The Project Gutenberg eBook of Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, Volume 17, No. 097, January, 1876

This ebook is for the use of anyone anywhere in the United States and most other parts of the world at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this ebook or online at If you are not located in the United States, you will have to check the laws of the country where you are located before using this eBook.

Title: Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, Volume 17, No. 097, January, 1876

Author: Various

Editor: John Foster Kirk

Release date: August 4, 2004 [eBook #13116]
Most recently updated: December 18, 2020

Language: English


E-text prepared by Juliet Sutherland, Sandra Brown,
and the Project Gutenberg Online Distributed Proofreading Team

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





Title Page Decoration











I. 37















'76. by LATIENNE. 124


OBER-AMMERGAU, Bavaria, Oct. 4, 1875.

VARESE. by T.A.T. 128



NOTES. 132


Books Received. 136



























[pg 9]




January, 1876.



This of ours is a conceited century. In intense self-consciousness it exceeds any of its late predecessors. Its activity in externally directed thought is accompanied by an almost corresponding use of introverted reflection. Its inheritance, and the additions it has made, can make or will make thereto, supply an ever-present theme. It delights to stand back from its work, like the painter from his easel, to scan the effect of each new touch—to note what has been done and to measure what remains. It is a great living and breathing entity, informed with the concrete life of three generations of mankind the most alert and the most restless of all that have existed. This sensation of exceptional endowments is self-nourishing and ever-growing; and our little nook of time is coming to view all the paths of the past, broad or narrow, direct or interlacing, straight or obscure, as so many roads laid out and graded for the one purpose of leading straight to its gate. It sounds its own praises and celebrates itself at all opportunities. But with all this there is a wholesome recognition of responsibility. Nobility obliges, it is prompt to confess, and to act accordingly. It sees flaws in its [pg 10] regal diamonds, spots that still sully on its ermine; and is not slow to address itself to the duty of their removal.

If the century understands itself, it may be said likewise to understand the others better than they did themselves. It collects their respective autobiographies and their mutual criticisms. The real truths, half truths and delusions each has added to the accumulating common stock it sifts and weighs, mercilessly piling a dustheap beyond Mr. Boffin's wildest dreams, and rescuing, on the other hand, from the old wastebasket many discarded scraps of real but till now unacknowledged value. Busy in gathering stores of its own, it is able to find time for digesting those bequeathed to it, and for executing both tasks with a good deal of care. It brings skepticism to its aid in both, and subjects new and old conclusions to almost equally close analysis. Each new pebble it picks up upon the shore of the Newtonian ocean it holds up square and askew to the light, and cross-examines color, texture and form. Now and then, being but mortal after all, it chuckles too hastily over a brilliant find, but the blunder is not apt to wait long for correction. Just now it appears to be overhauling its accounts in the item of science, taking stock of its discoveries in that field, balancing bad against good, and determining profit and loss. Some once-promising entries have to undergo a black mark, while a few claims that were despaired of come to the fore. This proceeding is only preparatory, however, to a new departure on a bolder scale. Scientific progress knows only partial checks. Its movement is that of a force en échelon: one line may get into trouble and recoil, while the others and the general front continue to advance. Theory does not profess to be certainty. It is only tentative, and subject necessarily to frequent errors, for the elimination of which the severely skeptical spirit of the laws to which it is now held furnishes the best appliance. Modern science possesses an internal vis medicatrix which prevents its suffering seriously from excesses or irregularities. When it ventures to touch the shield of the Unknowable, it is only with the butt of its lance, and the inevitable overthrow is accepted with the least modicum of humiliation.

In that science which assumes to marshal all the others, philosophic and judicial history, ours ought to be the foremost age, if only because it has the aid of all the others. It does more, however, than they can be said to have contemplated. It widens the scope of history, and more precisely formalizes its functions. It makes of the old chroniclers so many moral statisticians, fully utilizing at the same time their services as collectors of material facts. The deductions thus arrived at it aims to test by the methods of the exact sciences. It invites, in a certain degree, moral philosophy to don the trammels of mathematics and decorate its shadowy shoulders with the substantial yoke of the calculus. Such is the programme of a school too young as yet to have matured its shape, but full of vigor and confidence, and a very promising outgrowth from the elder and more stately academy of abstract historical inquiry and generalization. The latter has redeveloped and freshened up for us the pictures of the ancient story-tellers, and has furthermore had them, so to speak, engraved and scattered among the people, until we have come to live in the midst of their times and enjoy an intimate knowledge of the actual condition of human polity and intelligence at any given period. Through the long gallery or the thick portfolio thus presented to our eye we may trace the common thread of motive under the varying conditions of time and circumstance. This thread able hands are aiding us to discover.

To what segment of time shall we assign the name of Nineteenth Century? In A.D. 1800 there was dispute as to which was properly its first year, the question being settled in favor of 1801. Having thus struck out the first of the eighteen hundreds, we may take the liberty of similarly ostracizing the last twenty-four or twenty-five, which are yet to come, and start the nineteenth century as far back in the eighteenth. If we look farther behind us, the centuries will be [pg 11] found often to overlap in this way. Coming events cast their shadows before, and the morning twilight of the new age is refracted deeply into the sky of the old one. Of no case can this be more truly said than of that in point. Not only America, but Christendom, may safely date the century's commencement about 1775 or 1776. The narrowest isthmus between the mains of past and present will cover those years.

England and France were then both at the outset of a new political era, sharply divided from that preceding. The amiable and decorous Louis XVI., with his lovely consort, had just ousted from Versailles the Du Barrys and the Maupeons. George III., a sovereign similar in youth and respectability of character, had a few years before in like manner improved the tone of the English court, and, after the first flush of welcome from his subjects, surprised and delighted to have an Englishman and a gentleman once more upon the throne, was getting over his early lessons in adversity from the birch of Wilkes and Junius, and entering upon a second series from that of Washington, all preparatory to the longest and most brilliant reign in British annals. Frederick II. was an old man, occupied with assuring to the power he had created the position it now holds as the first in Europe. Clive, in the House of Lords, was nursing a still younger bantling, now an empire twice as populous as Europe was at that period. Under the equally rugged hand of the young princess of Anhalt-Zerbst, Russia was having her Mongolian epidermis indued with the varnish Napoleon so signally failed to scrape off, and was for the first time taking a place among the great powers of the West. The curtain, in short, was in the act of rising on the Europe of to-day. Anson had lately brought the Pacific to light, and Cook was completing his work. The crust of Spanish monopoly in the trade of four-fifths of the North and South American coasts had been broken, and England was preparing to replace it, at some points, by her own. This was, of itself, a New World, geographical and commercial.

Under Linnæus and Buffon, another world, wider still, was unfolding its wonders and subjecting them to a classification which has since been but little changed, vast as have been the subsequent accessions of knowledge and attainments in methods of interpretation. Before them, the study of the organic creation can scarcely be said to have existed. The inorganic was as little reduced to system, and in its broadest aspect was not even looked at. Buffon's acute but for the most part empiric speculations on the structure of the globe were a step in advance; but the science of geology he did not recognize, and left to be shaped a very little later by Hutton. Priestley, Cavendish and Lavoisier were dissecting the impalpable air and making the gaseous form of substances as familiar and manageable as the solid. Hence true analytic chemistry. Astronomy, an older science, had derived new precision from the first observed transit of Venus, imperfect as were the data obtained and the calculations made.

Contemporaneous with this sudden apparition of new fields of scientific discovery and enlargement of the old was an intellectual movement of a more general character than that necessarily involved in the progress of natural philosophy. The French Encyclopædists took hold of social, moral and juridical questions with an unsparing vigor that could not be gainsaid. The art of criticism was simultaneously introduced, perfected and applied. Many of the wrongs and follies that paralyzed thought and industry were dragged to light. Hoary absurdities that smothered law and gospel under the foul mass of privilege and superstition, and made them a curse instead of a blessing, shrank before the storm of ridicule and denunciation. Those which did not at once succumb were placed in a position of publicity and exposure in which they could not long survive. The great upheaval of which the French Revolution was a part was thus originated.

Sounder political ideas were brought within reach of the masses, till then not recipient, it may almost be said, of any [pg 12] political ideas at all. Statesmen and governments were similarly enlightened, Adam Smith's declaration of commercial antedated by two years Mr. Jefferson's of political independence. The atrocities of the English criminal code, approaching those of Draco, were put in process of correction, though, as usual in British reforms, it took half a century to effect their complete removal; a woman having been, if we recollect rightly, hanged for a trifling theft in the last years of George IV. This same slowness of that conservative but persevering people is calculated to blind us to the operation among them of deep-seated and active influences. Hardly till 1815 can we discover in England any fervor, much less efficiency, in the demand for an extension of popular rights and relaxation of the grasp of privilege. Irish manufactures continued to be distinctly and rigidly repelled from competition with English by formal statute; Jewish and Catholic disqualification was maintained; the game-laws and the rotten-borough system, which conferred on the nobility and gentry arbitrary power over the purse and person of the commonalty, were determinedly upheld; counsel was only nominally allowed to the defendant in criminal cases; chancery withheld or plundered without resistance or appeal; and there can be no doubt that life and property were better protected by law in France at the fall of the First Napoleon than in Great Britain. Nevertheless, the movement had begun in the latter country forty years before. A generation had passed since the battle of Culloden, and the island was at length indissolubly and efficiently one. It shared fully in the intellectual impulse of the day. Victorious in all its latest struggles and freed from all sources of internal danger, it might naturally have been expected to enter at once on a career of improvement more marked than in the case of its neighbors. It is not easy to assign reasons for failure in this respect, unless we seek them in disgust at the subsequent dismemberment and disturbance of the empire by the fruits of popular agitations in America, Ireland and France. The reaction due to such causes was probably sufficient to defeat all liberal efforts. The leading English writers of the Revolutionary period were strong Tories. Such were Johnson, the Lake poets after their brief swing to the opposite extreme, and Scott. All these except the first belong as well to the time of successful reform, and Johnson may be claimed by the eighteenth century; which serves to illustrate the blight cast upon British literature by the prolonged resistance of British statesmen to the prevailing current—a resistance which took its keynote from the dying recantation and protest of the Whig Chatham.

The opening of the epoch, then, was as marked in Great Britain as elsewhere. Only in special fields she afterward fell behind, and lost something like half the century. In others she kept abreast, or even in advance.

Criticism was not content to exercise its new powers and apply its newly-framed laws exclusively in the investigation of any branch of philosophy. It brought them to bear upon the arts. The discovery of the buried cities of Campania aided in attracting renewed attention to the art-stores of Italy, ancient and modern. The principles of taste and beauty which they illustrated were searchingly analyzed and carefully explained. Painting and sculpture began slowly to emit their rays through the eclipse of more than a century. The allied art shared in this second and secondary renaissance. Haydn was in full fruit, Mozart ripening, and Music watched, in the cradle of Beethoven, her budding Shakespeare. A fourth Teuton was studying the symphonies of the spheres; and within the first five years of the century, while the "crowning mercy" of Yorktown was maturing, a planet that had never before dawned on the eye of man took its place with the ancient six, and "swam into the ken" of Herschel.

We have said enough to vindicate our assumed chronology and justify our readjustment of the calendar. Europe may well be invited to celebrate her own political, social and material centennial in 1876, as truly as that of America. Her [pg 13] intellectual revival indisputably contributed, through Franklin, Laurens, the Lees and others who were immediately within its influence, to bring on the American movement; and her thought, in turn, has since that juncture as certainly gravitated, in many of its chief manifestations, toward that of the New World. Hers is the jubilee not less than ours. The humblest cot on her broad bosom is the brighter for '76. By no means the least fortunate of the beneficiaries is Great Britain herself. Contrast her present position as a government and a society with what it was when Liberty Bell announced the dismemberment of her empire. Her rank among the nations has notably improved. The population of England, Scotland and Wales was then estimated below eight and a half millions—a numerical approximation, by the way, to the three millions of the colonies not sufficiently considered when we measure the stoutness of her struggle against them with France and Holland combined. Of the continental powers, the French numbered perhaps twenty-two millions, Spain twelve, the Low Countries six, Germany thirty, Prussia seven, and so on. From the ratio of one to nearly three, as compared with France, she has, if we include pacified and assimilated Ireland—an element now of strength instead of weakness—advanced to an equality. She has equally gained on the others, except Prussia, with its aggregation of new provinces. She may, furthermore, in the event of an internecine conflict with a combination, count upon the unwillingness of America to see her annihilated; not the least just of Tallyrand's observations expressing his conviction that, though the two great Anglo-Saxon powers might quarrel with each other, they would not push such a dispute for the benefit of a third party. But, dismissing the question of mere brute strength, Britain's sentiment of pride is conciliated by the spectacle of an advance in the numbers speaking her tongue from eleven or twelve to eighty millions within the century, and that in considerable part at the expense of other languages; millions of foreign immigrants, parents or children, having abandoned their vernacular in favor of hers.

Let us now essay a light sketch of the stream at whose source we have glanced. Light and superficial it must be, for to attempt more were to confront the vast and many-sided theme of modern civilization. The nineteenth century, the child of history, has the stature of its progenitor. It would fill more libraries. Conditions, forces, results,—all have been multiplied. But a few centuries ago the world, as known and studied, was a corner of the Levant, with its slender and simple apparatus of life, social, political and industrial. Later, its boundaries were extended over the remaining shores of the same landlocked sea. Again a step, but not an expansion, and it looked helplessly west upon the Atlantic: its ancient domain of the East almost forgotten. Then that long gaze was gratified, and Cathay was seen. With that came actual expansion, which continued in both directions of the globe's circuit until now. At length the world of thought, of inquiry and of common interest is becoming coincident with the sphere.

In the direction of international politics progress during the century has not kept pace with the advance in other walks. We are accustomed to speak of Europe as forming a republic of nations, but that cannot be said with much more truth than it could have been in the middle of the sixteenth century. A sense of the value to the peace of the continent of a balance of power was then recognized; and the object was attained in some measure as soon as the career of Charles V., which had inculcated the lesson, admitted at his abdication of an application of it. Treaties were then framed, as they have been constantly since, for this purpose, and the observation of them was perhaps as faithful. The passions of nations, like those of men, furnish reason with its slowest and latest conquests. The great wars of the French Revolution, and the short and sharp ones which have, after an indispensable breathing-spell, recently followed it, were as causeless and as defiant of the compacts designed to prevent them as those of the [pg 14] Reformation period or of the Thirty Years. They were so many confessions that an efficient international code is one of the inventions for which we must look to the future. It is something, meanwhile, that, with the extinction of feudalism and the concretion of the detached provinces with which it had macadamized Christendom, the ceaseless fusillade of little wars, which played like a lambent flame of mephitic gas over the surface of each country, has come to an end. The petty sovereignties which made up Germany, France and Italy have been within a few generations absorbed into three masses—so many police districts which have proved tolerably effective in keeping the peace within the large territories they cover. The nations, thus massing themselves for exterior defence, and maintaining a healthy system of graduated and distributed powers, original or conferred, for the support of domestic order and activity, have cultivated successfully the field of home politics.

In that the change for the better is certainly vast. It is difficult for Americans, whose acquaintance with European history is usually derived from compends, to realize what an incubus of complicated and conflicting privileges, restrictions and forms has, within the century, been lifted from the energies of the Old World. The sweeping reforms in French law are but a small part of what has been done. All the neighbors of France, from Derry to the Dardanelles, have shared in the blessing. We may be assisted to an idea of it by turning to the experience of our own country, whose condition in this regard was so exceptionally good at the beginning of the period in point. The constitutions of our States have been repeatedly altered, and they are now very different in their details from the old colonial charters, liberal and elastic as these for the most part were. Yet American innovations are but child's play to those of Europe, which has not reached the position we held at the beginning, and has a great deal still to do. In France the people are not trained to local self-government, but they have an excellent police, and the rights of person and property are well protected. In Italy, which has only within a few years ceased to be a mere geographical expression, municipal rights and the independence of the commune are on a stronger basis, but the police is bad, though far better than when the Peninsula was divided among half a dozen powers. Both have but commenced arming themselves with the chief safeguard of Germany, popular education. The great fact with them all is, that, despite the drawbacks of external pressure and large standing armies, they are at liberty to pursue the path of domestic reform as far as they have light enough to perceive it or purpose enough to require it.

All this is an immense gain. It reflects itself in the improved social condition of the people—a result, of course, not wholly due to it. Crime, though the newspapers make us familiar with more of it than formerly, has notably diminished. The savage classes of the great capitals, populous as some of the old kingdoms, are controlled like a menagerie by its keepers. A residuum of the untamable will always exist, inaccessible to education or "moral suasion," and amenable only to force. This force seems sufficiently supplied by the baton of the constable, and we may hope that even in volcanic Paris an eruption of barricades will henceforth cease, unless simply as a somewhat flamboyant expression of political sentiment, the gamin throwing up paving-stones and omnibuses as the independent British voter throws up his hat at the hustings. But it will not do to expect too much from any ameliorating cause or chain of causes. Race-characteristics cannot be annihilated. Man is an animal, and the Parisian turbulent. The Commune has done its worst probably, and the Internationale, which threatened at one time to loom up as a modern Vehmgericht, has subsided. Whatever may hereafter come of such slumbering perils, the beneficent forces which so largely repress and reduce them are none the less real.

The marked advance of the masses in physical well-being is a great—some would say the greatest—item in social [pg 15] profit and loss. Food is everywhere better in quality and more regular in supply. The English record of the corn-market for six centuries shows a remarkable alteration in favor of steadiness in price. The uncertainties of the seasons are discounted or neutralized by the average struck by increased variety of products and multiplied sources of supply. Famines become infrequent. That of 1847 in Ireland, bad as it was, would have been worse a hundred years earlier. A given population is more regularly and better fed than one-fifth of its number would at that time have been. A city of four millions would then have been an impossibility. Dress and lodging are better, and relatively cheaper. Hygiene is more understood, imperfect as is its application. Some diseases due to its disregard have disappeared or been localized. As a result, men have gained in weight and size and in length of life.

In the character of their recreations—a thing largely governed by national idiosyncrasy—the masses have advanced. And this we may say without losing sight of the devastations of intemperance since the distillation of grain was introduced, about a century and a half ago. With an enhanced demand upon man's faculties civilization brings an increased use of stimulants. There are many of these unknown to former generations. In noting those which attack the health by storm we are apt to overlook others which proceed more stealthily by sap. Of these are coffee, tea, chocolate, the rich spices and more substantial accessions to the modern table, all stimulating and inviting to excess, but all, as truly, nutritious and apt to take the place of other aliment, thus adapting the measure of their use, as a rule, to the demands of the system. The consumption of opium, the one dissipation of the Chinese till now unadded to the three or four of the Caucasian, is said to be extending. If so, a Counter-blast to it from king or commonwealth will be as ineffectual as against its allied narcotic. Prohibitory laws will be even more unavailing than in the case of ardent spirits. It will run its course—a short one, we trust—and be followed or joined by new drugs contributed by conscienceless trade.

Intemperance—we use the word in its special but most common signification—is debasing. Compensation, so far as it goes, is found in the abandonment by those communities among whom it is most rife of certain gross amusements, such as cock-fighting and the prize-ring. Bull-and bear-baiting, too, so prominent among the deliciæ of England's maiden queen, have died out. Isolated Spain, fenced off by the Pyrenees from the breeze of benevolence wafted from the virtuous and bibulous North, still utilizes the Manchegan or Estremaduran bull as a means of conferring "happy despatch" on her superannuated horses and absorbing the surplus belligerence of her "roughs." She seems, however, disposed to tire of this feast of equine and taurine blood, and the last relic of the arena will before many years follow its cognate brutalities. For obvious reasons, bull-fighting can be the sport, habitually, of but an infinitesimal fraction of the people. They share with the other races of the Continent the simple pleasures of dance and song. These enjoyments, as we go north and are driven within doors from the pure and temperate air by a more unfriendly climate, form an increasingly intimate alliance with strong drink, until in the so-called gardens of Germany Calliope and Gambrinus are inseparable friends. Farther still toward the Pole the voice of the Muse gradually dies away upon the sodden atmosphere; and she, having outlasted her successive Southern associates, wine and beer, in turn gives place to brandy pure and simple—a beverage itself frost-proof and only suited to frost-proof men.

The long nights and indoor days of the North are favorable to another and more desirable trait of modern social progress—education. The potency of such a meteorological cause in making popular a taste for knowledge the instances of Iceland, Scotland, Scandinavia and North Germany, to say nothing of New England, leave us no room to doubt. It is, of course, not the only cause. Ability to read and write is as universal in China [pg 16] and Japan, as in the countries we have named. In the case of the Orientals it cannot be ascribed, either, wholly to that conviction of the importance, as a conservative guarantee, of elevating the popular mind and taste, which belongs to the enlightenment of the day. Instinctive recognition of this need manifests itself in a simultaneous move in the direction of universal education at government expense throughout the two continents. All the populations snatch up their satchels and hurry to school. Athens revives the Academe and reinstates the Olympic games under a literary avatar. Italy follows suit. Hornbooks open and shut with a suggestive snap under the pope's nose, and Young Rome calculates its future with slate and pencil. Gaul, fresh from one year's term in the severest of all schools, adversity, joins the procession, close by John Bull, who, more suo, pauses first to decide whether the youthful mind shall take its pap with the spoon of orthodoxy or heterodoxy, or neither. With him the question between Church schools and national schools is complicated by one which is common to other nations—whether attendance shall be compulsory or voluntary only. The tendency is toward the former, which has long been in practice in some of the States of the Union; and it seems not unlikely that Christendom will, before many years, revert, in this important matter, to the Spartan view that children are the property of the state.

Lavish beyond precedent are the provisions made by governments and individuals everywhere for the promotion of this great object. Private endowment of schools and colleges was never before so frequent and liberal, and nothing so quickly disarms the caution of the average taxpayer as an appeal for common schools. From California eastward to Japan it is honored along the whole line, the unanimous "Yea" being the most eloquent and hopeful word the modern world emits. Of the slumbering power that till recently lay hidden in coal and water, and which has so incalculably multiplied the material strength of man, much has been said; but we fail to appreciate the unevoked fund of intellect upon which he has additionally to draw. The highest expectation of results to be witnessed and enjoyed by the approaching generations involves no postulate of human perfectibility, It finds ample warrant in what has been accomplished under our eyes. A century ago only Scotland and two or three of the American colonies could be said to possess a system of common schools. From those feeble and smouldering sparks what a flame has spread! The space it has covered and the fructifying light and warmth it has produced may in some measure be gauged by the newspaper press and the vast bulk of popularized information in book-form created since then. This shows the increase in the numerical ratio of readers to the aggregate of population.

A difficulty exists in the provision of officers for this great army of pupils. They cannot always be raised from the ranks. The thoroughness of a teacher's knowledge is not acquired by the requisite proportion. Normal schools demand more and more attention. But here we arrive at a field of detail that would lead us far beyond the limit of these articles. We pass naturally from the subject of education to what is, in the narrower but most generally accepted sense of the word—mental training—- its leading object of pursuit.

If, in the broader and truer meaning of education—that which assumes the impalpable part of man to be something more than a sponge for facts—- the slender phalanx of the men who know will ever remain, proportionally, a small band, it is at least certain that in acquaintance with natural phenomena and their relations the masses of the nineteenth century stand out from their forefathers as eminent philosophers. Our age may be almost said to have created rather than extended science, so mighty is the bulk of what it has added by the side of what it found.

In mathematics, the branch which most nearly approaches pure reason, least advance has been made. There was least room for it. Newton, when, at quite a [pg 17] mature period of his career, Euclid was first brought to his attention, laid the book down after a cursory glance with the remark that it was only fit for children, its propositions being self-evident. Yet to those truisms Newton added very little. His work lay in their development and application. Laplace and Biot belong to our own day; but their task, too, consisted in the employment of old rules. The most effective tools of the mathematician are framed from the Arab algebra and Napier's logarithms. The science itself without application is, like logic, a soul without a body.

The field most fruitful under its application is that of astronomy. Here, progress has been great. A measuring-rod has been provided for the depths of space by the ascertainment of the sun's distance within a three-hundredth part of that body's diameter. The existence of a cosmic ether, a resisting medium, has been established, and its retarding influence calculated. Many of the nebulae have been reduced, and others proved to be in a gaseous condition, like comets. The latter bodies have been chained down to regular orbits, followed far beyond those of the old planets, and brought into genealogical relations with these through the links of bolides and asteroids. The family circle of planets proper has been immensely increased, a new visitant to the central fire appearing every few years or even months. Newton connected the most distant points of the universe by the one principle of gravitation: the spectroscope unites them by identity of structure and composition. Improved instruments have detected the parallax of a number of the fixed stars, and traced motion in both solar and stellar systems as units. Coming homeward from the distant heavens, the advances of astronomy diminish as we near what may be called the old planets and our pale companion the moon. The existence of a lunar atmosphere and the habitability of Mars are still debated; with, we believe, the odds against both. But the star-gazers make their craft useful in a novel way when it reaches the earth. Upon the precession of the equinoxes they erect a fabric of retrograde chronology, and set a clock to geologic time. Here Sir Isaac is brought to grief. His excursions beyond the Deluge are proved blind guides. He misleads us among the ages as sadly as Archbishop Usher. The profoundest of laymen and the most learned of clerics are equally at sea in locating creation. That successive phases of animate existence were rising and fading with the oscillations of the earth's inclination to its orbit never occurred to him to whom "all was light." To probe the stars was to him a simpler process than to anatomize the globe upon which he stood.

This is the less remarkable when we reflect what a hard fight geology has had. A generation after Newton's death fossils were referred for their origin to a certain "plastic power" in Nature—mere idle whittlings of bone that had never known an outfit of flesh and blood. Then came a long and motley procession of cosmogonies, every speculator, from John Wesley down to Pye Smith, insisting warmly on what seemed good in his own eyes. The last stand was made on the antiquity of man, and it is only a dozen years since the ablest of British—perhaps since Cuvier of modern—geologists, Sir Charles Lyell, yielded to the preponderance of evidence, and confessed that the era of man's appearance on earth had been made too recent. A few determined skirmishers still linger behind the line of retreat, like Ney at the bridge of Kowno, and fire some fruitless shots at the advancing enemy. This is well. Tribulation and opposition are good for any creed, scientific or other. It weeds out the weak ones and strengthens those that are to stand.

The mapping out of extinct faunas and floras and assigning pedigree to existing species are by no means the whole province of geologists. Productive industry owes to them a vast saving of time and cost in searching for useful minerals. They distinguish the same strata in widely separated districts by means of the characteristic fossils, and are thus enabled to guide the miner. A geological survey of its territory is one of the first cares of an enlightened government, and [pg 18] a geologist is the one scientific official the leading States of the Union agree in maintaining. The science has moved forward steadily from its original office of studying buried deposits and classifying extinct organisms, until the hard and fast line between fossil and recent has disappeared, the continuous action of ordinary causes in past and present been established, and an unbroken domain assigned to the laws of the visible creation. Deep-sea soundings have extended inquiry, slight enough as yet, to that immensely preponderant portion of the globe's crust that is covered by water. Penetrating the ocean is like penetrating the rocks, inasmuch as it introduces us to some of the same primal forms of life; but it presents them in an active and sentient state. Neptune's ravished secrets vindicate the Neptunists, while Pluto is relegated to the abode assigned him by classic myths, where he and his comrade, Vulcan, keep their furnaces alight and project their slag and smoke through many a roaring chimney.

Upon (as beneath) the deep, science is erecting for itself new homes. It tracks the wandering wind, and moves at ease, calmly as a surveyor with chain and compass, through the eddies of the cyclone. It maps for the sailor the currents, aerial and subaqueous, of each spot on the unmarked main, and sends him warning far ahead of the tempest. It divides with the thermometer the mass of brine into horizontal zones, and assigns to each its special population.

A hundred years ago, only the surface of the land was studied, and but a small part of that. All beneath its surface was a mystery, and the lore of the sea was untouched. Now, knowledge has penetrated to the central fire, and of the sea it can be no longer said that man's "control stops with its shores." The pathway of his messenger from continent to continent he has laid deep in its chalky ooze, while over it silt silently, flake by flake, as they have been falling since æons before his creation, the induviæ of the earliest creatures.

And this his messenger at the bottom of the sea is back in its old home. First hidden in the electron cast up by the waves of the Baltic, it was left there, uncomprehended and barren, till our century. During all that time it was calling from the clouds to man's dazzled eye and deafened ear. It pervaded the air he breathed, the ground he trod and the frame which constituted him. It bore his will from brain to hand, and guarded his life, through the (so-called) spontaneously acting muscles of the thorax, during the half or third of his life during which his will slumbered. At length its call was hearkened to intelligently. Franklin made it articulate. Its twin Champollions came in Volta and Galvani. Its few first translated words have, under a host of elucidators, swelled to volumes. They link into one language the dialects of light, motion and heat. The indurated turpentine of the Pomeranian beach speaks the tongue of the farthest star.

The sciences, like the nations and like bees, as they grow too large for their hive are perpetually swarming and colonizing. Not that colonization is followed, as in the case of the similitude, by independence. Their mutual bonds become closer and closer. But convenience and (so to speak) comfort require the nominal separation. So electricity sets up for itself; and chemistry, the metropolis, swells into other offshoots. So numerous and so great are these that the old alchemists, unlimited range through the material, immaterial and supernatural as they claimed for their art, would rub their eyes, bleared over blowpipe and alembic, at sight of its present riches. The half-hewn block handed down by these worthies—not by any means

Like that great Dawn which baffled Angelo

Left shapeless, grander for its mystery,

but blurred and scratched all over with childish and unmeaning scrawls—has been wholly transformed. Chemistry no longer assumes to read our future, but it does a great deal to brighten our present. Laboring to supply the wants and enhance the pleasures and security of daily life, it makes excursions with a sure foot in the opposite direction of abstruse problems [pg 19] in natural philosophy. It analyzes all substances, determines their relations, and tries to guide the artisan in utilizing its acquisitions for the general good. To enumerate these, or to give the merest sketch of chemical progress within the century, would fill many pages. It has enriched and invigorated all the arts by supplying new material and new processes. Illuminating gas, photography, the anæsthetics, the artificial fertilizers, quinine, etc. are a few of its more familiarly known contributions. It has aided medical jurisprudence, and so far checked crime. Besides enlarging the pharmacopoeia, it has promoted sanitary reform in many ways, notably by ascertaining the media of contagion in disease and providing for their detection and removal. Its triumphs are so closely interwoven with the appliances of common life that we are prone to lose sight of them. From the aniline dye that beautifies a picture or a dress, to the explosive that lifts a reef or mines the Alps for a highway, the gradations are infinite and multiform.

Heavy as is the draft of the material sciences upon the thought and energy of the century, it has not monopolized them. No trifling resources have been left for mere abstract investigation. If meta-physics stands, despite the labors of Stewart, Hamilton, Hegel, Comte, very much where it did when Socrates ran amuck among the casuistical Quixotes of his day, and left the philosophic tilters of Greece, the knights-errant in search of the supreme good, in the same plight with the chivalry of Spain after Cervantes, the science of mind, and particularly mental pathology, has made some steps forward on crutches furnished by the medical profession. The treatment of insanity is on a more rational and efficient footing. The statistician collects, and invites the moral philosopher to collate, the records of crime. The naturalist studies the life of the lower animals, and gives the coup de grace to the uncompromising distinction drawn by human conceit between instinct and intelligence.

In the walks of comparative philology much has been accomplished. Sanskrit has been exhumed. Aryan and Semitic roots are traced back to an almost synchronous antiquity. The decipherment of the Egyptian inscriptions seems to bring us into communication with a still more remote form of language. More recent periods derive new light from the Etruscan tombs and the Assyrian bricks. Linguists deem themselves in sight of something better than the "bow-wow" theory, and are no longer content to let the calf, the lamb and the child bleat in one and the same vocabulary of labials, and with no other rudiments than "ma" and "pa" "speed the soft intercourse from pole to pole." As yet, that part of mankind which knows not its right hand from its left is the only one possessed of a worldwide lingo. The flux that is to weld all tongues into one, and produce a common language like a common unit of weight, measure and coinage, remains to be discovered. A Chinese pig, transplanted to an Anglo-Saxon stye, has no difficulty in instituting immediate converse with his new friend, but the gentleman who travels in Europe needs to carry an assortment of dialects for use on opposite sides of the same rivulet or the same hill. However, as the French franc has been adopted by four other nations, and the French litre and mètre by a greater number, one and the same mail and postage made to serve Europe and America, and passports been abolished, we may venture to picture to ourselves the time when the German shall consent to clear his throat, the Frenchman his nose, the Spaniard his tonsils and the Englishman the tip of his tongue—when all shall become as little children and be mutually comprehensible. Commerce at present is doing more than the philosophers to that end. While the countrymen of Wilhelm von Humboldt and Max Müller persist in burying their laboriously heaped treasures under a load of black-letter type and words and sentences the most fearfully and wonderfully made, the skipper scatters English words with English calico and American clocks among all the isles. A picturesque fringe of pigeon English decorates the coasts of Africa, Asia and Oceanica. It might be [pg 20] deeper, and doubtless will be, for our mother-tongue will very certainly be supreme in the world of trade for at least a couple of centuries to come. If we were only half as sure of its being adopted by France as by Fiji!

If almighty steam and sail must remain unequal to this task, wondrous indeed are their other potencies. They have contracted the globe like a dried apple, only in a far greater degree. In 1776 three years was the usual allotment of the grand tour. Beginning at London, it extended to Naples and occasionally Madrid. It often left out Vienna, and more frequently Berlin. In the same period you may now put a girdle round the earth ninefold thick. You may, given the means and the faculties, set up business establishments at San Francisco, Yokohama, Shanghai, Canton, Calcutta, Bombay, Alexandria, Rome, Paris, London and New York, and visit each once a quarter. The goods to supply them may travel, however bulky, on the same ship and nearly the same train in point of speed with yourself. Nowhere farther than a few weeks from home in person, nowhere are you more remote verbally than a few hours. The Red Sea opens to your footsteps, as it did to those of Moses; and the lightning that bears your words cleaves the pathway of Alexander and the New World for which he wept.

It is really hard to mention these innovations on the old ways, so vast and so sudden, without degenerating into rhetoric or bombast. The spread-eagle style comes naturally to an epoch that soars on quick new wing above all the others. We have it in all shapes—- equally startling and true in figures of arithmetic or figures of speech. Any school-boy can tell you, if you give him the dimensions of the Great Pyramid and state thirty-three thousand pounds one foot high in a minute as the conventional horse-power, how many hours it would take a pony-team picked out of the hundreds of thousands of steam-engines on the two continents to raise it. He will reduce to the same prosaic but eloquent form a number of like problems illustrative of the command obtained over some of the forces of Nature, and their employment in multiplying and economizing manual strength and dexterity and stimulating ingenuity. When we come to contemplate the whole edifice of modern production, it seems to simplify itself into one new motor applied to the old mechanical powers, which may perhaps in turn be condensed into one—the inclined plane. This helps to the impression that the structure is not only sure to be enlarged, as we see it enlarging day by day, but to grow into novel and more striking aspects. Additional motors will probably be discovered, or some we already possess in embryo may be developed into greater availability. These, operating on an ever-growing stock of material, will convince our era that it is but introductory to a more magnificent and not far distant future.

Magnificent the century is justified in styling its work. What matter could do for mind and steam for the hand it has done. But is there any gain in the eye and intellect which perceive, and the hand which fixes, beauty and truth? Is there any addition to the simple lines, as few and rudimental as the mechanical powers, which embody proportion and harmony, or in the fibres of emotion, as scant but as infinite in their range of tone as the strings of the primeval harp, which ask and respond to no motor but the touch of genius? Have we surpassed the old song, the old story, the old picture, the old temple?

Such questions must be answered in the negative. The age, recognizing perforce the inherent capabilities of the race as a constant quantity, contents itself so far with endeavoring to adapt and reproduce, or at most imitate, such manifestations of the artistic sense as it finds excellent in the past. The day for originality may come ere long, and nothing can be lost in striving for it, but a capacity for the beautiful at first hand cannot come without an appreciation of it at second hand. With the number of cultivated minds so vastly increased as compared with any previous period, the greater variety of objects and conditions presented to them, the multiplicity of races [pg 21] to which they belong, and consequently of distinct race-characteristics imbedded in them and brought into play, and the impulse communicated by greater general activity, the expectation is allowably sanguine that the nineteenth century will plant an art as well as an industry of its own. Wealth, culture and peace seldom fail to win this final crown. They are busily gathering together the jewels of the past, endless in diversity of charm. Museum, gallery, library swell as never before. The earth is not mined for iron and coal alone. Statue, vase and gem are disentombed. Pictures are rescued from the grime of years and neglect. All are copied by sun or hand, and sent in more or less elaboration into hall or cottage. In literature our possessions could scarce be more complete, and they are even more universally distributed. The nations compete with each other in adding to this equipment for a new revival, which seems, on the surface, to have more in its favor than had that of the cinque-cento.




Today our movement shall be up the Thames by rail, starting on the south side of the river to reach an objective point on the north bank. So crooked is the stream, and so much more crooked are the different systems of railways, with their competing branches crossing each other and making the most audacious inroads on each other's territory, that the direction in which we are traveling at any given moment, or the station from which we start, is a very poor index to the quarter for which we are bound. The railways, to say nothing of the river, that wanders at its own sweet will, as water commonly does in a country offering it no obstructions, are quite defiant of their geographical names. The Great Western runs north, west and south-east; the South-western strikes [pg 22] south, south-east and north-west; while the Chatham and Dover distributes itself over most of the region south-east of London, closing its circuit by a line along the coast of the Channel that completes a triangle. We can go almost anywhere by any road. It is necessary, however, in this as in other mundane proceedings, to make a selection. We must have a will before we find a way. Let our way, then, be to Waterloo Station on the Southwestern rail.


Half an hour's run lands us at Hampton Court, with a number of fellow-passengers to keep us company if we want them, and in fact whether we want them or not. Those who travel into or out of a city of four millions must lay their account with being ever in a crowd. Our consolation is, that in the city the crowd is so constant and so wholly strange to us as to defeat its effect, and create the feeling of solitude we have so often been told of; while outside of it, at the parks and show-places, the amplitude of space, density and variety of plantations, and multiplicity of carefully designed turns, nooks and retreats, are such that retirement of a more genuine character is within easy reach. The crowd, we know, is about us, but it does not elbow us, and we need hardly see it. The current of humanity, springing from one or a dozen trains or steamboats, dribbles away, soon after leaving its parent source, into a multitude of little divergent channels, like irrigating water, and covers the surface without interference.

It would be a curious statistical inquiry how many visitors Hampton Court has lost since the Cartoons were removed in 1865 to the South Kensington Museum. Actually, of course, the whole number has increased, is increasing, and is not going to be diminished. The query is, How many more there would be now were those eminent bits of pasteboard—slit up for the guidance of piece-work at a Flemish loom, tossed after the weavers had done with them into a lumber-room, then after a century's neglect disinterred by the taste of Rubens and Charles I., brought to England, their poor frayed and faded fragments glued together and made the chief decoration of a royal palace—still in the place assigned them by the munificence and judgment of Charles? For our part—and we may speak for most Americans—when we heard, thought or read of Hampton Court, we thought of the Cartoons. Engravings of them were plenty—much more so than of the palace itself. Numbers of domestic connoisseurs know Raphael principally as the painter of the Cartoons.

A few who have not heard of them have heard of Wolsey. The pursy old cardinal furnishes the surviving one of the two main props of Hampton's glory. An oddly-assorted pair, indeed—the delicate Italian painter, without a thought outside of his art, and the bluff English placeman, [pg 23] avid of nothing but honors and wealth. And the association of either of them with the spot is comparatively so slight. Wolsey held the ground for a few years, only by lease, built a mere fraction of the present edifice, and disappeared from the scene within half a generation. What it boasts, or boasted, of the other belongs to the least noted of his works—half a dozen sketches meant for stuff-patterns, and never intended to be preserved as pictures. Pictures they are, nevertheless, and all the more valuable and surprising as manifesting such easy command of hand and faculty, such a matter-of-course employment of the utmost resources of art on a production designed to have no continuing existence except as finished, rendered and given to the world by a "base mechanical," with no sense of art at all.


Royalty, and the great generally, availed themselves of their opportunities to select the finest locations and stake out the best claims along these shores. Of elevation there is small choice, a level surface prevailing. What there is has been generally availed of for park or palace, with manifest advantage to the landscape. The curves of the river are similarly utilized. Kew and Hampton occupy peninsulas so formed. The latter, with Bushy Park, an appendage, fills a water-washed triangle of some two miles on each side. The southern angle is opposite Thames Ditton, a noted resort for brethren of the angle, with an ancient inn as popular, though not as stylish and costly, as the Star and Garter at Richmond. The town and palace of Hampton lie about halfway up the western side of the demesne. The view up and down the river from Hampton Bridge is one of the crack spectacles of the neighborhood. Satisfied with it, we pass through the principal street, with the Green in view to our left and Bushy Park beyond it, to the main entrance. This is part of the original palace as built by the cardinal. It leads into the first court. This, with the second or Middle Quadrangle, may all be ascribed to him, with some changes made by Henry VIII. and Christopher Wren. The colonnade of coupled Ionic pillars which runs across it on the south or right-hand side as you enter was designed by Wren. It is out of keeping with its Gothic surroundings. Standing beneath it, you see on the opposite side of the square Wolsey's Hall. It looks [pg 24] like a church. The towers on either side of the gateway between the courts bear some relics of the old faith in the shape of terra-cotta medallions, portraits of the Roman emperors. These decorations were a present to the cardinal from Leo X. The oriel windows by their side bear contributions in a different taste from Henry VIII. They are the escutcheons of that monarch. The two popes, English and Italian, are well met. Our engravings give a good idea of the style of these parts of the edifice. The first or outer square is somewhat larger than the middle one, which is a hundred and thirty-three feet across from north to south, and ninety-one in the opposite direction, or in a line with the longest side of the whole palace.

A stairway beneath the arch leads to the great hall, one hundred and six feet by forty. This having been well furbished recently, its aspect is probably little inferior in splendor to that which it wore in its first days. The open-timber roof, gay banners, stained windows and groups of armor bring mediaeval magnificence very freshly before us. The ciphers and arms of Henry and his wife, Jane Seymour, are emblazoned on one of the windows, indicating the date of 1536 or 1537. Below them were graciously left Wolsey's imprint—his arms, with a cardinal's hat on each side, and the inscription, "The Lord Thomas Wolsey, Cardinal legat de Latere, archbishop of Yorke and chancellor of Englande." The tapestry of the hall illustrates sundry passages in the life of Abraham. A Flemish pupil of Raphael is credited with their execution or design.

This hall witnessed, certainly in the reign of George I., and according to tradition in that of Elizabeth, the mimic reproduction of the great drama with which it is associated. It is even said that Shakespeare took part here in his own play, King Henry VIII., or the Fall of Wolsey. In 1558 the hall was resplendent with one thousand lamps, Philip and Mary holding their Christmas feast. The princess Elizabeth was a guest. The next morning she was compliant or politic enough to hear matins in the queen's closet.

The Withdrawing Room opens from the hall. It is remarkable for its carved and illuminated ceiling of oak. Over the chimney is a portrait of Wolsey in profile on wood, not the least interesting of a long list of pictures which are a leading attraction of the place. These are assembled, with few exceptions, in the third quadrangle, built in 1690. Into this we next pass. It takes the place of three of the five original courts, said to have been fully equal to the two which remain.


The modern or Eastern Quadrangle [pg 25] is a hundred and ten by a hundred and seventeen feet. It is encircled by a colonnade like that in the middle square, and has nothing remarkable, architecturally, about it. In the public rooms that surround us there are, according to the catalogue, over a thousand pictures. Leonardo da Vinci, Paul Veronese, Titian, Giulio Romano, Murillo and a host of lesser names of the Italian and Spanish schools, with still more of the Flemish, are represented. To most visitors, who may see elsewhere finer works by these masters, the chief attraction of the walls is the series of original portraits by Holbein, Vandyck, Lely and Kneller. The two full-lengths of Charles I. by Vandyck, on foot and on horseback, both widely known by engravings, are the gems of this department, as a Vandyck will always be of any group of portraits.


Days may be profitably and delightfully spent in studying this fine collection. The first men and women of England for three centuries handed down to us by the first artists she could command form a spectacle in which Americans can take a sort of home interest. Nearly all date before 1776, and we have a rightful share in them. Each head and each picture is a study. We have art and history together. Familiar as we may be with the events with which the persons represented are associated, it is impossible to gaze upon their lineaments, set in the accessories of their day by the ablest hands guided by eyes that saw below the surface, and not feel that we have new readings of British annals.


Among the most ancient heads is a medallion of Henry VII. by Torregiano, the peppery and gifted Florentine who executed the marvelous chapel in Westminster Abbey and broke the nose of Michael Angelo. English art—or rather art in England—may be said to date from him. He could not create a school of artists in the island—the material did not exist—but the few productions he left there stood out so sharply from anything [pg 26] around them that the possessors of the wealth that was then beginning to accumulate employed it in drawing from the Continent additional treasures from the newly-found world of beauty. The riches of England have grown apace, and her collectors have used them liberally, if not always wisely, until her galleries, in time, have come to be sought by the connoisseurs, and even the artists, of the Continent.


