make full restitution to Margaret Brandt for the withholding of her property from her.

As soon as he was quite sure Margaret had her own, and was a rich woman, Friar Clement disappeared.

The hermit of Gouda had recently died, and Clement found his cell amidst the rocks, and appropriated it. The news that he had been made vicar of Gouda never reached his ears to disturb him.

It was Margaret who discovered Clement's hiding-place and sought him out, and begged him to leave the dismal hole he inhabited, and come to the vacant vicarage.

"My beloved," said he, with a strange mixture of tenderness and dogged resolution, "I bless thee for giving me one more sight of thy sweet face, and may God forgive thee, and bless thee, for destroying in a minute the holy place it hath taken six months of solitude to build. I am a priest, a monk, and though my heart break I must be firm. My poor Margaret, I seem cruel; yet I am kind; 'tis best we part; ay, this moment."

But Margaret went away, and, determined to drive Clement from his hermitage, returned again with their child, which she left in the cell in its owner's absence. Now, Clement was fond of children, and, thinking the infant had been deserted by some unfortunate mother, he at once set to work to comfort it.

"Now bless thee, bless thee sweet innocent! I would not change thee for e'en a cherub in heaven," said Clement. Soon the child was nestling in the hermit's arms.

"I ikes oo," said the little boy. "Ot is oo? Is oo a man?"

"Ay, little heart, and a great sinner to boot"

"I ikes great tingers. Ting one a tory."

Clement chanted a child's story in a sort of recitative. The boy listened with rapture, and presently succumbed to sleep.

Clement began to rock his new treasure in his arms, and to crone over him a little lullaby well known in Tergon, with which his own mother had often set him off.

He sighed deeply, and could not help thinking what might have been but for a piece of paper with a lie in it.

The next moment the moonlight burst into his cell, and with it, and in it, Margaret Brandt was down at his knee with a timorous hand upon his shoulder.

"Gerald, you do not reject us. You cannot."

The hermit stared from the child to her in throbbing amazement.

"Us?" he gasped at last.

Margaret was surprised in her turn.

"What!" she cried. "Doth not a father know his own child? Fie, Gerard, to pretend! 'Tis thine own flesh and blood thou holdest to thine heart."

Long they sat and talked that night, and the end of it was Clement promised to leave his cave for the manse at Gouda. But once the new vicar was installed Margaret kept away from the parsonage. She left little Gerard there to complete the conquest her maternal heart ascribed to him, and contented herself with stolen meetings with her child.

Then the new vicar of Gouda, his beard close shaved, and in a grey frock and large felt hat, came to bring her to the vicarage.

"My sweet Margaret!" he cried. "Why is this? Why hold you aloof from your own good deed? We have been waiting and waiting for you every day, and no Margaret."

And Margaret went to the manse, and found Catherine, Clement's mother, there; and next day being Sunday the two women heard the Vicar of Gouda preach in his own church. It was crammed with persons, who came curious, but remained. Never was Clement's gift as a preacher displayed more powerfully. In a single sermon, which lasted two hours, and seemed to last but twenty minutes, he declared the whole scripture.

The two women in a corner sat entranced, with streaming eyes.

As soon as they were by themselves, Margaret threw her arms round Catherine's neck and kissed her.

"Mother, mother, I am not quite a happy woman, but oh! I am a proud one."

And she vowed on her knees never by word or deed to let her love come between this young saint and heaven.

The child, who lived to become the great Erasmus, was already winning a famous name at school, when Margaret was stricken with the plague and died. A fortnight later and Clement left his vicarage and entered the Dominican convent to end life as he began it. A few days later and he, too, was dead, and the convent counted him a saint.



Samuel Richardson, the son of a joiner, was born at some place not identified in Derbyshire, England, 1689. After serving an apprenticeship to a stationer, he entered a printing office as compositor and corrector of the press. In 1719 Richardson, whose career throughout was that of the industrious apprentice, took up his freedom, and began business as printer and stationer in Salisbury Court, London. Success attended his venture; he soon published a newspaper, and also obtained the printing of the journals of the House of Commons. "Pamela, or Virtue Rewarded," was written as the result of a suggestion by two booksellers that Richardson should compose a volume of familiar letters for illiterate country folk. It was published towards the end of 1740, and its vogue, in an age particularly coarse and robust, was extraordinary. Of the many who ridiculed his performance the most noteworthy was Fielding, who produced what Richardson and his friends regarded as the "lewd and ungenerous engraftment of 'Joseph Andrews.'" The story has many faults, but the portrayal of Pamela herself is accomplished with the success of a master hand. Richardson died July 4, 1761.

I.--Pamela to her Parents

MY DEAR FATHER AND MOTHER,--I have great trouble, and some comfort, to acquaint you with. The trouble is that my good lady died of the illness I mention'd to you, and left us all griev'd for the loss of her; for she was a dear good lady, and kind to all us her servants. Much I fear'd, that as I was taken by her ladyship to wait upon her person, I should be quite destitute again, and forc'd to return to you and my poor mother, who have enough to do to maintain yourselves; and, as my lady's goodness had put me to write and cast accounts, and made me a little expert at my needle, and otherwise qualify'd above my degree, it was not every family that could have found a place that your poor Pamela was fit for. But God, whose graciousness to us we have so often experienc'd, put it into my good lady's heart, on her death-bed, just an hour before she expir'd, to recommend to my young master all her servants, one by one; and when it came to my turn to be recommended (for I was sobbing and crying at her pillow) she could only say, "My dear son!" and so broke off a little; and then recovering--"remember my poor Pamela!" and those were some of her last words! O, how my eyes overflow! Don't wonder to see the paper so blotted!

Well, but God's will must be done, and so comes the comfort, that I shall not be obliged to return back to be a burden to my dear parents! For my master said, "I will take care of you all, my good maidens; and for you, Pamela (and took me by the hand before them all), for my dear mother's sake I will be a friend to you, and you shall take care of my linen." God bless him! and pray with me, my dear father and mother, for a blessing upon him, for he has given mourning and a year's wages to all my lady's servants; and I, having no wages as yet, my lady having said she would do for me as I deserv'd, ordered the housekeeper to give me mourning with the rest, and gave me with his own hand four guineas and some silver, which were in my lady's pocket when she died; and said if I was a good girl, and faithful and diligent, he would be a friend to me, for his mother's sake. And so I send you these four guineas for your comfort. I send them by John, our footman, who goes your way; but he does not know what he carries; because I seal them up in one of the little pill-boxes which my lady had, wrapp'd close in paper, that they may not chink, and be sure don't open it before him.

Pray for your Pamela; who will ever be--

Your dutiful Daughter.

I have been scared out of my senses, for just now, as I was folding up this letter in my lady's dressing-room, in comes my young master! Good sirs, how I was frightened! I went to hide the letter in my bosom, and he, seeing me tremble, said smiling, "To whom have you been writing, Pamela?" I said, in my confusion, "Pray your honour, forgive me! Only to my father and mother." "Well, then, let me see what a hand you write." He took it without saying more, and read it quite through, and then gave it me again. He was not angry, for he took me by the hand and said, "You are a good girl to be kind to your aged father and mother; tho' you ought to be wary what tales you send out of a family." And then he said, "Why, Pamela, you write a pretty hand, and spell very well, too. You may look into any of my mother's books to improve yourself, so you take care of them."

But I am making another long letter, so will only add to it, that I shall ever be your dutiful daughter.


II.--Twelve Months Later

MY DEAR MOTHER,--You and my good father may wonder you have not had a letter from me in so many weeks; but a sad, sad scene has been the occasion of it. But yet, don't be frightened, I am honest, and I hope God, in his goodness, will keep me so.

O this angel of a master! this fine gentleman! this gracious benefactor to your poor Pamela! who was to take care of me at the prayer of his good, dying mother! This very gentleman (yes, I must call him gentleman, though he has fallen from the merit of that title) has degraded himself to offer freedoms to his poor servant; he has now showed himself in his true colours, and, to me, nothing appears so black and so frightful.

I have not been idle; but had writ from time to time, how he, by sly, mean degrees, exposed his wicked views, but somebody stole my letter, and I know not what is become of it. I am watched very narrowly; and he says to Mrs. Jervis, the housekeeper, "This girl is always scribbling; I think she may be better employed." And yet I work very hard with my needle upon his linen and the fine linen of the family; and am, besides, about flowering him a waistcoat. But, oh, my heart's almost broken; for what am I likely to have for any reward but shame and disgrace, or else ill words and hard treatment!

As I can't find my letter, I'll try to recollect it all. All went well enough in the main, for some time. But one day he came to me as I was in the summer-house in the little garden at work with my needle, and Mrs. Jervis was just gone from me, and I would have gone out, but he said, "Don't go, Pamela, I have something to say to you, and you always fly me when I come near you, as if you were afraid of me."

I was much out of countenance you may well think, and began to tremble, and the more when he took me by the hand, for no soul was near us.

"You are a little fool," he said hastily, "and know not what's good for yourself. I tell you I will make a gentlewoman of you if you are obliging, and don't stand in your own light." And so saying, he put his arm about me and kiss'd me.

Now, you will say, all his wickedness appear'd plainly. I burst from him, and was getting out of the summer-house, but he held me back, and shut the door.

I would have given my life for a farthing. And he said, "I'll do you no harm, Pamela; don't be afraid of me."

I sobb'd and cry'd most sadly. "What a foolish hussy you are!" said he. "Have I done you any harm?" "Yes, sir," said I, "the greatest harm in the world; you have taught me to forget myself, and have lessen'd the distance that fortune has made between us, by demeaning yourself to be so free to a poor servant. I am honest, though poor; and if you were a prince I would not be otherwise than honest."

He was angry, and said, "Who, little fool, would have you otherwise? Cease your blubbering. I own I have undervalued myself; but it was only to try you. If you can keep this matter secret, you'll give me the better opinion of your prudence. And here's something," added he, putting some gold in my hand, "to make you amends for the fright I put you in. Go, take a walk in the garden, and don't go in till your blubbering is over."

"I won't take the money, indeed, sir," said I, and so I put it upon the bench. And as he seemed vexed and confounded at what he had done, I took the opportunity to hurry out of the summer-house.

He called to me, and said, "Be secret, I charge you, Pamela; and don't go in yet."

O how poor and mean must those actions be, and how little they must make the best of gentlemen look, when they put it into the power of their inferiors to be greater than they!

Pray for me, my dear father and mother; and don't be angry that I have not yet run away from this house, so late my comfort and delight, but now my terror and anguish. I am forc'd to break off hastily.

Your dutiful and honest DAUGHTER.

III.--Pamela in Distress

O my dearest Father and Mother,--Let me write and bewail my miserable fate, though I have no hope that what I write can be convey'd to your hands! I have now nothing to do but write and weep and fear and pray! But I will tell you what has befallen me, and some way, perhaps, may be opened to send the melancholy scribble to you. Alas, the unhappy Pamela may be undone before you can know her hard lot!

Last Thursday morning came, when I was to set out and return home to you, my dearest parents. I had taken my leave of my fellow-servants overnight, and a mournful leave it was to us all, for men, as well as women servants, wept to part with me; and for my part, I was overwhelmed with tears on the affecting instances of their love.

My master was above stairs, and never ask'd to see me. False heart, he knew that I was not to be out of his reach! Preserve me, heaven, from his power, and from his wickedness!

I look'd up when I got to the chariot, and I saw my master at the window, and I courtsy'd three times to him very low, and pray'd for him with my hands lifted up; for I could not speak. And he bow'd his head to me, which made me then very glad he would take such notice of me.

Robin drove so fast that I said to myself, at this rate of driving I shall soon be with my father and mother. But, alas! by nightfall he had driven me to a farmhouse far from home; and the farmer and his wife, he being a tenant of Mr. B., my master, while they treated me kindly, would do nothing to aid me in flight. And next day he drove me still further, and when we stopped at an inn in a town strange to me, the mistress of the inn was expecting me, and immediately called out for her sister, Jewkes. Jewkes! thought I. That is the name of the housekeeper at my master's house in Lincolnshire.

Then the wicked creature appear'd, and I was frighted out of my wits. The wretch would not trust me out of her sight, and soon I was forced to set out with her in the chariot. Now I gave over all thoughts of redemption.

Here are strange pains, thought I, taken to ruin a poor, innocent, helpless young female. This plot is laid too deep to be baffled, I fear.

About eight at night we enter'd the courtyard of this handsome, large, old, lonely mansion, that looked to me then as if built for solitude and mischief. And here, said I to myself, I fear, is to be the scene of my ruin, unless God protect me, Who is all-sufficient.

I was very ill at entering it, partly from fatigue, and partly from dejection of spirits. Mrs. Jewkes seem'd mighty officious to welcome me, and call'd me madam at every word.

"Pray, Mrs. Jewkes," said I, "don't madam me so! I am but a silly, poor girl, set up by the gambol of fortune for a May-game. Let us, therefore, talk upon afoot together, and that will be a favour done me. I am now no more than a poor desolate creature, and no better than a prisoner."

"Ay, ay," says she, "I understand something of the matter. You have so great power over my master that you will soon be mistress of us all; and so I will oblige you, if I can. And I must and will call you madam, for such are the instructions of my master, and you may depend upon it I shall observe my orders."

"You will not, I hope," replied I, "do an unlawful or wicked thing for any master in the world."

"Look ye!" said she. "He is my master, and if he bids me do a thing that I can do, I think I ought to do it; and let him, who has power to command me, look to the lawfulness of it."

"Suppose," said I, "he should resolve to ensnare a poor young creature and ruin her, would you assist him in such wickedness? And do you not think that to rob a person of her virtue is worse than cutting her throat?"

"Why, now," said she, "how strangely you talk! Are not the two sexes made for each other? And is it not natural for a man to love a pretty woman?" And then the wretch fell a-laughing, and talk'd most impertinently, and show'd me that I had nothing to expect either from her virtue or compassion.

I am now come to the twenty-seventh day of my imprisonment. One stratagem I have just thought of, though attended with this discouraging circumstance that I have neither friends, nor money, nor know one step of the way were I actually out of the house. But let bulls and bears and lions and tigers and, what is worse, false, treacherous, deceitful man stand in my way, I cannot be in more danger than I now think myself in.

Mrs. Jewkes has received a letter. She tells me, as a secret, that she has reason to think my master has found a way to satisfy my scruples. It is by marrying me to his dreadful Swiss servant, Colbrand, and buying me of him on the wedding-day for a sum of money! Was ever the like heard? She says it will be my duty to obey my husband, and that when my master has paid for me, and I am surrender'd up, the Swiss is to go home again, with the money, to his former wife and children; for, she says, it is the custom of these people to have a wife in every nation.

But this, to be sure, is horrid romancing!

Friday, the thirty-sixth day of imprisonment. Mercy on me! What will become of me? Here is my master come in his fine chariot! What shall I do? Where shall I hide myself?

He has entered and come up!

He put on a stern and a haughty air. "Well, perverse Pamela, ungrateful creature, you do well, don't you, to give me all this trouble and vexation?"

I could not speak, but sobb'd and sigh'd, as if my heart would break. "Sir," I said, "permit me to return to my parents. That is all I have to ask."

He flew into a violent passion. "Is it thus," said he, "I am to be answered? Begone from my sight!"

The next day he sent me up by Mrs. Jewkes his proposals. They were seven in number, and included the promise of an estate of £250 a year in Kent, to be settled on my father; and a number of suits of rich clothing and diamond rings were to be mine if I would consent to be his mistress.

My answer was that my parents and their daughter would much rather choose to starve in a ditch or rot in a noisome dungeon, than accept of the fortune of a monarch upon such wicked terms.

Mrs. Jewkes now tells me he is exceedingly wroth, and that I must quit the house, and may go home to my father and mother.

Sunday night. Well, my dear parents, here I am at an inn in a little village. And Robin, the coachman, assures me he has orders to carry me to you. O, that he may say truth and not deceive me again!

"I have proofs," said my master to Mrs. Jewkes, when I left the house, "that her virtue is all her pride. Shall I rob her of that? No, let her go, perverse and foolish as she is; but she deserves to go away virtuous, and she shall."

I think I was loth to leave the house. Can you believe it? I felt something so strange and my heart was so heavy.

IV.--Virtue Triumphant--Pamela's Journal

Monday Morning, eleven o'clock. We are just come in here, to the inn kept by Mr. Jewkes's relations.

Just as I sat down, before setting out to pursue my journey, comes my master's groom, all in a foam, man and horse, with a letter for me, as follows:

"I find it in vain, my Pamela, to struggle against my affection for you, and as I flatter myself you may be brought to love me, I begin to regret parting with you; but, God is my witness, from no dishonourable motives, but the very contrary.

"You cannot imagine the obligation your return will lay me under to your goodness, and if you are the generous Pamela I imagine you to be let me see by your compliance the further excellency of your disposition. Spare me, my dearest girl, the confusion of following you to your father's, which I must do if you go on--for I find I cannot live without you, and I must be--

"Yours, and only yours."

What, my dear parents, will you say to this letter? I am resolved to return to my master, and am sending this to you by Thomas the coachman.

It was one o'clock when we reach'd my master's gate. Everybody was gone to rest. But one of the helpers got the keys from Mrs. Jewkes, and open'd the gates. I was so tired when I went to get out of the chariot that I fell down, and two of the maids coming soon after helped me to get up stairs.

It seems my master was very ill, and had been upon the bed most of the day; but being in a fine sleep, he heard not the chariot come in.

Tuesday Morning. Mrs. Jewkes, as soon as she got up, went to know how my master did, and he had had a good night. She told him he must not be surprised--that Pamela was come back. He raised himself up.

"Can it be?" said he. "What, already? Ask her if she will be so good as to make me a visit. If she will not, I will rise and attend her."

Mrs. Jewkes came to tell me, and I went with her. As soon as he saw me, he said:

"Oh, my Pamela, you have made me quite well!"

How kind a dispensation is sickness sometimes! He was quite easy and pleased with me.

The next day my master was so much better that he would take a turn after breakfast in the chariot, handing me in before all the servants, as if I had been a lady. At first setting out, he kissed me a little too often, that he did; but he was exceedingly kind to me in his words as well.

At last, he said:

"My sister, Lady Davers, threatens to renounce me, and I shall incur the censures of the world if I act up to my present intentions. For it will be said by everyone that Mr. B. has been drawn in by the eye, to marry his mother's waiting maid. Not knowing, perhaps, that to her mind, to her virtue, as well as to the beauties of her person, she owes her well-deserved conquest; and that there is not a lady in the kingdom who will better support the condition to which she will be raised if I should marry her." And added he, putting his arm round me: "I pity my dear girl, too, for her part in this censure, for here she will have to combat the pride and slights of the neighbouring gentry all around us. Lady Davers and the other ladies will not visit you; and you will, with a merit superior to them all, be treated as if unworthy their notice. Should I now marry my Pamela, how will my girl relish all this? Will not these be cutting things to my fair one?"

"Oh, sir," said I, "your poor servant has a much greater difficulty than this to overcome."

"What is that?" said he a little impatiently. "I will not forgive your doubts now."

"No, sir," said I, "I cannot doubt; but it is, how I shall support, how I shall deserve, your goodness to me!"

"Dear girl!" said he, and press'd me to his bosom. "I was afraid you would again have given me reason to think you had doubts of my honour, and this at a time when I was pouring out my whole soul to you, I could not so easily have forgiven."

"But, good sir," said I, "my greatest concern will be for the rude jests you will have yourself to encounter for thus stooping beneath yourself. For as to me I shall have the pride to place more than half the ill will of the ladies to their envying my happiness."

"You are very good, my dearest girl," said he. "But how will you bestow your time, when you will have no visits to receive or pay? No parties of pleasure to join in? No card-tables to employ your winter evenings?"

"In the first place, sir, if you will give me leave, I will myself look into all such parts of the family management as may befit the mistress of it to inspect. Then I will assist your housekeeper, as I used to do, in the making of jellies, sweetmeats, marmalades, cordials; and to pot and candy and preserve, for the use of the family; and to make myself all the fine linen of it. Then, sir, if you will indulge me with your company, I will take an airing in your chariot now and then; and I have no doubt of so behaving as to engage you frequently to fill up some part of my time in your instructive conversation."

"Proceed, my dear girl," said he. "I love to hear you talk !"

"Music, which my good lady also had me instructed in, will also fill up some intervals if I should have any. Then, sir, you know, I love reading and scribbling, and tho' most of the latter will be employed in the family accounts, yet reading, in proper books, will be a pleasure to me, which I shall be unwilling to give up for the best company in the world when I cannot have yours."

"What delight do you give me, my beloved Pamela, in this sweet foretaste of my happiness! I will now defy the saucy, busy censures of the world."

Ten days later. Your happy, thrice happy Pamela, is at last married, my dearest parents.

This morning we entered the private chapel at this house, and my master took my hand and led me up to the altar. Mr. Peters, the good rector, gave me away, and the curate read the service. I trembled so, I could hardly stand.

And thus the dear, once haughty, assailer of Pamela's innocence, by a blessed turn of Providence, is become the kind, the generous protector and rewarder of it.

Clarissa Harlowe

"Clarissa Harlowe," written after "Pamela," brought Richardson a European reputation. The first four volumes of the novel appeared in 1747, the last four in 1748, and during the next few years translations were being executed in French and German. Like "Pamela," the story itself is thin and simple, but the characters are drawn with a bolder and surer touch. "No work had appeared before," says Scott, "perhaps none has appeared since, containing so many direct appeals to the passions." Yet opinions were singularly divided as to its merits. Dr. Johnson said that the novel "enlarged the knowledge of human nature."

I.--At Harlowe Place

CLARISSA is persecuted by her family to marry Mr. Roger Solmes, but favours Richard Lovelace, who is in love with her. That her grandfather had left Clarissa a considerable estate accounts mainly for the hostility of the family to Clarissa's desire for independence.

Clarissa writes to her friend, Miss Howe:

"January 15. The moment, my dear, that Mr. Lovelace's visits were mentioned to my brother on his arrival from Scotland he expressed his disapprobation, declaring he had ever hated him since he had known him at college, and would never own me for a sister if I married him.

"This antipathy I have heard accounted for in this manner:

"Mr. Lovelace was always noted for his vivacity and courage, and for the surprising progress he made in literature, while for diligence in study he had hardly his equal. This was his character at the university, and it gained him many friends, while those who did not love him, feared him, by reason of the offence his vivacity made him too ready to give, and of the courage he showed in supporting it. My brother's haughtiness could not bear a superiority; and those whom we fear more than love we are not far from hating. Having less command of his passions than the other, he was evermore the subject of his ridicule, so that they never met without quarrelling, and everybody siding with Lovelace, my brother had an uneasy time of it, while both continued in the same college.

"Then on my brother's return he found my sister (to whom Lovelace had previously paid some attention) ready to join him in his resentment against the man he hated. She utterly disclaimed all manner of regard for him.

"Their behaviour to him when they could not help seeing him was very disobliging, and at last they gave such loose rein to their passion that, instead of withdrawing when he came, they threw themselves in his way to affront him.

"Mr. Lovelace, you may believe, ill brooked this, but contented himself by complaining to me, adding that, but for my sake, my brother's treatment of him was not to be borne.

"After several excesses, which Mr. Lovelace returned with a haughtiness too much like that of the aggressor, my brother took upon himself to fill up the doorway once when he came, as if to oppose his entrance; and, upon his asking for me, demanded what his business was with his sister.

"The other, with a challenging air, told him he would answer a gentleman any question. Just then the good Dr. Lewin, the clergyman, came to the door, and, hearing the words, interposed between, both gentlemen having their hands upon their swords, and, telling Mr. Lovelace where I was, the latter burst by my brother to come to me, leaving him chafing, he said, like a hunted boar at bay.

"After this, my father was pleased to hint that Mr. Lovelace's visits should be discontinued, and I, by his command, spoke a great deal plainer; but no absolute prohibition having been given, things went on for a while as before, till my brother again took occasion to insult Mr. Lovelace, when an unhappy recontre followed, in which my brother was wounded and disarmed, and on being brought home and giving us ground to suppose he was worse hurt than he was, and a fever ensuing, everyone flamed out, and all was laid at my door.

"Mr. Lovelace sent twice a day to inquire after my brother, and on the fourth day came in person, and received great incivilities from my two uncles, who happened to be there.

"I fainted away with terror, seeing everyone so violent; hearing his voice swearing he could not depart without seeing me, my mamma struggling with my papa, and my sister insulting me. When he was told how ill I was, he departed, vowing vengeance.

"He was ever a favourite with our domestics; and on this occasion they privately reported his behaviour in such favourable terms that those reports and my apprehensions of the consequences, induced me to 'read a letter' he sent me that night imploring me 'to answer' it some days after.

"To this unhappy necessity is owing our correspondence; meantime I am extremely concerned to find that I am become the public talk."

"February 20. Alas, my dear, I have sad prospects! My brother and sister have found another lover for me; he is encouraged by everybody. Who do you think it is? No other than that Solmes. They are all determined too, my mother with the rest.

"Yesterday, Mr. Solmes came in before we had done tea. My uncle Antony presented him as a gentleman he had a particular friendship for. My father said, 'Mr. Solmes is my friend, Clarissa Harlowe.' My mother looked at him, and at me; and I at her, with eyes appealing for pity, while my brother and sister sir'd him at every word."

"February 24. They drive on at a furious rate. The man lives here. Such terms, such settlements. That's the cry. I have already stood the shock of three of this man's visits.

"What my brother and sister have said of me, I cannot tell. I am in heavy disgrace with my papa.

"March 9. I have another letter from Mr. Lovelace, although I have not answered his former one. He knows all that passes here, and is excessively uneasy upon what he hears, and solicits me to engage my honour to him never to have Mr. Solmes. I think I can safely promise him that.

"I am now confined to my room; my maid has been taken away from me. In answer to my sincere declaration, that I would gladly compound to live single, my father said angrily that my proposal was an artifice. Nothing but marrying Solmes should do."

"April 5. I must keep nothing by me now; and when I write lock myself in that I may not be surprised now they think I have no pen and ink.

"I found another letter from this diligent man, and he assures me they are more and more determined to subdue me.

"He sends me the compliments of his family, and acquaints me with their earnest desire to see me amongst them. Vehemently does he press for my quitting this house while it is in my power to get away, and again craves leave to order his uncle's chariot-and-six to attend my commands at the stile leading to the coppice adjoining to the paddock.

"Settlements he again offers; Lord M. and Lady Sarah and Lady Betty to be guarantees of his honour.

"As to the disgrace a person of my character may be apprehensive of on quitting my father's house, he observes, too truly I doubt, that the treatment I meet with is in everybody's mouth, that all the disgrace I can receive they have given me. He says he will oppose my being sent away to my uncle's. He tells me my brother and sister and Mr. Solmes design to be there to meet me; that my father and mother will not come till the ceremony is over, and then to try to reconcile me to my odious husband.

"How, my dear, am I driven!"

April 8. Whether you will blame me or not I cannot tell. I have deposited a letter to Mr. Lovelace confirming my resolution to leave this house on Monday next. I tell him I shall not bring any clothes than those I have on, lest I be suspected. That it will be best to go to a private lodging near Lady Betty Lawrance's that it may not appear to the world I have refuged myself with his family; that he shall instantly leave me nor come near me but by my leave, and that if I find myself in danger of being discovered and carried back by violence, I will throw myself into the protection of Lady Betty or Lady Sarah.

"Oh, my dear, what a sad thing is the necessity forced upon me for all this contrivance!"

II.--In London

Clarissa, after staying in lodgings at St. Albans, is persuaded by Lovelace that she will be safer from her family in London. After refusing a proposal for an immediate marriage, she therefore moves to London to lodge in a house recommended as thoroughly respectable by Lovelace, but which in reality is kept by a widow, Mrs. Sinclair, of no good repute, who is in the pay of Lovelace.

Clarissa to her friend, Miss Howe:

"April 26. At length, my dear, I am in London. My lodgings are neatly furnished, and though I like not the old gentlewoman, yet she seems obliging, and her kinswomen are genteel young people.

"I am exceedingly out of humour with Mr. Lovelace, and have great reason to be so. He began by letting me know that he had been to inquire the character of the widow. It was well enough, he said, but as she lived by letting lodgings and had other rooms in the houses which might be taken by the enemy, he knew no better way than to take them all, unless I would remove to others.

"It was easy to see he spoke the slighter of the widow to have a pretence to lodge here himself, and he frankly owned that if I chose to stay here he could not think of leaving me for six hours together. He had prepared the widow to expect that we should be here only a few days, till we could fix ourselves in a house suitable to our condition.

"'Fix ourselves in a house, Mr. Lovelace?' I said. 'Pray in what light?'

"'My dearest life, hear me with patience. I am afraid I have been too forward, for my friends in town conclude me to be married.'

"'Surely, sir, you have not presumed----'

"'Hear me, dearest creature. You have received with favour my addresses, yet, by declining my fervent tender of myself you have given me apprehension of delay. Your brother's schemes are not given up. I have taken care to give Mrs. Sinclair a reason why two apartments are necessary for us in our retirement.'

"I raved at him. I would have flung from him, yet where could I go?

"Still, he insisted upon the propriety of appearing to be married. 'But since you dislike what I have said, let me implore you,' he added, 'to give a sanction to it by naming an early day--would to Heaven it were to-morrow!'

"What could I say? I verily believe, had he urged me in a proper way, I should have consented to meet him at a more sacred place than the parlour below.

"The widow now directs all her talk to me as 'Mrs. Lovelace,' and I, with a very ill-grace, bear it."

"April 28. Mr. Lovelace has returned already. 'My dearest life,' said he. 'I cannot leave you for so long a time as you seem to expect I should. Spare yourself the trouble of writing to any of your friends till we are married. When they know we are married, your brother's plots will be at an end, and they must all be reconciled to you. Why, then, would you banish me from you? Why will you not give the man who has brought you into difficulties, and who so honourably wishes to extricate you from them, the happiness of doing so?'

"But, my dear although the opportunity was so inviting, he urged not for the day. Which is the more extraordinary, as he was so pressing for marriage before we came to town."

After some weeks, Clarissa succeeds in escaping from Mrs. Sinclair's house and takes lodgings at Hampstead. But Lovelace finds out her refuge, and sends two women, who pretend to be his relatives, Lady Betty and Lady Sarah, and Clarissa is beguiled back to Mrs. Sinclair's for an interview. Once inside the house, however, she is not allowed to leave it. Her health is now seriously injured, and her letters home have been answered by her father's curse.

Lovelace to his friend, John Belford:

"June 18. I went out early this morning, and returned just now, when I was informed that my beloved, in my absence, had taken it into her head to attempt to get away.

"She tripped down, with a parcel tied up in a handkerchief, her hood on, and was actually in the entry, when Mrs. Sinclair saw her.

"'Pray, madam,' whipping between her and the street-door, 'be pleased to let me know whither you are going?'

"'Who has a right to control me?' was the word.

"'I have, madam, by order of your spouse, and I desire you will be pleased to walk up again.'

"She would have spoken, but could not; and, bursting into tears, turned back, and went to her chamber.

"That she cannot fly me, that she must see me, are circumstances greatly in my favour. What can she do but rave and exclaim?

"To-night, as I was sitting with my pen in my chamber, she entered the dining-room with such dignity in her manner as struck with me great awe, and prepared me for the poor figure I made in the subsequent conversation. But I will do her justice. She accosted me with an air I never saw equalled.

"'You see before you, sir, the wretch whose preference of you to all your sex you have rewarded as it deserved to be rewarded. Too evident is it that it will not be your fault, villainous man, if the loss of my soul as well as my honour, which you have robbed me of, will not be completed. But, tell me--for no doubt thou hast some scheme to pursue,--since I am a prisoner in the vilest of houses, and have not a friend to protect me, what thou intendest shall become of the remnant of a life not worth keeping; tell me if there are more evils reserved for me, and whether thou hast entered into a compact with the grand deceiver, in the person of the horrid agent of this house, and if the ruin of my soul is to complete the triumphs of so vile a confederacy? Say, if thou hast courage to speak out to her whom thou hast ruined; tell me what further I am to suffer from thy barbarity.'

"I had prepared myself for raving and execrations. But such a majestic composure--seeking me--whom yet, it is plain, by her attempt to get away, she would have avoided seeing. How could I avoid looking like a fool, and answering in confusion?

"'I--I--I--cannot but say--must own--confess--truly sorry--upon my soul I am--and--and--will do all--do everything--all that--all that you require to make amends!'

"'Amends, thou despicable wretch! And yet I hate thee not, base as thou art, half as much as I hate myself, that I saw thee not sooner in thy proper colours, that I hoped either morality, gratitude, or humanity from one who defies moral sanction. What amends hast thou to propose? What amends can such a one as thou make to a person of spirit or common sense for the evils thou hast made me suffer?'

"'As soon, madam; as soon as----'

"'I know what thou wouldst tell me. But thinkest thou that marriage will satisfy for a guilt like thine? Destitute as thou hast made me both of friends and fortune, I too much despise the wretch who could rob himself of his wife's honour, to endure the thoughts of thee in the light thou seemest to hope I will accept thee. Had I been able to account for myself and your proceedings, a whole week should not have gone over my head before I had told you what I now tell you, that the man who has been the villain to me you have been shall never make me his wife. All my prospects are shut in. I give myself up for a lost creature as to this world. Hinder me not from entering upon a life of penitence. Let me try to secure the only hope I have left. This is all the amends I ask of you. I repeat, am I now at liberty to dispose of myself as I please?'

"Now comes the fool, the miscreant, hesitating in his broken answer. 'My dearest love, I am quite confounded. There is no withstanding your eloquence. If you can forgive a repentant villain, I vow by all that's sacred--and may a thunderbolt strike me dead at your feet if I am not sincere--that I will, by marriage, before to-morrow noon, without waiting for anybody, do you all the justice I can. And you shall ever after direct me as you please till you have made me more worthy of your angelic purity. Nor will I presume so much as to touch your garment till I can call so great a blessing lawfully mine.'

"'Oh, thou guileful betrayer! Hadst thou not seemed beyond the possibility of forgiveness, I might have been induced to think of taking a wretched chance with a man so profligate. But it would be criminal to bind my soul in covenant to a man allied to perdition.'

"'Allied to perdition, madam?'

"But she would not hear me, and insisted upon being at her own disposal for the remainder of her short life. She abhorred me in every light; and more particularly in that in which I offered myself to her acceptance.

"And saying this she flung from me, leaving me shocked and confounded at her part of a conversation which she began with such severe composure, and concluded with such sincere and unaffected indignation. Now, Jack, to be thus hated and despised."

III.--The Death of Clarissa

In the absence of Lovelace from London Clarissa manages to escape from Mrs. Sinclair's, and takes refuge in the house of Mrs. Smith, who keeps a glove shop in King Street, Covent Garden. Her health is now ruined beyond recovery, and she is ready to die. Belford discovers her retreat, and protects her from Lovelace.

Mr. Mowbray, a friend, to Robert Lovelace, Esq.:

"June 29. Dear Lovelace,--I have plaguey news to acquaint thee with. Miss Harlowe is gone off. Here's the devil to pay. I heartily condole with thee. But it may turn out for the best. They tell me thou wouldst have married her had she staid. But I know thee better.

"Thine heartily,


Belford to Lovelace:

"June 29. Thou hast heard the news. Bad or good I know not which thou wilt deem it.

"How strong must be her resentment of the barbarous treatment she has received, that has made her hate the man she once loved, and rather than marry him to expose her disgrace to the world!"

Lovelace to Belford:

"June 30. I am ruined, undone, destroyed.

"If thou canst find her out, and prevail upon her to consent, I will, in thy presence, marry her. She cannot be long concealed; I have set all engines at work to find her out, and if I do, who will care to embroil themselves with a man of my figure, fortune, and resolution?"

Belford to Lovelace:

"August 31. When I concluded my last, I hoped that my next attendance upon this surprising lady would furnish me with some particulars as agreeable as now could be hoped for from the declining way she is in; but I think I was never more shocked in my life than on the occasion I shall mention.

"When I attended her about seven in the evening, she had hardly spoken to me, when she started, and a blush overspread her sweet face on hearing, as I also did, a sort of lumbering noise upon the stairs, as if a large trunk were bringing up between two people. 'Blunderers!' said she. 'They have brought in something two hours before the time. Don't be surprised, sir, it is all to save you trouble.'

"Before I could speak in came Mrs. Smith. 'Oh, madam,' said she, 'what have you done?'

"' Lord have mercy upon me, madam,' cried I, 'what have you done?' For she, stepping at the instant to the door, Mrs. Smith told me it was a coffin. Oh, Lovelace that thou hadst been there at the moment! Thou, the causer of all these shocking scenes! Surely thou couldst not have been less affected than I, who have no guilt as to her to answer for.

"With an intrepidity of a piece with the preparation, having directed them to carry it into her bed-chamber, she returned to us. 'They were not to have brought it till after dark,' said she. 'Pray excuse me, Mr. Belford; and don't you be concerned, Mrs. Smith. Why should you? There is nothing more in it than the unusualness of the thing. Why may we not be as reasonably shocked at going to the church where are the monuments of our ancestors, as to be moved at such a sight as this.'

"How reasonable was all this. But yet we could not help being shocked at the thoughts of the coffin thus brought in; the lovely person before our eyes who is in all likelihood so soon to fill it."

Belford to Lovelace:

"September 7. I may as well try to write, since were I to go to bed I should not sleep; and you may be glad to know the particulars of her happy exit. All is now hushed and still. At four o'clock yesterday I was sent for. Her cousin, Colonel Mordern, and Mrs. Smith were with her. She was silent for a few minutes. Her breath grew shorter. Her sweet voice and broken periods methinks still fill my ears, and never will be out of my memory. 'Do you, sir,' turning her head towards me, 'tell your friend that I forgive him, and I pray to God to forgive him. Let him know how happily I die, and that such as my own I wish to be his last hour.'

"With a smile of charming serenity overspreading her face, she expired.

"Oh, Lovelace, but I can write no more."

Sir Charles Grandison

"Sir Charles Grandison, and the Honourable Miss Byron, in a Series of Letters," published in 1753, was the third and last of Samuel Richardson's novels. Like its predecessors, it is of enormous length (it first appeared in seven volumes) and is written in the form of a series of letters. The idea of the author was to "present to the public, in Sir Charles Grandison, the example of a man acting uniformly well through a variety of trying scenes, because all his actions are regulated by one steady principle--a man of religion and virtue, of liveliness and spirit, accomplished and agreeable, happy in himself and a blessing to others." Such a portrait of "a man of true honour" provoked the highest enthusiasm in the eighteenth century; but to-day we have little patience for the faultless diction and exemplary conduct of Sir Charles, and, of the two, Miss Byron, the heroine, is by far the more interesting. The "advertisement" to the edition of 1818 proclaimed the book "the most perfect work of its kind that ever appeared in this or any other language," and we may accept that verdict without admiring "the kind."

I.--Miss Lucy Selby to Her Cousin, Miss Harriet Byron

Ashby-Cannons, January 10. Your resolution to accompany your cousin, Mrs. Reeves, to London, has greatly alarmed your three lovers, and two of them, at least, will let you know that it has. Such a lovely girl as my Harriet must expect to be more accountable for her steps than one less excellent and less attractive.

Mr. Greville, in his usual resolute way, threatens to follow you to London; and there, he says, he will watch the motions of every man who approaches you; and, if he finds reason for it, will early let such man know his pretensions, and the danger he may run into if he pretend to be his competitor. But let me not do him injustice; though he talks of a rival thus harshly, he speaks of you more highly than man ever spoke of woman.

Mr. Fenwick, in less determined manner, declares that he will follow you to town, if you stay there above one fortnight.

The gentle Orme sighs his apprehensions, and wishes you would change your purpose. Though hopeless, he says, it is some pleasure to him that he can think himself in the same county with you; and, much more, that he can tread in your footsteps to and from church every Sunday, and behold you there. He wonders how your grandmamma, your aunt, your uncle, can spare you. Your cousin Reeves's surely, he says, are very happy in their influences over us all.

Each of the gentlemen is afraid that by increasing the number of your admirers, you will increase his difficulties; but what is that to them, I asked, when they already know that you are not inclined to favour any of the three?

Adieu, my dearest Harriet. May angels protect and guide you withersoever you go!


