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

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Title: Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, Vol. 22, August, 1878

Author: Various

Release date: July 22, 2006 [eBook #18885]

Language: English

Credits: Produced by Juliet Sutherland, Lesley Halamek and the
Online Distributed Proofreading Team at


Transcriber's Note: I have added a Table of Contents and a List of Illustrations.




AUGUST, 1878.

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


ALONG THE DANUBE. Edward King. 137
THE PARIS EXPOSITION OF 1878. Edward H. Knight. 155
SENIORITY. Howard Glyndon. 169
[T.B.C.]     "FOR PERCIVAL."   170
NOCTURNE Margaret J. Preston. 196
[T.B.C.]     THROUGH WINDING WAYS. Ellen W. Olney. 197
A SEA-SOUND. John B. Tabb. 213
A SAXON GOD. Marguerite F. Aymar. 222
MUSIC NOTATION. Marie Howland. 232
SAMBO: A MAN AND A BROTHER. S. A. Sheilds. 242
THE EMPRESS EUGÉNIE. Lucy H. Hooper. 247



[page 137]




Ada-Kalé is a Turkish fortress which seems to spring directly from the bosom of the Danube at a point where three curious and quarrelsome races come into contact, and where the Ottoman thought it necessary to have a foothold even in times of profound peace. To the traveller from Western Europe no spectacle on the way to Constantinople was so impressive as this ancient and picturesque fortification, suddenly affronting the vision with its odd walls, its minarets, its red-capped sentries, and the yellow sinister faces peering from balconies suspended above the current. It was the first glimpse of the Orient which one obtained; it appropriately introduced one to a domain which is governed by sword and gun; and it was a pretty spot of color in the midst of the severe and rather solemn scenery of the Danubian stream. Ada-Kalé is to be razed to the water's edge—so, at least, the treaty between Russia and Turkey has ordained—and the Servian mountaineers will no longer see the Crescent flag flying within rifle-shot of the crags from which, by their heroic devotion in unequal battle, they long ago banished it.

The Turks occupying this fortress during the recent war evidently relied upon Fate for their protection, for the walls of[page 138] Ada-Kalé are within a stone's throw of the Roumanian shore, and every Mussulman in the place could have been captured in twenty minutes. I passed by there one morning on the road from Orsova, on the frontier of Hungary, to Bucharest, and was somewhat amused to see an elderly Turk seated in a small boat near the Roumanian bank fishing. Behind him were two soldiers, who served as oarsmen, and rowed him gently from point to point when he gave the signal. Scarcely six hundred feet from him stood a Wallachian sentry, watching his movements in lazy, indifferent fashion. And this was at the moment that the Turks were bombarding Kalafat in Roumania from Widdin on the Bulgarian side of the Danube! Such a spectacle could be witnessed nowhere save in this land, "where it is always afternoon," where people at times seem to suspend respiration because they are too idle to breathe, and where even a dog will protest if you ask him to move quickly out of your path. The old Turk doubtless fished in silence and calm until the end of the war, for I never heard of the removal of either himself or his companions.

The journeys by river and by rail from Lower Roumania to the romantic and broken country surrounding Orsova are extremely interesting. The Danube-stretches of shimmering water among the reedy lowlands—where the only sign of life is a quaint craft painted with gaudy colors becalmed in some nook, or a guardhouse built on piles driven into the mud—are perhaps a trifle monotonous, but one has only to turn from them to the people who come on board the steamer to have a rich fund of enjoyment. Nowhere are types so abundant and various as on the routes of travel between Bucharest and Rustchuk, or Pesth and Belgrade. Every complexion, an extraordinary piquancy and variety of costume, and a bewildering array of languages and dialects, are set before the careful observer. As for myself, I found a special enchantment in the scenery of the lower Danube—in the lonely inlets, the wildernesses of young shoots in the marshes, the flights of aquatic birds as the sound of the steamer was heard, the long tongues of land on which the water-buffaloes lay huddled in stupid content, the tiny hummocks where villages of wattled hovels were assembled. The Bulgarian shore stands out in bold relief: Sistova, from the river, is positively beautiful, but the now historical Simnitza seems only a mud-flat. At night the boats touch upon the Roumanian side for fuel—the Turks have always been too lazy and vicious to develop the splendid mineral resources of Bulgaria—and the stout peasants and their wives trundle thousands of barrows of coal along the swinging planks. Here is raw life, lusty, full of rude beauty, but utterly incult. The men and women appear to be merely animals gifted with speech. The women wear almost no clothing: their matted hair drops about their shapely shoulders as they toil at their burden, singing meanwhile some merry chorus. Little tenderness is bestowed on these creatures, and it was not without a slight twinge of the nerves that I saw the huge, burly master of the boat's crew now and then bestow a ringing slap with his open hand upon the neck or cheek of one of the poor women who stumbled with her load or who hesitated for a moment to indulge in abuse of a comrade. As the boat moved away these people, dancing about the heaps of coal in the torchlight, looked not unlike demons disporting in some gruesome nook of Enchanted Land. When they were gypsies they did not need the aid of the torches: they were sufficiently demoniacal without artificial aid.

Kalafat and Turnu-Severinu are small towns which would never have been much heard of had they not been in the region visited by the war. Turnu-Severinu is noted, however, as the point where Severinus once built a mighty tower; and not far from the little hamlet may still be seen the ruins of Trajan's immemorial bridge. Where the Danube is twelve hundred yards wide and nearly twenty feet deep, Apollodorus of Damascus did not hesitate, at Trajan's command, to undertake the construction of[page 139] a bridge with twenty stone and wooden arches. He builded well, for one or two of the stone piers still remain perfect after a lapse of sixteen centuries, and eleven of them, more or less ruined, are yet visible at low water. Apollodorus was a man of genius, as his other work, the Trajan Column, proudly standing in Rome, amply testifies. No doubt he was richly rewarded by Trajan for constructing a work which, flanked as it was by noble fortifications, bound the newly-captured Dacian colony to the Roman empire. What mighty men were these Romans, who carved their way along the Danube banks, hewing roads and levelling mountains at the same time that they engaged the savages of the locality in daily battle! There were indeed giants in those days.



When Ada-Kalé is passed, and pretty Orsova, lying in slumbrous quiet at the foot of noble mountains, is reached, the last trace of Turkish domination is left behind. In future years, if the treaty of San Stefano holds, there will be little evidence of Ottoman lack of civilization anywhere on the Danube, for the forts of the Turks will gradually disappear, and the Mussulman cannot for an instant hold his own among Christians where he has no military advantage.[page 140] But at Orsova, although the red fez and voluminous trousers are rarely seen, the influence of Turkey is keenly felt. It is in these remote regions of Hungary that the real rage against Russia and the burning enthusiasm and sympathy for the Turks is most openly expressed. Every cottage in the neighborhood is filled with crude pictures representing events of the Hungarian revolution; and the peasants, as they look upon those reminders of perturbed times, reflect that the Russians were instrumental in preventing the accomplishment of their dearest wishes. Here the Hungarian is eminently patriotic: he endeavors as much as possible to forget that he and his are bound to the empire of Austria, and he speaks of the German and the Slav who are his fellow-subjects with a sneer. The people whom one encounters in that corner of Hungary profess a dense ignorance of the German language, but if pressed can speak it glibly enough. I won an angry frown and an unpleasant remark from an innkeeper because I did not know that Austrian postage-stamps are not good in Hungary. Such melancholy ignorance of the simplest details of existence seemed to my host meet subject for reproach.

Orsova became an important point as soon as the Turks and Russians were at war. The peasants of the Banat stared as they saw long lines of travellers leaving the steamers which had come from Pesth and Bazros, and invading the two small inns, which are usually more than half empty. Englishmen, Russians, Austrian officers sent down to keep careful watch upon the land, French and Prussian, Swiss and Belgian military attachés and couriers, journalists, artists, amateur army-followers, crowded the two long streets and exhausted the market. Next came a hungry and thirsty mob of refugees from Widdin—Jews, Greeks and gypsies—and these promenaded their variegated misery on the river-banks from sunrise until sunset. Then out from Roumanian land poured thousands of wretched peasants, bare-footed, bareheaded, dying of starvation, fleeing from Turkish invasion, which, happily, never assumed large proportions. These poor people slept on the ground, content with the shelter of house-walls: they subsisted on unripe fruits and that unfailing fund of mild tobacco which every male being in all those countries invariably manages to secure. Walking abroad in Orsova was no easy task, for one was constantly compelled to step over these poor fugitives, who packed themselves into the sand at noonday, and managed for a few hours before the cool evening breezes came to forget their miseries. The vast fleet of river-steamers belonging to the Austrian company was laid up at Orsova, and dozens of captains, conversing in the liquid Slav or the graceful Italian or guttural German, were for ever seated about the doors of the little cafés smoking long cigars and quaffing beakers of the potent white wine produced in Austrian vineyards.

Opposite Orsova lie the Servian Mountains, bold, majestic, inspiring. Their noble forests and the deep ravines between them are exquisite in color when the sun flashes along their sides. A few miles below the point where the Hungarian and Roumanian territories meet the mountainous region declines into foot-hills, and then to an uninteresting plain. The Orsovan dell is the culminating point of all the beauty and grandeur of the Danubian hills. From one eminence richly laden with vineyards I looked out on a fresh April morning across a delicious valley filled with pretty farms and white cottages and ornamented by long rows of shapely poplars. Turning to the right, I saw Servia's barriers, shutting in from the cold winds the fat lands of the interior; vast hillsides dotted from point to point with peaceful villages, in the midst of which white churches with slender spires arose; and to the left the irregular line of the Roumanian peaks stood up, jagged and broken, against the horizon. Out from Orsova runs a rude highway into the rocky and savage back-country. The celebrated baths of Mehadia, the "hot springs" of the Austro-Hungarian empire, are yearly frequented by three or four thousand sufferers, who come[page 141] from the European capitals to Temesvar, and are thence trundled in diligences to the water-cure. But the railway is penetrating even this far-off land, where once brigands delighted to wander, and Temesvar and Bucharest will be bound together by a daily "through-service" as regular as that between Pesth and Vienna.



I sat one evening on the balcony of[page 142] the diminutive inn known as "The Hungarian Crown," watching the sunbeams on the broad current of the Danube and listening to the ripple, the plash and the gurgle of the swollen stream as it rushed impetuously against the banks. A group of Servians, in canoes light and swift as those of Indians, had made their way across the river, and were struggling vigorously to prevent the current from carrying them below a favorable landing-place. These tall, slender men, with bronzed faces and gleaming eyes, with their round skull-caps, their gaudy jackets and ornamental leggings, bore no small resemblance at a distance to certain of our North American red-skins. Each man had a long knife in his belt, and from experience I can say that a Servian knife is in itself a complete tool-chest. With its one tough and keen blade one may skin a sheep, file a saw, split wood, mend a wagon, defend one's self vigorously if need be, make a buttonhole and eat one's breakfast. No Servian who adheres to the ancient costume would consider himself dressed unless the crooked knife hung from his girdle. Although the country-side along the Danube is rough, and travellers are said to need protection among the Servian hills, I could not discover that the inhabitants wore other weapons than these useful articles of cutlery. Yet they are daring smugglers, and sometimes openly defy the Hungarian authorities when discovered. "Ah!" said Master Josef, the head-servant of the Hungarian Crown, "many a good fight have I seen in mid-stream, the boats grappled together, knives flashing, and our fellows drawing their pistols. All that, too, for a few flasks of Negotin, which is a musty red, thick wine that Heaven would forbid me to recommend to your honorable self and companions so long as I put in the cellar the pearl dew of yonder vineyards!" pointing to the vines of Orsova.

While the Servians were anxiously endeavoring to land, and seemed to be in imminent danger of upsetting, the roll of thunder was heard and a few drops of rain fell with heavy plash. Master Josef forthwith began making shutters fast and tying the curtains; "For now we shall have a wind!" quoth he. And it came. As by magic the Servian shore was blotted out, and before me I could see little save the river, which seemed transformed into a roaring and foaming ocean. The refugees, the gypsies, the Jews, the Greeks, scampered in all directions. Then tremendous echoes awoke among the hills. Peal after peal echoed and re-echoed, until it seemed as if the cliffs must crack and crumble. Sheets of rain were blown by the mischievous winds now full upon the unhappy fugitives, or now descended with seemingly crushing force on the Servians in their dancing canoes. Then came vivid lightning, brilliant and instant glances of electricity, disclosing the forests and hills for a moment, then seeming by their quick departure to render the obscurity more painful than before. The fiery darts were hurled by dozens upon the devoted trees, and the tall and graceful stems were bent like reeds before the rushing of the blast. Cold swept through the vale, and shadows seemed to follow it. Such contrast with the luminous, lovely semi-tropical afternoon, in the dreamy restfulness of which man and beast seemed settling into lethargy, was crushing. It pained and disturbed the spirit. Master Josef, who never lost an occasion to cross himself and to do a few turns on a little rosary of amber beads, came and went in a kind of dazed mood while the storm was at its height. Just as a blow was struck among the hills which seemed to make the earth quiver to its centre, the varlet approached and modestly inquired if the "honorable society"—myself and chance companions—would visit that very afternoon the famous chapel in which the crown of Hungary lies buried. I glanced curiously at him, thinking that possibly the thunder had addled his brain. "Oh, the honorable society may walk in sunshine all the way to the chapel at five o'clock," he said with an encouraging grin. "These Danube storms come and go as quickly as a Tsigane from a hen-roost. See! the thunder has stopped its[page 143] howling, and there is not a wink of lightning. Even the raindrops are so few that one may almost walk between them."



I returned to the balcony from which the storm had driven me, and was gratified by the sight of the mountain-side studded with pearls, which a faint glow in the sky was gently touching. The Danube roared and foamed with malicious glee as the poor Servians were still whirled about on the water. But presently, through the deep gorges and along the sombre stream and over the vineyards, the rocks and the roofs of humble cottages, stole a warm breeze, followed by dazzling sunlight, which returned in mad haste to atone for the displeasure of the wind and rain. In a few moments the refugees were again afield, spreading their drenched garments on the wooden railings, and stalking about in a condition narrowly approaching nakedness. A gypsy four feet high,[page 144] clad in a linen shirt and trousers so wide as to resemble petticoats, strolled thoughtlessly on the bank singing a plaintive melody, and now and then turning his brown face skyward as if to salute the sun. This child of mysterious ancestry, this wanderer from the East, this robber of roosts and cunning worker in metals, possessed nor hat nor shoes: his naked breast and his unprotected arms must suffer cold at night, yet he seemed wonderfully happy. The Jews and Greeks gave him scornful glances, which he returned with quizzical, provoking smiles. At last he threw himself down on a plank from which the generous sun was rapidly drying the rain, and, coiling up as a dog might have done, he was soon asleep.

With a marine glass I could see distinctly every movement on the Servian shore. Close to the water's edge nestled a small village of neat white cottages. Around a little wharf hovered fifty or sixty stout farmers, mounted on sturdy ponies, watching the arrival of the Mercur, the Servian steamer from Belgrade and the Sava River. The Mercur came puffing valiantly forward, as unconcerned as if no whirlwind had swept across her path, although she must have been in the narrow and dangerous cañon of the "Iron Gates" when the blast and the shower were most furious. On the roads leading down the mountain-sides I saw long processions of squealing and grunting swine, black, white and gray, all active and self-willed, fighting each other for the right of way. Before each procession marched a swineherd playing on a rustic pipe, the sounds from which primitive instrument seemed to exercise Circean enchantment upon the rude flocks. It was inexpressibly comical to watch the masses of swine after they had been enclosed in the "folds"—huge tracts fenced in and provided with shelters at the corners. Each herd knew its master, and as he passed to and fro would salute him with a delighted squeal, which died away into a series of disappointed and cynical groans as soon as the porkers had discovered that no evening repast was to be offered them. Good fare do these Servian swine find in the abundant provision of acorns in the vast forests. The men who spend their lives in restraining the vagabond instincts of these vulgar animals may perhaps be thought a collection of brutal hinds; but, on the contrary, they are fellows of shrewd common sense and much dignity of feeling. Kara-George, the terror of the Turk at the beginning of this century, the majestic character who won the admiration of Europe, whose genius as a soldier was praised by Napoleon the Great, and who freed his countrymen from bondage,—Kara-George was a swineherd in the woods of the Schaumadia until the wind of the spirit fanned his brow and called him from his simple toil to immortalize his homely name.

Master Josef and his fellows in Orsova did not hate the Servians with the bitterness manifested toward the Roumanians, yet they considered them as aliens and as dangerous conspirators against the public weal. "Who knows at what moment they may go over to the Russians?" was the constant cry. And in process of time they went, but although Master Josef had professed the utmost willingness to take up arms on such an occasion, it does not appear that he did it, doubtless preferring, on reflection, the quiet of his inn and his flask of white wine in the courtyard rather than an excursion among the trans-Danubian hills and the chances of an untoward fate at the point of a Servian knife. It is not astonishing that the two peoples do not understand each other, although only a strip of water separates their frontiers for a long stretch; for the difference in language and in its written form is a most effectual barrier to intercourse. The Servians learn something of the Hungarian dialects, since they come to till the rich lands of the Banat in the summer season. Bulgarians and Servians by thousands find employment in Hungary in summer, and return home when autumn sets in. But the dreams and ambitions of the two peoples have nothing in common. Servia looks longingly to Slavic unification, and is anxious to secure for herself a predominance in the new nation to be moulded out of[page 145] the old scattered elements: Hungary believes that the consolidation of the Slavs would place her in a dangerous and humiliating position, and conspires day and night to compass exactly the reverse of Servian wishes. Thus the two countries are theoretically at peace and practically at war. While the conflict of 1877 was in progress collisions between Servian and Hungarian were of almost daily occurrence.

The Hungarian's intolerance of the Slav does not proceed from unworthy jealousy, but rather from an exaggerated idea of the importance of his own country, and of the evils which might befall it if the old Serb stock began to renew its ancient glory. In corners of Hungary, such as Orsova, the peasant imagines that his native land is the main world, and that the rest of Europe is an unnecessary and troublesome fringe around the edges of it. There is a story of a gentleman in Pesth who went to a dealer in maps and inquired for a globus of Hungary, showing that he imagined it to be the whole round earth.



So fair were the land and the stream after the storm that I lingered until sunset gazing out over river and on Servian hills, and did not accept Josef's invitation to visit the chapel of the Hungarian crown that evening. But next morning, before the sun was high, I wandered alone in the direction of the Roumanian frontier, and by accident came upon the chapel. It is a modest structure in a nook surrounded by tall poplars, and within is a simple chapel with Latin inscriptions. Here the historic crown reposes, now that there is no longer any use for it at Presburg, the ancient capital. Here it was brought by pious hands after the troubles between Austria and Hungary were settled. During the revolution the sacred bauble was hidden by the command of noblemen to whom it had been confided, and the servitors who concealed it at the behest of their masters were slain, lest in an indiscreet moment they might betray the secret.[page 146] For thousands of enthusiasts this tiny chapel is the holiest of shrines, and should trouble come anew upon Hungary in the present perturbed times, the crown would perhaps journey once more.

It seems pitiful that the railway should ever invade this out-of-the-way corner of Europe. But it is already crawling through the mountains: hundreds of Italian laborers are putting down the shining rails in woods and glens where no sounds save the song of birds or the carol of the infrequent passer-by have heretofore been heard. For the present, however, the old-fashioned, comfortless diligence keeps the roads: the beribboned postilion winds his merry horn, and as the afternoon sun is getting low the dusty, antique vehicle rattles up to the court of the inn, the guard gets down, dusts the leather casing of the gun which now-a-days he is never compelled to use: then he touches his square hat, ornamented with a feather, to the maids and men of the hostelry. When the mails are claimed, the horses refreshed and the stage is covered with its leathern hood, postilion and guard sit down together in a cool corner under the gallery in the courtyard and crack various small flasks of wine. They smoke their porcelain pipes imported from Vienna with the air of men of the world who have travelled and who could tell you a thing or two if they liked. They are never tired of talking of Mehadia, which is one of their principal stations. The sad-faced nobleman, followed by the decorous old man-servant in fantastic Magyar livery, who arrived in the diligence, has been to the baths. The master is vainly seeking cure, comes every year, and always supplies postilion and guard with the money to buy flasks of wine. This the postilion tells me and my fellows, and suggests that the "honorable society" should follow the worthy nobleman's example. No sooner is it done than postilion and guard kiss our hands; which is likewise an evidence that they have travelled, are well met with every stranger and all customs, and know more than they say.

The Romans had extensive establishments at Mehadia, which they called the "Baths of Hercules," and it is in memory of this that a statue of the good giant stands in the square of the little town. Scattered through the hills, many inscriptions to Hercules, to Mercury and to Venus have been found during the ages. The villages on the road thither are few and far between, and are inhabited by peasants decidedly Dacian in type. It is estimated that a million and a half of Roumanians are settled in Hungary, and in this section they are exceedingly numerous. Men and women wear showy costumes, quite barbaric and uncomfortable. The women seem determined to wear as few garments as possible, and to compensate for lack of number by brightness of coloring. In many a pretty face traces of gypsy blood may be seen. This vagabond taint gives an inexpressible charm to a face for which the Hungarian strain has already done much. The coal-black hair and wild, mutinous eyes set off to perfection the pale face and exquisitely thin lips, the delicate nostrils and beautifully moulded chin. Angel or devil? queries the beholder. Sometimes he is constrained to think that the possessor of such a face has the mingled souls of saint and siren. The light undertone of melancholy which pervades gypsy beauty, gypsy music, gypsy manners, has an extremely remarkable fascination for all who perceive it. Even when it is almost buried beneath ignorance and animal craft, it is still to be found in the gypsy nature after diligent search. This strange race seems overshadowed by the sorrow of some haunting memory. Each individual belonging to the Tsiganes whom I saw impressed me as a fugitive from Fate. To look back was impossible; of the present he was careless; the future tempted him on. In their music one now and then hears hints of a desire to return to some far-off and half-forgotten land. But this is rare.

There are a large number of "civilized gypsies," so called, in the neighborhood of Orsova. I never saw one of them without a profound compassion for him, so utterly unhappy did he look in[page 147] ordinary attire. The musicians who came nightly to play on the lawn in front of the Hungarian Crown inn belonged to these civilized Tsiganes. They had lost all the freedom of gesture, the proud, half-savage stateliness of those who remained nomadic and untrammelled by local law and custom. The old instinct was in their music, but sometimes there drifted into it the same mixture of saint and devil which I had seen in the "composite" faces.



As soon as supper was set forth, piping hot and flanked by flagons of beer and wine, on the lawn, and the guests had assembled to partake of the good cheer, while yet the afterglow lingered along the Danube, these dusky musicians appeared and installed themselves in a corner. The old stream's murmur could not drown the piercing and pathetic notes of the violin, the gentle wail of the guzla or the soft thrumming of the rude tambourine. Little poetry as a spectacled and frosty Austrian officer might have in his soul, that little must have been awakened by the songs and the orchestral performances of the Tsiganes as the sun sank low. The dusk began to creep athwart the lawn, and a cool breeze fanned the foreheads of the listeners. When the light was all gone, these men, as if inspired by the darkness,[page 148] sometimes improvised most angelic melody. There was never any loud or boisterous note, never any direct appeal to the attention. I invariably forgot the singers and players, and the music seemed a part of the harmony of Nature. While the pleasant notes echoed in the twilight, troops of jaunty young Hungarian soldiers, dressed in red hose, dark-green doublets and small caps sometimes adorned with feathers, sauntered up and down the principal street; the refugees huddled in corners and listened with delight; the Austrian officials lumbered by, pouring clouds of smoke from their long, strong and inevitable cigars; and the dogs forgot their perennial quarrel for a few instants at a time.

The dogs of Orsova and of all the neighboring country have many of the characteristics of their fellow-creatures in Turkey. Orsova is divided into "beats," which are thoroughly and carefully patrolled night and day by bands of dogs who recognize the limits of their domain and severely resent intrusion. In front of the Hungarian Crown a large dog, aided by a small yellow cur and a black spaniel mainly made up of ears and tail, maintained order. The afternoon quiet was generally disturbed about four o'clock by the advent of a strange canine, who, with that expression of extreme innocence which always characterizes the animal that knows he is doing wrong, would venture on to the forbidden ground. A low growl in chorus from the three guardians was the inevitable preliminary warning. The new-comer usually seemed much surprised at this, and gave an astonished glance: then, wagging his tail merrily, as much as to say, "Nonsense! I must have been mistaken," he approached anew. One of the trio of guardians thereupon sallied forth to meet him, followed by the others a little distance behind. If the strange dog showed his teeth, assumed a defiant attitude and seemed inclined to make his way through any number of enemies, the trio held a consultation, which, I am bound to say, almost invariably resulted in a fight. The intruder would either fly yelping, or would work his way across the interdicted territory by means of a series of encounters, accompanied by the most terrific barking, snapping and shrieking, and by a very considerable effusion of blood. The person who should interfere to prevent a dog-fight in Orsova would be regarded as a lunatic. Sometimes a large white dog, accompanied by two shaggy animals resembling wolves so closely that it was almost impossible to believe them guardians of flocks of sheep, passed by the Hungarian Crown unchallenged, but these were probably tried warriors whose valor was so well known that they were no longer questioned anywhere.

The gypsies have in their wagons or following in their train small black dogs of temper unparalleled for ugliness. It is impossible to approach a Tsigane tent or wagon without encountering a swarm of these diminutive creatures, whose rage is not only amusing, but sometimes rather appalling to contemplate. Driving rapidly by a camp one morning in a farmer's cart drawn by two stout horses adorned with jingling bells, I was followed by a pack of these dark-skinned animals. The bells awoke such rage within them that they seemed insane under its influence. As they leaped and snapped around me, I felt like some traveller in a Russian forest pursued by hungry wolves. A dog scarcely six inches high, and but twice as long, would spring from the ground as if a pound of dynamite had exploded beneath him, and would make a desperate effort to throw himself into the wagon. Another, howling in impotent anger, would jump full at a horse's throat, would roll beneath the feet of the team, but in some miraculous fashion would escape unhurt, and would scramble upon a bank to try again. It was a real relief when the discouraged pack fell away. Had I shot one of the animals, the gypsies would have found a way to avenge the death of their enterprising though somewhat too zealous camp-follower. Animals everywhere on these border-lines of the Orient are treated with much more tenderness than men and women are. The grandee who would scowl furiously in this wild region of the[page 149] Banat if the peasants did not stand by the roadside and doff their hats in token of respect and submission as he whirled by in his carriage, would not kick a dog out of his way, and would manifest the utmost tenderness for his horses.



Much as the Hungarian inhabitants of the Banat hate the Roumanians, they do not fail to appreciate the commercial advantages which will follow on the union[page 150] of the two countries by rail. Pretty Orsova may in due time become a bustling town filled with grain- and coal-dépôts and with small manufactories. The railway from Verciorova on the frontier runs through the large towns Pitesti and Craiova on its way to Bucharest. It is a marvellous railroad: it climbs hills, descends into deep gullies, and has as little of the air-line about it as a great river has, for the contractors built it on the principle of "keeping near the surface," and they much preferred climbing ten high mountains to cutting one tunnel. Craiova takes its name, according to a somewhat misty legend, from John Assan, who was one of the Romano-Bulgarian kings, Craiova being a corruption of Crai Ivan ("King John"). This John was the same who drank his wine from a cup made out of the skull of the unlucky emperor Baldwin I. The old bans of Craiova gave their title to the Roumanian silver pieces now known as bañi. Slatina, farther down the line, on the river Altu (the Aluta of the ancients), is a pretty town, where a proud and brave community love to recite to the stranger the valorous deeds of their ancestors. It is the centre from which have spread out most of the modern revolutionary movements in Roumania. "Little Wallachia," in which Slatina stands, is rich in well-tilled fields and uplands covered with fat cattle: it is as fertile as Kansas, and its people seemed to me more agreeable and energetic than those in and around Bucharest.

He who clings to the steamers plying up and down the Danube sees much romantic scenery and many curious types, but he loses all the real charm of travel in these regions. The future tourist on his way to or from Bulgaria and the battle-fields of the "new crusade" will be wise if he journeys leisurely by farm-wagon—he will not be likely to find a carriage—along the Hungarian bank of the stream. I made the journey in April, when in that gentle southward climate the wayside was already radiant with flowers and the mellow sunshine was unbroken by cloud or rain. There were discomfort and dust, but there was a rare pleasure in the arrival at a quaint inn whose exterior front, boldly asserting itself in the bolder row of house-fronts in a long village street, was uninviting enough, but the interior of which was charming. In such a hostelry I always found the wharfmaster, in green coat and cap, asleep in an arm-chair, with the burgomaster and one or two idle landed proprietors sitting near him at a card-table, enveloped in such a cloud of smoke that one could scarcely see the long-necked flasks of white wine which they were rapidly emptying. The host was a massive man with bulbous nose and sleepy eyes: he responded to all questions with a stare and the statement that he did not know, and seemed anxious to leave everything in doubt until the latest moment possible. His daughter, who was brighter and less dubious in her responses than her father, was a slight girl with lustrous black eyes, wistful lips, a perfect form, and black hair covered with a linen cloth that the dust might not come near its glossy threads. When she made her appearance, flashing out of a huge dark room which was stone paved and arched overhead, and in which peasants sat drinking sour beer, she seemed like a ray of sunshine in the middle of night. But there was more dignity about her than is to be found in most sunbeams: she was modest and civil in answer, but understood no compliments. There was something of the princess-reduced-in-circumstances in her demeanor. A royal supper could she serve, and the linen which she spread on the small wooden table in the back courtyard smelled of lavender. I took my dinners, after the long days' rides, in inns which commanded delicious views of the Danube—points where willows overhung the rushing stream, or where crags towered above it, or where it flowed in smooth yet resistless might through plains in which hundreds of peasants were toiling, their red-and-white costumes contrasting sharply with the brilliant blue of the sky and the tender green of the foliage.

[page 151]



If the inns were uniformly cleanly and agreeable, as much could not be said for the villages, which were sometimes decidedly dirty. The cottages of the peasants—that is, of the agricultural laborers—were windowless to a degree which led me to look for a small- and dull-eyed race, but the eloquent orbs of youths and maidens in all this Banat land are rarely equalled in beauty. I found it in my heart to object to the omnipresent swine. These cheerful animals were sometimes so domesticated that they followed their masters and mistresses afield in the morning. In this section of Hungary, as indeed in most parts of Europe, the farm-houses are all huddled together in compact villages, and the lands tilled by the dwellers in these communities extend for miles around them. At dawn the procession of laborers goes forth, and at sunset it returns. Nothing can give a better idea of rural simplicity and peace than the return of the peasants of a hamlet at eventide from their vineyards and meadows. Just as the sun was deluging the broad Danube with glory before relinquishing the current to the twilight's shades I came, in the soft April evening, into the neighborhood of Drenkova. A tranquil afterglow was here and there visible near the hills, which warded off the sun's passionate farewell glances at the vines and flowers. Beside the way, on the green banks, sat groups of children, clad with paradisiacal simplicity, awaiting their fathers and mothers. At a vineyard's hedge a sweet girl, tall, stately and melancholy, was twining a garland in the cap of a stout young fellow who rested one broad hand lightly upon her shoulder. Old women, bent and wrinkled, hobbled out from the fields, getting help from their sons or grandsons. Sometimes I met a shaggy white horse drawing a cart in which a dozen sonsie lasses, their faces browned by wind and their tresses[page 152] blown back from their brows in most bewitching manner by the libertine breeze, were jolting homeward, singing as they went. The young men in their loose linen garments, with their primitive hoes and spades on their shoulders, were as goodly specimens of manly strength and beauty as one could wish to look upon. It hurt me to see them stand humbly ranged in rows as I passed. But it was pleasant to note the fervor with which they knelt around the cross rearing its sainted form amid the waving grasses. They knew nothing of the outer world, save that from time to time the emperor claimed certain of their number for his service, and that perhaps their lot might lead them to the great city of Buda-Pesth. Everywhere as far as the eye could reach the land was cultivated with greatest care, and plenty seemed the lot of all. The peasant lived in an ugly and windowless house because his father and grandfather had done so before him, not because it was necessary. It was odd to see girls tall as Dian, and as fair, bending their pretty bodies to come out of the contemptible little apertures in the peasant-houses called "doors."

Drenkova is a long street of low cottages, with here and there a two-story mansion to denote that the proprietors of the land reside there. As I approached the entrance to this street I saw a most remarkable train coming to meet me. One glance told me that it was a large company of gypsies who had come up from Roumania, and were going northward in search of work or plunder. My driver drew rein, and we allowed the swart Bohemians to pass on—a courtesy which was gracefully acknowledged with a singularly sweet smile from the driver of the first cart. There were about two hundred men and women in this wagon-train, and I verily believe that there were twice as many children. Each cart, drawn by a small Roumanian pony, contained two or three families huddled together, and seemingly lost in contemplation of the beautiful sunset, for your real gypsy is a keen admirer of Nature and her charms. Some of the women were intensely hideous: age had made them as unattractive as in youth they had been pretty; others were graceful and well-formed. Many wore but a single garment. The men were wilder than any that I had ever before seen: their matted hair, their thick lips and their dark eyes gave them almost the appearance of negroes. One or two of them had been foraging, and bore sheeps' heads and hares which they had purchased or "taken" in the village. They halted as soon as they had passed me, and prepared to go into camp; so I waited a little to observe them. During the process of arranging the carts for the night one of the women became enraged at the father of her brood because he would not aid her in the preparation of the simple tent under which the family was to repose. The woman ran to him, clenching her fist and screaming forth invective which, I am convinced, had I understood it and had it been directed at me, I should have found extremely disagreeable. After thus lashing the culprit with language for some time, she broke forth into screams and danced frantically around him. He arose, visibly disturbed, and I fancied that his savage nature would come uppermost, and that he might be impelled to give her a brutal beating. But he, on the contrary, advanced leisurely toward her and spat upon the ground with an expression of extreme contempt. She seemed to feel this much more than she would have felt a blow, and her fury redoubled. She likewise spat; he again repeated the contemptuous act; and after both had gratified the anger which was consuming them, they walked off in different directions. The battle was over, and I was not sorry to notice a few minutes later that paterfamilias had thought better of his conduct, and was himself spreading the tent and setting forth his wandering Lares and Penates.

A few hundred yards from the point where these wanderers had settled for the night I found some rude huts in which other gypsies were residing permanently. These huts were mere shelters placed against steep banks or hedges, and within there was no furniture save[page 153] one or two blankets, a camp-kettle and some wicker baskets. Young girls twelve or thirteen years of age crouched naked about a smouldering fire. They did not seem unhappy or hungry; and none of these strange people paid any attention to me as I drove on to the inn, which, oddly enough, was at some distance from the main village, hard by the Danube side, in a gully between the mountains,[page 154] where coal-barges lay moored. The Servian Mountains, covered from base to summit with dense forests, cast a deep gloom over the vale. In a garden on a terrace behind the inn, by the light of a flickering candle, I ate a frugal dinner, and went to bed much impressed by the darkness, in such striking contrast to the delightful and picturesque scenes through which I had wandered all day.



But I speedily forgot this next morning, when the landlord informed me that, instead of toiling over the road along the crags to Orsova, whither I was returning, I could embark on a tug-boat bound for that cheerful spot, and could thus inspect the grand scenery of the Iron Gates from the river. The swift express-boats which in time of peace run from Vienna to Rustchuk whisk the traveller so rapidly through these famous defiles that he sees little else than a panorama of high rocky walls. But the slow-moving and clumsy tug, with its train of barges attached, offers better facilities to the lover of natural beauty. We had dropped down only a short distance below Drenkova before we found the river-path filled with eddies, miniature whirlpools, denoting the vicinity of the gorges into which the great current is compressed. These whirlpools all have names: one is called the "Buffalo;" a second, Kerdaps; a third is known as the "Devourer." The Turks have a healthy awe of this passage, which in old times was a terrible trial to these stupid and always inefficient navigators. For three or four hours we ran in the shade of mighty walls of porphyry and granite, on whose tops were forests of oaks and elms. High up on cliffs around which the eagles circle, and low in glens where one sometimes sees a bear swimming, the sun threw a flood of mellow glory. I could fancy that the veins of red porphyry running along the face of the granite were blood-stains, the tragic memorials of ancient battles. For, wild and inaccessible as this region seems, it has been fought over and through in sternest fashion. Perched on a little promontory on the Servian side is the tiny town of Poretch, where the brave shepherds and swineherds fought the Turk, against whose oppression they had risen, until they were overwhelmed by numbers, and their leader, Hadji Nikolos, lost his head. The Austrians point out with pride the cave on the tremendous flank of Mount Choukourou where, two centuries ago, an Austrian general at the head of seven hundred men, all that was left to him of a goodly army, sustained a three months' siege against large Turkish forces. This cave is perched high above the road at a point where it absolutely commands it, and the government of to-day, realizing its importance, has had it fortified and furnished with walls pierced by loopholes. Trajan fought his way through these defiles in the very infancy of the Christian era; and in memory of his first splendid campaign against the Dacians he carved in the solid rock the letters, some of which are still visible, and which, by their very grandiloquence, offer a mournful commentary on the fleeting nature of human greatness. Little did he think when his eyes rested lovingly on this inscription, beginning—


—that Time with profane hand would wipe out the memory of many of his glories and would undo all the work that he had done.

On we drifted, through huge landlocked lakes, out of which there seemed no issue until we chanced upon a miraculous corner where there was an outlet frowned upon by angry rocks; on to the "Caldron," as the Turks called the most imposing portion of the gorge; on through an amphitheatre where densely-wooded mountains on either side were reflected in smooth water; on beneath masses that appeared about to topple, and over shallows where it looked as if we must be grounded; on round a bluff which had hidden the sudden opening of the valley into a broad sweep, and which had hindered us from seeing Orsova the Fair nestling closely to her beloved mountains.

Edward King.

[page 155]





It is customary to speak of things by comparison, and the question is constantly propounded here, as it will be to returned Americans: "How does the Exposition compare with the Centennial of 1876?" This is not to be answered by vague generalities nor by sweeping statements.

It must of course be true that a great nation could not fail to make interesting an object upon which it has lavished money and which has obtained the co-operation of the principal foreign nations. So much is true equally of Philadelphia and Paris, and the merits of each are such that comparisons may be instituted which shall be derogatory to neither.

The scale of each is immense, and the buildings of both well filled and overflowing into numerous annexes. Fairmount had the advantage of breadth of ground for all comers. The Champ de Mars is but little over one hundred acres in area, while the portion of Fairmount Park conceded to the Exposition was two hundred and sixty acres.

The Champ de Mars is simply crowded with buildings, and is hemmed in by houses except at the end where it abuts upon the Seine. The space between the river and the main building is the only breathing-ground on that side of the river, the only place large enough for a band to play in the open air with allowance for a moderate crowd of listeners; and even this portion has a far larger number of[page 156] detached houses than elegance or convenience of view would dictate. It was otherwise in Philadelphia, where the ample room gave a sensation of freedom, and the wide lawns, and even rustic hollows, permitted rambles, picnic lunches and parties. Herein consists one of the most striking features of dissimilarity between the Philadelphia and Paris expositions. The former had plenty of room—the latter has insufficient. The former, with the exception of the Main and Machinery Buildings, with a few adjuncts, and the Art-Gallery, a little retired from the Main Building, had its structures dotted over a wide expanse bordering its lakes or along an encircling drive. For want of any other sufficient opportunity to display the architecture of the countries assembled, one of the interior façades of the Paris building has a series of characteristic house-fronts looking upon an allée of but fifty feet in width, which is dignified by the title of "The Street of Nations."

This tight packing has, however, one compensation: it has permitted a degree of finish to the grounds far superior to what was possible at Philadelphia. All the space inside the enclosure is admirably laid out in walks and parterres, and the two open places between the principal buildings and the Seine display a truly beautiful and picturesque garden, with winding walks, ponds, fountains, artificial mounds with clumps of trees and evergreens, grottos, statues, trickling rivulets with ferns and mosses, cozy dells with little cascades, and the walks in the more open spots bordered with charming flowers and plants of rich leafage. The lawns are something marvellous in the speed with which they have been created. Thousands of tons, as it seems, of rich mould have been deposited and levelled or laid upon the swelling tumuli which border the more open space, and the grass grows with denseness and vigor under the stimulating treatment of phosphates, its greenness mocking the emerald, and forming a most vivid setting for the darker leaves of the tree-rhododendrons, whose globular masses of bloom look like balls of fire.

After all, it is only justice to mention two things at Philadelphia which render it memorable among exhibitions, and which, I observe in conversation with foreigners who visited it and are here now, made a great and lasting impression. I do not mean that it had but two, but these are so frequently referred to that it is fair to cite them specially, even at the risk of a little repetition as to the first—namely, the wide area and beautiful situation, with the views of hill and river; the means of approach by carriage-drives through the lovely Park, those so disposed being able to drive for miles along the water-side, in the groves and to various commanding points of view on their way to such of the remoter entrances as they might elect; the railway, which enabled one not only to see the grounds without fatigue, but while resting from the pedestrian work of the interiors of the buildings; the sense of comfort in being able to retire for a while to sylvan or floral retreats to digest the thoughts and rest from seeing. Secondly, the various and ample accommodations offered to the public—the postal and telegraph facilities; the Department of Public Comfort; the lavatories and retiring-rooms so abundantly furnished. A Moresque gentleman in turban who was in Philadelphia fairly rubbed his hands as he referred to the lavish opportunities for washing which were freely given in Philadelphia, and contrasted them with the state of things here, where it costs ten cents to wash your hands, and the supply of water is but meagre at that. But he is an African, you know, and had learned to appreciate water, and plenty of it, in a land where the washing of the face, hands and feet is among the first civilities offered to a stranger.

A few figures, dry enough in themselves if there were nothing more, will serve as a means of comparison of the relative spaces under cover. The building on the Champ de Mars is stated officially to be 650 mètres long by 350 mètres broad, which, reduced to our measurement, will give 2,447,536 square feet. Deducting 150,000 feet for two enclosed alleys, the area under roof will be[page 157] 2,297,536 feet. The area of the five principal buildings at the Centennial Exhibition was:

  Square feet.
Main Building 872,320
Machinery Hall 504,720
Art-Gallery 76,650
Agricultural Hall 442,800
Horticultural Hall 73,919

So that the difference in favor of Paris is 327,127 feet. In round numbers, the Paris Exposition building is one-fifth larger than the united areas of the five principal buildings at the Centennial. Without making a close calculation of the areas of the annexes and detached buildings either of Philadelphia or Paris, I am disposed to think that the 1876 Exhibition was not in excess of the present one in this respect. Either exceeds, both in the main buildings and the swarm of detached structures, any preceding exhibitions. The difference between the Paris exhibitions of 1867 and 1878 is as 153 is to 240: the London building of 1862 would bear to both the proportion of 92, without any important annexes.

The high ground on the right bank of the Seine is occupied by the Trocadéro Palace, which faces that on the Champ de Mars, each building being about five hundred yards from the bank of the river, which flows in so deep a depression that it is visible from neither building, and the grounds between the two appear to be continuous, though the bridge suggests the contrary.

The cascade in front of the Trocadéro occupies the site of the old steps by which the steep hill was ascended, but the ground nearer to the Seine has been so raised that the river-roads on each side run in subways spanned by bridges, thus permitting free use of the great thoroughfares without impeding communication between the two portions of the Exposition. Indeed, they appear as one viewed in either direction, notwithstanding the intervening streets and wide and rapid river.

The change in the shape of the Trocadéro hill to bring it into a symmetrical position in front of the Champ de Mars has required the quarrying of twenty-four thousand cubic mètres of rock, leaving a rough scarp on the northern edge quarried into steps, walks and grottos, with flowers, ferns and mosses cunningly planted on the ledge and creepers on the walls.

The Trocadéro Palace is the most striking architectural feature of the Exposition. Standing on a level one hundred and six feet above the Quai de Billy and overlooking the city of Paris, the dome and glittering minarets of the building are visible from many miles' distance. It is not easy to describe its architecture, though it is called "half Moorish, half Renaissance;" which is not very definite. It has a large rotunda capable of accommodating seven thousand persons, and the river-front has two spacious corridors on as many stories. The central building is flanked by two tall square campaniles, and from its sides extend long wings which curve toward the river: these have colonnades and terraces in front overlooking the garden, its picturesque and grotesque cottages and pavilions, its fountains and its parterres of gay flowers.

The Trocadéro has been purchased by the town council of Paris, and is to be a permanent structure, its flanking salons, forty-two feet wide, being known as "Galéries de l'Art Rétrospective." Its collection is to form a history of civilization, and will probably include the Egyptian, Assyrian and similar collections from the Louvre, as well as the Ethnological, which is at St. Germain. It is designed to represent in chronological order ancient and historic art, both liberal and mechanical, with the furniture, arms and tools of the Middle Ages and Renaissance, arms, implements and fabrics from the East, Africa and Oceanica, and a collection of musical instruments of all ages and countries. This is an ambitious programme, but will no doubt be well accomplished. Its general color is that of the beautiful stone of this region, a delicate cream. The uniformity is broken by great boldness and variety in the structural form of the[page 158] building, and by its pillars, deep colonnades and heavy cornices, giving shadows which prevent monotony of tint.

While artists and architects disagree like the proverbial doctors, and purists shudder at the jumble of orders, periods and nationalities, a tyro may well hesitate. An opinion of the building will no more suit everybody than does the building itself; but one cannot entirely forfeit one's reputation for taste, for each will find some agreeing judgments. All must acknowledge that it has a gala air. Its central dome, tall minarets and wings widespread toward the river crown the height and seem to foster the beauties they partly enclose.

The circular corridor of the rotunda is surmounted by the Muses and other figures typical of the future purposes of the building. The rotunda-walls are themselves castellated, the towers being interplaced with windows of Saracenic arched form. The béton pavement of the corridors and balcony is made of annular fragments, facets upward, of black, red, white and slate-colored marbles, feldspar and other stones. It is as hard as natural rock and as smooth as half-polished marble. A tessellated fret pattern is made along the borders of the corridor floor, consisting of triple rows of smooth cubes of marble inserted in the cement. The square balusters are of red-mottled marble, with base and entablature of dull rose. The square corner pillars support figures allegorizing the six divisions of the earth.

