The Project Gutenberg eBook of Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, Volume 12, No. 33, December, 1873

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Title: Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, Volume 12, No. 33, December, 1873

Author: Various

Release date: October 17, 2004 [eBook #13770]
Most recently updated: December 18, 2020

Language: English

Credits: Produced by Juliet Sutherland, Patricia Bennett and the Online
Distributed Proofreading Team.





Vol. XII, No. 33.




VI.—Shall Auld Acquaintance Be Forgot? (625)



III.—Bangkok. (643)




In Two Parts—II. (668)







Chapter XXII—"Like Hadrianus And Augustus." (708)

Chapter XXIII—In Exile. (718)

Chapter XXIV—"Hame Fain Would I Be." (726)


Mr. E. Lytton Bulwer By L. GAYLORD CLARK. (739)

Salvini's Othello By A.F. (742)

A Letter From New York By MARGARET CLAYSON. (744)

NOTES. (747)


Books Received. (750)

List of Illustrations

The Register.

A Virtuoso.

Delights of the Verlobten.

The Churchyard Lover.

On the First Step.

The Legal Profession and Profession of Friendship.



Losing Time.

Grand Duke's Palace, Baden.

The Wood-path.

Scene of Matthisson's Poem Imitating Gray's "Elegy."

"Wine or Beer!"

Entrance to the Alt-Schloss.



The King of Siam Returning to His Palace.

Elephant Armed for War.

The Great Gilded Booddh.

Funeral Pile for the Second King.

Seventy-second Child of the King of Siam.

Entrance to the Royal Harem.




[pg 625] My first dinner in the avenue of Ettlingen followed upon the twelve-barreled bath, but was far from being so glacial a refreshment. As I descended, quite pink and glowing, I found eight or ten individuals in the dining-room. They were French and Belgians, and exchanged a lively conversation in half a dozen provincial accents. The servants too talked French in levying on the cook for provisions: for this, as I have since learned, the domestics of my snug little boarding-house were deemed somewhat pretentious by the serving-people of the vicinity, who considered the tongue of Paris a sort of court language, for circulation among aristocrats only, and supposed that even in France the hired folk all talked German. My reception at the cheerful board was as cordial as possible.

The Register.

The Register.

Placed opposite me, our young hostess was looking in my direction with an intentness that struck me as singular. My passport was uppermost in my mind. I was not, however, very uneasy, for the reply of Sylvester Berkley would soon arrive and put an official seal upon my standing. It occurred to me, however, that I was a traveler accompanied by no other baggage than a tin box and an umbrella, and introduced by a coachman who had no reason whatever for forming lofty notions of my respectability. The landlady, whom I had scarcely seen on my arrival, was pretty, neat and quick, and an argument suggested [pg 626] itself that seemed adapted to her station and habits. I was base enough to take out my watch, a very fine Poitevin, and make an advertisement of that pledge under pretence of comparing time with the mantel-clock. This precious manoeuvre appeared quite successful.

Very soon my ideas of apprehension and defiance were followed by other thoughts of a very different kind. The expression of the youthful housekeeper was not only softened in continuing to watch me, but it took on a look of great kindness and good-humor—a look that the finest watch in the world would never have inspired. On my own side I furtively examined this gentle yet scrutinizing physiognomy. Surely those gentle glances and my own faded old eyes were not entire strangers.

When Winckelmann was filling the villa Albani with antiques, it often happened to him to clasp a fair Greek head in his arms and go pottering along from torso to torso till he could find a shoulder fit to support his lovely burden. Such was my exercise with this pleasant head in its neat cambric cap; but in place of consulting my memory with the proper coolness, I am afraid I questioned my heart.

Immediately after the coffee my pretty hostess, passing my chair, with a quick motion in going out made me a slight gesture. I followed her into a small office or ante-chamber adjoining. The furniture was very simple; the indicator, with a figure for every bell, decorated the wall in its cherry-wood frame; the keys, hanging aslant in rows, like points of interrogation in a letter of Sévigné's, formed a corresponding ornament; and a row of registers on the desk completed the furniture. One of these books she drew forward, opened and presented for my signature, still flashing over my face that intent but benevolent glance.

"Monsieur, have the goodness to inscribe your name, the place you came from, and that of your destination."

I took the pen, and, with the air of complying exactly and courteously with her demand, folded the quill into three or four lengths, and placed it weltering in ink within my waistcoat pocket. I was looking intently into my hostess's face.

I think no American can observe without peculiar complacency the neat artisanne's cap on the brows of a respectable young Frenchwoman. This cap is made of some opaque white substance, tender yet solid, and the theory of its existence is that it should be stainless and incapable of disturbance. It is the badge of an order, the sign of unpretending industry. The personage who wears it does not propose to look like a "dame:" she contentedly crowns herself with the tiara of her rank. Long generations of unaspiring humility have bequeathed her this soft and candid sign of distinction: as her turn comes in the line of inheritance she spends her life in keeping unsullied its difficult purity, and she will leave to her daughters the critical task of its equipoise. If she soils or rumples or tears it, she descends in her little scale of dignities and becomes an ouvrière. If she loses it, she is unclassed entirely, and enters the half-world. The porter's wife with her dubious mob-cap, and the hard, flaunting grisette with her melancholy feathers and determined chapeau, are equally removed from the white cap of the "young person." To maintain it in its vestal candor and proud sincerity is not always an easy task in a land where every careless student and idle nobleman is eager to tumble it with his fingers or to pin among its frills the blossom named love-in-idleness: Mimi Pinson has to wear her cap very close to her wise little head. To herself and to those among whom she moves nothing perhaps seems more natural than the successful carriage of this white emblem, triumphantly borne from age to age above the dust of labor and in the face of all kinds of temptation; but to the republican from beyond the seas it is a kind of sacred relic. The Yankee who knows only the forlorn aureoles of wire and greased gauze surrounding the sainted heads of Lowell factory-girls, and the frowsy ones of New York bookbinders, is struck by the artisanne cap as by [pg 627] something exquisitely fresh, proud and truthful.

My landlady's cap was as far removed from pretence as from vulgarity. Her hair was brown, smooth, old-fashioned and nun-like. I looked at her hand, which, having replaced the pen, was inviting me with a gesture of its handsome squared fingers to contribute my autograph, I made my note, pausing often to look up at my beautiful writing-mistress: "PAUL FLEMMING, American: from Paris to Marly—by way of the Rhine."

I had not finished, when, lowering her pretty head to scrutinize my crabbed handwriting, she cried, "It is certainly he, the américain-flamand! I was certain I could not be mistaken."

"Do you know me then, madame?'

"Do I know you? And you, do you not recognize me?"

"I protest, madame, my memory for faces is shocking; and, though there are few in the world comparable with yours—"

She interrupted me with a gesture too familiar to be mistaken. A tumbler was on the desk filled with goose-quills. Taking this up like a bouquet, and stretching it out at arm's length to an imaginary passer-by, she sang, with a mischievous professional brio, "Fresh roses to-day, all fresh! White lilacs for the bride, and lilies for the holy altar! pinks for the button of the young man who thinks himself handsome. Who buys my bluets, my paquerettes, my marguerites, my penseés?"

It was strangely like something I well knew, yet my mind, confused with the baggage of unexpected travel, refused to throw a clear light over this fascinating rencounter.

The little landlady threw her head back to laugh, and I saw a small rose-colored tongue surrounded with two strings of pearls: "Very well, Monsieur Flemming! Have you forgotten the two chickens?"

It was the exclamation by which, in his neat tavern, I had recognized my brave old friend Joliet: it was impossible, by the same shibboleth, to refuse longer an acquaintance with his daughter.

My entertainer, in fact, was no other than Francine Joliet, grown from a little female stripling into a distracting pattern of a woman. Twelve years had never thrown more fortunate changes over a growing human flower.

A Virtuoso.

A Virtuoso.

The acquaintance being thus renewed, I could not but remember my last conversation with Joliet—his way of acquainting me with her absence from home, his mention of her godmother in Brussels, and his strange reticence as I pressed the subject. A slight chill, owing perhaps to the undue warmth of my admiration for this delicate creature, fell over my first cordiality. I asked a question or two, assuming a kind, elderly type of interest: "How do you find yourself here in Carlsruhe? Are you satisfactorily placed?"

"As well as possible, dear M. Flemming. I am a bird in its nest."

"Mated, no doubt, my dear?"


"You are not a widow, I hope, my poor little Francine?"

"No." She blushed, as if she had not been pretty enough before.

"They call you madame, you see."

"A mistress of a hotel, that is the usual title. Is it not the custom among the Indians of America?"

[pg 628]

"The godmother who took care of you—you perceive how well I know your biography, my child—is she dead, then?"

"No, thank Heaven! She is quite well."

"She is doubtless now living in Carlsruhe?"

"No, at Brussels."

"Then why are you here? why have you quitted so kind a friend?"

My catechism, growing thus more and more brutal, might have been prolonged until bedtime, but on the arrival of a new traveler she left me there, with a pen in my hand and a quantity of delicious cobwebs in my head, saying gently, "I will see you this evening, kind friend."

The same evening, after a botanizing stroll in the adjoining wood—a treat that my tin box and I had promised each other—I found myself again with Francine. Full of curiosity as I was concerning her adventures, I determined that she should direct the conversation herself, and take her own pretty time to tell the more personal parts of the story.

The stage grisette is perpetually exploring the pockets of her apron. Francine, who wore a roundabout apron of a white and crackling nature, adorned her conversation by attending to the hem of hers. When she asked about my last interview with her father, she ironed that hem with the nail of her rosy little thumb; when she fell into reminiscences of her mother, she smoothed the apron respectfully and sadly; when she proposed a question or a doubt, she extracted little threads from the seam: at last, perfectly satisfied with the apron, she laid her two small hands in each other on its dainty snow-bank, and resigned herself to a perfect torrent of remarks about the horse, the van, the little cabin among the roses, the small one-eyed dog and the two chickens. Conversation, a thing which is manufactured by an American girl, is a thing which takes possession of a French girl.

All the while I remained uninstructed as to why my had left her protectress, why she was keeping house at Carlsruhe, and on what understanding her customers called her madame.

I was obliged to take next day a long alterative excursion among the trees of the Haardtwald: in fact, her gentle warmth, her freshness, her nattiness, the very protection she shed over me, were working sad mischief to my peace of mind. I came upon an old shepherd, who, with his music-book thrown into a bush in front of him, was leaning back against a tree and drawing sweet sounds out of a cornet-à-piston.

"Even so," I said, "did Stark the Viking hear the notes of the enchanted horn teaching every tree he came to the echo of his true-love's name."

But the churlish shepherd, the moment he caught sight of me, put up his pipe, whistled to his dogs and rejoined the flock. I was dissatisfied with his unsocial retreat. I felt, with renewed force, that a note was lacking to the full harmony of my life, and I threw myself upon a bank. I tried not to see the artificial roads of the forest, alive with city carriages. I believed myself lost in a primeval wood, and I examined the state of my heart. I perceived with concern that that organ was still lacerated. The languid, musical pageant of my youth streamed toward me again through the leafy aisles, and I remembered my high aspirings, my poems, my ideals: the floating vision of a Dark Ladye passed or looked up at me through the broken waves of Oblivion; she listened to my rhapsodies with the old puzzling silence; she confided to me certain Sibylline leaves out of her diary; then she receded, cold and unresponsive, a statue cut out of a shadow. I was obliged to untie my cravat. Finally, I fell asleep and dreamed of Mary Ashburton crowned with the neat workwoman's cap of Francine Joliet. I returned to dinner considerably exalted, and just touched with rheumatism.

The soup was glacial, the roast was steaming, the conversation was geographical. "Pray, M. Flemming," said my neighbor (he had been stealing a look at the register of visitors' names), "can cattle be wintered out of doors as [pg 629] far north as Pennsylvania, or only up to Virginia?"

"Pray," said another, "is not New York situated between the North River and the Hudson?"

The prayer of a third made itself audible: "Ought we to say 'Delightful Wyoming,' after Campbell, or Wyoming?"

"We ought to eat with thankfulness the good things set before us," I replied, with some presence of mind. "Excuse me, gentlemen," I added, to carry off my vivacity, "but I think informing conversation is a bore until after the nuts and raisins. A Danish proverb says that he who knows what he is saying at a feast has but poor comprehension of what he is eating. On my way hither, breakfasting at Strasburg, I enjoyed a lesson in geography, and I aver that though the lesson was elementary, I breakfasted very badly."

Delights of the Verlobten.

Delights of the Verlobten.

"Who was the teacher?" asked the explorer of Wyoming, a German, in the tone of a man to whom no professor of Geography could properly be a stranger.

"The teacher," I answered with a smile, "was one Fortnoye—"

I did not finish my sentence. At that name, Fortnoye, a kind of electric movement was communicated around the board. Every eye sought the face of Francine, who, troubled and confused, fell upon the cutlet placed before her and cut it feverishly into flinders. Evidently there was a secret thereabouts. When [pg 630] coffee was on, I applied myself to satisfying the topographic doubts of my neighbors, but the name of the geographical professor was approached no more.

When dinner was over, and only two stranded Belgians remained at table, discussing whether the Falls of Niagara plunge from the United States into Canada, or from Canada into the United States, I stole into the narrow office, believing I should see Francine.

She was not there, but the register was lying on the desk. I fell to turning the leaves over furiously: I felt that I was on the trail of Fortnoye. I was not long in amassing a quantity of discoveries. Going back to the previous year, I found the signature of Fortnoye in March and April; in July and September, Fortnoye bound up and down the Rhine; in the depth of the winter, Monsieur Tonson-Fortnoye come again! Evidently one of the most frequent guests of my delicate Francine was the interpreter of Cosmos in Strasburg, the white-bearded mystifier of the champagne-cellar, the finest singing-voice in Épernay.

The Churchyard Lover.

The Churchyard Lover.

Toward ten o'clock, as I paced the little grove called the Oak Wood, I saw at the miniature lake four persons, who were regaining the bank after trying to detach the little boat moored by the shore. They were just the four from our social table with whom I best agreed. I joined the party, and, hooking now a friendly arm to the elbow of one, now to that of another, I soon obtained all they had to communicate on the subject which occupied my mind. Each knew Fortnoye intimately: the result of my quadratic amounted to the following:

First. Fortnoye, educated at the Polytechnic School in Paris, is a man of grave character and profound learning.

Second. Fortnoye is a roysterer, latterly occupied in extending the connection of a champagne-house at Épernay. He is a Bohemian, even a poet: he can rhyme, but strictly in the interests of commerce—he composes only drinking-songs.

Third. Fortnoye is an exploded speculator, dismissed from the French Board: obliged to beat a retreat to Belgium, he soon found himself in Baden, where he had good luck at the green table shortly before the war.

Fourth, and last. (This was from the man of Wyoming.) Fortnoye only retreated to Belgium as a refuge for his [pg 631] demagogic opinions. He belongs to the innermost circle of the Commune and to all the French and Italian secret associations. He is represented in the background of several of Courbet's pictures. He has been everywhere: in Italy he joined the society of the Mary Anne, where he met the celebrated Lothair. This order has a branch called the Society of Pure Illumination. If he has liberty to return into France, it is because he is connected with the detective police.

The information, extensive as it was, did not altogether satisfy me. I made little of the inconsistencies betrayed by the various counsels of the Areopagus, but I closed the whole solemnity with one crucial interrogatory: "What the dickens does Fortnoye come prowling around Francine Joliet's house for?"

The answer was not calculated to please me: "She is young and attractive: Fortnoye advanced the funds to set her up in the house."

But my morose thoughts were distracted by the scene around us. The moon burst up above the trees of the Oak Wood—a fine ample German moon, like a Diana of Rubens. Close to our sides passed numerous young couples, holding hands, clasping waists, chattering gayly, or walking in silence with a blonde head laid on a burly shoulder. One of my companions pointed out a specially stalwart and graceful young apprentice, whose elbow, supported on a rustic bench, was bent around a mass of beautiful golden hair.

"An eligible verlobter," said he.

I thought of Perrette and the tall young man who had helped pull her milk-cart. My friend continued: "Betrothal hereabouts is a serious institution. The girl who loses her verlobter becomes a widow. Woe betide her if she dreams of replacing him too early! She will find herself followed by ill looks and contemptuous tongues: she even runs the risk of having nobody to marry better than a dead man, if we may believe the history of Bettina of Ettlingen."

"The history of Bettina of Ettlingen? That sounds like the title to a ballad."

"It is a recent history, which you would take for a legend of the twelfth century."

On the First Step.

On the First Step.

I cannot help it. In face of that word legend my mind stops and stares rigidly like a pointer dog. The moment was favorable for a good story: the sky was covered with flocked clouds, behind which the ample German moon, shorn of half its brightness, took suddenly the pale gilded tint of sauerkraut. The wandering lovers, half effaced in the gloom, looked like straying shades in an Elysium.

"Ettlingen is between Carlsruhe and Rastadt, an hour's walking as you go to Kehl. The flowers grow there without thinking about it, and sow their own seed. It is therefore a simple thing to be a gardener, and Bettina's father, the florist, attended entirely to his pipe, leaving the cares of business to his apprentice, whose name was Nature. [pg 632] Bettina, as became the daughter of a gardener, was a kind of rose: Wilhelm, the baker's young man, would have thrown himself into the furnace for her. But there came along Fritz, the dyer, who had been in France and who wore gloves. She continued a while to promenade with Wilhelm under the chestnut trees which surround the fortifications of Ettlingen, but one night she suddenly withdrew her hand: 'You had better find a nicer girl than I am: I do not feel that I could make you happy.' Wilhelm disappeared from the country. His departure, which was the talk of Ettlingen, caused Bettina more remorse than regret. For six months she shut herself up: then, hearing nothing of her lover, she reappeared shyly on the promenade, divested of rings, ear-drops and ornaments. The beautiful Fritz, in his loveliest gloves, intercepted her beneath the chestnuts, and, armed with her father's consent, proposed himself for her verlobter.

"'Not yet,' she answered: 'wait till I wear my flowers again.'

"In Germany, as in Switzerland and Italy, natural flowers are indispensable to a young girl's toilet. To appear at an assembly without a blooming tuft at the corsage or in the hair is to indicate that the family is in mourning, the mother sick or the lover conscripted.

The Legal Profession and Profession of Friendship.

The Legal Profession and Profession of Friendship.

"With an exquisite natural sense, Bettina, daughter of a gardener, would never wear any flowers but wild ones. About this time there was a grand fair at Durlach: almost all Ettlingen went there, and Bettina too, but as spectatress only, and without her flowers.

"The dances which animated the others made her sad. She left the ball and wandered on the hillside. There, beneath the hedge of a sunken road, she recognized her beauteous Fritz. Poor Fritz! he was refusing himself the pleasure of the dance which he might not partake with her. Ah, the time for temporizing is over! Bettina determines that to-day, in the eyes of every one, they shall dance together, and he shall be recognized as her verlobter. She looks hastily around for flowers. The hill is bare, the road is stony: an enclosure at the left offers some promise, and Bettina enters.

"It was a cemetery. Animated with her new resolve, she thought little of the profanation, and crowned herself with flowers from the nearest grave. In an hour the villagers from Ettlingen saw her leaning on Fritz's shoulder in the waltz. That night the shade of Wilhelm stood at her bed-head: 'You have accepted the flowers growing on my grave and nourished from my heart. I am once more your verlobter.'

"Next day Fritz came, radiant, with a silver engagement-ring, which he was to exchange for that on Bettina's finger, returned by Wilhelm at his departure. But the ring was gone. At night Wilhelm reappeared, and showed the ring on his finger. Some time passed, and Bettina lost a good part of her beauty, distracted as she was between the laughing Fritz in the daytime and the pale Wilhelm at night. She was a sensible girl, however, and persuaded herself, with Fritz's assistance, that the vision was created by a disordered fancy. But she caused inquiry to be made about the grave in the cemetery at Durlach: the answer came: 'Under the first stone in the line at the right of the gate lies the body of Wilhelm Haussbach of Ettlingen, where he followed the trade of baker.'

"Then she knew that she had robbed her lover's grave to adorn herself for a new verlobter. After this the ghost of Wilhelm began to invade her promenades with Fritz, and she walked evening after evening beneath the chestnuts between her two lovers.

"The gardener's daughter never looked fairer than on her wedding-day. Armed with all her resolution, and filled with love for Fritz, she presented herself at the altar. The priest began to recite the sacramental words, when he came to a pause at the sight of Bettina, pale and wild-eyed, shivering convulsively in her bridal draperies.

"Wilhelm was again at her side, kneeling on the right, as Fritz on the left. He was in bridegroom's habit, and he offered a bouquet of graveyard-flowers—the white immortelle and the forget-me-not. When Fritz rose and put the ring on her finger she felt an icy hand draw the token off and replace it by another. At this, overcome with terror, and making a wild gesture of rejection both to right and left, she ran shrieking out of the church.

"Such is the true and authentic story of Bettina," concluded my narrator. "You may see Bettina any day at Ettlingen, a yellow old maid forty years of age. Every Sunday she goes to mass at Durlach, where she employs the rest of the day in tending flowers on a grave, the first grave in the line to the right of the gateway."

I returned to the house with this grim and tender little idyll crooning through my brains. I took my key and bed-candle, and asked the porter if a letter had arrived for me from Sylvester Berkley. Not a line! This silence became inconvenient. Not only did I rely upon [pg 633] Berkley for my passport, the certificate of my character, but likewise for the revictualing of my purse. As I passed the small throne-room of Francine, where she sat vis-à-vis with all her keys and bells, a light, a presence, an amicable little nod informed me that a friend was there for me, and sent a bath of warm and comfortable emotion all over my poor old heart.



It was late. Francine, at a little velvet account-book, was executing some fairy-like and poetical arithmetic in purple ink. I had the pleasure, before a half hour had passed, of making her commit more than one error in her columns, do violet violence to the neatness of her book, and adorn her thumb-nail with a comical tiny silhouette. My gossip, which had this encouraging and proud effect, was commenced easily upon familiar subjects, such as the old rose-garden and the chickens, but branched imperceptibly into more personal confidences. I found myself growing strangely confidential. Soon I had sketched for Francine my life of opulent loneliness, my cook and my old valet, my philosopher's den at Marly, my negligent existence at Paris, without family, country or obligations.

Her good gray eyes were swimming with tears, I thought. With a look of perfect natural sweetness she said, "To live alone and far from kin and fatherland, that is not amusing. It is like one of the small straight sticks of rose my father would take and plant in the sand in a far-away little red pot."

A delicious vignette, I confess, began to be outlined in my fancy. I cannot describe it, but I know Francine was in the middle repairing a stocking, while my own books and geographical notes, in a state of dustlessness they had never known actually, formed a brown bower [pg 634] around her. Somewhere near, in an old secretary or in a grave, was buried the ideal of an earlier, haughtier love; wrapped up in a stolen ribbon or pressed in a book.

She continued simply, "I am very much alone myself. Without the visits of Monsieur Fortnoye I should be dead of ennui. I am so glad to find you know him, monsieur!"



This jarred upon me more than I can say. I assumed, as one can at my age, an air of parental benevolence, in which I administered my dissatisfaction: "Fortnoye is a roysterer, a squanderer, a wanderer and a pètroleur. At your age, my child, you are really imprudent."

"He is a little wild, but he is young himself. And so good, so generous, so kind! I owe him everything."

"On what conditions?" said I, more severely perhaps than I meant. "Your relations, my daughter, are not very clear. Is he then your verlobter?"

She looked at me with an expression of stupefaction, then buried her face in her hands: "He my intended! Has he ever dreamed of such a thing? Am I not a poor flower-girl?"

And she was sobbing through her fingers.

My nights were sweet at Carlsruhe. My slumber was ushered in with those delicious dream-sketches that lend their grace to folly. Each morning I wondered what surprise the day would arrange for me.

The little wood was hidden from my window by an early fog: the birds were silent. I was meditating on my singular position, in pawn as it were under the care of Joliet's good daughter, when I heard my name pronounced at the bottom of the stairs. It was Sylvester Berkley.

The briskness of our friendships depends on the time when—the place where. To men in prison a familiar face is the next thing to liberty.

Some years ago I had an absurd dispute with a neighbor about a party-wall at Passy, and was obliged to go to the Palace of Justice at ten every morning for a week. My forced intercourse with those solemn birds in black plumage had a singular effect on me. While among them I felt as if cut off from my species, and visiting with Gulliver some dreadful island peopled with mere allegories. As the time passed I grew worse: I dragged myself to the Cité with horror, and before returning home was always obliged to wash out my brains by a short stroll in Notre Dame or amongst the fine glass of the Sainte Chapelle. One day, pacing the pale and shuffling corridors of the palace, waiting for an unpunctual lawyer, and regarding the gowns and caps around me with insupportable hate, at the turning of a passage—oh happiness!—a face was revealed in the distance, the face of a friend, the face of an old neighbor. At the bright apparition I made an involuntary sign of joy: the owner of the face seemed no less pleased. We walked toward each other, our hands expanded. All of a sudden a doubt seemed to strike us both at the same moment: he slackened his pace, I slackened mine. We met: we had never done so before. It was a little mistake. We saluted each other slightly and gravely, and separated once more, as wise in our looks as that irreproachable hero who, after marching up the hill with his men, pocketed his thoughts and marched down again.

My meeting with Berkley Junior was not precisely similar, but connected with the same feelings and associations. I dashed down four steps at a time, precipitated myself on him like a bird of prey, and wrung his hands again and again with fondest violence.

Now, up to that date my relations with Sylvester Berkley had been of a frigid and formal description. I had met him two or three times with his hearty old relation, and had borne away the distinct impression that he was a prig. While the uncle would breakfast in his tub, like Diogenes, off simple bones and cutlets, Sylvester ate some sort of a mash made of bruised oats: while the nephew made an untenable pretension to family honors, the elder talked familiarly of the porcelain trade, freely alluding to the youth as a piece of precious Sèvres that had cracked.

He met my advances with a calmness, imprinted with astonishment, that recalled me to myself. Against such a refrigerator my heart and fancy recovered their proper level: I had been caressing an iceberg in a white cravat. I examined my emotions, and found, to my shame, that my warmth had a selfish origin in the fact that I was alone in Carlsruhe, greatly in need of a passport and a purse.

"Do you intend shortly to quit the archducal seat?" asked Sylvester, by way of an agreeable remark.

"I have the strongest obligations to be at home," I returned. "I only await your kind assistance about my passport."

"It is expected at the office, but I fear it will not be received in time for you to take the next train. I fear we shall be obliged to keep you with us until thirty minutes past one."

He conferred on me, with his neck and his hand, a salute which had the effect of being made from a distant window. Then he departed.

To ask such a man for money was not easy. I dressed myself and marched in great haste to the gay quarter of the town, having made up my mind to depend on the mercies of the chief jeweler and the merits of my Poitevin watch. It had cost a thousand francs, and would surely, after many a service rendered, help me now to regain my home.

Another disappointment—not a pawn-broker to be found in Carlsruhe! I was ready to look upon myself as a fixture in the town, when a brilliant idea flashed upon me. One of my neighbors at table was transportation-agent at the railway dépôt. What so opportune for me as a credit on the railway company? With [pg 635] his recommendation my watch would surely be security enough.

Delighted with the thought, and with my own cleverness in originating it, I made briskly for the Ettlingen Gate, before which the road passes. Glancing at the clock on the dépôt, I regulated first my watch by the time of the place, in order that no doubt might be cast on its perfect regularity. I was holding it in my hand, my eyes still riveted on the great clock, as I stepped over the nearest rails. A shout, mixed with imprecations, was audible. My coat was seized by a vigorous fist, I was rudely pushed, my watch escaped, and the train from Frankfort, which was just entering the dépôt, only rendered it to my hands crushed, peeled and pounded. Instead of a thousand francs, my old friend would hardly bring five dollars.

Losing Time.

Losing Time.

After such a catastrophe what remained for me to do? Evidently to humble my pride and beg an obolus of young Berkley. I represented to myself that the victory over my own false shame was worth many watches, and I began to compose a little speech intended for his ear, in which I compared myself to Dante at the convent door.

I found him in his office clasping a hand-valise. "I am about to go away by your train," he said, without waiting for me to speak or remarking my shabby-genteel [pg 636] expression of heroism. He added, as he handed me a great sealed envelope, "There is your passport. Nothing imperative requires my stay here: I shall accompany you, then, as far as the station of Oos, and while you are continuing your route toward your beloved metropolis, I will go and finish my leave of absence at Baden-Baden, where I am claimed by certain conditions of my liver."

Grand Duke's Palace, Baden.

Grand Duke's Palace, Baden.

I was so nervous and uncertain of myself that this little change in the horizon upset me completely. For the life of me I could not, at that moment, and at the risk of seeing him drop his bag and rain its contents over the official courtyard, rehearse my awkward accident and disreputable beggary. On the other hand, it was much to gain a friendly companion and pass arm-in-arm with him to the ticket-office. Leaving every other plan uncertain, I determined to start from Carlsruhe in his diplomatic shadow.

I dashed with surprising agility into the house to ask for my account with Francine. I was about to explain that I would quickly settle with her from Paris, when the thoughtful little woman anticipated me. "Monsieur Flemming," she said, with her sweet supplicating air, "you left the city without meaning it. If you would like a little advance, monsieur, I am quite well supplied just now. Dispose of me: I shall be so thankful!"

The money of Fortnoye! the thought was impossible. It was impossible to resist taking her bright brown head between my hands and secreting a kiss somewhere in the laminations of the artisanne cap.

"Dear infant! I shall be an unhappy old fellow if I do not see you again very soon."

—And I was off, dragged by those obligations of the time-table which have no tenderness toward human sentiment. At one o'clock I was at the railway with Sylvester. I was uncertain of my plans, and the confusion of the dépôt added nothing to the clearness inside my head. Berkley advanced first to the ticket-seller's window. "A first-class place for Baden-Baden," said he. [pg 637]

"How many?" briskly asked the clerk, seeing us together.

At that moment Sylvester heard a ghostly voice at his ear: "You may get a couple." The voice was mine.

Berkley got them and paid. I had reflected that my letter of credit from Munroe & Co. would undoubtedly be drawn on Baden-Baden, and had suddenly taken a resolution to try the effect of the springs on my unfortunate stoutness.

We got down at the Gasthaus zum Hirsch, but I had already sold the ruins of my chronometer, and was twenty-five francs the richer for the transaction.

I cannot call Baden-Baden a city: it is a stage. It is a perpetually set-scene for light opera. Everything seems dressed up and artificial, and meant to be viewed, as it were, in the glare of the foot-lights. But instead of the shepherds in white satin who ought to be the performers in this ingenious theatre, it is the unaccustomed stranger who is forced into the position of actor. As he toils up the steep and slovenly streets, faced with shabby buildings that crack and blacken behind their ill-adjusted fronts of stucco and distemper, he cheapens rapidly in his own view: he feels painfully like the hapless supernumerary whom he has seen mounting an obvious step-ladder behind a screen of rock-work on his way to a wedding in the chapel or a coronation in the Capitol. The difference is, that here the permission to play his rôle is paid for by the performer.

But I, as I sat hugging my knee in the hotel bed-room, was possessed by loftier feelings. If there is one faculty which I can fairly extol in myself, it is that of displaying true sentiment in false situations. My thoughts, with incredible agility, went back to Francine. A knock came at the door, and my emotions received a chill: my visitor could be none but Berkley, in whose face I should see a reminder that I owed him for my car-fare.

In place of frigid politeness, however, the diplomatist wore all that he knew of good-fellowship and Bohemianism. He was now clad in tourists' plaid, and stood upon soles half an inch thick—a true Englishman on his travels.

"Come, old boy!"—old boy, indeed!—"you must taste the pleasures of Baden-Baden: it is but four o'clock, and we can see the Trinkhalle, the Conversations-Haus, and plenty besides before dinner. Is there any place in particular where you would like to go?"

The Wood-path.

The Wood-path.

I looked solemnly at him. "I would fain visit the Alt-Schloss," I said.

"With all my heart!" replied Sylvester, tapping his legs and admiring his boots. This unpromising comrade was wearing better than I expected. [pg 638]

Scene of Matthisson's Poem Imitating Gray's 'Elegy.'

Scene of Matthisson's Poem Imitating Gray's 'Elegy.'"

"Shall we have a carriage?" he pursued. At this question my face contracted as by the effect of a nervous attack. I thought of the few pence I possessed. I assumed the determined pedestrian.

"For shame!" I cried: "it is but three miles. Where are your tourist muscles? I should like to walk."

"Nothing simpler," said the man of facile views: "we shall do it within the hour."

"Wine or Beer!"

"Wine or Beer!"

I breathed again. We set off. We had before us cliffs and hills, with small Gothic towers printed on the blue of the sky; but the mountain-path beneath our steps was sanded, graveled, packed, rolled, weeded, and provided with coquettish sofas at every hundred steps. I, who happened that afternoon to feel the emotions of Manfred, would gladly have exchanged these detestable conveniences for precipices, storms and eagles.

"How ridiculous," I said with a little temper, "to go to a ruin by way of the boulevards!"

"Ah," said my companion of complaisant manners, "you like Nature? It is but the choosing."

And Berkley, perfectly acquainted with the locality, directed our steps into a narrow path hardly traced through the woods. Here at least were flowers and grass and sylvan shadows. No sooner did I smell the balm of the pine trees than my heart resigned itself, with exquisite indecision, to the thoughts of Francine Joliet and the memories of Mary Ashburton. I glanced at Berkley: he seemed, in Scotch clothes, a little less impenetrable than he had appeared in white cravat and dress-gloves. I cannot restrain my confidences when a man is near me: I buttonholed Sylvester, and I made the plunge. "I used to talk of the Alt-Schloss," [pg 639] I murmured, "with one whom I have lost."

"Ah, I comprehend: with my late uncle, perhaps."

"No, sir, not with any cynic in a tub, but with a maiden in her flower. It was one of the best points I made with Miss Ashburton."

"The Alt-Schloss is indeed a picturesque construction," said the diplomate, by way of generally inviting my confidence.

"We were conversing about the poems of Salis and Matthisson," I pursued. "I had in my pocket a little translation of Salis's song entitled 'The Silent Land,' and endeavored to bend the dialogue in a suitable direction, but these allusions are incredibly hard to introduce in conversation, and we happened to stray upon Baden-Baden. I asked Miss Ashburton if she had been here, and she answered, 'Yes, the last summer.' 'And you have not forgotten?' I suggested—'The old castle,' she rejoined. 'Of course not. What a magnificent ruin it is!'"

Entrance to the Alt-schloss.

Entrance to the Alt-Schloss.

"What tact your friend displayed," said Berkley, "to feign utter unconsciousness of the green tables, and see nothing but ruins in Baden-Baden!"

"Permit me to say," I replied quickly, "that it is not agreeable to me to have that lady alluded to, however distantly, in connection with gambling-tables. The Ashburtons had been probably drinking the waters, for her mother was noticeably stout and florid. But to continue with the poets. I explained to her that the ruins of the Alt-Schloss had suggested to Matthisson a poem in imitation of an English masterpiece. Matthisson made a study of Gray's 'Elegy,' and from it produced his 'Elegy on the Ruins of an Ancient Castle.' Miss Ashburton became nationally enthusiastic, and said she should like very much to see the poem. Her wish was usually my law, but the translation of the other song being in my pocket, I was obliged to palm it off upon her; and after conceding that Matthisson had written his 'Elegy' with unwonted inspiration, I sailed in upon that tide of feeling—with a slight inconsequence, to be sure—and [pg 640] declaimed my version from Salis. Miss Ashburton, sir, was obliged to turn away to hide her tears."

"I used to hear from my uncle of your attachment," said Sylvester, with his politest air of condolence, "and I assure you my opinion ever has been that your feelings did you honor. Nothing, in my view, is so becoming to gray hairs and the evening of life as fidelity to a first passion."

"Lord forgive you, Berkley!" I exclaimed, startled out of all self-possession by his impertinence. "What on earth do you mean? You are completely ignorant of what you are talking about. I have hardly any gray hairs, and some excellent constitutions are gray at thirty. You are partly bald yourself: I know it from the way you turn up your love-locks. And it was not Miss Ashburton I was talking about. That is, if I did derive my reminiscences from her, it was with an object of a very different character at the end of the perspective. I have adopted other views; that is, I have lately had presented to my mind—"



With these rhetorical somersaults, like the flappings of a carp upon the straw, did I express the mental distractions I was suffering from, and the tugs at my heart respectively administered by Francine's cap-strings and Mary Ashburton's shadowy tresses. Berkley, diplomatically approving the landscape before us, would not get angry, would not be insulted, and offered no prise to my difficult temper.

"Tell me now, Sylvester," said I after a few minutes' silence. "You are young, yet you have seen the world. What is the best refuge, in your view, for a man of delicate sentiments and of ripe age? Would you recommend such a person to shut himself up for ever in a hermitage of musty books, and to flirt there eternally with the memories of his young loves, who are become corpulent matrons or angular maids? Or, don't you think, now, that an autumnal attachment—provided some sweet and healthy intelligence comes in contact with his own—is a capital thing in its way? The crackling fireside instead of the lovers' walk? The perfection of rational comfort subservient to, rather than dominating, his early dreams? Respectful affection, fidelity and fondest care as the conditions surrounding one's character, and upholding it in its best symmetry? Cannot the poet think better if his body is kept snug? Cannot the man of feeling remember better if his slippers are toasted and his buttons sewed? In fact, is not one's faith to a beloved ideal best shown by acquiring a fresh standing-point to see it from?"

"No doubt Hamlet's mother thought so," said Sylvester rather brutally, "and married King Claudius solely to brighten her ideal of her first husband." A more appropriate remark, it seemed to me, might have been found to chime in with my speculations. "But here," pursued the statesman, compromisingly, "are old memories protected by modern conveniences. Here is the 'Repose of Sophie.'"

We had mounted a terrace from whose eminence the whole spread of the valley was visible. Profanation! No sooner had we attained the plateau than a covered gallery appeared, and a Teutonic voice was heard with the familiar inquiry, "Will the gentlemen take wine or beer?"

Was ever a man of delicacy and feeling so ruthlessly treated as I? To be tempted by circumstances into pouring out one's most intimate confessions to an icy person to whom one owes money, and then to have even this imperfect confidence interrupted by a tavern-waiter in an apron! Miserable hireling! give us solitude and meditation, not beer!

Flying the "Repose of Sophie" without the concession of a glance, we mounted toward the ancient castle, whose ruins seemed ready to roll on us down the hillside. It was indeed romantic. The wind, in plaintive, melodious [pg 641] tones, searched our ears as it came perfumed from the tufted walls. We penetrated through a scene of high and mossy rocks, bound in the lean embrace of knotted ivy, and finally by a dismantled postern we intruded into the castle. Sacrilege again! The stone-masons were tranquilly working here and there, solidifying old ruins and very probably fabricating new ones. The wind, whose sighing we had admired, was the cat-like harmony of the æolian harps: these harps were artlessly stretched across each of the old vaulted windows. We arrived at the high portal of the ancient manor, a genuine Roman construction of Aurelius Aquensis—a gateway with a round arch: it was obstructed by hired cabs, by whole herds of venal donkeys saddled and bridled, and by holiday-makers of Baden in Sunday clothes preserved for ten or fifteen years. The old pile itself is transformed into a hostelry. Gray was wrong: the paths of glory lead not to the grave, but to the gasthaus; and Matthisson could have imitated the "Elegy" about as well in the gaming-hall as among these rejuvenated ruins.

The modern idea of a wood is a graveled chess-board on a large scale, flooded at night with gas: the modern idea of a ruin is a dancing-floor, with a few patched arches and walls lifted between the wind and our nobility. We shave the weeds away and produce a fine English turf: we root up the brambles and eglantines which might tear the skirts of the ladies. Our lovers, our poets and romancers must fly to distant glades if they would not walk in the shade of trees that have been transplanted.

I was considering the sorry triumph of the stage-machinists of Baden-Baden, when Berkley, who had disappeared, came in sight again. Our dinner, he said, was ready—ready in the guards' hall. I retreated with a sudden cry of alarm. I had rather dine at the hotel; I had rather not dine at all; I was not in the least hungry. It was the emptiness of my pocket that caused this sudden fullness, of the stomach. Berkley made light of my objections.

"Listen! You can hear from this mountain the dinner-bells of the city. We should arrive too late. Although you hate restored castles, you need not refuse to dine with me in one."



The noble hall was a scene of vulgar festivity, where the ubiquitous kellner, racing to and fro with beer and plates of sausage, solved the problem of perpetual motion. It was not easy, in such circumstances, to maintain the flow of poetic association, but I accomplished the feat in a measure. As the shades of evening closed around the hill, and the bells of twenty dining-tables ascended to us through the still air, I thought of Gray's curfew—of that glimmering Stoke-Pogis landscape that faded into immortality on his sight. I thought of Matthisson's "Elegy" on this forlorn old dandy of a castle. I thought of the sympathetic chest-notes with which I read to Mary Ashburton the "Song of the Silent Land."

I thought of Francine, and of the condition of base terror I was in when I ran away from her with the man who momentarily represented my solvency, [pg 642] my credit and my respectability. May the foul fiend catch me, sweet vision, if I do not find thee soon again! A Tyrolean, who entered by stealth, persuaded a heart-rending lamentation to issue from his wooden trumpet: although the acid sounds proceeding from this terrible whistle set my teeth on edge and caused me at first to start off my seat, yet I rewarded him with such a competency in copper as made his eyes emerge from his face. A singing-girl and some blonde bouquet-sellers had equal cause to rejoice in my generosity. It is when a gentleman is landed finally on his coppers that he becomes penny-liberal. I glanced defiance at Berkley, my creditor, as I showered largess on these humble poets.

We descended under the stars, and I began to think that illuminated gravel-roads were, at night, susceptible of some apology. We returned to the city by easy stages, with a halt at the "Repose of Sophie." At the hotel there was given me, re-directed in the pretty hand of Francine, an unlimited credit from Munroe & Co. on the house of Meyer in Baden-Baden. I was a freeman once more.




My life is like the autumn leaves

Now falling fast,

Which grew of late so fresh and fair—

Too fair to last.

The mar of earth and canker-worm

The foliage bears;

So my poor life of sin and care

The impress wears.

As shine the leaves before they fall

With brighter hue,

And each defect of worm and time

Is lost to view,

So may my life, when fading, shine

With brighter ray,

And brighter still as nearer to

The perfect day.

And as new life still springs again

From fallen leaves,

And richer life a thousand-fold

From gathered sheaves;

So, God, if aught in me was good,

The good repeat,

And let me from my ashes breathe

An influence sweet.


[pg 643]



We left Singapore—which, though an English colony, is a very Babel of languages and nations—in a Bombay merchantman, whose captain was an Arab, the cook Chinese, and the fourteen men who composed the crew belonged to at least half that many different nations, whilst our party in the cabin were English, Scotch, French and American. After eight days of rather stormy weather we disembarked at the mouth of the Meinam River, thirty miles below the city of Bangkok. Owing to the sandbar at the mouth, large vessels must either partially unload outside, or wait for the flood-tide when the moon is full to pass the bar; and to avoid the delay consequent upon either course, we took passage for the city in a native sampan pulled by eight men with long slender oars. The trip was a delightful one, giving us enchanting glimpses of the grand old city long before we reached it. Amid the mass of tropical foliage, gleaming out from among clustering palms and graceful banians, we could discern the gilded spires of gorgeous temples and palaces, of which Bangkok boasts probably not less than two hundred. The temples, with their glittering tiles of green and gold, and graceful turrets and pinnacles from which hang tiny tinkling bells that ring out sweet music with every passing breeze, their tall, slender pagodas and picturesque monasteries, stand all along the banks of the river, its most conspicuous adornments. But pre-eminent, both for height and splendor, is Wat Chang, visible, all but its base, from the very mouth of the river. Its central spire, full three hundred feet in height, towers grandly above the surrounding turrets and pagodas, the white walls gleaming out from the dark foliage of the banian, and the feathery fringes of the palm reflected on its shining roof.

[pg 644]

The King of Siam Returning to His Palace.

The King of Siam Returning to His Palace.

The two main entrances to the royal palace are of white masonry very elaborately adorned. Groups of elegant columns support a capital composed of nine crowns rising one above the other, and terminating in a slender spire of some forty feet. The whole is inlaid in exquisite mosaics of porcelain, the various colors arranged in quaint devices, so as to produce the happiest effect, while the reflection of the sun's rays upon the glazed tiles, the numberless turrets and pinnacles of the lofty pile, and the porticoes and balconies of pure white marble opening from every window, and leading to delectable conservatories, luxurious baths or fairy groves and arbors, present, as grouped together, a sight worth a trip across the waters to enjoy. The engraving represents one of these entrances, and His Majesty Somdetch Phra Paramendr Maha Mongkut, the late supreme king of Siam, on his return from his usual afternoon promenade. This "promenade," however, was not a walk, a ride or a drive, but an airing in one of the royal state barges. For the late king, true to the usages of his forefathers, continued to the very close of his life to make all his tours, public and private, with very rare exceptions, by water. This has heretofore been the custom of all classes, the gently-flowing Meinam being the Broadway of Bangkok, and canals, intersecting the city in every direction, its cross streets. Every family keeps one or more boats and a full complement of rowers; palaces and temples have their gates on the river; and upon its placid waters move in ever-varying panorama life's shifting scenes of weddings and funerals, business and pleasure, from early morn till long past midnight. Only since the accession of the present kings have streets been constructed along the river-banks; and these young princes, as a sort of concession to European customs, now take occasional drives in open [pg 645] carriages, attended by liveried servants, though for state processions boats are still in vogue. His Majesty the late king was ordinarily conveyed to the jetty in a state palanquin, and handed from it into his boat, without the sole of his boot ever touching the ground. This has been the custom of Siamese monarchs from time immemorial, but I have sometimes seen both the late kings wave aside their bearers and jump with agile dexterity into their boats, as if it were a relief to them to lay aside courtly etiquette and act like ordinary mortals. The royal palanquins are completely covered with plates of pure gold inlaid with pearls, and the cushions are of velvet embroidered, and edged with heavy gold lace. They are borne by sixteen men robed in azure silk sarangs and shirts of embroidered muslin. [pg 646] The umbrella is of blue, crimson or purple silk, and for state occasions is richly embroidered, and studded with precious stones. So also are those placed over the throne, the sofa, or whatever seat the king happens to occupy.

