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by Arthur Mee, J. A. Hammerton, Eds.

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Title: The Worlds Greatest Books
       Vol. II: Fiction

Author: Arthur Mee, J. A. Hammerton, Eds.

Release Date: January 8, 2004 [EBook #10643]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1


Produced by John Hagerson, Kevin Handy and PG Distributed Proofreaders






Editor and Founder of the Book of Knowledge


Editor of Harmsworth's Universal Encyclopaedia




Table of Contents

    Romany Rye

    Lady Audley's Secret

    Adventures of Mr. Verdant Green

    Jane Eyre

    Wuthering Heights

    Shadow of the Sword

    Holy War
    Pilgrim's Progress


    The Black Prophet

    Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

    Don Quixote

    Peter Schlemihl, the Shadowless Man


    Samuel Brohl & Co.

    No Name
    The Woman in White

    Called Back

    Last of the Mohicans
    The Spy

    John Halifax, Gentleman

    Salathiel, or Tarry Thou Till I Come

    Two Years before the Mast

A Complete Index of THE WORLD'S GREATEST BOOKS will be found at the end of Volume XX.



George Henry Borrow was born at East Dereham, Norfolk, England, July 5, 1803. His father was an army captain, and Borrow's boyhood was spent at military stations in various parts of the kingdom. From his earliest youth he had a taste for roving and fraternising with gipsies and other vagrants. In 1819 he entered a solicitor's office at Norwich. After a long spell of drudgery and literary effort, he went to London in 1824, but left a year later, and for some time afterwards his movements were obscure. For a period of about five years, beginning 1835, he acted as the Bible Society's agent, selling and distributing Bibles in Spain, and in 1842 he published "The Bible in Spain." which appears in another volume of THE WORLD'S GREATEST BOOKS. (See TRAVEL AND ADVENTURE.) "Lavengro," written in 1851, enhanced the fame which Borrow had already secured by his earlier works. The book teems with character sketches drawn from real life in quarters which few could penetrate, and although they are often extremely eccentric, they are never grotesque, and never strike the mind with a sense of merely invented unreality. Here and there occur illuminating outbursts of reflection in philosophic accent which reveal in startling style the working of Borrow's mind. The linguistic lore is phenomenal, as in all his books. But though the wild, passionate scenes make the whole narrative an indescribable phantasmagoria, the diction is always free from turgidity, and from involved periods. Borrow died at Oulton, Suffolk, on July 26, 1881. A mighty athlete, an inveterate wanderer, a philological enthusiast, and a man of large-hearted simplicity mingled with violent prejudices, he was one of the most original and engaging personalities of nineteenth century English literature.

I.--The Scholar, the Gipsy, the Priest

On an evening of July, in the year 18--, at East D------, a beautiful little town in East Anglia, I first saw the light. My father, a Cornishman, after serving many years in the Line, at last entered as captain in a militia regiment. My mother, a strikingly handsome woman, was of the Huguenot race. I was not the only child of my parents, for I had a brother three years older than myself. He was a beautiful boy with much greater mental ability than I possessed, and he, with the greatest affection, indulged me in every possible way. Alas, his was an early and a foreign grave!

I have been a wanderer the greater part of my life, being the son of a soldier, who, unable to afford the support of two homes, was accompanied by his family wherever he went. A lover of books and of retired corners, I was as a child in the habit of fleeing from society. The first book that fascinated me was one of Defoe's. But those early days were stirring times, for England was then engaged in the struggle with Napoleon.

I remember strange sights, such as the scenes at Norman Cross, a station or prison where some six thousand French prisoners were immured. And vividly impressed on my memory is my intercourse with an extraordinary old man, a snake-catcher, who thrilled me with the recitals of his experiences. He declared that the vipers had a king, a terrible creature, which he had encountered, and from which he had managed to escape. After telling me that strange story of the king of the vipers, he gave me a viper which he had tamed, and had rendered harmless by extracting its fangs. I fed it with milk, and frequently carried it abroad with me in my walks.

One day on my rambles I entered a green lane I had never seen before. Seeing an odd-looking low tent or booth, I advanced towards it. Beside it were two light carts, and near by two or three lean ponies cropped the grass. Suddenly the two inmates, a man and a woman, both wild and forbidding figures, rushed out, alarmed at my presence, and commenced abusing me as an intruder. They threatened to fling me into the pond over the hedge.

I defied them to touch me, and, as I did so, made a motion well understood by the viper that lay hid in my bosom. The reptile instantly lifted its head and stared at my enemies with its glittering eyes. The woman, in amazed terror, retreated to the tent, and the man stood like one transfixed. Presently the two commenced talking to each other in what to me sounded like French, and next, in a conciliating tone, they offered me a peculiar sweetmeat, which I accepted. A peaceable conversation ensued, during which they cordially invited me to join their party and to become one of them.

The interview was rudely interrupted. Hoofs were heard, and the next moment a man rode up and addressed words to the gipsies which produced a startling effect. In a few minutes, from different directions, came swarthy men and women. Hastily they harnessed the ponies and took down the tent, and packed the carts, and in a remarkably brief space of time the party rode off with the utmost speed.

Three years passed, during which I increased considerably in stature and strength, and, let us hope, improved in mind. For at school I had learnt the whole of Lilly's "Latin Grammar"; but I was very ignorant of figures. Our regiment was moved to Edinburgh, where the castle was a garrison for soldiers. In that city I and my brother were sent to the high school. Here the scholars were constantly fighting, though no great harm was done. I had seen deaths happen through fights at school in England.

I became a daring cragsman, a character to which an English lad can seldom aspire, for in England there are neither crags nor mountains. The Scots are expert climbers, and I was now a Scot in most things, particularly the language. The castle in which I dwelt stood on a craggy rock, to scale which was my favourite diversion.

In the autumn of 1815, when the war with Napoleon was ended, we were ordered to Ireland, where at school I read Latin and Greek with a nice old clergyman, and of an evening studied French and Italian with a banished priest, Italian being my favourite.

It was in a horse fair I came across Jasper Petulengro, a young gipsy of whom I had caught sight in the gipsy camp I have already alluded to. He was amazed to see me, and in the most effusively friendly way claimed me as a "pal," calling me Sapengro, or "snake-master," in allusion, he said, to the viper incident. He said he was also called Pharaoh, and was the horse-master of the camp.

From this time I had frequent interviews with Jasper. He taught me much Romany, and introduced me to Tawno Chikno, the biggest man of the gipsy nation, and to Mrs. Chikno. These stood to him as parents, for his own were banished. I soon found that in the tents I had become acquainted with a most interesting people. With their language I was fascinated, though at first I had taken it for mere gibberish. My rapid progress astonished and delighted Jasper. "We'll no longer call you Sapengro, brother," said he, "but Lavengro, which in the language of the gorgios meaneth word-master." And Jasper's wife actually proposed that I should marry her sister.

The gipsies departed for England. I was now sixteen, and continued in the house of my parents, passing my time chiefly in philological pursuits. But it was high time that I should adopt some profession. My father would gladly have seen me enter the Church, but feared I was too erratic. So I was put to the law, but while remaining a novice at that pursuit, I became a perfect master of the Welsh language. My father soon began to feel that he had made a mistake in the choice of a profession for me.

My elder brother, who had cultivated a great taste for painting, told me one evening that father had given him £150 and his blessing, and that he was going to London to improve himself in his art.

My father was taken ill with severe attacks of gout, and, in a touching conversation, assured me that his end was approaching. Before that sad event happened, my brother, whom he longed to see, arrived home. My father died with the name of Christ on his lips. The brave old soldier, during intervals between his attacks, had told me more of his life than I had ever learned before, and I was amazed to find how much he knew and had seen. He had talked with King George, and had known Wellington, and was the friend of Townshend, who, when Wolfe fell, led the British grenadiers against the shrinking regiments of Montcalm.

II.--An Adventure with a Publisher

One damp, misty March morning, I dismounted from the top of a coach in the yard of a London inn. Delivering my scanty baggage to a porter, I followed him to a lodging prepared for me by an acquaintance. It consisted of a small room in which I was to sit, and a smaller one still in which I was to sleep.

Having breakfasted comfortably by a good fire, I sallied forth and easily found my way to the place I was in quest of, for it was scarcely ten minutes' walk distant. I was cordially received by the big man to whom some of my productions had been sent by a kind friend, and to whom he had given me a letter of introduction, which was respectfully read. But he informed me that he was selling his publishing business, and so could not make use of my literary help. He gave me counsel, however, especially advising me to write some evangelical tales, in the style of the "Dairyman's Daughter." As I told him I had never heard of that work, he said: "Then, sir, procure it by all means." Much more conversation ensued, during which the publisher told me that he purposed continuing to issue once a month his magazine, the "Oxford Review," and to this he proposed that I should attempt to contribute. As I was going away he invited me to dine with him on the ensuing Sunday.

On Sunday I was punctual to my appointment with the publisher. I found that for twenty years he had taken no animal food and no wine. After some talk he requested me to compile six volumes of Newgate lives and trials, of a thousand pages each, the remuneration to be £50 at the completion of the work. I was also to make myself generally useful to the "Review," and, furthermore, to translate into German a book of philosophy which he had written. Then he dismissed me, saying that, though he never went to church, he spent much of every Sunday afternoon alone, musing on the magnificence of Nature and the moral dignity of man.

I compiled the "Chronicles of Newgate," reviewed books for the "Review," and occasionally tried my best to translate into German portions of the publisher's philosophy. But the "Review" did not prove a successful speculation, and with its decease its corps of writers broke up. I was paid, not in cash, but in bills, one payable at twelve, the other at eighteen months after date. It was a long time before I could turn these bills to any account. At last I found a person willing to cash them at a discount of only thirty per cent.

By the month of October I had accomplished about two-thirds of the compilation of the Newgate lives, and had also made some progress with the German translation. But about this time I had begun to see very clearly that it was impossible that our connection would be of long duration; yet, in the event of my leaving the big man, what had I to offer another publisher? I returned to my labour, finished the German translation, got paid in the usual style, and left that employer.

III.--The Spirit of Stonehenge

One morning I discovered that my whole worldly wealth was reduced to a single half-crown, and throughout that day I walked about in considerable distress of mind. By a most singular chance I again came across my friend Petulengro in a fair into which I happened to wander when walking by the side of the river beyond London. My gipsy friend was seated with several men, carousing beside a small cask. He sprang up, greeting me cordially, and we chatted in Romany as we walked about together. Questioning me closely, he soon discovered that by that time I had only eighteen pence in my pocket.

Said Jasper: "I, too, have been in the big city; but I have not been writing books. I have fought in the ring. I have fifty pounds in my pocket, and I have much more in the world. Brother, there is considerable difference between us." But he could not prevail on me to accept or to borrow money, for I said that if I could not earn, I would starve. "Come and stay with us," said he. "Our tents and horses are on the other side of yonder wooded hill. We shall all be glad of your company, especially myself and my wife, Pakomovna."

I declined the kind invitation and walked on. Returning to the great city, I suddenly found myself outside the shop of a publisher to whom I had vainly applied some time before, in the hope of selling some of my writings. As I looked listlessly at the window, I observed a paper affixed to the glass, on which was written in a fair round hand, "A Novel or Tale is much wanted." I at once resolved to go to work to produce what was thus solicited. But what should the tale be about? After cogitating at my lodging, with bread and water before me, I concluded that I would write an entirely fictitious narrative called "The Life and Adventures of Joseph Sell, the Great Traveller." This Joseph Sell was an imaginary personage who had come into my head.

I seized pen and paper, but soon gave up the task of outlining the story, for the scenes flitted in bewildering fashion before my imagination. Yet, before morning, as I lay long awake, I had sketched the whole work on the tablets of my mind. Next day I partook of bread and water, and before night had completed pages of Joseph Sell, and added pages in varying quantity day by day, until my enterprise was finished.

"To-morrow for the bookseller! Oh, me!" I exclaimed, as I lay down to rest.

On arriving at the shop, I saw to my delight that the paper was still in the window. As I entered, a ladylike woman of about thirty came from the back parlour to ask my business. After my explanation, she requested me, as her husband was out, to leave the MS. with her, and to call again the next day at eleven. At that hour I duly appeared, and was greeted with a cordial reception. "I think your book will do," said the bookseller. After some negotiation, I was paid £20 on the spot, and departed with a light heart. Reader, amidst life's difficulties, should you ever be tempted to despair, call to mind these experiences of Lavengro. There are few positions, however difficult, from which dogged resolution and perseverance will not liberate you.

I had long determined to leave London, as my health had become much impaired. My preparations were soon made, and I set out to travel on foot. In about two hours I had cleared the great city, and was in a broad and excellent road, leading I knew not whither. In the evening, feeling weary, I thought of putting up at an inn, but was induced to take a seat in a coach, paying sixteen shillings for the fare. At dawn of day I was roused from a broken slumber and bidden to alight, and found myself close to a moorland. Walking on and on, I at length reached a circle of colossal stones.

The spirit of Stonehenge was upon me. As I reclined under the great transverse stone, in the middle of the gateway of giants, I heard the tinkling of bells, and presently a large flock of sheep came browsing along, and several entered the circle. Soon a man also came up. In a friendly talk, the young shepherd told me that the people of the plain believed that thousands of men had brought the stones from Ireland, to make a temple in which to worship God.

"But," said I, "our forefathers slaughtered the men who raised the stones, and left not one stone on another."

"Yes, they did," said the shepherd, looking aloft at the great transverse stone.

"And it is well that they did," answered I, "for whenever that stone, which English hands never raised, is by English hands thrown down, woe to the English race. Spare it, English. Hengist spared it."

We parted, and I wandered off to Salisbury, the city of the spire. There I stayed two days, spending my time as best I could, and then walked forth for several days, during which nothing happened worthy of notice, but the weather was brilliant, and my health had greatly improved.

Coming one day to a small countryside cottage, I saw scrawled over the door, "Good beer sold here." Being overcome with thirst, I went in to taste the beverage. Along the wall opposite where I sat in the well-sanded kitchen was the most disconsolate family I had ever seen, consisting of a tinker, his wife, a pretty-looking woman, who had evidently been crying, and a ragged boy and girl. I treated them to a large measure of beer, and in a few minutes the tinker was telling me his history. That conversation ended very curiously, for I purchased for five pounds ten shillings the man's whole equipment. It included his stock-in-trade, and his pony and cart. Of the landlady I purchased sundry provisions, and also a waggoner's frock, gave the horse a little feed of corn, and departed.

IV.--The Flaming Tinman

At three hours past noon I thus started to travel as a tinker. I was absolutely indifferent as to the direction of my journey. Coming to no hostelry, I pitched my little tent after nightfall in a waste land amongst some bushes, and kindled a fire in a convenient spot with sticks which I gathered. For a few days I practiced my new craft by trying to mend two kettles and a frying-pan, remaining in my little camp. Few folk passed by. But soon some exciting incidents happened. My quarters were one morning suddenly invaded by a young Romany girl, who advanced towards me, after closely scanning me, singing a gipsy song:

The Romany chi
And the Romany chal
Shall jaw tasaulor
To drab the bawlor,
And dook the gry
Of the farming rye.

A very pretty song, thought I, falling hard to work again on my kettle; a very pretty song, which bodes the farmers much good. Let them look to their cattle.

"All alone here, brother?" said a voice close to me, in sharp, but not disagreeable tones.

A talk ensued, in which the girl discovered that I knew how to speak Romany, and it ended in my presenting her with the kettle.

"Parraco tute--that is, I thank you, brother. The rikkeni kekaubi is now mine. O, rare, I thank you kindly, brother!"

Presently she came towards me, stared me full in the face, saying to herself, "Grey, tall, and talks Romany!" In her countenance there was an expression I had not seen before, which struck me as being composed of fear, curiosity, and deepest hate. It was only momentary, and was succeeded by one smiling, frank, and open. "Good-bye, tall brother," said she, and she departed, singing the same song.

On the evening of the next day, after I had been with my pony and cart strolling through several villages, and had succeeded in collecting several kettles which I was to mend, I returned to my little camp, lit my fire, and ate my frugal meal. Then, after looking for some time at the stars, I entered my tent, lay down on my pallet, and went to sleep. Two more days passed without momentous incidents, but on the third evening the girl reappeared, bringing me two cakes, one of which she offered to eat herself, if I would eat the other. They were the gift to me of her grandmother, as a token of friendship. Incautiously I ate a portion to please the maiden. She eagerly watched as I did so. But I paid dearly indeed for my simplicity. I was in a short time seized with the most painful sensations, and was speedily prostrate in helpless agonies.

While I was in this alarming condition the grandmother appeared, and began to taunt me with the utmost malignity. She was Mrs. Herne, "the hairy one," who had conceived inveterate spite against me at the time when Petulengro had proposed that I should marry his wife's sister. This poison had been administered to inflict on me the vengeance she had not ceased to meditate.

My life was in real peril, but I was fortunately delivered by a timely and providential interposition. The malignant old gipsy woman and her granddaughter were scared as they watched my sufferings by hearing the sound of travellers approaching. Two wayfarers came along, one of whom happened to be a kind and skillful doctor. He saved my life by drastic remedies.

The next that I heard of Mrs. Herne was, as Petulengro told me when we again met, that she had hanged herself, the girl finding her suspended from a tree. That announcement was accompanied by an unexpected challenge from my friend Jasper to fight him. He declared that as she was his relative, and I had been the cause of her destruction, there was no escape from the necessity of fighting. My plea that there was no inclination on my part for such a combat was of no avail. Accordingly we fought for half an hour, when suddenly Petulengro exclaimed: "Brother, there is much blood on your face; I think enough has been done in the affair of the old woman."

So the struggle ended, and my Romany friend once more pressed me to join his tribe in their camp and in their life. I declined the offer, for I had resolved to practice yet another calling, the trade of a blacksmith. I could do so, for amongst the stock-in-trade I had purchased from the tinker was a small forge, with an anvil and hammers.

It has always struck me that there is something poetical about a forge. I believe that the life of any blacksmith, especially a rural one, would afford material for a highly poetical treatise. But a rude stop was put to my dream. One morning, a brutal-looking ruffian, whom I had met before and recognised as a character known as the Flaming Tinman, appeared on the scene, accusing me with fearful oaths of trespassing on his ground. After volleys of abuse, he attacked me, and a fearful fight ensued, in which he was not the victor, for in one of his terrific lunges he slipped, and a blow which I was aiming happened to strike him behind the ear. He fell senseless. Two women were with him, one, a vulgar, coarse creature, his wife; the other a tall, fine young woman, who travelled with them for company, doing business of her own with a donkey and cart, selling merchandise.

While I was bringing water from a spring in order to seek to revive the Flaming Tinman, his wife and the young woman violently quarrelled, for the latter took my part vehemently. When at length my enemy recovered sufficiently to look about him, and then to stand up, I found that his wife had put an open knife in his hand. But his intention could not be carried out, for his right hand was injured in the fight, and was for the time useless, as he quickly realised.

The couple presently departed, cursing me and the young woman, who remained behind in the little camp, and, as I was in an exhausted state, offered to make tea by the camp fire. While we were taking the repast, she told me the story of her life. Her name was Isopel Berners, and though she believed that she had come of a good stock, she was born in a workhouse. When old enough, she had entered the service of a kind widow, who travelled with small merchandise. After the death of her mistress, Isopel carried on the same avocation. Being friendless, and falling in with the Flaming Tinman and his wife, she had associated with them, yet acknowledged that she had found them to be bad people.

Time passed on. Isopel and I lived still in the dingle, occupying our separate tents. She went to and fro on her business, and I went on short excursions. Her company, when she happened to be in camp, was very entertaining, for she had wandered in all parts of England and Wales. For recreation, I taught her a great deal of Armenian, much of which was like the gipsy tongue. She had a kind heart, and was an upright character. She often asked me questions about America, for she had an idea she would like to go there. But as I had never crossed the sea to that country, I could only tell her what I had heard about it.

The Romany Rye

In this work, published in two volumes in 1857, George Borrow continued the "kind of biography in the Robinson Crusoe style" which he had begun in the three volumes of "Lavengro," issued six years earlier. "Romany Rye" is described as a sequel to "Lavengro," and takes up that story with the author and his friend Isopel Berners encamped side by side in the Mumpers' Dingle, whither the gipsies, Mr. and Mrs. Petulengro and their relations, shortly afterwards arrive. The book consists of a succession of episodes, without plot, the sole connecting thread being Borrow's personality as figuring in them. Much of the "Romany Rye" was written at Oulton Broad, where, after his marriage in 1840, Borrow lived until he removed to Hereford Square, Brompton. At Oulton, it is worthy of record, gipsies were allowed to pitch their tents, the author of "Romany Rye" and "Lavengro" mingling freely with them. As a novel, the "Romany Rye" is preferred by many readers to any of Borrow's other works.

I.--The Roving Life

It was, as usual, a brilliant morning, the dewy blades of the rye-grass which covered the plain sparkled brightly in the beams of the sun, which had probably been about two hours above the horizon. Near the mouth of the dingle--Mumpers' Dingle, near Wittenhall, Staffordshire--where my friend Isopel Berners and I, the travelling tinker, were encamped side by side, a rather numerous body of my ancient friends and allies occupied the ground. About five yards on the right, Mr. Petulengro was busily employed in erecting his tent; he held in his hand an iron bar, sharp at the bottom, with a kind of arm projecting from the top for the purpose of supporting a kettle or cauldron over the fire. With the sharp end of this he was making holes in the earth at about twenty inches distance from each other, into which he inserted certain long rods with a considerable bend towards the top, which constituted the timbers of the tent and the supporters of the canvas. Mrs. Petulengro and a female with a crutch in her hand, whom I recognised as Mrs. Chikno, sat near him on the ground.

"Here we are, brother," said Mr. Petulengro. "Here we are, and plenty of us."

"I am glad to see you all," said I; "and particularly you, madam," said I, making a bow to Mrs. Petulengro, "and you also, madam," taking off my hat to Mrs. Chikno.

"Good-day to you, sir," said Mrs. Petulengro. "You look as usual, charmingly, and speak so, too; you have not forgot your manners."

"It is not all gold that glitters," said Mrs. Chikno. "However, good-morrow to you, young rye."

"I am come on an errand," said I. "Isopel Berners, down in the dell there, requests the pleasure of Mr. and Mrs. Petulengro's company at breakfast. She will be happy also to see you, madam," said I, addressing Mrs. Chikno.

"Is that young female your wife, young man?" said Mrs. Chikno.

"My wife?" said I.

"Yes, young man, your wife--your lawful certificated wife?"

"No," said I. "She is not my wife."

"Then I will not visit with her," said Mrs. Chikno. "I countenance nothing in the roving line."

"What do you mean by the roving line?" I demanded.

"What do I mean by the roving line? Why, by it I mean such conduct as is not tatcheno. When ryes and rawnies lives together in dingles, without being certificated, I call such behaviour being tolerably deep in the roving line, everything savouring of which I am determined not to sanctify. I have suffered too much by my own certificated husband's outbreaks in that line to afford anything of the kind the slightest shadow of countenance."

"It is hard that people may not live in dingles together without being suspected of doing wrong," said I.

"So it is," said Mrs. Petulengro, interposing. "I am suspicious of nobody, not even of my own husband, whom some people would think I have a right to be suspicious of, seeing that on his account I once refused a lord. I always allows him an agreeable latitude to go where he pleases. But I have had the advantage of keeping good company, and therefore----"

"Meklis," said Mrs. Chikno, "pray drop all that, sister; I believe I have kept as good company as yourself; and with respect to that offer with which you frequently fatigue those who keeps company with you, I believe, after all, it was something in the roving and uncertificated line."

II.--The Parting of the Ways

Belle was sitting before the fire, at which the kettle was boiling.

"Were you waiting for me?" I inquired.

"Yes," said Belle.

"That was very kind," said I.

"Not half so kind," said she, "as it was of you to get everything ready for me in the dead of last night."

After tea, we resumed our study of Armenian. "First of all, tell me," said Belle, "what a verb is?"

"A part of speech," said I, "which, according to the dictionary, signifies some action or passion. For example: I command you, or I hate you."

"I have given you no cause to hate me," said Belle, looking me sorrowfully in the face.

"I was merely giving two examples," said I. "In Armenian, there are four conjugations of verbs; the first ends in al, the second in yel, the third in oul, and the fourth in il. Now, have you understood me?"

"I am afraid, indeed, it will all end ill," said Belle.

"Let us have no unprofitable interruptions," said I. "Come, we will begin with the verb hntal, a verb of the first conjugation, which signifies rejoice. Come along. Hntam, I rejoice; hntas, thou rejoicest. Why don't you follow, Belle?"

"I'm sure I don't rejoice, whatever you may do," said Belle.

"The chief difficulty, Belle," said I, "that I find in teaching you the Armenian grammar proceeds from your applying to yourself and me every example I give."

"I can't bear this much longer," said Belle.

"Keep yourself quiet," said I. "We will skip hntal and proceed to the second conjugation. Belle, I will now select for you to conjugate the prettiest verb in Armenian--the verb siriel. Here is the present tense: siriem, siries, sirè, siriemk, sirèk, sirien. Come on, Belle, and say 'siriem.'"

Belle hesitated. "You must admit, Belle, it is much softer than hntam."

"It is so," said Belle, "and to oblige you, I will say 'siriem.'"

"Very well indeed, Belle," said I. "And now, to show you how verbs act upon pronouns, I will say 'siriem zkiez.' Please to repeat 'siriem zkiez.'"

"'Siriem zkiez!'" said Belle. "That last word is very hard to say."

"Sorry that you think so, Belle," said I. "Now please to say 'siria zis.'" Belle did so.

"Now say 'yerani thè sirèir zis,'" said I.

"'Yerani thè sirèir zis,'" said Belle.

"Capital!" said I. "You have now said, 'I love you--love me--ah! would that you would love me!'"

"And I have said all these things?"

"You have said them in Armenian," said I.

"I would have said them in no language that I understood; and it was very wrong of you to take advantage of my ignorance and make me say such things."

"Why so?" said I. "If you said them, I said them, too."

"You did so," said Belle; "but I believe you were merely bantering and jeering."

"As I told you before, Belle," said I, "the chief difficulty which I find in teaching you Armenian proceeds from your persisting in applying to yourself and me every example I give."

"Then you meant nothing, after all?" said Belle, raising her voice.

"Let us proceed: sirietsi, I loved."

"You never loved anyone but yourself," said Belle; "and what's more----"

"Sirietsits, I will love," said I; "sirietsies, thou wilt love."

"Never one so thoroughly heartless."

"I tell you what, Belle--you are becoming intolerable. But we will change the verb. You would hardly believe, Belle," said I, "that the Armenian is in some respects closely connected with the Irish, but so it is. For example: that word parghatsoutsaniem is evidently derived from the same root as fear-gaim, which, in Irish, is as much as to say, 'I vex.'"

"You do, indeed," said Belle, sobbing.

"But how do you account for it?"

"Oh, man, man!" cried Belle, bursting into tears, "for what purpose do you ask a poor ignorant girl such a question, unless it be to vex and irritate her? If you wish to display your learning, do so to the wise and instructed, and not to me, who can scarcely read or write."

"I am sorry to see you take on so, dear Belle," said I. "I had no idea of making you cry. Come, I beg your pardon; what more can I do? Come, cheer up, Belle. You were talking of parting; don't let us part, but depart, and that together."

"Our ways lie different," said Belle.

"I don't see why they should," said I. "Come, let us be off to America together."

"To America together?" said Belle.

"Yes," said I; "where we will settle down in some forest, and conjugate the verb siriel conjugally."

"Conjugally?" said Belle.

"Yes; as man and wife in America."

"You are jesting, as usual," said Belle.

"Not I, indeed. Come, Belle, make up your mind, and let us be off to America."

"I don't think you are jesting," said Belle; "but I can hardly entertain your offers; however, young man, I thank you. I will say nothing more at present. I must have time to consider."

Next day, when I got up to go with Mr. Petulengro to the fair, on leaving my tent I observed Belle, entirely dressed, standing close to her own little encampment.

"Dear me," said I. "I little expected to find you up so early."

"I merely lay down in my things," said Belle; "I wished to be in readiness to bid you farewell when you departed."

"Well, God bless you, Belle!" said I. "I shall be home to-night; by which time I expect you will have made up your mind."

On arriving at the extremity of the plain, I looked towards the dingle. Isopel Berners stood at the mouth, the beams of the early morning sun shone full on her noble face and figure. I waved my hand towards her. She slowly lifted up her right arm. I turned away, and never saw Isopel Berners again.

The fourth morning afterwards I received from her a letter in which she sent me a lock of her hair and told me she was just embarking for a distant country, never expecting to see her own again. She concluded with this piece of advice: "Fear God, and take your own part. Fear God, young man, and never give in! The world can bully, and is fond, if it sees a man in a kind of difficulty, of getting about him, calling him coarse names; but no sooner sees the man taking off his coat and offering to fight, than it scatters, and is always civil to him afterwards."

III.--Horse-Keeping and Horse-Dealing

After thus losing Isopel, I decided to leave the dingle, and having, by Mr. Petulengro's kind advice, become the possessor of a fine horse, I gave my pony and tinker's outfit to the gipsies, and set out on the road, whereupon I was to meet with strange adventures.

At length, awaiting the time when I could take my horse to Horncastle Fair and sell him, I settled at a busy inn on the high-road, where, in return for board and lodging for myself and horse, I had to supervise the distribution of hay and corn in the stables, and to keep an account thereof. The old ostler, with whom I was soon on excellent terms, was a regular character--a Yorkshireman by birth, who had seen a great deal of life in the vicinity of London. He had served as ostler at a small inn at Hounslow, much frequented by highway men. Jerry Abershaw and Richard Ferguson, generally called Galloping Dick, were capital customers then, he told me, and he had frequently drunk with them in the corn-room. No man could desire jollier companions over a glass of "summut"; but on the road they were terrible, cursing and swearing, and thrusting the muzzles of their pistols into people's mouths.

From the old ostler I picked up many valuable hints about horses.

"When you are a gentleman," said he, "should you ever wish to take a journey on a horse of your own, follow my advice. Before you start, merely give your horse a couple of handfuls of corn, and a little water--somewhat under a quart. Then you may walk and trot for about ten miles till you come to some nice inn, where you see your horse led into a nice stall, telling the ostler not to feed him till you come. If the ostler happens to have a dog, say what a nice one it is; if he hasn't, ask him how he's getting on, and whether he ever knew worse times; when your back's turned, he'll say what a nice gentleman you are, and how he thinks he has seen you before.

"Then go and sit down to breakfast, and before you have finished, get up and go and give your horse a feed of corn; chat with the ostler two or three minutes till your horse has taken the shine out of his corn, which will prevent the ostler taking any of it away when your back's turned. Then go and finish your breakfast, and when you have finished your breakfast, when you have called for the newspaper, go and water your horse, letting him have about one pailful; then give him another feed of corn, and enter into discourse with the ostler about bull-baiting, the prime minister, and the like; and when your horse has once more taken the shine out of his corn, go back to your room and your newspaper. Then pull the bell-rope and order in your bill, which you will pay without counting it up--supposing you to be a gentleman. Give the waiter sixpence, and order out your horse, and when your horse is out, pay for the corn, and give the ostler a shilling, then mount your horse and walk him gently for five miles.

"See to your horse at night, and have him well rubbed down. Next day, you may ride your horse forty miles just as you please, and those will bring you to your journey's end, unless it's a plaguey long one. If so, never ride your horse more than five-and-thirty miles a day, always seeing him well fed, and taking more care of him than yourself, seeing as how he is the best animal of the two."

The stage-coachmen of that time--low fellows, but masters of driving--were made so much fuss of by sprigs of nobility and others that their brutality and rapacious insolence had reached a climax. One, who frequented our inn, and who was called the "bang-up coachman," was a swaggering bully, who not only lashed his horses unmercifully, but in one or two instances had beaten in a barbarous manner individuals who had quarrelled with him. One day an inoffensive old fellow of sixty, who refused him a tip for his insolence, was lighting his pipe, when the coachman struck it out of his mouth.

The elderly individual, without manifesting much surprise, said: "I thank you; and if you will wait a minute I'll give you a receipt for that favour." Then, gathering up his pipe, and taking off his coat and hat, he advanced towards the coachman, holding his hands crossed very near his face.

The coachman, who expected anything but such a movement, pointed at him derisively with his finger. The next moment, however, the other had struck aside the hand with his left fist, and given him a severe blow on the nose with his right, which he immediately followed by a left-hand blow in the eye. The coachman endeavoured to close, but his foe was not to be closed with; he did not shift or dodge about, but warded off the blows of his opponent with the greatest sangfroid, always using the same guard, and putting in short, chopping blows with the quickness of lightning. In a very few minutes the coachman was literally cut to pieces. He did not appear on the box again for a week, and never held up his head afterwards.

Reaching Horncastle at last, I managed to get quarters for myself and horse, and, by making friends with the ostlers and others, picked up more hints.

"There a'n't a better horse in the fair," said one companion to me, "and as you are one of us, and appear to be all right, I'll give you a piece of advice--don't take less than a hundred and fifty for him."

"Well," said I, "thank you for your advice; and, if successful, I will give you 'summut' handsome."

"Thank you," said the ostler; "and now let me ask whether you are up to all the ways of this here place?"

"I've never been here before," said I.

Thereupon he gave me half a dozen cautions, one of which was not to stop and listen to what any chance customer might have to say; and another, by no manner of means to permit a Yorkshireman to get up into the saddle. "For," said he, "if you do, it is three to one that he rides off with the horse; he can't help it. Trust a cat amongst cream, but never trust a Yorkshireman on the saddle of a good horse."

"A fine horse! A capital horse!" said several of the connoisseurs. "What do you ask for him?"

"A hundred and fifty pounds," said I.

"Why, I thought you would have asked double that amount! You do yourself injustice, young man."

"Perhaps I do," said I; "but that's my affair. I do not choose to take more."

"I wish you would let me get into the saddle," said the man. "The horse knows you, and therefore shows to more advantage; but I should like to see how he would move under me, who am a stranger. Will you let me get into the saddle, young man?"

"No," said I.

"Why not?" said the man.

"Lest you should be a Yorkshireman," said I, "and should run away with the horse."

"Yorkshire?" said the man. "I am from Suffolk--silly Suffolk--so you need not be afraid of my running away with him."

"Oh, if that's the case," said I, "I should be afraid that the horse would run away with you!"

Threading my way as well as I could through the press, I returned to the yard of the inn, where, dismounting, I stood still, holding the horse by the bridle. A jockey, who had already bargained with me, entered, accompanied by another individual.

"Here is my lord come to look at the horse, young man," said the jockey. My lord was a tall figure of about five-and-thirty. He had on his head a hat somewhat rusty, and on his back a surtout of blue rather worse for wear. His forehead, if not high, was exceedingly narrow; his eyes were brown, with a rat-like glare in them. He had scarcely glanced at the horse when, drawing in his cheeks, he thrust out his lips like a baboon to a piece of sugar.

"Is this horse yours?" said he.

"It's my horse," said I. "Are you the person who wishes to make an honest penny by it?" alluding to a phrase of the jockey's.

"How?" said he, drawing up his head with a very consequential look, and speaking with a very haughty tone. "What do you mean?" We looked at each other full in the face. "My agent here informs me that you ask one hundred and fifty pounds, which I cannot think of giving. The horse is a showy horse. But look, my dear sir, he has a defect here, and in his near foreleg I observe something which looks very much like a splint! Yes, upon my credit, he has a splint, or something which will end in one! A hundred and fifty pounds, sir! What could have induced you to ask anything like that for this animal? I protest--Who are you, sir? I am in treaty for this horse," said he, turning to a man who had come up whilst he was talking, and was now looking into the horse's mouth.

"Who am I?" said the man, still looking into the horse's mouth. "Who am I? his lordship asks me. Ah, I see, close on five," said he, releasing the horse's jaws.

Close beside him stood a tall youth in a handsome riding dress, and wearing a singular green hat with a high peak.

"What do you ask for him?" said the man.

"A hundred and fifty," said I.

"I shouldn't mind giving it to you," said he.

"You will do no such thing," said his lordship. "Sir," said he to me, "I must give you what you ask."

"No," said I; "had you come forward in a manly and gentlemanly manner to purchase the horse I should have been happy to sell him to you; but after all the fault you have found with him I would not sell him to you at any price."

His lordship, after a contemptuous look at me and a scowl at the jockey, stalked out.

"And now," said the other, "I suppose I may consider myself as the purchaser of this here animal for this young gentleman?"

"By no means," said I. "I am utterly unacquainted with either of you."

"Oh, I have plenty of vouchers for my respectability!" said he. And, thrusting his hand into his bosom, he drew out a bundle of notes. "These are the kind of things which vouch best for a man's respectability."

"Not always," said I; "sometimes these kind of things need vouchers for themselves." The man looked at me with a peculiar look. "Do you mean to say that these notes are not sufficient notes?" said he; "because, if you do, I shall take the liberty of thinking that you are not over civil; and when I thinks a person is not over and above civil I sometimes takes off my coat; and when my coat is off----"

"You sometimes knock people down," I added. "Well, whether you knock me down or not, I beg leave to tell you that I am a stranger in this fair, and shall part with the horse to nobody who has no better guarantee for his respectability than a roll of bank-notes, which may be good or not for what I know, who am not a judge of such things."

"Oh, if you are a stranger here," said the man, "you are quite right to be cautious, queer things being done in this fair. But I suppose if the landlord of the house vouches for me and my notes you will have no objection to part with the horse to me?"

"None whatever," said I.

Thereupon I delivered the horse to my friend the ostler. The landlord informed me that my new acquaintance was a respectable horse-dealer and an intimate friend of his, whereupon the purchase was soon brought to a satisfactory conclusion.

IV.--A Recruiting Sergeant

Leaving Horncastle the next day, I bent my steps eastward, and on the following day I reached a large town situated on a river. At the end of the town I was accosted by a fiery-faced individual dressed as a recruiting sergeant.

"Young man, you are just the kind of person to serve the Honourable East India Company."

"I had rather the Honourable Company should serve me," said I.

"Of course, young man. Take this shilling; 'tis service money. The Honourable Company engages to serve you, and you the Honourable Company."

"And what must I do for the Company?"

"Only go to India--the finest country in the world. Rivers bigger than the Ouse. Hills higher than anything near Spalding. Trees--you never saw such trees! Fruits--you never saw such fruits!"

"And the people--what kind are they?"

"Pah! Kauloes--blacks--a set of rascals! And they calls us lolloes, which, in their beastly gibberish, means reds. Why do you stare so?"

"Why," said I, "this is the very language of Mr. Petulengro."

"I say, young fellow, I don't like your way of speaking; you are mad, sir. You won't do for the Honourable Company. Good-day to you!"

"I shouldn't wonder," said I, as I proceeded rapidly eastward, "if Mr. Petulengro came from India. I think I'll go there."


Lady Audley's Secret

Mary Elizabeth Maxwell, youngest daughter of Henry Braddon, solicitor, and widow of John Maxwell, publisher, was born in London in 1837. Early in life she had literary aspirations, and, as a girl of twenty-three, wrote her first novel, "The Trail of the Serpent," which first appeared in serial form. "Lady Audley's Secret" was published in 1862, and Miss Braddon immediately sprang into fame as an authoress, combining a graphic style with keen analysis of character, and exceptional ingenuity in the construction of a plot of tantalising complexities and dramatic dénouement. The book passed through many editions, and there was an immediate demand for other stories by the gifted authoress. That demand was met with an industry and resource rarely equalled. Every year since, Miss Braddon, who throughout retained her maiden as her pen-name, furnished the reading public with one, and for a long period two romances of absorbing interest.

I.--The Second Lady Audley

SIR MICHAEL AUDLEY was fifty-six years of age, and had married a second wife nine months before. For seventeen years he had been a widower with an only child--Alicia, now eighteen. Lady Audley had come into the neighbourhood from London, in response to an advertisement in the "Times," as a governess in the family of Mr. Dawson, the village surgeon. Her accomplishments were brilliant and numerous. Everyone, high and low, loved, admired, and praised her, and united in declaring that Lucy Graham was the sweetest girl that ever lived. Sir Michael Audley expressed a strong desire to be acquainted with her. A meeting was arranged at the surgeon's house, and that day Sir Michael's fate was sealed. One misty June evening Sir Michael, sitting opposite Lucy Graham at the window of the surgeon's little drawing-room, spoke to her on the subject nearest his heart.

"I scarcely think," he said, "there is a greater sin, Lucy, than that of a woman who marries a man she does not love. You are so precious to me that, deeply as my heart is set on this, and bitter as the mere thought of disappointment is to me, I would not have you commit such a sin for any happiness of mine. Nothing but misery can result from a marriage dictated by any motive but truth and love."

Lucy for some moments was quite silent. Then, turning to him with a sudden passion in her manner that lighted up her face with a new and wonderful beauty, she fell on her knees at his feet. Clutching at a black ribbon about her throat, she exclaimed:

"How good, how noble, how generous you are! But you ask too much of me. Only remember what my life has been! From babyhood I have never seen anything but poverty. My father was a gentleman, but poor; my mother--but don't let me speak of her. You can never guess what is endured by genteel paupers. I cannot be disinterested; I cannot be blind to the advantages of such a marriage. I do not dislike you--no, no; and I do not love anyone in the world," she added, with a laugh, when asked if there was anyone else.

Sir Michael was silent for a few moments, and then, with a kind of effort, said: "Well, Lucy, I will not ask too much of you; but I see no reason why we should not make a very happy couple."

When Lucy went to her own room she sat down on the edge of the bed, and murmured: "No more dependence, no more drudgery, no more humiliations! Every trace of the old life melted away, every clue to identity buried and forgotten except this"--and she drew from her bosom a black ribbon and locket, and the object attached to it. It was a ring wrapped in an oblong piece of crumpled paper, partly written and partly printed.

II.--The Return of the Gold-Seeker

A tall, powerfully-built young man of twenty-five, his face bronzed by exposure, brown eyes, bushy black beard, moustache, and hair, was pacing impatiently the deck of the Australian liner Argus, bound from Melbourne to Liverpool. His name was George Talboys. He was joined in his promenade by a shipboard-friend, who had been attracted by the feverish ardour and freshness of the young man, and was made the confidant of his story.

"Do you know, Miss Morley," he said, "that I left my little girl asleep, with her baby in her arms, and with nothing but a few blotted lines to tell her why her adoring husband had deserted her."

"Deserted her!" cried Miss Morley.

"Yes. I was a cornet in a cavalry regiment when I first met my darling. We were quartered in a stupid seaport town, where my pet lived with her shabby old father--a half-pay naval man. It was a case of love at first sight on both sides, and my darling and I made a match of it. My father is a rich man, but no sooner did he hear that I was married to a penniless girl than he wrote a furious letter telling me that he would never again hold any communication with me, and that my yearly allowance was stopped.

"I sold out my commission, thinking that before the money I got for it was exhausted I should be sure to drop into something. I took my darling to Italy, lived in splendid style, and then, when there was nothing left but a couple of hundred pounds, we came back to England and boarded with my wretched father-in-law, who fleeced us finely. I went to London and tried in vain to get employment; and on my return, my little girl burst into a storm of lamentations, blaming me for the cruel wrong of marrying her if I could give her nothing but poverty and misery. Her tears and reproaches drove me almost mad. I ran out of the house, rushed down to the pier, intending, after dark, to drop quietly into the water and end all.

"While I sat smoking two men came along, and began to talk of the Australian gold-diggings and the great fortunes that were to be made there in a short time. I got into conversation with them, and learned that a ship sailed from Liverpool for Melbourne in three days. The thought flashed on me that that was better than the water. I returned home, crept upstairs, and wrote a few hurried lines which told her that I never loved her better than now when I seemed to desert her; that I was going to try my fortune in a new world; that if I succeeded I should come back to bring her plenty and happiness, but if I failed I should never look upon her face again. I kissed her hand and the baby once, and slipped out of the room. Three nights after I was out at sea, bound for Melbourne, a steerage passenger with a digger's tools for my baggage, and seven shillings in my pocket. After three and a half years of hard and bitter struggles on the goldfields, at last I struck it rich, realised twenty thousand pounds, and a fortnight later I took my passage for England. All this time I had never communicated with my wife, but the moment fortune came, I wrote, telling her I should be in England almost as soon as my letter, and giving her an address at a coffee-house in London."

That same evening Phoebe Marks, maid to Lady Audley, invited her cousin and sweetheart, Luke Marks, a farm labourer with ambitions to own a public-house, to survey the wonders of Audley Court, including my lady's private apartments and her jewel-box. During the inspection, by accident, a knob in the framework of the jewel-box was pushed, and a secret drawer sprang out There were neither gold nor gems in it. Only a baby's little worsted shoe, rolled in a piece of paper, and a tiny lock of silky yellow hair, evidently taken from a baby's head. Phoebe's eyes dilated as she examined the little packet.

"So this is what my lady hides in the secret drawer," she said, putting the little packet in her pocket.

"Why, Phoebe, you're never going to be such a fool as to take that?" cried Luke.

"I'd rather have this than the diamond bracelet you would have liked to take," she said, her lips curving into a curious smile. "You shall have the public-house, Luke."

III.--Robert Audley Comes on the Scene

Robert Audley was supposed to be a barrister, and had chambers in Fig Tree Court, Temple. He was a handsome, lazy, care-for-nothing fellow of seven-and-twenty, the only son of the younger brother of Sir Michael Audley, who had left him a moderate competency.

One morning, Robert Audley strolled out of the Temple, Blackfriarswards. At the corner of a court in St. Paul's Churchyard he was almost knocked down by a man of his own age dashing headlong into the narrow opening. Robert remonstrated; the stranger stopped suddenly, looked very hard at the speaker, and cried, in a tone of intense astonishment:

"Bob! I only touched British ground after dark last night, and to think I should meet you this morning!"

George Talboys, for the stranger was the late passenger on board the Argus, had been from boyhood the inseparable chum of Robert Audley. The tale of Talboys' marriage, his expedition to Australia, and his return with a fortune, was briefly told. The pair took a hansom to the Westminster coffee-house where Talboys had written to his wife to forward letters. There was no letter, and the young man showed very bitter disappointment. By and by George mechanically picked up a "Times" newspaper of a day or two before, and stared vacantly at the first page. He turned a sickly colour, and pointed to a line which ran: "On the 24th inst., at Ventnor-Isle of Wight, Helen Talboys, aged 22." He knew no more until he opened his eyes in a room in his friend's chambers in the Temple.

Next day he and Robert Audley journeyed by express to Ventnor, learned on inquiry at the principal hotel that a Captain Maldon, whose daughter was lately dead, was staying at Lansdowne Cottage; and thither they proceeded. The captain and his little grandson, Georgey, were out.

George Talboys and his friend visited the churchyard where his wife was buried, commissioned a mason to erect a headstone on the grave, and then went to the beach to seek Captain Maldon and the little boy.

The captain, when he saw his son-in-law, coloured violently with something of a frightened look. He told Talboys that only a few months after his departure he and Helen came to live at Southampton, where she had obtained a few pupils for the piano; but her health failed, and she fell into a decline, of which she died. Broken-hearted, Talboys started for Liverpool to take ship for Australia, but failed to catch the steamer; returned to London, and accompanied Robert Audley on a long visit to Russia.

A year passed, and Robert proposed to take his friend to Audley Court, but had a letter from his cousin Alicia, saying that her stepmother had taken into her head that she was too ill to entertain, though in reality there was nothing the matter with her.

"My lady's airs and graces shan't keep us out of Essex, for all that," said Robert Audley. "We will go to a comfortable old inn in the village of Audley."

Thither they went; but Lady Audley, who had casually seen him, although he was unaware of it, continued on one excuse or another to avoid meeting George Talboys. The two young men strolled up to the Court in the absence of Sir Michael and Lady Audley, where they met Alicia Audley, who showed them the lime walk and the old well.

Robert was anxious to see the portrait of his new aunt; but Lady Audley's picture was in her private apartments, the door of which was locked. Alicia remembered there was, unknown to Lady Audley, access to these by means of a secret passage. In a spirit of fun the young men explored the passage and reached the portrait. George Talboys sat before it without uttering a word, only staring blankly.

"We managed it capitally; but I don't like the portrait," said Robert, when they had crept back. "There is something odd about it."

"There is," answered Alicia. "We never have seen my lady look as she does in that picture; but I think she could look so."

Next day Talboys and Robert went fishing. George pretended to fish; Robert slept on the river-bank. The servants were at dinner at the Court; Alicia had gone riding. Lady Audley sauntered out, book in hand, to the shady lime walk. George Talboys came up to the hall, rang the bell, was told that her ladyship was walking in the lime avenue. He looked disappointed at the intelligence, and walked away. A full hour and a half later, Lady Audley returned to the house, not coming from the lime avenue, but from the opposite direction. In her own room she confronted her maid, Phoebe. The eyes of the two women met.

"Phoebe Marks," said my lady presently, "you are a good girl; and while I live and am prosperous, you shall not want a firm friend and a twenty-pound note."

IV.--The Search and the Counter Check

Robert Audley awoke from his nap to find George Talboys gone. He searched in the grounds and in the inn for him in vain. At the railway-station he heard that a man who, from the description given, might be Talboys, had gone by the afternoon train to London. In the evening he went up to the Court to dinner. Lady Audley was gay and fascinating; but gave a little nervous shudder when Robert, feeling uneasy about his friend, said so.

Again, when Lady Audley was at the piano he observed a bruise on her arm. She said that it was caused by tying a piece of ribbon too tightly round her arm two or three days before. But Robert saw that the bruise was recent, and that it had been made by the four fingers, one of which had a ring, of a powerful hand.

Suspicion began to be aroused in the mind of Robert Audley, first as to the real identity of Lady Audley; and second, as to the fate of his friend. He brought into play all the keenness of his intellect, and abandoned his lazy habits. He went to Southampton, saw Captain Maldon, who told him that George Talboys had arrived the morning before at one o'clock to have a look at his boy before sailing for Australia. On inquiry at Liverpool, this proved to be false.

He sought the assistance of George's father, Squire Talboys, at Grange Heath, Dorsetshire, to discover the murderer; but the squire resolutely refused to accept that his son was dead. He was only hiding, hoping for forgiveness, which would never be given.

The beautiful sister of George Talboys followed Robert when he left the mansion and besought him passionately to avenge her brother's murder, in which she implicitly believed, and this he promised to do.

Then he learned that Phoebe, Lady Audley's maid, had married her cousin Luke Marks, who, under veiled threats, had obtained one hundred pounds from her ladyship to enable him to lease the Castle Inn. And having visited the place, and held conversation with the half-drunken landlord, he felt assured that Luke Marks and his wife had by some means obtained a sinister power over Lady Audley.

Robert thereafter traced the life history of Helen Maldon from her marriage to George Talboys at Wildernsea, Yorkshire, her secret departure from there after her husband's desertion, her appearance the following day as a teacher in a girl's school at Brompton under the name of Lucy Graham; her arrival as a governess in Essex, and finally her marriage to Sir Michael Audley.

Once more he returned to the Court, where his uncle was lying ill, attended by Lady Audley. He demanded a private audience of my lady, at which he told her he had discovered the whole of the conspiracy concocted by an artful woman who had speculated upon the chance of her husband's death, and had secured a splendid position at the risk of committing a crime.

"My friend, George Talboys," said Robert, "was last seen entering these gardens, and was never seen to leave them. I will have such a search made as shall level that house to the earth, and root up every tree rather than I will fail in finding the grave of my murdered friend."

"You shall never live to do this," she said. "I will kill you first!"

That evening Lady Audley gave to her husband a gloss of what his nephew had said, and boldly accused him of being mad. "You would," she said, "never let anyone influence you against me, would you, darling?"

"No, my love; they had better not try it."

Lady Audley laughed aloud, with a gay, triumphant peal as she tripped out of the room; but as she sat in her own chamber, brooding, she muttered: "Dare I defy him? Will anything stop him but--death?"

Just then Phoebe Marks arrived to warn Lady Audley that Robert had appeared at the Castle Inn. She also explained that a bailiff was in the house, as the rent was due, and she wanted money to pay him out. Lady Audley, insisted to Phoebe's astonishment, that she herself would bring the money. She did so; and, unknown to Phoebe, cunningly set fire to the inn, hoping that Robert Audley would meet his death. She and her maid then left the inn to make the long tramp back to the Court. Half the distance had been covered, when Phoebe looked back and saw a red glare in the sky. She stopped, suddenly fell on her knees, and cried: "Oh, my God! Say it's not true! It's too horrible!"

"What's too horrible?" said Lady Audley.

"The thought that is in my mind."

"I will tell you nothing except that you are a mad woman; and go home." Lady Audley walked away in the darkness.

V.--My Lady Tells the Truth

Lady Audley next day was under the dominion of a terrible restlessness. Towards the dinner hour she walked in the quadrangle. In the dusk she lost all self-control when a figure approached. Her knees sank under her and she dropped to the ground. It was Robert Audley who helped her to rise and then led her into the library. In a pitiless voice he called her the incendiary of the fire at the inn. Fortunately, he had changed his room, and escaped being burnt to death, saving, at the same time, Luke Marks. The day was now past, he insisted, for mercy, after last night's deed of horror; and she should no longer pollute the Court with her presence.

"Bring Sir Michael," she cried, "and I will confess everything!"

And so the confession was made. Briefly stated, it was that as a little child, in a Hampshire coast village, when she asked where her mother was, the answer always was that that was a secret. In a fit of passion the foster-mother told her that her own mother was a madwoman in an asylum many miles away. Afterwards, she learned that the madness was a hereditary disease, and she was instructed to keep the secret because it might affect her injuriously in after life. Then she detailed the story of her life until her marriage with Sir Michael Audley, justifying that on the ground that she had a right to believe her first husband was dead. In the sunshine of love at Audley Court she felt, for the first time in her life, the miseries of others, and took pleasure in acts of kindness.

In an Essex paper she read of the return of her first husband to England. Knowing his character, she thought that unless he could be induced to believe she was dead, he would never abandon his search for her. Again she became mad. In collusion with her father she induced a Mrs. Plowson in Southampton, who had a daughter in the last stage of consumption, to pass off that daughter as Mrs. George Talboys, and removed her to Ventnor, Isle of Wight, with her own little boy schooled to call her "mamma." There she died in a fortnight, was buried as Mrs. George Talboys, and the advertisement of the death was inserted in the "Times" two days before her husband's arrival in England.

Sir Michael could hear no more. He and his daughter Alicia departed that evening for the Continent. Next day, Dr. Mosgrave, a mental specialist, arrived from London. He was fully informed of the history of Lady Audley, examined her, and finally reported to Robert: "The lady is not mad, but she has a hereditary taint in her blood. She has the cunning of madness, with the prudence of intelligence. She is dangerous." He gave Robert a letter addressed to Monsieur Val, Villebrumeuse, Belgium, who, he said, was the proprietor and medical superintendent of an excellent maison de santé, and would, no doubt, willingly receive Lady Audley into his establishment, and charge himself with the full responsibility of her future life.

Robert escorted Lady Audley to Villebrumeuse, where she was presented to Monsieur Val as Madame Taylor. When Monsieur Val retired from the reception room, at my lady's request, she turned to Robert, and said: "You have brought me to a living grave; you have used your power basely and cruelly."

"I have done that which I thought was just to others, and merciful to you," replied Robert. "Live here and repent."

"I cannot," cried my lady. "I would defy you and kill myself if I dared. Do you know what I am thinking of? It is of the day upon which George Talboys--disappeared! The body of George Talboys lies at the bottom of the old well in the shrubbery beyond the lime walk. He came to me there, goaded me beyond endurance, and I called him a madman and a liar. I was going to leave him when he seized me by the wrist and sought to detain me by force. You yourself saw the bruises. I became mad, and drew the loose iron spindle from the shrunken wood of the windlass. My first husband sank with one horrible cry into the black mouth of the well!"

VI.--The Mystery Cleared Up

On arrival in London, Robert Audley received a letter from Clara Talboys saying that Luke Marks, the man whom he had saved in the fire at the Castle Inn, was lying at his mother's cottage at Audley, and expressed a very earnest wish to see him. Robert took train at once to Audley.

The dying man confessed that on the night of George Talboys's disappearance, when going home to his mother's cottage, he heard groans come from the laurel bushes in the shrubbery near the old well. On search, he found Talboys covered with slime, and with a broken arm. He carried the crippled man to his mother's cottage, washed, fed, and nursed him.

Next day Talboys gave him a five-pound note to accompany him to the town of Brentwood, where he called on a surgeon to have his broken arm set and dressed. That done, Talboys wrote two notes in pencil with his left hand, and gave them to Luke to deliver--one with a cross to be handed to Lady Audley, and the other to the nephew of Sir Michael, and then took train to London in a second-class carriage.

Phoebe, who had seen from her window Lady Audley pushing George Talboys into the well, said that my lady was in their power, and that she would do anything for them to keep her secret. So the letters were not delivered.

He hid them away; not a creature had seen them. The old mother, who had been present throughout the confession, took the papers from a drawer and handed them to Robert Audley.

The note to Robert said that something had happened to the writer, he could not tell what, which drove him from England, a broken-hearted man, to seek some corner of the earth where he might live and die unknown and forgotten. He left his son in his friend's hands, knowing that he could leave him to no truer guardian. The second note was addressed "Helen," saying, "May God pity and forgive you for that which you have done to-day, as truly as I do. Rest in peace. You shall never hear from me again. I leave England, never to return.--G. T."

Luke Marks died that afternoon. Robert Audley wrote a long letter the same evening, addressed to Madame Taylor, in which he told the story related by Marks; and as soon as possible he went down to Dorsetshire to inform George Talboys's father that his son was alive. He stayed five weeks at Grange Heath, and the love which had come to him at first sight of Clara Talboys rapidly ripened.

Consent to the marriage was given, with a blessing by the old Roman-minded squire, and the pair agreed to go on their honeymoon trip to Australia to look for the son and brother. Robert returned for the last time to his bachelor chambers in the Temple. He was told that a visitor was waiting for him. The visitor was George Talboys, and he opened his arms to his lost friend with a cry of delight and surprise. The tale was soon told. When George fell into the well he was stunned and bruised, and his arm broken. After infinite pains and difficulties he climbed to the top and hid in a clump of laurel bushes till the arrival of Luke Marks. He had not been to Australia after all, but had exchanged his berth on board the Victoria Regia for another in a ship bound for New York. There he remained for a time till he yearned for the strong clasp of the hand which guided him through the darkest passage of his life.

Two years passed. In a fairy cottage on the banks of the Thames, between Teddington Lock and Hampton Bridge, George Talboys lives with his sister and brother-in-law, the latter having now obtained success at the Bar. Georgey pays occasional visits from Eton to play with a pretty baby cousin. It is a year since a black-edged letter came to Robert Audley, announcing that Madame Taylor had died after a long illness, which Monsieur Val described as maladie de longueur. Sir Michael Audley lives in London with Alicia, who is very shortly to become the wife of Sir Harry Towers, a sporting Herts baronet.


The Adventures of Mr. Verdant Green

Edward Bradley is one of few English humorists of the mid-Victorian era who produced any work that is likely to survive the wear of time and change of taste. "The Adventures of Mr. Verdant Green," his earliest and best story, is, in its way, a masterpiece. Never has the lighter and gayer side of Oxford life been depicted with so much humour and fidelity; and what makes this achievement still more remarkable is the fact that Cuthbert Bede (to give Bradley the name which he adopted for literary purposes and made famous) was not an Oxford man. He was born at Kidderminster in 1827, and educated at Durham University, with the idea of becoming a clergyman. But not being old enough to take orders, he stayed for a year at Oxford, without, however, matriculating there. At the age of twenty he began to write for "Punch," and "The Adventures of Verdant Green" was composed in 1853, when he was still on the staff of that paper. The book, on its publication, had an immense vogue, and though twenty-six other books followed from his pen, it is still the most popular. He died on December 11, 1889.

I.--A Very Quiet Party

As Mr. Verdant Green was sitting, sad and lonely, in his rooms overlooking the picturesque, mediaeval quadrangle of Brazenface College, Oxford, a German band began to play "Home, Sweet Home," with that truth and delicacy of expression which the wandering minstrels of Germany seem to acquire intuitively. The sweet melancholy of the air, as it came subdued into softer tones by distance, would probably have moved any lad who had just been torn from the shelter of his family to fight, all inexperienced, the battle of life. On Mr. Verdant Green it had such an overwhelming effect that when his scout, Filcher, entered the room he found his master looking very red about the eyes, and furiously wiping the large spectacles from which his nick-name, "Gig-lamps," was derived.

The fact was that Mr. Verdant Green was a freshman of the freshest kind. It was his first day in Oxford. He had been brought up entirely by his mother and a maiden aunt. Happily, Mr. Larkyns, the rector of Manor Green, the charming Warwickshire village of which the Greens had been squires from time immemorial, convinced his mother that Verdant needed the society of young men of his own age. Mr. Larkyn's own son, a manly young fellow named Charles, had already been sent up to Brazenface College, where he was rapidly distinguishing himself; and after many tears and arguments, Mrs. Green had consented to her boy also going up to Oxford.

As we have said, Mr. Verdant Green felt very tearful and lonely as his scout entered his rooms. But the appearance of Filcher reminded him that he was now an Oxford man, and he resolved to begin his career by calling upon Mr. Charles Larkyns.

He found Mr. Larkyns lolling on a couch, in dressing-gown and slippers. Opposite to him was a gentleman whose face was partly hidden by a pewter pot, out of which he was draining the last draught. Mr. Larkyns turned his head, and saw dimly through the clouds of tobacco smoke that filled his room a tall, thin, spectacled figure, with a hat in one hand, and an envelope in the other.

"It's no use," he said, "stealing a march on me in this way. I don't owe you anything; and if I did it is not convenient to pay it. Hang you Oxford tradesmen! You really make a man thoroughly billious. Tell your master that I can't get any money out of my governor till I've got my degree. Now make yourself scarce! You know where the door lies!"

Mr. Verdant Green was so confounded at this unusual reception that he lost the power of motion and speech. But as Mr. Larkyns advanced towards him in a threatening attitude, he managed to gasp out: "Why, Charles Larkyns, don't you remember me, Verdant Green?"

"'Pon my word, old fellow," said his friend, "I thought you were a dun. There are so many wretched tradesmen in this place who labour under the impression that because a man buys a thing he means to pay for it, that my life is mostly spent in dodging their messengers. Allow me," he added, "to introduce you to Mr. Smalls. You will find him very useful in helping you in your studies. He himself reads so hard that he is called a fast man."