The last picture-gallery we traverse is the only one at Hampton Court specially built for its purpose; and it is empty. This is the room erected by Sir Christopher Wren for the reception of the Cartoons. It leads us to the corridor that opens on the garden-front. We leave behind us, in addition to the state apartments, a great many others which are peopled by other inhabitants than the big spiders, said to be found nowhere else, known as cardinals. The old palace is not kept wholly for show, but is made useful in the political economy of the kingdom by furnishing a retreat to impecunious members of the oligarchy. Certain families of distressed aristocrats are harbored here—clearly a more wholesome arrangement than letting them take their chance in the world and bring discredit on their class.


Emerging on the great gardens, forty four acres in extent, we find ourselves on broad walks laid out with mathematical regularity, and edged by noble masses of yew, holly, horse-chestnut, etc. almost as rectangular and circular. We are here struck with the great advantage derived in landscape gardening from the rich variety of large evergreens possible in the climate of Britain. The holly, unknown as an outdoor plant in this country north of Philadelphia, is at home in the north of Scotland, eighteen degrees nearer the pole. We are more fortunate with the Conifers, many of the finest of which family are perfectly hardy here. But we miss the deodar cedar, the redwood and [pg 27] Washingtonia of California, and the cedar of Lebanon. These, unless perhaps the last, cannot be depended on much north of the latitude of the Magnolia grandiflora. They thrive all over England, with others almost as beautiful, and as delicate north of the Delaware. Of the laurel tribe, also hardy in England, our Northern States have but a few weakly representatives. So with the Rhododendra.


When, tired of even so charming a scene of arboreal luxury, we knock at the Flower-Pot gate to the left of the palace, and are admitted into the private garden, we make the acquaintance of another stately stranger we have had the honor at home of meeting only under glass. This is the great vine, ninety years or a hundred old, of the Black Hamburg variety. It does not cover as much space as the Carolina Scuppernong—the native variety that so surprised and delighted Raleigh's Roanoke Island settlers in 1585—often does. But its bunches, sometimes two or three thousand in number, are much larger than the Scuppernong's little clumps of two or three. They weigh something like a pound each, and are thought worthy of being reserved for Victoria's dessert. Her own family vine has burgeoned so broadly that three thousand pounds of grapes would not be a particularly large dish for a Christmas dinner for the united Guelphs.


We must not forget the Labyrinth, "a mighty maze, but not without a plan," that has bewildered generations of young and old children since the time of its creator, William of Orange. It is a feature of the Dutch style of landscape gardening imprinted by him upon the Hampton grounds. He failed to [pg 28] impress a like stamp upon that chaos of queer, shapeless and contradictory means to beneficent ends, the British constitution.

Hampton Court, notwithstanding the naming of the third quadrangle the Fountain Court, and the prominence given to a fountain in the design of the principal grounds, is not rich in waterworks. Nature has done a good deal for it in that way, the Thames embracing it on two sides and the lowness of the flat site placing water within easy reach everywhere. This superabundance of the element did not content the magnificent Wolsey. He was a man of great ideas, and to secure a head for his jets he sought an elevated spring at Combe Wood, more than two miles distant. To bring this supply he laid altogether not less than eight miles of leaden pipe weighing twenty-four pounds to the foot, and passing under the bed of the Thames. Reduced to our currency of to-day, these conduits must have cost nearly half a million of dollars. They do their work yet, the gnawing tooth of old Edax rerum not having penetrated far below the surface of the earth. Better hydraulic results would now be attained at a considerably reduced cost by a steam-engine and stand-pipe. At the beginning of the sixteenth century this motor was not even in embryo, unless we accept the story of Blasco de Garay's steamer that manoeuvred under the eye of Charles V. as fruitlessly as Fitch's and Fulton's before Napoleon. Coal, its dusky pabulum, was also practically a stranger on the upper Thames. The ancient fire-dogs that were wont to bear blazing billets hold their places in the older part of the palace.


Crossing the Kingston road, which runs across the peninsula and skirts the northern boundary of Hampton Park, we get into its continuation, Bushy Park. This is larger than the chief enclosure, but less pretentious. We cease to be oppressed by the palace and its excess of the artificial. The great avenues of horse-chestnut, five in number, and running parallel with a length of rather more than a mile and an aggregate breadth of nearly two hundred yards, are formal enough in design, but the mass of foliage gives them the effect of a wood. They lead nowhere in particular, and are flanked by glades and copses in which the genuinely rural prevails. Cottages gleam through the trees. The lowing of kine, the tinkling of the sheep-bell, the gabble of poultry, lead you away from thoughts of prince and city. Deer domesticated here since long before the introduction of the turkey or the guinea-hen bear themselves with as quiet ease and freedom from fear as though they were the [pg 29] lords of the manor and held the black-letter title-deeds for the delicious stretch of sward over which they troop. Less stately, but scarce more shy, indigenes are the hares, lineal descendants of those which gave sport to Oliver Cromwell. When that grim Puritan succeeded to the lordship of the saintly cardinal, he was fain, when the Dutch, Scotch and Irish indulged him with a brief chance to doff his buff coat, to take relaxation in coursing. We loiter by the margin of the ponds he dug in the hare-warren, and which were presented as nuisances by the grand jury in 1662. The complaint was that by turning the water of the "New River" into them the said Oliver had made the road from Hampton Wick boggy and unsafe. Another misdemeanor of the deceased was at the same time and in like manner denounced. This was the stopping up of the pathway through the warren. The palings were abated, and the path is open to all nineteenth-century comers, as it probably will be to those of the twentieth, this being a land of precedent, averse to change. We may stride triumphantly across the location of the Cromwellian barricades, and not the less so, perhaps, for certain other barricades which he helped to erect in the path of privilege.

Directing our steps to the left, or westward, we again reach the river at the town of Hampton. It is possessed of pretty water-views, but of little else of note except the memory and the house of Garrick. Hither the great actor, after positively his last night on the stage, retired, and settled the long contest for his favor between the Muses of Tragedy and Comedy by inexorably turning his back on both. He did not cease to be the delight of polished society, thanks to his geniality and to literary and conversational powers capable of making him the intimate of Johnson and Reynolds. More fortunate in his temperament and temper than his modern successor, Macready, he never fretted that his profession made him a vagabond by act of Parliament, or that his adoption of it in place of the law had prevented his becoming, by virtue of the same formal and supreme stamp, the equal of the Sampson Brasses plentiful in his day as in ours among their betters of that honorable vocation. His self-respect was of tougher if not sounder grain. "Worth makes the man, and want of it the fellow," was the motto supplied him by his friend and neighbor, Pope, but obeyed long before he saw it in the poetic form.


Garrick's house is separated from its bit of "grounds," which run down to the water's edge, by the highway. It communicates with them by a tunnel, suggested by Johnson. It was not a very novel suggestion, but the excavation deserves notice as probably the one engineering achievement of old Ursus major. We may fancy the Titan of the pen and the tea-table, in his snuffy habit as he lived and as photographed by Boswell, [pg 30] Mrs. Thrale, Fanny Burney, and their epitomizer Macaulay, diving under the turnpike and emerging among the osiers and water-rats to offer his orisons at the shrine of Shakespeare. For, in the fashion of the day, Garrick erected a little brick "temple," and placed therein a statue of the man it was the study of his life to interpret. The temple is there yet. The statue, a fine one by Roubillac, now adorns the hall of the British Museum, a much better place for it. Garrick, and not Shakespeare, is the genius loci.


This is but one, if the most striking, of a long row of villas that overlook the river, each with its comfortable-looking and rotund trees and trim plat in front, with sometimes a summer-house snuggling down to the ripples. These riverside colonies, thrown out so rapidly by the metropolis, have no colonial look. We cannot associate the idea of a new settlement with rich turf, graveled walks and large trees devoid of the gaunt and forlorn look suggestive of their fellows' having been hewn away from their side. The houses have some of the pertness, rawness and obtrusiveness of youth, but it is not the youth of the backwoods.

Bob and sinker are in their glory hereabouts. Fishing-rods in the season and good weather form an established part of the scenery. From the banks of the stream, from the islands and from box-like boats called punts in the middle of the water, their slender arches project. It becomes a source of speculation how the breed of fish is kept up. Seth Green has never operated on the Thames. Were he to take it under his wing, a sum in the single rule of three points to the conclusion that all London would take its seat under these willows and extract ample sustenance from the invisible herds. If perch and dace can hold their own against the existing pressure and escape extinction, how would they multiply with the fostering aid of the spawning-box! We are not deep in the mysteries of the angle, but we believe English waters do not boast the catfish. They ought to acquire him. He is almost as hard to extirpate as the perch, would be quite at home in these sluggish pools under the lily-pads, and would harmonize admirably with the eel in the pies and other gross preparations which delight the British palate. He hath, moreover, a John Bull-like air in his broad and burly shape, his smooth and unscaly superficies and the noli-me-tangere character of his dorsal fin. Pity he was unknown to Izaak Walton!

At this particular point the piscatory effect is intensified by the dam just above Hampton Bridge. Two parts of a river are especially fine for fishing. One is the part above the dam, and the other the part below. These two divisions may be said, indeed, in a large sense to cover all the Thames. Moulsey Lock, while favorable to fish and fishermen, is unfavorable to dry land. Yet there is said [pg 31] to be no malaria. Hampton Court has proved a wholesome residence to every occupant save its founder.


The angler's capital is Thames Ditton, and his capitol the Swan Inn. Ditton is, like many other pretty English villages, little and old. It is mentioned in Domesday Boke as belonging to the bishop of Bayeux in Normandy, famous for the historic piece of tapestry. Wadard, a gentleman with a Saxon name, held it of him, probably for the quit—rent of an annual eel-pie, although the consideration is not stated. The clergy were, by reason of their frequent meagre days and seasons, great consumers of fish. The phosphorescent character of that diet may have contributed, if we accept certain modern theories of animal chemistry as connected in some as yet unexplained way with psychology, to the intellectual predominance of that class of the population in the Middle Ages. That occasional fasting, whether voluntary and systematic as in the cloisters, or involuntary and altogether the reverse of systematic in Grub street, helps to clear the wits, with or without the aid of phosphorus, is a fixed fact. The stomach is apt to be a stumbling-block to the brain. We are not prone to associate prolonged and productive mental effort with a fair round belly with fat capon lined. It was not the jolly clerics we read of in song, but the lean ascetic brethren who were numerous enough to balance them, that garnered for us the treasures of ancient literature and kept the mind of Christendom alive, if only in a state of suspended animation. It was something that they prevented the mace of chivalry from utterly braining humankind.

The Thames is hereabouts joined from the south by a somewhat exceptional style of river, characterized by Milton as "the sullen Mole, that runneth underneath," and by Pope, in dutiful imitation, as "the sullen Mole that hides his diving flood." Both poets play on the word. In our judgment, Milton's line is the better, since moles do not dive and have no flood—two false figures in one line from the precise and finical Pope! Thomson contributes the epithet of "silent," which will do well enough as far as it goes, though devoid even of the average force of Jamie. But, as we have intimated, it is a queer river. Pouring into the Thames by several mouths that deviate over quite a delta, its channel two or three miles above is destitute in dry seasons of water. Its current disappears under an elevation called White Hill, and does not come again to light for almost two miles, resembling therein several streams in the United States, notably Lost River in North-eastern Virginia, which has a subterranean course of the same character and about the same length, but has not yet found its Milton or Pope, far superior as it is to its English cousin in natural beauty.

For this defect art and association amply atone. On the southern side of the Mole, not far from the underground portion of its course—"the Swallow" as it is called—stand the charming and storied seats of Esher and Claremont.

Esher was an ancient residence of the [pg 32] bishops of Winchester. Wolsey made it for a time his retreat after being ousted from Hampton Court. A retreat it was to him in every sense. He dismissed his servants and all state, and cultivated the deepest despondency. His inexorable master, however, looked down on him, from his ravished towers hard by, unmoved, and, as the sequel in a few years proved, unsatisfied in his greed. Gardiner, bishop of Winchester, was called upon for a contribution. He loyally surrendered to the king the whole estate of Esher, a splendid mansion with all appurtenances and a park a mile in diameter. Henry annexed Esher to Hampton Court, and continued his research for new subjects of spoliation. His daughter Mary gave Esher back to the see of Winchester. Elizabeth bought it and bestowed it on Lord Howard of Effingham, who well earned it by his services against the Armada. Of the families who subsequently owned the place, the Pelhams are the most noted. Now it has passed from their hands. That which has alone been preserved of the palace of Wolsey is an embattled gatehouse that looks into the sluggish Mole, and joins it mayhap in musing over "the days that we have seen."


Claremont, its next neighbor, unites, with equal or greater charms of landscape, in preaching the old story of the decadence of the great. Lord Clive, the Indian conqueror and speculator, built the house from the designs of Capability Browne at a cost of over a hundred thousand pounds. His dwelling and his monument remain to represent Clive. After him, two or three occupants removed, came Leopold of Belgium, with his bride, the Princess Charlotte, pet and hope of the British nation. Their stay was more transient still—a year only, when death dissipated their dream and cleared the way to the throne for Victoria. Leopold continued to hold the property, and it became a generation later the asylum of Louis Philippe. To an ordinary mind the miseries of any one condemned to make this lovely spot his home are not apt to present themselves as the acme of despair. A sensation of relief and lulling repose would be more reasonably expected, especially after so stormy a career as that of Louis. The change from restless and capricious Paris to dewy shades and luxurious halls in the heart of changeless and impregnable England ought, on common principles, to have promoted the content and prolonged the life of the old king. Possibly it did, but if so, the French had not many months' escape from a second Orleans regency, for the exile's experience of Claremont was brief. We may wander over his lawns, and reshape to ourselves his reveries. Then [pg 33] we may forget the man who lost an empire as we look up at the cenotaph of him who conquered one. Both brought grist to Miller Bull, the fortunate and practical-minded owner of such vast water-privileges. His water-power seems proof against all floods, while the corn of all nations must come to his door. Standing under these drooping elms, by this lazy stream, we hear none of the clatter of the great mill, and we cease to dream of affixing a period to its noiseless and effective work.


If we are not tired of parks for today, five minutes by rail will carry us west to Oatlands Park, with its appended, and more or less dependent, village of Walton-upon-Thames. But a surfeit even of English country-houses and their pleasances is a possible thing; and nowhere are they more abundant than within an hour's walk of our present locality. So, taking Ashley Park, Burwood Park, Pains Hill and many others, as well as the Coway Stakes—said by one school of antiquarians to have been planted in the Thames by Cæsar, and by another to be the relics of a fish-weir—Walton Church and Bradshaw's house, for granted, we shall turn to the east and finish the purlieus of Hampton with a glance at the old Saxon town of Kingston-on-Thames. Probably an ardent Kingstonian would indignantly disown the impression our three words are apt to give of the place. It is a rapidly—growing town, and "Egbert, the first king of all England," who held a council at "Kyningestun, famosa ilia locus," in 838, would be at a loss to find his way through its streets could he revisit it. It has the population of a Saxon county. Viewed from the massive bridge, with the church-tower rising above an expanse of sightly buildings, it possesses the least possible resemblance to the cluster of wattled huts that may be presumed to have sheltered Egbert and his peers.


A more solid memento of the Saxons is preserved in the King's Stone. This has been of late years set up in the centre of the town, surrounded with an iron railing, and made visible to all comers, skeptical or otherwise. Tradition credits it with having been that upon which the kings of Wessex were crowned, as those of Scotland down to Longshanks, and after him the English, were on the red sandstone palladium of Scone. From the list of ante-Norman monarchs said to have received the sceptre upon it [pg 34] the poetically inclined visitor will select for chief interest Edwy, whose coronation was celebrated in great state in his seventeenth year. How he fell in love with and married secretly his cousin Elgiva; how Saint Dunstan and his equally saintly though not regularly beatified ally, Odo, archbishop of Canterbury, indignant at a step taken against their fulminations and protests, and jealous of the fair queen, tore her from his arms, burnt with hot iron the bloom out of her cheeks, and finally put her to death with the most cruel tortures; and how her broken-hearted boy-lord, dethroned and hunted, died before reaching twenty,—is a standing dish of the pathetic. Unfortunately, the story, handed down to us with much detail, appears to be true. We must not accept it, however, as an average illustration of life in that age of England. The five hundred years before the Conquest do not equal, in the bloody character of their annals, the like period succeeding it. Barbarous enough the Anglo-Saxons were, but wanton cruelty does not seem to have been one of their traits. To produce it some access of religious fury was usually requisite. It was on the church doors that the skins of their Danish invaders were nailed.


Kingston has no more Dunstans. Alexandra would be perfectly safe in its market-place. The rosy maidens who pervade its streets need not envy her cheeks, and the saints and archbishops who are to officiate at her husband's induction as head of the Anglican Church have their anxieties at present directed to wholly [pg 35] different quarters. They have foes within and foes without, but none in the palace.

Kingston bids fair to revert, after a sort, to the metropolitan position it boasted once, but has lost for nine centuries. The capital is coming to it, and will cover the four remaining miles within a decade or two at the existing rate of progress. Kingston may be assigned to the suburbs already. It is much nearer London, in point of time, than Union Square in New York to the City Hall. A slip of country not yet endowed with trottoirs and gas-lamps intervenes. Call this park, as you do the square miles of such territory already deep within the metropolis.

London's jurisdiction, as marked by the Boundary Stone, extends much farther up the river than we have as yet gone. Nor are the swans her only vicegerents. The myrmidons of Inspector Bucket, foot and horse, supplement those natatory representatives. So do the municipalities encroach upon and overspread the country, as it is eminently proper they should, seeing that to the charters so long ago exacted, and so long and so jealously guarded, by the towns, so much of the liberty enjoyed by English-speaking peoples is due. Large cities may be under some circumstances, according to an often-quoted saying, plague-spots on the body politic, but their growth has generally been commensurate with that of knowledge and order, and indicative of anything but a diseased condition of the national organism.

But here we are, under the shadow of the departed Nine Elms and of the official palace of the Odos, deep enough in Lunnon to satisfy the proudest Cockney, in less time than we have taken in getting off that last commonplace on political economy. Adam Smith and Jefferson never undertook to meditate at thirty-five miles an hour.


[pg 36]


Sleep, Venice, sleep! the evening gun resounds

Over the waves that rock thee on their breast:

The bugle blare to kennel calls the hounds

Who sleepless watch thy waking and thy rest.

Sleep till the night-stars do the day-star meet,

And shuddering echoes o'er the water run,

Rippling through every glass-green, wavering street

The stern good-morrow of thy guardian Hun.

Still do thy stones, O Venice! bid rejoice,

With their old majesty, the gazer's eye,

In their consummate grace uttering a voice,

From every line, of blended harmony.

Still glows the splendor of the wondrous dreams

Vouchsafed thy painters o'er each sacred shrine,

And from the radiant visions downward streams

In visible light an influence divine.

Still through thy golden day and silver night

Sings his soft jargon the gay gondolier,

And o'er thy floors of liquid malachite

Slide the black-hooded barks to mystery dear.

Like Spanish beauty in its sable veil,

They rustle sideling through the watery way,

The wild, monotonous cry with which they hail

Each other's passing dying far away.

As each steel prow grazes the island strands

Still ring the sweet Venetian voices clear,

And wondering wanderers from far, free lands

Entranced look round, enchanted listen here.

From the far lands of liberty they come—

England's proud children and her younger race;

Those who possess the Past's most noble home,

And those who claim the Future's boundless space.

Pitying they stand. For thee who would not weep?

Well it beseems these men to weep for thee,

Whose flags (as erst they own) control the deep,

Whose conquering sails o'ershadow every sea.

Yet not in pity only, but in hope,

Spring the hot tears the brave for thee may shed:

Thy chain shall prove but a sand-woven rope;

But sleep thou still: the sky is not yet red.

Sleep till the mighty helmsman of the world,

By the Almighty set at Fortune's wheel,

Steers toward thy freedom, and, once more unfurled,

The banner of St. Mark the sun shall feel.

Then wake, then rise, then hurl away thy yoke,

Then dye with crimson that pale livery,

Whose ghastly white has been the jailer's cloak

For years flung o'er thy shame and misery!

Rise with a shout that down thy Giants' Stair

Shall thy old giants bring with thundering tread—

The blind crusader standing stony there,

And him, the latest of thy mighty dead.

Whose patriot heart broke at the Austrian's foot,

Whose ashes under the black marble lie,

From whose dry dust, stirred by the voice, shall shoot

The glorious growth of living liberty.


[pg 37]



"Come," says my Hindu friend, "let us do Bombay."

The name of my Hindu friend is Bhima Gandharva. At the same time, his name is not Bhima Gandharva. But—for what is life worth if one may not have one's little riddle?—in respect that he is not so named let him be so called, for thus will a pretty contradiction be accomplished, thus shall I secure at once his privacy and his publicity, and reveal and conceal him in a breath.

It is eight o'clock in the morning. We have met—Bhima Gandharva and I—in "The Fort." The Fort is to Bombay much as the Levee, with its adjacent quarters, is to New Orleans; only it is—one may say Hibernice—a great deal more so. It is on the inner or harbor side of the island of Bombay. Instead of the low-banked Mississippi, the waters of a tranquil and charming haven smile welcome out yonder from between wooded island-peaks. Here Bombay has its counting-houses, its warehouses, its exchange, its "Cotton Green," its docks. But not its dwellings. This part of the Fort where we have met is, one may say, only inhabited for six hours in the day—from ten in the morning until four in the afternoon. At the former hour Bombay is to be found here engaged at trade: at the latter it rushes back into the various quarters outside the Fort which go to make up this many-citied city. So that at this particular hour of eight in the morning one must expect to find little here that is alive, except either a philosopher, a stranger, a policeman or a rat.

"Well, then," I said as Bhima Gandharva finished communicating this information to me, "we are all here."


"There stand you, a philosopher; here I, a stranger; yonder, the policeman; and, heavens and earth! what a rat!" I accompanied this exclamation by shooing a big musky fellow from behind a bale of cotton whither I had just seen him run.

Bhima Gandharva smiled in a large, tranquil way he has, which is like an Indian plain full of ripe corn. "I find it curious," he said, "to compare the process which goes on here in the daily humdrum of trade about this place with that which one would see if one were far up yonder at the northward, in the appalling solitudes of the mountains, where trade has never been and will never be. Have you visited the Himalaya?"

I shook my head.

"Among those prodigious planes of snow," continued the Hindu, "which when level nevertheless frighten you as if they were horizontal precipices, and which when perpendicular nevertheless lull you with a smooth deadly half-sense of confusion as to whether you should refer your ideas of space to the slope or the plain, there reigns at this moment a quietude more profound than the Fort's. But presently, as the sun beats with more fervor, rivulets begin to trickle from exposed points; these grow to cataracts and roar down the precipices; masses of undermined snow plunge into the abysses; the great winds of the Himalaya rise and howl, and every silence of the morning becomes a noise at noon. A little longer, and the sun again decreases; the cataracts draw their heads back into the ice as tortoises into their shells; the winds creep into their hollows, and the snows rest. So here. At ten the tumult of trade will begin: at four it will quickly freeze again into stillness. One might even carry this parallelism into more fanciful extremes. For, as the vapors which lie on the Himalaya in the form of snow have in time come from all parts of the earth, so the tide of men that will presently pour in here is made up of people from the four quarters of the globe. The Hindu, the African, the Arabian, the Chinese, the Tartar, the European, [pg 38] the American, the Parsee, will in a little while be trading or working here."


"What a complete bouleversement," I said, seating myself on a bale of cotton and looking toward the fleets of steamers and vessels collected off the great cotton-presses awaiting their cargoes, "this particular scene effects in the mind of a traveler just from America! India has been to me, as the average American, [pg 39] a dream of terraced ghauts, of banyans and bungalows, of Taj Mahals and tigers, of sacred rivers and subterranean temples, and—and that sort of thing. I come here and land in a big cotton-yard. I ask myself, 'Have I left Jonesville—dear Jonesville!—on the other side of the world, in order to sit on an antipodal cotton-bale?'"

"There is some more of India," said Bhima Gandharva gently. "Let us look at it a little."

One may construct a good-enough outline map of this wonderful land in one's mind by referring its main features to the first letter of the alphabet. Take a capital A; turn it up side down; imagine that the inverted triangle forming the lower half of the letter is the Deccan, the left side representing the Western Ghauts, the right side representing the Eastern Ghauts, and the cross-stroke standing for the Vindhya Mountains; imagine further that a line from right to left across the upper ends of the letter, trending upward as it is drawn, represents the Himalaya, and that enclosed between them and the Vindhyas is Hindustan proper. Behind—i.e. to the north of—the centre of this last line rises the Indus, flowing first north-westward through the Vale of Cashmere, then cutting sharply to the south and flowing by the way of the Punjab and Scinde to where it empties at Kurrachee. Near the same spot where the Indus originates rises also the Brahmaputra, but the latter empties its waters far from the former, flowing first south-eastward, then cutting southward and emptying into the Gulf of Bengal. Fixing, now, in the mind the sacred Ganges and Jumna, coming down out of the Gangetic and Jumnatic peaks in a general south-easterly direction, uniting at Allahabad and emptying into the Bay of Bengal, and the Nerbudda River flowing over from the east to the west, along the southern bases of the Vindhyas, until it empties at the important city of Brooch, a short distance north of Bombay, one will have thus located a number of convenient points and lines sufficient for general references.

This A of ours is a very capital A indeed, being some nineteen hundred miles in length and fifteen hundred in width. Lying on the western edge of this peninsula is Bombay Island. It is crossed by the line of 19° north latitude, and is, roughly speaking, halfway between the Punjab on the north and Ceylon on the south. Its shape is that of a lobster, with his claws extended southward and his body trending a little to the west of north. The larger island of Salsette lies immediately north, and the two, connected by a causeway, enclose the noble harbor of Bombay. Salsette approaches near to the mainland at its northern end, and is connected with it by the railway structure. These causeways act as break-waters and complete the protection of the port. The outer claw, next to the Indian Ocean, of the lobster-shaped Bombay Island is the famous Malabar Hill; the inner claw is the promontory of Calaba; in the curved space between the two is the body of shallow water known as the Back Bay, along whose strand so many strange things are done daily. As one turns into the harbor around the promontory of Calaba—which is one of the European quarters of the manifold city of Bombay, and is occupied by magnificent residences and flower-gardens—one finds just north of it the great docks and commercial establishments of the Fort; then an enormous esplanade farther north; across which, a distance of about a mile, going still northward, is the great Indian city called Black Town, with its motley peoples and strange bazars; and still farther north is the Portuguese quarter, known as Mazagon.

As we crossed the great esplanade to the north of the Fort—Bhima Gandharva and I—and strolled along the noisy streets, I began to withdraw my complaint. It was not like Jonesville. It was not like any one place or thing, but like a hundred, and all the hundred outré to the last degree. Hindu beggars, so dirty that they seemed to have returned to dust before death; three fakirs, armed with round-bladed daggers with which they were wounding themselves apparently in the most reckless manner, so as to send streams of blood flowing to the [pg 40] ground, and redly tattooing the ashes with which their naked bodies were covered; Parsees with their long noses curving over their moustaches, clothed in white, sending one's thoughts back to Ormuz, to Persia, to Zoroaster, to fire-worship and to the strangeness of the fate which drove them out of Persia more [pg 41] than a thousand years ago, and which has turned them into the most industrious traders and most influential citizens of a land in which they are still exiles; Chinese, Afghans—the Highlanders of the East—Arabs, Africans, Mahrattas, Malays, Persians, Portuguese half-bloods; men that called upon Mohammed, men that called upon Confucius, upon Krishna, upon Christ, upon Gotama the Buddha, upon Rama and Sita, upon Brahma, upon Zoroaster; strange carriages shaded by red domes that compressed a whole dream of the East in small, and drawn by humped oxen, alternating with palanquins, with stylish turnouts of the latest mode, with cavaliers upon Arabian horses; half-naked workmen, crouched in uncomfortable workshops and ornamenting sandal-wood boxes; dusky curb-stone shopkeepers, rushing at me with strenuous offerings of their wares; lines of low shop-counters along the street, backed by houses rising in many stories, whose black pillared verandahs were curiously carved and painted: cries, chafferings, bickerings, Mussulman prayers, Arab oaths extending from "Praise God that you exist" to "Praise God although you exist;"—all these things appealed to the confused senses.

The tall spire of a Hindu temple revealed itself.


"It seems to me," I said to Bhima Gandharva, "that your steeples—as we would call them in Jonesville—represent, in a sort of way, your cardinal doctrine: they seem to be composed of a multitude of little steeples, all like the big one, just as you might figure your Supreme Being in the act of absorbing a large number of the faithful who had just arrived from the dismal existence below. And then, again, your steeple looks as if it might be the central figure of your theistic scheme, surrounded by the three hundred millions of your lesser deities. How do you get on, Bhima Gandharva, with so many claims on your worshiping faculties? I should think you would be well lost in such a jungle of gods?"

"My friend," said Bhima Gandharva, "a short time ago a play was performed in this city which purported to be a translation into the Mahratta language of the Romeo and Juliet which Shakespeare wrote. It was indeed a very great departure from that miraculous work, which I know well, but among its many deviations from the original was one which for the mournful and yet humorous truth of it was really worthy of the Master. Somehow, the translator had managed to get a modern Englishman into the play, who, every time that one of my countrymen happened to be found in leg-reach, would give him a lusty kick and cry out 'Damn fool!' Why is the whole world like this Englishman?—upon what does it found its opinion that the Hindu is a fool? Is it upon our religion? Listen! I will recite you some matters out of our scriptures: Once upon a time Arjuna stood in his chariot betwixt his army and the army of his foes. These foes were his kinsmen. Krishna—even that great god Krishna—moved by pity for Arjuna, had voluntarily placed himself in Arjuna's chariot and made himself the charioteer thereof. Then—so saith Sanjaya—in order to encourage him, the ardent old ancestor of the Kurus blew his conch-shell, sounding loud as the roar of a lion. Then on a sudden trumpets, cymbals, drums and horns were sounded. That noise grew to an uproar. And, standing on a huge car drawn by white horses, the slayer of Madhu and the son of Pandu blew their celestial trumpets. Krishna blew his horn called Panchajanya; the Despiser of Wealth blew his horn called the Gift of the Gods; he of dreadful deeds and wolfish entrails blew a great trumpet called Paundra; King Yudishthira, the son of Kunti, blew the Eternal Victory; Nakula and Sahadeva blew the Sweet-toned and the Blooming-with-Jewels. The king of Kashi, renowned for the excellence of his bow, and Shikandin in his huge chariot, Dhrishtyadumna, and Virata, and Satyaki, unconquered by his foes, and Drupada and the sons of Drupadi all together, and the strong-armed son of Subhadrá, each severally blew their trumpets. That noise lacerated the hearts of the sons of Dhartarashtra, and uproar resounded both through heaven and earth. Now when Arjuna beheld [pg 42] the Dhartarashtras drawn up, and that the flying of arrows had commenced, he raised his bow, and then addressed these words to Krishna:

"'Now that I have beheld this kindred standing here near together for the purpose of fighting, my limbs give way and my face is bloodless, and tremor is produced throughout my body, and my hair stands on end. My bow Gandiva [pg 43] slips from my hand, and my skin burns. Nor am I able to remain upright, and my mind is as it were whirling round. Nor do I perceive anything better even when I shall have slain these relations in battle, I seek not victory, Krishna, nor a kingdom, nor pleasures. What should we do with a kingdom, Govinda? What with enjoyments, or with life itself? Those very men on whose account we might desire a kingdom, enjoyments or pleasures are assembled for battle. Teachers, fathers, and even sons, and grandfathers, uncles, fathers-in-law, grandsons, brothers-in-law, with connections also,—these I would not wish to slay, though I were slain myself, O Killer of Madhu! not even for the sake of the sovereignty of the triple world—how much less for that of this earth! When we had killed the Dhartarashtras, what pleasure should we have, O thou who art prayed to by mortals? How could we be happy after killing our own kindred, O Slayer of Madhu? Even if they whose reason is obscured by covetousness do not perceive the crime committed in destroying their own tribe, should we not know how to recoil from such a sin? In the destruction of a tribe the eternal institutions of the tribe are destroyed. These laws being destroyed, lawlessness prevails. From the existence of lawlessness the women of the tribe become corrupted; and when the women are corrupted, O son of Vrishni! confusion of caste takes place. Confusion of caste is a gate to hell. Alas! we have determined to commit a great crime, since from the desire of sovereignty and pleasures we are prepared to slay our own kin. Better were it for me if the Dhartarashtras, being armed, would slay me, harmless and unresisting in the fight.'


"Having thus spoken in the midst of the battle, Arjuna, whose heart was troubled with grief, let fall his bow and arrow and sat down on the bench of the chariot."

"Well," I asked after a short pause, during which the Hindu kept his eyes fixed in contemplation on the spire of the temple, "what did Krishna have to say to that?"

"He instructed Arjuna, and said many wise things. I will tell you some of them, here and there, as they are scattered through the holy Bhagavad-Gitá: Then between the two armies, Krishna, smiling, addressed these words to him, thus downcast:

"'Thou hast grieved for those who need not be grieved for, yet thou utterest words of wisdom. The wise grieve not for dead or living. But never at any period did I or thou or these kings of men not exist, nor shall any of us at any time henceforward cease to exist. There is no existence for what does not exist, nor is there any non-existence for what exists.... These finite bodies have been said to belong to an eternal, indestructible and infinite spirit.... He who believes that this spirit can kill, and he who thinks that it can be killed—both of these are mistaken. It neither kills nor is killed. It is born, and it does not die.... Unborn, changeless, eternal both as to future and past time, it is not slain when the body is killed.... As the soul in this body undergoes the changes of childhood, prime and age, so it obtains a new body hereafter.... As a man abandons worn-out clothes and take other new ones, so does the soul quit worn-out bodies and enter other new ones. Weapons cannot cleave it, fire cannot burn it, nor can water wet it, nor can wind dry it. It is impenetrable, incombustible, incapable of moistening and of drying. It is constant; it can go everywhere; it is firm, immovable and eternal. And even if thou deem it born with the body and dying with the body, still, O great-armed one! thou art not right to grieve for it. For to everything generated death is certain: to everything dead regeneration is certain.... One looks on the soul as a miracle; another speaks of it as a miracle; another hears of it as a miracle; but even when he has heard of it, not one comprehends it.... When a man's heart is disposed in accordance with his roaming senses, it snatches away his spiritual knowledge as the wind does a ship on the waves.... He who does not practice devotion has neither intelligence nor reflection. And [pg 44] he who does not practice reflection has no calm. How can a man without calm obtain happiness? The self-governed man is awake in that which is night to all other beings: that in which other beings are awake is night to the self-governed. He into whom all desires enter in the same manner as rivers enter the ocean, [pg 45] which is always full, yet does not change its bed, can obtain tranquillity.... Love or hate exists toward the object of each sense. One should not fall into the power of these two passions, for they are one's adversaries.... Know that passion is hostile to man in this world. As fire is surrounded by smoke, and a mirror by rust, and a child by the womb, so is this universe surrounded by passion.... They say that the senses are great. The heart is greater than the senses. But the intellect is greater than the heart, and passion is greater than the intellect....


"'I and thou, O Arjuna! have passed through many transmigrations. I know all these. Thou dost not know them.... For whenever there is a relaxation of duty, O son of Bharata! and an increase of impiety, I then reproduce myself for the protection of the good and the destruction of evil-doers. I am produced in every age for the purpose of establishing duty.... Some sacrifice the sense of hearing and the other senses in the fire of restraint. Others, by abstaining from food, sacrifice life in their life. (But) the sacrifice of spiritual knowledge is better than a material sacrifice.... By this knowledge thou wilt recognize all things whatever in thyself, and then in me. He who possesses faith acquires spiritual knowledge. He who is devoid of faith and of doubtful mind perishes. The man of doubtful mind enjoys neither this world nor the other, nor final beatitude. Therefore, sever this doubt which exists in thy heart, and springs from ignorance, with thy sword of knowledge: turn to devotion and arise, O son of Bharata!...

"'Learn my superior nature, O hero! by means of which this world is sustained. I am the cause of the production and dissolution of the whole universe. There exists no other thing superior to me. On me are all the worlds suspended, as numbers of pearls on a string. I am the savor of waters, and the principle of light in the moon and sun, the mystic syllable Om in the Vedas, the sound in the ether, the essence of man in men, the sweet smell in the earth; and I am the brightness in flame, the vitality in all beings, and the power of mortification in ascetics. Know, O son of Prithá! that I am the eternal seed of all things which exist. I am the intellect of those who have intellect: I am the strength of the strong.... And know that all dispositions, whether good, bad or indifferent, proceed also from me. I do not exist in them, but they in me.... I am dear to the spiritually wise beyond possessions, and he is dear to me. A great-minded man who is convinced that Vasudevu (Krishna) is everything is difficult to find.... If one worships any inferior personage with faith, I make his faith constant. Gifted with such faith, he seeks the propitiation of this personage, and from him receives the pleasant objects of his desires, which (however) were sent by me alone. But the reward of these little-minded men is finite. They who sacrifice to the gods go to the gods: they who worship me come to me. I am the immolation. I am the whole sacrificial rite. I am the libation to ancestors. I am the drug. I am the incantation. I am the fire. I am the incense. I am the father, the mother, the sustainer, the grandfather of this universe—the path, the supporter, the master, the witness, the habitation, the refuge, the friend, the origin, the dissolution, the place, the receptacle, the inexhaustible seed. I heat. I withhold and give the rain. I am ambrosia and death, the existing and the non-existing. Even those who devoutly worship other gods with the gift of faith worship me, but only improperly. I am the same to all beings. I have neither foe nor friend. I am the beginning and the middle and the end of existing things. Among bodies I am the beaming sun. Among senses I am the heart. Among waters I am the ocean. Among mountains I am Himalaya. Among trees I am the banyan; among men, the king; among weapons, the thunderbolt; among things which count, time; among animals, the lion; among purifiers, the wind. I am Death who seizes all: I am the birth of those who are to be. I am Fame, Fortune, Speech, Memory, Meditation, Perseverance and Patience among feminine words. I am the game of dice among things which [pg 46] deceive: I am splendor among things which are shining. Among tamers I am the rod; among means of victory I am polity; among mysteries I am silence, the knowledge of the wise....

"'They who know me to be the God of this universe, the God of gods and the God of worship—they who know me to be the God of this universe, the God of gods and the God of worship—yea, they [pg 47] who know me to be these things in the hour of death, they know me indeed.'"


When my friend finished these words there did not seem to be anything particular left in heaven or earth to talk about. At any rate, there was a dead pause for several minutes. Finally, I asked—and I protest that in contrast with the large matters wherof Bhima Gandharva had discoursed my voice (which is American and slightly nasal) sounded like nothing in the world so much as the squeak of a sick rat—"When were these things written?"

"At least nineteen hundred and seventy-five years ago, we feel sure. How much earlier we do not know."

We now directed our course toward the hospital for sick and disabled animals which has been established here in the most crowded portion of Black Town by that singular sect called the Jains, and which is only one of a number of such institutions to be found in the large cities of India. This sect is now important more by influence than by numbers in India, many of the richest merchants of the great Indian cities being among its adherents, though by the last census of British India there appears to be but a little over nine millions of Jains and Buddhists together, out of the one hundred and ninety millions of Hindus in British India. The tenets of the Jains are too complicated for description here, but it may be said that much doubt exists as to whether it is an old religion of which Brahmanism and Buddhism are varieties, or whether it is itself a variety of Buddhism. Indeed, it does not seem well settled whether the pure Jain doctrine was atheistical or theistical. At any rate, it is sufficiently differentiated from Brahmanism by its opposite notion of castes, and from Buddhism by its cultus of nakedness, which the Buddhists abhor. The Jains are split into two sects—the Digambaras, or nude Jains, and the Svetambaras, or clothed Jains, which latter sect seem to be Buddhists, who, besides the Tirthankars (i.e. mortals who have acquired the rank of gods by devout lives, in whom all the Jains believe), worship also the various divinities of the Vishnu system. The Jains themselves declare this system to date from a period ten thousand years before Christ, and they practically support this traditional antiquity by persistently regarding and treating the Buddhists as heretics from their system. At any event, their religion is an old one. They seem to be the gymnosophists, or naked philosophers, described by Clitarchos as living in India at the time of the expedition of Alexander, and their history crops out in various accounts—that of Clement of Alexandria, then of the Chinese Fu-Hian in the fourth and fifth centuries, and of the celebrated Chinese Hiouen-Tsang in the seventh century, at which last period they appear to have been the prevailing sect in India, and to have increased in favor until in the twelfth century the Rajpoots, who had become converts to Jainism, were schismatized into Brahmanism and deprived the naked philosophers of their prestige.

The great distinguishing feature of the Jains is the extreme to which they push the characteristic tenderness felt by the Hindus for animals of all descriptions. Jaina is, distinctly, the purified. The priests eat no animal food; indeed, they are said not to eat at all after noon, lest the insects then abounding should fly into their mouths and be crushed unwittingly. They go with a piece of muslin bound over their mouths, in order to avoid the same catastrophe, and carry a soft brush wherewith to remove carefully from any spot upon which they are about to sit such insects as might be killed thereby.

"Ah, how my countryman Bergh would luxuriate in this scene!" I said as we stood looking upon the various dumb exhibitions of so many phases of sickness, of decrepitude and of mishap—quaint, grotesque, yet pathetic withal—in the precincts of the Jain hospital. Here were quadrupeds and bipeds, feathered creatures and hairy creatures, large animals and small, shy and tame, friendly and predatory—horses, horned cattle, rats, cats, dogs, jackals, crows, chickens; what not. An attendant was tenderly bandaging the blinking lids of a sore-eyed duck: another was feeding a blind crow, who, [pg 48] it must be confessed, looked here very much like some fat member of the New York Ring cunningly availing himself of the more toothsome rations in the sick ward of the penitentiary. My friend pointed out to me a heron with a wooden leg. "Suppose a gnat should break his shoulder-blade," I said, "would they put his wing in a sling?"


Bhima Gandharva looked me full in [pg 49] the face, and, smiling gently, said, "They would if they could."

The Jains are considered to have been the architects par excellence of India, and there are many monuments, in all styles, of their skill in this kind. The strange statues of the Tirthankars in the gorge called the Ourwhaï of Gwalior were (until injured by the "march of improvement") among the most notable of the forms of rock-cutting. These vary in size from statuettes of a foot in height to colossal figures of sixty feet, and nothing can be more striking than these great forms, hewn from the solid rock, represented entirely nude, with their impassive countenances, which remind every traveler of the Sphinx, their grotesque ears hanging down to their shoulders, and their heads, about which plays a ring of serpents for a halo, or out of which grows the mystical three-branched Kalpa Vrich, or Tree of Knowledge.

The sacred hill of Sunaghur, lying a few miles to the south of Gwalior, is one of the Meccas of the Jains, and is covered with temples in many styles, which display the fertility of their architectural invention: there are over eighty of these structures in all.

"And now," said Bhima Gandharva next day, "while you are thinking upon temples, and wondering if the Hindus have all been fools, you should complete your collection of mental materials by adding to the sight you have had of a Hindu temple proper, and to the description you have had of Jain temples proper, a sight of those marvelous subterranean works of the Buddhists proper which remain to us. We might select our examples of these either at Ellora or at Ajunta (which are on the mainland a short distance to the north-east of Bombay), the latter of which contains the most complete series of purely Buddhistic caves known in the country; or, indeed, we could find Buddhistic caves just yonder on Salsette. But let us go and see Karli at once: it is the largest shaîtya (or cave-temple) in India."

Accordingly, we took railway at Bombay, sped along the isle, over the bridge to the island of Salsette, along Salsette to Tannah, then over the bridge which connects Salsette with the mainland, across the narrow head of Bombay harbor, and so on to the station at Khandalla, about halfway between Bombay and Poonah, where we disembarked. The caves of Karli are situated but a few miles from Khandalla, and in a short time we were standing in front of a talus at the foot of a sloping hill whose summit was probably five to six hundred feet high. A flight of steps cut in the hillside led up to a ledge running out from an escarpment which was something above sixty feet high before giving off into the slope of the mountain. From the narrow and picturesque valley a flight of steps cut in the hillside led up to the platform. We could not see the façade of the shaîtya on account of the concealing boscage of trees. On ascending the steps, however, and passing a small square Brahmanic chapel, where we paid a trifling fee to the priests who reside there for the purpose of protecting the place, the entire front of the excavation revealed itself, and with every moment of gazing grew in strangeness and solemn mystery.

The shaîtya is hewn in the solid rock of the mountain. Just to the left of the entrance stands a heavy pillar (Silasthamba) completely detached from the temple, with a capital upon whose top stand four lions back to back. On this pillar is an inscription in Pali, which has been deciphered, and which is now considered to fix the date of the excavation conclusively at not later than the second century before the Christian era. The eye took in at first only the vague confusion of windows and pillars cut in the rock. It is supposed that originally a music-gallery stood here in front, consisting of a balcony supported out from the two octagonal pillars, and probably roofed or having a second balcony above. But the woodwork is now gone. One soon felt one's attention becoming concentrated, however, upon a great arched window cut in the form of a horseshoe, through which one could look down what was very much like the nave of a church running straight back into the depths of [pg 50] the hill. Certainly, at first, as one passes into the strange vestibule which intervenes still between the front and the interior of the shaîtya, one does not think at all—one only feels the dim sense of mildness raying out from the great faces of the elephants, and of mysterious far-awayness conveyed by the bizarre postures of the sculptured figures on the walls.

