The Project Gutenberg eBook of The Girl's Own Paper, Vol. XX. No. 1021, July 22, 1899

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Title: The Girl's Own Paper, Vol. XX. No. 1021, July 22, 1899

Author: Various

Release date: May 10, 2020 [eBook #62082]

Language: English

Credits: Produced by Susan Skinner, Chris Curnow, Pamela Patten and
the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at




The Girl's Own Paper.

Vol. XX.—No. 1021.]

[Price One Penny.

JULY 22, 1899.

[Transcriber’s Note: This Table of Contents was not present in the original.]




Patience! for the strife is o’er;
Weary wave and dying blast
Beat and moan around the shore;
Peace must come at last.
Lo! the seagull’s silver wing
Flashes in the sunset gold;
Wait, another morn shall bring
Gladness, as of old.
Sunlight on the yellow strand,
Shadows lying still and clear,
Pearly fringes on the sand;
Murmurs, sweet to hear.
Storms of life must have their way
Ere these changeful years may cease;
Foam and tempest for to-day,
And to-morrow—peace.
Never till the fight is won,
And the bitter draught is drained—
Never till the storm is done
Shall thy rest be gained.
Waves and winds fulfil His word;
Thou, like them, shalt do His will,
Waiting till His voice is heard
Saying, “Peace, be still.”

All rights reserved.]



By ISABELLA FYVIE MAYO, Author of “Other People’s Stairs,” “Her Object in Life,” etc.




etermined to do all she could to please Florence, Lucy donned a pretty evening dress which she had already worn on the few occasions when she and Charlie had left their “ain fireside.” She had freshened it up with white net ruching about the throat and arms. She indulged herself with a cluster of roses, and in order to arrive as early as possible, she treated herself to a cab, though otherwise, in the warm summer evening, her thrifty inclination would have been to shroud herself in a cloak and eke out the journey by an omnibus.

Still there seemed something exhilarating in the little outburst of elegance, ease and harmless “extravagance.” For once, surely, Florence would be quite satisfied. And certainly Mrs. Brand’s glance swept all over Lucy, from her little comb to her very shoes, even before she kissed her.

Mrs. Brand was not yet in her drawing-room awaiting her guests, but in her own apartment completing her dinner toilet. A tired sullen-looking servant was in attendance, and was curtly dismissed by her mistress when Lucy came in.

“It’s getting late, Lucy,” said Mrs. Brand, “and the few minutes we can have now is all the time we shall enjoy together. If I want a hand, you’ll help me, won’t you? I’m glad to get rid of Sophy, she’s so stupid and clumsy.”

“You haven’t started a maid, have you, Flo?” asked Mrs. Challoner.

Her sister looked at her, half-bewildered, then replied—

“No, that’s the parlour-maid. I know what you are thinking—that she will soon be telling me ‘it is not her place’ to push in a hairpin, or fasten a hook. I ought to have a proper maid, I know. But when I said so to Jem, he said there were already six women in the house to help his wife to do her part of the partnership, while to get the money which keeps the whole affair floating, there are only himself and two clerks. Jem turns that way sometimes. It’s very ridiculous of him. But he generally comes right by-and-by. Men do, if one knows how to manage them. The crosser he is the sooner it’s over, and the more sorry he is, and the more ready to make amends.”

“But six women, Flo?” echoed Lucy, “Is it really so? That’s an increase, isn’t it?”

“Six women and a boy—the page,” Florence returned in a stage whisper. “Jem actually forgot all about him, for, of course, he should have counted in somewhere, either on my side or Jem’s.”

“That’s an increased contingent, isn’t it?” asked Lucy.

“Well, yes, I believe it is. I’ve not seen you for such a time. There’s cook and her scullery-maid, and the housemaid, and the parlour-maid, and the schoolroom-maid, and the nursery governess. And it is not one more than is needed. Mrs. Jinxson, next door, has only one child, but she has seven women servants, and a footman instead of a boy. And she wasn’t brought up as we were, Lucy. She was quite a common person. You can see that still, under all the veneer. You’ll meet her to-night. I say, Lucy, how nice you look! How do you manage it? I believe the fairies dress you sometimes! I am so glad you’ve come. It is such folly of you to tie yourself up to Hugh. Why, a queen’s children have to be left to servants sometimes. I don’t think you had any high hopes of your present girl, but I suppose she is giving you satisfaction, and is turning out a swan, as geese have a knack of doing under your hands.”

Lucy was not quite proof against Florence’s little flatteries. They reminded her of old times. She answered playfully—

“My ‘present girl,’ as you call her—you must mean Jane Smith—is now my past girl, and is represented by another who is a woman of about forty.”

“Dear, dear! So you’ve had another change! Even immaculate you! Now you won’t wonder at my changes. You used not to find it easy to believe they were necessary. But you won’t readily get another Pollie. Such good fortune does not recur.”

Lucy did not remind her sister of her former doubts and sneers concerning Pollie, and she little knew that Florence’s rash and thoughtless talk had prematurely cost her the services of that young woman.

“What went wrong with Jane Smith?” asked Mrs. Brand.

“She had a lover whose visits I permitted,” answered Lucy bravely, fully aware that after this she would receive no more flattery, but only censure. “And she changed him for another without one week’s intermission, and without one word of explanation to me. Then when she felt I would remonstrate, she gave me notice, and has taken service with my opposite neighbours.”

Florence laughed elfishly.

“Poor Lucy!” she cried. “When will you learn sense? The only way to do is to forbid all visitors whatever, as I do.”

“Very Draconian and very unfair that seems to me,” said Lucy, “and apt, like all Draconian laws, to be ignored.”

“Of course it is,” answered Florence. “And I know how it is done. Our gates, back and front, are heavy, and we can hear them open or shut. But our next-door neighbour—the other side from the Jinxsons—is a doctor, and he leaves his gates open, that a night call may be readily and noiselessly attended to at his hall door. Consequently, my girls’ ‘young men’ come through his gate at night-fall, and leap over the low railing between our gardens. They depart in the same way.”

“Then of what service is your rule?” asked Lucy.

“It saves us from all responsibility,” Florence answered. “Whoever is in the house, or whatever happens, it is all absolutely against our strict orders, and the girls have no excuse to fall back upon. Of course, we know—and they know—that we cannot enforce our rule, seeing that Jem and I go out so much of an evening.”

“Well, I think it is all very unfair and demoralising,” said Lucy. “A respectable girl who wishes to obey you is reduced to solitude, and her decent friends and connexions are kept away, while any hussy who does not care a whit for your regulations is able to enjoy herself to her heart’s content. It is precisely the young men who are prepared ‘to leap over walls’ whom I would wish to keep out of my house!”

“Well, ‘the proof of the pudding is in the eating,’” returned Florence. “And now that you have lost your paragon, and are reduced to the rank and file of domestic servants, you do not seem to get on much better than the rest of us. What sort of person have you got now?”

“A middle-aged woman—as I told you, a Highland woman. She was recommended to me by Mrs. Bray’s Rachel,” said Lucy.

“She ought to be another paragon, then,” remarked Florence; “for Rachel is a model. It needs to be a saint to live with Mrs. Bray, who keeps her maid ‘going’ from morning to night. And evidently you start with implicit trust in your Highland woman, as you have so promptly trusted Hugh to her society, in defiance of all your stoutly defended principles.”

“I think I might trust him with her,” Lucy answered mildly. “Nevertheless I should not have done so yet. I have Miss Latimer staying with me, and Hugh is left in the company of young Tom Black. Don’t you remember the nice lad Charlie was so interested in, and who was one of my visitors on that awful Christmas Day? He has come to board with us.”

Florence sprang up, and confronted her sister.

“What?” she cried, with startling emphasis.

“He has come to board with us,” Lucy repeated. “He had lost the good home Charlie had found for him, and as{675} I saw this Clementina Gillespie was a person who could be trusted to keep the housework regularly done, I suggested that he should come to us. He makes life much happier for Hugh than I can do myself just now.”

“Well, to be sure!” said Florence. “And so you’ve turned lodging-house keeper. You don’t mean to say you needed to do it, Lucy?” she asked with a bitter tone. “In that case you might first have spoken to Jem and me——”

“I cannot say I needed to do it. So far as money is concerned, everything is going on as I arranged and hoped,” returned Lucy. “Rather I felt that the house is the better for another friendly inmate, full of good nature and spirits. I do not repent of it. Miss Latimer is old, the servant is elderly, and I am often too tired to talk to Hugh or play with him. If it will comfort your gentility to know there is not much money profit in the new arrangement, I can give you that assurance, Florence. Young Black pays me exactly what he gave Mrs. Mott in her little suburban house. It is a trifle over his actual expenses (as I can see by watching the weekly bills). But it cannot be said to take its share in the upkeep of a house in Pelham Street. It is a friendly agreement. Of course Tom could not afford more.”

“Then you give up your privacy—your social status—for absolutely nothing!” cried Florence. “I never did see anybody like you, Lucy. If you don’t want to make a profit out of your lodger, why did you take one? You could have got scores of young ladies glad to live in such a house as yours, without any salary—or even, I do believe, paying a trifle, and you could have called her Hugh’s ‘governess’ or your own ‘companion.’ You might have taken Hugh away from the Kindergarten, and let her teach him at home. Any young lady could teach Hugh all he needs to learn yet.”

Lucy shook her head. “Every young lady has not been taught how to teach,” she answered. “If she had, it would not be fair to take her training for nothing.”

“Oh, fair enough, if she were ready to give it,” said Florence. “There are plenty of girls, with a little means of their own—who can’t get on with their own people, and don’t care to submit to the restraints of really salaried employment—who would have just suited you. And, as I say, I have no doubt there are many such who would even pay you as much as this boy does. For Pelham Street is a good address (nobody knows yours is the only small house there), and your appointment as art-teacher at the Institute would satisfy their friends of your eligibility as a chaperon.”

Lucy shook her head more vigorously. “I am not eligible as a chaperon,” she said. “I want my evenings for rest, and my Saturdays for my child and my house. And I am prejudiced against girls of the very type you say I might have found so ready to come to me. I certainly would not subject Hugh to the casual instructions of such errant misses. I desire his school education to proceed in orderly fashion. Therefore my household furnishes no occupation or interest for any who are without regular occupation or interests of their own outside of it. But you miss the true point of the position, Florence. The girls you speak of are all strangers to me. I know none such. But I do know Tom Black. Charlie also knew him and liked him. If I had known equally well some young woman-clerk or teacher also in Tom’s plight, I should have made the same suggestion to her which I made to him.”

“Miss Latimer ought to have been ready to teach Hugh and look after him, considering she is staying with you,” observed Florence.

“Miss Latimer has her own pupils,” Lucy answered. “She has as much work as her strength is equal for. And she is not my guest, Florence, but my boarder. She pays her own expenses, and I am much indebted to her for giving me the comfort of her society.”

“What can she afford to pay?” Florence asked contemptuously. “One comfort is that it sounds well to say you have your old governess living with you. Nobody will think she pays anything.”

Lucy was severely silent.

“And to open your house only to lower it, to get in people earning wages or salaries, or whatever they please to call them!” groaned Florence. “If you chose to do such a thing, you might have acted so differently! It might not have been a bad idea if you had worked it out wisely. I’ve known reduced ladies who have really kept their establishments going in this way, taking care never to receive anybody but those who could pay really well. There are always wealthy families ready to pay handsomely to secure a happy home for some member who was born with a want or whose mind has failed. Jem has some friends who pay three hundred pounds a year for the care of their sister, quite a gentlewoman and cultivated, but just a little ‘touched.’ I believe he could have secured her for you if we had dreamed of such a thing. But of course you’d have had to keep a second servant and a first-rate table. Still, if you’d managed well, I believe it might have paid you better than going to the Institute. And it would have kept you quite in touch with social life, instead of shutting you out of it, as your daily engagements do.”

Florence poured her words out in such a rapid stream that Lucy could not launch a word on the current. “My dear sister,” she said, “to my mind there is no shame in any honest work or domestic arrangement. But it seems to me that one imports pain into these domestic arrangements precisely in the degree in which money matters and ‘profits’ come into them rather than individual selection and personal harmony. And certainly while I can earn bread in any other way I shall not bring a half crazy woman to live in the house with Hugh.”

“Well, still there are others,” persisted Florence. “There’s the Arcuts’ son. He isn’t an idiot; he is quite gentlemanly; he just has a want. Of course it is painful for his people, and they pay ever so much for a home apart for himself and his man-servant. They like him to live in a lady’s house and to sit at her table, so as to keep up refined habits. Or there are many well-to-do married couples who like to board, because they don’t get on very well alone together, or the wife doesn’t care for the trouble of housekeeping. I believe Jem and I may do it, when we are old and the girls are married off.”