The vestibules at the sides of the tower are open east and west for the passage to and from the garden, and at the sides have doors which admit to the Grande Salle and the flanking galleries respectively. The interior red scagliola columns of the vestibule are in pairs, with white bases and capitals, the latter combining the lotus-leaf with the volute. The soffits of the ceiling have panels of yellow with orange border, contrasting with iron beams painted a chocolate brown.

The uniformity of the long and curved colonnades which form the wings of the building is broken by square porticoes, which have entrances to the galleries and small terraces in front, with steps leading to the garden. The wall back of the white pillars of this long promenade is painted of a warm but not glaring red. The roof is of tile and skylight. The base of the colonnade beneath the balustrade and pillars is a rough concrete wall hidden by a sloping bank of evergreens, upon which the eye rests pleasantly amid so much wall-space and architectural decoration.

In front of the corridor of the rotunda is a projecting balcony, with six gigantic female figures on the corners of its balustrade representing Europe, Asia, North and South America, Africa and Australia. These statues are of metal gilt, and typify by countenance and accompanying emblems the portions of the globe they represent. Europe is an armed figure with sword: at her side are the caduceus, olive-branch, books and easel. Asia has a spear and a couch with elephant heads. Africa is a negress, with the characteristic grass-rope basket containing dates. North America is an Indian, but the civilization of the land is indicated by an anchor, beehive and cog-wheel. Australia is a gin, with a waddy, boomerang and kangaroo. South America sits on a cotton-bale, has a condor by her side, and at her feet are tropical fruits—pineapples, bananas and brazil-nuts.

The balustrade of the balcony is of a light marble with faint red mottling, and in front of it is a boiling pool of water at the level of the hand-rail. A large volume of water overflows the curved edge of this pool and falls twenty feet into a basin beneath, the first of a series of nine whose overflows in successive steps form the cascade technically known as a "château d'eau," the finest of which description of ornamental waterworks is at the Château St. Cloud, one of the mementos of the fatal luxury which precipitated the Revolution of 1789. The cascade of St. Cloud plays once a month for half an hour—that at the Exposition during the whole day. From one jet at St. Cloud issue five thousand gallons per minute: the supply at the Exposition is twenty-four thousand cubic feet per hour. Most of this water runs over the edge of the balcony-pool, and the fall of fifty-six cubic feet per second a distance of twenty feet creates no mean roar and mist in the archway beneath the balcony, where visitors walk behind the falls and look through the sheet of water. It is not fair to compare at all points the cascades of the Exposition and St. Cloud. The amount of water may probably not be greatly different, but the fantastic profusion of spiratory objects and long succession of overflow basins and urns in the works at the château has no parallel in those of the Trocadéro. The cascades of St. Cloud are disappointing: the object should be to add to landscape effect by water in motion, and the principle is entirely missed when the water is made a mere accessory to a series of stone steps, jars and monsters. Steps are made to walk upon, jars to hold water. An interminable series of either with water poured over them is not the work of a genius. If the first suggestion to the mind be that a thing is a stairway, the fact that it is made too wet to walk upon does not constitute it a beautiful cascade. A row of jars on pedestals around a grass-plat has a pretty effect, because they do or may hold flowers, but to set several rows of them on a hillside and turn on the water is not art. As an admirable illustration of fantasy well wrought out the Fountain of Latona at Versailles may be cited. There Latona, having appealed to Jupiter against the inhabitants of Argos, who had deprived her of water, is deluged by jets from the unfortunates, who appear in various degrees of transformation into frogs.

[page 159]



The cascade of the Trocadéro has nothing meretricious about it. It is, like the building of which it is the finest ornament, of Jura marble, while much of the adjacent work is of artificial stone so admirably made that one cannot tell the difference, and is disposed to give[page 160] the preference to the latter as evincing greater ingenuity than the mere patient chiselling of the quarry-stone. The pools are symmetrical, in conformity to the style of their surroundings, their overflows curved, the successive falls being about two feet after the first dash nine hundred and twenty feet from the balcony level. Each side of the cascade is flanked by six small pools in which are spouting and spray jets. The course ends in a pool which may be described as square, with circular bays on three of its sides. In this are one large jet and two smaller ones, which are themselves beautiful and keep the surface in a pleasant ripple. The corner pillars are crowned by colossal gilt figures of animals, supposed to represent what we were used to call the "four quarters of the earth"—Europe, Asia, Africa and America, as the books had it before America had attained any prominence in public estimation. These are typified by a horse, an elephant, a rhinoceros and a bull, the latter probably a tribute to our bison, but not much like him. These face the four winds, so to speak, and do indeed more nearly, as they are set obliquely, than do the grounds and buildings, the length of which runs north-west and south-east. Each animal has his back to the pool, and with one exception is in a rampant attitude.

Many thousands of cubic mètres of stone were quarried away to afford a site for the cascade, for the system of water-pipes which supply the various pools and jets and conduct off the surplus. The size of the site occupied by these hydraulic works is 360 by 75 feet.

The balcony of the Trocadéro facing toward the river and the Champ de Mars affords the most extensive view obtainable in the grounds. Beneath is the cascade with its basins and fountains, and spreading away on each side is the garden with its various national buildings, neat, gaudy or grotesque. Spanning the invisible roads and river is the broad Pont d'Iéna, and then comes a repetition of the garden, the sward dotted with parterres and buildings. A broad terrace, crowned with the splendid façade of the main building, does not quite terminate the view, for from the height of the lower corridor of the rotunda the buildings of Paris are seen to stretch away in the distance. The hill of Montmartre on the north and the heights of Chatillon and Clamart on the south terminate the view in those directions.

The cascade immediately beneath us has been already described, but how shall we give an impression of the appearance of the buildings collected in groups on each side of the main avenue? So great is the variety of objects to be presented that any very large unbroken surface of sward is impossible. The general plan is geometrical, and the absence of large trees on the newly-made ground has prevented any attempt at woodland scenery.

The French make great use of common flowers in obtaining effects of color. Some square beds of large size have centres of purple and white stocks, giving a mottled appearance, with a border of the tender blue forget-me-nots and a fringe of double daisies. Other beds are full of purple, red and white anemones, multicolored poppies or yellow marigolds. The sober mignonette is too great a favorite to be excluded, though it lends little to the effect. The gorgeous rhododendron is here massed in large beds, and there forms a standard tree with a formal clump of foliage and gay flowers, contrasting with the bright green of the succulent grass. The roses are by thousands in beds and lining the walks, and here are especially to be seen the standard roses for which Europe is so famous, but which do not seem to prosper with us.

Besides the flowers and flowering shrubs, a most profuse use is made of evergreens, which are removed of surprising size and forwardness of spring growth. We can form little conception from our gardens at home of the wealth, variety and exuberance of the evergreen foliage in Southern England and Northern France—the Spanish and Portuguese laurel, laurustinus, arbutus, occuba, bay, hollies in variety, tree-box, with scores of species of pines, firs, arborvitæ and yews, relieved by the contorted foliage[page 162] of the auraucarias, the sombre cedar of Lebanon and the graceful deodar cedar of the Himalayas. As already remarked, the tree-growth is small, as the ground was a blank and rocky hillside two years ago, and was quarried to make a site for the garden. The tree which seems best to bear moving, and is consequently used in the emergency, is the horse-chestnut, the red and white flowering varieties being intermingled. This is perhaps the most common tree in the streets of Paris, though the plane and maple are also favorites.

[page 161]



Against the rocky scarp on the south of the garden a plantation of aloes, yuccas and cactus has been made. These are in great variety, and some of them in flower. It was especially pleasant to see the independence which the gardener has shown in placing a fine clump of rhubarb in one place where he wanted a green bunch. Some persons would have been afraid of injurious criticism in the use of so common a plant, but we all know what a vigorous, healthy green it is, and as such not to be despised by the artist in color. There are a few specialties in the way of gardening which are worth notice: one is the array of tulips planted by the city of Haarlem, and representing the municipal coat-of-arms in tulips of every imaginable color of which the plant is capable, and around the figures the words "Haarlem, Holland," in scarlet tulips on a ground of white ones.

Another novelty is the Japanese garden with its bamboo fence, the posts and door of entrance being carved with remarkable taste and boldness. The double gates are surmounted by a cock and hen in natural attitudes, which is a relief from the absurdities of their impossible storks and hideous griffins. Perhaps it shows that modern and European ideas are at work there. The flag of Japan, by the way—a red circle on a white ground—is a sensible design, and can be seen at a distance: it contrasts favorably with the dragon on a yellow ground of the Chinese pavilion. The Japanese garden has several large standard umbrellas for permanent shade, and little bamboo-fenced yards for the game chickens and the ducks. Two shrines are in the garden, and a fountain with a feeble jet issuing from a stump and falling into a little fanciful pond with small bays and promontories. On the miniature deep a walnut-shell ship might ride, and on the shoals near the bank aquatic plants are beginning to sprout, and their leaves will soon touch the opposite shore if they are not attended to.

Rather a disparagement, as a matter of taste, to the somewhat formal grace but undoubted beauty of this floral scene are the buildings which are placed here and there over the surface. However, it is these that we have come to see, for if we were in search of landscape or Dutch gardening we should find it better elsewhere. This gardening is only a setting, a frame, in which the various nations have set up their cottages and villas. The ground surface between the houses has been laid off ornamentally to please the eye and satisfy the sense of order and beauty, but is not itself the object of which we are in search. It is impossible perhaps to harmonize such an incongruous set of buildings, adapted for different climates, habits, tastes and needs. Here on the left is a large white castellated house of Algiers. It has blank walls and loopholed towers, and no suggestion of a tree or flower, but gives an idea of the land where the sand of the desert comes up to the doorstep and beggars and thieves go on horseback. On the opposite extremity, at the right, is a Chinese house with its peculiar curved roof, suggested originally, doubtless, by the Tartar tent, but having more curves and points than were ever shown by canvas or felt. In a district by themselves the readers of the Koran—or a set of people passing for such—have their Persian, Tunisian, Morocco and Turkish kiosques, and the inhabitants seem perhaps one shade cleaner than they did in Philadelphia. They are supposed, at least, to be the same, and have an exactly similar lot of rubbish and brass jewelry for sale, and oil of cassia, which they sell for the attar of the "gardens of Gul in their bloom." Next is a campanile of[page 163] Sweden, and near it are the Swedish and Norwegian houses, armed against winter. Then the Japanese cottage with sides all open, mats on the floors and no furniture to speak of. Then comes a Moorish pavilion of Spain with nondescript ornaments, the bulbous domes and pinnacles supporting the flags of yellow and red—of barbaric taste, color and significance.

We have yet to notice the Italian villa, the Oriental mosque, the Swiss chalet and the log hut; also the modern pavilion with zinc roof, the thatched houses of Britain and of Normandy, the Elizabethan cottage and the English farm-house. What they lack in size they make up in variety, may be said of the greenhouses and conservatories dotted about the place. In and outside of them the marvellous skill and patience of the gardener is seen in the rigidly-formal or abnormally-directed limbs of the fruit trees. The fish-ponds and fountains are neither numerous nor large, but the aquarium may merit more extended description when completed.

Standing, sensible-looking and tasteful, in the midst of much that is trumpery, but good enough for a summer fête, and placed here not as exhibits of good taste, but of what their owners think good, rises the wooden building with skylight roof of "The Administration of Forests and Waters." It is on a beautiful knoll, and has a wooden frame with tongued and grooved panels, the whole varnished to show the natural grain of the timber. On the panels outside are arranged the tools and implements of arboriculture and forestry.

The flags of the different nations displayed upon these buildings give animation to the scene, and the glance might pass at once from this panorama to the other side of the Seine, where the scene is repeated, but for the intervention of long barnlike sheds with tile roofs which intrude themselves along the banks of the river, and quench the poetry of the fanciful and picturesque as the eye passes from the immediate foreground and seeks the magnificent façade of the Salle d'Iéna, the river front of the main building occupying the Champ de Mars. The flags of all nations are flying from the numerous minor pinnacles, while the six domes on the ends and centres of the east and west façades display the tricolor of France.

The best view of the exterior is obtained from the Trocadéro. The building itself is so large that some distance is necessary to take in the whole at a glance. The approach to it by way of the Pont d'Iéna has been marred by raising the bridge to too great a height, so that the impression in crossing the Seine is that the building stands upon low ground. Standing upon the east end of the bridge, one cannot see the base on the other side of the river, which suggests descent and dwarfs the building. The bridge retains its colossal statuary, each of the four groups consisting of an unmounted man and a horse. They respectively represent a Greek, Roman, Gaul and Arab. The bridge was erected to commemorate the victory over the Prussians in 1806, and Blücher, who had his head-quarters at St. Cloud in 1815, threatened to blow it up. After crossing the bridge we find ourselves reaching the work-a-day world. On the left are represented the foundries and workshops of Creuzot, Chaumont and Serrenorri. Near by is a model of the observatory of Mount Jouvis and an annex of the state tobacco-factory of France.

The building on the Champ de Mars is 2132 feet by 1148. A wide and lofty vestibule runs across the full extent of each end, and these afford the most imposing interior views of the building. They are known respectively as the Galérie d'Iéna and Galérie de l'École Militaire, from their vicinity to the bridge and school respectively. Being lofty themselves, and having central and flanking domed towers which break the uniformity, their fronts form the principal façades of the building, of which, architecturally speaking, they are the principal entrances; but in fact, as happens with buildings of such acreage, the actual inlets depend upon the predominance in numbers of the people on one or another side of the building, the means of approach by land and water, and the[page 164] contiguous streets of favorite and convenient travel. In the present case the bulk of the people reach the grounds either by water at the south-east corner or by land at the intersection of Avenue Rapp with the Avenue Bourdonnaye, which latter bounds the Champ de Mars on its southern side.

The end-vestibules are connected by five longitudinal galleries on each side of the open area in the middle of the building. The five galleries on the southern side belong to France, and the five on the northern side are divided by transverse partitions among the foreign nations present, in very greatly differing quantities. England, for instance, occupies nearly two-sevenths of the whole space devoted to foreign exhibitors, being more than the sum of the amounts allotted to Spain, China, Japan, Italy, Sweden, Norway and the United States. The end-vestibules have curved roofs with highly ornamented ceilings of a succession of flat domes along the centres, with three rows of deep soffits on each side, gayly painted. The walls are nearly all glass in iron frames, and the panes of white glass alternate in checkerwork with those having blue tracery upon them. The whole building is principally of iron and glass, the roof of wood, with zinc plates and numerous skylights over the interior galleries. The machinery galleries of each side are much the largest of the longitudinal ones, and have high roofs with side windows above the levels of the roofs on each side of them; but the four other galleries on each side of the building have quite low ceilings, which make one fear for the quality of the ventilation when the heat is at its greatest.

In the interior of the quadrangular building is an open space about two hundred feet broad and nearly two thousand feet long, reaching from one vestibule to the other; and in this space are two rows of fine-art pavilions and a building for the exhibition of the municipal works of the city. This isolated building is in the central portion of the whole structure, the fine-art pavilions being arranged in line with it, four in a group, the salons of a group connected by lobbies and also with the large end-vestibules at the end upon which they abut.

The French and foreign sides of the Exposition building on the Champ de Mars have frontages upon the interior court, and the façades of the foreign sections are made ornamental and are intended to be characteristic of the countries. There is a great discrepancy in the space assigned to each: that of Great Britain is the longest, amounting to five hundred and forty feet in length, while the little territories of Luxembourg, Andorra, Monaco and San Marino, which are clubbed together, have unitedly about twenty-five feet of frontage. In some cases the space assigned to a nation does not run back the full four hundred feet to the outside of the building, but it is intended that each shall have some part of the façade in this allée. Much taste and more expense have been lavished upon the architectural construction and embellishment of the façades, and the row reminds one of the scenes in a theatre, where palace, cottage, mosque and jail stand side by side, giving a particolored effect as various as the different emotions which the respective buildings might be supposed to elicit. The English space being so large, no single design was adopted, as it could have but a monotonous effect, but the frontage was divided into five portions, each of which illustrates some style of villa or cottage architecture, and is separated from the adjoining one by garden-beds. The first, counting from the Salle de la Seine, is of the style of Queen Anne's reign. It is built of a patented imitation of red brickwork. Thin slabs of Portland cement concrete are faced with smaller slabs of red concrete of the size of bricks and screwed to the wooden frame of the building. The house has tall casements in a bay with a balcony, and an entablature on top of the wall. The second house is the pavilion of the prince of Wales, and is of the Elizabethan style. It is built of rubble-work faced with colored plaster in imitation of red brickwork and Bath-stone dressings. The front has niches for statuary, and above the windows are shield-shaped [page 165] panels for armorial bearings. The windows are in square clusters, with small lights in hexagonal leaden cames. The union jack flies from the staff. The third house is constructed of red brick and terra-cotta, and is not specially characteristic of any period. It is, in fact, a jumble of the early Gothic with a Moorish entablature and a balustrade parapet. The stained-glass casement windows are surmounted with circular lights in the arches. The fourth house is built of pitch-pine framework, enriched with carving and filled in with plaster panels—a style of construction known as "half-timbered work," much employed in England from the fifteenth to the seventeenth century. This house is placed at the disposal of the Canadian commissioners. It has a large square two-story bay-window, with the customary small glass panes in cames of lozenge and other patterns, and is perhaps the neatest and most cozy house in the row. The fifth is of the construction of an English country-house in the reign of William III. It is of timber, with stucco and rough-cast panels, and has a large bay-window in the second story, surmounted by a gable to the street and covering an old-fashioned stoop with seats on each side. The five houses have a pretty effect, and each has a home look. The façades only are on exhibition, the interiors being private. They contrast with others in the "street" in the same way as the habits of the different peoples. Some build their houses to retire into, and others to exhibit themselves. Each nation being asked for the façade of a house, the Italian has built a portico where he can lounge, see and be seen; the Englishman has in all serenity represented what he deems comfort, and shuts the front door.



The next in order is the United States house, which is plain and commodious; the latch-string would be out, but that the front door is everlastingly open. The[page 166] style is perhaps to advertise to the world that we have not yet had time to invent an order of architecture or devise anything adapted to our climate, which has extremes utterly unknown to our ancestors in Britain. The building is light and airy, has office-rooms on each floor, and is described by one English paper as "a sort of school-building which combines elegance with usefulness." Another paper states that "it exemplifies the utilitarian notions of our Transatlantic cousins rather than any artistic intent." These comments are as favorable as anything we ourselves can say: we accept the verdict with thanks and think we have got off pretty well. In the squareness of its general lines, with arched windows on the second floor and square tower over the centre, perhaps the architect thought it was Italian. Sixteen coats-of-arms on the outside excite admiration.

The building of Norway and Sweden is a charming cottage of handsome and ample proportions. It has three sections: one of two stories with low-pitched roof, and gable to the street, a middle structure with colonnade, and one of three stories with high-pitched roof. The windows are round-topped, made in an ingenious way, the upper member being an arched piece with sloping ends, to match the springing on the tops of the posts which divide the openings. The horizontal and vertical bands are enriched by carving.

The façade of Italy may be pronounced pretentious and disappointing. It is constructed of various kinds of unpolished marble and terra-cotta panels. A tall archway is flanked by two wings having each two smaller arches, the entablatures of which are enriched, if we must so term it, with gaudy mosaic figures, portraits and heraldic bearings, while the spans of the arches surmount pyramidal groups of emblems, scientific, medical, lyrical and so forth. Red curtains with heavy gilt cords and tassels behind the arches throw the columns with composition (not Composite) capitals and the emblems into high relief. Beneath the centre arch is the armorial bearing of the country. The vestibules display statuary.

Japan has a quaint little house with a very massive gateway of solid timber, flanked by two characteristic fountains of terra-cotta. These represent stumps of trees, with gigantic lily-cups, leaves of water-lilies, and frogs in grotesque attitudes in and around the water.

China has a grotesque house, painted in imitation of octagonal slate-colored bricks, covered with a pagoda-roof full of curves and points. The red door has rows of large knobs and is surmounted by colored and gilded carvings, representing genii probably. The pointed flag has in a yellow field a blue dragon in the later stages of consumption.

Spain has a Moorish building rich in gold and color—a central portion with Italian roof, and two colonnade side-sections flanked by castellated towers. Five forms of arches span the doors and windows, and the artist has contrived to associate all forms of ornament, running from an approach to the Greek fret down through the Arabesque to the Brussels carpet.

Austro-Hungary has a long colonnade of white stone ornamented with black filigree-work and supported by columns in pairs. The entablature is surmounted by a row of statues, and the end-towers have parapets with balustrade. The colonnade, with a chocolate-brown back wall, affords shelter and relief for bronze and marble statuary. At each end of this façade is a tall flagstaff striped like a barber's pole, and so familiar to all who have visited the Austrian stations, at Trieste, for example. From it flies the flag of horizontal stripes of red, white and green, with the shield of many quarterings and two angelic supporters.

Russia has a log-and-frame house of somewhat more than average picturesque character. The projecting centres and wing-towers, the outside staircase, and roofs conical, flat, pyramidal, bulbous and Oriental, give it a miscellaneous toyshop appearance, characteristic perhaps of the mosaic character of the nation. Barge-boards and brackets of various cheap patterns are plentifully strewed over the building.

Passing from the Russian to the Swiss[page 167] building suggests inevitably Mr. Mantalini's description of his former chères amies: "The two countesses had no outline at all, and the dowager's was a demmed outline." A semicircular archway, over which is a high-flying arch with a roof of six slopes surmounted by a bell-tower and pinnacle roof; on the pillars two lions supporting a red shield with white Greek cross in the field; two wings with flat arches containing gorgeous stained-glass windows. But what avails description? There are twenty-two armorial bearings on the spandrils of the arches, beating the United States by six; but we had only room for the original thirteen, the United States and two more. Oh that they had granted us more space! High up aloft is the motto Un pour tous, tons pour un, which was adopted by the French Commune.

Belgium is pre-eminent in the whole row, if expense determines. This country has about three times as much space in the building as the United States, and has worthily filled it. The Belgian façade on the "Street of Nations" is reputed to have cost nearly as much as the whole appropriation made by Congress for the United States exhibit. It is of dark red brick with gray stone quoins and corners and blue and gray marble pillars. The centre building is joined by two colonnades to a flanking tower at one end and an ornate gable at the other. The style is one familiar in the times when the great William of Orange was alive, and was to some extent introduced into England soon after another William took the place of his bigoted father-in-law. It cannot be denied that the general effect is gray, sombre and uncomfortable—that it is too much crowded with objects, and, though of admirable and enduring materials, suggests a spasmodic attempt to assimilate itself to the gala character of the occasion which called it forth. It is the saturnine one of the row. It is said that the pieces are numbered for re-erection in some other place.

Greece has an Athenian house painfully crude in color, white picked out with all the hues of the rainbow and some others, suggesting muddy coffee and chibouques.

Denmark has about twenty feet of front, utilized by a gable-end of brick with facings of imitation stone.

The Central American States have about sixty feet of yellow front, with three arched openings into the vestibule, which is flanked by a tower and a gable.

Anam, Persia, Siam, Morocco and Tunis have unitedly a gingerbread affair of four distinct patterns—we cannot call them styles. Siam in the centre has a chocolate-colored tower picked out with silver, and surmounted by a triple pagoda roof, whence floats the flag, a white elephant in a red field. The six feet of homeliness belonging to Tunis has a balcony of wood which neither reveals nor hides the almond-eyed whose supposed relatives are selling trumpery in booths on the other side of the Seine.

Luxembourg, Andorra, Monaco and San Marino unite in a façade representing the different styles of architecture which prevail in the several states: 1. A portion faintly suggesting the ancient palace of Luxembourg, to-day the residence of Prince Henry of Holland; 2. An entrance erected by the principality of Monaco as the model of that of the royal palace; 3. A window contributed by San Marino, and showing that the prevalent type in the little republic is more useful than ornamental; 4. A balustrade surmounting the façade, supplied by the republic of Andorra.

Portugal has an imitation in cream-colored plaster of a Gothic church-entrance, and a highly-enriched arch with flanking towers, whose canopied niches have figures of warriors and wise men.

Holland shows an architecture of two hundred years ago, the counterpart of the houses we see in the old Dutch pictures. It is of dark red brick with stone courses, and a tall slate roof behind its balustered parapet.

We are at the end of the Street of Nations, somewhat under a third of a mile in length.

It is evening, and the sun in this latitude—for we are farther north than Quebec—seems in no hurry to reach the horizon. Two hours ago the whistle sounded [page 168] "No more steam," and the life of the building went out. The attendants, tired of the show and blasés or "used up," according to their nationality, with exhibitions, have shrouded their cases in sack-cloth and gone to sip ordinaire, absinthe or bitter ale. I sit on a terrace of the Champ de Mars, the gorgeous building at my back, and look riverward. Before me stretches away the green carpet of sward one hundred feet wide and six hundred long, a broad level band of emerald reaching to the gravel approach to the Pont d'Iéna, each side of which is guarded by a colossal figure of a man leading a horse. The gravel around the tapis vert is black with the figures of those whom the fineness of the evening has induced to take a parting stroll in the ground before retiring.

Flanking the gravel-walks the ground is more uneven, and Art, in imitation of the wilder aspects of Nature, has done what the limited space permitted to enhance the allied beauties of land and water, where

Each gives each a double charm,

Like pearls upon an Ethiop's arm.

On the left is a rockery and waterfall on no mean scale, with a romantic little lake in front. On the right a rocky island in a corresponding lake is crowned with a thatched pavilion, the reflection of which shines broken in the water ruffled by the evening breeze. Groups of detached buildings hem in the view on each side, and their flags wave with the sky for a background. Paris is invisible: at this point the grounds are isolated from outside view.

Rising clear beyond the bridge, the approach to it on the other side hidden by the lowness of the point of view, stands the palace of the Trocadéro, a broad sweep of green covering the hill, along whose summit are the widespread wings of the colonnade, uniting at the central rotunda, of which the domed roof and square campaniles rise one hundred feet above all and dominate the middle of the picture. The traces of the indefatigable swarms of workmen are obliterated, except in the magical and finished work. The spray of the fountains of the château d'eau drifts to leeward and hides at times patches of the velvety grass on the hill. The central jet plays sturdily, and from where I sit appears to reach the level of the second corridor of the rotunda.

The eye fails to detect a single object, excepting the four statues on the bridge, which is not the creation of a few months. The hill beyond has been torn to pieces and sloped, and the palace built upon it. Every house in sight is new. The very ground in front on which I look down has been raised, and the terrace on which I sit has been built. The ponds have been excavated, the mimic rocky hills have been piled up, and the water led to the brink of the tiny precipice from the artesian wells which supply this part of Paris.

The hum of many voices and the dash of waters make a deep undertone, and one comes away with the feeling—not exactly that the scene is too good to last, but—of regret that the result of such lavish care should be ephemeral. In a few months all on the left side of the river may again be parade-ground, and the thirty thousand troops which can be readily manœuvred upon it be getting ready for another conflict, while the palace which the Genius of the Lamp had builded, as in a night, shall be a thing of the past, as if whirled away by the malevolent magician.

Edward H. Knight.

[page 169]


Child! Such thou seemest to me that am more old

In sorrow than in years,

With that long pain that turns us bitter cold,

Far worse than these hot tears

Of thine, that fall so fast upon my breast.

I know they ease thy grief:

I know they comfort, and will bring thee rest,

Thou poor wind-shaken leaf!

Ah yes, thy storm will pass, thy skies will clear.

Thou smilest beneath my kiss:

Lift up the blue eyes cleansed by weeping, dear,

Of every thought amiss.

What seest thou, child, in these dry eyes of mine?

Grief that hath spent its tears—

Grief that its right to weeping must resign,

Not told by days, but years.

The bitterest is that weeping of the heart

That mounts not to the eyes:

In its lone chamber we sit down apart,

And no one hears our cries.

It comes to this with every deep, true soul:

'Tis neither kill nor cure,

But a strong sorrow held in strong control,

A girding to endure.

For no such soul lives in this tangled world

But, like Achilles' heel,

Hath in the quick a shaft too truly hurled—

Flesh growing round the steel.

And with its outcome would come all Life's flood:

Joy is so twined with pain,

Sweetness and tears so blended in our blood,

They will not part again.

For at the last the heart grows round its grief,

And holds it without strife:

So used we are, we cry not for relief,

For we know all of life.

And this is why I kiss thy tear-wet eyes,

Nor think thy grief so great.

Thou untried child! at every fresh surprise

Thy heart springs to the gate.

Howard Glyndon.

[page 170]





Early in that December the landlady's daughter came home. Percival could not fix the precise date, but he knew it was early in the month, because about the eighth or ninth he was suddenly aware that he had more than once encountered a smile, a long curl and a pair of turquoise earrings on the stairs. He had noticed the earrings: he could speak positively as to them. He had seen turquoises before, and taken little heed of them, but possibly his friends had happened to buy rather small ones. He felt pretty certain about the long curl. And he thought there was a smile, but he was not so absolutely sure of the smile.

By the twelfth he was quite sure of it. It seemed to him that it was cold work for any one to be so continually on the stairs in December. The owner of the smile had said, "Good-morning, Mr. Thorne."

On the thirteenth a question suggested itself to him: "Was she—could she be—always running up and down stairs? Or did it happen that just when he went out and came back—?" He balanced his pen in his fingers for a minute, and sat pondering. "Oh, confound it!" he said to himself, and went on writing.

That evening he left the office to the minute, and hurried to Bellevue street. He got halfway up the stairs and met no one, but he heard a voice on the landing exclaim, "Go to old Fordham's caddy, then, for you sha'n't—Oh, good gracious!" and there was a hurried rustle. He went more slowly the rest of the way, reflecting. Fordham was another lodger—elderly, as the voice had said. Percival went to his sitting-room and looked thoughtfully into his tea-caddy. It was nearly half full, and he calculated that, according to the ordinary rate of consumption, it should have been empty, and yet he had not been more sparing than usual. His landlady had told him where to get his tea: she said she found it cheap—it was a fine-flavored tea, and she always drank it. Percival supposed so, and wondered where old Fordham got his tea, and whether that was fine-flavored too.

There was a giggle outside the door, a knock, and in answer to Percival's "Come in," the landlady's daughter appeared. She explained that Emma had gone out shopping—Emma was the grimy girl who ordinarily waited on him—so, with a nervous little laugh, with a toss of the long curl, which was supposed to have got in the way somehow, and with the turquoise earrings quivering in the candlelight, she brought in the tray. She conveyed by her manner that it was a new and amusing experience in her life, but that the burden was almost more than her strength could support, and that she required assistance. Percival, who had stood up when she came in and thanked her gravely from his position on the hearthrug, came forward and swept some books and papers out of the way to make[page 171] room for her load. In so doing their hands touched—his white and beautifully shaped, hers clumsy and coarsely colored. (It was not poor Lydia's fault. She had written to more than one of those amiable editors who devote a column or two in family magazines to settling questions of etiquette, giving recipes for pomades and puddings, and telling you how you may take stains out of silk, get rid of freckles or know whether a young man means anything by his attentions. There had been a little paragraph beginning, "L.'s hands are not as white as she could wish, and she asks us what she is to do. We can only recommend," etc. Poor L. had tried every recommendation in faith and in vain, and was in a fair way to learn the hopelessness of her quest.)

The touch thrilled her with pleasure and Thorne with repugnance. He drew back, while she busied herself in arranging his cup, saucer and plate. She dropped the spoon on the tray, scolded herself for her own stupidity, looked up at him with a hurried apology, and laughed. If she did not blush, she conveyed by her manner a sort of idea of blushing, and went out of the room with a final giggle, being confused by his opening the door for her.

Percival breathed again, relieved from an oppression, and wondered what on earth had made her take an interest in his tea and him. Yet the reason was not far to seek. It was that tragic, melancholy, hero's face of his—he felt so little like a hero that it was hard for him to realize that he looked like one—his sombre eyes, which might have been those of an exile thinking of his home, the air of proud and rather old-fashioned courtesy which he had inherited from his grandfather the rector and developed for himself. Every girl is ready to find something of the prince in one who treats her with deference as if she were a princess. Percival had an unconscious grace of bearing and attitude, and the considerable advantage of well-made clothes. Poverty had not yet reduced him to cheap coats and advertised trousers. And perhaps the crowning fascination in poor Lydia's eyes was the slight, dark, silky moustache which emphasized without hiding his lips.

Another rustling outside, a giggle and a whisper—Percival would have sworn that the whisper was Emma's if it had been possible that she could have left it behind her when she went out shopping—an ejaculation, "Gracious! I've blacked my hand!" a pause, presumably for the purpose of removing the stain, and Lydia reappeared with the kettle. She poured a portion of its contents over the fender in her anxiety to plant it firmly on the fire. "Oh dear!" she exclaimed, "how stupid of me! Oh, Mr. Thorne"—this half archly, half pensively, fingering the curl and surveying the steaming pool—"I'm afraid you'll wish Emma hadn't gone out: such a mess as I've made of it! What will you think of me?"

"Pray, don't trouble yourself," said Percival. "The fender can't signify, except perhaps from Emma's point of view. It doesn't interfere with my comfort, I assure you."

She departed, only half convinced. Percival, with another sigh of relief, proceeded to make the tea. The water was boiling and the fire good. Emma was apt to set a chilly kettle on a glimmering spark, but Lydia treated him better. The bit of cold meat on the table looked bigger than he expected, the butter wore a cheerful sprig of green. Percival saw his advantages, but he thought them dearly bought, especially as he had to take a turn up and down Bellevue street while the table was cleared.

After that day it was astonishing how often Emma went out shopping or was busy, or had a bad finger or a bad foot, or was helping ma with something or other, or hadn't made herself tidy, so that Lydia had to wait on Mr. Thorne. But it was always with the same air of its being something very droll and amusing to do, and there were always some artless mistakes which required giggling apologies. Nor could he doubt that he was in her thoughts during his absence. She had a piano down stairs on which she accompanied herself as she sang,[page 172] but she found time for domestic cares. His buttons were carefully sewn on and his fire was always bright. One evening his table was adorned with a bright blue vase—as blue as Lydia's earrings—filled with dried grasses and paper flowers. He gazed blankly at it in unspeakable horror, and then paced up and down the room, wondering how he should endure life with it continually before his eyes. Some books lay on a side-table, and as he passed he looked absently at them and halted. On his Shelley, slightly askew, as if to preclude all thought of care and design, lay a little volume bound in dingy white and gold. Percival did not touch it, but he stooped and read the title, The Language of Flowers, and saw that—purely by accident of course—a leaf was doubled down as if to mark a place. He straightened himself again, and his proud lip curled in disgust as he glanced from the tawdry flowers to the tawdry book. And from below came suddenly the jingling notes of Lydia's piano and Lydia's voice—not exactly harsh and only occasionally out of tune, but with something hopelessly vulgar in its intonation—singing her favorite song—

Oh, if I had some one to love me,

My troubles and trials to share!

Percival turned his back on the blue vase and the little book, and flinging himself into a chair before the fire sickened at the thought of the life he was doomed to lead. Lydia, who was just mounting with a little uncertainty to a high note, was a good girl in her way, and good-looking, and had a kind sympathy for him in his evident loneliness. But was she to be the highest type of womanhood that he would meet henceforth? And was Bellevue street to be his world? He glided into a mournful dream of Brackenhill, which would never be his, and of Sissy, who had loved him so well, yet failed to love him altogether—Sissy, who had begged for her freedom with such tender pain in her voice while she pierced him so cruelly with her frightened eyes. Percival looked very stern in his sadness as he sat brooding over his fire, while from the room below came a triumphant burst of song—

But I will marry my own love,

For true of heart am I.

Sometimes he would picture to himself the future which lay before Horace's three-months-old child, whose little life already played so all—important a part in his own destiny. He had questioned Hammond about him, and Hammond had replied that he heard that Lottie and the boy were both doing well. "They say that the child is a regular Blake, just like Lottie herself," said Godfrey, "and doesn't look like a Thorne at all." Percival thought, not unkindly, of Lottie's boy, of Lottie's great clear eyes in an innocent baby face, and imagined him growing up slim and tall, to range the woods of Brackenhill in future years as Lottie herself had wandered in the copses about Fordborough. And yet sometimes he could not but think of the change that it might make if little James William Thorne were to die. Horace was very ill, they said: Brackenhill was shut up, and they had all gone to winter abroad. The doctors had declared that there was not a chance for him in England.

At this time Percival kept a sort of rough diary. Here is a leaf from it: "I am much troubled by a certain little devil who comes as soon as I am safely in bed and sits on my pillow. He flattens it abominably, or else I do it myself tossing about in my impatience. He is quite still for a minute or two, and I try my best to think he isn't there at all. Then he stoops down and whispers in my ear 'Convulsions!' and starts up again like india-rubber. I won't listen. I recall some tune or other: it won't come, and there is a hitch, a horrible blank, in the midst of which he is down again—I knew he would be—suggesting 'Croup.' I repeat some bit of a poem, but it won't do: what is the next line? I think of old days with my father, when I knew nothing of Brackenhill: I try to remember my mother's face. I am getting on very well, but all at once I become conscious that he has been for some time murmuring, as to himself, 'Whooping-cough [page 173] and scarlet fever—scarlet fever.' I grow fierce, and say, 'I pray God he may escape them all!' To which he softly replies, 'His grandfather died—his father is dying—of decline.'

"I roll over to the other side, and encounter him or his twin brother there. A perfectly silent little devil this time, with a faculty for calling up pictures. He shows me the office: I see it, I smell it, with its flaring gaslights and sickly atmosphere. Then he shows me the long drawing-room at Brackenhill, the quaint old furniture, the pictures on the walls, the terrace with its balustrade and balls of mossy stone, and through the windows come odors of jasmine and roses and far-off fields, while inside there is the sweetness of dried blossoms and spices in the great china jars. A moment more and it is Bellevue street, with its rows of hideous whited houses. And then again it is a river, curving swiftly and grandly between its castled rocks, or a bridge of many arches in the twilight, and the lights coming out one by one in the old walled town, and the road and river travelling one knows not where, into regions just falling asleep in the quiet dusk. Or there is a holiday crowd, a moonlit ferry, steep wooded hills, and songs and laughter which echo in the streets and float across the tide. Or the Alps, keenly cut against the infinite depth of blue, with a whiteness and a far-off glory no tongue can utter. Or a solemn cathedral, or a busy town piled up, with church and castle high aloft and a still, transparent lake below. But through it all, and underlying it all, is Bellevue street, with the dirty men and women, who scream and shout at each other and wrangle in its filthy courts and alleys. Still, God knows that I don't repent, and that I wish my little cousin well."



In later days Percival looked back to that Christmas as his worst and darkest time. His pride had grown morbid, and he swore to himself that he would never give in—that Horace should never know him otherwise than self-sufficient, should never think that but for Mrs. Middleton's or Godfrey Hammond's charity he might have had his cousin as a pensioner. Brooding on thoughts such as these, he sauntered moodily beneath the lamps when the new year was but two days old.

His progress was stopped by a little crowd collected on the pavement. There was a concert, and a string of carriages stretched halfway down the street. Just as Percival came up, a girl in white and amber, with flowers in her hair, flitted hurriedly across the path and up the steps, and stood glancing back while a fair-haired, faultlessly-dressed young man helped her mother to alight. The father came last, sleek, stout and important. The old people went on in front, and the girl followed with her cavalier, looking up at him and making some bright little speech as they vanished into the building. Percival stood and gazed for a moment, then turned round and hurried out of the crowd. The grace and freshness and happy beauty of the girl had roused a fierce longing in his heart. He wanted to touch a lady's hand again, to hear the delicate accents of a lady's voice. He remembered how he used to dress himself as that fair-haired young man was dressed, and escort Aunt Harriet and Sissy to Fordborough entertainments, where the best places were always kept for the Brackenhill party. It was dull enough sometimes, yet how he longed for one such evening now—to hand the cups once again at afternoon tea, to talk just a little with some girl on the old terms of equality! The longing was not the less real, and even passionate, that it seemed to Thorne himself to be utterly absurd. He mocked at himself as he walked the streets for a couple of hours, and then went back when the concert was just over and the people coming away. He watched till the girl appeared. She looked a little tired, he fancied. As she came out into the chill night air she drew a soft white cloak round her, and went by, quite unconscious [page 174] of the dark young man who stood near the door and followed her with his eyes. The sombre apparition might have startled her had she noticed it, though Percival was only gazing at the ghost of his dead life, and, having seen it, disappeared into the shadows once more.

"The night is darkest before the morn." In Percival's case this was true, for the next day brought a new interest and hope. A letter came from Godfrey Hammond, through which he glanced wearily till he came to a paragraph about the Lisles: Hammond had seen a good deal of them lately. "Their father treated you shamefully," he wrote, "but, after all, it is harder still on his children." ("Good Heavens! Does he suppose I have a grudge against them?" said Percival to himself, and laughed with mingled irritation and amazement.) "Young Lisle wants a situation as organist somewhere where he might give lessons and make an income so, but we can't hear of anything suitable. People say the boy is a musical genius, and will do wonders, but, for my part, I doubt it. He may, however, and in that case there will be a line in his biography to the effect that I 'was one of the first to discern,' etc., which may be gratifying to me in my second childhood."

Percival laid the letter on the table and looked up with kindling eyes.

Only a few minutes' walk from Bellevue street was St. Sylvester's, a large district church. The building was a distinguished example of cheap ecclesiastical work, with stripes and other pretty patterns in different colored bricks, and varnished deal fittings and patent corrugated roofing. All that could be done to stimulate devotion by means of texts painted in red and blue had been done, and St. Sylvester's, within and without, was one of those nineteenth-century churches which will doubtless be studied with interest and wonder by the architect of a future age if they can only contrive to stand up till he comes. The incumbent was High Church, as a matter of course, and musical, more than as a matter of course. Percival looked up from his letter with a sudden remembrance that Mr. Clifton was advertising for an organist, and on his way to the office he stopped to make inquiries at the High Church bookseller's and to post a line to Hammond. How if this should suit Bertie Lisle? He tried hard not to think too much about it, but the mere possibility that the bright young fellow, with his day-dreams, his unfinished opera, his pleasant voice and happily thoughtless talk, might come into his life gave Percival a new interest in it. Bertie had been a favorite of his years before, when he used to go sometimes to Mr. Lisle's. He still thought of him as little more than a boy—the boy who used to play to him in the twilight—and he had some trouble to realize that Bertie must be nearly two and twenty. If he should come—But most likely he would not come. It seemed a shame even to wish to shut up the young musician, with his love for all that was beautiful and bright, in that grimy town. Thorne resolved that he would not wish it, but he opened Hammond's next letter with unusual eagerness. Godfrey said they thought it sounded well, especially as when he named Brenthill it appeared that the Lisles had some sort of acquaintance living there, an old friend of their mother's, he believed, which naturally gave them an interest in the place. Bertie had written to Mr. Clifton, who would very shortly be in town, and had made an appointment to meet him.

The next news came in a note from Lisle himself. On the first page there was a pen-and-ink portrait of the incumbent of St. Sylvester's with a nimbus, and it was elaborately dated "Festival of St. Hilary."

"It is all as good as settled," was his triumphant announcement, "and we are in luck's way, for Judith thinks she has heard of something for herself too. You will see from my sketch that I have had my interview with Mr. Clifton. He is quite delighted with me. A great judge of character, that man! He is to write to one or two references I gave him, but they are sure to be all right, for my friends have been so bored with me and my prospects for the last few weeks that they would swear to my fitness for heaven [page 175] if it would only send me there. I rather think, however, that St. Sylvester's will suit me better for a little while. His Reverence is going to look me up some pupils, and I have bought a Churchman's almanac, and am thinking about starting an oratorio instead of my opera. Wasn't it strange that when your letter came from Brenthill we should remember that an old friend of my mother's lived there? Judith and she have been writing to each other ever since. Clifton is evidently undergoing tortures with the man he has got now, so I should not wonder if we are at Brenthill in a few days. It will be better for my chance of pupils too. I shall look you up without fail, and expect you to know everything about lodgings. How about Bellevue street? Are you far from St. Sylvester's?"

Thorne read the letter carefully, and drew from it two conclusions and a perplexity. He concluded that Bertie Lisle's elastic spirits had quickly recovered the shock of his father's failure and flight, and that he had not the faintest idea that any property of his—Percival's—had gone down in the wreck. So much the better.

His perplexity was, What was Miss Lisle going to do? Could the "we" who were to arrive imply that she meant to accompany her brother? And what was the something she had heard of for herself? The words haunted him. Was the ruin so complete that she too must face the world and earn her own living? A sense of cruel wrong stirred in his inmost soul.

He made up his mind at last that she was coming to establish Bertie in his lodgings before she went on her own way. He offered any help in his power when he answered the letter, but he added a postscript: "Don't think of Bellevue street: you wouldn't like it." He heard no more till one day he came back to his early dinner and found a sealed envelope on his table. It contained a half sheet of paper, on which Bertie had scrawled in pencil, "Why did you abuse Bellevue street? We think it will do. And why didn't you say there were rooms in this very house? We have taken them, so there is an end of your peaceful solitude. I'm going to practise for ever and ever. If you don't like it there's no reason why you shouldn't leave: it's a free country, they say."

Percival looked round his room. She had been there, then?—perhaps had stood where he was standing. His glance fell on the turquoise-blue vase and the artificial flowers, and he colored as if he were Lydia's accomplice. Had she seen those and the Language of Flowers?

As if his thought had summoned her, Lydia herself appeared to lay the cloth for his dinner. She looked quickly round: "Did you see your note, Mr. Thorne?"

"Thank you, yes," said Percival.

"I supposed it was right to show them in here to write it—wasn't it?" she asked after a pause. "He said he knew you very well."

"Quite right, certainly."

"A very pleasant-spoken young gentleman, ain't he?" said Miss Bryant, setting down a salt-cellar.

"Very," said Percival.

"Coming to play the High Church organ, he tells me," Lydia continued, as if the instrument in question were somehow saturated with ritualism.

"Yes—at St. Sylvester's."

Lydia looked at him, but he was gazing into the fire. She went out, came back with a dish, shook her curl out of the way, and tried again: "I suppose we're to thank you for recommending the lodgings—ain't we, Mr. Thorne? I'm sure ma's much obliged to you. And I'm glad"—this with a bashful glance—"that you felt you could. It seems as if we'd given satisfaction."