Mr. Smalls put down his pewter pot, and said that he had much pleasure in forming the acquaintance of a freshman like Mr. Verdant Green; which was undoubtedly true. And he then showed his absorbing interest in literary studies by neglecting the society of Mr. Verdant Green and immersing himself in the perusal of one of those vivid accounts of "a rattling set-to between Nobby Buffer and Hammer Sykes" which make "Bell's Life" the favourite reading of many Oxford scholars.

"I heard from my governor," said Mr. Larkyns, "that you were coming up, and in the course of the morning I should have come to look you up. Have a cigar, old chap?"

"Er--er--thank you very much," said Verdant, in a frightened way; "but I have never smoked."

"Never smoked!" exclaimed Mr. Smalls, holding up "Bell's Life," and making private signals to Mr. Larkyns. "You'll soon get the better of that weakness! As you are a freshman, let me give you a little advice. You know what deep readers the Germans are. That is because they smoke more than we do. I should advise you to go at once to the vice-chancellor and ask him for a box of good cigars. He will be delighted to find you are beginning to set to work so soon."

Mr. Verdant Green thanked Mr. Smalls for his kind advice, and said that he would go without delay to the vice-chancellor. And Mr. Smalls was so delighted with the joke, for the vice-chancellor took severe steps to prevent undergraduates from indulging in the fragrant weed, that he invited Verdant to dine with him that evening.

"Just a small quiet party of hard-working men," said Mr. Smalls. "I hope you don't object to a very quiet party."

"Oh, dear, no! I much prefer a quiet party," said Mr. Verdant Green; "indeed, I have always been used to quiet parties; and I shall be very glad to come."

In order to while away the time between then and evening, Mr. Charles Larkyns offered to take Mr. Verdant Green over Oxford, and put him up to a thing or two, and show him some of the freshman's sights. Naturally, he got a considerable amount of fun out of his young and very credulous friend. For some weeks afterwards, Mr. Verdant Green never met any of the gorgeously robed beadles of the university without taking his hat off and making them a profound bow. For, according to his information, one of them was the vice-chancellor, and the rest were various dignitaries and famous men.

By the time the inventive powers of Mr. Larkyns were exhausted, it was necessary to dress for the very quiet party. Some hours afterwards, Mr. Verdant Green was standing in a room filled with smoke and noise, leaning rather heavily against the table. His friends had first tempted him with a cigar; then, as his first smoke produced the strange effects common in these cases, they had induced him to take a little strong punch as a remedy. He was now leaning against the table in answer to the call of "Mr. Gig-lamps for a song." Having decided upon one of those vocal efforts which in the bosom of his family met with great applause, he began to sing in low and plaintive tones, "'I dre-eamt that I dwelt in Mar-ar-ble Halls, with'"--and then, alarmed by hearing the sound of his own voice, he stopped.

"Try back, Verdant," shouted Mr. Larkyns.

Mr. Verdant Green tried back, but with an increased confusion of ideas, resulting from the mixture of milk-punch and strong cigars. "'I dre-eamt that I dwe-elt in Mar-arble Halls, with vassals and serfs at my si-hi-hide; and--'--I beg your pardon, gentlemen, I really forget----oh, I know--'And I also dre-eamt, which ple-eased me most--' No, that's not it."

And, smiling very amiably, he sank down on the carpet, and went to sleep under the table. Some time afterwards, two men were seen carrying an inert body across the quad; they took it upstairs and put it on a bed. And late the next morning, Mr. Verdant Green woke up with a splitting headache, and wished that he had never been born.

As time went on, all the well-known practical jokes were played upon him; and gradually--and sometimes painfully--he learnt the wisdom that is not taught in books, nor acquired from maiden aunts.

II.--Mr. Verdant Green Does as He Has Been Done By

One morning, Mr. Green and one of his friends, little Mr. Bouncer, were lounging in the gateway of Brazenface, when a modest-looking young man came towards them. He seemed so ill at ease in his frock coat and high collar that he looked as if he were wearing these articles for the first time.

"I'll bet you a bottle of blacking, Gig-lamps," said Mr. Bouncer, "that we have here an intending freshman. Let us take a rise out of him."

"Can you direct me to Brazenface College, please, sir?" said the youthful stranger, flushing like a girl.

"This is Brazenface College," said Mr. Bouncer, looking very important. "And, pray, what is your business here and your name?"

"If you please," said the stranger, "I am James Pucker. I came to enter, sir, for my matriculation examination, and I wish to see the gentleman who will examine me."

"Then you've come to the proper quarter, young man," said Mr. Bouncer. "Here is Mr. Pluckem," turning to Mr. Verdant Green, "the junior examiner."

Mr. Verdant Green took his cue with astonishing aptitude and glared through his glasses at the trembling, blushing Mr. Pucker.

"And here," continued Mr. Bouncer, pointing to Mr. Fosbrooke, who was coming up the street, "is the gentleman who will assist Mr. Pluckem in examining you."

"It will be extremely inconvenient to me to examine you now," said Mr. Fosbrooke; "but, as you probably wish to return home as soon as possible, I will endeavour to conclude the business at once. Mr. Bouncer, will you have the goodness to bring this young gentleman to my rooms?"

Leaving Mr. Pucker to express his thanks for this great kindness to Mr. Bouncer, who whiled away the time by telling him terrible stories about the matriculation ordeal, Mr. Verdant Green and Fosbrooke ran upstairs, and spread a newspaper over a heap of pipes and pewter pots and bottles of ale, and prepared a table with pen, ink, and scribble-paper. Soon afterwards, Mr. Bouncer led in the unsuspecting victim.

"Take a seat, sir," said Mr. Fosbrooke, gravely. And Mr. Pucker put his hat on the ground, and sat down at the table in a state of blushing nervousness. "Have you been at a public school?"

"Yes, sir," stammered the victim; "a very public one, sir. It was a boarding school, sir. I was a day boy, sir, and in the first class."

"First class of an uncommon slow train!" muttered Mr. Bouncer.

"Now, sir," continued Mr. Fosbrooke, "let us see what your Latin writing is like. Have the goodness to turn what I have written into Latin; and be very careful," added Mr. Fosbrooke sternly, "be very careful that it is good Latin!" And he handed Mr. Pucker a sheet of paper, on which he had scribbled the following:

"To be turned into Latin after the Manner of the Animals of Tacitus: She went into the garden to cut a cabbage to make an apple-pie. Just then a great she-bear, coming down the street, poked its nose into the shop window. 'What! No soap? Bosh!' So he died, and she (very imprudently) married the barber. And there were present at the wedding the Joblillies, and the Piccannies, and the Gobelites, and the great Panjandrum himself, with the little button on top. So they all set to playing catch-who-catch-can, till the gunpowder ran out at the heels of their boots."

It was well for the purposes of the hoaxers that Mr. Pucker's trepidation prevented him from making a calm perusal of the paper; he was nervously doing his best to turn the nonsensical English word by word into equally nonsensical Latin, when his limited powers of Latin writing were brought to a full stop by the untranslatable word "bosh." As he could make nothing of this, he gazed appealingly at the benignant features of Mr. Verdant Green. The appealing gaze was answered by our hero ordering Mr. Pucker to hand in his paper, and reply to the questions on history and Euclid. Mr. Pucker took the two papers of questions, and read as follows:


"1. Show the strong presumption there is, that Nox was the god of battles.

"2. In what way were the shades on the banks of the Styx supplied with spirits?

"3. Give a brief account of the Roman emperors who visited the United States, and state what they did there.


"1. Show the fallacy of defining an angle, as a worm at one end and a fool at the other.

"2. If a freshman A have any mouth x and a bottle of wine y, show how many applications of x to y will place y+y before A.

"3. Find the value of a 'bob,' a 'tanner,' a 'joey,' a 'tizzy,' a 'poney,' and a 'monkey.'

"4. If seven horses eat twenty-five acres of grass in three days, what will be their condition on the fourth day? Prove this by practice."

Mr. Pucker did not know what to make of such extraordinary and unexpected questions. He blushed, tried to write, fingered his curls, and then gave himself over to despair; whereupon Mr. Bouncer was seized with an immoderate fit of laughter, which brought the farce almost to an end.

"I'm afraid, young gentleman," said Mr. Bouncer, "that your learning is not yet up to the Brazenface standard. But we will give you one more chance to retrieve yourself. We will try a little vivâ voce, Mr. Pucker. If a coach-wheel 6 inches in diameter and 5 inches in circumference makes 240 revolutions in a second, how many men will it take to do the same piece of work in ten days?"

Mr. Pucker grew redder and hotter than before, and gasped like a fish out of water.

"I see you will not do for us yet awhile," said his tormentor, "and we are therefore under the painful necessity of rejecting you. I should advise you to read hard for another twelve months, and try to master those subjects in which you have now failed."

Disregarding poor Mr. Pucker's entreaties to matriculate him this once for the sake of his mother, when he would read very hard--indeed he would--Mr. Fosbrooke turned to Mr. Bouncer and gave him some private instructions, and Mr. Verdant Green immediately disappeared in search of his scout, Filcher. Five minutes afterwards, as the dejected Mr. Pucker was crawling out of the quad, Filcher came and led him back to the rooms of Mr. Slowcoach, the real examining tutor.

"But I have been examined," Mr. Pucker kept on saying dejectedly. "I have been examined, and they rejected me."

"I think it was an 'oax, sir," said Filcher.

"A what!" stammered Mr. Pucker.

"A 'oax--a sell," said the scout. "Those two gents has been 'aving a little game with you, sir. They often does it with fresh parties like you, sir, that seem fresh and hinnocent like."

Mr. Pucker was immensely relieved at this news, and at once went to Mr. Slowcoach, who, after an examination of twenty minutes, passed him. But Filcher was alarmed at the joyful way in which he rushed out of the tutor's room.

"You didn't tell 'im about the 'oax, sir, did yer?" asked the scout anxiously.

"Not a word," said the radiant Mr. Pucker.

"Then you're a trump, sir!" said Filcher. "And Mr. Verdant Green's compliments to yer, sir, and will you come up to his rooms and take a glass of wine with him, sir?"

It need hardly be said that the blushing Mr. Pucker passed a very pleasant evening with his new friends, and that Mr. Verdant Green was very proud of having got so far out of the freshman's stage of existence as to take part in one of the most successful hoaxes in the history of Oxford.

III.--Town and Gown

Mr. Verdant Green, Mr. Charles Larkyns, and a throng of their acquaintances were sitting in Mr. Bouncer's rooms, on the evening of November 5, when a knock at the oak was heard; and as Mr. Bouncer roared out, "Come in!" the knocker entered. Opening the door, and striking into an attitude, he exclaimed in a theatrical tone and manner:

"Scene, Mr. Bouncer's rooms in Brazenface; in the centre a table, at which a party are drinking log-juice, and smoking cabbage leaves. Door, left, third entrance. Enter the Putney Pet. Slow music; lights half down."

Even Mr. Verdant Green did not require to be told the profession of the Putney Pet. His thick-set frame, his hard-featured, battered, hang-dog face proclaimed him a prize-fighter.

"Now for a toast, gentlemen," said Mr. Bouncer. "May the Gown give the Town a jolly good hiding!"

This was received with great applause, and the Putney Pet was dressed out in a gown and mortar-board, and the whole party then sallied out to battle. From time immemorial it has been the custom at Oxford for the town-people and the scholars to engage, at least once a year, in a wild scrimmage, and the pitched battle was now due. No doubt it was not quite fair for the men of Brazenface to bring the Putney Pet up from London for the occasion; but for some years Gown had been defeated by Town, and they were resolved to have their revenge.

When Mr. Bouncer's party turned the corner of Saint Mary's, they found that the Town, as usual, had taken the initiative, and in a dense body had swept the High Street and driven all the gownsmen before them. A small knot of 'varsity men were manfully struggling against superior numbers by St. Mary's Hall.

"Gown to the rescue!" shouted Mr. Bouncer, as he dashed across the street. "Come on, Pet! Here we are in the thick of it, just in the nick of time!"

Poor Mr. Verdant Green had never learnt to box. He was a lover of peace and quietness, and would have preferred to have watched the battle from a college window; but he had been drawn in the fray against his will by Mr. Bouncer. He now rushed into the scrimmage with no idea of fighting, and a valiant bargee singled him out as an easy prey, and aimed a heavy blow at him. Instinctively doubling his fists, Mr. Verdant Green found that necessity was indeed the mother of invention; and, with a passing thought of what would be his mother's and his maiden aunt's feelings could they see him fighting with a common bargeman, he managed to guard off the blow. But he was not so fortunate in the second round, for the bargee knocked him down, but was happily knocked down in turn by the Putney Pet. The language of this gentle and refined scholar had become very peculiar.

"There's a squelcher for you, my kivey," he said to the bargee, as he sent him sprawling. Then, turning round, he asked a townsman: "What do you charge for a pint of Dutch pink?" following up the question by striking him on the nose.

Unused to being questioned in this violent way, the town party at last turned and fled, and the gownsmen went in search of other foes to conquer. Even Mr. Verdant Green felt desperately courageous when the town took to their heels and vanished.

At Exeter College another town-and-gown fight was raging furiously. The town mob had come across the Senior Proctor, the Rev. Thomas Tozer; and while Old Towzer, as he was called, was trying to assert his proctorial authority over them, they had jeered him, and torn his clothes, and bespattered him with mud. A small group of gownsmen rushed to his rescue.

"Oh, this is painful," said the Rev. Thomas Tozer, putting the handkerchief to his bleeding nose. "This is painful! This is exceedingly painful, gentlemen!"

He was at once surrounded by sympathising undergraduates, who begged him to allow them to charge the town at once. But the Town far outnumbered the Gown, and, in spite of the assistance of the reverend proctor, the fight was going against them. The Rev. Thomas Tozer had just been knocked down for the first time in his life, and the cry of "Gown to the rescue!" fell very pleasantly on his ears. Mr. Verdant Green helped him to rise, while the Putney Pet stepped before him and struck out right and left. Ten minutes of scientific pugilism, and the fate of the battle was decided. The Town fled every way, and the Rev. Thomas Tozer was at last able to look calmly about him. He at once resumed his proctorial duties.

"Why have you not on your gown, sir?" he said to the Putney Pet.

"I ax yer pardon, guv'nor," said the Pet deferentially. "I couldn't get on in it, nohow. So I pocketed it; but some cove has gone and prigged it."

"I am unable to comprehend the nature of your language, sir," said the Rev. Thomas Tozer angrily, thinking it was an impudent undergraduate. "I don't understand you, sir; but I desire at once to know your name and college."

Mr. Bouncer, however, succeeded in explaining matters to the proctor, who then congratulated the Pet on having displayed pugilistic powers worthy of the Xystics of the noblest days of Ancient Rome. Both the Pet and the undergraduates wondered what a Xystic was, but instead of inquiring further into the matter, they went to the Roebuck, where, after a supper of grilled bones and welsh-rabbits, Mr. Verdant Green gave, "by particular request," his now celebrated song, "The Mar-arble Halls."

The forehead of the singer was decorated with a patch of brown paper, from which arose a strong smell of vinegar. But he was not ashamed of it; indeed, he wore it all the next day, and was sorry when he had to take it off--for was it not, in a way, a badge of courage?

From this time Mr. Verdant Green began to despise mere reading-men who never went in for sports. He resolved at once to go in for them all. He took to rowing, and was rescued from a watery grave by Mr. Bouncer. Then, defeated but undaunted, he took to riding, and was thrown off. But what did it matter? Before the term ended, he grew more accustomed to the management of Oxford tubs and Oxford hacks.

It is true that the unfeeling man who reported the Torpid races for "Bell's Life" had the unkindness to state in cold print; "Worcester succeeded in making the bump at the Cherwell, in consequence of No. 3 of the Brazenface boat suffering from fatigue." And on the copy of the journal sent to Mrs. Green of Manor Green, her son sadly drew a pencil line under "No. 3," and wrote: "This was me." But both Mrs. Green and Miss Virginia Green were more than consoled when their beloved boy returned home about midsummer with a slip of paper on which was written and printed:

GREEN, VERDANT, È. Coll. AEn. Fac. Quiæstionibus Magistrorum Scholarum in Parviso pro forma respondit.

        Ita testamur (GULIELMUS SMITH.
                                  (ROBERTUS JONES.

In other words, Mr. Verdant Green had got through his Smalls. But, sad to say, poor Mr. Bouncer had been plucked.

Mr. Verdant Green smiled to himself. It was the sheerest bit of good luck that he had managed to get through. Still, he had learned more at Oxford than was taught in books--he had learned to be a manly fellow in spite of his gig-lamps.


Jane Eyre

Charlotte Brontë was born at Thornton, Yorkshire, England, on the 21st of April, 1816, of Irish and Cornish stock. By reason of her father's manner of living, she was utterly deprived of all companions of her own age. She therefore lived in a little world of her own, and by the time she was thirteen years of age, it had become her constant habit, and one of her few pleasures, to weave imaginary tales, idealising her favorite historical heroes, and setting forth in narrative form her own thoughts and feelings. Both Charlotte and her sisters Emily and Anne early found refuge in their habits of composition, and about 1845 made their first literary venture--a small volume of poems. This was not successful, but the authors were encouraged to make a further trial, and each began to prepare a prose tale. "Jane Eyre," perhaps the most poignant love-story in the English tongue, was published on October 16, 1847. Its title ran: "Jane Eyre: an Autobiography. Edited by Currer Bell." The romantic story of its acceptance by the publishers has been told in our condensation of Mrs. Gaskell's "Life of Charlotte Brontë." (See LIVES AND LETTERS, Vol. IX.) Written secretly under the pressure of incessant domestic anxiety, as if with the very life-blood of its author, the wonderful intensity of the story kindled the imagination of the reading public in an extraordinary degree, and the popularity at once attained has never flagged. Though the experiences of Jane Eyre were not, except in comparatively unimportant episodes, the experiences of the authoress, Jane Eyre is Charlotte Brontë. One of the most striking features of the book--a feature preserved in the following summary--is the haunting suggestion of sympathy between nature and human emotion. The publication of "Jane Eyre" removed its authoress from almost straitened circumstances and a narrow round of life to material comfort and congenial society. In reality it endowed at once the most diffident of women with lasting fame. After a brief period of married life, Charlotte Brontë died on March 31, 1855.

I.--The Master of Thornfield Hall

Thornfield, my new home after I left school, was, I found, a fine old battlemented hall, and Mrs. Fairfax, who had answered my advertisement, a mild, elderly lady, related by marriage to Mr. Rochester, the owner of the estate and the guardian of Adela Varens, my little pupil.

It was not till three months after my arrival there that my adventures began. One day Mrs. Fairfax proposed to show me over the house, much of which was unoccupied. The third storey especially had the aspect of a home of the past--a shrine of memory. I liked its hush and quaintness.

"If there were a ghost at Thornfield Hall this would be its haunt," said Mrs. Fairfax, as we passed the range of apartments on our way to see the view from the roof.

I was pacing through the corridor of the third floor on my return, when the last sound I expected in so still a region struck my ear--a laugh, distinct, formal, mirthless. At first it was very low, but it passed off in a clamorous peal that seemed to wake an echo in every lonely chamber.

"Mrs. Fairfax," I called out, "did you hear that laugh? Who is it?"

"Some of the servants very likely," she answered; "perhaps Grace Poole."

The laugh was repeated in a low tone, and terminated in an odd murmur.

"Grace!" exclaimed Mrs. Fairfax.

I didn't expect Grace to answer, for the laugh was preternatural.

Nevertheless, the door nearest me opened, and a servant came out--a set, square-made figure, with a hard, plain face.

"Too much noise, Grace," said Mrs. Fairfax. "Remember directions!"

Grace curtseyed silently, and went in.

Not unfrequently after that I heard Grace Poole's laugh and her eccentric murmurs, stranger than her laugh.

Late one fine, calm afternoon in January I volunteered to carry to the post at Hay, two miles distant, a letter Mrs. Fairfax had just written. The lane to Hay inclined uphill all the way, and having reached the middle, I sat on a stile till the sun went down, and on the hill-top above me stood the rising moon. The village was a mile distant, but in the absolute hush I could hear plainly its murmurs of life.

A rude noise broke on the fine ripplings and whisperings of the evening calm, a metallic clatter, a horse was coming. The windings of the lane hid it as it approached. Then I heard a rush under the hedge, and close by glided a great dog, not staying to look up. The horse followed--a tall steed, and on its back a rider. He passed; a sliding sound, a clattering tumble, and man and horse were down. They had slipped on the sheet of ice which glased the causeway. The dog came bounding back, sniffed round the prostrate group, and then ran up to me; it was all he could do. I obeyed him, and walked down to the traveller struggling himself free of his steed. I think he was swearing, but am not certain.

"Can I do anything?" I asked.

"You can stand on one side," he answered as he rose. Whereupon began a heaving, stamping process, accompanied by a barking and baying, and the horse was re-established and the dog silenced with a "Down, Pilot!"

"If you are hurt and want help, sir," I remarked, "I can fetch someone, either from Thornfield Hall or from Hay."

"Thank you, I shall do. I have no broken bones, only a sprain." And he limped to the stile.

He had a dark face, with stern features and a heavy brow. His eyes and gathered eyebrows looked ireful and thwarted; he was past youth, but had not reached middle age--perhaps he might be thirty-five. I felt no fear of him and but little shyness. His frown and roughness set me at ease.

He waved me to go, but I said:

"I cannot think of leaving you in this solitary lane till you are fit to mount your horse."

"You ought to be at home yourself," said he. "Where do you come from?"

"From just below."

"Do you mean that house with the battlements?"

"Yes, sir."

"Whose house is it?"

"Mr. Rochester's."

"Do you know Mr. Rochester?"

"No, I have never seen him."

"You are not a servant at the Hall, of course. You are--"

"I am the governess."

"Ah, the governess!" he repeated. "Deuce take me if I had not forgotten! Excuse me," he continued, "necessity compels me to make you useful."

He laid a heavy hand on my shoulder, limped to his horse, caught the bridle, and, grimacing grimly, sprang into the saddle and, with a "Thank you," bounded away.

When I returned from Hay, after posting Mrs. Fairfax's letter, I went to her room. She was not there, but sitting upright on the rug was a great black-and-white long-haired dog. I went forward and said, "Pilot," and the thing got up, came to me, sniffed me, and wagged his great tail. I rang the bell.

"What dog is this?"

"He came with master, who has just arrived. He has had an accident, and his ankle is sprained."

The next day I was summoned to take tea with Mr. Rochester and my pupil. When I entered he was looking at Adela, who knelt on the hearth beside Pilot.

"Here is Miss Eyre, sir," said Mrs. Fairfax, in her quiet way.

Mr. Rochester bowed, still not taking his eyes from the group of the dog and the child.

I sat down, disembarrassed. Politeness might have confused me; caprice laid me under no obligation.

Mrs. Fairfax seemed to think someone should be amiable, and she began to talk.

"Madam, I should like some tea," was the sole rejoinder she got.

"Come to the fire," said the master, when the tray was taken away. "When you came on me in Hay lane last night I thought unaccountably of fairy tales, and had half a mind to demand whether you had bewitched my horse. I am not sure yet. Who are your parents?"

"I have none."

"I thought not. And so you were waiting for your people when you sat on that stile?"

"For whom, sir?"

"For the men in green. Did I break through one of your rings that you spread that ice on the causeway?"

I shook my head.

"The men in green all forsook England a hundred years ago. I don't think either summer or harvest or winter moon will ever shine on their revels more."

Mrs. Fairfax dropped her knitting, wondering what sort of talk this was, and remarked that Miss Eyre had been a kind and careful teacher.

"Don't trouble yourself to give her a character," returned Mr. Rochester. "I shall judge for myself. She began by felling my horse."

"You said Mr. Rochester was not peculiar, Mrs. Fairfax," I remonstrated, when I rejoined her in her room after putting Adela to bed.

After a time my master's manner towards me changed. It became more uniform. I never seemed in his way. He did not take fits of chilling hauteur. When he met me, the encounter seemed welcome; he always had a word, and sometimes a smile. I felt at times as if he were my relation rather than my master, and so happy did I become that the blanks of existence were filled up. He had now been resident eight weeks, though Mrs. Fairfax said he seldom stayed at the Hall longer than a fortnight.

II.--The Mystery of the Third Floor

One night, I hardly know whether I had been sleeping or musing, I started wide awake on hearing a vague murmur, peculiar and lugubrious. It ceased, but my heart beat anxiously; my inward tranquillity was broken. The clock, far down in the hall, struck two. Just then my chamber-door was touched as if fingers swept the panels groping a way along the dark gallery outside. I was chilled with fear. Then I remembered that it might be Pilot, and the idea calmed me. But it was fated I should not sleep that night, for at the very keyhole of my chamber, as it seemed, a demoniac laugh was uttered. My first impulse was to rise and fasten the bolt, my next to cry: "Who is there?" Ere long steps retreated up the gallery towards the third floor staircase, and then all was still.

"Was it Grace Poole?" thought I. I hurried on my frock, and with a trembling hand opened the door. There, burning outside, left on the matting of the gallery, was a candle; and the air was filled with smoke, which rushed in a cloud from Mr. Rochester's room. In an instant I was within the chamber. Tongues of fire darted round the bed; the curtains were on fire, and in the midst lay Mr. Rochester, in deep sleep. I shook him, but he seemed stupefied. Then I rushed to his basin and ewer, and deluged the bed with water. He woke with the cry: "Is there a flood? What is it?"

I briefly related what had transpired. He was now in his dressing-gown, and, warning me to stay where I was and call no one, he added: "I must pay a visit to the third floor." A long time elapsed ere he returned, pale and gloomy.

"I have found it all out," said he; "it is as I thought. You are no talking fool. Say nothing about it."

He held out his hand as we parted. I gave him mine; he took it in both his own.

"You have saved my life. I have a pleasure in owing you so immense a debt. I feel your benefits no burden, Jane."

Strange energy was in his voice.

Till morning I was tossed on a buoyant, but unquiet sea. In the morning I heard the servants exclaim how providential that master thought of the water-jug when he had left the candle alight; and passing the room, I saw, sewing rings on the new curtains, no other than--Grace Poole.

Company now came to the hall, including the beautiful Miss Ingram, whom rumour associated with Mr. Rochester, as I heard from Mrs. Fairfax.

One day Mr. Rochester had been called away from home, and on his return, as I was the first inmate of the house to meet him, I remarked: "Oh, are you aware, Mr. Rochester, that a stranger has arrived since you left this morning?"

"A stranger! no; I expected no one; did he give his name?"

"His name is Mason, sir, and he comes from the West Indies."

Mr. Rochester was standing near me, and as I spoke he gave my wrist a convulsive grip, while a spasm caught his breath, and he turned whiter than ashes.

"Do you feel ill, sir?" I inquired.

"Jane, I've got a blow; I've got a blow, Jane!" he staggered.

Then he sat down and made me sit beside him.

"My little friend," said he, "I wish I were in a quiet island with only you; and trouble and danger and hideous recollections were removed from me."

"Can I help you, sir? I'd give my life to serve you."

"Jane, if aid is wanted, I'll seek it at your hands."

"Thank you, sir; tell me what to do."

"Go back into the room; step quietly up to Mason, tell him Mr. Rochester has come and wishes to see him; show him in here, and then leave me."

At a late hour that night I heard the visitors repair to their chambers and Mr. Rochester saying: "This way, Mason; this is your room."

He spoke cheerfully, and the gay tones set my heart at ease.

Awaking in the dead of night I stretched my hand to draw the curtain, for the moon was full and bright. Good God! What a cry! The night was rent in twain by a savage, shrilly sound that ran from end to end of Thornfield Hall.

The cry died and was not renewed. Indeed, whatever being uttered that fearful shriek could not soon repeat it; not the widest-winged condor on the Andes could, twice in succession, send out such a yell from the cloud shrouding his eyrie.

It came out of the third storey. And overhead--yes, in the room just above my chamber, I heard a deadly struggle, and a half-smothered voice shout, "Help! help!"

A chamber door opened; someone rushed along the gallery. Another step stamped on the floor above, and something fell. Then there was silence.

The sleepers were all aroused and gathered in the gallery, which but for the moonlight would have been in complete darkness. The door at the end of the gallery opened, and Mr. Rochester advanced with a candle. He had just descended from the upper storey.

"All's right!" he cried. "A servant has had a nightmare, that is all, and has taken a fit with fright. Now I must see you all back to your rooms." And so by dint of coaxing and commanding he contrived to get them back to their dormitories.

I retreated unnoticed and dressed myself carefully to be ready for emergencies. About an hour passed, and then a cautious hand tapped low at my door.

"Are you up and dressed?"


"Then come out quietly."

Mr. Rochester stood in the gallery holding a light.

"Bring a sponge and some volatile salts," said he.

I did so, and followed him.

"You don't turn sick at the sight of blood?"

"I think not; I have never been tried yet."

We entered a room with an inner apartment, from whence came a snarling, snatching sound. Mr. Rochester went forward into this apartment, and a shout of laughter greeted his entrance. Grace Poole, then, was there. When he came out he closed the door behind him.

"Here, Jane!" he said.

I walked round to the other side of the large bed in the outer room, and there, in an easy-chair, his head leaned back, I recognised the pale and seemingly lifeless face of the stranger, Mason. His linen on one side and one arm was almost soaked in blood.

Mr. Rochester took the sponge, dipped it in water, moistened the corpse-like face, and applied my smelling-bottle to the nostrils.

Mr. Mason unclosed his eyes and murmured: "Is there immediate danger?"

"Pooh!--a mere scratch! I'll fetch a surgeon now, and you'll be able to be removed by the morning."

"Jane," he continued, "you'll sponge the blood when it returns, and put your salts to his nose; and you'll not speak to him on any pretext--and, Richard, it will be at the peril of your life if you speak to her."

Two hours later the surgeon came and removed the injured man.

In the morning I heard Rochester in the yard, saying to some of the visitors, "Mason got the start of you all this morning; he was gone before sunrise. I rose to see him off."

III.--The Shadowy Walk

A splendid midsummer shone over England. In the sweetest hour of the twenty-four, after the sun had gone down in simple state, and dew fell cool on the panting plain, I had walked into the orchard, to the giant horse-chestnut, near the sunk fence that separates the Hall grounds from the lonely fields, when there came to me the warning fragrance of Mr. Rochester's cigar. I was about to retreat when he intercepted me, and said: "Turn back, Jane; on so lovely a night it is a shame to sit in the house." I did not like to walk alone with my master at this hour in the shadowy orchard, but could find no reason for leaving him.

"Jane," he recommenced, as we slowly strayed down in the direction of the horse-chestnut, "Thornfield is a pleasant place in summer, is it not?"

"Yes, sir."

"And you must have become in some degree attached to it?"

"I am attached to it, indeed."

"Pity!" he said, and paused.

"Must I move on, sir?" I asked.

"I believe you must, Jane."

This was a blow, but I did not let it prostrate me.

"Then you are going to be married, sir?"

"In about a month I hope to be a bridegroom. We have been good friends, Jane, have we not?"

"Yes, sir."

"Here is the chestnut-tree; come, we will sit here in peace to-night." He seated me and himself.

"Jane, do you hear the nightingale singing in the wood? Listen!"

In listening, I sobbed convulsively, for I could repress what I endured no longer, and when I did speak, it was only to express an impetuous wish that I had never been born, or never come to Thornfield.

"Because you are sorry to leave it?"

The vehemence of emotion was claiming mastery, and struggling for full sway--to overcome, to live, rise, and reign at last; yes--and to speak.

"I grieve to leave Thornfield. I love Thornfield, because I have lived in it a full and delightful life. I have not been trampled on; I have not been petrified. I have talked face to face with what I delight in--an original, a vigorous and expanded mind. I have known you, Mr. Rochester. I see the necessity of departure, but it is like looking on the necessity of death."

"Where do you see the necessity?" he asked suddenly.

"Do you think I can stay to become nothing to you?" I retorted, roused to something like passion. "Do you think, because I am poor, obscure, plain, and little, I am soulless and heartless? You think wrong! I have as much soul as you--and full as much heart! I am not talking to you now through the medium of custom, conventionalities, nor even mortal flesh. It is my spirit that addresses your spirit, just as if both had passed through the grave, and we stood at God's feet, equal--as we are!"

"As we are!" repeated Mr. Rochester, gathering me to his heart and pressing his lips on my lips. "So, Jane!"

"Yes, so, sir!" I replied. "I have spoken my mind, and can go anywhere now. Let me go!"

"Jane, be still; don't struggle so, like a wild, frantic bird, rending its own plumage in its desperation."

"I am no bird, and no net ensnares me. I am a free human being, with an independent will, which I now exert to leave you."

Another effort set me at liberty, and I stood erect before him.

"And your will shall decide your destiny," he said. "I offer you my hand, my heart, and a share in all my possessions."

A waft of wind came sweeping down the laurel walk and trembled through the boughs of the chestnut; it wandered away--away to an infinite distance--it died. The nightingale's song was then the only voice of the hour; in listening to it again, I wept.

Mr. Rochester sat looking at me gently, and at last said, drawing me to him again: "My bride is here, because my equal is here, and my likeness. Jane, will you marry me? Give me my name--Edward. Say, 'I will marry you.'"

"Are you in earnest? Do you love me? Do you sincerely wish me to be your wife?"

"I do. I swear it!"

"Then, sir, I will marry you."

"God pardon me, and man meddle not with me. I have her, and will hold her!"

But what had befallen the night? And what ailed the chestnut-tree? It writhed and groaned, while the wind roared in the laurel walk.

"We must go in," said Mr. Rochester; "the weather changes."

He hurried me up the walk, but we were wet before we could pass the threshold.

IV.--The Mystery Explained

There were no groomsmen, no bridesmaids, no relatives to wait for or marshal; none but Mr. Rochester and I. I wonder what other bridegroom looked as he did--so bent up to a purpose, so resolutely grim. Our place was taken at the communion rails. All was still; two shadows only moved in a remote corner of the church.

As the clergyman's lips unclosed to ask, "Wilt thou have this woman for thy wedded wife?" a distinct and near voice said: "The marriage cannot go on. I declare the existence of an impediment."

"What is the nature of the impediment?" asked the clergyman.

"It simply consists in the existence of a previous marriage," said the speaker. "Mr. Rochester has a wife now living."

My nerves vibrated to those low-spoken words as they had never vibrated to thunder. I looked at Mr. Rochester; I made him look at me. His face was colourless rock; his eye both spark and flint; he seemed as if he would defy all things.

"Mr. Mason, have the goodness to step forward," said the stranger.

"Are you aware, sir, whether or not this gentleman's wife is still living?" inquired the clergyman.

"She is now living at Thornfield Hall," said Mason, with white lips. "I saw her there last April. I am her brother."

I saw a grim smile contract Mr. Rochester's lip.

"Enough," said he. "Wood"--to the clergyman--"close your book; John Green"--to the clerk--"leave the church; there will be no wedding to-day."

"Bigamy is an ugly word," he continued, "but I meant to be a bigamist. This girl thought all was fair and legal, and never dreamt she was going to be entrapped into a feigned union with a defrauded wretch already bound to a bad, mad, and embruted partner. Follow me. I invite you all to visit Grace Poole's patient and my wife!"

We passed up to the third storey, and there, in the deep shade of the inner room beyond the room where I had watched over the wounded Mason, ran backward and forward, seemingly on all fours, a figure, whether beast or human one could not at first sight tell. It snatched and growled like some wild animal. It was covered with clothing; but a quantity of dark, grizzled hair, wild as a mane, hid its head and face.

"That is my wife," said Mr. Rochester, "whom I was cheated into marrying fifteen years ago--a mad woman and a drunkard, of a family of idiots and maniacs for three generations. And this is what I wished to have"--laying his hand on my shoulder--"this young girl who stands so grave and quiet, at the mouth of hell. Jane," he continued, in an agonised tone, "I never meant to wound you thus."

Reader! I forgave him at the moment, and on the spot. I forgave him all; yet not in words, not outwardly; only at my heart's core.

That night I never thought to sleep, but a slumber fell on me as soon as I lay down in bed, and in my sleep a vision spoke to my spirit: "Daughter, flee temptation!" I rose with the dim dawn. One word comprised my intolerable duty--Depart!

After three days wandering and starvation on the north-midland moors, for hastily and secretly I had travelled by coach as far from Thornfield as my money would carry me, I found a temporary home at the vicarage of Morton, until the clergyman of that moorland parish, Mr. St. John Rivers, secured for me--under the assumed name of Jane Elliott--the mistresship of the village school.

At Christmas I left the school. As the spring advanced St. John Rivers, who, with an icy heroism, was possessed by the idea of becoming a missionary, urged me strongly to accompany him to India as his wife, on the grounds that I was docile, diligent, and courageous, and would be very useful. I felt such veneration for him that I was tempted to cease struggling with him--to rush down the torrent of his will into the gulf of his existence, and there lose my own.


The time came when he called on me to decide. I fervently longed to do what was right, and only that. "Show me the path, show me the path!" I entreated of Heaven.

My heart beat fast and thick; I heard its throb. Suddenly it stood still to an inexpressible feeling that thrilled it through. My senses rose expectant; ear and eye waited, while the flesh quivered on my bones. I saw nothing; but I heard a voice, somewhere, cry "Jane! Jane! Jane!"--nothing more.

"Oh, God! What is it?" I gasped. I might have said, "Where is it?" for it did not seem in the room, nor in the house, nor in the garden, nor from overhead. And it was the voice of a human being--a loved, well-remembered voice--that of Edward Fairfax Rochester; and it spoke in pain and woe, wildly, eerily, urgently.

"I am coming!" I cried. "Wait for me!" I ran out into the garden; it was void.

"Down, superstition!" I commented, as that spectre rose up black by the black yew at the gate.

I mounted to my chamber, locked myself in, fell on my knees, and seemed to penetrate very near a Mighty Spirit; and my soul rushed out in gratitude at His feet.

Then I rose from the thanksgiving, took a resolve, and lay down, unscared, enlightened, eager but for the daylight.

Thirty-six hours later I was crossing the fields to where I could see the full front of my master's mansion, and, looking with a timorous joy, saw--a blackened ruin.

Where, meantime, was the hapless owner?

I returned to the inn, where the host himself, a respectable middle-aged man, brought my breakfast into the parlour. I scarcely knew how to begin my questions.

"Is Mr. Rochester living at Thornfield Hall now?"

"No, ma'am--oh, no! No one is living there. It was burnt down about harvest time. The fire broke out at dead of night."

"Was it known how it originated?"

"They guessed, ma'am; they guessed. There was a lady--a--a lunatic kept in the house. She had a woman to take care of her called Mrs. Poole, an able woman but for one fault--she kept a private bottle of gin by her; and the mad lady would take the keys out of her pocket, let herself out of her chamber, and go roaming about the house doing any wild mischief that came into her head. Mr. Rochester was at home when the fire broke out, and he went up to the attics and got the servants out of their beds, and then went back to get his mad wife out of her cell. And then they called out to him that she was on the roof, where she was waving her arms and shouting till they could hear her a mile off. She was a big woman, and had long, black hair; and we could see it streaming against the flames as she stood. We saw Mr. Rochester approach her and call 'Bertha!' And then, ma'am, she yelled and gave a spring, and the next minute lay dead, smashed on the pavement."

"Were any other lives lost?"

"No. Perhaps it would have been better if there had. Poor Mr. Edward! He is stone-blind."

I had dreaded he was mad.

"As he came down the great staircase it fell, and he was taken out of the ruins with one eye knocked out and one hand so crushed that the surgeon had to amputate it directly. The other eye inflamed, and he lost the sight of that also."

"Where does he live now?"

"At Ferndean, a manor house on a farm he has--quite a desolate spot. Old John and his wife are with him; he would have none else."

To Ferndean I came just ere dusk, walking the last mile. As I approached, the narrow front door of the grange slowly opened, and a figure came out into the twilight; a man without a hat. He stretched forth his hand to feel whether it rained. It was my master, Edward Fairfax Rochester.

He groped his way back to the house, and, re-entering it, closed the door. I now drew near and knocked, and John's wife opened for me.

"Mary," I said, "how are you?"

She started as if she had seen a ghost. I calmed her, and followed her into the kitchen, where I explained in a few words that I should stay for the night, and that John must fetch my trunk from the turnpike house. At this moment the parlour bell rang.

Mary proceeded to fill a glass with water and place it on a tray, together with candles.

"Give the tray to me; I will carry it in."

The old dog Pilot pricked up his ears as I entered the room; then he jumped up with a yelp, and bounded towards me, almost knocking the tray from my hands.

"What is the matter?" inquired Mr. Rochester.

He put out his hand with a quick gesture. "Who is this?" he demanded imperiously.

"Will you have a little more water, sir? I spilt half of what was in the glass," I said.

"What is it? Who speaks?"

"Pilot knows me, and John and Mary know I am here," I answered.

He groped, and, arresting his wandering hand, I prisoned it in both mine.

"Her very fingers! Her small, slight fingers! Is it Jane--Jane Eyre?" he cried.

"My dear master, I am Jane Eyre. I have found you out; I am come back to you!"


"Shirley," Charlotte Brontë's second novel, was published two years after "Jane Eyre"--on October 26, 1849. The writing of it was a tragedy. When the book was begun, her brother, Branwell, and her two sisters, Emily and Anne Brontë, were alive. When it was finished all were dead, and Charlotte was left alone with her aged father. In the character of Shirley Keeldar the novelist tried to depict her sister Emily as she would have been had she been placed in health and prosperity. Nearly all the characters were drawn from life, and drawn so vividly that they were recognised locally. Caroline Helstone was sketched from Ellen Nussey, Charlotte Brontë's dearest friend, who furnished later much of the material for the best biographies of the novelist. "Shirley" fully sustained at the time of its publication, the reputation won through "Jane Eyre"; but under the test of time the story--owing, no doubt, to the conditions under which it was written--has not taken rank with that first-fruit of genius, "Jane Eyre," or that consummation of genius, "Villette."

I.--In the Dark Days of the War

Released from the business yoke, Robert Moore was, if not lively himself, a willing spectator of the liveliness of Caroline Helstone, his cousin, a complacent listener to her talk, a ready respondent to her questions. Sometimes he was better than this--almost animated, quite gentle and friendly. The drawback was that by the next morning he was frozen up again.

To-night he stood on the kitchen hearth of Hollow's cottage, after his return from Whinbury cloth-market, and Caroline, who had come over to the cottage from the vicarage, stood beside him. Looking down, his glance rested on an uplifted face, flushed, smiling, happy, shaded with silky curls, lit with fine eyes. Moore placed his hand a moment on his young cousin's shoulder, stooped, and left a kiss on her forehead.

"Are you certain, Robert, you are not fretting about your frames and your business, and the war?" she asked.

"Not just now."

"Are you positive you don't feel Hollow's cottage too small for you, and narrow, and dismal?"

"At this moment, no."

"Can you affirm that you are not bitter at heart because rich and great people forget you?"

"No more questions. I am not anxious to curry favour with rich and great people. I only want means--a position--a career."

"Which your own talent and goodness shall win for you. You were made to be great; you shall be great."

"Ah! You judge me with your heart; you should judge me with your head."

It was the dark days of the Napoleonic wars, when the cloth of the West Riding was shut out from the markets of the world, and ruin threatened the manufacturers, while the introduction of machinery so reduced the numbers of the factory hands that desperation was born of misery and famine.

Robert Moore, of Hollow's Mill, was one of the most unpopular of the mill-owners, partly because he haughtily declined to conciliate the working class, and partly because of his foreign demeanour, for he was the son of a Flemish mother, had been educated abroad, and had only come home recently to attempt to retrieve, by modern trading methods, the fallen fortune of the ancient firm of his Yorkshire forefathers.

The last trade outrage of the district had been the destruction on Stilbro' Moor of the new machines that were being brought by night to his mill.

Caroline Helstone was eighteen years old, drawing near the confines of illusive dreams. Elf-land behind her, the shores of Reality in front. To herself she said that night, after Robert had walked home with her to the rectory gate: "I love Robert, and I feel sure that he loves me. I have thought so many a time before; to-day I felt it."

And Robert, leaning later on his own yard gate, with the hushed, dark mill before him, exclaimed: "This won't do. There's weakness--there's downright ruin in all this."

For Caroline Helstone was a fatherless and portionless girl, entirely dependent on her uncle, the vicar of Briarfield.

II.--The Master of Hollows Mill

"Come, child, put away your books. Lock them up! Get your bonnet on; I want you to make a call with me."

"With you, uncle?"

Thus the Rev. Matthewson Helstone, the imperious little vicar of Briarfield, to his niece, who, obeyed his unusual request, asked where they were going.

"To Fieldhead," replied the Rev. Matthewson Helstone. "We are going to see Miss Shirley Keeldar."

"Miss Keeldar! Is she come to Yorkshire?"

"She is; and will reside for a time on her property."

The Keeldars were the lords of the manor, and their property included the mill rented by Mr. Robert Moore.

The visitors were received at Fieldhead by a middle-aged nervous English lady, to whom Caroline at once found it natural to talk with a gentle ease, until Miss Shirley Keeldar, entering the room, introduced them to Mrs. Pryor, who, she added, "was my governess, and is still my friend."

Shirley Keeldar was no ugly heiress. She was agreeable to the eye, gracefully made, and her face, pale, intelligent, and of varied expression, also possessed the charm of grace.

The interview had not proceeded far before Shirley hoped they would often have the presence of Miss Helstone at Fieldhead; a request repeated by Mrs. Pryor.

"You are distinguished more than you think," said Shirley, "for Mrs. Pryor often tantalises me by the extreme caution of her judgments. I have entreated her to say what she thinks of my gentleman-tenant, Mr. Moore, but she evades an answer. What are Mr. Moore's politics?"

"Those of a tradesman," returned the rector; "narrow, selfish, and unpatriotic."

"He looks a gentleman, and it pleases me to think he is such."

"And decidedly he is," joined in Caroline, in distinct tones.

"You are his friend, at any rate," said Shirley, flashing a searching glance at the speaker.

"I am both his friend and relative."

"I like that romantic Hollow with all my heart--the old mill, and the white cottage, and the counting-house."

"And the trade?" inquired the rector.

"Half my income comes from the works in that Hollow."

"Don't enter into partnership, that's all."

"You've put it into my head!" she exclaimed, with a joyous laugh. "It will never get out; thank you."

Some days later, the new friends were walking together towards the rectory when the talk turned on the qualities which prove that a man can be trusted.

"Do you know what soothsayers I would consult?" asked Caroline.

"Let me hear."

"Neither man nor woman, elderly nor young; the little Irish beggar that comes barefoot to my door; the mouse that steals out of the cranny in the wainscot; the bird that, in frost and snow, pecks at the window for a crumb. I know somebody to whose knee the black cat loves to climb, against whose shoulder and cheek it loves to purr. The old dog always comes out of his kennel and wags his tail when somebody passes."

"Is it Robert?"

"It is Robert."

"Handsome fellow!" said Shirley, with enthusiasm. "He is both graceful and good."

"I was sure that you would see that he was. When I first looked at your face I knew that you would."

"I was well inclined to him before I saw him; I liked him when I did see him; I admire him now."

When they kissed each other and parted at the rectory gate, Shirley said:

"Caroline Helstone, I have never in my whole life been able to talk to a young lady as I have talked to you this morning."

"This is the worst passage I have come to yet," said Caroline to herself. "Still, I was prepared for it. I gave Robert up to Shirley the first day I heard she was come."

III.--Caroline Finds a Mother

The Whitsuntide school treats were being held, and it was Shirley Keeldar who, at the head of the tea-table, kept a place for Robert Moore, and whose temper became clouded when he was late. When he did come he was hard and preoccupied, and presently the two girls noticed he was shaking hands and renewing a broken friendship with a militant rector in the playing field, and that the more vigorous of their manufacturing neighbours had gathered in a group to talk.

"There is some mystery afloat," said Shirley. "Some event is expected, some preparation to be made; and Robert's secrecy vexes me. See, they are all shaking hands with emphasis, as if ratifying some league."

"We must be on the alert," said Caroline, "and perhaps we shall find a clue."

Later, the rector came to them to mention that he would not sleep at home that night, and Shirley had better stay with Caroline--arrangements which they could not but connect with a glimpse of martial scarlet they had observed on a distant moor earlier in the day, and the passage, by a quiet route, of six cavalry soldiers.

So the girls sat up that night and watched, until, close upon midnight, they heard the tramp of hundreds of marching feet. The mob halted by the rectory for a muttered consultation, and then moved cautiously along towards the Hollow's Mill.

In vain did the two watchers try to cross to the mill by fenced fields and give the alarm. When they reached a point from which they could overlook the mill, the attack had already begun, and the yard-gates were being forced. A volley of stones smashed every window, but the mill remained mute as a mausoleum.

"He cannot be alone," whispered Caroline.

"I would stake all I have that he is as little alone as he is alarmed," responded Shirley.

Shots were discharged by the rioters. Had the defenders waited for this signal? It seemed so. The inert mill woke, and a volley of musketry pealed sharp through the Hollow. It was difficult in the darkness to distinguish what was going on now. The mill yard was full of battle-movement; there was struggling, rushing, trampling, and shouting, and then the rioters, who had never dreamed of encountering an organised defence, fell back defeated, but leaving the premises a blot of desolation on the fresh front of the summer dawn.

Caroline Helstone now fell into a state of depression and physical weakness which she tried in vain to combat.

"It is scarcely living to measure time as I do at the rectory," she confessed one day to Mrs. Pryor, who had become her instructress and friend. "The hours pass, and I get over them somehow, but I do not live I endure existence, but I barely enjoy it. I want to go away from this place and forget it."

"You know I am at present residing with Miss Keeldar in the capacity of companion," Mrs. Pryor replied. "Should she marry, and that she will marry ere long many circumstances induce me to conclude, I shall cease to be necessary to her. I possess a small independency, arising partly from my own savings and partly from a legacy. Whenever I leave Fieldhead I shall take a house of my own. I have no relations to invite to close intimacy. To you, my dear, I need not say I am attached. With you I am happier than I have been with any living thing. You will come to me then, Caroline?"

"Indeed, I love you," was the reply, "and I should like to live with you."

"All I have I would leave to you."

"But, my dear madam, I have no claim on this generosity--"

Mrs. Pryor now displayed such agitation that it was Caroline who had to become comforter.

The sequel to this scene appeared when Caroline sank into so weak a state that constant nursing was needed, and Mrs. Pryor established herself at the rectory.

One day, when the watchful nurse could not forbear to weep--her full heart overflowing--her patient asked:

"Do you think I shall not get better? I do not feel very ill--only weak."

"But your mind, Caroline; your mind is crushed; your heart is broken; you have been left so desolate."

"I sometimes think if an abundant gush of happiness came on me, I could revive yet."

"You love me, Caroline?"

"Inexpressibly. I sometimes feel as if I could almost grow to your heart."

"Then, if you love me so, it will be neither shock nor pain for you to know that you are my own child."

"Mrs. Pryor! That is--that means--you have adopted me?"

"It means that I am your true mother."

"But Mrs. James Helstone--but my father's wife, whom I do not remember to have seen, she is my mother?"

"She is your mother," Mrs. Pryor assured her. "James Helstone was my husband."

"Is what I hear true? Is it no dream? My own mother! And one I can be so fond of! If you are my mother, the world is all changed to me."

The offspring nestled to the parent, who gathered her to her bosom, covered her with noiseless kisses, and murmured love over her like a cushat fostering its young.

IV.--An Old Acquaintance

An uncle of Shirley Keeldar, Sympson by name, now came with his family to stay at Feidhead, and accompanying them, as tutor to a crippled son Harry, was Louis Moore, Robert's younger brother.

"Shirley," said Caroline one day as they sat in the summer-house, "you are a singular being. I thought I knew you quite well; I begin to find myself mistaken. Did you know that my cousin Louis was tutor in your uncle's family before the Sympsons came down here?"

"Yes, of course; I knew it well."

"How chanced it that you never mentioned it to me?" asked Caroline. "You knew Mrs. Pryor was my mother, and were silent, and now here again is another secret."

"I never made it a secret; you never asked me who Henry's tutor was, or I would have told you."

"I am puzzled about more things than one in this matter. You don't like poor Louis--why? Do you wish that Robert's brother were more highly placed?"

"Robert's brother, indeed!" was the exclamation in a tone of scorn, and, with a movement of proud impatience, Shirley snatched a rose from a branch peeping through the open lattice. "Robert's brother! Robert's brother is a topic on which you and I shall quarrel if we discuss it often; so drop it henceforth and for ever."

She would have understood the meaning of that outburst better if she had heard a conversation in the schoolroom a few days later between Louis Moore and Shirley.

"For two years," he was saying, "I had once a pupil who grew very dear to me. Henry is dear, but she was dearer. Henry never gives me trouble; she--well--she did. She spilled the draught from my cup; and having taken from me my peace of mind and ease of life, she took from me herself, quite coolly--just as if, when she was gone, the world would be all the same to me. At the end of two years it fell out that we encountered again. She received me haughtily; but then she was inconsistent: she tantalised as before. When I thought of her only as a lofty stranger, she would suddenly show me a glimpse of loving simplicity, warm me with such a beam of reviving sympathy that I could no more shut my heart to her image than I could close that door against her presence. Explain why she distressed me so."

"She could not bear to be quite outcast," was the docile reply.

Caroline would have understood still more could she have read what Louis Moore wrote in his diary that night: "What a child she is sometimes! What an unsophisticated, untaught thing! I worship her perfections; but it is her faults, or at least her foibles, that bring her near to me. If I were a king and she were a housemaid, my eye would recognise her qualities."

Robert Moore had long been absent from Briarfield, and no one knew why he stayed away. It could not be that he was afraid, for he had shown the utmost fearlessness in bringing to justice and transportation the four ringleaders in the attack on the mill. He had now returned, and one day as he rode over Rushedge Moore from Stilbro' market with a bluff neighbour, he unbosomed himself of the reason why he had remained thus long from home.

"I certainly believed she loved me," he said. "I have seen her eyes sparkle when she found me out in a crowd. When my name was uttered she changed countenance; I knew she did. She was cordial to me; she took an interest in me; she was anxious about me. I saw power in her; I owed her gratitude. She aided me substantially and effectively with a loan of five thousand pounds. Could I believe she loved me? With an admiration dedicated entirely to myself I smiled at her being the first to love and to show it. That whip of yours seems to have a good heavy handle. Knock me out of the saddle with it if you choose, for I never felt as if nature meant her to be my other and better self. Yet I walked up to Fieldhead and in a hard, firm fashion offered myself--my fine person--with all my debts, of course, as a settlement. There was no misunderstanding her aspect and voice as she indignantly ejaculated: 'God bless me!' Her eyes lightened as she said: 'You have pained me; you have outraged me; you have deceived me. I did respect, I did admire, I did like you, and you would immolate me to that mill--your Moloch!' I was obliged to say, 'Forgive me!' To which she replied, 'I could if there was not myself to forgive too, but to mislead a sagacious man so far I must have done wrong.' She added, 'I am sorry for what has happened.' So was I, God knows."

It was after this talk that Moore was shot down by a concealed assassin.

V.--Love Scenes

On the very night that Robert Moore arrived at his cottage in the Hollow, after being nursed back to life in the house of the neighbour who was with him when he was shot by a fanatical revolutionist, he scribbled a note to ask his cousin Caroline to call, as was her wont before the days of misunderstanding.

"Caroline, you look as if you had heard good tidings," said Robert. "What is the source of the sunshine I perceive about you?"

"For one thing, I am happy in mamma. I love her more tenderly every day. And I am glad you are better, and that we are friends."

"Cary, I mean to tell you some day a thing about myself that is not to my credit. I cannot bear that you should think better of me than I deserve."

"But I believe I know all about it. I inferred something, gathered more from rumour, and made out the rest by instinct."

"I wanted to marry Shirley for the sake of her money, and she refused me scornfully; you needn't prick your fingers with your needle, that is the plain truth--and I had not an emotion of tenderness for her."

"Then, Robert, it was very wicked in you to want to marry her."

"And very mean, my little pastor; but, Cary, I had no love to give--no heart that I could call my own."

It is Louis who is once more speaking to Shirley in the schoolroom.

"For the first time, Shirley, I stand before you--myself. I fling off the tutor and introduce you to the man. My pupil."

"My master," was the low answer.

"I have to tell you that for five years you have been growing into your tutor's heart, and that you are rooted there now. I have to declare that you have bewitched me, in spite of sense and experience, and difference of station and estate, and that I love you with all my life and strength."

"Dear Louis, be faithful to me; never leave me. I don't care for life unless I pass it at your side." She looked up with a sweet, open, earnest countenance. "Teach me and help me to be good. Show me how to sustain my part. Your judgment is well-balanced; your heart is kind; I know you are wise. Be my companion through life, my guide where I am ignorant, my master where I am faulty."

The Orders in Council are repealed, the blockaded ports are thrown open, and the ringers in Briarfield belfry crack a bell that remains dissonant to this day. Caroline Helstone is in the garden listening to this call to be gay when a hand steals quietly round her waist.

"Caroline," says a manly voice. "I have sought you for an audience. The repeal of the Orders in Council saves me. Now I shall not turn bankrupt, now I shall be no longer poor, now I can pay my debts; now all the cloth I have in my warehouses will be taken off my hands. This day lays my fortune on a foundation on which for the first time I can securely build."

"Your heavy difficulties are lifted?"

"They are lifted; I breathe; I can act. Now I can take more workmen, give better wages, be less selfish. Now, Caroline, I can have a home that is truly mine, and seek a wife. Will Caroline forget all I have made her suffer; forget my poor ambition; my sordid schemes? Will she let me prove I can love faithfully? Is Caroline mine?"

His hand was in hers still, and a gentle pressure answered him, "Caroline is yours."

"I love you, Robert," she said simply, and mutely offered a kiss, an offer of which he took unfair advantage.


Villette is Brussels, and the experiences of the heroine, Lucy Snowe, in travelling thither and teaching there are based on the journeys and the life of Charlotte Brontë when she was a teacher in the Pensionnat Héger. The principal characters in the story have been identified, more or less completely, with people whom the writer knew. Paul Emanuel resembles M. Héger in many ways, and Madame Beck is a severe portrait of Madame Héger. Dr. John Graham Bretton is a reflection of George Smith, Charlotte Brontë's friendly publisher; and Mrs. Bretton is Mr. Smith's mother. Lucy Snowe is Jane Eyre, otherwise Charlotte Brontë, placed amidst different surroundings; and Ginevra Fanshawe was sketched from one of the pupils in Héger's school. The materials used in "Villette" were taken, in part, from an earlier work, "The Professor," which suffered rejection nine times at the hands of publishers. Though there was similarity of scene, and in some degree of subject, the two books are in no way identical. "Villette" was published on January 24, 1853, and achieved an immediate success. It was felt to have more movement and force than "Shirley," and less of the crudeness that accompanied the strength of "Jane Eyre."

I.--Little Miss Caprice

My godmother lived in a handsome house in the ancient town of Bretton--the widow of Bretton--and there I, Lucy Snowe, visited her about twice a year, and liked the visit well, for time flowed smoothly for me at her side, like the gliding of a full river through a verdant plain.

During one of my visits I was told that the little daughter of a distant relation of my godmother was coming to be my companion, and well do I remember the rainy night when, outside the opened door, we saw the servant Waren with a shawled bundle in his arms and a nurse-girl by his side.

"Put me down, please," said a small voice. "Take off the shawl; give it to Harriet, and she can put it away."

The child who gave these orders was a tiny, neat little figure, delicate as wax, and like a mere doll, though she was six years of age.

Mrs. Bretton drew the little stranger to her when they had entered the drawing-room, kissed her, and asked: "What is my little one's name?"

"Polly, papa calls her," was the reply.

"And will Polly be content to live with me?"

"Not always; but till papa comes home." Her eyes filled with tears, and, drawing away from Mrs. Bretton, she added: "I can sit on a stool."

Her emotion at finding herself among strangers was, however, only expressed by the tiniest occasional sniff, and presently the managing little body remarked:

"Harriet, I must be put to bed. Ask if you sleep with me."

"No, missy," said the nurse; "you are to share this young lady's room"--designating me.

"I wish you, ma'am, good-night," said the little creature to Mrs. Bretton; but she passed me mute.

"Good-night, Polly," I said.

"No need to say good-night, since we sleep in the same chamber," was the reply.

Paulina Home's father was obliged to travel to recruit his health, and her mother being dead, Mrs. Bretton had offered to take temporary charge of the child.

During the two months Paulina stayed with us, the one member of the household who reconciled her to absence from her father was John Graham Bretton, Mrs. Bretton's only child, a handsome, whimsical youth of sixteen. He began by treating her with mock seriousness as a person of consideration, and before long was more than the Grand Turk in her estimation; indeed, when a letter came from her father on the Continent, asking that his little girl might join him there, we wondered how she would take the news. I found her in the drawing-room engaged with a picture-book.

"Miss Snowe," said she, "this is a wonderful book. It was given me by Graham. It tells of distant countries."

"Polly," I interrupted, "should you like to travel?"

"Not just yet," was the prudent answer; "but perhaps when I am grown a woman I may travel with Graham."

"But would you like to travel now if your papa was with you?"

"What is the good of talking in that silly way?" said she. "What is papa to you? I was just beginning to be happy."

Then I told her of the letter, and the tidings kept her serious the whole day. When Graham came home in the evening, she whispered, as she heard him in the hall: "Tell him by-and-by; tell him I am going."

But Graham, who was preoccupied about some school prize, had to be told twice before the news took proper hold of his attention. "Polly going?" he said. "What a pity! Dear little Mouse, I shall be sorry to lose her; she must come to us again."

On going to bed, I found the child wide awake, and in what she called "dreadful misery!"

"Paulina," I said, "you should not grieve that Graham does not care for you so much as you care for him. It must be so."

Her questioning eyes asked why.

"Because he is a boy and you are a girl; he is sixteen and you are only six; his nature is strong and gay, and yours is otherwise."

"But I love him so much. He should love me a little."

"He does. He is fond of you; you are his favourite."

"Am I Graham's favourite?"

"Yes, more than any little child I know."

The assurance soothed her, and she smiled in her anguish. As I warmed the shivering, capricious little creature in my arms I wondered how she would battle with life, and bear its shocks, repulses, and humiliations.