II.--Miss Byron to Miss Selby

Grosvenor Street, London, February 3. We are returned from a party at Lady Betty's. She had company with her, to whom she introduced us, and presented me in a very advantageous character. But mutual civilities had hardly passed when Lady Betty, having been called out, returned, introducing as a gentleman who would be acceptable to everyone, Sir Hargrave Pollexfen. "He is," whispered she to me, as he saluted the rest of the company in a very gallant manner, "a young baronet of a very large estate; the greatest part of which has lately come to him by the death of relatives, all very rich." Let me give you a sketch of him, my Lucy.

Sir Hargrave Pollexfen is handsome and genteel; pretty tall, about twenty-eight or thirty. He has remarkably bold eyes, rather approaching to what we would call goggling, and he gives himself airs with them, as if he wished to have them thought rakish; perhaps as a recommendation, in his opinion, to the ladies. With all his foibles he is said to be a man of enterprise and courage, and young women, it seems, must take care how they laugh with him, for he makes ungenerous constructions to the disadvantage of a woman whom he can bring to seem pleased with his jests.

The taste of the present age seems to be dress; no wonder, therefore, that such a man as Sir Hargrave aims to excel in it. What can be misbestowed by a man on his person who values it more than his mind? But what a length I have run!

III.--Miss Byron: In Continuation

We found at home, waiting for Mr. Reeves's return, Sir John Allestree, a worthy, sensible man, of plain and unaffected manners, upwards of fifty.

Mr. Reeves mentioning to him our past entertainment and company, Sir John gave us such an account of Sir Hargrave as let me know that he is a very dangerous and enterprising man. He says that, laughing and light as he is in company, he is malicious, ill-natured, and designing, and sticks at nothing to carry a point on which he has once set his heart. He has ruined, Sir John says, three young creatures already, under vows of marriage.

Could you have thought, my Lucy, that this laughing, fine-dressing man, could have been a man of malice, and of resentment, a cruel man, yet Sir John told two very bad stories of him.

But I had no need of these stories to determine me against receiving his addresses. What I saw of him was sufficient.

IV.--Miss Byron: In Continuation

Wednesday, February 8. Sir Hargrave came before six o'clock. He was richly dressed. He asked for my cousin Reeves, I was in my chamber, writing.

He excused himself for coming so early on the score of his impatience.

Shall I give you, from my cousins, an account of the conversation before I went down? You know Mrs. Reeves is a nice observer.

He had had, he told my cousins, a most uneasy time of it, ever since he saw me. He never saw a woman before whom he could love as he loved me. By his soul, he had no view but what was strictly honourable. He gloried in the happy prospects before him, and hoped, as none of my little army of admirers had met encouragement from me, that he might be the happy man.

"I told you, Mr. Reeves," said he, "that I will give you carte blanche as to settlements. I will lay before you, or before any of Miss Byron's friends, my rent-rolls. There never was a better conditioned estate. She shall live in town, or in the country, as she thinks fit."

On a message that tea was near ready, I went down.

"Charming Miss Byron," said he, addressing me with an air of kindness and freedom, "I hope you are all benignity and compassion." He then begged I would hear him relate the substance of what had passed between him and Mr. and Mrs. Reeves, referred to the declaration he had made, boasted of his violent passion, and besought my favour with the utmost earnestness.

As I could not think of encouraging his addresses, I thought it best to answer him without reserve.

"Sir Hargrave, you may expect nothing from me but the simplest truth. I thank you, sir, for your good opinion of me, but I cannot encourage your addresses."

"You cannot, madam, encourage my addresses!" He stood silent a minute or two, looking upon me as if he said, "Foolish girl! Knows she whom she refuses?" "I have been assured, madam, that your affections are not engaged. But surely, it must be a mistake; some happy man----"

"Is it," I interrupted, "a necessary consequence that the woman who cannot receive the addresses of Sir Hargrave Pollexfen must be engaged?"

"Why, madam, as to that, I know not what to say, but a man of my fortune----" He paused. "What, madam, can be your objection? Be so good as to name it, that I may know whether I can be so happy as to get over it."

"We do not, we cannot, all like the same person. There is something that attracts or disgusts us."

"Disgusts! Madam--disgusts! Miss Byron!"

"I spoke in general, sir; I dare say, nineteen women out of twenty would think themselves favoured in the addresses of Sir Hargrave Pollexfen."

"But you, madam, are the twentieth that I must love; and be so good as to let me know----"

"Pray, sir, ask me not a reason for a peculiarity. You may have more merit, perhaps, than the man I may happen to approve of better; but--shall I say?--you do not--you do not hit my fancy, sir."

"Not hit your fancy, madam! Give me leave to say" (and he reddened with anger) "that my fortune, my descent, and my ardent affection for you ought to avail with me. Perhaps, madam, you think me too airy a man. You have doubts of my sincerity. You question my honour."

"That, sir, would be to injure myself," and making a low courtesy, I withdrew in haste.

My sheet is ended. With a new one I will begin another letter.

V.--Miss Byron: In Continuation

Next morning, after breakfast, Sir Hargrave again called, and renewed his addresses, making vehement professions of love, and offering me large settlements. To all of which I answered as before; and when he insisted upon my reasons for refusing him, I frankly told him that I had not the opinion of his morals that I must have of those of the man to whom I gave my hand in marriage.

"Of my morals, madam!" (and his colour went and came). "My morals, madam!" He arose from his seat and walked about the room muttering. "You have no opinion of my morals? By heaven, madam! But I will bear it all--yet, 'No opinion of my morals!' I cannot bear that."

He then clenched his fist, and held it up to his head; and, snatching up his hat, bowed to the ground, his face crimsoned over, and he withdrew.

Mr. Reeves attended him to the door. "Not like my morals!" said he. "I have enemies, Mr. Reeves. Miss Byron treats politely everybody but me, sir. Her scorn may be repaid--would to God I could say, with scorn, Mr. Reeves! Adieu!"

And into his chariot he stept, pulling up the glasses with violence; and rearing up his head to the top of it, as he sat swelling. And away it drove.

A fine husband for your Harriet would this half madman make! Drawn in by his professions of love, and by £8,000 a year, I might have married him; and when too late found myself miserable, yoked with a tyrant and madman for the remainder of my life.

VI.--Mr. Reeves to George Selby, Esq.

Friday, February 17. No one, at present, but yourself, must see the contents of what I am going to write.

You must not be too much surprised. But how shall I tell you the news; the dreadful news!

O, my cousin Selby! We know not what has become of our dearest Miss Byron.

We were last night at the masked ball in the Hay-market.

Between two and three we all agreed to go home. The dear creature was fatigued with the notice everybody took of her. Everybody admired her.

I waited on her to her chair, and saw her in it, before I attended Lady Betty and my wife to theirs.

I saw that neither the chair, nor the chairmen were those who brought her. I asked the meaning and was told that the chairmen we had engaged had been inveigled away to drink somewhere. She hurried into it because of her dress, and being warm; no less than four gentlemen followed her to the very chair.

I ordered Wilson, my, cousin's servant, to bid the chairmen stop, when they had got out of the crowd till Lady Betty's chair and mine, and my wife's joined them.

I saw her chair move, and Wilson, with his lighted flambeaux, before it, and the four masks who followed her to the chair return into the house.

When our servants could not find that her chair had stopped, we supposed that, in the hurry, the fellow heard not my orders; and directed our chairmen to proceed, not doubting but that we should find her got home before us.

But what was our consternation at finding her not arrived, and that Lady Betty (to whose house we thought she might have been carried) had not either seen or heard of her!

I had half a suspicion of Sir Hargrave, as well from the character given us of him by a friend, as because of his impolite behaviour to the dear creature on her rejecting him; and sent to his house in Cavendish Square to know if he were at home: and if he were, at what time he returned from the ball.

Answer was brought that he was in bed, and they supposed would not be stirring till dinner-time; and that he returned from the ball between four and five this morning.

O, my dear Mr. Selby! We have tidings! The dear creature is living and in honourable hands. Read the enclosed letter, directed to me.

"Sir,--Miss Byron is in safe hands. She has been cruelly treated, and was many hours speechless. But don't frighten yourselves; her fits, though not less frequent, are weaker and weaker. The bearer will acquaint you who my brother is; to whom you owe the preservation and safety of the loveliest woman in England, and he will direct you to a house where you will be welcome, with your lady (for Miss Byron cannot be removed) to convince yourself that all possible care is taken of her by your humble servant,


What we learnt from the honest man who brought the letter is, briefly, as follows:

His master is Sir Charles Grandison; a gentleman who has not been long in England.

Sir Charles was going to town in his chariot and six when he met our distressed cousin.

Sir Hargrave is the villain.

Sir Charles had earnest business in town, and he proceeded thither, after he had rescued the dear creature and committed her to the care of his sister. God forever bless him!

VII.--Mr. Reeves to George Selby, Esq.: In Continuation

February 18. I am just returned from visiting my beloved cousin, who is still weak, but is more composed than she has hitherto been, the amiable lady, Miss Grandison tells me.

Sir Charles Grandison is, indeed, a fine figure. He is the bloom of youth. I don't know that I have ever seen a handsomer or genteeler man. Well might his sister say that if he married he would break a score of hearts.

I will relate all he said in the first person, as nearly in his own words as possible.

"About two miles on this side Hounslow," said he, "I saw a chariot and six driving at a great rate.

"The coachman seemed inclined to dispute the way with mine. This occasioned a few moments' stop to both. I ordered my coachman to break the way. I don't love to stand on trifles. My horses were fresh and I had not come far.

"The curtain of the chariot we met was pulled down. I knew by the arms it was Sir Hargrave Pollexfen's.

"There was in it a gentleman who immediately pulled up the canvas.

"I saw, however, before he drew it up another person wrapped up in a man's scarlet cloak.

"'For God's sake, help--help!' cried out the person. 'For God's sake, help!'

"I ordered my coachman to stop.

"'Drive on!' said the gentleman, cursing his coachman. 'Drive on when I bid you I'

"'Help!' again cried she, but with a voice as if her mouth was half stopped.

"I called to my servants on horseback to stop the postilion of the other chariot; and I bid Sir Hargrave's coachman proceed at his peril. Then I alighted, and went round to the other side of the chariot.

"Again the lady endeavoured to cry out. I saw Sir Hargrave struggle to pull over her mouth a handkerchief, which was tied around her head. He swore outrageously.

"The moment she beheld me, she spread out both her hands--'For God's sake!'

"'Sir Hargrave Pollexfen,' said I, 'by the arms. You are engaged, I doubt, in a very bad affair.'

"'I am Sir Hargrave Pollexfen, and am carrying a fugitive wife.'

"'Your own wife, Sir Hargrave?'

"'Yes, by heaven!' said he. 'And she was going to elope from me at a damned masquerade!'

"'Oh, no, no, no!' said the lady.

"'Let me ask the lady a question, Sir Hargrave. Are you, madam, Lady Pollexfen?' said I.

"'Oh, no, no, no!' was all she could say.

"Two of my servants came about me; a third held the head of the horse on which the postilion sat. Three of Sir Hargrave's approached on their horses, but seemed as if afraid to come too near, and parleyed together.

"'Have an eye to those fellows,' said I. 'Some base work is on foot. Sirrah!'--to the coachman--'proceed at your peril!'

"Sir Hargrave then, with violent curses and threatenings, ordered him to drive over everyone that opposed him.

"'Oh, sir--sir,' cried the lady, 'help me, for I am in a villain's hands! Trick'd--vilely trick'd!'

"'Do you,' said I to my servants, 'cut the traces if you cannot otherwise stop this chariot! Leave Sir Hargrave to me!'

"The lady continued screaming, and crying out for help. Sir Hargrave drew his sword, and then called upon his servants to fire at all that opposed his progress.

"'My servants, Sir Hargrave, have firearms as well as yours. They will not dispute my orders. Don't provoke me to give the word.' Then, addressing the lady: 'Will you, madam, put yourself into my protection?'

"'Oh, yes, yes, with my whole heart! Dear, good sir, protect me!'

"I opened the chariot door. Sir Hargrave made a pass at me.

"'Take that for your insolence, scoundrel!' said he.

"I was aware of his thrust, and put it by; but his sword a little raked my shoulder. My sword was in my hand, but undrawn.

"The chariot door remaining open. I seized him by the collar before he could recover himself from the pass he had made at me, and with a jerk and a kind of twist, laid him under the hind wheel of his chariot. I wrenched his sword from him, and snapped it, and flung the two pieces over my head.

"His coachman cried out for his master. Mine threatened his if he stirred. The postilion was a boy. My servant had made him dismount before he joined the other two. The wretches, knowing the badness of their cause, were becoming terrified.

"One of Sir Hargraves's legs, in his sprawling, had got between the spokes of his chariot-wheel. I thought this was fortunate for preventing farther mischief. I believe he was bruised with the fall; the jerk was violent.

"I had not drawn my sword. I hope I never shall be provoked to do it in a private quarrel. I should not, however, have scrupled to draw it on such an occasion as this had there been an absolute necessity for it.

"The lady, though greatly terrified, had disengaged herself from the man's cloak. I offered my hand, and your lovely cousin threw herself into my arms, as a frighted bird pursued by a hawk has flown into the bosom of a man passing by. She was ready to faint. She could not, I believe, have stood. I carried the lovely creature round, and seated her in my chariot.

"'Be assured, madam,' said I, 'that you are in honourable hands. I will convey you to my sister, who is a young lady of honour and virtue.'

"I shut the chariot door. Sir Hargrave was now on his legs, supported by his coachman; his other servants had fled.

"I bid one of my servants tell him who I was. He cursed me, and threatened vengeance.

"I then stepped back to my chariot, and reassured Miss Byron, who had sunk down at the bottom of it. What followed, I suppose, Charlotte"--bowing to his sister--"you told Mr. Reeves?"

"I can only say, my brother," said Miss Grandison, "that you have rescued an angel of a woman, and you have made me as happy by it as yourself."

VIII.--Mr. Deane to Sir Charles Grandison

Selby House, October 3. An alliance more acceptable, were it with a prince, could not be proposed, than that which Sir Charles Grandison, in a manner so worthy of himself, has proposed with a family who have thought themselves under obligation to him ever since he delivered the darling of it from the lawless attempts of a savage libertine. I know to whom I write; and will own that it has been my wish in a most particular manner. As to the young lady, I say nothing of her, yet how shall I forbear? Oh, sir, believe me, she will dignify your choice. Her duty and her inclination through every relation of life were never divided.

Excuse me, sir. No parent was ever more fond of his child than I have been from her infancy of this my daughter by adoption.

IX.--Miss Byron to Lady G. (Formerly Charlotte Grandison)

October 14. Sir Charles came a little after eleven. He addressed us severally with his usual politeness, and my grandmother particularly, with such an air of reverence as did himself credit, because of her years and wisdom.

Presently my aunt led me away to another chamber, and then went away, but soon returned, and with her the man of men.

She but turned round, and saw him take my hand, which he did with a compliment that made me proud, and left us together.

Oh, my dear, your brother looked the humble, modest lover, yet the man of sense, of dignity, in love. I could not but be assured of his affection.

On one knee he dropped, and taking my passive hand between his, and kissing it, he said:

"My dear Miss Byron, you are goodness itself. I approached you with diffidence and with apprehension. May blessings attend my future life, as my grateful heart shall acknowledge this goodness!"

Again he kissed my hand, rising with dignity. I could have received his vows on my knees, but I was motionless; yet how was I delighted to be the cause of joy to him! Joy to your brother--to Sir Charles Grandison!

He saw me greatly affected, and considerately said:

"I will leave you, my dear Miss Byron, to entitle myself to the congratulations of all our friends below. From this moment I date my happiness!"



Jean Paul Friedrich Richter, who was born at Wunsiedel, in Bavaria, on March 21, 1763, and died on November 14, 1825, was the son of a poor but highly accomplished schoolmaster, who early in his career became a Lutheran pastor at Schwarzenbach, on the Saale. Young Richter entered Leipzig University in 1780, specially to study theology, but became one of the most eccentric and erratic of students, a veritable literary gypsy, roaming over vast fields of literature, collating and noting immense stores of scientific, artistic, historic, and philosophic facts. Driven to writing for subsistence, he only won a reputation by slow degrees, but so great at last was the esteem in which his countrymen held him that he is typically styled "Der Einzige" ("The Unique"). The turning point proved to be the issue of "The Invisible Lodge" ("Die Unsichtbare Loge") in 1793, a romance founded on some of his academic experiences. Then followed a brilliant series of works which have made Richter's name famous. Among these was "Hesperus," published in 1794, which made him one of the most famous of German writers. Fanciful and extravagant as the work is, and written without any regard to the laws of composition, it is nevertheless stamped with genius. In all Richter's stories the plot goes for nothing; it is on the thoughts that he strikes out by the way that his fame depends.


"Victor," said Flamin, to the young Englishman, "give me this night thy friendship for ever, and swear to me that thou wilt never disturb me in my love to thee. Swear thou wilt never plunge me in misfortune and despair!"

The two friends were standing at midnight in the mild, sweet air of May, alone on the watch-tower of the little watering place of St. Luna. It was their first meeting for eight years. Flamin was the son of Chaplain Eymann, who had retired from the court of the Prince of Flachsenfingen; Victor was the heir of Lord Horion, a noble Englishman who lived at Flachsenfingen and directed all the affairs of the prince. The two boys had been sent in their infancy to London and brought up together there for twelve years; then for six years they had lived with Chaplain Eymann at St. Luna, and Victor had naturally conceived a great affection for the old clergyman and a deep love for his son. When, however, Victor was eighteen years of age, Lord Horion had sent him to Göttingen to study medicine, and he had remained at that university for eight years. Everybody wondered why a great English nobleman should want to bring his son up as a physician; but Horion was a politician and his ways were dark and secret. Neither Chaplain Eymann nor the wife of that worthy pastor ever understood why his lordship should have been so anxious that Flamin and Victor should be brought up together and united by the closest ties of friendship; but being good, simple souls, they accepted the favours showered upon their son without seeking to discover if there were any reason for them. Eight years' absence had not diminished Victor's affection for them, but the young English nobleman was alarmed by the strange, wild passion which Flamin displayed as soon as they were alone together.

"You know I love you, Flamin, more than I love myself," he said, clasping his friend in his arms, and leading him to a seat on the watch-tower. "Of course, I swear never to overwhelm you in misfortune, or desert you or hate you. What is it that brings such gloomy thoughts into your mind?"

"I will tell thee everything now, Victor!" exclaimed his friend. "I will open all my heart to thee."

At first he was too much overcome by his feelings to speak. For a long time the two young men remained silent, gazing into the dark blue depths of the night The Milky Way ran, like the ring of eternity, around the immensity of space; below it glided the sharp sickle of the moon, cutting across the brief days and the brief joys of men. But clear among the stars shone the Twins, those ever-burning, intertwined symbols of friendship; westward they rose, and on the right of them blazed the heart of the Lion. The two friends had studied astronomy together, and when Victor pointed out the happy sign in the midnight sky, Flamin began to tell him his troubles. He, a poor clergyman's son, had fallen wildly in love with Clotilda, the beautiful daughter of Prince January, of Flachsenfingen. She was living at the country seat of the Lord Chamberlain Le Baut, at St. Luna; so poor Flamin was able to see her every day. Knowing that he could neither forget her nor win her, he was tortured by a strange, hopeless jealousy, and he now confessed that, instead of looking forward with joy to Victor's return to his home, he had been consumed with fear lest his brilliant, noble, handsome friend should utterly eclipse him in the sight of his beloved lady.

"Cannot I do anything to help you?" said Victor, tenderly.

"Your father has immense influence over Prince January," said Flamin, "could you beg him to get me some court position at Flachsenfingen? If only I could make my way in the world, perhaps I might be able to hope to win at last the hand of my lady."

Victor at once promised to do all in his power; and the two friends, newly reattached to each other, came down from the watch-tower, and, with their arms lovingly entwined, they returned to the parsonage.


The next day Chamberlain Le Baut gave a garden party in honour of the son of the great English minister.

"Take good care!" said the chaplain's wife as Victor set off; "she is very beautiful."

Victor had no need to ask who "she" was.

"I shall take care not to take care," he replied, with a smile.

Victor was too much of a man of the world to fall in love at first sight. But when he entered the garden, and a sweet, tall, and lovely figure came forward to greet him from behind the foliage, he felt as if all his blood had been driven in his face. It was Clotilda. She spoke to him, but he listened to the melody of her voice, instead of to her words, so that he did not understand what she was saying. Her quiet, reserved eyes, however, brought him to his senses; but still he could not help feeling glad that, as Flamin's friend, he had some claim upon her attention and her society. It seemed to him as if everything that she did was done by her for the first time in life; and he would no doubt have shown a strange embarrassment in her company if the Lord Chamberlain and his wife and a throng of guests had not come into the garden and surrounded him and distracted him by their compliments. Recovering his self-possession, he concealed his real feelings by giving full play to his faculty for malicious and witty sayings. But though he succeeded in amusing the company, he displeased Clotilda; for the talk fell on the topic of women.

"The thing which a girl most easily forgets," said the Lord Chamberlain, "is how she looks; that is why she is always gazing into a mirror."

"Perhaps that is also the reason," said Victor, "why no woman regards another as more beautiful than she is. The most that a woman will admit is that her rival is younger than herself."

Nothing fell upon Clotilda--and this is always found in the best of her sex--more keenly than satire upon womankind, and though she concealed the fact that she both endured and despised this sort of wit, she began to distrust the lips and the heart of the young Englishman, and treated him during this time with such cold civility, that he had to exaggerate his wild gaiety in order to conceal the grief that he felt.

But as she was walking at evening in the garden, a loose leaf blew out of a book that she was holding, and Victor picked it up and read: "On this earth man has only two and a half minutes--one to smile, one to sigh, and a half a one to love; for in the midst of it he dies."

"Dahore! This is a saying of Dahore!" exclaimed Victor. "Clotilda, do you know my beloved master Dahore?" Clotilda turned towards him, her face transfigured with a lovely radiance. Their two noble souls discovered at last their affinity in their common love for the wise and gracious spirit who had nourished their young souls. For some strange reason Lord Horion, as they found out as soon as they began to converse together in a sweet and sincere intimacy, had had them brought up by the same master; and Dahore, an eccentric, lovable man with a profound wisdom, had made them, in both mind and soul, comrades to each other, though he educated one in London and the other at St. Luna.

"He taught Flamin and me at the same time," said Victor, looking to see what effect the name of his friend had on Clotilda. She smiled sweetly, but mysteriously, when he went on to speak of his loving friendship for the son of Chaplain Eymann.

The next day he knew why her smile was so mysterious. Lord Horion arrived from Flachsenfingen with some extraordinary news. Flamin had been appointed a counsellor to Prince January. Never had Victor in his wildest dreams of his friend's advancement, imagined that he would obtain at a leap so high an important position as this. The young Englishman himself had been sent to study at Göttingen in order that he might be qualified to act as the prince's physician; but Flamin, without any labour, had suddenly obtained a place of authority almost equal to that occupied by Lord Horion.

Late that evening, however, Lord Horion revealed to his son a strange secret, in the light of which everything was explained. The Prince of Flachsenfingen was a man of a rather weak and evil character, over whom Horion ruled by sheer force of will. Prince January had had two children, a boy and a girl, and the English lord had had them brought up far away from the malicious influences of the court. In order that January might not interfere in the education of the heir, Horion had told him that the boy had perished in infancy in London. As a matter of fact, the child had been brought up with Victor.

"So Flamin is the heir to the throne of Flachsenfingen!" exclaimed Victor.

"Yes," said Horion, "and I have trained you to guide and direct him in the same way as I guide and direct his father. For the present, however, I must have complete control of the matter. Swear that you will not divulge the secret of Flamin's birth to him or to any one else, before I give you permission."

For a moment Victor hesitated. He remembered the promise that Flamin had wrung from him on the watch-tower, and this, he was beginning to see, might involve him in a perilous misunderstanding.

"Does Clotilda know?" he said.

"I revealed the secret to her when she came to St. Luna," said Horion, "under the same conditions that I am now revealing it to you. She swore to reveal it under no circumstances whatever, and you must do the same before you leave this spot."

So Victor took the oath with a strange mixture of misgiving and joy. As he walked back, slowly and thoughtfully, to the chaplain's house, he at last admitted to himself that he was deeply in love with Clotilda. Instead of returning to England and leaving Flamin in possession of the field, as he had resolved on doing, he was now at liberty to try and win the beautiful, noble girl. On the other hand, Flamin would misunderstand his actions, and this would bring both of them into great danger.

The next day Victor received his appointment as physician to the Prince of Flachsenfingen, and he was summoned to the court, together with Clotilda. He now divined what his father's intentions were in regard to him and the lovely young girl. Instead, however, of going with her to Flachsenfingen, he dressed himself in poor attire and set out on an aimless journey through Europe, without telling anyone where he was going.


Victor had a profound aversion from the wild and yet vacant kind of life that men pursued at the court of the Prince of Flachsenfingen. He was comforted in his separation by the thought that so long as it lasted he was spared from disturbing the delusions of her jealous brother. But when he at last came to Flachsenfingen, he was grieved to find that his beautiful lady had grown pale and sorrowful. Like a sweet flower taken from the clear fresh air of the forest and placed in a hot, closed room, she was pining in the close, heavy atmosphere of the court, which was so crowded and yet so lonely. At the sight of her distress, Victor forgot his promise to Flamin. Meeting her at evening in the forest near the palace, he sank on his knees before her in the dewy grass, and told her all his love for her, and of the promise he had made to Flamin. Clotilda stooped and clasped his hand, and drew him up, and he folded her to his breast.

"We must part, dearest," he said, "until my father sees fit to reveal to your brother the secret of his birth."

A nightingale broke out into a passion of song as Victor gathered up his courage to bid her farewell. The call of the nightingale was suddenly answered by another nightingale. It kept flying as it sang, and, with its voice muffled by the thick blossoms on the trees, it sent a languishing melody flowing out of a dim, flowering dell a hundred paces away. The two lovers, who dreaded and delayed to part, wandered confusedly after the receding nightingale into the hollow of the forest; they knew not that they were alone, for in their hearts was God. At last Clotilda recovered herself, and as the nightingale ceased, she turned round to say good-bye. But Victor lingered, and took both of her hands, though for very grief he could not bear to look upon her. With tears in his eyes he murmured, "Good-bye, my dearest. My heart is too heavy. I can say no more. Do not sorrow, darling. Nothing can part us now--neither life nor death."

Like a transfigured spirit bending down to an angel, he stooped and touched her sweet mouth. In a gentle kiss, in which their hovering souls only glided tremorously from afar to meet each other with fluttering wings, he took from her yielding lips the seal of her pure love. As he did so, there came a crashing sound from the dark trees around them.

"You scoundrel!" cried Flamin, rushing down into the hollow, his eyes gleaming in the moonlight, and his face white with anger. "Take it, take it! I will have your blood for this!"

He had two pistols in his hand, and he thrust one fiercely towards Victor. The Englishman drew Clotilda aside, and then went up to his friend, saying, "I have not wronged you. Believe me, Flamin, I remember the oath I gave you, and I swear that I have been faithful to you. Only wait until I see my father, and everything will be explained."

"I want no explanation, you faithless scoundrel," shouted Flamin, "Take it, or I will kill you where you stand."

In his blind fury he was pointing the muzzle of the pistol at the trembling form of Clotilda, and Victor snatched the weapon from him in order to save her.

"I will have blood for this--blood, blood!" Flamin kept saying, reeling about the floor of the dell like a drunken man.

"You are my brother, my brother!" cried Clotilda. "Don't you hear? You are my brother!"

She ran up to Flamin to take the pistol from him, but reeled and fell to the ground in a swoon. Victor looked at her wildly, and thinking that she was dead, turned upon Flamin.

"If you want blood," he said sternly, "take mine."

"You fire first," exclaimed Flamin.

Victor lifted his pistol up into the air and shot at the top of a tree; then he stood calm and silent waiting for Flamin to fire. His old friend pointed the pistol straight at his heart, but hesitated; and Clotilda recovered her senses and staggered to her feet, and threw herself before her lover. Flamin looked at them in gloomy wonder without lowering his pistol. He would have liked to kill them both with one shot, but the instinct of a life-long friendship unnerved him. He hurled his pistol away, saying, "It isn't worth troubling to kill a scoundrel like you," and then turned and strode fiercely through the forest.

Some weeks afterwards Victor was standing on the watch-tower at St. Luna alone, with a letter from Lord Horion in his hand. He looked down from the height, and he was tempted to throw himself over. He had regained the friendship of Flamin, but it seemed to him that he had now lost all hope of winning Clotilda. For Lord Horion had explained the whole of the strange, tortuous policy which he had used in regard to Prince January. He informed Victor that he had introduced Flamin to the prince, and had proved to him that the young man was his heir. "They asked me, my dear Victor," Horion went on to say in his letter, "a question which I was surprised at your not asking. If Flamin is the son of the prince, where is the son of Chaplain Eymann whom I took to London to be educated with him? My dear boy, I have no son, and you really are the child of Eymann and his good wife. This secret I felt bound to reveal to the prince at the same time that I was forced to reveal the secret of Flamin's birth. It was because I wished to postpone the revelations until you were established in the prince's good graces that I made you take the oath that you took so unwillingly."

Victor felt that what the heir to a great English nobleman might aspire to, the son of a poor country clergyman could never hope to attain. By a strange vicissitude of fortune he now found himself in the same position as that in which Flamin had been when they met on the watch-tower after their long separation. His mournful meditations were suddenly interrupted by two figures who had silently crept up the stairs of the tower. They were Flamin and Clotilda, and each of them put an arm around Victor and led him to the parsonage. On the way he learnt that Clotilda had known all along that he was the son of Chaplain Eymann.


The climax of Jean Paul Richter's inspiration, and of his obscurity, was reached in "Titan," published during 1801-3. He meant it to be his greatest romance, and posterity has confirmed his judgement. Of all his works, it is the most characteristic of its author. It has all the peculiarities of his style, peculiarities that are reflected in the prose of Thomas Carlyle, his most eminent British admirer and interpreter. The book itself took ten years to write, and according to his correspondence, Richter intended to call it "Anti-Titan," having in view his attacks on the material selfishness of the age which, to gain its own ends, would move mountains. The motive--a comparison between a man of moral grandeur and one of grandiose immorality--came to Richter while he was engaged on "Hesperus," a fact that explains why certain characters from the earlier romance reappear in "Titan."


For many years Albano, the young Spanish Count Cesara, had lived within sight of the capital city of the state of Hohenfliess; yet he had never entered it--his mother, so his father told him, had shut it against him, desiring that he should be reared in the Carthusian monastery of rural life, not sullied in his youth by mingling with courtiers and men of the world.

And now the gates of Pestitz were open to him. Contemplate the heated face of my hero, who at last is riding into the streets, built up in his fancy of temples of the sun, where who knows but that at every long window, on every balcony, his beloved Liana may be standing?

Gaspard, Count Cesara, Knight of the Fleece, had met his son, for the first time in Albano's memory, at Lake Maggiore, and Albano had come away from the meeting with a feeling of chill that poisoned his heart, eager as it was to love and be loved, and a vague, discomposing sense that in his birth there was a mystery. But the thought of his father's coldness, all thoughts that troubled and confused, were forgotten on his entry into Pestitz, in the eager hope of seeing Liana, his beloved, and his friend, her brother, Charles Roquairol; for neither his beloved nor her brother had he ever yet in his life beheld.

The love and the friendship were of the imagination, and the imagination was begotten of the accounts given by Von Falterle, the accomplishments-master of Albano in the village of Blümenbuhl, and of his former pupil Liana, daughter of the Minister von Froulay. It was his wont to paste up long altar-pieces of Liana's charms, charms which her father had sought to enhance by means of delicate and almost meagre fare, by shutting up his orangery, whose window he seldom lifted off from this flower of a milder clime--until she had become a tender creature of pastil-dust, which the gusts of fate and monsoons of climate could almost blow to pieces. In Albano's silent heart, therefore, there was to be seen a saintly image of Liana, the ascending Raphael's Mary, but, like the pictures of the saints in Passion-week, hanging behind a veil.

And as for her brother, the madcap Roquairol, who in his thirteenth year had shot at himself with suicidal intent because the little Countess Linda de Romeiro, Albano's father's ward, had turned her back upon him, could our hero's admiration be withheld from a youth of his own age who already possessed all the accomplishments and had tasted all the passions?

When Albano entered Pestitz, eager that his dreams of love and friendship should be realised, the aged Prince of Hohenfliess had just departed this life, and Liana, intimate friend of the Princess Julienne, daughter of the dead prince, was smitten with temporary blindness, due to emotion and consequent headache. Albano first beheld her in the garden of her father, the minister, standing in the glimmer of the moon. The blest youth saw irradiated the young, open, still Mary's-brow, and the delicate proportions, which, like the white attire, seemed to exalt the form. Thou too fortunate man!--to whom the only visible goddess, Beauty, appears so suddenly, in her omnipotence!

Ah, why must a deep, cold cloud steal through this pure and lofty heaven?

The inauguration of the new prince was held--of the enfeebled Prince Luigi--upon whose expected speedy decease the neighbouring princely house of Haarkaar founded its hopes of acquiring the dominions of Hohenfliess. It was on the night of an inauguration ball that Albano, having poured out his heart to Roquairol in a letter, met his long-hoped-for friend, and sealed their affections by declaring that he would never wed Linda de Romeiro, whom it was thought Count Gaspard had designed for his son's bride, and for whom Roquairol's youthful passion had not been extinguished.

When Liana recovered her sight, she was sent to Blümenbuhl for restoration of health--to the home of Albano's foster-father, the provincial-director Wehrfritz. Thither often came Albano; thither also came Roquairol, to bask in the wondering admiration that Rabette, Albano's foster-sister, bestowed on him with all the fervour of her innocent rural mind. Albano's dream was fulfilled; he loved Liana in realty as he had loved her in imagination. Roquairol thought he loved Rabette; in truth, her simplicity was to this experienced conqueror of feminine hearts but a new and, for the moment, overmastering sensation.

On a glorious evening Albano and Liana stood on a sloping mountain-ridge; overhead was a heaven filled with a life-intoxicated, tumultuous creation, as the sun-god stalked away over his evening-world. He seized Liana's hands and pressed them wildly to his breast; flames and tears suffused his eyes and his cheeks, and he stammered, "Liana, I love thee!"

She stepped back, and drew her white veil over her face.

"Wouldst thou love the dead?" she said.

He knew her meaning. Her friend Caroline, whom she had loved and who had died, had appeared in a vision, and announced that she would die in the next year.

"The vision was not true!" cried Albano.

"Caroline, answer him!" Liana folded her hands as if in prayer; then she raised the veil, looked at him tenderly, and said, in a low tone, "I will love thee, good Albano, if I do not make thee miserable."

"I will die with thee!" said he.

Charles appeared with Rabette; he, also, had spoken frantic words of love, and Rabette clung around him compassionately, as a mother around her child.

A few more days of joyous life at Blümenbuhl, and Liana returned to her home at Pestitz. Then for weeks Albano saw nothing of her, heard nothing of her. Liana was in sore trouble. Her father had disapproved of the match; what mattered much more to her, her mother also. The mother's opposition was on the quite decisive ground that she could not endure Albano.

The Minister von Froulay had more specific reasons for his hostility--the most specific of all being that he had designed his daughter for one Bouverot, a disreputable court intriguer, his leaning towards Bouverot being based on financial liabilities, and stimulated by financial expectations. The minister's lady detested Bouverot, but in desiring separation between Liana and Albano, she was her husband's ally. Behold, then, Liana torn between duty towards her mother and love for Albano.

Once Albano saw her, but heard no explanation. The prince was wedded to the Princess of Haarbaar, and it was at a wedding festivity in the grounds of the pleasure palace of Lilar that Albano looked upon his beloved. But she was pledged for the time to tell him nothing, and she told him nothing. The princess looked curiously at her, for Liana exactly resembled the princess's younger sister, the philanthropic Idoine, who devoted herself to the idyllic happiness of her peasantry in the Arcadian village that it was her whim to rule.

To the aged and saintly court chaplain, Spener, Liana at last brought her perplexities. Here the history moves in veils. How he extorted from her the promise to renounce her Albano for ever is a mystery watched and hidden by the Great Sphinx of the oath she swore to him.

On the next day Albano was summoned, and stood with quivering lips before the beloved.

"I am true to you--even unto death," she said; "but all is over."

He looked upon her, wild, wondering.

"I have resigned you," she said; "and my parents are not to blame. There is a mystery that has constrained me--"

"Oh, God!" he cried. "Is it thus with external fidelity and love?" In whirling, cruel passion he pictured his love, her coldness, his pain, her violated oath.

"I did not think thou wert so hard," she said. "Oh, it grows dark to me; let me to my mother!"

Albano gazed into the groping, timid face, and guessed all--her blindness had returned!

The mother rushed up. "May God bring you retribution for this!" cried Albano to her. "Farewell, unhappy Liana!"

For many days Albano lived without love or hope, in bitter self-reproach; every recollection darted into him a scorpion-sting. And to him in his agony came the tormenting news that the fickle Roquairol had deserted Rabette. He drove the false one from his presence; sister and brother, beloved and friend, were now utterly lost to him.

At length he learned that Liana had recovered her sight, and that she was dying. Once more, for the last time, he was admitted to her presence. She reclined in an easy-chair, white-clad, with white, sunken cheeks.

"Welcome, Albano!" she said feebly, but with the old smile. "Some day thou wilt know why I parted from thee. On this, my dying day, I tell thee my heart has been true to thee." She handed him a sheet with a sketch she had made with trembling hand of the noble head of Linda de Romeiro. "It is my last wish that them shouldst love her," she said. "She is more worthy of thee."

"Ah, forgive, forgive!" sobbed Albano.

"Farewell, beloved!" she said calmly, while her feeble hand pressed his. For a while she was silent. Suddenly she said, with a low tone of gladness, "Caroline! Here, here, Caroline! How beautiful thou art!" Liana's fingers ceased to play; she lay peaceful and smiling, but dead.

II.--Linda De Romeiro

Albano's state for a long time was one of fever. He lay dressed in bed, unable to walk, in a burning heat, talking wildly, and as each hour struck on the clock, springing up to kneel down and utter the prayer, "Liana, appear, and give me peace!" to the high, shut-up heavens.

"Poor brother!" said Schoppe the librarian, his old preceptor and dear friend. "I swear to thee thou shalt get thy peace to-day."

He went to Linda de Romeiro, now in Pestitz after long wandering, and placed his design before her. Would the Princess Idoine, Liana's likeness, appear before Albano as a vision and give him peace? Linda consented to plead with Idoine. But Idoine made a difficulty. It was not the unusualness and impropriety of the thing that she dreaded, but the untruthfulness and unworthiness of playing false with the holy name of a departed soul, and cheating a sick man with a superficial similarity.

At length Idoine gave her decision. "If a human life hangs upon this, I must conquer my feeling."

As eight o'clock struck, Albano knelt in the dusk, crying, "Peace, peace!"

Idoine trembled as she heard him; but she entered, clothed in white, the image of the dead Liana.

"Albano, have peace!" she said, in a low and faltering tone.

"Liana!" he groaned, weeping.

"Peace!" cried she more strongly, and vanished.

"I have my peace now, good Schoppe," said Albano softly, "and now I will sleep."

Time gradually unfolded Albano's grief instead of weakening it. His life had become a night, in which the moon is under the earth, and he could not believe that Luna would gradually return with an increasing bow of light. Not joys, but only actions--those remote stars of night--were now his aim. As he travelled with his father in Italy after his recovery, the news of the French Revolution gave an object to his eagerness.

"Take here my word," he wrote to Schoppe, "that as soon as the probable war of Gallic freedom breaks out I take my part decidedly in it, for it."

But at Ischia, Albano was dazzled by a wonder; he saw Linda de Romeiro. When she raised her veil, beauty and brightness streamed out of a rising sun; delicate, maidenly colours, lovely lines and sweet fullness of youth played like a flower garland about the brow of a goddess, with soft blossoms around the holy seriousness and mighty will on brow and lip, and around the dark glow of the large eye.