"Certainly," said Percival. "But you mustn't thank me in this case, Miss Bryant. I really didn't know what sort of lodgings my friend wanted. But of course I'm glad Mr. Lisle is coming here."

"And ain't you glad Miss Lisle is coming too, Mr. Thorne?" said Lydia very archly. But she watched him, lynx-eyed.

He uttered no word of surprise, but he could not quite control the muscles of his face, and a momentary light leapt into[page 176] his eyes. "I wasn't aware Miss Lisle was coming," he said.

Lydia believed him. "That's true," she thought, "but you're precious glad." And she added aloud, "Then the pleasure comes all the more unexpected, don't it?" She looked sideways at Percival and lowered her voice: "P'r'aps Miss Lisle meant a little surprise."

Percival returned her glance with a grave scorn which she hardly understood. "My dinner is ready?" he said. "Thank you, Miss Bryant." And Lydia flounced out of the room, half indignant, half sorrowful: "He didn't know—that's true. But she knows what she's after, very well. Don't tell me!" To Lydia, at this moment, it seemed as if every girl must be seeking what she sought. "And I call it very bold of her to come poking herself where she isn't wanted—running after a young man. I'd be ashamed." A longing to scratch Miss Lisle's face was mixed with a longing to have a good cry, for she was honestly suffering the pangs of unrequited love. It is true that it was not for the first time. The curl, the earrings, the songs, the Language of Flowers, had done duty more than once before. But wounds may be painful without being deep, although the fact of these former healings might prevent all fear of any fatal ending to this later love. Lydia was very unhappy as she went down stairs, though if another hero could be found she was perhaps half conscious that the melancholy part of her present love-story might be somewhat abridged.

The streets seemed changed to Percival as he went back to his work. Their ugliness was as bare and as repulsive as ever, but he understood now that the houses might hold human beings, his brothers and his sisters, since some one roof among them sheltered Judith Lisle. Thus he emerged from the alien swarm amid which he had walked in solitude so many days. Above the dull and miry ways were the beauty of her gray-blue eyes and the glory of her golden hair. He felt as if a white dove had lighted on the town, yet he laughed at his own feelings; for what did he know of her? He had seen her twice, and her father had swindled him out of his money.

Never had his work seemed so tedious, and never had he hurried so quickly to Bellevue street as he did when it was over. The door of No. 13 stood open, and young Lisle stood on the threshold. There was no mistaking him. His face had changed from the beautiful chorister type of two or three years earlier, but Percival thought him handsomer than ever. He ceased his soft whistling and held out his hand: "Thorne! At last! I was looking out for you the other way."

Thorne could hardly find time to greet him before he questioned eagerly, "You have really taken the rooms here?"

"Really and truly. What's wrong? Anything against the landlady?"

"No," said Percival. "She's honest enough, and fairly obliging, and all the rest of it. But then your sister is not coming here to live with you, as they told me? That was a mistake?"

"Not a bit of it. She's coming: in fact, she's here."

"In Bellevue street?" Percival looked up and down the dreary thoroughfare. "But, Lisle, what a place to bring her to!"

"Beggars mustn't be choosers," said Bertie. "We are not exactly what you would call rolling in riches just now. And Bellevue street happens to be about midway between St. Sylvester's and Standon Square, so it will suit us both."

"Standon Square?" Percival repeated.

"Yes. Oh, didn't I tell you? My mother came to school at Brenthill. It was her old schoolmistress we remembered lived here when we had your letter. So we wrote to her, and the old dear not only promised me some pupils, but it is settled that Judith is to go and teach there every day. Judith thinks we ought to stick to one another, we two."

"You're a lucky fellow," said Percival. "You don't know, and won't know, what loneliness is here."

"But how do you come to know anything about it? That's what I can't understand. I thought your grandfather died last summer?"

"So he did."

[page 177]

"But I thought you were to come in for no end of money?"



"I didn't, you see."

"But surely he always allowed you a lot," said Lisle, still unsatisfied. "You never used to talk of doing anything."

"No, but I found I must. The fact is, I'm not on the best terms with my cousin [page 178] at Brackenhill, and I made up my mind to be independent. Consequently, I'm a clerk—a copying-clerk, you understand—in a lawyer's office here—Ferguson's in Fisher street—and I lodge accordingly."

"I'm very sorry," said Bertie.

"Hammond knows all about it," the other went on, "but nobody else does."

"I was afraid there was something wrong," said Bertie—"wrong for you, I mean. From our point of view it is very lucky that circumstances have sent you here. But I hope your prospects may brighten; not directly—I can't manage to hope that—but soon."

Percival smiled. "Meanwhile," he said with a quiet earnestness of tone, "if there is anything I can do to help you or Miss Lisle, you will let me do it."

"Certainly," said Bertie. "We are going out now to look for a grocer. Suppose you come and show us one."

"I'm very much at your service. What are you looking at?"

"Why—you'll pardon my mentioning it—you have got the biggest smut on your left cheek that I've seen since I came here. They attain to a remarkable size in Brenthill, have you noticed?" Bertie spoke with eager interest, as if he had become quite a connoisseur in smuts. "Yes, that's it. I'll look Judith up, and tell her you are going with us."

Percival fled up stairs, more discomposed by that unlucky black than he would have thought possible. When he had made sure that he was tolerably presentable he waited by his open door till his fellow-lodgers appeared, and then stepped out on the landing to meet them. Miss Lisle, dressed very simply in black, stood drawing on her glove. A smile dawned on her face when her eyes met Percival's, and, greeting him in her low distinct tones, she held out her white right hand, still ungloved. He took it with grave reverence, for Judith Lisle had once touched his faint dream of a woman who should be brave with sweet heroism, tender and true. They had scarcely exchanged a dozen words in their lives, but he had said to himself, "If I were an artist I would paint my ideal with a face like that;" and the memory, with its underlying poetry, sprang to life again as his glance encountered hers. Percival felt the vague poem, though Bertie was at his elbow chattering about shops, and though he himself had hardly got over the intolerable remembrance of that smut.

When they were in the street Miss Lisle looked eagerly about her, and asked as they turned a corner, "Will this be our way to St. Sylvester's?"

"Yes. I suppose Bertie will make his début next Sunday? I must come and hear him."

"Of course you must," said Lisle. "Where do you generally go?"

"Well, for a walk generally. Sometimes it ends in some outlying church, sometimes not."

"Oh, but it's your duty to attend your parish church when I play there. I suppose St. Sylvester's is your parish church?"

"Not a bit of it. St. Andrew's occupies that proud position. I've been there three times, I think."

"And what sort of a place is that?" said Miss Lisle.

"The dreariest, dustiest, emptiest place imaginable," Percival answered, turning quickly toward her. "There's an old clergyman, without a tooth in his head, who mumbles something which the congregation seem to take for granted is the service. Perhaps he means it for that: I don't know. He's the curate, I think, come to help the rector, who is getting just a little past his work. I don't remember that I ever saw the rector."

"But does any one go?"

"Well, there's the clerk," said Percival thoughtfully; "and there's a weekly dole of bread left to fourteen poor men and fourteen poor women of the parish. They must be of good character and above the age of sixty-five. It is given away after the afternoon service. When I have been there, there has always been a congregation of thirty, without reckoning the clergyman." He paused in his walk. "Didn't you want a grocer, Miss Lisle? I don't do much of my shopping, but I believe this place is as good as any."

[page 179]

Judith went in, and the two young men waited outside. In something less than half a minute Lisle showed signs of impatience. He inspected the grocer's stock of goods through the window, and extended his examination to a toyshop beyond, where he seemed particularly interested in a small and curly lamb which stood in a pasture of green paint and possessed an underground squeak or baa. Finally, he returned to Thorne. "You like waiting, don't you?" he said.

"I don't mind it."

"And I do: that's just the difference. Is there a stationer's handy?"

"At the end of the street, the first turning to the left."

"I want some music-paper: I can get it before Judith has done ordering in her supplies if I go at once."

"Go, then: you can't miss it. I'll wait here for Miss Lisle, and we'll come and meet you if you are not back."

When Judith came out she looked round in some surprise: "What has become of Bertie, Mr. Thorne?"

"Gone to the bookseller's," said Percival: "shall we walk on and meet him?"

They went together down the gray, slushy street. The wayfarers seemed unusually coarse and jostling that evening, Percival thought, the pavement peculiarly miry, the flaring gaslights very cruel to the unloveliness of the scene.

"Mr. Thorne," Judith began, "I am glad of this opportunity. We haven't met many times before to-day."

"Twice," said Percival.

She looked at him, a faint light of surprise in her eyes. "Ah! twice," she repeated. "But you know Bertie well. You used often to come at one time, when I was away?"

"Oh yes, I saw a good deal of Bertie," he replied, remembering how he had taken a fancy to the boy.

"And he used to talk to me about you. I don't feel as if we were quite strangers, Mr. Thorne."

"Indeed, I hope not," said Percival, eluding a baker's boy and reappearing at her side.

"I've another reason for the feeling, too, besides Bertie's talk," she went on. "Once, six or seven years ago, I saw your father. He came in one evening, about some business I think, and I still remember the very tone in which he talked of you. I was only a school-girl then, but I could not help understanding something of what you were to him."

"He was too good to me," said Percival, and his heart was very full. Those bygone days with his father, which had drifted so far into the past, seemed suddenly brought near by Judith's words, and he felt the warmth of the old tenderness once more.

"So I was very glad to find you here," she said. "For Bertie's sake, not for yours. I am so grieved that you should have been so unfortunate!" She looked up at him with eyes which questioned and wondered and doubted all at once.

But a small girl, staring at the shop-windows, drove a perambulator straight at Percival's legs. With a laugh he stepped into the roadway to escape the peril, and came back: "Don't grieve about me, Miss Lisle. It couldn't be helped, and I have no right to complain." These were his spoken words: his unspoken thought was that it served him right for being such a fool as to trust her father. "It's worse for you, I think, and harder," he went on; "and if you are so brave—"

"It's for Bertie if I am," she said quickly: "it is very hard on him. We have spoilt him, I'm afraid, and now he will feel it so terribly. For people cannot be the same to us: how should they, Mr. Thorne? Some of our friends have been very good—no one could be kinder than Miss Crawford—but it is a dreadful change for Bertie. And I have been afraid of what he would do if he went where he had no companions. A sister is so helpless! So I was very thankful when your letter came. But I am sorry for you, Mr. Thorne. He told me just now—"

"But, as that can't be helped," said Percival, "be glad for my sake too. I have been very lonely."

She looked up at him and smiled. "He insisted on going to Bellevue street the first thing this morning," she said. "I[page 180] don't think any other lodgings would have suited him."

"But they are not good enough for you."

"Oh yes, they are, and near Standon Square, too: I shall only have seven or eight minutes' walk to my work. I should not have liked—Oh, here he is!—Bertie, this is cool of you, deserting me in this fashion!"

"Why, of course you were all right with Thorne, and he asked me to let him help me in any way he could. I like to take a man at his word."

"By all means take me at mine," said Percival.

"Help you?" said Judith to her brother. "Am I such a terrible burden, then?"

"No," Thorne exclaimed. "Bertie is a clever fellow: he lets me share his privileges first, that I mayn't back out of sharing any troubles later."

"Are you going to save him trouble by making his pretty speeches for him, too?" Judith inquired with a smile. "You are indeed a friend in need."

They had turned back, and were walking toward Bellevue street. As they went into No. 13 they encountered Miss Bryant in the passage. She glanced loftily at Miss Lisle as she swept by, but she turned and fixed a look of reproachful tenderness on Percival Thorne. He knew that he was guiltless in the matter, and yet in Judith's presence he felt guilty and humiliated beneath Lydia's ostentatiously mournful gaze. The idea that she would probably be jealous of Miss Lisle flashed into his mind, to his utter disgust and dismay. He turned into his own room and flung himself into a chair, only to find, a few minutes later, that he was staring blankly at Lydia's blue vase. But for the Lisles, he might almost have been driven from Bellevue street by its mere presence on the table. It was beginning to haunt him: it mingled in his dreams, and he had drawn its hideous shape absently on the edge of his blotting-paper. Let him be where he might, it lay, a light-blue burden, on his mind. It was not the vase only, but he felt that it implied Lydia herself, curl, turquoise earrings, smile and all, and on the evening of his meeting with Judith Lisle the thought was doubly hateful.



Thus, as the days lengthened, and the winter, bitter though it was, began to give faint promise of sunlight to come, Percival entered on his new life and felt the gladness of returning spring. At the beginning of winter our glances are backward: we are like spendthrifts who have wasted all in days of bygone splendor. We sit, pinched and poverty-stricken, by our little light of fire and candle, remembering how the whole land was full of warmth and golden gladness in our lavish prime. But our feelings change as the days grow clear and keen and long. This very year has yet to wear its crown of blossom. Its inheritance is to come, and all is fresh and wonderful. We would not ask the bygone summer for one day more, for we have the beauty of promise, instead of that beauty of long triumph which is heavy and over-ripe, and with March at hand we cannot desire September.

Percival's new life was cold and stern as the February weather, but it had its flitting gleams of grace and beauty in brief words or passing looks exchanged with Judith Lisle. He was no lover, to pine for more than Fate vouchsafed. It seemed to him that the knowledge that he might see her was almost enough; and it was well it should be so, for he met her very seldom. She went regularly to Standon Square, and came home late and tired. She had one half-holiday in the week, but Miss Crawford had recommended her to a lady whose eldest girl was dull and backward at her music, and she spent a great part of that afternoon in teaching Janie Barton. Bertie was indignant: "Why should you, who have an ear and a soul for music, be tortured by such an incapable as that? Let them find some one else to teach her."

"And some one else to take the money! Besides, Mrs. Barton is so kind—"

[page 181]

Bertie, who was lying on three chairs in front of the fire, sat up directly and looked resigned: "That's it! now for it! No one is so good as Mrs. Barton, except Miss Crawford; and no one is anything like Miss Crawford, except Mrs. Barton. Oh, I know! And old Clifton is the first and best of men. And so you lavish your gratitude on them—Judith, why are all our benefactors such awful guys?—while they ought to be thanking their stars they've got us!"

"Nonsense, Bertie!"

"'Tisn't nonsense. Aren't you better than I am? And old Clifton is very lucky to get such an organist. I think he is thankful, but I wish he wouldn't show it by asking me to tea again."

"Don't complain of Mr. Clifton," said Judith. "You are very fortunate, if you only knew it."

"Am I? Then suppose you go to tea with him if you are so fond of him. I rather think I shall have a severe cold coming on next Tuesday."

Judith said no more, being tolerably sure that when Tuesday came Bertie would go. But she was not quite happy about him. She lived as if she idolized the spoilt boy, but the blindness which makes idolatry joyful was denied to her. So that, though he was her first thought every day of her life, the thought was an anxious one. She was very grateful to Miss Crawford for having given him a chance, so young and untried as he was, but she could only hope that Bertie would not repay her kindness by some thoughtless neglect. At present all had gone well: there could be no question about his abilities, Miss Crawford was satisfied, and the young master got on capitally with his pupils. Neither was Judith happy when he was with Mr. Clifton. Bertie came home to mimic the clergyman with boyish recklessness, and she feared that the same kind of thing went on with some of the choir behind Mr. Clifton's back. ("Behind his back?" Bertie said one day. "Under his nose, if you like: it would be all one to Clifton.") He frightened her with his carelessness in money-matters and his scarcely concealed contempt for the means by which he lived. "Thank Heaven! this hasn't got to last for ever," he said once when she remonstrated.

"Don't reckon on anything else," she pleaded. "I know what you are thinking of. Oh, Bertie, I don't like you to count on that."

He threw back his head, and laughed: "Well, if that fails, wait and see what I can do for myself."

He looked so bright and daring as he spoke that she could hardly help sharing his confidence. "Ah! the opera!" she said. "But, Bertie, you must work."

"The opera—Yes, of course I will work," Bertie answered. "Now you mention it, it strikes me I may as well have a pipe and think about it a bit. No time like the present, is there?" So Bertie had his pipe and a little quiet meditation. There was a lingering smile on his face as if something had amused him. He always felt particularly virtuous when he smoked his pipe, because it was so much more economical than the cigars of his prosperous days. "A penny saved is a penny gained." Bertie felt as if he must be gradually making his fortune as he leant back and watched the smoke curl upward.

And yet, with it all, how could Judith complain? He was the very life of the house as he ran up and down stairs, filling the dingy passages with melodious singing. He had a bright word for every one. The grimy little maid-servant would have died for him at a moment's notice. Bertie was always sweet-tempered: in very truth, there was not a touch of bitterness in his nature. And he was so fond of Judith, so proud of her, so thoroughly convinced of her goodness, so sure that he should do great things for her some day! What could she say against him?

Percival, too, was fascinated. His room smelt of Bertie's tobacco and was littered with blotted manuscripts. He went so regularly to hear Bertie play that Mr. Clifton noticed the olive-skinned, foreign-looking young man, and thought of asking him to join the Guild of St. Sylvester and take a class in the[page 182] Sunday-school. Yet Percival also had doubts about the young organist's future. He knew that letters came now and then from New York which saddened Judith and brightened Bertie. If Mr. Lisle prospered in America and summoned his son to share his success, would he have strength to cling to poverty and honor in England? There were times when Percival doubted it. There were times, too, when he doubted whether the boy's musical promise would ever ripen to worthy fruit, though he was angry with himself for his doubts. "If he triumphs, it will be her doing," he thought. Little as he saw of Judith, they were yet becoming friends. You may meet a man every day, and if you only talk to him about the weather and the leading articles in the Times, you may die of old age before you reach friendship. But these two talked of more than the weather. Once, emboldened by her remembrance of old days, he spoke of his father. He hardly noticed at the time that Judith took keen note of something he said of the old squire's utter separation from his son. "I was more Percival than Thorne till I was twenty," said he.

"And are you not more Percival than Thorne still?"

He liked to hear her say "Percival" even thus. "Perhaps," he said. "But it is strange how I've learned to care about Brackenhill—or, rather, it wasn't learning, it came by instinct—and now no place on earth seems like home to me except that old house."

Judith, fair and clear-eyed, leaned against the window and looked out into the twilight. After a pause she spoke: "You are fortunate, Mr. Thorne. You can look back happily to your life with your father."

The intention of her speech was evident: so was a weariness which he had sometimes suspected in her voice. He answered her: "And you cannot?"

"No," she said. "I was wondering just now how many people had reason to hate the name of Lisle."

Percival was not unconscious of the humorous side of such a remark when addressed to himself. But Judith looked at him almost as if she would surprise his thought.

"Don't dwell on such things," he said. "Men in your father's position speculate, and perhaps hardly know how deeply they are involved, till nothing but a lucky chance will save them, and it seems impossible to do anything but go on. At last the end comes, and it is very terrible. But you can't mend it."

"No," said Judith, "I can't."

"Then don't take up a useless burden when you need all your strength. You were not to blame in any way."

"No," she said again, "I hope not. But it is hard to be so helpless. I do not even know their names. I can only feel as if I ought to be more gentle and more patient with every one, since any one may be—"

"Ah, Miss Lisle," said Percival, "you will pay some of the debts unawares in something better than coin."

She shook her head, but when she looked up at him there was a half smile on her lips. As she moved away Percival thought of Sissy's old talk about heroic women—"Jael, and Judith, and Charlotte Corday." He felt that this girl would have gone to her death with quiet dignity had there been need. Godfrey Hammond had called her a plain likeness of her brother, but Percival had seen at the first glance that her face was worth infinitely more than Bertie's, even in his boyish promise; and an artist would have turned from the brother to the sister, justifying Percival.

It was well for Percival that Judith's friendly smile and occasional greeting made bright moments in his life, since he had no more of Lydia's attentions. Poor grimy little Emma waited on him wearily, and always neglected him if the Lisles wanted her. She had apparently laid in an immense stock of goods, for she never went shopping now, but stayed at home and let his fire go out, and was late and slovenly with his meals. There was no great dishonesty, but his tea-caddy was no longer guarded and provisions ceased to be mysteriously preserved. Miss Bryant seldom met him on the stairs, and when she did she flounced[page 183] past him in lofty scorn. Her slighted love had turned to gall. She was bitter in her very desire to convince herself that she had never thought of Mr. Thorne. She neglected to send up his letters; she would not lift a finger to help in getting his dinner ready; and if Emma happened to be out of the way she would let his bell ring and take no notice. Yet she would have been very true to him, in her own fashion, if he would have had it so: she would have taken him for better, for worse—would have slaved for him and fought for him, and never suffered any one else to find fault with him in any way whatever. But he had not chosen that it should be so, and Lydia had reclaimed her heart and her pocket edition of the Language of Flowers, and now watched Percival and Miss Lisle with spiteful curiosity.

"I shall be late at Standon Square this evening: Miss Crawford wants me," said Judith one morning to her brother.

"I'll come and meet you," was his prompt reply. "What time? Don't let that old woman work you into an early grave."

"There's no fear of that. I'm strong, and it won't hurt me. Suppose you come at half-past nine: you must have your tea by yourself, I'm afraid."

"That's all right," he answered cheerfully.

"'That's all right?' What do you mean by that, sir?"

"I mean that I don't at all mind when you don't come back to tea. I think I rather prefer it. There, Miss Lisle!"

"You rude boy!" She felt herself quite justified in boxing his ears.

"Oh, I say, hold hard! Mind my violets!" he exclaimed.

"Your violets? Oh, how sweet they are!" And bending forward, Judith smelt them daintily. "Where did you get them, Bertie?"

"Ah! where?" And Bertie stood before the glass and surveyed himself. The cheap lodging-house mirror cast a greenish shade over his features, but the little bouquet in his buttonhole came out very well. "Where did I get them? I didn't buy them, if you mean that. They were given to me."

"Who gave them to you?"

"And then women say it isn't fair to call them curious!" Bertie put his head on one side, dropped his eyelids, looked out of the corners of his eyes, and smiled, fingering an imaginary curl.

"Not that nasty Miss Bryant? She didn't!"

"She did, though."

"The wretch! Then you sha'n't wear them one moment more." Bertie eluded her attack, and stood laughing on the other side of the table. "Oh, Bertie!" suddenly growing very plaintive, "why did you let me smell the nasty things?"

"They are very nice," said Lisle, looking down at the poor little violets. "Oh, we are great friends, Lydia and I. I shall have buttered toast for tea to-night."

"Buttered toast? What do you mean?"

"Why, it's a curious thing, but Emma—isn't her name Emma?—always has to work like a slave when you go out. I don't know why there should be so much more to do: you don't help her to clean the kettles or the steps in the general way, do you? It's a mystery. Anyhow, Lydia has to see after my tea, and then I have buttered toast or muffins and rashers of bacon. Lydia's attentions are just a trifle greasy perhaps, now I come to think of it. But she toasts muffins very well, does that young woman, and makes very good tea too."

"Bertie! I thought you made tea for yourself when I was away."

"Oh! did you? Not I: why should I? I had some of Mrs. Bryant's raspberry jam one night: that wasn't bad for a change. And once I had some prawns."

"Oh, Bertie! How could you?"

"Bless you, my child!" said Bertie, "how serious you look! Where's the harm? Do you think I shall make myself ill? By the way, I wonder if Lydia ever made buttered toast for Thorne? I suspect she did, and that he turned up his nose at it: she always holds her head so uncommonly high if his name is mentioned."

[page 184]

"Do throw those violets on the fire," said Judith.

"Indeed, I shall do nothing of the kind. I'm coming to Standon Square to give my lessons this morning, with my violets. See if I don't."

The name of Standon Square startled Judith into looking at the time. "I must be off," she said. "Don't be late for the lessons, and oh, Bertie, don't be foolish!"

"All right," he answered gayly. Judith ran down stairs. At the door she encountered Lydia and eyed her with lofty disapproval. It did not seem to trouble Miss Bryant much. She knew Miss Lisle disliked her, and took it as an inevitable fact, if not an indirect compliment to her conquering charms. So she smiled and wished Judith good-morning. But she had a sweeter smile for Bertie when, a little later, carefully dressed, radiant, handsome, with her violets in his coat, he too went on his way to Standon Square.

If Judith had been in Bellevue street when he came back, she might have noticed that the little bouquet was gone. Had it dropped out by accident? Or had Bertie merely defended his violets for fun, and thrown them away as soon as her back was turned? Or what had happened to them? There was no one to inquire.

Young Lisle strolled into Percival's room, and found him just come in and waiting for his dinner. "I'm going to practise at St. Sylvester's this afternoon," said the young fellow. "What do you say to a walk as soon as you get away?"

Percival assented, and began to move some of the books and papers which were strewn on the table. Lisle sat on the end of the horsehair sofa and watched him. "I can't think how you can endure that blue thing and those awful flowers continually before your eyes," he said at last.

Percival shrugged his shoulders. He could not explain to Lisle that to request that Lydia's love-token might be removed would have seemed to him to be like going down to her level and rejecting what he preferred to ignore. "What am I to do?" he said. "I believe they think it very beautiful, and I fancy the flowers are home-made. People have different ideas of art, but shall I therefore wound Miss Bryant's feelings?"

"Heaven forbid!" said Bertie. "Did Lydia Bryant make those flowers? How interesting!" He pulled the vase toward him for a closer inspection. There was a crash, and light-blue fragments strewed the floor, Percival, piling his books on the side-table, looked round with an exclamation.

"Hullo!" said Lisle, "I've done it! Here's a pretty piece of work! And you so fond of it, too!" He was picking up the flowers as he spoke.—"Here, Emma," as the girl opened the door, "I've upset Mr. Thorne's flower-vase. Tell Miss Bryant it was my doing, and I'm afraid it won't mend. Better take up the pieces carefully, though, on the chance." This was thoughtful of Bertie, as the bits were remarkably small. "And here are the flowers—all right, I think. Have you got everything?" He held the door open while she went out with her load, and then he came back rubbing his hands: "Well, are you grateful? You'll never see that again."

Percival surveyed him with a grave smile. "I'm grateful," he said. "But I'd rather you didn't treat all the things which offend my eye in the same way."

Bertie glanced round at the furniture, cheap, mean and shabby: "You think I should have too much smashing to do?"

"I fear it might end in my sitting cross-legged on the floor," said Thorne. "And my successor might cavil at Mrs. Bryant's idea of furnished lodgings."

"Well, I know I've done you a good turn to-day," Bertie rejoined: "my conscience approves of my conduct." And he went off whistling.

Percival, on his way out, met Lydia on the landing. "Miss Bryant, have you a moment to spare?" he said as she went rustling past.

She stopped ungraciously.

"The flower-vase on my table is broken. If you can tell me what it cost I will pay for it."

[page 185]

"Mr. Lisle broke it, didn't he? Emma said—"

"No matter," said Thorne: "it was done in my room. It is no concern of Mr. Lisle's. Can you tell me?"

Lydia hesitated. Should she let him pay for it? Some faint touch of refinement told her that she should not take money for what she had meant as a love-gift. She looked up and met the utter indifference of his eyes as he stood, purse in hand, before her. She was ashamed of the remembrance that she had tried to attract his attention, and burned to deny it. "Well, then, it was three-and-six," she said.

Percival put the money in her hand. She eyed it discontentedly.

"That's right, isn't it?" he asked in some surprise.

The touch of the coins recalled to her the pleasure with which she had spent her own three-and-sixpence to brighten his room, and she half repented. "Oh, it's right enough," she said. "But I don't know why you should pay for it. Things will get knocked over—"

"I beg your pardon: of course I ought to pay for it," he replied, drawing himself up. He spoke the more decidedly that he knew how it was broken. "But, Miss Bryant, it will not be necessary to replace it. I don't think anything of the kind would be very safe in the middle of my table." And with a bow he went on his way.

Lydia stood where he had left her, fingering his half-crown and shilling with an uneasy sense that there was something very mean about the transaction. Now that she had taken his money she disliked him much more, but, as she had taken it, she went away and bought herself a pair of grass-green gloves. From that time forward she always openly declared that she despised Mr. Thorne.

That evening, when they came back from their walk, Lisle asked his companion to lend him a couple of sovereigns. "You shall have them back to-morrow," he said airily. Percival assented as a matter of course. He hardly thought about it at all, and if he had he would have supposed that there was something to be paid in Miss Lisle's absence. He had still something left of the small fortune with which he had started. It was very little, but he could manage Bertie's two sovereigns with that and the money he had laid aside for Mrs. Bryant's weekly bill.

Percival Thorne, always exact in his accounts, supposed that a time was fixed for the repayment of the loan. He did not understand that his debtor was one of those people who when they say "I will pay you to-morrow," merely mean "I will not pay you to-day."



Percival had announced the fact of the Lisles' presence in Bellevue street to Sissy in a carefully careless sentence. Sissy read it, and shivered sadly. Then she answered in a peculiarly bright and cheerful letter. "I'm not fit for him," she thought as she wrote it. "I don't understand him, and I'm always afraid. Even when he loved me best I felt as if he loved some dream-girl and took me for her in his dream, and would be angry with me when he woke. Miss Lisle would not be afraid. It is the least I can do for Percival, not to stand in the way of his happiness—the least I can do, and oh, how much the hardest!" So she gave Thorne to understand that she was getting on remarkably well.

It was not altogether false. She had fallen from a dizzy height, but she had found something of rest and security in the valley below. And as prisoners cut off from all the larger interests of their lives pet the plants and creatures which chance to lighten their captivity, so did Sissy begin to take pleasure in little gayeties for which she had not cared in old days. She could sleep now at night without apprehension, and she woke refreshed. There was a great blank in her existence where the thunderbolt fell, but the cloud which hung so blackly overhead was gone. The lonely life was sad, but it held nothing quite so dreadful as the[page 186] fear that a day might come when Percival and his wife would know that they stood on different levels—that she could not see with his eyes nor understand his thoughts—when he would look at her with sorrowful patience, and she would die slowly of his terrible kindness. The lonely life was sad, but, after all, Sissy Langton would not be twenty-one till April.

Percival read her letter, and asked Godfrey Hammond how she really was. "Tell me the truth," he said: "you know all is over between us. She writes cheerfully. Is she better than she was last year?"

Hammond replied that Sissy was certainly better. "She has begun to go out again, and Fordborough gossip says that there is something between her and young Hardwicke. He is a good fellow, and I fancy the old man will leave him very well off. But she might do better, and there are two people, at any rate, who do not think anything will come of it—myself and young Hardwicke."

Percival hoped not, indeed.

A month later Hammond wrote that there was no need for Percival to excite himself about Henry Hardwicke. Mrs. Falconer had taken Sissy and Laura to a dance at Latimer's Court, and Sissy's conquests were innumerable. Young Walter Latimer and a Captain Fothergill were the most conspicuous victims. "I believe Latimer rides into Fordborough every day, and the captain, being stationed there, is on the spot. Our St. Cecilia looks more charming than ever, but what she thinks of all this no one knows. Of course Latimer would be the better match, as far as money goes—he is decidedly better-looking, and, I should say, better-tempered—but Fothergill has an air about him which makes his rival look countrified, so I suppose they are tolerably even. Neither is overweighted with brains. What do you think? Young Garnett cannot say a civil word to either of them, and wants to give Sissy a dog. He is not heart-whole either, I take it."

Hammond was trying to probe his correspondent's heart. He flattered himself that he should learn something from Percival, let him answer how he would. But Percival did not answer at all. The fact was, he did not know what to say. It seemed to him that he would give anything to hear that Sissy was happy, and yet—

Nor did Sissy understand herself very well. Her grace and sweetness attracted Latimer and Fothergill, and a certain gentle indifference piqued them. She was not sad, lest sadness should be a reproach to Percival. In truth, she hardly knew what she wished. One day she came into the room and overheard the fag-end of a conversation between Mrs. Middleton and a maiden aunt of Godfrey Hammond's who had come to spend the day. "You know," said the visitor, "I never could like Mr. Percival Thorne as much as—"

Sissy paused on the threshold, and Miss Hammond stopped short. The color mounted to her wintry cheek, and she contrived to find an opportunity to apologize a little later: "I beg your pardon, my dear, for my thoughtless remark just as you came in. I know so little that my opinion was worthless. I really beg your pardon."

"What for?" said Sissy. "For what you said about Percival Thorne? My dear Miss Hammond, people can't be expected to remember that. Why, we agreed that it should be all over and done with at least a hundred years ago." She spoke with hurried bravery.

The old lady looked at her and held out her hands: "My dear, is the time always so long since you parted?"

Sissy put the proffered hands airily aside and scoffed at the idea. They had a crowd of callers that afternoon, but the girl lingered more than once by Miss Hammond's side and paid her delicate little attentions. This perplexed young Garnett very much when he had ascertained from one of the company that the old woman had nothing but an annuity of three hundred a year. He hoped that Sissy Langton wasn't a little queer, but, upon his word, it looked like it.


[page 187]


On the eastern shore of that stretch of land which forms the extreme south-western point of Wales stands the stony little seaport town of Tenby. It is an old, old town, rich in historical legends, an important place in the twelfth century and down to Queen Elizabeth's reign. Soon after her time it fell into woeful decay, and for years of whose number there is no record Tenby existed as a poor fishing-village and mourned its departed glories. That it would ever again be a place of interest to anybody but people of fishy pursuits was an idea Tenby did not entertain concerning itself; but, lo! in the present century there arose a custom among genteel folk of going down to the sea in bathing-machines. It was discovered that Tenby was a spot favored of Neptune (or whatever god or goddess regulates the matter of surf-bathing), and Tenby was taken down from the shelf, as it were, dusted, mended and set on its legs again. The fashionables smiled on it. Away off in the depths of wild Wales the knowing few set up their select and choice summer abode, and vaunted its being so far away from home; for Tenby was farther from London in those old coaching days than New York is in these days of steamships. Even years after railroads found their way into Wales, Tenby remained remote and was approachable only by coach; but now you can step into your railway-carriage in London and trundle to Tenby without change between your late breakfast and your late dinner.

Probably no seaside watering-place known to the polite world contrasts so strongly with the typical American watering-place as does this Welsh resort. Not at Brighton, not at Biarritz, not at any German spa, will the tourist find so complete a contrast in every respect to Long Branch or Newport. Tenby is almost sui generis. A watering-place without a wooden building in it would of itself be a novelty to an American. Our summer cities consist wholly of wooden buildings, but Tenby, from the point of its ponderous pier, where the waves break as on a rock, to the tip of its church-spire, which the clouds kiss, is every inch of stone. Welshmen will not build even so insignificant a structure as a pig-sty out of boards if there are stones to be had. I have seen stone pig-sties in Glamorganshire with walls a foot thick and six hundred years old. There is not a wooden building in Tenby. The station-buildings are "green" (as the Welsh say of a new house), but they are solid stone.

Alighting from the railway-carriage in which you have come down from London, you are greeted with no clamor of bawling hack-drivers and hotel-omnibus men roaring in stentorian tones the names of their various houses. Three or four quiet serving-men in corduroy small-clothes and natty coats touch their hats to you and look in your face inquiringly. They represent the various hotels in Tenby, and at a gesture of assent from you one of them takes your bags, your wraps, whatever you are burdened with, and conducts you to a somewhat antiquated vehicle which bears you to your chosen inn through some gray stony streets, under an ivy-green archway of the ancient town-wall; and as the vehicle draws up at the inn-door the beauty of Tenby lies spread suddenly before you—the lovely bay, the cliffs, the sands, the ruined castle on the hill, the restless sea beyond. A handsome young person in an elaborate toilet as regards her back hair, but not otherwise impressive in attire, comes to the door of the hotel to meet you, and gently inquires concerning your wishes: that you have come to stay in the house is a presumption which no properly constituted young person in Tenby would venture upon without express warrant in words. Receiving information on this point from you, the probability is that she imparts to you in return the information that the house is[page 188] full. Such, indeed, is the chronic condition of the hotels at Tenby in the season; and unless you have written beforehand and secured accommodations, you are not likely to find them. In the life of a Welsh watering-place hotels do not fill the important place they do in American summer resorts. Nobody lives at an hotel in Tenby. If their stay be longer than a day or two (and very few indeed are they who come to-day and are off to-morrow), visitors inevitably go into lodgings. Such is the custom of the country, and there is no provision for any other, no encouragement to a prolonged stay at an hotel. The result is, that the hotels are in an incessant state of bustle and change: there is a never-intermitting stream of arrivals, who only ask to be made comfortable for a night or two while they are looking for lodgings, and then make way for the next squad. Tenby abounds in lodging-houses, the expenses of which are smaller than hotel expenses, while their comforts are greater, their cares actually less and their good tone unquestionable. The various lodging-house quarters vie with each other in genteel cognomens and aristocratic flavor. The Esplanade is but a row of lodging-houses. The various Terraces, each with a prenomen more graceful than the other, are the same. The windows of Tudor Square and Victoria street, Paragon Place and Glendower Crescent, bloom with invitations to "inquire within." A handsome parlor and bedroom may be had for two pounds a week, and the cost of food and sundries need not exceed two pounds more for two persons moderately fond of good living; which means, at Tenby, the fattest and whitest of fowls, the freshest and daintiest salmon and john dories, the reddest and sweetest of lobsters and prawns. Those who prefer to take a house have every encouragement to do so. A bijou of a furnished cottage, all overrun with vines and flowers, may be had for three pounds a month, the use of plate and linen included. These things are fatal to hotel ambition, for although the hotels are not expensive, from an American point of view, they cannot compete with such figures as these. Hence there is nothing to induce a change in the customs of Tenby, which have prevailed ever since it became a watering-place. Britons do not change their habits without good and valid cause therefor, and no Americans ever come to Tenby, so far as I can learn.

We are Americans ourselves, of course, and we are going to do as Americans do—viz. make a very brief stay, and that in an hotel. We obtain accommodations at last through a happy fortune, and presently find ourselves installed in the grandest suite of hotel-apartments at Tenby—a large parlor, handsomely furnished, with a piano, books, objets d'art, etc., and a bedroom off it. At Long Branch, were there such an apartment there—which there is not—twenty dollars a day would be charged for it, without board and without compunction. Here we pay nineteen shillings. There is a magnificent view from our front windows. The hotel stands close to the cliff, with only a narrow street between its doorstep and the edge of the precipice. The night is falling, and the scene is like Fairy Land. We look from our windows straight down upon the sands, a dizzy distance below (but to which it were easy to toss a pebble), and out over the glassy waters, where small craft float silently, with the gray old stone pier and the dark ivy-hung ruin on Castle Hill, the one reflected in the waves, the other outlined against the sky—a lovely picture. Tenby covers the ridge of a long and narrow promontory rising abruptly out of the sea, its stone streets running along the dizzy limestone cliffs. From the highest point eastward—where is presented toward the sea a front of rugged precipices which would not shame a mountain-range—the promontory slopes gradually lower and lower till the streets of the town run stonily down sidewise through an ancient gate and debouch upon the south beach. Then, as if repenting its condescension, the promontory takes a fresh start, and for a brief spurt climbs again, but quickly plunges into the sea. This spurt, however, creates the picturesque hill on which of old stood a powerful Norman fortress, whose ruins we see. Local enterprise[page 189] has now laid out the hill as a public pleasure-ground, with gravelled paths and rustic seats, and glorified it with a really superb statue of the late Prince Albert, who, the Welsh inscription asserts, was Albert Dda, Priod Ein Gorhoffus Frenhines Victoria.

We find upon inquiry that our hotel so far infringes upon primitive Welsh manners as to provide a table-d'hôte dinner at six. This is most welcome news, and we become at once part of the company which sits down to the table d'hôte. There are ten people besides ourselves, and not a commonplace or colorless character among them. My left-hand neighbor is a somewhat slangy young gentleman in a suit of chequered clothes, who carves the meats, being at the head of the table; and my happy propinquity secures me the honor of selection by the young gentleman as the recipient of his observations: a toughish round of beef which he is called upon to carve evokes from him an aside to the effect that it is "rather a dose." The foot of the table is held by an old gentleman in a black stock, with a tuft of wiry hair on the front part of his head, and none whatever on any other part, who carves a fowl, and in asking the diners which part they severally prefer accompanies the question with a brisk sharpening of his knife on his fork, but without making the least noise in doing it. My chequered neighbor having advertised the toughness of the beef, everybody murmurs a purpose of indulging in fowl, at which my neighbor observes aside to me that he is "rather jolly glad," and the butler takes the beef away. The dish next set before him proving a matter of spoons merely, his relief at not being obliged to carve finds vent in a whispered "Hooray!" for my exclusive amusement. One unfortunate individual has accepted a helping of beef, however—a bald-headed man in spectacles, not hitherto unaccustomed to good living, if one might judge by his rounded proportions. It is painful to witness his struggles with the beef, which he maintains with the earnestness of a man who means to conquer or perish in the endeavor. Opposite sits as fair a type of a ripe British beauty of the middle class as I have anywhere seen—with a complexion of snow, a mouth like a red bud and eyes as beautiful and expressive as those of a splendid large wax doll, her hair drawn tensely back and rolled into billowy puffs, with a rose atop. It is sad, in looking on a picture like this—superb in its suggestions of pure rich blood and abounding health—to reflect that such a rose will develop into a red peony in ten years. I do not say the peony will not have her own strong recommendings to the eye: we may not despise a peony, but it is impossible not to regret that a rose should turn into one. There is a very good example of the peony sort near the foot of the table—quite a magnificent creature in her way. Her husband, who sits next her, is a fiercely-bearded man, but has a strange air of being in his wife's custody nevertheless. The lady is apparently forty-five, red to a fault, full in the neck, and with a figure which necessitates a somewhat haughty pose of the head unless one would appear gross and piggish. There is much to admire in this lady, peony though she be. The fiercely-bearded husband is smaller than his wife, and, in spite of her commanding air and his subdued aspect, I have not a doubt he rules her with a rod of iron. Appearances are very deceptive in this direction. I have known so many large ladies married to little men who (the ladies) carried themselves in public like grenadiers or drum-majors, and in private doted on their little lords' shoe-strings! Next the fiercely-bearded husband sits a very pretty girl, whom he finds his entertainment in constantly observing with the air of a connoisseur. She is modesty itself; her eyes are never off her plate; and from the at-ease manner in which he contemplates her it is clear he no more expects her to return his gaze than he expects a torpedo to go off under his chair.

The dinner proceeds most decorously. If it were a funeral, indeed, it could hardly be less given to anything approaching hilarity. There is now and then a little conversation, but the gaps are frightful[page 190] —yawning chasms of silence of the sort in which you are moved to wild thoughts of running away, for fear you may suddenly commit some act of horrible impropriety, like whistling in church. In one of these gaps—during which the whole company, having finished the course, is waiting gloomily for the victim of tough beef (who is still struggling) to have done—my chequered neighbor remarks, in an aside which makes every one start as if a pistol had been fired off, "Goodish-sized pause, eh?"

But with the dessert we begin to unbend. We are still exceedingly decorous, but our tongues are loosened a little, and we exchange amiable remarks, under whose genial influence we begin to feel that the worst is over. Unfortunately, however, with the spread of sunshine among us there is the muttering of a storm at our backs: the butler pushes his female assistant aside with deep rumbling growls, and presently explodes with open rage at her stupidity. The diners turn and stare incredulous and amazed. The butler rushes madly from the room. The female assistant, agitated but obstinate, seizes the blanc-mange and the cream and proceeds to serve them. I shall not be believed, I fear, but I am relating simple truth: in her agitation this incredible female spills the cream in a copious shower-bath over me and my chequered neighbor, and excitedly falls to mopping it off us with her napkin, like a pantomime clown. Fortunately, we are in our travelling suits, and come out of this baptism unharmed. The incident nearly suffocates the company, for there is not a soul among them who would not sooner suffer the pangs of dissolution than laugh outright. As for me, I am nearly expiring with the merriment that consumes me and my efforts to prevent indecorous explosion. The young woman, after having wiped me dry, once more presents the cream-jug, this time with both hands, but I can only murmur faintly in my trouble, "Thanks, no—no more cream." This appears to be quite too much for the young person, who throws up her arms in despair and rushes after the butler. What tragic encounter there may have been in the servants' hall I know not. Another servant comes and carries the dinner through.

It is entertainment enough for the first morning of your stay at Tenby just to sit at the windows and observe what is there before you—the street with its passers, the beach with its strange rock-formations, the ocean thickly dotted with fishing-craft. The tide is out, and the huge black block of compact limestone called God's Rock, with its almost perpendicular strata, lies all uncovered in the morning sun—a vast curiosity-shop where children clamber about and search for strange creatures of the sea. In the pools left here and there by the receding tide are found not only crabs and periwinkles in great number, but polyps, sea-anemones, star-fishes, medusæ and the like in almost endless variety. Naturalists—who are but children older grown, with all a child's capacity for being amused by Nature—get rages of enthusiasm on them as they search the crevices of this and other like rocks at Tenby. A floor of hard yellow sand stretches away into the distance, visible for miles, owing to the circular sweep of the beach and the height from which we are looking out, and it is dotted with strollers appearing like black mice moving slowly about. The long stretch of the cliff, from its crescent shape, is clearly seen—sometimes a sheer, bare stone precipice, sometimes a steep slope covered with woods and hanging gardens and zigzag, descending walled paths.

Among those who make up the human panorama of the street under your window are types of character peculiar to Wales. One such is the peddling fisher-woman who strolls by with a basketful of bright pink prawns, which she holds out to you temptingly, looking up. The fisher-women of Tenby wear a costume differing in some respects from that of all other Welsh peasants. Instead of the glossy and expensive "beaver" worn in other parts, the Tenby women sport a tall hat of straw or badly-battered felt. Another favorite with them is a soft black slouch hat like a man's, but with a knot[page 191] of ribbon in front. One of the neatest of the fisher-women is an old girl of fifty or so, who haunts your windows incessantly, and greets you with a quick-dropped courtesy whenever you walk out. She is never seen to stand still, except for the purpose of talking to a customer, but trots incessantly about; and either for this reason, or from her constant journeys to and fro between her home and the town, is given the nickname of Dame Trudge. She usually has on her back a coarse oyster-basket called a "creel," and in her hands another basket containing cooked prawns, lobsters or other temptation to the gourmand. Her dress, though it is midsummer, is warm and snug, particularly about the head and neck, as a protection against the winds of ocean; and her stout legs are encased in jet-black woollen stockings (visible below her short check petticoat), while her feet are shod with huge brogans whose inch-thick soles are heavily plated with iron. She lives ten miles from Tenby, walks to and fro always, and sleeps under her own roof every night, yet you never fail to see her there in the street when you get up in the morning. There are many other oyster-women to be seen at Tenby, but none so trim as good Dame Trudge. Here and hereabout grow the largest, if not the sweetest, oysters in Great Britain, and their cultivation is chiefly the work of the gentler sex. They do not look very gentle—or at least very frail—as you come upon a group of oyster-women in their masculine hats and boots munching their bread and cheese under a wall, but they are a good-natured race, and most respectful to their betters. Anything less suggestive of Billingsgate than the language of these Welsh fisher-women could hardly be, considering their trade.