II.--Madame Beck's School

The next eight years of my life brought changes. My own household and that of the Brettons suffered wreck. My friends went abroad and were lost sight of, and I, after a period of companionship with a woman of fortune, found myself, at her death, with fifteen pounds in my pocket looking for a new place. Then it was that I saw mentally within reach what I had never yet beheld with my bodily eyes--I saw London.

When I awoke there next morning, my spirit shook its always fettered wings half loose. I had a feeling as if I were at last about to taste life. In that morning my soul grew as fast as Jonah's gourd. I wandered whither chance might lead in a still ecstasy of freedom and enjoyment.

That evening I formed a project of crossing to a continental port, and finding a vessel was about to start, I joined her at once in the river. When the packet sailed at sunrise, I found the only passenger on board to whom I cared to speak--and who, indeed, insisted on speaking to me--was a girl of seventeen on her way to school in the city of Villette. Miss Ginevra Fanshawe carelessly ran on with a full account of herself, her school at Madame Beck's, her poverty at home, her education by her godfather, De Bassompièrre, who lived in France, her want of accomplishments--except that she could talk, play, and dance--and the need for her to marry a rather elderly gentleman with cash.

It was this irresponsible talk, no doubt, that led me, in the absence of any other leading, to make Villette my destination. On my arrival there, an English gentleman, young, distinguished, and handsome, observing my inability to make myself understood at the bureau where the diligence stopped, inquired kindly if I had any friends in the city, and on my replying that I had not, gave me the address of such an inn as I wanted, and personally directed me part of the way. Even then, however, I failed in the gloom to find the inn, and was becoming quite exhausted, when over the door of a house, loftier by a storey than those around it, I saw a brass plate with the inscription, "Pensionnat de Demoiselles," and, beneath, the name, "Madame Beck." Providence said: "Stop here; this is your inn." I rang the door-bell.

"May I see Madame Beck?" I inquired of the servant who opened the door. As I spoke in English I was admitted without a moment's hesitation.

I sat, turning hot and cold, in a glittering salon for a quarter of an hour, and then a voice said: "You ayre Engliss?"

The question came from a motherly, dumpy little woman in a large shawl, a wrapping gown, a clean, trim nightcap, and shod with the shoes of silence.

As I told my story, through a mistress who had been summoned to translate the speech of Albion, I thought the tale won madame's ear, though never a gleam of sympathy crossed her countenance. A man's step was heard in the vestibule, hastily proceeding to the outer door.

"Who goes out now?" demanded Madame Beck, listening to the tread.

"M. Paul Emanuel," replied the teacher.

"The very man! Call him."

He entered: a small, dark, and square man, in spectacles.

"Mon cousin," began madame, "read that countenance."

The little man fixed on me his spectacles, a gathering of the brows seeming to say that a veil would be no veil to him.

"Do you need her services?" he asked.

"I could do with them," said Madame Beck.

"Engage her." And with a ban soir this sudden arbiter of my destiny vanished.

Madame Beck possessed high administrative powers. She ruled a hundred and twenty pupils, four teachers, eight masters, six servants and three children, and managed the pupils' parents and friends to perfection, without apparent effort. "Surveillance," "espionage"--these were the watchwords of her system. She knew what honesty was, and liked it--when it did not obtrude its clumsy scruples in the way of her will and interest. Wise, firm, faithless, secret, crafty, passionless, watchful and inscrutable--withal perfectly decorous--what more could be desired?

Not a soul in all Madame Beck's house, from the scullion to the directress herself, but was above being ashamed of a lie; they thought nothing of it.

Here Miss Ginevra Fanshawe was a thriving pupil. She had a considerable range of acquaintances outside the school, for Mrs. Cholmondeley, her chaperon, a gay, fashionable lady, took her to evening parties at the houses of her acquaintances. Soon I discovered by hints that ardent admiration, perhaps genuine love, was at the command of this pretty and charming, but by no means refined, girl. She called her suitor "Isidore," and bragged about the vehemence of his attachment. I asked her if she loved him in return.

"He is handsome; he loves me to distraction; and so I am amused," was the reply.

"But if he loves you, and it comes to nothing in the end, he will be miserable."

"Of course he will break his heart. I should be disappointed if he didn't."

"Do try to get a clear idea of the state of your own mind," I said, "for to me it really seems as chaotic as a rag-bag."

"It is something in this fashion. He thinks far more of me than I find it convenient to be, while I am more at ease with you, you old cross-patch, you who know me to be coquettish and ignorant and fickle."

"You love M. Isidore far more than you think or will avow."

"No. I danced with a young officer the other night whom I love a thousand times more than he. Colonel Alfred de Hamal suits me far better. Vive les joies et les plaisirs!"

It was as English teacher that I was engaged at Madame Beck's school, but the annual fête brought me into prominence in another capacity. The programme included a dramatic performance, with pupils and teachers for actors, and this was given under the superintendence of M. Paul Emanuel. I was dressed a couple of hours before anyone else, and reading in my classroom, the door was flung open, and in came M. Paul with a burst of execrable jargon: "Mees, play you must; I am planted here."

"What can I do for you?" I inquired.

"Play you must. I will not have you shrink, or frown, or make the prude. Let us thrust to the wall all reluctance."

What did the little man mean?

"Listen!" he said. "The case shall be stated, and you shall answer me 'Yes' or 'No.' Louise Vanderkelkov has fallen ill--at least, so her ridiculous mother asserts. She is charged with a rôle; without that rôle the play stopped. Englishwomen are either the best or the worst of their sex. I apply to an Englishwoman to save me. What is her answer--'Yes,' or 'No'?"

Seeing in his vexed, fiery and searching eye an appeal behind its menace, my lips dropped the word "Oui."

His rigid countenance relaxed with a quiver of content; then he went on:

"Here is the book. Here is your rôle. You must withdraw." He conveyed me to the attic, locked me in, and took away the key.

What I felt that successful night, and what I did, I no more expected to feel and do than to be lifted in a trance to the seventh heaven. A keen relish for dramatic expression revealed itself as part of my nature. But the strength of longing must be put by; and I put it by, and fastened it in with the lock of a resolution which neither time nor temptation has since picked.

It was at this school fête that I discovered the identity of Miss Fanshawe's M. Isidore. She whispered to me, after the play: "Isidore and Alfred de Hamal are both here!" The latter I found was a straight-nosed, correct-featured little dandy, nicely dressed, curled, booted, and gloved; and Isidore was the manly English Dr. John, who attended the pupils of the school, and was none other than the gentleman whose directions to an hotel I had failed to follow on the night of my arrival in Villette. And the puppet, the manikin--a mere lackey for Dr. John, his valet, his foot-boy, was the favoured admirer of Ginevra Fanshawe!

III.--Old Friends are Best

During the long vacation I stayed at the school, and, in the absence of companionship and the sedative of work, suffered such agonising depression as led to physical illness, until one evening, after wandering aimlessly in the city, I fell fainting as I tried to reach the porch of a great church. When I recovered consciousness, I found myself in a room that smiled "Auld lang syne" out of every nook.

Where was I? The furniture was that with which I had been so intimate in the drawing-room of my godmother's house at Bretton. Nay, there, on the linen of my bed, were my godmothers initials "L.L.B."; and there was the portrait that used to hang over the mantelpiece in the breakfast-room in the old house at Bretton. I audibly pronounced the name--"Graham!"

"Graham!" echoed a sudden voice at my bedside. "Do you want Graham?"

She was little changed; something sterner, something more robust, but it was my godmother, Mrs. Bretton.

"How was I found, madam?"

"My son shall tell you by and by," said she. "I am told you are an English teacher in a foreign school here."

Before evening I was downstairs, and seated in a corner, when Graham arrived home, and entered with the question: "How is your patient, mamma?"

At Mrs. Bretton's invitation, I came forward to speak for myself where he stood at the hearth, a figure justifying his mother's pride.

"Much better," I said calmly; "much better, I thank you Dr. John."

For this tall young man, this host of mine, was Dr. John, and I had been aware of his identity for some time.

Ere we had sat ten minutes, I caught the eye of Mrs. Bretton fixed steadily on me, and at last she asked, "Tell me, Graham, of whom does this young lady remind you."

"Dr. John has had so much to do and think of," said I, seeing how it must end, "that it never occurred to me as possible that he should recognise Lucy Snowe."

"Lucy Snowe! I thought so! I knew it!" cried Mrs. Bretton, as she stepped across the hearth and kissed me. And I wondered if Mrs. Bretton knew at whose feet her idolised son had laid his homage.

IV.--A Cure for First Love

The Brettons, who had regained some of their fortune, lived in a château outside Villette, a course further warranted by Dr. John's professional success. In the months, that followed I heard much of Ginevra. He thought her so fair, so good, so innocent, and yet, though love is blind, I saw sometimes a subtle ray sped sideways from his eye that half led me to think his professed persuasion of Miss Fanshawe's naïveté was in part assumed.

One morning my godmother decreed that we should go with Graham to a concert that night, at which the most advanced pupils of the conservatoire were to perform. There, in the suite of the British embassy, was Ginevra Fanshawe, seated by the daughter of an English peer. I noticed that she looked quite steadily at Dr. John, and then raised a glass to examine his mother, and a minute or two afterwards laughingly whispered to her neighbour.

"Miss Fanshawe is here," I whispered. "Have you noticed her?"

"Oh yes," was the reply; "and I happen to know her companion, who is a proud girl, but not in the least insolent; and I doubt whether Ginevra will have gained ground in her estimation by making a butt of her neighbours."

"What neighbours?"

"Myself and my mother. As for me, it is very natural; but my mother! I never saw her ridiculed before. Through me she could not in ten years have done what in a moment she has done through my mother."

Never before had I seen so much fire and so little sunshine in Dr. John's blue eyes.

"My mother shall not be ridiculed with my consent, or without my scorn," he added. "Mother," said he to her later, "You are better to me than ten wives." And when we were out in the keen night air, he said to himself: "Thank you, Miss Fanshawe. I am glad you laughed at my mother. That sneer did me a world of good."

V.--Reunion Completed

One evening in December Dr. Bretton called to take me to the theatre in place of his mother, who had been prevented by an arrival. In the course of the performance a cry of "Fire!" rang out, and a panic ensued. Graham remained quite cool until he saw a young girl struck from her protector's arms and hurled under the feet of the crowd. Then he rushed forward, thrust back the throng with the assistance of the gentleman--a powerful man, though grey-haired--and bore the girl into the fresh night, I following him closely.

"She is very light," he said; "like a child."

"I am not a child! I am a person of seventeen!" responded his burden, demurely.

Her father's carriage drove up, and Graham, having introduced himself as an English doctor, we drove to the hotel where father and daughter were staying in handsome apartments. The injuries were not dangerous, and the father, after earnestly expressing his obligations to Graham, asked him to call the next day.

When next I visited the Bretton's château I found an intruder in the room I had occupied during my illness.

"Miss de Bassompièrre, I pronounced, recognising the rescued lady, whose name I had heard on the night of the accident.

"No," was the reply. "Not Miss de Bassompièrre to you." Then, as I seemed at fault, she added: "You have forgotten, then, that I have sat on your knee, been lifted in your arms, even shared your pillow. I am Paulina Mary Home de Bassompièrre."

I often visited Mary de Bassompièrre with pleasure. That young lady had different moods for different people. With her father she was even now a child. With me she was serious and womanly. With Mrs. Bretton she was docile and reliant. With Graham she was shy--very shy. At moments she tried to be cold, and, on occasion, she endeavoured to shun him. Even her father noticed this demeanour in her, and asked her what her old friend had done.

"Nothing," she replied; "but we are grown strange to each other."

I became apprised of the return of M. de Bassompièrre and Paulina, after a few weeks' absence in Paris, by seeing them riding before me in a quiet boulevard with Dr. Bretton. How animated was Graham's face! How true, yet how retiring the joy it expressed! They parted. He passed me at speed, hardly feeling the earth he skimmed, and seeing nothing on either hand.

It was after this that she made me her confession of love, and of fear lest her father should be grieved.

"I wish papa knew! I do wish papa knew!" began now to be her anxious murmur; but it was M. de Bassompièrre who first broached the subject of his daughter's affections, and it was to me that he introduced it. She came into the room while we talked and Graham followed.

"Take her, John Bretton," he said, "and may God deal with you as you deal with her!"

VI.--A Professor's Love-Story

The pupils from the schools of the city were assembled for the yearly prize distribution--a ceremony followed by an oration from one of the professors. I think I was glad when M. Paul appeared behind the crimson desk, fierce and frank, dark and candid, testy and fearless, for then I knew that neither formalism nor flattery would be the doom of the audience.

On Monsieur's birthday it was the habit of the scholars to present him with flowers, and I had worked a beaded watch-chain, and enclosed it in a sparkling shell-box, with his initials graved on the lid. He entered that day in a mood that made him as good as a sunbeam, and each pupil presented her bouquet, till he was hidden at his desk behind a pile of flowers. I waited. Then he demanded thrice, in tragic tones: "Is that all?" The effect was ludicrous, and the time for my presentation had passed. Thereupon he fell, with furious abuse, upon the English, and particularly English women. But I presented the chain to him later, and that day closed for us both with a wordless content, so full was he of friendliness.

The professor's care for me took curious forms. He haunted my desk with unseen gift-bringing--the newest books, the correction of exercises, the concealment of bonbons, of which he was fond.

One day he asked me whether, if I were his sister, I should always be content to stay with a brother such as he. I said I believed I should. He continued: "If I were to go beyond seas for two or three years, should you welcome me on my return?"

"Monsieur, how could I live in the interval?" was my reply.

The explanation of that question soon came. He had, it seemed, to sail to Basseterre, in Guadeloupe, to attend to a friend's business interests. For what I felt there was no help, and how could I help feeling?

Of late he had spent hours with me, with temper soothed, with eye content, with manner home-like and mild. The mutual understanding was settling and fixing. And when the time came for him to say good-bye, we rambled forth into the city. He talked of his voyage. What did I propose to do in his absence? He did not like leaving me at Madame Beck's--I should be so desolate.

We were now returning from our walk, when, passing a small but pleasant and neat abode in a clean faubourg, he took a key from his pocket, opened, and entered. "Voici!" he cried, and put a prospectus in my hand. "Externat de demoiselles. Numéro 7, Faubourg Clotilde. Directrice, Mademoiselle Lucy Snowe."

"Now," said he, "you shall live here and have a school. You shall employ yourself while I am away; you shall think of me; you shall mind your health and happiness for my sake, and when I come back----"

I touched his hand with my lips. Royal to me had been its bounty.

And now three years are past. M. Emanuel's return is fixed. He is to be with me ere the mists of November come. My school flourishes; my house is ready.

But the skies hang full and dark--a wrack sails from the west. Peace, peace, Banshee--"keening" at every window. The storm did not cease till the Atlantic was strewn with wrecks. Peace, be still! Oh, a thousand weepers, praying in agony on waiting shores, listened for that voice; but when the sun returned, his light was night to some!

Here pause. Enough is said. Trouble no kind heart. Leave sunny imaginations hope. Let them picture union and a happy life.


Wuthering Heights

"That chainless soul," Emily Jane Brontë, was born at Thornton, Yorkshire, England, on August 30, 1818, and died at Haworth on December 19, 1848. She will always have a place in English literature by reason of her one weird, powerful, strained novel, "Wuthering Heights," and a few poems. Emily Brontë, like her sister Charlotte, was educated at Cowan School and at Brussels. For a time she became a governess, but it seemed impossible for her to live away from the fascination of the Yorkshire moors, and she went home to keep house at the Haworth Parsonage, while her sisters taught. Two months after the publication of "Jane Eyre" by Charlotte, that is, in December, 1847, "Wuthering Heights," by Emily, and "Agnes Grey," by Anne, the third sister in this remarkable trio, were issued in one volume. The critics, who did not discover these books were by women, suggested persistently that "Wuthering Heights" must be an immature work by Currer Bell (Charlotte). A year after the publication of her novel Emily died, unaware of her success in achieving a lasting, if restricted, fame. She was extraordinarily reserved, sensitive, and wayward, and lived in an imagined world of her own, morbidly influenced, no doubt, by the vagaries of her worthless brother Branwell. That she had true genius, allied with fine strength of intellect and character, is the unanimous verdict of competent criticism, while it grieves over unfulfilled possibilities.

I.--A Surly Brood

"Mr. Heathcliff?"

A nod was the answer.

"Mr. Lockwood, your new tenant at Thrushcross Grange, sir."

"Walk in." But the invitation, uttered with closed teeth, expressed the sentiment "Go to the deuce!" And it was not till my horse's breast fairly pushed the barrier that he put out his hand to unchain it. I felt interested in a man who seemed more exaggeratedly reserved than myself as he preceded me up the causeway, calling, "Joseph, take Mr. Lockwood's horse; and bring up some wine."

Joseph was an old man, very old, though hale and sinewy. "The Lord help us!" he soliloquised in an undertone as he relieved me of my horse.

Wuthering Heights, Mr. Heathcliff's dwelling, is a farmhouse on an exposed and stormy edge, its name being significant of atmospheric tumult. Its owner is a dark-skinned gipsy in aspect, in dress and manners a gentleman, with erect and handsome figure, but morose demeanour. One step from the outside brought us into the family living-room, the recesses of which were haunted by a huge liver-coloured bitch pointer, with a swarm of squealing puppies, and other dogs. As the bitch sneaked wolfishly to the back of my legs I attempted to caress her, an action that provoked a long, guttural growl.

"You'd better let the dog alone," growled Mr. Heathcliff in unison, as he checked her with a punch of his foot. "She's not accustomed to be spoiled."

As Joseph was mumbling indistinctly in the depths of the cellar, and gave no sign of ascending, his master dived down to him, leaving me vis-à-vis with the ruffianly bitch and half a dozen four-footed fiends that suddenly broke into a fury, while I parried off the attack with a poker and called aloud for assistance.

"What the devil is the matter?" asked Heathcliff, as he returned.

"What the devil, indeed!" I muttered. "You might as well leave a stranger with a brood of tigers!"

"They won't meddle with persons who touch nothing," he remarked. "The dogs are right to be vigilant. Take a glass of wine."

Before I went home I determined to volunteer another visit to my sulky landlord, though evidently he wished for no repetition of my intrusion.

Yesterday I again visited Wuthering Heights, my nearest neighbours to Thrushcross Grange. On that bleak hill-top the earth was hard with a black frost, and the air made me shiver through every limb. As I knocked for admittance, till my knuckles tingled and the dogs howled, vinegar-faced Joseph projected his head from a round window of the barn, and shouted to me.

"What are ye for? T' maister's down i' t' fowld. There's nobbut t' missis. I'll hae no hend wi't," muttered the head, vanishing.

Then a young man, without coat and shouldering a pitchfork, hailed me to follow him, and showed me into the apartment where I had been formerly received with a gruff "Sit down; he'll be in soon."

In the room sat the "missis," motionless and mute. She was slender, scarcely past girlhood, with the most exquisite little face I have ever had the pleasure of beholding; and her eyes, had they been agreeable in expression, would have been irresistible. But the only sentiment they evinced hovered between scorn and a kind of desperation. As for the young man who had brought me in, he slung on his person a shabby jacket, and, erecting himself before the fire, gazed down on me from the corner of his eyes as if there was some mortal feud unavenged between us. The entrance of Heathcliff relieved me from an uncomfortable state.

I found in the course of the tea which followed that the lady was the widow of Heathcliff's son, and that the rustic youth who sat down to the meal with us was Hareton Earnshaw. Now, before passing the threshold, I had noticed over the principal door, among a wilderness of crumbling griffins and shameless little boys, the name "Hareton Earnshaw" and the date "1500." Evidently the place had a history.

The snow had fallen so deeply since I entered the house that return across the moor in the dusk was impossible.

Spending that night at Wuthering Heights on an old-fashioned couch that filled a recess, or closet, in a disused chamber, I found, scratched on the paint many times, the names "Catherine Earnshaw," "Catherine Heathcliff," and again "Catherine Linton." There were many books in the room in a dilapidated state, and, being unable to sleep, I examined them. Some of them bore the inscription "Catherine Earnshaw, her book"; and on the blank leaves and margins, scrawled in a childish hand, was a regular diary. I read: "Hindley is detestable. Heathcliff and I are going to rebel.... How little did I dream Hindley would ever make me cry so! Poor Heathcliff! Hindley calls him a vagabond, and won't let him sit or eat with us any more."

When I slept I was harrowed by nightmare, and next morning I gladly left the house; and, piloted by my landlord across the billowy white ocean of the moor, I reached the Grange benumbed with cold and as feeble as a kitten from fatigue.

When my housekeeper, Mrs. Nelly Dean, brought in my supper that night I asked her why Heathcliff let the Grange and preferred living in a residence so much inferior.

"He's rich enough to live in a finer house than this," said Mrs. Dean; "but he's very close-handed. Young Mrs. Heathcliff is my late master's daughter--Catherine Linton was her maiden name, and I nursed her, poor thing. Hareton Earnshaw is her cousin, and the last of an old family."

"The master, Heathcliff, must have had some ups and downs to make him such a churl. Do you know anything of his history?"

"It's a cuckoo's, sir. I know all about it, except where he was born, and who were his parents, and how he got his money. And Hareton Earnshaw has been cast out like an unfledged dunnock."

I asked Mrs. Dean to bring her sewing, and continue the story. This she did, evidently pleased to find me companionable.

II.--The Story Runs Backward

Before I came to live here (began Mrs. Dean), I was almost always at Wuthering Heights, because my mother nursed Mr. Hindley Earnshaw, that was Hareton's father, and I used to run errands and play with the children. One day, old Mr. Earnshaw, Hareton's grandfather, went to Liverpool, and promised Hindley and Cathy, his son and daughter, to bring each of them a present. He was absent three days, and at the end of that time brought home, bundled up in his arms under his great-coat, a dirty, ragged, black-haired child, big enough both to walk and talk, but only able to talk gibberish nobody could understand. He had picked it up, he said, starving and homeless in the streets of Liverpool. Mrs. Earnshaw was ready to fling it out of doors, but Mr. Earnshaw told her to wash it, give it clean things, and let it sleep with the children. The children's presents were forgotten. This was how Heathcliff, as they called him, came to Wuthering Heights.

Miss Cathy and he soon became very thick; but Hindley hated him. He was a patient, sullen child, who would stand blows without winking or shedding a tear. From the beginning he bred bad feeling in the house. Old Earnshaw took to him strangely, and Hindley regarded him as having usurped his father's affections. As for Heathcliff, he was insensible to kindness. Cathy, a wild slip, with the bonniest eye, the sweetest smile, and the lightest foot in the parish, was much too fond of Heathcliff.

Old Mr. Earnshaw died quietly in his chair by the fireside one October evening.

Mr. Hindley, who had been to college, came home to the funeral, and set the neighbours gossiping right and left, for he brought a wife with him. What she was and where she was born he never informed us. She evinced a dislike to Heathcliff, and drove him to the company of the servants, but Cathy clung to him, and the two promised to grow up together as rude as savages. Once Hindley shut them out for the night and they came to Thrushcross Grange, where the Lintons took Cathy in, but would not have anything to do with Heathcliff, the Spanish castaway, as they called him. She stayed five weeks with the Lintons, and became very friendly with the children, Edgar and Isabella, and when she came back was a dignified little person, and quite a beauty.

Soon after, Hindley's son, Hareton, was born, the mother died, and the child fell wholly into my hands, for the father grew desperate in his sorrow, and gave himself up to reckless dissipation. His treatment of Heathcliff now was enough to make a fiend of a saint, and daily the lad became more savagely sullen. I could not half-tell what an infernal house we had, till at last nobody decent came near us, except that Edgar Linton called to see Cathy, who at fifteen was the queen of the countryside--a haughty and headstrong creature.

One day after Edgar Linton had been over from the Grange, Cathy came into the kitchen to me and said, "Nelly, will you keep a secret for me? To-day Edgar Linton has asked me to marry him, and I've given him an answer. I accepted him, Nelly. Be quick and say whether I was wrong."

"First and foremost," I said sententiously, "do you love Mr. Edgar?"

"I love the ground under his feet, and the air over his head, and everything he touches, and every word he says. I love his looks, and all his actions, and him entirely and altogether. There now!"

"Then," said I, "all seems smooth and easy. Where is the obstacle?"

"Here, and here!" replied Catherine, striking one hand on her forehead, and the other on her breast. "In my soul and in my heart I'm convinced I'm wrong! I've no more business to marry Edgar Linton than I have to be in heaven; and if the wicked man in there, my brother, had not brought Heathcliff so low I shouldn't have thought of it. It would degrade me to marry Heathcliff now; so he shall never know how I love him, and that not because he's handsome, Nelly, but because he's more myself than I am. Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same, and Linton's is as different as a moonbeam from lightning, or frost from fire. Nelly, I dreamed I was in heaven, but heaven did not seem to be my home, and I broke my heart with weeping to come back to earth; and the angels were so angry that they flung me out into the middle of the heath on the top of Wuthering Heights, where I woke sobbing for joy."

Ere this speech was ended, Heathcliff, who had been lying out of sight on a bench by the kitchen wall, stole out. He had heard Catherine say it would degrade her to marry him, and he had heard no further.

That night, while a storm rattled over the heights in full fury, Heathcliff disappeared. Catherine suffered uncontrollable grief, and became dangerously ill. When she was convalescent she went to Thrushcross Grange. But Edgar Linton, when he married her, three years subsequent to his father's death, and brought her here to the Grange, was the happiest man alive. I accompanied her, leaving little Hareton, who was now nearly five years old, and had just begun to learn his letters.

On a mellow evening in September, I was coming from the garden with a basket of apples I had been gathering, when, as I approached the kitchen door, I heard a voice say, "Nelly, is that you?"

Something stirred in the porch, and, moving nearer, I saw a tall man, dressed in dark clothes, with dark hair and face.

"What," I cried, "you come back?"

"Yes, Nelly. You needn't be so disturbed. I want one word with your mistress."

I went in, and explained to Mr. Edgar and Catherine who was waiting below.

"Oh, Edgar darling," she panted, flinging her arms round his neck, "Heathcliff's come back--he is!"

"Well, well," he said, "don't strangle me for that. There's no need to be frantic. Try to be glad without being absurd!"

When Heathcliff came in, she seized his hands and laughed like one beside herself.

It seemed that he was staying at Wuthering Heights, invited by Mr. Earnshaw! When I heard this I had a presentiment that he had better have remained away.

Later, we learned from Joseph that Heathcliff had called on Earnshaw, whom he found sitting at cards, had joined in the play, and, seeming plentifully supplied with money, had been asked by his ancient persecutor to come again in the evening. He then offered liberal payment for permission to lodge at the Heights, which Earnshaw's covetousness made him accept.

Heathcliff now commenced visiting Thrushcross Grange, and gradually established his right to be expected. A new source of trouble sprang up in an unexpected form--Isabella Linton evincing a sudden and irresistible attraction towards Heathcliff. At that time she was a charming young lady of eighteen. I tried to persuade her to banish him from her thoughts.

"He's a bird of bad omen, miss," I said, "and no mate for you. How has he been living? How has he got rich? Why is he staying at Wuthering Heights in the house of the man whom he abhors? They say Mr. Earnshaw is worse and worse since he came. They sit up all night together continually, and Hindley has been borrowing money on his land, and does nothing but play and drink."

"You are leagued with the rest," she replied, "and I'll not listen to your slanders." The antipathy of Mr. Linton towards Heathcliff reached a point at last at which he called on his servants one day to turn him out of the Grange, whereupon Heathcliff's revenge took the form of an elopement with Linton's sister. Six weeks later I received a letter of bitter regret from Isabella, asking me distractedly whether I thought her husband was a man or a devil, and how I had preserved the common sympathies of human nature at Wuthering Heights, where they had returned.

On receiving this letter, I obtained permission from Mr. Linton to go to the Heights to see his sister, and Heathcliff, on meeting me, urged me to secure for him an interview with Catherine.

"Nelly," said he, "you know as well as I do that for every thought she spends on Linton she spends a thousand on me. If he loved her with all the powers of his puny being, he couldn't love as much in eighty years as I could in a day. And Catherine has a heart as deep as I have. The sea could be as readily contained in that horse-trough as her whole affection be monopolised by him."

Well, I argued, and refused, but in the long run he forced me to agree to put a missive into Mrs. Linton's hand.

When he met her, I saw that he could hardly bear, for downright agony, to look into her face, for he was stricken with the conviction that she was fated to die.

"Oh, Cathy, how can I bear it?" was the first sentence he uttered.

"You and Edgar have broken my heart, Heathcliff," was her reply. "You have killed me and thriven on it, I think."

"Are you possessed with a devil," he asked, "to talk in that manner to me when you are dying? You know you lie to say I have killed you, and you know that I could as soon forget my existence as forget you. Is it not sufficient that while you are at peace, I shall be in the torments of hell?"

"I shall not be at peace," moaned Catherine.

"Why did you despise me? Why did you betray your own heart? You loved me. What right had you to leave me?"

"Let me alone!" sobbed Catherine. "I've done wrong, and I'm dying for it! Forgive me!"

That night was born the Catherine you, Mr. Lockwood, saw at the Heights, and her mother's spirit was at home with God.

When in the morning I told Heathcliff, who had been watching near all night, he dashed his head against the knotted trunk of the tree by which he stood and howled, not like a man, but like a savage beast, as he besought her ghost to haunt him. "Be with me always--take any form!" he cried. "Only do not leave me in this abyss, where I cannot find you!"

Life with Heathcliff becoming impossible to Isabella, she left the neighbourhood, never to revisit it, and lived near London; and there her son, whom she christened Linton, was born a few months after her escape. He was an ailing, peevish creature. When Linton was twelve, or a little more, and Catherine thirteen, Isabella died, and the boy was brought to Thrushcross Grange. Hindley Earnshaw drank himself to death about the same time, after mortgaging every yard of his land for cash; and Heathcliff was the mortgagee. So Hareton Earnshaw, who should have been the first gentleman in the neighbourhood, was reduced to dependence on his father's enemy, in whose house he lived, ignorant that he had been wronged.

The motives of Heathcliff now became clear. Under the influence of a passionate but calculating revenge, allied with greed, he was planning the destruction of the Earnshaw family, and the union of the Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange estates. To this end, having brought his weakly son home to the Heights and terrorised him into a pitiable slavery, he schemed a marriage between him and young Catherine Linton, who was induced to accept the arrangement through sympathy with her cousin, and the hope of removing him from the paralysing influence of his father. The marriage was almost immediately followed by the death of both Catherine's father and her boyish husband, who, it was afterwards found, had been coaxed or threatened into bequeathing all his property to his father. Thus ended Mrs. Dean's story of how the strangely assorted occupants of Wuthering Heights had come together, my landlord Heathcliff, the disinherited, poor Hareton Earnshaw, and Catherine Heathcliff, who had been Catherine Linton and the daughter of Catherine Earnshaw. I propose riding over to Wuthering Heights to inform my landlord that I shall spend the next six months in London, and that he may look out for another tenant for the Grange.

III.--The Story Runs Forward

Yesterday was bright, calm, and frosty, and I went to the Heights as I proposed. My housekeeper entreated me to bear a little note from her to her young lady, and I did not refuse, for the worthy woman was not conscious of anything odd in her request. Hareton Earnshaw unchained the gate for me. The fellow is as handsome a rustic as need be seen, but he does his best, apparently, to make the least of his advantages. Catherine, who was preparing vegetables for a meal, looked more sulky and less spirited than when I had seen her first.

"She does not seem so amiable," I thought, "as Mrs. Dean would persuade me to believe. She's a beauty, it is true, but not an angel."

I approached her, pretending to desire a view of the garden, and dropped Mrs. Dean's note on her knee unnoticed by Hareton. But she asked aloud, "What is that?" and chucked it off.

"A letter from your old acquaintance, the housekeeper at the Grange," I answered. She would gladly have gathered it up at this information, but Hareton beat her. He seized and put it in his waistcoat, saying Mr. Heathcliff should look at it first; but later he pulled out the letter, and flung it on the floor as ungraciously as he could. Catherine perused it eagerly, and then asked, "Does Ellen like you?"

"Yes, very well," I replied hesitatingly.

Whereupon she became more communicative, and told me how dull she was now Heathcliff had taken her books away.

When Heathcliff came in, looking restless and anxious, he sent her to the kitchen to get her dinner with Joseph; and with the master of the house, grim and saturnine, and Hareton absolutely dumb, I made a cheerless meal, and bade adieu early.

Next September, when going north for shooting, a sudden impulse seized me to visit Thrushcross Grange and pass a night under my own roof, for the tenancy had not yet expired. When I reached the Grange before sunset I found a girl knitting under the porch, and an old woman reclining on the house-steps, smoking a meditative pipe.

"Is Mrs. Dean within?" I demanded.

"Mistress Dean? Nay!" she answered. "She doesn't bide here; shoo's up at th' Heights."

"Are you housekeeper, then?"

"Eea, aw keep th' house," she replied.

"Well, I'm Mr. Lockwood, the master. Are there any rooms to lodge me in, I wonder? I wish to stay all night."

"T' maister!" she cried in astonishment. "Yah sud ha' sent word. They's nowt norther dry nor mensful abaht t' place!"

Leaving her scurrying about making preparations, I climbed the stony by-road that branches off to Mr. Heathcliff's dwelling. On reaching it I had neither to climb the gate nor to knock--it yielded to my hand. "This is an improvement," I thought. I noticed, too, a fragrance of flowers wafted on the air from among the homely fruit-trees.

"Con-trary!" said a voice as sweet as a silver bell "That for the third time, you dunce! I'm not going to tell you again."

"Contrary, then," answered another in deep but softened tones. "And now kiss me for minding so well."

The male speaker was a young man, respectably dressed and seated at a table, having a book before him. His handsome features glowed with pleasure, and his eyes kept impatiently wandering from the page to a small white hand over his shoulder. So, not to interrupt Hareton Earnshaw and Catherine Heathcliff, I went round to the kitchen, where my old friend Nelly Dean sat sewing and singing a song.

Mrs. Dean jumped to her feet as she recognised me. "Why, bless you, Mr. Lockwood!" she exclaimed. "Pray step in! Have you walked from Gimmerton?"

"No, from the Grange," I replied; "and while they make me a lodging room there I want to finish my business with your master."

"What business, sir?" said Nelly.

"About the rent," I answered.

"Oh, then it is Catherine you must settle with, or rather me, as she has not learned to arrange her affairs yet."

I looked surprised.

"Ah! You have not heard of Heathcliff's death, I see," she continued.

"Heathcliff dead!" I exclaimed. "How long ago?"

"Three months since; but sit down, and I'll tell you all about it."

"I was summoned to Wuthering Heights," she said, "within a fortnight of your leaving us, and I went gladly for Catherine's sake. Mr. Heathcliff, who grew more and more disinclined to society, almost banished Earnshaw from his apartment, and was tired of seeing Catherine--that was the reason why I was sent for--and the two young people were thrown perforce much in each other's company in the house, and presently Catherine began to make it clear to her obstinate cousin that she wished to be friends. The intimacy ripened rapidly, and, Mr. Lockwood, on their wedding day there won't be a happier woman in England than myself. Joseph was the only objector, and he appealed to Heathcliff against 'yon flaysome graceless quean, that's witched our lad wi' her bold een and her forrad ways.' But after a burst of passion at the news, Mr. Heathcliff suddenly calmed down and said to me, 'Nelly, there is a strange change approaching; I'm in its shadow.'

"Soon after that he took to wandering alone, in a state approaching distraction. He could not rest; he could not eat; and he would not see the doctor. One morning as I walked round the house I observed the master's window swinging open and the rain driving straight in. 'He cannot be in bed,' I thought, 'those showers would drench him through.' And so it was, for when I entered the chamber his face and throat were washed with rain, the bed-clothes dripped, and he was perfectly still--dead and stark. I called up Joseph. 'Eh, what a wicked 'un he looks, girning at death,' exclaimed the old man, and then he fell on his knees and returned thanks that the ancient Earnshaw stock were restored to their rights.

"I shall be glad when they leave the Heights for the Grange," concluded Mrs. Dean.

"They are going to the Grange, then?"

"Yes, as soon as they are married; and that will be on New Year's Day."


The Shadow of the Sword

Robert Buchanan, poet, novelist, and playwright, was born on Aug. 18, 1841, at Caverswall, Staffordshire, England, the son of a poor journeyman tailor from Ayrshire, in Scotland, who wrote poetry, and wandered about the country preaching socialism of the Owen type, afterwards editing a Glasgow journal. Owing, perhaps, in part to his very unconventional training, Robert Buchanan entered on life with a strange freshness of vision. Nothing in ordinary human life seemed common or mean to him, and this sense of wonder, combined with a power of judgment much steadier than his father's, made him a poet of considerable genius. "Undertones," published in 1863, and "Idylls and Legends of Inverburn," which appeared two years later, made him famous. The same qualities which he displayed in his poetry Buchanan exhibited in his earliest and best novels. "The Shadow of the Sword," published in 1876, was originally conceived as a poem, and it still remains one of the best of modern English prose romances. In his latter years Robert Buchanan, tortured by the long and painful illness of his beautiful and gentle wife, wrote a considerable amount of work with no literary merit; but this does not diminish the value of his best and earliest work, which undoubtedly entitles him to a place of importance in English literature. He died on June 10, 1901.

I.--The King of the Conscripts

"Rohan Gwenfern!" cried the sergeant, in a voice that rang like a trumpet through the length of the town hall.

No one answered. The crowd of young Kromlaix men looked at each other in consternation. Was the handsomest, the strongest, and the most daring lad in their village a coward? It was the dark year of 1813, when Napoleon was draining France of all its manhood. Even the only sons of poor widowed women, such as Rohan Gwenfern was, were no longer exempted from conscription. Having lost half a million men amid the snows of Russia, Napoleon had called for 200,000 more soldiers, and the little Breton fishing village of Kromlaix had to provide twenty-five recruits.

"Rohan Gwenfern!" cried the sergeant again.

The mayor rose up behind the ballot-box on the large table, about which the villagers were gathered, and looked around in vain for the splendid figure of the young fisherman.

"Where is your nephew?" he said to Corporal Derval, in an angry voice.

Derval, one of Napoleon's veterans, who had been pensioned after losing his leg at Austerlitz, looked at his pretty niece, Marcelle, with a strange pallor on his furrowed, sunburnt face.

"Rohan was too ill to come," said Marcelle, with a troubled look in her sweet grey eyes. "I will draw in his name."

"Very well, my pretty lass," said the mayor, his grim face softening into a smile as he looked at the beautiful girl, "you shall draw for him, and bring him luck."

Marcelle's hand trembled as she put it into the ballot-box. She let it stay there so long that some of the soldiers began to laugh. But the village women, gathered in a dense crowd at the back of the hall, gazed at her with tears in their eyes. They knew what she was doing. She was praying that she might draw a lucky number for her lover, Rohan. Twenty-five conscripts were wanted, and those who drew a paper numbered twenty-six or upwards were free.

"Come, come, my dear!" said the mayor, stroking his moustache, and nodding encouragingly at Marcelle.

She slowly drew forth a paper, and handed it to her uncle, who opened it, read it with a stare, and uttered his usual expletive. "Soul of a crow!" in an awstricken whisper.

"Read it, corporal!" said the mayor, while Marcelle looked wildly at her uncle.

"It is incredible!" said Corporal Derval, handing the paper to the sergeant, with the look of amazement still on his face.

"Rohan Gwenfern--one!" shouted the sergeant, while Marcelle clung to her uncle, and hid her face upon his arm.

Rohan Gwenfern, who had taken a solemn oath that he would never go forth to slay his fellow-men at the bidding of Napoleon, whom he regarded as a horrible, murderous monster, found himself, when he returned to Kromlaix late that evening, in the sorry position of King of the Conscripts. He was a young man who had led a very solitary life, but solitude, instead of making him morbid, had strengthened his natural feelings of pity and affection. His immense physical strength had never been exerted for any evil, and even in the roughest wrestling matches he had never fought brutally or cruelly.

He certainly rejoiced in his splendid powers of body; but he had the gentleness of soul of a poetic mind, as well as the magnanimity that often goes with great strength. There was, indeed, something lion-like about him as he strode up to the door of his cottage, with his mane of yellow hair floating over his broad brows and falling on his shoulders. An eager crowd was waiting for him, and when he appeared, they all shouted.

"Here he is at last!" cried a voice, which he recognised as that of Mikel Grallon. "Three cheers for the King of the Conscripts!"

Some bag-pipe players struck up a merry tune, but Rohan, with a wild face and stern eyes, pushed his way through the throng into his cottage. On a seat by the fire his mother sat weeping, her face covered with her apron; round her was a band of sympathising friends. The scene explained itself in one flash, and Rohan Gwenfern knew his fate. Pale as death, he rushed across the floor to his mother's side, just as a troop of young girls flocked into the house singing the Marseillaise. At their head was Marcelle.

A hard struggle had gone on in the heart of Rohan's sweetheart. She had been overcome with grief when she drew the fatal number. But her dismay had quickly turned into an heroic pride at the thought of her lover becoming a soldier of Napoleon. From her childhood she had learnt from her uncle to admire and worship the great emperor who had led the armies of France from victory to victory, and she did not think that Rohan would refuse to follow him. It is true that she had often heard Gwenfern say that he loathed war; but many other men of Kromlaix had said the same thing; and yet, when the hour came, and they were called to serve in the Grand Army, they had obeyed.

"Look, Rohan!" she cried, holding up in her hand a rosette with a long, coloured streamer. "Look! I have brought this for you."

Each of the conscripts wore a similar badge, and old Corporal Derval had stuck one on his own breast. All the crowd cheered as Marcelle advanced, with bright eyes and flaming cheeks, to her sweetheart.

"Keep back! Do not touch me!" cried Rohan, his face blazing with strange anger.

"The boy's mad!" exclaimed Corporal Derval, in an angry voice.

"Do you not understand, Rohan?" exclaimed Marcelle, terrified by her lover's look. "As you did not come, someone had to draw in your name. I did so, and you are now the King of the Conscripts, and this is your badge. Let me fasten it upon your breast!"

In a moment her soft fingers attached the rosette to his jacket. Rohan did not stir; his eyes were fixed on the ground, but his features worked convulsively.

"Forward now, all of you to the inn!" said Corporal Derval, when the cheering was over. "We will drink the health of Number One!"

As everybody was moving towards the door, Rohan started as if from a trance.

"Stay!" he shouted.

All stood listening, and his widowed mother crept up and clasped his hand.

"You are all mad," he said, in a wild voice, "and I seem to be going mad, too. What is this you tell me about a conscription and an emperor? I do not understand. I only know you are all mad. Napoleon has no right to compel me to fight for him; and if every Frenchman had my heart, he would not reign another day. I refuse to be led like a sheep to the slaughter. He can kill me if he wills, but he cannot force me to kill my fellow-men. You can go if you like, and do his bloody work. Had I the power I would serve him as I serve this badge of his!"

Tearing the rosette from his breast, he cast it into the flaming fire.

"Rohan, for God's sake be silent!" cried Marcelle. "You speak like a madman. It is all my fault. I thought I should bring you good luck by drawing for you. Won't you forgive me?"

The young fisherman looked sadly into his sweetheart's face, and when he saw her wet eyes and quivering lips his heart was stirred. He took her hand and kissed it, but suddenly an ill-favoured face was thrust forward between the two lovers.

"Isn't it a pity," sneered Mikel Grallon, "to see a pretty girl wasting herself on a coward, when----"

He did not complete the sentence, for Rohan stretched out his hand and smote him down. Grallon fell like a log.

A wild cry arose from all the men, the women screamed, even Marcelle shrank back; and Rohan strode to the door, pushing his way out.

"Hold him! Kill him!" shouted some.

"Arrest him!" cried Corporal Derval.

Rohan hurled his opponents right and left like so many ninepins. They fell back and gasped. Then, turning his white face for an instant on Marcelle, her lover passed unmolested out into the darkness.

II.--In the Cathedral of the Sea

Along the wild, rugged shore, a little way from Kromlaix, was an immense cavern of crimson granite, hung with gleaming moss, and washed by the roaring tides of the sea. Its towering walls had been carved by wind and water into thousands of beautiful, fantastical forms, and a dim religious light fell from above through a long, funnel-shaped hole running from the roof of the cavern to the top of the great cliff.

It was here that Rohan Gwenfern hid from the band of soldiers sent in pursuit of him. The air was damp and chill, but he breathed it with the comfort of a hardy animal. He made a bed of dry seaweed on the top of the precipice leading to the hole in the cliff, where his mother came and lowered food to him every evening; and Jannedik, a pet goat that used to follow him everywhere in the days when he was a free man, was his only companion. Strange and solitary was the life he led, but he slept as soundly in his bed of seaweed on the wild precipice as he did in his bed at home.

But one morning, when he awoke, a confused murmur broke upon his ear. Peering over the ledge, he saw a crowd of soldiers standing on the shingle at the mouth of the cavern.

"Come down and surrender, in the name of the emperor!" cried the sergeant.

"Surrender!" shouted all his men. And the vast, dim place rang with the echoing sound of their voices.

"You can have my dead body if you care to come up here for it!" cried Rohan, stepping into the light that fell from the hole in the cliff.

The soldiers stared up in astonishment when Rohan appeared on the ledge of the precipice. He was now a gaunt, forlorn, hunted man, with a few rags hanging about his body, and a great shock of yellow hair tumbling below his shoulders. Under the stress of mental suffering his flesh had wasted from his bones, but his eyes flashed with a terrible light.

"Come down," said the sergeant, raising his gun, "or I will pick you off your perch as if you were a crow."

Instead of getting behind a rock, Rohan stood up with a strange smile on his face, and said, "If you want me, you must come and fetch me."

There was a flash, a roar--the sergeant had fired. But when the smoke had cleared away, Rohan was still standing on the ledge with the strange smile on his face. The shot had gone wide.

"You can smile," said the sergeant angrily, "but you cannot escape. If I cannot bring you down, I will starve you out. My men are watching for you, above and below. You are surrounded."

"And so are you," said Rohan, with a laugh, pointing to the mouth of the cavern. "Look behind you!"

The sergeant and his men turned round, and gave a cry of dismay. The tide had turned, and the sea was surging fiercely into the mouth of the cavern.

"Give him one volley," shouted the sergeant, "and then swim for your lives."

But when the men turned to aim at Rohan, he was no longer visible. They fired at random at the hole in the cliff, and after filling the great cavern with drifting smoke and echoing thunder, they fled for their lives, wading, swimming through the high spring tide.

"At any rate," said the sergeant, when they had all got safely back to land, "we can stop Mother Gwenfern from bringing the mad rebel any more food."

So a watch was set over the cottage in which Rohan's widowed mother lived, and she was always searched whenever she left her house, and bands of armed men kept guard night and day by the hole at the top of the cliff and by the seaward entrance to the cavern. At the end of two weeks the sergeant resolved to make another attack. The man, he thought, must surely have been starved to death, as every avenue of aid had long since been blocked.

So one moonlight night at ebb tide the crowd of soldiers crept into the cavern and lashed two long ladders together, and began to climb up the precipice. But a strong arm seized the ladders from above, and flung them back on the granite floor of the cave. Standing like a ghost in the faint, silvery radiance falling through the hole in the cliff, Rohan hurled down upon the dark mass of the besieging crowd great fragments of rock which he had placed, ready for use, along the ledge on which he slept.

"Fire Fire!" shrieked the sergeant, pointing at the white figure of Rohan.

But before the command could be obeyed, Rohan got under shelter, and the bullets rained harmlessly round the spot where he had just stood. Then, under cover of fire, some men advanced and again placed the ladder against the precipice. As Rohan crouched down on the ledge, he was startled by the apparition of a human face. With a cry of rage, he sprang to his feet, and, heedless of the bullets thudding on the rock around him, he slowly and painfully lifted up a terrible granite boulder, poised it for a moment over his head, and then hurled it down at the shapes dimly struggling below him. There was a crash, a shriek. Under the weight of the boulder the ladders broke, and the men upon them fell down, amid horrible cries of agony and terror.

What happened after this Rohan never knew; for, overcome by frenzy and fatigue, he swooned away. When he opened his eyes, he was lying beneath the hole in the cliff, with the moonlight streaming upon his face. From below him came the soft sound of lapping water, and, looking down, he saw that the tide had entered the cave, and forced the besiegers to give over their attack.

Yes, the battle was over, and he had conquered! His position indeed was impregnable; had he been well supplied with food, he could have held it against hundreds of men for a long period. But, as he laid down on his bed of seaweed, a rough tongue licked his hand. It was his goat, Jannedik. For the last fortnight, Rohan's mother had sent the goat every day to her son with a basket of food tied round its neck and hidden in the long hair of its throat. Rohan groped in the darkness for the basket, and Jannedik uttered a low cry of pain, rolled over at his feet into the moonlight, revealing a terrible bullet-wound in its side, and quivered and died. Some soldier had shot it.

As Rohan stared at the dead body of his four-footed friend, the strength of mind which had enabled him to withstand all the power that Napoleon, the conqueror of Europe, could bring against him at last went from him. Trembling and shivering, he looked around him, overcome by utter desolation and despair. He had held out bravely, but he could hold out no longer; slowly and laboriously he climbed down the dark face of the precipice, and reached the narrow strip of shingle below, just as the moon got clear from a cloud and lighted up the cavern. Its cold rays fell on the white face of the sergeant, who laid half on the shingle and half in the water, crushed by the great boulder with which Rohan had broken down the ladders.

Rohan gazed for a moment on the features of the man he had killed, and then, with a cry of agony and despair, he fell upon his knees.

"Not on my head, O God, be the guilt!" he prayed. "Not on my head, but on his who hunted me down and made me what I am; on his, whose red sword shadows all the world, and drives on millions of innocent men to murder each other! Ah, God, God, God! The men that Napoleon has slain! Is it not high time that some man like me sought him out and killed him, and brought peace back once more to this blood-covered earth of ours? Yes, I will do it!"

Rising wildly to his feet, full of the strange strength and the strange powers of madness, Rohan Gwenfern climbed up the precipice to his bed of seaweed, and then took a path that no man had taken and lived--the sheer, precipitous path from the roof of the cavern to the top of the cliff.

III.--Rohan Meets Napoleon

As the Grand Army swept into Belgium for the last great battle against the united powers of England, Germany, Austria, and Russia, a strange, savage creature followed it--a gaunt, half-naked man, with long yellow hair falling almost to his waist, and bloodshot eyes with a look of madness in them. How he lived it is difficult to tell. He never begged, but the soldiers threw lumps of bread at him as he prowled round their camp-fires, asking everyone whom he met: "Where is the emperor? Where is Napoleon? Do you think he will come this way?"

Twice he had been arrested as a spy, and hastily condemned to be shot. But each time, on hearing his sentence of death, he gave so strange a laugh that the officer examined him more closely, and then set him free, saying with scornful pity, "It is a harmless maniac. Let him go."

He always lagged in the rear of the advancing army, and as each fresh regiment arrived he mingled with the soldiers, and asked them in a fierce whisper, "Is the emperor coming now? Isn't he coming?"

At last, one dark rainy evening, the wild outcast saw the man for whom he was seeking. Wrapped in an old grey overcoat, and wearing a cocked hat from which the rain dripped heavily, Napoleon stood on a hill, with his hands clasped behind his back, his head sunk deep between his shoulders, looking towards Ligny. But he was guarded; a crowd of officers stood close behind him, waiting for orders.

Suddenly a bareheaded soldier came riding along the road, spurring and flogging his horse as if for dear life; galloping wildly up the hill he handed the emperor a dispatch. Napoleon glanced at it, and spoke to his staff officers. With a wild movement of joy they drew their swords, and waved them in the air, shouting, "Vive l'Empereur!" Napoleon smiled. His star was again in the ascendant! The Prussians were retreating from Ligny; he had struck the first blow, and it was a victory!

Near the hill on which he was standing was a deserted farmhouse; he gave orders that it should be prepared for his reception. But, as he rode down the hill at the head of his staff, the man who had been watching him divined his intention, and reached the house before his attendants. The soldiers who searched the place before Napoleon entered failed to see the dark figure crouching up in the corner of a loft among the black rafters.

"Leave me," said Napoleon to his men, after he had finished the plain meal of bread and wine set before him.

To-morrow he would meet for the first time, on the rolling fields of Waterloo, the only captain of a European army whom he had not defeated. He wanted to think his plans of battle over in silence. Some time he paced up and down the room, his chin drooping forward on his breast, and his hands clasped upon his back. Through the wide, clear spaces of his mind great armies passed in black procession, moving like storm-clouds over the stricken earth; burning cities rose in the distance, amid the shrieks of dying men, and the thunder of cannon. His plan was at last matured. Victory? Yes, that was certain! So his thoughts ran. An aide-de-camp entered with a dispatch. He tore it open, and ran his eye over it.

"It is nothing," he said. "Don't disturb me for two hours except on a matter of great importance. I want to sleep."

Going up to the old armchair of oak that was set before the fire, he fell on his knees, and covered his eyes and prayed.

"What!" said the man who was watching him up in the rafters. "Does Cain dare to pray? Surely God will not answer his prayers! He is praying that he may wipe the English to-morrow from the face of the earth, and again cement his throne with blood, and forge his sceptre of fire!"

That, no doubt, was what Napoleon prayed for. Yet, when he rose up his face was wonderfully changed and softened by the religious light which had shone on it for a few moments. Then, throwing himself into the armchair, he closed his eyes. And, as the fire burnt low, Rohan Gwenfern silently descended from the loft, and something gleamed in his hand. He crept up to the sleeping emperor, and stared at his face, reading it line by line. Napoleon moved uneasily in his sleep, and murmured to himself, and his hand opened and shut.

As Rohan raised his knife to strike home to the heart of the tyrant he saw the hand--white and small, like a woman's or a child's. Again he looked at the face. Ah, there was no imperial grandeur here! Only a feeble, sallow, tired, and sickly creature, whom a strong man could crush down with one blow of his fist. Rohan grew weak as he looked, and the long knife almost fell from his clutch.

"I must kill him--I must kill him!" he kept saying to himself. "His one life against the peace and happiness of earth--the life of a Cain! If he awakens, war will awaken, and fire, famine, and slaughter! Kill him, Rohan, kill him!"

Perhaps if Napoleon had not prayed before he slept, his enemy would have carried out his purpose. But he had prayed; his face had become beautiful for a moment, and he fell asleep as fearlessly as a child. No! Rohan Gwenfern was not made of the stuff of which savage assassins are formed; though there was madness in his brain, there was still love in his heart. He could not kill even Cain, when God had sanctified the murderer with sleep. God had made Napoleon, and God had sent him; bloody as he was, he, too, was God's child.

Opening the great casement window of the room in the farmhouse, Gwenfern gazed for a moment with wild eyes and quivering lips on the pale, worn face of the great conqueror, and then leaped out into the darkness. When Napoleon awoke, a long knife was lying at his feet; but he heeded it not, and little dreamt that a few minutes ago it had been pointed at his heart.

Ah, Rohan Gwenfern had done well to leave the mighty emperor in the hands of God, and go back, a wild, tattered, mad beggar to his sweetheart Marcelle, in the little Breton village of Kromlaix. For as Napoleon came out of the farmhouse, and looked at the dawning sky, there rose up, clouding the lurid star of his destiny, the blood-red shadow--WATERLOO!


The Holy War

John Bunyan was born at Elstow, near Bedford, England, in 1628. After receiving a scanty education at the village school, he worked hard at the forge with his father. In his sixteenth year he lost his mother, and soon after he joined the army, then engaged in the Civil War; but his military experience lasted only a few months. Returning to Elstow, he again worked at the forge, and married. After various alternating religious experiences, in 1655 he became a member of the Baptist congregation at Bedford, of which he was ere long chosen pastor. His success was extraordinary; but after five years his ministry was prohibited, and he was incarcerated in Bedford Gaol, his imprisonment lasting for twelve years. There he wrote his immortal "Pilgrim's Progress." Released under the Act of Indulgence, he resumed his ministry, and ultimately his pastoral charge in Bedford. He took fever when on a visit to London, and died on August 31, 1688. The "Holy War" is considered by critics even superior to the "Pilgrim," inasmuch as it betrays a finer literary workmanship. It was written in 1682, after molestation of Bunyan as a preacher had ceased, and when he was known widely as the author of the first part of the "Pilgrim's Progress," the second part of which was published two years later. Macaulay held that if there had been no "Pilgrim's Progress," "Holy War" would have been the first of religious allegories. No doubt its popularity has been due in some degree to its kinship to that work; but the vigour of its style overcomes the minute elaboration of an almost impossible theme, and the book lives, alike as literature and theology, by its own vitality. An elaborate analysis of it may be found in Froude's volume on Bunyan. He said of it: "'The Holy War' would have entitled Bunyan to a place among the masters of English Literature."

I.--The Founding of Mansoul

In the gallant country of Universe there is a fair and delicate town, a corporation called Mansoul, a town for its building so curious, for its situation so commodious, for its privileges so advantageous, that there is not its equal under the whole heaven.

As to the situation of the town, it lieth between two worlds, and the first founder and builder of it was one Shaddai, who built it for his own delight. And as he made it goodly to behold, so also mighty to have dominion over all the country round about.

There was reared up in the midst of this town a most famous and stately place--for strength it may be called a castle; for pleasantness, a paradise. This place King Shaddai intended for himself alone, and not another with him; and of it he made a garrison, but committed the keeping of it only to the men of the town.

This famous town of Mansoul had five gates--Eargate, Eyegate, Mouthgate, Nosegate, and Feelgate. It had always a sufficiency of provisions within its walls, and it had the best, most wholesome and excellent law that was then extant in the world. There was not a rogue, rascal, or traitorous person within its walls; they were all true men, and fast joined together.

II.--The Plot and Capture

Well, upon a time there was one Diabolus, a mighty giant, made an assault upon the famous town of Mansoul, to take it, and make it his own habitation. This Diabolus was first one of the servants of King Shaddai, by whom he was raised to a most high and mighty place. But he, seeing himself thus exalted to greatness and honour, and raging in his mind for higher state and degree, what doth he but begin to think with himself how he might set up as lord over all, and have the sole power under Shaddai--but that the king had reserved for his son. Wherefore Diabolus first consults with himself what had best to be done, and then breaks his mind to some others of his companions, to which they also agreed. So they came to the issue that they should make an attempt upon the king's son to destroy him, that the inheritance might be theirs.

Now, the king and his son, being all and always eye, could not but discern all passages in his dominions; wherefore, what does he but takes them in the very nick, and the first trip that they made towards their design, convicts them of the treason, horrid rebellion, and conspiracy that they had devised, and casts them altogether out of all place of trust, benefit, honours, and preferment; and this done, he banishes them the court, turns them down into horrid pits, never more to expect the least favour at his hands.

Banished from his court, you may be sure they would now add to their former pride, malice and rage against Shaddai. Wherefore, roving and ranging in much fury from place to place, if perhaps they might find something that was the king's, they happened into this spacious country of Universe, and steered their course to Mansoul. So when they found the place, they shouted horribly on it for joy, saying: "Now have we found the prize, and how to be revenged on King Shaddai!" So they sat down and called a council of war.

Now, with Diabolus was, among others, the fierce Alecto, and Apollyon, and the mighty giant Beelzebub, and Lucifer, and Legion. And Legion it was whose advice was taken that they should assault the town in all pretended fairness, covering their intentions with lies, flatteries, and delusive words; feigning things that will never be, and promising that to them which they shall never find. It was designed also that, by a stratagem, they should destroy one Mr. Resistance, otherwise called Captain Resistance--a man that the giant Diabolus and his band more feared than they feared the whole town of Mansoul besides. And they appointed one Tisiphone to do it.

Thus, having ended the council of war, they rose up and marched towards Mansoul; but all in a manner invisible, save only Diabolus, who approached the town in the shape and body of a dragon. So they drew up and sat down before Eargate, and laid their ambuscade for Mr. Resistance within a bow shot of the town. Then Diabolus, being come to the gate, sounded his trumpet for audience, at which the chiefs of the town, such as my lord Innocent, my lord Will-be-will, Mr. Recorder, and Captain Resistance, came down to the wall to see who was there and what was the matter.

Diabolus then began his oration.

"Gentlemen of the famous town of Mansoul, I have somewhat of concern to impart unto you. And first I will assure you it is not my own but your advantage that I seek. I am come to show you how you may obtain ample deliverance from a bondage that, unawares to yourselves, you are captivated and enslaved under."

At this the town of Mansoul began to prick up its ears.

"And what is it, pray? What is it?" thought they.

Then Diabolus spoke on.

"Touching your king, I know he is great and potent; but his laws are unreasonable, intricate, and intolerable. There is a great difference and disproportion betwixt the life and an apple, yet one must go for the other by the law of your Shaddai. Why should you be holden in ignorance and blindness? O ye inhabitants of Mansoul, ye are not a free people! And is it not grievous to think on, that the very thing you are forbidden to do, might you but do it would yield you both wisdom and honour?"

And just now, while Diabolus was speaking these words to Mansoul, Tisiphone shot at Captain Resistance, where he stood on the gate, and mortally wounded him in the head, so that he, to the amazement of the townsmen, fell down quite dead over the wall. Now, when Captain Resistance was dead--and he was the only man of war in the town--poor Mansoul was left wholly naked of courage. Then stood forth Mr. Ill-pause, that Diabolus brought with him as his orator, and persuaded the townsfolk to take of the tree which King Shaddai had forbidden; and when they saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eye, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, they took and did eat. Now even while this Ill-pause was making his speech, my lord Innocent--whether by a shot from the camp of the giant, or from some qualm that suddenly took him, or whether by the stinking breath of that treacherous villain, old Ill-pause, for so I am most apt to think--sunk down in the place where he stood still, nor could he be brought to life again.

Now, these brave men being dead, what do the rest of the townsfolk but fall down and yield obedience to Diabolus, and having eaten of the forbidden fruit, they become drunk therewith, and so opened both Eargate and Eyegate, and let in Diabolus and all his band, quite forgetting their good Shaddai and his law.

Diabolus now bethinks himself of remodelling the town for his greater security, setting up one and putting down another at pleasure. Wherefore he put out of power and place my lord mayor, whose name was my lord Understanding, and Mr. Recorder, whose name was Mr. Conscience. But my lord Will-be-will, a man of great strength, resolution, and courage, resolved to bear office under Diabolus, who, perceiving the willingness of my lord to serve him forthwith, made him captain of the castle, governor of the walls, and keeper of the gates of Mansoul. He also had Mr. Mind for his clerk.

