The Project Gutenberg eBook of Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, Volume 22. October, 1878

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Title: Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, Volume 22. October, 1878

Author: Various

Release date: August 21, 2006 [eBook #19093]

Language: English

Credits: Produced by Juliet Sutherland, Christine D. and the Online
Distributed Proofreading Team at


Transcriber's Note: The Table of Contents and the list of illustrations were added by the transcriber.

Lippincott's Magazine



OCTOBER, 1878.

Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1878, by J.B. Lippincott & Co., in the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington.


Books Received. 520
Music Received. 520



[Pg 393]



The history of England is written in living characters in the provincial towns of the kingdom; and it is this which gives such interest to places which have been surpassed commercially by great manufacturing centres and overshadowed socially by the attractions of London. The local nobility once held state little less than royal in houses whose beautiful architecture now masks a hotel, a livery-stable, a girls' school, a lawyer's office or a workingmen's club, and there are places where almost every cottage, every wooden balcony or overhanging oriel, suggests something romantic and antique. Even if no positive association is connected with one of these humbler specimens of English domestic architecture, you can fall back on the traditional home of love and poetry, the recollections of idyls and pastorals daily acted out by unconscious illustrators of the poets from one generation to another. Modern life engrafted on these old towns and villages seems prosaic and [Pg 394]unattractive, though practically it is that which first strikes the eye. New fronts mask old buildings, as new manners do old virtues; and if we come to the frame and adjuncts of daily life, we must confess that nineteenth-century trivialities are intrinsically no worse than mediæval trivialities.

There are in Warwick more modern houses and smart shops than ancient gabled and half-timbered houses, but the relics of the past are still striking: witness the ancient porch of the good old "Malt-Shovel," with its bow-window, in which the Dudley retainers often caroused, and the oblique gables in one of the side streets, which Rimmer, a minute observer of English domestic architecture, thus describes: "An acute-angled street may be made to contain rectangular rooms on an upper story.... Draw an acute angle—say something a little less than a right angle—and cut it into compartments; or, if preferred, an obtuse angle, and cut this into compartments also. Now, the roadway may be so prescribed as to prevent right angles from being made on the basement, but the complementary angles are ingeniously made out by allowing the joists to be of extra length, and cutting the ends off when they come to the square. The effect is extremely picturesque, and I cannot remember seeing this peculiar piece of construction elsewhere."

At the western end of High street stands Leicester's Hospital, which was originally a hall belonging to two guilds, but, coming into possession of the Dudleys, was converted into a hospital by Elizabeth's favorite in 1571. The "master" was to belong to the Established Church, and the "brethren" were to be retainers of the earl of Leicester and his heirs, preference being given to those who had served and been disabled in the wars. The act of incorporation gives a list of neighboring towns and villages, and specifies that queen's soldiers from these, in rotation, are to have the next presentations. There is a common kitchen, with a cook and porter, and each brother receives some eighty pounds per annum, besides the privileges of the house. Early in this century the number of inmates was increased to twenty-two, unlike many such institutions, whose funded property accumulated without the original number of patients or the amount of their pensions being correspondingly increased. The hospital-men still wear the old uniform—a gown of blue cloth, with the silver badge of the Dudleys, the bear and ragged staff. The chapel has been restored in nearly the old form, and stretches over the pathway, with a promenade at the top of the flight of steps round it, and the black-and-white (or half-timbered) building that forms the hospital encloses a spacious open quadrangle in the style common to hostelries. The carvings are very fine and varied, and add greatly to the beauty of the galleries and covered stair. The monastic charities founded by men of the old religion are now in the hands of the corporation for distribution among the poor of the town, and besides the old grammar-school founded by Henry VIII., with a yearly exhibition to each of the universities, and open to all boys, rich and poor, of the town, there are five other public schools and forty almshouses. The old generous, helpful spirit survives, in spite of new economic theories, in these English country towns, and landlords and merchants have not yet given up the old-fashioned belief that where they make their money they are bound to spend it to the best advantage of their poorer and less fortunate neighbors. Many local magnates, however, have departed from this rule. Country gentlemen no longer have houses in the county-town, but flock to London for the purposes of social and fashionable life. They have decidedly lost in dignity by this rush to the capital, and it is doubtful how far they have gained in pleasure, though the few whose means still compel them to stay at home, or only go to town once or twice in a lifetime for a court presentation, would gladly take the risk for the sake of the experiment. The feeling which made the Rohans adopt as a motto, "Roy ne puis—Prince ne veux—Rohan je suis," is one which is theoretically strong among the country squires of England, the [Pg 395]possessors of the bluest blood and longest deeds of hereditary lands; but the snobbishness of the nineteenth century is practically apt to taint the younger branches when they read of garden-parties given by the royal princes or balls where duchesses and cabinet ministers are as plentiful as blackberries. Their great-grandmothers, it is true, were sometimes troubled with the same longings, for among the many proclamations against the residence in London of country gentlemen in unofficial positions is one of James I., noticing "those swarms of gentry, who, through the instigation of their wives, do neglect their country hospitality and cumber the city, a general nuisance to the kingdom;" and the royal Solomon elsewhere observes that "gentlemen resident on their estates are like ships in port—their value and magnitude are felt and acknowledged; but when at a distance, as their size seemeth insignificant, so their worth and importance are not duly estimated." There is a weak point in this simile, however; so, to cover it with a better and more unpretentious argument, I will quote a few lines from an old poem of Sir Richard Fanshawe on the subject of one of these proclamations:

Nor let the gentry grudge to go
Into those places whence they grew,
But think them blest they may do so.
Who would pursue
The smoky glories of the town
That may go till his native earth,
And by the shining fire sit down
On his own hearth?

Believe me, ladies, you will find
In that sweet life more solid joys,
More true contentment to the mind,
Than all town toys.


The solemn county balls, to which access was as difficult as it is now to a court festivity, have dwindled to public affairs with paid subscriptions, yet even in their changed conditions they are somewhat of an event in the winter life of a neighborhood. Everybody has the entrée who can command the price of a ticket, though, as a rule, different classes form coteries and dance among themselves. The country-houses for ten or twelve miles around contribute their Christmas and New Year guests, often a large party in two or three carriages. Political popularity is not lost sight of, and civilities to the wives and daughters of the tradesmen and voters often secure more support in the next election than strict principle warrants; but though the men thus mingle with the majority of the dancers, it is seldom the ladies leave the upper end of the hall, where the local aristocracy holds a sort of court. In places where there is a garrison the[Pg 396] military are a great reinforcement to the body of dancers and flirts. The society proper of a county-town is mostly cut up into a small clique of clerical and professional men, with a few spinsters of gentle eccentricity and limited means, the sisters and aunts of country gentlemen, and a larger body of well-to-do tradesmen and their families, including the ministers of the dissenting chapels and their families. One of the latter may be possibly a preacher of local renown, and one of the Anglican clergy will almost invariably be an antiquary of real merit. The mayor and corporation belong, as a rule, to the larger set, but the lawyers and doctors hold a neutral position and are welcomed everywhere, partly for the sake of gossip, partly for their own individual merits. Warwick has the additional advantage over many kindred places of the near neighborhood of Leamington, a fashionable watering-place two miles and a half distant, one of the mushrooms of this century, but in a practical point of view one of the brightest and most attractive places in England. At present it far surpasses Warwick in business and bustle, and possesses all the adjuncts of a health-resort, frequented all the year round, and inhabited by hundreds of resident invalids for the sake of the excellent medical staff collected there. One of its famous physicians was often sent for, instead of a London doctor, to the great houses within a radius of forty or fifty miles. The assembly-rooms, hotels, baths, gardens, bridges and shops of Leamington vie with those of the continental spas, and the display of dress and the etiquette of society are in wonderful contrast to the state of the quiet village fifty years ago. But it is pleasant to know that the new town has already an endowed hospital, founded by Dr. Warneford and called by his name, where the poor have gratuitous baths and the best medical advice. Not content with being a centre in its own way, Leamington has improved its prospects by setting up as a rival to Melton Mowbray in Leicestershire, known as the "hunting metropolis." Three packs of hounds are hunted regularly during the season within easy distance of the town, which has also annual steeplechases and a hunting club; and this sporting element serves to redeem Leamington from the character of masked melancholy which often strikes a tourist in visiting a regular health-resort.

In natural beauty Warwickshire is surpassed by other counties, but few can boast of architectural features equally striking—such magnificent historical memorials as Kenilworth and Warwick castles, and the humbler beauties to be found in the houses of Stratford-on-Avon, Polesworth and Meriden. The last is remarkable—as are, indeed, all the villages of Warwickshire—for its picturesque beauty, and above all for the position of its churchyard, whence lovely views are obtained of the country around. Of Polesworth, Dugdale remarks, that, "for Antiquitie and venerable esteem it needs not to give Precedence to any in the Countie." "There is a charming impression of age and quiet dignity in its remains of old walls, its remains of old trees, its church and its open common," says Dean Howson. Close to the village, on a hill commanding a view of it, stands Pooley Hall, whose owner in old days obtained a license from Pope Urban VI. to build a chapel on his own land, "by Reason of the Floods at some time, especially in Winter, which hindered his Accesse to the Mother-Church." In the garden of this hall, a modest country-house, a type of the ordinary run of English homes, stands a chapel—not the original one, but built on its site—and from it one has a view of the level ground, the village and the river, evidently still liable to floods. The part of the county that joins Gloucestershire is rich in apple-orchards, which I remember one year in the blossoming-time, while the early grass, already green and wavy, fringed the foot of the trees, and by the road as we passed we looked through hedges and over low walls into gardens full of crocuses, snowdrops, narcissuses, early pansies and daffodils, for spring gardens have become rather a mania in England within ten or twelve years. Here and there older fragments of wall lined the road, and over one of these, from a height of[Pg 397] eight feet or so, dropped a curtain of glossy, pointed leaves, making a background for the star-shaped yellow blossoms, nearly as large as passion-flowers, of the St. John's-wort, with their forest of stamens standing out like golden threads from the heart of the blossom. At the rectory of the village in question was a very clever man, an unusual specimen of a clergyman, a thorough man of the world and a born actor. His father and brother had been famous on the stage, and he himself struck one as having certainly missed his calling, though in his appearance and manner he was as free as possible from that discontented uneasiness with which an underbred person alone carries a burden. His duties were punctually fulfilled and his parish-work always in order, yet he went out a good deal and stayed at large houses, where he was much in request for his marvellous powers of telling stories. This he did systematically, having a notebook to help his memory as to what anecdotes he had told and to whom, so that he never repeated himself to the same audience. Besides stories which he told dramatically, and with a professional air that made it evident that to seem inattentive would be an offence, he had theories which he would bring out in a startling way, supporting them by quotations apparently very learned, and practically, for the sort of audience he had, irrefutable: one was on the subject of the ark, which he averred to be still buried in the eternal snows of Mount Ararat, and discoverable by any one with will and money to bring it to light. As to the question of which of the disputed peaks was the Ararat of the Bible he said nothing. This brilliant man had a passion for roses and gardening in general, and his rectory garden was a wonder even among clerical gardens, which, as a rule, are the most delightful and homelike of all English gardens.



One of Warwickshire's oldest towns and best-preserved specimens of mediæval architecture is Coventry, famous for its legend of Lady Godiva, still commemorated by an annual procession during the great Show Fair, held the first Friday after Trinity Sunday and continued[Pg 398] for eight days. From Warwick to Coventry is a drive of ten miles, past many villages whose windows and chimneys form as many temptations to stop and linger, but Coventry itself is so rich in these peculiarities that a walk through its streets is a reward for one's hurry on the road. One would suppose, according to the saying of a ready-witted lady, that the town must be by this time full of a large and interesting society, since so many people have been at various times "sent to Coventry." The origin of the saying, as an equivalent for being tabooed (itself a term of savage origin and later date), is reported to be the deserved unpopularity of the military there about a century ago, when no respectable woman dared to be seen in the streets with a soldier. This led to the place being considered by regiments as an undesirable post, since they were shunned by the decent part of the town's-people, and to be "sent to Coventry" became, in consequence, a synonym for being "cut." There are, however, other interpretations of the saying, and, though this sounds plausible, it may be incorrect. The heart of the town, once the strong-hold of the "Red Rose," is still very ancient, picturesque and sombre-looking, though the suburbs have been widened, "improved" and modernized to suit present requirements. The Coventry of our day depends for its prosperity on its silk and ribbon trade, necessitating all the appliances of looms, furnaces and dye-houses, which give employment to a population reaching nearly forty thousand. The continuance of prosperous trade in most of the ancient English boroughs is a very interesting feature in their history; and though no doubt the picturesqueness of towns is increased or preserved by their falling into the Pompeii stage and dwindling into loneliness or decay, one cannot wish such to be their fate. Few English towns that have been of any importance centuries ago have gone back, though some have stood still; and if they have lost their social prestige, the spirit of the times has gradually made the loss of less consequence in proportion as the importance of trade and manufactures has increased. The ribbon trade is indeed a new one, hardly two centuries old, but Coventry was the centre of the old national woollen industry long before. Twenty years ago, the silk trade having languished, the queen revived the fashion of broad ribbons, and Coventry wares became for a while the rage, just as Honiton lace and Norwich silk shawls did at other times, chiefly through the same example of court patronage of native industries. St. Michael's, Trinity and Christ churches furnish the three noted spires, the first one of the highest and most beautiful in England, and the third the remains of a Gray Friars' convent, to which a new church has[Pg 399] been attached. Of the ancient cathedral (Lichfield and Coventry conjointly formed one see) only a few ruins remain, and the same is the case with the old walls with their thirty-two towers and twelve gates. The old hospitals and schools have fared better—witness Bond's Hospital at Bablake (once an adjacent hamlet, but now within the city limits), commonly called Bablake Hospital, founded by the mayor of Coventry in the latter part of Henry VII.'s reign for the use of forty-five old men, with a revenue of ten hundred and fifty pounds; Ford's Hospital for thirty-five old women, a building so beautiful in its details that John Carter the archæologist declared that it "ought to be kept in a case;" Hales' free school, where Dugdale, the famous antiquary and the possessor of Merivale Hall, near Warwick, received the early part of his education; and St. Mary's Hall, built by Henry VI. for the Trinity guild on the site of an old hall now used as a public hall and for town-council meetings. The buildings surround a courtyard, and are entered by an arched gateway from the street; and, says Rimmer, it is hardly possible in all the city architecture of England to find a more interesting and fine apartment than the great hall. The private buildings in the old part of the town are as noticeable in their way as the public buildings; and as many owe their origin to the tradesmen of Coventry, formerly a body well known for its wealth and importance, they form good indications of the taste of the ancient "city fathers." In 1448 this body equipped six hundred men, fully armed, for the royal service, and in 1459 they were proud to receive the Parliamentum Diabolicum which Henry VI. called together within shelter of their walls, and turned to the use of a public prosecution against the beaten party of the White Rose: hence its name. One of the private houses, at the corner of Hertford street, bears on its upper part an effigy of the tailor, Peeping Tom, who, tradition says, was struck dead for impertinently gazing at Countess Godiva on her memorable ride through the town.


The great variety in the designs of windows and chimneys, and the disregard of regularity or conventionality in their placing, are characteristics which distinguish old English domestic architecture, as also the lavish use of wood-carving on the outside as well as the inside of dwellings. No Swiss chalet can match the vagaries in wood common to the gable balconies of old houses, whether private or public: one beautiful instance occurs, for example, in a butcher's stall and dwelling, the only one left[Pg 400] of a similar row in Hereford. Here, besides the ordinary devices, all the emblems of a slaughter-house—axes, rings, ropes, etc., and bulls' heads and horns—are elaborately reproduced over the doors and balconies of the building, and the windows, each a projecting one, are curiously wreathed and entwined. This ingeniousness in carving is a thing unknown now, when even picture-frames are cast in moulds and present a uniform and meaningless appearance, while as to house decoration the eye wearies of the few paltry, often-repeated knobs or triangles which have taken the place of the old individual carvings. The corn-market of Coventry, the former Cross Cheaping, is another of the city's living antiquities, as busy now as hundreds of years ago, when the magnificent gilded cross still standing in James II.'s time, and whose regilding is said to have used up fifteen thousand four hundred and three books of gold, threw its shadow across the square. Even villages of a few hundred inhabitants often possessed market-places architecturally worthy of attention, and sometimes the covered market, open on all sides and formed of pillars and pointed arches, supported a town-hall or rooms for public purposes above. The crosses were by no means simply religious emblems: though their presence aimed at reminding worldlings of religion and investing common acts of life with a religious significance, their purposes were mainly practical. Proclamations were read from the steps and tolls collected from the market-people: again, they served for open-air pulpits, and often as distributing-places for some "dole" or charity bequeathed to the poor of the town. A fountain was sometimes attached to them, and the covered market-crosses, of which a few remain (Beverly, Malmesbury and Salisbury), were merely covered spaces, surmounted with a cross, for country people to rest in in the heat or the rain, and were generally the property of some religious house in the neighborhood. They were usually octagonal and richly groined, and if small when considered as a shelter, were yet generally sufficient for their purpose, as most of the market-squares were full of covered stalls, with tents, awnings or umbrellas, as they are to this day. The crosses were sometimes only an eight-sided shaft ornamented with niches and surmounted by a crucifix, and very often, of whatever shape they were, they were built in memoriam to a dead relative by some rich merchant or landlord. As objects of beauty they were unrivalled, and improved the look of a village-green as much as that of a busy market.


But Coventry, as I have said before, is a growing as well as an ancient city; and when places grow they must rival their neighbors in pleasure as well as in[Pg 401] business, which accounts for the yearly races, now established nearly forty years, and each year growing more popular and successful. No doubt the share of gentlemen's houses which falls to the lot of every county-town in England has something to do with the brilliancy of these local gatherings: every one in the neighborhood makes it a point to patronize the local gayeties, to belong to the local military, to enter horses, to give prizes, to attend balls; and if politics are never quite forgotten, especially since the suffrage has been extended and the number of voters to be conciliated so suddenly increased, this only adds to the outer bustle and success of these social "field-days." Coventry has a pretty flourishing watchmaking trade, besides its staple one of ribbon-weaving; and indeed the whole county, villages included, is given up to manufacture: the places round Warwick and Coventry to a great extent share in the silk trade, while Alcester has a needle manufacture of its own, Atherstone a hat manufacture, and Amworth, which is partly in Staffordshire, was famous until lately for calico-printing and making superfine narrow woollen cloths: it also has flax-mills. The kings of Mercia used to keep state here, and the Roman road, Watling Street, passed through it, with which contrast now the iron roads that pass every place of the least importance, and in this neighborhood lead to the busy centre of the hardware trade, smoky, wide-awake, turbulent, educated, hard-headed Birmingham. This, too, is within the "King-maker's" county, and how oddly it has inherited or picked up his power will be noted by those familiar with the political and parliamentary history of England within the last forty years; but, though now an ultra-Radical constituency, it is no historical upstart, but can trace its name in Domesday Book, where it appears as Bermengeham, and can find its record as an English Damascus in the fifteenth century, before which it had been already famous for leather-tanning. The death, a year ago, of one of the most gifted though retiring men of the English nobility, the late Lord Lyttleton, makes it worth mentioning that his house, Hagley, stands twelve miles from Birmingham, and that both his house and his forefathers were well known as the home and patrons of literary men: Thomson, Pope and other poets have described and apostrophized Hagley. The late owner was a good antiquary[Pg 402] and writer, but in society he was painfully shy.


The southern part of Warwickshire, adjoining Gloucestershire, or rather a wedge of that shire advancing into Worcestershire, is the most rich, agriculturally speaking, and besides its apple-orchards is famous for its dairy and grazing systems, while the northern part, once a forest, is still full of heaths, moors and woods. There is not much to say about its farms, unless technically, nor the appearance of the farm-buildings, the modern ones being generally of brick and more substantial than beautiful. Country-seats have a likeness to each other, and a way of surrounding themselves with the same kind of garden scenery, so that unless where the whole face of Nature has some strongly-marked features, such as mountains or moors, the houses of the local gentry do not impart a special individuality to a neighborhood; but in a mild and blooming way one may say that Warwickshire has a fair share of pretty country-houses and attractive parsonages. Still, the beauty of the southern and midland counties is altogether a beauty of detail and cultivation, of historical association and architectural contrast; not that which in the north and east depends much upon the beholder's sympathy with Nature unadorned—wild stretches of seashore and pathless moors, mountain-defiles and wooded tarns. Wales and Cornwall, again, have the stamp of a race whose surroundings have taught them shrewdness and perseverance, and their scenery is such that in many places, though the eye misses trees, it hardly regrets them. In the midland counties, on the other hand, take the trees away and the landscape would be scarcely beautiful at all, though the land might be equally rich, undulating and productive. Half the special beauty of England depends on her greenery, her hedges, her trees and her gardens, in which the houses and cottages take the place of birds' nests.

Lady Blanche Murphy.


Childish shepherd, sleeping
Underneath the hay,
Oh would that I could whisper in your dreams,
"The sheep astray!"
Couldst thou not in Dreamland,
Pretty herdsman, pray,
With horn and crook lead gently to the fold
Thy sheep astray?
Alas for soft sweet slumber's
Mistland gold and gray,
While o'er the hilltops shimmering spirits lead
Our sheep astray!

Paul Pastnor.

[Pg 403]



The exposition under one roof of products of every kind, natural and cultivated, mechanical and artistic, has a certain impressiveness from the wonderful extent and variety of the assemblage, but the effect is confusing and oppressive. The Philadelphia plan of grouping the exhibits in separate buildings was both more pleasant to the eye and more useful to the student. There is no place in Paris, however, affording room for isolated buildings of sufficient aggregate area, and the Bois de Boulogne, though immediately outside the fortified enceinte, in much the same position, relatively, that Fairmount Park holds to Philadelphia, was probably held to be too remote.


The Exposition building is too low to afford grand general views except in the end-galleries, one of which, that toward the Seine, is occupied by England and France, and the other, that toward the École Militaire, by Holland and France. The four especially admirable situations for display are under the domes at the four corners of the building, and these are respectively occupied by the English colonies, the Dutch colonies, a statue of Charlemagne and a trophy of French metallic work—notably, large tubes for telescopes. The French,[Pg 404] as most readers are aware, occupy one half of the building, and foreigners the other, the two being divided, except at the end-galleries, by a central court in which are the fine-art pavilions.

Transverse divisions separate the foreigners' sections from each other, while longitudinal divisions extending throughout the length of the building divide the various classes of exhibits subjectively. A person may thus cross the building and view the exhibits of a country in the different classes, or he may go lengthwise of the building and see what the various nations have to show in a given class. No better plan could be devised if they are all to be assembled under one roof. The same plan has been tried before, especially in the great elliptical building at Vienna. It is probable that the Philadelphia plan of isolated buildings may find imitators in the future, and then this plan of national and subjective arrangement may be carried out without the violent contrasts incident to sandwiching the machine galleries between the alimentary and chemical sections.

All the exhibits are classed under nine general groups, which are—1. Fine arts; 2. Liberal arts and education; 3. Furniture and accessories; 4. Textile fabrics and clothing; 5. Mining industries and raw products; 6. Machinery; 7. Alimentary products; 8. Agriculture; 9. Horticulture. The first of these occupies the pavilions in the central court. The second and following ones to the seventh occupy the galleries as one passes from the central court to the exterior of the building; agricultural implements and products are shown in spacious sheds outside the main building and within the enclosing fence; animals are shown in a separate enclosure on the esplanade of the Invalides. Horticulture finds a place in all the intervals wherever there is a square yard of ground not necessary for paths, and also on the two esplanades which divide the Palais du Champ de Mars and the Palais Trocadéro from the river which flows between. The subjective character of the longitudinal disposition cannot be rigorously maintained, since nations that excel in one or another line of work or culture are utterly deficient in others. China and Japan, for instance, fill their galleries to overflowing with papeterie, furniture and knickknacks, while their space in the machinery hall is principally devoted to ceramics, a few rude implements and costumed figures.

The English pavilion in the Galérie d'Iéna consists of four wooden structures representing Oriental mosques and kiosques, painted red and surmounted by numerous gilded domes of the bulbous shape so characteristic of the Indian architecture. In the order of position, as approached from the main central doorway, the first and third are Indian, the second Ceylonese, and the fourth is devoted to the productions of Jamaica, Guiana, Trinidad, Trinity Island, Lagos, Seychelles, Mauritius, the Strait Settlements and Singapore. Their contents, without attempting an enumeration, are rather of the useful than the ornamental, with the exception of the furniture, carpets, dresses and tissues. The Lagos collection has a number of native drums, with snake-skin heads on bodies carved from the solid wood, and it has also a very curious lyre of eight strings strained by as many elastic wooden rods fastened to a box which forms the sounding-chamber. It is individually more curious than any shown at the Centennial from the Gold Coast, but the collection from Africa as a whole is not nearly so full nor so fine. Mauritius has agave fibre, sugar, shells, coral and vanilla. The Seychelles have large tortoise-shells and the famous cocoa de mer, the three-lobed cocoanut peculiar to the island, and found on the coast of India thrown up by the sea. It received its name from that circumstance long before its home was discovered, from whence it had been carried by the south-east monsoons. Trinity Island sends sugar, cacao and rum; Trinidad presents sugar, asphaltum, cocoawood and leather; Guiana has native pottery and baskets, arrow-root, sugar and coffee.

The pavilion next to the one described has the collection sent by the maharajah of Kashmir, consisting largely of[Pg 405] carpets, shawls and dresses, which look very warm in the summer weather. It shows, besides, some of the gemmed and enamelled work and parcel-gilt ware for which that territory, hidden away among the Himalayas, is so celebrated.

Next, as we travel along the Galérie d'Iéna, is the Ceylonese building, of the same ruddy brown, with gilded domes, and gay with dresses, tissues and robes of fine woven stuff made in their primitive looms, which would seem to be incapable of turning out such textures. The addition of blocks of graphite, some curiously carved into the shape of elephants, and the more prosaic agricultural productions, such as cotton, cinnamon, matting and baskets, tone down the color and exhibit the fact that the English possession has the mercantile side. Antlers of the Ceylon deer, tusks of elephants and boars, contrast with the richness and the sobriety of the other contents of the overflowing pavilion.

Another Indian kiosque, and we are at the end of the row. This is filled by the Indian committee, which also exposes its collection in twenty-nine glass cases arranged about the hall in the vicinity of the pavilions.


The prince of Wales's collection of presents, received in his character of heir-apparent of the empress of India, fills thirty-two glass cases, besides six of textiles and robes. Any tolerably full account of them would require a separate article. The interest of them culminates in the arms. For variety, extent, gorgeousness and ethnological and artistic value such a collection of Indian arms has never before been brought together, not even in India;[Pg 406] and it fairly defies description. No man was so poor but that he could present the prince with a bow and arrow or spear or sword or battle-axe, and in fact every one who was brought before the prince gave him a weapon of some sort. The collection thus represents the armorer's art in every province of India, from the rude spears of the Nicobar Islanders to the costly damascened, chased and jewelled daggers, swords, shields and matchlocks of Kashmir, Lahore, Gujerat, Cutch, Hyderabad, Singapore and Ceylon. The highest interest centres upon two swords, which are by no means the richest in their finish and settings. One is the great sword of the famous Polygar Katabomma Naik, who defeated the English early in the present century. It has a plain iron hilt, and the etched blade has three holes near the point. The other is a waved blade of splendid polish, its hilt heavily damascened with gold and its guard closely set with diamonds and rubies. It is the sword of Savaji, the founder of the Mahratta dominion in India. It has been sacredly guarded at Kolhapur by two men with drawn swords for a period of two hundred years, being a family and national heirloom, and an object of superstitious reverence as the emblem of sovereignty. The delivery of it to the prince of Wales was regarded as a transfer of political dominion, an admission that the latent hopes of the Bhonsla family were now merged in loyalty to the crown of England.

The blades of the best weapons have been made for many ages of the magnetic iron obtained twenty miles east of Nirmul, a few miles south of the Shisla Hills, in a hornblende or schist formation. The magnetic iron is melted with charcoal without any flux, and obtained at once in a perfectly tough and malleable state. It is superior to any English or Swedish iron. It is perhaps unnecessary to remind readers that the famous blades of Damascus were forged from Indian steel. Some of the blades are watered, others chased in half relief with hunting-scenes—some serrated, others flamboyant. A very striking object is a suit of armor of the horny scales of the Indian armadillo, ornamented with encrusted gold, turquoises and garnets. Another suit is of Kashmir chain-armor almost as fine as lace. Others have damascened breastplates, the gold wire being inserted in undercut lines engraved in the steel, and incorporated therewith by hammering. Five cases are filled with the matchlocks of various tribes and nations—one with its barrel superbly damascened in gold with a poppy-flower pattern, another with a stock carved in ivory, with hunting-scenes in cameo. Enamelled and jewelled mountings are seen, with all the fanciful profusion of ornament with which the semi-barbarian will deck his favorite weapon. The splendor of Indian arms is largely due to the lavish use of diamonds, rubies, emeralds and other precious stones, mainly introduced for their effect in color, few of them being of great value as gems. Stones with flaws, and others which are mere chips or scales, are laid on like tinsel. Two cases are filled with gaudy trappings and caparisons—horse and camel saddles with velvet and leather work, gold embroidery and cut-cloth work (appliqué); an elephant howdah of silver; chowries of yak tails with handles of sandal-wood, chased gold or carved ivory; gold-embroidered holsters and elaborate whips which will hold no more ornamentation than has been crowded upon them. The yak's-tail chowries, or fly-brushes, and the fans of peacocks' feathers, are emblems of royalty throughout the East.

The metal ware of India, shown in eight of the glass cases—some of them the prince's and others Lord Northbrook's—affords connoisseurs great delight, and also arrests the attention of those who have simply a delight in beautiful forms and colors, without technical knowledge. It might not, perhaps, occur to the casual visitor that a Jeypore plate of champlevé enamel represents the work of four years. In this process the pattern is dug out of the metal and the recess filled with enamel, while in the cheaper cloisonné the pattern is raised on the surface of the metal by[Pg 407] welding on strips or wire and filling in with enamel which is fused on to the metal. A betel-leaf and perfume-service in the silver-gilt of Mysore is accompanied by elaborately-chased goblets and rose-water sprinklers in ruddy gold and parcel-gilt, the work of Kashmir and Lucknow. The ruddy color is the taste of Kashmir and of Burmah, while a singular olive-brown tint is peculiar to Scinde. Other cases have the repoussé-work of Madras, Cutch, Lucknow, Dacca and Burmah. From Hyderabad in the Deccan is a parcel-gilt vase, an example of pierced-work, the opus interassile of the Romans. The chased parcel-gilt ware of Kashmir occupies three cases: it is graven through the gold to the dead-white silver below, softening the lustre of the gold to a pearly radiance. Somewhat similar in method is the Mordarabad ware, in which tin soldered upon brass is cut through to the lower metal, which gives a glow to the white surface. Sometimes the engraving is filled with lac, after the manner of niello-work. Specimens are also shown in Bidiri ware, in which a vessel made of an alloy of copper, lead and tin, blackened by dipping in an acidulous solution, is covered with designs in beaten silver. A writing-case of Jeypore enamel is perhaps the most dainty device of the kind ever seen. It is shaped like an Indian gondola, the stern of which is a peacock whose tail sweeps under half the length of the boat, irradiating it with blue and green enamel. The canopy of the ink-cup is colored with green and blue and ruby and coral-red enamels laid on pure gold.


To attempt to describe the jewelry for the person would extend to too great a length the notice of this most remarkable and interesting exhibit, which includes[Pg 408] tiaras, aigrettes and pendent jewels for the forehead; ear-rings, ear-chains and studs; nose-rings and studs; necklaces of chains, pearls and gems; stomachers and tablets of gold studded with gems or strung by chains of pearls and turquoises with solitaire or enamelled pendants; armlets, bracelets, rings; bangles, anklets and toe-rings of gold and all the jewels of the East. A Jeypore hair-comb shown in one of the cases has a setting of emerald and ruby enamel on gold, surmounted by a curved row of large pearls, all on a level and each tipped with a green bead. Below is a row of small diamonds set among the green and red enamelled gold leaves which support the pearls. Below these again is a row of small pearls with an enamelled scroll-work set with diamonds between it and a third row of pearls; below which is a continuous row of small diamonds, forming the lower edge of the comb just above the gold teeth.

England's colonies make a great show at the Exposition. The Canadian pagoda, which occupies one of the domed apartments at the corners of the Palais, rises from a base of forty feet square, and consists of a series of stories of gradually-decreasing area, surrounded by balconies from which extended views of the Salle d'Iéna and the foreign machinery gallery are obtained. The pagoda itself is occupied by Canadian exhibits, but around it are grouped specimens of the mineral and vegetable wealth and manufacturing enterprise of Australia and the Cape of Good Hope. Australia, which is a continent in itself, has become of so much importance that it is no longer content with a single or with a collective exhibit, and the various colonies make separate displays in another part of the building. That around the Canadian trophy is but a contribution to a general colonial collection near the focus of the British group, where the union jack waves above the united family.

In the Australian exhibits it is only fair to begin with New South Wales, which is the oldest British colony on the island, and may be said to be the mother of the others, as Victoria, Tasmania and Queensland have been subdivided from time to time. It had a precarious political existence and slow progress up to 1851, and the obloquy attaching to it as the penal settlement of Botany Bay was not encouraging to a good class of settlers. In 1851 the whole island of 3,000,000 square miles had but 300,000 inhabitants, but the discovery of gold and the utilization of the land, for sheep and wheat especially, have so far changed the aspect of affairs that the aggregate of land under cultivation equals 3,500,000 acres, with 52,000,000 sheep, 6,700,000 cattle, 850,000 horses, 500,000 hogs, 2092 miles of railway and 21,000 miles of telegraph.

The collection from New South Wales contains a large exhibit of the mineral, animal and vegetable productions of the land—auriferous quartz and gold nuggets, tin ores and ingots, copper, coal, antimony and fossils. New South Wales prides herself especially on the surpassing quality of her wools and on the extent of her pastoral husbandry, the number of sheep being 25,269,755 in 1876, of cattle over 3,000,000, and of horses 366,000. The exportation of wool in 1876 was alone equal to $28,000,000. Then, again, she shows gums, furs, stuffed marsupials, wools, textiles, wheat and tobacco, also many books, photographs, maps and other evidences of the intellectual life of the people.

Victoria has so far progressed in riches and civilization that it has turned its back upon the past, and shows principally its wheat, skins, paraffine, wine, gold, antimony, lead, iron, tin, coal, timber, cloth and a large range of productions which have little peculiar about them, but are interesting in showing what a country of 88,198 square miles, with a population of 224 persons in 1836, can attain to in forty years. It has now 840,300 inhabitants, and exports over $56,000,000 annually. Its total production of gold is about £200,000,000 sterling. Though one of the smallest colonies on the mainland, it is about equal in population to three-fourths of the sum of all the others, and its largest town, Melbourne, with a population of 265,000, is said to be the[Pg 409] ninth city of the British world. Passing by the evidences of prosperity and enterprise—which are, however, nothing but what ordinary retail houses would show—we pause for a while at the excellent collection of native tools and implements, and the weapons employed in war and the chase by the aboriginal inhabitants—wooden spears of the grass tree, and, among many others barbed for fishing and variously notched for war, one which does not belong to Australia, but has evidently been brought from the Philippines, and should not have been included. The same might be said of several Fijian clubs and a Marquesas spear barbed with sharks' teeth, which are well enough in their way, but not Victorian. The collection of shields, clubs and boomerangs is good and is highly prized, as they are becoming scarce in the colony, but the types prevail over the greater part of the island continent, and no alarm need be felt about the speedy extirpation of the natives when we think of Western Australia with 26,209 inhabitants in a territory of 1,024,000 square miles, most of it fine forest, and consequently fertile when subdued to the uses of civilization.


South Australia, with its 900,000 square miles of land, extending over twenty-seven degrees of latitude from the Indian to the Southern Ocean, and with a width of twelve degrees of longitude, is stated to be the largest British colony, but has a population of only 225,000. The appearance of the South Australian Court differs from the Victorian in the greater predominance of raw materials and the smaller proportion of manufactures. Copper in the ore as malachite, and in metal and manufactured forms, is one of the principal features of the court. Emeu eggs, of a greenish-blue color and handsomely mounted in silver as goblets, vases and boxes, are the most peculiar: they formed quite a striking feature at the Centennial. The resemblance of the climate to that of California is indicated in the cultivation of wheat in[Pg 410] immense fields, which is cut by the header and threshed on the spot, also by the enormous size of the French pears, which grow as large as upon our Pacific coast. The olive also is becoming a staple, as in California, and the grape is fully acclimated and makes a very alcoholic wine. The product in 1876 was 728,000 gallons.

Western Australia is among the latest settled, and has a territory of 1280 by 800 miles, of which the so-called "settled" district has an area about the size of France, with 26,209 inhabitants. It can hardly be considered to be crowded yet. Its mineral exhibits are lead, copper and tin ore; silks, whalebone; skins, those of the numerous species of kangaroo and of the dingo or native dog predominating. The woods are principally eucalypti, as might be supposed, but endogenous trees are found toward the north, and are shown. Corals and large tortoise-shells show also that the land approaches the tropics. The collection of native implements includes waddies and boomerangs, war- and fishing-spears, shields of several kinds—including one almost peculiar to the Australians, made very narrow and used for parrying rather than intercepting a missile. The netted bag of chewed bulrush-root is similar to that shown at the Centennial, but the dugong fishing-net, made by the natives of the north-west coast from the spinifex plant, I have not before observed. Western Australia was not represented at the Centennial.

Queensland is the most recently established Australian colony, and comprises the whole north-east corner—between a fourth and a fifth—of the island. As it extends twelve degrees within the tropics, its productions partake of a different character from those of the older colonies, and sugar, corn and cotton are staples. The Tropic of Capricorn crosses the middle of the province. The southern portion has 7,000,000 sheep, but the exports of the gold, copper and tin mines exceed those of the animal and vegetable industries. The colony has the finest series of landscapes in the Exhibition, painted upon photographs, which may be recollected by those who visited the Centennial. The cases contain corals, shells—especially very fine ones of the huitre perlière—bêche-de-mer, so great a favorite in China for stews; dugong-hides, with the oil and soap made therefrom; silk, tobacco, manioc, fossils, furs and wool.

New Zealand has but a small show, but it is very peculiar. The Maoris are a very fine race of men, both physically and intellectually, and have many arts. The robes of New Zealand flax (Phormium tenax), and especially the feather robes, evince their aptitude and taste. They are very expert workers of wood, and their spears, canoes, feather-boxes and paddles are elaborately carved, and frequently ornamented with grotesque faces with eyes of shell. Their idols are peculiarly hideous, and have a remarkable similarity in their postures and expression to those of British Columbia in the National Museum at Washington.

The section occupied by the Cape of Good Hope is somewhat larger than that at the Centennial, but is perhaps hardly as interesting. The wars against the Kaffirs, and the want of harmony between the Dutch settlers and the dominant English race, have produced an uneasy feeling not compatible with a general interest in so distant a matter as a European exposition. The Cape, with its dependencies, has an area of 250,000 square miles and a population of nearly 750,000. Prominent in the collection are the elephants' tusks and horns of the numerous species of antelope, which are found in greater variety in South Africa than in any other part of the world. Horns of bles-boks, spring-boks, water-boks, rooi-boks, koodoos, elands, hartebeests and gnus ornament the walls, in company with those of the native buffalo and the wide-reaching horns of the Cape oxen, of which fourteen or sixteen yoke are sometimes hitched to the ponderous Dutch wagons. Hippopotamus-teeth and ostrich-feathers indicate clearly enough the section we are in. Maize has been fully acclimated in Africa, and mush and milk now form the principal food of the whole Kaffir nation. It has spread nearly all over[Pg 411] Africa, but some central portions yet depend entirely for farinaceous food upon the seed of the sorghum and dourra. On the Zambesi corn in all stages of growth may be seen at all seasons of the year.

The United States section, after all its troubles in getting under weigh—the very appropriation itself not having been made until after the English exhibit had all been selected, arranged on the plan and the catalogue printed—is a collection to be proud of. The arrangement is good, except for a little crowding. The space in the Palais is forty thousand square feet, with thirty thousand additional in an outside building. The latter has the agricultural implements, mills, scales, wagons and engines, with the displays of oak and hickory in the forms of wheels, spokes and tool-handles, which are exciting so much interest in Europe at the present time. There is no good substitute for hickory to be found in Europe, and it is the difference between American hickory and English ash which causes the great disparity between the proportions of American and English carriage-wheels. That we should copy the latter for the sake of a fashion is marvellous.

It is not to be denied that the ingenuity and versatility of Americans have caused them to excel other nations in many lines of manufacture. The public opinion of Europe regards their triumphs in agricultural implements as the most remarkable; but the nation which made the machine-tools for the government manufactories of small-arms both of England and Germany has established its right to the first rank in that class of work also. The system of making by rule and gauge the separate parts, which are afterward fitted, has come to be known as the "American system," and is exemplified in the magnificent collection of the American Watch Company of Waltham; the Wheeler & Wilson sewing-machine, which is the only sewing-machine with interchangeable parts at the Exposition; the Remington rifle and shot-gun, and the Colt revolvers.


There is nothing in the building in better taste in its line than the Tiffany gold and silver ware, and the carriages of Brewster are generally admired. Carriages are, however, such a matter of fashion that an exhibit of that kind cannot suit all nations, and what one[Pg 412] considers graceful is to another strange and bizarre. There is no question of the fine quality, however: of course a nation with elm for hubs and ash for spokes wonders at American temerity in making wheels so light, and the casual observer thinks our roads must be better than the European to justify them. As one English builder has, however, contracted lately with an American firm for five hundred sets of wheels, they will have an opportunity soon of testing the quality of our woods.

The exhibition of fine locks and of house-furnishing hardware is justly considered as among our triumphs, the Yale, Wheeler-Mallory and Russell & Erwin manufacturing companies being notable in this line. The saws of Disston have no equals here: the axes of Collins & Douglas, the forks and spades and other agricultural tools of Ames, Batcheller and the Auburn Manufacturing Company are unapproached by the English and French. The wood-working machine of Fay & Co. and the machine-tools of Darling Browne & Sharpe challenge competition.

These are not a tithe of the objects in regard to which we are proud to have comparisons instituted; and in some of the less ponderous articles, such as Foley's gold pens and White's dental tools and dentures, we have the same reason for national gratulation. Such being the case, we feel reconciled to the comparative smallness of our space, which has precluded as much repetition in most lines of manufacture as we find in the exhibits of other nations.

Our agricultural machinery is well though not fully represented. Reapers and mowers, horse-rakes, grain-drills and ploughs are abundantly or sufficiently shown—harrows and rollers not at all; and if they had been, they would have added nothing to the English and French knowledge on the subject. Owing to the exigences of space, weighing-scales and pumps are included in the agricultural building, and the exhibition of Fairbanks & Co. deserves and receives cordial approval.

The problem of the day in agricultural machinery is the automatic binder, and eight efforts in that line are shown at the Exposition—six from America and two from England. The subject of machinery, however, is deferred for the present, but in speaking of general exhibits one cannot avoid a slight reference to that feature which is so prominent in the United States section.

Where there is so much that is beautiful and admirably arranged it seems ungenerous to cite failures, but the pavilion in the eastern corner of the Palais and the Salle de l'École Militaire connecting it with the pavilion of the Netherlands colonies are very disappointing. The French exhibit of sheet-metal work in the eastern corner is quite remarkable, but its merit in an industrial point of view scarcely authorizes the prominence that is given to it in one of the four grand positions for display which the building affords. Even the Galéries d'Iéna and de l'École Militaire across the ends of the building, although their ceilings are high and gorgeous with color, and their sides one mass of windows in blue and white panes, do not afford such striking positions as the four corner pavilions. One expected, very naturally, that so admirable a position would be made the most of by a people of fine artistic sense; and this has been done in two of the other similar situations by the Netherlands colonies' trophy and the Canadian pagoda. The Charlemagne statue, which occupies the fourth pavilion, has so much sheet-metal work around it that it is not worthy to be classed with these. In the sheet-metal pavilion we see admirable exploitation of sheet brass, copper and iron in the shape of telescope-tubes, worms for stills, bodies and coils for boilers, vacuum-pans, wort-refrigerators and various bent and contorted forms which evince the excellence of the material and of the methods. This is hardly enough, however, to justify the occupation of the position of vantage, and the trumpery collection of ropes, lines, nets, rods and hooks which is intended for a fishing exhibit only emphasizes the decision, acquiesced in by the public, which pays it no attention.

The same is true—in not quite so great[Pg 413] a degree, however—of the Galérie de l'École Militaire, which is principally devoted to, and very inefficiently occupied by, a number of stands at which cheap jewelry, meerschaum pipes, glass-blown ships, ivory boxes and paper-knives, artificial flowers and stamped cards are made and sold as souvenirs of the Exposition. In addition to these, and several grades better, are a couple of Lahore shawlmakers, dusky Asiatics, engaged with native loom and needle in making the shawls for which India is celebrated. Then we have a jacquard loom worked by manual power, and the large embroidering-machine of Lemaire of Naude, and the diamond-workers of Amsterdam working in a glazed room which affords an excellent opportunity of seeing them without subjecting them to the annoyance of meddlesome visitors.

As if for contrast, the Galérie d'Iéna at the other end of the building is replete with the most gorgeous productions of India and France. One half of it is occupied by the Indian collection of the prince of Wales and the exhibits of the East and West Indian colonies of Great Britain, just described—the other half by a pavilion, the recesses of which show the Gobelin tapestries, while the richest productions of Sèvres are placed in profusion around it and occupy pedestals and niches wherever they could be properly placed. The combined effect of the individual richness of the things themselves and their lavish profusion constitutes this gallery the gem of the Exhibition. As if the thousands of gems on the gold and silver vessels and richly-mounted weapons and shields of the prince of Wales's collection were not rich enough, a kiosque has been erected in which the state jewels of France are displayed on velvet cushions, conspicuous among them being the "Pitt Diamond," the history of which is too well known to need repetition here.

The models, plans and raised maps of the hydraulic works of Holland are ever wonderful. They are principally the same that were exhibited in the Main Building at the Centennial, but there are some additional ones. All other drainage enterprises sink into insignificance beside those of Holland. Since 1440 they have gradually extended until they include an area of 223,062 acres drained by mechanical means. The drainage of the Haarlem Meer (45,230 acres), which was the last large work completed, is abundantly illustrated here, both as to the canalization and the engines, the latter of which are among the largest in the world. The engines are three in number, and the cylinders of the annular kind, the outer ones twelve feet in diameter, and each engine lifting 66 tons of water at a stroke: in emergencies each is capable of lifting 109 tons of water at a stroke to a height of 10 feet at a cost of 2-1/4 pounds of coal per horse-power per hour—much cheaper than oats: 75,000,000 pounds are raised 1 foot high by a bushel of coal. The next great work is the drainage of the southern lobe of the Zuyder Zee, the plans for which have been made and the work commenced. It is estimated that the mean depth is 13 feet, and that by a multitude of engines the water may be removed at the rate of 1 foot of depth per annum. Some 800,000,000 tons were pumped out of the Haarlem Meer, but that work will be dwarfed by the new enterprise.

The Dutch system of mattresses, gabions, revetting and sea-walls have furnished models for all the continents, the mouths of the Danube and the Mississippi being prominent instances. The railway bridge over the Leek, an arm of the Rhine, at Kuilinburg in Holland, is an iron truss, and the principal span has the same length as the middle arch of the St. Louis bridge—515 feet. It is shown here by models and plans.