As Albano and Linda walked on the mountain Epomeo, looking upon the coasts and promontories of that rare region, upon cities and sea, upon Vesuvius without flame or thunder, white with sand or snow, Albano's heart was an asbestos leaf written over and cast into the fire--burning, not consuming; his whole former life went out, the leaf shone fiery and pure for Linda's hand. He gazed into her face lovingly and serenely as a sun-god in morning redness, and pressed her hands. "Give them to me for ever!" said he earnestly.

She inclined modestly her beautiful head upon his breast, but immediately raised it again, with its large, moist eyes, and said hurriedly, "Go now! Early to-morrow come, Albano! Adio! Adio!"

Count Gaspard bestowed his paternal consent on the union, and the lovers returned separately to Hohenfliess. A difference arose; Albano was still bent on warring for France, Linda sought to dissuade him. They quarrelled, and parted in anger.

On the day after the quarrel Linda received a letter in Albano's handwriting begging forgiveness, and asking for a meeting in the gardens of Lilar. She went there at the appointed evening hour, although, owing to the night-blindness from which, like many Spaniards, she often suffered, she could not see her lover. But she kissed him, and heard his burning words of love.

But Albano had not written, and had not entered Lilar. Roquairol's old passion for Linda was undiminished; his rage at Albano was beyond bounds. He could mimic Albano's writing and voice; he knew of Linda's night-blindness. On the next night, in the presence of Albano and Linda, he slew himself with his own hand.

The death of Roquairol lay like a blight between the lovers. They parted for ever.


"War!" This word alone gave Albano peace. He made himself ready for a journey to France, and ere he set forth he sought out the little spot of earth, beneath a linden-tree, where reposed the gentle Liana, the friendly, lovely angel of peace.

Suddenly, with a shudder, he beheld the white form of Liana herself leaning against the linden. He believed some dream had drawn down the airy image from heaven, and he expected to see it pass away. It lingered, though quiet and mute. Kneeling down, he exclaimed, "Apparition, comest thou from God? Art thou Liana?"

Quickly the white form looked round, and saw the youth. She rose slowly, and said, "My name is Idoine. I am innocent of the cruel deception, most unhappy youth." Then he covered his eyes, from a sudden, sharp pang at the return of the cold, heavy reality. Thereupon he looked at her again, and his whole being trembled at her glorified resemblance to the departed--prouder and taller her stature, paler her complexion, more thoughtful the maidenly brow. She could not, when he looked upon her so silently and comparingly, repress her sympathy; she wept, and he too.

"Do I, too, distress you?" said he, in the highest emotion.

"I only weep," she innocently said, "that I am not Liana."

"Noble princess," he replied, "this holy spot takes away all sense of mutual strangeness. Idoine, I know that you once gave me peace, and here I thank you."

"I did it," she said, "without knowing you, and therefore could allow myself the use of a fleeting resemblance."

He looked at her sharply; everything within him loved her, and his whole heart, opened by wounds, was unfolded to the still soul. But a stern spirit closed it. "Unhappy one, love no one again; for a dark, destroying angel goes with poisoned sword behind thy love."

Idoine turned to go. He knelt, pressed her hand to his bosom, and only said, "Peace, all-gracious one!" Idoine, after a few swift steps, passed out of his sight.

Albano hastened preparations for his journey; but ere the preparations were ended, a letter was brought to him that caused him to abandon the project altogether. It was a letter from the long-dead Princess Eleonore, wife of the old prince who had died when Albano had first entered Pestitz. Now, in the fullness of time, was the letter placed before Albano's eyes and the token of the fullness of time was the death, without issue, of Prince Luigi, and the seeming inheritance of his dominions by the House of Haarkaar.

Thus the letter began:

"My son,--Hear thine own history from the mouth of thy mother; from no other will it come to thee more acceptably.

"The birth of thy brother Luigi at a late period of our married life annihilated the hopes of succession of the house of Haarkaar. But Count Cesara discovered proofs of some dark actions which were to cost thy poor brother his life. 'They will surely get the better of us at last,' said thy father.

"Madame Cesara and I loved each other; we were both of romantic spirit. She had just borne a lovely daughter, called Linda. We made the singular contract that, if I bore a son, we would exchange; with her, my son could grow up without incurring the danger which had always threatened thy brother in my house.

"Soon afterwards I brought forth thee and thy sister Julienne at a birth. 'I keep' I said, to the countess, 'my daughter, thou keepest thine; as to Albano, let the prince decide.' Thy father allowed that thou shouldst be brought up as son of the count. The documents of thy genealogy were thrice made out, and I, the count, and the court chaplain Spener, were put in possession of them. The Countess Cesara went off with Linda to Valencia, and took the name Romeiro. By this change of names all would be covered up as it now stands.

"Ah, I shall not live to be permitted openly to clasp thy son in my arms! May it go well with thee, dearest child! God guide all our weak expedients for the best.

"Thy faithful mother,


Albano stood for a long time speechless. Joy of life, new powers and plans, delight in the prospect of the throne, the images of new relations, and displeasure at the past, stormed through each other in his spirit.

He went out, and in the twilight stood upon the mountains, whence he could overlook, but with other eyes than once, the city which was to be the circus and theatre of his powers. He belongs now to a German house, the people around him are his kinsmen; the prefiguring ideals, which he had once sketched to himself at the coronation of his brother, of the warm rays wherewith a prince as a constellation can enlighten and enrich lands, were now put into his hands for fulfilment. His pious father, still blessed by the grandchildren of the country, pointed to him the pure sun-track of his princely duty: only actions give life strength, only moderation gives it a charm.

He descended to Blümenbuhl. The funeral bell of the little church of Blümenbuhl tolled for Luigi. Albano joined his sister Julienne, and they betook themselves with Idoine and Rabette to the church. At the bright altar was the venerable Spener; the long coffin of the brother stood before the altar between rows of lights. Here, near such altar-lights, had once the oppressed Liana knelt while swearing the renunciation of her love. The whole constellation of Albano's shining past had gone down below the horizon, and only one bright star of all the group stood glimmering still above the earth--Idoine.

After the solemn service, Idoine addressed herself to him oftener; her sweet voice was more tender, though more tremulous; her maidenly shyness of the resemblance to Liana seemed conquered or forgotten. Her existence had decided itself within her, and on her virgin love, as on a spring soil by one warm evening rain, all buds had been opened into bloom.

"How many a time, Albano," said Julienne, "hast thou here, in thy long-left youthful years, looked toward the mountains for thine own ones--for thy hidden parents, and brothers and sisters--for thou hadst always a good heart!"

Here Idoine unconsciously looked at him with inexpressible love, and his eyes met hers.

"Idoine," said he, "I have that heart still; it is unhappy, but unstained."

Then Idoine hid herself quickly and passionately in Julienne's bosom, and said, scarcely audibly, "Julienne, if Albano rightly knows me, then be my sister!"

"I do know thee, holy being!" said Albano, and clasped his bride to his bosom.

"Look up at the fair heaven!" cried Julienne. "The rainbow of eternal peace blooms there, and the tempests are over, and the world's all so bright and green. Wake up, my brother and sister!"


The Papers of the Forest Schoolmaster

In Austrian literature the "story in dialect" is a modern development. Its founder and most distinguished exponent is Peter Kettenfeier Rosegger, who was born at Alpel, near Krieglach, on July 31, 1843, and who has spent his lifetime among the people of the Styrian Alps. Mr. Rosegger first attracted attention in 1875 with a volume of short stories, bearing the general title of "Schriften des Waldschulmeisters," or "Papers of the Forest Schoolmaster," and since then he has written a large number of similar tales, all more or less sentimental in tone, and all dealing with certain aspects of peasant life. "The Papers of the Forest Schoolmaster," which takes the form of a diary, is not only one of the most winsome idylls that has come from Herr Rosegger's pen, but it exhibits a delicacy of touch, a keen penetration into the mysteries of human life, and a deep insight into nature in her various moods; and under all there is a strong current of romance and a great sense of the poetry of things--qualities that have made its author one of the foremost prose poets in recent German literature.

Mist and rain made it impossible for me to ascend the "Grey Tooth" for some days after I had arrived at Winkelsteg, the highest village in the remotest valley, and I was temporarily lodged in the schoolhouse, which had been deserted since the schoolmaster, who--so I was told--had lived in this out-of-the-way corner for fifty years, had disappeared last Christmas. The whole next day the rain continued to beat against the window. There was nothing to be done, and I spent my time in arranging the scattered but numbered sheets of the vanished schoolmaster's manuscript, which I found littered in the drawer allotted to me for my scant belongings. And then I began to read that strange man's diary, the first page of which only bore the words:

The Papers of the Forest Schoolmaster

So I am at last settled in this wilderness. And I will write it all down, although I know not for whom. My father died when I was seven, and I was taken charge of by an itinerant umbrella-maker who taught me his trade, and on his death left me his stock of some two dozen umbrellas, which I took to the market. A heavy shower just at midday helped me to sell them rapidly, and I only retained one for my own protection and for that of an elegant gentleman who, unable to secure a carriage, made me accompany him to town to save him from getting drenched. He made me tell him all about myself, and offered to take me as apprentice in his bookshop. He was a kind master. When he discovered' that I was more interested in the contents of his books than in my work he secured me admission in a college. I studied hard, and obtained my meals at the houses of private pupils whom I undertook to coach. My friend Henry, a clothmaker's son, had procured me a post as teacher to Hermann, the son of the Baron von Schrankenheim. I was treated with every consideration in his house, and became deeply attached to my pupil's sister. Of course, the case was hopeless then; but in a few years, when I should have passed my examinations and taken my degrees--who knows?

An indiscreet speech, which offended my teachers, made an end to all my dreams. I was ploughed, and I resolved at once to leave the town, and to seek my fortune in the world. I first enlisted with Andreas Hofer to fight the French invaders, and was carried off a prisoner into France. Then only I learnt that the Tyrolese were rebels against their own emperor, that I had fought for a bad cause; and to atone for it I took service with the great Napoleon's army. I was among those who escaped from the Russian disaster, and, in my enthusiasm for Napoleon, whom I regarded as the liberator of the peoples, fought for him against my own country. At Leipzig I shot Henry, my best friend, whom I only recognised when in his agony he called me by my name. Then only my eyes were opened. Failure had dogged my every step. A hermit's life in the wilderness was all that was left for me. This resolve I communicated to the Baron von Schrankenheim, who, after vain attempts to dissuade me from my purpose, spoke to me of this wilderness, his property, where I could do real good among the rough wood-cutters, poachers, shepherds and charcoal-burners, who, cut off from the rest of the world, eked out their existence without priest or doctor or schoolmaster. Winkelsteg was to be my hermitage; and now I am here, a schoolmaster without a school. I shall have to study these rough folk and gain their confidence before I can set to work.

The Forest Folk

Strange trades are carried on in this wilderness. These people literally dig their bread out of earth and stone and ant-heaps, scrape it off the trees, distill it out of uneatable fruit. There is the root-digger, whose booty of mountain ovens is said to go to far Turkey to be turned into scent. He would long have given up digging, to live entirely on poaching, but for his hope to unearth some day treasure of gold and jewels. One of these "forest-devils" has just died. He never worked at all. His profession was eating. He went from village to village and from fair to fair, eating cloth and leather, nails, glass, stones, to the amazement of his audience. He died from eating a poisonous root given him by some unknown digger--they say it was the devil himself. His funeral oration was delivered by a pale, bent, quiet man, known as the Solitary, of whose life nobody can give one any information.

Then there is the pitch-boiler. You can smell him from afar, and see him glitter through the thicket. His pitch-oil is bought by the wood-cutter for his wounds, by the charcoal-burner for his burns, by the carter for his horse, by the brandy-distiller for his casks. It is a remedy for all ailments. The most dangerous of all the forest-devils is the brandy-distiller. He is better dressed than the others, has a kind word for everybody, and plays the tempter with but too great success.

Black Matthias is dying in his miserable hut. His little boy and girl are playing around him, and his wife bids them be silent. "Let them shout," says Matthias; "but try and keep down Lazarus' temper." On his death-bed Matthias told me the story of his life--how he, a jolly, happy fellow, fell into the recruiting-officers' trap, escaped from their clutches, was betrayed by his own village people, and flogged through the line, and how they rubbed vinegar and salt into his wounded back; how he escaped from the battlefield and found refuge in this wilderness--a changed man, quarrelsome, with an uncontrollable temper, which led him into many a brawl; and how, under great provocation, he had stabbed a wood-burner at the inn, and had been beaten within an inch of his life by the wood-cutters. His life was now ebbing away fast, and he had good reason to fear that his uncontrollable temper would live in his son. Hence his exhortation to his wife. Black Matthias died a few hours after he had told me of his sad life.

And so I get to know them all, and make friends with them all, especially with the children, and with the shepherd lad Berthold and the poor milkmaid Aga. There was a wedding down at Heldenichlag, where they have a parish church, and dancing and merrymaking at the inn all night. Next morning Berthold went to the priest. He wanted to marry Aga, but the priest told him he was too young, too poor; he could come back again in ten years! The poor lad is left speechless and does not know how to explain why he wants to be united for ever with his Aga. Sadly he leaves the room, but out in the open air his spirit returns to him. On the second day of the wedding feast there was no holding him. He was the wildest and merriest of the lot. In the afternoon we all returned to Winkelsteg in the forest.


I know I must begin with a church. And at last I have obtained the baron's consent. I have designed the plan myself--it must be large enough to hold all who are in need of comfort here, and bright and cheerful, for there is darkness enough in the forest. And the steeple must be slender like a finger pointing heavenwards. Three bells there must be to announce the Trinity of God in one Person, and to sing the song of faith, hope, and love. And an organ there must be, but no pictures and gilding and show.

Autumn, 1816.

I have been taking a census. How very limited is their range of names. They have no family names, and only some half dozen Christian names! This must be altered. I must invent names for them, according to their occupation or dwelling or character: Sepp Woodcutter, Hiesel Springhutter, and so forth. They like their new names; only Berthold gets angry and refuses to take a name. "A name for me? I want no name; I am nobody. The priest won't let me marry. Call me Berthold Misery, or call me Satan!"

May, 1817.

I have been ill--the result of being snowed up on the way home from a visit to a forester who had been wounded by a poacher. The danger is over now, but my eyes continue to suffer. The forest folk have been very good to me, and much concerned about my progress. And now I am able to go out again. To-day I was watching a spider in the thicket, when I saw Aga rushing towards me. "Ah, it's you!" she cried. "You must help us. We want to live in honour and decency. The priest won't marry us. You can ask for our blessing." The next moment Berthold had joined her and they were kneeling before me. And I pronounced the words which I had no right to pronounce. I married them in the heart of the green forest.

St. James's Day, 1817.

Matthias's widow is in despair. Lazarus has disappeared. In a fit of temper he threw a stone at her, then gave a wild yell and rushed away. "It was a small stone, but there is a heavy stone upon my heart," laments the mother; "his running away is the biggest stone he could have thrown."

St. Catherine's Day, 1817.

Lazarus' sister found a letter pinned on to a stick on her father's grave, which she often visits. It was from her brother, and told them not to worry--he is "in the school of the Cross." And then there was another letter to say that he was well, and thinking of them all. They answered, imploring him to return, and fixed the note and a little cross on the tomb. It is still there, and has never been opened.

March, 1818.

Berthold is gone among the wood-cutters, and has got his hut. A little girl was born to Aga yesterday, and I was sent for to baptise it. I am no priest, and must not steal a name from the calendar. So I called her Forest Lily, and baptised her with the water of the priest.

Summer, 1818.

The first Sunday in these forests! The church is finished, and the bells have summoned the people from the whole neighbourhood. The priest has come from Heldenichlag to dedicate the church, and the schoolmaster to play the organ. But some of the folk grumble because there is no inn by the church; and I hear that the grassteiger has applied for a spirit license. This is the shadow of the church!

In the evening, as I went back to the church, I saw a youth, apparently at prayer, who took to his heels the moment he found he was discovered. I caught him up and recognised. Lazarus! But I could not get a word out of him. I rang the church bells, and soon the lad was surrounded by the astonished villagers. He only murmured, "Paulus, Paulus!" and refused to take the proffered food, though he looked half starved. I took him back to his mother the same evening.

December, 1818.

Lazarus must have been through a miraculous school. He has completely lost his evil temper, but he refuses to speak clearly of his life during the past year, though he mumbles of a rock-cave, a good dark man, of penance, and of a crucifix. We have no priest. I have to look after the church, ring the bells, play the organ, sing and conduct prayer on Sundays. I hear bad news of Hermann, my old pupil. He is said to be leading a wild life in the capital. I cannot believe it.

Summer, 1819.

And now we have a priest--as strange and mysterious as the altar crucifix which I had taken to the church from the rock valley. On the last day of the hay-month, when I entered the church to ring the bells, I found "the Solitary" reading mass on the highest step of the altar. I asked for an explanation, and he answered with a rusty voice that he would tell me all next Saturday at a desolate place he appointed in the forest.

The Solitary has told me the whole sad story of his life. He was born in a palace, and had been rocked in a golden cradle. He had drained the cup of pleasure to the very dregs, and then, prompted by his tutor, had joined a religious order, taken the binding vow, and renounced his fortune to the order. A girl, whom he had known before, implored him not to leave her and her child in distress. It was too late--he was now penniless and irrevocably bound. She drowned herself and haunted his dreams, even after he had become a priest under the name of Paulus. Blind obedience was exacted from him by his order, and when he refused to betray a king's confession he was sent as missionary to India. After his return he became a zealot, exacting severe penance from sinners, and through his severity driving a man to suicide. In his remorse he, too, had sought refuge in this wilderness, where no one knew him, and where one day he found Lazarus, took him to his cave, and taught him to tame his quick temper. I had always thought the first pastor at Winkelsteg should be a repentant sinner, and not a just man. We have now our priest.

Winter, 1830.

For more than ten years I have neglected my diary, partly because I was no longer alone, but had a friend and companion in "the Solitary," partly because I was busy with the building of the schoolhouse. I have my own ideas on education. The child is a book in which we read, and into which we ought to write. They ought to hear of nought but the beautiful, the good, the great. They ought to learn patriotism--not the patriotism which makes them die, but that which makes them live for their country.

Berthold has become a poacher. I have already had to intercede for him with the gamekeeper. Then, one winter's night, Forest Lily, his daughter, was sent out to beg some milk for the babies. Snow fell heavily, and she did not return. For three days they searched, and finally found her huddled up with a whole herd of deer in a snow-covered thicket of dry branches--kept alive by the animals' warmth and the pot of milk she was taking home. When Berthold heard that the forest animals had saved his child, he smashed his gun against a rock, and shouted, "Never again! never again!"

Carnival Time, 1832.

In the parsonage lies a farm-hand with a broken jaw. Drink and quarrel and fight--it is ever the same. The priest has warned them often enough. He has called the brandy-distiller a poison-brewer, and a few days ago the distiller came to the parsonage, armed with a heavy stick. He poured out his complaints. The priest was spoiling his honest business. What was he to do? He took up a threatening attitude. "So you have come at last," said Father Paulus; "I was going to come to you. So you won't give them any more spirits--you are a benefactor of the community! I quite agree with you. You will prepare medicines and oils and ointments from the roots and resin? I'll help you, and in a few years you will be a well-to-do man."

The distiller was speechless. He had said nothing of the sort, but it all seemed so reasonable to him. He grumbled a few words, stumbled across the threshold, and threw his stick away as far as it would fly.

March 22, 1832.

Our priest died to-day.

I can scarcely believe it. But there is no knocking at the window as I pass the parsonage--no friendly face smiling at me. And I can scarcely believe that he has gone.

Ascension Day, 1835.

A few days ago I had a letter from my former pupil, our present master. He was ill, tired of the world, and wanted to find peace and rest in the mountains. He remembered his old teacher, and asked me to be his guide. I went to meet him, and he behaved so strangely that I thought I was walking with a madman. On the second day he seemed better. He wanted to ascend at once the highest peak, known as the "Grey Tooth." And as we passed the dark mountain lake, we saw a beautiful young woman bathing. She looked like a water-nymph. But when she saw us she disappeared under the water, and did not show herself again. Was she drowning herself from very modesty? I pulled her out of the water, we dressed her; then fear gave her strength, she jumped up and ran away. It was my "Forest Lily."

Hermann no longer insisted on climbing the mountain. He came with me to Winkelsteg, remained three days, made Berthold gamekeeper, and arranged that he should forthwith marry Aga in our church. Before he left he said to me: "She thought more of her maidenhood than of her life. I never knew there were such women. This is a new world for me--I, too, belong to the forest. I entrust her to you--teach her if she wants to learn, and take care of her. And keep the secret If I can be cured, I shall return."

Summer, 1837.

It has come to pass. Schrankenheim has broken through class prejudice. Two days ago he was married to Forest Lily in our church. They have left us, and have gone to the beautiful city of Salzburg.

The years pass in loneliness and monotony. Yet they have brought a great change. A prosperous village now surrounds the church, and orchards surround the village. And the folk are no longer savages. How smartly they are now dressed on Sundays! The young people have more knowledge than the old, but too little reverence for the old. But they still smoke tobacco and drink spirits. What can an old schoolmaster do quite by himself?

Spring, 1848.

Hermann's beautiful sister, she who turned my head so many years ago, is coming here to seek refuge from the troubles in town, where they are building barricades. I must see that everything is made pleasant and comfortable for her.

June, 1848.

To-day she gave a dinner party, and invited the parson and the innkeeper. And I was sent a piece of meat and a glass of wine. I gave it to a beggar. So two beggars have received alms to-day. I hear they spoke of me during dinner. She said I received charity from her father when I was a poor student; then I ran away from school and returned as a vagabond. So you know it now, Andreas Erdmann!

Christmas Eve, 1864.

I have not left the forest for fifty years. If I could only see the sea. They say on a clear day you can see it from the "Grey Tooth." To-morrow----

Here the diary broke off abruptly. The next day being bright and sunny, I engaged a lad to guide me on the deferred ascent. It was glorious. And whilst my eyes were searching the far distance, my companion gave a sudden scream, and pointed--at a human head protruding from the snow. He recognised the schoolmaster. We dug him out of the hard snow and found in his pocket a paper on which a shaky hand had written in pencil: "Christmas Day. At sunset I beheld the sea and lost my eyesight"


The New Heloise

Jean Jacques Rousseau, born at Geneva on June 28, 1712, tells the story of his own life in the "Confessions" (see LIVES AND LETTERS, Vol. X). All his dreams of felicity having been shattered, he took up his abode in Paris, where he made a poor living by copying music. Hither, again, he returned after a short stay in Venice, where he acted as secretary in the Embassy. He now secured work on the great Encyclopaedia, and became known, in 1749, by an essay on the arts and sciences, in which he attacked all culture as an evidence and cause of social degeneration. A successful opera followed in 1753; and to the same year belongs his "Essay on Inequality among Men" ("Discours sur l'inégalité parmi les Hommes"), in which he came forward as the apostle of the state of nature, and of anarchy. His revolutionary ideas were viewed with great displeasure by the authorities, and he fled in 1764 to Switzerland; and in 1766, under the auspices of David Hume, to England. Rousseau wrote "The New Heloise" ("La Nouvelle Héloise") in 1756-7, while residing at the Hermitage at Montmorency--an abode where, in spite of certain quarrels and emotional episodes, he passed some of the most placid days of his life. This book, the title of which was founded on the historic love of Abelard and Heloise (see Vol. IX), was published in 1760. Rousseau's primary intention was to reveal the effect of passion upon persons of simple but lofty nature, unspoiled by the artificialities of society. The work may be described as a novel because it cannot very well be described as anything else. It is overwhelmingly long and diffuse; the slender stream of narrative threads its way through a wilderness of discourses on the passions, the arts, society, rural life, religion, suicide, natural scenery, and nearly everything else that Rousseau was interested in--and his interests were legion. "The New Heloise" is thoroughly characteristic of the wandering, enthusiastic, emotional-genius of its author. Several brilliant passages in it are ranked among the classics of French literature; and of the work as a whole, it may be said, judicially and without praise or censure, that there is nothing quite like it in any literature. Rousseau died near Paris, July 2, 1778.

I.--"The Course of True Love"


I must escape from you, mademoiselle. I must see you no more.

You know that I entered your house as tutor to yourself and your cousin, Mademoiselle Claire, at your mother's invitation. I did not foresee the peril; at any rate, I did not fear it. I shall not say that I am now paying the price of my rashness, for I trust I shall never fail in the respect due to your high birth, your beauty, and your noble character. But I confess that you have captured my heart. How could I fail to adore the touching union of keen sensibility and unchanging sweetness, the tender pity, all those spiritual qualities that are worth so much more to me than personal charms?

I have lost my reason. I promise to strive to recover it. You, and you alone, can help me. Forbid me from appearing in your presence, show this letter if you like to your parents; drive me away. I can endure anything from you. I am powerless to escape of my own accord.


I must, then, reveal my secret! I have striven to resist, but I am powerless. Everything seems to magnify my love for you; all nature seems to be your accomplice; every effort that I make is in vain. I adore you in spite of myself.

I hope and I believe that a heart which has seemed to me to deserve the whole attachment of mine will not belie the generosity that I expect of it; and I hope, also that if you should prove unworthy of the devotion I feel for you, my indignation and contempt will restore to me the reason that my love has caused me to lose.


Oh, how am I to realise the torrent of delights that pours into my heart? And how can I best reassure the alarms of a timid and loving woman? Pure and heavenly beauty, judge more truly, I beseech you, of the nature of your power. Believe me, if I adore your loveliness, it is because of the spotless soul of which that loveliness is the outward token. When I cease to love virtue, I shall cease to love you, and I shall no longer ask you to love me.


My friend, I feel that every day I become more attached to you; the smallest absence from you is insupportable; and when you are not with me I must needs write you, so that I may occupy myself with you unceasingly.

My mind is troubled with news that my father has just told me. He is expecting a visit from his old friend, M. de Wolmar; and it is to M. de Wolmar, I suspect, that he designs that I should be married. I cannot marry without the approval of those who gave me life; and you know what the fury of my father would be if I were to confess my love for you--for he would assuredly not suffer me to be united to one whom he deems my inferior in that mere worldly rank for which I care nothing. Yet I cannot marry a man I do not love; and you are the only man I shall ever love.

It pains me that I must not reveal our secret to my dear mother, who esteems you so highly; but would she not reveal it, from a sense of duty, to my father? It is best that only my inseparable Cousin Claire should know the truth.


I have bad news for you, my dear cousin. First of all, your love affair is being gossipped about; secondly, this gossip has indirectly brought your lover into serious danger.

You have met my lord Edouard Bomston, the young English noble who is now staying at Vevay. Your lover has been on terms of such warm friendship with him ever since they met at Sion some time ago that I could not believe they would ever have quarrelled. Yet they quarrelled last night, and about you.

During the evening, M. d'Orbe tells me, mylord Edouard drank freely, and began to talk about you. Your lover was displeased and silent. Mylord Edouard, angered at his coldness, declared that he was not always cold, and that somebody, who should be nameless, caused him to behave in a very different manner. Your lover drew his sword instantly; mylord Edouard drew also, but stumbled in his intoxication, and injured his leg. In spite of M. d'Orbe's efforts to reconcile them, a meeting was arranged to take place as soon as mylord Edouard's leg was better.

You must prevent the duel somehow, for mylord Edouard is a dangerous swordsman. Meanwhile, I am terrified lest the gossip about you should reach your father's ears. It would be best to get your lover to go away before any mischief comes to pass.


I am told that you are about to fight the man whom I love--for it is true that I love him--and that he will probably die by your hand. Enjoy in advance, if you can, the pleasure of piercing the bosom of your friend, but be sure that you will not have that of contemplating my despair. For I swear that I shall not survive by one day the death of him who is to me as my life's breath. Thus you will have the glory of slaying with a single stroke two hapless lovers who have never willingly committed a fault towards you, and who have delighted to honour you.


Have no fear for me, dearest Julie. Read this, and I am sure that you will share in my feelings of gratitude and affection towards the man with whom I have quarrelled.

This morning mylord Edouard entered my room, accompanied by two gentlemen. "I have come," he said, "to withdraw the injurious words that intoxication led me to utter in your presence. Pardon me, and restore to me your friendship. I am ready to endure any chastisement that you see fit to inflict upon me."

"Mylord," I replied, "I acknowledge your nobility of spirit. The words you uttered when you were not yourself are henceforth utterly forgotten." I embraced him, and he bade the gentlemen withdraw.

When we were alone, he gave me the warmest testimonies of friendship; and, touched by his generosity, I told him the whole story of our love. He promised enthusiastically to do what he could to further our happiness; and this is the nobler in him, inasmuch as he admitted that he had himself conceived a tender admiration for you.


Dearest, the worst has happened. My father knows of our love. He came to me yesterday pale with fury; in his wrath he struck me. Then, suddenly, he took me in his arms and implored my forgiveness. But I know that he will never consent to our union; I shall never dare to mention your name in his presence. My love for you is unalterable; our souls are linked by bonds that time cannot dissolve. And yet--my duty to my parents! How can I do right by wronging them? Oh, pity my distraction!

It seems that mylord Edouard impulsively asked my father for his consent to our union, telling him how deeply we loved each other, and that he would mortally injure his daughter's happiness if he denied her wishes. My father replied, in bitter anger, that he would never suffer his child to be united to a man of humble birth. Mylord Edouard hotly retorted that mere distinctions of birth were worthless when weighed in the scale with true refinement and true virtue. They had a long and violent argument, and parted in enmity.

I must take counsel with Cousin Claire, who never suffers her reason to be clouded with those heart-torments of which I am the unhappy victim.


On learning of your distress, dear cousin, I made up my mind that your lover must go away, for your sake and his own; I summoned M. d'Orbe and mylord Edouard. I told M. d'Orbe that the success of his suit to me depended on his help to you. You know that my friendship for you is greater than any love can be. Mylord Edouard acted splendidly. He promised to endow your lover with a third of his estate, and to take him to Paris and London, there to win the distinction that his talents deserve.

M. d'Orbe went to order a chaise, and I proceeded to your lover and told him that it was his duty to leave at once. At first he passionately refused, then he yielded to despair; then he begged to be allowed to see you once more. I refused; I urged that all delays were dangerous. His agony brought tears to my eyes, but I was firm. M. d'Orbe led him away; mylord Edouard was waiting with the chaise, and they are now on the way to Besançon and Paris.

II.--The Separation


Why was I not allowed to see you before leaving? Did you fear that the parting would kill me? Be reassured. I do not suffer--I think of you--I think of the time when I was dear to you. Nay, you love me yet, I know it. But why so cruelly drive me away? Say one word, and I return like the lightning. Ah, these babblings are but flung into empty air. I shall live and die far away from you--I have lost you for ever!


Deep depression has succeeded violent grief in the mind of your lover. But I can count upon his heart, it is a heart framed to fight and to conquer.

I have a proposition to make which I hope you will carefully consider. In your happiness and your lover's I have a tender and inextinguishable interest, since between you I perceive a deeper harmony than I have ever known to exist between man and woman. Your present misfortunes are due to my indiscretion; let me do what I can to repair the fault.

I have in Yorkshire an old castle and a large estate. They are yours and your lover's, Julie, if you will accept them. You can escape from Vevay with the aid of my valet, when I have left there; you can join your lover, be wedded to him, and spend the rest of your days happily in the place of refuge I have designed for you.

Reflect upon this, I beseech you. I should add that I have said nothing of this project to your lover. The decision rests with you and you alone.


Your letter, mylord, fills me with gratitude and admiration. It would indeed be joy for me to gain happiness under the auspices of so generous a friend, and to procure from his kindness the contentment that fortune has denied me.

But could contentment ever be granted to me if I had the consciousness of having pitilessly abandoned those who gave me birth? I am their only living child; all their pleasure, all their hope is in me. Can I deliver up their closing days to shame, regrets, and tears? No, mylord, happiness could not be bought at such a price. I dare brave all the sorrows that await me here; remorse I dare not brave.


I have just returned from the wedding of Claire and M. d'Orbe. You will, I know, share my pleasure in the happiness of our dearest friend; and such is the worth of the friendship that joins us, that the good fortune of one of us should be a real consolation for the sorrows of the other two.

Continue to write me from Paris, but let me tell you that I am not pleased with the bitterness of your letters--a bitterness unworthy of my philosophic tutor of the happy bygone days at Vevay. I wish my true love to see all things clearly, and to be the just and honest man I have always deemed him--not a cynic who seeks a sorry comfort in misfortune by carping at the rest of mankind.


I am about to ask of you a great sacrifice; but I know you will perceive it to be a necessary sacrifice, and I think that your devotion to Julie's true happiness will endure even this final test.

Julie's mother has died, and Julie has tormented herself with the idea that her love troubles have hastened her parent's end. Since then she has had a serious illness, and is now in a depressed state both physically and mentally. Nothing, I am convinced, can cure her save absolute oblivion of the past, and the beginning of a new life--a married life.

M. de Wolmar is here once more, and Julie's father will insist upon her union with him. This quiet, emotionless, observant man cannot win her love, but he can bring her peace. Will you cease from all correspondence with her, and renounce all claim to her? Remember that Julie's whole future depends upon your answer. Her father will force her to obey him; prove that you are worthy of her love by removing all obstacles to her obedience.


I hereby renounce all claims upon the hand of Julie d'Etange, and acknowledge her right to dispose of herself in matrimony without consulting her heart.


Julie is married. Give thanks to the heaven that has saved you both. Respect her new estate; do not write to her, but wait to hear from her. Now is the time when I shall learn whether you are worthy of the esteem I have ever felt for you.


A squadron is fitting out at Plymouth for the tour of the globe, under the command of my old friend George Anson. I have obtained permission for you to accompany him. Will you go?


I am starting, dear and charming cousin, for a voyage round the world--to seek in another hemisphere the peace that I cannot enjoy in this. Adieu, tender and inseparable friends, may you make each other's happiness!

III.--The Philosophic Husband


I learn that you have returned to Europe after all these years of travel. Although I have not as yet the pleasure of knowing you, permit me nevertheless to address you. The wisest and dearest of women has opened her heart to me. I believe that you are worthy of having been loved by her, and I invite you to our home. Innocence and peace reign within it; you will find there friendship, hospitality, esteem, and confidence.


P.S.--Come, my friend; we wait you with eagerness. Do not grieve me by a refusal.



I have seen her, mylord! She has called me her friend--her dear friend. I am happier than ever I was in my life.

Yet when I approached M. de Wolmar's house at Clarens, I was in a state of frantic nervousness. Could I bear to see my old love in the possession of another? Would I not be driven to despair? As the carriage neared Clarens, I wished that it would break down. When I dismounted I awaited Julie in mortal anxiety. She came running and calling out to me, she seized me in her arms. All my terrors were banished, I knew no feeling but joy.

M. de Wolmar, meanwhile, was standing beside us. She turned to him, and introduced me to him as her old friend. "If new friends have less ardour than old ones," he said to me as he embraced me, "they will be old friends in their turn, and will yield nothing to others." My heart was exhausted, I received his embraces passively.

When we reached the drawing-room she disappeared for a moment, and returned--not alone. She brought her two children with her, darling little boys, who bore on their countenances the charm and the fascination of their mother. A thousand thoughts rushed into my mind, I could not speak; I took them in my arms, and welcomed their innocent caresses.

The children withdrew, and M. de Wolmar was called away. I was alone with Julie. I was conscious of a painful restraint; she was seemingly at ease, and I became gradually reassured. We talked of my travels, and of her married life; there was no mention of our old relations.

I came to realise how Julie was changed, and yet the same. She is a matron, the happy mother of children, the happy mistress of a prosperous household. Her old love is not extinguished; but it is subdued by domestic peace and by her unalterable virtue--let me add, by the trust and kindness of her elderly husband, whose unemotional goodness has been just what was needed to soothe her passion and sorrow. I am her old and dear friend; I can never be more. And, believe me, I am content. Occasionally, pangs of regret tear at my heart, but they do not last long; my passion is cured, and I can never experience another.

How can I describe to you the peace and felicity that reign in this household? M. de Wolmar is, above all things, a man of system; the life of the establishment moves with ordered regularity from the year's beginning to its end. But the system is not mechanical; it is founded on wide experience of men, and governed by philosophy. In the home life of Julie and her husband and children luxury is never permitted; even the table delicacies are simple products of the country. But, without luxury, there is perfect comfort and perfect confidence. I have never known a community so thoroughly happy, and it is a deep joy to me to be admitted as a cherished member of it.

One day M. de Wolmar drew Julie and myself aside, and where do you think he took us? To a plantation near the house, which Julie had never entered since her marriage. It was there that she had first kissed me. She was unwilling to enter the place, but he drew her along with him, and bade us be seated. Then he began:

"Julie, I knew the secret of your love before you revealed it to me. I knew it before I married you. I may have been in the wrong to marry you, knowing that your heart was elsewhere; but I loved you, and I believed I could make you happy. Have I succeeded?"

"My dear husband," said Julie, in tears, "you know you have succeeded."

"One thing only," he went on, "was necessary to prove to you that your old passion was powerless against your virtue, and that was the presence of your old lover. I trusted you; I believed, from my knowledge of you, that I could trust him. I invited him here, and since then I have been quietly watching. My high anticipations of him are justified. And as for you, Julie, the haunting fears that your virtue would fail before the test inflicted by the return of your lover have, once and for all, been put to rest. Past wounds are healed. Monsieur," he added, turning to me, "you have proved yourself worthy of our fullest confidence and our warmest friendship."

What could I answer? I could but embrace him in silence.

Madame d'Orbe, now a widow, is about to come here to take permanent charge of the household, leaving Julie to devote herself to the training of the children.

Hasten to join us, mylord; your coming is anxiously awaited. For my own part, I shall not be content until you have looked with your own eyes upon the peaceful delights of our life at Clarens.


Madame d'Orbe is now with us. We look to you to complete the party. When you have made a long stay at Clarens, I shall be ready to join you in your projected journey to Rome.

Julie has revealed to me the one trouble of her life. Her husband is a freethinker. Will you aid me in trying to convince him of his error, and thus perfecting Julie's happiness?

IV.--The Veil


Mylord Edouard and I, after leaving you all yesterday, proceeded no farther than Villeneuve; an accident to one of mylord's attendants delayed us, and we spent the night there.

As you know, I had parted from Julie with regret, but without violent emotion. Yet, strangely enough, when I was alone last night the old grief came back. I had lost her! She lived and was happy; her life was my death, her happiness my torment! I struggled with these ideas. When I lay down, they pursued me in my sleep.

At length I started up from a hideous dream. I had seen Julie stretched upon her death-bed. I knew it was she, although her face was covered by a veil. I advanced to tear it off; I could not reach it. "Be calm, my friend," she said feebly; "the veil of dread covers me, no hand can remove it." I made another effort, and awoke.

Again I slept, again I dreamt the dream. A third time I slept, a third time it appeared to me. This was too much. I fled from my room to mylord Edouard's.

At first, he treated the dream as a jest; but, seeing my panic-stricken earnestness, he changed his tune. "You will have a chance of recovering your reason to-morrow," he said. Next morning we set out on our journey, as I thought. Brooding over my dream, I never noticed that the lake was on the left-hand of the carriage, that we were returning. When I roused myself, I found that we were back again at Clarens!

"Now, go and see her again; prove that the dream was wrong," said Edouard.

I went nervously, feeling thoroughly ashamed of myself. I could hear you and Julie talking in the garden. I was cured in an instant of my superstitious folly; it fled from my mind. I retired without seeing her, feeling a man again. I rejoined mylord Edouard, and drove back to Villeneuve. We are about to resume the journey to Rome.


Why did you not come to see us, instead of merely listening to our voices? You have transfixed the terror of your dream to me. Until your return, I shall never look upon Julie without trembling, lest I should lose her.

M. de Wolmar has let you know his wish that you should remain permanently with us and superintend the education of his children. I am sure you will accept Rejoin us swiftly, then; I shall not have an easy moment until you are amongst us once more.


It has come to pass. You will never see her more! The veil! The veil! Julie is dead!


I have allowed your first hours of grief to pass in silence. I was in no condition to give details, nor you to receive them. Now I may write, and you may read.