Entering the interior, a central nave stretches back between two lines of pillars, each of whose capitals supports upon its abacus two kneeling elephants: upon each elephant are seated two figures, most of which are male and female pairs. The nave extends eighty-one feet three inches back, the whole length of the temple being one hundred and two feet three inches. There are fifteen pillars on each side the nave, which thus enclose between themselves and the wall two side-aisles, each about half the width of the nave, the latter being twenty-five feet and seven inches in width, while the whole width from wall to wall is forty-five feet and seven inches. At the rear, in a sort of apse, are seven plain octagonal pillars—the other thirty are sculptured. Just in front of these seven pillars is the Daghaba—a domed structure covered by a wooden parasol. The Daghaba is the reliquary in which or under which some relic of Gotama Buddha is enshrined. The roof of the shaîtya is vaulted, and ribs of teak-wood—which could serve no possible architectural purpose—reveal themselves, strangely enough, running down the sides.

As I took in all these details, pacing round the dark aisles, and finally resuming my stand near the entrance, from which I perceived the aisles, dark between the close pillars and the wall, while the light streamed through the great horseshoe window full upon the Daghaba at the other end, I exclaimed to Bhima Gandharva, "Why, it is the very copy of a Gothic church—the aisles, the nave, the vaulted roof, and all—and yet you tell me it was excavated two thousand years ago!"

"The resemblance has struck every traveler," he replied. "And, strange to say, all the Buddhist cave-temples are designed upon the same general plan. There is always the organ-loft, as you see there; always the three doors, the largest one opening on the nave, the smaller ones each on its side-aisle; always the window throwing its light directly on the Daghaba at the other end; always, in short, the general arrangement of the choir of a Gothic round or polygonal apse cathedral. It is supposed that the devotees were confined to the front part of the temple, and that the great window through which the light comes was hidden from view, both outside by the music-galleries and screens, and inside through the disposition of the worshipers in front. The gloom of the interior was thus available to the priests for the production of effects which may be imagined."

Emerging from the temple, we saw the Buddhist monastery (Vihara), which is a series of halls and cells rising one above the other in stories connected by flights of steps, all hewn in the face of the hill at the side of the temple. We sat down on a fragment of rock near a stream of water with which a spring in the hillside fills a little pool at the entrance of the Vihara. "Tell me something of Gotama Buddha," I said. "Recite some of his deliverances, O Bhima Gandharva!—you who know everything."

"I will recite to you from the Sutta Nipata, which is supposed by many pundits of Ceylon to contain several of the oldest examples of the Pali language. It professes to give the conversation of Buddha, who died five hundred and forty-three years before Christ lived on earth; and these utterances are believed by scholars to have been brought together at least more than two hundred years before the Christian era. The Mahámangala Sutta, of the Nipata Sutta, says, for example: 'Thus it was heard by me. At a certain time Bhagavá (Gotama Buddha) lived at Sávatthi in Jetavana, in the garden of Anáthupindika. Then, the night being far advanced, a certain god, endowed with a radiant color illuminating Jetavana completely, came to where Bhagavá was, [and] making obeisance to him, stood on one side. And, standing on one [pg 51] side, the god addressed Bhagavá in [these] verses:

"1. Many gods and men, longing after what is good, have considered many things as blessings. Tell us what is the greatest blessing.

"2. Buddha said: Not serving fools, but serving the wise, and honoring those worthy of being honored: this is the greatest blessing.

"3. The living in a fit country, meritorious deeds done in a former existence, the righteous establishment of one's self: this is the greatest blessing.

"4. Extensive knowledge and science, well-regulated discipline and well-spoken speech: this is the greatest blessing.

"5. The helping of father and mother, the cherishing of child and wife, and the following of a lawful calling: this is the greatest blessing.

"6. The giving alms, a religious life, aid rendered to relatives, blameless acts: this is the greatest blessing.

"7. The abstaining from sins and the avoiding them, the eschewing of intoxicating drink, diligence in good deeds: this is the greatest blessing.

"8. Reverence and humility, contentment and gratefulness, the hearing of the law in the right time: this is the greatest blessing.

"9. Patience and mild speech, the association with those who have subdued their passions, the holding of religious discourse in the right time: this is the greatest blessing.

"10. Temperance and charity, the discernment of holy truth, the perception of Nibbána: this is the greatest blessing.

"11. The mind of any one unshaken by the ways of the world, exemption from sorrow, freedom from passion, and security: this is the greatest blessing.

"12. Those who having done these things become invincible on all sides, attain happiness on all sides: this is the greatest blessing."

"At another time also Gotama Buddha was discoursing on caste. You know that the Hindus are divided into the Brahmans, or the priestly caste, which is the highest; next the Kshatriyas, or the warrior and statesman caste; next the Vaishyas, or the herdsman and farmer caste; lastly, the Sudras, or the menial caste. Now, once upon a time the two youths Vásettha and Bháradvaja had a discussion as to what constitutes a Brahman. Thus, Vásettha and Bháradvaja went to the place where Bhagavá was, and having approached him were well pleased with him; and having finished a pleasing and complimentary conversation, they sat down on one side. Vásettha, who sat down on one side, addressed Buddha in verse: ...

"3. O Gotama! we have a controversy regarding [the distinctions of] birth. Thus know, O wise one! the point of difference between us: Bháradvaja says that a Brahman is such by reason of his birth.

"4. But I affirm that he is such by reason of his conduct....

"7. Bhagavá replied: ...

"53. I call him alone a Brahman who is fearless, eminent, heroic, a great sage, a conqueror, freed from attachments—one who has bathed in the waters of wisdom, and is a Buddha.

"54. I call him alone a Brahman who knows his former abode, who sees both heaven and hell, and has reached the extinction of births.

"55. What is called 'name' or 'tribe' in the world arises from usage only. It is adopted here and there by common consent.

"56. It comes from long and uninterrupted usage, and from the false belief of the ignorant. Hence the ignorant assert that a Brahman is such from birth.

"57. One is not a Brahman nor a non-Brahman by birth: by his conduct alone is he a Brahman, and by his conduct alone is he a non-Brahman,

"58. By his conduct he is a husbandman, an artisan, a merchant, a servant;

"59. By his conduct he is a thief, a warrior, a sacrificer, a king....

"62. One is a Brahman from penance, charity, observance of the moral precepts and the subjugation of the passions. Such is the best kind of Brahmanism."

"That would pass for very good republican doctrine in Jonesville," I said. "What a pity you have all so backslidden from your orthodoxies here in India, Bhima Gandharva! In my native land there is a region where many orange trees grow. Sometimes, when a tree is too heavily fertilized, it suddenly shoots out in great luxuriance, and looks as if it were going to make oranges enough for the whole world, so to speak. But somehow, no fruit comes: it proves to be all wood and no oranges, and presently the whole tree changes and gets sick and good for nothing. It is a disease which the natives call 'the dieback.' Now, it seems to me that when you old Aryans came from—from—well, from wherever you did come from—you branched out at first into a superb magnificence of religions and sentiments and imaginations and other boscage. But it looks now as if you were really bad off with the dieback."

It was, however, impossible to perceive that Bhima Gandharva's smile was like anything other than the same plain full of ripe corn.

[pg 52]



Lady Arthur Eildon was a widow: she was a remarkable woman, and her husband, Lord Arthur Eildon, had been a remarkable man. He was a brother of the duke of Eildon, and was very remarkable in his day for his love of horses and dogs. But this passion did not lead him into any evil ways: he was a thoroughly upright, genial man, with a frank word for every one, and was of course a general favorite. "He'll just come in and crack away as if he was ane o' oorsels," was a remark often made concerning him by the people on his estates; for he had estates which had been left to him by an uncle, and which, with the portion that fell to him as a younger son, yielded him an ample revenue, so that he had no need to do anything.

What talents he might have developed in the army or navy, or even in the Church, no one knows, for he never did anything in this world except enjoy himself; which was entirely natural to him, and not the hard work it is to many people who try it. He was in Parliament for a number of years, but contented himself with giving his vote. He did not distinguish himself. He was not an able or intellectual man: people said he would never set the Thames on fire, which was true; but if an open heart and hand and a frank tongue are desirable things, these he had. As he took in food, and it nourished him without further intervention on his part, so he took in enjoyment and gave it out to the people round him with equal unconsciousness. Let it not be said that such a man as this is of no value in a world like ours: he is at once an anodyne and a stimulant of the healthiest and most innocent kind.

As was meet, he first saw the lady who was to be his wife in the hunting-field. She was Miss Garscube of Garscube, an only child and an heiress. She was a fast young lady when as yet fastness was a rare development:—a harbinger of the fast period, the one swallow that presages summer, but does not make it—and as such much in the mouths of the public.

Miss Garscube was said to be clever—she was certainly eccentric—and she was no beauty, but community of tastes in the matter of horses and dogs drew her and Lord Arthur together.

On one of the choicest of October days, when she was following the hounds, and her horse had taken the fences like a creature with wings, he came to one which he also flew over, but fell on the other side, throwing off his rider—on soft grass, luckily. But almost before an exclamation of alarm could leave the mouths of the hunters behind, Miss Garscube was on her feet and in the saddle, and her horse away again, as if both had been ignorant of the little mishap that had occurred. Lord Arthur was immediately behind, and witnessed this bit of presence of mind and pluck with unfeigned admiration: it won his heart completely; and on her part she enjoyed the genuineness of his homage as she had never enjoyed anything before, and from that day things went on and prospered between them.

People who knew both parties regretted this, and shook their heads over it, prophesying that no good could come of it. Miss Garscube's will had never been crossed in her life, and she was a "clever" woman: Lord Arthur would not submit to her domineering ways, and she would wince under and be ashamed of his want of intellect. All this was foretold and thoroughly believed by people having the most perfect confidence in their own judgment, so that Lord Arthur and his wife ought to have been, in the very nature of things, a most wretched pair. But, as it turned out, no happier couple existed in Great Britain. Their qualities must have been complementary, for they dovetailed into each [pg 53] other as few people do; and the wise persons who had predicted the contrary were entirely thrown out in their calculations—a fact which they speedily forgot; nor did it diminish their faith in their own wisdom, as, indeed, how could one slight mistake stand against an array of instances in which their predictions had been verified to the letter?

Lord Arthur might not have the intellect which fixes the attention of a nation, but he had plenty for his own fireside—at least, his wife never discovered any want of it—and as for her strong will, they had only one strong will between them, so that there could be no collision. Being thus thoroughly attached and thoroughly happy, what could occur to break up this happiness? A terrible thing came to pass. Having had perfect health up to middle life, an acutely painful disease seized Lord Arthur, and after tormenting him for more than a year it changed his face and sent him away.

There is nothing more striking than the calmness and dignity with which people will meet death—even people from whom this could not have been expected. No one who did not know it would have guessed how Lord Arthur was suffering, and he never spoke of it, least of all to his wife; while she, acutely aware of it and vibrating with sympathy, never spoke of it to him; and they were happy as those are who know that they are drinking the last drops of earthly happiness. He died with his wife's hand in his grasp: she gave the face—dead, but with the appearance of life not vanished from it—one long, passionate kiss, and left him, nor ever looked on it again.

Lady Arthur secluded herself for some weeks in her own room, seeing no one but the servants who attended her; and when she came forth it was found that her eccentricity had taken a curious turn: she steadily ignored the death of her husband, acting always as if he had gone on a journey and might at any moment return, but never naming him unless it was absolutely necessary. She found comfort in this simulated delusion no doubt, just as a child enjoys a fairy-tale, knowing perfectly well all the time that it is not true. People in her own sphere said her mind was touched: the common people about her affirmed without hesitation that she was "daft." She rode no more, but she kept all the horses and dogs as usual. She cultivated a taste she had for antiquities; she wrote poetry—- ballad poetry—which people who were considered judges thought well of; and flinging these and other things into the awful chasm that had been made in her life, she tried her best to fill it up. She set herself to consider the poor man's case, and made experiments and gave advice which confirmed her poorer brethren in their opinion that she was daft; but as her hand was always very wide open, and they pitied her sorrow, she was much loved, although they laughed at her zeal in preserving old ruins and her wrath if an old stone was moved, and told, and firmly believed, that she wrote and posted letters to Lord Arthur. What was perhaps more to the purpose of filling the chasm than any of these things, Lady Arthur adopted a daughter, an orphan child of a cousin of her own, who came to her two years after her husband's death, a little girl of nine.


Alice Garscube's education was not of the stereotyped kind. When she came to Garscube Hall, Lady Arthur wrote to the head-master of a normal school asking if he knew of a healthy, sagacious, good-tempered, clever girl who had a thorough knowledge of the elementary branches of education and a natural taste for teaching. Mr. Boyton, the head-master, replied that he knew of such a person whom he could entirely recommend, having all the qualities mentioned; but when he found that it was not a teacher for a village school that her ladyship wanted, but for her own relation, he wrote to say that he doubted the party he had in view would hardly be suitable: her father, who had been dead for some years, was a workingman, and her mother, who had died quite recently, supported herself by keeping a little shop, and she herself was in appearance and manner scarcely [pg 54] enough of the lady for such a situation. Now, Lady Arthur, though a firm believer in birth and race, and by habit and prejudice an aristocrat and a Tory, was, we know, eccentric by nature, and Nature will always assert itself. She wrote to Mr. Boyton that if the girl he recommended was all he said, she was a lady inside, and they would leave the outside to shift for itself. Her ladyship had considered the matter. She could get decayed gentlewomen and clergymen and officers' daughters by the dozen, but she did not want a girl with a sickly knowledge of everything, and very sickly ideas of her own merits and place and work in the world: she wanted a girl of natural sagacity, who from her cradle had known that she came into the world to do something, and had learned how to do it.

Miss Adamson, the normal-school young lady recommended, wrote thus to Lady Arthur:

"MADAM: I am very much tempted to take the situation you offer me. If I were teacher of a village school, as I had intended, when my work in the school was over I should have had my time to myself; and I wish to stipulate that when the hours of teaching Miss Garscube are over I may have the same privilege. If you engage me, I think, so far as I know myself, you will not be disappointed.

"I am," etc. etc.

To which Lady Arthur:

"So far as I can judge, you are the very thing I want. Come, and we shall not disagree about terms," etc. etc.

Thus it came about that Miss Garscube was unusually lucky in the matter of her education and Miss Adamson in her engagement. Although eccentric to the pitch of getting credit for being daft, Lady Arthur had a strong vein of masculine sense, which in all essential things kept her in the right path. Miss Adamson and she suited each other thoroughly, and the education of the two ladies and the child may be said to have gone on simultaneously. Miss Adamson had an absorbing pursuit: she was an embryo artist, and she roused a kindred taste in her pupil; so that, instead of carrying on her work in solitude, as she had expected to do, she had the intense pleasure of sympathy and companionship. Lady Arthur often paid them long visits in their studio; she herself sketched a little, but she had never excelled in any single pursuit except horsemanship, and that she had given up at her husband's death, as she had given up keeping much company or going often into society.

In this quiet, unexciting, regular life Lady Arthur's antiquarian tastes grew on her, and she went on writing poetry, the quantity of which was more remarkable than the quality, although here and there in the mass of ore there was an occasional sparkle from fine gold (there are few voluminous writers in which this accident does not occur). She superintended excavations, and made prizes of old dust and stones and coins and jewelry (or what was called ancient jewelry: it looked ancient enough, but more like rusty iron to the untrained eye than jewelry) and cooking utensils supposed to have been used by some noble savages or other. Of these and such like she had a museum, and she visited old monuments and cairns and Roman camps and Druidical remains and old castles, and all old things, with increasing interest. There were a number of places near or remote to which she was in the habit of making periodical pilgrimages—places probably dear to her from whim or association or natural beauty or antiquity. When she fixed a time for such an excursion, no weather changed her purpose: it might pour rain or deep snow might be on the ground: she only put four horses to her carriage instead of two, and went on her way. She was generally accompanied in these expeditions by her two young friends, who got into the spirit of the thing and enjoyed them amazingly. They were in the habit of driving to some farm-house, where they left the carriage and on foot ascended the hill they had come to call on, most probably a hill with the marks of a Roman camp on it—there are many such in the south of Scotland—hills called "the rings" by the people, [pg 55] from the way in which the entrenchments circle round them like rings.

Dear to Lady Arthur's heart was such a place as this. Even when the ground was covered with snow or ice she would ascend with the help of a stick or umbrella, a faint adumbration of the Alpine Club when as yet the Alpine Club lurked in the future and had given no hint of its existence. On the top of such a hill she would eat luncheon, thinking of the dust of legions beneath her foot, and drink wine to the memory of the immortals. The coachman and the footman who toiled up the hill bearing the luncheon-basket, and slipping back two steps for every one they took forward, had by no means the same respect for the immortal heroes. The coachman was an old servant, and had a great regard for Lady Arthur both as his mistress and as a lady of rank, besides being accustomed to and familiar with her whims, and knowing, as he said, "the best and the warst o' her;" but the footman was a new acquisition and young, and he had not the wisdom to see at all times the duty of giving honor to whom honor is due, nor yet had he the spirit of the born flunkey; and his intercourse with the nobility, unfortunately, had not impressed him with any other idea than that they were mortals like himself; so he remarked to his fellow-servant, "Od! ye wad think, if she likes to eat her lunch amang snawy slush, she might get enough of it at the fut o' the hill, without gaun to the tap."

"Weel, I'll no deny," said the older man, "but what it's daftlike, but if it is her leddyship's pleasure, it's nae business o' oors."

"Pleasure!" said the youth: "if she ca's this pleasure, her friends should see about shutting her up: it's time."

"She says the Romans once lived here," said John.

"If they did," Thomas said, "I daur say they had mair sinse than sit down to eat their dinner in the middle o' snaw if they had a house to tak it in."

"Her leddyship does na' tak the cauld easy," said John.

"She has the constitution o' a horse," Thomas remarked.

"Man," said John, "that shows a' that ye ken about horses: there's no a mair delicate beast on the face o' the earth than the horse. They tell me a' the horses in London hae the influenza the now."

"Weel, it'll be our turn next," said Thomas, "if we dinna tak something warm."

When luncheon was over her ladyship as often as not ordered her servants to take the carriage round by the turnpike-road to a given point, where she arranged to meet it, while she herself struck right over the hills as the crow flies, crossing the burns on her way in the same manner as the Israelites crossed the Red Sea, only the water did not stand up on each side and leave dry ground for her to tread on; but she ignored the water altogether, and walked straight through. The young ladies, knowing this, took an extra supply of stockings and shoes with them, but Lady Arthur despised such effeminate ways and drove home in the footgear she set out in. She was a woman of robust health, and having grown stout and elderly and red-faced, when out on the tramp and divested of externals she might very well have been taken for the eccentric landlady of a roadside inn or the mistress of a luncheon-bar; and probably her young footman did not think she answered to her own name at all.

There is a divinity that doth hedge a king, but it is the king's wisdom to keep the hedge close and well trimmed and allow no gaps: if there are gaps, people see through them and the illusion is destroyed. Lady Arthur was not a heroine to her footman; and when she traversed the snow-slush and walked right through the burns, he merely endorsed the received opinion that she wanted "twopence of the shilling." If she had been a poor woman and compelled to take such a journey in such weather, people would have felt sorry for her, and have been ready to subscribe to help her to a more comfortable mode of traveling; but in Lady Arthur's case of course there was nothing to be done but to wonder at her eccentricity.

But her ladyship knew what she was [pg 56] about. The sleep as well as the food of the laboring man is sweet, and if nobility likes to labor, it will partake of the poor man's blessing. The party arrived back among the luxurious appointments of Garscube Hall (which were apt to pall on them at times) legitimately and bodily tired, and that in itself was a sensation worth working for. They had braved difficulty and discomfort, and not for a nonsensical and fruitless end, either: it can never be fruitless or nonsensical to get face to face with Nature in any of her moods. The ice-locked streams, the driven snow, the sleep of vegetation, a burst of sunshine over the snow, the sough of the winter wind, Earth waiting to feel the breath of spring on her face to waken up in youth and beauty again, like the sleeping princess at the touch of the young prince,—all these are things richly to be enjoyed, especially by strong, healthy people: let chilly and shivering mortals sing about cozy fires and drawn curtains if they like. Besides, Miss Adamson had the eye of an artist, upon which nothing, be it what it may, is thrown away.

But an expedition to a hill with "rings" undertaken on a long midsummer day looked fully more enjoyable to the common mind: John, and even the footman approved of that, and another individual, who had become a frequent visitor at the hall, approved of it very highly indeed, and joined such a party as often as he could.

This was George Eildon, the only son of a brother of the late Lord Arthur.

Now comes the tug—well, not of war, certainly, but, to change the figure—now comes the cloud no bigger than a man's hand which is to obscure the quiet sunshine of the regular and exemplary life of these three ladies.

Having been eight years at Garscube Hall, as a matter of necessity and in the ordinary course of Nature, Alice Garscube had grown up to womanhood. With accustomed eccentricity, Lady Arthur entirely ignored this. As for bringing her "out," as the phrase is, she had no intention of it, considering that one of the follies of life: Lady Arthur was always a law to herself. Alice was a shy, amiable girl, who loved her guardian fervently (her ladyship had the knack of gaining love, and also of gaining the opposite in pretty decisive measure), and was entirely swayed by her; indeed, it never occurred to her to have a will of her own, for her nature was peculiarly sweet and guileless.


Lady Arthur thought George Eildon a good-natured, rattling lad, with very little head. This was precisely the general estimate that had been formed of her late husband, and people who had known both thought George the very fac-simile of his uncle Arthur. If her ladyship had been aware of this, it would have made her very indignant: she had thought her husband perfect while living, and thought of him as very much more than perfect now that he lived only in her memory. But she made George very welcome as often as he came: she liked to have him in the house, and she simply never thought of Alice and him in connection with each other. She always had a feeling of pity for George.

"You know," she would say to Miss Adamson and Alice—"you know, George was of consequence for the first ten years of his life: it was thought that his uncle the duke might never marry, and he was the heir; but when the duke married late in life and had two sons, George was extinguished, poor fellow! and it was hard, I allow."

"It is not pleasant to be a poor gentleman," said Miss Adamson.

"It is not only not pleasant," said Lady Arthur, "but it is a false position, which is very trying, and what few men can fill to advantage. If George had great abilities, it might be different, with his connection, but I doubt he is doomed to be always as poor as a church mouse."

"He may get on in his profession perhaps," said Alice, sharing in Lady Arthur's pity for him. (George Eildon had been an attaché to some foreign embassy.)

"Never," said Lady Arthur decisively. "Besides, it is a profession that is out of date now. Men don't go wilily to work [pg 57] in these days; but if they did, the notion of poor George, who could not keep a secret or tell a lie with easy grace if it were to save his life—the notion of making him a diplomatist is very absurd. No doubt statesmen are better without original ideas—their business is to pick out the practical ideas of other men and work them well—but George wants ability, poor fellow! They ought to have put him into the Church: he reads well, he could have read other men's sermons very effectively, and the duke has some good livings in his gift."

Now, Miss Adamson had been brought up a Presbyterian of the Presbyterians, and among people to whom "the paper" was abhorrent: to read a sermon was a sin—to read another man's sermon was a sin of double-dyed blackness. However, either her opinions were being corrupted or enlightened, either she was growing lax in principle or she was learning the lesson of toleration, for she allowed the remarks of Lady Arthur to pass unnoticed, so that that lady did not need to advance the well-known opinion and practice of Sir Roger de Coverley to prop her own.

Miss Adamson merely said, "Do you not underrate Mr. Eildon's abilities?"

"I think not. If he had abilities, he would have been showing them by this time. But of course I don't blame him: few of the Eildons have been men of mark—none in recent times except Lord Arthur—but they have all been respectable men, whose lives would stand inspection; and George is the equal of any of them in that respect. As a clergyman he would have set a good example."

Hearing a person always pitied and spoken slightingly of does not predispose any one to fall in love with that person. Miss Garscube's feelings of this nature still lay very closely folded up in the bud, and the early spring did not come at this time to develop them in the shape of George Eildon; but Mr. Eildon was sufficiently foolish and indiscreet to fall in love with her. Miss Adamson was the only one of the three ladies cognizant of this state of affairs, but as her creed was that no one had any right to make or meddle in a thing of this kind, she saw as if she saw not, though very much interested. She saw that Miss Garscube was as innocent of the knowledge that she had made a conquest as it was possible to be, and she felt surprised that Lady Arthur's sight was not sharper. But Lady Arthur was—or at least had been—a woman of the world, and the idea of a penniless man allowing himself to fall in love seriously with a penniless girl in actual life could not find admission into her mind: if she had been writing a ballad it would have been different; indeed, if you had only known Lady Arthur through her poetry, you might have believed her to be a very, romantic, sentimental, unworldly person, for she really was all that—on paper.

Mr. Eildon was very frequently in the studio where Miss Adamson and her pupil worked, and he was always ready to accompany them in their excursions, and, Lady Arthur said, "really made himself very useful."

It has been said that John and Thomas both approved of her ladyship's summer expeditions in search of the picturesque, or whatever else she might take it into her head to look for; and when she issued orders for a day among the hills in a certain month of August, which had been a specially fine month in point of weather, every one was pleased. But John and Thomas found it nearly as hard work climbing with the luncheon-basket in the heat of the midsummer sun as it was when they climbed to the same elevation in midwinter; only they did not slip back so fast, nor did they feel that they were art and part in a "daftlike" thing.

"Here," said Lady Arthur, raising her glass to her lips—"here is to the memory of the Romans, on whose dust we are resting."

"Amen!" said Mr. Eildon; "but I am afraid you don't find their dust a very soft resting-place: they were always a hard people, the Romans."

"They were a people I admire," said Lady Arthur. "If they had not been called away by bad news from home, if they had been able to stay, our civilization might have been a much older thing [pg 58] than it is.—What do you think, John?" she said, addressing her faithful servitor. "Less than a thousand years ago all that stretch of country that we see so richly cultivated and studded with cozy farm-houses was brushwood and swamp, with a handful of savage inhabitants living in wigwams and dressing in skins."

"It may be so," said John—"no doubt yer leddyship kens best—but I have this to say: if they were savages they had the makin' o' men in them. Naebody'll gar me believe that the stock yer leddyship and me cam o' was na a capital gude stock."

"All right, John," said Mr. Eildon, "if you include me."

"It was a long time to take, surely," said Alice—"a thousand years to bring the country from brushwood and swamp to corn and burns confined to their beds,"

"Nature is never in a hurry, Alice," replied Lady Arthur.

"But she is always busy in a wonderfully quiet way," said Miss Adamson. "Whenever man begins to work he makes a noise, but no one hears the corn grow or the leaves burst their sheaths: even the clouds move with noiseless grace."

"The clouds are what no one can understand yet, I suppose," said Mr. Eildon, "but they don't always look as if butter wouldn't melt in their mouths, as they are doing to-day. What do you say to thunder?"

"That is an exception: Nature does all her best work quietly."

"So does man," remarked George Eildon.

"Well, I dare say you are right, after all," said Miss Adamson, who was sketching. "I wish I could paint in the glitter on the blade of that reaping-machine down in the haugh there: see, it gleams every time the sun's rays hit it. It is curious how Nature makes the most of everything to heighten her picture, and yet never makes her bright points too plentiful."

Just at that moment the sun's rays seized a small pane of glass in the roof of a house two or three miles off down the valley, and it shot out light and sparkles that dazzled the eye to look at.

"That is a fine effect," cried Alice: "it looks like the eye of an archangel kindling up,"

"What a flight of fancy, Alice!" Lady Arthur said. "That reaping-machine does its work very well, but it will be a long time before it gathers a crust of poetry about it: stopping to clear a stone out of its way is different from a lad and a lass on the harvest-rig, the one stopping to take a thorn out of the finger of the other."

"There are so many wonderful things," said Alice, "that one gets always lost among them. How the clouds float is wonderful, and that with the same earth below and the same heaven above, the heather should be purple, and the corn yellow, and the ferns green, is wonderful; but not so wonderful, I think, as that a man by the touch of genius should have made every one interested in a field-laborer taking a thorn out of the hand of another field-laborer. Catch your poet, and he'll soon make the machine interesting."

"Get a thorn into your finger, Alice," said George Eildon, "and I'll take it out if it is so interesting."

"You could not make it interesting," said she.

"Just try," he said.

"But trying won't do. You know as well as I that there are things no trying will ever do. I am trying to paint, for instance, and in time I shall copy pretty well, but I shall never do more."

"Hush, hush!" said Miss Adamson. "I'm often enough in despair myself, and hearing you say that makes me worse. I rebel at having got just so much brain and no more; but I suppose," she said with a sigh, "if we make the best of what we have, it's all right, and if we had well-balanced minds we should be contented."

"Would you like to stay here longer among the hills and the sheep?" said Lady Arthur. "I have just remembered that I want silks for my embroidery, and I have time to go to town: I can catch the afternoon train. Do any of you care to go?"

"It is good to be here," said Mr. [pg 59] Eildon, "but as we can't stay always, we may as well go now. I suppose."

And John, accustomed to sudden orders, hurried off to get his horses put to the carriage.

Lady Arthur, upon the whole, approved of railways, but did not use them much except upon occasion; and it was only by taking the train she could reach town and be home for dinner on this day.

They reached the station in time, and no more. Mr. Eildon ran and got tickets, and John was ordered to be at the station nearest Garscube Hall to meet them when they returned.

Embroidery, being an art which high-born dames have practiced from the earliest ages, was an employment that had always found favor in the sight of Lady Arthur, and to which she turned when she wanted change of occupation. She took a very short time to select her materials, and they were back and seated in the railway carriage fully ten minutes before the train started. They beguiled the time by looking about the station: it was rather a different scene from that where they had been in the fore part of the day.

"There's surely a mistake," said Mr. Eildon, pointing to a large picture hanging on the wall of three sewing-machines worked by three ladies, the one in the middle being Queen Elizabeth in her ruff, the one on the right Queen Victoria in her widow's cap: the princess of Wales was very busy at the third. "Is not that what is called an anachronism, Miss Adamson? Are not sewing-machines a recent invention? There were none in Elizabeth's time, I think?"

"There are people," said Lady Arthur, "who have neither common sense nor a sense of the ridiculous."

"But they have a sense of what will pay," answered her nephew. "That appeals to the heart of the nation—that is, to the masculine heart. If Queen Bess had been handling a lancet, and Queen Vic pounding in a mortar with a pestle, assisted by her daughter-in-law, the case would have been different; but they are at useful womanly work, and the machines will sell. They have fixed themselves in our memories already: that's the object the advertiser had when he pressed the passion of loyalty into his service."

"How will the strong-minded Tudor lady like to see herself revived in that fashion, if she can see it?" asked Miss Garscube.

"She'll like it well, judging by myself," said George: "that's true fame. I should be content to sit cross-legged on a board, stitching pulpit-robes, in a picture, if I were sure it would be hung up three hundred years after this at all the balloon-stations and have the then Miss Garscubes making remarks about me."

"They might not make very complimentary remarks, perhaps," said Alice.

"If they thought of me at all I should be satisfied," said he.

"Couldn't you invent an iron bed, then?" said Miss Adamson, looking at a representation of these articles hanging alongside the three royal ladies. "Perhaps they'll last three hundred years, and if you could bind yourself up with the idea of sweet repose—"

"They won't last three hundred years," said Lady Arthur—"cheap and nasty, new-fangled things!"

"They maybe cheap and nasty," said George, "but new-fangled they are not: they must be some thousands of years old. I am afraid, my dear aunt, you don't read your Bible."

"Don't drag the Bible in among your nonsense. What has it to do with iron beds?" said Lady Arthur.

"If you look into Deuteronomy, third chapter and eleventh verse," said he "you'll find that Og, king of Bashar used an iron bed. It is probably in existence yet, and it must be quite old enough to make it worth your while to look after it: perhaps Mr. Cook would personally conduct you, or if not I should be glad to be your escort."

"Thank you," she said: "when I go in search of Og's bed I'll take you with me."

"You could not do better: I have the scent of a sleuth-hound for antiquities."

As they were speaking a man came and hung up beside the queens and the [pg 60] iron beds a big white board on which were printed in large black letters the words, "My Mother and I"—nothing more.

"What can the meaning of that be?" asked Lady Arthur.

"To make you ask the meaning of it," said Mr. Eildon. "I who am skilled in these matters have no doubt that it is the herald of some soothing syrup for the human race under the trials of teething." He was standing at the carriage-door till the train would start, and he stood aside to let a young lady and a boy in deep mourning enter. The pair were hardly seated when the girl's eye fell on the great white board and its announcement. She bent her head and hid her face in her handkerchief: it was not difficult to guess that she had very recently parted with her mother for ever, and the words on the board were more than she could stand unmoved.

Miss Adamson too had been thinking of her mother, the hard-working woman who had toiled in her little shop to support her sickly husband and educate her daughter—the kindly patient face, the hands that had never spared themselves, the footsteps that had plodded so incessantly to and fro. The all that had been gone so long came back to her, and she felt almost the pang of first separation, when it seemed as if the end of her life had been extinguished and the motive-power for work had gone. But she carried her mother in her heart: with her it was still "my mother and I."

Lady Arthur did not think of her mother: she had lost her early, and besides, her thoughts and feelings had been all absorbed by her husband.

Alice Garscube had never known her mother, and as she looked gravely at the girl who was crying behind her handkerchief, she envied her—she had known her mother.

As for Mr. Eildon, he had none but bright and happy thoughts connected with his mother. It was true, she was a widow, but she was a kind and stately lady, round whom her family moved as round a sun and centre, giving light and heat and all good cheer; he could afford to joke about "my mother and I."

What a vast deal of varied emotion these words must have stirred in the multitudes of travelers coming and going in all directions!

In jumping into the carriage when the last bell rang, Mr. Eildon missed his footing and fell back, with no greater injury, fortunately, than grazing the skin, of his hand.

"Is it much hurt?" Lady Arthur asked.

He held it up and said, "'Who ran to help me when I fell?'"

"The guard," said Miss Garscube.

"'Who kissed the place to make it well?'" he continued.

"You might have been killed," said Miss Adamson.

"That would not have been a pretty story to tell," he said. "I shall need to wait till I get home for the means of cure: 'my mother and I' will manage it. You're not of a pitiful nature, Miss Garscube."

"I keep my pity for a pitiful occasion," she said.

"If you had grazed your hand, I would have applied the prescribed cure."

"Well, but I'm very glad I have not grazed my hand,"

"So am I," he said.

"Let me see it," she said. He held it out. "Would something not need to be done for it?" she asked.

"Yes. Is it interesting—as interesting as the thorn?"

"It is nothing," said Lady Arthur: "a little lukewarm water is all that it needs;" and she thought, "That lad will never do anything either for himself or to add to the prestige of the family. I hope his cousins have more ability."


But what these cousins were to turn out no one knew. They had that rank which gives a man what is equivalent to a start of half a lifetime over his fellows, and they promised well; but they were only boys as yet, and Nature puts forth many a choice blossom and bud that never comes to maturity, or, meeting with blight or canker on the way, turns out poor fruit. The eldest, a lad in his teens, was traveling on the Continent with a tutor: the second, a boy who had [pg 61] been always delicate, was at home on account of his health. George Eildon was intimate with both, and loved them with a love as true as that he bore to Alice Garscube: it never occurred to him that they had come into the world to keep him out of his inheritance. He would have laughed at such an idea. Many people would have said that he was laughing on the wrong side of his mouth: the worldly never can understand the unworldly.

Mr. Eildon gave Miss Garscube credit for being at least as unworldly as himself: he believed thoroughly in her genuineness, her fresh, unspotted nature; and, the wish being very strong, he believed that she had a kindness for him.

When he and his hand got home he found it quite able to write her a letter, or rather not so much a letter as a burst of enthusiastic aspiration, asking her to marry him.

She was startled; and never having decided on anything in her life, she carried this letter direct to Lady Arthur.

"Here's a thing," she said, "that I don't know what to think of."

"What kind of thing, Alice?"

"A letter."

"Who is it from?"

"Mr. Eildon."

"Indeed! I should not think a letter from him would be a complicated affair or difficult to understand."

"Neither is it: perhaps you would read it?"

"Certainly, if you wish it." When she had read the document she said, "Well I never gave George credit for much wisdom, but I did not think he was foolish enough for a thing like this; and I never suspected it. Are you in love too?" and Lady Arthur laughed heartily: it seemed to strike her in a comic light.

"No. I never thought of it or of him either," Alice said, feeling queer and uncomfortable.

"Then that simplifies matters. I always thought George's only chance in life was to marry a wealthy woman, and how many good, accomplished women there are, positively made of money, who would give anything to marry into our family!"

"Are there?" said Alice.

"To be sure there are. Only the other day I read in a newspaper that people are all so rich now money is no distinction: rank is, however. You can't make a lawyer or a shipowner or an ironmaster into a peer of several hundred years' descent."

"No, you can't," said Alice; "but Mr. Eildon is not a peer, you know."

"No, but he is the grandson of one duke and the nephew of another; and if he could work for it he might have a peerage of his own, or if he had great wealth he would probably get one. For my own part, I don't count much on rank or wealth" (she believed this), "but they are privileges people have no right to throw away."

"Not even if they don't care for them?" asked Alice,

"No: whatever you have it is your duty to care for and make the best of."

"Then, what am I to say to Mr. Eildon?"

"Tell him it is absurd; and whatever you say, put it strongly, that there may be no more of it. Why, he must know that you would be beggars."

Acting up to her instructions, Alice wrote thus to Mr. Eildon:

"DEAR MR. EILDON: Your letter surprised me. Lady Arthur says it is absurd; besides, I don't care for you a bit. I don't mean that I dislike you, for I don't dislike any one. We wonder you could be so foolish, and Lady Arthur says there must be no more of it; and she is right. I hope you will forget all about this, and believe me to be your true friend,


"P.S. Lady Arthur says you haven't got anything to live on; but if you had all the wealth in the world, it wouldn't make any difference.

"A. G."

This note fell into George Eildon's mind like molten lead dropped on living flesh. "She is not what I took her to be," he said to himself, "or she never could have written that, even at Lady Arthur's suggestion; and Lady Arthur ought to have known better."

And she certainly ought to have known [pg 62] better; yet he might have found some excuse for Alice if he had allowed himself to think, but he did not: he only felt, and felt very keenly.

In saying that Mr. Eildon and Miss Garscube were penniless, the remark is not to be taken literally, for he had an income of fifteen hundred pounds, and she had five hundred a year of her own; but in the eyes of people moving in ducal circles matrimony on two thousand pounds seems as improvident a step as that of the Irishman who marries when he has accumulated sixpence appears to ordinary beings.

Mr. Eildon spent six weeks at a shooting-box belonging to his uncle the duke, after which he went to London, where he got a post under government—a place which was by no means a sinecure, but where there was plenty of work not over-paid. Before leaving he called for a few minutes at Garscube Hall to say good-bye, and that was all they saw of him.

Alice missed him: a very good thing, of which she had been as unconscious as she was of the atmosphere, had been withdrawn from her life. George's letter had nailed him to her memory: she thought of him very often, and that is a dangerous thing for a young lady to do if she means to keep herself entirely fancy free. She wondered if his work was very hard work, and if he was shut in an office all day; she did not think he was made for that; it seemed as unnatural as putting a bird into a cage. She made some remark of this kind to Lady Arthur, who laughed and said, "Oh, George won't kill himself with hard work." From that time forth Alice was shy of speaking of him to his aunt. But she had kept his letter, and indulged herself with a reading of it occasionally; and every time she read it she seemed to understand it better. It was a mystery to her how she had been so intensely stupid as not to understand it at first. And when she found a copy of her own answer to it among her papers—one she had thrown aside on account of a big blot—she wondered if it was possible she had sent such a thing, and tears of shame and regret stood in her eyes. "How frightfully blind I was!" she said to herself. But there was no help for it: the thing was done, and could not be undone. She had grown in wisdom since then, but most people reach wisdom through ignorance and folly.

In these circumstances she found Miss Adamson a very valuable friend. Miss Adamson had never shared Lady Arthur's low estimate of Mr. Eildon: she liked his sweet, unworldly nature, and she had a regard for him as having aims both lower and higher than a "career." That he should love Miss Garscube seemed to her natural and good, and that happiness might be possible even to a duke's grandson on such a pittance as two thousand pounds a year was an article of her belief: she pitied people who go through life sacrificing the substance for the shadow. Yes, Miss Garscube could speak of Mr. Eildon to her friend and teacher, and be sure of some remark that gave her comfort.


A year sped round again, and they heard of Mr. Eildon being in Scotland at the shooting, and as he was not very far off, they expected to see him any time. But it was getting to the end of September, and he had paid no visit, when one day, as the ladies were sitting at luncheon, he came in, looking very white and agitated. They were all startled: Miss Garscube grew white also, and felt herself trembling. Lady Arthur rose hurriedly and said, "What is it, George? what's the matter?"

"A strange thing has happened," he said. "I only heard of it a few minutes ago: a man rode after me with the telegram. My cousin George—Lord Eildon—has fallen down a crevasse in the Alps and been killed. Only a week ago I parted with him full of life and spirit, and I loved him as if he had been my brother;" and he bent his head to hide tears.

They were all silent for some moments: then in a low voice Lady Arthur said, "I am sorry for his father."

"I am sorry for them all," George said. "It is terrible;" then after a little he said, [pg 63] "You'll excuse my leaving you: I am going to Eildon at once: I may be of some service to them. I don't know how Frank will be able to bear this."

After he had gone away Alice felt how thoroughly she was nothing to him now: there had been no sign in his manner that he had ever thought of her at all, more than of any other ordinary acquaintance. If he had only looked to her for the least sympathy! But he had not. "If he only knew how well I understand him now!" she thought.

"It is a dreadful accident," said Lady Arthur, "and I am sorry for the duke and duchess." She said this in a calm way. It had always been her opinion that Lord Arthur's relations had never seen the magnitude of her loss, and this feeling lowered the temperature of her sympathy, as a wind blowing over ice cools the atmosphere. "I think George's grief very genuine," she continued: "at the same time he can't but see that there is only that delicate lad's life, that has been hanging so long by a hair, between him and the title."

"Lady Arthur!" exclaimed Alice in warm tones.

"I know, my dear, you are thinking me very unfeeling, but I am not: I am only a good deal older than you. George's position to-day is very different from what it was a year ago. If he were to write to you again, I would advise another kind of answer."

"He'll never write again," said Alice in a tone which struck the ear of Lady Arthur, so that when the young girl left the room she turned to Miss Adamson and said, "Do you think she really cares about him?"

"She has not made me her confidante," that lady answered, "but my own opinion is that she does care a good deal for Mr. Eildon."

"Do you really think so?" exclaimed Lady Arthur. "She said she did not at the time, and I thought then, and think still, that it would not signify much to George whom he married; and you know he would be so much the better for money. But if he is to be his uncle's successor, that alters the case entirely. I'll go to Eildon myself, and bring him back with me."

Lady Arthur went to Eildon and mingled her tears with those of the stricken parents, whose grief might have moved a very much harder heart than hers. But they did not see the state of their only remaining son as Lady Arthur and others saw it; for, while it was commonly thought that he would hardly reach maturity, they were sanguine enough to believe that he was outgrowing the delicacy of his childhood.

Lady Arthur asked George to return with her to Garscube Hall, but he said he could not possibly do so. Then she said she had told Miss Adamson and Alice that she would bring him with her, and they would be disappointed.

"Tell them," he said, "that I have very little time to spare, and I must spend it with Frank, when I am sure they will excuse me."

They excused him, but they were not the less disappointed, all the three ladies; indeed, they were so much disappointed that they did not speak of the thing to each other, as people chatter over and thereby evaporate a trifling defeat of hopes.

Mr. Eildon left his cousin only to visit his mother and sisters for a day, and then returned to London; from which it appeared that he was not excessively anxious to visit Garscube Hall.

But everything there went on as usual. The ladies painted, they went excursions, they wrote ballads; still, there was a sense of something being amiss—the heart of their lives seemed dull in its beat.

The more Lady Arthur thought of having sent away such a matrimonial prize from her house, the more she was chagrined; the more Miss Garscube tried not to think of Mr. Eildon, the more her thoughts would run upon him; and even Miss Adamson, who had nothing to regret or reproach herself with, could not help being influenced by the change of atmosphere.

Lady Arthur's thoughts issued in the resolution to re-enter society once more; which resolution she imparted to Miss Adamson in the first instance by saying [pg 64] that she meant to go to London next season.

"Then our plan of life here will be quite broken up," said Miss A.

"Yes, for a time."

"I thought you disliked society?"

"I don't much like it: it is on account of Alice I am going. I may just as well tell you: I want to bring her and George together again if possible."

"Will she go if she knows that is your end?"

"She need not know."

"It is not a very dignified course," Miss Adamson said.

"No, and if it were an ordinary case I should not think of it."

"But you think him a very ordinary man?"

"A duke is different. Consider what an amount of influence Alice would have, and how well she would use it; and he may marry a vain, frivolous, senseless woman, incapable of a good action. Indeed, most likely, for such people are sure to hunt him."

"I would not join in the hunt," said Miss Adamson. "If he is the man you suppose him to be, the wound his self-love got will have killed his love; and if he is the man I think, no hunters will make him their prey. A small man would know instantly why you went to London, and enjoy his triumph."

"I don't think George would: he is too simple; but if I did not think it a positive duty, I would not go. However, we shall see: I don't think of going before the middle of January."

Positive duties can be like the animals that change color with what they feed on.