Elephant Armed for War.

Elephant Armed for War.

The Great Gilded Booddh.

The Great Gilded Booddh.

The late supreme king, who died in 1868 at the age of sixty-five, was tall and slender in person, of intellectual countenance and noble, commanding presence. His ordinary dress was of heavy, dark silk, richly embroidered, with the occasional addition of a military coat. He wore also the decorations of several orders, and a crown—not the large one, which is worn but once in a lifetime, and that on the coronation-day—but the one for regular use, which is of fine gold, conical in shape and the rim completely surrounded by a circlet of magnificent diamonds. This prince, the most illustrious [pg 647] of all the kings of Siam, spent many of the best years of his life in the priesthood as high priest of the kingdom. He was a profound scholar, not only in Oriental lore, but in many European tongues and in the sciences. In public he was rather reticent, but in the retirement of the social circle and among his European friends the real symmetry of his noble character was fully displayed, winning not only the reverence but the warm affection of all who knew him. He died universally regretted, and the young prince now reigning as supreme king is his eldest surviving son: the second king is his nephew.

Funeral Pile for the Second King.

Funeral Pile for the Second King.

Among the choice treasures of Siam are her elephants, but they belong exclusively to the Crown, and may be employed only at the royal command. [pg 648] They are used in state processions and in traveling by the king and members of the royal family, and in war at the king's mandate only. It is death for a Siamese subject, unbidden by his sovereign, to mount one of His Majesty's elephants. In war they are considered very effective, their immense size and weight alone rendering them exceedingly destructive in trampling down and crushing foot-soldiers. The howdah is placed well up on the animal's back, and in it sits a military officer of high rank, with an iron helmet on his head, and above him a seven-layered umbrella, as the insignia of his royal commission. On the croup sits the groom, guiding the royal beast with an iron hook, while all about the officer are disposed lances, javelins, pikes, helmets and other munitions of war, which he dispenses as they are needed during the progress of a battle. I have been told that as many as six or seven hundred of these colossal creatures are often marched and marshaled in battle together; and so perfectly are they trained as to be guided and controlled without difficulty, even amid the din of firearms and the conflict of contending armies. Sometimes on the king's journeys into the interior a train of fifty or sixty will be marched in perfect order, their stately stepping beautiful to behold, but their huge feet coming down with a jolt that threatens to dislocate every joint of the unfortunate rider.

I have spoken of the gorgeousness of the Bangkok temples, but I must not forget to mention the colossal statue of Booddh that reposes in one of them. It is one hundred and seventy feet in length, of solid masonry, perfectly covered with a plating of pure gold, and rests quite naturally upon the right side, the recumbent position indicating the dreamless repose the god now enjoys in nirwâna. This is supposed to be the largest image of Gautama, the fourth Booddh, in existence, and it is an object of the profoundest veneration to every devout Booddhist.

Incremation of the dead is the custom in Siam, and while there I was present at several royal funerals, each marked by more lavish display of costly magnificence than we Americans ever see on this side the water. Shortly after I left the country occurred the death of the patriotic second king, so well and favorably known among us as Prince T. Momfanoi, the introducer of square-rigged vessels and many other improvements, and afterward as King Somdet Phra Pawarendr Kamesr Maha Waresr. The body was embalmed, and lay in state for nearly a year before the burning took place. The count de Beauvoir reached Bangkok just in time to see the royal catafalque, of which he gives a somewhat amusing account. He says: "The body, having been thoroughly dried by mercury, was so doubled that the head and feet came together, and after being tied up like a sausage was deposited in a golden urn on the top of the mausoleum." He speaks of the state officers in attendance by day and by night, and the dead king, from the golden urn on the very summit of the altar, holding his court with the same pomp and parade as during his life. A more affecting ceremony is the coming at noon and eve of the crowds of beautiful women, not yet absolved from their wifely vows, to converse with their loved and lamented lord, and the depositing of letters and petitions in the great golden basket at the foot of the mausoleum, with the confident expectation that these loving missives will reach the deceased and be answered by him. These royal catafalques are costly and magnificent, being covered with plates of gold, while the silks and perfumes consumed with a single body cost thousands of dollars.

M. de Beauvoir describes an interview with the king, surrounded by ten of his offspring, including the seventy-second child. I well remember the eldest son, the present supreme king, now in his twentieth year, looking when five years old the exact counterpart of this one—his graceful little figure, dimpled cheeks, eyes lustrous as diamonds, and the glossy, raven hair, close shaven at the back, while the foretop was coiled in a [pg 649] smooth knot, fastened with jeweled pins and twined with fragrant flowers. The dress was very simple—only two garments of silk or embroidered muslin—but the deficiency was more than made up by jewelry, of which, in the form of chains, rings, anklets and bracelets, he wore almost incredible quantities, while his golden girdle was studded with costly diamonds.

Seventy-second Child of the King of Siam.

Seventy-second Child of the King of Siam.

[pg 650]

Entrance to the Royal Harem.

Entrance to the Royal Harem.

Polygamy prevails in its fullest extent in Siam, especially among those of noble or royal lineage; and the higher the rank the larger the number of wives, those of the supreme king amounting ordinarily to five or six hundred. Of these, the "superior wife" holds the rank of queen: she resides within the harem proper, where are the private apartments of the king, and her children [pg 651] are always the legal heirs. For the other wives or concubines, their children and attendants, there is a whole circle of buildings, connected by balconies with the palace royal. All these are handsomely fitted up, but what is called "the harem" pre-eminently is more gorgeous than our dreams of fairy palaces or enchanted castles of genii. Long suites of apartments with frescoed walls, ceilings of gold and pearl, floors inlaid with exquisite mosaics of silver and ebony, and with hangings of costly lace, velvet and satin, huge waxen candles, and lamps fed with perfumed oil that are never suffered to expire, mirrors, pictures, and statuettes innumerable, with cups, basins, and even spittoons, of pure gold,—all these are but a tithe of the lavish adornments of this Oriental paradise, where birds sing, flowers bloom, and the sounds of low sweet music ever greet the ear of the favored visitor. The accompanying engraving will give some idea of the general appearance of the entrance to the harem, with its burnished roof of green and gold, its graceful turrets and mosque-like pinnacles, and its base of pure white marble, chaste and elegant. But neither language nor pictorial illustration can convey to the mind any adequate realization of its bewildering beauty; and Count de Beauvoir but echoes the language of every traveler who has visited Bangkok when he declares, in his recent work, that "its temples and palaces are the most splendid of even the gorgeous East."



There are few cities where life is so well put upon the stage as in Washington, so far as opportunity for satisfaction and enjoyment is considered. A certain grandeur characterizes all the approaches to the city. From the west you descend upon it by a way that leads out of cloudy mountain-chains and over chasms spanned by an awful trestle-work; from the south, passing our national Mecca, the Tomb of Washington, your highway is the picturesque Potomac, which here, nearly three hundred miles from the sea, broadly embays itself as if to mirror the magnificence of the place; from the north the track winds along the banks of the Delaware, white with its coastwise commerce, in and out among the beautiful bridges that arch the Schuylkill, across the broad Susquehanna, past blazing forges and foundries, and over the long and lonely expanses of the two Gunpowder Rivers—desert wastes of water, stretching for miles away without a sail, without a light, in the melancholy grandeur of a very dream of desolation. If it is at night that you step from the station, halfway down the distance you presently see the ray of a street-lamp throw up the façade of the Patent Office in broken light and shadow; you see before you and under the hill the twinkle of scattered groups of light; you see, far off, the long row of the Treasury columns half lost in darkness, and you will remember pictured scenes of bivouacs among the ruins of Baalbec. And if it is in the morning that you arrive, fresh from the turbulence of Broadway, from the quaint and tortuous hillside lanes of Boston, from the elegant monotony of Philadelphia, the impression made upon you is still not very different. Though you are in the heart of the place, it seems to lie before you like a city in the distance. Now the mist is stripped away from some massive marble pile; now a prospect opens of river and wood and the pillared heights of Arlington; now a [pg 652] lofty heaven reveals a waning moon, it may be—for every square has its horizon—the morning-star flames out, a red and yellow sunrise burns behind the silver cloud of the Capitol dome, and the whole city, in its splendor and its squalor, bared to view, gives you a suffocating sense of the pettiness of all other places before the opulence of sky, the width and height, the light and space and air, that Washington affords.

The concentric labyrinth of the city's plan is indeed something altogether unique; but whether it owes its origin to the fear of the old French barricade or to a desire for grandeur and scope, the effect attained is the same one of airy magnificence—monstrous avenues crossing the right angles of the streets in diagonals radiating from the White House and the Capitol, and all tiresomeness prevented by the accommodating way which these avenues have of turning out for any edifice that fancies their situation; while to keep upon them you are so perpetually crossing one street or losing your way down another that you may almost imagine yourself a spider walking across a web.

The designer of all this must have had a city in his mind's eye that rivaled Napoleon's Paris—buildings, monuments, marbles, fountains, trees, and everywhere great spaces and shining skies. For years, though, this visionary city has existed only among the castles of the air, and it is within a little while that the District government has begun to put in a substantial underpinning to the cloudy fabric. But although wretched thoroughfares and dilapidated dwellings, until the last decade, have characterized the place, the fine public buildings have for a long while awaited their fit surroundings—buildings mostly of the Grecian types, which, however unfit they might be for a land where damp dark heavens make all the spires that can spring up to catch the sunshine a necessity, are perfectly appropriate to a climate where the long hot summers demand the shelter of flat roofs and cool protecting porticoes. There are, then, already, the Patent Office, with its massive Doric simplicity; the Treasury, with the superb extent of its columned sides; the Post Office, with its dazzling Corinthian splendor; the Institution, with its romantic towers and turrets of dark red stone, ivy-grown and in the midst of gardens; and the Capitol, whose dome rises over the city, so pale, so perfect and so buoyant that it seems only a cloud among the clouds—a pile that by daylight looks like a white altar of liberty set on its hilltop among velvet lawns and embowering trees, and which by starlight—when you see the sentinel lamps throw out the great shadows of the arches at its foundation, see the lofty flights of steps with their exquisite gradation, see the long flying lines of the rows of columns, monoliths of marble, taking a sparkle of light and retreating into distance and darkness, and follow up the heights till your eye rests on the shadowy dome hanging in the mid-heavens with the stars themselves—seems in its vast white sublimity the shrine of nothing less than the Genius of the nation. And by and by, when the building shall be quite complete, and shrubbery shall have grown in the new grounds, when the almond and the tulip tree and that burning bush the scarlet Japan quince, shall have come to blossom there, and the giant magnolia shall lift its snowy urns of incense about the spot, imagination will be able to conjure up no image of majesty and beauty eclipsing the reality. For all this and much more is now under way: streets have been leveled and paved and parked, embankments have been terraced, boulevards have been planted with mile-long rows of lindens, blossoming gardens have been laid out, fountains have been opened, and such dwellings erected with their grass-plots and their water-jets before them, in place of the bare old barracks and shanties, that it is now a city of parks and palaces. Your carriage can roll for leagues over streets whose roadway is smooth as a floor, past squares rich in the foliage and flower of their season, enchanting pictures of river and height unveiled at every turn, and the squalor once so prominent is seen striking its tents, while only the splendor remains. There is hardly a street but down its vista some allurement is displayed: this one reaches far away, through the green of willows and the blue of distance, across the Long Bridge and into the hills of Virginia; that one ends in the Agricultural Department and its delightful grounds; down these the Institution is seen at various angles in various guises; while the great Pennsylvania Avenue gives you at one end the Capitol dome, always a thin and pale blue mist about its whiteness, with the shining colonnades that bear it lifted high over the tossing treetops below, and at the other end the southern façade of the Treasury, rising before you like an antique temple, while noble views open at every intersection of the cross-streets there; and toward nightfall the distant mists of the river-country beyond build up sunsets unrivaled in their gorgeousness.

There are few more interesting thoroughfares in the world than this avenue. Here ruler and ruled jostle each other; here thunder the liveried equipages of foreign nobles; here saunters the President, and nobody turns to look. Sooner or later all the famous of the world are tolerably sure to be met upon it: as we walk there History walks beside us and mighty shadows move before us. Washington has dashed down that avenue in his yellow chariot that was painted with cupids and drawn by six white horses; Hamilton, Jefferson, La Fayette, Burr, and all the gods of the republic have trodden it before us; dishonoring British squadrons have marched upon it; it has shaken to the tread of our own legions; and great forms begin to loom in the national memory that have just passed from its daily crowds. Nor does all its interest belong to the past: those daily crowds themselves are full of perpetual dramas in which the actors are unknown perhaps to fame or fiction, but none the less real and in sad earnest with their play. Here goes a little withered man in his threadbare coat: he has a proud and scowling face, but he pauses with a singularly sweet and gentle manner at every group of children, black or white. He is an old [pg 653] numismatician, a foreigner, and his youth in Europe was given to the gathering of coins and medals till he had a nearly unrivaled collection, and he came over the sea, hoping to dispose of them to the government of this country. Failing in his purpose, his means dwindling day by day, he was obliged to pledge a portion of his treasure that he might be able to live. It cut him to the heart to divide the collection: he had the history of the world in those incontrovertible records of brass and silver and gold, currency of the old Hindoo, of the Assyrian—medals where Alexander's superb profile shone crowned as Apollo—coins of the Ptolemies, of the Cæsars, of almost every people and generation from the beginning of civilization till to-day. But divide them he did, and left a part of them in other hands, and went to the North. There, driven by necessity, he pledged another portion; and after a while, wishing to redeem the latter pledge, and not being allowed to do so, he began a lawsuit to obtain it. The court decided the case against him; and the little man, half crazed, unable to obtain the portion he had pledged in Washington, and now seeing this also leave him, cried out in the open court, "O unjust judge! God shall demand your soul of you!" And the judge, with a sudden exclamation, fell backward, and before the sun set he was dead. The little numismatician returned to Washington, and having failed in all the hopes of his life, took translating and any other writing he could find to do. But there a certain high official having treated him unworthily, he adjured him much as he had adjured the unjust judge; and a fortnight afterward the official had gone to join the judge. It is hardly surprising if there were a vague feeling toward this really excellent man and scholar as toward one having the evil eye, whom people dread to meet and fear to offend.

But here is another individual with another experience. Gems are his passion, and for years he has sacrificed to it. He is only an old clerk on a moderate salary, but no misadventure has [pg 654] ever disturbed his plans, and year by year he has added some treasure to his hoard till it is unique as it is precious. There are rings of bishops and kings; jeweled baubles from Egyptian tombs and gold-wrought ornaments of the Montezumas; a cameo where a single face with its shadows makes six laughing and six weeping outlines; a cat's-eye quartz to which the one the king of Siam has is perhaps the mate; diamonds and pearls, amethysts and topazes, beryls and opals, single emeralds of rare beauty and doublets of great size, rubies of the real pigeon's blood, and sapphires whose heart is blue as the bluest midnight, but whose angles refract a radiance red as fire; chains of carved beads; seals, intaglios,—to almost all of them some legend attaching.

Here passes a person very different from either of these—a tall and martial figure, a filibustero in every clime, hunted with blood-hounds in the Spanish sierras when Don Carlos needed him, floating naked on bladders down the Danube, with despatches in his mouth, when the Hungarians were sore pressed. Here goes a jolly, happy man, who contentedly lets title and coronet go by across the sea while he practices law in the Patent Office. Here on the avenue go up and down all these people, and countless others with stories as pointed, whether it be such a story as that of Captain Suter, whose treacherous servant bartered all the gold of California for a single drink, or of this black man who to-day is free and yesterday was a slave.

But attractive as this picturesque grouping of avenues and edifices may be, the attraction does not belong to the outside alone: inside the great doors of the majestic halls you will find that time has wings while you pass in review the trophies of all the zones, and of the meteoric heavens too, preserved in the Smithsonian, or the archives of the country in the Patent Office. This latter is indeed a place of enchantment. The Pompeiian hall has something of the air of a hall dressed for legerdemain, and if you pause to think you will note a strange wizardry at work there. You linger before a little printing-press, and as if magical clouds rose and shut out the work-day world, the skies of Greece are overhead and the Ancient searching for his lever with which to move the world passes down the room and lingers with you; for surely he has found the lever, and surely the world has been moved with it, the boundaries of empires broken up, kings discrowned, republics ruined. Go farther: a case of toys: harmless trifles enough, arrests you—cannon a finger long, batteries the size of a lady's spool-stand, but the reduced models of death-dealing engines whose power of wholesale slaughter may one day revolutionize the codes of nations and abolish warfare. In another case you observe only a lump of coal, a phial of pitch, a flask of oil; and the necromancer of the place has dipped his rod down into the central darkness of the earth and drawn up light like the day's. Yet beyond: an iron stirrup and a slender spur, and the sewing-girl has but to set her foot there and escape the shapes that dog her. Not far away, again, we remember the Oriental magician, who as often as the king cut off his head grew another in its place, as we see the machinery for a feat almost as wonderful in the exact anatomy of steel springs and leather ligaments made to fit upon the very nerves of volition themselves, till the halt walk and the maimed are made whole. In this spot is the jar into which the fisherman shut the afrite; in that are the great genii who gather in a harvest; and in still another there lies a tiny thing answering your touch with no louder noise than a buzz and a click, but its whisper can be heard from end to end of the land, and it runs beneath the roar of ocean to carry the voice of one world to another. In fact, within these crystal cells the intelligence of all our millions is concreted; and it is no wonder that in the face of the marvels here inventors are sometimes seized with a temporary madness, and have to be cared for till the fit passes.

Inside the Capitol too there is much to detain you: the vast fireproof library of Congress; the legislative halls; the marble room, wainscoted in mirrors, where you can see the Senators slide between the pillars accompanied by the multiplying train of not one but a hundred shadows, and where you can wonder to your heart's content what a room lined with looking-glass has to do with legislation; the storied bronze doors, and the bronze staircases hidden away in the dark, in and out the intricacies of whose balustrades all manner of forest-life is cast—the deer bounding beneath the branches, and the birds fluttering over their nests, which the serpent slides along to rifle. In the older portion of the building is the national order of architecture designed by Jefferson, the columns of which are clustered cornstalks, and in whose capitals the acanthus leaf is pushed aside by the curling tobacco. The lower corridors, too, are pictured with representations of our natural history in bird and flower and fruit—far fitter decoration than the swarming cherubs and cupids and numberless unwarrantable little Loves that tumble about on the other walls, intrude themselves on battle-scenes, and hover round the appalling frescoes of Liberty, Law, Legislation and Religion in the President's room, after a fashion that would be too free and easy for the villa of Lucullus, but which is not altogether discordant with the splendid leprosy of gilding with which the whole interior is infected; which is to be seen oozing from the caissons overhead in huge stalactites, damasked in broad sheets on the paneling, glaring in lattice-work, bosses, scrolls and frets, and trickling everywhere over the efflorescence of the plaster decorations. There are two or three committee-rooms, likewise, very elaborately, though very questionably, decorated, and usually on exhibition to rural visitors, who gape at them with a happy sense of the proprietorship of such pomp. The least unworthy of these is the room set apart for the Committee on Military Affairs: vivid wreaths of laurel decorate the ceiling much more effectively than do the sprawling females of most of the other places; a couple [pg 655] of large battle-pieces illuminate the walls, and cornice, panel and pilaster are simply adorned with frescoed arms and muniments of war. Another is the room of the Agricultural Committee, where, with his group of Romans, Cincinnatus, called from the plough, fills the upper section of one end, and confronts his modern compeer, Israel Putnam; above two side doors little scenes of grain-harvesting illustrate the difference between the old and the new way of going afield; and circling overhead are the Seasons and their attendants—Spring, with armfuls of blossoms and cherubs letting loose the doves; Summer, whose sprites are shooting down arrows of fervid heat; Autumn, with his grapes and sheaves, and his followers festive with lute and tambourine; and old Winter, moving through angry clouds, while his children pour out the showers and blow blasts from their shells. In the room of the Committee on Naval Affairs on both sides as you enter rise grayly the vestibules of vast temples, typifying, perhaps, the sea as the gateway of all nations: above them, much foreshortened, Neptune and Amphitrite, Æolus, Oceanus, Nereus and Thetis, accompany a new sea-goddess, America, with scores of nymphs interspersed—all of them riding on sea-horses and simpering sadly; while in the great panels around the sides of the room other nymphs, painted at full length in lively colors, are bearing aloft various symbols of the sea—this one a sextant, that a chart, another a compass, a fourth a bannerol, sufficiently prosaic in idea, though not ungraceful in fact, as witness the floating damsel who carries a barometer lightly as a mermaid carries her glass, or the figure with the red-gold hair whose back alone we see as she unrolls her map. But it is not easy to say why we should recur to mythology for our national ornamentation, or why the ancient Greeks should be called in where our own history needs the canvas, or why these aërial young women should so comfortably usurp the place of the Guerriere and Constitution, the dauntless little boat between the fires on Lake Erie, or the [pg 656] unsurpassed sea-scenes of storm and calm along our own coast.

But there is far more than all this pride of the eyes to detain you within the Capitol: there is the great arena where our political athletes contend, and where, by daily observation of their faces, daily hearing of their voices, daily notice of their manners, one becomes familiar as if by personal acquaintance with the heroes of the day. In past times the heroes were such as Webster, Calhoun and Clay. Now they are others—men whom this belittling age of the telegraph and the reporter brings so near us that there is at least little chance of their ever looming up in undue proportion through the mists of tradition. It is Henry Wilson, sitting in the Vice-President's chair, a notable example of the possibilities in a republic; or it is Sumner, with that gray head which all men honor as a type of political integrity, albeit not untinctured with arrogance; or it is another sort of man that engages your attention, one whom you recognize at once, for certainly there is no one but knows that face—a face so easy to caricature that there is no insult of the pencil that has not been offered it, but which is not the less expressive of an indomitable will, an untamable spirit, and a mind like a torch, throwing light on everything it approaches. From the instant that General Butler rises the discussion, however dull before, bristles into excitement, and one could hardly wish for an hour of racier enjoyment than is afforded by the debate when he desires to gain a point over able but envious opponents, who never attack him single-handed, and to meet whom, their shafts flying on every side, he brings up his subtlety of argument, his readiness, his audacity, his wit and repartee and forensic skill, till he winds them in their own toils. Perhaps while you have been observing these and other notabilities of the day, another personage has come upon the floor by prescriptive right of past membership, and has arrested your gaze. He is a gentleman of portly presence, who looks out of a pair of keen dark eyes, and still possesses some of the great personal beauty for which in his youth he was remarkable. He is the last of the old statesmen; he has had a part in many of the scenes that we call history; he was the compeer of Webster and Clay and Crittenden and Calhoun; and one would not marvel if he looked but contemptuously on the fevered measures and boyish ecstasies and advocacies of their successors. Familiar with modern languages and literatures, an encyclopædia of ancient and mediæval learning, a master of the science of government, as old as the century, and one of its conspicuous figures, perhaps but a single thing is wanting to make Mr. Cushing a chief: he does not believe in the people.

Thus it is easily seen that your life at the Federal Capital, if you possess either an eye for beauty or an interest in affairs, may be full of enjoyment and variety. Your companions are people of mark; you learn, by returning, when summer does, to the small scandals and personalities of common towns, how large is the outlook in Washington; the theatre of the world opens before you there; you feel that you assist at the making of history, if you are not yourself a part of events.

But this is one side of life. There is another and a more purely social side which is a very different thing. Into this affairs of state do not enter; with the right or wrong of vital questions it does not concern itself at all; and in fact it is doubtful if politics are not thought there mere subsidiaries to the authority of Fashion, and if the fair wives and daughters of our lawgivers do not regard the great machinery of state as something ordained solely to sustain them in their brilliant round as the wind of the juggler's fan supports his paper butterflies upon their airy flight. In this life an etiquette reigns that has no law of its being save that of vague tradition—an etiquette at variance with that of other regions, and through which the female population is resolved into what might be termed, in the parlance of the place, a committee of the whole on "calling." This etiquette rules the wives of important functionaries with a rod of iron. By some occult method of reasoning they have reached the conclusion that their husbands' popularity, and consequent lease of power, depend upon their own faithful performance of what is considered to be social duty, and they devote themselves to it with a zeal worthy of a better cause. On certain days of the week their houses are open to all who choose to come; and both residents and passing travelers, all who wish to inspect the inside of such homes among the other sights of the town, throng the doors, leave cards and partake of refreshments. Of course many strange occurrences are incidental to such occasions; and so the lady whose beauty had been made famous must have thought when unknown crowds flocked to see her, destroying daily a vase or a statuette, a photograph or a book, but always staring with all their eyes, and one day crowning their enormities with a procession of deaf-mutes from an asylum, which filed in and gazed and filed out again, in total silence of course, save now and then a crack of nimble finger-joints.

All the other days in the week the great lady is occupied in returning these visits, hunting for obscure addresses, trailing her rich garments over third-story stairs; and it is no uncommon thing for her to have the names of one or two thousand people in her visiting-book, on whom she is to call, provided she can find them. Of course the call is brief, the faces are unknown, the conversation is void, and the only satisfaction attained is in checking off that particular name as done with. Certainly this great lady's lot is not altogether enviable. In the daytime she is claimed by calls, in the night-time by balls; at nine in the morning people on business begin to clamor for her husband, at ten, if he is a Congressman, he goes to his committee, at twelve Congress meets to adjourn at five; and if after that some political dinner, at which great things are to be adjusted, does not take him to itself till nearly midnight, constituents, schemers and lobbyists do. What sort of home-life there can be where the [pg 657] master of the house is out all day and the mistress is out all night, remains a matter of conjecture.

But there are wheels within wheels; and all the wheels are not so thoroughly oiled as to make things run with perfect smoothness; and thus in the progress of this very "calling" sad disturbances arise. Shall the Senators' wives make the first call on the Cabinet ministers' wives? By no means: the Cabinet ministers are but creatures of a day, ephemera, who draw their breath by and with the advice and consent of the Senate: they must respect their creator. Shall the Senators' wives call first upon the wives of the justices of the Supreme Court? There is a doubt: the Supreme Court is the last resort of the law of the land, a reverend and hoary institution, and its judges, having a life-lease, will be judges still when the Senators shall have passed away; but no, again—the Senators make the justices. The Representatives shall make the first call on the Senators' wives of course; but how about the Speaker's wife? She is the third in succession from the presidency, says the new-comer: she is nothing but a Representative still, says the compelling etiquette. Finally, through some incomprehensible regulation, whose framer forgot that though democracies may be rude they must not be inhospitable, the wives of the foreign ambassadors, representatives of sovereign states, have to go the whole round and knock first at every door before being fairly accredited to Society. But once established, be it said in passing, the foreigners have a full revenge accorded them; for in vain the native youth aspire, the freshest belles hover round the titled flames, not perhaps till their wings are singed, but till successive seasons have taught them that Cleopatra's beauty is useless without Cleopatra's pearls. Meantime, to give one last discomfort to the "calling" system, the ubiquitous reporter presents himself, deliberately overturns the card-basket in the hall and notes the names there; and the lady of the house sees herself, her dress, her deportment and her guests photographed in the [pg 658] morning paper with startling distinctness.

But the calling is the brightest part of this social side of life. The other part is the night-life—not the night-life of gambling saloons and their kind: of that dark underground existence Society has no knowledge, though he who left it at daybreak and will go back to it at midnight clasps the last débutante in his arms and whirls with her to the sweet waltz-music—but the night-life of the Season.

A Washington season is a generic thing: women come to the place for the sake of it, as they go nowhere else. Through the system of calling just described official society is accessible to all, and the introductions obtained there to people of the more select circles, when fortified by wealth and pertinacity, open the whole charmed round of pleasure. Society in other cities is totally unlike Society in Washington. There it is an interchange of kindliness between households of friends: it is the festivity of happy anniversaries, the union of families in new ties, the cherishing of long acquaintance. But in Washington—except so far as the small number of residents is concerned—its whole purpose and meaning are anomalous: each Administration brings a new following, each Congress has a new rabble at its heels; friendships are accidents of the day, diplomacy is carried on by dining; every party has a political purpose, every civility a double meaning. Nevertheless, the sparkle of wit, the kindling of enthusiasm, are not absent from it; on the contrary, there is more of that than elsewhere, for it is sustained by the chosen intellect and beauty of the continent. You may meet admirals there who have sailed round the world, generals who have fought mighty battles, priests who may yet be popes, men and women who are figures of the century: they will tell you the romance of their travel, the heart-beat of their successes, and you will contrive to hear it for all the accompanying roar and sweep in which they are the lay figures for aspirants to measure, and the property of reporters. In such a Society of course all asperities are softened: this man's daughter dances with the son of his arch-enemy; deference is accorded to the opinion of a woman on public matters as if she already possessed her right of suffrage; there is an exhilaration in meeting and avoiding and overlooking, in the light and skillful skating over dangerous surfaces, while a rare freedom unites with a gentle even if politic courtesy, which it is delightful to meet to-night and which allures you to seek it to-morrow. Society without a conscience it is, possibly, but for all that sufficiently fascinating.

Let us look at one of its scenes: not a "state sociable" nor a hotel "hop," and not a President's "levee." There are fine ladies who have lived forty years in Washington without attending that pandemonium, the levee, where the crowd seizes one with a hundred hands till flounce and furbelow are crushed in its grasp, and where, while the court reigns in the Blue Room, the mob are disporting themselves in the magnificence of the East Room, the parlor of the people, where they have the reddest of red curtains, the broadest of gold cornices, the portraits of their public servants in the panels between square rods of looking-glass; where the huge chandeliers shine with a thousand pendants and a thousand jets, and where, because foreign crowds tread bare marble floors, they have on theirs a tufted velvet, and so revolve rejoicing on the biggest carpet in the world, like the medley of a vast kaleidoscope—old people with one foot in the grave, children in arms, a bride with veil and orange-blossoms, cripples, heroes, dwarfs and beauties, all together. Not on any such scene of the Season let us look, where the doors are locked behind us at eleven o'clock, but on one of its "balls and masks begun at midnight, burning ever to midday." It is like an Aztec revel for its flowers: the great stairways, leading up and down between the rooms that glow with light and resound with the tones of flute and violin, are wound with shrubs where art conceals everything but the branch and blossom; doors are arched with palms and long banana leaves; flowers swing from lintel and window and bracket, stream from the pictures, crown the statues; sprays of dropping vines wreathe the chandeliers that shed the soft brilliance of wax-lights around them; mantels are covered with moss; tables are bedded with violets; tall vases overflow with roses and heliotropes, with cold camellias and burning geraniums; the orchestra is hidden with latticed bloom and bud; and yellow acacias and scarlet passion-flowers and a great white orchid with a honeyed breath encircle the fern-filled basin where a fountain plays. The murmur of music, the wealth of perfume, make the atmosphere an enchantment. A crowd of gorgeous hues and tissues, bare bosoms and blazing jewels, ascend and descend the stairs: here are women the fame of whose beauty is world-wide, wearing lace whose intricate design, over the pale shimmer of some perfectly tinted silk beneath, represents the labor of a lifetime, wearing necklaces and tiaras of diamonds, where the great stones set in a frosty floral splendor seem to throb with a spirit of their own. There of course is the President; yonder is the Chief-Justice; here again the general of all our armies; here flash the glittering insignia of soldiers, here the fantastic array of diplomats; down one vista the dancers float through their mazes, down another shine the crystal and gold and silver of the tables red with burgundy and bordeaux, tempting with terrapin and truffle, with spiced meats and salads, pastries, confections and fruits; and close by is the punch-room. You have your choice of the frozen article, or of that claret concoction to hold whose glowing ruby a bowl has been hollowed in the ice itself, or of the champagne punch, where to every litre of the champagne a litre of brandy, a litre of red rum, a litre of green tea, are given, and where you see a flushed and fevered damsel dipping the ladle and tossing off her jorum as coolly as though she had not had her three wines at dinner that day, and had not, in half the houses of her dozen morning calls, sipped her sherry or set down her little punch-glass [pg 659] empty of its delicious mixture of old spirits and fermenting fruit-juices. Perhaps that sight sets you to thinking. You may have been attracted earlier in the night by her delicate toilette and her face pure as a pearl: you saw her later, warm from the dance, eating and drinking in the supper-room: then her partner's arm was round her waist, her head was on his shoulder, and she was plunging into the German, whirling to maddening measures, presently caught in a new embrace, flying from that man's arms to another's, growing wild with the abandon of the figure, hair flying, dress disordered, powder caked, face burning, till, pausing an instant for the champagne in a servant's hands, your girl with the face as pure as a pearl seemed nothing but a bacchante. And you ask yourself, "What is to be the end, for her, of these midnights rich in every delight of vanity—the thin slipper, the bare flesh, the brain loaded with false tresses, the pores stopped with the dust of white and pink ball, the heated dance, the indigestible banquet, the scanty sleep to get which she doses herself nightly with some tremendous drug?" You wonder what emotions are stimulated by the whirling dances, the rich dainties, the breath of the exotics, the waltz-music, the common contact, the emulation of dress, the unseasonable hours, the twice-breathed air, the everlasting drams. "I saw Florimonde going the round of her half dozen parties the other night," wrote a "looker-on in Venice" toward the close of the last season. "What a resplendent creature she was, the hazel-eyed beauty, with the faintest tinge of sunset hues on her oval cheeks! Her dress was of that peculiar tarnished shade of pink—like yellow sunshine suffusing a pale rose—which made the white shoulders rising from it whiter and more polished yet; the panier and scarf were of yellowest point lace; and a necklace of filigree and of large pale topazes, each carved in cameo, illuminated the whole. Maudita went out with Florimonde, too, that night, as she had gone every night for two months before. Skirt over skirt of fluffy net flowed round Maudita, and let [pg 660] their misty clouds blow about the trailing ornaments of long green grasses and blue corn-flowers that she wore, while puffs and falls half veiled the stomacher of Mexican turquoise and diamond sparks, whose device imitated a spray of the same flowers; and in among the masses of her glittering, waving auburn hair rested a slender diadem of the turquoise again—that whose nameless tint, half blue, half green, makes it an inestimable treasure among the Navajoes, as it was once among the Aztecs, who called it the chalchivitl; each cluster of Maudita's turquoises set in a frost-work of finest diamonds—a splendid toilette indeed, as fresh and radiant as the morning dew upon the meadows. When they set out on the love-path, that is. When they came home from it, and from all the fatigues and fervors of the German, a metamorphosis. The gauzy dress was so fringed and trodden on and torn that it seemed to hold together, like many an ill-assorted marriage, by the cohesion of habit alone; the hair—Madge Wildfire's was of more respectable appearance; the powder had fallen on arms and shoulders; and to my critical eyes, if to no others, the sunset hues remained on only one of Florimonde's cheeks; and those enticing shadows round Maudita's eyes when she went out—for the best of eyes are dulled by too much wear and tear—does antimony 'run,' or had some pugilistic partner given her a 'black eye'? Not that the damsels came home in such trim on every night of the season: this was the accumulation of six parties in one night, the last of the Germans, when the fun grew fast and furious, the figures and the favors more fantastic; when daylight was breaking ere the champagne breakfast was eaten; and when the drunken coachman, out all night, had kept them shivering in the porch an endless while, and had jolted them about the carriage afterward. But they had had a glorious time: their eyes were dancing like marsh-lights, their laughter was ringing like a peal of bells, the jests and bon-mots and flattery they had heard were running off their lips like rain; they had made Goodness knows what conquests, they had made Goodness knows how many engagements; and oh, they were so tired! I ran into their room to see them next day: it was afternoon, and they were still in bed. There was nothing remarkable in that, they said: some girls were obliged to stay in bed two days out of every week through sheer fatigue, and some got so excited they couldn't sleep at all, except by means of morphia, and that made them sick a couple of days, any way; but as for themselves, they had never given out yet, and never meant to do so. While she was speaking, Florimonde's voice faltered, and the sentence was finished under the breath. Her voice had given out. At the moment the muscles round that handsome mouth of hers began to twitch ridiculously: she yawned and threw up her arms, as a baby stretches itself, and stiffened in that position, with her teeth set and her eyes rolled out of sight, and lay there like a corpse. Florimonde had given out. As I sprang to investigate this surprising condition of things, there came a sudden gurgle and a groan from Maudita, who had risen in her own little bed at my motion. I turned to see her clutching her throat, as if her hands were the claws of a wild-cat: she was laughing and howling and crying all at once; her face was of a dark purple tint; her body—that lithe and supple waltzing body of hers—was bending itself rigidly into the shape of a bow, resting by the head and the heels on the bed—the dignified Maudita!—and the foam was standing half an inch high on her mouth. Maudita had given out too. Of course the doctor came presently and separated the patients, and gave them pills and powders and bromides without end; and there were watchers to keep the delicate creatures, whom it took three or four people to hold in their fits, from injuring themselves; and at last sleep came with the all-persuading chloral, and with the awaking from that powerful chloral-given sleep came an imbecile sort of state, whose scattered wits were full of small cunning and spites, that told secrets and told lies, and could not pronounce names; and lips were blistered and eyes were swollen and purblind; and Florimonde and Maudita must keep Lent in spite of themselves. But how long do you suppose they will keep it? and in what way? As the good formalist fasts on Friday, with dishes of oysters escalloped deliciously on the shell, with toasted crabs, and bass baked in port wine. Will Florimonde forego her low necks or Maudita her blonde powder? Will there be any less excitement or rivalry in their private theatricals and concerts for charity? Will the flirtations be any less extraordinary at the high teas? The mind will be perhaps a little flighty; the health will not be so firm; there will be a good deal of morbid sorrow over imaginary misdeeds, and none at all over real ones; there will be compensatory church-going, with delightful little monogram-covered prayer-books. But will the flesh be mortified by any real rough sackcloth and ashes? It is hardly to be hoped. Neither Lent, nor religion, nor judgment, nor anything but poverty and absolute impotence, will put a period to the wild pursuit of pleasure that a fashionable season begins. Ill for the next generation, the mothers of which are wrecks before its birth! Well for Florimonde and Maudita, with all the dew and freshness of their youth destroyed, if at length, thoroughly ennuyées, they do not put a piquancy and flavor of sin into their pleasure, as the old West Indian toper dashes his insipid brandy with cayenne!"

Doubtless on such phenomena of the Season as these the ashes with which the priest sprinkles the heads of the penitents while he murmurs Memento, homo, quod pulvis es, et in pulverem reverteris, falls like the Vesuvian dust upon Pompeiian revels, and they are buried beyond sight and hearing, for a time at least. But we all know that ashes are a fertilizer, and by and by there blossoms above the ruins a later season which is to the earlier one what the spirit is to the body. Everywhere outdoors, then, it is spring: the damp and windy weather has blown away, the sky is as blue as the violets and hyacinths [pg 661] starting untended in the sod that the soft showers have clad in a vivid verdure, and sunbeams are pouring over dome and obelisk and pillared lines of marble till they shine with dazzling lustre through the light screens of greenery. Then come the "kettle-drums," with sunset looking in for company; then the receptions are held in rooms full of sunshine, with open windows letting in the outside fragrance and bird-song and glimpses of charming landscape, or they are turned into fêtes-champêtres in the surrounding gardens; then come the riding-parties to the Falls, where last night's sylph may be to-day's Amazon in the midst of exceedingly grand scenery. Then, too, is the time for the moonlit boating where the Potomac narrows between steep and romantic banks of a sylvan wildness, and where the long oars of the swift rowers bear you as if on wings; for picnics to Rock Creek, a region of rude beauty, where the woods abound in lupines and pink azaleas, and the great white dogwood boughs stretch away into the darkness of the forest like a press of moonbeams, and where at dark your horses ford the stream and climb the hill, and bring you over the Georgetown Heights, past villas half-guessed by starlight among their gardens and fountains, and in by a market picturesque with a hundred torches flaring over the heads of mules and negroes and venders and higglers—piles of game, crisp vegetables and scarlet berries. And with this comes the excursion down river, sheet after sheet of the shining stream opening on woody loveliness remote in azure hazes, to Mount Vernon among its blossoming magnolias and rosy Judas trees, where the great tomb stands open with its sarcophagi, and where Eleanor Custis's harpsichord keeps strange company with the grim key of the Bastile that has never been moved since Washington hung it on the nail—where the quaint old rooms and verandahs and conservatories invite the guests, and the garden with its breast-high hedges of spicy box invites the lovers. Now the few ancestral mansions embower themselves in an aristocratic seclusion of trees and [pg 662] vines that shut them in with their birds and flowers and sunshine, and the Van Ness Place, where Washington came to lay out the city, adorns all its ancient and mossy magnificence with fresh drapery of leaves and flowers. The halls of Congress, too, are still open all day, the drama growing livelier as the adjournment draws nearer; and at evening the drives are thronged with fine equipages winding down the Fourteenth street way, out by the Soldiers' Home, through Harewood, or up by the Anacostia branch and the wild Maryland hill-roads, where wide-stretching pictures are revealed between the forest trees, while sometimes one sees, with its two rivers—one shining like silver, one red and turbid—the city lying far away, much of its outline veiled and the color of its baked brick and stone and marble mellowed in the distance, till through the quivering air and among all its towering trees it looks like a vision of antique temples in the midst of gardens of flowers. And now the numberless squares and triangles and grass-plots of the city are green as Dante's newly-broken emeralds, are a miracle of spotless deutzia and golden laburnum, honeysuckle and jasmine: half the houses are covered with ivies and grapevines; the Smithsonian grounds surround their dark and castellated group of buildings in a wilderness of bloom; and the rose has come—such roses as Sappho and Hafiz sung; deep-red roses that burn in the sun, roses that are almost black, so purple is their crimson, roses that are stainless white, long-stemmed, in generous clusters, making the air about them an intoxication in itself—roses fit to crown Anacreon. Twice a week during all this sweet season the Marine Band has been blowing out its music in the President's Grounds and in the Capitol Park late in the warm afternoon, and every one promenades in gala attire beneath the trees and over the shady slopes till the tunes die with the twilight, and many a long-delaying love-affair culminates as the stars come out and the perfumed wind casts down great shadows from the swinging branches overhead, while indulgent duennas gossip on, oblivious of dew; and at midnight the mocking-birds begin to bubble and warble a wild sweet melody everywhere throughout the dark and listening city. For one brief month, you see, it is politics and power set down in Paradise—let only the envious say as strangely out of place as the serpent there. And finally the festivities of this almost ideal spring season, where the world of Fashion and the world of Nature meet at their best, come to an end with Decoration Day—the last day ere the spring brightens into the blaze of summer—a day that robs death of its terrors, and seems to carry one back to that primeval period when the old death-defying Egyptians made their festivals with flowers, as we stand in that desolation of the dead on the heights of Arlington, and see the billows of graves stretching away to the horizon, wave after wave, crested with the line of white headstones, and every mound heaped with flowers that have been scattered to the tune of singing children's voices, while below the peaceful river floats out broadly; and far across its stream, over all the turfy terraces and above the plumy treetops that hide the arched and columned bases of its snowy splendor, the dome of the country's Capitol rises—a shining guardian of the slumbers of the dead.

[pg 663]


Through these green tents, by eldest Nature dressed,

He roamed, content alike with man and beast.

Where darkness found him, he lay glad at night:

There the red morning touched him with its light.


On the 18th of February we arrived in the yacht off Mosquito Inlet about sunrise, and as the tide served our pilot took us in over the bar, which happened to be smooth at the time, and we anchored just above the junction of the Halifax and Hillsboro Rivers. Rivers they are called by the Floridians, but are long stretches of salt water lying parallel with the coast, and separated from the sea by a sandy beach of a mile in width, which is covered with a growth of pitch-pine and palmetto scrub. In New York and New Jersey such waters are called bays, and on the coast of Carolina they are sounds. They furnish a convenient boat-navigation for the people, who in consequence do most of their traveling by water.

Here we found lying at anchor a couple of large Eastern schooners: they were waiting for cargoes of live-oak, which was being cut by a large force of men in the employ of the Swifts, a firm that supplies all this timber for the American navy. A lighthouse is much needed here, the entrance being narrow, with only eight or ten feet of water at high tide. The Victoria followed us in, and we had not been long at anchor when a canoe came down the river under sail, and rounding to alongside, a tall young man in white duck jacket and trousers stepped on board, and accosted our pilot: "How are you, Pecetti? So you are taking up my trade?"

"Well, yes: I've shipped as pilot for this cruise, and Al. Caznova has the other yacht.—Captain Morris, this is Mr. Weldon, one of the branch pilots."

"How do you do, Mr. Weldon? Is there a collector of the port here?"

"There's a deputy living in that cottage that you see on the bluff to the left—Major Allen; and there is his boat coming down the river."

"Any hotel here, Mr. Weldon?"

"Yes, there is a very good one at New Smyrna, about three miles up the river: Mr. Loud keeps it."

"We think of stopping here two or three days: where would be the best place to anchor the yachts?"

"If you are going to Loud's, you can anchor near Major Allen's: there is good holding ground, and you would be in sight of your vessel."

"Won't you stop and take breakfast, Mr. Weldon? and we will get you to show us the way to the hotel."

"Much obliged, but I want to see the pilot of the other yacht. You can see the hotel when you get to Major Allen's;" and he departed.

"I believe I have seen that man before," said Captain Morris. "We sent a party ashore here in '63 to get wood, and they were fired upon by the natives, and one man was killed. I shelled the place and burned a house or two, and we took a couple of prisoners and left them at St. Augustine. I think this young fellow was one of them."