When the giant had thus engarrisoned himself in the town of Mansoul, he betakes himself to defacing. Now, there was in the market-place, and also in the gates of the castle, an image of the blessed King Shaddai. This he commanded to be defaced, and it was basely done by the hand of Mr. No-truth. Moreover, Diabolus made havoc of the remains of the laws and statutes of Shaddai, and set up his own vain edicts, such as gave liberty to the lusts of the flesh, the lusts of the eyes, and the pride of life.

III.--The Re-Taking of Mansoul

Now, as you may well think, long before this time, word was carried to the good King Shaddai that Mansoul was lost, and it would have amazed one to have seen what sorrow and compunction of spirit there was among all sorts at the king's court to think that the place was taken. But the king and his son foresaw all this before, yea, had sufficiently provided for the relief of Mansoul, though they told not everybody thereof. Wherefore, after consultation, the son of Shaddai--a sweet and comely person, and one that always had great affection for those that were in affliction--having striven hard with his father, promised that he would be his servant to recover Mansoul. The purport of this agreement was that at a certain time, prefixed by both, the king's son should take a journey into the country of Universe, and there, in a way of justice and equity, make amends for the follies of Mansoul, and lay the foundation of her perfect deliverance.

Now King Shaddai thought good at the first not to send his army by the hand and conduct of brave Emmanuel, his son, but under the hand of some of his servants, to see first by them the temper of Mansoul, and whether they would be won to the obedience of their king. So they came up to Mansoul under the conduct of four stout generals, each man being captain of ten thousand men, and having his standard-bearer.

Having travelled for many days, at the king's cost, not hurting or abusing any, they came within sight of Mansoul, the which, when they saw, the captains could for their hearts do no less than bewail the condition of the town, for they quickly perceived it was prostrate to the will of Diabolus.

Well, before the king's forces had set before Mansoul three days, Captain Boanerges commanded his trumpeter to go down to Eargate to summon Mansoul to give audience to the message he was commanded to deliver, but there was none that appeared to give answer or regard.

Again and again was the summons sounded, till at last the townsmen came up--having first made Eargate as sure as they could. So my lord Incredulity, came up and showed himself over the wall. But when the captain had set eyes on him he cried out aloud, "This is not he; where is my lord Understanding, the ancient mayor of the town of Mansoul?" Then stood forth the four captains, and, taking no notice of the giant Diabolus, each addressed himself to the town of Mansoul; but their brave speeches the town refused to hear, yet the sound thereof beat against Eargate, though the force thereof could not break it open.

Then Diabolus commanded the lord mayor Incredulity to give answer, and his oration was seconded by desperate Will-be-will, while the recorder, whose name was Forget-good, followed with threats. Then did the town of Mansoul shout for joy, as if by Diabolus and his crew some great advantage had been obtained over the captains. They also rang the bells, and sang and made merry, and danced for joy upon the walls. Now, when the captains heard the answer of the great ones, and they could not get a hearing from the old natives of the town, they resolved to try it out by the power of the arm; so with their slings they battered the houses, and with rams they sought to break Eargate open, but Mansoul stood it out so lustily that after several skirmishes and brisk encounters they made a fair retreat and entrenched themselves in their winter quarters.

But now could not Mansoul sleep securely as before, nor could they go to their debaucheries with quietness, as in times past, for they had from the camp of Shaddai such frequent warm alarms, yea, alarms upon alarms, first at one gate and then at another, and again at all the gates at once, that they were broken as to former peace; yea, so distressed were they that I daresay Diabolus, their king, had in these days his rest much broken. And by degrees new thoughts possessed the minds of the men of the town. Some would say, "There is no living thus." Others would then reply, "This will be over shortly." Then a third would answer, "Let us turn to King Shaddai, and so put an end to all these troubles." The old gentlemen, too, Mr. Conscience, the recorder that was so before Diabolus took Mansoul, began to talk aloud, and his words were now like great claps of thunder. Yea, so far as I could gather, the town had been surrendered before now had it not been for the opposition of old Incredulity and the fickleness of my lord Will-be-will.

They of the king's army this winter sent three times to Mansoul to submit herself, and these summonses, especially the two last, so distressed the town that presently they called a consultation for a parley, and offered to come to an agreement on certain terms, but they were such that the captains, jointly and with the highest disdain, rejected, and returned to their trenches.

The captains then gathered themselves together for a conference, and agreed that a petition should forthwith be drawn up and forwarded by a fit man to Shaddai, with speed, that more forces be sent to Mansoul. Now, the king at sight of the petition was glad; but how much more, think you, when it was seconded by his son. Wherefore, the king called to him Emmanuel, his son, and said, "Come now, therefore, my son, and prepare thyself for war, for thou shalt go to my camp at Mansoul; thou shalt also there prosper and prevail."

The time for the setting forth being expired, the king's son addresses himself for the march and taketh with him five noble captains and their forces. So they sat down before the town, not now against the gates only, but environed it round on every side. But first, for two days together, they hung out the white flag to give the townsfolk time to consider; but they, as if they were unconcerned, made no reply to this favourable signal, so they then set the red flag upon the mount called Mount Justice.

When Emmanuel had put all things in readiness to bid Diabolus battle, he sent again to know of the town of Mansoul if in peaceable manner they would yield themselves. They then, together with Diabolus, their king, called a council of war, and resolved on certain propositions that should be offered to Emmanuel.

Now, there was in the town of Mansoul an old man, a Diabolonian, and his name was Mr. Loath-to-Stoop, a stiff man in his way, and a great doer for Diabolus; him, therefore, they sent, and put into his mouth what he should say. But none of his proposals would Emmanuel grant--all his ensnaring propositions were rejected, and Mr. Loath-to-Stoop departed.

Then was an alarm sounded, and the battering-rams were played, and the slings whirled stones into the town amain, and thus the battle began. And the word was at that time "Emmanuel." First Captain Boanerges made three assaults, most fierce, one after another, upon Eargate, to the shaking of the posts thereof. Captain Conviction also made up fast with Boanerges, and both discovering that the gate began to yield, they commanded that the rams should still be played against it. But Captain Conviction, going up very near to the gate, was with great force driven back, and received three wounds in the mouth. Nor did Captain Good-hope nor Captain Charity come behind in this most desperate fight, for they too so behaved at Eyegate that they had almost broken it quite open. And this took away the hearts of many of the Diabolonians. As for Will-be-will, I never saw him so daunted in my life, and some say he got a wound in the leg.

When the battle was over Diabolus again attempted to make terms by proposing a surrender on the condition that he should remain in the town as Emmanuel's deputy, and press upon the people a reformation according to law; but Emmanuel replied that nothing would be regarded that he could propose, for he had neither conscience to God nor love to the town of Mansoul. Diabolus therefore withdrew himself from the walls to the fort in the heart of the town, and, filled with despair of retaining the town in his hands, resolved to do it what mischief he could; for, said he, "Better demolish the place and leave it a heap of ruins than that it should be a habitation for Emmanuel."

Knowing the next battle would issue in his being master of the place, Emmanuel gave out a royal commandment to all his men of war to show themselves men of war against Diabolus and all Diabolonians, but favourable and meek to the old inhabitants of Mansoul. Then, after three or four notable charges, Eargate was burst open, and the bolts and bars broken into a thousand pieces. Then did the prince's trumpets sound, the captains shout, the town shake, and Diabolus retreat to his hold. And there was a great slaughter till the Diabolonians lay dead in every corner--though too many were yet alive in Mansoul. Now, the old recorder and my lord Understanding, with some others of the chief of the town, came together, and jointly agreed to draw up a petition, and send it to Emmanuel while he sat in the gate of Mansoul. The contents of the petition were these: "That they--the old inhabitants of the deplorable town of Mansoul--confessed their sin, and were sorry that they had offended his princely majesty, and prayed that he would spare their lives." Unto this petition he gave no answer. After some time and travail the gate of the castle was beaten open, and so a way was made to go into the hold where Diabolus had hid himself.

Now, when he was come to the castle gates he commanded Diabolus to surrender himself into his hands. But, oh, how loath was the beast to appear! How he stuck at it! How he shrunk! How he cringed! Then Emmanuel commanded, and they took Diabolus, and bound him first in chains, and led him to the market-place, and stripped him of his armour. Thus having made Diabolus naked in the eyes of Mansoul, the prince commands that he shall be bound with chains to his chariot-wheels, and he rode in triumph over him quite through the town. And, having finished this part of his triumph over Diabolus, he turned him up in the midst of his contempt and shame. Then went he from Emmanuel, and out of his camp to inherit parched places in a salt land, seeking rest but finding none.

Now, the prince, having by special orders put my lord Understanding, Mr. Conscience, and my lord Will-be-will in ward, they again drew up a petition and sent it to Emmanuel by the hand of Mr. Would-Live, and this being unanswered, they used as their messenger Mr. Desires-Awake, and with him went Mr. Wet-Eyes, a near neighbour. Then the prisoners were ordered to go down to the camp and appear before the prince. This they did with drooping spirits and ropes round their necks. But the prince gave them their pardon, embraced them, took away their ropes, and put chains of gold round their necks. He also sent by the recorder a pardon for all the people of Mansoul.

Then the prince commanded that the image of Diabolus should be taken down from the place where it was set up, and that they should utterly destroy it without the town wall; and that the image of Shaddai, his father, should be set up again with his own. Moreover, he renewed the charter of the city, and brought forth out of his treasury white glittering robes and granted to the people that they should put them on, so that they were put into fine linen, white and clean. Then said the prince unto them, "This, O Mansoul, is my livery, and the badge by which mine are known from the servants of others. Wear them if you would be known by the world to be mine."

IV.--The Downfall

But there was a man in the town named Mr. Carnal-Security, and he brought this corporation into great, grievous bondage. When Emmanuel perceived that through the policy of Mr. Carnal-Security the hearts of men were chilled and abated in their practical love for him, he in private manner withdrew himself first from his palace, then to the gate of the town, and so away from Mansoul till they should more earnestly seek his face.

Then the Diabolonians who yet dwelt in Mansoul sent letters to Diabolus, who promised to come to their assistance for the ruin of the town with twenty thousand Doubters. Diabolus suddenly making an assault on Feelgate, the gate was forced and the prince's men were compelled to betake themselves to the castle as the stronghold of the town, leaving the townsmen open to the ravages of the Doubters. Still the castle held out, and more urgent petitions to Emmanuel, carried by Captain Credence, brought at last the assurance that he would come presently to the relief of the town.

Indeed, before that time Diabolus had thought it wise to withdraw his men from the town to the plain; but here the Doubters, being caught between the defenders of the city and the rescuing army of Emmanuel, were slain to the last man, and buried in the plains.

Even yet Diabolus was not satisfied with his defeat, but determined on a last attempt upon the town, his army being made up of ten thousand Doubters and fifteen thousand Blood-men, all rugged villains. But Mr. Prywell discovered their coming, and they were put to route by the prince's captains, the Blood-men being surrounded and captured.

And so Mansoul arrived at some degree of peace and quiet, and her prince also abode within her borders. Then the prince appointed a day when he should meet the whole of the townsmen in the market-place, and they being come together, he said, "Now, my Mansoul, I have returned to thee in peace, and thy transgressions against me are as if they had not been. Nor shall it be with thee as in former days, but I will do better, for thee than at the beginning.

"Yet a little while, and I will take down this famous town of Mansoul, street and stone, to the ground, and will set it up in such strength and glory in mine own country as it never did see in the kingdom where now it is placed. There, O my Mansoul, thou shalt be afraid of murderers no more, of Diabolonians no more. There shall be no more plots, nor contrivances, nor designs against thee. But first I charge thee that thou dost hereafter keep more white and clean the liveries which I gave thee. When thy garments are white, the world will count thee mine. And now that thou mayest keep them white I have provided for thee an open fountain to wash thy garments in. I have oft-times delivered thee, and for all this I ask thee nothing but that thou bear in mind my love. Nothing can hurt thee but sin, nothing can grieve me but sin, nothing make thee pause before thy foes but sin. Watch! Behold, I lay none other burden upon thee--hold fast till I come!"

The Pilgrim's Progress

The "Pilgrim's Progress" was begun during Bunyan's second and briefer term of imprisonment in Bedford gaol. As originally conceived, the work was something entirely different from the masterpiece that was finally produced. Engaged upon a religious treatise, Bunyan had occasion to compare Christian progress to a pilgrimage--a simile by no means uncommon even in those days. Soon he discovered a number of points which had escaped his predecessors, and countless images began to crowd quickly upon his imaginative brain. Released at last from gaol, he still continued his work, acquainting no one with his labours, and receiving the help of none. The "Pilgrim," on its appearance in 1678, was but a moderate success; but it was not long before its charm made itself felt, and John Bunyan counted his readers by the thousand in Scotland, in the Colonies, in Holland, and among the Huguenots of France. Within ten years 100,000 copies were sold. With the exception of the Bible, it is, perhaps, the most widely-read book in the English language, and has been translated into seventy foreign tongues.

I.--The Battle with Apollyon

As I walked through the wilderness of this world, I lighted on a certain place where there was a den, and laid me down in that place to sleep; and as I slept, I dreamed a dream. I dreamed I saw a man, clothed with rags, standing with his face from his own house, a book in his hand, and a great burden upon his back.

"O my dear wife and children!" he said, "I am informed that our city will be burnt with fire from heaven. We shall all come to ruin unless we can find a way of escape!"

His relations and friends thought that some distemper had got into his head; but he kept crying, in spite of all that they said to quieten him, "What shall I do to be saved?" He looked this way and that way, but could not tell which road to take. And a man named Evangelist came to him, and he said to Evangelist, "Whither must I fly?"

"Do you see yonder wicket gate?" said Evangelist, pointing with his finger over a very wide field. "Go there, and knock, and you will be told what to do."

I saw in my dream that the man began to run, and his wife and children cried after him to return, but the man ran on, crying, "Life! life! eternal life!"

Two of his neighbours pursued him and overtook him. Their names were Obstinate and Pliable.

"Come, come, friend Christian," said Obstinate. "Why are you hurrying away in this manner from the City of Destruction, in which you were born?"

"Because I have read in my book," replied Christian, "that it will be consumed with fire from heaven. I pray you, good neighbours, come with me, and seek for some way of escape."

After listening to all that Christian said, Pliable resolved to go with him, but Obstinate returned to the City of Destruction in scorn.

"What! Leave my friends and comforts for such a brain-sick fellow as you? No, I will go back to my own home."

Christian and Pliable walked on together, without looking whither they were going, and in the midst of the plain they fell into a very miry slough, which was called the Slough of Despond. Here they wallowed for a time, and Christian, because of the burden that was on his back, began to sink in the mire.

"Is this the happiness you told me of?" said Pliable. "If I get out again with my life, you shall make your journey alone."

With a desperate effort he got out of the mire, and went back, leaving Christian alone in the Slough of Despond. As Christian struggled under his burden towards the wicket gate, I saw in my dream that a man came to him, whose name was Help, and drew him out, and set him upon sound ground. But before Christian could get to the wicket gate, Mr. Worldly Wiseman came and spoke to him.

"How now, good fellow!" said Mr. Worldly Wiseman. "Where are you going with that heavy burden on your back?"

"To yonder wicket gate," said Christian. "For there, Evangelist told me, I shall be put into a way to be rid of my heavy burden."

"Evangelist is a dangerous and troublesome fellow," said Mr. Worldly Wiseman. "Do not follow his counsel. Hear me: I am older than you. I can tell you an easy way to get rid of your burden. You see the village on yonder high hill?"

"Yes," said Christian. "I remember the village is called Morality."

"It is," said Mr. Worldly Wiseman. "There you will find a very judicious gentleman whose name is Mr. Legality. If he is not in, inquire for his son, Mr. Civility. Both of them have great skill in helping men to get burdens off their shoulders."

Christian resolved to follow Mr. Worldly Wiseman's advice. But, as he was painfully climbing up the high hill, Evangelist came up to him, and said, "Are you not the man that I found crying in the City of Destruction, and directed to the little wicket gate? How is it that you have gone so far out of the way?"

Christian blushed for shame, and said that he had been led astray by Mr. Worldly Wiseman.

"Mr. Worldly Wiseman," said Evangelist, "is a wicked man. Mr. Legality is a cheat, and his son, Mr. Civility, is a hypocrite. If you listen to them they will beguile you of your salvation, and turn you from the right way."

Evangelist then set Christian in the true path which led to the wicket gate, over which was written, "Knock, and it shall be opened unto you." And Christian knocked, and a grave person, named Goodwill, opened the gate and let him in. I saw in my dream that Christian asked him to help him off with the burden that was upon his back, and Goodwill pointed to a narrow way running from the wicket gate, and said, "Do you see that narrow way? That is the way you must go. Keep to it, and do not turn down any of the wide and crooked roads, and you will soon come to the place of deliverance, where your burden will fall from your back of itself."

Christian then took his leave of Goodwill, and climbed up the narrow way till he came to a place upon which stood a cross. And I saw in my dream that as Christian came to the cross, his burden fell from off his back, and he became glad and lightsome. He gave three leaps for joy, and went on his way singing, and at nightfall he came to a very stately palace, the name of which was Beautiful. Four grave and lovely damsels, named Charity, Discretion, Prudence, and Piety, met him at the threshold, saying, "Come in, thou blessed of the Lord! This palace was built on purpose to entertain such pilgrims as thou."

Christian sat talking with the lovely damsels until supper was ready, and then they led him to a table that was furnished with fat things, and excellently fine wines. And after Christian had refreshed himself, the damsels showed him into a large chamber, whose window opened towards the sun-rising. The name of the chamber was Peace, and there Christian slept till break of day. Then he awoke, singing for joy, and the damsels took him into the armoury, and dressed him for battle. They harnessed him in armour of proof, and gave him a stout shield and a good sword; for, they said, he would have to fight many a battle before he got to the Celestial City.

And I saw in my dream that Christian went down the hill on which the House Beautiful stood, and came to a valley, that was called the Valley of Humiliation, where he was met by a foul fiend, Apollyon.

"Prepare to die!" said Apollyon, straddling over the whole breadth of the narrow way. "I swear by my infernal den that thou shalt go no further. Here will I spill thy soul."

With that, he threw a flaming dart at his breast, but Christian caught it on his shield. Then Apollyon rushed upon him, throwing darts as thick as hail, and, notwithstanding all that Christian could do, Apollyon wounded him, and made him draw back. The sore combat lasted for half a day, and though Christian resisted as manfully as he could, he grew weaker and weaker by reason of his wounds. At last, Apollyon, espying his opportunity, closed in on Christian, and wrestling with him, gave him a dreadful fall, and Christian's sword flew out of his hand.

"Ah!" cried Apollyon, "I am sure of thee now!"

He pressed him almost to death, and Christian began to despair of life. But, as God would have it, while Apollyon was fetching his last blow, to make an end of this good man, Christian nimbly reached out his hand for his sword, and caught it, and gave him a deadly thrust. With that, Apollyon spread forth his wings, and sped him away, and Christian saw him no more.

Then, with some leaves from the tree of life, Christian healed his wounds, and with his sword drawn in his hand, he marched through the Valley of Humiliation, without meeting any more enemies.

But at the end of the valley was another, called the Valley of the Shadow of Death. On the right hand of this valley was a very deep ditch; it was the ditch into which the blind have led the blind in all ages, and have there miserably perished. And on the left hand was a dangerous quagmire, into which, if even a good man falls, he finds no bottom for his foot to stand on. The pathway here was exceeding narrow and very dark, and Christian was hard put to it to get through safely. And right by the wayside, in the midst of the valley, was the mouth of hell, and out of it came flame and smoke in great abundance, with sparks and hideous noises. But when the hosts of hell came at him, as he travelled on through the smoke and flame and dreadful noise, he cried out, "I will walk in the strength of the Lord God!"

Thereupon, the fiends gave over, and came no further; and suddenly the day broke, and Christian turned and saw all the hobgoblins, satyrs, and dragons of the pit far behind him, and though he was now got into the most dangerous part of the Valley of the Shadow of Death, he was no longer afraid. The place was so set, here with snares, traps, gins and nets, and there with pits and holes, and shelvings, that, had it been dark, he would surely have perished. But it was now clear day, and by walking warily Christian got safely to the end of the valley. And at the end of the valley, he saw another pilgrim marching on at some distance before him.

"Ho, ho!" shouted Christian. "Stay, and I will be your companion."

"No, I cannot stay," said the other pilgrim, whose name was Faithful. "I am upon my life, and the avenger of blood is behind me."

Putting out all his strength, Christian quickly got up with Faithful. Then I saw in my dream they went very lovingly on together, and had sweet discourse of all things that had happened to them in their pilgrimage; for they had been neighbours in the City of Destruction, and both of them were bound for the Delectable Mountains, and the Celestial City beyond. They were now in a great wilderness, and they walked on together till they came to the town of Vanity, at which a fair is kept all the year long, called Vanity Fair.

II.--Vanity Fair

I saw in my dream that Christian and Faithful tried to avoid seeing Vanity Fair; but this they could not do, because the way to the Celestial City lies through the town where this lusty fair is kept. About 5,000 years ago, Beelzebub, Apollyon, and the rest of the fiends saw by the path which the pilgrims made, that their way lay through the town of Vanity. So they set up a fair there, in which all sorts of vanity should be sold every day in the year. Among the merchandise sold at this fair are lands, honours, titles, lusts, pleasures, and preferments; delights of all kinds, as servants, gold, silver, and precious stones; murders and thefts; blood and bodies, yea, and lives and souls. Moreover, at this fair, there are at all times to be seen jugglings, cheats, games, plays, fools, apes, knaves, and rogues, and that of every sort.

When Christian and Faithful came through Vanity Fair everybody began to stare and mock at them, for they were clothed in a raiment different from the raiment of the multitude that traded in the fair, and their speech also was different, and few could understand what they said. But what amused the townspeople most of all was that the pilgrims set light by all their wares.

"What will ye buy? What will ye buy?" said one merchant to them mockingly.

"We buy the truth," said Christian and Faithful, looking gravely upon him.

At this some men began to taunt the pilgrims, and some tried to strike them; and things at last came to a hubbub and great stir, and all the fair was thrown into disorder. Thereupon, Christian and Faithful were arrested as disturbers of the peace. After being beaten and rolled in the dirt, they were put into a cage, and made a spectacle to all the men of the fair. The next day they were again beaten, and led up and down the fair in heavy chains for an example and terror to others.

But some of the better sort were moved to take their part; and this so angered the chief men in the town that they resolved to put the pilgrims to death. They were therefore indicted before the Lord Chief Justice Hategood with having disturbed the trade of Vanity Fair, and won a party over to their own pernicious way of thinking, in contempt of the law of Prince Beelzebub. Mr. Envy, Mr. Superstition, and Mr. Pickthank bore witness against them; and the jurymen, on hearing Faithful affirm that the customs of their town of Vanity were opposed to the spirit of Christianity, brought him in guilty of high treason to Beelzebub. No doubt, they would have condemned Christian also; but, by the mercy of God, he escaped from prison, being assisted by one of the men of the town, named Hopeful, who had come over to his way of thinking.

Faithful was tied to a stake, and scourged, and stoned, and burnt to death. But I saw in my dream that the Shining Ones came with a chariot and horses, and made their way through the multitude to the flames in which Faithful was burning, and put him in the chariot, and, with the sound of trumpets, carried him up through the clouds, and on to the gate of the Celestial City.

So Christian was left alone to continue his journey; but I saw in my dream that, as he was going out of the town of Vanity, Hopeful came up to him and said that he would be his companion. And thus it ever is. Whenever a man dies to bear testimony to the truth, another rises out of his ashes to carry on his work.

Christian was in no wise cast down by the death of Faithful, but went on his way, singing,

Hail, Faithful, hail! Thy goodly works survive;
And though they killed thee, thou art still alive.

And he was especially comforted by Hopeful telling him that there were a great many men of the better sort in Vanity Fair who were now resolved to undertake the pilgrimage to the Celestial City. Some way beyond Vanity Fair was a delicate plain, called Ease, where Christian and Hopeful went with much content. But at the farther side of that plain was a little hill, which was named Lucre. In this hill was a silver-mine which was very dangerous to enter, for many men who had gone to dig silver there had been smothered in the bottom by damps and noisome airs. Four men from Vanity Fair--Mr. Money-love, Mr. Hold-the-World, Mr. By-Ends, and Mr. Save-All--were going into the silver-mine as Christian and Hopeful passed by.

"Tarry for us," said Mr. Money-love; "and when we have got a little riches to take us on our journey, we will come with you."

Hopeful was willing to wait for his fellow-townsmen, but Christian told him that, having entered the mine, they would never come out; and, besides, that treasure is a snare to them that seek it, for it hindereth their pilgrimage. And he spoke truly; for I saw in my dream that some were killed by falling into the mine as they gazed from the brink, and the rest who went down to dig were poisoned by the vapours in the pit.

In the meantime, Christian and Hopeful came to the river of life, and walked along the bank with great delight. They drank of the water of the river, which was pleasant and enlivening to their weary spirits, and they ate of the fruit of the green trees that grew by the river side. Then, finding a fair meadow covered with lilies, they laid down and slept; and in the morning they rose up, wondrously refreshed, and continued their journey along the bank of the river. But the way soon grew rough and stony, and seeing on their left hand a stile across the meadow called By-Path Meadow, Christian leaped over it, and said to Hopeful, "Come, good Hopeful, let us go this way. It is much easier."

"I am afraid," said Hopeful, "that it will take us out of the right road."

But Christian persuaded him to jump over the stile, and there they got into a path which was very easy for their feet. But they had not gone very far when it began to rain and thunder and lighten in a most dreadful manner, and night came on apace, and stumbling along in the darkness, they reached Doubting Castle, and the lord thereof, Giant Despair, took them and threw them into a dark and dismal dungeon. Here they lay for three days without one bit of bread or drop of drink. On the third day Giant Despair came and flogged them with a great crabtree cudgel, and so disabled them that they were not even able to rise up from the mire of their dungeon floor. And indeed, they could scarcely keep their heads above the mud in which they lay.

Now Giant Despair had a wife, and her name was Diffidence; and when she found that, in spite of their flogging, Christian and Hopeful were still alive, she advised her husband to kill them outright. It happened, however, to be sunshiny weather, and sunshiny weather always made Giant Despair fall into a helpless fit, in which he lost for the time the use of his hands. So all he could do was to try and persuade his prisoners to kill themselves with knife or halter.

"Why," said he to Christian and Hopeful, "should you choose to live? You know you can never get out of Doubting Castle. What! Will you slowly starve to death like rats in a hole, instead of putting a sudden end to your misery, like men. I tell you again, you will never get out."

But when he was gone, Christian and Hopeful went down on their knees in their dungeon and prayed long and earnestly. Then Christian suddenly bethought himself, and after fumbling in his bosom, he drew out a key, saying, "What a fool am I to lie in a dismal dungeon when I can walk at liberty! Here is the key that I have been carrying in my bosom, called Promise, that will open every lock in Doubting Castle."

He at once tried it at the dungeon door, and turned the bolt with ease. He then led Hopeful to the iron gate of the castle, and though the lock went desperately hard, yet the key opened it. But as the gate moved, it made such a creaking that Giant Despair was aroused.

Hastily rising up, the giant set out to pursue the prisoners; but seeing that all the land was now flooded with sunshine, he fell into one of his helpless fits, and could not even get as far as the castle gate.

III.--The Celestial City

Having thus got safely out of Doubting Castle, Christian and Hopeful made their way back to the banks of the river of life, and, following the rough and stony way, they came at last to the Delectable Mountains. And going up the mountains they beheld the gardens and orchards, the vineyards, the fountains of water; and here they drank and washed themselves, and freely ate of the pleasant grapes of the vineyards. Now, on top of the mountains there were four shepherds feeding their flocks, and the pilgrims went to them, and, leaning upon their staffs, they asked them the way to the Celestial City. And the shepherds took them by the hand and led them to the top of Clear, the highest of all the Delectable Mountains, and the pilgrims looked and saw, faintly and very far off, the gate and the glory of the Celestial City.

And I saw in my dream that the two pilgrims went down the Delectable Mountains along the narrow way, and after walking some distance they came to a place where the path branched. Here they stood still for a while, considering which way to take, for both ways seemed right. And as they were considering, behold, a man black of flesh and covered with a white robe, came up to them, and offered to lead them down the true way. But when they had followed him for some time they found that he had led them into a crooked road, and there they were entangled in a net.

Here they lay bewailing themselves, and at last they espied a Shining One coming toward them, with a whip in his hand.

"We are poor pilgrims going to the Celestial City," said Christian and Hopeful. "A black man clothed in white offered to lead us there, but entangled us instead in this net."

"It was Flatterer that did this," said the Shining One. "He is a false apostle that hath transformed himself into an angel."

I saw in my dream that he then rent the net and let the pilgrims out. Then he commanded them to lie down, and when they did so, he chastised them with his whip of cords, to teach them to walk in the good way, and refrain from following the advice of evil flatterers. And they thanked him for his kindness, and went softly along the right path, singing for very joy; and after passing through the Enchanted Land, which was full of vapours that made them dull and sleepy, they came to the sweet and pleasant country of Beulah. In this country the sun shone night and day, and the air was so bright and clear that they could see the Celestial City to which they were going. Yea, they met there some of the inhabitants, for the Shining Ones often walked in the Land of Beulah, because it was on the borders of Heaven.

As Christian and Hopeful drew near to the city their strength began to fail. It was builded of pearls and precious stones, and the streets were paved with gold; and what with the natural glory of the city, and the dazzling radiance of the sunbeams that fell upon it, Christian grew sick with desire as he beheld it; and Hopeful, too, was stricken with the same malady. And, walking on very slowly, full of the pain of longing, they came at last to the gate of the city. But between them and the gate there was a river, and the river was very deep, and no bridge went over it. And when Christian asked the Shining Ones how he could get to the gate of the city, they said to him, "You must go through the river, or you cannot come to the gate."

"Is the river very deep?" said Christian.

"You will find it deeper or shallower," said the Shining Ones, "according to the depth or shallowness of your belief in the King of our city."

The two pilgrims then entered the river. Christian at once began to sink, and, crying out to his good friend Hopeful, he said, "I sink in deep waters! The billows go over my head! All the waves go over me."

"Be of good cheer, my brother," said Hopeful, "I feel the bottom, and it is good!"

With that a great darkness and horror fell upon Christian; he could no longer see before him, and he was in much fear that he would perish in the river, and never enter in at the gate. When he recovered, he found he had got to the other side, and Hopeful was already there waiting for him.

And I saw in my dream that the city stood upon a mighty hill; but the pilgrims went up with ease, because they had left their mortal garments behind them in the river.

While they were thus drawing to the gate, behold, a company of the heavenly host came out to meet them. With them were several of the King's trumpeters, clothed in white and shining raiment, who made even the heavens to echo with their shouting and the sound of their trumpets.

Then all the bells in the city began to ring welcome, and the gate was opened wide, and the two pilgrims entered. And lo! as they entered they were transfigured; and they had raiment put on that shone like gold. And Shining Ones gave them harps to praise their King with, and crowns in token of honour.

And as the gates were opened, I looked in, and behold, the streets were paved with gold; and in them walked many men, with crowns on their heads, palms in their hands, and golden harps to sing praises withal. There were also of them that had wings and they answered one another saying, "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord!" And after that they shut up the gates, which, when I had seen, I wished myself among them. Then I awoke, and behold! it was a dream.



"Evelina" was the first tale written by a woman, and purporting to be a picture of life and manners, that lived or deserved to live. It took away reproach from the novel. The opinion is Macaulay's. In many respects the publication of "Evelina" resembled that of "Jane Eyre," by Charlotte Brontë, a century later. It was issued anonymously, by a firm that did not know the name of the writer. Only the children of the household from which the book came knew its origin. It attained an immediate and immense success, which gave the author, a shrinking and modest little body, a foremost place in the literary world of her day. Fanny Burney, the second daughter of Dr. Burney, was born in 1752, and published "Evelina, or a Young Lady's Entrance into the World," in 1778. She had picked up an education at home, without any tuition whatever, but had the advantage of browsing in her father's large miscellaneous library, and observing his brilliant circle of friends. She knew something of the Johnson set before she wrote "Evelina," and became the doctor's pet. Later, Fanny Burney wrote "Cecilia," for which she received two thousand guineas, and "Camilla," for which she received three thousand guineas.



Can anything be more painful to the friendly mind than a necessity of communicating disagreeable intelligence? I have just had a letter from Madame Duval, who has lately used her utmost endeavours to obtain a faithful account of whatever related to her ill-advised daughter; and having some reason to apprehend that upon her death-bed her daughter bequeathed an infant orphan to the world, she says that if you, with whom she understands the child is placed, will procure authentic proofs of its relationship to her, you may send it to Paris, where she will properly provide for it.

Her letter has excited in my daughter, Mrs. Mirvan, a strong desire to be informed of the motives which induced Madame Duval to abandon the unfortunate Lady Belmont at a time when a mother's protection was peculiarly necessary for her peace and reputation, and I cannot satisfy Mrs. Mirvan otherwise than by applying to you.


Your ladyship did but too well foresee the perplexity and uneasiness of which Madame Duval's letter has been productive. In regard to my answer I most humbly request your ladyship to write to this effect: "That I would not upon any account intentionally offend Madame Duval, but that I have unanswerable reasons for detaining her granddaughter at present in England."

Complying with the request of Mrs. Mirvan, I would say that I had the honour to accompany Mr. Evelyn, the grandfather of my young charge, when upon his travels, in the capacity of a tutor. His unhappy marriage, immediately upon his return to England, with Madame Duval, then a waiting-girl at a tavern, contrary to the entreaties of his friends, induced him to fix his abode in France. He survived the ill-judged marriage but two years.

Mr. Evelyn left me the sole guardianship of his daughter's person till her eighteenth year, but in regard to fortune he left her wholly dependent on her mother. Miss Evelyn was brought up under my care, and, except when at school, under my roof. In her eighteenth year, her mother, then married to Monsieur Duval, sent for her to Paris, and at the instigation of her husband tyrannically endeavoured to effect a union between Miss Evelyn and one of his nephews. Miss Evelyn soon grew weary of such usage, and rashly, and without a witness, consented to a private marriage with Sir John Belmont, a very profligate young man, who had but too successfully found means to insinuate himself into her favour. He promised to conduct her to England--he did. O madam, you know the rest! Disappointed of the fortune he expected by the inexcusable rancour of the Duvals, he infamously burnt the certificate of their marriage and denied that they had ever been united!

She flew to my protection, and the moment that gave birth to her infant put an end at once to the sorrows and the life of its mother. That child, madam, shall never know the loss she has sustained. Not only my affection, but my humanity recoils at the barbarous idea of deserting the sacred trust reposed in me.

II.--A Visit to Town


Your last letter gave me infinite pleasure. Do you think you could bear to part with your young companion for two or three months? Mrs. Mirvan proposes to spend the ensuing spring in London, whither for the first time my grandchild will accompany her, and it is their earnest wish that your amiable ward may share equally with her own daughter the care and attention of Mrs. Mirvan. What do you say to our scheme?


I am grieved, madam, to appear obstinate, and I blush to incur the imputation of selfishness. My young ward is of an age that happiness is eager to attend--let her then enjoy it! I commit her to the protection of your ladyship. Restore her but to me all innocence as you receive her, and the fondest hope of my heart will be amply gratified.


We are to go on Monday to a private ball given by Mrs. Stanley, a very fashionable lady of Mrs. Mirvan's acquaintance. I am afraid of this ball; for, as you know, I have never danced but at school. However, Miss Mirvan says there is nothing in it. Yet I wish it was over.

We passed a most extraordinary evening. A private ball this was called; but, my dear sir, I believe I saw half the world!

The gentlemen, as they passed and repassed, looked as if they thought we were quite at their disposal, and only waited for the honour of their commands; and they sauntered about in an indolent manner, as if with a view to keep us in suspense.

Presently a gentleman, who seemed about six-and-twenty years old, gaily, but not foppishly dressed, and indeed extremely handsome, with an air of mixed politeness and gallantry, desired to know if I would honour him with my hand. Well, I bowed, and I am sure I coloured; for indeed I was frightened at the thought of dancing before so many strangers with a stranger. And so he led me to join in the dance.

He seemed desirous of entering into conversation with me; but I was seized with such panic that I could hardly speak a word. He appeared surprised at my terror, and, I fear, thought it very strange.

His own conversation was sensible and spirited; his air and address open and noble; his manners gentle, attentive, and infinitely engaging; his person is all elegance, and his countenance the most animated and expressive I have ever seen. The rank of Lord Orville was his least recommendation. When he discovered I was totally ignorant of public places and public performers, he ingeniously turned the discourse to the amusements and occupations of the country; but I was unable to go further than a monosyllable in reply, and not even so far as that when I could possibly avoid it.

Tired, ashamed, and mortified, I begged at last to sit down till we returned home. Lord Orville did me the honour to hand me to the coach, talking all the way of the honour I had done him! Oh, these fashionable people!

There is no end to the troubles of last night. I have gathered from Maria Mirvan the most curious dialogue that ever I heard. Maria was taking some refreshment, and saw Lord Orville advancing for the same purpose himself, when a gay-looking man, Sir Clement Willoughby, I am told, stepped up and cried, "Why, my lord, what have you done with your lovely partner?"

"Nothing!" answered Lord Orville, with a smile and a shrug.

"By Jove!" said the man, "she is the most beautiful creature I ever saw in my life!"

Lord Orville laughed, but answered, "Yes, a pretty, modest-looking girl!"

"Oh, my lord," cried the other, "she is an angel!"

"A silent one," returned he.

"Why, my lord, she looks all intelligence and expression!"

"A poor, weak girl," answered Lord Orville, shaking his head. "Whether ignorant or mischievous, I will not pretend to determine; but she attended to all I said to her with the most immovable gravity."

Here Maria was called to dance, and so heard no more.

Now, tell me, sir, did you ever know anything more provoking? "A poor, weak girl! Ignorant and mischievous!" What mortifying words! I would not live here for the world. I care not how soon I leave.

III.--An Unlucky Meeting


How much will you be surprised, my dearest sir, at receiving so soon another letter from London in your Evelina's writing. An accident, equally unexpected and disagreeable, has postponed our journey to Lady Howard at Howard Grove.

We went last night to see the "Fantocini," a little comedy in French and Italian, by puppets, and when it was over, and we waited for our coach, a tall, elderly, foreign-looking woman brushed quickly past us, calling out, "My God! What shall I do? I have lost my company, and in this place I don't know anybody."

"We shall but follow the golden rule," said Mrs. Mirvan, "if we carry her to her lodgings."

We therefore admitted her to her coach, to carry her to Oxford Road. Let me draw a veil over a scene too cruel for a heart so compassionate as yours, and suffice it to know that, in the course of our ride, this foreigner proved to be Madame Duval--the grandmother of your Evelina!

When we stopped at her lodgings she desired me to accompany her into the house, and said she could easily procure a room for me to sleep in.

I promised to wait upon her at what time she pleased the next day.

What an unfortunate adventure! I could not close my eyes the whole night.

Mrs. Mirvan was so kind as to accompany me to Madame Duval's house this morning. She frowned most terribly on Mrs. Mirvan, but received me with as much tenderness as I believe she was capable of feeling. She avowed that her intention in visiting England was to make me return with her to France. As it would have been indecent for me to have quitted town the very instant I discovered that Madame Duval was in it, we have determined to remain in London for some days. But I, my dear and most honoured sir, shall have no happiness till I am again with you.


Secure of my protection, let no apprehensions of Madame Duval disturb your peace. Conduct yourself towards her with all respect and deference due to so near a relation, remembering always that the failure of duty on her part can by no means justify any neglect on yours. Make known to her the independence I assure you of, and when she fixes the time for her leaving England, trust to me the task of refusing your attending her.


I have spent the day in a manner the most uncomfortable imaginable. Madame Duval, on my visiting her, insisted upon my staying with her all day, as she intended to introduce me to some of my own relations. These consisted of a Mr. Brangton, who is her nephew, and three of his children--a son and two daughters--and I am not ambitious of being known to more of my relations if they have any resemblance to those whose acquaintance I have already made.

I had finished my letter to you when a violent rapping at the door made me run downstairs, and who should I see in the drawing-room but Lord Orville!

He inquired of our health with a degree of concern that rather surprised me, and when I told him our time for London is almost expired, he asked, "And does Miss Anville feel no concern at the idea of the many mourners her absence will occasion?"

"Oh, my lord, I'm sure you don't think"--I stopped there, for I hardly knew what I was going to say. My foolish embarrassment, I suppose, was the cause of what followed; for he came and took my hand, saying, "I do think that whoever has once seen Miss Anville must receive an impression never to be forgotten."

This compliment--from Lord Orville--so surprised me that I could not speak, but stood silent and looking down, till recollecting my situation I withdrew my hand, and told him I would see if Mrs. Mirvan was in.

I have since been extremely angry with myself for neglecting so excellent an opportunity of apologising for my behaviour at the ball.

Was it not very odd that he should make me such a compliment?

Mrs. Mirvan secured places last night for the play at Drury Lane Theatre in the front row of a side box. Sir Clement Willoughby, whose conversation with Lord Orville respecting me on the night of the ball Miss Mirvan overheard, was at the door of the theatre, and handed us from the carriage. We had not been seated five minutes before Lord Orville, whom we saw in the stage-box, came to us; and he honoured us with his company all the evening. To-night we go to the opera, where I expect very great pleasure. We shall have the same party as at the play, for Lord Orville said he should be there, and would look for us.

IV.--A Compromising Situation


I could write a volume of the adventures of yesterday.

While Miss Mirvan and I were dressing for the opera, what was our surprise to see our chamber-door flung open and the two Miss Brangtons enter the room! They advanced to me with great familiarity, saying, "How do you do, cousin? So we've caught you at the glass! Well, we're determined to tell our brother of that!" Miss Mirvan, who had never before seen them, could not at first imagine who they were, till the elder said: "We've come to take you to the opera, miss. Papa and my brother are below, and we are to call for your grandmother as we go along."

I told them I was pre-engaged, and endeavoured to apologise. But they hastened away, saying, "Well, her grandmamma will be in a fine passion, that's one good thing!"

And indeed, shortly afterwards, Madame Duval arrived, her face the colour of scarlet, and her eyes sparkling with fury, and behaved so violently that to appease her I consented, by Mrs. Mirvan's advice, to go with madame's party.

At the opera I was able, from the upper gallery, to distinguish the happy party I had left, with Lord Orville seated next to Mrs. Mirvan. During the last scene I perceived, standing near the gallery door, Sir Clement Willoughby. I was extremely vexed, and would have given the world to have avoided being seen by him in company with a family so low bred and vulgar.

As soon as he was within two seats of us he spoke to me. "I am very happy, Miss Anville, to have found you, for the ladies below have each a humble attendant, and therefore I am come to offer my services here."

"Why, then," cried I, "I will join them." So I turned to Madame Duval, and said, "As our party is so large, madame, if you give me leave I will go down to Mrs. Mirvan that I may not crowd you in the coach."

And then, without waiting for an answer, I suffered Sir Clement to hand me out of the gallery.

We could not, however, find Mrs. Mirvan in the confusion, and Sir Clement said, "You can have no objection to permitting me to see you safe home?"

While he was speaking, I saw Lord Orville, who advanced instantly towards me, and with an air and voice of surprise, said, "Do I see Miss Anville?"

I was inexpressibly distressed to suffer Lord Orville to think me satisfied with the single protection of Sir Clement Willoughby, and could not help exclaiming, "Good heaven, what can I do?"

"Why, my dear madam!" cried Sir Clement, "should you be thus uneasy? You will reach Queen Ann Street almost as soon as Mrs. Mirvan, and I am sure you cannot doubt being as safe."

Just then the servant came and told him the carriage was ready, and he handed me into it, while Lord Orville, with a bow and a half-smile, wished me good-night.

When I reached home Miss Mirvan ran out to meet me, and who should I see behind her but--Lord Orville, who, with great politeness, congratulated me that the troubles of the evening had so happily ended, and said he had found it impossible to return home before he inquired after my safety.

I am under cruel apprehensions lest Lord Orville should suppose my being on the stairs with Sir Clement was a concerted scheme.

V.--A Growing Acquaintance


Berry Hill, Dorset.--When we arrived here, how did my heart throb with joy! And when, through the window, I beheld the dearest, the most venerable of men with uplifted hands, returning, as I doubt not, thanks for my safe arrival, I thought it would have burst my bosom! When I flew into the parlour he could scarce articulate the blessings with which his kind and benevolent heart overflowed.

Everybody I see takes notice of my looking pale and ill, and all my good friends tease me about my gravity, and, indeed, dejection. Mrs. Selwyn, a lady of large fortune, who lives near, is going in a short time to Bristol, and has proposed to take me with her for the recovery of my health.


Bristol Hotwells.--Lord Orville is coming to Bristol with his sister, Lady Louisa Larpent. They are to be at the Honourable Mrs. Beaumont's, and it will be impossible to avoid seeing him, as Mrs. Selwyn is very well acquainted with Mrs. Beaumont.

This morning I accompanied Mrs. Selwyn to Clifton Hill, where, beautifully situated, is the house of Mrs. Beaumont. As we entered the house I summoned all my resolution to my aid, determined rather to die than to give Lord Orville reason to attribute my weakness to a wrong cause. On his seeing me, he suddenly exclaimed, "Miss Anville!" and then he advanced and made his compliments to me with a countenance open, manly, and charming, a smile that indicated pleasure, and eyes that sparkled with delight. The very tone of his voice seemed flattering as he congratulated himself upon his good fortune in meeting with me.

During our ride home Mrs. Selwyn asked me if my health would now permit me to give up my morning walks to the pump-room for the purpose of spending a week at Clifton; and as my health is now very well established, to-morrow, my dear sir, we are to be actually the guests of Mrs. Beaumont. I am not much delighted at this scheme, for greatly as I am flattered by the attention of Lord Orville, I cannot expect him to support it as long as a week.

We were received by Mrs. Beaumont with great civility, and by Lord Orville with something more.

The attention with which he honours me seems to result from a benevolence of heart that proves him as much a stranger to caprice as to pride. I am now not merely easy, but even gay in his presence; such is the effect of true politeness that it banishes all restraint and embarrassment.

VI.--A Happy Ending


And now, my dearest sir, if the perturbation of my spirits will allow me, I will finish my last letter from Clifton Hill.

This morning, when I went downstairs, Lord Orville was the only person in the parlour. I felt no small confusion at seeing him alone after having recently avoided him.

As soon as the usual compliments were over, I would have left the room, but he stopped me.

"I have for some time past most ardently desired an opportunity of speaking to you."

I said nothing, so he went on.

"I have been so unfortunate as to forfeit your friendship; your eye shuns mine, and you sedulously avoid my conversation."

I was extremely disconcerted at this grave, but too just accusation, but I made no answer.

"Tell me, I beseech you, what I have done, and how to deserve your pardon."

"Oh, my lord!" I cried, "I have never dreamt of offence; if there is any pardon to be asked it is rather for me than for you to ask it."

"You are all sweetness and condescension!" cried he; "but will you pardon a question essentially important to me? Had, or had not, Sir Clement Willoughby any share in causing your inquietude?"

"No, my lord!" answered I, with firmness, "none in the world. He is the last man who would have any influence over my conduct."

Just then Mrs. Beaumont opened the door, and in a few minutes we went in to breakfast. When she spoke of my journey a cloud overspread the countenance of Lord Orville, and on Mrs. Selwyn asking me to seek some books for her in the parlour, I was followed by Lord Orville. He shut the door, and approached me with a look of great anxiety.

"You are going, then," he cried, taking my hand, "and you give me not the smallest hope of your return?"

"Oh, my lord!" I said, "surely your lordship is not so cruel as to mock me!"

"Mock you!" repeated he earnestly. "No, I revere you! You are dearer to me than language has the power of telling!"

I cannot write the scene that followed, though every word is engraved on my heart; but his protestations, his expressions, were too flattering for repetition; nor would he suffer me to escape until he had drawn from me the most sacred secret of my heart!

To be loved by Lord Orville, to be the honoured choice of his noble heart--my happiness seems too infinite to be borne.

I could not write yesterday, so violent was the agitation of my mind, but I will not now lose a moment till I have hastened to my best friend an account of the transactions of the day.

Mrs. Selwyn and I went early in Mrs. Beaumont's chariot to see my father, Sir John Belmont What a moment for your Evelina when, taking my hand, she led me forward into his presence. An involuntary scream escaped me; covering my face with my hands, I sank on the floor.

He had, however, seen me first, for in a voice scarce articulate he exclaimed, "My God! does Caroline Evelyn still live? Lift up thy head, if my sight has not blasted thee, thou image of my long-lost Caroline!"

Affected beyond measure, I half arose and embraced his knees.

"Yes, yes," cried he, looking earnestly in my face, "I see thou art her child! She lives, she is present to my view!"

"Yes, sir," cried I, "it is your child if you will own her!"

He knelt by my side, and folded me in his arms. "Own thee!" he repeated, "yes, my poor girl, and heaven knows with what bitter contrition!"

All is over, my dearest sir, and the fate of your Evelina is decided! This morning, with tearful joy, and trembling gratitude, she united herself for ever with the object of her dearest, eternal affection.

I have time for no more; the chaise now waits which is to conduct me to dear Berry Hill and the arms of the best of men.


The Black Prophet

William Carleton, the Irish novelist, was born in Co. Tyrone on February 20, 1794. His father was a small farmer, the father of fourteen children, of whom William was the youngest. After getting some education, first from a hedge schoolmaster, and then from Dr. Keenan of Glasslough, Carleton set out for Dublin and obtained a tutorship. In 1830 he collected a number of sketches, and these were published under the title of "Traits and Stories of the Irish Peasantry," and at once enjoyed considerable popularity. In 1834 came "Tales of Ireland," and from that time forward till his death Carleton produced with great industry numerous short stories and novels, though none of his work after 1848 is worthy of his reputation. "The Black Prophet" was published in 1847, and Carleton believed rightly that it was his best work. It was written in a season of unparalleled scarcity and destitution, and the pictures and scenes represented were those which he himself witnessed in 1817 and 1822. Many of Carleton's novels have been translated into French, German, and Italian, and they will always stand for faithful and powerful pictures of Irish life and character. Carleton died in Dublin on January 30, 1869.

I.--The Murders in the Glen

The cabin of Donnel M'Gowan, the Black Prophet, stood at the foot of a hill, near the mouth of a gloomy and desolate glen.

In this glen, not far from the cabin, two murders had been committed twenty years before. The one was that of a carman, and the other a man named Sullivan; and it was supposed they had been robbed. Neither of the bodies had ever been found. Sullivan's hat and part of his coat had been found on the following day in a field near the cabin, and there was a pool of blood where his foot-marks were deeply imprinted. A man named Dalton had been taken up under circumstances of great suspicion for this latter murder, for Dalton was the last person seen in Sullivan's company, and both men had been drinking together in the market. A quarrel had ensued, blows had been exchanged, and Dalton had threatened him in very strong language.

No conviction was possible because of the disappearance of the body, but Dalton had remained under suspicion, and the glen, with its dark and gloomy aspect, was said to be haunted by Sullivan's spirit, and to be accursed as the scene of crime and supernatural appearances.

Within M'Gowan's cabin, which bore every mark of poverty and destitution, a young girl about twenty-one, of tall and slender figure, with hair black as the raven's wing, and eyes dark and brilliant, wrangled fiercely with an older woman, her stepmother. From words they passed to a fearful struggle of murderous passion.

Presently, Sarah, the younger of the two, started to her feet, and fled out of the house to wash her hands and face at the river that flowed past. Then she returned, and spoke with frankness and good nature.

"I'm sorry for what I did. Forgive me, mother! You know I'm a hasty divil--for a divil's limb I am, no doubt of it. Forgive me, I say! Do now; here, I'll get something to stop the blood!"

She sprang at the moment, with the agility of a wild cat upon an old chest that stood in the corner of the hut. By stretching herself up to her full length, she succeeded in pulling down several old cobwebs that had been undisturbed for years, and while doing so, knocked down some metallic substance which fell on the floor.

"Murdher alive, mother!" she exclaimed. "What is this? Hallo, a tobaccy-box! An' what's this on it? Let me see. Two letters--a 'P' and an 'M.' 'P.M.'--arrah, what can that be for? Well, divil may care. Let it lie on the shelf there. Here now, none of your cross looks. I say, put these cobwebs to your face, and they'll stop the bleedin'. And now good-night to you, an' let that be a warnin' to you not to raise your hand to me again."

The girl went off to spend the night at a dance and a wake, and the stepmother having dressed her wound as well as she could, sat down by the fire and began to ruminate.

Presently she took up the tobacco-box, and looking at it carefully, clasped her hands.

"It's the same!" she exclaimed. "Oh, merciful God, it's thrue--it's thrue! I know it by the broken hinge an' the two letters! Saviour of life, how will this end, and what will I do? But, anyway, I must hide this, and put it out of his reach."

She accordingly went out and thrust the box up under the thatch of the roof so that it was impossible to suspect that the roof had been disturbed.

II.--The Prophet Schemes

That same evening Donnel was overtaken on the road from Ballynafail, the market-town, by Jerry Sullivan, a struggling farmer, and they proceeded together to the latter's house.

"This woful saison, along wid the low prices and the high rents, houlds out a black and terrible look for the counthry, God help us!" said Sullivan.

"Ay," returned the Black Prophet, "if you only knew it. Isn't the Almighty, in His wrath, this moment proclaimin' it through the heavens and the airth? Look about you, and say what is it you see that doesn't foretell famine. Doesn't the dark, wet day, an' the rain, rain, rain foretell it? Doesn't the rottin' crops, the unhealthy air, an' the green damp foretell it? Doesn't the sky without a sun, the heavy clouds, an' the angry fire of the west foretell it? Isn't the airth a page of prophecy, an' the sky a page of prophecy, where every man may read of famine, pestilence, an' death?"

"The time was," said Sullivan, "an' it's not long since, when I could give you a comfortable welcome as well as a willin' one; but now 'tis but poor and humble tratement I can give you. But if it was betther, you should just be as welcome to it, an' what more can you say?"

"Well," replied the other, "what more can you say, indeed? I'm thankful to you, Jerry, an' I'll accept your kind offer."

The night had set in when they reached the house, where the traces of poverty were as visible upon the inmates as upon the furniture.

Sullivan was strangely excited--he had discovered a stolen interview outside between his eldest daughter and young Condy Dalton.

Mave Sullivan--a young creature of nineteen, of rare natural beauty and angelic purity--turned deadly pale when her father spoke.

"Bridget," Sullivan said, turning to his wife, "I tell you that I came upon that undutiful daughter of ours coortin' wid the son of the man that murdhered her uncle, my only brother--coortin' wid a fellow that Dan M'Gowan here knows will be hanged yet, for he's jist afther tellin' him so."

"You're ravin', Jerry," exclaimed his wife. "You don't mean to tell me that she'd spake to, or make any freedoms whatsomever wid young Condy Dalton? Hut, no, Jerry; don't say that, at all events!"

But Sullivan's indignation passed quickly to alarm and distress, for his daughter tottered, and would have fallen to the ground if Donnel had not caught her.

"Save me from that man!" she shrieked at Donnel, clinging to her mother. "Don't let him near me! I can't tell why, but I am deadly afraid of him!"

Her parents, already sorry for their harsh words, tried their utmost to console her.

"Don't be alarmed, my purty creature," said the Black Prophet softly. "I see a great good fortune before you. I see a grand and handsome husband, and a fine house to live in. Grandeur and wealth is before her, for her beauty an' her goodness will bring it all about."

When the family, after the father had offered up a few simple prayers, retired to rest, Sullivan took down his brother's old great coat, and placed it over M'Gowan, who was already in bed. But the latter immediately sat up and implored him to take it away.

Next morning before departing, Donnel repeated to Mave Sullivan his prophecy of the happy and prosperous marriage.

But Mave, who knew where her affection rested, found no comfort in these predictions, for the Daltons were pressed as hard by poverty as their neighbours.

As for Donnel M'Gowan, cunning and unscrupulous, his plan was to secure Mave for young Dick o' the Grange, a small landowner, and a profligate. To do this he relied on the help of his daughter Sarah and was disappointed. For Sarah was to find Mave Sullivan her friend, and she renounced her father's scheme, so that no harm happened to the girl.

III.--The Shadow of Crime

With famine came typhus fever, and the state of the country was frightful beyond belief. Thousands were reduced to mendicancy, numbers perished on the very highways, and the road was literally black with funerals. Temporary sheds were erected near the roadsides, containing fever-stricken patients who had no other home.

Under the ravening madness of famine, legal restraints and moral principles were forgotten, and famine riots broke out. For, studded over the country were a number of farmers with bursting granaries, who could afford to keep their provisions in large quantities until a year of scarcity and high prices arrived; and the people, exasperated beyond endurance, saw long lines of provision carts on their way to the neighbouring harbours for exportation.

Such was the extraordinary fact!

Day after day, vessels laden with Irish provisions, drawn from a population perishing with actual hunger, and with pestilence which it occasioned, were passing out of our ports, whilst other vessels came in freighted with our provisions sent back, through the charity of England, to our relief.

Goaded by suffering, hordes of people turned out to intercept meal-carts and provision vehicles, and carts and cars were stopped on the highways, and the food which they carried openly taken away.

Sarah M'Gowan herself went to the Daltons, where typhus and starvation were doing their worst, to render what service she could, and Mave Sullivan would have done the same but for the entreaties of her parents, who feared the terrible fever.

The Black Prophet alone went on his way unmoved, scheming to accomplish his vile ends. It was not enough for him that Mave was to be abducted; he had also planned a robbery for the same night, and was further resolved to procure the conviction of old Condy Dalton for the almost forgotten murder of Sullivan in the glen.

M'Gowan was driven to this last step by his own disturbed mind. The disappearance of the tobacco-box troubled him, for on seeking it under the thatch it was no longer there, and the discovery by his wife of a skeleton buried near their cabin caused him still greater uneasiness. Then Sarah had followed him one night, when he was walking in his sleep, to the secret grave of the murdered man, and though the Prophet did not say anything on that occasion to incriminate himself, he was vexed by the occurrence.

So, on the information of Donnel M'Gowan, and a man called Roddy Duncan, who was deep in the Prophet's subtle villainies, the skeleton was dug up, and old Condy Dalton arrested.

"It's the will of God!" replied the old man, when the police-officers entered his unhappy dwelling, and charged him with the murder of Bartholomew Sullivan. "It's God's will, an' I won't consale it any longer. Take me away. I'm guilty--I'm guilty!"

Sarah was ministering to the Daltons at the very time when her father was informing against old Condy, and was present when the police took him away in custody. Shortly afterwards, when she had left the house, she was struck down by typhus.

In a shed that simply consisted of a few sticks laid up against the side of a ditch, with the remnant of some loose straw for bedding, Mave Sullivan found the suffering girl, with no other pillow than a sod of earth.

"Father of mercy!" thought Mave, "how will she live--how can she live here? An' is she to die in this miserable way in a Christian land?"

Sarah lay groaning with pain, and then raving in delirium.

"I won't break my promise, father, but I'll break my heart; an' I can't even give her warning. Ah, but it's treachery, an' I hate that. No, no; I'll have no hand in it--manage it your own way!"

"Dear Sarah, don't you know me?" said Mave tenderly. "Look at me--I am Mave Sullivan, your friend that loves you."

"Who is that?" Sarah asked, starting a little. "I never had anyone to take care o' me--nor a mother; many a time--often--often--the whole world--some one to love me. Oh, a dhrink! Is there no one to give me a dhrink? I'm burning, I'm burning! Mave Sullivan, have pity on me--I heard some one name her--I'll die without you give me a dhrink!"

Mave hastily fetched some water, and in the course of two or three days Sarah's situation, thanks to the attention of Mave and her neighbours, was changed for the better, and she was conveyed home to the Prophet's cabin on a litter--only to die in a few days.

It was the knowledge of what she owed Mave that forced Sarah to frustrate her father's plot for Mave's ruin.

The robbery was no more successful than the abduction, for Roddy Duncan withdrew from it, and Donnel M'Gowan learnt that the house to be plundered was well guarded.

IV.--An Amazing Witness

The court was crowded when Cornelius Dalton was put to the bar charged with the wilful murder of Bartholomew Sullivan, by striking him on the head with a walking stick, and when the old man stood up all eyes were turned on him. It was clear that there was an admission of guilt in his face, for instead of appearing erect and independent, he looked around with an expression of remorse and sorrow, and it was with difficulty that he was prevailed upon to plead "not guilty."

The first witness called was Jeremiah Sullivan, who deposed that at one of the Christmas markets in 1798 he was present when an altercation took place between his late brother Bartle and the prisoner. They were both drinking, and their friends separated them. He never saw his brother alive afterwards. He then deposed to the finding of his brother's coat and hat, crushed and torn.

The next witness was Roddy Duncan, who deposed that on the night in question he was passing on a car and saw a man drag something heavy, like a sack. He then called out was that Condy Dalton? And the reply was, "It is, unfortunately!" upon which he wished him good-night.

Next came the Prophet. He said he was on his way through Glendhu, when he came to a lonely spot where he found the body of Bartholomew Sullivan, and beside it a grave dug two feet deep. He then caught a glimpse of the prisoner, Condy Dalton, among the bushes, with a spade in his hand. He shouted out and, getting no answer, was glad to get off safe.

On the cross-examination, he said "the reason why he let the matter rest until now was that he did not wish to be the means of bringin' a fellow-creature to an untimely death. His conscience, however, always kept him uneasy, and many a time of late the murdhered man appeared to him, and threatened him for not disclosing what he knew."

"You say the murdered man appeared to you. Which of them?"

"Peter Magennis--what am I sayin'? I mean Bartle Sullivan."

The counsel for the defence requested the judge and jury to make a note of Peter Magennis, and then asked the Prophet what kind of a man Bartle Sullivan was.

"He was a very remarkable man in appearance; stout, with a long face, and a scar on his chin."

"And you saw that man murdered?"

"I seen him dead after havin' been murdhered."

"Do you think, now, if he were to rise again from the grave that you would know him?"

Then the counsel turned round, spoke to some person behind, and a stranger advanced and mounted a table confronting the Black Prophet.

"Whether you seen me dead or buried is best known to yourself," said the stranger. "All I can say is that here I am, Bartle Sullivan, alive an' well."

Hearing the name, crowds pressed forward, recognising Bartle Sullivan, and testifying their recognition by a general cheer.