“Florence,” repeated Lucy patiently, “I tell you again, you miss the whole point of the position. I did not do this for money. I did it because under present conditions it seemed an opportunity for the interchange of neighbourly service. If Charlie had been at home, I am sure he would have asked the boy to be our guest for a week or two, till some fit home was found for him, which Charlie would have helped to find. I have done the next best thing—the one thing possible under present circumstances, and I receive a favour in giving one, which is always the most wholesome and pleasant thing for both parties concerned.”

“It seems to me that you consider everybody and everything except your own position and the feelings of your relations,” returned Florence. “But it is high time we were downstairs; and I must put the whole matter out of my mind for the present, or I shall not be fit to receive my visitors. That ever I should live to see the day——”

She bustled off leaving her sentence unfinished, Lucy meekly following her.

If Lucy’s news had “shocked” Florence, Lucy was certainly startled by the new standpoint in the Brand establishment! If the five people to whom she was introduced—quite strange to her, and in most elaborate toilettes—were “one or two friends,” what represented “formality” in the Brand ideas? Of course, the hostess’s sister was introduced to them all—a murmur of names, a waving of bowing figures, amid which Lucy caught the name of Jinxson, and was able to associate it with a little woman, in emerald green brocade, a thatch of tawny curls beetling over a brow which needed no dwarfing. Then she found herself relegated to the more special society of a very tall man, very dark, with a sounding Highland name, whose prefix alone fastened itself upon her ears, so that ever afterwards she thought of him as “Mr. Mac.” He opened conversation with her by asking first if she had seen the last opera, and then if she contemplated going “for the autumn” to the Highlands or to Norway? Then he murmured, “May I have the honour,” and they fell into the procession filing into the dining-room.

The dining-room was a still further revelation of the long distance the Brands’ customs had travelled during the few months since Lucy had last joined in their social life. Fine napery they had always had, but now the long table-cloth was edged with rich embroidery and heavy lace. The table centre was a creamy film over pale rose-satin, and that note of colour was carried out in every detail of china, glass and{676} floral decoration. The latter was a wonderful arrangement, which Lucy at once knew it must have taken hours to work out. The menu was equally elaborate; one out-of-season delicacy followed another. The wines and liqueurs seemed to Lucy to be equally rare and choice, judging from their names whispered in her ear ever and again by two men in severely correct evening dress who “waited at table,” and were in their turn waited upon by the housemaid and the parlour-maid.

One of the ladies exclaimed on the loveliness of the floral scheme. “What genius you have at your service, Mrs. Brand!” she cried.

“Oh, not at my service only,” Florence replied nonchalantly. “I could not trust such a thing to my maids, and I could not spare time for it myself. Gosson, the florist, knows of one or two young women whom he recommends for such work.”

“It needs much taste,” said the Highland gentleman.

“Oh, I understand they are quite superior people,” Florence answered. “When I asked if one could rely on their honesty, he gave me the history of the one he meant to send. The daughter of a doctor, I think Gosson said, who had found it so impossible to provide for his family by his profession that he was tempted into speculation, and, of course, lost everything and committed suicide. It looked odd to see the dismal-looking girl in black creating such visions of beauty.”

“Ah, you have such a sensitive heart, dear Mrs. Brand,” said Mrs. Jinxson. “I should not wonder you helped her with most valuable suggestions. I think I trace your exquisite taste.” Florence smiled and did not reply.

Conversation on the whole was not very brisk. Possibly there was too much shifting of plates and variety of flavours to admit of that. Lucy found herself seated between her tall escort and a stout man with a closely shaven head. The former, finding it hard to discover any subject on which Lucy was readily responsive, devoted himself chiefly to Florence at the head of the table. His remarks concerned bags of game, a county hunt and a forthcoming military ball. Lucy’s other neighbour, whose name she had never caught, made a polite effort to include her in a conversation going on between himself and Mr. Brand. It consisted of mutual congratulations as to the magnificent prospects of a certain “company,” laudation of a man whom Lucy believed to be a most dangerous enemy to British freedom and honour, and scornful denunciations of another whom she regarded as their faithful champion. Lucy could not attempt expostulation or argument under such circumstances, but she was thankful that her silences were soon sufficiently understood to check any further appeals for her sympathy and concurrence. These were readily tendered by Mrs. Jinxson, who indeed went beyond the gentleman in her derogation of the statesman whose influence they deprecated.

When dessert made its appearance, little Muriel and Sybil came upon the scene. The one was a trifle older than Lucy’s Hugh, the other as much younger. They were artistically dressed, with fair hair floating over their shoulders. “Just like little pictures!” cried Mrs. Jinxson ecstatically. Lucy’s Highland escort began to pay court to Sybil as she stood between him and her mother. He heard her whispered appeal for a pear which lay in a dish immediately on his right hand.

“Yes, little lady, you shall have it at once,” he said, “but you must pay me for it. Do you think you will be able to afford one little kiss?”

The child looked up at him with her hard blue eyes. “Give me the pear,” she said.

“Certainly; I will trust my payment to my little lady’s honour,” said the gentleman.

Sybil snatched the pear from his hand.

“I will kiss oo when oo washes oor face,” she said rudely in a sharp childish treble. The other guests laughed. The Highlander coloured beneath his swarthy complexion.

Muriel had worked her way round to her Aunt Lucy. “Why are you dressed in black?” she whispered. “The governess always wears black; but that’s because she’s only the governess. But then you’re only a governess too, aren’t you? Nurse said so.”

“I think the lady opposite us wishes to speak to you,” Lucy said, disregarding her niece’s remarks, and noting that the elderly dame at the other side of the table was making enticing gesticulations.

Muriel shook herself. “I’m not going,” she said, in a stage whisper. “I don’t like her. I don’t like people who wear spectacles.”

“But, Muriel,” pleaded Lucy, in a low tone, “you ought not to make personal remarks of that sort! And your mamma herself will have to wear spectacles if she lives long enough.”

“Then I hope she won’t,” said Muriel. She was going to say something else, but interrupted herself to put out her tongue at Sybil at the other side of the table. Possibly Mrs. Brand herself noticed this performance, and as rebuke to such children at such a moment would have probably had still more compromising results, all she could do was to make the signal for the ladies’ retreat into the drawing-room.

Mrs. Jinxson evidently held the position of intimate in the Brand mansion. She and Florence promptly began to exchange confidences, while Lucy took up her rôle of the hostess’s sister by trying to interest the spectacled dame. That lady, however, preferred to strike into the other conversation.

“Do I hear you say you are changing your footman, Mrs. Jinxson?” she said.

“Yes,” said that lady, turning to her with animation. “I was just congratulating dear Mrs. Brand on only keeping a page. It is far better to secure, for occasions, such perfect attendance as we have had to-night than to have to endure one’s own man-servant, who is always either a clumsy raw hand or a finished villain—either quarrelling with one’s maids or making love to them. But Mr. Jinxson will have his own way; he has always been used to men-servants, and he will not hear reason.”

Mr. Jinxson’s father, a very respectable man, had kept a pleasant little hotel in a provincial town.

“We are parting with our present footman,” Mrs. Jinxson proceeded, “because he is so crude. Nothing will mellow him. When we have gentlemen’s dinner parties—as we so often do—and story-telling and jokes are going, his face is covered with a broad grin. Once I actually heard him giggle.” She turned to Lucy. “Such a thing is unendurable, is it not? It is the A B C of a servant’s training, man or woman, that not a muscle shall move whatever is said or done. What right have they to take an interest in anything but their work?”

Now this very difficulty had occurred in some of the houses where Lucy’s friend, Miss Latimer, had been governess. She and Lucy had discussed it together. Miss Latimer had told her that Dr. Thomas Guthrie, the great preacher, having heard such a complaint raised against a servant, had remarked that, for his part, if a servant were able to conceal all interest in family mirth or misery going on before his eyes, he should be inclined to wonder what else he had acquired equal skill in concealing. Lucy told this little story with a smile and without any comment.

The spectacled lady stared at her stonily. Mrs. Jinxson gave a polite sniff, and there was a little motion of Florence’s head which effectually suppressed her sister.

But at that moment the gentlemen came upstairs, and the conversation drifted into chit-chat about books which nobody seemed to have read, and pictures which nobody seemed to have seen. Then there was “a little music”—the elderly spectacled dame contributing “My mother bids me bind my hair,” and Mr. Jinxson following suit with “My love, she’s but a lassie yet.” Then somebody’s carriage was announced, and the little party broke up, Lucy naturally being the last to leave.

“Flo, you’ve never asked me the details of my last news from Charlie,” whispered Lucy—speaking playfully and meaning no reflection on her sister—as she and the Brands stood on the stairs waiting for the drawing up of Lucy’s cab.

“There, make a grievance and a fuss over that!” cried Florence, her nerves breaking between the tension in which they had been held by her anxiety that “all should go off well,” and the consciousness of sundry lapses which she felt sure had not escaped the lynx eyes of Mrs. Jinxson. “Of course, I expect you to tell me anything that is worth telling! But you just lie in wait to catch——”

“Your cab, mum,” said the page.

And Lucy hastily kissed Florence and kept her news to herself.

(To be continued.)






 have put together the Latin nations, as well as those of Eastern Europe, for convenience’ sake. Indeed the literature of Italy forms, of itself, one library, and that of Venice another; for there seems no native of any distant country who has not tried his prentice hand on Venice, in some of her many aspects. The American authors have been much attracted by the Queen of the Adriatic. From Byron to Browning, our English masters of poetry have delighted in it, and we must by no means omit the Stories of Venice and other works on it by Ruskin, which will take some time to read. Shelley, Rogers, and Browning—the first-named in Euganean Hills and the last in In a Gondola and many other poems—showed they were full of its spirit and colour.

Howell lived there for many years, and has given us Venetian Life, besides Italian Journeys, Tuscan Cities, and Alfieri and the Modern Italian Poets. Its book-lore, music, and the Technical History of its Lace Manufacture, glass, ceramics, and architecture, have all been written of in turn by different writers. One of the last and best is Robertson’s Bible of St. Mark’s. J. A. Symonds has written New Italian Sketches, and Life on a Doge’s Farm. There is also a delightful new book in A. M. Hopkinson Smith’s Gondola Days. Mrs. Oliphant has a book on the Makers of Venice, as well as the Makers of Florence.

In the way of Italian stories, we have Hans Andersen’s Improvisatore, Whyte Melville’s Gladiators, and the series of Marion Crawford, beginning with Saracenesca, which are full of older days in Rome, the middle portion of this century. Bulwer too has given us Rienzi and The Last Days of Pompeii. Romola by George Eliot, and many of Lever’s novels, picture for us a Florence which has passed away. Nor must we forget John Inglesant, and its remarkable picture of an Italy in the middle ages. In Italian we have the famous novel, I Promessi Sposi, Marco Visconti, and many much more modern books, including those of Silvio Pellico, Amicis, which are all interesting, and written also in Italian of a more modern style, which has taken on some shades of difference from the French. If you intend going to Italy, you should by all means try to get a few Italian lessons, if only to accustom your ear to the sound of the spoken tongue.

The Venetian school of painters is famous for their colouring. The best known of the great Venetian masters are, Paul Veronese, Tintoretto, and Titian; and you must know something of them. The last half of the fifteenth century and the first half of the sixteenth were the great periods of Italian art, and besides Varsari’s great works, you should read Benvenuto Cellini’s autobiography; and also a good history of Italian art, such as Crowe and Cavalcaselle’s History of Painting in Italy. Nor must you omit to learn something of the early history of music, which has so much of Italian in its origin; and poetry which numbers Dante and Petrarch, Ariosto and Tasso, in its ranks. You should likewise understand something of Italian architecture, and of its three schools, Venetian, Florentian, and Roman.

I remember well my own burning desire to learn something of the meaning of the things which surrounded me, and how I devoured everything that came in my way, so that the book list in my note-book and the copious notes surprise me to this day: Sismondi’s Italian Republics, Roscoe’s Life of Lorenzo di Medicis, Sir William Gell’s works, Mrs. Jameson’s books, and the lives of all the painters I could reach in English, French, and Italian.

If we wander away from the more modern side of life in Italy, we are even more interested. The Etruscans and their cities, the early days of Rome, Rome in Christian days, and the wars and tumults of the middle ages, have all in turn swayed the Peninsula, and have all had their historians too. The Etruscans are the most mysterious people of antiquity, and in the Etruscan museum at Florence you will first be able to gauge the artistic products of this ancient people in bronze and earthenware. Their power attained its zenith in the sixth century B.C., and you ought to know something about them in order to comprehend better the Roman civilisation.