The tide of passers is setting toward the south sands. Foreigners are almost unrepresented in this throng. There is one Frenchman, who would be recognizable as far off as he could be seen by his contrast to the prevailing British tone. It is a mystery why he should be here instead of at Trouville, Boulogne, Dieppe or Étretat, where the habits of the gay world are all his own. Nobody seems to know him at Tenby. Behind him walks quite as pronounced a type of the Welsh country gentleman—a character not to be mistaken for an Englishman, in spite of the family resemblance. A shrewd simplicity characterizes this face—an open, guileless sharpness, so to speak, peculiarly Welsh. An indifferent judge of human nature might venture to attempt heathen games with this old gentleman, but no astute rogue would think of such a thing. A man of this stamp, however green and rural, is not gullible. This Welsh simplicity of character is very deceptive to the unwary, and many besides Ancient Pistol have eaten leeks against their will because of their ignorance concerning it.

We join the throng in the street and stroll leisurely down the long incline. The whole town tips that way. A variety of more or less quaint vehicles move about—cabriolets drawn by donkeys and ponies; sedan chairs; a species of easy-chair on wheels, with a wooden apron, and propelled by a boy or a decayed footman in seedy livery with bibulous habits written on his face. Something of a similar sort was seen at the Centennial, yet utterly unlike this, notwithstanding a resemblance in principle. These invalid go-carts are very convenient at Tenby, as they may be trundled everywhere, even on the sands, which are hard and flat. A peculiarity of all the vehicles, even those drawn by two animals, is that they go slower, as a rule, than on-foot people do. Briskly-walking couples and groups of English and Welsh ladies pass us, carrying over their arms bathing-dresses or towels, with the business-like alacrity of movement characteristic of most Britons on their feet. No one saunters except ourselves. All are hastening to the south sands, looking neither to the right nor the left; but for us there are eye-lures in every direction. The town abounds with antiquities calculated to awaken the liveliest interest in a stranger: every street is rich with romantic story; every hill and rock for miles around has its legend, its ruin of castle, abbey or palace, or its[page 192] mysterious cromlech,—all that can most charm the soul of the antiquary; and Shakespeare has honored this corner of Wales beyond others by putting it in one of his tragedies. Considerable portions of the ancient town-wall are standing, with the mural towers and gateways. In the parish church, which we pass, are some most interesting monuments of the early half of the fourteenth century, but the Tenbyites look upon their church as rather a modern structure, as churches go in Wales. They point out the place where John Wesley preached in the street in 1763, when the mayor threatened to read the riot act. There is still a law in Wales against street-preaching, but it is not often enforced, unless the preacher happens to be drunk—an incident not altogether unknown.

The old stone pier abounds with seafaring characters in holiday rig, very picturesque to American eyes. They knuckle their foreheads and remove their pipes as we pass, and by attitudes and gestures which would inform a deaf-mute invite us to take a sail on the bay. They do not audibly offer their services, for the municipal laws forbid them to, but their figureheads are mutely eloquent. Here is one who might be put right on the stage as he stands as the typical jolly Jack Tar of the nautical drama. He wears a red liberty-cap, and a nose which matches it to a shade. His jersey is blue and low in the neck, and his trousers are of that roominess supposed to be necessary for nautical purposes. Other mariners about him are quite as interesting. Occasionally one is seen whose rig is so neat he might have stepped out of a bandbox, but, though he is an ornamental mariner, he is not a Brummagem one. These fellows all know storm and danger and severe toil as common acquaintances. The neatest of them are understood to be residents here, with wives or mothers who strive hard to keep them looking nice in the fashionable season; and in blue flannel shirt with immense broad collar, another broad collar of white turned over that, hat of neat straw or tarpaulin with upturned rim and bright blue ribbon, they form a feature of attractiveness which has no counterpart at American seaside resorts. The rougher mariners, if not so handsome, are still most picturesque: they are chiefly fishermen from the Devonshire coast, who sail over here to take the salmon, mackerel, herrings, turbots, soles, etc. which so abound at Tenby. The spot still bears out, in spite of its modern glories as a watering-place, its ancient renown as a fishing-point, which was so great that the old-time Britons called it Denbych y Piscoed ("the hill by the place of fishes").

On the Castle Hill we find a great company gathered, looking down on the still greater company which is gathered on the yellow sands. Children are climbing and rolling on the soft greensward of the terraces, and adults are sprawling at full length, completely at their ease. Men and women lounge to and fro on the sea-wall promenade, a miniature of the Hyde Park throng at mid-season. Others sit reading or chatting or looking out over the sparkling sea. The grass and crags are dotted with azure and purple flowers, and cushions of pink and white stone-crop abound. Higher up the hill stand the ivied ruins of the Norman castle, and the white memorial monument to Prince Albert, with its sculptured panels bearing the arms of Llewellyn the Great, the red dragon of Cadwalader, the symbolical leek and the motto, Anorchfygol Ddraig Cymru ("The dragon of Wales is invincible"). The air is very cool and bracing on this hill. But the greatest crowd is on the sands and on the rocks of the cliff immediately backing the beach. It is difficult for one who is familiar only with the beach at Long Branch or Cape May to comprehend such a scene as this which I am trying to picture. In the first place, the field is so entirely different from that at home; and in the second place, the bathing population of the town is not broken up into a number of hotel communities and cottage communities, but is all gathered at one spot. It is true some residents on the north cliff bathe on the north sands, but they come to the south sands after[page 193] they have had their dip, to meet le monde. There is room here for le monde too; and the groups not only sprinkle the wide yellow plain, but they are perched about on the face of the cliff in grottos and on jutting crags; they are grouped in the cool shade of rocky caverns at the precipice's base; they are leaning on the battlemented walls that crown its summit. The water is a considerable distance from where the people sit, and minute by minute, as the time passes, it recedes farther and farther, until at last it is a long walk away. The gay hues of red-coated soldiers assist feminine attire in enlivening the scene with color. Children in great numbers are scampering about, and busying themselves, much as they do at home, with toy pails and spades; but if you take notice you will find that their sand-structures differ widely from those of children in America: you may even see a perfect model of a feudal castle grow into shape, with barbacan, gate, moat, drawbridge, towers, bastions, donjon-keep and banqueting-hall complete. A brass band—the members in full uniform of bright colors, with little rimless red-and-gold caps—is playing under the battlemented garden-wall which backs the sands in one place. Listen to the tunes! Heard you ever these peculiar airs before? The "Bells of Aberdovey" jangle their sweet chime over the wind-blown scene. The "March of the Men of Harlech" fills all the air with its stirring scarlet strain. The quaint melody of "Hob y deri dando" moves the feet of youth to restlessness: not that it is a jig, in spite of the jiggy look of the words to English eyes, but because it has been twisted into the service of Terpsichore by a famous band-master in his "Welsh Lancers." "Hob y deri dando" is a love-song:

All the day I sigh and cry, love,

Hob y deri dando!

All the night I say and pray, love,

Hob y deri dando!*

* This phrase is sometimes supposed to be the original of the English "Hey down, derry, derry down!" but the old Druidic song-burden, "Come, let us hasten to the oaken grove," is in Welsh "Hai down ir deri dando," which is nearer the English phrase.

A hand-organ with monkey attachment is delighting a group of children on another part of the sands. Yonder, too, is a balladist with a guitar, bawling at the top of his lungs,

The dream 'as parst, the spell his broken,

'Opes 'ave faded one by one:

Th' w'isper'd words, so sweetly spoken,

Hall like faded flow'rs har gone.

Still that woice hin music lingers,

Loike er 'arp 'oose silver strings,

Softly swep' by fairy fingers,

Tell of hunforgotten things.

Nobody pays much attention to this wandering minstrel: he is happy if at the close of his song a penny finds its way into the battered hat he extends for largess. He is clearly a stranger to this part of the world, and has probably tramped down here from London by easy stages, and will have to tramp back again as he came, without much profit from his provincial tour.

The fashionable world which is sunning itself on the sands is made up, for the most part, of the usual types of a British watering-place—the pea-jacketed swell with blasé manner and one-eyed quizzing-glass; the occasional London cad in clothes of painful newness and exaggeration of style, such as no gentleman by any chance ever wears in Britain; the young sprig of nobility with effeminate face and "fast" inclinations, who smokes a cigarette and ogles the girls, and utters sentiments of profound ennui in a light boyish tenor voice. He is the son of an English nobleman who has a Welsh estate, upon which he passes a portion of his time, and can trace his lineage back to one of the Norman adventurers who came over with William the Conqueror. For an example of an older aristocracy than this, however, observe the ancient couple sitting near us in the shadow of a cliff-rock, the wife with a high-bridged nose and puffs of gray hair on her temples, the husband with an easy-fitting hat and a coat-collar which rolls so high as to give the impression he has no neck. These are aristocrats who, although untitled and owners only of a few modest acres back in Carmarthenshire, descend from ancestors that looked down on William the Conqueror as a plebeian upstart.

[page 194]

There are bathers in the surf, but they are so far away from the throngs on this vast plain of beach that they are as unindividual as if they were puppets. One's most intimate friend could not be recognized without the aid of a glass. The bathing-machines, which serve in lieu of the huts common at American seaside resorts, are merely huts on wheels instead of huts in stationary rows. They are cared for by women, who escort you to the door of an untenanted hut, collect sixpence and retire. You enter, and disrobe at your leisure. The machine proves to be a snug box lighted by one little unglazed window not large enough for you to put your head through, and having a solid shutter. If you close this shutter the box is as dark as night, for it is well built, with hardly a crevice in wall or roof or floor. A small and very bad looking-glass hangs on the wall, and there is a bench to sit on: that is the extent of the furniture. You have been provided with towels and with the regulation bathing-dress for men—linen breeches, to wit. While you are contemplating this garment and questioning of your modesty as to the propriety of donning it, there is a sound of rattling iron outside, and a tap on your door as a warning that your machine is about to start. The machine is dragged in lumbering fashion out into the sea by an antediluvian horse with a small boy astride, and there the boy unhitches the traces from the machine and goes ashore, leaving you with the waves breaking on the steps before your door. You peep out dubiously. A shoal of naked-shouldered men are swimming and splashing in the surf. Some fifty yards away is another school of bathers, whose back hair betrays their sex, and who are clad in garments made like those worn by feminine bathers at Long Branch, etc. There is no commingling of the sexes in the water, as our American custom is, but on the score of modesty I must confess to a prejudice in favor of the American plan, nevertheless. The British theory evidently presumes that men have no modesty among themselves. Custom regulates these matters, I suppose. I have never felt disposed to blush for my naked feet and arms while conversing with a lady on the beach at Long Branch, being snugly clad from head to foot in a flannel costume. But I confess to a shrinking sense of the incompleteness of the prescribed fig-leaves as I stand in the door of the bathing-machine at Tenby. To cover myself with the water as quickly as possible appears to be the only remedy, however, and I take a header from the doorsill. Ugh! The water is like ice! To one accustomed to the warm American bathing-suit the linen substitute of Tenby is a most insufficient protection. At home I have on occasion extended the revels of the surf for a full hour, being a pretty strong swimmer and exceedingly fond of the exercise. I get enough at Tenby in precisely two minutes, and hasten to don my customary clothing. Nevertheless, it is contended that the surf at Tenby is pleasant for bathers as late as Christmas, and I am told there really are Britons who bathe daily in the sea here quite up to the first snow. It is certain that the fashionable season does not end till November, and some stay straight on through the winter.

Among the lions of Tenby none is more interesting than St. Catharine's Island, a great rugged hill of solid limestone almost devoid of verdure and rent into innumerable fissures, with a succession of dark romantic coves and caverns and jagged projecting crags fringing its sides completely round. At high tide this islet is separated from the mainland by a deep rolling sea. At low tide its shores are left dry by the receding waters. It is a curious sight to watch this daily advance and retreat of the sea. To see the tides of ocean come and go is no novelty, but it becomes a novelty under circumstances like these, where every day a dry bridge of yellow sand is stretched forth from the islet to the mainland, across which a stream of humanity pours the moment the path is clear. At first only one person at a time can pass. Ten minutes later the sand-bridge is a broad road. Ten later, and all Tenby might cross in a crowd. There is an iron[page 195] staircase built up the rocky face of the islet, winding about among its crags and fissures, and the isle is overrun with people during the time the tide is out. It has many attractions. The view is grand from those heights. Yawning gulfs fascinate you to look dizzily down into the secret heart of the isle. On the highest point of rock stood, a few years ago, an ancient chapel which had in Roman Catholic days been dedicated to St. Catharine. Within the past six years this chapel has given way to a fortress, its walls partly embedded in the solid rock. The people who throng to the islet between tides roam about, loiter with breeze-blown garments on the stairs and landings, peer into the fortress, or, perching themselves in the sheltered nooks which are innumerable among the crags, sit and sew, read, chat, make love and watch the pygmy bathers in the sea far down below. As long as the tide is low the tenants of the islet are safe to remain, but as soon as it turns those who are wise begin to gather up their things and clear out. Now and then incautious ones get caught; and then there are screaming, hurrying and a terrible fright, especially if the trapped ones are of the gentler sex, and still more especially if their proportions are ample. Such women are, as a rule, the cowardliest. Probably, they feel their amplitude a disadvantage in moments of peril, and know emotions which their scrawnier sisters escape. A case in point greets us this morning as we stand watching the rising of the tide. A roly-poly woman of forty or so is caught on the islet by the closing of old Ocean's drawbridge. She is a fair being with dark hair and eyes, a sweet smile, a clear complexion, and some two hundred and fifty pounds avoirdupois, richly dressed, pleasant-mannered, and in all respects no doubt a lady to be admired and loved, as well as respected, in the social circle. But at present she is at a sad disadvantage. I noticed her a few minutes ago at the top of the iron staircase, and said to myself that she would have just time enough to come down, for there was an isthmus of sand some twenty feet wide as yet to be obliterated by the crawling tide. A quickly-tripping foot would have accomplished it, but the fair-fat-and-forty lady occupied one whole minute in coming down. Now that she has reached the bottom step there is a wide wash of sea between her and the mainland, and she raises her hands in horror. How is she to get over? There is no boat in sight. Shall she wade? There is a nervous motion of her fat white hands in the direction of her gaiters, but she hesitates. The woman who hesitates is lost: the water grows deeper and deeper every instant; in ten minutes it will be over her head. A bathing-machine boy comes trotting his horse through the water, and, backing up by the rock on which the distressed lady stands, bids her get on. Get on the back of a horrid bathing-horse! behind the back of a horrid boy! Had she been a sylph the prospect would have been most untempting, but a two-hundred-and-fifty-pounder! Nevertheless, the unhappy fair one begins to prepare for the sacrifice with grief and consternation in her face. "How can I do it?" her trembling lips whisper, and she looks about her on the rocks as if to say, "Oh, is there no other way out of this wretched predicament?" The boy, as he sits astride, is getting his feet wet by this time: the horse will have to swim for it presently. Still she hesitates, and throws a shrinking glance over the vast audience gathered on the sands silently attentive—the band, the organ-grinder and the balladist all breathlessly awaiting the issue, no doubt feeling that it would be mockery to indulge in music at such a moment. Suddenly a bare-headed and shirt-sleeved man is seen to dash through the water, regardless of danger and of wet trousers, who, seizing the fat lady round the knees in spite of her screams, dumps her on the horse's back all in a heap. Saved! saved! Such a giggling (for joy) has seldom been seen to shake a large assemblage. The emotion caused by the spectacle of beauty in distress is no doubt a pain to every masculine mind not hopelessly vitiated by the cynical tendencies of the age; but the pain produced by the[page 196] emotion of mirth at seeing a fellow-creature at a ridiculous disadvantage is greater when you feel bound not to laugh.

There are four strange caves piercing St. Catharine's Island completely through from side to side. In rough weather the storming of the sea through these extraordinary tunnels creates a prodigious uproar. When the weather is still it is possible to take boat and sail quite through one of them: at low tide you may walk through. Marine zoological riches abound in these caverns, which have been for many years a real treasure-house for naturalists. The walls are studded with innumerable barnacles, dogwinkles and other shells—not dead and empty, but full of living creatures, requiring only the return of the tide to awaken them to an active existence. There are simply myriads of them: a random stone thrown against a wall will smash a whole colony; and there are besides polyps and sea-anemones and other strange animals of eccentric habits in unusual abundance. The visitors to Tenby find great diversion in these and the other caves on the coast: in fact, the whole coast as far as Milford Haven is one succession of natural curiosities and antiquities. One cavern bears the name of Merlin's Cave, and is hallowed by a legend of the enchanter, who was born at Carmarthen in the next county.

Wirt Sikes.


There'll come a day when the supremest splendor

Of earth or sky or sea,

Whate'er their miracles, sublime or tender,

Will wake no joy in me.

There'll come a day when all the aspiration,

Now with such fervor fraught,

As lifts to heights of breathless exaltation,

Will seem a thing of naught.

There'll come a day when riches, honor, glory,

Music and song and art,

Will look like puppets in a wornout story,

Where each has played his part.

There'll come a day when human love, the sweetest

Gift that includes the whole

Of God's grand giving—sovereignest, completest—

Shall fail to fill my soul.

There'll come a day—I will not care how passes

The cloud across my sight,

If only, lark-like, from earth's nested grasses,

I spring to meet its light.

Margaret J. Preston.

[page 197]



It was soon decided that I was to set out for The Headlands the first week in October. I had studied too hard, and was growing so tall and slight that Harry Dart used to draw caricatures of me, taking me in sections, he declared, since no ordinary piece of paper would suffice for a full-length. I was glad of a change, yet felt some sorrow about it too. I knew nothing of what it was to miss the warm home-life and the constant companionship which had filled every idle hour with ever-recurring pleasures. I hated to part from my mother, who had grown of late so inestimably dear to me; I should miss the boys; what could make up to me for Georgy? I did not know that I was never again to enjoy the old Belfield routine, with all my untamed impulses making the wild, free physical life full of deep and passionate delight—never again to stand the peer of all my mates, running the familiar races, playing the familiar games. I did not know what a changed life awaited me, and I looked forward to my opening vistas of a bright future with longings inconceivably sweet.

I reached The Headlands one fine day in October a little past noon. Mr. Raymond's carriage met me at the station, and a grave elderly servant, who told me his name was Mills, put me inside and assumed all responsibilities concerning my luggage. I had plenty of time to remember with regret our homely, pleasant life at Belfield, and recall Thorpe's words when he heard that I had been invited to The Headlands. "It will be a glimpse of another life," he had remarked with his usual air of consummate knowledge of the world. "Even I, who am used to living on terms of intimacy with men of all ranks and positions, find it difficult to adjust the balance in that quiet, stately house, where everything goes on oiled wheels."

"But what makes it hard to get along?" I had inquired with a sort of awe.

"Oh, I can't describe it," he had returned with a wave of his white hand, "but you'll soon experience it for yourself."

But as I went on and the great sea opened before my eyes, I quite forgot my fears in the pleasure of such wide horizons, such magnificent scenery. The ocean was here in all its grandeur, yet there was no bleakness or bareness in these rock-bound shores, softly veiled in the haze of the October afternoon. The voices of the breakers greeted me as something vaguely familiar: I seemed to have been listening for them all my life. In such joys as I felt that day eyes and ears do but little—imagination works most wonders.

I had not noticed, so raptly was I watching the fleeting tints of opal, steel and blue which chased each other along the smooth slow waves, that we had entered enclosed grounds, and when the carriage stopped suddenly before a wide, pillared portico I was wholly taken by surprise. Mills opened the carriage-door, and I got down with a blank, dreamy feeling, and followed him up the steps through the wide portal and along the hall. He ushered me into the library, and left me while he went to announce my arrival.

I sat perfectly still in the lofty Gothic room. It was lined with books except on the west side, where were long oriel windows of stained glass, with figures of saints glorious in blue and gold and crimson and purple, with aureoles of wonderful splendor above their beautiful heads. The floor was of inlaid woods polished until it shone, and over it was laid a Persian carpet thick and soft as moss. The chimney-piece was of wonderful beauty, and extended into the room, leaving a sort of alcove on each side, and a low fire was burning in a[page 198] quaintly-designed grate. Over the mantel hung a large picture which I did not know, but which made my heart beat as I looked: it was a copy of the Sistine Madonna. In front of the fire was an easy-chair piled with cushions, and beside it a low stool, while on either hand were painted screens: on one the field of brilliant azure was strewn with flowers of dazzling hues; the other was crossed by a flight of birds of gorgeous plumage.

I had looked at everything, had taken in every surprise of beautiful form and color: then my eyes were lifted again to the windows, and I was gazing at the meek saints with their shining raiment and radiant hair when I was suddenly recalled to a recollection of where I was and why I was there. A hand pushed aside the velvet curtain which hung across the doorway—a child's hand—and then a little girl entered, followed by a greyhound as tall as herself. I rose and stood waiting while she advanced, the same sunshine which transfigured the saints in the windows playing over her white dress in brilliant rainbow tints.

She was a very little girl, yet her large, serious dark eyes and her lithe way of carrying her slim height impressed me with a sort of awe which I might not have felt for a grown woman. When she neared me she stood perfectly still, regarding me silently with a deliberate glance. She was very pale, with a complexion like the inner leaves of a white rose, but her eyes lent fire to a face otherwise proud and cold. Her hair had evidently been cut short, and curled close to her head in loose brown curls. When she had fairly taken me in she held out her hand. "How do you do?" she asked in a clear, deliberate voice. "I am very glad to see you."

"Did you expect me?" I inquired shyly.

"Of course we did," she answered with some imperiousness, "or we should not have sent the carriage and servants to meet you."

Then we were both silent again, and went on mentally making up our minds concerning each other.

"Yes," she said presently, putting her hand into mine again, "you look just as I thought you did. I asked papa: he said you had brown hair and gray eyes, and that you were good-looking when you smiled. And am I like what you expected to see?"

I did not know, I told her. In fact, although I had heard much and thought some about Helen, she had hitherto possessed no personality for me except as Mr. Floyd's little girl. And now she impressed me differently from any person I had ever seen before, and if I had formed any previous conceptions, they all fled. She seemed, I will confess, a haughty, aristocratic little creature, with her slight form and somewhat imperious look, her deliberate, commanding voice and intense eyes: still, I liked her at once. Mr. Floyd had begged me to be kind to her, and it seemed easy for me to cherish and protect her: she appeared to need being taken care of with both strength and tenderness, for it was such a fragile little hand I held, and, with all its beauty, such a wan little face I looked upon.

"I hope you will like me, Helen," said I bluntly, "for your father wants you to enjoy my visit."

She smiled for the first time. "I like you very much already," she said in the same distinct, melancholy voice; and without more words she put up her little face to mine and kissed me softly on my lips. I was unused to caresses, and my cheeks burned; but I followed her, at her request, to the back lawn, where Mr. Raymond was waiting to see me.

"Grandfather is not strong," she explained, "and we save him all the steps we can. It is so sad to be old! Have you a grandfather?"

"No," I returned: "there is nobody in our family but mother and me."

"And I have got grandpa and papa too," said she thoughtfully. "Only papa is so busy: he is never here but a week at a time."

We had passed through the hall, crossed the rear piazza and descended the steps, and were advancing along the grassplat toward a summer-house which faced the sea. I could now for the first[page 199] time gain an idea of the extent and grandeur of the place. The house towered above us solemnly with its towers, pillared arches, cornices and pediments, while, beyond, the glass roofs of numberless greenhouses lifted their domes to the warm afternoon sun. All around the lawn stood lofty trees, their foliage glorious with crimson, russet and gold, and their shadows crept stealthily toward us as if they were alive. And beyond house, lawns, gardens and tree-lined avenues was a pine wood which extended its solemn verdure all round the place, enclosing it almost to the edge of the bluff. All this on the right hand: on the left the mysterious sea, whose music filled the fair sunshiny world we two children were traversing hand in hand.

"There is grandpa," exclaimed Helen as we neared the summer-house; and I saw an old man sitting in an arm-chair in the sunshine, looking eagerly toward us as if in anxious expectation.

"You were gone a long time, Helen," he called out peevishly.

"Oh no, dear," she replied soothingly. "Here is Floyd, grandpa."

He had looked, when I first saw him from a distance, like a very old man, but when I was shaking hands with him I was surprised to discover that his face had little appearance of age. Even his thin dark hair was but sprinkled with gray at the curly ends on the temples: his eyebrows were a black silky thread, his eyes dark and full of a peculiar glitter. His features were finely formed and feminine in their delicacy, but the expression of his face was marred by the restlessness of his eyes, and made almost pathetic by the dejected, melancholy lines about his thin scarlet lips.

He shook hands with me gracefully, and made inquiries about my journey, then sank back into his chair listlessly, and allowed Helen to pull the tiger-skin which formed his lap-robe over his knees. There was a peculiar feebleness about his whole attitude as he sat—something almost abased in the sinking of his chin upon his breast. It was hard for me to realize that he was the owner of all this magnificence, and, dressed although he was with faultless elegance, and although luxurious appurtenances filled the summer-house, waiting for his momentary convenience, I was certain that his great wealth brought him no pleasure, and that, except for his little grandchild, he was comfortless in the world. He was full of complaints toward her. He was sure, he said, that now when I had come she would have no thought of him; that taking care of an old man was a dreary and thankless task; that only the young could be beloved by the young. And her way of listening and answering made me suspect that she was but too used to such querulousness. I was perhaps too young to understand mainsprings of action, yet nevertheless I seemed to know at once that her calm, mature manner and precocious imperiousness were the result of his weakness and wavering, of his selfish and morbid doubts.

"You are older than I thought," Mr. Raymond said to me, regarding me for the first time with languid curiosity. "I expected to see a velvet-coated little fellow of Helen's size. What is your age, my boy?"

I told him I should be fifteen the next spring, counting, as most young people do, by the milestone ahead of me, instead of the one I had passed.

"Oh, that is quite an age," said he with an air of relief. "Do not expect to make a playmate of Mr. Floyd Randolph, Helen: he is quite too old to care for a mere child like yourself."

"He is not nearly as old as papa." returned Helen quickly, "and papa will play with me all day long."

"Yes, yes," said Mr. Raymond, sinking back among his cushions and tiger-skins, "all the world can play but me. I must be content to sit outside the joy and the sunshine. I have lived too long. Only the young, bright people of the world are welcome even to my own little grandchild."

Helen threw her arm about his neck and stroked his cheek with her slim hand. "You know, grandpa," she said simply, "that I do not care for play, and I love our quiet times together; but you forget what Dr. Sharpe says—that I must[page 200] run about out of doors and be as merry as I can, or else—"

He stopped her with a quick, shuddering gesture. "Oh no," said he, "I do not forget. Do not make me out worse than I am to Floyd, Helen." He rang a hand-bell on the table by his side, and began feebly to adjust the wrappings about his shoulders.—"I will go in, Frederick," he murmured to the servant, who advanced at once as if he had been waiting close by—"I will go in and sit by the fire.—Helen, you must show Floyd the place.—There are greenhouses, and the stables are worth seeing too," he added to me apologetically. "I hear that Robinson has some rare fowls, and Helen has dogs of all kinds, and a few deer. It will do her good to go about, you know." He broke off suddenly, a spasm crossing his face, and without more words he turned abruptly to his valet, took his arm and walked feebly toward the house.

We stood together looking after him—I a little shy and perplexed in my new position, Helen thoughtful and melancholy.

"Poor grandpa!" she said presently with a sigh: "he has only me, you know, Floyd. He has nothing else in the whole wide world, and it worries him to think that he cannot be with me always, that he cannot—"

She broke off, and the small face twitched as if she were about to cry, but she controlled herself.

The splendid house, with its gleaming windows and stately pillars, the wide grounds, the air of quiet magnificence which reigned over the whole place, had so much impressed me that I could not resist uttering an exclamation at her words. She spoke of Mr. Raymond as having nothing in the wide world but herself, yet he was rich enough to be master of what appeared to me the pomp of kings; and I told her so.

She regarded me curiously. "Is grandpa rich?" she asked. "He says sometimes that the greenhouses cost so much money that they will send him to the poorhouse. I do not think grandpa can be rich. But if he were rich," she cried out indignantly, "that makes no difference: he has nothing but me—nothing to care about. There was poor grandmamma: she died—oh so long ago!—and my uncles died when they were little boys not so old as I. And mamma—she stayed the longest: then she died. No, grandpa has nothing left but me."

"Your father too: he has only you. I wonder you do not live with your father, Helen."

She shook her head. "Oh, you don't know," she returned. "I couldn't leave grandpa. Oh, Floyd, if you knew how it hurts me to tell papa that I must stay here! He does not understand. He will say, 'I want my little girl: you can't guess how badly I want my little girl.'" She finished with a great sob which shook her from head to foot. I pitied her very much, and I could easily comprehend that she was too delicate still to be allowed to have any sort of trouble. So I asked her to go down to the shore with me, and while we went I told her all the funny things I could remember until I made her laugh. She was quick and sympathetic; and her spirit was so strong, yet so repressed, that the moment she was really glad it seemed to have the exuberance of a bird's joy at freedom after imprisonment.

I have reason, beyond that of mere admiration for its admirable picturesqueness, to remember and note down the form of the shore at The Headlands. The house stood on the highest part of the promontory, and there was a gradual descent to the end of the bluff, which terminated in a line of black rocks, some of which were firmly embedded in the soil, while others lay piled above each other as they had been tossed by some horrible convulsion of the sea. In one place there was a perpendicular precipice of eighty feet, washed by the waves at its base; but the beach was easily accessible from every other point, although in some places the descent needed sure feet and agile limbs. But I had always been the best climber in Belfield, and I ran up and down the rocks now with the ease of a monkey, until Helen begged me not to terrify her by any new exploits. Under the frowning citadel of rocks the beach was particularly fine,[page 201] well pebbled below watermark and above a strip of shining sand. The tide was coming in with a strong dull roar, and every wave broke on the shore with curling cataracts of foam and a voice like thunder. It was hard for me to realize that above us on the headland the mild October sunshine was gilding and reddening the trees, for here we were in shadow, and the cry of storm and the din of tempest were in our ears. Yet beyond the bar opaline tints were playing along the sunlit sea, and the luminous, shifting-hued swell of crested waves merged into the iridescent sky. There was a secret and a mystery about the scene to me. I could not understand its influence upon me, and felt under a spell as I gazed at the distant white sails and listened to the roar of the waves as if I could never hear it enough.

After Helen had shown me all the strange, beautiful places of the beach, I helped her up the precipitous bank, where steps had been carefully cut in the rock or laid upon the crumbling sods. She took me to the stables, and I saw the horses, her pony and the blooded colt in training for her: her dogs had followed us about, leaping and fawning upon her and smelling suspiciously at me. Mr. Raymond disliked animals, and it was to the stables or the gardener's cottage that the child came to pet her hounds, her sheep-dog and her snowy Pomeranian: not even Beppo, the Italian greyhound, was domesticated at the house. Some shy deer peered out at us from their paddock, and a doe, less timid than the rest, approached us and gave me a good look out of her meek, beautiful eyes. Gold and silver pheasants lurked in the shrubberies, and peacocks spread their tails and paraded before us on the greensward. Everything seemed to be Helen's, and not a flower that bloomed or a bird that flew but she gave it an ample tenderness.

We did not talk much, but stood together hand in hand, I gazing with ardent delight and curiosity at all these beautiful expressions of life which filled the place.

"Do you like it?" she inquired anxiously from time to time, and when I answered her gravely that I liked it, she would smile a contented little smile. She asked me if I rode, and carefully selected the horse she considered suitable for me, and gave the groom orders about exercising him regularly. The man took her instructions with a respectful air: she was evidently mistress of the place, and the centurion in the Gospel had not his servants better under his command than had she. It was a quaint sight to see the child knitting her brows over some complaint of Robinson's against McGill the gardener: she settled it promptly with but half a dozen words. She had energy enough and to spare for her duties, but she had nothing of that eager bubbling up of light thoughts and bright hopes which other children know and use in endless chatter and playful gambollings, like puppies and kittens and other happy young things. There was always shrewd purpose behind her few words, and she seemed always on her guard, always ready to act promptly and with decision.

"Why don't you send those men to Mr. Raymond?" I burst out finally. "You ought not to be bothered. What do you know about such things?"

"I know all about them," she returned gravely. "I never let anybody trouble poor grandpapa."

"My mother would not let anything trouble me if she could help it, yet I am a boy and almost fifteen years old."

She looked at me wistfully and smiled her peculiar indefinable smile, then put her hand in mine, and we went toward the house together. Just as night fell dinner-time came. I had gone to my room to dress at five o'clock, but finding that all my windows looked out upon the water, I had forgotten everything else in watching the sea, which took hue after hue as the sun sank, growing black and turbid as it settled into a bank of gray cloud, then, when the last beams reddened every rift, lighting up into a brief splendor of crimson and gold, absorbing all the glory of the firmament. I felt rather homesick and dreary. I knew that in the dusky streets of Belfield the boys[page 202] were walking up and down beneath the russet elms, wondering about me while they talked. I knew that my mother was sitting in the bay-window with the light of the sunset in her face, and that she was longing to have me with her again. When, finally, I roused myself to dress, and went along the dim halls and down the great staircase lined with niches where calm-faced statues stood regarding me with a fixed and solemn air, I was quite dull and dreary, and needed all the cheerful influences of the warmed and lighted rooms to brighten me up.

At dinner Mr. Raymond seemed more what I had expected him to be than I had found him at first sight. He was dressed with scrupulous propriety, and wore a ceremonious and precise air which better accorded with his position as master of the house. He talked well, and asked me many questions about our life in Belfield, made inquiries about George Lenox, and was interested when I told him about Georgina. And about Georgina I found myself presently talking with a freedom which amazed myself, for my habits were reserved, and of all that I felt and thought about Georgy I had never yet said anything except to my mother. But in this beautiful house, which seemed so fitting a place for my lovely princess, and which was of late the object of her dreams, I felt moved to be her ambassador and to plead her cause as well as I might. I spoke not only of her beauty and her cleverness, but of the drawbacks to her success in life. I anticipated criticism, and disarmed it. "Oh, Helen!" I burst out at length, "you would love her so dearly—I am sure you would!"

Helen's eyes were shining, and her color came and went. "Oh, grandpa," said she softly, "why may I not ask her to come here? Floyd will like it, and I—"

She could not finish, she was so glad and excited, and she ran around the table and laid her cheek against Mr. Raymond's shoulder in mute entreaty.

"Oh, do whatever you please," rejoined the old gentleman impatiently: "you know very well that you must have your own way in everything."

The glad little face fell at once, and she went back to her chair slowly and climbed into it. It was a high-backed, crimson velvet chair, with a footstool for the child's feet to rest upon. She looked very slight and young as she sat there, her baby face thrown into clear outline and startling pallor by the ruby-colored cushions. She filled the place well, however, helping to the soup and fish, and even the meats after Mills had carved them at the sideboard. I noticed too, with some surprise, that the decanter of sherry stood at her elbow, and was not passed, but that she herself poured out Mr. Raymond's glass of wine, and once replenished it. He sent it to her to be filled for the third time, but she shook her head.

"No, no, grandpa," she said with a queer little smile: "you have had two already."

He looked angry, and affirmed that she had given him but one glass, appealing to Mills, who corroborated the words of his young mistress. Helen said no more, but gave the decanter to the butler, who took it away, and I heard him lock the door of the wine-closet and saw him drop the key in his pocket. Then, presently, when coffee came on, Helen and I went into the library, and left Mr. Raymond alone, with his easy-chair turned toward the fire. I knew that something in the house was wrong, and experienced a vague humiliation out of sympathy for Helen, but what my fears were I did not name to myself.

"Promise me," said she, clasping my hand suddenly—"promise me to say nothing to papa. Remember that grandpa is very old, and that he has nothing in the world but me."

I gave the promise eagerly, more to avoid the subject than because I understood as to what I was to be silent and why the subject should be interdicted.

"You see," said she, her clear eyes meeting mine with their peculiarly wistful, melancholy gaze, "this is why I cannot go away. Papa thinks I do not love[page 203] him: he does not know that it would not be safe for me to leave grandpa all alone. If papa did know—"

"You ought to tell your papa everything," I said gravely.

"I wish I could," she cried in a trembling voice. "But I can't. He would not let me stay here, and I could not go away. You must never tell papa, Floyd—never!"

I said I would not tell with the air of one who never discloses a secret; and she believed in me, and we were soon bright and happy again, and wrote a letter to Georgy Lenox inviting her to The Headlands on a visit.

With all his faults and weaknesses, I soon found there were good and lovable traits in Mr. Raymond. He had been in early life a successful merchant, and the habit of controlling widespread interests had given him a broad and sympathetic insight into men and their ideas. He possessed a graceful and comprehensive culture, and had embodied his conceptions of the fitness of things in the arrangement of his home, making it beautiful in all ways. He was an old man now, yet had not lost the thirst for knowledge, and could talk, when inspiration was upon him, generously and eloquently. He had been a part of the busy great world; he understood society and social ways: all these talents and acquirements made him a pleasant old gentleman when at his best, but it needed only a touch of suspicion or jealousy to put him at his worst. It was easy enough to see that Helen did not exaggerate when she told me he had nothing to care for but herself; and his care for her was so mixed with morbid fears that he was not first in her heart, so embittered by a distrust of her love for her father, that she could gain small comfort from all his overweening devotion and pride.

The child and I were constantly together in those October days. I do not think it would have been so but for the fact that Mr. Floyd wrote daily concise and peremptory orders that Helen was to be out of doors from morning till night, and that Dr. Sharpe, a brisk, keen-eyed old gentleman, came every morning at breakfast-time to feel the little girl's pulse, order her meals and command Mr. Raymond to let her have all the play she could get before the cold weather came.

"You see," Helen would explain to me as we tramped the meadows and the uplands gorgeous with every mellow hue of autumn's glorious time—"you see, Floyd, I was going to die in September when papa came. Oh, I felt so tired I wanted just to go to sleep. But papa came, took me in his arms and held me there. Whenever I woke up, there he was, his strong arms holding me tight. He wouldn't let me go, you know, so I couldn't die. I couldn't have lived for grandpa: I knew that he would die too, and that perhaps it would all be best."

"But now you are getting strong," I said: "your cheeks are quite rosy now."

"Oh yes," she answered. "I like to live now. I love you so dearly, Floyd, and I have such good times."

I loved her dearly too, after a boy's fashion. It was easy for me to talk to her, and I told her many things that lay near my heart and far from my tongue—much about my mother and my worship of her—about our home and its surroundings—about my father and my brother Frank, and my grief when they died. I had never expected to tell any one these memories, but I told them all to Helen.

One day we came in a little later than usual. We had carried our luncheon down to the beach, and had eaten it there: we had never been quite so happy together before, for everything had conspired to make our enjoyment perfect. We had made up stories about the people on board the ships that went up and down in the offing; strange and beautiful things had looked at us from out the sea; a fisherman had offered us some oysters as he coasted about the bar in his boat, and I had bought some and opened them for Helen with my knife, every blade of which I broke in the effort. Altogether, we had had a blissful experience.

But as, upon returning, we neared the house, Mills met us on the terrace with[page 204] a grave face. "You'd better go to your grandfather, Miss Floyd," said he—"you had, indeed, or it will be all over with him. You must not blame me, miss—it was none of my fault—but some gentlemen came here for lunch, and he's been a-drinking and a-drinking ever since they went away, and will not let either decanter go out of his hand."

Helen's little face had been warm with color, but it froze into pallor while I looked at her. We entered the door, and she took off her things slowly and gave them to Mills, smoothing her hair mechanically with her little trembling hands.

"What shall I do?" I whispered, quaking as much as she. "Let me help you somehow, Helen."

"You can't," she returned quietly: "nobody can help me."

She bade Mills go about his work: then went into the dining-room and shut the door.

The man had tears in his eyes as he turned to me as soon as we were alone. "I declare, Mr. Randolph," said he, "it's enough to break anybody's heart to see that child a-bowed down at her age with the care of an old man who can't be kept from drunkenness unless her eye is on him every minute."

"Is he violent when he's—" I tried to ask the question, but could not form the horrible word upon my tongue.

Mills did not flinch from facts. "When he's drunk?" he said. "He is ready to break my head, but he's never anything but tender with her. She's naught but a baby, but I have seen him, in a regular fury, just fall a-whimpering when she came in and said, 'Oh, grandpa! oh, grandpa! I'm so sorry!' Oh, it is a burning shame! And to think that that splendid gentleman, her father, does not know it!"

"He ought to know it," I cried.

"And if he did, sir," said Mills solemnly, "he would take Miss Floyd away, and the old gentleman would drink himself to death, and that would kill the little girl too. It's hard to see the right of it, Mr. Randolph. But," he added with a complete change of manner, "she would be vexed to see me stand gossiping here."

He went up stairs with the cloak and hat, smoothing them with his big hand as if to comfort somebody in need of comfort. I stole across the hall and stood at the dining-room door, wishing to go in, yet fearing to vex Helen by my intrusiveness. She opened the door presently, as if she knew I was there, and beckoned me, and I entered. The old man sat at the table in his usual place, looking half defiant and half ashamed. She had removed both decanters and glasses to the sideboard, and stood by him with her arm about his neck, urging him to go into the library, kissing him now and then softly on the forehead.

"What do you think, Floyd," he said to me in a thick, unnatural voice—"what do you think of the way my only grandchild treats me? She despises me."

"No, no, grandpa! I love you dearly."

He went on with vehemence: "A few years ago I was living among the finest ladies and gentlemen in the world: I was admired and sought. I have been called the most accomplished of hosts, the most perfect of gentlemen. Look about this house. Where in this entire country will you find a more liberal patron of the arts than I? Yet this little girl treats me like a servant. For a year she has not permitted me to have even a few friends to dine with me. Because to-day I extended hospitality to half a dozen gentlemen who drove over from the Point, she fumes at me: she treats me as if I had committed a deadly sin.—By and by, Miss Floyd, you can have it all your own way here: I shall be dead."

She never flinched, nor did her face change as he glared at her, but she went on smoothing his hair and softly putting her lips to his temples. "Dear grandpa," said she, "come into the library now. It is getting late, and Mills wants to set the table for dinner."

"Very well," he exclaimed with a sort of petulant dignity, and, pushing back his chair, half rose. Helen gave me a swift glance, and with our united strength we barely kept him from falling on his face. He staggered to his feet, looking at us angrily, and not releasing our hold we steadied him into the library and seated[page 205] him in the great chair before the fire. He sank down with some inaudible exclamation not unlike a groan, and in five minutes he had fallen asleep with loud breathings. Helen rang the bell and told Mills to send for Dr. Sharpe, then came back and drew two low seats opposite the sleeper, and we sat down together hand in hand. She was as pale as death, and her great eyes dilated as she gazed steadily at her grandfather. From time to time she felt his pulse and looked with painful scrutiny at the temples and forehead, which grew every moment more and more crimson. The half hour before the doctor came appeared to me endless. Inside it was almost dark but for the firelight, and outside the twilight glooms slowly gathered: a storm was coming on, and the waves bellowed against the rocks. Mills lit the candles and drew the curtains, but could not shut out the roar of the angry sea. I could see that Helen was miserably anxious, but she said nothing, only sighed and set her lips tight against each other, and seemed to listen. Presently we could hear the gravel crunched under a horse's hoofs outside, then the sound of wheels, and in another moment Dr. Sharpe came in.

"How is this?" said he without any salutation. "Somebody to lunch, eh? —— luncheons! Where were you, Miss Chicken?"

"I am so sorry!" she faltered painfully. "But I was playing down on the beach, and I did not know. You told me to play about out of doors, doctor—you know you did," she added deprecatingly.

"Of course I told you to play about out of doors. You need it bad enough, God knows! Now run away, both of you."

"Is there any danger?" she whispered.

"Not a bit," said Dr. Sharpe, adding, under his breath, "A good thing for her if there were.—Run away, I say," he said, hustling us both out of the door, "and send Mills and Frederick here."

We were shut away from the dim luxurious library with its blazing fire, and the old man asleep before it, but we did not feel free to move, and stood awed and speechless outside, listening and waiting. Helen, who had been so brave, gave way now: her face was piteously convulsed and the tears streamed down her cheeks. I made clumsy attempts to soothe her, and finally took her in my arms and carried her into the great lighted drawing-room and laid her on the sofa. She uttered nothing of her impotent childish despair, but I could read well enough her humiliation and her shame. Mills came in presently and whispered to me that dinner was ready. She heard him and sprang up with the air of a baby princess. "I will come to dinner in five minutes, Mills," said she imperiously: then, when she met the honest sympathy of his glance, she ran up to him and thrust her little slim hand into his. "I trust you, Mills," she murmured, her lips quivering again, "but you must never let papa know and never let the servants suspect." And presently, with the outward indifference of a woman of the world, the child took her place at table and entertained me through dinner with an account of what we should do for Georgy Lenox.


For Georgy was coming next day, and in spite of my unhappiness on Helen's account I woke up the following morning with my pulses all astir with joy. It would be something for me to have her here, away from her mother, who always frowned upon me—away from Jack, whose claim upon her time and attention made mine appear presumptuous and intrusive—away from Harry Dart, with his teasing jokes, his wholesale contempt for any weakness or romantic feeling. I had never declared to myself that I was in love with Georgina, nor had I formed my wishes to my own heart in distinct thoughts. Still, young although I was, I should hardly dare to write down here how far above every other idea and object on earth Georgina appeared to me. I never thought of her then, I never looked upon her, without the blood thickening around my heart as if I stood face to[page 206] face with Fate: my every impulse toward the future was blended with my desire to be something to her. I had not dared to dream then that she could be anything to me.