The largest and most instructive ethnological exhibit from any country at the Exposition is that from the Netherlands colonies in the East and West Indies. The Oriental forms by far the larger portion of it, and has an imposing trophy in one of the four most advantageous positions in the building. The base of the apartment is about one hundred and forty feet square, and the domed ceiling at a height of one hundred and fifty feet[Pg 414] rises from a square tower whose sides are round-topped windows of blue and white glass in chequerwork. These give full illumination and a gay appearance to the spacious hall, in which the trophy rises to a height of eighty feet. The pyramidal structure has an octagonal base of forty feet diameter with inclined faces, from which rises a second octagonal portion of smaller size. A series of steps above this is crowned with a conical sheaf of palm-stems, whose fronds make an umbrella of twenty feet diameter. The peak is a pinnacle of bamboos, with a Dutch flag pendent in the still atmosphere of the hall. From each angle and side of the octagon radiates a table, and these are lavishly covered with specimens of the arts and manufactures of Java, Sumatra, Borneo, Celebes and other of the Dutch colonial possessions in the Malay seas. Here are models of the junks, proas and fishing-craft, each structure pegged together and destitute of nails. The large mat sails depend from yards of bamboo; the rudders are large oars, one over each counter; the decks are roofed with bamboo, ratan and the inevitable nipa-palm leaves. The smaller craft, made of hollow tree-trunks, have the double outrigger, and the finer ones have shelters of bamboo and palm-leaf. The fishing-craft have large dip-nets suspended from bamboo poles by cords, which allow them to be drawn up when a passing school of fish is observed by a man perched above.

On another table are models of the fishing-weirs and traps made of poles which must be forty feet long in the originals, and are driven closely alongside each other so as to enclose and detain the fish, which may enter at the funnel-shaped mouth, whose divergent sides are presented up stream. On the bamboo piles are the floors supporting the palm-leaf shelters of the fishing family, and upon the various parts of the structure lie the spears, rods and nets by which the fish are withdrawn from the inner pond, which it is so easy to enter and so hard to escape from. Various forms of weirs are shown, and a multitude of fish-baskets, whose conical entrances obligingly expand to the curious fish, but only present points to him when he seeks to return. Bamboo and ratan, whole or split, afford the materials for all these baskets and cages.

Other tables have the land-structures, from the elaborately-carved wooden bungalow with tiled roof of the residency of Japara in Java to the bamboo hut with palm-leaf sides and roofs of the maritime Dyaks of Borneo. Here we have a bazaar of Banda, and there a hut of the indigenes of Buitzenzorg in the interior of the fertile island of Java. Among the rudest houses shown are those of Celebes, that curious island, larger than Britain, which seems to rival the sea-monster, with its arms sprawling upon the map. One house on stilts is fitted up with a complete equipment of musical instruments, the wooden and brass harmonicons with bars or inverted pans resting upon strings and beaten with mallets. Here also is a weighing-machine for sugar products, the floor resting upon the shorter beam of a lever, while the long arm extends far out of doors. Rice-granaries elevated on posts above the predatory vermin are shown in various forms, and are set in water-holes to guard against the still more obnoxious ants, which are not content with the grain, but eat house and all.

Another table has implements of agriculture—ploughs, harrows, rakes, carts, sleds, all as innocent of metal as the oxen which draw the various instruments; wheels for irrigation made of bamboo, both frame and buckets; various cutting, weeding and grubbing implements, made by a sort of rude Catalan process from the native iron ore. The plough is a little better than that of Egypt of three thousand years ago, and the sickle is inferior. When Sir Stamford Raffles, who was governor during the short control of Java by the British, asked why they used the little primitive bent knife (ana-ana) which severs from the stalk but a few heads of rice at a time, they answered that if they presumed to do otherwise their next crop would be blasted.

One of the tables, however, furnishes a grave disappointment. It is an[Pg 415] innocent-looking suspension bridge, the middle third of which is supported by a series of piles and the floor roofed in with canes and palm-leaves. It is a model of a bridge over the Boitang Toro, and one expects to find it of the ratan which is of general use and grows two hundred and fifty feet long; but no: it is of telegraph wire! So much for the intrusion of modern devices when one is revelling in one of the most interesting ethnological exhibits ever gathered. We have, however, but to turn round to be consoled. Here is the roller cotton-gin, which was doubtless used in India before the conquests of Alexander. Then we have the spinning-wheel, which differs in no important respect from that of England in the thirteenth century, and is similar to, but ruder than, that used by our great-grandmothers, when "spinster" meant something, and a girl brought to the home of her choice a goodly array of linen. This was before cotton was king, and before factories were known either for cotton, flax or wool. Was it a better day than the present, or no? Things work round, and the roller-gin is now the better machine, having in the most perfected processes supplanted the saw-gin. This may be news to some, but will be admitted by those who have examined what the present Exposition has to show. Here also is the bow for bowing the cotton, the original cotton-opener and cleaner. We cannot, either, omit the reeling mechanism for the thread nor the looms of simple construction, which can by no means cost over a couple of dollars and yet make fine check stuffs, good cotton ginghams. Perhaps we might allow another dollar for the reed with its six hundred dents of split ratan.


Curious and bizarre chintzes are shown in connection with the machinery, and some doubtless made by the processes described by Pliny eighteen hundred years ago. Other calicoes are made by at least two processes which are[Pg 416] comparatively modern in England, but certainly two thousand years old in Asia. One is the direct application of a dye-charged stamp upon the goods. Another is known by us as the resist process, and consists in printing with a material which will exclude the dye; then putting the goods in the dye-tub; subsequently washing out the resist-paste, when the stamped pattern shows white on a colored ground. Some of the pieces of calico make me suspect the discharge process also, in which a piece of goods, having been dyed, is stamped in patterns with a material which has the faculty of making the dye fugitive, when washing causes the pattern to appear white on a colored ground.

We have not quite done with these tables. There are two great resources of a people besides work—love and war. "If music be the food of Love, play on." But will playing on the instruments of Java and other islands of those warm seas conduce to the object? The gamelan, or set of native band instruments, has one stringed instrument, several flageolets, a number of wood and metal harmonicons and inverted bronze bowls, all played with mallets: there are also gongs of various sizes, bells and a drum. The metal harmonicon is known in Javanese language as the gambang, and I have no better name to propose. The leader's instrument is the two-stringed fiddle (rebab), almost exactly the same as the Siamese sie-saw, which is also admirably named. Among the gambangs at the Exposition is a wooden harmonicon with twenty bars, and seven bronze harmonicons with bars varying greatly in size and shape, and consequently in tone, and in number from eight to twenty-one in an instrument. The mallets also vary in weight. The bonang is an instrument with inverted bronze bowls resting on ratans and struck with mallets. They are of various sizes and thickness, and corresponding tone and quality, and are arranged in sets of fourteen, two rows of seven each, on a low bench like a settee. They vary in one from twenty to twenty-four centimètres in diameter, and in the other from twenty-seven to thirty-two. They are intended, doubtless, to agree with the chromatic scale of the island, but are faulty on the fourth and seventh, as it seems to me, and yet, contrary to Raffles, Lay and other writers, are not pentatonic, in which the fourth and seventh are rejected altogether and no semi-tones are used. There is no doubt that the pentatonic is the musical scale of all Malaysia, and probably of all China; and none also that the diatonic, almost universal in Europe, is the musical scale of portions of India. What conclusions of ethnologic import may be drawn from this cannot here be more than suggested, but the latter fact seems to bear upon the association of the Hindoos with ourselves in the great Aryan family, Our do, ré, mi, fa, sol, la, si, do correspond with the Hindoo sa, ri, ga, ma, pa, dha, ni, sa, and the intervals are the same—two semi-tones, of which the Malaysian is destitute. The Hindoos have also terms in their language for the tonic, mediant and dominant, so that they know something of harmony, of which the Malays seem quite ignorant.

The flageolets from Java are all made on the principle of the boy's elder whistle, but have finger-holes—generally six, but sometimes only four. Two bamboo jewsharps—as I suppose I must call them—about a foot long, and with a string to fasten to the ear, as it seems, are much like two from Fiji in the Smithsonian. There are plenty of drums from Amboyna, Timor and the islands adjacent. The most unpromising and curious of all, however, is the anklong of Sumatra, which is all of bamboo, and has neither finger-holes, keys, strings nor parchment. Three bamboo tubes, closed below, are suspended vertically, so that studs at their lower ends rattle in holes in a horizontal bamboo. This causes them to emit musical sounds of a pitch proportioned to their length, as in an organ-pipe. The respective lengths of the three tubes are as one, two and four, so that the note of two is an octave graver than one, and that of four an octave graver still. Thus, when they are shaken the sounds are in accord. Twelve[Pg 417] similar sets of three each are suspended from a single bar, and their lengths are so proportioned that they sound the musical scale—the three in the first frame, we will say, sounding the tenor C, the middle C and the C in the third space in the treble clef; the next set the corresponding D's above, and so on. It really does not sound so badly as one might suppose.

Here is a table, conchological, entomological and ornithological, which might stay us a while if we were making a catalogue. A conch-shell twenty inches long and ten in diameter will do for a sample—not a small gasteropod! They do not excel us so much in butterflies as I had expected, but some of the beetles are fearful things—six inches long, and with veritable arms on their heads each five inches long, with elbow-joint, wrist and two claws on the end of a single finger. Next is a praying mantis, a foot long and with double-jointed arms like the beetles,

That lifts his paws most parson-like, and thence
By simple savages, through mere pretence,
Is reckoned quite a saint amongst the vermin.

Other tables have weapons, shoes, table-furniture and knickknacks.

After this environment we have small space for the trophy itself. It is gorgeous with tiger and leopard skins, and with the weapons of the hill and maritime tribes under the Dutch sway, and a profusion of the ruder implements of the less accessible regions whose inhabitants only occasionally show themselves in the settlements. We see in this most interesting collection spoons and knives made from the leg-bones of native buffaloes and of deer; wooden battleaxes with inserted blades of jade; spears of bamboo and of cocoawood tip-hardened in the fire; arrows of reed with poisoned wooden tips; swords of dark and heavy cocoawood; shields of wood hewed with patient care from the solid log; wooden clubs; water-jars of a single section of bamboo and holding twelve gallons; gourd bottles, grass slippers, bark clothing, plaintain hats, cows'-tail plumes; and a host more which may be omitted. On the various faces of the structure and upon the steps are profusely arranged the various objects, over which the canopy of palm gracefully towers.

All that has been described occupies the central space beneath the dome. Around it and occupying the corners are a thousand specimens of wood, canes, fibres, seeds, gum, wax, resins, teas, hideous theatrical figures, savage weapons, rich fabrics, filigrain jewelry and tea-services. Here also are pigs of tin from regions famous for it twenty centuries ago, blocks of native building stones, minerals, ores and agates. Here are models of mining-works, smelting-sheds, sugar-houses, plans and maps.

On one side, occupying a very modest space, are contributions from Guiana, exemplifications of the habits, methods and productions of the country—manioc-strainers and baskets, river-boats, animals, woods, minerals, fruits and tobacco. Figures of a negro and negress of Paramaibo propped against the counter seem utterly lost at the sights around.

Edward H. Knight.

[Pg 418]




Bertie Lisle was sorely driven and perplexed for a few days after his triumphant performance on the organ. His letter was not a failure, but further persuasion was required to make his success complete; and during the brief interval he was persecuted by Gordon's brother.

Mr. William Gordon, when amiable and flattering, had an air of rough and hearty friendliness which was very well as long as you held him in check. But when, though still amiable, he thought he might begin to take liberties, it was not so well. He was hard, coarse-tongued and humorous. And when Mr. William Gordon had the upper hand he showed himself in his true colors, as a bully and a blackguard. Bertie Lisle, not yet two-and-twenty, was no match for this man of thirty-five. He owed him money—no great sum, but more than he could pay. Now that matters had come to this pass, Lisle was heartily ashamed of himself, his debts and his associates; but the more shame he felt the more anxious he was that nothing should be known. He had sought the society of these men because he had wearied of the restraints of his home-life. Judith checked and controlled him unconsciously through her very guilelessness. He might have had his liberty in a moment had he chosen, but the assertion of his right would have involved explanations and questions, and Bertie hated scenes. He found it easier to coax Lydia than to face Judith.

But this state of affairs could not go on. Bertie had once fancied that he saw a possible way out of his difficulties, and had hinted to Gordon, with an air of mystery, that though he could not pay at once he thought he might soon be in a position to pay all. If he hoped to silence his creditors for a while with this vague promise, he was mistaken. Gordon continually reminded him of it. He had not cared to inquire into the source of the coming wealth, but if Lisle meant to rob somebody's till or forge Mr. Clifton's name to a cheque, no doubt Gordon thought he might as well do it and get it over. If you are going to take a plunge, what, in the name of common sense, is the good of standing shivering on the brink?

Unluckily, Lisle's idea presented difficulties on closer inspection. But as he had gone so far that it was his only hope, he made up his mind to risk all. He saw but one possible way of carrying out his scheme. It was exactly the way which no cautious man would ever have dreamed of taking, and therefore it suited the daring inexperience of the boy. Therefore, also, it was precisely what no one would dream of guarding against. In fact, Bertie was driven by stress of circumstances into a stroke of genius. He took his leap, and entered on a period of suspense, anxiety and sustained excitement which had a wild exhilaration and sense of recklessness in it. He[Pg 419] suffered much from a strong desire to burst into fits of unseasonable laughter. His nerves were so tensely strung that it might have been expected he would be irritable; and so he was sometimes, but never with Judith.

Thorne listened night after night for the man with the latch-key, but he listened in vain. He was only partly reassured, for he feared that matters were not going on well at St. Sylvester's. Indeed, he knew they were not, for Bertie had strolled into his room one day with a face like a thundercloud. The young fellow was out of temper, and perhaps a little off his guard in consequence. When Gordon amused himself by baiting him, Lisle was forced to keep silence; but in this case it was possible, if not quite prudent, to allow himself the relief of speech.

"What is the matter?" said Percival, looking up from his book.

Bertie, who had turned his back on him, stood looking out of the window and tapping a tune on the pane. "What's the matter?" he repeated. "Clifton has taken it into his stupid head to lecture me about some rubbish he has heard somewhere. Why doesn't some one lock him up in an idiot asylum? The meddling fool!"

"If that is qualification enough—" Thorne began mildly, but Bertie raged on:

"What business is it of his? I'm not going to stand his impudence, as I'll precious soon let him know. A likely story! He didn't buy me body and soul for his paltry salary, though he seems to think it. The old humbug in a cassock! It's a great deal of preaching and very little practice with him, I know."

(He knew nothing of the kind. Mr. Clifton was a well-meaning man, who had never disturbed his mind by analyzing his own opinions nor any one else's, and who worked conscientiously in his parish. But no doubt Bertie had too much respect for truth to let it be mixed up with a fit of ill-temper.)

"Take care what you are about," said Percival as he turned a leaf. He looked absently at the next page. "I don't want to interfere with you—"

"Oh, you! that's different," said Lisle without looking round. "Not that I should recommend even you—"

"Don't finish: I hope the caution isn't needed. Of course you will do as you think best. You are your own master, but I know you'll not forget that it is a question of your sister's bread as well as your own. That's all. If you can do better for her—"

Bertie half smiled, but still he looked out of the window, and he did not speak. Presently the fretful tapping on the pane ceased, and he began to whistle the same tune very pleasantly. At last, after some time, the tune stopped altogether. "I believe I'm a fool," said Lisle. "After all, what harm can Clifton do to me? And, as you say, it would be a pity to make Judith uneasy. Bless the stupid prig! he shall lecture me again to-morrow if he likes. He hasn't broken any bones this time, and I dare say he won't the next." The young fellow came lounging across the room with his hands in his pockets as he spoke. "I suppose he has gone on preaching till it's his second nature. Talk of the girl in the fairy-tale dropping toads and things from her lips! Why, she was a trifle to old Clifton. I do think he can't open his mouth without letting a sermon run out."

Thorne was relieved at the turn Bertie's meditations had taken, but he could not think that the young fellow's position at St. Sylvester's was very secure. Neither did Judith. Neither did Bertie himself. The thought did not trouble him, but Judith was evidently anxious.

"You do too much," said Percival one day to her. They were walking to St. Sylvester's, and Bertie had run back for some music which had been forgotten.

"Perhaps," said Judith simply. "But it can't be helped."

"What! are they all so busy at Standon Square?"

"Well, the holidays, being so near, make more work, and give one the strength to get through it."

"I'm not so sure of that. I'm afraid Miss Crawford leaves too much to you, and you will break down."

"I'm more afraid Miss Crawford will[Pg 420] break down. Poor old lady! it goes to my heart to see her. She tries so hard not to see that she is past work; and she is."

"Is she so old? I didn't know—"

"She was a governess till she was quite middle-aged, and then she had contrived to scrape together enough to open this school. My mother was her first pupil, and the best and dearest of all, she says. She had a terribly up-hill time to begin with, and even now it is no very great success. Though she might do very well, poor thing! if they would only let her alone."

"And who will not let her alone?"

"Oh, there is a swarm of hungry relations, who quarrel over every half-penny she makes; and she is so good! But you can understand why she is anxious not to think that her harvest-time is over."

"Poor old lady!" said Percival. "And her strength is failing?"

Judith nodded: "She does her best, but it makes my heart ache to see her. She comes down in the morning trying to look so bright and young in a smart cap and ribbons: I feel as if I could cry when I see that cap, and her poor shaky hands going up to it to put it straight." There were tears in the girl's voice as she spoke. "And her writing! It is always the bad paper or the bad pen, or the day is darker than any day ever was before."

"Does she believe all that?" the young man asked.

"I hardly know. I think she never has opened her eyes to the truth, but I suspect she feels that she is keeping them shut. It is just that trying not to see which is so pathetic, somehow. I find all manner of little excuses for doing the writing, or whatever it may happen to be, instead of her, and then I see her looking at me as if she half doubted me."

"Does the school fall off at all?"

"I'm not sure. Schools fluctuate, you know, and it seems they had scarlet fever about six months ago. That might account for a slight decrease in the numbers: don't you think so?"

"Oh, certainly," said Percival, with as much confidence as if boarding-school statistics had been the one study of his life. "No doubt of it."

They walked a few paces in silence, and then Judith said, "Perhaps she will be better after the holidays. I think she is very tired, she is so terribly drowsy. She drops asleep directly she sits down, and is quite sure she has been awake all the time. I'm so afraid the girls may take advantage of it some day."

"But even for Miss Crawford's sake you must not do too much," urged Percival.

"I will try not. But it is such a comfort to me to be able to help her! If it were not for that, I sometimes question whether I did wisely in coming here at all."

"If it is not an impertinent question—though I rather think it is—what should you have done if you had not come?"

"I should have stayed with an aunt of mine. She wanted me, but she would not help Bertie, and I fancied that I could be of use to him. But I doubt if I can do him much good, and if I lost my situation I should only be a burden to him."

"Perhaps that might do him more good than anything," Percival suggested. "He might rise to the occasion and take life in earnest, which is just what he wants, isn't it? For any one can see how fond he is of you."

"He's a dear boy," Judith answered with a smile, and looked over her shoulder. The dear boy was not in sight.

"Plenty of time," said Percival. "But it is rather a long way for him, so often as he has to go to St. Sylvester's."

"He doesn't mind that. He says he can do it in less than ten minutes, only to-day he had to go back, you see."

"It isn't so far as it would be to St. Andrew's," Thorne went on. "By the way, have you ever been to your parish church?"

"Never. I don't think your description was very inviting."

"Oh, but it would be worth while to go once. The first time I went I thought it was like a quaint, melancholy dream. Such a dim, hollow, dusty old building,[Pg 421] and little cherubs with grimy little marble faces looking down from the walls. When the congregation began to shuffle in each new-comer was more decrepit and withered than the last, till I looked to see if they could really be coming through the doorway from the outer world, or whether the vaults were open and they were the ghosts of some dead-and-gone congregation of long ago. And when I looked round again, there was the clergyman in a dingy surplice, as if he had risen like a spectre in his place. He stared at us all with his dull old eyes, and turned the leaves of a great book. And all at once he began to read, in a piping voice so thin and weak that it sounded just like the echo of some former service—as if it had been lost in the dusty corners, and was coming back in a broken, fragmentary way. It was all the more like an echo because the old clerk is very deaf, and he begins in a haphazard fashion when he thinks it is time for the other to have done. So sometimes there is a long pause, and then you have their two old voices mixed up together, like an echo when it grows confused. It is very strange—gives one all manner of quaint fancies. You should go once. Nothing could be more utterly unlike St. Sylvester's."

"I think I will go," said Judith. "I know a church something like that, only not quite so dead. There is a queer old clerk there too."

"Where is that?"

"Oh, it isn't anywhere near here. A little old-fashioned country town—Rookleigh."

Percival turned eagerly: "Where did you say? Rookleigh?"

"Yes. Why, do you know anything of it?"

"Tell me what you know of it."

"My aunt, Miss Lisle, lives there—the aunt I was telling you about, who wanted me to stay with her."

"And you were there last summer?"

"Yes. In fact, I was there on a visit when I heard that—that our home was broken up. I stayed on for some time: I had nowhere to go."

"Miss Lisle lives in a red house by the river-side," said Percival, prompted by a sudden impulse.

It was Judith's turn to look surprised: "Yes, she does. But, Mr. Thorne, how do you know?"

"The garden slopes to the water's edge," he went on, not heeding her. "And there is a wide gravel-path down the middle, cutting it exactly in two. It is all very neat—it is wonderfully neat—and Miss Lisle comes down the path, looking right and left to see whether all the carnations and the chrysanthemum-plants are tied up properly, and whether there are any snails."

"Mr. Thorne, who told you—? No, you must have seen."

"But you didn't walk with her. There was a cross-path behind some evergreens."

"Yes," said Judith: "I hated to be seen then. I couldn't go beyond the garden, and I used to walk backward and forward there, so many times to a mile—I forget how many now. But, Mr. Thorne, tell me, how do you know all this?"

"It is simple enough," he said. "I was at Rookleigh one day, and I strolled along the path by the river. You can see the house from the farther side. I stood and looked at it."

"Yes, but how did you know whose house it was?"

"I hadn't the least idea. But it took my fancy—why I don't know. And while I was looking I saw that some one came and went behind the evergreens."

"Then it was only a guess when you began to describe it?"

"Well, I suppose so. It must have been, mustn't it?" he said, looking curiously at her. "But it felt like a certainty."

They were just at St. Sylvester's, and Bertie ran up panting, waving his music. "Lucky I've not got to sing," said the young fellow in a jerky voice, and rushed to the vestry-door, where Mr. Clifton fidgeted, watch in hand. After such a race it was natural enough that the young organist should be somewhat flushed as he went up the aisle with a surpliced boy at his heels. But Judith[Pg 422] had not hurried—had rather lingered, looking back. What was the meaning of that soft rosy glow upon her cheeks? And why was Thorne so absent, standing up and sitting down mechanically, till the service was half over before he knew it?

He was recalling that day at Rookleigh—the red houses by the water-side, the poplars, the pigeons, the old church, the sleepy streets, the hot blue sky, the gray glitter of the river through the boughs, and the girl half seen behind the evergreens. She had been to him like a fair faint figure in a dream, and the airy fancies that clustered round her had been more dreamy yet. But suddenly the dream-girl had stepped out of the clouds into every-day life, and stood in flesh and blood beside him. And the nameless fascination with which his imagination had played was revealed as the selfsame attraction as that which his soul had known when, years before, he first met Judith Lisle.



Percival Thorne would have readily declared that it was a matter of utter indifference to him whether his landlady went at the end of March to pay a three weeks' visit to her eldest sister or whether she stayed at home. He took very little notice when Mrs. Bryant told him of her intention. She talked for some time. When she was gone Thorne found himself left with the impression that the lady in question was a Mrs. Smith, who resided somewhere in Bethnal Green; that some one was a plumber and glazier; that some one had had the measles; that trade was not all one could wish, nor were Mrs. Bryant's relations quite what they should have been, but that, she thanked Goodness, they were not all alike. This struck him as a reasonable cause for thankfulness, as otherwise there would certainly have been a terrible monotony in the family circle. He also had an idea that Mrs. Smith had received a great deal of good advice on the subject of her marriage, and he rather thought that Smith was not the sort of man to make a woman happy. "Either Smith isn't, or Bryant wasn't when he was alive—now which was it?" smiled Percival to himself, ruffling his wavy hair and leaning back in his chair with a confused sense of relief. And then the dispute about the grandmother's crockery came in, and the uncle who had a bit of money and married the widow at Margate. "I hope to Goodness Mrs. Bryant will stay away some time if she has half as much to say on her return!"

The good woman had not gone into Mr. Thorne's room for the purpose of giving him all this information. It had come naturally to her lips when she found herself there, but she merely wished to suggest to him that Lydia would be busy while she was away, and money-matters were terribly muddling, weren't they? and perhaps it would make it easier if Mr. Thorne's bill stood over. Percival understood in a moment. The careworn face, the confused manner, told him all. Lydia would probably waste the money, and the old lady, though with perceptible hesitation, had decided to trust him rather than her daughter. It was so. Lydia considered that her mother was stingy, and that finery was indispensable while she was husband-hunting.

"You see, there'll be one less to feed, and it would only bother her; and you've always been so regular with your money," said Mrs. Bryant wistfully.

"Oh, I see, perfectly," Thorne replied. "I won't trouble Miss Bryant about it. It shall be all ready for you when you come back, of course. A pleasant journey to you!"

The old lady went off, not without anxiety, but very favorably impressed with Percival's lofty manner. And he thought no more about it. But the time came when he wished that Mrs. Bryant had never thought of visiting Mrs. Smith of Bethnal Green at all.

Easter fell very late that year, far on in April, and it seemed to Judith that the holidays would never come. At last, however, they were within a week of the breaking-up day. It was Sunday, and[Pg 423] she could say to herself, "Next Thursday I shall be free."

Bertie and she had just breakfasted, and he was leaning in his favorite attitude against the chimney-piece. She had taxed him with looking ill, but he had smilingly declared that there was nothing amiss with him.

"Do you sleep well, Bertie?" she asked wistfully.

"Pretty well. Not very much last night, by the way. But you are whiter than I am: look at yourself in the glass. Even if you deduct the green—"

Judith gazed into the verdant depths. "I don't know how much to allow," she said thoughtfully. "By the way, Bertie, I'm not going with you to St. Sylvester's this morning."

"All right!" said Bertie.

"I have a fancy to go to St. Andrew's for once," said Judith, arranging the ribbon at her throat as she spoke—"just for a change. You don't mind, do you?"

"Mind? no," said Bertie, but something in his voice caused her to look round. He was as pale as death, grasping the chimney-piece with one hand while the other was pressed upon his heart.

"Bertie! You are ill! Lean on me." The little sofa was close by, and she helped him to it and ran for eau de cologne. When she came back he was lying with his head thrown back, white and still, yet looking more like himself than in that first ghastly moment. Presently the blood came back to cheek and lip, and he looked up and smiled. "You are better?" she said anxiously.

"Oh yes, I'm better. I'm all right. Can't think what made me make such a fool of myself."

"No, don't get up: lie still a little longer," said Judith, standing over him with the wicker flask in her hand. "Oh, how you frightened me!"

"Don't pour any more of that stuff over me," he answered languidly. "You must have expended quarts. I can feel little rivulets of it creep-creeping at the roots of my hair."

"But, Bertie, what was the matter with you?"

"I hardly know. It's all over now. My heart seemed to stop beating just for a moment. I wonder if it did, really? Or should I have died? Do sit down, Judith. You look as if you were going to faint too."

She sat down by him. After a minute Bertie's slim, long fingers groped restlessly, and she held them in a tender grasp. So for some time they remained hand in hand. Judith watched him furtively as he lay with closed eyes, his fair boyish face pressed on the dingy cushion, and a great tenderness lighted her quiet glance. Suddenly, Bertie's eyes opened and met hers. She answered his look of inquiry: "You are all I have, dear. We two are alone, are we not? I must be anxious if you are ill."

He pressed her hand, but he turned his face a little away, conscious at the same moment of a flush of self-reproach and of a lurking smile. "Don't!" he said. "I'm not ill. I'm all right now—never better. Isn't it time for me to be off? I say, my dear girl, if you don't look sharp you'll be late at St. Andrew's."

"St. Andrew's!" she repeated scornfully. "I go to St. Andrew's now, and think all the service through that my bad boy may be fainting at St. Sylvester's! No, no: I shall go with you."

"Thank you," said Bertie, sitting up and running his fingers through his hair by way of preparation for church. "I shall be glad, if you don't mind."

"That is," she went on, "if you are fit to go at all."

"Oh yes. I couldn't leave old Clifton in the lurch for anything short of sudden death, and even then he'd feel himself ill used. Stay at home because I felt faint? It would be as much as my place is worth," said Bertie with a smile of which Judith could not understand the fine irony.

"I'll go and get ready," she said. But she went to the door of Percival's sitting-room and knocked.

"Come in," he answered, and she opened it. He was stooping over his fire, poker in hand. She paused on the threshold, and, after breaking a hard lump of coal, he looked over his[Pg 424] shoulder: "Miss Lisle! I beg your pardon. I thought they had come for the breakfast things."

"Oh!" she said, in a slightly disappointed tone. "You are not going to church to-day." For Thorne was more picturesquely careless in his apparel than is the wont of the British church-goer.

A rapid change of mind enabled him to answer truthfully, "Yes, I am. I ought to get ready, I suppose. Did you want me for anything, Miss Lisle?"

"Were you going to St. Sylvester's, or not?"

Percival had known by her tone that she wanted him to go to church. But he did not know which church claimed his attendance, so he answered cautiously, "Oh, I hardly know. I think I should like some one to make up my mind for me. Are you going with your brother?"

"Yes," said Judith. "He isn't very well to-day. I was rather frightened by his fainting just now."

"Of course I'll go with you," said Percival. "I'll be ready in two minutes. Been fainting? Is he better now?"

"Much better. Will you really?" And Judith vanished.

Percival was perhaps a little longer than the time he had named, but he soon came out in a very different character from that of the young man who had lounged over his late breakfast in his shabby coat. He looked anxiously at young Lisle as they started, but Bertie's appearance was hardly such as to call for immediate alarm. He seemed well enough, Percival thought, though perhaps a little excited. In truth, there was not much amiss with him. He had got over the uneasy sense of self-reproach: the sudden shock which had caused his dismay was past, and as he went his way, solemnly escorted by his loving sister and his devoted friend, he was suffering much more from suppressed laughter than from anything else. Everything was a joke, and the narrowness of his escape that morning was a greater joke than all. "By Jove! what a laugh we will have over it one of these days!" thought Lisle as he put on his surplice.

Loving eyes followed him as he went to his place, and his name was fondly breathed in loving prayers.



On the Tuesday morning Bertie was late for breakfast, and came in yawning rather ostentatiously. Judith protested good-humoredly: "Lie in bed late or yawn, but you can't want to do both. Why, it is eleven hours since you went up to bed!" This was perfectly true, but not so much to the point as she supposed.

Ever since the mysterious fainting-fit Judith had watched him with tender anxiety, and it seemed to her that there was something strange in his manner that morning. She did not know what it was, but had she held any clew to his thoughts she would have perceived that Bertie was astonished and bewildered. He looked as if a dream had suddenly become a reality, as if a jest had turned into marvellous earnest. He smoked his pipe, leaning by the open window, with a serious and almost awestruck expression in his eyes. One might have fancied that he was transformed visibly to himself, and was perplexed to find that the change was invisible to others. Judith could not understand this quiet gravity.

She came up to him and laid her hand caressingly on his shoulder. He did not turn, but pointed with the stem of his pipe across the street. "Look!" he said. "There's a bit of houseleek on those tiles. I never saw it till to-day."

"Nor I."

"It looks green and pleasant," said Bertie in a gentle, meditative voice. "I like it."

"Our summer garden," Judith suggested.

"I wonder if there's any houseleek on our roof?" he went on after a moment.

"We will hope so, for our neighbors' sake," said his sister. "It's a new idea to me. I thought our roof was nothing but tiles and cats—principally cats."

Bertie smoked his pipe, and surveyed[Pg 425] the houseleek as if it were a newly-discovered star. Everything was strange and wonderful that morning. Vague ideas floated in the atmosphere, half seen against the background of common things. The mood, born of exceptional circumstances, was unique in his life. Had it been habitual, there would have been hope of a new poet, or, since his taste lay in the direction of wordless harmony, of a great musician.

"You won't be late at the square, Bertie dear?" said Judith.

"No, I'll not be late," he answered absently. He felt that the pale gold of the April sunlight was beautiful even in Bellevue street.

"The last lesson," she said. Bertie, suddenly roused, looked round at her with startled eyes. "What! had you forgotten that the girls go home to-morrow?" cried Judith in great surprise. She had counted the days so often.

He laughed shortly and uneasily: "I suppose I had. Queer, wasn't it? Yes, it's my last lesson, as you say. If I had only thought of it, I might have composed a Lament, taught it to all my pupils, and charged a fancy price for it in the bill."

"That would have been very touching. A little tiresome to you perhaps, and to Miss Crawford—"

"Bless you! she's always asleep," said Bertie, knocking the ashes out of his pipe and pocketing it. "I might teach them the Old Hundredth, one after the other, all the morning through: she wouldn't know. So your work ends to-morrow?"

"Not quite. The girls go to-morrow, but I have promised to be at the square on Thursday. There's a good deal to be done, and I should like to see Miss Crawford safely off in the afternoon."

"Where's the old woman going?"

"To Cromer for a few days. She lived there as a child, and loves it more than any place in the world."

"Does the poor old lady think she'll grow young again there?" said Bertie. "Well, perhaps she will," he added after a pause. "At any rate, she may forget that she has grown old."

Punctually at the appointed hour the young music-master arrived in Standon Square. It was for the last time, as Judith had said. Miss Crawford looked older, and Miss Crawford's cap looked newer, than either had ever done before. She put her weak little hand into Bertie's, and said some prim, kindly words about the satisfaction his lessons had given, the progress his pupils had made and the confidence she felt in his sister and himself. As she spoke she was sure he was gratified, for the color mounted to his face. Suddenly she stopped in the midst of her neatly-worded sentences. "You are like your mother, Mr. Lisle," she said: "I never saw it so much before." And she murmured something, half to herself, about her first pupil, the dearest of them all. Bertie, for once in his life, was silent and bashful.

The old lady rang the bell, and requested that Miss Macdonald might be told that it was time for her lesson and that Mr. Lisle had arrived. During the brief interval that ensued the music-master looked furtively round the room, as if he had never seen it before. It seemed to him almost as if he looked at it with different eyes, and read Miss Crawford's life in it. It was a prim, light-colored drawing-room, adorned with many trifles which were interesting as indications of patience and curious in point of taste. There was a great deal of worsted work, and still more of crochet. Everything that could possibly stand on a mat stood on a mat, and other mats lay disconsolately about, waiting as cabmen wait for a fare. Every piece of furniture was carefully arranged with a view to supporting the greatest possible number of anti-macassars. There were water-color paintings on the walls, and bouquets of wax flowers bloomed gayly under glass shades on every table. There were screens, cushions, pen-wipers. Bertie calculated that Miss Crawford's drawing-room might yield several quarts of beads. He had seen all these things many times, but they had acquired a new meaning and interest that day.

Miss Macdonald appeared, and Miss Crawford seated herself on a pink rose,[Pg 426] about the size of a Jersey cabbage, with two colossal buds, and rested her tired back against a similar group. At the first notes of the piano her watchful and smiling face relaxed and she nodded wearily in the background. It did not matter much. The young master was grave, silent, patient, conscientious. In fact, it did not matter at all. Having slept through the earlier lessons, the schoolmistress might well sleep through this. It was rather a pity that, instead of taking a placid and unbroken rest on the sofa, she sat stiffly on a worked chair and started into uneasy wakefulness between the lessons, dismissing one girl and sending for the next with infinite politeness and propriety. At last she said, "And will you have the kindness to tell Miss Nash?"

Bertie sat turning over a piece of music till the sound of the opening door told him that his pupil had arrived. Then he rose and looked in her direction, but avoided her eyes.

There was no school-girl slovenliness about Emmeline Nash. Her gray dress was fresh and neat, a tiny bunch of spring flowers was fastened in it, a ribbon of delicate blue was round her neck. As she came forward with a slight flush on her cheek, her head carried defiantly and the sunlight shining on her pale hair, Miss Crawford said to herself that really she was a stylish girl, ladylike and pretty. Her schoolfellows declared that Emmeline always went about with her mouth hanging open. But that day the parted lips had an innocent expression of wonder and expectation.

The lesson was begun in as business-like a fashion as the others. Perhaps Emmeline regaled the young master with a few more false notes than usual, but she was curiously intent on the page before her. Presently she stole a glance over her shoulder at Miss Crawford. She was asleep. Emmeline played a few bars mechanically, and then she turned to Bertie.

The eyes which met her own had an anxious, tender, almost reverential, expression. This slim fair girl had suddenly become a very wonderful being to Lisle, and he touched her hand with delicate respect and looked strangely at her pretty vacant face.

Had there been the usual laughter lurking in his glance, Emmeline would have giggled. Her nerves were tensely strung, and giggling was her sole expression for a wide range of emotion. But his gravity astonished her so much that she looked at the page before her again, and went on playing with her mouth open.

Toward the close of the lesson master and pupil exchanged a few whispered words. "You may rely on me," said Bertie finally: "what did I promise this morning?" He spoke cautiously, watching Miss Crawford. She moved in her light slumber and uttered an inarticulate sound. The young people started asunder and blushed a guilty red. Emmeline, with an unfounded assumption of presence of mind, began to play a variation containing such loud and agitated discords that further slumber must have been miraculous. But Lisle interposed. "Gently," he said. "Let me show you how that should be played." And he lulled the sleeper with the tenderest harmony.

In due time the lesson came to an end. Miss Crawford presided over the farewell, and regretted that it was really Miss Nash's last lesson, as (though Mr. Lisle perhaps was not aware of it) she was not coming back to Standon Square. Mr. Lisle in his turn expressed much regret, and said that he should miss his pupil. "You must on no account forget to practise every day," said the old lady, turning to Emmeline.—"Must she, Mr. Lisle?"

Mr. Lisle hoped that Miss Nash would devote at least three hours every day to her music. The falsehood was so audacious that he shuddered as he uttered it. He made a ceremonious bow and fled.

"SHE WAS ASLEEP."—Page 426. "SHE WAS ASLEEP."—Page 426.

Going back to Bellevue street, he locked himself into his room and turned out all his worldly goods. A little portmanteau was carefully packed with a selection from them, and hidden away in a cupboard, and the rest were laid by as[Pg 427] nearly as possible in their accustomed order. Then he took out his purse and examined its contents with dissatisfied eyes. "Can't get on without the sinews of war," Bertie soliloquized. "I might manage with double as much perhaps, but how shall I get it? Spoiling the Egyptians would be the scriptural course of conduct I suppose, and I'm ready; but where are the Egyptians? I won[Pg 428]der if Judith keeps a hoard anywhere? Or Lydia? Shall I go and ask her to lend me jewels of silver and jewels of gold? Poor Lydia! I fear I could hardly find a plausible excuse for borrowing the blue earrings. And I doubt they wouldn't help me much. No, I must find some better plan than that."

He was intensely excited: his flushed cheek and glittering eyes betrayed it. But the feelings of the morning had worn off in the practical work of packing and preparing for his flight. Perhaps it was as well they had, for they could hardly have survived an interview with Lydia in the afternoon. She was suspicious, and required coaxing to begin with.

"Why, what's the matter, Lydia?" said Lisle at last in his gentlest voice. "You might do this for me."

"You are always wanting something done for you."

"Oh, Lydia! and I've been such a good boy lately!"

"Too good by half," said Lydia.

"And a month ago I was always too bad. How am I to hit your precise taste in wickedness?"

"Oh, I ain't particular to a shade," said Lydia, "as you might know by my helping you to deceive ma and your sister. But as to your goodness, I don't believe in it: so there! Don't tell me! People don't give up all at once, and go to bed at ten o'clock every night, and turn as good as all that. It's my belief you mean to bolt. What have you been doing?"

"Look here, Lydia, I've told you once, and I tell you again: I want a holiday, and I'm off for two or three days by myself—can't be tied to my sister's apron-string all my life. But I would rather not have any fuss about it, so I shall just go quietly, and send her a line when I've started. I want you to get that portmanteau off, so that I may pick it up at the station to-morrow morning. I did think I might count on you," said Bertie with heartrending pathos: delicately-shaded acting would have been wasted on Miss Bryant. "You've always been as true as steel. But it seems I was mistaken. Well, no matter. If my sister makes a scene about my going away, it can't be helped. Perhaps I was wrong to keep my little secrets from her and trust them to any one else."

"I don't say that," Lydia replied. "P'raps others may do as well or better by you."

"Thank you all the same for your former kindness," Bertie continued in a tone of gentle resignation, ignoring her remark. "Since you won't, there is nothing more to be said."

"What do you want to fly off in that fashion for?" said Lydia. "I'll see about your portmanteau if this is all true—"

Bertie assumed an insulted-gentleman air: it was extremely lofty: "Oh, if you doubt me, Miss Bryant—"

"Gracious me! You are touchy!" exclaimed poor Lydia in perplexity and distress. "Only one word: you haven't been doing anything bad?"

"On my honor—no," said Bertie haughtily.

"And there's nothing wrong about the portmanteau?"

"Oh, this is too much!" Lisle exclaimed. "I can't be cross-questioned in this fashion—even by you." The careless parenthesis was not without effect. "Wrong about it—no! But we'll leave the subject altogether, if you please. I won't trouble you any further."

It was evident to Lydia that he was offended. There was an angry light in his eyes and his cheeks were flushed. "You are unkind," she said. "I'll see about it for you; and you knew I would." She saw Bertie's handsome face dimly through a mist of gathering tears.

"Crying?" said Lisle. "Not for me, Lydia? I'm not worth it."

"That I'll be bound you are not," said the girl.

"Then why do you do it?"

"Perhaps you think we always measure our tears, and mind we don't give over-weight," said Lydia scornfully. "Shouldn't cry much at that rate, I expect. I do it because I'm a fool, if you particularly want to know."

Lisle was wondering what style of answer would be suitable and harmless when Mr. Fordham came up the stairs.[Pg 429] Lydia saw him, exclaimed, "Oh my good gracious!" and vanished, while Bertie strolled into his room, invoking blessings on the old man's head.

That evening there was a choir-practice at St. Sylvester's. Mr. Clifton was peculiarly tiresome, and the young organist replied with an air of easy scorn, the more irritating that it was so good-humored. Had the worthy incumbent been a shade less musical there would have been a quarrel then and there. But how could he part with a man who played so splendidly? Bertie received his instructions as to their next meeting with an unmoved face. "It is so important now that Easter is so near," said the clergyman. "Thursday evening, and you won't be late?"

"Au revoir, then," said Lisle airily, "since we are to meet so soon." And with a pleasant smile he went his way.

When he got back he found Judith at home, looking worn and white. He was tenderly reproachful. "I'm sure you want your tea," he said. "You should not have thought about me." He waited on her, he busied himself about her in a dozen little ways. He was bright, gay, affectionate. A faint color flushed her face and a smile dawned on her lips. How could she fail to be pleased and touched? How could she do otherwise than smile at this paragon of young brothers? He talked of holiday schemes in a happy though rather random fashion. He sang snatches of songs softly in his pleasant tenor voice.

"Bertie, our mother used to sing that," said Judith after one of them.

"Did she?" He paused. "I don't remember."

"No, you can't," she answered sorrowfully. "I wish you could."

"I've only the faintest and most shadowy recollection—just a dim idea of somebody," he replied. "But in my little childish troubles I always had you. I don't think I wanted any one else."

Judith took his hand in hers, and held it for a moment fondly clasped: "You can't think how much I like to hear you say that."

Lisle blushed, and was thankful for the dim light. "Do you know," he said hurriedly, "I rather think I may have a chance of giving old Clifton warning before long?"

"Oh, Bertie! Where could you get anything else as good?"

"Not five-and-twenty miles away." Bertie named a place which they had passed on their journey to Brenthill. "Gordon of our choir told me of it this evening. I think I shall run over to-morrow and make inquiries."

"But why would it be so much better?"

"There's a big grammar school and they have a chapel. I should be organist there."

"But do they pay more?" she persisted.

"Hardly as much to the organist perhaps. But I could give lessons in the school, Gordon tells me, and make no end of money so. Oh, it would be a first-rate thing for me."

"And for me?"

"Oh, I hope you won't have to go on slaving for Miss Crawford. You must come and keep house—" Bertie stopped abruptly. He could deceive on a grand scale, but these small fibs, which came unexpectedly, confused him and stuck in his throat.

"Keep house for you? Is that all I am to do? Bertie, how rich do you hope to be?"

"Rich enough to keep you very soon," he answered gravely.

"But does Mr. Gordon think you have a chance of this appointment?"

"Why not?" said Bertie. "I am fit for it." There was no arrogance in his simple statement of the fact.

"I know you are. All the same, I think I won't give up my situation till we see how this new plan turns out. And I don't want to be idle."

"But I don't want you to work," said Bertie. "You are killing yourself, and you know it. Well, this is worth inquiring about at any rate, isn't it?"

"Yes, it certainly is. It sounds very pleasant. But pray don't be rash: don't give up what you have already until you quite see your way."[Pg 430]

"No, but I think I do see it. I'll just take the 8.35 train to-morrow and find out how the land lies. I can be back early in the afternoon."

So the matter was settled. As they went off to bed Lisle casually remarked that he had not seen Thorne that day: "Is he out, I wonder?"

Miss Bryant was making her nightly examination of the premises. She overheard the remark as she turned down the gas in the passage, and informed them that when Mr. Thorne came in from the office he complained of a headache, asked for a cup of tea and went early to bed. "Poor fellow!" said Lisle.—"Good-night, Miss Bryant."

Apparently, Percival's headache did not keep him in bed, for a light gleamed dimly in his sitting-room late that Tuesday night.



It was just one o'clock on the following Thursday, and Thorne was walking from the office to Bellevue street. He had adopted a quicker and more business-like pace than in old days, and came down the street with long steps, his head high and an abstracted expression on his face. Suddenly he stopped. "Miss Lisle!" he exclaimed. "Good God! What is the matter?"

It was Judith, but so pale, with fear and horror looking so terribly out of her eyes, that she was like a spectre of herself. She stopped short as he had done, and gazed blankly at him.

"Judith, what is it?" he repeated. "For God's sake, speak! What is the matter?"

He saw that she made a great effort to look like her usual self, and that she partly succeeded. "I don't know," she answered. "Please come, Mr. Thorne, but don't say anything to me yet. Not a word, please."

In silence he offered her his arm. She took it, and they went on together. Something in Judith Lisle always appealed with peculiar force to Percival's loyalty. He piqued himself on not even looking inquiringly at his companion as they walked, but he felt her hand quivering on his arm, and his brain was busy with conjectures. "Bertie has been away the last day or two," he said to himself. "Can she have heard any bad news of him? But why is she so mysterious about it, for she is not the girl to make a needless mystery?" When they reached Bellevue street she quitted his arm, thanked him with a look and went up stairs. Percival followed her.