Next in interest to the Etruscans, to me, were the Catacombs in Rome, and all the Roman monuments there; and you will speedily learn to distinguish the different styles both of architecture and ornament. An excellent Handbook to Christian and Ecclesiastical Rome by M. A. R. Tuker and H. Malleson has just been published in a series of four parts, two of which are now out, and parts three and four will soon be issued in one volume. It is intended to give the visitor a complete historical and descriptive account of Christian Rome in a handy form not at present otherwise available. The first part deals with the wonderful churches and basilicas of Rome, while Part II. deals with the various ceremonies, and Parts III. and IV. with all the monastic orders, the colleges, palaces, etc., in fact, all those particulars that everyone wants to know so much, and finds it so difficult to discover for themselves. This handbook is published by A. & C. Black at a very moderate price, and is being much recommended by the well-known travelling agents, Messrs. Cook and Dr. Lund. Middleton’s Rome deals more with classical Rome, and Story’s Roba di Roma with things as they are. Augustus Hare’s Walks about Rome is very useful, and so are Mrs. Jameson’s great books, Sacred and Legendary Art and Legends of the Monastic Orders; and also Withrow’s Catacombs of Rome. Rienzi, The Gladiators, the Improvisatore, and Marion Crawford’s novels, all deal with Rome from that fictitious side which is founded on facts; and all of them paint a different Rome. T. A. Trollope’s books on Italy, Leader Scott’s, and the delightful books of Professor Villari and his wife, are all delightful reading, and you will gain an idea of those two wonderful Italians, Giordano Bruno and Savonarola, who were at once patriots, reformers and martyrs. There are, and have ever been, so many Romes, the scenes of which pass before you like those in a drama; and the more you know the more you will enjoy, in your visits to her storied stones. Do you think I am laying too much stress on your study of Rome? When you begin to read you will see that in art, poetry, and literature, in science and in things that made the beauty of life, she has always led the way. But two things you will have to return to England to study, the growth of true freedom and the development of constitutional law; these were of home manufacture.

To understand Italian poets, especially Dante, your knowledge of Italian history must be fairly good, and the study of Italian literature would demand more time, probably, than you will have to give to it. So I will not enter into that subject, but I will advise you to take an Italian daily paper directly you begin your study of Italian, if you do so; for you will very soon be able to spell out a great deal of its contents, and this will aid you in mastering the language. They are fortunately very cheap indeed. My first purchase when I get into North Italy, after passing through the St. Gotthard, and getting near Milan, is the Corriere della Sera (or the Evening Courier) of that city, of which I am very fond, as it is full of general news and is amusing. In Florence and Rome I am very erratic in my choice, and only think of avoiding too fine and close print, and bad paper, as these are often the faults of Italian papers. But at all times there is the delightful Nuova Antologia to be had; and at Lausanne there is the Révue Nationale. Both of these reviews, or magazines, are of the best kind, and the same may be said of the Révue de Deux Mondes. If you can enjoy French, all these can be easily obtained in England, as most libraries take them.

And now I must turn from Italy, as I think you will know quite enough about it for a short visit; and let me hope that you will not be one of the disappointed ones, to whom none of her attractions have appealed, who see nothing of her many-sidedness, and note none of that endless procession of people who made her history through the ages, and understand none of the things which make her everlasting charm. A well-known prelate said the other day, “General culture is sympathetic interest in the world of human intelligence,” and this to me is a definition which explains much of the so-called “disappointment” we hear of to-day.

The books about Spain are legion, and the best of it is that they are also infinitely delightful, so that, while improving our minds, we may do it with thorough enjoyment to ourselves. Here, too, the foreigner has been most bountiful, and has endowed Spanish literature with jewels of research and beauty. To begin only with those of America, we have Washington Irving’s Conquest of Grenada, and the Alhambra, Prescott’s Ferdinand and Isabella, Philip the Second of Spain, and the Conquest of Mexico and Peru. Amicis, also, has a charming book on Spain and the Spaniards, and there are one or two, not very new, but exceedingly interesting, by the Rev. Hugh James Rose, one of them called Untrodden Spain, and a newer one by J. A. O’Shea, called Romantic Spain. If we do not read Spanish, we may enjoy Longfellow’s beautiful translations from the Spanish poets, and if we do know it, we may read the great novelist, Fernan Caballero. Perhaps it will surprise you to hear that Spain possesses several very able female novelists, besides the lady I have mentioned, and another one, Emilia Bazan Pardo. In the story of the nations, we have The Moors in Spain, by Stanley Lane Poole, which should also be read, and you will find Murray’s Handbook for Spain, a perfect and voluminous guide. There are several others as well. Spain has fewer foreigners than any other European country resident in her borders, and she has the smallest population in proportion to her size. Travelling in Spain{678} will be of the greatest use to you in cultivating the virtue of patience, and you can, at the same time, take lessons in politeness. If you do not know anything of Italian, you will find Spanish much pleasanter to learn, for the one language seems to act as an extinguisher to the other, in my mind, and I hear others say the same thing, for they are so much alike, and yet quite different. A smattering of Spanish, however, will be very useful to you, as English is not so well known as in other countries. Murray’s Handbook was written by Richard Ford, and he has also written Gatherings from Spain, and he is the standard authority on everything connected with its study. There is a book by a Miss Thomas, called A Scamper through Spain and Tangier, which would be useful to those who wish to make a cheap tour in Spain. She visited the chief Spanish cities. Ticknor’s History of Spanish Literature is the standard work on the subject.

Portugal is not one of the very popular tourist lounges, and the ordinary person has a hazy idea of it as connected with port wine, and the earthquake at Lisbon, and has probably heard of Inez di Castro, Vasco de Gama, and Prince Henry the navigator; and the Jubilee of 1887 made us all acquainted with the fact that the Royal Family of Portugal are near relations of our own, as on that occasion the Crown Prince and Princess were seen very frequently about London. Perhaps many of my readers may know also that Camoëus is the great Portuguese poet, who was the author of the Lusiad, a poem which has received such recognition in England that it has been translated four times, the last time by Adamson, who wrote a biography of the poet, and the late Lord Strangford translated some of his minor poems. The only really good book on general Portuguese history is that in “The Story of the Nations Series” by H. M. Stephens. There is also a book by W. A. Salisbury, Portugal and its People, which is a popular work and well compiled. Round the Calendar in Portugal is a book by Oswald Crawford, which I have enjoyed very much, but I think that there is plenty of room for another or even two or three more about Portugal, which perhaps some of my girl-readers would like to undertake.

Amongst Mrs. Pennell’s delightful books, the whole of which are worth reading, is one dealing with Hungary and Roumania, which is called Gipsyland; and Mrs. Elliot has a Diary of an Idle Woman in Constantinople. There are one or two lives of Carmen Sylva, the Queen of Roumania.

Egypt has had plenty of explorers, and I think you will enjoy Wilkinson’s Manners and Customs, Mariette Bey’s writings, and Miss Edwards’ delightful books. Then there is Lane’s Modern Egyptians, and as a really delightful thing you had better read Miss Gates’ book, the Chronicles of the Cid. Stanley Lane Poole’s book on Cairo, and Alfred Milner’s England in Egypt, are quite modern works, and Charles Warner has written a very interesting one too. For the Soudan, Major Wingate’s book is a good one, and you ought to be charmed with all those written by Mr. and Mrs. Bent. There are many books on Palestine, but none more useful than Thomson’s Land and the Book, for those who wish to travel through the Holy Land with the Bible in their hands.

And now I think I may leave my task of guiding my readers into such reading of many books as will give them enjoyment in their travels in foreign lands. I have not done more than speak of some of the many works which have interested me, for I find others that have been perused, but which do not seem important nor useful enough to be mentioned. In many Continental cities there are fairly good libraries, from which you can procure books dealing with the city in which you are staying; and if you are a rapid reader, you can do much in the way of skimming-over the ground, and a few photographs will remind you of the objects you most desire to recall.




n after-life, when Catherine tried to review the events of that strange summer, although every detail of her stay in Switzerland stood out in startling distinctness, she could never remember anything about the journey home. It seemed to pass in a dream, and she saw, as in a vision, the flitting crowds at the railway stations, the swarms of strange, unknown faces, the gleams of sunlight on field and stream as the train rushed by them, and at last the sea and the white cliffs of England again. Ten days had changed her from an eager, impulsive girl to a mature woman, self-reliant, not only in intention, but in fact. The well-known approach to her old rooms convinced her of the reality of things. “And now,” she thought, “for the old life, with its ordinary cares and business. Well, it has to be endured.”

But her anticipations were destined to be falsified. Her landlady met her with mingled relief and surprise. A letter had come that morning marked “Immediate.” She had not known where to send it, but now Miss West had come it would be off her mind.

“A letter for me!” cried Catherine, her thoughts at once rushing to Granville and Margaret, and then immediately reduced to order by a little common sense. “I so seldom have any letters, surely you must be mistaken.”

But no, the letter was there, a large square envelope, sealed with a heavy crest. She opened it with a good deal of curiosity, and read:—

“The Parade, St. John’s.

Dear Niece,—You probably never heard of your aunt, or rather your father’s aunt, Cicely. He and I quarrelled before you were born, and I never had any communication with him afterwards. But I have just discovered that I am suffering from an incurable complaint and have not many months to live, and it has come upon me that I should like to see you, and be reconciled to you as his representative. As soon, therefore, as you receive this I beg of you to come to me. I will, of course, defray all your expenses, and will see that you are met at the station. Telegraph the time of your arrival.

“Yours sincerely,
Cicely West.”

The arrival of this letter was a positive relief to Catherine. It gave her something to do and something to occupy her mind, and she had so much dreaded those quiet days spent alone in her rooms before the school opened again. Now there was no time for regret. With feverish energy she looked out her train in Bradshaw, despatched her trunks, had some lunch, and started out again on her travels. The journey took some time. St. John’s is a little watering-place on the south coast, almost suburban in character, so accessible is it from London, and with that peculiarly uninteresting and unfinished look distinctive of places that have been developed as a speculation. A bran new promenade and a flaunting “Kursaal” are its chief attractions, and at each end of the bay the giant scaffolding prophetic of some immense hotel or terrace projects its hideous outline between the sky and sea. Catherine, fresh from the magnificence of the Alps, shuddered as the train ran into the overcrowded little station.

She collected her belongings and was about to call a cab when a man in livery touched his hat, and, asking her if she were not for Frampton House, opened the door of a brougham that stood waiting. Catherine got in, and realised for the first time how tired she was; but she did not have much time for reflection, for in a very few minutes the carriage drew up at a large house facing the sea.

She was ushered into a dimly-lighted hall, up a broad flight of stairs, and soon found herself in a bedroom looking out over the promenade. She was slowly unfastening her jacket, trying to become accustomed to the sudden change in her surroundings, when the door opened and a little old lady walked in.

She was decidedly below middle height, but her carriage and dress gave her a dignity that would hardly belong by right to one so small of stature. Her fine delicate features were framed in a mist of lace, and underneath the neatly-parted bands of silver hair her dark eyes flashed with a brilliance undimmed by age or suffering. But her face was lined and worn, and the tiny hand that she extended to her visitor was almost transparent. Catherine was surprised to find how firm was the grasp in which her own was taken; but she soon found that this mingled frailty and dignity were but an index to the woman’s whole character. An iron will within a tender frame, resolution fighting with femininity, this had been the tragedy of her life; even now the fatal disease with which she was struggling was kept at bay by sheer force of will.

“So you are Catherine West,” she said, after the first greeting, standing at a little distance that she might have a better view of the girl. She crossed to the window and drew up the blind before Catherine guessed her intention, and then continued her inspection. “Ah, not much like your mother, much more like what I was in my young days,{679} but taller—it is the fashion to be tall now. Brown hair, blue eyes, fair complexion—but you are tired now. Yes, certainly you are a West, and that is satisfactory.”

Aunt Cicely retired, and Catherine, shaking out her one evening gown, tried to make herself as presentable as possible. She feared the disapproval of this daintily-attired old lady, though the large pier-glass beneath the electric light flashed back to her a defiance of criticism. Then she found her way down to the immense drawing-room, like a conservatory in its wealth of glass, but somewhat inferior as regards warmth. She found out afterwards that her aunt had been ordered to St. John’s for her health, and had taken this large, new-fashioned house on the recommendation of a land agent without having seen it.