Presently a yawl boat, rowed by two negroes, with the revenue flag flying, came alongside, and a stout man of middle age came on board. Morris came forward: "Mr. Allen, the collector, I suppose? I am master and owner of this yacht, the Pelican of New York, a pleasure-vessel on a cruise. The other schooner is also a yacht: she belongs in Montréal."

"All right, captain! I will step below and look at your papers, if you please. A handsome vessel, upon my word!"

"We are just going to breakfast, major: you will join us, I hope?"

[pg 664] This the major did, and being a Yankee of fluent speech, we soon learned all about him—how he had served in a Massachusetts regiment, and had been the first secretary of state under the new constitution of Florida. This has an imposing sound, but when we learn that almost all the better class of whites were mere unreconstructed rebels, leaving only a few poor whites, some carpet-baggers from the North and the negroes from whom to select the State officers, the position ceases to seem exalted. During breakfast he told us all about New Smyrna and its people, which was not much, since there are only five or six houses there. The conjecture of Captain Morris about the pilot was correct: he was of a good old rebel family, every man of whom of suitable age had been in the Confederate service.

Major Allen went to visit the Victoria, and on his return we both got under way and beat up the river about two miles, anchoring in three fathoms water under the bluff on which stands the collector's house. About noon a boat from each yacht started for the hotel. The river here expands into a bay of a mile in width, containing several islands, some of them wooded, and some low and grassy. The main channel of the Hillsboro' River comes in from the south, half a mile wide, with ten or twelve feet of water. On the west side the bay is a low island with a creek between it and the mainland. On this mainland is a shell bluff, twelve feet high, on which stands the hotel—a long two-story building, with a piazza in front and out-buildings behind. In the front yard are young orange, olive and fig trees, with two splendid oleanders fifteen feet high, one on each side the door. Another tropical plant, seen at the North in greenhouses, but here growing ten feet high in the open air, is the American aloe or century-plant. This house will accommodate twenty-five boarders, but it was not full at the time; so we obtained rooms. It is one of the most comfortable places in Florida, with a well-kept table, provided with fish, oysters, turtle and game. New Smyrna is about thirty miles from Enterprise, on the St. John's River: to this place there are three or four steamers weekly from Jacksonville.

A hunting-party was organized to go the next day to Turnbull's Swamp, which lies a few miles west of Loud's, and contains deer, turkeys and ducks, with bears and panthers for those who desire that kind of game. The party consisted of Captain Morris and Roberts of our yacht; Colonel Vincent and two of the Englishmen from the Victoria, with Weldon the pilot, and a tall Ohio hunter named Halliday, who lived in the woods near Loud's. He took three fox-hounds, and Morris brought his deer-hounds ashore. They took with them a mule and cart, with a tent and blankets, intending to stay in the swamp over night. Captain Herbert and I preferred to go a-fishing, and we hired a man to get bait and take us to the ground in his boat. Doctor White went off by himself to shoot birds for his collection.

About eight A.M. we anglers sailed out of the creek, and stood across the bay with a light southerly breeze. Our boatman was one of the Minorcan race, of whom there are many on this coast, descendants of the men of Turnbull's colony of 1767. He was a cousin of our pilot, by name Pecetti—a stout, well-built man forty years old, with keen black eyes and curling dark hair and beard, and a great fisherman with line and net. He lived near the inlet, and had the kind of boat commonly used in these shallow waters—flat-bottomed, broad in the beam, with centre-board and one mast set well forward. He had dug a peck or two of the large round clams, and two or three throws of his cast-net as we came through the creek procured a dozen mullet.

We ran into a channel between the eastern shore of the bay and an island, and came to in a deep channel near the shore, which was marshy and covered with a dense growth of mangrove bushes.

"Now," said Pecetti as he made fast the painter to a projecting limb, "if the sand-flies don't eat us up, we ought to get some fish here."

"What kind of fish do you find here?" asked Herbert.

"Mostly sheepshead, some groupers and snappers, trout, bass, and whiting. For sheepshead you want clam bait—for the others, mullet is best. Rig up your rods and I will bait for you."

I had a bamboo bass-rod, with a large reel: the captain had a light salmon-rod, with click reel. Pecetti selected for us some stout Virginia hooks tied on double gut, with four-ounce sinkers, the tide being quite strong here and half flood.

I found the bottom alongside the boat with about twelve feet of line, and left my hooks upon it as directed. Soon I felt a slight touch, but pulled up nothing but bare hooks. Twice was I thus robbed by the small fish which swarmed about us, and which get the bait before the larger ones can reach it; but the third time I felt a heavy downward tug, and found myself fast to a strong fish, which fought hard to keep at the bottom, and made short but furious rushes here and there, so that I had to give him line. In a few minutes he tired himself by his own efforts, and I wound him up toward the surface, but no sooner did he approach daylight than he surged downward again. Five minutes' play of this sort exhausted him, and I lifted on board a five-pound sheepshead, the same thick-set, arched-backed fish, with his six dusky bars on a silvery ground, which we buy in Fulton market at half a dollar the pound, and which the wise call Sargus ovis. In the New York waters it is a scarce fish, but runs larger than on the Southern coast, sometimes up to ten or twelve pounds. Here they do not average more than four pounds, a seven-pounder being rare. I agree in opinion with Norris, whose theory is that those found on the coasts of the Middle states are the surplus population of more Southern waters—perhaps the magnificoes of their tribe, who, like the rich planters in the good old times, like to amuse themselves at Cape May or Long Branch.

But to return to our muttons. Here Captain Herbert pulled up a handsome silvery fish of about a pound weight.

[pg 665] "A whiting!" cried Pecetti, "and the best fish in the river." Next I hooked a couple of sheepshead, but lost one by the breaking of a hook—a common accident, the jaws of this fish being very powerful. Herbert now got hold of a big one, which played beautifully on his elastic rod, and gave him a long fight and plenty of reel music, but was finally saved, a six-pound sheepshead.

Pecetti, who had waited on us attentively, baiting our hooks and taking off our fish (a service of some danger to a tyro, as the sheepshead is armed with sharp spines), had a hook baited with mullet away astern of the boat. This line was now straightened out by something heavy, which he pulled in, hand over hand, and lifted on board a handsome fish, near two feet long, with darkly mottled sides and shaped like a cod-fish. "That's a nice grouper," said he—"ten pound, I think." This is a percoid, Serranus nigritus of Holbrook, and one of the very best table-fishes of these waters.

We took six or eight more sheepshead, and the captain caught a handsome, active fish of about four pounds weight, resembling the squetegue or weakfish of New York, but having dark spots on the back, like the lake-trout of the Adirondacks. This is the salt-water trout, so called, though it is not a salmonine: it is Otolithus Caroliniensis, the weakfish being Otolithus regalis.

Next I hooked a strong fish which seemed disposed to run under the mangrove roots. "That's a big grouper," cried Pecetti. "Keep him away from the roots, or you will lose him."

I did my best, but he was too strong: the rod bent into a hoop with the strain, but I had to let him run, and he took to his hold under the bank, from whence I was not able to dislodge him, and had to break my line, losing hooks and snood. While this was going on, Herbert, who had put on a mullet bait and let it float down the current, hooked and secured after five minutes' play a channel bass or redfish of about seven pounds. This is a fish peculiar to the Southern waters, good on the table when in [pg 666] season, which is the spring and summer: in the winter it spawns, and is not so good. When above ten or twelve pounds in weight it is of a brilliant copper-red on back and sides: the smaller ones are of a steel-blue on the back, and iridescent when first caught. It grows to the weight of fifty or sixty pounds, runs in great schools, and in habits and play when hooked resembles the allied species Labrax lineatus, the striped bass. Cuvier named the species Corvina ocellata, from the black spot which it bears near the tail.

The bottom here was rather foul, being covered with old logs and branches of the mangroves, which, being a very heavy wood, had sunk to the bottom and become covered with barnacles and other crustaceae, which attracted the fish to this spot. They bit well, but so did the sand-flies: as soon as the breeze died away they came out from the bushes in clouds, and attacked us so fiercely that we were obliged to quit.

"We'll go down toward the inlet," said Pecetti: "there's good fishing-ground and more breeze." So he set the sail, and we ran down the river, past the yachts, about a mile, where we came to anchor near a bluff covered with trees, in a deep channel. Here we first caught blackfish or sea-bass, of small size, but plenty; also snappers, lively fish of the perch family, of a red color, and from a pound to two pounds in weight, which usually take a mullet bait, in the swift current near the surface. Then a school of sheepshead came along, of which we got a dozen. After these we found bass, of which we took eight, weighing from six to ten pounds each; also three fine groupers, the largest twelve pounds. Pecetti caught a Tartar in the shape of a monstrous sting-ray, four feet across, with a tail three feet long armed with formidable spines. This creature lives on the bottom, his food being chiefly mollusks and crustaceae, for the disposal of which he has a huge mouth with a pavement of flat enameled teeth. He lies usually half buried in the sand, and is much dreaded by the fishermen, who are in danger of treading on him as they wade to cast their nets. In that case he strikes quick blows with his whiplike tail, the jagged spines of which make very dangerous wounds, apt to produce lockjaw.

After much difficulty our boatman got the ray alongside the boat with his gaff-hook, and gave it a few deep cuts in the region of the heart with a large knife. The blood spurted out in big jets, as from the strokes of a pump, which soon exhausted its strength, and Pecetti dragged it ashore and cut off its tail for a trophy. As the creature was dying it ejected from its stomach a quart or more of small bivalves, which must have been recently swallowed.

"That makes the best bait for sharks," said Pecetti: "I always bait with sting-ray when I can get it."

As the rays and sharks both belong to the order of placoids, it appears that the shark is not particular about preying on his kindred.

"Are sharks plenty here?" I inquired.

"Indeed they are!" said Pecetti: "I wonder we have not had our lines cut by them. I have caught half a dozen in an hour's time right here. I think I can show you one very quick." He went ashore and launched the ray's carcass down the current. It floated slowly away, but had not gone fifty yards when it was seized by a shark, which tugged and tore at it, till directly a second and a third arrived and struggled furiously for it, lashing the water into foam with their tails. Presently more came up, till there were five or six of the monsters all fighting for the prey, which they soon devoured. "There, you see how soon they smelt the blood. What you think of sharks, now?"

"I think," said I, "that this is not exactly the place to bathe in."

The tide being now well on the ebb, the fish stopped biting, perhaps driven away by the sharks, and we sailed down to the inlet, where there is a long sandy beach fringed with mangroves: behind these, low hillocks of sand covered with saw-palmetto extend across to the ocean, perhaps half a mile; and here is an expanse of sandy beach some hundreds of yards in width at low tide, hard and smooth, so that one could drive from St. Augustine to the south end of the peninsula were it not for the creeks and inlets.

On the river-front is a long bed of oysters, growing up to high-water mark, the upper ones poor, called "raccoon oysters" by the natives, but the lower ones, which are mostly covered with water, large, fat and delicious. We gathered about a bushel of these, built a fire of dead mangrove wood, which is the best of fuel, and when we had a good bed of coals threw on the oysters. The heat, at the same time that it roasted them, obliged them to open their valves, so that it was both easy and pleasant to take them on the half shell. Besides these free gifts of Nature, we had with us from the hotel biscuits, cold meat and doughnuts. While we were eating, a handsome sailboat from the hotel came to the beach: it contained a party of ladies and gentlemen who were going for shells, which are numerous on the sea-beach, though not many of the finer sorts are found so far north. After a heavy storm the paper nautilus is sometimes found. Sea-beans of various kinds are numerous, and the search for them, and the polishing of them when found, seem to be the principal occupations of many Florida tourists. Were it not for the sharks, this would be a fine bathing-beach. Whether they are man-eaters or not, may be a question, but we preferred to give ourselves the benefit of the doubt.

On our return to Loud's we found Doctor White very busy skinning his birds.

"What is this, doctor?—a jay? It looks rather different from our blue jay."

"Yes: this is the Florida jay: it has no crest, you perceive. Here is another Southern bird, the fish-crow, smaller than ours, you see. Here I have a white heron and a wood-ibis. These will give me work for to-day."

"What game did you see, doctor?" inquired Captain Herbert.

"I saw some quails in the palmetto scrub behind the house, and shot one to see if it differs from ours. It is the same bird, Ortyx Virginiana: they call it partridge in the South—rather smaller [pg 667] than ours at the North. In the swamp I found snipe, Scolopax Wilsonii: they call them here jacksnipe. Here is one of them: did you ever see a fatter bird?"

"I should like to go and look them up to-morrow morning," said the captain. "How far away were they?"

"About half a mile only, north-west. You will find some small ponds, and near them the snipe were plenty: there were wood-ducks there also."

"I will go with you, captain," said I. "We will take Morris's old pointer, Dash: he is steady and staunch."

About four o'clock that afternoon the hunting-party returned, bringing in three deer, six wild turkeys, twenty-five ducks, ten gray squirrels, and three rabbits, besides a wild steer, killed by Halliday. They had also killed a wild-cat, and a small alligator about seven feet long. A good heap of game it made.

"What are you going to do with that alligator, Captain Morris?" asked the doctor.

"I thought I should like to take home his hide to put in my hall. He was going for one of my hounds when I shot him."

"I will take off the skin for you," said the doctor: "you had better pack it in salt till you get to New York. We will save that wild-cat's skin, too: it is a handsome pelt—Felis rufus, the Southern lynx."

"Well done!" cried Mr. Loud, who just then came out to the cart. "That's the biggest gobbler I have seen this year. I must weigh that bird: bring out the scales, Peter. So—eighteen pounds, and this other sixteen: fine birds indeed! Who killed them?"

"Colonel Vincent killed the largest, and I two of the others," said Dr. Macleod of the Victoria. "Captain Morris, I think, shot three turkeys and a deer; Mr. Weldon killed two deer; Halliday shot the steer and the cat, and the small game was pretty equally divided between us, I believe."

We had that night a fine supper of venison steaks, roast ducks, stewed squirrels, oysters and fish, all well cooked by Mr. Loud's old negro, who was really an artist.


[pg 668]



When Dr. Lively had accomplished his part toward relieving immediate suffering, when he saw system growing gradually out of the chaos, when he saw that he could be spared from the work, he began to consider his personal affairs.

"I can't start again here," he said to Mrs. Lively. "Office and living rooms that would answer at all cannot be had for less than one hundred and fifty dollars a month, and that paid in advance, and I haven't a cent."

"What in the world are we going to do?"

"I'll tell you what I've been thinking about: I met in the relief-rooms yesterday an old college acquaintance—Edward Harrison. He lives in Keokuk, Iowa, now—came on here with some money and provisions for the sufferers. He would insist on lending me a few dollars. He's a good fellow: I used to like him at college. Well, he told me of a place near Keokuk where a good physician and surgeon is needed—none there except a raw young man. It has no railroad, but it's all the better for a doctor on that account."

"No railroad! How in the world do the folks get anywhere?"

"It's on the Mississippi River, and boats are passing the town every few hours."

"The idea of going from Chicago to where there isn't even a railroad! What place is it?"


"Nauvoo! That miserable Mormon place?"

"Harrison says there is only an occasional Mormon there now—that it's largely settled by Germans engaged in wine-making."

"Grapes?" asked Napoleon.

"That boy never comes out of his dreaming except for something to eat. Dear me! the idea of living among a lot of Germans!" said Mrs. Lively, returning to the subject.

"There's a French element there, the remnants of the Icarians—a colony of Communists under Cabet," the doctor explained.

"What! those horrid Communists that turned Paris upside down?" Mrs. Lively exclaimed.

"Oh no," said the doctor. "They settled in Nauvoo some twenty years ago, I believe."

"Dear! dear! dear! it's very hard," said the lady.

"My dear, I think we are very fortunate. Harrison says there's plenty of work there, though it's hard work—riding over bad roads. He promises me letters of introduction to merchants there, so that I can get credit for the household goods we shall need to begin with and for our pressing necessities. He has already written to a man there to rent us a house, and put up a kitchen stove and a couple of plain beds, and to have a few provisions on hand when we arrive. I purpose leaving here to-morrow, or the day after at farthest."

"But how are we ever to get there without money?"

"We can get passes out of the city. So, my dear, please try to feel grateful. Think of the thousands here who can't turn round, who are utterly helpless."

"Well, it never did help me to feel better to know that somebody was worse off than I. It doesn't cure my headache to be told that somebody else has a raging toothache. Grateful! when I haven't even a change of clothes!"

"Go to the relief-rooms and get a change of under garments," Dr. Lively advised.

"I won't go there and wait round like a beggar, and have them ask me a million of prying questions, and all for somebody's old clothes," Mrs. Lively declared.

"Now, my dear," her husband remonstrated, "I have been a great deal in the relief-rooms, and I believe there are no unnecessary questions asked—only such as are imperative to prevent imposition."

"The things don't belong to them any more than they do to me."

"Perhaps not as much. They were sent to the destitute, such as you, so you shouldn't mind asking for your own," the doctor argued.

"Think what a mean little story I should have to tell! I do wish you'd bought that house. If we'd lost fifty thousand!—but a few bed-quilts and those old frogs and bugs and dried leaves of yours! The most miserable Irish woman on DeKoven street can tell as big a story of losses as we can."

"I'll go to the relief-rooms and get some clothes for you," said the doctor decidedly: "I'm not ashamed."

"I won't wear any of the things if you bring them," said Mrs. Lively.

"Oh, wife," said the doctor, his face pallid and grieved, "you are wrong, you are wrong. Are you to get no kind of good out of this calamity? Is the chastisement to exasperate only? to make you more perverse, more bitter?"

"You are very complimentary," was the wife's reply.

The doctor was silent for a moment: then he took up his hat. "I'm going to try to get passes out of the city," he said.

He had a long walk by Twelfth street to the rooms of the committee on transportation. Arrived at the hall, he found two long lines of waiting humanity reaching out like great wings from the door, the men on one side, the women on the other. He fell into line at the very foot, and there he waited hour after hour. For once, the women held the vantage-ground. They passed up in advance of the men to the audience-room, being admitted one by one. The audience consumed, on the average, five minutes to a person. At length all the women had had their turn: then, one by one, the men were admitted. Slowly Dr. Lively moved forward. He had attained the steps and was feeling hopeful of [pg 669] a speedy admission, when the business-session was pronounced ended for the day, and the doors were closed. He went back drooping, and related his experience to his wife.

"You don't mean to say you've been gone all this afternoon and come back without the passes?" she exclaimed.

"That's just how it is," answered the doctor.

"Well, I'll warrant I would have got in if I'd been there," she said.

"Yes, you'd have got an audience, for, as I have said, the women were admitted before the men. My next neighbor in the line said he had been there three days in succession without getting into the hall."

"Well, I'll go in the morning, and I'll come home with a pass in an hour, I promise you."

The next morning Mrs. Lively started for the hall at eight o'clock, determined to procure a place at the head of the line. But, early as was the hour, she found the doors already besieged. There were at least three dozen women ahead of her. She took her place very ungraciously at the foot of the line. At nine the doors were opened, and the first comers admitted. Ten o'clock came, and Mrs. Lively was still in the street—had not even reached the stairs. Eleven o'clock came—she stood on the second step. At length she had reached the top step but one, and it was not yet twelve.

"It doesn't seem fair," she said to the doorkeeper, "that the men should have to wait, day after day, till all the women in the city are served."

"No," assented the keeper, "it is not fair. Now, there are men in that line who have been here for four days. They'd have done better and saved time if they'd gone to work in the burnt district moving rubbish, and earned their railroad passage."

Mrs. Lively's suggestion of unfairness proved an unfortunate one for her, for the keeper conceived the idea of acting on it.

"It isn't fair," he repeated, "and I mean to let some of those fellows in."

[pg 670] "Oh, do let me in first," she cried, but the keeper had already beckoned to the head of the other line, and was now marching him into the hall.

"No use for you to try for a pass," said the inner doorkeeper after a few words with the petitioner. "You must have a certificate from some well-known, responsible person that your means were all lost by the fire, or you cannot get an audience. Must have your certificate, sir, before I can pass you to the committee."

The man thus turned back went sorrowfully down the steps into the street, and the next man passed in-doors.

"You want a pass for yourself," said the inner keeper. "The committee refuse in any circumstances to issue passes to able-bodied men. If you are able to work, you can earn your fare: plenty of work for willing hands. No use in arguing the matter, sir," he continued resolutely: "you can't get a pass."

"But I haven't a dollar in the world," persisted the man.

"Plenty of work at big prices, sir. Women and children and the sick and helpless we'll pass out of the city, but we need men, and we won't pass them out."

He turned away from the petitioner and beckoned the head woman to enter. This one had her audience, and came back crying. Mrs. Lively was now at the head of the line. Her turn had at last come.

"Session's over," announced the keeper, and closed the doors.

Some scores of disconsolate people dispersed in this direction and that. Mrs. Lively and a few others sat down on the steps, determined to wait for the reopening of the doors. After a weary waiting in the noon sun, which was not, however, very oppressive, the doors were again opened, and Mrs. Lively was admitted to the audience-room. At the head of one of the long tables sat George M. Pullman, to whom Mrs. Lively told her small story. Then she asked for passes to Nauvoo for herself, husband and son. She was kindly but closely questioned. Didn't she save some silver and jewelry? didn't her husband save his watch? etc. etc.

Mrs. Lively acknowledged it. "But," she added, "we haven't a change of clothes—we haven't money enough to keep us in drinking-water."

"Buy water!" said Mr. Pullman with a decided accent of impatience. "Don't talk about buying water with that great lake over there. Wait till Michigan goes dry. I've brought water with my own hands from Lake Michigan. Money for water, indeed!"

"So has my husband brought water from the lake," replied the lady with spirit: "he brought two pails yesterday morning, and it took him three hours and a half to accomplish it. I presume your quarters are nearer the lake than ours."

"Well, well, I can't give your husband a pass. He can raise money on his watch, can get a half-fare ticket, or he can work his way out. We don't like to see our men turning their backs on Chicago now: some have to, I suppose. I ought hardly to give you a pass, but I'll give you one, and your child;" and he gave the order to the clerk.

In another moment she was on her way to the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy ticket-office to get the pass countersigned. At three o'clock she reached her quarters with the paper, having been absent seven hours.

As the pass was good for three days only, despatch was necessary in getting matters into shape and in leaving the city. Dr. Lively pawned his watch—a fine gold repeater—for twenty dollars, and the next day, with an aching heart but smiling face, turned his back on the city whose bold challenges, splendid successes and dramatic career made it to him the most fascinating spot, the most dearly loved, this side of heaven.

In due time these Chicago sufferers were landed at Montrose, a miserable little village in Iowa, at the head of the Keokuk Rapids. Just across the wonderful river lay the historical Nauvoo, fair and beautiful as a poet's dream, though the wooded slopes retained but shreds of their autumn-dyed raiment. Mrs. Lively was pleased, the doctor was enthusiastic. They forgot that "over the river" is always beautiful. They crossed in a skiff at a rapturous rate, but when they had made the landing the disenchantment began. A two-horse wagon was waiting for passengers, and in this our friends embarked. The driver had heard they were coming, and knew the house that had been engaged for them—the Woodruff house, built by one of the old Mormon elders. The streets through which they drove were silent, with scarcely a sound or sight of human life. It all looked strange and queer, unlike anything they had ever seen. It was neither city nor village. The houses, city-like, all opened on the street, or had little front yards of city proportions, and to almost every one was attached the inevitable vineyard. It was indeed a city, with nineteen out of every twenty houses lifted out of it, and vineyards established in their places; and all the houses had an old-fashioned look, for almost without exception they antedated the Mormon exodus.

The Livelies were set down in a street where the sand was over the instep, before a stiff, graceless brick building, standing close up in one corner of an acre lot. On one side, in view from the front gate, was a dilapidated hen-house—on the other, a more unsightly stable with a pig-sty attached. All the space between the house and vineyard, in every direction, was strewn with corncobs and remnants of haystacks, while straw and manure were banked against the house to keep the cellar warm. In front was a walled sewer, through which the town on the hill was drained, for the Livelies' new home was on "the Flat," as the lower town is called. The view from the front took in only a dreary hillside covered with decaying cornstalks.

The doctor moved a barrel-hoop which fastened the gate, and it tottered over, and clung by one hinge to the worm-eaten post, from which the decaying fence had fallen away. A hall ran through the house, and on either side were two rooms. The second floor was [pg 671] a duplicate of the first, so that the house contained eight small rooms, nine by eleven feet, exactly alike, each with a huge fireplace. There was not a pantry, a closet, a clothes-press, a shelf in the house. Not a room was papered: all were covered with a coarse whitewash, smoked, fly-specked and momently falling in great scales. The floors were rough, knotty and warped; the wash-boards were rat-gnawed in every direction; all the woodwork was unpainted and gray with age.

Two beds and a kitchen stove had been set up on the bare floors. On a pine table in the cramped kitchen were a few dishes, tins and pails, a loaf of bread, a ham, some coffee and sugar. Mrs. Lively sat down in the kitchen on a wooden chair with a feeling of utter desolation in her heart. Napoleon looked longingly at the loaf of bread. The doctor flew round in a way that would have cheered anybody not foregone to despondency. He brought in some cobs from the yard and kindled a fire in the stove, filled the tea-kettle, and put some slices of ham to fry and some coffee to boil.

"Go up stairs, dear," he said to Mrs. Lively, "and lie down while I get supper ready. You are tired: I feel as smart as a new whip. I haven't been a soldier for nothing: I'll give you some of the best coffee you ever drank. Nappy, run across the street and see if you can't get a cup of milk: I see the people have a cow. Won't you lie down?" he continued to his wife. She looked so ineffably wretched that his heart ached for her.

"I think I shall feel better if I do something," she said drearily; "but," she continued, firing with something of her old spirit, "how in the world is anybody to do anything here? Not even a dishcloth!"

"Oh, never mind," laughed the doctor, piling the dusty dishes in a pan for washing, "we'll just set the crockery up in this cullender to drain dry."

"We'd better turn hermits, go and winter in a cave, and be done with it. How are we ever to live?"

[pg 672] "Why, my dear, I never felt so plucky in my life. We mustn't show the white feather: we must prove ourselves worthy of Chicago. Come, now, we'll work to get back to Chicago. We can live economically here, and when we get a little ahead we can start again in Chicago. Only think of these eight rooms and an acre of ground, three-fourths in grapes, for six dollars a month! Ain't it inspiriting? I've seen you at picnics eating with your fingers, drinking from a leaf-cup, making all kinds of shifts and enjoying all the straits. Now we can play picnicking here—play that we are camping out, and that one of these days, when we've bagged our game, we're going home to Chicago. Now, we'll set the table;" and he began moving the dishes, pans and bundles off the pine table on to chairs and the floor.

"Isn't this sweet," said Mrs. Lively, "eating in the kitchen and without a tablecloth?"

"We'll have a dining-room to-morrow, and a tablecloth," said the doctor cheerfully.

Thanks to his friend Harrison's letters, Dr. Lively readily obtained credit for imperative family necessities. If ever anybody merited success as a cheerful worker, it was our doctor. He did the work of ever-so-many men, and almost of one woman. Pray don't despise him when I tell you that he kneaded the bread, to save Mrs. Lively's back; that he did most of the family washing—that is, he did the rubbing, the wringing, the lifting, the hanging out—and once a week he scrubbed. When he wasn't "doing housework" he was in his office, busy, not with patients, but in writing articles for magazines and papers. Then he set to work upon a book, at which he toiled hopefully during the dreary winter, for he was almost ignored as a physician, although there seemed to be considerable sickness. He heard of the other doctor riding all night. Indeed, if one could believe all that was said, this physician never slept. True, this man was not a graduate of medicine. He had been a barber, and had gone directly from the razor to the scalpel; but that did not matter: he had more calls in a week than Dr. Lively had during the winter.

"The idea of being beaten by a barber!" exclaimed Mrs. Lively. "Why don't you advertise yourself?"

"There's no paper here to advertise in."

"Then you ought to have a sign to tell people what you are—that you were surgeon of volunteers in the army; that you had a good practice in Chicago; that you're a graduate of two medical schools; that you write for the medical journals and for the magazines. Why don't you have these things put on a big sign?"

"It would be unprofessional."

"To be professional you must sit in that miserable office and let your family starve. Why don't you denounce this upstart barber?—tell people that he hasn't a diploma—that he doesn't know anything—that he couldn't reduce that hernia and had to call on you?"

"That's opposed to all medical ethics."

"Medical fiddlesticks! You've got to sit here like a maiden, to be wooed and won, and can't lift a finger or speak a word for yourself. Then there's that woman with the broken arm—Joe Smith's wife. Why shouldn't you tell that the barber didn't set it right, and that you had to reset it? I saw some of Joseph Smith's grandchildren the other day," she continued, suddenly changing the subject, "and I must say they don't look like the descendants of a prophet."

For a brief period in the unfolding spring Mrs. Lively experienced a little lifting of her spirits. The season was marvelously beautiful in Nauvoo: one serious expense, that for fuel, was stayed, and there was the promise of increased sickness, and thus increased work for the doctor. But this gleam was followed almost immediately by a shadow: a scientific paper which he had despatched to a leading magazine came back to him with the line, "Well written, but too heavy for our purposes."1

"I knew it was," said Mrs. Lively. "You write the driest, long-windedest things that ever I read."

Dr. Lively sighed, took his hat and went out, while Mrs. Lively, after some moments of irresolution, set about getting dinner.

"Now, where's your father?" she impatiently demanded when the dinner had been set on the table.

"Dunno," answered Master Napoleon through the potato by which his mouth was already possessed.

The Little Corporal, as he was sometimes called by virtue of his illustrious name, was a lean-faced lad with no friendly rolls of adipose to conceal the fact that he was cramming with all his energies.

"Why in the name of sense can't he come to his dinner?"

Napoleon gave a gulping swallow to clear his tongue. "Dunno," he managed to articulate, and then went off into a violent paroxysm of choking and coughing.

"Why don't you turn your head?" cried the mother, seizing the said member between her two hands and giving it an energetic twist that dislocated a bone or snapped a tendon, one might have surmised from the sharp crick-crack which accompanied the movement. "What in the name of decency makes you pack your mouth in that manner? Are you famished?"

"A'most," answered the recovered Napoleon, resettling himself, face to the table, and resuming the shoveling of mashed potato into his mouth.

"That's a pretty story, after all the breakfast you ate, and the lunch you had not two hours ago! Where under the sun, moon and stars do you put it all?"

"Mouth," responded Napoleon, describing with his strong teeth a semicircle in his slice of brown bread.

"Tell me what can be keeping your father," said Mrs. Lively, returning to her subject.


"He'll come poking along in the course of time, I suppose, when all the hot things are cold, and all the cold things are hot. Just like him. And I [pg 673] worked myself into a fever to get them on the table piping hot and ice-cold. From stove to cellar, from cellar to well, I rushed, but if I'd worked myself to death's door, he'd stay his stay out, all the same."

"Reason for stayin', I s'pose," suggested Napoleon.

"Yes, of course you'll take his part—you always do. For pity's sake, what has your mother ever done that you should side against her?"


"Dunno! Of course you don't. I'll tell you: She tended you through all your helpless infancy: she nursed you through teething, and whooping-cough, and measles, and scarlet fever, and chicken-pox, and mercy knows what else. Many's the time she watched with you the livelong night, when your father was snoring and dreaming in the farthest corner of the house, so he mightn't hear your wailing and moaning. She's toiled and slaved for you like a plantation negro, while he—"

"He's comin'," interrupted Napoleon, without for a moment intermitting his potato-shoveling. "Walkin' fast," continued the sententious lad, swallowing immediately half a cup of milk.

Dr. Lively came hurrying into the dining-room.

"For pity's sake, I think it's about time," the wife began pettishly.

"Have you seen my purse anywhere about here?" the gentleman asked with an anxious cadence in his voice.

"Your purse!" shrieked Mrs. Lively, turning short upon her husband and glaring in wild alarm.

"Lost it?" asked Napoleon, digging his fork into a huge potato and transferring it to his plate.

"Go, look in the bed-room, Nappy: I think I must have dropped it there," said the father.

Napoleon rose from his chair, but stopped halfway between sitting and standing for a farewell bite at his bread and butter.

"For mercy's sake, why don't you go along?" Mrs. Lively snapped out. "What do you keep sitting there for?"

[pg 674] "Ain't a-settin'," responded Nappy, laying hold of his cup for a last swallow.

"Standing there, then?"

"Ain't a-standin'."

"If you don't go along—" and Mrs. Lively started for her son and heir with a threat in every inch of her.

"Am a-goin'," returned the son and heir; and, sure enough, he went.

During this passage between mother and child Dr. Lively had been keeping up an unflagging by-play, searching persistently every part of the dining-room—the mantelpiece, the clock, the cupboard, the shelves.

"In the name of common sense," exclaimed the wife, after watching him a moment, "what's the use of looking in that knife-basket? Shouldn't I have seen it when I set the table if it had been there? Do you think I'm blind? Where did you lose your purse?"

"If I knew where I lost it I'd go and get it."

"Well, where did you have it when you missed it?"

"As well as I can remember I didn't have it when I missed it."

"Well, where did you have it before you missed it?"

"In my pocket."

"Oh yes, this is a pretty time to joke, when my heart is breaking! I shouldn't be surprised to hear of your laughing at my grave. Very well, if you won't tell me where you've been with your purse, I can't help you look for it; and what's more, I won't, and you'll never find it unless I do, Dr. Lively: I can tell you that. You never were known to find anything."

"Not there," said Napoleon re-entering the room and reseating himself at the table. "Milk, please," he continued, extending his cup toward his mother.

"You ain't going to eating again?" cried the lady.


"Where do you put it all? I believe in my soul—Are your legs hollow?"


"Do, my dear," remonstrated Dr. Lively, "let the child eat all he wants. You keep up an everlasting nagging, as though you begrudged him every mouthful he swallows."

"Oh, it's fine of you to talk, when you lose all the money that comes into the family—five thousand dollars in Chicago, and sixty dollars now, for I'll warrant you hadn't paid out a cent of it; and all those accounts against us! Had you paid any bills? had you? You won't answer, but you needn't think to escape and deceive me by such a shallow trick. If you'd paid a bill you'd been keen enough to tell it: you'd have shouted it out long ago. Pretty management! Just like you, shiftless! Why in the name of the five senses didn't you pay out the money before you lost the purse? You might have known you were going to lose it: you always lose everything."

"Bread, please," called Napoleon, who had taken advantage of the confusion to sweep the bread-plate clean.

"In the name of wonder!" exclaimed the mother, snatching a half loaf from the pantry. "There! take it and eat it, and burst—Do," she continued, turning to Dr. Lively, "stop your tramp, tramping round this room, and come and eat your dinner. There's not an atom of reason in spending your time looking for that purse. You'll never see it again. Like enough you dropped it down the well: it would be just like you. I just know that purse is down that well. Carelessness! the idea of dropping your purse down the well!"

Without heeding the rattle, Napoleon went on eating and Dr. Lively went on searching—now in the dining-room, now in the kitchen, now in the hall.

Mrs. Lively soon returned to her life-work: "What's the sense in poking, and poking, and poking around, and around, and around? Mortal eyes will never see that purse again. I've no question but you put it in the stove for a chip this morning when you made the fire. Who ever heard of another man kindling a fire with a purse? Will you eat your dinner, Dr. Lively, or shall I clear away the table? I can't have the work standing round all day."

Notwithstanding his worry, the doctor was hungry, so he replied by seating himself at the table. "There's nothing here to eat," he said, glancing at the empty dishes and plates.

"If that boy hasn't cleared off every dish!" cried the housekeeper. "Why didn't you lick the platters clean, and be done with it?" and she seized an empty dish in either hand and disappeared to replenish it.

While her husband took his dinner she went up stairs and ransacked the bed-room for the missing purse. "What are you sitting there for?" she exclaimed, suddenly re-entering the dining-room, where Dr. Lively was sitting with his arms on the table. "Why don't you get up and look for that purse you lost?"

"No use, you said," Napoleon put in by way of reminder.

"For pity's sake, arn't you done eating yet?"

"Just am," answered the corporal, rising from his seat, yet chewing industriously.

Mrs. Lively began to gather the dirty dishes into a pan. "What are you going to do about it, Dr. Lively?" she asked meanwhile.

"I don't know what we can do about it, except to cut off corners—live more economically."

"As if we could!" cried Mrs. Lively, all ablaze. "Where are there any corners to cut off? In the name of charity, tell me. I've cut and shaved until life is as round and as bare as this plate." With a mighty rattle and clatter she threw the said plate into the dish-pan and jerked up a platter from the table. Holding it in her left hand, she proceeded: "Do you know, Dr. Lively, what your family lives on? Potatoes, Dr. Lively—potatoes; that is, mostly. How much do I pay out a month for help? A half cent? Not a quarter of it. How much is wasted in my housekeeping? Not a single crumb. It would keep any common woman busy cooking for that boy. I tell you, Dr. Lively, I can't economize any more than I do and have done. I might wring and twist and screw in every possible direction, and at the year's end there wouldn't be a nickel to show for all the wringing and twisting [pg 675] and screwing. There's only one way in which the purse can be made up—there's only one way in which economy is possible. You can save that money, Dr. Lively: you're the only member of the family who has a luxury."

"Hang me with a grapevine if I've got any luxury!" said the doctor with something of an amused expression on his face.

"Tobacco," suggested Napoleon.

"Yes, it's tobacco. You can give up the nasty weed, the filthy habit."

"Do it?" asked Napoleon.

"Don't think I shall," replied the doctor coolly.

"Then I'll save the money," responded Mrs. Lively with heroic voice and manner. "I had forgotten: there is one other way. Dr. Lively, I'm housekeeper, laundress, cook, everything to your family. And what do I get for it? Less than any twelve-year-old girl who goes out to service. I have the blessed privilege of lodging in this old Mormon rat-hole, and I have just enough of the very cheapest victuals to keep the breath in my body; and one single, solitary thing that is not absolutely necessary to my existence—one thing that I could possibly live without."

"What?" asked Napoleon, gaping and staring.

"It is sugar—sugar in my coffee. I'll drink my coffee without sugar till that sixty dollars is made up. I'll never touch sugar again till that money is made good—never!" and into the kitchen sailed Mrs. Lively with her pan of dishes.

"Sugar, please," demanded Napoleon the next morning at the breakfast-table. Dr. Lively passed over the sugar-bowl.

"How can you have the heart to take so much?" said the mother, watching Napoleon as he emptied one heaping spoonful and then another into his coffee-cup. "But I might have known you'd leave your mother to bear the burden all alone. All the economizing, all the self-denial, must come on my shoulders. And just look at me!—nothing but skin and bones. I've got to make up everybody's losses, [pg 676] everybody's wasting. It's a rare thing if I get a warm meal with the rest of you: I'm all the while eating up the cold victuals and scraps and burnt things that nobody else will eat."

"I'd eat 'em," said Napoleon.

"Of course you'd eat them. There's nothing you wouldn't eat, in the heavens above or the earth beneath. And all the thanks I get is to be taunted with stinginess."

"Take some?" asked Napoleon, passing the sugar-bowl to his mother.

"Never!" she exclaimed, drawing back as though a viper had been extended to her. "Take the thing away—set it down there by your father's plate. I said I'd use no more sugar till that money was made good. When I say a thing I mean it."

"Now, Priscilla," remonstrated the doctor, "what is the use of breaking in on your lifelong habits? You'll make yourself sick, that's all."

"Dr. Lively, you're trying to tempt me: why can't you uphold me? It will be hard enough at best to make the sacrifice. Yes, I shall make myself sick, but it won't hurt anybody but me. I can get well again, as I've always had to."

"Perhaps so, after a druggist's bill and hired girl's wages. Every spoonful of sugar you save may cost you ten dollars."

"Then, why don't you give up that vile tobacco? I won't use any sugar till you do. All you care about is the money my sickness will cost—my suffering is nothing." Mrs. Lively raised her cup to her lip, then set it back in the saucer with a haste that sent the contents splashing over the sides.

"Bitter?" asked Napoleon.

"Bitter! of course it's bitter—bitter as tansy. It sends the chills creeping up and down my backbone, and the top of my head feels as if it was crawling off. I believe I shall lose my scalp if I don't use sugar."

"To stick it on?" asked Napoleon with a stolid face.

"Oh, it's beautiful in my only child to laugh at a mother's discomfort!" "Ain't a-laughin'," he replied.

"What are you doing if you ain't laughing?"


"Of course: you're always eating." Again Mrs. Lively essayed her coffee, but fell back in her chair with an unutterable look. "Oh, I can't!—I cannot do it!" she exclaimed.

"Don't," Napoleon advised.

Mrs. Lively with a sudden jerk sat bolt upright, as straight as a crock. "Who asked you for your advice?" she demanded sharply.

The young Lively swallowed three times distinctly, and then replied, while shaking the pepper-box over his potato, "Nobody."

"Then, why can't you keep it to yourself?"


"Then, why don't you do it?"


"You exasperating boy! Wouldn't you die if you didn't get the last word?"


"Look here, Napoleon Lively: you've got to stop your everlasting talking. Your chatter, chatter, chatter just tries me to death. I'm not—"

Here Dr. Lively, overcome with the absurdity of this charge, did a very unusual thing. He broke into laughter so prolonged and overwhelming that Mrs. Lively, after some signal failures to edge in a word of explanation, left the table in the midst of the uproar and dashed up stairs, where she jerked and pounded the beds with a will.

The next day Mrs. Lively was canning some cherries which the doctor had taken in pay for a prescription. The air was filled with the mingled odor of the boiling fruit and of burning sealing-wax. The cans were acting with outrageous perversity, for they were second-hand and the covers ill-fitting. Her blood was almost up to fainting heat, and she was worried all over. She had to do all her preserving in a pint cup, as she expressed it in her contempt for the diminutive proportions of the saucepan which she was using.

"Here 'tis," said Napoleon, suddenly appearing at the kitchen-door.

"Here what is?" demanded Mrs. Lively shortly, without looking up. Her two hands were engaged—one in pressing the cover on a can, the other in pouring wax where a bubble persistently appeared.

"This," answered Napoleon.



"Purse!" she screamed. "Is the money in it?" She dropped her work and took eager possession of it. "Where did you find it?"

"Big apple tree," replied Napoleon.

"Under the apple tree?"

"Fork," was the lad's emendation.

"Why in the name of sense do you have to bite off all your sentences? They are like a chicken with its head off. Do you mean to say that you found the purse in the fork of the big apple tree?"

"Do; and pipe."

"Pipe! of course. One might track your father through a howling wilderness by the pipes he'd leave at every half mile. Don't let him know you've found the purse, and to-morrow morning I'm going to see if I can't have some of his bills paid before the money is lost, as it would be if he should get it in his hands."

The next morning Mrs. Lively felt under her pillow, as on a former occasion, and, as on that former occasion, found the purse where she had put it the night before. She gave it into Napoleon's hands after breakfast, and despatched him to settle the bills. In less than half an hour he was back.

"Did you pay all the bills?" she asked.


"How many?"


"Why don't you go along and pay those bills, as I bade you?"

"Have been."

"Then, why didn't you settle the bills?"


"If you don't tell me what's the matter—Why couldn't you?"

"No money!"

"No money? Where's the purse?"

"Here 'tis;" and he handed it to her.

[pg 677] She opened it and found it empty. "Where's the money?" she demanded in great alarm.


"What did you do with it?"


By dint of a few dozen more questions she arrived at the information that when he had opened the purse to pay the first bill he found it empty.

"Why didn't you look on the floor?"

"Did look."

"And feel in your pocket?"


"I suppose you couldn't be satisfied till you'd opened the purse to count the money. You're a perfect Charity Cockloft with your curiosity. And then you went off into one of your dreams, and forgot to clasp the purse. Go look for it right at the spot where you counted the money."

"Didn't count it."

"Well, where you opened the purse in the street."

"Didn't open it in the street."

"The money just crawled out of the purse, did it?"


The house was searched, the store, the street, but all in vain. Dr. Lively was questioned: Did he take the money from the purse when it was under her pillow? He didn't even know before that the purse had been found. The house had been everywhere securely fastened, and the bed-room door locked.

"Well, it's very mysterious," said Mrs. Lively. "That money went just as the other did in Chicago. We must be haunted by the spirit of some burglar or miser."

Cards were posted in the stores and post-office, offering five dollars reward for the lost money.

"A pretty affair," said Mrs. Lively, "to payout five dollars just for somebody's shiftlessness!"

"To recover sixty we can afford to pay five," said the doctor.

Shortly after this an express package from Chicago was delivered for the doctor at his door. Mrs. Lively was quite excited, hoping she scarce knew what [pg 678] from this arrival. The half hour till the doctor came home to tea seemed interminable. She sat by watching eagerly as the doctor cut the cords and broke the seals and unwrapped—what? Some things very beautiful, but nothing that could answer that ceaseless, persistent cry of the human, "What shall we eat, what shall we drink, and wherewithal shall we be clothed?"

"Nothing but some more of those miserable sea-weeds!" exclaimed Mrs. Lively, "and the express on them was fifty cents."

"They are beautiful," cried the doctor with enthusiasm.

"Beautiful! What have we got to do with the beautiful? We've done with the beautiful for ever. I feel as if I never wanted to see anything beautiful again. And you'll have to spend your time collecting geodes to send back for the miserable trash. I hate those old sea-weeds. You left everything we owned to perish in that fire, and brought away only that case of sea-weeds. I'll take it some time to start the fire in the stove. Beautiful! What right have you to think of the beautiful? It's a disgrace to be as poor as we are. The very bread for this supper isn't paid for, and never will be. Come to supper!" She snapped out these last words in a way inimitable and indescribable.

"Priscilla," said the husband in a sad, solemn way, "I never knew anybody in my life who seemed so utterly exasperated by poverty as you."

"You never knew anybody else that was tried by such poverty."

"I saw thousands after the Chicago fire."

"Yes, when they had the excitement all about them."

"And who is the object of your exasperation? Who is responsible for your circumstances? Who but God?"

"God didn't lose that sixty dollars, and He didn't lose that money in Chicago."