She opened the door of her sitting-room and looked in. Then she turned to the young man, who stood gravely in the background as if awaiting her orders.

"Will you come in?" she said. But when she thought he was about to speak she made a quick sign with her hand: "Not yet, please."

The cloth was laid, but some books and papers had been pushed to one end of the table. Judith went to them and lifted them carefully, as if she were looking for something. Then she went to the little side-table, then to the chimney-piece, still seeking, while Thorne stood by the window silently waiting.

The search was evidently unavailing, and Judith rang the bell. During the pause which ensued she rested her elbow on the back of Bertie's easy-chair and covered her eyes with her hand. She was shaking from head to foot, but when the door opened she stood up and tried to speak in her usual voice: "Are there any letters by the second post for me, Emma?"

The little maid looked wonderingly at Mr. Thorne and then at Miss Lisle: "No, ma'am: I always bring 'em up."

"I know you do, but I thought they might have been forgotten. Will you ask Miss Bryant if she is quite sure none came for me this morning?"

There was another silence while Emma went on her errand. She came back with Miss Bryant's compliments, and no letters had come for Miss Lisle.

"Thank you," said Judith. "That will do. I will ring when I want dinner brought in."

When they were left alone Percival[Pg 431] stepped forward. "What is it?" he said. "You will tell me now."

She answered with averted eyes: "You know that our school broke up yesterday? Emmeline Nash went away by the nine-o'clock train, but she has never gone home."

"Has never gone home!" Percival repeated. "That is very strange. She must have met with some accident." There was no answer. "It may not be anything serious: surely, you are distressing yourself too much."

Judith looked up into his face with questioning eyes.

"Or perhaps it is some school-girl freak," Thorne went on. "Naturally, Miss Crawford must be very anxious, but don't make up your mind to the worst till you know for certain."

Still that anxious questioning look, as if she would read his very soul. Percival was startled and perplexed, and his eyes made no response. The girl turned away with a faint cry of impatience and despair: "And I am his own sister!"

Percival stood for a moment thunder-struck. Then "Bertie?" he said.

"But you did not think of him till I spoke," she answered passionately. "It was my doing—mine!"

"Where is Bertie?" Thorne asked the question with something of her fear in his eyes.

"I don't know. I had that yesterday morning."

He took a pencilled scrap of paper from her hand. Bertie had written, "I find I cannot be back this afternoon, probably not till to-morrow. Don't expect me till you see me, and don't be anxious about me. All right.—Your H.L."

"How did you get this?" he asked, turning it uneasily in his fingers.

"A boy brought it from the station not half an hour after he went."

Percival was silent. A sudden certainty had sprung up in his mind, and it made any attempt at reassuring her little better than a lie. Yet he felt as if his certainty were altogether unfounded. He could assign no reason for it. The truth was, that Bertie himself was the reason, and Percival knew him better than he had supposed.

"Mr. Thorne," said Judith, "don't you hate me for what I've said? Surely you must. Miss Crawford doesn't dream that Bertie has anything to do with this. And you didn't, for I watched your eyes: you never would have thought of him but for me. It is I, his own sister, who have hinted it. He has nobody but me, and when his back is turned I accuse him of being so base, so cruel, so mercenary, that—" She stopped and tried to steady her voice. Suddenly she turned and pointed to the door: "And if he came in there now, this minute—oh, Bertie, my Bertie, if you would!—if he stood there now, I should have slandered him without a shadow of proof. Oh, it is odious, horrible! The one in all the world who should have clung to him and believed in him, and I have thought this of him! Say it is horrible, unnatural—reproach me—leave me! Oh, my God! you can't."

And in truth Percival stood mute and grave, holding the shred of paper in his hand and making no sign through all the questioning pauses in her words. But her last appeal roused him. "No," he said gently, "I can't reproach you. If you are the first to think this, don't I know that you will be the one to hope and pray when others give up?" He took her hands in his: she suffered him to do what he would. "How should Miss Crawford think of him?" he said. "Pray God we may be mistaken, and if Bertie comes back can we not keep silence for ever?"

"I could not look him in the face."

"Tell me all," said Thorne. "Where did he say he was going? Tell me everything. If you are calm and if we lose no time, we may unravel this mystery and clear Bertie altogether before any harm is done. As you say, there is no shadow of proof. Miss Nash may have gone away alone: school-girls have silly fancies. Or perhaps some accident on the line—"

"No," said Judith.

"No? Are you sure? Sit down and tell me all."[Pg 432]

She obeyed to the best of her ability. She told him what Bertie had said about the situation he hoped to obtain, and what little she knew about Emmeline's disappearance.

Percival listened, with a face which grew more anxious with every word.

This is what had actually happened that morning at Standon Square: Judith was busy over Miss Crawford's accounts. She remembered so well the column of figures, and the doubtful hieroglyphic which might be an 8, but was quite as likely to be a 3. While she sat gazing at it and weighing probabilities in her mind the housemaid appeared, with an urgent request that she would go to Miss Crawford at once. Obeying the summons, she found the old lady looking at an unopened letter which lay on the table before her.

"My dear," said the little schoolmistress, "look at this." There was a tone of hurried anxiety in her voice, and she held it out with fingers that trembled a little.

It was directed in a gentleman's hand, neat and old-fashioned: "Miss Emmeline Nash, care of Miss Crawford, Montague House, Standon Square, Brenthill."

Judith glanced eagerly at the envelope. For a moment she had feared that it might be some folly of Bertie's addressed to one of the girls. But this was no writing of his, and she breathed again. "To Emmeline," she said. "From some one who did not know when you broke up. Did you want me to direct it to be forwarded?"

"Forwarded? where? Do you know who wrote that letter?" By this time Miss Crawford's crisp ribbons were quivering like aspen-leaves.

"No: who? Is there anything wrong about this correspondent of Emmeline's? I thought you would forward it to her at home. Dear Miss Crawford, what is the matter?"

"That is Mr. Nash's writing. Oh, Judith, what does it mean? She went away yesterday to his house, and he writes to her here!"

The girl was taken aback for a moment, but her swift common sense came to her aid: "It means that Mr. Nash has an untrustworthy servant who has carried his master's letter in his pocket, and posted it a day too late rather than own his carelessness. Some directions about Emmeline's journey: open it and see."

"Ah! possibly: I never thought of that," said Miss Crawford, feeling for her glasses. "But," her fears returning in a moment, "I ought to have heard from Emmeline."

"When? She would hardly write the night she got there. You were sure not to hear this morning: you know how she puts things off. The mid-day post will be in directly: perhaps you'll hear then. Open the letter now and set your mind at rest."

The envelope was torn open. "Now, you'll see he wrote it on the 18th—Good Heavens! it's dated yesterday!"

"My dear Emmeline: Since Miss Crawford wishes you to remain two days longer for this lesson you talk of, I can have no possible objection, but I wish you could have let me know a little sooner. You very thoughtfully say you will not give me the trouble of writing if I grant your request. I suppose it never occurred to you that by the time your letter reached me every arrangement had been made for your arrival—a greater trouble, which might have been avoided if you had written earlier. Neither did you give me much choice in the matter.

"But I will not find fault just when you are coming home. I took you at your word when your letter arrived yesterday, and did not write. But to-day it has occurred to me that after all you might like a line, and that Miss Crawford would be glad to know that you will be met at the end of your journey."

Compliments to the schoolmistress followed, and the signature,

"Henry Nash."

The two women read this epistle with intense anxiety. But while Miss Crawford was painfully deciphering it, and had only realized the terrible fact that Emmeline was lost, the girl's quicker brain had snatched its meaning at a glance. She saw the cunning scheme[Pg 433] to secure two days of unsuspected liberty. Who had planned this? Who had so cleverly dissuaded Mr. Nash from writing? And what had the brainless, sentimental school-girl done with the time?

"Where is she?" cried Miss Crawford, clinging feebly to Judith. "Oh, has there been some accident?"

"No accident," said Judith. "Do you not see that it was planned beforehand? She never thought of staying till Friday."

"No, never. Oh, my dear, I don't seem able to understand. Don't you think perhaps my head will be clearer in a minute or two? Where can she be?"

The poor old lady looked vaguely about, as if Miss Nash might be playing hide-and-seek behind the furniture. Her face was veined and ghastly. She hardly comprehended the blow which was falling upon her, but she shivered hopelessly, and thought she should understand soon, and looked up at Judith with a mute appeal in her dim eyes.

"Where can she be?" The girl echoed Miss Crawford's words half to herself. "What ought we to do?"

"I can't think why she wrote and told them not to meet her on Wednesday," said the old lady. "So timid as Emmeline always was, and she hated travelling alone! Oh, Judith! Has she run away with some one?"

A cold hand seemed to clutch Judith's heart, and her face was like marble. Bertie! Oh no—no—no! Not her brother! This treachery could not be his work. Yet "Bertie" flashed before her eyes as if the name were written in letters of flame on Mr. Nash's open note, on the wall, the floor, the ceiling. It swam in a fiery haze between Miss Crawford and herself.

She stood with her hands tightly clasped and her lips compressed. It seemed to her that if she relaxed the tension of her muscles for one moment Bertie's name would force its way out in spite of her. And even in that first dismay she was conscious that she had no ground for her belief but an unreasoning instinct and the mere fact that Bertie was away.

"Help me, Judith!" said Miss Crawford pitifully. She trembled as she clung to the girl's shoulder. "I'm not so young as I used to be, you know. I don't feel as if I could stand it. Oh, if only your mamma were here!"

Judith answered with a sob. Miss Crawford's confession of old age went to her heart. So did that pathetic cry, which was half longing for her who had been so many years at rest, and half for Miss Crawford's own stronger and brighter self of bygone days. She put her arm round the schoolmistress and held up the shaking, unsubstantial little figure. "If Bertie has done this, he has killed her," said the girl to herself, even while she declared aloud, "I will help you, dear Miss Crawford. I will do all I can. Don't be so unhappy: it may be better than we fear." But the last words, instead of ringing clear and true, as consolation should, died faintly on her lips.

Something was done, however. Miss Crawford was put on the sofa and had a glass of wine, while Judith sent a telegram in her name to Mr. Nash. But the poor old lady could not rest for a moment. She pulled herself up by the help of the back of the couch, and sitting there, with her ghastly face surmounted by a crushed and woebegone cap, she went over the same old questions and doubts and fears again and again. Judith answered her as well as she could, and persuaded her to lie down once more. But in another moment she was up again: "Judith, I want you! Come here—come quite close!"

"Here I am, dear Miss Crawford. What is it?"

The old lady looked fixedly at the kneeling figure before her. "I've nobody but you, my dear," she said. "You are a little like your mamma sometimes."

"Am I?" said Judith. "So much the better. Perhaps it will make you feel as if I could help you."

"You are not like her to-day. Your eyes are so sad and strange." Judith tried to smile. "Your brother, Mr. Herbert, is more like her. I noticed it when he was here last. She had just that bright, happy look."

"I don't remember that," Judith[Pg 434] answered. (One recollected the school-girl, and one the wife.)

"And that sweet smile: Mr. Herbert has that too. One could see how good she was. But I didn't mean to talk about that. There is something—I sha'n't be easy till I have told some one."

"Tell me, my dear," said Judith.

The schoolmistress looked anxiously round: "I may be mistaken—I hope I am—but do you know, dear, I doubt I'm not quite so wakeful as I ought to be. You wouldn't notice it, of course, because it is when I am alone or as good as alone. But sometimes—just now and then, you know—when I have been with the girls while they took their lessons from the masters, the time has seemed to go so very fast. I should really have thought they hadn't drawn a line when the drawing-master has said, 'That will do for to-day, young ladies,' and none of them seemed surprised. And once or twice I really haven't been quite sure what they have been practising with Mr. Herbert. But music is so very soothing, isn't it?"

Judith held her breath in terror. And yet would it not be better if that horrible thought came to Miss Crawford too? If others attacked him his sister might defend. Nevertheless, she drew a long sigh of relief when the old lady went on, as if confessing a crime of far deeper dye: "And in church—it isn't easy to keep awake sometimes, one has heard the service so often, and the sermons seem so very much alike—suppose some unprincipled young man—"

"Dear Miss Crawford, no one can wonder if you are drowsy now and then. You are always so busy it is only natural."

"But it isn't right. And," with the quick tears gathering in her eyes, "I ought to have owned it before. Only, I have tried so hard to keep awake!"

"I know you have."

Miss Crawford drew one of her hands from Judith's clasp to find her handkerchief, and then laid her head on the girl's shoulder and sobbed. "If it has happened so," she said—"if it has been my carelessness that has done it, I shall never forgive myself. Never! For I can never say that I didn't suspect myself of being unfit. It will break my heart. I have been so proud to think that I had never failed any one who trusted me. And now a poor motherless girl, who was to be my especial care, who had no one but me to care for her—Oh, Judith, what has become of her?"

There was silence for a minute. How could Judith answer her?

"I can never say I didn't doubt myself; but it was only a doubt. And how could I give up with so many depending on me?"

"Wait till we know something more," Judith pleaded. "Wait till we hear what Mr. Nash says in answer to your message. I am sure you have tried to act for the best."

"I shall never hold up my head again," said Miss Crawford, and laid it feebly down as if she were tired out.

The telegram came. Emmeline had not been heard of, and Mr. Nash would be at Brenthill that afternoon.

Judith searched the little room which the school-girl had occupied, but no indication of her intention to fly was to be found. She dared not question the servants before Mr. Nash's arrival. Secrecy might be important, and there would be an end to all hope of secrecy if once suspicion were aroused.

"There's nothing to do but to wait," she said, coming down to Miss Crawford. "I think, if you don't mind, I'll go home for an hour or so."

"No, no, no! don't go!"

"I must," said Judith. "I shall not be long."

"You will."

"No. An hour and a half—two hours at the utmost."

"Oh, I understand," said Miss Crawford. "You will never come back."

"Never come back? I will promise you, if you like, that I will be here again by half-past two—that is, if I go now."

"Oh, of course I can't keep you: if you will go, you will. But I think it is very cruel of you. You will leave me to face Mr. Nash alone."

"Indeed I will not," the girl replied.[Pg 435]

"And, after all, it is not half so bad for you as for me. He can't blame you. It will kill me, I think, but he can't say anything to you. Oh, Judith, I'm only a stupid old woman, but I have meant to be kind to you."

"No one could have been kinder," said Judith. "Miss Crawford, whatever happens, believe me I am grateful."

"Then you will stop—you will stop? He can't say anything to you, my dear."

Judith was cold with terror at the thought of what Mr. Nash might have to say to her. At the same moment she was burning with anxiety to get to Bellevue street and find some letter from Bertie. She freed her hands gently, but firmly. Miss Crawford sank back in mute despair, as if she had received her death-wound.

"Listen to me," said Judith. "I must go, but I will come back. I would swear it, only I don't quite know how people swear," she added with a tremulous little laugh. "Dear Miss Crawford, you trusted mamma: as surely as I am her daughter you may trust me. Won't you trust me, dear?"

"I'll try," said the old lady. "But why must you go?"

"I must, really."

"It won't be so bad for you: he can't blame you," Miss Crawford reiterated, drearily pleading. "Judith, no one ever had the heart to be so cruel as you will be if you don't come back."

"But I will," said Judith. She made her escape, and met Percival Thorne on her way to Bellevue street.

"And now what is to be done?" she asked, looking up at him when she had told him all. "No letter—no sign of Bertie."

Percival might not be very ready with expedients, but his calmness and reserve gave an impression of greater resources than he actually possessed. He hesitated while Judith spoke, but he did not show it. There was a pause, during which he caught at an idea, and uttered it without a trace of indecision. "I'll look up Gordon," he said, glancing at his watch. "If Gordon told Bertie of this situation, he may be able to tell us where a telegram would find him. Perhaps he may explain this mysterious little note. If we can satisfactorily account for his absence, we shall have nothing to say about Bertie, except to justify him if any one else should bring his name into the affair. And you could do your best to help Mr. Nash and Miss Crawford in their search."

"Yes, but where will you find Mr. Gordon?"

"He's a clerk at a factory in Hill street. I will go at once." And he hurried off.

Judith went to the window and looked after him with a despairing sense of loneliness in her heart. The little maid asked her if the dinner should be brought in, and she answered in a tone that she hoped was cheerful.

Miss Bryant came in with a dish and set it on the table. She seldom helped in this way, and Judith divined the motive. Conscious that she was narrowly scanned, she tried to assume a careless air, and turned away so that the light should not fall on her face. But Lydia said nothing. She looked at Judith doubtfully, curiously, anxiously: her lips parted, but no word came. Judith began to eat as if in defiance.

Lydia hesitated on the threshold, and then went away. "Stuck-up thing!" she exclaimed as soon as she was safe in the passage. "But what has he been doing? Oh, I must and will know!"

Percival returned before Judith's time had expired, and came into the room with a grave face and eyes that would not meet hers.

"Tell me," she said.

He turned away and studied a colored lithograph on the wall. "It wasn't true," he said. "Gordon was at the last practicing, but he never said a word about this organist's situation. In fact, Bertie left before the choir separated."

"Some one else might have told him," said Judith.

There was a pause. "I fear not," said Percival, intently examining a very blue church-spire in one corner of the picture. "In fact, Miss Lisle, I don't see how any one could. There is no vacancy for an[Pg 436] organist there—no prospect of any vacancy. I ascertained that."

Another pause, a much longer one. Percival had turned away from the lithograph, but now he was looking at a threadbare place in the carpet as thoughtfully as if he would have to pay for a new one. He touched it lightly with his foot, and perceived that it would soon wear into a hole.

"I must go back to Miss Crawford," said Judith suddenly. He bent his head in silent acquiescence. "What am I to tell her?" She lifted a book from the table, and laid it down again with a quivering hand. "Oh, it is too cruel!" she said in a low voice. "No one could expect it of me. My own brother!"

"That's true. No one could expect it."

"And yet—" said Judith. "Miss Crawford—Emmeline. Oh, Mr. Thorne, tell me what I ought to do."

"How can I? I don't know what to say. Why do you attempt to decide now? You may safely leave it till the time comes."


"Yes. You will not do less than your duty."

She hesitated, having a woman's craving for something to which she might cling, something definite and settled. "It is not certain," she said at last.

"No," he answered. "Bertie has deceived you, but it may be for some foolish scheme of his own. He may be guiltless of this: it is only a suspicion still."

"Well, I will go," said Judith again. "Oh, if only he had come home!"

"There is a choir-practice to-night," said Percival. "If all is well he will be back in time for that. They have no doubt of his coming. Why not leave a note?"

She took a sheet of paper and wrote on it—

"My dearest Brother:" ("If he comes back he will be best and dearest," she thought as she wrote. It had come to this, that it was necessary to justify the loving words! "If he comes back, oh how shall I ever atone to him?") "Come to me at once at Standon Square. Do not lose a moment, I entreat you. "Yours always,


She folded and addressed it, and laid it where he could not fail to see it as he came in. Then, having put on her hat, she turned to go.

"Let me walk with you," said Percival. Lydia met them on the stairs and cast a look of scornful anger on Miss Lisle. "Much she cares!" the girl muttered. "He doesn't come back, but she can go walking about with her young man! Those two won't miss him much."

Thorne saw his companion safely to Standon Square, and then went to the office. He was late, a thing which had never happened before, and, though he did his best to make up for lost time, he failed signally. His thoughts wandered from his work to dwell on Judith Lisle, and, if truth be confessed, on the dinner, which he had forgotten while with her. He was tired and faint. The lines seemed to swim before his eyes, and he hardly grasped the sense of what he wrote. Once he awoke from a reverie and found himself staring blankly at an ink-spot on the dingy desk. The young clerk on his right was watching him with a look of curiosity, in which there was as much malevolence as his feeble features could express, and when Thorne met his eyes he turned away with an unpleasant smile. It seemed as if six o'clock would never come, but it struck at last, and Percival escaped and made his way to Bellevue street.


[Pg 437]



In the south-eastern corner of European Russia, between the Black Sea and the Caspian, in about the latitude of New York City, there rises abruptly from the dead level of the Tatar steppes a huge broken wall of snowy alpine mountains which has been known to the world for more than two thousand years as the great range of the Caucasus. It is in some respects one of the most remarkable mountain-masses on the globe. Its peaks outrank those of Switzerland both in height and in rugged grandeur of outline; its glaciers, ice-falls and avalanches are second in extent and magnitude only to those of the Himalayas: the diversity of its climates is only paralleled by the diversity of the races which inhabit it; and its history—beginning with the Argonautic expedition and ending with the Russian conquest—is more romantic and eventful than that of any other mountain-range in the world.

Geographically, the Caucasus forms a boundary-line between South-eastern Europe and Western Asia, but it is not simply a geographical boundary, marked on the map with a red line and having no other existence: it is a huge natural barrier seven hundred miles in length and ten thousand feet in average height, across which, in the course of unnumbered centuries, man has never been able to find more than two practicable passes, the Gorge of Dariel and the Iron Gate of Derbend. Beginning at the Straits of Kertch, opposite the Crimea on the Black Sea, the range trends in a south-easterly direction across the whole Caucasian isthmus, terminating on the coast of the Caspian near the half-Russian, half-Persian city of Baku. Its entire length, measured along the crest of the central ridge, does not probably exceed seven hundred miles, but for that distance it is literally one unbroken wall of rock, never falling below eight thousand feet, and rising in places to heights of sixteen and eighteen thousand, crowned with glaciers and eternal snow. No other country which I have ever seen presents in an equally limited area such diversities of climate, scenery and vegetation as does the isthmus of the Caucasus. On the northern side of its white jagged backbone lies the barren wandering-ground of the Nogai Tatars—illimitable steppes, where for hundreds of miles the weary eye sees in summer only a parched waste of dry steppe-grass, and in winter an ocean of snow, dotted here and there by the herds and the black tents of nomadic Mongols. But cross the range from north to south and the whole face of Nature is changed. From a boundless steppe you come suddenly into a series of shallow fertile valleys blossoming with flowers, green with vine-tangled forests, sunny and warm as the south of France. Sheltered by its rampart of mountains from the cold northern winds, vegetation here assumes an almost tropical luxuriance. Prunes, figs, olives and pomegranates grow almost without cultivation in the open air; the magnificent forests of elm, oak, laurel, Colchian poplar and walnut are festooned with blossoming vines; and in autumn the sunny hillsides of Georgia and Mingrelia are fairly purple with vineyards of ripening grapes. But climate is here only a question of altitude. Out of these semi-tropical valleys you may climb in a few hours to the limit of vegetable life, and eat your supper, if you feel so disposed, on the slow-moving ice of a glacier.

High up among the peaks of this great Caucasian range lives, and has lived for centuries, one of the most interesting and remarkable peoples of modern times—a people which is interesting and remarkable not only on account of the indomitable bravery with which it defended its mountain-home for two thousand years against all comers, but on account[Pg 438] of its originality, its peculiar social and political organization and its innate intellectual capacity. I call it a "people" rather than a race, because it comprises representatives of many races, and yet belongs, as a whole, to none of them. It is a collection of miscellaneous elements. The Caucasian range may be regarded for all ethnological purposes as a great mountainous island in the sea of human history, and on that island now live together the surviving Robinson Crusoes of a score of shipwrecked states and nationalities, the fugitive mutineers of a hundred tribal Bountys. Army after army has gone to pieces in the course of the last four thousand years upon that Titanic reef; people after people has been driven up into its wild ravines by successive waves of migration from the south and east; band after band of deserters, fugitives and mutineers has sought shelter there from the storms, perils and hardships of war. Almost every nation in Europe has at one time or another crossed, passed by or dwelt near this great Caucasian range, and each has contributed in turn its quota to the heterogeneous population of the mountain-valleys. The Indo-Germanic tribes as they migrated westward from Central Asia left there a few wearied and dissatisfied stragglers; their number was increased by deserters from the Greek and Roman armies of Alexander the Great and Pompey; the Mongols under Tamerlane, as they marched through Daghestan, added a few more; the Arabs who overran the country in the eighth century established military colonies in the mountains, which gradually blended with the previous inhabitants; European crusaders, wandering back from the Holy Land, stopped there to rest, and never resumed their journey; and finally, the oppressed and persecuted of all the neighboring nations—Jews, Georgians, Armenians and Tatars—fled to these rugged, inaccessible mountains as to a city of refuge where they might live and worship their gods in peace. In course of time these innumerable fragments of perhaps a hundred different tribes and nationalities, united only by the bond of a common interest, blended into one people and became known to their lowland neighbors as Gortze, or "mountaineers." From a mere assemblage of stragglers, fugitives and vagabonds they developed in the course of four or five hundred years into a brave, hardy, self-reliant people, and as early as the eighth century they had established in the mountains of Daghestan a large number of so-called volnea obshesve, or "free societies," governed by elective franchise, without any distinction of birth or rank. After this time they were never conquered. Both the Turks and the Persians at different periods held the nominal sovereignty of the country, but, so far as the mountaineers were concerned, it was only nominal. Army after army was sent against them, only to return broken and defeated, until at last among the Persians it passed into a proverb, "If the shah becomes too proud, let him make war on the mountaineers of the Caucasus." In 1801 these hitherto unconquered highlanders came into conflict with the resistless power of Russia, and after a desperate struggle of fifty-eight years they were finally subdued and the Caucasus became a Russian province.

At the present time the mountaineers as a class, from the Circassians of the Black Sea coast to the Lesghians of the Caspian, may be roughly described as a fierce, hardy, liberty-loving people, whose component members have descended from ancestors of widely different origin, and are separable into tribes or clans of very different outward appearance, but nevertheless alike in all the characteristics which grow out of and depend upon topographical environment. They number altogether about a million and a half, and are settled in little isolated stone villages throughout the whole extent of the range from the Black Sea to the Caspian at heights varying from three to nine thousand feet. They maintain themselves chiefly by pasturing sheep upon the mountains and cultivating a little wheat, millet and Indian corn in the valleys; and before the Russian conquest they were in the habit of eking out this[Pg 439] scanty subsistence from time to time by plundering raids into the rich neighboring lowlands of Kakhetia and Georgia. In religion they are nearly all Mohammedans, the Arabs having overrun the country and introduced the faith of Islam as early as the eighth century. In the more remote and inaccessible parts of the Eastern Caucasus there still remain a few isolated aouls ("villages") of idolaters; in Daghestan there are four or five thousand Jews, who, although they have lost their language and their national character, still cling to their religion; and among the high peaks of Toochetia is settled a tribe of Christians said to be the descendants of a band of mediæval crusaders. But these are exceptions: ninety-nine one-hundredths of the mountaineers are Mohammedans of the fiercest, most intolerant type.

The languages and dialects spoken by the different tribes of this heterogeneous population are more than thirty in number, two-thirds of them being in the eastern end of the range, where the ethnological diversity of the people is most marked. So circumscribed and clearly defined are the limits of many of these languages that in some parts of the Eastern Caucasus it is possible to ride through three or four widely-different linguistic areas in a single day. Languages spoken by only twelve or fifteen settlements are comparatively common; and in South-western Daghestan there is an isolated village of less than fifty houses—the aoul of Innookh—which has a dialect of its own not spoken or understood, so far as has yet been ascertained, by any other portion of the whole Caucasian population. None of these mountain-languages have ever been written, but the early introduction of the Arabic supplied to a great extent this deficiency. Almost every settlement has its mullah or kadi, whose religious or judicial duties make it necessary for him to know how to read and write the language of the Koran, and when called upon to do so he acts for his fellow-townsmen in the capacity of amanuensis or scribe. Since 1860 the eminent Russian philologist General Usler has invented alphabets and compiled grammars for six of the principal Caucasian languages, and the latter are now taught in all the government schools established under the auspices of the Russian mountain administration at Vladi Kavkaz, Timour Khan, Shoura and Groznoi.

In government the Caucasian highlanders acknowledged previous to the Russian conquest no general head, each separate tribe or community having developed for itself such system of polity as was most in accordance with the needs and temperament of its component members. These systems were of almost all conceivable kinds, from the absolute hereditary monarchies of the Arab khans to the free communities or simple republics of Southern Daghestan. In the former the ruler could take the life of a subject with impunity to gratify a mere caprice, while in the latter a subject who considered himself aggrieved by a decision of the ruler could appeal to the general assembly, which had power to annul the decree and even to change the chief magistrate. Since the Russian conquest the mountaineers have altered to some extent both their forms of government and their mode of life. Blood-revenge and plundering raids into the valley of Georgia have nearly ceased; tribal rulers in most parts of the mountains have given place to Russian ispravniks; and the rude and archaic systems of customary law which prevailed everywhere previous to 1860 are being slowly supplanted by the less summary but juster processes of European jurisprudence. Such, in rapid and general outline, are the past history and the present condition of the Caucasian mountaineers.

Of course, the life, customs and social organization of a people who originated in the peculiar way which I have described, and who have lived for centuries in almost complete isolation from all the rest of the world, must present many strange and archaic features. In the secluded valleys of the Eastern Caucasus the modern traveller may study a state of society which existed in England before the Norman Conquest, and see in full operation customs and legal observances which have been obsolete[Pg 440] everywhere else in Europe for a thousand years. But it is to the literature of these people rather than to their life or their customs that I wish now particularly to call attention. I have said that they are remarkable for originality and innate intellectual capacity, and I shall endeavor to make good my assertion by presenting some specimens of their songs, fables, riddles, proverbs, burlesques and popular tales. Living as they do on the boundary-line between Europe and Asia, made up as they are of many diverse races, Aryan, Turanian and Semitic, they inherit all the traditionary lore of two continents, and hand down from generation to generation the fanciful tales of the East mingled with the humorous stories, the witty anecdotes and the practical proverbs of the West. You may hear to-day in almost any Caucasian aoul didactic fables from the Sanscrit of the Hitopadesa, anecdotes from the Gulistan of the Persian poet Saadi, old jokes from the Grecian jest-book of Hierocles, and humorous exaggerations which you would feel certain must have originated west of the Mississippi River. I heard one night in a lonely mountain-village in the Eastern Caucasus from the lips of a Daghestan mountaineer a humorous story which had been told me less than a year before by a student of the Western Reserve College at Hudson, Ohio, and which I had supposed to be an invention of the mirth-loving sophomores of that institution.

But the literature which the Caucasian mountaineers have inherited, and which they share with all the Semitic and Indo-European races, is not so deserving of notice as the literature which they have themselves invented—the stories, songs, anecdotes and burlesques which bear the peculiar impress of their own character. I shall endeavor, therefore, in giving specimens of Caucasian folk-lore, to confine myself to stories, songs and proverbs which are peculiar to the mountaineers themselves, or which have been worked over and modified to accord with Caucasian tastes and standards. It will be seen that I use the word "literature" in the widest possible sense, to include not only what is commonly called folk-lore, but also oaths, greetings, speeches, prayers and all other forms of mental expression which in anyway illustrate character.

The translations which I shall give have all been made from the original tongues through the Russian. Although I visited the Caucasus in 1870, and rode hundreds of miles on horseback through its wild gloomy ravines, familiarizing myself with the life and customs of its people, I did not acquire any of the mountain-languages so that I could translate from them directly; neither did I personally collect the proverbs, stories and songs which I here present. I am indebted for most of them to General Usler, to Prince Djordjadze—with whom I crossed Daghestan—and to the Russian mountain administration at Tiflis. All that I have done is to translate them from the Russian, and set them in order, with such comments and explanatory notes as they seem to require and as my Caucasian experience enables me to furnish.

I will begin with Caucasian greetings and curses. The etiquette of salutation in the Caucasus is extremely elaborate and ceremonious. It does not by any means satisfy all the requirements of perfect courtesy to ask a mountaineer how he is, or how his health is, or how he does. You must inquire minutely into the details of his domestic economy, manifest the liveliest interest in the growth of his crops and the welfare of his sheep, and even express a cordial hope that his house is in a good state of repair and his horses and cattle properly protected from any possible inclemency of weather. Furthermore, you must always adapt your greeting to time, place and circumstances, and be prepared to improvise a new, graceful and appropriate salutation to meet any extraordinary exigence. In the morning a mountaineer greets another with "May your morning be bright!" to which the prompt rejoinder is, "And may a sunny day never pass you by!" A guest he welcomes with "May your coming bring joy!" and the guest replies, "May a blessing rest on your[Pg 441] house!" To one about to travel the appropriate greeting is, "May God make straight your road!" to one returning from a journey, "May health and strength come back with rest!" to a newly-married couple, "May you have sons like the father and daughters like the mother!" and to one who has lost a friend, "May God give you what he did not live to enjoy!" Among other salutations in frequent use are, "May God make you glad!" "May your sheep be multiplied!" "May you blossom like a garden!" "May your hearth-fire never be put out!" and "May God give you the good that you expect not!"

The curses of the Caucasus are as bitter and vindictive as its greetings are courteous and kind-hearted. I have often heard it said by the Persians and Tatars who live along the Lower Volga that there is no language to swear in like the Russian; and I must admit that they illustrated and proved their assertion when occasion offered in the most fluent and incontrovertible manner; but I am convinced, after having heard the curses of experts in all parts of the East, that for variety, ingenuity and force the profanity of the Caucasian mountaineers is unsurpassed. They are by no means satisfied with damning their adversary's soul after the vulgar manner of the Anglo-Saxon, but invoke the direst calamities upon his body also; as, for example, "May the flesh be stripped from your face!" "May your heart take fire!" "May eagles drink your eyes!" "May your name be written on a stone!" (i.e. a tombstone); "May the shadow of an owl fall on your house!" (this, owing probably to the rarity of its occurrence, is regarded as a fatal omen); "May your hearth-fire be put out!" "May you be struck with a hot bullet!" "May your mother's milk come with shame!" "May you be laid on a ladder!" (alluding to the Caucasian custom of using a ladder as a bier); "May a black day come upon your house!" "May the earth swallow you!" "May you stand before God with a blackened face!" "Break through into hell!" (i.e. through the bridge of Al Sirat); "May you be drowned in blood!" Besides these curses, all of which are uttered in anger, the mountaineers have a number of milder imprecatory expressions which they use merely to give additional force or emphasis to a statement. A man, for instance, will exclaim to another, "Oh, may your mother die! what a superb horse you have there!" or, "May I eat all your diseases if I didn't pay twenty-five abaz for that kinjal ("dagger") in Tiflis!" The curious expression, "May your mother die!" however malevolent it may sound to Occidental ears, has in the Caucasus no offensive significance. It is a mere rhetorical exclamation-point to express astonishment or to fortify a dubious statement. The graphic curse, "May I eat all your diseases!" is precisely analogous to the American boy's "I hope to die." Generally speaking, the mountaineers use angry imprecations and personal abuse of all kinds sparingly. Instead of standing and cursing one another like enraged Billingsgate fish-women, they promptly cut the Gordian knot of their misunderstanding with their long, double-edged daggers, and presently one of them is carried away on a ladder. When, as a Caucasian proverb asserts, "It is only a step from the bad word to the kinjal," even an angry man is apt to think twice before he curses once.

It is difficult to select from the proverbs of the Caucasian mountaineers, numerous as they are, any which are certainly and peculiarly their own. They inherit the proverbial philosophy of all the Aryan and Semitic races, and for the most part merely repeat with slight variations the well-worn saws of the English, the Germans, the Russians, the Arabs and the French. I will give, however, a few specimens which I have not been able to find in modern collections, and which are probably of native invention. It will be noticed that they are all more remarkable for force and for a peculiar grim, sardonic humor than for delicacy of wit or grace of expression. Instead of neatly running a subject through with the keen flashing rapier of a witty analogy, as a Spaniard would do, the Caucasian mountaineer roughly knocks it down with the first proverbial club which comes to[Pg 442] hand; and the knottier and more crooked the weapon the better pleased he seems to be with the result. Whether the work in hand be the smiting of a rock or the crushing of a butterfly, he swings high overhead the Hammer of Thor. Compare, for example, the French and the Caucasian methods of expressing the fact that the consequences of bad advice fall on the advised and not on the adviser. The Frenchman is satisfied to simply state the obvious truism that advisers are not payers, but the mountaineer, with forcible and graphic imagery, declares that "He who instructs how to jump does not tear his mouth, but he who jumps breaks his legs." Again: the German has in his proverbial storehouse no more vivid illustration of the wilfulness of luck than the saying that "A lucky man's hens lay eggs with double yolks;" but this is altogether too common and natural a phenomenon to satisfy the mountaineer's conception of the power of luck; so he coolly knocks the subject flat with the audacious hyperbole, "A lucky man's horse and mare both have colts." Fortune and misfortune present themselves to the German mind as two buckets in a well; but to the Caucasian mountaineer "Fortune is like a cock's tail on a windy day" (i.e., first on one side and then on the other). The Danes assert guardedly that "He loses least in a quarrel who controls his tongue;" but the mountaineer cries out boldly and emphatically, "Hold your tongue and you will save your head;" and in order that the warning may not be forgotten, he inserts it as a sort of proverbial chorus at the end of every paragraph in his oldest code of written law. It is not often that a proverb rises to such dignity and importance as to become part of the legal literature of a country; and the fact that this proverb should have been chosen from a thousand others, and repeated twenty or thirty times in a brief code of criminal law, is very significant of the character of the people.

Caucasian proverbs rarely deal with verbal abstractions, personified virtues or vague intellectual generalizations. They present their ideas in hard, sharp-edged crystals rather than in weak verbal solutions, and their similes, metaphors and analogies are as distinct, clear-cut and tangible as it is possible to make them. The German proverb, "He who grasps too much lets much fall," would die a natural death in the Caucasus in a week, because it defies what Tyndall calls "mental presentation:" it is not pictorial enough; but let its spirit take on a Caucasian body, introduce it to the world as "You can't hold two watermelons in one hand," and it becomes immortal. Vivid imagery is perhaps the most marked characteristic of Caucasian proverbs. Wit, wisdom and grace may all occasionally be dispensed with, but pictorial effect, the possibility of clear mental presentation, is a sine qua non. Aiming primarily at this, the mountaineer says of an impudent man, "He has as much shame as an egg has hair;" of a garrulous one, "He has no bone in his tongue" or "His tongue is always wet;" of a spendthrift, "Water does not stand on a hillside;" and of a noble family in reduced circumstances, "It is a decayed rag, but it is silk." All these metaphors are clear, vivid and forcible, and the list of such proverbs might be almost indefinitely extended. With all their vividness of imagery, however, Caucasian sayings are sometimes as mysterious and unintelligible as the darkest utterances of the Delphian Oracle. Take, by way of illustration, the enigmatical proverb, "He lets his hasty-pudding stand over night, hoping that it will learn to talk." Only the rarest penetration would discover in this seemingly absurd statement a satire upon the man who has a disagreeable confession to make or an unpleasant message to deliver, and who puts it off until to-morrow, hoping that the duty will then be easier of performance. Again: what would a West European make of such a proverb as the following: "If I had known that my father was going to die, I would have traded him off for a cucumber"? Our English cousins, with their characteristic adherence to facts as literally stated, would very likely cite it as a shocking illustration of the filial irreverence and ingratitude of Caucasian[Pg 443] children; but an American, more accustomed to the rough humor of grotesque statement, would see at once that it was not to be "taken for cash," and would understand and appreciate its force when he found its meaning to be that it is better to dispose of a perishable article at half price than to lose it altogether—better to sell your father for a cucumber than have him die on your hands.

The cruel, cynical, revengeful side of the mountaineer's character finds expression in the proverbs, "A cut-off head will never ache;" "Crush the head, and the tail will die of itself;" "If you can't find a Lak [a member of a generally-detested tribe], hammer the place where one sat;" "What business has a blind man with a beautiful wife?" "The serpent never forgets who cut off his tail, nor the father who killed his son." The lights and shades of polygamous life appear in the sharply-contrasted proverbs, "He who has two wives enjoys a perpetual honeymoon," and "He who has two wives doesn't need cats and dogs;" the bad consequences of divided responsibility are indicated by the proverb, "If there are too many shepherds the sheep die;" and the value of a good shepherd is stated as tersely and forcibly as it well could be in the declaration that "A good shepherd will get cheese from a he-goat."

Caucasian proverbs, however, are not all as rude, unpolished and grotesque as most of those above quoted. Some of them are simple, noble and dignified, the undistorted outcome of the higher and better traits of the mountaineer's character. Among such are, "Dogs bark at the moon, but the moon does not therefore fall upon the earth;" "Blind eyes are a misfortune, but a blind heart is worse;" "He who weeps from the soul weeps not tears, but blood;" "Generous words are often better than a generous hand;" "A guest, a man from God;" and finally the really noble proverb, "Heroism is patience for one moment more:" no words could better express the steady courage, the unconquerable fortitude, the proud, silent endurance of a true Caucasian Highlander. At all times and under all circumstances, in pain, in peril and in the hour of death, he holds with unshakable courage to his manhood and his purpose. Die he will, but yield never. The desperate fifty years' struggle of the Caucasian mountaineers with the bravest armies and ablest commanders of Russia is only a long, blood-illuminated commentary upon this one proverb.

In order that the reader may get a clear idea of the scope and general character of Caucasian proverbial literature, I will give without further comment a few selections from the current sayings of the Laks, the Chechenses, the Abkhazians, the Koorintzes and the Avars: "Don't spit into a well: you may have to drink out of it;" "A fish would talk if his mouth were not full of water;" "Bread doesn't run after the belly, but the belly after bread;" "A rich man wherever he goes finds a feast—a poor fellow, although he goes to a feast, finds trouble;" "Stick to the old road and your father's friends;" "Your body is pledged to pay for your sins;" "Burial is the only medicine for the dead;" "Swift water never gets to the sea;" "With good neighbors you can marry off even your blind daughter;" "You can't get sugar out of every stone;" "Out of a hawk's nest comes a hawk;" "A fat ox and a rotten shroud are good for nothing;" "There are seven tastes as to a man's dress, but only one as to his stature" (i.e., his own); "A good head will find itself a hat;" "At the attack of the wolf the ass shuts his eyes;" "If you are sweet to others, they will swallow you—if bitter, they will spit you out;" "Go where you will, lift up any stone and you will find a Lak under it;" "He is like a hen that wants to lay an egg, and can't;" "He who is sated cannot understand the hungry;" "A barking dog soon grows old;" "A quiet cat eats a big lump of fat;" "If water bars your road, be a fish—if cliffs, a mountain-goat."

Closely allied to Caucasian proverbs in spirit and in rough, grotesque humor are Caucasian anecdotes, of which I have space for only a few characteristic specimens. They are almost invariably short, terse and pithy, and would prove, even[Pg 444] in the absence of all other evidence, that these fierce, stern, unyielding mountaineers have the keenest possible appreciation of humor, and that in the quick perception and hearty enjoyment of pure absurdity they come nearer to Americans than do perhaps any of the West European races. One of the following anecdotes, "The Big Turnip," I have seen in American newspapers within a year, and all of them bear a greater or less resemblance, both in spirit and form, to American stories. I will begin with an anecdote of the mullah Nazr-Eddin, a mythical, or at any rate an historically unknown, individual, whose personality the mountaineers use as a sort of peg upon which to hang all the floating jokes and absurd stories which they from time to time hear or invent, just as Americans use the traditional Irishman to give a modern stamp to a joke which perhaps is as old as the Pyramids. The mountaineers originally borrowed this lay figure of Nazr-Eddin from the Turks, but they have clothed it in an entirely new suit of blunders, witticisms and absurdities of their own manufacture.

Nazr-Eddin's Greetings.—Nazr-Eddin once upon a time, while travelling, came upon some people digging a grave. "May peace be with you!" said he as he stopped before them, "and may the blessing of God be upon your labor!" The gravediggers, enraged, seized shovels and picks and fell upon Nazr-Eddin and began to beat him. "What have I done to you?" he asked in affright: "what do you beat me for?"—"When you saw us," replied the gravediggers, "you should have held up your arms and prayed for the deceased."—"The instruction which you have given me I will remember," said Nazr-Eddin, and went on his way. Presently he met a large company of young people returning in great merriment from a wedding, dancing and playing on drums and fifes. As he approached them he raised his hands toward heaven and began to pray for the soul of the deceased. At this all the young men fell upon him in great anger and gave him another awful beating. "Can't you see," they cried, "that the prince's son has just been married, and that this is the wedding-party? Under such circumstances you should have put your hat under your arm and begun to shout and dance."—"The next time I will remember," said Nazr-Eddin, and went on. Suddenly and unexpectedly he came upon a hunter who was creeping cautiously and silently up to a hare. Putting his hat under his arm, Nazr-Eddin began to dance, jump and shout so furiously that of course the hare was frightened away. The hunter, enraged at this interference, pounded Nazr-Eddin with his gun until he could hardly walk. "What would you have me do?" cried the mullah.—"Under such circumstances," replied the hunter, "you should have taken off your hat and crept up cautiously, now stooping down, now rising up."—"That I will remember," said Nazr-Eddin, and went on. At a little distance he came upon a flock of sheep, and, according to his last instructions, he crept cautiously up to them, now stooping down out of sight, and then rising up, and so frightened the sheep that they all ran away. Upon this the shepherds gave him another tremendous beating. There was not a misfortune that did not come upon Nazr-Eddin on account of his miserable blunders.

The Kettle that Died.—The mullah Nazr-Eddin once went to a neighbor to borrow a kettle. In the course of a week he returned, bringing the large kettle which he had borrowed, and another, a small one. "What is this?" inquired the owner, pointing to the small kettle.—"Your kettle has given birth," replied the mullah, "and that is its offspring." Without any further question or explanation the owner took both kettles, and the mullah returned to his home. In course of time the mullah again appeared, and again borrowed his neighbor's kettle, which the latter gave him this time with great readiness. A week passed, a month, two months, three months, but no kettle; and at last the owner went to the mullah and asked for it. "Your kettle is dead," said the mullah.—"Dead!" exclaimed the owner: "do kettles die?"—"Certainly," replied the mullah. "If your kettle could give birth, it could also[Pg 445] die; and, what is more," he added, "it died in giving birth." The owner, not wishing to make himself a laughing-stock among the people, closed up the kettle business and left.

The Big Turnip.—Two men were once walking together and talking. One said, "My father raised such an enormous turnip once that he used the top of it to thresh wheat upon, and when it was ripe had to dig it out of the ground."—"My father," said the other, "ordered such an enormous kettle made once that the forty workmen who made it all had room to sit on the inside and work at the same time; and they were a year in finishing it."—"Yes," said the first, "but what did your father want such a big kettle for?"—"Probably to boil your father's turnip in," was the reply.

Nazr-Eddin's One-Legged Goose.—The mullah Nazr-Eddin was once carrying to the khan as a gift a roasted goose. Becoming hungry on the road, he pulled off one of the goose's legs and ate it. "Where is the other leg?" inquired the khan when the goose was presented.—"Our geese have only one leg," answered the mullah.—"How so?" demanded the khan.—"If you don't believe it, look there," said the mullah, pointing to a flock of geese which had just come out of the water, and were all standing on one leg. The khan threw a stick at them and they all ran away. "There!" exclaimed the khan, "they all have two legs."—"That's not surprising," said the mullah: "if somebody should throw such a club as that at you, you might get four legs." The khan gave the mullah a new coat and sent him home.

Why Blind Men should Carry Lanterns at Night.—A blind man in Khoota (an East Caucasian village) came back from the river one night bringing a pitcher of water and carrying in one hand a lighted lantern. Some one, meeting him, said, "You're blind: it's all the same to you whether it's day or night. Of what use to you is a lantern?"—"I don't carry the lantern in order to see the road," replied the blind man, "but to keep some fool like you from running against me and breaking my pitcher."