Aunt Cicely was not such a terrible person after all. The fact was, she was agreeably surprised by this relation, whom she had summoned in tardy reparation for the injury she had done her nephew. Catherine’s father had chosen his wife from an inferior class, and his aunt had concluded that their daughter would be bourgeoise in the extreme. She had expected a short, dumpy girl, with big wrists and red hands, and saw instead a reflection, as it were, from the days of her own girlhood. A storm of grief and regret swept through the passionate heart that years of worldliness had been unable to entirely chill, and a resolution to make Catherine’s life as full and happy as her own had been empty and desolate filled her mind. But her manner was still distant and repellant; she could not easily throw aside her reserve or give play at once to the instincts of tenderness that had been distorted and diverted all her life.

But as the days wore on the two grew nearer and nearer to one another. Catherine’s sore and wounded heart, still bleeding from the effort of her great sacrifice, found wonderful solace in the care and attention she lavished on her aunt. The absolute necessity of some object of solicitude and tenderness is more obvious to most women than the desire for a particular lover. If Catherine had felt that Granville had any need of her she would not have run away from him; the liberty to love was far more to her than the desire for his devotion to herself. But that brief experience had wonderfully deepened and expanded her character. Before that, she would have viewed her aunt’s idiosyncrasies with some contempt and treated them with impatient forbearance. Now a great flood of pity filled her soul for this unhappy woman, who had wrecked her life by her own self-will, and yet bore the result with such unexampled fortitude. And Cicely, on the other hand, found that after all she had not forgotten how to love. After the tragedy of her youth she had made the repression of her emotions her great end; naturally ardent, she had striven to show the world an impassive and indifferent countenance: now, on the brink of dissolution, the long-suppressed fire burst forth. She was more like the Cicely of her youth than she had been for forty years.

Her tenderness manifested itself in a hundred ways. She had made Catherine, immediately after her arrival, send in the resignation of her post; and though the girl remonstrated with her, and lamented her loss of independence, she only replied that she could not possibly do without her, and that it was her plain duty to remain where she was. But the head mistress was travelling in Norway, so that the letter did not reach her at once, and was forwarded from place to place in pursuit of her. Catherine knew that if Granville or Margaret should wish to find her, they would at once apply at the address on the visiting card that she had given the latter—the address of her rooms. She was, therefore, careful to avoid telling the landlady where she had gone, sending directions to have her few belongings forwarded to the cloak-room at Victoria, whence they were afterwards despatched to her. In this way she thought she had concealed her retreat, at least for the present. For the discovery of a rich aunt had not at all altered Catherine’s sentiments or caused her to regret her resolution. She was quite as sure as Margaret that Granville’s interests could best be advanced by a marriage with Lady Blanche, and, in spite of his note, was by no means convinced of his attachment to herself. The idea that in the event of her aunt’s death she would be the probable heiress had not occurred to her, nor did she realise what this might mean, till one evening about a fortnight after her arrival, when the two women were sitting together in the twilight.

Catherine had been playing softly on the piano, and now she sat at the window, gazing over the darkening sea with eyes that obviously saw nothing. She did not know that her aunt’s keen glance was fixed upon her face, and suddenly she gave a little sigh.

“What are you thinking of, my dear?” said the old lady.

Catherine crimsoned, for, to tell the truth, she had been reviewing for the thousandth time that episode on the mountain-side. She hesitated, and then answered—

“Oh, about a great many things.”

“Catherine,” asked her aunt again, “have you ever had a lover?”

“Oh, what makes you ask?” said the girl, swift waves of colour chasing each other from her white forehead to her slender neck.

“That means, I suppose, that you have. I thought that sigh could not be for nothing.”

“No, indeed,” stammered the girl, “really I haven’t—at least, I suppose—I don’t think——”

“My dear, I am sure there is somebody. You must not think me very prying and inquisitive, but I insist on knowing the particulars.”

Catherine grew indignant.

“You have no right; and besides, there is nothing to tell.”

“Pardon me, I have a right,” said her aunt. “Do you not understand that I have left all my property to you, that you will be a very rich woman, and that I have some interest in knowing on whom the responsibility of the management will devolve? Come, my dear, imagine that I am your mother, and that no one cares more for your happiness than I. Did it happen in Switzerland?”

And so at last, by dint of many questions and suggestions, she drew out Catherine’s little story.

“Well, my dear,” she said, when it was finished, and Catherine’s shoulders were shaking in a storm of sobs on her lap, “I must say that I think you have behaved very foolishly, although I appreciate your motives. You should at least have given him the opportunity of a definite declaration.”

“But I don’t believe that he really cares; it was only a momentary impulse, perhaps, and besides, how could I help him? And Margaret, at any rate, suspected that he cared for someone else.”

“But his letter afterwards—you say he was a gentleman?”

“Of course!” cried Catherine, indignant at the insinuation.

“Then it is most probable that he was in earnest. How absurd girls are! To risk the happiness of your whole life for a sentimental idea! Now what you must do, and at once, is to write to his sister, and enclose your address.”

“Aunt Cicely!” exclaimed Catherine angrily.

“Yes, why not?”

“Don’t you see that it would undo all that I have already accomplished? He would be sure to hear, and it would be like asking him to come to me!”

“And what of that? He would probably be only too glad. And remember that you are a better match now. If he cared for you when you were a little insignificant governess, without any connexions as far as he knew, he would care much more now you are my acknowledged heiress.”

“It is too bad to say that! He is not at all that kind of man. Why, Margaret told me that it was only her money that stood between him and Lord Mayne’s sister.”

Aunt Cicely smiled wisely. Catherine’s warmth was merely a further revelation of the state of her feelings. “At least, you must do as I wish in this matter. You must certainly write to Miss Gray,” she said decidedly.

“I cannot—I dare not—I will not!” returned the girl with equal emphasis.

Aunt Cicely grew angry. Her will had been so long dominant that she could not brook opposition. And in proportion to her increased determination, Catherine’s defiance became more and more resolute. It was the battle of two wills, and the girl had herself scarcely realised till then how strong her own could be.

At last her aunt moved away, her whole frame shaking with indignation, and tottered towards the door; but as she reached it, she turned, and, lifting her hand, exclaimed—

“Remember! From this time you are disinherited! Not a penny of my money shall ever reach you!”

Catherine drew herself up with girlish dignity. “I have given you no right to speak like that,” she said. “I have never shown any desire for your money. I was independent of your favour before, and I can be independent again.”

The door closed, and Catherine sank exhausted into an arm-chair. But when the first impulse of resentment had subsided, she began to have regrets. After all, her aunt was an old woman, and however irritating she might be, her age entitled her to forbearance. And she was ill and suffering, and any excitement was bad for her. Catherine dried her eyes, and ran lightly upstairs to the old lady’s room. She tapped at the door, but received no response: and after waiting a long time she concluded that her aunt’s resentment was still unabated, and crept miserably to bed.

Aunt Cicely, tossing uneasily to and fro, was not less remorseful. But she was still convinced that her advice was sound, and that the girl should have taken it. After all, had she not the experience of a lifetime to guide her? Reviewing her brilliant girlhood and the long years of desolation and loneliness that had resulted from her own foolish pride, she resolved emphatically that another life should not be sacrificed in the same manner. If Catherine would not take the necessary steps to bring about an understanding, she would take them herself. She had known Lord Mayne’s father, and had followed the son’s career with much interest. She could use her knowledge of the family and introduce herself to the latter, from whom she would, no doubt, be able to learn all that was necessary about his secretary. And if she approved of him, she did not doubt that she would be able to bring the match about. She waited impatiently for the morning, and at six o’clock rang for her maid.

“I must go to London by the 7.30 train,” she said. “Tell Wilkins to have the brougham ready in an hour. And don’t disturb Miss Catherine. She was up late last night, so you might take some breakfast to her at nine o’clock. Now help me to dress.”

(To be concluded.)






By EVELYN EVERETT-GREEN, Author of “Greyfriars,” “Half-a-dozen Sisters,” etc.




t comes to this, Oscar. I myself believe in you. You have been careless, easy-going, lax, but I have full faith in your integrity. Yet it comes to this: you will have to make up your mind to be under a cloud for the present. Without some sort of proof it would be useless to drag in Cyril’s name. With pain I say to you that I myself greatly fear the sin does lie at Cyril’s door. But with your memory uncertain, and his absolute denial of being concerned in the matter, it seems hopeless to seek to bring it home. It would be a source of bitterness at home, and would almost break my mother’s heart.”

“I would much rather bear the blame myself than that that should happen,” said Oscar in a broken voice; but North made a little impatient gesture.

“Don’t take it like that,” he said. “I have no patience with one person bearing blame for another—the innocent for the guilty, letting the scamp go off free—when he could be caught. But in this case there seems at present no way of getting at him. I don’t want to say harsh things of my own brother, but I have had one or two shocks with regard to him during these past six months, and that is why I do not find it difficult to regard him as the culprit. But you are not without blame, Oscar. I cannot acquit you, though I shall never believe that you had any hand in the abduction of the money. You haven’t it in you. But you ought to take your duties to yourself and others more seriously; and when money is entrusted to you, nothing should ever induce you to place it in any hands but those for whom it was given you. It is a breach of trust, whether you think of it in that light or not.”

Oscar was very humble; he had talked the whole matter out with North, and had kept back nothing. It had been an immense relief to him, and he was deeply grateful for the faith reposed in him by his cousin. North believed in him; he shared his fear that Cyril was the real defaulter, yet he did not see, as things now stood, how it could be brought home to him; and for Oscar to seem to try and shelter himself behind a vague accusation brought against his own kinsman seemed a most undesirable line of action. Oscar was almost relieved not to be forced to take it. With his temperament it seemed easier to bear odium and suspicion than to try and fasten them upon others.

“You must leave the matter in my hands,” said North, after a long silence. “I will see my father and make the best I can out of the case. It’s a serious bit of business, look at it as you will. And if he acquits you of any embezzlement, he must perforce know that there is somebody else not to be trusted in his employ. It will be hard on you all, Oscar; and it will be a part of your punishment to know that this difficulty could not have arisen but for your easy-going ways, of which I have warned you before.”

“Yes,” answered Oscar, “I can see now how wrong I have been. I deserve to suffer. But I hope nobody else will fall under suspicion. The other fellows in the office have really nothing to do with it. I am as certain as possible that——”

“Yes, yes, I know; and, Oscar, I shall not let the matter rest without trying to get at the real truth. And my father is too just a man to believe any person guilty without proof. But his confidence in your trustworthiness must be in some sort shaken. I do not believe he will think you have robbed him, but he must think that by your carelessness you have allowed him to be robbed, and, indeed, Oscar, whether Cyril be the defaulter or not, it is in a way the truth.”

Oscar winced, but he accepted the rebuke humbly. North sat silent awhile staring into the fire, and then said thoughtfully and rather gravely—

“But I shall not let the matter rest there. I shall do my utmost to unravel the mystery. We have one possible chance. My father has the numbers of the bank-notes. They may be difficult to trace after this lapse of time, but it is possible we may be able to hear something of them.”

“And you will try—even though—it might be—Cyril?”

“Of course I shall try,” answered North. “Do you think I want others to bear the blame, even though the real defaulter may be a brother? Besides, Oscar, if it is true, as I sometimes fear, that Cyril is getting into dangerous company and dangerous ways, do you believe that it is true kindness to seek to shelter him at the expense of truth? Discovery and exposure at the outset have been the saving of many a young man in like circumstances. I don’t know whether you know anything about Cyril’s goings on just now, but I have an impression that he is getting amongst a set of betting and racing men, and that these frequent journeys to London, ostensibly to read at the British Museum, have in reality a very different object.”

“I know very little about Cyril now,” answered Oscar. “He was friendly at first, and used to invite me to go about with him, but latterly I have been busy; and I found too much card-playing among his friends for my taste—or my pocket. For several months I have seen very little of him.”

North’s mouth looked set and grim.

“If he is taking to play, and attending race meetings, as I fear, it would easily account for his desire for money, although my father has been liberal to him; and I know he has given him extra help latterly, believing it to go in fees or something for this law reading. I hope I do not wrong Cyril when I express strong doubts whether the bulk of it is used for such purposes at all.”

Oscar saw by all this that North was seriously disturbed about his brother, and he was able to understand then why it was that he had from the first been disposed to think Cyril might have had a hand in the abduction of the money. It was a comfort to him to feel that North’s trust in him was not shaken, but he knew that he had a bad time before him both at home and in the office.

Nor was he mistaken. That a sum of forty pounds and over had been made away with, and a counterfeit receipt given for it, were facts there was no blinking. And it was known that Oscar had received the money, and could give no satisfactory account of what he had done with it.