When the middle of January came, Lady Arthur, who had never had an illness in her life, was measuring her strength in a hand-to-hand struggle with fever. The water was blamed, the drainage was blamed, various things were blamed. Whether it came in the water or out of the drains, gastric fever had arrived at Garscube Hall: the gardener took it, his daughter took it, also Thomas the footman, and others of the inhabitants, as well as Lady Arthur. The doctor of the place came and lived In the house; besides that, two of the chief medical men from town paid almost daily visits. Bottles of the water supplied to the hall were sent to eminent chemists for analysis: the drainage was thoroughly examined, and men were set to make it as perfect and innocuous as it is in the nature of drainage to be.

Lady Arthur wished Miss Adamson and Alice to leave the place for a time, but they would not do so: neither of them was afraid, and they stayed and nursed her ladyship well, relieving each other as it was necessary.

At one point of her illness Lady Arthur said to Miss Adamson, who was alone with her, "Well, I never counted on this. Our family have all had a trick of living to extreme old age, never dying till they could not help it; but it will be grand to get away so soon."

Miss Adamson looked at her. "Yes," she said, "it's a poor thing, life, after the glory of it is gone, and I have always had an intense curiosity to see what is beyond. I never could see the sense of making a great ado to keep people alive after they are fifty. Don't look surprised. How are the rest of the people that are ill?" She often asked for them, and expressed great satisfaction when told they were recovering. "It will be all right," she said, "if I am the only death in the place; but there is one thing I want you to do. Send off a telegram to George Eildon and tell him I want to see him immediately: a dying person can say what a living one can't, and I'll make it all right between Alice and him before I go."

Miss Adamson despatched the telegram to Mr. Eildon, knowing that she could not refuse to do Lady Arthur's bidding at such a time, although her feeling was against it. The answer came: Mr. Eildon had just sailed for Australia.

When Lady Arthur heard this she said, "I'll write to him." When she had finished writing she said, "You'll send this to him whenever you get his address. I wish we could have sent it off at once, for it will be provoking if I don't die, [pg 65] after all; and I positively begin to feel as if that were not going to be my luck at this time."

Although she spoke in this way, Miss Adamson knew it was not from foolish irreverence. She recovered, and all who had had the fever recovered, which was remarkable, for in other places it had been very fatal.

With Lady Arthur's returning strength things at the hall wore into their old channels again. When it was considered safe many visits of congratulation were paid, and among others who came were George Eildon's mother and some of his sisters. They were constantly having letters from George: he had gone off very suddenly, and it was not certain when he might return.

Alice heard of George Eildon with interest, but not with the vital interest she had felt in him for a time: that had worn away. She had done her best to this end by keeping herself always occupied, and many things had happened in the interval; besides, she had grown a woman, with all the good sense and right feeling belonging to womanhood, and she would have been ashamed to cherish a love for one who had entirely forgotten her. She dismissed her childish letter, which had given her so much vexation, from her memory, feeling sure that George Eildon had also forgotten it long ago. She did not know of the letter Lady Arthur had written when she believed herself to be dying, and it was well she did not.


Every one who watched the sun rise on New Year's morning, 1875, will bear witness to the beauty of the sight. Snow had been lying all over the country for some time, and a fortnight of frost had made it hard and dry and crisp. The streams must have felt very queer when they were dropping off into the mesmeric trance, and found themselves stopped in the very act of running, their supple limbs growing stiff and heavy and their voices dying in their throats, till they were thrown into a deep sleep, and a strange white, still, glassy beauty stole over them by the magic power of frost. The sun got up rather late, no doubt—between eight and nine o'clock—probably saying to himself, "These people think I have lost my power—that the Ice King has it all his own way. I'll let them see: I'll make his glory pale before mine."

Lady Arthur was standing at her window when she saw him look over the shoulder of a hill and throw a brilliant deep gold light all over the land covered with snow as with a garment, and every minute crystal glittered as if multitudes of little eyes had suddenly opened and were gleaming and winking under his gaze. To say that the bosom of Mother Earth was crusted with diamonds is to give the impression of dullness unless each diamond could be endowed with life and emotion. Then he threw out shaft after shaft of color—scarlet and crimson and blue and amber and green—which gleamed along the heavens, kindling the cold white snow below them into a passion of beauty: the colors floated and changed form, and mingled and died away. Then the sun drew his thick winter clouds about him, disappeared, and was no more seen that day. He had vindicated his majesty.

Lady Arthur thought it was going to be a bright winter day, and at breakfast she proposed a drive to Cockhoolet Castle, an old place within driving distance to which she paid periodical visits: they would take luncheon on the battlements and see all over the country, which must be looking grand in its bridal attire.

John was called in and asked if he did not think it was going to be a fine day. He glanced through the windows at the dark, suspicious-looking clouds and said, "Weel, my leddy, I'll no uphaud it." This was the answer of a courtier and an oracle, not to mention a Scotchman. It did not contradict Lady Arthur, it did not commit himself, and it was cautious.

"I think it will be a fine day of its kind," said the lady, "and we'll drive to Cockhoolet. Have the carriage ready at ten."

"If we dinna wun a' the gate, we can but turn again," John thought as he retired to execute his orders.

[pg 66]

"It is not looking so well as it did in the morning," said Miss Adamson as they entered the carriage, "but if we have an adventure we shall be the better for it."

"We shall have no such luck," said Lady Arthur: "what ever happens out of the usual way now? There used to be glorious snowstorms long ago, but the winters have lost their rigor, and there are no such long summer days now as there were when I was young. Neither persons nor things have that spirit in them they used to have;" and she smiled, catching in thought the fact that to the young the world is still as fresh and fair as it has appeared to all the successive generations it has carried on its surface.

"This is a wiselike expedition," said Thomas to John.

"Ay," said John, "I'm mista'en if this is no a day that'll be heard tell o' yet;" and they mounted to their respective places and started.

The sky was very grim and the wind had been gradually rising. The three ladies sat each in her corner, saying little, and feeling that this drive was certainly a means to an end, and not an end in itself. Their pace had not been very quick from the first, but it became gradually slower, and the hard dry snow was drifting past the windows in clouds. At last they came to a stand altogether, and John appeared at the window like a white column and said, "My leddy, we'll hae to stop here."

"Stop! why?"

"Because it's impossible to wun ony farrer."

"Nonsense! There's no such word as impossible."

"The beasts might maybe get through, but they wad leave the carriage ahint them."

"Let me out to look about," said Lady Arthur.

"Ye had better bide where ye are," said John: "there's naething to be seen, and ye wad but get yersel' a' snaw. We might try to gang back the road we cam."

"Decidedly not," said Lady Arthur, whose spirits were rising to the occasion: "we can't be far from Cockhoolet here?"

"Between twa and three mile," said John dryly.

"We'll get out and walk," said her ladyship, looking at the other ladies.

"Wi' the wind in yer teeth, and sinking up to yer cuits at every step? Ye wad either be blawn ower the muir like a feather, or planted amang the snaw like Lot's wife. I might maybe force my way through, but I canna leave the horses," said John.

Lady Arthur was fully more concerned for her horses than herself: she said, "Take out the horses and go to Cockhoolet: leave them to rest and feed, and tell Mr. Ormiston to send for us. We'll sit here very comfortably till you come back: it won't take you long. Thomas will go too, but give us in the luncheon-basket first."

The men, being refreshed from the basket, set off with the horses, leaving the ladies getting rapidly snowed up in the carriage. As the wind rose almost to a gale, Lady Arthur remarked "that it was at least better to be stuck firm among the snow than to be blown away."

It is a grand thing to suffer in a great cause, but if you suffer merely because you have done a "daftlike" thing, the satisfaction is not the same.

The snow sifted into the carriage at the minutest crevice like fine dust, and, melting, became cold, clammy and uncomfortable. To be set down in a glass case on a moor without shelter in the height of a snowstorm has only one recommendation: it is an uncommon situation, a novel experience. The ladies—at least Lady Arthur—must, one would think, have felt foolish, but it is a chief qualification in a leader that he never acknowledges that he is in the wrong: if he once does that, his prestige is gone.

The first hour of isolation wore away pretty well, owing to the novelty of the the position; the second also, being devoted to luncheon; the third dragged a good deal; but when it came to the fourth; with light beginning to fail and no word of rescue, matters looked serious. The cold was becoming intense—a chill, [pg 67] damp cold that struck every living thing through and through. What could be keeping the men? Had they lost their way, or what could possibly have happened?

"This is something like an adventure," said Lady Arthur cheerily.

"It might pass for one," said Miss Adamson, "if we could see our way out of it. I wonder if we shall have to sit here all night?"

"If we do," said Lady Arthur, "we can have no hope of wild beasts scenting us out or of being attacked by banditti."

"Nor of any enamored gentleman coming to the rescue," said Miss Adamson: "it will end tamely enough. I remember reading a story of travel among savages, in which at the close of the monthly instalment the travelers were left buried alive except their heads, which were above ground, but set on fire. That was a very striking situation, yet it all came right; so there is hope for us, I think."

"Oh, don't make me laugh," said Alice: "I really can't laugh, I am so stiff with cold."

"It's a fine discipline to our patience to sit here," said Lady Arthur. "If I had thought we should have to wait so long, I would have tried what I could do while it was light."


At length they heard a movement among the snow, and voices, and immediately a light appeared at the window, shining through the snow-blind, which was swept down by an arm and the carriage-door opened.

"Are you all safe?" were the first words they heard.

"In the name of wonder, George, how are you here? Where are John and Thomas?" cried Lady Arthur.

"I'll tell you all about it after," said George Eildon: "the thing is to get you out of this scrape. I have a farm-cart and pair, and two men to help me: you must just put up with roughing it a little."

"Oh, I am so thankful!" said Alice.

The ladies were assisted out of the carriage into the cart, and settled among plenty of straw and rugs and shawls, with their backs to the blast. Mr. Eildon shut the door of the carriage, which was left to its fate, and then got in and sat at the feet of the ladies. Mr. Ormiston's servant mounted the trace-horse and Thomas sat on the front of the cart, and the cavalcade started to toil through the snow.

"Do tell us, George, how you are here. I thought it was only heroes of romance that turned up when their services were desperately needed."

"There have been a good many heroes of romance to-day," said Mr. Eildon. "The railways have been blocked in all directions; three trains with about six hundred passengers have been brought to a stand at the Drumhead Station near this; many of the people have been half frozen and sick and fainting. I was in the train going south, and very anxious to get on, but it was impossible. I got to Cockhoolet with a number of exhausted travelers just as your man arrived, and we came off as soon as we could to look for you. You have stood the thing much better than many of my fellow-travelers."

"Indeed!" said Lady Arthur, "and have all the poor people got housed?"

"Most of them are at the station-house and various farm-houses. Mr. Forester, Mr. Ormiston's son-in-law, started to bring up the last of them just as I started for you."

"Well, I must say I have enjoyed it," Lady Arthur said, "but how are we to get home to-night?"

"You'll not get home to-night: you'll have to stay at Cockhoolet, and be glad if you can get home to-morrow."

"And where have you come from, and where are you going to?" she asked.

"I came from London—I have only been a week home from Australia—and I am on my way to Eildon. But here we are."

And the hospitable doors of Cockhoolet were thrown wide, sending out a glow of light to welcome the belated travelers.

Mrs. Ormiston and her daughter, Mrs. Forester—who with her husband was on a visit at Cockhoolet—received them and [pg 68] took them to rooms where fires made what seemed tropical heat compared with the atmosphere in the glass case on the moor.

Miss Garscube was able for nothing but to go to bed, and Miss Adamson stayed with her in the room called Queen Mary's, being the room that unfortunate lady occupied when she visited Cockhoolet.

On this night the castle must have thought old times had come back again, there was such a large and miscellaneous company beneath its roof. But where were the knights in armor, the courtiers in velvet and satin, the boars' heads, the venison pasties, the wassail-bowls? Where were the stately dames in stiff brocade, the shaven priests, the fool in motley, the vassals, the yeomen in hodden gray and broad blue bonnet? Not there, certainly.

No doubt, Lady Arthur Eildon was a direct descendant of one of "the queen's Maries," but in her rusty black gown, her old black bonnet set awry on her head, her red face, her stout figure, made stouter by a sealskin jacket, you could not at a glance see the connection. The house of Eildon was pretty closely connected with the house of Stuart, but George Eildon in his tweed suit, waterproof and wideawake looked neither royal nor romantic. We may be almost sure that there was a fool or fools in the company, but they did not wear motley. In short, as yet it is difficult to connect the idea of romance with railway rugs, waterproofs, India-rubbers and wide-awakes and the steam of tea and coffee: three hundred years hence perhaps it may be possible. Who knows? But for all that, romances go on, we may be sure, whether people are clad in velvet or hodden gray.

Lady Arthur was framing a romance—a romance which had as much of the purely worldly in it as a romance can hold. She found that George was on his way to see his cousin, Lord Eildon, who within two days had had a severe access of illness. It seemed to her a matter of certainty that George would be duke of Eildon some day. If she had only had the capacity to have despatched that letter she had written when she believed she was dying, after him to Australia! Could she send it to him yet? She hesitated: she could hardly bring herself to compromise the dignity of Alice, and her own. She had a short talk with him before they separated for the night.

"I think you should go home by railway to-morrow," he said. "It is blowing fresh now, and the trains will all be running to-morrow. I am sorry I have to go by the first in the morning, so I shall probably not see you then,"

"I don't know," she said: "it is a question if Alice will be able to travel at all to-morrow."

"She is not ill, is she?" he said. "It is only a little fatigue from exposure that ails her, isn't it?"

"But it may have bad consequences," said Lady Arthur: "one never can tell;" and she spoke in an injured way, for George's tones were not encouraging. "And John, my coachman—I haven't seen him—he ought to have been at hand at least: if I could depend on any one, I thought it was him."

"Why, he was overcome in the drift to-day: your other man had to leave him behind and ride forward for help. It was digging him out of the snow that kept us so long in getting to you. He has been in bed ever since, but he is getting round quite well."

"I ought to have known that sooner," she said.

"I did not want to alarm you unnecessarily."

"I must go and see him;" and she held out her hand to say good-night. "But you'll come to Garscube Hall soon: I shall be anxious to hear what you think of Frank. When will you come?"

"I'll write," he said.

Lady Arthur felt that opportunity was slipping from her, and she grew desperate. "Speaking of writing," she said, "I wrote to you when I had the fever last year and thought I was dying: would you like to see that letter?"

"No," he said: "I prefer you living."

"Have you no curiosity? People can say things dying that they couldn't say living, perhaps."

[pg 69]

"Well, they have no business to do so," he said. "It is taking an unfair advantage, which a generous nature never does; besides, it is more solemn to live than die."

"Then you don't want the letter?"

"Oh yes, if you like."

"Very well: I'll think of it. Can you show me the way to John's place of refuge?"

They found John sitting up in bed, and Mrs, Ormiston ministering to him: the remains of a fowl were on a plate beside him, and he was lifting a glass of something comfortable to his lips.

"I never knew of this, John," said his mistress, "till just a few minutes ago. This is sad."

"Weel, it doesna look very sad," said John, eying the plate and the glass. "Yer leddyship and me hae gang mony a daftlike road, but I think we fairly catched it the day."

"I don't know how we can be grateful enough to you, Mrs. Ormiston," said Lady Arthur, turning to their hostess.

"Well, you know we could hardly be so churlish as to shut our doors on storm-stayed travelers: we are very glad that we had it in our power to help them a little."

"It's by ordinar' gude quarters," said John: "I've railly enjoyed that hen. Is 't no time yer leddyship was in yer bed, after siccan a day's wark?"

"We'll take the hint, John," said Lady Arthur; and in a little while longer most of Mr. Ormiston's unexpected guests had lost sight of the day's adventure in sleep.


By dawn of the winter's morning all the company, the railway pilgrims, were astir again—not to visit a shrine, or attend a tournament, or to go hunting or hawking, or to engage in a foray or rieving expedition, as guests of former days at the castle may have done, but quietly to make their way to the station as the different trains came up, the fresh wind having done more to clear the way than the army of men that had been set to work with pickaxe and shovel. But although the railways and the tweeds and the India-rubbers were modern, the castle and the snow and the hospitality were all very old-fashioned—the snow as old as that lying round the North Pole, and as unadulterated; the hospitality old as when Eve entertained Raphael in Eden, and as true, blessing those that give and those that take.

Mr. Eildon left with the first party that went to the station; Lady Arthur and the young ladies went away at midday; John was left to take care of himself and his carriage till both should be more fit for traveling.

Of the three ladies, Alice had suffered most from the severe cold, and it was some time before she entirely recovered from the effects of it. Lady Arthur convinced herself that it was not merely the effects of cold she was suffering from, and talked the case over with Miss Adamson, but that lady stoutly rejected Lady Arthur's idea. "Miss Garscube has got over that long ago, and so has Mr. Eildon," she said dryly. "Alice has far more sense than to nurse a feeling for a man evidently indifferent to her." These two ladies had exchanged opinions exactly. George Eildon had only called once, and on a day when they were all from home: he had written several times to his aunt regarding Lord Eildon's health, and Lady Arthur had written to him and had told him her anxiety about the health of Alice. He expressed sympathy and concern, as his mother might have done, but Lady Arthur would not allow herself to see that the case was desperate.

She had a note from her sister-in-law, Lady George, who said "that she had just been at Eildon, and in her opinion Frank was going, but his parents either can't or won't see this, or George either. It is a sad case—so young a man and with such prospects—but the world abounds in sad things," etc., etc. But sad as the world is, it is shrewd with a wisdom of its own, and it hardly believed in the grief of Lady George for an event which would place her own son in a position of honor and affluence. But many a time George Eildon recoiled from the people who did not conceal their opinion that he might not be broken-hearted [pg 70] at the death of his cousin. There is nothing that true, honorable, unworldly natures shrink from more than having low, unworthy feelings and motives attributed to them.


Lady Arthur Eildon made up her mind. "I am supposed," she said to herself, "to be eccentric: why not get the good of such a character?" She enclosed her dying letter to her nephew, which was nothing less than an appeal to him on behalf of Alice, assuring him of her belief that Alice bitterly regretted the answer she had given his letter, and that if she had it to do over again it would be very different. When Lady Arthur did this she felt that she was not doing as she would be done by, but the stake was too great not to try a last throw for it. In an accompanying note she said, "I believe that the statements in this letter still hold true. I blamed myself afterward for having influenced Alice when she wrote to you, and now I have absolved my conscience." (Lady Arthur put it thus, but she hardly succeeded in making herself believe it was a case of conscience: she was too sharp-witted. It is self-complacent stupidity that is morally small.) "If this letter is of no interest to you, I am sure I am trusting it to honorable hands."

She got an answer immediately. "I thank you," Mr. Eildon said, "for your letters, ancient and modern: they are both in the fire, and so far as I am concerned shall be as if they had never been."

It was in vain, then, all in vain, that she had humbled herself before George Eildon. Not only had her scheme failed, but her pride suffered, as your finger suffers when the point of it is shut by accident in the hinge of a door. The pain was terrible. She forgot her conscience, how she had dealt treacherously—for her good, as she believed, but still treacherously—with Alice Garscube: she forgot everything but her own pain, and those about her thought that decidedly she was very eccentric at this time. She snubbed her people, she gave orders and countermanded them, so that her servants did not know what to do or leave undone, and they shook their heads among themselves and remarked that the moon was at the full.

But of course the moon waned, and things calmed down a little. In the next note she received from her sister-in-law, among other items of news she was told that her nephew meant to visit her shortly—"Probably," said his mother, "this week, but I think it will only be a call. He says Lord Eildon is rather better, which has put us all in good spirits," etc.

Now, Lady Arthur did not wish to see George Eildon at this time—not that she could not keep a perfect and dignified composure in any circumstances, but her pride was still in the hinge of the door—and she went from home every day. Three days she had business in town: the other days she drove to call on people living in the next county. As she did not care for going about alone, she took Miss Adamson always with her, but Alice only once or twice: she was hardly able for extra fatigue every day. But Miss Garscube was recovering health and spirits, and looks also, and when Lady Arthur left her behind she thought, "Well, if George calls to-day, he'll see that he is not a necessary of life at least." She felt very grateful that it was so, and had no objections that George should see it.

He did see it, for he called that day, but he had not the least feeling of mortification: he was unfeignedly glad to see Alice looking so well, and he had never, he thought, seen her look better. After they had spoken in the most quiet and friendly way for a little she said, "And how is your cousin, Lord Eildon?"

"Nearly well: his constitution seems at last fairly to have taken a turn in the right direction. The doctors say that not only is he likely to live as long as any of us, but that the probability is he will be a robust man yet."

"Oh, I am glad of it—I am heartily glad of it!"

"Why are you so very glad?"

"Because you are: it has made you very happy—you look so."

[pg 71]

"I am excessively happy because you believe I am happy. Many people don't: many people think I am disappointed. My own mother thinks so, and yet she is a good woman. People will believe that you wish the death of your dearest friend if he stands between you and material good. It is horrible, and I have been courted and worshiped as the rising sun;" and he laughed. "One can afford to laugh at it now, but it was very sickening at the time. I can afford anything, Alice: I believe I can even afford to marry, if you'll marry a hard-working man instead of a duke."

"Oh, George," she said, "I have been so ashamed of that letter I wrote."

"It was a wicked little letter," he said, "but I suppose it was the truth at the time: say it is not true now."

"It is not true now," she repeated, "but I have not loved you very dearly all the time; and if you had married I should have been very happy if you had been happy. But oh," she said, and her eyes filled with tears, "this is far better."

"You love me now?"


"I have loved you all the time, all the time. I should not have been happy if I had heard of your marriage."

"Then how were you so cold and distant the day we stuck on the moor?"

"Because it was excessively cold weather: I was not going to warm myself up to be frozen again. I have never been in delicate health, but I can't stand heats and chills."

"I do believe you are not a bit wiser than I am. I hear the carriage: that's Lady Arthur come back. How surprised she will be!"

"I am not so sure of that," George said. "I'll go and meet her."

When he appeared Lady Arthur shook hands tranquilly and said, "How do you do?"

"Very well," he said. "I have been testing the value of certain documents you sent me, and find they are worth their weight in gold."

She looked in his face.

"Alice is mine," he said, "and we are going to Bashan for our wedding-tour. If you'll seize the opportunity of our escort, you may hunt up Og's bed."

"Thank you," she said: "I fear I should be de trop."

"Not a bit; but even if you were a great nuisance, we are in the humor to put up with anything."

"I'll think of it. I have never traveled in the character of a nuisance yet—at least, so far as I know—and it would be a new sensation: that is a great inducement."

Lady Arthur rushed to Miss Adamson's room with the news, and the two ladies had first a cry and then a laugh over it. "Alice will be duchess yet," said Lady Arthur: "that boy's life has hung so long by a thread that he must be prepared to go, and he would be far better away from the cares and trials of this world, I am sure;" which might be the truth, but it was hard to grudge the boy his life.

Lady Arthur was in brilliant spirits at dinner that evening. "I suppose you are going to live on love," she said.

"I am going to work for my living," said George.

"Very right," she said; "but, although I got better last year, I can't live for ever, and when I'm gone Alice will have the Garscube estates: I have always intended it."

"Madam," said George, "do you not know that the great lexicographer has said in one of his admirable works, 'Let no man suffer his felicity to depend upon the death of his aunt'?"

It is said that whenever a Liberal ministry comes in Mr. Eildon will be offered the governorship of one of the colonies. Lady Arthur may yet live to be astonished by his "career," and at least she is not likely to regret her dying letter.


[pg 72]


"What is that black mass yonder, far up the beach, just at the edge of the breakers?"

The fisherman to whom we put the question drew in his squid-line, hand over hand, without turning his head, having given the same answer for half a dozen years to summer tourists: "Wreck. Steamer. Creole."

"Were there many lives lost?"

"It's likely. This is the worst bit of coast in the country, The Creole was a three-decker," looking at it reflectively, "Lot of good timber there."

As we turned our field-glasses to the black lump hunched out of the water, like a great sea-monster creeping up on the sand, we saw still farther up the coast a small house perched on a headland, with a flag flying in the gray mist, and pointed it out to the Jerseyman, who nodded: "That there wooden shed is the United States signal station;" adding, after a pause, "Life-saving service down stairs."

"Old Probabilities! The house he lives in!"


Visions of the mysterious old prophet who utters his oracles through the morning paper, of wrecks and storms, and of heroic men carrying lines through the night to sinking ships, filled our brains. Townspeople out for their summer holiday have keen appetites for the romantic and extraordinary, and manufacture them (as sugar from beets) out of the scantiest materials. We turned our backs on the fisherman and his squid-line. The signal station and the hull of the lost vessel were only a shed and timber to him. How can any man be alive to the significance of a wreck and fluttering flag which he sees twenty times a day? Noah, no doubt, after a year in the ark, came to look upon it as so much gopher-wood, and appreciated it as a good job of joinery rather than a divine symbol.

We believe, however, that our readers will find in the wrecked Creole and the wooden shed, and the practical facts concerning them, matter suggestive enough to hold them a little space. They fill a yet unwritten page in the history of our government, and of great and admirable work done by it, of which the nation at large has been given but partial knowledge. Or, if we choose to look more deeply into things, we may find in the old hulk and commonplace building hints as significant of the Infinite Order and Power underlying all ordinary things, and of our relations to it, as in the long-ago Deluge and the ark riding over it.

The little wooden house stands upon a lonely stretch of coast in Ocean county, New Jersey. Several miles of low barren marshes and sands gray with poverty-grass on the north separate it from Manasquan Inlet and the pine woods and scattered farm-houses which lie along its shore, while half a mile below, on the south, is the head of Barnegat Bay, a deep, narrow estuary which runs into and along the Jersey coast for more than half its extent, leaving outside a strip of sandy beach, never more than a mile wide. All kinds of sea fish and fowl take refuge in this bay and the interminable reedy marshes, and for a few weeks in the snipe-and duck-season sportsmen from New York find their way to "Shattuck's" and the houses of other old water-dogs along the bay. But during the rest of the year the wooden shed and its occupants are left to the companionship of the sea and the winds.

The little building (with a gigantic "No. 10" whitewashed outside) stands close to the breakers, just above high-water mark in winter. It is divided into two large rooms, upper and lower, with a tiny kitchen in the rear and an equally comfortless bedroom overhead. The doors of the lower room (which, like those of a barn, fill the whole end of the house) being closed, we sought for Old Probabilities up stairs, and found very little at [pg 73] first sight to gratify curiosity or any craving for mystery. There was a large wooden room, with walls and floor of unpainted boards, the ceiling hung with brilliantly colored flags, a telegraphic apparatus, one or two desks, books, writing materials—a scientific working-room, in short, with its implements in that order which implied that only men had used them.

There were in 1874 one hundred and eight such signal stations as this, modest, inexpensive little offices, established over the United States, from the low sea-coast plains to the topmost peak of the Rocky Mountains.

If we were accurate chroniclers, we should have to go back to Aristotle and the Chaldeans to show the origin and purpose of these little offices, just as Carlyle has to unearth Ulfila the Moesogoth to explain a word he uses to his butter-man. The world is so new, after all, and things so inextricably tangled up in it! In this case, as it is the sun and wind and rain which are the connecting links, it is easy enough to bring past ages close to us. The Chaldeans, building their great embankments or raiding upon Job's herds, are no longer a myth to us when we remember that they were wet by the rain and anxious about the weather and their crops, just as we are; in fact, they felt such matters so keenly, and were so little able to cope with these unknown forces, that they made gods of them, and then, beyond prayers and sacrifices, troubled themselves no further about the matter. Even the shrewd, observant Hebrews, living out of doors, a race of shepherds and herdsmen, never looked for any rational cause for wind or storm, but regarded them, if not as gods, as the messengers of God, subject to no rules. It was He who at His will covered the heavens with clouds, who prepared rain, who cast forth hoar-frost like ashes: the stormy wind fulfilled His word. Men searched into the construction of their own minds, busied themselves with subtle philosophies, with arts and sciences, conquered the principles of Form and Color, and made not wholly unsuccessful efforts to solve the mystery of the sun and stars; but it was not until 340 B.C. that any notice was taken of the every-day matters of wind and heat and rain.

Aristotle, the Gradgrind of philosophers, first noted down the known facts on this subject in his work On Meteors. His theories and deductions were necessarily erroneous, but he struck the foundation of all science, the collection of known facts. Theophrastus, one of his pupils, made a compilation of prognostics concerning rain, wind and storm, and there investigation ceased for ages. For nearly two thousand years the citizens of the world rose every morning to rejoice in fair weather or be wet by showers, to see their crops destroyed by frost or their ships by winds, and never made a single attempt to discover any scientific reason or rules in the matter—apparently did not suspect that there was any cause or effect behind these daily occurrences. They accounted for wind or rain as our grandfathers did for a sudden death, by the "visitation of God." In fact, Nature—which is the expression of Law most inexorable and minute—was the very last place where mankind looked to find law at all.

About two hundred and thirty years ago Torricelli discovered that the atmosphere, the space surrounding the earth, which seemed more intangible than a dream, had weight and substance, and invented the barometer, the tiny tube and drop of mercury by which it could be seized and held and weighed as accurately as a pound of lead. As soon as this invisible air was proved to be matter, the whole force of scientific inquiry was directed toward it. The thermometer, by which its heat or cold could be measured—the hygrometer, which weighed, literally by a hair, its moisture or dryness—were the results of the research of comparatively a few years. Somewhat later came the curious instrument which measures its velocity. As soon as it was thus made practicable for any intelligent observer to handle, weigh and test every quality of the air, it became evident that wind and storm, even the terrible cyclone, were not irresponsible forces, carrying health or death to and fro where they [pg 74] listed, but the result of plain, immutable; laws. It was an American in this our Quaker City who reduced the wind to a commonplace effect of a most ordinary cause. Franklin, one winter's day passing with a lighted candle out of a warm room into a cold one, saw that as he held it above his head the flame was blown outward before him: when he held it near the floor, the flame was blown into the room. The shrewd observer stood in the doorway, instead of hurrying out, as most of us would have done, to save the wasting candle. The warm air in the heated room, he conjectured, was expanded by the heat, consequently it rose as high as it could, and made a way for itself out of the room at the upper part of the doorway, while the heavier cold air from without rushed in below to fill the vacated space. What if he took the equatorial regions or great tracts of arid desert for the heated room? The air over them, subjected by the heat to constant rarefaction, must rise, must overflow above, and must force the colder air from the surrounding regions in below. Two sheets of air will thus set in vertically on both sides, rise, and again separate above. Here was an explanation of the great, steady, uninterrupted aërial currents which, at the rate of from fifteen to eighteen miles per hour, sweep the surface of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. The candle, no doubt, was wasted, but the secret of the trade-winds was discovered.

The idea was correct as far as it went. It did not go very far, it is true. It had not taken into account the earth's rotation, whose force, according to Herschel, "gives at least one-half of their average momentum to all the winds which occur over the whole world;" nor the infinite variation in the movements of the atmosphere which we call winds, caused by the change in the sun's motion, by the differing amounts of vapor held in them, by the physical configuration of the earth below, by the vicinity of the sea or arid deserts, and by the passage of storms or electric currents.

The science of meteorology, especially as regards wind, is as yet searching for general principles, which can only be deduced from countless facts. We do not now, like Saint Paul, talk of the wind Euroclydon as of a special agent of God, but describe it by stating that it is an aërial ascending current over the Mediterranean, produced by the heated sands of Africa and Arabia. We can even measure its heat at 200° Fahrenheit, and its velocity at fifty-four miles per hour. But it attacks us just as unexpectedly as it did the apostle, and brings disease and death to Naples or Palermo to-day just as surely as it did to Cambyses. The popular verdict on the matter would no doubt be that when meteorologists can not only describe the sirocco, but give warning of its coming, their science will justify its claim to consideration. The common sense of mankind always demands as a royalty from every science daily practical benefits to the mass of men and women. It is not enough for meteorologists to have proved that the atmosphere varies in weight, in temperature or velocity of motion according to fixed rules, or to be able to explain why no rain falls on a certain portion of the coast of Portugal, while a like coast-exposure in England is incessantly drenched; or to have determined beyond a doubt that precisely as the ocean of water, under the influence of the moon and wind, ebbs and flows and has its succession of storms or calms, the ocean of air in which we are enveloped answers to the influence of the sun in great tidal movements, and has also its vast steadily moving waves of cold or heat or moisture. These discoveries of general truths must be brought to bear directly on men's daily life before they will have fulfilled their true purpose. It would seem as if nothing were more easy than to bring them so to bear. Meteorology, more intimately perhaps than any other science, concerns our ordinary affairs. The health of mankind, navigation, agriculture, commerce, the hourly business and needs of every man, from the merchant sending out his cargo and the consumptive waiting for death in the east wind, to the laundress hanging out the family wash, are ruled by that most mysterious, most uncurbed of powers, the [pg 75] weather. We may rub along through life with scanty knowledge of the history of dead nations or the philosophy of living ones, but heat and cold, the climate of the coming winter, yesterday's rainfall or to-morrow's frost, are matters which take hold of every one of us and affect us every hour of the day. Now, to bring the known general truths of this science to practical rules, or to base upon them predictions of storms or changes in the weather during any future period, requires, as Sir John Herschel stated twelve years ago, "patient, incessant and laborious observations, carried on in every region of the globe." One reason why this is required is the perpetually shifting conditions of heat, wind and storm. A man who sat down to work a mathematical problem in the days of Job, if there was such a man, found its result just the same as the school-boy does to-day: figures not only never lie, but never alter. But the man who solves an equation of which the winds and waters are members finds that the sum to be added varies with every hour. There are, so far as is yet known, no regularly recurring cycles of weather on which to base predictions: the conditions of heat and wind and moisture are never precisely the same at any given point. Hence the necessity, if we would give the science stability and bring it to bear on our daily life, of educated, skilled observers at different points to collect and report simultaneously the daily details of the present conditions.

It is this daily detail of fact which the United States government supplies through the little stations of observation one of which we have stumbled into on the Jersey beach. Americans, indeed, have from the first taken hold of this science with a most characteristic effort to reduce it to practical uses, to bring it at once to bear on the well-being at least of farmers and navigators. Dove had no sooner published his chart of isothermal lines and charts, showing the temperature throughout the world of each month, and also of abnormal temperatures, than our government issued the Army Meteorological Register for the United States, which for accuracy and fullness had never been equaled. In these the temperature and rainfall for each month of the year were shown. The forecasts of the weather now published daily in this country, and which come so directly home to every man's business that Old Probabilities is a real personage to us all, have been given in England for several years under the supervision of Admiral Fitzroy.

But it is high time now that we should come back to our little wooden house on the beach, and tell what we know of its occupants and uses. The courteous gentleman (in a blue flannel suit for "roughing it") who sits at the telegraphic wires is Sergeant G——, belonging to the Signal Service Department of the army. Instruction in this department is given at Fort Whipple, Va. One hundred officers besides Sergeant G—— are now in charge of stations, with 139 privates as assistants. The average force at Fort Whipple is 140 men. These men are, in point of fact, soldiers liable to be called into active service in the field: their duty there, however, is not fighting, but signaling and telegraphy—a duty quite as dangerous as the bearing of arms. Fresh recruits for this service are divided into those capable of receiving instruction only in field duty and those for "full service," which includes, with military signaling and telegraphy, the taking of meteoric observations, the collating and publication of such observations, and the deduction from them of correct results. Passing two examinations successfully in the latter course, the signal-service soldier is detailed for duty at a post as assistant, and after six months' satisfactory service is returned to Fort Whipple for the special instruction given to observer-sergeants. When qualified for this work he is detailed, as a vacancy occurs, for actual service.

Having thus discovered how our friend the sergeant came into his post, we looked about to see what he had to do there. The brilliantly-colored flags overhead drew the eye first. These flags serve the purpose of an international language on the high seas, where no other [pg 76] language is practicable. Twenty thousand distinct messages can be sent by them. Rogers's system has been, adopted by the United States Navy, the Lighthouse Board, the United States Coast Survey and the principal lines of steamers. Each flag represents a number, and four flags can be hoisted at once on the staff. With the flags there is given a book containing the meaning of each number. Thus, a wrecked ship cries silently to the shore, "Send a lifeboat" by flags 3, 8, 9, or says that she is sinking by 6, 3, 2; or a vessel under full sail hails another by 8, 6, 0, or bids her "bon voyage" with 8, 9, 7. Owing to the difficulty of distinguishing colors in cloudy days or when the flags will not fly, other systems of signaling are used: that of cones similar to umbrellas being considered in the English service one of the most efficient, a different arrangement of cones on the staff representing the nine numerals. Men may convert themselves into cones in an emergency by raising or letting fall their arms, and two men thus give any signal necessary. As the flags, however, belong more especially to Sergeant G—— 's duty on the field of battle or to exceptional cases of storm and danger, we pass them by to examine into his daily round of duty. Outside, a queer little house of lattice-work perched on a headland shelters the thermometers and barometers: on a still higher point directly over the foaming breakers is the anemometer, the little instrument which measures the swiftness of the fiercest cyclone as easily as the lightest spring breeze. It consists of four brass cups shaped to catch the wind, and attached to the ends of two horizontal iron rods, which cross each other and are supported in the middle by a long pole on which they turn freely. The cups revolve with just one-third of the wind's velocity, and make five hundred revolutions whilst a mile of wind passes over them. A register of these revolutions is made by machinery similar to a gas-meter. The popular idea, by the way, of the speed of the wind runs very far beyond the truth: we are apt to say of a racer that he goes like the wind, when the fact is the horse of a good strain of blood leaves the laggard tempest far behind; the ordinary winds of every day travel only five miles an hour, a breeze of sixteen and a quarter miles an hour being strong enough to cause great discomfort in town or field: thirty-three miles is dangerous at sea, and sixty-five miles a violent hurricane, sweeping all before it.

Our friend the sergeant examines seven times a day at stated periods the condition of the atmosphere as to heat, weight and moisture, the velocity of the wind, the kind, amount and speed of the clouds, and measures the rainfall and the ocean swell: all these observations are recorded, and three are daily reported to headquarters at Washington. In these telegrams a cipher is used—as much, we presume, to ensure accuracy in the figures as for purposes of secresy. In this cipher the fickle winds are given the names of women with a covert sarcasm quite out of place in the respectable old weather-prophet whom every housewife consults before the day's work begins. Thus, when the telegraph operator receives the mysterious message, "Francisco Emily alone barge churning did frosty guarding hungry," how is he to know that it means "San Francisco Evening. Rep. Barom. 29.40, Ther. 61, Humidity 18 per cent., Velocity of wind 41 miles per hour, 840 pounds pressure, Cirro-stratus. N.W. 1/4 to 2/4, Cumulo-stratus East, Rainfall 2.80 inch."?

Besides these simultaneous reports from the one hundred and eight United States stations which are telegraphed to the central office at Washington, there are received there daily three hundred and eighty-three volunteer reports from every part of the country, these being the system of meteorological observations under control of the Smithsonian Institution for twenty-four years, and given in charge to the Signal Service Bureau in 1874. In addition to these, again, are simultaneous reports from Russia, Turkey, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, England, Algiers, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Portugal, Switzerland, Canada—in all two hundred and fourteen. When we add together, therefore, the

[pg 77]

United States Signal Service reports   108
Volunteer reports   383
International reports   214
Reports of medical corps of army   123

we have a grand total of eight hundred and twenty-eight daily simultaneous reports received at the central office, where Brigadier-General Albert J. Myer and his brevet aide, Captain H.W. Howgate (or, if you choose, Old Probabilities himself), wait to scan through these many watchful eyes the heavens around the world and utter incessant prophecies and warnings. Besides the regular observations, report is also made of casual phenomena—lightning, auroras, time of first and last frosts, etc., etc.

The history of the Signal Service Bureau and the establishment of these stations and telegraph-lines, bringing the whole country under the instant oversight of one intelligent observer, would, if it were briefly written, be full of points of dramatic interest. As yet it must be gathered out of acts of Congress and official reports. The service has now existed for fourteen years, but is still without that full recognition by Congress which would ensure its permanency. "With interests depending on its daily work as great as can by any possibility rest upon any other branch of the service, it is yet regarded as an experiment, an offshoot of regular army service existing on sufferance, liable at any moment to be hindered in its operations, if not totally abolished." The benefit of this daily work, however, affects too nearly and constantly the mass of the people to allow much danger of its final extinction. What the real value of this practical work is can be gathered not only from the dry statistics of annual reports, but from the increased confidence placed in it by the people, the unscientific working majority.

The help given to farmers should rank perhaps first in estimating the value of this work. At midnight of each day the midnight forecast is telegraphed to twenty centres of distribution, located strictly with regard to the agricultural population. The telegrams, as soon as received, are printed by signal-service men, rapidly enveloped in wrappers already stamped and addressed, and sent by the swiftest conveyance to every post-office which can be reached before 2 P.M. of the same day, and when received are displayed on bulletin-boards. The average time elapsing from the moment when the bulletin leaves the central office until it reaches every post-office from Maine to Florida is ten hours. In 1874, 6286 of these farmers' bulletins were issued, and when we consider that by each one of them reliable information as to the chances of success or failure in planting or reaping was given, we gain some idea of the directness and force of the work of this bureau.

The river reports of the office include not only regular daily observations of the changing depths of the great water-highways, but forecasts of coming floods or sudden rises and falls of the river-levels. Before the great floods in the Mississippi Valley in 1874 the warnings given by this means, and which could have been given by no other, saved an incalculable amount of property and human life. Bulletins are also issued regarding approaching freezing of our canals in the winter months, and have enabled shippers to avoid the accidents common heretofore when enormous quantities of grain, etc. in transit have been detained by this means, to the serious disturbance of the market.

Cautionary day and night signals are displayed at the principal ports and harbors when dangerous winds or storms are anticipated. In one year 762 of these warning signals were displayed, and 561 were verified by storms of destructive winds which otherwise would not have been foreseen. In not a single instance during the last two years has a great storm reached, without warning from the office, the lakes or seaports of the country. The amount of shipping, property and life thus saved to the country is simply incalculable.

Tri-daily deductions or probabilities of the weather, wind and storms, with part of the data on which they rest, are published in all the principal papers of the country, and each man and woman can [pg 78] testify as to their use of them. Who now goes to be married or to bury his dead or to begin a journey without consulting the two oracular lines in italics at the head of the leading column? They have come to take part in our domestic lives. The people would miss politics or the markets or literature out of the paper with less regret than Probabilities should the service be discontinued.

Besides this practical labor, there is the publication of nine daily charts on which are inscribed 2160 readings of different instruments, giving an accurate view of the general meteoric condition; monthly charts and charts condensing the results of years of observation; records furnished for the study of scientific men more comprehensive and regular than can be offered by any similar institution in any country.

A special bit of history comes to light respecting our little wooden shed at the head of Barnegat Bay. An act of Congress approved March, 1873, authorized the establishment of signal stations at lighthouses or life-saving stations along dangerous coasts, and the connection of the same by telegraphs, thirty thousand dollars being appropriated for that end. In consequence, signal stations were established on the Massachusetts coast, from Norfolk, Va., to Cape Hatteras, and more closely along this dangerous lee-shore of New Jersey, and telegraph-lines were laid connecting them with each other and also with the central office. The plan for the future is to net the whole coast—the lake, Atlantic and Pacific shores—with these stations and telegraph-wires. By this means information of coming storms can be conveyed by signal to vessels, or of wrecks, by telegraph, to other life-saving stations: the close watch kept upon the ocean-swell and currents will give warning inland of approaching changes in the weather; for it is a singular fact that the ocean-swell communicates this intelligence more quickly than the barometer, in quite another sense than the poet's

Every wave has tales to tell

Of storms far out at sea.

Our little station belongs to the advanced guard of this proposed line which is to encircle the coast, the whole work of establishing these stations and telegraph-lines having been, done by Sergeant G—— and his comrades. Indeed, when we look at all the work done by our blue-coated friend, his steady, unintermitting attention to duty by day and night year after year, his comfortless quarters in the wooden shed on the lonely beach, and the almost absolute solitude for an educated man during many months of the year, we begin to think his station not the least honorable among the soldiers of the republic. Almost any man, set down on the battle-field, one army to meet and another to back him, with the crash of music and arms, the magnetic fury of combat blazing in the air, would rise to the height of the moment and prove himself manly. But to be faithful to petty tasks hour after hour, through all kinds of privation and weather, for years, is quite a different matter.

The reports of the chief officer give us a hint of some of the privations borne by the observer-sergeants, educated young fellows like our friend. In 1872 the chief ordered one of these men to establish a station on the western coast of Alaska and on the island of St. Paul in Behring Sea, which was done, the observer continuing for a year in that farthest outpost. His record of frozen fogs which wrap the island like a pall, of cyclones from the Asian seas that lash its rocky coast, of vast masses of electric clouds seen nowhere else which sweep incessantly over it toward the Pole, reads more like the story of a nightmare dream than a scientific statement.

In the next spring the chief ordered another sergeant to found a station on Mount Mitchell, the highest mountain-peak east of the Mississippi. Professor Mitchell discovered and measured this mountain about twenty years ago. While taking meteorological observations upon it he was overtaken by a storm, lost his way, and was dashed to pieces over one of its terrible precipices. Several years after his death the government, suddenly recognizing his right to some [pg 79] acknowledgment from science, ordered his body to be disinterred and buried on the topmost peak of the mountain. It was a work of weeks, the body in its coffin being carried by the hardy mountaineers up almost impassable heights. But it reached the top at last, and lies there in the sky above all human life, with the mountain for a monument. One is startled by such a pathetic whim of poetic justice in a government. It was to this peak that the sergeant was ordered to carry his instruments and to make an abiding-place for himself. And here, after two days' journey from the base, he arrived at night in a storm of snow and hail—the guides having cleared the way with axes—set up his instruments, and took observations above the clouds while trees and rocks were sheeted with ice, and there was no shelter for himself or his companions from the furious tempests. A hut was built after a few days, and here the observer remained with the lonely grave as companion, taking hourly observations during several months.