The Woman who was Afraid of being Kissed.—A man was once walking along one road and a woman along another. The roads finally united, and the man and woman, reaching the junction at the same time, walked on from there together. The man was carrying a large iron kettle on his back; in one hand he held by the legs a live chicken, in the other a cane; and he was leading a goat. Just as they were coming to a deep dark ravine, the woman said to the man, "I am afraid to go through that ravine with you: it is a lonely place, and you might overpower me and kiss me by force."—"If you were afraid of that," said the man, "you shouldn't have walked with me at all: how can I possibly overpower you and kiss you by force when I have this great iron kettle on my back, a cane in one hand and a live chicken in the other, and am leading this goat? I might as well be tied hand and foot."—"Yes," replied the woman, "but if you should stick your cane into the ground and tie the goat to it, and turn the kettle bottom side up, and put the chicken under it, then you might wickedly kiss me in spite of my resistance."—"Success to thy ingenuity, O woman!" said the rejoicing man to himself: "I should never have thought of such expedients." And when they came to the ravine he stuck his cane into the ground and tied the goat to it, gave the chicken to the woman, saying, "Hold it while I cut some grass for the goat," and then, lowering the kettle from his shoulders, imprisoned the fowl under it, and wickedly kissed the woman, as she was afraid he would.

It would be easy to multiply illustrations of Caucasian wit and humor, but the above anecdotes are fairly representative, and must suffice. I will close this paper with two specimens of mountain satire—"The Stingy Mullah" and "An Eye for an Eye."

The Stingy Mullah.—The mullah of a certain village, who was noted for his avarice and stinginess, happened one day in crossing a narrow bridge to fall into the river. As he could not swim, he sank for a moment out of sight, and then coming to the surface floated down the stream, struggling and yelling for[Pg 446] help. A passer-by ran to the bank, and stretching out his arm shouted to the mullah, "Give me your hand! give me your hand!" but the mullah thrust both hands as far as possible under water and continued to yell. Another man, who knew the mullah better, ran to the bank lower down and leaning over the water cried to him, "Here! take my hand! take my hand!" And the mullah, grasping it eagerly, was drawn out of the river. He was always ready to take, but would not give even so much as his hand to save his life.

The following clever bit of satire was probably invented by an inhabitant of one of the Arab khanates as a means of getting even with a ruler who had wronged him by an absurdly unjust decision. The khans of the Eastern Caucasus previous to the Russian conquest had almost unlimited power over the lives and persons of their subjects, and their decrees, however unreasonable and unfair they might be, were enforced without appeal and with inexorable severity. A mountaineer therefore in Avaria or Koomookha who considered himself aggrieved by a decision of his khan, and who dared not complain openly, could relieve his outraged feelings only by inventing and setting afloat an anonymous pasquinade. Some of these short personal satires are very clever pieces of literary vengeance.

An Eye for an Eye.—A robber one night broke into the house of a poor Lesghian in search of plunder. While groping around in the dark he accidentally put out one of his eyes by running against a nail which the Lesghian had driven into the wall to hang clothes upon. On the following morning the robber went to the khan and complained that this Lesghian had driven a nail into the wall of his house in such a manner as to put out one of his (the robber's) eyes, and for this injury he demanded redress. The khan sent for the Lesghian and inquired why he had driven this nail, and if he had not done it on purpose to put out the robber's eye. The Lesghian explained that he needed the nail to hang clothes upon, and that he had driven it into the wall for that purpose and no other. The khan, however, declared that the law demanded an eye for an eye; and since he had been instrumental in putting out the robber's eye, it would be necessary to put out one of his eyes to satisfy the claims of justice. "Your Excellency," replied the poor Lesghian, "I am a tailor. I need both my eyes in order to carry on my business and obtain the necessaries of life; but I know a man who is a gunsmith: he uses only one eye to squint along his gun-barrels, so that the other is of no particular service to him. Be so just, O khan! as to order one of his eyes to be put out and spare mine." The khan said, "Very well," and, sending for the gunsmith, explained to him the situation of affairs. "I also need both eyes," objected the gunsmith, "because I have to look on both sides of a gun-barrel in order to tell whether it is straight or not; but near me there lives a man who is a musician. When he plays on the zoorna [a Caucasian fife] he shuts both eyes; so his trade won't suffer even if he lose his eyesight entirely. Be so just, O khan! as to order one of his eyes to be put out and spare mine." To this the khan also agreed, and sent for the musician. The fifer admitted that he shut both eyes when he played his fife; whereupon the khan ordered one of them to be put out, and declared that he only left him the other as a proof of the great mercy, justice and forbearance of khans.

This little bit of burlesque, short as it is, is full of delicate satirical touches. The prompt attention given to the complaint of the robber, who of course has no rights whatever in the premises; the readiness of the khan to infer malice on the part of the plundered Lesghian; his unique conception of the lex talionis as a law which may be satisfied with anybody's eye; the cool assumption that because the unfortunate fifer occasionally shuts both eyes he ought in strict justice to lose both eyes, and should be duly grateful to the merciful khan for permitting him to keep one of them,—are all the fine and skilful touches of a bright wit and a humorous fancy.

George Kennan.

[Pg 447]



When I looked under her bonnet I perceived a face that was more to my mind than any face I had ever before seen. Perhaps it was wrong for me to think so much about a face; but it was borne in upon me that such a well-favored countenance must of necessity come from a still more well-favored manner of life; for a face, to me, is only the reflex of the inner workings of Life, and to this day I doubt if I could sit down and describe fully the shape or moulding of any one particular feature of that face, for it was not the face, but the expression that formed it, that inclined me toward it. I was a stranger in the place, and but newly come, and my name had forerun me in kindly writings from many friends, so that I may often have been mentioned in households where I had never been seen. But I went to Barbara Hicks's father, and informed him how considerably my mind inclined me toward his daughter, and that I would, if he permitted me, ask to be better known unto her. "Thee is over young to think of marriage, friend Biddle," said he.

I felt a burning sensation mounting to my face, and I could only say in reply, "Verily. But the heart of youth is lonely—more so than the heart of age, and it looks upon all Nature for companionship."

"Thy mingling with the world's people has made thee glib of tongue," said he, eyeing me, and smiling as much as was seemly.

"But I am not of the world's people, if thee means the flaunters of various colors and loud-voiced nothings. And I do not think of marriage—nay, will not—until thy daughter has taken me into full acquaintanceship and approbation. Thee knows I am not advanced in the world's wealth, and that I am but a beginner in manhood; thee knows that I came here and set up as a lumberman; thee may or may not care to have thy daughter to know me."

"I care as much as beseems any father to bethink him of his child's welfare. Come with me, Samuel Biddle."

So he fetched me into the sizable sunny kitchen where Barbara was preparing vegetables for the dinner.

"This is friend Samuel Biddle," said he.

"I am pleased to see thee," said she, "and if thee waits until I dry my fingers I will shake hands with thee."

Youth is ever impetuous. In my haste or foolish confusion I took her hand as it was, and had the mortified pride of seeing a long potato-paring hanging about my thumb when she had resumed her occupation.

"Thee is overly quick," said her father, rather displeased, I thought.

"Thee must pardon me: it is a habit I have."

"Habits are bad things to have."

"Thank thee," I said.

I know that unnecessary words are wholly unlooked for amongst us Friends, and that description of any part of the Lord's works is as unnecessary and carries with it as little of what we mean as can be. Incidents are greater than description, as the telling to me how a tree looked when it was in full foliage is not near so incisive as that the tree fell with a great crash during a storm in the night. Therefore it would be using needless language, which a Friend's discipline enjoins him to beware of, for me to say how friend Hicks's daughter might have seemed to those to whom I wished to impart how she seemed to me; rather let some various incidents provide their estimate of her. That one of the world's people might say she was pleasant to look upon I have no doubt; but to me she was not beautiful: she was only what I would have had her to be; and that which is entirely as we would have it to be is[Pg 448] never beautiful: it is too near us to be that. I cared well to be with her while her father bided near and talked to me of the community I had left, and which had given me my certificate to friend Hicks's Meeting. And yet I fear me that I made several dubious replies to his many trite questions as we sat on the porch in the quiet of the evening, for friend Barbara's eyes were upon me, and she had a little dint in either cheek which affected me amazingly. (I have heard such dints called dimples—by whom, I cannot say.) She had a most extraordinary way of miscomprehending all that I said, and frequently appealing to her father; so I perforce must repeat all that I had before said, which often forced me into much confusion of words, which seemed to make her dints more deep than usual. Then the quiet of her home after a busy day of traffic and bargaining and buying and selling was infinitely composing to my mind. There were trees all about the house, and some orderly flowers—more of the herb species, I think, than the decorative. There were faint sounds coming from distant places, and when a great many stars were come and the wind waved the branches of the trees, the stars looked, as one might say, like tiny musical lamps set among the leaves, they seemed so many and so bright there, and the distant sounds so pleasant. I am not, as a usual thing, a noticing man, but while friend Hicks's daughter was within a few feet of me it seemed I noticed everything with considerable acuteness. I think this may be accounted for on the score that I was trying to notice something which failed me as I searched for it; and that was, if I were to Barbara what Barbara was to me. She was too friendly, and yet I would have her friendly: she was too cheerful, and yet I would have her cheerful. I bethink me that I would rather that her friendliness and cheerfulness might in a measure depend upon me for existence. I think I came too often to friend Hicks's house, although he understood me.

"Thee is a most persistent young man," he said to me.

"Does thee think too much so?" I asked.

"Nay, friend Biddle: persistency is an excellent quality which is most praiseworthy in youth."

"And does thee think that persistency will gain me a wife?"

"Thee had better depend upon thyself more than upon persistency in such an issue," he said, with the corners of his mouth much depressed.

"Does thee think I might venture to offer myself to thy daughter for a husband?"

"Nay. A husband never offers himself to his wife: the gift should be so valuable that she would willingly exchange herself for it."

"Will thy daughter think so?"


"May I be emboldened to ask her?"

"Thy mind must tell thee better than my lips," he said.

Then I watched him going down among the trees and the shadows, and I sat, much perturbed in spirit, waiting for Barbara. When she did come I had not one word to say. I only remember that I sat with one leg crossed over the other, and wished I could perchance cross the right one over the left instead of the left over the right, and yet I had not the power to do so. I was sure my brain was playing me false, for things seemed utterly at variance with possibilities.

"Thee seems shaken, friend Biddle," said she.

"Nay," I responded.

"Thee certainly is. I trust thy business is prospering, and that thy mind is not set too much upon any one thing."


"Can I do anything for thee?"


So I could not say one word. Friend Barbara took up her knitting, and I saw that she was rounding the heel of a stocking; and I trust I am truthful, if volatile, when I remember me that I wished I were her knitting-needle. She was very quiet: her ball of yarn slipped away, lacking proper gravitation. "My!" said she, and went and fetched it.

"Has thee ill news from thy[Pg 449] people?" she asked, rather restive under my changelessness.

"They are happily easy," said I.

Then she was quiet.

I bethought me that I had my hat in my hand, and would rise to put it upon my head and say farewell, but I could not.

"Thee does not seem so comfortable as thee might be," said she.

"I am comfortable," I said.

Then her yarn rolled away again. Again she said, "My!" and fetched it.

"Is thee waiting for father?" she asked.

"Nay," said I.

I think she grew more restive under the silence: I arose. "Farewell," said I.

"Farewell," said she; and the dints in her cheeks were extreme: they were the only dints about her, everything else being so prim and gray and well-ordered, while these were—quite different.

Her father came in just then. I went boldly to him. "Friend Hicks," I said very loud, "will thee ask thy daughter to marry me?"

"Can thee not ask?"

"Nay: I have tried, but I fail. I never asked such a thing before, and, belike, thee has."

"Necessarily," said he.

Then he asked Barbara. "Does thee quite approve friend Biddle?" asked she.

"Necessarily," he answered as before.

"Then, Samuel Biddle, I will be thy wife," said she.

"Thank thee, friend Barbara," I said, and shook hands with her father.

"Thee may shake hands with Barbara," said he.

And I did. I fear me that she looked with a less demure look into my face as I did so: I think she might have cared to have me hold her hand a little longer than I did.

But her father said, "Thee has attended to thy business: now bear me out in mine. What is thy income? when can I see thy father and mother?"

It was most gratifying on next First Day to go to meeting and sit beside friend Hicks. Far over on the women's side I think I knew which woman was Barbara. And meeting was stiller than ever, and more like the Lord's meaning of holiness; or it was the stillness upon my spirit that needed no divine Feet to tread it down and say, "Peace, be still!" I had reached the peace beyond understanding saving to those who likewise possess it: something that was greater to me than myself had come to me and called itself all my own. There was a most able discourse from friend Broomall that day, but I heard so little of it I have scarce the right to criticise some of his comments. The windows were all open, and the sound of the breeze that flapped the casement and the far-away lowing of a cow were very pleasant—indeed, almost grievingly pleasant. And butterflies came in and out, and were bright and soothing. Friend Hicks was soothed and slept profoundly all the while: he awoke and said that friend Broomall had been most cogent in his reasoning. I, who had heard so little, said, "Verily."

After meeting, Barbara walked home, and I walked with her. I doubt if I ever cared for flowers and blue skies and little singing birds as I did on that placid First Day—my own First Day!

"Thee was most attentive during meeting, Samuel Biddle," said she.

"Thank thee. So was thee," said I.

"How does thee know?"

"I fear I watched thee."

"Thee might have been better employed."

"How did thee know that I was attentive?"

"Like thee, I think I watched thee."

"Thank thee, Barbara Hicks."

"The same to thee, Samuel Biddle."

I think all this made me most kindly disposed toward the whole world. We reached home shortly, and Barbara poured tea for me during dinner-time, and made it very sweet—sweeter than I had ever accustomed myself to take tea, though I deemed it more than admirable. After dinner friend Hicks said the flies were troublous that time of the day. We were on the porch, friend Hicks, his daughter and myself. I suggested that he might be less troubled did he cover his face with his handkerchief.[Pg 450]

"Thee is thoughtful," said he, and did so with an odd look in his face; and I saw that he had left a small corner of the handkerchief turned over, so that his left eye was not out of view. Barbara was in a chair next to mine, only considerably removed, and her father was on the other side of me. We were very quiet, and Barbara said it was a most likely day. I said yes—that I never remembered such another day. I heard friend Hicks give infallible tokens of sleep; I knew the flies troubled him considerably; so I thought it well to reach over and turn the corner of his handkerchief over his exposed eye. Then I placed my chair closer to Barbara's.

Everybody knew we should marry each other from that First Day when I had sat with friend Hicks and walked home with Barbara afterward. Friend Broomall welcomed me to the Monthly Meeting with many cordial expressions, and spoke conciliatingly of the marriage state. It was most pleasant to me when I walked betimes to see friend Barbara, and mayhap conversed during the entire evening with her father about the lumber business or the tariff, or some such subject: at such times I think my mind was not within my speech, and that as often as modesty permitted I would look toward Barbara. I am fully cognizant that I often tried to change the current of argument by sometimes turning and saying, "Is it not the opinion of thee, friend Barbara?" at some trite words from her father. "Thee knows a woman understands so little of these various themes," she would say; and I would grow restive. Yet friend Hicks grew more well-disposed toward me, and cared to talk much of himself to me; which always shows that a man thinks well of thee. I bethink me that if Barbara's mother had lived some things might have been different, and that perchance she might have claimed her husband's attention away from me a little, and monopolized an hour or so of his time each evening: women have a species of inner seeing which most men lack to a great degree. And yet, to show my fuller confidence in friend Hicks, I said to him once, "I wish thee to take charge of all my savings and earnings. Thee knows I shall be a married man some time, and till then I would much desire thee to care for these moneys."

"Can thee not take proper charge of what thee has collected?"

"Yea. But my wife's father should understand the state of my finances."

"Set not thy mind too much upon riches, Samuel Biddle."

"Is thy daughter not worth any mere worldly riches I could accumulate?"

"Favor is deceitful, and a woman should never put ill thoughts into a man."

"Did thee not hope for money as I do when thee was young and knew the woman who would be thy wife?"

"Samuel Biddle, I will do this for thee, as thee asks. Thee has grown upon me much of late, and even as I once hoped, so it is meet that thee should hope."

So I gave my savings and earnings into his keeping; and when I had gone away to the lumber-regions I sent the money just the same.

"I thank thee for trusting father so much," said Barbara when we met after this, and quite smiled in my face.

"Thy father trusts me beyond my trust in him in letting thee into my keeping," I said.

"My!" said she. And we stood together for some little time, looking at nothing in particular. And yet it was borne in upon me that friend Barbara rarely thought of me when I was not present with her. I doubt much that this should have given annoyance, for why should we pry into another's thoughts? And yet it rankled in my bosom, and I could but feel that I knew the truth. I should have liked her to think much of me, in sooth: I should have liked her to think of me while she knitted the stockings in the bright leafy porch or walked among her garden-herbs, or when she was busy over her household cares. It was the vain-glorious feeling of youth which prompted this doubt in me, but in youth vain-glory is what wisdom is in age.[Pg 451]

I bethink me that I have said "friend Barbara" at some parts of this narration, at others simply "Barbara." I may do so again and yet again. It is and will be just as she appeared to me at the times whereof I set it down.

About this time—say three months after the First Day whereof I have spoken—a very advantageous business-offer reached me from the lumber-regions: I was to go there for a matter of six months, and I should, perchance, be well remunerated for the going. I turned this matter well over in my mind before I let it slip into another mind, and when I deemed that I was resolute in forming and retaining my own set opinion I imparted the knowledge to friend Hicks.

"Thee will assuredly go?" said he.

"Verily," I replied, and looked at Barbara, and saw that she knitted just as actively and deftly as usual. This did not please me quite, for I should have liked to see her pause and look up with much interest manifested. But nay: she was ever the same. I could not guard my vain tongue as I should have done; so, forgetting even her father's presence, I said, "Friend Barbara, is thee sorry to see me go?"

"Thee knows what is best for thee to do," said she.

"But is thee sorry?"

"I am not sorry."

"Perhaps thy mind is not inclined to me as much as I had hoped?" I said with considerable hot-headedness.

"Thee is to me what thee has ever been—neither more nor less."

"Barbara!" said her father with a high-raised voice.

She started up before him, her face very much increased in color, and she folded her arms above her kerchief. "Father," she said, "if thee thinks I am old enough to marry, I think I am old enough to form an opinion of my own. Had I been in Samuel Biddle's place, and an offer of change of residence had been proffered to me, I should first have gone to the woman who was to be my wife and told her the bearings of the case, and let her tell her father: I should never have gone to her father first."

She would have gone from the room, but her father called her back and bade her resume her sewing; which she did, though I saw her neckerchief rise and fall as though her heart were unusually perturbed beneath it.

"Is thee grown perverse?" said her father angrily.

"Nay," she answered. "I am my father's daughter: my will is my own."

"This to me?" he said.

"Friend Hicks," said I, in much pain, "I pray thee let me go: I have unwittingly caused this. It has been because I set my mind so wilfully upon thy daughter that I forgot all else but her, and had not the courage to say to her what I did to thee."

He spoke long and earnestly to me then, and when we looked around Barbara had quietly quitted the room.

But as I went sore of spirit down the lane on my way home she suddenly faced me. There were marks upon her face as of the stains of drops of water, and her eyes, I perceived, were heavy and swollen. "Will thee forgive me, Samuel Biddle?" said she.

"I should ask that of thee," I replied.

"Thee knows I was headstrong," she said, taking my sleeve in her hand.

"Not more so than I, for I made up my mind to marry thee, and, I fear me, thought more of myself than of thee." She looked with compassion, I thought, upon me.

"I would be thy wife, no matter what comes," said she.

"Feeling for me all that a wife should feel for her husband?"


Then I stood by Barbara while she wiped her eyes upon my sleeve.

For a day or so I felt constrained at friend Hicks's house, but when I saw his daughter the same as usual, kind and considerate—perhaps more considerate than usual to me—I bethought me that perchance a Friend is at times a trifle too circumspect in his words, a trifle too circumscribed in his actions. He must be seemly in his carriage and speech, must not allow unbecoming emotion to prey upon him, must build the body from[Pg 452] the spirit, and not the spirit from the body. I had tried to do all these, and yet there were times when sensation overpowered calculation, and it would have afforded me peace to have held friend Barbara within my arms and said many foolish and irrelevant words, and heard such words from her. Sometimes it seems to me that three feet apart, two feet, one, two inches, one, is too much from one who is exceedingly much to us: the mere touch of hand to hand, unmeaning as such a thing is, may be infinitely more than a mere gratification of sense. Still, I would not have it understood that I am a militant spirit, fond of what stubborn folk term "progression," nor would I throw aside any of the rules which have been mine and those of many generations of ancestors who followed George Fox and knew his intents to be pure withal.

But I was to go away East now, and my preparations were completed.

"I hope thee will bear in mind that I shall often think of thee, friend Barbara," I said on the last evening I should see her for a long time.

The dints in her face looked very comely as she answered, "I shall, friend Biddle."

"And thee will think of me?"

"I always do," she said. And yet this was not what I had much desired, although I must perforce be contented. I knew, though, that distance would only make her closer to me in spirit, and that I should be kinder to all women for her sake—that I should pity all helplessness for her sake; for where the mind inclineth most favorably, where gentleness and sweetness for another is borne in upon us, we invariably associate that other with a sort of tender helplessness which can only be made into perfect strength by ourselves. And then I had grown to have a species of fear for Barbara: it was as though she were greater than I, although I could reason down this foolish ebullition in the calm knowledge that the Lord made all beings equal. Mayhaps, had I been assured in my mind that she should not only think of me from necessity, arising out of our long companionship and near relation, but that she should care well to call to mind my absent form and features and voice and presence, and her own want of me, I should have left friend Hicks's house with lithesome spirit and much happiness. However, I thought, my being away for six months might cause her to miss me; and we never miss what is not of great account to us.

"May I write letters to thee, Barbara?" I asked.

"Thee must gain father's consent," she said.

So I asked friend Hicks—only I asked it in this way: "May Barbara write letters to me?"

"I will write thee all that is necessary, as thee will write me: what more is needful?" answered friend Hicks.

So, as I went away, and it was Seventh Day, and the world seemed expecting the morrow, when the world's peace should be personified in public praise and a cessation from labor and earthly thought, I stood in the shadow and took friend Hicks's hand.

"I trust thee may be successful," said he.

"I think any man may be successful in this world's affairs," I said.

"There is such a thing as suffering and pain which the Lord sends."

"Nay, friend Hicks," I said, "I am lately thinking that peradventure the Lord sends not pain to our earthly bodies, or else that pain would be a trial and a punishment; whereas I may look around and see dumb animals and little singing birds die of suffering and pain; and surely the Lord inflicts no punishment on things he cannot be displeased with. Suffering and pain are the worms of the earth, the penalties of earthly life, which has more of the world in it than heaven."

"I trust thee will not be arbitrary in time, friend Biddle," said he, almost displeased.

But Barbara placed her hand in mine. "Samuel Biddle," said she, "may a man's suffering and pain be a woman sometimes?"[Pg 453]

"Belike," I answered, and could say no more.

"Then I say I trust thee shall be free from grievousness all thy life if I can keep thee so."

"Thee can," I said.

"I will," she said.

"Farewell, Barbara."

"Fare thee well, friend Biddle."

I almost stumbled over a man as I hurried out by the gate. "I beg thy pardon, friend," I said.

"I beg yours, sir," he answered. I looked, and saw that he was a hireling minister with a white cloth at his neck and an unhappily-cut coat. And he raised his hand to his hat and said, "I am but new in this neighborhood: I am the pastor of the church newly erected here."

"Peace be unto thee, man of the Lord!" I said.

"And to you, my friend!" he answered.

And I had but time to reach the station and take my place in the car that whirled me away from where my mind was so constantly set.


It was but natural and wholly consistent that I should choose an unassuming and grave lodging-house on my arrival at the place of my destination; for, apart from my predilection of religious tenets, quietude is closely allied to much thought; and while my training had made me desire the quietude as a part and portion of the best of life, friend Barbara had made thought inexpressibly pleasant and wholesome to me. There were men all around me who had, perhaps, little or no thought of religion—that is, the emotion of religion, which is so often confounded with religion itself—yet when I made known my wishes of a quiet home to them they assisted me without the usual looking askance at my plain garb and manner of speech. Was I not a man like themselves? were not my functions as their own? Take away what each of us looked upon as faults in the other, and we were equals and alike. I made my request boldly: had I minced the matter and felt a shame in it, I might have merited all the ridicule which men morally and physically strong, or men morally and physically diseased, usually throw upon a conscious weakness which would pass for something else. I was recommended to many houses, only they all had the great drawback—many other lodgers. At last some one proposed Jane Afton's house: that was quiet enough, they assured me, but the greatest objection to any paled when in comparison with this: she had a demented woman in charge—harmless, but wholly astray from sense.

"I assure thee," I said to friend Afton, "I fear not the minds of people: the body does the harm in this world."

"In that case you have come to the right house," said she. "For Fanny Jordan is a little, slight woman without strength, and her insanity is from religion."

And so on my first day in the place I found my lodging-house. It might have been more conciliating to my mind had friend Afton not attempted the use of the plain language, for she made but a sorry attempt at it at best.

"Thee's trunk is arrived, and thee's hat-box is smashed by the lout of a boy that brought it," she said; and this is merely a specimen of her manner. It was grating upon me, but I forbore to make remark, as I have no doubt her principle was all that could be desired, although it was faulty in its constructive carrying out. I may safely say that I did not remember there was another lodger besides myself in her house when I retired for the night, and I was sitting at the little table in my room moved by a power of mind to think past many miles, even unto the home of friend Hicks. I saw him sitting by the kitchen-fire that was so warm and large in its dimensions—for it was cold weather now—and on the opposite side of the hearth his daughter on a low chair was busy looking into the flame that lit up the smooth bands of her hair that lay like satin of a soft brown color upon her comely face. Her eyes were bright, her lips were parting as one who jests, and—But I fear me I have run beyond sense again. Suffice it to say[Pg 454] that I sat there culpably lost in thought, when a solemn voice like the voice of a prophet of old startled me and made me cold.

"Out of tribulation comes patience; out of patience, hope," said the voice; and then a low, scornful laugh. It was then I remembered the poor demented woman, and I arose and opened my room-door. She was standing inside her own room, a slight pale woman with a sadly-bereaved face: her arms were stretched out above her as one in supplication. "False God!" she cried in a voice cold and bitter, in which there was no trace of tenderness or pitiful earnestness, "Thou hast made me a lie upon Thy cruel earth. Tribulation Thou hast given me; patience the world forced upon me; hope Thou hast denied me."

Still with her arms outstretched she spoke to the Lord and reviled Him. She clenched her hands in anger at times as her speech waxed more wrathful. In much compassion I would have gone in and closed the door, but as I was on the point of doing so, she, with one of those quick and nervous thrills that so often belong to dementia, saw me and pointed to me. She would have spoken, but I saw friend Afton's hand suddenly close about her waist, draw her forcibly from my view, and close the door between us.

"The Lord is mighty," I said to myself, and called to mind that youth among the tombs so long ago—that youth that they of old said was possessed of devils, and whom the pitying Man of Sorrows called upon to be free from torments.

In the morning friend Afton explained that I need have no fear.

"I think thee fails to comprehend that we Friends neglect one thing in our training, and that is fear," said I.

"And poor Mrs. Jordan won't make thou look for another boarding-house, sir?" asked she.

"Friend Jordan assuredly will not," said I, "but friend Afton may, if thee will pardon my abruptness, which seems to wound thee."


"Thee has thy language, friend—I have mine. I do not stop to say 'you' to thee because thy mode is not as mine: then thee might be as free with me, and say 'you' to me, just as thee would if my plain garb were changed for a Joseph's coat."

"I thought I was polite in doing it," said she.

"Thank thee. Thee may be that, but thee is scarcely truthful; and all due politeness, as thee terms it, must be truthful, or it is called deceit."

She understood me, and she was natural thereafter.

Now perhaps I chafed in spirit at this time because I heard no word from friend Hicks. I am convinced at this present moment that had he felt it borne in upon him to indite me some words of homely comfort, I should have been gratified exceedingly. But his mind lay otherwise presumably, for no word came for a week.

Once during that week I saw friend Jordan walking wearisomely along the passage-way of friend Afton's house. She gave me a quick look as she saw me ascending the stair. "Ishmael!" she said.

"Nay," I responded: "no man's hand is against me, nor is mine against any man."

"And yet I am Hagar weeping in the wilderness."

"I pity thee."

"You are a Quaker."

"I am a Friend."

"And you believe in God?"

"Yea, verily. The voice of the Lord in the vineyard calleth me ever."

"Fool! There is no God."

"Nay, I am no fool. 'The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.' And I never say that."

"I used to think that, but God has taken away my life, and left me the life of the damned."

"The Lord taketh no man's life: He giveth, and man destroyeth."

"I like you, Quaker. You don't say 'Never mind,' and give me right in all I say. Yes, I like you, Quaker."

"I thank thee, friend," I said, and passed by her and entered my room.[Pg 455]

As time went on I grew accustomed to hearing her at all hours of the night repeating passages from the Scriptures, and misapplying their calm greatness. I could hear her open her window, and could see from mine that she stood there talking to the stars, and asking them where was the woman that had been she, and where was her own dear love and unalterable affection? I could see that she wept often, and that the tears ran down her white wan face all pinched by suffering, and that she supplicated the night in tender words to bring back to her what had gone away—what had gone away!

I was alone in this place: the people were not such as would be my choice of companions, for there were no Friends in the community, and I scarcely think I ever was fitted for the society of the world's people. I care much for silent meditation and in-looking, and the joys and pleasures of the gayer people seemed but noisome, and not of a tone with Nature's silent sunshine and green leaves, white snows and growing things. It is, I know, my early training that has made me fitted only to see thus. I cared now much to stay in my room after the tasks of the day were over and think of the friends far off. Belike I am most domestic in my desires, and that may be the cause why my mind travelled swiftly and surely to friend Hicks's fireside, and dwelt so long and with all gentleness close beside his daughter. And then I began, in my being so much alone, to inconsistently connect friend Barbara with friend Jordan. The demented woman was always calling out for those who were much to her, but who were far from her—was always saying that her heart wanted the love that was denied it. I bethink me that I more fully sympathized with her than was my wont, simply because I cared so much for friend Barbara and heard so much of longing for affection that had been denied. Therefore, as time passed on and the letters from friend Hicks were very few, and always ended with "My daughter sends her duty to thee"—never one word more or less—and I could not with becoming grace say aught of her to her father when I replied to his letters, which were strictly of a business nature and acknowledged the receipt of various moneys which I sent him for the keeping,—therefore, as time passed on, friend Jordan grew upon me. I would leave my room-door open of nights, and take a chair and seat myself upon the threshold; and as she walked up and down, up and down, restless and discontented, repeating disconnected scraps of Bible verses, I would often say a word to her in answer to some heedless and terrible question of the goodness of the Lord. Friend Afton had less care of her at such times, for she told me friend Jordan cared very well for me because I was so quiet and orderly. Then when the woman was tired and could walk no more, I would offer her my chair and would talk to her—not giving her frivolous answer for frivolous question, but saying to her what I had to say as earnestly as though I had been moved by Spirit in meeting to give the assurances of my own heart. It is a wonder to me at this day how calm she often became under my mode of speech. She fell into the way of looking for me and expecting me, and often when I saw her, far in the night, at her window holding out her very thin hands in supplication, I would softly raise my own window and say kindly, "Don't thee think thee could sleep if thee tried, friend Jordan?"—"I will try, Quaker," she would say, and go in and close the window, and remain quiet for the rest of the night. It was a sad contrast, I am sure—she wild and uncontrollable from self-government, and I held in and still by discipline of many ancestors. And then when she found that her cavilling against the Lord and His mighty works was the opposite of pleasant to me, and made me sad of visage, she after a while would content herself to say, "I used to say" so and so, as the case might be, "but now I doubt myself;" which was more comforting.

But there came a letter from friend Hicks; and after much talk concerning a certain lot of lumber and other[Pg 456] matters of business, he said, "My daughter is not looking healthful, and is not so well as could be desired." I do not know what made me forget all the rest of his letter but that one line. It seemed to me that I was stricken with pain with that thin black miracle—pen-and-ink words. I wrote a letter to him instantly; I put aside all modesty of demeanor and spoke only of Barbara, of my desire to have her well and cheerful; I never once in all my lines mentioned business. Friend Hicks must have been sensibly astonished. That night when I went home friend Jordan for the first time grated upon me, and I would fain have gone into my room and closed the door and thought long and painfully. In my flighty mind I saw Barbara pining, and for me! Never before had I thought she cared so well for me as now when she was not in fair health. It is a sad happiness to think that some dear one is far from thee, and heavy of heart all for thee. But I was selfish, for I heard a sob at my closed door, and friend Jordan was crouched on the sill. "Have you deserted me too?" she asked.

"Nay, friend," I replied, "but I had sad news which left me beyond much comfort."

"'Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for Thou art with me, Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me,'" she said.

"Will thee touch my hand?" I tried to say, for my voice was quite broken. "Comfort!"

And so we talked long and tirelessly: she seemed in her sanest mind, and something in me appeared to make her look at me more than usual.

"Why do you not complain?" she asked me. And I told her that I had nothing to complain of.

And to-night she told me that she had read the Scriptures misunderstandingly all her life; that she had taken their truths to her in affright; that their majesty had, instead of raising her up to their height, debased her even below herself. I saw in all from the first, even had friend Afton not told me, that what is called religion had wrecked her mind, and in my own manner of understanding the Lord's way I could scarcely comprehend it.

Although I had not much mind in my affairs after I had heard of Barbara's illness, yet a week sped along before I had word again. And what word was it that did come? I have read that to hear of the death of one who is infinitely near to us in spirit is not the worst we can hear—that the separation by death is not so eternal as the separation which life can make. Barbara wrote me herself this time, unknown to her father; and I had been away but a matter of three months. She said no word of her illness nor of her father: she addressed herself in all honesty and ruth to me. She had, somehow, in the place met with a man, one of the world's people, whom she found much to her mind—far more than I had ever been, she said: her father necessarily knew nothing of this, and she had chosen rather to tell me of it first, as I had the best right to know first of all. (The best right! I remembered the time when I had spoken to her father before I had spoken to her of my intended coming to this place where I was.) She asked me would I be willing to take as a wife a woman who could not care for me solely, carrying guiltily into her married life the memory of her great feeling for a man who was not her husband. She asked if it were not better that she should tell me this, rather than to hold herself tied to a false code of honor which should make her give herself to me because she had promised to do so. She would, if I still chose to hold her to her word, marry me, but it was best I should know; and she trusted I would say no word to her father about this, as it was clearly between her and me. She further said that did I refuse to give her up she would not compromise me in the least, as she did not know if that other man cared at all for her; and she was sure, as I must be, that she had never shown him that he was aught to her.

This was the letter I was to answer unknown to her father. I saw her honor standing out white and unassailable in it: I saw even her modesty, and,[Pg 457] above all, her truth and the womanly knowledge of what a wife should be to her husband. I also saw that her father's will was her law; that her father's will had influenced her ever; and that when I first proffered my request of him for his daughter in marriage she took such a request as his will: had he said No, her answer would have been likewise: as it was Yes, she had acquiesced. But the pain of it! the pain of it!

I never once, from the minute the words clung to my mind like burning iron to flesh, questioned as to how I must reply to the letter: the reply shaped itself while I read her words. Could I take to myself a wife who cared little for me? I cared too much for Barbara to have such a wife.

And yet when I had come to friend Afton's house and entered my room, I closed and locked the door before I sat down to reply to the letter, as though I were doing a guilty deed. My hand trembled: the words I wrote were blurred. I heard a low knock at my door, but I answered it not: why should even a demented woman see me as I was? I wrote and re-wrote my answer before I found it fitted to my mind. My letter must have not myself in it: it must be clean of all foolish extravagance. And yet I extenuated, for I called for another letter from her. I wrote, Did she rightly know her mind? was she firm in her reasoning? and who was the man? I had not intended writing that last, but something forced me to it: it was not vain curiosity, for curiosity is too far removed from pain to be a part of it. But I could not see whom she could possibly know of all the inhabitants of the place that could thus exercise her spirit. There were few people there whom she had not known for years, and it was not likely she should have known any one all this time and only now be awakened to a greater knowledge. Perhaps a cruel feeling of jealousy actuated me in some measure. Why, I reasoned, had friend Barbara thus led me on? But I stopped there. Had she led me on? Nay. She had never given me reason to think that I was aught to her: I had ever wrestled in spirit, hoping that she would see in me what I saw so clearly in her—all that I could ever care to call my own. She had never tried to deceive me by false words or looks or actions: she had been true to her instincts as a woman in all this time, and had been as I had seen her. Too truly I saw that the care had been upon my side alone—that when I was most uplifted in spirit it was because I had been blinded to anything save my own inordinate feeling and hope of comfort. I forgot all else as I sat there with her letter in my hand; and even my discipline was of little account when I folded my arms across the table and let my head rest there for a little while.

How long I rested there I know not, but I was aroused by words of friend Jordan, and she said those awful questionings from the Cross, "My God! my God! why hast Thou forsaken me?" And I arose and raised my hand, and said those same words too. Then I opened the door, and she sprang into my arms. She was wild and excited, and friend Afton was with her, but powerless to do anything. I let her weep close to me and cry out and laugh—do just as she would until she sank exhausted. Then I talked with her calmly and dispassionately, and she clung to me and would not be removed. For an hour or so we rested there, and then friend Afton gave me a letter from friend Hicks. I started, and would have put the letter in my pocket, but the eyes of friend Jordan were upon me, and I thought to allay her suspicions of my not acting toward her as I would toward others; so I opened and read the letter. No need to send friend Barbara the letter now. Her father wrote me that his daughter, much against his will, had formed the acquaintance of a hireling minister, one Richard Jordan, who had charge of the new church just built there, and that, though friend Barbara had never told of the man, yet her father had seen her walking with him. Friend Hicks deemed that her being promised to me gave only me the right to expostulate with her upon this, and[Pg 458] desired me to write to her forthwith, as he himself had said no word to her. I had friend Barbara's letter and her father's: which should I obey? The one coming from the friend who was nearest to me?

I afterward wrote to Barbara that I could not say one word of myself in this matter, but that she must act as she thought best; only that she must take all things into consideration, and must weigh one thing in the balance with another—that did she make a mistake in going from her people into the world, she might never rectify it to her own mind; but that if she could justify her acts to herself, there was no need to call upon any aid outside of what her own principles of right could afford her. I thought it as well not to put myself at all in the letter, and to let her think that it was as though I were writing as an interested friend to another who scarcely knew what to do in a momentous time. Her father's letter I passed entirely over. He never knew, nor does Barbara know to this day, that I received it.

Yet that night, when I sat with friend Jordan in the hallway of friend Afton's house, my mind seemed confused and full of uncertainty. I scarcely noted the name which friend Hicks told me belonged to the man he had seen his daughter walking with, and not until friend Afton called to the other woman that she should retire for the night did the similarity of the names bear upon me. The hireling minister was named Jordan, the demented woman's name was Jordan: it might be a casual coincidence, but the man seemed taking all away from me that had made my life pleasant and hopeful, while the woman said I gave her new life, new hope, and all that life and hope consisted of—a healthful belief in the Lord and His works—although I knew that while she said so her lost mind was perhaps only being influenced by a quiet and moderate one. Yet maybe there are moments of what is called delusion which are the most sane constituents of a lifetime. As it was, late in the night, as I lay awake and sore in spirit, and wild with all things and almost with the Lord, sleepless and with much yearning grown upon me, I heard the voice calling out in the night up to the stars and the mystery of quiet for love and all that had been near and dear to this one clouded mind; and I turned my face to the wall. And I was like Ishmael indeed when I remembered, while that voice threw out its plaint and the words were clear and cleaved the darkness, that when I had last parted with Barbara, when I hurried from her presence fearful to look back lest she might call me from manly order by a look or a smile, I had thrown myself against a man outside the garden-gate, the man with a white neckcloth and long black ill-cut coat, who had told me that he was the minister of the church but newly erected, and that I had bidden peace go with him, and he had bidden it back to me.


I bethink me that I was very much perturbed in my mind after this, albeit I was exteriorly the quiet, drab-colored Quaker that all knew me to be. Still, I have failed yet to ascertain what discipline that can govern actions, looks and speech can make man's heart throb more sluggishly than the feelings to which all Nature is prone must ever provoke. Thee knows a Friend must be seemly to all, and that alone will inform thee that I manifested no alteration in my demeanor. And my business qualifications were not impaired because of the uprising in my mind, for what has worldly business to do with spiritual? I could bargain and sell to the best advantage, be wholly consistent in all things, and be termed a man whose feelings were so schooled that no emotion ever dared come nigh them. Thee may think, the world may think, that suppressed emotion is annihilated emotion: I who wear drab know differently. And the silence between friend Barbara and myself was not a silence to be broken by useless speech: it was too closely allied to the end of something I had been brought to think almost eternal. I still had letter after letter from friend Hicks, which I[Pg 459] replied to always—letters on purely business-matters, never once touched by so much as the name of Barbara, for she no longer sent her duty to me; and I could but realize how stern her father must be to her at home for her dereliction, and I—pitied her. As the weeks went by and I heard nothing of or from her, I may safely asseverate that the cruelly weak feeling that had oppressed me at first left me by degrees, and I could see far clearer than before, and could perchance blame myself for having failed to see ere this that I was what I was to her. I began to weigh the many chances of happiness against the many certainties of unhappiness, and I could but understand that she had with a woman's keen insight found out easily what it had cost me so considerably to know. I could not blame her: why should I? She had acted most fairly to me: had I done as well to her? In friend Afton's house I fought the battle which alone Friends approve of and sanction—the battle of the spirit against the flesh; and I conquered well, I am assured, although I could never cease to care for friend Barbara as I had cared for her since I had known her: it would have been entirely inconsistent with the principles of constancy and truth which had been so early and late imbibed by me.

I must say now that my great comfort in these times was friend Jordan; and, odd as it may appear, the similarity of her name with that of the man whom friend Hicks's daughter had learned to regard so highly seemed to call her closer to me than anything else at the same season might have done. Of evenings we would take up our old manner, and she would say, "Quaker, you are kinder than you know."

She had never learned my name, nor had expressed a desire to know it: what were names of things to her who had lost the things themselves?

"Thank thee, friend Jordan," I would say; and then we would sit and talk. Sometimes she would do all the talking: at other times she let me join her. With her confused mind it was perhaps the best work I could have had, to try to let in a little light where darkness had been so long.

"We always love those the most who give us the most pleasure, do we not?" she asked me.

I could not give her the reply she wanted, for friend Hicks's daughter had given me considerable happiness; so I remained quiet.

"Then next to those I love, and who nightly shine down to me in long, cool reaches of light from the stars, I love you, Quaker," she said.

"I thank thee," I replied.

"You should never thank for love," she said, "for it is a gift that requires as much as it bestows."

"And yet they call thee crazed!" I said, and placed my hand upon her wild dishevelled hair.

"But you Quakers never show any feeling," she went on, "and I suppose you never love."

"Sometimes we do," said I.

She seemed to think I was made sorry by what she had spoken, for she started. "What am I saying?" she exclaimed, "when you have shown me more feeling than any one in the world; and maybe you love me a little."

"We should love our neighbors as ourselves."

"I want the stars," she began, weeping: "I want to reach them, to go to them, to have the light in my mind that is gone out of it up to them."

I could say nothing, for my want was something akin to hers.

Many a wild night had she now, and friend Afton and I had often but sad chances of keeping her within bounds: we had to watch her while she would stand and call out to the far-off lights in the sky; and as, like a prophet of old, she stood and repeated divine words of care and an all-seeing love, she was grown softer and gentler, and her speech seemed to come from one who understood what the words imparted to her hearers. She was fond of saying the Psalms of David, and would weep at the touching words of suffering, of joy and of exultation which that man, so many thousand years dead, had been[Pg 460] wont to sing as perchance he stood as she now did, looking up to the same nightly skies and weeping as she now wept, as his words rang through the ever-settled calmness of the night, and had no answer borne to his ears, but only the quiet made even quieter by his sorrow or his joy.

But I find that again I am using superfluous if not wholly irrelevant speech. Let me say, however, that had I possessed more curiosity—or, rather, if I had expressed more curiosity—friend Afton would have told me, as she afterward did, that the woman was not so entirely alone as she imagined herself to be, for that weekly letters reached friend Afton wherein were goodly wages for the care of the stricken one.

That my affairs prospered I am glad to relate—that in the six months I should be here I should accumulate an agreeable sum might have pleased me. But what was that sum to me now, when I realized to what purpose I had expected to put it? Yet my greed received a check. I had a letter from friend Hicks. It was a most grievous letter: my money, all that he held in trust for me (and it was my all), had been stolen from his keeping. The theft had occurred more than a month ago, but as he had sedulously hoped to detect the culprit, he had kept the fact from me for shame at what might be termed his negligence of reposed trust. He had instigated diligent search, but nothing had come of it: there was no one to accuse. He had determined, however, to pay back to my account from his own moneys the full amount, and had only informed me of the loss that there might be no secrecy between us, and that I should never hear from outside parties that this thing had occurred, and that he had used most reprehensive tact to disguise the fact from me. I wrote a letter to him. I reminded him that the money was of no account—that as it had been intended for the well-known purpose, and as my marriage was to be at no set time, let it rest to my loss, and not his, for that I would never accept of his money to cover what was truthfully a theft from me.

I heard long afterward that he let his daughter read this letter, as he knew that she was often with Richard Jordan, and he desired to acquaint her that I meant to be well in all my principles. This was as I understood it.

The loss of this money gave me little concern, I assure thee; and now that it would never be put to its originally-intended use, I perhaps cared less than I ordinarily might have cared; for friend Barbara's long silence could help me but to one conclusion, and that was that she would never be my wife. For had she consented to be guided by her former promise, her confession of much care for another man would have most effectively debarred me from calling into requisition that promise so exactingly obtained from her. My wife must have no fondness for another man than me. And yet when, a few days after the receipt and reply of her father's letter, another in friend Barbara's writing was placed in my hand, I can but say that more joy than I had ever before experienced was mine, and I thought of Miriam's song so full of triumph and gladness. And then the wonderful words of the psalm came to me. "'Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for Thou art with me, Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me,'" I said aloud, and thought of poor friend Jordan as she had understood those words so short a time ago.