Before I was out of bed that morning, Frederick, Mr. Raymond's valet, came to me with the request that I should go to his master's room before I went down stairs. It was in the wing, and the third chamber of a handsome suite comprising study, dressing-room and bedroom. It was hung and curtained with red; a wood-fire was burning on the hearth; the chairs were covered with red; even the silken coverlet of the bed was red, and the only place where living, brilliant color was not seemed to be the pale shrunken face on the pillow, a little paler and more delicate than usual: the hands, too, clutching each other on the red blanket, had a look of languor and waste.

"Good-morning, Floyd," Mr. Raymond said, and then dismissed Frederick.

"But you ought not to talk, sir," expostulated the valet, "until you have had your breakfast."

The sick man made a gesture for him to leave the room, watched him go out, and then fastened his piercing black eyes on me and looked at me long and fixedly. "You saw me yesterday?" said he at last, breaking the silence.

I nodded, finding it a difficult task to speak.

"Are you a babbling child?" said he with considerable force and earnestness, "or have you enough of a man's knowledge to have learned to respect the infirmities of other men?"

"I tell no one's secrets, sir: they are not mine to tell."

He quite broke down, and lay there before me strangling with sobs and cries. "Should Mr. Floyd know," he murmured, "should Mr. Floyd even guess, that I am the wretched wreck of a man that I am, he would not let Helen stay with me another moment. He would extenuate, he would pity, nothing: he does not know what it is for a man like me, once proud, witty, gay, to bear seclusion and depression and decay. I long at times for some of the inspiration of my youth: it comes with a terrible penalty."

I could believe it, for his face expressed such abasement and despair as I had never dreamed of.

"I know," he continued, his voice broken and husky, "that I shadow Helen's life. I know that if I had died last night she would be a luckier girl to-day than she is now. But I sha'n't last long, Floyd. Put your finger on my pulse."

I did so, and was obliged to grope for the uncertain, slow beating at his wrist. It seemed as if so little life was there it might easily flicker and go out at any moment.

"I may die at any time," said he, putting my unspoken thought into words. "Dr. Sharpe tells me not to count on the morrow. What cruelty it would be, then, to deprive me of my grandchild! What could I do without her? What would become of me, living alone, with no company but the gibbering shapes mocking at me out of the corners?" He cowered all in a heap and looked up at me with clasped hands. "Let her stay," he went on imploringly. "It is only for a little while, and then everything will be hers—this house and these grounds, my house in New York and blocks of stores, all my pictures, my statues, my books. Why, I tell you, Floyd, I am worth more than a million of dollars in invested property that brings me in a return of ten per cent. It is all for her. I save half my income every year to buy new mortgages and stocks, that she may be the richer. I think," he exclaimed with a sudden burst of feeling, "that such wealth as I shall give her might atone for a great deal. Remember, Floyd, it is only a little while that I shall burden her: let her stay."

He was pleading with me as if I were the arbiter of his fate. He had grasped my arm, and his glittering eyes were fastened on me with the intensity of despair in their expression.

"Why, Mr. Raymond," said I gently, "I have nothing to do with Helen's going or staying. If you fear that I shall inform Mr. Floyd about what—what[page 207] happened yesterday, you do me injustice. I shall tell him nothing. I have no right to say a word about anything that takes place in your house."

"You are a good boy," said Mr. Raymond, with an expression of relief relaxing his convulsed features. "I do not wonder that James loves you as his own son—that it is the wish of his heart that you should grow up with Helen, learn to love her, and marry her at last."

I listened doubtfully: it did not occur to me that his words had any foundation in fact; yet, all the same, the newly-suggested idea burdened me. "I think you are mistaken," said I gently. "Nothing of that kind could ever possibly happen."

"Not for years—not until I am dead," returned Mr. Raymond peevishly. "It was nothing—nothing at all. All that occurred I will tell you, since I was foolish enough to speak of it in the first instance. James said he wanted Helen to be much with you. 'You know how those childish intimacies end,' I replied to him—'in deep attachment and desire for marriage.'—'I ask nothing better for Helen,' James exclaimed. 'She will grow up like other girls, and love, and finally become a wife; and if she became Floyd's wife I should have no fears for her.'" Mr. Raymond's eyes met mine. "You will never tell Mr. Floyd I spoke of this to you," he said under his breath. "I am not quite myself this morning, or I should not have suggested a thought of it to you."

I was very sure that I should never mention it, for I found the idea of my marrying Helen so painfully irksome that it went with me all the day, casting a shadow across our intercourse. I told myself over and over that the idea was absurd—that such a thing could never, never come to pass. She was so mere a child. I studied her face with its baby contours, where nothing showed the dawn of womanhood yet except the great melancholy eyes; I took her hand in mine, where it lay like a snowflake on my brown palm; and I laughed aloud at the grotesqueness of the fancy that I should ever put a ring on that childish finger.

"Why do you laugh?" she asked me wonderingly.

"To think," I rejoined, "how funny it is to remember one day you will be grown up and have rings upon your fingers."

"Is that funny?" she asked. "Of course, if I live I shall grow up and be a woman. My mamma was married when she was only seventeen, and in seven years I shall be seventeen." I dropped her hand as if it had stung me. "I have all mamma's rings," she went on: "I have a drawerful of trinkets that mamma used to wear. When Georgy Lenox comes I shall give her a locket and a chain that are so very, very pretty they will be just right for her. Tell me more about her, Floyd."

It was easy enough for me to grow eloquent in talking of Georgina, and Helen was as anxious to hear as I to tell. The little girl had had few friends of her own sex and age: every summer had brought the New York and Boston Raymonds to The Headlands, and when the neighboring watering-place was in its season numerous flounced and gloved little misses had been introduced to the shy, quaint child, who felt strange and dreary among them all. In fact, the little heiress's position, so unique in every respect, had isolated her from the joys of commonplace childhood, and she found more companionship in her dumb pets, in the sumptuous silence of the blossoming gardens, in the voices of the shore, than among girls of her own age with their chatter about their teachers or governesses, their dancing-steps and their games. Nevertheless, she was both ardent and affectionate, and ready to love all the world; and no sooner had Georgy appeared than she lavished upon her all the passion of girlish fondness for her own sex which had hitherto lain dormant within her. Georgy had always been used to adulation and to lead others by her capricious will and her radiant smile, and within a day after her coming had established almost a dangerous supremacy over the child. It was at once fascinating and disappointing to be under the same roof with Georgy: every[page 208] morning when I awoke it seemed a miracle of happiness that I had but to dress and go out of my room to have a chance of meeting her, of perpetually recurring smiles and conversation such as I had never enjoyed before at Belfield. But the reality never bore out the promise of my vague but delicious reveries. Mr. Raymond at once took an active, almost virulent, dislike to his young guest, and pointed out her faults to me with clear and concise words, each one of which pierced me like a rapier; and the certainty of his condemnation gave me a keen, and at times almost inspired, vision for her weaknesses.

Nothing could exceed her rapture at being in the beautiful house which she had so long wished to see, and which she loudly asserted a thousand times surpassed all her expectations. And she fitted admirably into her costly surroundings: the sheen of her golden hair made the dark velvet cushionings and hangings a more beautiful background than before; she gave expression to the stately, silent rooms; and what had at first been almost, despite its luxury, a desert to me, became a fairy land. Little Helen was so burdened with possessions that it was a pleasure for her to give them away. Still, I wished that Georgy had not been so willing to accept all that the lavish generosity of the child prompted her to offer. But Georgy was no Spartan: she wanted everything that could minister to her comfort. She was a natural gourmand, hungry for sweets and fruits all day long: she coveted ornaments, and found Helen's drawer of trinkets almost too small for her; she liked velvets and furs, silks and plushes, and wore the child's clothes until Mr. Raymond sent his housekeeper to Boston to purchase her a complete outfit of her own. But all these faults I could have pardoned in Georgy, and ascribed them to her faulty education and false influences at home, had she been grateful to little Helen.

"She hates Helen for being luckier than herself," Mr. Raymond affirmed: "she would do her a mischief if she could."

I could not believe that, yet I could see that she loved to torture the child, whose acute sensibilities made her suffer from the slightest coldness or suspicion.

"If you really loved me, Helen," Georgy would say, "you would do this for me;" and sometimes the task would be to slight or openly disobey Mr. Raymond, to outrage me or to make one of the dumb, loving pets which filled the place suffer. And if at sight of the child's tears I remonstrated, I was punished as it was easy enough for Georgy Lenox to punish me.

She would melt Helen too by drawing a picture of her own poverty and state of dreary unhappiness beside the good fortune of the heiress, until the little girl would search through the house to find another present for her, which she besought her beautiful goddess almost on her knees to accept. All these traits, which showed that Georgina was far from perfect, caused me a misery proportionate to my longing to have her all that was lovely and excellent. It is indeed unfair to write of faults which are so easy to portray, and to say nothing of the beauty of feature and charm of manner, which might have been enough to persuade any one who looked into her face that she was one of God's own angels. What does beauty mean if it be not the blossoming of inner perfection into outward loveliness? And Georgina Lenox was beautiful to every eye. Let every one who reads my story know and feel that she had the beauty which can stir the coldest blood—the eyes whose look of entreaty could melt the most implacable resolution—the smile which could lure, the voice which could make every man follow.


Mr. Floyd had again entered upon active life in Washington, and his duties were so absorbing that it was almost impossible for him to find any opportunity of joining me at The Headlands, as he had promised. But just as my visit was[page 209] drawing to an end he came, and kept me on for the week of his stay. I had become used to the routine of life at Mr. Raymond's, and had again and again wondered if Mr. Floyd's presence there would make any difference; but the change in the entire aspect of the household after the advent of my guardian absolutely startled me. Mr. Raymond was again master of the house, and little Helen was left free of all care and responsibility. There seemed a tacit understanding between Mills and the child and her grandfather that Mr. Floyd was to gain not the faintest idea of the usual state of things. Mr. Raymond wore a dignity which was not without its pathetic side: he no longer touched wine, although a different vintage was offered with every course, and his selfish, peevish ways seemed entirely forgotten. Helen had grown steadily stronger every week of my stay, and now that her father was with her she rallied at once into a happy, careless state of mind which made her almost as light-hearted a child as one could wish. She had none of Georgy's gay boisterousness, but her blitheness of heart seemed like a lambent fire playing over profound depths of gladness and security.

Mr. Floyd was scarcely well pleased to find Georgy at The Headlands, and at once observed with solicitude the influence she had gained over his little girl. Georgy's idea of power was to put her foot on the neck of her subjects and hold them at her mercy; and Mr. Floyd showed his displeasure at her course by at once withdrawing Helen almost entirely from her society. Georgy rebelled defiantly at this; and I too felt keenly the injustice of leaving her so utterly alone as we did day after day when Mr. Floyd, Helen and I went riding through the woods together. Directly after breakfast my guardian and I mounted our horses, and Helen her pony, and off we started for the hills, where the keen autumn winds would put color into the little girl's pale cheeks. Far below us we could see the curving reaches of beach and promontory, the sparkling fall of the low surf, and in the offing the white-winged ships bringing all the wonders of the East and the richness of the tropics to our barren New England shores. What wonder if I have never forgotten a single incident of those too swiftly succeeding days? The glow, the enthusiasm, the wild gush of free, untrammelled enjoyment, were to go from me presently, and to return no more.

When Mr. Floyd first came he had shaken me roughly by the shoulder, laughing in my face as he told me he had just come from Belfield, where he had spent six hours with my mother. I felt ashamed to look him in the eyes when I remembered my interference, and I began to debate the question in my own mind whether I had not better yield my boyish whim of pride and exclusive, domineering affection to this noble, splendid gentleman, whom I loved better and better every day.

The week appointed for his visit at The Headlands had almost passed. It was a Thursday morning, and we were to set out early the ensuing day, when he asked me to walk with him an hour on the bluff, as he had something to speak to me about. It was a lovely day: the fogs were rolling off the water, and disclosed a sea of chrysoprase beneath.

"In my old courting-days," began Mr. Floyd at once, "I used to walk here with Alice. We were engaged six weeks, and looking back now eleven years the days seem all like this. It was the Indian summer-time."

I was dumb, but stared into his face, which showed emotion, and pressed his arm bashfully.

"I was thirty-four when I first met her," he went on, "and she was just half my age. She was an heiress and I was poor, yet the world called me no bad match for her. Still, I felt as if I could not marry a rich woman: I went away, and tried to forget her, but stole back to the Point, hoping to get one glimpse of her sweet face by stealth. Then when I saw her I could not go away again, nor did she want me to go. Mr. Raymond hated me in those days, yet we were so strong against him that he gave his consent, and we were married on [page 210] just such a November day as this. It seems like a dream, Floyd, that I, so long a lonely man, without a private joy, could ever have been so happy as I was then. I loved her—the light of her eyes and the white lids that covered them when I looked at her; the smile on her parted lips; the way her hair curled away from her temples; the little dimples all over her hands; her voice, her little ways. And while I loved her like that, before the first year of my happiness had passed she was dead. I hope you will never know what that means. That she had left me a child was nothing to me: I was only a rapturous lover, and had not begun to long for baby voices and upturned children's faces. When, finally, I did turn to Helen, it was as you see now: to part her from her grandfather would be to wrench body from soul."

"Mr. Raymond is a very old man," I suggested.

"He has a surer life than mine: I doubt if anybody would insure mine at any price."

We were silent. I felt awkward and ashamed: I knew what was in his thoughts.

"You wise young people!" said he presently, throwing his arm over my shoulder—"oh, you wise young people!" Then turning me square about, he looked into my face: "Oh, you foolish, foolish young people!"

I felt foolish indeed—so foolish I could not meet his eyes.

"Why begrudge us a few years of happiness together?" he asked in his deliberate gentle voice. "Your mother is still young, and so beautiful that she deserves to shine in a sphere worthy of her. I will say nothing of my profound and respectful love for her. My love for Alice was my passionate worship of a singularly charming child: your mother commands a different feeling. But of that I will say nothing. Think, Floyd, what a life I can offer her! It seems to me that in marrying me she will gain much: what can she lose?"

What, indeed, could she lose? My doubt and dread shrank into insignificant and petty proportions: it seemed to me the noblest fate for any woman alive to gain the love of this man into whose face I was looking earnestly. Yet I could find no words to utter, and he went on as if trying to convince me against my will.

"You do not appear to entertain any aversion for me," he pursued, smiling, "and in our new relation I will take care that you do not like me less. You are dear to me now, yet when your mother is my wife you will be much dearer."

My self-control vanished: my lip trembled. "What does mother say?" I asked almost in a whisper.

He put his hands on my shoulders, laughing softly: "She says she has a son whose love and respect she so highly prizes she will do nothing to forfeit them."

"Does she love you, Mr. Floyd?" I questioned bluntly.

"I think she does—a little," he answered, dropping his eyes. "But," he went on more hurriedly, "in such a marriage love is not everything, Floyd, although it is much. There is sympathy, constant close companionship: of these both your mother and I have bitterly felt the need."

"Don't say any more, sir," I cried, humbled to the dust. "When I first saw what was coming I suppose I thought only of myself: now—"

"Now you think of two other people, and withdraw your opposition. I confess I can't see how you will be worse off. Come now, give me your hand, you young rascal! I shall go home with you to-morrow, and—"

"Will it take place at once?" I asked with a pang at my heart.

"What? our marriage? You are hurrying matters charmingly. Mrs. Randolph has not yet accepted me. But I will confess to you, my boy, that I shall be more than happy, more than proud, if I can persuade her to allow me to introduce her to my friends in Washington in December."

We walked about for more than an hour after, but said no more about the matter, although it was stirring below every thought and word of each of us.[page 211] I felt the weariness of soul which succeeds a struggle, and my guardian tried, but unsuccessfully, to conceal the elation which follows victory. Yet subdued and unhappy though I was, haunted by a sense of terrible loss, I was proud and glad to have contented him. He talked to me intimately, and discussed my plans for the future. I was to enter college the next year, and he pointed out the fact, to which I was not insensible, that our old life at home would necessarily have been broken up when I left Belfield. He spoke of my pecuniary means, and frankly informed me that his property amounted to three hundred thousand dollars, and that this amount he had divided into thirds—one for my mother, one for Helen and one for me.

"Oh, sir," I burst out, "you must not be so generous to me."

"And why not? My little girl has too much already: it has always been one of the discomforts of my life that she is so rich, so raised above all human wants, that I have had it in my power to do nothing for her. I have seen poor men buying clothes and shoes for their little sunburned children, and envied them."

We had been lounging toward the house, and now had reached the terrace, where we found Mr. Raymond pacing feebly up and down in the mild sunshine leaning on Frederick's arm. Mr. Floyd stepped forward and took the valet's place, investing the slight courtesy with the charm of his grand manner.

"Where is Helen?" asked Mr. Raymond. "I supposed that she was with you, James."

"I have not seen her since breakfast.—Suppose you look her up, Floyd? I am afraid she is with Miss Georgy, and in mischief, no doubt.—I object, sir," Mr. Floyd added to his father-in-law, "to Helen's having too much of the society of Miss Lenox. She is a pretty little devil enough, but then I don't like pretty little devils."

"I have written to Mrs. Lenox to recall her," returned Mr. Raymond stiffly. "She is no favorite of mine. There is a look in her eyes at times that makes me shudder at the thought of the harm she is pretty sure to do. Floyd here is her only partisan."

I had already sprung along the terrace, and quickly crossed the lawn and garden to the rocks. I remembered having seen a blue and a scarlet jacket going toward the shore during my talk with Mr. Floyd; and, sure enough, on the rocks I found traces of the girls—a ribbon, the rind of Georgy's oranges which she was always nibbling, and Helen's book. Supposing they were on the beach, I descended the stone steps leading to the sands. There was a faint plashing and lisping of the waves, but otherwise no sound and no sight but the great rocks and the smooth sea lustrous and glittering like steel. I had no doubt but that Helen and Georgy were somewhere near me, and sat down to wait. My mind was full of thoughts that came and went, bringing clear but swiftly-shifting pictures of our old life and the new, which rose suddenly fresh and vivid before me. I could see my mother's face, the color coming and going like a young girl's, and the movement of her little hands clasping and unclasping in her lap. I could see her, too, by the side of Mr. Floyd in a bright, wonderful world of which I knew nothing. For a moment I felt already parted from her, and the pang of separation wrenched body from soul. I threw myself face downward on the sand and declared myself profoundly miserable.

Suddenly I started to my feet. I was vaguely terrified, yet could not tell what had aroused me from my brooding thoughts. I seemed conscious of having heard a cry, but so faint and inarticulate as hardly to differ from the distant note of a sea-bird. But as I ran frantically along the sands I distinctly heard my name, and knew that the entreaty was for help.

"I am coming!" I screamed at the top of my voice—"I am coming as fast as I can." The rocks gave back so many deceitful echoes that I was not certain from what point the imploring cry came; but I knew every inch of the beach for a mile up and down, and knew, too, that there[page 212] was but one place in which with ordinary prudence there could be the slightest danger. So with unerring instinct I flew along the wet shingle to "Raymond's Cliff." At this point the beetling line of rocks which coiled and frowned along the coast terminated abruptly in precipitous crags. On one side it was sheer precipice, but on the other the cliff, exposed both to wind and wave, washed by the rains and gnawed at its base by ever-advancing and receding tides, had gradually been worn away in the centre by the constant crumbling of the sandy soil, so as to form a sort of ravine. It was a dangerous and gloomy place, and I had received many a warning from Mr. Raymond never to take Helen there.

"Helen!" I cried—"Helen! if you are here, answer me. I cannot see you." A gull flew away from the cliff with a scream, and I could hear no other sound. "Tell me, Helen, if you are here."

I heard a cry from above—almost inaudible it was so spiritless and faint—yet, gaze as I might toward the top, I could see nothing. I skirted the main rock and climbed as far as I easily could up the ravine. Here my attention was arrested by a dot of scarlet against the grim, bare face of the basalt. Yes, there she was, about forty feet above me, hanging on to a shelving rock with her little Italian greyhound in her arms. She was peering down, disclosing a pallid face. I saw at once that she had hung there until her strength was almost gone.

"Listen to me, Helen," said I, calmly and very gently, for I had a ghastly dread that she would fall before my very eyes. "Don't look down: just keep your eyes fixed on the rock, and hold on tight until I reach you." She obeyed me. "Now," I went on authoritatively, "drop the dog—drop him, I say!—Here, Beppo! here!"

She again obeyed me, and the dog scrambled down and fell—scratched and bruised, no doubt, yet otherwise unhurt—at my feet. "Helen, answer me one question," said I. "Can you wait until I go round up to the top and get a rope?"

She gave a little scream of pitiful anguish: I saw her slight figure sway, and some loose stones came rattling down. "I feel so sick, so dizzy!" she cried.

"I will climb up, then. Hold on tight for a few minutes more. Keep perfectly still, and don't look down: you know how well I can climb."

I was a capital climber, and could hold on like a cat where there was a crevice to fasten my feet or my hands. Still, I was anything but certain about these hollow, worn sides, which in places were as smooth as glass. But it had to be done, and done quickly. If the child fell she was dead or maimed to a certainty. She had crawled in some unheard-of way down from the top, and must go back the way she had come; and since I had no time to help her from above, I must go up to her. A spar had been washed up among the débris upon which I had mounted, and this helped me up a little way. Then I managed to creep a trifle farther, hand over hand: whenever I could take breath I called out to her that it was all right and I should be up in another minute. The necessity of keeping up her courage endowed me with miraculous strength, and in a little while I stood beside Helen on the narrow shelf, and waited for a moment to breathe freely and see what was yet beyond me. I smiled at her, and she looked steadily into my face, but said not a word.

"How in the world did you get here, Helen?" I asked.

"I came after Beppo," she returned, her lip trembling.

"How did Beppo get here?"

"Georgy flung him down," cried the child, bursting into tears. "Perhaps she did not mean to, but she was angry that he would not go by himself after the stone she flung."

I had looked to the top by this time, and saw at once that the worst part of the ascent was before me. It had been sheer rock beneath: here the strata were crumbled, and the interstices filled with earth and dried vegetation. The angle was much greater than it had been below, and it was easy to see that even Helen's light footstep had loosened every fragment it had touched. I gained a foothold above her; stretched out my[page 213] hand and drew her up; then another and another. Once she lost her footing, but I caught the slim figure in my arms and went on, with her half fainting against my shoulder, her puny strength quite worn out.

When we were within a few feet of the top I told her to look up. "You see that we are almost there," I said gently. "Can you do what I tell you to do? When I raise you place one foot on my shoulder: ... now, then, take hold of something firmly and clamber up."

My footing was precarious, and in order to lift her up I was obliged to unfasten my hold of the few scant wisps of withered grass. If she could but reach the top, I believed I could make a supreme effort to save myself; and I risked everything.

In an instant she was on the brow of the cliff. She gave a convulsive cry of joy and relief, and reached out her little hand to me. I almost stretched out to grasp it; then, remembering that with her slight weight I might easily drag her back into danger, I took hold of a little bush: it was dried to the roots, and came out in my hand. My footing gave way: I slipped down, with nothing to break my fall—not a shrub, not a fissure in the rocks. The blue sky had been above me, but that blessed glimpse of azure vanished, and I could see nothing but the frowning sides of the precipice as I went down, my pace accelerating every moment. I believed I could gain a hold or footing on the shelving rock where I had found Helen, but it gave way as I touched it and slid suddenly down the ravine. I was dizzy and bruised, but was wondering if Helen would give the alarm—if Georgy would be sorry. I thought with pity of my mother, who would surely weep for me. Then I heard Beppo barking joyfully, and I knew that I was at the bottom of the abyss. I suffered a few seconds of such terrible pain that I was glad when a sickening sort of quietude settled over me, and I felt that I must be dying.

Ellen W. Olney.



Hush! hush!

'Tis the voice of the sea to the land,

As it breaks on the desolate strand,

With a chime to the strenuous wave of life

That throbs in the quivering sand.

Hush! hush!

Each requiem tone as it dies,

With a soul that is parting, sighs;

For the tide rolls back from the pulseless clay

As the foam in the tempest flies.

Hush! hush!

O throb of the restless sea!

All hearts are attuned to thee—

All pulses beat with thine ebb and flow

To the rhyme of Eternity!

John B. Tabb.

[page 214]


I allude to the British soldier, more especially, as I lately observed and admired him at Aldershot, where, just now, he appears to particular advantage; but at any time during the past twelvemonth—since England and Russia have stood glaring at each other across the prostrate body of the expiring yet reviving Turk—this actually ornamental and potentially useful personage has been picturesquely, agreeably conspicuous. I say "agreeably," speaking from my own humble point of view, because I confess to a lively admiration of the military class. I exclaim, cordially, with Offenbach's Grand Duchess, "Ah, oui, j'aime les militaires!" Mr. Ruskin has said somewhere, very naturally, that he could never resign himself to living in a country in which, as in the United States, there should be no old castles. Putting aside the old castles, I should say, like Mr. Ruskin, that life loses a certain indispensable charm in a country destitute of an apparent standing army. Certainly, the army may be too apparent, too importunate, too terrible a burden to the state and to the conscience of the philosophic observer. This is the case, without a doubt, just now in the bristling empires of the Continent. In Germany and France, in Russia and Italy, there are many more soldiers than are needed to make the taxpayer thrifty or the lover of the picturesque happy. The huge armaments of continental Europe are an oppressive and sinister spectacle, and I have rarely derived a high order of entertainment from the sight of even the largest masses of homesick conscripts. The chair à canon—the cannon-meat—as they aptly term it in French, has always seemed to me dumbly, appealingly conscious of its destiny. I have seen it in course of preparation—seen it salted and dressed and packed and labelled, as it were, for consumption. In that marvellous France, indeed, which bears all burdens lightly, and whose good spirits and absence of the tragic pose alone prevent us from calling her constantly heroic, the army scarcely seems to be the heavy charge that it must be in fact. The little red-legged soldiers, always present and always moving, are as thick as the field-flowers in an abundant harvest, and amid the general brightness and mobility of French life they strike one at times simply as cheerful tokens of the national exuberance and fecundity. But in Germany and Italy the national levies impart a lopsided aspect to society: they seem to drag it under water. They hang like a millstone round its neck, so that it can't move: it has to sit still, looking wistfully at the long, forward road which it is unable to measure.

England, which is fortunate in so many things, is fortunate in her well-fed mercenaries, who suggest none of the dismal reflections provoked by the great foreign armies. It is true, of course, that they fail to suggest some of the inspiring ones. If Germany and France are burdened, at least they are defended—at least they are armed for conflict and victory. There seems to be a good deal of doubt as to how far this is true of the nation which has hitherto been known as the pre-eminently pugnacious one. Where France and Germany and Russia count by hundreds, England counts by tens; and it is only, strictly speaking, on the good old principle that one Englishman can buffet a dozen foreigners that a very hopeful view of an Anglo-continental collision can be maintained. This good old principle is far from having gone out of fashion: you may hear it proclaimed to an inspiring tune any night in the week in the London music-halls. One summer evening, in the country, an English gentleman was telling me about his little boy, a rosy, sturdy, manly child whom I had already admired, and whom he depicted as an infant Hercules. The surrounding influences at the moment were picturesque. An ancient lamp was suspended [page 215] from the ceiling of the hall; the large door stood open upon a terrace; and outside the big, dense treetops were faintly stirring in the starlight. My companion dilated upon the pluck and muscle, the latent pugnacity, of his dear little son, and told me how bravely already he doubled his infant fist. There was a kind of Homeric simplicity about it. From this he proceeded to wider considerations, and observed that the English child was of necessity the bravest and sturdiest in the world, for the plain reason that he was the germ of the English man. What the English man was we of course both knew, but, as I was a stranger, my friend explained the matter in detail. He was a person whom, in the ordinary course of human irritation, every one else was afraid of. Nowhere but in England were such men made—men who could hit out as soon as think, and knock over persons of inferior race as you would brush away flies. They were afraid of nothing: the sentiment of hesitation to inflict a blow under rigidly proper circumstances was unknown to them. English soldiers and sailors in a row carried everything before them: foreigners didn't know what to make of such fellows, and were afraid to touch them. A couple of Englishmen were a match for a foreign mob. My friend's little boy was made like a statue: his little arms and legs were quite of the right sort. This was the greatness of England, and of this there was an infinite supply. The light, as I say, was dim in the great hall, and the rustle of the oaks in the park was almost audible. Their murmur seemed to offer a sympathetic undertone to the honest conversation of my companion, and I sat there as humble a ministrant to the simple and beautiful idea of British valor as the occasion could require. I made the reflection—by which I must justify my anecdote—that the ancient tradition as to the personal fighting-value of the individual Englishman flourishes in high as well as in low life, and forms a common ground of contact between them; with the simple difference that at the music-halls it is more poetically expressed than in the country-houses.

I am grossly ignorant of military matters, and hardly know the names of regiments or the designations of their officers; yet, as I said at the beginning of these remarks, I am always very much struck by the sight of a uniform. War is a detestable thing, and I would willingly see the sword dropped into its scabbard for ever. Only I should plead that in its sheathed condition the sword should still be allowed to play a certain part. Actual war is detestable, but there is something agreeable in possible war; and I have been thankful that I should have found myself on British soil at a moment when it was resounding to the tread of regiments. If the British army is small, it has during the last six months been making the most of itself. The rather dusky spectacle of British life has been lighted up by the presence in the foreground of considerable masses of that vivid color which is more particularly associated with the protection of British interests. The sunshine has appeared to rest upon scattered clusters of red-coats, while the background has been enveloped in a sort of chaotic and fuliginous dimness. The red-coats, according to their number, have been palpable and definite, though a great many other things have been inconveniently vague. At the beginning of the year, when Parliament was opened in the queen's name, the royal speech contained a phrase which that boisterous organ of the war-party, the Pall Mall Gazette, pronounced "sickening" in its pusillanimity. Her Majesty alluded to the necessity, in view of the complications in the East, of the government taking into consideration the making of "preparations for precaution." This was certainly an ineffective way of expressing a thirst for Russian blood, but the royal phraseology is never very felicitous; and the "preparations for precaution" have been extremely interesting. Indeed, for a person conscious of a desire to look into what may be called the psychology of politics, I can imagine nothing more interesting than the general spectacle of the public conduct of England during the last two years. I[page 216] have watched it with a good deal of the same sort of entertainment with which one watches a five-act drama from a comfortable place in the stalls. There are moments of discomfort in the course of such a performance: the theatre is hot and crowded, the situations are too prolonged, the play seems to drag, some of the actors have no great talent. But the piece, as a whole, is intensely dramatic, the argument is striking, and you would not for the world leave your place before the dénouement is reached. My own pleasure all winter, I confess, has been partly marred by a bad conscience: I have felt a kind of shame at my inability to profit by a brilliant opportunity to make up my mind. This inability, however, was extreme, and my regret was not lightened by seeing every one about me set an admirable example of decision, and even of precision. Every one about me was either a Russian or a Turk, the Turks, however, being greatly the more numerous. It appeared necessary to one's self-respect to assume some foreign personality, and I felt keenly, for a while, the embarrassment of choice. At last it occurred to me simply that as an American I might be an Englishman; and the reflection became afterward very profitable.

When once I had undertaken the part, I played it with what the French call conviction. There are many obvious reasons why the rôle, at such a time as this, should accommodate itself to the American capacity. The feeling of race is strong, and a good American could not but desire that, with the eyes of Europe fixed upon it, the English race should make a passable figure. There would be much fatuity in his saying that at such a moment he deemed it of importance to give it the support of his own striking attitude, but there is at least a kind of filial piety in this feeling moved to draw closer to it. To see how the English race would behave, and to hope devoutly it would behave well,—this was the occupation of my thoughts. Old England was in a difficult pass, and all the world was watching her. The good American feels in all sorts of ways about Old England: the better American he is, the more acute are his moods, the more lively his variations. He can be, I think, everything but indifferent; and, for myself, I never hesitated to let my emotions play all along the scale. In the morning, over the Times, it was extremely difficult to make up one's mind. The Times seemed very mealy-mouthed—that impression, indeed, it took no great cleverness to gather—but the dilemma lay between one's sense of the brutality and cynicism of the usual utterances of the Turkish party and one's perception of the direful ills which Russian conquest was so liberally scattering abroad. The brutality of the Turkish tone, as I sometimes caught an echo of it in the talk of chance interlocutors, was not such as to quicken that race-feeling to which I just now alluded. English society is a tremendously comfortable affair, and the crudity of the sarcasm that I frequently heard levelled by its fortunate members at the victims of the fashionable Turk was such as to produce a good deal of resentful meditation. It was provoking to hear a rosy English gentleman, who had just been into Leicestershire for a week's hunting, deliver the opinion that the vulgar Bulgarians had really not been massacred half enough; and this in spite of the fact that one had long since made the observation that for a good plain absence of mawkish sentimentality a certain type of rosy English gentleman is nowhere to be matched. On the other hand, it was not very comfortable to think of the measureless misery in which these interesting populations were actually steeped, and one had to admit that the deliberate invasion of a country which professed the strongest desire to live in peace with its invaders was at least a rather striking anomaly. Such a course could only be justified by the most gratifying results, and brilliant consequences as yet had not begun to bloom upon the blood-drenched fields of Bulgaria.

To see this heavy-burdened, slow-moving Old England making up her mind was an edifying spectacle. It was not over-fanciful to say to one's self, in spite of the difficulties of the problem and the (in a certain sense) evenly-balanced [page 217] scales, that this was a great crisis in her history, that she stood at the crossing of the ways, and that according as she put forth her right hand or her left would her greatness stand or wane. It was possible to imagine that in her huge, dim, collective consciousness she felt an oppressive sense of moral responsibility, that she too murmured to herself that she was on trial, and that, through the mists of bewilderment and the tumult of party cries, she begged to be enlightened. The sympathetic American to whom I have alluded may be represented at such an hour as making a hundred irresponsible reflections and indulging in all sorts of fantastic visions. If I had not already wandered so far from my theme, I should like to offer a few instances here. Very often it seemed natural to care very little whether England went to war with Russia or not: the interest lay in the moral struggle that was going on within her own limits. Awkward as this moral struggle made her appear, perilously as it seemed to have exposed her to the sarcasm of some of her neighbors—of that compact, cohesive France, for instance, which even yet cannot easily imagine a great country sacrificing the substance of "glory" to the shadow of wisdom—this was the most striking element in the drama into which, as I said just now, the situation had resolved itself. The Liberal party at the present hour is broken, disfigured, demoralized, the mere ghost of its former self. The opposition to the government has been, in many ways, factious and hypercritical: it has been opposition for opposition's sake, and it has met, in part, the fate of such immoralities. But a good part of the cause that it represented appeared at times to be the highest conscience of a civilized country. The aversion to war, the absence of defiance, the disposition to treat the emperor of Russia like a gentleman and a man of his word, the readiness to make concessions, to be conciliatory, even credulous, to try a great many expedients before resorting to the showy argument of the sword,—these various attributes of the peace party offered, of course, ample opportunity to those scoffers at home and abroad who are always prepared to cry out that England has sold herself, body and soul, to "Manchester." It was interesting to attempt to feel what there might be of justice in such cries, and at the same time feel that this looking at war in the face and pronouncing it very vile was the mark of a high civilization. It is but fair to add, though it takes some courage, that I found myself very frequently of the opinion of the last speaker. If British interests were in fact endangered by Russian aggression—though, on the whole, I did not at all believe it—it would be a fine thing to see the ancient might of this great country reaffirm itself. I did not at all believe it, as I say; yet at times, I confess, I tried to believe it, pretended I believed it, for the sake of this inspiring idea of England's making, like the lady in Dombey & Son, "an effort." There were those who, if one would listen to them, would persuade one that that sort of thing was quite out of the question; that England was no longer a fighting power; that her day was over; and that she was quite incapable of striking a blow for the great empire she had built up—with a good deal less fighting, really, than had been given out—by taking happy advantage of weaker states. (These hollow reasoners were of course invidious foreigners.) To such talk as this I paid little attention—only just enough to feel it quicken my desire that this fine nation, so full of private pugnacity and of public deliberation, might find in circumstances a sudden pretext for doing something gallant and striking.

Meanwhile I watched the soldiers whenever an opportunity offered. My opportunities, I confess, were moderate, for it was not often my fortune to encounter an imposing military array. In London there are a great many red-coats, but they rarely march about the streets in large masses. The most impressive military body that engages the attention of the contemplative pedestrian is the troop of Life Guards or of Blues which every morning, about eleven o'clock, makes its way down to Whitehall from the Regent's Park barracks. (Shortly afterward another troop passes[page 218] up from Whitehall, where, at the Horse Guards, the guard has been changed.) The Life Guards are one of the most brilliant ornaments of the metropolis, and I never see two or three of them pass without feeling shorter by several inches. When, of a summer afternoon, they scatter themselves abroad in undress uniform—with their tight red jackets and tight blue trousers following the swelling lines of their manly shapes, and their little visorless caps perched neatly askew on the summit of their six feet two of stature—it is impossible not to be impressed, and almost abashed, by the sight of such a consciousness of neatly-displayed physical advantages and by such an air of superior valor. It is true that I found the other day in an amusing French book (a little book entitled Londres pittoresque, by M. Henri Bellenger) a description of these majestic warriors which took a humorous view of their grandeur. A Frenchman arriving in London, says M. Bellenger, stops short in the middle of the pavement and stares aghast at this strange apparition—"this tall lean fellow, with his wide, short torso perched upon a pair of grasshopper's legs and squeezed into an adhesive jacket of scarlet cloth, who dawdles himself along with a little cane in his hand, swinging forward his enormous feet, curving his arms, throwing back his shoulders, arching his chest, with a mixture of awkwardness, fatuity and stiffness the most curious and the most exhilarating.... In his general aspect," adds this merciless critic, "he recalls the circus-rider, minus the latter's flexibility: skin-tight garments, simpering mouth, smile of a dancing-girl, attempt to be impertinent and irresistible which culminates only in being ridiculous."

This is a very heavy-handed picture of those exaggerated proportions and that conquering gait which, as I say, render the tall Life Guardsman one of the most familiar ornaments of the London streets. But it is when he is armed and mounted that he is most picturesque—when he sits, monumentally, astride of his black charger in one of the big niches on either side of the gate of the Horse Guards, cuirassed and helmeted, booted and spurred. I never fail to admire him as I pass through the adjacent archway, as well as his companions, equally helmeted and booted, who march up and down beside him, and, as Taine says, alluding in his Notes sur l'Angleterre to the scene, "posent avec majesté devant les gamins." If I chance to be in St. James's street when a semi-squadron of these elegant warriors are returning from attendance upon royalty after a Drawing-Room or a Levee, I am sure to make one of the gamins who stand upon the curbstone to see them pass. If the day be a fine one at the height of the season, and London happen to be wearing otherwise the brilliancy of supreme fashion—with beautiful dandies at the club-windows, and chariots ascending the sunny slope freighted with wigged and flowered coachmen, great armorial hammercloths, powdered, appended footmen, dowagers and débutantes—then the rattling, flashing, prancing cavalcade of the long detachment of the Household troops strikes one as the official expression of a thoroughly well-equipped society. It must be added, however, that it is many a year since the Life Guards or the Blues have had harder work than this. To escort their sovereign to the railway-stations at London and Windsor has long been their most arduous duty. They were present to very good purpose at Waterloo, but since their return from that immortal field they have not been out of England. Heavy cavalry, in modern warfare, has gone out of fashion, and in case of a conflict in the East those nimble, pretty fellows the Hussars, with their tight, dark-blue tunics so brilliantly embroidered with yellow braid, would take precedence of their majestic comrades. The Hussars are indeed the prettiest fellows of all, and if I were fired with a martial ambition I should certainly enlist in their ranks. I know of no military personage more agreeable to the civil eye than a blue-and-yellow hussar, unless indeed it be a young officer in the Rifle Brigade. The latter is perhaps, to a refined and[page 219] chastened taste, the most graceful, the most truly elegant, of all military types. The little riflemen, the common soldiers, have an extremely useful and durable aspect: with their plain black uniforms, little black Scotch bonnets, black gloves, total absence of color, they suggest the rigidly practical and business-like phase of their profession—the restriction of the attention to the simple specialty of "picking off" one's enemy. The officers are of course more elegant, but their elegance is sober and subdued. They are dressed all in black, save for a broad, dark crimson sash which they wear across the shoulder and chest, and for a very slight hint of gold lace upon their small, round, short-visored caps. They are furthermore adorned with a small quantity of broad black braid discreetly applied to their tight, long-skirted surtouts. There is a kind of severe gentlemanliness about this costume which, when it is worn by a tall, slim, neat-waisted young Englishman with a fresh complexion, a candid eye and a yellow moustache, is of quite irresistible effect. There is no such triumph of taste as to look rich without high colors and picturesque without accessories. The imagination is always struck by the figure of a soberly-dressed gentleman with a sword.

The little riflemen, the Hussars, the Life Guards, the Foot Guards, the artillerymen (whose garments always look stiffer and more awkwardly fitted than those of their confrères) have all, however, one quality in common—the appearance of extreme, of even excessive, youth. It is hardly too much to say that the British army, as a stranger observes it now-a-days, is an army of boys. All the regiments are boyish: they are made up of lads who range from seventeen to five-and-twenty. You look almost in vain for the old-fashioned specimen of the British soldier—the large, well-seasoned man of thirty, bronzed and whiskered beneath his terrible bearskin and with shoulders fashioned for the heaviest knapsack. This was the ancient English grenadier. But the modern grenadier, as he perambulates the London pavement, is for the most part a fresh-colored lad of moderate stature, who hardly strikes one as offering the elements of a very solid national defence. He enlists, as a general thing, for six years, and if he leave the army at the end of this term his service in the ranks will have been hardly more than a juvenile escapade. I often wonder, however, that the unemployed Englishman of humble origin should not be more often disposed to take up his residence in Her Majesty's barracks. There is a certain street-corner at Westminster where the recruiting-sergeants stand all day at the receipt of custom. The place is well chosen, and I suppose they drive a tolerably lively business: all London sooner or later passes that way, and whenever I have passed I have always observed one of these smart apostles of military glory trying to catch the ear of one of the dingy London lazzaroni. Occasionally, if the hook has been skilfully baited, they appear to be conscious of a bite, but as a general thing the unfashionable object of their blandishments turns away, after an unillumined stare at the brilliant fancy dress of his interlocutor, with a more or less concise declaration of incredulity. In front of him stretches, across the misty Thames, the large commotion of Westminster Bridge, crowned by the huge, towered mass of the Houses of Parliament. To the right of this, a little effaced, as the French say, is the vague black mass of the Abbey; close at hand are half a dozen public-houses, convenient for drinking a glass to the encouragement of military aspiration; in the background are the squalid and populous slums of Westminster. It is a characteristic congregation of objects, and I have often wondered that among so many eloquent mementos of the life of the English people the possible recruit should not be prompted by the sentiment of social solidarity to throw himself into the arms of the agent of patriotism. Speaking less vaguely, one would suppose that to the great majority of the unwashed and unfed the condition of a private in one of the queen's regiments would offer much that might be supremely enviable. It is a chance to become, relatively speaking, a gentleman—more than a gentleman, a[page 220] "swell"—to have the grim problem of existence settled at a stroke. The British soldier always presents the appearance of scrupulous cleanliness: he is scoured, scrubbed, brushed beyond reproach. His hair is enriched with pomatum and his shoes are radiantly polished. His little cap is worn in a manner determined by considerations purely æsthetic. He carries a little cane in one hand, and, like a gentleman at a party, a pair of white gloves in the other. He holds up his head and expands his chest, and bears himself generally like a person who has reason to invite rather than to evade the fierce light of modern criticism. He enjoys, moreover, an abundant leisure, and appears to have ample time and means for participating in the advantages of a residence in London—for frequenting gin-palaces and music-halls, for observing the beauties of the West End and cultivating the society of appreciative housemaids. To a ragged and simple-minded rustic or to a young Cockney of vague resources all this ought to be a brilliant picture. That the picture should seem to contain any shadows is a proof of the deep-seated relish in the human mind for our personal independence. The fear of "too many masters" weighs heavily against the assured comforts and the opportunity of cutting a figure. On the other hand, I remember once being told by a communicative young trooper with whom I had some conversation that the desire to "see life" had been his own motive for enlisting. He appeared to be seeing it with some indistinctness: he was a little tipsy at the time.

I spoke at the beginning of these remarks of the brilliant impressions to be gathered during a couple of days' stay at Aldershot, and I have delayed much too long to attempt a rapid and grateful report of them. But I reflect that such a report, however friendly, coming from a visitor profoundly uninitiated into the military mystery, can have but a relative value. I may lay myself open to contempt, for instance, in making the simple remark that the big parade held in honor of the queen's birthday, and which I went down more particularly to see, struck me, as the young ladies say, as perfectly lovely. I will nevertheless hazard this confession, for I should otherwise seem to myself to be grossly irresponsive to a delightful hospitality. Aldershot is a very charming place—an example the more, to my sense, if examples were needed, of the happy variety of this wonderful little island, its adaptability to every form of human convenience. Some twenty years ago it occurred to the late prince consort, to whom so many things occurred, that it would be a good thing to establish a great camp. He cast his eyes about him, and instantly they rested upon a spot as perfectly adapted to his purpose as if Nature from the first had had an eye to pleasing him. It was a matter of course that the prince should find exactly what he looked for. Aldershot is at but little more than an hour from London—a high, sunny, breezy expanse surrounded by heathery hills. It offers all the required conditions of liberal space, of quick accessibility, of extreme salubrity, of contiguity to a charming little tumbled country in which the troops may indulge in ingenious imitations of difficult manœuvres; to which it behooves me to add the advantage of enchanting drives and walks for the entertainment of the impressible visitor. In winter, possibly, the great circle of the camp is rather a prey to the elements, but nothing can be more agreeable than I found it toward the end of May, with the light fresh breezes hanging about, and the sun-rifts from a magnificently cloudy sky lighting up all around the big yellow patches of gorse.