We were on a visit to the castle of Chillon, guests of the bailli of Vevay. After dinner the whole party walked on the ramparts, and our youngest son slipped and fell into the deep water. Julie plunged in after him. Both were rescued; the child was soon brought round, but Julie's state was critical. When she had recovered a little, she was taken back to Clarens. The doctor told her she had but three days to live. She spent those three days in perfect cheerfulness and tranquillity of spirit, conversing with Madame D'Orbe, the pastor, and myself, expressing her content that her life should end at a time when she had attained complete happiness. On the fourth morning we found her lifeless.

During the three days she wrote a letter, which I enclose. Fulfil her last requests. There yet remains much for you to do on earth.


All is changed, my dear friend; let us suffer the change without a murmur. It was not well for us that we should rejoin each other.

For it was an illusion that my love for you was cured; now, in the presence of death, I know that I still love you. I avow this without shame, for I have done my duty. My virtue is without stain, my love without remorse.

Come back to Clarens; train my children, comfort their noble father, lead him into the light of Christian faith. Claire, like yourself, is about to lose the half of her life; let each of you preserve the other half by a union that in these latter days I have often wished to bring about.

Adieu, sweet friend, adieu!


Paul and Virginia

Jacques-Henri Bernardin de Saint Pierre was born at Havre on January 19, 1737. Like many boys that are natives of seaports, he was anxious to become a sailor; but a single voyage cured him of his desire for a seafaring life, although not of his love for travel. For some years afterwards he was a rolling stone, sometimes soldier and sometimes engineer, visiting one European country after another. In 1771 he obtained a government appointment in Mauritius, a spot which was the subject of his first book (see TRAVEL AND ADVENTURE, Vol. XIX), and which was afterwards made the scene of "Paul and Virginia." In his "Nature Studies," 1783, he showed an enthusiasm for nature that contrasted vividly with the artificiality of most eighteenth-century writers; but his fame was not established until he had set all the ladies of France weeping with his "Paul and Virginia," perhaps the most sentimental book ever written. It was published in 1787, and although it does not cause in modern readers the tearful raptures that it provoked on its first appearance, its fame has survived as the most notable work of a romantic and nature-loving sentimentalist with remarkable powers of narration. Saint Pierre died on January 21, 1814.

I.--The Home Among the Rocks

On the eastern declivity of the mountain which rises behind Port Louis, in the Isle of France, are still to be seen, on a spot of ground formerly cultivated, the ruins of two little cottages. They are situated almost in the midst of a basin formed by enormous rocks, with only one opening, from which you may look upon Port Louis and the sea.

I took pleasure in retiring to this place, where one can at once enjoy an unbounded prospect and profound solitude. One day, as I was sitting near the cottages, an elderly man approached me. His hair was completely white, his aspect simple and majestic. I saluted him, and he sat down beside me.

"Can you inform me, father," I asked, "to whom these two cottages belonged?"

"My son," replied he, "these ruins were inhabited by two families, which there found the means of true happiness. But who will deign to take an interest in the history, however affecting, of a few obscure individuals?"

"Father," I replied, "relate to me, I beseech you, what you know of them; and be assured that there is no man, however depraved by prejudices, but loves to hear of the felicity which nature and virtue bestow."

Upon this the old man related what follows.

In the year 1735 there came to this spot a young widow named Madame de la Tour. She was of a noble Norman family; but her husband was of obscure birth. She had married him portionless, and against the will of her relations, and they had journeyed here to seek their fortune. The husband soon died, and his widow found herself destitute of every possession except a single negro woman. She resolved to seek a subsistence by cultivating a small plot of ground, and this was the spot that she chose.

Providence had one blessing in store for Madame de la Tour--the blessing of a friend. Inhabiting this spot was a sprightly and sensible woman of Brittany, named Margaret. She, like madame, had suffered from the sorrows of love; she had fled to the colonies, and had here established herself with her baby and an old negro, whom she had purchased with a poor, borrowed purse.

When Madame de la Tour had unfolded to Margaret her former condition and her present wants the good woman was moved with compassion; she tendered to the stranger a shelter in her cottage and her friendship. I knew them both, and went to offer them my assistance. The territory in the rock-basin, amounting to about twenty acres, I divided equally between them. Margaret's cottage was on the boundary of her own domain, and close at hand I built another cottage for Madame de la Tour. Scarcely had I completed it when a daughter was born to madame. She was called Virginia; the infant son of Margaret bore the name of Paul.

The two friends, so dear to each other in spite of their difference in rank, spun cotton for a livelihood. They seldom visited Port Louis, for fear of the contempt with which they were treated on account of the coarseness of their dress. But if they were exposed to a little suffering when abroad, they returned home with so much more additional satisfaction. They found there cleanliness and freedom, blessings which they owed entirely to their own industry, and to servants animated with zeal and affection. As for themselves, they had but one will, one interest, one table. They had everything in common.

Their mutual love redoubled at the sight of their two children. Nothing was to be compared with the attachment which the babes showed for each other. If Paul complained, they brought Virginia to him; at the sight of her he was pacified. If Virginia suffered, Paul lamented; but Virginia was wont to conceal her pain, that her sufferings might not distress him. All their study was to please and assist each other. They had been taught no religion but that which instructs us to love one another; and they raised toward heaven innocent hands and pure hearts, filled with the love of their parents. Thus passed their early infancy, like a beautiful dawn, which seems to promise a still more beautiful day.

Madame de la Tour had moments of uneasiness during her daughter's childhood; sometimes she used to say to me: "If I should die what would become of Virginia, dowerless as she is?" She had an aunt in France, a woman of quality, rich, old, and a devotee, to whom she had written at the time of Virginia's birth. Not until 1746--eleven years later--did a reply reach her. Her aunt told her that she merited her condition for having married an adventurer; that the untimely death of her husband was a just chastisement of God; that she had done well not to dishonour her country by returning to France; and that after all she was in an excellent country, where everybody made fortunes except the idle.

She added, however, that in spite of all this she had strongly recommended her to the governor of the island, M. de la Bourdonaye. But, conformably to a custom too prevalent, in feigning to pity she had calumniated her; and, consequently, madame was received by the governor with the greatest coolness.

Returning to the plantation with a bitter heart, madame read the letter tearfully to all the family. Margaret clasped her to her arms; Virginia, weeping, kissed her hands; Paul stamped with rage; the servants hearing the noise, ran in to comfort her.

Such marks of affection soon dissipated madame's anguish.

"Oh, my children!" she cried. "Misfortune only attacks me from afar; happiness is ever around me!"

II--Nature's Children

As the years went on, Paul and Virginia grew up together in purity and contentment. Every succeeding day was to them a day of happiness. They were strangers to the torments of envy and ambition. By living in solitude, so far from degenerating into savages, they had become more humane. If the scandalous history of society did not supply them with topics of discourse, nature filled their hearts with transports of wonder and delight. They contemplated with rapture the power of that Providence which, by aid of their hands, had diffused amid these barren rocks abundance, beauty, and simple and unceasing pleasures.

When the weather was fine, the families went on Sundays to mass at the church of Pamplemousses. When mass was over, they ministered to the sick or gave comfort to the distressed. From these visits Virginia often returned with her eyes bathed in tears, but her heart overflowing with joy, for she had been blessed with an opportunity of doing good.

Paul and Virginia had no clocks nor almanacs nor books of history or philosophy; the periods of their lives were regulated by those of nature. They knew the hour of the day by the shadow of the trees; the seasons by the times when the trees bore flowers or fruits; and years by the number of the harvests.

"It is dinner-time," Virginia would say to the family; "the shadows of the banana-trees are at their feet." Or, "Night approaches, for the tamarinds are closing their leaves."

When asked about her age and that of Paul, "My brother," she would answer, "is the same age with the great coconut-tree of the fountain, and I the same age with the small one. The mango-trees have yielded their fruit twelve times, and the orange-trees have opened their blossoms twenty-four times since I came into the world."

Thus did these two children of nature advance in life; hitherto no care had wrinkled their foreheads, no intemperance had corrupted their blood, no unhappy passion had depraved their hearts; love, innocence, piety were daily unfolding the beauties of their souls in graces ineffable, in their features, their attitude, and their movements.

Nevertheless, in time Virginia felt herself disturbed by a strange malady. Serenity no longer sat upon her forehead, nor smiles upon her lips. She withdrew herself from her innocent amusements, from her sweet occupations, and from the society of her family.

Sometimes, at the sight of Paul, she ran up to him playfully, when all of a sudden an unaccountable embarrassment seized her; a lively red coloured her cheeks, and her eyes no longer dared to fix themselves on his.

Meanwhile Margaret said to Madame de la Tour, "Why should we not marry our children? Their passion for each other is extreme, although my son is not sensible of it."

"Not yet," answered madame; "they are too young, and too poor. But if we send Paul to India for a short time, commerce will supply him with the means of buying some slaves. On his return we will marry him to Virginia, for I am certain that no one can make my daughter so happy as your son Paul. Let us consult our neighbour about it."

So they discussed the matter with me, and I approved of their plan. But when I opened the business to Paul, I was astonished when he replied, "Why would you have me quit my family for a visionary project of fortune? If we wish to engage in trade, cannot we do so by carrying our superfluities to the city, without any necessity for my rambling to India? What if any accident should befall my family during my absence, more especially Virginia, who even now is suffering? Ah, no! I could never make up my mind to quit them."

I durst not hint to him that Virginia was lovesick, and that the voyage had been projected that the two might be separated until they had grown a little older.

III.--Virginia's Departure

Just at this time a letter came to Madame de la Tour from her aunt, who had just recovered from a dangerous illness, and whose obdurate heart had been softened by the fear of death. She requested her niece to return to France; or, if the state of her health prevented her from undertaking the voyage, to send Virginia thither, on whom she intended to bestow a good education, a place at court, and a bequest of all her possessions. The return of her favour, she added, depended entirely on compliance with these injunctions.

The letter filled the family with utter consternation.

"Can you leave us?" Margaret asked, in deep anxiety.

"No," replied madame, "I will never leave you. With you I have lived, and with you I mean to die."

At these words tears of joy bedewed the cheeks of the whole household, and the most joyous of all, although she gave the least testimony to her pleasure, was Virginia.

But next morning they were surprised to receive a visit from the governor. He, too, had heard from madame's aunt. "Surely," he said, "you cannot without injustice deprive your young and beautiful daughter of so great an inheritance." Taking madame aside, he told her that a vessel was on the point of sailing, and that a lady who was related to him would take care of her daughter. He then placed upon the table a large bag of piastres, which one of his slaves had brought. "This," he said, "is what your aunt has sent to make the preparations for the voyage."

After the governor had left, madame urged her daughter to go. But wealth had no temptations for Virginia. She thought only of her family, and of her love for Paul. "Oh, I shall never have resolution to quit you!" she cried.

But in the evening came her father confessor, sent by the governor. "My children," said he as he entered, "there is wealth in store for you now, thanks to Heaven. You have at length the means of gratifying your benevolent feeling by ministering to the unhappy. We must obey the will of Providence," he continued, turning to Virginia. "It is a sacrifice, I grant, but it is the command of the Almighty."

Virginia, with downcast eyes and trembling voice, replied, "If it is the command of God that I should go, God's will be done." And burst into tears.

I was with the family at supper that evening. Little was eaten, and nobody uttered a syllable.

After supper Virginia rose first, and went out. Paul quickly followed her. The rest of us went out soon afterwards, and we sat down under the banana-trees. Paul and Virginia were not far off, and we heard every word they said.

"You are going to leave us," began Paul, "for the sake of a relation whom you have never seen!"

"Alas!" replied Virginia. "Had I been allowed to follow my own inclinations, I should have remained here all my days. But my mother wishes me to go. My confessor says it is the will of God that I should go."

"Ah!" said Paul. "And do you say nothing of the attractions of wealth? You will soon find another on whom you can bestow the name of brother among your equals--one who has riches and high birth, which I cannot offer you. But whither can you go to be more happy than where you are? Cruel girl! How will our mothers bear this separation? What will become of me? Oh, since a new destiny attracts you, since you seek fortune in far countries, let me at least go with you! I will follow you as your slave."

Paul's voice was stifled with sobs. "It is for your sake that I go!" cried Virginia tearfully. "You have laboured daily to support us. By my wealth I shall seek to repay the good you have done to us all. And would I choose any brother but thee! Oh, Paul, Paul, you are far dearer to me than a brother!"

At these words he clasped her in his arms. "I shall go with her. Nothing shall shake my resolution!" he declared, in a terrible voice.

We ran towards them, and Paul turned savagely on Madame de la Tour. "Do you act the part of a mother," he cried, "you who separate brother and sister? Pitiless woman! May the ocean never give her back to your arms!" His eyes sparkled; sweat ran down his countenance.

"Oh, my friend," cried Virginia to him in terror, "I swear by all that could ever unite two unhappy beings that if I remain here I will only live for you; and if I depart, I will one day return to be yours!"

His head drooped; a torrent of tears gushed from his eyes.

"Come to-night to my home, my friend," I said. "We will talk this matter over to-morrow."

"I cannot let her go!" cried madame, in distraction.

Paul accompanied me in silence. After a restless night he arose at daybreak, and returned to his own home.

Virginia had gone! The vessel had sailed at daybreak, and she was on board.

By intricate paths Paul climbed to the summit of a rock cone, from which a vast area of sea was visible. From here he perceived the vessel that bore away Virginia; and here I found him in the evening, his head leaning against the rock, his eyes fixed on the ground.

When I had persuaded him to return home, he bitterly reproached madame with having so cruelly deceived him. She told us that a breeze had sprung up in the early morning, and that the governor himself, his officers, and the confessor has come and carried Virginia off in spite of all their tears and protests, the governor declaring that it was for their good that she was thus hurried away.

Paul wandered miserably among all the spots that had been Virginia's favourites. He looked at her goats, and at the birds that came fluttering to be fed by the hand of her who had gone. He watched the dog vainly searching, following the scent up and down. He cherished little things that had been hers--the last nosegay she had worn, the coconut cup out of which she was accustomed to drink.

At length he began to labour in the plantation again. He also besought me to teach him reading and writing, so that he might correspond with Virginia; and geography and history, that he might learn the situation and character of the country whither she had gone.

We heard a report that Virginia had reached France in safety; but for two years we heard no other news of her.

IV.--Virginia's Return

When at length a letter arrived from Virginia it appeared that she had written several times before, but as she had received no replies, she feared that her great-aunt had intercepted her former letters.

She had been placed in a convent school, and although she lived in the midst of riches, she had not the disposal of a single farthing. She was not allowed to mention her mother's name, and was bidden to forget the land of savages where she was born; but she would sooner forget herself.

To Paul she sent some flower-seeds in a small purse, on which were embroidered the letters "P" and "V" formed of hair that he knew to be Virginia's.

But reports were current that gave him great uneasiness. The people of the vessel that had brought the letter asserted that Virginia was about to be married to a great nobleman; some even declared that the wedding was already over.

But soon afterwards his disquietude ceased at the news that Virginia was about to return.

On the morning of December 24, 1752, Paul saw a signal indicating that a vessel was descried at sea, and he hastened to the city. A pilot went out to reconnoitre her according to the custom of the port; he came back in the evening with the news that the vessel was the Saint Gerard, and that her captain hoped to bring her to anchor off Port Louis on the following afternoon. Virginia was on board, and sent by the pilot a letter to her mother which Paul, after kissing it with transport, carried hurriedly to the plantation.

Virginia wrote that her great-aunt had tried to force her into marriage, had disinherited her on her refusal, and had sent her back to the island. Her only wish now was once more to see and embrace her dear family.

Paul, in his excitement, rushed to tell me the news, although it was late at night. As we walked together we were overtaken by a breathless negro.

"A vessel from France has just cast anchor under Amber Island," he said. "She is firing distress guns, for the sea is very heavy."

"That will be Virginia's vessel," I said. "Let us go that way to meet her."

The heat was stifling, and the flashes of lightning that illumined the dense darkness revealed masses of thick clouds lowering over the island. In the distance we heard the boom of the distress-gun. We quickened our pace without saying a word, not daring to communicate our anxiety to each other.

When we reached the coast by Amber Island, we found several planters gathered round a fire, discussing whether the vessel could enter the channel in the morning and find safety.

Soon after dawn the governor arrived with a detachment of soldiers, who immediately fired a volley. Close at hand came the answering boom of the ship's gun; in the dim light we could see her masts and yards, and hear the voices of the sailors. She had passed through the channel, and was secure--save from the hurricane.

But the hurricane came. Black clouds with copper edging hung in the zenith; seabirds made their way, screaming, to shelter in the island. Then fearful noises as of torrents were heard from the sea; the mists of the morning were swept away and the storm was upon us.

The vessel was now in deadly peril, and ere long what we had feared took place. The cables on her bows snapped, and she was dashed upon the rocks half a cable's length from the shore. A cry of grief burst from every breast.

Paul was about to fling himself into the sea, when I seized him by the arm.

"Oh. let me go to her rescue," he cried, "or let me die!"

I tied a rope round his waist, and he advanced toward the ship, sometimes walking, sometimes swimming. He hoped to get on board the vessel, for the sea in its irregular movements left her almost dry. But presently it returned with redoubled fury, and the unhappy Paul was hurled back upon the shore, bleeding, bruised, and senseless.

The ship was now going to pieces, and the despairing crew were flinging themselves into the sea. On the stern gallery stood Virginia, stretching out her arms towards the lover who sought to save her. When he was thrust back she waved her hand towards us, as if bidding us an eternal farewell.

One sailor remained with her, striving to persuade her to undress and try to swim ashore. With a dignified gesture she repelled him. Then a prodigious mountain of water swept towards the vessel. The sailor sprang off, and was carried ashore. Virginia vanished from our sight.

We found her body on the beach of a bay near at hand, whither much of the wreckage had been carried. Her eyes were closed, but her countenance showed perfect calm; only the pale violet of death blended itself upon her cheeks with the rose of modesty. One of her hands was firmly closed. I disengaged from it, with much difficulty, a little casket; within the casket was a portrait of Paul--a gift from him which she had promised never to part with while she lived.

Paul was taken home stretched on a palanquin. His coming brought a ray of comfort to the unhappy mothers; the tears, which had been till then restrained through excess of sorrow, now began to flow, and, nature being thus relieved, all the three bereaved ones fell into a lethargic repose.

It was three weeks ere Paul was sufficiently recovered to walk. For day after day, when his strength was restored, he wandered among the places endeared to him by memories of Virginia. His eyes grew hollow, his colour faded, his health gradually but visibly declined. I strove to mitigate his feelings by giving him change of scene, by taking him to the busy inhabited parts of the island. My efforts proving quite ineffectual, I tried to console him by reminding him that Virginia had gained eternal happiness.

"Since death is a blessing, and Virginia is happy," he replied mournfully, "I will die, also, that I may again be united to her."

Thus, the consolation I sought to administer only aggravated his despair.

Paul died two months after his beloved Virginia, whose name was ever on his lips to the last. Margaret survived her son only by a week, and Madame de la Tour, who had borne all her terrible losses with a greatness of soul beyond belief, lived but another month.

By the side of Virginia, at the foot of the bamboos near the church of Pamplemousses, Paul was laid to rest. Close at hand the two mothers were buried. No marble is raised over their humble graves, no inscriptions record their virtues, but in the hearts of those who loved them, they have left a memory that time can never efface.

With these words the old man, tears flowing from his eyes, arose and went away.



The life of the great French novelist, George Sand, is as romantic as any of the characters in her novels. She was born at Paris in July, 1804, her real name being Armandine Lucile Aurore Dupin. At eighteen she married the son of a colonel and baron of the empire, by name Dudevant, but after nine years she separated from her husband, and, bent upon a literary career, made her way to Paris. Success came quickly. Entering into a literary partnership with her masculine friend, Jules Sandeau, the chief fruit of their joint enterprise was "Rose et Blanche." This was followed by her independent novel, "Indiana," a story that brought her the enthusiastic praises of the reading public, and the warm friendship of the most distinguished personages in French literary society. A few years later her relations with the poet Alfred De Musset provided the matter for what is now an historic episode. Her literary output was enormous, consisting of a hundred or more volumes of novels and stories, four volumes of autobiography, and six of correspondence. Yet everything that she wrote is marked by that richness, delicacy and power of style and of thought which constitutes her genius. "Consuelo," which appeared in 1844, is typical of all these in its sparkling dialogue, flowing narrative, and vivid description. George Sand died on June 7, 1876.

I.--In Venice

Little Consuelo, at the age of fourteen, was the best of all the pupils of the Maestro Porpora, a famous Italian composer, of the eighteenth century.

At that time in Venice a certain number of children received a musical education at the expense of the state, and it was Porpora, the great musician--then a soured and disappointed man--who trained the voices of the girls. They were not equally poor, these young ladies, and among them were the daughters of needy artists, whose wandering existence did not permit them a long stay in Venice. Of such parentage was little Consuelo, born in Spain, and arriving in Italy by the strange routes of Bohemians. Not that Gonsuelo was really a gipsy. She was of good Spanish blood, and had a calmness of mind and manner quite foreign to the wandering races. A rare and happy temperament was hers, and, in spite of poverty and orphanhood--for her mother, who brought her to Venice, was dead--Consuelo worked on with Porpora, finding the labour an enjoyment, and overcoming the difficulties of her art as if by some invisible instinct.

When Consuelo was eighteen Count Zustiniani, having heard her sing in Porpora's choir, decided she must come out as a prima donna in his theatre. For the fame and success of this theatre Zustiniani cared more than for anything else in the world--not that he was eager for money, but because he was an enthusiast for music--a man of taste, an amateur, whose great business in life was to gratify his taste. He liked to be talked about and to have his theatre and his magnificence talked about.

The success of Consuelo was assured when she appeared for the first time in Gluck's "Ipermnestra." The debutante was at once self-possessed and serious, receiving the applause of the audience without fear or humility. For her art itself, and not the results of art, were the main thing, and her inward satisfaction in her performance did not depend on the amount of approbation manifested by the public.

But Zustiniani, gratified as he was by the triumph of his new prima donna, was not content with Consuelo's success on the stage; he also wanted her for himself. Consuelo gravely refused the jewels and ornaments he offered her, and the count was strangely annoyed. He was thrilled with unknown emotions by Consuelo's singing, and his patrician soul could not realise that this poor little pupil of Porpora's was not to be won by the ordinary methods, which he had hitherto employed successfully in the conquest of opera singers.

Porpora saved Consuelo from the count's threatening attentions.

The prima donna suddenly disappeared, and it was said she had gone to Vienna, that she had been engaged for the emperor's theatre, and that Porpora was also going there to conduct his new opera.

Count Zustiniani was particularly embarrassed by Consuelo's flight. He had led all Venice to believe this wonderful new singer favoured his addresses. Some, indeed, maintained for a time that, jealous of his treasure, the count had hidden her in one of his country houses. But when they heard Porpora say, with a blunt openness which could never deceive, that he had advised his pupil to go to Germany and wait for him, there was nothing left but to try and find out the motives for this extraordinary decision.

To all inquiries addressed to him Porpora answered that no one should ever know from him where Consuelo was to be found.

In real truth, it was not only Zustiniani who had driven Consuelo away. A youth named Anzoleto, who had grown up in Venice with Consuelo so that the two were as brother and sister, and who lacked both heart and constancy, made life too hard for Consuelo. Anxious to get all the advantages of Consuelo's friendship, and to be known as her betrothed, so that he could procure an engagement in the opera through her generous influence, he yet made love to another singer, a former favourite of Zustiniani's. Learning of Anzoleto's heartless unfaithfulness, and pressed by Zustiniani, Consuelo had turned to her old master for help, and had not been disappointed.

II.--In Bohemia

Among the mountains which separate Bohemia from Bavaria stood an old country house, known as the Castle of the Giant, the residence of the Lords of Rudolstadt. A strange mystery reigned over this ancient family. Count Christian Rudolstadt, the head of the house, a widower, his elder sister, the Canoness Wenceslawa, a venerable lady of seventy, and Count Albert, the only son and heir, lived alone with their retainers, never associating with their neighbours. The count's brother, Baron Frederick Rudolstadt, with his daughter Amelia, had for some time past taken up their abode in the Castle of the Giants, and it was the hope of the two brothers that Albert and Amelia would become betrothed. But the silence and gloom of the place were hateful to Amelia, and Albert's deep melancholy and absent-mindedness were not the tokens of a lover.

Albert, in fact, had so brooded over the horrors of the old wars between Catholic and Protestant in Bohemia, that when the fit was on him he believed himself living and acting in those terrible times, and it was this kind of madness in his son which made Count Christian shun all social intercourse. Albert was now thirty, and the doctors had predicted that this year he would either conquer the fancies which took such fierce hold on him, or succumb entirely.

One night, when the family were assembled round the hearth, the castle bell rang, and presently a letter was brought in. It was from Porpora to Count Christian, and the count, having read it, passed it on to Amelia.

It seemed that Christian had written to Porpora, whom he had long known and respected, to ask him to recommend him a companion for Amelia, and the letter now arrived not only recommended Consuelo, but Consuelo herself had brought it.

The old count at once hastened with his niece to welcome Porporpina, as the visitor was called, and the terror which the journey to the castle and the first impressions of the gloomy place had struck upon the young singer only melted at the warmth of Christian's praises of her old master, Porpora.

From the first the whole household treated Consuelo with every kindness, and Amelia very soon confided in her new friend all that she knew of the family history, explaining that her cousin Albert was certainly mad.

Albert himself seemed unaware of Consuelo's presence until one day when he heard her sing. Amelia's singing always made him uneasy and restless, but the first time Consuelo sang--she had chosen a religious piece from Palestrina--Albert suddenly appeared in the room, and remained motionless till the end. Then, falling on his knees, his large eyes swimming in tears, he exclaimed, in Spanish: "Oh, Consuelo, Consuelo! I have at last found thee!"

"Consuelo?" cried the astonished girl, replying in the same language. "Why, señor, do you call me by that name?"

"I call you Consolation, because a consolation has been promised to my desolate life, and because you are that consolation which God at last grants to my solitary and gloomy existence. Consuelo! If you leave me, my life is at an end, and I will never return to earth again!" Saying this he fell at her feet in a swoon; and the two girls, terrified, called the servants to carry him to his room and restore him to consciousness. But hardly had Albert been left alone before his apartment was empty, and he had disappeared.

Days passed, and the anxiety at the castle remained unrelieved. It was not the first time Albert had disappeared, but now his absence was longer than usual. Consuelo found out the secret of his hiding-place--a vaulted hall at the end of a long gallery in a cave in the forest was Albert's hermitage, and a secret passage from the moat of the castle enabled him to pass unseen to his solitude. She traced him to the chamber in the recesses of the cavern.

Already Consuelo had discovered the two natures in Albert--the one wise, the other mad; the one polished, tender, merciful; the other strange, untamed and violent She saw that sympathy and firmness were both needed in dealing with this lonely and unfortunate man--sympathy with his religious mysticism, and firmness in urging him not to yield to the images of his mind.

That Albert was in love with her, Consuelo understood; but to his pleadings she had but one answer:

"Do not speak of love, do not speak of marriage. My past life, my recollections, make the first impossible. The difference in our conditions would render the second humiliating and insupportable to me. Let it be enough that I will be your friend and your consoler, whenever you are disposed to open your heart to me."

And with this Albert, for a time, professed to be content. So determined was he, however, to win Consuelo's heart, that he readily obeyed her advice, and even promised never to return to his hermitage without first asking her to accompany him.

Gentle old Count Christian himself came later to plead his son's cause with Consuelo. Amelia and her father had left the Castle of the Giants, and Christian realised how much Consuelo had already done for the restoration of his son's health.

"You were afraid of me, dear Consuelo," said the old man. "You thought that the old Rudolstadt, with his aristocratic prejudices, would be ashamed to owe his son to you. But you are mistaken, and I go to bring my son to your feet, that together we may bless you for extending his happiness."

"Oh, stop, my dear lord!" said Consuelo, amazed. "I am not free. I have an object, a vocation, a calling. I belong to the art to which I have devoted myself since my childhood. I could only renounce all this--if--if I loved Albert. That is what I must find out. Give me at least a few days, that I may learn whether I have this love for him within my heart."

The arrival of the worthless Anzoleto at the Castle of the Giants drove Consuelo once more to flight. Anzoleto had enjoyed some success at Venice, but having incurred the wrath of Zustiniani, he was escaping to Prague. Passing through Bohemia, the fame of a beautiful singer at the castle of the Rudolstadts came to his ears, and Anzoleto resolved to recover the old place he had once held in Consuelo's heart. He gave himself out as Consuelo's brother, and was at once admitted to the castle and treated kindly. For Consuelo, the only course open now was to flee to Vienna, and take refuge with Porpora, and this she did, leaving in the dead of night, after writing explanations to Christian and Albert.

III.--In Vienna

The greater part of the journey to Vienna was accomplished on foot, and Consuelo had for her travelling companion a humble youth, whose name was Joseph Haydn, and whose great musical genius was yet to be recognized by the world.

Many months had elapsed since Consuelo had seen her master and benefactor, and to the joy which she experienced in pressing old Porpora in her arms a painful feeling soon succeeded. Vexation and sorrow had imprinted their marks on the brow of the old maestro. He looked far older, and the fire of his countenance seemed chilled by age. The unfortunate composer had flattered himself that he would find in Vienna fresh chances of success and fortune; but he was received there with cold esteem, and happier rivals were in possession of the imperial favour and the public admiration. Being neither a flatterer nor an intriguer, Porpora's rough frankness was no passport to influence, and his ill-humour made enemies rather than friends. He held out no hopes to Consuelo.

"There are no ears to listen, no hearts to comprehend you in this place, my child," he said sadly. "If you wish to succeed, you would do well to follow the master to whom they owe their skill and their fortune."

But when Consuelo told him of the proposal made by Count Albert, and of Count Christian's desire for her marriage with his son, the tyrannical old musician at once put his foot down.

"You must not think of the young count!" he said fiercely. "I positively forbid you! Such a union is not suitable. Count Christian would never permit you to become an artist again. I know the unconquerable pride of these nobles, and you cannot hesitate for an instant between the career of nobility and that of art."

So resolute was Porpora that Consuelo should not be tempted from the life he had trained her for, that he did not hesitate to destroy, unread, her letters to the Rudolstadts, and letters from Count Christian and Albert. He even wrote to Christian himself, declaring that Consuelo desired nothing but the career of a public singer.

But when, after many disappointments and rebuffs, Consuelo at last was appointed to take the prima donna's place for six days at the imperial opera house, she was frightened at the prospect of the toils and struggles before her feverish arena of the theatre seemed to her a place of terror and the Castle of the Giants a lost paradise, an abode of peace and virtue.

Consuelo's triumph at the opera had been indisputable. Her voice was sweeter and richer than when she sang in Venice, and a perfect storm of flowers fell upon the stage at the end of the performance. Amid these perfumed gifts Consuelo saw a green branch fall at her feet, and when the curtain was lowered for the last time she picked it up. It was a bunch of cypress, a symbol of grief and despair.

To add to her distress, she was now conscious that her love for Albert was a reality, and no answer had come from him or from Count Christian to the letters she had sent. Twice in the six days at the opera she had caught a glimpse, so it seemed to her, of Count Albert, but on both occasions the figure had melted away without a word, and unobserved by all at the theatre.

No further engagement followed at the opera, and Consuelo's thoughts turned more and more to the Rudolstadts. If only she could hear from Christian or his son, she would know whether she was free to devote herself absolutely to her art. For she had made her promise to Count Christian that she would send him word should she feel sure of being in love with Albert; and now that word had been sent, and no reply had come.

Porpora, with a promise of an engagement at the royal theatre in Berlin, and anxious to take Consuelo with him, had confessed, in answer to her objection to leaving Vienna before hearing from Christian, that letters had come from the Rudolstadts, which he had destroyed.

"The old count was not at all anxious to have a daughter-in-law picked up behind the scenes," said Porpora, "and so the good Albert sets you at liberty."

Consuelo never suspected her master of this profound deceit, and, taking the story he had invented for truth, signed an agreement to go to Berlin for two months.

IV.--The Return to Bohemia

The carriage containing Porpora and Consuelo had reached the city of Prague, and was on the bridge that spans the Moldau, when a horseman approached and looked in at the window, gazing with a tranquil curiosity. Porpora pushed him back, exclaiming:

"How dare you stare at ladies so closely."

The horseman replied in Bohemian, and Consuelo, seeing his face, called out:

"Is it the Baron Frederick of Rudolstadt?"

"Yes, it is I, signora!" replied the baron, in a dejected tone. "The brother of Christian, the uncle of Albert. And in truth, is it you also?"

The baron accompanied them to a hotel, and there explained to Consuelo that he had received a letter from the canoness, his sister, bidding him, at Albert's request, be on the bridge of Prague at seven o'clock that evening.

"The first carriage that passes you will stop; if the first person you see in it can leave for the castle that same evening, Albert, perhaps, will be saved. At least, he says it will give him a hold on eternal life. I do not know what he means, but he has the gift of prophecy and the perception of hidden things. The doctors have given up all hope for his life."

"Is the carriage ready, sir?" Consuelo said, when the latter was finished. "If so I am ready also, and we can set out instantly."

"I shall follow you," said Porpora. "Only we must be in Berlin in a week's time."

The carriage and horses were already in the courtyard, and in a few minutes the baron and Consuelo were on their journey to the castle of the Rudolstadts.

At the doorway of the castle they were met by the aged canoness, who, seizing Consuelo by the arm, said:

"We have not a moment to lose. Albert begins to grow impatient. He has counted the hours and minutes till your arrival, and announced your approach before we heard the sound of the carriage wheels. He was sure of your coming; but, he said, if any accident detained you, it would be too late. Signora, in the name of Heaven, do not oppose any of his wishes; promise all he asks; pretend to love him. Albert's hours are numbered; his life is close. All we ask of you is to soothe his sufferings." Then, as they approached the great saloon, she added, "Take courage, signora. You need not be afraid of surprising him, for he expects you, and has seen you coming hours ago."

The door opened and Consuelo darted forward to her lover. Albert was seated in a large arm-chair before the fire. It was no longer a man, it was a spectre, Consuelo saw. His face, still beautiful, was as a face of marble. There was no smile on his lips, no ray of joy in his eyes. Consuelo knelt before him; he looked fixedly at her, and then, giving a sign to the canoness, she placed his arms on Consuelo's shoulders. Then she made the young girl lay her head on Albert's breast, and the dying man whispered in her ear: "I am happy." With another sign, he made the canoness understand that she and his father were to kiss his betrothed.

"From my very heart!" exclaimed the canoness, with emotion. The old count who had been holding his brother's hand in one of his and Porpora's in the other, left them to embrace Consuelo fervently.

The doctor urged an immediate marriage.

"I can answer positively for nothing," he said, "but I venture to think much good may come of it. Your excellency consented to this marriage formerly----"

"I always consented to it. I never opposed it," said the count. "It was Master Porpora who wrote to say that he would never consent, and that she likewise had renounced all idea. Alas, it was the death-blow to my unhappy child!"

"Do not grieve," murmured Albert to Consuelo. "I have understood for many days now that you were faithful. I know that you have endeavoured to love me, and have succeeded. But we have been deceived, and you must forgive your master, as I forgive him."

Consuelo looked at Porpora, and the old musician reproached himself for homicide, and burst into tears. Only Consuelo's consent was necessary, and this was given.

The marriage was hastened on. Porpora and the doctor served as witnesses. Albert found strength to pronounce a decisive "Yes," and the other responses in the service in a clear voice, and the family from this felt a new hope for his recovery. Hardly had the chaplain recited the closing prayer over the newly-married couple, before Albert arose and threw himself into his father's arms; then, seating himself again in his arm-chair, he pressed Consuelo to his heart, and exclaimed:

"I am saved!"

"It is nature's last effort," said the doctor.

Albert's arms loosed their hold, and fell forward on his knees. His gaze was riveted on Consuelo; gradually the shade crept from his forehead to his lips, and covered his face with a snowy veil.

"It is the hand of Death!" said the doctor, breaking the silence.

Consuelo would take neither her husband's title nor his riches.

"Stay with us, my daughter?" cried the canoness, "for you have a lofty soul and a great heart!"

But Consuelo tore herself away after the funeral, though her heart was wrung with grief. As she crossed the drawbridge with Porpora, Consuelo did not know that already the old count was dead, and that the Castle of the Giants, with its riches and its sufferings, had become the property of the Countess of Rudolstadt.


It was while George Sand was pleading for a separation from her husband, on the ground of incompatibility of temperament, that "Mauprat" was written, and the powerful story, full of storm, sentiment, and passion, bears the marks of its tumultuous birth.

I.--Bernard Mauprat's Childhood

In the district of Varenne, within a gloomy ravine, stands the ruined castle of Roche-Mauprat. It is a place I never pass at night without some feeling of uneasiness; and now I have just learnt its history from Bernard Mauprat, the last of the line.

Bernard Mauprat is eighty-four and no man is more represented in the province. Passing his house with a friend who knew the old man, we ventured to call, and were received with stately welcome. Later Mauprat told us his story in the following words:

There were formerly two branches of the Mauprat family and I belonged to the elder. My grandfather was that Tristan de Mauprat whose crimes are still remembered. My father was his eldest son, and on his death, which occurred at a shooting party, the only living member of the younger branch, the chevalier, Hubert de Mauprat, a widower with an infant daughter, begged that he might be allowed to adopt me, promising to make me his heir. My grandfather refused the offer, and when I was seven years old and my mother died--poisoned some said by my grandfather--I was carried off by that terrible man to his house at Roche-Mauprat. I only knew afterwards that my father was the only son of Tristan's who had married and that consequently I was the heir to the property.

It was a terrible journey I made with my grandfather but more terrible still was the life led at Roche-Mauprat by Tristan and his eight sons. Beset by creditors, the Mauprats with a dozen peasants and poachers defied the civil laws as they had already broken all moral laws. They formed themselves into a body of adventurers, levying blackmail on the small farms of the neighbourhood, intimidating the tax-collectors and at times not hesitating from petty thefts at fairs. Masters and servants were united in bonds of infamy. Debauchery, extortion, fraud, and cruelty were the precept and example of my youth. All notions of justice were scoffed at, and the civilisation, the light of education, and the philosophy of social equality, then spreading in France and preparing the way for the convulsion of the Revolution, found no entrance at Roche-Mauprat.

The eight sons, the pride and strength of old Mauprat, all resembled him in physical vigour, brutality of manners, and in a cunning ill-nature. They gave themselves the airs of knights of the twelfth century. What elsewhere was called assassination and robbery I was taught to call battle and conquest. The frightful tortures heaped upon prisoners by my uncles gave me a horrible uneasiness, but what kept me from admiring the savagery that surrounded me was the ill-usage I received myself. I grew up without conceiving any liking for vice, but a tendency to hatred was fostered. Of virtue or simple human affection I knew nothing, and a blind and brutal anger was nourished in my breast.

As the years went by Roche-Mauprat became more and more isolated. People left the neighbourhood to escape our violent depredations, and in consequence we had to go farther afield for plunder. I joined in the robberies as a soldier serves in a campaign, but on more than one occasion I helped some unfortunate man who had been knocked down to get up and escape.

My grandfather died when I was fifteen. A year later and so threatened were we by crown officers, private creditors and infuriated peasants, that it was a question of either fleeing the country or bracing ourselves for a decisive struggle, and if needs be finding a grave under the ruins of the castle.

II.--Meet my Cousin Edmée

One night, when wind and rain beat fiercely against the old walls of the castle and I sat at supper with my uncles, a horn was heard at the portcullis. I had been drinking heavily, and boasting that I would make a conquest of the first woman brought to Roche-Mauprat--for I had been rallied on my modesty--when a second blast of the horn announced that it was my Uncle Lawrence bringing in a prize.

"If it is a woman," cried my Uncle Antony, as he went out to the portcullis, "I swear by the soul of my father that she shall be yours, and we'll see if your courage is equal to your conceit."

When the door opened again a woman entered, and one of the Mauprats whispered to me that the young lady had lost her way at a wolf hunt and that Lawrence, meeting her in the forest, had promised to escort her to Rochemaure where she had friends. Never having seen the face of one of my uncles, and little dreaming she was near their haunt, for she had never had a glimpse of Roche-Mauprat, she was led into the castle without having the least suspicion of the trap into which she had fallen. When I beheld this woman, so young and so beautiful, with her expression of calm sincerity and goodness, it seemed to me I was dreaming.