Suppose Barbara had written in answer to my letter to her—had owned that her thought of the man was a delusion, and that she cared for me, and me only, above all others in the world! I carried the letter by me for many an hour, for it was business-time when I had it, and I let nothing interfere with needful duties of the day. It lay within my pocket pulseless, as a letter always is: its envelope had my name upon it carefully and neatly inscribed. Then when I had an hour to myself I walked, not more briskly than usual, to a sunny hollow surrounded by new boards smelling most pleasantly of the rich forests they had helped to form, and there, surrounded by deal that had held many a[Pg 461] singing bird's voice in its time, I broke the seal of Barbara's second letter to me. I think I was vastly stricken as I read it—more stricken perhaps than life can ever experience twice. Did she write as I had most hoped and desired? It was a long letter, and I read it through twice to fully comprehend it. She was a thief! she herself had stolen the money! She knew that her father must have written me that the money was gone, and she did not wish to see the blame rest on an innocent person. Her father had been harsher than usual with her, and, when she would have asserted herself in many ways, had always referred her to me, telling her that I was the rightful one to say what might and what might not be: her father had refused to hear her make mention of the man she had mentioned to me, and had not recognized her being with him at all. (I could see in this that friend Hicks had tried more than arbitrary means to reduce his daughter's mind to the level of his wishes. But to the letter.) How could she, then, she wrote, tell her father of the taking of the money? She trusted that I might not think her overly bold, but if I did, it made no difference to her, for she was rendered desperate on all sides. (Ah, friend Barbara! thy father had ever such a cold reserve, that was not meant unkindly, but nevertheless was overly severe.) She could trust me, for it was my own money she had taken. (I bethink me it was but an odd trust at best.) She had taken the money to send to the man she cared so much for: he was a very poor man, and the congregation of which he was the hired preacher was poor; and as they had built a church which they could not afford to pay for, it was but in reason that they could not pay the minister of the church. The church was what the world's people call "a split" from another church—split because the people quarrelled about the Thirty-nine Articles, whatever they be, one party wanting thirty-eight or forty, and the other perhaps the original number. She knew that the minister was woefully in debt; that no one would trust him any further; that he had met and told her nothing at all of it; that he was duly polite to her, and mentioned none of his affairs at all. (O Barbara! how thee shielded him!) But she had questioned a woman who knew much of him, and the woman had said that he must have money for a certain secret purpose, the nature of which purpose the woman refused to tell, and that he was crazed for money. Barbara had asked the woman if the purpose were a sinful or shameful purpose, but the answer had been that it was the most holy one a man could have. Then Barbara had looked upon his white face and knew of his straits, and had pitied him. It was borne in upon her that she should help him. "Thee would have felt so, I am assured," she wrote. Then looking around her, confused by many and conflicting feelings, sad and grieving for herself, having no one to go to in the greatest trial a woman can have, she had seen but one thing to do: she called to mind Samuel Biddle, and how generously he had acted toward her—more generously than she had reason to suppose another man could ever do. Friend Biddle's letter to her was couched in such kindly terms that she knew it had been no great overthrow of feeling on his part to give her the liberty which she had long debated with herself whether to accept or not; and had finally concluded to do so. Then she had taken the money from her father's iron safe. She had sent it anonymously to the man, though she feared that he suspected from whom it came; and that was the saddest stroke of all, "for, friend Biddle," she wrote, "I know not if I am anything unto him, but I do assure thee he is much to me." (Poor friend Barbara! how I pitied thee for that!)

This was all of the letter, and I read it through twice.

I had gotten over my foolish emotion of disappointment, as I have told thee before this, and I went back to my office and indited a reply to the epistle immediately. "Let it be as thee has done, and thee may think that I fully sympathize with thee." That was my only reply.[Pg 462]

And when I thought over the letter—her letter—from beginning to end, all day long, I did not see that I could have indited a different reply. Still, when I went home to friend Afton's house, and friend Afton came to me and told me that friend Jordan had had a more miserable day than ever, although my sympathy was fully aroused, yet it was with a sense of relief that I entered my room and closed the door, for I bethought me that I had much to ponder on. But my thought was interrupted: the poor demented woman was weeping in her room. She was stormy in her grief, and I heard friend Afton scolding. I opened my door. "Friend Jordan, is thee grieved?" I asked.

"Oh, Quaker," she cried, running to me, "they are all in the sky calling to me, and this woman will not let me reach them."

"She would have jumped out," whispered friend Afton, "and I had to nail down the sash."

I nodded, and motioned for her to keep quiet. "Does thee think thee would like to talk to me a while?" I asked.

"Not now, for I only want to talk with them. But tell me, Quaker—tell me if you want one thing more than any other in this world, and I will ask them to give it to you. Is there any one that you want to love you? For they can easily help you, as they have made me love you, and made you be good to me."

"Nay, friend," I said, "even the light from the stars cannot make one care for me who would not."

Then she cried out that I was sorrowful, and that I made her heart heavy—I who had always been a comfort and a guidance before.

"I will be so to thee now," I said.

"Then give me rest," she cried.

"The Lord knows I would give thee rest, O soul! if I could."

She looked at me most suddenly—I may say as a flash—and quickly glanced in at my room.

"Then I think I can rest in your room," she said.

"Thee shall do so."

Then I put on my hat and prepared to go out, and friend Afton said it was a relief to have one so obliging in the house.

"Farewell to thee," I said to friend Jordan.

She stood inside my doorway and looked at me. "'Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy-laden, and I will give you rest,'" she said, and moved like a spirit toward me, placed her lips upon my cheek, and went in and closed the door. It was the first time any woman save my mother had ever kissed me.

Those words made me feel that they applied to me, youth is so vain and exacting even of the Lord's words. Nevertheless, as I went along the dark streets I heard them ringing in my ears with such a benign meaning as I never had understood in them before.

Long I walked the streets, lost in much thought and contemplation, and I felt what was weakness leaving me, and I deemed how heavy were some yokes compared to mine—friend Barbara's, for instance, she who must be surrounded and held in by unsympathizing moods. I fain would have helped her more than I did, but any further succor only meant a further offering of my feeling for her, and that she was as powerless to accept as I was to make her accept it. Long I walked the streets, and had the hopeful, helping words around and within me. And late in the night I turned my wearied steps toward friend Afton's, and once more was entering the house, when, as though an angel—as though the Lord above—had spoken to me from high overhead, in grave, solemn, holy voice came the words, "Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy-laden, and I will give you rest." And I turned my eyes above as I hope to turn them on the last Vast Day, when methinks those words may again be spoken and call forth a mighty response. But what was that white form so far above, even upon the sill of my window, three stories from the ground? With a great terror grown upon me I rushed into the street, and saw far up there, far in the night, friend Jordan standing out in the darkness with hands supplicating the stars,[Pg 463] saying those words. This was why she had desired to rest in my room: with the cunning of insanity, she had known that the windows of her own room were nailed down, and so on the instant had thought of mine as a possible means of reaching to her stars. With every limb frozen, it seemed, by sudden petrification, I had no power to unclose my lips, but I made a sound like a groan, I know, and then I saw her reach up high, high toward the sky and give a leap into the air. There came a crash of breaking glass, and I saw a whirl of white garments far above me that came fluttering down in a spiral motion. I rushed toward it ere it fell: there came a sickening thud on the ground beside me, and a lifeless mass lay there.

I can scarcely narrate this calmly or well, but thee sees I have tried my best.

Then when friend Afton came to me, and in pardonable and much agitation asked me to write to the friends of the dead woman, I complied, and directed the letter to the Reverend Richard Jordan; and his address was the place where friend Hicks sojourned, as likely thee has guessed.

"What was this man to the deceased? does thee know?" I asked friend Afton.

"No, sir. He placed her with me a year ago, and asked me to take the best of care of her, and has always sent me money for her wants, and paid me well besides. And, strange to say, I never could get her to mention him. He seemed to be a good man, but poor in his dress—too young in the profession to get a wealthy 'call.'"

So the Reverend Richard Jordan, who had cared for this woman, was the man whom friend Barbara thought well of! This was what the money had been wanted for—this was the secret which was "neither sinful nor shameful, but the most holy that a man can have"!

When he came in at friend Afton's I went to him. "Who was the deceased?" I asked—most bluntly, I fear me.

"She was my wife," he said sadly, and so altogether frankly that I knew he was no guilty man, whatever else he might be.

"I grieve with thee," I said. "And before thee goes up to thy solemn office of praying by thy dead wife's side, I would tell thee something. I met thee—look at me!—months ago, when I almost stumbled against thee outside of Benjamin Hicks's garden-gate. Thee was new to the place, thee told me."

"I remember you," he said, and flushed painfully.

"Nay, do not redden," I said almost with anger. "I know all things about thee, and nothing that is harmful."

"Nor ever has been harm," he said firmly.

"I know thee has had much money sent to thee, and thee does not know from whom."

"I do," he said, "and am ashamed to say I accepted it. It came from your friend Hicks's daughter, but it was for my poor wife—for her alone. I could not help myself—I—"

"Thee has no need of shame for that. The Lord must have made it patent to thee that we are placed here to help one another. And so much as friend Hicks's daughter did for thee she did well, and she has my consent; for it was my money that she sent thee."

"God bless you, man!" he said, holding his hand to his face, "for I am nothing to you."

"And what is Benjamin Hicks's daughter to thee if thee is nothing to me?"

He looked at me in wonder: "She is to me a good woman who did her benefits in secret. I never had much conversation with her, for we seldom met; but she was ever kind, and I heard that she would marry soon. I never talked much to any one, for my cares have been great to me, and that sorrow up stairs has been a goodly portion."

"Go to thy sorrow," I said, "and let it comfort thee, as sorrow should, that thee did the best thee could."

Was I cruel in having spoken to him as I had, and at this time?

Then I wrote all—everything of the past months, of to-day, of the deceased woman's suffering, of her death, her husband's arrival, and all that he had said to me. It was a considerably lengthy[Pg 464] letter, but what of that? It was for friend Barbara. I sent it at once. Then I must not neglect my duties here, so I stayed the allotted time, receiving occasional word from friend Hicks, but none from his daughter.

I think my mind was much inclined toward the hireling minister, for I clearly saw, as thee no doubt does, that he never knew what Barbara thought of him, and that he never could know, for he was a pure man and the sad husband of a sad wife. And when he would have said words of thanks to me when he left me I checked him: "Thee knows a Friend is not well pleased with many words: let the many good deeds which thee will do act as the many kind words thee would give me."

"With God's help I will," said he.

"Verily," I said; "and I bid peace be unto thee!"

"And unto you, friend!" he said. And the words that had been our first parting at friend Barbara's father's gate were the words that were our last as I left him at his wife's grave, from whence he was to go to a church in a distant city.

And when the six months were over and I was at liberty to go, I wrote another letter of a single line to Barbara, and this was it: "I am coming to thy father's house." That was all, for I thought that maybe she might not care overly much to greet me, all things considered, and might peradventure choose to make a trifling visit to her cousin Ann Jones, to whose house she as often as not went for those changes which most women much incline toward. Yet when I entered upon the porch of friend Hicks's house, and Barbara was there, and said, "I am pleased to see thee, friend Biddle," and her father said, "How does thee do?" altogether as though I had seen them but a day before, it was most agreeable to my mind and soothing to my spirit. And when, after the dinner was over, before which there was little chance at conversation, although I thought I detected a slight pallor in friend Barbara's face where before the dints had been, and when she had betaken herself to some place out of sight, and friend Hicks was beginning to talk upon my loss in his suffering a theft on his premises, I merely said, "Yea, friend Barbara took the money." Thee should have seen his face: it must have afforded thee considerable amusement.

"Barbara?" he said with much difficulty.

"Yea," I answered. "I know all about it; and she gave it to Richard Jordan, whom thee thought to frighten me with. He was poor, in need, and had a wife whom he must care for. I was in the house where his wife was ever since thee parted with me."

"Samuel Biddle!"

"Verily, friend Hicks. And she was a demented woman, whom her husband had to take good care of, and she relied upon me for such poor comfort as I could afford her. She is deceased, and it was myself who sent for her husband. Maybe there was much secrecy which thy daughter and I kept without thee, but mayhap we did it for the best. And thee must never inquire anything more about it; and I regret thee had so much concern, and thank thee for a most kind and generous friend."

"Samuel Biddle, I deemed that Barbara was not unto thee, nor thee unto her, as both had been to one another."

"Thee must be at odds with reason, friend Hicks, for I never have cared less for Barbara than I did at the first."

So I told the narrative to him; and although I strictly adhered to the facts, I bethink me that had I made them a trifle straighter he might not have comprehended them as he did. But he came to me as I sat there on the porch, and he laid his hand on my arm: "I have been overly strict with Barbara, friend Samuel, and thee must pardon me, for I only kept her for thee. Thee is a good man; and although some of Barbara's and thy doings in this matter, as thee has related it, are scarcely in accordance with an understanding of the world such as I have, and such as thee may hope to have in time, and most of what thee has done is rather removed from orthodox, yet I hold myself in thy debt."

Then as I glanced up I saw a face[Pg 465] looking narrowly from far off in the hall: I fear me that Barbara must inevitably have heard every word. However, it was rather warmish weather, and as she came out to the porch with her knitting in her hands, she looked as though she were grateful to me; and there were wet rings about her eyes which made me sad to see, and I remembered the time in the lane, a long while ago, when I had seen just such rings and stains about her eyes. We spake not a word, and she sat down on one side of me and her father on the other. As in another time, friend Hicks put his handkerchief over his face to protect him from the air—the flies not being come yet—and I scarcely hesitate to say that he covered his left eye as well as his right. Then I am positive that the silence grew irksome to me, for I knew not what to think of Barbara's manner, nor what to say. So I arose and stood on the edge of the porch, and looked far over the large unbroken landscape, as all early spring landscapes are. I could not have been there many minutes before a soft touch made me turn about, and Barbara was beside me, and the rings about her eyes were wetter than ever.

"Barbara!" I said softly.

"Hush!" she whispered most gently, glancing toward her father, now balmily sleeping. "Samuel Biddle, I must thank thee: thee knows what for, so I need not repeat it. I thank thee, not as I would have thanked thee six months ago, but as—"

"As what, Barbara?"

"As thy wife soon to be, Samuel Biddle."

I placed her hand in mine. "And thee is not mistaken?" I said.

"Nay, not mistaken now. I never knew thee till I understood that all men are not like thee. I never knew thee till I most foolishly thought that a few words from another man on even trivial subjects meant more than thy silence of devotion. I learned my own mind in many ways, Samuel, and then I learned thee; for I had thought thee was in a measure thrust upon me, and only because I had not seen thee before father's approval of thee. That other man's care of his wife—a care that kept her affliction from any and all eyes—showed me what thee was even, and what thee was for me. I cannot rightly say all that I would, but I can only say this—that I never cared overly much for thee at first, Samuel Biddle; but Richard Jordan has taught me one thing, which perhaps no other man in the world could have done."

"And that is—?"

"What love is."


"Yea, Samuel Biddle, what love is; for I love thee, I love thee, and but only thee; and might never have told thee so, but I heard what thee said a spell ago to father, and I knew that thee was not disgusted with me, but cared for me as much as ever. Yea, a stranger man has taught me what love is."

And while I could but pat her head as it rested upon my shoulder, I said gladly, "Barbara, more than man has taught me what love is, and to love thee; but maybe a man can teach to woman what the Lord alone has taught to me."

"Let me think so, Samuel—that the Lord taught thee, and thee taught me the knowledge fresh from the Lord."

Then I placed my lips upon Barbara's lips.

Robert C. Meyers.

[Pg 466]


With her wit and vanity, poor French and fine clothes, good common sense and warm Irish heart, Lady Morgan was a most entertaining and original character—a spirited, versatile, spunky little woman, whose whole life was a grand social success. She was also one of the most popular and voluminous writers of her day; but, with all her sparkle and dash, ambition and industry, destined in a few generations more to be almost unknown, vanishing down that doleful "back entry" where Time sends so many bright men and women. As the founder of Irish fiction—for the national tales of Ireland begin with her—and the patron of Irish song (she stimulated Lover to write "Rory O'More," and "Kate Kearney" is her own), always laboring for liberty and the interests of her oppressed countrymen, and preserving her name absolutely untouched by scandal through a long and brilliant career, she deserves a place among distinguished women. She evidently had no idea of being forgotten, and completed twenty chapters of autobiography—its florid egotism at once its fault and its charm—besides keeping a diary in later years, and preserving nearly all the letters written to her, and even cards left at her door. But on those cards were the names of Humboldt, Cuvier, Talma and the most celebrated men of that epoch, down to Macaulay, Douglas Jerrold and Edward Everett, while she could count among her intimates the noted men and women of three countries. La Fayette declared he was proud to be her friend; Byron praised her writings, and always expressed regret that he had not made her acquaintance in Italy; Sydney Smith coupled her name with his own as "the two Sydneys;" Leigh Hunt celebrated her in verse; Sir Thomas Lawrence, Ary Scheffer and other famous artists begged for the honor of painting her portrait. Was it strange after all this, and being told for half a century that she was an extraordinarily gifted and fascinating woman, that (being a woman) she should believe it?

She was extremely sensitive in regard to her age, and if forced to state it on the witness-stand would doubtless have whispered it to the judge in a bewitching way, as did a pretty but slightly passé French actress under similar embarrassing circumstances. She pleads: "What has a woman to do with dates—cold, false, erroneous, chronological dates—new style, old style, precession of the equinox, ill-timed calculation of comets long since due at their station and never come? Her poetical idiosyncrasy, calculated by epochs, would make the most natural points of reference in woman's autobiography. Plutarch sets the example of dropping dates in favor of incidents; and an authority more appropriate, Madame de Genlis, who began her own memoirs at eighty, swept through nearly an age of incident and revolution without any reference to vulgar eras signifying nothing (the times themselves out of joint), testifying to the pleasant incidents she recounts and the changes she witnessed. I mean to have none of them!"

Sydney Owenson was born in "ancient ould Dublin" at Christmas: the year is a little uncertain. The encyclopædias say about 1780: 1776 has been suggested as more correct, but we will not pry into so delicate a matter. A charming woman never loses her youth. Doctor Holmes tells us that in travelling over the isthmus of life we do not ride in a private carriage, but in an omnibus—meaning that our ancestors or their traits take the trip with us; and in studying a character it is interesting to note the combinations that from generations back make up the individual. Sydney's father was the child of an ill-assorted marriage. "At a hurling-match long ago the Queen of Beauty, Sydney, granddaughter of Sir Maltby Crofton, lost her heart, like[Pg 467] Rosalind, to the victor of the day, Walter McOwen (anglicized Owenson), a young farmer, tall and handsome, graceful and daring, and allowed him to discover that he had 'wrestled well and overthrown more than his enemies.' Result, an elopement and mésalliance never to be forgiven—the husband a jolly, racketing Irish lad, unable to appreciate his high-toned, accomplished wife, a skilful performer on the Irish harp, a poetess and a genius, called by the admiring neighbors 'the Harp of the Valley.'" Their only child, the father of Lady Morgan, was a tolerable actor, of loose morals and tight purse, who could sing a good song or tell a good story, and who was always in debt.

Sydney was a winsome little rogue, quite too much for her precise and stately mother, who was ever holding up as a model a child, in her grave fifty years agone, who had read the Bible through twice before she was five years old, and knitted all the stockings worn by the coachmen! All in vain: Sydney was not fated to die early or figure as a young saint in a Sunday-school memoir. She took a deep interest in chimney-sweeps from observing a den of little imps who swarmed in a cellar near her home, and on one occasion actually scrambled up a burning chimney, followed by this sooty troop. Her pets were numerous, the prime favorite being a cat named Ginger, from her yellow coat. Her mother, who was shocked by Sydney adding to her nightly petition, "God bless Ginger the cat!" did not share this partiality, as is seen in the young lady's first attempt at authorship, which has been preserved:

My dear pussy-cat,
Were I a mouse or a rat,
Sure I never would run off from you,
You're so funny and gay
With your tail when you play,
And no song is so sweet as your mew.
But pray keep in your press,
And don't make a mess,
When you share with your kittens our posset,
For mamma can't abide you,
And I cannot hide you
Unless you keep close in your closet.

Her voice was remarkable, but her father, knowing too well the temptations that beset a public singer, refused to cultivate her talent for music, saying, "If I were to do this, it might induce her some day to go on the stage, and I would prefer to buy her a sieve of black cockles from Ring's End to cry about the streets of Dublin to seeing her the first prima donna of Europe." A genuine talent for music will assert itself in spite of neglect, and one evening at the house of Moore, where with her sister Olivia she listened in tearful enthusiasm to some of his melodies, sung as only the poet could sing them, was an important event in her life. She tells us that after this treat they went home in almost delirious ecstasy, actually forgetting to undress themselves before going to bed. This experience developed a longing to know more of the early Irish ballads, and roused a literary ambition. If the grocer's son could so distinguish himself, she could surely relieve her dear father from his embarrassments; and she began at once to write with this noble object. Her unselfish and unwavering devotion to her rather worthless father is the most attractive and touching point in her character. After her mother's death she was sent to boarding-school, where she studied well, scribbled verses, accomplished herself in dancing, and furnished bright home-letters for her less brilliant mates.

She next figures as a governess in the family of a Mrs. Featherstone of Bracklin Castle. There was a merry dance for adieu the night she was to leave, but, like Cinderella, she danced too long: the hour sounded, and Sydney was hurried into the coach in a white muslin dress, pink silk stockings and slippers of the same hue, while Molly, the faithful old servant, insisted on wrapping her darling in her own warm cloak and ungainly headgear. Being ushered in this plight into a handsome drawing-room, there was a general titter at her grotesque appearance, but she told her story in her own captivating way until they screamed with laughter—not at her now, but with her—and she was "carried off to an exquisite suite of rooms—a study, bedroom and bath-room, with a roaring[Pg 468] turf fire, open piano and lots of books;" and after dinner, where she was toasted, she sang several songs, which had an immense effect, and the evening ended with a jig, her hosts regretting that they had no spectators besides the servants. This, her first jig out of the school-room, she contrasts with her last one in public, when invited by the duchess of Northumberland to dance with Lord George Hill. She accepted the challenge from the two best jig-dancers in the country, Lord George and Sir Philip Crampton, and had the triumph of flooring them both.

Her first novel, St. Clair, was now completed. She had kept the writing of it a profound secret, and one morning the young author, full of ambitious dreams, borrowed the cook's market-bonnet and cloak and sallied out to seek her fortune. Before going far she saw over a shop-door "T. Smith, Printer and Bookseller," and ventured in. It was some minutes before T. Smith made his appearance, and when he did so he had a razor in one hand, a towel in the other, and only one side of his face shaved. After hearing her errand he told her, good-naturedly, that he did not publish novels, and sent her to Brown. Brown wanted his breakfast, and was not anxious for a girl's manuscript; but his wife persuaded him to promise to look it over; and, elated with success, Sydney ran back, forgetting to leave any address, and never heard of her first venture till, taking up a book in a friend's parlor, it proved to be her own. It had a good sale, and was translated into German, with a biographical notice which stated that the young author had strangled herself with an embroidered handkerchief in an agony of despair and unrequited love. The Sorrows of Werther was her model, but with a deal of stuff and sentimentality there was the promise of better things. "In all her early works her characters indulge in wonderful digressions, historical, astronomical and metaphysical, in the midst of terrible emergencies where danger, despair and unspeakable catastrophes are imminent and impending. No matter what laceration of their finest feelings they may be suffering, they always have their learning at command, and never fail to make quotations from favorite authors appropriate to the occasion."

The Novice of St. Dominick was Miss Owenson's second novel, and she went alone to London to make arrangements for its publication. In those days a journey from Ireland to that great city was no small undertaking, and when the coach drove into the yard of the Swan with Two Necks the enterprising young lady was utterly exhausted, and, seating herself on her little trunk in the inn-yard, fell fast asleep. But, as usual, she found friends, and good luck was on her side. The novel was cut down from six volumes to four, and with her first literary earnings, after assisting her father, she bought an Irish harp and a black mode cloak, being always devoted to music and dress. At this time her strongest ambition was to be every inch a woman. She gave up serious studies, to which she had applied herself, and cultivated even music as a mere accomplishment, fearful lest she should be considered a pedant or an artiste.

Next came The Wild Irish Girl, her first national story, which gave her more than a national fame, and three hundred pounds from her fascinated publisher. It contains much curious information about the antiquities and social condition of Ireland, and a passionate pleading against the wrongs of its people. It made the piquant little governess all the rage in fashionable society, and until her marriage she was known by the name of her heroine, Glorvina. As a story the book is not worth reading at the present day.

In The Book of the Boudoir, a sort of literary ragbag, she gives, under the heading "My First Rout in London," a graphic picture of an evening at Lady Cork's: "A few days after my arrival in London, and while my little book, The Wild Irish Girl, was running rapidly through successive editions, I was presented to the countess-dowager of Cork, and invited to a rout at her fantastic and pretty mansion in New[Pg 469] Burlington street. Oh, how her Irish historical name tingled in my ears and seized on my imagination, reminding me of her great ancestor, 'the father of chemistry and uncle to the earl of Cork'! I stepped into my job carriage at the hour of ten, and, all alone by myself, as the song says, 'to Eden took my solitary way.' What added to my fears and doubts and hopes and embarrassments was a note from my noble hostess received at the moment of departure: 'Everybody has been invited expressly to meet the Wild Irish Girl; so she must bring her Irish harp. M.C.O.' I arrived at New Burlington street without my harp and with a beating heart, and I heard the high-sounding titles of princes and ambassadors and dukes and duchesses announced long before my poor plebeian name puzzled the porter and was bandied from footman to footman. As I ascended the marble stairs with their gilt balustrade, I was agitated by emotions similar to those which drew from a frightened countryman his frank exclamation in the heat of the battle of Vittoria: 'Oh, jabbers! I wish some of my greatest enemies was kicking me down Dame street.' Lady Cork met me at the door: 'What! no harp, Glorvina?'—'Oh, Lady Cork!'—'Oh, Lady Fiddlestick! You are a fool, child: you don't know your own interests.—Here, James, William, Thomas! send one of the chairmen to Stanhope street for Miss Owenson's harp.'"

After a stand and a stare of some seconds at a strikingly sullen-looking, handsome creature who stood alone, and whom she heard addressed by a pretty sprite of fashion with a "How-do, Lord Byron?" she says: "I was pushed on, and on reaching the centre of the conservatory I found myself suddenly pounced upon a sort of rustic seat, a very uneasy pre-eminence, and there I sat, the lioness of the night, shown off like the hyena of Exeter 'Change, looking almost as wild and feeling quite as savage. Presenting me to each and all of the splendid crowd which an idle curiosity, easily excited and as soon satisfied, had gathered round us, she prefaced every introduction with a little exordium which seemed to amuse every one but its object: 'Lord Erskine, this is the Wild Irish Girl whom you are so anxious to know. I assure you she talks quite as well as she writes.—Now, my dear, do tell my Lord Erskine some of those Irish stories you told us the other evening. Fancy yourself among your own set, and take off the brogue. Mrs. Abingdon says you would make a famous actress: she does indeed. You must play the short-armed orator with her: she will be here by and by. This is the duchess of St. Albans: she has your novel by heart. Where is Sheridan?—Do, my dear Mr. T—— (This is Mr. T——, my dear: geniuses should know each other)—do, my dear Mr. T——, find me Mr. Sheridan. Oh! here he is!—What! you know each other already? So much the better.—This is Lord Carysford.—Mr. Lewis, do come forward.—That is Monk Lewis, my dear, of whom you have heard so much, but you must not read his works: they are very naughty.' Lewis, who stood staring at me through his eye-glasses, backed out after this remark, and disappeared. 'You know Mr. Gell,' her ladyship continued, 'so I need not introduce you: he calls you the Irish Corinne. Your friend Mr. Moore will be here by and by: I have collected all the talent for you.—Do see, somebody, if Mr. Kemble and Mrs. Siddons are come yet, and find me Lady Hamilton.—Now, pray tell us the scene at the Irish baronet's in the rebellion.'

"Lord L—— volunteered his services. The circle now began to widen—wits, warriors, peers and ministers of state. The harp was brought forward, and I tried to sing, but my howl was funereal. I was ready to cry, but endeavored to laugh, and to cover my real timidity by an affected ease which was both awkward and impolitic. At last Mr. Kemble was announced. Lady Cork reproached him as the late Mr. Kemble, and then, looking significantly at me, told him who I was. Kemble acknowledged me by a kindly nod, but the stare which succeeded was not one of mere recognition: it was the glazed, fixed[Pg 470] look so common to those who have been making libations to altars which rarely qualify them for ladies' society. Mr. Kemble was evidently much preoccupied and a little exalted. He was seated my vis-à-vis at supper, and repeatedly raised his arm and stretched it across the table for the purpose, as I supposed, of helping himself to some boar's head in jelly. Alas! no! The bore was that my head happened to be the object which fixed his tenacious attention, which, dark, cropped and curly, struck him as a particularly well-organized brutus, and better than any in his repertoire of theatrical perukes. Succeeding at last in his feline and fixed purpose, he actually stuck his claws in my locks, and, addressing me in the deepest sepulchral tones, asked, 'Little girl, where did you get your wig?' Lord Erskine came to the rescue and liberated my head, and all tried to retrieve the awkwardness of the scene. Meanwhile, Kemble, peevish, as half-tipsy people generally are, drew back muttering and fumbling in his pocket, evidently with some dire intent lowering in his eyes. To the amusement of all, and to my increased consternation, he drew forth a volume of the Wild Irish Girl, and reading with his deep, emphatic voice one of the most high-flown of its passages, he paused, and patting the page with his fore finger, with the look of Hamlet addressing Polonius, he said, 'Little girl, why did you write such nonsense? and where did you get all those damned hard words?' Thus taken by surprise, and smarting with my wounds of mortified authorship, I answered unwittingly and witlessly the truth: 'Sir, I wrote as well as I could, and I got the hard words from—Johnson's Dictionary.' He was soon carried off to prevent any more attacks on my head, inside or out."

Glorvina was now very much the fashion, visiting in the best Dublin society and making many friends, whom she had the tact to retain through life. When articles of dress or ornament are named for one, it is an unfailing sign that they have attained notoriety, if not fame, and the bodkin used for fastening the "back hair" was called "Glorvina" in her honor. Like many attractive women of decided character, she had her full share of faults and foibles. Superficial, conceited, sadly lacking in spirituality and refinement, a cruel enemy, a toady to titles, a blind partisan of the Liberal party,—that is her picture in shadow. Her style was open to severe criticism, and Richard Lovell Edgeworth suggests mildly that Maria, in reading her novel aloud in the family circle, was obliged to omit some superfluous epithets.

In this first flush of celebrity she never gave up work, holding fast to industry as her sheet-anchor. Soon appeared two volumes of patriotic tales. Ida of Athens was Novel No. 3, but written in confident haste, and not well received. The names of her books would make a list rivalling that of the loves of Don Giovanni (nearly seventy volumes), and any extended analysis or criticism would be impossible in this rapid sketch. "Every day in my life is a leaf in my book" was a motto literally carried out, and she tried almost every department of literature, succeeding best in describing the broad characteristics of her own nation. "Her lovers, like her books, were too numerous to mention," yet her own heart seemed untouched. She coquetted gayly, but her adorers were always the sufferers.

Sir Jonah Barrington wrote her at this time a complimentary and witty letter, in which he says of her heroine Glorvina, "I believe you stole a spark from heaven to give animation to your idol." He thought the inferiority of Ida was owing to its author's luxurious surroundings. "I cannot conceive why the brain should not get fat and unwieldy, as well as any other part of the human frame. Some of our best poets have written in paroxysms of hunger, and I really believe that Addison would have had more point if he had had less victuals; and if you do not restrict yourself to a sheep's trotter and spruce beer, your style will betray your luxury." But soon came an increase of the very thing feared for her fame, in the form of an invitation from Lady Abercorn and the marquis to pass the chief[Pg 471] part of every year with them. This was accepted, and thus she met her fate. Lord Abercorn kept a physician in his house, Doctor Morgan, a handsome, accomplished widower, whom the marchioness was anxious to provide with a second wife. She had fixed upon Sydney as a suitable person, but the retiring and reticent doctor had heard so much of her wit, talents and general fascination that he disliked the idea of meeting her. He was sitting one morning with the marchioness when a servant threw open the door, announcing "Miss Owenson," who had just arrived. Doctor Morgan sprang to his feet, and, there being no other way of escape, leaped through the open window into the garden below. This was too fair a challenge for a girl of spirit to refuse, and she set to work to captivate him, succeeding more effectually than she desired, for she had dreamed of making a brilliant match. Soon a letter was written to her father asking his leave to marry the conquered doctor, yet she does not seem to have been one bit in love. He was too grave and good, though as devoted a lover as could be asked for. It was a queer match and a dangerous experiment, but after a while their mutual qualities adjusted themselves. He kept her steady, and she roused him from indolent repose. As a critic of that time says: "She was as bustling, restless, energetic and pushing as he was modest, retiring and unaffected." Lover gives this picture of them: "There was Lady Morgan, with her irrepressible vivacity, her humor that indulged in the most audacious illustrations, and her candor which had small respect for time or place in its expression, and who, by the side of her tranquil, steady, contemplative husband, suggested the notion of a Barbary colt harnessed to a patient English draught-horse."

She had a certain light, jaunty air peculiarly Irish, celebrated by Leigh Hunt in verses which embody a faithful portrait:

And dear Lady Morgan, see, see where she comes,
With her pulses all beating for freedom like drums,
So Irish, so modish, so mixtish, so wild,
So committing herself, as she talks, like a child;
So trim, yet so easy, polite, yet high-hearted,
That Truth and she, try all she can, won't be parted.
She'll put on your fashions, your latest new air,
And then talk so frankly, she'll make you all stare.
Mrs. Hall may say "Oh!" and Miss Edgeworth say "Fie!"
But my lady will know the what and the why.
Her books, a like mixture, are so very clever
That Jove himself swore he could read them for ever,
Plot, character, freakishness, all are so good,
And the heroine herself playing tricks in a hood.

After a happy year with her patrons Glorvina married and moved to a home of her own in Kildare street, Dublin, whence she writes to Lady Stanley: "With respect to authorship, I fear it is over. I have been making chair-covers instead of periods, hanging curtains instead of raising systems, and cheapening pots and pans instead of selling sentiment and philosophy." But even during this first busy year of housekeeping she was working upon O'Donnel, another national tale, for which she was paid five hundred and fifty pounds. It was highly praised by Sir Walter Scott, and sold with rapidity, but her Liberal politics made her unpopular with the leading Tory journalism of England. In point of pitiless invective the criticism of the Quarterly and Blackwood has perhaps never been exceeded. Her books were denounced as pestilent, and the public advised against maintaining her acquaintance. Miss Martineau, an impartial critic, if impartiality consists in punching almost every one she passed, did not fail to give our heroine a black eye, speaking of her as "in that set to which Mrs. Jameson belonged, who make women blush and men grow insolent."

Sir Charles and his wife next visited Paris with the intention of writing a book. Their letters carried them into every circle of Parisian society, and in each the popularity of Lady Morgan was unbounded. Madame Jerome Bonaparte wrote to her: "The French admire you more than any one who has appeared here since the battle of Waterloo in the form of an Englishwoman." When France appeared the clamor of abuse in England was enough to appall a very stout heart. John Wilson Croker was one of her most bitter assailants, and attempted to annihilate[Pg 472] her in the Quarterly. She balanced matters by caricaturing him as "Counsellor Crawley" in her next novel, in a way that hit and hurt, and by a witticism which lives, while his envenomed sentences are forgotten. Some one was telling her that Croker was among the crowd who thought they could have managed the battle of Waterloo much better than Wellington, whose success, in their estimation, was only a fortunate mistake. She exclaimed, "Oh, I can believe it. He had his secret for winning the battle: he had only to put his Notes on Boswell's Johnson in front of the British lines, and all the Bonapartes that ever existed could never have got through them!" Maginn, in Blackwood, gave unmerciful cuts at her superficial opinions, ultra sentiments and chambermaid French. Fraser's Magazine complimented her sardonically on her simple style, being happy to observe that she had reduced the number of languages used, as the Sibyl did her books, to three, wisely discarding German, Spanish, the dead and Oriental languages. But she received the cannonade, which would have crushed some women, with perfect equanimity. As a compensation, she was the toast of the day, and at some grand reception had a raised dais only a little lower than that provided for the duchess de Berri. At a dinner at Baron Rothschild's, Carême, the Delmonico of those times, surprised her with a column of ingenious confectionery architecture on which was inscribed her name spun in sugar. It was a more equivocal compliment when Walter Scott christened two pet donkeys Hannah More and Lady Morgan.

Florence Macarthy, another novel, attacking the social and political abuses in Irish government, was her next work. Colburn, her publisher, who had just presented her with a beautiful parure of amethysts, now proposed that she and her husband should go to Italy. "Do it, and get up another book—the lively lady to sketch men and manners, the metaphysical balance-wheel contributing the solid chapters on laws, politics, science and education." They accepted the offer, and received the same extraordinary attentions as in their former tour. This may be accounted for by the fact that it was well known that they were to prepare a book on Italy. It was equally well known that Lady Morgan had a sharp tongue and still sharper pen; so that people who lived in glass houses, as did many of the magnates, were remarkably civil to "Miladi," even those who regarded her tour among them as an unjustifiable invasion. Byron pronounced this book an excellent and fearless work. During her sojourn in Italy Lady Morgan became enthusiastic about Salvator Rosa, and began to collect material for writing the history of his life and times, which was her own favorite of all her writings.

In 1825 the Diary is started, chatty, full of gossip and incident. She writes, October 30th: "A ballad-singer was this morning singing beneath my window in a strain most unmusical and melancholy. My own name caught my ear, and I sent Thomas out to buy the song. Here is a stanza:

Och, Dublin City, there's no doubting,
Bates every city upon the say:
'Tis there you'll hear O'Connell spouting,
And Lady Morgan making tay;
For 'tis the capital of the foinest nation,
Wid charming pisantry on a fruitful sod,
Fighting like divils for conciliation,
An' hating one another for the love o' God."

The O'Briens and O'Flahertys was published in 1827, and proved more popular than any of her previous novels. There is an allusion to it in the interesting account which Lord Albemarle gives us of his acquaintance with Lady Morgan: "A number of pleasant people used to assemble of an evening in Lady Morgan's 'nut-shell' in Kildare street. When I first met her she was in the height of her popularity. In her new novel she tells me I am to figure as a certain count, a great traveller who made a trip to Jerusalem for the sole object of eating artichokes in their native country. The chief attraction in the Kildare street 'at homes' was her sister Olivia (Lady Clark), who used to compose and sing charming Irish songs, for the most part squibs on the Dublin society of the day. One of the verses ran thus:[Pg 473]

We're swarming alive,
Like bees in a hive,
With talent and janius and beautiful ladies:
We've a duke in Kildare,
And a Donnybrook Fair;
And if that wouldn't plaze, why nothing would plaze yez.
We've poets in plenty,
But not one in twenty
Will stay in ould Ireland to keep her from sinking:
They say they can't live
Where there's nothing to give.
Och, what business have poets with ating or dhrinking?"

Justly proud of her sister, Lady Morgan was in the habit of addressing every new-comer with, "I must make you acquainted with my Livy." She once used this form of words to a gentleman who had just been worsted in a fierce encounter of wit with the fascinating lady. "Yes, madam," he replied, "I happen to know your Livy, and I only wish 'your Livy' was Tacitus."

Few of Lady Morgan's bon-mots have been preserved, but one is given which shows that she occasionally indulged in a pun. Some one, speaking of a certain bishop who was rather lax in his observance of Lent, said he believed he would eat a horse on Ash-Wednesday. "Very suitable diet," remarked her ladyship, "if it were a fast horse."

The Diary progresses slowly by fitful jerks. Here is a characteristic entry: "April 3, 1834. My journal is gone to the dogs. I am so fussed and fidgeted by my dear, charming world that I cannot write: I forget days and dates. Ouf! Last night, at Lady Stepney's, met the Milmans, Mrs. Norton, Rogers, Sydney Smith and others—among them poor, dear Jane Porter. She told me she was taken for me the other night, and talked to as such by a party of Americans! She is tall, lank and lean and lackadaisical, dressed in the deepest black, with rather a battered black gauze hat and the air of a regular Melpomene. I am the reverse of all this, and without vanity the best-dressed woman wherever I go. Last night I wore a blue satin trimmed fully with magnificent point lace—light-blue velvet hat and feather, with an aigrette of sapphires and diamonds. Voilà! Lord Jeffrey came up to me, and we had such a flirtation! When he comes to Ireland we are to go to Donnybrook Fair together: in short, having cut me down with his tomahawk as a reviewer, he smothers me with roses as a man. I always say of my enemies before we meet, 'Let me at them!'" Of the same soirée she writes again: "There was Miss Jane Porter, looking like a shabby canoness. There was Mrs. Somerville in an astronomical cap. I dashed in in my blue satin and point lace, and showed them how an authoress should dress."

Her conceit was fairly colossal. The reforms in legislation for Ireland were, in her estimation, owing to her novel of Florence Macarthy. She professed to have taught Taglioni the Irish jig: of her toilette, made largely by her own hands, she was comically vain. In The Fraserians, a charming off-hand description of the contributors to that magazine, Lady Morgan is depicted trying on a big, showy bonnet before a mirror with a funny mixture of satisfaction and anxiety as to the effect.

Chorley, the feared and fearless critic of the Athenæum, speaks of Lady Morgan as one of the most peculiar and original literary characters he ever met. After a long and searching analysis he adds: "However free in speech, she never shocked decorum—never had to be appealed or apologized for as a forlorn woman of genius under difficulties."

An American paper, the Boston Literary Gazette, gave a personal description which was not sufficiently flattering, and roused the lady's indignant comments. It dared to state that she was "short, with a broad face, blue, inexpressive eyes, and seemed, if such a thing may be named, about forty years of age." Imagine the sensations this paragraph produced! She at once retorted, exclaiming in mock earnest, "I appeal! I appeal to the Titian of his age and country—I appeal to you, Sir Thomas Lawrence. Would you have painted a short, squat, broad-faced, inexpressive, affected, Frenchified, Greenland-seal-like lady of any age? Would any money have tempted you to profane your immortal pencil, consecrated by Nature to the Graces, by devoting its magic to such[Pg 474] a model as this described by the Yankee artist of the Boston Literary? And yet you did paint the picture of this Lapland Venus—this impersonation of a Dublin Bay codfish!... Alas! no one could have said that I was forty then; and this is the cruelest cut of all! Had it been thirty-nine or fifty! Thirty-nine is still under the mark, and fifty so far beyond it, so hopeless; but forty—the critical age, the Rubicon—I cannot, will not, dwell on it. But, O America! land of my devotion and my idolatry! is it from you the blow has come? Let Quarterlys and Blackwoods libel, but the Boston Literary! Et tu Brute!"

In 1837 she received a pension of three hundred pounds a year in recognition of her literary merits. In 1839 she published a book entitled Woman and her Master, as solid and solemn and dull as if our vivacious friend had put herself into a strait-jacket and swallowed a dose of starch and valerian.

The closing chapter of any life must of necessity be sad, friends falling to the grave like autumn leaves. First her beloved husband died, then her darling sister Olivia; and her journal she now calls her "Doomsday Book." Yet in 1850 she thoroughly enjoyed a sharp pen-encounter with Cardinal Wiseman on a statement about St. Peter's chair made in her work on Italy. She writes: "Lots of notes and notices of my letter to Cardinal Wiseman. It has had the run of all the newspapers. The little old woman lives still." December 25, 1858, was her last birthday. She assembled a few old friends at dinner, and did the honors with all the brilliancy of her brightest days. She told a variety of anecdotes with infinite drollery, and after dinner sang a broadly comic song of Father Prout's—

The night before Larry was stretched,
The boys they all paid him a visit.

It was a custom in Ireland to "wake" a man who was to be hung, the night before the execution, so that the poor fellow might enjoy the whiskey drunk in his honor. There was one book more, "positively the last," but she never gave up her pen, "her worn-out stump of a goosequill," until her physician literally took it from her feeble fingers. She had grown old gracefully, showing great kindness to young authors, enduring partial blindness and comparative neglect with true dignity and cheerfulness, her heart always young. She met death patiently and with unfailing courage on the evening of the 16th of April, 1859.

Kate A. Sanborn.


I think, ofttimes, that lives of men may be
Likened to wandering winds that come and go,
Not knowing whence they rise, whither they blow
O'er the vast globe, voiceful of grief or glee.
Some lives are buoyant zephyrs sporting free
In tropic sunshine; some long winds of woe
That shun the day, wailing with murmurs low,
Through haunted twilights, by the unresting sea;
Others are ruthless, stormful, drunk with might,
Born of deep passion or malign desire:
They rave 'mid thunder-peals and clouds of fire.
Wild, reckless all, save that some power unknown
Guides each blind force till life be overblown,
Lost in vague hollows of the fathomless Night.

Paul H. Hayne.

[Pg 475]



No boy with the ordinary sources of pleasurable activity open to him can realize the gloom and despondency I felt at times when cut off from the healthful energies of other men. I was no longer morbid; I would not allow myself to feel that my infirmity was a bar to the enjoyment of life; yet, all the same, I dreaded society and shrank from the fresh conviction of inferiority I was certain to experience in going out with Harry, who was strongest where I was so weak. He was the most delightful fellow in society that I have ever seen. He comprehended everybody and everything with the grasp of an ardent and sympathetic spirit. He was happy in possessing a natural facility for pleasing women of all ages and all degrees. The professors' wives and daughters were all in love with him: his rooms were full of the work of white hands. He had as many smoking-caps as there are days in the week, and might have fitted out the entire class with slippers. But nobody wondered: he was so handsome and tall and godlike that every woman believed in him, and felt the charm of his grand manner, which put romance and chivalry into the act of helping her over a puddle.

I probably felt more reverence for the meanest woman we met in the street than he did for his grandest friend in society; but, nevertheless, his splendid courtesy illuminated the slightest social duty, whereas I stood rayless beside him. He had been unlucky where his mother was concerned: she was a weak woman to begin with, had never loved her husband, and had left him for another man, whom she married after the disgrace and sorrow she caused had killed her boy's father. Harry never spoke of this, but, perhaps unconsciously to himself, it had changed the feeling he might have had toward women into something defiant and cynical; and the attraction they possessed for him was in danger of becoming debased, since he admired them, old and young, with too scanty a respect, and believed too little in the worth of any emotion they awoke in his heart or mind.

It had been a matter of discussion between Harry and myself whether we should attend Mrs. Dwight's party. But Jack had peremptory orders to bring us both, and of course when the evening came we went. I had not seen Georgy Lenox since the visit she had paid me a few months after my accident, and I had often told myself that I wished never to see her any more. Yet now that I was again near her I was eager to meet and talk with her. I had often felt myself superior to other fellows of my age on account of this very experience of living down a passion; but since I had received her note I might have known that my experience had done little for me—that I had merely been removed from temptation; for, school myself as I might, my blood was leaping in my veins at the thought of looking into her eyes again. One cannot be twenty and be wise at the same time. But then in some matters a man is never wise, let his age be what it may.

Mrs. Dwight's parlors were long and spacious and splendidly furnished. They were well filled too before we entered, for we were so anxious to do the most truly elegant thing to-night that we had put off making our appearance until long past ten o'clock. Whatever expectations we may have had of making a sensation in the rooms were considerably damped by the awkwardness of our début. Jack knew the house, and at once skirted the crowd to find what he wanted, but Harry and I were obliged to stand still in a corner, ignorant of everything save the name of our hostess, waiting for something to turn up. The ordeal was not so disagreeable as it might seem. The band played in the alcove,[Pg 476] the women were well dressed and, to our eyes, radiantly beautiful, while the men appealed to our critical curiosity. Plenty of our college dons were there, and many of the leading men of the day, but more interesting to us were the perfectly-dressed, graceful society-men a little beyond our own age: these we watched carefully, with the superior air of contempt with which every man of every age views the social success of others; yet we envied them nevertheless. In one of these we simultaneously recognized an old friend, and exclaimed together, "If there isn't Thorpe!"