At Aldershot the military class lives in huts, a generic name given to certain low wooden structures of small dimensions and a single story, covering, however, a good many specific variations. The oblong shanty in which thirty or forty common soldiers are stowed away is naturally a very different affair from the neat little bungalow of an officer. The buildings are distributed in chessboard fashion over a very large area, and form two distinct camps. There is also a substantial little town, chiefly[page 221] composed of barracks and public-houses; in addition to which, at crowded seasons, far and near over the plain there is the glitter of white tents. "The neat little bungalow of an officer," as I said just now: I learned, among other things, what a charming form of habitation this may be. The ceilings are very low, the partitions are thin, the rooms are all next door to each other; the place is a good deal like an American "cottage" by the seaside. But even in these narrow conditions that homogeneous English luxury which is the admiration of the stranger blooms with its usual amplitude. The specimen which suggests these observations was cushioned and curtained like a pretty house in Mayfair, and yet its pretensions were tempered by a kind of rustic humility. I entered it first in the dark, but the next morning, when I stepped outside to have a look at it by daylight, I burst into pardonable laughter. The walls were of plain planks painted a dark red: the roof, on which I could almost rest my elbow, was neatly endued with a coating of tar. But, after all, the thing was very pretty. There was a matting of ivy all over the front of the hut, thriving as I had never known ivy to thrive upon a wooden surface: there was a tangle of creepers about all the windows. The place looked like a "side-scene" in a comic opera. But there was a serious little English lawn in front of it, over which a couple of industrious red-coats were pulling up and down a garden-roller; and in the centre of the drive before the door was a tremendous clump of rhododendrons of more than operatic brilliancy. I leaned on the garden-gate and looked out at the camp: it was twinkling and bustling in the morning light, which drizzled down upon it in patches from a somewhat agitated sky. An hour later the camp got itself together and spread itself, in close battalions and glittering cohorts, over a big green level, where it marched and cantered about most effectively in honor of a lady living at a quiet Scotch country-house. One of this lady's generals stood in a corner, and the regiments marched past and saluted. This simple spectacle was in reality very brilliant. I know nothing about soldiers, as the reader must long since have discovered, but I had, nevertheless, no hesitation in saying to myself that these were the handsomest troops in the world. Everything in such a spectacle is highly picturesque, and if the observer is one of the profane he has no perception of weakness of detail. He sees the long squadrons shining and shifting, uncurling themselves over the undulations of the ground like great serpents with metallic scales, and he remembers Milton's description of the celestial hosts. The British soldier is doubtless not celestial, but the extreme perfection of his appointments makes him look very well on parade. On this occasion at Aldershot I felt as if I were at the Hippodrome. There was a great deal of cavalry and artillery, and the dragoons, hussars and lancers, the beautiful horses, the capital riders, the wonderful wagons and guns, seemed even more theatrical than military. This came, in a great measure, from the freshness and tidiness of their accessories—the brightness and tightness of uniforms, the polish of boots and buckles, the newness of leather and paint. None of these things were the worse for wear: they had the bloom of peace still upon them. As I looked at the show, and then afterward, in charming company, went winding back to camp, passing detachments of the great cavalcade, returning also in narrow file, balancing on their handsome horses along the paths in the gorse-brightened heather, I allowed myself to wish that since, as matters stood, the British soldier was clearly such a fine fellow and a review at Aldershot was such a delightful entertainment, the bloom of peace might long remain.

H. James, Jr.

[page 222]


In the year of grace 1854, Ernest Philip King, a young attaché of the English embassy at Athens, married Haidée Amic, the most beautiful woman in that city. Neither of the pair possessed a fortune, and their united means afforded a not abundantly luxurious style of living; but they loved each other, and the fact that he was the portionless son of a Church of England divine, and she the daughter of an impecunious Greek of noble family and royal lineage, was no drawback to the early happiness of their wooing and wedding. They had two children, a boy and a girl, born within two years of each other in Athens: the girl, the elder of the two, they named Hyacinthe; the boy was called Tancredi.

Five years after this marriage had taken place King lost his position at the embassy, and only received in exchange for it a mean government clerkship in Rome at a meagre salary. Thither he removed, and after dragging out a miserable and disappointed existence five years longer, he died in the arms of his beautiful and still young wife. Thereafter the youthful widow managed to keep life in herself and her two little ones by dint of pinching, management and contrivance on the pittance that had come to her from the estate of her impecunious father. They lived in a palace, it is true—but who does not live in a palace in Rome?—high up, where the cooing doves built their nests under the leaden eaves, and where the cold winds whistled shrilly in their season.

Such accomplishments as the mother was mistress of she imparted to her children. What other education they received was derived from intercourse with many foreigners, English, French, Russians, and from familiarity with the sights and wonders of Rome, its galleries, ruins, palaces, studios.

At eighteen Tancredi had obtained a situation as amanuensis to an English historian resident in Italy; and Hyacinthe already brooded over some active and unusual future that spread itself as yet but dimly before her. She inherited from her mother her unparalleled beauty—the clear, colorless, flawless skin, the straight features, the lustrous eyes with their luxuriant lashes and long level brows, her lithe and gracious figure and slender feet and hands: of the English father her only physical trace was the large, full, mobile mouth with its firm white teeth. She had from him the modern spirit of unrest and the modern impetus and energy: from the Greek mother, a counteracting languor of temperament and an antique cast of mind.

Such, in a measure, was Hyacinthe King at twenty—a curious compound of beauty, unspent verve, irritated longings, half-superstitious imaginings, and half-developed impulses, ideas and mental powers; practically, an assistant to the worn mother in her household duties, a haunter of the beautiful places in the city of her adoption, an occasional mingler in the scant festivities of artists, a good linguist, knowing English thoroughly and speaking French and German with fluent accuracy. Watch her, with me, as she walks one spring day along the narrow Via Robbia, down which a slip of sunlight glints scantily on her young head, and, emerging into a wider thoroughfare, ascends at last the Scala Regia of the Vatican. The girl is known there, and the usually not over-courteous officials allow her to pass on at her will through hall after hall of splendor and priceless treasure. She is neither an English tourist with Baedeker, Murray and a note-book, nor an American traveller with pencil, loose leaves and a possible photographic apparatus in her pocket: therefore to the vigilant eye of the guardian of the pope's palace she is an innocuous being. Hyacinthe glides quietly through the Clementino Museum, with never a glance for the lovely, blooming Mercury of the Belvedere, or even one peep in at[page 223] the cabinet where the sad Laocoön for ever writhes in impotent struggles, or a look of love for rare and radiant Apollo, or one of surprise for Hercules with the Nemean lion. She has reached the Hall of Statues—that superb gallery with its subtly-tesselated pavement, its grand marble columns with their Ionic capitals, its arches and walls of wondrous marbles—and here she stops with a little sigh before the Cupid of Praxiteles, shorn of his wings by ruthless Time or some still more ruthless human destroyer. But oh the lovesomeness of that wingless Love, the sensuous psalmody that seems about to part the young lips, and the glad eyes one may fancy glancing under that careless infant brow! Hyacinthe stands before it a long, long time while many parties come in and go out, and only moves on a little when an insolent young Frenchman offers a surmise as to her being a statue herself. She moves only as far as Ariadne: the jeune Français has made a progressive movement also, and notes behind his Paris hat to his companion that the girl looks something like the marble. She does. Though the grief of the face of the daughter of Minos as she lies deserted by her lover on the rocky shore of Naxos be a poignant and a present woe, there is the shadow of its mate on the brow and lips of the girl who gazes at its pure and pallid and all-unavailing loveliness.

The Frenchmen have gone with their guide, and there is a great stillness falling on the place, and no more tourists come that way. The light is fading, but Hyacinthe turns back to the mutilated Cupid, and ere long sits down at the base of the statue, and her head rests well on the cold marble while the darkness grows, and the guardians of the Vatican either forget or do not distinguish the white of her gown from the blurred blanchedness of the Greek Love.

So, while the mother waits at home, and wails and prays and wonders and seeks comfort among her neighbors, the daughter sleeps and dreams; and her dream is this: The wingless Love looks up and laughs as in welcome, and Hyacinthe looks up too, and they both see a new marble standing there in front of them: nay, not a marble, though white as Parian, for the eyes that laugh back at Love's and hers are blue as the blue Italian summer skies, and the curling locks of hair on the brow are of shining gold, and the palms of the beautiful hands are rosy with the bright blood of life.

And Love asks, "What would you?"

And the strange comer answers, "They say I need nothing."

And Hyacinthe in her dream says, "Is what they say the truth?" But even while she speaks the stranger sinks farther and farther from her sight, his glad blue eyes still laughing back at Love and her as he fades into one with the darkness afar off where Ariadne slumbers in sorrow. And the wingless Love smiles sadly as he speaks: "Seek your art, O daughter of a Greek mother! and you will find in it the answer to your question." And Hyacinthe, sighing, wakes in the dreary dusk of the first dawn.

She was affrighted at first, and then slowly there came upon her, with the fast-increasing daylight, a great peace.

"'Seek your art!'" the girl murmured to herself, pushing back her dark locks and gazing away toward the spot where the hero of her dream had vanished. "So will I, Cupid, and there I shall find the answer to my question, to all questions; for I shall find him whom my soul loveth. Who was he, what was he, so resplendent and shining among all these old Greeks? Where shall I seek? Say, Cupid? But you are a silent god, and will not answer me. I know, I know," she cried, clasping her slender hands together. "I will go to my father's country, where, he used to tell me, all the men are fair and all the women good. There I shall find my art and you, my Saxon god."

When the mother heard of the dream and the resolution she was sad at first, but decided finally to write to the two maiden sisters of Ernest King, who had idolized their young, handsome brother, and who answered promptly that they would gladly receive his only daughter. Hyacinthe took a brave and smiling leave of the madre and Tancredi, after[page 224] having gone to look her farewell at the wingless Love and the sleeping stricken Ariadne. "Ah, dear Cupid," she whispered, "I am going to-day to find my art and the Saxon whom my soul loveth. Addio, you and Ariadne!"

From the old into the new, from the tried to the untried, from inertness to action, from the Greek marbles to Saxon men and women, from Rome to Britain, from breathing to living. Down the Strand, past Villiers, Essex, Salisbury, Northumberland and many more streets whose names tell of vanished splendors, whose dingy lengths are smoke-blackened, and far enough off from the whole aroma of Belgravia, is Craven street. The houses are all of a pattern—prim, dingy, small-windowed habitations, but within this one there must be comfort, for the fire-flames dance on the meek minute panes and a heavy curl of smoke is cutting the air above its square, business-like little chimney-pot. Drawing-room there is none to this mansion, but there is a pleasant square substitute that the Misses King call "the library" in the mornings, and "the parlor" after their early, unfashionable dinner. It is full of old-time furniture, such as connoisseurs are searching after now—dark polished tables with great claws and little claws; high presses and cupboards brass bound and with numberless narrow drawers; spindle-legged chairs, with their worn embroidered backs and seats; a tall thin bookcase; a haircloth sofa with a griffin at either end mounting savage guard over an erect pillow; a thick hearth-rug; and two easy-chairs with cushioned arms and two little old ladies, the one quaint and frigid—she had once loved and had had a successful rival; the other quaint and sweet—she had loved too, and had lost her lover in the depths of the sea.

The rattle of a cab down the still street, a pull-up, a short, sharp knock, and in two minutes more Hyacinthe King had been welcomed kindly by one aunt and tenderly pressed to the heart of the other. A sober housemaid had taken her wraps, and was even now unpacking her boxes in the chamber above. She was sitting in Miss Juliet's own armchair, and had greatly surprised Ponto, the ancient cat, by taking him into her lap.

"Will you ring for tea and candles, sister?" asked Miss King primly.—"We have had tea of course, Hyacinthe, but we will have some infused for you at once."

"Perhaps Hyacinthe doesn't like tea," suggested Miss Juliet with her thin, once-pretty hand on the rope.

"Not like tea? Absurd! Was not her father an Englishman, I should like to know? Our niece is not a heathen, Juliet."

"But, aunt," smiled Hyacinthe, "I do not like tea, after all. You are both so kind to me," sighed she: "I hope you will not ever regret my coming to England and to you."

"It is not likely that our niece—"

"That Ernest's daughter—" said Miss Juliet softly.

"Should ever do aught to give us cause to blush—"

"Save with pride and pleasure," added the younger old lady, laying her fingers on the girl's soft, dark, abundant hair.

"I hope not, aunts." Hyacinthe looked at Miss King a bit wistfully as she spoke. "You know I am not come to be a burden to you—the madre wrote: I am come to England to pursue my art."

"My sister-in-law did—"

"Your dear mother did—" Miss Juliet chimed in gently.

"Write something of the kind, but, Hyacinthe, ladies do not go out into the world seeking their fortunes. I believe I have heard"—Miss King speaks austerely and as from some pinnacle of pride—"that there are women who write and lecture and paint, and, in short, do anything that is disgraceful; but you, my dear, are not of that blood."

"Yes, aunt, I am. I would do any of those things—must do one of them or something—to help me find my Saxon god."

"Your what?" cries Miss King, staring over her spectacles at the serene, heroic young face.

[page 225]

"Your what, dear child?" murmurs Miss Juliet protectively, looking down into her niece's dark, fathomless eyes.

"Saxon god," says she quite low, for the first time in all her life experiencing a conscious shyness.

"Are you a pagan, Hyacinthe King?" shrieks the elder aunt.

"Tell us all about it, my dear," says Miss Juliet soothingly.

And Hyacinthe tells them her dream and her resolve.

"So much for an honest English gentleman wedding with a—"

"Lovely Greek girl," finishes Miss Juliet quietly, glancing for the first time at her sister. "They say your mother was very beautiful, Hyacinthe."

"Yes the madre is beautiful: she is like the Venus of the Capitol."

Miss King utters a woeful "Ah!" which her sister endeavors to smother in some kind inquiry.

When Hyacinthe has been shown to her room by the sober housemaid, the two old ladies discuss the situation in full, and Miss Juliet's gentleness so far prevails over Miss King's frigid despair as to wring from the latter a tardy promise to let the young niece pursue the frightful tenor of her way, at least for a time.

A week after her arrival in London, the girl, having informed herself with a marvellous quickness of intelligence on various practical points, calmly laid her plans before her aunts, the elder of whom listened in frigid silence, the younger with assurances of assistance and counsel. She then proceeded to put her projects into action with a curious matter-of-factness that, considering the purely ideal nature of her aim, is to be accounted for in no other way than by the recollection of her parentage—the Greek soul and the British brain.

On a Wednesday morning Hyacinthe and Miss Juliet repaired to the studio of a great sculptor: the niece had previously written to him stating her desire, and the aunt, nervous and excited, clung to the girl's firm arm in a kind of terror.

"You wish to know if you have a talent for my art?" he asked kindly, looking into the pallid young face with its earnest uplifted look. "I think that had you the least gift that way, having lived in Rome, you would know it without my assistance. However, here is a bit of clay: we shall soon see. Try what your fingers can make of it—if a cup like this one." He turned off, but watched her, nevertheless, with fixed curiosity as she handled the lump of damp earth.

Hyacinthe could make nothing of it save twist it from one shapeless mass into another.

"I had hoped it would be sculpture," she said a bit regretfully as she left the great man's workroom. "In my dream he was a statue."

On Thursday the two went to the atelier of a renowned painter. He too bent curious interested eyes upon the absorbed and searching face of his strange applicant as he placed pencils, canvas and brushes before her, and directed her to look for a model to the simple vase that stood opposite or to the bust of Clyte that was beside her. But Hyacinthe had no power over these things, and the two turned their faces back toward the small house in Craven street.

On Friday they sought out a celebrated musician, but the long, supple hands—veritable "piano-hands" he noted from the first—availed the girl in no way here. The maestro said she "might spend years in study, but the soul was not attuned to it."

When Saturday came they went to a famous teacher for the voice. But, alas! Hyacinthe, he said frankly, had "no divine possibilities shrined in her mellow tones." Perhaps she was a little, just a little, disheartened on Saturday night. If so, none knew it.

On Sunday the old ladies took her to St. Martin-le-Grand's church, but all she said over the early cold dinner was, "Women cannot preach in the churches. I could not find him there."

And Miss King said grace after that meat in a loud and aggressive voice, but Miss Juliet whispered a soft and sweet "Amen."

On Monday morning Hyacinthe slipped from the house unseen. There was[page 226] a vein of subtlety and finesse in her that came to the surface on occasion: it had been in Haidée Amic and in her ancestors. She repaired to a maître de ballet, an old man who lived in an old house in the East End.

"Can you learn to dance, mademoiselle—learn to dance 'superbly'?" repeated the danseur after his applicant. "Well, I should say no, most decidedly—never. You have not a particle of chic, coquetry: you were made for tragedy, mademoiselle, and not for the airy, indefinable graces of my art. You should devote yourself to the drama."

Hyacinthe looked up, and the old Italian repeated his assertion, adding a recommendation to seek an interview with Mr. Arbuthnot, the proprietor and manager of one of the principal theatres. Before Hyacinthe returned to the little domicile in Craven street she had been enrolled as a member of the company of this temple of the dramatic art.

Arbuthnot was speculative, and withal lucky: he had never brought out even a "successful failure," and a something in this odd young woman's beauty, earnestness, frankness, pleased him. He gave her the "balcony scene," of course, to read to him; noted her poses, which were singularly felicitous; knew at once that she was not cast for the lovesick Veronese maiden; was surprised to discover that she was quite willing to follow his advice—to begin in small parts and work her way up if possible. The shrewd London manager foresaw triumphs ahead when the insignificant "Miss H. Leroy" should pass into the actress Hyacinthe King.

"Aunts, I went out by myself," the girl says as she dawdles shyly over her newly-acquired habit of tea-drinking that evening, "because I knew—I fancied—that you, Aunt Juliet, would not care to go with me where I was going."

"Yes, dear," says Miss Juliet, glad to have the curious child of her favorite brother back with her in safety.

"A foolish and an unwarrantable step, Hyacinthe, which I trust—I trust—you will never repeat." Thus Miss King, adding with severity, "May I inquire, Hyacinthe, where you went?"

"To Bozati the ballet-master first."

"To whom?" Miss King draws forth an old-fashioned salts-bottle, and Miss Juliet glances nervously at the tea-tray. "To whom? Can it be possible that my niece, your father's daughter—No, no! my ears deceive me."

"He said I never could learn to be anything more than a coryphée, aunt, and I knew that that would not be accounted an art," she says quite low. "But I then went to Mr. Arbuthnot. You know him, aunt?"

"I have heard of such a person," answers Miss King, peering austerely over her spectacles at Hyacinthe.

"He has engaged me at a salary of two pounds a week, and he says that some day I shall be great." Her eyes dilate and look out afar, through the tiny window-panes, into a limitless and superb future. "I have found my art; and I am so happy!"

Miss Juliet's glance intercepts her sister's speech. There is silence in the quaint, small parlor that night; and for the first time in many a year the memory of her lost lover's first kiss rests softly on Miss King's wan, wrinkled cheek: for the first time in many a year she has remembered the perfection of him and forgotten the perfidy.

That was October.

This is June.

"For thirty-seven consecutive nights the girl has held the public of this great capital spellbound by the magical power of her art. She has great beauty—Greek features lighted up by Northern vividness and intellectuality; but transcendent beauty falls to the lot of very many actresses, yet it is not to be said of any one of them that they have what this unheralded, unknown girl possesses—tragic genius such as thrilled through the Hebrew veins of dead Rachel, and flew from her, a magnetic current, straight to the hearts and brains of her auditors. Of such metal is made this new star. She has as yet appeared but in one rôle, that of Adrienne in Scribe's play, but within the compass of its five acts she runs the wild and weary gamut from crowned love to crowned despair. It is[page 227] a new interpretation, and a remarkable one—an interpretation that is tinged with the blight of our inquisitive and mournful age: self-consciousness, that terrible tormentor in her soul, sits for ever in judgment upon every impulse of the heart of Adrienne, and makes of pain a stinging poison, and of pleasure but a poor potentiality. Her death-scene is singular and awful—awful in its physical adherence to realism, and singular in that it does not disgust, or even horrify, but leaves a memory of peace with the listener, who has not failed to catch the last strain for sight of the divine and dying eyes." So the critic of the London oracle wrote of Hyacinthe King.

That night the people had crowned her with a wreath of gold laurel-leaves, and she was walking to her dressing-room, when, as she passed the green-room door, a merry laugh made her glance in. There were fifty people there—actors, journalists, swells and hangers-on of the playhouse. A little to the right of the group, and talking and laughing with two or three others, stood a man both young and handsome.

Hyacinthe went toward him, and the people, unused to seeing her there for a long time past, hushed their talk, and one of them marked the newness of the light that shone in her eyes and the happiness that smiled on her lips as she came. He was a poet, and he went home and made verses on her: he had never thought of such a thing before. She raised the wreath of laurel from her brows and lifted it up to the golden head of the man whose laugh she had caught. "My Saxon god!" she murmured, so low that none heard her save him, and then, leaving the crown on his head, she turned and walked away. She went home to the shabby house in Craven street, which was still her home, and before she slept she whispered to Miss Juliet, "I have found him."

In less than twenty-four hours the scene enacted in the green-room of the theatre had been reported everywhere—first in the clubs, then in all the salons—not last in the pretty boudoir of Lady Florence Ffolliott.

Every night thereafter Hyacinthe saw her hero sitting in his stall: he never missed once, but generally came in well on toward the end of the performance. At the close of a fortnight, as she was making her way to her room after the curtain had come down for the last time, she met him face to face: he had planned it so.

"What would you?" she asked in the odd foreign fashion that clung to her still, and showed itself when she was taken unawares.

"They say I need nothing;" and the blue eyes laugh down into hers. "They say I need nothing now that I have been crowned by a King with laurel-leaves." But even as he speaks the smile fades from his lips: he sees no answering flash on hers.

"That is what you said in the Vatican that night," she says. "Is it true?"

He begins to fear that she is losing her mind, but he speaks gently to her: "Have we met before, then?"

Hyacinthe, standing between two dusty flies while the mirth of the farce rings out from the stage, tells her dream, for the third time, to-night to him. "Is it true that you need nothing?" she asks again, raising anxious eyes to his.

For a moment the man wavers. Last night he would have laughed to scorn the idea of his not being ready with a pretty speech for a beautiful actress: just now he is puzzled for a reply, and he knows full well that some strange new jarring hand is sweeping the strings of his life. "It is true," he sighs, remembering a true heart that loves him. "I have wealth, position—these things first, for they breed the rest," he says with a small sneer—"troops of friends and the promised hand of a woman whom I have asked to marry me."

"I am sorry," she says at last with a child's sad, unconscious inflection, "but all the same, I have found you. Cupid said I should."

He surveys her calculatingly: he is a very keen man of the world, and he has recovered sufficiently from the peculiarity of the situation to speculate upon it with true British acumen. Shall he, or shall he not, put a certain question to[page 228] her, or leave the matter at rest for ever? Being a person well used to gratifying himself, he asks his question: "Supposing that it had not been true, what would you have had to say to me then?" And, strange to say, his face flushes as he finishes—not hers.

"Nothing." The word comes coldly forth without a fellow. He knows then that she has only looked at Love, and that the thoughtless harmony of his life is done for him.

"May I see you sometimes?" he cries as she makes a step onward.

"When you will," she replies, going farther along the narrow passage, and then looking back at him clearly. "I have found you: I am very content. And if you thought I loved you—Well, Love, you know, was a blind god, and so must ever be content to look at happiness through another's eyes."

He went away, and he said to himself, "She does not know what love means."

Night after night found him at the theatre, and night after night saw him seek at least a few moments' talk with her; and always he came away thinking her a colder woman than any of the statues she was so fond of speaking about. In her conversation there was no personality; and although her intellect pleased him, the lack of anything else annoyed him in equal proportion. And yet he loved the woman whom he was going to marry. She was a sweet woman—"God never made a sweeter," he told himself a hundred times a day. He had wooed her and won her, and wished to make her his wife.

She was a sweet woman. For weeks now she had heard harsh rumors and evil things of him that made her heart ache, but she had given no sign, nor would she have ever done so had not her friends goaded her to the point. She hears the light footstep coming along the corridor toward her, and she knows that it comes this morning at her especial call. She sees the bonny face and feels the light kiss on her cheek. Heaven forgive her if she inwardly wonder if these lips she loves have last rested on another woman's face!

"Roy," she says, stealing up to him and laying one of her lovely round arms about his neck, "tell me, dear, if you have ceased to love me—if you would rather—rather break our engagement? Because, dear, better a parting now, before it is too late, than a lifelong misery afterward." There are tears in the blue bewitching eyes, and tears in the gentle voice that he is not slow to feel.

"Florence"—the young man catches her in his arms—"who has—What do you mean? I have not ceased to love you." All the fair fascination that has made her so dear to him in the past rushes over him now to her rescue.

"Then, Roy, why, why—Oh, I cannot say it!" Her pretty head, gold like his own, falls on his shoulder.

"Look up, love." He is not a coward, whatever else. "You mean to say, 'Why do I, a man professing to love one woman, constantly seek the society of another?' Do not you?"

She bows her head, her white lids droop. There is a pause so long that the ticking of the little clock on the mantel seems a noise in the stillness. He puts her out of his arms, rises, picks up a newspaper, throws it down, and says, "God help me! I don't know." Then another pause; and now the ticking of the little clock is fairly riotous. "Florence, love," kneeling by her, "bear with me. It's a fascination, an infatuation—an intellectual disloyalty to you, if you will—but it is nothing more, and it must die out soon."

Lady Dering was a charming woman: all her friends agreed upon that point, and also upon another—that an invitation to visit Stokeham Park was equivalent to a guarantee for so many days of unalloyed pleasure. It was a grand old place, not quite three hours from town, with winding broad avenues and glimpses of sweeping smooth lawns between the oaks and beeches. And the company which the mistress of Stokeham had gathered about her this autumn was, if possible, a more congenial and yet varied one than usual. Having no children of her own, Lady Dering[page 229] enjoyed especially the society of young people, and generally contrived to have a goodly number of them about her—Mildred and Mabel Masham, Lady Isobel French, Lady Florence Ffolliott, her cousin the little Viscount Harleigh—who was very far gone in love with his uncle's daughter, by the by—the Hon. Hugh Leroy Chandoce and a host of others.

Her ladyship, telegram in hand, has just knocked at Florence Ffolliott's door. Florence is a special favorite with the old lady: she approves thoroughly of her engagement, which was formally announced at Stokeham last year, and of the man of her choice, who at the present moment is lighting a cigar and cogitating in a somewhat ruffled frame of mind over the piece of news he has just been made acquainted with by his hostess.

"Florence, my dear," says her ladyship, "I am the most fortunate woman in the world. I have been longing for a new star in my domestic firmament, and, behold! it dawns. I expected to have her here some time, but not so early as this; and the charming creature sends me a telegram that she arrives by the eleven-o'clock express this morning: I have just sent to the station for her. I met Roy on my way to you, and conveyed the intelligence to him, but of course he only looked immensely bored: these absurd men! they never can take an interest in but one woman at a time." Lady Florence's quick color came naturally enough. "Now, my child, guess the name of the new luminary."

"I'm quite sure I can't," says the girl, her roses paling to their usual pink. "Tell me, dear Lady Dering: suspense is terrible;" and she laughs merrily.

"Hyacinthe King, the great actress, my dear: could anything be more delicious?" Lady Dering has been absent on the Continent during the season, and is utterly ignorant of all the on dits of the day.

"Charming!" murmurs Florence Ffolliott with the interested inflection of thorough good breeding; but her hands, lying clasped together on her lap, clasp each other cruelly.

"Yes," continues her ladyship. "I knew her father in my young days—Ernest King—the Kings of Essex, you know?" Florence nods assent. "He was the handsomest fellow imaginable, married a lovely Greek girl; and here comes his daughter startling the world with her genius twenty odd years after my little flirtation with him. It makes one feel old, child—old. I called on her the last day I was in London, but she was out; so then I wrote and begged her to come to Stokeham when she could. Now I must leave you, dear. What are you reading? Poetry, of course. I never read anything else either when I was your age and was engaged to Sir Harry." The bright, stately lady laughs gayly as she goes, and Florence Ffolliott sits before her fire until luncheon-time, turning over a dozen wild fancies in her brain—fancies that do no honor either to the man she loves or the woman whom she cannot help disliking heartily. But her just, and withal generous, soul dismisses them at last, and she bows her head to the blow and acknowledges it to be what it is—an accident.

That the advent of Hyacinthe King in their midst should have created no sensation among the party assembled at Stokeham would scarcely be a reasonable proposition: it did, and not only the excitement that the coming of a renowned meteor of the theatrical firmament might be expected to occasion in a house full of British subjects, but an undertone of surmise, and some sarcasms, between those—the majority—who were well enough aware of Roy Chandoce's peculiar infatuation for the beautiful young player. The pair were watched keenly, it must be confessed, but with a courtesy and savoir faire that admitted no betrayal of this absolutely human curiosity—by none more keenly and more guardedly than by Lady Florence Ffolliott. Neither she nor they discovered aught in the conduct of either the man or the woman to find fault with or cavil at.

Hyacinthe was quickly voted a "man's woman" by the women, and as quickly pronounced a "thorough enigma" by the[page 230] men, not one of whom had succeeded, even after the lapse of fourteen days, in arousing in her that which is most dear to the masculine soul, a preference—although it be a mild, a shamming or an evanescent preference—for one of them above another. Sir Vane Masham set her down over his third dinner's sherry as "an iceberg," in which kind opinion the little viscount joined, with the amendment of "polar refrigerator." Young Arthur French, who was very hard hit indeed, said she was like a "beautiful, heartless marble statue," but the poet, who had made verses on her, called her a "white lily with a heart of flame."

Not one of them all, however, could dispute the perfect quality of her beauty to-night. In a robe of violet satin, with pale jealous topazes shining on her neck and arms and in the sleek braids of her dark hair, Hyacinthe was fit for the regards of emperors had they been there to see. They were not. In the conservatory at Stokeham, where she stood amid the tropical trees and flowers and breathing the warm close scent of rich blossoms foreign to English soil, there was only one man to look at her, and he was no potentate, but a blond young fellow, with blue blood in his veins and a sad riot in his heart.

For the first time since they have been in the house together he has left his betrothed wife's side and sought hers: in the face of this little watching world about him he has, at last, quietly risen from the seat at Florence Ffolliott's side and followed that trail of sheeny satin into the conservatory. "Not one word for me?" he says in a low voice that has in it a sort of desperation.

She turns startled and looks at him: "Who wants me? Who sent you to fetch me?"

"No one 'sent' me," he replies bitterly: "I 'want' you. Hyacinthe! Hyacinthe!" He stretches two arms out toward her, and when he dies Roy Chandoce remembers the look that leaps then into the eyes of this girl.

"Do not touch me!" She shrinks away with the expression of awakened womanhood on her fair face. "If you do, you will make me mad." For he has followed and is close to her.

"No, no, no! Not 'mad'—happy! Ah, Hyacinthe!" His arms are no more outstretched or empty: they enfold all the beauty and all the bliss that now and then give mortality fresh faith in heaven. "Ah, Hyacinthe!" That is all that he says, and she is silent while his kisses fall upon her mouth and cheeks and brow and hands.

And when, ten minutes later, he goes back where he came from, he knows that it is no "intellectual disloyalty" that lured him from his seat: he knows that the poet was right, and Vane and the viscount and Arthur all wrong.

There is to be a meet at Stokeham Park the next morning, and Hyacinthe, for the first time in her life, witnesses the pretty sight. Two or three only of the ladies are going to ride to cover, among them Lady Florence Ffolliott, who looks superbly on her horse and in her habit, and feels superbly too—in a transient physical fashion—as she glances down at Hyacinthe, who in her clinging creamy gown, with a furred cloak thrown about her, stands in the porch to see them off. She knows nothing of horses or riding, and is therefore debarred from the exhilarating pleasure, and has also declined Lady Dering's offer to drive with her to the first cover that is to be drawn. But the pretty and, to her, novel picture of the various vehicles with their freight of merry matrons, girls and children, the scarlet coats of the sportsmen and the servants, the hounds drawn up a good piece off, the four ladies who are going to ride, and stately, cheery Lady Dering exchanging cordial and courteous greetings with her friends and neighbors, while good-hearted Sir Harry gives some last instructions to his whip, is sufficiently charming.

"You have eaten no breakfast, Mr. Chandoce," cries the hostess, "and you are quite as white as Lady Florence's glove there. I insist upon your taking a glass of something before you are off.—Patrick!" But before Patrick has even started on my lady's errand Hyacinthe[page 231] has fetched from the hall a glass of claret-cup, and holds it up to him where he sits on his lithe and mettlesome hunter.

He takes it, drains it to the last drop and hands it back to her. Their eyes meet, and his lips murmur very softly a Saxon's sweetest word of endearment—"My darling!"

"Quarter-past eleven!" calls Sir Harry; and the gay cavalcade moves off, and Hyacinthe, waving adieu to Lady Dering, watches it fade away among the windings of the avenue.

"Mr. Chandoce has a green mount," mutters one of the footmen to another.

"Yes, he have, but he's not a green horseman."

"No," admits the other.

Hyacinthe remembers their talk later in the day—that day that she passes in such a restless wandering from one room to another—from the conservatory to the library, and from music-room to hall. Finally, at four o'clock she has composed herself with a book in the library, and before the fire sits half lost in reading, half in wondering. Without, the early gloom of the short day is gathering, and the bare trees cast murk shadows all across the frostbitten lawns, and late birds twitter their good-night notes, and a few sleepy rooks caw coldly to each other.

She hears none of this, is as self-absorbed a being as ever lived—one whose whole solitude is full to overflowing with the thought of another. But at last there breaks in upon Hyacinthe's still dream a shriek, and then wild tumult, noises and excited speech, and the girl springs to her feet, and in a flash is out in the wide hall in the very midst of it all.

He lies there quite, quite dead. For ever flown the breath that made of this beautiful clay a living man. Lady Florence has him halfway in her arms as she kneels on the floor beside the body of her lover, and between her sobs cries out to them to "Go for the surgeons!" for whom long since Sir Harry sent. Hyacinthe put her hands behind her and leaned heavily against the column that by good chance she found there. When the crowd parted from him a little she leaned over a bit and stared: that was all.

"Do not you touch him!" cried the English maiden, maddened by her grief, as she glanced up at the fair face.

"No, I will not: I do not wish to," returns the other softly, straightening herself; and leaning there in her close gown, she is as tearless as some caryatid.

When the surgeons have come on their useless mission, and gone, when Florence Ffolliott stands weeping and wringing her hands, Hyacinthe ventures over a pace nearer to the two.

"You see, Lady Florence," she says very gently, and with that curious sorrowful look on her face that made it so like to the Ariadne's—"you see, he was not meant for any woman: he was a Saxon god."

A year later Lady Florence Ffolliott's engagement to her cousin, the little lovelorn viscount, was announced.

Sir Henry Leighton told me last week that he had been called in consultation with regard to Hyacinthe King, and that there were not three months of life in her. "She cannot act," said the great medical man: "she plays her parts, it is true, but the power to portray has gone out of her. She is going back to Rome for a while, and, I can assure you, she will never return."

Marguerite F. Aymar.

[page 232]


Why is it that the knowledge of music is not more common?—that is, why is it that there are so few people in this and every other country who are able to read and write music as they read and write their mother-tongue? Is it that the musical ear is a rare gift? Evidently not, for music is composed of a small number of elements, which are found for the most part in any popular air, and almost every person can sing one or more of these airs correctly. It is not, then, the musical ear nor the sense of time which is wanting. Neither is the cause to be attributed to the fact that few study music; for, although the teaching of music is by no means so general as it should be, still it is taught in our schools, public and private, singing-schools are common even in our small villages, and there is no lack of teachers both of vocal and instrumental music. And yet out of every hundred who take up the study of music, it is safe to say that about ninety abandon it after a short time, discouraged by the almost insurmountable difficulties presented at every turn. Only those succeed who are endowed with rare natural aptitude, an indomitable will, and time—four or five years at least—to devote to an art which is as yet a luxury to the masses of the people.

M. Galin, his pupil M. Chevé and other advocates of reform in musical notation declare that the people are deprived of this grand source of culture because of the blind, inconsistent and wholly unscientific nature of the ordinary musical notation. At first this seems incredible, but one has only to compare this notation with that elaborated by Émile Chevé after Galin's theory to become convinced that the statement is true. People are apt to say, "Why, it cannot be that our system of writing music is so defective: in this age of improvements and scientific precision gross inconsistencies would have been eliminated long ago." And so, indeed, they would have been but for the fact that the very basis of the system is altogether at fault. How are the Chinese, for example, to "improve" their system of writing? It is simply impossible. They have some thousands of abstract characters, hieroglyphs standing for things or thoughts. All these must be swept away, and in their place must come an alphabet where each letter stands for an elementary sound. These elementary sounds are few in number in any language. So of our musical notation. It is doubtful if it can be materially improved; it must be discarded for a system of fewer elements and a more clear and precise combination of them.

No, it is not strange that we have not adopted a better method of musical notation before this. Think how long a struggle it required to abandon the cumbersome Roman notation for the short, clear and precise Arabic—how many centuries of feeble infancy the science of mathematics passed before the invention of logarithms rendered the most tedious calculations rapid and easy. Most people take things as they seem, giving but little thought to their meanings and relations to each other; and so an awkward method may be followed a long time without protest. People are blamed for their devotion to routine, but devotion to routine is perfectly natural. It is mental inertia, and corresponds to that property in physics—the inability of a body of itself to start when at rest, or stop or change its course when in motion. And then the general distrust of new things—"new-fangled notions," as contempt terms them—retards the examination and adoption of improved and labor-saving methods.

It is more than fifty years since Pierre Galin, professor of mathematics in the institute for deaf mutes at Bordeaux, published his Exposition d'une nouvelle Méthode pour l'Enseignement de la Musique, and more than thirty since[page 233] his distinguished disciple, Émile Chevé, demonstrated practically, in the military gymnasium at Lyons, the immeasurable superiority of that method; and yet such is the repugnance of teachers of music to any change in their routine that they have paid little or no attention to the work of Galin and his followers. The Méthode élémentaire de la Musique vocale, by M. and Mme. Émile Chevé, has never been translated into English. It was published in Paris by the authors in 1851—a work of over five hundred pages in royal octavo, and a most clear and exhaustive exposition of the method which they followed with such success.

In proof of the superiority of that method, an account of M. Chevé's test-experiment at the military gymnasium at Lyons in 1843 will be interesting. The gymnasium was at that time under the direction of two officers of the French army, Captain d'Argy and Lieutenant Grenier. The facts are taken from their official report of the experiment.

By order of Lieutenant-General Lascours the soldiers of the gymnasium were placed at the disposition of M. Chevé, that he might make a trial of his method. General Lascours further ordered that the officers in charge of the gymnasium should be present at every lesson, and report carefully the progress of the pupils and the final results of the course.

The members of the class were taken at large from the twelfth, sixteenth and twenty-ninth regiments of the line, fifty from each. M. Chevé accepted all as they came, and agreed formally to bring eight-tenths of the class of one hundred and fifty in one year to the following results: (1) To understand the theory of music analytically; (2) To sing alone and without any instrument any piece of music within the compass of ordinary voices; (3) To write improvised airs from dictation.

"Candor compels us to admit," says the report, "that nearly all of the soldiers showed the greatest repugnance to attending the course, and did so only because they were ordered to do so. Several months elapsed before this bad spirit could be conquered, and before the majority of them could be brought to practise the vocal exercises. Some even refused to try to sing, on the ground that they were old, that they had no voice, that they could not read, etc."

The first lesson took place October 1, 1842. There were five a week, of an hour and a half each. At the end of the month the professor wished to classify the voices, and required each pupil to sing alone. The experiment was rather discouraging. More than two-thirds were unable to sing the scale: twelve refused to utter a sound, and declared that nothing would induce them to try. These twelve were immediately dismissed. The rest remained, though some confessed that they had not sung a note since the beginning of the course. These, however, now promised to practise all the exercises in future. Under these unfavorable circumstances the professor engaged anew to fulfil his contract, on condition that the pupils would submit to practise the exercises conscientiously and attend regularly. From this time, with the exception of three or four rebellious spirits, none were rejected.

The month of October was not very profitable to the pupils, on account of continual absences necessitated by military reviews. April and May of the following year (1843) also brought many interruptions through the various demands of the service. Sickness, promotions, punishments, mutations, and the disbanding of the class of 1836, which took away several under-officers, gradually reduced the class, so that in July only a little over fifty were left. This falling off greatly troubled Professor Chevé, especially when the army at Lyons went into camp and left him with only twenty-eight pupils. This reduction of the class could not have been foreseen or prevented. M. Chevé could not be held responsible for the fulfilment of his promise, except to eight-tenths of those that remained.

Two months after the opening of the course M. Chevé printed at his own expense a collection of one hundred and forty pieces of music from the best composers,[page 234] and gave a copy to each of his pupils, that they might read from the printed page instead of the blackboard. Three months after the opening of the course General Lascours visited the gymnasium and was present during one of the lessons. He was struck, as were all the visitors on that occasion, by the progress obtained. The pupils were already far advanced in intonation and in time: they read easily in all the keys, and sung pieces together with great spirit and correctness.

On April 25, 1843, the general returned, accompanied by Madame Lascours and all the officers of his staff. The following was the programme of the occasion: (1) A quartette from Webbe; (2) A Languedoc air in three parts, from Desrues; (3) A trio from the opera of Œdipus in Colonna, by Sacchini; (4) Singing at sight intervals of all kinds, major and minor; (5) Singing at sight in eight different keys; (6) Two rounds in three voices from Siller; (7) A quartette from the Clemenza di Tito of Mozart; (8) A quartette from the Iphigenia of Gluck; (9) A trio from the Corysander, or the Magic Rose of Berton; (10) Exercise upon the tonic in all the keys, major and minor; (11) Exercise in naming notes vocalized; (12) Singing at sight a trio from the Magic Flute of Mozart; (13) Ave Regina, by Choron—three voices; (14) The Gondolier, a round in three parts, by Desrues; (15) A quartette from the Magic Flute; (16) Chorus from the Tancredi of Rossini; (17) The "Prayer" from Joseph, by Méhul.

This is certainly a remarkable programme to be filled by illiterate soldiers with only six months' training. "It would be difficult," says the official report, "to paint the astonishment of the spectators upon this occasion. The confidence and readiness with which these soldier-students of music sang at sight the most difficult intonations, major and minor, the facility with which they read in all the keys, and, finally, the certainty and spontaneity with which they all, without exception, recognized and named various sounds vocalized, showed clearly that they possessed a very superior knowledge of intonation. All the pieces which they sung were rendered with irreproachable correctness, though the professor did not beat the time, except through the first bar to indicate the movement.

"With the consent of General Lascours, all the teachers and professors in the city, including the members of the Royal College, were on one occasion admitted to a private rehearsal of M. Chevé's class. The result was the same—admiration and astonishment. The professor received on all sides well-merited praise for a success gained in so short a time and with such unfavorable conditions.

"These soldiers have at this moment (September 1, 1843) reached a degree of power in intonation and in reading music at sight which is fairly wonderful. They can sing together at sight any new piece in three or four parts, the music being written, after the new method, in figures. If the piece be written in the ordinary musical character, no matter what the key, they can also sing it at sight together after they have together sung each part by itself. All the members of the class understand thoroughly the theory of music, and are able to write from dictation a vocalized air never heard before, no matter what the modulations may be.

"Such are the results obtained by Professor Chevé from a mass of men taken at hazard and against their will. The experiment to-day has had eleven months of duration, seventeen or eighteen lessons being given every month. The pupils have never studied at all between the lessons, and those who remain at the present time have lost many lessons from punishments, illness, leave of absence, etc.

"As to the method pursued by M. Chevé, it is as follows: In theory he demonstrates de facto the inequality of major and minor seconds, and from this he deduces the theory of the gamut. Here he follows in the footsteps of his master, Galin. The theory of time he takes from the same source. In practice, he employs the Arabic figures for the musical notes, as proposed by J. J. Rousseau[page 235] and modified by Galin, using a series of exercises created by Madame Chevé. To these exercises especially does M. Chevé owe his ability to make his pupils masters of intonation in an incredibly short time. He teaches time by itself, using a language of durations invented by the father of Madame Chevé, M. Aimé Paris, and tables of exercises in time made by Madame Chevé. Transposition is also taught separately, and never does M. Chevé require his pupils to execute two things simultaneously until they understand perfectly how to do them separately.

"In this way M. Chevé leads his pupils through every step of the theory of music until they are able to read in the ordinary notation every kind of music, and to execute during any piece all the possible changes of mode or key."

The report—which is duly signed by the officers having charge of the gymnasium—ends with the expression of their "profound conviction that the method of teaching music employed by Professor Chevé is faultless, if it may be judged by its practical results."

There is a very common impression, in this country at least, that the best new method of writing music has been tried and abandoned, weighed in the balance and found wanting. This is far from the fact. It is doubtful if there is one person in a hundred in this country who ever heard even the name of Galin or Chevé. Some twenty years ago there was a little interest excited in a new method of musical notation. A class was formed in Lowell, Massachusetts, and a "singing-book" was used there with the notes written with numerals on the staff instead of the usual characters. But it could not have been the Chevé method that the Lowell professor used, for he employed no new system of teaching time—a prime characteristic of that method.

Those who examine the subject fairly will be compelled to take the position held by Galin, Chevé and their school, that a new method of writing music is imperatively needed, because that now in use lacks the essential elements of a scientific system: it is neither simple, clear nor concise. There are certain elementary principles which must be observed in the exposition of any science, and especially in that of music, which is addressed to all classes of intelligence. Among these principles are the following, as stated by M. Chevé: 1st. Every idea should be presented to the mind by a clear and precise symbol. 2d. The same idea should always be presented by the same sign: the same sign should always represent the same idea. 3d. Elementary textbooks or methods should never present two difficulties to the mind at the same time; and such textbooks or methods should be an assemblage of means adapted to aid ordinary intelligences to gain the object proposed. 4th. The memory should never be drawn upon except where reasoning is impossible.

Let us test the exposition of the ordinary musical notation, and also that of the school of Galin, by these principles and compare the results.

First. Is every idea presented by a clear and precise symbol?