My uncles withdrew, for Antony had pledged his word, and I was left alone with the stranger. For a moment I felt more bewildered and stupefied than pleased. With the fumes of wine in my head I could only suppose this lady was some acquaintance of Lawrence's, and that she had been told of my drunken boast and was willing to put my gallantry to the proof. I got up and bolted and double-locked the door.

She was sitting close to the fire, drying her wet garments, without noticing what I had done. I made up my mind to kiss her, but no sooner had she raised her eyes to mine than this familiarity became impossible. All I could say, was:

"Upon my word, mademoiselle, you are a charming creature, and I love you--as true as my name is Bernard Mauprat."

"Bernard Mauprat!" she cried, springing up; "you are Bernard Mauprat, you? In that case learn to whom you are speaking, and change your manners."

"Really!" I said with a grin, "but let my lips meet yours, and you shall see if I am not as nicely mannered as those uncles of mine."

Her lips grew white. Her agony was manifest in every gesture. I shuddered myself, and was in a state of great perplexity.

This woman was beautiful as the day. I do not believe that there has ever lived a woman as lovely as she. And this was the first trial of her life.

She was my young cousin, Edmée de Mauprat, daughter of M. Hubert de Mauprat, the chevalier. She was of my age, for we were both seventeen, and I ought to have protected her against the world at the peril of my life.

"I swear by Christ," she said, taking my hands in hers, "that I am Edmée, your cousin, your prisoner--yes, and your friend, for I have always felt an interest in you."

Her words were cut short by the report of a gun outside; more shots were heard and the alarm trumpet sounded.

I heard my Uncle Lawrence shouting violently at the door. "Where is that coward? Where is that wretched boy? Bernard, the mounted police are attacking us, and you are amusing yourself by making love while our throats are being cut. Come and help us, Bernard."

"May the devil take the lot of you," I cried, "if I believe a single word of all this."

But the shots rang out louder and for half an hour the fighting was most desperate. Our band amounted to twenty-four all told, and the enemy were fifty soldiers in addition to a score of peasants.

As soon as I learnt that we were really being attacked, I had taken my weapons and done what I called my duty, after leaving Edmée locked in the room.

After three assaults had been repulsed there was a long lull, and I returned to my captive. The fear lest my uncles should get possession of Edmée made me mad. I kept on telling her I loved her and wanted her for myself, and seeing what an animal it was she had to deal with, my cousin made up her mind accordingly. She threw her arms round me, and let me kiss her. "Do you love me?" she asked.

From this moment the victory was hers. The wolf in me was conquered, and the man rose in its place.

"Yes, I love you! Yes, I love you!"

"Well, then," she said distractedly, "let us love each other and escape together."

"Yes; let us escape," I answered. "I loathe this house, and I loathe my uncles. I have long wanted to escape. And yet I shall only be hanged, you know." For I knew I had as much to fear from the besiegers as from the besieged.

"They won't hang you," she rejoined with a laugh; "my betrothed is a lieutenant-general."

"Your betrothed!" I burst out in a fit of jealousy. "You are going to be married?"

"And why not?"

"Swear that you will not marry before I die. Swear that you will be mine sooner than this lieutenant-general's," I cried.

Edmée swore as I asked her, and she made me swear in return that her promise should be a secret. Then I clasped her in my arms, and we remained motionless until fresh shots announced that the fight had begun again. Every moment of delay was dangerous now. I seized a torch, and lifting a trap door made her descend with me to the cellar. Thence we passed into a subterranean passage, and finally hurried forth into the open, holding each other's hands as a sign of mutual trust. I found a horse that had belonged to my grandfather in the forest, and this animal carried us some miles from Roche-Mauprat, before it stumbled and threw us. Edmée was unhurt but my ankle was badly sprained. Fortunately we were near a lonely building called Gayeau Tower, the dwelling place of a remarkable man called Patience, a peasant who was both a hermit and a philosopher, and who, like Edmée, was filled with the new social gospel of Rousseau. Between these two a warm friendship existed.

"The lamb in the company of the wolf," cried Patience when he saw us.

"My friend," replied Edmée, "welcome him as you welcome me. I was a prisoner at Roche-Mauprat, and it was he who rescued me."

At that Patience took me by the arm and led me in. A few days later I was carried to the chateau of the chevalier, M. Hubert de Mauprat, at Sainte-Sévère, and there I learnt that Roche-Mauprat had been taken, that five of my uncles were dead, and that two, John and Antony, had disappeared.

"Bernard," added the chevalier, "I owe to you the life I hold dearest in the world. All my own life shall be devoted to giving you proofs of my gratitude and esteem. Bernard, we are both of us victims of a vicious family. The wrong that has been done you shall be repaired. They have deprived you of education, but your soul has remained pure. Bernard, you will restore the honour of your family, promise me this."

III.--I Go to America and Return

For a long time I am sure my presence was a source of utter discomfort to the kind and venerable chevalier, and to his daughter. I was boorish and illiterate and Edmée was one of the most perfect women to be found in France. She found her happiness in her own family, and the sweetest simplicity crowned her mental powers and lofty virtues. Brute like, at that time I saw her only with the eyes of the body, and believed I loved her because she was beautiful. Her fiance, M. de la Marche, the lieutenant-general, a shallow and frigid Voltairean, understood her but little better. A day came when I could understand her--the day when M. de la Marche could have understood her would never have come.

The first step was taken on my part when I realised that I was ignorant and savage, and I applied to the Abbé Aubert, the chaplain, whose offices I had hitherto despised, to instruct me. I learnt quickly, and soon vanity at my rapid progress became the bane of my life.

With Edmée I was so passionately in love that jealousy would awaken the old brutality that I thought dead, and I would gladly have killed de la Marche in a duel. Then after an outburst remorse would overtake me.

My cousin at last told me plainly that while she would be true to her word, and not marry anyone before me, she would not marry me, and that on her father's death a convent should be her refuge. I knew my boorishness was responsible for this, and resolved to leave her.

Lafayette was taking out volunteers to help the United States in their war of independence. I told him I would go with him, and crossed hastily into Spain, whence he was going to sail to America.

I left a note to my uncle, and wrote to Edmée that, as far as I was concerned, she was free, and that, while I would not thwart a wish of hers, it was impossible for me to witness a rival's triumph.

Before we sailed came the following reply from Edmée:

"You have done well, Bernard. Go where honour and love of truth call you. Return when your mission is accomplished; you will find me neither married nor in a convent."

I cannot describe the American war. I stayed till peace was declared, and then chafing at my long absence from France, for I was away six years--and more in love with Edmée than ever, at last set sail and in due time landed at Brest.

I had not sent any letter to announce my coming, and when I reached the Château of Sainte-Sévère I almost feared to cross the threshold. Then I rushed forward and entered the drawing room. The chevalier was asleep and did not wake. Edmée, bending over her tapestry, did not hear my steps.

For a few seconds I stood looking at her, then I fell at her feet without being able to say a word. She uttered no cry, no exclamation of surprise, but took my head in her two arms, and held it for sometime pressed to her bosom. The good chevalier, who had waked with a start, stared at us in astonishment; then he said:

"Well, well! what is the meaning of this?"

He could not see my face, hidden as it was in Edmée's breast. She pushed me towards him, and the old man clasped me in his feeble arms with a burst of generous affection.

Never shall I forget the welcome they gave me. An immense change had taken place in me during those years of the war. I had learnt to bring my instincts and desires into harmony with my affections, my reason, and I had greatly developed my power of acquiring learning.

Edmée was not surprised at my intellectual progress, but she rejoiced at it. I had shown it in my letters, she said.

My good uncle, the chevalier, now took a real liking for me, and where formerly natural generosity and family pride had made him adopt me, a genuine sympathy made him give me his friendship. He did not disguise from me that his great desire, before falling into the sleep that knows no waking, was to see me married to Edmée; and when I told him this was the one wish of my soul, the one thought of my life, he said:

"I know, I know. Everything depends on her, and I think she can no longer have any reasons for hesitation.... At all events," he added, "I cannot see any that she could allege at present."

From these words I concluded that he himself had long been favourable to my suit, and that any obstacle which might exist lay with Edmée. But so much did I stand in awe of Edmée's sensitive pride and her unspeakable goodness that I dared not ask her point-blank to decide my fate. M. de la Marche I knew had left France, and all thought of an engagement on his part with Edmée was at an end. In a proud struggle to conceal the poverty of his estate, all his fortune had gone, and he had not been long in following me to America.

The chevalier insisted on my visiting my property of Roche-Mauprat. Thanks to my uncle, great improvements had been accomplished in my absence, and the land was being well cultivated by good tenants. I knew that I ought not to neglect my duty, and though I had not set foot on the accursed soil since the day I left it with Edmée, I set out and was away two days.

I stayed in the gloomy old house and the only remarkable thing about the visit was that I had a vision of my wicked uncle John Mauprat.

IV.--My Trial and Happiness

We had gone on a hunting party one day after my return, and Edmée and I were separated from the rest. Somehow the old unbridled passions rose up within me and I succeeded in affronting Edmée with my fierce speech. Then I hastened away, ashamed and fearful.

I had not gone more than thirty paces when I heard the report of a gun from the spot where I had left Edmée. I stopped, petrified with horror, and then retraced my steps. Edmée was lying on the ground, rigid and bathed in blood. Patience was standing by her side with his arms crossed on his breast, and his face livid. For myself, I could not understand what was taking place. I fancy that my brain, already bewildered by my previous emotions, must have been paralyzed. I sat down on the ground by Edmée's side. She had been shot in the breast in two places, and the Abbé Aubert was endeavouring to staunch the blood with his handkerchief.

"Dead, dead," said Patience, "and there is the murderer! She said so as she gave up her pure soul to God; and Patience will avenge her! It is very hard but it must be so! It is God's will, since I alone was here to learn the truth!"

"Horrible, horrible!" exclaimed the Abbé.

Edmée was carried away to the chateau, and I followed and for several days remained in a state of prostration. When strength and consciousness returned I learnt that she was not dead, but that everybody believed me guilty of attempted murder. Patience himself told me the only thing for me to do was to leave that part of the country. I swore I was innocent and would not be saddled with the crime.

Then, one evening, I saw mounted police in the courtyard.

"Good!" I said, "let my destiny take its course." But before quitting the house, perhaps forever, I wished to see Edmée again for the last time. I walked straight to her room, and there I found the Abbé and the doctor. I heard the latter declare that the wounds in themselves were not mortal, and the only danger was from a violent disturbance in the brain.

I approached the bed, and took Edmée's cold and lifeless hand. I kissed it a last time, and, without saying a single word to the others, went and gave myself up to the police.

I was immediately thrown into prison and in a few days my trial began at the assizes. I was convicted, but through the efforts of certain friends a revision of my sentence was granted, and I was allowed a new trial.

At this trial Patience appeared and declared that, while he had believed from what Edmée had said that I was guilty, it had come into his head that some other Mauprat might have fired the shot. It appeared that John Mauprat was now living in the neighbourhood, as a penitent Trappist monk, and he had been seen in company with another monk who was not to be found since the attack on Edmée. "So I put myself on the track of this wandering monk," Patience concluded, "and I have discovered who he is. He is the would-be murderer of Edmée de Mauprat, and his name is Antony Mauprat."

It then turned out that Antony's plot was to kill Edmée, get me hanged for the murder, and then, when the chevalier was dead, claim the estates. John Mauprat knew of his brother's intentions but denied all complicity and was eventually sent back to his monastery. Antony was subsequently convicted and broken on the wheel.

But before I was finally acquitted Edmée herself gave evidence for me. She was still far from well but answered clearly all the irritating and maddening questions that were put to her. When she said to the president of the court, "Everything which to you seems inexplicable in my conduct finds its justification in one word: I love him!" I could not help crying out, "Let them take me to the scaffold now; I am king of all the earth."

But as I have said, it was proved that Antony Mauprat was the criminal; and no sooner was I acquitted and set at liberty, with my character completely cleared, than I hastened to Edmée.

I arrived in time to witness my great-uncle's last moments. He recognised me, clasped me to his breast, blessed me at the same time as Edmée, and put my hand into his daughter's.

After we had paid the last tribute of affection to our noble and excellent relative, we left the province for sometime and paid a visit to Switzerland, Patience and the Abbé Aubert bearing us company.

At the end of Edmée's mourning we returned. This was the time that had been fixed for our marriage, which was duly celebrated in the village chapel.

The years of happiness with my wife beggar description. She was the only woman I ever loved, and though she has now been dead ten years I feel her loss as keenly as on the first day, and seek only to make myself worthy of rejoining her in a better world after I have completed my probation here.


Tom Cringle's Log

Michael Scott was a merchant who turned an unquestioned literary faculty to excellent account. Born at Cowlairs, near Glasgow, Scotland, Oct. 30, 1789, at the age of seventeen Scott was sent to Jamaica to manage a small estate of his father's, and a few years later entered business at Kingstown. Both of these occupations necessitated frequent journeys, by land and by sea, and the experiences gained thereby form the basis of "Tom Cringle's Log." The story appeared anonymously at intermittent intervals in "Blackwood's Magazine" (1829-33), being published in book form in 1834. Its authorship was attributed, among others, to Captain Marryatt, and so successfully did Scott himself conceal his identity with it that the secret was not known until after his death, which occurred at Glasgow on November 7, 1835. Of its kind, "Tom Cringle's Log" is a veritable masterpiece. Humour and pathos and gorgeous descriptions are woven into a thrilling narrative. Scott wrote many other things beside "Tom Cringle," but only one story, "The Cruise of the Midge" (1836), is in any way comparable with his first and most famous romance.

I.--The Quenching of the Torch

The evening was closing in dark and rainy, with every appearance of a gale from the westward, and the red and level rays of the setting sun flashed on the black hull and tall spars of his Britannic Majesty's sloop Torch. At the distance of a mile or more lay a long, warlike-looking craft, rolling heavily and silently in the trough of the sea.

A flash was seen; the shot fell short, but close to us, evidently thrown from a heavy cannon.

Mr. Splinter, the first lieutenant, jumped from the gun he stood on, and dived into the cabin to make his report.

Captain Deadeye was a staid, wall-eyed veteran, with his coat of a regular Rodney cut, broad skirts, long waist, and stand-up collar, over which dangled either a queue, or marlinspike with a tuft of oakum at the end of it--it would have puzzled old Nick to say which. His lower spars were cased in tight unmentionables of what had once been white kerseymere, and long boots, the coal-scuttle tops of which served as scuppers to carry off the drainings from his coat-flaps in bad weather; he was, in fact, the "last of the sea-monsters," but, like all his tribe, as brave as steel, and, when put to it, as alert as a cat.

He no sooner heard Splinter's report, than he sprang up the ladder.

"Clear away the larboard guns!" I absolutely jumped off the deck with astonishment--who could have spoken it? The enemy was a heavy American frigate, and it appeared such downright madness to show fight under the very muzzles of her guns, half a broadside from which was sufficient to sink us. It was the captain, however, and there was nothing for it but to obey.

"Now, men, mind your aim; our only chance is to wing him." The men--with cutlasses buckled round their waists, and many with nothing but their trousers on--instinctively cheered. Blaze went our cannonades and long gun in succession, and down came the fore-topsail; the head of the topmast had been shot away. "That will do; now knock off, my boys, and let us run for it. Make all sail."

Jonathan was for an instant paralysed by our impudence; but he yawed and let drive his whole broadside; and fearfully did it transmogrify us. Half an hour before we were as gay a little sloop as ever floated, with a crew of 120 as fine fellows as ever manned a British man-of-war. The iron-shower sped--ten of the 120 never saw the sun rise again; 17 more were wounded, three mortally; our hull and rigging were regularly cut to pieces.

But we had the start, crippled and be-devilled though we were; and as the night fell, we contrived to lose sight of our large friend, and pursue our voyage to Jamaica.

A week later, and the hurricane fell upon us. Our chainplates, strong fastenings, and clenched bolts, drew like pliant wires, shrouds and stays were torn away, and our masts and spars were blown clean out of the ship into the sea. Had we shown a shred of the strongest sail in the vessel, it would have been blown out of the bolt-rope in an instant. With four men at the wheel, one watch at the pumps, and the other clearing the wreck, we had to get her before the wind.

Our spirits were soon dashed, when the old carpenter, one of the coolest and bravest men in the ship, rose through the forehatch pale as a ghost, with his white hairs streaming out in the wind. He did not speak to any of us, but clambered aft, towards the capstan, to which the captain had lashed himself.

"The water is rushing in forward like a mill-stream, sir; she is fast settling down by the head."

The brig, was, indeed, rapidly losing her buoyancy.

"Stand by, to heave the guns overboard."

Too late, too late! Oh, God, that cry! I was stunned and drowning, a chaos of wreck was beneath me and around me and above me, and blue, agonised, gasping faces and struggling arms, and colourless clutching hands, and despairing yells for help, where help was impossible; when I felt a sharp bite on the neck, and breathed again. My Newfoundland dog, Sneezer, had snatched at me, and dragged me out of the eddy of the sinking vessel.

For life, dear life, nearly suffocated, amidst the hissing spray, we reached the cutter, the dog and his helpless master.

For three miserable days I had been exposed, half naked and bareheaded, in an open boat, without water, or food, or shade. The third fierce West Indian noon was long passed, and once more the dry, burning sun sank in the west, like a red hot shield of iron. I glared on the noble dog as he lay at the bottom of the boat, and would have torn at his throat with my teeth, not for food, but that I might drink his hot blood; but as he turned his dull, gray, glazing eye on me, the pulses of my heart stopped, and I fell senseless.

When my recollection returned, I was stretched on some fresh plantain leaves, in a low, smoky hut, with my faithful dog lying beside me, whining and licking my hands and face. Underneath the joists, that bound the rafters of the roof together, lay a corpse, wrapped in a boatsail, on which was clumsily written with charcoal, "The body of John Deadeye, Esq., late commander of his Britannic Majesty's sloop Torch."

There was a fire on the floor, at which Lieutenant Splinter, in his shirt and trousers, drenched, unshorn, and death-like, was roasting a joint of meat, whilst a dwarfish Indian sat opposite to him fanning the flame with a palm-leaf. I had been nourished during my delirium; for the fierceness of my sufferings were assuaged, and I was comparatively strong. I anxiously inquired of the lieutenant the fate of our shipmates.

"All gone down in the old Torch; and had it not been for the launch and our four-footed friend there, I should not have been here to have told it. All that the sharks have left of the captain and five seamen came ashore last night. I have buried the poor fellows on the beach where they lay, as well as I could, with an oar-blade for a shovel, and the bronze ornament there," pointing to the Indian, "for an assistant."

II.--Perils on Land

I was awakened by the low growling and short bark of the dog. The night was far spent, and the amber rays of the yet unrisen sun were shooting up in the east.

"That's a musket shot," said the lieutenant. The Indian crept to the door, and placed his open palms behind his ears. The distant wail of a bugle was heard, then three or four dropping shots again, in rapid succession. Mr. Splinter stooped to go forth, but the Indian caught him by the leg, uttering the single word "Espanoles" (Spaniards).

On the instant a young Indian woman, with a shrieking infant in her arms, rushed to the door. There was a blue gunshot wound in her neck, and her features were sharpened as if in the agony of death. Another shot, and the child's small, shrill cry blended with the mother's death shriek; falling backwards the two rolled over the brow of the hill out of sight. The ball had pierced the heart of the parent through the body of her offspring. By this time a party of Spanish soldiers had surrounded the hut, one of whom, kneeling before the low door, pointed his musket into it. The Indian, who had seen his wife and child shot down before his face, fired his rifle and the man fell dead.

Half a dozen musket balls were now fired at random through the wattles of the hut, while the lieutenant, who spoke Spanish well, sung out lustily that we were English officers who had been shipwrecked.

"Pirates!" growled the officer of the party. "Pirates leagued with Indian bravos; fire the hut, soldiers, and burn the scoundrels!"

There was no time to be lost; Mr. Splinter made a vigorous attempt to get out, in which I seconded him with all the strength that remained to me, but they beat us back again with the butts of their muskets.

"Where are your commissions, your uniforms, if you be British officers?" We had neither, and our fate appeared inevitable.

The doorway was filled with brushwood, fire was set to the hut, and we heard the crackling of the palm thatch, while thick, stifling white smoke burst in upon us through the roof.

"Lend a hand, Tom, now or never." We laid our shoulders to the end wall, and heaved at it with all our might; when we were nearly at our last gasp it gave way, and we rushed headlong into the middle of the party, followed by Sneezer, with his shaggy coat, full of clots of tar, blazing like a torch. He unceremoniously seized, par le queue, the soldier who had throttled me, setting fire to the skirts of his coat, and blowing up his cartridge-box. I believe, under Providence, that the ludicrousness of this attack saved us from being bayoneted on the spot. It gave time for Mr. Splinter to recover his breath, when, being a powerful man, he shook off the two soldiers who had seized him, and dashed into the burning hut again. I thought he was mad, especially when I saw him return with his clothes and hair on fire, dragging out the body of the captain. He unfolded the sail it was wrapped up in, and pointing to the remains of the naval uniform in which the mutilated corpse was dressed, he said sternly to the officer, "We are in your power, and you may murder us if you will; but that was my captain four days ago, and you see at least he was a British officer--satisfy yourself."

The person he addressed, a handsome young Spaniard, shuddered at the horrible spectacle.

When he saw the crown and anchor, and his Majesty's cipher on the appointments of the dead officer, he became convinced of our quality, and changed his tone.

"'Tis true, he is an Englishman. But, gentlemen, were there not three persons in the hut?"

There were, indeed, and the Indian perished in the flames, making no attempt to escape.

The officer, who belonged to the army investing Carthagena, now treated us with great civility; he heard our story, and desired his men to assist us in burying the remains of our late commander.

We stayed that night with the captain of the outpost, who received us very civilly at a temporary guard-house, and apologised for the discomfort under which we must pass the night. He gave us the best he had, and that was bad enough, both of food and wine, before showing us into the hut, where we found a rough deal coffin, lying on the very bench that was to be our bed. This he ordered away with all the coolness in the world, saying, "It was only one of his people who had died that morning of yellow fever."

"Comfortable country this," quoth Splinter, "and a pleasant morning we have had of it, Tom!"

III.--The Piccaroon

From the Spanish headquarters at Torrecilla we were allowed to go to the village of Turbaco, a few miles distant from the city for change of air.

"Why, Peter," said Mr. Splinter, addressing a negro who sat mending his jacket in one of the enclosures near the water gate of the arsenal, "don't you know me?"

"Cannot say dat I do," rejoined the negro, very gravely. "Have not de honour of your acquaintance, sir."

"Confound you, sir! But I know you well enough, my man; and you can scarcely have forgotten Lieutenant Splinter of the Torch, one would think?"

The name so startled the poor fellow, that in his hurry to unlace his legs, as he sat tailor-fashion, he fairly capsized and toppled down on his nose.

"Eh!--no--yes, him sure enough! And who is de piccaniny hofficer? Oh! I see, Massa Tom Cringle! Where have you dropped from, gentlemen? Where is de old Torch? Many a time hab I, Peter Mangrove, pilot to him Britannic Majesty's squadron, taken de old brig in and through amongst de keys at Port Royal."

"She will never give you that trouble again, my boy--foundered--all hands lost, Peter, but the two you see before you."

"Werry sorry, Massa 'Plinter, werry sorry. What? de black cook's-mate and all? But misfortune can't be help. Stop till I put up my needle, and I will take a turn wid you. Proper dat British hofficers in distress should assist one anoder--we shall consult togeder. How can I serve you?"

"Why, Peter, if you could help us to a passage to Port Royal, it would be serving us most essentially. Here we have been for more than a month, without a single vessel belonging to the station having looked in; our money is running short, and in another six weeks we shall not have a shot left in the locker."

The negro looked steadfastly at us, and then carefully around before he answered.

"You see, Massa 'Plinter, I am desirable to serve you; it is good for me at present to make some friend wid the hofficer of de squadron, being as how dat I am absent widout leave. If you will promise dat you will stand my friends, I will put you in de way of getting a shove across to de east end of Jamaica; and I will go wid you, too, for company. But you must promise dat you will not seek to know more of de vessel, nor of her crew, than dey are willing to tell you, provided you are landed safe."

Mr. Splinter agreed and presently Peter Mangrove went off in a canoe to a large, shallow vessel, to reappear with another blackamoor, of as ungainly an exterior as could well be imagined.

"Pray, sir, are you the master of that vessel?" said the lieutenant.

"No, sir, I am the mate; and I learn you are desirous of a passage to Jamaica." This was spoken with a broad Scotch accent.

"Yes, we do," said I, in very great astonishment; "but we will not sail with the devil; and who ever saw a negro Scotchman before?"

The fellow laughed. "I am black, as you see; so were my father and mother before me. But I was born in the good town of Glasgow, notwithstanding; and many a voyage I have made as cabin-boy and cook with worthy old Jock Hunter. But here comes our captain. Captain Vanderbosh, here are two shipwrecked British officers who wish to be put ashore in Jamaica; will you take them, and what will you charge for their passage?"

The man he spoke to was a sun-burnt, iron-visaged veteran.

"Vy for von hundred thaler I will land dem safe in de bay."

The bargain was ratified, and that same evening we set sail. When off the San Domingo Gate two boats full of men joined us, and our crew was strengthened by about forty as ugly Christians, of all ages and countries, as I ever set eyes on. From the moment they came on board Captain Vanderbosh sank into the petty officer, and the Scottish negro took the command, evincing great coolness, energy, and skill.

When night had fallen the captain made out a sail to windward. Immediately every inch of canvas was close furled, every light carefully extinguished, a hundred and twenty men with cutlasses at quarters, and the ship under bare poles. The strange sail could be seen through the night-glasses; she now burned a blue light--without doubt an old fellow-cruiser of ours, the Spark.

"She is from Santa Martha with a freight of specie, I know," said Williamson. "I will try a brush with her."

"I know the craft," Splinter struck in, "a heavy vessel of her class, and you may depend on hard knocks and small profit if you do take her; while, if she takes you----"

"I'll be hanged if she does," said Williamson, and he grinned at the conceit; "or, rather, I will blow the schooner up with my own hand before I strike; better that than have one's bones bleached in chains on a quay at Port Royal. But you cannot control us, gentlemen; so get down below, and take Peter Mangrove with you. I would not willingly see those come to harm who have trusted me."

However, there was no shot flying as yet, and we stayed on deck. All sail was once more made, and presently the cutter saw us, tacked, and stood towards us. Her commander hailed: "Ho, the brigantine, ahoy! What schooner is that?"

"Spanish schooner, Caridad," sung out Williamson.

"Heave-to, and send your boat on board."

"We have none that will swim, sir."

"Very well, bring to, and I will send mine."

We heard the splash of the jolly-boat touching the water; then the measured stroke of the oars, and a voice calling out, "Give way, my lads."

The character of the vessel we were on board of was now evident; and the bitter reflection that we were, as it were, chained to the stake on board of a pirate, on the eve of a fierce contest with one of our own cruisers, was aggravated by the consideration that a whole boat's crew would be sacrificed before a shot was fired.

The officer in the boat had no sooner sprung on board than he was caught by two strong hands, gagged, and thrown down the main hatchway.

"Heave," cried a voice, "and with a will!" and four cold 32-pound shot were hove at once into the boat alongside, which, crashing through her bottom, swamped her in a moment, precipitating the miserable crew into the boiling sea. Their shrieks rang in my ears as they clung to the oars and some loose planks of the boat.

"Bring up the officer, and take out the gag," said Williamson.

Poor Malcolm, who had been an old messmate of mine, was now dragged to the gangway, his face bleeding, and heavily ironed, when the blackamoor, clapping a pistol to his head, bade him, as he feared instant death, hail the cutter for another boat.

The young midshipman turned his pale mild countenance upwards as he said firmly, "Never!" The miscreant fired, and he fell dead.

"Fire!" The whole broadside was poured in, and we could hear the shot rattle and tear along the cutter's deck, and the shrieks and groans of the wounded.

We now ranged alongside, and close action commenced; never do I expect to see such an infernal scene again. Up to this moment all had been coolness and order on board the pirate; but when the yards locked, the crew broke loose from all control--they ceased to be men--they were demons, for they threw their own dead and wounded indiscriminately down the hatchways, to get clear of them. They had stripped themselves almost naked; and although they fought with the most desperate courage, yelling and cursing, each in his own tongue, yet their very numbers, pent up in a small vessel, were against them. Amidst the fire and smoke we could see that the deck had become a very shamble; and unless they soon carried the cutter by boarding, it was clear that the coolness and discipline of the service must prevail. The pirates seemed aware of this themselves, for they now made a desperate attempt at boarding, led on by the black captain. While the rush forward was being made, by a sudden impulse, Splinter and I, followed by Peter, scrambled from our shelter, and in our haste jumped down, knocking over the man at the wheel.

There was no time to be lost; if any of the crew came aft we were dead men; so we tumbled down through the cabin skylight, and stowed ourselves away in the side berths. The noise on deck soon ceased--the cannon were again plied--gradually the fire slackened, and we could hear that the pirate had scraped clear and escaped. Some time after this, the lieutenant commanding the cutter came down. We both knew him well, and he received us cordially.

In a week we were landed at Port Royal.

I was a midshipman when I began my log, but before I finally left the West Indies I was promoted to the rank of commander, and appointed to the Lotus Leaf, under orders for England.

Before I set sail, however, I was married to my cousin Mary in Jamaica; and when we got to Old England, where the Lotus Leaf was paid off, I settled for a time on shore, the happiest, etc., until some years afterwards, when the wee Cringles began to tumble home so fast that I had to cut and run, and once more betake myself to the salt sea.


The Antiquary

Sir Walter Scott was born in Edinburgh on August 15, 1771. As a child he was feeble and sickly, and very early he was smitten with lameness which remained with him through life, although he matured into a man of robust health. He was educated for the law, which he began to practise in 1792. Although he had fair success in his profession, he soon began to occupy his leisure time with literature, and his first work was published in 1796. The first of the "Waverley" series made its appearance anonymously in 1814. As the series progressed, it became known that Walter Scott was the author of the famous novels, and he became the idol of the hour. In 1820 a baronetcy was bestowed upon him. Six years later he joined an old friend in the establishment of a large printing and publishing business in Edinburgh, but the venture was not successful, and Scott soon found himself a bankrupt. Here his manhood and proud integrity were most nobly shown. With stern and unfaltering resolution, he set himself to the task of paying his debts from the profits of his pen. Within a space of two years he realised for his creditors the amazing sum of nearly forty thousand pounds, but the limits of endurance had been reached, and in 1830 he was smitten down with paralysis, from which he never thoroughly rallied. He died at Abbotsford on September 31, 1832. As a lyrist Scott especially excelled, and as a novelist he takes rank among the foremost. Although many of his works are lax and careless in structure, yet if a final test in greatness in the field of novel writing be the power to vitalise character, very few writers can be held to surpass Sir Walter Scott. According to Basil Hall, "The Antiquary" was Scott's own favourite romance. It was published in May, 1816, the third of the Waverley Novels, and in it the author intended to illustrate the manners of Scotland during the last ten years of the eighteenth century. "I have been more solicitous," he writes, "to describe manners minutely, than to arrange in any case an artificial and combined narrative, and have but to regret that I felt myself unable to unite these two requisites of a good novel." Scott took considerable pains to point out that old Edie Ochiltree, the wandering mendicant with his blue gown, was by no means to be confounded with the utterly degraded class of beings who now practise that wandering trade. Although "The Antiquary" was not so well received on its first appearance as "Waverley" or "Guy Mannering," it soon rose to equal, and with some readers, superior popularity.

I.--Travelling Companions

It was early on a fine summer's day, near the end of the eighteenth century, when a young man of genteel appearance, journeying towards the north-east of Scotland, provided himself with a ticket in one of those public carriages which travel between Edinburgh and the Queensferry, at which place there is a passage-boat for crossing the Firth of Forth.

The young gentleman was soon joined by a companion, a good-looking man of the age of sixty, perhaps older, but his hale complexion and firm step announced that years had not impaired his strength of health. This senior traveller, Mr. Jonathan Oldenbuck (by popular contraction Oldbuck), of Monkbarns, was the owner of a small property in the neighbourhood of a thriving seaport town on the north-eastern coast of Scotland, which we shall denominate Fairport. His tastes were antiquarian, his wishes very moderate. The burghers of the town regarded him with a sort of envy, as one who affected to divide himself from their rank in society, and whose studies and pleasures seemed to them alike incomprehensible. Some habits of hasty irritation he had contracted, partly from an early disappointment in love, but yet more by the obsequious attention paid to him by his maiden sister and his orphan niece.

Mr. Oldbuck, finding his fellow-traveller an interested and intelligent auditor, plunged at once into a sea of discussion concerning urns, vases, and Roman camps, and when they reached Queensferry, and stopped for dinner at the inn, he at once made some advances towards ascertaining the name, destination, and quality of his young companion.

His name, the young gentleman said, was Lovel. His father was a north of England gentleman. He was at present travelling to Fairport, and if he found the place agreeable, might perhaps remain there for some weeks.

"Was Mr. Lovel's excursion solely for pleasure?"

"Not entirely."

"Perhaps on business with some of the commercial people of Fairport?"

"It was partly on business, but had no reference to commerce."

Here he paused, and Mr. Oldbuck, having pushed his inquiries as far as good manners permitted, was obliged to change the conversation.

The mutual satisfaction which they found in each other's society induced Mr. Oldbuck to propose, and Lovel willingly to accept, a scheme for travelling together to the end of their journey. A postchaise having been engaged, they arrived at Fairport about two o'clock on the following day.

Lovel probably expected that his travelling companion would have invited him to dinner on his arrival; but his consciousness of a want of ready preparation for unexpected guests prevented Oldbuck from paying him that attention. He only begged to see him as early as he could make it convenient to call in a forenoon, and recommended him to a widow who had apartments to let.

A few days later, when his baggage had arrived from Edinburgh, Mr. Lovel went forth to pay his respects at Monkbarns, and received a cordial welcome from Mr. Oldbuck. They parted the best of friends, but the antiquary was still at a loss to know what this well-informed young man, without friends, connections, or employment, could have to do as a resident at Fairport. Neither port wine nor whist had apparently any charms for him. A coffee-room was his detestation, and he had as few sympathies with the tea-table. There was never a Master Lovel of whom so little positive was known, but nobody knew any harm of him.

"A decent, sensible lad," said the Laird of Monkbarns to himself, when these particulars of Lovel had been reported to him. "He scorns to enter into the fooleries and nonsense of these idiot people at Fairport. I must do something for him--I must give him a dinner, and I will write to Sir Arthur to come to Monkbarns to meet him. I must consult my womankind."

Accordingly, such consultation having been held, the following letter was sent to Sir Arthur Wardour, of Knockwinnock Castle:

"Dear Sir Arthur,--On Tuesday, the 17th inst, I hold a symposium at Monkbarns, and pray you to assist thereat, at four o'clock precisely. If my fair enemy, Miss Isabel, can and will honour us by accompanying you, my womankind will be but too proud. I have a young acquaintance to make known to you, who is touched with some stain of a better spirit than belong to these giddy-paced times, reveres his elders, and has a pretty notion of the classics. And as such a youth must have a natural contempt for the people about Fairport, I wish to show him some rational as well as worshipful society. I am, dear Sir Arthur, etc., etc."

In reply to this, at her father's request, Miss Wardour intimated, "her own and Sir Arthur's compliments, and that they would have the honour of waiting upon Mr. Oldbuck. Miss Wardour takes this opportunity to renew her hostility with Mr. Oldbuck, on account of his long absence from Knockwinnock, where his visits give so much pleasure."

II.--The Treacherous Sands

Sir Arthur and his daughter had set out, on leaving Monkbarns, to return to Knockwinnock by the turnpike road; but when they discerned Lovel a little before them Miss Wardour immediately proposed to her father that they should take another direction, and walk home by the sands.

Sir Arthur acquiesced willingly, and the two left the high road, and soon attained the side of the ocean. The tide was by no means so far out as they had computed; but this gave them no alarm; there was seldom ten days in the year when it approached so near the cliffs as not to leave a dry passage.

As they advanced together in silence a sudden change of weather made Miss Wardour draw close to her father. As the sun sank the wind rose, and the mass of waters began to lift itself in larger ridges, and sink in deeper furrows. Presently, through the drizzling rain, they saw a figure coming towards them, whom Sir Arthur recognised as the old blue-gowned beggar, Edie Ochiltree.

"Turn back! Turn back!" exclaimed the vagrant. "The tide is running on Halket-head, like the Fall of Fyers! We will maybe get back by Ness Point yet. The Lord help us--it's our only chance! We can but try."

The waves had now encroached so much upon the beach, that the firm and smooth footing which they had hitherto had on the sand must be exchanged for a rougher path close to the foot of the precipice, and in some places even raised upon its lower ledges. It would have been utterly impossible for Sir Arthur Wardour or his daughter to have found their way along these shelves without the guidance and encouragement of the beggar, who had been there before in high tides, though never, he acknowledged, "in sae awsome a night as this."

It was indeed a dreadful evening. The howling of the storm mingled with the shrieks of the sea-fowl. Each minute the raging tide gained ground perceptibly. The three still struggled forward; but at length they paused upon the highest ledge of rock to which they could attain, for it seemed that any farther attempt to advance could only serve to anticipate their fate.

The fearful pause gave Isabella Wardour time to collect the powers of a mind naturally strong and courageous.

"Must we yield life," she said, "without a struggle? Is there no path, however dreadful, by which we could climb the crag?"

"I was a bold cragsman," said Ochiltree, "once in my life; but it's lang syne, and nae mortal could speel them without a rope. But there was a path here ance--His name be praised!" he ejaculated suddenly, "there's ane coming down the crag e'en now! there's ane coming down the crag e'en now!" Then, exalting his voice, he halloo'd out to the daring adventurer such instructions as his former practice forced upon his mind.

The adventurer, following the directions of old Edie, flung him down the end of the rope, which he secured around Miss Wardour. Then, availing himself of the rope, which was made fast at the other end, Ochiltree began to ascent the face of the crag, and after one or two perilous escapes, was safe on the broad flat stone beside our friend Lovel. Their joint strength was able to raise Isabella to the place of safety which they had attained, and the next thing was to raise Sir Arthur beyond the reach of the billows.

The prospect of passing a tempestuous night upon a precipitous piece of rock, where the spray of the billows flew high enough to drench them, filled old Ochiltree with apprehension for Miss Wardour.

"I'll climb up the cliff again," said Lovel, "and call for more assistance."

"If ye gang, I'll gang too," said the bedesman.

"Hark! hark!" said Lovel. "Did I not hear a halloo?"

The unmistakable shout of human voices from above was soon augmented, and the gleam of torches appeared.

On the verge of the precipice an anxious group had now assembled. Oldbuck was the foremost and most earnest, pressing forward with unwonted desperation to the very brink of the crag. Some fishermen had brought with them the mast of a boat, and this was soon sunk in the ground and sufficiently secured. A yard, across the upright mast, and a rope stretched along it, and reeved through a block at each end, formed an extempore crane, which afforded the means of lowering an arm-chair down to the flat shelf on which the sufferers had roosted.

Lovel bound Miss Wardour to the back and arms of the chair, while Ochiltree kept Sir Arthur quiet.

"What are ye doing wi' my bairn? She shall not be separated from me! Isabel, stay with me, I command you!"

"Farewell, my father!" murmured Isabella; "farewell, my--my friends!" and, shutting her eyes, she gave the signal to Lovel, and he to those who were above.

A loud shout announced the success of the experiment. The chair was again lowered, and Sir Arthur made fast in it; and after Sir Arthur had been landed safe and sound, old Ochiltree was brought up; finally Lovel was safely grounded upon the summit of the cliff. As he recovered from a sort of half-swoon, occasioned by the giddiness of the ascent, he cast his eyes eagerly around. The object for which they sought was already in the act of vanishing. Her white garment was just discernible as she followed on the path which her father had taken. She had lingered till she saw the last of their company rescued from danger, but Lovel was not aware that she had expressed in his fate even this degree of interest.