And Thorpe indeed it was, better dressed, handsomer, more consummately the finished man of the world, than ever. He was conversing with a stout, elderly lady with gray puffs stiffly fixed on her temples and white feathers in her braids, who was discoursing fluently to him on some subject in which he seemed profoundly interested. Suddenly, however, his eyes dilated and his face gained expression: he had met my eyes and nodded with a half smile, and within five minutes he had adroitly bestowed the old lady in an easy-chair and planted three professors before her, and was shaking hands with us. We were rather proud of the exhibition of pleasure he made at the encounter. True, it was languid and there was an air of amused condescension in the way he accepted our cordial greetings; but we were still boyish enough to like to feel him above and beyond us, although not unattainable.

"Well, old fellow," he remarked presently to Harry, "why are you penned up here? Is it as sheep or wolves that you are kept out of the fold? Why aren't you dancing?"

"We only just came in," returned Harry, "and we don't know the hostess by sight, and have nobody to speak to."

"Why, that was Mrs. Dwight I was talking with just now.—A terrible old woman, Floyd: I will introduce you presently, as soon as that crowd clears away. I understand you came by invitation from Miss Lenox. Seen her?"

We had seen nobody, we were obliged to confess.

"Miss Georgy is having a good time. I put in my claim as an old Belfield friend for a couple of waltzes. She has the best pace of any woman here. Handsome girl, but dangerous: devilish amusing, though. Wonder where she got her ideas in that cramped, puritanical little place? Pity she's going to marry such a slow coach as Jack Holt! Beg your pardon—nothing derogatory intended. You must yourself admit that he is rather slow.—By the by, Floyd, how's the heiress?"

I knew whom he meant, but did not like his tone, and asked him squarely to whom he referred.

He laughed, and looked at me with close scrutiny. "I alluded to Miss Floyd," said he, twisting his long moustache with his gloved fingers. "I don't know many heiresses myself, unlucky dog that I am! and she is such a tremendous one—she is the heiress par éminence. She must be fifteen by this time. Remember me to her when you see her, Floyd; or perhaps you write to her?"

"Not at all," I answered.

"Is she as pretty as ever?" he pursued.

"Pretty? She never seemed to me pretty."

"Oh, you are too young to recognize beauty when you see it. She was the loveliest child I ever knew, with her pale complexion, her brilliant eyes and aristocratic profile. Georgy Lenox is a gaudy transparency beside her. But I forgot: I must come out and see you at your rooms. Only don't bore me: it is the fashion at universities to talk of subjects never discussed anywhere else by civilized beings, and I can't abide such rubbish. I hear you're quite the pride of your class, Floyd?"

"Oh, what wretched nonsense!"

"Your modesty pleases me.—Come on, boys: Mrs. Dwight is looking at us."

And we were introduced to our hostess at last, who received us in a manner expressive of our social insignificance. "Dear me!" said she placidly, "have you just come in? You're very late. I supposed everybody was here long ago. Georgy asked my permission to invite[Pg 477] some students: I never do that sort of thing myself. There is really no end to it, you know. Besides, I suppose your time is quite taken up with your studies and your boating and your flirtations. Do you dance?—There's Georgy Lenox beckoning to you, Mr. Dart." Harry darted off, and was lost in the crowd before I had a chance to follow him with my eyes, for Mrs. Dwight, feeling the need of support or wishing to be guided into another room, had put her arm within mine, thus compelling my attention. Her conversation still continued in a steady stream. It had occurred to her that I was in some way connected with Mr. Floyd, whose reputation was national, and she went on reviving reminiscences of him while we strolled about. She addressed me with such unhesitating talkativeness that I succumbed at once, and became an easy prey. What she said was quite uninteresting, besides being rambling in a degree which hindered my getting the smallest idea of her meaning; but her own enjoyment of her loquaciousness never once faltered, and she discoursed as fluently as an eighteenth-century poet, and without any more idea of the grace of finishing within a reasonable time. How I envied Thorpe's easy method of withdrawing from her attack! how I longed for some flank movement to draw off her attention! I was weaving futile plans of escape, when suddenly a radiant creature in blue and white gauze, the swirl of whose long skirts I had watched as I listened to Mrs. Dwight, paused in the waltz close beside me, turned, looked me in the face and patted my arm with her fan. "Floyd!" she cried, "Floyd Randolph! don't you know me?"

Mrs. Dwight vanished, I do not remember how or where. Everybody vanished: I seemed to be alone in the world staring into Georgy Lenox's face.

"Cousin Maria had fastened upon you like the Ancient Mariner," prattled Georgy, laughing. "That is her way. If she fancies a young man, she bears down upon him, and with one fell swoop carries him off. How melancholy you looked! But you are as grave as ever now. Aren't you glad to see me?"

"Oh yes, I am glad," I told her, but felt a weight upon my tongue, and could not find expression for any thoughts which moved me. For, let it be understood, I was powerfully impressed by her, and in a moment had changed from what I was before I met her. She talked on rapidly, looking at me kindly, and doubtless by this time sufficiently understood her power over our sex to realize that under certain conditions words mean little on a man's tongue, while silence confesses much. But, counting time by minutes, I was with her but a very little while before half a dozen partners came toward her claiming her for a new waltz.

"Ask me to dance, Floyd," she whispered.

"I do not dance, Georgy," I returned gravely, and drew back; and presently she was whirling about again, her flower-crowned head gyrating against first one black-coated shoulder and then another.

I saw Jack Holt leaning against a pillar, and went up to him. "How do you get on, Floyd?" he asked in his slow, easy way. "Rather heavy work, eh?"

"Not at all," said I, feeling all the keen joy of youth: "I think it delightful. Miss Lenox spoke to me, Jack. Of course you have seen her."

"Oh yes," Jack laughed good-naturedly. "She at once told me I looked countrified and old-fashioned—that my hair was too long and my gloves were outrageous. In fact, she was ashamed to own me, and declared that nothing should induce her to confess she was engaged to me until I looked less seedy."

We both laughed at this. Jack had a handsome allowance, which he spent almost entirely upon the girl he loved. She was quite used to his generosity toward her and self-denial toward himself, and gave him no more credit for it than the rest of us award to the blessings we count on assuredly.

"You don't mind her nonsense, Jack?"

"Not at all. She has such spirits she must chatter. You haven't seen her for ages, Floyd: do you think her improved? Has she grown handsomer?"[Pg 478]

I was conscious of a dulness and thickness in my voice as I replied, "She is much handsomer."

"She is more womanly," pursued Jack: "I think her manner has softened a little. There is more tenderness about it: as a girl she was sometimes a trifle—hard. Now—But you see how she is, Floyd: there is nobody like her. Good God! I ask myself sometimes what that perfect creature can see in me."

"A good deal apparently, since she is to be your wife." I said it without faltering, and felt better after it. Something seemed to clear away from my brain, and I could look at Georgy now with less emotion. She was all that was bright and beautiful and winning, but—she was engaged to Jack Holt. She showed slight consciousness of any restraint on her perfect freedom, however, and gave away Jack's roses, purchased that day at a high figure, before his eyes. Once or twice, when she passed us, she smiled and nodded in the gayest good spirits; and at last, when she was tired of dancing and wanted an ice, she beckoned to Jack, put her hand inside his arm and led him into the conservatory.

"How well she does it!" said Harry Dart, coming up to me. "Quite the brilliant belle! By Jove! how she dances! I despise the girl with her greedy maw, and deuced airs of high gentility when she is a perfect beggar, but it is a second heaven to dance with her. She has the go of a wild animal in her. She is a little like a panther—so round, so sleek, so agile in her spring. I told her just now I should like to paint her—yellow eyes, hair like an aureole, supple form and satin coat—lying on a panther-skin."

"Her eyes are not yellow."

"By Jove! they are. When she's dancing her whole face changes: she looks dangerous."

"I don't like your tone when you speak of her, Harry."

"Oh! don't you? One of these days both you and Jack will be wiser where that girl is concerned."

But Jack came back to us presently, quite contented to look at her successes and not to speak to her again that evening. At supper-time we watched her from a distance, and a more brilliant young coquette than Miss Georgy showed herself to be I have never seen. She looked more and more beautiful as the night wore on, the flush deepening in her cheeks, her eyes dilating, her hair loosening. Men full fledged though we considered ourselves now in our senior year, we felt like boys before her. Every man in the room seemed proud of her slightest mark of attention. Tall dandies with ineffable composure and a consummate air of worldly knowledge; tranquil, dreamy-eyed literary men; solid citizens with stiff white side-whiskers and red faces,—all were in her train. Harry withdrew from her at last, becoming, as I was, quite oppressed with a sense of his youth and worthlessness.

Thorpe good-naturedly came up to us as we three stood leaning against the wall, tired and depressed, yet feeling no wish to get away until everybody else had gone, and asked us how we liked it, if we had been introduced, and all that. It came out then that Jack and I had not once thought of any woman in the rooms except Georgy; and until Thorpe questioned me it had not occurred to my mind that there was anything to do at the party but to speak to Georgy if possible, or, failing that bliss, to watch her from a distance. Harry laughed at me, and discussed the beauties of the ball with Thorpe, who was fastidious and considered few girls handsome—in fact, was so minute in his criticisms that Jack, always more than chivalrous in his thoughts of women, left us, and with his hands crossed behind him looked at the pictures on the walls of an inner room quite deserted now. The conversation turned on Miss Lenox at once, and Thorpe said he was amazed to find the girl so capable of achieving an easy success and bearing it so well. "Where," he pursued with his graceful air, "did she learn those enchanting prettinesses, those wonderful little caprices of manner? Could they have been acquired in the genteel dreariness of Belfield?"

"I should like to know," rejoined Harry with disdain, "if she has not been[Pg 479] practising them for twenty years? She flirted with Jack and Floyd here when they used to buy her a penny's worth of peppermint, before they were out of petticoats themselves. I dare say she made eyes at old Lenox when he rocked her in the cradle."

"And she is going to marry Holt? I suppose she makes the sacrifice on account of his money. He takes it quietly and doesn't mind her flirting. Is he cold, insensible, or has he such complete belief in her regard for him?"

Harry laughed: "Jack is too good himself not to believe in the goodness of others. It is just as well. Nobody sees the Devil but those who have faith in the Devil. I dare say she'll make him as good a wife as he wants: her aspirations are all for wealth, and her extravagance will be her chief fault."

Thorpe shrugged his shoulders. "She will have several faults," said he with a cynical air. "But I can forgive them all in so pretty a woman, and admire her immensely as another man's wife."

Harry declared he saw nothing particular about the girl except her beauty, and a more unscrupulous resolve to make the most of it and its effect upon men than other young women had the nerve to adhere to. "But look there!" he cried: "see old Applegate" (one of our professors) "simpering over her bouquet and smiling into her eyes. Wretched old mummy! what does he want to go to parties for?" For we all held the ingenuous opinion that anybody, man or woman, ten years or more older than ourselves, ought to stay at home, eschew pleasure and devote their highest powers to keeping out of the way of the young people to whom the world rightfully belonged.

But the sight of old Applegate emboldened me. If she would talk so kindly to him, why might she not give me one more word? I had no awe of the professor, and had taken an æsthetic tea at his dismal house, and seen a weak-eyed, sallow Mrs. Applegate and five lank little Applegates. Accordingly, I limped across the room to the spot where Miss Lenox stood, and was rewarded by a bright smile and an immediate air of attention. "I want to talk to Mr. Randolph," said she, claiming her bouquet from the professor, who regarded me with a bland smile. "He and I are the oldest friends, but we have not seen each other for years. You won't mind, professor?"

He heaved a sigh. "Randolph gets all the prizes," said he good-naturedly: "it is never of any use competing with him;" and he left us alone.

I had but five minutes to speak to Georgina, but when I left her she had made me promise to call on her next day at twelve o'clock.


"You need not tell Jack," Georgy had said to me when we made the appointment, with a sudden smile and half blush; but I resisted the suggestion, and told Jack at breakfast that I should call upon Miss Lenox at noon.

"I am so glad!" said he, "for, on my word, I am too busy to go near her in the daytime. Tell her I should like to have gone with you, but must dig, dig, dig, or I shall never pass those examinations."

I have always been glad I was true to Jack in the letter of my actions. As for the spirit, it is hard for any young fellow of twenty, with ardent impulses just awakening, to keep it cribbed within prudent limitations. Georgy's smiles had thrown a sudden illumination into my soul, and I understood myself better than I had done yesterday. I had hitherto thought myself a quiet fellow, but nothing to-day could cheat me out of the knowledge of my youth.

I found Georgy in a little back parlor, the third room of Mrs. Dwight's gorgeous suite, curled up on a blue sofa in a white morning dress of the simplest make, and her hair on her shoulders in the old fashion, quite transforming her from the brilliant young lady she had seemed the night before. She did not move as I came in, but lay still, pale and heavy-eyed, and stretched out a little lifeless[Pg 480] hand. "I am too tired to lift my head," she said plaintively; and I, feeling myself an intruder, proposed to go away at once.

"Oh, nonsense, you foolish boy!" she cried, laughing. "That is the very reason I wanted you to come. I am always dreary after excitement, and I knew you would put me in good spirits. Sit down."

I took a chair at the other side of the fireplace.

"Why do you go away so far?" she asked pettishly. "Are you afraid I shall eat you? Come here;" and she indicated a chair close by her sofa at which I had looked longingly while fearing to venture so near.

"There!" she said with an air of comfort, and looked into my face with the open-eyed simplicity of a child. "Oh, Floyd," she exclaimed, but under her breath, "I am so glad to see you again! Are you glad to be here with me?"

"Very glad: it is not worth while saying how glad."

"Why not? I never enjoyed anything half so much as I enjoyed last evening, and half of it was because you were looking on. Tell me honestly now, was I a success?"

"So great a success that I wondered so superb a belle cared to speak to a boy like me. I often used to think of your future, Georgy, and had many brilliant dreams for you: I have no doubt that you will fulfil them all."

She had quite lost her air of weariness, and flashed into life and brilliance, and, starting up, was so close to me that I could feel the warmth and fragrance of her cheek and hair. I should have drawn away my chair, but that she had herself placed it; and now she fastened her little slippered feet on the rounds and looked into my eyes thus closely with the enchanting freedom of a child.

"It is so nice to hear you say such things!" she ran on, cooing into my ear. "I am so glad you meet me kindly! I have cried sometimes to think that my naughtiness at The Headlands had quite estranged you."

"Oh no. Why should you blame yourself?"

"Because I was to blame. But, Floyd, if you only knew what I have suffered you would forgive me. Say that you forgive me."

She slid a slim satin hand into mine. I was not at all certain to what she was alluding, but I took pleasure in assuring her that if I had anything to forgive, I forgave it from my heart.

She withdrew her hand after a time with a sudden hauteur and caprice of prudery, which was perhaps one of those delightful little ways to which Thorpe had alluded.

"I missed you so after you left Belfield," she went on, her color deepening as she spoke. "Everything seemed dull. No matter what we tried to do, it seemed duller than what had gone before."

We were all of us strong in quotations in those days; accordingly I quoted—

"Peter was dull: he was at first
Dull—oh, so dull! so very dull!
Whether he talked, wrote or rehearsed,
Still with the dulness was he cursed—
Dull—beyond all conception dull."

"Oh, how clever!" she exclaimed. "Did you write it?"

"Well, no: I think not."

"But you can do such things. You are so clever, everything is easy to you. That is why I always liked you better than any one else. You have sympathy, wit, imagination. You understand things up to the heights and down to the depths. Harry Dart is a little like you: he has wit and imagination, but he is flippant, he has no sympathy. Poor old Jack has plenty of sympathy, but neither wit nor imagination."

"Nevertheless," said I, trying to control my voice, "it is Jack who has won you: the rest of us are nowhere. He is the lucky one of us three."

"Do you think him lucky?" she asked with a trembling, uncertain little laugh. "I am very grateful to him for trying to win me: not many would have done it, knowing all the circumstances of my family—all our faults and humiliations. I am not like other girls, Floyd. They may fall in love, and strive and hope and wait, with poetic dreams and trembling desires, to end in rapturous[Pg 481] fulfilment. Not so with me. I must marry early, and marry a man who has wealth, to help those who expect everything from me. My destiny came to me ready-made: I accepted it. The poetry and the romance and the wild wish to love and be loved, as I might be if I could afford to wait, were all put by for hard, practical common sense."

I could see only the sweet pathetic droop of the lips, for her face was turned away and downward. There was a moment's silence between us, but she broke it with another of those uncertain little laughs and a glance at me. "I don't know why I have told you this," she said softly. "Don't think I under-value Jack. He has all the best qualities a man can possess for success in life, but none of those essential for winning a woman's heart. Why, Floyd—But tell me, could you do your stupid old lessons with me looking over you?"

Our eyes met, and we both laughed: I shook my head.

"Oh, but Jack can," she cried triumphantly. "He amuses me that way sometimes, and my fascinations never disturb the even tenor of his thoughts: he will plod on with his foolish old mathematics with my head on his shoulder. There! I oughtn't to have said that," she added with a little grimace. "Don't tell Jack."

I certainly had no thought of telling Jack.

"As for you, Floyd," she went on more softly, "you will never grow so hard-hearted. To the end of your life all the beautiful faces in the world will set you dreaming. Do you think I have forgotten the old days when you told me about Mignon and Rosalind, Mary Queen of Scots, Helen, Cleopatra, and Gretchen in that tiresome German poem you used to be so fond of reading. Even the thought of those fair women—some of them mere poetic creations, others mortal women long since gone to dust—used to cause you more heart-throbs than Jack will ever feel for all the rosy cheeks and bright eyes that are close beside him."

"Upon my word," said I abruptly, "you don't begin to know Jack's feeling for you."

"Pshaw! That is what he is always telling me. I know he wants to marry me: he has a talent for the domestic. His most romantic dream is of a fireside, an easy-chair and me." She looked up at me and laughed. "I suppose," she went on with a resigned air, "that I shall have to wear aprons and make puddings. But enough of our prosaic ménage: I shall not be married for a year yet. Talk to me about something else—about your mother, Mr. Floyd and Helen—about everybody except that odious Mr. Raymond."

"My mother is in New York with my aunt, Mrs. Woolsey," I returned. "We were all—my mother, Helen and Mr. Raymond, and I—at Mr. Floyd's house in Washington through the holidays. I have seen none of them since."

Georgy looked at me with peculiar intentness. "Tell me about that," she said eagerly.

"About our visit? Oh, it was pleasant. Mr. Floyd had planned it several times, but something had always happened hitherto to prevent it. Of course we saw constantly all the foremost people. Mr. Floyd had a dinner-party every night, and my mother and Helen were no end of belles."

"Helen! little Helen a belle?"

"You would have thought so. She presided at the table, and the old men were in ecstasies over her beauty, grace and grand manners. Mr. Floyd was so happy and proud he could not keep his eyes from her."

"She is only fifteen," observed Georgy, a little dissatisfaction clouding her lovely face. "She is too young to be in society. But she has everything, can do everything: it has always been so. Oh, if I were that girl!—I suppose you are in love with her, Floyd."

"I in love with Helen?" I did not say any more. Helen was a tall, slim girl now, but with a frigid air about her which indisposed me to admiration. How different from Georgy, whose smile and glance thawed reserve and drew me close to her! I did not define the meaning of[Pg 482] the warm lovelight in her eyes, nor ask whether it was a perpetual fire, a lure to all men, or merely a sign for me. Sitting beside her, I was conscious of an atmosphere emanating as it were from the warmth and kindness of her smile and glance—an atmosphere which in itself was delicious and complete, predisposing me to dreamy, happy silence. To be near her was to feel in a high degree the beauty and power of woman: full of loveliness as were the arch, mobile face, the glorious hair, the eyes with their life and tenderness, the perfect lips, they were but a small part of her charm, which seemed to breathe from the statuesque pose of bust and neck and head, and the supple grace of her every movement.

She questioned me minutely concerning Mr. Floyd. He was no longer in office now, but was spending his time at The Headlands with Mr. Raymond and Helen until I should be ready in July to sail with him for Europe. It was quite easy to perceive that the moment we touched upon this new subject Georgy's composure and gayety were alike banished, and as I knew that reasons existed which made The Headlands and Helen's society forbidden ground for her, I would have changed to other topics; but she kept on pertinaciously in her questionings until, with all my wish to please her, I grew weary.

It was quite as well, however, that my first enchantment should be a little abated before I left her, and I went away thinking for a time more about her curiosity concerning Helen and Mr. Floyd than about the rose on her cheeks and the light in her eyes. I had no intention of bidding her a final good-bye when I shook hands with her, but it fell out that more than two years were to pass before I looked upon her face again.

I think my mental equilibrium was perhaps a little disturbed by this interview with her. She had—perhaps carelessly, perhaps with some faint suggestion of truth—said some things which I could not forget. Had she not told me she liked me better than anybody else? What did she mean? how much did she mean? I knew that she spoke heedlessly at times—that she possessed no intellectual discipline, no mental accuracy to measure the force of her words. I knew, too, that coquetry and feminine instinct impelled her to use her strongest weapons against any masculine adversary. Yet, subtracting all these influences from her speech, it was still left fraught with delicious meaning. I had no wish to wrong Jack, but my vanity was tickled by the suggestion that I had something which was my own hidden treasure. I found a line which suited the sentimental nature of my thoughts. "The children of Alice call Bertram father." I used to repeat it to myself with exquisite pain, and think of the time when I should see Jack with his wife beside him, their children at their feet. "The children of Alice call Bertram father." I was impressed with the deep romance of common life, and wrote more bad verses at that period than I would have confessed to my dearest friend.

Harry Dart, who was the closest observer of our coterie, was not long in making the discovery that I was despondent about something, and presently taxed me with being in love with Georgy Lenox. I found myself terribly vexed with him, and also with myself, but not on my own account. I could not reply to his raillery. It seemed to me horribly unfair for him to steal my shadow of a secret and then proclaim it aloud; but I was not so badly off but that I could stand what he said about myself. In fact, I was glad to be held up to ridicule, and, thus disillusionized, see my fault in its true colors. It seemed to me unworthy of Harry to attack a defenceless girl in this way, engaged, too, as she was to his cousin. Had I not known him all my life as well as I knew myself, I should have suspected that something underlay his malice—that she had injured him in some way, and that he was ungenerous enough thus to gratify an unreasonable spite.

Jack and I were out one evening, and returning entered our sitting-room together, and found Harry there with two or three men not belonging to the college, and among them Thorpe. It was[Pg 483] evident to me that they changed their subject as we entered, but the talk at once flowed again, and Harry excelled as usual in quaint fancies, happy repartees and sharp flings at all of us while he lay stretched out in my reclining-chair smoking before the fire. Jack had evidently been to see Georgy, and looked dreamy and content, and joined the circle instead of going at once to his books. Thorpe made allusion once or twice to his pleasant abstraction, but Jack was indifferent, and even after the visitors were gone he sat looking at the fire with a sort of smile on his face.

"Well, old fellow," said I after a time, "don't waste all that pleasant material for dreams on yourself."

He rose, stretched himself, and laughed in his soft, pleasant way. "I've got three hours' hard work before me," he remarked, "and I had better go at it at once."

"Where have you been?" asked Harry dryly.

"With Georgy," Jack answered unsuspiciously.—"Boys, I warn you against being engaged while you have a demand for brains. I should like to dawdle here before the fire until morning thinking of her."

"Spare me!" exclaimed Harry cynically. "I have heard enough praise of Miss Georgy for one evening. Ted Hutchinson was talking about her." And with a burst of wrath he went on, retailing the gossip of the night: Ted knew nothing of her engagement, and was wild about her—had sent her a bracelet anonymously, and been thrilled with delight when she showed it to him on her white arm, wondering who could have been so kind. Thorpe too had collected various items of news about her. There was old Blake, a widower—who ought to have known better, for he had three grown-up children—sending her bouquets, driving her about the country and getting boxes at the theatre. There was Bob Anderson, who had laid a wager that he would—

"Stop, Harry," said Jack, his kind face very sober. "I do not think you remember that you are talking to the man who has the honor to be engaged to Miss Lenox."

"I think the man who does her that honor ought to know the talk prevalent among the fellows who meet her night after night and visit her day after day."

"It is a woman's misfortune that the men who are most at leisure to seek her society are apt to be those who are least worthy to meet her on intimate terms. The men who will use a woman's name freely in public are men who will not hesitate to slander her."

"I am not slandering her," cried Harry, starting up and facing Jack with a white face and blazing eyes. "She has accepted a bracelet from Ted Hutchinson. I know the very price he paid for it. Thorpe helped him to choose it, and told Miss Lenox so next day."

Jack's face puckered. "The bracelet will go back," he said in a low voice.

Harry burst out laughing: "You will find that if she is to return her gages d'amour, a good many fellows will be richer than they are to-day. She will accept anything a man offers her; and a wise man does not give jewels for nothing, Jack."

I went out quietly. I had feared it would come to this, and since Harry was determined to ease his mind to his cousin, it was better that none but Holt's ears should burn with what he had to hear. I was not ignorant of the talk that was going on; and perhaps it was better that Jack should know a little of the weakness that lessened his darling in the eyes of men. But I had not left them ten minutes before Jack opened the door of my room and called me back. The sound of his voice startled me, and the sight of his stern, cold face awed me somewhat, as it had awed Harry, who looked at me uneasily as I came in. We all three stood regarding each other a moment in silence, then Dart withdrew to the window and leaned against it, his arms folded and his eyes downcast.

"You heard the first of Harry's allegations against Miss Lenox," said Holt, breaking the pause: "he has followed them up with accusations more definite.—Harry, repeat what you just told me."[Pg 484]

Harry seemed quite crestfallen, "D——the business!" he muttered doggedly: "it's none of my affair."

"But you seem to have made it your affair," pursued Holt with calmness. "I request you to repeat to Floyd what you said to me concerning him."

"I said," exclaimed Harry recklessly, "that I knew Miss Lenox to be very generous with certain favors which as a rule are reserved by discriminating young ladies for their engaged lovers."

"Go on: I do not call that a definite accusation."

"I said," pursued Harry with a peculiar glance at me, "that I knew fellows who had kissed her. Jack is bent on knowing the name of one of these fellows, and I mentioned yours."

I felt my face flame, and in spite of myself my eyes fell.

"Tell me the truth, Floyd," said Jack gently. "Have you come between Georgy and me as a lover of hers, winning away her regard for me?"

"Good Heavens!" I exclaimed, "no, no, no! I never kissed Georgy but once, and then I lay an almost hopeless cripple in my chair at Belfield, and she kissed me as she would have kissed any other sick, miserable boy."

Jack laughed, and his face cleared. "Oh, Harry," said he, "you foolish fellow! to talk such nonsense!—I beg your pardon, Floyd, for seeming to believe for a moment that you were not an honest friend of mine." We shook hands.—"Come here, Harry," he went on with perfect good-nature: "I promise to forgive and forget this talk of yours on condition that you do not meddle in future between Georgy and me. You never liked her—you never did her justice. Come, now, are you prepared to hold your tongue in future?"

Harry shrugged his broad shoulders. "Done!" said he, holding out his hand. "I had no business to listen to Thorpe—less still to gossip to you—less still to tell lies about Floyd here. I'm awfully ashamed of myself. Don't lay it up against me."

"I am a quiet fellow," said Jack, eying us both keenly—"I don't parade my feelings—but there is no child's play in the regard I have for the girl I love. I know her faults—I pity them: I hope, please God, to root them out, for they are the fruit of an imperfect education and a false example. She does not yet have the protection of my name, yet I should have hoped that my friends would have respected me enough not to listen to any light mention of the woman sacred to me above all others. I have no jealousy in me, but if a man, friend or no friend, dared to come between me and the girl I loved—" He broke off abruptly, and his clenched right hand opened and shut. "Mark me," he added, controlling himself, "I have perfect faith in Georgina. The one who tries to make me distrust her wastes his breath.—Remember this, Harry. I have heard you once, and forgive you and love you all the same, but my forbearance has its limits." He went into his room and shut the door.

The moment we were alone I turned on Harry. "What on earth did you mean?" I demanded, half in anger, half in a stupefaction of surprise, at his daring to calumniate me.

"Lay on," said he, sinking into the nearest chair: "I richly deserve it. But the truth was, I had already said too much. I knew that you were behaving respectably, and could deny what I alleged; whereas in some other cases we might have got shipwrecked upon grim facts."

I stared at him: "Do you mean to say that you knew what you were talking about?"

He bowed his head. There was a dejected look about him: he glanced at his watch, yawned and went to bed.

Throughout the remainder of the term Georgy's name was not once spoken among us, and Harry's affection and devotion to his cousin were touchingly displayed. Men as they were, I have seen Harry on the arm of Jack's chair talking to him with his hand over his shoulder. Dart was to sail for Europe before commencement, and the cloud of separation seemed to lie upon him heavily.

Ellen W. Olney.


[Pg 485]



The Countess von Arno was Mr. Seleigman's confidential clerk. Not that M—— smiled over any such paradox: the countess called herself simply Mrs. von Arno.

M—— is a picturesque town on the Mississippi, devoted in general to the manufacture of agricultural implements. The largest plough-factory is Seleigman's: he does business all over the world. A clerk who wrote French, German and Italian fluently was a godsend. This clerk, moreover, had an eminently concise and effective style, and displayed a business capacity which the old German admired immensely. As much because of her usefulness as the modest sum she was able to invest in the business, he offered her a small share in it four years after she first came to M——. She had come to M—— because Mrs. Greymer lived there. Therese Greymer had known the countess from her school-days. When her husband died she came back to her father's house, but spent her summers in Germany. Then old Mr. Dare died suddenly, leaving Therese with her little brother to care for, and only a few thousand dollars in the world. About this time the countess separated from her husband. "So I am poor," said she, "but it will go hard if I can't take care of you, Therese." Thus she became Mr. Seleigman's clerk. M—— forgave her the clerkship, forgave her even her undoubted success in making money, on account of Mrs. Greymer. It had watched Therese grow from a slim girl, with black braids hanging down her white neck as she sat in the "minister's pew" of the old brick church, into a beautiful pale woman in a widow's bonnet. Therese went now every Sunday to the same church where her father used to preach. The countess accompanied her most decorously. She was a pagan at heart, but it pleased Therese. In church she spent her time looking at her friend's profile and calculating the week's sales.

The countess had a day-dream: the dreams which most women have had long ago been rudely broken for her, and the hopes which she cherished now had little romance about them. She knew her own powers and how necessary she was to Seleigman: some day she saw the firm becoming Seleigman & Von Arno, the business widening, and the ploughs, with the yellow eagle on them, in every great city of Europe. "Then," said the countess to herself, standing one March morning, four years after she had first come to M——, by the little dining-room window—"then we can perhaps persuade the workmen to buy stock in the concern and have a few gleams of sense about profits and wages."

She lifted one arm above her head and rested her cheek against it. Otto von Arno during his brief period of fondness had been used to call his wife "his Scandinavian goddess." She was of the goddess type, tall, fair-faced and stately, with thick, pale gold hair, and brown lashes lifted in level lines from steady, deep gray eyes. "Pretty" seemed too small a word for such a woman, yet "beautiful" conveys a hint of tenderness; and Mrs. von Arno's face—it might be because of those steady eyes—was rather a hard face, notwithstanding the soft pink and white of her skin, and even the dimples that dented her cheek when she smiled.

Now she was not smiling. The air was heavy with the damp chill of early spring; and as the countess absently surveyed a gravel-walk bordered by limp brown grasses and a line of trees dripping last night's frost through the fog, she saw a woman's figure emerge from the shadows and come slowly up the walk. She was poorly dressed, and walked to the kitchen-door, where the[Pg 486] countess could see her carefully wipe her feet before rapping.

"That must be Bailey's wife," she thought: "I saw her waiting for him yesterday when he came round to the shops for work.—William, my friend, you are a nuisance."

With this comment she went to the kitchen. Lettice, the maid-of-all-work, was frying cakes in solitude. "Mrs. Greymer had taken Mrs. Bailey into the library," she told the countess with significant inflections.

The latter went to the library. It was a tiny, red-frescoed room fitted up in black walnut. There were plants in the bay-window: Mrs. Greymer stood among them, her soft gray wrapper falling in straight and ample folds about her slender figure. Her face was turned toward the countess; a loosened lock of black hair brushed the blue vein on her cheek; she held some lilies-of-the-valley in her hand, and the gold of her wedding-ring shone against the dark green leaves.

"She looks like one of Fra Angelico's saints," thought the countess: "the crimson lights are good too."

She stood unnoticed in the doorway, leisurely admiring the picture. Mrs. Bailey sat in the writing-chair on her right. Once, probably, she had been a pretty woman, and she still had abundant wavy brown hair and large dark-blue eyes with curling lashes; but she was too thin and faded and narrow-chested for any prettiness now. Her calico gown was unstarched, though scrupulously clean: she wore a thin blue-and-white summer shawl, and her old straw bonnet was trimmed with a narrow blue ribbon pieced in two places. Her voice was slightly monotonous, but low-keyed: as she spoke her hands clasped and unclasped each other. The veins stood out and the knuckles were enlarged, but they were rather white than otherwise.

She went on with her story: "The children are so good, Mrs. Greymer; but six of them, and me not over strong—it makes it hard. We hain't had anything but corn meal in the house all this week, and the second-hand woman says our things ain't worth the carting. The children have got so shabby they hate to go to school, and the boys laugh at Willie 'cause his hat's his pa's old one and ain't got no brim, though I bound it with the best of the old braid, for I thought maybe they'd think it was a cap. And the worst was this morning, when there was nothin' but just mush: we hadn't even 'lasses, and the children cried. Oh, I didn't go to tell you all this: you know I ain't a beggar. I've tried to live decent. Oh dear! oh dear!" She tried to wipe away the tears which were running down her thin cheeks with the tips of her fingers, but they came too fast. Mechanically, she put her hand in her pocket, only to take it out empty.

Mrs. Greymer slipped her own dainty handkerchief, which the countess had embroidered, into the other's hand. "You ought to have come to me before, Martha," she said reproachfully—"such an old friend as I am!"

"'Tain't easy to have them as has known you when you were like folks see you without even a handkerchief to cry on," said Mrs. Bailey. "If I'd known where to turn for a loaf of bread, I'd not ha' come now; but I can't see my children starve. And I ain't come to beg now. All we want is honest work. William has been everywhere since they sent him away from Dorsey's just because the men talked about striking, though they didn't strike. He's been to all the machine-shops, but they won't take him: they say he has too long a tongue for them, though he's as sober and steady a man as lives, and there ain't a better workman in M——, or D—— either. William is willing to do anything: he tried to get work on the streets, but the street commissioner said he'd more men he'd employed for years asking work than he knew what to do with. And I thought—I thought, Mrs. Greymer, if you would only speak to Mrs. von Arno—"

"Good-morning, Mrs. Bailey," said the countess, advancing. She had a musical voice, clear and full, with a vibrating quality like the notes of a violin—a very pleasant voice to hear, yet it[Pg 487] hardly seemed reassuring to the visitor. Unconsciously, she sat up straighter in her chair, her nervous fingers plaiting the fringe of her shawl.

"I heard you mention my name," the countess continued: "is there anything you wish of me?"

Therese came to Mrs. Bailey's assistance: "Her husband is out of work: can't you do something with Mr. Seleigman, Helen? Bailey is a good workman."

"He is indeed, ma'am," added Bailey's wife eagerly, "and as sober and faithful to his work: he never slights one bit."

"I don't doubt it," said the countess gravely; "but, Mrs. Bailey, if we were to take your husband on, and the union were to order a strike, even though he were perfectly satisfied with his own wages, wouldn't he strike himself, and do all he could to make the others strike?" Mrs. Bailey was silent.

"A strike might cost us thousands of dollars. Naturally, we don't want to risk one; so we have no union-men. If Bailey will leave the union he may go to hammering ploughshares for us to-morrow, and earn, with his skill, twenty dollars a week."

Mrs. Bailey's face worked. "'Tain't no use ma'am," she said desperately: "he won't go back on his principles. He says it's the cause of Labor, and he'll stick to it till he dies. You can't blame him, ma'am, for doing what he thinks is right."

"Perhaps not. But you see that it is impossible for us to employ your husband. Isn't there something I can do for you yourself, though? Mrs. Greymer tells me you sew very neatly."

"Yes, I sew," said Mrs. Bailey in a dull tone, "but I'd be obliged to you, ma'am, if you'd give me the work soon: I've a machine now, and I'll likely not have it next week. There's ten dollars due on it, and the agent says he'll have to take it back. I've paid fifty dollars on it, but this month and lost times was so hard I couldn't pay."

The countess put a ten-dollar bill in her hand. "Let me lend you this, then," she said, unheeding the half shrinking of Mrs. Bailey's face and attitude; and then she avoided all thanks by answering Lettice's summons at the door.

"Poor little woman!" she said to Mrs. Greymer at breakfast—"she didn't half like to take it. She looked nearly starved too, though she ate so little breakfast. How did you manage to persuade her to take that huge bundle?"

"She is a very brave little woman, Helen. I should like to tell you about her," said Mrs. Greymer.

"Until a quarter of eight my time is yours, and my sympathy, as usual, is boundless."

Mrs. Greymer smiled slightly. "I have known her for a great many years," she said, disregarding the countess's last speech: "she went to school with me, in fact. She was such a pretty girl then! Somehow, she took a fancy to me, and used to help me with my Practical Arithmetic—"

"So called because it is written in the most unpractical and incomprehensible style: yes, I know it," interrupted the countess.

"Martha was much brighter than I at it, anyhow, and used to do my examples. She used to bring me the loveliest violets: she would walk all the way over to the island for them. I remember I cried when her people moved to Chicago and she left school. I didn't see her for almost ten years: then I met her accidentally on Randolph street in Chicago. She knew me, and insisted on my going out with her to see her home. It was in the suburbs, and was a very pretty, tidy little place, with a garden in front, where Martha raised vegetables, and a little plot for flowers. She was so proud of it all and of her two pretty babies, and showed me her chickens and her furniture and a picture of her husband. They had bought the house, and were to pay for it in six years, but William was getting high wages, and she had no fears. Poor Martha!"

"Their Arcadia didn't last?"

"No. William got interested in trades-unions: there was a strike, and he was very prominent. He was out of work a[Pg 488] long time, and Martha supported the family by taking in sewing and selling the vegetables. Then her third child was born, and she was sick for a long time afterward: she had been working too hard, poor thing! His old employers took William on with the rest of the men when the strike ended, but very soon found a pretext for discharging him; and, in short, they used up all their little savings, and the house went. William thought he had been ill-used, and became more violent in his opinions."

"A Communist, isn't he?"

"I believe so. Martha with her three children couldn't go out to work, but she is a model housekeeper, and she opened a little laundry with the money she got from the sale of some of their furniture. William got work, but lost it again, but Martha managed in a humble way to support the family until William had an offer to come here; so they sold out the laundry to get money to move."

"Very idiotic of them."

"After they came here they at first lived on Front street, which is near the river, and Martha caught the chills and fever. William soon lost his place, and they moved across the river to D——. He became known as a speaker, and things have been going from bad to worse; the children have come fast, and Martha has never really recovered from her fever; and they have had simply an awfully hard time. I haven't seen Martha for three months, and have tried in vain to find out where she lived. Poor Martha! she has never complained, but it has been a hard life for her."

"Yes, a hard life," repeated the countess, rising and putting on her jacket; "but it seems to me she has chiefly her own husband to thank for it. And six children! I have my opinion of Mr. William Bailey."

"You are hardly just to Bailey, Helen: he has sacrificed his own interests to his principles. He is as honest—as honest as the Christian martyrs, though he is an infidel."

"The Christian martyrs always struck me as a singularly unpractical set of people," said the countess.

"Maybe: nevertheless, they founded a religion and changed the world. And, Helen, you and the people like you laugh at Communism and the complaints of the laboring classes, but it's like Samson and the Philistines; and this Samson, blind though he is, will one day, unless we do something besides laugh, pull the pillars down on his head—and on ours."

"He will try" said the countess: "if we are wise, we shall be ready and shoot him dead." She kissed Mrs. Greymer smilingly, and went away. Her friend, watching her from the window, saw her stop to pat a great dog on the head and give a little boy a nickel piece.

One Sunday afternoon, two weeks later, the two friends crossed the bridge to D—— to visit the Baileys. When they reached the end of the bridge they paused a moment to rest. The day was one of those warm, bright spring days which deceitfully presage an immediate summer. On the river-shore crawfishes were lazily creeping over the gravel. The air rang with the blue jay's chatter, a robin showed his tawny breast among the withered grasses, and a flicker on a dead stump bobbed his little red-barred head and fluttered his yellow wings. Beneath the bridge the swift current sparkled in the sun. Over the river, on each side, rose the hills. The gray stone of the government works was visible to the right through the leafless trees: nearer, square, yellow and ugly, stood the old arsenal. A soldier, musket on shoulder, marched along the river-edge: the cape of his coat fluttered in the breeze and his slanting bayonet shone like silver. Before them lay D——, the smoke from its mills and houses curling into the pale blue air.

The countess drew a long breath: she had a keen feeling for beauty. "Yes, it is a lovely place," she said. "The hills are not high enough, but the river makes amends for everything. But what are those hideous shanties, Therese?"

"Are they not hideous?" said Mrs. Greymer. "They are all pine, and it gets such an ugly dirt-black when it isn't painted. The glass is broken out of the windows and the shingles have[Pg 489] peeled off the roofs. When it rains the water drips through. In spring, when the river rises, it comes up to their very doors: one spring it came in. It is not a nice place to live in."

"Not exactly: still, I suppose people do live there."

"Yes, the Baileys live there. You see, the rent is low."

The countess lifted her eyebrows and followed Mrs. Greymer without answering. Some sulky-looking men were smoking pipes on the doorsteps, and a few women, whose only Sunday adorning seemed to have been plastering their hair down over their cheeks with a great deal of water, gossiped at the corner. Half a dozen children were playing on the river-bank.

"They fall in every little while," Therese explained, "they are so small, and most of the mothers here go out washing. This is the Baileys'."

William Bailey answered the knock. He was a tall man, who carried his large frame with a kind of muscular ease. He had a square, gray-whiskered face with firm jaws and mild light-blue eyes. The hair being worn away from his forehead made it seem higher than it really was. He wore his working clothes and a pair of very old boots cut down into slippers. The only stocking he had was in his hand, and he appeared to have been darning it. Close behind him came his wife, holding the baby. The bright look of recognition on her face at the sight of Mrs. Greymer faded when she perceived the countess. Rather stiffly she invited them to enter.

The room was small and most meanly furnished, but it was clean. The walls were dingy beyond the power of soap and water to change, but the floor had been scrubbed, and what glass there was in the windows had been washed. There were occasional holes in the ceiling and walls where the plaster had given way: out of one of these peered the pointed nose and gleaming eyes of a great rat. Judging from sundry noises she heard, the countess concluded there were many of these animals under the house, though what they found to live on was a puzzle; but they ate a little of the children now and then, and perhaps the hope of more sustained them. A pale little boy was lying on a mattress in the corner covered with a faded blue-and-white shawl.

Therese had mysteriously managed to dispose of the basket she had brought before she went up to him and kissed him, saying, "I am sorry to see Willie is still sick."

"Yes," said Bailey, smiling bitterly. "The doctor says he needs dry air and exercise: it's damp here."

"Tommy More has promised to lend us his cart, and Susie will take him on the island," Mrs. Bailey said hastily; "it's real country there."

"But you have to have a pass," answered Bailey in a low tone.

"Any one can get a pass," said the countess; "but if you prefer I will ask the colonel to-day, and he will send you one to-morrow."

For the first time Bailey fairly looked the countess in the face: his brows contracted, he opened his lips to speak.

"Oh, papa," cried the boy in a weak voice trembling with eagerness, "the island is splendid! Tommy's father works there, and they's cannon and a foundry and a live eagle!"

"Yes, Willie dear," said his father as he laid his brown hand gently on the boy's curls. He inclined his head toward the countess. "I'll thank you," he said gravely.

The countess picked up a pamphlet from the table, more to break the uncomfortable pause which followed than for any other reason. "Do you like this?" she said, hardly reading the title.

"I believe it," said Bailey: "I am a Communist myself." He drew himself up to his full height as he spoke: there was a certain suppressed defiance in his attitude and expression.

"Are you?" said the countess. "Why?"

"Why?" cried Bailey. "Look at me! I'm a strong man, and willing to do any kind of work. I've worked hard for sixteen year: I've been sober and steady and saving. Look what all that work and saving has brought me! This is a nice place for a decent man and his[Pg 490] family to live in, ain't it? Them walls ain't clean? No, because scrubbing can't make 'em. The grime's in the plaster: yes, and worse than grime—vermin and disease sech as 'tain't right for me to mention even to ladies like you, but it's right enough for sech as us to live in. Yes, by G—-! to die in!" He was a man who spoke habitually in a low voice, and it had not grown louder, but the veins on his forehead swelled and his eyes began to glow.

"It is hard, truly," said the countess. "Whose fault is it?"

"Whose fault?" Bailey repeated her words vehemently, yet with something of bewilderment. "Society's fault, which grinds a poor man to powder, so as to make a rich man richer. But the people won't stand this sort of thing for ever."

"You would have a general division of property, then?"

"Indirectly, yes. Power must be taken from bloated corporations and given to the people; the railroads must be taken by government; accumulation of capital over a limited amount must be forbidden; men must work for Humanity, and not for their selfish interests."

"Do you know any men who are working so?"

"I know a few."

"Mostly workingmen?"

"All workingmen."

"Don't you think a general division of property would be for their selfish interests?"

"I don't call it selfish to ask for just a decent living."

"I fancy the chiefs of your party would demand a great deal more than a bare decent living. Mr. Bailey, the rights of property rest on just this fact in human nature: A man will work better for himself than he will for somebody else. And you can't get him to work unless he is guaranteed the fruits of his labor. Capital is brain, and Labor is muscle, but the brain has as much to do with the creation of wealth as muscle: more, for it can invent machines and do without muscle, while muscle cannot do without brain. You can't alter human nature, Mr. Bailey. If you had a Commune, every man would be for himself there as he is here: the weak would have less protection than even now, for all the restraints of morality, which are bound up inseparably with rights of property, would have been thrown aside. Marx and Lasallis and Bradlaugh, clever as they are, can't prevent the survival of the fittest. You knock your head against a stone wall, Mr. Bailey, when you fight society. You have been knocking it all your life, and now you are angry because your head is hurt. If you had never tried to strip other men of their earnings because you fancied you ought to have more, as skilful a blacksmith as you would have saved money and been a capitalist himself. Supposing you give it up? Our firm will give you a chance to make ploughshares and earn twenty dollars a week if you will only promise not to strike us in return the first chance you get."

The workingman had listened with a curling lip. "Do you mean that for an offer?" he said in a smothered voice.

"I mean it for an offer, certainly."

"Oh, William!" cried his wife, turning appealing eyes up to his face.

He grew suddenly white, and brought his clenched hand heavily down on the table. The dishes rattled with the jar, and the baby, scared at the noise, began to scream. "Then," said Bailey, "you may just understand that a man ain't always a sneak if he is poor; and you can be glad you ain't a man that's tempting me to turn traitor."

"I am sure my friend didn't mean to hurt your feelings," Mrs. Greymer explained quickly, giving the countess that expressive side-glance which much more plainly than words says, "Now you have done it!" Mrs. Bailey was walking up and down soothing the baby: the little boy looked on open-eyed.

"I am sorry if I have said anything which has seemed like an insult," said the countess: "I certainly didn't intend one. Perhaps after you have thought it all over you will feel differently. You know where to find me. Good-evening."[Pg 491]

She held out her hand, which Bailey did not seem to see, smiled on the little boy and went out, leaving Mrs. Greymer behind.