"Well, now, my dear, I'm working hard at my book, and I think I'm making a good thing of it. I hope it'll bring us a lift."

"A book on that horrid subject isn't going to sell. I wouldn't touch it with a pair of tongs: I'd run from it. Nobody'll read it but a few old long-haired geologists. I'd like to know what good all your geology and botany and those other horrid things ever did you. You couldn't make a cent out of all them put together. You're always paying expressage on fossils and bugs and sea-weeds and trash. All that comes of it is just waste."

"Does anything but waste come of your fault-finding?"

"Now, who's finding fault?"

Dr. Lively left the table and took down his case of sea-weeds, and turned it over in his hand.

"The only thing that came through the fire," he said musingly.

"And of what account is it?" said Mrs. Lively.

"It may prove to be of value," he said. "To-night's addition will make my collection very fine. I may take some premiums on it at fairs." He sat down and began to compare the specimens just received with his previous collection.

"What is the use of looking over those things—miserable sea-weeds? You'd better bring in some wood and draw some water: it nearly breaks my back to draw water up that rickety-rackety well."

"Good Heavens!" cried Dr. Lively, springing to his feet like one electrified. "What does it mean?"

Mrs. Lively gazed at him: his hand was full of money, greenbacks.

"I found them here, among the sea-weeds in the case." He counted them out on the table, Mrs. Lively standing by watching him, for once speechless. "It's just the amount we lost, and the same bills. See here: ten five-hundred-dollar bills, and this change that we lost in Chicago; and four ten-dollar bills and four fives that were lost here. They are the same bills. Who put them here?"

"I don't know," replied Mrs. Lively in a low tone: "I didn't." She spoke as though she was dealing with something supernatural.

In the case of sea-weeds, the only thing that came through the fire! How often had she pronounced it worthless! What a spite she had conceived against it! How the sight of it had all along exasperated her!

"It is very strange," said the doctor, believing in his secret soul that his wife had put the money there and forgotten it. "Have you no recollection of putting the money here?" he said cautiously. "Try to think."

"I never put it there," she said in a subdued, dazed way: "I know I never did."

Napoleon came in eating an apple. He was informed of the discovery, and closely questioned. "Don't know nothin' 'bout it," he declared. "Go back to Chicago?" he asked.

"Yes," answered the doctor. "The money's here, however unaccountably: we'll accept the fact and thank God." The doctor's lip quivered, and Mrs. Lively burst into tears. "We will go back home, to the most wonderful city in the world. If possible, we'll buy the very lot where we lived, and build a little house. Many of those who lived in the neighborhood, my old patients, will return, and so I shall have a practice begun. I shall start for Chicago in the morning. You can make an auction of the few traps we have here, and follow as soon as possible. You'll find me at Mrs. B——'s boarding-house on Congress street."

There was some further planning, so that it was eleven o'clock before they retired. Napoleon went to bed hungry that night, if indeed since the Chicago fire he had ever gone to bed in any other condition. He dropped off to sleep, however, and all through his dreams he was eating—oh such good things!—juicy steaks, feathery biscuits, flaky pies, baked apples and cream. He awoke with an empty feeling, an old familiar feeling, which had often caused him to awake contemplating a midnight raid on the cupboard. But poor Napoleon had been restrained by conscientious scruples and by the fear of his mother's tongue, for he [pg 679] appreciated the altered condition of the family. But now they were all rich again there was no longer any necessity for pinching his stomach. There were in the cupboard some biscuits intended for breakfast, and some cold ham. He remembered how tempting they had looked as his mother set them away. Now they fairly haunted him as he lay thinking how favorable the moonlight was to his contemplated burglary. He left his bed, not stealthily: he was not of a nature to be specially mortified by discovery. He made his way to the dining-room. In one of the recesses made by the chimney Dr. Lively had constructed a kind of cupboard, and in the other recess he had put up some shelves, where their few books and the case of sea-weeds lay. Napoleon cut some generous slices of ham, and with the biscuits constructed several sandwiches. Then he seated himself by the window for the benefit of the moonlight. This brought him within a few feet of the shelves where the sea-weeds were. There he sat in his night-dress, his bare feet on the chair-round, vigorously eating his sandwiches. Suddenly he heard a soft, stealthy, gliding noise in the hall. It was as though trailing drapery was sweeping over the naked floor. He gave a gulping swallow, paused in his eating and listened intently. The stillness of death reigned through the house. He crammed half a sandwich in his mouth and began a cautious chewing. Again the trailing sound, and again his jaws were stilled. At the door entered a tall figure in flowing white robes. Steadily it advanced upon him, seeming to walk or glide on the air. For once there was something in which he was more interested than in eating. At last the ghost stood close beside him, and he saw with his staring eyes that it wore a veil and carried its left hand in its bosom. The boy sat rooted with horror, his tongue loaded, his cheeks puffed with his feast, afraid to swallow lest the noise of the act should reveal him. The figure withdrew its hand from its bosom: it held a roll of bankbills. It reached out for the case of sea-weeds, laid the [pg 680] bills carefully between the cards, returned these to the case and the case to the shelf. It stood a moment in the broad moonlight, then lifted the veil, and revealed to the astonished boy the face of his mother. She stood within two feet of him, her eyes on his face, but she did not speak.

"Mother! mother!" he cried with a sense of the supernatural on him, "what's the matter?" He seized her by the arm: he shook her.

"What is it? what do you want? where am I? what does this mean?" were questions she asked like one newly awakened. "What are you doing here, Napoleon?"


"Eating! what for?"


"What time is it?"


"What am I doing here?"

"Hidin' money;" and Napoleon took a bite from his long-neglected sandwich.

"What do you mean?"

"Mean that."

"Stop bobbing off your sentences. Tell me what it all means."

Napoleon stood up, laid his sandwiches on the chair, took down the sea-weeds and showed her the bills among them.

"Who put these here?"



"Just now."

"I did not."

"You did."

By this time Dr. Lively, who had been restless and excited, was awake, and down he came to the family gathering. By dint of persistent inquiries he at length arrived at the facts in the case, and drew the inevitable conclusion that his wife had been walking in her sleep, and that to her somnambulism were to be referred the mysterious emptyings of his purse.

Mrs. Lively was mortified and subdued at being convicted of all the mischief which she had so persistently charged to her husband. And she said this to him with her arms in a very unusual position—that is, around her husband's neck.

"Oh, you needn't feel that way," he said, choking back the quick tears. "If you hadn't hid that money maybe we never could have got back home. But I'll hide my own money, after this, while I'm awake: I sha'n't give you another chance to hide money in sea-weeds. Strange, I should have snatched just those sea-weeds, and left everything else to burn! All these things make me feel that God has been very near us."

"Yes," said the wife, "He has whipped me till He's made me mind."

The husband kissed her good-bye, for he was starting for Chicago. Then he stepped out into the dewy morning, and hurried along the silent streets, witnesses of the crushed aspirations of the thousands who had gone out from them. But he thought not of this. A gorgeous Aurora was coming up the eastern heights: his lost love was found. He was going home: all earth was glorified.


Footnote 1: (return)

While desirous of affording full scope to a talent for realistic description, we must protest against allusions bordering on personality.—ED.

[pg 681]


The crisis of 1873 seems destined to be the most memorable of all the purely financial panics in the history of the United States. Certainly no panic, involving such widespread disturbance of the ordinary course of business was ever before known, either in the Old World or the New, on a paper-money basis, for the collapse of the speculative bubble at Vienna a few months earlier was a mere trifle in comparison, although it set us the example of throttling a panic by closing the avenue to the exchange of securities. I mention Vienna as a case in point, for Austrian finances are such that the nation is kept in a chronic state of suspension, and I am not aware that any prominent bourse in Europe except the one mentioned ever adopted a similar proceeding in a like emergency.

This panic was not the result of paper-money inflation, nor of inflated values, nor of reckless over-trading, nor of in-ordinate speculation. The trade and commerce of the country were in a sound and prosperous condition, and the prices of securities in Wall street were, on the average, hardly in excess of real values, and in some instances a little below them. It is true that the old trouble of tight money was beginning to be felt, and the bears on the Stock Exchange were trying to aggravate the natural monetary activity which invariably attends the flow of currency westward to move the crops early in the fall of the year, by "locking up" greenbacks and otherwise. On the 6th of September the weekly return of the New York banks, State and National, belonging to the Clearing-house, showed that their legal-tender reserve had fallen to a little less than half a million above the twenty-five per cent., which the National banks in the large cities are required by the "National Currency Act" to keep on hand against their deposits and notes; but this excited no apprehension, and hardly occasioned surprise among those aware of the drain of money for crop-moving purposes—the outward flow from Chicago and Cincinnati to what I may call the agricultural districts having been much larger than usual this season. After the four months of unparalleled and continuous stringency experienced in the previous winter and spring, when rates varying from a sixty-fourth to seven-eighths of one per cent., per diem were paid in addition to the legal seven per cent, per annum for call loans on first-class collaterals—during all of which time stocks were firmly supported—it is not to be supposed that Wall street or the general public felt much uneasiness about the loan market or the financial prospect generally. The deposits in the New York banks not only showed no falling off, but were over two hundred and twelve millions against two hundred and nine millions at the corresponding period in the previous year. The fall trade had opened auspiciously; the earnings of the railways were from five to fifteen per cent., larger than in 1872; the crops were abundant—the cotton crop, in particular, being estimated at four millions of bales—and it was supposed that the experience of stringency just referred to had placed the banks, the speculative community and the merchants in a conservative attitude, prepared against a recurrence of dear money, and that therefore we should escape a repetition of the painful ordeal.

The element of distrust, however, aroused by the suspension of the Brooklyn Trust Company, and subsequently that of the New York Warehouse Company, in connection with the failure of Francis Skiddy & Co, and another old-established mercantile house similarly situated, had not died out when the suspension of Kenyon Cox & Co., involving that, also, of the Chicago and Canada Southern Railway Company, fell like a thunderbolt on Wall street. This failure derived its importance from the [pg 682] fact of Daniel Drew being a general partner in the house, although originally he had gone into it as a special partner with $300,000 capital, and from its being the financial agent of this new but important enterprise—a line of large extent, and involving very heavy expenditures in construction and equipment. Kenyon Cox & Co., as financial agents, and Daniel Drew individually, as a director and officer of the company, had approved its contracts and endorsed its acceptances. A large amount of the latter became due on the 13th of September, and a million and a half of them in amount would have matured within thirty days afterward; but on the morning of that date the firm formally suspended, and the joint obligations of the house and the railway company went to protest. Fortunately for the bondholders, the road had just previously been completed, although much still remained to be done to put it in the condition originally designed. Here comes the rub and the cause of the whole difficulty. The company depended for its means of construction on the sale of its bonds, as so many companies before it had done. The sale of the bonds in this country fell far short of the expectations of the financial agents, and they were equally disappointed in a market for them abroad. They were thus caught in the unpleasant position of being pledged to heavy obligations with little or no money coming in to meet them with. Failing their ability to pay these out of their own pockets, or relief in some way from the company, the result was inevitable. As, however, Daniel Drew was believed to be a man of great wealth, notwithstanding his loss of nearly a million and a half by the North-western "corner" in November, 1872, the failure of his house created much surprise and distrust. All new railway undertakings and the bankers identified with them were immediately regarded with suspicion, and that suspicion was fatal.

The effect on the Stock Exchange was immediate, though less visible in the decline of prices than in a reversal of the current of speculation in favor of the bears, in a disturbance of credits and in general uneasiness. Jay Cooke & Co., who were known to be heavily involved in that colossal undertaking, the construction of the Northern Pacific Railway, and Fisk & Hatch, who had identified themselves with the Central Pacific, and subsequently the Ohio and Chesapeake Road, as financial agents, were the first to feel the shock in the shape of a run on their deposits; and on the 18th of September the former firm suspended simultaneously at its offices in New York, Philadelphia and Washington, dragging down with it the First National Bank of Washington, of which one of the partners, Ex-Governor H.D. Cooke, was president. The downfall of this great house was regarded as little less than a national misfortune, and the prevailing distrust was so aggravated by the event that Wall street went wild over the news; and "long" stocks were thrown overboard on the Exchange without regard to price, while the bears were emboldened to put out fresh "shorts" with a recklessness never before witnessed, the question of real values being entirely unheeded in the excitement and demoralization that prevailed. On the following morning the suspension of Fisk & Hatch—a house only second in prominence—sent another thrill of consternation through the street. Prices on the Stock Exchange continued to fall rapidly, and during the day twenty-one additional failures occurred among stock-houses and private bankers belonging to the Board, nearly all of whom had been of good standing and accustomed to transact a large business. Early on Saturday, the 20th, the Union Trust Company, an institution with seven millions and a half of deposits, closed its doors, and the National Trust Company, with about five millions of deposits, did likewise; while the National Bank of the Commonwealth failed, apparently with little hope of resumption, mainly in consequence of having certified cheques for a private banking and stock firm to the amount of $225,000 in excess of its balance. The Bank of North America was temporarily embarrassed from a similar cause, another stock firm having similarly defaulted to no less an amount than $400,000. Here we have two conspicuous instances of the danger attending the custom of certifying brokers' cheques for large sums beyond the amount to their credit; and no greater warnings than these should be needed by the banks to decline such risks, which are neither justified by the profits resulting therefrom, nor just to their stockholders and depositors, while they are clearly opposed to the spirit of the National Banking Law.

Following the suspensions last referred to, Wall street grew still wilder than before, and in the rush to sell securities many of the brokers abandoned themselves to a state of frenzy, while rumors of fresh failures passed from lip to lip with startling rapidity. The fact that during the morning the associated banks, in accordance with the recommendation of a committee of their own officers appointed on the previous day, had agreed to issue to each other seven per cent. certificates of deposit to the amount of ten millions, on the security of government bonds at par and approved bills receivable at seventy-five per cent. of their face value, as well as to equalize the legal-tender notes held by all for their common benefit and security, had no influence in tranquilizing the public mind, although it showed a determination on their part to stand or fall together. As these certificates were to run till the 1st of November, and to be used as the equivalent of legal tenders in making the exchanges among themselves, the importance, as well as the advisability, of the measure, under the circumstances, was apparent, although the limitation as to amount looked like the application of a standard of measurement to that which could not be measured. The legal-tender notes, when "stocked" preparatory to their equal division, amounted to a fraction less than ten per cent. of the deposits.

The pressure of sales of stock was almost entirely for cash. No money could be borrowed, either at the banks or elsewhere, on securities of any kind, and [pg 683] loans—which the borrowers were unable to pay off—were being called in in all directions. As compared with the quotations current on the eve of Kenyon Cox & Co.'s failure, the stock-list showed a decline of from twelve to thirty per cent.

At noon the distraction was so great, and the sacrifices being made were so enormous, that universal ruin appeared to be impending; and the seeming impossibility of doing business any longer in such a condition of affairs without bringing about a state of chaos, and involving the banks in the general destruction, made itself manifest to the president and governing committee of the Stock Exchange, who yielded to the solicitations of the banks and closed the Stock Exchange at half-past twelve until further notice.

The reeling crowd paused to take breath, and felt a sense of relief in this sudden stoppage of the course of business, although accomplished by a proceeding so unexpected and revolutionary. The usual Saturday bank statement was omitted, and men left Wall street that evening only to gather in a dense crowd at the Fifth Avenue Hotel to discuss the situation.

Meanwhile, the failure of Jay Cooke & Co. in Philadelphia was quickly followed there by the suspension of several prominent private banking and stock firms and some small ones, a panic in stocks, and a run upon the banks, involving the failure of two of their number—the Citizens' and the Union Banking Company. Advices of a few suspensions of banks and banking-houses in different parts of the country had also been received, none of much importance, but all serving to deepen the prevailing gloom, and make men fear that the worst was still to come. Representative bankers and merchants had been telegraphing to the government at Washington for some measure of relief from the moment of Jay Cooke & Co.'s suspension, but none had as yet been extended, except in the shape of an order, on Saturday, to buy ten millions of United States bonds, of which the assistant treasurer was, in consequence of the excitement, only able to [pg 684] buy less than two millions and a half at the equivalent of par in gold, the price to which he was limited.

The President, who had been on his way from Pittsburg to Long Branch on Saturday, was, in company with the Secretary of the Treasury, at the Fifth Avenue Hotel on Sunday, the 21st, and gave audience to a large number of leading merchants and bankers, who urged upon him the necessity of immediate action on the part of the Treasury to save the country from further disaster, the issue of the "reserve" of forty-four millions of greenbacks as a loan to, or deposit with, the banks being the remedy generally suggested. The President, however, was firmly opposed to this, and suggested that a week of Sundays would probably afford more relief than anything else, but promised to do whatever seemed advisable within the limits of the law. On the next morning the assistant treasurer gave notice that he would continue the purchase of bonds, paying for them at the average prices of the Saturday previous. This he did until Thursday morning, when he ceased buying, twelve millions in all having been bought up to that time, and the available currency balance in the Treasury, without encroaching on the forty-four millions of unissued greenbacks, being exhausted.

On Monday there was a run on most of the city savings banks, which was met by an agreement among their officers to avail themselves of their legal privilege to require thirty or sixty days' notice of the intended withdrawal of deposits; and this being announced by the respective institutions, the run, as a natural consequence, ceased, and, fortunately, without the slightest popular disturbance. On the 22d the Security Trust Company and a private banking-house in Pittsburg, Pa., suspended, as also a banking-firm at Wilmington, Del. The failure of Henry Clews & Co. on the afternoon of Tuesday, the 23d, followed by that of Clews, Habicht & Co., London, caused fresh uneasiness. This house, being the financial agent of the Burlington and Cedar Rapids Railway, a new line, had been run upon for some days previously, and it showed much strength in holding out so long. The news was almost simultaneously received that the Baltimore banks had agreed upon the issue of six per cent. certificates in the manner adopted by the New York association, and that five National banks in Petersburg, Va., had closed their doors. On the morning of the 24th Howes & Macy, known to be a very strong and conservative banking-house, suspended, and this added fuel to the flame of excitement, and wild rumors of impending failures were again afloat. The steady but quiet run which had been kept up on the banks now increased, and they decided upon the issue of another ten millions of certificates, and a third issue of a like amount, if required. They also agreed to certify cheques "payable only through the Clearing-house" until the first of November, the payment of currency for cheques, for the accommodation of their dealers, to be optional in the interval with each individual bank. This involved a suspension of currency payments by all the banks in the association. The failure of the Dollar Savings Bank and a private banking-house at Richmond, Va., was reported on the same day, as also that of a banking-firm at Baltimore, and another at Wilkesbarre, Pa. On the 25th there was no change in the situation in New York, but the banks of Cincinnati, Chicago and New Orleans suspended currency payments, as those of Baltimore had done previously, and two banks at Memphis, Tenn., three at Augusta, Ga., all those at Danville, Va., and a savings bank at Selma, Ala., closed their doors. On the 26th six National banks at Chicago suspended, and a trust company, and two banks at Charleston, S.C., in addition to a banking-house at Washington; and the last day of the week, the 27th, opened on anything but an encouraging prospect. The telegrams from Europe reported an unsettled market for American securities; gold for a short time rose to 115-1/2; seven of the Louisville banks suspended, and the Boston and Washington banks voted to suspend currency payments, and (those of each city) to issue ten millions of certificates on the New York basis. But toward the close of the day favorable rumors were circulated regarding settlements on the street; and a petition for reopening the Stock Exchange was circulated, while stocks, which had been informally quoted very low, advanced several per cent.

During all this week there had been a dead-lock in business in Wall street, although a crowd of persons not belonging to the Exchange gathered on Broad street daily to buy or sell stocks for cash on delivery, the sellers forced by their necessities, and the buyers eager to secure stocks at lower prices than had been known for years. But there were so few persons provided with "the sinews of war" that the aggregate of transactions was small. The usual weekly bank statement was again omitted by the Clearing-house from motives of policy, but it transpired that the whole of the New York associated banks held on the morning of the 27th only twelve millions two hundred thousand of greenbacks, an aggregate still further reduced, at one time, to a point below ten millions, against nearly thirty-five millions—bank average—on the 20th, the date of the last statement issued. Their determination to sustain each other was, however, so strong that it tended to inspire confidence in their ability to weather the storm. It was also made known that they had agreed, on the resumption of business by the Stock Exchange, not to certify cheques except against actual balances while any certificates of their own issue remained outstanding. Twenty millions of these had been issued up to this time, and the additional ten millions before referred to were ordered to be issued in like manner, as required. The Treasury paid out during that week, including the previous Saturday, in New York and elsewhere, about thirty-five millions of greenbacks—namely, twenty-two millions in exchange for $5000 and $10,000 certificates of deposit—used as legal tenders at the Clearing-house, and presented by the banks for redemption, for [pg 685] which there is a special reserve of notes in the Treasury—and about thirteen millions for the purchase of the twelve millions of bonds already mentioned. It also sent to the National banks in the West and South three millions of new notes, issued under the act of July, 1870, authorizing an addition of fifty-four millions to the three hundred millions of bank-note circulation previously outstanding, nearly the whole of which has now been issued.

The bank failures West and South, and the pressing requirements to move produce to the ports, led to very urgent demands for currency in Wall street, and certified bank-cheques were quoted at a discount of from two to four per cent. as compared with greenbacks, while fears were entertained that the continued suspension of business would be only productive of harm. Hence, when the governing committee decided to reopen the Stock Exchange on the morning of Tuesday, the 30th, a feeling of positive relief was experienced.

On Monday, the 29th, only two unimportant country-bank failures were reported, and encouraging accounts were received from the West, although the suspension of a wool-manufacturing company in New York and an iron-manufacturing company in Massachusetts—each employing some hundreds of men—and the discharge of more than a thousand men from the locomotive works at Paterson, N.J., showed that the crisis had already affected labor. On all sides an anxiety to retrench was shown, and large numbers, in the aggregate, were thrown out of employment all over the country. The retail trade was very unfavorably affected, the losses sustained by the crisis, combined with the scarcity of currency, causing people to expend as little as possible; and this feature, resulting from the crisis, is likely to be a marked one for a considerable time to come.

During the previous week bills on Europe had been, as a rule, unsalable, and rates of exchange were depressed to a very low point, bankers' sterling at sixty days being quoted on Friday at 103 @ [pg 686] 105, and merchants' bills at 101 @ 102-1/2. The difficulty or impossibility of selling exchange greatly embarrassed shippers and retarded the movement of produce from the West; but owing to a heavy reduction by the steamship lines of the rates of freight to induce shipments, strenuous efforts were made to take advantage of it, and the exports from New York for each of the two weeks noticed were valued at about six millions and a half, while for the week ending October 4 the valuation was unusually large—namely, $8,378,130. This was the most encouraging feature of the time, especially in view of the previous heavy preponderance of the exports over the imports at New York, the value of the former having increased forty-eight millions during the first nine months of 1873, as compared with the corresponding period in 1872, while the latter were twenty-seven millions less, and while our exports of specie were also seventeen and a half millions smaller. The receipts for customs duties, however, fell far short of the usual amount, and the movement of goods out of bond was correspondingly light. Under the improved feeling visible on Monday, the 29th, the foreign exchange market became less unsettled, and rates began to improve rapidly; so that on Tuesday bankers' bills on England at sixty days had risen to 106-1/2 @ 106-3/4, and mercantile to 104-1/2 @ 105-1/2. Before this, however, the Bank of England had advanced its rate of discount from three to four per cent., and again from four to five per cent., and we had received cable advices of the shipment of about eight millions of gold from England for the United States, with further shipments in anticipation, partly the proceeds of American negotiations previous to the panic, and partly to make grain payments. The shippers of cotton and general produce were cheered by this opening of a market for their bills at such a decided improvement in rates, and on the Produce Exchange the return of confidence was marked, while quotations, which had been depressed, showed an upward tendency.

Meanwhile, the Stock Exchange opened punctually at the appointed time, and the opening prices were higher than those previously current in the informal market on the street. But it would have been too much to expect a settled market after such demoralization as had prevailed and such ruinous sacrifices as had been made. The improvement was not sustained, and prices were depressed from two to eight per cent., during the next three days, chiefly under sales to make settlements between parties on the street.

Occasional failures, both among stock and banking-houses and the mercantile and manufacturing community, and in as well as out of New York, were still reported, including three large city dry-goods firms; and the pressure for greenbacks to send to the country continued to be so severe that from three to four per cent., was paid for them, as compared with certified bank-cheques, for several days, though the premium dwindled to one-half and one per cent., before the end of the week, advancing a week later, however, to one and one and a half. The difficulty of moving produce from the West also continued very great, owing to the almost total dead-lock in the domestic exchanges, but otherwise the excitement and alarm attending the crisis seemed to have passed away, leaving only its depressing effects still visible. Money became comparatively accessible to first-class borrowers on call. But the bank statement was again omitted on the following Saturday, and it was announced that none would be made until after the banks had resumed greenback payments, and till the certificates of their own creation had been withdrawn. The deposits held by the banks at the close of business on that day, October 4, had been reduced to about a hundred and fifty-three millions, against over two hundred and seven millions and a quarter on September 13.

Before the middle of the month the continued drain of gold to the United States—the shipment from England of about sixteen millions of dollars having been reported from the beginning of the crisis to the 18th of October—caused the Bank of England to further advance its discount rate to six per cent., and shortly afterward to seven per cent. But, notwithstanding, the price of gold gradually declined to 107-3/4, a lower point than it had touched since 1861. The New York banks meanwhile lost rather than gained strength, and their aggregate of greenbacks under control of the Clearing-house was reduced to less than six millions, although this fact was not published. It was, however, at the same time believed that three or four millions more were distributed among them, of which they made no return to the association. Currency during the latter half of the month began to return somewhat rapidly from the West in the shape of collections by the merchants, and this, in turn, led to remittances to the South, where it was greatly needed for the cotton crop, the movement of which had been almost entirely arrested. Affairs on the Stock Exchange were, in the interval, unsettled, and enormously heavy sacrifices were made in order to adjust differences between brokers, as well as by outside parties in pressing need of cash. On Tuesday, the 14th of October, almost another panic prevailed, and prices touched a lower point than they had before reached. New York Central sold down to 82, Lake Shore to 57-1/2, Western Union to 45, Rock Island to 80-1/2, Pacific Mail to 25, Wabash to 32-3/4, Ohio and Mississippi to 21, Union Pacific to 15-1/2, North-western to 32, St. Paul to 23, St. Paul Preferred to 50, and Harlem to 100, while the feeling of the street was worse than at any time during the crisis; but a quick recovery took place from the extreme point of depression, and the resumption of greenback payments by the Cincinnati banks, following that of the Chicago banks, led to an improved feeling in both financial and commercial circles. The National Trust Company of New York also, about the same time, resumed payment. It was noticeable, however, that little or none of the money reported by the express companies as coming from the West was received by [pg 687] the New York banks—a natural result of their suspension of currency payments, which virtually forced individuals and corporations to be their own bankers. The banks had ceased to perform this function: they were utterly unable to maintain their reserve, cash cheques or discount commercial paper for their customers, and so far the National banking system had failed.

Having reviewed the disastrous course of this crisis up to the date of writing, I will briefly consider its causes. It may be traced remotely, in some degree, to the distrust of American railway securities in Europe which attended the reckless administration of the Erie Railway under Fisk and Gould, and which lingered after their overthrow, indisposing capitalists, as well as small investors, to have anything to do with American railways. It is true that a market still remained there for these securities, but it was a much more limited one than it probably would have been but for the Erie scandal, and within the last year or two it was entirely glutted. Financial agents found it impossible to float a new American railway loan even where the security offered was a first mortgage bond. Thus, Jay Cooke & Co. were greatly disappointed with respect to the sale of their Northern Pacific bonds abroad, and nearly as much so in the demand for them at home; but they were pledged to the undertaking, their solvency became dependent on its success, and they were sanguine that confidence in the great enterprise would grow with every mile of new road constructed.

Mr. Jay Cooke undoubtedly looked forward to a subsidy from Congress for carrying the mails over the new line, and in all likelihood would have obtained it but for the Credit Mobilier exposé, which caused both Congress and the people to "shut down," not only on everything having the appearance of a "job," but on much besides. The ill odor into which that investigation brought the Union Pacific Railway and all who had been connected with its construction was a heavy blow at new enterprises of a similar [pg 688] character where government land-grants were involved; and the vexatious suit which Congress authorized against the Union Pacific Company and all concerned was another blow at confidence in the same direction.

The formation and rapid spread of the Grangers' association in the West, and its avowed design to make war upon the railway interest with a view of securing cheap transportation to the seaboard, was another disturbing element, undermining confidence in railway property. But the greatest and the immediate cause of the crisis was the over-building of railways; and hard indeed are likely to be the fortunes of the unfinished enterprises of this character arrested by its blighting influence; for capital for years to come will be very slow in finding its way into the bonds of roads to be built by the proceeds of their sale. It was a false and dangerous system—and the event has proved its unsoundness—for new companies to rely from the outset upon this source for the means of construction. It was a hand-to-mouth policy, resting upon so precarious a foundation that, in the light of experience, we can only wonder that eminent and otherwise conservative bankers should have adopted it to the extent they did, thereby not only jeopardizing their own position, but imperiling the whole financial community. About six thousand miles of new railways were constructed in the United States in 1872, of which it may be estimated that at least seven-eighths were in advance of the national requirements. Not a few of those now unfinished or just completed will, like the New York and Oswego Midland, be forced into bankruptcy, and it will be long before all the ruins left by the crisis will be cleared away. A shock has been given to the entire railway interest of the country, the full effect of which has not yet been felt; and those who expect the prices of railway securities to rule as high, for a considerable period to come, as they did before the panic, are likely to be disappointed. After all panics we have had more or less wearisome stagnation and depression, growing out of impoverishment and distrust of new ventures; and this last one will hardly prove an exception to the rule. The mercantile interest, too, will probably continue for some time to suffer in consequence of the monetary derangements resulting from it and the want of adequate banking—or rather currency—facilities for bringing forward cotton and general produce from the West and South for shipment; and here and there houses that have so far withstood the strain will break down under it. But in a rapidly growing country, with inexhaustible resources, like this, recovery from such disasters is, fortunately, far quicker than among the less progressive nations of Europe.

One eminently satisfactory feature of the panic in securities was, that it did not extend to United States bonds, greenbacks or National bank-notes. Bonds were of course depressed in sympathy with the scarcity of money and the demoralization prevailing in the general stock market, but there was not the slightest loss of confidence in them among holders, nor any pressure to sell, except to relieve urgent necessities among the banks and others having need of currency. The paper money of the country proved itself the most valuable kind of property that any one could possess; whereas under like circumstances, in former times, when banks under the State laws could practically issue as many notes as they chose, much of it would have been left worthless and the remainder depreciated. But our currency system is defective in one essential particular: it is not elastic. It is, so to speak, hide-bound at seven hundred and ten millions of paper, exclusive of fractional currency, three hundred and fifty-six millions of which are legal-tender notes, and three hundred and fifty-four millions National bank-notes. The safety-valve of a country's circulating medium is its elasticity, and the sooner Congress authorizes free National banking on the present basis of ninety per cent. of currency to the par of United States bonds deposited with the Treasury, or devises some other means of affording relief, the better for the interests of the nation. The law requiring the banks in the large cities to keep always on hand a reserve in greenbacks equal to twenty-five per cent. of their deposits and circulation, and those in the country a reserve of fifteen per cent., should also be amended, the percentage being too high by one-half. It is for the interest of every bank to keep a reserve adequate to its own requirements and safety, and the existing restriction instead of being an element of strength is a source of weakness. Then, again, as National bank-notes are guaranteed by a pledge of United States bonds at the before-mentioned rate of ninety per cent. of notes to the par of the former, the banks ought not to be required to redeem their own notes in greenbacks on demand; and each bank should be allowed to count the notes of other banks—but not its own nor specie, except on a specie basis—as a portion of its reserve. To require the banks to redeem their notes with legal tenders, on presentation, when there are only two millions more of the latter than of the former in circulation, is to demand of them what they would find it impossible to do in the remote but nevertheless possible contingency of the bank currency, or any large portion of it, being simultaneously presented for redemption.

As a measure looking to the resumption of specie payments, however, it would be well to abolish the National bank circulation altogether. This could be done by Congress authorizing the Treasury—through an amendment to the Bank act—to replace the National bank-notes with new greenbacks, and cancel an equivalent amount of the bonds pledged for the redemption of the former. After that was accomplished we should have a circulation based directly upon the undoubted credit of the United States, and the government would be saved the twenty millions (more or less) of coin per annum which it now pays to the National banks as interest on three hundred and fifty-four millions of the bonds thus deposited, for it could withdraw these, by purchase with the [pg 689] greenbacks thus issued in substitution for the surrendered National bank currency, as fast as the exchange of the one for the other might be made. This saving of interest alone would strengthen the government for a return to the gold standard, which could be effected without any contraction of the volume of paper money, except to the extent of the coin thrown into circulation: and the resumption of specie payments by the Treasury—greenbacks to be convertible into coin only at the Treasury and sub-treasuries—would be resumption by the entire country, for gold would no longer command a premium. The National banks thus deprived of their own notes would have to bank on greenbacks, just as the State banks—which have no circulation—do at present.

It is obvious that resumption could be accomplished in this way on a very much smaller reserve of coin than would be necessary if each individual bank had also to resume simultaneously with the Treasury, as would be the case under the present mixed currency system, for the whole of the reserve would be concentrated in the hands of the government, instead of being scattered among the banks all over the country. The credit of the government would, of course, be much stronger than that of any individual bank, and the demand for gold in exchange for greenbacks would probably be very small in comparison with the amount of coin belonging to the Treasury, even at the beginning of resumption, when the element of novelty in it, not distrust, might induce conversion. The banks would then have no more occasion for gold than they have now, greenbacks still retaining their legal-tender character unaltered.

Had the country been on a specie basis when this crisis came upon us, the twenty millions of coin held by the New York banks at that time would have been available for their relief, and have formed a part of the circulation; whereas for all practical purposes it was useless to them, and consequently to the people, as money; and in like manner [pg 690] all the heavy importations of gold which have since taken place, and been converted into American coin, have failed to enter into the circulation, as they would have done on the specie standard. The whole of the forty-four millions of Treasury gold-notes, convertible into coin on demand, held by the banks and the public on the 1st of September would in that event have formed a part of the active currency of the nation, instead of lying as dormant as the whole eighty-seven millions of gold—part of which they represented—in the Treasury.

That part of the currency of any country which is in specie is necessarily elastic, because it is the money of the world, embodying the value which it represents, and subject to that ebb and flow, in accordance with the laws of trade, which attends the circulation of gold and silver coin everywhere. Supply follows demand, and a nation with a specie currency inevitably attracts the precious metals by outbidding other nations in the rate of interest it offers for them. Why, therefore, should we shut ourselves out from the advantages of this form of communion with the commercial world by postponing the resumption of specie payments a day longer than we are compelled to?



For forty-and-five long years

I have followed my Master, Christ,

Through frailty and toils and tears,

Through passions that still enticed;

Through station that came unsought,

To dazzle me, snare, betray;

Through the baits the Tempter brought

To lure me out of the way;

Through the peril and greed of power

(The bribe that he thought most sure);

Through the name that hath made me cower,

"The holy bishop of Tours!"

Now, tired of life's poor show,

Aweary of soul and sore,

I am stretching my hands to go

Where nothing can tempt me more.

Ah, none but my Lord hath seen

How often I've swerved aside—

How the word or the look serene

Hath hidden the heart of pride.

When a beggar once crouched in need,

I flung him my priestly stole,

And the people did laud the deed,

Withholding the while their dole:

Then I closed my lips on a curse,

Like a scorpion curled within,

[pg 691]

On such cheap charity. Worse

Was even than theirs, my sin!

And once when a royal hand

Brake bread for the Christ's sweet grace,

I was proud that a queen should stand

And serve in the henchman's place.

But sorest of all bestead

Was a night in my narrow cell,

As I pondered with low-bowed head

A purpose that pleased me well.

'Twas fond to the sense and fair,

Attuned to the heart and will,

And yet on its face it bare

The look of a duty still;

And I said, as my doubts took wing,

"Where duty and choice accord,

It is even a pleasant thing,

To the flesh, to serve the Lord."

I turned and I saw a sight

Wondrous and strange to see—

A being as marvelous bright

As the visions of angels be:

His vesture was wrought of flame,

And a crown on his forehead shone,

With jewels of nameless name,

Like the glory about the Throne.

"Worship thou me," he said;

And I sought, as I sank, to trace,

Through his hands above me spread,

The lineaments of his face.

I pored on each palm to see

The scar of the stigma, where

They had fastened him to the Tree,

But no print of the nails was there.

Then I shuddered, aghast of brow,

As I cried, "Accurst! abhorred!

Get thee behind me! for thou

Art Satan, and not my Lord!"

He vanished before the spell

Of the Sacred Name I named,

And I lay in my darkened cell

Smitten, astonied, shamed.

Thenceforth, whatever the dress

That a seeming duty wear,

I knew 'twas a wile, unless

The print of the nail was there!


[pg 692]


Colman put down his book and looked about the parlors and piazzas of the hotel, and went and spoke to the barkeeper: "Have you seen Mr. Field lately?"

"No: he hasn't been in here since supper."

Colman went out and walked down toward the head of the lake. Passing out of the shadow of the trees, the open shore was before him, and the wharf at some distance, with the tiny steamer, the Wanita, lying by it in the moonlight. There was some one coming along the sandy road, and Colman leaned against a tree and waited for him. The dark side of the boat was toward him, and though it was quite late, a light showed in one of her windows. When the person on the beach came near Colman, he turned and stood watching the light till it went out, and then came on. Colman stepped out, and the comer said, "Halloa, Phil! is that you? You startled me. Going in?"

Philip only nodded, and they walked back to the house together, Field whistling absently. They went up to their room, and Field sat by the window while Colman struck a light.

"Dan," said Philip abruptly, "I want you to come on with me to-morrow."

Field was looking out through the trees toward the wharf and boats at the head of the lake. He turned sharply and answered: "Phil, you're a prig. I'll do nothing of the kind."

"We've been here long enough, Dan," Philip went on, taking no notice of the rudeness except in his manner. "I shall go north in the morning. I wish you would come with me."

"The deuce you do!" Field retorted. "You may do as you please. We came to stay as long as we enjoyed it here, and there's nothing to go for, that I know of."

No more was said. Colman went to bed, and Field sat smoking by the window. After a while he forgot his cigar, and it went out. He heard the wind whispering among the trees that almost brushed his face. Through the branches he got glimpses of the lake placid under the moon, and the black breadths of shadow below the opposite hills. He sat a long while, and the house became still. He seemed alone with the night, and the hush and awe of it touched him and moulded his thought. It was very late when he got up at last. The lamp was still burning, and Field had not taken off his hat. He went over and sat down on the edge of the bed, and looked at his sleeping friend until the latter opened his eyes.

"Phil," said Field, "you're not a prig, but I'm a fool. I'm coming with you in the morning."

"All right, Dan," Philip answered. "I'm glad you are coming. Good-night."

They went on north next day with no definite plan, came to the lower lake and the old fort on the cliff, and, taking a great liking to the place, lingered in the neighborhood from day to day. They happened one evening upon a queer, secluded public-house across the lake, where they fell in with a long, lean, leathery young native, who appeared to be a guide and waterman, and told them stories of the hunting and fishing among the lakes and mountains in a vein of unconscious humor and a low, even, husky voice which the friends found very agreeable. They met him again at a fair and horse-race at Scalp Point, and found their liking for him increased. Finally, they were to go south at noon on Friday, and then put it off till the night boat. After supper they took out the skiff from the rocky landing for a last row. They pulled round under the dark cliffs that rose sheer from the water and were crowned with the wall of the old fort, the cliffs themselves seamed across with strata of white, like mortar-lines of some Titanic masonry. They gave chase to a tug puffing northward half a mile to the right, towing two or three canal-boats through the still water and the stiller night. Then a sail came ghostily out of the shadow astern, and stole on them as they drew away and waited for it. By and by the boat crept up, dropped away a little from the light wind, and passed close to leeward. There was one man in her sitting in the stern, and the whole made hardly a sound. They knew the man at the tiller: it was the long fellow again. He took them in, and they talked as they drifted on. The lights behind the locusts fell far astern.

"Come, come!" said Colman at last: "this won't do. We have a long pull now, and we're to be off at two in the morning."

Field turned and asked the young fellow if he was engaged for a week or two. No, not especially: he had been running parties a good deal off and on, but they were getting pretty thin now, and there was not much call for boats.

"Will you go with me on a gunning and fishing cruise through the lakes?" asked Field; and the long fellow said he'd go with him as soon as any other man, and when should they start? "To-morrow morning," answered Field, "any time you like."

They got into the skiff, threw off the line, and pulled back to the Fort House; that is, Field pulled and Colman lay in the stern and listened to the water gurgling under the boat. They landed and climbed up the rocks.

"So you're going back?" said Colman. "Dan, I wish you'd come home."

Field flushed and turned sharply. "Oh, hang your preaching, Phil!" he snapped out. "You're too infernally flat. Who said anything about going back?"

The steamer was due in three or four hours. They went straight to bed, and it seemed about ten minutes afterward when Colman woke with a start and saw Field striking a light: it was twenty minutes of two. They waited an hour for the boat, walking about or sitting by [pg 693] the fire. Then the landlord came in with a lantern and said the boat was coming, and they went down to the wharf and waited for her. The bell rang, the wheels ploughed in, the friends bade each other good-night, gave a hearty grip of the hand, and then there was one left alone. Field went back to bed. In the morning he made himself a rough outfit of clothes and boots, and started on foot with his guide. He did not know the guide's name, and called him "Long" to begin with, and the guide answered as if that had been his name from his christening, only glancing askance at Field the first time with a twinkle in his eye, and would give no other name after that. "A name was only a handle to a man, any way, and one was as good as another, or better."

It would be hard to define the motive that led Field to answer. "Well, if it's the same to you, Long it is. You can call me Meadow when you don't think of anything better."

Long had an evident admiration for his companion which increased every day. Field was a good shot, as good a fisherman as himself, rowed and walked and sailed with about equal strength and skill, could do wonderful tricks of tossing balls and other feats, could eat anything or go without, sleep anywhere, and be good-humored in any circumstances; and Field found Long a trusty, self-contained, clever fellow, and was much entertained by his dry humor and amusing stories of bear-hunts and deer-hunts and queer adventures. They tramped that region pretty thoroughly, camping out at nights or sleeping at the nearest of the little settlements.

One morning they took a boat at the head of the lake and rowed down toward a pond on the east side among the hills, where Long said the ducks came "so thick you couldn't see through 'em, and where the water was so shallow and the mud so deep that, when the ducks were shot, the Devil couldn't get 'em 'thout he had a dog." After a while a wind came swooping down on the quiet water through a dip in the hills, and nearly blew the skiff's bows out of water. The [pg 694] sleeping lake woke up, pitched and foamed, and beat upon the bows and dashed over the young men till they were nearly as wet as the waves themselves. Field was pulling to Long's stroke, the wind fluttering his hair in his eyes and the water running down his back, but he would not say anything till Long did. Presently Long looked round over his shoulder, and hailed, "I guess we'd best throw up and get a tow: I hear the Wanita coming down."

Presently the little steamer came along and threw them a line. Long caught it and made it fast. They were nearly jerked out of the water or flung into it, and then went boiling along in the steamer's wake. A boat-hand drew in the line, and they climbed out, swaying and floundering through a cloud of spray, and all the passengers crowding back to see. They went forward and up on deck, and the captain spoke to Long from the pilot-house, calling him Trapp. Long talked to him through the window and introduced Field when he came along: "Mr. Meadow, Cap'n Charner. I'm showing him bear-tracks and things around the pond."

"How do you do, captain?" said Field. "Don't know me in the part of Neptune, eh?"

"Oho!" said the captain, glancing aside from the wheel. "It's you, is it? Where's your friend?—Trapp," he continued, "you'd better take Mr. Meadow down and get Hess to dry his coat." They went down to the little cabin, where a trim, plainly dressed, but very pretty girl was busy with some sewing. She started and laughed when she saw Long and how wet he was. Then she saw there was somebody else, and she blushed a little.

"Mr. Meadow, Hess," and "Miss Hessie Charner, Meadow," introduced Long; and he told her what the captain had bidden him.

The girl brought a coat of her father's for Field, and hung his up to dry near the furnace, and the three chatted together till the boat warped in to the wharf at her trip's end.

Long did not know how it was, but it happened constantly after that that they fell in with the Wanita somewhere on her trip. He found that accident pleasant enough at first, but somehow changed his mind before long, and managed that they did not happen upon the boat the next day. That afternoon Field had some business in Bee, and set off in that direction, engaging to meet Long with traps and bear-bait at the Hexagon Hotel the next morning. His business in Bee could not have required much time, for when Long happened down at Leewell that evening, Field was smoking with Captain Charner in the little cabin of the Wanita, the captain's daughter sitting by with some sewing. Long sat with them a while, but he would not smoke, and his conversation could not be called brilliant or amusing. Field, on the other hand, talked his best and was in the highest spirits. Long got up and went away presently, with only a good-night to the captain.

One evening, a little later, two persons were looking out on the lake and the dark hills beyond, and talking in low tones by the rail on the lower deck of the Wanita as she lay at her wharf. A tall man passed down along the shore, and went by without looking round. An hour later Field was walking quickly along the shore-road in the moonlight, crushing the gravel and whistling an air under his breath, when Long came out of the shaded piece ahead and started past without any sign of recognition.