III.--The Duel

Some few weeks after the perilous escape from the tide, Sir Arthur invited Mr. Lovel and the Monkbarns family to join him on a visit to the ruins of a certain priory in the neighbourhood. Lovel at once accepted, and Mr. Oldbuck decided that there would be room for his niece in a postchaise. This niece, Mary M'Intyre, like her brother Hector, was an orphan. They were the offspring of a sister of Monkbarns, who had married one Captain M'Intyre, a Highlander. Both parents being dead, the son and daughter were left to the charge of Mr. Oldbuck. The nephew was now a captain in the army, the niece had her home at Monkbarns.

All went happily at Sir Arthur's party at the ruins, until the unexpected arrival of Hector M'Intyre. This newcomer, a handsome young man about five-and-twenty, had ridden to Monkbarns, and learning his uncle's absence had come straight on to join the company. On his introduction to Lovel the young soldier bowed with more reserve than cordiality, and Lovel was equally frigid and haughty in return.

Miss Wardour's obvious determination not to allow Captain M'Intyre an opportunity for private conversation with her drove Hector to speak to his sister.

"Pray who is this Mr. Lovel, whom our old uncle has at once placed so high in his good graces?"

"If you mean how Mr. Lovel comes to visit at Monkbarns you must ask my uncle; and you must know that Mr. Lovel rendered Miss Wardour and him a service of the most important kind."

"What! that romantic story is true, then? And does the valorous knight aspire to the hand of the young lady whom he redeemed from peril? I did think that she was uncommonly dry to me as we walked together."

"Dear Hector," said his sister, "do not continue to nourish any affection for Miss Wardour. Your perseverance is hopeless. Above all, do not let this violent temper of yours lead you to lose the favour of our uncle, who has hitherto been all that is kind and paternal to us."

Captain M'Intyre promised to behave civilly, and returned to the company.

On Lovel mentioning, in the course of conversation, that he was an officer in a certain regiment, M'Intyre could not refrain from declaring that he knew the officers of that regiment, and had never heard of the name of Lovel.

Lovel blushed deeply, and taking a letter out of an envelope, handed it to M'Intyre. The latter acknowledged the handwriting of General Sir ----, but remarked that the address was missing.

"The address, Captain M'Intyre," answered Lovel, "shall be at your service whenever you choose to inquire after it."

"I certainly shall not fail to do so," rejoined Hector.

The party broke up, Lovel returned to Fairport, and early next morning was waited upon by a military friend of Captain M'Intyre. Upon Lovel declining to give his name the captain insisted on his fighting, and that very evening the duel was arranged to take place in a valley close by the ruins of St. Ruth.

Captain M'Intyre's ball grazed the side of his opponent, but did not draw blood. That of Lovel was more true, and M'Intyre reeled and fell.

The grasp of old Ochiltree, who had appeared on the scene, roused Lovel to movement, and leaving M'Intyre to the care of a surgeon, he followed the bedesman into the recesses of the wood, in order to get away by boat the following morning.

Amid the secret passages of the ruins, well known to Ochiltree, Lovel was to pass the night; but all rest was impossible by the discovery of two human figures, one of whom Lovel made out to be a German named Donsterswivel, a swindling impostor who promised discoveries of gold to Sir Arthur Wardour, gold buried in the ruins, and only to be unearthed by magic and considerable expenditure of ready money.

"That other ane," whispered Edie, "maun be, according to a' likelihood, Sir Arthur Wardour. I ken naebody but himself wad come here at this time wi' that German blackguard."

Donsterswivel, with much talk of planetary influences, and spirits, and "suffumigation," presently set fire to a little pile of chips, and when the flame was at the highest flung in a handful of perfumes, which produced a strong and pungent odour.

A violent explosion of sneezing, which the mendicant was unable to suppress, accompanied by a grunting, half-smothered cough, confounded the two treasure-seekers.

"I was begun to think," said the terrified German, "that this would be bestermost done in de daylight; we was bestermost to go away just now."

"You juggling villain!" said the baronet; "this is some legerdemain trick of yours to get off from the performance of your promise, as you have so often done before. You shall show me that treasure, or confess yourself a knave."

Here Edie, who began to enter into the humour of the scene, uttered an extraordinary howl. Donsterswivel flung himself on his knees. "Dear Sir Arthur, let us go, or let me go!"

"No, you cheating scoundrel!" said the knight, unsheathing his sword. "I will see this treasure before you leave this place, or, by heaven, I'll run this sword through you though all the spirits of the dead should rise around us!"

"For de lofe of heaven, be patient, mine honoured patron; do not speak about de spirits--it makes dem angry."

Donsterswivel at length proceeded to a corner of the building where lay a flat stone upon the ground. With great trepidation he removed the stone, threw out a shovelful or two of earth, and produced a small case or casket. This was at once opened by the baronet, and appeared to be filled with coin.

"This is being indeed in good luck," said Sir Arthur; "and if you think it omens proportional success upon a larger venture, I will hazard the necessary advance."

But the German's guilty conscience and superstitious fears made him anxious to escape, and accordingly he hurried Sir Arthur from the spot.

"Saw onybody e'er the like o' that!" said Edie to Lovel.

"His faith in the fellow is entirely restored," said Lovel, "by this deception, which he had arranged beforehand."

"Ay, ay; trust him for that. He wants to wile him out o' his last guinea, and then escape to his own country, the land-louper."

But thanks to old Edie's efforts, Donsterswivel was checked in his scheme for the plunder of Sir Arthur Wardour.

IV.--The Secret is Disclosed

Captain M'Intyre's wound turned out to be not so dangerous as was at first suspected, and after some six weeks' nursing at Monkbarns, the hot-tempered soldier was once more in full health.

It was during those weeks that the Antiquary met after an interval of more than twenty years, the Earl of Glenallan, a neighbouring laird. Lord Glenallan and Mr. Oldbuck had both loved the same lady, Eveline Neville, and against the commands of the old countess, his mother, Glenallan had married Miss Neville. Driven by the false taunts of the countess to believe, as her husband did, the marriage invalid, the unhappy Eveline had thrown herself from the cliffs into the sea, and the child born to her had been kept in concealment in England by her brother, Geraldin Neville. The countess died, and an old fish woman, once the countess's confidential maid, when dying, demanded to see Lord Glenallan, and on her death-bed told him the truth, and that his child was living.

The scare of a French invasion brought Lord Glenallan, with Mr. Oldbuck, and Sir Arthur Wardour, to Fairport, and to his uncle's surprise and satisfaction, Captain M'Intyre acted as military adviser to the volunteers with remarkable presence of mind, giving instructions calmly and wisely.

The arrival of an officer from headquarters was eagerly expected in Fairport, and at length a cry among the people announced "There's the brave Major Neville come at last!" A postchaise and four drove into the square, amidst the huzzas of the volunteers and inhabitants, and what was the surprise of all present, but most especially that of the Antiquary, when the handsome uniform and military cap disclosed the person and features of the pacific Lovel! A warm embrace was necessary to assure him that his eyes were doing him justice. Sir Arthur was no less surprised to recognise his son, Captain Wardour, as Major Neville's companion.

The first words of the young officers were a positive assurance to all present that their efforts were unnecessary, that what was merely an accidental bonfire had been taken for a beacon.

The Antiquary found his arm pressed by Lord Glenallan, who dragged him aside. "For God's sake, who is that young gentleman who is so strikingly like----"

"Like the unfortunate Eveline," interrupted Oldbuck. "I felt my heart warm to him from the first. Formerly I would have called him Lovel, but now he turns out to be Major Neville."

"Whom my brother brought up as his natural son--whom he made his heir--the child of my Eveline!"

Mr. Oldbuck at once determined to make further investigation, and returned to Major Neville, who was now arranging for the dispersion of the force which had been assembled.

"Pray, Major Neville, leave this business for a moment to Captain Wardour and to Hector, with whom, I hope, you are thoroughly reconciled"--Neville laughed, and shook hands with Hector across the table--"and grant me a moment's audience."

"You have every claim on me," said Neville, "for having passed myself upon you under a false name. But I am so unfortunate as to have no better right to the name of Neville, than that of Lovel."

"I believe I know more of your birth than you do yourself, and to convince you of it, you were educated and known as a natural son of Geraldin Neville, of Neville's-burg, in Yorkshire."

"I did believe Mr. Geraldin Neville was my father, but during the war in French Flanders, I found in a convent near where we were quartered, a woman who spoke good English--a Spaniard. She discovered who I was, and made herself known to me as the person who had charge of me in my infancy, and intimated that Mr. Geraldin Neville was not my father. The convent was burned by the enemy, and several nuns perished, among others this woman. I wrote to Mr. Neville, and on my return implored him to complete the disclosure. He refused, and, on my importunity, indignantly upbraided me with the favours he had already conferred. We parted in mutual displeasure. I renounced the name of Neville, and assumed that of Lovel. It was at this time, when residing with a friend in the north of England, that I became acquainted with Miss Wardour, and was romantic enough to follow her to Scotland. When I was at Fairport, I received news of Mr. Neville's death. He had made me his heir, but the possession of considerable wealth did not prevent me from remembering Sir Arthur's strong prejudices against illegitimacy. Then came my quarrel with Captain M'Intyre, and my compelled departure from Fairport."

"Well, Major Neville, you must, I believe, exchange both of your aliases for the style and title of the Honourable William Geraldin, commonly called Lord Geraldin."

The Antiquary then went through the strange and melancholy circumstances concerning his mother's death. "And now, my dear sir," said he, in conclusion, "let me have the pleasure of introducing a son to a father."

We will not attempt to describe such a meeting. The proof on all sides was found to be complete, for Mr. Neville had left a distinct account of the whole transaction with his confidential steward in a small packet, which was not to be opened until the death of the old countess.

In the evening of that day, the yeomanry and volunteers of Glenallan drank prosperity to their young master; and a month afterwards, Lord Glenallan was married to Miss Wardour.

Hector is rising rapidly in the army, and rises proportionally high in his uncle's favour.

Guy Mannering

"Guy Mannering, or, the Astrologer," the second of the Waverley series, represents the labour of six weeks. Although the novel was completed in so short a period, neither story--if one or two instances of evidences of haste is ignored--nor characterisation has suffered. For the main theme Scott was indebted to an old legend of the horoscope of a new-born infant. In common with nearly all his tales, several of the characters in "Guy Mannering" were founded on real persons; Meg Merrilies was the prototype of a gipsy named Jennie Gordon, and many of the personal features of Dominie Sampson were obtained from a clergyman who once acted as tutor at Abbotsford. The hero was at once recognised by Hogg, the Ettrick shepherd, as a portrait of Scott himself.

I.--The Astrologer

It was in the month of November, 17--, when a young English gentleman, who had just left the University of Oxford, being benighted while sightseeing in Dumfriesshire, sought shelter at Ellangowan, on the very night the heir was born. Our hero, Guy Mannering, entering into the simple humour of Mr. Bertram, his host, agreed to calculate the infant's horoscope by the stars, having in early youth studied with an old clergyman who had a firm belief in astrology.

Mannering had once before tried a similar piece of foolery, at the instance of the young lady to whom he was betrothed, and now found that the result of the scheme in both cases presaged misfortune in the same year to the infant as to her. To the baby, three periods would be particularly hazardous--his fifth, his tenth, his twenty-first year.

He mentally relinquished his art for ever, and to prevent the child being supposed to be the object of evil prediction, he gave the paper into Mr. Bertram's hand, and requested him to keep it for five years with the seal unbroken, after which period he left him at liberty, trusting that the first fatal year being safely overpast, no credit would be paid to its farther contents.

When Mrs. Bertram was able to work again, her first employment was to make a small velvet bag for the scheme of nativity; and though her fingers itched to break the seal, she had the firmness to enclose it in two slips of parchment, and put it in the bag aforesaid, and hang it round the neck of the infant.

It was again in the month of November, more than twenty years after the above incident, that a loud rapping was heard at the door of the Gordon Arms at Kippletringan.

"I wish, madam," said the traveller, entering the kitchen, where several neighbours were assembled, "you would give me leave to warm myself here, for the night is very cold."

His appearance, voice, and manner, produced an instantaneous effect in his favour. The landlady installed her guest comfortably by the fireside, and offered what refreshment her house afforded.

"A cup of tea, ma'am, if you will favour me." Mrs. MacCandlish bustled about, and proceeded in her duties with her best grace, explaining that she had a very nice parlour, and everything agreeable for gentlefolks; but it was bespoke to-night for a gentleman and his daughter, that were going to leave this part of the country.

The sound of wheels was now heard, and the postilion entered. "No, they canna' come at no rate, the laird's sae ill."

"But God help them," said the landlady. "The morn's the term--the very last day they can bide in the house--a' things to be roupit."

"Weel, I tell you, Mr. Bertram canna be moved."

"What Mr. Bertram?" said the stranger. "Not Mr. Bertram of Ellangowan, I hope?"

"Just e'en that same, sir; and if ye be a friend o' his, ye've come at a time when he's sair bested."

"I have been abroad for many years. Is his health so much deranged?"

"Ay, and his affairs an' a'. The creditors have entered into possession o' the estate, and it's for sale. And some that made the maist o' him, they're sairest on him now. I've a sma' matter due mysell, but I'd rather have lost it than gane to turn the auld man out of his house, and him just dying."

"Ay, but," said the parish clerk, "Factor Glossin wants to get rid of the auld laird, and drive on the sale, for fear the heir-male should cast up; for if there's an heir-male, they canna sell the estate for auld Ellangowan's debt."

"He had a son born a good many years ago," said the stranger. "He is dead, I suppose?"

"Dead! I'se warrant him dead lang syne. He hasna' been heard o' these twenty years."

"I wat weel it's no twenty years," said the landlady. "It's no abune seventeen in this very month. It made an unco noise ower a' this country. The bairn disappeared the very day that Supervisor Kennedy came by his end. He was a daft dog! Oh, an' he could ha' handen' off the smugglers! Ye see, sir, there was a king's sloop down in Wigton Bay, and Frank Kennedy, he behoved to have her up to chase Dirk Hatteraick's lugger. He was a daring cheild, and fought his ship till she blew up like peelings of ingans."

"And Mr. Bertram's child," said the stranger, "what is all this to him?"

"Ou, sir, the bairn aye held an unca wark wi' the supervisor, and it was generally thought he went on board the vessel with him."

"No, no; you're clean out there, Luckie! The young laird was stown awa' by a randy gipsy woman they ca'd Meg Merrilies," said the deacon.

But the presenter would not have this version, and told a tale of how an astrologer, an ancient man, had appeared at the time of the heir's birth, and told the laird that the Evil One would have power over the knave bairn, and he charged him that the bairn should be brought up in the ways of piety, and should aye hae a godly minister at his elbow; and the aged man vanished away, and so they engaged Dominie Sampson to be with him morn and night. But even that godly minister had failed to protect the child, who was last seen being carried off by Frank Kennedy on his horse to see a king's ship chase a smuggler. The excise-man's body was found at the foot of the crags at Warroch Point, but no one knew what had become of the child.

A smart servant entered with a note for the stranger, saying, "The family at Ellangowan are in great distress, sir, and unable to receive any visits."

"I know it," said his master. "And now, madam, if you will have the goodness to allow me to occupy the parlour----"

"Certainly, sir," said Mrs. MacCandlish, and hastened to light the way.

"And wha' may your master be, friend?"

"What! That's the famous Colonel Mannering, sir, from the East Indies."

"What, him we read of in the papers?"

"Lord safe us!" said the landlady. "I must go and see what he would have for supper--that I should set him down here."

When the landlady re-entered, Colonel Mannering asked her if Mr. Bertram lost his son in his fifth year.

"O ay, sir, there's nae doubt of that; though there are many idle clashes about the way and manner. And the news being rashly told to the leddy cost her her life that saym night; and the laird never throve from that day, was just careless of everything. Though when Miss Lucy grew up she tried to keep order. But what could she do, poor thing? So now they're out of house and hauld."

II.--Vanbeest Brown's Reappearance

Early next morning, Mannering took the road to Ellangowan. He had no need to inquire the way; people of all descriptions streamed to the sale from all quarters.

When the old towers of the ruin rose upon his view, thoughts thronged upon the mind of the traveller. How changed his feelings since he lost sight of them so many years before! Then life and love were new, and all the prospect was gilded by their rays. And now, disappointed in affection, sated with fame, goaded by bitter and repentant recollections, his best hope was to find a retirement in which to nurse the melancholy which was to accompany him to his grave. About a year before, in India, he had returned from a distant expedition to find a young cadet named Brown established as the habitual attendant on his wife and daughter, an arrangement which displeased him greatly, owing to the suggestions of another cadet, though no objection could be made to the youth's character or manners. Brown made some efforts to overcome his colonel's prejudice, but feeling himself repulsed, and with scorn, desisted, and continued his attentions in defiance. At last some trifle occurred which occasioned high words and a challenge. They met on the frontiers of the settlement, and Brown fell at the first shot. A horde of Looties, a species of banditti, poured in upon them, and Colonel Mannering and his second escaped with some difficulty. His wife's death shortly after, and his daughter's severe illness, made him throw up his command and come home. She was now staying with some old friends in Westmoreland, almost restored to her wonted health and gaiety.

When Colonel Mannering reached the house he found his old acquaintance paralysed, helpless, waiting for the postchaise to take him away. Mannering's evident emotion at once attained him the confidence of Lucy Bertram. The laird showed no signs of recognising Mannering; but when the man, Gilbert Glossin, who had brought him to this pass, had the effrontery to make his appearance, he started up, violently reproaching him, sank into his chair again, and died almost without a groan.

A torrent of sympathy now poured forth, the sale was postponed, and Mannering decided on making a short tour till it should take place, but he was called back to Westmoreland, and, owing to the delay of his messenger, the estate passed into the hands of Glossin. Lucy and Dominie Sampson, who would not be separated from his pupil, found a temporary home in the house of Mr. MacMorlan, the sheriff-substitute, a good friend of the family.

Colonel Mannering lost no time in hiring for a season a large and comfortable mansion not far from Ellangowan, having some hopes of ultimately buying that estate. Besides a sincere desire to serve the distressed, he saw the advantage his daughter Julia might receive from the company of Lucy Bertram, whose prudence and good sense might be relied on, and therefore induced her to become the visitor of a season, and the dominie thereupon required no pressing to accept the office of librarian. The household was soon settled in its new quarters, and the young ladies followed their studies and amusements together.

Society was quickly formed, most of the families in the neighbourhood visited Colonel Mannering, and Charles Hazlewood soon held a distinguished place in his favour and was a frequent visitor, his parents quite forgetting their old fear of his boyish attachment to penniless Lucy Bertram in the thought that the beautiful Miss Mannering, of high family, with a great fortune, was a prize worth looking after. They did not know that the colonel's journey to Westmoreland was in consequence of a letter from his friend there expressing uneasiness about serenades from the lake beside the house. However, he had returned without making any discovery or any advance in his daughter's confidence, who might have told him that Brown still lived, had not her natural good sense and feeling been warped by the folly of a misjudging, romantic mother, who had called her husband a tyrant until she feared him as such.

Vanbeest Brown had escaped from captivity and attained the rank of captain after Mannering left India, and his regiment having been recalled home, was determined to persevere in his addresses to Julia while she left him a ray of hope, believing that the injuries he had received from her father might dispense with his using much ceremony towards him.

So, soon after the Mannerings' settlement in Scotland, he was staying in the inn at Kippletringan; and, as the landlady said, "a' the hoose was ta'en wi' him, he was such a frank, pleasant young man." There had been a good deal of trouble with the smugglers of late, and one day Brown met the young ladies with Charles Hazlewood. Julia's alarm at his appearance misled that young man, and he spoke roughly to Brown, even threatening him with his gun. In the confusion the gun went off, wounding Hazlewood.

III.--Glossin's Villainy

Gilbert Glossin, Esq., now Laird of Ellangowan, and justice of the peace, saw an opportunity of ingratiating himself with the country gentry, and exerted himself to discover the person by whom young Charles Hazlewood had been wounded. So it was with great pleasure he heard his servants announce that MacGuffog, the thief-taker, had a man waiting his honour, handcuffed and fettered.

The worthy judge and the captive looked at each other steadily. At length Glossin said:

"So, captain, this is you? You've been a stranger on these coasts for some years."

"Stranger!" replied the other. "Strange enough, I should think, for hold me der teyvil, if I have ever been here before."

Glossin took a pair of pistols, and loaded them.

"You may retire," said he to his clerk, "and carry the people with you, but wait within call." Then: "You are Dirk Hatteraick, are you not?"

"Tousand teyvils! And if you know that, why ask me?"

"Captain, bullying won't do. You'll hardly get out of this country without accounting for a little accident at Warroch Point a few years ago."

Hatteraick's looks grew black as midnight.

"For my part," continued Glossin. "I have no wish to be hard on an old acquaintance, but I must send you off to Edinburgh this very day."

"Poz donner! you would not do that?" said the prisoner. "Why, you had the matter of half a cargo in bills on Vanbeest and Vanbruggen!"

"It was an affair in the way of business," said Glossin, "and I have retired from business for some time."

"Ay, but I have a notion I could make you go steady about, and try the old course again," said Dirk Hatteraick. "I had something to tell you."

"Of the boy?" said Glossin eagerly.

"Yaw, mynheer," replied the captain coolly.

"He does not live, does he?"

"As lifelich as you or me," said Hatteraick.

"Good God! But in India?" exclaimed Glossin.

"No, tousand teyvils, here--on this dirty coast of yours!" rejoined the prisoner.

"But, Hatteraick, this--that is, if it be true, will ruin us both, for he cannot but remember."

"I tell you," said the seaman, "it will ruin none but you, for I am done up already, and if I must strap for it, all shall out."

Glossin paused--the sweat broke upon his brow; while the hard-featured miscreant sat opposite coolly rolling his tobacco in his cheek.

"It would be ruin," said Glossin to himself, "absolute ruin, if the heir should reappear--and then what might be the consequences of conniving with these men?"

"Hark you, Hatteraick, I can't set you at liberty, but I can put you where you can set yourself at liberty. I always like to assist an old friend."

So he gave him a file.

"There's a friend for you, and you know the way to the sea, and you must remain snug at the point of Warroch till I see you."

"The point of Warroch?" Hatteraick's countenance fell. "What--in the cave? I would rather it was anywhere else. They say he walks. But donner and blitzen! I never shunned him alive, and I won't shun him dead!"

The justice dismissed the party to keep guard for the night in the old castle with a large allowance of food and liquor, with the full hope and belief that they would spend the night neither in watching nor prayer. Next morning great was the alarm when the escape of the prisoner was discovered. When the officers had been sent off in all directions (except the right one), Glossin went to Hatteraick in the cave. A light soon broke upon his confusion of ideas. This missing heir was Vanbeest Brown who had wounded young Hazlewood. He hastily explained to Dick Hatteraick that his goods which had been seized were lying in the Custom-house at Portanferry, and there to the Bridewell beside it be would send this younker, when he had caught him; would take care that the soldiers were dispersed, and he, Dick Hatteraick, could land with his crew, receive his own goods, and carry the younker Brown back to Flushing.

"Ay, carry him to Flushing," said the captain, "or to America, or--to Jericho?"

"Psha! Wherever you have a mind."

"Ay, or pitch him overboard?"

"Nay, I advise no violence."

"Nein, nein! You leave that to me Sturm-wetter; I know you of old. But, hark ye, what am I, Dirk Hatteraick, to be the better for this?"

Glossin made him understand it would not be safe for either of them if young Ellangowan settled in the country, and their plans were soon arranged. None of the old crew were alive but the gipsy who had sent the news of Brown's whereabouts and identity.

Brown, or, as we may now call him, Harry Bertram, had retreated into England, but now, hearing that Hazlewood's wound was trifling, returned and landed at Ellangowan Bay; he approached the castle, unconscious as the most absolute stranger, where his ancestors had exercised all but regal dominion.

Confused memories thronged his mind, and he paused by a curious coincidence on nearly the same spot on which his father had died, just as Glossin came up the bank with an architect, to whom he was talking of alterations; Bertram turned short round upon him, and said:

"Would you destroy this fine old castle, sir?"

He was so exactly like his father in his best days that Glossin thought the grave had given up its dead. He staggered back, but instantly recovered, and whispered a few words in the ear of his companion, who immediately went towards the house, while Glossin talked civilly to Bertram. By the next evening he was safely locked up in the Bridewell at Portanferry, until Sir Charles Hazlewood, the injured youth's father, to whom Glossin had conducted him, could make inquiries as to the truth of his story.

IV.--Bertram's Restoration

Bertram, unable to sleep, gazing out of the window of his prison, saw a long boat making for the quay. About twenty men landed and disappeared, and soon a miscellaneous crowd came back, some carrying torches, some bearing packages and barrels, and a red glare illuminated land and sea, and shone full on them, as with ferocious activity they loaded their boats. A fierce attack was made on the prison gates; they were soon forced, and three or four smugglers hurried to Bertram's apartment. "Der teyvil," said the leader, "here's our mark!" And two of them seized on Bertram, and one whispered, "Make no resistance till you are in the street."

They dragged him along, and in the confusion outside the gang got separated. A noise as of a body of horse advancing seemed to add to the disturbance, the press became furiously agitated, shots were fired, and the glittering swords of dragoons began to appear. Now came the warning whisper: "Shake off that fellow, and follow me!"

Bertram, exerting his strength suddenly, easily burst from the other man's grasp, and dived through a narrow lane after his guide, at the end of which stood a postchaise with four horses.

"Get into it," said the guide. "You will soon be in a place of safety."

They were driven at a rapid rate through the dark lanes, and suddenly stopped at the door of a large house. Brown, dizzied by the sudden glare of light, almost unconsciously entered the open door, and confronted Colonel Mannering; interpreting his fixed and motionless astonishment into displeasure at his intrusion, hastened to say it was involuntary.

"Mr. Brown, I believe?" said Colonel Mannering.

"Yes, sir," said the young man modestly but firmly. "The same you knew in India, and who ventures to hope that you would favour him with your attestation to his character as a gentleman and man of honour."

At this critical moment appeared Mr. Pleydell, the lawyer who had conducted the inquiry as to the disappearance of Harry Bertram, who happened to be staying with Colonel Mannering, and he instantly saw the likeness to the late laird.

Bertram was as much confounded at the appearance of those to whom he so unexpectedly presented himself as they were at the sight of him. Mr. Pleydell alone was in his element, and at once took upon himself the whole explanation. His catechism had not proceeded far before Dominie Sampson rose hastily, with trembling hands and streaming eyes, and called aloud:

"Harry Bertram, look at me!"

"Yes," said Bertram, starting from his seat--"yes, that was my name, and that is my kind old master."

When they parted for the night Colonel Mannering walked up to Bertram, gave him joy of his prospects, and hoped unkindness would be forgotten between them. It was he who had sent the postchaise to Portanferry in consequence of a letter he had received from Meg Merrilies; it was she who had sent back the soldiers so opportunely, and through her the next day Dirk Hatteraick was captured; but, unhappily, she was killed by that ruffian at the moment of the fulfilment of her hopes for the family of Ellangowan.

Glossin also met the fate he deserved at the hands of Hatteraick, who had claims to no virtue but fidelity to his shipowners.

Mr. Pleydell carried through his law business successfully, and we leave him and the colonel examining plans for a new house for Julia and Bertram on the estate of Ellangowan. Another house on the estate was to be repaired for the other young couple, Lucy and Hazlewood, and called Mount Hazlewood.

"And see," said the colonel, "here's the plan of my bungalow, with all convenience for being separate and sulky when I please."

"And you will repair the tower for the nocturnal contemplation of the heavenly bodies. Bravo, colonel!"

"No, no, my dear Pleydell! Here ends the astrologer."

The Heart of Midlothian

John Ruskin coupled "Rob Roy" and "The Heart of Midlothian" as the best of all the "Waverley Novels." The latter, constituting the second series in the "Tales of My Landlord," was published in 1818, and was composed during a period of recurrent fits of intense bodily pain. The romance gets its name from Midlothian, or Middle Lothian, an Edinburgh prison which in days gone by used to mark the centre of the district of Lothian, between the Tweed and the Forth, now the County of Edinburgh. According to Scott himself, the story of the heroism of Jeannie Deans was founded on fact. Her prototype was one Helen Walker, the daughter of a small Dumfriesshire farmer, who in order to get the Duke of Argyle to intercede to save her sister's life got up a petition and actually walked to London barefoot to present it to his grace. Helen Walker died in 1791, and on the tombstone of this unassuming heroine is an inscription by Scott himself.

I.--In the Tolbooth

In former times England had her Tyburn, to which the devoted victims of justice were conducted in solemn procession; and in Edinburgh, a large oblong square, called the Grassmarket, was used for the same purpose. This place was crowded to suffocation on the day when John Porteous, captain of the City Guard, was to be hanged, sentenced to death for firing on the crowd on the occasion of the execution of a popular smuggler.

The grim appearance of the populace conveyed the impression of men who had come to glut their sight with triumphant revenge. When the news that Porteous was respited for six weeks was announced, a roar of rage and mortification arose, but speedily subsided into stifled mutterings as the people slowly dispersed.

That night the mob broke into the Tolbooth, the prison, commonly called the Heart of Midlothian, dragged the wretched Porteous from the chimney in which he had concealed himself, and carried him off to the Grassmarket, where, as the leader of the rioters, a tall man dressed in woman's clothes said he had spilled the blood of so many innocents.

"Let no man hurt him," continued the speaker. "Let him make his peace with God, if he can; we will not kill both soul and body."

A young minister named Butler, whom the rioters had met and compelled to come with them, was brought to the prisoner's side, to prepare him for instant death. With a generous disregard of his own safety, Butler besought the crowd to consider what they did. But in vain. The unhappy man was forced to his fate with remorseless rapidity, and Butler, separated from him by the press, and unnoticed by those who had hitherto kept him prisoner, escaped the last horror, and fled from the fatal spot.

His first purpose was instantly to take the road homewards, but other fears and cares, connected with news he had that day heard, induced him to linger till daybreak.

Reuben Butler was the grandson of a trooper in Monk's army, and had been brought up by a grandmother, a widow, a cotter who struggled with poverty and the hard and sterile soil on the land of the Laird of Dumbiedikes. She was helped by the advice of another tenant, David Deans, a staunch Presbyterian, and Jeannie, his little daughter, and Reuben herded together the handful of sheep and the two or three cows, and went together to the school; where Reuben, as much superior to Jeannie Deans in acuteness of intellect as inferior to her in firmness of constitution, was able to requite in full the kindness and countenance with which, in other circumstances, she used to regard him.

While Reuben Butler was acquiring at the university the knowledge necessary for a clergyman, David Deans, by shrewdness and skill, gained a footing in the world and the possession of some wealth. He had married again, and another daughter had been born to him. But now his wife was dead, and he had left his old home, and become a dairy farmer about half a mile from Edinburgh, and the unceasing industry and activity of Jeannie was exerted in making the most of the produce of their cows.

Effie, his youngest daughter, under the tend guileless purity of thought, speech, and action, as by her uncommon loveliness of person. The news that this girl was in prison on suspicion of the murder of her child was what kept Reuben Butler lingering on the hills outside Edinburgh, until a fitting time should arrive to wait upon Jeannie and her father. Effie denied all guilt of infanticide; but she had concealed the birth of a child, and the child had disappeared, so that by the law she was judged guilty.

His limbs exhausted with fatigue, Butler dragged himself up to St. Leonard's crags, and presented himself at the door of Deans' habitation, with feelings much akin to the miserable fears of its inhabitants.

"Come in," answered the low, sweet-toned voice he loved best to hear, as he tapped at the door. The old man was seated by the fire with his well-worn pocket Bible in his hands, and turned his face away as Butler entered and clasped the extended hand which had supported his orphan infancy, wept over it, and in vain endeavoured to say more than "God comfort you! God comfort you!"

"He will--He doth, my friend," said Deans. "He doth now, and He will yet more in His own gude time. I have been ower proud of my sufferings in a gude cause, Reuben, and now I am to be tried with those whilk will turn my pride and glory into a reproach and a hissing."

Butler had too much humanity to do anything but encourage the good old man as he reckoned up with conscious pride the constancy of his testimony and his sufferings, but seized the opportunity as soon as possible of some private conversation with Jeannie. He gave her the message he had received from a stranger he had met an hour or two before, to the effect that she must meet him that night alone at Muschat's cairn at moonrise.

"Tell him," said Jeannie hastily, "I will certainly come"; and to all Butler's entreaties and expostulations would give no explanation. They were recalled--"ben the house," to use the language of the country--by the loud tones of David Deans, and found the poor old man half frantic between grief and zealous ire against proposals to employ a lawyer on Effie's behalf, they being, all, in his opinion, carnal, crafty self-seekers.

But when the poor old man, fatigued with the arguments and presence of his guests, retired to his sleeping apartment, the Laird of Dumbiedikes said he would employ his own man of business, and Butler set off instantly to see Effie herself, and try to get her to give him the information that she had refused to everyone.

"Farewell, Jeannie," said he. "Take no rash steps till you hear from me."

Butler was at once recognised by the turnkey when he presented himself at the Tolbooth, and detained as having been connected with the riots the night before. One of the prisoners had recognised Robertson, the leader of the rioters, and seen him trying to persuade Effie Deans to escape and to save himself from the gallows, being a well-known thief and prison-breaker, gave information, hoping, as he candidly said, to obtain the post of gaoler himself.

It became obvious that the father of Effie's child and the slayer of Porteous were one and the same person, and on hearing from Butler, who had no reason to conceal his movements, of the stranger he had met on the hill, the procurator fiscal, otherwise the superintendent of police, with a strong body-guard, interrupted Jeannie's meeting with the stranger that night; but he had made her understand that her sister's life was in her hands before, hearing men approaching, he plunged into the darkness and was lost to sight.

II.--Effie's Trial

Soon afterwards, Ratcliffe, the prisoner who had recognised Robertson, received a full pardon, and becoming gaoler, was repeatedly applied to, to procure an interview between the sisters; but the magistrates had given strict orders to the contrary, hoping that they might, by keeping them apart, obtain some information respecting the fugitive. But Jeannie knew nothing of Robertson, except having met him that night by appointment to give her some advice respecting her sister's concern, the which, she said, was betwixt God and her conscience. And Effie was equally silent. In vain they offered, even a free pardon, if she would confess what she knew of her lover.

At length the day was fixed for Effie's trial, and on the preceding evening Jeannie was allowed to see her sister. Even the hard-hearted turnkey could not witness the scene without a touch of human sympathy.

"Ye are ill, Effie," were the first words Jeannie could utter. "Ye are very ill."

"O, what wad I gie to be ten times waur, Jeannie!" was the reply. "O that I were lying dead at my mother's side!"

"Hout, lassie!" said Ratcliffe. "Dinna be sae dooms downhearted as a' that. There's mony a tod hunted that's no killed. They are weel aff has such a counsel and agent as ye have; ane's aye sure of fair play."

But the mourners had become unconscious of his presence. "O Effie," said her elder sister, "how could you conceal your situation from me? O woman, had I deserved this at your hand? Had ye but spoke ae word----"

"What gude wad that hae dune?" said the prisoner. "Na, na, Jeannie; a' was ower whan once I forgot what I promised when I turned down the leaf of my Bible. See, the Book aye opens at the place itsell. O see, Jeannie, what a fearfu' Scripture!"

"O if ye had spoken ae word again!" sobbed Jeannie. "If I were free to swear that ye had said but ae word of how it stude wi' you, they couldna hae touched your life this day!"

"Could they na?" said Effie, with something like awakened interest. "Wha' tauld ye that, Jeannie?"

"It was ane that kenned what he was saying weel eneugh," said Jeannie.

"Hout!" said Ratcliffe. "What signifies keeping the poor lassie in a swither? I'se uphand it's been Robertson that learned ye that doctrine."

"Was it him?" cried Effie. "Was it him, indeed? O I see it was him, poor lad! And I was thinking his heart was as hard as the nether millstane, and him in sic danger on his ain part. Poor George! O, Jeannie, tell me every word he said, and if he was sorry for poor Effie!"

"What needs I tell ye onything about 't?" said Jeannie. "Ye may be sure he had ower muckle about onybody beside."

"That's no' true, Jeannie, though a saint had said it," replied Effie. "But ye dinna ken, though I do, how far he put his life in venture to save mine." And looking at Ratcliffe, checked herself and was silent.

"I fancy," said he, "the lassie thinks naebody has een but hersell. Didna I see Gentle Geordie trying to get other folk out of the Tolbooth forbye Jock Porteous? Ye needna look sae amazed. I ken mair things than that, maybe."

"O my God, my God!" said she, throwing herself on her knees before him. "D'ye ken where they hae putten my bairn? O my bairn, my bairn! Tell me wha has taen't away, or what they hae dune wi't!"

As his answer destroyed the wild hope that had suddenly dawned upon her, the unhappy prisoner fell on the floor in a strong convulsion fit.

Jeannie instantly applied herself to her sister's relief, and Ratcliffe had even the delicacy to withdraw to the other end of the room to render his official attendance as little intrusive as possible; while Jeannie commenced her narrative of all that had passed between her and Robertson. After a long pause:

"And he wanted you to say something to you folks that wad save my young life?" said Effie.

"He wanted," said Jeannie, "that I shuld be mansworn!"

"And you tauld him," said Effie, "that ye wadna hear o' coming between me and death, and me no aughteen year auld yet?"

"I dinna deserve this frae ye, Effie," said her sister, feeling the injustice of the reproach and compassion for the state of mind which dictated it.

"Maybe no, sister," said Effie. "But ye are angry because I love Robertson. Sure am I, if it had stude wi' him as it stands wi' you----"

"O if it stude wi' me to save ye wi' the risk of my life!" said Jeannie.

"Ay, lass," said her sister, "that's lightly said, but no sae lightly credited frae ane that winna ware a word for me; and if it be a wrang word, ye'll hae time enough to repent o' 't."

"But that word is a grievous sin."

"Well, weel, Jeannie, never speak mair o' 't," said the prisoner. "It's as weel as it is. And gude-day, sister. Ye keep Mr. Ratcliffe waiting on. Ye'll come back and see me, I reckon, before----"

"And are we to part in this way," said Jeannie, "and you in sic deadly peril? O, Effie, look but up and say what ye wad hae me do, and I could find it in my heart amaist to say I wad do 't."

"No, Jeannie," said her sister, with an effort. "I'm better minded now. God knows, in my sober mind, I wadna' wuss any living creature to do a wrang thing to save my life!"

But when Jeannie was called to give her evidence next day, Effie, her whole expression altered to imploring, almost ecstatic earnestness of entreaty, exclaimed, in a tone that went through all hearts:

"O Jeannie, Jeannie, save me, save me!"

Jeannie suddenly extended her hand to her sister, who covered it with kisses and bathed it with tears; while Jeannie wept bitterly.

It was some time before the judge himself could subdue his own emotion and administer the oath: "The truth to tell, and no truth to conceal, in the name of God, and as the witness should answer to God at the great Day of Judgement." Jeannie, educated in devout reverence for the name of the Deity, was awed, but at the same time elevated above all considerations save those to which she could, with a clear conscience, call him to witness. Therefore, though she turned deadly pale, and though the counsel took every means to make it easy for her to bear false witness, she replied to his question as to what Effie had said when questioned as to what ailed her, "Alack! alack! she never breathed a word to me about it."

A deep groan passed through the court, and the unfortunate father fell forward, senseless. The secret hope to which he had clung had now dissolved. The prisoner with impotent passion, strove with her guard. "Let me gang to my father! He is dead! I hae killed him!" she repeated in frenzied tones.

Even in that moment of agony Jeannie did not lose that superiority that a deep and firm mind assures to its possessor. She stooped, and began assiduously to chafe her father's temples.

The judge, after repeatedly wiping his eyes, gave directions that they should be removed and carefully attended. The prisoner pursued them with her eyes, and when they were no longer visible, seemed to find courage in her despair.

"The bitterness of 't is now past," she said. "My lords, if it is your pleasure to gang on wi' this matter, the weariest day will have its end at last."