In the ordinary method, certainly not. The musical sounds or notes are represented by elliptical curves with or without stems; by spots or dots with plain stems, or with stems having from one to four appendages, or with these appendages united, forming bars across the stems. These curves and dots are placed on the five parallel lines of a staff, as it is called, or between the lines of this staff, or on or between added or "ledger" lines above and below the staff. Certainly, these cannot be called precise symbols, especially when we reflect that any one of them placed upon any given line or space may represent successively do, ré, mi, fa, sol, la, si, or the flats or sharps of these notes. The notes, indeed, have no names, being all alike for the various notes; but names are given to the lines and spaces of the staff; and, alas! the names of these lines and spaces change continually with the change of key or pitch. For example: if we commence a scale with C, our do will be on the first added line below the staff, and its octave, do, on the third space counting [page 236] from the lowest. If we commence a scale with G, our do will be on the second line from the bottom, and the octave on the first space above the staff; and so on for all the other scales except those which commence a semitone below or above. For example: the scales of the key of G and of G flat would be placed exactly the same upon the staff, though the signature of G would be one sharp upon the staff at the beginning, and that of G flat would be six flats. The same may be said of the keys of D and D flat, F and F sharp, etc.

Again: the scales of the keys of G flat and of F sharp are the same—are played on precisely the same keys of the organ or piano—yet they are placed on different lines and spaces of the staff, and the signature of the first is six flats, and of the second six sharps.

Think of the disheartened state of the victim of this notation when he has learned to read comfortably in one key, and then, taking up a piece of music written in another key, finds that he has all the lines and spaces to relearn! The wonder is that he does not lose his wits altogether.

Compare this maze of notes and lines and spaces, for ever changing like a will-o'-the wisp, with the following:

Low Octave.
Middle Octave.
High Octave.



Here everything is as clear as day. Take any note—as 5, for example. This is sol—always sol, and never by any chance anything else. If it has a dot under, it is sol of the octave below the middle; if it has no dot, it belongs to the middle octave; and if it has a dot above, it belongs to the octave above the middle. These three octaves are amply sufficient for all the purposes of vocal music, which alone is considered here. For instrumental music, where many octaves are used, the system is modified without losing its simplicity and conciseness. To represent the flats, Galin crosses the numerals with a line like the grave accent, and marks the sharps by a line like the acute accent.
For example, flats represent do flat, flat, mi flat, etc.: sharps represent do sharp, sharp, mi sharp, etc.

A score of music in the new style of notation has no signature—that is, no flats or sharps at the beginning. Above the line of numerals is written simply "Key of G," "Key of A flat," etc. The pitch, of course, must be taken from the tuning-fork or a musical instrument, as it is in all cases.

Second. The same idea should always be presented by the same sign: the same sign should always represent the same idea.

It has already been shown how this principle is disregarded; but take, for further illustration, the symbols indicating silence. There are seven different kinds of rests, and there is no need of more than one. These signs are:

Illustration of music rest symbols.

Again: these rests may be followed by one or two dots, which increase their duration. For example: an eighth-note rest dotted equals an eighth note and a sixteenth; and followed by two dots it equals an eighth, a sixteenth and a thirty-second note in time. That is, the first dot prolongs the rest one-half or a sixteenth, and the second dot prolongs the value of the first dot one-half or a thirty-second.

To a disciple of Galin it is really amazing that such a bungling, unscientific way of expressing silence should have been tolerated so long. Compare these "pot-hooks and trammels," dotted and double-dotted, with Galin's symbol of silence, the cipher (0)! This is all, and yet it expresses every length of rest, as will be shown presently.

Let us now examine the symbols representing the prolongation of a sound. There are three ways by the common notation, where there should be but one. First, by the form of the note itself, as—

Illustration of musical note symbols.

Second, by one or more dots after a note, the first dot prolonging the note one-half, and the second dot prolonging the first[page 237] in the same ratio. Third, by the repetition of the note with a vinculum or tie, the second note not being sung or played. Galin uses simply a dot. It may be repeated, as a rest or a note may, but then its value is not changed, any more than in the case of notes or rests repeated. For example:


     1|3556|5•31| 7143|3•21|

Here are the first measures of a well-known hymn in common time, four beats to the measure. As all isolated signs, whether notes, prolongations or rests, fill a unit of time, or beat, it follows that the dots following sol and mi prolong these through an entire beat, for the dots are isolated signs. Whatever the time, each unit of it appears separate and distinct to the eye at a glance; and all the notes, rests or prolongations that fill a beat are always united in a special way. This will be more fully shown hereafter.

Third. Elementary textbooks or methods should never present two difficulties to the mind at the same time; and such textbooks or methods should be an assemblage of means adapted to aid ordinary intelligences to gain the object proposed.

The first thing that the student of music encounters is a staff of five lines, armed with flats or sharps, the signature of the key, or with no signature, which shows that the music upon it is in the key of C. On this staff he sees notes which are of different pitch, and probably of different length. In any case, there are at least three difficulties presented in a breath—to find the name of the note, give it its proper sound, and then its proper length; and these difficulties are still greater because the ideas, as we have seen, are hidden under defective symbols.

Take all the teachers of vocal music, says M. Chevé, place them upon their honor, and let them answer the following question: "How many readers of music can you guarantee by your method, out of a hundred pupils taken at random and entirely ignorant of music, by one hour of study a day during one year?" The reply, he thinks, will be: "Not many." And if you tell them that by another method you will agree in the same time to teach eighty in a hundred to read music currently, and also to write music, new to them, dictated by an instrument placed out of sight or from the voice "vocalizing," they will all declare that the thing is impossible.

The great composers and renowned performers are cited as examples of what the ordinary methods have accomplished. No, replies Chevé: they are exceptional organizations. The methods have not produced them. They have, on the contrary, arrived at their proficiency despite the methods, while thousands fail who might reach a high degree of excellence but for the obstacles presented by a false system to a clear understanding of the theory of music, which in itself is so simple and precise. In the study of harmony especially, says the same authority, does the want of a clear presentation of the theory produce the most deplorable results. It has made the science of harmony wellnigh unintelligible even to those called musicians. Ask them why flats and sharps are introduced into the scales; why there is one sharp in the key of G major and five in B major; why you spoil the minor scale by making it one thing in ascending and another in descending—that is, by robbing it of its modal superior in ascending and of its sensible in descending. They will in most cases be unable to answer, for neither teachers nor textbooks explain. The catechisms found in most of the elementary works upon music are replete with stumbling-blocks to the young musician. Mr. R. H. Palmer, author of Elements of Musical Composition, Rudimental Class-Teaching and several other works, says in one of his catechisms that "there are two ways of representing each intermediate tone. If its tendency is upward, it is represented upon the lower of two degrees, and is called sharp; if its tendency is downward, it is represented upon the higher of two degrees, and is called flat. There are exceptions to this, as to all rules." This is deplorable. Music[page 238] is a mathematical science, and in mathematics there is no such thing as an exception to a rule. But to quote further from the same catechism: "A natural is used to cancel the effect of a previous sharp or flat. If the tendency from the restored tone is upward, the natural has the capacity of a sharp; if downward, the capacity of a flat. A tone is said to resolve when it is followed by a tone to which it naturally tends." How long would novices in the science of music rack their brains before they would comprehend what the teacher meant by a tone tending somewhere "naturally," or by the tendency of a restored tone being destroyed by the "capacity of a flat"? The same writer, speaking of the scale of G flat, says it is a "remarkable feature of this scale that it is produced upon the organ and piano by pressing the same keys which are required to produce the scale of F sharp." This is precisely equivalent to saying that it is a remarkable feature that the notes C, D, E, F are produced by pressing the same keys which are required to produce do, , mi, fa.

One more citation from the same author. Speaking of the formation of scales, he says: "Thus we have another perfectly natural scale by making use of two sharps." This vicious use of the term "natural" is deplorable, because it is apt to give the pupil the notion that some scales are more natural than others. A certain note is called "C natural," and it is not uncommon for learners to suppose that it is easier or more natural to sing in that key, as it is easier on the piano to play anything in it because only the white keys are used, while in any other at least one black key is required. Indeed, a pupil may study music a long time before he finds out that there is no difference between flats and sharps, as such, and other notes—that all notes are flats and sharps of the notes a semitone above and below. Seeing the staff of a piece of music armed with half a dozen sharps or flats, the first thought of the pupil is that it will be rather hard to sing. And many really suppose that flats and sharps in themselves are different from other notes—a little "flatter" or "sharper" in sound perhaps—and secretly wonder why their ear cannot detect it. Of course it may be said that there is no necessity for pupils to have such absurd notions, but it is inevitable where the theory of music is made so difficult for the beginner. No doubt the ambitious and naturally studious will delve and dig among the rubbish of imperfect textbooks, analyzing and comparing the explanations of different teachers, until order takes the place of chaos; but textbooks should be adapted to ordinary capacities, and thereby they will better serve the needs of the most brilliant.

Fourth. The memory should never be drawn upon except where reasoning is impossible.

In science you have general laws, and from these deduce particular facts depending upon them, but collections of facts and phenomena without connection you must learn by heart. The extensive and involved nomenclature of music, added to the complicated and inconsistent system of notation, is a continual and exhausting strain upon the memory. Teachers commence their drill in vocalization, as a rule, with the scale of the key of C, and the pupils, fired with a noble ambition to become musicians, make a strenuous effort to remember where do, , mi and the other notes are placed on the lines and spaces of the staff. Presently the "key is changed," and with that change comes chaos. All the notes are now on a different series of lines and spaces. The confusion continues until the series of seven notes is exhausted. Then come scales with new names, commencing upon different notes (flats and sharps), but with places on the staff identically the same as others having different names!

Long before this point is reached by the pupil his courage flags, his ambition cools, and in the greater number of cases dies out altogether. To be sure, if he has the rare courage to persist he will come to recognize the notes of any key, not by the number of lines or spaces intervening between them and some landmark, but by their relative distances from[page 239] each other measured by the eye. But this requires long practice. At first he must remember if he can, and when he cannot he must count up to his unknown note from some remembered one. It is, at best, a labor of Sisyphus. With many people—bright and intelligent people, too—it requires years of practice to read new music at sight even tolerably readily; for it is not simply a question of learning the notes, difficult as that may be: there is a further difficulty, and to many even a greater difficulty—that of the measure. Not the number of beats in a measure or bar and their proper accentuation—this is but the alphabet of time—but to group correctly and rapidly the fractional notes, rests and prolongations in their proper place in time. In very rapid music this becomes an herculean task, requiring long-continued and arduous practice. It is not simply a question of nice appreciation of rhythm, but of mathematical calculation, to know instantly and unhesitatingly, for example, that one-sixteenth, one half of one-sixteenth and one thirty-second added together equal one-eighth—that is, one-third of the unit of time or beat in six-eighths time.

Any one can see that such mental feats, ever varying as they are in music, and demanding instant solution at the same time the attention is given to the intonation, style, etc., must require an exceptional temperament and natural capacity. The fact is, it is beyond the power of most musicians. They must practise their instrumental and vocal music, and learn it nearly "by heart," before they attempt to perform it for others.

The writer of this has attended a class taught by one of Chevé's pupils, and can testify to the efficiency of the method, though the lessons were a very modest attempt to exemplify the perfection of the system. The lessons of M. and Mme. Chevé were divided into three parts: first, a drill in the principles of the theory of music; second, singing scales and exercises; third, drills in "reading time," beating time, analyzing time, etc., ending with some diverting "round" or "catch" or some exercise in vocal harmonies. On their method of teaching time, more than on any other part of their system perhaps, did the grand success of the Chevés depend. Rhythm was always taught separately from intonation, it being contrary to their principle to present two difficulties together before each had been mastered alone.

The first grand law of Galin's system is that every isolated symbol represents a unit of time or beat, whatever the measure. For example:

5 , unit of sound articulated.
, unit of sound prolonged.
0 , unit of silence.

The second law is that the various divisions of the unit of time are always united in a group under a principal bar, and such a bar always contains the unit of time—never more, never less. To illustrate:


Here the units of time—the numeral, the dot and the cipher—are divided first into two equal parts, and then into three. In both cases the groups represent units of time—one beat of a measure—according to the rule. It will be noticed that the form of the notes is the same whether whole or divided into fractions; that is, there are no different forms for "crotchets," "quavers," "semiquavers," etc., the expression of time being better provided for. Thus, halves or thirds are indicated to the eye by a single bar surmounting two signs for halves, three for thirds. If the halves or thirds have in their turn been divided by two, then the principal bar covers two little groups of two signs each; if the halves or thirds have been divided by three, then each principal bar covers two or three little groups of three signs each.

Nothing could be more simple than this. The eye has always before it, separate and distinct, the unit of time or beat; and the mind apprehends instantly the number of articulated sounds, prolongations or silences (rests) that must[page 240] be sung or played during that beat. The eye has no hesitation, the mind no calculation, as to what note commences or ends a beat. Even the most modest student of music will see the immense advantage of this. Nor is there any need for the multiplicity of fractions to express different kinds of time. The moment the eye rests upon the score the student knows the measure as definitely and certainly as he knows the letters of the alphabet.

"And is this all there is in this system of notation?" some one will ask. Practically, Yes. There are the symbols of intonation, the numerals and the dot—the dot below or above the notes showing the octave ( octave ); the two diagonal lines indicating flats or sharps ( flats or sharps ); the horizontal bar indicating the time ( time ); and the vertical line or bar dividing the measures ( 1 2 3  | 4 3 2  | ).

The following is the air "God Save the Queen!" or, as we call it, "America," written in this method. The lower line, of course, is the alto:


                     'God Save the Queen', or 'America'

It will be noticed that the dot in the second measure which prolongs the note si ( 7 ) is not placed against it, as we are accustomed to see it. It is carried forward into the second beat, where it belongs. There it is grouped with the note do ( 1 ), and occupies one half of that unit of time; for all the signs grouped under a line or under the same number of lines are equal in time to each other, the same as all isolated signs are. In the sixth measure the dot is isolated; therefore it fills the whole beat, while the following beat is represented by a rest ( 0 ). In two of the measures there are groups of two notes. Each of the notes in these groups of course equals in time half of an isolated note, for each occupies half the time of one beat.

The French say déchiffrer la musique—to puzzle it out, to decipher it, as one would say of hieroglyphs on an Egyptian sarcophagus. The term is well chosen. The causes of the obscurity of musical notation are numerous, but the most prolific is undoubtedly expressing time by the form of the symbols of sound. In slow movements, and where only few modulations occur, this does not seem to be a serious objection; but in the rapid movements of compound time it becomes insupportable—at least after one has learned that there is a better way. An example in 68 time—six eighth-notes to the measure—will illustrate this:

music example

Here each triplet fills the time of one-third of a beat; that is, three-sixteenths equal one-eighth, according to the sublime precision of the old notation! But then no such thing as a twenty-fourth note is in use: three twenty-fourths would just do it! This is a part of a vocal exercise. The learner would have to divide each beat into three parts each, unless very familiar with such exercises; and one of these divisions would fall on a rest, another in a prolongation, another in the middle of an eighth note. In the new method see how the crooked places are straightened:

_______________      _______________
      _____   _____           _____    _____
1  0 2 3  4 3 2   1  • 2 3  • 4 5

It "sings itself" the moment you look at it, after a little study of this rational notation. Note also that there is no mathematical absurdity here: the division is logical, and yet the air is perfectly expressed in every particular.

The mastery of time in music is at best an arduous task, yet teachers of music, as a rule, expect their pupils to learn it incidentally while studying intonation. They give no special drill in pure time at every lesson; and the result is that army of mediocre singers and players who never become able to execute any but the very simplest music at sight.[page 241] They may know the theory of time, may be able to explain to you clearly the divisions of every measure, but this is not sufficient for the musician: he must decipher his measures with great readiness, precision and rapidity, or he never rises above the mediocre. The ambition to excel without hard labor is the bane of students of the piano especially. It leads them to muddle over music too difficult for them; finally, to learn it after a fashion, so that they may be able to "rattle and bang" through it to the delight of fond relatives and the amazement and pity of severe culture. Not that we should have consideration for all that passes for severe culture and exquisite sensitiveness among musical dilettanti. In no field of art is there so much affectation, assumption and charlatanry as in music. Some years ago a musician in New York of considerable reputation refused to play on a friend's piano because, as he said, it was a little out of tune and his ear was excruciated by the slightest discord. The lady wondered that the instrument should be out of tune, as it was new and of a celebrated manufacturer. She sent to the establishment where it was made, however, and a tuner promptly appeared. He tried the A string with his tuning-fork, ran his fingers over the keyboard, declared the piano in perfect tune, and left. That evening the musician called, and was informed that a tuner had "been exercising his skill" upon the instrument. Thereupon he graciously condescended to play for his hostess, and the sensitiveness of his ear was no longer shocked. She never dared to undeceive him, but mentioned the fact to another musician, a violinist, who exclaimed, greatly amused, "The idea of a pianist pretending to be fastidious about concord in music! Why, the instrument at its best is a bundle of discords." Both of these musicians were guilty of affectation; for, although the piano's chords are slightly dissonant, the intervals of the chromatic scale are made the same by the violin-player as by the pianist. What right, then, has the former to complain? To be sure, the violinist can make his intervals absolutely correct: he can play the enharmonic scale, which one using any of the instruments with fixed notes cannot do. But does he, practically? Does he not also make the same note for C sharp and D flat? The violinist mentioned of course alluded to the process called equal temperament, by which piano-makers, to avoid an impracticable extent of keyboard, divide the scale into eleven notes at equal intervals, each one being the twelfth root of 2, or 1.05946. This destroys the distinction between the semitones, and C sharp and D flat become the same note. Scientists show us that they are different notes, easily distinguished by the ear. Representing the vibrations for C as 1, we shall have—

C C# D¨ D D# E¨ E etc.*
1 25

each note being increased by one twenty-fourth of itself, or in absolute vibrations—

C C# D¨ D D# E¨ E etc.*
261 271 271 293 305 303 326 etc.

This is the enharmonic scale, having twenty-one notes. The chromatic has eleven, and the name—it may be remarked in passing—is from the Greek word for "color" χρωμα because the old composers wrote these notes in colors, and had them so printed. Not a bad idea, surely: many a learner on the piano would be overjoyed to see all the ugly flats and sharps on the staff in brilliant holiday dress.

There is no reason at this day, when science in all fields is making such progress, why the ordinary music-teacher should have so limited a knowledge of his subject. He should be able to explain the fundamental principles of the different scales upon the theory of vibration, and to so educate the apprehension of his pupils that they will not be content with the imperfect catechisms of the music-books in vogue. And with the adoption of a rational system of writing music, which will reduce the time and labor of learning it to one half, there will be time for the niceties of a science of such vast importance to the culture—and, indirectly, to the moral progress—of the world.


[* 'Opus Chords' font was used for the sharps and flats. If this is not available, click a sharp or flat note to see an image (transcriber).]      return

[page 242]


"But," I said eagerly, "you do not deny that slavery was a curse to the country—to Southerners most of all?"

"My dear fellow," said Captain S——, knocking off the ashes from his cigar, "don't go into that! We were talking about negroes, not about slavery. I suppose," he added meditatively, "there are not many men in the country who have faced more of the negro race than those of us who spent some part of our term of service in the Freedmen's Bureau. Imagine settling disputes from morning till night between negroes and between negroes and whites! If you abolitionists—as you called yourselves before the emancipation—want to have some of the romance and sentiment of negroism dissolved, live amongst them for a time."

"You were in Virginia?" I said.

"Yes, but the negroes there are a better class than in the States farther South and more remote from cities."

"How better?"

"Well, more intelligent. To see the deepest ignorance you have to go to the cotton-plantations, miles in extent, where men, women and children have been born and have died as cotton-pickers. Of course I am not now speaking of the freedmen as they are, for it is ten years since I was on duty in G——, Mississippi, where all the horrors of freedom were first revealed to the poor creatures."

"'Horrors of freedom!'" I repeated.

"It meant starvation to many, and intense suffering to others. Turn out a nursery of children of five years old to care for themselves, and they will fare better than many of the grown men and women of whom I knew in my Southern experiences."

"You relieved G——of the —th regiment?" I said.

"Yes, and I often think of our meeting at the dépôt. He had about two minutes before taking the train to Vicksburg. 'Cap,' he said, 'go to Sim's to board. Real Southern hospitality, and his wife's a mother if you are sick—bound to have bilious fever, you know. And, Cap, those confounded niggers think the Bureau is bound to back them up, right or wrong, and in about ninety-nine cases out of a hundred they're wrong. Clerk's got the reports and papers.'"

"Well?" I said.

"He was right. The way those planters allowed the negroes to impose upon their good-nature and true generosity confounded me. I went to relieve an oppressed race, and, by Jove! I was inclined to consider the planters in that light."

"But I don't understand."

"I'll show you. When the planters found they could still have the practised slave-labor in the cotton-fields by paying fair wages, they made contracts with the negroes by the year. It was my fortune to be the referee on all disputes on the accounts of the first year of such contracts, and I solemnly declare the liberality and consideration of the planters would astonish the hard-fisted business-men of some of our factories. They knew the improvidence of the race, and out of regard for them, instead of paying them in money, they allowed them to obtain goods in their names at the leading stores. Almost invariably these bills exceeded the amount stipulated for in the contract, but I never knew one case where the employer made the negroes work out their debt. When I would tell them how the accounts came out, they said: 'Well, captain, let it go: I'll pay the bills. These poor fellows do not understand the use of money yet.'

"But the negroes had the laws of possession, the rights of freedom and privileges of slavery in such a hopeless muddle that no Gordian knot ever required more patience than an effort to enlighten[page 243] them as to their rights and wrongs. The only limit set to their credit at the stores was that the purchases were to be confined to food and clothing. Without any idea of money or economy, they were wasteful, and heard with long faces that the pile of money they confidently expected was awaiting them had already been spent. Conversations like the following occurred many times a day:

"'No money, Mars' Cap'n? Why, ole mars' he done 'greed to gib me fou' hund'ed dollars dis year, an' I done worked faithful, Mars' Cap'n; an' now I ain't to have nuffin'!'

"'But you have had nearly five hundred dollars.'

"'Clare to Goodness, Mars' Cap'n, I ain't had one cent—not one cent.'

"'But you have had it in meal, bacon, calico and other goods at the store.'

"'But dey allers gives a nigga his food and clothes, Mars' Cap'n—allers. We ain't got to pay for dat ar, for sure?'

"'Yes. Now you can earn your own money you must pay for your own food.'

"'But dey nebber does—nebber! And dar's only de ole 'ooman an' two picaninnies. Dey's nebber ate fou' hund'ed dollars up in a year.'

"'But you have had a suit of clothes, and there is calico charged to you.'

"'But we ain't got to pay for clothes? Dey allers 'lows a nigga two suits a year—allers?

"And much argument failed to convince the poor fellows that food and clothing were no longer to be had for nothing, the usual end of the discussion being, often with great tears rolling down the black faces, 'An' I was promised fou' hund'ed dollars! Ole mars' done promised dat ar, an' I've jes' worked dis whole year for nuffin'.'

"Their perfectly childlike faith in the promise of their old masters made their disappointment more acute than can be imagined by those who are used to the close bargains driven with the working community farther North. 'Ole mars'' represented to them their sole idea of vast wealth and power, and was usually almost worshipped.

"I do not deny the many horrible exceptions, the shocking cruelties, that blot the records of slave-life; but I do maintain that they were exceptions, and that nine cases out of ten—nay, more than that proportion—that came under my personal observation proved that a sincere love existed between masters and slaves. In many instances I saw planters impoverished by the war supporting old slaves or whole families in absolute idleness, simply because the poor creatures, after a short trial of freedom's vicissitudes, had come back to 'home an' ole mars',' and he had not the heart to turn them away.

"One woman, whose circumstances I knew, came to me for a pass to go North.

"'But, Kate,' I said to her, 'you are much better off here than you can be at the North.'

"'Done got nuffin' here,' she asserted positively.

"'You have that little cabin Mrs. H—— allows you to live in.'

"'Sho' now, Mars' Cap'n, 'course I has.'

"'But at the North you will have no house unless you can pay for it.'

"'Pay for it! Why, don't they gib deir niggas a cabin?'

"'No. You may get a room, but you will have to pay so much a week to be allowed to live in it. And Mrs. H—— lets you have your food too.'

"'But dey'll gib a nigga her food, cap'n—nebber make her pay for a han'fu' of meal an' a lash o' bacon?'

"'You will have to pay for every mouthful. And it is cold there too, Kate—very cold at this time of the year. You will have to buy clothes or freeze to death.'

"'But dey'll 'low me two suits?'

"'Not unless you pay for them. And work is not plenty, Kate, for the cities are crowded with negroes who were discontented here. Suppose you cannot get work, you will have no cabin, no food, no clothes.'"

"Did you convince her?" I asked.

"No. She said to me, 'Guess you's mistaken 'bout dat ar, Mars' Cap'n. Dey mus' gib deir niggas a cabin an' a bite, you know; and dey makes piles[page 244] o' money. And sho' now, Mars' Cap'n, all de free folks is rich—dey mus' be. Nobody's po' dat's free.'

"You see," he added earnestly, "they did not know what freedom meant. It was a gorgeous vision of doing as they pleased, unlimited riches and idleness. They could work or not: whether they starved or not, they had not taken into consideration. Freedom came upon them too suddenly, and they had no idea of personal responsibility."

"But," I said, "they could form families, be free to keep their children."

To my surprise, Captain S—— began to laugh. "Of all the ludicrous scenes I remember," he said, "none were funnier than those occasioned by the new ideas of matrimony. I remember one pretty pouting mulatto about eighteen who came with a tall, powerful negro to the office for a marriage license. They were married in the church, and some few words were spoken of the solemnity of the bond between them. In about two weeks the bride burst into my office one morning, followed by her husband. 'Mars' Cap'n,' she said, 'can't I go home ef I choose?'

"'Certainly,' I said.

"'Dar, you nigga!' she said. 'I's gwine home dis bery day.'

"'But, Mars' Cap'n,' said the man, 'the minister said she was to lib 'long o' me fur allers.'

"'Oh,' I said, 'she wants to leave you?'

"'Jes' fo' sure I does! I'se gwine home: I done tired o' bein' married, I is. I'se gwine back to ole missus.'

"'Does your husband treat you badly?' I asked.

"'Nebber, Mars' Cap'n,' said the man earnestly. 'I done make the fire ebery mornin', an' cook her a hoecake 'long o' my own, so dat gal sleep half de day. An' I done give her two pair earrings.'

"'What do you complain of?' I asked the bride.

"'Sho' now, Mars' Cap'n, I ain't a-complainin'; only I done tired o' dat nigga, an' I'se gwine home.'

"It was wasted talk, I found afterward, that I spent in trying to convince her of her duty to her husband. They left the office together, but the bride disappeared, and the disconsolate husband never found her, to my knowledge. One of the neighbors told me, 'He jes' spiled dat gal, Mars' Cap'n, a-lettin' her have her own way all de time. My ole woman ain't wuff shucks if I don't ware her out 'bout onct a week.'

"'How do you wear her out?' I asked.

"'Jes' wif a stick, Mars' Cap'n. Women ain't good for nuffin' 'less you give 'em a good warin' out when they gits sarsy.'

"And I found afterward that this man beat his wife till she fainted about once a week. The best of the joke was, that when I remonstrated with him the woman told me she 'didn't want no Bureau 'terference with her ole man!'"

"But, Cap," I said, "you cannot defend the custom of tearing children from their mothers?"

"No," he said gravely: "it hardened them. I have been as soft-hearted as any man over the supposed maternal anguish of negro women, but I assure you, old fellow, my own observation quite cured me. It may be there are cases, such as we weep over in Uncle Tom's Cabin, but my own experience shows not one. I think the custom of taking children in infancy to put them in dozens under the care of old negresses past work may be answerable for the indifference I have seen manifested by negro mothers. I have known more than one case where the love of a colored nurse for her white charge was strong as mother-love. I remember one woman who came to me in a violent rage to ask if I could not punish her mistress for striking her own child. The little fellow had been naughty, and had been corrected by his mother. 'What fo' she done slap Mars' Tom?' she asked: 'he ain't done nuffin', po' chile!'

"'Nonsense!' I said. 'The boy was naughty, and his mother boxed his ears. Why, Chloe,' I added, 'what do you mean by complaining? I have seen you take your own baby by one leg and throw him across the kitchen, without any regard to the stoves or kettles he might hit.'[page 245] "''Course you has,' she said coolly: 'he's allers under my feet.'

"'But you might strike his head and kill him.'

"'Well,' was the startling answer, 'he's nuffin' but a nigga.'

"And that was her own child, habitually treated with neglect and blows by his mother, while she cried over the cruelty of slapping the white child she had nursed. And it was not to curry favor, but from a sincere belief that the one child should be caressed and loved, while the other must expect knocks and blows, being 'nuffin' but a nigga.'

"One old crone told me, 'I've done had sixteen picaninnies, Mars' Cap'n, but I nebber seed none o' dem after dey was 'bout six weeks old. Dey was in de nussery, an' I was a rale smart cotton-picker, and couldn't be spar'd to nuss chillen, nohow.'

"'But were you not allowed to see your own children?' I asked, as much shocked as you would be.

"''Lowed! 'Course I was 'lowed ef I wanted to bother 'bout 'em. But Law's sakes! dey was all mixed up 'long o' de others, an' I wa'n't goin' fussin' 'bout some oder woman's baby, likely 'nuff.'

"Many such instances convinced me speedily that—whether from want of natural affection or from their having been educated to indifference I do not pretend to say—negro mothers in Mississippi had certainly no violent affection for their own offspring.

"But the most shocking case that came under my immediate notice was that of a woman seeking employment. She came to my office with two handsome boys, all three being bright mulattoes. The little fellows were about three and five years of age, with large brown eyes and pretty faces, full of fun and vivacity. The mother was a tall, fine-looking woman of twenty-two or -three, and claimed to be a good cook. I had one place in my mind, and sent her there, as a friend had mentioned to me that he wanted a cook, and if one came for employment would like to have her sent to him.

"Unfortunately, he objected to the children, but, thinking the mother could board them out, told her to 'get rid of the children' and he would employ her.

"The next day he came to me with a face of horror. 'Captain,' he said, 'the cook you sent me has murdered both her children!'

"'Murdered them?' I cried.

"'Yes. She is in the office, and you will have to see her, I suppose. It is awful!'

"I found the woman waiting my coming with a face of perfect composure.

"'Hannah,' I said, after I had heard the accusation of the people in the house where the crime was committed, 'what have you to say?'

"'Nuffin', Mars' Cap'n. Mars' T—— done sed I mus' git rid o' de picaninnies; and dey was bothersome, anyway—allers eatin', 'deed dey was, Mars' Cap'n'—this very earnestly, as if to defend herself—' allers a-hollerin' for suffin' to eat.'

"'But, Hannah, Mr. T—— wanted you to leave them with some of the women to board.'

"'Nebber sed so. Jes' sed—'deed he did—"You get rid o' dem chillens an' come here to cook." So I jes' waited till dey was asleep, an' cut deir throats. Dey nebber screeched.'

"I was sick with horror, but through the whole of the examination the woman showed no sign of emotion, though we all went to the house where the two pretty babies lay, stone dead."

"What became of her?" I asked.

"I have forgotten. I sent her to Vicksburg, as the case was too grave for my decision. I should not have held her accountable, as she was evidently under the impression that absolute obedience was the law for her race.

"It was odd," he continued, "but after that tragedy there came a farce in true dramatic order. My office was hardly cleared of the parties concerned in this dreadful murder when I was attracted to the window by the most horrible yelping and squealing, and saw two negroes, black as coals, barefooted, bareheaded and ragged, one leading a dog, one trying to drag two pigs into the yard[page 246] attached to my quarters. Seeing me, one of them made a bow. 'Sarvent, Mars' Cap'n,' he said.

"'What do you want?' I asked. 'Tie those pigs up before you come in,' for he was dragging them up the steps.

"'Likely shoats, ain't dey?' said the other eagerly. 'We jes' come down 'bout dem ar shoats, Mars' Cap'n.'

"'An' dat ar dog,' broke in the other.

"Here the dog made a dash at the pigs, and in trying to escape the latter ran between the legs of the men, upsetting one. Such a hubbub of squealing pigs, barking dog, laughing and swearing men as ensued beggars description. When there was some order restored, the pigs and dog tied up in the yard, the biggest of the darkeys, scraping his best bow, said, 'We jes' come, Mars' Cap'n, 'bout a little complexity 'long o' dat ar dog and dem two shoats.'

"'No 'plexity it all, cap'n,' said the other.—'Jes' you keep to facks, you Hannibal.—You see, Mars' Cap'n, dat ar nigga he had de dog: jes' a good-for-nuffin' mongrel, he is, fo' sure now.'

"'Rale likely dog, Mars' Cap'n,' broke in the other. 'Dat ar dog'll twist a pig off'n his legs onto his back quicker'n winkin'—'deed will he.'

"I had been long enough in G—— to appreciate this speech, having seen droves of pigs in gardens or vegetable-patches routed by dogs. A monstrous pig would roll over perfectly helpless after a dexterous twist of a small dog holding the hind leg of the heavy animal between his teeth. I do not know how they are trained, but it is far more mirth-provoking than any circus to see two or three little yelping dogs rout some fifty great pigs in this way.

'"Ain't wuff two shoats,' growled the other darkey.

"'Wuff twenty-'leven racks o' bones like dem ar.'

"'Stop!' I said.—'You speak, Hannibal, and you wait till your turn,' I added to the other man.

"'You see, Mars' Cap'n,' said Hannibal, 'Bill he wanted dat ar dog o' mine powerful bad—'deed you did, you nigga!—an' he done swopped off two missable weak ole shoats on me for dat dog. Well, Mars' Cap'n, I done fed up dem shoats fo' free or fou' months; an', now dey's likely pigs an' a-makin' bacon, Bill he wants to swop back, he does.'

"'You see, Mars' Cap'n,' broke in the other, 'dat ar dog was to be a huntin'-dog, he was. Wish ter gracious you'd jes' see him hunt! Stan' an' bark an' yelp till dar ain't a quail in ten miles, he will, an' splash inter de ribber till he'll scare ebery duck fo' seven miles.'

"And then they went at it, abusing and defending the dog, till we heard a great scuffling, and saw the pigs had broken loose and were tearing down the street, followed by the dog, every nigger in sight, and, bringing up the rear, Hannibal and Bill, who never returned. How they settled their dispute I never heard."

"One! two!" chimed the mantel-clock, and we parted for the night, while I lay awake a long time musing upon the "Sambo" of my imagination and the "Sambo" of the experiences of Captain S——.


[page 247]


When the bloody business of the coup d'état was definitely finished, the murder-stains washed from the streets, the victims interred, and a few thousand of the best and boldest hearts of France had taken the sorrowful road of exile, the new emperor bethought him of how best to gild his freshly-gained throne.

A court was to be constructed, and that right speedily. After the gloomy tragedy of the overthrow of the Republic, France was to be treated to the grand spectacular piece of the Second Empire. And for that a corps de ballet and trained supernumeraries were needed. The rôle of leading lady, too, was vacant. An empress was to be sought for without delay. Negotiations were opened with several princely houses for the hands of damsels of royal birth, but speedily came to naught. As yet, the new-made emperor was a parvenu amid his royal contemporaries. The negotiations for the hand of the Swedish princess Vasa did indeed promise at one time to be crowned with success. But the emperor sent his physician to take a look at the lady, and to judge if her physique promised healthful and numerous offspring; and this fact, coming to the ears of her family, caused a sudden stop to be put to the whole affair. Meantime, at the reunions of Compiègne, the personality of a young and lovely foreign countess was coming prominently into notice, owing to the evident impression that her charms had made upon the susceptible heart of Napoleon III. This lady, Eugénie Montijo, countess de Teba, was no longer in the first bloom of girlhood, having been born in 1826. But she was in the full meridian of a beauty which, had the crown matrimonial of France, like the apple of Até, been dedicated to the fairest, would have ensured her the throne by sheer right divine. It is indeed said that as a young girl her charms were in no wise remarkable: on her first appearance in society at the court of Madrid she created no sensation whatever. She was too pale and quiet-looking to attract attention. But one day, the court being at Aranjuez, during a fête champêtre, Mademoiselle de Montijo had the good or ill fortune to fall into one of the ornamental fishponds in the garden. She was taken out insensible, and her wet and clinging garments revealed a form of such statuesque perfection that all Madrid went raving about her beauty. She plunged a commonplace girl—she rose a Venus. And when she first attracted the notice of Napoleon she was indisputably one of the loveliest women in Europe. She was tall, slender, exquisitely proportioned, and her walk was that of a goddess. Her features were delicate and regular; her eyes long, almond-shaped, and full of a tender and dreamy sweetness: her small and faultlessly-shaped head was set upon a long, slender neck with the swaying grace of a lily upon its stalk; her shoulders were sloping and beautifully moulded, notwithstanding her lack of embonpoint, for in those days she was as slight as a reed. A profusion of fair hair—which she wore turned back from the face in the graceful style known as "à la Pompadour," but speedily to be rechristened "à l'Impératrice"—and a hand and foot of truly royal beauty completed an ensemble of charms that were well calculated to drive poor masculine humanity out of its seven senses.

Cold and calculating as was Napoleon III., it drove him out of his, for in every respect such a marriage was an unwise and an impolitic one. It lent to his new-founded throne neither the lustre of an alliance with royalty nor the popularity that might have been gained by the selection of a Frenchwoman as the partner of his fortunes. The Spanish blood of the countess de Teba made her obnoxious in the eyes of many of her future[page 248] subjects. Moreover, the antecedents of the lady were not altogether without reproach. Not that any actual stigma had ever clung to her character, but she had always been looked upon in European circles as that anomalous character in such society, a fast girl. Stories, some true and some false, were circulated respecting her follies and her escapades. Evidently, if Cæsar's wife should be above suspicion, she was not the person who should have been selected to become the wife of Cæsar.

The fact of the emperor's interest in the fair foreigner was revealed by an incident, slight in itself and only important by the emotions which it called forth. At one of the small intimate reunions at Compiègne, Mademoiselle de Montijo happened, while dancing, to entangle her feet in the long folds of her train, and she fell with some violence to the floor. The extreme anxiety and distress manifested by the emperor acted as a revelation to all present. A stormy opposition to the projected alliance was at once organized among the familiars of the emperor—the men who had aided in his elevation, and to whom it was too recent for them to stand in awe of him. MM. de Morny and de Persigny in particular were violent in their opposition. In fact, the latter went so far as to tell the emperor at the close of a long and stormy interview on the subject that it was hardly worth while to have made a coup d'êtat to end it in such a manner. M. de Morny argued and reasoned with his imperial brother, but neither the violence of Persigny nor the arguments of De Morny made any impression on the cold and inflexible will of Napoleon III., and a few days later the countess made her appearance at one of the court-balls in a dress looped and wreathed with the imperial emblem-flower, the violet. The emperor, advancing toward her, presented her with a superb bouquet of the same significant blossoms. The meaning of that little scene was fully understood by the spectators. The marriage was irrevocably decided upon, and all that they had to do was to submit to the imperial will and make ready to offer their homage to the new empress. With the solitary exception of Prince Napoleon, the imperial family submitted with a good grace to the matrimonial projects of their chief. The Princess Mathilde in particular, although the marriage would depose her from the place that she then occupied as the first lady of the court, declared her willingness to bear the train of the new empress in public if such a duty should be required of her, as it had been of the sisters of the First Napoleon.

There remained, however, an arrangement to be completed which, though awkward and painful, was yet positively necessary. No one better than Napoleon III. was aware of the truth of the old adage which declares that a man must be off with the old love before he is on with the new. In an hôtel on the Rue du Cirque dwelt a lady who had been the partner of his days of exile and ill-fortune, who had impoverished herself in his service, and who had devoted herself to furthering his aims with a persistency worthy of a better cause. This lady, the well-known Mrs. Howard, was now to be got rid of. A frank and open rupture was not in the style or the ideas of her royal and sphinx-like lover. A pretended secret mission to England lured her from Paris. She learned the truth at Boulogne, and hastened back to her home. There she found that her hôtel had been visited by the police, and that a cabinet wherein she kept the letters of Louis Napoleon had been broken open and rifled of its contents. Deeply wounded by the treatment she had received, she withdrew, not without dignity, from all attempt at contesting the position with her rival. "I go," she wrote to Napoleon, "a second Josephine, bearing with me your star." To do justice to the emperor, it must be confessed that he treated her in other respects with royal liberality. The title of countess of Beauregard and a fortune of a million of dollars were allotted to her. She withdrew to England, where she afterward married. In 1865 a great longing to behold Paris once more came upon her. Her youth and beauty gone, a worn, disappointed [page 249] and unhappy woman (for her marriage had turned out most wretchedly), she returned to Paris only to die. Her eldest son succeeded to the title of count de Beauregard, and was made consul at Zanzibar. Since the downfall of the Empire he has lived a sort of Bohemian existence in Paris, where his striking resemblance to Louis Napoleon has won for him the nickname of "the ghost" (le revenant).

Meanwhile, the preparations for the marriage were proceeding vigorously. The future empress and her mother had been installed in apartments at the Élysée. The household of the royal bride was already formed, including the princess of Essling as chief lady-in-waiting, and the Count (afterward Duke) Tascher de la Pagerie as head-chamberlain. The nuptial ceremony took place on the 30th of January. The bride's dress was composed of white velvet, with a veil of point d'Angleterre, the time being too short to have one of point d'Alençon manufactured. The details of the ceremony were closely copied from those of the wedding of Napoleon I. and Marie Louise, and the state-coach was the same that had been used at the coronation of the great emperor. It was a magnificent vehicle, covered with gilding and ornaments, and so heavy that the eight fine horses that drew it were less for show than for actual service. The ceremony took place in the cathedral of Notre Dame, which was illuminated for the occasion with fifteen thousand wax-lights. The bride was visibly agitated. She was as pale as death, and her voice in making the responses was scarcely audible. No wonder if in that hour a premonition of evil weighed upon her soul. The civil register of the imperial family—which, preserved by the devotion of some of the adherents of the Bonapartes, had been brought forth to be used at the civil ceremony which had taken place the day before—might well have thrilled her with forebodings. The last record inscribed on those pages had been the birth of the king of Rome. How had it fared with that scion of a mighty father? how might it fare with her own possible offspring?

It speedily became evident that the marriage, unpopular as it had been among the counsellors of the emperor, was still more so among the people at large. No cries of "Long live the empress!" save from the throats of paid agents of the government, rose to greet the beautiful Eugénie when she appeared in public. People stared sullenly at her as at a passing pageant, but were moved neither by her charms nor her gentle and gracious courtesy to any outburst of enthusiasm. To the masses she was "L'Espagnole," the heiress to the bitter hate inspired by the Austrian, Marie Antoinette. Epigrams on the marriage, seasoned with the cruel and ferocious wit for which the Parisians are so famous, circulated on all sides. Some bold hand affixed to the walls of the Tuileries a series of doggerel verses wherein the empress was first called by the nickname of "Badinguette," which was universally applied to her after the fall of the Empire. The author of these lines was discovered and banished to Cayenne, but his verses, set to a popular tune, were long sung in secret in the taverns and workshops of the suburbs.

To a certain extent, popular opinion respecting the young and lovely Eugénie was correct. She was indeed emphatically not the wife that Louis Napoleon should have chosen. A woman of intelligence and force of character might have done much to aid in founding his throne on a more stable basis. The downfall of the Empire, though probably inevitable, might have been delayed for at least a generation. But his choice had fallen upon a lady who had but one qualification for the position in which he had placed her—namely, extreme personal beauty. She was indeed kind-hearted and amiable, and among the temptations of a court as dissolute as was that of Louis XV. she preserved her reputation unspotted. But she was narrow-minded and unintellectual, a bigoted Catholic, and so blinded by national and religious prejudices that many of the most fatal mistakes of the Empire are directly traceable to her influence. An alliance with a royal princess would[page 250] have strengthened the throne of Louis Napoleon: an alliance with a French lady would have drawn toward him the hearts of the nation. But Eugénie was neither a princess nor a Frenchwoman, nor yet a woman of vigorous and commanding intellect; and his union with her was undoubtedly a serious political error.

But for some time all went well. She ruled gracefully over her allotted realm, which was that of Fashion. The influence of a crowned Parisian beauty over the social doings of the world can hardly be over-estimated. Eugénie invented toilettes that were copied by all the women in the civilized world: she invented crinoline, and added a new product to the manufactures of the earth. No woman better understood the art of dress than she. Certain of her toilettes have retained their celebrity to this day. Never did the art of costly dress reach so high a pinnacle. She fringed her ball-dresses with diamonds, and covered them with lace worth two thousand dollars a yard. Then, like many wise and economical ladies, she undertook to have her dresses made at home, and installed a dressmaker's establishment in the Tuileries, where these splendid garments were prepared under her immediate supervision. The workroom was directly over her private apartments. By means of a trapdoor, whose mechanism was skilfully dissimulated among the ornaments of the cornice and ceiling, a mannikin, arrayed in the garb that was in progress, could be lowered for the empress's inspection. This singular branch of the royal household was under the charge of a functionary whose business it was to purchase silks, velvets and laces at wholesale prices and to superintend the workwomen. The knowledge of its existence was soon spread abroad, and did the empress infinite harm. The petty economy of the proceeding horrified and disgusted the Parisians, who, economical themselves, have ever scorned that virtue in their sovereigns. Many of the partisans of the court denied the existence of such an establishment, but during the period that elapsed between the downfall of the Empire and the outbreak of the Commune the curious throngs that visited the Tuileries might trace amid the mouldings of the ceiling in the empress's boudoir the outline of the famous trapdoor.

It would have been well had she never turned her attention to any less feminine or more dangerous pursuits. But in an evil hour for France and for the nation she undertook to dabble in politics. Left regent during the Austro-Italian campaign, she acquired a taste for reigning, which was increased by the flatteries of her husband's ministers and the counsels of her confessor. It was currently said at court that the Mexican expedition "came ready-made from her boudoir." She hated the United States, as a true daughter of Spain could not fail to detest the coveters of Cuba and the friends of progress and of enlightenment. Consequently, she did not fail to further a project whose real aim was to deal the great republic, then struggling in the throes of civil war, a decisive stab in the back. She approved of the war with China, and condescended to enrich her private apartments with the spoils of the Summer Palace. But her pet project, the one that she had most at heart, was the war with Prussia. The now historical phrase, "This is my war," was uttered by her to General Turr soon after the outbreak of hostilities. And when, an exile and discrowned, she first sought the presence of Queen Victoria, she sobbed out with tears of vain remorse, "It was all my fault. Louis did not want to go to war: 'twas I that forced him to it." Poor lady! bitterly indeed has she atoned for that unwise exercise of undue influence. The holy crusade of which she dreamed against the enemies of her Church and of her husband's throne ended in giving her son's inheritance to the winds.