His fellow-clerks, with whom he was popular, did not suspect him of theft, but concluded he had been swindled by some fellow at Jones and Wright’s.

“He is so easy-going, he’d never notice or care so long as he got any sort of receipt,” they said one to the other; but Oscar knew he had never paid the money over, and disliked the thought that blame should attach to anybody through him.

His uncle said very little to him, but his manner became more cold and formal; and before long a new confidential clerk was introduced in the place of Curtis, Mr. Tom remarking in the hearing of the junior clerks—

“I had hoped not to fill that place, but to let the younger men already here have the chance of working up to it; but I find it does not do to be without an experienced and trustworthy head.”

Of Cyril Oscar saw almost nothing for a whole week. He went off to London, with the excuse of his law studies, and did not return till the talk about the lost money had pretty well blown over.

Oscar begged his uncle to take the forty pounds from his own small fortune,{682} held in trust till his majority, now quickly approaching, but he had only received an ambiguous reply to his request. His aunt continued to treat him kindly, but he could feel the difference in her manner, and Raby was rather inclined to ignore him altogether.

“It is so very disagreeable to have to talk about one’s family,” she said. “Of course everybody knows something unpleasant has happened, and I have had to tell the Bensons all about it. Lionel thinks Oscar had much better be shipped off to the Colonies; I almost wish father would get him away from here. It’s so disagreeable having him always about. One does not like to be unkind, but one can’t trust him or like him.”

That was how Raby felt, and showed it in her manner. She was of course much influenced by what the Bensons thought, and they naturally concluded that Oscar was guilty.

“Lots of young fellows get into hobbles, and then make a grand fiasco getting out,” Lionel had said. “I know Oscar got amongst some card-playing fellows once. Cyril does too, for that matter; but Cyril can afford it, he has plenty of money. Most likely Oscar got into a hole, and was tempted to get out of it by hook or by crook as he could. But I think it’s a mistake his staying on here. He’d be happier and do better in a fresh place. That’s my opinion, if you want it.”

Nobody but Raby did particularly want it. She, however, took her cue from Lionel, and she somewhat influenced her mother, and altogether Oscar’s present life was not a very happy one. He did his best to be patient and cheerful, and strove hard to conquer the tendency in his temperament which had been the indirect cause of all this trouble.

North was uniformly kind and encouraging, and showed him that his efforts were not unobserved, and he had his brighter days also in between the dark ones; as when Ray once asked him to drive her across to spend Saturday afternoon with May Lawrence, and talked to him quite pleasantly and freely the whole way.

It was a delightful change to him to get right away from the town and its associations, and May was pleased to see them, asked innumerable questions about Sheila, and wished she could be out in such a beautiful place and climate.

Rather to the surprise of Ray and Oscar, though apparently not to that of their young hostess herself, North walked in about tea-time, and was very cordially received by May.

From their talk they were evidently on excellent terms, and it was plain that it was no unusual thing for North to spend his free afternoon here, though his family knew nothing of his movements except that he always took a long walk on Saturday afternoons.

He left before his sister, as he preferred walking to the back seat of the little phaeton; and when he was gone May said with something rather like enthusiasm—

“I do think there is something very fine about your brother, Ray; he is so different from most of the young men one sees. He has such a lot to do and think of. Life is all work with him and not play. I don’t mean just money-getting. He wants to make things thrive, of course; but he wants just as much to do good to the work-people and teach them to live better lives and care for higher things. I’m so tremendously interested in it all. I suppose you do a lot to help him?”

Ray rather stared and then laughed.

“I think North must talk more to you than he does at home. I know he has some hobbies of his own, and spends a lot of evenings at the club and lecture-room; but I don’t know much about the details. North isn’t much of a one to talk.”

“He talks a good bit to me,” said May. “It’s awfully interesting. If I were his sister I should want to do a lot. He always speaks of you as his favourite sister, Ray.”

Ray coloured with pleasure, for North was decidedly her hero, although she did not know so very much about the way in which his spare time was spent. Like many men who work hard in one groove, North was reticent at home of his doings, and even to Ray he only spoke rather vaguely of the plans and projects in his mind. Working, not talking, was distinctly North’s forte, and Ray wondered how it had come to pass that May had broken down his reserve and won his confidence.

“I thought it was Cyril who came here to talk—not North,” she said. “Cyril always speaks as though he were very intimate here.”

May slightly tossed her head, and her lip curled; she seemed about to speak rather scornfully, but recollecting herself she answered quietly—

“Cyril does not come very often now, and I think his talk is more interesting to himself than to other people, for it is mostly about himself. I hope you don’t mind my saying that much, Ray; but indeed it is true.”

“Oh, I know!” answered Ray, laughing good-temperedly. “We all know that Cyril is a bit of a poser, or whatever you call it. But I think our confidence in him as a hero got rather a shock on one occasion. It’s not the fashion at home to poke fun at Cyril; but I’m sure other people must laugh at him often!”

Ray laughed as she spoke, and May joined in; the two girls were very fairly intimate by this time, for May had never dropped her friends in the town since those summer days when the friendship had grown and flourished.

“She is a nice girl,” said Ray, as she and Oscar drove away. “I once began to think I might have her for a sister-in-law, but I don’t think that is going to come off. Indeed, I almost hope not! Cyril is not half good enough for her!”

Oscar was silent; the subject of Cyril was painful to him. Ray glanced at him, and then said suddenly—

“Oscar, North has told me something about how things stand; he has told me more than the rest know. I have an awful fear that Cyril is worse than any of us have ever thought! Sometimes I am quite miserable about it, and you getting the blame in a way. It is too bad!”

“I think people have been very kind to me,” said Oscar slowly, “and we do not know anything against Cyril.”

“We know he was a coward once, and told a lie to screen himself! That was quite bad enough. Oscar, I sometimes feel that a man who could do all that could do much worse if the temptation were strong enough. North says the same.”

“North is a very generous fellow—a very fine fellow!” cried Oscar, with sudden enthusiasm; “and I hope he is going to get his reward—some day!”

“His reward? What do you mean?” asked Ray quickly.

“Didn’t it come into your head to-day? It did into mine. I think Miss Lawrence may be, perhaps, your sister-in-law still!”

“Oh,” cried Ray, with wide-open eyes, “do you really think so? I never thought of such a thing! Yet really it might be. But what would Cyril say?”

(To be continued.)





The subject of “diet and digestion” is a well-worn theme, and more books and papers are written upon this than upon any other medical subject.

But though the tale is old, there are variations and embellishments which are quite new; and it is in an original manner that we wish to speak to you on this old but oft-forgotten subject of physiological diet.

We are going to teach you health from the kitchen and dining-room, two of the most important sources of human suffering, and the chief sources of income of the physician.

For it is in the kitchen that indigestion begins, and if your cook is faultless, and rightly understands her business, you will not get indigestion, save through your own indiscretions in the dining-room.


It is commonly supposed that the chief fault in diet is eating to excess, that is, violation of the laws of moderation. But this is not the commonest mistake, for in most cases where too much food is eaten, it is from faulty methods of eating, and from taking unsuitable food.

The Americans suffer from indigestion more than do any other people in the world; the French suffer perhaps the least. Yet the average Frenchman eats more than the Yankee, but he has made a science of feeding, and notwithstanding that he eats more than the American, he eats it better and more rationally, and therefore his organs digest it more rapidly.

You think it is disgusting to make a science of feeding—pandering to one of the lowest of pleasures? No, you are mistaken; the science is not only just, it is necessary for health. Of course, if your science consists in elaborating dishes to tickle your appetite, to enable you to eat more than you need, it is very wrong. But here it is not science which is to blame, but the person who abuses science.

As soon as we are down in the morning we think of our stomachs, of our breakfast. It is no good telling us that it is irrational to eat breakfast; that as we have done no work yet we need no nourishment; for we thoroughly disbelieve in this argument. It is much better for everyone to take something at breakfast-time, but whether she should make a good square meal at breakfast, and take but a small luncheon, or just pick a little something at breakfast, and make a good meal at midday, depends entirely upon what she is used to.

Many persons take a little fruit before breakfast, and it is not at all a bad plan, for fruit is the natural and best aperient. Because of the difficulty of obtaining fruit and vegetables many of us Londoners eat too much meat, which is very wrong, for excessive meat-eating brings many diseases in its train.

All fruits are not equally digestible, and some kinds are so difficult to digest that they should only be taken by those who are in robust health. All stone-fruit, especially cherries, and all nuts are very indigestible. Fruit is always best when it is picked just before it is eaten, and those who possess the luxury of an orchard or country garden of their own should eat a little fruit from the trees, in the season, every morning before breakfast, when the combination of the fresh fruit and the crisp morning air will do much to brace up the system for the day.

Unripe fruit is no favourite with the stomach, and it may produce severe griping and colic. Much more injurious is over-ripe or decomposing fruit, a very common cause of so-called English cholera.

Certain persons have peculiar idiosyncrasies for certain fruits, especially for strawberries, and at the beginning of the strawberry season attacks of nettle-rash accompanied with severe indigestion, due to eating the fruit, are extremely common.

Now let us go to breakfast. There are plenty of things to choose from; only think a little beforehand, and have some reason for your choice.

Here is the menu:—

Tea, Coffee, Cocoa, Milk.
Rolls and Butter.
Oatmeal Porridge.
Eggs and Bacon.
Fried Fish.

What will you take to drink? “Oh, tea is so indigestible, coffee is so bitter, cocoa is so unrefreshing, and milk swarms with tubercle germs! So give me any that you like.” Why? Is this the science of dieting? Who has prepared this meal, that she serves up tea that is indigestible, coffee that is bitter, and milk that swarms with tubercle bacilli? Give her notice at once, and prepare the drinks for yourself; or rather, bring us the necessary implements, and we will show you how to prepare tea that is not indigestible, and milk that is quite free from germs.

There is a great deal of nonsense talked about the indigestibility of tea. That tea as it is usually served is an indigestible and highly nauseating decoction we readily admit; and also that if it is indulged in to excess at all hours of the day, as it is by so many poor seamstresses, it is injurious to the “nerves.” But in moderation, properly made tea is as digestible as any hot liquid can be, and is infinitely more readily digested than any of the numerous substitutes which have been introduced to supersede it.

This is the way to make tea. What is this? A silver tea-pot! Take it away and sell it, and buy a brown earthenware one for fivepence-halfpenny. No good tea was ever made in a silver pot. Which tea shall we have—Indian, Ceylon, or China? China undoubtedly, for though it is much weaker than Indian tea it contains very much less tannin, which is the indigestible ingredient of tea.

We are afraid that you must take the kettle back to the fire and boil the water again, for while we have been talking the water has got cooled, and tea must never be made with water that is not boiling, because it readily dissolves the tannin but leaves the caffeine—to which the stimulating property of tea is due—behind.

Now we will pour the boiling water over the tea and leave it to draw for one minute only before pouring it into the cups.

“But it is so weak, I can see the bottom of the cup through it.” Quite right; so you should. The caffeine and the flavour of the leaves are instantly diffused into the boiling water. If you leave the tea to draw for some minutes, excess of the tannin is dissolved, which precipitates the caffeine and renders the tea indigestible and unrefreshing.

And the deepening of the colour. What do you think causes that? Dirt and extractives, materials far better left behind with the leaves with which to sweep the carpet.

Milk must be boiled the moment it enters the house. Infected milk is so common and so readily infects those that drink it, that it is a serious mistake not to sterilise it at once.

No milk should be put upon the table which has not been boiled. Boiling kills all bacteria; it therefore kills the germs of typhoid fever and tuberculosis which are very commonly found in milk. Indeed, milk is one of the commonest agents by which these two diseases are spread. There are numerous milk boilers in the market, notably those of earthenware with holes in the lid, through which the milk can flow to and fro when in the act of boiling.

What will you take to eat? But in the first place it is no good sitting down to eat solids unless you have good teeth. Bad teeth and absence of teeth are two of the commonest causes of indigestion.

Decayed teeth cause indigestion, because they swarm with germs which secrete poisons which are swallowed with the food and irritate the stomach.

Absence of teeth is the commonest of all causes of lifelong dyspepsia, and the first step in the treatment of any form of long-continued indigestion should be a visit to the dentist.

Also it is no good having sound teeth unless you use them. Teeth were given to you to chew with, and you must chew every morsel of food, and chew it well, giving at least twenty “grinds” to each mouthful.

It is bolting food which causes so much indigestion. It is bolting which causes so many persons to eat too much, and it is bolting which has rendered the go-ahead Yankee the proverbial martyr to dyspepsia.