A little girl with pretty brown curls and deep-blue eyes was making sand-caves on the shore. The countess spoke to her in passing, and left her staring at her two hands, which were full of silver coin. At the bridge the countess paused to wait for her friend. She saw her come out, attended by Mrs. Bailey: she saw Mrs. Bailey watch her, saw the little girl give her mother the money, and then she saw the woman, still carrying her baby in her arms, walk slowly down the river-bank to where a boat lay keel uppermost like a great black arrowhead on the sand. Here she sat down, and, clasping the child closer, hid her face in its white hair.

"And, upon my soul, I believe she is crying," said the spectator, who stopped at the commandant's house and obtained the pass before she went home.

On Monday, Mrs. Greymer proposed asking little Willie Bailey to spend a week with them. The countess assented, merely saying, "You must take the little skeleton to drive every day, and send the livery-bills to me."

"Then I shall drive over this afternoon if Freddy's sore throat is better," said Mrs. Greymer.

But she did not go: Freddy's sore throat was worse instead of better, and his sister had enough to do for some days fighting off diphtheria. So it happened that it was a week before she was able to go to D——. She found the Baileys' door swinging on its hinges, and a high-stepping hen of inquisitive disposition investigating the front room: the Baileys had gone.

"They went to Chicago four days ago," an amiable neighbor explained: "they didn't say what fur. The little boy he cried 'cause he wanted to go on the island fust. Guess he ain't like to live long: he's a weak, pinin' little chap."

Only once did Therese hear from Mrs. Bailey. The letter came a few days after her useless drive to D——. It was dated Chicago, and expressed simply but fervently her gratitude for all Mrs. Greymer's kindness. Enclosed were three one-dollar bills, part payment, the writer said, "of my debt to Mrs. von Arno, and I hope she won't think I meant to run away from it because I can't just now send more." There was no allusion to her present condition or her prospects for the future. Mrs. Greymer read the letter aloud, then held out the bills to the countess.

She pushed them aside as if they stung her. "What does the woman think I am made of?" she exclaimed. "Why, it's hideous, Therese! Write and tell her I never meant her to pay me."

"I am afraid the letter won't reach her," said Mrs. Greymer.

Nor did it: in due course of time Therese received her own letter back from the Dead-Letter Office. The words of interest and sympathy, the plans and encouragement, sounded very oddly to her then, for, as far as they were concerned, Martha Bailey's history was ended. It was in July the countess had met them again. She was in Chicago. Otto was dead. He had given back to his wife by his will the property which had come to him through her: whether because of a late sense of justice or a dislike to his heir, a distant cousin who wrote theological works and ate with his knife, the countess never ventured to decide. The condition of part of this property, which was in Chicago, had obliged her to go there. She arrived on the evening of the fifteenth of July—a day Chicago people remember because the great railroad strike of 1877 reached the city that day.

The countess found the air full of wild rumors. Stories of shops closed by armed men, of vast gatherings of Communists on the North Side, of robbery, bloodshed and—to a Chicago ear most blood-curdling whisper of all—of a contemplated second burning of the city, flew like prairie-fire through the streets.

The countess's lawyer, whom she had visited very early on Thursday morning, insisted on accompanying her from his office to her friend's house on the North[Pg 492] Side. On Halstead street their carriage suddenly stopped. Putting her head out of the window, the countess perceived that the coachman had drawn up close to the curbstone to avoid the onset of a yelling mob of boys and men armed with every description of weapon, from laths and brickbats to old muskets. The boys appeared to regard the whole affair as merely a gigantic "spree," and shouted "Bread or Blood!" with the heartiest enthusiasm; but the men marched closer, in silence and with set faces. The gleaming black eyes, sharp features and tangled black hair of half of them showed their Polish or Bohemian blood. The others were Norwegians and Germans, with a sprinkling of Irish and Americans. Their leader was a tall man whom the countess knew. He had turned to give an order when she saw him. At that same instant a shabby woman ran swiftly from a side street and tried to throw her arms about the man's neck. He pushed her aside, and the crowd swept them both out of sight.

"I think I have seen a woman I know," said the countess composedly; "and do you know, Mr. Wilder, that our horses have gone? Our Communist friends prefer riding to walking, it seems." They were obliged to get out of the carriage. The countess looked up and down the street, but saw no trace of the woman. Apparently, she had followed the mob.

By this time some small boys, inspired by the occasion, had begun to show their sympathy with oppressed labor by pelting the two well-dressed strangers with potatoes and radishes, which they confiscated from a bloated capitalist of a grocer on the corner. The shower was so thick that Mr. Wilder was relieved when they reached the Halstead street police-station, where they sought refuge. Here they passed a sufficiently exciting hour. They could hear plainly the sharp crack of revolvers and the yells and shouts of the angry mob blending in one indistinguishable roar. Once a barefooted boy ran by, screaming that the police were driven back and the Communists were coming. Then a troop of cavalry rode up the street on a sharp trot, their bridles jingling and horses' hoofs clattering. The roar grew louder, ebbed, swelled again, then broke into a multitude of sounds—screams, shouts and the tumultuous rush of many feet.

A polite sergeant opened the door of the little room where the countess was sitting to inform her the riot was over. They were just bringing in some prisoners: he was very sorry, but one of them would have to come in there. He was a prominent rioter whom they had captured trying to bring off the body of his wife, who had been killed by a chance shot. It would be only for a short time: the gentleman had gone for a carriage. He hoped the lady wouldn't mind.

The lady, who had changed color slightly, said she should not mind. The sergeant held the door back, and some men brought in something over which had been flung an old blue-and-white shawl. They carried it on a shutter, and the folds of a calico dress, torn and trampled, hung down over the side.

Then came two policemen, pushing after the official manner a man covered with dust and blood.

"Bailey!" exclaimed the countess. Their eyes met.

Bailey bent his head toward the table where the men had laid their burden. "Lift that," he said hoarsely.

The countess lifted the shawl with a steady hand. There was an old white straw bonnet flattened down over the forehead; a wisp of blue ribbon string was blown across the face and over the red smear between the eyebrow and the hair; the eyes stared wide and glassy. But it was the same soft brown hair. The countess knew Martha Bailey.

"There was women and children on the sidewalk, but they fired right into us," said Bailey. He spoke in a monotonous, dragging voice, as though every word were an effort. "They killed her. I asked you to give me work in your shop, and you wouldn't do it. Here's the end of it. Now you can go home and say your prayers."

"I don't say prayers," answered the countess, "and you know I offered you[Pg 493] work. But don't let us reproach each other here. Where are your children?"

"Ain't you satisfied with what you have done already?" said Bailey. "Leave me alone: you'd better."

"Gently now!" said one of the policemen.

"Whatever you may think of me," said the countess quietly, "you know Mrs. Greymer was always your wife's friend. We only wanted to help her."

Bailey shook off the grasp of the policemen as though it had been a feather: with one great stride he reached the countess and caught her roughly by the wrist. "Look at her, will you?" he cried: "you and the likes of you, with your smooth cant, have killed her! You crush us and starve us till we turn, and then you shoot us down like dogs. Leave my children alone."

"None of that, my man!" said the sergeant.

The two policemen would have pulled Bailey away, but the countess stopped them. She had turned pale even to her lips, but she did not wince.

"Curse you!" groaned the Communist, flinging his arms above his head; "curse a society which lets such things be! curse a religion—"

The policemen dragged him back. "You'd better go, I think, ma'am," said the sergeant: "the man's half crazy with the sun and fighting and grief."

"You are right," said the countess. She stopped at the station-door to put a bill in the policeman's hands: "You will find out about the children and let me know, please."

Mr. Wilder, who had been standing in the doorway, an amazed witness of the whole scene, led her out to the carriage. "He's a bad fellow, that rioter," he said as they drove along.

The countess pulled her cuff over a black mark on her wrist. "No, he is not half a bad fellow," she answered, "but for all that he has murdered his wife."

Nor has she ever changed her opinion on that point; neither, so far as is known, has William Bailey changed his.

Octave Thanet.


Sunshine and shadow o'er unsculptured walls
Hang tremulous curtains, radiant and fair;
The breath of summer perfumes all the air;
Afar the wood-bird trills its tender calls.
More eloquent than chanted rituals,
Subtler than odors swinging censers bear,
Purer than hymn of praise or passionate prayer,
The silence, like a benediction, falls.
The still, slow moments softly slip along
The endless thread of thought: a holy throng
Of memories, long prisoned, find release.
The sacred sweetness of the hour has lent
These quiet faces, calm with deep content,
And one world-weary soul alike, the light of peace.

Susan M. Spalding.

[Pg 494]



Easter Sunday, April 21, 1878.

"How's her head, Seccuni?"—"Nor'-nor'-east, quarter east, saar." Such had been the question often asked, at my impatient prompting, of the placid Lascar quartermaster during the past fortnight. And the answer generally elicited a sigh from the good-natured captain of the Actæa, a sigh which I reproduced with a good deal of added woe in its intonation and a slight dash of feminine impatience. For this easterly bearing was all wrong for us. "Anything from the south would do," but not a puff seemed inclined to come our way from the south. Seventeen days ago we scraped over the bar at the mouth of D'Urban harbor, spread our sails, and fled away before a fair wind toward the north end of Madagascar, meaning to leave it on the starboard bow and so fetch "L'Ile Maurice, ancienne Ile de France," as it is still fondly styled. The fair wind had freshened to a gale a day or two later, and bowled us along before it, and we had made a rapid and prosperous voyage so far. Sunny days and cold, clear, starry nights had come and gone amid the intense and wonderful loveliness of these strange seas. Not a sail had we passed, not a gull had been seen, scarcely a porpoise. But now this radiant Easter Sunday morning finds us almost becalmed on the eastern side of Mauritius, with what air is stirring dead ahead, but only coming in a cat's-paw now and then. Except for one's natural impatience to drop anchor it would have been no penance to loiter on such a day, and so make it a memory which would stand out for ever in bold relief amid the monotony of life. "A study of color" indeed—a study in wonderful harmonies of vivid blues and opalesque pinks, amethysts and greens, indigoes and lakes, all the gem-like tints breaking up into sparkling fragments every moment, to reset themselves the next instant in a new and exquisite combination. The tiny island at once impresses me with a respectful admiration. What nonsense is this the geography-books state, and I have repeated, about Mauritius being the same size as the Isle of Wight? Absurd! Here is a bold range of volcanic-looking mountains rising up grand and clear against the beautiful background of a summer sky, on whose slopes and in whose valleys, green down to the water's edge, lie fertile stretches of cultivation. We are not near enough to see whether the pale shimmer of the young vegetation is due to grass or waving cane-tops. Bold ravines are cut sharply down the mountainous sides and lighted up by the silvery glint of rushing water, and the breakers, for all the mirror-like calm of the sea out here, a couple of miles from shore, are beating the barrier rocks and dashing their snow aloft with a dull thud which strikes on the ear in mesmeric rhythm. Yes, it is quite the fairest scene one need wish to rest wave-worn and eager eyes upon, and it is still more beautiful if you look over the vessel's side. The sea is of a Mediterranean blue, and is literally alive with fish beneath, and lovely sea-creatures floating upon, the sunlit water. It appears as if one could see down to unknown depths through that clear sapphire medium, breaking up here and there into pale blue reflections which are even more enchanting than its intense tints. Fishes, apparently of gold and rose-color or of a radiant blue barred and banded with silver, dart, plunge and chase each other after the fragments of biscuit we throw overboard. Films of crystal and ruby oar themselves gently along the upper surface or float like folded sea-flowers on the motionless water. A flock of tiny sea-mews, half the size of the fish, are screaming shrilly and darting down on the shoal; but as for their catching them, the idea is preposterous, for the fish are twice as big as the birds.[Pg 495]

Still, we want to get on: we sadly want to beat another barque which started a couple of hours after us from Natal, and we are barely drifting a knot an hour. It is not in the least too hot. D'Urban was very sultry when we left, but I have been shivering ever since in my holland gown, thinking fondly and regretfully of serge skirts and a sealskin jacket down in the hold. It may be safely taken as an axiom in travelling that you seldom suffer from cold more than in what are supposed to be hot climates, and the wary voyageuse will never separate herself hopelessly from her winter wraps, even when steering to tropical lands. In spite of all my experience, I am often taken in on this point, and I should have perished from cold during this voyage as we got farther south if it had not been for the friendly presence of a rough Scotch plaid. Even the days were cold on deck out of the sun, and the long nights—for darkness treads close on the heels of sunset in the winter months of these latitudes—would have indeed been nipping without warm wraps.

But no one thinks of wraps this balmy Easter Sunday. It is delicious as to temperature, only we are in an ungrateful hurry, and the stars find us scarcely a dozen miles from where they left us. I sit up to see myself safe through the narrow passage between Flat Island and Round Island, and fall asleep at last to the monotonous chant of so many "fathoms and no bottom," for we take soundings every five minutes or so in this reefy region. An apology for wind gets up at last, which takes us round the north end of the island, and we creep up to the outer anchorage of Port Louis, on its western shore, slowly but safely in that darkest hour before dawn.

Bad news travels fast, they say, and some one actually took the trouble of getting out of his bed and rowing out to us as soon as our anchor was down to tell us, with apparently great satisfaction, that we had lost our race, and that we should have to go into quarantine with the earliest dawn. Having awakened all the sleepers with this soothing intelligence, and called up a host of bitter feelings of rage and disappointment in the heart of every one on board, this friendly voice bade us good-night, and the owner rowed away into the gloom around, apparently at peace with himself and all the world.

How can I set forth the indignation we all felt to be put in quarantine because of a little insignificant epidemic of fever at D'Urban, in coming to a place noted as a hotbed of every variety of fever? If it was measles, or even chicken-pox, we declared we could have understood it. But fever! This sentiment was found very comforting, and it was a great disappointment to find how little convincing it appeared to the authorities. However, the anticipation proved to have been much worse than the reality, for as we were all perfectly well, and had been so ever since leaving D'Urban, the quarantine laws became delightfully elastic, and in a couple of days or so the yellow flag was hauled down, and a more gay and cheerful bit of bunting proclaimed to our friends on shore that we were no longer objects of fear and aversion.

In two minutes F—— is on board, and in two minutes more I am in a boat alongside, being swiftly rowed to the flat shore of Port Louis through a crowd of shipping, for the fine harbor of the little island seems to attract to itself an enormous number of vessels. From Calcutta and China, Ceylon and Madras, Pondicherry, London, Marseilles, the Cape, Callao and Bordeaux, and from many a port besides, vessels of all varieties of rig and tonnage come hither.

In the daytime, as I now see it for the first time, Port Louis is indeed a crowded and busy place, and its low-pitched warehouses and unpretending-looking buildings hold many and many thousand tons of miscellaneous merchandise coming in or going out. But at sunset an exodus of all the white and most of the creole inhabitants sets in, leaving the dusty streets and dingy buildings to watchmen and coolies and dogs. It is quite curious to notice, as I do directly, what a horror the English residents have of sleeping even one single night in Port Louis; and this dread certainly appears to be well[Pg 496] founded if even half the stories one hears be true. Some half dozen officials, whose duties oblige them to be always close to the harbor, contrive, however, to live in the town, but they nearly all give a melancholy report of the constant attacks of fever they or their families suffer from.

Certainly, at the first glance, Port Louis is not a prepossessing place to live, or try to live, in. I will say nothing of the shabby shops, the dilapidated-looking dwellings, one passes in a rapid drive through the streets, because I know how deceitful outside appearances are as to the internal resources or comforts of a tropical town. Those dingy shops may hold excellent though miscellaneous goods in their dark recesses, and would be absolutely unbearable to either owner or customer if they were lighted with staring plate-glass windows. Nor would it be possible to array tempting articles in gallant order behind so hot and glaring a screen, for no shade or canvas would prevent everything from bleaching white in a few hours. As for the peeled walls of house and garden, no stucco or paint can stand many weeks of tropical sun and showers. Everything gets to look blistered or washed out directly after it has been renovated, and great allowances must be made for these shortcomings so patent to the eye of a fresh visitor. What I most regretted in Port Louis was its low-lying, fever-haunted situation. It looks marked out as a hotbed of disease, and the wonder to me is, not that it should now and for ten years past have the character of being a nest for breeding fevers, but that there ever should have been a time when illness was not rife in such a locality. Sheltered from anything like a free circulation of air by hills rising abruptly from the seashore, swampy by nature, crowded to excess by thousands of emigrants from all parts of the coast added to its own swarming population, it seems little short of marvellous that even by day Europeans can contrive to exist there long enough to carry on the enormous trade which comes and goes to and from its harbor. Yet they do so, and on the whole manage very well by avoiding exposure to the sun and taking care to sleep out of the town. This is rendered possible to all by an admirable system of railways, which are under government control, and will gradually form a perfect network over the island. The engineering difficulties of these lines must have been great, and it is an appalling sight to witness a train in motion. So hilly is the little island that if the engine is approaching the chances are it looks as if it were about to plunge wildly down on its head and turn a somersault into the station, or else it seems to be gradually climbing up a steep gradient after the fashion of a fly on the wall. But everything appears well managed, and the dulness of the daily press is never enlivened by accounts of a railway accident.

For two or three miles out of Port Louis the country is still flat and marshy, and ugly to the last degree—not the ugliness of bareness and trim neatness, but overgrown, dank and mournful, for all its teeming life. By the roadside stand, here and there, what once were handsome and hospitable mansions, but are now abodes of desolation and decay. The same sad story may be told of each—how their owners, well-born descendants of old French families, flourished there, amid their beautiful flowers, in health and happiness for many a long day until the fatal "fever year" of 1867, when half the families were carried off by swift death, and the survivors wellnigh ruined by hurricanes and disasters of all sorts. Poor little Mauritius has certainly passed through some very hard times, but she has borne them bravely and pluckily, and is now reaping her reward in returning prosperity. Sharp as has been the lesson, it is something for her inhabitants to have learned to enforce better sanitary laws, and there is little fear now but that their eyes have been opened to the importance of health regulations.

One effect of the epidemic which desolated Port Louis has been the creation of the prettiest imaginable suburbs or settlements within eight or ten miles of the town. These districts have the quaintest French names—Beau Bassin,[Pg 497] Curépipe, Pamplemousse, Flacq, Moka, and so forth, with the English name of "Racehill" standing out among them in cockney simplicity. My particular suburb is the nearest and most convenient from which F—— can compass his daily official duties, but I am not entitled to boast of an elevation of more than eight hundred feet. Still, there is an extraordinary difference in the temperature before we have climbed to even half that height, and we turn out of a green lane bordered by thick hedges of something exactly like English hawthorn into a wind-swept clearing on the borders of a deep ravine where stands a bungalow-looking dwelling rejoicing in the name of "The Oaks." It might much more appropriately have been called "The Palms," for I can't see an oak anywhere, whilst there are some lovely graceful trees with rustling giant leaves on the lawn; but I cannot look beyond the wide veranda, where Zulu Jack is waiting to welcome me with the old musical cry of "Jakasu-casa!" and my little five-o'clock tea-table arranged, just as I used to have it in Natal, on the shady side of the house. Yes, it is home at last, and very homelike and comfortable it all looks after the tossing, changing voyaging of the past two months, for I have come a long way round.

Beau Bassin, May 21st.

I feel as if I had lived here all my life, although it is really more unlike the ordinary English colony than it is possible to imagine; and yet (as the walrus said to the carpenter) this "is scarcely odd," because it is not an English colony at all. It is thoroughly and entirely French, and the very small part of the habits of the people which is not French is Indian. The result of more than a century of civilization, and of the teachings of many colonists, not counting the Portuguese discoverers early in the sixteenth century, is a mixed but very comfortable code of manners and customs. One has not here to struggle against the ignorance and incapacity of native servants. The clever, quick Indian has learned the polish and elegance of his French masters, and the first thing which struck me was the pretty manners of the native—or, as they are called, creole—inhabitants. Everybody has a "Bon soir!" or a "Salaam!" for us as we pass them in our twilight walks, and the manners of the domestic servants are full of attention and courtesy. Mauritius first belonged to the Dutch (for the Portuguese did not attempt to colonize it), who seem to have been bullied out of it by pirates and hurricanes, and who finally gave it up as a thankless task about the year 1700. A few years later the French, having a thriving colony next door at Bourbon, sent over a man-of-war and "annexed," unopposed, the pretty little island. But there were all sorts of difficulties to overcome in those early days, and it was not even found possible—from mismanagement of course—to make the place pay its own working expenses. Then came the war with England at the beginning of this century; and that made things worse, for of course we tried to get hold of it, and there were many sharp sea-fights off its lovely shores, until, after a gallant defence, a landing was effected by the English, who took possession of it somewhere about 1811. Still, it does not seem to have been of much use to them, for the French inhabitants naturally made difficulties and declined to take the oath of allegiance; so that it was not until the great settling-day—or rather year—of 1814, when Louis XVIII. "came to his own again" and definitively ceded Mauritius to the British, that we began to set to work, aided by the inhabitants with right good-will, to develop and make the most of its enormous natural resources.

I really believe Mauritius stands alone in the whole world for variety of scenery, of climate and of productions within the smallest imaginable space. It might be a continent looked at through reversed opera-glasses for the ambitious scale of its mountains, its ravines and its waterfalls. When once you leave the plains behind—it is all on such a toy scale that you do this in half an hour—you breathe mountain-air and look down deep gorges and cross wide, rushing rivers. Of course the sea is part of every view. If it is[Pg 498] lost sight of for five minutes, there is nothing to do but go on a few yards and turn a corner to see it again, stretching wide and blue and beautiful out to the horizon. As for the length and breadth of the island representing its area, the idea is wildly wrong. The acreage is enormous in proportion to this same illusory length and breadth, which very soon fades out of the newcomer's mind. One confusing effect of the hilly nature of the ground is that one dwarfs the relative length of distances, and gets to talk of five miles as a long way off. At first I used to say—rather impertinently, I confess—"Surely nothing can be very far away here!" but I have learned better already in this short month, and recognize that even three miles constitute something of a drive. And the chances are—nay, the certainty is—that three miles in any direction will show you a greater variety of beautiful scenery than the same distance over any other part of the habitable globe. The only expression I can find to describe Mauritius to myself is one I used to hear my grandmother use in speaking of a pretty girl who chanced to be rather petite. "She is a pocket Venus," the old lady would say; and so I find myself calling L'Ile Maurice a pocket Venus among islets.

This is the beginning of the cool season, which lasts till November; and really the climate just now is very delightful. A little too windy, perhaps, for my individual taste, but that is owing to the rather exposed situation of my house. The trade winds sweep in from the south-east, and very nearly blow me and my possessions out of the drawing-room. Still, it would be the height of ingratitude to quarrel with such a healthy, refreshing gale, and I try to avoid the remorse which I am assured will overtake me in the hot season if I grumble now. Of course it is hot in the sun, but ladies need seldom or never expose themselves to it. The gentlemen are armed, when they go out, with white umbrellas, and keep as much as possible out of the fierce heat. At night it is quite cold, and one or even two blankets are indispensable; yet this is by no means one of the coolest situations in the island, though it bears an excellent character for healthiness. Of course I can only tell you this time of what lies immediately around me, for I have hardly strayed five miles from my own door since I arrived. There is always so much to do in settling one's self in a new home. This time, I am bound to say, the difficulties have been reduced to a minimum, not only from the prompt kindness and helpfulness of my charming neighbors, but because I found excellent servants ready to my hand, instead of needing to go through the laborious process of training them. The cooks are very good—better indeed than the food material, which is not always of the best quality. The beef is imported from Madagascar, and is thin and queerly butchered, but presents itself at table in a sufficiently attractive form: so do the long-legged fowls of the island. But the object of distrust is always the mutton, which is more often goat, and consequently tough and rank: when it is only kid one can manage it, but the older animal is beyond me. Vegetables and fruit are abundant and delicious, and I have tasted very nice fish, though they do not seem plentiful. Nor is the actual cost of living great for what is technically called "bazaar"—i.e., home-grown—articles of daily food. Indeed, such things are cheap, and a few rupees go a long way in "bazaar." The moment you come to articles de luxe from England or France, then, indeed, you must reckon in dollars, or even piastres, for it sounds too overwhelming in rupees. Wine is the exception which proves the rule in this case, and every one drinks an excellent, wholesome light claret which is absurdly and delightfully cheap, and which comes straight from Bordeaux. Ribbons, clothes, boots and gloves, all things of that sort, are also expensive, but not unreasonably so when the enormous cost of carriage is taken into account. Everything comes by the only direct line of communication with England, in the "Messageries Maritimes," which is a swift but costly mode of transmission. Still, all actual necessaries are cheap and plentiful in spite of[Pg 499] the teeming population one sees everywhere.

In our daily evening walk we cut off a corner through the bazaar, and it is most amusing to see and hear the representatives of all the countries of the East laughing, jangling and chatting in their own tongues, and apparently all at once. Besides Indians from each presidency, there are crowds of Chinese, Cingalese, Malabars, Malagask, superadded to the creole population. They seem orderly enough, though perhaps the police reports could tell a different tale. If only the daylight would last longer in these latitudes, where exercise is only possible after sundown! However early we set forth, the end of the walk is sure to be accomplished stumblingly in profound darkness. Happily, there are no snakes or poisonous reptiles of any sort, nor have I yet seen anything more personally objectionable than a mosquito. I rather owe a grudge, though, to a little insect called the mason-fly, which has a perfect passion for running up mud huts (compared to its larger edifices on the walls and ceiling) on my blotting-books and between the leaves of my pet volumes. The white ants are the worst insect foe we have, and the stories I hear of their performances would do credit to the Arabian Nights. I have already learned to consider as pets the little soft brown lizards which emerge from behind the picture-frames at night as soon as ever the lamps are lit. They come out to catch the flies on the ceiling, and stalk their prey in the cleverest and stealthiest fashion. Occasionally, however, they quarrel with each other, and have terrific combats over head, with the invariable result of a wriggling inch of tail dropping down on one's book or paper. This cool weather is of course the time when one is freest from insect visitors, and I have not yet seen any butterflies. A stray grasshopper, with green wings folded exactly like a large leaf, or an inquisitive mantis, blunders on to my writing-table occasionally, but not often enough to be anything but welcome. As my sitting-room may be said, speaking architecturally, to consist merely of a floor and ceiling, there is no reason why all the insects in the island should not come in at any one of its seven open doors (I have no windows) if they choose.

The houses are very pretty, however, in spite of their being all doorway. The polished floors—unhappily, mine are painted red, which is a great sorrow to me—the large rooms, with nice furniture and a wealth of flowers, give a look of great comfort and elegance to the interior. The wide, low verandas are shaded on the sunny side by screens or blinds of ratan painted green, and from the ceiling dangle baskets, large baskets, filled with every imaginable variety of fern. I never saw anything like the beauty of the foliage. The leaves of the plants would give color and variety enough without the flowers, and they too are in profusion. Every house stands in its own grounds, and I think I may say that every house has a beautiful shrubbery and garden attached to it. Of course, with all this warm rain constantly falling, the pruning-knife is as much needed as the spade, but the natives make excellent and clever gardeners, and every place is well and neatly kept. Mine is the only overgrown and yet empty garden I have seen, but, all the same, I have more flowers in my drawing-room than any one else, for all my neighbors take compassion on me and send me baskets full of the loveliest roses every morning. Then it is only necessary to send old Bonhomme, the gardener, a little way down the steep side of the ravine to pick as much maiden-hair or other delicate ferns as would stock the market at Covent Garden for a week.

If it were not for everybody being in such a terror about their health, this lonely little island would be a very charming place. But ever since the fever a feeling of sanitary distrust seems to have sprung up among the inhabitants, which strikes a newcomer very vividly. The European inhabitants look very well, and the ladies and children are far more blooming—though I acknowledge it is a delicate bloom—than any one I saw in[Pg 500] Natal. Still, you can detect that the question of health is uppermost in the public mind. If a house is spoken of, its only recommendation need be that it is healthy. There is very little society at night, because night air is considered dangerous: even the chief attraction of lawn-tennis, the universal game here, is that "it is so healthy." And to see the way the gentlemen wrap up after it in coats which seem to have been made for arctic wear! Of course they are quite right to be careful, and it is a comfort to know that with proper care and the precautions taught by experience there is no reason why, under the blessing of God, a European should not enjoy as good health in Mauritius as in other places with a better reputation. There are nearly always cases of fever in Port Louis, and three or four deaths a day from it; but then the native white and creole population is very large, and the proportion is not so alarming.

One of the things which I think are not generally understood is, how completely the whole place is French. It is not in the least like any colony which I have ever seen. It is a comfortable settlement, where families have intermarried and taken root in the soil, regarding it with quite as fond and fervent an affection as we bear to our own country. Instead of the apologies for, and abuse of, a colony (woe to you if you find fault, however!) with which your old colonist greets a new arrival, I find here a strong patriotic sentiment of pride and love, which is certainly well merited. When you take into consideration the tiny dimensions of the island, its distance from all the centres of civilization, its isolation, the great calamities which have befallen it from hurricane, drought and pestilence, and the way it has overlived them all, there is every justification for the pride and glory of its inhabitants in their fair and fertile islet. Never were such good roads: I don't know how they are managed or who keeps them in order, except that I believe everything in the whole place is done by government. Certainly, government ought to be patted on the back if those neat, wide, well-kept roads are its handiwork. But, as I was saying, it is a surprise to most English comers to find how thoroughly French the whole place is, and you perceive the change first and chiefly in the graceful and courteous manners of the people of all grades and classes. Instead of the delightful British stare and avoidance of strangers, every one, from the highest official to the poorest peasant, has a word or bow of greeting for the passer-by; and especially is this genial civility to be admired and noticed at the railway-stations and in the carriages. You never hear English spoken except among a few officials, and a knowledge of French is the first necessity of life here. Unhappily, there is a patois in use among the creoles and other natives which is very confusing. It is made up of a strange jumble of Eastern languages, grafted on a debased kind of French, and gabbled with the rapidity of lightning and a great deal of gesticulation. At a ball you hear far more French than English spoken, and at a concert I attended lately not a single song was in English. Even in the Protestant churches there is a special service held in French every Sunday, as well as another in Tamil, besides the English services; so a clergyman in Mauritius needs to be a good linguist. The polished floors, well frotté every morning, and the rather set-out style of the rooms, all make a house look French. The business of the law-courts and the newspapers are also in French, with only here and there a column of English. The notifications of distances, the weights and measures, the "avis aux voyageurs," the finger-posts, wayside bills, signs on shop-fronts, are all in French. When by any chance the owner of a shop breaks out into an English notification of his wares—and it is generally a Chinaman or Parsee who is fired by this noble ambition—the result is as difficult to decipher as if it were a cuneiform inscription.

The greatest difference, as it is the one which most affects my individual comfort, which I have yet found out between Mauritius and an ordinary English colony is the poverty of the book-shops. Your true creole is not a reading character, though,[Pg 501] on the other hand, he has a great and natural taste for music. I miss the one or even two excellent book shops where one could get, at quite reasonable prices too, most of the new and readable books which I have always found in the chief town of every English colony. At Cape Town, Christchurch, New Zealand, Maritzburg, D'Urban, there are far better booksellers than in most English country towns. Here it appears to me as if the love of literature were confined to the few English officials, who devour each other's half dozen volumes with an appetite which speaks terribly of a state of chronic mental famine. I keep hoping that I shall always be as busy as I am now, and so have very little time for reading, for if it is ever otherwise I too shall experience the universal starvation.

Beau Bassin, June 20th.

It has never been my lot hitherto, even in all my various wanderings, to stand of a clear starlight night and see the dear old Plough shining in the northern sky whilst the Southern Cross rode high in the eastern heaven. But I can see them both now; and the last thing I always do before going to bed is to go out and look first straight before me, where the Plough hangs luminous and low over the sea, and then stroll toward the right-hand or eastern side of the veranda and gaze up at the beautiful Cross through the rustling, tall tree-tops. It is much too cold now to sit out in the wide veranda and either watch the stars or try to catch a glimpse of the monkeys peeping up over the edge of the ravine in the moonlight, thereby awakening poor rheumatic old Boxer's futile rage by their gambols. My favorite theory is that one is never so cold as in a tropical country, and I have had great encouragement in that idea lately. We are always regretting that no fireplace has been included in the internal arrangements of this house, and when we go out to dinner part of the pleasure of the evening consists in getting well roasted in front of a coal-fire in the drawing-room. I am assured that a few months hence I shall utterly deny this said theory, and refuse to believe the fireplaces I see occasionally could ever be used except as receptacles for pots of ferns and large-leaved plants. At present, however, it is, as I say, delightfully, bracingly cold in the morning and evening, and almost too cold for comfort at night unless indeed you are well provided with blankets. We take long walks of three or four miles of an evening, starting when the sun sinks low enough for the luxuriant hedges by the roadside to afford us occasional shelter, and returning either in the starlight dusk or in the crisper air of a moonlight evening. In every direction the walk is sure to be a pretty one, whether we have the hill of the Corps-de-Garde before us, with its distinctly-marked profile of a French soldier of the days of the Empire lying with crossed hands, the head and feet cutting the sky-line sharp and clear, or the bolder outlines of blue Mount Ory or cloud-capped Pieter Both. Our path always lies through a splendid tangle of vegetation, where the pruning-knife seems the only gardening tool needed, and where the deepening twilight brings out many a heavy perfume from some hidden flower. Above us bends a vault of lapis-lazuli, with globes of light hanging in it, and around us is a heavenly, soft and balmy air. Whenever I say to a resident how delicious I find it all, he or she is sure to answer dolefully, "Wait till the hot weather!" But my idea is, that if there is this terrible time in front of us, it is surely all the more reason why we should enjoy immensely the agreeable present. That there is some very different weather to be battled with is apparent by the extraordinary shutters one sees to all the houses. Imagine doors built as if to stand a siege, strengthened by heavy cross-pieces of wood close together, and, instead of bolt or lock, kept in their places by solid iron bars as thick as my wrist. Every door and window in the length and breadth of the island is furnished with these contre-vents, or hurricane-shutters, and they tell their own tale. So do the huge stones, or rather rocks, with which the roofs of the humbler houses and verandas are weighted. My expression of face must have been something amusing when I remarked[Pg 502] triumphantly the other day to one of my acquaintances, who had just observed that my house stood in a very exposed situation, "But it has been built a great many years, and must have stood the great hurricanes of 1848 and 1868." "Ah!" replied Cassandra cheerfully; "there was not much left of it, I fancy, after the '48 hurricane, and I know that the veranda was blown right over the house in the gale of '68." Was not that a cheerful tale to hear of one's house? Just now the weather is wet and windy as well as cold, and the constant and capricious heavy showers reduce the lawn-tennis players to despair.

If any one asked me what was the serious occupation of my life here, I should answer without hesitation, "Airing my clothes." And it would be absolutely true. No one who has not seen it can imagine the damp and mildew which cover everything if it be shut up for even a few days. Ammonia in the box or drawer keeps the gloves from being spotted like the pard, but nothing seems to avail with the other articles of clothing. Linen feels quite wet if it is left unused in the almirah, or chest of drawers, for a week. Silk dresses break out into a measle-like rash of yellow spots. Cotton or muslin gowns become livid and take unto themselves a horrible charnel-house odor. Shoes and books are speedily covered a quarter of an inch deep by a mould which you can easily imagine would begin to grow ferns and long grasses in another week or so.

Hats, caps, cloth clothes, all share the same damp fate, whilst, as for the poor books, their condition is enough to make one weep, and that in spite of my constant attention and repeated dabbings with spirits of wine. And this is not the dampest part of the island by any means. Do not suppose, however, that damp is the only enemy to one's toilette here. I found a snail the other day in my wardrobe which had been journeying slowly but effectively across some favorite silken skirts. Cockroaches prefer tulle and net, and eat their way recklessly and rapidly through choicest lace, besides nibbling every cloth-bound book in the island. On the other hand, the rats confine their attentions chiefly to the boots and shoes of the resident, and are at all events good friends to the makers and sellers of those necessary articles. So, you see, garments are likely to be a source of more trouble than pleasure to their possessor if he or she is at all inclined to be always tiré à quatre épingles.

Except these objectionable creatures, there is not much animal life astir around me in the belle isle. It is too cold still for the butterflies, and I do not observe much variety among the birds. There are flocks of minas always twittering about my lawn—glossy birds very like starlings in their shape and impudent ways, only with more white in the plumage and with brilliant orange-colored circles round their eyes. There are plenty of paroquets, I am told, and cardinal birds, but I have not yet seen them. A sort of hybrid canary whistles and chirps in the early mornings, and I hear the shrill wild note of a merle every now and then. Of winged game there are but few varieties—partridges, quails, guinea-fowl and pigeons making up the list—but, on the other hand, poultry seems to swarm everywhere. I never saw such long-necked and long-legged cocks and hens in my life as I see here; but these feathered giraffes appear to thrive remarkably well, and scratch and cackle around every Malabar hut. I have not seen a sheep or a goat since I arrived, nor a cow or bullock grazing. The milch cows are all stall-fed. The bullocks go straight from shipboard to the butcher, and the horses are never turned out. This is partly because there is no pasturage, the land being used entirely for sugar-cane or else left in small patches of jungle. As might be expected from such a volcanic-looking island, the surface of the ground is extremely stony, but the sugar-cane loves the light soil, and I am told that it thrives best where the stones are just turned aside and a furrow left for the cane-plant. After a year or so the furrow is changed by the rocks being rolled back again into their original places, and the space they occupied is then available for young plants. The wild hares are terrible enemies to the first[Pg 503] shoots of the cane, and we pass picturesque gardiens armed with amazing fusils and clad in every variety of picturesque rag, keeping a sort of boundary-guard at the edges of the sprouting cane-fields. There are a great many dogs to be seen about, and they are also regarded as gardiens; for the swarming miscellaneous Eastern population does not bear the best reputation in the world for honesty, and the police seem to have their hands full. All that I know about the use of the dogs as auxiliaries is that they yelp and bark hideously all night at each other, for every one seems to resent as a personal insult any nocturnal visit from a neighbor's dog.

The horses are better than I expected. When one hears that every four-footed beast has to be imported, one naturally expects dear and indifferent horses, but I am agreeably surprised in this respect. We have horses from the Cape, from Natal, and even from Australia, and they do not appear to cost more here than they would in their respective countries. I may add that there is also no difficulty whatever in providing yourself with an excellent carriage of any kind you prefer, and it is far better to choose one here than to import one. I mention this because a carriage or conveyance of some sort is the necessary of necessaries here—as indispensable as a pair of boots would be in England. I scarcely ever see any one on horseback: people never seem to ride, to my great regret. I am assured that it will be much too hot to do so in the summer evenings, and that the hardness of the roads prevents riding from being an agreeable mode of exercise. Every village can furnish sundry carrioles for hire, queer-looking little conveyances, like a minute section of a tilt-cart mounted on two crazy wheels and drawn by a rat of a pony. Ponies are a great institution here, and are really more suitable for ordinary work than horses. They are imported in large numbers from Pegu and other parts of Birmah, and also from Java, Timur and different places in the Malay Archipelago. They stand about twelve or fourteen hands high, and are the strongest, healthiest, pluckiest little beauties imaginable, full of fire and go. Occasionally I meet a carriage drawn by a handsome pair of mules, and they are much used in the numerous carts and for farm-work, especially on the sugar estates. They are chiefly brought from South America and from the Persian Gulf, and have many admirers, but I cannot say I like them as a substitute either for horses or for the gay little ponies. This is such an exceedingly sociable place that I have frequent opportunities of looking at the nice horses of my visitors, and most of the equipages would do credit to any establishment. The favorite style of carriage in use here is very like a victoria, only there is a curious custom of always keeping the hood up. It looks so strange to my eyes to see the hood, which projects unusually far as a screen against either sun or rain, kept habitually up, even during the brief and balmy twilight, when one fancies it would be so much more agreeable to drive swiftly through the soft air without any screening soufflet. Of course it would be quite necessary to keep it up in the daytime, or even late at night against the heavy dew, but this does not begin to fall until it is too dark to remain out driving.

I must say I like Mauritius extremely. It is so comfortable to live in a place with good servants and commodious houses, and the society is particularly refined and agreeable, owing chiefly to the mixture of a strong French element in its otherwise humdrum ingredients. I have never seen such a wealth of lovely hair or such beautiful eyes and teeth as I observe in the girls in every ball-room here; and when you add exceedingly charming—alas! that I must say foreign—manners and a great deal of musical talent, you can easily imagine that the style of the society is a good deal above that to be found in most colonies.

What weigh upon me most sadly in the Mauritius are the solitude and the intense loneliness of the little island. We are very gay and pleasant among ourselves, but I often feel as if I were in a dream as far as the rest of the world is concerned, or as if we were all living[Pg 504] in another planet. Only once in a month does the least whisper reach us from the great outer world beyond our girdling reef of breaking foam: only once in four long weeks can any tidings come to us from those we love and are parted from—any news of the progress of events, any thrilling incidents of daily history; and it is strange how diluted the sense of interest becomes by passing through so long an interval of days and weeks. The force of everything is weakened, its strength broken. Can you fancy the position of a ship at sea, not voyaging toward any port or harbor, but moored in the midst of a vast, desolate ocean? Once in a weary while of thirty days another ship passes and throws some mailbags on board, and whilst we stretch out clamorous hands and cry for fuller tidings, for more news, the vessel has passed out of our reach, and we are absolutely alone once more. It is the strangest sensation, and I do not think one can ever get reconciled to it. True, there is a great deal of talk just now about a connecting cable which is some day to join us by electric wires to the centres of civilization; but no telegraphic message can ever make up for letters, and it will always be too costly for private use except on great emergencies. Strange to say, the mercantile community, which is a very influential one here, objects strongly to proposals of either telegraphic or increased postal communication. They have no doubt good reasons for their opinion, but I think if their pretty little children were on the other side of the world, instead of close at hand, they would agree with me that it is very hard to wait for four weeks between the mails.


"So this is Cyprus?" cries my English companion, Mr. James P——, turning his glass with a critical air upon the glorious panorama that lies outspread before us in all the splendor of the June sunrise. "Well, upon my word, it's not so bad, after all!"

Such a landscape, however, merits far higher praise than this thoroughly English commendation. To the right surge up against the bright morning sky, wave beyond wave, an endless succession of green sunny slopes which might pass for the "Delectable Mountains" of Bunyan. To the left cluster the vineyards which have supplied for nineteen centuries the far-famed "wine of Cyprus." In front extends a wide sweep of smooth white sand, ending on one side in a bold rocky ridge, and on the other in the tall white houses and straggling streets and painted church-towers and gilded cupolas of the quaint old town of Larnaka, which, outlined against a shadowy background of purple hills, appears to us as just it did to Cœur de Lion and his warriors when they landed here seven hundred years ago on their way to the fatal crusade from which so few of them were to return.[A] And all around, a fit frame for such a picture, extend the blue sparkling sea and the warm, dreamy, voluptuous summer sky.

"Wasn't it here that Fortunatus used to live?" says P——. "I wish I could find his purse lying about somewhere: it would come in very handy just now."

"You forget that its virtue ended with his life," answer I; "and, moreover, the illustrious man didn't live here, but at Famagosta, farther along the coast, where, I dare say, the first Greek you meet will[Pg 505] show you 'ze house of Signor Fortunato,' and the original purse to boot, all for the small charge of one piastre."

Our landing is beset by the usual mob of yelling vagabonds, eager to lighten our pockets by means of worthless native "curiosities," "antiques" manufactured a month before, or vociferous offers to show us "all ze fine sight of ze town, ver' sheap." Just as we have succeeded in fighting our way through the hurly-burly a venerable old Smyrniote with a long white beard, in whom we recognize one of our fellow-passengers on the steamer, accosts us with a low bow: "Want see ze old shursh, genteelmen? All ze Signori Inglesi go see zat. You wish, I take you zere one minute."

"All right!" shouts P—— with characteristic impetuosity: "I'm bound to see all I can in the time. Drive on, old boy: I'm your man."

Away we go, accordingly, along the deep, narrow, tunnel-like streets, flanked on either side by tall blank houses such as meet one at every turn in Cairo or Djeddah or Jerusalem, between whose projecting fronts the sunny sky appears like a narrow strip of bright blue ribbon far away overhead, while all below is veiled in a rich summer twilight of purple shadow, like that which fills the interior of some vast cathedral. But ever and anon a sudden break in the ranked masses of building gives us a momentary glimpse of the broad shining sea and dazzling sunlight, which falls upon many a group that a painter would love to copy—tall, gaunt Armenians, whose high black caps and long dark robes make their pale, hollow faces look doubly spectral; low-browed, sallow, bearded Russians; brawny English sailors, looking down with a grand, indulgent contempt upon those unhappy beings whom an inscrutable Providence has doomed to be "foreigners;" stolid Turks, tramping onward in silent defiance of the fierce looks cast at them from every side; sinewy Dalmatians, with close-cropped black hair; dapper Frenchmen, with well-trimmed moustaches, casting annihilating glances at the few ladies who happen to be abroad; and barefooted Greeks, with little baskets of fruit or fish perched on their heads—ragged, wild-eyed and brigand-like as the lazzaroni who rose from the pavement of Naples at the call of Masaniello.

"Awful rascals some of these fellows look, eh?" remarks P—— in a stage whisper.

"Yes, their faces are certainly no letter of recommendation. There is some truth, undoubtedly, in the last clause of the old proverb: 'Greek wines steal all heads, Greek women steal all hearts, and Greek men steal everything.'"

But at this moment our attention is drawn to a crowd a little way ahead, the centre of attraction being apparently a good-looking young Greek from the Morea, whose jaunty little crimson cap with its hanging tassel sets off very tastefully his dark, handsome face and the glossy black curls which surround it. He is leaning against the pillar of a gateway in an attitude of unstudied grace that would charm an Italian painter, and singing, to the accompaniment of his little three-stringed guitar, a lively Greek song, of which we only come up in time to catch the last verse:

Look in mine eyes, lady fair:
There your own image you'll see.
Open my heart and look there:
There too your image will be.

The coppers that chink into the singer's extended hat show how fully his efforts are appreciated; but at this moment P——, with the free-and-easy command of a true John Bull, elbows his way through the throng, and calls out: "Holloa, Johnny! we only got the fag-end of that song. Tip us another, and here's five piastres for you" (about twenty-five cents).

The musician seems to understand him, and with a slight preliminary flourish on his instrument pours forth, in a voice as clear and rippling as the carol of a bird, a song which may be thus translated:

Men fret, men toil, men pinch and pare,
Make life itself a scramble,
While I, without a grief or care,
Where'er it lists me ramble.
'Neath cloudless sun or clouded moon,
By market-cross or ferry,
I chant my lay, I play my tune.
And all who hear are merry.
[Pg 506]
When summer's sun unclouded shines,
And mountain-shadows linger,
I watch them dance among the vines
As quicker moves my finger;
And so they sport till day is o'er,
And black-robed Night advances,
And where the maidens tripped before,
The lovely moonbeam dances.
When 'neath the rush of winter's rain
The dripping forests welter,
The shepherd opes his door amain,
And gives me food and shelter.
I touch my chords, I trill my lay,
The firelight glances o'er us,
And wind and rain, in stormy play,
Join in with lusty chorus.
'Mid rustling leaves, 'neath open sky,
I live like lark or swallow:
There's not a bird more free to fly
Than I am free to follow.
And when grim Death his bow shall bend,
My mortal course suspending,
Oh may my life, howe'er it end,
Have music in its ending!