Another officer was sent to the top of Pike's Peak, where he lived in a rudely-constructed cabin until his health broke down; he was then replaced by another, who after a year was obliged to yield also. As soon as one soldier succumbs in these perilous outposts another goes forward. The rarity of the air at this great altitude (nearly thirteen thousand feet) produces nausea, fever and dizziness: added to this were the intense cold and exposure to terrific storms. Sergeant Seyboth records several nights when he with his companions were forced, in a driving tempest, to leave the shelter of their hut and work all night heaping rocks upon its roof to keep it from being blown away; beneath them, many thousand feet, was the rolling sea of clouds. Again and again these men were lost in the drifted snow of the cañons while passing from station to station, and barely escaped with their lives. So imminent, indeed, was their danger during the winter of 1873 that prayers for their safety were offered continually in the churches below.

Frederick Meyer, another of these signal-service soldiers, was sent on the North Polar expedition with Captain Hall. No such marvelous tale as that contained in his formal report was ever found in fiction. Sergeant Meyer made observations every three hours on the voyage north, and hourly when coming south, during a year and two months. At the end of that time, as is well known to our readers, he, with part of the crew of the Polaris, was deserted by the ship, and left on a floe of ice in 79° north latitude, the steamer going southward without attempting their relief. Even in that moment of extremity he made an effort to secure the case containing his observations, but it was washed away from him by heavy seas. For six months these nineteen human beings drifted on the mass of ice over the polar seas, through all the darkness and horrors of an Arctic winter, without fire except such as was made by burning one of their boats—a feeble blaze daily, enough to warm a quart of water in which to soak their pemmican—without shelter save such as the heaped ice and snow afforded, and on starvation diet. After four months the floe began to melt so rapidly that it was but twenty yards wide. "We dared not sleep," says Sergeant Meyer, "fearing the ice would break under us and we should find our grave in the Arctic Sea." Several times the ice did break beneath them, and they were washed into the flood, but scrambled up again on the fast-melting floe. During the whole of this time the signal-service soldier continued faithful to his work, taking such observations as were possible with the instruments left to him. The boat had been burned long before, and they warmed their water with an Esquimaux lamp. On April 22d their provisions consisted of but ten biscuits. Starvation was before them when a bear was shot, and they lived on its raw meat for two weeks. At the end of that time a steamer passed within sight. The poor wretches on the ice hoisted a flag and shouted, but the vessel passed out of sight. Another ship a few days later came within the horizon and disappeared. The next day was foggy: again a steamer was [pg 80] sighted, and for hours the shipwrecked crew strove to make themselves seen and heard through the fog, firing shots, hoisting their torn flag and shouting at the tops of their voices. They were seen at last, and taken aboard the Tigress, "more like ghastly spectres who had come up through hell," says one of the narrators, "than living men."

The pay of the signal-service soldiers is small, and it is hardly to be supposed that they are all enthusiasts in science, or so in love with meteorology that they cheerfully brave danger and hardships such as these for its sake. We must look for the secret of their loyalty to their steady, tedious work in that quiet devotion to duty which we find in the majority of honest men—the feeling that they must go through with what they have once undertaken. And, after all, the majority of men are honest, and loyalty to irksome work is so commonplace a matter that it is only when we see it carry a man steadily through great and sudden peril, or consider how in its great total the work of obscure individuals has lifted humanity to higher levels in the last three centuries, that we can understand how good a thing it is.

At some future time we shall ransack the lower floor of the little house on the beach and discover what is to be found there.



O Rose! within my bloomy croft,

Where hidden sweets compacted dwell,

The wanton wind with breathings soft,

To perfect flower thy bud shall swell,

Then steal thy rich perfume,

Tarnish both grace and bloom,

Until, thy pearly prime being past,

Withered and dead thou'lt lie at last.

O gleaming Night! whose cloudy hair

Waves dark amid its woven light,

Bestudded thick with jewels rare,

Than royal diadem more bright,

Lo! the white hands of Day

Shall strip thy gauds away,

And in the twilight of the morn

Mock thy estate with cold-eyed scorn.

My love, O Rose! hath had a day

As fair, a fate as quick, as thine:

All wrapped in perfumed sleep I lay

Till my fond fancies grew divine,

And sweet Elysium seemed

Around me as I dreamed.

The rose is dead, the dawn comes fast:

Joy dies, but grief awakes at last.


[pg 81]


"Le dernier gentilhomme de France vient de mourir!" exclaimed the Figaro a short time ago when recording the death of the Count de Cambis. But the announcement has been made so often during the last century that we are led to hope that the race may not be extinct yet. Every generation of Frenchmen has boasted the possession of its "first" and lamented the loss of its "last" "gentilhomme de France," and on each occasion have hasty English journalists of the day joined both in the glorification and the lamentation over the individuals thus commemorated by their own countrymen. The term "gentilhomme" is so liable to be confounded with "gentleman" that it needs explaining, for, despite the similarity of derivation, no two words can be more distinct. The French gentilhomme must be of noble blood: he must be of ancient and distinguished race, for no nouveau parvenu can ever aspire to be cited as a vrai gentilhomme, while the qualifications necessary for sustaining the character seem to be wholly confined to the one virtue of generosity. Whenever you hear it said of a man, "Il s'est conduit en vrai gentilhomme," be sure that it means no more than that he performed a simple act of justice in a courteous and graceful manner. The sacred and self-imposed qualities which make up the significance of the English word "gentleman" no Frenchman, nor indeed any foreigner, can understand, and the word itself is never translated, but always left in its original English. Bulwer defines the appellation more clearly than any other author when he says, "The word gentleman has become a title peculiar to us—not, as in other countries, resting on pedigree and coats-of-arms, but embracing all who unite gentleness with manhood."

Now the gentilhomme of France is an entirely different type. He must rely on pedigree and coats-of-arms; he must be sudden and quick in quarrel; he must fling away his money freely amongst the roture; he must be what is called a beau joueur—that is to say, he may lose at the gaming-table the dowry of his mother, the marriage-portion of his sister, everything, in short, save his temper; he may defraud a creditor, and be the first to laugh at the fraud. "One God, one love, one king!" is the cry of the good old English gentleman. But in religion the gentilhomme Français may declare with Henri Quatre that "Paris vaut bien une messe;" in love he may pledge his faith to as many mistresses as that same valiant sovereign; and in politics he may cry, "Vive le Roi! vive la Ligue!" and yet remain a parfait gentilhomme in spite of all.

Every generation seems to have furnished its parfait gentilhomme par excellence. The court of Louis Quatorze boasted of its Chevalier de Grammont, from whose own confession we learn that he gloried in the skill with which he cheated the poor Count de Camma at Lyons and the cunning with which he eluded payment of his bill at the inn.

Then came M. de Montrond, and he again was premier gentilhomme de France while he lived and le dernier des gentilhommes Français when he died. M. de Montrond belonged to two generations, two strongly-contrasted epochs. At his first ball at court he wore a powdered cadogan and danced in talons rouges: at his last he lolled with bald head against a doorway, in varnished boots and starched cravat. His existence has remained an enigma to this hour. Although solicited to accept office by every party that rose to power during his life, he steadfastly refused, and yet, by virtue of his quality of premier gentilhomme de France, possessed unbounded influence with them all. The explanation he gave of his system was cynical enough: "A man must march straight to the cash-box and secure the money, without waiting [pg 82] in the ante-room or the bureau: the power is sure to follow." He chatted politics sometimes, but never "talked" them, and seldom failed to introduce the names of one or more of the forty-three duchesses, countesses and marquises whose peace of mind he boasted of having wrecked for ever. Is it not strange that such frothy frivolity could have obtained dominion for more than fifty years over the most critical people in the world? But Montrond always declared that no man in France would ever take the trouble to read a book if once he had taken the trouble to read the preface. Even by the capricious and pedantic yet ignorant society of fashionable London his fantastical dominion was acknowledged; and the reason of this will be understood at once in the fearlessness with which he uttered his rule of conduct: "Every man of distinction should settle his income at ten thousand pounds a year, and never trouble himself whether or not he possesses as much for the capital." This premier gentilhomme de France was proud of his want of reading, and used often to declare that the only two books he had ever skimmed were the wearisome Henriade of Voltaire and the frivolous Liaisons Dangereuses of Laclos. No research, no analysis of character, can be found to explain the strange inconsistency by which M. de Montrond was, notwithstanding, entrusted by every government under which he lived with the most important secrets, the most serious negotiations—sent abroad to stay revolutions, summoned home to remodel constitutions, and consulted on every point as though he had spent his whole life in the study of Montesquieu or Colbert. Such was the moral life of the man pronounced the premier gentilhomme de France by the fathers and grandfathers of the present generation.

Let us glance at the physical side of his existence—the outward and visible sign of the distinctive title with which he was honored. M. de Montrond began his career by the study of arms, wine, women and dice—which constituted the accomplishments necessary for a gentleman of the period—in the regiment of Royal Flanders. Theodore Lamette was his first colonel, Douai his first garrison-town. Soon after his arrival there every man in the place became his devoted friend, every woman his willing slave, and every tradesman his ready creditor. It so happened that a detachment of Royal Cravattes had sought temporary quarters in the same town; and among the officers was a certain Comte de Champagne, a great duelist and gamester. From this man, by some good fortune, over which a veil has always been thrown by Montrond's friends, he won a considerable sum, and on finding, after suffering a considerable time to elapse, that no sign of payment was made, he proclaimed his intention of taking steps—not according, but in opposition, to the law—in order to obtain his due. Montrond knew himself to be a wretched swordsman, and therefore resolved at once to replace his want of skill by audacity. He sent his servant to the stable where four-and-twenty goodly steeds belonging to the Count de Champagne were champing their oats in all security, with orders to carry them off and leave in lieu of the magnificent animals a message to the effect that M. de Montrond would sell the stud to pay himself, and hand over the balance to the Count de Champagne. In a few hours, as he had expected, he was called to the field, and presented himself before the great duelist with a phlegmatic humor which completely upset the count's own self-possession. Montrond was hit hard at the first lunge. He had intended to be; and the result has become historical in the annals of dueling. He had been pierced in the breast by his adversary's sword, and was evidently thought by the latter to have received his death-wound. In token of this belief the Count de Champagne lowered his weapon, and then M. de Montrond, making one desperate thrust, drove his sword right through his adversary's heart. The Count de Champagne fell dead without a cry, without a struggle. Then M. de Montrond rose covered with glory and with honor, for in such adventures lay [pg 83] the fame of the gentilhommes of that time.

It would be impossible to recount the long catalogue of M. de Montrond's triumphs after this. He became the idol of fashion—as much with the Directoire as he had been with the old court—and under the patronage of Madame Tallien he was permitted to carry amongst the stern republicans the habits and morals of the Régence. It was at this moment of his life that the one act of expiation of the past took place. He worked with right good-will for the benefit of the exiled nobles, many of whom were recalled through his influence, which was so great that he found means to persuade the unkempt rulers of the Republic to invite to their banquets the pardoned émigrés, and to show that they felt no rancor and experienced no dread.

We were about to follow the example of Montrond himself, and forget that he was married—"just as little as possible," as he was wont to say, but legally, notwithstanding. He married during the Revolutionary movement a grande dame, a divorced lady, a certain Duchesse de Fleury, who had sought in this union nothing more than the protection of her property against the name of her first husband, through which it would have been infallibly condemned to confiscation. Many of the great ladies of that time had done likewise, thus defrauding the Republic. But the Duchesse de Fleury neglected the most important precaution of all—that of securing protection against the protector she had chosen, who at once seized the property—more gayly perhaps, but quite as effectually as the Republic would have done. The terms of the marriage-contract may be quoted as a specimen of the motives by which the premier gentilhomme de France was governed in the transaction. After the declaration that the Duchesse de Fleury had brought to the communauté certain houses and lands, besides an income of forty thousand livres, we find added by way of set-off to this fortune that the count engaged himself to bring yearly the sum of a hundred thousand francs—the produce of his wits. After a little while, the premier gentilhomme having exercised the said wits in spending the produce of the houses and lands of Madame de Fleury, and Madame de Fleury not being able to return the compliment by selling the wits of the Count de Montrond, the two went on their respective ways, leaving to Providence the task of redeeming the lands which the wits had sold and the income which the wits had scattered to the four winds of heaven.

Space is wanting to recount the struggles of the different parties which succeeded each other with such frightful rapidity in France to obtain possession of the Count de Montrond's influence. But he remained true to one principle, the one with which he started—"to make straight for the cash-box." Yet with all this prosaic prudence, amid the poetry of his position, the moral of this man's life was fulfilled to the very letter. The Count de Montrond managed to outlive every pecuniary resource save the one afforded by the remembrance of "auld lang syne" and the unforgotten days of bygone love. He died in the house of Madame Hamelin, after having been soothed and sheltered by this friend and protectress through the revolutionary storm of 1848. He died dependent, subject to the same changes and caprice he had so long inflicted upon others.

Montrond's successor, the Count de Cambis, the man who has represented the premier gentilhomme de France in our day, died lately at as good an old age as the Count de Montrond. Autres tems, autres moeurs: no more cheating at cards, no more beating the watch, as in the case of the Chevalier de Grammont; no more dueling and killing the adversary by surprise, as in that of the Count de Montrond. When the bourgeois king, Louis Philippe, succeeded to the elder branch, the gentilhomme Français entirely lost his prestige, and the necessity of his existence was ignored. Everything bourgeois had become the fashion at court: the court itself was denominated a basse-cour (farm-yard) by the Faubourg St. Germain, and all who frequented it "les oies de Frère Philippe" [pg 84] or "les canards d'Orléans." The Count de Cambis appeared at that moment at the Tuileries in search of office. His name stood high in the annals of the French noblesse: society had, however, ceased to confound the gentilhomme with the roué. The conditions necessary to fulfill the character were changed, and it was now the bourgeois gentilhomme and not the gentilhomme roué whose claim to the vacant place was more likely to be accepted. The Count de Cambis had held the place of honorary equerry to the Duc d'Angoulême, having obtained it less on account of his patent of nobility than by reason of his unblemished character. He was now in search of some place about the court, and soon found favor in the eyes of the citizen-king, to whom the quiet virtues of the Tiers-État were of more value than the flash and tinsel of the Régence. The count was of fine, commanding person and handsome countenance: moreover, he was "the man with a story," and a painful one it was, creative of the greatest interest in the tender bosoms of the Orleans princesses. Although poor, belonging to a ruined family, his prospects had been good at the court of Charles Dix, and one of the greatest ladies of the court had cast her eyes upon him as a suitable parti for her daughter. The young lady, nothing loath, had accepted with alacrity the proposition of marriage, seconded as it was by the Duchesse d'Angoulême, and backed by the promise of high office on its realization. A marriage is easy to arrange in France; not so the execution of the marriage-contract, which is rendered as wearisome by delays as the still more dilatory proceedings of the law; and therefore it was deemed advisable, in order to pass this dismal period, to despatch the Count de Cambis to Holland for the purchase of horses for the royal stable. Arrived at The Hague, he was seized with an attack of smallpox, which laid him prostrate on the low flock bed of the miserable little inn to which he had been conveyed on landing from the boat. Here he lay for some time incognito, his identity unknown to any save the faithful valet who attended him, until he had perfectly recovered from the disease, which, however, was found to have left the most frightful traces of its passage in scar and seam and furrow from forehead to chin. The handsome young cavalier who landed so full of hope and spirits on the quay at The Hague rose from his bed with a face bloated and discolored, seamed and scarred and pockmarked, his once luxuriant locks grown thin and dank, his eyelashes gone, his whole appearance so changed that as he gazed at himself for the first time in the looking-glass he was overwhelmed with such despair that, as he owned afterward to his friends, he would have thrown himself from the window at which he stood into the canal below had he not been prevented by the strong arm of his servant, Dulac. A terrible period of anguish and depression followed on this first excitement, but he awoke from it and returned to life once more, a sadder and a wiser man. When the first impression of horror and dismay had passed away his resolution was taken at once. He resolved to disengage the lady from her vow, and sat down to write the words which were to rend his heart in twain. At that moment Dulac entered the room with a packet of letters just arrived from Paris by estafette. Amongst them was one from the young lady's mother, full of sweet pleasantry and graceful mirth, describing the gay doings at the Tuileries, and the delight her daughter had experienced at the idea of being allowed to attend the Duchesse d'Angoulême to the ball about to be given in honor of the visit to Paris of some one or other of the Spanish princes. She described with the greatest vivacity all the details of the toilet to be worn by her chère petite Adèle and the kindness of the royal princess, and ended with the most affectionate expressions of regret at the absence from the fête of her daughter's affianced lover, writing in playful terms of the danger in which Adèle's heart would have been placed at the accession of so many new and handsome cavaliers in attendance on the Spanish prince had it not been for the precaution of wearing, as the safest shield against all attacks, [pg 85] the locket which contained the portrait of her brave and beautiful lover—the miniature he had given her on his departure. He turned from the perusal of the letter with a deadly chill at his heart: he crushed it in his hand, and threw it on the blazing logs upon the hearth, holding it down with the tongs until every fiery spark had disappeared, then watched the blackened flakes as they flew one by one up the chimney; and when the last had disappeared he dashed the tears from his eyes, and, to the great surprise and consternation of Dulac, ordered him to pack up and prepare for their immediate return to France.

That very evening he set out by the passage-boat, and arrived in Paris on the very night of the ball at the Tuileries. With the strange self-immolation which is generated in some characters by despair he caused himself to be driven by the quay round to the Place Louis Quinze, and made the driver stop so that he might torture himself with the sight of the lights and the shadows of the dancers. He then alighted at his own door beneath the gateway in the Rue de Rivoli, which at that hour was silent and deserted, for the line of carriages were all setting down in the courtyard of the Place du Carrousel. The gaping valets merely nodded acquiescence to the password he muttered as, muffled up to the chin, he glided noiselessly over the polished floor of the vestibule and hurried up the stairs. Dulac was well pleased to be home again, anticipating with delight the enjoyment of that repose which after such a long arid rapid journey he had well earned. What, therefore, was his consternation when Monsieur le Comte announced his intention of attending the ball, ordering him to prepare in all haste his court-costume for the purpose! Dulac was accustomed to obey without opposition, and, although wondering at this sudden vagary on the part of his master, usually so reasonable in all things, hastened to do his bidding. The toilet was completed in silence. A few tears were shed by Dulac over the thin lank locks he was called upon to friz, and when all was completed and he held aloft the girandole to light him down the back stairs used by members of the royal household to gain admission to the state apartments of the royal palace without passing through the crowd in the ante-room, the faithful fellow turned heartbroken to his master's chamber.

The Count de Cambis entered the ballroom at the moment when a quadrille was being made up, and the very instinct of his love—for it could not be mere chance—led him at once to the room and the place where Mademoiselle de B—— was seated beside her mother. The count has often told his friends that he trembled so violently that for a few minutes he could neither speak nor move, but stood gazing upon the young lady silent, motionless, as if rooted to the spot. The whole seemed as if passing before him in a magic-lantern, and when at length, recalled to himself by the amazement expressed upon the countenances of both ladies, he ventured to ask his beautiful fiancée for her hand in the dance, it was no wonder that she did not recognize his voice, so choked and husky was it with emotion. But the young lady turned abruptly away with an impatient gesture, and looked imploringly at her mother for help against the intrusion of the repulsive gallant she had secured. At a signal from the matron, which did not escape the count, she bent her head, and the count, stooping also, caught the whisper, "Nay, mon enfant, ugly as he is, he must not be refused, or you cannot dance with any other partners all night." With pouting lips and tearful eyes the young lady extended her hand, but by the time she had raised her eyes again the suppliant had vanished through the doorway, his disappearance as mysterious as his first apparition, and, strange to say, was seen no more. He had caught sight of the locket, the miniature of himself, with the bright eyes and flowing hair, the long black eyelashes and glossy moustache. It seemed to reproach him with the fraud he was premeditating against the lovely girl to whom, if he listened to the dictates of honor, he must henceforth be as one dead—as one, indeed, who had died many years before.

[pg 86]

His anguish was intense. The test of love had been deceptive, the ordeal had failed, the verdict had been given against him. He went back to his chamber, where Dulac was still busily engaged in unpacking his valise, bade the astounded valet replace everything he had already taken out, and hurry at once to the Poste aux Chevaux to command horses for the return journey to The Hague. As soon as he arrived at that place he wrote a long letter to the young lady's mother releasing her daughter from all obligation toward himself, and announcing his determination never to intrude himself upon her notice again. The Duchesse d'Angoulême, whose experience of life was of its bitterness alone, is said to have interfered to prevent the affair from becoming public, and to have assisted in finding another parti for the deserted fair one.

Meanwhile, the Restoration with its disappointments and broken vows was replaced by the government of Louis Philippe with its hopes and promises. The Count de Cambis, whose official position was annihilated by the storm which swept over the kingdom, found himself immediately, with the whole army of officials, compelled to choose between poverty and obscurity or treachery to his former benefactors. When this combat is allowed to take place between the heart and the stomach, the latter generally carries the day; and so it did in this case. The Count de Cambis did but follow the majority in binding himself at once to the interests of the Orleans family. Louis Philippe, who, like all French sovereigns, displayed undue eagerness to make use of the old servants of the preceding dynasty, was not slow to avail himself of the offer of service made by the Count de Cambis. A place was found for him as superintendent of the royal stud, and here he really displayed that disinterestedness in his dealings which entitled him to the highest consideration. The Duke of Orleans, whose aristocratic tastes always inclined him to favor distinction of birth, treated the Count de Cambis with especial preference; and on his side the count was careful to flatter the instincts of His Royal Highness by assuming the manners and gait of the ancient raffinés of the Garde Royale. One of the duke's chief delights consisted in fashioning his household regulations after the model set by the Due d'Angoulême, and the count became his chief counsel and adviser in every matter concerning the etiquette to be observed in a well-ordered court. The tradition preserved to the latest hour of the existence of the royal stables tells of the fatality which rendered the Count de Cambis the avenger of the Restoration he had denied through his share in the catastrophe which deprived the throne of July of its heir.

It was the 13th of July, 1842. The day was fine. The duke appeared at a window which looked into the courtyard where the Count de Cambis was giving orders concerning the day's service. "The victoria to-day," called out His Royal Highness from the balcony.—"And Tom?" was the question sent upward to the duke.—"No, let me have Kent: he goes best with Ridge," returned the duke.—"But Kent has been much worked lately, monseigneur, and—."—"Well, well, Cambis, as you like: you know best," was the final reply as the duke turned away from the window and retreated into the chamber. Just then one of the grooms, who had been standing at a respectful distance and had overheard the words, came forward and in a voice full of mystery begged to inform M. le Comte that something was wrong with Tom, who had been observed to be restless and irritable the whole morning, and inquired whether it would not be well to have him doctored. "Pooh! pooh!" exclaimed the count. "You are all chicken-hearted in your stable—always complaining of Tom, whose only fault lies in his spirit. He only shows his thorough breeding, and the duke wishes to make a gallant display on starting. There is a crowd already gathered round the gate to see him drive off." So Tom was harnessed, and the postilion who rode Piedefer declares that from the very first he argued ill of Tom's temper, for he observed a vicious expression in [pg 87] his eye, and a distension of the nostrils which never boded good.

The Duke of Orleans was driven from the palace-gate full of health and spirits. He was to proceed to Neuilly to bid farewell to his mother, Queen Amélie, at the little summer château there. Detractors of the duke's character will tell you that on the way he stopped and prolonged to undue length a visit he should not have made at all, and that consequently he was compelled to urge the postilion to greater speed. Whatever the cause, just at the entrance of the Route de la Révolte the dreaded outburst of temper on the part of the irascible Tom took place. At first merely fidgety, and managed with the greatest delicacy by the English postilion, then ill-tempered and capricious, swerving from side to side, necessitating in self-defence the use of the whip—"But only gently and lighthanded, as one's obliged to do sometimes, just to show 'em who's master," was the poor fellow's explanation amid the bitter tears he shed when recounting the catastrophe—when suddenly Tom reared and plunged, and set off at a mad gallop which no human hand could have had the power to arrest. The postilion kept a cool head and steady seat: not so the Duke of Orleans, who rose to his feet in alarm just as the wheels of the carriage struck against a stone. The shock caused him to lose his balance: he was dashed violently to the ground, and in a few hours the hope of France lay dead in the small back shop of a petty tradesman in the avenue.

The blow was a dreadful one—far heavier than that of a mere domestic bereavement. It was felt that the royal family had lost its hold, not of authority, but of sentiment, upon the nation—that the dynasty for which such sacrifices had been made was wrecked for ever. But no blame was attached to any individual save by the Count de Cambis himself, who acknowledged the grievous responsibility he had incurred by instantly sending in his resignation and withdrawing from court. In vain did Louis Philippe endeavor to persuade him to return; in vain did the queen herself, even amid the desolation of the first storm of grief, disclaim any imputation of blame to the count; in vain did the Duc de Némours write with his own hand the urgent request that he would resume office, were it only for a time, in order to display to the world the conviction felt by every member of the royal family of the utter absence of any neglect or carelessness on his part. It was of no avail: the Count de Cambis remained steady to his purpose of retirement, and disappeared entirely from court.

It was not until the summer of 1847 that a renewal of intercourse took place. The day was a festival, and the approaches to the palace were thronged till a late hour. A garden below the windows, surrounded by a low iron grating, and called the garden of the Count de Paris, had just been closed for the night; the sound of the drums beating the retraite was already dying in the distance; the crowd had all withdrawn, and yet one solitary figure still remained, leaning disconsolately against the railing, gazing wistfully into the garden, and every now and then casting furtive glances up at the balcony into which opened the window of the apartment occupied by the Duchess of Orleans. Presently a child came down the steps and walked straight to the gate against which the stranger was leaning, his forehead pressed against the grating, his hand grasping the iron bars. In a moment the key was turned in the lock, a little hand was placed within that of the Count de Cambis, and a gentle voice whispered in his ear, "Come in! come in! We are all there to-night—grandpère and all. We want to see you so much. It is mamma's fête." There was no resisting this appeal. Le premier gentilhomme de France would have been compelled to forego his title had he refused the invitation, and clasping the child's hand he traversed the garden in silence, and soon found himself in the midst of the royal family assembled to celebrate the fête of St. Hélène in the privacy of domestic affection. The sight of the well-remembered faces, the smiles and greetings of the royal family, the cordial kindness of the king, the silent sympathy of [pg 88] the queen, the gentle welcome of the duchess, at length brought consolation to the wounded spirit of the count, and without further ado he consented at once to resume his old position; and the next day, when he was seen galloping beside the royal carriage up the Champs Élysées, he was greeted with hearty shouts of recognition by the promenaders on either side. Everything now went on in the old train. He was readmitted to the intimacy of the Orleans family, and retained his place and the confidence of his master until the revolution of February drove the Orleans family into exile. He retired into obscurity with a grace and dignity befitting the premier gentilhomme de France—without reproach, without a stain upon his escutcheon. He refused the most tempting offers of employment at the imperial court, and was seen no more, save when now and then, passing down the boulevard with hurried steps, he was recognized by his long white hair and braided jacket, with the persistent cipher of the royal house to which he had been for so many years attached. Then, as he hastened along with riding-whip in hand and jingling spurs upon his heels, some old bourgeois sipping his demi-tasse at the door of a café would exclaim, "There goes the Count de Cambis, le dernier gentilhomme de France!"

A desperate attempt was made by the imperialists to set up a premier gentilhomme of their own in the person of Count Morny, who sought to revive the traditions of De Grammont and of De Montrond. He was brave, he was witty, his physique might be said to realize the ideal of the role, but his morale was founded on the theories of the Bonaparte school. De Grammont tells us how he cheated the greasy cattle-dealer; De Montrond makes us laugh when he relates how in his tour of mediation with Prince Talleyrand he was wont to take bribes from two rival princes, each willing to pay a heavy sum that the other might be baffled; but neither De Grammont nor De Montrond would ever have consented to soil his hands with such vile commercial speculations as the Houillères d'Anzin or the Vieille Montagne, or condescend to such disgraceful financial mystification as the "Affaire Jecker" of Mexico.

It would be impossible to explain the difference which exists between the "gentilhomme" and the "gentleman." It is felt and understood, but cannot be described. The term "gentleman" itself is conventional. Neither birth nor accomplishments, nor even gentle manners, are necessary for undisputed assumption of the title. The man who acts as a lawyer's clerk cannot be called a gentleman, according to Judge Keating's decision, because, the title having no place in the language of the law, if he chanced to be indicted for a criminal offence he would be denominated a "laborer." Serjeant Talfourd's sweeping theory, of the term "gentleman" being legally applicable to every man who has nothing to do and is out of the workhouse, cannot be accepted, as it would of necessity include thieves, mendicants and out-door paupers. The American police have been compelled, to defend the border-line of gentility against the encroachments of their vagabond gold-seekers, card-sharpers and ruffians, and confine the term to those of respectable calling. In California the term may be applied to every individual of the male gender and the Caucasian race, the line being drawn at Chinamen. An American writer contests the acceptance of the term, in England as being too vague and uncertain for comprehension by foreigners, and suggests that some less conventional designation than those now in use should be found to indicate the idea. To the moral sense it would be natural to suppose that character rather than calling would be the most important point in the consideration of the question; but it is not so. In the four-oared race of gentlemen amateurs held last year at Agecroft in Lancashire the prize of silver plate was won by a crew taken from a club composed entirely of colliers, who had been allowed to row under protest, they not being acknowledged as "gentlemen amateurs." The race over and the prize won by the colliers, an investigation took [pg 89] place by the committee. The result was unanimity of the vote against acceptance of the qualification of the winners. Here, then, occurred the best illustration of the comprehension of the term by the moderns, for the "gentlemen," deeming that money must be a salvo to pride in the bosom of all whose quality of gentleman remains unacknowledged, subscribed a handsome sum to be distributed amongst the disappointed crew. But here, again, the proof was given of the vague uncertainty of the term, for the crew of colliers were gentlemen enough to refuse the proffered gift with scorn.



Time, bring back my lord to me:

Haste, haste! Lov'st not good company?

Here's but a heart-break sandy waste

'Twixt this and thee. Why, killing haste

Were best, dear Time, for thee, for thee!

Oh, would that I might divine

Thy name beyond the zodiac sign

Wherefrom our times-to-come descend.

He called thee Sometime. Change it, friend:

Now-time soundeth far more fine.

Sweet Sometime, fly fast to me:

Poor Now-time sits in the Lonesome-tree

And broods as gray as any dove,

And calls, When wilt thou come, O Love?

And pleads across the waste to thee.

Good Moment, that giv'st him me,

Wast ever in love? Maybe, maybe

Thou'lt be this heavenly velvet time

When Day and Night as rhyme and rhyme

Set lip to lip dusk-modestly;

Or haply some noon afar,

—O life's top bud, mixt rose and star!

How ever can thine utmost sweet

Be star-consummate, rose-complete,

Till thy rich reds full opened are?

Well, be it dusk-time or noon-time,

I ask but one small, small boon, Time:

Come thou in night, come thou in day,

I care not, I care not: have thine own way,

But only, but only, come soon, Time.


[pg 90]





If Madame de Montfort could not teach Leam some of the things generally considered essential to the education of a gentlewoman, if her orthography was disorderly, her grammar shaky, her knowledge of geography, history and language best expressed by x, and her moral perceptions never clear and seldom straight, she was yet far in advance of a girl whose training in all things was so infinitely below even her own dwarfed standard. Madame could read with native grace and commendable fluency, making nimble leapfrogs over the heads of the exceptionally hard passages, but Leam had to spell every third word, and then she made a mess of it, Madame did know that eight and seven are fifteen, but Leam could not get beyond five and five are ten and one over makes eleven. If madame thought deception the indispensable condition of pleasant companionship, and lies the current coin of good society—in which she certainly sided with the majority of believing Christians—Leam would be none the worse for a little softening of that crude out-speaking of hers, which was less sincerity than the hardness of youthful ignorance and the insolence of false pride. If madame was only lacquer, and not clear gold all through, Leam had not the grace of even the thinnest layer of varnish, and might well take lessons in the religion of appearances and that thing which we call "manner." Madame did know at least how to bear herself with the seeming of a lady, and could say her shibboleth as it ought to be said. Thus, she ate with delicacy and held her knife nicely poised and balanced, but Leam grasped hers like a whanger, and cut off pieces of meat anyhow, which as often as not she took from the point. Mamma had eaten with her knife grasped also like a whanger, and why might not she? she said when madame remonstrated and gave her a lecture on the aesthetics of the table. And why should she not make her bread her plate, and hold both bread and meat in her hand if she liked? Why was she to wipe her lips when she drank? and why, traveling farther afield, was she to speak when she was spoken to if she would rather be silent? Why get up from her chair when ladies like Mrs, Harrowby and Mrs. Birkett came into the room? They did not get up from their chairs when she went into their rooms, and mamma never did. And why might she not say what she thought and show what she disliked? Mamma said what she thought and showed what she disliked, and mamma's rule was her law.

All these objections madame had to combat, and all these things to teach, and many more besides. And as Leam was young, and as even the hardest youth is unconsciously plastic because unconsciously imitative, the suave instructress did really make some impression; so that when she assured the incredulous neighborhood of Leam's improvement she had more solid data than always underlaid her words, and was partly justified in her assertion.

Religion, too, was another point on which the forces of new and old met in collision. Madame was of course what is meant by the word "religious." Like all persons trading on falsehood and living in deception, her orthodoxy was undoubted, and the most rigid investigation could not have discovered an unsound spot anywhere. She would as soon have thought of questioning her own existence as of doubting the literal exactness of the first chapter of Genesis, and she thought science an awfully wicked thing because it went to disprove the story of the six days. She firmly believed in the personality of Satan and material fires for wicked souls; and the sweet way in which she lamented the probable paucity [pg 91] of the saved was extremely edifying, not to say touching. This childlike acceptance, this faithful orthodoxy, was one of the things for which the rector liked her so well. He had a profound contempt for science and skepticism together; and an unbeliever, even if learned in the stars and old bones, ranked with him as a knave or a fool, and sometimes both. His pet joke, which was not original, was that there was only one letter of difference between septic and skeptic, and of the two the skeptic was the more unsavory.

Being then pious, madame had hung about her walls short texts in fancy lettering, with a great deal of scroll-work in gold and carmine to make them look pretty. When she came into possession of Leam's mind, she was shocked at her ignorance of all the sayings that were so familiar to herself and other persons of respectability. Leam knew nothing but a few barbarous prayers to saints, used more after the fashion of charms than anything else, the ave and the paternoster said incorrectly and not understood when said. Wherefore madame caused to be illuminated some texts for her room too, as lessons always before her eyes, and counter-charms to those heathenish invocations in which the child put her sole faith and trust of salvation. And among other things she gave her the Ten Commandments, very charmingly done. Round each commandment were pictures, emblems, symbolic flowers, all enclosed in fancy scroll-work of an elaborate kind. Really, it was a very creditable piece of bastard art, and Mr. Dundas was moved almost to tears by it. Madame did it herself—so she said with a tender little smile—as her pleasant surprise for poor dear Leam on her fifteenth birthday. And Leam was so far tamed in that she suffered the Tables to be hung up in her bedroom, and even found pleasure in looking at them. The pictures of Ruth and Naomi; of the thief running away with the money-bags; of a woman lying prostrate with long hair, and a broken lily at her side; of a murdered man prone in the snow, and a frightened-looking bravo, half covering his face in his cloak, fleeing away in the darkness, with a bowl marked "poison" and a dagger dripping with blood in the margin,—all these pictures, which stood against the commandments they illustrated, fascinated her greatly. The colors and the gilding, the flowers and the emblems, pleased her, and she took the texts sandwiched between as the jalap in the jam. At first she thought it impious to have them there at all, because they were in the Bible, and mamma used to say that good Christians never read the Bible. It was a holy book which only priests might use, and when those pigs of Protestants looked into it and read it, just as they would read the newspaper, they profaned it. But by force of habit she reconciled herself to the profanity, and by frequent looking at the art got the literature into her head. And when it was there she did not find anything in it to be afraid of or to condemn as too mysteriously holy for her knowledge. All of which was so much to the good; and Mr. Dundas had no words strong enough whereby to express his gratitude to the fair woman who had saved his child from destruction by giving her the Ten Commandments made pretty by adjuncts of bastard art.

But had it not been for Alick Corfield, Madame la Marquise de Montfort would not have made quite so much way. Alick and Leam used to meet in Steel's Wood; and when Leam carried her perplexities to Alick, and Alick told her that she ought to yield and gave her the reasons why, after first fiercely combating him, telling him he was stupid, wicked, unkind, she always ended by promising to obey; and when Leam promised the things agreed to might be considered done. In point of fact, then, it was Alick who was really moulding her, in excess of that unconscious plasticity and imitation already spoken of. But this was one of the things which the world did not know, and where judgment went awry in consequence.

Of course the neighborhood saw what was coming—what must come, indeed, by the very force of circumstances. The friendship which had sprung up from the [pg 92] first between Mr. Dundas and madame could not stop at friendship now, when both were free and evidently so necessary to each other. For madame, with that noble frankness backed by wise reticence characteristic of her, had told every one of her loss by which she had been necessitated to become Leam's governess; always adding, "So that I am glad to be able to work, seeing that I am obliged to do so, as I could not borrow, even for a short time: I am too proud for that, and I hope too honest."

Wherefore, as she was evidently Leam's salvation, according to her own account, and Sebastian was confessedly her income, and a very good one too, there was no reason why their several lines should not coalesce in an indissoluble union, and one home be made to serve them instead of two. As indeed it came about.

When the year of conventional mourning had been perfected, on the anniversary of the very day when poor Pepita died, the final words were said, the last frail barrier of madame's conjugal memories and widowed regrets was removed, and Sebastian Dundas went home the gladdest man in England. All that long bad past was now to be redeemed, and he had made a good bargain with life to have passed through even so much misery to come at the end into such reward.

Nothing startled him, nothing chilled him. When madame, laying her hand on his arm, said in a kind of playful candor infinitely bewitching, "Remember, dear friend, I told you beforehand that I have lost all my fortune; in marrying me you marry only myself with my past, my child and my liabilities," his mind repudiated the idea of the flimsiest shadow on that past, the faintest blur on its spotless record. As for her child, it was his: he would give it his name, it should be dearer to him than his own; which, all things considered, was not an overwhelming provision of love; and her liabilities, whatever they were, he would be glad to discharge them as a proof of his love for her and the forging of another golden link between them.

He doubted nothing, believed all, and loved as much as he believed. He was happy, radiant, content: the woman whom he loved loved him, and had consented to become his wife. In giving her dear self to him she was also accepting security and devotion at his hands; and what more can a true man want than to be of good service to the woman he loves? If women like to minister, it is the pride of men to protect; and if the vow to endow with all his worldly goods is a fable in fact, it is true as an instinctive feeling.

When Mrs. Harrowby heard that the marriage was positively arranged, she sat with her daughters at a kind of inquest on their dead friendship with Sebastian Dundas, and came to the conclusion that they must know something more definite now about this person calling herself Madame la Marquise de Montfort. As a stranger it was all very well to overlook the vagueness of her biography—they were not committed to anything really dangerous by simply visiting a householder among them—but it was another matter if she was to be married to one of themselves. Then they must learn who she really was, and Mr. Dundas must satisfy them scrupulously, else they should decline to know her.

"It will make a great gap in our society," said kindly Josephine, who, having the most to suffer, had forgiven the most readily.

"Gap or no gap, it is what we owe to ourselves," said Mrs. Harrowby.

"And to Edgar," added Maria.

"I shall call on Sebastian to-morrow," said Mrs. Harrowby, laying aside her knitting with the air of a minister who has dictated his protocol and has now only to sign the clean copy.

"Sleep on it, mamma," pleaded Josephine.

"It will make no difference," returned the mother; and her elder two echoed in concert, "I hope not."

The next day Mrs. Harrowby did call on Mr. Dundas, and, finding that gentleman at home, succeeded in speaking her mind. She conveyed her ultimatum as a corporate not individual resolution, speaking in the name of the "ladies of [pg 93] the place," which she was scarcely entitled to do.

Mr. Dundas declined to satisfy her. Indeed, it would have been difficult for him to have done so, seeing that he knew no more of Madame de Montfort, his intended wife, than what they all knew; which was substantially nothing, unless her fancy autobiography could be called something. He spoke, however, as if he had her private memoirs and all the branches, roots and hole of the family tree in his pocket; and he spoke loftily, with the intimation that she was superior; to all at North Aston, Mrs. Harrowby herself included.

This interview, with its demand unsatisfied and its assertions unproved, sent the coolness already existing between the Hill and Andalusia Cottage down to freezing-point; and the worst of it was that Mrs. Harrowby did not find backers. The neighborhood did not take up the cause as she expected it would. It halted midway and faced both sides, in the manner so dear to English respectability—less cordial to Mr. Dundas and madame than it would have been had Mrs. Harrowby been friendly, but unwilling to follow her to the bitter end. As they said to each other, it was all very well for Mrs. Harrowby to be so severe on the marriage, because she was angry and disappointed—and an angry and disappointed mother is ever unreasonable—but they who had no daughters to marry, really they did not see why they should persecute that poor madame who was such pleasant company, and had behaved herself with so much propriety since she came. And if Sebastian Dundas was going to make a second mistake, that was his lookout, and would be his punishment.

On the whole, the neighborhood when polled was decidedly more friendly than hostile. The Corfields and Fairbairns were, as they had always been, neutrals of a genial tint, more for than against; Mr. and Mrs. Birkett were warm partisans; and only Adelaide joined hands with the Hill and said that Mrs. Harrowby was justified in her renunciation and that madame was a wretch. And for the first time in her life the rector's daughter spoke compassionately of Leam and humanely of Pepita, saying of the one how much she pitied her, having such a woman for a stepmother; of the other, that, horrible as she was, at least they knew the worst of her, which was more than they could say of madame.

She made her father very angry when she said these things, but she repeated them, nevertheless; and she knew that he dared not scold her too severely before the world for fear of that little something called conscience, and knowledge of the reason why he believed in Madame de Montfort so implicitly.



The announcement of her father's intended marriage with madame came on Leam with a crushing sense of terror and despair. Unobservant youth sees little, and even what it does see it does not comprehend. Though the girl had accustomed herself by slow degrees to many works and ways which mamma had never known; though the faculties which had been, as it were, imprisoned by that close-set, hide-bound love of hers were now a little loosened and set free; though the activities of youth were stirring in her, and her inner life, if still isolated, was a shade more expanded than of old,—yet she had no desire for greater change, and she had no keener vision for the world outside herself than before. She saw nothing of that diabolical thing which her father and madame had been so long plotting as the outcome of their friendship, the parable of which her education had been the text. If her intelligence was warping out from the narrow limits in which her mother had confined it, it was still below the average—as much as her feverish love and tenacious loyalty were above. All that she knew was, mamma dead was the same as mamma living, only to be more tenderly dealt with, as she could not defend herself; and that she wondered how papa could be so wicked as to affront her now [pg 94] that she was not able to punish him and let him know what she thought of him.

When he told her that he was going to give her a new mother, one whom she must love as she had loved her own poor dear mamma—- he was so happy he could afford to be tender even to that terrible past and poor Pepita—Leam's first sensation was one of terror, her first movement one of repulsion. She flung off the hand which he had laid on her shoulder and drew back a few steps, facing him, her breath held, her tragic eyes flashing, her face struck to stone by what she had heard.

"Well, my dear, you need not look so surprised," said Mr. Dundas jauntily. "And you need not look so terrified. Your new mother will not hurt you,"

"She shall not be my mother, papa," said Learn: "I will not own her."

"You will do what I tell you to do," her father returned with admirable self-command.

"Not when you tell me to do a crime," flashed Leam.

Mr. Dundas smiled. "Your words are a trifle strong," he said.

"It is a crime," she reiterated. "But if you have forgotten mamma, and want to affront her now that she cannot defend herself, I have not, and never will."

Mr. Dundas smiled again. If he was so happy that he could afford to be tender to the past, so also could he afford to be patient with the present. "Foolish child!" he said compassionately: "you do not understand things yet."

"I understand that I love mamma, and will not have this wicked woman in her place," said Leam hotly.

"I think you will," he answered, playing with his watch-guard. "And in the future, my little daughter, you will thank me."

"Thank you? For what?" asked Leam. "You made mamma miserable when she lived: you and your madame helped to kill her, and now you put this woman in her place! Papa, I wonder Saint Jago lets you live."

"As Saint Jago is kind enough to leave me in peace, perhaps you will follow his example. What a saint allows my little daughter may accept," said Mr. Dundas mockingly.

"No," said Leam with pathetic solemnity, "if the saints forget mamma, I will not."

"My dear, you are a fool," said Mr. Dundas.

"You may call me what you like, but madame shall not be my mother," returned Leam.

"Madame will be your mother because she will be my wife," said Mr. Dundas slowly. "Unfortunately for you—perhaps for myself also—neither you nor I can alter the law of the land. The child must accept the consequences of the father's act."

"Then I will kill her," cried Leam.

Her father laughed gayly. "I think we will brave this desperate danger," he said. "It is a fearful threat, I grant—an awful peril—but we must brave it, for all that."