If you eat slowly, and thoroughly masticate your food, you will lose your appetite when you have eaten enough, and so you will not eat too much without knowing it. But if you shovel in your food like pitching bricks into a cart, the stomach is nonplussed, and you may go on eating and still be hungry long after you have taken sufficient food; and you will not know that you have eaten too much until your unfortunate stomach attempts to digest its contents.

Now back again to our menu. Eggs and bacon is perhaps the commonest breakfast dish in England. And a thoroughly good and wholesome dish it is, too, if properly cooked. Of course if the eggs are stale and the bacon is half raw and swimming in grease, it is indigestible; but properly cooked fresh eggs—preferably poached and underdone—and crisp grilled bacon is a very digestible food. It is curious that although pork is one of the most indigestible of meats, bacon is tolerated by the most delicate and disordered stomachs.

Fried fish is another excellent breakfast dish. Whiting, soles and plaice are the three most digestible of fried fish. Herrings and eels are bilious and difficult to digest.

Hot rolls and butter are proverbially indigestible. But our close wool-like bread is far more difficult to digest than the light, more glutinous bâtons of the French breakfast. Indeed, these light rolls, consisting of little more than holes stuck together, are not so very indigestible. Why we cannot get them in England we do not know.

Oatmeal is the national breakfast dish of the Scotch. The Highlander makes his meal of oatmeal before his long day in the open air. The English lord, when he goes deer-stalking in the Grampians, also takes oatmeal for his breakfast, and finds it a wholesome and sustaining food. But when he returns to Mayfair, he would no more think of eating oatmeal for breakfast than he would dine off sawdust.

The Scotch brag greatly about the value of oatmeal as a diet, and they would persuade us Londoners that oatmeal is the best breakfast dish we can take. But when we say that it makes us heavy, and gives us indigestion, they always answer, “That is because you do not make it properly.” But that is not the reason. Oatmeal is a very nutritious food, but it is not easily digested; and so, although the Scotch peasant likes it, and can digest it because of his outdoor life and laborious occupation, the Londoner, with his sedentary life in a smoky city, cannot digest it. And for him it is an unsuitable diet.

Last and least as regards expense, but most important from the numbers who eat it, is the homely bloater.

Dried fish is not very easy to digest, but is highly nutritious and is cheap. And when you can get nutritious food at a cheap rate, you must expect to give a little extra trouble to digest it. Smoked salmon is far and away the worst form of dried fish. It is much the most indigestible, it is very expensive, and it is not really half so tasty as a kipper.

A little bread and marmalade forms a pleasant end to the breakfast. But what does this mean—“Good-bye, I am so glad to have had breakfast with you, but I must rush off to catch my train, as I have to be in the City by 9.30 A.M.” What! Running to catch a train immediately after a meal? Then in future you had better belong to that class that eats no breakfast. Better have an empty stomach than a full one which you will not allow yourself to digest.

(To be continued.)






Those who recollect “coaching times” can alone realise the idea of a “village inn.” Railways have created “country hotels,” but the modern hotel is so different from the old-fashioned inn that it gives one little idea of the kind of hostelry at which our fathers broke their journeys when going from London to York, Norwich, or Bristol. Possibly the attendance was none of the best and the accommodation not all that could be desired, yet they had somehow or other a charm about them. They were homely and not luxurious, and the company was decidedly mixed, yet there was more good-fellowship and kindly feeling among the guests than can be found in the modern hotel. Of course, we speak alone of country inns and hotels. Some of our new London hotels are quite what is wanted in a large busy town, and are distinctly an advance upon the metropolitan hotel of our grandfathers’ day. But everyone who recollects travelling by coach has a kindly corner in his heart for the old roadside inn. How briskly everyone got down from the coach when the landlord advanced from the porch of the cheery old building, or the pleasant-looking landlady came to the door, with her pretty and healthy-looking daughters, to welcome the ladies. There might, of course, be some bilious old gentleman or cantankerous old lady amongst the{685} arrivals, but the cheerfulness of the scene and the healthy appetite generally pacified even these unamiable folks.


What friendships were made, and who does not remember some pleasant act of kindness connected with the old inn? One of the earliest recollections of my life is of such an act.

I was a child, and was being taken down to Norfolk to be put to school. We sat down to dinner, my father on one side of me and a strange, but very gentle, married lady on the other. My father got very interested in a conversation with another clergyman on “dangers threatening the Church.” I felt miserable, frightened, and ready to cry when a sweet voice whispered in my ear, “What is the matter, my little man? Ah, I see your hands are cold and you cannot cut up your dinner.” So she took my hands and warmed them in her own fair palms. After a minute she addressed me again. “Why, my dear child, you don’t seem to be at your ease even now.” I was too silly or shy to tell her what was the matter (and perhaps a little bit ashamed), but her quick woman’s wit soon found out what was wrong. I saw her whisper to one of the girls who were waiting, and very quickly a child’s knife and fork were placed before me. I had never before handled a large knife and fork. How grateful I felt to that kind and thoughtful lady. I never saw her again; and although it is more than half a century since this act of kindness was done, I shall never forget either her or it.

Now, recollections of this kind seem to cling around old-fashioned inns. And what quaint-looking buildings they were, with their projecting bow windows, long low rooms, and great beams supporting the front externally and the ceiling internally.

Few indeed of these old village inns now remain, but we give two, one from Alfriston in Sussex, and the other from Wingham in Kent. The former is an excellent example of Tudor work, half timbered construction, with wooden mullions, bow windows, and doorways, with a most curious fragment of a sign representing a dragon preserved at one corner. Since we made this sketch the building has, we believe, been restored, but we trust the old dragon has survived. The roof is covered with thin slabs of stone called “shingles,” not an uncommon kind of roofing in neighbourhoods where stone is cheap and plentiful.

The other inn, which we have sketched at Wingham, Kent, is a very remarkable building, portions of which certainly date from the fourteenth century. The great roof, which is visible from the upper rooms, is very interesting, and seems at one time to have formed a kind of hall undivided from end to end (the porch with its bow windows above it is a charming feature). Possibly it may have been a primitive concert room, and resounded with those sweet old English madrigals of Bird, Dowland, and Orlando Gibbons.

There is a fine old Gothic inn at Glastonbury with a front of entirely cut stone, and the picturesque old “King’s Head” at Chigwell, the original of Dickens’s “Maypole” in Barnaby Rudge, is a good example of the Stuart period.

The bishops and clergy of various denominations who have started “The People’s Refreshment House Association, Limited,” have no doubt the idea of replacing the ordinary village “public-house” by something more nearly resembling the old “hostelrie,” in fact, of replacing the mere drinking-shop by an establishment where rational refreshment can be obtained by those who require it, and should they succeed in their enterprise they will earn the thanks of all thinking people and be doing a good work in the cause of temperance.

H. W. Brewer.

(To be continued.)





One man I remember especially among these, who led us a fine dance! He was a tall, thin, intellectual-looking fellow, with a handsome but most cruel face. Some friends from a distance had sent us word that they were coming over for the day, and I had provided a turkey for dinner. All that I could prepare beforehand had been done. Dinner was to be at one o’clock, and I began to be uneasy as the time passed, and I knew the turkey to be lying white and cold and unstuffed upon the kitchen table. It was dangerous ground to seem to interfere, or advise much, and I had already twice said, and the last time with emphasis, that the dinner must be punctual and the turkey well done. After anxious and secret family consultations, however, as the time grew very late, and I knew the great white thing to be still lying on the kitchen table, I went in and told him that he must get the turkey into the oven at once. He made no reply, and went on perfectly quietly with some unimportant job; I waited a moment, and still getting no reply, I repeated my order, adding, “Do you hear, Wong?”

Then he looked round at me, with a leer on his handsome face, and still gave no answer. “Dinner is at one,” I said, trying to keep quiet. “When will that turkey be ready?”

After a moment of silent laughter, when I could see his back shaking, he said, “Turkey leady allie lightie to-mollow, not cookie him to-day—no time!” Then his back shook again, as he bent over his bit of work.

I confess I did not know how to deal with this. Nowadays, in such a plight, I should storm and get very angry, and try to frighten him, for they are all cowards. But I was too uncertain then, and our friends were due directly, and I did not dare risk anything.

However, the end of it was, dinner was just a little late, but to our amazement everything was beautifully cooked and served, and there was no sign of that alarming mood in the grave alert man who waited on us.

I had not then realised how marvellously quick they are; what seeming impossibilities they can accomplish without effort, slip-slopping about in their loose, heelless little shoes with apparently tireless steps. They are very methodical and orderly, and no doubt this is the secret of their quickness. They certainly get through a great deal of work, and with ease too, and have plenty of leisure besides.

One man we had always spent his leisure in sleep. He disappeared regularly after the washing-up of the midday dinner. It was only by chance that we discovered where he took his siesta. One of us went to fetch something from the “cool” cellar we had dug for ourselves, and of which we were very proud, and were startled to find a white figure lying prostrate, stretched across three empty lemon boxes, in the middle of the floor.

So that was where Quong disappeared to, and that was why at times the cellar was locked and the key gone, as we had noticed once or twice. I did not tell the rest of the family so, but I believe he also made his Chinese toilet there, combing his pigtail, and generally setting himself in order all among the milk-pans, and the butter, and the tarts!

He explained, smiling and unmoved, that it was “welly cool, welly nice for rest there.” However, we said he must not sleep there any more.

Most Chinamen are wonderfully clever gardeners, especially delighting in growing vegetables; and when once that nimble white figure is seen busy at work in the kitchen garden, one may pick up some hope that the new cook will quietly settle down in his new place, for some months at least, and that the charms of the gambling houses and opium dens of Chinatown will fade from his mind for a little while. Our present man, who is a capital servant, has rejoiced our hearts lately by making himself very busy in the kitchen garden. Knowing what contrary creatures they are, always doing the opposite of what one expects, we try to “rejoice with moderation,” as an old friend used to advise; but, after all, why not enjoy one’s pleasure with a free heart, and to the full, while it lasts?

We have never done admiring and wondering at the way our present cook, Yung, does his gardening, accomplishing so much, and in such a curiously casual way, popping out between-whiles in his little embroidered velvet shoes, and finishing each time some fresh piece of work in a masterly fashion.

Then besides the hope in one’s mind that this interest will bind him to his place for a time, there is the thrilling expectation of some day eating these same vegetables. One has to live on a ranch, out of reach of Chinese vegetable carts, to know how pleasant that prospect seems.

The first years of a ranch demand so much work for the trees, and all the business connected with the ranch itself is so pressing, that even if a kitchen garden is made at once, as in our case, the vegetables get such poor attention that they are of very little use. Nothing grows here without the closest tending; but with constant care the growth is like a fairy tale. However, very few ranchers find time for vegetables in the first years, at any rate.

Some Chinamen, too, are great readers, and bring with them quite a library of small paper-backed Chinese books. I asked one of these studious ones if they were the books of Confucius that he was reading so diligently, at which he seemed much amused, grinning and shaking his head.

After our fatiguing time of domestic troubles, when the winter season was over, and San Miguel was once more the half empty, easy-going little town, and good Chinamen were ready to take even a place in the country, we got quite a passable cook, bad tempered, however, and very rough in his ways at such times. But we were thankful to have the work done fairly well, on any terms, and we pretended not to notice his almost brutal manner.


I had been warned again and again by friends who had long experience in dealing with Chinamen, not to interfere at all, but to leave things entirely to them. So long as the work is fairly well done and things are clean, what does the rest matter? Most of them are by no means extravagant or wasteful, as servants go; but if such a one should fall to your lot, you may as well dismiss him at once, for you will never persuade him to make the least change. They are so exceedingly stubborn that interference, if it does no harm, is little likely to do any good. In most cases where a change is demanded, they will say “allie lightie,” and go on doing their own way.

As I myself do the choosing and buying of the meat, I also go through the form of ordering how it shall be cooked and prepared for each meal. If my orders accord with his Celestial ideas, they are carried out, and if not, they are not. And that is the end of it. He always serves up something nice, and does not waste, which is surely good enough for any reasonable being.

I confess I do resent a little the half covert smile with which I am received in the morning when I go into the kitchen to give these bogus orders; but I brazen it out, and struggle through the form with the best dignity I can.

One lady friend, when advising me never to interfere about the work, told me of a striking experience she had before she learnt her lesson.

She kept a large boarding-school for girls, and employed a number of Chinamen. The cook, being a very capable and respectable fellow, was the acknowledged head over the others, engaging them and dismissing them on his own responsibility. That was the plan which she had found the best, and as long as he was satisfied, all worked as smoothly as a machine, for he belonged, as most of them do, to some secret society, and whether he was a “high binder,” as seemed likely, or not, they feared and obeyed him as they would never have feared or obeyed her.