There were two persons present, however, Condy Dalton and the Prophet, on whom Sullivan's appearance produced very opposite effects.

Old Dalton at first imagined himself in a dream, and it was only when Sullivan, promising to explain all, came over and shook hands with him, and asked his pardon, that the old man understood he was innocent.

The Prophet looked with mortification rather than wonder at Sullivan; then a shadow settled on his countenance, and he muttered to himself, "I am doomed! Something drove me to this."

The trial was quickly ended. Sullivan's brother and several jurors established his identity, and Condy Dalton was discharged.

The judge then ordered the Prophet and Roddy Duncan to be taken into custody, and an indictment of perjury to be prepared at once. The graver charge of murder was, however, brought against M'Gowan, the murder of a carman named Peter Magennis, and the following day he found himself in the very dock where Dalton had stood.

V.--Fate: the Discoverer

The trial of Donnel M'Gowan brought several strange things to light. It was proved that the Prophet's real name was McIvor, that he had a wife living, and that this wife was a sister to the murdered carman, Peter Magennis. After the murder, McIvor fled to America with his daughter, and his wife lost sight of him. She had only returned to these parts recently, and she identified the skeleton of her brother because of a certain malformation of the foot.

Then a pedlar, known in the neighbourhood as Toddy Mack, deposed that he had given Magennis a steel tobacco-box with the letters "P. M." punched on it.

It was Roddy Duncan who had seen this tobacco-box put under the thatch, and he, knowing nothing of its history, had given it to Sarah M'Gowan, who equally ignorant, had given it to a young man who called himself Hanlon, but was in fact the son of Magennis.

On the night of the murder the unhappy woman, whom Sarah called stepmother, and who lived with the Black Prophet, saw the tobacco-box in M'Gowan's hands, and it contained a roll of bank-notes. When she asked how he came by it, he gave her a note, and said, "There's all the explanation you can want."

The chain of circumstantial evidence was sufficient to establish the Prophet's guilt, and the judge passed the capital sentence.

The Prophet heard his doom without flinching, and only turned to the gaoler to say, "Now that everything is over, the sooner I get to my cell the betther. I have despised the world too long to care a single curse what it says or thinks about me."

Sarah, who heard of her father's fate while she lay dying, tended by Mave Sullivan and her newly-discovered mother, sent the condemned man a last message. "Say that his daughter, if she was able, would be with him through shame, an' disgrace, an' death; that she'd scorn the world for him; an' that because he said once in his life that he loved her, she'd forgive him all a thousand times, an' would lay down her life for him."

The acquittal of old Condy Dalton, who for years had tortured himself with remorse, believing he had killed Sullivan, and never understanding the disappearance of the body, and the resurrection of honest Bartle Sullivan, filled all the countryside with delight.

Thanks to the money of his friend, Toddy Mack, Dalton was once more re-established in a farm that he had been compelled to relinquish, and when sickness and the severity of winter passed away Mave and young Condy Dalton were happily married.

Roddy Duncan was transported for perjury. Bartle Sullivan, on the first social evening that the two families, the Sullivans and the Daltons, spent together after the trial, cleared up the mystery of his disappearance.

"I remimber fightin'," he said, "wid Condy on that night, and the devil's own battle it was. We went into a corner of the field near the Grey Stone to decide it. All at wanst I forgot what happened, till I found myself lyin' upon a car wid the McMahons that lived ten or twelve miles beyond the mountains. Well, I felt disgraced at bein' beaten by Con Dalton, and as I was fond of McMahon's sister, what 'ud you have us but off we went together to America, for, you see, she promised to marry me if I'd go. Well, she an' I married when we got to Boston, and Toddy here, who took to the life of a pedlar, came back with a good purse and lived wid us. At last I began to long for home, and so we all came together. An', thank God, we were all in time to clear the innocent, and punish the guilty; ay, an' reward the good, too, eh, Toddy?"


Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

The proper name of Lewis Carroll was Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, and he was born at Daresbury, England, on January 27, 1832. Educated at Rugby and at Christchurch, Oxford, he specialised in mathematical subjects. Elected a student of his college, he became a mathematical lecturer in 1855, continuing in that occupation until 1881. His fame rests on the children's classic, "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland," issued in 1865, which has been translated into many languages. No modern fairy-tale has approached it in popularity. The charms of the book are its unstrained humour and its childlike fancy, held in check by the discretion of a particularly clear and analytical mind. Though it seems strange that an authority on Euclid and logic should have been the inventor of so diverting and irresponsible a tale, if we examine his story critically we shall see that only a logical mind could have derived so much genuine humour from a deliberate attack on reason, in which a considerable element of fun arises from efforts to reconcile the irreconcilable. The book has probably been read as much by grown-ups as by young people, and no work of humour is more heartily to be commended as a banisher of care. The original illustrations by Sir John Tenniel are almost as famous as the book itself.

I.--What Happened Down the Rabbit-Hole

Alice was beginning to get very tired of sitting by her sister on the bank, and of having nothing to do; once or twice she had peeped into the book her sister was reading, but it had no pictures or conversations in it, "and what is the use of a book," thought Alice, "without pictures or conversations?"

So she was considering in her own mind (as well as she could, for the hot day made her feel very sleepy and stupid) whether the pleasure of making a daisy-chain would be worth the trouble of getting up and picking the daisies, when suddenly a White Rabbit with pink eyes ran close by her.

There was nothing so very remarkable in that; nor did Alice think it so very much out of the way to hear the Rabbit say to himself: "Oh, dear! Oh, dear! I shall be too late!" But when the Rabbit actually took a watch out of his waistcoat pocket, and looked at it, and then hurried on, Alice started to her feet, for it flashed across her mind that she had never before seen a rabbit with either a waistcoat pocket or a watch to take out of it, and, burning with curiosity, she ran across the field after him, and was just in time to see him pop down a large rabbit-hole under the hedge.

In another moment down went Alice after him, never once considering how in the world she was to get out again.

The rabbit-hole went straight on like a tunnel for some way, and then dipped suddenly down, so suddenly that Alice had not a moment to think about stopping herself before she found herself falling down what seemed to be a very deep well.

Either the well was very deep or she fell very slowly, for she had plenty of time as she went down to look about her, and to wonder what was going to happen next.

"Well," thought Alice to herself, "after such a fall as this, I shall think nothing of tumbling downstairs."

Down, down, down. Would the fall never come to an end? "I wonder if I shall fall right through the earth? How funny it'll seem to come out among the people that walk with their heads downwards! The Antipathies, I think" (she was rather glad there was no one listening this time, as it didn't sound at all the right word).

Down, down, down. Then suddenly, thump! thump! down she came upon a heap of sticks and dry leaves, and the fall was over.

Alice was not a bit hurt, and she jumped up on to her feet in a moment. She looked up, but it was all dark overhead; before her was another long passage, and the White Rabbit was still in sight, hurrying down it. There was not a moment to be lost. Away went Alice like the wind, and was just in time to hear him say, as he turned a corner, "Oh, my ears and whiskers, how late it is getting!" She was close behind him when she turned the corner, but the Rabbit was no longer to be seen. She found herself in a long narrow hall, which was lit up by lamps hanging from the roof.

In the hall she came upon a little three-legged table, all made of solid glass. There was nothing on it but a tiny golden key, and Alice's first idea was that this might belong to one of the doors of the hall; but, alas! either the locks were too large, or the key was too small, for, at any rate, it would not open any of them. However, on the second time round, she came upon a low curtain she had not noticed before, and behind it was a little door about fifteen inches high. She tried the little golden key in the lock, and, to her great delight, it fitted.

Alice opened the door, and found that it led into a small passage, not much larger than a rat-hole. She knelt down and looked along the passage into the loveliest garden you ever saw. How she longed to get out of that dark hall, and wander about among those beds of bright flowers and those cool fountains, but she could not even get her head through the doorway.

There seemed to be no use in waiting near the little door, so she went back to the table, half hoping she might find another key on it, or at any rate, a book of rules for shutting people up like telescopes. This time she found a little bottle on it ("which certainly was not here before," said Alice), and tied round the neck of the bottle was a paper label, with the words DRINK ME beautifully printed on it in large letters. Alice tasted it, and very soon finished it off.

"What a curious feeling!" said Alice. "I must be shutting up like a telescope."

And so it was, indeed; she was now only ten inches high, and her face brightened up at the thought that she was now the right size for going through the little door into that lovely garden.... But, alas for poor Alice, when she got to the door she found she had forgotten the little golden key, and when she went back to the table for it she found she could not possibly reach it.

Soon her eye fell on a little glass box that was lying under the table. She opened it, and found in it a very small cake, on which the words EAT ME were beautifully marked in currants.

She very soon finished off the cake.

"Curiouser and curiouser!" cried Alice (she was so much surprised that for the moment she quite forgot how to speak good English). "Now I'm opening out like the largest telescope that ever was. Good-by feet!" (for when she looked down at her feet they seemed to be almost out of sight, they were getting so far off). "Oh, my poor little feet! I wonder who will put on your shoes and stockings for you now, dears?"

Just at this moment her head struck against the roof of the hall; in fact, she was now more than nine feet high, and she at once took up the little golden key, and hurried off to the garden door.

Poor Alice! It was as much as she could do, lying down on one side, to look through into the garden with one eye; but to get through was more hopeless than ever. She sat down and began to cry again, shedding gallons of tears, until there was a large pool all round her, about four inches deep, and reaching half down the hall.

After a time she heard a little pattering of feet in the distance, and she hastily dried her eyes to see what was coming. It was the White Rabbit returning, splendidly dressed, with a pair of white kid gloves in one hand and a large fan in the other. He came trotting along in a great hurry, muttering to himself as he came, "Oh, the Duchess! the Duchess! Or, won't she be savage if I've kept her waiting!"

Alice felt so desperate that she was ready to ask help of anyone; so, when the Rabbit came near her, she began, in a timid voice: "If you please, sir----"

The Rabbit started violently, dropped the gloves and the fan, and scurried away into the darkness as hard as he could go.

Alice took up the fan and gloves, and, as the hall was very hot, she kept fanning herself all the time she went on talking.

"Dear, dear! How queer everything is to-day! How puzzling it all is! I'll try if I know all the things I used to know. Let me see: four times five is twelve, and four times six is thirteen, and four times seven is--oh, dear, I shall never get to twenty at that rate!" But presently on looking down at her hands, she was surprised to see that she had put on one of the rabbit's little white kid gloves while she was talking.

"How can I have done that?" she thought. "I must be growing small again."

She got up and went to the table to measure herself by it, and found that, as nearly as she could guess, she was now about two feet high, and was going on shrinking rapidly. She soon found out that the cause of this was the fan she was holding, and she dropped it hastily, just in time to save herself from shrinking away altogether. Now she hastened to the little door, but alas, it was shut again. "I declare it's too bad, that it is!" she said aloud, and just as she spoke her foot slipped, and in another moment, splash! she was up to her chin in salt water. It was the pool of tears she had wept when she was nine feet high!

II.--The Pool of Tears and the Animals' Party

Just then she heard something splashing about in the pool a little way off, and she swam nearer to make out what it was. At first she thought it must be a walrus or hippopotamus, but then she remembered how small she was now, and she soon made out that it was only a mouse that had slipped in like herself.

"Would it be of any use, now," thought Alice, "to speak to this mouse? Everything is so out-of-the-way down here that I should think very likely it can talk; at any rate, there's no harm in trying." So she began, "O Mouse, do you know the way out of this pool? I am very tired of swimming about here. O Mouse." The Mouse looked at her rather inquisitively, and seemed to her to wink with one of its little eyes, but it said nothing.

"Perhaps it doesn't understand English," thought Alice; "I daresay it's a French mouse, come over with William the Conqueror." So she began again, "ou est ma chatte?" which was the first sentence in her French lesson book. The Mouse gave a sudden leap out of the water, and seemed to quiver all over with fright. "Oh, I beg your pardon!" cried Alice hastily, afraid that she had hurt the poor animal's feeling. "I quite forgot you don't like cats."

"Not like cats!" cried the Mouse, in a shrill, passionate voice. "Would you like cats if you were me?" The Mouse was swimming away from her as hard as it could go. So she called softly after it.

"Mouse dear! Do come back again, and we won't talk about cats, or dogs either, if you don't like them!" When the Mouse heard this, it turned round and swam slowly back to her; its face was quite pale (with passion, Alice thought), and it said in a low, trembling voice, "Let us get to the shore, and I'll tell you my history, and you'll understand why it is I hate cats and dogs."

It was high time to go, for the pool was getting quite crowded with the birds and animals that had fallen into it; there were a duck and a dodo, a lory and an eaglet, and other curious creatures. Alice led the way, and the whole party swam to the shore.

A very queer-looking party of dripping birds and animals now gathered on the bank of the Pool of Tears; but they were not so queer as their talk. First the Mouse, who was quite a person of authority among them, tried to dry them by telling them frightfully dry stories from history. But Alice confessed she was as wet as ever after she had listened to the bits of English history; so the Dodo proposed a Caucus race. They all started off when they liked, and stopped when they liked. The Dodo said everybody had won, and Alice had to give the prizes. Luckily she had some sweets, which were not wet, and there was just one for each of them, but none for herself. The party were anxious she, too, should have a prize, and as she happened to have a thimble, the Dodo commanded her to hand it to him, and then, with great ceremony, the Dodo presented it to her, saying, "We beg your acceptance of this elegant thimble," and they all cheered.

Of course, Alice thought this all very absurd; but they were dry now, and began eating their sweets. Then the Mouse began to tell Alice its history, and to explain why it hated C and D--for it was afraid to say cats and dogs. But she soon offended the Mouse, first by mistaking its "long and sad tale" for a "long tail," and next by thinking it meant "knot" when it said "not," so that it went off in a huff. Then when she mentioned Dinah to the others, and told them that was the name of her cat, the birds got uneasy, and one by one the whole party gradually went off and left her all alone. Just when she was beginning to cry, she heard a pattering of little feet, and half thought it might be the Mouse coming back to finish its story.

It was the White Rabbit, trotting slowly back again, and looking anxiously about as he went, as if he had lost something and she heard him muttering to himself, "The Duchess! The Duchess! Oh, my dear paws! Oh, my fur and whiskers! She'll get me executed, as sure as ferrets are ferrets! Where can I have dropped them, I wonder?"

Very soon the Rabbit noticed Alice, and called out to her in an angry tone, "Why, Mary Ann, what are you doing out here? Run home this moment, and fetch me a pair of gloves and a fan. Quick, now!"

"He took me for his housemaid," she said to herself as she ran. "How surprised he'll be when he finds out who I am! But I'd better take him his fan and gloves--that is, if I can find them." As she said this, she came upon a neat little house, on the door of which was a bright brass plate with the name W. RABBIT engraved upon it. Inside the house she had a strange adventure, for she tried what the result of drinking from a bottle she found in the room would be, and grew so large that the house could hardly hold her. The White Rabbit and some of his friends, including Bill, the Lizard, threw a lot of little pebbles through the window, and these turned into tiny cakes. So Alice ate some and was delighted to find that she began shrinking directly. As soon as she was small enough to get through the door, she ran out of the house, and found quite a crowd of little animals and birds waiting outside. The poor Lizard, Bill, was in the middle, being held up by two guinea-pigs, who were giving it something out of a bottle. They all made a rush at Alice the moment she appeared but she ran off as hard as she could, and soon found herself safe in a thick wood.

III.--The Adventures in the Wood

Once in the wood, she was anxious to get back to her right size again, and then to get into that lovely garden. But how? Peeping over a mushroom, she beheld a large blue caterpillar sitting on the top with its arms folded, quietly smoking a long hookah, and taking not the smallest notice of her or of anything else. At length, in a sleepy sort of way, it began talking to her, and she told it what she wanted so much--to grow to her right size again.

"I should like to be a little longer," she said. "Three inches is such a wretched height to be."

"It is a very good height indeed," said the Caterpillar angrily, rearing itself upright as it spoke (it was exactly three inches high).

"But I'm not used to it," pleaded poor Alice in a piteous tone. And she thought to herself, "I wish the creatures wouldn't be so easily offended."

"You'll get used to it in time," said the Caterpillar; and it put the hookah into its mouth and began smoking again.

This time Alice waited patiently until it chose to speak again. In a minute or two the Caterpillar took the hookah out of its mouth and yawned once or twice, and shook itself. Then it got down off the mushroom, and crawled away into the grass, merely remarking as it went, "One side will make you grow taller, and the other side will make you grow shorter."

"One side of what? The other side of what?" thought Alice to herself.

"Of the mushroom," said the Caterpillar, just as if she had asked it aloud and in another moment it was out of sight.

Alice remained looking thoughtfully at the mushroom for a minute, trying to make out which were the two sides of it and as it was perfectly round, she found this a very difficult question. However, at last she stretched her arms round it as far as they would go, and broke off a bit of the edge with each hand.

"And now which is which?" she said to herself, and nibbled a little of the right-hand bit to try the effect. The next moment she felt a violent blow underneath her chin; it had struck her foot!

She was a good deal frightened by this very sudden change, but she felt that there was no time to be lost, as she was shrinking rapidly, so she set to work at once to eat some of the other bit. Her chin was pressed so closely against her foot that there was hardly room to open her mouth; but she did it at last, and managed to swallow a morsel of the left-hand bit.

The next minute she had grown so tall that her neck rose like a stalk out of a sea of green leaves, and these green leaves were the trees of the wood. But, by nibbling bits of mushroom, she at last succeeded in bringing herself down to her usual height. But, oh dear, in order to get into the first house she saw, she had to eat some more of the mushroom from her right hand and bring herself down to nine inches. Outside the house she saw the Fish-footmen and the Frog-footmen with invitations from the Queen to the Duchess, asking her to play croquet. The Duchess lived in the house, and a terrible noise was going on inside, and when the door was opened a plate came crashing out. But Alice got in at last, and found a strange state of things. The Duchess and her cook were quarrelling because there was too much pepper in the soup. The cook threw everything she could lay hands on at the Duchess, and nearly knocked the baby's nose off with a saucepan.

The Duchess had the baby in her lap, and tossed it about ridiculously, finally throwing it in the most heartless way to Alice. She took it out of doors, and behold, it turned into a little pig, jumped out of her arms, and ran away into the wood.

"If it had grown up," she said, "it would have made a dreadfully ugly child; but it makes rather a handsome pig, I think."

She was a little startled now by seeing the Cheshire Cat--which she had first seen in the house of the Duchess--sitting on a bough of a tree. The Cat only grinned when it saw Alice. It looked good-natured, she thought; still it had very long claws and a great many teeth, so she felt that it ought to be treated with respect.

"Cheshire Puss," she said, "what sort of people live about here?"

"In that direction," the Cat said, waving its right paw round, "lives a Hatter; and in that direction"--waving the other paw--"lives a March Hare. Visit either you like; they're both mad."

She had not gone very far before she came in sight of the house of the March Hare. She thought it must be the right house, because the chimneys were shaped like ears and the roof was thatched with fur. It was so large a house that she did not like to go nearer till she had nibbled some more of the left-hand bit of mushroom, and raised herself to about two feet high; even then she walked up towards it rather timidly, saying to herself, "Suppose it should be raving mad after all. I almost wish I'd gone to see the Hatter instead."

IV.--Alice at the Mad Tea Party

There was a table set out under a tree in front of the house, and the March Hare and the Hatter were having tea at it; a Dormouse was sitting between them fast asleep, and the other two were using it as a cushion, resting their elbows on it, and talking over its head.

The table was a large one, but the three were all crowded together at one corner.

"No room! No room!" they cried out when they saw Alice coming.

"There's plenty of room!" said Alice indignantly. And she sat down in a large armchair at one end of the table.

"What day of the month is it?" asked the Hatter, turning to Alice.

He had taken his watch out of his pocket and was looking at it uneasily, shaking it every now and then, and holding it to his ear.

Alice considered a little, and said, "The fourth."

"Two days wrong," sighed the Hatter. "I told you butter wouldn't suit the works," he added, looking angrily at the March Hare.

"It was the best butter," the March Hare meekly replied.

"But some crumbs must have got in as well," the Hatter grumbled. "You shouldn't have put it in with the bread-knife."

The March Hare took the watch and looked at it gloomily, then he dipped it into his cup of tea, and looked at it again, but he could think of nothing better to say than "It was the best butter, you know."

"It's always tea-time with us here," explained the Hatter, "and we've no time to wash the things between whiles."

"Then you keep moving round, I suppose?" said Alice.

"Exactly so," said the Hatter; "as the things get used up."

"But when you come to the beginning again?" Alice ventured to ask.

"Suppose we change the subject," the March Hare interrupted, yawning. "I vote the young lady tells us a story."

"I'm afraid I don't know one," said Alice, rather alarmed at the proposal.

"Then the Dormouse shall!" they both cried. "Wake up the Dormouse!" And they pinched it on both sides at once.

The Dormouse slowly opened its eyes. "I wasn't asleep," it said, in a hoarse, feeble voice. "I heard every word you fellows were saying."

"Tell us a story," said the March Hare.

"Yes, please do!" pleaded Alice.

"And be quick about it," added the Hatter, "or you'll be asleep again before it's done."

"Once upon a time there were three little sisters," the Dormouse began in a great hurry, "and their names were Elsie, Lacie, and Tillie and they lived at the bottom of a well----"

"What did they live on?" said Alice, who always took a great interest in questions of eating and drinking.

"They lived on treacle," said the Dormouse, after thinking a minute or two.

"They couldn't have done that, you know," Alice gently remarked, "they'd have been ill."

"So they were very ill."

Alice helped herself to some tea and bread and butter, and then turned to the Dormouse and repeated her question, "Why did they live at the bottom of the well?"

The Dormouse again took a minute or two to think about it, and then said, "It was a treacle-well."

"There's no such thing," Alice was beginning very angrily, but the Hatter and the March Hare went "Sh! sh!"

"I want a clean cup," interrupted the Hatter. "Let's all move one place on." He moved on as he spoke, and the Dormouse followed him; the March Hare moved into the Dormouse's place, and Alice rather unwillingly took the place of the March Hare.

"They were learning to draw," the Dormouse went on, yawning and rubbing its eyes, for it was getting very sleepy, "and they drew all manner of things--everything that begins with an M----"

"Why with an M?" said Alice.

"Why not?" said the March Hare.

The Dormouse had closed its eyes by this time, and was going off into a doze; but, on being pinched by the Hatter, it woke up again with a little shriek, and went on, "----that begins with an M, such as mouse-traps, and the moon, and memory, and muchness--you know you say things are 'much of a muchness'--did you ever see such a thing as a drawing of a muchness?"

"Really, now you ask me," said Alice, confused, "I don't think----"

"Then you shouldn't talk," said the Hatter.

This piece of rudeness was more than Alice could bear; she got up in disgust, and walked off. The Dormouse fell asleep instantly, and neither of the others took the least notice of her going, though she looked back once or twice, half hoping that they would call after her.

The last time she saw them, they were trying to put the Dormouse into the teapot.

V.--The Mock Turtle's Story and the Lobster Quadrille

Alice got into the beautiful garden at last, but she had to nibble a bit of the mushroom again to bring herself down to twelve inches after she had got the golden key, so as to get through the little door. It was a lovely garden, and in it was the Queen's croquet-ground. The Queen of Hearts was very fond of ordering heads to be cut off. "Off with his head!" was her favourite phrase whenever anybody displeased her. She asked Alice to play croquet with her, but they had no rules; they had live flamingoes for mallets, and the soldiers had to stand on their hands and feet to form the hoops. It was extremely awkward, especially as the balls were hedgehogs, who sometimes rolled away without being hit. The Queen had a great quarrel with the Duchess, and wanted to have her head off.

Alice found the state of affairs in the lovely garden not at all so beautiful as she had expected. But after the game of croquet, the Queen said to Alice, "Have you seen the Mock Turtle yet?"

"No," said Alice. "I don't even know what a mock turtle is."

"It's the thing mock turtle soup is made from," said the Queen.

"I never saw one or heard of one."

"Come on, then," said the Queen, "and he shall tell you his history."

They very soon came upon a gryphon, lying fast asleep in the sun.

"Up, lazy thing!" said the Queen; "and take this young lady to see the Mock Turtle, and to hear his history. I must go back and see after some executions I have ordered." And she walked off, leaving Alice alone with the Gryphon.

Alice and the Gryphon had not gone far before they saw the Mock Turtle in the distance, sitting sad and lonely on a little ledge of rock, and, as they came nearer, Alice could hear him sighing as if his heart would break.

So they went up to the Mock Turtle, who looked at them with large eyes full of tears.

"This here young lady," said the Gryphon, "she wants for to know your history."

"Once," said the Mock Turtle at last, with a deep sigh, "I was a real turtle. When we were little, we went to school in the sea. The master was an old turtle. We had the best of educations. Reeling and Writhing, of course, to begin with, and then the different branches of Arithmetic--Ambition, Distraction, Uglification, and Derision."

"I never heard of 'Uglification,'" Alice ventured to say. "What is it?"

The Gryphon lifted up both its paws in surprise.

"Never heard of uglifying!" it exclaimed. "You know what to beautify is, I suppose?"

"Yes," said Alice doubtfully, "it means to--make--anything--prettier."

"Well, then," the Gryphon went on, "if you don't know what to uglify is, you are a simpleton."

Alice did not feel encouraged to ask any more questions about it, so she turned to the Mock Turtle, and said, "What else had you to learn?"

"Well, there was Mystery," the Mock Turtle replied, counting out the subjects on his flappers--"Mystery, ancient and modern, with Seaography; then Drawling--the Drawing-master was an old conger-eel, that used to come once a week; he taught us Drawling, Stretching, and Fainting in Coils. The Classical master taught Laughing and Grief, they used to say."

"And how many hours a day did you do lessons?" said Alice, in a hurry to change the subject.

"Ten hours the first day," said the Mock Turtle; "nine the next, and so on."

"What a curious plan!" exclaimed Alice.

"That's the reason they're called lessons," the Gryphon remarked; "because they lessen from day to day."

This was quite a new idea to Alice, and she thought it over a little before she made her next remark. "Then the eleventh day must have been a holiday?"

"Of course it was," said the Mock Turtle.

"And how did you manage on the twelfth?" Alice went on eagerly.

"That's enough about lessons," the Gryphon interrupted, in a very decided tone. "Tell her something about the games."

The Mock Turtle sighed deeply, and drew the back of one flapper across his eyes.

"Would you like to see a little of a Lobster Quadrille?" said he to Alice.

"Very much indeed," said Alice.

"Let's try the first figure," said the Mock Turtle to the Gryphon. "We can do without lobsters, you know. Which shall sing?"

"Oh, you sing!" said the Gryphon. "I've forgotten the words."

So they began solemnly dancing round and round Alice, every now and then treading on her toes when they passed too close, and waving their fore-paws to mark the time while the Mock Turtle sang this, very slowly and sadly.

"Will you walk a little faster?" said a whiting to a snail,
"There's a porpoise close behind us, and he's treading on my tail.
See how eagerly the lobsters and the turtles all advance!
They are waiting on the shingle--will you come and join the dance?
Will you, won't you, will you, won't you, will you join the dance?
Will you, won't you, will you, won't you, won't you join the dance?"

"Now, come, let's hear some of your adventures," said the Gryphon to Alice, after the dance.

"I could tell you my adventures, beginning from this morning," said Alice, a little timidly, "but it's no use going back to yesterday, because I was a different person then."

"Explain all that," said the Mock Turtle.

"No, no; the adventure first!" said the Gryphon impatiently. "Explanations take such a dreadful time."

So Alice began telling them her adventures from the time when she first saw the White Rabbit. After a while a cry of "The Trial's beginning!" was heard in the distance.

"Come on!" cried the Gryphon. And, taking Alice by the hand, it hurried off.

"What trial is it?" Alice panted, as she ran, but the Gryphon only answered, "Come on!" and ran the faster.

VI.--The Trial of the Knave of Hearts

The King and Queen of Hearts were seated on their throne when they arrived, with a great crowd assembled about them--all sorts of little birds and beasts, as well as the whole pack of cards. The Knave was standing before them, in chains, with a soldier on each side to guard him; and near the King was the White Rabbit, with a trumpet in one hand, and a scroll of parchment in the other. In the very middle of the court was a table, with a large dish of tarts upon it. They looked so good that it made Alice quite hungry to look at them. "I wish they'd get the trial done," she thought, "and hand round the refreshments." But there seemed to be no chance of this, so she began looking at everything about her to pass away the time.

"Silence in the court!" cried the Rabbit.

"Herald, read the accusation!" said the King.

On this the White Rabbit blew three blasts on the trumpet, and then unrolled the parchment scroll, and read as follows.

The Queen of Hearts, she made some tarts,
    All on a summer's day;
The Knave of Hearts, he stole those tarts,
    And took them quite away.

"Consider your verdict," the King said to the jury.

"Not yet, not yet!" the Rabbit hastily interrupted. "There's a great deal to come before that!"

"Call the first witness," said the King and the White Rabbit blew three blasts on the trumpet, and called out, "First witness!"

The first witness was the Hatter. He came in with a teacup in one hand and a piece of bread-and-butter in the other. "I beg pardon, your Majesty," he began, "for bringing these in; but I hadn't quite finished my tea when I was sent for."

"Take off your hat," the King said to the Hatter.

"It isn't mine," said the Hatter.

"Stolen!" the King exclaimed, turning to the jury, who instantly made a memorandum of the fact.

"I keep them to sell," the Hatter added as an explanation; "I've none of my own. I'm a hatter."

Here the Queen put on her spectacles, and began staring hard at the Hatter, who turned pale and fidgeted.

"Give your evidence," said the King, "and don't be nervous, or I'll have you executed on the spot."

This did not seem to encourage the witness at all; he kept shifting from one foot to the other, looking uneasily at the Queen, and in his confusion he bit a large piece out of his teacup instead of the bread-and-butter.

Just at this moment Alice felt a very curious sensation, which puzzled her a good deal until she made out what it was. She was beginning to grow larger again, and she thought at first she would get up and leave the court; but on second thoughts she decided to remain where she was as long as there was room for her.

"I'm a poor man, your Majesty," the Hatter began in a trembling voice, "and I hadn't but just begun my tea--not above a week or so--and what with the bread-and-butter getting so thin--and the twinkling of the tea----"

"The twinkling of what?" said the King.

"It began with the tea," said the Hatter.

"Of course, twinkling begins with a T!" said the King sharply. "Do you take me for a dunce? Go on!"

"I'm a poor man," the Hatter went on, "and most things twinkled after that--only the March Hare said----"

"I didn't!" the March Hare interrupted in a great hurry.

"You did!" said the Hatter.

"I deny it!" said the March Hare.

"He denies it," said the King; "leave out that part. And if that's all you know about it, you may go," said the King; and the Hatter hurriedly left the court, without even waiting to put on his shoes. "--and just take his head off outside," the Queen added to one of the officers; but the Hatter was out of sight before the officer could get to the door.

"Call the next witness!" said the King.

Alice watched the White Rabbit as he fumbled over the list, feeling very curious to see what the next witness would be like, "for they haven't got much evidence yet," she said to herself. Imagine her surprise when the White Rabbit read out, at the top of his shrill little voice, the name "Alice!"

"Here!" cried Alice, quite forgetting in the flurry of the moment how large she had grown in the last few minutes, and she jumped up in such a hurry that she tipped over the jury-box with the edge of her skirt, upsetting all the jurymen on to the heads of the crowd below, and there they lay sprawling about, reminding her very much of a globe of gold-fish she had accidentally upset the week before.

"Oh, I beg your pardon!" she exclaimed in a tone of great dismay, and began picking them up again as quickly as she could.

As soon as the jury had a little recovered from the shock of being upset, and their slates and pencils had been found and handed back to them, they set to work very diligently to write out a history of the accident, all except the Lizard, who seemed too much overcome to do anything but sit with its mouth open, gazing up into the roof.

"What do you know about this business?" the King said to Alice.

"Nothing," said Alice.

"Nothing whatever?" persisted the King.

"Nothing whatever," said Alice.

"That's very important," the King said, turning to the jury. They were just beginning to write this down on their slates, when the White Rabbit interrupted.

"Unimportant, your Majesty means, of course," he said, in a very respectful tone, but frowning and making faces at him.

"Unnimportant, of course, I meant," the King hastily said, and went on to himself in an undertone, "important--unimportant--unimportant--important----" as if he were trying which word sounded best.

Presently the King, who had been for some time busily writing in his notebook, called out "Silence!" and he read out from his book, "Rule Forty-two. All persons more than a mile high to leave the court."

Everybody looked at Alice.

"I'm not a mile high," said Alice.

"You are," said the King.

"Nearly two miles high," added the Queen.

"Well, I shan't go, at any rate," said Alice. "Besides, that's not a regular rule; you invented it just now."

"It's the oldest rule in the book," said the King.

"Then it ought to be Number One," said Alice.

The King turned pale, and shut his notebook hastily. "Consider your verdict," he said to the jury, in a low, trembling voice.

"No, no!" said the Queen. "Sentence first--verdict afterwards."

"Stuff and nonsense!" said Alice loudly. "The idea of having the sentence first!"

"Hold your tongue!" said the Queen.

"I won't!" said Alice.

"Off with her head!" the Queen shouted at the top of her voice. Nobody moved.

"Who cares for you?" said Alice (she had grown to her full size by this time). "You're nothing but a pack of cards!"

At this the whole pack rose up into the air, and came flying down upon her; she gave a little scream, and tried to beat them off, and found herself lying on the bank, with her head in the lap of her sister, who was gently brushing away some dead leaves that had fluttered down from the trees on her face.

"Wake up, Alice dear!" said her sister. "Why, what a long sleep you've had!"

"Oh, I've had such a curious dream!" said Alice; and she told her sister, as well as she could remember them, all her strange adventures; and when she had finished, her sister kissed her, and said, "It was a curious dream, dear, certainly. But now run in to your tea; it's getting late."

So Alice got up and ran off, thinking while she ran, as well she might, what a wonderful dream it had been.


Life and Adventures of Don Quixote

Miguel Cervantes, the son of poor but gentle parents, was born nobody quite knows where in Spain, in the year 1547. His favourite amusement when a boy was the performance of strolling players. He learned grammar and the humanities under Lopez de Hoyos at Madrid, but did not, it seems, proceed to the university. He was an early writer of sonnets, and tried his hand on a pastoral poem before he had grown moustaches. His first acquaintance with the world was acting as chamberlain in the house of a cardinal, but this life he presently abandoned for the more stirring career of a soldier. After incredible sufferings and adventures, the poor private soldier returned wounded to his family and began his career as author. He soon established a reputation, and was able to marry a quite adorable good lady with dowry sufficient for his needs. However, it was not until late in life that he wrote his immortal work "Don Quixote," which saw the light in 1604 or 1605. During the remainder of his life he was bitterly assailed by the envious and malignant, was seldom out of monetary difficulties, and very often in great pain from the disease which finally ended his career at Madrid on April 23, 1616--the same day which saw the close of Shakespeare's.

I.--The Knight-Errant of La Mancha

In a certain village of La Mancha, there lived one of those old-fashioned gentlemen who keep a lance in the rack, an ancient target, a lean horse, and a greyhound for coursing. His family consisted of a housekeeper turned forty, a niece not twenty, and a man who could saddle a horse, handle the pruning-hook, and also serve in the house. The master himself was nigh fifty years of age, lean-bodied and thin-faced, an early riser, and a great lover of hunting. His surname was Quixada, or Quesada.

You must know now that when our gentleman had nothing to do--which was almost all the year round--he read books on knight-errantry, and with such delight that he almost left off his sports, and even sold acres of land to buy these books. He would dispute with the curate of the parish, and with the barber, as to the best knight in the world. At nights he read these romances until it was day; a-day he would read until it was night. Thus, by reading much and sleeping little, he lost the use of his reason. His brain was full of nothing but enchantments, quarrels, battles, challenges, wounds, amorous plaints, torments, and abundance of impossible follies.

Having lost his wits, he stumbled on the oddest fancy that ever entered madman's brain--to turn knight-errant, mount his steed, and, armed cap-à-pie, ride through the world, redressing all manner of grievances, and exposing himself to every danger, that he might purchase everlasting honour and renown.

The first thing he did was to secure a suit of armour that had belonged to his great-grandfather. Then he made himself a helmet, which his sword demolished at the first stroke. After repairing this mischief, he went to visit his horse, whose bones stuck out, but who appeared to his master a finer beast than Alexander's Bucephalus. After four days of thought, he decided to call his horse Rozinante, and when the title was decided upon, he spent eight days more before he arrived at Don Quixote as a name for himself.

And now he perceived that nothing was wanting save only a lady, on whom he might bestow the empire of his heart. There lived close at hand a hard-working country lass, Aldonza Lorenzo, on whom sometimes he had cast an eye, but who was quite unmindful of the gentleman. Her he selected for his peerless lady, and dubbed her with the sweet-sounding name of Dulcinea del Toboso.

II.--An Adventure in a Courtyard

One morning, in the hottest part of July, with great secrecy, he armed himself, mounted Rozinante, and rode out of his backyard into the open fields. He was disturbed to think that the honour of knighthood had not yet been conferred upon him, but determined to rectify this matter at an early opportunity, and rode on soliloquising, after the manner of knight-errants, as happy as a man might be.

Towards evening he arrived at a common inn, before whose door sat two wenches, the companions of some carriers bound for Seville. Don Quixote instantly imagined the inn to be a castle, and the wenches to be fair ladies taking the air; and as a swine-herd, getting his hogs together in a stubble-field near at hand, chanced at that moment to wind his horn, our gentleman imagined that this was a signal of his approach, and rode forward in the highest spirits.

The extravagant language in which he addressed them astonished the wenches as much as his amazing appearance, and they first would have run from him, but finally stayed to laugh. Don Quixote rebuked them, whereat they laughed the more, and only the innkeeper's appearance prevented the knight's indignation from carrying him to extremities. This man was for peace, and welcomed the strange apparition to his inn with all civility, marvelling much to find himself addressed as Sir Castellan. So the knight sat down to supper with strange company, and discoursed of chivalry to the bewilderment of all present, treating the inn as a castle, the host as a noble gentleman, and the wenches as great ladies.

He presently sought the innkeeper alone in the stable, and, kneeling, requested to be dubbed a knight, vowing that he would not move from that place till 'twas done. The host guessed the distraction of his visitor and complied, counselling Don Quixote--who had never read of such things in books of chivalry--to provide himself henceforth with money and clean shirts, and no longer to ride penniless. That night Don Quixote watched his arms by moonlight, laying them upon the horse-trough in the yard of the inn, while from a distance the innkeeper and his guests watched the gaunt man, now leaning on his lance, and now walking to and fro, with his target on his arm.

It chanced that a carrier came to water his mules, and was about to remove the armour, when Don Quixote in a loud voice called him to desist. The man took no notice, and Don Quixote, calling upon his Dulcinea to assist him, lifted his lance and brought it down on the carrier's pate, laying him flat. A second carrier came, and was treated in like manner; but now all the company of them came, and with showers of stones made a terrible assault upon the knight. It was only the interference of the innkeeper that put an end to this battle, and by careful words he was able to appease Don Quixote's wrath and get him out of the inn.

On his way the now happy knight found a farmer beating a boy, and bidding him desist, inquired the reason of this chastisement. The man, afraid of the strange armoured figure, told how this boy did his work badly in the field, and deserved his flogging; but the boy declared that the farmer owed him wages, and that whenever he asked for them his master flogged him. Sternly did the Don command the man to pay the lad's wages, and when the fellow promised to do so directly he got home, and the boy protested that he would surely never keep that promise, Don Quixote threatened the farmer, saying, "I am the valorous Don Quixote of La Mancha, righter of wrongs, revenger and redresser of grievances; remember what you have promised and sworn, as you will answer the contrary at your peril." Convinced that the man dare not disobey, he rode forward, and the farmer very soon continued his flogging of the boy.

A company of merchants approaching caused Don Quixote to halt in the middle of the road, calling upon them to stand until they acknowledged Dulcinea del Toboso to be the peerless beauty of the world. This challenge was met with prevarication, which enraged Don Quixote, and clapping spurs to Rozinante he bore down upon the company with his lance couched.

A stumble of the horse threw him, and as he lay on the ground, unable to move, one of the servants of the company came up and broke the lance across Don Quixote's ribs. It was not until a countryman came by that the Don was extricated, and then he had to ride back to his own village on the ass of the poor labourer, being so stiff and sore as quite incapable to mount Rozinante.

The curate and the barber, seeing now what havoc romances of chivalry were making in the wits of this good gentleman, ran through his library while he lay wounded in bed, burned all his noxious works, and, securely locking the door, prepared the tale that enchantment had carried away the books and the very chamber itself.

None of the entreaties of his niece, nor the remonstrances of his housekeeper, could stay Don Quixote at home, and he soon prepared for a second sally. He persuaded a good, honest country labourer, Sancho Panza by name, to enter his service as squire, promising him for reward the first island or empire which his lance should happen to conquer. Thus did things happen in books of chivalry, and he did not doubt that thus it would happen with him.

III.--The Immortal Partnership

So it came to pass that one night Don Quixote stole away from his home, and Sancho Panza from his wife and children, and with the master on Rozinante, the servant on his ass, Dapple, hastened away under cover of darkness in search of adventures. As they travelled, "I beseech your worship," quoth Sancho, "be sure you forget not your promise of the island; for, I dare swear, I shall make shift to govern it, let it be never so big." The knight, in a rhapsody, foreshadowed the day when Sancho might be made even a king, for in romances of chivalry there is no limit to the gifts made by valorous knights to their faithful squires. But Sancho shook his head. "Though it rain kingdoms on the face of the earth, not one of them would fit well upon the head of my wife; for, I must needs tell you, she is not worth two brass-jacks to make a queen of."

As they were thus discoursing they espied some thirty windmills in the plain, which Don Quixote instantly took for giants. Nothing that Sancho said could dissuade him, and he must needs clap spurs to his horse and ride a-tilt at these great windmills, recommending himself to his lady Dulcinea. As he ran his lance into the sail of the first mill, the wind whirled about with such swiftness that the motion broke the lance into shivers, and hurled away both knight and horse along with it. When Sancho came upon his master the Don explained that some cursed necromancer had converted those giants into windmills to deprive him of the honour of victory.

When the knight was recovered they continued their way, and their next adventure was to meet two monks on mules riding before a coach, with four or five men on horseback, wherein sat a lady going to Seville to meet her husband. Don Quixote rode forward, addressed the monks as "cursed implements of hell," and bade them instantly release the lovely princess in the coach. The monks flew for their lives as Don Quixote charged down upon them, but Sancho was thrown down by the servants, who tore his beard, trampled his stomach, beat and mauled him in every part of his body, and then left him sprawling without breath or motion.

As for Don Quixote, he came off victor in this conflict, and only desisted from slaying his assailant on the plea of the lady in the coach, and on her promise that the conquered man should present himself before the peerless Dulcinea del Toboso. The recovered Sancho was surprised to find that his master had no island to bestow upon him after this incredible victory, wherein he himself had suffered so disastrously.

In a fierce encounter with some Yanguesian carriers, Don Quixote was wounded almost to death, and he explained to Sancho that his defeat he owed to fighting with common people, bidding Sancho in future to fight himself against such common fellows.

"Sir," said Sancho, "I am a peaceful man, a quiet fellow, do you see; I can make shift to forgive injuries as well as any man, as having a wife to maintain, and children to bring up. I freely forgive all mankind, high and low, lords and beggars, whatsoever wrongs they ever did or may do me, without the least exception."

At the next inn they came upon Don Quixote, who was lying prone on Sancho's ass, groaning in pain, vowed that here was a worthy castle. Sancho swore 'twas an inn. Their dispute lasted till they reached the door, where Sancho marched straight in, without troubling himself any further in the matter. It was here that surprising adventures took place. The knight, Sancho, and a carrier were obliged to share one chamber. The maid of the inn, entering this apartment, was mistaken by Don Quixote for the princess of the castle, and taking her in his arms, he poured out a rhapsody to the virtues of Dulcinea del Toboso. The carrier resented this, and in a moment the place was in an uproar. Such a fight never took place before, and when it was over both the knight and the squire were as near dead as men can be. To right himself, Don Quixote concocted a balsam of which he had read, and drinking it off, presently was so grievously ill that he was like to cast up his heart and liver.

Being got to bed again, he felt sure that he was now invulnerable, and he woke early next day, eager to sally forth. When the host asked for his reckoning, "How! Is this an inn?" quoth the Don. "Yes, and one of the best on the road." "How strangely have I been mistaken then! Upon my honour, I took it for a castle, and a considerable one, too." Saying which, he added that knights never yet paid for the honour they conferred in lying at any man's house, and so rode away. But poor Sancho Panza did not get off scot free, for they tossed him in a blanket in the backyard, where the Don could see the torture over the wall, but could by no means get to the rescue of his squire.

When they were together again, the gallant Don comforted poor Sancho Panza with hopes of an island, and explained away all their sufferings on the grounds of necromancy. All that had gone awry with them was the work of some cursed enchanters.

Their next adventure was begun by a cloud of dust on the horizon, which instantly made Don Quixote exclaim that a great battle was in progress. A nearer view revealed that the dust rose from a huge flock of sheep; but the knight's blood was up, and he rode forward as fast as poor Rozinante could carry him, and did frightful slaughter among the sheep, till the stones of the shepherd brought him to the earth. "Lord save us!" cried Sancho, as he assisted the Don to his feet. "Your worship has left on his lower side only two grinders, and on the upper not one."

Later, they came upon a company of priests, with lighted tapers, carrying a corpse through the night. Don Quixote charged them, brought one of the company to the ground, and scattered the rest. Sancho Panza, whose stomach cried cupboard, filled his wallet with the rich provisions of the priests, boasting to the wounded man that his master was the redoubtable Don Quixote of La Mancha, otherwise called the Knight of the Rueful Countenance. When the adventure was over, Don Quixote questioned his squire on this name, and Sancho replied, "I have been staring upon you this pretty while by the light of that unlucky priest's torch, and may I never stir if ever I set eyes on a more dismal countenance in my born days."

The next enterprise was with a barber, who carried his new brass basin on his head, so that it suggested to Don Quixote the famous helmet of Mambrino. Accordingly, he bore down upon the barber, put him to flight, and possessed himself of the basin, which he wore as a helmet. More serious was the following adventure, when Don Quixote released from the king's officers a gang of galley slaves, because they assured him that they travelled chained much against their will. So gallantly did the knight behave, that he conquered the officers and left them all but dead. Nevertheless, coming to an argument with the released convicts, whom he would have sent to his lady Dulcinea, he himself, and Sancho, too, were as mauled by the convicts as even those self-same officers.

It now came to Don Quixote that he must perform a penance in the mountains, and sending Sancho with a letter to Dulcinea, he divested himself of much of his armour and underwear, and performed the maddest gambols and self-tortures ever witnessed under a blue sky.

However, it chanced that Sancho Panza soon fell in with the curate and the barber of Don Quixote's village, and these good friends, by a cunning subterfuge, in which a beautiful young lady played a part, got Don Quixote safely home and into his own bed. The lady, affecting great distress, made Don Quixote vow to enter upon no adventure until he had righted a wrong done against herself; and one night, as they journeyed on this mission, a great cage was made and placed over Don Quixote as he slept, and thus, persuaded that necromancy was at work against, him, the valiant knight was borne back a prisoner to his home.

IV.--Sancho Governs His Island

Nothing short of a prison cell could keep Don Quixote from his sallies, and soon he was on the road again, accompanied by his faithful squire. To Sancho, who believed his master mad, and whose chief aim in life was filling his own stomach, these adventures of the Don had but one end, the governorship of the promised island. While he thought the knight mad, he believed in him; and while he was selfish, he loved his master, as the tale tells.

It chanced that one day they came upon a frolicsome duke and duchess who had heard of their adventures, and who instantly set themselves to enjoy so rare a sport as that offered by the entertainment of the knight and his squire. The Don was invited to the duke's castle as a mighty hero, and there treated with all possible honour; but some tricks were played upon him which were certainly unworthy of the duke's courtesy. Nevertheless, this visit had the happiest culmination, since it was from the hands of the duke that Sancho at last received his governorship. Making pretence that a certain town on his estate, named Barataria, was an island, the duke dispatched Sancho to govern it; and after an affecting farewell with his master, who gave him the wisest possible advice on the subject of statecraft, Sancho set out in a glittering cavalcade to take up his governorship, with his beloved Dapple led behind.

After a magnificent entry into the city, Sancho Panza was called upon to give judgment in certain teasing disputes, and this he did with such wit and such wholesome commonsense that he delighted all who heard him. Well-pleased with himself, he sat down in a grand hall to a solitary banquet, with a physician standing by his side. No sooner had Sancho tasted a dish than the physician touched it with a wand, and a page bore it swiftly away. At first Sancho was confounded by this interference with his appetite, but presently he grew bold and expostulated; whereupon the physician said that his mission was to overlook the governor's health, and to see that he ate nothing which was prejudicial to his physical well-being, since the happiness of the state depended upon the health of its governor. Sancho bore it for some time, but at length, starting up, he bade the physician avaunt, saying, "By the sun's light, I'll get me a good cudgel, and beginning with your carcase, will so belabour all the physic-mongers in the island, that I will not leave one of the tribe. Let me eat, or let them take their government again; for an office that will not afford a man his victuals is not worth two horse beans."

At that moment there came a messenger from the duke, sweating, and with concern in his looks, who pulled a packet from his bosom and presented it to the governor. This message from the duke was to warn Sancho that a furious enemy intended to attack his island, and that he must be on his guard. "I have also the intelligence," wrote the duke, "from faithful spies, that there are four men got into the town in disguise to murder you, your abilities being regarded as a great obstacle to the enemy's design. Take heed how you admit strangers to speak with you, and eat nothing that is laid before you."

Sancho set out to inspect his defences; but with every step he took he was confronted by some problem of government on which he was called upon to adjudicate. Harassed by these appeals, and half famished, our governor began to think that governorship was the sorriest trade on earth, and before a week was over he addressed to Don Quixote a letter, concluding, "Heaven preserve you from ill-minded enchanters, and send me safe and sound out of this government." One night he was awakened by the clanging of a great bell, and in came servants crying in affright that the enemy was approaching. Sancho rose, and was adjured by his subjects to lead them forth against their terrible foes. He asked for food, and declared that he knew nothing of arms. They rebuked him, and bringing him shields and a lance, proceeded to tie him up so tightly with shields behind and shields before that he could scarcely move. Then they bade him march, and lead on the army. "March!" quoth he. "These bonds stick so plaguey close that I cannot so much as bend my knees!" "For shame!" they answered. "It is fear and not armour that stiffens your legs." Thus rebuked, Sancho endeavoured to move, but fell flat on the earth like a great tortoise; while in the darkness the others made a clash with their swords and shields, and trampled upon the prone governor, who quite gave himself up for dead. But at break of day they raised a cry of "Victory!" and, lifting Sancho up, told him that their enemies were driven off.

To this he said nothing save to ask for his old clothes. And when he was dressed he went down to Dapple's stall, and embraced his faithful ass with tears in his eyes. "Come hither, my friend and true companion," quoth he; "happy were my days, my months, and years, when with thee I journeyed, and all my concern was to mend thy harness and find food for thy little stomach! But now that I have climbed to the towers of ambition, a thousand woes, a thousand torments, and four thousand tribulations have haunted my soul!" While he spoke he fitted on the pack-saddle, mounted his ass, bade farewell to the people, and departed in peace and great humility.

V.--The Death of Don Quixote

Meanwhile, Don Quixote had been fooled to the top of his bent in the duke's castle, and had endured tribulations from maids and men sufficient to deject the finest fortitude. He was now in the mood to forsake that great castle, and to embrace once more the life of the open road, and so with Sancho Panza he started out to take up the threads of his old life. After adventures so miraculous as to seem incredible, Don Quixote was laid low in an encounter with a friend of his disguised as a knight, and by this defeat was so broken and humiliated that he thought to turn shepherd and to spend the remainder of his days in a pastoral life. Sancho cheered him, and kept his heart as high as it would reach in his misery, and together they turned their faces towards home, leaving the future to the disposition of Providence.

As they entered the village, two boys fighting in a field attracted the knight's attention, and he heard one of them cry, "Never fret yourself, you shall never see her while you have breath in your body!" The knight immediately applied these words to himself and Dulcinea, and nothing that Sancho could say had power to cheer his spirits. Moreover, the boys of the village, having seen them, raised a shout, and came laughing about them, saying, "Oh, law! here is Gaffer Sancho Panza's donkey as fine as a lady, and Don Quixote's beast thinner than ever!" The barber and the curate then came upon the scene and saw their old friend, and went with him to his house.

Here Don Quixote faithfully described his discomfiture in the encounter with another knight, and declared his intention honourably to observe the conditions laid upon him of being confined to his village for a year.

Melancholy increased with the poor knight, and he was seized with a violent fever. The physician and his friends conjectured that his sickness arose from regret for his defeat and disappointment of Dulcinea's disenchantment; they did all they could do to divert him, but in vain. One day he desired them to leave him, and for six hours he slept so profoundly that his niece thought he was dead. At the end of this time he wakened, and cried with a loud voice, "Blessed be Almighty God for this great benefit He has vouchsafed to me! His mercies are infinite; greater are they than the sins of men."

These rational words surprised his niece, and she asked what he meant by them. He answered that by God's mercy his judgment had returned, free and clear. "The cloud of ignorance," said he, "is now removed, which continuous reading of those noxious books of knight-errantry had laid upon me." He said that his great grief now was the lateness with which enlightenment had come, leaving him so little time to prepare his soul for death.

The others coming in, Don Quixote made his confession, and one went to fetch Sancho Panza. With tears in his eyes the squire sought his poor master's side, and when in the first clause of his will Don Quixote made mention of Sancho, saying afterwards, "Pardon me, my friend, that I brought upon you the shame of my madness," Sancho cried out, "Woe's me, your worship, do not die this bout; take my counsel, and live many a good year. For it is the maddest trick a man can play in his whole life to go out like the snuff of a candle, and die merely of the mulligrubs!"

The others admonished him in like spirit, but Don Quixote answered and said, "Gently, sirs! do not look in last year's nests for the birds of this year. I was mad, but now I have my reason. I was Don Quixote of La Mancha; but to-day I am Alonso Quixano the Good. I hope that my repentance and my sincerity will restore me to the esteem that once you had for me. And now let Master Notary proceed." So he finished writing his will, and then fell into a swooning fit, and lay full length in his bed. But he lingered some days, and when he did give up the ghost, or to speak more plainly, when he died, it was amidst the tears and lamentations of his family, and after he had received the last sacrament, and had expressed, in pathetic way, his horror at the books of chivalry.


Peter Schlemihl, the Shadowless Man

Adalbert von Chamisso, a German lyric poet and scientist, was born on January 30, 1781, at the Castle of Boncourt, in the Champagne district of France. His parents emigrated in 1790, and in 1796 he became page to the Queen of Prussia. Two years afterwards he entered the army, which he left in 1806 to go to France, returning to Berlin in the following year. In 1810 he proceeded to France once more, and thence to Geneva, where he began his study of natural history. In 1815 he went with Otto von Kotzehue on a tour round the world, and on his return he settled in Berlin, having obtained a post in the Botanical Gardens. He wrote several important books on botany, topography, and ethnology, but became even more famous through his poems, ballads and romances. "Peter Schlemihl," which was written in 1813 was published in the following year by Chamisso's friend Fouqué, and achieved so great a success that it was translated into most languages. Chamisso died in Berlin on August 21, 1838.

I.--The Grey Man

Having safely landed after a fatiguing journey, I took my modest belongings to the nearest cheap inn, engaged a garret room, washed, put on my newly-turned black coat, and proceeded to find Mr. Thomas John's mansion. After a severe cross-examination on the part of the hall-porter, I had the honour of being shown into the park where Mr. John was entertaining a party. He graciously took my letter of introduction, continuing the while to talk to his guests. Then he broke the seal, still joining in the conversation, which turned upon wealth. "Anyone," he remarked, "who has not at least a million is, pardon the word, a rogue." "How true," I exclaimed; which pleased him, for he asked me to stay. Then, offering his arm to a fair lady, he led the party to the rose-clad hill. Everybody was very jolly; and I followed behind, so as not to make myself a nuisance.

The beautiful Fanny, who seemed to be the queen of the day, in trying to pick a rose, had scratched her finger, which caused much commotion. She asked for some plaster, and a quiet, lean, tall, elderly man, dressed in grey, who walked by my side, put his hand in his coat pocket, pulled out a pocket-book, and, with a deep bow, handed the lady what she wanted. She took it without thanks, and we all continued to ascend the hill.

Arrived at the top, Mr. John, espying a light spot on the horizon, called for a telescope. Before the servants had time to move, the grey man, bowing modestly, had put his hand in his pocket and pulled out a beautiful telescope, which passed from hand to hand without being returned to its owner. Nobody seemed surprised at the huge instrument issuing from a tiny pocket, and nobody took any more notice of the grey man than of myself.

The ground was damp, and somebody suggested how fine it would be to spread some Turkey carpets. Scarcely had the wish been expressed, when the grey man again put his hand into his pocket, and, with a modest, humble gesture, pulled out a rich Turkey carpet, some twenty yards by ten, which was spread out by the servants, without anybody appearing to be surprised. I asked a young gentleman who the obliging man might be. He did not know.

The sun began to get troublesome, and Fanny casually asked the grey man if he might happen to have a tent by him. He bowed deeply, and began to pull out of his pocket canvas, and bars, and ropes, and everything needed for the tent, which was promptly put up. Again nobody seemed surprised. I felt uncanny; especially when, at the next expressed desire, I saw him pull out of his pocket three fine large horses with saddles and trappings! You would not believe it if I did not tell you that I saw it with my own eyes.

It was gruesome. I sneaked away, and had already reached the foot of the hill, when, to my horror, I noticed the grey man approaching. He took off his hat, bowed humbly, and addressed me.

"Forgive my impertinence, sir, but during the short time I have had the happiness to be near you I have been able to look with indescribable admiration upon that beautiful shadow of yours, which you throw from you contemptuously, as it were. Pardon me, but would you feel inclined to sell it?"

I thought he was mad. "Is your own shadow not enough for you? What a strange bargain!"

"No price is too high for this invaluable shadow. I have many a precious thing in my pocket, which you may choose--a mandrake, the dish-cloth of Roland's page, Fortunati's purse----"

"What! Fortunati's purse?"

"Will you condescend to try it?" he said, handing me a money-bag of moderate size, from which I drew ten gold pieces, and another ten, and yet another ten.

I extended my hand, and exclaimed, "A bargain! For this purse you can have my shadow." He seized my hand, knelt down, cleverly detached my shadow from the lawn, rolled it up, folded it, and put it in his pocket. Then he bowed and retired behind the rose-hedge, chuckling gently.

I hurried back to my inn, after having tied the bag around my neck, under my waistcoat. As I went along the sunny street, I heard an old woman's voice, "Heigh, young man, you have lost your shadow!"

"Thank you," I said, threw her a gold piece, and sought the shade of the trees. But I had to cross a broad street again, just as a group of boys were leaving school. They shouted at me, jeered, and threw mud at me. To keep them away I threw a handful of gold among them, and jumped into a carriage. Now I began to feel what I had sacrificed. What was to become of me?

At the inn I sent for my things, and then made the driver take me to the best hotel, where I engaged the state rooms and locked myself up. And what, my dear Chamisso, do you think I did then? I pulled masses of gold out of the bag, covered the floor of the room with ducats, threw myself upon them, made them tinkle, rolled over them, buried my hands in them, until I was exhausted and fell to sleep. Next morning I had to cart all these coins into a cupboard, leaving only just a few handfuls. Then, with the help of the host, I engaged some servants, a certain Bendel, a good, faithful soul, being specially recommended to me as a valet. I spent the whole day with tailors, bootmakers, jewellers, merchants, and bought a heap of precious things, just to get rid of the heaps of gold.

I never ventured out in daytime; and even at night when I happened to step out into the moonlight, I had to suffer untold anguish from the contemptuous sneers of men, the deep pity of women, the shuddering fear of fair maidens. Then I sent Bendel to search for the grey man, giving him every possible indication. He came back late, and told me that none of Mr. John's servants or guests remembered the stranger, and that he could find no trace of him. "By the way," he concluded, "a gentleman whom I met just as I went out, bid me tell you that he was on the point of leaving the country, and that in a year and a day he would call on you to propose new business. He said you would know who he was."

"How did he look?" Bendel described the man in the grey coat! He was in despair when I told him that this was the very person I wanted. But it was too late; he had gone without leaving a trace.

A famous artist for whom I sent to ask him whether he could paint me a shadow, told me that he might, but I should be bound to lose it again at the slightest movement.

"How did you manage to lose yours?" he asked. I had to lie. "When I was travelling in Russia it froze so firmly to the ground that I could not get it off again."

"The best thing you can do is not to walk in the sun," the artist retorted with a piercing look, and walked out.

I confessed my misfortune to Bendel, and the sympathetic lad, after a terrible struggle with his conscience, decided to remain in my service. From that day he was always with me, ever trying to throw his broad shadow over me to conceal my affliction from the world. Nevertheless, the fair Fanny, whom I often met in the hours of dusk and evening, and who had begun to show me marked favour, discovered my terrible secret one night, as the moon suddenly rose from behind a cloud, and fainted with terror.

There was nothing left for me but to leave the town. I sent for horses, took only Bendel and another servant, a rogue named Gauner, with me, and covered thirty miles during the night. Then we continued our journey across the mountains to a little-frequented watering-place, where I was anxious to seek rest from my troubles.

II.--A Soul for a Shadow

Bendel preceded me to prepare a house for my reception, and spent money so lavishly that the rumour spread the King of Prussia was coming incognito. A grand reception was prepared by the townsfolk, with music and flowers and a chorus of maidens in white, led by a girl of wonderful beauty. And all this in broad sunlight! I did not move in my carriage, and Bendel tried to explain that there must be a mistake, which made the good folk believe that I wanted to remain incognito. Bendel handed a diamond tiara to the beautiful maiden, and we drove on amid cheering and firing of guns.

I became known as Count Peter, and when it was found out that the King of Prussia was elsewhere, they all thought I must be some other king. I gave a grand fete, Bendel taking good care to have such lavish illuminations all round that no one should notice the absence of my shadow. I had masses of gold coins thrown among the people in the street, and gave Mina, the beautiful girl who headed the chorus at my arrival, all the jewels I had brought with me, for distribution among her friends. She was the daughter of the verdurer, and I lost no time in making friends with her parents, and succeeded in gaining Mina's affection.