Nor was her domestic life a happy one. She loved her husband; and indeed Napoleon III. seems to have possessed a rare power of attracting and securing the affections of those about him. Few that came within the influence of his kindly courtesy, his grave and gentle voice, but[page 251] fell captive to the spell thus subtly exercised. He made many and warm personal friends, even among those who were hostile to his politics and his dynasty. And by three women at least he was loved with a fervor and a constancy that no trial could shake. One of these was the Princess Mathilde, his cousin and once his intended wife; another was Mrs. Howard; the third was his wife. But, like many men who are much loved, Louis Napoleon was incapable of anything like genuine and constant love for any woman. His passion for his lovely empress was as brief as it had been violent. He vexed her soul and tortured her heart by countless conjugal infidelities. She resented this state of affairs with all the vehemence of an outraged wife and a jealous Spaniard. It is said that she once soundly boxed the ears of the distinguished functionary who filled in her husband's household the post that the infamous Lebel held during the latter days of the life of Louis XV. Twice she fled abruptly from the court, unable to bear the presence of insolent and triumphant rivals, and the ingenuity of the fashionable chroniclers of the day was taxed to invent plausible pretexts for her sudden journeys to the Scottish or the Italian lakes. No wonder that the soft eyes grew sadder and the smiles more forced as the years passed on and brought only weariness, disenchantment and the shadow of the coming end.

Alphonse Daudet has said in Le Nabab that there exists in the life of every human being a golden moment, a luminous peak, where all of glory or success that destiny reserves is granted; after which comes the decadence and the descent. This golden moment in the life of the empress Eugénie was the occasion of the first French international exhibition in 1855. She was then in the full pride of her womanhood and her loveliness. The greatest lady in Europe, Queen Victoria, had been her guest, had embraced her as an equal and had given her proofs of real and sincere friendship. Enveloped in clouds of priceless lace and blazing with diamonds of more than regal splendor, she had presided, la belle des belles, over the opening of the exhibition in the Champs Elysées. And, above all, the event so anxiously desired by her husband and by the supporters of his cause was near at hand. She was soon to become the mother of the heir to the imperial throne. With every aspiration gratified, every wish accomplished, she did indeed seem in that year of grace the most enviable of human beings. The later splendors of the exhibition of 1867 were more apparent than real, and the gorgeous assemblage of reigning sovereigns brought with it for Eugénie a subtle and premeditated insult. The kings and emperors who responded to the imperial invitation and came to visit the court of Napoleon III., with one exception, that of the king of the Belgians, left their wives at home. They acted as men do in private life when they receive invitations to a ball given by a family of doubtful standing with whom they are unwilling to quarrel.

I have spoken of the birth of the prince imperial. It may perhaps interest the reader to know how much this auspicious event cost the French nation. Not less than nine hundred thousand francs (one hundred and eighty thousand dollars), of which twenty thousand dollars were paid for the young gentleman's first wardrobe. The whole amount expended at the birth of the Comte de Paris did not exceed this latter sum.

The details of the scenes at the Tuileries after the downfall of the Empire, and those of the flight of the empress, are well known. It is now generally conceded that after Sédan the fate of the imperial dynasty was in the hands of Eugénie. Had she withdrawn to Tours or to Bourges, summoned the Assembly to meet there, and called around her the partisans of the Empire, she might have saved the heritage of her son. But her essentially feminine and frivolous nature was not fitted for deeds of high resolve or for heroic determinations. A morbid dread of following in the footsteps of Marie Antoinette had pursued her in the later years of her prosperity. She knew that she was unpopular, and visions of the fate of the Austrian queen or of the[page 252] still more horrible one of the Princesse de Lamballe must have risen before her as the shouts of the Parisian mob, exulting in the downfall of her husband, met her ear. In that hour of disaster and of woe no Frenchman, for all the boasted chivalry of the race, was at hand to aid or protect the fair lady who had so long queened it at the Tuileries. The Austrian ambassador, the Italian minister, the Corsican Pietrio planned and managed her escape from the palace. She took refuge in the house of an American, her dentist, Dr. Thomas W. Evans. He it was who got her out of Paris and accompanied her to the seacoast, placing his own carriage at her disposal. She crossed the Channel in the yacht of an English gentleman. Thus guarded by aliens, she passed from the land of her queenship to that of exile.

To-day, in her abode at Chiselhurst, the widow of Napoleon III. attracts scarcely less of the world's interest and attention than she did as throned empress and queen of Fashion. Unfortunately, the supreme tact that once was her distinguishing quality seems to have deserted her in the days of her decadence. She, the most graceful of women, has not learned the art of growing old gracefully. She had played the part of a beauty and the leader of fashion for years. Now that she is past fifty that character is no longer possible to her. But she might have assumed another—less showy, perhaps, but surely far more touching. With her whitening hairs she might have worthily worn the triple dignity of her widowhood, her maternity and her misfortune. She has chosen instead, with a weakness unworthy of the part that she has played on the wide stage of contemporary history, to clutch vainly after the fleeting shadow of her vanished charms. A head loaded with false yellow hair, a face covered with paint and powder, a mincing gait and the airs and graces of an antiquated coquette,—such to-day is she who was once the world's wonder for her loveliness and grace, a bewigged Mrs. Skewton succeeding to the dazzling vision that swerved the calculating policy of Napoleon III. and won his callous heart, and that still smiles upon us from the canvas of Winterhalter.




Why does nobody—antiquarian, historian, or even novelist—open again that forgotten page of history, the story of the lost colony of Norwegians who disappeared in the fourteenth century from the shores of Greenland? Doctor Hayes, after he came back, had a good deal to say of them, but he did not gather all the facts, and his book, I believe, is now out of print.

I know no mystery made of such nightmare stuff as this in history; and mysteries are growing scarce now-a-days as eggs of the terrible Dinornis: we cannot afford to lose one of them.

The foremost figure in the story is of course Leif hin-hepna ("the happy"). There is much to be unearthed concerning that famous pioneer in discovery and religion, and we Americans surely ought to have enough interest in him to do it, as Leif unearthed this continent for us out of the hold of the sea and Demigorgon ages ago, while the dust of which Columbus was to be made centuries later was yet blowing loose about the streets of Genoa. Leif, besides discovering new worlds, turned the souls of all his father's subjects from paganism to such Christianity as the times afforded. I protest, this vigorous young Greenlander [page 253] heads the roll of unrecognized heroes in the world: heathen and Christians have made demigods and saints out of much flimsier stuff than he.

The colony, too, out of which he came, what a spectral shadow it is beside the live flesh-and-blood figures of other nations! At the banquet of the boar-eating Scottish thanes there was one empty chair, and that was filled by a ghost. We hear of the East and West Bygds, settlements with hundreds of farms, churches, cathedrals, monasteries, set on the narrow rim of green coast which edges Greenland, lying between the impenetrable wall of ice inland and the Arctic Sea without. They had their religion, which Leif brought to them; they were busy and prosperous; they married, traded, fought, loved and died; and with a breath they all vanished from off the face of the earth. There is no ghost-story like this in literature.

Where will you find, too, such a delightful flavor of ancient mystery as in the old chronicles which tell of these people? Besides the Sagas there are the voyages of long-ago-forgotten navigators—Arthur himself, the Venetian brothers Nicolo and Antonio Zeni, King Zichmni, divers Frisian fishermen. These old records, coffee-colored with age and frail as skeleton leaves, are yet to be found in certain libraries, and surely would tempt any one with a soul above newspapers. In them you shall hear how these voyagers, in their poor barkentines of from ten to two hundred tons, entered into this region of enormous tides, of floating hordes of mountainous icebergs, of flaming signs in the sky—into all the horrors, in fact, of an Arctic winter and night, darkened still deeper for them by nameless superstitious terrors. They went down to these deeps in very much the temper with which a living man now-a-days would adventure into hell. The icy peaks of the far-off land they knew were glittering silver, and the sea was full of malignant spirits which guarded it. A mountain-magnet lay hid under the sea, dragging the ships down to it (as late, indeed, as 1830 skilled Danish navigators declared that they felt the stress from it, and fled in terror): the unnatural tides were the breathing of angry Demigorgon. There were, however, other sights and sounds not to be explained in even this reasonable fashion. On a fair day and a calm sea panic would seize the soul of every man on board, and the ship would turn and beat homeward, "as one who knows a frightful fiend doth follow him behind."

It is the mystery of the lost colony, however, which ought to be opened by some competent hand. In 1406, Queen Margaret, it will be remembered, laid an interdict upon trade with them: for two centuries afterward not even a passing barkentine touched upon the Greenland shore. At the end of that time, when explorers were sent from the civilized world in search of the long-forgotten colonists, they had utterly vanished. There, to this day, are their dwellings and churches, solidly built of stone in an architectural style which Graah fifty years ago described as simple and elegant: there are even the ruins of the monastery which the Zeni brothers declare was heated by a magical hot sulphurous spring, the waters of which were conveyed through the building by pipes. But the people had absolutely disappeared. Not even a bit of pottery, a grave or a bone was left; which last is a noteworthy circumstance, as portions of the human body are almost indestructible in that climate. Seventeen expeditions have been sent out by the Danish and Norwegian governments in search of this lost colony, the last of which was within the present half century. One of these was headed by Egedi, a poor Norwegian clergyman to whom is owing the civilization of Greenland, and of whose strange heroic life we know too little.

There are two or three conjectures to account for the disappearance of this colony. One is that they were all murdered by the Skröellings. But where are their bones? Besides, the colonists numbered from fifteen to twenty thousand, and were much superior to the natives in size, strength, intelligence and knowledge of war.

[page 254]

Graah, a Danish navigator who came in search of them in 1828, believes that they were carried off bodily by the English after the ravages of the "black death" in England, to repair the waste of human life, citing a treaty of 1433 in which England was charged with abducting Danish subjects for that end. Another theory is that the Frisian king Zichmni carried them off captive. Pope Nicholas asserts this outrage as a fact in a bull in 1448. But Zichmni is as uncertain a personage in history as Demigorgon; and the good popes were not so infallible as to matters of general news before the establishment of telegraph and postal service as they are now.

Mr. Dalton Dorr, who accompanied Hayes, tells me that among the Esquimaux there is a tradition that a colony of foreigners once owned the land, and about five centuries ago emigrated in a body northward, crossing the Mer de Glace—that they found an open sea, and somewhere within the eternal rampart of snow and ice now dwell securely by its shores. As early as 1500 the migratory Skröellings told of this colony far to the north-east. These rumors possessed substance enough to warrant the expeditions from Denmark, which have all been directed to the eastern coast. Graah heard from his guides of a strange people with high features, hoarse voices and large stature living beyond the limits passed by Europeans.

Here is a mystery surely worth finding out—a people exiled from their kind for centuries living at the Pole—something better worth search than even Franklin's bones. To give it reality, too, we must remember how many Arctic explorers have caught sight, as they thought, of an open sea near the Pole—a sea with strong, iceless swells, and on whose shores warm rains fell. Nobody need suggest that these people would probably, after our search, not be worth looking for. What shall we do with the North-west Passage when we have found it?

R. H. D.


"A man will please more by never offending than by giving a great deal of delight." In this remark of Doctor Johnson's lies the art of being agreeable. But nothing is more difficult than to avoid offending. Most people are offended by trifles. For instance, persons generally take umbrage at superior brilliance of conversation. "The man who talks for fame will never please." Even he who talks to unburden his mind will please only some old and solitary friend. Large experience and great learning, however quietly carried, are very offensive to those who have them not. Clever things cannot be said unobtrusively enough. A person so brilliant as to make others feel that his efforts are above theirs will be detested. Moreover, one of the difficulties of being agreeable is that the apprehension of offending and the small hope of pleasing destroy all captivation of manner. The confident expectation of pleasing is an infallible means of pleasing. Characters pleased with themselves please others, for they are joyous and natural in mien, and are at liberty from thinking of themselves to pay successful attention to others. Still, the self-conceited and the bragging are never attractive, self being the topic on which all are fluent and none interesting. They who dwell on self in any way—the self-deniers, the self-improvers—are hateful to the heart of civilized man. The Chinese, who knew everything beforehand, are perfect in self-abnegation of manner. "How are your noble and princely son and your beautiful and angelic daughter?" says Mandarin Number One.—"Dog of a son have I none, but my cat of a daughter is well," says Mandarin Number Two.

To set up for an invariably agreeable person you must adjust yourself to the peculiarities of others. You must talk of books to bookworms: you must be musical with musicians, scientific with savants. Furthermore, you have to make believe all the time that you are enjoying yourself. The belle is a lady who has an air of enjoying herself with whomsoever she talks. We like those who seem to delight in our company. You must not overdo it, and thus make yourself suspected of acting; but do not[page 255] imagine that you will please without trying. Those who are careless of pleasing are never popular. Those who do not care how they look invariably look ugly. You will never please without doing all these things and more.

What a Pecksniffian business it is to go into! Who wants to refrain from smart, spiteful sayings when he happens to think of them, to abjure laughing at friends and ridiculing enemies, to renounce the tart rebuff, the keen riposte? Amazing that any succeed! and many do. There are some gentlemen who are entirely agreeable—"gentlemen all through," like Robert Moore in Shirley. They have order, neatness, delicacy of movement, reticence, incuriosity: their unaffected English has almost the charm of a musical composition. They are generally men whose mothers well nagged them when they were small with perpetual adjurations: "Do not bang the door," "Stop kicking your feet," "Stop clinking your plate with your fork," and so on.

In some inscrutable way, young girls often attain thorough agreeableness. Look at lazy little Jane: she has acquired the highest charm of repose. Look at Sally, who used to be such an angular and hurried little girl: she is all quips and cranks and wreathèd smiles now. And meek, humble-minded Martha, in former days so diffident, blushing and taciturn, has found out the value of a deferential demeanor and the knack of being a good listener, and can sing a ballad with a pathos and dramatic effect that eclipse the highly-embellished performances of other girls.

Ladies who make a profession of pleasing become irresistibly alluring. Actresses have abundant hair, fine teeth, all physical beauty, because they train themselves to beauty, though not originally better endowed than most others. Actresses' voices are set habitually, not in complaining, whining, creaking or vociferating keys, but in chest-tones clear and calm in quality. Actresses do not grow old, partly in consequence of their constant attention to the toilette, partly in consequence of the fact that they have hope and ambition, and enough occupation and enough rest, and do not worry over trifles.

To remain young is one of the difficulties of being agreeable. Whoever does so is obliged to adopt the Aristotelian maxim of moderation, Placidity of temper is necessary to the clear-pencilled eyebrow and the magnolia complexion. Frowns, weeping, excitement, despair and laughter wrinkle the face. Nature keeps women's forms well rounded to extreme old age, and their faces remain agreeable when they take the trouble to keep them so. The brow, the fair front, need never be furrowed. Of all we meet in the street, very few have tranquil, undistorted faces: the old are screwed out of shape, the young are going to be so. A well-preserved beauty is one who neither puckers her face into wrinkles nor mauls it with her hands: she never buries her knuckles in her cheeks, nor rests cheek on palm or chin on hand, nor folds her fingers around her forehead while reading, nor rubs her "argent-lidded eyes." She veils her face from the wind; she does not work with uncovered neck and arms: therefore they do not become tawny. She avoids immoderate toil, which makes the hair to fall, the features sharp, the skin clammy and yellow. She avoids immoderate laziness, as causing obesity and a greasy complexion or pallor, lassitude and loss of vitality. Such are; the difficulties of being agreeable.

M. D.


He who doubts that civilized progress and industry is beneficial to birds, and promotes their comfort and multiplication, never saw the robin and the purple grakle following the plough on a summer's morning. The ploughman is not more punctually afield than his unbidden but welcome feathered attendants. They are ahead of him, perched patiently in the trees that dot fence or hedgerow. They see the team afar off, and as the gate rattles in opening for its admission the glad tidings is sent down the line in whistle or chirrup, the most musical of breakfast-bells. The worm that but for[page 256] the intrusive ploughshare would blush unseen beneath the soil, and but for the feathered detective on the lookout for him would regain his subterranean retreat, might take a less cheery view of the philosophy of the matter; but he too is, taken collectively, favored by tillage and fattens on high-farming like an English squire. But we are not at present occupied with his feelings. Somebody must suffer in the battledore game of eat and be eaten, and we shall let the chain of continuous destruction rest here with the grub that reaps where he hath not sown. Horse, man and bird are honestly and harmoniously picking up a living at the expense of a fourth party that also thrives in the long run.

Not many of us get out with the plough at the orthodox hour of sunrise. It is a privilege few, comparatively, possess, and fewer still enjoy. The doctors recommend it warmly, on the ground that, though perhaps productive of rheumatism, it is death to dyspepsia. The faculty have, however, on this point piped to us in vain, and it is not at all in consequence of their advice that those who luxuriate in early agriculture adopt that system of hygiene, any more than the birds, who, as we have remarked, are first up and out, and who, at this season, in flat defiance of all medical rules, adopt a purely animal diet. Later, long after Lent, their food is varied with fruits and seeds, but never to such an extent as to amount to vegetarianism. This carnivorous taste ranks high in the "charm of earliest birds" so interesting to the cultivator. He, as a rule, is not wrapped up in the strawberry or the cherry that in the fulness of time comes to be levied on, in very moderate percentage, by a few of his musical associates. We do not forget that the blackbird has a weakness for planted maize, and that the quota of the cornhill is very truly and safely stated in the doggerel—

One for de blackbird, one for de crow,

Two for de cut-worm, and two for to grow.

The cut-worm is here correctly defined as the enemy, while the excise claimed by the birds is head-money for his extirpation. An adaptation of this instructive couplet to gardening for the guidance of those of us who do not farm, but garden in a small way, would naturally enlarge the allowance of the cut-worm. From the more limited demesne the crow and the grakle are generally excluded. What is their loss is the cut-worm's gain. Nowhere does he run (or burrow) riot more successfully than in old gardens. Living in darkness, from an apparent consciousness that his deeds are evil, he seems to be fully advised of all that goes on above ground. One would fancy that he has a complete system of subterranean telegraphs, like those coming into vogue in Europe. He learns within a few hours or minutes of every new lot of plants sprouting from the seed or set out from the hotbed. Upon both he sets systematically to work, following his row with a precision and thoroughness at once admirable and exasperating. You go out of a May afternoon, and with the tenderest care establish in their summer homes your very choicest plants. Reverse "One counted them at break of day, and when the sun set where were they?" and the tale that greets you the next morning is told. Did the spoiler need them for food, you would be partly reconciled to his proceedings, or at least would know how to frame some sort of an excuse for them. But he merely divides the succulent stem close to the surface of the ground, above or below, and leaves the wreck unutilized even by him. A comfort is that flight is not his forte. He is generally to be found by the exploring penknife or trowel close by the scene of his crime, and is thus easily subjected to condign punishment. But his wife, family and friends survive in different spots of the adjacent underworld, to give evidence of their existence only in subsequent havoc. The titillative rake or the peremptory hoe does not help you much in their discovery; for their color is that of the soil, their size as various as that of bits of gravel, and they are not easily perceptible to a cursory glance from the ordinary height of the eye. Here is where keener optics than yours, sharpened perhaps by a keener impulse—that of the stomach—come to the rescue. The catbird, whose[page 257] imploring mew you listened to from your bed some time before thinking proper to respond to it, is intently watching operations from the other end of the border or the square. His lusty youngsters have been trained, after the good old fashion, to early hours, and they are impatient for breakfast. Their parent sees what you do not, and astonishes you by suddenly pouncing upon a bit of earth you have just broken and seizing a stout worm. This stranger, if presentable to the family circle, he is at once off with, his spouse taking his place in the field. Or the youngsters may still be in futuro. All the same: whatever turns up is welcome to him. His appetite seems as insatiable as that of half a dozen nestlings: they, you know, will eat three or four times their own weight in twelve hours. He is thus immensely useful to you, but your appreciation of that fact is as nothing to his estimate of your value to him. He accepts you as a being sent for his benefit. You are a part of his scheme of providence. True, he pities while he rejoices over you. Your blindness and stupidity in not seeing the fat and luscious tidbits he snaps up from almost beneath your feet is of course a subject of wonder and disdain. But he learns to make allowances for you, and comes to view your failings charitably, especially as they enure to his benefit, and so lean to Virtue's side. Fear of you he has none. Indeed, you inspire in him a certain sense of protection, for in your presence his habitual vigilance is lulled, and his apprehensive glances over his right and left shoulders fall to a lower figure per minute. He has learned there to feel safe from hawk and cat, and knows enough of other birds to be sure that none of them will "jump" his little claim of fifty feet square whereof you are the moving centre. His individual audacity gives him the sway of that small empire, and he doubts not that you will support him in acting up to the motto of the Iron Crown of the Lombards. His cousin the robin may, and very probably does, hover on the outskirts, but an exact distance measures the comparative boldness and familiarity of the two species. The catbird is, say, ten yards more companionable than his red-vested relative in the latter's most genial and trustful mood; and his faith is of a more robust type and less easily and permanently weakened by rebuffs. The robin rarely hovers round you, but likes to have the whole premises quietly to himself. His attachment does not take a personal hue, but is rather to locality. His acquaintanceship with you is never so intimate as that of the catbird, who soon recognizes your step, your dress and the peculiar touch and cadence of your hoe, even as a college oarsman will identify the stroke of a chum or a rival a quarter of a mile off. If the robin does fix your individuality in his mind, he deigns to make no sign thereof. At most he accepts you as part of the mechanism of creation. You make no draft upon his bump of reverence. He does not set you on his Olympus. This mark of the spirit which makes him, on the whole, a more respectable and dignified character than his less gayly-dressed cousin tends in some sense to commend him the less to you, since we all like the homage of the "inferior animals," birds or voters. You half dislike the independence of the robin, who is equally at home in the parterre or the forest, on the gravel-walk or in the upper air. On the other you have more hold. He is rarely seen higher than twenty feet above ground, and is strictly an appendage of the shrubbery and the orchard. Even in his unhappy voice there is a domestic tone, closely imitated as it is from Grimalkin. Imitated, we say, for we have never been able fully to believe that this mew is the bird's original note. We shall ever incline to the impression that it is an acquired dialect, picked up in the mere wantonness born of a conscious and exceptional power of mimicry.

E. C. B.


Mrs. Leo Hunter's selection of an "Expiring Frog" as a subject for poetical composition has lately been surpassed by a new Italian poet. The latter, Signer Giovanni Rizzi, has just published at Milan a small volume of sonnets, chiefly ironical in character, in which he[page 258] gives vent to his disgust at the positive and materialistic tendencies of the present day. The theme of the three most remarkable among these productions is that useful but not very æsthetic animal, the hog.

Signer Rizzi is the professor of literature at the military school and the high school for girls in Milan. Not long ago his three sonnets to the hog—or, more literally, the boar (maiale)—appeared in an Italian journal called Illustrazione Italiana, prefaced by a letter to the editor, in which the author stated that as apes, toads and caterpillars have now been triumphantly introduced into literature, he no longer felt any hesitation about bringing forward in the same way his esteemed friend the boar. These three pieces, together with others of the same form and character, have now been published as a book under the title of Un Grido. This work begins with an address to the reader, in which the poet laments the prevailing tendency of public opinion, and protests against what he considers a determined war on all old and honored beliefs and feelings, and a substitution therefor of a vague and revolting materialism. Then come five sonnets to Pietro Aretino, the witty poet and scoffer of the Renaissance era. Aretino is invited to reappear among men, for the world, says Rizzi, has again become worthy of such a man's presence. Leaving Dante to Jesuits, and Beatrice to priests, it has made Aretino its favorite model, and has, consequently, said farewell to everything resembling shame. In the last of these five sonnets the poet addresses his beloved thus: "And we too, O Love! do we still keep holy honor, home, faith, prayer, truth and noble sorrow?"

After the five sonnets to Aretino come the three to the boar (Al Maiale) which have already been mentioned. Here the author enters into a mock glorification of that animal, and declares himself ready to give up all pretensions to any superiority over it. He proceeds to "swear eternal friendship" with it, and offers it his hand to solemnize the compact; but, suddenly remembering that such old-fashioned practices must be very distasteful to his new friend, he immediately apologizes for having conformed to such a ridiculous old prejudice. He does not expect his "long-lost brother" to make any effort to elevate himself or to change his swinish nature in any particular, but thinks we should all bring ourselves down to the boar's mental and physical level as soon as we can. The closing verses of the third sonnet may be freely rendered as follows:

And when, at last, the grave shall close above us,

No solemn prayer our resting-place should hallow,

No flowers be strewn by hands of those that love us.

But if, at times, you'll come where we are lying,

O worthy friend! upon our graves to wallow,

That thought should give us joy when we are dying.

The last piece in this little collection is addressed to "The Birds of my Garden" (Agli Uccelletti del mio Giardino). Though inferior to the others in boldness and originality of conception, it is much more graceful and attractive, and shows that the writer is by no means deficient in elegance of style and delicacy of treatment.

Signor Rizzi may, it is probable, be taken as a type of a large class among his countrymen, to which the iconoclastic tendencies of our time seem strange and horrible. Indeed, it is possible that he is one of the earliest heralds of a widespread reaction in opinion and feeling throughout his native land. At any rate, his poems can hardly fail to become popular, and to produce some effect among a people so susceptible to the influences of witty and sarcastic poetry as are the Italians even at this day.

W. W. C.


"Call me, Washington, when they are going to bury him," said the doctor.

George Washington, evidently not quite sure that he understood the doctor, said with an interrogative glance, "You like—see him—dead man—put in ground?" And, pointing downward and alternately bending and extending one knee, he made a semblance of delving.

The doctor nodded.

"Good! Me tell you."

[page 259]

"I want to go, Washington," said the lieutenant.

"And I too," said the lieutenant's guest, myself.

George Washington was one of the Nez Percé prisoners surrendered by Joseph to General Miles after the battle of Bear-Paw Mountain. The dead man was one of the wounded in that action who died from his wounds, aggravated, no doubt, by fatigue and exposure while the prisoners were marching to the east in the winter of 1877 under orders from the War Department. George spoke a few words of English, and was quite an intelligent Indian. He was very clean—for an Indian—and was comfortably clad.

"How soon?" asked the doctor.

"He—call me—when he ready: me call you."

"Good! Then I shall go to dinner."

"We had better eat our dinner," said the lieutenant: "it is growing late.—Come and have some dinner, Washington."

Washington seemed not quite sure that he understood correctly. He had a modest distrust of his English. In the matter of an invitation to dinner doubt is admissible. "You—want me—" here George Washington tapped himself on the savage breast—"eat—with you?" And here, gracefully reversing his hand, with the index extended, he touched the lieutenant on the civilized bosom.

"Yes: come in."

We three entered the tent. As it was an ordinary "A" tent, with a sheet-iron stove in it, it was pretty full with the addition of two good-sized white men and an Indian of no contemptible proportions. The lieutenant and I sat on the blankets, camp-fashion: Washington sat on my heavy riding-boots, with the stove perforce between his legs.

"Good wahrrm!" ejaculated George Washington, hugging the stove.

"Hustleburger!" shouted the lieutenant.

"Yes, sir."

"George Washington will take dinner with us. Set the table for three."

"All right, sir, lieutenant!"

"Good man—docther," Washington remarked, nodding several times to emphasize his observation: "ver'—good man—docther."

We eagerly assented, pleased to see that the Indian appreciated the doctor's kindness to his people.

Rabelais's quarter of an hour began to hang heavily on us. Washington was equal to the occasion: taking a survey of the tent, he nodded approvingly and remarked, "Good tepee."

"Not bad this weather."

"Good eyes!" said Washington in a burst of enthusiasm.

These two simple words in their Homeric immensity of expression meant all this: "The fire made on the ground in our Indian lodges fills them with continual smoke, and consequently we Indians suffer very much from sore eyes. Now, your little stove, while it warms the tent much better than a fire, does not smoke, and your eyes are not injured."

Our habitual table, a small box, was not constructed on the extension plan. It would not accommodate three. So Hustleburger handed directly to each guest a tin cup of macaroni soup. Washington disposed of the liquid in a very short time, but the elusive nature of the macaroni rather troubled him. We showed him how to overcome its slippery tendency. Smacking his lips, he said, with a broad smile, "Good! What you call him?"


"Maclony? Good! Maclony—maclony." he continued, repeating the word to fix it in his memory.

Our only vegetable was some canned asparagus. Washington was delighted with it after he had been initiated into the mystery of its consumption. He did not stop at the white. "What you call—him?"


"Spalagus—spalagus? Goo-oo-d!"

"Did you never eat asparagus before, Washington?"

"Never eat him—nev' see him. Spalagus—spalagus! Goo-oo-d!"

Hustleburger now brought in the dessert, which consisted of canned currant-jelly, served in the can. Each guest[page 260] helped himself from the original package, using a "hard tack" for a dessert-plate, more antiquo. Washington was bidden to help himself. Before doing so, however, he wished to test the substance placed before him, and, taking a little on the end of his spoon, he carried it to his lips. Then an expression of intense enjoyment overspread his dusky face; his black eyes sparkled like diamonds; his full lips were wreathed in a smile. "Ah! goo-oo-oo-d!" he cried, with a mouthful of o's. "What you call him?"


"Yelly? Ah! yelly goo-oo-ood! Me—like—yelly—much." And he helped himself plentifully.

A smell of burning woollen became unpleasantly noticeable. Washington still had the stove between his legs: it was red-hot. He never moved, but ate "yelly."

"Washington, you're burning!" cried the lieutenant.

Washington smiled. "Much wah-r-rum!" he remarked in the coolest manner possible.

"Throw open the front, then."

A long, shrill cry now rang through the silence and the darkness. Washington jumped up suddenly, ran out of the tent, and uttered a cry in response so similar that it might pass for an echo of the first. Then, returning, he said, "He call. He—ready—put—dead man—down. Come! Me—come back—eat—yelly."

Fortunately, the Indian camp was not far off. The night was pitch-dark. Led by Washington, we got through the thick underbrush without much trouble. The grave was dug near the water's edge, where the Missouri and the Yellowstone, meeting, form an angle. A large fire of dry cottonwood at the head of the grave fitfully lit up the dismal scene. A bundle of blankets and buffalo-robes lay by the open grave. Some Indians of both sexes with bowed and blanketed heads stood near it. Washington was evidently awaited. As soon as he appeared a little hand-bell was rung, and a number of dark, shrouded figures with covered faces crept forth like shadows from the lodges throughout the camp and crowded around the grave, a mute and gloomy throng.

The bell was rung again, and the dark crowd became motionless as statues. Then Washington in a mournful monotone repeated what I supposed to be prayers for the dead. At the end of each prayer the little bell was rung and responses came out of the depths of the surrounding darkness. Then the squaws chanted a wild funeral song in tones of surpassing plaintiveness. At its close the bell tinkled once more, and the figures that surrounded the grave vanished as darkly as they came. Washington, one or two warriors and ourselves alone remained.

"You like—see—him—dead man?" asked Washington.

The question was addressed to me.

I never want to look on a dead face if I can avoid it; so with thanks I declined. Washington seemed a little disappointed, as if he considered we showed a somewhat uncourteous want of interest in the deceased. Noticing this, the lieutenant said he would like to see the dead man's face, and, preceded by Washington, we moved toward the bundle of blankets and buffalo-robes that lay by the side of the grave. Washington threw back the buffalo-robes, and a bright gleam of the cottonwood fire disclosed the upturned face of the dead Nez Percé and lightened up the long, thick locks of glossy blue-black hair. It was the face of a man about thirty—bold, clear-cut features and long, aquiline nose: a good face and a strong face it seemed in death.

When we had looked upon the rigid features a few moments, Washington covered the face of his dead brother. The body, coffined in blankets and skins, was placed in the grave, and the men began to throw the earth upon it.

"That's—all," said Washington. "Come!"

And he moved away toward our tent.

He seemed to think some apology necessary for the simplicity of the ceremonial. "If," said he, "Chapman [the interpreter]—he tell—we sleep here to-morrow—we put dead man—in ground—when[page 261] sun he ver' litt'; an' Yoseph he come—an' you come—an' I come—all come—white man an' Injun."

"He was a fine-looking young man," I remarked, alluding to the dead Indian.

Washington was pleased by the compliment to his departed brother. He stopped short, and, turning toward me, said, "Yes, he fine young man—good man—good young man."

"I thought he was rather an oldish man," remarked the lieutenant.

"No, no," replied Washington, touching his head—"all black hairs—no white hairs. Good young man."

And Washington led the way back toward the lieutenant's tent, saying, "Let us go—eat up—yelly."

J. T.


A want of the day is some good fugitive poetry: bad is superabundant. The demand is for short and telling effusions in plain, direct and intelligible English, speaking to feelings possessed by everybody, and placing incidents, scenes and creatures, familiar or exceptional, in a poetic light, bright and warm rather than fierce or dazzling. The millions are waiting to be stirred and charmed, and will be very thankful to the singer who shall do it for them. Studied obscurity of thought and language, verbal finicalities and conceits, and mere ingenuities of any kind, rhythmic, mental or sentimental, will not meet the occasion: that sort of thing is overdone already. It is the "swollen imposthume" of refinement, an excrescence on culture, a penalty of which we have suffered enough. The Heliconian streams which are not deep, but only dark, must run dry if they cannot run clear. Sparkling and pellucid rills, wherein we can all see our own-selves and trace our own dreams, irradiated with light like the flickering of gems, and set off with rich foil, are those to attract the popular eye. Genuine humor, pathos, elevation and delicacy of fancy seek no disguise, but aim at the utmost simplicity of expression. Inversions, like affectation in every shape, are foreign to them. True songsters, like the birds, warble to be heard, understood and loved, and not to astonish or puzzle.

We read the other day, duly headed "For the —— ——," and signed with the contributor's name and place of residence, Wolfe's well-known lines to his wife, the one good thing preserved of him, and better, in our humble judgment, than those on the burial of Moore. The wearer of borrowed plumes was obviously confident that his theft would not be detected, readers of to-day having been so long unfamiliar with poetry of that character as to be sure to set it down as original and hail the reviver of it as a new light. Perhaps he may turn out to have been right in that impression, and figure as the herald, if not an active inaugurator, of a new era of taste in verse. He cannot remain the only practical asserter of the theory that it is better to steal good poetry than to write bad. Should his followers, however, shrink from downright theft, they might consent to shine as adapters. Some who are masters of English undefiled might help the cause by translating some of the best bits of Browning, Swinburne and Rossetti, to say nothing of Tennyson, who has gradually constructed a dialect of his own and trained us to understand it.

By fugitive poetry we mean the work of those usually classed as song-writers and lyrists, leaving out the big guns, if we have had any of the latter tribe since Milton, who was himself strongest in short poems. Most modern poets have made their début in the periodical press, and those who did not have shown a painful tendency to run to epic. The age respectfully declines epics.

We should not despair of the suggested revival. Ours is not the first period that has suffered under the dealers in concetti. They have had things somewhat their own way before—in the century which included Spenser and Donne, for instance. Our euphuists may pass away like those of the Elizabethan era, or, like the best of them, live in spite of faults with which they were gratuitously trammelled.

E. B.

[page 262]


Bits of Travel at Home. By H. H. Boston: Roberts Brothers.

The author's present home we should incline to fix in Colorado, but she includes New England and California in her travels, and finds something beautiful to describe wherever she goes within those broad limits. The Yosemite, the Big Trees, the Mormons, the Chinese, the snow-sheds, drawing-room cars, agates, prairie-and mountain-flowers, New Hampshire life and scenery, and an infinity of like material, are readably, and not incongruously, presented in her little book. Population is so sparse and Nature so redundant in the scene of most of her descriptions as to render them sometimes a little lifeless, and oblige her to depend too solely upon her powers of landscape painting with the pen. We miss the human element, as we do in the vast, however luxuriant, pictures of Bierstadt and Moran—artists who preceded her on the same sketching-ground. Not that she fails to make the most of what Nature places before her. Rather, she makes too much of it, and lavishes whole pages on truthful, minute and vivid, but bewildering, detail of mountain, river, rock, plain, plants and sea. She is enraptured, for example, with Lake Tahoe and with the wild flowers of California and Colorado, and enables us to understand why she is so; but the raptures are not shared by the reader, partly for the very reason that they are so elaborately explained. Printer's ink, when used as a pigment or pencil, should be used sparingly, with a few, sharp, clear, bold touches, and without painful finish or niggling. What amplification would not weaken instead of heightening the effect of "the copse-wood gray that waved and wept on Loch Achray"? Breadth, distance and atmosphere are obscured by H. H.'s carefully itemized foregrounds. But the itemizing is done admirably and con amore by one who is a botanist, a poet and an observer. The Great Desert is no desert to her: no square foot of it is barren. Even the sage-brush has a charm, if only from its dim likeness to a miniature olive tree, both being glaucous and hoary. An oasis of irrigated clover on Humboldt River is made a theme for an idyl. The vast rocks, when bare even of moss, are at least rich and various in tint and form, and have plenty of meaning to her.

A traveller between Omaha and San Francisco might well carry this pocket volume as a lorgnette. It will show him what he might otherwise miss, and make more visible to him what he sees. It belongs to a high class of railroad literature, and is in style and matter so full of movement as to suggest the railway to readers by the fireside.

Putnam's Art Handbooks. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons.

This series of manuals for beginners with pencil and palette will include five small books. The two before us treat of "Landscape Painting" and "Sketching from Nature." Both are old acquaintances, reprinted respectively from the thirty-fourth and thirty-eighth London editions. When they first came under our eye, more years ago than we need state, they bore the imprint of a London firm of color-dealers, and were loaded down with advertisements and less direct recommendations of their wares to an extent that rather obscured the valuable and interesting part of the publications. This rubbish has been swept away in the American edition, so that the tyro can get at what he needs to know more readily, and use it with more confidence, than when he was puzzled to distinguish between solid instruction and hollow puffery. The notes added by the American editor are very scant, and yet so sensible as to enhance one's regret at their paucity and meagreness. Directions for the use of pigments and vehicles well enough adapted for the English climate may require modification for ours. Moreover, British artists have not unfrequently, in their methods, shown themselves too prone to sacrifice durability to immediate effect. The list of colors has, too, been enriched by some accessions within the past third of a century which demand mention. Such points should be considered in a new edition of the brochure on landscape painting. Generally speaking, it is a good guide, and may safely be placed in the hands of the young colorist.

The sketcher from Nature will find in the[page 263] other a succinct set of rules clearly stated. He will not need much else if he has a good hand and eye, and the industry and perseverance to use them. He has first to render objects and scenes by simple lines; and to assist him in that the elementary laws of perspective are here laid before him. Some mechanical appliances, such as a small frame that may be carried in the pocket, divided by equidistant wires, vertical and horizontal, and serving, when held before the eye, to fix the relative situation of points in the view, we do not find alluded to. Perhaps they are as well let alone, as corks have been abandoned in the swimming-school.

When the series is completed the whole may well be bound together. Smaller type, thinner paper and less margin would make a book readily portable, containing all that is indispensable to the student, and a good deal besides that the maturer artist will be none the worse for being reminded of. One who has attained some little facility with the pencil might adopt it as a sufficient mentor in the field or in the studio, and accept its guidance in a path to be perfected by his own powers, according to their measure, toward such pleasure, elevation of taste or fortune as art offers. Studies abound everywhere. The ruins, arched bridges and picturesque dwellings and other erections of Europe are but slenderly to be regretted by the American beginner. He has no lack of clouds, rocks, trees, houses, etc., embracing within their contours every possible line and shade. He may even learn precision of line and tint better than his Transatlantic brother, who is apt to be tempted into carelessness by the ragged variety and indecision of the objects offered by his surroundings and nearly unknown here. The broken and wandering touch suggested by the jagged stones of a crumbling castle is not that which one should begin by cultivating. Breadth and firmness in form, color and chiaroscuro are attainments to be first held in view, and never to be lost sight of.

We have often wondered that the technique of art should have so meagre a literature. Its philosophy and poetry have employed many pens, and been exhaustively analyzed, but this has been mostly the work of outsiders—of critics devoid even of the qualification laid down by Disraeli of having failed in the practical exploitation of the field they discuss, but for all that often powerful critics. Artists have rarely been able to paint their pictures in black and white and run them through the press. They cannot so display the infinite gradations that grow upon their canvas, nor trace in words the subtle principles which have presided at the birth of their works and of every part of them. General rules they can lay down, as poets can the elements of their own trade; but these rules are at the command of the veriest daub or rhymester; the manifold development of them to results almost divine remaining, even to those who achieve it in either walk, evasive and untraceable. The masters of verse and art have mapped out for us none of their secrets. The deductions we make from their practice are our deductions, not theirs. Raffaelle, if questioned, could only point to his palette spread with the common colors, and Homer had not even pen and ink. Our versifiers are provided with admirable paper and gold pens, and our artists, young and old, with the colors Elliott once told an inquirer he made his marvellous flesh-tints with—red, blue and yellow.

Adventures of a Consul Abroad. By Luigi Monti. Boston: Lee & Shepard.

This is a didactic or illustrative story, with a moral we find thus laid down on the last page: "Our government sends men abroad who, after hard labor and long experience, learn a complicated, delicate and responsible profession; and no sooner have they learned it, and are able to perform creditably to themselves and the government they represent all its intricate duties, than they are recalled and replaced by inexperienced men, who have to go through the same ordeal, and never stay long enough to be of real service to their country."

The gentleman upon whose shadowy shoulders is placed the heavy task of pointing this dictum is Samuel Sampleton, Esq., teacher of a private seminary on Cape Cod, who gets tired of the young idea and seeks more profitable and expanded fields of labor. He has not, at the outset, the slightest preparation for the duties of the position—that of United States consul at Verdecuerno (a translation of Palermo into "Greenhorn")—or even knowledge of what they are. His utter lack of information in the premises is indeed quite exceptional, especially in a New England teacher. We should have expected an average lad of fourteen in any part of the Union to have[page 264] suspected that a consul would need some acquaintance with the language of the people among whom he was stationed, if not some slight notion of the general routine and purposes of the office. Mr. Sampleton, however, is not lacking in shrewdness and energy, and sets to work manfully, despite the difficulties of his situation, general and special. After several trying years, the comical tribulations of which are graphically set forth, he is just beginning to feel himself at home when he is summarily placed there in another sense by recall. He comes back as poor as he went, save in experience and the languages, and resumes the ferule with the determination not again to abandon it for the pen of the public employé.

It is chiefly to the social side of consular life that Mr. Monti introduces us, and most of the scenes belong to that aspect. The salary, no longer eked out by fees and other perquisites, is much inferior to the emoluments of other consuls at the same port, and the American representative is consequently entirely outshone by his colleagues of other nationalities. A considerable degree of diplomatic style is expected from the corps, and kept up by all but himself. In dinners, equipages, buttons and gold lace, and display of every kind, not merely France, England and Russia, but Denmark and Turkey, leave him deep in the shade. They have consular residences, large offices and reading-rooms, with secretaries, interpreters and the other paraphernalia of a small embassy, while Jonathan nests, with his wife, on the third or fourth flat of a suburban rookery, and uses his dining-room for an office. The sea-captains grumble at having to seek him in such a burrow, and being accorded nothing when they get there beyond the barest official action. He cannot interchange courtesies with the magnates of the city, and thus places himself and the interests of his country, so far as that often potent means of influence goes, at a great disadvantage. A pompous commodore brings an American squadron into port, and is ineffably disgusted at finding his consul utterly unable to do the honors or in any way assist the cruise.

Our author holds that the compensation of these mercantile and quasi-diplomatic agents ought to be largely increased, it being now inadequate as measured either by their labor and responsibility or by the allowances made by other nations, our commercial rivals. Certainly, additional pay in any reasonable proportion would be but a trifle in comparison with the result should it promote the rise of our marine from its present unprecedented state of depression. If consuls will create, or recreate, shipping, and reintroduce the American flag to the numerous foreign ports to which it is becoming each year more and more a stranger, let us by all means have them everywhere and at liberal salaries, with quant. suff. of clerks, assistants, flunkeys, dress-suits for dinner-parties and court-suits for state receptions, and all the other necessaries of an efficient consulate, the want whereof so vexed the soul of Mr. Sampleton. And then let us make fixtures of these gentlemen, with good behavior for their tenure of office, and in the selection of them endeavor to apply abroad the test it seems next to impossible to adhere to at home—honesty, capacity and fidelity.

Books Received.

The Bible for Learners. By Dr. H. Oort and Dr. I. Hooykaas. Volume II. From David to Josiah, from Josiah to the supremacy of the Mosaic Law. Authorized Translation. Boston: Roberts Brothers.

A Vision of the Future: A Series of Papers on Canon Farrar's "Eternal Hope." By Various Divines. (No. 3 of the International Religio-Science Series.) Detroit: Rose-Belford Publishing Co.

The Cincinnati Organ, with a Brief Description of the Cincinnati Music Hall. Edited by George Ward Nichols. Cincinnati: Robert Clarke & Co.

Protection and Revenue in 1877. By William G. Sumner. (Economic Monographs, No. 8.) New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons.

Hallock's American Club List and Sportsman Glossary. By Charles Hallock. New York: Forest and Stream Publishing Co.

Shooting Stars, as observed from the "Sixth Column" of the Times. By W. L. Alden. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons.

Christ, His Nature and Work: A Series of Discourses by Eminent Divines. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons.

Poganuc People: Their Loves and Lives. By Harriet Beecher Stowe. New York: Fords, Howard & Hurlbert.

Children of Nature. By the Earl of Desart. Toronto: Rose-Belford Publishing Co.

Francisco: A Poem. By William Watrous. San Francisco: A. L. Bancroft & Co.

Aspirations of the World. By L. Maria Child. Boston: Roberts Brothers.

Transcriber's Note: The page numbers for pages 161 and 162 are switched due to placement of the image in the original. Only the illustration was on page 161, and the text after it until the page marker for 163 is really on page 162.