III.--Jeannie's Pilgrimage

David Deans and his eldest daughter found in the house of a cousin the nearest place of friendly refuge. When he recovered from his long swoon, he was too feeble to speak when their hostess came in.

"Is all over?" said Jeannie, with lips pale as ashes. "And is there no hope for her?"

"Nane, or next to nane," said her cousin, Mrs. Saddletree; but added that the foreman of the jury had wished her to get the king's mercy, and "nae ma about it."

"But can the king gie her mercy?" said Jeannie.

"I well he wot he can, when he likes," said her cousin and gave instances, finishing with Porteous.

"Porteous," said Jeannie, "very true. I forgot a' that I culd mind maist. Fare ye well, Mrs. Saddletree. May ye never want a friend in the hour o' distress."

To Mrs. Saddletree's protests she replied there was much to be done and little time to do it in; then, kneeling by her father's bed, begged his blessing. Instinctively the old man murmured a prayer, and his daughter saying, "He has blessed mine errand; it is borne in on my mind that I shall prosper," left the room. Mrs. Saddletree looked after her, and shook her head. "I wish she binna roving, poor thing. There's something queer about a' thae Deanes. I dinna like folk to be sae muckle better than ither folk; seldom comes gude o't."

But she took good care of "the honest auld man," until he was able to go to his own home.

Effie was roused from her state of stupefied horror by the entrance of Jeannie who, rushing into the cell, threw her arms round her neck.

"What signifies coming to greet ower me," said poor Effie, "when you have killed me? Killed me, when a word from your mouth would have saved me."

"You shall not die," said Jeannie, with enthusiastic firmness. "Say what you like o' me, only promise, for I doubt your proud heart, that you winna' harm yourself? I will go to London and beg your pardon from the king and queen. They shall pardon you, and they will win a thousand hearts by it!"

She soon tore herself from her sister's arms and left the cell. Ratcliffe followed her, so impressed was he by her "spunk," he advised her as to her proceedings, to find a friend to speak for her to the king--the Duke of Argyle, if possible--and wrote her a line or two on a dirty piece of paper, which would be useful if she fell among thieves. Jeannie then hastened home to St. Leonard's Crags, and gave full instructions to her usual assistant, concerning the management of domestic affairs and arrangements for her father's comfort in her absence. She got a loan of money from the Laird of Dumbiedikes, and set off without losing a moment on her walk to London. On her way she stopped to bid adieu to her old friend Reuben Butler, whom she had expected to see at the court yesterday. She knew, of course, that he was still under some degree of restraint--he had been obliged to find bail not to quit his usual residence, in case he were wanted as a witness--but she had hoped he would have found means to be with his old friend on such a day.

She found him quite seriously ill, as she had feared, but yet most unwilling to let her go on this errand alone; she must give him a husband's right to protect her. But she, pointing out the fact that he was scarcely able to stand, said this was no time to speak of marrying or giving in marriage, asked him if his grandfather had not done some good to the forebear of MacCallumore. It was so, and Reuben gave her the papers to prove it, and a letter to the Duke of Argyle; and she, begging him to do what he could for her father and sister, left the room hastily.

With a strong heart, and a frame patient of fatigue, Jeannie Deans, travelling at the rate of twenty miles and more a day, traversed the southern part of Scotland, where her bare feet attracted no attention. She had to conform to the national extravagance in England, and confessed afterwards "that besides the wastrife, it was lang or she could walk as comfortably with the shoes as without them"; but found the people very hospitable on the whole, and sometimes got a cast in a waggon.

At last London was reached, and an audience obtained with the Duke of Argyie. His Grace's heart warmed to the tartan when Jeannie appeared before him in the dress of a Scottish maiden of her class. His grandfather's letter, too, was a strong injunction to assist Stephen Butler, his friends or family, and he exerted himself to such good purpose, that he brought her into the presence of the queen to plead her cause for herself. Her majesty smiled at Jeannie's awestruck manner and broad Northern accent, and listened kindly, but said:

"If the king were to pardon your sister, it would in all probability do her little good, for I suppose the people of Edinburgh would hang her out of spite." But Jeannie said: "She was confident that baith town and country would rejoice to see his majesty taking compassion on a poor unfriended creature." The queen was not convinced of the propriety of showing any marked favour to Edinburgh so soon--"the whole nation must be in a league to screen the murderers of Porteous"--but Jeannie pleaded her sister's cause with a pathos at once simple and solemn, and her majesty ended by giving her a housewife case to remind her of her interview with Queen Caroline, and promised her warm intercession with the king.

The Duke of Argyie came to Jeannie's cousin's, where she was staying, in a few days to say that a pardon had been dispatched to Effie Deans, on condition of her banishing herself forth of Scotland for fourteen years--a qualification which greatly grieved the affectionate disposition of her sister.

IV.--In After Years

When Jeannie set out from London on her homeward journey, it was not to travel on foot, but in the Duke of Argyle's carriage, and the end of the journey was not Edinburgh, but the isle of Roseneath, in the Firth of Clyde. When the landing-place was reached, it was in the arms of her father that Jeannie was received.

It was too wonderful to be believed--but the form was indisputable. Douce David Deans himself, in his best light-blue Sunday coat, with broad metal buttons, and waistcoat and breeches of the same.

"Jeannie--my ain Jeannie--my best--my maist dutiful bairn! The Lord of Israel be thy father, for I am hardly worthy of thee! Thou hast redeemed our captivity, brought back the honour of our house!"

These words broke from him not without tears, though David was of no melting mood.

"And Effie--and Effie, dear father?" was Jeannie's eager question.

"You will never see her mair, my bairn," answered Deans, in solemn tones.

"She is dead! It has come ower late!" exclaimed Jeannie, wringing her hands.

"No, Jeannie, she lives in the flesh, and is at freedom from earthly restraint. But she has left her auld father, that has wept and prayed for her. She has left her sister, that travailed and toiled for her like a mother. She has made a moonlight flitting of it."

"And wi' that man--that fearfu' man?" said Jeannie.

"It is ower truly spoken," said Deans. "But never, Jeannie never more let her name be spoken between you and me."

The next surprise for Jeannie Deans was the appearance of Reuben Butler, who had been appointed by the Duke of Argyle to the kirk of Knocktarlitie, at Roseneath; and within a reasonable time after the new minister had been comfortably settled in his living, the banns were called, and long wooing of Reuben and Jeannie was ended by their union in the holy bands of matrimony.

Effie, married to Robertson, whose real name was Staunton, paid a furtive visit to her sister, and many years later, when her husband was no longer a desperate outlaw, but Sir George Staunton, and beyond anxiety of recognition, the two sisters corresponded freely, and Lady Staunton even came to stay with Mrs. Butler, after old Deans was dead.

A famous woman in society was Lady Staunton, but she was childless, for the child of her shame, carried off by gypsies, she saw no more.

Jeannie and Reuben, happy in each other, in the prosperity of their family, and the love and honour of all by gypsies, she saw no more.


"Ivanhoe," in common with "The Legend of Montrose" and "The Bride of Lammermoor," was written, or rather dictated to amanuenses, during a period of great physical suffering; "through fits of suffering," says one of Scott's biographers, "so great that he could not suppress cries of agony." "Ivanhoe" made its appearance towards the end of 1819. Although the book lacks much of that vivid portraiture that distinguishes Scott's other novels, the intense vigour of the narrative, and the striking presentation of mediaeval life, more than atone for the former lapse. From the first, "Ivanhoe" has been singularly successful, and it is, and has been, more popular among English readers than any of the so-called "Scottish novels." According to Sir Leslie Stephen, it was Scott's culminating success in the book-selling sense.

I.--The Hall of Cedric the Saxon

In the hall of Rotherwood at the centre of the upper table sat Cedric the Saxon, irritable at the delay of his evening meal, and impatient for the presence of his favourite clown Wamba, and the return of his swineherd Gurth. "They have been carried off to serve the Norman lords," he exclaimed. "But I will be avenged. Haply they think me old, but they shall find the blood of Hereward is in the veins of Cedric. Ah, Wilfred, Wilfred!" he went on in a lower tone, "couldst thou have ruled thine unreasonable passion, thy father had not been left in his age like the solitary oak that throws out its shattered branches against the full sweep of the tempest!"

From his melancholy reflections, Cedric was suddenly awakened by the blast of a horn.

"To the gate, knaves!" said the Saxon, hastily. "See what tidings that horn tells us of."

Returning in less than three minutes, a warder announced "that the Prior Aymer of Jorvank, and the good knight Brian de Bois-Guilbert, Commander of the Order of Knights Templars, with a small retinue, requested hospitality and lodging for the night, being on their way to a tournament to be held not far from Ashby-de-la-Zouche."

"Normans both," muttered Cedric; "but, Norman or Saxon, the hospitality of Rotherwood must not be impeached; they are welcome since they have chosen to halt; in the quality of guests, even Normans must suppress their insolence."

The folding doors at the bottom of the hall were cast wide, and preceded by the major domo with his wand, and four domestics bearing blazing torches, the guests of the evening entered the apartment, followed by their attendants, and, at a more humble distance, by a pilgrim, wearing the sandals and broad hat of the palmer.

No sooner were the guests seated, and the repast about to commence, than the major domo, or steward, suddenly raising his wand, said aloud--"Forbear!--Place for the Lady Rowena." A side door at the upper end of the hall now opened, and Cedric's ward, Rowena, a Saxon lady of rare beauty and lofty character, entered. All stood up to receive her, and, as she moved gracefully forward to assume her place at the board, the Knight Templar's eyes bent on her with an ardour that made Rowena draw with dignity the veil around her face.

Cedric and the Prior discoursed on hunting for a time, the Lady Rowena seemed engaged in conversation with one of her attendants; while the haughty Templar's eye wandered from the Saxon beauty to the rest of the company.

"Pledge me in a cup of wine, Sir Templar," said Cedric, "and fill another to the Abbot. To the strong in arms, Sir Templar, be their race or language what it will, who now bear them best in Palestine among the champions of the Cross!"

"To whom, besides the sworn champions of the Holy Sepulchre, whose badge I wear, can the palm be assigned among the champions of the Cross?" said Sir Brian de Bois-Guilbert.

"Were there, then, none in the English army," said the Lady Rowena, "whose names are worthy to be mentioned with the Knights of the Temple?"

"Forgive me, lady," replied de Bois-Guilbert, "the English monarch did, indeed, bring to Palestine a host of gallant warriors, second only to those whose breasts have been the bulwark of that blessed land."

"Second to NONE," said the Pilgrim, and all turned towards the spot from whence the declaration came. "I say that the English chivalry were second to none who ever drew sword in defence of the Holy Land. I saw it when King Richard himself and five of his knights held a tournament after the taking of Sir John-de-Acre, as challengers against all comers. On that day each knight ran three courses, and cast to the ground three antagonists. Seven of these assailants were Knights of the Temple--and Sir Brian de Bois-Guilbert well knows the truth of what I tell you."

A bitter smile of rage darkened the countenance of the Templar. At Cedric's request the Pilgrim told out the names of the English knights, only pausing at the sixth to say--"he was a young knight--his name dwells not in my memory."

"Sir Palmer," said the Templar, scornfully, "I will myself tell the name of the knight before whose lance fortune and my horse's fault occasioned my falling--it was the Knight of Ivanhoe; nor was there one of the six that for his years had more renown in arms. Yet this I will say, and loudly--that were he in England, and durst repeat, in this week's tournament, the challenge of St. John-de-Acre, I, mounted and armed as I now am, would give him every advantage of weapons and abide the result."

"Your challenge would be soon answered," replied the Palmer, "were your antagonist near you. If Ivanhoe ever returns from Palestine, I will be his surety that he meet you. And for pledge I proffer this reliquary," taking a small ivory box from his bosom, "containing a portion of the true cross, brought from the Monastery of Mount Carmel."

The Templar took from his neck a gold chain, which he flung on the board, saying, "Let Prior Aymer hold my pledge, and that of this nameless vagrant, in token that when the Knight of Ivanhoe comes within the four seas of Britain, he underlies the challenge of Brian de Bois-Guilbert, which, if he answers not, I will proclaim him as a coward on the walls of every Temple Court in Europe."

"It will not need," said the Lady Rowena, breaking silence; "my voice shall be heard, if no other in this hall is raised on behalf of the absent Ivanhoe. I affirm he will meet fairly every honourable challenge, and I would pledge name and fame that Ivanhoe gives this proud knight the meeting he desires."

"Lady," said Cedric, "this beseems not; were further pledge necessary, I myself, justly offended as I am, would yet gage my honour for the honour of Ivanhoe."

The grace-cup was shortly after served round, and the guests marshalled to their sleeping apartment.

II.--The Disinherited Knight

The Passage of Arms, as it was called, which was to take place at Ashby, attracted universal attention, as champions of the first renown were to take the field in the presence of Prince John himself.

The laws of the tournament, proclaimed by the heralds, were briefly:

First, the five challengers were to undertake all comers.

Secondly, the general tournament in which all knights present might take part; and being divided into two bands of equal numbers, might fight it out manfully, until the signal was given by Prince John to cease the combat.

The challengers, headed by Brian de Bois-Guilbert, were all Normans, and Cedric saw, with keen feeling of dissatisfaction, the advantage they gained. No less than four parties of knights had gone down before the challengers, and Prince John began to talk about adjudging the prize to Bois-Guilbert, who had, with a single spear, overthrown two knights, and foiled a third.

But a new champion had entered the lists. His suit of armour was of steel, and the device on his shield was a young oak-tree pulled up by the roots, with the Spanish word Desdichado, signifying Disinherited. To the astonishment of all present he struck with the sharp end of his spear the shield of Brian de Bois-Guilbert until it rang again. Amazed at his presumption was the redoubted knight, whom he had thus defied to mortal combat.

"Have you confessed yourself, brother," said the Templar, "that you peril your life so frankly?"

"I am fitter to meet death than thou art," answered the Disinherited Knight.

"Then look your last upon the sun," said Bois-Guilbert; "for this night thou shalt sleep in paradise."

The champions closed in the centre of the lists with the shock of a thunderbolt. The Templar aimed at the centre of his antagonist's shield, and struck it so fair that his spear went to shivers, and the Disinherited Knight reeled in his saddle. On the other hand, that champion addressed his lance to his antagonist's helmet, and hit the Norman on the visor, where his lance's point kept hold of the bars. The girths of the Templar's saddle burst, and saddle, horse, and man rolled on the ground under a cloud of dust.

To extricate himself from the stirrups and fallen steed, was to the Templar scarce the work of a moment; and stung with madness, he drew his sword, and waved it in defiance of his conqueror. The Disinherited Knight sprung from his steed, and also unsheathed his sword. The marshals of the field, however, intervened, for the laws of the tournament did not permit this species of encounter, and Bois-Guilbert returned to his tent in an agony of rage and despair.

The Disinherited Knight then sounded a defiance to each of the challengers, and the four Normans each in his turn retired discomfited.

The acclamations of thousands applauded the unanimous award of the Prince and marshals, announcing that day's honours to the Disinherited Knight.

To Prince John's annoyance the champion declined either to raise his visor or to attend the evening banquet, pleading fatigue and the necessity of preparing for the morrow. As victor it was his privilege to name the lady, who, as Queen of Honour and of Love, was to preside over the next day's festival; and Prince John, having placed upon his lance a coronet of green satin, the Disinherited Knight rode slowly around the lists and paused beneath the balcony where Cedric and the Lady Rowena were placed. Then he deposited the coronet at the feet of the fair Rowena, while the populace shouted "Long live the Lady Rowena, the chosen and lawful Queen of Love and of Beauty!"

On the following morning the general tournament was proclaimed, and about fifty knights were ready upon each side, the Disinherited Knight leading one body, and Brian de Bois-Guilbert the other.

Prince John escorted Rowena to the seat of honour opposite his own, while the fairest ladies present crowded after her to obtain places as near as possible to their temporary sovereign.

It was not until the field became thin by the numbers on either side who had yielded themselves vanquished that the Templar and the Disinherited Knight at length encountered hand to hand, with all the fury that mortal animosity and rivalry of honour could inspire. Bois-Guilbert, however, was soon joined by two more knights, the gigantic Front-de-Boeuf, and the ponderous Athelstane, who, though a Saxon, had enlisted under the Norman--to Cedric's disgust. The masterly horsemanship of the Disinherited Knight enabled him for a few minutes to keep at sword's point his three antagonists, but it was evident that he must at last be overpowered.

An unexpected incident changed the fortune of the day. Among the ranks of the Disinherited Knight was a champion in black armour, who bore on his shield no device of any kind, and who, beyond beating off with seeming ease those who attacked him, evinced little interest in the combat.

On discovering the leader of his party so hard beset, this knight threw aside his apathy and came to his assistance like a thunderbolt, exclaiming in trumpet tones, "Desdichado, to the rescue!" It was high time; for, while the Disinherited Knight was pressing upon the Templar, Front-de-Boeuf had got nigh to him with his uplifted sword; but ere the blow could descend, the Black Knight dealt a blow on the head--and Front-de-Boeuf rolled to the ground, both horse and man equally stunned. The Black Knight then turned upon Athelstane, wrenched from the hand of the bulky Saxon the battle-axe which he wielded, and bestowed him such a blow on the crest that Athelstane also lay senseless on the field. Having achieved this double feat he retired calmly to the extremity of the lists, leaving his leader to cope as best he could with Brian de Bois-Guilbert. This was no longer matter of so much difficulty. The Templar's horse had bled much, and gave way under the shock of the Disinherited Knight's charge. Brian de Bois-Guilbert rolled on the field, and his antagonist, springing from horseback, waved his fatal sword over the Templar's head, and commanded him to yield. But Prince John saved him that mortification by putting an end to the conflict.

Thus ended the memorable field of Ashby-de-la-Zouche. The Knight of the Black Armour having disappeared, the Disinherited Knight was named the champion of the day, and was conducted to the foot of that throne of honour which was occupied by Lady Rowena. His helmet having been removed, by order of the marshals, the well-formed, yet sun-burnt features of a young man of twenty-five were seen, and no sooner had Rowena beheld him than she uttered a faint shriek. Trembling with the violence of sudden emotion, she placed upon the drooping head of the victor the splendid chaplet which was the destined reward of the day.

The Knight stooped his head, and then, sinking down, lay prostrate at the feet of his lovely sovereign.

There was general consternation. Cedric, struck mute by the sudden appearance of his banished son, now rushed forward. The marshals hastened to undo Ivanhoe's armour, and finding that the head of a lance had penetrated his breastplate and inflicted a wound in his side, he was quickly removed from the lists.

III.--The Burning of Torquilstone

Cedric, Rowena, and Athelstane, returning home with their retinue from Ashby, were waylaid by Bois-Guilbert and his followers, and boldly carried off as prisoners to Torquilstone, Front-de-Boeuf's castle. In those lawless times these Norman nobles trusted thus to obtain a good ransom for Cedric and Athelstane, and to win Rowena for a bride. Ivanhoe, who, enfeebled by his wound, lay concealed in a litter, unknown to his father, was also taken.

But Gurth rallied the Saxon outlaws and yeomen of the neighbourhood to the rescue, the Black Knight of the tournament led the attacking party, and in spite of a ferocious defence Torquilstone was stormed. The Black Knight bore the wounded Ivanhoe in his arms from the burning castle, Rowena was saved by Cedric and Gurth, just as she had abandoned all hopes of life.

One turret was now in bright flames, which flashed out furiously from window and shot hole. But, in other parts, the great thickness of the walls resisted the progress of the flames, and there the rage of man still triumphed. The besiegers pursued the defenders of the castle from chamber to chamber, and satiated in their blood the vengeance which animated them against the soldiers of the tyrant Front-de-Boeuf. Most of the garrison resisted to the uttermost--few of them asked quarter--none received it.

The courtyard of the castle was soon the last scene of the contest. Here sat the fierce Templar mounted on horseback, with a remnant of the defenders, who fought with the utmost valour. Athelstane who, on the flight of the guard, had made his way into the ante-room and thence into the court, snatched a mace from the pavement, and rushed on the Templar's band striking in quick succession to the right and left: he was soon within two yards of Bois-Guilbert, whom he defied in his loudest tone.

But Athelstane was without armour, and a silken bonnet keeps out no steel blade. So trenchant was the Templar's weapon that it levelled the ill-fated Saxon to the earth.

Taking advantage of the dismay which was spread by the fall of Athelstane, and calling aloud, "Those who would save themselves, follow me!" the Templar pushed across the drawbridge, and then galloped off with his followers.

And now the towering flames surmounted every obstruction, and rose to the evening skies one huge and burning beacon. Tower after tower crashed down, with blazing roof and rafter, and the combatants were driven from the courtyard.

When the last turret gave way, the voice of Robin Hood was heard, "Shout, yeomen!--the den of tyrants is no more! Let each bring his spoil to our chosen place of rendezvous, and there at break of day will be made just partition among our own bands, together with our allies in this great deed of vengeance."

Cedric, ere he departed, earnestly entreated the Black Knight to accompany him to Rotherwood, "not as a guest, but as a son or brother."

"To Rotherwood will I come, brave Saxon," said the Knight, "and that speedily. Peradventure, when I come, I will ask such a boon as will put even thy generosity to the test."

"It is granted already," said Cedric, "were it to affect half my fortune. But my heart is oppressed with sadness, for the noble Athelstane is no more. I have but to say," he added, "that during the funeral rites I shall inhabit his castle of Coningsburgh--which will be open to all who choose to partake of the funeral banqueting."

Rowena waved a graceful adieu to the Black Knight, the Saxon bade God speed him, and on they moved through a wide glade of the forest.

IV.--Ivanhoe's Wedding

At the castle of Coningsburgh all was a scene of busy commotion when the Black Knight, attended by Ivanhoe, who had muffled his face in his mantle, entered and was welcomed gravely by Cedric--by common consent the chief of the distinguished Saxon families present.

"I crave to remind you, noble Thane," said the Knight, "that when we last parted, you promised, for the service I had the fortune to render you, to grant me a boon."

"It is granted ere named, noble Knight," said Cedric; "yet, at this sad moment----"

"Of that also," said the Knight, "I have bethought me--but my time is brief--neither does it seem to me unfit that, in the grave of the noble Athelstane, we should deposit certain prejudices and hasty opinions."

"Sir Knight," said Cedric, colouring, "in that which concerns the honour of my house, it is scarce fitting a stranger should mingle."

"Nor do I wish to mingle," said the Knight, mildly, "unless you will admit me to have an interest. As yet you have known me but as the Black Knight--know me now as Richard Plantagenet, King of England. And now to my boon. I require of thee, as a man of thy word, to forgive and receive to thy paternal affection the good Knight, Wilfred of Ivanhoe."

"My father!--my father!" said Ivanhoe, prostrating himself at Cedric's feet, "grant me thy forgiveness."

"Thou hast it, my son," said Cedric, raising him up. "The son of Hereward knows how to keep his word, even when it has been passed to a Norman. Thou art about to speak, and I guess the topic. The Lady Rowena must complete two years mourning as for a betrothed husband. The ghost of Athelstane himself would stand before us to forbid such dishonour to his memory were it otherwise."

Scarce had Cedric spoken than the door flew open, and Athelstane, arrayed in the garments of the grave, stood before them, pale, haggard, and like something arisen from the dead!

"In the name of God," said Cedric, starting back, "if thou art mortal, speak! Living or dead, noble Athelstane, speak to Cedric!"

"I will," said the spectre, very composedly, "when I have collected breath. Alive, saidst thou? I am as much alive as he can be who has fed on bread and water for three days. I went down under the Templar's sword, stunned, indeed, but unwounded, for the blade struck me flatlings, being averted by the good mace with which I warded the blow. Others, of both sides, were beaten down and slaughtered above me, so that I never recovered my senses until I found myself in a coffin--an open one, by good luck--placed before the altar in church. But that villain Abbot has kept me a prisoner for three days and he shall hang on the top of this castle of Coningsburgh, in his cope and stole. I will be king in my own domains, and nowhere else. Cedric, I rise from the tomb a wiser man than I descended."

"My ward, Rowena," said Cedric--"you do not intend to desert her?"

"Father Cedric," said Athelstane, "be reasonable. The Lady Rowena cares not for me--she loves the little finger of my kinsman Wilfred's glove better than my whole person. There she stands to avouch it--nay, blush not, kinswoman, there is no shame in loving a courtly knight better than a country thane,--and do not laugh neither, Rowena, for grave-clothes and a thin visage are, God knows, no matter of merriment. Nay, as thou wilt needs laugh, I will find thee a better jest--Give me thy hand, or, rather, lend it me, for I but ask it in the way of friendship. Here, cousin Wilfred of Ivanhoe, in thy favour I renounce and abjure--Hey! our cousin Wilfred hath vanished!"

Ivanhoe had disappeared, and King Richard had gone also.

Ivanhoe hastened away at a secret message to fight once more with Brian de Bois-Guilbert, who had abducted a Jewish maiden named Rebecca, and spurned by Rebecca, Bois-Guilbert only escaped condemnation by the Grand Master of the Templars for his offence by admitting Rebecca to be a sorceress, and by challenging to mortal combat all who should dare to champion the high-souled and hapless Hebrew maid.

Bois-Guilbert fell in the lists as Ivanhoe approached, and, unscathed by the lance of his enemy, died a victim to the violence of his own contending passions.

Ivanhoe and King Richard (who had followed Wilfred) hastened back to Coningsburgh, and Cedric, finding his project for the union of Rowena and Athelstane at an end by the mutual dissent of both parties, soon gave his consent to the marriage of his ward Rowena and his son Wilfred of Ivanhoe.

The nuptials thus formally approved were celebrated in the noble Minster of York. The King himself attended, and the presence of high-born Normans, as well as Saxons, joined with the universal rejoicing of the lower orders, marked the marriage as a pledge of the future peace and harmony betwixt the two races.


Scott's success in portraying the character of Mary Stuart in "The Abbot" fired him with the desire of doing likewise with her great rival Elizabeth; and although history has modified his picture of the English Queen, the portrait still remains a vivid and in many respects a faithful likeness. In his preface to the first edition of "Kenilworth," which was published in January, 1821, Scott, referring to his delineation of Elizabeth, admits that he is a "Scottishman," and therefore may be pardoned for looking at his subject with certain prejudices. Another source of inspiration that led him to write the romance was the old ballad of "Cumnor Hall," in which the tale of Amy Robsart is told. Scott's genius for depicting the life and manners and customs of the Middle Ages, of visualising scenes of long-gone chivalry, is exhibited in "Kenilworth" as in none other of his works. In common also with all his historical novels, "Kenilworth" bears witness to its author's passion for historical truth.

I.--At Cumnor

The village of Cumnor, within three or four miles of Oxford, boasted in the eighteenth of Queen Elizabeth an excellent inn, conducted by Giles Gosling, whom no one excelled in his power of pleasing his guests of every description.

A traveller in the close of the evening was ushered, with much semblance of welcome, into a large, low chamber, where several persons were seated in different parties, some drinking, some playing cards, some conversing.

The host soon recognised, without satisfaction, his graceless nephew, Michael Lambourne, who had not been heard of for long years; but, saying his sister's son should be called to no reckoning in his house, he heartily invited all who would to join them at supper in honour of his nephew's return. Many present remembered him as a school companion, and so forth, and, encouraged by the precept and example of Michael Lambourne, they soon passed the limits of temperance, as was evident from the bursts of laughter with which his inquiries after old acquaintances were answered. Giles Gosling made some sort of apology to a solitary guest who had sat apart for their license; they would be to-morrow a set of painstaking mechanics, and so forth, though to-night they were such would-be rufflers, and prevailed on him to join them.

Most of Michael's old friends seemed to have come to some sad end, but one, Tony Foster, for whom he inquired had married, and become a good Protestant, and held his head high, and scorned his old companions. He now dwelt at Cumnor Place, an old mansion house, and had nothing to do with anybody in Cumnor, not entirely from pride; it was said there was a fair lady in the case.

Here Tressilian, the guest, who had sat apart, intervened in the conversation, and was informed that Foster had a beautiful lady closely mewed up at Cumnor Place, and would scarcely let her look upon the light of day.

Michael Lambourne at once wagered that he would force Tony Foster to introduce him to his fair guest, and Tressilian asked permission to accompany him, to mark the skill end valour with which he should conduct himself, and, in spite of the host's warnings, the next morning they set off together to Anthony Foster's dwelling.

Michael Lambourne soon let Tressilian know that he suspected other motives than simple curiosity had led him, a gentleman of birth and breeding, into the company of such a scant-of-grace as himself, and owned that he expected both pleasure and profit from his visit.

They found the gate open, and passed up an avenue overshadowed by old trees, untrimmed for many years. Everything was in a dilapidated condition. After some delay, they were introduced into a stone-paved parlour, where they had to wait some time before the present master of the mansion made his appearance. He looked to Tressilian for an explanation of this visit, so true was Lambourne's observation that the superior air of breeding and dignity shone through the disguise of an inferior dress. But it was Michael who replied to him, with the easy familiarity of an old friend, and though Foster at first made it obvious that he had no wish to renew the acquaintance, in a few minutes he requested him to follow him to another apartment, and the two worthies left the room, leaving Tressilian alone.

His dark eyes followed them with a glance of contempt, some of which was for himself for having stooped for a moment to be their familiar companion. A slight noise interrupted his reverie. He looked round, and in the beautiful and richly attired female who entered he recognised the object of his search. His first impulse urged him to conceal his face in the cloak, but the young lady (she was not above eighteen years old) ran joyfully towards him, and, pulling him by the cloak, said playfully:

"Nay, my sweet friend, after I have waited for you so long, you come not to my bower to play the masquer."

"Alas, Amy," said Tressilian, in a low and melancholy voice. Then, as she turned pale as death, he added: "Amy, fear me not."

"Why should I fear you?" said the lady; "or wherefore have you intruded yourself into my dwelling, uninvited, sir, and unwished for?"

"Your dwelling, Amy?" said Tressilian. "Alas! is a prison your dwelling? A prison, guarded by the most sordid of men, but not a greater wretch than his employer?"

"This house is mine," said Amy, "mine while I choose to inhabit it. If it is my pleasure to live in seclusion, who shall gainsay me?"

"Your father, maiden," answered Tressilian, "your broken-hearted father, who dispatched me in quest of you with that authority which he cannot exert in person."

"Tressilian," said the lady, "I cannot--I must not--I dare not leave this place! Go back to my father. Tell him I will obtain leave to see him within twelve hours from hence. Tell him I am well--I am happy. Go, carry him the news. I come as sure as there is light in heaven--that is, when I obtain permission."

"Permission? Permission to visit your father on his sick-bed, perhaps on his death-bed?" repeated Tressilian impatiently. "And permission from whom? Amy, in the name of thy broken-hearted father, I command thee to follow me!"

As he spoke, he advanced and extended his arm, as with the purpose of laying hold upon her. But she shrunk back from his grasp, and uttered a scream which brought into the apartment Lambourne and Foster.

"Madam, fare you well!" said Tressilian. "What life lingers in your father's bosom will leave him at the news I have to tell."

He departed, the lady saying faintly as he left the room:

"Tressilian, be not rash. Say no scandal of me."

Tressilian pursued the first path through the wild and overgrown park in which the mansion of Foster was situated. At the postern, a cavalier, muffled in his riding cloak, entered, and stood at once within four yards of him who was desirous of going out. They exclaimed, in tons of resentment and surprise, the one "Varney!" the other, "Tressilian!"

"What takes you here?" said Tressilian. "Are you come to triumph over the innocence you have destroyed? Draw, dog, and defend thyself!"

Tressilian drew his sword as he spoke, but Varney only replied:

"Thou art mad, Tressilian! I own appearances are against me, but by every oath Mistress Amy Robsart hath no injury from me!"

Tressilian forced him to draw, and Varney received a fall so sudden and violent that his sword flew several paces from his hand. Lambourne came up just in time to save the life of Varney, and Tressilian perceived it was madness to press the quarrel further against such odds.

"Varney, we shall meet where there are none to come betwixt us!"

So saying, he turned round, and departed through the postern door.

Varney, left alone, gave vent to his meditations in broken words. "She loves me not--I would it were as true that I loved not her! But she must not leave this retreat until I am assured on what terms we are to stand. My lord's interest--and so far it is mine own, for if he sinks I fall in his train--demands concealment of this obscure marriage."

II.--The Earl and the Countess

At first, when the Earl of Leicester paid frequent visits to Cumnor, the Countess was reconciled to the solitude to which she was condemned. But when these visits became rarer and more rare, the brief letters of excuse did not keep out discontent and suspicion from the splendid apartments which love had once fitted up for beauty. Her answers to Leicester conveyed these feelings too bluntly, and pressed more naturally than prudently that she might be relieved from the obscure and secluded residence, by the Earl's acknowledgement of their marriage.

"I have made her Countess," Leicester said to his henchman Varney; "surely she might wait till it consisted with my pleasure that she should put on the coronet?"

The Countess Amy viewed the subject in directly an opposite light.

"What signifies," she said, "that I have rank and honour in reality, if I am to live an obscure prisoner, without either society or observance, and suffering in my character, as one of dubious or disgraced reputation?"

Leicester, high in Elizabeth's favour, dared not avow his marriage, and Varney was always at hand to paint the full and utter disgrace that would overwhelm him at the Court were the marriage known, and to spur his ambition to avoid the ruin of his fortunes.

Varney even prompted Leicester to invite the Countess to pass as Varney's wife, lest Elizabeth's jealousy should be aroused, and this suggestion and the knowledge that Varney desired her for himself (for he made no secret of his passion), drove the Countess to escape from Cumnor and to seek her husband at Kenilworth, Janet Foster, her faithful attendant, at first suggested that the Countess should return home to her father, Sir Hugh Robsart, at Lidcote Hall, in Devonshire.

"No, Janet," said the lady mournfully; "I left Lidcote Hall while my heart was light and my name was honourable, and I will not return thither till my lord's public acknowledgement of our marriage restore me to my native home with all the rank and honour which he has bestowed on me. I will go to Kenilworth, girl. I will see these revels--these princely revels--the preparation for which makes the land ring from side to side. Methinks, when the Queen of England feasts within my husband's halls, the Countess of Leicester should be no unbeseeming guest."

"Dearest madam," said the maiden, "have you forgotten that the noble Earl has given such strict charges to keep your marriage secret, that he may preserve his Court favour? And can you think that your sudden appearance at his castle, at such a juncture, and in such a presence, will be acceptable to him?"

"I will appeal to my husband alone, Janet. I will be protected by him alone. I will see him, and receive from his own lips the directions for my future conduct. Do not argue against my resolution. And to own the truth, I am resolved to know my fate at once, and from my husband's own mouth; and to seek him at Kenilworth is the surest way to attain my purpose."

"May the blessing of God wend with you, madam," said Janet, kissing her mistress's hand.

III.--At Kenilworth

With pomp and magnificence, Leicester entertained the Queen at the Castle of Kenilworth. Of the Countess he saw nothing for some days, and Varney let it be thought that the unhappy lady who had made her way into the castle was his wife, while Amy, mindful of the alarm which Leicester had expressed at the Queen's knowing aught of their union, kept out of the way of her sovereign.

Then, on one memorable morning, when a hunt had been arranged, Leicester escorted the Queen to the castle garden, with another chase in view. Without premeditation, but urged on by vanity and ambition, his importunity became the language of love itself.

"No, Dudley," said Elizabeth, yet with broken accents. "No, I must be the mother of my people. Urge it no more, Leicester. Were I, as others, free to seek my own happiness, then indeed--but it cannot be. It is madness, and must not be repeated. Leave me. Go, but go not far from hence; and meantime let no one intrude on my privacy."

The Queen turned into a grotto in which her hapless, and yet but too successful, rival lay concealed, and presently became aware of a female figure beside an alabaster column.

The unfortunate countess dropped on her knee before the queen, and looked up in the queen's face with such a mixed agony of fear and supplication, that Elizabeth was considerably affected.

"What may this mean?" she said. "Stand up, damsel, what wouldst thou have with us?"

"Your protection, madam," faltered the unfortunate countess. "I request--I implore--your gracious protection--against--against one Varney!"

"What, Varney--Sir Richard Varney--the servant of Lord Leicester? What are you to him, or he to you?"

"I was his prisoner, and I broke forth to--to--"

Amy hastily endeavoured to recall what were best to say which might save her from Varney without endangering her husband.

"To throw thyself on my protection, doubtless," said Elizabeth. "Thou art Amy, daughter of Sir Hugh Robsart. I must wring the story from thee by inches. Thou didst leave thine old and honoured father, cheat Master Tressilian of thy love, and marry this same Varney."

Amy sprung on her feet, and interrupted the queen eagerly with: "No, madam, no! As there is a God above us, I am not the wife of that contemptible slave--of that most deliberate villain! I am not the wife of Varney! I would rather be the bride of Destruction!"

The queen, startled by Amy's vehemence, replied: "Why, God, ha' mercy, woman! Tell me, for I will know, whose wife, or whose paramour, art thou? Speak out, and be speedy. Thou wert better dally with a lioness than with Elizabeth!"

Urged to this extremity, Amy at length uttered in despair: "The Earl of Leicester knows it all!"

"The Earl of Leicester!" said Elizabeth, in astonishment. "The Earl of Leicester! Come with me instantly!"

As Amy shrunk back with terror, Elizabeth seized on her arm, and dragged the terrified countess to where Leicester stood--the centre of a splendid group of lords and ladies.

"Stand forth, my Lord of Leicester!" cried the queen.

Amy, thinking her husband in danger from the rage of an offended Sovereign, instantly forgot her own wrongs, and throwing herself before the queen, exclaimed, "He is guiltless, madam--he is guiltless; no one can lay aught to the charge of noble Leicester!"

"Why, minion," answered the queen, "didst not thou thyself say that the Earl of Leicester was privy to thy whole history?"

At that moment Varney rushed into the presence, with every mark of disorder.

"What means this saucy intrusion?" said Elizabeth.

Varney could only prostrate himself before her feet, exclaiming: "Pardon, my Liege, pardon! Or let your justice avenge itself on me; but spare my noble, my generous, my innocent patron and master!"

Amy started up at the sight of the man she deemed most odious so near her, and besought the queen to save her from "that most shameless villain!" "I shall go mad if I look longer on him."

"Beshrew me, but I think thou art distraught already," answered the queen. Then she bade Lord Hunsdon, a blunt, warm-hearted old noble, "Look to this poor distressed young woman, and let her be safely bestowed, till we require her to be forthcoming."

"By our Lady," said Hunsdon, taking in his strong arms the swooning form of Amy, "she is a lovely child! And though a rough nurse, your Grace hath given her a kind one. She is safe with me as one of my own ladybirds of daughters."

So saying he carried her off, and the queen followed him with her eye, and then turned angrily to Varney, for Leicester stared gloomily on the ground.

"Speak, Sir Richard, and explain these riddles."

"Your Majesty's piercing eye," said Varney, "has already detected the cruel malady of my beloved lady. It is the nature of persons in her disorder, so please your Grace, to be ever most inveterate in their spleen against those whom, in their better moments, they hold nearest and dearest. May your Grace then be pleased to command my unfortunate wife to be delivered into the custody of my friends?"

Leicester partly started, but making a stronger effort, he subdued his emotion, while Elizabeth answered sharply, that her own physician should report on the lady's health.

That night Leicester sought the countess in her apartment, and would have avowed his marriage to the queen, but for Varney's influence. Finding all other argument vain, Varney finally urged that the countess was in love with Tressilian, and mentioned that he had seen him at Cumnor. Leicester allowed his mind to be poisoned, and was silent when, on the Queen's physician declaring Lady Varney to be sullen and the victim of fancies, Elizabeth answered, "Nay, then away with her all speed. Let Varney care for her with fitting humanity, but let them rid the castle of her forthwith."

IV.--The Death of the Countess

Armed with the authority of Leicester's signet-ring Varney induced the countess to leave Kenilworth for Cumnor, declaring that the earl had ordered it for his own safety. But no sooner was the lady gone than Leicester repented of the consent Varney had wrested from him. An interview with Tressilian and the recovery of a letter written by Amy at Cumnor revealed all Varney's villainy. Too late he acknowledged his marriage to the queen, and when the fury of Elizabeth's anger had somewhat subsided, she ordered Tressilian and Sir Walter Raleigh to repair at once to Cumnor, bring the countess to Kenilworth, and secure the body of Richard Varney, dead or alive.