Continuing to spend money with regal lavishness, I myself led a simple and retired life, never leaving my rooms in daylight. Bendel warned me of Gauner's extensive thefts; but I did not mind. Why should I grudge him the money, of which I had an inexhaustible store? In the evenings I used to meet Mina in her garden, and always found her loving, though awed by my wealth and supposed rank. Yet, conscious of my dreadful secret, I dared not ask for her hand. But the year was nearly up since I had made the fateful bargain, and I looked forward to the promised visit of the grey man, whom I hoped to persuade to take back his bag for my shadow. In fact, I told the verdurer that on the first of the next month I should ask him for his daughter's hand.

The anniversary arrived--midday, evening, midnight. I waited through the long hours, heard the clock strike twelve; but the grey man did not come! Towards morning I fell into a fitful slumber. I was awakened by angry voices. Gauner forced his way into my room, which was defended by the faithful Bendel.

"What do you want, you rogue?"

"Only to see your shadow, with your lordship's permission."

"How dare you----"

"I am not going to serve a man without a shadow. Either you show it to me, or I go."

I wanted to offer him money; but he, who had stolen millions, refused to accept money from a man without a shadow. He put on his hat, and left the room whistling.

When at dark I went, with a heavy heart, to Mina's bower, I found her, pale and beautiful, and her father with a letter in his hand. He looked at the letter, then scrutinised me, and said, "Do you happen to know, my lord, a certain Peter Schlemihl, who lost his shadow?"

"Oh, my foreboding!" cried Mina. "I knew it; he has no shadow!"

"And you dared," continued the verdurer, "to deceive us? See how she sobs! Confess now how you lost your shadow."

Again I was forced to lie. "Some time ago a man stepped so clumsily into my shadow that he made a big hole. I sent it to be mended, and was promised to have it back yesterday."

"Very well. Either you present yourself within three days with a well-fitting shadow, or, on the next day, my daughter will be another man's wife."

I rushed away, half conscious, groaning and raving. I do not know how long and how far I ran, but I found myself on a sunny heath, when somebody suddenly pulled my sleeve. I turned round. It was the man in the grey coat!

"I announced my visit for to-day. You made a mistake in your impatience. All is well. You buy your shadow back and you will be welcomed by your bride. As for Gauner, who has betrayed you and has asked for Mina's hand--he is ripe for me."

I groped for the bag but the stranger stopped me.

"No, my lord, you keep this; I only want a little souvenir. Be good enough and sign this scrap." On the parchment was written: "I herewith assign to bearer my soul after its natural separation from my body."

I sternly refused. "I am not inclined to stake my soul for my shadow."

He continued to urge, giving the most plausible reasons why I should sign. But I was firm. He even tried to tempt me by unrolling my shadow on the heath. "A line of your pen, and you save your Mina from that rogue's clutches."

At that moment Bendel arrived on the scene, saw me in tears, my shadow on the ground apparently in the stranger's power, and set upon the man with his stick. The grey man walked away, and Bendel followed him, raining blows upon his shoulders, till they disappeared from sight.

I was left with my despair, and spent the day and night on the heath. I was resolved not to return among men, and wandered about for three days, feeding on wild fruit and spring-water. On the morning of the fourth day I suddenly heard a sound, but could see nobody--only a shadow, not unlike my own, but without body. I determined to seize it, and rushed after it. Gradually I gained on it; with a final rush I made for it--and met unexpectedly bodily resistance. We fell on the ground, and a man became visible under me. I understood at once. The man must have had the invisible bird's nest, which he dropped in the struggle, thus becoming visible himself.

The nest being invisible, I looked for its shadow, found it, seized it quickly, and, of course, disappeared from the man's sight. I left him tearing his hair in despair; and I rejoiced at being able to go again among men. Quickly I proceeded to Mina's garden, which was still empty, although I imagined I heard steps following me. I sat down on a bench, and watched the verdurer leaving the house. Then a fog seemed to pass over my head. I looked around, and--oh, horror!--beheld the grey man sitting by my side. He had pulled his magic cap over my head, at his feet was his shadow and my own, and his hand played with the parchment.

"So we are both under the same cap," he began; "now please give me back my bird's nest. Thanks! You see, sometimes we are forced to do what we refuse when asked kindly. I think you had better buy that shadow back. I'll throw in the magic cap."

Meanwhile, Mina's mother had joined the verdurer, and they began to discuss Mina's approaching marriage and Gauner's wealth, which amounted to ten millions. Then Mina joined them. She was urged to consent, and finally said, sobbingly, "I have no further wish on earth. Do with me as you please." At this moment Gauner approached, and Mina fainted.

"Can you endure this?" asked my companion. "Have you no blood in your veins?" He rapidly scratched a slight wound in my hand, and dipped a pen in the blood. "To be sure, red blood! Then sign." And I took the pen and parchment.

I had scarcely touched food for days, and the excitement of this last hour had completely exhausted my strength. Before I had time to sign I swooned away. When I awoke it was dark. My hateful companion was in a towering rage. The sound of festive music came from the brightly illuminated house; groups of people strolled through the garden, talking of Mina's marriage with the wealthy Mr. Gauner, which had taken place this morning.

Disengaging myself from the magic cap, which act made my companion disappear from my view, I made for the garden gate. But the invisible wretch followed me with his taunts. He only left me at the door of my house, with a mocking "au revoir." The place had been wrecked by the mob and was deserted. Only the faithful Bendel was there to receive me with tears of mingled grief and joy. I pressed him to my heart, and bid him leave me to my misery. I told him to keep a few boxes filled with gold, that were still in the house, made him saddle my horse, and departed, leaving the choice of the road to the animal, for I had neither aim, nor wish, nor hope.

A pedestrian joined me on the sad journey. After tramping along for a while, he asked permission to put his cloak on my horse. I consented; he thanked me, and then, in a kind of soliloquy, began to praise the power of wealth, and to speak cleverly of metaphysics. Meanwhile, day was dawning; the sun was about to rise, the shadows to spread their splendour--and I was not alone! I looked at my companion--it was the man with the grey coat!

He smiled at my surprise, and continued to converse amiably. In fact, he not only offered to replace for the time being my former servant Bendel, but actually lent me my shadow for the journey. The temptation was great. I suddenly gave my horse the spurs and galloped off at full speed; but, alas! my shadow remained behind and I had to turn back shamefacedly.

"You can't escape me," said my companion, "I hold you by your shadow." And all the time, hour by hour, day by day, he continued his urging. At last we quarrelled seriously, and he decided to leave me. "If ever you want me, you have only to shake your bag. You hold me by my gold. You know I can be useful, especially to the wealthy; you have seen it."

I thought of the past and asked him quickly, "Did you get Mr. John's signature?" He smiled. "With so good a friend, the formality was not necessary."

"Where is he? I want to know."

He hesitated, then put his hand into his pocket, and pulled out Mr. John's livid body; the blue lips of the corpse moved, and uttered painfully the words: "Justo judico Dei judicatus sum; justo judicio Dei condemnatus sum."

Seized with horror, I threw the inexhaustible money-bag into the abyss, and then spoke the final words. "You fiend, I exorcise you in the name of God! Be off, and never show yourself before mine eyes again!"

He glared at me furiously and disappeared instantly.

III.--The Wanderer

Left now without shadow and without money, save for the few gold pieces still in my pocket, I could almost have been happy, had it not been for the loss of my love. My horse was down below at the inn; I decided to leave it there and to wander on on foot. In the forest I encountered a peasant, from whom I obtained information about the district and its inhabitants. He was an intelligent man, and I quite enjoyed the talk. When we approached the wide bed of a mountain stream, I made him walk in front, but he turned round to speak to me. Suddenly he broke off--"But how is that? You have no shadow!"

"Unfortunately!" I said, with a sigh. "During an illness I lost my hair, nails, and shadow. The hair and nails have grown again, but the shadow won't."

"That must have been a bad illness," said the peasant, and walked on in silence till we reached the nearest side-road, when he turned off without saying another word. I wept bitter tears, and my good spirits had vanished. And so I wandered on sadly, avoiding all villages till nightfall, and often waiting for hours to pass a sunny patch unobserved. I wanted to find work in a mine to save me from my thoughts.

My boots began to be worn out. My slender means made me decide to buy a strong pair that had already been used; new ones were too dear. I put them on at once, and walked out of the village, scarcely noticing the way, since I was thinking deeply of the mine I hoped to reach the same night, and of the manner in which I was to obtain employment. I had scarcely walked two hundred steps, when I noticed that I had lost the road. I was in a wild virginal forest. Another few steps and I was on an endless ice-field. The cold was unbearable, and I had to hasten my steps. I ran for a few minutes, and found myself in rice-fields where Chinese labourers were working. There could be no doubt; I had seven-league boots on my feet!

I fell on my knees, shedding tears of gratitude. Now my future was clear. Excluded from society, study and science were to be my future strength and hope. I wandered through the whole world from east to west, from north to south, comparing the fauna and flora of the different regions. To reduce the speed of my progress, I found I had only to pull a pair of slippers over my boots. When I wanted money, I just took an ivory tusk to sell in London. And finally I made a home in the ancient caves of the desert near Thebes.

Once in the far north I encountered a polar bear. Throwing off my slippers, I wanted to step upon an island facing me. I firmly placed my foot on it, but on the other side I fell into the sea, as the slipper had not come off my boot. I saved my life and hurried to the Libyan desert to cure my cold in the sun; but the heat made me ill. I lost consciousness, and when I awoke again I was in a comfortable bed among other beds, and on the wall facing me I saw inscribed in golden letters my own name.

To cut things short--the institution which had received me had been founded by Bendel and the widowed Mina with my money, and in my honour had been called the Schlemihlium. As soon as I felt strong enough, I returned to my desert cave, and thus I live to this day.

You, my dear Chamisso, are to be the keeper of my strange history, which may contain useful advice for many. You, if you will live among men, honour first the shadow, then the money. But, if you live only for your better self, you will need no advice.



Francois René, Vicomte de Chateaubriand, born on September 4, 1768, at St. Malo, Brittany, was as distinguished for his extraordinary and romantic career as for the versatility of his genius. At the height of the Revolution (1791) he left for America with the intention of discovering the North-West passage, but in two years returned to fight on the royalist side, and was wounded at the siege of Thionville. Emigrating to England, he remained in London for eight years, supporting himself with difficulty by translating and teaching and writing. Returning to France, Chateaubriand was appointed by Napoleon secretary to the embassy in Rome, but the execution of the Duke d'Enghien so repelled him that he resigned and set out on a long Oriental journey. Living in privacy till the fall of Napoleon, he then returned to his native land, and from 1822 to 1824 was ambassador to the British Court. His whole political career was eccentric and uncertain, and he himself declared that he was by heredity and honour a Bourbonist, by conviction a Monarchist, but by temperament a Republican. He died on July 4, 1848. "Atala," which appeared in 1801, formed the first part of a prose epic, "The Natchez," on the wild and picturesque life of the Red Indians, the idea for which Chateaubriand had conceived while wandering about America. It at once raised its author to the highest position in the French literary world of the age of Napoleon. In 1802, Chateaubriand published a work of still greater importance--at least, from a social point of view--"The Genius of Christianity"--which magnificent and gorgeous piece of rhetoric produced a profound change in the general attitude of Frenchmen in regard to religion, undid to some extent the destructive work of Voltaire, and was instrumental in inducing Napoleon to come to terms with the Pope. But it is on "Atala" that Chateaubriand's title to be one of the greatest masters of French prose literature depends.

I.--The Song of Death

"It is surely a singular fate," said the old, blind Red Indian chief to the young Frenchman, "which has brought us together from the ends of the earth. I see in you a civilised man, who, for some strange reason, wishes to become a savage. You see in me a savage, who, also for some strange reason, has tried to become a civilised man. Though we have entered on life from two opposite points, here we are, sitting side by side. And I, a childless man, have sworn to be a father to you, and you, a fatherless boy, have sworn to be a son to me."

Chactas, the chief of the Natchez, and René, the Frenchman, whom he had adopted into his tribe, were sitting at the prow of a pirogue, which, with its sail of sewn skins outstretched to the night wind, was gliding down the moonlit waters of the Ohio, amid the magnificent desert of Kentucky. Behind them was a fleet of pirogues, which René was piloting on a hunting foray. Seeing that all the Indians were sleeping, Chactas went on talking to his adopted son.

"How little, even now, we know of each other, René. You never told me what it was that made you leave France in 1725, and come to Louisiana, and ask to be admitted to our tribe. I have never told you why I have not married and got children to succeed me, and help me in my old age to govern my people.

"It is now seventy-three years since my mother brought me into the world on the banks of the Mississippi. In 1652 there were a few Spaniards settled in the bay of Pensacola, but no white man was then seen in Louisiana. I was scarcely seventeen years old when I fought with my father, the famous warrior Outalissi, against the Creeks of Florida. We were then allied with the Spaniards, but, in spite of the help they gave us, we were defeated. My father was killed, and I was grievously wounded. Oh, why did I then not descend into the land of the dead? Happy indeed should I have been had I thus escaped from the fate which was waiting for me on earth!

"But one of our allies, an old Castilian, named Lopez, moved by my youth and simplicity, rescued me in the battle and led me to the town of St. Augustin, which his countrymen had recently built. My benefactor took me to his home, and he and his sister adopted me as their son, and tried to teach me their knowledge and religion. But after passing thirteen months at St. Augustin I was seized with a disgust for town life. The city seemed to me a prison, and I longed to get back to the wild life of my fathers. At last I resolved to return to my tribe, and one morning I came to Lopez, clad in the dress of the Natchez, with bow and arrows in one hand, and a tomahawk in the other.

"'Oh, my father,' I said to him, my face streaming with tears, 'I shall die if I stay in this city. I am an Indian, and I must live like an Indian.'

"Lopez tried to detain me by pointing out the peril I was running. But I already knew that in order to join the Natchez I should have to pass through the country of the Creeks, and might fall into the hands of our old enemies; and this did not deter me. At last, Lopez, seeing how resolute I was, said, 'Go, my boy, and God be with you! Were I only younger, I, too, would return with you to the wilderness, where the happiest part of my life was spent. But when you get back to the forest, think sometimes of the old Spaniard of St. Augustin, and if ever a white man falls into your hands, treat him, my son, as I have treated you.'

"It was not long, René, before I was punished for my ingratitude in running away from my protector. I had forgotten in the city my knowledge of wood-craft, and I lost my way in the great forest, and was captured by a band of Creeks. My costume and the feathers in my hair proclaimed me one of the Natchez, and when Simaghan, the chief of the band, bound me, and demanded who I was, I proudly answered. 'I am Chactas, the son of the Outalissi who took more than a hundred scalps from the warriors of the Creeks.'

"'Chactas, son of Outalissi,' said Simaghan, 'rejoice! We will burn you before our wig-wams.'

"'That is good news,' I said, and thereupon I sang my song of death.

"Although the Creeks were my enemies, I could not help admiring them. They were fine, handsome men of a merry and open nature, and their women were beautiful, and full of pity towards me. One night, while I was lying sleepless beside their camp fire, one of their maidens came and sat by my side. Her face was strangely lovely; her eyes shone with tears; and a little golden crucifix on her bosom glittered as the firelight played upon it.

"'Maiden,' I said, 'your beauty is too great to be wasted on a dying man. Let me die without tasting the delights of love. They would only make death more bitter to me. You are worthy to be the squaw of a great chief. Wait till you can find a lover with whom you can live in joy and happiness all your life.'

"'Are you a Christian?' asked the maiden.

"'No,' I replied. 'I have not betrayed the faith of my forefathers.'

"'Oh, you are only a wicked heathen,' she exclaimed, covering her face with her hands and weeping. 'I have been baptised by my mother. I am Atala, daughter of Simaghan of the golden bracelets, and the chief of this band. We are going to Cuscowilla, where you will be burnt.'

"And with a look of anger, Atala rose up and went away."

Here Chactas for a moment became silent. Tears rolled from his blind eyes down his withered cheeks.

"Oh René, my son," he said, "you see that Chactas is very foolish in spite of his reputation for wisdom! Why do men still weep, even when age has blinded their eyes? Every night Atala came to see me, and a strange love for her was born in my heart. After marching for seventeen days, my captors brought me to the great savannah of Alachua, and camped in a valley not far from Cuscowilla, the capital of the Creeks. I was bound to the foot of a tree outside the town, and a warrior was set to watch over me.

"But in the evening Atala came, and said to him, 'If you would like to go hunting, I will look after the prisoner.'

"The young warrior leaped up, full of joy at being relieved by the daughter of his chief, and when he had gone, Atala released me.

"'Now, Chactas,' she murmured, turning her face away from me, 'you can escape.'

"'I do not want to escape,' I cried, 'unless I can escape with you!'

"'But they will burn you,' she said. 'They will burn you to-morrow!'

"'What does it matter,' I exclaimed, 'if you do not love me?'

"'But I do love you,' said Atala, and she bent over and kissed me.

"Then with a wild look of terror, she pushed me away from her, and staggering up to the tree, she covered her face with her hands, and sobbed, rocking herself to and fro in her grief.

"'Oh, my mother, my mother!' she sobbed. 'I have forgotten my vow. I cannot follow you,' she said, turning to me. 'You are not a Christian.'

"'But I will be a Christian,' I cried. 'Only come with me, Atala, and I will be baptised by the first priest that we meet. There are several missionaries among the Natchez.'

"To my utter astonishment, instead of this comforting Atala, it only made her weep more passionately. Her body shook with sobs as I took her up in my arms and carried her away from the town into the great forest. At last she grew calmer, and asked me to set her down, and, striking a narrow track between the dark trees, we marched along silently and quickly, stopping now and then to listen if we were being followed. We heard nothing but the crackling tread of some nocturnal beast of prey, or the cry of some animal in the agony of death. On coming to an opening in the forest I made a shelter for the night. Atala then threw herself at my feet, and clasped my knees, and again begged me to leave her. But I swore that, if she returned to the camp, I would follow her, and give myself up. As we were talking, the cry of death rang through the forest, and four warriors fell upon me and bound me. Our flight had been discovered, and Simaghan had set out in pursuit with all his band.

"In vain did Atala plead for me; I was condemned to be burnt. Happily, the Feast of Souls was being held, and no tribe dares to kill a captive during the days consecrated to this solemn ceremony. But after the feast I was bound down on the ground before the sacred totem pillars, and all the maidens and warriors of the Creek nation danced around me, chanting songs of triumph. Again I sang my song of death.

"'I do not fear your torments! For I am brave! I defy you, for you are all weaker than women. My father, Outalissi, has drunk from the skulls of your bravest warriors. Burn me! Torture me! But you will not make me groan; you will not make me sigh.'

"Angered by my song, a Creek warrior stabbed me in the arm. 'Thank you,' I said.

"To make sure that I should not again escape, they bound cords around my neck and feet and arms; the ends of these cords were fastened in the earth by means of pegs, and a band of warriors set to watch over me laid down on the cords, so that I could not make a single movement of which they were not aware. The songs and dances gradually ceased as night came on, and the camp fires burnt low and red, and, in spite of my pain, I, too, fell asleep. I dreamt that someone was setting me free, and I seemed to feel that sharp anguish which shoots along the nerves when ropes, which are bound so tightly as to stop the flow of blood, are suddenly cut from the numbed limbs. The pain became so keen that it made me open my eyes. A tall, white figure was bending over me, silently cutting my cords. It was Atala. I rose up and followed her through the sleeping camp.

"When we were out of ear-shot she told me that she had bribed the medicine man of her tribe, and brought some barrels of fire-water into the camp and made all the warriors drunk with it. Drunkenness, no doubt, prevented the Creeks from following us for a day or two. And if afterwards they pursued us, they probably turned to the west, thinking that we had set out in the direction of the country of Natchez. But we had gone north, tracking our way by the moss growing on the trunks of the trees."

II.--The Magic of the Forest

"The Creeks had stripped me almost naked, but Atala made me a dress out of the inner bark of the ash-tree and sewed some rat-skins into moccasins. I, in turn, wove garlands of flowers for her head as we tramped along through the great forests of Florida. Oh, how wildly beautiful the scenes were through which we passed. Nearly all the trees in Florida are covered with a white moss which hangs from their branches to the ground. At night-time, when the moonlight falls, pearly grey, on the indeterminate crest of the forests, the trees look like an army of phantoms in long, trailing veils. In the daytime a crowd of large, beautiful butterflies, brilliant humming birds, and blue-winged jays and parroquets come and cling to the moss, which then resembles a white tapestry embroidered with splendid and varied hues.

"Every evening we made a great fire and built a shelter out of a large hollow piece of bark, fixed on four stakes. The forests were full of game, which I easily brought down with the bow and arrows I took when we fled from the camp, and as it was now autumn, the forests were hung with fruit. Every day I became more and more joyful, but Atala was strangely quiet. Sometimes, as I suddenly turned my head to see why she was so silent, I would find her gazing at me, her eyes burning with passion. Sometimes she would kneel down, and clasp her hands in prayer and weep like a woman with a broken heart. What frightened me above all was the secret thought that she tried to conceal in the depths of her soul, but, now and then, half revealed in her wild, sorrowful, and lovely eyes. Oh, how many times did she tell me:

"'Yes, I love you, Chactas, I love you! But I can never be your wife!'

"I could not understand her. One minute she would cling round my neck and kiss me; another, when I wished in turn to caress her, she would repulse me.

"'But as I intend, Atala, to become a Christian, what is there to prevent us marrying?' I said, again and again.

"And every time I asked this question she burst into tears and would not answer. But the wild loneliness, the continual presence of my beloved, yes, even the hardships of our wandering life, increased the force of my longing. A hundred times I was ready to fold Atala to my breast. A hundred times I proposed to build her a hut in the wide, uninhabited wilderness, and live my life out there by her side.

"Oh, René, my son, if your heart is ever deeply troubled by love, beware of loneliness. Great passions are wild and solitary things; by transporting them into the wilderness you give them full power over your soul. But in spite of this, Atala and I lived together in the great forests like brother and sister. On and on we marched, through vaults of flowery smilax, where lianas with strange and gorgeous blossoms snared our feet in their twining ropy stems. Enormous bats fluttered in our faces, rattlesnakes rattled around us, and bears and carcajous--those little tigers that crouch on the branches of trees, and leap without warning on their prey--made the latter part of our journey full of strange perils and difficulties. For after travelling for twenty-seven days, we crossed the Alleghany mountains, and got into a tract of swampy, wooded ground.

"At sunset a tempest arose and darkened all the heavens. Then the sky opened, and the noise of the tempestuous forest was drowned in long, rolling detonations of thunder, and the wild lightning flamed down upon us, and set the forest on fire. Crouching down under the bent trunk of a birch-tree, with my beloved on my lap, I sheltered her from the streaming rain, and warmed her naked feet in my hands. What cared I, though the very heavens broke above me, and the earth rocked to its foundations? The soft, warm arms of Atala were around my neck, her breast lay against my breast, and I felt her heart beating as wildly as my own.

"'O my beloved,' I said, 'open your heart to me, and tell me the secret that makes you so sorrowful. Do you weep at leaving your native land?'

"'No,' she said. 'I do not regret leaving the land of palm trees, for my mother is dead, and Simaghan was only my foster father.'

"'Then who was your father, my beloved?' I cried in astonishment.

"'My father was a Spaniard,' said Atala, 'but my grandmother threw water in his face, and made him go away, and she then forced my mother to give herself in marriage to Simaghan, who desired her. But she died from grief at being parted from my father, and Simaghan adopted me as his own daughter. I have never seen my father, though my mother, before she died, baptised me, so that his God should be my God. Oh, Chactas, I wish I could see my father before I die!'

"'What is his name?' I said. 'Where does he live?'

"'He lives at St. Augustin,' she replied. 'His name is Philip Lopez.'

"'O, my beloved,' I cried, pressing Atala wildly to may breast. 'Oh, what happiness, what joy! You are the daughter of Lopez, the daughter of my foster father!'

"Atala was frightened at my outburst of passion, but when she knew that it was her father who had rescued me from the Creeks, and brought me up as his own son, she became as wildly joyful as I was. Rising up from my arms, with a strange, fierce, and yet tender light in her eyes, she took something out of her bosom and put in her mouth, and then fell on my breast in an ecstasy of self-surrender. Just as I was about to embrace her, the lightning fell, the sword of God, upon the surging, stormy forest, and made a wild and terrible radiance around us, and shattered a great tree at our feet. We rose up, overcome by a sacred horror, and fled. And then an even more miraculous thing happened. As the rolling thunder died away we heard in the silence and the darkness the sound of a bell. A dog barked, and came running joyfully up to us. Behind him was an old, white-haired priest, carrying a lantern in his hand.

"'Dear God!' said the priest. 'How young they are! Poor children! My dog found you in the forest just before the storm broke, and ran back to my cave to fetch me. I have brought some wine in my calabash. Drink it, it will revive you. Did you not hear the mission bell, which we ring every night so that strangers may find their way?'

"'Save me, father, save me!' cried Atala, falling to the ground. 'I am a Christian, and I do not want to die in mortal sin.'

"What was the matter with her? She was as pale as death, and unable to rise. I bent over her, and so did the missionary.

"'Oh, Chactas,' she murmured, 'I am dying. Just before the lightning struck the tree at our feet, I took some poison. For I felt that I could no longer resist you, my beloved, and I was resolved to save myself in death.'

"'But here is a priest,' I said. 'I will be baptised at once, and we can be married immediately afterwards.'

"'I could not marry you, even then,' she said. 'I was sixteen years old when my mother died, and in order to preserve me from marrying any of the heathen savages among whom my lot was cast, she made me vow, on the image of Mary the Mother of my God, that I would remain all my life a pure, Christian virgin.'

"Oh, René, how I hated the God of the Christians at that moment! I drew my tomahawk, resolved to kill the missionary on the spot. But disregarding me, he bent over Atala, and raised her head upon his knees.

"'My dear child, your vow does not prevent you from marrying your lover, especially as he is willing to become a Christian. I will write at once to the Bishop of Quebec, who has the power to relieve you of any vow that you have made, and then there will be nothing to prevent your marriage.'

"As he spoke, Atala was seized with a convulsion which shook all her body. In wild agony, she cried: 'Oh, it is too late, it is too late! I thought my mother's spirit would come and drag me down to hell if I broke my vow. I took poison with me, Chactas, when I fled with you. I have just swallowed it. There is no remedy. Oh, God! Oh, God!'

"She was dead in my arms. I buried her where she died, and had it not been for the missionary, René, I would have laid down in the grave, by her side, and let the blood well out of all my veins. But I became a Christian, as you know, and then, finding some work in the world to do, I went back to my own tribe, and converted them. I have been to France. I have seen your great king Louis XIV. I have talked with Bishop Bossuet, and it was he who convinced me that I could best serve God by returning to my own people, the Natchez, and trying to form them into a great Christian nation under the guidance of the King of France."


Samuel Brohl & Co.

Charles Victor Cherbuliez was born in Geneva, Switzerland, in 1829, studied history and philosophy in Paris, Bonn and Berlin and travelled widely, gathering material that he used in social and political essays and also in fiction. He won fame with his first novel, "Count Kostia," published in 1863. After that date his romances followed in quick succession. Embodying extravagant adventures, they must be classed nevertheless in the category of the sentimental novel to which the writings of Sand and Feuillet belong. Cherbuliez is always an interesting story-teller and an ingenious artificer of plot, but his psychology is conventional and his descriptive passages superficial though clever. "Samuel Brohl & Co.," published in 1877, illustrates his power of drawing cosmopolitan types, Russians, Poles, English, Germans and Jews, which he portrays in all his novels. He was admitted to the French Academy in 1881, and died in 1899.

I.--A Mountain Romance

"Yes! she is certainly very beautiful as well as very rich," said Count Abel Larinski, as he watched, through his hotel window, the graceful figure of Mlle. Antoinette Moriaz. "A marriage between Count Abel Larinski, the sole descendant of one of the most ancient and noble families of Poland, and Mlle. Moriaz, the daughter of the President of the French Institute, is a thing which might be arranged. But alas! Count Abel Larinski, you are a very poor man. Let me see how long you will be able to stay in Saint Moritz? These hotels in the Upper Engadine are frightfully dear!"

The handsome young Polish nobleman opened his purse and looked at the contents rather sadly. It was almost empty. He would certainly have to sell some of his family jewels, if he wanted to stay at Saint Moritz. Unhappily, he now had only the fine diamond ring, which he wore on his finger, and a Persian bracelet composed of three golden plates connected by a band of filigree work.

"Now, which shall I sell," said the Count; "the Larinski ring, or the bracelet which belonged to Samuel Brohl? The ring, I think. It will bring in much more money, and besides, the bracelet might be useful as a present."

After strolling some time about the garden, Mlle. Moriaz saw her father waiting for her at the door.

"What do you think, Antoinette, of an excursion to Silvaplana Lake?" said M. Moriaz. "I'm feeling so much better already, and I absolutely long, my dear, for a good walk."

"I should be delighted," said his daughter, "if you think it will not tire you."

M. Moriaz was sure an excursion would not tire him. So they set out for a long walk, through the wild mountain scenery. Antoinette was delighted to find that her father was recovering his strength, but he was alarmingly quiet and thoughtful. Was she in for one of those serious lectures on the subject of marriage which he used to read to her at Paris? Yes! Camille must have written to him. For as she was standing on a mountain bridge, listening to the liquid gurgling of the torrent at the bottom of the gorge, she said to him:

"Isn't the music of this wild stream delightful?"

"Yes!" he replied. "But I think this bridge that spans the gorge is a more wonderful thing than all the wild works of nature around us. I admire men, like our friend Camille Langis, who know how to build these bridges. What a fine fellow he is! Most men, with his wealth, lead idle, useless lives. But there he is now, building bridges across mountains just as wild as these, in Hungary. Why don't you marry him, my dear? He is madly in love with you, and you have known him all your life."

"That's just it," said his daughter, with a movement of impatience, "I have known him all my life. How can I now fall wildly and suddenly in love with him? No! If ever I lose my heart, I am sure it will be to some stranger, to someone quite different from all the men we meet in Paris."

"You are incorrigibly romantic, Antoinette," said her father, with just a touch of ill-humour. "You want a fairy prince, eh?--one of those strange, picturesque, impossible creatures that only exist in the imagination of poets and school girls. You are now twenty-four years old, Antoinette, and if you don't soon become more reasonable, you will die an old maid."

"Would that be a very great misfortune, father darling?" said Antoinette with a roguish smile. "If ever I marry, you know, I shall have to leave you. And what would you do then? You would be driven to marry your cook!"

This sally put the old scientist in a good humour. His daughter was the charm and solace of his life, and though he would have liked to see her happily married, he did not know what he should do when she left him. On the way back to the hotel, Antoinette tried to find some edelweiss, but she was not able to clamber up to the high rocks on which this rare flower grows. Great therefore were her joy and surprise, on returning to the hotel, to find on the table of her room a wicker basket, full of edelweiss, and rarer Alpine flowers. Was it for her? Yes! For in the basket was a note addressed, "Mlle. Moriaz." Fluttering with excitement she opened it, and read:

"I arrived in this valley, disgusted with life, sad, and weary to death. But I saw you pass by my window, and some strange, new power entered my soul. Now I know that I shall live, and accomplish my work in the world. 'What does this matter to me?' you will say when you read these lines--and you will be right. My only excuse for writing to you in this way is that I shall depart in a few days, and that you will never see me, and never know who I am."

After getting over her first impression of profound astonishment, Antoinette laughed, and then gave way to curiosity. Who had brought the flowers? "A little peasant boy," said the hotel porter, "but I did not know him. He must have come from another village."

For some days, Mlle. Moriaz glanced at everybody she met, but she never found a single romantic figure in the crowd of invalids that sauntered about St. Moritz. If, however, she had always accompanied her father, who, growing stronger every day, began to go out on long geological excursions, she might have met a very picturesque and striking young man. For Count Abel Larinski now always followed M. Moriaz, and watched over him like a guardian angel. "Oh, if he would only fall down one of the rocks he is always hammering at, and break a leg, or even sprain an ankle!" said the gallant Polish nobleman. "Wouldn't that be a lucky accident for me!"

All things, it is said, come to those who know how to wait. One afternoon M. Moriaz climbed up a very steep slope of crumbling rock, and came to a narrow gorge over which he was afraid to leap. He could not descend by the way he had come up, for the slope was really dangerous. It looked as though he should have to wait hours, and perhaps, days, until some herdsman passed by; and he began to shout wildly in the hopes of attracting attention. To his great joy, his shout was answered, and Count Larinski climbed up the other side of the gorge, carrying a plank, torn from a fence he passed on his way. By means of this, he bridged the gorge, and rescued the father of Antoinette, and naturally, he had to accompany him to the hotel, and stay to dinner. As we have said, Count Larinski was a very handsome man; tall, broad-shouldered, with strange green eyes touched with soft golden tints. When he began to talk, simply and modestly of the part he had played in the last Polish Revolution against the despotic power of Russia, Antoinette felt at last that she was in the presence of a hero. And what a cultivated man he was! He played the piano divinely, and they passed many pleasant evenings together. One night, the Count left behind him a piece of music, inscribed "Abel Larinski." "Surely," Mlle. Moriaz thought, "I have seen that writing somewhere!" Her breath came quickly, as with a trembling hand she took out of her bosom the letter which had been sent with the flowers, and compared the handwritings. They were identical.

II.--A Conversation with a Dead Man

Just a week afterwards, Count Larinski had a very serious conversation with his partner, Samuel Brohl. The strange thing about the conversation was that there was only one man in the room, and he talked all the time to himself. Sometimes he spoke in German with lapses into Yiddish, and any one would then have said that he was Samuel Brohl, a notorious Jewish adventurer. Then, recovering himself, he talked in Polish, and he might have been mistaken for a Polish gentleman. He seemed to be a man who was trying to study a difficult matter from two different points of view, and he undoubtedly had an actor's talent for throwing himself into the character of the nobleman he was impersonating.

"Do you see," said Samuel Brohl, "fortune at last smiles upon us. The charming girl is ours. I have won her for you, dear Larinski, by the means Othello used to charm the imagination and capture the heart of Desdemona. Do you not remember, my dear Count, the tales you used to tell us, when we were living together in a garret in Bucharest? How you fought in the streets of Warsaw against the Cossacks? How they tracked you through the snow-covered forest by the trail of blood you left behind you? Oh, I recollected it all, and I flatter myself that I related it with just that proud, sombre, subdued melancholy with which you used to speak of your sufferings."

"Do you think that she has really fallen in love with me?" asked Count Larinski. "I am afraid of her father. In spite of all that I have done for that famous man of science, he does not seem to fancy me as a son-in-law. Do you imagine it is merely because of my poverty? Or does he find anything wrong with me?"

This last question profoundly disturbed the soul of Samuel Brohl. What! were all the skilful intrigues which he had spent four years in weaving, to come to nothing? For it was now four years since Samuel Brohl had entered into his strange partnership with the Polish nobleman. Brohl himself was the son of a Jewish tavern-keeper in Gallicia. A great Russian lady, Princess Gulof, attracted by his handsome presence, and strange green eyes, had engaged him as her secretary and educated him. He had repaid her by robbing her of her jewels and running off with them to Bucharest. There he had met Count Larinski, who, for more honourable motives, was also hiding from the Russian secret police. By representing himself as a persecuted anarchist, Brohl completely won the confidence of large-hearted, chivalrous Polish patriot.

"Ah, it was a lucky chance that brought us together!" said Samuel Brohl. "If you had not met me, you would have been dead, four years ago, and clean forgotten. Do you remember your last instructions? After giving me every bit of money you had--a little over two thousand florins, wasn't it?--you showed me a box containing your family jewels, your letters, your diary, your papers, and you said to me: 'Destroy everything it contains. Poland is dead. Let my name die too!'

"But, my dear Count," continued Samuel Brohl, "how could I let a man of your heroic worth and romantic character be forgotten by the world? No, it was Samuel Brohl who died and was buried in an unknown grave. I have the certificate of his death. Count Abel Larinski still lives. It is true that he is so changed by all his sufferings that his oldest friends would never recognise him. His hair used to be black, it is now brown; his blue eyes have become golden green; moreover he has grown considerably taller. But what does it matter? He is still a handsome man, with a noble air and charming manner."

"Very well," said Count Larinski. "I must take the risk of meeting in Paris anyone who used to know me before my transformation. I will pack up and depart."

It was indeed a terrible ordeal which he had to face. By a strange irony of fate, all his skilfully conceived plans were imperilled at the very moment when his success seemed absolutely certain. As he had foreseen, M. Moriaz was not at first inclined to consent to the marriage; but Antoinette soon won her father over, and when Count Larinski called at their charming villa at Cormeilles, on the outskirts of Paris, he had as warm a welcome as the most ardent of suitors could desire.

"We must introduce you, my dear Count, to all our friends," said M. Moriaz. "We are giving a party to-morrow evening for the purpose. Of course you will be able to attend?"

"Naturally," said Larinski, "I am looking forward with the greatest eagerness to making the acquaintance of all Antoinette's friends. The only thing I regret is that none of my old comrades in the great struggle against Russia can be at my side at the happiest moment of my life. Alas! many are working in fetters in the mines of Siberia, and the rest are scattered over the face of the globe."

III.--Samuel Brohl Comes to Life

But, though none of Count Larinski's friends was able to appear at Cormeilles, one of Samuel Brohl's old acquaintances came to the party.

On entering the drawing-room, he saw an old, ugly, sharp-faced woman, talking in a corner with Camille Langis. It was Princess Gulof. It seemed to him as if the four walls of the room were rocking to and fro, and that the floor was slipping from under his feet like the deck of a ship in a wild storm. By a great effort of will, he recovered himself.

"Never mind, Samuel Brohl," he said to himself. "Let us see the game through. After all she is very shortsighted, and you may have changed in the last four years."

Antoinette presented him to the Princess, who examined him with her little, blinking eyes, and smiled on him kindly and calmly.

"What luck! What amazing luck!" he thought. "She is now as blind as an owl. If only I can escape from talking to her, I'm safe."

Unfortunately, Antoinette asked him to take the Princess in to dinner. He offered her his arm, and led her to the table, in absolute silence. She, too, did not speak; but when they sat down, she began to talk gaily to the priest of the parish, who was sitting on her right. Her sight was so bad that she had to bend over her wineglasses to find the one she wanted. Seeing this, Samuel Brohl recovered his self-confidence.

"She can't have recognised me," he thought; "my voice, my accent, my bearing, everything has changed. Poland has entered into my blood. I am no longer Samuel, I am Larinski."

Boldly entering into the general conversation, he related with a melancholy grace a story of the Polish insurrection, shaking his lion-like mane of hair, and speaking with tears in his voice. It was impossible to be more of a Larinski than he was at that moment. When he finished, a murmur of admiration ran round the table.

"Although we are mortal enemies, Count," said the Princess Gulof, "allow me to congratulate you. I hear you have won the hand of Mlle. Moriaz."

"Mortal enemies?" he said, in a low, troubled voice. "Why are we mortal enemies; my dear Princess?"

"Because I am a Russian and you are a Pole," she replied. "But we shall not have time to quarrel. I am leaving for London at seven o'clock to-morrow morning. What is the date of your wedding?"

"If I dared hope that you would do me the honour to attend it," he said, skilfully evading answering her question, "I might put it off until your return from England."

"You are too kind," said the Princess. "I would not think of delaying the happy event to which Mile. Moriaz so eagerly looks forward. What a beautiful girl she is! I dare not ask you what is her fortune. You are, I can see, an idealist. You do not trouble yourself with matters of money. But oh, you poor idealists," she whispered, leaning over him with a friendly air, "you always come to grief in the end!"

"How is that?" he said with a smile.

"You dream with your eyes open, my dear Count Larinski, and your awakening is sometimes sudden and unpleasant."

Then, advancing her head towards her companion, her little eyes flaming like a viper's, she whispered: "Samuel Brohl, I knew you all along. Your dream has come to an end."

A cold sweat broke out on the forehead of the adventurer. Leaning over the Princess, his face convulsed with hatred, he murmured:

"Samuel Brohl is not the sort of man to put up with an injury. Some years ago, he received two letters from you. If ever he is attacked, he will publish them."

Rising up, he made her a low bow, and took leave of Mlle. Moriaz and her father, and left the house. At first, he was utterly downcast, and inclined to give up the game; but as he tramped back to Paris in the moonlight, his courage returned. He had two letters which the Princess had written to him when she was engaged in Paris on a political mission of great importance, and they contained some amazing indiscretions in regard to the private lives of several august personages.

"No," he said to himself, "she will think twice before she interferes in my affairs. I can ruin her as easily as she can ruin me."

As a matter of fact, Princess Gulof was unable to sleep all that night. She was torn between the desire for vengeance and the fear of reprisals.

IV.--The Partnership is Dissolved

The next morning, after breakfast, Mlle. Moriaz was surprised to receive a visit from Princess Gulof.

"I have come to see you about your marriage," said the Princess.

"You are very kind," replied Mlle. Moriaz, "but I do not understand...."

"You will understand in a minute," said the Princess. "There's a story I want to tell you, and I think you will find it interesting. Fourteen years ago I was passing through a village in Gallicia, and the bad weather forced me to put up at a dirty inn kept by a Jew called Brohl. This Jew had a son, Samuel, a youngster with strange green eyes and a handsome figure. Finding that he was an intelligent lad, I paid for him to study at the University, and later on, I kept him as my private secretary. But about four years ago Samuel Brohl ran off with all my jewellery."

"You were indeed badly rewarded for your kindness, Madame." interrupted Antoinette; "but I do not see what Samuel Brohl has to do with my marriage."

"I was going to tell you," said the Princess. "I had the pleasure of meeting him here last night. He has got on since I lost sight of him. He is not content with changing from a Jew into a Pole; he is now a great nobleman. He calls himself Count Abel Larinski, and he is engaged to be married to Mlle. Moriaz. She is now wearing a Persian bracelet he stole from me."

"Madame," cried Antoinette, her cheeks flushing with anger, "will you dare to tell Count Larinski, in my presence, that he is this Samuel Brohl you speak of?"

"I have no desire to do so," said the Princess. "Indeed, I want you to promise me never to tell him that it was I who showed him up. Wait! I have thought of something. The middle plate of my Persian bracelet used to open with a secret spring. Open yours and if you find my name there, well, you will know where it came from."

"Unless you are willing to repeat in the presence of myself and Count Larinski all that you have just said," exclaimed Antoinette haughtily, "there is only one thing I can promise you. I shall certainly never relate to the man to whom I have the honour to be betrothed, a single word of the silly, wicked slanders that you have uttered."

Princess Gulof rose up brusquely, and stood for a while looking at Antoinette in silence.

"So, you do not believe me," she said in an ironic tone, blinking her little eyes. "You are right. Old women, you know, seldom talk sense. Samuel Brohl never existed, and I had the pleasure of dining last night with the most authentic of all the Larinskis. Pardon me, and accept my best wishes for the life-long happiness of the Count and Countess."

Thereupon she made a mocking curtsey, and turned on her heels and disappeared.

"The woman is absolutely mad," said Antoinette. "Abel will be here in a few minutes, and he will tell me what is the matter with her. I supposed they quarrelled last night about Poland. Oh dear, what funny old women there are in the world!"

As she was waiting for her lover to appear, Camille Langis came to the house. Naturally, she was not desirous of talking with her rejected suitor at that moment, and she gave him a rather frigid welcome.

"I see you don't want me," said Camille sadly, turning away.

"Of course I want you," she said, touched by the feeling he showed. "You are my oldest and dearest friend."

For a few minutes, they sat talking together, and Camille noticed the strange bracelet on her wrist, and praised its curious design. Antoinette, struck by a sudden idea, took off the Persian ornament, and gave it to Camille, saying:

"One of these plates, I believe, opens by a secret spring. You are an engineer, can you find this spring for me?"

"The middle plate is hollow," said Langis, tapping it with a pen-knife, "the other two are solid gold. Oh, what a clumsy fool I am! I have broken it open."

"Is there any writing?" said Antoinette. "Let me look."

Yes, there was a long list of dates, and at the end of the dates were written: "Nothing, nothing, nothing, that is all. Anna Gulof."

Antoinette became deathly pale; something seemed to break in her head; she felt that if she did not speak, her mind would give way. Yes, she could trust Camille, but how should she begin? She felt that she was stifling, and could not draw in enough air to keep breathing.

"What is the matter with you, dear Antoinette?" said Camille, alarmed by her pallor and her staring eyes.

She began to speak in a low, confused and broken voice, and Camille at first could not understand what she was saying. But at last he did so, and his soul was then divided between an immense pity for the grief that overwhelmed her, and a ferocious joy at the thought of the utter rout of his successful rival. Suddenly a step was heard on the garden path.

"Here he is," said Antoinette. "No, stay in here. I will call you if I want you. In spite of all I have said I shall never believe that he has deceived me unless I read the lie in his very eyes."

Instead of waiting for the visitor to be shown into her room, she ran out, and met him in the garden. He came up to her smiling, thinking that with the departure of Princess Gulof, all danger had vanished. But when he saw the white face and burning eyes of Antoinette, he guessed that she knew everything. He determined, however, to try and carry it off by sheer audacity.

"I am sorry I left so early last evening," he said, "but that mad Russian woman, whom I took into dinner, made me almost as crazy as she was herself. She ought to be in an asylum. But the night repaid me for all the worries of the evening. I dreamt of the Engadine, its emerald lakes, its pine-trees, and its edelweiss."

"I, too, had a dream last night," said Antoinette slowly. "I dreamt that this bracelet which you gave me belonged to the mad Russian woman, and that she had engraved her name inside it." She threw the bracelet at him. He picked it up, and turned it round and round in his trembling fingers, looking at the plate which had been forced open.

"Can you tell me what I ought to think of Samuel Brohl?" she asked.

The name fell on him like a mass of lead; he reeled under the blow; then, striking his head with his two fists, he answered:

"Samuel Brohl is a man worthy of your pity. If you only knew all that he has suffered, all he has dared to do, you could not help pitying him, yes, and admiring him. Samuel Brohl is an unfortunate ..."

"Scoundrel," she said in a terrible voice. "Madame Brohl!"--she began to laugh hysterically--"Madame Brohl! No, I can't become Madame Brohl. Ah! that poor Countess Larinski."

"You did not love the man," he said bitterly; "only the Count."

"The man I loved did not tell lies," she replied.

"Yes, I lied to you," he said, panting like a hunted animal, "and I take all the shame of it gladly. I lied because I loved you to madness; and I lied because you are dearer to me than honour; I lied because I despaired of touching your heart, and I did not care by what means I won you. Why did I ever meet you? Why couldn't I have passed you by, without you becoming the dream of my whole life? I have lied. Who would not lie to be loved by you?"

Never had Samuel Brohl appeared so beautiful. Despair and passion lighted up his strange green eyes with a sombre flame. He had the sinister charm of a fallen archangel, and he fixed on Antoinette a wild, fascinating glance, that said:

"What do my name, my deceptions and the rest, matter to you? My face at least is not a mask, and the man who moved you, the man who won you, was I."

Mlle. Moriaz, however, divined the thought in the eyes of Samuel Brohl.

"You are a good actor," she said between her teeth. "But it is time that this comedy came to an end."

He threw himself on the grass at her feet, and then sprang up, and tried to clasp her in his arms.

"Camille! Camille!" she cried, "save me from this man."

Langis darted out after Brohl, and the Jew took to his heels. Langis would have followed him as gladly as a hound follows a fox, but he saw Antoinette's strength had given way, and running up to her, he caught her in his arms as she reeled, and tenderly carried her into the house. That evening, Count Abel Larinski disappeared from the world. Samuel Brohl rose up from his grave at Bucharest, and took the name of Kicks, and emigrated to America some time before the marriage of Mlle. Moriaz to M. Camille Langis was announced in the "Figaro."


No Name

William Wilkie Collins was born in London on January 8, 1824. From the age of eight to fifteen he resided with his parents in Italy, and on their return to England young Collins was apprenticed to a firm of tea-merchants, abandoning that business four years later for the law. This profession also failed to appeal to him, although what he learned in it proved extremely useful to him in his literary career. His first published book was a "Life" of his father, William Collins, R.A., in 1847. The success of the work gave him an incentive towards writing, and three years later he published an historical romance, "Antonina, or The Fall of Rome." About this time he made the acquaintance of Charles Dickens, who was then editor of "Household Words," to which periodical he contributed some of his most successful fiction. "No Name," published in 1862, depended less upon dramatic situations and more upon analysis of character and the solution of a problem. That he was successful in his purpose is chiefly evidenced by the wide popularity the story received on its appearance. "The main object of the story," he wrote in the introduction to the first edition, "is to appeal to the reader's interest in a subject which has been the theme of some of the greatest writers, living and dead, but which has never been, and can never be, exhausted, because it is a subject eternally interesting to all mankind. A book that depicts the struggle of a human creature under those opposing influences of Good and Evil which we have all felt, which we have all known." Like others of Collins' stories, "No Name" was successfully presented on the stage. Wilkie Collins died on September 23, 1889.

I.--Nobody's Children

A letter from America, bearing a New Orleans stamp, had an extraordinary effect on the spirits of the Vanstone family as they sat round the breakfast table at Coome-Raven, in West Somersetshire.

"An American letter, papa!" exclaimed Magdalen, the youngest daughter, looking over her father's shoulder. "Who do you know at New Orleans?"

Mrs. Vanstone, sitting propped up with cushions at the other end of the table, started and looked eagerly at her husband. Mr. Vanstone said nothing, but his air of preoccupation and his unusual seriousness, which not even Magdalen's playfulness affected, proved clearly that something was wrong. The mystery of the letter puzzled both Magdalen and her elder sister Norah, and in particular aroused a feeling of uneasiness, impossible to explain, in the mind of the old family friend and governess, Miss Garth.

Though neither Mr. nor Mrs. Vanstone offered any explanation, Miss Garth felt more than ever certain that something unusual had occurred, when, on the following day, they announced their intention of going to London on private business. For nearly a month they stayed away, and at the end of that period returned without offering any account of what they had done on their mysterious visit.

Life at Coome-Raven went on as usual in a round of pleasant distractions. Concerts, dances, and private theatricals, in which Magdalen cut a great figure, winning even the praise of the professional manager, who begged her to call on him if ever she should require a real engagement, passed the weeks rapidly by.

To Magdalen also, the return of Frank Clare, the son of a very old friend of Mr. Vanstone's, provided an interesting interlude. As his father put it, "Frank had turned up at home again like a bad penny, and was now lurking after the manner of louts." Though Mr. Clare's estimate of his son was frankly truthful, Magdalen loved him with all the passionate warmth of her nature, and when Frank, in order to escape being sent to a business appointment in China, proposed marriage to her, she accepted him joyfully. She urged her father to consent to their immediate union.

"I must consult Frank's father, of course," he said, in conclusion. "We must not forget that Mr. Clare's consent is still wanting to settle this matter. And as we don't know what difficulties he may raise, the sooner I see him the better."

In a state of obvious dejection, he walked over to the house which Mr. Clare occupied. When, after some hours, he returned once more to Coome-Raven, he informed his daughter that Frank was to have another year's trial in London. If he proved himself capable, he should be rewarded at the end of that time with Magdalen's hand.

Both the girl and Frank were delighted, but Mr. Vanstone did not reflect their good spirits. He wired to his lawyer, Mr. Pendril, to come down from town at once to Coome-Raven. So anxious was he to see his lawyer that he drove over to the local station and took the train to the neighbouring junction where Mr. Pendril would have to change.

Hours went by, and he did not return. As the evening closed down a message was brought to Miss Garth that a man wished to speak to her. She hurried out, and found herself face to face with a porter from the junction, who explained that there had been an accident to the down train at 1.50.

"God help us!" exclaimed the governess. "The train Mr. Vanstone travelled by?"

"The same. There are seven passengers badly hurt, and two------"

The next word failed on his lips; he raised his hand in the dead silence. With eyes that opened wide in horror he pointed over Miss Garth's shoulder. She turned to see her mistress standing on the threshold with staring, vacant eyes. With a dreadful stillness in her voice, she repeated the man's last words, "Seven passengers badly hurt, and two------"

Then she sank swooning into Miss Garth's arms.

From the shock of her husband's death, Mrs. Vanstone never recovered.

Heartbroken by the death of their parents, Norah and Magdalen had yet to learn the full extent of the tragedy. That was first made clear to Miss Garth by the lawyer.

Mr. Andrew Vanstone in his youth had joined the army and gone to Canada. There he had been entrapped by a woman, whom he had married--a woman so utterly vile and unprincipled that he was forced to leave her and return to England. Shortly afterwards his father died, and, having been estranged from his elder son, Michael Vanstone, bequeathed all his property to Andrew.

Andrew Vanstone passed his life in a round of vicious pleasures, but as his better nature had almost been destroyed by a woman, so now it was retrieved by a woman. He fell in love, told the girl of his heart the truth about himself, and she, out of the love she bore him, determined to pass the rest of her life by his side, and Norah and Magdalen were the children of their union.

"Tell me," said Miss Garth, in a voice faint with emotion, as the lawyer laid bare the sad story, "why did they go to London?"

"They went to London to be married," cried Mr. Pendril.

In the letter from New Orleans, Mr. Vanstone had heard of the death of his wife, and he had at once taken the necessary steps to make the woman who had so long been his wife in the eyes of God his wife in the eyes of the law. The story would never have been known had it not been for Frank's engagement to Magdalen. The soul of honour, Mr. Vanstone thought it his duty to inform Mr. Clare fully regarding his relations with Mrs. Vanstone. His old friend proved himself deeply sympathetic, and then, being a cautious man of business, inquired what steps Mr. Vanstone had taken to provide for his daughters. The master of Coombe-Raven replied that he had long ago made a will leaving them all he possessed. When Mr. Clare pointed out that his recent marriage automatically destroyed the effect of this testament, he was greatly distressed, and, hastening home, had at once telegraphed to Mr. Pendril to come to Coome-Raven to draw up another will without any loss of time. His tragic death had prevented the execution of this plan, and the inability of Mrs. Vanstone to sign any document before she died had resulted in Norah and Magdalen being left absolutely penniless, and the estates passing to Michael Vanstone.

"How am I to tell them?" exclaimed Miss Garth.

"There is no need to tell them," said a voice behind her. "They know it already. Mr. Vanstone's daughters are 'nobody's children,' and the law leaves them helpless at their uncle's mercy!"

It was Magdalen who spoke--Magdalen, with a changeless stillness on her white face, and an icy resignation in her steady, grey eyes. From under the open window of the room in which Mr. Pendril had told his story this girl of eighteen had heard every word, and never once betrayed herself.

"I understand that my late brother"--so ran Michael Vanstone's letter of instruction to his solicitor--"has left two illegitimate children, both of them young women who are of an age to earn their own livelihood. Be so good as to tell them that neither you nor I have anything to do with questions of mere sentiment. Let them understand that Providence has restored to me the inheritance that ought always to have been mine, and I will not invite retribution on my own head by assisting those children to continue the imposition which their parents practised, and by helping them to take a place in the world to which they are not entitled."

"Norah," said Magdalen, turning to her sister, "if we both live to grow old, and if ever you forget all we owe to Michael Vanstone--come to me, and I will remind you."

II.--Tricked into Marriage

By fair means or foul, Magdalen, who, with Norah, had now made her home with Miss Garth in London, had sworn to herself that she would win back the property of which she had been robbed by Michael Vanstone. Selling all her jewellery and dresses, she managed to secure two hundred pounds, and with this sum in her pocket she secretly left home. The theatrical manager, who had offered her an engagement should she ever require it, had moved to York, and it was to that city that Magdalen hastened.

Her absence was at once discovered, and Miss Garth resorted to every possible means of tracing her to her destination. A reward of fifty pounds was offered, and her mode of procedure being suspected, handbills setting forth her appearance were posted in York. It was one of these bills that attracted the attention of a certain Captain Wragge.

Captain Wragge was the stepson of Mrs. Vanstone's mother, and had persisted in regarding himself as a member of her family, and, having known of the real relationship that existed between his half-sister and Mr. Andrew Vanstone, had obtained from the latter a small annual subsidy as the price of his silence. A confessed rogue, the captain imagined he saw in this handbill an opportunity of re-stocking his exhausted exchequer.

As he wandered on the walls of York, pondering how he should act, he met Magdalen herself, and at once greeted her as a relative. The girl would have avoided him, but on his pointing out that unless she placed herself under his protection she was bound to be discovered and taken back to her friends, she consented to accompany him to his lodgings. There he introduced her to his wife, a tall, gaunt woman with a large, good-natured, vacant face, who lived in a state of bemused terror of her husband, who bullied and dragooned her according to his mood.

After listening to the frank exposition of his character and his method of living, Magdalen decided to accept Captain Wragge's assistance. On certain terms, Wragge agreed to train her for the stage and secure her engagements, taking a half share of any money she might earn. In return for these profits, he agreed to carry out certain inquiries whenever she might think it necessary. As to the nature of these inquiries, she, for the time being, preserved silence.

Magdalen's talent for acting proved highly successful, and under the direction of the captain she began rapidly to make a reputation for herself, and at the end of six months she had saved between six and seven hundred pounds. She now decided that it was time to put her plan of retribution into execution.

At her instructions, Captain Wragge had discovered that Michael Vanstone was dead and that his son, Noel Vanstone, had succeeded to the property, and was now living with his father's old housekeeper, a certain Swiss lady, the widow of a professor of science, by name Mrs. Lecount, in Vauxhall Walk, Lambeth. The remaining information that Wragge obtained regarding the Vanstones was to the effect that the deceased Michael had a great friend in Admiral Bartram, whose nephew George was the son of Mr. Andrew Vanstone's sister, and therefore the cousin of Noel Vanstone. Having this information, Magdalen calmly informed Wragge that their alliance, for the moment, was at an end, and taking Mrs. Wragge with her, journeyed to London. There she obtained rooms directly opposite the house occupied by Noel Vanstone. Disguising herself as Miss Garth and assuming her old governess's voice and manner, she boldly visited the house. She found Noel Vanstone a weak, avaricious coward, who was already terrified by the letters she had written him demanding the restitution of her fortune. He was completely at the mercy of Mrs. Lecount.

Something about the supposed Miss Garth excited the suspicion of Mrs. Lecount, and she deliberately set about to try and make her visitor betray what she was convinced she was concealing.

"I would suggest," said Mrs. Lecount, "that you give a hundred pounds to each of these unfortunate sisters."

"He will repent the insult to the last hour of his life," said Magdalen.

The instant that answer passed her lips, she would have given worlds to recall it. Her passionate words had been uttered in her own voice. Mrs. Lecount detected the change, and, with a view to establishing some proof of the identity of her visitor, she secured, by a subterfuge, a thin strip of the old-fashioned skirt which Magdalen was wearing in the character of Miss Garth.

Foiled in her appeal to Noel Vanstone, Magdalen determined to put in train the plot she had long proposed to herself. She set out deliberately to win the property of which she and her sister had been despoiled, by winning the hand of Noel Vanstone. A letter from Frank Clare had released her from her engagement, and with a bitter heart she went down to Aldborough, in Suffolk, whither Noel Vanstone had removed for his health.

In the character of the niece of Mr. Bygrave, which role Captain Wragge adopted, she laid siege to the selfish affections of Noel Vanstone. Her task proved ridiculously easy. Noel fell hopelessly in love with her, and before many days were out proposed marriage. So far, everything had worked smoothly, but at this point Mrs. Lecount's fears were aroused. She determined to prevent the marriage at all costs, and used every possible means to dissuade her master from having anything more to do with the Bygraves, and the whole plot must have fallen to the ground had it not been for the persistence and skilful diplomacy displayed by Captain Wragge.

He arranged that Noel should visit Admiral Bartram, leaving Mrs. Lecount behind to pack up. From Admiral Bartram's he was to proceed to London, where he would be duly united to Magdalen. In order to secure the non-interference of Mrs. Lecount, the captain sent her a forged letter, summoning her at once to the death-bed of her brother at Zurich. But Mrs. Lecount was not so easily disposed of as Captain Wragge had imagined.

As soon as her master departed for Admiral Bartram's she took the opportunity, when both Magdalen and the captain were out, to visit their house. Readily persuading the simple-minded Mrs. Wragge, who had a passion for clothes, to show her Magdalen's wardrobe, she discovered there the skirt from which she had cut a piece on the occasion of the girl's visit in the character of Miss Garth.

She was detected by Captain Wragge leaving the house, but, careless of what the latter might think, she returned home in triumph. There she found the letter summoning her to Zurich. There was no time to be lost; she had to go. But before she set out she wrote a letter to Noel Vanstone, disclosing the whole facts of the conspiracy.

Captain Wragge, positive in his own mind that Mrs. Lecount had discovered everything, would have consulted Magdalen, but the girl was in a condition which prevented her from taking any active part in the affair. She wandered about Aldborough with a settled despair written clearly on the beautiful features of her face. Her woe-begone appearance attracted the attention of a certain Captain Kirke, and he carried away with him on his ship the indelible memory of her beauty.

Captain Wragge had to depend solely on his own exertions. Waiting till the housekeeper had left Aldborough, he discovered, by inquiries at the post-office, that Mrs. Lecount had written to Noel Vanstone. That letter must be stopped at all costs, and the captain acted boldly. The day was Saturday. Obtaining a special licence, he hurried off to Admiral Bartram's, before Mrs. Lecount's letter was delivered, and induced Noel Vanstone to accompany him to London. At the same time he left behind him several envelopes, addressed to "Captain Wragge," under cover of which Admiral Bartram was to forward all correspondence which might arrive after his departure. By this means, Mrs. Lecount's letter was prevented from coming into the hands of her master, and two days later Magdalen duly became the wife of Noel Vanstone.

Twelve weeks later, Noel Vanstone walked moodily about the garden of a cottage he had taken in the Highlands. That morning Magdalen, without even asking his permission, had set out for London to see her sister, and her husband, his health greatly enfeebled, was left alone, weak and miserable. He had a habit of mourning over himself, and as he rested, looking over a fence, he sighed bitterly.

"You were happier with me," said a voice at his side.

He turned with a scream to see Mrs. Lecount. She told him how his wife was Magdalen Vanstone, how she had married him simply from a desire to recover the fortune of which she had been robbed by Michael Vanstone, also suggesting that Magdalen intended to attempt his life.