"Papa," said Leam, "I will pray to the saints that when you die you may not go to heaven with mamma and me."

It was her last bolt, her supreme effort at threat and entreaty, and it meant everything. If her words of themselves would have amused Mr. Dundas as a child's ignorant impertinence, the superstition of an untaught, untutored mind, her looks and manner affected him painfully. True, he did not love her—on the contrary, he disliked her—but, all the same, she was his child; and, dissected, realized, it was rather an awful thing that she had said. It showed an amount of hatred and contempt which went far beyond his dislike for her, and made him shudder at the strength of feeling, the tenacity of hate, in one so young.

If more absurdity than good sense is talked about natural affection, still there is a residuum of fact underneath the folly; and Leam's words had struck down to that small residuum in her father's heart. It was not that he was wounded sentimentally so much as in his sense of proprietorship, his paternal superiority, and he was angry rather than sorrowful. It made him feel that he had borne with her waywardness long enough now: it was time to put a stop to it. "Now, Leam, no [pg 95] more insolence and no more nonsense," he said sternly. "You have tried my patience long enough. This day month I marry Madame de Montfort, with or without your pleasure, my little girl. In a month after that I bring her home here as my wife, consequently your mother, the mistress of the house and of you. I give you the best guide, the best friend, you have ever had or could have: you will live to value her as she deserves. Your own mother was not fit to guide you: your new one will make you all that my dearest hopes would have you. Now go. Think over what I have said. If you do not like our arrangements, so much the worse for you."

"The saints will never let her come here as my mother. I will pray to them night and day to kill her." said Leam in a deep voice, clenching her hands and setting her small square teeth, as her mother used to set hers, like a trap.

Naturally, the second Mrs. Dundas could not be brought home without a certain upsetting of the old order and a rearrangement of things to suit the new. And the upsetting was not stinted, nor were the exertions of Mr. Dundas. He superintended everything himself, to the choice of a tea-cup, the looping of a curtain, and racked his brains to make his beloved's bower the fit expression of his love, though never to his mind could it be worthy of her deserving. There was not an ornament in the place but was dedicated to her, placed where she could see it on such and such an occasion, and shifted twenty times a day for a more advantageous position. Everything which the house had of most beautiful was pressed into her service, and even Leam's natural rights of inheritance were ignored for madame's better endowing. Lace, jewelry, trinkets, all that had been Pepita's, was now hers, and the man's restless desire to make her rich and her home beautiful seemed insatiable.

But there was always Leam in the background with whom he had to reckon—Leam, who wandered through the house in her straight-cut, plain black gown, made in the deepest fashion of mourning devisable, pale, silent, feverish, like an avenging spirit on his track; undoing what he had done if he had profaned an embodied memory of her mother, and as impervious to his anger as he was to her despair.

One day he carried from the drawing-room to the boudoir which was to be madame's, and had been Pepita's, a certain Spanish vase which had been a favorite ornament with her because it reminded her of home. He firmly fixed it on the bracket destined for it, opposite the couch where he longed so ardently to see his fair and queenly loved one sitting—he by her side in the lovers' paradise of secure content; but the next time he went into the room he found it lying in fragments on the floor. None of the servants knew how the mischance had happened: the window was not open, and none of them had been in the room. How, then, came it there, broken on the floor? When he asked Leam, wandering by in that pale, feverish, avenging way of hers, he knew the truth.

"Yes," she said defiantly, "I broke it. It was mamma's, and your madame shall not have it."

"If you intend to go on like this I shall have you sent to school or shut up in a lunatic asylum," cried Mr. Dundas in extreme wrath.

"Then I shall be alone with mamma, and shall not see you or your madame," answered Leam, unconquered.

"You are a hardened, shameful, wicked girl," said her father angrily. "Madame is an angel of goodness to undertake the care of such a wretched creature as you are. I could not do too much for her if I gave her all I had, and you can never be grateful enough for such a mother."

"She is not my mother, and she shall not pollute mamma's things," Leam answered with passionate solemnity. "If you give them to her I will break or burn them. Mamma's things are her own, and she shall not be made unhappy in heaven."

Provoked beyond himself, Sebastian Dundas said scornfully, "Heaven! You talk of heaven as if you knew all about it, Leam, like the next parish. How do [pg 96] you know she is there, and not in the place of torment instead? Your mother was scarcely of the stuff of which angels are made."

"Then if she is in the place of torment, she is unhappy enough as it is, and need not be made more so," said faithful Leam, suddenly breaking into piteous weeping; adding through her sobs, "and madame shall not have her things."

Her tenacity carried the day so far that Mr. Dundas left off rearranging the old, and sent up to London for things new and without embarrassing memories attached to them. On which Leam swept off all that had been her mother's, and locked up her treasures in her own private cupboard, carrying the key in the hiding-place which that mother had taught her to use, the thick coils of her hair. And her father, warned by that episode of the vase, and a little dominated, not to say appalled, by her resolute fidelity, shut his eyes to her domestic larceny and let her carry off her relics in safety.

So the time passed, miserably enough to the one, if full of hope and the promise of joy to the other; and the wedding morning came whereon Sebastian Dundas was to be made, as he phrased it, happy for life.

It had been madame's desire that Leam should be her bridesmaid. She had laid great stress on this, and her lover would have gratified her if he could. He had no wish that way—rather the contrary—but her will was his law, and he did his best to carry it into effect. But when he told Leam what he wanted—and he told her quite carelessly, and so much as a matter of course that he hoped she too would accept her position as a matter of course—the girl, enlightened by love if not by knowledge, broke into a torrent of disdain that soon showed him how sleeveless his errand was likely to be.

He did his best, and tried all methods from pleading to threatening, but Leam was immovable. No power on earth should bend her, she said, or make her take part in that wicked day. She go to church? She would expect to be struck dead if she did. She expected, indeed, that all of them would be struck dead. She had prayed the saints so hard, so hard, to prevent this marriage, she was sure they would at the last; and if they did not, she would never believe in them nor pray to them again. But she did believe in them, and she was sure they would punish this dreadful crime. No, she would take no part in it. Why should she put herself in the way of being punished when she was not to blame?

So Mr. Dundas had the mortification of carrying to his bride-elect the intelligence that he had been worsted in his conflict with his daughter, and that her hatred and reluctance were to be neither concealed nor overcome.

Madame was sorry, she said with her sweetest air of patience and liberal comprehension. She would have liked the dear girl to have been her bridesmaid: it would have been appropriate and touching. But as she declined—and her feelings were easy to be understood and honorable, if a little extreme—she, madame, elected to be married as a widow should, with only Mrs. Birkett and Mr. Fairbairn as the witnesses, Mr. Fairbairn to give her away for form's sake. The dear rector of course would marry them in this simple manner. They must hope that time and her own unvarying affection—Mr. Dundas called it sweetness, angelic patience, greatness of soul—would soften poor Leam into loving acceptance of what would be so much to her good when she could be got to understand it. Meanwhile they must be patient—content to go gradually and gain her bit by bit. She, madame, would be quite content with her presence in the room, when they returned to breakfast, in the pretty white muslin frock ordered from town as the sign of her participation in the event.

But when the morning came, where was Leam? The most diligent search failed to discover her, and the only person who could have betrayed her whereabouts was the last whom they would have thought of asking.

Of course, Mr. Dundas was properly distressed at this strange disappearance, and madame was unduly afflicted. She proposed that the marriage should be [pg 97] delayed till the girl was found, but the lover was stronger than the father, and she was overruled—yielding because it is the duty of the wife to yield, but only because of that duty—for her own part desirous of delay until they were assured of the safety of Leam.

The ceremony, however, was performed within the canonical hours, the rector a little tremulous and apparently suffering from sore throat; and as the happy pair drove away, madame, remembering her advent and her objects more than a year ago now, could not but confess that she had done better than she expected, and, her conscience whispered, better than she deserved.

All this time Leam was sitting on the lower branches of the yew tree beneath which that godless ruffian had murdered his poor sweetheart two generations ago in Steel's Wood. It was a lonely corner, where no one would have gone by choice at the best of times, but now, with its bad name and evil association, it was entirely deserted. Leam had made it her hiding-place ever since madame had taken her in hand to teach her the correct pronunciation of Shibboleth, and she had escaped from her teaching and run away into the wood, armed banditti and wild beasts notwithstanding. And one day, hunting in it for fungi, Alick Corfield had found her sitting there, and thenceforth they had shared the retreat between them.

No one knew that they met there, and no one suspected it—not even Mrs. Corfield, who believed, after the manner of mothers who bring up their boys at home, that she knew the whole of her son's life from end to end, and that he had not a thought kept back from her, nor had ever committed an action of which she was not cognizant.

Alick had installed Leam as the girl-queen of his imagination, and paid her the homage which she seemed to him to deserve more than many a real queen crowned and sceptered or princess born in the purple. It pleased him to write bad poems to her as his Infanta, his royal rose, his pomegranate flower, his nestling eagle waiting for strength to fly upward to the sun—all with halting feet and strained metaphor. He drew pictures of her by the dozen, mostly symbolic and all out of drawing, but expressive of his admiration, his hope, his respect; while to Leam he was little better than a two-legged talking dog whose knowledge interested and whose goodness swayed her, but on whose neck she set her little foot and kept it there. She always treated him with profound disdain, even when he told her curious things that were like fairy-tales, some of which she did not believe if they were too far removed from the narrow area of her personal experience. Thus, when he assured her that certain plants fed on flies as men feed on meat, she told him with her sublime Spanish calm, "I do not believe it." And she said the same when he one day informed her that the planets could be weighed and their distance from the earth and the sun measured. In the beginning she knew nothing—neither whether the earth was round or flat, nor what was the meaning of the stars, nor the name of one wild flower excepting daisies, nor of one great man. That fallow waste called her mind was virgin ground in truth, but Alick was patient, and labored hard at the stubborn soil; and when madame had given the credit to her own tact and those ugly little books from which she taught, it was to him really that Leam's microscopic amount of plasticity and reception was due.

These secret meetings amused Leam, and kept her from that ceaseless inward contemplation of her mother which else was her only voluntary occupation. They gave her a sense of power, as well as of successful rebellion to her father, that gratified her pride. To be sure, they were not what mamma would have liked. Alick Corfield was an Englishman, and mamma hated the English. But then, Leam reflected, she had not known Alick: if she had, she would have seen there was no harm in him, and that he was not teaching her things which a child of Spain ought not to know, and which Saint Jago would be angry with her for learning. And [pg 98] perhaps now that mamma was up in heaven, and knew all that went on here at home, she would not mind her little Leama seeing Alick Corfield so often. In her prayers she told her very faithfully all that she had done and felt and thought; she never deceived her a hair's breadth; and as she had asked her permission so often and so humbly, she made sure now that it was granted. Mamma could not refuse her when she asked her so earnestly; and she was not angry, but on the contrary glad, that her little heart had such a good dog to care for her, and that she was defying el señor papa, that false image of the false saint.

For the rest, it was only natural that she should like the air of quasi adventure and independence which this unknown, intercourse with Alick gave her. And as she was still in that conscienceless phase of youth when liking means everything, and honor without love is a grass having neither root nor flower, she continued to meet her faithful dog, and to learn from him—not all that he could tell her, but what she chose to accept.

So here it was, perched among the lower branches of the yew tree in Steel's Wood, that Leam spent her father's wedding-day with Madame la Marquise de Montfort; and when she became hungry Alick went home and brought her some dry bread and grapes from Steel's Corner, Dry bread and grapes—this was all that she would have, she said. She was not greedy like the English, who thought of nothing but eating, she added in her disdainful way; and if Alick brought her anything but bread and grapes, she would fling it into the wood. On his life he was not to touch anything on papa's table. She would rather die of hunger than eat their wicked food. She wondered it did not choke them both.

"Now go," she said superbly, "and come back soon: I am hungry," as if her sense of inconvenience was a catastrophe which heaven and earth should be moved to avert.

But young and so beautiful as she was, her little tricks of pride and arbitrariness were just so many additional charms to Alick; and if she had not flouted and commanded him, he would have thought that something terrible was about to happen: had she become docile, grateful, familiar, he would have expected her to die before the day was out. He liked her superb assumption of superiority. She was his girl-queen, and he was her slave; she was his mistress, and he was her dog; and, dog-like, he fawned at her feet even when she rated him and placed her little foot on his neck.



"I hope you will not be bored, my boy, but I am thinking of bringing that wretched Leam Dundas here for a few days. I don't like a girl of her age and character to be left for a full month alone. It is not right, for who knows what she may not do? If she ran away on the wedding-day, she may run away again, and then where would we all be? I cannot think what her father was about to leave her unprotected like this. So I shall just take and bring her here; and if you are bored with her, you must make the best of it."

Mrs. Corfield and Alick were sitting in the "work-room" on the morning of the fifth day after the marriage, when the thought struck the little woman of the propriety of Leam's visit to them for the month of her father's absence. She did not see her son's face when she spoke, being busy with her wood-carving. If she had, she would not have thought that the presence of Leam Dundas would bore or annoy him. The clumsy features gladdened into smiles, the dull eye brightened, the dim complexion flushed: if ever a face expressed supreme delight, Alick's did then; and it expressed what he felt, for, as we know, the one love of his boyish life was this girl-queen of his fancy. Not that he was in love with her in the ordinary sense of being in love. He was too reverent and she too young for vulgar passion or commonplace sentiment. She was something precious to his imagination, not his senses, like a child-queen to her courtier, a high-born lady to her [pg 99] page. He bore with her girlish temper, her girlish insolence of pride, her ignorant opposition, with the humility of strength bending its neck to weakness—the devotion and unselfish sweetness characteristic of him in other of his relations than those with Leam. Judge, then, if he was likely to be bored, as his mother feared, or if this project of a closer domestication with her was not rather a "bit of blue" in his sky which made these early autumn days gladder than the gladdest summer-time.

To will and to do were synonymous with Mrs. Corfield: her motto was velle est agere; and a resolve once taken was like iron at white heat, struck into the shape of deed on the instant. Darting up from her chair, birdlike and angular, she put away her work. "Order the trap," she said briskly, "and come with me. We will go at once, before that poor creature has had time to do anything, wild, or silly."

"I do not think she would do anything wild or silly, mother," said Alick in a deprecating voice. It galled him to hear his darling spoken of so slightingly.

"No? What has she ever done that was rational?" cried his mother sharply. "From the beginning, when she was a baby of three months old, and howled at me because I kissed her, and that dreadful mother of hers flew at me like a wildcat and said I had the evil eye, Leam Dundas has been more like some changeling than an ordinary English girl. I declare it sometimes makes my heart ache to, see her with those awful eyes of hers, looking as if she had seen one does not know what—as if she was being literally burnt up alive with sorrow. However, don't let us discuss her: let us fetch her and save her from herself. That is more to the purpose at this moment."

And Alick said "Yes," and went out to order the trap with alacrity.

When they reached Andalusia Cottage, the first thing they saw was a strange workman from Sherrington painting out the name which in his early love-days for his Spanish bride Sebastian Dundas had put up in bold letters across the gate-posts. The original name of the place had been Ford House, but the old had had to give place to the new in those days as in these, and Ford House had been rechristened Andalusia Cottage as a testimony and an homage. Mrs. Corfield questioned the man in her keen inquisitorial way as to what he was about; and when he told her that the posts were to show "Virginia" now instead of "Andalusia," her great disgust, to judge by the sharp things which she said to him, seemed as if it took in the innocent hand as well as the peccant head. "I do think Sebastian Dundas is bewitched," she said disdainfully to her son as they drove up to the house. "Did any one ever hear of such a lunatic? Changing the name of his house with his wives in this manner, and expecting us to remember all his absurdities! Such a man as that to be a father! Lord of the creation, indeed! He is no better than a court fool." Which last scornful ejaculation brought the trap to the front door and into the presence of Leam.

Standing on the lawn bareheaded in the morning sunshine, doing nothing and apparently seeing nothing, dressed in the deepest mourning she could make for herself, and with her high comb and mantilla as in olden days, her eyes fixed on the ground and her hands clasped in each other, her wan face set and rigid, her whole attitude one of mute, unfathomable despair,—for the instant even Mrs. Corfield, with all her constitutional contempt for youth, felt hushed, as in the presence of some deep human tragedy, at the sight of this poor sorrowful child, this miserable mourner of fifteen. Instead of speaking in her usual quick manner, the sharp-faced little woman, poor Pepita's "crooked stick," went up to the girl quietly and softly touched her arm.

Leam slowly raised her eyes. She did not start or cry out as a creature naturally would if startled, but she seemed as if she gradually and with difficulty awakened from sleep, or from something even more profound than sleep. "Yes?" she said in answer to the touch. "What do you want?"

It was an odd question, and Leam's [pg 100] grave intensity made it all the more odd. But Mrs, Corfield was not easily disconcerted, and it was "only Leam" at the worst.

"I want you," she answered briskly, "Tell the maid to pack up your box, take off that lace thing on your head, and come home with me for a day or two. You need not stay longer than you like, but it will be better for you than moping here, thinking of all sorts of things you had better not think of."

"Why do my thoughts vex you?" asked Learn gravely. "I was not thinking of you."

Mrs. Corfield laughed a little confusedly. "I don't suppose you were," she said, "but you see I did think of you. But whether you were thinking of me or not, you certainly look as if you would be the better for a little rousing. You were standing there like a statue when we came up."

"I was listening to mamma," said Leam with an air of grave rebuke.

Mrs. Corfield rubbed her nose vigorously. "You would do better to come and talk to me instead," she said.

Learn transfixed her with her eyes. "I like mamma's company best," she said in the stony way which she had when stiffening herself against outside influence.

"But if you come to us, you can listen to her as much as you like," said Alick soothingly. "We will not hinder you; and, as my mother says, it is not good for you to be here alone."

"I like it," said Leam.

"Nonsense! then you should not like it. It is not natural for a girl of your age to like it. Come with us," cried Mrs. Corfield: "why not?"

"I have something to do," Leam answered solemnly.

"What can a chit of a thing like you have to do? Come with us, I tell you." Mrs. Corfield said this heartily rather than roughly, though really she could not be bothered, as she said to herself, to stand there wasting her time in arguing with a girl like Leam. It was too ridiculous.

Leam looked at her with mingled tragedy and contempt, and disdained to answer.

"What have you got to do?" again asked Mrs. Corfield.

"I shall not tell you," answered Leam, holding her head very high.

How, indeed, should she tell this little sharp-faced woman that she was thinking how she could prevent madame from coming here as her home? The saints had deserted her; she had prayed to them, threatened them, coaxed, entreated, but they had not heard her; and now she had nothing but herself, only her poor little frail hands and bewildered brain, to protect her mother's memory from insult and revenge her wrongs. The fever in her veins had given her mamma's face sorrowful and weeping, meeting her wherever she turned—mamma's voice, faint as the softest summer breeze in the trees, whispering to her, "Little Leama, I am unhappy. Sweet heart, do not let me be unhappy." For five days this fancy had haunted her, but it had not become distinct enough for guidance. She was listening now, as she was listening always, for mamma to tell her what to do. She was sure she would show her in time how to prevent that wicked woman from living here, bearing her name, taking her place: mamma could trust her to take care of her, now that she could not take care of herself. As she had said to papa, if all the world, the saints, and God himself deserted hers she, her child, would not.

She would not tell these thoughts, even to Alick. They were a secret, sacred between her and mamma, and no one must share them. If, then, she went with this bird-like, insistent woman, she would talk to her and not let her think: she and Alick would stand between herself and mamma's spirit, and then mamma would perhaps leave her again, and go back to heaven angry with her. No, she would not go, and she lifted up her eyes to say so.

As she looked up Alick whispered softly, "Come."

Feverish, excited, her brain clouded by her false fancies, Leam did not recognize his voice. To her it was her [pg 101] mother sighing through the sunny stillness, bidding her go with them, perhaps to find some method of hinderance or revenge which she could not devise for herself. They were clever and knew more than she did; perhaps her mother and the saints had sent them as her helpers.

It seemed almost an eternity during which these thoughts passed through her brain, while she stood looking at Mrs. Corfield so intently that the little woman was obliged to lower her eyes. Not that Leam saw her. She was thinking, listening, but not seeing, though her tragic eyes seemed searching Mrs. Corfield's very soul. Then, glancing upward to the sky, she said with an air of self-surrender, which Alick understood if his mother did not, "Yes, I will go with you: mamma says I may."

"It is my belief, Alick," said Mrs. Corfield, when she had left them to prepare for her visit, "that poor child is going crazy, if she is not so already. She always was queer, but she is certainly not in her right mind now. What a shame of Sebastian Dundas to bring her up as he has done, and now to leave her like this! How glad I am I thought of having her at Steel's Corner!"

"Yes, mother, it was a good thing. Just like you, though," said Alick affectionately.

"You must help me with her, Alick," answered his mother. "I have done what I know I ought to do, but she will be an awful nuisance all the same. She is so odd and cold and impertinent, one does not know how to take her."

Alick flushed and turned away his head. "I will take her off your hands as much as I can," he said in a constrained voice.

"That's my dear boy—do," was his mother's unsuspecting rejoinder as Leam came down stairs ready to go.

Steel's Corner was a place of unresting intellectual energies. Dr. Corfield, a man shut up in his laboratory with piles of extracts, notes, arguments, never used, but always to be used, an experimentalist deep in many of the toughest problems of chemical analysis, but neither ambitious nor communicative, was the one peaceable element in the house. To be sure, Alick would have been both broader in his aims and more concentrated in his objects had he been left to himself. As it was, the incessant demands made on him by his mother kept him too in a state of intellectual nomadism; and no one could weary of monotony where Mrs. Corfield set the pattern, unless it was of the monotony of unrest. This perpetual taking up of new subjects, new occupations, made thoroughness the one thing unattainable. Mrs. Corfield was a woman who went in for everything. She was by turns scientific and artistic, a student and a teacher, but she was too discursive to be accurate, and she was satisfied with a proficiency far below perfection. In philosophy she was what might be called a woman of antepenultimates, referring all the more intricate moral and intellectual phenomena to mind and spirit; but she was intolerant of any attempt to determine the causation of her favorite causes, and she derided the modern doctrines of evolution and inherent force as atheistic because materialistic. The two words meant the same thing with her; and the more shadowy and unintelligible people made the causa causarum the more she believed in their knowledge and their piety. The bitterest quarrel she had ever had was with an old friend, an unimaginative anatomist, who one day gravely proved to her that spirits must be mere filmy bags, pear-shaped, if indeed they had any visual existence at all. Bit by bit he eliminated all the characteristics and circumstances of the human form on the principle of the non-survival of the useless and unadaptable. For of what use are shapes and appliances if you have nothing for them to do?—if you have no need to walk, to grasp, nor yet to sit? Of what use organs of sense when you have no brain to which they lead?—when you are substantially all brain and the result independent of the method? Hence he abolished by logical and anatomical necessity, as well as the human form, the human face with eyes, ears, nose and mouth, and by the inexorable [pg 102] necessities of the case came down to a transparent bag, pear-shaped, for the better passage of his angels through the air.

"A fulfillment of the old proverb that extremes meet," he said by way of conclusion. "The beginning of man an ascidian—his ultimate development as an angel, a pear-shaped, transparent bag."

Mrs. Corfield never forgave her old friend, and even now if any one began a conversation on the theory of development and evolution she invariably lost her temper and permitted herself to say rude things. Her idea of angels and souls in bliss was the good orthodox notion of men and women with exactly the same features and identity as they had when in the flesh, but infinitely more beautiful; retaining the Ego, but the Ego refined and purified out of all trace of human weakness, all characteristic passions, tempers and proclivities; and the pear-shaped bag was as far removed from the truth, as she held it, on the one side as Leam's materialistic conception was on the other. The character and condition of departed souls was one of the subjects on which she was very positive and very aggressive, and Leam had a hard fight of it when her hostess came to discuss her mother's present personality and whereabouts, and wanted to convince her of her transformation.

All the same, the little woman was kind-hearted and conscientious, but she was not always pleasant. She wanted the grace and sweetness known genetically as womanliness, as do most women who hold the doctrine of feminine moral supremacy, with base man, tyrant, enemy and inferior, holding down the superior being by force of brute strength and responsible for all her faults. And she wanted the smoothness of manner known as good breeding. Though a gentlewoman by birth, she gave one the impression of a pert chambermaid matured into a tyrannical landlady.

But she meant kindly by Leam when she took her from the loneliness of her father's house, and her very sharpness and prickly spiritualism were for the child's enduring good. Her attempts, however, to make Leam regard mamma in heaven as in any wise different from mamma on earth were utterly abortive. Leam's imagination could not compass the thaumaturgy tried to be inculcated. Mamma, if mamma at all, was mamma as she had known her; and if as she had known her, then she was unhappy and desolate, seeing what a wicked thing this was that papa had done. She clung to this point as tenaciously as she clung to her love; and nothing that Mrs. Corfield, or even Alick, could say weakened by one line her belief in mamma's angry sorrow and the saints' potent and sometimes peccant humanity.

Among other scientific appliances at Steel's Corner was a small off-kind of laboratory for Alick and his mother, to prevent their troubling the doctor and to enable them to help him when necessary: it was an auxiliary fitted up in what was rightfully the stick-house. The sticks had had to make way for retorts and crucibles, and as yet no harm had come of it, though the servants said they lived in terror of their lives, and the neighbors expected daily to hear that the inmates of Steel's Corner had been blown into the air. Into this evil-smelling and unbeautiful place Leam was introduced with infinite reluctance on her own part. The bad smell made her sick, she said, turning round disdainfully on Alick, and she did not wonder now at anything he might say or do if he could bear to live in such a horrid place as this.

When he showed off a few simple experiments to amuse her—made crystal trees, a shower of snow, a heavy stone out of two empty-looking bottles, spilt mercury and set her to gather it up again, showed her prisms, and made her look through a bit of tourmaline, and in every way conceivable to him strewed the path of learning with flowers—then she began to feel a little interest in the place and left off making wry faces at the dirt and the smells.

One day when she was there her eye caught a very small phial with a few letters like a snake running spirally round it.

"What is that funny little bottle?" she [pg 103] asked, pointing it out. "What does it say?"

"Poison," said Alick.

"What is poison?" she asked.

"Do you mean what it is? or what it does?" he returned.

"Both. You are stupid," said Leam.

"What it does is to kill people, but I cannot tell you all in a breath what it is, for it is so many things."

"How does it kill people?" At her question Leam turned suddenly round on him, her eyes full of a strange light.

"Some poisons kill in one way and some in another," answered Alick.

Leam pondered for a few moments; then she asked, "How much poison is there in the world?"

"An immense deal," said Alick: "I cannot possibly tell you how much."

"And it all kills?"

"Yes, it all kills, else it is not poison."

"And every one?"

"Yes, every one if enough is taken."

"What is enough?" she asked, still so serious, so intent.

Alick laughed. "That depends on the material," he said. "One grain of some and twenty of others."

"Don't laugh," said Leam with her Spanish dignity: "I am serious. You should not laugh when I am serious."

"I did not mean to offend you," faltered Alick humbly. "Will you forgive me?"

"Yes," said Leam superbly, "if you will not laugh again. Tell me about poison."

"What can I tell you? I scarcely know what it is you want to hear."

"What is poison?"

"Strychnine, opium, prussic acid, belladonna, aconite—oh, thousands of things."

"How do they kill?"

"Well, strychnine gives awful pain and convulsions—makes the back into an arch; opium sends you to sleep; prussic acid stops the action of the heart; and so on."

"What is that?" asked Leam, pointing to the small phial with its snake-like spiral label.

"Prussic acid—awfully strong. Two drops of that would kill the strongest man in a moment."

"In a moment?" asked Learn.

"Yes: he would fall dead directly."

"Would it be painful?"

"No, not at all, I believe."

"Show it me," said Learn.

He took the bottle from the shelf. It was a sixty-minim bottle, quite full, stoppered and secured.

She held out her hand for it, and he gave it to her. "Two drops!" mused Leam.

"Yes, two drops," returned Alick.

"How many drops are here?"


"Is it nasty?"

"No—like very strong bitter almonds or cherry-water; only in excess," he said. "Here is some cherry-water. Will you have a little in some water? It is not nasty, and it will not hurt you."

"No," said Leam with an offended air: "I do not want your horrid stuff."

"It would not hurt you, and it is really rather nice," returned Alick apologetically.

"It is horrid," said Learn.

"Well, perhaps you are better without it," Alick answered, quietly taking the bottle of prussic acid from her hands and replacing it on the shelf, well barricaded by phials and pots.

"You should not have taken it till I gave it you," said Leam proudly. "You are rude."

From this time the laboratory had the strangest fascination for Leam. She was never tired of going there, never tired of asking questions, all bearing on the subject of poisons, which seemed to have possessed her. Alick, unsuspecting, glad to teach, glad to see her interest awakened in anything he did or knew, in his own honest simplicity utterly unable to imagine that things could turn wrong on such a matter, told her all she asked and a great deal more; and still Leam's eyes wandered ever to the shelf where the little phial of thirty deaths was enclosed within its barricades.

One day while they were there Mrs. Corfield called Alick.

"Wait for me, I shall not be long," he said to Leam, and went out to his mother.

[pg 104]

As he turned Learnm's eyes went again to that small phial of death on the shelf.

"Take it, Leama! take it, my heart!" she heard her mother whisper.

"Yes, mamma," she said aloud; and leaping like a young panther on the bench, reached to the shelf and thrust the little bottle in her hair. She did not know why she took it: she had no motive, no object. It was mamma who told her—so her unconscious desire translated itself—but she had no clear understanding why. It was instinct, vague but powerful, lying at the back of her mind, unknown to herself that it was there; and all of which she was conscious was a desire to possess that bottle of poison, and not to let them know here that she had taken it.

This was on the afternoon of her last day at the Corfields. She was to go home to-night in preparation for the arrival of her father and madame to-morrow, and in a few hours she would be away. She did not want Alick to come back to the laboratory. She was afraid that he would miss the bottle which she had secured so almost automatically if so superstitiously: Alick must not come back. She must keep that bottle. She hurried across the old-time stick-house, locked the door and took the key with her, then met Alick coming back to finish his lesson on the crystallization of alum, and said, "I am tired of your colored doll's jewelry. Come and tell me about flowers," leading the way to the garden.

Doubt and suspicion were qualities unknown to Alick Corfield. It never occurred to him that his young queen was playing a part to hide the truth, befooling him for the better concealment of her misdeeds. He was only too happy that she condescended to suggest how he should amuse her; so he went with her into the garden, where she sat on the rustic chair, and he brought her flowers and told her the names and the properties as if he had been a professor.

At last Leam sighed. "It is very tiresome," she said wearily. "I should like to know as much as you do, but half of it is nonsense, and it makes my head ache to learn. I wish I had my dolls here, and that you could make them talk as mamma used. Mamma made them talk and go to sleep, but you are stupid: you can speak only of flowers that don't feel, and about your silly crystals that go to water if they are touched. I like my zambomba and my dolls best. They do not go to water; my zambomba makes a noise, and my dolls can be beaten when they are naughty."

"But you see I am not a girl," said Alick blushing.

"No," said Leam, "you are only a boy. What a pity!"

"I am sorry if you would like me better as a girl," said Alick.

She looked at him superbly. Then her face changed to something that was almost affection as she answered in a softer tone, "You would be better as a girl, of course, but you are good for a boy, and I like you the best of every one in England now. If only you had been an Andalusian woman!" she sighed, as, in obedience to Mrs. Corfield's signal, she got up to prepare for dinner, and then home for her father and madame to-morrow.



Whatever madame's past life had been—and it had been such as a handsome woman without money or social status, fond of luxury and to whom work was abhorrent, with a clear will and very distinct knowledge of her own desires, clever and destitute of moral principle, finds made to her hand—whatever ugly bits were hidden behind the veil of decent pretence which she had worn with such grace during her sojourn at North Aston, she did honestly mean to do righteously now.

She had deceived the man who had married her in such adoring good faith—granted; but when he had reconciled himself to as much of the cheat as he must know, she meant to make him happy—so happy that he should not regret what he had done. Though she was no [pg 105] marquise, only plain Madame de Montfort—so far she must confess for policy's sake, and to forestall discovery by ruder means, but what remained beyond she must keep secret as the grave, trusting to favorable fortune and man's honor for her safety—though the story of the fraudulent trustee was untrue, and she never had more money than the three hundred pounds brought in her box wherewith to plant her roots in the North Aston soil—though all the Lionnet bills were yet to be paid, and her husband must pay them, with awkward friends in London occasionally turning up to demand substantial sops, else they would show their teeth unpleasantly,—still, she would get his forgiveness, and she would make him happy.

And she would be good to Leam. She would be so patient, forbearing, tender, she would at last force the child to love her. It was a new luxury to this woman, who had knocked about the world so long and so disreputably, to feel safe and able to be good. She wondered what it would be like as time went on—if the rest which she felt now at the cessation of the struggle and the consciousness of her security would become monotonous or be always restful. At all events, she knew that she was happy for the day, and she trusted to her own tact and management to make the future as fair as the present.

The home-coming was triumphant. Because the rector was inwardly grieved at the loss of his ewe-lamb—for he had lost her in that special sense of spiritual proprietorship which had been his—he was determined to make a demonstration of his joy. He and Mrs. Birkett meant to stand by Mrs. Dundas as they had stood by Madame la Marquise de Montfort, and to publish their partisanship broadly. When, therefore, the travelers returned to North Aston, they found the rector and his wife waiting to receive them at their own door. Over the gate was an archway of evergreens with "Welcome!" in white chrysanthemums, and the posts were wreathed with boughs and ribbons, but leaving "Virginia Cottage" in its glossy evidence of the new regime. The drive was bordered all through with flowers from the rectory garden, and Lionnet too had been ransacked, and the hall was festooned from end to end with garlands, like a transformation-scene in a pantomime. One might have thought it the home-coming of a young earl with his girl-bride, rather than that of a middle-aged widower of but moderate means with his second wife, one of whose past homes had been in St. John's Wood, and one of her many names Mrs. Harrington.

But it pleased the good souls who thus displayed their sympathy, and it gratified those for whom it had all been done; and both husband and wife expressed their gratitude warmly, and lived up to the occasion in the emotion of the moment.

When their effusiveness had a little calmed, down, when Mrs. Dundas had caressed her child—which poor Mrs. Birkett gave up to her with tears—and Mr. Dundas had also taken it in his arms and called it "Little Miss Dundas" and "My own little Fina" tenderly—when, the servants had been spoken to prettily and the bustle had somewhat subsided, Mrs. Dundas looked round for something missing. "And where is dear Leam?" she asked with her gracious air and sweet smile.

It was very nice of her to be the first to miss the girl. The father had forgotten her, friends had overlooked her, but the stepmother, the traditional oppressor, was thoughtful of her, and wanted to include her in the love afloat. This little circumstance made a deep impression on the three witnesses. It was a good omen for Leam, and promised what indeed her new mother did honestly design to perform.

"Even that little savage must be tamed by such persistent sweetness," said Mr. Birkett to his wife, while she, with a kindly half-checked sigh, true to her central quality of maternity and love of peace all round, breathed "Poor little Leam!" compassionately.

Leam, however, was no more to the fore at the home-coming than she had been at the marriage, and much searching went on before she was found. She was unearthed at last. The gardener had seen her shrink away into the shrubbery [pg 106] when the carriage-wheels were heard coming up the road, and he gave information to the cook, by whom the truant was tracked and brought to her ordeal.

Mrs. Birkett went out by the French window to meet her as she came slowly up the lawn draped in the deep mourning which for the very contrariety of love she had made deeper since the marriage, her young head bent to the earth, her pale face rigid with despair, her heart full of but one feeling, her brain racked with but one thought, "Mamma is crying in heaven: mamma must not cry, and this stranger must be swept from her place."

She did not know how this was to be done; she only knew that it must be done. She had all along expected the saints to work some miracle of deliverance for her, and she looked hourly for its coming. She had prayed to them so passionately that she could not understand why they had not answered. Still, she trusted them. She had told them she was angry, and that she thought them cruel for their delay; and in her heart she believed that they knew they had done wrong, and that the miracle would be wrought before too late. It was for mamma, not for herself. Madame must be swept like a snake out of the house, that mamma might no longer be pained in heaven. Personally, it made no difference whether she had to see madame at Lionnet or here at home, but it made all the difference to mamma, and that was all for which she cared.

Thinking these things, she met Mrs. Birkett midway on the lawn, the kind soul having come out to speak a soothing word before the poor child went in, to let her feel that she was sympathized with, not abandoned by them all. Fond as she was of madame, the new Mrs, Dundas, and little as she knew of Leam, the facts of the case were enough for her, and she saw Adelaide and herself in the child's sorrow and poor Pepita's successor. "My dear," she said affectionately as she met the girl walking so slowly up the lawn, "I dare say this is a trial to you, but you must accept it for your good. I know what you must feel, but it is better for you to have a good kind stepmother, who will be your friend and instructress, than to be left with no one to guide you."

Leam's sad face lifted itself up to the speaker. "It cannot be good for me if it is against mamma," she said.

"But, Leam, dear child, be reasonable. Your mamma, poor dear! is dead, and, let us trust, in heaven." The good soul's conscience pricked her when she said this glib formula, of which in this present instance she believed nothing. "Your father has the most perfect right to marry again. Neither the Church nor the Bible forbids it; and you cannot expect him to remain single all his life—when he needs a wife so much, too, on your account—because he was married to your dear mamma when she was alive. Besides, she has done with this life and all the things of the earth by now; and even if she has not, she will be happy to see you, her dear child, well cared for and kindly mothered."

Leam raised her eyes with sorrowful skepticism, melancholy contempt. It was the old note of war, and she responded to it. "I know mamma," she said; "I know what she is feeling."

She would have none of their spiritual thaumaturgy—none of that unreal kind of transformation with which they had tried to modify their first teaching. There was no satisfaction in imagining mamma something different from her former self—no more the real, fervid, passionate, jealous Pepita than those pear-shaped transparent bags, so logically constructed by Mrs. Corfield's philosopher, are like the ideal angels of loving fancy. If mamma saw and knew what was going on here at this present moment—and Mrs. Birkett was not the bold questioner to doubt this continuance of interest—she felt as she would have felt when alive, and she would be angry, jealous, weeping, unhappy.

Mrs. Birkett was puzzled what to say for the best to this uncomfortable fanatic, this unreasonable literalist. When believers have to formularize in set words their hazy notions of the feelings and conditions of souls in bliss, they make [pg 107] but a lame business of it; and nothing that the dear woman could propound, keeping on the side of orthodox spirituality, carried comfort or conviction to Leam. Her one unalterable answer was always simply, "I know mamma: I know what she is feeling," and no argument could shake her from her point.

At last Mrs. Birkett gave up the contest. "Well, my child," she said, sighing, "I can only hope that the constant presence of your stepmother, her kindness and sweetness, will in time soften your feeling toward her."

Leam looked at her earnestly. "It is not for myself," she said: "it is for mamma."

And she said it with such pathetic sincerity, such an accent of deep love and self-abandonment to her cause, that the rector's wife felt her eyes filling up involuntarily with tears. Wrong-headed, dense, perverse as Leam was, her filial piety was at the least both touching and sincere, she said to herself, a pang passing through her heart. Adelaide would not speak of her if she were dead as this poor ignorant child spoke of her mother. Yet she had been to Adelaide all that the best and most affectionate kind of English mother can be, while Pepita had been a savage, now cruel and now fond; one day making her teeth meet in her child's arm, another day stifling her with caresses; treating her by times as a woman, by times as a toy, and never conscientious or judicious.

All the same, Leam's fidelity, if touching, was embarrassing as things were; so was her belief in the continued existence of her mother. But what can be done with those uncompromising reasoners who will carry their creeds straight to their ultimates, and will not be put off with eclectic compromises of this part known and that hidden—so much sure and so much vague? Mrs. Birkett determined that her husband should talk to the child and try to get a little common sense into her head, but she doubted the success of the process, perhaps because in her heart she doubted the skill of the operator.

By this time they reached the window, and the woman and the girl passed through into the room.

Mrs. Dundas came forward to meet her stepdaughter kindly—not warmly, not tumultuously—with her quiet, easy, waxen grace that never saw when things were wrong, and that always assumed the halcyon seas even in the teeth of a gale. For her greeting she bent forward to kiss the girl's face, saying, "My dear child, I am glad to see you," but Leam turned away her head.

"I am not glad to see you, and I will not kiss you," she said.

Her father frowned, his wife smiled. "You are right, my dear: it is a foolish habit," she said tranquilly, "but we are such slaves to silly habits," she added, looking at the rector and his wife in her pretty philosophizing way, while they smiled approvingly at her ready wit and serene good-temper.

"Will you say the same to me, Leam?" asked her father with an attempt at jocularity, advancing toward her.

"Yes," said Leam gravely, drawing back a step.

"Tell me, Mrs, Birkett, what can be done with such an impracticable creature?" cried Mr. Dundas.

"She will come right: in time, dear husband," said the late marquise sweetly; and Mrs. Birkett echoed, looking at the girl kindly, "Oh yes, she will come right in time."

"If you mean by coming right, letting you be my mamma, I never will," cried Leam, fronting her stepmother.

"Silence, Leam!" cried Mr. Dundas angrily.

His wife laid her taper fingers tenderly on his. "No, no, dear husband: let her speak," she pleaded, her voice and manner admirably effective. "It is far better for her to say what she feels than to brood over it in silence. I can wait till she comes to me of her own accord and says, 'Mamma, I love you: forgive me the past'"

"You are an angel," said Mr. Dundas, pressing her hand to his lips, his eyes moist and tender.

"I always said it," the rector added huskily—"the most noble-natured woman of my acquaintance."

"I never will come to you and say, [pg 108] 'Mamma, I love you,' and ask you to forgive me for being true to my own mamma," said Learn. "I am mamma's daughter, no other person's."

Mrs. Dundas smiled. "You will be; mine, sweet child," she said.

How ugly Leam's persistent hate looked by the side of so much unwearied goodness! Even Mrs. Birkett, who pitied the poor child, thought her tenacity too morbid, too dreadful; and the rector honestly held her as one possessed, and regretted in his own mind that the Church had no formula for efficient exorcism. Believing, as he did, in the actuality of Satan, the theory of demoniacal possession came easy as the explanation of abnormal qualities.

Her father raged against himself in that he had given life to so much moral deformity. And yet it was not from him that she inherited "that cursed Spanish blood," he said, turning away with a groan, including Pepita, Leam, all his past with its ruined love and futile dreams, its hope and its despair, in that one bitter word.

"Don't say that, papa: mamma and I are true. It is you English that are bad and false," said Leam at bay.

Mrs. Dundas raised her hand, "Hush, hush, my child!" she said in a tone of gentle authority. "Say of me and to me what you like, but respect your father."

"Oh, Leam has never done that," cried Mr. Dundas with intense bitterness.

"No," said Leam, "I never have. You made mamma unhappy when she was alive: you are making her unhappy now. I love mamma: how can I love you?"

And then, her words realizing her thoughts in that she seemed to see her mother visibly before her, sorrowful and weeping while all this gladness was about in the place which had once been hers, and whence she was now thrust aside—these flowers of welcome, these smiling faces, this general content, she alone unhappy, she who had once been queen and mistress of all—the poor child's heart broke down, and she rushed from the room, too proud to let them see her cry, but too penetrated with anguish to restrain the tears.

"I am sure I don't know what on earth we can do with that girl," said Mr. Dundas with a dash of his old weak petulance, angry with circumstance and unable to dominate it—the weak petulance which had made Pepita despise him so heartily, and had winged so many of her shafts.

"Time and patience," said madame with her grand air of noble cheerfulness. But she had just a moment's paroxysm of dismay as she looked through the coming years, and thought of life shared between Leam's untamable hate and her husband's unmanly peevishness. For that instant it seemed to her that she had bought her personal ease and security at a high price.

As Leam went up stairs the door of her stepmother's room was standing open. The maid had unpacked the boxes most in request, and was now at tea in the servants' hall, telling of her adventures in Paris, where master and mistress had spent the honeymoon, and in her own way the heroine of the hour, like her betters in the parlor. The world seemed all wrong everywhere, life a cheat and love a torture, to Leam, as she stood within the open door, looking at the room which had been hers and her mother's, now transformed and appropriated to this stranger, She did not understand how papa could have done it. The room in which mamma had lived, the room in which she had died, the window from which she used to look, the very mirror that used to reflect back her beautiful and beloved face—ah, if it could only have kept what it reflected!—and papa to have given all this away to another woman! Poor mamma! no wonder she was unhappy. What could she, Leam, do to prevent all this wickedness if the blessed ones were idle and would not help her?

Her eyes fell on a bottle placed on the console where madame's night appliances were ranged—her night-light and the box of matches, her Bible and a hymn-book, a tablespoon, a carafe full of water and a tumbler, and this bottle marked "Cherry-water—one tablespoonful for a dose." In madame's handwriting [pg 109] underneath stood, "For my troublesome heart." Only about two tablespoonsful were left.

Leam took the bottle in one hand, the other thrust itself mechanically into her hair. No one was about, and the house was profoundly still, save for the voices coming up from the room below in a subdued and not unpleasant murmur, with now and then the child's shrill babble breaking in through the deeper tones like occasional notes in a sonata. Out of doors were all the pleasant sights and sounds of the peaceful evening coming on after the labors of the busy day. The birds were calling to each other in the woods before nesting for the night; the homing rooks flew round and round their trees, cawing loudly; the village dogs barked their welcome to their masters as they came off the fields and the day's work; and the setting sun dyed the autumn leaves a brighter gold, a deeper crimson, a richer russet. It was all so peaceful, all so happy, in this soft mild evening of the late September—all seemed so full of promise, so eloquent of future joy, to those who had just begun their new career.