One unlucky day, however, she took it into her head to go into the kitchen and prepare some small thing which he had cooked once or twice in a manner that did not please her. She had told him that she did not like it so, but next time it was served in just the same fashion, and she was annoyed. She went bravely into her own kitchen, and prepared it as she liked, leaving him in quiet possession as soon as this was finished.

A large school is a busy place, and no one had time to notice anything unusual or strange till the hour for dinner drew near. Then suddenly it struck all the little community that the house was very still; there was no smell of dinner, and in the dining-room, when the door was hastily flung open, there were no preparations for the meal.

Our friend, startled and uneasy, hurried to the kitchen, to find everything in perfect order, but no sign of Chinese activity, and the fires of the range all grey and cold. A quick search convinced her that they were alone in the house, and in a great state of wonder and excitement she and her friends got together a cold, picnic sort of meal, and ate it up, discussing meanwhile what they should do. As the Chinese chef had been exceedingly well treated, and had also been some years with them, they felt very indignant that he should have played them such a trick for so slight an offence, for my friend recognised that she had committed an offence.

They determined in their wrath that they would have no more Chinamen; they would employ nice, decent women, with whom they could reason, and who would understand one’s point of view. They telephoned at once to an employment agency in the nearest town, asking for the best girls that could be had, at such short notice, to be sent out to them at once.

Soon they arrived, and were spreading confusion and discomfort all over the house—a wretchedly incompetent set. They were all dismissed, and a fresh batch sent out—but, alas! no better than the first.

Then the girls and their teachers, in desperation, determined to do their own work until they had time to make some better plans. All this had taken up three or four days, and one morning our friend was hard at work sweeping her own drawing-room carpet, and making a great noise over it, when the brush was taken out of her hands by a quiet firm grasp, and glancing up, she saw her Chinese chef, looking particularly neat and business-like, after all the tawdry finery of the women servants. He said quietly, “Me do lis; you no do such sing,” and went on with the sweeping as though there had been no break whatsoever in his regular work. Being both breathless with her sweeping, and very glad to hand it over to someone else, naturally also a good deal taken aback, she murmured something or other and went quietly out of the room, and then discovered that all about the house were quiet, quick-moving figures, clad in the familiar white jackets, busy about their separate duties, just as though they had been there all the time. The lesson was very effectual in her case, for never again did she attempt the least interference.

This seems to be an exceedingly long account of domestic affairs, but being so unlike our English edition of such troubles, it may be of interest, or, at least, it may serve to enhance the feelings of comfort and luxury of those at home who can command a well-trained cook, and housemaid, and parlour-maid, not to mention the useful charwoman, and all for less money than we pay our one Chinaman.

(To be continued.)





It so chanced that I did not see Belinda Ann for some long time after the launch.

Illness and a trip to Switzerland came between us, and when I returned to England the Club had not yet resumed its winter meetings.

The moment it did so, however, I took an early opportunity of visiting it, and to my joy Belinda Ann arrived shortly after me.

I pounced on her at once and drew her into a secluded corner, where we could talk unobserved.

“Belinda,” I began eagerly, “I want you to take me to your Feather Club one day. Will you?”

She put her head on one side and glanced at me sideways, as was her way when in doubt, and remarked—

“There ain’t nothink ter see, yer know. We just pys in our money every week, an’ the one who draws the winnin’ number gits the feather that week, an’ then we begins all over agyne, but I’ve left that an’ jined a furniture club now,” and she gave me another sidelong look.

I was so full of my own ideas that I did not particularly notice her evident desire to be asked why, but exclaimed—

“I did not know you had other sorts of clubs.”

“Bless yer, yuss!” retorted Belinda Ann, with all her old contempt for my lamentable ignorance. “There’s furniture clubs, an’ crockery clubs, an’ photergraph clubs, an’ draperies an’ boot clubs, an’ I dun know what all!”

“And how much do you pay?” I asked.

“Well, it depends,” she replied cautiously. “It runs from anythink from thruppence to five bob, accordin’ ter succumstances, but I’ll tyke yer ter one ef yer like, though there ain’t nothink whatever ter see.”

I closed with the offer at once, and then asked what she had been doing all this time.

“’Eaps!” she answered laconically; and then remarked in a would-be off-hand manner, “I’m a-walkin’ hout with a young feller down our court.”

“Oh!” I replied, not specially impressed, as this was a very everyday affair.

“An’ ’e’s sed ‘Chairs’ ter me!” she added, with an elaborate assumption of indifference and an unsuccessful attempt not to look triumphant.

“Oh, Belinda!” I exclaimed, grasping at once what this meant, “I am glad. That is why you joined the furniture club?”

She nodded, pleased at my intelligence, and added complacently—

“An’ I’ve jined the sewin’ class, so’s I ken myke my own trossax.”

I fully approved of this, and inquired as to when the marriage was to take place.

She pursed up her lips and shook her head solemnly, as she replied—

“Not yet awhile. I’ve no fancy fer startin’ too soon an’ bein’ brought up with a jerk, an’ I wants ter myke sure of a comferble plyce ter begin with,” which showed me what I had always known, namely, that Belinda Ann was in many ways above her class.

“I means ter ’ave a room ter myself any’ow,” she went on. “Why, ef you’ll berlieve me”—warming with her subject—“down Spitalfields wy there was once four families as ’ad one room atween ’em. They each ’ad one corner, an’ one man lived in the middle, but dear, they didn’t mind, an’ got on well enough till the man in the middle took in a lodger, an’ then there was a row ’cos they sed that was jest a little too much.”

I heartily agreed, though the story was not new to me any more than it will be to you.

We parted, having made an appointment for the following week, so a few days afterwards found me under her guidance, trying to find out something about the clubs.

As we walked she showed me notices in various shop-windows of “Clubs held here,” but the one we finally entered was of a very humble description, and the proprietress, a wizened little hunchback, looked suspiciously at me and was most reluctant, even at Belinda Ann’s request, to explain the mode of procedure.


There was not much to tell, she said stiffly, and nothing to see.

The girls just paid their sixpence a week, and the number of members, of course, had to tally with the value of what they wanted.

Hers was a boot-club, and, as coster girls are notoriously fastidious about the quality of their boots, seven-and-six and eight-and-six is the price aimed at, so she had fifteen members just now, and a friend of hers had seventeen.

They were strictly honourable, and always “stood up” to what they had undertaken, even though they might find it a tax to produce the weekly subscription regularly; and when a girl had secured the article for which she had joined the club, she never by any chance “cried off,” but went on paying till all the members were supplied.

Of course it was not everyone who could be admitted to these privileges, and, as a rule, strangers were not particularly welcomed unless well vouched for by an old member, as there was always the chance of their being winners early and then “crying off” the rest of their subscription.

The club was mainly composed of friends who rarely met at the “club-holder’s,” except on the occasion of the weekly draw.

Of course, if a girl could spare the money, there was no objection to her buying two tickets, thus enjoying two chances and also helping to hasten matters, and there had been cases where the members, hearing that one of their old “chums” (or “pals,” as they call it) was in sore want, voluntarily kept the club going another week, and then handed it all over to her, with the club-holder’s consent, of course.

The usual method was to put fifteen pieces of paper in a bag, on one being written the number of weeks the club was old, and the member who drew out the marked paper was able to buy the boots that week, and so on.

“Then it really is a lottery!” I remarked meditatively.

“No, t’ain’t,” she snapped sharply; “it’s a club!” And after that I could not get another word out of her, but I gathered later on that she derived her profit from the draper or bootshop visited, who allowed her so much for every “ticket” presented to him, and that she often had more than one club running at a time.

Belinda Ann was so obviously crestfallen at the poor result of our excursion that I hastened to inquire after her “young man,” upon which she brightened up, informed me his name was Joe, that he was in the coster line and owned a “barrer an’ moke” of his own. He sold anything that was in season, and Belinda Ann had grave thoughts of giving up her present occupation and accompanying him on his rounds.

I privately thought this would be a “come-down” for her, remembering the draggle-tailed, slatternly women who usually pursue this line of business, but she was so visibly elated over the whole business that I could not bear to be a wet blanket.

She was dying to introduce Joe to me, and as I was no less curious to see him, I agreed to attend the sewing-class one night, as she proudly remarked, “’E allus fetches me ’ome ’isself, which is more nor what most blokes ’ud do,” and indeed I found this to be the case, as courtship in the East End is a very prosaic and matter-of-fact affair, conducted on both sides with scant romance and without any of those little amenities usual in the West End.

Accordingly I attended the next sewing meeting, at which Belinda Ann showed me with pride the neat nightgowns she was making, with little tucks and a frill of embroidery down the front, having already completed a serviceable stout petticoat or two.

She was the best worker in the class and the others readily acknowledged her superiority, coming to her for assistance or advice, and admiring her skill with a whole-hearted generosity which had not a trace of jealousy or envy about it.

I was sure Belinda Ann was not sorry to let me see her in a new light, and as I sat apart and watched her I saw and appreciated the subtle change that her new prospects had wrought in her. She was sobered and softened, more womanly and more responsible. She had perhaps lost the bizarre and picturesque charm which had been hers, but she had gained in qualities which would be more useful to her in the battle of life, and of which she might have dire need. There had always been the makings of a noble woman in the rough undisciplined factory-girl, and no true friend of hers could regret the disappearance of characteristics which, while making her more interesting and less commonplace, were not likely to help her much in her struggle for existence.

Not that she was less ready than of yore with “chaff,” and I heard her joining more than once in the shrieks of laughter called forth by an oddly-shaped pattern or an ill-cut garment.

The ladies at the head of the class were wise enough to join in, even when the joke was against themselves, and to take in good part the various disrespectful and scornful remarks about their knowledge of needlework made in stage-whispers all round them.

I do not think any of the girls really cared about sewing, and some of them were frightfully slow workers. One girl had been at work on the same garment for over a year, and as she came late and left early, it seemed likely to last another twelve months at least.

The nominal hours were from eight to ten, but they dropped in at all times, and some only stayed a few minutes.

One girl put in about three stitches and then rolled her work up in an untidy bundle, crammed it into her bag (a lady had presented each girl with a bag in which to keep her work clean), and remarking, “I carn’t sew with coarse cotton like that,” disappeared with not another word of explanation or apology. They could bring their own materials if they liked, but long-cloth and flannelette were provided, and they could then purchase the garments they made at cost price.

There was a piano in the room, but music as a rule was impossible, the girls’ healthy lungs preventing anything short of a drum being heard. One started a song and the others joined in, which was all right as long as they all sang the same, but when half-a-dozen different tunes were all being shouted out at once, the noise was rather appalling.

By degrees the room emptied till only Belinda Ann and myself were left, even the founders having retired to a neighbouring class-room to put on capes and bonnets. I ought to have mentioned before that the meeting was held in a Board School which the authorities kindly lent for the one night in the week.

Well, the clock began to strike ten, and I felt really sorry for Belinda Ann, whose anxious glances at the door were getting more and more frequent.

The tardy arrival of the swain, whose devotion she had been extolling, was doubly vexing to a proud girl of her calibre, since it would, she considered, make me think that she had been “gassing” unduly about him, besides which she was not at all likely to put up with neglect in any shape or form.

The slow minutes dragged inexorably on, and she was just rolling up her work with a great show of nonchalance, when a lumpy and by no means fairy footfall sounded on the flagged yard outside, and a healthy whistle (in which, however, a nice ear might have detected some trepidation) gave us to understand that the owner had “knocked ’em in the Old Kent Road.”

I glanced at Belinda, who stopped folding as if she had been shot, hastily unrolled everything and started sewing again with her nose in the air and the light of battle in her eye.

I was not at all sure that even my presence would save the unlucky Joe from a sound rating, but when the whistling and the footsteps abruptly ceased together, and an apologetic double-shuffle at the door forced her to look round, she evidently considered that the scolding had better wait, and merely said haughtily—

“Ow, there y’are at larst! Come on an’ show yerself ter ther lydy an’ mind yer manners!”

This was scarcely calculated to set him entirely at his ease, and as I could plainly see he was already suffering agonies of bashfulness I met him half-way (literally as well as metaphorically) and, having said how pleased I was to see him, held out my hand.

He was evidently unprepared for this, and having wiped his own elaborately on his corduroys, he gave it a final polish with his cap before venturing to respond.

A rather awkward pause ensued, which was happily broken by the ladies, who now returned to the room ready to go home, and who all seemed to know Joe very well. While he was answering their questions, I was able to have a good look at him, and I must admit I was disappointed in his appearance.