On Thursday of that same week Field left Long at a point on the east side of the lake, to go to Bee; and half an hour after arriving there was out on the Leewell road, on horseback, galloping south, singing a stave of a song as he dashed along. There was a dance that night at the George Hotel, and Field was there, the handsomest and gayest of men; and there was no prettier girl in the rooms than the one he brought and danced so well with, and whom no one else knew. Late at night, looking up from her flushed and happy face in a pause of the dance, his eyes fell on another face, neither flushed nor happy, looking at him from a door across the length of the saloon, and he was doubly spirited and devoted after that. He did not see the face again, but he was half conscious of being watched as the ball came at last to an end, and he saw his charge home to the house of the friend in the town with whom she was to spend the night. He turned away with a set face when the door had closed upon her, and walked back quickly the way he had come, peering into the shadows, but he saw nothing. He got his horse from the stable and rode north along the shore as the gray morning stole over the sky and the ever-sleeping hills and the broad, calm, misty lake. He gave the black mare heel and rein, and brought her white and panting into Bee. He did not put on the rough clothes again, but went as he was to meet Long at the appointed place across the lake. He ordered the boatman who rowed him to wait. Long was waiting for him, lying on a grassy slope. He nodded when Field came up.

"Long," said the latter, "I guess this is about played out."

"Just about," answered Long, looking at him steadily without moving. "guess you'd best quit."

"Very well, come up to the Ti House at noon and we'll settle up." And he turned and strode away. He was smoking on the porch of the Ti House when Long came up about noon. He took down his feet from the rail, threw away his cigar and went in with him. He sat down at a table, and Long took a chair opposite without a word. Field made a calculation on a scrap of paper, took out a roll of bills' and counted out the amount. "There, Long," he said good-humoredly, "this week won't be up till Monday, but we'll call it even time."

Something unpleasant came into the guide's eyes when Field said "Long." "I'll trouble you," he said, "not to mention that there name again, meaning me."

He put out his long arm and knuckled hand and drew the bills across the board. He counted out part and pushed the rest back. "This is mine," he said: "I'd ha' made about that on the lake, [pg 695] average luck. I don't want to be beholden to you, nor you to me."

"As you please," answered Field, folding up the bills. He wrote on a slip of paper, wrapped it round the roll and tied all with a bit of string: "I'll keep this for you if you say so. When you want it, just let me know. There is my number."

He twirled a card across the table, and it fell face down before Long. He took it up without turning it over, tore it across and dropped it on the floor.

"Stranger," he said, "you and me's quits. I don't know you and you don't know me. But if I was a friend of yours, and advisin' you what was best for you, I'd say to you, 'Go home.'" His skull-cap drawn forward, and his face set and threatening, he leaned forward with his powerful arms on the table and spoke in his usual low, unemphatic way, and with his deliberate, huskily-musical voice. Field laughed: his right arm was back upon the arm of his chair, and his fingers under his coat played with something that clicked.

"Just so," Long went on, as if Field had spoken, perhaps a shade darker in the face, but with the same even manner and voice. "Our bears don't carry no coward's devil-fingers that kill by p'inting at twenty foot, but they hev got teeth and claws."

Field started up and flushed like fire. "Did you say coward?" he said. "By ——! that's more than I'll take from you!" And his voice and his hand on the back of his chair shook a little as he spoke.

Long lay back in his chair, folded his arms and nodded: "You heard what I said. Maybe it ain't York English, but it's such as we hev in these parts."

Field stood a minute looking at him. Then he drew out a silver-mounted revolver from his pocket and laid it on the table.

"There," he said, "I make you a present of it. Be careful: it is loaded and cocked."

Long looked up with something like admiration in his face. He took the pistol in his hand, went to the window [pg 696] and fired the six barrels, one after the other. The landlord came in to see what it was.

"Mr. Wannock," said Long, "lockup this pistol till Mr. Meadow calls for it."

"It is not mine," said Field: "I gave it to you, and you took it."

Long went out without a word.

Field did not go home. He was back and forth about the lakes, mostly about the upper one, for a week or two after that. He turned up in all sorts of places, fished in deep water and shoal, rowed and shot and climbed the mountains. He fell in with the Wanita and her people very often. One evening—it was Thursday, the twentieth—he was in the village of Ti, and walked out with his cigar, alone. He strolled up the road to the high levels and walked on. The moon was high and bright, and the country about him surpassingly peaceful and beautiful under the white sheen. He came at last to the old fort and wandered through the ruins, ghostly and weird in the calm moonlight. A flock of sheep was lying under the trembling old walls. "Peace and war," he muttered to himself, and leaned against a crumbling wall a little while, looking at the dreamy picture. He got up on the old ramparts and picked his way out till he stood on the outermost point of the star, where the massive wall stands almost as solid as when the Frenchmen built it a century and a half ago. This outer angle of the fort rises sheer from the edge of the perpendicular cliff whose foot is washed by the waters of the lake.

Field sat down on the stones with his feet hanging over, and looked down and around. The still, bright water, the hills bright and black in light or shadow, and the serene sky made a scene exceedingly solemn and impressive. Below, in the sombre shadow of the cliff, Field heard the faint, musical bubble of the water among the rocks, and a sheep bleated once behind the ruined fort: those were the only sounds. He dropped the end of his cigar, and watched the spark till it went out suddenly far down.

The scene very naturally reminded him of his friend. Down there they had rowed together—twice was it, or three times? Strange that he had forgotten already, but it seemed a long time since. Below this wall on the left they had stood the first day they were here, and chipped bits of mortar and stone for mementoes. He remembered how Phil had hunted the whole place for a flower without finding one—he wondered whether it was for any one in particular that he had wanted it so much. Yes, it seemed an age since that day, and how everything had changed! Under the cliff there to the left—he could not see it, but he knew it was there—was the little wooden wharf where he had parted from Phil between night and morning. And he wished to God he had gone home with him.

He heard a crunching sound behind him, and looked round sharply. Then he turned and got up on his feet, and stood with his back to the precipice. The long fellow stood in the path facing him, with his hands in his pockets and his dark face in the shadow. A glance told Field, what he knew already, that there was only one way to go back. His face was white, but there was no more tremor in his voice than if he had leaned against a pyramid instead of a hundred feet of thin air, when he said, "Well?"

There was something just a little strained and by no means pleasant to hear in the familiar, husky voice that answered, "Ain't it kind o' dangerous out there? Suppose you was to fall off there?"

"I don't choose to suppose it," was the steady answer. "Let's talk about something else."

"It ain't pleasant to think of, is it?" the huskily-musical voice went on. "It must be something like a hundred foot to the rocks down there." He paused and began again: "Moonshine's a queerish light, though, ain't it? Makes you look as white now as if you was scared."

"That's very strange, isn't it?" Field replied. "Do you think it would have the same effect on you if you stood in my place?"

"I'm —— if I don't!" Long broke out, with a twitching motion of his head, and trembling as he spoke; "and I'd be so cold my teeth would chatter and my veins grog."

"Come," Field said sternly, beginning to feel that if he stood much longer on that spot he should grow dizzy and fall, "let's have no more of this. Have you anything you wish to propose? If you haven't, I'll trouble you to move on and let me pass."

"I propose," replied the other, with a twist of his head, as if there was something in his throat hard to swallow, speaking slowly and repeating the words—"I propose to throw you over."

Field knew that the fellow united the strength of the bear and the agility of the wild-cat. He knew that, even if he had not the terrible disadvantage of position, he would stand no chance in a struggle. Glancing down, he caught the flash of a wave upon the black rocks far below. But he only bit his lip and stood still, a little whiter perhaps, but his eyes never flinching from the other's face. When he did not speak, Long asked, "Do you know what that means?"

The answer came straight and startling, "Yes, it means death."

"I guess you're about right," Long continued. "And I calculate you're about as well prepared as you'll 'most ever be."

Field began to show the strain upon his nerves and the sense of his desperate state, but only by the evident tension of the muscles of the jaw and the unnatural calm of his manner and low, forced tone. "Very likely," he said; and added slowly, "but I'll not go alone."

"Maybe not. I don't much care," was the sullen reply. "This place or that since you come, there ain't much choice. But if you've got anything on your mind that you'd like to have off before you quit, you'd best have it up."

"I have only one thing to say to you," was the reply: "you are not going to throw me over." There was a dimness in his young eyes then and a rising in his throat. He thought of a great many things and people in a very brief space, [pg 697] and the world and a score of friendly faces seemed very sweet and hard to let go. And yet at the same time another and sterner self steadfastly put all that aside, and triumphed over the shrinking of the flesh from the dreadful certainty, and of the spirit from the dread unknown; and to the long fellow's advance and fierce question, "Who'll hinder me?" he cried aloud, "I will." He turned and shut his eyes, gathered himself together, and sprang out into the awful abyss. With his arms by his side and his feet together, swift and straight as an arrow, he dropped through the moonlight and through the black shadow, and struck with a quick, keen plunge a moment afterward a dizzy distance down.

Lying on his face, looking down with staring eyes, and clinging fiercely to the stones for a great fear that took hold of him and shook him, the long fellow suddenly heard the shock of an oar, and saw round to the left a boat slide out of the black shadow under the cliffs and into the calm stretch of moonlit water. He rose up then and fled for miles like a hunted hare.

Field was quickly missed, and suspicion immediately set upon long Bill Trapp. More people knew of the little drama they and one more had been playing than either had any idea of. A boy from the Ti House had passed Field up near the old battle-ground, and coming back from the village soon after had followed Trapp and seen him turn up toward the old fort. A handkerchief was found on the top of the cliff marked "D.F.," and Field's hat was found among the rocks along the shore. A warrant was issued for Trapp's arrest, and he was hunted high and low by a posse of constables, but not taken. And meanwhile Field was lying unconscious in an old farm-house by the lake-side a mile or two north. Old Trapp had been out that night, looking for his son—he and Bill's mother had been a good deal worried about him the last week or two—and the old man had been down to Ti inquiring for him, having heard nothing of him for some days. He was pulling out, on his way home, from under [pg 698] the rocks below the fort, and saw the two men standing out in the angle of the wall high up. He saw the awful leap and plunge, rowed round and fished out the limp shape of a young man he had never seen, worked the water out of him, rowed him home and carried him and laid him in bed. He left him there, breathing but unconscious, and went for Dr. Niedever of Rawdon. He must have struck his head in some way: there was a cut on his forehead, but no other serious injury that could be seen. If he had struck sidewise, it would not have mattered much whether it was water or rock that he struck; but his leap had carried him beyond the debris at the cliff's foot, and, coming down perfectly straight as he did, ten feet deeper water would have let him off little the worse. As it was, he was unconscious for some time. When he came to himself he was extremely weak and hungry, and perfectly contented to let them do with him as they pleased. The doctor's daily visits, the movements of the queer old couple as they came in and out, fed him and gave his draughts, the homely old place and the placid expanse of the lake which he saw by turning his head, were as much and no more to him than his own body lying there day after day. They were parts of a pantomime, of which he was actor and spectator, but in which he had no special interest, and which he was perfectly happy to go to sleep and leave. Gradually his brain cleared, and slowly he got back the thread of recollection where it had broken so sharply, and began to spin again; and among the first clear new ideas that took shape out of his scattered wits was one, that the queer old couple had been exceedingly good to him, and that they had no special reason for kindness in his case; and, second, that this gruff, ruddy, Indian-haired doctor was a man of skill and decision, and one not too fond of Mr. Daniel Field.

The second Sunday afternoon Field was lying quietly looking out on the lake from the bed, and thinking in a mood uncommonly serious for him, not very complacent nor very proud. Some feelings that had been stronger than he cared to resist these last few weeks had grown vague and intermittent—some new ones had come into their place.

Dr. Niedever came in and looked at him, giving him no greeting and treating him brusquely enough. He took a turn about the room, and faced round. "Well, young man," he said, "we pulled you through a pretty tight place."

The manner and tone angered Field. "That's your trade, isn't it?" he answered. "I suppose money will pay you."

"Money!" roared the old doctor. "Of course you'll pay, and pay well. But do you think I've done it for your sake, or your money? Look here: he served you right when he threw you over."

"I suppose he'd hang as well as another," answered Field.

"He wouldn't hang. There's no evidence but hearsay and surmise against him. If you had died, your body would never have been found. A hundred good men would testify to his character, and I'd have been one. He stands a worse chance now than if you were anchored to the bottom of the lake. I haven't saved your life for his sake nor for yours: I have done it for this old man. You owe me nothing but money, but everything you've got, and all you'll ever have, and the chance of redeeming yourself, you owe to old Joe Trapp; and I wish him joy of his debtor!"

"Now, old man," Field answered, "you can go. You needn't come back. I haven't the money now, but old Trapp will give you my card out of my coat. Send your bill to that address and I'll pay you when I can."

The doctor stood looking at him a minute with his hands in his pockets, his red face scowling savagely. He muttered something, turned on his heel and went down. Old Trapp was away at the time, and came home an hour later. He came up and into Field's room with his queer gait and face and stooping old figure.

"My friend," said Field, "I'll trouble you to bring me my clothes: I'm going to get up."

The old man went down and brought them, helped him to dress and come down stairs, and set him by the fire in an easy-chair. The old wife brought and laid on the table a knife, a bunch of keys, a letter, a card-case and cigar-case, a handkerchief newly washed and ironed, a pair of soiled gloves, some pennies and trifles, and two rolls of bills.

"They was wet, you know, and we had to dry 'em separate," said the old man, "but you'll find 'em right, I guess."

Field flushed up when he saw one of the rolls: it was tied with a string, and a bit of paper about it was marked in pencil, partly obliterated, "Long Fellow of Ti." He put that package into his pocket with the' other things, and left the other roll of money on the table.

"You two people have done uncommonly neighborly by me," he said. "I should like to know your reason." "I guess most anybody'd done it, stranger," answered Trapp. "Like's you'd be done by, you know, ef you'd ha' been me, wouldn't you?"

"No, I'll be hanged if I would!" broke out Field. "But look here, friends: you think he threw me down. He did not: I jumped off myself. He did not touch me."

"Oh, God bless you!" cried the bowed old wife, her worn face turning radiant upon him and bright drops starting in the dull old eyes. They were almost the first words he had heard her speak. Though she had been very attentive to him all along, she had done it almost in silence and with an averted face. Her voice was high and almost sweet. Field talked on then, and told them several things at which they both fell to crying like children. He took out one bill from the roll on the table and made the old man take the rest. "I do not pretend that money can pay what I owe you," he said, "but what I have you must let me give you for my own satisfaction."

During the next few days, while he gathered his strength, our friend sat about the house in the sunny places and took a strong liking for the simple, kind old wife, and told her by degrees the [pg 699] story of his life and his friends. In that wonderful air he rallied like magic. He took longer and longer walks, keeping well out of sight of prying eyes, though the place was retired enough, for that. Thursday morning of that week he borrowed some clothes of the farmer and made a bundle of his own. He bade the old couple good-bye, not without regret on either side. As the Wanita ploughed up the lake that day on her return trip, a man came down from the hurricane-deck into the cabin, sat by the table and took up a magazine lying there and turned it over. He was dressed in coarse, ill-fitting, homespun clothes, and had a newly-healed scar on his forehead. His upper lip was roughly shorn, and the rest of his face covered with a two or three weeks' beard. He was not an attractive-looking person, certainly, and yet the pretty girl sewing by the window, her face quite wan and worn-looking now, glanced at him many times in a flurried, nervous way; and when he was gone she went and took up the old magazine, opened it where a leaf was turned down, and read these lines of an old-fashioned ballad:

Oh, alone and alorn, as the night came down,

Sir Reginald walked on the wet sea-sands;

And all as he walked came Marianne,

King's daughter of all those lands.

That evening, as the dusk was coming on, Hester Charner walked on the path along the lake, round toward the forest, and suddenly in a shaded place she met the unkempt stranger of the boat She started back and almost screamed. His face had a dark look that scared her.

"Is it you, Mr. Meadow?" she entreated.

"No," he answered: "Meadow's dead—drowned in the lake for ever, I hope to God."

The girl drew back with a little cry. "Then he did kill him?" she wailed. "Oh, I wish I might die! I wish he'd killed me!"

"Oh, you false girl!" Field broke out. "But he did not kill him. I killed him myself. He would if I hadn't, and served him right, too. But he did not put a finger on him. I saved him from [pg 700] murder—him and me. Yes, you—don't shrink—you drove him to it; and you would have been the guiltier of the two. You were as good as promised to him—you know you were—and you should have been proud to be. He would have given his life for you any day, and you broke your faith for a smooth—faced, brazen fop, who played with you to your peril, and despised you in his heart all the while for a false jade. You may thank Trapp all your life for cutting that short when he did, and thank God you can yet be an honest wife to an honest man."

As he thus spoke there came a watery feeling into his eyes, and a yearning to take the girl to his heart and brave all the world for her sake. He hated the long fellow as he had never done before, and cursed him in his heart while he praised him with his lips. But he kept his thoughts upon a picture of a gray old farm-house by the water-side, and a bent old man and woman therein, and went on playing his game, and won it.

Her face paled, and she clasped her hands. "Where is he?" she asked eagerly.

"He's lying to-night in Aleck Jarley's cabin, back of the haystack."

She was turning away, but he stopped her. "Wait a minute," he said. "Here is some money belonging to Trapp: you can give it to him."

The money was in her hand before he had finished speaking. She folded her shawl across her breast and turned away in the direction he had indicated.

The next morning Field started for home. He had just one dollar in his pocket and two hundred miles of ground to get over. He walked, caught a ride now and then, got a lift on a canal-boat two or three times, ate bread and drank water and slept in barns or under grain-stacks. He came walking into Colman's office one morning looking cheerful but somewhat disreputable. Colman did not know him at first. When they had shaken hands. Colman looked in his friend's shaggy face and asked, "Is it all square, Dan?"

"All square, Phil," answered Field, looking the other as straight in the eyes;

"Well, I'm glad you pulled through, Dan," said Colman; "but you'd better have come home with me."

"Well, I don't know, Phil," Field answered musingly: "I'm not sure whether I'm sorry or glad."



Two parted long, and yearning long to meet,

Within an hour the life of months repeat;

Then come to silence, as if each had poured

Into the other's keeping all his hoard.

And when the life seems drained of all its store,

Each inly wonders why he says no more.

Why, since they've met, does mutual need seem small,

And what avails the presence, after all?

Though silent thought with those we love is sweet,

The heart finds every meeting incomplete;

And with the dearest there must sometimes be

The wide and lonely silence of the sea.


[pg 701]


There are three ways of reaching Monaco from Nice—by sea, by rail, and by carriage viâ the Corniche road. This last is the longest, but by far the most interesting route. The railroad takes you to Monaco in about an hour, and the steamer employs pretty nearly the same time. A carriage, on the other hand, requires not less than five hours for the journey, but then the scenery passed through is perhaps the most striking in Southern Europe. I have often gone on foot, leaving Nice early in the morning, and arriving in Monaco at about four in the afternoon, having been able to rest fully two hours on the way. Once beyond the town, the road begins to ascend what is called the Montée de Villefranche, and at every step the views become more and more varied and picturesque. Presently an olive wood is traversed, and the town is lost to sight until the summit of the mountain which separates the Bay of Nice from that of Villefranche is attained. This olive wood is of great antiquity, and, like almost all similar thickets in this part of the country, doubtless owes its origin to the Romans, who are said to have introduced the tree into the Maritime Alps and the south of France. Many of the trees are very large, and their trunks are black and much twisted, their branches long and weird-looking, but the exceeding delicacy of their foliage, which is dark green on the outside and silver gray on the inner, lends them a very fascinating appearance, especially on a moonlight night, when the arching boughs of an olive grove look exactly as if covered with shawls of rich black lace. The leaf of the olive tree, which is an evergreen, is attached to the bough by a very slender stalk, so that the slightest wind sets it in motion, as it does that of the quivering aspen. The fruit resembles an acorn without its cup, and is brown and dingy. The flower is very insignificant.

The olive trees at Nice are cultivated on terraces cut like deep steps up the mountain-side. All the earth which fills these terraces has been placed there by human labor; and when it is taken into consideration that many hundreds of miles of mountain-side have been thus redeemed from waste, that the work dates back at least fifteen centuries, and was performed at a period when agricultural implements were of the rudest, they must be acknowledged as among the most gigantic of undertakings. They are from ten to twenty feet high, about a quarter of a mile long, and from fifteen to twenty-five feet wide. In order to form them the rock had to be cut away, blasting being of course unknown at the time, and every handful of earth brought up from the plain below, often to a height of two thousand feet. The Provençal writers consider them the work of the Moors, but it is probable that they were commenced under the Phoceans and the Romans and continued by the Arabs. I have been shown several terraces the masonry of which was undoubtedly Roman, and coins bearing the effigies of the earlier Cæsars have been often found in the brick work. Corn is grown on them under the shadow of the olive trees, to whose branches the vine is frequently twined. I have seen two wheat-harvests gathered in one year on these narrow terraces, and nothing can be imagined more charming than their appearance late in autumn. Then the golden corn waves beneath garlands of vine heavily laden with luscious fruit, the olive tree, emblem of peace, waves its silvery foliage overhead, the peach is ripe, and so are the bright green October figs, and there is a mellowness in the air that makes one almost inclined to believe that the age of gold has returned to earth.

As the summit of the mountain is approached vegetation becomes less luxuriant, and finally disappears altogether. [pg 702] Mont Borron, for so is the mountain in question called, is about two thousand five hundred feet high, and the plateau at its top is barren and rocky, though the short tufty thyme and myrtle grow in great abundance, to the delight of the sheep and bees. The view obtained hence is amongst the most beautiful in the world. Facing you is the deep blue Thyranean Sea, sparkling with sails, and often on a clear day with the hazy outline of the island of Corsica distinctly visible on its horizon. To the right lies Nice, with all her domes, towers, churches, hotels, quays and the interminable line of her palatial villas traced out as in a map. Then range after range of mountains of every shape and nature, grass grown, rocky, forest-covered, barren, rise one above the other until the mists of distance alone efface them from sight. Along the coast of France can be counted, from this point, not less than fifteen separate bays and as many peninsulas and capes. Wherever the eye lingers it is sure to discover enchanting districts—gardens of surpassing loveliness, where grow groves of orange and lemon trees white with blossom or golden with fruit; stately palms of many varieties; the two-leaved eucalyptus; rose-bushes whose flowers are far more numerous than their leaves; magnolia and camellia trees capable of producing a thousand flowers; villas of Venetian, English, Swiss, Italian, and Oriental architecture. Here by the sea is one of such perfectly classical appearance that every moment one expects to see issue from its marble peristyle the gracefully shaped Ione, Julia or Lydia; there is a sweet little cottage, half buried in banksia roses, which might have been transported from the Branch, Cape May or the Isle of Wight. But if the view to your right is beautiful for its luxuriant fertility, that to the left surpasses it in grandeur. Below you is the pretty village of Villefranche, with its old church and forts half hidden amongst the palms, which, together with the innumerable aloe-plants of colossal proportions, give the scene a truly African character. Villefranche reflects herself and her palms upon the surface of the most mirror-like of bays, for even in the stormiest weather no ripple stirs its waters—waters so deep that the largest ships of war can anchor in them close to the shore. The American frigates cruising in the Mediterranean usually make Villefranche their winter resort, and the stately presences of the Richmond, Plymouth, Shenandoah and Juniata are often to be seen here, giving life to a scene which otherwise would lack animation. Beyond Villefranche the long hilly peninsula of Beaulieu and St. Hospice stretches for fully three miles out into the bay, as green as an emerald, with some twenty pleasure-boats usually clustering about its shores, for the cork woods of St. Hospice are famous for picnics and merrymaking, and its little hotel is renowned throughout Europe for its fish-dinners.

Behind Villefranche, and continuing for fully fifty miles along the Italian coast, rise the majestic mountains of the Riviera. Nothing can be imagined more awe-striking than their appearance: their weird shapes, their gloomy ravines, their fearful precipices, beetling over the sea many thousand feet, their crags, peaks, chasms and desolate grandeur produce a panorama of unsurpassed magnificence. But what impresses one most is perceiving that, however barren they seem, they are nevertheless thickly peopled. Towns, villages, convents, villas and towers cover them in all directions, and in positions often truly astonishing. Yonder is quite a large town clustering round the extreme peak of a mountain at least three thousand feet high, and utterly bald of vegetation; there is Eza perched upon a rock rising perpendicularly from the sea, so that a stone thrown from the church-tower would fall straight into the waves below through fifteen hundred feet of space; far away in the distance, and close upon the shore, looking as white as a band of pearls, are the villas of Mentone, and just in front of them the castle-crowned heights of Monaco; yonder, almost touching the clouds, is the famous sanctuary of Laghetto, and there is Augustus's monument at La Tarbia—a solitary round tower, so solidly built that it has resisted the ravages of eighteen centuries.

But what pen can describe the splendor of this scene? what brush reproduce its ever-changing hues, its delicate mists, its broad shadows, the deep blue of the sea, the rosy tint which Aurora casts over all, or the vivid purples and crimsons which glow upon the mountain-crags and strew the indigo of the Mediterranean with jasper, ruby, Sapphire and gold when the sun falls to rest behind the beautiful Cape of Antibes? Nature defies Art in such a spot as this, and seems to triumph in bewildering our delighted senses with the infinite variety of her products. Here her sea and mountains are sublime in their grandeur, and at our feet are wild violets and heath and rosemary and thyme, each, too, sublime in its way. She defies us with her colors, her odors, and even with her music, for overhead "the lark at heaven's gate sings," and the bees go buzzing home laden with honey stolen from the wild honeysuckle, caper and myrtle which grow abundantly around.

It was my fortune once to escort to this view the illustrious French artist Paul Delaroche. His delight can be better imagined than described. "Ah!" he exclaimed, "ceci c'est trop bien!" He assured me that no painter could attempt it excepting perhaps Turner, and vowed that although he had visited many lands he had never witnessed anything to surpass it. Turner perhaps could have reproduced such a scene, for he possessed the power of giving the general effects of extended landscapes admirably, without entering too minutely into their details. In the "Loreto necklace" and "Golden bough" he has painted two marvelously varied views full of ranges of mountains, rivers, lakes and classic buildings, without confusion, and with great skill displayed in portraying various and vaporous distances.

But it is high time that we leave the fine arts and hasten on to Monaco. Space, like time, is limited, and much as I should love to conduct my readers all the long way on foot, to show them [pg 703] the monster olive tree at Beaulieu, which is seven yards in circumference, and reputed the largest of its species in the world, to pause a little amidst the Roman ruins of La Tarbia and the Saracenic remains of Eza and Roccabruna, I must hasten on to the capital of the Liliputian dominions of his Serene Highness Prince Florestan II.

Let me entertain you with a very brief account of the history of this singular little princedom. Monaco is one of the most ancient places in Europe. Five hundred years before our Blessed Lord came to redeem the world, Hecate of Melites wrote an account of the city, which he called Monoikos (the "isolated dwelling"), and declared it to be even then so old a town that the people had lost all tradition of its origin, except that some of their priests asserted Hercules to have founded it after his feat of slaying Geryon and the brigands before he left Italy for Spain. The Romans, in fact, called it Portus Herculis Monceci, and for short "Portus Monceci." During the Middle Ages Hercules was entirely cast aside, and the town was spoken of as Monaco. The tradition of its original foundation is carefully preserved in the civic coat-of-arms, which represents a gigantic monk with a club in his hand—Hercules in a friar's robe. In the days of Charlemagne the Moors invaded Monaco, and remained there until A.D. 968, when a Genoese captain named Grimaldi volunteered to assist the Christian inhabitants in driving the infidels from their shores. He was victorious, and was rewarded for his bravery and skill by being proclaimed prince of Monaco. In the family of his descendants the little territory still remains.

The Grimaldis were powerful rulers, wise and brave, and having secured independence, they maintained it at all cost through centuries of trouble. Fifty-eight sieges has Monaco sustained from either the French or the Genoese, but she never lost her independence excepting for a few years at a time. In 1428 a terrible tragedy of great dramatic interest occurred in the castle. John Grimaldi was prince, and married to a [pg 704] Fieschi Adorno of Genoa, a lovely lady, but a faithless. She had not long been a wife ere she fixed her affections on her husband's younger brother, Lucian, and induced him to murder his brother and usurp the throne. Accordingly, Lucian, aided by his mistress, stabbed John Grimaldi in his bed, and having thrown the body into the sea, proclaimed himself prince. He reigned but a short time. Bartolomeo Doria, nephew of the Genoese doge, Andrea Doria the Great, murdered him at a masquerade given in his palace to celebrate his infamous sister-in-law's birthday. The galleys of the doge awaited the assassin without the port, and transported him back in safety to Genoa—a circumstance which gave rise to a suspicion that Andrea was himself privy to the deed. As to the wicked lady, she was banished to the castle of Roccabruna, where she died miserably, abandoned by all. A legend says she went distracted, and in a fit of insanity flung herself headlong over the rocks into the sea.

In 1792 the French Republic destroyed the principality, but it was restored through the interest of Talleyrand in 1815. A revolution broke out in 1848, which obliged the prince to declare Monaco a free town, and which also deprived His Highness of Mentone and Roccabruna. When the French annexed Nice they also added the two last-mentioned towns to their dominions, but had to pay Prince Florestan four millions of francs for his feudal right.

If Monaco is not a very large principality, it is in a pecuniary sense exceedingly flourishing. In 1863 His Highness made the acquaintance of M. Blanc, the famous gambling-saloon "organizer" of Homburg, and, on the receipt of the trifling consideration of twelve million francs and an annual tax of one hundred and fifty thousand, consented to allow him to establish the world-famous saloons at Monte Carlo, about a mile and a half from the capital.

The people of Monaco pay few taxes, enjoy many privileges, like and laugh at their sovereign, and by no means desire annexation either to France or Italy. By law they are strictly prohibited from gambling, and are a quiet, thrifty, peace-loving set, kept in order by an army of sixty-one men, ten officers and a colonel, of whom more anon. Just at present the court of "Liliput" has given room for a great deal of gossip. His Serene Highness the hereditary prince, and Her Serene Highness the princess, after a few months of matrimonial bliss, have quarreled and separated. It happened on this wise. (The information I give I know to be correct, as it was communicated to me by an intimate friend of the young princess, and I was at Nice myself when the affair occurred.) About four years ago the young prince of Monaco married, through the influence of the empress Eugenie, the Lady Mary Douglas, sister of the duke of Hamilton and daughter of H.I.H. the princess Mary of Baden, duchess of Hamilton, and grand-daughter of the celebrated Prince Eugene Beauharnois. The wedding was magnificent, and the bride and bridegroom appeared exceedingly well pleased with each other. After a brief honeymoon both their highnesses returned to Monaco to reside with the reigning prince and princess. Very soon afterward the young lady commenced making bitter complaints to her friends of the court etiquette, which she declared was utterly unendurable, especially to a free-born Englishwoman. An instance will suffice: One morning Her Serene Highness came down to breakfast before the whole family was assembled. To her amusement, she beheld on each plate an egg labeled "For His Serene Highness, the reigning prince," "For H.S.H. the reigning princess," "For H.S.H. the hereditary prince," "For H.S.H. the hereditary princess." Being in a hurry and hungry, "Her Serene Highness the hereditary princess" sat herself down and ate her own egg and the eggs of her neighbors. Horror! Court etiquette was over-thrown. The egg destined for the august prince Florestan II. had been eaten by his own daughter-in-law! The outraged majesty of Monaco was indignant, and the youthful aspirant to the throne by no means mild in his reproaches. However, true Douglas as she is, the old blood of Archibald Bell-the-cat boiled over, and the princess Mary is reported to have read the serene family a famous lecture. Matters went on in this way until the poor girl could stand it no longer, and one fine day escaped from "jail," ran down to the station and took the first train for Nice. A telegram was sent to the gendarmerie at Nice to arrest her as soon as she got out of the carriage. Accordingly, to her terror, when she put her foot on terra firm a there stood two gendarmes ready to pounce upon her. It was, however, no joke to arrest an imperial princess, for such Lady Mary is by birth. The men hesitated, but not so the princess. Brought up at Nice, she knew all the roads and bypaths of the place by heart. Tucking up her petticoats, instead of going out by the ordinary exit she made off as fast as her heels could carry her out of the station to the fence which separates the lines from the road, climbed over it and ran as swiftly as a hunted deer through the fields, pursued by the two gendarmes, who, however, soon gave up the chase. Her Serene Highness finally reached the Villa Arson, almost two miles distant, terribly frightened and with her clothes pretty nearly torn off her back. Here she found that noble-hearted and Christian woman her mother, from whom she has never since separated. Nor has she yielded up to her husband her little son, born soon after the flight from Monaco. Vain have been the young man's attempts to induce her to return to him, vain his appeals to the pope to use his influence, vain even the threats of law. Last winter the prince induced the king of Italy to permit an attempt to abduct the child from the princess whilst she was staying in Florence with the grand duchess Marie of Russia, but the guards of the imperial lady prevented the emissaries of the Florentine syndic from even entering the palace, and the next day the princess of Monaco fled with her child to Switzerland. What the future developments of this singular affair will be [pg 705] time will show. The husband seems determined not to yield, and has recently employed the celebrated lawyer M. Grandperret as his counsel. It is stated that undue influence of a malicious kind has been used to prejudice both the duchess of Hamilton and her daughter against the prince, but all who know the truly lofty mind of the duchess will be sure that, although the reason for the princess's conduct has never transpired, it must be a very good one, or her mother would never uphold her as she does. Not the slightest blame is attributable to the princess of Monaco, and her reputation remains utterly above suspicion.

The station of Monaco is about ten minutes' walk from the town, which we now see is built upon a lofty rock forming a kind of peninsula jutting out from the mainland in the shape of a three-cornered hat. It is about two hundred feet high, and rises almost perpendicularly from the water on three sides, and that which joins the rest of the coast is ascended by a winding and steep road which passes under several very curious old gates and arches, originally belonging to the castle. The castle crowns the centre of the rock, and is a most romantic construction, possessing bastions, towers, portcullises, drawbridges and all the paraphernalia of a genuine mediæval fortress. It was built upon the site of a much more ancient edifice in 1542, and is a very remarkable specimen of the military architecture of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. During the French Revolution it was used as a hospital for wounded soldiers, and subsequently fell into a state of pitiable decay. It has, however, been repaired with great taste by the present prince within the last few years. Internally, it possesses a magnificent marble staircase and some fine apartments. One long gallery is said to have been painted in fresco by Michael Angelo, but it has been so much restored that the original design alone remains. Another gallery is covered with good pictures by the Genoese artist Carlone. Five doors open on this latter gallery—one leading to the private chambers of the prince; another to [pg 706] those of the princess; a third into a room where the duke of York, brother of George IV., was carried to die; a fourth to the famous Grimaldi hall; and the fifth to the room where Lucian Grimaldi was murdered, as already related, by Bartolomeo Doria. This chamber was walled up immediately after the crime, and only reopened in 1869, after a lapse of three hundred years. The Grimaldi hall, or state chamber, is a large square apartment of good proportions and handsomely decorated. Its chief attraction is the chimney-piece, one of the finest specimens of Renaissance domestic architecture now extant. It is very vast, lofty and deep, constructed of pure white marble and covered with the most exquisite bas-reliefs imaginable. Under Napoleon I. it was taken down to be removed to Paris, but was replaced in 1815. The chapel is handsome, and covered with good frescoes and splendid Roman mosaics. The gardens are very delightful, abounding with shady bowers and beautiful tropical plants. In one of the alleys is a tomb of the time of Cæsar, bearing this inscription:


The streets of Monaco are very narrow, and possess but few handsome houses. The little shops are very neat and the place is exceedingly clean. The principal church, dedicated to Saint Nicholas, is very ancient, and possesses two or three good pre-Raphaelite pictures. It is attached to a recently-restored Benedictine abbey, the mitred abbot of which does the duties of bishop. He is an exceedingly pleasant old gentleman, very chatty and unassuming. The Jesuits have a superb college and convent in Monaco, which is the residence of the Father Provincial of Piedmont and California. This may appear a somewhat extensive jurisdiction, but California was placed under the direction of the provincial of Piedmont when it was first discovered and only a missionary station. The port (Portus Hercults) is small, but well situated: about eight hundred and fifty little vessels and steamers enter it annually. Surrounding the port are some excellent bathing establishments, and not far from it rises Monte Carlo with its magnificent casino.

I cannot bid adieu to Monaco without relating a little anecdote in which I was an involuntary actor. It chanced that one day in 1870 business took me to Monaco, and I arrived in that capital on the anniversary of the birthday of the reigning princess. The little town was decorated with flags and banners; a Te Deum was sung in the abbey church, and after high mass a review of the "army" took place in front of the castle, on the Grande Place. Now I happened to be well acquainted with the captain, who, the instant he saw me watching the manoeuvres, took the opportunity to come over and invite me to dine with the officers that evening, when they were to be regaled at a banquet at the expense of the princess. I of course accepted, and was, at about four in the afternoon, taken over the guard-house, which is exquisitely clean and neatly furnished, and contains a handsome chapel, a billiard-room and a well-supplied reading-room. Dinner was served at five o'clock, and a very good one it was. The dining-room had been, in days of yore the refectory of an ancient convent, and the men sat at two long white-wood tables placed facing each other in the centre of the chamber, while the officers were accommodated with a table to themselves at the top of the room. During the repast a good deal of jesting went on, toasts were drunk and wine circulated freely. Some hot heads amongst the youngsters began to turn, and it became pretty evident that it was more prudent to consign the men to the barracks than to allow them to go out after dark through the town. The colonel consequently gave the captain a hint to that effect. It soon got noised about, however, and when the colonel retired to his private room to smoke, his key was suddenly turned from without, and he was locked in. The same thing happened to the captain and myself. Presently the most awful noises resounded through the building: "the army" was in a state of insubordination. Some dozen young fellows came up to the colonel's door and declared that they would not release him unless he granted the extra leave which was theirs by right. Furious was the gallant colonel, and no less so my friend the captain. They swore terrible vengeance, but the "army" cared little for their threats. Over each door throughout the whole building is a circular window, just large enough for a man to put his head through. Wishing to see what was going on, I got up on a chair and looked out. Down the corridor was a tide of upturned excited faces. Out of the next loophole to mine appeared the infuriated face of the colonel. Presently some bright wit in the lower part of the house was inspired with the brilliant idea of firing off a gun. This decided matters, and, making a terrible effort, the colonel burst open his door, and rushing down the corridor with drawn sword, soon intimidated the revolutionists. By and by the captain and myself were released from durance vile, and before twenty minutes elapsed the "revolt" was over. Decided as was the action of the colonel, it was as kindly as possible. He treated his men as they deserved—like unruly boys—locked them up for the night, and promised them a holiday when they were good.

When I left the guard-house that night it was already long after dark: the last trains from Monte Carlo were due within half an hour of each other. I hastened to the station. Almost at its entrance I met an old friend whose face, I noticed, was deadly pale. He was a man of considerable influence, and I at once concluded that he had received bad news from the seat of war. I asked eagerly what was the matter. "Can you keep a secret?" "Of course I can," I answered. "If you divulge this one it may have serious consequences for yourself," he returned gravely. "I promise to keep silent." "Well, then, there has been a fight before Sedan. Napoleon III. has laid his sword at the feet of William of Prussia." "My God!" I [pg 707] cried, "is it possible?" "It is but too true. I have just seen a ciphered telegram which came viâ Cologne and Turin. It is not known in Nice, and will not be so for hours yet. Do not say a word about it: if you do it may cost you dear. No one will believe you, and they will take you for a spy, a Prussian or a pessimist." I understood at once the prudence of this advice. Presently the train came up, we parted, and I took my place. The third-class carriages were full of volunteers, recruits and conscripts from Mentone. They were singing à tue tête the Marsellaise. I shall never forget the terrible impression the song made on me. The triumphant words shouted out by the men seemed more sorrowful than those of the De profundis:

Allons, enfants de la patrie,

Le jour de gloire est arrivé.

"The day of glory" indeed had arrived. On we went as fast as the wind, and the singing continued uninterruptedly until we reached Nice. Here I found the station full of soldiers preparing to start by the 2 A.M. train. When we entered the station, hearing the shouts of "Le jour de gloire," they joined in enthusiastically. The next morning by daybreak the official despatch arrived. To describe the consternation it produced would be impossible, or the frantic glee with which the Republic was proclaimed. The next day the mob tore down all the imperial eagles and bees from the public buildings; M. Gavini, the Bonapartist prefect, had to escape the best way he could over the frontier, and madame his wife made her way to the station under a shower of potatoes, eggs and carrots, and a volley of insults and coarse epithets; Gambetta's father, a fine white-headed old gentleman, a grocer, was carried in triumph through the streets; the timid trembled for their lives; the wildest reports were circulated; the town was placed in a state of siege; but "le jour de gloire" did not arrive. It has not arrived yet, and may not do so for some time to come; but it must arrive sooner or later, or there will be no such thing as peace in Europe.


[pg 708]





The island of Borva lay warm and green and bright under a blue sky; there were no white curls of foam on Loch Roag, but only the long Atlantic swell coming in to fall on the white beach; away over there in the south the fine grays and purples of the giant Suainabhal shone in the sunlight amid the clear air; and the beautiful sea-pyots flew about the rocks, their screaming being the only sound audible in the stillness. The King of Borva was down by the shore, seated on a stool, and engaged in the idyllic operation of painting a boat which had been hauled up on the sand. It was the Maighdean-mhara. He would let no one else on the island touch Sheila's boat. Duncan, it is true, was permitted to keep her masts and sails and seats sound and white, but as for the decorative painting of the small craft—including a little bit of amateur gilding—that was the exclusive right of Mr. Mackenzie himself. For of course, the old man said; to himself, Sheila was coming back to Borva one these days, and she would be proud to find her own boat bright and sound. If she and her husband should resolve to spend half the year in Stornoway, would not the small craft be of use to her there? and sure he was that a prettier little vessel never entered Stornoway Bay. Mr. Mackenzie was at this moment engaged in putting a thin line of green round the white bulwarks that might have been distinguished across Loch Roag, so keen and pure was the color.

A much heavier boat, broad-beamed, red-hulled and brown-sailed, was slowly coming round the point at this moment. Mr. Mackenzie raised his eyes from his work, and knew that Duncan was coming back from Callernish. Some few minutes thereafter the boat was run in to her moorings, and Duncan came along the beach with a parcel in his hand. "Here wass your letters, sir," he said. "And there iss one of them will be from Miss Sheila, if I wass make no mistake."

He remained there. Duncan generally knew pretty well when a letter from Sheila was among the documents he had to deliver, and on such an occasion he invariably lingered about to hear the news, which was immediately spread abroad throughout the island. The old King of Borva was not a garrulous man, but he was glad that the people about him should know that his Sheila had become a fine lady in the South, and saw fine things and went among fine people. Perhaps this notion of his was a sort of apology to them—perhaps it was an apology to himself—for his having let her go away from the island; but at all events the simple folks about Borva knew that Miss Sheila, as they still invariably called her, lived in the same town as the queen herself, and saw many lords and ladies, and was present at great festivities, as became Mr. Mackenzie's only daughter. And naturally these rumors and stories were exaggerated by the kindly interest and affection of the people into something far beyond what Sheila's father intended; insomuch that many an old crone would proudly and sagaciously wag her head, and say that when Miss Sheila came back to Borva strange things might be seen, and it would be a proud day for Mr. Mackenzie if he was to go down to the shore to meet Queen Victoria herself, and the princes and princesses, and many fine people, all come to stay at his house and have great rejoicings in Borva.

Thus it was that Duncan invariably lingered about when he brought a letter from Sheila; and if her father happened to forget or be preoccupied, Duncan would humbly but firmly remind him. On-this occasion Mr. Mackenzie put down his paint-brush and took the bundle of letters and newspapers Duncan had brought him. He selected that from Sheila, and threw the others on the beach beside him.

There was really no news in the letter. Sheila merely said that she could not as yet answer her father's question as to the time she might probably visit Lewis. She hoped he was well, and that, if she could not get up to Borva that autumn, he would come South to London for a time, when the hard weather set in in the North. And so forth. But there was something in the tone of the letter that struck the old man as being unusual and strange. It was very formal in its phraseology. He read it twice over very carefully, and forgot altogether that Duncan was waiting. Indeed, he was going to turn away, forgetting his work and the other letters that still lay on the beach, when he observed that there was a postscript on the other side of the last page. It merely said: "Will you please address your letters now to No. —— Pembroke road, South Kensington, where I may be for some time?"

That was an imprudent postscript. If she had shown the letter to any one, she would have been warned of the blunder she was committing. But the child had not much cunning, and wrote and posted the letter in the belief that her father would simply do as she asked him, and suspect nothing and ask no questions.

When old Mackenzie read that postscript he could only stare at the paper before him.

"Will there be anything wrong, sir?" said the tall keeper, whose keen gray eyes had been fixed on his master's face.

The sound of Duncan's voice startled and recalled Mr. Mackenzie, who immediately turned, and said lightly, "Wrong? What wass you thinking would be wrong? Oh, there is nothing wrong whatever. But Mairi, she will be greatly surprised, and she is going to write no letters until she comes back to tell you what she has seen: that is the message there will be for Scarlett. Sheila—she is very well."

Duncan picked up the other letters and newspapers.

[pg 709] "You may tek them to the house, Duncan," said Mr. Mackenzie; and then he added carelessly, "Did you hear when the steamer was thinking of leaving Stornoway this night?"

"They were saying it would be seven o'clock or six, as there was a great deal of cargo to go on her."

"Six o'clock? I'm thinking, Duncan, I would like to go with her as far as Oban or Glasgow. Oh yes, I will go with her as far as Glasgow. Be sharp, Duncan, and bring in the boat."

The keeper stared, fearing his master had gone mad: "You wass going with her this ferry night?"

"Yes. Be sharp, Duncan!" said Mackenzie, doing his best to conceal his impatience and determination under a careless air.

"Bit, sir, you canna do it," said Duncan peevishly. "You hef no things looked out to go. And by the time we would get to Callernish it wass a ferry hard drive there will be to get to Stornoway by six o'clock; and there is the mare, sir, she will hef lost a shoe—"

Mr. Mackenzie's diplomacy gave way. He turned upon the keeper with a sudden fierceness and with a stamp of his foot: "—— —— you, Duncan MacDonald! is it you or me that is the master? I will go to Stornoway this ferry moment if I hef to buy twenty horses!" And there was a light under the shaggy eyebrows that warned Duncan to have done with his remonstrances.