Shivering with terror, Noel Vanstone became like wax in Mrs. Lecount's hands. He at once agreed to draw up a new will at her dictation, completely cutting off his wife. He bequeathed Mrs. Lecount £5,000, and declared that he wished to leave the remainder to his cousin, George Bartram. Such an arrangement, however, Mrs. Lecount foresaw, might be fraught with those very dangers which she wished to avoid. George Bartram was young and susceptible. It was conceivable that Magdalen, robbed of the stake for which she had so boldly played, might, on her husband's death, attempt to secure the prize by luring George Bartram into a marriage. At the instigation of his housekeeper, Noel Vanstone therefore bequeathed the residue of his estate absolutely to Admiral Bartram. But this will was coupled with a letter addressed to the admiral, secretly entrusting him to make the estate over to George under certain circumstances. He was to be married to, or to marry within six months, a woman who was not a widow. In the event of his not complying with these conditions, which would prevent his marriage with Magdalen, the money was to go to his married sister.

Having outwitted Magdalen, Mrs. Lecount's next object was to remove Noel Vanstone down to London. In order that he might be strong enough to travel, Mrs. Lecount prepared a favourite posset for him. Returning with the fragrant mixture, she noticed him sitting at a table, his head resting on his hand, apparently asleep.

"Your drink, Mr. Noel," she said, touching him. He took no notice. She looked at him closer Noel Vanstone was dead.

III.--The Darkest Hour

In pursuance of her determination to discover the secret trust, Magdalen secured a position as parlourmaid in Admiral Bartram's house. For days she waited for an opportunity of examining the admiral's papers. At night the admiral, who was addicted to sleep-walking, was guarded by a drunken old sea-dog, called Mazey, and in the daytime she could do nothing without being detected.

The secret trust lay heavily on the admiral's mind, and it became the more unbearable when George Bartram came down and announced his intention of marrying Norah Vanstone. George's married sister was dead, and thus one of the two objects contemplated by the secret trust had failed, and only a fortnight remained before the expiry of six months in which George Bartram had to marry in order to inherit the fortune. The admiral objected to the marriage with Norah Vanstone, but was at a loss how to dissuade George from the match.

While this problem was occupying the admiral's attention, Magdalen at last found the chance of examining her master's private apartments. Mazey, under the influence of drink, had deserted his post, and, with a basket of keys in her hands, Magdalen crept into the room where the admiral kept his papers. Drawer after drawer she opened, but nowhere could she find the secret trust.

Suddenly she heard a footstep, and turning round quickly, she saw coming towards her, in the moonlight, the figure of Admiral Bartram. Transfixed with terror, she watched him coming nearer and nearer. He did not seem to see her, and as he almost brushed past her she heard him exclaim: "Noel, I don't know where it's safe. I don't know where to put it. Take it back, Noel."

Magdalen, realising that the admiral was walking in his sleep, followed him closely. He went to a drawer in a cabinet and took out a folded letter, and putting it down before him on the table, repeated mechanically, "Take it back, Noel--take it back!"

Looking over his shoulder, Magdalen saw that the paper was the secret trust. She watched the admiral replace it in another cabinet, and then walk back silently to his bed. In another moment she had taken possession of the letter, when a hand was suddenly laid on her wrist, and the voice of old Mazey exclaimed, "Drop it, Jezebel--drop it!"

Dragging her away, old Mazey locked her in her room for the night; but early the following morning relented, and allowed her to leave the house.

Three weeks later Admiral Bartram died, and though Magdalen instructed her solicitors to set up the secret trust, and though the house was searched from top to bottom, the letter could not be found. In consequence, the property passed to George Bartram, who, two months later, married Norah Vanstone.

Magdalen gave up the struggle in despair, and not daring to return to her people, sunk lower and lower until she reached the depths of poverty. At last, in a wretched quarter in the East End, she came to the end of her resources. Ill and almost dying, the people from whom she rented her one miserable room determined to send her to the workhouse. A crowd collected to watch her departure. She was just about to be carried to a cab, when a man pushed his way through the crowd and saw her face.

That man was Captain Kirke, who had seen her at Aldborough. He at once gave instructions for her to be taken back into the house, paid a sum down for her proper treatment, and secured the services of a doctor and a nurse. Every day he came to inquire after her, and when at last, after weeks of suffering, her strength returned, it was he who brought Norah and Miss Garth to her.

After the long separation the two sisters had much to tell one another. Norah, who had bowed patiently under her misfortunes, had achieved the very object for which Magdalen had schemed in vain. She had obtained, through her marriage with George Bartram, the fortune which her father had intended for her. Among other things which she related to Magdalen was the account of how she had discovered the secret trust simply by chance. By the discovery of this document, Magdalen became entitled to half her late husband's fortune; for, the secret trust having failed, the law had distributed the estate between the deceased's next of kin--half to Magdalen and half to George Bartram. Taking the paper from her sister's hands, Magdalen tore it into pieces.

"This paper alone gives me the fortune which I obtained by marrying Noel Vanstone," she said. "I will owe nothing to my past life. I part with it as I part with these torn morsels of paper."

To Captain Kirke, Magdalen wrote the complete story of all she had done. She felt it was due to him that he should know all. She awaited the inevitable result--the inevitable separation from the man she had grown to love. When he had read it he came to her.

Near to tears, she waited to hear her fate.

"Tell me what you think of me! Tell me the truth!" she said.

"With my own lips?" he asked.

"Yes," she answered. "Say what you think of me with your own lips."

She looked up at him for the first time, and then, he stooped and kissed her.

The Woman in White

Wilkie Collins' greatest success was achieved on the appearance of "The Woman in White" in 1860, a story described by Thackeray as "thrilling." The book attracted immediate attention, Collins' method of unravelling an intricate plot by a succession of narratives being distinctly novel, and appealing immensely to the reading public.

I.--The Woman Appears

The story here presented will be told by several pens. Let Walter Hartright, teacher of drawing, aged twenty-eight, be heard first.

I had once saved Professor Pesca from drowning, and in his desire to do "a good something for Walter," the warm-hearted little Italian secured me the position of art-master at Limmeridge House, Cumberland.

It was the night before my departure to take up my duties as teacher to Miss Laura Fairlie and her half-sister, Miss Marian Halcombe, and general assistant to Frederick Fairlie, uncle and guardian to Miss Fairlie. Having bidden good-bye to my mother and sister at their cottage in Hampstead, I decided to walk home to my chambers the longest possible way round. In the after-warmth of the hot July day I made my way across the darkened Heath. Suddenly I was startled by a hand laid lightly on my shoulder. I turned to see the figure of a solitary woman, with a colourless youthful face, dressed from head to foot in white garments.

"Is that the road to London?" she said.

Her sudden appearance, her extraordinary dress, and the strained tones of her voice so surprised me that I hesitated some moments before replying. Her agitation at my silence was distressing, and calming her as well as I could, and promising to help her to get a cab, I asked her a few questions. Her answers showed that she was suffering from some terrible nervous excitement. She asked me if I knew any baronet--any from Hampshire--and seemed almost absurdly relieved when I assured her I did not. In the course of our conversation, as we walked towards St. John's Wood, I discovered a curious circumstance. She knew Limmeridge House and the Fairlies!

Having found her a cab, I bade her good-bye. As we parted she suddenly seized my hand and kissed it with overwhelming gratitude. Her conveyance was hardly out of sight when two men drove past in an open chaise, and drawing up in front of a policeman, asked him if he had seen a woman in white, promising a reward if he caught her.

"What has she done?" queried the policeman.

"Done!" exclaimed one of the men. "She has escaped from our asylum."

The day following this strange adventure I arrived at Limmeridge House, and the next morning made the acquaintance of the household. Marian Halcombe and Laura Fairlie, her half-sister, were, in point of appearance, the exact reverse of each other. The former was a tall, masculine-looking woman, with a masculine capacity for deep friendship. The latter was made in a slighter mould, with charming, delicate features, set off by a mass of pale-brown hair. Mr. Frederick Fairlie I found to be a neurotic, utterly selfish gentleman, who passed his life in his own apartments, amusing himself with bullying his valet, examining his works of art, and talking of his nerves.

With the other members of the household I soon became on a friendly footing. Miss Halcombe, when I told her of my strange adventure on Hampstead Heath, turned up her mother's correspondence with her second husband, and discovered there a reference to the woman in white, who bore a striking resemblance to Miss Fairlie. Her name was Anne Catherick. She had stayed for a short time in the neighbourhood with her mother, and had been befriended by Mrs. Fairlie.

As the months went by I fell passionately and hopelessly in love with Laura Fairlie. No word of love, however, passed between us, but Miss Halcombe, realising the situation, broke to me gently the fact that my love was hopeless. Almost from childhood Laura had been engaged to Sir Percival Clyde, a Hampshire baronet, and her marriage was due to take place shortly. I accepted the inevitable and decided to resign my position. But before I set out from Limmeridge House, many strange things happened.

Shortly before the arrival of Sir Percival Clyde to settle the details of his marriage, Laura had an anonymous letter, warning her against the union, and concluding with the words, "your mother's daughter has a tender place in my heart, for your mother was my first, my best, my only friend." Two days after the receipt of this letter I came upon Anne Catherick, busily tending the grave of Mrs. Fairlie. With difficulty I persuaded her to tell me something of her story. That she had been locked up in an asylum--unjustly, it was clear--I already knew. She confessed to having written the letter to Laura, but when I mentioned the name of Sir Percival Glyde, she shrieked aloud with terror. It was obvious that it was the baronet who had placed her under restraint.

The Fairlies' family solicitor, Mr. Gilmore, arriving next day, the whole matter was placed before him. He decided to send the anonymous letter to Sir Percival Glyde's solicitors and to ask for an explanation. Before any reply was received, I had left Limmeridge House, bidding farewell to the place where I had spent so many happy hours, and to the girl I loved.

II.--The Story Continued by Vincent Gilmore, of Chancery Lane, Solicitor to the Fairlies

I write these lines at the request of my friend, Mr. Walter Hartright, to describe the events which took place after his departure from Limmeridge House.

My letter to Sir Percival Glyde's solicitors regarding Anne Catherick's anonymous communication was answered by the baronet in person on his arrival at Limmeridge House. He was the first to offer an explanation. Anne Catherick was the daughter of one of his old family servants, and in consideration of her mother's past services he had sent her to a private asylum instead of allowing her to go to one of the public establishments where her mental condition would otherwise have compelled her to remain. Her animus against Sir Percival was due to the fact that she had discovered that he was the cause of her incarceration. The anonymous letter was evidence of this insane antipathy.

My next concern with this history deals with the drawing up of Miss Fairlie's marriage settlement. Besides being heiress to the Limmeridge property, Miss Fairlie had personal estate to the value of £20,000, derived under the will of her father, Philip Fairlie. To this she became entitled on completing her twenty-first year. She had a life interest, moreover, in £10,000, which on her death passed to her father's sister Eleanor, the wife of Count Fosco, an Italian nobleman. In all human probability the Countess Fosco would never enjoy this money, for she was well advanced in age, while Laura was not yet twenty-one.

Regarding the £20,000, the proper and fair course was that the whole amount should be settled so as to give the income to the lady for her life, afterwards to Sir Percival for his life, and the principal to the children of the marriage. In default of issue, the principal was to be disposed of as the lady might by her will direct, thus enabling her to make provision for her half-sister, Marian Halcombe. This was the fair and proper settlement, but Sir Percival's solicitors insisted that the principal should go to Sir Percival Glyde in the event of his surviving Lady Glyde and there being no issue. I protested in vain, and this iniquitous settlement, which placed every farthing of the £20,000 in Sir Percival's pocket, and prevented Miss Fairlie providing for Miss Halcombe, was duly signed.

III.--The Story Continued by Marian Halcombe in a Series of Extracts from Her Diary

Limmeridge House, November 9. I have secured for poor Walter Hartright a position as draughtsman on an expedition which is to start immediately for central South America. Change of scene may really be the salvation of him at this crisis in his life. To-day poor Laura asked Sir Percival to release her from the engagement.

"If you still persist in maintaining our engagement," she said, looking irresistibly beautiful, "I may be your true and faithful wife, Sir Percival--your loving wife, if I know my own heart, never!"

"I gratefully accept your grace and truth," he said. "The least that you can offer is more to me than the utmost that I can hope for from any other woman in the world."

December 19. I received Sir Percival's consent to live with him as companion to his wife in their new home in Hampshire. I was interested to discover that Count Fosco, the husband of Laura's Aunt Eleanor, is a great friend of Sir Percival's.

December 22, 11 o'clock. It is all over. They are married.

Black-water Park, Hampshire, June 11. Six long months have elapsed since Laura and I last saw each other. I have just arrived at her new home. My latest news of Walter Hartright is derived from an American paper. It describes how the expedition was last seen entering a wild primeval forest.

June 15. Laura has returned, and I have found her changed. The old-time freshness and softness have gone. She is, if anything, more beautiful. She refused to go into details on the subject of her married life, and the fact that we have this forbidden topic seems to make a difference to our old relations. Sir Percival made no pretence to be glad to see me. They brought two guests with them, Count Fosco and his wife, Laura's aunt. He is immensely fat, with a face like that of the great Napoleon, and eyes which have an extraordinary power. In spite of his size, he treads as softly as a cat. His manners are perfect. He never says a hard word to his wife; but, none the less, he rules her with a rod of iron. She is absolutely his slave, obedient to the slightest expression of his eyes. He manages Sir Percival as he manages his wife; and, indeed, all of us. He inquired to-day whether there were any Italian gentlemen in the neighbourhood.

June 16. Merriman, Sir Percival's solicitor, came down to-day, and I accidentally overheard a conversation which seems to indicate a determination on Sir Percival's part to raise money on Laura's security, to pay off some of his heavy debts.

June 17. Sir Percival tried to make Laura sign the document which had been brought down by Merriman. On my advice, she refused to do so without reading it. A terrible scene resulted, which was only stopped by the intervention of Count Fosco. Sir Percival swore that Laura shall sign it to-morrow. To-night, Laura and I fancied we saw a white figure in the wood.

June 18. Laura has met Anne Catherick. It was she we saw in the wood last night. She came upon Laura in the boat-house, and declared she had something to tell her. "What is it you have to tell me?" asked Laura. "The secret that your cruel husband is afraid of," she answered. "I once threatened him with the secret and frightened him. You shall threaten him with the secret and frighten him, too." When Laura pressed her, she declared somebody was watching them and, pushing Laura back into the boat-house, disappeared.

June 19. The worst has come. Sir Percival has discovered a message from Anne Catherick to Laura, promising to reveal the secret, and stating that yesterday she was followed by a "tall, fat man," clearly the count. Sir Percival was furious, and locked Laura up in her bedroom. Again the count has had to intervene on her behalf.

Later.--By climbing out on the roof of the verandah, I have overheard a conversation between the count and Sir Percival. They spoke with complete frankness--with fiendish frankness--to one another. Fosco pointed out that his friend was desperately in need of money, and that, as Laura had refused to sign the document, he could not secure it by ordinary means. If Laura died, Sir Percival would inherit £20,000, and Fosco himself obtain through his wife £10,000. Sir Percival confessed that Anne Catherick had a secret which endangered his position. This secret, he surmised, she had told to Laura; and Laura, being in love with Walter Hartright--he had discovered this--would use it. The count inquired what Anne Catherick was like.

"Fancy my wife after a bad illness with a touch of something wrong in her head, and there is Anne Catherick for you," answered Sir Percival. "What are you laughing about?"

"Make your mind easy, Percival," he said. "I have my projects here in my big head. Sleep, my son, the sleep of the just."

I crept back to my room soaked through with the rain. Oh, my God, am I going to be ill? I have heard the clock strike every hour. It is so cold, so cold; and the strokes of the clock--the strokes I can't count--keep striking in my head....

[At this point the diary ceases to be legible.]

IV.--The Story Completed by Walter Hartright on His Return, from Several Manuscripts

The events that happened after Marian Halcombe fell ill while I was still absent in South America I will relate briefly.

Count Fosco discovered Anne Catherick, and immediately took steps to put into execution the plot he had hinted at. Wearing the clothes of Lady Glyde, the unfortunate girl was taken to a house in St. John's Wood where the real Lady Glyde was expected to stay when passing through town on her way to Cumberland. Lady Glyde, on pretence that her half-sister had been removed to town, was induced to visit London, where she was met by Count Fosco, and at once placed in a private asylum in the name of Anne Catherick. Her statement that she was Lady Glyde was held to be proof of the unsoundness of her mind. Unfortunately for the count's plans, the real Anne Catherick died the day before the incarceration of Lady Glyde, but, as there was no one to prove the dates of these events, both Fosco and Sir Percival regarded themselves as secure. With great pomp the body of Anne Catherick was taken to Limmeridge and buried in the name of Lady Glyde.

As soon as Marian Halcombe recovered, the supposed death of her half-sister was broken to her. Recollecting the conversation she had overheard just before she was taken ill, she had grave suspicions as to the cause of Laura's death, and immediately instituted inquiries. In the pursuit of these inquiries she visited Anne Catherick in the asylum, and her joy in discovering Laura there instead of the supposed Anne Catherick was almost overwhelming. By bribing one of the nurses, she secured Laura's freedom, and travelled with her to Limmeridge to establish her identity. To her disgust and amazement Frederick Fairlie refused to accept her statement, or to believe that Laura was other than Anne Catherick. Count Fosco had visited and prepared him.

At this juncture I returned from South America, and, hearing of the death of the girl I loved, at once set off to Limmeridge on a sad pilgrimage to her grave. While I was reading the tragic narrative on the tombstone, two women approached. Even as the words, "Sacred to the memory of Laura, Lady Glyde," swam before my eyes, one of them lifted her veil. It was Laura.

In a poor quarter of London I took up my abode with Laura and Miss Halcombe, and while my poor Laura slowly recovered her health and spirits I devoted myself to the support of the little household, and to unravelling the mystery which surrounded the events I have here recorded. From Mrs. Clements, who had befriended poor Anne Catherick, I learnt that Mrs. Catherick had had secret meetings years before with Sir Percival Glyde in the vestry of the church at Welmingham.

To establish the exact relations between Mrs. Catherick and Sir Percival, I visited Welmingham, pursued by the baronet's agents. My interview with Mrs. Catherick satisfied me that Sir Percival was not the father of Anne, and that their secret meeting in the vestry had reference to some object other than romance. The contemptuous way in which Mrs. Catherick spoke of Sir Percival's mother set me thinking. I visited the vestry where the meetings had taken place, and examining the register, discovered at the bottom of one of the pages, compressed into a very small space, the entry of Sir Felix Glyde's marriage with the mother of Sir Percival. Hearing from the sexton that an old lawyer in the neighbouring town had a copy of this register, I visited him, and found that his copy did not contain the entry of this marriage.

Here was the secret at last! Sir Percival was the illegitimate son of his father, and had forged this entry of his father's marriage in order to secure the title and estates. Mrs. Catherick was the only person who knew of the plot. In a fit of ill-temper she had told her daughter Anne that she possessed a secret that could ruin the baronet. Anne herself never knew the secret, but foolishly repeated her mother's words to Sir Percival, and the price of her temerity was incarceration in a private asylum.

I returned post-haste to Welmingham to secure a copy of the forged entry. It was night. As I approached the church, a man stopped me, mistaking me for Sir Percival Glyde. A light in the vestry showed to me that Sir Percival had anticipated my discovery and had secretly visited the church for the purpose of destroying the evidences of his crime. But a terrible fate awaited him. Even as I approached the church, a huge tongue of flame shot up into the night sky. As I rushed forward I could hear the baronet vainly seeking to escape from the vestry. The lock was hampered, and he could not get out. I tried to force an entry, but by the time the flames were under control the end had come. We found the charred remains of the man who had walked through life as Sir Percival Clyde lying by the door.

The mystery was now unravelled, and I was free to marry my darling. The only other point that seemed to need clearing up was the parentage of the unfortunate Anne Catherick. That was elucidated by Mrs. Catherick herself. The father of Anne was Philip Fairlie, the father of Laura--a fact that accounted for the extraordinary likeness between the two girls. But though our tribulations seemed to be at an end, we had yet to establish the identity of Laura, and to deal with Count Fosco.

To Miss Halcombe the count had written a letter expressive of his admiration, and begging her, for her own sake, to let matters be. I knew the count was a dangerous enemy, who would not hesitate to employ murder if necessary to gain his ends, but I was determined to re-establish the identity of Laura. Miss Halcombe's journal afforded me a clue. I found there a statement that on the occasion of his first visit to Black-water Park the count had been very concerned to know whether there were any Italians in the neighbourhood. Without hoping that anything would result from the manoeuvre, I followed the count one night, in the company of my friend, Professor Pesca, to the theatre. The professor did not recognise Fosco, but when the count, staring round the theatre, focussed his glasses on Pesca, I saw a look of unmistakable terror come over his countenance. He at once rose from his seat and left the place. We followed.

The professor was very grave, and it was quite a different man to the light-hearted little Italian that I knew who related to me a strange chapter in his life. As a young man, Pesca had belonged to, a secret society for the removal of tyrants. He was still a member of the society, and could be called upon to act at any time. The count had also been a member of the society, and had betrayed its secret. Hence his terror of seeing Pesca.

I immediately made use of the weapon that had been placed in my hand. I went boldly to Fosco's house, and offered to effect his escape from England in return for a full confession of his share in the abduction of Lady Glyde. He threatened to kill me, but realising that I had him at my mercy, consented to my terms.

This confession completely established the identity of Laura and she was publicly acknowledged by Mr. Frederick Fairlie. Laura and I had been married some time before and we were now able to set off on our honeymoon. We visited Paris. While there, I chanced to be attracted by a large crowd that surged round the doors of the Morgue. Forcing my way through, I saw, lying within, the body of Count Fosco. There was a wound exactly over his heart, and on his arm were two deep cuts in the shape of the letter "T"--the symbol of his treason to the secret brotherhood.

When we returned to England, we lived comfortably on the income I was able to earn by my profession. A son was born to us, and when Frederick Fairlie died, it was Marion Halcombe, who had been the good angel of our lives, who announced the important change that had taken place in our prospects.

"Let me make two eminent personages known to one another," she exclaimed, with all her easy gaiety of old times, holding out my son to me: "Mr. Walter Hartright--the heir of Limmeridge House."


Called Back

Hugh Conway, the English novelist, whose real name was Frederick John Fargus, was born December 26, 1847, the son of a Bristol auctioneer. His early ambition was to lead a seafaring life, and with this object he entered the school frigate Conway--from which he took his pseudonym--then stationed on the Mersey. His father was against the project, with the result that Conway abandoned the idea and entered his parent's office, where he found ample leisure to employ himself in writing occasional newspaper articles and tales. His first published work was a volume of poems, which appeared in 1879, and achieved a moderate success. But Hugh Conway is chiefly known to the reading public for his famous story "Called Black." The work was submitted to a number of publishers before it was finally accepted and published, in 1884. Attracting little notice at first, it eventually made a hit, and within five years 350,000 copies were sold. Several other works appeared from Conway's pen in rapid succession, but none of them attained the popularity of "Called Back." Hugh Conway died at Monte Carlo on May 15, 1885.

I.--A Blind Witness

I was young, rich, and possessed of unusual vigour and strength. Life, you would think, should have been very pleasant to me. I was beyond the reach of care; I was as free as the wind to follow my own devices. But in spite of all these advantages, I was as helpless and miserable as the poorest toiler in the country.

For I was blind, stone blind!

The dread disease that robbed me of my sight had crept on me slowly through the years, and now I lay in my bedroom in Walpole Street, with my old nurse, Priscilla Drew, sleeping on an extemporised bed outside my door to tend and care for me.

It was a stifling night in August. I could not sleep. Despair filled my heart. I was blind, blind, blind! I should be blind for ever! So entirely had I lost heart that I began to think I would not have performed at all the operation which the doctors said might give me back the use of my eyes.

Presently a sudden, fierce longing to be out of doors came over me. It was night, very few people would be about. Old Priscilla slept soundly. I rose from my bed, and, dressing myself with difficulty, crept, cautious as a thief, to the street door. The street, a quiet one, was deserted. For a time I walked backwards and forwards up the street. The exercise filled me with a peculiar elation. By carefully counting my footsteps, I gauged accurately the position of my house. At last, I decided to return, and opening the door, I entered and climbed the stairs. The atmosphere of the place struck me as strange and unfamiliar. I felt for a bracket which should have been upon the wall, that I had often been warned to avoid knocking with my head. It was not there. I had entered the wrong house.

As I turned to grope my way back, I heard the murmur of voices. I made my way in the direction of these sounds to seek for assistance. Suddenly, there fell upon my ears the notes of a piano and a woman's voice singing.

Music with me was an absorbing passion. I listened enthralled, placing my ear close to the door from behind which the sound proceeded. It was a song that few amateurs would dare to attempt, and I waited eagerly to hear how the beautiful voice would render the finale. But I never heard that last movement.

Instead of the soft, sweet, liquid notes of passionate love, there was a spasmodic, fearful gasp succeeded by a long, deep groan. The music stopped abruptly, and the piercing cry of a woman rang out. I threw open the door and rushed headlong into the room. I heard an oath, an exclamation of surprise, and the muffled cry of the woman. I turned in the direction of that faint cry. My foot caught in something, and I fell prostrate on the body of a man. Before I could rise a strong hand gripped my throat and I heard the sharp click of a pistol lock.

"Spare me!" I cried. "I am blind, blind, blind!"

I lay perfectly still, crying out these words again and again.

A strong light was turned on my eyes. There was no sound in the room save the muffled cry of the woman. The hands at my throat were released, and I was ordered to stand up. Some elementary tests of my blindness were tried, and I was told to give an account of my presence in the house. My story seemed to satisfy the man who questioned me. I was bidden to sit in a chair. I could hear the sound of men carrying a heavy burden out of the room. Then the woman's moans ceased. A voice at my side bade me drink something out of a glass, enforcing the demand with a pistol at my temple. A heavy drowsiness came over me, and I sank into unconsciousness.

When I came to myself I was in my own bed in my own room, having been found, apparently in a state of helpless intoxication, lying in a street some distance from where I lived.

II.--Not for Love or Marriage

Two years elapsed. The operation had given me back the use of my eyes. I was in the city of Turin with a friend. The sight of a beautiful face lured my companion and myself into the cathedral of San Giovanni. It was the face of a young girl of about twenty-two; a face of entrancing beauty. Seated with my friend, I watched her until she rose and left with her companion, an old Italian woman. For a moment I caught a look of her dark, glorious eyes as she mechanically crossed herself with holy water. There was a dreamy, far-away look in them, a look that seemed to pass over one and see what was behind the object gazed at.

We followed her out of the cathedral and saw the old woman speak to a middle-aged, round-shouldered, bespectacled man of gentlemanly appearance.

"Do English gentlemen stare at their own countrywomen in public places like this?" said a voice at our elbows.

I turned to see a tall man of about thirty standing just behind us. His face, with its heavy moustache, sneering mouth, and darkened, sullen eyes, was not a pleasant one, and his impudent question annoyed me. My friend, with a few sharp retorts, delivered to him a crushing snub, and the man turned away, scowling. We saw him cross the road to the middle-aged man who had been speaking to the old Italian woman and her charge. And then we, too, went our way.

The girl's face haunted me, but we never saw her again in the city of Turin.

Some weeks later, when I was wandering through London, I suddenly came upon her in the company of her old nurse. I tracked her to her lodgings and there engaged rooms myself. An accident to the nurse, whose name I discovered was Theresa, gave me an opportunity of introducing myself. The girl spoke to me, but her voice and her manner was strangely apathetic. She seemed never to know me unless I spoke to her, and then, unless I asked questions, our conversation died a natural death. To make love to her seemed impossible, and yet I loved her passionately.

At last, by aid of bribes, I managed to secure the qualified assistance of Theresa. She promised to place my proposals before the girl's guardian. Of Pauline herself--such was the girl's name--Theresa would say nothing. When I asked her if she thought the girl cared for me, she replied mysteriously and enigmatically.

"Who knows? I do not know--but I tell you the signorina is not for love or marriage."

Theresa fulfilled her part of the bargain, and I received a visit from the middle-aged man I had seen in Turin. His name was Manuel Ceneri. His sister had married Pauline's father, an Englishman, March by name. He consented readily to my marriage with Pauline on one condition. I was to ask no questions, seek to know nothing of her birth and family, nothing of her early days.

Pauline was called into the room. I took her hand. I asked her to be my wife.

"Yes, if you wish it," she replied softly, without even changing colour.

She did not repulse me, but she did not respond to my affection. She remained as calm and undemonstrative as ever.

At Dr. Ceneri's strange urgency, Pauline and I were married two days later.

III.--Calling Back the Past

"Not for love or marriage!"

I learned all too soon the meaning of Theresa's words. Pauline, my wife, my love, had no past. Slowly at first, then with swift steps, the truth came home to me. The face of the woman I had married was fair as the morn; her figure as perfect as that of a Grecian statue; her voice low and sweet; but the one thing which animates every charm--the mind--was missing. Memory, except for the events of the moment before, she had none. Of all emotion she was incapable. She was sweet and docile, but her whole existence was a negative one. Such was Pauline, my wife.

When I was convinced of the truth, I placed her in charge of Priscilla and hastened to Geneva to seek an explanation from Ceneri. I should never have found the doctor had not chance thrown me in the way of the very Italian we had met outside the cathedral of San Giovanni. Knowing that he knew Ceneri, I spoke to him. At first he refused to have anything to do with me, but when I mentioned Pauline's name, he asked me what concern I had with her.

"She is my wife," I replied.

"Your wife!" he shouted. "You lie!"

I rose furiously, and bade him choose his words more carefully. After a few moments he apologised, asking me whether Ceneri knew of our marriage. "Traditore," I heard him whisper fiercely to himself when I replied in the affirmative.

After some further remarks, he consented to take me to Dr. Ceneri, telling me that his name was Macari. My interview with the doctor was somewhat unsatisfactory. Pauline had had a shock, but the nature of that shock he refused to disclose. Macari, before her illness, had imagined himself in love with her, and was furious at my marriage. One thing, however, the doctor told me, just as I left, which partially explained his consent to our union. He had been her guardian, and the fortune of £50,000 to which she was entitled he had spent in the cause of Italian freedom. Though he had betrayed his trust, he considered the cause justified the act; but he had been glad, none the less, to make her some compensation by marrying her to a wealthy Englishman.

When I left Dr. Ceneri, I met Macari lurking outside. He declared that in a few weeks he would come to England and explain much that Ceneri had left unsaid.

Several months later he kept his promise. Ceneri, he told me, had been arrested in St. Petersburg for participation in some anarchist plot, and was on his way to Siberia. Of his own personal history he discoursed at length. His name, it appeared, was really March, and he was Pauline's brother. In common with his sister, he had been robbed by Ceneri of his fortune.

He asked to see his sister, but when they met, Pauline showed no recollection of him. He called often, and she watched him, I noticed, with an eager, troubled look. One night, after dinner, as he described how, in a battle, he had killed a white-coated Austrian, he seized a knife from the table, and illustrated the downward blow with which he had saved his own life. I heard a deep sigh behind me, and turning, I saw Pauline in a dead faint. I carried her to her room. When she came to herself again, or rather when she rose in her bed and turned her face to mine, I saw in her eyes, what, by the mercy of God, I shall never again see there.

With eyes fixed and immovable, and dilated to their utmost extent, she rose and passed out of the room. I followed her. Swiftly she passed out of the house into the street, and without the slightest hesitation, turning at right angles, moved swiftly up a long, straight road. After turning once more she stopped at a three-storeyed house. Going up to the door, she laid her hand upon it. I tried to lead her gently away, but she resisted. What was I to do? The house was an empty one. I paused. Once before my latch-key had opened a strange door. Would it open this one? I tried it. It fitted exactly.

Without waiting for me, Pauline ran in ahead. I shut the door. All was darkness. I could hear Pauline moving about on the first floor. I followed her, and, striking a match, found myself in a room with folding-doors. It was furnished, but the dust lay deep everywhere. Pauline stood in the middle of the room, holding her head in her hands, striving, it seemed, to remember something. I entered the back room with the candle I had found. There was a piano there. Something induced me to sit down at it and to play the first few notes of the song I had heard that terrible night.

A nervous trembling seemed to seize Pauline. She crossed the floor towards me, and I made room for her at the piano. With a master hand she played brilliantly the prelude of the song of which I had struck a few vagrant notes. I waited breathlessly, expecting her to sing. Suddenly she started wildly to her feet and, uttering a wild cry of horror, sank into my arms. I laid her on a sofa close by. As I held her there, a strange thing happened.

The room beyond the folding-doors was lit with a brilliant light. Grouped round a table were four men. One of them was Ceneri, the other Macari. The third man was a stranger to me. These three men were looking at a fourth man--a young man who appeared to be falling out of his chair, clutching convulsively the hilt of a dagger, the blade of which had been buried in his heart, clearly by Macari, who stood over him.

I cannot explain this vision. I only saw it when I held Pauline's hand. When I let her hand drop the scene vanished. You may call it cataleptic, clairvoyant, anything you will; it was as I relate.

IV.--Seeking the Truth in Siberia

Macari called on me the day after this strange scene to ask me about the memorial to Victor Emanuel.

"Before I consent to help you," I said, "I must know why you murdered a man three years ago in a house in Horace Street."

He sprang to his feet and grasping my arm, looked intently into my eyes. I saw that he recognised me in spite of the great change that blindness makes in a face.

"Why should I deny the affair to an eye-witness? To others I would deny it fast enough. Now, my fine fellow, my gay bridegroom, my dear brother-in-law, I will tell you why I killed that man. He had insulted my family. That man was Pauline's lover!"

He saw what was in my face as I rose and walked towards him.

"Not here," he said hastily, "what good can it do here--a vulgar scuffle between two gentlemen?"

"Go," I cried, "murderer and coward. Every word you have spoken to me has been a lie, and because you hate me you have to-day told me the greatest lie of all."

He left me with a look of malicious triumph in his face. I knew he lied, but how could I prove that he lied? Only Ceneri could tell me the truth. He was in Siberia, and, mad as the scheme seemed, thither I determined to go to get the whole truth from his lips.

I exerted all the influence I possessed. I spent money freely, and with a special passport signed by the Czar himself, which placed all the resources of the Russian police at my disposal, I passed across Russia into Siberia. At last, after travelling thousands of miles, I came up with the gang of wretched prisoners in which the doctor was. Showing my papers to the officer in command, I was taken at once to the awful prison-house. I had him brought to me in a private room, and placed before him food and drink.

"I want to ask you some questions," I said, "questions which you alone can answer."

"Ask them. You have given me an hour's release from misery. I am grateful."

"The first question I have to ask is--who and what is that man Macari?"

Ceneri sprang to his feet. "A traitor! a traitor!" he cried.

It was Macari who had betrayed him. Macari was no more Anthony March, the brother of Pauline, than I was, and Pauline had never had a lover in the sense in which Macari had used the word.

Pauline was an innocent as an angel. The lie I had come so far to destroy had dissolved. There was one other question I had to ask. Who was the man Macari had killed, and what had he to do with Pauline? Ceneri's face turned ashen as I asked him the question. It was some moments before he understood that I was the man who had stumbled into the room. Then he told me all.

The murdered man was Anthony March, the brother of Pauline. As he had already confessed, Ceneri had spent all the trust-money of which he was guardian for Pauline and her brother, in the cause of Italian freedom. When the young man grew up, the time drew near when Ceneri must explain all and take the consequences. The evil day was delayed by providing him with money. That money ran out. Ceneri and the two other men, fearful of the consequences to all of them, decided upon a plan to silence Anthony. He was to be lured to the house in Horace Street, and to leave it as a lunatic in charge of a doctor and keepers. But Macari ruined the plot. He was in love with Pauline, and Anthony had spoken contemptuously of such a match for his sister. A few insolent words at the house in Horace Street, and the passionate Italian's knife had found its way into the young man's heart. It was Ceneri who had saved my life when I stumbled upon the scene. The third sharer in the tragedy, who had drowned Pauline's shrieks in a sofa cushion, had since died raving mad in a cell. That was the story.

I hastened back to England, leaving money behind me to provide a few comforts for the unfortunate prisoner. I went direct to the little village where Pauline was staying with Priscilla. I could see that she remembered me but as a person in a dream. I had to woo her now. Of our marriage she seemed to have forgotten everything. Though all the old apathy had disappeared, and her mind had once more awakened in her beautiful body, she did not remember that. I despaired at last of winning her, and I determined to bid her good-bye forever. As I sat in the woods with her for the last time, gloom in my heart, I fell into a doze. I was awakened by kisses on my cheeks. I sprang to my feet. In front of me stood Pauline, and looking into her eyes, I saw that she loved me.

She had realised on my first return that I was her husband, but had determined to find out if I loved her. As I said nothing, so she too had remained silent.

"Gilbert," she said, "I have wept, but now I smile. The past is passed. Let the love I bore my brother be buried in the greater love I give my husband. Let us turn our backs on the dark shadows and begin our lives."

Have I more to tell--one thing only. We went to Paris for our real honeymoon. The great war was over, and the Commune had just ended. In the company of a friend I saw some Communists led out to be shot, and among their faces I recognised Macari.


The Last of the Mohicans

James Fenimore Cooper, born in New Jersey on September 15, 1789, was a hot-headed controversialist of Quaker descent, who, after a restless youth, partly spent at sea, became the earliest conspicuous American novelist. Apart from fiction, Cooper's principal subject was American naval history. Though he made many enemies and lived in turmoil, the novelist had a strain of nobility in his character that is reflected throughout his formal but manly narratives. Love interest rarely rises in his stories beyond a mechanical sentimentality; it is the descriptions of adventure that attract. Nowhere are Fenimore Cooper's vivid powers of description more apparent than in "The Last of the Mohicans," the second in order of the Leatherstocking tales. In the first of the series, "The Pioneers," the Leatherstocking is represented as already past the prime of life, and is gradually being driven out of his beloved forests by the axe and the smoke of the white settler. "The Last of the Mohicans" takes the reader back before this period, to a time when the red man was in his vigour, and was a power to be reckoned with in the east of America. The third of the famous tales is "The Prairie," in which Cooper's picturesque hero is laid in his grave. Despite this, the author resuscitates him in the two remaining volumes--"The Pathfinder" and "The Deerslayer." Of these five novels, and, as a matter of fact, of all Cooper's works, "The Last of the Mohicans" is regarded as the masterpiece. In it are to be found all the author's virtues, and few of his faults. It is certainly the most popular, having been translated into several languages. It was first published in 1826. Cooper died at Cooperstown, the family locality, on September 14. 1851.

I.--Betrayed by the Redskin

It was the third year of the war between France and England in North America. At Fort Edward, where General Webb lay with five thousand men, the startling news had just been received that the French general, Montcalm, was moving up the Champlain Lake with an army "numerous as the leaves on the trees," with the forest fastness of Fort William Henry as his object.

Fort William Henry was held by the veteran Scotchman, Munro, at the head of a regiment of regulars and a few provincials. As this force was utterly inadequate to stem Montcalm's advance, General Webb at once sent fifteen hundred men to strengthen the position. While the camp was in a state of bustle consequent on the departure of this relieving force, Captain Duncan Hayward detached himself from the throng, and conducting two ladies, the daughters of Munro, Alice and Cora, to their horses, mounted another steed himself. It was his welcome duty to see that the ladies reached Fort William Henry in safety. In order that they might make the journey the more expeditiously, they had obtained the services of a famous Indian runner, known by the name of Le Renard Subtil, whose native appellation was Magua.

The party had but five leagues to traverse, and Magua had undertaken to lead them a short way through the forest. The girls hesitated as they reached the point where they left the military road and had to take to a narrow and blind path amidst the dense trees and undergrowth. The terrifying aspect of the guide and the loneliness of the route filled them with alarm.

"Here, then, lies our way," said Duncan in a low voice. "Manifest no distrust, or you may invite the danger you appear to apprehend."

Taking this hint, the girls whipped up their horses and followed the runner along the dark and tangled pathway. They had not gone far when they heard the sounds of a horse's hoofs behind them, and presently there dashed up to their side a singular-looking person, with extraordinary long thin legs, an emaciated body, and an enormous head. The grotesqueness of his figure was enhanced by a sky-blue coat and a soiled vest of embossed silk embroidered with tarnished silver lace. Coming up with the party, he declared his intention of accompanying them to Fort William Henry. Refusing to listen to any objection, he took from his vest a curious musical instrument, and, placing it to his mouth, drew from it a high, shrill sound. This done, he began singing in full and melodious tones one of the New England versions of the Psalms.

Magua whispered something to Heyward, and the latter turned impatiently to David Gamut--such was the singer's name--and requested him in the name of common prudence to postpone his chant until a safer opportunity. The Indian allies of Montcalm, it was known, swarmed in the forest, and the object of the party was to move forward as quietly as possible.

As the cavalcade pressed deeper into the wild thicket, a savage face peered out at them from between the bushes. A gleam of exultation shot across his darkly painted lineaments as he watched his victims walking unconsciously into the trap which Magua had prepared.

II.--In the Nick of Time

Within an hour's journey of Fort Edward two men were lingering on the banks of a small stream. One of them was a magnificent specimen of an Indian--almost naked, with a terrific emblem of death painted upon his chest. The other was a European, with the quick, roving eye, sun-tanned cheeks, and rough dress of a hunter.

"Listen, Hawk-eye," said the Indian, addressing his companion, "and I will tell you what my fathers have said, and what the Mohicans have done. We came and made this land ours, and drove the Maquas who followed us, into the woods with the bears. Then came the Dutch, and gave my people the fire-water. They drank until the heavens and the earth seemed to meet. Then they parted with their land, and now I, that am a chief and a Sagamore, have never seen the sun shine but through the trees, and have never visited the graves of my fathers. When Uncas, my son, dies, there will no longer be any of the blood of the Sagamores. My boy is the last of the Mohicans."

"Uncas is here," said another voice, in the same soft, guttural tones. "Who speaks to Uncas?" At the next instant a youthful warrior passed between them with a noiseless tread, and seated himself by the side of his father, Chingachgook. "I have been on the trail of the Maquas, who lie hid like cowards," continued Uncas.

Further talk regarding their hated enemies, the Maquas, who acted as the spies of Montcalm, was cut short by the sound of horses' feet. The three men rose to their feet, their eyes watchful and attentive, and their rifles ready for any emergency.

Presently, the cavalcade from Fort Edward appeared, and Heyward, addressing Hawk-eye, asked for information as to their whereabouts, explaining that they had trusted to an Indian, who had lost his way.

"An Indian lost in the woods?" exclaimed the scout. "I should like to look at the creature."

Saying this, he crept stealthily into the thicket. In a few moments he returned, his suspicions fully confirmed. Magua had clearly led the party into a trap for purposes of his own, and Hawk-eye at once took steps to secure his capture. While Heyward held the runner in conversation, the scout and the two Mohicans crept silently through the undergrowth to surround him, but the slight crackle of a breaking stick aroused Magua's suspicion, and, even as the ambush closed on him, he dodged under Heyward's arms and vanished into the opposite thicket.

Hawk-eye was too well acquainted with Indian ways to think of pursuing, and, restraining the eagerness of Heyward, who would have followed Magua, and would have been undoubtedly led to the place where the scalping-knives of Magua's companions awaited him, the scout called a council of war.

The position was serious in the extreme, how serious was disclosed that night as they lay hid in a cave.

Suddenly, with blood-curdling yells, the Maquas surrounded them. They were surrounded completely, and, to add to the terrors of their situation, they discovered that their ammunition was exhausted. There seemed nothing to be done but die fighting. It was Cora who suggested an alternative: that Hawk-eye and the two Mohicans should make for Fort William Henry and procure from their father, Munro, enough men to take them back in safety. It was the one desperate chance, and the Mohicans took it. Dropping silently down the river, they disappeared. Duncan, David, and the two girls were left alone; but not for long. As the night drew out, a body of the Maquas, swimming across the river, entered the cave, and made the whole party prisoners.

It was Magua who directed all these operations, and it was Magua who announced their fate to his prisoners. Alice should go back to her father, but Cora was to become his squaw in an Indian wigwam.

"Monster!" cried Cora, when this proposal was laid before her. "None but a fiend could meditate such a vengeance!"

Magua answered with a ghastly smile, and, at his command, the Indians, seizing their white victims, bound them to four trees. Stakes of glowing wood were prepared for their torture. Once more Magua offered the alternative of dishonour or death. Cora wavered, but Alice strengthened her resolution.

"No, no!" she cried. "Better that we die as we have lived, together."

"Then die!" shouted Magua, hurling his tomahawk at the girl's head. It missed her by an inch. Another savage rushed to complete the terrible deed. Maddened at the sight, Duncan broke his bonds, and flung himself on the savage. He was at once overpowered. He saw a knife glistening above his head; it was just about to descend. Suddenly there was a sharp crack of a rifle, and his assailant fell dead at his feet. At the same moment Hawk-eye and the two Mohicans dashed into the encampment. In a few moments the six Indians, taken by surprise, were killed; only Magua lived. He seemed to be at the mercy of Chingachgook. Already he lay apparently lifeless. The Mohican rose with a yell of triumph, and raised his knife to give the final blow. Even as he did so Magua rolled himself over the edge of the precipice near which he lay, and, alighting on his feet, leapt into the centre of a thicket of low bushes and disappeared.

III.--"The Jubilee of Devils"

The party had reached William Henry only to leave it again. Montcalm asked for an interview with Munro, and through Duncan, who acted as the latter's representative, explained that it was hopeless to think of holding the fort. General Webb had withdrawn the relieving force, and the English were outnumbered by about twenty to one. With chivalrous courtesy, the French general proposed that his brave enemies should march out with their arms and ammunition and all the honours of war. These conditions Munro sadly accepted. Compelled to be with his men, Munro entrusted his daughters to the care of David.

According to the conditions of the surrender, the troops marched out. Behind them came the women and stragglers, the French and their native allies watching them in silence. At the other side of the plain was a defile. The troops slowly entered this, and disappeared. The rear-guard of civilians was now left alone on the plain. Cora, as she pressed slowly onwards with her sister and David, saw Magua addressing the natives, speaking with his fatal and artful eloquence. The effect of his words was soon seen.

One of the savages, attracted by the shawl in which a mother had wrapped her baby, seized the child, and dashed its brains out on the ground. As the mother sprang forward, he buried his tomahawk in her brain. It was the signal for a massacre. Magua raised the fatal and appalling war-whoop. At its sound two thousand savages broke from the wood and fell upon the unresisting victims. Death was everywhere, and in his most terrific and disgusting aspect.

"It is the jubilee of devils," said David, who, in spite of his uselessness, never dreamed of deserting his trust. "If David tamed the evil spirit of Saul, it may not be amiss to try the potency of music here."

He poured out a strain of song that echoed even over the din of that bloody field. Magua heard it and, through the throng of savages, rushed to their side.

"Come," he cried, seizing Alice in his blood-stained arms; "the wigwam of the Huron is still open!"

In vain Cora begged him to release her sister. Across the plain he bore her swiftly, followed by Cora and David. As soon as he reached the woods, he placed the two girls on horses that were waiting there, and, never heeding David, who mounted the remaining steed, dashed forward into the wilds.

IV.--Captives of the Hurons

Three days after the surrender of the fort, Hawk-eye and his two Mohican companions, accompanied by Munroe and Duncan, stood upon the fatal plain. Everywhere they had searched for the bodies of the two girls, and nowhere could they be found. It was clear to Hawk-eye that they still lived, and had been carried off by Magua. With untiring energy he at once set off to try and discover the trail. It was Uncas, who, finding a portion of Cora's skirt caught on a bush, first opened up the line of pursuit. He it was, too, who read the track of Magua's feet on the ground--the unmistakable straddling toe of the drinking savage. An ornament dropped by Alice, and the large footprints of the singing-master, laid bare to the trained intelligence of the Indian scout everything that had happened.

As they reached the outskirts of a clearing, they perceived a melancholy-looking savage in war-paint and moccasins seated by the side of a stream watching a colony of beavers busily engaged in making a dam. Duncan was about to fire, but Hawk-eye, roaring with laughter, stayed his arm. The savage was none other than David.

Alice and Cora were near at hand, and Duncan was all eager to make his way to their side. Hawk-eye so far humoured his whim as to consent to his visiting the encampment disguised as a medicine man.

As soon as he entered the camp he declared that he had been sent by the Grand Monarque to heal the ills of the Hurons. The chief to whom he spoke listened to him for some time, and then asked him to show his skill by frightening away the evil spirit that lived in the wife of one of his young men. Duncan could not refuse, though he felt certain that the trial of his skill would result in the detection of his disguise. Just as the chief was about to lead the way to the woman's side, Magua joined the group, to be followed shortly afterwards by a number of young men bringing with them a prisoner. A cry went up, "Le Cerf Agile!" and every warrior sprang to his feet. To his dismay, Duncan saw that it was Uncas. Magua gazed at his captive gravely for some time; then, raising his arm, shook it at him, exclaiming, "Mohican, you die!"

Duncan's conductor led him to a cave which went some distance into the rocky side of the mountain. As he entered, Duncan saw a dark; mysterious-looking object that rose unexpectedly in his path. It was a bear, and though the young soldier knew that the Indians often kept such animals as pets, its deep growls, and the manner in which it clutched at him as he passed up the long, narrow passage of the cave, caused him not a little uneasiness.

Having shown him the sick woman, who, it was clear, was dying, the Indians left the supposed medicine man to fight the devils by himself. To his horror, Duncan saw that the bear remained behind, growling savagely. Watching it uneasily, he noticed its head suddenly fall on one side, and in its place appeared the sturdy countenance of the scout. As quickly as he could Hawk-eye explained how he had come across a wizard preparing for a séance, how he had knocked him on the head and taken the bear's skin in which the charlatan had proposed to make his magic.

While the scout rearranged his disguise, Duncan, searching the cave, in another compartment discovered Alice. But even as the girl was in the first throes of delight at this unexpected meeting, the guttural laugh of Magua was heard, and she saw the dark form and malignant visage of the savage.

"Huron, do your worst!" exclaimed the excited Heyward, as he saw that all his plans were brought to nought.

"Will the white man speak these words at the stake?" asked Magua, turning to leave the cave. As he did so the bear growled loudly and threateningly; believing it to be one of the wizards, Magua attempted to pass it contemptuously. Suddenly the animal rushed at him, and, seizing him in its arms, completely overpowered him. Duncan at once ran to the scout's assistance, and secured the savage.

At Hawk-eye's suggestion, Alice was wrapped up in the dying woman's clothes, and, completely hidden from view, was carried out of the cave.

"The disease has gone out of her," explained Duncan to the father and husband who waited without. "I go to take the woman to a distance, where I will strengthen her against any further attack. Let my children wait without, and if the evil spirit appears beat him down with clubs."

Leaving the Indians with a certainty that they would not enter the cavern and discover Magua, Duncan and the scout made their way to the hut where Uncas lay bound. Entering with David, they released the Mohican, and immediately hastened to take the next step suggested by the resourceful Hawk-eye. David was secure from all harm; so the scout, stepping out of his bear-skin, dressed himself in the singing-master's clothes, while Uncas donned the wizard's disguise. Thus arrayed they ventured out among the natives, leaving David within. Without being suspected, they passed through the encampment; but they had not got far before a yell announced that their subterfuge had been discovered. Uncas cast his skin, and having used their rifles with deadly effect, he and the scout made their escape into the woods, taking Alice with them.

V.--Hawk-eye's Revenge

Magua, for motives of policy, had, while keeping Alice in his own hands, entrusted Cora to the neighbouring tribe of Tortoise Delawares. Thither went Magua, to find that the scout and his companions were before him. Nothing daunted, Magua almost persuaded the Tortoises to surrender the girl. As the chief of the tribe hesitated how to act, Uncas stepped forward and bared his breast. A cry rose from all present, for there, delicately tatooed on the young Mohican's skin, was the emblem of a Tortoise. In him the tribe recognised the long-lost scion of the purest race of the Delawares, who, tradition said, still wandered far and unknown on the hills and through the forests.

But in spite of Uncas's authority, the Indian law could not be set aside. Cora was Magua's captive of war. He had sought her in peace, and she must follow him. By all the laws of Indian hospitality his person was sacred till the setting of the sun.

As soon as the Maquas had disappeared, the Tortoises made ready for war, with all the grim and terrifying ceremonies of their race. As hour after hour slipped by, the savage spirit of the tribe increased in fury. Uncas alone remained unmoved. Standing in the midst of the now maddened savages, he kept his eyes fixed upon the declining sun. It dipped beneath the horizon; at once the whole encampment was broken up, and the warriors rushed down the trail which Magua had followed.

As soon as they came in touch with the enemy, a desperate and bloody battle was fought. Under the leadership of the two Mohicans and Hawk-eye, victory swayed to the side of the Tortoises. Huron after Huron fell, until only Magua and two companions were left. Then, with a yell, Le Renard Subtil rushed from the field of battle, and, seizing Cora, ran up a steep defile towards the mountains. On the side of the precipice Cora refused to move any farther.

"Woman!" cried Magua, raising his knife, "choose--the wigwam or the knife of Le Subtil?"

Cora neither heard nor heeded his demands. Magua trembled in every fibre. He raised his arm on high. Just then a piercing cry was heard from above, and Uncas leapt frantically from a fearful height upon the ledge on which they stood. He fell prostrate for a moment. As he lay there, Magua plunged his knife into his back, and at the same moment one of the other Indians stretched Cora lifeless. With the last effort of his strength Uncas rose to his feet, and hurled Cora's murderer into the abyss below. Then, with a stern and steady look, he turned to Le Subtil and indicated with the expression of his eye all that he would do had not the power deserted him, Magua seized his nerveless arm and stretched him dead by passing his dagger several times through his body.

"Mercy!" cried Heyward from above. "Give mercy, and thou shalt receive it!"

For answer, Magua raised a shout of triumph, and, leaping a wide fissure, made for the summit of the mountain. A single bound would carry him to the brow of the precipice and assure his safety. Before taking the leap he shook his hand defiantly at Hawk-eye, who waited with his rifle raised.

"The pale faces are dogs! The Delawares women! Magua leaves them on the rocks for the crows!"

Making a desperate leap, and falling short of his mark, Magua saved himself by grasping some shrub on the verge of the height. With an effort he pulled himself up. Hawk-eye, whose rifle shook with suppressed excitement, watched him closely. As his body was thus collected together, he drew the weapon to his shoulder and fired.

The arms of the Huron relaxed and his body fell back a little, but his knees still kept their position. Turning a relentless look on his enemy, he shook his hand at him in grim defiance. But his hold loosened, and his dark person was seen cutting the air, with its head downwards, for a fleeting instant, until it glided past the fringe of shrubbery in its rapid flight to destruction.

The Spy

Cooper's first success, "The Spy," appeared when he was thirty-two, and his novel-writing period extended over a quarter of a century. The best tales--the famous Leatherstocking series--were begun two years after "The Spy." Susceptible patriotism has discovered in his writings an anti-English bias, but "The Spy" is rather a proof of balanced judgment in the midst of sharp national antagonisms.

I.--Uncomfortable Visitors

Near the close of the year 1780 a solitary traveller was pursuing his way through one of the numerous little valleys of New York State which were then common ground for the British and Revolutionary forces. Anxious to obtain a speedy shelter from the increasing violence of the storm, the traveller knocked at the door of a house which had an air altogether superior to the common farmhouses of the country. In answer to his knocking, an aged black appeared, and, without seeming to think it necessary to consult his superiors, acceded to the request for accommodation.

The stranger was shown into a neat parlour, where, after politely repeating his request to an old gentleman who arose to receive him, and paying his compliments to three ladies who were seated at work with their needles, he commenced laying aside his outer garments, and exhibited to the scrutiny of the observant family party a tall and graceful person, apparently fifty years of age. His countenance evinced a settled composure and dignity; his eye was quiet, thoughtful, and rather melancholy; the mouth expressive of decision and much character. His whole appearance was so decidedly that of a gentleman that the ladies arose and, together with the master of the house, received anew and returned the complimentary greetings suitable for the occasion.

After handing a glass of excellent Madeira to his guest, Mr. Wharton, for so was the owner of this retired estate called, threw an inquiring glance on the stranger and asked, "To whose health am I to have the honour of drinking?"

The traveller replied, while a faint tinge gathered on his features--"Mr. Harper."

"Mr. Harper," resumed the other, with the formal precision of the day, "I have the honour to drink your health, and to hope you will sustain no injury from the rain to which you have been exposed."

Mr. Harper bowed in silence to the compliment, and seated himself by the fire with an air of reserve that baffled further inquiry.

The storm now began to rage without with great violence, and on the way being led to the supper-table a loud summons again called the black to the portal. In a minute he returned and informed his master that another traveller desired shelter for the night.

Mr. Wharton, who had risen from his seat in evident uneasiness, scarcely had time to bid the black show the second man in before the door was thrown hastily open and the stranger himself entered the apartment. He paused a moment as the person of Harper met his view, and then repeated the request he had made through the servant.

Throwing aside a rough great-coat, the intruder very composedly proceeded to allay the cravings of an appetite which appeared by no means delicate. But at every mouthful he turned an unquiet eye on Harper, who studied his appearance with a closeness that was very embarrassing. At length, pouring out a glass of wine and nodding to his examiner, the newcomer said, "I drink to our better acquaintance, sir; I believe this is the first time we have met, though your attention would seem to say otherwise."

"I think we have never met before, sir," replied Harper, with a slight smile, and then, appearing satisfied with his scrutiny, he rose and desired to be shown to his place of rest.

The knife and fork fell from the hands of the unwelcome intruder as the door closed on the retiring figure of Harper; listening attentively he approached the door, opened it--amid the panic and astonishment of his companions--closed it again, and in an instant the red wig which concealed his black locks, the large patch which hid half his face, the stoop that made him appear fifty years of age, disappeared.

"My father! my dear father!" cried the handsome young man.

"Heaven bless you, my Henry, my son," exclaimed the astonished and delighted parent, while his sisters sank on his shoulders dissolved in tears.

A twelvemonth had passed since Captain Wharton had seen his family, and now, having impatiently adopted the disguise mentioned, he had unfortunately arrived on the evening that an unknown and rather suspicious guest was an inmate of the house.

"Do you think he suspects me?" asked the captain.

"How should he?" cried Sarah, his elder sister, "when your sisters and father could not penetrate your disguise."

"There is something mysterious in his manner; his looks are too prying for an indifferent observer," continued young Wharton thoughtfully, "and his face seems familiar to me. The recent fate of André has created much irritation on both sides. The rebels would think me a fit subject for their plans should I be so unlucky as to fall into their hands. My visit to you would seem to them a cloak to other designs."

II.--The Disguise That Failed

The morning still forbade the idea of exposing either man or beast to the tempest. Harper was the last to appear, and Henry Wharton had resumed his disguise with a reluctance amounting to disgust, but in obedience to the commands of his parent.

While the company were yet seated at breakfast, Caesar, the black, entered and laid a small parcel in silence by his master.

"What is this, Caesar?" inquired Mr. Wharton, eyeing the bundle suspiciously.

"The baccy, sir; Harvey Birch, he got home, and he bring you a little good baccy."

To Sarah Wharton this intelligence gave unexpected pleasure, and, rising from her seat, she bade the black show Birch into the apartment, adding suddenly, with an apologising look, "If Mr. Harper will excuse the presence of a pedlar."

The stranger bowed a silent acquiescence, while Captain Wharton placed himself in a window recess, and drew the curtain before him in such a manner as to conceal most of his person from observation.

Harvey Birch had been a pedlar from his youth, and was in no way distinguished from men of his class but by his acuteness and the mystery which enveloped his movements. Those movements were so suspicious that his imprisonments had been frequent.

The pedlar soon disposed of a considerable part of the contents of his pack to the ladies, telling the news while he displayed his goods.

"Have you any other news, friend?" asked Captain Wharton, in a pause, venturing to thrust his head without the curtains.

"Have you heard that Major André has been hanged?" was the reply.

"Is there any probability of movements below that will make travelling dangerous?" asked Harper.

Birch answered slowly, "I saw some of De Lancey's men cleaning their arms as I passed their quarters, for the Virginia Horse are now in the county."

"You must be known by this time, Harvey, to the officers of the British Army," cried Sarah, smiling at the pedlar.

"I know some of them by sight," said Birch, glancing his eyes round the apartment, taking in their course Captain Wharton, and resting for an instant on the countenance of Harper.

The party sat in silence for many minutes after the pedlar had withdrawn, until at last Mr. Harper suddenly said, "If any apprehensions of me induce Captain Wharton to maintain his disguise, I wish him to be undeceived; had I motives for betraying him they could not operate under present circumstances."

The sisters sat in speechless surprise, while Mr. Wharton was stupefied; but the captain sprang into the middle of the room, and exclaimed, as he tore off his disguise, "I believe you from my soul, and this tiresome imposition shall continue no longer. You must be a close observer, sir."

"Necessity has made me one," said Harper, rising from his seat.

Frances, the younger sister, met him as he was about to withdraw, and, taking his hand between both her own, said with earnestness, "You cannot, you will not betray my brother!"

For an instant Harper paused, and then, folding her hands on his breast, replied solemnly, "I cannot, and I will not!" and added, "If the blessing of a stranger can profit you, receive it." And he retired, with a delicacy that all felt, to his own apartment.

In the afternoon the sky cleared, and as the party assembled on the lawn to admire the view which was now disclosed, the pedlar suddenly appeared.

"The rig'lars must be out from below," he remarked, with great emphasis; "horse are on the road; there will soon be fighting near us." And he glanced his eye towards Harper with evident uneasiness.

As Birch concluded, Harper, who had been contemplating the view, turned to his host and mentioned that his business would not admit of unnecessary delay; he would therefore avail himself of the fine evening to ride a few miles on his journey.

There was a mutual exchange of polite courtesy between the host and his parting guest, and as Harper frankly offered his hand to Captain Wharton, he remarked, "The step you have undertaken is one of much danger, and disagreeable consequences to yourself may result from it. In such a case I may have it in my power to prove the gratitude I owe your family for its kindness."

"Surely, sir," cried the father, "you will keep secret the discovery which your being in my house has enabled you to make?"

Harper turned to the speaker, and answered mildly, "I have learned nothing in your family, sir, of which I was ignorant; but your son is safer from my knowledge of his visit than he would be without it."

And, bowing to the whole party, he rode gracefully through the little gate, and was soon lost to view.