But Varney's fell purpose had already decided that the countess must be got rid of. A part of the wooden gallery immediately outside her door was really a trap-door, and beneath it was an abyss dark as pitch. This trap-door remained secure in appearance even when the supports were withdrawn beneath it.

"Were the lady to attempt an escape over it," said Varney, to his accomplice Foster, who held the house by Varney's favour, "her weight would carry her down."

"A mouse's weight would do it," Foster answered.

"Why, then, she die in attempting her escape, and what could you or I help it? Let us, to bed; we will adjust our project to-morrow."

On the next day, when evening approached, Varney summoned Foster to the execution of their plan. Foster himself, as if anxious to see that the countess suffered no want of accommodations, visited her place of confinement. He was so much staggered at her mildness and patience, that he could not help earnestly recommending to her not to cross the threshold on any account until Lord Leicester should come. Amy promised that she would resign herself to her fate, and Foster returned to his hardened companion with his conscience half-eased of the perilous load that weighed on it. "I have warned her," he said; "surely in vain is the snare set in the sight of any bird!"

He left the countess's door unsecured on the outside, and, under the eye of Varney, withdrew the supports which sustained the falling trap, which, therefore, kept its level position merely by a slight adhesion. They withdrew to wait the issue on the ground floor adjoining; but they waited long in vain.

"Perhaps she is resolved," said Foster, "to await her husband's return."

"True! Most true!" said Varney, rushing out; "I had not thought of that before."

In less than two minutes, Foster, who remained behind, heard the tread of a horse in the courtyard, and then a whistle similar to that which was the earl's usual signal. The instant after the door to the countess's chamber opened, and in the same moment the trap-door gave way. There was a rushing sound--a heavy fall--a faint groan, and all was over.

At the same instant Varney called in at the window, "Is the bird caught? Is the deed done?"

"O God, forgive us!" replied Foster.

"Why, thou fool," said Varney, "thy toil is ended, and thy reward secure. Look down into the vault--what seest thou?"

"I see only a heap of clothes, like a snowdrift," said Foster. "O God, she moves her arm!"

"Hurl something down on her."

"Varney, thou art an incarnate fiend!" replied Foster. "There needs nothing more--she is gone!"

"So pass our troubles," said Varney; "I dreamed not I could have mimicked the earl's call so well."

While they were at this consultation Tressilian and Raleigh broke in upon them. Foster fled at their entrance, and escaped all search. He perished miserably in a secret passage, behind an iron door, forgetting the key of the spring-clock, and years later his skeleton was discovered.

But Varney was taken on the spot. He made very little mystery either of the crime or of its motives--alleging that there was sufficient against him to deprive him of Leicester's confidence, and to destroy all his towering plans of ambition. "I was not born," he said, "to drag on the remainder of life a degraded outcast; nor will I so die that my fate shall make a holiday to the vulgar herd."

That night he swallowed a small quantity of strong poison, which he carried about his person, and next morning was found dead in his cell.

The news of the countess's dreadful fate put a sudden stop to the pleasures of Kenilworth. Leicester retired from court, and for a considerable time abandoned himself to his remorse. But as Varney in his last declaration had been studious to spare the character of his patron, the earl was the object rather of compassion than resentment. The queen at length recalled him to court; he was once more distinguished as a statesman and favourite; and the rest of his career is well known to history. But there was something retributive in his death, for it is believed he died by swallowing a draught of poison, designed by him for another person.

Tressilian at length embarked with his friend, Sir Walter Raleigh, for the Virginia expedition, and young in years, but old in grief, died before his day in that foreign land.

Old Mortality

"Old Mortality" and the "Black Dwarf" were published together as the first series of the "Tales of My Landlord" on December 1, 1816. The first is certainly one of the best of Scott's historical romances. It was the fourth of the "Waverley Novels," and the authorship was still unavowed; though Mr. Murray, the publisher, at once declared it "must be written either by Walter Scott or the Devil." On the other hand, there were critics who did not believe the book was Sir Walter's because it lacked his "tedious descriptions." Some said openly it was the work of several hands. The study of the fierce, fanatical Covenanters in "Old Mortality" is done not only with all the author's literary genius, but a wonderful fidelity to historical truth; and while the accuracy of the portrait of Claverhouse--"Bonny Dundee"--will always be disputed, no lover of romance will question its brilliant charm. The immediate popularity of "Old Mortality" was less than many of the "Waverley Novels," only two editions, amounting to 4,000 copies, being sold in six weeks.

I.--Tillietudlem Castle

"Most readers," says the manuscript of Mr. Pattieson, "must have witnessed with delight the joyous burst which attends the dismissing of the village school. The buoyant spirit of childhood may then be seen to explode, as it were, in shout and song and frolic; but there is one individual who partakes of the relief, whose feelings are not so obvious, or so apt to receive sympathy--the teacher himself."

The reader may form some conception of the relief which a solitary walk, on a fine summer evening, affords to the head which has ached, and the nerves which have been shattered for so many hours in plying the irksome task of public instruction.

To me these evening strolls have been the happiest hours of an unhappy life; and it was in one of them that I met, for the first time, the religious itinerant known in various parts of Scotland by the title of "Old Mortality." He was busily engaged in deepening with his chisel the letters of the inscription upon the monument of the slaughtered Presbyterians--those champions of the Covenant whose deeds and sufferings were his favourite theme.

For nearly thirty years this pious enthusiast visited annually the graves of those who suffered for the cause during the reigns of the last two Stuarts, most numerous in the districts of Ayr, Galloway, and Dumfries. To talk of their exploits was the delight, as to repair their monuments was the business of his life.

My readers will understand that in embodying into one narrative many of the anecdotes I derived from Old Mortality, I have endeavoured to correct and verify them from the most authentic sources of tradition afforded by the representatives of either party. Peace to their memory!

"Implacable resentment was their crime,
And grievous has the expiation been."

Under the reign of the last Stuarts, frequent musters of the people, both for military exercise and for sports and pastimes, were appointed by authority, and the Sheriff of Lanark was holding the wappen-schaw of a wild district, on the day our narrative commences, May 5, 1679.

The lord-lieutenant of the country alone, who was of ducal rank, pretended to the magnificence of a wheel-carriage, but near it might be seen the erect form of Lady Margaret Bellenden on her sober palfrey, and her granddaughter; the fair-haired Edith appeared beside her aged relative like Spring, close to Winter.

Many civilities passed between her ladyship and the representatives of sundry ancient royal families, and not a young man of rank passed by them in the course of the muster, but carried himself more erect in the saddle and displayed his horsemanship to the best advantage in the eyes of Miss Edith Bellenden.

When the military evolutions were over, a loud shout announced that the competitors were about to step forth for the shooting of the popinjay--the figure of a bird suspended to a pole. When a slender young man, dressed with great simplicity, yet with an air of elegance, his dark-green cloak thrown back over his shoulder, approached the station with his fusee in his hand, there was a murmur among the spectators.

"Ewhow, sirs, to see his father's son at the like o' thae fearless follies!" said some of the more rigid, but the generality were content to wish success to the son of a deceased Presbyterian leader. Their wishes were gratified. The green adventurer made the first palpable hit of the day, and two only of those who followed succeeded--the first, a young man of low rank, who kept his face muffled in a grey cloak; and the second, a gallant young cavalier, remarkably handsome, who had been in close attendance on Lady Margaret and Miss Bellenden.

But the applause, even of those whose wishes had favoured Lord Evandale, were at the third trial transferred to his triumphant rival, who was led by four of the duke's friends to his presence, passing in front of Lady Margaret and her granddaughter. The captain of the popinjay (as the victor was called) and Miss Bellenden coloured like crimson, as the latter returned the low inclination he made, even to the saddlebow, in passing her.

"Do you know that young person?" said Lady Margaret.

"I--I--have seen him, madam, at my uncle's, and--and--elsewhere, occasionally," stammered Edith.

"I hear them say around me," said Lady Margaret, "that the young spark is the nephew of old Milnwood."

"The son of the late Colonel Morton of Milnwood, who commanded a regiment of horse with great courage at Dunbar and Inverkeithing," said a gentleman beside Lady Margaret.

"Ay, and before that, who fought for the Covenanters, both at Marston Moor and Philipshaugh," said Lady Margaret, sighing. "His son ought to dispense with intruding himself into the company of those to whom his name must bring unpleasing recollections."

"You forget, my dear lady, he comes here to discharge suit and service in name for his uncle. He is an old miser, and although probably against the grain, sends the young gentleman to save pecuniary pains and penalties. The youngster is, I suppose, happy enough to escape for the day from the dullness of the old home at Milnwood."

The company now dispersed, excepting such as, having tried their dexterity at the popinjay, were, by ancient custom, obliged to partake of a grace-cup with their captain, who, though he spared the cup himself, took care it should go round with due celerity among the rest.

On leaving the alehouse, a stranger observed to Morton that he was riding towards Milnwood, and asked for the advantage of his company.

"Certainly," said Morton, though there was a gloomy and relentless severity in the man's manner from which he recoiled, and they rode off together.

They had not long left, when Cornet Grahame, a kinsman of Claverhouse, entered with the news that the Archbishop of St. Andrews had been murdered by a body of the rebel Whigs.

He read their descriptions, and it was clear that the stern stranger who had just left with Henry Morton, was Balfour of Burley, the actual commander of the band of assassins, though Morton himself knew nothing of Burley's terrible deed.

"Horse, horse, and pursue, my lads!" exclaimed Cornet Grahame. "The murdering dog's head is worth its weight in gold."

II.--Henry Morton's Escape

The dragoons soon arrived at Milnwood, and carried off Henry Morton prisoner for having given a night's shelter to Balfour of Burley, an old military comrade of his father's. Morton acknowledged he had done this, but refused to give any other information. Hitherto he had meddled with no party in the state. They decided to bring him before Colonel Grahame of Claverhouse, who was expected next day at the Castle of Tillietudlem, the residence of Lady Margaret Bellenden.

Although Henry Morton had prevailed upon the sergeant to let him be muffled up in one of the soldier's cloaks, Miss Edith Bellenden found it impossible to withdraw her eyes from him, and her waiting maid soon discovered his identity, and found means for the lovers (for such they were) to meet in secret in the room where the prisoner was confined.

"You are lost, you are lost, if you are to plead your cause with Claverhouse!" sighed Edith. "The primate was his intimate friend and early patron. 'No excuse, no subterfuge,' he wrote to my grandmother, 'shall save either those connected with the deed, or such as have given them countenance and shelter.'"

They were interrupted by the guard, and Morton, assuming a firmness he was far from feeling, whispered, "Farewell, Edith; leave me to my fate; it cannot be beyond endurance, since you are interested in it. Good night, good night! Do not remain here till you are discovered."

"Everyone has his taste, to be sure," said the sentinel; "but, d---- me if I would vex so sweet a girl for all the Whigs that ever swore a covenant!"

After breakfast next day, Major Bellenden, Edith's grand-uncle, to whom she had written, approached Claverhouse, to plead for the life of the son of his old friend, but she heard the reply.

"It cannot be, Major Bellenden; lenity in his case is altogether beyond the bounds of my commission. And here comes Evandale with news, as I think. What tidings do you bring us, Evandale?" addressing the young lord, who now entered in complete uniform but with dress disordered, and boots bespattered.

"Unpleasant news, sir," was the reply. "A large body of Whigs are in arms among the hills, and have broken out into actual rebellion."

Claverhouse immediately bid them sound to horse, saying, "There are rogues enough in the country to make the rebels five times their strength, if they are not checked at once."

"Many," said Evandale, "are flocking to them already, and they expect a strong body of the indulged Presbyterians, headed by young Milnwood, the son of the famous old Roundhead, Colonel Silas Morton."

"It's a lie!" said the major hastily, and begged that Henry Morton might at once be heard himself. Evandale drew near to Miss Bellenden, and addressed her in a manner, expressing a feeling much deeper and more agitating than was conveyed in his phrases.

"I will but dispose of this young fellow," said Claverhouse, "and then Lord Evandale--I am sorry to interrupt your conversation--but then we must mount. Why do you not bring up your prisoner? And hark ye, let two files load their carbines."

Edith broke through the restraint that had hitherto kept her silent, and entreated Lord Evandale to use his interest with his colonel, becoming bolder and more urgent as the soldiers entered with the prisoner, whom they had just informed that Lady Margaret's niece was interceding for his life with Lord Evandale, to whom she was about to be married.

The unfortunate prisoner heard enough, as he passed behind Edith's seat, of the broken expressions which passed between her and Lord Evandale, to confirm all that the soldiers had told him.

That moment made a singular and instantaneous change in his character. Desperate himself, he determined to support the rights of his country, insulted in his person. So he declined to answer any questions, and assured Claverhouse that there were yet Scotsmen who could assert the liberties of Scotland.

"Make you peace then, with Heaven, in five minutes space. Bothwell, lead him down to the courtyard, and draw up your party!"

A silence of horror fell on all but the speaker at these words. Edith sprang up, but her strength gave way, and she would have fallen had she not been caught by her attendant.

Evandale at once addressed Claverhouse, and calling him aside reminded him of services rendered by his family in an affair of the privy council.

"Certainly, my dear Evandale," answered Claverhouse; "I am not a man who forgets such debts. How can I evince my gratitude?"

"I will hold the debt cancelled," said Lord Evandale, "if you will spare this young man's life."

"Evandale," replied Claverhouse in great surprise, "you are mad--absolutely mad. You see him? He is tottering on the verge between time and eternity; yet his is the only cheek unblanched, the only heart that keeps its usual time. Look at him well. If that man should ever come to head an army of rebels, you will have much to answer for."

He then said aloud, "Young man, your life is for the present safe, owing to the interference of your friends." So Morton was hurried down to the courtyard, where three other prisoners remained under an escort of dragoons; soon they were all pressing forward to overtake the main body, as it was supposed they would come in sight of the enemy in less than two hours. It was obvious, when they did so that there were old soldiers with the rebels from the choice of the ground, and the order of battle in which they waited the assault. Cornet Grahame was sent with a flag of truce to offer a free pardon to all but the murderers of the archbishop if they would disperse themselves. On his persisting in addressing the people themselves in spite of the warning of their spokesman, Balfour of Burley, whom he recognised. "Then the Lord grant grace to thy soul--amen!" said Burley, and fired, and Cornet Grahame dropped from his horse, mortally wounded.

"What have you done?" said one of Balfour's brother officers.

"My duty," said Balfour firmly. "Is it not written 'Thou shalt be zealous even to slaying?' Let those who dare now venture to talk of truce or pardon!"

Claverhouse saw his nephew fall; with a glance of indescribable emotion he looked at Evandale. "I will avenge him, or die," exclaimed Evandale, and rode furiously down the hill, followed by his own troop, and that of the deceased cornet, each striving to be first in revenge. They soon fell into confusion in the broken ground. In vain Claverhouse shouted, "Halt! halt! This rashness will undo us." The enemy set upon them with the utmost fury, crying, "Woe, woe to the uncircumcised Philistines! Down with the Dagon and all his adherents!" Though the young nobleman fought like a lion, he was forced to retreat, and soon Claverhouse was compelled to follow his troops in their flight; as he passed Henry Morton and the other prisoners just released from their bonds, Evandale's horse was shot, and Morton rushed forward just in time to prevent his being killed by Balfour himself in hot pursuit.

III.--The Presbyterian Insurgents

John Balfour of Burley, a man of some fortune and good family, a soldier from his youth upwards, aspired to place himself at the head of the Presbyterian forces then in arms against the English government. On this account he was particularly anxious to secure the accession of young Henry Morton to the cause of the insurgents, for the memory of Morton's father was esteemed among the Presbyterians, and few persons of decent quality had so far joined the rising.

Morton, on his side, was willing to join in any insurrection which promised freedom to the country though he abhorred the murder of Sharpe, and the tenets of the wilder set of Cameronians, by whom the seeds of disunion were already thickly sown in the ill-fated party.

At the nomination of the council of the Presbyterian army Morton was sent with the main body to march against Glasgow, while Burley, with a chosen body of five hundred men, remained behind to blockade the castle of Tillietudlem. A command to surrender had been scorned with indignation by Major Bellenden and Lord Evandale.

A few weeks later a pause in the hostilities enabled Morton, anxious for the fate of Tillietudlem, to return to Burley's camp, where he learnt that Evandale had been taken prisoner, and was to be hanged at daybreak unless the castle surrendered.

Burley sullenly yielded his prisoner into Morton's hands, and Evandale, released on parole by the man whose life he had previously saved, undertook to set out for Edinburgh, with a list of the grievances of the insurgents. A mutiny within the castle drove Major Bellenden to evacuate Tillietudlem; the ladies acquiesced in the decision, and when the scarlet and blue colours of the Scottish Covenant floated from the keep of Tillietudlem, the cavalcade led by the major was on the road towards Edinburgh.

Lord Evandale's good word saved Morton a second time when Claverhouse routed the Presbyterian army at Bothwell Bridge. Morton was taken prisoner, but his life was spared, and at Leith he was put on board a vessel bound for Rotterdam with letters of recommendation to the Prince of Orange.

IV.--Henry Morton Returns in Time

By the prudent tolerance of King William Scotland narrowly escaped the horrors of a protracted civil war. The triumphant Whigs re-established Presbytery as the national religion, and only the extreme sect of Cameronians on the one side, and the Highlanders, who were for the deposed Stuart king, on the other, disturbed the peace of the land. Balfour of Burley refused to sheathe his sword, and Evandale followed his old commander Claverhouse (now Viscount Dundee) in joining the rebel Jacobites. Major Bellenden was dead.

No news had ever come of Henry Morton, and it was believed with good reason he was lost when the vessel in which he sailed went down with crew and passengers. But Morton was already back in Scotland, in the service of King William.

In the belief of her Morton's death, Edith Bellenden had become betrothed to Lord Evandale, though she postponed marriage, and her prayers went out to him that he would refrain from joining Claverhouse, when he came to bid her farewell.

"Oh, my lord, remain!" said Edith. "Do not rush on death and ruin! Remain to be our prop and stay, and hope everything from time."

"It is too late, Edith," answered Lord Evandale. "I know you cannot love me, that your heart is dead or absent. But were it otherwise, the die is now cast."

As he spoke thus an old servant rushed in to say a party of horse headed by one Basil Olifant, a rascal who was anxious to take Evandale for the sake of reward, had beset the outlets of the house.

"Oh, hide yourself, my lord!" cried Edith, in an agony of terror.

"I will not, by Heaven!" answered Lord Evandale. "What right has the villain to assail me or stop my passage? I will make my way, were he backed by a regiment. And now, farewell, Edith!"

He clasped her in his arms, and kissed her tenderly; then rushed out and mounted his horse, and with his servants rode composedly down the avenue.

As soon as Lord Evandale appeared, Olifant's party spread themselves a little, as if preparing to enclose him. Their leader stood fast, supported by three men, two of whom were dragoons, the third in dress and appearance a countryman, all well-armed. Whoever had before seen the strong figure, stern features, and resolved manner of the third attendant could have no difficulty in recognising Balfour of Burley.

"Follow me," said Lord Evandale to his servants, "and if we are forcibly opposed, do as I do."

He advanced at a hand gallop; Olifant called out, "Shoot the traitor!" and four carbines were fired upon the unfortunate nobleman. He reeled in the saddle, and fell from his horse mortally wounded. His servants fired and Basil Olifant and a dragoon were stretched lifeless on the ground.

Burley, whose blood was up, exclaimed, "Down with the Midianites!" and advanced, sword in hand. At this instant the clatter of horses' hoofs was heard, and a party of horse appeared on the fatal field. They were foreign dragoons led by a Dutch commander, accompanied by Morton and a civil magistrate.

Only the belief that Evandale was to marry Edith had kept Morton hitherto from revealing his return.

A hasty call to surrender, in the name of God and King William, was obeyed by all except Burley, who turned his horse and attempted to escape. Pursued by soldiers he made for the river, but was shot in the middle of the stream, and felt himself dangerously wounded. He returned towards the bank he had left, waving his hand as if in token of surrender. The troopers ceased firing, and as he approached a dragoon laid hands on him. Burley, in requital, grasped his throat, and both came headlong into the river, and were swept down the stream. They were twice seen to rise, the trooper trying to swim, and Burley clinging to him in a manner that showed his desire that both should perish. Their corpses were taken out about a quarter of a mile down the river.

While the soul of this stern enthusiast flitted to its account, that of the brave and generous Lord Evandale was also released. Morton had flung himself from his horse, to render his dying friend all the aid in his power. Evandale knew him, for he pressed his hand, and intimated by signs his wish to be conveyed to the house. This was done with all the care possible, and the clamorous grief of the lamenting household was far exceeded in intensity by the silent agony of Edith. Unconscious even of the presence of Morton, she was not aware that fate, who was removing one faithful lover, had restored another as if from the grave, until Lord Evandale taking their hands in his, united them together, raised his face as if to pray for a blessing on them, and sunk back and expired in the next moment.

The marriage of Morton and Miss Bellenden was delayed for several months on account of Lord Evandale's death. Lady Margaret was prevailed on to countenance Morton, who now stood high in the reputation of the world, and Edith was her only hope, and she wished to see her happy. So Lady Margaret put her prejudice aside, for Morton's being an old Covenanter stuck sorely with her for some time, and consoled herself with the recollection that his most sacred majesty Charles the Second had once observed to her that marriage went by destiny.

Peveril of the Peak

"Peveril of the Peak," the longest of all the Waverley novels, was published in 1823. For the main idea of the tale Sir Walter was indebted to some papers found by his younger brother, Thomas Scott, in the Isle of Man. These papers gave the story of William Christian, who took the side of the Roundheads against the high-spirited Countess of Derby, and was subsequently tried and executed, according to the laws of the island, by that lady, for having dethroned his august mistress and imprisoned her and her family. "Peveril" is one of the most complicated, in respect of characters and incidents, of Scott's works. The canvas is crowded with personages, good, bad, and indifferent, yet all full of vitality and responding to the actual forces which their creator set in motion.

I.--Cavalier and Roundhead

In Charles the Second's time, the representative of an ancient family in the county of Derbyshire, long distinguished by the proud title of Peverils of the Peak, was Sir Geoffrey Peveril, a man with the attributes of an old-fashioned country gentleman.

When the civil wars broke out, Peveril of the Peak raised a regiment for the king, and performed his part with sufficient gallantry for several rough years. He witnessed also the final defeat at Worcester, where, for the second time, he was made prisoner, and being regarded as an obstinate malignant, was in great danger of execution. But Sir Geoffrey's life was preserved by the interest of a friend, who possessed influence in the councils of Cromwell. This was a Major Bridgenorth, a gentleman of middling quality, who had inherited from his father a considerable sum of money, and to whom Sir Geoffrey was under pecuniary obligations.

Moultrassie Hall, the residence of Mr. Bridgenorth, was but two miles distant from Martindale Castle, the ancient seat of the Peverils; and while, as Bridgenorth was a decided Roundhead, all friendly communication which had grown up betwixt Sir Geoffrey and his neighbour was abruptly broken asunder at the outbreak of hostilities, on the trial and execution of Charles I., Bridgenorth was so shocked, fearing the domination of the military, that his politics on many points became those of the Peverils, and he favoured the return of Charles II.

Another bond of intimacy, stronger than the same political opinions, now united the families of the castle and the hall.

In the beginning of the year 1658 Major Bridgenorth--who had lost successively a family of six young children--was childless; ere it ended, he had a daughter, but her birth was purchased by the death of an affectionate wife. The same voice which told Bridgenorth that he was a father of a living child--it was the friendly voice of Lady Peveril--told him that he was no longer a husband.

Lady Peveril placed in Bridgenorth's arms the infant whose birth had cost him so dear, and conjured him to remember that his Alice was not yet dead, since she survived in the helpless child.

"Take her away--take her away!" said the unhappy man. "Let me not look on her! It is but another blossom that has bloomed to fade."

"I will take the child for a season," said Lady Peveril, "since the sight of her is so painful to you; and the little Alice shall share the nursery of our Julian until it shall be pleasure, and not pain, for you to look on her."

"That hour will never come," said the unhappy father; "she will follow the rest--God's will be done! Lady, I thank you--I trust her to your care."

It is enough to say that the Lady Peveril did undertake the duties of a mother to the little orphan, and the puny infant gradually improved in strength and in loveliness.

Sir Geoffrey was naturally fond of children, and so much compassionated the sorrows of his neighbour, that morning after morning he made Moultrassie Hall the termination of his walk or ride, and said a single word of kindness as he passed. "How is it with you, Master Bridgenorth?" the knight would say, halting his horse by the latticed window. "I just looked in to bid you keep a good heart, man, and to tell you that Julian is well, and little Alice is well, and all are well at Martindale Castle."

"I thank you, Sir Geoffrey; my grateful duty waits on Lady Peveril," was generally Bridgenorth's only answer.

The voice of Peveril suddenly assumed a new and different tone in the month of April, 1660. He rushed into the apartment of the astonished major with his eyes sparkling and called out, "Up, up, neighbour! No time now to mope in the chimney-corner! Where is your buff coat and broadsword, man? Take the true side once in your life, and mend past mistakes. Monk has declared at London--for the king. Fairfax is up in Yorkshire--for the king, for the king, man! I have a letter from Fairfax to secure Derby and Chesterfield with all the men I can make. All are friends now, and you and I, good neighbour, will charge abreast as good neighbours should!" The sturdy cavalier's heart became too full, and exclaiming, "Did ever I think to live to see this happy day!" he wept, to his own surprise as much as to that of Bridgenorth.

The neighbours were both at Chesterfield when news arrived that the king had landed in England, and Sir Geoffrey instantly announced his purpose of waiting upon his majesty, while the major desired nothing better than to find all well at Martindale on his return.

Accordingly, on the subsequent morning, Bridgenorth went to Martindale Castle, and gave Lady Peveril the welcome assurances of her husband's safety.

"May Almighty God be praised!" said the Lady Peveril. The door of the apartment opened as she spoke, and two lovely children entered. The eldest, Julian Peveril, a fine boy betwixt four and five years old, led in his hand a little girl of eighteen months, who rolled and tottered along.

Bridgenorth cast a hasty glance upon his daughter, and then caught her in his arms and pressed her to his heart. The child, though at first alarmed at the vehemence of his caresses, presently smiled in reply to them.

"Julian must lose his playfellow now, I suppose?" said Lady Peveril. "But the hall is not distant, and I will see my little charge often."

"God forbid my girl should ever come to Moultrassie," said Major Bridgenorth hastily; "it has been the grave of her race. The air of the low grounds suited them not. I will seek for her some other place of abode."

"Major Bridgenorth," answered the lady, "if she goes not to her father's house, she shall not quit mine. I will keep the little lady as a pledge of her safety and my own skill; and since you are afraid of the damp of the low grounds, I hope you will come here frequently to visit her."

This was a proposal which went to the heart of Major Bridgenorth. He expressed his grateful duty to Lady Peveril, and having solemnly blessed his little girl, took his departure for Moultrassie Hall.


The friendly relations between the inhabitants of Martindale and Moultrassie came to an end with the common rejoicing over the restoration of Charles II.

The Countess of Derby, queen in the Isle of Man, whose husband had perished for the crown, took refuge at the castle, fleeing from a warrant for her arrest, and told her story to Lady Peveril in the presence of Major Bridgenorth.

The countess had kept the royal standard flying in Man until her vassal, William Christian, turned against her. Then for seven years she had endured strict captivity, until the tide turned, and she was once more in possession of the sovereignty of the island. "I was no sooner placed in possession of my rightful power," said the countess, "than I ordered the dempster to hold a high court of justice upon the traitor Christian, according to all the formalities of the isle. He was fully convicted of his crime, and without delay was shot to death by a file of musketeers."

At hearing this, Bridgenorth clasped his hands together and groaned bitterly. "O Christian--worthy, well worthy of the name thou didst bear! My friend, my brother--the brother of my blessed wife Alice, art thou, then, cruelly murdered!"

Then, drawing himself up with resolution, he demanded the arrest of the countess.

This Lady Peveril would not permit, and Bridgenorth left the castle. The arrival of Sir Geoffrey from London with news that the council had sent a herald with the king's warrant for the Countess of Derby's arrest, made flight to the Isle of Man imperative. Bridgenorth, with a number of the old Roundheads, attempted to prevent the escape, but were beaten off by Sir Geoffrey and his men, and the countess embarked safely for her son's hereditary dominions, until the accusation against her for breach of the royal indemnity by the execution of Christian could be brought to some compromise.

Before leaving Martindale, the countess called Julian to her, and kissing his forehead said: "When I am safely established and have my present affairs arranged, you must let me have this little Julian of yours some time hence, to be nurtured in my house, held as my page, and the playfellow of the little Derby."

Five years passed.

Major Bridgenorth left his seat of Moultrassie Hall in the care of his old housekeeper and departed to no one knew whither, having in company with him his daughter, Alice, and Mrs. Deborah Debbitch, the child's early nurse at the castle.

Lady Peveril, with many tears, took a temporary leave of her son, Julian, who was sent as had been long intended for the purpose of sharing the education of the young Earl of Derby. The plan seemed to be in every respect successful, and when, from time to time, Julian visited the house of his father, Lady Peveril had the satisfaction to see him improved in person and in manner. In process of time he became a gallant and accomplished youth, and travelled for some time upon the Continent with the young earl.

III.--The Island Lovers

Julian, leaving the earl to go on a sailing voyage, assumed the dress of one who means to amuse himself with angling. Then, mounted upon a Manx pony, he rode briskly over the country, and halted at one of the mountain streams, and followed along the bank until he reached a house where once a fastness had stood, called the Black Fort.

He received no answer to his knocks, and impatience getting the upper hand, Julian opened the door, and passed through the hall into a summer parlour.

"How now--how is this?" said a woman's voice. "You here, Master Peveril, in spite of all the warnings you have had!"

"Yes, Mistress Deborah," said Peveril. "I am here once more, against every prohibition. Where is Alice?"

"Where you will never see her, Master Julian--you may satisfy yourself of that," answered Mistress Deborah. "For if Dame Christian should learn that you have chosen to make your visits to her niece, I promise you we should soon be obliged to find other quarters."

"Come now, Mistress Deborah, be good-humoured," said Julian. "Consider, was not all this intimacy of ours of your own making? Did you not make yourself known to me the very first time I strolled up this glen with my fishing-rod, and tell me that you were my former keeper, and that Alice had been my little playfellow?"

"Yes," said Dame Deborah; "but I did not bid you fall in love with us, though, or propose such a matter as marriage either to Alice or myself. Why, there is the knight your father, and my lady your mother; and there is her father that is half crazy with his religion, and her aunt that wears eternal black grogram for that unlucky Colonel Christian; and there is the Countess of Derby that would serve us all with the same sauce if we were thinking of anything that would displease her. Though I may indeed have said your estates were born to be united, and sure enough they might be were you to marry Alice Bridgenorth."

The good nature of Dame Debbitch could not, however, resist the appeal of Julian, and she left the apartment and ran upstairs.

The visits of Julian to the Black Fort had hitherto been only occasional, but his affections were fixed, and his ardent character had already declared his love. To-day, on her entrance to the room, Alice reproached him for again coming there against her earnest request. "It were better that we should part for a long time," she said softly, "and for heaven's sake let it be as soon as possible--perhaps it is even now too late to prevent some unpleasant accident. Spare yourself, Julian--spare me--and in mercy to us both depart, and return not again till you can be more reasonable."

"Reasonable?" replied Julian. "Did you not say that if our parents could be brought to consent to our union, you would no longer oppose my suit?"

"Indeed, indeed, Julian," said the almost weeping girl, "you ought not to press me thus. It is ungenerous, it is cruel. You dared not to mention the subject to your own father--how should you venture to mention it to mine?"

"Major Bridgenorth," replied Julian, "by my mother's account, is an estimable man. I will remind him that to my mother's care he owes the dearest treasure and comfort of his life. Let me but know where to find him, Alice, and you shall soon hear if I have feared to plead my cause with him."

"Do not attempt it," said Alice. "He is already a man of sorrows. Besides, I could not tell you if I would where he is now to be found. My letters reach him from time to time by means of my Aunt Christian, but of his address I am entirely ignorant."

"Then, by heaven," answered Julian, "I will watch his arrival in this island, and he shall answer me on the subject of my suit."

"Then demand that answer now," said a voice, as the door opened, "for here stands Ralph Bridgenorth." As he spoke, he entered the apartment with slow and sedate step, and eyed alternately his daughter and Julian Peveril with a penetrating glance.

Bidding his daughter learn to rule her passions and retire to her chamber, Bridgenorth turned to Julian and told him he had long known of this attachment, and went on to point out calmly the differences which made the union seem impossible. "But heaven hath at times opened a door where man beholds no means of issue," continued Bridgenorth. "Julian, your mother is, after the fashion of the world, one of the best and one of the wisest of women, with a mind as pure as the original frailty of our vile nature will permit. Of your father I say nothing--he is what the times and examples of others have made him. I have power over him, which ere now he might have felt, but there is one within his chambers who might have suffered in his suffering. Enough, however, of this, for to-day this is thy habitation."

So saying, he stretched out his thin, bony hand and grasped that of Julian Peveril.

Presently, with the feeling of one who walks in a pleasant dream from which he fears to awake, and whose delight is mingled with wonder and with uncertainty, Julian found himself seated between Alice Bridgenorth and her father--the being he most loved on earth and the person whom he had ever considered as the great obstacle to their intercourse.

It was evening when he departed. "You have not, after all," said Bridgenorth, bidding Julian farewell, "told me the cause of your coming hither. Will you find no words to ask of me the great boon which you seek? Nay, reply not to me now, but go, and peace be with you."

IV.--The Popish Plot

Julian Peveril set out for London when the fictitious "popish plot" of Titus Oates had set England "stark staring mad," promising the countess that he would apprise her should any danger menace the Earl of Derby or herself. He had learnt that Bridgenorth was on the island with secret and severe orders, and that the countess in return was issuing warrants on her own authority for the apprehension of Bridgenorth, and before leaving he obtained one more interview with Alice, who was alive to the dangers on all sides.

"Break off all intercourse with our family," said Alice. "Return to your parents--or, what will be much safer, visit the Continent, and abide till God sends better days to England, for these are black with many a storm. Placed as we are, with open war about to break out betwixt our parents and friends, we must part on this spot, and at this hour, never to meet again."

"No, by heaven!" said Peveril, venturing to throw his arm around her; "we part not, Alice. If I am to leave my native land you shall be my companion in my exile. Fear not for my parents; they love me, and they will soon learn to love, in Alice, the only being on earth who could have rendered their son happy. And for your own father, when state and church intrigues allow him to bestow a thought upon you, will he not think your happiness is cared for when you are my wife? What could his pride desire better for you than the establishment which will one day be mine?"

"It cannot--it cannot be," said Alice, faltering. "Think what I, the cause of all, should feel when your father frowns, your mother weeps, your noble friends stand aloof, and you--even you--shall have made the painful discovery that you have incurred the resentment of all to satisfy a boyish passion. Farewell, then, Julian; but first take the solemn advice which I impart to you: shun my father--you cannot walk in his paths; leave this island, which will soon be agitated by strange incidents; while you stay be on your guard, distrust everything----"

Alice broke off suddenly, and with a faint shriek. Once more her father stood unexpectedly before them.

"I thank you, Alice," he said solemnly to his daughter, "for the hints you have thrown out; and now retire, and let me complete the conference which you have commenced."

"I go, sir," said Alice. "Julian, to you my last words are: Farewell and caution!"

She turned from them, and was seen no more.

Bridgenorth turned to Peveril. "You are willing to lead my only child into exile from her native country, to give her a claim to the kindness and protection from your family, which you know will be disregarded, on condition I consent to bestow her hand on you, with a fortune sufficient to have matched that of your ancestors when they had most reason to boast of their wealth. This, young man, seems no equal bargain. And yet, so little do I value the goods of this world, that it might not be utterly beyond thy power to reconcile me to the match which you have proposed."

"Show me but the means, Major Bridgenorth," said Peveril, "and you shall see how eagerly I will obey your directions, or submit to your conditions."

"This is a critical period," cried the major; "it becomes the duty of all men to step forward. You, Julian Peveril, yourself know the secret but rapid strides which Rome has made to erect her Dagon of idolatry within our Protestant land."

"I trust to live and die in the faith of the reformed Church of England," said Peveril. "I have seen popery too closely to be friendly to its tenets."

"Enough," said Bridgenorth, "that I find thee not as yet enlightened with the purer doctrine, but willing to uplift thy testimony against the errors and arts of the Church of Rome. At present thy prejudices occupy thy mind like the strong keeper of the house mentioned in Scripture. But, remember, thou wilt soon be called upon to justify what thou hast said, and I trust to see thy name rank high amongst those by whom the prey shall be rent from the mighty."

"You have spoken to me in riddles, Major Bridgenorth," said Peveril; "and I have asked for no explanation. But we do not part in anger?"

"Not in anger, my son," answered Bridgenorth, "but in love and strong affection. I accept not thy suit, neither do I reject it; only he that would be my son must first show himself the true and loving child of his oppressed and deluded country. Farewell; thou shalt hear of me sooner than thou thinkest for."

He shook Peveril heartily by the hand, leaving him with confused impressions of pleasure, doubt, and wonder. Surprised to find himself so far in the good graces of Alice's father, he could not help suspecting that Bridgenorth was desirous, as the price of his favour, that he should adopt some line of conduct inconsistent with the principles of his education.

Arrived in England, Julian first hastened to Martindale, only to find the castle in the hands of officers of the House of Commons and his mother and Sir Geoffrey prisoners on suspicion of conspiring in the popish plot, and about to be escorted to London by a strong guard. On their departure the property of the castle was taken possession of by an attorney in the name of Major Bridgenorth, a large creditor of the unfortunate knight.

Julian himself was soon seized and put to trial with his father. But the fury of the people had, however, now begun to pass away, and men's minds were beginning to cool. The character of the witnesses was more closely sifted--their testimonies did not in all cases tally. Chief Justice Scroggs, sagacious in the signs of the times, saw that court favour, and probably popular opinion also, were about to declare against the witnesses and in favour of the accused.

Sir Geoffrey and. Julian were both declared "not guilty" of the monstrous and absurd charges brought against them and the accusation against Lady Peveril was dropped.

No sooner had the Peverils, father and son, escaped to Lady Peveril's lodgings, and the first rapturous meeting over, than Alice Bridgenorth was presented by Julian's mother as the pretended daughter of an old cavalier, and Sir Geoffrey embraced her warmly. Julian, to whom his mother whispered that Alice was there by her father's authority, was as one enchanted, when a gentleman arrived from Whitehall bidding Sir Geoffrey and his son instantly attend upon the king's presence.

The Countess of Derby had come openly to court, braving all danger, when she heard of the arrest of the Peverils, resolved to save their lives. From the king's own lips she heard of the acquittal, and Charles II., for the moment anxious to reward the fidelity of his old follower, invited them forthwith to Whitehall.

Sir Geoffrey, with every feeling of his early life afloat in his memory, threw himself on his knees before the king, and Charles said, with feeling, "My good Sir Geoffrey, you have had some hard measure; we owe you amends, and will find time to pay our debt."

Later in the evening the Countess of Derby, who had had much private conversation with Julian, said, "Your majesty, there is a certain Major Bridgenorth, who designs, as we are informed, to leave England for ever. By dint of the law he hath acquired strong possession over the domains of Peveril, which he desires to restore to the ancient owners with much fair land besides, conditionally that our young Julian will receive them as the dowry of his only child."

"By my faith!" said the king, "she must be a foul-mouthed wench if Julian requires to be pressed to accept her on such fair conditions."

"They love each other like lovers of the last age," said the countess; "but the stout old knight likes not the roundheaded alliance."

"Our royal word shall put that to rights," said the king. "Sir Geoffrey Peveril has not suffered hardship so often at our command that he will refuse our recommendation when it comes to make amends for all losses."

The king did not speak without being fully aware of the ascendancy which he possessed over the spirit of the old Tory; and within four weeks afterwards the bells of Martindale-Moultrassie were ringing for the union of the two families, and the beacon-light of the castle blazed high over hill and dale.