"Oh. ferry well, sir—ferry well, sir," he said, going off to the boat, and grumbling as he went. "If Miss Sheila was here, it would be no going away to Glesca without any things wis you, as if you wass a poor traffelin tailor that hass nothing in the world but a needle and a thimble mirover. And what will the people in Styornoway hef to say, and sa captain of sa steamboat, and Scarlett? I will hef no peace from Scarlett if you wass going away like this. And as for sa sweerin, it is no use sa sweerin, for I will get sa boat ready—oh yes, I will get sa boat ready; but I do not understand why I will get sa boat ready."

By this time, indeed, he had got along [pg 710] to the larger boat, and his grumblings were inaudible to the object of them. Mr. Mackenzie went to the small landing-place and waited. When he got into the boat and sat down in the stern, taking the tiller in his right hand, he still held Sheila's letter in the other hand, although he did not need to reread it.

They sailed out into the blue waters of the loch and rounded the point of the island in absolute silence, Duncan meanwhile being both sulky and curious. He could not make out why his master should so suddenly leave the island, without informing any one, without even taking with him that tall and roughly-furred black hat which he sometimes wore on important occasions. Yet there was a letter in his hand, and it was a letter from Miss Sheila. Was the news about Mairi the only news in it?

Duncan kept looking ahead to see that the boat was steering her right course for the Narrows, and was anxious, now that he had started, to make the voyage in the least possible time, but all the same his eyes would come back to Mr. Mackenzie, who sat very much absorbed, steering almost mechanically, seldom looking ahead, but instinctively guessing his course by the outlines of the shore close by. "Was there any bad news, sir, from Miss Sheila?" he was compelled to say at last.

"Miss Sheila!" said Mr. Mackenzie impatiently. "Is it an infant you are, that you will call a married woman by such a name?"

Duncan had never been checked before for a habit which was common to the whole island of Borva.

"There iss no bad news," continued Mackenzie impatiently. "Is it a story you would like to tek back to the people of Borvabost?"

"It wass no thought of such a thing wass come into my head, sir," said Duncan. "There iss no one in sa island would like to carry bad news about Miss Sheila; and there iss no one in sa island would like to hear it—not any one whatever—and I can answer for that."

"Then hold your tongue about it. There is no bad news from Sheila," said Mackenzie; and Duncan relapsed into silence, not very well content.

By dint of very hard driving indeed Mr. Mackenzie just caught the boat as she was leaving Stornoway harbor, the hurry he was in fortunately saving him from the curiosity and inquiries of the people he knew on the pier. As for the frank and good-natured captain, he did not show that excessive interest in Mr. Mackenzie's affairs that Duncan had feared; but when the steamer was well away from the coast and bearing down on her route to Skye, he came and had a chat with the King of Borva about the condition of affairs on the west of the island; and he was good enough to ask, too, about the young lady that had married the English gentleman. Mr. Mackenzie said briefly that she was very well, and returned to the subject of the fishing.

It was on a wet and dreary morning that Mr. Mackenzie arrived in London; and as he was slowly driven through the long and dismal thoroughfares with their gray and melancholy houses, their passers-by under umbrellas, and their smoke and drizzle and dirt, he could not help saying to himself, "My poor Sheila!" It was not a pleasant place surely to live in always, although it might be all very well for a visit. Indeed, this cheerless day added to the gloomy fore-bodings in his mind, and it needed all his resolve and his pride in his own diplomacy to carry out his plan of approaching Sheila.

When he got down to Pembroke road he stopped the cab at the corner and paid the man. Then he walked along the thoroughfare, having a look at the houses. At length he came to the number mentioned in Sheila's letter, and he found that there was a brass plate on the door bearing an unfamiliar name. His suspicions were confirmed.

He went up the steps and knocked: a small girl answered the summons. "Is Mrs. Lavender living here?" he said.

She looked for a moment with some surprise at the short, thick-set man, with his sailor costume, his peaked cap, and his voluminous gray beard and shaggy eyebrows; and then she said that she would ask, and what was his name? But Mr. Mackenzie was too sharp not to know what that meant.

"I am her father. It will do ferry well if you will show me the room."

And he stepped inside. The small girl obediently shut the door, and then led the way up stairs. The next minute Mr. Mackenzie had entered the room, and there before him was Sheila bending over Mairi and teaching her how to do some fancy-work.

The girl looked up on hearing some one enter, and then, when she suddenly saw her father there, she uttered a slight cry of alarm and shrunk back. If he had been less intent on his own plans he would have been amazed and pained by this action on the part of his daughter, who used to run to him, on great occasions and small, whenever she saw him; but the girl had for the last few days been so habitually schooling herself into the notion that she was keeping a secret from him—she had become so deeply conscious of the concealment intended in that brief letter—that she instinctively shrank from him when he suddenly appeared. It was but for a moment.

Mr. Mackenzie came forward with a fine assumption of carelessness and shook hands with Sheila and with Mairi, and said, "How do you do, Mairi? And are you ferry well, Sheila? And you will not expect me this morning; but when a man will not pay you what he wass owing, it wass no good letting it go on in that way; and I hef come to London—".

He shook the rain-drops from his cap, and was a little embarrassed.

"Yes, I hef come to London to have the account settled up; for it wass no good letting him go on for effer and effer. Ay, and how are you, Sheila?"

He looked about the room: he would not look at her. She stood there unable to speak, and with her face grown wild and pale.

"Ay, it wass raining hard all the last night, and there wass a good deal of water came into the carriage; and it is [pg 711] a ferry hard bed you will make of a third-class carriage. Ay, it wass so. And this is a new house you will hef, Sheila?"

She had been coming nearer to him, with her face down and the speechless lips trembling. And then suddenly, with a strange sob, she threw herself into his arms and hid her head, and burst into a wild fit of crying.

"Sheila," he said, "what ails you? What iss all the matter?"

Mairi had covertly got out of the room.

"Oh, papa, I have left him," the girl cried.

"Ay," said her father quite cheerfully—"oh ay, I thought there was some little thing wrong when your letter wass come to us the other day. But it is no use making a great deal of trouble about it, Sheila, for it is easy to have all those things put right again—oh yes, ferry easy. And you have left your own home, Sheila? And where is Mr. Lavender?"

"Oh, papa," she cried, "you must not try to see him. You must promise not to go to see him. I should have told you everything when I wrote, but I thought you would come up and blame it all on him and I think it is I who am to blame."

"But I do not want to blame any one," said her father. "You must not make so much of these things, Sheila. It is a pity—yes, it is a ferry great pity—your husband and you will hef a quarrel; but it iss no uncommon thing for these troubles to happen; and I am coming to you this morning, not to make any more trouble, but to see if it cannot be put right again. And I do not want to know any more than that, and I will not blame any one; but if I wass to see Mr. Lavender—"

A bitter anger had filled his heart from the moment he had learned how matters stood, and yet he was talking in such a bland, matter-of-fact, almost cheerful fashion that his own daughter was imposed upon, and began to grow comforted. The mere fact that her father now knew of all her troubles, and was not [pg 712] disposed to take a very gloomy view of them, was of itself a great relief to her. And she was greatly pleased, too, to hear her father talk in the same light and even friendly fashion of her husband. She had dreaded the possible results of her writing home and relating what had occurred. She knew the powerful passion of which this lonely old man was capable, and if he had come suddenly down South with a wild desire to revenge the wrongs of his daughter, what might not have happened?

Sheila sat down, and with averted eyes told her father the whole story, ingenuously making all possible excuses for her husband, and intimating strongly that the more she looked over the history of the past time the more she was convinced that she was herself to blame. It was but natural that Mr. Lavender should like to live in the manner to which he had been accustomed. She had tried to live that way too, and the failure to do so was surely her fault. He had been very kind to her. He was always buying her new dresses, jewelry, and what not, and was always pleased to take her to be amused anywhere. All this she said, and a great deal more; and although Mr. Mackenzie did not believe the half of it, he did not say so. "Ay, ay, Sheila," he said, cheerfully; "but if everything was right like that, what for will you be here?"

"But everything was not right, papa," the girl said, still with her eyes cast down. "I could not live any longer like that, and I had to come away. That is my fault, and I could not help it. And there was a—a misunderstanding between us about Mairi's visit—for I had said nothing about it—and he was surprised—and he had some friends coming to see us that day—"

"Oh, well, there iss no great harm done—none at all," said her father lightly, and perhaps beginning to think that after all something was to be said for Lavender's side of the question. "And you will not suppose, Sheila, that I am coming to make any trouble by quarreling with any one. There are some men—oh yes, there are ferry many—that would have no judgment at such a time, and they would think only about their daughter, and hef no regard for any one else, and they would only make effery one angrier than before. But you will tell me, Sheila, where Mr. Lavender is."

"I do not know," she said. "And I am anxious, papa, you should not go to see him. I have asked you to promise that to please me."

He hesitated. There were not many things he could refuse his daughter, but he was not sure he ought to yield to her in this. For were not these two a couple of foolish young things, who wanted an experienced and cool and shrewd person to come with a little dexterous management and arrange their affairs for them?

"I do not think I have half explained the difference between us," said Sheila in the same low voice. "It is no passing quarrel, to be mended up and forgotten: it is nothing like that. You must leave it alone, papa."

"That is foolishness, Sheila," said the old man with a little impatience. "You are making big things out of ferry little, and you will only bring trouble to yourself. How do you know but that he wishes to hef all this misunderstanding removed, and hef you go back to him?"

"I know that he wishes that," she said calmly.

"And you speak as if you wass in great trouble here, and yet you will not go back?" he said in great surprise.

"Yes, that is so," she said. "There is no use in my going back to the same sort of life: it was not happiness for either of us, and to me it was misery. If I am to blame for it, that is only a misfortune."

"But if you will not go back to him, Sheila," her father said, "at least you will go back with me to Borva."

"I cannot do that, either," said the girl with the same quiet yet decisive manner.

Mr. Mackenzie rose with an impatient gesture and walked to the window. He did not know what to say. He was very well aware that when Sheila had resolved upon anything, she had thought it well over beforehand, and was not likely to change her mind. And yet the notion of his daughter living in lodgings in a strange town—her only companion a young girl who had never been in the place before—was vexatiously absurd.

"Sheila," he said, "you will come to a better understanding about that. I suppose you wass afraid the people would wonder at you coming back alone. But they will know nothing about it. Mairi she is a very good lass: she will do anything you will ask of her: you hef no need to think she will carry stories. And every one wass thinking you will be coming to the Lewis this year, and it is ferry glad they will be to see you; and if the house at Borvabost hass not enough amusement for you after you hef been in a big town like this, you will live in Stornoway with some of our friends there, and you will come over to Borva when you please."

"If I went up to the Lewis," said Sheila, "do you think I could live anywhere but in Borva? It is not any amusements I will be thinking about. But I cannot go back to the Lewis alone."

Her father saw how the pride of the girl had driven her to this decision, and saw, too, how useless it was for him to reason with her just at the present moment. Still, there was plenty of occasion here for the use of a little diplomacy merely to smooth the way for the reconciliation of husband and wife; and Mr. Mackenzie concluded in his own mind that it was far from being injudicious to allow Sheila to convince herself that she bore part of the blame of this separation. For example, he now proposed that the discussion of the whole question should be postponed for the present, and that Sheila should take him about London and show him all that she had learned; and he suggested that they should then and there get a hansom cab and drive to some exhibition or other.

"A hansom, papa?" said Sheila. "Mairi must go with us, you know."

This was precisely what he had angled for, and he said, with a show of impatience, "Mairi! How can we take [pg 713] about Mairi to every place? Mairi is a ferry good lass—oh yes—but she is a servant-lass."

The words nearly stuck in his throat; and indeed had any other addressed such a phrase to one of his kith and kin there would have been an explosion of rage; but now he was determined to show to Sheila that her husband had some cause for objecting to this girl sitting down with his friends.

But neither husband nor father could make Sheila forswear allegiance to what her own heart told her was just and honorable and generous; and indeed her father at this moment was not displeased to see her turn round on himself with just a touch of indignation in her voice. "Mairi is my guest, papa," she said. "It is not like you to think of leaving her at home."

"Oh. it wass of no consequence," said old Mackenzie carelessly: indeed he was not sorry to have met with this rebuff. "Mairi is a ferry good girl—oh yes—but there are many who would not forget she is a servant-lass, and would not like to be always taking her with them. And you hef lived a long time in London—"

"I have not lived long enough in London to make me forget my friends or insult them," Sheila said with proud lips, and yet turning to the window to hide her face.

"My lass, I did not mean any harm whatever," her father said gently: "I wass saying nothing against Mairi. Go away and bring her into the room, Sheila, and we will see what we can do now, and if there is a theatre we can go to this evening. And I must go out, too, to buy some things; for you are a ferry fine lady now, Sheila, and I was coming away in such a hurry—"

"Where is your luggage, papa?" she said suddenly.

"Oh, luggage!" said Mackenzie, looking round in great embarrassment. "It was luggage you said, Sheila? Ay, well, it wass a hurry I wass in when I came away—for this man he will have to pay me at once whatever—and there wass no time for any luggage—oh no, there [pg 714] wass no time, because Duncan he wass late with the boat, and the mare she had a shoe to put on—and—and—oh no, there was no time for any luggage."

"But what was Scarlett about, to let you come away like that?" Sheila said.

"Scarlett? Well, Scarlett did not know, it was all in such a hurry. Now go and bring in Mairi, Sheila, and we will speak about the theatre."

But there was to be no theatre for any of them that evening. Sheila was just about to leave the room to summon Mairi when the small girl who had let Mackenzie into the house appeared and said, "Please, m'm, there is a young woman below who wishes to see you. She has a message to you from Mrs. Paterson."

"Mrs. Paterson?" Sheila said, wondering how Mrs. Lavender's hench-woman should have been entrusted with any such commission. "Will you ask her to come up?"

The girl came up stairs, looking rather frightened and much out of breath.

"Please, m'm, Mrs. Paterson has sent me to tell you, and would you please come as soon as it is convenient? Mrs. Lavender has died. It was quite sudden—only she recovered a little after the fit, and then sank: the doctor is there now, but he wasn't in time, it was all so sudden. Will you please come round, m'm?"

"Yes—I shall be there directly," said Sheila, too bewildered and stunned to think of the possibility of meeting her husband there.

The girl left, and Sheila still stood in the middle of the room apparently stupefied. That old woman had got into such a habit of talking about her approaching death that Sheila had ceased to believe her, and had grown to fancy that these morbid speculations were indulged in chiefly for the sake of shocking bystanders. But a dead man or a dead woman is suddenly invested with a great solemnity; and Sheila with a pang of remorse thought of the fashion in which she had suspected this old woman of a godless hypocrisy. She felt, too, that she had unjustly disliked Mrs. Lavender—that she had feared to go near her, and blamed her unfairly for many things that had happened. In her own way that old woman in Kensington Gore had been kind to her: perhaps the girl was a little ashamed of herself at this moment that she did not cry.

Her father went out with her, and up to the house with the dusty ivy and the red curtains. How strangely like was the aspect of the house inside to the very picture that Mrs. Lavender had herself drawn of her death! Sheila could remember all the ghastly details that the old woman seemed to have a malicious delight in describing; and here they were—the shutters drawn down, the servants walking about on tiptoe, the strange silence in one particular room. The little shriveled old body lay quite still and calm now; and yet as Sheila went to the bedside, she could hardly believe that within that forehead there was not some consciousness of the scene around. Lying almost in the same position, the old woman, with a sardonic smile on her face, had spoken of the time when she should be speechless, sightless and deaf, while Paterson would go about stealthily as if she was afraid the corpse would hear. Was it possible to believe that the dead body was not conscious at this moment that Paterson was really going about in that fashion—that the blinds were down, friends standing some little distance from the bed, a couple of doctors talking to each other in the passage outside?

They went into another room, and then Sheila, with a sudden shiver, remembered that soon her husband would be coming, and might meet her and her father there.

"You have sent for Mr. Lavender?" she said calmly to Mrs. Paterson.

"No, ma'am," Paterson said with more than her ordinary gravity and formality: "I did not know where to send for him. He left London some days ago. Perhaps you would read the letter, ma'am."

She offered Sheila an open letter. The girl saw that it was in her husband's handwriting, but she shrank from it as though she were violating the secrets of the grave.

"Oh no," she said, "I cannot do that."

"Mrs. Lavender, ma'am, meant you to read it, after she had had her will altered. She told me so. It is a very sad thing, ma'am, that she did not live to carry out her intentions; for she has been inquiring, ma'am, these last few days as to how she could leave everything to you, ma'am, which she intended; and now the other will—"

"Oh, don't talk about that!" said Sheila. It seemed to her that the dead body in the other room would be laughing hideously, if only it could, at this fulfillment of all the sardonic prophecies that Mrs. Lavender used to make.

"I beg your pardon, ma'am," Paterson said in the same formal way, as if she were a machine set to work in a particular direction, "I only mentioned the will to explain why Mrs. Lavender wished you to read this letter."

"Read the letter, Sheila," said her father.

The girl took it and carried it to the window. While she was there, old Mackenzie, who had fewer scruples about such matters, and who had the curiosity natural to a man of the world, said to Mrs. Paterson—not loud enough for Sheila to overhear—"I suppose, then, the poor old lady has left her property to her nephew?"

"Oh no, sir," said Mrs. Paterson, somewhat sadly, for she fancied she was the bearer of bad news. "She had a will drawn out only a short time ago, and nearly everything is left to Mr. Ingram."

"To Mr. Ingram?"

"Yes," said the woman, amazed to see that Mackenzie's face, so far from evincing displeasure, seemed to be as delighted as it was surprised.

"Yes, sir," said Mrs. Paterson: "I was one of the witnesses. But Mrs. Lavender changed her mind, and was very anxious that everything should go to your daughter, if it could be done; and Mr. Appleyard, sir, was to come here to-morrow forenoon."

"And has Mr. Lavender got no money whatever?" said Sheila's father, with an air that convinced Mrs. Paterson that he was a revengeful man, and was glad his [pg 715] son-in-law should be so severely punished.

"I don't know, sir," she replied, careful not to go beyond her own sphere.

Sheila came back from the window. She had taken a long time to read and ponder over that letter, though it was not a lengthy one. This was what Frank Lavender had written to his aunt:

"MY DEAR AUNT LAVENDER: I suppose when you read this you will think I am in a bad temper because of what you said to me. It is not so. But I am leaving London, and I wish to hand over to you, before I go, the charge of my house, and to ask you to take possession of everything in it that does not belong to Sheila. These things are yours, as you know, and I have to thank you very much for the loan of them. I have to thank you for the far too liberal allowance you have made me for many years back. Will you think I have gone mad if I ask you to stop that now? The fact is, I am going to have a try at earning something, for the fun of the thing; and, to make the experiment satisfactory, I start to-morrow morning for a district in the West Highlands, where the most ingenious fellow I know couldn't get a penny loaf on credit. You have been very good to me, Aunt Lavender: I wish I had made a better use of your kindness. So good-bye just now, and if ever I come back to London again I shall call on you and thank you in person.

"I am your affectionate nephew,


So far the letter was almost business-like. There was no reference to the causes which were sending him away from London, and which had already driven him to this extraordinary resolution about the money he got from his aunt. But at the end of the letter there was a brief postscript, apparently written at the last moment, the words of which were these: "Be kind to Sheila. Be as kind to her as I have been cruel to her. In going away from her I feel as though I were exiled by man and forsaken by God."

[pg 716] She came back from the window the letter in her hand.

"I think you may read it too, papa," she said, for she was anxious that her father should know that Lavender had voluntarily surrendered this money before he was deprived of it. Then she went back to the window.

The slow rain fell from the dismal skies on the pavement and the railings and the now almost leafless trees. The atmosphere was filled with a thin white mist, and the people going by were hidden under umbrellas. It was a dreary picture enough; and yet Sheila was thinking of how much drearier such a day would be on some lonely coast in the North, with the hills obscured behind the rain, and the sea beating hopelessly on the sand. She thought of some small and damp Highland cottage, with narrow windows, a smell of wet wood about, and the monotonous drip from over the door. And it seemed to her that a stranger there would be very lonely, not knowing the ways or the speech of the simple folk, careless perhaps of his own comfort, and only listening to the plashing of the sea and the incessant rain on the bushes and on the pebbles of the beach. Was there any picture of desolation, she thought, like that of a sea under rain, with a slight fog obscuring the air, and with no wind to stir the pulse with the noise of waves? And if Frank Lavender had only gone as far as the Western Highlands, and was living in some house on the coast, how sad and still the Atlantic must have been all this wet forenoon, with the islands of Colonsay and Oronsay lying remote and gray and misty in the far and desolate plain of the sea!

"It will take a great deal of responsibility from me, sir," Mrs. Paterson said to old Mackenzie, who was absently thinking of all the strange possibilities now opening out before him, "if you will tell me what is to be done. Mrs. Lavender had no relatives in London except her nephew."

"Oh yes," said Mackenzie, waking up—"oh yes, we will see what is to be done. There will be the boat wanted for the funeral—" He recalled himself with an impatient gesture. "Bless me!" he said, "what was I saying? You must ask some one else—you must ask Mr. Ingram. Hef you not sent for Mr. Ingram?

"Oh yes, sir, I have sent to him; and he will most likely come in the afternoon."

"Then there are the executors mentioned in the will—that wass something you should know about—and they will tell you what to do. As for me, it is ferry little I will know about such things."

"Perhaps your daughter, sir," suggested Mrs. Paterson, "would tell me what she thinks should be done with the rooms. And as for luncheon, sir, if you would wait—"

"Oh, my daughter?" said Mr. Mackenzie, as if struck by a new idea, but determined all the same that Sheila should not have this new responsibility thrust on her—"My daughter?—well, you was saying, mem, that my daughter would help you? Oh yes, but she is a ferry young thing, and you wass saying we must hef luncheon? Oh yes, but we will not give you so much trouble, and we hef luncheon ordered at the other house whatever; and there is the young girl there that we cannot leave all by herself. And you hef a great experience, mem, and whatever you do, that will be right: do not have any fear of that. And I will come round when you want me—oh yes, I will come round at any time—but my daughter, she is a ferry young thing, and she would be of no use to you whatever—none whatever. And when Mr. Ingram comes you will send him round to the place where my daughter is, for we will want to see him, if he hass the time to come. Where is Shei—where is my daughter?"

Sheila had quietly left the room and stolen into the silent chamber in which the dead woman lay. They found her standing close by the bedside, almost in a trance.

"Sheila," said her father, taking her hand, "come away now, like a good girl. It is no use your waiting here; and Mairi—what will Mairi be doing?"

She suffered herself to be led away, and they went home and had luncheon; but the girl could not eat for the notion that somewhere or other a pair of eyes were looking at her, and were hideously laughing at her, as if to remind her of the prophecy of that old woman, that her friends would sit down to a comfortable meal and begin to wonder what sort of mourning they would have.

It was not until the evening that Ingram called. He had been greatly surprised to hear from Mrs. Paterson that Mr. Mackenzie had been there, along with his daughter; and he now expected to find the old King of Borva in a towering passion. He found him, on the contrary, as bland and as pleased as decency would admit of in view of the tragedy that had occurred in the morning; and indeed, as Mackenzie had never seen Mrs. Lavender, there was less reason why he should wear the outward semblance of grief. Sheila's father asked her to go out of the room for a little while; and when she and Mairi had gone, he said cheerfully, "Well, Mr. Ingram, and it is a rich man you are at last."

"Mrs. Paterson said she had told you," Ingram said with a shrug. "You never expected to find me rich, did you?"

"Never," said Mackenzie frankly. "But it is a ferry good thing—oh yes, it is a ferry good thing—to hef money and be independent of people. And you will make a good use of it, I know."

"You don't seem disposed, sir, to regret that Lavender has been robbed of what should have belonged to him?"

"Oh, not at all," said Mackenzie, gravely and cautiously, for he did not want his plans to be displayed prematurely. "But I hef no quarrel with him; so you will not think I am glad to hef the money taken away for that. Oh no: I hef seen a great many men and women, and it was no strange thing that these two young ones, living all by themselves in London, should hef a quarrel. But it will come all right again if we do not make too much about it. If they like one another, they will soon come together again, tek my word for it, Mr. [pg 717] Ingram; and I hef seen a great many men and women. And as for the money—well, as for the money, I hef plenty for my Sheila, and she will not starve when I die—no, nor before that, either; and as for the poor old woman that has died, I am ferry glad she left her money to one that will make a good use of it, and will not throw it away whatever."

"Oh, but you know, Mr. Mackenzie, you are congratulating me without cause. I must tell you how the matter stands. The money does not belong to me at all: Mrs. Lavender never intended it should. It was meant to go to Sheila—"

"Oh, I know, I know," said Mr. Mackenzie with a wave of his hand. "I wass hearing all that from the woman at the house. But how will you know what Mrs. Lavender intended? You hef only that woman's story of it. And here is the will, and you hef the money, and—and—" Mackenzie hesitated for a moment, and then said with a sudden vehemence, "—and, by Kott, you shall keep it!"

Ingram was a trifle startled. "But look here, sir," he said in a tone of expostulation, "you make a mistake. I myself know Mrs. Lavender's intentions. I don't go by any story of Mrs. Paterson's. Mrs. Lavender made over the money to me with express injunctions to place it at the disposal of Sheila whenever I should see fit. Oh, there's no mistake about it, so you need not protest, sir. If the money belonged to me, I should be delighted to keep it. No man in the country more desires to be rich than I; so don't fancy I am flinging away a fortune out of generosity. If any rich and kind-hearted old lady will send me five thousand or ten thousand pounds, you will see how I shall stick to it. But the simple truth is, this money is not mine at all. It was never intended to be mine. It belongs to Sheila."

Ingram talked in a very matter-of-fact way: the old man feared what he said was true.

"Ay, it is a ferry good story," said Mackenzie cautiously, "and maybe it is all true. And you wass saying you would like to hef money?"

[pg 718] "I most decidedly should like to have money."

"Well, then," said the old man, watching his friend's face, "there iss no one to say that the story is true, and who will believe it? And if Sheila wass to come to you and say she did not believe it, and she would not hef the money from you, you would hef to keep it, eh?"

Ingram's sallow face blushed crimson. "I don't know what you mean," he said stiffly. "Do you propose to pervert the girl's mind and make me a party to a fraud?"

"Oh, there is no use getting into an anger," said Mackenzie suavely, "when common sense will do as well whatever. And there wass no perversion and there wass no fraud talked about. It wass just this, Mr. Ingram, that if the old lady's will leaves you her property, who will you be getting to believe that she did not mean to give it to you?"

"I tell you now whom she meant to give it to," said Ingram, still somewhat hotly.

"Oh yes—oh yes, that is ferry well. But who will believe it?"

"Good Heavens, sir! who will believe I could be such a fool as to fling away this property if it belonged to me?"

"They will think you a fool to do it now—yes, that is sure enough," said Mackenzie.

"I don't care what they think. And it seems rather odd, Mr. Mackenzie, that you should be trying to deprive your own daughter of what belongs to her."

"Oh, my daughter is ferry well off whatever: she does not want any one's money," said Mackenzie. And then a new notion struck him: "Will you tell me this, Mr. Ingram? If Mrs. Lavender left you her property in this way, what for did she want to change her will, eh?"

"Well, to tell you the truth, I refused to take the responsibility. She was anxious to have this money given to Sheila, so that Lavender should not touch it; and I don't think it was a wise intention, for there is not a prouder man in the world than Lavender, and I know that Sheila would not consent to hold a penny that did not equally belong to him. However, that was her notion, and I was the first victim of it. I protested against it, and I suppose that set her to inquiring whether the money could not be absolutely bequeathed to Sheila direct. I don't know anything about it myself; but that's how the matter stands, as far as I am concerned."

"But you will think it over, Mr. Ingram," said Mackenzie quietly—"you will think it over, and be in no hurry. It is not every man that hass a lot of money given to him. And it is no wrong to my Sheila at all, for she will hef quite plenty; and she would be ferry sorry to take the money away from you, that is sure enough; and you will not be hasty, Mr. Ingram, but be cautious and reasonable, and you will see the money will do you far more good than it would do Sheila."

Ingram began to think that he had tied a millstone round his neck.



One evening in the olden time Lavender and Sheila and Ingram and old Mackenzie were all sitting high up on the rocks near Borvabost, chatting to each other, and watching the red light pale on the bosom of the Atlantic as the sun sank behind the edge of the world. Ingram was smoking a wooden pipe. Lavender sat with Sheila's hand in his. The old King of Borva was discoursing of the fishing populations round the western coasts, and of their various ways and habits.

"I wish I could have seen Tarbert," Lavender was saying, "but the Iona just passes the mouth of the little harbor as she comes up Loch Fyne. I know two or three men who go there every year to paint the fishing-life of the place. It is an odd little place, isn't it?"

"Tarbert?" said Mr. Mackenzie—"you wass wanting to know about Tarbert? Ah, well, it is getting to be a better place now, but a year or two ago it wass ferry like hell. Oh yes it wass, Sheila, so you need not say anything. And this wass the way of it, Mr. Lavender, that the trawling was not made legal then, and the men they were just like devils, with the swearing and the drinking and the fighting that went on; and if you went into the harbor in the open day, you would find them drunk and fighting, and some of them with blood on their faces, for it wass a ferry wild time. It wass many a one will say that the Tarbert-men would run down the police-boat some dark night. And what was the use of catching the trawlers now and again, and taking their boats and their nets to be sold at Greenock, when they went themselves over to Greenock to the auction and bought them back? Oh, it was a great deal of money they made then: I hef heard of a crew of eight men getting thirty pounds each man in the course of one night, and that not seldom mirover."

"But why didn't the government put it down?" Lavender asked.

"Well, you see," Mackenzie answered with the air of a man well acquainted with the difficulties of ruling—"you see that it wass not quite sure that the trawling did much harm to the fishing. And the Jackal—that was the government steamer—she was not much good in getting the better of the Tarbert-men, who are ferry good with their boats in the rowing, and are ferry cunning whatever. You know, the buying boats went out to sea, and took the herring there, and then the trawlers they would sink their nets and come home in the morning as if they had not caught one fish, although the boat would be white with the scales of the herring. And what is more, sir, the government knew ferry well that if trawling was put down, then there would be a ferry good many murders; for the Tarbert-men, when they came home to drink whisky, and wash the whisky down with porter, they were ready to fight anybody."

"It must be a delightful place to live in," Lavender said.

"Oh, but it is ferry different now," Mackenzie continued—"ferry different. The men they are nearly all Good [pg 719] Templars now, and there is no drinking whatever, and there is reading-rooms and such things, and the place is ferry quiet and respectable."

"I hear," Ingram remarked, "that good people attribute the change to moral suasion, and that wicked people put it down to want of money."

"Papa, this boy will have to be put to bed," Sheila said.

"Well," Mackenzie answered, "there is not so much money in the place as there wass in the old times. The shop-keepers do not make so much money as before, when the men were wild and drunk in the daytime, and had plenty to spend when the police-boat did not catch them. But the fishermen, they are ferry much better without the money; and I can say for them, Mr. Lavender, that there is no better fishermen on the coast. They are ferry fine, tall men, and they are ferry well dressed in their blue clothes, and they are manly fellows, whether they are drunk or whether they are sober. Now look at this, sir, that in the worst of weather they will neffer tek whisky with them when they go out to the sea at night, for they think it is cowardly. And they are ferry fine fellows, and gentlemanly in their ways, and they are ferry good-natured to strangers."

"I have heard that of them on all hands," Lavender said, "and some day I hope to put their civility and good-fellowship to the proof."

That was merely the idle conversation of a summer evening: no one paid any further attention to it, nor did even Lavender himself think again of his vaguely-expressed hope of some day visiting Tarbert. Let us now shift the scene of this narrative to Tarbert itself.

When you pass from the broad and blue waters of Loch Fyne into the narrow and rocky channel leading to Tarbert harbor, you find before you an almost circular bay, round which stretches an irregular line of white houses. There is an abundance of fishing-craft in the harbor, lying in careless and picturesque groups, with their brown hulls and spars sending a ruddy reflection down on the lapping water, which is green under the [pg 720] shadow of each boat. Along the shore stand the tall poles on which the fishermen dry their nets, and above these, on the summit of a rocky crag, rise the ruins of an old castle, with the daylight shining through the empty windows. Beyond the houses, again, lie successive lines of hills, at this moment lit up by shafts of sunlight that lend a glowing warmth and richness to the fine colors of a late autumn. The hills are red and brown with rusted bracken and heather, and here and there the smooth waters of the bay catch a tinge of other and varied hues. In one of the fishing-smacks that lie almost underneath the shadow of the tall crag on which the castle ruins stand, an artist has put a rough-and-ready easel, and is apparently busy at work painting a group of boats just beyond. Some indication of the rich colors of the craft—their ruddy sails, brown nets and bladders, and their varnished but not painted hulls—already appears on the canvas; and by and by some vision may arise of the far hills in their soft autumnal tints and of the bold blue and white sky moving overhead. Perhaps the old man who is smoking in the stern of one of the boats has been placed there on purpose. A boy seated on some nets occasionally casts an anxious glance toward the painter, as if to inquire when his penance will be over.

A small open boat, with a heap of stones for ballast, and with no great elegance in shape of rigging, comes slowly in from the mouth of the harbor, and is gently run alongside the boat in which the man is painting. A fresh-colored young fellow, with voluminous and curly brown hair, who has dressed himself as a yachtsman, calls out, "Lavender, do you know the White Rose, a big schooner yacht?—about eighty tons I should think."

"Yes," Lavender said, without turning round or taking his eyes off the canvas.

"Whose is she?"

"Lord Newstead's."

"Well, either he or his skipper hailed me just now and wanted to know whether you were here, I said you were. The fellow asked me if I was going into the harbor. I said I was. So he gave me a message for you—that they would hang about outside for half an hour or so, if you would go out to them and take a run up to Ardishaig."

"I can't, Johnny."

"I'd take you out, you know."

"I don't want to go."

"But look here, Lavender," said the younger man, seizing hold of Lavender's boat and causing the easel to shake dangerously: "he asked me to luncheon, too."

"Why don't you go, then?" was the only reply, uttered rather absently.

"I can't go without you."

"Well, I don't mean to go."

The younger man looked vexed for a moment, and then said in a tone of expostulation, "You know it is very absurd of you going on like this, Lavender. No fellow can paint decently if he gets out of bed in the middle of the night and waits for daylight to rush up to his easel. How many hours have you been at work already to-day? If you don't give your eyes a rest, they will get color-blind to a dead certainty. Do you think you will paint the whole place off the face of the earth, now that the other fellows have gone?"

"I can't be bothered talking to you. Johnny. You'll make me throw something at you. Go away."

"I think it's rather mean, you know," continued the persistent Johnny, "for a" fellow like you, who doesn't need it, to come and fill the market all at once, while we unfortunate devils can scarcely get a crust. And there are two heron just round the point, and I have my breech-loader and a dozen cartridges here."

"Go away, Johnny!" That was all the answer he got.

"I'll go out and tell Lord News, tead that you are a cantankerous brute. I suppose he'll have the decency to offer me luncheon, and I dare say I could get him a shot at these heron. You are a fool not to come, Lavender;" and so saying the young man put out again, and he was heard to go away talking to himself about obstinate idiots and greed and the certainty of getting a shot at the heron.

When he had quite gone, Lavender, who had scarcely raised his eyes from his work, suddenly put down his palette and brushes—he almost dropped them, indeed—and quickly put up both his hands to his head, pressing them on the side of his temples. The old fisherman in the boat beyond noticed this strange movement, and forthwith caught a rope, hauled the boat across a stretch of water, and then came scrambling over bowsprit, lowered sails and nets to where Lavender had just sat down.

"Wass there anything the matter, sir?" he said with much evidence of concern.

"My head is a little bad, Donald," Lavender said, still pressing his hands on his temples, as if to get rid of some strange feeling. "I wish you would pull in to the shore and get me some whisky."

"Oh ay," said the old man, hastily scrambling into the little black boat lying beside the smack; "and it is no wonder to me this will come to you, sir, for I hef never seen any of the gentlemen so long at the pentin as you—from the morning till the night; and it is no wonder to me this will come to you. But I will get you the whushky: it is a grand thing, the whushky."

The old fisherman was not long in getting ashore and running up to the cottage in which Lavender lived, and getting a bottle of whisky and a glass. Then he got down to the boat again, and was surprised that he could nowhere see Mr. Lavender on board the smack. Perhaps he had lain down on the nets in the bottom of the boat.

When Donald got out to the smack he found the young man lying insensible, his face white and his teeth clenched. With something of a cry the old fisherman jumped into the boat, knelt down, and proceeded in a rough and ready fashion to force some whisky into Lavender's mouth. "Oh ay, oh yes, it is a grand thing, the whushky," he muttered to himself. "Oh yes, sir, you must hef some more: it is no matter if you will choke. It is ferry good whushky, and will do you no harm whatever; [pg 721] and oh yes, sir, that is ferry well, and you are all right again, and you will sit quite quiet now, and you will hef a little more whushky."

The young man looked round him: "Have you been ashore, Donald? Oh yes—I suppose so. Did I tumble? Well, I am all right now: it was the glare of the sea that made me giddy. Take a dram for yourself, Donald."

"There is but the one glass, sir," said Donald, who had picked up something of the notions of gentlefolks, "but I will just tek the bottle;" and so, to avoid drinking out of the same glass (which was rather a small one), he was good enough to take a pull, and a strong pull, at the black bottle. Then he heaved a sigh, and wiped the top of the bottle with his sleeve. "Yes, as I was saying, sir, there was none of the gentlemen I hef effer seen in Tarbert will keep at the pentin so long ass you; and many of them will be stronger ass you, and will be more accustomed to it whatever. But when a man iss making money—" and Donald shook his head: he knew it was useless to argue.

"But I am not making money, Donald," Lavender said, still looking a trifle pale. "I doubt whether I have made as much as you have since I came to Tarbert."

"Oh yes," said Donald contentedly, "all the gentlemen will say that. They never hef any money. But wass you ever with them when they could not get a dram because they had no money to pay for it?"

Donald's test of impecuniosity could not be gainsaid. Lavender laughed, and bade him get back into the other boat.

"'Deed I will not," said Donald sturdily.

Lavender stared at him.

"Oh no: you wass doing quite enough the day already, or you would not hef tumbled into the boat whatever. And supposing that you was to hef tumbled into the water, you would have been trooned as sure as you wass alive."

"And a good job, too, Donald," said the younger man, idly looking at the lapping green water.

[pg 722] Donald shook his head gravely: "You would not say that if you had friends of yours that was trooned, and if you had seen them when they went down in the water."

"They say it is an easy death, Donald."

"They neffer tried it that said that," said the old fisherman gloomily. "It wass one day the son of my sister wass coming over from Saltcoats—But I hef no wish to speak of it; and that wass but one among ferry many that I have known."

"How long is it since you were in the Lewis, did you say?" Lavender asked, changing the subject. Donald was accustomed to have the talk suddenly diverted into this channel. He could not tell why the young English gentleman wanted him continually to be talking about the Lewis.

"Oh, it is many and many a year ago, as I hef said; and you will know far more about the Lewis than I will. But Stornoway, that is a fine big town; and I hef a cousin there that keeps a shop, and is a very rich man whatever, and many's the time he will ask me to come and see him. And if the Lord be spared, maybe I will some day."

"You mean if you be spared, Donald."

"Oh, ay: it is all wan," said Donald.

Lavender had brought with him some bread and cheese in a piece of paper for luncheon; and this store of frugal provisions having been opened out, the old fisherman was invited to join in—an invitation he gravely but not eagerly accepted. He took off his blue bonnet and said grace: then he took the bread and cheese in his hand and looked round inquiringly. There was a stone jar of water in the bottom of the boat: that was not what Donald was looking after. Lavender handed him the black bottle he had brought out from the cottage, which was more to his mind. And then, this humble meal despatched, the old man was persuaded to go back to his post, and Lavender continued his work.

The short afternoon was drawing to a close when young Johnny Eyre came sailing in from Loch Fyne, himself and a boy of ten or twelve managing that crank little boat with its top-heavy sails. "Are you at work yet, Lavender?" he said. "I never saw such a beggar. It's getting quite dark."

"What sort of luncheon did Newstead give you, Johnny?"

"Oh, something worth going for, I can tell you. You want to live in Tarbert for a month or two to find out the value of decent cooking and good wine. He was awfully surprised when I described this place to him. He wouldn't believe you were living here in a cottage: I said a garret, for I pitched it hot and strong, mind you. I said you were living in a garret, that you never saw a razor, and lived on oatmeal porridge and whisky, and that your only amusement was going out at night and risking your neck in this delightful boat of mine. You should have seen him examining this remarkable vessel. And there were two ladies on board, and they were asking after you, too."

"Who were they?"

"I don't know. I didn't catch their names when I was introduced; but the noble skipper called one of them Polly."

"Oh, I know."

"Ain't you coming ashore, Lavender? You can't see to work now."

"All right! I shall put my traps ashore, and then I'll have a run with you down Loch Fyne if you like, Johnny."

"Well, I don't like," said the handsome lad frankly, "for it's looking rather squally about. It seems to me you're bent on drowning yourself. Before those other fellows went, they came to the conclusion that you had committed a murder."

"Did they really?" Lavender said with little interest.

"And if you go away and live in that wild place you were talking of during the winter, they will be quite sure of it. Why, man, you'd come back with your hair turned white. You might as well think of living by yourself at the Arctic Pole."

Neither Johnny Eyre nor any of the men who had just left Tarbert knew anything of Frank Lavender's recent history, and Lavender himself was not disposed to be communicative. They would know soon enough when they went up to London. In the mean time they were surprised to find that Lavender's habits were very singularly altered. He had grown miserly. They laughed when he told them he had no money, and he did not seek to persuade them of the fact; but it was clear, at all events, that none of them lived so frugally or worked so anxiously as he. Then, when his work was done in the evening, and when they met alternately at each other's rooms to dine off mutton and potatoes, with a glass of whisky and a pipe and a game of cards to follow, what was the meaning of those sudden fits of silence that would strike in when the general hilarity was at its pitch? And what was the meaning of the utter recklessness he displayed when they would go out of an evening in their open sailing boats to shoot sea-fowl, or make a voyage along the rocky coast in the dead of night to wait for the dawn to show them the haunts of the seals? The Lavender they had met occasionally in London was a fastidious, dilettante, self-possessed, and yet not disagreeable fellow: this man was almost pathetically anxious about his work, oftentimes he was morose and silent, and then again there was no sort of danger or difficulty he was not ready to plunge into when they were sailing about that iron-bound coast. They could not make it out, but the joke among themselves was that he had committed a murder, and therefore he was reckless.

This Johnny Eyre was not much of an artist, but he liked the society of artists: he had a little money of his own, plenty of time, and a love of boating and shooting, and so he had pitched his tent at Tarbert, and was proud to cherish the delusion that he was working hard and earning fame and wealth. As a matter of fact, he never earned anything, but he had very good spirits, and living in Tarbert is cheap.

From the moment that Lavender had come to the place, Johnny Eyre made him his special companion. He had a [pg 723] great respect for a man who could shoot anything anywhere; and when he and Lavender came back together from a cruise, there was no use saying which had actually done the brilliant deeds the evidence of which was carried ashore. But Lavender, oddly enough, knew little about sailing, and Johnny was pleased to assume the airs of an instructor on this point; his only difficulty being that his pupil had more than the ordinary hardihood of an ignoramus, and was rather inclined to do reckless things even after he had sufficient skill to know that they were dangerous.

Lavender got into the small boat, taking his canvas with him, but leaving his easel in the fishing-smack. He pulled himself and Johnny Eyre ashore: they scrambled up the rocks and into the road, and then they went into the small white cottage in which Lavender lived. The picture was, for greater safety, left in Lavender's bed-room, which already contained about a dozen canvases with sketches in various stages on them. Then he went out to his friend again.

"I've had a long day to-day, Johnny. I wish you'd go out with me: the excitement of a squall would clear one's brain, I fancy."

"Oh, I'll go out if you like," Eyre said, "but I shall take very good care to run in before the squall comes, if there's any about. I don't think there will be, after all. I fancied I saw a flash of lightning about half an hour ago down in the south, but nothing has come of it. There are some curlew about, and the guillemots are in thousands. You don't seem to care about shooting guillemots, Lavender."

"Well, you see, potting a bird that is sitting on the water—" said Lavender with a shrug.

"Oh, it isn't as easy as you might imagine. Of course you could kill them if you liked, but everybody ain't such a swell as you are with a gun; and mind you, it's uncommonly awkward to catch the right moment for firing, when the bird goes bobbing up and down on the waves, disappearing altogether every second second. I think it's very good [pg 724] fun myself. It is very exciting when you don't know the moment the bird will dive, and whether you can afford to go any nearer. And as for shooting them on the water, you have to do that, for when do you get a chance of shooting them flying?"

"I don't see much necessity for shooting them at any time," said Lavender as he and Eyre went down to the shore again, "but I am glad to see you get some amusement out of it. Have you got cartridges with you? Is your gun in the boat?"

"Yes. Come along. We'll have a run out, any how."

When they pulled out again to that cockle-shell craft with its stone ballast and big brown mainsail, the boy was sent ashore and the two companions set out by themselves. By this time the sun had gone down, and a strange green twilight was shining over the sea. As they got farther out the dusky shores seemed to have a pale mist hanging around them, but there were no clouds on the hills, for a clear sky shone overhead, awaiting the coming of the stars. Strange indeed was the silence out here, broken only by the lapping of the water on the sides of the boat and the calling of birds in the distance. Far away the orange ray of a lighthouse began to quiver in the lambent dusk. The pale green light on the waves did not die out, but the shadows grew darker, so that Eyre, with his gun close at hand, could not make out his groups of guillemots, although he heard them calling all around. They had come out too late, indeed, for any such purpose.