Such music, supplemented by such a voice, strongly tempts us to remain and hear more; but our impatient guide urges us onward, and in another minute we stand before the dark, low-browed archway of the old church which we have come to see.

The quaint architecture of the outside is strange and old-world enough, but when we enter, the dim interior, haunted by weird shadows and ghostly echoes, has quite an unearthly effect after the bustling life of the city. As is usual in Greek and Russian churches, there are no seats of any kind, the whole interior being one wide bare space, dimly lighted by the two tall candles on the altar and a few little oil-lamps attached to the pictures of saints adorning the walls. The decorations have that air of tawdry finery which is the most displeasing feature of the Eastern churches; but the four frescoes at the farther end (representing the Adoration of the Magi, our Lord's Baptism, the Crucifixion, and the Descent into Hell), rude as they are, have a grim power which takes hold of our fancy at once. Dante himself might approve the last of the four, in which the lurid atmosphere, the hideous contortions of the demons, and the surging flight of the half-awakened dead, with their blank faces and stony eyes, contrast magnificently with the grand calmness of the divine Figure in the centre—a perfect realization of the noble words of Milton:

Some howled, some shrieked,
Some bent their fiery darts at thee, while Thou
Sat'st unappalled in calm and sinless peace.

The only occupant of the building is a tall, dignified-looking priest, who at once takes upon himself the part of expositor; but he is suddenly interrupted by the hurried entrance of a man who whispers something in his ear. The priest instantly vanishes into the sacristy, and, reappearing with something like a casket under his arm, goes hastily out, muttering as he passes us some words which my comrade interprets as "Follow me."

We obey at once; but, in truth, it is no light matter to do so, for the good father sets off at a pace which, considering the heat of the day and the weight of his trailing robes, is simply astounding. Up one street, down another, round a corner, along a narrow lane—on he rushes as if bent upon rivalling that indefatigable giant who "walked round the world every morning before breakfast to sharpen his appetite."

"By Jove!" mutters P——, mopping his streaming face for the twentieth time, "what he's going to show us ought to be something special, by the hurry he's in to get to it. Anyhow, it's a queer style of showing us the way, to go pelting on like that, and leave us to take care of ourselves. I'll just halloo to him to slacken speed a bit."

But just as he is about to do so the priest halts suddenly in front of a high, blank wall of baked clay, in the midst of which a door opens and swallows him as if by magic. We come tearing up a moment later, and are about to enter at his heels when our way is unexpectedly barred by an ugly old Greek with one eye and with a threadbare crimson cap pulled down over his lean, sallow face, which looks very much like a half-decayed cucumber. "What do you want?" he growls, eying us from head to foot with the air of a bulldog about to bite.

We explain our errand, and are electrified with the information that we have been on the point of intruding ourselves[Pg 507] into a private house; that the priest's business there is to pray over the master of it, who is dangerously ill; and that, in short, we have been "hunting upon a false scent" altogether. Having imparted this satisfactory information, Cerberus shuts the door in our faces (which are sufficiently blank by this time), and leaves us to think over the matter at our leisure.

"Confound the old mole!" growls P—— wrathfully: "if he didn't want us, why on earth did he tell us to follow him, I should like to know?"

"Are you quite sure that he did say so?" ask I. "What were the Greek words that he used?"

"'Mê akolouthei,' or something like that."

"Which means, 'Don't follow,'" I retort, transfixing the abashed offender with a look of piercing reproach. "If that's all that's left of your Greek, you'd better buy a lexicon and take a fresh start. However, there's nobody to tell tales if we don't, that's one comfort."

And so ends the first and last of our adventures in Cyprus.

David Ker.


Eine Welt zwar bist du, O Rom; doch ohne die Liebe
Wäre die Welt nicht die Welt, wäre denn Rom auch nicht Rom.—Goethe: Elegy I.

"Maytide in Rome! The air 's a mist of gold,
In rainbow colors are the fountains springing,
The streets are like a garden to behold,
And in my heart a choir of birds are singing.
Haste to thy window, love: I wait for thee.
High o'er the narrow lane our glance may meet,
Our stretched hands all but clasp. Hither to me,
And make the glory of the hour complete.
"No sound, no sign! The bowed blinds are not stirred.
I dare not cry, lest from the common street
Some passing idler catch one sacred word
That's dedicate to her. How may I greet
My love to-day? how may I lure her near?
Ah! I will write my message on her wall
In living sunshine. She shall see and hear:
The silent fire of heaven shall sound my call."
He draws his casement: on the glittering glass
A captured sunbeam flashes sudden flame:
Between her blinds demure he makes it pass:
Its joyous radiance tells her whence it came.
She feels its presence like a fiery kiss;
Mantling her face leaps up the maiden's blood;
She flies to greet him. Oh immortal bliss!
For ever thus is old Rome's youth renewed.

Emma Lazarus.

[Pg 508]



Burns's Highland Mary, Petrarch's Laura, and other real and imaginary loves of the poets, have been immortalized in song, but we doubt whether any of the numerous objects of poetical adoration were more worthy of honor than Mrs. Sarah Helen Whitman, the friend and defender of Edgar A. Poe. That he should have inspired so deep and lasting a love in the heart of so true and pure a woman would alone prove that he was not the social pariah his vindictive enemies have held up to the world's wonder and detestation. The poet's love for Mrs. Whitman was the one gleam of hope that cheered the last sad years of his life. His letters to her breathed the most passionate devotion and the most enthusiastic admiration. One eloquent extract from his love-letters to Mrs. Whitman will suffice. In response to a passage in one of her letters in which she says, "How often have I heard men, and even women, say of you, 'He has great intellectual power, but no principle, no moral sense'!" he exclaims: "I love you too truly ever to have offered you my hand, ever to have sought your love, had I known my name to be so stained as your expressions imply. There is no oath which seems to me so sacred as that sworn by the all-divine love I bear you. By this love, then, and by the God who reigns in heaven, I swear to you that my soul is incapable of dishonor. I can call to mind no act of my life which would bring a blush to my cheek or to yours."

Carried away by the ardor and eloquent passion of her poet-lover, and full of the sweetest human sympathy and the tenderest human charity for one so gifted but so unfortunate, Mrs. Whitman, against the advice of her relatives and friends, consented to a conditional engagement. It was in relation to this engagement, and the cause of its being broken off, that one of the most calumnious stories against Poe was told, and believed both in America and in Europe, but especially in England. Why the engagement was broken, and by whom, still remains buried in mystery, but that Poe was guilty of any "outrage" at her house upon the eve of their intended marriage was emphatically denied by Mrs. Whitman. She pronounced the whole story a "calumny." In a letter before me she says: "I do not think it possible to overstate the gentlemanly reticence and amenity of his habitual manner. It was stamped through and through with the impress of nobility and gentleness. I have seen him in many moods and phases in those 'lonesome, latter years' which were rapidly merging into the mournful tragedy of death. I have seen him sullen and moody under a sense of insult and imaginary wrong. I have never seen in him the faintest indication of savagery and rowdyism and brutality."

Some of the most tenderly passionate of Mrs. Whitman's verses were inspired by her affection for Poe. She wrote six sonnets to his memory, overflowing with the most exalted love and generous sympathy. The first of these sonnets ends thus:

Thou wert my destiny: thy song, thy fame,
The wild enchantments clustering round thy name,
Were my soul's heritage—its regal dower,
Its glory, and its kingdom, and its power.

When malice had exhausted itself in heaping obloquy upon the name of the dead poet, it was the gentle hand of woman that first removed the odium from his memory. It was Mrs. Whitman—who loved him and whom he loved—that dared to penetrate the "mournful corridors" of that sad, desolate heart, with its "halls of tragedy and chambers of retribution," and tell the true but melancholy story of the unhappy master of the Raven. It was she who generously came forward as "one of the friends" of him who was said to have no friends. She was his steady champion from first[Pg 509] to last. Whether it was some crackbrain scribbler who tried to prove Poe "mad," some accomplished scholar who endeavored to disparage him in order to magnify some other writer, or some silly woman who attempted to foist herself into notice by relating "imaginary facts" concerning the poet's hidden life, Mrs. Whitman was always ready to defend her dead friend.

One of the most touching incidents in Poe's early life was his affection and fidelity to Mrs. Helen Stannard, who had completely won the sensitive boy's heart by her kindness to him when he came to her house with her son, a favorite school-friend. This lady died under circumstances of peculiar sorrow, and her young admirer was in the habit of visiting her grave every night. It was she—"the one idolatrous and purely ideal love" of his passionate boyhood—who inspired those exquisite lines, "Helen, thy beauty is to me." Mr. Richard Henry Stoddard, in his article on Poe published in Harper's Monthly for May, 1872, says, in allusion to Mrs. Stannard: "The memory of this lady is said to have suggested the most beautiful of his minor poems, 'Helen,' though I am not aware that Poe ever countenanced the idea." As Mrs. Whitman had distinctly stated in Edgar Poe and his Critics that Mrs. Stannard had inspired the poem, she addressed a note to Mr. Stoddard upon the subject, to which he sent the following reply: "My Dear Mrs. Whitman: So many months have elapsed since I wrote the paper on Poe about which you write that I am unable to remember what I said in it. I certainly had no intention to discredit any statement that you made in Edgar Poe and his Critics, and if I have done so I am sorry for it, and ask your forgiveness."

In one of Mrs. Whitman's letters, now lying before me, she says: "So much has been written, and so much still continues to be written, about Poe by persons who are either his avowed or secret enemies, that I joyfully welcome every friendly or impartial word spoken in his behalf. His enemies are uttering their venomous fabrications in every newspaper, and so few voices can obtain a hearing in his defence. My own personal knowledge of Mr. Poe was very brief, although it comprehended memorable incidents, and was doubtless, as he kindly characterized it in one of his letters of the period, 'the most earnest epoch of his life;' and such I devoutly and emphatically believe it to have been. You ask me to furnish you with extracts from his letters, literary or otherwise. There are imperative reasons why these letters cannot and ought not to be published at present—not that there was a word or a thought in them discreditable to Poe, though some of them were imprudent, doubtless, and liable to be construed wrongly by his enemies. They are for the most part strictly personal. The only extract from them of which I have authorized the publication is a fac-simile of a paragraph inserted between the 68th and 69th pages of Mr. Ingram's memoir in Black's (Edinburgh) edition of the complete works of Poe. The paragraph in the original letter (dated November 24, 1848) consists of only eight lines: 'The agony which I have so lately endured—an agony known only to my God and to myself—seems to have passed my soul through fire, and purified it from all that is weak. Henceforward I am strong: this those who love me shall see, as well as those who have so relentlessly endeavored to ruin me. It needed only some such trials as I have just undergone to make me what I was born to be by making me conscious of my own strength.' This and a protest against the charge of indifference to moral obligations so often urged against him, which I permitted Mr. Gill to extract for publication from a long letter filled with eloquent and proud remonstrance against the injustice of such a charge, are the only passages of which I have authorized the publication. Other letters have been published without my consent. I have endeavored to reconcile myself to the unauthorized use of private letters and papers, since the effect of their publication has been on the whole regarded as favorable to Poe."

It was Mrs. Whitman who first attempted to trace Edgar Poe's descent from the[Pg 510] old Norman family of Le Poer, which emigrated to Ireland during the reign of Henry II. of England. Lady Blessington, through her father, Edmund Power, claimed the same illustrious descent. The Le Poers were distinguished for being improvident, daring and reckless. The family originally belonged to Italy, whence they passed to the north of France, and went to England with William the Conqueror. In a letter dated January 3, 1877, Mrs. Whitman says: "For all that I said on the subject I alone am responsible. A distant relative of mine, a descendant, like myself, from Nicholas le Poer, had long ministered to my genealogical proclivities by stories which from my childhood had vaguely haunted and charmed my imagination. When I discovered certain facts of Poe's history of which he had previously made little account, he seemed greatly impressed by my theory of our relationship. Of course I endowed him with my traditional heirlooms. John Savage, who wrote some fine papers on Poe, which I think appeared in the Democratic Review, perhaps in 1858, said to a friend of mine that the things most interesting and valuable to him in my little book (Poe and his Critics) were its genealogical hints."

When M. Stephane Mallarmé, an enthusiastic admirer of Poe's, undertook to translate his works into French, he addressed Mrs. Whitman a complimentary letter, from which the following passages are translated: "Whatever is done to honor the memory of a genius the most truly divine the world has seen, ought it not first to obtain your sanction? Such of Poe's works as our great Baudelaire left untranslated—that is to say, the poems and many of the literary criticisms—I hope to make known to France. My first attempt, 'Le Corbeau,' of which I send you a specimen, is intended to attract attention to a future work now nearly completed. I trust that the attempt will meet your approval, but no possible success of my future design could cause you, madam, a satisfaction equal to the joy, vivid, profound and absolute, caused by an extract from one of your letters in which you expressed a wish to see a copy of my 'Corbeau.' Not only in space—which is nothing—but in time, made up for each of us of the hours we deem most memorable in the past, your wish seemed to come to me from so far, and to bring with it the most delicious return of long cherished memories; for, fascinated with the works of Poe from my infancy, it has been a long time that your name has been associated with his in my earliest and most intimate sympathies. Receive, madam, this expression of a gratitude such as your poetical soul may comprehend, for it is my inmost heart that thanks you."

Mrs. Whitman translated Mallarmé's inscription intended for the Poe monument in Baltimore. The last verse was thus rendered:

Through storied centuries thou shall proudly stand
In the Memorial City of his land,
A silent monitor, austere and gray,
To warn the clamorous brood of harpies from their prey.



Mrs. Philip Markham.Philip Markham.
Miss Ethel Arnold.Frank Beverly.

(The four have been dining together and discussing the people they had met some hours before at a reception.)

Philip Markham. At all events, I call her a very beautiful woman.—Don't you say so, Beverly? I am telling Miss Arnold that I considered Miss St. John handsome.

Mrs. Markham. Oh, Philip, how can you say so?

Beverly. I admired her immensely.

Mrs. M. (with a shrug). Oh, I dare say. A round, soulless face, a large waist—

Philip. You women have no eyes. She has cheeks (to quote Cherbuliez) like those fruits one longs to bite into, a pair of fine eyes, well-cut lips—(Breaks off and laughs).

Mrs. M. (severely). Pray go on.

Philip. Not while you regard me with that virtuous air of condemnation.

Mrs. M. I confess I saw nothing to admire in the girl except that she looked healthy and strong.

Miss Arnold. Nor did I. Moreover, she had the fault of being badly dressed.[Pg 511]

Beverly. She was beautiful, then, not by reason of her dress, as most of your sex are, but in spite of it. You women always underrate physical beauty in each other.

Mrs. M. (pretending not to have heard Beverly's remark). Yes, Ethel, very badly dressed, and her hair was atrociously arranged.

Philip. Oh, we did not look at her hair, we were so much attracted by her face and figure.

Mrs. M. (piqued). Take my advice, Ethel, and never marry. While we were engaged Philip never thought of seeing beauty in any girl except myself: now he is in a state of enthusiasm bordering upon frenzy over every new face he comes across.

Beverly. He knows, I suppose, that you do not mind it—that you are the more flattered the more he admires the entire sex.

Mrs. M. Of course I do not mind it: the only thing is—

Philip. Well, what is the only thing, Jenny?

Beverly. You remember, Cousin Jenny, I was talking the other day about the perversity of your sex. You either cannot or will not understand your husbands: they hide nothing, extenuate nothing, yet you fail to grasp the idea of that side of their minds which is at once the best and the most dangerous. If Philip did not regard all women with interest, and some with particular interest, he could not have had it in his head to be half so much in love with you as he is.

Philip. That is true, Frank—so true that we won't ask how you found it out.

Miss A. You men always stand by each other so faithfully! Now, I have observed these traits among my married friends: the husbands invariably give a half sigh at the sight of a beautiful girl, implying, "Oh, if I were not a married man!" while the wives, on meeting a man who attracts admiration, as uniformly believe that, let him be ever so handsome, clever or fascinating, he cannot compare with their own particular John.

Mrs. M. That is true, Ethel; and it shows how much more faithful women are than men.

Philip. Now, Jenny, that is nonsense.

Beverly. Oh, I dare say there is a soupçon of truth in it. But I think I could give wives a recipe for keeping their husbands' affections, which, unpopular although it might be, would yet prove salutary.

Miss A. Give it by all means, Mr. Beverly. Anything so beneficial would naturally be popular.

Beverly. Pardon me, no. Were I to suggest a pilgrimage, a fast, or scourgings even, the fair sex would undertake the remedy at once, for they like some éclat about their smallest doings. All I want them to do is to correct their little spirit of self-will and cultivate good taste.

Mrs. M. Women self-willed! Most women have no will at all.

Beverly. I never saw a woman yet who had not a will; and I am the last person to deny their right to it. What I suggest is that they suit it to the requirements of their lives, not let it torment them by going all astray, by delighting in its errors and persisting in its chimeras.

Miss A. I grant the first, that we have wills, but I do insist that we have good taste.

Beverly. Now, then, we will consider this abstract question. I maintain that, considering their interest in women and their natural zest in pursuing them, men show more right up-and-down faithfulness and devotion to their obligations than women do.

Philip. Hear! hear!

Miss A. Oh, if you start upon the hypothesis that man is a being incapable of—

Beverly. Not at all. You must, however, grant at the outset that man is the free agent in society—has always been since the beginning of civilization. He has made all the laws, enjoying complete immunity to suit the requirements of his wishes and needs, yet everybody knows that, in spite of the clamor of the woman-suffragists, all the laws favor women. The basis of every system of[Pg 512] civilized society proves that men are inclined to hold themselves strictly to their obligations toward your sex. There is no culprit toward whom a jury of men are less lenient than one who has manifested any light sense of his domestic duties. Is not that true?

Mrs. M. I suppose it is. But it ought to be so, of course. It is impossible for men to be good enough to their wives.

Beverly. Just so. But what I claim is, that while every man holds, at least theoretically, to the very highest ideal of a man's duties in the marriage relation, very few wives render their husbands' existences so altogether happy that these obligations become not only the habit but the joy of their lives.—Don't interrupt me, Jenny.—Not but what the lovely creatures are willing—nay, anxious—to do so, but just at the point of accomplishment their little failings of blindness and perversity come in. They are determined to retain their husbands' complete allegiance, but their devices and contrivances are mostly dull blunders. Considering what a frail tie, based on illusion, binds the sexes, my wonder as a bachelor is that men are, as a rule, as faithful to their wives as they seem to be.

Philip. We have been friends, Frank, for fifteen years, and I married your first cousin, but notwithstanding all that Jenny will insist now that I give up your acquaintance.

Mrs. M. No, Philip, I am not angry with Frank: I only feel sorry for him.

Miss A. So do I. Yet I am curious to know, Jenny, what he means by saying that wives' devices to keep their husbands' love are mostly dull blunders.

Beverly. I am waiting for a chance to develop my views. I know plenty of men who are absolutely loyal to their wives—faithful to the smallest obligation of married life—yet who regard their marriage as the great folly of their youth. Now, a woman's intuitions ought to be, it seems to me, so clear and unerring that she should never permit her face and voice to become unpleasant to her husband. And this effect generally comes from the absurdity of her attempts to hold him to her side: they have ended by repelling him. Now, if your sex would only remember that we are horribly fastidious, and that it is necessary to behave with good taste—

Mrs. M. Oh! oh! Monster!

Miss A. Barbarian!

Beverly. I will give you an instance. In our trip up and down the Saguenay last summer you both remember the bridal couple on board the boat?

Philip. I remember the bride, a charming creature. The young fellow could not compare with her in any qualities of cleverness or good looks.

Beverly. Perhaps not. At the same time, he was her superior in some nice points. Pretty although the bride was, and enviable as we considered his good-luck, one could not help wincing for him when this delicate, refined little creature "showed off" before the crowd of indifferent passengers. At table she put her face so close to his, and when they stood or sat together on deck she hung about him in such a way, that, as I noticed over and over, it brought the blood to his cheeks and made him ashamed to raise his eyes. Depend upon it, that young man, in spite of his infatuation, said within himself a hundred times on his wedding-journey, "Poor innocent little darling! she has no idea of the attention she attracts to us."

Mrs. M. (eagerly). Yes, she did know all about it. She was so proud of being newly married that if everyone with whom she came in contact would not allude to her position she made a point of confiding the fact that she was a bride of a week, and actually wore me out with pouring her raptures into my ears.

Miss A. Jenny, you should not have told that. It will confirm Mr. Beverly in his cynicism regarding her want of taste.

Philip. I remember the morning the young fellow and I walked into Chicoutimi together that I said to him, "Lately married, I believe?" and he only nodded stiffly and pointed out the falls in the distance.

Beverly. Now, it is a deliciously pretty blunder for a bride to proclaim her[Pg 513] good-luck, but it is a blunder nevertheless. For six months a man forgives it: after that he has no fondness for being paraded as a part and parcel of a woman's belongings. By that time he has probably found out that she is not all gushing unconsciousness. Besides this adorable innocence I observed something else in this pretty bride. Despite her fresh raptures, she was capable of jealousy: if her husband left her for an hour he found her a trifle sullen on his return.

Miss A. She had nobody else.

Mrs. M. She naturally wanted to feel that he was interested in nothing besides her.

Beverly. But she should not have shown it. This is another perverse and suicidal inconsistency on a woman's part: she should never exhibit these small meannesses of pique, sullen tempers, jealousy, to her husband, since they place her wholly at a disadvantage, making her less attractive than the objects she wishes to detach him from.

Mrs. M. (a little embarrassed and looking toward her husband deprecatingly, at which he laughs and shakes his head). Woman is a creature of impulse. She does not study what it is most politic for her to do: she gives herself utterly—she simply asks for everything in return.

Beverly. Does she give herself utterly? Does she not generally keep an accurate debit-and-credit account of what is due to her? Then the moment she feels her rights infringed upon, what is her usual course? She holds it her prerogative to set out upon a course of conduct eminently qualified to displease the very man whom it is her interest and her salvation to please.

Mrs. M. But he should try as well to please her.

Beverly. That is begging the question. Besides, her requirements are unreasonable. She holds too tight a rein: a man is never safe after he feels that strain at the bit. Now even you, Jenny—whom I hold up as a model of a wife—you will not let Philip express his admiration for a pretty woman without—

Mrs. M. (eagerly). I delight in having him admire any one whom I consider worthy of admiration. I do not like to see any man run away with by an infatuation for mere outside beauty.

Beverly. Yet "mere outside beauty" is clearly the most important gift Nature has bestowed upon women.

Mrs. M.
Miss A. } Oh! oh! oh!

Philip. What is your recipe, Frank, for putting an end to disagreements between husbands and wives?

Beverly. Wives are to give up studying their own requirements, and try to understand their husbands.

Miss A. And what will the result be?

Beverly. All men, instead of remaining bachelors like myself, will become infatuated with domestic life. No man could resist the prospect of being constantly caressed, waited upon, admired, flattered. And once married, a man's own home would become so fascinating a place to him that he would never, except against his will, exchange it for his club or the drawing-room of his neighbor's wife.

Miss A. And in return are husbands prepared to give up a nice sense of their own requirements and study to understand their wives?

Beverly. Not at all: they are far too stupid to understand their wives: there is something too fine and elusive about a woman's intellect and heart to be attained by one of our sex. Besides, are things ever equal—two souls ever just sufficiently like and unlike exactly to understand each other? Let women perfect themselves in the art of giving happiness, and the good action will command its own reward.

Miss A. Do you comprehend, Jenny, what the full duty of woman is? For my part, I think it is better to go on in the old way, since it is said that "a mill, a clock and a woman always want mending." I think women have their own little requirements.

Mrs. M. (who has left her seat and gone round to her husband, and is cracking his almonds with an air of being anxious to conciliate him). The fact is, Ethel, you unmarried women know nothing at all about it.


[Pg 514]


A French gentleman, M. Court, has lately published in La Religion Laïque a series of articles upon this subject that have attracted much attention. He proposes the establishment of a national fund for the support of the aged and infirm, managed by eight members chosen annually, half by the Chamber of Deputies, half by the Senate. The fund is to be raised by legacies and donations; by a gift from the state of ten millions of francs; by a percentage deducted by the state, the departments and the communes from the pay of those who contract to furnish materials for building, to do work, etc.; by a tax upon all who employ servants or other laborers (one franc a month for each employé); and by a deduction from collateral inheritances (successions collatérals). In time, about every member of the community would be subjected directly or indirectly to taxation for the support of the institution, and would have a right to its benefits.

To the ordinary mind the plan appears wholly impracticable from its magnitude, if for no other cause; but it is evidently presented in good faith, and is further proof of the general growth of the sentiment that capital owes a debt to the labor of the world which cannot be satisfied with the mere payment of wages. Most of the "sick funds" or other provisions for the care of disabled workmen in great industrial establishments owe their origin to the initiative of the proprietor. M. Godin, the founder of the Familistère, a palatial home for the families of some five hundred men employed in his iron-works at Guise, was one of the first to institute a fund for mutual assistance and medical service, supported by means of a tax of twenty cents a month on the salary of each workman. Foreseeing the troubles that would arise should he attempt to manage this fund in the interest of his men, he wisely refused to have any share in this work, and induced them to elect a board of managers from their own number having entire responsibility in the matter. The board is composed of eighteen members, each of whom receives from M. Godin an indemnity of five francs a month for time lost in visiting the sick, committee-work, etc.

"The assessment," writes M. Godin, "for the support of the fund to which the workmen consented amounted to about one per cent. of their earnings. The chief of the establishment at the same time contributed all the money resulting from fines for spoiling work and for infractions of the rules of the manufactory. Thanks to this combination, the three principal causes of discord between patron and workman on the subject of relief-funds are removed. First, mistrust and suspicion are avoided. The managers of the treasury are of their own number, and therefore the workmen feel perfectly free to hold them to strict account for every sou received or disbursed. Second, as the fines for breaking the rules are devoted to the fund, the workmen themselves are the sole gainers. This teaches them to respect the rules, and they are little disposed to side with the refractory when they oppose a fine. Third, fines for spoiling work cause no ill-will; indeed, they are submitted to with a good grace. The fine benefits the fund; and, moreover, as in the case of fines for breaking rules, the workman has always a jury of his peers to appeal to: the board of managers is always at hand to approve or disapprove of the fine."

The fund thus administered has proved a great blessing to those who have claims upon it, and the members of the board have worked together over twelve years in the most exemplary harmony; or, in M. Godin's words, it has "parfaitement fonctionné sans conflits, sans contestations d'aucune sorte, et de manière à donner d'excellentes résultats." The average yearly receipts have been eighteen thousand nine hundred francs; average disbursements, eighteen thousand seven hundred and ninety-four francs. Possibly these facts and figures may be of service to some of our chiefs of industry who are studying to improve the condition of their employés.


[Pg 515]


That cities, like individuals, have idiosyncrasies that may be defined and estimated, and that may be depended upon to lead to the adoption of a certain line of action by the community in view of a certain set of circumstances, is a fact which is continually receiving fresh illustrations. The attitude of New York toward Mr. Theodore Thomas is a case in point. There is among the works of the Scottish poet Alexander Wilson, better known as the "American Ornithologist," a ballad entitled "Watty and Meg; or, The Wife Reformed." Its moral is for all to read. Watty's measure of domestic felicity was but scant, and when the burden laid upon him became greater than he could bear he determined to leave the cause of his misery:

Owre the seas I march this morning,
Listed, tested, sworn an' a',
Forced by your confounded girning.
Farewell, Meg! for I'm awa'.

In view of losing her husband and victim, Meg repented and swore to mend her ways, conceding even Watty's stipulation to keep the family purse:

Lastly, I'm to keep the siller:
This upon your saul you swear.

Mr. Thomas gave New York no such opportunity, and she is now lamenting him as Tom Hood's "female Ranter" mourns "The Lost Heir," "for he's my darlin' of darlin's." She wonders why he did not continue

Sitting as good as gold in the gutter, a-playing at making dirt-pies:
I wonder he left the court, where he was better off than all the other young boys,
With two bricks, an old shoe, nine oyster-shells and a dead kitten by way of toys.

And, in truth, Mr. Thomas got little more from the city he has for twenty-five years clung to and taught. If he came back, is it not likely he might meet with the Lost Heir's reception? In the Scotch ballad also we are left in uncertainty as to the genuineness of Meg's tears and promised reform; and in any case no one can blame Mr. Thomas for announcing his intention only after it was beyond alteration.

It is not that New York cares for the money which would have kept him. When did it refuse money when its sympathies were aroused? Look at its magnificent charities, its help to Chicago, to famine-stricken China, and the thousands that were daily poured into the hands of the sufferers from yellow fever in the South. Religion is supported with the same munificent liberality. But when literature, music or art are to be sustained, the community becomes either flighty or apathetic. The best of New York's monuments are the gifts either of societies formed upon the basis of a common sentiment with which society at large has no active sympathy, or of men of other nationalities. It has been broadly hinted that New York would never have acquired the Cesnola collection of Cypriote pottery, gems and statuary had it not found a competitor in England. The luxury of beating the Britishers was too tempting to be declined, and led to a result which might not have been reached had the question been nothing more than one of art and art-education. Competition supplied the stimulus which should have been furnished by a sense of the desirability of securing a collection so rich and in every way, historically and artistically, so valuable. The New York public, again, was never really interested in the Castellani collection. It grudged the additional entrance-fee of twenty-five cents levied by the trustees of the Metropolitan Museum. No leader arose to open its eyes to the true value of a complete collection of majolica and mediæval jewelry. The only known authority upon the subject of ceramics proved to be a blind leader of the blind, and the only result of Mr. Clarence Cook's interference was to leave the aforesaid gentleman in the melancholy plight of a plucked crow. The collection was reshipped to Europe while the feathers were still flying, and the public felt itself to be a gainer to the extent of witnessing a piece of good sport. No sense of loss spoiled its enjoyment of the fun.

When, some months ago, it was announced that a college of music was to be founded, New York scarcely paused to examine the plans of the proposed[Pg 516] building. The scheme fell prone to the ground upon the day of its birth. The few who were in earnest communicated none of their fire to the community at large. Society looked upon Mr. Thomas in a precisely similar manner. It complacently regarded him as the greatest conductor of the age, and its complacency was fed by its having an imaginary proprietary interest in him. But while the few who really understood him and the themes he handled bowed to him as their Apollo, the many had no real homage to pay either of heart or head. He educated the people, and the people believed in him and in the dictum of judges more competent than they. But he was always above them, the men of influence and wealth who in all such matters represent and are society. He led them to lofty heights, but no sooner had they reached one than he was seen flying to another loftier still and still more perilous. He worked, moreover, as only a genius and an enthusiast could work. He began by winning his auditors. He went down to their level, humored them, pleased them, and then filled their ears with music that was ravishing even when only partially intelligible. Insensibly they grew to like it, and although defections were large and many refused to rise above the "popular" standard, there is no doubt that he succeeded in elevating the taste of the general public. Year by year he was bringing his audiences nearer to himself, and year by year he was winning new converts from the love of the meretricious and flashy to that of the noble and pure.

He alone derived no benefit from his labors. He had no adequate support, no relief from the most sordid and worrying cares of life. He found himself almost forced into competition that was degrading. Had he entered into it he would have thrown down with his own hand the structure he had spent his life in rearing. He was alternately warmed by the admiration and love of a few and chilled by general apathy, and has chosen wisely in going where he will at least be lifted above the necessity of struggling for subsistence. New York has lost him, but had it known that Cincinnati was trying to coax him away it would have let him go never.

It is singular that the matter of making New York attractive to the lovers of art and music is never looked at by its wealthy citizens from the commercial point of view. Art and music exert influences that can be computed upon strict business principles, and the policy of neglecting them is extremely short-sighted. Every addition to the attractions of a city, and especially of a city essentially commercial, is an addition to its prosperity. The prestige that would have accrued to New York, and the wealth that would certainly have been attracted to it, had it adopted Cincinnati's course of action, would unquestionably have far more than compensated for the outlay attending the endowment of a college of music and the engagement of Theodore Thomas. With this assumption the idiosyncrasy of New York may be viewed in full. Like the prudent merchant of moderate attainments and medium culture, it is not far-seeing when a question arises not strictly in its line of business. Sympathetic, outwardly decorous, keenly sensitive, full of pity for the suffering, New York enters the field of art in a purely mercantile spirit. It has no love, but only that peculiar kind of affection that is the outgrowth of triumph over a rival. An individual parallel might be found in the case of the old gentleman who haunted the auction-rooms and filled his house with loads of vases, bronzes and the like. "It's not the things I care for," he said, "but there isn't a millionaire in the city I haven't outbid in getting them together."



Slowly, but not the less surely, does the succession of international industrial expositions strengthen the sentiment of peace among the nations. Those who were interested in observing how gradually our civilization is becoming industrial can remember during the Centennial Exposition several notable instances[Pg 517] of this. The Exposition of Paris and the recent arbitration at Berlin have both stimulated the thought of Europe in this direction, and the following instances of the direction it is taking will be of interest, especially as they are such as are not likely to be noticed by the regular correspondents.

A pamphlet has been published at Foix, one of the provincial towns of France, entitled, Les Rondes de la Paix. It was written by M. Adolphe de Lajour, and its scope will appear from the following extract: "Why not declare Constantinople and the Straits neutral? Why not declare Constantinople the city for congresses of unity—the metropolis, the Washington, of the United States of the two worlds? Why from the various populations, differing in race, in manners, in religion and in language, who inhabit the Balkan peninsula, should not a confederation of the United States of the Danube be created on the model of Switzerland?"

In the Exposition itself a printed sheet has been distributed, entitled "La Marseillaise de la Paix." It was printed by the associated compositors in the office of M.A. Chaix, who has recently organized his establishment so that a share in the profits is accorded to the workers. The first two verses of this new version will suffice to show its character:

Allons, enfant de la patrie,
La jour de gloire est arrivé.
De la Paix, de la Paix chérie,
L'etendard brillant est levé! (bis)
Entendez-vous vers nos frontières,
Tous les peuples ouvrant leurs bras,
Crier à nos braves soldats:
Soyons unis, nous sommes frères!
Plus d'armes, citoyens, rompez vos bataillons!
Et que la Paix féconde nos sillons!
Pourquoi ces fusils, ces cartouches?
Pourquoi ces obus, ces canons?
Pourquoi ces cris, ces chants farouches,
Ces fiers défis aux nations? (bis)
Pour nous Français, oh! quelle gloire,
De montrer au monde dompté,
Que les droits de l'humanité
Sont plus sacrés que la victoire!
Plus d'armes, etc.



Superstition and Force: Essays on the Wager of Law, the Wager of Battle, the Ordeal, Torture. By Henry C. Lea. Third Edition, revised. Philadelphia: Henry C. Lea.

Many will be tempted to say that this, like the Decline and Fall, is one of the uncriticisable books. Its facts are innumerable, its deductions simple and inevitable, and its chevaux-de-frise of references bristling and dense enough to make the keenest, stoutest and best-equipped assailant think twice before advancing. Nor is there anything controversial in it to provoke an assault. The author is no polemic. Though he obviously feels and thinks strongly, he succeeds in attaining impartiality. He even represses comment until it serves for little more than a cement for his data. What of argument there is shapes itself mostly from his collation. The minute and recondite records he throws together, in as much sequence as the chaotic state of European institutions and society in the Middle Ages will allow, are left to their own eloquence. And eloquent they are. Little beyond the citation of them is needed to show the brutality of chivalry, the selfish cruelty of sacerdotalism, and the wretchedness of the masses enslaved by political and religious superstition, until Roman law had a second time, after an interval of a thousand years, effected a conquest of the Northern barbarians. The work does not confine itself, historically, to that period nor to Europe, but what excursions are made outside of that time and country are chiefly in the way of introduction and conclusion. The moral defects which produce and perpetuate the follies and abuses discussed by Mr. Lea are confined to no time[Pg 518] or race. They are inherent and abiding, and he takes care not to let us forget that the struggle to subdue them cannot anywhere or at any time be safely relaxed. We inherit, with their other possessions, the weaknesses and proclivities of our ancestors, and we even find some of their specific acts of error and injustice still imbedded in the institutions under which we live, and more or less vividly reproduced in the routine of individual, corporate or public existence. The compurgator slides into the witness and the juryman, bringing with him the oath on the Bible and trial for perjury, and the feed champion of the Church into the patron. The ordeal of battle is fought out bloodlessly by lawyers, with often quite as little regard to the merits of the case as could have been shown in the olden lists. Only the baser physical ordeals, of fire, hot and cold water, etc., with torture as a part of the regular machinery of justice, have died out, evidencing the great rise in intelligence and independence of the bulk of the people—the "lower orders" to whom these gross expedients were chiefly applied. Other forms of legal outrage, however, less apparent and palpable to the senses, have run deep into the nineteenth century, and are not yet wholly abolished. Mr. Lea, by the way, does not, we observe, refer to the trial of Bambridge in 1729 for torturing prisoners for debt "in violation of the laws of England." Perhaps he threw it aside in the redundance of other illustrative material. We must add, as proof of his impartiality, the comparatively slight mention made of torture under the Inquisition—a thing of which we have been told so much as to have fallen into a sort of popular belief that the Holy Office had a monopoly of this particular atrocity.

Man will always, in some guise or other, manifest his faith in and dependence on miracles, and will never cease to implore the special interposition of the Deity. It is so much simpler thus to make a daily convenience of his Creator than to consult those dry abstractions, the laws of Nature. Of this deep and tiresome x and y he has not time to solve the equation, granting it to be, in its ultimate terms, soluble. Who shall say in each instance whether the impulse to decline that method and adopt the shorter be superstition or religion?

Whether looked on as a picture or a mirror, a work such as this has lasting value. It enables us at any time to gauge the progress of enlightenment, to ascertain what real gain has been made, what is delusive, and what remains to be done that it is possible to do; for we must not expect the record of human fatuity to be closed in our day.

The Witchery of Archery. By Maurice Thompson. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons.

The author of this little volume certainly succeeds in proving the truth of his title to the extent of convincing his readers that archery has its witchery; and we gather from his words that he has made practical converts and imparted to many some portion of his own devotion to the immemorial implement he may be said to have, in this country and among its white inhabitants, reinvented. Seated in our easy-chair, we follow him gayly and untiringly into the depths of the woods, drink in the rich, cool, damp air, and revel in the primeval silence that is only broken by the twang of the bowstring or the call of its destined victim. We enjoy his marvellous shots with some little infusion of envy, and his exemplary patience under ill-success and repeated failure with perhaps more. We end, like his "Cracker" friend, with respecting sincerely the "bow-and-arrers" we were at first disposed to view with amused contempt; and we close the book with an unqualified recognition of the value of the bow as a means of athletic training—a healthful recreation for those who have difficulty in finding such means.

This ancient weapon of war and the chase, which has won so many battles and conquered so many kingdoms, has since the introduction of gunpowder been too readily allowed to sink into a plaything for boys. They retain something of a passion for it. Many can remember when they were wont to select the choicest splits of heart-hickory from the wood-pile, lay them aside to season, and then shape them, or have them shaped by stronger and defter hands, into the four-foot bow, equivalent to the six-foot bow of the man. The arrows were harder to get in any satisfactory quantity, for they were rapidly shot away, and they were hard to properly point and scientifically feather. The processes were altogether too abstruse to come out well from homemade work in boyish hands. So the results were not usually brilliant, being confined to the destruction of a few sparrows,[Pg 519] the breaking of some windows and the serious maltreatment of the family cat. Such achievements did not commend themselves to parents, and archery rested under a cloud from which it failed to emerge as the youthful practitioners grew up. It retained its charm for them in books, however. The visit of Peter Parley to Wampum was the most delightful part of that historian's works; and Robin Hood and William Tell earned a yearning and trustful admiration which refuses to yield to the criticisms employed in reducing those characters to myths—triumphs of the "long-bow" in another sense. And here we are reminded that Mr. Thompson's affection is lavished wholly on the long-bow. The cross-bow, a weapon which largely superseded it in the Middle Ages for war and sport, the English gentleman's "birding-piece" before he took to the gun, he will not hear of. The sportsman of tender years often prefers it. It is less troublesome in the matter of ammunition. Any missile will answer for it, from a sixpenny nail to a six-inch pewter-headed bolt—projectiles which travel two hundred yards with force and precision. The draft on the muscular strength is of course the same with either form of the bow, but the long-bow admits of its being more easily graduated, and is therefore preferable for the exercise-ground.

Mr. Thompson, we observe, seems to disregard the spiral arrangement of the feather, and the rotary movement around the axis of flight imparted by it to the arrow. He uses three strips of feather, which is better than two flat ones for the purpose of keeping the missile steady, but still does not prevent its swerving toward the end of its course, as more than one vexatious incident of his hunting record shows. This usage may help to account for the superiority of the old bowmen to the amateurs of to-day in accuracy at long ranges. The best targets reported on the part of the latter, such as "eleven shots in a nine-inch bull's-eye, out of thirteen, at forty yards," and "ten successive shots in a sheet of paper eight inches square at thirty yards," are poor by the side of the exploits of the yeomen and foresters on the archery-grounds of yore. To split a willow-wand at two hundred paces must have required something in the way of practice and system more precise and absolute than the guesswork Mr. Thompson concedes to be unavoidable to-day with the utmost care and experience. It could not have been done with a missile liable, in the calmest atmosphere, the moment it passed the point-blank, to unaccountable aberrations, vertically and horizontally.

The China-Hunters' Club. By the Youngest Member. New York: Harper & Brothers.

The literature of which this is a new specimen would have astonished the reading public of ten years ago, as it probably will that of ten years hence. Library shelves which knew it not at the former period are nearly filled now, and fast becoming crowded. Shall we predict that at the future date named their contents will be nearly invisible for dust? No. Much of what is going through the press on the subject of pottery will have its use as promoting the advancement and clearing up the history of fictile art, and will therefore be preserved, while a larger portion will interest only the few who delve into the records of human caprice and whim. Even these will not particularly care to know or remember what factory-brand was borne by the teapots and saucers of our grandmothers, and what Staffordshire modeller or woodcutter was responsible for the usually atrocious decorations of those utensils. They will smile but once over the pleasant lunacy of a hunt, printed and illustrated, among New England cottages for forgotten and more or less damaged crockery. The Youngest Member herself—by that time promoted probably to the ranks of the matrons whose treasures she delights to ransack—will be slow to recall and understand her enthusiasm of to-day, and marvel at her ever having detected charms in the homely things of clay she deems worthy of the graver. We, her contemporaries, however, living in the midst of the contagion to which she is a conspicuous victim, can follow her flying footsteps in the chase after potsherds with some sympathy, lag though we may far in the rear. We enjoy the lively style in which she depicts her "finds," and the bright web of sentiment and story with which she weaves them into unity. The receptacles of beer, tea, cider and shaving-soap that figure in her woodcuts are old friends we are glad to see again, and none the less so for the somewhat startling duty they are made to perform in the illustration of æsthetic culture. We learn secrets about them we never dreamed of before. We are told where they came from, have explained to us the mystic meaning of their designs, and are pointed to[Pg 520] the stamps on their bottoms or some other out-of-the-way part of their anatomy infallibly betraying their age, nativity and parentage. Every reader will be treated to special revelations of this sort, some more, some less, some one and some another. For our individual share we are favored with enlightenment as to three of our private possessions. One of these is the Dog Fo, a little white Chinese monstrosity. We have been familiar from childhood with two of him, seated in unspeakable but complacent hideousness at the opposite ends of the chimney-piece. No. 2 is a gallon pitcher, sacred to the gingerbread of two generations, and ornamented with a ship under full sail on one side and a coat-of-arms on the other, not now remembered, the whole article having recently disappeared in some way or direction unknown and untraceable unless by the most indefatigable of ceramists. The third is a smaller pitcher in mottled unglazed clay, antique in shape and ornamentation, except that a figure in the costume of Queen Bess's time stands cheek-by-jowl with a group resembling that on the Portland Vase. This anachronism caused us to be puzzled by the word Herculaneum impressed on the bottom, not unworthy as the general beauty of the work was of such a source. The mystery stands explained by the book before us. Herculaneum was the name of a manufactory of earthenware near Liverpool, in this case almost as misleading as the inscription of Julius Cæsar on a dog-collar too hastily inferred to have been worn by a canine pet of the great dictator.

The author concludes, "as a result of our hunting along the roads of New England, that there is a great deal of money-value in old crockery which lies idle in pantries, and that collectors who have money to spend do a great deal of good in a small way by giving the money for the crockery. And, strange as you may think it, it is very rare to find an owner of old pottery in the country, whatever be the family associations, who would not rather have the money."

Books Received.

Plays for Private Acting. Translated from the French and Italian. By Members of the Bellevue Dramatic Club of Newport. (Leisure-Hour Series.) New York: Henry Holt & Co.

A Primer of German Literature. By Helen S. Conant.—A Year of American Travel. By Jessie Benton Fremont.—Hints to Women on the Care of Property. By Alfred Walker. (Harper's Half-Hour Series.) New York: Harper & Brothers.

A Handbook of Politics for 1878: Being a Record of Important Political Action, National and State, from July 15, 1876, to July 1, 1878. By Hon. Edward McPherson, LL.D., of Gettysburg, Pa. Washington: Solomons & Chapman.

Christine Brownlee's Ordeal. By Mary Patrick.—A Beautiful Woman. By Leon Brook. (Nos. 7 and 8 of Franklin Square Library.) New York: Harper & Brothers.

The Cossacks: A Tale of the Caucasus in 1852. By Count Leo Tolstoy. Translated from the Russian by Eugene Schuyler. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons.

D'ye Want a Shave? or, Yankee Shavings; or, A New Way to get a Wife: A Three-Act Comedy. By William Bush. St. Louis. William Bush.

Colonel Dunwoddie, Millionaire. (No. 5 Harper's Library of American Fiction.) New York: Harper & Brothers.

Play-Day Poems. Collected and edited by Rossiter Johnson. (Leisure-Hour Series.) New York: Henry Holt & Co.

Maid Ellice: A Novel. By Theodore Gift. (Leisure-Hour Series.) New York: Henry Holt & Co.

Chums: A Satirical Sketch. By Howard MacSherry. Jersey City: Charles S. Clarke, Jr.

The Student's French Grammar. By Charles Heron Wall. New York: Harper & Brothers.

The Ring of Amethyst. By Alice Wellington Rollins. New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons.

The Crew of the "Sam Weller." By John Habberton. New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons.

Saxe Holm's Stories. Second Series. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons.

Samuel Johnson. By Leslie Stephen. New York: Harper & Brothers.

Music Received.

The Battle Prayer. By Himmel. Part-songs for Male Voices, No. 4. (Lotus Club Collection.) Composed and arranged by A.H. Rosewig. Philadelphia: Wm. H. Boner & Co.

Weep no More: Song. Words by Mrs. A.B. Benham; Music by Augustus V. Benham, the great Child Pianist. Philadelphia: Wm. H. Boner & Co.

Who is Sylvia? Song for Soprano or Tenor. (English, German and Italian Words.) By Franz Schubert. Philadelphia: Wm. H. Boner & Co.

Whoa, Emma! Written and Composed by John Read. Philadelphia: Wm. H. Boner & Co.


[A] Lord Beaconsfield is not the first to appreciate the strategic value of Cyprus. It was fully valued by the Venetians, as well as by the Knights of St. John, who would fain have made it their island-fortress instead of Rhodes; while Napoleon singled it out as one of the principal points in his projected anti-Turkish campaign in 1798.