But Leam knew nothing of the poetry of the moment—felt nothing of its pathetic irony in view of the deed she was half-unconsciously designing. She saw only, at first dimly, then distinctly, that here were the means by which mamma's enemy might be punished and swept from mamma's place, and that if she failed her opportunity now she would be a traitor and a coward, and would fail in her love and duty to mamma. No, she would not fail. Why should she? It was the way which the saints themselves had opened, the thing she had to do; and the sooner it was done the better for mamma.

She uncorked the bottle of cherry-water, good for that troublesome heart of poor madame's. All that Alick had told her of the action of poisons came back upon her as clearly as her mother's words, her mother's voice. This cherry-water, too, had the smell of bitter almonds, and was own sister to that in the little phial in her other hand. Now she understood it all—why she had been taken to Steel's Corner, why Alick had taught her about poisons, and why her mamma had told her to steal that bottle. She looked at it with its eloquent paper marked "Poison" wound about it spirally like a snake, uncorked it and emptied half into the cherry-water.

"Two drops are enough, and there are more than two there," she said to herself. "Mamma must be safe now." And with this she left the room and went into her own to watch and wait.

It was early to-night when Mrs. Dundas retired. There were certain things which she wanted to do on this her first night in her new home; and among them she wanted to put that green velvet pocket-book, gold embroidered, in some absolutely safe place, where it would not be seen by prying eyes or fall into dangerous hands. She did not intend to destroy its contents. She knew enough of the uncertainty of life to hold by all sorts of anchorages; and though things looked safe and sweet enough now, they might drift into the shallows again, and she wished her little Fina's future to be assured by one or other of those charged with it—if the stepfather failed, then to fall back on the father. Wherefore she elected to keep these papers in a safe place rather than destroy them, and the safest place she could think of was Pepita's jewel-case, now her own. It had a curious lock, which no other key than its own would fit—a lock that would have baffled even a "cracksman" and his whole bunch of skeleton keys.

In putting them away, obliged for the need of space to take off the paper wrappings, she was foolish enough to look at the photographs within—just one last look before banishing them for ever from her sight, as an honest wife should—and the sight of the handsome young face which she had loved sincerely in its day, and which was the face of her child's father, shook her nerves more than she liked them to be shaken. That troublesome heart of hers had begun to play her strange tricks of late with palpitation and irregularity. She could not afford that her nerve should fail her. That gone, [pg 110] nothing would remain to her but a wreck. But her cherry-water was a pleasant and safe calmant, and she knew exactly how much to take.

Her maid saw nothing more to-night than she had seen on any other night of her service. Her mistress, if not quite so sweet to her as to Mrs. Birkett, say, or the rector, was yet fairly amiable as mistresses go, and to-night was neither better nor worse than ordinary. Her attendance went on in the usual routine, with nothing to remark, bad or good; and then madame laid her fair head on the pillow, and took a tablespoonful of her calmant to check the palpitation that had come on, and to still her nerves, which that last look backward had somewhat disturbed.

How beautiful she looked! Fair and lovely as she had always been to the eyes of Sebastian Dundas, never had she looked so grand as now. Her yellow hair was lying spread out on the pillow like a glory: one white arm was flung above her head, the other hung down from the bed. Her pale face, with her mouth half open as if in a smile at the happy things she dreamt, peaceful and pure as a saint's, seemed to him the very embodiment of all womanly truth and sweetness. He leaned over her with a yearning rapture that was almost ecstasy. This noble, loving woman was his own, his life, his future. No more dark moods of despair, no more angry passions, disappointment and remorse; all was to be cloudless sunshine, infinite delight, unending peace and love.

"My darling, oh my love!" he said tenderly, laying his hand on her glossy golden hair and kissing her. "Virginie, give me one word of love on your first night at home."

She was silent. Was her sleep so deep that even love could not awake her? He kissed her again and raised her head on his arm. It fell back without power, and then he saw that the half-opened mouth had a little froth clinging about the lips.

A cry rang through the house—cry on cry. The startled servants ran up trembling at they knew not what, to find their master clasping in his arms the fair dead body of his newly-married wife.

"Dead—she is dead," they passed in terrified whispers from each to each.

Leam, standing upright in her room, in her clinging white night-dress, her dark hair hanging to her knees, her small brown feet bare above the ankle—not trembling, but tense, listening, her heart on fire, her whole being as it were pressed together, and concentrated on the one thought, the one purpose—heard the words passed from lip to lip. "Dead," they said—"dead!"

Lifting up her rapt face and raising her outstretched arms high above her head, with no sense of sin, no consciousness of cruelty, only with the feeling of having done that thing which had been laid on her to do—of having satisfied and avenged her mother—she cried aloud in a voice deepened by the pathos of her love, the passion of her deed, into an exultant hymn of sacrifice, "Mamma, are you happy now? Mamma! mamma! leave off crying: there is no one in your place now."


[pg 111]


The following paper contains the substance of a remarkable letter and accompanying documents recently received from Portugal:

LISBON, September, 1875.

You wish to know what truth there is in the cable reports of "a drought in the north and south of Portugal, and a threatened famine in two or three provinces." Shall I tell you all? Well, then, Heaven nerve me for the task! I shall have an unpleasant story to narrate.

You, who have been in Portugal, need not be reminded that the kingdom consists of six provinces—Minho, Tras-os-Montes, Beira, Estremadura, Alemtejo and Algarve. In the early part of this summer a drought affected the whole kingdom. Toward the end of July abundant rain fell in Minho, where two products only are raised—wine ("port wine") and maize. The rain, which, had it fallen in Alemtejo, the principal wheat-province of the kingdom, would have done incalculable good, benefited neither the vineyards of Minho nor the maize-crop anywhere. The consequence is, that this last-named crop, the principal bread-food of the country, has failed, and famine prevails throughout the land. Having lived in America, I know what you, so accustomed to freedom and plenty, will say to this:

"France, Sprain, Morocco, England—all these countries are near to Portugal. If she is short of bread, let her simply exchange wine for it, and there need be no fears of a famine."

Ah, my dear American friends, little do you suspect the artlessness of this reply. Know, then, that those who own the wines of Portugal do not lack for bread, and those who lack for bread do not own the wines; that the first of these classes are the aristocrats and foreigners who live in the cities or abroad, and the second the people at large; that there exists an abyss between these classes so profound that no political institutions yet devised have been able to bridge it; that there is no credit given by one class to the other, and few dealings occur between them; and that the laws of Portugal discourage the importation of grain into the kingdom.

You are a straightforward people, and dive at once to the bottom of a subject. "Why do not the Portuguese devote themselves so largely to the cultivation of grain that there need never be danger of famine?" you will now ask. My answer to this is: The people do not own the land.

"What! Were the reforms of Pombal, the French Revolution, the Portuguese revolution of 1820 and the various constitutions since that date, the abolition of serfdom and mortmain, and the law of 1832, all ineffectual to emancipate the Portuguese peasant from the thralldom of land?"

Alas! they were indeed all in vain, and the Portuguese peasantry stands to-day at the very lowest step of European civilization—far beneath all others. The number of agricultural workers in Portugal is about eight hundred and seventy-five thousand. Of this number, some seven hundred thousand are hired laborers, farm-servants, emphyteutas (you shall presently know the meaning of this ominous word) and metayers; that is to say, persons who may cultivate only such products as their employers or landlords choose, and the latter in their greed and short-sightedness always choose that the former shall cultivate wine. The remainder, or some one hundred and seventy-five thousand, consist chiefly of small proprietors, owning three, four, five and ten acre patches of land, often intersected by other properties, and therefore not adapted for the cultivation of grain: such of the emphyteutas and metayers as are practically free to cultivate what they please make up the remainder of this class.

[pg 112]

The quantity of land devoted to grain is therefore exactly what the aristocratic land-owners choose to make it; and, never suspecting that a well-fed peasant is more efficient as a laborer than a famished one, they have made it barely enough, in good years, to keep the miserable population from entirely perishing. The product in such years is about six bushels of edible grain per head of total population, together with a little pulse and a taste of fish or bacon on rare occasions. In unfavorable years, like the present one, the product of edible grain falls to five bushels per head, and unless the government suspends the corn laws for the whole country—which since 1855 it has usually done on such occasions—famine ensues. The nation (excepting, of course, the court and aristocracy, who live in or near Lisbon and Oporto) is thus kept always at the brink of starvation, and every mishap in these artificial and tyrannical arrangements consigns fresh thousands to the grave.

The population of Portugal was the same in 1798 that it is to-day—viz., about four millions—and there has been no time between those periods when it was greater. Knowing, as we do, that the law of social progress is growth—in other words, that the condition of individual development, both physical and intellectual, is that degree of freedom which finds its expression in the increase of numbers—what does this portentous fact of a stationary population bespeak? Simply, the utmost degradation of body and mind; vice in its most hideous forms; filth, disease, unnatural crimes; a hell upon earth. These are always the characteristics of nations which have been prevented from growing. The melancholy proofs of a condition of affairs in Portugal which admits of this description shall presently be forthcoming.

Antonio de Leon Pinelo, who was one of the greatest lawyers and historians that Spain ever produced, very profoundly remarked that no man could possibly understand the history of slavery in America who had not first mastered the subject of Spanish encomiedas. With equal truth it may be said that the solution of Portuguese history lies in the subject of emphyteusis. Emphyteusis (Greek: zmphutehuis, "ingrafting," "implanting," and perhaps, metaphorically, "ameliorating") is a lease of land where the tenant agrees to improve it and pay a certain rent. The origin of this tenure is Greek, and it was probably first adopted in Rome after the conquest of the Achaean League (B.C. 146), when Greece became a Roman province. It was carried into Carthage B.C. 145, and into Spain and Portugal about B.C. 133, when those countries fell beneath the Roman arms. Whenever this occurred the first act of the conquerors was to assume the ownership of the land. They then leased it on emphyteusis, either to the original occupiers, to their own soldiers, or to settlers ("carpet-baggers"). The rent was called vectigal, and decurions (corporals in the army) were usually employed to collect it and administer the lands.

Syria, Greece, Carthage, and the Iberian Peninsula were the first countries to succumb to the Roman arms outside of Italy. These conquests all occurred within the space of fifty-seven years (from 190 to 133 B.C.), and this was doubtless the period when emphyteusis was first employed upon an extensive scale. Originally, the tenants were liable to have their rents increased, and to be evicted at the pleasure of the state, and thus lose the benefit of any improvements effected by them. The result was, that no improvements were effected. The forests were cut down, the orchards destroyed, the lands exhausted by incessant cropping; and by the beginning of the present era the entire coasts of the Mediterranean were exploited.

This great historical fact is replete with significance—not only to Portugal, but also to the rest of the world, even to America, which, by abandoning its public lands to the rapacity of monopolists and the vandalism of ignorant immigrants, is preparing for itself a future filled with forebodings of evil.

The ruin of the lands of Carthage, Spain, etc. eventually hastened the ruin of Italy. It put an end to the legitimate supplies of grain which those countries [pg 113] had been accustomed to contribute; it forced their populations to crowd into already overcrowded Italy, and increase the requirements of food in a country which had been exploited like their own, and, though not so rapidly, yet by similar means;1 and it gave rise to the servile wars, to the most corrupt period in Roman history, to the Empire, and to the endless series of consequences in its train.

After the Western Empire had apparently fallen beneath the Northern arms—that is to say, five hundred years later—and not until then, the Roman Code ameliorated the baneful tenure of emphyteusis. A law of the emperor Zenos (A.D. 474-491) fixed whatever had theretofore been uncertain in the nature and incidents of emphyteusis. The tenant was guaranteed from increase of rent and from eviction—the alienation of the property by the state being held thenceforth to affect the quit-rent only—and finally he obtained full power to dispose of the land, which nevertheless remained subject to the quit-rent in whatever hands it might be. Before these reforms were effected, Portugal was conquered by the Visigoths, the Roman proprietors of the soil were expelled, and their laws and institutions suppressed. This occurred in the year 476. Whether emphyteusis in any form remained is not quite certain, but it seems not; and during this government, and the Moorish one which superseded it in the year 711, the Iberian Peninsula enjoyed an interval of prosperity to which it had been a stranger for ages.

In the eleventh century this happy condition of affairs was disturbed by the appearance of certain Spanish crusading knights, who, issuing from the mountainous parts of the country adjacent to their own, began to war against the Moorish authorities. In the course of a century, and with little voluntary aid from the peasants, who distrusted them and their religious pretensions and promises of advantage, they managed to acquire possession of the country. Now, what do you suppose was one of the first acts committed by these adventurers? Nothing less than the re-enactment of the odious Roman tenure of emphyteusis, and that in its most ancient and worst form—liability to increased rent and to eviction; not only this, but with certain base services combined. The wretched inhabitants were required to work so many days in the week for these lords, to break up a certain amount of waste land; to furnish so many cattle; to kill so many birds; to provide (in rural districts remote from the sea) so many salt fish; to furnish so much incense or so many porringers, iron tools, pairs of shoes, etc.

Talk of the Western Empire having "declined and fallen," as Messrs. Gibbon and Wegg put it! Why, here it was again, and with the worst of its ancient crimes inscribed upon its code of law. Emphyteusis was reintroduced into Portugal by King Diniz (Dennis) in the year 1279, and was followed by its usual effects—ruin and depopulation. In 1394 was born Prince Henry. He was the son of John I. and Philippa, daughter of John of Gaunt, duke of Lancaster, and was therefore the nephew of Henry IV. of England. Perceiving and commiserating the wretchedness of the people, and casting about him for a remedy, Henry saw but one: that was departure from the land, emigration, colonization, escape from the tyranny of the soil, of nobles and of ecclesiastics—a tyranny which both his illustrious rank and his piety forbade him to oppose. Hence his intense devotion to the discovery and colonization of strange lands, which is in vain to be accounted for on the ground of a mere passion, the only one usually advanced by unthinking historians.

The results of this mania, as it was then considered, of Prince Henry are well known—the discovery of Madeira, the Azores, Senegambia, Angola, Benguela, etc., and, after Prince Henry's death, the Cape of Good Hope, Goa, Macao, the islands, etc.; all of which were colonized by Portuguese. These colonies, and the commerce which sprang [pg 114] up with them, afforded outlets for the downtrodden serfs of Portugal. Such was the beneficial result of this partial measure of freedom that in the course of the following two centuries Portugal became one of the leading nations of the world, with a population of 5,000,000 and a flag respected in every clime.

Unhappily, this interval of prosperity to Portugal was the cause of infinite misery to the negro race. The discoveries in Africa and Asia afforded a career to the enslaved Portuguese; yet, by leading, as they did, to the discovery of America, they were eventually the cause of the slave-trade, which without America could not have flourished. Such will ever be the result of the attempt to palliate instead of cure evil. Moreover, the discovery of America and the resulting slave-trade were the cause of Portugal's retrogression to the point whence she had started in Prince Henry's time. When gold and slaves rendered maritime discovery profitable to the aristocratic class, all the nobles went into it—not only the aristocrats of Portugal, but those also of Spain, England, France, Holland, Italy. They all went into the trade of acquiring empires, and it is not to be wondered at if in this rivalry of greed and violence Portugal, exploited and burdened with serfdom and other features of bad government at home, was distanced and overcome. Her colonies were captured and reduced by foreign enemies, or invaded and ruined by one of the several political diseases from which she had never wholly rid herself. For example, the once magnificent city of Goa, which formerly contained a population of 150,000 Christians and 50,000 Mohammedans, is now an almost deserted ruin, with but 40,000 inhabitants, chiefly ecclesiastical.

When Pombal assumed the reins of government in 1750 the population of Portugal had been reduced to less than 2,000,000: there was neither agriculture, manufactures, army nor navy. Perceiving this state of affairs, and recognizing the cause of it, Pombal caused the vines to be torn up by the roots and corn planted in their place. Ruffianism was crushed, the Jesuits were banished, the nobility were taught to respect the civil law, the peasantry were encouraged. After twenty-seven years of reforms and prosperity Pombal was dismissed from office and the old abuses were reinstated, among them those worst incidents of emphyteusis which had been devised by the base ring of nobles and ecclesiastics who held the land in their grasp.

These abuses remained without material change until 1832, and thus you have a complete history of emphyteusis from the first to the last day of its institution in Portugal. In truth, however, its last day has not come even yet, for many of its incidents still linger in the code of laws.

Now for its effects on the land. What growth of forest trees had followed the abolition of emphyteusis under the Gothic and Saracenic monarchs was destroyed under the government of Christian nobles, and to-day there is scarcely a tree in Portugal—the woods, including fruit and nut trees, covering less than 400,000 out of 22,000,000 acres, the entire area of the country. The destruction of the woods, to say nothing of its effects upon the rainfall, caused the top soil to be washed away, and thus impoverished the arable land, filling the rivers with earth, rendering them innavigable, and converting them from gently-flowing streams to devastating torrents, which annually bestrew the valleys and plains with sand and stones.2 In the next place, emphyteusis has caused every kind of improvement to be avoided. The soil has been exhausted by over-cropping; public works, like roads, wells, irrigating canals, etc., have been neglected; and the numerous works left by the industrious Saracens have been allowed to go to ruin. Finally, the tenant, being placed entirely in the power of the lord, was continually kept at the point of starvation. To escape this dreadful fate he has committed every conceivable offence against the laws of Nature and humanity. Tyranny [pg 115] and starvation have made of him a liar, thief, smuggler, assassin, beast. The very ground is tainted with his tread, the air is redolent of his crimes.

I am aware of the eminently legal, and therefore judicial, mind of Americans; therefore I shall give nothing of importance on my own testimony alone. It shall be seen what the Portuguese peasant is from the descriptions that travelers have written, and from the fragments of statistical evidence which the deeply-culpable ruling classes have permitted to be published.

But first let me describe the degree of destitution to which the peasant has been reduced, for without this destitution this criminal character would not have been his.

Baron Forrester says:3 "The poverty of the inhabitants of the interior of Portugal is equal to that of the Irish." (This was written in 1851, immediately after the Irish famine.) "The wretchedness of their condition checks marriage and promotes clandestine intercourse." William Doria writes:4 "The inhabitants (all ages) do not obtain half (scarcely one-third) as much as the minimum of animal food required to sustain active vitality, which is one hundred grammes, about one-fifth of a pound, per day." Marques says:5 "The daily ration of an able-bodied man should consist of at least twelve hundred grammes, of which one-fourth (about three-fifths of a pound) should be animal food. The Portuguese soldier (much better fed than the peasant) receives but seventeen grammes (little over half an ounce) of animal food." Notwithstanding the superior food of the soldier, such is the hatred of the peasant for the aristocratic classes, in whose service the army is employed, that he will mutilate himself to escape the conscription.6 Says Malte-Brun: "During four months of the year the inhabitants of the Algarve have little to eat but raw figs. This causes a disease called mal de veriga, which sweeps away numbers of the people." Says Doria: "All the women work in the fields;" and Dr. Farr7 tells us that "when women are employed in any but domestic labors they discharge the duties of mother imperfectly, and the mortality of children is high." Says Forrester: "Leavened bread is beginning to be known in the principal cities, but not in the provinces. Gourds, cabbages and turnip-sprouts, with bread made from chestnuts (which are always wormy), form the peasant's diet." "In Algarve carob-beans are commonly roasted, ground into flour and made into bread." Says Da Silva:8 "The growth of the peasantry is stunted by insufficient nourishment, which consists largely of chestnuts, beans and chick-peas."

The utmost area of land which the average Portuguese peasant can cultivate is two and a half acres: in the United States the average of cultivated land per laborer is over thirty-two acres; on prairie-land sixty acres is not uncommon. Forrester writes: "In the Alto Douro, the richest portion of the kingdom, the villages are formed of wretched hovels with unglazed windows and without chimneys. Instead of bread or the ordinary necessaries of life, one finds only filth, wretchedness and death. Emigration is the one thought of the people."

Now for the moral, intellectual and physical results of the destitution thus evinced. The work entitled Voyage du Duc du Châtelet en Portugal, although usually quoted under this title, was really written by M. Comartin, a royalist of La Vendée, and written during the French Revolution. If it had any bias at all, that bias was all in favor of Portugal, yet this is his description of her people: "Il est, je pense, peu de peuple plus laid que celui de Portugal. Il est petit, basané, mal conformé. L'intérieur répond, en général, assez à cette repoussante envelope, surtout à Lisbonne, où les hommes paroissent réunir tous les [pg 116] vices de l'âme et du corps. II y a, au reste, entre la capitale et le nord de ce royaume, une différence marquée sous ces deux rapports. Dans les provinces septentrionales, les hommes sont moins noirs et moin laids, plus francs, plus lians dans la société, bien plus braves et plus laborieux, mais encore plus asservis, s'il est possible, aux préjugés. Cette différence existe également pour les femmes; elles sont beaucoup plus blanches que celles du sud. Les Portugais, considérés en général, sont vindicatifs bas, vains, railleurs, présomptueux à l'excès, jaloux. et ignorans. Après avoir retracé les défauts que j'ai cru appercevoir en eux, je serois injuste si je me taisois sur leurs bonnes qualités. Ils sont attachés à leur patrie, amis géneréux, fidèles, sobres, charitables. Ils seroient bons Chrètiens si le fanatisme ne les aveugloit pas. Ils sont si accoutumés aux pratiques de la religion qu'ils sont plus superstitieux que dévots. Les hidalgos, ou les grands de Portugal, sont très bornés dans leur éducation, orgueilleux et insolens; vivant dans la plus grande ignorance, ils ne sortent presque jamais de leur pays pour aller voir les autres peuples." Time and changed circumstances have somewhat softened these traits, but their general correctness is still recognizable.

"Add hypocrisy to a Spaniard's vices and you have the Portuguese character," says Dr. Southey. "They are deceitful and cowardly—have no public spirit nor national character," says Semple. "The morals of both sexes are lax in the extreme; assassination is a common offence; they rank about as low in the social scale as any people of Christendom," says McCulloch. "Their songs are licentious: the national dance or the toffa is so lascivious that every stranger who sees it must deplore the corruption of the people, and regret to find such exhibitions permitted, not only in the country, but in the heart of towns, and even on the stage," says Malte-Brun. "Portugal is a paradise inhabited by demons and brutes," says Madame Junot—a phrase taken probably from Byron's description of Cintra.

My countrymen will be enraged with me for thus repeating the worst that has been said about them, but I repeat it for their own benefit, like the surgeon, who, to save the patient's life, cruelly probes the wound or lays bare the corruption from which he is suffering. Moreover, I shall have still darker spots to exhibit in a national character which has been stamped with centuries of feudal and ecclesiastical tyranny.

In a country possessing a fair share of the natural resources commonly in demand a free and prosperous population will double in numbers every fifteen years, an increase of about 4-1/2 per cent. per annum compounded. The United States, a country rich in natural resources, and one whose government offers but few obstacles to freedom and individual prosperity, has doubled its population every twenty-two and a half years since 1790. This is equal to over 3 per cent. per annum. In that country the annual number of births in every 10,000 of population is 500,9 of immigrants, 75; total increase, 575. The deaths are 250, leaving 325 in 10,000, or 3-1/2 per cent. gain as the net result of the year's growth and decay of population.

There is no reason for believing that the proportion of births in Portugal is less than it is in Germany, or even the United States: on the contrary, "in climates where the waste of human life is excessive from the combined causes of disease and poverty affecting the mass of the inhabitants, the number of births is proportionately greater than is experienced in countries more favorably circumstanced.... Population does not so much increase because more are born, as because fewer die."10 Hence, the presumption is that the rate of births in Portugal is equal to that in Carthagena de Colombia, where it is 8 to 10 per cent., or at least that of some parts of Mexico, where it is 6.21 per cent. Yet the population of Portugal has not increased during a hundred years. What, then, has become of the 250,000 human beings annually called into existence in Portugal? One-half [pg 117] of them took their chances with the rest of the population, were registered at birth, died according to rule, were duly entered upon statistical tables and buried in consecrated ground: the other half were strangled by their mothers, flung into ditches, exposed to die, starved to death, assassinated in some manner. The crimes of foeticide and infanticide have become so common that there is scarcely a peasant-woman in Portugal not guilty of them, either as principal or accessory.

Illegitimacy is more common in Portugal than in any country of Europe. This fact can be proved from a comparison of marriages, births and baptisms; but since the statistics on these subjects are defective, the better testimony is to be derived from the number of deposits at the foundling hospitals. The foundling of the house of Misericordia in Lisbon, that of the Real Casapin in Belem and the foundling at Oporto together receive nearly five thousand foundlings during the year, of whom two-thirds11 perish in the establishments, which thus become "charnels and houses of woe." Almost every town or village in the kingdom has its roda dos expostos—literally, a "wheel for exposed ones"—where, upon the ringing of a bell, the children deposited in a turning-basket or wheel are passed into the interior of the establishment without inquiry. Although their term of stay is limited to a few weeks, less than one-half of them ever pass out of the establishment alive! Says Dr. T. de Carvalho: "The roda is the açouque ('slaughter-house') for children. It is the permanent and legal means of infanticide. Abaixo a roda dos expostos!"

Notwithstanding this frightful mortality, the number of infants always on hand in the foundlings of Portugal is nearly 40,000, or 1 per cent of the entire population. One-eighth of all the reported births in the kingdom become foundlings: as for the non-reported ones, their fate is known only to the recording angel. Says Claudio Adriano da Costa: "Promiscuous intercourse has become common all over the country;" and he attributes it, though I think superficially, to the "misplaced indulgence to concubinage awarded by the rodas."12

The true cause of Portuguese immorality and crime is the unequal distribution of wealth, which leaves the mass of the inhabitants a prey to the vicissitudes of the seasons, the tyranny of the powerful and wealthy and the despair of insecurity. The origin of this evil state of affairs was the tenure of emphyteusis: its active and unfeeling promoters have been always the nobility and ecclesiastics, and its only powerful enemy, the only hope of the people, the Crown.

After what has been mentioned it is unnecessary to speak of minor crimes—- of street assassinations, highway robberies and the like. Your own McCulloch will inform you that according to official information reported to the Cortes there occurred in one year, and merely in the two districts of Oporto and Guarda, no less than three hundred and forty-two assassinations and four hundred and sixty robberies. It is true that life is not quite so insecure now as when McCulloch wrote. Some few rays of light have penetrated the profound abyss of misery and evil in which the country was then plunged; nevertheless, the improvement has been but slow and partial, and nothing short of revolution can accelerate it. There is but one man in the world who possesses the means to render that revolution successful, and that man—His Majesty Dom Pedro II., the emperor of Brazil—is now, or soon will be, on his way to the United States. May he not peruse in vain this sad account of famine and crime in Portugal!

There are persons with nervous organisms so abused that a sudden cry, whether it be of boisterousness or despair, will cause them great agony: so there are others with moral susceptibilities so overstrained that the story of a nation's misery and crime, such as I have endeavored [pg 118] to sketch, will evoke within them more pain than interest. Regard for such exceptional persons has created a namby-pambyism in literature which would banish these topics—the greatest and holiest in which human sympathy can be enlisted—to the domains of science. But science cannot aid unhappy Portugal. Sympathy and prayer alone can mitigate our sufferings. Therefore sympathize with and pray for us, you who stand in the broad glare of freedom, filled with plenty and surrounded by promise, Pray for unhappy Portugal!



The life of the low-country South Carolina planter, until broken up by the war, had changed but little since colonial times. It was the life which Washington lived at Mount Vernon, with some slight differences of local custom. The two-storied house, with its ten or twenty rooms and broad piazza, had probably been built in ante-Revolutionary days by the British country gentleman or Huguenot exile from whom the present owner drew his descent. I well remember how the old house at Hanover bore near the top of the chimney stack the legend "Peu à peu" written with a stick in the soft mortar with which the bricks had been covered. The old Huguenot builder had burned his bricks by guess, and three times the work had to stop until the kiln could be replenished and a new lot prepared. The top was finally reached, however, and the triumphant Peu à peu was only his French way of proclaiming to posterity Perseverantia vincit omnia. In many instances, however, fire has destroyed the original structure—a danger to which the country residence is specially exposed—but the new one has usually been modeled after that which it succeeded. Indian names, flowing softly from the tongue, have usually come down with the tracts to which they originally belonged, as Pooshee, Wantoot, Wampee, Wapahoula, though Chelsea, White Hall, Sarrazin's or Sans Souci often betrays the English or French origin of the first patentee.

To understand the home and life of the wealthy Carolina planter we must remember that he was the most contented man in the world. The greed of gain was unknown to him, and his deep-rooted conservatism forbade everything like speculation. Solid, substantial comfort and large-hearted hospitality were the objects in all his expenditures. He never invested his surplus money except in another plantation to put his surplus negroes on, for he never sold a negro except for incorrigible bad qualities or to pay some pressing debt. He had no expensive tastes except for rare old madeira and racing-stock, from the last of which his splendid saddle-horses were always selected; and these were usually of the best and purest blood. He was as much at home in the saddle as an English fox-hunter or a Don Cossack, and the only wheeled vehicles in his spacious carriage-house were the heavy family coach, and the light sulky in which his summer trips were made between the pineland and the plantation.

Come back with me now to the days when the North-eastern Railroad was a possibility of the future, and join me in a Christmas visit to old Pooshee. We take the little steamer for the head of Cooper River, the December sun being warm enough to tempt us from the close cabin to the airy deck. The graceful [pg 119] spire of old St. Michael's cuts sharply against the sky, reminding you, if you have visited the suburbs of London, of St. Martin's-in-the-Fields, that fine specimen of Sir Christopher Wren's style, after which it was modeled. The old customhouse looks just as it did when Governor Rutledge had the tea locked up in its store-rooms, and the gray moss droops in weeping festoons from the live-oaks of beautiful Magnolia. I wonder how the miles of green marsh through which we pass can seem to you such a dreary waste. To my eye it is all alive with interest. I never tire of watching how the lonely white heron spears his scaly prey, how the clapper-rail floats on his raft of matted rushes, how the marsh-wren jerks his saucy little tail over his bottle-shaped nest, or how with quick and certain stroke the oyster-catcher extracts the juicy "native" from his bivalved citadel. We are now getting above the salt-water line, and on either hand the rice-fields, now covered with water, stretch away from the banks, their surface covered with countless thousands of ducks. As the winding river brings the channel somewhat nearer to the shore, the splash of the paddles startles the feeding multitude, and they rise with a rush and roar of wings which might be heard for miles. Could we stop for a day or two at Rice Hope, we might have rare sport among the mallards and bald-pates as they fly out between sunset and dark, or in the early morning from behind a well-constructed blind. But we must decline the cordial invitation which urges us to do so as the boat casts off from the landing, and in a couple of hours more we step ashore at Fairlawn, where we find the carriage waiting to take us over the twelve remaining miles of our journey. The road, like the marsh, may seem lonely and tedious to you, but I know every turn and bend of it, and the trees are all old friends. I'm sure I know that green heron which "skowks" to me as he springs from the rail of the bridge, and there is something familiar in the bark of the black squirrel which has just rushed up that pine. Hark! that was the yelp of a turkey. Stop the horses for a moment and we may see them. One, two, four, seven! What a splendid old gobbler last crossed the road, and no guns loaded! And there is the track of as noble a buck as I ever saw: that's where he jumped into the pea-field, and ten to one he's lying now in that patch of sedge.

"Well!" I think I hear you say, "you have seen more to interest you in a hundred yards than I should have found in two miles."

Exactly; and that is why I enjoy the country so much. Learn to love Nature in her every mood and to study her every feature, and you will never know the feeling of loneliness if you keep outside the walls of a jail. But we are at the outer gate, and our journey is nearly over. At the end of a long enclosed road, shaded by trees—which, however, do not form an avenue, such as you may see near the coast, where the live-oaks flourish more vigorously—stands the spacious mansion, with its white walls, green Venetian shutters and red tin roof. There is no enclosure about it save that which is formed by the rail fences of the distant fields. The "yard" contains about forty acres of grassy lawn shaded by spreading forest trees—white-oaks, water-oaks and hickories—from which hang the graceful folds of the Spanish moss. The out-buildings are scattered about without the slightest reference to distance, except in the case of the kitchen, which is at the back and some twenty yards from the dwelling. The stable and carriage-house stand on either side, in front, but at a distance sufficient to prevent unsightliness or discomfort. In the background are the large "cotton-houses," with their bleaching-platforms, the "gin-house," the corn-house, the fodder-house and the poultry-house, which is nearly as large as any of them; while nearer the mansion are grouped the "loom-house," the dairy and the oven-shed, under which is built the huge brick oven capable of baking to a sugary confection several bushels of yam "slips" at a time. On the left is the "negro-yard" (never called "the quarter" in this region), with its fifty or sixty substantial cabins, each [pg 120] gleaming with whitewash and having its own little vegetable patch and chicken-house.

It is Saturday evening, and the sun is just entering the heavy cloud-bank which rests on the western horizon as we drive up to the door. Our genial and venerable host, "the old doctor," is at the stables superintending the feeding of his horses, and thither we bend our steps with a sense of exhilaration which only the crisp, fresh country air can impart, and a new vigor thrilling through every muscle as the foot presses the green and springy sod. Our old friend is a worthy representative of the old régime, the only change which the lapse of thirty years has made in his costume being the substitution of black for blue broadcloth in the velvet-collared, brass-buttoned, narrow-skirted coat with its side-pocket flaps. The collar sits as high in the neck; the red silk handkerchief peeps out behind; the trousers are cut with the "full fall," over which hangs the watch fob-chain with its heavy seals; the low-crowned beaver hat has the same wide brim; and the silver snuff-box is still redolent of Scotch maccaboy.

"The hounds have got fat waiting for you, and the birds are almost tame enough to put salt on their tails," says the old gentleman after the hearty welcome is over. "Old Nannie says the foxes are eating up all her turkeys, and Loudon tells me that he sees deer-tracks coming out of the new ground every morning."

"How are ye, gentlemen?" says stout John Myers, the "obeshay," which is negro for "overseer."—"I say, there! you Cuffee, that basket ain't half full o' corn.—I s'pose you're goin' to clean out all the game by Chris'mas?—You Cæsar, why don't you fill up old Chester's stall with trash? You niggers are gittin' too lazy to live;" and he walks off to see that the negroes, who are watching us with open mouths and eyes, do not allow their astonishment to interfere with the comfort of the horses. Five sturdy negro men are doing the work of two boys, forking in the "pine-trash" from the huge pile outside, and bringing ear-corn in oak bushel-baskets on their shoulders from the corn-house three hundred yards away.

We cross over to this building when the stable-door has been locked and watch the eager crowd which is waiting for the weekly "'lowance." Sturdy, strapping women, with muscular arms and stout calves freely displayed under the skirts which are tucked around their waists, are standing in picturesque attitudes or sitting on their upturned baskets, while ragged, wild-looking little "picknies" are clinging to the said skirts and peeping with great staring eyes at the strange "buckrah man." Each will take the week's supply of ear-corn and potatoes for her household—a peck for each member of the family, large and small—and will grind her own grist at the mill-house, or more probably trade away the entire supply at the cross-roads store for flour, sugar and coffee.

"Why, Rose, is that you? How are you, and how are the children?"

"De Lawd! Wha' dat? who dat da' talk me? Bless de Lawd! da' nyoung maussa! Ki! enty you tek wife yet? Go 'way! Look! he done got bayd (beard) same like ole nanny-goat! Bless de Lawd!"

"I'm glad to see you looking so young, Kitty: your children must be grown up."

"Tenk de Lawd, maussa," with a low curtsey, "I day yah yet! Dem pickny, da big man an' 'oman now. Enty you got one piece t'bacca fo' po' ole nigger?"

The tobacco is forthcoming, together with a few gaudy head-handkerchiefs and little parcels of sugar, and "nyoung maussa" has it all his own way with the simple creatures. These negroes are as near the original wild African type as if a few years instead of more than a century of contact with civilization had passed over them. They are all the direct descendants of original importations, chiefly Ghoolahs and Ashantees; indeed, "Gullah niggah" is a favorite term of playful reproach among them. Their male names are still largely Ashantee, as "Cudjo," "Cuffee," "Quarcoo," "Quashee," etc., and their dialect, a mixture of "pigeon English" and Ghoolah, strongly impregnated with the French of the [pg 121] Huguenot masters of their forefathers, is simply incomprehensible to a stranger, whether white or black. Indeed, when excited and talking rapidly even those who have grown up among them can scarcely understand the lingo. "Coom, Hondree," says an old nurse to her little charge at bedtime, "le' we tek fire go atop:" in English, "Come, Henry, let's take a light and go up stairs." "Child" is "pickny;" "white man" (or woman), "buckrah;" "I don't know," "Me no sabbée;" "Is it not?" "Enty?"; "watermelon" is "attermillion" or "mutwilliam;" and so on.

Paying a medical visit, I enter a house where the patient is a sick child: the old crone who is sitting in the doorway with a boy's head between her knees, performing the office of which monkeys are so fond, calls out, "Lindy! de buckrah coom."

"What's the matter with the child?" I inquire.

"Ki, maussa! me no sabbée wha' do a pickny," replies the intelligent Lindy, who wishes me to know that she knows nothing about the case.

We shall see more of them before leaving the plantation.

A day on the water and a long drive are excellent preparatives for a supper of broad rice-waffles toasted crisp and brown before the crackling hickory fire, of smoking spare-ribs and luscious tripe, of rich, fragrant Java coffee with boiled milk and cream; nor does a sound night's sleep unfit one for enjoying at breakfast a repetition of the same, substituting link sausages and black pudding for the tripe and spare-ribs, and superadding feathery muffins and soft-boiled eggs.

It is Sunday morning, but the service to-day is at the other end of the parish, some twenty miles away. The sky seems brighter and the grass more green than on the work-days of the week: the birds sing more cheerily, and seem to know that for one day they are safe from man's persecution. Certain it is that the wary crow will on that day eye you saucily as you pass within ten yards of him, while on any other you cannot approach him within a hundred. At ten o'clock the household is assembled in the drawing-room, the piano—with, it may be, a flute accompaniment—is made to do the organ's duty, and the full service of the Prayer-Book is read and sung and listened to with reverent attention. There are yet two hours to dinner, and as the wild, wailing chant from the negro-yard comes to our ears we determine to visit their chapel. If there was one point in which, more than in others, the Carolina planter was faithful to his duty, it was in securing the privileges of religion to his slaves. Every plantation had its chapel, sometimes rivaling in its appointments the churches for the whites. One of the largest congregations of the Protestant Episcopal Church in South Carolina, having lost its silver during the sack of Columbia, is still using the sterling communion service of a chapel for negroes which was burned upon a neighboring plantation. The missionary is to-day upon another portion of his circuit, and we have a specimen of genuine African Christianity. On one side the rough benches are filled with men clad, for once in the week, in clean cotton shirts, with coat and pants of heavy "white plains," some young dandies here and there being "fixed up" with old black silk waistcoats and flashy neckties, holding conspicuously old mashed beaver hats, which have been carefully wetted to make them shine. On the other are ranged the women, the front benches holding the sedate old "maumas," with gaudy yellow and red kerchiefs tied about their heads in stiff high turbans, and others folded à la Lady Washington over their bosoms; behind them sit the young women in white woolen "frocks," without handkerchiefs on head or breast; while the children who are not minding babies at home or hunting rabbits in the woods are gathered about the door.

Old Bob, the preacher, rises and fixes his eyes severely on the small fry near the door: "We's gwine to wushup de Lawd, an' I desiah dem chilluns to know dat no noise nor laffin', nor no so't o' onbehavin', kin be 'lowed; so min' wot you's 'bout dere. You yerry me? (hear me)."

[pg 122]

Then, adjusting the great silver-rimmed spectacles and opening a ragged prayer-book (upside down), he proceeds to read over the hymn, the whole congregation listening with rapt attention. As he utters the last word all rise together, the old women with closed eyes, heads on one side and hands crossed over their breasts, and he begins to "line out," dividing the words rhythmically into spondaic measure, with the accent strongly on every second syllable and the falling inflection invariably on the last uttered:

When I'—kin read'—my ti'—tul clear'—

To man'—shuns in'—de skies'.

Immediately the old mauma at the end of the front bench "sets de tchune," a sad, quavering minor, and pitched so high that any attempt to follow it seems utterly hopeless. But no: the women all strike in on the same soaring key, while the men, by a skillful management of the falsetto, keep up with the screamiest flights. As they wail out the last word, "skies," the women all curtsey with a sharp jerk of the body and the men droop their heads upon their breasts—a token that the strophe is ended; and the next two lines follow in the same manner. Then follows the prayer, in which due remembrance is made of "ole maussa" and "nyoung missis an' maussa," and all their friends and visitors. We are considerate enough to withdraw before the sermon, lest our presence should embarrass the preacher, but a little eavesdropping gives us an opportunity of hearing how practically he deals with "lyin' an' tiefin', an' onbehavin' 'mongst de nyoung 'omans," and how he holds up "de obeshay," as Saint Paul did the magistrate, in terror to those who "play 'possum w'en de grass too t'ick," or "stick t'orn in he finger so he can't pick 'nuff cotton w'en de sun too hot." With our withdrawal is removed a restraint which has chilled the active devotion of the assembly, and soon the singing begins again, accompanied now, however, by the heavy tramp of feet and the clapping of hands keeping time to the sad, wailing minor which characterizes all their music. The hymn, too, is no longer selected from the prayer-book, but from some unwritten collection better adapted to their ideas of "heart-religion":

De angel cry out A-men,

A-men! A-men!

De angel cry out A-men!

I'se bound to de promis' lan'!

I da gwine up to hebbin in a long w'ite robe,

Long w'ite robe! long w'ite robe!

My Sabiour tell me wear dat robe

W'en I meet him in de promis' lan'!

We've a great deal before us during the coming week, for we must give a day to the partridges (never called "quail" in the South), and we have a fox-hunt or two in the mornings, and that old buck to look after whose tracks I showed you in the road; besides the ducks and turkeys which are waiting to be shot, and all the Christmas frolicking, from which the ladies will not excuse us. We will therefore take this quiet Sunday afternoon for a walk among the fields and woods to see what manner of country we are in. Bending our steps first toward the huge old oak which seems to hang upon the very edge of the green hill near the house, we suddenly find ourselves just over a large basin enclosed with an octagonal brick wall, except where the clear water runs out over silvery gravel between curbings of heavy plank. This is the spring, and a queer sort of spring it is. Just under the tree-roots the water is but a few inches deep over a bed of bluish-gray limestone, and in no part of the basin, which is about twelve by twenty feet, does it seem to be more than a half fathom in depth. But just under the ledge of rock a shelving hole slopes back under the hill, the bottom of which no man has ever found. This hole is only about three feet by two, and the narrow outlet to the basin is but four inches deep, and loses itself within fifty yards in an oozy bog. Yet, peering into the depth, you catch a glimpse of the black head and beady white eyes of a mudfish at least two feet long, and presently of the silvery side of a three-pound bass which glides across the opening. Drop a line with the cork set at ten feet, and you will draw out of the very bosom of the earth a mess of fat perch and bream each as large and as thick as your [pg 123] hand, and eels three feet in length are sometimes caught in the basin at night. Two miles away, in the direction of the "run," there are on Woodboo plantation two similar basins connected by a shallow streamlet, and with no outlet which a minnow could navigate: one of them is large enough for a little skiff to float on, and the gray rock slopes down to a centre depth of ten feet. Just where the sides meet is a long, irregular fissure, out of which huge bass, pike, jack and mudfish are constantly emerging, and into which they retreat when disturbed. Hundreds of perch, bream and young bass sport in the shallow parts, and are easily caught with rod and line, the water being so clear that you can watch the fish gorging the bait, and strike when the entire hook disappears. Now, where do these fish live? where do they breed? and upon what do they feed? But the mystery does not end there. About a mile in the opposite direction as we walk through a little belt of wet pineland, where the woodcock runs across our path or whistles up from the wet leaves, we come suddenly upon a dozen or more little basins, the largest not over six feet by nine, which have no outlet whatever. One hole about two feet in diameter goes sheer down between two pine trees to a depth never yet fathomed: you cannot see it until right on it, and you cannot use a rod, but drop your line about twelve feet deep, and your cork will go down like lead, while you pull up red perch and blue bream until your arm wearies of the sport. I have caught five dozen in a winter's afternoon, for the fish bite best in the coldest weather, the temperature of the water being sixty-two degrees the year round, irrespective of the weather. You must go fifteen miles before reaching another of these springs or fountains, and then ten more to the last of the chain, the famous Eutaw Springs of Revolutionary memory. Here, then, must be a subterranean river or reservoir at least twenty-eight miles long, teeming with the same fish which swim in the surface-streams, yet having no discoverable connection with any of these. We meet with no rocks or stones anywhere, but our walk leads us past many marl-pits from which numerous fossil remains have been obtained. The fertile and superstitious imagination of the negroes has not been idle in such a suggestive field, and they have peopled these fountains with spirits which they call "cymbies," akin to the undine and the kelpie. On Saturday nights you may hear a strange rhythmic, thumping sound from the spring, and looking out you may see by the wild, fitful glare of lightwood torches dark figures moving to and fro. These are the negro women at their laundry-work, knee-deep in the stream, beating the clothes with heavy clubs. They are merry enough when together, but not one of them will go alone for a "piggin" of water, and if you slip up in the shadow of the old oak and throw a stone into the spring, the entire party will rush away at the splash, screaming with fear, convinced that the "cymbie" is after them.