Thither on those beautiful evenings, after his day's work was over, Lavender was accustomed to come, either by himself or with his present companion. Johnny Eyre did not intrude on his solitude: he was invariably too eager to get a shot, his chief delight being to get to the bow, to let the boat drift for a while silently through the waves, so that she might come unawares on some flock of sea-birds. Lavender, sitting in the stern with the tiller in his hand, was really alone in this world of water and sky, with all the majesty of the night and the stars around him.

And on these occasions he used to sit and dream of the beautiful time long ago in Loch Roag, when nights such as these used to come over the Atlantic, and find Sheila and himself sailing on the peaceful waters, or seated high up on the rocks listening to the murmur of the tide. Here was the same strange silence, the same solemn and pale light in the sky, the same mystery of the moving plain all around them that seemed somehow to be alive, and yet voiceless and sad. Many a time his heart became so full of recollections that he had almost called aloud "Sheila! Sheila!" and waited for the sea and the sky to answer him with the sound of her voice. In these bygone days he had pleased himself with the fancy that the girl was somehow the product of all the beautiful aspects of Nature around her. It was the sea that was in her eyes, it was the fair sunlight that shone in her face, the breath of her life was the breath of the moorland winds. He had written verses about this fancy of hers; and he had conveyed them secretly to her, sure that she, at least, would find no defects in them. And many a time, far away from Loch Roag and from Sheila, lines of this conceit would wander through his brain, set to the saddest of all music, the music of irreparable loss. What did they say to him, now that he recalled them like some half-forgotten voice out of the strange past?—

For she and the clouds and the breezes were one.

And the hills and the sea had conspired with the sun

To charm and bewilder all men with the grace

They combined and conferred on her wonderful face.

The sea lapped around the boat, the green light on the waves grew somehow less intense; in the silence the first of the stars came out, and somehow the time in which he had seen Sheila in these rare and magical colors seemed to become more and more remote:

An angel in passing looked downward and smiled,

And carried to heaven the fame of the child;

And then what the waves and the sky and the sun

And the tremulous breath of the hills had begun,

Required but one touch. To finish the whole,

God loved her and gave her a beautiful soul.

And what had he done with this rare treasure entrusted to him? His companions, jesting among themselves, had said that he had committed a murder: in his own heart there was something at this moment of a murderer's remorse.

Johnny Eyre uttered a short cry. Lavender looked ahead and saw that some black object was disappearing among the waves.

"What a fright I got!" Eyre said with a laugh. "I never saw the fellow come near, and he came up just below the bowsprit. He came heeling over as quiet as a mouse. I say, Lavender, I think we might as well cut it now: my eyes are quite bewildered with the light on the water. I couldn't make out a kraken if it was coming across our bows."

"Don't be in a hurry, Johnny. We'll put her out a bit, and then let her drift back. I want to tell you a story."

"Oh, all right," he said; and so they put her head round, and soon she was lying over before the breeze, and slowly drawing away from those outlines of the coast which showed them where Tarbert harbor cut into the land. And then once more they let her drift, and young Eyre took a nip of whisky and settled himself so as to hear Lavender's story, whatever it might be.

"You knew I was married?"


"Didn't you ever wonder why my wife did not come here?"

"Why should I wonder? Plenty of fellows have to spend half the year apart from their wives: the only thing in your case I couldn't understand was the necessity for your doing it. For you know that's all nonsense about your want of funds."

"It isn't nonsense, Johnny. But now, if you like, I will tell you why my wife has never come here."

Then he told the story, out there under the stars, with no thought of interruption, for there was a world of moving water around them. It was the first time he had let any one into his confidence, and perhaps the darkness aided his revelations; but at any rate he went over all the old time, until it seemed to his companion [pg 725] that he was talking to himself, so aimless and desultory were his pathetic reminiscences. He called her Sheila, though Eyre had never heard her name. He spoke of her father as though Eyre must have known him. And yet this rambling series of confessions and self-reproaches and tender memories did form a certain sort of narrative, so that the young fellow sitting quietly in the boat there got a pretty fair notion of what had happened.

"You are an unlucky fellow," he said to Lavender. "I never heard anything like that. But you know you must have exaggerated a good deal about it: I should like to hear her story. I am sure you could not have treated her like that."

"God knows how I did, but the truth is just as I have told you; and although I was blind enough at the time, I can read the whole story now in letters of fire. I hope you will never have such a thing constantly before your eyes, Johnny."

The lad was silent for some time, and then he said, rather timidly, "Do you think, Lavender, she knows how sorry you are?"

"If she did, what good would that do?" said the other.

"Women are awfully forgiving, you know," Johnny said in a hesitating fashion. "I—I don't think it is quite fair not to give her a chance—a chance of—of being generous, you know. You know, I think the better a woman is, the more inclined she is to be charitable to other folks who mayn't be quite up to the mark, you know; and you see, it ain't every one who can claim to be always doing the right thing; and the next best thing to that is to be sorry for what you've done and try to do better. It's rather cheeky, you know, my advising you, or trying to make you pluck up your spirits; but I'll tell you what it is, Lavender, if I knew her well enough I'd go straight to her to-morrow, and I'd put in a good word for you, and tell her some things she doesn't know; and you'd see if she wouldn't write you a letter, or even come and see you."

"That is all nonsense, Johnny, though [pg 726] it's very good of you to think of it. The mischief I have done isn't to be put aside by the mere writing of a letter."

"But it seems to me," Johnny said with some warmth, "that you are as unfair to her as to yourself in not giving her a chance. You don't know how willing she may be to overlook everything that is past."

"If she were, I am not fit to go near her. I couldn't have the cheek to try, Johnny."

"But what more can you be than sorry for what is past?" said the younger fellow persistently. "And you don't know how pleased it makes a good woman to give her the chance of forgiving anybody. And if we were all to set up for being archangels, and if there was to be no sort of getting back for us after we had made a slip, where should we be? And in place of going to her and making it all right, you start away for the Sound of Islay; and, by Jove! won't you find out what spending a winter under these Jura mountains means! I have tried it, and I know."

A flash of lightning, somewhere down among the Arran hills, interrupted the speaker, and drew the attention of the two young men to the fact that in the east and south-east the stars were no longer visible, while something of a brisk breeze had sprung up.

"This breeze will take us back splendidly," Johnny said, getting ready again for the run in to Tarbert.

He had scarcely spoken when Lavender called attention to a fishing-smack that was apparently making for the harbor. With all sails set she was sweeping by them like some black phantom across the dark plain of the sea. They could not make out the figures on board of her, but as she passed some one called out to them.

"What did he say?" Lavender asked.

"I don't know," his companion said, "but it was some sort of warning, I suppose. By Jove, Lavender, what is that?"

Behind them there was a strange hissing noise that the wind brought along to them, but nothing could be seen.

"Rain, isn't it?" Lavender said.

"There never was rain like that," his companion said. "That is a squall, and it will be here presently. We must haul down the sails. For God's sake, look sharp, Lavender!"

There was certainly no time to lose, for the noise behind them was increasing and deepening into a roar, and the heavens had grown black overhead, so that the spars and ropes of the crank little boat could scarcely be made out. They had just got the sails down when the first gust of the squall struck the boat as with a blow of iron, and sent her staggering forward into the trough of the sea. Then all around them came the fury of the storm, and the cause of the sound they had heard was apparent in the foaming water that was torn and scattered abroad by the gale. Up from the black south-east came the fierce hurricane, sweeping everything before it, and hurling this creaking and straining boat about as if it were a cork. They could see little of the sea around them, but they could hear the awful noise of it, and they knew they were being swept along on those hurrying waves toward a coast which was invisible in the blackness of the night.

"Johnny, we'll never make the harbor: I can't see a light," Lavender cried, "Hadn't we better try to keep her up the loch?"

"We must make the harbor," his companion said: "she can't stand this much longer."

Blinding torrents of rain were now being driven down by the force of the wind, so that all around them nothing was visible but a wild boiling and seething of clouds and waves. Eyre was up at the bow, trying to catch some glimpse of the outlines of the coast or to make out some light that would show them where the entrance to Tarbert harbor lay. If only some lurid shaft of lightning would pierce the gloom! for they knew that they were being driven headlong on an iron-bound coast; and amid all the noise of the wind and the sea they listened with a fear that had no words for the first roar of the waves along the rocks.

Suddenly Lavender heard a shrill scream, almost like the cry that a hare gives when it finds the dog's fangs in its neck, and at the same moment, amid all the darkness of the night, a still blacker object seemed to start out of the gloom right ahead of them. The boy had no time to shout any warning beyond that cry of despair, for with a wild crash the boat struck on the rocks, rose and struck again, and was then dashed over by a heavy sea, both of its occupants being thrown into the fierce swirls of foam that were dashing in and through the rocky channels. Strangely enough, they were thrown together; and Lavender, clinging to the sea-weed, instinctively laid hold of his companion just as the latter appeared to be slipping into the gulf beneath.

"Johnny," he cried, "hold on!—hold on to me—or we shall both go in a minute."

But the lad had no life left in him, and lay like a log there, while each wave that struck and rolled hissing and gurgling through the channels between the rocks seemed to drag at him and seek to suck him down into the darkness. With one despairing effort, Lavender struggled to get him farther up on the slippery sea-weed, and succeeded. But his success had lost him his own vantage-ground, and he knew that he was going down into the swirling waters beneath, close by the broken boat that was still being dashed about by the waves.



Unexpected circumstances had detained Mrs. Kavanagh and her daughter in London long after everybody else had left, but at length they were ready to start for their projected trip into Switzerland. On the day before their departure Ingram dined with them—on his own invitation. He had got into a habit of letting them know when it would suit him to devote an evening to their instruction; and it was difficult indeed to say which of the two ladies submitted the [pg 727] more readily and meekly to the dictatorial enunciation of his opinions. Mrs. Kavanagh, it is true, sometimes dissented in so far as a smile indicated dissent, but her daughter scarcely reserved to herself so much liberty. Mr. Ingram had taken her in hand, and expected of her the obedience and respect due to his superior age.

And yet, somehow or other, he occasionally found himself indirectly soliciting the advice of this gentle, clear-eyed and clear-headed young person, more especially as regarded the difficulties surrounding Sheila; and sometimes a chance remark of hers, uttered in a timid or careless or even mocking fashion, would astonish him by the rapid light it threw on these dark troubles. On this evening—the last evening they were spending in London—it was his own affairs which he proposed to mention to Mrs. Lorraine, and he had no more hesitation in doing so than if she had been his oldest friend. He wanted to ask her what he should do about the money that Mrs. Lavender had left him; and he intended to be a good deal more frank with Mrs. Lorraine than with any of the others to whom he had spoken about the matter. For he was well aware that Mrs. Lavender had at first resolved that he should have at least a considerable portion of her wealth, or why should she have asked him how he would like to be a rich man?

"I do not think," said Mrs. Lorraine quietly, "that there is any use in your asking me what you should do, for I know what you will do, whether it accords with any one's opinion or no. And yet you would find a great advantage in having money."

"Oh, I know that," he said readily. "I should like to be rich beyond anything that ever happened in a drama; and I should take my chance of all the evil influences that money is supposed to exert. Do you know, I think you rich people are very unfairly treated."

"But we are not rich," said Mrs. Kavanagh, passing at the time. "Cecilia and I find ourselves very poor sometimes."

[pg 728] "But I quite agree with Mr. Ingram, mamma," said Cecilia—as if any one had had the courage to disagree with Mr. Ingram!—"rich people are shamefully ill-treated. If you go to a theatre, now, you find that all the virtues are on the side of the poor, and if there are a few vices, you get a thousand excuses for them. No one takes account of the temptations of the rich. You have people educated from their infancy to imagine that the whole world was made for them, every wish they have gratified, every day showing them people dependent on them and grateful for favors; and no allowance is made for such a temptation to become haughty, self-willed and overbearing. But of course it stands to reason that the rich never have justice done them in plays and stories, for the people who write are poor."

"Not all of them."

"But enough to strike an average of injustice. And it is very hard. For it is the rich who buy books and who take boxes at the theatres, and then they find themselves grossly abused; whereas the humble peasant who can scarcely read at all, and who never pays more than sixpence for a seat in the gallery, is flattered and coaxed and caressed until one wonders whether the source of virtue is the drinking of sour ale. Mr. Ingram, you do it yourself. You impress mamma and me with the belief that we are miserable sinners if we are not continually doing some act of charity. Well, that is all very pleasant and necessary, in moderation; but you don't find the poor folks so very anxious to live for other people. They don't care much what becomes of us. They take your port wine and flannels as if they were conferring a favor on you, but as for your condition and prospects in this world and the next, they don't trouble much about that. Now, mamma, just wait a moment."

"I will not. You are a bad girl," said Mrs. Kavanagh severely. "Here has Mr. Ingram been teaching you and making you better for ever so long back, and you pretend to accept his counsel and reform yourself; and then all at once you break out, and throw down the tablets of the law, and conduct yourself like a heathen."

"Because I want him to explain, mamma. I suppose he considers it wicked of us to start for Switzerland to-morrow. The money we shall spend in traveling might have despatched a cargo of muskets to some missionary station, so that—"


"Oh no," Ingram said carelessly, and nursing his knee with both his hands as usual, "traveling is not wicked: it is only unreasonable. A traveler, you know, is a person who has a house in one town, and who goes to live in a house in another town, in order to have the pleasure of paying for both."

"Mr. Ingram," said Mrs. Kavanagh, "will you talk seriously for one minute, and tell me whether we are to expect to see you in the Tyrol?"

But Ingram was not in a mood for talking seriously, and he waited to hear Mrs. Lorraine strike in with some calmly audacious invitation. She did not, however, and he turned round from her mother to question her. He was surprised to find that her eyes were fixed on the ground and that something like a tinge of color was in her face. He turned rapidly away again. "Well, Mrs. Kavanagh," he said with a fine air of indifference, "the last time we spoke about that I was not in the difficulty I am in at present. How could I go traveling just now, without knowing how to regulate my daily expenses? Am I to travel with six white horses and silver bells, or trudge on foot with a wallet?"

"But you know quite well," said Mrs. Lorraine warmly—"you know you will not touch that money that Mrs. Lavender has left you."

"Oh, pardon me," he said: "I should rejoice to have it if it did not properly belong to some one else. And the difficulty is, that Mr. Mackenzie is obviously very anxious that neither Mr. Lavender nor Sheila should have it. If Sheila gets it, of course she will give it to her husband. Now, if it is not to be given to her, do you think I should regard the money with any particular horror and refuse to touch it? That would be very romantic, perhaps, but I should be sorry, you know, to give my friends the most disquieting doubts about my sanity. Romance goes out of a man's head when the hair gets gray."

"Until a man has gray hair," Mrs. Lorraine said, still with some unnecessary fervor, "he does not know that there are things much more valuable than money. You wouldn't touch that money just now, and all the thinking and reasoning in the world will never get you to touch it."

"What am I to do with it?" he said meekly.

"Give it to Mr. Mackenzie, in trust for his daughter," Mrs. Lorraine said promptly; and then, seeing that her mother had gone to the end of the drawing-room to fetch something or other, she added quickly, "I should be more sorry than I can tell you to find you accepting this money. You do not wish to have it. You do not need it. And if you did take it, it would prove a source of continual embarrassment and regret to you, and no assurances on the part of Mr. Mackenzie would be able to convince you that you had acted rightly by his daughter. Now, if you simply hand over your responsibilities to him, he cannot refuse them, for the sake of his own child, and you are left with the sense of having acted nobly and generously. I hope there are many men who would do what I ask you to do, but I have not met many to whom I could make such an appeal with any hope. But, after all, that is only advice. I have no right to ask you to do anything like that. You asked me for my opinion about it. Well, that is it. But I should not have asked you to act on it."

"But I will," he said in a low voice; and then he went to the other end of the room, for Mrs. Kavanagh was calling him to help her in finding something she had lost.

Before he left that evening Mrs. Lorraine said to him, "We go by the night-mail to Paris to-morrow night, and we [pg 729] shall dine here at five. Would you have the courage to come up and join us in that melancholy ceremony?"

"Oh yes," he said, "if I may go down to the station to see you away afterward."

"I think if we got you so far we should persuade you to go with us," Mrs. Kavanagh said with a smile.

He sat silent for a minute. Of course she could not seriously mean such a thing. But at all events she would not be displeased if he crossed their path while they were actually abroad.

"It is getting too late in the year to go to Scotland now," he said with some hesitation.

"Oh most certainly," Mrs. Lorraine said.

"I don't know where the man in whose yacht I was to have gone may be now. I might spend half my holiday in trying to catch him."

"And during that time you would be alone," Mrs. Lorraine said.

"I suppose the Tyrol is a very nice place," he suggested.

"Oh most delightful," she exclaimed. "You know, we should go round by Switzerland, and go up by Luzerne and Zurich to the end of the Lake of Constance. Bregenz, mamma, isn't that the place where we hired that good-natured man the year before last?"

"Yes, child."

"Now, you see, Mr. Ingram, if you had less time than we—if you could not start with us to-morrow—you might come straight down by Schaffhausen and the steamer, and catch us up there, and then mamma would become your guide. I am sure we should have some pleasant days together till you got tired of us, and then you could go off on a walking-tour if you pleased. And then, you know, there would be no difficulty about our meeting at Bregenz, for mamma and I have plenty of time, and we should wait there for a few days, so as to make sure."

"Cecilia," said Mrs. Kavanagh, "you must not persuade Mr. Ingram against his will. He may have other duties—other friends to see, perhaps."

[pg 730] "Who proposed it, mamma?" said the daughter calmly.

"I did, as a mere joke. But of course, if Mr. Ingram thinks of going to the Tyrol, we should be most pleased to see him there."

"Oh, I have no other friends whom I am bound to see," Ingram said with some hesitation, "and I should like to go to the Tyrol. But—the fact is—I am afraid—"

"May I interrupt you?" said Mrs. Lorraine. "You do not like to leave London so long as your friend Sheila is in trouble. Is not that the case? And yet she has her father to look after her. And it is clear you cannot do much for her when you do not even know where Mr. Lavender is. On the whole, I think you should consider yourself a little bit now, and not get cheated out of your holidays for the year."

"Very well," Ingram said, "I shall be able to tell you to-morrow."

To be so phlegmatic and matter-of-fact a person, Mr. Ingram was sorely disturbed on going home that evening, nor did he sleep much during the night. For the more that he speculated on all the possibilities that might arise from his meeting those people in the Tyrol, the more pertinaciously did this refrain follow these excursive fancies: "If I go to the Tyrol I shall fall in love with that girl, and ask her to marry me. And if I do so, what position should I hold, with regard to her, as a penniless man with a rich wife?"

He did not look at the question in such light as the opinion of the world might throw on it. The difficulty was what she herself might afterward come to think of their mutual relations. True it was, that no one could be more gentle and submissive to him than she appeared to be. In matters of opinion and discussion he already ruled with an autocratic authority which he fully perceived himself, and exercised, too, with some sort of notion that it was good for this clear-headed young woman to have to submit to control. But of what avail would this moral authority be as against the consciousness she would have that it was her fortune that was supplying both with the means of living?

He went down to his office in the morning with no plans formed. The forenoon passed, and he had decided on nothing. At mid-day he suddenly be-thought him that it would be very pleasant if Sheila would go and see Mrs. Lorraine; and forthwith he did that which would have driven Frank Lavender out of his senses—he telegraphed to Mrs. Lorraine for permission to bring Sheila and her father to dinner at five. He certainly knew that such a request was a trifle cool, but he had discovered that Mrs. Lorraine was not easily shocked by such audacious experiments on her good nature. When he received the telegram in reply he knew it granted what he had asked. The words were merely, "Certainly, by all means, but not later than five."

Then he hastened down to the house in which Sheila lived, and found that she and her father had just returned from visiting some exhibition. Mr. Mackenzie was not in the room.

"Sheila," Ingram said, "what would you think of my getting married?"

Sheila looked up with a bright smile and said, "It would please me very much—it would be a great pleasure to me; and I have expected it for some time."

"You have expected it?" he repeated with a stare.

"Yes," she said quietly.

"Then you fancy you know—" he said, or rather stammered, in great embarrassment, when she interrupted him by saying,

"Oh yes, I think I know. When you came down every evening to tell me all the praises of Mrs. Lorraine, and how clever she was, and kind, I expected you would come some day with another message; and now I am very glad to hear it. You have changed all my opinions about her, and—"

Then she rose and took both his hands, and looked frankly into his face.

"—And I do hope most sincerely you will be happy, my dear friend."

Ingram was fairly taken aback at the consequences of his own imprudence. He had never dreamed for a moment that any one would have suspected such a thing; and he had thrown out the suggestion to Sheila almost as a jest, believing, of course, that it compromised no one. And here, before he had spoken a word to Mrs. Lorraine on the subject, he was being congratulated on his approaching marriage.

"Oh, Sheila," he said, "this is all a mistake. It was a joke of mine. If I had known you would think of Mrs. Lorraine, I should not have said a word about it."

"But it is Mrs. Lorraine?" Sheila said.

"Well, but I have never mentioned such a thing to her—never hinted it in the remotest manner. I dare say if I had she might laugh the matter aside as too absurd."

"She will not do that," Sheila said. "If you ask her to marry you, she will marry you: I am sure of that from what I have heard, and she would be very foolish if she was not proud and glad to do that. And you—what doubt can you have, after all that you have been saying of late?"

"But you don't marry a woman merely because you admire her cleverness and kindness," he said; and then he added suddenly, "Sheila, would you do me a great favor? Mrs. Lorraine and her mother are leaving for the Continent to-night. They dine at five, and I am commissioned to ask you and your papa if you would go up with me and have some dinner with them, you know, before they start. Won't you do that, Sheila?"

The girl shook her head, without answering. She had not gone to any friend's house since her husband had left London, and that house, above all others, was calculated to awaken in her bitter recollections.

"Won't you, Sheila?" he said. "You used to go there. I know they like you very much. I have seen you very well pleased and comfortable there, and I thought you were enjoying yourself."

"Yes, that is true," she said; and then she looked up, with a strange sort of smile on her lips, "But 'what made the assembly shine?'"

[pg 731] That forced smile did not last long: the girl suddenly burst into tears, and rose and went away to the window. Mackenzie came into the room: he did not see his daughter was crying: "Well, Mr. Ingram, and are you coming with us to the Lewis? We cannot always be staying in London, for there will be many things wanting the looking after in Borva, as you will know ferry well. And yet Sheila she will not go back; and Mairi too, she will be forgetting the ferry sight of her own people; but if you wass coming with us, Mr. Ingram, Sheila she would come too, and it would be ferry good for her whatever."

"I have brought you another proposal. Will you take Sheila to see the Tyrol, and I will go with you?"

"The Tyrol?" said Mr. Mackenzie. "Ay, it is a ferry long way away, but if Sheila will care to go to the Tyrol—oh yes, I will go to the Tyrol or anywhere if she will go out of London, for it is not good for a young girl to be always in the one house, and no company and no variety; and I was saying to Sheila what good will she do sitting by the window and thinking over things, and crying sometimes? By Kott, it is a foolish thing for a young girl, and I will hef no more of it!"

In other circumstances Ingram would have laughed at this dreadful threat. Despite the frown on the old man's face, the sudden stamp of his foot and the vehemence of his words, Ingram knew that if Sheila had turned round and said that she wished to be shut up in a dark room for the rest of her life, the old King of Borva would have said, "Ferry well, Sheila," in the meekest way, and would have been satisfied if only he could share her imprisonment with her.

"But first of all, Mr. Mackenzie, I have another proposal to make to you," Ingram said; and then he urged upon Sheila's father to accept Mrs. Lorraine's invitation.

Mr. Mackenzie was nothing loath: Sheila was living by far too monotonous a life. He went over to the window to her and said, "Sheila, my lass, you was [pg 732] going nowhere else this evening; and it would be ferry convenient to go with Mr. Ingram, and he would see his friends away, and we could go to a theatre then. And it is no new thing for you to go to fine houses and see other people; but it is new to me, and you wass saying what a beautiful house it wass many a time, and I hef wished to see it. And the people they are ferry kind, Sheila, to send me an invitation; and if they wass to come to the Lewis, what would you think if you asked them to come to your house and they paid no heed to it? Now, it is after four, Sheila, and if you wass to get ready now—"

"Yes, I will go and get ready, papa," she said.

Ingram had a vague consciousness that he was taking Sheila up to introduce to her Mrs. Lorraine in a new character. Would Sheila look at the woman she used to fear and dislike in a wholly different fashion, and be prepared to adorn her with all the graces which he had so often described to her? Ingram hoped that Sheila would get to like Mrs. Lorraine, and that by and by a better acquaintance between them might lead to a warm and friendly intimacy. Somehow, he felt that if Sheila would betray such a liking—if she would come to him and say honestly that she was rejoiced he meant to marry—all his doubts would be cleared away. Sheila had already said pretty nearly as much as that, but then it followed what she understood to be an announcement of his approaching marriage, and of course the girl's kindly nature at once suggested a few pretty speeches. Sheila now knew that nothing was settled: after looking at Mrs. Lorraine in the light of these new possibilities, would she come to him and counsel him to go on and challenge a decision?

Mr. Mackenzie received with a grave dignity and politeness the more than friendly welcome given him both by Mrs. Kavanagh and her daughter, and in view of their approaching tour he gave them to understand that he had himself established somewhat familiar relations with foreign countries by reason of his meeting with the ships and sailors hailing from those distant shores. He displayed a profound knowledge of the habits and customs and of the natural products of many remote lands which were much farther afield than a little bit of inland Germany. He represented the island of Borva, indeed, as a sort of lighthouse from which you could survey pretty nearly all the countries of the world, and broadly hinted that so far from insular prejudice being the fruit of living in such a place, a general intercourse with diverse peoples tended to widen the understanding and throw light on the various social experiments that had been made by the lawgivers, the philanthropists, the philosophers of the world.

It seemed to Sheila, as she sat and listened, that the pale, calm and clear-eyed young lady opposite her was not quite so self-possessed as usual. She seemed shy and a little self-conscious. Did she suspect that she was being observed, Sheila wondered? and the reason? When dinner was announced she took Sheila's arm, and allowed Mr. Ingram to follow them, protesting, into the other room, but there was much more of embarrassment and timidity than of an audacious mischief in her look. She was very kind indeed to Sheila, but she had wholly abandoned that air of maternal patronage which she used to assume toward the girl. She seemed to wish to be more friendly and confidential with her, and indeed scarcely spoke a word to Ingram during dinner, so persistently did she talk to Sheila, who sat next her.

Ingram got vexed. "Mrs. Lorraine," he said, "you seem to forget that this is a solemn occasion. You ask us to a farewell banquet, but instead of observing the proper ceremonies you pass the time in talking about fancy-work and music, and other ordinary, every—day trifles."

"What are the ceremonies?" she said.

"Well," he answered, "you need not occupy the time with crochet—"

"Mrs. Lavender and I are very well pleased to talk about trifles."

"But I am not," he said bluntly, "and I am not going to be shut out by a conspiracy. Come, let us talk about your journey."

"Will my lord give his commands as to the point at which we shall start the conversation?"

"You may skip the Channel."

"I wish I could," she remarked with a sigh.

"We shall land you in Paris. How are we to know that you have arrived safely?"

She looked embarrassed for a moment, and then said, "If it is of any consequence for you to know, I shall be writing in any case to Mrs. Lavender about some little private matter."

Ingram did not receive this promise with any great show of delight. "You see," he said, somewhat glumly, "if I am to meet you anywhere, I should like to know the various stages of your route, so that I could guard against our missing each other."

"You have decided to go, then?"

Ingram, not looking at her, but looking at Sheila, said, "Yes;" and Sheila, despite all her efforts, could not help glancing up with a brief smile and blush of pleasure that were quite visible to everybody.

Mrs. Lorraine struck in with a sort of nervous haste: "Oh, that will be very pleasant for mamma, for she gets rather tired of me at times when we are traveling. Two women who always read the same sort of books, and have the same opinions about the people they meet, and have precisely the same tastes in everything, are not very amusing companions for each other. You want a little discussion thrown in."

"And if we meet Mr. Ingram we are sure to have that," Mrs. Kavanagh said benignly.

"And you want somebody to give you new opinions and put things differently, you know. I am sure mamma will be most kind to you if you can make it convenient to spend a few days with us, Mr. Ingram."

"And I have been trying to persuade Mr. Mackenzie and this young lady to come also," said Ingram.

"Oh, that would be delightful!" Mrs. Lorraine cried, suddenly taking [pg 733] Sheila's hand. "You will come, won't you? We should have such a pleasant party. I am sure your papa would be most interested; and we are not tied to any route: we should go wherever you pleased."

She would have gone on beseeching and advising, but she saw something in Sheila's face which told her that all her efforts would be unavailing.

"It is very kind of you," Sheila said, "but I do not think I can go to the Tyrol."

"Then you shall go back to the Lewis, Sheila," her father said.

"I cannot go back to the Lewis, papa," she said simply; and at this point Ingram, perceiving how painful the discussion was for the girl, suddenly called attention to the hour, and asked Mrs. Kavanagh if all her portmanteaus were strapped up.

They drove in a body down to the station, and Mr. Ingram was most assiduous in supplying the two travelers with an abundance of everything they could not possibly want. He got them a reading-lamp, though both of them declared they never read in a train. He got them some eau-de-cologne, though they had plenty in their traveling-case. He purchased for them an amount of miscellaneous literature that would have been of benefit to a hospital, provided the patients were strong enough to bear it. And then he bade them good-bye at least half a dozen times as the train was slowly moving out of the station, and made the most solemn vows about meeting them at Bregenz.

"Now, Sheila," he said, "shall we go to the theatre?"

"I do not care to go unless you wish," was the answer.

"She does not care to go anywhere now," her father said; and then the girl, seeing that he was rather distressed about her apparent want of interest, pulled herself together and said cheerfully, "Is it not too late to go to a theatre? And I am sure we could be very comfortable at home. Mairi, she will think it unkind if we go to the theatre by ourselves."

"Mairi!" said her father impatiently, for he never lost an opportunity of [pg 734] indirectly justifying Lavender. Mairi has more sense than you, Sheila, and she knows that a servant-lass has to stay at home, and she knows that she is ferry different from you; and she is a ferry good girl whatever, and hass no pride, and she does not expect nonsense in going about and such things."

"I am quite sure, papa, you would rather go home and sit down and have a talk with Mr. Ingram, and a pipe and a little whisky, than go to any theatre."

"What I would do! And what I would like!" said her father in a vexed way. "Sheila, you have no more sense as a lass that wass still at the school. I want you to go to the theatre and amuse yourself, instead of sitting in the house and thinking, thinking, thinking. And all for what?"

"But if one has something to be sorry for, is it not better to think of it?"

"And what hef you to be sorry for?" said her father in amazement, and forgetting that, in his diplomatic fashion, he had been accustoming Sheila to the notion that she too might have erred grievously and been in part responsible for all that had occurred.

"I have a great deal to be sorry for, papa," she said; and then she renewed her entreaties that her two companions should abandon their notion of going to a theatre, and resolve to spend the rest of the evening in what she consented to call her home.

After all, they found a comfortable little company when they sat round the fire, which had been lit for cheerfulness rather than for warmth, and Ingram at least was in a particularly pleasant mood. For Sheila had seized the opportunity, when her father had gone out of the room for a few minutes, to say suddenly, "Oh, my dear friend, if you care for her, you have a great happiness before you."

"Why, Sheila!" he said, staring.

"She cares for you more than you can think: I saw it to-night in everything she said and did."

"I thought she was just a trifle saucy, do you know. She shunted me out of the conversation altogether."

Sheila shook her head and smiled: "She was embarrassed. She suspects that you like her, and that I know it, and that I came to see her. If you ask her to marry you, she will do it gladly."

"Sheila," Ingram said with a severity that was not in his heart, "you must not say such things. You might make fearful mischief by putting these wild notions into people's heads."

"They are not wild notions," she said quietly. "A woman can tell what another woman is thinking about better than a man."

"And am I to go to the Tyrol and ask her to marry me?" he said with the air of a meek scholar.

"I should like to see you married—very, very much indeed," Sheila said.

"And to her?"

"Yes to her," the girl said frankly. "For I am sure she has great regard for you, and she is clever enough to put value on—on—But I cannot flatter you, Mr. Ingram."

"Shall I send you word about what happens in the Tyrol?" he said, still with the humble air of one receiving instructions.


"And if she rejects me, what shall I do?"

"She will not reject you."

"Shall I come to you for consolation, and ask you what you meant by driving me on such a blunder?"

"If she rejects you," Sheila said with a smile, "it will be your own fault, and you will deserve it. For you are a little too harsh with her, and you have too much authority, and I am surprised that she will be so amiable under it. Because, you know, a woman expects to be treated with much gentleness and deference before she has said she will marry. She likes to be entreated, and coaxed, and made much of, but instead of that you are very overbearing with Mrs. Lorraine."

"I did not mean to be, Sheila," he said, honestly enough. "If anything of the kind happened it must have been in a joke."

"Oh no, not a joke," Sheila said; "and I have noticed it before—the very first evening you came to their house. And perhaps you did not know of it yourself; and then Mrs. Lorraine, she is clever enough to see that you did not mean to be disrespectful. But she will expect you to alter that a great deal if you ask her to marry you; that is, until you are married."

"Have I ever been overbearing to you, Sheila?" he asked.

"To me? Oh no. You have always been very gentle to me; but I know how that is. When you first knew me I was almost a child, and you treated me like a child; and ever since then it has always been the same. But to others—yes, you are too unceremonious; and Mrs. Lorraine will expect you to be much more mild and amiable, and you must let her have opinions of her own."

"Sheila, you give me to understand that I am a bear," he said in tones of injured protest.

Sheila laughed: "Have I told you the truth at last? It was no matter so long as you had ordinary acquaintances to deal with. But now, if you wish to marry that pretty lady, you must be much more gentle if you are discussing anything with her; and if she says anything that is not very wise, you must not say bluntly that it is foolish, but you must smooth it away, and put her right gently, and then she will be grateful to you. But if you say to her, 'Oh, that is nonsense!' as you might say to a man, you will hurt her very much. The man would not care—he would think you were stupid to have a different opinion from him; but a woman fears she is not as clever as the man she is talking to, and likes his good opinion; and if he says something careless like that, she is sensitive to it, and it wounds her. To-night you contradicted Mrs. Lorraine about the h in those Italian words, and I am quite sure you were wrong. She knows Italian much better than you do, and yet she yielded to you very prettily."

"Go on, Sheila, go on," he said with a resigned air. "What else did I do?"

"Oh, a great many rude things. You [pg 735] should not have contradicted Mrs. Kavanagh about the color of an amethyst."

"But why? You know she was wrong; and she said herself a minute afterward that she was thinking of a sapphire."

"But you ought not to contradict a person older than yourself," said Sheila sententiously.

"Goodness gracious me! Because one person is born in one year, and one in another, is that any reason why you should say that an amethyst is blue? Mr. Mackenzie, come and talk to this girl. She is trying to pervert my principles. She says that in talking to a woman you have to abandon all hope of being accurate, and that respect for the truth is not to be thought of. Because a woman has a pretty face she is to be allowed to say that black is white, and white pea-green. And if you say anything to the contrary, you are a brute, and had better go and bellow by yourself in a wilderness."

"Sheila is quite right," said old Mackenzie at a venture.

"Oh, do you think so?" Ingram asked coolly. "Then I can understand how her moral sentiment has been destroyed, and it is easy to see where she has got a set of opinions that strike at the very roots of a respectable and decent society."

"Do you know," said Sheila seriously, "that it is very rude of you to say so, even in jest? If you treat Mrs. Lorraine in this way—"

She suddenly stopped. Her father had not heard, being busy among his pipes. So the subject was discreetly dropped, Ingram reluctantly promising to pay some attention to Sheila's precepts of politeness.

Altogether, it was a pleasant evening they had, but when Ingram had left, Mr. Mackenzie said to his daughter, "Now, look at this, Sheila. When Mr. Ingram goes away from London, you hef no friend at all then in the place, and you are quite alone. Why will you not come to the Lewis, Sheila? It is no one there will know anything of what has happened here; and Mairi she is a good girl, and she will hold her tongue."

"They will ask me why I come back [pg 736] without my husband," Sheila said, looking down.

"Oh, you will leave that all to me," said her father, who knew he had surely sufficient skill to thwart the curiosity of a few simple creatures in Borva. "There is many a girl hass to go home for a time while her husband he is away on his business; and there will no one hef the right to ask you any more than I will tell them; and I will tell them what they should know—oh yes, I will tell them ferry well—and you will hef no trouble about it. And, Sheila, you are a good lass, and you know that I hef many things to attend to that is not easy to write about—"

"I do know that, papa," the girl said, "and many a time have I wished you would go back to the Lewis."

"And leave you here by yourself? Why, you are talking foolishly, Sheila. But now, Sheila, you will see how you could go back with me; and it would be a ferry different thing for you running about in the fresh air than shut up in a room in the middle of a town. And you are not looking ferry well, my lass, and Scarlett she will hef to take the charge of you."

"I will go to the Lewis with you, papa, when you please," she said, and he was glad and proud to hear her decision; but there was no happy light of anticipation in her eyes, such as ought to have been awakened by this projected journey to the far island which she had known as her home.

And so it was that one rough and blustering afternoon the Clansman steamed into Stornoway harbor, and Sheila, casting timid and furtive glances toward the quay, saw Duncan standing there, with the wagonette some little distance back under charge of a boy. Duncan was a proud man that day. He was the first to shove the gangway on to the vessel, and he was the first to get on board; and in another minute Sheila found the tall, keen-eyed, brown-faced keeper before her, and he was talking in a rapid and eager fashion, throwing in an occasional scrap of Gaelic in the mere hurry of his words.

"Oh yes, Miss Sheila, Scarlett she is ferry well whatever, but there is nothing will make her so well as your coming back to sa Lewis; and we wass saying yesterday that it looked as if it wass more as three or four years, or six years, since you went away from sa Lewis, but now it iss no time at all, for you are just the same Miss Sheila as we knew before; and there is not one in all Borva but will think it iss a good day this day that you will come back."

"Duncan," said Mackenzie with an impatient stamp of his foot, "why will you talk like a foolish man? Get the luggage to the shore, instead of keeping us all the day in the boat."

"Oh, ferry well, Mr. Mackenzie," said Duncan, departing with an injured air, and grumbling as he went, "it iss no new thing to you to see Miss Sheila, and you will have no thocht for any one but yourself. But I will get out the luggage—oh yes, I will get out the luggage."

Sheila, in truth, had but little luggage with her, but she remained on board the boat until Duncan was quite ready to start, for she did not wish just then to meet any of her friends in Stornoway. Then she stepped ashore and crossed the quay, and got into the wagonette; and the two horses, whom she had caressed for a moment, seemed to know that they were carrying Sheila back to her own country, from the speed with which they rattled out of the town and away into the lonely moorland.

Mackenzie let them have their way. Past the solitary lakes they went, past the long stretches of undulating morass, past the lonely sheilings perched far up on the hills; and the rough and blustering wind blew about them, and the gray clouds hurried by, and the old, strong-bearded man who shook the reins and gave the horses their heads could have laughed aloud in his joy that he was driving his daughter home. But Sheila—she sat there as one dead; and Mairi, timidly regarding her, wondered what the impassable face and the bewildered, sad eyes meant. Did she not smell the sweet strong smell of the heather? Had she no interest in the great birds that were circling in the air over by the Barbhas mountains? Where was the pleasure she used to exhibit in remembering the curious names of the small lakes they passed?

And lo! the rough gray day broke asunder, and a great blaze of fire appeared in the west, shining across the moors and touching the blue slopes of the distant hills. Sheila was getting near to the region of beautiful sunsets and lambent twilights and the constant movement and mystery of the sea. Overhead the heavy clouds were still hurried on by the wind; and in the south the eastern slopes of the hills and the moors were getting to be of a soft purple; but all along the west, where her home was, lay a great flush of gold, and she knew that Loch Roag was shining there, and the gable of the house at Borvabost getting warm in the beautiful light.

"It is a good afternoon you will be getting to see Borva again," her father said to her; but all the answer she made was to ask her father not to stop at Garrana-hina, but to drive straight on to Callernish. She would visit the people at Garra-na-hina some other day.

The boat was waiting for them at Callernish, and the boat was the Maighdean-mhara.

"How pretty she is! How have you kept her so well, Duncan?" said Sheila, her face lighting up for the first time as she went down the path to the bright-painted little vessel that scarcely rocked in the water below.

"Bekaas we neffer knew but that it was this week, or the week before, or the next week you would come back, Miss Sheila, and you would want your boat; but it wass Mr. Mackenzie himself, it wass he that did all the pentin of the boat; and it iss as well done as Mr. McNicol could have done it, and a great deal better than that mirover."

"Won't you steer her yourself, Sheila?" her father suggested, glad to see that she was at last being interested and pleased.

"Oh yes, I will steer her, if I have not forgotten all the points that Duncan taught me."

[pg 737] "And I am sure you hef not done that, Miss Sheila," Duncan said, "for there wass no one knew Loch Roag better as you, not one, and you hef not been so long away; and when you tek the tiller in your hand it will all come back to you, just as if you wass going away from Borva the day before yesterday."

She certainly had not forgotten, and she was proud and pleased to see how well the shapely little craft performed its duties. They had a favorable wind, and ran rapidly along the opening channels, until in due course they glided into the well-known bay over which, and shining in the yellow light from the sunset, they saw Sheila's home.

Sheila had escaped so far the trouble of meeting friends, but she could not escape her friends in Borvabost. They had waited for her for hours, not knowing when the Clansman might arrive at Stornoway; and now they crowded down to the shore, and there was a great shaking of hands, and an occasional sob from some old crone, and a thousand repetitions of the familiar "And are you ferry well, Miss Sheila?" from small children who had come across from the village in defiance of mothers and fathers. And Sheila's face brightened into a wonderful gladness, and she had a hundred questions to ask for one answer she got, and she did not know what to do with the number of small brown fists that wanted to shake hands with her.

"Will you let Miss Sheila alone?" Duncan called out, adding something in Gaelic which came strangely from a man who sometimes reproved his own master for swearing. "Get away with you, you brats: it wass better you would be in your beds than bothering people that wass come all the way from Styornoway."

Then they all went up in a body to the house, and Scarlett, who had neither eyes, ears nor hands but for the young girl who had been the very pride of her heart, was nigh driven to distraction by Mackenzie's stormy demands for oatcake and glasses and whisky. Scarlett angrily remonstrated with her husband for allowing this rabble of people to interfere [pg 738] with the comfort of Miss Sheila; and Duncan, taking her reproaches with great good-humor, contented himself with doing her work, and went and got the cheese and the plates and the whisky, while Scarlett, with a hundred endearing phrases, was helping Sheila to take off her traveling things. And Sheila, it turned out, had brought with her in her portmanteau certain huge and wonderful cakes, not of oatmeal, from Glasgow; and these were soon on the great table in the kitchen, and Sheila herself distributing pieces to those small folks who were so awestricken by the sight of this strange dainty that they forgot her injunctions and thanked her timidly in Gaelic.

"Well, Sheila my lass," said her father to her as they stood at the door of the house and watched the troop of their friends, children and all, go over the hill to Borvabost in the red light of the sunset, "and are you glad to be home again?"

"Oh yes," she said heartily enough; and Mackenzie thought that things were going on favorably.

"You hef no such sunsets in the South, Sheila," he observed, loftily casting his eye around, although he did not usually pay much attention to the picturesqueness of his native island. "Now look at the light on Suainabhal. Do you see the red on the water down there, Sheila? Oh yes, I thought you would say it wass ferry beautiful—it is a ferry good color on the water. The water looks ferry well when it is red. You hef no such things in London—not any, Sheila. Now we must go in-doors, for these things you can see any day here, and we must not keep our friends waiting."

An ordinary, dull-witted or careless man might have been glad to have a little quiet after so long and tedious a journey, but Mr. Mackenzie was no such person. He had resolved to guard against Sheila's first evening at home being in any way languid or monotonous, and so he had asked one or two of his especial friends to remain and have supper with them. Moreover, he did not wish the girl to spend the rest of the evening out of doors when the melancholy time of the twilight drew over the hills and the sea began to sound remote and sad. Sheila should have a comfortable evening in-doors; and he would himself, after supper, when the small parlor was well lit up, sing for her one or two songs, just to keep the thing going, as it were. He would let nobody else sing. These Gaelic songs were not the sort of music to make people cheerful. And if Sheila herself would sing for them?

And Sheila did. And her father chose the songs for her, and they were the blithest he could find, and the girl seemed really in excellent spirits. They had their pipes and their hot whisky and water in this little parlor; Mr. Mackenzie explaining that although his daughter was accustomed to spacious and gilded drawing-rooms where such a thing was impossible, she would do anything to make her friends welcome and comfortable, and they might fill their glasses and their pipes with impunity. And Sheila sang again and again, all cheerful and sensible English songs, and she listened to the odd jokes and stories her friends had to tell her; and Mackenzie was delighted with the success of his plans and precautions. Was not her very appearance now a triumph? She was laughing, smiling, talking to every one: he had not seen her so happy for many a day.

In the midst of it all, when the night had come apace, what was this wild skirl outside that made everybody start? Mackenzie jumped to his feet, with an angry vow in his heart that if this "teffle of a piper John" should come down the hill playing "Lochaber no more" or "Cha till mi tualadh" or any other mournful tune, he would have his chanter broken in a thousand splinters over his head. But what was the wild air that came nearer and nearer, until John marched into the house, and came, with ribbons and pipes, to the very door of the room, which was flung open to him? Not a very appropriate air, perhaps, for it was

[pg 739]

The Campbells are coming, oho! oho!

The Campbells are coming, oho! oho!

The Campbells are coming to bonny Lochleven!

The Campbells are coming, oho! oho!