I had not expected anything heroic or romantic, of course, but, really, Belinda Ann’s betrothed was distressingly plain.

His hair was an unmistakable red, and cropped so short as to suggest his having lately lodged at Her Majesty’s expense. His eyes were a watery grey, with very pink rims and no eyelashes to speak of, and his mouth was so capacious it really quite alarmed you when he yawned, as he did presently with engaging frankness.

He was obviously a good bit younger than the bride-elect, but this is not unusual, and besides Belinda Ann would always have been the leading spirit anyhow.

He was physically smaller, too, being so stunted in growth as to make her look like a young giantess, and a stubbly attempt at a moustache made him seem even more boyish.

By the time I had completed my survey we were all ready to go, and as the other ladies were returning by the Underground, Joe and Belinda offered to escort me to the omnibus.

“Joe’s got two tickets for the Vic. to-morrer night,” Belinda remarked presently.

It seemed to me a pity that Joe should spend his hard-earned and much-needed money on so questionable an amusement, and I ventured to say so, in very delicate language of course.

“Ow, ’e ain’t pyd fer ’em!” returned Belinda Ann reassuringly, “a friend o’ ’is goes on in the crowd, an’ ken pass in two friends when ’e likes. Thet’s ’ow it is.”

The next time I attended the sewing-class I asked her how she liked it, and nearly had my nose snapped off in return. For some reason (I shrewdly suspected that Joe and she had had a “tiff”) she was in a grievously bad temper, and had already quarrelled with everyone in the room except me. Now it was my turn, and as she turned on me with a gloomy frown I felt sorry I had spoken.

“Like it?” she remarked, viciously biting off her cotton with her strong white teeth. “I never seed anythink more morotonous in all my born days! Call thet a ply? I calls it a reglar ’owlin’ swindle!”


“Why? What was the matter with it?” I inquired mildly. “What was it called?”

“Fust!” she retorted ferociously, and for a minute I wondered what she meant, till it dawned on me that she probably meant Faust.

“Well, what happened?” I coaxed. “You might just tell me, Belinda.”

“Ow, I dun know,” she answered sulkily. “There was a sort of a cellar plyce, kinder prison, with a old cove a-reading in a book, an’ then ’e began ter jaw, and ’e could do it too. I thought ’e’d never leave off, an’ I’d jest said ter my Joe, ‘What’s thet there old cove a-doing of?’ when there comes fireworks, an’ someone in red ’ops out of ’em, an’ if ’e don’t bergin ter jaw! My word, it was sick’nin’!” and she relapsed into gloomy silence.

“But, Belinda,” I put in, “they are obliged to talk to let you know what the story is about. If they did it all without speaking, you might not understand it.”

“An’ small loss,” she retorted uncompromisingly. “I didn’t understand it as it was. In one part three or four people went into a church, an’ I says, sarcastick-like, ‘It must be a weddin’, sech lots o’ people agoin’ to church,’ but Joe says it was meant there was a service agoin’ on, an’ all I ken say is it was a werry poor congregeration.”

“Oh, of course, it is all make-believe,” I said soothingly. “They had not really got a church there, you know, and the people were not attending a service inside but only pretending to.”

“Well, I ’aven’t got the time nor the money ter spend on lookin’ at things wot ain’t true,” she replied with decision, “an’ wot’s more, I sha’n’t let my Joe go neither. It ain’t wuth it,” which was astonishingly sensible of her, I thought.

While heartily approving of her decision, I could not resist asking her whether what she called “fireworks” had not pleased her.

“Purty well,” she replied reflectively, “I’ve seen better ones, but at leastes they was real. There was one scene with a founting where the gals shunted that cove in red, an’ then the founting ran fire, but I spose that was make-believe too,” and, alas, I was unable to deny it.

I was rather relieved to find that her first visit to the theatre was likely to be her last, and had certainly not given her a taste for that sort of amusement (which I had been half afraid it might), and, by dint of great exertion on my part, I managed to restore her wonted good-humour before we parted.

(To be continued.)



B. G. (Employment in the Colonies).—We hope you will observe this answer, as you have not given a pseudonym. It is, of course, a very serious question whether you would do wisely or rightly to leave your present comfortable situation where your services are valued in order to seek employment abroad. So far as you yourself are concerned, it would seem probable that if you have made yourself useful to one household, you would to another. But in dealing with your employers a frank explanation would probably be best. Tell them that you have this strong desire to see something of the world outside your own country; but that you would not like to leave at a moment when, by so doing, you would be putting them to inconvenience. We can hardly doubt that your employers will meet you in a similar spirit, and will try to arrange matters so that you may leave England at the right time of year for emigration purposes. If you wish to leave this season, you should lose no time in taking lessons in cookery. You do not say where you live, but nowadays there are few localities without either a regular school of cookery or some evening classes at which cookery is taught. If you can make yourself a really good cook, Canada would be the most suitable country to which you could betake yourself. According to the latest report of the Emigrants’ Information Office (31, Broadway, Westminster, S.W.), cooks earn much more than general servants, £25 a year being frequently paid. In the north-west cooks receive as much as £5 a month, or at the rate of £60 a year. You should not leave for Canada later than September, as the winter, which is severe, begins in October. If you could go earlier it would be better, otherwise you should wait till April of next year. The British Women’s Emigration Association, Imperial Institute, Kensington, W., would advise and help you further if you would apply to the Secretary. You should also make a note of the address of the Women’s Protective Immigration Society, 84, Osborne Street, Montreal, and of the Girls’ Home of Welcome, 272, Assiniboine Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba. To these institutions you could turn if you wanted a lodging or help in seeking a good situation.

Daisy (One Year’s Training in a General Hospital).—General hospitals—the qualifications of which carry weight in the nursing world—almost invariably receive probationers for not less than two years’ training. Three years is an ordinary limit, and even four years are required by some of the best training schools. The only alternative course you could pursue is to enter some hospital as a paying probationer. You would be required to pay thirteen guineas per quarter; this would cover board, lodging, and tuition, but not uniform or laundry. It is possible that at the end of six months a paying probationer, who has shown an aptitude for nursing, may be invited to join the regular nursing staff of the hospital. If such an invitation were made to you, you would do wisely to accept it, for your position as a private nurse would be strengthened by the fact that you had undergone a full course of hospital training. We advise you to offer yourself as a paying probationer to the Middlesex Hospital, Mortimer Street, London, W., or the Royal Free Hospital, Gray’s Inn Road, London, W.C. If you prefer to remain in Scotland, you might apply to the Matron of the Northern Infirmary, Inverness. Here candidates are received for one year only and are paid a salary. This institution, however, is much smaller than either of the London hospitals above-mentioned, and could not offer you so complete a knowledge of nursing in all its branches.

Doris (Hospital Training).—Hospitals do not receive girls as probationers who are so young as eighteen. You must wait patiently, we regret to say, till you are two or three and twenty. In the meantime try to discover whether any evening classes are being held in your neighbourhood at which you could study ambulance work. Perhaps you could attend a polytechnic and learn other things as well, such, for instance, as cookery, which is a most useful subject for a nurse to understand. Indeed, if you occupied the next few years in obtaining complete expertness in all the domestic arts, you would find in later life that the time had been well spent.

A. E. T. (Situation as Under-Nurse).—As you are young and have not yet been out in service, it might be better for you not to come to London at first, but to seek a situation in your own locality. The Matron of the Girls’ Boarding Home, 5, Abbey Street, Carlisle; or Mrs. Chalker, Ladies’ Association for the Care of Girls Training Home, 8, George Street, Carlisle, would doubtless be kind enough to give you the address of some thoroughly respectable registry office in the North of England, through which you could seek a situation. You are too young to enter any hospital.

M. D. de J. (Veterinary Surgeons).—The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons does not at present admit women to membership; consequently women cannot practise in this country with the English qualification. There are many women who breed horses, and who, no doubt, are quite capable of acting as “vets” in an amateur capacity. But women have not gone further in this direction at present.


Rosebud.—White velvet, if not very much soiled, can be cleaned at home with flour rubbed in well, and then brushed out; and this process may be repeated till it is clean.

Thelma.—If you do not wish to mark your underlinen with your own initials, why not wait till you are married, and mark it then with your new ones? The father of the bride should pay for the carriages in which the bridal party goes to church; the bridegroom pays for his own, and also for that in which the newly-married pair depart from the church and the house.

Theo.—1. The great writer on the subject was Lavater, and there is a cheap edition of his book, but most libraries contain it.—2. We cannot suggest methods of earning money when we do not know what you can do, nor your age and position.

Eve.—1. There are exhibitions held in a large number of provincial centres, at any of which you might exhibit your paintings. There is one at Newbury, Berks, and many towns in that part of England, but as you do not give an address, we cannot help you.—2. You must make an arrangement with some shop (a greengrocer, perhaps) to sell your flowers.

Fritz C.—The word “lacustrine” is derived from the Latin lacus, a lake. It means anything pertaining to lakes or swamps. It is used especially of those lake dwellings which have been found at various times and places, in which prehistoric peoples have lived for protection and better security. The most famous of these were discovered a few years ago in the Lake of Bienne, in Switzerland.

J. J.—We do not think that Di Vernon was an historical character. Rob Roy, of course, was such, as it was a nickname given to Robert McGrigor, who assumed the name of Campbell, when the Clan Macgregor was outlawed by the Scotch Parliament in 1662. He has been called the Scottish Robin Hood.

Topsy should certainly offer to pay for herself; but if the person she accompanies wishes to do so, she can accept the offer with thanks, of course.

Nine Years’ Constant Reader.—All engravings by Bartolozzi are of value, but we could not say of how much, unless we knew in what condition they were. You had better have them valued by someone near at hand.

Rita.—The year of The Girl’s Own Paper ends with the month of September. You would begin with the first number of October.

Kuden.—The shillings and sixpences coined in the reign of Queen Anne are said to be worth 2s. to 3s. You do not describe it, so we cannot tell you further. If there be an “E.” under the Queen’s bust, it was coined in Edinburgh.

Dragon-fly.—In the first issue of threepenny, twopenny, and penny-pieces in Charles II.’s reign, the edges were not milled, but there is no reason given for the fact. In the reign of Elizabeth there was an issue of hammered, and one of milled, threepenny-pieces. It was probably a matter of convenience, as we can find no explanation of it.

Barge.—1. The term “Limited,” or “Ld.,” as generally written, is a legal way of announcing the way in which that business is conducted. There can be no question of politeness nor good manners about it, so you can add it to your address without interfering with either.—2. The word “therefor” is used in law works. “Therefore” means “for this (previously mentioned) reason.” “Therefor” means “for this (previously mentioned) thing.”

Mercia.—The book is not of any monetary value, we regret to say.

Stencil Ware.—The origin of the family of Este was in Italy. The first we hear of it is Alberto I., a Tuscan prince, who died about 972 A.D. They were rulers of Tuscany, Milan, Genoa, Padua, Modena, and Ferrara. The last ruler of this State, Alfonso II., died without issue, 1597, and Pope Clement VIII. seized on his estates. The descendants, however, of his brother Cesare ruled in Modena till 1801, when the male line became extinct, and it passed through the female line to Austria. The last duke, Francesco V., was driven from his dominions in 1859, and the duchy was soon afterwards incorporated into the kingdom of Italy. The House of Este was (in 1060) divided into two branches; John Guelf was invested with the Duchy of Bavaria, and Fulco remained at Modena and Ferrara. The former is the ancestor of the House of Hanover.

A Widow.—A widow does not change the style of her address on the death of her husband. If she were previously Mrs. John Thompson, she remains the same, and uses it on her cards and letters. Mrs. Mary Thompson is a form of address that is purely legal, and used by lawyers or other men of business. It is not used in society. The methods of addressing an aunt differ in different families. Aunt Mary, or Aunt Thompson, are both correct. The latter is, however, rather old-fashioned. We know a family in which there are three Aunt Marys. One is Aunt Mary, the second is Aunt Mary John (the name of her husband superadded), and the third is Aunt Mary Scott. These distinguishing names are only used when their owners are spoken of. When spoken to, they are all Aunt Marys.

A Bedfordian.—We think your handwriting unformed, and you probably could not write quickly enough for secretarial work. Why not practise a more flowing hand?

Lorna.—It is quite correct to have cards of your own, if you be living with your brother, and keeping his house.

Flossie.—Wear the white dress, if it be clean enough. Why not?

[Transcriber’s Note—the following changes have been made to this text.

Page 677: Autologia to Antologia—“Nuova Antologia”.

National to Nationale—“Révue Nationale”.]