Leaving the spring behind us, we pass up the long lane between two cotton-fields of a hundred acres each, in which the blackened stalks are still standing, as are the dried cornstalks and gray pea-vines in the field beyond. These will remain until the early spring, when they will be cut down and "listed in" with the hoe, for not a foot of this rich and profitable plantation has ever been broken with the plough. Incredible as it may appear, there is not a plough or a work-horse, and but one old mule, upon this highly-cultivated tract of one thousand acres. All the hauling is done by ox-teams, with three sturdy negroes to each cart, and the heavy cotton-hoe does everything else. Where one man and a plough could till three acres, twenty men and women with hoes 'ridge up the ground, scatter manure in the furrows, and draw the ridges down on it again. True, the surface only is scratched, and the soil is soon exhausted, but who cares for that when there is abundance of rich timber-land from which to clear new fields? and as to economizing labor, that is the last thing a planter cares about, for what are the negroes to do? None are ever sold, the "picknies" who swarm around [pg 124] every cabin growing up to stock the plantations bought for each child as he or she "comes of age or is married," and work has to be made for them to do.

"What shall I put the hands at to-day, sir?" asked an overseer of an old planter when the last bale of cotton had been packed.

"Hum! let's see! Well, set them to filling up the old ditches and digging new ones."

For the same reason power-gins and saw-mills found little favor, the single-treadle "foot-gin" and the saw-pit and cross-cut employing ten times as many hands. It was the aim of every large planter to produce and manufacture by hand-power everything needed on the place. Of course, it required a heavy expenditure of labor and land to raise provisions for such an army of unprofitable workers, on which account slave capital was the poorest paying property in the world. The planter was wealthy, but he owned only land and negroes: when the latter were emancipated the former became useless; and this is the reason why the war so utterly ruined the rich land-owners of the South.




Pass, '75, across the Styx!

Make way for stately '76,

Who comes with mincing, minuet pace,

Well-powdered hair and patch-deckt face—

An antiquated kerchief on:

White-capped, like Martha Washington;

Clock-hosed and high-heeled slipper-shod,

To give no Nineteenth Century nod;

Nay, but a courtesy profound,

Whose look demure consults the ground.

O rare-seen bloom! No flower perennial,

This aloe-crowned Dame Centennial!

She comes with shades of days long fled—

Knee-breeched; long silk-stockingèd;

Well-braided queues; bright-buckled shoon

That flash with diamonds; gold galloon

On rebel uniforms of blue—-

A color that this land found true;

Three-cornered hats, and plumes that flew

Through conflicts where men dare and do.

A patriot throng, a gallant host,

Our Dame Centennial's train can boast.

O aloe-flower upon her brow!

Of what strange birth-pangs breathest thou,

The while we gaze with dreamy eyes

Back o'er a sea of memories,

And see thy seed of foreign skies

Here washt, to spring beneath our sun

And ripen till its bloom is won!

What storms have rocked thy stem aslant,

O changeful-nurtured Century-Plant!

Whose living flower now opens bland

Its kindly promise o'er the land!

With blood and tears 'twas watered,

The bud whose blossom now is spread

A floral cap her head upon,

Who, à la Martha Washington,

Our Dame Centennial now appears,

Our '76, our crown of years!

Brave preparations thee await,

O dame arrayed in olden state!

For thee, for thee, Penn's city stands

And stretches forth inviting hands

To guests of home and foreign lands,

And gathers all historic pride

Of ancient records at her side,

With gifts from all, on thee to rain

Who bring'st such mem'ries in thy train.

Hail, city well named "Brother's Love!"

The Quaker City of the dove,

That fain would call a land to fling

Its spites away, and 'neath thy wing

Renew the treaty made by Penn

In the wildwood with wilder men;

Yet true men still! Be this the token—-

loyal faith, a pledge unbroken!

O year that wear'st thy aloe-flower

So proudly! may thy touch have power

Of healing! May thy visage bland

Drive threatening discord from the land,

And thronèd Peace more firmly fix!

Then shall the elder '76,

From out the eighteenth century's band

Of Time's host in the shadowy land,

Greet thee as one true soul may smile

Upon another, where nor guile

Nor sorrow can its brightness dim.

So greet the clear-eyed seraphim—

So once in Eden's sinless bower

Unfading flower smiled on flower.


[pg 125]


OBER-AMMERGAU, Bavaria, Oct. 4, 1875.

The town lies at the end of a lovely green valley. Behind it are fir-clad mountains with rocky peaks: on one side a great square rocky peak, which towers above all and is surmounted by a cross. On each side of the valley sloping hills, fir-clad to the top. A rapid, clear stream runs by on the edge of the village. Green pastures dotted with haymakers, a few scattered trees and a distant town fill the charming valley. Virginia creepers hang on the walls, and gay flowers fill pretty balconies and peep through sunny little casements. All is simple and neat, and the bright fresco pictures on the fronts of many houses lighten it all.

On a high hill overlooking the town they are placing a colossal crucifixion group, presented by King Ludwig II. in Erinnerung an die Passionsspiele—in memory of the Passion play—Christ on the cross, with the Virgin and St. John, one on each side. The two latter were ready to be hoisted on to the pedestal: the former is partly up the hill. All are surrounded by heavy planking, so that it is impossible to judge of the artistic merit, but the great group cannot fail to have a fine effect when viewed from a distance.

Yesterday (October 3d) was the eventful day. Our tickets had been ordered by telegraph, and we had "the best seats." The performance was to begin at nine o'clock, and at a quarter before nine we were in our places.

The building in which the play is given is of plain rough wood without paint ("or polish"); in the interior a gallery and two side-galleries, below them a parterre, and on each side of it a standing-place, all of plain, unpainted boards. The orchestra was sunk below the level of the stage, the proscenium painted to represent columns and entablature. The curtain represented, or seemed intended to represent, Jerusalem. The whole place could not probably contain over six hundred people, and was about half full. There were very few foreigners.

The play to be represented was not the "Passion play," which is given every ten years, but the Kreuzesschule, which is played once in fifty years—last in 1825. In it the play is taken from the Old Testament, and the tableaux from the New Testament—the reverse of the Passion play.

The orchestra began punctually at nine o'clock. There were about twenty performers, and they played with skill and taste. The selection of music was admirable. They commenced with a sort of prelude, slow and declamatory. Perfect silence reigned, and the deep interest of the spectators was, from the first and throughout, shown in their expressive faces. Men and women at times shed tears, and made not the slightest effort to hide their emotion. The black head-*kerchiefs of many of the women spectators, tight to the skull with ends hanging down behind, seemed in harmony with the scene.

The prelude ended, the Chorus entered with slow and dignified pace—seven men and women from one side, six from the other, all in a kind of Oriental costume, picturesque and handsome. The tallest came first, and so on in gradation, so that when ranged in front of the curtain they formed a kind of pyramid. The central figure then began the prologue, an explanation. Then the basso commenced singing an air, during which the Chorus divided, falling back to the sides and kneeling, while the curtain rose, displaying the first tableau. This lasted nearly three minutes, during which time the figures were really perfectly motionless. The basso finished his air and the tenor sang another while the curtain was up. This tableau represented the cross supported by an angel, while grouped around were men, women and children looking up at it in adoration. This was the "Kreuzesschule"—the school of the Cross—the prologue to the piece. The picture had the simplicity of the best school: no affected attitudes—all plain, earnest and beautiful. When the curtain fell the Chorus again took their places in front of it, a duet was sung, then a chorus, and then they countermarched and retired in quiet dignity.

Then came the first part. A prelude by the orchestra, and the curtain [pg 126] rises on Abel, dressed in sheep skin, by his altar, from which smoke ascends, he returning thanks. Enter Cain in leopard skin, much disturbed and angry. They discourse, Abel all sweetness, Cain bitter and cross. An angel in blue mantle, like one of Raphael's in the "Loggia," appears at the side and comforts Abel. Then Eve in white dress—evidently it had been a puzzle to dress her—and buskins, who says sweet words to Cain. Then Adam in sheep skin, very sad at all this difficulty. Eve sweetly strives to reconcile Cain to his brother, and appeals to him with much feeling. He discourses at length, then appears to relent and embraces Abel, but is evidently playing the hypocrite, and as the curtain falls you see that hate is in his heart.

The curtain down, the orchestra plays a prelude, the Chorus enters as before, and the leader speculates on Cain's behavior. "Is he honest?"—"Ah no, his heart is full of hate: he meditates evil." The Chorus divides as before, falls back and the curtain rises. This tableau represents the hate and rage of the people and Pharisees toward Christ, who drives the traders out of the Temple. In grouping, costume, color, tone, action and completeness it was truly a marvelous picture. The stage was crowded with figures: Christ in the centre, behind—a row of columns on each side—a scourge in his left hand, his right upheld in admirable action; in the background a group in wild confusion; on the right, richly dressed priests and Pharisees, indignant and fierce; in front, sellers of sheep and doves, money-changers and traders of various kinds. All the elements of a great picture were here shown in the highest degree, and no words of praise could be too strong to express the idea of its merits and its charm. This tableau lasted nearly two minutes, with the most complete steadiness, the basso singing an aria. The curtain then fell, and the Chorus, taking its place, sang and retired as before. This ended the first part, Cain's hate prefiguring the hatred toward Christ.

Then came Part Second. The curtain rose on Cain by the side of his ruined in a soliloquy. Enter Abel, gentle and mild. Eve comes in, and again tries to make peace, and Cain again plays the hypocrite and invites his brother into the wood on some pretext. They retire, leaving Eve disturbed by she knows not what. Adam enters, shares her fears and goes out to seek his sons. Thunder and lightning, admirably represented, and then enter Cain disheveled and disturbed. His mother knows not what has happened, but is agonized and calls for her Abel. An angel appears at the side and discloses all by asking Cain, "Where is thy brother?" and then announcing the fiat of the Most High to him. He rushes off as Adam enters bearing the body of Abel; and his mother, sitting down beside the dead body, makes a most touching picture of a Pietà. Adam with upstretched arms appeals to God, and the curtain falls. This was the "Blutschuld"—the crime of blood—and prefigured the betrayal of Christ by Judas for the thirty pieces of silver.

After a most beautiful prelude by the orchestra, the Chorus again enters; the leader expresses his horror at Cain's action and his pity for a fate thus given over to Satan; they again divide, and the curtain rises on the tableau of Judas receiving the money. At the end the high priest and other priests, in appropriate costume, stand on a platform beyond a railing. Judas in the centre, by a table, is taking the money from an attendant: all around are groups, admirably arranged, expressing, in face and attitude, wonder or pleasure or disgust. The same artistic ideas and beautiful arrangement and the same unaffected simplicity. This tableau lasted one minute and a half, while the tenor sang an aria, "Oh, better for him that he had never been born."

The third part was Das Opfermahl—the offering of bread and wine by Melchisedek to Abraham, prefiguring the Last Supper. Prelude by orchestra. The curtain rises, displaying Melchisedek before an altar, on which are bread and wine. Four attendants are near him. He, in a [pg 127] flowing white robe, discourses to them. The scene is simple and natural. Enter Abraham and attendants on one side and Lot and attendants on the other, all dressed in Roman mantles, buskins and helmets. The stage was filled and the grouping admirable. Abraham and Lot discourse, embrace and part, Lot and his followers retiring. Melchisedek comes forward and addresses Abraham, who replies at some length. Then Melchisedek prepares his bread and wine, takes some, then offers to Abraham, who eats and drinks. Meantime, a most charming chorus of Handel is sung behind the scenes, while Melchisedek and his attendants offer the bread and wine to all of Abraham's suite, who partake reverentially. Tableau and chorus, and the curtain descends. The ease and simple quiet action of all this scene were remarkable.

Enter Chorus as before: leader speaks. They divide and the curtain rises on the tableau of the Last Supper. I know not whether it was taken from any one picture—I think not—but it was simply and effectively grouped, and it recalled both Lionardo and Andrea del Sarto. This lasted two and a half minutes, during which time the contralto sang an air of Mozart's.

The fourth part—Die Ergebung (Resignation)—was represented in the play by Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son at God's command, prefiguring the agony of Christ in the Garden.

After a prelude by the orchestra the curtain rose and discovered Abraham and Isaac in loving discourse, with figures in the background, admirably costumed and grouped. An angel in white robe and blue mantle appears and delivers his heavenly message to the astounded Abraham. His agony was simply and feelingly depicted. He appears at last resigned, when Sarah, in red robe and Eastern headdress, enters to renew his grief. The beauty of this woman was of the highest order in feature and expression, and her dress was truly artistic. The scene between these two was most touchingly acted. Isaac reappears, thinking that he is simply going on a journey, and, scarcely comprehending his mother's great grief, presents his companion to her as a comfort and stay, thus prefiguring John and Mary at the cross. Abraham and Isaac depart, and the curtain falls.

Then another prelude by the orchestra, and the Chorus appears: the leader delivers the epilogue. They divide and kneel, and the curtain rises on the tableau of the scene in Gethsemane.

Christ, on an elevation, is kneeling: an angel stands in front of him. Below, the apostles are all asleep in groups. Behind, in the centre, Judas advances with the soldiers, who bear tall lanterns. It was like a picture of Carpaccio, and worthy of that great master. This tableau lasted two and a quarter minutes, during which time the tenor sang an aria.

The fifth part—Es ist vollbracht (It is fulfilled)—represents Abraham going out to sacrifice his son, prefiguring the Crucifixion. The curtain rises on Sarah, full of agony, which is most simply and powerfully depicted. Attendants enter, who tell a long story: then Abraham and Isaac appear, and there is a most striking scene—Sarah fainting, the friend sustaining her, the others grouped around in various picturesque attitudes. An angel appears, simple and practical, like those of the good old painters, and delivers the blessing. The curtain falls.

Again the orchestra in a superb prelude: then the Chorus appears, and, after the epilogue, divides and kneels as the curtain rises on a tableau which my imagination never could have pictured, for its wonderful completeness, its power, its feeling, its artistic beauty and its marvelous expression far exceeded any idea that I had of the power of men and women to represent such a picture—the Crucifixion.

The stage was crowded with figures, Christ in the centre, fully extended on the cross, with no signs whatever of support to disturb the illusion—the thieves on one side and the other, with arms over the cross, as frequently represented; the group at the foot of the cross so touchingly tender—the soldiers, the priests, the people—all grouped with such consummate [pg 128] skill, such harmony of colors, such appropriateness and vigor of expression, as have never, to my thinking, been excelled in the greatest pictures of the greatest masters. Here was most remarkably shown the wonderful artistic talent and feeling of these simple people. There was nothing repulsive in any way, scarcely painful, except tenderly so. You breathlessly gazed on this wondrous scene, and when, after three minutes, the curtain fell, you were speechless with admiration and emotion. A lovely air by the soprano accompanied this tableau, and after the curtain fell a grand chorus completed the fifth part.

The sixth part—Durch Dunkel zum Lichte (through Darkness to Light)—ended the programme. The play represented Joseph, with all his honors upon him, receiving his old father and his brothers—prefiguring the Ascension of Christ.

After the prelude by the orchestra the curtain rises and discovers old Jacob, surrounded by his sons in various groups. The scene and costumes were admirable and appropriate. In the midst of a discourse Joseph bursts in in fine attire, followed by a great train, among which are two darkies, taken bodily from Flemish pictures. After much embracing and blessing and forgiveness, the curtain falls as Jacob with outstretched arms thanks the Lord and prophesies all good things.

Then again the orchestra, and again our Chorus enters on the scene, and after the epilogue, "At last all woe is ended," they divide and kneel, as the curtain rises on the scene of the Ascension. This was most simply represented. Christ ascends from the tomb, standing on it, surrounded by angels, while figures appropriately grouped around make a picture which recalled Perugino. The basso sings an aria, and a grand chorus, "Alleluja!" ends this most remarkable performance.

There was no delay nor interruption throughout. Not the sound of a hammer nor the whisper of a prompter was ever heard. There was no applause whatever from the audience until the end, and then it seemed to come from the strangers. The three hours—for the end was precisely at twelve—seemed not more than one, so filled was the mind with the simple, grand beauty and the artistic completeness of the whole thing. No personality appears for an instant. There are no bills to tell the names of the actors, nor did any actor or actress at any time look toward the audience.

Never since early childhood have the Bible stories been brought back with such vividness, such tender and absorbing interest. Tradition, faith and earnestness have made this a people of artists. If one could believe, as all must wish, that love of money-making and speculation will not invade this simple village, to the demoralization of its people, the satisfaction would be most complete. Be that as it may, I shall always owe a debt of gratitude to Ober-Ammergau, and as long as memory lasts shall remember Die Kreuzesschule.



Varese is an ancient little town on a hill overlooking the small lake of the same name in the midst of the mountainous country between Como and Lago Maggiore, and a little to the southward of the Lake of Lugano. It is within a very few miles of the Swiss frontier. All this lacustrine region has for many generations been celebrated as a specially privileged one. It is Italy without the enervating heat and aridity which are such serious drawbacks to the enjoyment of its other charms by Northern folk. It is Switzerland without the rigidity of its climate and the comparative poverty of the northern vegetation. You have the oleander and cactus around your feet, while the snow-peaks high above your head are rose-colored morning and evening by a southern sun. You wander amid groves of Spanish chestnut, and may hear the while the Swiss-sounding cattle-bells from Alpine pastures high above them. The lakes themselves, with their branching arms and bays and their fairy-like islands, are of course a feature of ever-varying and incomparable beauty.

Accordingly, Fortune's favorites of all countries have long, even from the old Roman times downward, thickly studded [pg 129] the district with their villas and gardens and palaces and parks. But the possession of a villa on one of the Italian lakes implies that the happy owner is nothing very much less than a millionaire. And it has been reserved for these quite latter days to find the means of placing within the reach of the many all the delights which were heretofore the exclusive privilege of the few. In no instance has this been done with so complete a measure of success as at Varese. The hotel is situated about a mile from the little town. Its gardens look down on the lake, the intervening slope being covered with forest. To the left, as one stands at the garden-front of the house, looking toward the lake, are the hills in the midst of which the Lake of Lugano nestles, and on the right, beyond the Lago Maggiore, is a view of Monte Rosa with its eternal snows, perhaps the finest to be found anywhere. I have seen Monte Rosa and its chain very finely from the top of the pass called the Col di Tenda, between Turin and Nice, but I think the view from the terrace in front of this house is finer. Immediately at the back of the house we have the hills—mountains they would be called in any other part of Europe—of which Monte Generoso, now covered with snow, though with a hotel on the top, is the most conspicuous. The country more immediately around us is a district of rolling hills, partly vineyard, but in a larger degree wooded, and here and there diversified by the well-cared-for gardens of some large villa. Our outlook, it will be admitted, is pleasant enough. The house I am speaking of, now known under the style and title of the "Excelsior Hotel," was recently a magnificent villa of the Morosini family at Venice. The name will not be new to any who have visited Venice; for the traveler, even if his tastes did not lead him to take any heed of such matters, will not have been allowed by the ciceroni to overlook the tombs of the doges of that family in the grand old church of the beheaded Saint John, San Giovanni decollata, or "San Zuan Degolà," as the soft-lisping Venetians call it. Yes, the Morosini were very great men in their day: more than one of the brightest chapters in the history of the great republic on the Adriatic is filled with their name. But now their place knows them no more: the family is extinct. The last scion of the race, an old lady who died quite recently at Varese, is said to have declared that it was time for a Morosini to retire from the scene when their house was about to be turned into an inn. Poor old lady! One could have wished that she had vanished before that desecration had been threatened, especially as her end was so near at hand; for it would, I fear, have been too much to wish that the Excelsior Hotel should have been kept out of existence for another generation.

The Morosini had palaces among the most splendid of that city of palaces, Venice, as may be seen to the present day. But this Varese villa was their place of delight and enjoyment. And truly the ideas which we generally attach to the word "villa" are scarcely represented by the magnificent building to which the public are now indiscriminately invited. It is an enormous pile of building, the vast garden-frontage of which makes considerable claims to architectural magnificence. There are, especially in Switzerland, very magnificent and palace-like hotels which have been built for the purpose they now serve, but the fact that they were so built has very effectually prevented even the most splendid among them from rivaling, or indeed approaching, the grandiose magnificence of this superb hostelrie, which has chosen its name in no idle spirit of vaunting. For building is costly, space is precious, and the necessity of finding a due return for the capital employed is the paramount rule which the architect has to keep ever in mind. The old Morosini, who raised this pile with the abundant profits of the trade with the East when Venice had the monopoly of it, were curbed in their architectural ambition by no such considerations. The building of this Villa Morosini must have cost a sum which no possible amount of success in the way of hotel-keeping could ever be expected to pay a tolerable interest on. But the sum for which it was [pg 130] purchased by the present proprietors by no means represents the whole of the capital which has been expended on it as it now stands. It needed the expenditure of no less a sum than sixty thousand pounds sterling to adapt it in all respects to its present purpose, and it is now really such a hotel as does not exist elsewhere in Europe. The whole of the ground floor of the vast building, looking in its entire length on the trimly-kept gardens and on the lake below them, is devoted to public rooms, the spaciousness of which is such that even if the entire house were filled to its utmost capacity they would never be in the least degree crowded. First on the right hand is the breakfast-room. Then comes an enormous dining-hall, the coved ceiling of which, supported by noble pillars and ornamented with stuccoes in relief, is in perfect keeping with the style of the rest of the ornamentation. Next to the dining-room is a reading-room well furnished with papers and books: then comes a so-called ladies' drawing-room, though I do not observe that that better half of the creation has the smallest wish to monopolize it. Next to that is the very handsome general drawing-room; then a large music-room with a grand pianoforte and harmonium; then an equally spacious smoking-room; and, lastly, a billiard-room;—truly a princely suite of rooms. The manager speaks English perfectly, and the results of his English education may be seen in the admirably comfortable and clean arrangements of the chambers and every part of the house. The bedrooms are all warmed with hot air, and really nothing has been neglected which can contribute to ensure the comfort of the inmates.

And all this can be enjoyed for nine francs per diem! A palace to live in, placed in one of the choicest spots in the world, abundant and well-skilled service, an excellently well-kept and well-served table, charming gardens, and all for about two dollars a day! Truly wonderful are the possibilities brought within our reach by co-operation! Still, I do not suppose that quite the same results could be attained without the fortunate chance which placed a magnificent palace at the disposal of the present proprietors at doubtless a comparatively very small cost. Morosini "nobis hæc otra fecit" The princely expenditure of that noble family in days long since gone by provided for us nomads these enjoyments; for one is afraid to guess what the cost at the present day of erecting such a pile would be. Throughout a large part of the house, in the huge corridors and antechambers, a great deal of the old furniture and the vast marble chimney-pieces and mural decorations remain as the Morosini left them, and contribute their part toward persuading us that we are not dwellers in a vulgar inn, but the guests of some magnificent old doge, who leaves his friends the most complete liberty and independence, and merely gratifies the commercial traditions of his race by requesting us pro formâ to drop a small present to his domestics at parting.

There are a great variety of charming drives and walks in the neighborhood in every direction; and the whole district is full of the villas and well-kept gardens of the rich Milanese, who have chosen this favored spot for their country residences. I have said well-kept gardens advisedly; and it is worth noting that the love of gardens and gardening seems to be a specialty of the Milanese among all the Italians. One sees in other parts of Italy the remains of care and magnificence of this sort—at Rome especially; but all (though in many cases belonging to owners still wealthy as well as noble) dilapidated, little cared for, and speaking in melancholy tones of decay and perished splendor. A ruined building may be an extremely picturesque object, but a ruined garden can never be other than a melancholy and repulsive one. But the whole of this district testifies to the love of the Milanese for their gardens; and most of them are on a truly princely scale of magnificence. There is one villa which I will mention, because the owner of it is doing there what recalls to our minds strikingly the old days which saw the creation of that Italian splendor the remains of which we still admire, and suggests that it is [pg 131] not beyond hope that the privileged soil of Italy and the genius for the arts which seems inherent in this people may, under their new political circumstances, lead to yet another renaissance. The villa I am alluding to is in the immediate neighborhood of Varese, on a rising ground above the town, commanding the most magnificent views of Monte Rosa, Monte Viso and the country between the lakes of Como and Maggiore. It is a new creation, and is the property and the work of the Milanese banker, Signor Ponti. The house and gardens are well worth a visit—if the traveler is fortunate enough to be permitted to see them—for the sake of the happy originality of idea which has inspired the architecture of the former and the excellent taste which has turned the favorable circumstances of the ground to the best account in laying out the latter. But the feature which I specially wished to mention is the ornamentation of the principal salon or ball-room in the villa. When permitted to visit it we found Signor Bertini, a Milanese artist well known in all parts of Italy, engaged in putting the last touches to a series of frescoes which form the principal ornamentation of the room. The four largest paintings commemorate the glories of Italy in the history of human discovery. In one the monk, Guido of Arezzo, the inventor of modern musical notation, is teaching a class of four boys to sing from the page of an illuminated missal—a really charming composition. In another Columbus is showing to the Spanish monarchs the natives of the newly-found world whom he had brought home with him. In a third Galileo is showing to the astonished pope, by means of a telescope, the wonders of that other newly-found world of which he was the discoverer. The fourth shows us the very striking and lifelike figure of Volta explaining the wonders of the "pile" to which he has given his name to the First Napoleon. The whole of these, as well as of the other decorations of the room, are in "real fresco"—that is to say, the colors are laid on while the mortar is yet wet (whence the name fresco), and thus become so entirely incorporated with the substance of the wall that the painting is indestructible save by the destruction of at least the coating of the latter. Of course, it is evident that a painting so executed admits of no second touch. The hand of the artist must obey his thought with absolutely unfailing fidelity or the work is worthless. Hence the special difficulty of this description of art, and the necessity of a very high degree of mastery in him who attempts it. In the present case Signor Bertini has succeeded admirably. But I was especially struck by the taste and liberality of the Milanese banker, who, instead of making his room gorgeous with damask hangings and satin and velvet, which any man who has cash in his pocket may have, is giving encouragement to the art of his country, and doing at this day exactly that which the Strozzi, the Borghesi, the Medici and so many other bankers and merchants did three hundred and odd years ago, and by doing made Italy what it was.



The conventional romance of the long-lost husband returning home just in time to interrupt the second nuptials of his wife is told of Samuel Cranston, governor of Rhode Island, who died in 1727, after being elected to that office thirty-two times in succession.

It appears that when quite a young man Mr. Cranston married Mary, a granddaughter of Roger Williams. Soon after the marriage he went to sea, was captured by pirates and carried to some country—Algiers, it is supposed—where he was detained for several years without being able to communicate with his family. Meanwhile, Mrs. Cranston, believing him to be dead, accepted an offer of marriage, and was on the eve of the nuptial ceremonies when her first husband arrived in Boston. There he heard the news of the proposed marriage, but there being no such thing then as telegraphs or railroads, he started for home by means of post-horses as fast as they could carry him. When he reached [pg 132] Howland's Ferry, just before night, he learned that his wife was to be married that very evening. "With increased speed he flew to Newport, but not until the wedding-guests had begun to assemble. She was called by a servant into the kitchen, 'a person being there who wished to speak with her.' A man in sailor's habit advanced and informed her that her husband had arrived in Boston, and requested him to inform her that he was on his way to Newport." It does not appear that the hero of this romance made any attempt to find out if his wife had become more attached to his rival, with the purpose of remaining incognito should he find this to be the fact. On the contrary, after being questioned very closely by her, he advanced toward her, "raised his cap, and pointing to a scar on his forehead, said, 'Do you recollect that scar?'" Whereupon she at once recognized him, though the romance is marred by the absence of the assurance that she "flew into his arms." This may be inferred, however, for the returned wanderer became the hero of the evening, entertaining the wedding-guests with an account of his adventures and sufferings among the pirates.


This phenomenon appeared off the northern coast of Block Island about 1720, and reappeared at irregular intervals down to the year 1832, since which it has not been seen. A common impression of those seeing it for the first time was that it was a light on board of some ship, or a ship on fire when very bright. Arnold, in his History of Rhode Island, gives an account of it, and also of the tradition which assigned to it a strange origin. "This light," he remarks, "has been the theme of much learned discussion within the present century, and, while the superstition connected with it is of course rejected, science has failed thus far in giving it a satisfactory explanation." Dr. Aaron C. Willey, a resident physician of Block Island, wrote a careful account of the phenomenon in 1811, which was published at the time in the Parthenon, whatever that may have been. He says: "Its appellation originated from that of a ship called the Palatine, which was designedly cast away at this place in the beginning of the last century, in order to conceal, as tradition reports, the inhuman treatment and murder of some of its unfortunate passengers." This was an emigrant ship bound from Holland to Pennsylvania. Some seventeen of the survivors were landed on the island, but they all died except three. One lady, it was said, having "much gold and silver plate on board," refused to land. The ship floated off the rocks, and soon after disappeared for ever. Dr, Willey says he saw this light in February, 1810. "It was twilight, and the light was then large and greatly lambent, very bright, broad at the bottom and terminating acutely upward. From each side seemed to issue rays of faint light similar to those perceptible in any blaze placed in the open air at night. It continued about fifteen minutes from the time I first observed it, then gradually became smaller and more dim until it was entirely extinguished." The same gentleman saw it again in the following December, when he thought it was a light on board of some vessel until undeceived. It moved along apparently parallel to the shore on this occasion, after a time falling behind the doctor, who was riding along the coast. Finally, it stopped, then moved off some rods and stopped again. The same authority declares that he had been told by a gentleman living near the sea that it had often been so bright as to "illuminate considerably the walls of his room through the windows." This happened only when the light was within half a mile from the shore, for it was "often seen blazing at six or seven miles' distance, and strangers supposed it to be a vessel on fire."



It is not very extraordinary that printers' ink is a poor pigment for painting sunsets or sunrises. The strange thing is that travelers and sentimentalizers obstinately ignore the fact, and hang their paper walls with more scenery of that [pg 133] description than any other. What a gallery of alpine, arctic and marine sunsets we have, and how blank an impression do they all produce! From any of them, done with a clever pen by one who undertakes to describe what he has freshly seen, we gather that the spectacle must have been very fine, and must have deeply delighted the spectator. We can even catch some tints here and there, but they are fugitive, and each escapes the eye before it grasps the next one. If we shut our eyes on Tennyson's page we may realize a glimpse of Mont Blanc blushing through "a thousand shadowy penciled valleys," and have a momentary pleasure; but the poet's picture does not abide with us. Some one devotes a couple of pages to mapping out the infinitude of half-tints that composed a summer's evening view looking seaward from the North Cape—a good subject faithfully gone into, but still not a satisfactory sketch even of the reality. The pen and type will outline and shade, but cannot color. They give us some fair landscapes made up of form and effect; they can compass a cavernous bit of Rembrandt, a curtain of fog or shower, or a staircase of wood and rock climbing into the distance, just as they can sometimes faintly depict the infinite chiaroscuro of the Miserere in St. Peter's; but the monochrome, in music as in painting, is their limit.

Has photography dealt hardly with portrait-painting as a branch of art, or has it benefited it by weeding out the feeble? The Memorial Exhibition will assist in determining. It will, we hope, allow the best living painters in this department to be fully represented by the side of their predecessors. We shall then see if the Inmans, Neagles, and Sullys are an extinct species, and if the ranks of their pupils have melted away before the cannon-like camera. We cannot believe that the sun, always exaggerating perspective except when rectified by the stereoscope, and more or less falsifying light and shade by the chemical effect of different rays, is to be the only limner of faces. Thus imperfect even in mechanical execution, it seems impossible that he should supersede future Vandycks. As Webster used to say to young lawyers, there is plenty of room up stairs. Painters may fearlessly aim to get above the sun. Take one of Sully's women and compare it with the smoothest print softened into inanity by the dots of the retoucher of negatives—the representative of the element of art in the process. A difference exists equivalent to that between brain and no brain. No woman, "primp" herself for the sitting as she may, can present her soul to the dapper gentleman under the canopy of black velvet as Sully saw it. She does not know herself, as reflected in her lineaments, as he did; and in ninety-nine cases out of a hundred the knight of the tripod does not know her at all.

The same is true of John Neagle as a perpetuator of character with the pencil. Men were his best subjects. In individualizing them he has had no superior, if an equal, among American artists. His finish was not always good, and his coloring for that reason occasionally crude. In female heads he was less happy: character-painters generally are. Stuart's women are equally defective, but in a rather different way, being hard and angular in drawing.

England is determined not to shrink from the solution of the time-honored problem of the result of the meeting between an irresistible force and an impregnable target. Her iron-clads have piled pellicle on pellicle of iron till two feet thick has become their normal shell. Everything thinner has been punctured, and now an eighty-ton gun, to cost sixty thousand pounds, is getting ready to perforate that. There must be a stopping-point for all this somewhere. Perhaps the fate of armor afloat may soon be settled finally by the torpedo, as its efficiency on land was disposed of by the bullet, and the men-at-arms of the sea no longer lord it over hosts of wooden yeomanry. Happy the nation that can look on with its hands firmly in its pockets while others lavish their treasure in seeking the new philosopher's stone!

[pg 134]


Nero: An Historical Play. By W.W. Story. Edinburgh and London: Wm. Blackwood & Sons; New York: Scribner, Welford & Armstrong,

The fashion of so-called historical dramas is spreading, but the standard is lowering. When Mr. Swinburne wrote Chastelard, whatever its faults, it was entitled to the name of drama: last year he published Bothwell, which, whatever its beauties, does not deserve to be so ranked. Tennyson's Queen Mary followed during the past summer, and many similar attempts may be expected from less illustrious pens. It is an unfortunate direction for dramatic and poetic composition to have taken, tending to impair the excellence of both styles, while fulfilling the exigencies of neither. Bothwell and Queen Mary are not historical dramas, but versified chronicles, a certain number of pages of the annals of Scotland and England in metre, divided into acts and scenes and distributed into parts. Such a production, be it called what it may, must necessarily lack the essential qualities of the true drama, while it introduces into a branch of literature which belongs to the imagination the realism against which art is struggling. The latest specimen of this new school is Mr. Story's Nero, for, although by his preface it appears that the publication did not follow the writing for several years, it comes to the world in the wake of the aforementioned works. It is to be remembered that Mr. Story's pen is as versatile as his talent is various. He has given the public two law-books, commonly attributed to his eminent father; the delightful Roba di Roma, which embodies the actual animate beauty and interest of Roman life; a volume of poems, Graffiti d'Italia, full of fine dramatic fragments and studies of character in the manner of Browning, descriptions which are pictures, and sweet verses which live in the heart; and a number of essays in the pleasantest style of table-talk. Moreover, we are to bear in mind that this gentleman is not an author by profession, but one of the most distinguished living sculptors. But the very merit of his productions subjects them to a code of criticism more severe than that by which amateur performances are usually judged, and the faults one finds are by comparison with a standard which makes fault-finding flattery. In the first place, one cannot turn over a few pages of Mr. Story's Nero without perceiving that he is imbued with the knowledge of classical things and times, and with the study of Shakespeare and the old English playwrights. The turn of the phrases and the march of the passages recall those best models, though without imitation. As in them, there is less beauty than vigor and spirit: the dialogue is strewn with expressions as striking as they are simple. Speaking of Claudius's murder, Burrhus says:

And Agrippina, startled, pushed him down

The dark declivity to death.

Agrippina herself to Nero:

Oh what a day it was

When, with a shout that seemed to rend the air,

The army hailed you Cæsar! My poor heart

Shook like the standards straining to the breeze

With that great cheer of triumph.

The finest portions of the play are those in which Agrippina has the principal part, and, notwithstanding some flaws and inconsistencies in the character, which is evidently meant to be complete and homogeneous, the whole impression is very forcible and single. Her final menace (Act ii., Scene 5) when Nero defies her, the terrible scene in which she tries to regain her failing influence by kindling unholy fire in his blood, her rage at the inaction and ignorance of her forced retirement, her monologue when she knows that her last hour has come, are all of a piece and exceedingly well sustained. The dramatic ends of the play would have been better answered if she and her son had been the central figures, and the tragedy had ended with her death. Poppæa is closely studied: her petty, feline personality contrasts well with the large, imperial presence of Agrippina. Nero himself is not so successful as a whole: his puerility in the first part is overdone, though as the play goes on the creation takes definite shape, and becomes at once more complex and more distinct. The invariable recurrence of his vanity at the most tremendous moments is admirably managed: it is like an unconscious trick of look or gesture for which we watch. In his first outburst of grief at Poppæa's death he cries:

[pg 135]

How still she lies!

How perfect in her calm! No more distress,

No agitations more, no joy, no pain.

I'll keep her as she is. Fire shall not burn

That lovely shape; but it shall sleep embalmed—

Thus, thus for ever in the Julian tomb,

And she shall be enrolled among the gods.

A splendid temple shall be raised to her,

A public funeral be hers, and I

The funeral eulogy myself will speak.

There are some impressive dramatic situations, the finest of which is at the close of the second act, after the murder of Britannicus, the result of a threat from Agrippina to dethrone her refractory son in behalf of the rightful heir:

Nero. How is Britannicus?

Agrip. Dead.

Nero. Are you sure?

Agrip. Go see his corpse there, and assure yourself.

Nero. Dead? Poor Britannicus! who might have sat

Upon this very throne instead of me!

Agrip. Nero!

Nero. My mother!

Agrip. Ah! I understand.

Nero. Take him and make him emperor—if you can.

This has what the French call the coup de fouet. But the power and progress of the play are clogged by two faults—defective construction and a curious diffuseness and lack of concentration in many of the scenes and speeches. The action is sadly impeded, for instance, by the author's not making one business of Seneca's death, but spinning it out through four scenes of going and coming, as also with Poppæa's, and even more with Nero's, where the intercalation of long conversations with changes of places and personages is hurtful, almost destructive, to the effect. This appears to be the result of too close an adherence to fact, which brings us back to our original grievance against dramatizing history. The loss of force from lack of concentration probably arises from carelessness, haste or want of revision. From the same causes may spring, too, sundry anachronisms of expression, such as "For God's sake;" vulgarisms like "Leave me alone" for "Let me alone;" extraordinary commonplaces, as in the comparison of popular favor to a weathercock, and of woman's love to a flower worn, then thrown aside; and a constant lapsing from the energy and spirit of the dialogue into flatness, familiarity and triviality. There is an occasional not unwholesome coarseness which recalls Mr. Story's Elizabethan masters, as in the following passage:

What a crew is this

Which just have fled! Foul suckers that drop off

When they no more can on their victims gorge!

This Tigellinus....

Within his sunshine basked and buzzed and stung;

And, now the shadow comes, off, like a fly—

A pestilent and stinking fly—he goes!

But it is unpardonable to make even Nero say, "I have to rinse my mouth after her kiss."

The fine qualities of the composition give the blemishes relief, and the material deserved that Mr. Story should work it up to its utmost possible perfection.

Autobiography of Mrs. Fletcher. With Letters and other Family Memorials. Edited by the Survivor of her Family. Boston: Roberts Brothers.

There are in this work several elements of a gentle but unfailing interest, such as generally attaches to the class of books to which it belongs. It gives us some delineations of bygone manners and social changes, glimpses of many more or less notable persons, and above all the record of a life which, without being in the usual sense of these terms eventful or distinguished, stands forth as one in a great degree self-determined and bearing a strong impress of individuality. Mrs Fletcher was one of those women who easily become the central figures of the circles in which they move, and who owe this position, not to any transcendent qualities, but to the combined and irresistible influence of great personal charms, a high degree of mental vivacity, and those sympathetic and harmonizing qualities which it is so difficult to define, but which are equally distinct from mere amiability on the one hand and intense self-devotion on the other. There seems to be in such characters a hint of heroic possibilities that would only be narrowed and despoiled of some of their charm if put to the test of action. Lord Brougham compared Mrs. Fletcher to Madame Roland, but she had neither the soaring intellect nor the self-assertive tendencies that mark the representative of a cause. Principle, however, counted for much more with her than with the sex generally, and one can easily believe that her tenacity in adhering to it would have been proof against any ordeal whether of persecution or persuasion. This trait was not more strikingly illustrated by the strength and fervency of her Whiggism amid the reactionary tide produced by the excesses of the French Revolution than by [pg 136] the circumstances of her marriage. The only child of a small landed proprietor in Yorkshire, she had no lack of opportunities for gratifying her father's ambition by marrying in a rank far above her own. Nor was it her ardent affection for the man of her choice that made her strong against entreaties and reproaches. She would probably have been capable of any sacrifice of feeling imposed by her sense of duty, but it was this latter sentiment that forbade the sacrifice. "I was not, perhaps," she writes, "what in the language of romance is called in love with Mr. Fletcher, but I was deeply and tenderly attached to him. He had inspired a confidence and regard I had never felt for any other man. I could not bear the thought of marrying in opposition to my father's will, but I was resolved on principle never to marry so long as Mr. Fletcher remained single." He was twenty years her senior, without fortune, and hindered, instead of aided, in his struggle at the Scottish bar by his prominence as an advocate of reform. These, she admits, were "sound and rational objections," and could she have prevailed on Mr. Fletcher to release her from the engagement, this solution, she confesses, would have been less painful to her than offending her father. But her lover remaining firm, she decided after two years, having come of age in the interval, to take the step dictated by honor as well as inclination, and which the event proved to have been, as she anticipated, "best for the interest and happiness of all parties."

Her married life lasted thirty-seven years, and she survived her husband nearly thirty more, dying in 1858 at the age of eighty-seven. Her career was, on the whole, one of singular happiness and prosperity, made so in part by fortunate circumstances, but in a still greater degree by her sunny temperament, her power of attracting and retaining friends, her unflagging interest in public affairs and her unshaken belief in human progress. Jeffrey and Brougham were among her earliest friends, Carlyle and Mazzini among her latest, and there have been few Englishmen of note in the present century whose names do not appear in the list. Unfortunately, they appear for the most part as names only. They occur incidentally in a record intended not for the public, but for the writer's own family, whose interest in her personal history needed no stimulant and called for no extraneous details. Here and there we find a passage calculated to whet if not to satisfy a more general curiosity, such as the account of a conversation with Wordsworth after his return from Italy in 1837, and some letters from Mazzini written soon after his first arrival in England, But even these belong not to the memoir itself, but to the editor's additions. The book is therefore not to be judged by a mere literary standard, or read with expectations founded on a general knowlege of the writer's position and associations. On all with whom she came in contact Mrs. Fletcher produced the impression of a character singularly round and complete. Something of the same influence is felt in the perusal of her unaffected narrative, and with readers of a reflective turn may prove a sufficient compensation for the lack of more ordinary attractions.

Books Received.

Notes on the Manufacture of Pottery among Savage Races. By Ch. Fred. Hartt, A.M. Rio de Janeiro: Printed at the office of the "South American Mail."

The History of My Friends; or, Home-Life with Animals. Translated from the French of Emile Achard. New York; G.P. Putnam's Sons.

The Cultivation of Art, and its Relations to Religious Puritanism and Money-Getting. By A.R. Cooper. New York: Chas. P. Somerby.

Health Fragments; or, Steps toward a True Life. By Geo. H. Everett, M.D. New York: Chas. P. Somerby.

Sewerage and Sewage Utilization. By Prof. W.H. Corfield, M.A. New York: D. Van Nostrand.

Notes of Travel in South-western Africa. By C.J. Andersson. New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons.

St. George and St. Michael: A Novel. By George Macdonald. New York: J.B. Ford & Co.

Water and Water-Supply. By W.H. Corfield, M.A., M.D. New York: D. Van Nostrand.

Home Pastorals, Ballads and Lyrics. By Bayard Taylor. Boston: James R. Osgood & Co.

Soul Problems, with other Papers. By Joseph E. Peck. New York: Chas. P. Somerby.

Scripture Speculations. By Halsey R. Stevens. New York: Charles P. Somerby.

Antiquity of Christianity. By John Alberger. New York: Chas. P. Somerby.

The Ship in the Desert. By Joaquin Miller. Boston: Roberts Brothers.

Footnote 1: (return)

Although the various states of Italy were conquered by Rome before Greece was, it is probable that emphyteusis was not employed in those states until after the year B.C. 146—between that and B.C. 120.

Footnote 2: (return)

The Mondega annually overflows its banks, changes its course and buries thousands of once fertile acres under sand and stones; the Vonga has converted the once productive land between Aveiro and Ovar into a vast morass; the Douro is periodically converted into a frightful and resistless torrent which sweeps everything before it.

Footnote 3: (return)

Prize Essay on Portugal, London, 1854.

Footnote 4: (return)

Parliamentary Papers, London, 1870.

Footnote 5: (return)

Estudos Estatisticos, hygienicos e administrativas sobre as doenças e a mortalidade do exercito Portuguez, etc., by Dr. José Antonio Marques, Lisbon, 1862.

Footnote 6: (return)

Doria, p. 184.

Footnote 7: (return)

The Registrar-General of England.

Footnote 8: (return)

L.A. Rebello da Silva (minister of marine), Economia. Rural, Lisbon, 1868.

Footnote 9: (return)

It is understood, of course, that the census figures of births are admittedly and grossly inaccurate.

Footnote 10: (return)

Porter's Progress, p. 21.

Footnote 11: (return)

During the thirteen years from 1840-52 the number of children deposited in the Oporto foundling was 15,608, of whom no less than 11,310, or 72.4 per cent.—nearly three-fourths—died while in the hospital. Most of the remainder died during infancy after leaving the hospital.

Footnote 12: (return)

In some districts of Portugal the proportion of married to single persons is as 1 to 173!