But it was, to Mr. Mackenzie's rare delight, a right good joyous tune, and it was meant as a welcome to Sheila; and forthwith he caught the white-haired piper by the shoulder and dragged him in, and said, "Put down your pipes and come into the house, John—put down your pipes and tek off your bonnet, and we shall hef a good dram together this night, by Kott! And it is Sheila herself will pour out the whisky for you, John; and she is a good Highland girl, and she knows the piper was never born that could be hurt by whisky, and the whisky was never yet made that could hurt a piper. What do you say to that, John?"

John did not answer: he was standing before Sheila with his bonnet in his hand, but with his pipes still proudly over his shoulder. And he took the glass from her and called out "Shlainte!" and drained every drop of it out to welcome Mackenzie's daughter home.




In looking over, not very long since, a long—neglected, thin portfolio of my twin-brother, the late Willis Gaylord Clark of Philadelphia, I came across a sealed parcel endorsed "London Correspondence." It contained letters to him from many literary persons of more or less eminence at that time in the British metropolis; among others, two from Miss Landon ("L.E.L."); two from Mrs. S. C. Hall, the versatile and clever author of Tales and Sketches of the Irish Peasantry, cordial, closely—written and recrossed to the remotest margin; one from her husband, Mr. S.C. Hall; three or four from Mr. Chorley; and lastly, five or six elaborate letters from Mr. E. Lytton Bulwer, sent through his American publishers, the Brothers Harper, by Washington Irving, then secretary of legation to the American embassy "near the court of St. James." Enclosed with these last-mentioned letters was a communication from Miss Fanny Kemble, to whom they had been sent for perusal, and who, in returning them, did not hesitate to say that she did Not share his young American correspondent's admiration for the author of Pelham. She had met him frequently in London society, and regarded his manners as affected and himself as a reflex of his own conceited model of a gentleman—a style which Thackeray perhaps did not too grossly caricature when he made Chawls Yellowplush announce, from his own lips, his sounding name and title to a distinguished London drawing-room as "Sa-wa-Edou-wah'd-à-Lyttod-à-Bulwig!"

The poems which my brother had written for two London journals at the time of their first appearance and sudden popularity, the London Literary Gazette and, I believe, the Athenæum, led to the correspondence I have mentioned; and from the letters of Mr. Bulwer I have extracted a few passages, as somewhat personal in their nature, besides being characteristic of his tone of thought and manner of expression at that period of his career:

"An author who has a just confidence in his attainments and powers, who knows that his mind is imperishable and capable of making daily additions to its own strength, is always more desirous of seeing the censures (if not mere abuse) than the praises of those who aspire to judge him; and any suggestions or admonitions thus bestowed are seldom disregarded. But if he is to profit by criticism, the motive must be known to him. It is by no means natural to take the [pg 740] advice of an enemy. When the critic enters his department of literature in the false guise of urbanity and candor merely to conceal an incapable and huckstering soul, he only awakens for himself the irrevocable contempt of the very mind that he would gall or subdue; since that mind, under such circumstances, invariably rises above its detractor, and leaves him exposed on the same creaking gibbet that he has prepared for the object of his fear or envy."

"Seldom indeed is it that injustice fails to be seen through, or that the policy of interested condemnation escapes undetected. They first produce the excitements, then furnish the triumphs, of genius."

"There is a charm in writing for the pure and intelligent young worth all the plaudits of sinister or hypocritical wisdom. At a certain age, and while the writings that please have a gloss of novelty about them, hiding the blemishes that may afterward be discovered as their characteristics,—then it is that the young convert their approbation into enthusiasm. An author benefits in a wide and most pleasing range of public opinion by this natural and common disposition in the young; and the only cloud thrown athwart the rays of pleasure thus saluting his spirit is flung from the thought that they who are thus moved by the movings of his own mind may come in a few years to look upon his pages with hearts less ardent in their sympathies, and with altered eyes, which have acquired additional keenness by looking longer upon the world."

"The competent American littérateur has a glorious career before him. So much is there in your magnificent country, hitherto undescribed and unexpressed, in scenery, manners, morals, that all may be wells from which he may be the first to drink. Yet it cannot be expected—for it has passed to a proverb that escape from persecution and detraction can never and nowhere be the lot of literature—that there will not be many instances, even in America, where every attempt on the part of gifted writers (and young writers especially, who are commonly regarded with eyes of invidious jaundice by the elders, whose waning reputations they may through industry either supplant or explode) will be rendered an uneasy struggle, and sometimes almost a curse, by the envy of those who deny approval while blind to success, and the affected disdain of those who exaggerate demerit. Yet these obstacles warm the spirit of honest ambition, and enhance its inevitable conquests."

"It is a sight of gratification and pride to behold a laborer in the vineyard of letters escaping from the envy, the jealousy, the rivalry, the leaven of all uncharitableness, with which literary intercourse is so often polluted. The writers of England have been tardy in their justice, not only to the progress, circumstances and customs of America, but to her intellectual offspring; and the time is not remote—nay, has already dawned—when, in this regard, the spirit of Change wields his wand and finds obedience to his prerogatives."

"'No hostility between nations affects the arts:' so said the old maxim, but it has rarely been found a truism. They who feel it, feel also the virtue which dictated the aphorism. Men whose object is to enlighten the nations or exalt the judgment or (the least ambition) to refine the tastes of others—men who feel that this object is dearer to them than a petty and vain ambition—feel also that all who labor in the same cause are united with them in a friendship which exists in one climate as in another—in a I republic or in a despotism: these are the best cosmopolites, the truest citizens of the world."

The foregoing extracts will make it obvious that Mr. Bulwer was at that time sore at the treatment he had received at the hands of certain of his critics, who were by no means unanimous in their estimation of his genius. He was very sensitive at all times of adverse comment upon his writings. Thackeray wounded him woefully when he made "Chawls Yellowplush" review him characteristically in Punch. These most amusing papers ought to have been included in Thackeray's published miscellaneous writings, but they were not, although Bulwer is humorously travestied in Punch's "Prize Novelists," together with Lover, Ainsworth, and Disraeli. The subjoined will show the style of the "littery" footman, who, as a critic, "sumtimes gave kissis, sumtimes kix":

"One may objeck to an immence deal of your writings, witch, betwigst you and me, contain more sham sentiment, sham morallaty and sham potry than you'd like to own; but in spite of this, there's the stuf you; you've a kind and loyal heart in your buzm, bar'net—a trifle deboshed, praps: a keen i, igspecially for what is comick (as for your tragady, it's mighty flatchulent), and a ready pleasn't pen. The man who says you're an As, is an As himself. Dont b'lieve him, bar'net: not that I suppose you will; for, if I've formed a correck opinion of you from your wuck, you think your small beear as good as most men's. Every man does—and wy not? We brew, and we love our own tap—amen; but the pint betwigst us is this steupid, absudd way of crying out because the public don't like it too. Wy should they, my dear bar'net? You may vow that they are fools, or that the critix are your enemies, or that the world should judge your poams by your critikle rules, and not by their own. You may beat your brest, and vow that you are a martyr, but you won't mend the matter."

After these general remarks, the critic-footman takes up the subject of style, and argues with a good deal of ingenuity and force in favor of simplicity and terseness, especially in his performance of The Sea-Captain:

"Sea-captings should not be eternly spowting, and invoking gods, hevn, starz, and angels, and other silestial influences. We can all do it, bar'net: no-think in life is easier. I can compare my livery buttons to the stars, or the clouds of my backr pipe to the dark vollums that ishew from Mount Hetna; or I can say that angles are looking down from them, and the tobacco-silf, like a happy soil released, is circling round [pg 741] and upwards, and shaking sweetness down. All this is as easy as to drink; but it's not potry, bar'net, nor natral. Pipple, when their mothers reckonise them, don't howl about the suckumambient air, and paws to think of the happy leaves a-rustling—leastways, one mistrusts them if they do...Look at the neat grammaticle twist of Lady Arundel's spitch too, who in the cors of three lines has made her son a prince, a lion with a sword and coronal, and a star. Wy gauble, and sheak up metafers in this way, bar'net? One simile is quite enuff in the best of sentences; and I preshume I need not tell you that it's as well to have it like while you are about it. Take my advice, honrabble sir: listen to an umble footman: it's genrally best in potry to understand perffickly what you mean yourself, and to igspress your meaning clearly affterward: the simpler the words the better, praps. You may, for instans, call a coronet an 'ancestral coronal,' if you like, as you might call a hat a 'swart sombrero,' a glossy four-and-nine, a 'silken helm, to storm impermeable,' and 'lightsome as a breezy gossamer;' but in the long run it's as well to call it a hat. It is a hat, and that name is quite as poeticle as another."

The remarks of Mr. Yellowplush upon some of the segregated passages are amusing enough. Take the following, for example:

Girl, beware!

The love that trifles round the charm it gilds,

Oft ruins while it shines.

Igsplane this, men and angles! I've tried every way; backards, forards, and all sorts of trancepositions:

The love that ruins round the charm it shines

Gilds while it trifles oft,


The charm that gilds around the love it ruins,

Oft trifles while it shines,


The ruins that love gilds and shines around

Oft trifles while it charms,


Love while it charms shines round and ruins oft

The trifles that it gilds,


The love that trifles, gilds and ruins oft

While round the charm it shines.

[pg 742] All witch are as sen sable as the ferst passadge. Sir Mr. Bullwig, ain't I right? Such, barring the style, was the tenor of many of the critiques upon Bulwer's writings which appeared about that period, and which, as is now well known, "wrought him much annoy," versatile and powerful as his genius has since proved itself.



It might have been supposed that whatever the fate of the stage among other races, it would always maintain its position as one of the great instruments of popular culture with the English-speaking nations, linked as it is inseparably with the immortal name of Shakespeare in his double capacity of author and actor, and possessing as it does in his works a body of dramatic literature supreme alike in all intellectual qualities and in fitness for scenic representation. Yet it is but the other day that we were reminded by the announcement of Macready's death of the long interval that had elapsed since the last of the English tragedians had dropped a sceptre which there was no one to take up; and now it is an actor of another race, speaking a different language, who presents himself to fill the vacant place, and to interpret for us anew creations which we study indeed more closely than ever in the printed page, but of which we had ceased to ask for any adequate palpable embodiment. Our impression, however, of a drama is and must be incomplete until we have seen it on the stage: it must be put in action before our eyes ere we can hope fully to understand it. The amount of thoughtful and learned criticism to which Shakespeare's plays have been subjected makes us forget at times that the ultimate test of their excellence is to be found on the boards, and that they were meant, above all things, to be acted.

Taking Othello as Salvini presents him to us, and merely in the light of a dramatic performance, having cast from out our minds the recollection of all that we have ever heard, read or thought about the character—more than this, forgetting our native English and knowing Shakespeare only through the libretto in our hands (of which, however, we must forbear to speak slightingly, for from it, we are told, Salvini himself has gained his knowledge of the part),—putting ourselves in this mental attitude, the performance may safely be said to defy criticism, or rather to be above it, except such criticism as accords with enthusiastic admiration. It is absolutely without a shortcoming, seen from this standpoint. His majestic bearing, his beautiful elocution, his pure voice, his graceful, expressive gestures, and above all his perfect freedom from affectation or self-consciousness, delight us throughout; and when to these qualities are added the marvelous vigor of expression and force of passion with which he shakes his audience from the middle of the play on, one feels as if there were nothing more to ask of acting. No description, in fact, can do justice to the perfect consistency and harmony of his conception, or to the marvelous delicacy of his points, which are yet as penetrating as they are subtle, and which never fail of their effect, whether rendered by a gesture whose power of expression seems to make words superfluous, as when in reply to Iago's hypocritically sympathetic "I see this has a little dashed your spirits," which is answered in the play by "Not a jot, not a jot," Salvini tries to speak, but chokes with the words, and lifting his hand with a motion of denial and deprecation, tells us what he would fain say, but cannot; or by an intonation of voice, as when in answer to Iago's "You would be satisfied?" he replies, marking the difference between conditional and imperative with a tone that would of itself betray him born to command—

Vorrei, che dico—io voglio

(Would?—Nay, I will).

And when in his desperate pain and fury, maddened by the poison working within, he drags Iago to the front of the stage, and holding him by the throat speaks Shakespeare's meaning, if not Shakespeare's words, thick and fast, as if he were not an actor, but Othello himself, and while his audience listen with bated breath and quick-beating hearts, he hurls him to the ground, and in the uncurbed fury of his mood raises his foot to spurn him like a dog,—then he rises far above ordinary dramatic effect: his art does "hold the mirror up to Nature." We feel that we have seen Othello.

Again, in the fourth act, when Iago brings home to him the realization of his wife's infidelity, what can be finer than the sharpening of his voice from stress of pain, changing from the full roundness of its usual masculine robustness to a high womanish key, as he asks the fatal questions, "Che disse? Che? Che fece?" What words could have said so much as the dumb show with which he signifies that terrible fact of which he can neither ask nor hear in words? And who can doubt when he hears that cry of agony that bursts from his lips at Iago's gross confirmation of his suggestion that it is the cry of a man stabbed to the heart? His suffering is as real to us as the agony of a lion would be if we stood by and saw some one drive a knife into the beast up to the hilt. It equals in reality any exhibition of simple unfeigned bodily pain, with all its intensity of violence. The word "rant" never once comes into our minds.

Salvini expresses everything. He demands nothing from his audience but eyes and ears; he acts the part in every detail; he does just what he aims to do. His motion is as unconscious and unfettered as that of a deer or a tiger: whether he paces with a stealthy, restless tread up and down the back of the stage, reminding us irresistibly of a caged wild beast, or whether he half crouches, then drags himself along, and then darts upon Iago in the last scene, it is always plain that his body is the servant of his mind: he moves in harmony with his mood.

Despite, therefore, the natural tendency to scrutinize closely the claims of a foreigner seeking to rule over our hearts as the vicegerent of Shakespeare's sovreignty, there has been, and happily can [pg 743] be, no question in regard to one essential point. That Salvini is a born actor, a great tragedian, none will be bold enough to dispute. In that rare combination of intellectual and physical qualities without which no particular gift would justify his pretensions—intensity of emotion, subtlety of perception, a power of impersonation implying of itself the union of all the natural requirements with a mastery in their display attainable only by consummate art—it is hard to believe that he can ever have been excelled; though doubtless the mingled fire and pathos of Kean transcended in their effect any like exhibition ever witnessed on the stage. Except for the few—if any still survive—who can remember the Othello of Kean, living recollection affords no opportunity for a judgment founded on comparison.

The only question therefore which it is possible to raise relates to Salvini's conception of the character—a question such as must always exist in the case of any representation of Shakespeare, with whose creations no actor can ever hope to identify himself, however he may modify our former impressions. Let it be remembered, too, that an actor's conception of a character must never be vague, undefined or shadowy, as that of a mere reader may well be, and probably will be in the exact degree in which he is a keen and appreciative student. The actor must not strive to suggest all possible solutions, but must hold firmly to one, and that the most dramatic; he must seize upon the salient points; his subtleties must not be too subtle for gesture, glance and tone to express; he must choose which meaning out of many meanings he shall enforce, which mood out of many moods he shall make predominate.

The exceptions which have been taken to Salvini's performance all rest upon the notion that he has misconceived the character. It is superb, we are told, but it is not Shakespeare. It is a representation not of Othello the Moor, but of a Moor named Othello. The idea that dominates throughout is that of race: [pg 744] the character loses its individuality and becomes a mere type, an embodiment of the tropical nature, an illustration of Byron's lines:

Africa is all the sun's,

And as her earth her human clay is kindled.

The unbridled passion, the revengeful fury, is that of a savage. The anguish and indignation of a noble spirit believing itself outraged and wronged are transformed into the blind rage and capricious fury of a wild beast.

This objection seems to us to spring from the state of mind often induced by long familiarity with a subject, in which the gain of minute knowledge is accompanied by a loss of the force and vividness of the first impression. People study Shakespeare as they study the Bible, softening whatever they find revolting until they have convinced themselves that it does not exist. Actors in general share in this sentiment or strive to gratify it. Othello's complexion is forgotten in the reading, and becomes in the representation such that the spectator feels no repugnance to his marriage with the fair Desdemona. Betrayed through the mere openness and generosity of his nature, he acts only as a sensitive and vehement nature would be compelled to act in so terrible a complication, and the emotions kindled by his demeanor and conduct are never those of horror and repulsion, but only of pity and admiration.

But, however noble and pathetic such a rendering may be, it consorts better with the ideas and demands of the present time than with those of the Elizabethan age. The dramatist who began by writing Titus Andronicus had at least no instinctive distaste to repulsive subjects, no fear of shocking his audience by an exhibition of untamed barbarity. Othello is "of a free and open nature," he is "great of heart," he is above doing wrong without provocation, real or supposed. But his nature admits no possibility of self-control, of reason in the midst of doubts, of patience under injury. His temperament betrays itself in physical exhibitions wild and portentous. "You are fatal then when your eyes roll so," is the suggestive cry of Desdemona. In his perplexity and fury he swoons and foams. He overhears an insult to Venice and slays the traducer. His language to the wife whom he still loves while believing himself dishonored by her is such that "a beggar, in his drink, could not have laid such terms upon his callet." He outrages her kinsman and a throng of attendants by striking her in their presence. Her protestations of innocence serve only to inflame him, and he cuts short her last pleadings with his murderous hand in a way which would have forced M. Dumas fils himself to cry out, "Ne tue la pas!"

How are this fury and this credulity, both equally insensate, to be explained, how are they to be reconciled with traits that compel sympathy and admiration, except as the workings of a nature essentially uncivilized? The object of a great drama is to exhibit men not as they appear in the ordinary affairs of life, but while subject to those fiery tests under which all that is foreign or acquired melts away, and the primal components of the character are revealed in their bareness and in their depths. Othello's race is the hinge on which the tragedy turns. It throws a fatality on that marriage which seems unnatural even to those who yet do not suspect that the discordancy lies deeper than in the complexion. It makes him the easy victim of a plot which would otherwise only have ensnared its concoctor. It sweeps away all impediments to the catastrophe, making it swift, inevitable and dire. And it is by seizing upon this central fact that Salvini has been enabled to render his performance artistically perfect. Were the conception radically false, there could not be the same unity in the execution, the same harmony in the details. We shall not assert that his is the ideal Othello, or that such an Othello is possible. Shakespeare's creations cannot be bounded by the limit of another idiosyncrasy. But we hold that, if he does not put into the character all that belongs to it, he puts nothing into it that does not belong to it. We may miss in the accents of his despair a pathos capable of assuaging our horror; but this latter emotion, equally legitimate, is commonly stifled altogether, leaving us more disposed to linger lovingly beside the dead than to shudder and exclaim with Ludovico, "The object poisons sight;—let it be hid."



I have come from the country. I have seen Salvini. All emotion has to be expressed now in the above form, for Salvini rules. He is simply the greatest actor since Rachel, and his troupe the most perfect ever seen in this country. The whole plane of their acting is forty steps higher than we are accustomed to; therefore it has been slow of gaining appreciation, and the panic having burst over the devoted city just as Salvini opened, the houses have been poor. He should play, too (all actors should), in a smaller house than the Academy of Music. His first great success may therefore date from a matinée at Wallack's, where he had the most distinguished audience I have ever seen in New York, on Saturday, October 11th. Salvini lunched while here with Madame Botta, and expressed himself surprised that any one should care to go to hear him who could not understand the language. "I am sure I should not go," said the great actor. He thinks he has not had a success, but he will not think so after he becomes accustomed to his audiences. He is in private one of the most cultivated and intelligent of men, and has brought to the practice of his art a scholar's study, a soldier's experience and a gentleman's taste. I say a soldier's experience, for Salvini has been a soldier, and fought for united Italy in 1857 and earlier.

Nilsson is much improved by marriage. Her beauty is softer, she has gained flesh—not to the detriment of that girlish outline, but to the improvement of those somewhat aggressive cheek-bones. She sings better than ever, with rounded voice. Never since the days of Salvi and Steffanoni have we had such opera [pg 745] in New York. The orchestra is better, Maurel is superb, Capoul is still better, and Campanini is very admirable. We miss Jamet very much in Mephisto, but every one else is better than before. The house is not gay—it misses many of its old habitués. Five empty boxes in a row tell of the financial troubles. It was the fashion to laugh at the Wall street men, but they gave gayety and life and movement up town as well as down town. Many of those whose names are recorded on the wrong side of the list were our most generous givers and most amiable hosts. Their misfortunes cause nothing but regrets.

The races at first felt the effects of the panic, but the crowd on Saturday, the 11th of October, was immense. Somebody must get the money that everybody loses; therefore somebody can still afford to go to the races, and the last day was also very full. Two drags set the English example of having the horses taken off and dining on the top of the coach. The notes of a key-bugle from one of them seemed to suggest Mr. Bob Sawyer and Mr. Ben Allen; but whether those young gentlemen were of the party or not I did not hear. With our delicious sky, and particularly this golden autumn, there seems to be no reason why we should not adopt the fashions of Chantilly and Ascot. We are, however, a gregarious people, and the tendency is to gather together under the protection of the grand stand.

Poor Maretzek is always the first to go, and it is understood that his opera is among the great unpaid. Every one is sorry for the poor singers, always excepting Lucca, whose jealousy of Nilsson is so aggressive that she has declared that she would sing her off the boards of the Academy of Music. She is driven like a bad angel out of Paradise, while the starry Nilsson in magnificent triumph sings on superbly to constantly increasing houses at the Academy, and is lunched and fêted to her heart's content.

The Evangelical Alliance has gone, and left behind it nothing but animosities. It was really a vast movement of the Presbyterian Church: Geneva and Calvin [pg 746] were the exclusive proprietors. Episcopalians, Unitarians and Baptists, Methodists and Universalists, were requested to stand aside. The communions were always at some Presbyterian church. Perhaps they thought the Episcopal Church exclusive, as some one said an Englishman carried his pride into his prayers, and said, "O Lord, I do most haughtily beseech thee," and that the Unitarians felt "that any man who had been born in Boston did not see the necessity of being born again."

Every one is extremely well dressed, in spite of the panic. The hair is worn plain and off the brow, let us thank the genius of Fashion, so that every woman has a purer, better look. Nothing destroys the expression of a good woman like breaking over that line which Nature has made about the forehead. Our women have made themselves into wicked Faustinas and vulgar Anonymas long enough with their frizzes and short curls and "banging," as the square-cut straight lock on the forehead is called. Let us see the Madonna brow once more. The high ruff, the sleeve to the elbow, the dress cut to show the figure, all bring-back the days of our great-grandmothers: the opera is filled with Copley's portraits. The bonnets, too, are delightfully large, with long feathers. Every new fashion brings out a new crop of beauties, but I could not see what beauties were brought out by those bold bonnets of last year, which were hung on at the back of the head.

We expect great fun from Dundreary rehearsing Hamlet for private theatricals. Mr. Sothern has been asked to write down Dundreary, that so great an eccentric conception may not be lost to the world. He answers that he has twelve volumes of Dundreary literature! That shows how much industry goes to even an "inconsiderate trifle." This fine actor and most accomplished and agreeable man has been playing in two of the poorest plays ever presented to a New York audience. Nothing but a capital "make up," resembling one of the most fashionable men in town, who is Sothern's particular friend, has given them point—even then only to New Yorkers. Sothern's fondness for practical joking has brought about so many false charges that he is getting very tired of being fathered with every stupid trick which any one chooses to play, and will probably drop that form of wit, so really unworthy of his great genius and true refinement, for the man who could invent Dundreary and who can play Garrick is a genius.

I assisted with four thousand others at the first representation of the Magic Flute at the Grand Opera House, where the late James Fisk's monogram is decently covered up by Gothic shields, hastily improvised after that distinguished actor met the reward of his crimes. I heard lima di Murska for the first time. She is an unpleasant miracle, compelling your reluctant astonishment. Such vocal gymnastics I never heard. The flute and the musical-box are left in the background, but her voice is nasal and disagreeable at first. Lucca's splendid, rich, full organ rang out gloriously by contrast, although her constitutional jealousy showed itself unpleasantly in some parts of the opera where Murska was so deliriously applauded. Lucca, little woman, conquered herself at last, and handed the flowers up to her rival with a pretty grace which was loudly applauded. It is strange that the tact of woman, usually so apprehensive, does not more often see the good effect of generosity.

One effect of the panic, it is to be hoped, will be to make the dinners less magnificently heavy. I am sure every lady in New York who was last winter constrained to sit from seven o'clock until eleven at those monstrously elaborate and expensive dinners which have become so much the fashion, will be glad to dine in a more simple manner, in a shorter time, with less display, and with fewer courses, and fewer excitements. One entertainer last winter introduced live swans and small canaries to enliven his dinner. The swans splashed rather disagreeably.

"Do you know why he had the swans?" said a lady to a gentleman.

"I suppose, he wanted the Ledas of society," said the gentleman.

"Well, yes," said the lady, "but I did not know, although he is as rich as a Jew, that he was a Jupiter."

The faces of the "panicstricken" seem to look brighter, although everybody talks of "shrinkage" and ruin. Meanwhile the beautiful weather keeps the carriages going and Fifth Avenue looking gay. "I shall fail, but my wife need not give up her horses," said a young broker the other day. The old days of commercial morality, when people reduced their style of living because they had failed, seem to have gone out of fashion.

A letter from New York, this Queen of Commerce, is almost necessarily mercantile, as is our conversation.

"How you all talk stocks and money!" said a gentleman just arrived from a ten years' sojourn in Europe. "When I went away you were talking of books, of art, of social ethics, of fine women, of good dinners, of whist and bezique: now you are all talking of longs and shorts, bulls and bears, a fraction of per cent., etc. etc.—all of you, men, women and children."

We have a beautiful collection at the Art Museum in Fourteenth street of jewelry, objets d'art, and a good ceramic display, all clustered round the Di Cesnola sculptures and pottery. This collection, founded on the idea of the South Kensington Museum, makes a most agreeable lounging-place in the Kruger mansion, and is, in the absence of most of the opulent owners of private picture-galleries and the closing of the National Academy, almost our only artistic amusement at present. But the first of December will throw open many hospitable doors, and the new pictures and statues which have been accumulated during the past summer will become in one sense the property of the gazing public.



Amongst the traditional scenes of the drama probably none plays a part more useful than the village festival. This [pg 747] merrymaking appears twice or thrice in an ordinary pantomime, regularly adorns the melodrama, is almost an essential of the opera, could not be dispensed with in the plays of the Fanchon type, and may even relieve the sombre tints of dire tragedy. We all know the charming spectacle: peasant youths and maidens, clad in all the wealth of the dramatic wardrobe, are skipping around a Maypole; presently Baptiste and Lisette are discovered kissing behind a pasteboard hedge, and are drawn out with universal laughing, in the midst of which enters the recruiting-sergeant with his squad and whisks off poor Baptiste to the wars. It is a pleasing scene—a trifle monotonous now with repetition; and for this latter reason it might be well to vary it by substituting the rural Feast of the Onion, which a 'correspondent of the Cambrai Gazette witnessed in the suburbs of Gouzeaucourt. Every year, between June 24th and July 2d, the inhabitants of the two neighboring villages of Gouzeaucourt and Gonnelieu perform the ceremony of "turning the onion"—that is to say, they dance in a circle, joining hands, on the village green of one or the other hamlet. Thanks to this ancient custom, the two French communes raise the finest onions in the department, this vegetable never failing, as carrots are apt to do in that locality: on the contrary, the onions are well-grown, finely rounded, and in short, magnificently "turned." On this festive occasion three or four hundred persons of every age and condition dance around a well in Sunday best, rigged out in ribbons and with smiling faces. The more they hop the bigger the crop of onions; and naturally they skip and sing till out of breath, always repeating the popular song, "Ah! qu'il est malaisé d'être amoureux et sage." Surely, all this would form a pleasant variety on the ordinary festal scene of the stage; and we hasten to remind the fastidious that though this ceremony is the Feast of Onions, yet it does not appear that that odorous esculent need actually be present; besides, even if it were, surely a garland of "well-turned" onions would [pg 748] add strength to the picturesque ropes of theatrical paper roses. The well, too, would replace with a certain grace the too familiar pole. And again, since all ages and conditions assist at this feast, it would utilize that extraordinary company of figurantes, varying from the longest and slimmest to the shortest and plumpest, which every manager thinks it incumbent to put upon the stage for the rural fête. Finally, to complete the tableau satisfactorily, it appears that this year at Gonnelieu, at the height of the dancing, half a dozen gendarmes rushed upon the scene, causing a general stampede among the disciples of the onion and a hasty adjournment of the festival. What law against irregular assemblages was infringed by these onion-worshipers is not clear, for one can hardly detect sedition lurking under the rustic ditty, and it is equally difficult to suspect an Orsini bomb conspiracy of being typified by the conjuring of prodigious prize onions.

It is a vast pity that so many excellent stories are "almost too good to be true." Such a tale seems to be the one which explains the origin of that prodigious collection of monkeys that forms so large a part of the population of the Jardin d'Acclimation in Paris; and yet, as this curious account has not been questioned, so far as we are aware, by those who ought to know the facts, it is hardly gracious in us to begin the relation of it by gratuitous skepticism. A Bordeaux ship-owner, who is noted for insisting on a strict obedience to instructions on the part of his captains, some time ago gave written orders to one of the latter to bring back from Brazil, whither he was going, one or two monkeys—"Rapportez-moi 1 ou 2 singes." The ou was so badly written that the captain read "1002 singes;" and the result was that the owner, three months after, found his ship returning, to his utter stupefaction, overrun with monkeys from keel to mast-head. However, inflexibly just even in his surprise, he recognized the fault to be that of his own hasty handwriting, and praised the scrupulous captain who had executed his apparent order even to the odd pair of monkeys over the thousand. For a week apes were a drug in the Bordeaux market, and, adds the story, the Jardin, hearing the news, took care not to lose so good an opportunity of laying in a large stock.

The traditional union of fidelity, obedience to orders, strict discipline and stupidity in the old-fashioned military servant is wittily illustrated in a story told by the Gazette de Paris at the expense of a captain of the Melun garrison. This officer, who had been invited to dine at a neighboring castle, sent his valet with a note of "regrets," adding, as the boy started, "Be sure and bring me my dinner, Auguste, when you have left the letter." The soldier took the letter to the castle and was told, of course, "It's all right." "Yes, but I want the dinner," said the lad: "the captain ordered me to bring it back, and I always obey orders." The baroness, being informed of the good fellow's blunder, carried out the joke by despatching a splendid repast. The officer, too amused to make any explanation to his servant, merely sent him back at once to buy a bouquet to carry with his compliments to the baroness. Successfully accomplishing this feat, the brilliant Auguste was handed a five-franc piece from the lady. "That won't do," says the honest fellow: "I paid thirty francs for the flowers." The difference was made up to him, and he returned to the fort, quite proud at having so ably discharged his duty. We think this incident will fairly match some of the experiences which our own officers are fond of narrating, regarding the way in which their servants have interpreted and executed their orders.

[pg 749]


Sub-Tropical Rambles in the Land of the Aphanapteryx. By Nicholas Pike. New York: Harper & Brothers.

The story of a bright and educated traveler is always a capital one, and Mr. Pike has done wonders for Mauritius, which would seem in itself to be one of the most deplorably dull and fatiguing prominences on the face of the sea. An enthusiastic botanist and naturalist, as well as an interested ethnologist, this lively observer relieves the monotony of a seemingly easy consulate and repulsive population by watching all the secrets of animated nature around him. It is a very bloodthirsty island that his fates have guided him to: everything bites or stings or poisons. When wading out into the sea for shells, Mr. Pike is attacked by "a tazarre, a fish something like a fresh-water pike," which comes right at him repeatedly, "like a bulldog," and is only subdued by being speared in the head with a harpoon. Creatures elsewhere the most evasive and timid are here found fighting like gladiators: the eels bite everybody within their reach—one of these combative eels caught by our author measured twelve feet three inches; the fresh-water prawns "strike so sharply with their tails as to draw blood if not carefully handled." The exquisite polyps and anemones, whose painted beauty our author is never weary of relating, have mostly poisoned weapons concealed under their flounces, and treat the naturalist who would coquet with them to a swelled arm or a lamed hand. Centipedes, scorpions and virulently poisonous snakes animate the land, while the shoals, where the natives declare there are "more fish than water," teem with every sort of man-eating shark, and with the cuttle-fish watching for his prey from each interstice of the coral-reef. The latter, often of immense size, are caught and eaten, both fresh and salt, some fishermen collecting nothing else: they dexterously turn the ugly stomach inside out and thread it on a string slung round the neck. The horror of the lobster for these cuttle-fish is something curious; and it affords a gauge for the sensitiveness of crustaceae (and incidentally an argument against those who maintain the greater reasonableness of fishing than of hunting on account of the lower organization of the prey) to learn that the lobster must not be taken to market in company with the cuttle-fish, "or the flesh will be spoilt before he gets there, the creature being literally sick from fright." Meantime, in the ooze which forms a connecting link between sea and shore lurks the mud-laff, indescribably hideous in shape, leprous-looking, slimy, and darting a greenish poison through the spines on its back. Treading on one of these, the poor naked fisherman is apt to die of lockjaw; and Mr. Pike's kitten, having its paw touched with a single spine, perished of convulsions in an hour. Some of the sea-carnivora, however, are so beautiful that one is ready to forgive their more or less Clytemnestra-like tempers. Of some gymnobranchiata the writer observes: "I never saw any living animals with such gorgeous colors—the most vivid carmine and pure white, mixed with golden yellow in the bodies and mantles, and the gills of pale lemon-color and lilac. No painting could give an idea of the harmony of the shades as they blended into each other, or the undulating grace of the movements of the mantles. I have sat for an hour at a time watching them, lost in admiration, and frequently turning them over to see the expert way they would contract the elegant gill-branches, and reopen them as soon as they had righted themselves." Such are some of the animated charms of Paul and Virginia's island. Of Bernardin Saint Pierre's romance as an illustration of the spot, Mr. Pike dryly observes that writers when about to draw largely on their imaginations should be careful to conceal the actual whereabouts of their stories: we live in an age of exploration that is sure to "display their ridiculous side when reduced to fact." There was, however, a foundation in fact, quite enough for the purpose of a prose poem, in the loves and deaths of Paul and Virginia: it is doubtless the island scenes alone that Mr. Pike would satirize. The great shipwreck was in 1744, a year of famine, which the wise and prudent French governor, the most able man who ever adorned the colony, M. Mahé de Labourdonnais, [pg 750] was unable to avert. The ship St. Géran, sent with provisions from France, was ignorantly driven on the reef shortly before dawn, and all perished save nine souls. There were on board two lovers, a Mademoiselle Mallet and Monsieur de Peramon, who were to be united in marriage on arriving at the island, then called Isle de France. The young man made a raft, and implored his mistress to remove the heavier part of her garments and essay the passage. This the pure young creature refused to do, with that exaggerated modesty which has been called mawkishness in the story, but which in a real occurrence looks very like heroism. Their bodies were soon washed ashore together in the harbor, since called the Bay of Tombs. Two structures of whitewashed brick under some beautiful palms and feathery bamboos, in an inland garden called "Pamplemousses" (the Shaddocks), now cover the remains of the ill-starred lovers. Mr. Pike appears to have visited the site but once, when, as there had been heavy rains, he could not reach the tombs. He is evidently more in his element when wading after sea-urchins. His observations on such races as coolies, Chinese and Malabar-men are all, however, to the purpose. The island is peopled with these varieties, in addition to a mixed white population, the Indians having been brought from Hindostan for the cane-fields since the English occupation in 1810, and serving a good purpose. Their manners illustrate the lower horrors of the Hindoo mythology, they appearing to worship pretty exclusively a race of gods and goddesses invented for robber tribes, who are appeased only by blood-curdling rites: our author saw their young men running, with yells and contortions, over a bed of live coals twenty-five feet across to earn the favor of one such cruel goddess. The Chinese, though in worship they exhibit the milder sacrificial spirit of offering sheets of paper, yet in a more stolid way show an equal talent for self-sacrifice. A neighbor of Mr. Pike's, an excellent quiet fellow, having gambled with his own servant for his shop, stock and person, was seen one morning sweeping and serving customers, whilst the youngster sat leisurely smoking, the game having gone contrarily. "There was no appearance of triumph on the boy's face: master and servant reversed their places with the most perfect sang-froid." Of the Creoles, we learn that they believe the presence of pieces of coral in the house induces headache; of the women from Malabar, that they can only wear toe-rings after marriage; of the handsomest Indian tribe in the island, the Reddies, we are told that the boys marry at five or six, their bride living with the father-in-law or other husband's relative and rearing children to him: when the boy grows up, his wife being then aged, he "takes up with some boy's wife in a manner precisely similar to his own, and procreates children for the boy-husband." The remaining wonder of Mauritius appears to be the great Peter Both Mountain, so nearly inaccessible that a rage for climbing it has been developed. The first successful attempt was made by Claude Penthé, who planted the French flag on it in 1790, and English ascents were made in 1832, 1848, 1858, 1864 and 1869. We must not omit, however, the Aphanapteryx, though Mr. Pike does: it is a red bird which in Mauritius has survived its whilom companion the dodo, and which is to be described in a future volume. Mr. Pike has obliged us with a book of admirable temper, inexhaustible research and fine manly spirit: we could wish for our own sakes nothing better than that all our sub-tropical and tropical consulships were filled by his brothers, and that they would all make volumes out of their experiences.

Thoreau, the Poet-Naturalist. By William Ellery Ghanning. Boston: Roberts Bros.

Mr. Charming is a boon, and we would not have missed his lucubration on any account. Now we know how Margaret Fuller talked and in what dialect they wrote The Dial. It was with this sententiousness, this solemn attitude over the infinitely little, this care to compose paragraphs out of short sentences completely disconnected, that the old Concord philosophy was enunciated. Nobody outside the circle ever caught the exact accent except one of Dickens's characters—Mr. F.'s aunt—who would interrupt a dinner conversation to observe, "There's milestones on the Dover road." "Above our heads," says Mr. Channing, "the nighthawk rips;" "see the frog bellying the world in the warm pool;" "the rats scrabbling." This sententiousness is consistent, on Mr. Channing's part, with the most stupefying ignorance of words and things, as in the sentence, "forced to conceal the raveled sleeve of care by buttoning up his outer garments." It is particularly imposing in the judgments, nearly always severe, of individuals, and the reader lays down the present book sure that here, at last, he has found a truly superior person. Schoolcraft is simply "poor Schoolcraft," and of course subsides; Miss Martineau is "that Minerva mediocre;" Carlyle is "Thomas Carlyle with his bilious howls and bankrupt draughts on hope." Hawthorne, he learns, though we cannot tell from whence, "thought it inexpressibly ridiculous that any one should notice man's miseries, these being his staple product," and was "swallowed up in the wretchedness of life;" also, "the Concord novelist was a handsome, bulky character, with a soft rolling gait; a wit said he seemed like a boned pirate." From these more or less contemptuous views of mankind at large Mr. Channing turns with a kind of somersault to an intense admiration for Thoreau. Could he but write of him in his own style—supposing him to have a style—he would have been in danger of producing a sensible book, and nous autres would have lost one delight; but it is the perfection of comedy to see the apocalyptic trio—Emerson stepping off grandly and gladly into the clouds—Thoreau, his principal disciple, following with a good imitation of the gait, but with evident self-consciousness—and finally Mr. Channing—

to see him's rare sport

Step in Emerson's tracks with legs painfully short.

It would be unfair to judge Henry D. Thoreau by the indiscreet laudations of his friends. He was cut out more nearly in the pattern of a hermit than any man of modern time. His love of solitude was probably sincere, his surliness was his breeding, and he extracted from his painful, unsocial habitudes the peculiar poetry which suits with hardship. It was not for him to sing of summer and nectarines, nor to honestly appreciate or kindly judge those who did so; but he sang of winter, of crab-apples, of cranberries, of reptiles, of field-mice, with just the right accent and with a tingling vibration of life in his chords. The Bernard Palissy of literature, he modeled his frogs and water-snakes so true that they seemed better than birds of paradise.

Babolain. From the French of Gustave Droz. New York: Henry Holt & Co.

This is a tragical little romance which draws the reader along with it by every line in every page, yet its power is derived from the resources of caricature: it is rather the hollow side of a comic mask than a true expression of pathos. Scientific and stupid, Professor Babolain enters the world of Paris armed with his innocence, his uncle's legacy, his deep learning and his utter ignorance. A couple of adventuresses, mother and daughter, swoop down upon him as a lawful prey, and he is quickly a doting husband and a terrified son-in-law. The sole redeeming trait about the younger woman, who is a beauty and who paints, is that she never makes the least pretence of loving him: in his first moments of adoration she mystifies him heartlessly, crushing him with her wit and confounding him with her art: "Difficult? oh no! In the first place, you need rabbits' hair: that is indispensable. If you had no rabbits, or if you were in a country where rabbits had no hair, painting could not be thought of." She never melts, except when he presents her with a rivière of diamonds, and, after finding a leisure moment to give birth to a little girl, rushes off to Italy with Count Vaugirau, followed promptly by a certain Timoleon. This Timoleon, who loves her unsuccessfully, is the beneficiary of poor Babolain, borrowing his money at the same time that he tries to borrow his wife, and returning with outrageous reproaches to the hero impoverished and desolate. This precious friend is a specimen of all the rest. The very daughter, sole consolation of her parent's straitened existence, but ill fulfills the rapturous anticipations of early fatherhood. He is at first her nurse and teacher: "I saw the satin-like skin of her little neck, and behind her ear, fresh and pink like the petal of a flower, the soft curls upon the nape of her neck, half hair, half down, sucking in with their greedy roots the sweet juices of this living cream." He throws his hat into the river to teach her the laws of gravity. But she grows up ungrateful and estranged, and, having married an ambitious physician, allows her father to live as a neglected pensioner under a part of her roof. The details of Babolain's decline are exquisitely painful, but partake of that style of exaggeration and caricature which causes even the heartless beings who make up his world to seem more like grotesque puppets with bosoms of wood than responsible beings to be really execrated and condemned. As the abused victim, starving and ragged, treads the road of sacrifice to death, our sympathy is checked by the consciousness of his unmitigated and needless pliancy, until we withhold the tribute of sorrow due to the misfortunes of a Lear or a Père Goriot. The romance, however, though sketched out extravagantly between hyperbole and parable, fairly scintillates with brilliancies and good things: we could hardly indicate another imported novel of the length actually containing so much. Nothing can be more comical than the grand airs of the ladies, whether in their poor or rich estate, or than the perpetual suite of victimizations endured by the helpless Babolain: the muses of Comedy and Tragedy rush together over the stage to crush this fly with their buskins. The translator of Babolain reveals his quality by calling pantaloons, in several places, pants, and by adopting an ugly locative common enough in New York—"Perhaps I did not have that amount," for "perhaps I had not," etc. The work revels in that buff binding which has given to the Leisure Hour Series the popular sobriquet of the "Linen Duster Series," a livery now well known as the certain indication of honest entertainment and literary excellence.

Impressions et Souvenirs. Par George Sand. Paris: Levy Frères; New York: F.W. Christern.

This little collection of papers is made from Madame Sand's private journal, the extracts being sometimes recent and sometimes thirty years old, sometimes short and sometimes improved into essays, and in any case stitched together by the slightest of threads. A few allusions, hardly important enough to be called anecdotes, reveal the relations of the authoress with the great men of the time, and the least momentous recital becomes charming from the assured ease and native grace of this veteran artist's style. One amusing reminiscence is the odd paradox of Théophile Gautier, that plants are unwholesome absorbents of vital air, and that for him the ideal of a garden would be a succession of asphaltum paths, with fine-cushioned seats, and narghiles for ever burning in the guise of flowers and shrubbery. A retort of Sainte-Betive's shows the sincerity of his free-thinking opinions. Madame Sand having declared that she was sure we had three souls—one for our bodily organs, one for society and one for worship—the critic replied, "I wish we could be sure that we had one." There is a delightful chapter, dated 1831, where Chopin and Delacroix encounter each other at the author's Paris home, where the painter explains the principle of reflections to Maurice Sand, and Chopin plays the piano so entrancingly for his auditor that the episode of a bed-room on fire passes by unnoticed. Of Maurice Sand, gifted son of an inspired mother, there is an exquisite chapter of literary criticism tempered with maternity. Other papers treat of infantine instruction as practiced by the writer herself, and readers are conscious of a thrill of envy at the thought of that little circle of Dudevantine grandchildren learning the elements of spelling and grammar from such a mistress of style, and with all the advantages due to the noble teacher's genius for simplification. A chapter on punctuation, which has been largely quoted both in French and English, is incorporated, and there are eventless and fascinating records of the wonderful drives around Nohant. The little brochure is a pure cup of refreshment.

Books Received.

The Nesbits; or, A Mother's Last Request, and Other Tales. By Uncle Paul. New York: Catholic Publication Society.

Rouge et Noir. From the French of Edmond About. By E.R. Philadelphia: Claxton, Remsen & Haffelfinger.

Florida and South Carolina as Health Resorts. By William W. Morland, M.D., Harv. Boston: James Campbell.

Third Annual Report of the Board of Education of the State of Rhode Island. Providence: Providence Press Co.

High Life in New York. By Jonathan Slick. Illustrated. Philadelphia: T.B. Peterson & Brothers.

Pay-day at Babel, and Odes. By Robert Burton Rodney, U.S.N. New York: D. van Nostrand.

Report of the Commissioner of Fisheries of the State of New York. Albany: The Argus Company.

Lord Hope's Choice. By Mrs. Ann S. Stephens. Philadelphia: T.B. Peterson & Brothers.

The New Japan Primer. Number One. San Francisco: A.L. Bancroft & Co.

Miss Leslie's New Cook Book. Philadelphia: T.B. Peterson & Brothers.

Artiste: A Novel. By Maria M. Grant. Boston: Loring. Artiste: A Novel. By Maria M. Grant. Boston: Loring.