"Captain Wharton, do you go in to-night?" asked the pedlar abruptly, when this scene had closed.

"No!" said the captain laconically.

"I rather guess you had better shorten your visit," continued the pedlar, coolly.

"No, no, Mr. Birch; here I stay till morning! I brought myself out, and can take myself in. Our bargain went no further than to procure my disguise and to let me know when the coast was clear, and in the latter particular you were mistaken."

"I was," said the pedlar, "and the greater the reason why you should go back to-night. The pass I gave you will serve but once."

"Here I stay this night, come what will."

"Captain Wharton," said the pedlar, with great deliberation, "beware a tall Virginian with huge whiskers; he is below you; the devil can't deceive him; I never could but once."

III.--A Dangerous Situation

The family were assembled round the breakfast-table in the morning when Caesar, who was looking out of the window, exclaimed, "Run, Massa Harry, run; here come the rebel horse."

Captain Wharton's sisters, with trembling hands, had hastily replaced the original disguise, when the house was surrounded by dragoons, and the heavy tread of a trooper was heard outside the parlour door. The man who now entered the room was of colossal stature, with dark hair around his brows in profusion, and his face nearly hid in the whiskers by which it was disfigured. Frances saw in him at once the man from whose scrutiny Harvey Birch had warned them there was much to be apprehended.

"Has there been a strange gentleman staying with you during the storm?" asked the dragoon.

"This gentleman here favoured us with his company during the rain," stammered Mr. Wharton.

"This gentleman!" repeated the other, as he contemplated Captain Wharton with a lurking smile, and then, with a low bow, continued, "I am sorry for the severe cold you have in your head, sir, causing you to cover your handsome locks with that ugly old wig."

Then, turning to the father, he proceeded, "Then, sir, I am to understand a Mr. Harper has not been here?"

"Mr. Harper?" echoed the other; "yes, I had forgotten; but he is gone, and if there is anything wrong in his character we are in entire ignorance of it."

"He is gone--how, when, and whither?"

"He departed as he arrived," said Mr. Wharton, gathering confidence, "on horseback, last evening; he took the northern road."

The officer turned on his heel, left the apartment, and gave orders which sent some of the horsemen out of the valley, by its various roads, at full speed.

Then, re-entering the room, he walked up to Wharton, and said, with some gravity, "Now, sir, may I beg to examine the quality of that wig? And if I could persuade you to exchange this old surtout for that handsome blue coat, I think you never could witness a more agreeable metamorphosis."

Young Wharton made the necessary changes, and stood an extremely handsome, well-dressed young man.

"I am Captain Lawton, of the Virginian Horse," said the dragoon.

"And I, sir, am Captain Wharton, of His Majesty's 60th Regiment of Foot," returned Henry, bowing.

The countenance of Lawton changed from quaintness to great earnestness, as he exclaimed, "Then, Captain Wharton, from my soul I pity you!"

Captain Lawton now inquired if a pedlar named Birch did not live in the valley.

"At times only, I believe, sir," replied Mr. Wharton cautiously. "He is seldom here; I may say I never see him."

"What is the offence of poor Birch?" asked the aunt.

"Poor!" cried the captain; "if he is poor, King George is a bad paymaster."

"I am sorry," said Mr. Wharton, "that any neighbour of mine should incur displeasure."

"If I catch him," cried the dragoon, "he will dangle from the limbs of one of his namesakes."

In the course of the morning Major Dunwoodie, who was an old friend of the family, and the lover of Frances, the younger daughter, arrived, took over the command of the troop, and inquired into the case of his friend the prisoner.

"How did you pass the pickets in the plains?" he asked.

"In disguise," replied Captain Wharton; "and by the use of this pass, for which I paid, and which, as it bears the name of Washington, is, I presume, forged."

Dunwoodie caught the paper eagerly, and after gazing at the signature for some time, said, "This name is no counterfeit. The confidence of Washington has been abused. Captain Wharton, my duty will not suffer me to grant you a parole--you must accompany me to the Highlands."

IV.--Justice by Evasion

The Wharton family, by order of Washington, now removed to the Highlands, out of the region of warlike operations, and Captain Wharton was brought to trial. The court condemned him to execution as a spy before nine o'clock on the morning following the trial, the president, however, expressing his intention of riding to Washington's headquarters and urging a remission of the punishment. But the sentence of the court was returned--approved. All seemed lost.

"Why not apply to Mr. Harper?" said Frances, recollecting for the first time the parting words of their guest.

"Harper!" echoed Dunwoodie, who had joined the family consultation. "What of him? Do you know him?"

"He stayed with us two days. He seemed to take an interest in Henry, and promised him his friendship."

"What!" exclaimed the youth, in astonishment, "did he know your brother?"

"Certainly; it was at his request that Henry threw aside his disguise."

"But," said Dunwoodie, "he knew him not as an officer of the royal army?"

"Indeed he did, and cautioned him against this very danger, bidding him apply to him when in danger and promising to requite the son for the hospitality of the father."

"Then," cried the youth, "will I save him. Harper will never forget his word."

"But has he power," said Frances, "to move Washington's stubborn purpose?"

"If he cannot," shouted Dunwoodie, "who can? Rest easy, for Henry is safe."

It was while these consultations were proceeding that a divine of fanatical aspect, preceded by Cæsar, sought admission to the prisoner to offer him the last consolations of religion, and so persistent were his demands that at last he was allowed a private interview. Then he instantly revealed himself as Harvey Birch, and proceeded to disguise Captain Wharton as Cæsar, the black servant, who had entered the room with him. So complete was the make-up that the minister and Wharton passed unsuspected through the guard, and it was only when the officer on duty entered the room to cheer up the prisoner after his interview with the "psalm-singer" that the real Cæsar was discovered, and in fright hurriedly revealed that the consoling visitor had been the pedlar spy.

The pursuit was headlong and close, but when once the rocky fastnesses were reached the heavy-booted dragoons were, for the moment, out of the chase, and Harvey Birch conducted Captain Wharton at leisure towards one of his hiding-places, while the mountain was encircled by the watchful troopers.

V.--Unexpected Meetings

When passing into the Highlands from her now desolated home, Frances Wharton had noticed under the summit of one of the rockiest heights, as a stream of sunlight poured upon it, what seemed to be a stone hut, though hardly distinguishable from the rocks. Watching this place, for it was visible from her new home, she had fancied more than once that she saw near the hut a form like that of Harvey Birch. Could it be one of the places from which he kept watch on the plains below? On hearing of her brother's escape, she felt convinced that it was to this hut that the pedlar would conduct him, and there, at night, she repaired alone--a toilsome and dangerous ascent.

The hut was reached at last, and the visitor, applying her eye to a crevice, found it lighted by a blazing fire of dry wood. Against the walls were suspended garments fitted for all ages and conditions, and either sex. British and American uniforms hung side by side. Sitting on a stool, with his head leaning on his hand, was a man more athletic than either Harvey or her brother. He raised his face and Frances instantly recognised the composed features of Harper. She threw open the door of the hut and fell at his feet, crying, "Save him, save my brother; remember your promise!"

"Miss Wharton!" exclaimed Harper. "But you cannot be alone!"

"There is none here but my God and you, and I conjure you by His sacred Name to remember your promise!"

Harper gently raised her, and placed her on the stool, saying, "Miss Wharton, that I bear no mean part in the unhappy struggle between England and America, it might now be useless to deny. You owe your brother's escape this night to my knowledge of his innocence and the remembrance of my word. I could not openly have procured his pardon, but now I can control his fate, and prevent his recapture. But this interview, and all that has passed between us, must remain a secret confined to your own bosom."

Frances gave the desired assurance.

"The pedlar and your brother will soon be here; but I must not be seen by the royal officer, or the life of Birch might be the forfeit. Did Sir Henry Clinton know the pedlar had communion with me, the miserable man would be sacrificed at once. Therefore be prudent; be silent. Urge them to instant departure. It shall be my care that there shall be none to intercept them."

While he was speaking, the voice of the pedlar was heard outside in loud tones. "Stand a little farther this way, Captain Wharton, and you can see the tents in the moonshine."

Harper pressed his finger to his lip to remind Frances of her promise, and, entering a recess in the rock behind several articles of dress, was hid from view.

The surprise of Henry and the pedlar on finding Frances in possession of the hut may be imagined.

"Are you alone, Miss Fanny?" asked the pedlar, in a quick voice.

"As you see me, Mr. Birch," said Frances, with an expressive glance towards the secret cavern, a glance which the pedlar instantly understood.

"But why are you here?" exclaimed her astonished brother.

Frances related her conjecture that this would be the shelter of the fugitives for the night, but implored her brother to continue his flight at once. Birch added his persuasions, and soon the girl heard them plunging down the mountain-side at a rapid rate.

Immediately the noise of their departure ceased Harper reappeared, and leading Frances from the hut, conducted her down the hill to where a sheep-path led to the plain. There, pressing a kiss on her forehead, he said, "Here we must part. I have much to do and far to ride. Forget me in all but your prayers."

She reached her home undiscovered, as her brother reached the British lines, and on meeting her lover, Major Dunwoodie, in the morning learned that the American troops had been ordered suddenly by Washington to withdraw from the immediate neighbourhood.

VI.--Last Scenes

The war was drawing to its close when the American general, sitting in an apartment at his headquarters, asked of the aide-de-camp in attendance, "Has the man I wished to see arrived, sir?"

"He waits the pleasure of your excellency."

"I will receive him here, and alone."

In a few minutes a figure glided in, and by a courteous gesture was motioned to a chair. Washington opened a desk, and took from it a small but apparently heavy bag.

"Harvey Birch," said he, turning to the visitor, "the time has arrived when our connection must cease. Henceforth and forever we must be strangers."

"If it be your excellency's pleasure," replied the pedlar meekly.

"It is necessary. You have I trusted most of all. You alone know my secret agents in the city. On your fidelity depend not only their fortunes, but their lives. I believe you are one of the very few who have acted faithfully to our cause, and, while you have passed as a spy of the enemy, have never given intelligence that you were not permitted to divulge. It is impossible to do you justice now, but I fearlessly entrust you with this certificate. Remember, in me you will always have a secret friend, though openly I cannot know you. It is now my duty to pay you your postponed reward."

"Does your excellency think I have exposed my life and blasted my character for money? No, not a dollar of your gold will I touch! Poor America has need of it all!"

"But remember, the veil that conceals your true character cannot be raised. The prime of your days is already past. What have you to subsist on?"

"These," exclaimed Harvey Birch, stretching forth his hands.

"The characters of men much esteemed depend on your secrecy. What pledge can I give them of your fidelity?"

"Tell them," said Birch, "that I would not take the gold."

The officer grasped the hand of the pedlar as he exclaimed, "Now, indeed, I know you!"

It was thirty-three years after the interview just related that an American army was once more arrayed against the troops of England; but the scene was transferred from the banks of the Hudson to those of the Niagara.

The body of Washington had long lain mouldering in the tomb, but his name was hourly receiving new lustre as his worth and integrity became more visible.

The sound of cannon and musketry was heard above the roar of the cataract. On both sides repeated and bloody charges had been made. While the action was raging an old man wandering near was seen to throw down suddenly a bundle he was carrying and to seize a musket from a fallen soldier. He plunged headlong into the thick of the fight, and bore himself as valiantly as the best of the American soldiers. When, in the evening, the order was given to the shattered troops to return to camp, Captain Wharton Dunwoodie found that his lieutenant was missing, and taking a lighted fusee, he went himself in quest of the body. The lieutenant was found on the side of the hill seated with great composure, but unable to walk from a fractured leg.

"Ah, dear Tom," exclaimed Dunwoodie, "I knew I should find you the nearest man to the enemy!"

"No," said the lieutenant. "There is a brave fellow nearer than myself. He rushed out of our smoke to make a prisoner, and he never came back. He lies just over the hillock."

Dunwoodie went to the spot and found an aged stranger. He lay on his back, his eyes closed as if in slumber, and his hands pressed on his breast contained something that glittered like silver.

The subject of his care was a tin box, through which the bullet had pierced to find a way to his heart, and the dying moments of the old man must have been passed in drawing it from his bosom.

Dunwoodie opened it, and found a paper on which he read:

"Circumstances of political importance, which involve the lives and fortunes of many, have hitherto kept secret what this paper reveals. Harvey Birch has for years been a faithful and unrequited servant of his country. Though man does not, may God reward him for his conduct! GEO. WASHINGTON."

It was the spy of the neutral ground, who died as he had lived, devoted to his country.


John Halifax, Gentleman

Dinah Maria Mulock, whose fame as a novelist rests entirely on "John Halifax, Gentleman," was born at Stoke-upon-Trent, England, on April 20, 1826. She was thirty-one when "John Halifax" came out, and immediately found herself one of the most popular novelists, her story having a great vogue throughout the English-speaking world, and being translated into half a dozen languages, including Greek and Russian. In 1864 Miss Mulock married George Lillie Craik, and until her death, on October 12, 1887, she actively engaged herself in literary work. In all, forty-six works stand to her credit, but none show unusual literary power. Even "John Halifax" leaves much to be desired, and its great popularity arises, perhaps, from its sentimental interest. The character of the hero, conceived on the most conventional lines, has at least the charm that comes from the contemplation of a strong and upright man, and although many better stories have not enjoyed one tithe of its popularity, "John Halifax, Gentleman" still deserves to be read as a wholesome and profitable story.

I.--The Tanner's Apprentice

"Get out o' Mr. Fletcher's road, you idle, lounging, little----"

"Vagabond" was no doubt what Sally Watkins, the old nurse of Phineas Fletcher, was going to say, but she had changed her mind in looking again at the lad, who, ragged and miserable as he was, was anything but a "vagabond."

On their way home a downpour of rain had drawn Mr. Fletcher and his son Phineas to shelter in the covered alley that led to Sally's house. Mr. Fletcher pushed the little hand-carriage in which his weak and ailing son was seated into the alley. The ragged boy, who had also been sheltering there, lent a hand in bringing Phineas out of the rain, Mr. Fletcher saying to him kindly, after Sally's outburst, "Thee need not go into the wet. Keep close to the wall, and there will be shelter enough both for us and thee."

Mr. Fletcher was a wealthy tanner in Norton Bury. Years ago his wife had died, leaving him with their only child, Phineas, now a sickly boy of sixteen.

The ragged lad, who had seemed very grateful for the Quaker's kind words to him, stood leaning idly against the wall, looking at the rain that splashed on the pavement of the High Street. He was a boy perhaps of fourteen years; but, despite his serious and haggard face, he was tall and strongly built, with muscular limbs and square, broad shoulders, so that he looked seventeen or more. The puny boy in the hand-carriage was filled with admiration for the manly bearing of the poor lad.

The rain at length gave promise of ceasing, and Mr. Fletcher, pulling out his great silver watch, never known to be wrong, said, "Twenty-three minutes lost by this shower. Phineas, my son, how am I to get thee home? Unless thee wilt go with me to the tanyard--"

Phineas shook his head, and his father then called to Sally Watkins if she knew of anyone who would wheel him home. But at the moment Sally did not hear, and the ragged boy mustered courage to speak for the first time?"

"Sir, I want work; may I earn a penny?" he said, taking off his tattered old cap and looking straight into Mr. Fletcher's face. The old man scanned the honest face of the lad very closely.

"What is thy name, lad?"

"John Halifax."

"Where dost thee come from?"


"Hast thee any parents living?"

The lad answered that he had not, and to many other questions with which the tanner plied him he returned straightforward answers. He was promised a groat if he would see Phineas safely home when the rain had ceased, and was asked if he would care to take the piece of silver now.

"Not till I've earned it, sir," said the Cornish lad. So Mr. Fletcher slipped the money into his boy's hand and left them. Only a few words were spoken between the two lads for a little while after he had gone, and John Halifax stood idly looking across the narrow street at the mayor's house, with its steps and porticoes, and its fourteen windows, one of which was open, showing a cluster of little heads within. The mayor's children seemed to be amused, watching the shivering shelterers in the alley; but presently a somewhat older child appeared among them, and then went away from the window quickly. Soon afterwards a front door was partly opened by someone whom another was endeavoring to restrain, for the boys on the other side of the street could hear loud words from behind the door.

"I will! I say I will----"

"You sha'n't, Miss Ursula!"

"But I will!" And there stood the young girl, with a loaf in one hand and a carving-knife in the other. She hastily cut off a slice of bread.

"Take it, poor boy! You look so hungry," she said. "Do take it!" But the door was shut again upon a sharp cry of pain; the headstrong little girl had cut her wrist with the knife.

In a little, John Halifax went across and picked up the slice of bread which had fallen on the doorstep. At the best of times, wheaten bread was then a dainty to the poor, and perhaps the Cornish lad had not tasted a morsel of it for months.

Phineas, from the moment he had set eyes on John, liked the lad, and living a very lonely life, with no playfellows and no friends of his own age, he longed to be friends with this strong-looking, honest youth who had come so suddenly into his life, while John had been so tender in helping Phineas home that the Quaker boy felt sure he would make a worthy friend.

It later appeared that John had heard of his own father as a sad, solemn sort of man, much given to reading. He had been described to him as "a scholar and a gentleman," and John had determined that he, too, would be a scholar and a gentleman. He was only an infant when his father died, and his mother, left very poor, had a sore struggle until her own death, when the boy was only eleven years old. Since then the lonely lad had been wandering about the country getting odd jobs at farms; at other times almost starving.

Thus had he wandered to Norton Bury; and now, thanks to Phineas, Mr. Fletcher gave him a job at the tannery, although at first the worthy Quaker was not altogether sure of John's character.

Soon, however, the two lads were fast friends, and spent much of their time together. John Halifax could read, but he had not yet learnt to write; so Phineas became his friendly tutor, and repaid his devotion by teaching him all he knew.

The years wore away, John Halifax labouring faithfully, if not always contentedly, in the tannery; and in time, old Mr. Fletcher finding him worthy of the highest trust, John came to be manager of the business, and to live in the house of his master. In knowledge, too, he had grown, for Phineas had proved a good tutor, and John so apt a pupil that before long Phineas confessed that John knew more than himself.

II.--Ursula March

It happened that John and Phineas were spending the summer days at the rural village of Enderley, where they lived at Rose Cottage. Enderley was not far from Norton Bury, and every day John rode there to look after the tannery and the flour-mill which had recently been added to Mr. Fletcher's now flourishing business.

This Rose Cottage was really two houses, in one of which the young men lived while an invalid gentleman and his daughter occupied the other. John Halifax had noted this young lady in his walks across the breezy downs, and thought her the sweetest creature he had seen. Later, when he got to know that her name was Ursula, he was thrilled with happy memories of the little girl who had thrown him the slice of bread, for he had heard her called by that same name. He wondered if this might be she grown into a young woman.

Ere long he came to know his pretty neighbour, to companion her in rural walks. No artist ever painted a more attractive picture than these two made stepping briskly across the wind-swept uplands; she with her sparkling dark eyes, her great mass of brown curls escaping from her hood, and John with his frank, ruddy face, and his fine, swinging, manly figure.

Ursula's father, who had come here ailing, died at the cottage, and was buried in Enderley churchyard. He had been the same Henry March whose life John had saved years before when the Avon was in flood. He was cousin to Squire Brithwood, who also owed his life to John on the same occasion. Unhappily, Ursula's fortune was left in the keeping of that highly undesirable person.

John was very sad at the thought of Ursula leaving the cottage for the squire's home at Mythe House, for he knew that she had been happier there in the sweet country retreat than she would ever be in the ill-conducted household of her guardian. She, too, had regrets at the thought of going, as John and she had become fast friends. He told her that Mr. Brithwood would probably deny his right to be considered a friend of hers, and would not allow his claim to be thought a gentleman, though a poor one.

"It is right," he pursued, on her expression of surprise, "that you should know who and what I am to whom you are giving the honour of your kindness. Perhaps you ought to have known before; but here at Enderley we seem to be equals--friends."

"I have indeed felt it so."

"Then you will the sooner pardon my not telling you--what you never asked, and I was only too ready to forget--that we are not equals--that is, society would not regard us as such, and I doubt if even you yourself would wish us to be friends."

"Why not?"

"Because you are a gentlewoman, and I am a tradesman."

She sat--the eyelashes drooping over her flushed cheeks--perfectly silent. John's voice grew firmer, prouder; there was no hesitation now.

"My calling is, as you will hear at Norton Bury, that of a tanner. I am apprentice to Abel Fletcher, Phineas's father."

"Mr. Fletcher!" She looked up at him, with a mingled look of kindliness and pain.

"Ay, Phineas is a little less beneath your notice than I am. He is rich, and has been well educated; I have had to educate myself. I came to Norton Bury six years ago--a beggar-boy. No, not quite so bad as that, for I never begged. I either worked or starved."

The earnestness, the passion of his tone made Miss March lift her eyes, but they fell again.

"Yes, Phineas found me starving in an alley. We stood in the rain opposite the mayor's house. A little girl--you know her, Miss March--came to the door and threw out to me a bit of bread."

Now indeed she started. "You! Was that you?"

John paused, and his whole manner changed into softness as he resumed.

"I never forgot that little girl. Many a time when I was inclined to do wrong, she kept me right--the remembrance of her sweet face and her kindness."

That face was pressed against the sofa where she sat. Miss March was all but weeping.

"I am glad to have met her again," he went on, "and glad to have been able to do her some small good in return for the infinite good she once did me. I shall bid her farewell now, at once, and altogether."

A quick, involuntary turn of the hidden face seemed to ask him "Why?"

"Because," John said, "the world says we are not equals; and it would be neither for Miss March's honour nor mine did I try to force upon it the truth--which I may prove openly one day--that we are equals."

Miss March looked up at him--it were hard to say with what expression, of pleasure, of pride, or simple astonishment; perhaps a mingling of all; then her eyelids fell. Her left arm was hanging over the sofa, the scar being visible enough. John took the hand, and pressed his lips to the place where the wound had been.

"Poor little hand--blessed little hand!" he murmured. "May God bless it evermore!"

III.--The Rise of John Halifax

After John Halifax had returned to Norton Bury he was seized with fever, and for a time his recovery seemed doubtful. In his delirium he called aloud for Ursula, and dreamed that she had come to sit with him, asking him to live for her sake. Phineas, in his anxiety for his friend, brought Ursula to him, and the dream came true, for she did ask him to live for her sake.

Not long after his recovery John Halifax became Mr. Fletcher's partner. Going to London on behalf of the business, he met there the great statesman, Mr. Pitt, who was impressed with the natural abilities of the young man. John's reputation for honesty and sound commonsense had now grown so great at Norton Bury that when he returned there he found himself one of the most respected men in the town.

Although still far from being rich, he was no longer a poor worker, and as Ursula was willing to share his life, they boldly determined to be married, in spite of her guardian, who asserted that John would never touch a penny of Ursula's fortune. They contrived, however, to be happy without it, for he refused to go to law to recover his wife's money, and was determined he would work honestly to support her.

With the death of old Mr. Fletcher, however, came misfortune, for it was found that the tannery was no longer a paying property, and there were only the mills to go on with. At this time Ursula's relative, Lord Luxmore, who was anxious to see the Catholic Emancipation Bill passed, thought he could use John Halifax for his purpose by offering to get him returned to parliament for the "rotten borough" of Kingswell, the member for which was then elected by only fifteen voters. Twelve of these were tenants of Lord Luxmore, and the other three of Phineas. But although John would have supported the Bill, he was too honest to let himself be elected for a "rotten borough." So he declined, and Luxmore next tried to win him over by offering the lease of some important cloth-mills he owned; but these he would not take on credit, and he had no money to pay for them.

At this juncture, Ursula told Luxmore about the behaviour of his kinsman Brithwood, with the result that his lordship went to Brithwood and made him turn over the money to her. When John now purchased the lease of the mills, his lordship thought that he had secured him firmly, and that Halifax would use his great and growing influence with the people of the district to further Luxmore's political schemes.

While all this was going on, young Lord Ravenel, the son and heir of Luxmore, had been a constant visitor at the Halifax home, and delighted in the company of John's daughter. Halifax had now three children: two boys, named Guy and Edmund, and Muriel, who, alas! had been born blind. Perhaps on account of her infirmity she had been the pet of her parents; but she was of a gentle nature, and was beautiful to look upon, even with her sightless eyes.

The time for the election of the member for Kingswell had come round, and as Luxmore had failed to induce John Halifax to stand, he put up a pliable nominee. But he was greatly mistaken in supposing that John would use his influence to make the handful of voters, most of whom were employed in his mills, vote for Luxmore's man. Instead of that, Halifax advised them to be honest, and vote as they thought right; with the result that Luxmore promptly evicted them from their homes. But John found new homes for them.

As his riches increased, he bought a stately country mansion, named Beechwood, not far from Rose Cottage, ever dear in memory to him. Another son, Walter, was born there, and everything seemed to smile on him in his beautiful country home. Luxmore now sought to injure him by diverting the water from his cloth-mills, and leaving his great wheels idle. Halifax could have taken him to law; but, instead of that, he set up a strange, new-fangled thing, called a steam-engine; and his mills did better than ever.

Finding it useless to fight against the resourceful Halifax, Luxmore went abroad, and left his son, Lord Ravenel, alone at Luxmore Hall. The young man, despite his father's unfriendly conduct, was still a frequent visitor at Beechwood, and when poor Muriel died, his grief at her loss was only less than that of her parents.

The years passed by, and happiness still reigned at Beechwood; but Ravenel had deserted them, until one day John Halifax met him, greatly changed from the gentle youth of the past, at Norton Bury. John invited him to ride over with him to Enderley.

"Enderly? How strange the word sounds! Yet I should like to see the place again," said Ravenel, who decided to accompany John Halifax and Phineas Fletcher in their drive back to Beechwood. He inquired kindly for all the family, and was told that Guy and Walter were as tall as himself, while the daughter----

"Your daughter?" said his lordship, with a start. "Oh, yes; I recollect--Baby Maud! Is she at all like--like----"

"No," said John Halifax. Neither said more than this; but it seemed as if their hearts warmed to one another, knitted by the same tender remembrance.

IV.--The Journey's End

Lord Ravenel had returned to reside again at Luxmore Hall, and his visits to Beechwood became as regular as they had been in the old days at the Halifax home, when Muriel was alive. It was the society of Maud in which his lordship now delighted, though he never forgot the serene and happy days he had spent with her blind sister.

Before long, Lord Ravenel sought to be regarded as suitor for the hand of Maud, who would thus have become the future Countess of Luxmore. He said that he would wait two years for her, if her father wished it; but John Halifax would make him no promise, and urged him rather to endeavour first to become a more worthy man, so that he might redeem the evil reputation which the conduct of his own father had brought upon the name of Luxmore.

"Do you recognise what you were born to be?" said Halifax to him. "Not only a nobleman, but a gentleman; not only a gentleman, but a man--man made in the image of God. Would to heaven that any poor word of mine could make you feel all that you are--and all that you might be!"

"You mean, Mr. Halifax, what I might have been--now it is too late."

"There is no such word as 'too late' in the wide world--nay, not in the universe."

Lord Ravenel for a time sat silent; then he rose to go, and thanked Mrs. Halifax for all her kindness in a voice choked with emotion.

"For your husband, I owe him more than kindness, as perhaps I may prove some day; if not, try to believe the best of me you can. Good-bye!"

It was not many weeks after this that the old Earl of Luxmore died in France, and it then became known that his son, who now succeeded to the title, had voluntarily given up his claims on the estate in order to pay the heavy debts of his worthless father.

The home at Beechwood had lost another inmate--for Edmund was now married--when Guy, first going to Paris, had later sailed for America. Years passed by, and he became a successful merchant in Boston, and then one day he wrote home to say he was coming back to the Old Country, and was bringing with him his partner.

The ship in which Guy and his friend sailed from America was wrecked, and Ursula, in her grief at the supposed loss of her eldest son, seemed to be wearing away, when one day a strange gentleman stood in the doorway--tall, brown, and bearded--and asked to see Miss Halifax. Maud just glanced at him, then rose, and said somewhat coldly, "Will you be seated?"

"Maud, don't you know me? Where is my mother?"

The return of the son whom she had given up for dead brought joy again to the heart of Ursula, and her health seemed to revive, but it was clear that her days were now uncertain. Scarcely less than the delight in Guy's return was the discovery that his partner was none other than the new Earl of Luxmore, who, as plain Mr. William Ravenel, had by his life in America proved John Halifax was right when he said it was not too late for him to model his life on lines of true manliness. He had, indeed, become all that John had desired of him--a man and a gentleman--so that Maud was, after all, to be the Countess of Luxmore.

But the days of John Halifax himself were now drawing to a close, and he was not without premonitions of his end; for in his talks with Phineas Fletcher, who had remained his faithful companion all these years, he spoke as one would speak of a new abode, an impending journey. Death came to him very gently one day at sunset, just after he had smiled to Phineas, when his old friend, looking towards Lord Luxmore and his future bride, who were with a group of the young people, had said, "I think sometimes, John, that William and Maud will be the happiest of all the children."

He smiled at this, and a little later seemed to be asleep; but when Maud came up and spoke to him, he was dead. While he was sleeping thus, the Master had called him. His sudden end was so great a shock to the frail life of Ursula, that when they buried John Halifax in the pretty Enderley churchyard they laid to rest with him his wife of three-and-thirty years, who had been a widow but for a few hours.


Salathiel, or Tarry Thou Till I Come!

George Croly, the author of "Salathiel," was born at Dublin on August 17, 1780, and became a clergyman of the Church of England. After a short time as curate in the north of Ireland he came to London and devoted himself chiefly to literary pursuits. In 1835 he was presented to the valuable living of St. Stephen's, Walbrook, London, by Lord Brougham, where his eloquent preaching attracted large congregations. It was a saying among Americans of the period, "Be sure and hear Croly!" Croly was a scholar, an orator, and a man of incredible energy. Poems, biographies, dramas, sermons, novels, satires, magazine articles, newspaper leaders, and theological works were dashed off by his facile pen; and, according to Hogg, the Ettrick shepherd, he was great in conversation. Croly's chef d'oeuvre is "Salathiel," which, published in 1829, created a prodigious sensation, Salathiel being the character better known as the Wandering Jew. The description of the fall of Jerusalem is a wonderful piece of sustained eloquence, hardly to be squalled in romantic writings. Croly died on November 24, 1860.

I.--Immortality on Earth

"Tarry thou till I come!" The words shot through me. I felt them like an arrow in my heart. The troops, the priests, the populace, the world, passed from before my senses like phantoms.

Every fibre of my frame quivers as I still hear the echo of the anathema that sprang first from my furious lips, the self-pronounced ruin, the words of desolation, "His blood be upon us, and our children!"

But in the moment of my exultation I was stricken. He who had refused an hour of life to the victim was, in terrible retribution, condemned to know the misery of life interminable. I heard through all the voices of Jerusalem--I should have heard through all the thunders of heaven, the calm, low voice, "Tarry thou till I come!"

I felt at once my fate. I sprang away through the shouting hosts as if the avenging angel waved his sword above my head. I was never to know the shelter of the grave! Immortality on earth! The perpetual compulsion of existence in a world made for change! I was to survive my country. Wife, child, friend, even to the last being with whom my heart could imagine a human bond, were to perish in my sight. I was to know no limit to the weight already crushing me. The guilt of life upon life, the surges of an unfathomable ocean of crime were to roll in eternal progress over my head. Immortality on earth!

Overwhelmed with despair, I rushed through Jerusalem, crowded with millions come to the Passover, and made my way through the Gate of Zion to the open country and the mountains that were before me, like a barrier shutting out the living world. There, as I lay in an agony of fear, my soul seemed to be whirled on the wind into the bosom of a thundercloud. I felt the weight of the rolling vapours. I saw a blaze. I was stunned by a roar that shook the firmament.

When I recovered it was to hear the trumpet which proclaims that the first daily sacrifice is to be offered. I was a priest; this day's service fell to me; I dared not shrink from the duty which appalled me! Humanity drove me first to my home, where to my unspeakable relief I found my wife and child happy and unharmed; then I went to the Temple, and began my solemn duties. I was at the altar, the Levite at my side holding the lamb, when suddenly in rushed the high priest, his face buried in the folds of his cloak, and, grasping the head of the lamb, he snatched the knife from the Levite, plunged it into the animal's throat, and ran with bloody hands and echoing groans to the porch of the Holy House. I hastened up the steps after him, and entered the sanctuary. But--what I saw there I have no power to tell. Words were not made to utter it. Before me moved things mightier than of mortal vision, thronging shapes of terror, mysterious grandeur, essential power, embodied prophecy. On the pavement lay the high priest, his lips strained wide, his whole frame rigid and cold as a corpse. And the Veil was rent in twain!

Fleeing from the Temple, I came into a world of black men. The sun, which I had seen like a fiery buckler hanging over the city, was utterly gone. As I looked into this unnatural night, the thought smote me that I had brought this judgment on the Holy City, and I formed the determination to fly from my priesthood, my kindred, and my country, and to bear my doom in some barren wilderness.

I ran from the Temple, where priests clung together in pale terror, found my wife and child, and bore them away through the panic-stricken city. As we journeyed a yell of universal terror made me turn my eyes to Jerusalem. A large sphere of fire shot through the heavens, casting a pallid illumination on the myriads below. It stopped above the city, and exploded in thunder, flashing over the whole horizon, but covering the Temple with a blaze which gave it the aspect of metal glowing in a furnace. Every pillar and pinnacle was seen with a lurid and terrible distinctness. The light vanished. I heard the roar of earthquake; the ground rose and heaved under my feet. I heard the crash of buildings, the fall of fragments of the hills and, louder than both, the groans of the multitude. The next moment the earth gave way, and I was caught up in a whirlwind of dust and ashes.

II.--The Son of Misfortune

It was in Samaria I woke. Miriam, my wife, was at my side. A troop of our kinsmen, returning from the city, where terror suffered few to remain, had discovered us, and brought us with them on their journey.

On this pilgrimage to Naphtali, my native home, my absence from prayer and my sadness struck all our kinsmen; and Eleazer, brother of Miriam, questioned me thereon. In my bitterness I said to him that I had renounced my career among the rulers of Israel. Instead of anger or surprise, his face expressed joy. He pointed out to me the tomb of Isaiah, to which we were approaching. "There lies," said he, "the heart which neither the desert nor the dungeon, nor the teeth of the lion, nor the saw of Manasseh could tame--the denouncer of our crimes, the scourge of our apostasy, the prophet of that desolation which was to bow the grandeur of Judah to the grave."

He drew a copy of the Scriptures from his bosom, and read the famous Haphtorah. "Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed? For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground; he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty, that we should desire him. He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows!" He stopped, laid his hand upon my arm, and asked, "Of whom hath the prophet spoken? Him that is to come, still to come?" Then he left me.

Some years passed away; the burden remained upon my soul. One day, as I dwelt among my kinsmen in Naphtali, I was watching a great storm, when suddenly there stood before me a spirit, accursed and evil, Epiphanes, one of those spirits of the evil dead who are allowed from time to time to reappear on earth.

"Power you shall have, and hate it," he announced; "wealth and life, and hate them. You shall be the worm among a nation of worms--you shall be steeped in poverty to the lips--you shall undergo the bitterness of death, until ---- Come," he cried suddenly, "son of misfortune, emblem of the nation, that living shall die, and dying shall live; that, trampled by all, shall trample on all; that, bleeding from a thousand wounds, shall be unhurt; that, beggared, shall wield the wealth of nations; that, without a name, shall sway the council of kings; that, without a city, shall inhabit in all the kingdoms; that, scattered like the dust, shall be bound together like the rock; that, perishing by the sword, chain, famine, and fire, shall be imperishable, unnumbered, glorious as the stars of heaven."

I was caught up and swept towards Jerusalem. It was the twilight of a summer evening. Town and wall lay bathed in a sea of purple; the Temple rose from its centre like an island of light; the host of Heaven came riding up the blue fields alone; all was the sweetness, calm, and splendour of a painted vision. As the night deepened, a murmur from the city caught my ear; it grew loud, various, wild; it was soon mixed with the clash of arms; trumpets rang, torches blazed along battlements and turrets; the roar of battle rose, deepened into cries of agony, swelled into furious exultation. "Behold," said the possessed, "these are but the beginnings of evil!" I looked up; the spirit was gone. In another minute I was plunging into the valley, and rushing forward to the battle.

From that moment I became a chieftain of Israel, and as Prince of Naphtali led my people against the legions of Rome. I came to be a priest, I became a captain. I was ever in the midst of battle; I was cast into dungeons; brought to the cross; cast among lions; shipwrecked, driven out to sea on a blazing trireme; accused before Nero and Titus; exposed a thousand times to death; and yet ever at the extreme moment some mysterious hand interfered between my life and its destruction. I could not die.

III.--The Abomination of Desolation

And through all these awful years of incessant warfare I was now lifted up on a wave of victory to heights of dazzling glory, and now plunged down into the abysm of defeat. I saw my wife and children torn from me; restored, only to be dragged away again. I saw Rome driven from the Holy City, only to see her return in triumph. And all through these maddening vicissitudes, suspected by my own people, and knowing my own infamy, I heard the voice, "Tarry thou till I come!"

The fall of our illustrious and unhappy city was supernatural. During the latter days of the siege, a hostility, to which that of man was as the grain of sand to the tempest that drives it on, overpowered our strength and senses. Fearful shapes and voices in the air; visions startling us from our short and troubled sleep; lunacy in its most hideous forms; sudden death in the midst of vigour; the fury of the elements let loose upon our unsheltered heads; we had every evil and terror that could beset human nature, but pestilence, the most probable of all in a city crowded with the famishing, the diseased, the wounded, and the dead. Yet, though the streets were covered with the unburied; though every wall and trench was teeming; though six hundred thousand corpses lay flung over the ramparts, and naked to the sun--pestilence came not. But the abomination of desolation, the pagan standard, was fixed; where it was to remain until the plough passed over the ruins of Jerusalem.

On this fatal night no man laid his head upon his pillow. Heaven and earth were in conflict. Meteors burned above us; the ground shook under our feet; the volcano blazed; the wind burst forth in irresistible blasts, and swept the living and the dead in whirlwinds far off into the desert. Thunder pealed from every quarter of the heavens. Lightning, in immense sheets, withering eye and soul, burned from the zenith to the ground, and marked its track by forests on flame, and the shattered summits of hills.

Defence was unthought of; for the mortal enemy had passed from the mind. Our hearts quaked from fear, but it was to see the powers of heaven shaken. All cast away the shield and the spear, and crouched before the descending judgment. Our cries of remorse, anguish, and horror were heard through the uproar of the storm. We howled to the caverns to hide us; we plunged into the sepulchres, to escape the wrath that consumed the living.

I knew the cause, the unspeakable cause; knew that the last hour of crime was at hand. A few fugitives, astonished to see one man not sunk into the lowest feebleness of fear, besought me to lead them into safety. I said they were to die, and pointed them to the hallowed ground of the Temple. More, I led them towards it myself. But advance was checked. Piles of cloud, whose darkness was palpable even in the midnight, covered the holy hill. I attempted to pass through it, and was swept downward by a gust that tore the rocks in a flinty shower around me.

While I lay helpless, I heard the whirlwind roar through the cloudy hill; and the vapours began to revolve. A pale light, like that of the rising moon, quivered on their edges; and the clouds rose, and rapidly shaped themselves into the forms of battlements and towers. Voices were heard within, low and distant, yet strangely sweet. Still the lustre brightened, and the airy building rose, tower on tower, and battlement on battlement. In awe we knelt and gazed upon this more than mortal architecture. It stood full to earth and heaven, the colossal image of the first Temple. All Jerusalem saw the image; and the shout that, in the midst of their despair, ascended from its thousands and tens of thousands told what proud remembrances were there. But a hymn was heard, that might have hushed the world. Never fell on mortal ear sound so majestic and subduing, so full of melancholy and grandeur and command. The vast portal opened, and from it marched a host such as man had never seen before, such as man shall never see but once again; the guardian angels of the city of David! They came forth glorious, but with woe in their steps, tears flowing down their celestial beauty. "Let us go hence," was their song of sorrow. "Let us go hence," was announced by the echoes of the mountains.

The procession lingered on the summit. The thunder pealed, and they rose at the command, diffusing waves of light over the expanse of heaven. Then the thunder roared again; the cloudy temple was scattered on the winds; and darkness, the omen of her grave, settled upon Jerusalem.

IV.--The Hour of Doom

I was roused by the voice of a man. "What!" said he, "poring over the faces of dead men, when you should be foremost among the living? All Jerusalem in arms, and yet you scorn your time to gain laurels?" I sprang up, and drew my scimitar, for the man was--Roman.

"You should know me," he said calmly; "it is some years since we met, but we have not been often asunder."

"Are you not a Roman?" I exclaimed. He denied that nationality, and offered me his Roman trappings, cuirass and falchion, saying they would help me to money, riot, violence, and vice in the doomed city; "and," said he, "what else do nine-tenths of mankind ask for in their souls?"

He tore his helmet from his forehead, and, with a start of inward pain, flung it to a measureless distance in the air. I beheld--Epiphanes! "I told you," he said, "that this day would come. One grand hope was given to your countrymen; they cast it from them! Ages on ages shall pass before they learn the loftiness of that hope, or fulfill the punishment of that rejection. Yet, in the fullness of time, light shall break upon their darkness. They shall ask: Why are barbarians and civilised alike our oppressors? Why do contending faiths join in crushing us alone? Why do realms, distant as the ends of the earth, unite in scorn of us?"

"Man of terrible knowledge," I demanded, "tell me for what crime this judgment comes?"

"There is no name for it," he said, with solemn fear.

"Is there no hope?" said I, trembling.

"Look to that mountain," was the answer, as he pointed to Moriah. "It is now covered with war and slaughter. But upon that mountain shall yet be enthroned a Sovereign, before whom the sun shall hide his head. From that mountain shall light flow to the ends of the universe, and the government shall be of the everlasting."

In a few minutes he had carried me to the city, placed me on a battlement, and had disappeared.

Below me war raged in its boundless fury. The Romans had forced their way; the Jews were fighting like wild beasts. When the lance was broke, the knife was the weapon; when the knife failed, they tore with their hands and teeth. But the Romans advanced against all. They advanced till they were near the inner temple. A scream of wrath and agony at the possible profanation of the Holy of Holies rose from the multitude. I leaped from the battlement, called upon Israel to follow me, and drove the Romans back.

But Jerusalem was marked for ruin. A madman, prophesying the succour of heaven, prevented Israel from surrendering, and thus saving the Temple. Infuriated by his words, the populace kept up the strife, and the Temple burst into flames. The fire sprang through the roof, and the whole of its defenders, to the number of thousands, sank into the conflagration. In another minute the inner temple was on fire. I rushed forward, and took my post before the veil of the portico, to guard the entrance with my blood.

But the legions rushed onward, crying that "they were led by the Fates," and that "the God of the Jews had given his people and city into their hands." The torrent was irresistible. Titus rushed in at its head, exclaiming that "the Divinity alone could have given the stronghold into his power, for it was beyond the hope and strength of man." My companions were torn down. I was forced back to the veil of the Holy of Holies. I longed to die! I fought, I taunted, covered from head to foot in gore. I remained without a wound.

Then came a new enemy--fire. I heard its roar round the sanctuary. The Romans fled to the portal. A wall of fire stood before them. They rushed back, tore down the veil, and the Holy of Holies stood open.

The blaze melted the plates of the roof in a golden shower above me. It calcined the marble floor; it dissipated in vapour the inestimable gems that studded the walls. All who entered lay turned to ashes. But on the sacred Ark the flame had no power. It whirled and swept in a red orb round the untouched symbol of the throne of thrones. Still I lived; but I felt my strength giving way--the heat withered my sinews, the flame extinguished my sight. I sank upon the threshold, rejoicing that death was inevitable. Then, once again, I heard the words of terror. "Tarry thou till I come!" The world disappeared before me.

V.--The Pilgrim of Time

Here I pause. I had undergone that portion of my career which was to be passed among my people. My life as father, husband, citizen, was at an end. Thenceforth I was to be a solitary man. I was to make my couch with the savage, the outcast, and the slave. I was to see the ruin of the mighty and the overthrow of empires. Yet, in the tumult that changed the face of the world, I was still to live and be unchanged.

In revenge for the fall of Jerusalem, I traversed the globe to seek out an enemy of Rome. I found in the northern snows a man of blood; I stirred up the soul of Alaric, and led him to the sack of Rome. In revenge for the insults heaped upon the Jew by the dotards and dastards of the city of Constantine, I sought out an instrument of compendious ruin. I found him in the Arabian sands, and poured ambition into the soul of Mecca. In revenge for the pollution of the ruins of the Temple, I roused the iron tribes of the West, and at the head of the Crusaders expelled the Saracens. I fed full on revenge, and fed the misery of revenge.

A passion for human fame seized me. I drew my sword for Italy; triumphed, was a king, and learned to curse the hour when I first dreamed of fame. A passion for gold seized me. Wealth came to my wish, and to my torment. Days and nights of misery were the gift of avarice. In my passion I longed for regions where the hand of man had never rifled the mine. I found a bold Genoese, and led him to the discovering of a new world. With its metals I inundated the old; and to my misery added the misery of two hemispheres.

Yet the circle of passion was not to surround my fated steps for ever. Noble aspirations rose in my melancholy heart. I had seen the birth of true science, true liberty, and true wisdom. I had lived with Petrarch, stood enraptured beside the easel of Angelo and Raphael. I had stood at Maintz, beside the wonder-working machine that makes knowledge imperishable, and sends it with winged speed through the earth. At the pulpit of the mighty man of Wittenberg I had knelt; Israelite as I was, and am, I did involuntary homage to the mind of Luther.

At this hour I see the dawn of things to whose glory the glory of the past is but a dream. But I must close these thoughts, wandering as the steps of my pilgrimage. I have more to tell--strange, magnificent, and sad. But I must await the impulse of my heart.


Two Years Before the Mast

Richard Henry Dana was born at Cambridge, Massachusetts, on August 1, 1815. He was the son of the American poet who, with W.C. Bryant, founded "The North American Review," and grandson of Francis Dana, for some time United States Minister to Russia, and afterwards Chief Justice of Massachusetts. Young Dana entered Harvard in 1832, but being troubled with an affection of the eyes, shipped as a common sailor on board an American merchant vessel, and made a voyage round Cape Horn to California and back. His experiences are embodied in his "Two Years Before the Mast," which was published in 1840, about three years after his return, when he had graduated at Harvard, and in the year in which he was admitted to the Massachusetts Bar. His best known work gives a vivid account of life at sea in the days of the old sailing ships, touches sympathetically on the hardships of the seafaring life, which its publication helped to ameliorate, and affords also an intimate glimpse of California when it was still a province of Mexico. "If," he writes, "California ever becomes a prosperous country, this--San Francisco--bay will be the centre of its prosperity." He died at Rome on January 7, 1882.

I.--Life on a Merchantman

On August 14 the brig Pilgrim left Boston for a voyage round Cape Horn to the western coast of America. I made my appearance on board at twelve o'clock with an outfit for a two or three years' voyage, which I had undertaken from a determination to cure, if possible, by an entire change of life, and by a long absence from books and study, a weakness of the eyes.

The vessel got under way early in the afternoon. I joined the crew, and we hauled out into the stream, and came to anchor for the night. The next day we were employed in preparations for sea. On the following night I stood my first watch. During the first few days we had bad weather, and I began to feel the discomforts of a sailor's life. But I knew that if I showed any sign of want of spirit or of backwardness, I should be ruined at once. So I performed my duties to the best of my ability, and after a time I felt somewhat of a man. I cannot describe the change which half a pound of cold salt beef and a biscuit or two produced in me after having taken no sustenance for three days. I was a new being.

As we had now a long "spell" of fine weather, without any incident to break the monotony of our lives, there can be no better place to describe the duties, regulations, and customs of an American merchantman, of which ours was a fair specimen.

The captain is lord paramount. He stands no watch, comes and goes when he pleases, is accountable to no one, and must be obeyed in everything.

The prime minister, the official organ, and the active and superintending officer is the chief mate. The mate also keeps the log-book, and has charge of the stowage, safe keeping, and delivery of the cargo.

The second mate's is a dog's berth. The men do not respect him as an officer, and he is obliged to go aloft to put his hands into the tar and slush with the rest. The crew call him the "sailors' waiter," and he has to furnish them with all the stuffs they need in their work. His wages are usually double those of a common sailor, and he eats and sleeps in the cabin; but he is obliged to be on deck nearly all his time, and eats at the second table--that is, makes a meal out of what the captain and the chief mate leave.

The steward is the captain's servant, and has charge of the pantry, from which everyone, including the mate, is excluded. The cook is the patron of the crew, and those who are in his favour can get their wet mittens and stockings dried, or light their pipes at the galley in the night watch. These two worthies, together with the carpenter and the sailmaker, if there be one, stand no watch, but, being employed all day, are allowed to "sleep in" at night, unless "all hands" are called.

The crew are divided into two watches. Of these the chief mate commands the larboard, and the second mate the starboard, being on and off duty, or on deck and below, every other four hours. The watch from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. is divided into two half, or dog, watches. By this means they divide the twenty-four hours into seven instead of six, and thus shift the hours every night.

The morning commences with the watch on deck turning-to at daybreak, and washing-down, scrubbing, and swabbing the decks. This, with filling the "scuttle butt" with fresh water, and coiling up the rigging, usually occupies the time until seven bells (half after seven), when all hands get breakfast. At eight the day's work begins, and lasts until sundown, with the exception of an hour for dinner. The discipline of the ship requires every man to be at work upon something when he is up on deck, except at night and on Sundays. No conversation is allowed among the crew at their duty.

When I first left port, and found that we were kept regularly employed for a week or two, I supposed that we were getting the vessel into sea-trim, and that it would soon be over, and we should have nothing to do but to sail the ship; but I found that it continued so for two years, and at the end of two years there was as much to be done as ever. If, after all the labour on sails, rigging, tarring, greasing, oiling, varnishing, painting, scraping, scrubbing, watching, steering, reefing, furling, bracing, making and setting sail, and pulling, hauling, and climbing in every direction, the merchants and captains think the sailors have not earned their twelve dollars a month, their salt beef and hard bread, they keep them picking oakum--ad infinitum. The Philadelphia catechism is

Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thou art able,
And on the seventh, holystone the decks and scrape the cable.

We crossed the Equator on October 1 and rounded Cape Horn early in November. Monday, November 17, was a black day in our calendar. At seven in the morning we were aroused from sleep by the cry of "All hands, ahoy! A man overboard!" This unwonted cry sent a thrill through the heart of everyone, and hurrying on deck we found the vessel hove flat aback, with all her studding sails set; for the boy who was at the helm left it to throw something overboard, and the carpenter, who was an old sailor, knowing that the wind was light, put the helm down and hove her aback. The watch on deck were lowering away the quarter-boat, and I got on deck just in time to heave myself into her as she was leaving the side. But it was not until out on the wide Pacific in our little boat that I knew we had lost George Ballmer, a young English sailor, who was prized by the officers as an active and willing seaman, and by the crew as a lively, hearty fellow and a good shipmate.

He was going aloft to fit a strap round the main-topmast head for ringtail halyards, and had the strap and block, a coil of halyards, and a marlin spike about his neck. He fell, and not knowing how to swim, and being heavily dressed, with all those things around his neck, he probably sank immediately. We pulled astern in the direction in which he fell, and though we knew that there was no hope of saving him, yet no one wished to speak of returning, and we rowed about for nearly an hour, unwilling to acknowledge to ourselves that we must give him up.

Death is at all times solemn, but never so much so as at sea; and the effect of it remains upon the crew for some time. There is more kindness shown by the officers, and by the crew to one another. The lost man is seldom mentioned, or is dismissed with a sailor's rude eulogy, "Well, poor George is gone! His cruise is up soon. He knew his work, and did his duty, and was a good shipmate." We had hardly returned on board with our sad report before an auction was held of the poor man's clothes.

II.--At the Ends of the Earth

On Tuesday, November 25, we reached the Island of Juan Fernandez. We were then probably seventy miles from it; and so high did it appear that I took it for a cloud, until it gradually turned to a greener and deader colour. By the afternoon the island lay fairly before us, and we directed our course to the only harbour. Never shall I forget the sensation which I experienced on finding myself once more surrounded by land as I stood my watch at about three the following morning, feeling the breeze coming off shore and hearing the frogs and crickets. To my joy I was among the number ordered ashore to fill the water-casks. By the morning of the 27th we were again upon the wide Pacific, and we saw neither land nor sail again until, on January 13, 1835, we reached Point Conception, on the coast of California. We had sailed well to the westward, to have the full advantage of the north-east trades, and so had now to sail southward to reach the port of Santa Barbara, where we arrived on the 14th, after a voyage of 150 days from Boston.

At Santa Barbara we came into touch with other vessels engaged in loading hides and tallow, and as this was the work in which we were soon to be engaged, we looked on with some curiosity, especially at the labours of the crew of the Ayacucho, who were dusky Sandwich Islanders. And besides practice in landing on this difficult coast, we experienced the difficulties involved in having suddenly to slip our cables and then, when the weather allowed of it, coming to at our former moorings. From this time until May 8, 1836, I was engaged in trading and loading, drying and storing hides, between Santa Barbara, Monterey, San Pedro, San Diego, San Juan, and San Francisco.

The ship California, belonging to the same firm, had been nearly two years on the coast before she collected her full cargo of 40,000 hides. Another vessel, the Lagoda, carrying 31,000 or 32,000, had been nearly two years getting her cargo; and when it appeared that we were to collect some 40,000 hides besides our own, which would be 12,000 or 15,000, the men became discontented. It was bad for others, but worse for me, who did not mean to be a sailor for life. Three or four years would make me a sailor in every respect, mind and habits as well as body, and would put all my companions so far ahead of me that college and a profession would be in vain to think of.

We were at the ends of the earth, in a country where there is neither law nor gospel, and where sailors are at their captain's mercy. We lost all interest in the voyage, cared nothing about the cargo, while we were only collecting for others, began to patch our clothes, and felt as though we were fixed beyond hope of change.

III.--A Tyrannical Captain

Apart from the incessant labour on board ship, at San Pedro we had to roll heavy casks and barrels of goods up a steep hill, to unload the hides from the carts at the summit, reload these carts with our goods, cast the hides over the side of the hill, collect them, and take them on board. After we had been employed in this manner for several days, the captain quarrelled with the cook, had a dispute with the mate, and turned his displeasure particularly against a large, heavy-moulded fellow called Sam.

The man hesitated in his speech, and was rather slow in his motions, but was a pretty good sailor, and always seemed to do his best. But the captain found fault with everything he did. One morning, when the gig had been ordered by the captain, Mr. Russell, an officer taken on at Santa Barbara, John the Swede, and I heard his voice raised in violent dispute with somebody. Then came blows and scuffling. Then we heard the captain's voice down the hatchway.

"You see your condition! Will you ever give me any more of your jaw?"

No answer; and then came wrestling and heaving, as though the man was trying to turn him.

"You may as well keep still, for I have got you!" said the captain, who repeated his question.

"I never gave you any," said Sam, for it was his voice that we heard.

"That's not what I ask you. Will you ever be impudent to me again?"

"I never have been, sir," said Sam.

"Answer my question, or I'll make a spread-eagle of you!"

"I'm no negro slave!" said Sam.

"Then I'll make you one!" said the captain; and he came, to the hatchway, sprang on deck, threw off his coat, and, rolling up his sleeves, called out to the mate, "Seize that man up, Mr. A--! Seize him up! Make a spread-eagle of him! I'll teach you all who is master aboard!"

The crew and officers followed the captain up the hatchway, and after repeated orders, the mate laid hold of Sam, who made no resistance, and carried him to the gangway.

"What are you going to flog that man for, sir?" said John the Swede to the captain.

Upon hearing this, the captain turned upon him, but knowing him to be quick and resolute, he ordered the steward to bring the irons, and calling upon Russell to help him, went up to John.

"Let me alone!" said John. "You need not use any force!" And putting out his hands, the captain slipped the irons on, and sent him aft to the quarter-deck.

Sam by this time was placed against the shrouds, his jacket off, and his back exposed. The captain stood at the break of the deck, a few feet from him, and a little raised, so as to have a swing at him, and held in his hand the bight of a thick, strong rope. The officers stood round, the crew grouped together in the waist. Swinging the rope over his head, and bending his body so as to give it full force, the captain brought it down upon the poor fellow's back. Once, twice, six times.

"Will you ever give me any more of your jaw?"

The man writhed with pain, but said not a word. Three times more. This was too much, and he muttered something which I could not hear. This brought as many more as the man could stand, when the captain ordered him to be cut down and to go forward.

Then John the Swede was made fast. He asked the captain what he was to be flogged for.

"Have I ever refused my duty, sir? Have you ever known me to hang back, or to be insolent, or not to know my work?"

"No," said the captain. "I flog you for your interference--for asking questions."

"Can't a man ask a question here without being flogged?"

"No!" shouted the captain. "Nobody shall open his mouth aboard this vessel but myself!" And he began laying the blows upon the man's back. As he went on his passion increased, and the man writhed under the pain. My blood ran cold. When John had been cut down, Mr. Russell was ordered to take the two men and two others in the boat, and pull the captain ashore.

After the day's work was done we went down into the forecastle and ate our supper, but not a word was spoken. The two men lay in their berths groaning with pain, and a gloom was over everything. I vowed that if ever I should have the means I would do something to redress the grievances and relieve the sufferings of that poor class of beings of whom I was then one.

IV.--I Become a Hide-Curer

The comfort of the voyage was evidently at an end, though I certainly had some pleasant days on shore; and as we were continually engaged in transporting passengers with their goods to and fro, in addition to trading our assorted cargo of spirits, teas, coffee, sugars, spices, raisins, molasses, hardware, crockery-ware, tinware, cutlery, clothing, jewelry, and, in fact, everything that can be imagined from Chinese fireworks to English cartwheels, we gained considerable knowledge of the character, dress, and language of the people of California.

In the early part of May I was called upon to take up my quarters for a few months at our hide-house at San Diego. In the twinkling of an eye I was transformed into a beach-comber and hide-curer, but the novelty and the comparative independence of the life were not unpleasant. My companions were a Frenchman named Nicholas, and a boy who acted as cook; Four Sandwich Islanders worked and ate with us, but generally slept at a large oven which had been built by the men of a Russian discovery ship, and was big enough to hold six or eight men. Mr. Russell, who was in charge, had a small room to himself. On July 18 the Pilgrim returned with news. Captain T------ had taken command of a larger vessel, the Alert, and the owners, at the request of my friends, had written to Captain T------ to take me on board should the Alert return to the States before the Pilgrim.

On September 8, I found myself on board the new vessel, and with her visited San Francisco, as well as other ports already named. Our crew were somewhat diminished; we were short-handed for a voyage round Cape Horn in the depth of winter, and so cramped and deadened was the Alert by her unusually large cargo, and the weight of our five months stores, that her channels were down in the water; while, to make matters even more uncomfortable, the forecastle leaked, and in bad weather more than half the berths were rendered tenantless. But "Never mind, we're homeward bound!" was the answer to everything.

The crew included four boys, regarding two of whom an incident may here be chronicled. There was a little boxing-match on board while we were at Monterey in December. A broad-backed, big-headed Cape Cod boy, about sixteen, had been playing the bully over a slender, delicate-looking boy from one of the Boston schools. One day George (the Boston boy) said he would fight Nat if he could have fair play. The chief mate heard the noise, and attempted to make peace; but, finding it useless, called all hands up, ranged the crew in the waist, marked a line on the deck, brought the two boys up to it, and made them "toe the mark."

Nat put in his double-fisters, starting the blood, and bringing the black-and-blue spots all over the face and arms of the other, whom we expected to see give in every moment. But the more he was hurt the better he fought. Time after time he was knocked nearly down, but up he came again and faced the mark, as bold as a lion, again to take the heavy blows, which sounded so as to make one's heart turn with pity for him. At length he came up to the mark the last time, his shirt torn from his body, his face covered with blood and bruises, and his eyes flashing with fire, and swore he would stand there until one or the other was killed.

And he set to like a young fury. "Hurrah in the bow!" said the men, cheering him on. Nat tried to close with him, but the mate stopped that. Nat then came up to the mark, but looked white about the mouth, and his blows were not given with half the spirit of his first. He was evidently cowed. He had always been master, and had nothing to gain and everything to lose; whilst the other fought for honour and freedom, and under a sense of wrong. It would not do. It was soon over. Nat gave in, not so much beaten as cowed and mortified, and never afterwards tried to act the bully on board.

V.--An Adventurous Voyage Home

By Sunday, June 19, we were in lat. 34° 15' S. and long. 116° 38' W., and bad weather prospects began to loom ahead. The days became shorter, the sun gave less heat, the nights were so cold as to prevent our sleeping on deck, the Magellan clouds were in sight of a clear night, the skies looked cold and angry, and at times a long, heavy, ugly sea set in from the southward. Being so deep and heavy, the ship dropped into the seas, the water washing over the decks. Not yet within a thousand miles of Cape Horn, our decks were swept by a sea not half so high as we must expect to find there. Then came rain, sleet, snow, and wind enough to take our breath from us. We were always getting wet through, and our hands stiffened and numbed, so that the work aloft was exceptionally difficult. By July 1 we were nearly up to the latitude of Cape Horn, and the toothache with which I had been troubled for several days had increased the size of my face, so that I found it impossible to eat. There was no relief to be had from the impoverished medicine-chest, and the captain refused to allow the steward to boil some rice for me.

"Tell him to eat salt junk and hard bread like the rest of them," he said. But the mate, who was a man as well as a sailor, smuggled a pan of rice into the galley, and told the cook to boil it for me, and not to let the "old man" see it. Afterwards, I was ordered by the mate to stay in my berth for two or three days.

It was not until Friday, July 22, that, having failed to make the passage of the Straits of Magellan, we rounded the Cape, and, sighting the island of Staten Land, stood to the northward, and ran for the inside of the Falkland Islands. With a fine breeze we crowded on all the canvas the ship would bear, and our "Cheerily, men," was given with a chorus that might have been heard halfway to Staten Land. Once we were to the northward of the Falklands, the sun rose higher in the horizon each day, the nights grew shorter, and on coming on deck each morning there was a sensible change in the temperature.

On the 20th of the month I stood my last helm, making between 900 and 1,000 hours at this work, and 135 days after leaving San Diego our anchor was upon the bottom in Boston Harbour, and I had the pleasure of being congratulated upon my return and my appearance of health and strength.

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